What I’m Into: June 2017

sourdough bread boule

waterfall vacation

watercolour lily

renaissance festival

June was a pretty fantastic month.

Every winter I start to wonder if I will ever feel happiness again, and then eventually June comes around to right all wrongs. Warm weather, fresh produce, vacations and outings. If only every month could be June.

As you can see from the photos above, in the last month I:

  • finally learned to master sourdough bread;
  • went on my first kid-free vacation with Ben, where we hiked through rugged forests and climbed down cliffs in the rain to see waterfalls;
  • finished my first watercolour commission;
  • attended a Renaissance Festival with my siblings and daughter. It was a blast!

However, the kids’ usual babysitters (aka the grandparents) have been busy, too, so I have not had time to work on this post until now. So it’s going to be quick: just the books I read this month!


Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (audiobook, read by Dan Stevens). I love a good detective story, but this was my first romp with Hercule Poirot (Why?!). It was delightful! It plays with all the conventions of murder mysteries, and still managed to completely surprise me. Also, I have to highlight Dan Stevens’ (<–Yes, him! The Beast!) amazing performance. He does all the accents flawlessly (there are both men and women from numerous countries in this book, and he nails all of them.) The story is thrilling and clever and just so much fun. I will definitely read more. (P.S. Turns out, there is going to be a star-studded movie version starring Kenneth Branah in November. Yes, please!)

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham (audiobook). I listened to Graham’s memoir recently, and I was so impressed by her writing I thought I’d give her novel a try. I really enjoyed it! Graham is a truly talented author. It tells a somewhat autobiographical story of a young woman trying to become an actress in the 90’s. It’s not particularly original or exciting, but it’s funny and engaging, and I found myself rooting for the likeable protagonist.

Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card. Sci-fi at its best! And I actually got to read this one with my eyeballs! (Because I was on vacation without the kids!). I picked it up because I really loved Ender’s Game when I read it a few years ago. This story takes place parallel to that novel, but from Bean’s perspective, delving deep into his origin story. It’s pretty dark, especially in the beginning when Bean starts out as a starving street kid, using his brains to survive. But it’s every bit as gripping, unique, and thought-provoking as the first. I devoured it, and shed tears of happiness at the end.

Legend by Marie Lu (audiobook). I’m a long-time fan of YA dystopian novels. This one was pretty run-of-the-mill, though. Two teens prodigies (who also happen to be remarkably good-looking), raised to be enemies, are thrust together in a time of crisis and discover they must work together against evil powers! They fall in love after about eighteen minutes. It has a total cliffhanger ending, but I was kinda like, “Meh. Maybe I’ll get to it yet.”

* * *

Okay! Unfortunately I think that’s it for now! Felix’s nap is almost over. Hope you’re having a great summer, and I hope to see you again soon.







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  1. I might love Ender’s Shadow even more than Ender’s Game. It’s hard to say. But I love love love them both.

    Murder on the Orient Express is also so good. Totally deserving of its status as a classic. I might have to look up the audio version, because it would be fun to hear those accents!

    Glad you guys had a good month! Though in Oklahoma, the concept of wearing sweaters (and long-sleeved full-length dresses!) is pretty laughable. ;-)

  2. That is one beautiful loaf of bread. and the painting! I have no words. You have some unbelievable talent. How recently did you start dabbling in the watercolor? I’m curious because I bought myself a small beginner watercolor paint palette and would love some direction as to where you learned (youtube, a how-to book, or did you just pick up a brush and start doing it?)

    • Hi Nicole! Thanks for your kind words!

      I’ve been dabbling in watercolours for about six months. However, I painted a LOT as a kid and teen, but mostly with acrylics. When I decided I wanted to try watercolours, I thought I would already know how to do it since I used them a little in a high school class. WRONG. Watercolours are SOOOO different from acrylics! I had no idea what I was doing!! So I would definitely recommend a class or something.

      If I were to do it all over again, I would take this class on Craftsy. (I know it’s pricey, but they do on sale, and also it’s cheaper and more convenient than taking one at a school or something). (I haven’t taken this exact class, but I’ve done other Craftsy classes and was very happy with them.) I ended up going all over the place and wasting so much time as I tried to learn even the basics. I also ended up wasting a ton of money as I figured out what supplies I needed. Oh my goodness, I had no idea what I was doing.

      I ended up doing a lot of my learning from various people on Youtube. I ended up really liking Watercolor Misfit’s beginner series. I highly recommend it to get started!
      I’ve also found it helps to just WATCH a lot of painters paint. I feel like I absorbed a lot of skill just by watching them on Youtube. At this point I’ve spent more time watching people paint than actually painting, but it has made a difference when I do actually pick up a brush!

      • Thanks so much for the detailed reply! I’ll certainly look into those Craftsy and youtube options. Maybe if I take the time to watch the techniques, I won’t become as frustrated while trying to paint :)
        I had commented a while ago on another piece you painted (a flower also, I believe) and said you should consider making an etsy shop to sell your work. You would surely do well for yourself!

  3. I read Legend a few years ago and have yet to read the next book…I hope to though. Maybe this year? We’ll see. What a fun time you seemed to have had!! great job on the bread too!
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