Last month I quickly cranked out (not because I waited until the last minute, but because the assignment required a short turn-around) an article about Texas' newest state park: Palo Pinto Mountains State Park. Palo Pinto will be located about halfway between Fort Worth and Abilene and is scheduled to open in 2023, just in time for the Texas State Parks Centennial Celebration. I'm looking forward to seeing this one in print midway through 2022!
I finally read a whole book! After a slow start (my slow start, not the book's slow start), I finally finished Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris. I made a lot of guesses about the ending as I cruised through the second half of the book, but I didn't get the twist quite right...which I really like. I definitely recommend Bring Me Back, along with Paris' other novels as well - I've liked everything of hers I've read thus far!
Podcasts were a bit of a letdown in November, after devouring Gangster Capitalism in October. So instead of dwelling on the lack of content to keep me engaged, I made the switch to Christmas music. I used to (try to) wait until after Thanksgiving, but waiting feels silly this year. First up? Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You, of course. 😉
I'm not sure where new apps should fall in my Monthly Medleys (Following? Trying/Using? I suppose either works), but I'm sharing a fun app I recently discovered here today. It's called Weather Kitty, and it does exactly what you'd expect given the name: it provides weather updates layered over kitten backgrounds appropriate for the weather conditions. Here's a sampling of the adorableness:
Sadly, I have nothing to share here. I've made a few purchases this month ahead of the holidays, but almost everything is still in boxes and hasn't been tried, used, played with, etc. enough (or at all) for me to write a review. More to come in my December and January Monthly Medleys!
Every year I buy my kids matching/coordinating Christmas pajamas (well, Chris the Elf brings matching/coordinating Christmas pajamas on December 1st), and on the years we visit my sister and her family, the matching/coordinating extends to include my niece and nephew as well. Finding pajamas that work for all four kids - two boys and two girls, all two years apart - has on occasion been challenging, but we've always managed to get it done. This year, however, proved more difficult for me, because while Hallie still wears child sizes, Will has fully graduated to adult sizes. Enter Hanna Anderson, which now sells at least half of their pajama styles in both child and adult sizes - hallelujah! I was able to buy a child size and style appropriate for Hallie as well as an adult size and style appropriate for Will, and they're going to look so adorable on Christmas morning. Just what every 15yo boy wants...to look adorable and match his sister.
Will (I added a green sweatshirt)
I have no affiliation with Hanna Anderson - I just like their pajamas.
I don't usually try a lot of new recipes in November and December - instead, I circle back around to all of our favorite traditional meals and holiday-themed baked goods. So this month I thought I would share a few of those favorites. Many have been shared here before, but I promise that all are delicious enough to warrant a second share!
- Ferris Family Gingersnaps
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- Butter Crumble Apple Pie
- Grinch Cookies
- Christmas Cookie Sparkles
- Chocolate Coconut Snowballs
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Copycat Loft House Sugar Cookies
- Peanut Butter Layer Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- New York Cheesecake
- Pecan Coconut Chess Pie
- Buche de Noel (Yule Log Cake)
And because I should probably share a few recipes that aren't desserts...
- Honey Beer Bread
- Honey Oat Quick Bread
- Brussels Sprout Cranberry Pecan Salad
- Cowboy Pasta
- Roasted Veggie Mediterranean Pasta
- One Pot Kielbasa Tortellini
- Crockpot White Chicken Chili
- Beefy Tomato Soup
Feeling Good About
- This gorilla, hugging the man who saved her life.
- This penguin, befriending a woman "dressed" like him.
- This kitten, bonding with his baby.