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!
My God. Is it even possible that it’s already the end of August? This year has felt like the strangest paradox; sometimes time drags and then other times it flies. Part of me is convinced that it’s actually March.
Things have been pretty uneventful here this month. My brother went back to Georgia to start his virtual fall semester at Georgia Tech. My sister turned 26, and we sent her all the flavors of Pocky that Jungle Jim’s carries. I set myself up in our neglected study/piano room with my dual monitors and feel like I’m finally living the semi-permanent work from home life. Surprising no one, folklore is still the soundtrack of my 2020, and the lakes has become one of my favorites.
My mantra for the month was “Consistency is more important than perfection,” and at least as far as Instagram is concerned, I stuck to that pretty well! I’m kind of into this monthly mantra business, so if you have any particularly inspiring quotes or concise bits of wisdom that I should consider for September, let me know!
This month’s favorites are good, if I do say so myself. I hope they bring a tiny bit of joy to your life, and keep scrolling for perhaps the best of them all!
I’ve been waiting for the grand conclusion to The Diviners series for a while now, and since Libba Bray is one of my favorite authors and it had been a while, I decided to hold off on reading the fourth and final book until I had the time to revisit the entire series.
Well in August, I made time! I started with The Diviners and went straight through the series to The King of Crows. It took me the better part of a week to finish all four books, and I have zero regrets. It’s a spooky, historical fantasy fiction series set in 1920s New York City, and the author is a master at both immersing her readers in that world and doing it from the perspective of a diverse cast of protagonists.
I thought the final book was a good conclusion to the series, and all the different plot points were wrapped up nicely. It’s a 5-star series for me on Goodreads, and I would recommend it if you like immersive fantasy fiction in a historical setting!
Spencer and I started watching this because one of my coworkers was obsessed, and I trust his judgment. And let me tell you, it was good.
Dark is a dark (hah!), sci-fi series on Netflix that is originally German, and I would so recommend watching it with subtitles to get all the German language goodness. It focuses on a little town with a nuclear power plant, and all the families that have lived there for generations. I don’t really want to go into too much about it because spoilers, but there’s a lot of time travel, parallel universe theory, cute teenagers pining, wait, who is that person again?, and hauntingly beautiful German landscapes that make you say, “Yep, that’s the setting of a Grimms’ fairy tale if I’ve ever seen one.”
It’s also a total mind f*** at times. You have been warned.
When I used up the last of my 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, I knew I wanted to try something a little more pigmented to help with my dark circles. I’m getting the best sleep of my life right now, so I’ve finally accepted these genetically darkened under eyes of mine.
I knew I wanted something that had similar principles: clean beauty, cruelty free, non-GMO and recyclable. And that’s when I discovered Derma E, particularly the Derma E Vitamin C No Dark Circle Perfecting Eye Cream. With Vitamin C, turmeric, and caffeine, it has ingredients that I’ve used before to color correct and reduce puffiness around the eye area.
The cream is of a very liquid consistency, which means it spreads nicely and you don’t have to use as much. It covers my dark circles well, and since I blend it around my entire eye and eyelid, it doesn’t leave the obvious “I’ve tried to cover my dark circles” coloration. It also adds a tiny bit of glow that I love.
Spencer’s mom sent us this recipe for a homemade Wendy’s Frosty, and we’ve already made it twice. The flavor is spot on, the consistency is that creamy, not-quite-ice cream, melt-in-your-mouth deal, and it makes so much with one batch. We make it in our KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment, but I’ve also seen recipes where you blend it all together and freeze it.
Here’s the copycat recipe that has me obsessed:
- 1 cup chocolate milk (We use Kroger brand, but Yoohoo would also be fantastic!)
- 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 12 oz. Cool Whip
Whisk the chocolate milk and sweetened condensed milk together until combined, then gently fold in the Cool Whip until smooth. Pour it into your ice cream maker and let it work its magic for about 25 minutes or until the desired consistency. You might also have to freeze it a bit if you don’t want it melting on your spoon.
Have you ever used Derma E products? Would you make this copycat Frosty recipe? Leave a comment with one of your favorites from August!
P.S. If you’re interested in more cruelty-free beauty and skincare, look no further than the Kinder Beauty Box.