After a month of every virus under the sun running through our house (and every house, it seems), a fun and sparkly holiday is exactly what we need. I feel like a broken record talking about all of our sick days over the last two years but it is next level out here, you guys. This article really hit the nail on the head for me, and I know so many other people out there can relate.
I keep thinking back to last year when we all had COVID and Luca had to go to the ER on Christmas Eve because of his breathing. Here’s hoping this Christmas isn’t that dramatic #fingerscrossed.
When my kids are sick, I usually get terrible anxiety but for the first time (ever?) I have been able to keep it (mostly) at bay. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still stressful and terrible and I hate seeing them in even one iota of pain, but it feels like a big shift. I attribute this mostly to my sobriety experiment which has turned from an experiment into a lifestyle that somehow feels completely natural. It’s hard to put into words how much my mental state has improved since I cut out alcohol but the last few weeks of feeling good have really solidified my decision.
We had two holiday parties this weekend and the craziest part is that I didn’t even want to drink. And I woke up the next mornings feeling great. I did take a fun gummy one of the nights, however, and had a great time!
This week is all about prep: all of the wrapping, last minute shopping, and food planning. We are hosting on Christmas Day and I decided I’m going to make beef bourguignon for the first time. Obviously, I’ll be going with Julia Child’s recipe. I’m also going to make at least one of not all of the holiday dessert recipes listed below.
I haven’t cooked a proper meal for my family in weeks and feel extreme guilt about that (I realize I shouldn’t but I can’t help it!) so will probably be going way over the top with cooking and baking over the next two weeks.
Holiday Dessert Recipes
WHAT I’M READING & WATCHING
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus: I finished this NY Times Bestseller and GMA Book Club Pick and absolutely loved it. It was quirky and funny yet smart and powerful. Set in the 1960s, the book’s main character, Elizabeth Zott, is a chemist in a time where no one seemed to take female scientists seriously. She ends up as a single mother and finally a famous cooking show host who mixes her love for chemistry and cooking on-screen. Elizabeth stands up for herself and women everywhere before anyone was doing that, She is such a fun character to read and I’d definitely recommend this book for something to read over the holidays.
Anon Pls by Deuxmoi: If you follow Deuxmoi, the anonymous celebrity/influencer gossip account, on Instagram, you might get a kick out of this juicy novel that she wrote (anonymously, of course). Anon Pls is the seemingly autobiographical story of a fashion assistant who starts an Instagram account as a side hustle and ends up blowing up. It’s an easy, juicy, fun-to-read book that you can finish in a few days.
TV Shows –
White Lotus, s2 (HBO Max): I’m sure you’ve seen one million memes and stories about White Lotus’s second season and for good reason! It was a fantastically funny and dark 8 episodes full of intrigue, sex, lies, drama, and, of course, murder. IDK if I can ever forgive the writers for killing off who they did (not giving any spoilers in case you didn’t watch it yet) but the ending was great even though I was mad at it.
Sex Lives of College Girls, S2 (HBO Max): If you haven’t watched Mindy Kaling’s comedy about 4 college roommates at the fictional Essex College, I promise you need to get on it. It’s hilarious, charming, and just fun to watch. It also brings back a lot of college memories… in a good way! Season two is just as good as the first was.
5 THINGS I’M LOVING
1. Neck & Shoulder Relaxer: This might be the best $20 I’ve spent all year. Luca weighs (at least) 175 pounds and is also a mama’s boy who loves to be held 24/7. As you can imagine, this is not a great situation for my shoulder and neck which are constantly tight and in pain. I saw someone post about this little neck pillow that you lay on for 10 minutes a day, and it has helped a lot more than I thought it would. It feels incredible!
2. Clear Drawer Dividers: Last week when my whole house was covered in vomit and boogers, I had extra crazy anxiety and decided I had to order dividers for my nightstand drawers because organizing calms me. I bought a bunch of these 4-section dividers and love the size of them. Each section is pretty big so for larger drawers, they’re great. I ended up swapping them in for my dresser drawers too.
3. Kitsch Stainless Steel Ice Roller: My children took over my other ice roller as a “boo boo buddy” so I decided to try a new brand and the metal vs plastic makes such a difference! The Kitsch roller gets much colder and the size of the actual roller part works better over your eyes.
4. Slouchy Tube Socks: I am all about the throw-back tube sock trend. It’s so warm and comfortable. No naked ankles for me thank you very much! These slouchy socks give leg warmer vibes.
5. Flying Ball Toy: At our Secret Santa party this weekend, one of the kids got this super fun flying ball toy that everyone (adults included) wanted to play with all night. I posted a story about it and got so many requests to send a link for last minute Christmas gifts. Anel bought one of these last year for when he took Amalia camping and it has truly brought us hours of fun. If you’re like me and worried about it knocking things down in your house, it is so lightweight that it isn’t destructive at all.
Photo by Julia Dags.