What’s Up September
Another month is in the books. Are feeling as ready for fall as I am? Pumpkins are on our front porch, fall candles have been lit and we are ready to switch out our summer salads for soups and sauces. What are you looking forward to most in October? 🎃
What We’re Eating This Month
To make meal planning a little easier I usually make some sort of Mexican food recipe on Tuesdays. Our go-tos were feeling a little stale, so I tried this Taco Casserole recipe that I spotted on one of my favorite Instagram accounts. If you aren’t already following @cookingclassy, you need to immediately! I found the following two recipes on her website too.
Greek Chicken Kebabs prepared on the grill was a great dinner to have on the warm, fall evenings we have been experiencing. I served it with a Mediterranean chopped salad and naan. My kids loaded the chicken and veggies on top of the naan bread and ate it like a taco.
This tender Kalua Pork cooks for 16 hours in the slow cooker and is well worth the wait! It provided our family of 4 with enough pork to feed us for three meals. The first night we served it over coconut rice with a tropical salad. The next day we had mini-pulled pork sandwiches for lunch. It was delicious served on a hawaiian roll with a drizzle of BBQ sauce. We froze the remainder of the pork to have in the future. I’m leaning towards putting it in tacos with a tropical salsa.
A friend recommended these Lemon Chicken Breasts. They are a staple in her household. She often makes extra and uses any leftovers to top salads with later in the week. My family found these chicken breasts to be moist, flavorful and we wouldn’t hesitate to make these again soon. The recipe suggests that you use boneless chicken breasts, skin on. Unfortunately, my grocery store only had boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The recipe was just as successful without the skin, although I’m sure the addition of crispy, seasoned skin would have been divine.
What We’ve Been Up To
We kicked the month off with a trip to Tahoe to celebrate my 44th birthday. It offered a bit of a respite from smokey skies and triple digit heat that the Bay Area was experiencing. We spent a lot of time at the lake, lounging in tubes and playing paddle board chicken (two people try to see who can stay on top of a single SUP the longest while rocking the board). We had a fabulous outdoor dinner with friends where we shared a bottle of my favorite wine while looking out at the surrounding mountains. My kids both shocked me and gobbled down a salmon mousse amuse-bouche without prodding. I could not have asked for a better birthday.
In other news… I had my first experience as a passenger while my daughter drove. We worked on backing out of the driveway and circled our neighborhood for a half hour while she continued to get comfortable behind the wheel. I felt like my exterior demeanor was calmer than my interior. While teaching your child to drive has anyone else felt that pulling the door handle in the direction you want your child to steer the car offers you some semblance of control?
What I’m Loving
Two things that I am obsessing over this month are the Organic Pumpkin Bread from Trader Joes and the OPI Nail & Cuticle Oil To-Go.
I have been craving the Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread every morning since I took my very first bite. Some mornings I smear a little Apple Cider Jam over the top and other days I prefer it with just butter. Yesterday, I picked up a tub of the turkey, cranberry, apple salad to dollop on top of the pumpkin bread for a easy fall lunch. Check out this post for more of my Trader Joe’s Fall picks. I’ll continue to update it as I try more seasonal products when they arrive.
I don’t know if it’s age or climate, but lately my cuticles have been drier than ever and I am constantly trimming back hang nails. I spotted this OPI Nail and Cuticle Treatment near the counter at my local Ulta and have applied it everyday for the past 2 weeks. I am thrilled to report that my nails have never looked better and I have yet to develop any new cuticle damage.
What I’m Watching
Ted Lasso was not on my radar until a friend recommended I check it out. I was hooked immediately by this feel-good show on Apple TV+. Ted Lasso is the story of a college football coach hired to be a professional soccer coach in England. During a time of added stress and anxiety this will make your heart happy.
Between watching @gocleanco instagram stories and Get Organized with the Home Edit my house has never been more clean and organized. Go Clean and Co has gained over 1,000,000 followers since the beginning of the pandemic with their step by step cleaning videos. I can’t believe how many uses I’ve been finding for powdered Tide since I started watching. My daughter immediately noticed that some of our books have now been arranged in rainbow order in true The Home Edit fashion. I dare you to watch either and not be inspired to put their methods to use in your own home.
What I’m listening To
Listening to SmartLess is like being a fly on the wall during a hilarious conversation between good buddies Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. Even the commercials are hilarious as they make fun of themselves and each other. My only complaint is that each episode isn’t longer. One of my favorite times to listen has been while I’m out on a run because it makes the miles fly by. I must have looked like a lunatic to the people I passed last week when Maya Rudolph was the guest. She had me in stitches for most of my run. Keep your earbuds in while listening to this podcast as the content can be quite explicit.
An discussion Jennifer Garner had with Dr. Aliza Pressman first introduced me to the Raising Good Humans podcast. Since then I have I downloaded a handful of episodes that relate to parenting teens. Dr. Aliza and her guests give down to earth advice that is easy to digest. If you are a parent on the hunt for advice I would recommend browsing through all the episodes to find what is most relevant to the age and stage you are experiencing.
What I’m Reading
I was debating what book to read first this month and asked on Instagram for your advice. Wow! 100% of you voted Have You Seen Me by Kate White. I can see why it is so popular. The main character has lost all memory of the last two days. Readers are as anxious to find out what happened during that time as the main character. This book kept me engaged as I tried to guess the cause before the answer was finally revealed.
Although The Death of Mrs. Westaway takes place during modern times, it could have just as easily taken place in the late 1800’s. I loved that this mystery felt like a timeless classic. It was thoroughly enjoyable thriller and not at all gory.
I woke up in the middle of the night and grabbed for American Dirt book with the thought that reading a little might help me get back to sleep faster. I picked the wrong book! A couple hours later the sun was rising and I was completely enthralled by this story of a mother and son escaping from Mexico. This may be my favorite book of 2020.
I just got off a very long waiting list at our local library for The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens. It was recommended to me after last months What’s Up August post and I can’t wait to get started. I really appreciate the recomendations that you send me!
What I’m Wearing
I took advantage of my birthday discount at Anthropologie to pick up something that evoked feelings of fall, but could be worn while temperatures are still soaring. The rich colors and fun print of this jumpsuit immediately caught my eye. The cinched waist and bra friendly straps sold me. Check out this post to see all the different ways I’m planning to wear it this fall. It’s on super sale right now for $34.97!
Blue light glasses have become a popular (and much needed) accessory this year. I was on the hunt for a pair my son would like to wear while learning online when I stumbled across this pair for myself (I bought these for my son). Both are currently under $20.
These charm drop earrings were high on my wish list during this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Luckily, my husband caught on to my hints (was sending him the link too obvious?) and I feigned surprise as I opened these beauties on my birthday. I absolutely love that they aren’t too heavy and include a mix of metals. It makes them so easy to mix and match with my other jewelry.
You can bet on the fact that I put on a sweater the on the very first overcast day we had. This camo bomber sweater jacket had the feel of an updated cardigan. I can’t wait to wear this flattering layer more over the next two seasons.
What I’m Doing This Weekend
We are sticking close to home this weekend. A backyard visit with my parents, dinner out with friends and a Saturday morning hike are all on the calendar. The saying “we plan, God laughs” has never been truer than in 2020 Nearby fires, hot weather and high winds over the course of the next week may put a damper on our weekend plans.
What I’m looking Forward to Next Month
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for cooler temps and fewer restrictions moving into October. I was excited to hear that our county moved from purple to red on our state’s COVID-19 tiered monitoring list yesterday. Hopefully our county will continue to follow this downward trend. I am praying that the fires this week are the last of the season. Hang in there friends!
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