The Best of December

I love roundup blog posts.  This post revisits some of my favorites that may have been buried on my social media feeds and mentions a few new finds.  Here are some of the highlights of what I've been watching, reading, eating, and enjoying this month:

This month on the blog I sent out my first newsletter.  I wanted to create a space that is a bit more personal.  Email is one of my favorite ways of communicating, and I know I always love when I receive something in my inbox that isn't a promotion or a "to do."  I hope you'll join me in January and subscribe!


Links I've pondered:

  • How reading transforms us (Spoiler alert: we learn not only about the author and the characters but about ourselves and who we want to become)
  • Celebrating bad food: An interview with Christopher Kimball: Cooking is a science, not an art.
  • The secret life of passwords: Opening paragraph: "We despise them – yet we imbue them with our hopes and dreams, our dearest memories, our deepest meanings. They unlock much more than our accounts."
  • From the lectionary: Advent 4: Bring God's dreams to life: Make no mistake.  Mary was a co-conspirator, not just a passive servant with an empty womb.



Recipes we've devoured:

  • Brown family Christmas recipes, like Chex Mix, peanut butter bulls, and peanut butter butterscotch flakes (so.much.baking.)
  • Festive holiday dishes, like lentil walnut balls and roasted acorn squash and apples over grain pilaf
  • My favorite (impressive) sweet bread ever



Books I've loved (or tolerated):

Stay tuned for reviews on the 15th of each month and follow me on Goodreads to see my ratings

  • The Kindness of Strangers
  • The End of Homework
  • The Red Tent
  • Coming Clean: A Memoir
  • Do Morals Matter?
  • HIIT It!
  • 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More
  • Work Smarter: 350+ Online Resources Today's Top Entrepreneurs Use To Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals



Shows we're inhaling:

  • The Taste.  It's so bad it's good.
  • Now that the holiday movie season is over, I'm looking forward to returning to Parenthood, Scandal, Revenge, and soon, Downton Abbey.  Anything else we should add to the DVR?



Products I'm enjoying:

  • Some special thoughtful Christmas gifts, like a collection of flavored seas salts that Dan and I cannot wait to tear into, a new duvet cover for our bed (we're giving our room a mini-makeover because I'm on a mission to make ti feel like a hotel), and a warm (entirely vegan) winter coat.
  • I think I mention chocolate in this section every month, so I refuse to break the streak.  Theo's Dark Chocolate Peppermint is limited edition and it's divine.  It's hard to find, so snap it up if you can (I may have paid an obscene amount for a bar I found on Amazon)!
  • Snapware: Our Rubbermaid tupperware leaked one too many times, and when our lid slipped off and I was left with tiny bits of quinoa on the floor, I knew I had to make a change.  Just in time for a new year, we bought new storage containers that promise not to leak or break.  We'll see.  It's the little things that make all the difference.
Emily Rowell Brown