Nothing new to report here... I continue to work on the two pieces I referenced last month (one on The Health Museum in Houston for Texas Living Magazine and one on easy but effective essential oil recipes for Mama Bear Dares) but May's crazy schedule has kept me from tackling anything else.
I was midway through I Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz when the library required me to return it. (The three weeks they allow me to keep books is never quite enough.) I'll report back on the ending when my name rises to the top of the request list and the library lets me check the book out again, but in the meantime, put this book on your summer reading list - the premise is unique and the plot and characters are well developed.
Speaking of summer reading lists, what else should I add to mine? Read any good books lately?
This month we stumbled upon one of the best documentaries we've watched thus far: Chasing Ice. The description below is lengthy for a highlight post like this, but I think it perfectly describes the film and is therefore worth sharing.
"In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.
Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet...With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet."
Fascinating, beautiful, heart-breaking...don't miss this powerful - and hopefully impactful - film.
I also watched the NBC dramatic series Rise, starring Rosie Perez and Josh Radner of How I Met Your Mother fame. Season one's nine-episode arc started out strong, and ended with one of the most powerful hours of television I've watched in years. If you like drama, theater, and/or musicals, Rise would make a great "rainy summer day" binge!
In the "movies to skip" category, I would suggest adding Spy Kids to the list. I had high hopes given my kids' enthusiasm when I agreed to watch it with them, but when the credits finally rolled I couldn't help but miss those 90 minutes of my life I'd never get back...
A few months back I listened to and enjoyed Deadly Manners. In search of another story-based podcast, I Googled "podcasts to listen to if you liked Deadly Manners", and The Amelia Project came up. Rather than sharing the premise of this interesting and unique podcast, I'm going to share a teaser:
Congratulations. You've reached The Amelia Project. This phone call isn't happening. If you're not serious about this, hang up. Now. If you continue, there's no way back.
Good choice. A new life awaits. You'll hear back from us within the hour. If you don't hear back, please consider the whole thing a hoax. Leave your message after the beep.
Are you intrigued? Check out The Amelia Project!
In 1981, my mother-in-law borrowed two of these mugs from the now-closed Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For 37 years, she - and all those who were lucky enough to visit her warm and welcoming kitchen - enjoyed drinking good hot coffee from them...but on her last visit to College Station she gifted them to me. I don't know what it is, but coffee tastes better out of these decades-old mugs and they make me happy every morning.
After seeing these cat brushing gloves come across my Facebook feed multiple times, I finally decided to give them a try. AH.MAZE.ING. If you have a cat, you need these gloves - Tux LOVES them and they make brushing him so much easier and more effective. I just wish they sold a version for child-sized hands...
I bought my first shirt from Saturday Morning Pancakes last month. I see lots of cute graphic tees every week, and I put many of them into my virtual cart so I can think about whether or not I want to actually click "purchase". But when I saw this design I didn't hesitate - the tee was on its way to my house within about 10 minutes. And because I don't love modeling clothes, my little actress offered to do so:
In case you can't quite read the shirt or hear what she says: "Adventure is out there...but then again, so are bugs". This is my swan song.
While on my way to the soccer row in search of a futsal ball, I meandered through the women's clothing section at Academy. Surprisingly, I found cute women's shorts...for only $12! They fit similarly to Old Navy's (5-inch) shorts, for those who might be interested in stocking up for summer.
During a recent rain shower I couldn't find my rain jacket...so I borrowed Will's. The sleeves were a bit short and the boy cut didn't leave a lot of room for the girls, but I wore it anyway and found I could actually zip it up. It makes me a little sad that my son is old and big enough for the two of us to share clothes.
I'm on a mission to find the best chicken spaghetti recipe. Thus far I've tried two different recipes, both of which Tom and I have enjoyed. (Neither Will nor Hallie will eat chicken spaghetti because no matter what, the dish contains cheese.) I have two additional recipes to try, at which point I'll weigh in on our favorite! (Do you have a favorite chicken spaghetti recipe? Please share!)
- Chicken spaghetti #1 comes from The Anthony Kitchen. I followed the recipe almost exactly, but left out the red pepper because I somehow didn't have one. I plan to make this recipe a second time with the red pepper so we can evaluate it fairly.
- Chicken spaghetti #2 comes from Just a Pinch. Full disclosure: this recipe won't be evaluated fairly because I had to make a couple of adaptations. I just could not use an entire stick of butter and a pound of Velveeta, so I omitted the butter completely and used half of the Velveeta the recipe called for...I didn't miss either AT ALL.
Feeling Good About
- This speech by Abby Wambach. I read the entire thing to Will and Hallie and cried - not sad tears, but tears that rose up from a place of deep understanding and pride and happiness - three times while doing so.
- This random act of kindness. Some kids have really big hearts.
- Sweden's progressive and innovative recycling program. Why can't we move in this direction here in the United States?
- These heroes make 3D prosthetics for kids.
What's new in your world this month?