What I Learned in November

Hi friends! Happy December! Today I’m sharing a November recap and a little update post about the month. These are some of my favorite posts to write since it’s so causal and I love starting conversations about what’s going on in each other’s lives.

How was your November?

November has been a good, busy month. The first weekend I went camping in Harper’s Ferry with my small group at church. It was such a great time to getaway. It ended up being about 80 degrees that weekend, so instead of facing the November cold, we had a very comfortable hiking and camping weekend.
What I Learned in November

Work has been a little calmer than last month, but a little busy. It’s hard to describe my work since I work on something different everyday. We have been wrapping up things from our 5K fundraiser in October, and I learned that it takes hours to staple 5,000+ paper packets for schools, even with extra volunteer hands. Things are also picking up with the after-school programs we run, so that will be exciting to get into the new season.

In addition to work, November has brought some good times and good lessons as we go into the last month of 2015. Here’s what stood out the most over November for me:

1. How to make vegan chili.

On the weekends, I love trying new recipes since I tend to eat the same things throughout the regular work week. This month, I tried a vegan chili recipe. It was really easy and really good in the end. Served over potatoes, it was a delectable fall treat. I used crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, okra, green pepper, and spices for a hearty dish. I’m planning to make it again this weekend again as well!

2. I learned we are born to run.

Last week, I finished the book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. I started this book back in the summer, and it’s taken me a long time to finish since I’ve been busy, but I finally finished reading it this month! It was very interesting to see into the lives of ultra-runners and hear their stories. It has given me more motivation to get outside and run myself; however, I’ve been having some knee pain when I run recently, so I need to get that checked out soon!

3. I’ve found my new all-time favorite shampoos.

Soapbox is my latest shampoo and conditioner brand. I found them while looking through Target’s health and beauty section. I was in search of a vegan, cruelty-free shampoo, and with fruity scents like açai berry and bataua fruit, I knew I had to try it. On Black Friday, I found them 50% off at Target through their Cartwheel app (that’s going to be a new addiction!). The sale lasts until December 5, so if you want to try out some natural shampoos, I would highly suggest this brand!

4. I’ve learned the need to consume less.

I explained this more in my recent post about how to reduce media consumption. But consumption applies to so much more in this world, especially around the holiday season. We can be focused on the material things that we think would make our lives better–an updated wardrobe, a new computer, the latest video technology or even smaller things like candy or treats at the grocery store. I’ve specifically been noticing media consumption a lot this month as well – Netflix shows, social media, books, etc. While it is hard to break away from a consumer mindset, I’m coming closer to recognizing these feelings and cultivating a sense of minimalism in my life. I hope to experience this grow into the new year as we take time to focus on what truly matters this holiday season.

Catch up with other months in this series: June, July, August, September, and October!

What did you learn in November? How was your Thanksgiving?