November 2020 goals

2 November 2020

With just two months left in the year, my mind is very much on how I can wrap up my 2020 goals well. For some of them, that might look like neatly checking a box to mark “complete!” (for example, my Advent calendar project); for others, it might look more like noticing how far I’ve come and considering how I might like to continue the work into 2021. Here are the little-by-little steps I have planned for this month!

A portrait of Halloween 2020: the happiest Aurora, the cutest doggie, our COVID candy distribution chalk art, and my favorite trick-or-treaters. I was so impressed with all of the creativity (candy zip lines, air cannons, chutes!) and care that went into making Halloween such a fun night in our neighborhood!

On my calendar this month:
— Making chocolate chip shortbread cookies. For some reason I have been craving these, even though I’ve never made them in my life!! Does anyone have a good recipe to share?
— Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping – I’m working on my list! Will be eyeing my favorite bra and these scalloped nesting baskets, among other things, for discounts.
— Normally voting would be on my list, but this year (for the first time ever!), I voted early, in-person!

What I’m loving right now:
— If you’re looking for a movie that will please a group over the holidays (even parents, sans cringe), may I suggest Knives Out? John and I thought it was clever and delightful, and the richly-ornamented house that serves as the backdrop to the action seems just right for colder weather. (Bonus: it’s included with Prime!)
— I am a little embarrassed to admit this, since I’ve known Nancy for quite some time and therefore had less than six degrees of separation from Jess Ray for an equal amount of time, but I’ve only dived into her music this fall. It’s so good. Current favorite is the Mission House album, especially “Never See the End.”
— Shep is a skinny dude, and many pants feel absurdly baggy on him. He’s worn this tan pair for two cold seasons in a row now (including in last year’s family photos!). I highly recommend (and you can’t beat the price!).

As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!

What I read in October:
Lilac Girls | I don’t believe I’ve ever read fiction told from the perspective of a Nazi, which made this novel set in World War II an interesting addition to the genre. If you enjoy stories from this era (The Nightingale, anyone?) you’ll eat up this weaving together of three distinct, yet entwined, narratives.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry | Highly recommended by a dear friend, this novel felt jangly, chaotic, and a little too self-aware at first, but I ended up loving it (though I did find the idea of classmates writing such horrible notes to a fellow 7-year-old – and no grown-up stepping in – hard to stomach). The way it weaves together and unveils the house residents and Miamas kingdoms is magic!

A little update on my 2020 reading list: it’s trucking along! So far, I’ve read 13 of the 24 books on the list. It doesn’t seem like I’ll get to all of them before the end of the year, but I hope to finish 7-8 more before December 31st! Next up: God and Money and Save Me the Plums (doesn’t it seem just right for the month of Thanksgiving?).

Revisiting my October goals:
Design our family Christmas newsletter and order Christmas cards (newsletter is underway!)
Edit Sheptember, Volume 2
Complete four more Advent ornaments (completed the holly, the crown, and the ice skate!)
Ride 50 miles (36!)
Wallpaper the upstairs bathroom
Switch out lighting in the upstairs bathroom (we chose these lights – can’t wait to show you an update!)
Finalize family mission statement
Finish garage reboot, including hanging our bikes

November goals:
— Begin my 2021 PowerSheets prep
— Complete the Advent calendar backer (!!). My thought is that if I have this completed by the end of the month, then we might actually be able to use it this year – I can finish up the last few ornaments before we get to those dates in December! :)
— Order and complete our 2010-2014 family album. Does anyone know of an option that includes a customizable fabric cover that’s at least 8×8, without layflat pages? Artifact Uprising’s is 7×7…
— Hang mirrors in the bathroom
— Order our Christmas cards
— Make decisions about all gifts for all the people
— Clear the decks for holiday decor (I’m looking specifically at you, laundry room and master bedroom hot spots!)
— Make our holiday plans
— Hang our bikes in the garage

I have an ambitious slate of posts planned for November, including a Highlands recap, a camping recap, gift guides, an investing 101 series, and, tomorrow, a holiday prep post. I know gift guides can be contentious – some people love them, some skip right over – but I enjoy putting them together (and reading the guides of others!) and providing some realistic and delightful ideas you may not have come across yet. Any requests for me to include this year? I’ll take them as specific or as broad as you’d like!

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November 2, 2020 6:48 am

For the chocolate shortbread cookie, I enjoyed this recipe: . It says in the recipe to leave the chocolate chips as chips, but I found the cookie stays together better if you crush them a little-I put chocolate chips in a bag and hit it with a rolling pin.

Jessica Fowler
November 2, 2020 9:12 am
Reply to  Sara

100% recommend these cookies!! They are super easy and one of my go-to recipes. And agreed about the chocolate.. I tend to dump out chocolate chips on a cutting board and do my best to roughly chop them. I like the little pieces of chocolate.

November 11, 2020 7:54 am
Reply to  Em

Now I’m craving these too! On the list for this year’s annual family cookie party!

November 2, 2020 7:11 am

Always love reading your goals! I always LOVE your “Em’a list” gift guide. I’d also love a $30 gift guide!

November 2, 2020 7:18 am

Gift Guide request for new mamas or soon-to-be mamas!

Victoria Bouchard
November 2, 2020 7:58 am

Photo book feedback! I have used Blurb, MyPublisher, Shutterfly, Chatbooks, and Pinhole Press. MyPublisher was my fav but it is now Shutterfly and that book is not my favorite. For a square linen cover, I would suggest Pinhole Press (mine is gorgeous, but it is lay flat which I love) and mpix (which I have not tried yet but I believe they are the consumer side of a professional photo printing company so I bet it’s gorgeous – ask Nancy haha).

November 2, 2020 8:58 am

I look forward to your gift guides each year, they’re so thoughtful! And very excited about this investing post. :)

November 2, 2020 9:13 am

“Save Me the Plums” is delightful. It’s one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Yes please to gift guides (if you have the time)! I actually went back and looked at some of the ones you had previously written about gifts for children as we have a new niece.

November 2, 2020 9:13 am

These are the insta-famous chocolate chip shortbread cookies They’re delicious but I found the dough so hard to work with!! Just a warning!

November 2, 2020 9:45 am

Hi Em, this was such a great post and sparked energy and ideas to finish out this year well. Thank you! I might have missed this in another post, but would you mind sharing how you fit in reading while juggling work, two littles, life, all the things, etc. I know there are lots of guides and tips out there, but would love to know how you specifically approach this. Thanks! So excited for all of the good posts you have on deck for this month.

November 2, 2020 2:02 pm

My husband and I LOVED Knives Out! Such a great recommendation and appreciate your posts, as always :)

November 2, 2020 2:49 pm

Save me the Plums is wonderful!!! Your gift guides are so helpful.. especially for kids :)

November 2, 2020 2:55 pm

It’s always encouraging and refreshing to read your blog posts! Thank you for putting time and effort to share your life and insights with us!! :) I’m looking forward to the upcoming posts and I would also love the gift guide idea! <3

November 2, 2020 8:20 pm

These are famous and for good reason. Possibly the best cookies I’ve ever had.

November 4, 2020 10:39 am

Your chalk art is so much lovelier than our strategy of just scattering candy down our walkway, haha! I have no doubt you will LOVE Save Me the Plums! It might be one of my favorite reads from the past year…you know I can’t resist a good magazine behind-the-scenes :)

Jessica K
November 4, 2020 8:33 pm

Love your gift guides! I’d love gift guides for toddlers, mothers/mother-in-laws, and any creative ideas for service workers (trash guys, mailman, etc) we normally just do gift cards. Maybe this is still the best option but I like to have something fun to go with it!

Ps. I’m excited about the upcoming investing post!

November 10, 2020 9:02 pm

PowerSheets prep for 2021! How did we get here?! And November sounds SO full and wonderful. Cheering you on the second half of the month, friend! Xo

December 2, 2020 5:28 am

[…] my November goals:Begin my 2021 PowerSheets prepComplete the Advent calendar backerOrder and complete our 2010-2014 […]

[…] Best movie: Knives Out […]