Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekly Update: April Wrap-Up and Hello, May!


Hello, May! We have gone from snowflakes to 70 degrees in a week, and this spectacular May Day sunset is just a hint of what's in store for summer. After such a harsh winter, it still looks like early spring. I saw some beautiful hyacinths on my walk, the daffodils are out in full force, and trees are just beginning to bud. Hopefully this warm weekend will encourage more blooms.

April was a pretty good month reading-wise. I began with the beach read Bittersweet by by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, then  stuck with nonfiction for the rest of the month. Despite three weeks in Florida and one week on the road, I also read:


Book of the month//


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End  by Atul Gawande
Look for my review later this week.


Current reading//


In the Time of the Butterflies  by Julia Alvarez
For book club later this month. I need to pick up the pace.



Doctor Thorne  by Anthony Trollope
I started listening to this book on Thursday and love it already. As soon as I knock off the book club selection, it will become a read/listen combo.


On the blog//
#6Barsets Project: Thoughts on Barchester Towers
On Immunity: An Inoculation  by Eula Biss (mini-review)


In the kitchen//
We've been home for a week and I have three new cookbooks! The hit of the week was Baja Grilled Flank Steak Salad from SkinnyTaste. Les made it last week and included the recipe in her post. More new recipes on tap for the week ahead.



Later today//
Outdoor chores continue. Yesterday we tackled the garage, today we haul the patio furniture up from the shed. After that, maybe I can just sit outside and read. It finally feels like spring!

What are you up to this weekend? Are you reading anything good?

38 comments:

  1. We've had a very odd spring this year. Right now, the days are gorgeous and the nights are cool - just the way I like it. I need to start my book club book - I've been putting it off because I'm not looking forward to it.

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    1. Kathy - Warm days and chilly nights would suit me fine, too. Fingers crossed we both get our book club books read one time!

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  2. That picture is gorgeous! I am currently enthralled by Doctor Thorne & may spend the day (in between chores) in Barsetshire. I'm glad you & Audrey mentioned starting it!

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    1. Lisa - I'm so glad you're enjoying Doctor Thorne! Just over 20% in and have a feeling this could be another book I don't want to end. Now, after two novels and a bit of a third, I'm ready to declare Trollope a favorite.

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  3. I'm a little wrapped up in chores and projects today but I'm going to read at least one chapter of Doctor T. just to celebrate! If we hit 70 today, it will be the first time this year. Hard to believe! But close to 80 tomorrow for a day at least. (PS I'm tickled that you liked the thing about the prepositions... the book is a lot of fun and I'm actually learning things I didn't know or had forgotten!}

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    1. Audrey - It's after 7 now and we just finished the chores. Such a beautiful day. Hope you hit 70, too. On to dinner prep next...any possibility of reading time seems to be slipping away. Sigh.

      Forgot to ask the title of the grammar book. I could certainly use a refresher ;-)

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  4. I love the cover for In the Time of Butterflies so I look forward to your thoughts. That steak looks fantastic! I'm trying to eat a bit lighter these days and that looks perfect. I've had good luck with skinny taste's recipes. Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - Unfortunately I ended up eating like we were on vacation in Florida this winter and put on a few pounds, Now that we're home, it's time to lighten up and cut back...SkinnyTaste is helping!

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  5. Yummy looking steak! And that sunset is gorgeous!

    I got Bittersweet from Vine this week...hope to love it.

    Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your new week. Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel Rain-Snow - I hope you enjoy Bittersweet as much as I did! I can still picture that gorgeous New England family compound, but what a dysfunctional family.

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  6. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton and loving it!

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    1. JudyMac - I've seen such rave reviews of The Miniaturist... definitely need to investigate that one. Glad to know you're loving it!

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  7. It's funny how we're both going through a non-fiction stage at the moment. I wonder what's caused that and how long it will last?! Hope you have a wonderful May!

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    1. Jackie - I'll probably be reading mostly fiction this month, but find that I'm craving more and more nonfiction this days.. especially in the audio format.

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  8. Our Kansas sunsets are not quite as spectacular, but I am indeed enjoying the warmer weather and longer days :)

    After quite a hiatus, I am ready to get back to the kitchen and cook some gourmet dinners. I have several Mediterranean Diet cookbooks on my shelves waiting to inspire me.

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    1. Molly - Our kitchen in Florida is much smaller and not quite as well equipped, so I'm getting back into my cooling groove again now that we're home. The new cookbooks are an inspiration!

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  9. That sunset is gorgeous.
    That salad looks super yummy too. I love flank steak and avocado!

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    1. Ti - I'm having a hard time deciding which SkinnyTaste recipe to try next. They all look so good!

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  10. Such a gorgeous photo! Love it! I need to check out the SkinnyTaste book - been hearing so much about it. I hope you have a great May!

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    1. Athira - I'd forgotten how beautiful summer sunsets can be around here! The SkinnyTaste cookbook is definitely worth borrowing from the library (I usually test cook cookbooks these days)... you may end up wanting to add it to your collection.

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  11. Everything looks lovely! But...dinner looks exceptionally lovely! We did the same thing to the decks this week...prepping!

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    1. Patty - Have a feeling that SkinnyTaste cookbook will get a lot of use around here! I'm having trouble commenting on your blog again... wonder if I'm ending up in your spam folder :-(

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  12. That was a good reading month for all you've had going on!

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    1. Andi - Ha! Kind of like all that and reading too... definitely a good month :)

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  13. The steak look delicious! Nice presentation. The flowers are just popping out all over and are so beautiful. Have a great week.

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    1. Nise' - I know I'll be making that flank steak salad again - so good! It was pretty warm here this weekend and the trees are finally budding. Now it's really spring. Hope you have a good week, too!

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  14. Omg that dinner though. I saw that on instagram and have been wanting to recreate it ever since. Also, the books sound good, especially Alvarez's. Hope you enjoy your reading this week!

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    1. Jillian - I'm 25% through In the Time of the Butterflies and not all that interested in the story yet. Trying to decide whether to push through for book club or set it aside and try another time...

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  15. Gorgeous sunset! Skinnytaste has the best recipes, doesn't she? We have been warm here near Pittsburgh PA. 80's this week! I'm leaving the spring chores to my honey, I leave for a month in Scotland tomorrow!

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    1. Peggy Ann - SO many of the recipes on Skinnytaste blog have been winners for us, so I'm glad she did the cookbook. Have a wonderful trip!

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  16. Ah, spring chores :D I really ought to be outside doing those right this minute, lol. Soon!

    I love Skinnytaste recipes. I don't have one of her books though, I really ought to pick it up!

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    1. Jennifer - We didn't quite get though all those outdoor chores... whoops ;-) Guess we'll try again next weekend. Skinnytaste is the best!

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  17. Terrific sunset JoAnn. And what a yummy-looking steak salad! I share in your excitement for Spring and nature. We too have buds just coming out (here in Western Canada), where luckily it's been warm early. You live in a beautiful spot. Keep the photos coming!

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    1. Thecuecard - I'm glad you like the photos. That sunset was so stunning... it literally took my breath away. I've been trying to cook lighter, healthier meals and that salad was delicious. Skinnytaste has some great recipes.

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  18. I love that photo JoAnn. It's beautiful. It's been nice here but they have mentioned that bad word snow in the next few days. I hope they are wrong!

    The flank steak recipe looks wonderful. All your cooking makes me hungry and jealous. I wish someone at my house - maybe even me - loved to cook like you do. Lol. Hope your week is good!

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    1. Darlene - Oh no, not more snow!! I hope they're wrong, too. Some people here started planting this weekend, but I think that's a little risky. We traditionally wait until Memorial Day at the end of May. Have a good week.

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  19. At the writer's workshop my son is going to this summer, Eula Biss will be there but since he is going for poetry, he's not sure he'll get to work with her. I think I many just sneak into his luggage!

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    1. Lisa - Wouldn't that be fun! What a great opportunity for your son.

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