October 2016 Favorites

I know everyone says this but seriously – how did October come and go so quickly??

Here in Central Florida, we started October with Hurricane Matthew.  Thanks to a favorable “wobble,” our area was spared a direct Category 3-4 hit.  Nonetheless, I ended up not having power for 99 hours (yes, I counted).

Thankfully I have a generator so I was able to keep my refrigerator and a window air-conditioner running so I didn’t exactly have to live like my ancestors or anything.  It was just inconvenient at worst.  (Except for the cold showers….they were a bit hard to handle!)

So after Matthew came and went and the clean-up was over it was suddenly the middle of October.  No wonder the month flew by!

But I did keep track of the things I was loving this month and here’s a run down for you

Media Favorites

Books: I, like millions of others, am obsessed with HGTV’s Fixer Upper.  I mean seriously, how adorable are Chip and Joanna Gaines?  And talented??  And those kiddos???  And that farmhouse????  Yeah, they are pretty much the “whole package”.  (insert harp music and throw rose petals now)

So the day I heard the announcement that they were writing a book I ordered it.

In March!

It arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday, October 18th and I devoured it.  De-vo-ured. It.

The story of their beginnings is written in alternating narrative from Joanna and Chip.  The writing is very true to form and you feel like you are all sitting around your (shiplap covered) living room having a chat….albeit with probably far fewer interruptions than in real life!

I love their story and I love the book. They are inspirational.  If you are a fan of the show, you will love the book.  And if you aren’t a fan of the show….um…..why not?

Check it out here.  Magnolia Story

Podcast (also Blog this month):   I am sort of new (or at least renewed) to the podcast genre. I used to listen to them and then didn’t for quite some time.  However, I’ve noticed that more and more blogs that I like have added a podcast segment to their offerings.  So this favorite covers both the blogsphere and podcast category.

This month I have been obsessed with AffordAnything.com and her podcast.

Afford Anything’s premise is simple – you can afford anything, just not everything.

Paula Pant, founder/host, of Afford Anything is a financially independent world traveler and creator of passive income through her rental properties.  Since I would like to one day put my name in front of all of those descriptors I have become obsessed a big fan.

Her advice and the way she values your time when you are on her site or listening to her podcast is very impressive.  If you want to learn about rental properties but her post/podcast is going to be about creating a side hustle that is different than that, she will tell you up front that you (the rental property minded reader) may not find the information she’s presenting that day to be what you are looking for….so you move on.  I love that!  Give her a read/listen and see what you think.

YouTube:  The athomewithnikki channel is an inspiration for organizing and home décor.  This influencer has a style and grace that both motivates and yet somehow relaxes you at the same time.  Nikki is probably the most laid-back host of any of these types of channels and she makes you feel like you can achieve her same results without adding even more stress to your life. And she achieve some very expensive looking results while incorporating many budget-friendly products, ideas and DIY techniques.  I really enjoy this channel.  (She also has an atworkwithnikki channel too that centers more around business ideas than home ideas.  Check it out)

Lifestyle Favorites

Beauty:  In October I was sampling quite a few things for upcoming reviews and, even though I am in Florida where the temperatures have yet to drop to autumn, searching for skincare to adapt to the drier climate.  One of the products that I found myself reaching for the most this month is an oldie-but-goodie (or as the beauty gurus say – my ride or die): Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I find that this gentle does of exfoliation really keeps any dry patches at bay and preps my skin well for the serums, lotions and potions that come next.

One of my favorite tricks is to use the Daily Microfoliant with a squirt of the Dermalogica PreCleanse and mix those together to apply to my dry face.

First of all, have you smelled the PreCleanse??  I love it!  It is designed to help melt away makeup and setup your skin to help your cleanser work even better.  Well, for me, mixing it with the powder from the Microfoliant is a real win.  It’s my go-to combo for keeping my skin feeling both smooth and hydrated right out of the shower.

Food and Dining:  This month we have been going to a new local restaurant in town called Nathaniel’s Steakhouse.  They have amazing food and a great staff and we love supporting our local community.  We have been going there at least once per week since the end of September – ok, ok, sometimes 2-3 times a week.  And we’d go more if we could get there and back during our lunch break!  It’s just that good!  And Mr. Nathaniel is someone you just want to succeed.

So that and other factors (99 hours without power) means I haven’t been cooking as much this month.

But my ride-or-die (does that even work with food??) has been this super easy Alfredo Sauce recipe.  It’s adapted from the Pioneer Woman and it has been a big hit around here.


1 tablespoon of garlic from the tube

(this kind from Gourmet Garden is found in the produce section and I love it)


1 stick of salted butter

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

2 cups of shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:  Squirt the garlic in the bottom of a saucepan and then add the stick of butter.  Melt over medium heat and stir to incorporate the garlic into the melting butter.

Add the whipping cream and stir.

Continue heating over medium heat while stirring until bubbles start to appear at the edges of the pan.

Once the butter/cream base is heated, add your cheese.  Stir continually to help the cheese melt into the sauce.

Once the cheese has melted into the sauce, give it a taste and adjust for salt.  Most of the time you won’t need any but I find it will depend on the brand of cheese you are using.

My favorite way of serving this is over pasta with mushrooms that have been sautéed in coconut oil and garlic until they have caramelized and grilled chicken.  It’s a quick meal that everyone likes (which is a major feat around here!)

Home:  The last things I have for you are two items that I got through The Grove Collaborative.

The first is a glass cleaner (seen originally on the athomewithnikki channel).  It really helps get to the bottom of our Tervis and Yeti cups.  It scrubs well and dries quickly and I have been loving having it around this past month.  It is called the Crystal Clear glass cleaner and retails for $8.99.  You can also get refills for the top which are only $4.99


And last but not least, the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Lemon Verbena soy candle has been going non-stop in my kitchen.  I know everyone has transitioned to autumn scents – but hello? Florida!  It’s still 85 degrees here most days so I am not quite there yet.  This one is still my favorite and I love the way my kitchen smells with it burning.



October 2016 was a pretty interesting month.  I hope you had an amazing October.  Please share what your favorites were for the month and let me know if you have tried any of mine.

On to November…..

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