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What I’m Loving: July & August 2016
What I'm Loving


Between a writer’s conference in July and the demands of a day job as a writer at a university that saw its students return to campus in August, these past few weeks have been a blur. Popping onto the blog to share a few new things I’ve been loving these hot and hazy days of summer!

1) Sing Street: When I heard director John Carney had a new film out (he of Once and Begin Again fame), I was ALL ABOUT IT. And I was so thrilled this little indie—a DARLING nod to ’80s music and chasing your passions—made it to Muncie so I could see it on the big screen. Hands down my favorite film of the year. As this reviewer put it: “‘Sing Street’ has the hair of the 80s, but a timeless heart.” It certainly stole mine!

2) 5-Year Diary: I can think of no site on the Internet that sways my purchasing power more than A Cup of Jo. When guest writer Emma Straub wrote about her Tamara Shopsin 5-year diary, I was intrigued. I used to keep journals until college and fell away from the habit [said every woman over 25 everywhere]. I can safely say this little tome (which features 365 pages dedicating a handful of lines to the same date over five years’ time) has me back into the groove. It’s a quick way to jot down some notes about my days now as a 30-something and I love knowing I’ll be able to see on one page what I was doing on the same day over the course of the next half-decade of my life. (No pressure in keeping up, right?)

3) West Elm Golden Glass Shadow Box: Silly as it may be, picking out a pair of earrings every morning used to consist of me dumping onto my comforter the little clay bowl I kept by my bedside and cursing my luck at the tangled mess that confronted me on the bed. Then I picked up one of these beautiful glass boxes from West Elm. I can’t believe how much I’m in love with it. Not only does it make artwork out of my jewelry, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to find that matching hoop that always seemed to make its way to the bottom of the bowl.

4) Amy Schumer’s The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo: I expected a lot from Amy Schumer’s first book—chiefly that the humor would be bawdy and irreverent in the way that personifies her comedic style. And it is, but it’s so much more: In her more poignant essays, Schumer writes about tricky subjects like the lack of consent in her first sexual experience and her complicated feelings about her dad’s struggle with M.S. The best celebrity tell-alls are those that reveal our favorite stars to be people  as vulnerable as we are. On this note, Amy knocks it out of the park.

5) Cetaphil: Remember what I said about Cup of Jo above? Let me fangirl again to say I have Joanna Goddard’s lovely Beauty Uniform style series for introducing me to a game changer in my skincare routine (which makes it sound like it’s fancy and complicated when it’s basically a squirt of this stuff onto a wet washcloth every night before I shellack my face with drugstore skin cream). After reading countless women praise the wonders of this face wash, I wanted to see how it’d treat my skin. Weeks later, I’m a convert. It’s super gentle (no dryness!), cheap, and (important bonus) I LOVE the smell of it. Call it a #winwinwin.

Kondo-ing and Creativity*

I’ve reached a point in life where I’ve become a proponent of living small. My husband and I own an 1,800 square-foot ranch and I’m convinced I may never want a larger home. Mainly because living small frees up the part of my mind that would otherwise be occupied with a need to keep up with the Jones. Also, housework. (I can clean my house top to bottom in an hour. Adding a second story and basement? With all those extra bedrooms to sweep …

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What I’m Loving: June 2016

Hello? Is this thing on? I’m like a comedian stepping in front of the harsh spotlight of a stage and a hot mike because guys, it’s been a LONG time. Like, this-blog-has-dust bunnies-under-its-covers long. But I made a promise last fall to focus on finishing my second manuscript and now that I’ve done it, I finally have head space again to write some fun content for my website. Topping that list are these round-ups of books, films, pop culture kernels …

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My Essay for Women Writers

A few months back, I had a burst of creative insight on a topic I’d been mulling for a while—what creative forces had motivated me to finish my second novel. Shortly after, I came across a particular passage in #Hamiltome that crystallized the topic for me. So I sat down and put some thoughts down on paper. My first instinct was to hit “Publish” and share them on my blog. But I stopped myself, knowing I might be able to get it published …

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What to Read Now: Summer 2016

Another season, another What to Read post for Jen over at As quiet as I’ve been on the blog, the great news is that it’s in large part the result of having finished my second manuscript (which is now out with some critique partners/beta readers for that revision stage that is both so painful and necessary and wonderful all at once). My hope is to pick back up with some content here now. I’ve got an essay coming out …

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