This Past October…
Another month has passed, and I’m continually amazed at how fast time flies! Fall has officially arrived in Northwest Arkansas and I could not be happier about it! Leaves are changing, we haven’t had the air on for about a month, and everything just smells like fall.
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We started October by returning home from our vacation to Vancouver and British Columba. Neal and I promised to take a trip every year before we have kids. Vancouver has been on our list of places to visit for a few years now. Once we found an amazing flight deal using Scott’s Cheap Flights, we decided British Columbia would be our big trip for the year! Though getting both of us there ended up being more eventful than we expected, we had an amazing trip. We spent three nights in Vancouver, one night in Victoria, three nights in Kelowna (British Columbia’s wine country), and one last night in Vancouver. I plan to write a full post sharing details and photos from the trip. It’s hard to pick a single highlight from the trip, but one that stands out is when we saw about 15 – 18 killer whales on our whale watching tour. It was incredible and undescrible!
(p.s. I took that photo and I am SO PROUD OF IT!!! Not only is it in focus which was so hard on that little boat, but I got 4 whales at one time! They remind me of synchronized swimmers all lined up)
What I’m Reading in October
Oh man, I read some books that were unexpectedly good this month.
- Mademoiselle Chanel by C. W. Gortner (link here) – Did you know Coco Chanel was an orphan? I didn’t. This novel gives a glimpse into Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s rag to riches life.
- Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (link here) – I love Gillian Flynn’s novels. I’ve read a few now, and they keep me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. I really enjoyed the character development and twists in this one.
- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (link here) – I haven’t finished this one yet. This is a coming of age novel about a young girl from Kentucky that wants to get out of her home town, which I can so relate to! On her road trip across the country, motherhood and responsibility is unexpectedly thrust upon her. I love the writing style in this one.
- The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (link here) – My mom gave me this book when she came to visit. This was another one where I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I actually stayed up reading until 11:30 one night because I just couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend!!
- The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (link here) – Reading about Afghanistan when it was under the Taliban control interests me so much. I’m so inspired by how people, especially women, persevered. This book is an incredible story of how a young girl creates a tailoring business to support her family.
I’ve been interested in safer beauty for a while now, but have been turned off by the more expensive price tag of a lot of products out there. But when I used up the last of my concealer, I took the plunge and bought RMS Uncoverup. I have been so impressed with the RMS uncoverup so far. The coverage is decent and buildable, but the product feels light on the skin. I pat it on with my finger. Most days, I only wear it under my eyes and around my nose where I tend to be a little red but I have also used it all over my face, applying it with a damp beauty blender. When I initially apply it to my face, the color seems a little too light, but it seemingly blends in after a few seconds. I use shade 00 for all over coverage and 44 for my contour and finish with pressed powder.
This egg drop soup recipe from The Defined Dish has been on major repeat this month. I swear it is magical. Both Neal and I have felt like we were getting sick and after eating this for dinner and getting a good nights sleep, we have felt good as new in the morning! I’ve changed the recipe a bit, adding an onion, increasing the ginger, and adding mushrooms. I plan to post my take on egg drop soup in November!
I’m very into butternut squash and pumpkin right now. I can’t get over the combination of butternut squash, tahini, pomegranate seeds, and cilantro. I played around with a butternut squash hummus recipe that I will be posting next week that I am OBSESSED with. It’s so so sooooooo good. And also pumpkin is amazing this time of year. I made my gluten free chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe (link here) about 4 times, bringing some into work to share (which is so fun to share with coworkers but kinda defeats the purpose of sharing with others if I still eat half the loaf ha!) I’ve also been making caffeine free homemade pumpkin spice lattes with rooibos tea. With all the pumpkin goodness going on in my kitchen, I love that I have this pumpkin pie spice blend on hand.
I also had a major cooking fail when cooking Chrissy Teigen’s Zucchini Lasagna Bolognese from her first cookbook, Cravings (link here). So my first mistake was not reading the recipe through since I’ve made the dish before. I forgot the sauce had to simmer for so long and that the zucchini had to sit with salt on them to expel some water before roasting. I also sliced my zucchini paper thin which was a huge mistake! About half my zucchinis burnt and were stuck to the baking sheet. So I sliced the remaining zucchini that I had and rolled with that without letting them rest with salt or roasting. It made for a very watery lasagna. I mean, it still tasted good, but ehh, just not as good as it was in the past. Oops. Lesson learned, I really need to read recipes first and not be cocky. Of course that isn’t my only mistake this month, but the only one I’m not too embarrassed by to share.
Neal went to Michigan to go to the Michigan State vs. University of Michigan football game with some of his close guy friends that he grew up with. Unfortunately, the Spartans didn’t win, but don’t tell mention that to Neal. It is a sore subject.
I had a girls weekend in Denver with two of my best friends! One lives in Boston, the other in Seattle, and with me in Arkansas, Denver was the most central location. We did some hiking, ate lots of food, chatted over wine, and went out dancing one night. If you’re in Denver you absolutely must have the cheese dip at Adelita’s. It is addicting!! I love it paired with fresh corn tortillas. Denver treated us to the most amazing sunset as we were returning our rental car. It was a great weekend! And I got to see one of my older sister’s who lives there!
I just love our little Dobby <3. It was so hard being apart from him for a full week while we were traveling, but he truly has the best Rover who he absolutely loves. His Rover has been walking him a few times a week since February and I just love that we can trust her with our fur baby while we go out of town because if he were at a kennel I would be a worried mess the whole time! Poor boy did have a UTI this month and was having accidents in the house nearly everyday for about a week! After realizing he was having problems peeing outside, we took him to the vet and a course of antibiotics has cleared up the issue.
Here are some of my favorite Dobby photos from this month:
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