The summer went by in the blink of an eye this year. As if 2020 wasn’t difficult enough to deal with already, it suddenly feels were skipping autumn (next to spring my favorite season) and going right on to winter. My current Fiery favorites are things that are helping me get cozy and stay grounded while we go back into partial-lockdown.
Read on to find out my Fiery Favorites of October!
Books Books Books
You may remember from previous posts that I love to read! If you do too, don’t forget to read my latest book blog – it includes wine pairings! As 2020 has been a year with a lot less social interactions and more time at home, I’ve gotten through my Goodreads book challenge ahead of time.
Some of my favorites this year have included The Guest List by Lucy Foley (tore through it in two days), The Daughter of Time (voted best detective novel in the ’90s, and it’s from 1951!), The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (the battle of Troy written from a women’s perspective – enthralling!) and The Silent Patient (good if you want a book with a twist!).
One of my tricks this year has been to ask my partner to choose the next book for me. When I choose I can spend hours just browsing my library, Goodreads, and online stores. Which more often than not ends in me purchasing more books – but not starting one. Having someone else choose them takes all that away, and it feels like a small adventure. Which world will I explore next?
Books have also been a way to pick-up my personal development again. As for most people I’m guessing, this year most of my energy has gone into staying safe and settling into the new at-home routines. However, I don’t want to wait until the world is ‘normal’ again to work on my development or learn new things, so my partner and I have decided to create challenges for each other. One of my challenges is to read one non-fiction/development book a month and share the learnings with him. I may write these down and share them in a summary blog post! The first book is due the first of November, so I better get back to reading…
For the last few years, I have participated in the Goodreads yearly challenge. It allows you to set a number of books to read that year and keep track of the books you’ve read. For me, it’s not about the ‘number’ or achieving the target but about challenging myself in something I enjoy doing. I also use Goodreads to track which books I loved and build my reading list for 2020!
In case you want to follow along on Goodreads just click on the image below!
Re-found my passion for cooking
Being at home so much in the last few months has really confronted me again with a few things about food, namely; 1. I spend an inordinate amount on restaurants and going out 2. I’d come to depend on food from restaurants for tasty meals and 3. that I wanted to re-kindle my love for cooking.
During time off in August, I got inspired again (being in another place does really help!) and noted down some elements I wanted to explore more with. Cook more with vegetables, and especially those I tend to overlook. Perhaps explore more local products and be inspired by different cuisines. Slowly, I’ve been expanding my repertoire and trying new dishes. I was very tempted to splurge on a few new cooking books for inspiration and new staple recipes but decided to take a subscription to NYT Cooking instead.
This allows me to go through hundreds (probably thousands?) of recipes that cater to all kinds of diets, cuisines, difficulties and types of recipes. I might actually be brave enough to start baking next!
Fiery Favorites: TV shows
Over the last few months, I’ve tried to not watch TV/Netflix for too much. As explained in this blog here – 10 ways to improve your mental health during self-quarantine – watching tv for extended periods of time actually isn’t the healthiest form of relaxation. That being said, good series and documentaries can bring a much needed distraction or giggle!
What We Do in the Shadows
My partner is already experiencing the drawbacks – for him! – of me being obsessed with this show. It’s an American mockumentary comedy horror television series, centered around three traditional vampires, Nandor, Laszlo, and Nadja; Colin Robinson, an energy vampire; and Guillermo, Nandor’s familiar. The series revolves around the centuries-old vampires interacting with the modern world and other supernatural beings. It’s silly, entertaining and always good for a giggle
If you’ve read a few of my blogs, you know that I have a deep interest in all things true crime, and especially cults. The Vow on HBO follows a number of people deeply involved in the cult NXIVM and its leader Keith Raniere over the course of several years. HBO calls the cult a ‘self-improvement group’ in their description, which feels like an insult to the many victims of the cult and undermines the intense psychological manipulation carried out by him and his followers.
I had heard of this story previously through the Uncover podcast, which tells the story very clearly. The Vow isn’t as structured in telling the story, but seeing the story told by the people that got drawn in and then fought to leave is intriguing, and what kept me watching.
My latest Spotify Playlist
Short humble brag, I have thought at least four times over the last two weeks “this is such a fun playlist, which one is it?!”. Only to find out it’s my new playlist Alluring Autumn 2020 🍂✨. Not listening to it a lot while putting it together helped keep it somewhat of a surprise for myself!
It’s a mix of fun new Brazilian songs, some rock, some electronic – all tunes to keep me happy and cozy during Autumn. If you’d like to check it out, find it below or through here!
Always a fiery favorite: Wine <3
Earlier this year I finished another level of wine education (WSET 2), which involved a lot of flashcards, trips to the wine store, and study hours. I’ve bought my books for the third level, and I’m looking forward to having fun studying and tasting along, exploring specific countries and regions. Also, the countries which WSET doesn’t include in their education, and learn about the stories which these winemakers have to share.
I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own wine blog/channel/podcast, but am still thinking about how to make it fun and accessible for everyone. I want wine to be more approachable and fun for everyone – at every price level!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my fiery favorites – I certainly enjoyed writing this post! More Fiery favorites will be shared whenever I have something to share in the Lifestyle category!