My Current Thoughts and Ponderings…

Welcome to December, everyone! I feel like the start of December is always an exciting time, don’t you think?

Well, for one, my birthday starts off the month, which definitely helps a little. :) But it’s also the start of much anticipation and hopefulness for the coming holiday and all that it entails. I hope you’re finding time amongst the busyness to step back and enjoy the little moments.

Saturday, being my birthday, I intentionally did just that. The entire day was a day of rest and relaxation, but the end of the day was what I treasured most. Philip and I ended the night by sitting in front of the Christmas tree, staring into the sparkling lights, and simply enjoying the quiet time shared together. I’m hoping we have several more scattered moments like that again in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas.

While we did plenty of thinking and dreaming in front of the Christmas lights (those lights are enchanting, I swear!), I’ve had my own share of ponderings, thoughts, and (too many) purchases recently. I thought it would be the perfect time for another round of my current thoughts and ponderings! Actually, my last “true” thoughts and ponderings was almost a year ago (how did that happen?!) and it was so fun to see what I was wanting and thinking about a year ago. It’s safe to say many of the things I loved then are still some of my favorite items today! So, without further ado, here we go…

Right now I’m… 

Staying warm in: This parka. Fjallraven, a Swedish outerwear company, is having a moment here in the US. And I can’t say I’m disappointed about it. This parka immediately caught my eye for it’s warmth factor, but also it’s tasteful style. I love that it’s longer than my ski coat, too; just having my thighs and bum covered helps so much when the temps start to dip into the single digits. A splurge, but well worth the investment!

Keeping my hands stylish and warm in: These cozy mittensOf course, with a new coat, comes new accessories. ;) I don’t know about you, but gloves just don’t seem to keep my fingers warm. I only wear mittens while running now and I wanted to make the transition to mittens from gloves for my everyday wear, too. Since mittens do make it hard to do much with your fingers, these mittens were the perfect compromise. And the best part?! My hands and fingers really do stay nice and toasty as I go in and out for errands and work. If we’re going to have winter for 5 months, I may as well look stylish and be warm in the meantime. :)

Staying clean with: Boie USA Body ScrubberI blame Instagram ads for this one. It was a complete impulse buy, but it’s been fun to try out. I always wondered how clean those loofas really are, and turns out they can harbor a lot of bacteria. These body scrubbers are antimicrobial (because of embedded silver in the material…is it just me, or does everything have silver added to it these days?!) and are really great at exfoliating your skin. So fresh and so clean clean! :)

Reducing my use of plastic with: These reusable storage bagsLately I’ve been consciously more aware of how much plastic I use. And I’m not a fan. I know I’m just one person, but it only takes one person to start making a difference on the environment, right?! I’m not saying I’m going to completely eliminate plastic in my life (at least not right now), but I feel like these bags are one step in the right direction.

Reading: Anne of Green Gables seriesClassic! How many of you have read and loved Anne of Green Gables? I actually didn’t read any of the books until I was in grad school when I read through the entire series on the bus to and from campus. I absolutely love Lucy Montgomery’s writing and all the trials and tribulations that Anne finds herself in. And perhaps it’s because I also have red hair and spell my middle name Anne with an E that makes me feel like a kindred spirit to her. ;)

Falling for targeted Instagram ads with: This amazing underwearDarnit, Instagram! You did it again. But I will say, this Tommy John’s underwear lives up to it’s claim: No visible panty line, non-pilling, and a no-feel feeling. It’s a miracle! It took a couple tries to get the right kind, but this company also has a great return/exchange policy for your first pair, which made it a breeze. Plus, I was able to gift the one that didn’t work to a friend…you know you’re close friends when you can give undies to one another. :)

Drooling over: Tartine Book No. 3Last year for Christmas I received my first Tartine Bread cookbook as my first introduction into making sourdough bread. I’ve now made several batches of sourdough bread in the past year (Philip isn’t complaining) and have successfully kept my starter alive for almost a year now! #dedication Because my love for making bread hasn’t subsided and has probably only grown over the past year, I was so excited to get this new cookbook for my birthday. It focuses on using a whole host of different whole and ancient grains as variations to the original sourdough country bread.

Starting a new Christmas tradition with: This Advent Devotional. Last year Philip and I decided to start the tradition of reading The Christmas Carol aloud together in the days leading up to Christmas. We’re continuing that tradition again this year, but we decided to add one more thing to our evening reading. My hope is that this daily Advent devotional will help us turn our attention away from all the gifts and parties and commercialism of the holiday and instead turn towards quieting our hearts and slowing down to reflect on this Advent season. It’s only been a couple days and I can already tell it’s going to be a good addition to our yearly holiday traditions.

Thinking about trying: Eczema HoneyAt the slightest turn of winter, my hands immediately get cracked, dry, and so very unpleasant. Whether it’s the swimming I do or my fair, sensitive skin (or—most likely—a combination of the two), I’ve also started to get patches of itchy skin all over my back and stomach that return every winter. I’ve seen this advertised and it seems to be a miracle cream. Have you tried it? Does it work? Because lotion just isn’t cutting it for me anymore.

Listening to: AudibleI’m not usually a “books on tape” kind of person, but recently I took a 6-hour solo road trip and I’m not sure how I’ve made that trip before without it! It made the trip go by so much more quickly! The first month is free (which, to be honest, I cancelled the subscription once my one-month was over), but whenever I have a long trip again, I think I’m hooked! I listened to Girl, Wash Your Face and it was an easy book to listen to that I could finish in just one trip.

That’s all I’ve got! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’ve been loving recently, if you’ve tried out some of these same things, or what Instagram ads you’ve fallen for recently. :)