Saturday, January 21, 2017

Winter Top 5

Well, November (and December) (and a good portion of January) got away from me. Welcome back to my tiny corner of the internet. ;)

And happy winter! Except that we're in the middle of some very NON-winter temps, rendering the snow either dirty and gross or completely nonexistent. But it's only January, and this is Minnesota, so we likely have lots more cold and snow in our future.

Anyway, here's what I'm loving right now.

1) Books
I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions, but I did decide to be intentional about not spending too much time on social media. Instead, I've been reading a LOT. A couple noteworthy picks:

Shauna Niequist's Present Over Perfect was beautiful and real and refreshing. I love Shauna's writing style--at the end of the book I felt like I'd just spent an afternoon listening to her pour her heart out. I had a chance to see her at the Belong Tour in October and she's the same on stage as I imagine she is in her kitchen, preparing a meal to share with friends. Highly recommend all of her books!

Steve Wiens' Beginnings was a far-overdue read for me. It was released a year ago and for some reason, the year got away from me and other books were read instead. I really enjoyed this book and it felt appropriate to read it in January--a beginning. Steve combines Biblical and personal stories throughout the book, which chronicles the seven days of creation. It works so beautifully and is completely captivating. Grab this book and while you're on Amazon, go ahead and pre-order Steve's book Whole, due out this August. :)

2) Larabar bites
I'm a big fan of Larabars. They're so simple and delicious. The coconut chocolate chip are a staple in our cupboard. But sometimes I don't want a whole Larabar. Enter Larabar BITES! The perfect tiny treat! I've only tried the cherry chocolate chip, but they also come in chocolate macaroon, double chocolate brownie, and mint chocolate truffle. Check 'em out.

3) The Office
This is not a new show for us, but it might be even better the second time around. We watched this sporadically when it was on TV 10ish years ago, and when we were perusing Netflix a couple months ago looking for a new show to watch together, this one caught our attention. We love the sitcom length, as we can't always commit to an hour-long show once all the kids are finally in bed and we're nearly falling asleep standing up. ;) So many laugh-out-loud moments. If, for some reason, you've never watched this, please do!

4) Zupas

This is a newish place in Maple Grove, although there are locations in about six different states. It's all soup, salads, and sandwiches, and everything we've tried is awesome. Dan is a fan of the Cuban Grilled Pork Sandwich, and I can't get enough of the Garden Chicken Chop Salad. Everything is super fresh, and every entree comes with a chocolate-covered strawberry! The only downside to all of this awesomeness is that it's always pretty busy. But it's worth it. (Also, they're closed on Sundays)

5) Movies
I love movies this time of year! It's award season and the movie selection is amazing. I have so many on my list, but I've loved the couple I've seen so far:

Leah and I saw Moana after Christmas and just loved it. The music is absolutely incredible and Moana is a perfect (non-princess) female lead. :) Leah is still singing "How Far I'll Go" (with mostly the right words) nearly every day. This will definitely be one we own when it comes out!

Dan and I had a rare day date last week and saw La La Land. SO good. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are charming and perfect. Outstanding music, beautiful story. Go see it!

All done. :) Hang in there, friends! Spring will be here before you know it. ;)

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