Happy October, guys!
I absolutely adore this time of year. September is probably my favorite month of the whole year, and I’m pretty sure October comes in as a close second.
Not only is September the start of a new season, but the school year typically starts in September, and although this year is weird and not ideal, it’s still a refresh on our day-to-day lives and routine that our family needed. The weather has been spectacular here lately. Chilly mornings and evenings with warm, low-humidity afternoons. We’ve been trying to soak up as much outdoor time as possible before it all changes.
September was an exciting month for us. We started school, which was nerve-wracking and frustrating at times (still is), but Kieran LOVES it and it fills my heart with so much joy to see him happy and stimulated. He loves going to school and is really enjoying this odd year so far.
We also signed him up for martial arts classes and he is LOVING it. We tried last fall and he didn’t really get into it. Now that he’s a bit older and more confident, he is really thriving. It feels so amazing to have him in an actual organized activity – it’s been so long! The classes also feel very safe – all precautions are being taken, especially social distancing and limited (if any) contact – AND they are even doing a bunch of the classes outside when the weather permits.
He and I both had birthdays in September, and this past week was my wedding anniversary. Lots of stuff happens in our lives in September. I love it.
Finn has been developing and changing SO much this past month. He turned 18 months early on in September and has been developing an adorable personality. He mimics Kieran constantly, which is so funny because he doesn’t really know what he’s doing half the time. If Kieran acts like Godzilla and knocks over all the blocks, so does Finn – same “monster” noises and all. It’s so cute. He’s also very stubborn and thinks it’s hilarious when we tell him to stop doing something and he keeps doing it. Such a little stinker. He is running all over the place, constantly trying to keep up with his big brother. He is such a sweet child. He has been since he was born. Kieran is also very sweet natured but has a much more stereotypical “boy” personality. Finn is so sweet and tender. He’ll come over and plop in my lap at any given moment, or blow kisses, or snuggle right into my neck with the best of hugs. I hope he stays this way.
It’s the kind of stuff that makes people want to have another baby. That’s not happening, haha, but I get it.
October should be a good one, too. We have some fun plans to go apple picking and visiting pumpkin patches and eating lots of apple cider donuts (one of my kids’ absolute favorite fall treats). We’re going to soak up this last month of outdoor time as much as we can. Around here, things always take a drastic turn in November. Gotta get outside as much as possible before it gets too cold!
I had lots of fun discoveries this past month, and I have so many fun things to tell you about!
- I am constantly trying to change up my exercise routine. I kind of annoy myself actually because I rarely stick with something. I get bored too easily and am onto the next thing before I can complete any sort of structured program! Plus, my life is hectic and busy with two little kids and I can’t always adhere to certain programs in the way they are intended. I have not belonged to a gym in almost eight years. Dan and I decided to try and build our own gym at home so that we could pick and choose what we really wanted/needed at the gym. We have the Peloton bike and accompanying app, and it has been such a game changer, especially during the quarantine months. They have added SO much content and really expanded what they offer. This past month, I also joined the Beach Body On Demand program. I started off with the two-week free trial to make sure I would use it and enjoy it, and then I signed up! I am really enjoying it so far. We have used Beach Body workouts/products for almost 13 years now (we were big P90X-ers back in the day), and I’ve always loved their programs. The on demand option is just like Peloton – an app with an unlimited library of work outs that you can do at any time at your own pace. I love being able to mix and match stuff, instead of just following a program lineally. I have been doing lots of PIYO and Pure Barre since joining and I am loving it. I think I’ll stick with both the Peloton and BBOD programs because even though the idea is the same, the content is varied enough that I am getting a lot out of both. I do more cardio, like treadmill runs or bike rides, with Peloton and fill in with strength/yoga/bodyweight stuff with BBOD. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes over the next month! My workout ADD is not working in my favor here, hah.
- I want to shout from the rooftops about this next discovery. I am always on the hunt for the best leggings. lululemon align leggings are my favorite for comfort. They are buttery (like insanely) soft with the perfect amount of stretch and comfort. Only problem: they’re a serious investment. And given how much I wear leggings when I am working from home and chasing after my kids every day, I need leggings that are a little bit more wallet friendly. You guys. I have found the BEST lululemon align dupe leggings! The American Eagle Offline high-waisted leggings are where it is at! Buttery soft – maybe even SOFTER than lululemon – with the same fit and stretch. They cost a fraction of the price and have held up wonderfully after a few washes (another issue with lulu is that they don’t hold up very well after some time goes by, which is extra frustrating given the cost). I am obsessed. I ordered three more pairs as soon as I tried the first on. GAME CHANGER. Hands down, the best leggings I’ve found yet. I wear A LOT of leggings, guys. Trust me on this one.
- As we move into chillier weather, I always add a staple sweater or two to my wardrobe, and this simple long-line cardigan has been a new favorite. I have it in the “warm coffee” color and it is gorgeous! Very soft and comfy and the perfect fall color. I love to wear it with all black and then add some cognac colored boots or a fun leopard scarf. So cute! I also LOVE this mock neck sweatshirt and have been living in it for the past week. It’s the perfect combination of cozy and comfy and cute. I have it in the teal color (which seems to currently be sold out online) and it is SO pretty. I can wear it with leggings and sneakers or with jeans and boots. It’s very versatile!
- I finally caved this past month and opened up a Costco membership. I’ve always tagged along with my sister on her Costco runs, stocking up on things, but I decided that I needed to just bite the bullet. I use the Subscribe and Save program on Amazon for EVERYTHING, and as convenient as it is, the prices are not always the best. So, I plan on filling in with Costco when I can. While I have a bunch of fun discoveries, my favorite has been the Cape Cod chicken salad at Costco. I buy it in the big tub and eat it with everything. It’s SO delish. Both my kids love it too. As I make more Costco discoveries, I’ll be sure to fill you guys in!
- My hunt for a healthier coffee creamer continues. I love sweet and creamy coffee – I’ve talked about this at length many times – I will never be a black coffee drinker. But, I try to cut the sugar intake first thing in the morning by trying out different coffee creamers almost monthly. I love this one right now. It’s great because it’s SUPER creamy without adding a ton of sugar. I like to sweeten my coffee with a little sugar or monk fruit sweetener in addition to the creamer. It’s perfect for early weekdays. On the weekends, I splurge on my morning coffee and add as much sweet creamer as I want. This is good for all the other days of the week!
- I was influenced this past month on social media. You may have noticed a bunch of influencers pushing the DIME mascara and lash serum. I caved and bought a combo pack. I have to say, I really hate the mascara. It’s just not right for my lashes. But the serum? OMG I am obsessed. I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks now, but I already see a huge difference. I put it on after I do my nighttime skincare routine. My lashes are not only fuller and longer but they feel stronger too! I love it. Highly recommend!
- Another fun discovery this past month was a few products by Naked Nutrition. They sent me their collagen peptides and whey protein powder to try, and I have to say, Dan and I both really enjoyed them! I have had a bad reaction to collagen peptides in the past (they upset my stomach for some reason), but this one did not at all and dissolved so easily in to coffee or smoothies without leaving behind that funky taste. I have been using it all month long. Dan has been absolutely loving the protein powder in his post-work out shakes. He is picky when it comes to protein powders, and this one passes the test. No chalky taste! I absolutely love the company’s commitment to quality and purity, too. It’s rare to find that in a supplement company. I highly recommend! I plan on trying out a few of their other offerings and will report back.
- I am loving the hydration pack flavors from Liquid IV. I bought all three: apple pie, guava, and watermelon. I thought the apple pie was going to be super odd, but it’s actually good! It tastes like slightly watered down apple juice with a dash of cinnamon. Strange sounding, right? It’s good, though. The other two flavors are delish and will be worked into my regular lemon-lime order. A tip: if you don’t like super sugary drinks (I don’t), dissolve HALF a pack at a time into your water. I use half a pack in a full 30 oz of water and it’s plenty for me. I will use the second half of the pack in the same day, usually, just not all at once. I prefer it this way so it’s not overly sweet. Dan and I both love these hydration packs. They really taste good and make you feel better when you’re needing a pick me up!
- I tried out the much-talked-about Billie razor this past month. It is, hands down, the closest shave I’ve gotten from a women’s razor. It is worth the hype, guys! I bought the razor and shaving cream and signed up for replacement cartridges. It is amazing!
- I made a personal goal this past month to start reading again. I have always, always been an avid reader. When Covid started, however, I just stopped making the time for it. Everything else just felt so overwhelming and I was too tired at the end of each day to read. It fell off the priority list big time. But I always missed it! This past month I read Elin Hilderbrand’s The Identicals and loved it. I just started Regretting You by Colleen Hoover. I’m only three chapters in and so hooked! I also have The School of Essential Ingredients on my list to read next. Actually, my to-read list is a mile long. I’m going to seriously start chipping away at it, though!
Lots of fun stuff this past month! September was a good one. Here’s to October being just as great! Xoxo.
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Additionally, Naked Nutrition compensated me to talk about their products. That said, I would never promote or share a product that I didn’t use or love myself. All opinions are my own.]