Welcome to the eleventh installment regarding my monthly favorites.
Goodbye, January. Though I’m not entirely sad to see this cold and snow-packed month go, I’ll miss the charge and spark of starting a new year. There’s something enticing about stepping into 2020 and the beginning of a fresh decade.
This year has been a mixed bag for me so far. I feel as though I’ve tackled my resolutions nicely, in a way that is also sustainable. For example, I’ve set a great pace for working out, I’ve managed to stay on top of eating healthy foods with easy recipes, and I’ve picked up my reading slack with two finished books. We’ve made several smart investments in future adventures by purchasing outdoor equipment, like boots and snow gear. And we’ve also had several opportunities to spend time with family, which has been amazing—from hot springs to road trips to quick meetups involving cute doggos.
On the other hand, our house has had a lot of sickness this month. We’ve slowed down quite a bit, cancelled our plans to spend time outdoors, and have felt stuck in an in-between mood of wishing for more while trying to appreciate less. We’ve watched a lot of television. I’ve spent more than a few minutes laying down, wondering where my head is at. My creativity has dwindled, my energy has dropped, and my desire for change is at an all-time high—it’s both seasonal and situational and it’s draining.
There’s been plenty of good, bad, and mostly a batch of blah. As I head into February, I want to set the following goals for myself: to keep my head up, to be proactive, to keep going. The sun will shine and sickness will clear and energies will be restored. Things, whether it’s inspiration to write or new opportunities, will turn up. For you, for me. We’re in this together.
And with that, here are my top picks for the month of January.
Hot Springs: Ouray Hot Springs
One of the best parts of this month was a quick day trip to Ouray Hot Springs Pool with my parents. Fun fact, Ouray was the first hot springs I ever went to; my family spent several years going every New Year’s Day throughout my high school and college years. I hadn’t been back since their gorgeous remodel, and I was impressed by the sleekness of the design that complimented their scenic surroundings. Ouray is nicknamed the Switzerland of Colorado, and for good reason.
Gifted Product: Resurfacing Pads
As seen on my Instagram: For a long time, I’ve defined my skin as problematic; lots of acne, followed by scarring and texture issues. Because of this, I’ve long since been on a journey toward healing—both on my attitude and my skincare. Accepting that my skin is worth loving the way it is, plus adding these Jan Marini Resurfacing Pads into the mix, are ways I’m helping myself out. They’re an at-home peel designed to brighten, smooth, and add glow. I’m getting there, step by step. #Gifted
Closet Upgrades: Outdoor Gear
Because we live in a gorgeous corner of Colorado, one of my main goals for 2020 is to spend more time outside. For me, this means a lot of “type two fun,” or the kind of activity that’s miserable during, but is fun and rewarding at the end. Think hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. So, to make this a little easier, Chad and I have decided to make a few upgrades to our outdoor gear closet. New this month has been snow pants, snow and hiking boots, hiking shorts, and base layers. We’ve also been fortunate to inherit cross country skis and boots, so we’ll see ya on the groomed track. 😉
New Year Organization: Planner
I’ve long since identified as an office supply nerd; the feeling of a new planner is among my favorites. Every January I pick out a new planner, and dedicate a good chunk of time personalizing the pages and calendars and getting myself organized. This is the third year I’ve ordered the Global Printed Products brand on Amazon ($16.95+). I’m loving it so far.
January in Posts
This month, as usual, I had two posts per week. Here are the details if you’ve missed them.
- Winter Q&A. Featuring my blogging buddy Bill’s winter-related questions, along with my answers.
- 4 Must-See California Hot Springs. This post highlights beautiful hot springs facilities I visited on my recent trip to Desert Hot Springs, CA.
- What Distance has Taught Me. When I was in high school, Chad and I did the long-distance thing for a year.
- Two Bunch Palms is a Desert Oasis. Located in Desert Hot Springs, Two Bunch Palms is a gorgeous resort and tropical retreat.
- Tips to Get Out of a Reading Rut. Based on personal experience post-college, these are my sure-fire tips to ease yourself back into reading for pleasure.
- 5 Things to Do in New Castle, CO. My home, though small, is a nature-focused community with plenty to do.
- A Week in Photos: Bear on the Road. Photos from my work trip to California, where I posed my stuffed animal for fun.
- 5 Tips for Working from Home. I work from home, and these are the resources I use for success.
Movie: Lady Bird
I’m insanely late to the party here (oops), but Chad and I finally watched Lady Bird on Amazon Prime Video. It was excellent. This coming-of-age story follows a 17 year old girl in Sacramento throughout her senior year at her Catholic high school. She’s figuring life out, from money to boys to friends to college to her relationship with her mom, and it’s a pleasure to watch.
Go-To Lunch: Easy Salad
Over the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve perfected a super easy, simple, and delicious salad recipe. I combine spinach (or a spring mix), almond slices, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, shredded carrots, and a handful of raisins, topped with a light Italian or vinaigrette dressing. Delicious!
Unexpected Event: Household Sickness
Though we had very real plans to get outside and try out our new cross country ski gear, the Nelson-George household has been dealing with many variations of winter sickness. In turn, though, this has been a nice opportunity to relax, read more books, watch more television, and take care of each other. Pro-tip: Thermaflu tea is a game changer, you guys! Shout out to Alexis, who recommended it as a recovery accelerator.
Burger in Paradise: Fat Belly Burger
If you find yourself in Carbondale, Colorado for lunch time, get yourself a quick and delicious meal at Fat Belly Burger. This unpretentious counter service restaurant is located on the town’s idyllic main street, packed with a full menu of delicious options. This month I went to Fat Belly for the first time; I ordered a fresh and delicious black bean burger and enjoyed it from the very first bite to the last, admiring their signature sauce.
TV Show Round-Up
As aforementioned, sickness gave us more opportunities to binge quite a few television shows. Here’s what we were able to watch. (I know, it’s a lot.)
- Euphoria. This short-but-influential show hit us hard. It follows Rue, a teenager with severe addiction issues, as she navigates high school life post-rehab with a new best friend. Euphoria is graphic and a little hard to watch (drug use, high sexual content, teenage realities), but the characters are worth cheering for.
- The Crown. I’m only a few seasons in, but the Crown is a cool way to learn about Queen Elizabeth’s rise to power and how she’s evolved as the sovereign to the world’s largest monarchy. Did you know she became queen at 25? Can you imagine?
- The Bachelor, Season 1. I’d never seen the Bachelor and it’s been such a hot cultural topic for years. I watched the first season to check things out (it was pretty hard to find), and got a basic idea of what’s what. It’s a little trashy and insincere and gross, but I think I’ll jump ahead to season 20 anyway and catch myself up. Why not?
- Umbrella Academy. The Umbrella Academy is a dark comic book-inspired series that follows a family of former child superheroes leading up to the apocalypse. It’s interesting and entertaining, but it’s no Watchmen, and it falls a little flat.
- The Ranch, Part 8. The final season of Netflix’s The Ranch has came and gone, and offered several neat solutions to various conflicts. As always, the characters are lovable, the accents horrible, the setting is flawed, and the live audiences misses good jokes; it’s simple but sweet, as long as you don’t expect too much.
- The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 3. Heck yes to the latest installment of my favorite spooky series. Though CAOS went by quickly, I really enjoyed these eight episodes full of new terrors and challenges. I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.
And that rounds out my January favorites! Thanks for tagging along on my pursuit of sunshine.