Some of my current fall favorites, from books to beauty to coffee:
1. Spiced pumpkin seeds at Trader Joe’s. Tis the season for pumpkin spiced everything, I know. (Props to lululemon, whose chalkboard proclaimed “We have pumpkin spice yoga pants! Just kidding.) But these are worth seeking out. Their frozen lasagna also saves my life on a regular basis, for $4.99. (I share my Trader Joe’s favorites right here.)
2. The perfect pair of bookends.
3. Instant Pot frozen whole chicken. I would like to think I’m the kind of person who doesn’t need a recipe like this in my life, but alas, this method has saved the day a few times this fall. It turns out that, yes, you can cook a frozen solid whole chicken in the Instant Pot in less than an hour (including that pesky coming-to-pressure time that pressure cooker recipes never seem to account for).
A few notes: this wouldn’t be my method of choice if I wanted to serve a chicken dinner. But if I want cooked chicken to add to a dish like curry, chili, chicken soup, or enchiladas, it works like a charm.
4. Non-pink nail polish.
Because somehow whenever I try to impulse buy nail polish at Target, I always come home with the same shade (Revlon’s Teak Rose).
I found myself on the road recently with peep-toe heels and nails that hadn’t been painted in too long, so I stopped into the drugstore to see what I could find. I had my eye out for a pretty shade of greige but on the rack they looked pretty boring (plus would probably clash with my brown heels anyway).
I was happy to find Essie’s Smokin’ Hot, a muted purple with grey undertones. That drugstore selection wasn’t the greatest, and I might love the more-lavender-than-purple Merino Cool that I found after my trip even more.
Not planning ahead is a recurring theme in my life, apparently. We’ve been using PrepDish at my house to see us through busy seasons for about a year and a half now. It’s called PrepDish because it works like this: you do all the prep work for a whole week’s worth of meals at one go, which makes it super easy to actually put dinner on the table every night of the week. I love how the menus are simple without being boring, and always feature seasonally appropriate dishes and ingredients.
Sharing here because I love it, but because PrepDish is a podcast sponsor, you can get two weeks free to try it for yourself: click here to visit the PrepDish site and use the code READNEXT.
Pro tip: I enjoy prep day sooo much more if I start with a clean kitchen and a podcast or audiobook I can’t wait to listen to.
6. Shoes that match the autumn leaves.
I’ve been thinking about a new pair of Tieks for a while now, but I wasn’t sure which color to get. But then Kristen showed up at our New Orleans MMD meetup wearing the burgundy, and I was sold. I ordered them the day I got home. I especially appreciated her explanation of why she preferred them over a few other colors I love. Short answer: the dark colors wear better over time.
(A few notes about Tieks: they’re spendy, but worth it for me, and I write about why here. The short version: my feet are enormous. I also share my tips and tricks about styles, sizing, wear, and customer service in this review.)
7. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.
I’ve always been a drugstore moisturizer girl, but I have a few Kiehl’s lovers in my life, and they talked me into giving this a try. Last November, I bought a 1.7 ounce (as in, not huge) jar of their Ultra Facial Cream. A family member is a Kiehl’s junkie, so every year we buy her a different Kiehl’s gift set. While I was shopping for her last November, I bought myself some of this moisturizer.
I have really sensitive skin, and I was skeptical. But I love it. And also, I’ve used it every single day since before last Christmas and I’m still working on the same jar. I don’t need very much.
8. Mood lighting.
File under: things I never would have purchased on my own. A decorate friend recommended this West Elm pendant for our kitchen, and I said Seriously? It arrived, I opened the box, and said Really? We hung it, and Will and I both said Ohhhhh. I get it now.
It looks nice, frames the space, but most importantly, the light it throws in the dark/dim is fantastic.
9. Coffee on autopilot.
Caffeine continues to be my nemesis. I love coffee, but caffeine continues to make me feel terrible. We have great local coffee shops here in Louisville, but because decaf options aren’t abundant, I end up drinking the same three blends over and over again. It’s not a horrible situation to be in, but I would appreciate some variety.
Will got me a MistoBox subscription for Christmas this year, which means a box of decaf coffee arrives monthly. I always forget it’s on the way, which means I’m continually surprised when a new-to-me decaf blend arrives on my doorstep once a month. I love my local roasters, but it’s so nice to be guaranteed something different once a month, even if I fail to plan ahead.
What are YOU loving this fall? We’d love to hear a little about your favorites in comments.