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Weekend Favorite Things + life lately in photos

A little life update and some of my favorite things this month! You’ll find everything from tips to staying organized, a killer at-home workout, and books & movies to read and see. 

Weekend Favorites + Life Lately in Photos

Hellooooo Friday. Thank you for being here FINALLY.

I’m basically sitting here being like WTF how is it already December 5th and wondering if it’s possible to do ALL my Christmas shopping online this year. I also have no freaking clue what I’m going to get Tony. Usually I’m really good about thoughtful gifts, but this year I am at a total loss. The man has everything he needs. Please help me if you have ANY cool guy gift ideas!

So anyway, I wanted to do a little catching up with you today via a little iPhone photo dump because that hasn’t happened in a while. I’ve also been OBSESSED with BlogLovin’ lately and all of the amazing blogs out there; there are just too many good things to share — especially this time of year. I feel like I could read cookie recipes and check out fashion blogs all day long. HELP ME.

So first things first. THE LINKS!

Basically I’ve been totally obsessed with Amazon and finding gifts for everyone, including myself. I REALLY want this spiralizer so that I can start making veggie noodles on the blog. It’s actually a necessity. And I promise I will do a couple gift guides ASAP.

Next, this chili looks to die for. Plus, it’s healthy!

Loving this fabulous December produce guide. I want to cook all the things.

This cookie mix is a MUST. For reals. What a unique combo.

Work from home? These 10 tips have helped me stay organized.

I desperately want a camel coat for winter and this one is gorgeous.

Are you a blogger looking for ideas on how to diversify your content? Here are 50 ideas for blog posts.

I live in Chicago, so my closet space is super limited however I really love this no-closet inspiration.

I really want to see Wild this weekend. Reese looks amazing!

Do you have a good pair of winter boots? These are on my Christmas list.

For some reason all I can think about is peanut butter fudge. GIVE IT TO ME.

I love Nicole’s 30 minute at home workout. She’s so wonderful!

I just preordered my friend Andie’s memoir on weight loss, binge eating, and finding herself. My goodness, I can’t wait to read it.

Now onto some life lately photos…

Meatballs cooking in a saucepan

I’ve been making these turkey meatballs and they are FABULOUS. Seriously LOVE meatballs so much.

Monique at a yoga class

I’ve been doing a lot of yoga, but think I injured myself somehow last week. I’m really not sure how it started or what’s going on so I haven’t worked out at all this week. I don’t remember the last time I didn’t work out for a week straight. It’s kind of driving me a little crazy, but I’m trying to pay attention to my body and basically not do ANYTHING. Whomp, whomp.

Street in Chicago

Chicago has been chilly but I’m loving my new neighborhood. I really don’t drive that much so bundling up in warm clothes is essential. I recently got the MOST adorable coat from Stitch Fix – promise to show you soon!

Monique taking a photo in the mirror

I got this top and jeans from Stitch Fix. They’re simple and cozy and I absolutely love them. Sorry no full Stitch Fix post last month! I need to keep up with that.

Pizza in a box

Someone recently recommended that I go to Piece Pizza, which was terrific if you’re looking for something other than deep-dish in Chicago.

Monique wearing a grey scarf

This is my favorite scarf EVER. My friend Jessie hand knits and then sells them on her Etsy shop. Seriously order one! You’ll fall in love and they are the BEST gift.

Double chocolate cookie on a wire rack

It’s Christmas cookies season and I’ve been baking up a storm. These double chocolate chip cookies were a new favorite. And they’re made with coconut oil!

Endangered Species almond butter creme filled chocolate bar

I’m always finding the best chocolate bars at Whole Foods. They also have one that’s filled with coconut creme. Mmmm hmmm. Just imagine these in some cookies. DO IT.

Running shoes on a path

Before I got confined to the couch, it was Thanksgiving and I was determined not to stuff myself silly so I went for a 3.5 mile run in the afternoon. It felt so good to get some exercise in before I ate and drank.

Peanut butter banana creme pie

I made two pies on Thanksgiving. One of them being a peanut butter banana cream, with a chocolate bottom and a peanut butter graham cracker crust. Tony LOVED it.

Unbaked dutch apple pie

The next was a dutch caramel apple pie with bourbon. Unfortunately it really wasn’t caramel like enough for me, but it was still delicious. Oh and I made it with Honeycrisp apples so it had a wonderful sweetness.

Sugar Rush book by Johnny Iuzzini

My friend Johnny sent me his new book Sugar Rush. You may know him from Top Chef Desserts. He’s so wonderful and his book is a serious baking bible. I plan to feature a recipe and do a giveaway soon so stay tuned!

Holding a brownie topped with peanut butter

I still can’t stop baking my black bean brownies and enjoying them as a midnight snack. Even more delicious topped with a little peanut butter. It’s like eating fudge.

Photo of Monique as a child

Throwback to Kindergarten! I’ve been going through old photos and stumbled upon this one. I mean just check out my sick outfit – BALLER. I pretty much look the same except without the gap in my teeth.

Turkey chili cooking on a stovetop

Can’t stop eating and making chili. I swear it’s all I want to do. Warm, spicy chili in my belly is just about the only thing I desire.

Holding half of a chocolate chip cookies

Okay and cookies. But who doesn’t love all cookies this time of year? These are my most recent creation — Whole Wheat Olive oil Chocolate Chip Cookies with sea salt.

Teal desk

Last but not least, I’ve been on the hunt for vintage furniture pieces in Chicago. So far this place is my favorite.

Have a wonderful weekend. To keep up to date with posts and behind the scenes info on Ambitious Kitchen,  follow me on BlogLovin’FeedlyFacebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. xoxo!

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links which help to support Ambitious Kitchen.

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