The Short List: November/December

Sunset Rainbow

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Weekday late afternoons often find us scattered. After the kids and I check in and have our afternoon snack and a cup of tea, they wander off to their own corners of the house. Elena likes to do homework up in her room with her music. Eli likes to chill in the basement, either by himself or with the various neighborhood boys that find their way to our home many afternoons. If Mike is home, he’s often in the office finishing up a few things. You can find me in the kitchen, making dinner. We’re all here, but we’re in our own little worlds.

As a particularly rainy and dreary day drifted into evening, which thanks to Daylight Savings Time means 5 p.m. or so, the house was suddenly filled with a warm, golden glow. Every room of the house was suffused with the most beautiful light. It was so unusual, and almost magical, that it drew us outside. Once we stepped out, we were rewarded with a gorgeous sunset to the west and a full rainbow to the east. What a lovely reminder that even on the busiest and dreariest of days, there is always a reason to pause and look up.

I really love writing these monthly short lists, but I’m going to change the format up just a smidgen. In the past I’ve included a section of what I’m watching. It was initially a convenient way to fit in my Netflix movies and shows into regular content. While we’re still big fans of Netflix, my time with the Stream Team is up. Also, I’m just not an exciting person when it comes to television. I watch football and a handful of other things, and I’m pretty awful about adopting new shows. For those reasons, I’m letting the “Watching” portion of the Short List go. If I come across any new shows or documentaries that we really love I’ll definitely share, it just won’t be on a regular basis. Enough about what isn’t in the Short List this month, let’s get on to what is featured!

Reading:

Did you catch my most recent reading update? It was a doozy, but there was lots of good stuff in there. Sadly, I’m in a bit of a slump right now. I’m still reading Shelly Turkle’s book about reclaiming conversation. It’s thought-provoking, and full of great information, but it’s not the easiest read. I’m determined to get through it, though, because I think the information is so valuable. I’m also about a third of the way through my selection for “A Book Your Mom Loves” in the 2015 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. My mom may have loved The Marranos by Liliane Webb, but I am struggling. If it were any other book I’d move on (life’s too short and so on and so forth), but #momguilt. I’m also reading Middle School Makeover by Michelle Icard. This book is a treasure trove of helpful nuggets about making the middle school years bearable, but again … it’s a book about middle school. Hence the slump.

On the bright side, I’m listening to Deep Down Dark by Héctor Tobar, the true account of the 33 Chilean miners that were trapped underground (and now a movie). It’s riveting! I highly recommend it. Eli and I just finished up Wildwood by Colin Meloy. He really enjoyed it, and it was a good choice for a read aloud – great illustrations, good dialogue, and writing that paints a vivid story for the reader and listener. We’re about to start The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I’ve never read it, but I hear it’s a classic.

Look for my final 2015 reading update to come at the end of December, along with my picks for the best books of the year!

Loving:

Bombas socks

I have strong feelings about socks, and have discarded many a pair that didn’t make the cut. One of the only things that gets me through the winter months is a strong sock game. I got my first pair of Bombas over the summer, and now I’m hooked. I was so excited to find them on sale at the Gap, so I ordered another pair for myself and a pair for Eli. For every pair of socks you buy, the company donates a pair to someone in need. I’m telling you, these socks are The Bomb(as). Use my Bombas link to get 25% off your first pair.

Now that my toes are covered, let’s move to the neck. Last year I made a blanket scarf for super cheap using this fantastic tutorial from MomAdvice. Even though this isn’t how I normally wear it (I like it wrapped around my neck kerchief-style), you can see it in this photo:

Peter King and Angie Six 2015 NFL Combine Tweetup

I love how warm it keeps me all winter long, and how it takes a ho-hum outfit and instantly makes it cuter. I picked another one up at the aforementioned Gap sale, and it will take much will-power not to keep buying  or making more.

Tulip Tree Creamery Market District Carmel

Feet? Check. Neck? Check. Belly? Yes! If you live in Indiana or the parts of the Midwest, you must seek out any of the cheeses from Tulip Tree Creamery. Made in Indy by Netherlands transplant Fons Smits, it’s the most delicious form of dairy you can put in your mouth besides ice cream. I’m particularly fond of the Trillium, but I’ve yet to try a Tulip Tree product I haven’t loved.

Surfing:

I’ve always loved the New Yorker cartoons, and this collection of their cartoons about children’s books is such a treat.

Do you have a thing about visiting grocery stores when you travel too?

Get your cocoa and couches ready: the best holiday TV specials of 2015.

I’m obsessed with hygge this winter. This should help.

What’s on your short list of favorite things right now?

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