The Good Stuff: The Art of Being Alone, A Visit to Teakettle Junction, and The Most Glorious Cactus Paintings EVER

Oh my gosh, you guys. Can you even believe it's December?! This year... I'm tellin' ya.

We are officially neck deep in the holiday season.  Bert+Lou Holiday cards are fully stocked, I'm planning on making some cookies on my next day off, and may even hit up the local Christkindl market this weekend (bonus points for festivity if it snows like they say it's supposed to!).  I'm making it a real point to take time to do things that bring me joy this year.  Last Christmas I was an emotional wreck (recent traumatic breakup, a forced move, majorly crushed ego, badly missed my sister, a beloved pet died, etc...), so my goal is to enjoy the season a little more this time around. That means more cookies, more self-care spa nights, more Motown and N*SYNC Christmas songs, and more spending time with people I genuinely love being around.

What are you doing to get in the spirit? 

I am absolutely OBSESSED with these tattoos by Pony Reinhardt.  Do you think I should finally get my otter tattoo?

Need to visit: In Catalonia, a church becomes a place of artistic pilgrimage.

The value of being alone.  The art of being alone

The art of the Japanese teapot

I struggle almost daily with the knowledge that I currently don't and might not ever want/have children.  I've found a bit of reassurance here and here. (You can find a more extreme example here.)

There is an actual grasshopper in this Van Gogh painting!

An art historian's insightful views into the depiction of tattoos in Japanese art and culture. 

The Wing's Lady Library

Seriously dreamy: The best cabin getaways

THIS swoon-worthy chandelier that I NEED but that is so far out of my budget (sobs internally).

Starbucks is releasing a special addition juniper latte that sounds either amazing or repulsive, I can't decide.  What do you think??

For the first time in U.S. history, women are better educated than their husbands.  BOOYA.

A holiday survival guide for introverts. 

The art of hand-painted ski maps

I'd love to make a trip to Death Valley's Tea Kettle Junction!

I can't even begin to fathom the process required to create these towering cactus paintings