Writing-wise, December has been about getting ahead on the blog so I'll have time in January to tackle a couple of big assignments. Here's hoping I made enough forward progress!
Most of my work throughout the last year has been for print, rather than for online sites I can link to here on the blog. Because of that, I plan to take the "Writing" update off of my monthly medley posts. It may make an appearance from time to time, but I don't like sharing "I've been working on lots of articles but you can't read any of them" month after month.
I mentioned it last month, but I'll mention it again: The Christmas Train never lets me down.
In between Christmas movies, we watched Yesterday, a romantic comedy about a struggling musician who, after a freak accident, finds himself the only person who remembers the Beatles. While the movie slowed quite a bit midday through, it had a great beginning and end. Rotten Tomatoes' assessment summed up the film almost perfectly: "Yesterday may fall short of fab, but the end result is still a sweetly charming fantasy with an intriguing—albeit somewhat under-explored—premise". The highlight for all four of us were the many Beatles songs; MANY times the kids exclaimed, "THIS is a Beatles song too?!"
Instagram (I think) recommended I listen to Crime Junkie, so I decided to give the podcast a try. I really like the short but thorough delves into crimes both well-known and not, and I appreciate that the podcast has been around for a couple of years and therefore has quite a few episodes available. My one complaint is that the host periodically plays up the "crime junkie" title, assuming that everyone listening is doing so because they need some kind of crime (and specifically murder) fix. Though I like true crime books, television shows, movies, and podcasts, I don't consider myself a member of that "club".
December is the season of Nutcracker and Christmas shirts! Back in November I shared pictures of a couple of new Nutcracker shirts, so this month I'm sharing a picture of a new - and already favorite - Christmas sweatshirt.
This Fa La La sweatshirt was originally an art print, painted by the amazing Lindsey Sherbondy of Lindsey Letters. I had considered purchasing the print, but when Lindsey Letters released the same design on a sweatshirt I knew immediately that I wanted to wear this fun and festive design rather than hang it in my house.
Lindsey Letters deserves a shout out in this category as well. I want to fill my house with her beautiful lettering and abstract art, both for everyday and the holidays. I haven't done so yet because I have difficulty justifying purchases for myself at this time of year, but here are a few I plan to eventually order. (I follow Lindsey on Instagram and Facebook so I know her customers are thrilled with the quality of her products and her customer service. Based on these reviews and my sweatshirt order, I feel confident recommending this small business.)
- Nativity Sketch
- 12 Days of Christmas
- Nativity Sky
- Bittersweet Abstract
- Solstice Abstract
- Ballerina Abstract
- Rainbow Daydream
Next, another Lindsey...the professional violinist Lindsey Stirling. Will bought me her Christmas CD - Warmer in the Winter, the Deluxe Edition - for my birthday, and it's quickly become one of my favorite holiday music collections. A few of the songs include vocals, but the majority are instrumental only; I wouldn't have expected a compilation of songs built around a violin to be interesting and engaging, but the versions on this CD are some of the best I've heard. It's been on repeat in my car all month.
I love to bake, but the busyness of this holiday season kept me from making as many batches of cookies and decorating as many cupcakes as I've made in years past. I did, however, still make:
- 2 pans of brownies
- 6 dozen gingersnaps
- 12 miniature banana breads
- 6 dozen pecan pie tartlets
- 1 pecan pie*
- 1 pumpkin pie*
- 1 cherry pie*
- 1 skillet cookie cake
- 3 dozen cranberry white chocolate chip oatmeal cookies*
- 5 dozen Amish sugar cookies*
* Hallie helped. 😀
Feeling Good About
- The animated short film Hair Love is a beautiful tribute and "love letter to black hair and black families". Tears will fall.
- The nonprofit Empowerment Plan was started by a college student and is "breaking the cycle of homelessness through employment".
- The first female marine successfully completed the Reconnaissance Training and Assessment Program. Truly impressive.
- Even beavers need a helping hand sometimes...
Hope you and yours had a great December, and Happy New Year!