It’s the last Friday before Christmas and the second last Friday of 2019! I can’t believe that this year is almost over already. 2020 will be here before I know it. Since I skipped it last week, I wanted to make sure that I got a Friday Favorites post up today.

But first, here’s what I did in the gym yesterday:

I was back at the weightlifting yesterday and took a Group Power class at my gym. It was a very full class which is always nice to see. One class I took earlier this week only had 10 or 12 people in it, but I think this class was to capacity at 40 people. It makes me happy to see so many people spending time being active and de-stressing – especially as Christmas can be a really stressful and tough time of year for some people.

I lifted my usual weights for the lower body tracks (squats, lunges, and deadlifts), but I decided to go a bit lighter with the upper body movements, especially the hang cleans and overhead presses. I must have slept funny last night because I woke up with a shoulder/upper back that didn’t feel right. I’m thinking it’s one of my rhomboids on the left side, but who knows. I thought that it would be smart to take it easy and not over do it. I’m hoping that it’s just that I slept weird and it’s feeling better today and my workouts will be back to normal.

And now onto my favorite things this week!

Chili Pasta recipe

I made a favorite cold weather recipe of mine this week for dinner – chili pasta. I don’t think I’ve made it since last winter, so it tasted extra good since it’s been such a long time since I last ate it.

It’s super easy to make and only uses one pan so clean up afterwards is a breeze. There’s nothing worse than making a delicious meal and then looking around the kitchen and realizing how much there is to clean up. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples too, so you most likely have quite a few of the ingredients already (black and red beans, macaroni, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and frozen corn).

If you’re craving some warm comfort food that will fill you up and keep you satisfied, be sure to try Budget Bytes’ chili pasta recipe.

Know My Name

I had Know My Name (affiliate link) on hold at the library and this week I was able to borrow it. I knew that it was going to be tough to read (because of the content, not the writing), and I was right Chanel takes you through was it was like to be a survivor of sexual assault. I’m only about 100 pages into it so far, but there’s already been times where I’m just awestruck at how she was treated and how the world at large reacted to the sexual assault – from downplaying the sexual assault to the perpetrator only being sentenced to 3 months of incarceration.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

Christmas playlists on Spotify

I’m all about the Christmas music these days. Somehow I’m not sick of it yet even though it’s playing in just about every single store that I go in. I have a subscription to Spotify premium so I’m able to stream and download as much holiday music as I want.

My favorite playlists of Christmas music are Classic Christmas Songs, Christmas Classics, and Christmas, a playlist that I put together of my favorite songs. I’m also been enjoying a couple of the Pentatonix albums (That’s Christmas to Me and A Pentatonix Christmas) as well as Josh Groban’s Noel. Josh Groban has the most amazing voice. I’m clearly a fan of Christmas music!

The Boy Band Con

Last week I got sucked into watching The Boy Band Con on YouTube. It’s a documentary about Lou Perlman, the man behind the Backstreet Boys, Nsync, O-Town, LFO, and a few other 90’s and 2000’s bands. I was definitely into boy bands back in the day as a teen. My favorite one was definitely the Backstreet Boys, though Nsync was a close second. I remember watching the O-Town reality show when it was on TV.

I had heard rumblings of how Lou hadn’t been up front with the bands that he’d worked with and that he’d stolen money from them, but I had no idea how bad it actually was. He ended up in prison and died there back in 2016.

Danish butter cookies

I haven’t done any Christmas baking yet this year (and I’m not honestly sure if it’s going to happen at all this year), but I am happy to say that I finally found a tin (actually two) of Danish butter cookies!

They’re probably my favorite bought cookies that I always get during the holidays. For some reason they were harder to find this year, and I was only able to find the store brand ones. I’m happy I managed to get my hands one some. I wrapped one tin up so that it could be opened on Christmas and I left one out to enjoy now. I know that if I had left them both out they’d probably both be gone by the time Christmas got here. I have zero self control around them.

What’s your favorite cold weather comfort food? Treat you only have at during the holidays? Christmas album?

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Friday Favorites