Monday, October 31, 2016

Podcasts, Books, Workouts and Looks of October + Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Admittedly, this is not my favorite holiday as I don't enjoy coming up with costumes or dressing up. But these days I enjoy the holiday more than I did in the past as I love seeing pictures of everyone's kids in costumes and I really love the pumpkin carving event we host each year (pictures at the end of this post). Have a safe and fun holiday, everyone!


As I mentioned in my currently post last week, I started listening to a new book podcast called "From the Front Porch." So far I've only listened to two episodes (episode 88 which is a discussion with a Penguin Random House sales rep about fall titles episode 90 which is an interview of Anne Bogel), but I'm looking forward to listening to more!  The main host, Annie, is so charming.  She's like a real life Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail, which is probably my all-time favorite movie).


I managed to read 5 books this month, which is a decent amount, but it wasn't a great reading month as some of the books I read were kind of 'just ok'. My favorite book was The Ramblers. I was expecting to love The Underground Railroad as I had heard so much buzz about it but the author sort of used a detached and slightly impersonal writing style and it just didn't work for me. As usual, the starred books are Read Harder Challenge books.

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee* - 3 stars
The Underground Railround by Colson Whitehead - 3 stars
Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist - 3 starts
50 Simple Questions for Every Christian* - 2 stars
The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley - 4 stars


October was the first month that contained a significant number of workouts since April!  It feels sooo good to be back to more rigorous workouts. Besides introducing walk/run intervals, I went to spin classes, lots of body pump classes, and I tried a bootcamp class. I'm still not working out as often as I need/would like to but hopefully my schedule will quiet down a bit so I will have more time for working out.


So you can't see much of this top since my apron is covering it up, but I bought this new striped tunic from Target this month for Julia Child night.  I heart stripes and I heart tunics (tunic + leggings + boots is my fall/winter weekend uniform) so this top is perfect for me. I love cozy cowl next.  It's not super flattering but I just don't care because it's so comfy and warm!

Bonus:  Pumpkin Carving Photos

We had a blast hosting our friends for our annual pumpkin carving party. I made 2 kinds of chili (one with meat and one vegetarian) and the cornbread recipe that we made for Julia Child night last year. My friend made these pumpkin bars which were so delicious (and easy to modify to be gluten free!). 

Everyone's pumpkins turned out great! 

Of course we had to get a photo of Oscar with our pumpkin. It was National Cat Day that day! (but really, every day is national cat day in this household)



Marlys said...

I, too, love seeing the costumes and carved pumpkins! Thank goodness for Facebook and text messaging so I can see my grandkids in their costumes! Children just light up this "day"!
Your pumpkin is cute - especially lit up in the dark!
I didn't get one decoration out this year, so feel a bit bad about that. On to Thanksgiving!

Nora said...

I love how Oscar is looking up in this photo; so sweet! Can't go wrong with strips. I'm a huge fan. I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to in October, I think just ONE book which is pretty pathetic: Me Before You. I enjoyed it but didn't love it as much as everyone else seemed to. I think all the hype about it kind of ruined it for me, maybe?I'm determined to read more this month. I must!

Carolina John said...

The pumpkins all came out so nice!

Stephany said...

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday either, but people tend to get pretty creative here at my work and it's fun to see what everyone comes up with! I ended up thinking of a costume idea on Friday night and it turned out great - as evidenced on social media, hehe.

katielookingforward said...

Those books look great! I read about jfk's mistress this month that I really loved, who knows if it is actually as true as she says it is though. Tonight I went to spin for the first time in a long time, and uff da! Even though I've been biking, its not the same as a spin class.

Charbelle said...

the pumpkins turned out great! Love the picture of Oscar with the pumpkin! You look super cute in the striped top!!! I love chili! I'm spoiled living with my parents because my mom makes the best chili!!!

Linda said...

The pumpkins are adorable! Especially the kitty one.

Gracie said...

I love cowl necks and I think they're super flattering! Cute top.

Jeanie said...

Can you believe I missed National Cat Day? Love Oscar and the pumpkin. And all the pumpkins. Spooky and fun -- what a great idea! So very happy you are able to ramp up the workouts again. I know how frustrating that was for you.

Amber said...

I am impressed you got Oscar to hold still for that photo next to the pumpkin! I can never get Webster to hold still for posed photos! haha. I think that top looks really cute - I love cowl necks, soooo cozy!!

I need to check out that podcast!

San said...

Oh, so much fun this October. I love that striped top from Target... and I am so happy about scarf + boots weather!!

Love the pumpkins, too. We didn't care any this year. boo.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

That's so fun that you do a pumpkin carving party :-) They all look awesome! I don't have much for talent when it comes to carving ... and I'm impatient with it.