December 2019: Recap + On My Shelves

Hello, 2020! I hope y'all had a wonderful and relaxing December. I feel like the month flew by, but we were still able to enjoy the holidays and spend lots of time with family. And now the countdown is on until the new baby arrives!

1. Holiday Traditions – December felt like it passed in a blur, but we still made time for some of our favorite traditions. Here are a few: baking cookies, a drive around our neighborhood to look at lights, reading a Christmas book every night, a Jesse tree advent calendar, and decorating a gingerbread house (or Mario castle, in this case).

2. New Curtains and Coffee Table – I bought new curtains in October but needed them altered, which I finally had done at the end of November. I got them back in the beginning of December, and Nick hung them right away. Having those + a new coffee table changed the whole look of our living room and made it so much cozier.

3. Merry Christmas! – We had several celebrations during the week of Christmas, and it was nice to spend time with our families. We changed a few things this year, and they all worked to make the holidays more relaxing and enjoyable. But the best thing, by far, was our son's delight on Christmas morning. He was so happy and thankful!

4. Planning for 2020 – The quiet, slow days in between Christmas and the New Year are some of my favorites. I went to see a movie by myself, relaxed at home with my boys, worked on my blog and planner, and set goals for 2020. I'm trying something new and using PowerSheets, so I went through the prep work during this time, too.

Read 11 Books | Favorites:
Under the Mistletoe by Mary Balogh
The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh

“There is an oath upon her,” he said to Arch,
and I realized dimly that he was still speaking in Gaelic, though I understood him clearly.
“She may not kill, save it is for mercy or her life. It is myself who kills for her.”
A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

“Not very romantic, is it? But I don't want you to feel powerless with me.
I value your intelligence and your strength. I'd rather you stood at my side than in my shadow.”
A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews

“After all, there never was a future, only an eternal present moment,
all too often lost because human nature had a tendency to yearn toward the nonexistent future.”
Under the Mistletoe by Mary Balogh

“I don't know why people think permanent denial is better than temporary disappointment.”
Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

“I simply cannot fathom why you are so constantly surprised by the height of my esteem for you.”
The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

December was one of my most prolific blogging months of the whole year, and I loved being able to end 2019 on a productive note. I spent the first half of the month catching up on posts I'd missed during my hiatus. Those included: September 2019 Recap and Quick Lit, October 2019 Recap and Quick Lit, and November 2019 Recap and Quick Lit. It felt great to catch up before 2020 and enter the year with a clean slate.

Once those posts were done, it was time to turn my attention to some fun posts wrapping up the year. The first was one I've done every year since 2012: my top ten new-to-me authors I read in 2019. Then, I took a major leap backward when I realized I'd never posted my 2018 End of Year Survey. I like having them as a record of my reading year, so I didn't want to just skip it. And finally, I wrapped up the month with yearly recap series that I call My Year In: Books, Music, Movies & TV, Beauty, Obsessions, and Adventures.

I only posted on bookstagram once in December, which is just how I like it these days. I shared this potential holiday reading list – a mix of new and rereads – that was inspired by Kelly's holiday hype. In the end, I only read four of the new-to-me books from this stack and didn't love any of them. And now that Christmas is over, I'm not sure that I'll get to any of the rest. Oh well! At least the stack was pretty! • @soobsessedblog

Favorite Christmas Song: "Ribbons & Bows" by Kacey Musgraves

I don't listen to very much Christmas music, except at my son's request.
But we both enjoyed this peppy song from Musgraves' Christmas special!

Favorite Album: Fine Line by Harry Styles
I loved Styles' first album. but I honestly think this one was even better!
I had this on repeat and loved it more with each listen. My favorite song right now is "Falling."

Frozen II (2019) starring Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Jonathan Groff – My son hasn't been too interested in the first Frozen movie, but Nick and I both wanted to see this one so we made it a family trip to the theater. We all enjoyed it, though I don't know which one I prefer. Regardless, it was a fun experience! 

The Great British Baking Show: Holidays starring Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding – I wasn't really in the mood to watch any Christmas movies, but I randomly decided to try this on Netflix. It was a low-key way to try the show and had just the right amount of holiday cheer. And it led to...

The Great British Baking Show, Collections 1-3, starring Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, and Sue Perkins – After the holiday episodes, I binged the first three seasons of the show. I definitely prefer the original cast, and I can now understand why the Internet is always raving about it. So cozy and comforting!

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) starring Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman – I wanted to watch this last year, but not enough to see it in theaters or rent it. I was excited to see it on Netflix, but I lost interest pretty quickly and zoned out. I liked the style of it but not the substance.

Little Women (2019) starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, and Laura Dern – This movie was delightful! It was the best thing I watched all year and will become a lifelong favorite. I was charmed by everything about it and found a new appreciation for Amy March, shockingly. 

Killing Eve, Season 2, starring Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh – This show made my list of 2019 favorites, and I was going to complain in the post that the second season still wasn't on Hulu. Except – I realized it had finally been added. Nick and I binged it and loved every (psycho) second. Oh and Comer are fantastic in it!

Used Bookstore: A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh and The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes

From My Parents: Bibliostyle by Nina Freudenberger

From My Sister: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, The Lido by Libby Page, The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies, The Light Over London by Julia Kelly, Innocent Traitor by Alison Weird, The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen, and My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

From Nick: The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

From My In Laws: Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins, Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra, The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley, Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane, The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary, and Skinnytaste: One & Done by Gina Homolka

From Kelly: Throne of Glass (Collector's Edition) by Sarah J. Maas

Kindle: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas, The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary, A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan, and The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker


  1. Always so happy to see your posts again <3 I've been realllly thinking about those PowerSheets but I'm so bad at the whole goal thing... I can set some basic ones but I never know what to do for personal growth-type stuff.

  2. Little Women really was a lovely film! Macky and I only got to watch it in early 2020, but we both loved this new version of it a lot.


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