While I am in full holiday mode online, I haven’t quite gotten there offline yet. I’m finishing up a few big projects then can focus more on holiday cheer around the house. I have been pumping out more gift guides for you that will be coming out over the next few weeks (later this week: gifts for grandparents) and am having more fun doing them this year than ever for some reason.
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week but here we are, folks. We will be at my cousin’s house for the holiday this year and I’m a little relieved to not be hosting again. It was fun but I’m good to do with ever other year. If you’re hosting or attending any Friendsgiving dinners, here are some recipes for you:
WHAT I’M READING & WATCHING
Ask Again Yes by Mary Beth Keane: I finished this book and loved every minute of it. It was one of those books that I didn’t want to finish because I didn’t want it to end.
The story starts by following two rookie NYPD cops who are also next door neighbors in upstate New York suburbs. It spans a timeline of 30 years and ends up focusing on their children who become friends… and more. Their families become entwined in all kinds of ways and if you love a family drama, you will love this book. It’s addictive and beautiful and feels very real.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus: I started this NY Times Bestseller and GMA Book Club Pick last week and am finding it a delight to read. Set in the 1960s, the book’s main character, Elizabeth Zott, is a chemist in a world full of men who think they can do the job better than she can. In a strange turn of events, 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 is fierce, funny, and not here to take crap from any man.
TV Shows –
The Vow, s2 (HBO Max): In the height of the pandemic I became absolutely obsessed with everything related to the cult, NXIVM. I listened to the podcast Escaping NXIVM, I watch season 1 of The Vow followed by Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult (Starz). Like many people I have an intense fascination with cults and this one takes the cake for one of the weirdest cult stories out there. Season 2 goes deeper into the story and even interviews one of the main leaders. Gah, I love it!
Shantaram (Apple TV+): Anel and I read this (very long) book 10 years ago and both got super into the story then the whole aftermath about how much of it was true or not. The series by the same name is just as nail-biting and intense as the book and Chris Hunnam is incredible in it. And not so hard to look at either
Lin, a heroin-addict, escapes from an Australian prison and runs away to Bombay to hide from the authorities. There, he embarks on the most epic of adventures after being robbed of his (fake) passport and all of his cash. He’s forced to live in the slums with a friend he makes on day one. In the slum, he sets up a free health clinic and life takes many twists and turns from there. It’s dark and romantic and scary and hopeful all at once.
White Lotus, s2 (HBO): I loved season one but am having a harder time getting into season 2, set in Italy, but I’ve only watched one episode, but I will report back once I get caught up.
I am not a Huberman Lab podcast listener but after listening to his episode on alcohol and what it does to your body, I’m interested in more of his work. Listening to this episode was eye opening and I dropped my jaw multiple times in the two hours it took to finish. I’ll write more about my experiment in sober curiosity for the last month this week or next but this podcast solidified my decision to drink a lot less.
5 THINGS I’M LOVING
1. Waterproof block-heel booties: These booties came in a Stitch Fix box that I got as part of an Instagram collaboration. I never would have picked them for myself but ended up opting to keep them because they’re cute and on-trend, very comfortable, and waterproof. You can see how I wore them last weekend here.
2. Ophelia & Indigo’s fall collection:I pretty much love everything that Lucy and Claire, the lovely founders of Ophelia & Indigo, create. If you missed my IG announcement, we are doing a small collection together in the spring that I cannot wait to share with you all! It’s so perfect and beautiful and so me! In the meantime, I’m vibing hard with their current collection, especially this top and this universally flattering dress , both of which I own.
If you’re new to the brand, read about their dedication to sustainability and their commitment to giving back. I couldn’t love this brand more if I tried. They gave me a code to share with you: LEMONSTRIPES10 for 10% off site-wide.
3. Family therapy sessions: Ok hear me out on this one… and I might write a full blog post about our experience after I have a little space from it. We were introduced to Matt through a friend of mine who said he completely changed her family’s dynamic.
We hired him because we were struggling with some regressions Amalia has been going through since she started Kindergarten that were affecting our parenting, our marriage, and our mental health in a big way. He has helped us not only overcome those regressions but has taught us a whole new protocol for parenting that is truly life-changing.
He’s definitely not a traditional therapist. He makes us laugh and swears like a sailor all while giving us the tips and confidence we need to become better parents. Our relationship to our kids has become even better since going through his program and I can’t recommend him enough.
PS if you’re not local he does all of his sessions virtually.
4. Night guard cleaning machine: I swear to you this list gets more and more embarrassing with every passing year but I’m willing to bet that many of you also wear a night guard (for teeth grinding) or retainer so you might like this rec as much as I do. If not, scroll on by and let’s pretend this never happened, k? But seriously, I’m so grossed out by the entire idea of the night guard, however I really do need it to avoid terrible jaw pain. This little handy dandy machine makes it 90% less gross to me because it cleans your night guard and any other mouth gadgets with just water… and UV and ultrasonic cleaning technology.
5. Our tartan holiday cards: Our holiday cards came out so cute this year. We ended up suing the photo above in this classic tartan template. It was not easy to get both kids to smile at once but somehow it happened. I love Luca’s hands in his sweet pose and the mischief behind Amalia’s eyes. Use code LEMONCARDS22 for 20% off your holiday card order + free upgrade to expedited shipping.
Photo by Julia Dags.