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!
And just like that, it’s the end of February! It’s been a cold, gloomy month here in Cincinnati, but there have been some bright moments, too.
I linked up with Brita twice for the 2020 Love Blog Challenge: one is a gif-filled tribute to all my favorite fictional couples, and the other is a list of the most romantic places I’ve had the pleasure to visit.
We kicked off the annual ArtsWave campaign at work. I’m a YP Influencer for ArtsWave this year, which means I get to help run our corporate campaign and support the amazing arts organizations in the greater Cincinnati area. If you’re a Cincy native, consider making a donation to our community campaign for the arts — the first and largest in the U.S.
Alright, it’s about time to jump into the best of February, wouldn’t you say? Let’s do it.
Remember last year when I was super gung-ho about the KonMari method and cleaning out my closet? Well, I’m just now getting around to actually doing something with all the clothing I decided doesn’t give me joy anymore. Whoops…
I’ll likely do a full blog post about my methods for getting rid of unwanted clothing. For right now, just know that the older, obviously used clothing gets donated to Goodwill. The gently used, “young” pieces (looking at you, college staples from Forever 21!) get sold to my local Plato’s Closet. And the rest goes to thredUP.
I’ve blogged about thredUP before, and I’ve had some good success with selling pieces back to them. They have high standards for the brands they accept and the condition of the pieces they sell, which means everything you buy from them is in tip-top shape. Plus, they make the whole process super easy. You can request a bag that you then fill with all your gently used clothing and schedule a USPS pickup. Then, voila! Your pieces are either accepted and sold over a period of weeks, or rejected and upcycled responsibly or sent back to you (for a fee).
Looking to sell to thredUP? Use this link to automatically receive $10 to spend with your first Clean Out Kit.
For my friend Corrie, February is known as Soupruary. For the last decade, she has blogged and souped her way through all 28 days. An impressive feat and a delicious prospect for the people in her life!
This year, I decided to do a little nod to Soupruary and include soup in my weekly meal prep. My work lunches were yummy, a little healthier than usual, and the perfect temperature for chilly Cincinnati winters. My favorites from the month include Tieghan‘s Curried Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Soup, this Creamy Parm Tomato Soup from Delish, and Corrie’s own Curried Succotash Chowder.
If you’re looking for a little soup inspiration at any time of the year, look no further than Corrie’s blog, Soupruary!
Technically I’ve been listening to this podcast by Dana Schwartz since it first came out in July. But there have been some very good episodes lately, and it deserves a spot in this month’s Finale.
A new episode of Noble Blood comes out every other Tuesday, and these 30-minutes or less pieces tell the stories of past royals whose conquests, love affairs, and oftentimes lives end in blood. There’s everything from the queens you likely know a ton about (Marie Antoinette and Catherine the Great) to nobles I’d never heard of before (Anna Ivanovna and Wu Zetian).
If you’re just digging in, here are a few episodes I would recommend:
- The Neck and the Necklace – a scandal involving Marie Antoinette that I wasn’t aware of before listening
- The Butler, in the Bedroom, with a Sabre – a murder mystery involving the Duke of Cumberland and his valet
- The Ghosts that Haunted the Female Emperor – the story of how Empress Wu Zetian took the throne in 7th century China
My Goodreads reading goal for the year is 40 books. And the 3 that I’ve managed to read so far is not going to cut it! However, I’m not even mad about it because I cherished every moment of City of Girls.
The latest novel by the brilliant Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls tells the life of Vivian Morris, a girl from a wealthy New York family who gets kicked out of college and is sent to live with her aunt who owns a decrepit playhouse in New York City. It begins in the 1940s and catches up to the prologue in 2010.
My favorite part? It’s written as if Vivian is looking back and detailing her life for a woman named Angela, the daughter of a man who Vivian loved. But we don’t know who the man is or when he’s going to show up in her life.
I spent the entire novel wondering if each man Vivian met was “the man,” and I’m pretty proud to say that I guessed it correctly! Do yourself a favor and pick up your own copy. Then, you can let me know if you also guessed the right guy.
And that’s everything I feel compelled to share about February! Did you have an eventful month? What would you include in your own Friday Finale?
P.S. Looking for more Friday Finales? Here’s the whole lot of them.