Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Life Lately | November

Well where in the heck did November go?! I can't believe we will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow and then it's December and all the festiveness that entails! I already feel as if we are speeding through the holiday season. Here is what we have been up to this past month. 

Books I've Read

  • Holly Banks Full of Angst (Village of Prim Book 1) by Julie Valerie- I'm going to be honest, I didn't read this book. I started reading this book and I just couldn't finish it! It's clearly meant to be a funny, lighthearted book about how no one is perfect, but the characters were SO annoying I couldn't get over it to finish even halfway through! It's about a family who has moved to a new town where everything is picture perfect and she is not. I honestly can't imagine this even being a series. Maybe it gets better halfway through, but quite a few of the reviews seemed to think not. 1/5 stars.

Recipes I've Tried

  • Chocolate Bread- I saw this recipe recommended by Shea and finally made it myself. Very tasty! Definitely more of an afternoon snack or dessert than a bread, but so good! 
  • Hashbrown Waffles- I think I may have messed this up somewhere along the way or maybe the recipe is a bust. These would not stick together even after adding an extra egg. I coated our waffle iron really well, but they still stuck on. A pain to clean up and the taste wasn't so good I'd make them again. Good in theory though! Maybe better as a potato pancake type thing?
  • Butternut Squash Soup- This was very good and very easy to make, just make sure you measure the cayenne pepper carefully because I accidentally put a bit too much in! 
  • Cowboy Caviar- We made this to go with Aveline's party for the cowgirl theme and it was a hit! It tastes good as a salad or eaten as a salsa on chips! Super easy to make, too. 

Products I've Been Using

  • Finesse haircare with Camellia oil -I received Finesse Shampoo and Conditioner to try free through Brandbacker as a preview before they are available in stores. I used it back in college, but stopped for whatever reason. Personally I'm loving the scent and my hair seems shinier, too. I still like my Aussie 3 Minute Miracle for deep conditioner at least once a week though! 
  • Lipsyl lip care- I also received a couple of lip balms from Lipsyl through Brandbacker free to try. I always like to use lip balm before working out and running and it helps my lips from getting chapped, especially in the cold weather. This has a subtle minty scent that I love and it does feel very hydrating. I like to put it on before bedtime, too so I wake up with super soft lips!
  • I won Kathrine's giveaway and she was so sweet to drive it over to my house! I got a basket stuffed with tons of goodies that I can't wait to try! If you don't follow her, you should! She is the sweetest and has great style! 


  • Wrapping- Figuratively I'm trying to wrap up some collaborations and extra things to be made before Thanksgiving. Literally wrapping nothing! I may have purchased most of the Christmas gifts, but they are stowed away in random cabinets until the tree is up and I have time to actually wrap them! Hopefully I don't misplace any! 
  • Baking- I've been all about the quick breads lately! I made some banana bread, chocolate bread, and recently some pumpkin cream cheese bread that we will have at Thanksgiving! Today I'll have a lot of baking and prepping for tomorrow too! 
  • Lighting- We light the fire in our bedroom every morning so it's toasty warm when we get ready. It's so nice to have a gas fireplace to turn on whenever we want! 
  • Sending- I picked up our Christmas cards this week so I'll be sending those out soon! 
  • Enjoying- I've been enjoying seeing how Aveline is enjoying this fall and winter so much more! She is getting excited about decorations and presents and interested in Santa. It will be a fun month for her! 
  • What we've been up to currently:
    • Claire- Her school is doing a picture book challenge with a contest for which classroom can read the most picture books during the month of November. My girl is rocking it with almost 500 books so far by herself! Now if only I could get her to do her chores as easily as she picks up a book! Ha! She is super excited about her cooking themed birthday party. Let me know if you have gift bag ideas! All I can think of are cookie cutters. They get aprons already to decorate so I'm stumped. 

    • Aveline- Baby girl LOVED her cowgirl party! I was shocked how much the kids liked the balloon 'pig pen'! The squash mac and cheese was a hit with everyone and so was the homemade applesauce. She also started 2 year old preschool twice a week and loves to walk in wearing her backpack. Where did my baby go?! Her language is just exploding, too. She learns 2-3 new words a day. 

    • Matt-So much traveling this month! Thankfully it seems to be winding down for December with only 1 trip planned. And he came down with the worst sinus infection. Fingers crossed he kicks that to the curb ASAP.
    • Me- I'm gearing up for a 5K race in 2 weeks. My 8 mile Hot Apple Cider Hustle this past month was awesome! I am still having some ankle tendonitis here and there, but overall still seeing a lot of progress with my running and signed up for the Naperville Women's Half Marathon in April. I was also able to attend a blogger spa event at Luxe Spa in Naperville last week hosted by Geneva at Live. Love. Lattes. It was so fun meeting local bloggers! If you are in the area and interested in a procedure use code #Bloggersbeluxe for 20% off!

November Goals Recap
1. Complete 10 hours of CEUs- I only have 6 done, but as one of my students used to say, "Better than 0!" I'm hoping I can actually still make this goal as there are a few days left in the month. 
2. Plant flower bulbs if weather allows- Done! Can't wait to see them bloom in spring! 
3. Send out invites for Claire's birthday party- Done!
4. Order Christmas cards- Done! Working on addressing them now. 
5. Sign up Avie for swim lessons- Done! Claire AND Avie start next week! 

December Goals
1. Bake a new Christmas cookie recipe- It's fun to switch it up sometimes! How about these or these?
2. Try a glass of red wine- I don't normally drink red, I prefer white or rose, but I want to branch out! We have a few nice looking red wine bottles in our cellar so I'd love to open one and enjoy a glass!
3. Look into refinancing- Rates are down .75% since we purchased and I just want to see if refinancing is worth it even though we only purchased a year ago. It might mean we could refinance for a shorter mortgage which would be awesome!
4. Play a family board game- In all the busyness of the holiday season some family time would be wonderful! We have lots of board games and card games it would be so nice to pull out and enjoy as a family. 
5. Make a trip to Goodwill- We have to get in that last trip to Goodwill this year! 

linking up with Anne & Gretchen + KristenWhat's Up Wednesday

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