Laura Rennie

Cooking, reading, watching, and listening lately (v.4)

Laura RennieComment

I'm on week two of my health goals (trying to lose 5 lbs by the end of the month), and so far it's been... eye opening. I'm a little embarrassed by how delusional I was because I kept telling myself I was doing a great job of eating within a healthy amount of calories — but I wasn't counting drinks. Major fail. I usually drink 0-3 alcoholic drinks on average a month, and last week due to three events and one crazy toddler night, I had a total of four drinks. Plus two tall glasses of lemonade. That's a LOT of sugar! But, on a positive note, I only ate two desserts and I completed my five days of moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes. (One day I walked 45 minutes and another day I walked for an hour!)

Here's a little peek into what I've been up to lately...


I rarely order Hello Fresh because of the expense, but I *love* the service and feel zero guilt ordering it for weeks that I know will be super busy. I can get in a bit of a recipe rut and I like that the service has me trying new recipes while still cooking with foods I'm familiar with. Our last box was fantastic — we had Pineapple Poblano Beef Tacos, Mediterranean Salmon w/ Za'atar couscous, and Cauliflower Pancetta Mac & Cheese. YUM. If you want to try Hello Fresh, order it here! (Using that link to order earns me credits.)

Smitten Kitchen's Broccoli Cheddar Soup is on our dinner menu this week, plus lots of salad, fresh corn on the cob, and juicy strawberries. And maybe these incredibly easy and yummy homemade bagels, which I like to smother in Trader Joe's everything bagel seasoning.


I recently re-read Bel Canto and had all the same feels for it that I had the first time. It's a novel about a hostage situation in South America, and I find it absolutely fascinating — and thrilling, and romantic, sad, and also funny. Seriously, all the feels. (Disclaimer: I know people who, like me, loved this book — and others who didn't care for it.)

I also read An American Marriage, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It's a masterfully told story about a marriage affected by the husband's wrongful conviction and incarceration. It hits on racial injustice, love, forgiveness, family ties, friendships, and personal identity. If you're looking for a diverse book pick, try this one!


You better believe I'm watching The Handmaid's Tale: Season Two on Hulu right now! (I wrote about the first season almost exactly a year ago.) It's not any less dark or hard to watch than the first season, but the glimpses of hope and the strength of the characters in desperate and horrific situations make it impossible to resist.

I'm watching Suits whenever I find an extra few minutes (or hours!) and I am LOVING it! I have only heard from ONE person that they loved Suits — is it just me, or is no one talking about this show? Is it like Friday Night Lights and Prison Break, both of which no one appreciated until after they were off the air? I'm totally guilty of starting Suits because of my curiosity regarding Meghan Markle. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I have. The dialogue is clever but believable and the character development (especially Louis Litt's) is so well done that I often find myself smiling like a total goofball while watching. Seriously, watch it.


Music-wise, I'm almost embarrassingly obsessed with a couple songs right now: Anchor by Novo Amor and Olivia by Canyon City. I listen to both songs probably every day.

I recently started listening to the Coffee + Crumbs podcast, which is produced by a team of women who share the ups and downs of their lives — as women, wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters. Their approach to the podcast is simple — they either interview someone, or the hosts pick a topic to talk about, such as "quiet time," and they each discuss how their family handles it, what's going well, what's not working, etc. I love learning about how families operate, so this podcast is totally up my alley and always leaves me feeling encouraged and enlightened. 

What are you cooking / reading / watching / listening to these days? I'd love to know!