Well, we’ve arrived at my final Friday Five of 2017! This has been a big year for me personally (see my Instagram Best Nine slide show)…but globally it’s been a raging dumpster fire of a disaster. Here’s hoping 2018 is full of real progress.

Because this is most likely my last post of 2017, before I jump into today’s five things I want to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and safe New Year’s. Cheers to great things in 2018!

1. The Last Jedi: my husband and I went to see the new Star Wars movie last Saturday night (in a theater with new reclining seats!) and we both really enjoyed it. I won’t spoil anything here, but I will say that Adam Driver is so super intense in the best way. Daisy Ridley also did phenomenal work—and on top of that, she has the most flawless skin in any galaxy. It’s so heartening to see heroic people of color in the main cast of a gigantic movie.  And this gif of Chewie and a Porg is my new favorite moment ever.

2. Up and Vanished: I’ve been binging on this true crime podcast all week; it’s about the 2005 disappearance of a small town Georgia schoolteacher/beauty queen named Tara Grinstead. Most of the episodes are fairly short, like under a half hour, so I’ve found myself listening to two or three in a row while cleaning or watering my orchids. The podcast is well researched and has a shit ton of twists and turns—it’s a must-listen for any true crime buff.

3. PyroPet Kisa: my friend sent me this super cool candle…I had never heard of these before but it’s like it was made just for me! An Icelandic designer created these candles and funded her company using Kickstarter. The candles have a metal skeleton inside that begins to reveal itself as the candle burns down! The candles themselves are beautiful and I almost didn’t want to burn it. Its wick went out about two thirds of the way down, but you can see most of the skeleton regardless. What an awesome gift!!

4. Zucchini Bake with Farro and Ricotta: I found this recipe on NaturallyElla.com and Pinned it to make at a later date. That date came this week…and the bake turned out great! The pic below makes it looks like a straight up pizza casserole (which sounds amazing and now I need to find a recipe for one), but underneath that top cheesy layer are farro, zucchini, squash, onions, and red bell pepper, all mixed up with ricotta and basil. I will definitely make this dish again!

5. Sweet Loren’s Chocolate Chunk Place & Bake Cookie Dough: Full disclosure: Loren, the owner of this cookie brand, is a friend of a friend and I have met her on many occasions. However, I hadn’t realized that she’s now selling refrigerated cookie dough, and I got so excited when I saw it in my local supermarket! So of course I bought a package. It’s incredible easy to pop one of these cookies into the toaster oven and bake it—there’s no need to make the whole package at once. These cookies taste so great, and they contain better-for-you ingredients than your typical refrigerated cookie dough. I promise I’m not being paid to say this—you’ve got to try them for yourself!