September is over. And for the first time in what feels like forever, I’m not totally caught unawares by it. I’m feeling settled into Greensboro and September has felt like just the right length.
So let’s talk about my September faves.
- Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption, Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. I finished up the rest of the series early in the month, and to be honest, it feels like forever ago so I’ve kinda forgotten these books. But I did enjoy them – there’s some unexpected twists and they were a fun fantasy read.
- Partials and Fragments, Dan Wells. These are right up my alley (you know, dystopian YA lit, badass chick, cute boys) and I loved these books. They’re full of twists and surprisingly thought-provoking and I could just not put them down, and now I’m stuck waiting for the third book. Gimme.
- The Selection, Kiera Cass. This is…uh…also in my YA lit niche. Set in post-something US, America is selected as one of the girls to live at the palace and be a potential mate for the prince. She’s not into it, there’s a boy back home…you know. Think, like, The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. Honestly, it seemed totally predictable at first but surprised me a bit. Cass hints at some more drama beneath the surface going on with the monarchy/government system and I’m really hoping she delves into that more in the next book, which I’ve got on hold. Again, gimme.
- Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orienstein. Orienstein takes a look at the prevalence of all things pink + princess + stereotypically feminine in our culture and questions how this is affecting our girls (and, like, us). I’m kinda not-so-secretly a raging feminist (though that term is complicated at best) and this whole divide of girl/boy toys/books/activities/careers/etc is incredibly important to think about. This is fascinating, and while I don’t agree with everything Orienstein offers, it’s worth a read.
- Every Shattered Thing, Elora Ramirez. Right. so. Not really sure how to talk about this book because it’s painful and beautiful and it hurts and sometimes you just want to stop reading but then you don’t, and you’ll probably cry a bit. or a lot. In any case, Elora’s novel talks about a really hard thing (sex slavery in the US) and does it beautifully. Read it.
- The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. This was a re-read for me and you’d think that knowing what was coming would make it easier, but nope, I still bawled my eyes out like a baby. If you haven’t read this, you want too. They’re filming the movie now and John keeps tweeting pictures from the set and I already have all the feels and they’re not even done with the filming. I mean.
- waiting on my windowsill: The Gifts of Imperfection (Brene Brown, and it’s beautiful and amazing and hard and true), The Book Thief (Markus Zusak, and I know I’m like the last person in the world to read this but guys so good), Grace for the Good Girl (Emily Freeman), An Introduction to the Old Testament (Walter Brueggemann and I’m only one chapter in but it’s good and also makes my head hurt a bit).
- Cassi Clerget’s post for So Worth Loving on speaking kindness to yourself. It’s hard, and important.
- 5 Lies Every Twentysomething Needs to Stop Believing and I think I just need to read this on the daily.
- Preston Yancey is back to blogging again (yay) and writing some beautiful beautiful things. I’ve been practicing yoga for around a year now and this is so good, and so true.
- “It is good, I hear Him say, and for the first time in a long time, I feel it.” Bethany Suckrow writes an ode to her body.
- Kaleigh Somers writes truth and reminds us that are so, so much more than broken.
- Hilary Sherratt, on being unkind to her body. (Is there a trend here with my posts this month? Let’s practice some self-love, yo.)
- Antonia Terrazas on remembering your baptism, and living it daily.
- Last but certainly not least, Hannah Brencher continues to remind me why I fell in love with words in the first place.
this month’s jams are right here. been loving We Don’t Eat by James Vincent McMorrow, and fell in love with Coby Grant after one of her songs was used on Dance Academy. Little Bastille, little Katy Perry, little Daughter.
I’ve also re-discovered my love for Rachel Platten. I’ve known + loved her music for a while – my old dance teacher back home hosted her house concert a couple summers ago, and then again recently. I was bummed that I wouldn’t be home for it but then learned she’d be playing in Greensboro the very next night. I was totally that loser that went to a concert alone (sorry to everyone who had to endure #hannahlivetweetingherawkwardconcert) and had a great time. I can’t wait for Rachel’s new album to come out – it’s going to be amazing – but for now her music is on repeat. She’s incredibly sweet and talented – she sings, plays the guitar and piano, write or co-writes all her songs…and she beatboxes. She also gives really good hugs and doesn’t judge you if you start crying in front of her. Or so I’ve heard.
and it’s been kinda a tough month, and I’ve been working on my brave, so I made myself a total girl power playlist. it’s kinda short for now, but you can bet it’ll be sticking around and growing up. sing along and dance in your bedroom with me.
- finally watched Hercules. Disney, yo.
- re-watched Thor and while it’s still not my fave of the Avengers-tribe films, it’s still pretty good.
- Dance Academy, duh. As terribly good as always.
- Bones is back!
- A little Supernatural, here and there.
- But mostly…Elementary. Guys, I’m obsessed. I was totally one of those hardcore-dedicated-to-Sherlock-refuses-to-watch-Elementary people but I love it, so much. Joan Watson is probably one of my favorite characters on TV right now – she’s smart, strong, independent, queen of sass, and totally able to handle all of Sherlock’s craziness.
- all the crockpot recipes. I made PaleOMG’s pork green chile, honey ginger apple pork, and Brazilian curry chicken and everything was yummmmmmy.
- these honey chai roasted almonds from Joy the Baker. basically, I ate them all in two days.
- some chai chocolate chip cookies, that, baking soda-induced meltdown notwithstanding, were delicious.
- HELLO FALL. I’m ready to bust out my scarves and sweaters and there have been some perfectly crisp evenings. It’s beautiful.
- chocolate chai latte. hello. you can keep your PSL.
- treated myself to some new tea. chocolate hazelnut – good. the pumpkin spice rooibos my mom mailed me – also delicious.
- my #fmfparty community. I have received so much support, love, and encouragement from everyone this month and it makes my heart happy.
- farmer’s market trips. I have had the most beautiful tomatoes + perfect peaches + beautiful fresh flowers in my apartment, and it’s awesome. I bought eggplant this week. I have no idea how to cook eggplant, but it’s just so pretty.
- I also bought a little aloe plant for my living room, to keep Joey (my spider plant) company. now taking suggestions on names.
- Romans. my church is doing a sermon series on Romans, so we’re discussing it in community group, and my bible study is doing a Tim Keller study on Romans. all the Romans.
- beautiful blue skies + gorgeous sunsets. North Carolina, you pretty.
- short hair don’t care. maybe I’ll just keep my hair this length forever.
- seeing Maya Angelou speak at my school. I mean, dang. That woman is full of wisdom and strength and wit.
- raiding my apartment-mate’s closet. Thanks Carolyn. you have cute clothes.
- all the pumpkin things, duh.
- self care. because it’s important.
and just for fun, this was the most-viewed post on my blog this month.
that was kinda super long. September’s been a good month, all things considered. as usual, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’m into. so tell me….what’s made September good for you? (and more importantly…pumpkin spice latte or chocolate chai or salted caramel?)