1. To Watch
In the last newsletter I mentioned that I love to look for lighter content in the summer and can I just say that this movie is PERFECT for that. Ben and I were cracking up the entire time. You can stream it on Starz if you have it!
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
This one is a little grizzly in parts but Ben and I are OG fans of this one and the third season is not disappointing. It’s heavy though, so proceed with caution.
New Girl (Netflix)
I’m sure you’re all already watching this. But if by some chance you aren’t and you need a 20 minute super light comedy to watch before bed, this is it.
The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
Have we talked about this yet? I’m sure we have. But just in case...I’m OBSESSED with this show. Totally family friendly and weirdly engrossing. You’ll love it.
Guest Recommendation from Ella: Wine Country (Netflix)
Ella (my sister) loves this one and said she would watch it on repeat. Which would be easy because it’s a Netflix original. I haven’t seen it yet, but we can watch it together this month.
2. To Listen
Delicious by Ruth Reichl (Audiobook)
I’m an absolute sucker for a good food book. This novel about a food writer in NYC (loosely based on Ruth Reichl’s experience as a magazine editor) is just as joyful as it can be.
Pantsuit Politics (Podcast)
With the democratic debates kicking off this week and politics back on the scene in a big way, I love this podcast to help provide a nuanced way to perceive all the crazy.
Ultimate 1995-2005 Youth Group Playlist
If you know, you know.
Happiness Begins (Album)
Go ahead and judge me. See if I care. I know every word and the whole thing is a mood.
3. To Read
Where’d You Go Bernadette (Book)
Written loosely as an epistolary novel (book of letters, emails, etc.) this book is laugh out loud funny and the quickest beach read. The movie is coming out soon so now is the perfect time to pick this one up!
Waiting for Tom Hanks (Book)
THIS IS IMPORTANT. This book is set in Columbus (which I found totally delightful) and is a rom-com with constant nods to some of my favorite movies (like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail). A total joy to read and a can’t-miss for my Columbus friends.
56 Realistic Disney Portraits (Article)
This stupidly talented artist has created these renderings of Disney characters that are just gorgeous and a joy for 90’s kids everywhere.
Roasting a Chicken like Laurie Colwin
Again, I’m a FAN of food writing and Laurie Colwin is one of my favorite authors on the subject. Loved this piece about her work and cooking.
4. To Eat
This month I taught a cooking class so I did A LOT of cooking. Here are the four absolute winners. This month, that’s high praise.
Baked Challah French Toast
Ben and I made this for Ella’s half birthday (it’s a thing ok?) and loved it so much we made a huge batch again for our family during beach week. The best french toast I’ve literally ever had AND make-ahead friendly.
Potato Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches
Speaking of make-ahead friendly, these breakfast sandwiches are perfect for meal prep! Just make a batch and keep them individually wrapped in the freezer. Life changing and also an easy way to bless someone with a fresh breakfast whenever. Relatedly, are you watching Molly Yeh’s cooking show Girl Meets Farm? You should be.
Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts
One of my dearest friends is a teacher too and just the other day we spent the ENTIRE day baking. These are now our go-to project bake and also pride and joy. I’ve rarely been so proud of anything I’ve created. I don’t have big enough words to express my love.
Baja Fish Tacos
We’ve been looking for lighter food for dinner these days and this easy quick dinner is every bit as good as it would be in a restaurant. Try it!
5. To Buy
Easy Summer Make-up Look:
During vacation last week, I posted a picture with this make-up look and listen, I don’t know really anything about make-up. But I know this is combo is easy, budget friendly, and glowy for summer. Click the name of each product to buy it!
I reeeeally like a matte texture in the summer and this is perfect for that. Also, compared to what else is out there, this is super affordable and gives me all the coverage I need.
Summer is the time for highlighter. I put this on my cheekbones and cupids bow and sometimes even on my nose. It’s my dummy's guide to nailing that glowy look.
These days, if I really want to go for it, I do two layers of mascara. First this one, for fullness and then this one, for length.
Ok so my friend bought me this brow gel that is more next level and I use that at home a lot, but when I’m on vacation and I just want things to look a little more natural - I grab this.
But the thing is, I don’t think anything looks better than skin that is actually healthy. So when you’re about to head out the door, use this to get that dewy hydrated look, set your make-up, and to make you smell good. Win-win-win.
HAPPY SUMMER! There is just about nothing sweeter than this time of year. Whenever this season rolls around, I immediately crave things that are just a little lighter. I’m swapping my thriller books for romances and dramas for rom-coms and hearty stews for fruit salads.
On the blog this summer, I want to provide you some content that is also just a little lighter. SO! For the next handful of months, I’ll be sending you a newsletter called The Little Things.
This newsletter will be your ten minute or less downlow on what is new and interesting and worth checking out over your summer break. I’ll be giving you links to click, articles to read, products to stock up, recipes to add to your rotation and whatever else I think you need to know as we jump into summer. Sign up along the side of this page on my blog, or at the tab at the top that says “The Little Things Summer Newsletter Sign-up” to make sure you don’t miss an addition.
You’ll get an emailed version of the newsletter dropped right into your inbox, but they’ll also be posted on the blog if you prefer to read there.
If you have enjoyed emailed devotionals in the past, please do me a big favor and share the sign up link with your people. Let’s get started!!!
Always Be My Maybe
This is Netflix’s new rom-com! Big thanks to Netflix for doing the important work of bringing back the rom-com. We are so grateful.
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
I don’t have enough words to tell you how much I love this show. I CANNOT binge TV. I’ve never been able to do it. But this, I binged in a week. I have things that make me too sad and I love to laugh but also get a great story. This show checked all my boxes. Stream it on Amazon Prime.
Ben and I watch this before bed. It’s easy to watch, not hard to follow and the people are weirdos this season. You’ll love it.
I know TV is engrossing for me when I can watch it on the treadmill and think more about what is happening in the show than my own misery. I absolutely loved this. Stream it on Netflix.
I was worried I would hate it. Honestly, The Nutcracker is one of my favorite things in this world and the Disney movie was awful. So I was really worried this would mess this up...but guys! This made my heart feel like it was in Disney World. That’s the highest praise I know. Go see it in the best theater in your town.
Crime Junkie (Podcast)
This is creepy, but not too much, and weirdly funny. Perfect for a long road trip where you need your mind occupied.
The Popcast (Podcast)
I promise this will be the last time I recommend this absolutely hilarious pop-culture podcast. But it’s my very favorite. I don’t want you to miss it.
Groceries with a Beat (Playlist)
This is for exactly what it says. Listen to it when you grocery shop. It sparks joy.
Since Ben and I got back from Disney in March, I miss it constantly so playing this in the background is the perfect peaceful way to get my Disney fix.
Johnny Swim’s Moonlight
Just as perfect as ever. My favorite band put out an incredible new album.
This is supposed to be THE book of the summer. It’s a nature survival/thriller book. I’m halfway through but I’m HOOKED. It’s un-put-downable.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Speaking of Netflix and the rom-com. Read this frothy sweet book and then host a movie night with your girlfriends. Just ideal for summer reading.
I have a subscription to this magazine and I think it might be the perfect pool/beach magazine. It has actually good content but enough easy stuff to make it easy reading.
I’ve been cooking from this like crazy! This cookbook is great for making cooking a part of your lifestyle.
20 Best Patios in Columbus
If you live in Cbus, this is important. Ben and I are slowly working my way through them all this summer.
I’ve been eating this for lunch AND dinner. I’m doing all I can to cut down on carbs and this is a full meal without all the bad stuff.
It’s all about fast this summer. This dessert comes together in 30 minutes, keeps well, and is ideal for entertaining.
Ricotta Zucchini Boats
Speaking of keeping those carbs low, check out this perfect meal prep pick.
S’mores Low-Cal Cold Brew (My Go-To Starbucks Order)
My go-to Starbucks order is crazy seasonal. This order has less than 100 calories and still feels like such a treat. Order it just like this: Grande cold brew with non-fat milk, one pump of marshmallow, one pump of mocha, cold foam made with sugar-free vanilla and a light mocha drizzle. You’re welcome.
A perfect accompaniment to any light summery outfit, these are felt backed so they are a hundred times lighter than they look and go with everything.
Blue Light Glasses
My sweet friend Lexi stumbled across this first and I was so obsessed that I immediately bought them. Perfect for long days working at the computer or for movie nights.
Affordable Summer Sheets
These are dream. Lightweight, cheap, but just so cozy -- they feel like hotel sheets in the best way.
Crescent Horn Necklace
I am a big believer that yes, you should try a trend, but no, you should not spend an arm and a leg on it. This is perfect for trying out this accessory trend but sticking to your budget.
Happy Summer! I honestly don’t care if today is officially summer or not. As far as I’m concerned, if school is out, it’s full on summer! Whether you’re a teacher/student or not, our yearly rhythms often begin to slow down as summer kicks off. This is a season devoted to recreation, so if you’re anything like me, you’re looking to catch up on those little things that have fallen to the wayside throughout the busy year, spend some time away, and maybe pamper yourself a little bit with a good read or a good facial, or whatever it is that means relaxation for you.
In the spirit of a summer of full of fun and more than a little downtime, but also in the spirit of not having to spend a ton of money to find some things that spark joy -- here are five perfect and budget summer picks and products. HAPPY START OF SUMMER!
Busyness -- in May, it’s quite a problem. Between graduations and wedding season and field trips and not to mention the general sense of burnout in the air, there is way too much going on. I can always identify an uptick in my overwhelm when I respond to the question, “How are you?” with some version of this: “I’m good! Staying busy.”
When I feel compelled to include my busyness in a description of my general wellbeing, it means it’s time to evaluate. Now, like I’ve said many times before, some overwhelm is a natural accompaniment of a hectic season. It’s when the hectic season starts to feel like a permanent state of being, that we have a problem on our hands. This particular season tends toward busyness, and that’s ok. But, we have a choice about whether we let our busyness control us or whether we take the reins through intentional and well organized productivity skill building.
Being productive boils down to having a firm grasp on our time and how to leverage it to its fullest potential. Freedom from busyness usually boils down to feeling as if you have several sections of free and restful time in your calendar every week. In a hectic season, this is achievable only if you are productive with your working hours and a fierce protector of your free hours.
Maintaining free hours has been a lifelong struggle for me, but the four tools and skills I’ll outline below have made a serious difference. Let’s jump in!
Welcome! I'm a wife, third year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I kick off this adult life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."