Trader Joe's Peppermint Mini Hold The Cones: When I first shared my new love of the Trader Joe's little ice cream cones a few months back, my DMs were flooded. Given my appreciation for miniature desserts AND my obsession with anything peppermint flavored, everyone told me to anticipate an even better version come December. And somehow my expectations were exceeded. They're basically tiny versions of Drumstick ice cream cones, but with a peppermint ice cream that's been dipped in chocolate, and I'll be stocking up so my freezer is packed for most of '22.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller: Trigger warning: sexual assault. An extraordinarily moving memoir written by Chanel Miller, the victim in the sexual assault case involving Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner. In it, she weaves beautiful storytelling while recounting the soul-crushing reverberations from the assault and subsequent trial. It's tragic and empowering and speaks to the power of perseverance and reclaiming your voice after it's been taken.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum: When Jess told me this serum was helping to fade some dark spots left behind by a massive underground zit we called "Cheryl," I was intrigued, but skeptical. After three weeks of use, I can safely say this serum is a new must-have for me. Not only is the dark spot I'm attacking already fading away, it hasn't made me break out at all (and dare I say I look a little more radiant??). You're always there for me, Jess!
'Don't Break The Bottle' Wine Puzzle: On the second day at my parents' house over Thanksgiving weekend, this wine-themed puzzle was mysteriously left out on the kitchen island for my boyfriend (a major wine lover) and me to try our hand at solving. After about 20 minutes fiddling with it and workshopping various theories about how the puzzle works, we miraculously freed the wine bottle trapped inside. To our surprise, my dad then told us that none of his friends had been able to do it (mostly male, Boomer doctors) which made me absolutely GIDDY with joy. If you have wine lovers in your life who also enjoy puzzles, buy this and torture them with it at your next party.
Tick, Tick...Boom! on Netflix: As the most dedicated Rent fan on planet earth (Justin can attest that I frequently perform a one-woman show of "What You Own" around the kitchen), I had no doubt I would love Tick, Tick...Boom!, but I didn't expect it to stay with me for so long after I watched it. The movie takes place over a brief period of Jonathan Larson's life, just weeks before and after his 30th birthday (which, coincidentally, is exactly a year to the date before I was born!) but manages to pack in so much...and Andrew Garfield's performance was extraordinary. I loved the music, the subtle Broadway winks – this article uncovered so many Easter eggs! – and found Lin-Manuel Miranda's directorial debut to be rather impressive. If you consider yourself a fan of musicals, add this to your December to-watch list.
MERIT Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil in Sangria: Having worked for many lifestyle companies, I've both accumulated and tried quite a few lipstick shades and brands. I love a bold color and can appreciate a nude one as well, but I had yet to find a tinted balm or gloss that had substantial pigment, yet didn't require precise application. MERIT gifted me three of their products – the Foundation and Concealer Stick, the Brow Pomade, and their Tinted Lip Oil – and while I happened to love all three, the lip oil was the standout. The packaging it exquisite, and the color 'Sangria' gives you that post-two-glasses-of-red-wine bitten lip look, but with a slick finish.
Sandy Liang x Target Fleece Jacket: Target collaborations can be a hit or miss for me - mostly due to pieces not fitting right but that's never stopped me from heading to the clothing section when I'm there. On one of those quick trips, where new clothes were absolutely not on my shopping list, I spotted some pieces from the Sandy Liang collaboration. I've long coveted a Sandy Liang fleece but couldn't justify the price so when I saw this one at my local Target, in my size, I knew I couldn't leave it behind. Not that I needed further convincing, but the gingham detail made it even better. Dressing for the colder months is really not my forte but this jacket seems to be a great place to start. I can't find it online anymore (similar version is here!) but the last time I was in store, they still had some sizes. So if you find yourself in a Target anytime soon, I'd give all their winter gear a look - there are some gems to be found.
Love Hard on Netflix: My all-time favorite movie is The Holiday. Yes, I really mean all-time. I watch it year round and it never fails to put me in a good mood. This new holiday movie from Netflix could never come close to dethroning it, but it certainly plucked at some of the same heartstrings that The Holiday does. The fact that it had an Asian lead (hi, Jimmy O. Yang!) instantly put in on my radar because I'm very passionate about supporting diversity in the entertainment industry, no matter the project. It was so refreshing to watch a light-hearted romantic comedy not lean on the typical Asian tropes (which are mostly done for comedic relief). It showed quite a few different Asian characters, all with their own quirks that didn't have to be racially-driven. Since it's officially December, you can unapologetically start your holiday movie binge and I suggest adding Love Hard to your list.
Fatboy’s Deli & Spirits: So this one is a San Diego hidden gem I recently discovered in my neighborhood of North Park. If you live in San Diego or are planning a trip here anytime soon, checking out this place for a top notch sandwich experience is a must. A couple weeks ago I had a hankering for a juicy sub and decided to check this spot out during my lunch break. I was in awe of the selection of choices to choose from, as well as the unlimited possibilities for creating your own masterpiece of a sandwich or wrap. I decided to go for the Sky Park Sandwich, which in my opinion, is *the perfect* turkey sandwich (and for you pickle lovers, don’t worry, it comes with one!). I’ve since then gone back multiple times and think it might be my new favorite lunch spot!
Target's A New Day High Waist Leggings: I recently went to Target with the intention of grabbing a few things, and ended up with a cart full of everything from skincare and beauty products, to a pile of clothes (clearly, Cass and I have this in common) - which included these leggings. When I say that these are the most comfortable leggings I’ve ever worn, I mean every word. I love that they’re high-waisted and I can pair them with cropped sweaters and tees, but they’re also comfy enough to wear to bed. They’ve become a staple in my go-to work-from-home wardrobe (I'm wearing them as I'm writing this!) and I’m looking forward to keeping them handy for all the chilly days ahead.