What Our Team Loved in November

A monthly series, corralling the various food, products, and entertainment we're currently enjoying.
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One of my favorite things about going on girls' trips is how many new things I discover through my friends. My most recent addition is an ice pack that fits over your full face and leaves room for your eyes, nose, and mouth to watch TV, eat, and see. I always knew the benefits of icing my face to tighten and reduce swelling, but found that I never had an extra 20 minutes to lie with my eyes closed. As soon as a friend shared that she makes coffee and watches Netflix in hers, we all bought them. Bonus: They come in so many different colors, perfect for a girls weekend in.

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Now that the weather is (at least a little bit) cooler, I've taken to drinking a cup of this tea every day after lunch (I feel like Eleanor Oliphant, but maybe only because I'm also listening to that book on tape every evening on my drive home?), which helps curb my craving for something sweet in the afternoon. Brewing it has become one of my favorite rituals, and serves as a signifier that it's time to get back to work post-lunch! Plus, I love the minty flavor, which is balanced by fennel. 

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When Justin and I recently chose to stay on the west side of L.A., we also decided to invest a bit further in the decor and design of our current place. We ordered a couch that's set to arrive in about a month, but the easiest addition that has packed the biggest punch? Some plants we purchased from Home Depot, and more specifically, their rubber plant. As someone who regularly abandons and neglects my houseplants (forgive me, fiddle leaf figs of years past!), this one is tough to kill and adds so much life to any room.

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I've made it pretty clear on this blog how my musical taste aligns, and at the epicenter of all things boy bands and musical theatre is my true obsession: Shawn Mendes. The day he and Taylor Swift released their remix to her song "Lover," I woke up to no fewer than 15 texts saying "KATIE, have you listened?" This song is everything I could dream of. Their voices are so beautiful together, the song showcases his incredible range, and it talks about love in such a romantic way. 'Tis the season to be happy, sappy, and in love with Shawn Mendes, I definitely am (kidding, sort of). 

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Disney+ is the newest streaming app on the market, and it comes with a heavy dose of nostalgia no matter what your generation. Black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons with soundtracks that sound like tin whistles? I watched 'em! A full season of Boy Meets World, back when there was a lot of Clinton era "world" to meet? Streamed 'em back-to-back. I think the fun of this app is the ability to find something—almost anything—to fill the evening void, including really amazing National Geographic programs and a documentary about Imagineers that I highly recommend (and yes, there is a super cute creature in the Mandalorian too). So, go forth, scroll and watch!

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I don't usually wear anything on my nails, and that's exactly why I'm trying to get them into really good shape. I don't have any damage from gels (which this is supposedly good for?), but my nails peel like an orange and I can never get them as long as I'd like. After using this for a few weeks, I've definitely seen a reduction in the number of times I've had to reluctantly cut a nail all the way down because it's peeled, or worse, gotten caught on something and started to rip off. The finish isn't overly shiny, and my nails look ever so slightly polished. It's a little pricey, but that's because it's formulated without all the nasty, scary chemicals you find in cheaper brands (like formaldehyde...creepy), so I think it's worth the splurge!

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After attending a tutorial with the co-founder of Wildling and facial acupuncturist, Gianna De La Torre, I've been giving myself semi-regular gua sha facials. What I love most about it—besides all of its purported health benefits—is that she refers to it as a "coffee table wellness routine." Instead of adding yet another thing to your evening bathroom routine, keep it near your coffee table and do it while watching TV or listening to a podcast. It's incredibly relaxing and feels sooo good.

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Before picking this up, I had never heard of this book, but as soon as my dad read it and found it laugh-out-loud funny, I went to my Overdrive account and downloaded it on spot. The story follows two girls traveling around the world in 1986 after graduating from college. The girls are often young and oblivious, which makes the story as funny as it is enlightening. 

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Not sure how I came across this product (I believe it was from extensive research, aka Googling "best hair serum"), but the price kept me from pulling the trigger for a while. After the first use, I was hooked. I've got curly, messy hair, and this stuff really is an elixir. It tames my frizz and creates nearly perfect beach waves when I let my hair air dry. 

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Tieghan Gerard's second cookbook is the culmination of all things easy and delicious. Over the course of 125 recipes, she has come up with the perfect dish for everything from a chilly Sunday morning to a late-night party. I've already cooked several of the recipes, with her tikka masala, coconut curry meatballs, and pumpkin bread being some of my favorites. I also appreciate her integration of the instant pot and the acknowledgment that food should be simple, delicious, and quick to make, especially during the workweek. If you're like me, with people at home who want something healthy (but not too healthy), this is the cookbook for you!

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I know this is a bold statement, but I've never smelled a better candle than this one. We received four samples from Kerzon to decide which to carry on the shop, and Emily almost passed on this one because the scent wasn't strong enough compared to the others (anyone else think that's actually a good thing??). We lit it to see how it smelled once it was burning, and Emily immediately changed her mind. It's the perfect combo of sandalwood and cedar; woodsy and comforting with just a touch of sweetness. The sample now lives on my desk, and I light it in the afternoon when I get depressed that the sun is starting to go down around 4:00pm.

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My hair has been steadily growing no matter how much I try and will it to stay short (mostly to save money on another haircut), and I have finally reached the stage where I can not only pull my hair back (!) but probably skip a day of washing (!!) This is an office of passionate dry shampoo users, so I had a lot of recommendations to turn to, and a trip to Sephora plus a lot of sprays brought me to my new favorite: B&B Pret-a-Porter Tres Invisible Nourishing Dry Shampoo. I love it as it works well with my dark hair, doesn't build up so I can spray to my heart's content, and smells good while it's at it. I'm still learning the tools of the dry shampoo trade, but it's definitely helping me save time in the morning and hopefully looking effortless while I do so.

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