The Charming Index – December

Charming | ADJ. | The power or quality of giving delight…

Your monthly guide to charming things, people, places, reads, eats, and style!

Hey y’all and happy New Year! I haven’t done one of these posts in a month or two, so I thought I would catch you all up on the things that have charmed me lately.

No. 1 All the Christmas Magic

Y’all I had too much fun decorating for Christmas this year. I hope it was obvious! I fully embraced bold color and let my imagination run with pretty pinks and blues. It turned out charming, at least in my opinion, and I learned that sometimes you just have to trust your tastes. If you need a bit of a recap, check out my chic & pink tree here, my bold tablescape here, and a full home tour here.

No. 2 Virgin River

I literally devoured the first season of this show in one sitting. It is so heartfelt and funny. Virgin River reminds me of a Hallmark movie, but much less corny. If you are a Kristen Ashley novel fan it also has a lot of those vibes going on. Watch it now on Netflix!

P.S. I just found out it is based on the books by Robyn Carr. Promptly adding those to my reading list!

No. 3 After Christmas Sales

Time to add a little something for yourself to the shopping list, and after Christmas sales are just the ticket for a great bargain.

A few of the best I’m checking out:

Serena & Lilly’s Tent Sale – up to 70%off

Loving this blue velvet quilt and this blue and white tassel pillow.

Tuckernuck – extra 30% off sale with code Hooray

Loving this black watch poncho, this teddy coat which would be under $200, and this silk scarf.

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale

Loving these leopard print sneakers and this cozy v-neck sweater.

My Picks from the After Christmas Sales:




No. 4 Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

Hands down the funniest take on Southern women and all our traditions, foibles, and frolics. I have been listening to it on audio book in the car and literally laughing so hard I’m crying and careening down the road to the point I’ve had to pull over. My favorite essays are “Peggy Sue Got Marijuana,” “How to Stay Married,” and “An Emily Post for the Apocalypse.”

Buy it here!

No. 5 Cranberry & Cinnamon Chèvre at Aldi

I have literally served this goat cheese spread at every gathering I’ve hosted this past fall, and everyone has loved it. Stop by Aldi and pick up some today for a delicious appetizer or snack, and I recommend serving it with an artisan cracker like the rosemary ones at Aldi.

No. 6 #Chinoiseriechicstyle

I feel so honored to have been featured this past month by the ladies of #Chinoiseriechicstyle! They are a charming bunch showcasing gracious entertaining and decorating tips and styles all with a nod to Chinoiserie. Check out the hashtag on Instagram and follow these gals: @craftingculture@camilapavone@paigeminear@dianarosespier@mimosalaneblog@katesmithinteriors@pmaristch@ohsolovingly

No. 7 Biltmore Cookbook

Our Table to Yours Chef’s Selection Cookbook – I love this cookbook for holiday meals. There are so many charming and unique recipes in it just right for Christmas. This year I actually made several recipes, including the pear vanilla mimosas, hazelnut buttered asparagus, and warm potato salad. Highly recommend this one y’all!

No. 8 Pomegranate Gin Cocktail

This has been our cocktail of choice this holiday season. It is light and fruity plus you are getting all those great antioxidants from the pomegranate juice and arils, so you can feel extra good about drinking it.? Get the recipe here!

No. 9 Little Women – The New Movie

Oh my was this just a delightful movie version or what?! I dragged S. with me and even he was enamored.

Of course Little Women is one of my all time favorite novels ever, so I am quite critical of new renditions, and this one more than passed muster. I loved how they captured the love, devotion, wit, and sass of the March sisterhood. Actress Saoirse Ronan’s portray of Jo was spot on and full of passion, angst, and at times just the right amount of awkward lankiness. Of course, Meryl Streep was perfect as Great Aunt March.

I also really liked how they played up the autobiographical elements and emphasized women writers’ struggles for credibility during this era.

I felt the chronological mix up was creative and an interesting approach, especially since most of the viewers are so familiar with the story, but at the end it felt too condensed, and I did not like how it crammed Beth’s illness and death into one mash-up. I was also a bit taken back by the out of place feminist rants by Amy and Jo. While their points were extremely valid and yes LMA was a suffragist and had feminist leanings, the messages of equality are more subtle and artful in the novel.

No. 10 Feeling Grateful For…

Accomplishment – I’m really proud of the Christmas content I created for P&P this month!

Ray of Sunshine – Family gathered around the Christmas tree!

Feeling Grateful For – Feeling healthy and having so much more energy since recovering from my endometriosis surgery!

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