What I’m Into: January


General Highlights:

I wish I had a snow photo to top this post, but despite a whole month of bitterly cold temperatures, Memphis remains snow-free. Aside from that, for me this has been the best January in recent memory. Nothing monumentally great has happened, but I’ve stayed pretty clear of sickness and winter blues. That’s something to celebrate! I also haven’t pushed myself to go out as much, and it turns out I’m very happy at home with my books.

In keeping with this low-key contentment, my January highlights aren’t very exciting. I had several good, intentional conversations with friends that encouraged and energized me. I attended a Praying Life conference with Paul Miller at my church – if you ever get a chance to hear him, go. We celebrated my dad’s birthday. I was present for several Tiger wins (and two losses), and also went to a Grizzlies game with several friends. I met with a freelance writer acquaintance and got some good advice from her. Oh and we got a new Whole Foods! They opened a new, expanded store right next door to the old one, which had been there for several years. It is AMAZING.


Read and Reading:


I was on track to set a recent high for books read in a month, but then it took me forever to finish my latest Netgalley. Here are my three favorites for January. Stay tuned for the monthly book post.




The 200th episode of How I Met Your Mother, in which we finally got to see the Mother’s backstory, totally slayed me this week. Expect posts inspired by this show as we head into the last eight episodes.

The only movie I saw in January was Frozen, and I’m a little bit obsessed. The cats are already tiring of my rendition of “Let It Go.”



The sisters of HAIM are rocking my world. In typical fashion, I “discovered” them a little late. Their summery sound is a fresh blend of Debbie Gibson at her peak, and modern-day Tegan & Sara – in other words, Brenda Crack.

I also got Ben Folds’ three-CD The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective for Christmas, and it’s in heavy rotation. That man is a genius.


I bought a new coffee maker to kick off 2014! My mini coffee maker has always been fine for me, but a slight pain when company is over. Plus, I liked the idea of programming a machine the night before, leaving me one less task in the morning (I am not a morning person). This Hamilton Beach model is everything I wanted. It has two separate filters – one for a 12-cup carafe, one for a single-serving travel mug. I love it!

Although the recipe isn’t new to me, this month I’ve made at least three batches of Shauna Niequist’s Everything Muffins (as I call them). You can tweak them to your taste, and they’re delicious yet contain NO oil, butter, or refined sugar. Tip: if you mix in frozen berries, don’t thaw them before baking – they bleed into the batter a lot if brought to room temperature.


I found the perfect quilted faux-leather miniskirt at Express for 70% off! I’ve wanted one for a while, since the style seems both trendy and classic. However, once I got it home, I realized I had no idea how to style it without looking like an extra from Grease. Most people suggested a big blousy top, preferably neon, but those aren’t flattering on me. I welcome ideas.

My Tiger basketball wardrobe is expanding! This knitted tiger hat (a Christmas gift from my parents) has been keeping me warm on the walk to the Forum, and this pretty blue ring classes up all my team shirts.

In beauty news, I tried out Drew Barrymore’s Flower line this month. (It’s only available at Wal-Mart, so you know I was really interested if I was willing to go into the belly of that beast.) After checking out some beauty blog reviews, I got the lip butter in Haute Honeysuckle and the creme eyeshadow in Awesome Blossom. I’m pleased with both! I’d never tried creme eyeshadow before, or such a reddish tone, but it’s fun to apply and looks beautiful on. I’ve been pairing it with olive green shadow in the crease.

Random Happiness:

These great pictures of my niece from Christmas. She loved her recorder!

xmas2013-kw (15) xmas2013-kw (17)
xmas2013-kw (18) xmas2013-kw (20)
On The Blog:

I relaunched on WordPress this month, a move months in the making. So far it’s totally worth it. I feel refreshed and inspired in this new space!

I’m still floored by the response to my post A Letter to the Separated, which has so many hits I thought there must be a stats error. I wrote this post straight from my heart, in about half an hour, after a conversation with a friend who’s beginning to navigate a divorce. Knowing that it’s touched and helped many is so fulfilling to me. This is why I write, and what I want to do with my life. So thank you.

Posts I Loved:

Lindsay Tweedle: When My Greed Told Me I Was Afraid

Cara Strickland is killing it this month: Life As A Crepe and Divorce Optional

Katie at Skunkboy: The Tale of Cats (cute and charming)

Conversion Diary: 22 Things I Learned In My First Ten Years of Parenthood

Letters From Scarlet: Candy and Nuts

Donald Miller at Storyline: How I Learned God Cares About My Fear

Enjoying The Small Things: A Rekindled Romance

The Messy Middle: Changing The Rules of The Game

Feel free to link up!


About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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7 Responses to What I’m Into: January

  1. Sarah N says:

    I think almost any kind of not-too-fitted top would look great with that skirt. Button-up blouse, silky tank top, chunky sweater.

  2. Carol says:

    Oh my goodness, Niecey is adorable in that last picture after she’s made noise on her recorder!!

  3. Corrie Anne says:

    That skirt looks awesome!!!! And the coffeemaker too. I need a new one!

  4. Sarah says:

    I love Frozen so much. I’m tempted to go to a sing along this weekend.

    Also, I loved that episode of HIMYM. Best one in a while.

  5. Leigh Kramer says:

    I’ve never been hugely into HIMYM- mostly just watch the occasional rerun- but I have been watching this season and I was fairly moved by the episode you mentioned. It’s interesting to see how they’re tying everything together. I am so curious about Flower! I was intrigued when I found out Drew was coming out with a makeup line but completely befuddled that she went with Wal-mart. I thought she was more environmentally-savvy than that. Glad to hear you like it but I just can’t bring myself to shop there. Your niece is so cute!

    • Brenda W. says:

      Thanks! I read an interview with Drew about it, and she said choosing Wal-Mart helped her keep overall costs down. The products do seem pretty high quality for the price.

  6. Cara Strickland says:

    Brenda! It’s been so good to get to know you in pinches over at the blog.
    Thank you so much for your kinds words about my posts. Those two were my favorite last month as well :)
    You’re lovely and I’m looking forward to continuing to journey with you.
    (Oh, and that episode of HIMYM made me cry. Literally. Love the way her story is unfolding and that she has some depth.)
    Hope you find a way to rock that skirt soon!

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