Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Lion's Tales: January 31 - February 6

Inspired by Sadie's Saturday 7 and Jessica's Weekly Ramble, this weekly recap is where I blog about anything and everything from the past week. It could be about books, my kids, my garden... Random things in my life that don't fill enough space for their own post!

1. I mentioned last week that I'm seriously considering something crazy - giving up sugar/sweets for Lent. I continued my research this week, and really took the time to look at labels while grocery shopping. I managed to find a jar of peanut butter without sugar (who knew THAT would be so difficult...), and every meal I ate I found myself questioning whether I'd be able to eat it during my fast. I feel like I've been slowly weaning myself off most sugar the last couple of weeks, as I've become more mindful. So I think I'm actually going to do it, starting on Wednesday!

Of course, I did have chocolate covered raisins with Ellie for a snack, and still haven't weaned myself off from my daily sweetened coffee, and am planning to get at least one shamrock shake before Wednesday...

2. Last fall a friend asked if I'd be willing to watch her 18-month old daughter for a few hours on Monday mornings while she went to a college class. I said sure, and our weekly kid-swaps began. On Friday mornings Ellie goes to her house so I can have a few hours to myself. Last fall when we were dealing with the flea disaster, I spent those hours at home vacuuming (Ellie hates the sound of the vacuum - she would run downstairs and start bawling) and other housework.

For the last couple of weeks, after I drop Ellie off I've been stopping at our local coffee shop and bringing a to-go cup with me to the library. Then I set up shop at a table in a quiet room and work on all of those little computer things I want to do but don't normally take the time for during the week (it's hard to "work" with a 3-year-old around). Writing blog posts (like this one!), doing Usborne stuff, etc.

And I got to thinking -- is this what life will be like once my kids are in school full-time?? I feel so good about myself when I leave the library, because I've accomplished things on my to-do list that aren't part of the never-ending list of housework!

3. I've become obsessed with podcasts. Late last summer I subscribed to a couple of them to listen to while I took my evening walk. I forced myself to not listen to them any other time. Then I discovered the Sorta Awesome podcast, and the weather turned cold and dark and I couldn't go for walks anymore, so I started listening on Friday mornings while house cleaning.

Now I listen every spare chance I get when I'm not doing something that involves my brain, like reading or being on the computer. I listen in the car, I listen while folding laundry, I listen while cooking dinner. I try to balance it by letting Ellie listen to her music or audiobooks sometimes too. And I'm trying really hard to not subscribe to any new ones, knowing that I already have barely enough time in the week to keep up with my regulars. :)

I've heard people say that 2015 was "the year of the podcast" and that podcasts are becoming the next big thing -- like what blogging was 10-15 years ago. I have NO desire to start my own, but I'll gladly listen to others!

Here are the podcasts I currently subscribe to, in case you want to become obsessed too:

  • Sorta Awesome - Megan Tietz - Weekly episodes cover everything from food to Myers Briggs to family life to books to seasons... basically anything that anyone might consider awesome
  • The Simple Show - Tsh Oxenreider - About every two weeks, a companion to her amazing blog The Art of Simple. She talks with other people who are also interested in living a simple life - not just about "stuff", but a simple life
  • The Slow Home Podcast - Brooke McAlary - Now posting twice a week, Brooke and Ben's Australian accents sooth you into desiring a slower life. 
  • What Should I Read Next? - Anne Bogel - Only a few weeks old, Modern Mrs. Darcy's "literary matchmaking" podcast is a fun way to add ideas to your already-too-big stack of to-be-read books. 
  • Personality Hacker - Joel Mark Witt & Antonia Dodge - Companion to the Personality Hacker website, there are weekly (and often more frequent) episodes about understanding personality. I don't listen to every episode here, just the ones that talk about my own personal pieces of my Myers Briggs type (ISFJ) :) 
  • Read-Aloud Revival - Sarah Mackenzie - This is the podcast I've added to my list most recently, and I'm still going back through some of the older episodes. As my kids get older, I know I don't want to stop reading aloud to them just because they're learning to read on their own. This podcast gives me the inspiration to keep reading to them! 
  • That Sounds Fun - Annie F. Downs - Annie hasn't done any new podcasts since last summer, but I looove listening to her. I heard her speak at last year's GEMS Leadership Conference, and she is such a fun outgoing person who speaks her mind, and she has interviewed some great people. 

What are some of your favorite podcasts?
Or have you not gotten into them yet? 

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