Per usual, I’m a day late on the Monthly Favorites wagon.
October 1st, October 2nd, what’s the difference, guys? I didn’t do a monthly favorites post for August, so I didn’t want to miss September. My monthly favorites sort of change every month, sometimes I focus more on THINGS and PRODUCTS I love, while other times I focus more on events and happenings. This month is the latter.
1. Baby Branciforte
Ok, how can I NOT start my monthly favorites with our little man? I mean, October being here means we’re officially in BABY MONTH. This photo was taken at the beginning of the month and I think it’s one of the only bare-tummy photos I’ve taken. Baby Branciforte has GROWN this month. I feel like somewhere between the beginning of September (when I took this pic) and later in September (see some recent pictures on my Instagram) I went from “cute baby bump” to “DANG GIRL YOU PREGNANT!”
I’m going to try to do a 37-week bump-date but in general, September has been pretty good as far as pregnancy goes. Everyone warned me that my third trimester would drag on, but September FLEW by. I’ve also been feeling and sleeping great. That being said, now that we’re officially in “baby month” I’m definitely getting anxious for him to finally be here!
2. Fall Fashion
Most years I hang on to every last second of summer and summer fashion. Not this year. Picture me wearing my cozy oversized cardigans when it’s totally not cold enough for it. I think it’s a combination of wanting fall to be here because it means it’s closer to baby as well as the fact that it has actually felt a little like fall. Usually, September in Connecticut is still mostly hot, summer weather. But, we had some chilly 40-degree mornings and even a few days that hovered in the 50’s. It hard not to get into the fall spirit when that happens!
And, if I have to be honest, I think I’m also just becoming MORE basic as I get older which means I love fall EVEN more than I did before. This year I had my first PSL before the first day of fall even hit. Whatever it is, I’ve had no chill when it comes to fall.
3. Goodbye Student Debt
I’ve been pretty honest about debt with you guys. I shared how Michael and I paid off $70k in debt – which meant admitting to the world that we had $70k in debt at one point in our life. But, this past month Michael paid off his final student loan which was really exciting. We’ve been working extremely hard for about 18 months to save and budget and get to $0 debt (no credit card debt, no car loans, etc.) This last student loan was one debt we hadn’t paid off yet. Originally we were planning to be looking at buying a house right about now but with our baby coming this same month, we decided to wait on that purchase for about 6 months (I didn’t want to juggle a new house and a new baby all at once.) The extra time allowed us to pay off that final student loan.
4. Embracing “Real Life”
The above picture is definitely not insta-worthy. It’s not even blog-worthy. There’s stuff piled on the stairs that needs to go up to the attic. Our ugly A/C unit is an eyesore. I’m rocking 5-day-old hair while working on editing a YouTube video. Oh, and of course, sharing our loveseat with Austin (and apparently one of Michael’s sweatshirts.) But, this is real life. More and more I’ve been less inclined to try to make things look picture perfect OR to try to chase after events/things that would be picture perfect.
We kind of grew up in a generation where we had to have a picture-perfect look online. MySpace in High School, then Facebook came out in College, then there was Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it. And, of course, as I entered the blogging/YouTube world that only grew more. There’s a weird pressure to always have something beautiful or exciting to fill our feeds with. I used to chase this same idea, but it just got exhausting. I couldn’t keep up and didn’t want to. Plus it wasn’t who I was: I don’t usually wear a full face of makeup. I don’t wear the newest styles, my house doesn’t belong on the cover of home decor magazine, I’m a homebody, I’d prefer cooking in as opposed to going out, I’m not a jet-setter (after about 6 nights in a hotel I’m ready for home).
Over the last year (or a little longer), I’ve been letting my guard down more and more when it comes to posting the picture-perfect and instead have just been posting the “real life.” I don’t worry about putting on a full face of makeup and having perfect lighting before I film one of my YouTube videos. I don’t go out of my way for the perfect Instagram shot. I spend an entire weekend at home with nothing new to post on my feeds and I don’t care. Sure, I slap a filter on my Instagram pictures or have Michael snap photos for my blog posts. But, overall I’ve been focusing more on trying to share real life as opposed to a curated life.
5. Quarter-Million Subscribers on YouTube
I honestly don’t know if this actually happened in September or August. I don’t watch my numbers that closely. But, I do know I recently hit over 250,000 subscribers on YouTube. I still remember hitting 10,000 subscribers and being FLOORED that TEN THOUSAND people hit subscribe on my channel. After a while, you get a little used to the new followers coming in (and get caught up in the fact that so many people have MORE followers than you) that you kind of forget to have that “WOW” moment when you hit milestones. While I missed the actual day/week when I hit 250,000, I want to make it a point to stop and be amazed and grateful for that support and growth. YouTube is something I really enjoy doing and making new videos and coming up with ideas each week is a lot of fun. I’m so grateful people enjoy it and want to watch it! And, I feel lucky that I’m able to do something I love so much.
6. Our His-and-Hers Baby Shower
Ok, technically our Baby Shower was in August. But, since I didn’t do an August favorites post I figured it was OK to throw it in here!
We had a His and Hers Baby shower the last weekend in August. I’m SO glad we decided to opt for a co-ed shower. It was way more fun to have the shower with Michael there too (I mean, we are kinda in this together!). But, it was also awesome getting to invite not just girl friends, aunts, and moms but also guy friends, uncles, and dads! A lot of our friends have had babies in the last year or two as well, so it was fun to get everyone with their babies together, too! We had the shower at the Dog Watch Cafe Mystic, which has a great outdoor area for events. There were lawn games for the kids and plenty of space and room for all our guests. I definitely recommend a his/hers shower if you’re considering it! I shared a few more pictures from the day here if you want to see.
6. Nursery Progress
I’ve made SOME progress on the nursery (read as none). Ok, ok, I did do a few little DIY projects. I also put away/organized almost all the things we got from the baby shower. But, after I got the big pieces of furniture put together in the room, I sort of froze up on any more decisions. I can be really indecisive when it comes to decor decisions sometimes. I’ll literally hem-and-haw over the smallest decision for weeks. It’s a combination of wanting to pick the right piece, size, shape, all while not spending too much money (but also not getting something too cheap.)
FINALLY this weekend I purchased the last few pieces I needed for the room (thanks to my mom being here and pushing me along.) And that’s good because I’m running out of time to finish things up! Although, I’m not all that anxious about having the nursery perfect before he’s here seeing as he won’t really sleep in there at first. I have had a lot of questions on if I’ll be sharing the nursery which I will!
7. PSL Season
Like I said, I’m all in with fall this year. It’s only October first and I’ve already had more PSLs than I can count, pumpkin donuts, apple cider, apple cider donuts, every flavor squash, and the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
Still on my fall food bucket list: Pumpkin Pie, Caramel Apples and Butternut Squash Soup (I might make some this weekend!)
8. Decluttering and Organizing
I’ve been definitely doing some decluttering and organizing around the house. You could blame pregnancy nesting, but honestly, I tend to do this twice a year anyways. I think I’m maybe just more motivated right now because I want it done before Baby B is here. I shared some of my favorite tips for how to declutter and keep your space clutter-free in a recent blog post. I’m about to tackle my closet which is a total mess right now thanks to the perfect storm of maternity vs. non-maternity AND summer clothing vs. fall/winter clothing.
What have you LOVED in September?!