Hi there, so I haven’t done one of these in a while, so I thought I would update you on the “what I’ve been’s” in my life … by that I mean: What I’ve been listening to, reading, watching, visiting, eating, etc., etc.

So, here we go:

WHAT I’VE BEEN:

Listening to: I’ve mentioned my musical picks on here a lot lately, so I don’t think you’re too surprised to read that I’m listening to Brooke Fraser, Jon Foreman and Brandon Heath. I’ve also stumbled upon a podcast by Focus on the Family called The Boundless Show, about being a Christian single and what that means for now and the future. It’s been an interesting listen.

Reading: I’ve been a bit ADD with books lately, so my nightstand is filled with more books than it should be, but here are a few: Harry Potter #7 (again. I read this one so fast when it first came out that I don’t remember anything that actually happened in it, so I thought it high time to pick it up again). Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. Beth Moore’s A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place (this is for a small group that I’m in). The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone.

Watching: I don’t have too much time for TV these days, but when I do sit down in front of the Tube, I have been watching Glee on Fox as well as You Are What You Eat on BBCAmerica. As for movies, I haven’t been spending much time on these either, but I finally watched Marley and Me (I cried) and Helvetica (an interesting documentary on typography and the role of type, in particular Helvetica, on today’s society).

Visiting: My “smoke breaks” at work consist of visiting Web sites that are not “work related.” These include, but are not limited to, the following: The Pioneer Woman, Orangette, Smitten Kitchen, My Ink Blog, Simply Hue and various Etsy shops.

Eating, or rather Not Eating: I have eliminated dairy from my diet (sadly, while my mouth enjoys it, my stomach… not so much), so I had to adjust my diet A LOT since dairy was definitely a mainstay. Without dairy, I have found some good alternatives to my diet, including goat’s cheese and almond milk. Goat’s cheese is delicious on almost everything, and I just substitute it on salads, sandwiches and pizza. Almond milk on the other hand I am a bit more picky about. So far I have only used it in baking and have pretty decent success. Nothing will ever replace cold cow’s milk on cereal, so I no longer have cereal in my diet (shocking I know! For a while it constituted breakfast and dinner for me!) Also, an alternative to butter is Earth Balance buttery spread. You can even bake with that too. Something else I’m not eating is … drum roll please! … meat! That’s right, I am going veggie. Well, I’m going to try it out … for a month. I’m a week into it, and it hasn’t been too bad. The hard part is eating out – you can get a lot of things vegetarian, but they usually have dairy in them, which I can’t eat. So essentially I have to look for vegan options (I still eat eggs and of course, goat’s cheese). I’m not sure how long I’ll keep this up, but I do want to give it a good shot and see if I feel any different or notice any changes. I did try tofu for the first time last night – I actually made a stir fry with it! And it wasn’t all that bad. It definitely has a weird texture, but I think I can get over that.

Doing actively: unfortunately, I have taken a hiatus from running, so my activity level has decreased substantially. I’m still trying to do yoga at least twice a week, but I need to work on getting my cardio back as a priority.

Up To: so, after all that, what have I been up to lately? Well … I’m busy this fall, that’s for sure! I’m ushering, taking a program at University of Washington, taking a class through my church, meeting up with friends, small group, homework for both classes, and working full time among other things. I like being busy and right now, I think I’m a “good” kind of busy — I have my schedule with a few moments of free time too.

Well, that’ll do it. Would love to hear what you’ve been reading, watching, you fill in the blank. Email me at rachelvp (at) gmail (dot) com.

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