I’m pretty sure the opening of every single one of these monthly favorites posts is going to be something along the lines of “How has another month gone by already?! How are we here?!”
Because that pretty much sums up my life, especially this time of year, and especially with another baby coming in February.
Lately, I just feel overwhelmed by everything, and I’ve lost my normal ability to cope. It’s definitely partly due to pregnancy hormones (I ugly sobbed for a half hour over a puppy pee puddle on my floor the other day), and also because life has taken a super busy turn since we adopted our new dog, Max. He is WONDERFUL. So sweet and cuddly and he has all the classic puppy floppiness that makes my heart melt, but my goodness, I completely forgot how much work a puppy is! It’s like having a newborn baby who moves around and doesn’t wear a diaper. Hahaha. Lots of “No, don’t touch that!” or “No potty inside!” “No! No! No!” Hah. I feel like I already have a baby on my hands, and I’m kinda low-key-majorly freaking out about having an actual human newborn added to the mix in a couple months.
But! My life motto when things get crazy is this: Everything is temporary. The good, the bad. It’s all temporary. Savor the good and remember that the bad shall pass.
I’m not kidding. I can’t even tell you how many times I preach this to myself throughout any given day. One day I’ll look back and miss these crazy, hectic days, right? Or so people tell me!
In the midst of trying to soak it all up and also keep my brain (and emotions) in check, I’ve got some favorites to tell you about today. And please share anything that you might be loving in the comments! I love reading lists like this, so tell me!
- I’m going to start with TV shows. Dan and I have shows that we watch together, and some that I watch alone. Usually, Netflix or HBO/Showtime shows appeal to Dan the most, so we’ve been doing some marathoning as of late. We wrapped up the second season of “Making a Murderer” this month, and man, that show just has me HOOKED. Even if you feel that the documentary is extremely one-sided or biased, it’s still such an interesting (and sad!) story that will totally suck you in. You can’t argue that they make a very convincing case! I can’t wait for another season. We also were very late to the game with “Ozark” (we just started watching it last month), and put it on hold to power through “Making a Murderer,” but now we’re back on it and loooooving it. I am obsessed with Jason Bateman, and seeing him play such a different character from his norm is really fun. Another addicting show! I’m also loving that “Outlander” is back. I read the books and the show is so well done. For quickies, I’ve been loving “I Feel Bad” and “Splitting Up Together.” Both are so cute and light.
- I am not a huge soda drinker. I love the stuff (Diet Coke was my vice for years), but try not to drink it regularly. Maybe once every two weeks or so as a special treat. Something I’ve been doing for years and recently rediscovered: drinking a splash of fruit juice in La Croix sparkling water. Ever since reading this about the supposed La Croix cockroach insecticide scandal, I’ve returned to drinking it on the reg. Lately, I’ve been loving a splash of apple cider, cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice in a glass of seltzer. So delish and very helpful during the holiday season since I can’t currently have any booze! Side note: I totally drank ginger ale out of a champagne flute on Thanksgiving because I was so desperate for a cocktail. Haha. It made me feel like I was participating, somewhat.
- Christmas music in general. I’ve been blasting it since the week leading up to Thanksgiving and I’m loving every second. My current faves are Hanson’s “Snowed In” album (yes, really! One of the best ever), John Legend’s album, Leslie Odom Jr.’s album from last year, and anything by Pentatonix. Obsessed.
- This hot chocolate with chai-spiced marshmallows that I shared earlier this week. OMG. You guys. It’s one of my most favorite things I’ve made in a long time. So rich and decadent, and so, so perfect for the holidays! Bonus: the marshmallow recipe makes a TON, so you’ll have those for snacking or multiple batches of hot chocolate. Perfect for trimming the tree, wrapping gifts, or warming up by a fire! COZY CENTRAL.
- Bath and Body Works holiday candles! I load up on these every year, and two that I’ve been loving so far this season are the white mint latte and the twisted cranberry. They’re both light and not too spiced (which I hate in candles), and the peppermint is SO festive to me! I love it. I also bought a couple pine-scented candles this year because this is the first time in my entire life that we are not getting a REAL Christmas tree. I am so, so bummed about it (read: I’ve been pretty bratty about our fake tree ever since we put it up), but it was necessary because Kieran showed signs of an allergy to our live tree last year. He’s lucky he’s cute.
- The A Common Table cookbook. You guys. This cookbook is so great! I love Cynthia’s work on Two Red Bowls (check it out), and her recipes, style, photography, and storytelling is nothing short of fabulous. The recipes in this cookbook have me completely floored. I hope to test some of these out in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
- This is a repeat from last month but definitely worth a re-mention: Murad’s Nutrient-Charged Water Gel moisturizer is a straight-up godsend. I have been slathering this stuff on like crazy, and my sensitive, super-dry face is thanking me for it. Speaking of, my hands are suffering right now. Does anyone have a hand cream that they recommend? I wash my hands a million times a day between cooking, cleaning, the puppy, and Kieran, so something intensive but not greasy would be ideal!
- I am not someone who goes ga-ga over Starbucks normally (really, the coffee tastes burnt to me, and the other drinks are usually too much for my taste), but one holiday indulgence I love giving into every year is the Peppermint Mocha. Oh yes. I love it. I made a homemade version a few years ago that I need to revisit!
- This next one is not new to me, but definitely worth mentioning. I discovered the deliciousness of Brookside’s pomegranate dark chocolates a few years back and you can ALWAYS find a bag of these in my pantry. I get the big, 32-oz bag, people. Haha. A handful of these is the perfect sweet snack. I find their flavor and chew completely addicting. I got my mom hooked on them, Dan loves them, and Kieran is known to beg for “a couple of mommy’s special chocolates” somewhat regularly. SO GOOD. They’re the perfect stocking stuffer or easy treat for the holiday season.
And that wraps up this month’s life favorites! Onward to Christmas we go!