Five October Favorites


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Normally, I am of the ilk that says, “I’m glad to live in a world, where there are Octobers”. But with election day looming overhead, Oliver having more sick days than school days, and always feeling behind the eight ball at work, I just sort of feel…burned out. So burned out that I replaced my tea rituals with cups of coffee because I’ve needed something stronger to power through this month. I always try to sit back and reflect on all of the good things that happened during the month because perspective always improves my mental health, but this month was tough…so, here goes:

Celebrating Four Years of Marriage!

Four years of marriage kind of sneaked up on Jon and I. We had a low-key celebration which included having an Ollie-free afternoon, enjoying a restaurant-cooked lunch in the socially-distant safety of our car, and indulging in some much-needed retail therapy. I think it’s been two years since I’ve been shopping? And the only pants I had were pre-pregnancy pants, which means I’ve spent the last two years sucking in, haha!

We followed that up with a Friday Date Night a week later. After tucking Ollie into bed, we enjoyed a livestream performance of the new Puscifer album while sipping mead and sparking Malvasia Bianca from Caduceus Cellars.

All of Oliver’s New Words

During my last Five Monthly Favorites, I mentioned Oliver was starting speech therapy, and three months later, his language is exploding. It has been so interesting to hear the words he learns and uses. He’s mimicking everything right now, which is anxiety-inducing considering Jon and I historically have had…colorful language. But, right now, he’s obsessed with making animal sounds (especially horses, sheep, and frogs), practicing letters of the alphabet, saying “hello” and “goodbye” to the cats, and telling mama and dada to sit.

All of the Tea Mail

Okay, even though I’ve been drinking mostly coffee, I’m still buying and receiving all the tea! Recent additions to my stash include Ollie-friendly blends from the kind folks at Little Rituals, breakfast blends from some new tea companies, like Us Two Tea and Prairie State Blending Co., and of course, I may have indulged in a few blends from DAVIDsTEA (because I really did need more Salted Caramel Oolong and Pumpkin Chai in my life) as well as the Adagio Teas Wicked Teas and Advent Calendar.

MyTeaPal App

There is a new app that has many tea lovers making heart-eyes. Jenn over at Tea Leaves and Tweed recently wrote about the app in her post, Blending Technology and Tradition, and several of my other tea blogging friends have raved about the app as well. It’s not released to the public yet, but since I was subscribed to the MyTeaPal newsletter, I was granted early access, and OMG I’m so excited to use this app. Right now, I have taken on the arduous task of cataloging my entire tea collection in the app, but I am so excited to start using it for tea tasting notes, and I am especially interested in the Flavor Dictionary!

The Last Day at the Park Before Oliver Got Sick…Again

Most October days are overcast and rainy here in Michigan, but we had a sunny and crisp day recently, so instead of driving Oliver home from Jr Preschool, we decided to walk home. (My village may be rather boring, but the fact that we live within walking distance from both the school complex and the library brings me joy). We enjoyed seeing everyone’s Halloween decorations as well as trees of red and orange and yellow. I swear I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Fall colors this beautiful. Oliver also stomped on every crunchy leaf and and jumped in every puddle.

We stopped to play at the park between our house and the school, and I think Oliver spent an actual hour going down the one slide. Then, we meandered over to the other park down the road, and Jon met us there shortly after. We traipsed across soccer fields and baseball diamonds, and we ran up and down a giant hill. (Of course, more sliding ensued). Eventually, it grew too cold for my jacket, and I had to lure Ollie home with the promise of spaghetti for dinner.

Honorable mentions include: Beating Dragon Age 2 | Tony’s Chocolonely bars | Voting by mail | First to Love by Blaqk Audio | Finally having a workspace that isn’t at the kitchen table | Decaf Coffee because it forces me to reach for a cup of caffeinated tea | My new crockpot | Listening to Oliver talk in his sleep

What are some of your October favorites? Let me know in the comments!

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Hello, my name is Jackie. I’m a thirty-something mother of a rambunctious toddler from a small town in Michigan. When I’m not toddler-wrangling, I’m often seeking refuge from life’s most chaotic moments in a cup of hot tea. I also love getting lost in stories—both in books and virtually. I enjoy speculative fiction the most, and I am especially eager to read fantasy novels and horror novels. When I’m feeling especially indulgent (usually after everyone in the house has gone to sleep), I like to dive into video games and explore the sprawling worlds in Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect.

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