Half of November is gone already, so if you include an advent calendar in your holiday traditions it’s time to start thinking about this year’s. Here are 25 you can buy or DIY – no judgement either way! The Tree Advent Calendar is what we’ll be using to countdown the days in my home this December.
It’s already freakin’ freezing here in Pennsylvania! This weekend’s plans will include swapping out lightweight closet pieces for layers and sweaters and seeing what else I may need to pick up to fill in the holes. I’ve already grabbed a mid-length sherpa jacket with a low pile, a few sweaters, and some new socks – what’s on your shopping list?
For the past six years our Thanksgiving coverage has always included You’re Invited, a post featuring a menu, tabletop, and decor that made up my idea of the perfect holiday setup for that November. This year things are changing up, and I really hope you enjoy it as much as you’ve liked the turkey posts of the past! I’ll still be sharing Thanksgiving tabletop and decor ideas in a later post, but this one is for those of you missing bits of a menu, inspiration for what to take to the potluck you’ve been invited to, or ultimately planning an entire meal if you’re playing host next Thursday. (I like to call it Choose Your Own Adventure after the popular book series.) Follow the prompts to create your own perfect meal – my suggestions are based on 10 to 12 dinner guests so adjust accordingly!
Brie is a perfectly delicious runny cheese of its own right, but when combined with a few other complimentary ingredients it get moved up an entire level. It’s a cheese that can swing sweet or savory and find its way into just about any meal. These twelve recipes look especially tempting!
Whether you’re having a spirited party this weekend and are on the hunt for a few signature drinks or just want some autumnal libations to unwind with at the end of the day, you’re sure to find more than a few with potential below. Cheers!
Have you carved your jack o’ lanterns already or are you waiting for the weekend? Ours probably won’t be done until a few days before Halloween, and I suspect they’ll be old school with faces. If that’s not your plan – maybe you’re looking for something a little more outside the box – check out these clever ideas for decorating your gourds!
I Wonder by Marian Bantjes
This book features the elaborately crafted word pictures of Marian Bantjes, the most inventive and creative typographic illustrator of our time. Whether intricately hand-drawn or using computer illustration software, Bantjes’s work crosses the boundaries of time, style, and technology. There is, however, another side to Bantjes’s visual work: her thoughtful treatises on art, design, beauty, and popular culture that add a deeper dimension to the decorative nature of her best-known work. Intended to inspire creatives of any persuasion, this is more than a collection of ideas: Bantjes has meticulously illustrated every page of the book in her inimitable style to create an accessible work of art that is far greater than the sum of its parts.
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle in search of a fabled civilization. He never returned. Over the years countless perished trying to find evidence of his party and the place he called The Lost City of Z. In this masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, journalist David Grann interweaves the spellbinding stories of Fawcett’s quest for Z and his own journey into the deadly jungle, as he unravels the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century.
Six Women of Salem by Marilynne K. Roach
The first work to use the lives of a select number of representative women to illuminate the larger crisis of the Salem witch trials. By the end of the trials, beyond the twenty who were executed and the five who perished in prison, 207 individuals had been accused, 74 had been “afflicted,” 32 had officially accused their fellow neighbors, and 255 ordinary people had been inexorably drawn into that ruinous and murderous vortex, and this doesn’t include the religious, judicial, and governmental leaders. By examining the lives of six specific women, Marilynne Roach shows readers what it was like to be present throughout this horrific time and how it was impossible to live through it unchanged.
Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount
Book lovers rejoice! In this love letter to all things bookish, Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations: Bibliophile is pure bookish joy and sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, aspiring writers, and any and all who identify as book lovers.
Corn-Fed: Cul-de-sacs, Keg Stands, and Coming of Age in the Midwest by Melanie LaForce
Poignant, humorous, and honest, Corn-Fed will take you from childhood overnight camp, to a first job at Dairy Queen, to the ultimate culmination of rich and debaucherous adult friendships. Corn-Fed follows LaForce’s growth, struggles, and exhilaration with communities of women over the course of life. Most importantly, this book contains critical references to boobs and butter.
Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility by Steven Heller and Veronique Vienne
What does it mean to be a designer in today’s corporate-driven, overbranded global consumer culture? Citizen Designer attempts to answer this question with more than seventy debate-stirring essays and interviews espousing viewpoints ranging from the cultural and the political to the professional and the social. This edition contains a collection of definitions and brief case studies on topics that today’s citizen designers must consider, including new essays on social innovation, individual advocacy, group strategies, and living as an ethical designer.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
Creativity Takes Courage: Dare to Think Differently by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst
It’s not always easy to be creative — it takes courage. Organized around a series of twelve “dares” — including Dare to Fail, Dare to Be a Kid, Dare to Be Bored, Dare to Go Offline, Dare to Collaborate — Creativity Takes Courage encourages the reader to be fully present and spend idle time staring out the window. To leave your comfort zone and start a project, without hesitation, and nourish yourself with museum visits and reading time. Each dare includes fill-in pages and prompts to go deeper into what motivates us or hinders us, like mindful questions to identify fears of failure, or a Dare to Commit notebook for recording both daily and weekly projects.
A Few Minutes of Design: 52 Activities to Spark Your Creativity by Emily Campbell
This colorful, handy card deck presents fifty-two exercises and activities to jump-start your creative juices, free you from creative block, start a new project, or finish an existing one. Each exercise offers insight into the innumerable small decisions involved in design: how to establish a pattern, continue a series, how to say it without words, how to name a project, what fits, and what doesn’t? These cards benefit established practicing designers or creatives in any field with activities that are sometimes playful, sometimes challenging, but always enlightening.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.