It’s been such a long time since I have had a happy list so I wanted to swing back in and say hello.
The Thanksgiving weekend nearly did me in this year. I hosted a Thanksgiving feast for my siblings (thank goodness for those make-ahead recipes), had Thanksgiving with my family, ended up in urgent care with a kidney infection the day after, thought I was dying, then took my practically dead self to the Nutcracker to see our little soldier perform.
Luckily, I had a few days to recuperate before hitting the road with girlfriends for a girl’s trip to Omaha.
Minus the nearly dying part, it really was a great Thanksgiving!
We opted to go smaller this year with decorating. Last year the feature in Design Mom was a big motivator to really deck the halls. This year, we purchased a smaller artificial tree (I’m madly in love with this one because of its deep branches for ornament hanging) and only got one bin of our holiday goodies out.
That frees up so much more time to lay around in our pajamas and watch holiday movies. We made it through this one and this one already! I’d love to hear what your favorites are.
Here are three other things that are making me happy!
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
I can’t say I have enjoyed a show as much as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in years.
The lead actress, Rachel Brosnahan, truly makes Mrs. Maisel come to life. She is a rich 1950’s housewife who feels like she has lost everything when she finds out her husband has been having an affair. She has supported him through his painfully awful stand-up comedian routines, at a local club, and now feels like a laughingstock herself. It leads to her drunkenly showing up in the club and wandering up on stage where she has the audience rolling. This is the start of a new life for her and we get to witness this woman coming into her own, while still flashbacking to the memories of their earlier courtship and marriage.
The way this show is shot is pretty phenomenal in itself. They manage to shoot long sequences in such unique ways that appear to be in one take. The vignettes that they can create, moving the story through the years, are jaw-dropping. The costumes and sets are absolute perfection. The plot moves quickly and is meaty!
We are plowing through the second half of the season this weekend. It has taken a lot of self-control this week to not stay up late and finish it. I think you would love this one too!
Manhattan Beach has been on almost every top book of 2017 list ever created and now I see why. If you are looking for a compelling historical fiction read, I would highly recommend this one.
This is the first historical fiction novel from Egan, but reads almost like a thriller as you piece together the disappearance of a father. Anna Kerrigan, on the cusp of twelve years old, accompanies her father for a visit to see Dexter Styles. It is a mysterious relationship and visit that she is encouraged not to share with her family.
Later her father disappears and Anna finds herself working for the Brooklyn Naval Yard. She becomes their first female diver and is breaking the mold of what roles women have in assisting in the war. One evening she finds herself at a nightclub where she sees Dexter Styles again and begins to wonder if he might be the key to understanding her father’s disappearance.
If you enjoyed Saints for All Occasions, I think you would enjoy this one too. It surprised me as much as Sullivan’s book as Egan weaves together this compelling plot so vividly that you will have trouble putting it down.
Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators
The most surprising and moving documentary we watched this month was Monkey Business about the creators of the Curious George series. The entire film is incredibly animated and tells a compelling story of the writers that moved me to tears. I don’t want to spoil the story for you or your family, but there was far more than meets the eye when it comes to the creation of Curious George and includes an unbelievable adventure as the couple were evacuated from Paris (with the invasion of the Nazis) and they rode bicycles with his story tucked in their bicycle basket.
This is one you could watch with the kids and the animation is absolutely ASTOUNDING. Animated from start to finish, it is so beautifully done and tells such a different story than I had ever expected. It is a timely story as it explores their struggles as immigrants. In fact, Curious George himself could be called an immigrant too.
Watch it- you won’t regret it!!
Eating: I just made another batch of this Orange Chicken last night to share while we watched another holiday movie. We ALL were in heaven with this make-at-home takeout dish. I paired it with my favorite brown rice method. So happy I have leftovers today!
Glamming It Up: I treated myself to an unlimited pass to Rent the Runway for the holidays and my birthday month (it is my big 4-0!!!) and I am having so much fun playing dress-up for the holidays. I can’t recommend this fun option enough for the season of family photos, holiday parties, and unlimited friend gatherings. A month cost me about what I would have spent on a cocktail dress for my hubby’s work party so I feel good about this investment. Plus, it doesn’t conflict with my capsule wardrobe intentions!
Contemplating: This article this week. I plan to dive deep into this one in the upcoming weeks. I think it is an important discussion and a common misconception on what self-care really means.
Giving: Book of the Month gift cards for the holidays. I’m actually not a member so I am excited that you receive a free book credit if you are the giver. I am hoarding my credit for the January selections. Did you see what I read last month? Good stuff!
Back to This: I just know you all love my frequent posts on my OCD with hair removal so I’m back to using this again after a break. Can’t believe that price and an additional $10 off this week. Painful, but effective! I’m finding pairing that with a dry brush (this is the one I use for about $4) before using it seems to help with ingrown hairs. Haven’t heard of dry brushing? This article explains the benefits.
Have a wonderful weekend! xo
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