Hi guys! How are you? Is everyone in full Christmas mode now that thanksgiving is over!?
We are in our household! Since I was little it was always a tradition to pack all 4 kids into the car and go find the perfect Christmas tree, visiting as many tree farms as it took. Now, I’ve carried that tradition over to my own little family <3 This will be our third Christmas in our apartment, and each year we’ve opted for a real tree! We always go to multiple tree farms for the experience, but end up getting our tree from Lowes because you just can’t beat the price!!
I digress! This will be a short and sweet November recap as it was a pretty low-key month. Casey and I are putting our heads down and working hard, and Blakely is still enjoying her full-time preschool! For Thanksgiving, we went and visited my family for a week which was so relaxing and fun. We also celebrated Blakely’s third birthday early with a unicorn party at a local arcade near my parents house… she was in heaven!
Below is a collage of photos to sum up this past month. I hope you enjoy this month’s favorite things, and thank you for reading!
I finished two books in November which puts me at 24/30 books for the year! AH! I have to read 6 books in December to reach this goal I set in January, which knowing my reading pace sounds a little unrealistic, but I am so proud of my reading progress this year. Reading 24 books is a huge accomplishment and I am just happy to celebrate that!
Now let’s get into November’s reads:
THE WOMAN IN ME by Britney Spears (no rating)
Summary: The Woman In Me is an autobiography written by Britney Spears, giving her the voice she didn’t have for so many years of her life. She so vulnerably outlines the span of her life from childhood to her rocky relationships, most notably with Justin Timberlake, her marriages, to her kids and motherhood, to the 13 year conservatorship, and finally to where she is at today.
Thoughts: An extremely raw, honest, sad and heartbreaking account of Britney’s life from her POV. Equally inspiring and entertaining as it was intense and shocking. I started tearing up when they would take her babies away from her! My only critique was the writing. I felt like there are some gaps in the story and it left me with more questions than answers by the end. But overall a very brave way to finally be able to tell her story and was probably healing for her to tell. HIGHLY recommend the audiobook version. Michelle Williams did an amazing job and by listening to the audio you don’t notice as much of the writing errors since it feels more like a conversation.
A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN by Sarah J. Maas (⭐⭐⭐⭐/5)
Summary: Book 3 in the ACOTAR series was somehow more action-packed, thrilling and intense than the first two! Compared to book 1 and book 2, this one revolves around deceit, fighting and war. Again, I don’t want to say too much here in the summary to spoil the series and it’s best to kind of go into these blind!
Thoughts: Still amazed how much I am loving this fantasy series lol. This book was HEAVY (physically too because it’s like a bajillion pages long!). Lots of gore and fighting and twists and turns, but the crazy storyline fit perfectly within the series. LOVE the characters so much. Excited to see what plays out for their inner circle in the final books. WARNING– SPOILER IN THE NEXT SENTENCE: Last thought- does anyone else feel like Tamlin deserves a little bit more grace and forgiveness? Not excusing his abusive behavior, but I do hope to see more from him in the final two books in the series.
2.) LISTENING TO…
ASK THE DENTIST – HOW TO SLEEP BETTER, FIX BAD BREATH AND ORAL HEALTH | The Skinny Confidential Podcast
- This episode was SO GOOD!!! I gained so much knowledge about how much our oral microbiome contributes to overall health, bad dental practices to be aware of, and how to protect our teeth and have the cleanest mouth possible! I did end up ordering a tongue scraper after listening and let me just say: game-changer. I do it first thing when I wake up and now after seeing all the YUCK that comes off in the morning I can’t imagine not doing it. Next thing I want to get into after listening: mouth tape! Do any of you guys mouthtape when sleeping??
Not a podcast, but if you have Spotify you and your friends should download this app I’m loving! Each Friday it tells you your “vibe” of the week based on your top artists/songs you listened to that week. For example, my top artists were Noah Kahan, Luke Combs and Taylor Swift this week so my vibe was “country-fried cheerleader with a heart full of longing” LOL! It’s silly and a fun way to stay up to date with what your friends are listening to.
ALL the shows I was watching ended (Golden Bachelor, Bach in Paradise, Dancing with the Stars, and Special Forces), so I need more recs in the meantime! I’m rewatching Gilmore Girls for like the 3rd or 4th time as a nice pastime, and watching more movies!
- Rewatched Crazy Rich Asians: love this movie so much – that wedding scene is ICONIC!
- Barbie movie: this was eh to me- zoned out the last half)
- Been watching a lot of Christmas movies with the fam!! Blakely loves Rudolf, Elf and Frosty the Snowman!
- Sound of Freedom: loved this one! so eye-opening and inspiring
4.) CURRENTLY LOVING…
1) ELEMIS FACIAL PADS…. the only way I will clean my face in the mornings. These are definitely an investment (though, they’re on sale right now!!), but totally worth it in my opinion. Leaves my skin brighter, softer and overall feeling fresh and clean. Very spa-like!! Pair with your fave moisturizer after use!
2) BLUE TARGET SWEATER… when I tell you I’ve never gotten so many compliments as when I wear this sweater I’m not kidding! Such a great color that will make you glow! Definitely size up for an oversized feel (I got a medium and I’m usually an XS), and this will be your new favorite winter sweater.
3) HALFMOON YOGA MAT… one of the vendors I work with for my job gifted us a list of items to choose from Loop & Tie, and I choose this yoga mat!! Such great quality and the perfect amount of thickness. Excited to use this at home now since I accidentally left my Lululemon yoga mat behind when I went on vacation last June. This would make for a great Christmas gift for the wellness gal in your life!
4) TONGUE SCRAPER… a morning time essential and oral health game changer. Just trust me, you will not regret this!! Highly recommend listening to the dentist podcast episode I referred to under the “listening to” section of this post for more info on this!
5) AMAZON SWEATER… wore this on thanksgiving and LOVE it! So flattering and surprisingly good quality for the price. It did need to be ironed out of the bag but so worth it and will be a staple transitional piece in your closet!
My Simple Harvest Thanksgiving Salad!
I was in charge of putting together the salad for Thanksgiving this year! And also a dessert so I opted for these monster cookies which are my favorites.
For the salad, I took this Half Baked Harvest Autumn Harvest Honeycrisp Apple and Feta Salad and changed it up a big to make it my own (aka more simple HA). Though salad is not people’s first choice on Thanksgiving with all the other yummy dishes, I got lots of compliments on this one!
Here’s the ingredients I used:
- Base of arugula
- 1 Honey Crisp Apple (cut into cubes)
- Dried Cranberries
- Lots of Feta
- Salt and Pepper
Add these all to a bowl and mix! I put out a few store-bought dressings beside it so people could choose their own dressing. My favorite to pair with this salad was this Lemon Vinaigrette!