What I’m Reading: January

When people ask me what I like to do for fun, reading is always one of the first things off of my lips. But when I actually thought about the number of books I’ve read in the past few years I realized I don’t actually make time to read like I would like to! Growing up I devoured books like candy. One summer I decided to keep track of how many pages I had read (part of our local library’s summer reading program… but I finished their page requirements in an afternoon.) I don’t remember the exact number but it was in the 200,000’s. I basically just read all the time. We even started going to another library 30 minutes away because we had read all the books we were interested in at our library!

So this year I set a goal for myself: to read 27 books in 2017.

I discovered goodreads.com and so far this year have already read 3 books which is probably, pathetically, the total number of books I read in 2016. Good Reads lets me keep track of books I’ve read, want to read, and am currently reading! I also set my goal for the year and can see my progress which is helpful.

Here’s what I read in January:

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
I am 100% on the Chip & Jo bandwagon. (#Shiplap) The Magnolia Story goes behind the scenes to the Gaines’ life in Waco, Texas and their journey to being one of HGTV’s most loved couples. I love how passionate they are about their beliefs and values and their commitment to faith and family.
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
I have read this book before, but it’s one of my favorites. I have always been fascinated by the events of World War II and Corrie Ten Boom’s story of bravery. She and her family of Dutch watchmakers were some of the greatest evangelists of the twentieth century and were able to save many Jews and underground workers from the Nazis proving love truly is greater than evil.
Simple Matters by Erin Boyle
Living with less and ending up with more. Looking for beauty in addition to purpose and function. Being mindful of what we’re consuming on a daily basis. While I can’t say I will ever go 100% zero waste or for that matter even get my husband to give up his beloved paper towels, I am trying to be more mindful of the amount I am contributing to the landfills. Some things are easy… skip the plastic bags at the grocery store (including those product bags!), use a glass water bottle, diy cleaning products, etc. But those things just scratch the surface of conscious consumption. I plan to read more on this subject and slowly pursue living simply with less because it really is a journey and a process.


I love looking forward to being able to curl up on the couch at the end of a long day and disappear in the pages of a book. I have 2 books queued up for February and am always open to suggestions! You can check out my Good Reads profile here and create your own account if you’d like to keep track of books you are reading and/or want to read!



What I Learned from Whole30

I have officially completed my first Whole30! The experience was honestly, a little easier than I was expecting, but that’s not to say there weren’t difficult moments! I can’t say that I truly experienced the “tiger blood” the Whole30 authors refer to, but I am sleeping better, my energy is up, and I have multiple non-scale victories which are wins in my book!

As I think back onto the past 30 days and life after Whole30 (I kind of don’t even know what to do with myself!) I came up with 10 thoughts/things I learned from this experience:

  1. Why did it take me so long to jump on the La Croix train?!
  2. Label reading is key. There are all sorts of unnecessary preservatives and crap added to things.
  3. Ghee over butter all day.
  4. Sweet potatoes are God’s gift to Whole30-ers everywhere.
  5. Cheese? What cheese?
  6. Nutritional Yeast: it’s not as weird as it sounds. And kind of tastes like cheese. (See #5.)
  7. Favorite Recipe right here.
  8. I reeeaaaallllyy missed popcorn. And chips and salsa.
  9. Plantain chips are dangerously delicious.
  10. I would definitely do this again. And will continue to stick to a mostly-Whole30 lifestyle.

Today was Day 1 of the Reintroduction phase and I experimented with legumes today. Peanut Butter with my banana (I actually prefer almond or sunflower butter!), hummus with my carrots, and lentil soup for dinner. I can already tell my body is not a huge fan of legumes and I don’t think it will be that difficult to leave out of my diet completely. Back to Whole30 for the next 2 days and then I’ll reintroduce non-gluten grains. We shall see!