December 2023 Favorites

Happy December! I hope you're staying warm and cozy and preparing your heart for the Christmas season. It can feel like a chaotic month, so I thought I'd share some of my December favorites with you… books that are stirring my affections for Christ, cozy pajamas, a few Christmas gift ideas, and more. 

01. This morning, I finished reading Season of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson. I've read at least 10 of Sally's books, but this might be my very favorite. It's written specifically for homeschool moms and offers deep biblical encouragement for every season you might face. I highly recommend it. 
02. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I am reading The Dawn of Redeeming Grace by Sinclair B. Ferguson this month... and I'd love for you to join me! It's an Advent devotional that consists of 24 short chapters (one per day during the Advent season) that are meant to give insight and application and "will help you to arrive at Christmas Day awed by God's redeeming grace and refreshed by the hope of God." For me, it's already doing just that. It's also available as an audiobook (and free on the Hoopla app). I'd love for you to read or listen along!
03. We have a handful of watercolor workbooks (choose from Winter & Christmas or Nature) that are in stock and ready to ship! These make the loveliest Christmas presents, especially when paired with our watercolor paint sets. I'm so looking forward to adding more watercolor classes to our shop this coming year. If there's any subject that you're really hoping to see, will you reply to this email and let me know? It's been a joy to see your artwork! (If you're looking for the digital Christmas & Winter watercolor class, you can find it here!)
04. I recently purchased this (healthy nonstick) Caraway fry pan, which is much pricier than any of my other pans, but I have to say: it's been worth it for me. I've used it almost daily for the few weeks we've had it, and it is the easiest-to-clean pan I've ever used. I cooked ground beef in it last night, and it slid right out of the pan.
05. One of my goals for 2024 is to slowly replace my makeup products with cleaner alternatives. (I'll be sure to share my favorites!) In the meantime, I've been using this clean dry shampoo for years, and one bottle lasts more than a year! It works so well to help me stretch my hair-washing days to about once a week.
06. I'm about to begin my third Quiet Time Companion journal, a tool by Wholehearted that has served so well to help me focus, pray, and write down all I'm learning from God's Word (use code WHITNEY15 for a discount). I use it alongside this ESV journaling Bible I have and love, with plenty of space in the margins to journal (use code BRIGHTERDAYPRESS for a discount). If you're looking for a Bible study to work through in the coming year, I recommend the Flourish series by Lydia Brownback. (There are lots of books to choose from! I started with Philippians.) I also just grabbed the newest version of Every Moment Holy: Volume III, which contains 100 new prayers for daily life. This would also make a beautiful gift.
07. My daughter is a fan of all things Anne of Green Gables, and one of her favorite Anne-inspired book series for young readers is this one. They just released a brand new volume and my daughter will receive it for her birthday (soon after Christmas), along with an Anne of Green Gables porcelain doll I found on eBay. If you like this idea, there are plenty more out there
08. Don't miss this year's Christmas gift guide for kids, women, and men. There are so many intentional gift ideas... I hope it serves you well! One thing I recently purchased for our 4-year-old son that's not included in the gift guide is this Melissa and Doug rescue vehicle play set. I love that it can be packed up and taken anywhere, and easily stored. And right now, it's 46% off!
09. I've recently discovered these super soft pajamas for myself, and they are my new favorites! I look forward to changing into them at night because they are so cozy and feel high quality. I also love sipping this cinnamon tea in the evenings. It's naturally sweet, so no honey or added sugar is needed.
10. In case you're interested, I wrote a post about how our family navigates Santa, St. Nicholas Day, and even what to do about family members and friends who do celebrate Santa even if your family doesn't. Take this article as just one believer's stance and nothing more. You have so much freedom to celebrate how you feel led! But if you're interested to know the "why" behind our celebrations, I'd love to share.
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