September 2013: What I learned and what I'm into

I cannot believe that we are at the end of September already. Partly because this month where we cross over from Summer to Fall is a bit bittersweet for this eternal-summer-girl and also because that means October begins in a few days and that means I'll be blogging every day for 31 days again (or at least attempting to). I'm excited and also intimidated. Last year's challenge was difficult indeed but worth the hard work. In fact I'm currently (albeit slowly) working on turning that series into an ebook! Anyways, back to the task at hand. Let's talk about this month! I have a couple of mind-blowingly simple things I learned (let's hope I actually learned more than two things this month!) and then I will share what I've been into this past month.


First, let's play along with Emily in the what I learned category...

1. If your iPhone rings and you can't answer the phone at the moment for whatever reason, you can simply swipe up and then you'll be given the option of sending a canned-reply or custom text message. Maybe you already know about this but I thought it was so neat! I haven't upgraded to iOS 7 yet so I can't confirm if it works the same but here is the quick and easy tutorial.

Bonus iPhone tip: if you want to make a neat lock screen collage, check out the free app InstaBG.

2. If you want to make your quinoa fluffier, after you bring it to a boil, wrap the lid with a dish towel to help soak up the moisture. Thanks to my girl Ema for this tip. :) (P.S. I soak my quinoa for better digestibility. We don't eat a lot of grains so I want the ones we do eat to be easier on our systems).

What I've been into...

I so love requesting books online and picking them up from the library holds shelf!


I'm in a serious book phase. My feedly is completely full and I can't remember the last time I read any of the blogs in there that I don't subscribe to by email {note to self: subscribe to a few more blogs by email because I'm missing a few of my favorites}.

But this is great-- I'm getting back to my first love, and I'm also determined to read down my stack of over forty unread books on our bookshelf. I'll update you on that in November (remind me!).

This month I only finished one book, All Roads Lead to Austen. It was a library find, and a darn good one. I might want to buy it and re-read it after I finish my stack. It's a memoir, about a literature professor who travels through Latin America to conduct book clubs with a few of Jane Austen's most popular novels to compare how readers relate to Jane in the countries she visits. So pretty much, the perfect book for me.

The only downfall? It has made me google-crazy, dreaming about going back to get a PhD in comparative literature. I'm pretty sure I won't do this because a) I'm not wealthy and b) I'm not in a stage of life where six years of intense research, reading and writing would be a good fit. But it got me thinking about my passions and my calling in life, so that's a good thing.

To see what I'm currently (still) reading, check out my GoodReads shelf. I recently started A Homemade Life (finally!), a WWII novel called Snow on the Tulips, and some Harry Potter fan fiction.

TV & Movies

After Harry Potter, we've pretty much neglected the movie in favor of it's serial counterpart. We've been catching up on a lot of shows, and watching our fair share of baseball and football (I enjoy the background noise of sports while I read or browse Instagram actually).

I finished The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (and loved it!). I'll probably watch one of their other series eventually.

We are finishing up Season 1 of Revolution on Netflix, so we can jump into the new episodes. We also have a few episodes left of Arrested Development Season 4. The last couple of episodes have gotten funnier again.

We're patiently awaiting The Amazing Race, and praise the Lord, Parenthood came back this week (so good!!!). We are intrigued by The Blacklist-- has anyone watched it? And now that our favorite comedies are all gone (RIP The Office, Community & Up All Night), I could use some recommendations...

Oh, and if you haven't seen the Jimmy Fallon/JT hashtag sketch, go take a few minutes and watch it now {snicker}.


The most recent new thing I've been listening to on Spotify is a playlist someone made of the Amèlie soundtrack. It's so charming! My go-to list is usually my Happy playlist or my Bing & Friends playlist for everyday listening. We usually choose something classical during homeschool time.

On the blog

I was hoping to wrap up some posts on my to-do list before beginning October, but it looks like most of them will have to wait until November (including a little series on what I've been learning about homeschooling).

I'm really excited though as I will be working my way through 31 Days of Intentional Community this year, exploring thoughts and ideas that are near and dear to my heart and the heart behind this blog. Join me on Tuesday as we begin. These won't be long posts for the most part and I'm already anticipating that having you weigh in in the comments will be half the fun.

And later this month I'll tell you about a new blog that I will be contributing to in addition to my monthly posts on Simple Mom.

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh

Welcome to 31 Days of Intentional Community

As I consider the idea of bringing a little hope to the poor