Monthly Archives: August 2015

breathing room blog book club!

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I’m very excited to announce an online book club I’ll be hosting right here on my blog this fall for my book Breathing Room! If you’re like me, this time of year ushers in a bit more structure than summer, and I like the punctuation the schedule provides. Don’t get me wrong, I love the flexibility of summer too, but it feels good to transition into days with a bit more shape to them. No better time than the fall to kick off a good book discussion.

Here’s how it will work: Starting next Tuesday, September 1, I’ll be covering two chapters each week from Breathing Room, including the Prelude and the Postlude. So it will take us through the week of November 30. 14 weeks total. I’ll be posting my own editorial thoughts on each chapter — what stands out to me as significant, what I hope you take away, what I’m still thinking about, etc. And then I’ll leave you with some questions that we can discuss in the comments, if you’re interested.

So you’ve got one week to get your hot little hands on a copy of the book and get the Prelude read (it’s only like 7 pages). And I’ll post my musings on the Prelude on Tuesday, September 1, right here! Then later that week, I’ll post on chapter 1 . . . and we’ll be off to the races!

If you’ve been looking for a time to read Breathing Room, this is it! Come join the discussion. It will be so much more fun with your fabulous self involved. Oh, and why not grab a friend or two to join you virtually. This is a great way to enjoy a book club with friends around the globe.

Happy reading, dear friends!

Leeana

P.S. I’ll also be sprinkling in posts on other topics, too, so I’m looking forward to a fun fall with you!

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9 good things

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Summer break is winding down at my house. Littlest just started preschool yesterday {could you die over her cuteness AND I can’t believe that’s my baby} and Luke and Lane will be back in school later this week.

In these eight weeks, we’ve been to Carmel, Washington State, and Lake Tahoe. We’ve been in the pool, at the beach, and on a farm. We’ve been hanging with grandparents and cousins. And we’ve been eating artichokes and bison burgers and berries and s’mores.

In other words, my cup runneth over.

Woven through all this was work on my next book, Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That’s Been Hiding, which will be in out in April. I spent the first half of the year writing the manuscript and then the better part of this summer editing my little heart out. It’s a wildly important book to me—essays on receiving our identity, reclaiming our voice, and recovering our soul. I wrote and wrote and wrote about fear and shame and hope and speaking up and desire and beauty.  I believe in the book, and I believe this is a conversation we need to be having.

So in the midst of all our summer fun, Brazen has been percolating. Which means I’m feeling ever-so-slightly poured out. {Cue a trip to Marshalls where I mindlessly roam aisles with a cup of black coffee in my hand and a faraway look in my puffy eyes.}

Whew.

I thought I’d send some “good things” your way as many of you transition from summer to school year. For those of you who are with your little on the floor and the calendar makes no difference whatsoever, these good things might be a fun punctuation to the run-on sentence that is your season. Here are 9 good things . . .

1.    Turkish Towels

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I’m a big fan of these towels. They are thin, dry very fast, and are so nice in a hot climate. They fold or roll down to nothing, so super easy to haul to the beach or on a vacay. They work well as a wrap over a bathing suit or when you’re getting ready in the morning. Light weight, quick dry, super chic – what’s not to love. I got these on Amazon.

2. Rose Gold Birks

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Birkenstocks are back, baby, and I’m loving my rose gold pair. I’m mildly obsessed with metallics currently, and these literally go with everything. I got these on Amazon for a song, if you can believe it.

3. Three Books

I just finished Wild in the Hollow, a memoir by Amber C. Haines. She’s a poet writing about brokenness and healing, family and home. Her writing is beautiful and her story is haunting and hopeful all at the same time. Totally recommend. For the Love, Jen Hatmaker’s new book just landed in my Kindle last night and I’m a couple chapters in. Hilarious and poignant so far, I know this book will be beloved. And then the fabulous Emily P. Freeman’s, Simply Tuesday releases today and it will be next on my reading list. Who doesn’t need more small-moment living in this fast-moving world? Hooray Emily!

4.    New Art Supplies

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For the last two years I have had a love/hate relationship with our art drawers. We have three drawers adjacent to our kitchen table containing all the kids’ art supplies reside. These drawers are a constant disaster, and I finally decided on Sunday that I would throw out most everything in them and start over. Lane, Elle, and I went to Michael’s and for $30 I completely refreshed the art drawers: new rolls of paper, watercolor palettes, erasable colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc. I purged like a wild person and then opened boxes of fresh new supplies, and it felt SO good. I’m looking around my house to see how I might replicate this strategy. Instead of organizing and reorganizing junk, sometimes it’s OK to just throw out stuff that isn’t working and replace with a few fresh items. Best $30 I’ve spent in a long time.

Kids have done more art in the last two days than they have in the last two months. I’m happy.

5.    These Lines from Emily Dickinson

I love Emily Dickinson. Like, absolutely love. Just when I think I’ve read everything she’s ever written, I stumble across lines I haven’t heard. Here are two lines I loved.

“My friends are my estate”

AND

“The soul must always stand ajar”

Either of these two lines could practically change the world. Do yourself a favor and read poetry. Maya Angelou, Mary Oliver, Frost, Dickinson, Lucy Shaw, Shakespeare . . . poetry expands your senses.

6.    Football Season & Project Runway Season 14

I am a huge Chargers fan, and I am thrilled that football season is finally back. I treasure Sundays in our living room as the air – finally – starts cooling sometime around late October and we can light a fire in the fireplace and scream our heads off at Philip Rivers. Having a football game on is one of the things, like a delicious candle and coffee brewing, that make my house feel like home.

I am equally thrilled that PR Season 14 is now on. I love little more than to watch people in their creative element, following their muse, listening to their intuition. It’s always inspiring to me. PR is one of my after-hours indulgences, when the rest of the house is asleep, and I can get some quality time with the incomparable Tim Gunn.

7. Letterpress Alphabet

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Sometimes you walk into a store and something catches your eye that is both beautiful and soulful to you. Such was the case with this letterpress alphabet in gray and pink ink. I just immediately fell in love with it and plan to frame it and, most likely, put it above my desk. It’s a “remember who you are” moment.

8.    Locker in the Dining Room

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We’ve lived in our house now 2 ½ years, a portion of which I was practically catatonic because of our move back from the Middle East with three babies. I’m finally able to lean into some of the spaces that aren’t really working for us {see #4}. I took the “shop the house” approach for this particular situation. We have a lovely front door in our house and a little entryway that’s attached, but wouldn’t you know, not a single soul comes through the front door. We enter and exit our house through the kitchen door. Always. But there’s no entryway in the kitchen and the flotsam and jetsam of life makes an already high traffic area feel like a constant disaster. The above dining room is right next to our kitchen, and so I began brainstorming about a way to catch the clutter that would also enhance the whole situation. I pulled this metal locker out of someone’s garage a long time ago and I’ve always loved it. It was in Luke’s room, serving as a dresser of sorts, but I decided to reclaim it and put in our dining room so that it can hide shoes, backpacks, papers, mail, etc. It’s also talking very nicely with the lanterns above the table, so I think this is a case of form + function for the win. Let’s hear it for spaces that are pretty and also functional.

9. These Earrings

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Giant hoops are typically my signature earrings, but these have become a total standby for me. My mom got them for me at Magnolia Market last fall when we were in Waco and I’ve barely worn anything since. Who doesn’t love Chip and Jo Jo? And who doesn’t love a metallic leather leaf earring? I mean. They’re available online in both silver and gold. Fabulous gift for yourself or someone really lucky.

Hope you have found some inspiration in your world, home, and community this summer. Hope you have loved on your people, too. I’ve got some good intentions lined up for the fall involving my health and my home. More posts to come on all that.

What’s a “good thing” you’re currently enjoying?

 

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