I just submitted the first installment in a two-part piece for Texas Living Magazine about must-visit restaurants in Texas College towns, but I still have work to do on the second installment. If you went to school at University of Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, University of North Texas, Stephen F. Austin, or Rice and want to throw in your two cents (with regards to where you’d send your friends if they were headed to your old stomping grounds for a weekend of football and good eats), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I also have an article about vintage stocking stuffers in the December issue of Texas Living Magazine. Check it out if you already receive the magazine, and if you don't receive the magazine but would like to, let me know and I can help you sign up for a subscription!
I'm still working my way through the book I teased last month (not because the book isn't fabulous, but because I had a grand total of 12 minutes to read between November 1st and today), and now I can't wait to crack open this beauty as well!
I also desperately want to read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Will's interested in reading this Harry Potter prequel as well, so I think he and I will read it together over Christmas break.
Despite my best efforts, I have fallen behind on most of the television shows in my DVR. Last weekend I caught up on This is Us (why must those writers make me cry EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE?!) and Superstore, but everything else continues to accumulate and then cause me anxiety because the percentage of available DVR space keeps decreasing. Does that bother anyone else?
I have, however, caught up on the video blogs made by my current favorite online personalities: (perhaps accidental) comedians and real-life moms Kristin and Jen of #IMomSoHard. I appreciate these women's hilariously candid take on parenting, marriage, and surviving the daily grind, and recommend that new visitors to the #IMomSoHard site start with the I Vacuum So Hard and I Spanx So Hard videos. Oh, and pee before watching, just to be on the safe side...
Throughout November I listened to the podcasts Actual Innocence and Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com, and after giving both a fair shake, Actual Innocence is in and Stuff You Should Know is out, unless the podcast is covering a specific topic in which I have an interest. In December I plan to try a different podcast from the HowStuffWorks.com family - Stuff Mom Never Told You - in hopes it will be a lighter compliment to the heavier and somewhat disheartening (but entirely captivating, which is why I keep listening) Actual Innocence. Speaking of lighter fare, does anyone have any recommendations for funny podcasts?
On the music front, have you listened to the new Pentatonix Christmas CD? If not, go directly to a store that sells CDs (or iTunes, if, unlike me, you were born in the 21st century and don't buy CDs) and pick up a copy today. At the very least, download Hallelujah; Pentatonix's hauntingly beautiful rendition of recently-deceased Leonard Cohen's masterpiece will make you weep.
With regard to Christmas cards, every year I spruce the kids up and force them to participate in a holiday-themed photo shoot, edit the photos and choose the best one, create and order a card through one of the online card design companies, write a letter about our year, buy paper for and print 100+ copies of the letter, write little notes on each of the letters and addresses on all of the envelopes, and finally, assemble and stamp everything and drop the finished products in the mailbox.
This year I'm trying a streamlined approach. I used a professional photo we had taken this summer rather than take and edit my own photos; after all, at seven- and 10-years-old the kids haven't changed much since July. I created and ordered my card online, but instead of writing and printing a separate letter, I wrote an abbreviated letter and added it to the back of my card. And while I haven't done it yet, I plan to (attempt to) print address labels rather than write out everyone's address. I want our cards to still feel personal, but the time has come for a simpler system and edition!
This may sound silly, but it's revolutionary to me: I finally found "not socks" that stay on my feet inside of my ankle boots! Peds Ladies Liners (I bought mine at Target, but they're available on Amazon as well) have changed my life for the better and I highly recommend them.
I have no affiliation with Peds sock liners - I'm just a satisfied customer.
I found a couple of delicious recipes this month!
- Egg Roll in a Bowl This recipe calls for soy sauce, and suggests using a low sodium version. I will edit that instruction slightly to insist on using a low sodium version. I made this twice, and the first go - I had to use regular soy sauce as that was somehow all I had in the refrigerator - was so salty I could barely eat it. I could tell the flavors were winners though, so I tried again with low sodium soy sauce and the finished product was fantastic. I also added a cup of frozen chopped onions when cooking the sausage, as all four Ferri enjoy onions in most dishes.
- Caramel Apple Bake I halved this recipe and cooked it in my small crockpot - rather than in the oven - on low for about two hours. And...confession time...I didn't actually measure any of the ingredients. I was rushing out the door to soccer practice, so I guessed on everything and it turned out perfectly!
What's new, good, and/or interesting in your life this month? Please share!