Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

Hello, heroines! Welcome to my latest series, the Friday Finale. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a series here on the blog. There was Something Blue about all things budget wedding planning and the incredibly inventive Seven On… in which I discussed seven aspects of one topic.

Now that I’m back to posting consistently, I thought it made sense to create a new monthly something to share with you all. And so the Friday Finale was born!

On the last Friday of each month, I’ll write about things I’ve loved from the month that haven’t found their way to the blog yet. Books, articles, experiences, songs; anything that doesn’t quite warrant an entire blog post but feels important, cool, or poignant enough to share with you. Let’s jump right in!

At the very beginning of the month, Spencer and I found ourselves back in Georgia to celebrate the nikkah of our friends Jose and Mahalia. I had never attended a Muslim ceremony before and so was insanely excited not only to see our friends take the first step on their marriage journey, but to experience something completely new. It was also a perfect excuse to buy a new dress to celebrate the occasion (because I owned nothing that covered my body from wrist to ankle!), and I ended up resembling the Regency heroine of my dreams (because empire waists).

The ceremony was short but momentous, the dinner the next night was delicious with the sweetest, most buttery naan I’ve ever had in my life, and then the unimaginable happened: we got to spend a few hours with the bride and groom! During their wedding weekend! I know. Overall, I feel very fortunate to have been a part of a such a significant moment in our friends’ lives!

I was that kid who loved school and treated August like the most exciting time of the year. There was nothing that compared with opening up a new planner and organizing every aspect of my life. Now that I manage social media for a living, my planning system is even more important, and I always rely on Moleskine’s 12-month large daily planner.

In the past, the limited edition themes have included Alice in Wonderland and the Peanuts. This year, it was even more exciting because they had Harry Potter-themed planners. I’ll be rocking this one for the next twelve months, and I couldn’t be more into it. (In case you didn’t know, I’m quite a big fan of HP.)

For the last two years, I’ve participated in a Goodreads challenge with two of my coworkers. We all read regularly and then come together at the beginning of each month to check our page totals. Two years ago I came in second; last year I trailed miserably behind. But, I have met my book goal each year, so I can’t get too down on myself about it!

To mix it up a bit, we all decided to read one book together this year, and luckily we chose All The Light We Cannot See because it was fantastic. The novel so skillfully navigates between different points of view and time period, and it handles the idea of World War II in a completely new and poignant way. I cannot recommend it more.

In a very, very, very loose way, I tried out Sugar Free January with Lindsay from Pinch of Yum this year. No, I didn’t follow it super strictly during the two weekends we had weddings, but otherwise I tried my very hardest to cut out all added sugars and refined grains.

I love taking soup for lunch during the winter months, so that’s what I did throughout January. Lindsay has a great variety of sugar-free soups that are chock full of veggies and are filling enough to hold me over until dinner. Some of my favorites are her Golden Soup (turmeric and cauliflower, yum), Spicy Carrot Soup (that I did not do in the Instant Pot because do we all really need another kitchen appliance to take up counter space?), and the Creamy Potato Kale Soup. Whether you’re going sugar-free or not, make these soups and you won’t be sorry!

I wasn’t really expecting to have five items in this list, but I just had to add Sex Education here at the end. I watched all eight episodes last week on Netflix, and I’ve already checked to see if it’s been greenlit for a second season. Sex Education is a bit like a John Hughes movie meets Skins, and I absolutely adored it.

I laughed, and I cried, and I said, “Oh wow, Netflix isn’t playing around with this explicit stuff.” But really, the characters are really lovely and well-developed, and I felt myself really connecting with all of them, even some secondary ones. I would completely recommend the series, and with only eight episodes, it’s not a huge undertaking. Do yourself a favor and go watch Sex Education!

And that’s the new and the notable about my January! What was the biggest highlight of your month?

P.S. I began the year with a look back at 2018 and a look forward to some of my goals for the new year, in case a little context would do you some good!

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Friday Finale: My first nikkah ceremony and a little Harry Potter in my work life | An Aspiring Heroine

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