Saturday, September 30, 2017

September 2017 Favorites

September 2017 Favorites

Where did September go?!? It seems like just yesterday that I was writing my August favorites and now here I am sharing September’s favorites…

Just a reminder, some of these items contain affiliate links, but nothing in this post is directly sponsored by any company... I'm just sharing what I like! 

September 2017 Favorites: Sheet Pan Meals (Paleo)

Sheet Pan Meals (AIP or Paleo, depending on combination)
We eat a lot of roasted vegetables throughout the year, but lately I’ve been embracing not just roasted vegetables, but entire meals that can be roasted on a single sheet pan. The template is really easy: veg + fat + protein typically roasted at 425 F for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the veg/protein included. It’s a relatively easy meal with some prep required, but very little hands-on cooking time, and very minimal clean up.

September 2017 Favorites: Sheet Pan Meals (AIP)

As I’ve got some reintroductions under my belt, I quite often top roasted veggies with some sliced chicken sausage (usually contains some seed spices, but I always look for varieties that are nightshade-free), but chicken thighs also work well. Inspired by my friend Stephanie from “Fresh Tart,” I’ve also embraced this technique to make larger batches of breakfast hash with sliced leeks, baby bella mushrooms, bacon, and hearty greens like chard (include the stems) or kale.

September 2017 Favorites: Sheet Pan Meals (Paleo)

It’s been a great way to use up random bits of vegetables in the fridge or freezer, thus reducing food waste. I plan to do some posts in the future with specific recipes for this technique.

September 2017 Favorites: ylang ylang essential oil

Diffusing Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
I love diffusing essential oils, especially when I’ve cooked something extra fragrant or at night for sleeping. Ylang ylang is the newest oil in my arsenal and one of my current favorites. It’s a very calming, tropical floral scent reminiscent of jasmine. I’m still using my initial bottle purchased at my local Whole Foods, but it’s also available on Amazon or from most major EO companies. I like it for its soothing/relaxing yet uplifting qualities. It’s been a great one to diffuse on days where I need a bit of a pick-me-up. I’ve also read that it’s for the skin (diluted in a carrier oil) and the hair, though I haven’t tried it that way yet. This is another essential oil I anticipate keeping in my stash permanently.

September 2017 Favorites: listening to audiobooks on Audible

Listening to Audiobooks on Audible 
A favorite childhood memory is of my mom reading to my sisters and me at night and/or when we were sick. Listening to audiobooks reminds me of those favorite memories. I’ve had an Audible gold membership (1 credit/book per month + 30% off the list price for any further audiobooks I choose to purchase) for a couple years and really enjoy listening to books while cooking or doing household chores or while driving. It’s so convenient to run the app on my phone or tablet. I tend to pick longer books, if I can (to maximize my credit purchase), and I tend to gravitate towards the genre of young adult fiction. Currently, I’m re-listening to the Harry Potter series (right now I’m on “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”) but I’ve also lately enjoyed “Tower of Dawn” from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, and “Six of Crows” from Leigh Bardugo.

September 2017 Favorites: Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara

Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara
I’ve had some adventures finding a more natural, gluten-free mascara…. I used another company’s mascara for a couple of years, but it always smeared under my eyes, giving me a great raccoon impersonation regularly. Plus, it was very difficult to remove when I actually wanted it off!

Beautycounter has had a lengthening mascara for a while, but since I wear glasses, I didn’t want any additional length to my lashes. When I heard that Beautycounter was coming out with a volumizing mascara, I knew I had to try it in hopes that it would be a better option for me. I am pleased to say this new volumizing option has been great! It doesn’t smear under my eyes AND it’s much easier to remove at the end of the day. Fair warning, the brush does take some getting use to, and it isn’t necessarily the most “crunchy” option, but it’s definitely better than conventional mascaras!

While I’m not a consultant with Beautycounter, you can order their products through your favorite consultant (I’m sure you probably know *someone* who sells it, if you’re in the AIP/Paleo-sphere) or through the Beautycounter website.

September 2017 Favorites: Telephone Pictionary game

“Telephone Pictionary”
 We helped throw a surprise birthday party for a friend earlier this month and we played a new-to-us party game called “telephone pictionary.” I’m not usually a fan of group games (unless they’re board games or card games), but this one was super fun! It’s probably better played in larger groups (we had around 15 people playing) for optimal hilarity. Each person gets a stack of papers, amount equal to the number of participants, and a writing utensil. Everyone starts by writing a word or simple phrase on the top sheet of paper, then everyone passes their entire stack of paper to the person on their left. That person looks at the phrase, moves it to the back of the stack, and draws their interpretation of that word or phrase. Next, the entire stack is passed again to the left. That person looks at the drawing, moves it to the back of the stack, and guesses a word or phrase that the picture depicts. And the whole process continues around the group until all the papers are used. What ends up being the most hilarious part of the game comes at the end when everyone looks through their stack of papers and shows the group where the word or phrase started and how much it changed as it went through the whole group.

Pinning Autumn-y Things
Last year was our first autumn in New England (after leaving southern Texas), but we spent the majority of the season’s peak unpacking and settling in to our new home. We’re looking forward to doing all the fall activities (or as many as we can manage) while we live in this gorgeous state.

While we’re waiting for actual autumn to arrive—our weather has been still stuck on summer lately—I’m compensating by pinning on the pretty fall images on Pinterest to a specific autumn board.

September 2017 Favorites: Pinning Autumn-y Things on Pinterest

So those are a few of my favorites from September. What are you loving lately?

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