My Favorite Things: November

My Favorite Things: NovemberHappy Hump Day! My plan for today was to shoot a couple upper body workouts after teaching but I am so sore from a boxing class I took yesterday that I’m not even confident I’d be able to brush my hair at this point. Post writing and email answering, it is!

Favorite Products

Videography Lights

img_5951Best $100 I’ve ever spent for the blog. I bought this Studio Softbox Lighting Kit so that even when I’m short on natural lighting I can shoot workout videos and pictures for the blog and my YouTube channel. I love that you can fold them down when you’re done using them because I have a one-bedroom apartment and am tight on space (one of the reasons I’ve always hesitated to buy professional lighting). Ok BRB gonna go make out with my lights.

HotelTonight App

Joe and I made an impromptu trip to NYC to see our Australian friends who let us crash with them while traveling through Sydney (recap of that trip here and here). We used the HotelTonight app to book a last-minute room at the Gansevoort for only $200 (rooms there for a Saturday night are typically around $600–hellz no). Such a good deal!

Favorite Workouts

Strength Training Class with MegaFood

I traveled to New Hampshire earlier this month to teach a group fitness class for the MegaFood crew–so much fun!

Bodyweight Superset Pyramids Workout

This was my favorite workout I posted to the blog this month. If you don’t have time to do the entire workout, just do the first superset–it’s definitely the hardest one.

Megaformer Class at Coastal Core in Belmar, NJ

Coastal Core

This is my second time taking a megaformer class at Coastal Core while visiting Joe’s fam in New Jersey and it was awesome! Challenging and the instructor, Lawrence, was great with form adjustments. Joe and I were dying by the end (in a good way). 😉

Favorite Eats

Dig Inn

dig-inn-avo-toast

I could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Dig Inn every day. And it’s dangerously close to Btone…

Gourmet China House

china-house-gourmet

Gourmet China House is my jam. Joe and I usually split the Chilled Pickled Cucumbers with Garlic and the Cauliflower Clay Pot. The cauliflower dish is not for the faint of heart (so hot) but if you live for spice, you must order it next time you’re in Chinatown. Joe usually starts profusely sweating about halfway into the meal but it’s so good you just can’t stop eating.

Thanksgiving Dinner

thanksgivingdinnerJoe’s mom makes the best Thanksgiving food! I don’t like turkey so I just load up on the sides (especially her sweet potato dish). She always raves about the Moosewood cookbooks and after this year I think I’m finally going to buy one. You might think that as a blogger I’d cook Thanksgiving myself or at least contribute one photo-friendly side dish but honestly I do nothing. The adultier adults do all the cooking while I jump on the trampoline with my eight-year-old nephew. I help clean (I’m not a barbarian!) but, yup, that’s about it.

Favorite Things I …

Read

  • Hillbilly Elegy | I loved this book! I read it in the wake of the election after this interview with the author was recommended to me by a friend, but even if you have absolutely no interest in politics it’s worth a read. It does paint a critically compassionate (if that’s a thing?) picture of the current state of affairs for the white working-class, but it’s also a colorful memoir filled with flawed, endearing characters. Add it to your reading list!
  • Catch 22 | This is one of my all-time favorite books. So much so that every few years I re-read it. When I was at my parent’s house this month, I spotted my copy buried in my childhood closet and dove right back in. Reading/re-reading classics always makes me nostalgic for my English major days and writing analytical essays. Nostalgia for essay writing … probably should have kept that sentiment to myself (haha).

Listened To

  • Crimetown PodcastThere are only three episodes of this new podcast out so far but I’m hooked. Each season chronicles the history of crime in a different US city, with the first season focusing on Providence, RI. If you love history and are as fascinated by the mob as I am, you will LOVE this podcast. So well done and entertaining.
  • Tove Lo’s newest album | Ok, I admit that all of Tove Lo’s songs kinda sound the same–literally every one is about being drunk/high and in a bad relationship. But I just love her voice–so soothing. Her album Lady Wood has been on repeat for my work days lately.

Watched

  • Friday Night Lights | I know I’m late to the game, but I just started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and I’m OBSESSED. The first episode kinda threw me off–a spinal cord injury within the first 20 minutes of the series?? Chill out. I can’t even remember anyone’s name yet. But I stuck it out into episode two and now I’m in a full-blown binge. Side note: You know you’re getting old when you have a crush on the coach instead of the football players … (LOL).
  • Game Changers | Joe found this documentary series on hulu, which features a different business leader or entrepreneur each episode–the creators of Craigslist, Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet, Twitter, Anna Wintour, John Stewart, the list goes on. I find it so interesting!
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid | We watched the first movie from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series with our nephews and niece over Thanksgiving and I think I might have even enjoyed it more than the kids–so cute and funny!

Favorite Moments

24 Hours on the Vineyard

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My Dad is helping me sell my car (a relief but also sad–I’ve had it since I was 16!) so I drove it home to the Vineyard and got to spend the day with my parents. Since I’d be with Joe’s family for Thanksgiving it was great to be able to fit in the visit.

Visiting Grounds for Sculpture in NJ

Grounds for Sculpture - Renoir

This place is the coolest! It’s one part art museum, one part sculpture garden. The sculptures are 3D, life-sized (or larger) recreations of famous paintings and other works of art. If you’re near the Hamilton, NJ area you’ve got to check out Grounds for Sculpture!Grounds for Sculpture Grounds for Sculpture - Renoir

What were some of your favorites from November?

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My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Jillian Greaves says:

    Hi! Curious if there is a specific reason you chose those lights? I’ve been researching artificial lighting for tabletop food photography and there is so much out there. I’m afraid to pull the trigger!

    • I felt the same way–I was totally overwhelmed by all the options! I knew I’d be using them mostly for workout videos shot at a distance so I first narrowed it down to the big, tall lamps with the wide shades instead of the compact ones. From there, I decided to focus on the mid-price range–not super cheap but not the expensive ones–and just started reading all the reviews on Amazon until I settled on this set of two.

  2. Yesss, I saw Hillbilly Elegy in the bookstore recently and cant wait to try it!

  3. I just started Friday Night Lights too!! I’m pregnant and I needed a show to watch now that I have zero energy at night (thanks Daylight Savings), so I started it after years of my friends telling me how good it is. My only complaint is that it took me a few episodes to adjust to how it’s filmed, especially the first season… I know it’s supposed to feel more like a documentary, but I honestly felt like the it was being filmed with a home camera, Blair Witch style. Everything was so zoomed in! I couldn’t figure out why I was constantly staring at a close up of everyone’s face, lol.

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