On the final Friday of each month, I take a look back at all the things I loved and put together this list of recommendations for you: the Friday Finale. It might include the best book I read, a particularly impressive recipe I tried, or the best thing I streamed this month. I hope these standout moments from my month inspire you to make some time for yourself looking forward!
ICYMI, I posted this bookish gift guide on Friday, which is why this Friday Finale post is a little late. November has a been a weird month to say the least! Election Week felt like it took an entire month all on its own, and with National Novel Writing Month taking up the rest of November, it feels like the month really did fly by.
Spencer and I spent Thanksgiving here in Cincinnati, and though we normally host both of our families for the holiday, it was just us this year. Spending the day away from family was difficult and strange, but it felt like the most responsible thing to do for all of us in this pandemic. A turkey-less Thanksgiving for two is a small price to pay to keep our loved ones safe.
Though it was a quiet month, there are a few things that stand out as being real joy-sparkers for me, and I thought I would share them with you below!
It’s the final day to score all of Deciem’s products for 23% off! I talked about their Knowvember sale and its anti-Black Friday message in this post of my favorites from The Ordinary, but I think it’s worth repeating.
Instead of promoting the rampant consumerism of Black Friday, Deciem wants its customers to make informed, conscious choices about their skincare. And that’s why they offer their “Knowvember” sale throughout the month except on Black Friday.
If you only buy two products from the Knowvember sale, I would recommend the Buffet peptide serum and the AHA/BHA chemical peel mask. I use the first one daily and the other weekly to keep my skin nourished and refreshed!
Another year, another planner! Though 2021 isn’t over yet, I always buy my planners in the fall. I like to be able to hold the brand-new year in my hands and start planning out all my work and blog content ahead of time. Last year, I got this version, which was compact enough to carry to meetings and very well-organized. (I even featured it in January’s Friday Finale!) This year, I already know that I’ll be working from home through March, so I wanted something with a little more room.
Enter the cupcakes & cashmere 8.5″ x 11″ Weekly/Monthly Wirebound Planner in Midnight Musk Floral. It has a clear pocket cover for keeping track of stray notes, a number of very cute stickers for marking up special days, and so much space. I like that it has large monthly calendars with enough space for making note of big events plus two-page weekly spreads with even more space for to-do lists and As a social media manager by day, blogger on nights and weekends, it’s big enough to keep all aspects of my life organized.
I’m currently still chugging away with NaNoWriMo. (Writer friends, I’d love to be your buddy!) It’s been pretty slow going, but the one thing that has helped me really dig in and concentrate during my writing periods is Noisli.
It’s an app and website that lets you mix together digital sounds to create specific background noise that you can work, write, or even relax to. The website-based experience is free, but it is limited to a certain number of sounds and you can only listen on desktop for a certain amount of time each day.
I haven’t used the Pro version, but I did purchase the iPhone app for $2.99. It has the same limited sounds as the free website version, but let’s me set timers, create and save unique noise mixes, and listen as long as you’d like. The noise mixes I’ve used frequently when writing this month are two that I mixed myself:
- Rainy Town – a mix of heavy rain, cafe ambience, and the rumble of trains going over tracks.
- Nighttime – a mix of wind, fire crackling in a fireplace, and nights sounds like crickets chirping.
- Castle – a mix of wind, a crackling fire, and the occasional echo of water droplets.
If you find that your music playlists aren’t cutting it for you–even my instrumental scores weren’t working for me–then I would highly recommend giving Noisli a try!
This one was a late add. I decided to watch the new folklore studio sessions documentary yesterday morning, in the hopes that it would inspire me to finish the 12,000+ words left to do for NaNoWriMo. It ended up being a great way to finish out a relaxing holiday weekend!
I’ve already shared about how much I love Taylor Swift’s eighth album, folklore, so it will come as no surprise that I found this documentary delightful! There were little bits of trivia and explanation from T-Swift, Aaron Dessner, and Jack Antonoff, but mostly, it was just recorded studio sessions of every song on this beautiful album. (I still hold that there are zero skip songs!) I would totally recommend that fellow Swifties block off an hour and forty-five minutes to watch it on Disney+.
It’s almost December! Who else is ready to say goodbye to 2020?
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my bookish gift guide for literary tees, mugs, and more!