2016 Favorite Everything List

favorite-everything

Raise your hand if you love a good favorites list.

That’s what I thought. I love them too! In the spirit of fun, reflection, and simplicity {just the top 3 faves in each category}, I bring you my 2016 Favorite Everything List.  

Here we go.

BOOKS

Sadly, I don’t read as many books in a year as I want to. {I start way more than I finish.} And this was one of those years where I loved almost everything I read. But in the end, these three very different books jumped out at me:

All the Pretty Things: The Story of a Southern Girl Who Went Through Fire to Find Her Way Home by Edie Wadsworth

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I read Edie’s memoir in one day and it stunned me. Writing about hard things and difficult people with grace and compassion is a complicated task but Edie does it beautifully and the world is better for it. This book made my heart swell with love for Edie and for her family. It also gave me hope for my own relationships and complicated story.

 

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile

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This is the third book I’ve read on the Enneagram over the years. If you’ve never heard of the Enneagram but you’d like to, this is the book to begin with. I’m a bit of an Enneagram junkie {my friends call me the Ennea-vangelist}, but I fully admit that it can feel tricky and overwhelming at first. Numbers! Arrows! Wings!

This book is a primer for real people and we needed it. I love it so much and feel like I’ve already sold a thousand copies through my word-of-mouth endorsement of it.

 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

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I know. This one may not appeal to those of you who aren’t writers but I loved it so, so much and have gone back to it since my first reading. {Always a good sign.}

Because I’m not a fan of horror or Sci-Fi, this is the only Stephen King book I’ve ever actually read. And even though he’s a fiction writer and I’m not, so much of what he teaches — through his life story and witty, direct instruction — applied to my own writing in a powerful way.

This is a book about his personal life — as a son, a creative soul, a husband, a father, an alcoholic. But it’s told through the lens of his writing life. It’s really a beautiful story and I came away with boatloads of respect for him as a writer and a human being.

FYI: Since 2009, I’ve kept a running list of most of the books I’ve read. Click here to check it out.

 

TV Shows

tv

I just rigged up a tiny TV in my newly-painted office and I never want to leave.

Per usual, I’m late to the party on each of these shows. I was too busy having babies and surviving the toddler years when these came out on actual television and watching TV was HARD back then! There was no instant streaming and binge-watching. There was setting the VCR or the TiVo {if you had one} or renting entire seasons from the library and then paying a fortune when you forget to return them on time.

My kids don’t know how we ever survived.

But sometimes it’s nice to do things later. I waited to read Harry Potter until I read them to my kids and it was so fun to experience the story together for the first time. The same has been true for all three of these shows. I’ve watched them with my daughter and it’s the stuff dreams are made of. {The Ministry of Netflix has been one of my favorite gifts / discoveries of 2016.}

Lost

The characters! The edge of your seats storyline! The moving back and forth between present, past, and future! The best.

Friday Night Lights

Again with the characters. They are so human and approachable. They make the worst decisions and you’re rooting for them anyway. It goes without saying that Eric and Tami Taylor are one of my favorite TV marriages ever. I’m crazy for this show.

Gilmore Girls

I mean, could I be any later to this one? We started watching it in October of 2015 and I’m not gonna lie, it took me a while to get into it. Lorelei and Rory use SO MANY WORDS and the plot moved painfully slow. But then the magic begin to fall from the sky like snow in Stars Hollow and we were All In. We’ve put all other shows on hold and are watching this one like it’s our job because we’re dying to get to the newly released season.

 

MOVIES

{I saw none of these in the theater. Shocker.}

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Spotlight

“A team of reporters and editors at the Boston Globe relentlessly investigate a shocking child molestation cover-up by the Catholic Church.” {from Netflix}

This movie made me want to quit my life, move to a big city, and become an investigative journalist. It was such a well-done film and covered a difficult topic without being gratuitous or sensationalist. And the acting was superb!

The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch + Keira Knightley + WW2 + code-breaking + drama. Yes please!  This one will both inspire you and break your heart.

Jane Eyre

I never actually read Jane Eyre though I do plan on it one day. And I usually don’t watch movies if I haven’t read the book. But I broke the rules for this one and I’m glad I did. It’s worth it for the cinematography alone.

 

FAVORITE DISCOVERIES

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source: voxer.com

Voxer

Again, nothing new about this. But I had to get the app because my Artists Bench friends {a group that began last spring} used it to communicate.

And then I wondered why I’d waited it so long! It’s a combination of text + voicemail + voice memo + ability to send pictures. When I try to explain it to people, they don’t see why it’s a big deal.

You just have to use it. I feel like it’s talking on the phone for introverts. It’s convenient, you respond when the timing is right for you, and you can adjust the speed in which the person is talking. {Perfect for when you’re listening to me because I tend to ramble and talk too slow.}

 

If you swipe left on texts and hold, it shows the time.

I mentioned this in November on “What I Learned” but it bears repeating because I use it all the time.

My teenage daughter showed this tip to my husband and me. He and I were all “minds blown” and she was all “Um, everyone knows this.” Because of course.

Here’s a little tutorial that explains it better than I can.

text-time

 

Bullet Journaling

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I take a super slack approach to bullet-journaling because if something isn’t easy, I won’t do it. {A lesson I’ve learned 15 million times and always the hard way.}

I started mid-year with a $4 notebook from Walmart to try it out. It’s totally for me but only if I keep it as mind-numbingly simple as possible. I just ordered a legit bullet journal from bulletjournal.com and I’m so excited to begin a new year with it! If you haven’t heard of bullet journaling, I won’t try to explain. Instead I’ll point you to my favorite resources.

bulletjournal.com

How to Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide {The Lazy Genius Collective} 

Bullet Journaling Made Easy {Edie Wadsworth}

When I watched Edie’s video, I realized that I’d sort of been bullet journaling for years, minus the index approach. She gave me permission to be way more laid back about the whole thing and that’s what makes it work for me.

 

FAVORITE THINGS I USE {ALMOST} EVERY DAY

Mamuye Tote from Fashionable 

I talked about this purse in November but she deserves a place here too.

Over a year ago, I purchased this bag from Fashionable. For ages I’d been looking for a fabulous leather tote but I also loved the idea of purchasing with purpose. I’ve waited a full year before I talked about it because I wanted to see how it held up.

mamuye-tote

I’m happy to report that this Mamuye tote is going strong and gets better with age. It serves as my everyday purse {and I keep a clutch inside of it that I can grab in case I just want to run into the grocery store, sans tote bag.} It holds all my regular purse stuff + my bullet journal + work notebook + laptop + wadded up cardigan. Basically, it has the capacity of a piece of luggage but the lightweight-ness of a knapsack. It can rest flat on the floor without falling over but doesn’t have so much structure that it’s stiff.

It’s the best, is what I’m saying. But what’s really the best is that when I buy a bag, I’m creating jobs for heroic women in Ethiopia who are working their way toward opportunity, one stitch at a time.

Click here to learn more about my favorite bag and to scoop up something FashionABLE for yourself!

 

Non-stick slow cooker

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A while back my mom and I were at the flea market and a woman was selling a brand-new, in-the-box slow cooker. My old crock pot was so old that it had started cooking things fast instead of slow, resulting in disappointing pot roast and dinner that was ready by noon instead of 5:00.

So my mom treated me to a $20 slow cooker and it happened to be non-stick.

I will never, ever return to a regular slow cooker again. Because crock pots are awesome and make life easier…until you have to clean them. A non-stick pot is the best friend you didn’t know you needed.

The one pictured is the one I have but it looks like they don’t make it anymore! Womp womp. But I did some research and came up with this one.

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I’m sorry, it’s expensive but it does get fantastic reviews. Apparently non-stick slow cookers are super hard to find. Let me know if you find one and I’ll add the link!

 

L’oreal Colour Riche Balm

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It’s color that you can’t really mess up + balmy goodness. {I’ve purchased three of them because a certain 15-year-old in my house likes them too.}

Here’s an amazon link in case you’d like a tube and don’t want to leave your house, but you can also find them at your local drug store.

 

FAVORITE POSTS

How a 92-Year-Old Woman Taught Me the Real Value of My Right-Now Work

This post is a story, a confession, a wake-up call, and an invitation to trust. It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written and apparently it was one of yours too. {This is something I need to read on the regular.}

graveside-flowers

 

For the Overwhelmed Mom of Little Kids: 8 Things I Wish I’d Known

Inspired by a night of home movies from when my kids were little. If you have little ones or even big ones, there are 8 takeaways here for all of us.

for the overwhelmed mom

 

How I Almost Let a Horrible Light Fixture Ruin My Life

That time an Evil Light Fixture conspired to ruin everything. And by everything I mean a surprise weekend makeover of my daughter’s room.

Did Evil triumph? Or did my hot glue gun and yarn get the last word? You’ll have to read on to find out. : )

light fixture header pic

FAVORITE SERIES

Okay, so it was my only series, but it’s a series that includes some of my favorite posts {that are some of your favorite posts too.} Of all the creative work I did this year, these posts were my favorite. Living in the tension between our right-now lives and our hoped-for work is a topic I long to explore more in the coming year. I invite you to join me.

How to Pursue Your Hoped-For Work in the Midst of Your Right-Now Life

Click here or on the picture for a list of all 8 posts in the series. The new year is a great time to Begin Again. Again. {And I am 100% talking to myself here.}

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At the end of another year, I want to say I’m grateful for each of you. Thank you for making space in your day and room in your inbox. At some point I’d love to do an official reader’s survey but that doesn’t mean I can’t do an informal ask now.

What would you love to see more of? Less of?

Favorite topics?

New topics?

Questions I can answer? 

I’m all ears. You can reply in the comments or hit reply to this e-mail {if you’e reading as an e-mail.} Or e-mail me directly: marianvischer @ gmail dot com.

We can also connect on Facebook, Twitter, or {my FAVORITE} Instagram.

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Happy New Year, friends. I’d love to know some of your favorite things from 2016!

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New here? I’m all about helping you recapture the possibility of your right-now life.

If that sounds like something you need, sign up in the box below to receive fresh hope and possibility delivered to your inbox no more than a couple of times a week.

And I have a gift for subscribers:

school made simple freebie header

If you’re overwhelmed by the many educational options for your kids, if you’re curious about the most important questions to ask, I have a FREE resource created just for you!

 

*Some affiliate links are used in this post. Thanks for kindly supporting this little corner of the internet!

 

Treat Yourself / Weekend Links: November Edition

14997015_10153913047722056_565957436_n This week, y’all.

I think our minds and hearts are all a bit battered.

I’ve stayed off the internet since the day after the election, but these posts rose to the surface in the initial aftermath of Tuesday. They helped me breathe, encouraged me to move forward in love, and reminded me to find comfort and purpose in the right-now rhythms of my everyday life. I hope they’ll do the same for you.

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Edie’s Chipotle Pumpkin Soup {with barley and chicken}

Part of loving your people well means feeding them. My friend made me this soup a couple of weeks ago and it might be my favorite soup of all time. It is the epitome of comfort food. {We can’t quit Edie’s soups.}

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Watching, Reading, Listening

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  • I watched The Great Gatsby last night {the new one} with my daughter and it was just okay for me. Baz Luhrmann’s films sometimes make me feel more stressed than enchanted. But the acting is wonderful and the costuming is on point. Plus Carey Mulligan plays Daisy and I adore her.
  • This Is Us, a new show on NBC. I love, love, love it. I think I’ve cried in every episode, so be warned.
  • {Currently reading} The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. We’ll talk more about the Enneagram later but I’m loving this book and I’ve listened to all of their podcasts. I got into the Enneagram about 7 years ago and it changed my life. The framework and self-awareness impacts how I think about myself and how I think about others every. single. day. Next to the Gospel, the Enneagram has been the second most game-changing lens of my life.
  • After listening to all their podcasts, I read Jesus, My Father, and the CIA: A Memoir…of Sorts, also by Ian Morgan Cron. I love a good memoir and I highly recommend this one. I couldn’t put it down.

 

The blog has been quiet in November but I did pen this post, the day after The Election That Shall Not Be Named:

Every vote has a story behind it. If we don’t make space in our minds and hearts to understand this, we will continue to be marked by division instead of connection.

Wherever this weekend takes you, may you find hope and possibility, right where you are. Happy weekend, friends!

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New here? I’m all about helping you recapture the possibility of your right-now life.

If that sounds like something you need, sign up in the box below to receive fresh hope and possibility delivered to your inbox no more than a couple of times a week.

And I have a gift for subscribers:

If you’re overwhelmed by the many educational options for your kids, if you’re curious about the most important questions to ask, I have a FREE resource created just for you!

school made simple freebie header

*P.S. Amazon links are affiliates and help keep the lights on in this little corner of the internet. Thanks for your kind support!

 

 

Treat Yourself / Weekend Links: October Edition

fall

October may just be my favorite month of the year. In our neck of the woods, it’s a changing leaves / Friday night lights / college football homecoming / let’s eat soup kind of weekend.

So settle in and enjoy these treats for your weekend.

 

Make:

beef-stew

Edie’s Best Ever Beef Stew

I made this last weekend and ohmygosh, it was worth every bit of time in the kitchen and, like most soup, was even yummier the next day. Edie is the soup whisperer and I’ll try any soup she suggests.

Richella’s Pumpkin Bread

I’ve been making this pumpkin bread {which seriously takes only 5 minutes to mix and prepare} for probably 3 or 4 years now and it’s my family’s favorite. Once you see the recipe you’ll realize this is really just pumpkin cake pretending to be pumpkin bread, but that’s why it’s so good! Worth every calorie and so, so easy.

 

Watch:

Both of these have already come and gone in theaters and now they’re on Netflix. Giddy up.

Last weekend my girl and I watched The Imitation Game.

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image source

Unbelievable film. Unbelievable story. I see now why it won so many awards. Also, Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly are two of my favorite Brits so that’s fun. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you’ll also recognize “Tom Branson” and “Henry Talbot.” Bonus.

This weekend I’ve already watched Spotlight.

I’m still trying to find the words but I was riveted to every single second of this film. I would watch it again right this second if I didn’t have to be a semi-responsible grown-up. Also, it made me want to move to a big city and become an investigative journalist. One hundred percent my dream job.

I’m tempted to list all sorts of disclaimers here but we all have different movie sensitivities. What I can handle may not be for you and vice versa. So just do your research before you tune in.

 

Laugh:

Because if we can’t find something to laugh about in this horrific political climate, we’re doomed as a nation. My husband and I both watched this “musically reimagined” video of the most recent debate and laughed till we cried.

 

Read:

All The Pretty Things: The Story of a Southern Girl Who Went through Fire to Find Her Way Home by Edie Wadsworth

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I read this entire book on a Sunday a couple of weeks ago and y’all, it’s such a beautiful story. I couldn’t put it down. If you liked The Glass Castle {one of my favorite books ever}, you’ll love Edie’s memoir.

Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin

I wrote about this book and my abiding love for Shannan in this post. Now scoot on over to amazon and get your copy.

The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into the Abundant Life by Ann Voskamp

I’ve only read the first chapter of this book, which Ann provided free for blog subscribers, and it moved me so deeply. I wrestle with the brokenness of my own life and this world every single day. I can’t wait to read the rest as I know this is such a timely message for me, and maybe for you too.

 

In case you missed it:

On the blog from the last month. These three posts have felt uniquely personal and special. I loved writing each of them.

sofa-light

The Ministry of Netflix

How the Broken + Beautiful Lives of Others Help Us Live a More Compassionate Story

How a 92-Year-Old Woman Taught Me the Real Value of My Right-Now Work

 

That’s a wrap. The loveliest of October weekends to you all!!!

 

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New here? I’m all about helping you recapture the possibility of your right-now life.

If that sounds like something you need, sign up in the box below to receive fresh hope and possibility delivered to your inbox no more than a couple of times a week.

And I have a gift for subscribers:

If you’re overwhelmed by the many educational options for your kids, if you’re curious about the most important questions to ask, I have a FREE resource created just for you!

school made simple freebie header

*P.S. Amazon links are affiliates and help keep the lights on in this little corner of the internet. Thanks for your kind support!