Thanksgiving 2020

Today I’m sharing a recap of my Thanksgiving weekend.

This past long weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada. Yesterday was a stat holiday so I took the day off from blogging too. Today I’m back at it with a look at how I spent the weekend.

My brother and I had come up with the idea to order food from a local brewery for Thanksgiving dinner instead of cooking this year. We decided that we’d eat on Saturday, so on Friday I was busy getting the Thanksgiving table set up in the dining room. My parents got those dishes as a wedding gift and they’ve always been considered the “fancy dishes” that we use during holiday meals – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.

We got out food from Prairie Dog Brewing. We almost ordered from them for my dad’s birthday over the summer. My brother had eaten there before for a friend’s birthday and said that the food was really good. My boyfriend has also gotten their brisket and said that it was delicious. I was also up for the barbecue for Thanksgiving so it was an easy choice to make.

We ended up getting one of their platters. We were able to get a little bit of everything which was great because we all got to find out favorites. Everything was really good – even considering I’m not a huge meat person. My favorites were the smoked chicken, pastrami, and apple slaw. It was also really nice to not have to cook. Since the platter included so much food we also had a good amount of leftovers. Part of having a big holiday meal is being able to take advantage of leftovers, so we were all happy about being able to enjoy the leftovers since Saturday.

Sunday morning definitely felt like fall while I was out getting some errands done. The days are getting shorter – the sun is coming up later and it’s setting earlier. It was chilly at 9 am before the sun had a chance to warm up the air. We’ve had such a nice fall here in Calgary this year. Most years it feels like the weather goes straight from summer to winter with little to no transition in between. Thankfully that hasn’t been the case this year.

Fall is definitely my favorite time of year when it comes to clothing. I’m all about the darker, more saturated colors, the layers, and all things cozy. Sunday I wore a herringbone vest (affiliate link), chambray shirt (affiliate link), black bootcut jeans (affiliate link), camel flats (affiliate link), and a layered pearl necklace (affiliate link). Most of those things will take you to similar items because I bought most pieces of the outfit over the last year or two.

My brother and I were able to have a couple friends over in the backyard for a socially distanced get together. It was so nice to be able to see them (they’re a brother and sister pair too!) and catch up while also staying safe. I’ve definitely missed being able to see people since the pandemic started back in March, but I’m glad that we’re starting to be able to spend time with people again while still doing it safely. It definitely looks different than it did before, but we’re making it work. Instead of playing some board games like we would have before we all had our own lawn chairs spread out in the backyard while we were bundled up in coats and blankets.

Since Monday was a stat holiday I spent some time with my boyfriend and his bulldog, Winston. While we’re still not spending as much time together as we did pre-pandemic it always makes me happy to be able to see them. It makes you realize how much I took for granted being able to see them whenever I wanted before. We walked Winston and then watched a documentary on Netflix about Dolly Parton.

I also spent some time this weekend reading Who Do You Love (affiliate link) by Jennifer Weiner. The more I read of it the more I’m really enjoying it. Jennifer Weiner is a favorite author of mine so I was pretty sure that I would like Who Do You Love.

If you’re in Canada did you celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend? What was the highlight of your weekend?

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

Halloween Movies

Today I’m sharing my top 10 Halloween movies and TV shows.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already October. Thanksgiving for those of us who live in Canada is this weekend. Halloween is in just a few short weeks. It feels like fall is flying by this year. Today I thought I would share some of my favorite Halloween themed movies and TV shows. Bad 80’s horror movies are some of my favorite to watch at this time of year. It’s hard to go wrong with their cheesiness. Of you’re looking for some creepy recommendations, be sure to read on. You can also find some of my favorite Netflix recommendations here.

The Haunting of Hill House movie (1963)

My all time favorite horror movie is The Haunting of Hill House. There was a remake in the 90’s with Catherine Zeta Jones which wasn’t nearly as good as the original. It’s based on a novel by Shirley Jackson which is just as creepy as the 1963 movie. If you like being scared while watching movies I highly recommend this one.

The Haunting of Hill House Netflix TV show (2018)

Did anyone else love this show as much as I did? It’s loosely based on Shirly Jackson’s novel, but takes the story of the haunted house in it’s own direction. The storytelling was great and I really liked that the paid homage to the original.

The Exorcist (1973)

Another Halloween classic scary movie is The Exorcist. Somehow I didn’t watch it until I was in my 20’s. I was thoroughly scared when I finally did watch it. I think just about everyone recognizes the music and the staircase scene. They’re pretty iconic.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you’ll know that I’m a big Harry Potter fan. My list of Halloween movies wouldn’t be complete without some Harry Potter on it. Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favorite movies in the series. Sirius Black is introduced for the first time in this movie. He’s one of my favorite characters.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

I knew that I couldn’t pick just one Harry Potter movie to have on this list, so I also decided to add Order of the Phoenix. There’s two really good fight scenes at the end of this movie. One of them breaks my heart every single time I watch it. I don’t want to give too much away just in case you haven’t watched it (and you should – it’s so good!), so I won’t share any more details.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

I’m probably aging myself here, but when The Blair Witch Project came out when I was in high school it was super popular. The first time I watched it I was really creeped out by the ending. There were definitely moments throughout the movie that were scary, but it was the ending that got me. While it’s definitely not as creepy after you see it the first time, it’s still a great movie to watch to get you in the Halloween mood.

Psycho (1960)

I think just about everyone has seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It’s a classic horror movie with so many iconic scenes in it. This is another one that I didn’t watch until my 20’s. There were so many pop culture references to it that I just didn’t get before I watched it. If you’re not in the mood for Psycho, I also recommend Rope and Rear Window which are also by Hitchcock.

Halloween 1 (1978)

This is the movie that started Jamie Lee Curtis’ acting career. It’s my all time favorite horror movie. It’s over the top cheesy while also being a bit scary in parts. It was made during the height of 70’s and 80’s slasher movies so there’s lots of characters that are killed off.

Halloween 2 (1981)

I couldn’t just have the first movie on this list and not include the second one. Halloween 2 starts right now Halloween 1 ends – the same night. I feel like if you’re going to watch the first one then you also have to watch the second one – it’s a continuation of the story. Jamie Lee Curtis is also in this one.

Friday the 13th (1980)

Another cheesy 80’s horror movie, and the last one on my list, is Friday the 13th. My favorite one of the Friday the 13th franchise will always be the first one. There’s a ton of sequels (more than 10 now), and each one gets a big more far fetched. There’s even one with Jason in space!

What’s your favorite Halloween themed movie or TV show? Share it in the comments below.

Books I’m Loving: October 2020

Today I thought I’d share some books that I’ve really enjoyed reading over the last few months. Now that the weather is changing and it’s getting to feel like fall, it’s the perfect time to spend some time on the couch under a blanket reading a good book. Be sure to share a book or two that you’ve enjoyed in the comments at the end of this post. I love hearing what other people are reading. You can find all of the books I’ve read on my books page.

The Herd by Andrea Bartz

I don’t know why I don’t read mysteries more often because I really do enjoy them when I read them. That was especially true of The Herd (affiliate link) by Andrea Bartz. I always try to figure out the ending before I read it. Sometimes I’m able to, but I wasn’t with The Herd. I didn’t see the ending coming at all. If you’re looking for a mystery with lots of female characters, be sure to check out The Herd.

Here’s the synopsis from Good Reads:

The name of the elite, women-only coworking space stretches across the wall behind the check-in desk: THE HERD, the H-E-R always in purple. In-the-know New Yorkers crawl over each other to apply for membership to this community that prides itself on mentorship and empowerment. Among the hopefuls is Katie Bradley, who’s just returned from the Midwest after a stint of book research blew up in her face. Luckily, Katie has an in, thanks to her sister Hana, an original Herder and the best friend of Eleanor Walsh, its charismatic founder.

As head of PR, Hana is working around the clock in preparation for a huge announcement from Eleanor—one that would change the trajectory of The Herd forever.

Then, on the night of the glitzy Herd news conference, Eleanor vanishes without a trace. Everybody has a theory about what made Eleanor run, but when the police suggest foul play, everyone is a suspect.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

I’m a big fan of Jennifer Weiner’s books. I think Mrs. Everything (affiliate link) is one of my favorites of hers. It follows the story of one family – specifically two sisters are they grow up, lose family members, deal with some really tough situations as teens, and even start families and businesses of their own. I really enjoyed getting to know J and Bethie throughout their lives, how they changed as life threw different things in their paths. If you also enjoy Jennifer Weiner’s books I think you’ll really like this one too.

Below is the description of Mrs. Everything:

Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

The Institute by Stephen King

I’m a huge fan of Stephen King. I’ve been reading his books for nearly 20 years now. I had The Institute (affiliate link) on hold at the library for a long time before I was able to borrow it. It was so worth the wait! It was a long book, even for me, but I had a hard time putting it down. I was drawn into the story right from the beginning. To be completely honest I was a bit skeptical when I realized that quite a few of the main characters were kids. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a book that had a bunch of kids as main characters, but I was pleasantly surprised. I ended up really enjoying their characters the most out of all of them.

Here’s the description of The Institute:

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

If you’re a fan of Stephen King books and the world’s that he creates, I highly recommend The Institute. It’s one of those books that stays with you. I’m still thinking about it months after I finished reading it.

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics (affiliate link) is the only non-fiction book that made it onto my list of favorites this time around. While I definitely enjoy fiction books for the most part, every once in awhile I like to pick up non-fiction. Since I started meditating regularly a few years ago, I’ve been wanting to learn more of the science behind why it works. If you’re on the fence about starting to meditate – or even a meditation pro – I’m willing to bed that you’ll learn something from reading Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.

Dan Harris provides a lot of the science behind why meditation works as well as practical tips and exercises to try. It’s easy for a topic like meditation to get very “woo woo”, but Dan doesn’t get like that at all. I think he’s very similar to me and avoids the woo woo stuff as much as I do. He explains mediation in a very straight forward way that made a lot of sense to me.

What’s the last book you read that you really enjoyed? Leave it in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

Weekend Highlights: Perfect Fall Edition

This weekend was the most perfect few days of fall. Autumn tends to be short here in Calgary – summer turns into winter quicker than I would like most years. In fact a year ago we were dealing with a ton of snow! I’m very grateful that we’re able to enjoy a fall this year. The weather has been perfect. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy the transition from the long, hot summer days to the shorter, cooler ones before winter arrives.

Like I mentioned on Friday, I didn’t have much planned this weekend. I did all of my usual weekend stuff like cleaning and picking up groceries – the stuff that has to get done on the weekend so that the upcoming week goes smoothly.

On Saturday afternoon I headed downtown to join my boyfriend and his dog for a walk. It was really nice to be able to spend time with them while enjoying the nice weather. Winston was definitely tired by the time we finished the walk so it was a success! I read somewhere that a tired puppy is a happy puppy, and I think the same thing applies to all dogs, even when they’re not puppies anymore. They’re less likely to get themselves in trouble if they don’t have a ton of extra energy.

I had Who Do You Love (affiliate link) by Jennifer Weiner on hold at my library and I finally got to the top of the list and was able to download the ebook over the weekend. I’m only about 100 pages into it, but I’m enjoying it so far. The two main characters are pretty interesting so I’m looking forward to reading more. I really enjoy Jennifer’s books so I’m hoping this one will be good too.

In addition to reading, I also spent some time on the couch watching TV this weekend. My two go-to shows right now and The Vampire Diaries and Golden Girls. They’re both on Prime here in Canada. I had started watching The Vampire Diaries a few years ago when it was on Netflix, but it went away before I was able to finish the series. I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish it this time around. I’m thoroughly enjoying Golden Girls too. The episodes are the perfect length, don’t require a lot of brain power to watch, and of course they make me laugh. Who knew that 4 women who were significantly older than me would be so relatable?

And of course I had to spend some time outdoors yesterday to enjoy the perfect fall weather. I’m very grateful that I have a backyard that I can take advantage of. With staying at home so much the past 6 or 7 months the backyard has become an essential thing for me to enjoy. Having some outdoor space that I don’t have to share with anyone outside of my household has been such a treat.

Does it feel like fall where you live?

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

Friday Favorites: Hoodies and Nail Polish

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite things from the past week.

Was this a long week for anyone else? I had a couple appointments scheduled and it felt like I was done after them each day. Does that happen to anyone else after appointments that they’re stressed about? Needless to say, I’m glad that they’re done! Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite things. Leave one of yours in the comments below.

The last time I was at Costco I bought a new hoodie. I’m always cold, so I figured it would be nice to wear around the house now that the colder weather has started. It’s super comfy and I love the higher neckline. It feels extra cozy with the thumb holes in the cuffs too.

I used to be a knitter 10 or 12 years ago. I had a couple friends that I would meet up with every week or so. We’d get together at a coffee shop and knit. I slowly started knitting less and less and I didn’t knit at all for years. Over the summer my therapist suggested I find a hobby to help me deal with anxiety. I immediately thought of knitting since I still had a bunch of yarn and needles.

Since then I’ve been knitting a little bit each day. My most recent project was a cabled scarf. I really like how it turned out. It was a new to me pattern but once I went through the cable pattern a few times it was pretty easy to get it down. It was easy enough to knit while I was watching Netflix but also kept my mind busy enough to keep myself distracted from the anxious thoughts. I just started a pair of pink mittens.

This week I put on my newest nail polish for the first time – Off Topic (affiliate link) by Essie. It’s the perfect deep, dark forest green shade for fall. I usually gravitate towards the darker colors, so it’s perfect for this time of year. Before I applied Off Topic I started off with a coat of base coat (affiliate link). I know it’s an extra step but I really do notice a difference when I take the time to use it. My nail polish goes on better and it chips less.

I don’t have much planned for the weekend, though it’s kind of nice to know that I don’t have any commitments other than picking up my grocery order on Sunday morning. I’ll probably end up watching some Netflix, knitting, and spending time outside. Do you have anything fun planned?

What’s your favorite piece of clothing from Costco? Do you have any hobbies that help with anxiety or stress?

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it.