Jun 28, 2019

Odds & Ends

Somethings I've been really liking:

Headphones for quiet time- I don't know why it's taken me so long to just go ahead and order myself some headphones, but it has! I guess I never thought they would be something I would use but they've been great for listening to music or a podcast in the afternoons. (I ordered these but there's probably 1,000 different kinds with decent reviews on Amazon.)

Miracle Face Erase cloths- I never used to remove my makeup at night before washing my face but a few months ago I accidentally purchased waterproof mascara and that stuff is ironclad. I was using Vitamin E oil that I had on hand to remove it and was ready to look for a less messy, less bleary-eyed option. I think I read about these cloths in an online article and they really are great for removing eye makeup!

Flekk eye shadow- Ha! Another "just go ahead and do it already!" entry. I haven't ever known squat about eye shadow but decided I am in my thirties and the time has come to figure out how to apply it well and find the right shades. One blogger, whose recommendations I often really like, has mentioned this brand a few times; at first I was put off by the price but after reading about how much she liked it again and then hearing it was on sale, I went ahead and purchased a set and am very pleased with it! (I got it on sale + free shipping, so I would definitely suggest waiting for a sale.) The best thing is that it comes with diagrams of where to apply each shade, as well as written directions and suggestions.

Jennifer Fulwiler's interview with Mitali Perkins (having the courage to follow your blue flame) was so very much what I needed to hear. Definitely will be listening to it again!


A few months ago I came across a copy of Rome Sweet Home at a thrift store and picked it up although I've read it before. It crossed my mind to put it in a local Little Free Library. Then just recently I finished a good book relating to the Pro-life movement and decided to order a copy and drop it off in the same place. Who knows if anyone will even read them or if any good will come of it, but I'd like to think this can be a tiny little way of evangelization for someone like myself who just does not have much nerve or words. :)
(I once had a co-worker who wasn't a practicing Catholic anymore, and had mentioned his Confirmation saint was St. Anthony. I felt like I should do something for him so on my last day of work I placed a St. Anthony holy card in his box on my way out- see 'no nerve or words above'.)

Do you ever go about your life knowing there's an easier way to do things but you're making do and don't want another thing to read up on, so you keep things status quo? I have recently started scheduling pickups through the USPS website and it has changed my life. WHY did I never look into this before?! Every single time I had to mail an Etsy package that didn't fit in the mailbox I would trek on over to the post office to drop it off (almost always with a child in tow). Now I just plop it onto the front porch and hide while our mail carrier collects it. Easy peasy.

I came across this poem in Columbia Magazine last month and it is too good and so beautiful!

"The Virgin at Noon" by Paul Claudel (who's conversion took place in Notre-Dame Cathedral)

It is noon. The church is open.
I must go in.
Mother of our Lord, I have not
come to pray.
I have nothing to give and 
nothing to ask.
I am here, my Lady, only to look at you.
To look at you, to cry for joy, to know
That I am your son and you are there.
Only for one moment when everything stops.
To be with you, Mary, in this place
where you are.
To say nothing, to look at your face.
To let my heart sing in its own language.
To say nothing, but simply to sing
because my heart is too full… .
Because you saved me, because
you saved France. 
Because France too, like myself, was
for you a thing to be considered.
Because at that moment when
everything collapsed, you intervened.
Because you saved France once again.
Because it is noon, because we are
at this moment of today.
Because you are there for always,
simply because you are Mary,
Simply because you exist.
Mother of Our Lord, we give
thanks to you.”

Jun 17, 2019

Reads of 2018

Don't mind me- just going to slip this in in the six month of 2019.:)

Really enjoyed:

Surprise me- one of the better of Sophie Kinsella's for me.
On the Banks of Plum Creek
By the Shores of Silver Lake
I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life
An Exorcist Tells His Story- Such a good read; scary to think that some bishops don't feel it's important to appoint exorcists in their dioceses, though!
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike- very thorough/ long but neat to get the back story.
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe
One Beautiful Dream- loved it!
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer- SO good and I am extremely glad I saw Ashley's remark about choosing not to read it at night- I read this only during naptime. I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks- can definitely see how people get caught up in amateur detective work for unsolved cases!
Scalia Speaks- I dog-eared so many pages of this (and then had to return it to the library...). He is just SO GOOD! I love how his speeches don't preach to the choir at all.
Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction
Crazy Rich Asians
The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows- this was a long but enjoyable read. It concerns the conversion and then entrance into religious life for actress Dolores Hart, but the book in it's entirety is a memoir of her whole life.
Building the Benedict Option- I had heard Leah speak at one of the blog conferences I attended and especially enjoyed her writing style here.


When Life Gives You Lululemons- I felt a bit too racy in parts + language, but entertaining chick lit.
Oasis: Conversion Stories of Hollywood Legends- I kind of had to laugh when I read a one or two star review of this based on the content- you know, like people living however they want and with dark and sad histories eventually turning their lives to Christ. If it was between the two, I'd recommend Deathbed Conversions, but still like this one.
The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe
Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships
Kind is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously- nothing really new under the sun here, but I just really like Candace Cameron Bure and love that she lives her faith in Hollywood.
The Queen of Hearts- I loved the medical bent of this book and enjoyed the overall story *but* too much sexual content for my taste. Like reading it on a plane between two guys and praying neither looks over my shoulder and reads what's on the page, too much.
Little Beach Street Bakery- kinda slow in parts, didn't love one of the main characters but enjoyed the setting.
The Actor's Life: A Survival Guide- haha, written for aspiring actors but interesting to read the ins and outs of getting your foot in the door anyway.
Anne's House of Dreams-  a good one; Anne of the Island is still my favorite.
How My Book Became a Movie: A True Story
The Perfect Couple- pretty good beach read type murder mystery book, wasn't satisfied with the ending.
Bless Me Father for I Have Kids
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine- I struggled through this one!
The Grace of Enough: Pursing Less and Living More in a Throwaway Culture
The Dinner List
Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life


The Clockmaker's Daughter- This book makes me truly believe that Kate Morton writes ridiculously long books for the sake of writing long books. The ending really annoyed me and felt very "Atonement".
The Blue Bistro- I didn't find any of the characters likeable in this, *and* it really bothers me when Catholic characters are painted as devout...and then have such twisted, messed up morals.
Auntie Poldie and the Sicilian Lions- loved the setting but the main character really bugged me! (A+ for the cover art, though!)
Sunset Lullaby

That's a wrap for last year- looking forward to some good summer fiction!
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