We’re halfway through the last month of 2020 and I am ready for this year to be over. With Christmas in 11 days and two weeks off of work for both myself and Anel, we are looking forward to the second half of the month to chill out and hang out as a family. I’ve been working nonstop this month to wrap up my marketing projects and sponsored posts and am really looking forward to a little break.
But the most exciting thing going on right now is that my sister was due with my niece on Friday and is now a few days late so this baby is coming any minute now! I’ve been so giddy over it that I haven’t slept in a week but I don’t even care because I’m just so excited! Amalia was a week late too and I remember how horrible that feeling of waiting was so I feel for her right about now.
In other pregnancy news, I’ve officially passed the halfway point and am starting to get really nesty around the house. Over the break, we’re going to paint the spare room and start thinking about baby boy’s nursery which will be fun. The downside to the second half of pregnancy is that my heartburn has started and my body is moving a little slower each day. Amalia asks every single morning if the baby is almost here and even cried the other day because she said she just wants to meet him so badly. It’s very sweet.
I hope you’re all gearing up for a great holiday! Here’s what I’m loving this month.
WHAT I’M READING AND WATCHING
Books – The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir: This book was included in my list of best books I read in 2020 because I quite enjoyed it. I picked this up off this staff-recommended shelf in a little book store up in New Hampshire aka my favorite way to shop for books. The woman helping me said it was her favorite book of the year so I gave it a try and ended up loving it and finishing it in 3 nights! It’s about a teenager, Essie, who has grown up in the spotlight as one of the daughters featured in a popular reality show about a very conservative and religious family. When she finds herself suddenly pregnant, she learns secrets about her family that would horrify anyone.
Pretty Things by Janelle Brown: I started this after reading Grace’s review of it (my go-to site for book recs). I was in the mood for a snappy, fast-paced thriller and it’s proven to be exactly what I wanted. It follows two women: Nina, a con artist who needs to up her game when her mother’s Cancer comes back, and Vanessa, a wealthy heiress and Nina’s latest mark. Set in Lake Tahoe, it’s twisty and dark and I can’t put it down.
TV Shows – The Vow (HBO) immediately followed by Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult (Starz): Ok so I have a thing about cults. They fascinate me and once I start learning about one, I can’t stop. I watched Waco earlier this year and loved it but the NXIVM story is so insane and multi-faceted, I can’t get enough. I watched The Vow first, a documentary featuring a few of the members who were able to escape Keith Raniere and his cult. It follows them as they get their story told in the New York Times and eventually work together to get him arrested.
The Starz docu pretty much picks up where this one leaves off and follows India Oxenberg, one of Raniere’s branded sex slaves. She and her mother tell their very personal stories and really get into what a monster Raniere really was in a much deeper way than The Vow did. Watch both if you can!
The Flight Attendant (HBO): I started this miniseries on a whim over the weekend while Anel was watching some sporting event that I had no interest in. It’s silly but cute and now I *need* to know what happened. It’s about a flight attendant, Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) who sleeps with a passenger and ends up waking up next to his dead body. It’s part comedy, part drama, full murder mystery and while it feels campy at times, it’s entertaining for sure.
The Undoing (HBO): I finished this one and somehow didn’t guess the ending (I thought it was the grandpa until the last episode). I won’t give it away but definitely give this Nicole Kidman/Hugh Grant murder mystery mini-series a watch if you haven’t already.
5 THINGS I’M LOVING
1. Apparently I do puzzles now: If you missed it, I became (too?) obsessed with this apres ski puzzle after receiving it in a press box. I don’t think I’ve ever done a puzzle as an adult as it’s never appealed to me but we were bored one night and started it. Anel gave up after two days but I became laser-focused on fishing it and even saw puzzle pieces as I fell asleep every night for over a week. I now realize that it was a very hard one for a first-timer because I bought this Gray Malin 500-piecer and have almost finished it in two nights.
After finishing the first one, I sent it to my friend in Atlanta who loves puzzles and now we’re starting a little puzzle swap together. Just another tiny victory from 2020.
2. Face mask insert: A family friend of mine created a face mask insert that was originally intended to go under ski masks but works great for our current situation too. It is a made-in-the-USA piece of silicone (dishwasher safe!) that you put under your mask and it holds the mask away from your face making it easier to breathe and talk with a mask on. Anel has to wear his mask all day for work so he especially loves this. And as a prego who can hardly breathe even without a mask, it’s a game-changer. They just launched and each insert is only $10! It would make a great last-minute stocking stuffer
3. Sleeping undies: I can’t decide if this is TMI or not but including these anyway because they really have been one of my favorite things this month. In this pregnancy, my butt and hips are growing faster than anything else and I suddenly found myself feeling uncomfortable in all of my bedtime underwear. I’m a Hanky Panky loyalist during the day but at night I like a full brief. I stocked up on some new pairs of Gap Body Hipster underwear (currently on sale for $8!) in a size up so that I can finally sleep comfortably. Even if you’re not pregnant, they’re a solid, quality cotton option and come in a bunch of colors and patterns.
4. Texting gloves: I take Boots for a long walk every morning and find myself needing to change my music or Podcast or text my sister. These gloves are great because they’re thin yet warm and allow me to text without taking them off. On especially cold days I appreciate that small luxury. I need something sporty-ish for those walks but if you’re looking for cuter texting gloves I love these too.
5. Molekule air purifier: Listen, the pricetag on these purifiers is absolutely insane which is why we never splurged on one even though it’s been on my wish list for years. Anel bought one for his studio because he wanted the best purifier on the market (in addition to HEPA-approved filters for all his vents) to keep the air in there as clean as possible for clients. Even though they all wear masks, he wanted to take every precaution possible.
It made a huge difference in his energy by the end of the day so he convinced me to get one at home too. We bought the Molekule Mini+ on major sale on Black Friday and it’s still $60 off if you’re in the market. We keep it on in our room at all times and turn it up a notch at night. I used to wake up to blow my nose multiple times a night and have not done so once (not once!) since we started using it. For anyone with sinus issues, I highly recommend an air purifier for sleep. I’m sure there are other great alternatives for better prices (I read that this one is great and it’s half the price) so do some research first.
Photo by Julia Dags.