November Update

Hey Nourishing Tween friends!

Welcome to my second monthly blog in which I tell you all about what I’m doing/enjoying/reading/eating each month, and also let you in on any deals I find. I got some kind support from readers last month, so thought I’d continue the new tradition!

Since it’s Thanksgiving season, I’m guessing many of you are busy with holiday shopping. So for my November update, I’m going to start with the DEALS I’ve found for you!

Deals I’ve found for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Nourishing Tweens is a participant in several affiliate programs, advertising programs that provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and other websites. I only recommend things that I truly like and would use myself. If you click through my links and make a purchase, there is no additional charge to you.

Deals on Fashion and Clothes

Hurley’s the place for cool style for teen guys and girls. Their Black Friday deals are live already, and they are offering 30% off sitewide with the code THANKS30. Go straight to their gift guide for lots of ideas.

If you have younger tween girls, then you need to head over to Justice for a million adorable choices! Justice is offering 35% off on everything for Black Friday. They also have a gift guide full of fun ideas.

Deals on Books and Learning

Big Life Journal is a favorite company of mine. They offer products to help kids build their resilience and self-confidence and build a growth mindset. Kids nowadays need help with their mental health, and Big Life Journal has some fantastic tools! Until November 29, they are having a huge buy one get one 50% sale!

The Good and the Beautiful is such a lovely company! They offer not only homeschool curriculum, but a library of books that are clean and full of positive messages, including many forgotten classics. Their prices are always reasonable since they are on a mission to get as many books into kids’ hands as possible. This week they are offering 30% off all their new releases. They have a new drawing book full of birds for 30% off – it’s only $6.99! I bought their drawing book of trees last summer for myself and it’s such a relaxing activity for when I need a break. Visit their Grateful for Good Books sale All their new books are 30% off through December 6. The one that looks most interesting to me is their new level 10 book, The Island of Appledore, which takes place during World War I – it’s only $5.59!

Tuttle Twins is a company that has books for teaching kids about the benefits of a free society and capitalism. Many parents are worried that basic American values are not being taught in schools and are under attack in our culture. Tuttle Twins has a massive deal going on- you can get all 12 of their basic books for 75% off! And they are throwing in the parent guides, activity workbooks, and audiobooks. These books are intended for kids ages 5-11, but they are full of info that even many adults don’t know or understand. For older tweens and teens they have some choose your own adventure style books. They aren’t deeply discounted, but they are $10 less for the set of four right now.

Deals on Kitchen Items and Decor

With holiday baking coming up, you need a Kitchen Aid Mixer! If you don’t have one already, head over to the Thanksgiving sale on the Kitchenaid website. Their countertop air fryers are also on sale right now – that’s what our family needs! Their immersion blenders are another item I can’t live without – I use mine whenever I make a creamed soup like my Butternut Squash Soup, and they are 30% off! All of their appliances are on sale

I’ve told you before about my favorite non-toxic pans at GreenPan. They are currently on sale for 40-60% off and they are even throwing in free gifts! Make it easy on yourself and go straight to the GreenPan gift guide to find the best items. Maybe you’re the one who deserves a gift?!?

Deals on Everything

Etsy is one of my favoite places to shop – you can get amazing handmade items from small business owners all over America and the world. Get something unique for the people you love! Right now, there are some awesome deals. November 20 until December 1, find discounts up to 60% off select items.  I love to find cute decor there, too. They also have a handy gift finder.

My Newest Article

My latest article is Gift Ideas for Nerdy Teen and Tween Boys. Nerdiness is something I know a lot about ….trust me, I’m an expert. So I compiled a list of gift ideas from Etsy. If you haven’t been shopping on Etsy, you’ve been missing out! As I said above, Etsy is made up of small business owners who are creators and makers. You will be amazed at the fantastic gifts you can find there.

If you have a nerd you love that you need to find a gift for, check out my article! And yes, there is plenty on the list for girls, too. I was just trying to aim it more at the parents of boys since I already have an article with gift ideas for tween girls and and article about fashion for teen and tween girls.

You also might be interested in my article full of gift ideas for teens and tweens who love Harry Potter.

Fall forest
I love fall best of all!
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

What We’re Learning in our Homeschool

This month my son and I wrapped up our studies of Ancient Rome. If you are curious about what we did for that, check out my October Update where I went into detail.

After Rome, we learned about what else was happening in the world at that time. We learned about the Early Church and the rise of Islam in our textbook, Notgrass Exploring World History, as well as in the Great Courses Foundations of Western Civilization we’ve been watching.

To help us learn about Islam, we also read some of the Cartoon History of the Universe 3 and watched the Crash Course World History about Islam. We also added in the geography of Saudi Arabia using the Geography Now video and the lesson in Gather Round.

The Byzantine Empire rose out of the Roman Empire in the east. I added some of Khan Academy’s art history course videos into our studies, as I think the art and architecture of the Byzantine Empire was so unique and is worth knowing about.

We also delved into old-timey Scandinavia. We learned about Norse gods and mythology (which coincidentally was awesome because our family has also been watching all the Marvel movies in order, so Thor has been on our minds).

We used two books and we also watched some episodes of Crash Course World Mythology. I highly recommend the book Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. He’s a great author, and his interpretations of the myths is highly readable. The other book we read was Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, by Edith Hamilton. It is a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations. It covers Greek and Roman mythology as well as the Norse gods (the Norse section is not as long as the others).

And as we learned some of the history of Scandinavia, we also added in lessons on geography. We watched one of our favorite YouTube channels, Geography Now. We watched the episodes for Sweden and Norway.

Vikings were next! We had a chapter about them in our textbook, Notgrass Exploring World History.

As we covered those topics, we rounded them out with our literature – Beowulf. I had high hopes for our study of Beowulf, which is an epic poem, a classic hero story, in Old English. I thought surely a hero who battled monsters would capture my son’s attention.


Not really. It is darn hard to follow. We are using Learning Language Arts Through Literature for much of our English class this year. I’m really liking it as a curriculum, as it’s helping us get through some challenging advanced literature. And as a new homeschool mom…I am NOT trained as a high school English teacher, and I need help. But Beowulf is tough. I will tell you this – if you have a high schooler studying Beowulf, get the JRR Tolkien translation.

AND, if you are reading Beowulf, watch the YouTube video Thug Notes: Beowulf. Thug Notes is a literary analysis series of videos that markets itself as “classic literature, original gangster.” Warning: some of his videos have some salty language.

We also really enjoyed the lecture on Beowulf in Great Courses: Heroes and Legends. The professor in that course is quite enthralling! We watched his lectures on Odysseus and the introductory one on Frodo Baggins as well.

Books I’ve Been Reading

Besides the ones I’ve been reading for school, I also do have one I’ve been reading for my grown-up book club. This month it’s Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty. We picked that book since it’s been recently turned into a TV show (I think it’s on Hulu, which I don’t have).

I’m not that far into the book yet as I, Claudius (see my October update) took up my reading time the first few weeks of November. I love Liane Moriarty – all of her books are full of fun twists and turns. I’ve read most of her books. What Alice Forgot is one of my favorites! Nine Perfect Strangers seems to be turning out to be just as fun as the others – I’ll let you know when I finish it in next month’s update!

What I’ve Been Cooking

Our cooler fall weather is finally here! One of my favorite things about fall is…it’s soup season! I’ve been making lots of soup lately. One of my favorite soup recipes is my Butternut Squash Soup.

It’s also pie season! Earlier this week I tried a new recipe for pumpkin pie. My friend Elizabeth over at The Healdsburg Table has a bold pumpkin pie recipe named after her grandma…it’s called Binky’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie and it’s full of extra spices and RUM. If you want to spice things up this season, give it a try!

Where I’ve Been

My husband and I were able to get away for a weekend to Sonoma County with some friends. We had such a fantastic time! Wine tasting is one of our favorite things to do together. As we were celebrating his 50th birthday, we splurged on a lovely room at the Bella Villa Messina bed and breakfast in Healdsburg, California.

Our host, Jerry, was so much fun! Every day he provided a delicious breakfast and a festive happy hour for us and the other guests. His conversations were always entertaining, and his doggies are adorable. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend the Bella Villa Messina.

I have an article about how to have a fun weekend in Sonoma with tweens – give it a read if you are heading to the area.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and for all your support! Comment below with any thoughts you have on what you’d like me to write about next!

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