How the heck are you?
It is that fun time of the month where I get to share what’s been making me happy this month.
I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families. I know we had a more relaxed holiday this year and that was SO very welcome.
There, honestly, has been a lot going on at our house these days. Not only did what we celebrate the holidays with my husband’s family, but my sister also got married this month too.
I am so excited to see the next chapter of her life unfold and got her this as a wedding gift to celebrate those new milestones with their new family members.
Isn’t that the best little gift?
I was also thankful to see my daughter’s thankful list this year (which then topped MY thankful list). Anyone with a teenage daughter knows how special these little things are right now.
Speaking of my sweet girl, we are celebrating her FOURTEENTH birthday this month.
Her birthday request was one of my diy chunky knit blankets.
I have a feeling another girl in our house would like this for a gift too.
This has also been my first time being a part of the annual holiday ball committee for our local Junior League and the festivities are happening this weekend.
Our theme is, “A Night in Emerald City,” and we are adorning each of the bouquets with paper poppies for the centerpieces. This is a sweet little nod to Dorothy’s nap in the flowers, in the film.
It was so fun to make these with our new members this year and I’m excited to lead the committee next year.
I have, definitely, learned a ton about event planning through this experience.
Before I share the happy list, I would also love to say a special thank you to each of you for doing your holiday shopping through our site this year.
Our family has appreciated your support so much and shopping our affiliate links helps us keep the lights on at MomAdvice.
Before we dig into my happy list, here is what made the cut on YOUR happy list for November!
Top Ten Most Visited Articles in November
- Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
- Gluten-Free Cake Mix Cookies
- How to Make a Blanket Scarf
- The Ultimate Make-Ahead Gravy Recipe
- 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
- Unique Gifts for the Man Who Has Everything
- The Best Kindle Book Deals (updated daily)
- DIY Chunky Knit Blanket (FREE Pattern)
- How to Make a Pom-Pom Wreath
- Unique Gifts for Kids of Any Age
Top Ten Most Purchased Items in November
- Neck LED Book Light for Kids
- Rocketbook Reusable Notebooks (we are obsessed over here!)
- Magnetic Wrist Bands
- Groopdealz Daily Deals (lots of UGG Gloves & YETI Tumblers for the holidays)
- Bluetooth Beanies for Men
- Smartphone Mini Projectors
- The Book Lover’s Journal
- Ticket Stub Diary
- Ew David Coffee Mugs
- Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager (I love this thing so much!)
Top Ten Amazon Purchases in November
- A Woman is No Man
- Facial Hair Remover for Women
- Fruit of the Drunken Tree
- CLOVER Pom Pom Maker
- Light Therapy Lamps
- Goodthreads Women’s Boucle Cardigan
- Thompson Tees
- Korean Skin Care Snail Repair Cream
- Beard Comb
- Stuffed Animal Storage Bean Bag Chair
My November Happy List Fun and Reviews
My New “Fauxse” Recipe
I don’t know the proper spelling for a fake rose, but I’m going to call my recipe the “Fauxse” fix that I needed to unwind with in the evening.
I’m trying to slow my roll with wine, but definitely crave a little something fun after a long day of work. That’s how I came up with this super easy recipe for a drink that seems to help me get my wine fix.
It is DELICIOUS and is a great way to hydrate. My husband says it is nothing like wine, but I think it works as a great alcohol-free option.
I always try to keep a roll of these electrolytes in my purse too, especially if I am going to be drinking.
Adding one of these tablets to a glass of water (or sparkling water) really helps reduce wine hangovers, especially during the fa-la-la season. (shop for Nuun Tablets)
You don’t need to be a big Dolly Parton fan to appreciate the new podcast, Dolly’s America. I did happen to be a huge fan though, but am learning SO much more about Dolly through the interviews that are within this podcast.
The big exploration of the podcast is how Dolly was able to rise to fame, when so few women in country were, and why she has such wide appeal with EVERYONE.
You could be a gay liberal or a religious conservative and show up to a lovely Dolly concert together because Dolly has an uncanny ability to find common ground among all her fans.
What is this magical quality and how do we unlock it when we ALL need it more than ever?
My husband and I have been listening to this one in the evenings and it is absolutely fascinating and such a great way to look at such a well-loved icon in country music.
I have gotten chills through moments, cried, and laughed through her incredible story.
I think you will love it too. (listen to the podcast)
If you haven’t heard me rave about my UGG rain boots, I am here to tell you that they are my FAVORITE rain boots. I have wide feet and these fit perfectly, with room to put on thicker socks.
It also has the cozy UGG insert (PSSST- even if you don’t have these boots, I bet you could add these cozy inserts to your current boots!!) so my feet are always warm.
These boot socks though REALLY make the boots adorable and I get more compliments on those than any other shoes I wear.
I wear them so much that they could probably stand on their own and walk themselves to the washer.
I’m also already bookmarking these adorable additions for a fun holiday gift to myself. Merry Christmas, to me!
When I was doing research on how to check out library books for free on your Kindle, I stumbled upon a resource for something that I didn’t know existed at our library.
Have you heard of Kanopy? The Kanopy app can be used through your phone, laptop, or even your Roku.
On Kanopy’s about page, this is how they define their service: “The films that truly resonate with us do more than just entertain. They inspire us, enrich us, and challenge our perspectives. Kanopy ensures that these films reach viewers around the world.”
If you love a good documentary or indie film, you can check out (up to) ten movies for free monthly with your library card.
A lot of the award-winning indie films don’t make it to my small town so this has been a dream come true to be able to stream so many great films that I would not have known about. (check out the free Kanopy app here)
Two Movies I Loved Through Kanopy
Of course, I can’t just tell you about the app, I wanted to share two great recommendations for you to stream!
Hearts Beat Loud
Single dad and record store owner Frank (Nick Offerman) is preparing to send his hard-working daughter Sam (Kiersey Clemons) off to college, while being forced to close his shop.
Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, Frank urges Sam to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into a father-daughter live act.
After their first song becomes an Internet breakout, the two embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery.
I find Nick Offerman to be incredibly charming and he plays this part in such a beautiful and vulnerable way that it made my eyes well up.
This beautifully shares how hard it is to let our children go off to college and also how hard it is for people to leave their loved ones behind to grow up.
This is just the sweetest story and I can see why it was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival & the SXSW Film Festival.
Tell It To the Bees
If you are looking for a beautiful historical fiction film, I absolutely loved, “Tell It To The Bees.”
In 1952 Dr. Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) returns to her Scottish hometown to take over her late father’s medical practice.
She soon becomes ostracized by the community when she begins a passionate romance with a young mother named Lydia (Holliday Grainger).
This movie is just BEAUTIFUL and the acting is incredible.
It is a coming-of-age story too for Lydia’s son. He has to decide who he must side with (his community or his mother) and they show these challenges in such a real way.
This was an Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival.
I do feel like I need to mention again how thankful I am for this happy light gadget, especially after the time switch!
Seasonal depression is no joke and the Midwest winters can be brutal on a girl’s happiness levels.
I bought a tabletop happy light that is supposed to help remedy the winter blues, give you more energy, and regulate those sleep cycles.
I read a lot of articles about it (I found this one to be really straightforward ) and it is recommended that the light should be 10,000 lux.
When browsing, you will find ones in a cheaper price bracket, but they aren’t offering the 10,000 lux that are recommended for effective treatment so I went for the big guns.
I use this for an hour in the morning with a good book and a tall cup of coffee.
It is super important to be consistent and so I aim for around the same time and duration each day.
I love that this is so small that it could be taken on trips, when we travel, and doesn’t take up a lot of storage in our home.
If you struggle with the seasonal blues or regulating those sleep cycles, this is a great low-risk drug-free investment to try!
The Book Table Clamp That Saves My Neck
I have been REALLY excited (and swamped) with screening all 12 of our book club selections for 2020.
That means, my head is in a book all day and that causes me a ton of neck and back issues.
You don’t need to be a book blogger to benefit from having your books at eye level.
Originally, I bought this book clamp (shown above) because I was having shoulder and hand issues. What I discovered though was the enormous relief there was when I didn’t have my head in a bent position to read.
The company took these off the market for awhile, but I’ve been faithfully checking to see if they brought it back because I get asked about it a lot.
LEVO carries two different varieties and it really depends on your budget and your own physical needs on which option works best for you.
I mention this today because this would make an incredible holiday gift to yourself.
I use it every dang day.
I recommend it for any power reader or anyone who struggles with holding a book or suffers from neck/back issues.
This is the more expensive version, but you can roll it. That’s really awesome if you are a senior or if you picture yourself walking it around your house and need the extra wheel help.
The less expensive version is this clamp stand. Keep in mind, this would be only for digital devices (like, if you read a lot on an iPad or Kindle). If you want to secure a printed book, you just buy this add-on (which is freaking amazing) and switch it out.
They both are amazing and have made a big difference in my reading life.
The Electric Kettle Makes The Whole Family’s Happy
Years ago, I got the opportunity to take a tour around Celestial Seasonings to share with our readers (have you been? you can read more here).
They gave us all electric kettles, as a gift, to brew our teas at home and I never realized how amazing it is to have hot water ready in seconds and to keep warm all day for tea and cocoa sipping.
It has also come in handy for a quick bowl of oatmeal or for a cup of noodles.
It feels downright luxurious to have hot water at the ready in the winter months.
They have a lot of varieties- just pick a model with good reviews and that fit your family budget.
Wouldn’t this make the best gift idea too? An electric kettle, a homemade drink mix, and a fun mug So easy and thoughtful!!
If you have any holiday events coming up, don’t forget to check thredUP for your fancy frocks. I scored an INCREDIBLE cocktail dress for $19.98…NO JOKE.
Here is my trick to finding EXACTLY what I need when shopping consignment through thredUP.
Search for Dresses and then narrow down your categories to what cuts fit you best and what length you are looking for. Select the type of dresses you need (Formal or Cocktail) and then you can even sort by color.
Also, this is my first stop for accessories. If you need a clutch, pretty jewels, or a new pair of dancing shoes, check here!
You have FOURTEEN days to return the items.
If you haven’t shopped before, this is where 90% of my wardrobe comes from. I feel good about giving these clothes a new home and I also love the savings. It’s a win for being eco-friendly and a win for my wallet too. Here is $10 to put toward your own holiday frocks.
A quick word on their return policy-
- As soon as you know that you are returning it, go ahead and get your return labels printed so you don’t forget.
- These items are used so read those descriptors carefully so you can reduce your returns. I look for items with tags, that say they look like new, or gently used. I also avoid dry cleaning because it will never happen- I have no time for one more errand.
- Make sure that no item you are getting says FINAL SALE. That means that you don’t have the option to return it if it doesn’t fit or ends up not being your style.
- They do charge a restocking fee ($1.99). They give you a full store credit if you return an item, or you can opt for a cash return, but they charge $8.99 to give you cash. Obviously, I always go with the store credit.
- If you receive multiple orders, you can condense your carbon footprint and just return everything in one box. No need to make it complicated.
If you are looking for a good movie to watch this weekend, I can’t recommend, “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” enough.
This movie is based on the truly transformative story of a woman who changes her life through running.
Brittany is down on her luck in every way- she’s broke, she surrounds herself with toxic people, and she sabotages her life with booze and food.
When a neighbor challenges her to join a running club, Brittany decides to train for the New York City Marathon.
She starts with just running around the block, but it builds into an INCREDIBLE transformation that no one (including herself) could ever expect.
She finds love and community through the hobby and it takes her on a path she never knew she could explore.
I can’t recommend this one enough- it was endearing, real, funny, and beautiful. This is available free through Prime!
My husband gifted me a Skillshare membership for Christmas one year and I can’t recommend it enough for giving as gifts (or as a gift to yourself).
This is an affordable way to take courses on anything you might be interested in.
I’ve taken classes on loom weaving, marketing courses, photography classes, how to take better Instagram photos, understanding SEO, and courses on home decorating.
I love to do these classes during my lunch hour.
It’s a great way to learn a skill and I love that I can do this from the comfort of my own home.
Here are two free months of a premium membership, if you would like to give this one a spin too. It would make such a fun stocking stuffer!
As we ramp up towards the next round of holiday fun, I have been working long hours at my desk. I decided to get one of these memory foam desk seat cushions for my office chair to see if it would help make these hours a tad easier on my body.
Not only does this make the seat more cushy, it also helps force your body into better alignment so that you don’t suffer from so much back pain after a day at the desk. I can’t believe the difference this makes in my posture and in how I feel after a long day of work.
This would make a great gift for anyone who has a desk job or as a gift to yourself to help your body feel better after a day of work. (shop it here)