Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Monthly Medley: December 2023



Nothing, y'all. I had two Christmas books on my nightstand all month and I didn't crack either one of them open even a single time. Here's to doing a better job of climbing into bed at a reasonable hour, putting down my phone, and opening an actual book in January.


Maybe (part of) the reason I didn't read much was that we were busy watching nearly every Christmas movie known to man. Over the course of winter break we watched/had on in the background: It's a Wonderful Life, The Grinch, Elf, The Santa Clause, Four Christmases, Fred Clause, Home Alone (twice), Home Alone 2 (twice), Christmas Vacation, Spirited, The Family Switch, The Christmas Chronicles, and Clue (which isn't a Christmas movie, but I watch it every year at Christmas time and it's my favorite). I know there are a few missing here - Love Actually, A Christmas Story, Bad Santa, Miracle on 34th Street - but this year we made a bigger dent in our Christmas movie watching list than we ever have.

Listening To

While driving back from Nebraska, Will introduced me to Atrioc (Brandon Ewing), one of his favorite livestreamers/YouTube personalities. Atrioc is known for his "Marketing Monday" series, and while I (first) was surprised to learn Will enjoyed videos about marketing, news, and politics and (second) didn't think I'd enjoy videos about marketing, news, and politics, I actually really liked every episode to which we've listened. I've bookmarked his page for future viewing/listening

Yes, Atrioc technically makes videos. But because I was driving, I only listened, and as it turned out I didn't miss the visual element at all. 


I didn't follow anyone new or any new pages this month, but I did revisit a few old favorites at the end of December to see what they had on tap for January. I love a good organizational, cleaning, or reset challenge, and these women/sites/businesses (all on Instagram) have great options to kick off the new year.

  • Emily Ley, founder of Simplified (@emilyley/@simplified)
  • Kate Strickler, founder of Naptime Kitchen (@naptimekitchen)
  • The Home Edit (@thehomeedit)


I saw this Apple Watch charger holder/stand on a list of "great stocking stuffers" and sent the link to my mom on my Christmas wish list. She bought it for me - in a really pretty midnight blue - and I love it. It has a low profile, stays put (thanks to an adhesive bottom) on my nightstand, and keeps the cats from knocking my watch off of the nightstand and therefore off of the charger as well.

While this Rock and Roll It Rainbow Piano isn't something I'm using myself, it is something I gifted, and then played with myself and discovered was an incredibly fun toy for "musicians" of all ages and skill levels. 


I found myself at Target on a chilly day, so of course I left the store with a few cozy and affordable sweaters to try on at home...all three of which turned out to be wins worthy of sharing here. All three also ran a little big, so I bought one size smaller than I would usually purchase. I bought this one in light green but would also like the pink, as both are in my winter color palette. I bought this one in black, and while I love the camel and oatmeal as well, the camel color didn't look good on me and the oatmeal was out of stock in my size. This one only came in the black and white striped pattern, but I LOVE a good stripe and probably would have picked this color over others if others had been available. Oh, and it has pockets!

I'm also loving this Kendra Scott necklace that my parents got me for Christmas. My winter color palette indicates I should wear silver/white gold jewelry, so I generally follow that "rule." I have quite a few gold necklaces I love though, so I wanted something that would tie those necklaces together with the silver necklace I wear all of the time. The mixed metals - and the adjustable length - make it the perfect option.


It feels borderline cruel that I'm writing this paragraph right now, less than 24 hours before my colonoscopy - I haven't eaten anything today nor will I get to eat anything today, so sharing this cookie link makes me long for its deliciousness...

We always make thumbprint cookies with icing (rather than jam/fruit) with Tom's family during the holidays, and they are the absolute best. They feel Christmas-y to me, because we always make them in December, but they're fun for Valentine's Day (red or pink icing) or Easter (pastel icing) or a Tuesday too!

Feeling Good About

The founder of this new nonprofit is a soccer friend of Will - they played Cavalry together for years, and now compete against one another during the high school season - and he's done a fantastic job getting his organization up and running. TransportU provides "eco-conscious transportation to hard-working individuals, promoting their independence and protecting our environment," and will no doubt make an impact here in our community. 

This dog is crushing it in goal. I especially love how he saves the shots, takes the ball back to a "safe place" away from the opposing team, and then gives the ball to a player on his own team...which is exactly what a human goalie would do. (Also, I Googled "dog plays goalie" trying to find this one specific video, and in doing so I discovered that dogs playing goalie are basically their own wildly entertaining and hilariously adorable subsection of the internet. Enjoy. 😍)

For a good laugh, check out The Leighton Shows "Best Teenager Texts of 2023." Trust me, you don't want to skip this video, but here's a teaser in case you need convincing:

  • Happy Mother's Day. I venmo'd you six dollars.
  • Can you bring me my science homework and $300?
  • Don't bring homemade. We don't need to look like pilgrams.
  • Send me your signature. Don't ask questions pls.

Parents of teenagers...you get it. 


Happy January, friends!

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