11.5 October in Review

Here we are again, with another monthly roundup! These things are just coming faster and faster these days! My neighbor was looking at my planner the other day and couldn’t believe how much I had written in each block, but I told her I have to keep track of a lot of little things in order to pull these end-of-the-month posts together! Plus, it’s always fun to look back and see all that we’ve done over the last year… I can’t believe there are only two more months of 2018 left! October has really been a wonderful month around here. My heart was filled up with two separate trips — one to see my brothers, sister-in-law, and new niece, and another spent with some of my favorite girlfriends from college. And in between those trips, I’ve just really been trying to soak up as much time outdoors as possible with my husband and pup. And amidst all of that, I became certified in Online Coloring for my job! Taking a night class for a week was a lot of fun and made me miss my college classes!!

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With two different trips this month, I found myself watching a lot of extra tv/movies! I flew Delta and one of the reasons they’re one of my top choices for flying is because of their huge movie selection in-flight! I watched Book Club and The Greatest Showman. Both were great flicks! The music in Greatest Showman is fantastic…I’ve been streaming it on Spotify ever since!

In terms of Netflix shows, I’ve been continuing with Grace & Frankie and then Al and I have started watching Maniac together, which we love! It’s only one season so far, so it’s not a huge commitment if you’re looking for something binge-worthy!

And then on cable, I’m watching NBC’s The Good Place, Season 3. This has turned into one of my all-time favorite shows…I’ve loved seeing where they take each new episode. If you don’t have cable, you can catch Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix, and the current Season 3 on Hulu!



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We celebrated Halloween this year by attending Oktoberfest at Alpine Village in Torrance. Alpine Village is home to the oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebration in the city of Los Angeles. How we never heard of it before this year is beyond us! We went per recommendation of a friend at the dog park, and we had a great time! We went on one of the last weekends of the event, so most of the specialty beer was sold out, but the giant Bavarian pretzels were delish, and we had a great time getting up on stage and dancing! This is a really crazy event — I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be as wild as it was — but the entertainment was nonstop and we had a great night out! We bought our tickets ahead of time, but you can always buy them at the door.

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While in NJ visiting my brother’s family, he took my other brother and I out for coffee at a cool little spot down the road from him called Death of the Fox Brewing Company. It’s kind of a hybrid coffee shop/brewery, and I had one of the best lattes of my life there! It was so good, that I brought some beans home and made it for Al and his friends … they couldn’t get over how good the coffee was either! This place had some really cool vibes, and it was really fun just sitting and chatting with my brothers over a cup of coffee…it’s one of our favorite things to do when we’re all together.



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This month I finally finished up a monochromatic weaving with a pop of yellow that I had sitting on my loom for forever! This one was different because I didn’t add any fringe to it! It’s so different from what I normally do, but different is good and challenging! One of my goals once the new year hits is to start making more time for this practice again. It’s such a stress reliever and my favorite creative outlet…but it’s easy to put on the back burner sometimes. Having a creative outlet is just as important for your body as exercising or eating well, I think!



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In my birthday box from my mom, she included a magazine from the grocery store there that highlights a ton of different meal ideas and recipes. What I really love about these magazines are that the recipes all have fairly few ingredients, so they’re pretty simple to make and they don’t break the bank! This month we made three different recipes from this magazine: salmon burgers, portabella mushroom burgers, and bbq meatballs. The salmon burgers with homemade slaw were out of this world. Alex has requested that we put these in our regular rotation, they’re so good. The mushroom burgers were also delicious, and once you put all your toppings on them, they taste just like meat! And the meatballs were the perfect crockpot meal to put on in the morning so that I could come home after work and grab a quick bite to eat before catching a flight! If you’re interested at all in any of these recipes, let me know and I’ll share them with you!

We also made these super simple meatballs in the crockpot for the Final World Series game. Seriously, these are the easiest but they’re so good on some fresh toasted buns from the bakery. Pro Tip: Use Trader Joes mini meatballs because they’re delicious and you can fit more on your bun that way 😉

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This Moroccan Lentil Soup recipe was delicious, although my standard crockpot size wasn’t big enough! I had to take some of the liquid out to fit everything, so if you have a larger crock, opt for that one instead!

Al cooked up some roasted Fall veggies and Salmon in the oven and they were dynamite. We love one-pan meals…less dishes!

This Veggie Mac n Cheese Chili in the crockpot was so freaking good. It made enough for four people to have seconds and there were still leftovers. I love a good Mac n Cheese spin-off! If you want a little extra protein in yours, I’m sure adding some ground beef would be a piece of cake!

I’ve already shared these two recipes before, but I got so many requests for the links when I made them again, that I’ll share them here again too. This Beef Stroganoff in the crockpot is super delicious and doesn’t use cream of mushroom soup at all! I’ve made it with two different kinds of noodles, including the classic Egg Noodles, and both times it turned out great. And this Cauliflower Chickpea Risotto is one of my favorite recipes! It’s kind of a unique crockpot recipe because it only need about 15 minutes of prep time and then 2 hours in the crock! Sometimes the shorter crockpot meals are great for the weekends.



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As I mentioned earlier, I spent the first weekend of the month in New Jersey visiting my new niece for the first time!! She was born back in August and I was just too excited to meet her to wait any longer. She is absolutely perfect and an angel. It’s so crazy to see my brother as a dad! I’d say he’s getting the hang of it pretty quickly though 😉 The trip was quick — I think I spent a total of 36 hours on the ground back East — but time spent with family is always more than worth a messed up sleep schedule for a few days. It was also great that my other brother was able to spend the weekend there too! It feels like us all being together is so rare these days … I cherish any opportunity I get with them both!

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I wrote a whole post about our Girls Weekend in Waco –> here! Check it out!

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I took Marty on a new trail neither of us had been on yet to practice some off-leash recall work! It’s about a 5 mile altogether, out-and-back trail in Westchester near LMU. Not much makes me happier than seeing my little pup running free like a wild man on the trails. He is the epitome of happiness.

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We actually had rain this month! I don’t know about you guys, but I love the rain. I think probably because we rarely ever get it. But also because it keeps all the Angelenos inside! 😉 We had a rainy morning so Al and I decided to take the dogs up to Palos Verdes for a walk along the cliffside and through the neighborhood up there since we knew no one else would be out. We love looking at all of the different houses, and there’s a couple of nature paths up there to break things up. The sun ended up coming out for us midway through, but we just kept making remarks about how nice it was to be doing something so simple together. I think it was my favorite morning of the entire month. 🙂


Local Explorations:

After our rainy date morning walk, we took the dogs to a brand new cafe in town called Yellow Vase on the corner of Aviation and PCH. It’s actually a cafe, bakery, and flower shop all in one, and it’s bright yellow! We got a nice big table out front and ordered soup and sandwiches and let me just say that the butternut squash soup was so.good. We love supporting local businesses in our little town, especially when they’re brand new! It also doesn’t hurt when they’re dog-friendly too 😉



Ever since our trip to Waco, I’ve been on the biggest Johnnyswim kick. You guys have got to give this husband/wife duo a listen. Word on the street has it that they’ve got a third album coming out pretty soon!

Al also has me on a Larry And His Flask kick lately. They are so fun to listen to.



Something about the fall always has me feeling so cozy and grateful, especially for family and friends. Maybe it’s all the holidays at the tail end of the year, or just reflecting on the year as a whole, but I feel so lucky to have the relationships that I do. I feel so fortunate that I was able to travel back east to meet my niece while she’s still little, and at the same time I am so excited that Al and I will be hosting our parents out here for Thanksgiving! There’s nothing like family, guys. All the feels for family. 😉



And that’s a wrap on October! We’ve already kicked off November with a couple of little projects around the house and a fun spur of the moment day trip! I’ll also proudly admit that I’ve already started the Christmas music around here 😉  Can’t wait to share with you guys!

thanks for stopping by!



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