For the first Monday blog of each month, I thought it would be fun to do a little recap of the month before, as well as a look forward. So today, I’m starting with the top 3 best and worst things from November 2020 – a real rollercoaster month – and then diving into a look at December. So buckle up!
November Top 3 Best.
- Moving in! Nick and I moved out of our parents’ homes after a month and a half, and into our apartment in downtown Halifax. That was a big day for sure, and one of the best moments of last month.
- Evergreen Festival is new in town this year, and they have gone absolutely nuts decorating the Halifax waterfront for the holidays. So when it was all new in late November, Nick and I were loving our walks along the waterfront with the beautiful twinkly lights everywhere!
- I saw an old university friend earlier in November, who I haven’t seen in a long time. At least a year. So it was awesome to spend some time with her for a couple days. I’m hoping all these restrictions lift and Covid disappears so I can see her again soon.
November Top 3 Worst.
- The uptick in Covid cases we had in Nova Scotia was not fun, and neither was the semi-lockdown mode that Halifax went into, which leads to my second point…
- The Atlantic Bubble burst, resulting in New Brunswick implementing a 14 day quarantine upon returning from any province. My sister lives in NB, so fingers crossed the quarantine is lifted soon and she can come home for the holidays.
- I had a lil Covid exposure scare in November. Not a major one with a call from Public Health, and nothing came from it, but it was an excellent wake-up call… and I would really like to not relive that kind of anxiety again. STAY HOME FOLKS.
Now, let’s look at what’s happening in DECEMBER!
1. What I’ve been up to.
School! A lot of school. I’m wrapping up my first of two semesters in two weeks, and there are a lot of projects and final tests on the go. But I’m loving my program and classmates, so it’s all good overall. And since I’m doing school from home, I’d rather the days be busy and not slow.
Another big thing on the go lately is the 12 Days of Local: Nova Scotia challenge. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (where the challenge has been taking place), I teamed up with another Halifax Instagram blogger, @scotianfoodie, to create a 12 day challenge where we highlight local businesses in the food industry from December 1-12. It’s been a fun way to discover great places to eat, and other Instagram folks have been joining in on the challenge too, which is so nice to see.
When we created the challenge back in October, Halifax hadn’t shut down the bars and restaurants yet, so we didn’t realize the importance of what we wanted to do. Now that we’re halfway through our challenge, I’m so happy we’re supporting these local businesses because many are going through a really hard time right now. Stay tuned for my blog post next week recapping some of the great Nova Scotian businesses that were highlighted over the 12 Days of Local: NS.
2. What I’m eating this week.
We have a lot of good food coming up this week! On Saturday, we picked up our Brewery Box from the Halifax Brewery Market. The box is a package of local produce that you pre-order for $30 each week, and pick up at the Brewery Market on Saturdays.
This week, the box came with a pulled sweet potato taco and pear kale slaw recipe that incorporated a lot of the produce in the box. We cooked the meal on Saturday night and it was so tasty! I love local, in-season produce because it’s so much more flavourful than grocery store fruit and veg. But we still have a lot to cook with from the box, like Shanghai Choy and Turnip, that we need ideas for. I’m thinking we’ll try a roasted turnip recipe and a garlicky stir fry for the choy… but if you have any recos, please let me know in the comments!
There are also a couple takeout nights coming up this week. Willy’s on Blowers St. is having a tough time right now, so we may head there for a poutine on Wednesday. And then Thursday, we are planning on Thai takeout, either from Talay Thai or Cha Baa Thai… to be confirmed, but excited regardless of where we choose!
3. What I’m loving.
There are a couple local products that I’m really loving right now and I want to share them with you! You might love them, or they might even be great gift ideas for someone in your life this year.
The first thing is Nova Scotia Fisherman’s Original Lip Balm. I get the driest lips in the winter (I’m sure I’m not alone), and this year I wanted to try a natural and ideally locally-made balm, since I haven’t had a lot of good luck with typical drugstore brands.
So I discovered this NS Fisherman lip balm, which is made with 100% natural ingredients, not tested on animals, and made right here in Nova Scotia. The tube is really big, which I actually love because it feels extra nice to apply. And it smells awesome! I bought my lip balm from the Independent Mercantile, a boutique in Halifax, for $6, but you can buy from other stores or online. I’ve been using it for just under a week, and I notice a huge difference in my lips already, so I definitely recommend!
My second favourite thing recently is my Candy Cane candle by Circle & Wick. It’s hand poured in Halifax, and 100% soy. The candle smells like white chocolate with hints of peppermint – so good! – but it’s not too sweet, which I’m happy about because not I’m not a big fan of super sweet-smelling candles. We also picked up their Morning Light candle for after the holidays; it smells so fresh and lightly citrusy.
The best thing about Circle & Wick is that it was started by two best friends in Halifax, which I love because I feel like everyone daydreams about starting a business with their friends, but it’s cool that these two women actually started the business they talked about! We bought these candles at The Tare Shop in Halifax, but you can also buy them online.
4. What I’m looking forward to.
I am looking forward to wrapping up my school semester and having a two week break from studying! It’s going to be really nice to relax after such a busy four months. I started school the day after Nick and I moved to Halifax from Toronto, so it’s been pretty steady since. It will be nice to slow down and relax for a little bit, because we really haven’t done that since moving back.
This is also the first time I’ve lived at home for the holidays in a long time. And despite the weird holiday season ahead, it’s so nice to be living where I’m celebrating. I don’t have to worry about travel, bad weather delaying flights, or living out of a suitcase this year. My focus will be purely on staying safe and spending time with the people in my bubble, which is pretty good for 2020.
5. What I’m not looking forward to.
This is really bad, but we still have a box or two left to unpack (yes, after a full month!) and I am absolutely dreading going near them. I feel like they’re the boxes that we packed in a hurry in Toronto, but they’re full of random stuff we don’t need or have room for. So yes, I’m dreading unpacking those boxes haha.
I’m also not looking forward to my sister being stuck in New Brunswick over the holidays, but my fingers are crossed and I’m hoping for the best.
6. What I’m trying to change.
I’m definitely a night owl (and a morning person… why do afternoons exist?!), but lately I’ve been going to bed even later than usual for me. I normally like to be asleep by 12:30 at the latest; however, that hasn’t been the case the last month. So I’m really hoping that starting this December, I can get my bedtime under control (*cough and stop bingeing Dawson’s Creek cough*) and go to bed earlier than in November.
Aside from going to sleep earlier, I am working really hard to support local more than in the past. It’s starting to happen, but I’m taking small steps. Stay tuned, because I’ll probably write a blog post on supporting local and my progress with it later this month.
7. What I’m watching/listening to.
Let’s end on a fun one! My current December watch/to-be-watched-asap list is as follows:
- The Queen’s Gambit – This limited series is on Netflix. It has seven episodes. If you haven’t seen it, you HAVE to watch it. It’s so good. I love limited series because they always seem to be amazing quality; most likely lots of money and effort goes into making only a few episodes so it’s definitely quality over quantity. WATCH IT.
- Schitt’s Creek – We’re really late to the game on this one, but we’re just on season 2 and already this show is great. I love that it’s Canadian and that it apparently only gets better… that often isn’t the case. If you haven’t watched this sitcom yet, it’s on Netflix and you should.
- Dawson’s Creek – What’s with all the creeks on my current repertoire lol. This show is currently my very guilty pleasure. It’s a 90’s teen drama that has resurfaced on Netflix with great old music, and I’m vicariously living through all these angsty, romantic, definitely unrealistic teens… please don’t judge me!
- Big Mouth – The new season has just dropped on Netflix and I can’t wait to dive right in. At first I thought this cartoon was kinda weird, but it’s actually super funny and I like some of the social commentary that pops up from time to time.
The music I’m currently listening to is of course holiday music: Michael Buble, Sarah McLachlan and the like. But I also like really chill, cozy vibes music this time of year, so Sleeping at Last has been playing a lot. Nick and I have also listened to Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride album like 80 million times since it dropped… and we’re still listening to it occasionally. So that’s on the list!
I want to add a “what I’m reading” section too, but when I’m in school, I basically only read school stuff. Perhaps next May I’ll add that to my posts after graduation haha!
That’s a look at what’s happening in December! It’s really fun to reflect back on the previous month, as well as take a look ahead… gets me excited about the good stuff coming up this month. So I’m looking forward to more monthly posts just like this one.
P.S. What are you looking forward to this month? Let me know in the comments below!