What I’m Into :: November 2013

What I'm Into

Sarah has tempted me to jump back into Leigh Kramer’s monthly What I’m Into series. I haven’t done one of these since last spring, so forgive me if I’m a little rusty!

Excited for

A day of Christmas shopping and soaking up the holiday spirit with my husband.

DIYing some Christmas decor with the kids, holiday baking, watching Christmas movies.


Having my daughter home from university. It’s been wonderful having all three kids here the past few days. Bliss!


I’ve been doing more thinking than planning lately. I’m one who needs to spend a good amount of time being introspective before I can set goals and make plans.

As I’m making my way through Crystal Paine’s Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, creating margin in my life is at the front and center of my thoughts. This concept will be making an appearance in my weekly goals, and in the goals I set for 2014.

Is anyone else looking forward to setting goals for 2014? I know some of you eschew the annual goal setting process, but I love it. I’m toying with the thought of setting goals biannually next year – once in January, then again in June or September. Just something I’m thinking about …

I’m getting ready for the December 30 Days of Lists challenge, which starts tomorrow. My 8 year-old and I are doing it together.

After seeing the movie trailer for Divergent, my husband and I are planning to synchro-read the trilogy, so we’re in the process of tracking down two copies of the first book.

Cooking and Eating

I’m currently planning our December menu. I want to incorporate lots of clean eating to balance out the inevitable holiday indulgences.

I’ve made three batches of Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins in the past week. I’m still tinkering with the recipe, and when I get it just right, I’ll share it here.

My sister made Chopped Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries, Pecans and Blue Cheese at Thanksgiving and I’ve been chowing down on leftovers. Yum.


At home: Elementary, Orange is the New Black, Elf (twice in the past 24 hours!)
At the cinema: Catching Fire, Frozen


Stripes, Gap Tall, cardigans, sweaters, leggings, TOMs


I’m almost done with Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple. It’s the first time in a few months that I’ve had a hard time putting a book down. So good.


Encouraged by Stacey’s photography of late, I’m trying to focus more on capturing the everyday. I’m still in the process of deciding how I want to handle our family photographs. I’m thinking about making a soft cover album full of pictures I take from now through Christmas. The goal is to keep it small and inexpensive so I can print one for myself and each of the kids when i’m finished.


Audiobook: The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell, who never disappoints
Podcasts: How They Blog, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Dinner Party Download, The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor
Music: My Vivaldi collection is on constant rotation.
In the car: NPR


  1. We saw Frozen yesterday. I really liked it. And tonight, I’m enjoying our Christmas tree. It’s insane and you’ll see why in my next post or so. I still haven’t caught the holiday spirit, for some reason. Every year there is a defining moment in which it hits me and then I became all gung ho and googly-eyed for it. Despite a Santa Parade in town today, seeing Frozen, and seeing a big lights extravaganza last night, I’m not there. Yet.
    Tamara recently posted…And This Is How It’s Done.My Profile

    • Sometimes it takes a while to catch that holiday spirit. I can’t wait to read what you have to say about it. Frozen was delightful, wasn’t it?! I had no idea what to expect going in. For some reason I thought it was a Sophia the First movie (I have NO idea why I thought that!) I think the setting felt Scandinavian and I’m sort of obsessed with Sweden, so that aspect really appealed to me.

  2. I just finished the Divergent series – I’m curious to see how the movie is. Loved Where’d You Go Bernadette too – such a quirky book. I’m intrigued by the 30 days of lists – going to check that out!
    Dana recently posted…Ask Away, Tamara!My Profile

    • I think if I’d known how the first part of Where’d You Go Bernadette? was written, I may not have read it, but I’m so glad I did. “Quirky” is a great way to describe it.

  3. Hi Shana. I’m over for a visit from the Missouri Women Bloggers website! I’m so glad to have found your blog and look forward to reading more. Thanks for joining in on the fun at MOWB – maybe we’ll meet in person sometime soon. Cheers!
    Fawn @ Instead of the Dishes recently posted…Gifts that Feel Good #2: Gifts that Give TwiceMy Profile

  4. Hi Shanna! I’m linking up for the first time with Leigh and saw your blog link up. I’m excited to hear that I’m not the only one who enjoys the goal setting! Like you, I spend a lot of time thinking and thinking and thinking. I need to spend more time doing. :) My BFF and I are planning a goal session in January. I told her that I, too, felt that I needed to split the year in 2, mostly because my schedule changes so drastically come summer that I can’t maintain the same goals. Besides, it’s more fun to do re-plan and re-visit come summer.

    My book club LOVED Where’d you go, Bernadette? As I’m in Seattle, the local references were a hoot and we loved the way her story unfolded. I hope you like the ending.

    Nice to meet you, Shanna. :)
    Keri recently posted…What I’m Into {November ’13}My Profile

    • Getting together in person with a friend to discuss goals is very helpful. One of my best friends and I have done that almost once every month in 2013. That – along with posting them online – has really held me accountable.

      So I finished the book and I DID like the ending. Didn’t see that coming at all. And I can just imagine that the Seattle references were particularly interesting to you. Were they accurate?!

  5. Ok, your blog graphics are simply lovely! I am inspired! We just saw Catching Fire last night (enjoyed it!) and love Elf. We even have an “Elf in the box” who jumps out at you. ;)
    karen recently posted…How stupid gets washed awayMy Profile

    • Isn’t Elf the best?! I love movies that make me laugh even when I’ve watched them dozens of times. I just re-watched Bridget Jones’s Diary last night and I laughed almost as hard as I did the first time I saw it over ten years ago!

  6. I LOVE posts like these! I am motivated by your planning section. I have never been ones to set goals but I do think it may be time to try. And I am so excited that my photography inspired you! I have loved taking pictures again. Do let me know how your December picture taking goes!
    Stacey recently posted…A Christmas Tree Photo EssayMy Profile

    • I’ll let you know, Stacey. I don’t feel like I’m quite as creative as you, but I did find a little guide online and it has suggestions for some “everyday” type photos to take during the holidays.

  7. Oooh! Are you part of the Say Goodbye to Survival Mode launch team, too?! :) I am really enjoying applying the things that I have learned into my daily life! I make Brussels sprouts with cranberries, bacon and balsamic almost every week – but it never occurred to me to try blue cheese – gasp! That sounds scrumptious! I also love the How They Blog podcasts – such goodness! I hope that you have a most lovely December and Christmas!
    Ginger – Just One of the Boys recently posted…What I’m Into ~ November 2013 EditionMy Profile

    • Ginger, I AM! I have read the first three chapters, but feel like I need to take this week off to really dig into the work pages and assignments. There are so many great suggestions. I think writing them out/doing them will help me internalize them.

      I think I’ll try the Brussels sprouts with cranberries, bacon, and balsamic. Do you roast the Brussels sprouts first?

  8. Yes, I have been thinking about goals for next year a lot… not doing that much about it yet, though. I need some new podcasts — I will have to check out the ones you like. That Brussels sprouts recipe sounds amazing!
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted…Traditions: Christmas on the FarmMy Profile

    • What podcasts do you listen to? I’m always looking for new ones. I’m so bad: I listen at 1.25x or 1.5x speed (depending on how fast the podcaster talks) so I can squeeze more in :)

  9. Lovely post! Wrote down the brussel sprout recipes from your sister – excited to try them! :) (Can’t believe the one vegetable I’ve NEVER tried is a brussel sprout). I’ve got ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’ on my to-read book stack – glad you liked it! :)
    Sarah Caldwell recently posted…What’s On My Bookshelves – A Virtual TourMy Profile

    • I have several great Brussels sprouts recipes, but I’m the only one in my house who likes them. So I always cut my recipes in half. Luckily, they reheat well – at least I think they do!

  10. Shana, good to connect, first on Twitter, then on here! And you, new friend, look like you’re a WHOLE lot of fun. I’m dying to see Catching Fire …hopefully one of these nights soon!

  11. You are into a lot of things, very interesting to read them all.
    And yes, I am starting to think about goals for next year… xx
    Funky Wellies recently posted…Christmas Market ImpressionsMy Profile

  12. Can’t wait to hear your opinion of Orange. I watched it all and just finished the book.
    Nina recently posted…The Special Club For Late Night ReadersMy Profile

  13. Glad you decided to link up with WII again, Shana! The picture of the leaves is gorgeous. I’ve been thinking about 2014 goals but haven’t decided anything yet. But I definitely love planning and organizing and goal setting. Fun that you and your husband are going to read Divergent together! Book 3 is the strongest, in my opinion. Each book gets better than the last. I’m new to the world of Brussels Sprouts and will definitely be trying that recipe soon. I love blue cheese!
    Leigh Kramer recently posted…Dating at ChristmasMy Profile

    • I’m so glad to hear that the Divergent series gets better with each book. I’ve found that is rarely the case with series, unfortunately. I’m really excited to get started on it. Now my stepdaughter has decided she wants to read it, so I’ll probably let her have a go before my husband and I start. I guess we have until March, since that’s when the movie releases.

  14. I’m so glad you jumped back in! I love your sisters recipe for brussel sprouts. Thanks for sharing it. You always keep me motivated to stick with and accomplish my goals. I look forward to seeing what this next year brings for both of us. Hope you have a Merry Christmas, Amy
    Amy E Patton recently posted…What I’m Into: November 2013My Profile

  15. Hmm, I like the bi-annual goal idea. My husband and I were just talking about setting goals for next year and I think doing it in six, instead of twelve, month intervals may really help me. I usually make smaller, monthly goals but I struggle with the more “big pictures” type goal setting. Something for me to think about for sure!
    Sarah Denley Herrington recently posted…Feelings on a FridayMy Profile

    • Sarah, how cool that you and your husband discuss goals together. I love that. My husband isn’t a goal setter – at all! I struggle with the big picture goals too. Committing to something for an entire years scares me, but thinking about doing it for six months sounds significantly more do-able to me.

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