From leaving stay at home motherhood and starting a full-time job, to 25th birthday celebrations, to preschool fun, to boat rides and museum explorations, to football Saturdays, to venturing to our first pumpkin patch of the season. Safe to say it was an eventful September!!
Life has been FUN over here in the Brabham household. We are finally starting to get into the groove of our weekdays: me working from home, Blakely at preschool and Casey out and about for his job in sales.
Life is definitely busier, but truthfully the change of pace is nice. I’m only in week two of my new position, but I’m really loving it. Being a stay at home mom is truly the hardest job in the world, so I’m enjoying getting used to a different kind of challenge. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss my girl all day long, but I know it’s the best thing for our whole family!!
September was eventful, but also full of a lot of stress and unknown with my job search. Now that things are finally settling, I’m really looking forward to finding a productive, but cozy fall routine for October. Our weekdays will be more consistent, but our weekends are looking pretty filled! I have two big trips planned for the month I’m really excited for: one to Baltimore and one to Charleston. Counting down the days!!
A shorter intro of sorts today, but as you can imagine I don’t have as much free time on my hands. I used to squeeze blogging in during Blakely’s two-hour nap when I stayed home with her, but now it’s a nice creative outlet for the time I do have before work or after Blakely goes to bed.
In September’s favorites we hit all the usual fun topics: books I read, my favorite podcast episodes I listened to, sharing a delicious muffin recipe, shows I’m watching and all the things I’m currently loving. A full round up!! I don’t say it enough, but I am truly so thankful for every single one of you for reading and following along my journey. <3
SEPTEMBER 2023 FAVORITE THINGS
Such a great month of reading. All 4 stars and up this month!!!
September Books I Finished:
- Summer Sisters by Judy Blume⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 STARS
- Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand ⭐⭐⭐⭐ STARS
- A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ STARS
GENRE: Fiction/Coming Of Age
SUMMARY: Summer Sisters is an adult fiction novel following soon to be best friends (“summer sisters”) Caitlin and Vix as they spend their summers together in Martha’s Vineyard. In the summer of 1977 popular, wild, and a little reckless Caitlin welcomes Victoria into her summer home and Victoria’s world changes forever. She can’t believe Caitlin chose her to be her summer sister. There’s boys, youthful competition, complicated family dynamics, and ultimately the building of an unbreakable bond between the two girls.
REVIEW: If nostalgia was a book, this would be it!! I am a complete sucker for any coming of age story, especially one that revolves around love, friendship and family. It’s giving Firefly Lane with a little bit of Elin Hilderbrand’s summer charm. I gave this book almost 5 stars for many reasons. One, Judy Blume’s writing and storytelling is incredible, written from multiple POVs. Two, Blume builds characters that are real, relatable, and unforgettable. Lastly, it reminds me of the innocence and naivety I had growing up, which makes it all the more dreamy and sentimental.
SUMMARY: “3 women. 3 secrets. One long hot summer.” Barefoot is the kind of book you bring to read on the beach and finish it by the end of the day. Three women arrive on Nantucket for the summer to try to escape their everyday lives filled with infidelity, illness, and scandal. They soon meet 22 year old Josh Flynn who completely captivates them all, and ultimately becomes a part of their summer and changes it to one they will never forget.
REVIEW: This is one of Hilderbrand’s earlier books (2007), but I absolutely adored it. It checks all the boxes for a light, juicy, scandal filled, heartfelt summer read. Any book that makes me feel something (aka cry multiple times!!) has an especially special place in my heart. This one did just that, on top of likeable characters, themes of friendship, and of course set on the beautiful island of Nantucket. It’s FUN, flirty and filled with devouring drama!!
SUMMARY: A Court Of Thorns And Roses tells the story of 19-year-old smart, bold, charming, huntress Feyre, who is unwillingly dragged away from her mortal world to the magical world after killing a faerie in the woods (a beast-like creature). At first, she tries to get creative to find a way to return home, but as time passes, she develops feelings for the very one who captured her, Tamlin. She discovers that the magical world she’s now a part of is falling apart and it’s up to her to put an end to it, or doom Tamlin and his world forever.
REVIEW: If you’re not a fantasy fan, that summary is A LOT to take in. But I am not a fantasy fan and WOW I quickly couldn’t put this one down and am now utterly obsessed!!!!! Just read it! How do I even find the words to describe how absolutely enchanting and utterly devouring this book is??? It’s heart-throbbing, fast-paced, sexy, twisted and thrilling. I have to mention- this book won’t be for everyone. It’s dark at times and the lingo is confusing in the beginning. BUT if you can get past that it will become insanely gripping and unputtdownable!!! I’m currently reading the second book in the series which I hear is even better! Excited to review that one next month.
2.) LISTENING TO…
My top 3 podcasts/podcast episodes of the month are:
1) HOW TO STOP MAKING YOURSELF SICK WITH BRANCH BASICS | The Skinny Confidential
Bye bye chlorox wipes!!! This was an incredibly informative episode about the impact of the everyday products we use with the founder of Branch Basics. Branch Basics is one of my favorite brands for its non-toxic household cleaning products. This episode covers the dangers of using common cleaning products, how founder Alison healed her body from PCOS by making changes to her products, and advice for how to incorporate a cleaner lifestyle.
2) FALL RESET: Creating New Routines, Meal Prepping, To Do List, Habits, Level Up Tips | Manifest with Tori Desimone
If you want to get into the fall mood, this is the perfect episode for you! I loved this reminder to set goals and get excited about creating a new routine for this fall season. Especially as the fall can be busier with holidays and travel, it’s nice to have established habits and routines to come back to.
3) The Toast | By Claudia & Jackie Oshry
Recently OBSESSED with this podcast. I know I’m late to the game, but I am officially in the game. I love the dynamic and banter between Jackie and Claudia, and can’t wait until Jackie is back full-time because I love the episodes with her best. If you’re into pop culture, love girl chats and laughing and are looking for an entertaining podcast, this is the one for you.
- Suits (watched season 1 and 2 this month and am LOVING!)
- Selling The OC (so much juicy drama I binged this in two days lol)
- The Golden Bachelor (okay I was pleasantly surprised by this one- Gary is so cute!!)
- Bachelor In Paradise (never disappoints!!! so excited for this season!)
- Dancing With The Stars (team Harry and Riley!!)
Looking for a show to get you in the fall spirit? Watch GILMORE GIRLS! It’s one of the best nostalgic, comfort shows that I’ve seen all the way through 3 times. Cozy, small-town vibes with a mother daughter bond, cute romance, and coming-of-age topics (which you guys know I love!!).
4.) CURRENTLY LOVING…
1. CUTE GLASS COFFEE CUPS... Since I’m working from home I want to try to step up my coffee making game. Of course the first step is to have cute coffee cups! I love an iced coffee, and these glass cups are perfect for it. They come with a cute glass straw and bamboo lid too! I even use these cups for smoothies and lemon water too. The options are endless!!!
2. AFFORDABLE HUMIDIFIER… Blakely had a bad cough and cold last week, so instantly I ordered a humidifier as we’re entering the dryer months. This Amazon humidifier is so affordable, runs all night, and doesn’t take up a lot of room. So far we are loving it!!
3. THE PERFECT FALL PURSE… I’ve been in the market for a fall going-out purse and this Amazon one checks all my boxes. It’s the perfect brown color and I can already see it pairing perfectly with a brown monochrome outfit. LOVE!
4. TARGET SPIRAL NOTEBOOK… another work from home essential!! When I got my job I headed to target to treat myself to a journal to use at work. I’ve used it everyday last week to jot down notes, plan out my to-do list and make cheat sheets of information I need to remember- I love it! It’s a larger notebook, and is the perfect size in my opinion.
5. MELISSA WOOD HEALTH MEDITATIONS… I am a big fan of Melissa Wood and have had her app for years. Specifically I am loving her meditations recently. One of my goals of the fall is to be more mindful, and her meditations help me do exactly that. I’m on the last day of her 7 day meditation series, and am looking forward to continuing this practice!!
It’s the season of banana and pumpkin breads! Below I’m sharing my favorite mini banana muffins I like to make for me and Blakely!! They are so good and taste super cozy and fall.
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 mashed medium ripe banana
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp pumpkin (optional- just threw some in there since I had on hand last time I made these)
- 1/2 scoop protein powder (also optional and also just threw it in to test out last time)
Preheat oven to 355 degrees.
Add ingredients to a large bowl in the order listed above. Stir until combined.
Spray a mini muffin tin with olive oil spray and pour about a tbsp of batter into each tin.
Bake for 11-12 minutes.
6) SEPTEMBER BLOG POSTS
In case you missed it…