I'll be the first to admit, I am usually an enthusiastic Christmas begins on November 1st kinda gal. But this November, I am just not there yet. It may be the balmy 70 degree temps we are currently enjoying in KC or it could be the fact that I've felt distracted by health things the past few months...but regardless I am not quite ready to let go of fall just yet. I want to soak in the cooler temps and the bonfires and the changing leaves and the pumpkin bread just a little bit longer. The Christmas Spirit will come and I'm excited when it does, but for now I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful to sit with fall a bit longer.
a book to read
In October we read The Wind and the Willow and overall it was a HUGE success. I'll be honest, when I read it aloud, I wasn't a huge fan, but my kiddos are enamored with the story. It's led to some great convos about virtue - Why do you think Toad is so boastful? What qualities of a friend do you see in Rat and Mole? - and it is really sweet to see their minds and their hearts processing deeper ideas about character. We finished the book right before my surgery and so we spent the week I was recovering watching the BBC stop-motion version. Guys...fair warning...it's kinda odd...but again my kids love it. It is slow moving and dated, but I am not exaggerating when I say we have watched it probably 15 times in the last week. We have all the songs memorized and enjoy belting out "when the toad came home" at the top of our lungs. What fun!
Our book for November is The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo. We are about 1/3 of the way through and it is so stinking cute. My son loves a good hero story and my daughter is in her princess era...so this book fits the bill in a really rich way. We are already planning our movie night once we are finished, complete with an epic soup night (iykyk).
the soundtrack of the season
There is a playlist on Spotify called "Autumn in New York" and it is November gold. It is basically a compilation of the soundtracks from every Meg Ryan movie and while it isn't Christmas, it leans festive and is gives the perfect vibe for family dinner or painting in the studio.
food to savor
I notoriously NEVER follow recipes, but that has me in a bit of a rut...so I am forcing myself to cook a new soup each week from a recipe. I'm calling it "Souper Tuesday" because I'm ridiculous and branding something makes me do it.
Here is the weekly rotation we are aiming for in November:
Monday; Mexi-Monday (tacos, enchiladas)
Tuesday; Souper Tuesday (I am trying this one this week)
Wednesday: Nugget Night (I am gone for Wednesday night dinners, so the fam does nuggets in the air fryer)
Thursday: Sheet Pan/Bowls (Cook everything on one pan and serve over rice)
Friday: Pizza Picnic/Movie Night
Saturday: Out/Social Night
Sunday: Sabbath Dinner
This weekend is "winterize the outdoors" weekend. The weather is supposed to be lovely so we are taking advantage and preparing the outdoor spaces for winter - cleaning out garden beds, trimming back plants, bringing in rugs....and most likely convincing my husband to play Clark Griswold and hang Christmas lights!
All my hydrangeas have browned and so yesterday I went on a a clipping spree to save the brown blooms. They are my absolute favorite to decorate with! I clipped about three dozen blooms and have them hanging in the garage to fully dry out.
One other project I want to tackle is setting up a little coffee/tea/hot chocolate bar for our family! I am pulling some other appliances off the counter and making space for the things we use daily...like our electric tea kettle. I am excited to have a more thoughtfully designated space for our winter bevs!
Oh and I still need to finish the wallpaper - ha! It's still out of stock so there is my excuse!
memories to make
Thanksgiving! We are headed to the lake to spend some extended time with my family and I could not be more excited. It has been a hard fall for everyone and never have I craved time with my sister more! My sister is an incredibly talented ceramicist and has a pottery wheel at the lake house so I am hoping she can teach me how to make something....maybe mugs for the coffee bar!
in the studio
Christmas for a small business owner is MADNESS...and usually I am running around like a crazy person this time of year, but friends, I just don't have it in me. This fall has zapped so much of my creative energy and while I do have many paintings and products to share, doing all the normal things I would to market that work feels exhausting.
That being said, it mean more than you know when you support my studio! Whether that is sharing my work with a friend, liking a post on Instagram, or making a purchase...that display of enthusiasm means the world, especially in a season that has felt quiet.
If you are already in the Christmas spirit and are starting to knock out some shopping, I hope you might consider gifting a hand-painted ornament, a modern landscape stationery set, or even an original painting in a second chance frame. I am planning to run a Black Friday Discount beginning next week, but as a thank you for reading this post and supporting my studio, use code BlackFriday23 for 20% off everything on my site.
Cheers to meaningful work that celebrates home!