After being gone for two weekends of the month, and making it through one of LA’s brutal two-week-long heat waves, it’s no wonder that September has come and gone! For me, September always kicks off the best time of the year – fall into winter. It seems like the last four months of the year are filled with the best holidays that bring us closer to family and friends, and there’s always a sense of excitement in the air. Does anyone else know what I’m talking about!? Anyway, since today is the first of October, I leave you with September’s Lookback List…now excuse me while I set out my Halloween decorations! 😉
SEPTEMBER’S LOOKBACK LIST!
This month, while traveling, I delved into the book, Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. I was recommended this book by my Aunt, and I enjoyed it because it’s a collection of essays, rather than a continuous story, so it was easy to skip over small sections that maybe didn’t pertain to me completely. Strayed was the anonymous author behind an advice column titled Dear Sugar, so this book is a collection of letters she’s received and responses she has curated throughout her years as a columnist.
While not really a book to read – more of a coffee table book of photos with a short introduction – this month we received the book, A Dog Named Jimmy for Marty’s first birthday! If you haven’t heard of the artist named Rafael Mantesso, then I suggest you look him up on Instagram! Mantesso’s claim to fame all began when his wife divorced him and left him with an empty apartment, aside from his bull terrier named Jimmy Choo. So naturally, he started doodling a pretend world for Jimmy, and the phenomenon quickly caught on, which lead him to publish this book. If you have any friends with bull terriers, I think this would be the absolute perfect gift for them this Christmas. If you don’t want to buy the book, then give him a follow on Instagram…I promise you, Jimmy will make you smile J
This October, I have a couple friends visiting! My one friend, Lauren, is visiting for a long weekend and we’re planning to spend a night camping in Joshua Tree! Does anyone have any pointers on camping in the area!? Best campsites, where to grab breakfast, best star gazing spot, etc… If so, I’d love to hear them! I’ve been to Joshua Tree twice before, but only for day trips, so camping will be a whole new game!
We went on a double date earlier this month with our neighbors to a dine-in theater (I’m so glad these are a thing again), to see Logan Lucky. It’s a comedy about two brothers who want to pull off a heist and steal a ton of money during a big NASCAR race in North Carolina. It stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig, and I thought it was hilarious, suspenseful, and even had some touching moments throughout! I would recommend this movie as a light-hearted go-see!
On Netflix this month, my friend Lauren recommended watching the documentary titled, Somm. It follows four sommeliers as they attempt to pass the highest Master Sommelier exam (which has one of the lowest pass rates in the world!). I started watching this on one of my flights this month and haven’t actually finished it yet, so I can’t spoil anything for you! But the knowledge that these guys have about wine is pretty unreal…
Currently back for Season 2 on NBC, is The Good Place, starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson! I actually only just heard about this show from a co-worker last week, and ended up binging the entire Season 1 on Netflix in two days. (To be fair though, episodes are only 25 minutes long). It starts out with Kristen Bell being told that she is dead, and that she has made it into “The Good Place” as opposed to “The Bad Place.” The only problem is that when she looks back at all her achievements that have gotten her into The Good Place, she realizes that they made a mistake and have the wrong person. She gets paired up with her soul mate – an Ethics Professor in his previous life – and he begins to teach her how to be a good person, while things start to go awry in The Good Place. I loved Season 1 of this series – it’s light hearted and fun, and will keep you laughing. 10 for 10, would recommend for an easy and enjoyable watch! I especially love short episodic series because they’re so easy to turn on after work without feeling like they’re taking up your entire evening.
I’ll admit that maybe I jumped the gun a little bit, and whipped up some pumpkin bread before October actually began…
For my birthday every year, my one request is a Carrot Cake. It can be homemade or store-bought, just as long as it’s carrot cake. Luckily, I have the best neighbors in the world, and they picked up the most incredible carrot cake I’ve ever had from Nothing Bundt Cakes, which specializes in bundt cakes of all flavors and sizes. If you have one of these in your area, you need to get yourself over there immediately. We’re all looking forward to trying their Pumpkin flavor this month 😉
Between all the traveling this month and starting a new job with normal people hours, coffee has been my best friend. Luckily, we had Kaylie to introduce us to some amazing coffee shops during our weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We went to Lab, where they specialize in pour overs, and then also to Fred’s, which has a very California-vibe to it. Thank god for coffee (and Kaylie), am I right!?
Finally (!!) I am back into my weaving, with a couple of custom orders in my inbox! I made this beautiful ocean-inspired weaving as a birthday present for my friend Haley, from her older sister! And am working on this beautiful rainbow “A” for a same-sex couple’s nursery, which feels like a pretty special task to me. I bought some pretty grey jersey fabric, and hope to construct some sort of t-shirt dress this month!
Like I mentioned earlier, I was away for two weekends this month! – Once to celebrate the wedding of my two best friends, Lauren and Mat, in Pennsylvania, and again to celebrate the wedding of my cousin in Ann Arbor, Michigan! I posted a little bit in my last post about being home in PA, –> here! I can’t stress enough how honored I was to stand by Laur’s side as her MOH. It was the most beautiful day, and she was the most laid back bride ever. I wish we could relive the entire day over and over again!!
Going to Michigan was extra special because I got to spend the whole weekend with my relatives, who are probably the most fun people that I know. We had a blast celebrating Car and Nate, and exploring the town of Ann Arbor together! Since moving so far away from family, I always feel even more thankful for events where we all get to be together. I’m also thankful that Kaylie and Bradley were there to give us the grand tour of their school! Ann Arbor is such a beautiful little town, and we loved experiencing it on a beautiful September weekend! My favorite stop of the weekend was grabbing sandwiches (and pickles) at Zingerman’s!
Aside from weekends away, locally, Al and I took our Marty to Long Beach’s Dog Beach: Rosie’s, for his first birthday! Since dogs aren’t allowed on the beaches in the Southbay, this was his first time up by the ocean…and he loved it! I think the dog beach might be one of the happiest places on the planet 😉
This past month, I have been loving all of the hard work that my brother, Jim, has been pouring into multiple murals – both in Philadelphia and Harrisburg! The giant one that he and his students installed in Philly is a huge weaving design full of bright colors…I literally cannot wait to see it in real life (hopefully soon!), and the multiple walls that he painted along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg were so fun to contribute to and be apart of. I especially loved how many of my parents’ friends showed up day after day to lend him a hand. I’m so proud of my brother and the lessons that he instills in his students through art…we need more people like him in this world 🙂
Adjusting to a new (normal) work schedule has me feeling great! I’ve accepted more responsibility and am feeling good about my new position 🙂 There’s also something really fulfilling about getting up before the sun, getting a workout in, and walking the pup all before the workday starts. I’m going to try and carry that motivation into October with me! A huge perk of working so close to home is being able to come home during lunch and eat my meal outside while I let the pups run around. It really breaks up the day in a good way, and it’s always a bonus to see some sunshine once those short winter days start.
I’ve been obsessed lately with Macklemore’s newest album, Gemini. I don’t think there’s a song on there that I don’t love…it’s been my favorite thing to turn on during my early morning fitness sessions.
I’m also hitting replay on Hailee Steinfeld’s songs, Most Girls and Let Me Go.
Obviously this month has been extra fun because we’ve spent just about every weekend celebrating something else! The wedding of my two best friends, my 26th birthday, Marty’s 1st birthday, my cousin’s wedding, and new positions at work for both Alex and myself! Life is too good right now, and I’m feeling extremely thankful to have so many wonderful things going on in it.
And that concludes all of my travel plans for the rest of 2017 other than heading back to the East Coast for Christmas! While I have absolutely loved every single second of traveling this past year (I mean it), I am also looking forward to spending a couple of weekends in my own little home with my little family (and most importantly, in my own bed 😉 ). Wishing everyone a happy October filled with all things pumpkin-flavored!