I was a little bit surprised going through my camera roll to write this month’s post. There were some behind the scenes things that made life a little trickier than usual (my personal care attendant was on vacation, and then sick shortly after), and I thought it would leave me with a shorter-than-usual post, but I actually did a lot this month!
Starting off a little more low-key – I made this white version of shakshuka. I don’t like tomatoes, really, so traditional shakshuka isn’t for me. But I was craving a breakfast that was rich and felt like fall, and found this recipe for white shakshuka – it’s made with labneh, which is kind of life a cross between yogurt and cheese. It was incredibly delicious, and I’ll definitely be making it again.
I got my COVID vaccine! I typically have a pretty rough reaction, and this time was no exception – it knocked me out for two full days, even with constant ibuprofen! Definitely worth it, though, for the protection against actual COVID, which would undoubtedly be worse.
I have been really trying to lean into the cozy reading vibes this month, and setting the scene for myself to make it feel like a full experience. I was really excited to read Becca Freeman’s debut novel, The Christmas Orphans Club, and had to light my new Aspen candle while reading. The book is definitely one of my favorites of the year – I love stories about friends that feel like family – and the candle is so amazing, too – really smells like you’re sitting in front of a fire at a fancy cabin in the woods.
I saw Moulin Rouge the musical! Honestly, I’ve only seen the movie once, so my expectations were pretty low, but the show was absolutely incredible. It’s a jukebox musical, and has so many pop song mashups, but the songs chosen all fit perfectly, the talent blew me away, and it was just so much fun to watch. If you’re in New York, or it’s touring near you, I definitely recommend.
We had a stretch of days that looked like fall, but felt like summer. I took advantage and did some patio reading – it was warm enough that I didn’t need a jacket, but just look at those gorgeous fall colors in the leaves! I love my backyard in the summer when everything is vibrant and green and lush, but the October colors are definitely stunning.
I picked up these cookies as a little hit of nostalgia, but honestly, they’re so good. I also love being able to make just a few at a time, so they’re fresh and warm when I eat them. It’s something I should’ve mentioned in my “Little Luxuries” post, because it really does feel decadent to bake just three at a time.
I was so excited to FINALLY make it to the White Whale Bookstore to hear Chloe Liese and B.K. Borison talk, and to celebrate Chloe’s latest book, Better Hate than Never. I love that Chloe always writes some type of disability representation into her books, and does it in a deliberate, thoughful way, because she’s so right that everyone deserves to feel seen in romance. You wouldn’t know it from these pictures, but the White Whale is still requiring masks for their events! It was such a relief to know that I’d be able to attend this talk and signing without risking getting sick. It’s a small act of community care that means a lot.
In other risk-free activities, I found a way to see The Eras Tour film without having to go into a crowded theater – I went to the drive in! I hadn’t been to the drive in since… middle school? high school? and didn’t really know what to expect, but it ended up being great. They drive in had outdoor speakers, or you could tune your radio to a specific station to hear it inside your car. Because of where my sister and I fit inside the car, we opted to sit outside so we weren’t watching around the headrests of the driver and passenger seats in front of us. The crowds were pretty chill – there was singing along, but no screaming, so we could still hear Taylor the whole time. We were a little bit chilly by the end, but bundled ourselves up! It was a great experience, and I highly recommend it if there’s a drive in near you.
Having friends who are artists and creative is really amazing… especially when it comes to gifting. My friend Katie made me this incredible belated birthday gift – a miniature, dollhouse sized bookshelf filled with mini handmade versions of all the books I’ve read so far this year. I could not love it more!! I have been told I’m difficult to buy for – I tend to have very specific taste – but personal gifts like this mean SO much. (Also – Katie’s Instagram got hacked and she lost the account, so make sure you follow her and her talent at her new handle).