We’ve officially hit the halfway point of Blogmas (unless I’m going to continue it until Dec 31), and it’s time for another book post. Because y’all love book posts and I love book posts and the holiday season is all about love. And festive Kindle Unlimited books. And also cheese. (Will there be a cheese post forthcoming? Who knows?! Actually… that’s not a bad idea…)
In my Best Books I Read in 2022 post, I briefly mentioned the Wild West of Kindle Unlimited. This is a wild and uncontrollable land that I have definitely gotten deeply lost in over the past six months or so. Like many people, I was tempted with the offer of two free months and the fact that most of the Percy Jackson-verse books are available through it, which made my re-read this summer a snap. And then I realized so many of the books you hear buzz about online are also available on Kindle Unlimited. So here I am… writing about Kindle Unlimited, lol.
Quick Kindle Unlimited Details
After your intro trial, it costs $10/month in Canada.
You can borrow up to 20 titles at once and can switch them out at any time.
It’s a real grab bag between bigger names (such as Rick Riordan, as alluded to above) and indie or newer authors. There are tons of self-published books. I think that’s what makes it wild and fun!
Because of this, a lot of the book blurbs will actually identify which tropes are going to appear in the book. I also think that’s fun.
You don’t need a Kindle to read – you can download a kindle app onto your phone or tablet, or even just read in an internet browser.
You can cancel your membership and then re-sign up at a later time, just like all of your favourite streaming services.
And now to illustrate my point, here are a few festive kindle unlimited books I’ll be reading this holiday season. I’m diving head first into the book version of Hallmark Christmas movies this year!
Another day, another blogmas post coming in just under the wire. I’m going to have to do a round up post on the social medias of all these late night blogmas posts, I think.
Today was a really great day, though. I have a holiday tradition of taking a day off work and going shopping with my dad to help him pick out gifts for my mom. I do a weekday morning workout class, my dad buys me a tea, we hit up a few stores, and then my parents and I go for a fun late lunch. This year, I took a Strength and Sweat class with the incredible Nicole Bouwman – I don’t get to take her class often because she teaches when I work. You should 100% take advantage of the thing I can’t do and take her Monday 0930 or Saturday 1030 class. I got my favourite Cardamom French Toast tea from David’s Tea, we bought my mom some very exciting gifts. And then we headed over to one of my local pubs, Penny Black, and I had a restaurant burger for the first time in ages. Delicious.
And now I’m going to write about a beer I was afraid of.
Day Six Clue
The Day Six Clue read “Did you say night-cap??” and I will be honest that I had no idea what this clue was leading up to. I also still might not know what it was referencing. Maybe the drink knocked that smart part of my brain out of my head?
Because once you follow me through the cut, you’ll understand why I say this.
Happy Day 11! I am actually quite surprised to be writing this post tonight. I had something else vaguely in mind and it isn’t a topic that I particularly thought I had opinions about. But today was a busy day (as alluded to yesterday) and I saw something on social media that made me incapable of keeping my mouth shut. So here I am… a single lady without kids… talking about Santa gifts.
The Santa Gifts Hot Take That Triggered Me
Okay, so I literally just stumbled upon this on the wild west of the internet… but someone anonymously shared an opinion that when parents don’t want the “big gift” to come from Santa (slash, they don’t get the credit from it), it’s gross. Well, I think they are gross!
Okay, maybe that is an overstatement, but I do think it is a fairly narrow-minded and not nuanced point of view. Allow me to explain.
Let me say, y’all, I have never been more glad that I have a beer advent calendar to fall back on during Blogmas. I know a lot of people pre-write their posts, but that isn’t for me, fam. I prefer to share my life as it is unfolding and also I prefer to live in a state of utter chaos. Because I make healthy choices.
Anyway, today has been super full and tomorrow suggests it will be the same. Classic Saturday – working at Movelology, doing some Pilates, gluing a carpet back together, going to Rylee’s Christmas concert, buying bras… Tomorrow will be equally busy, full of barre, the Saskatoon Berry Farm holiday market, some crib, and recording MOA. I also have to watch the Shadowhunters episode by tomorrow and three movies for Academy versus Audience by Tuesday. So, as you can imagine, I’m very glad that I can write a short little post about beer today!
Let me take a minute to talk about Rylee’s Christmas concert first, though. Adorable. Toddlers are the cutest. But it definitely reinforced for me how young she is (she turns 3 at the end of the month). When I’m playing with her, I feel like she’s such a big kid and has grown up so much, but then I saw, like, the 4 year olds in her class and they were so much bigger. She’s very cute though.
Also- parents of toddlers? Y’all should stop talking when the emcee is. Even if she has a microphone. Man, did the amount of people who kept talking give me anxiety… Anyway! Onto the beer!
Clue Five read “One toot is all you need”. I didn’t have a good immediate guess, but once again the Eighty-Eight website gave me a fairly good guess…
Welcome to Day 9, my friends! And I can already hear your wonderings – did I pick the topic for today because “Junction 9” has a 9 in it? Is it because it is Fitness Friday? Well… yes. And no. I specifically wanted to talk about Junction 9 Yoga & Pilates today because of a really special experience I had earlier this week.
You guys! I am hyyyyyypped to share this beer! It is Day Four of the Eighty-Eight Brewing advent calendar. All of the beers I’ve tried so far have been delicious (duh, I love this brewery), but this one? This one?!
It is new to me and I am officially obsessed. People who read last year’s blogmas will probably be able to guess what type of beer it is, because I am nothing if not consistent in my tastes. But we’ll get to that. First I want to finally take the opportunity to talk about Eighty-Eight Brewing Company.
Eighty-Eight is a Calgary-based brewery that launched in 2018 – their name is a reference to ‘88 Winter Olympics which, of course, was in Calgary. The names of their beers are all throwback references to the 80s and their taproom is also evocative of that decade. We love to see a consistent theme! Eighty-Eight is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment and they put their money where their mouth is. Just check out their Community Partnerships on their website. LOVE IT.
The summer of 2020 is the first time I remember drinking an Eighty-Eight beer, though. I distinctly remember doing outdoor yoga with Megan and Claire, then swinging by a Bridgeland liquor store to grab something to drink on Megan’s outdoor patio as we all sat 6 feet apart. Instantly, I the cute design of the Tiffany can drew me in and I quickly became obsessed with the rose saison. In the spring of 2021, my dad and I did a zoom tasting of four Eighty-Eight beers with their brewer. It was shocking to discover how many of their IPA variations I liked. In the spring of 2022 when Moveology opened, I discovered their taproom was essentially just down the road and I was hooked.
And then. And then.
I found out that this company was co-founded by the husband of one of my best friends from junior high. Ugh. I love Calgary!
Day Four Clue
But enough about me, onto the beer. The Day Four clue read “Sneak away for some you-time this season”. Nothing immediately came to mind for me, but I checked out their taproom menu and happened to notice a little beer named “The Hall Pass”…
It’s the first Wednesday of December and what does that mean? That means it’s time for a Wellness Wednesday. And, hoo boy, do we all need to remember to focus on wellness during December. The holidays are (to quote a yoga instructor I had once) a very full time of year. There are demands on our time, finances, emotional energy… no wonder we might need a reminder to centre ourselves sometimes. Which brings me to the core, the thesis, the theme of this post. No is a complete sentence.
Winter is upon us, my friends. No, the official first day of Winter isn’t until Dec 21, but the weather will not be told otherwise. (And who decided that winter started in late December anyway? Obviously someone from a temperate climate!) As I write this, I am looking at the snow falling gently from the sky – so beautiful, so likely to double my commute to work tomorrow, despite the fact that we should all be used to driving in the snow by now.
This is not our first snowfall this fall… or even this week! The snow started falling on Sunday night while I was making dinner with my siblings and enjoying the third beer from my Eighty-Eight Brewing advent calendar.
Boom! How is that for a segue, y’all?! But before we get into the big reveal, let me share the…
Day Three Clue
As you can see, the Day Three clue read “You’ll always be our favourite” and I assumed it was a reference to their beer Hammer Pants. Because… well… Hammer Pants. Who doesn’t have a special spot in their heart for these voluminous beauties?
Readers from last year’s Blogmas will remember that I truly love a pop-up holiday bar. I love kitsch, I love special drinks, I love a theme – how could I not be head over heels for a pop-up? Last year, I was all about the tiki drinks but this year Claire and I decided to go a little bit more upscale and check out the Miracle on 1st Street pop-up at Proof!
I forgot to take any pictures of the decor, so thank goodness for being able to embed instagram posts!
It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holiday season! Sometimes, when you don’t have kids who are getting hyped for the holidays, it can be hard to inspire yourself to decorate seasonally. (Okay, when I say “sometimes”, I mean “sometimes for me”. I know there are a lot of fantastic single ladies out there who are very into changing their decor when the seasons change. But I fear change, so it is not me.)
But! I publicly announced that I needed to declutter my living room this weekend, which meant that I was very shamed into actually doing it. And once I was already moving things around, I might as well decorate. And by “decorate”, I mostly mean “put Christmas balls on surfaces”. I like to optimize the little decor I have. And I also like sparkly things.
And I also like enjoying a beer from my advent calendar while I’m haphazardly decorating!
Day Two Clue
The Day Two clue read “Just wanna have fun”.
I actually just spent an evening at Eighty-Eight with friends of the blog, Megan and Claire, and I know they have a really fantastic seasonal White Wine Spritzer IPA called “Cyndi”…