My favorite month has come and gone now. And without missing a beat, everything is Christmas themed. You guys, fall isn’t over yet. And if you forget about Thanksgiving, we can’t be friends. I know it’s an American holiday (I know Canada has a Thanksgiving as well, in early October), but it’s my favorite holiday. Because food. And fall decor. And just all of the things. I do start listening to Christmas music in November, but I don’t start decorating until around or after Thanksgiving. This year it will be after, since I don’t get home from Ireland until the day before Thanksgiving.
Anyway, November it is. Which means it’s time to review some of my favorite things from October.
- Getting married! – I can’t not mention this. Never mind that I sort of wish we’d just eloped, now that it’s all said and done, but it was definitely a highlight and I’m happy to be married lady with a proper Husband now. Having all of our friends and family together to help celebrate was also pretty spectacular. I can’t wait to see the rest of the photos KM Smith took! She covered the day of, but we also did a cool photo shoot 2 days later at our favorite cocktail bar that turned out really well!
- Pear Gin Fizz – Ok, recipe is down below because you seriously need to try this. One of my best friends made this for my bachelorette party and it was a hit. We all got a bit more intoxicated than intended because this goes down smooth and easy. Mmmm!
- Book of the Month Club – I signed up for this in early September when my sister sent me an email invite. I’ve been meaning to start reading more. I used to read all the time, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely slowed down in literary consumption. Getting a new book in the mail each month seemed like a good way to encourage me to take more time to read. I didn’t get to start on my new books until after the wedding, but I’m finishing up my third, and have the fourth on the way, not to mention a few other non-BOTMC purchases. So far, all good reads that I would recommend. (See my Currently Reading on the 2 previous blog posts.)
- Raw Roots Organic – This is definitely specific to my hair “style”, but even if you don’t have dreadlocks, it’s a great natural alternative to mainstream hair care brands. So far I’ve tried their Greenie Genie Soap bar and their Scalp Rescue Tonic spray. The soap bar is good, but I found it didn’t help with my dry, flaky scalp the way I wanted it to. So I’ve kept using my Jade Bloom shampoo, but have used this bar as a face cleanser and body wash. It’s a good bar of soap. The Rescue Tonic is amazing though. It’s moisturizing but also tightening, which is perfect for my dreads. As the weather changes, I am using my essential oils and Argan oil in conjunction, but I’m still really happy with the results. I’m excited to try some of their other products in the future.
- Freebird Boots – Shoe addicts, be warned. Boot addicts, be warned. And vegans, well, sorry guys. I’ve lectured myself plenty about this choice, but I’m still loving these boots. These are good quality, handmade leather shoes. They are gorgeous, with a variety of great style options for everyone. They are pricey, but I anticipate these boots lasting forever if I take care of them properly. They are the kind of shoes you don’t throw away, but rather take to a cobbler and have re-soled or otherwise repaired when they wear out. They are an investment, for sure. My first pair were the Manchester in black. I was looking for a new pair of combats, as all of mine died last year. I got them in a size 6 and they are rather spacious. I can do thick wool socks or doubled thinner ones and be quite comfy. They have excellent tread and are sturdy, but comfortable. I highly recommend them, and actually wore them on my wedding day under my dress. One of the laces broke within a few wears, but I replaced them with other leather laces and haven’t had an issue since. I fell so in love with these boots that I wanted a second pair. The hubby indulged me and let me get another pair as a sort of wedding gift. I got both of these on sale, by the way. 20% off both times I believe. For my second pair I chose the Caden in rust. Because the Manchesters fit so well in the 6, I ordered the same size. However, the 2 styles were drastically different in fit and size. I had to return the Caden in 6 and get a size 7 instead. Definitely read the reviews for size indications. I notice the description tends to say Fits True to Size, but that’s not entirely true. Reviews will give you a good idea of how to shop. Now that I have them in a size that fits, I am working to break them in. Because of the heal, they need a bit more work than the flat Manchester. But they are gorgeous and I’ve gotten so many compliments already. I also already have a growing wishlist of other styles, including the Coal in black, the Casey in cognac, the Baker in stone, the Devin in black, and the Ravi in black. Their sandals are also unique and adorable. If you do order a pair, and don’t already have these tools, I recommend getting yourself a horsehair brush and some mink oil. The Cadens were also very dry when I got them and I spent a good amount of time oiling them before I felt they were properly conditioned. I have a pair of Frye boots from years ago, so already had these tools in my closet. It’s also good for general cleaning and keeping your leather goods in great condition.
- The VagaBrothers – With Ireland right around the corner, and plans in the works for Italy in April, I’ve been watching a lot of travel videos on YouTube for inspiration and insights. I came across the VagaBrothers (like vagabond, but brothers instead…) and have really enjoyed their travel videos. They’ve been nearly everywhere and are very entertaining to watch. They seem to know a great deal about the history and culture of the places they visit, and though I haven’t practiced any of their tips, they seem to have a lot of insight. They just launched their own YouTube TV show, in collaboration with Tastemade, called Basic Versus Baller. They answer a trivia question about the city they are in and the winner gets a luxury budget for 24 hours and the loser gets, well, a budget for 24 hours. In Hong Kong, one got $2,000 and the other got $150. It’s a comprehensive comparison of how to travel to well known destinations on any budget.
- Londontown lakur nail products – At the recommendation of a YouTuber, I’m trying the Londontown nail polish. So far I like it. I believe the products are vegan, 7 free, and cruelty free. I’m really enjoying their Ridge Filler, worn by itself, but have a few colors as well. It’s not the most long lasting polish, but then I’m pretty rough on my hands.
- The Resident – I’m not usually into medical TV shows. I think M*A*S*H is the only one in that category that I’ve ever really gotten into, or seen the whole run of. I’ve seen some episodes of House, and Grey’s Anatomy, but they didn’t hook me. But I watched the pilot for this show, because I’m a fan of Matt Czuchry since his run on Gilmore Girls (team Logan all the way). I’m not sure what is different about this one, but I’m hooked now. It’s not as emotional as Grey’s Anatomy, and not as intellectual as House. But it still has the cocky leading man whose got talent to back up the ego and a heart the size of the sun.
I think that’s about it for October. Let me know if you discovered anything new and awesome last month!
Currently drinking: Guinness. Working up my tolerance in anticipation of Ireland!
Currently browsing: Airbnbs in Rome. I just want to move there if this is what apartments look like…
Pear Gin Fizz
Pear Puree Ingredients
5 small D’Anjou pears cored and diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of cardamom
1 Tbsp pear puree
2 oz gin
0.5 oz St. Germain
0.5 oz lemon juice
splash of champagne or soda water
Blend all ingredients until pear skin is fully pureed. Heat the mixture in a sauce pan to a simmer. Cool in fridge before using.
Combine all ingredients except champagne in a shaker with ice and shake well. Pour into a glass and top with champagne. Stir to combine. Enjoy!
Hello! I’m Whitney and this is my home for all things food and life.