Friday is here. How are you guys? I hope you’re all doing okay, especially my Florida friends out there. The devastation from Hurricane Ian is truly horrific and my heart hurts for everyone impacted.

For those who asked for updates about our Florida family members, they are all thankfully okay. My mother-in-law lives in Sarasota and said outside her home looks awful but thankfully she and her home were not harmed. My parents and sister’s family live in Jacksonville — located in northeast Florida — and were not nearly as impacted by the storm outside of flooding in some areas. If you live in an area impacted by Hurricane Ian and have any resources/links you’d like to share for ways we can help you and your community, please share them in the comments section of this post.

Rain is headed our way today and through the weekend as the storm continues and we’ll likely be spending most of our weekend close to home. Our one exception is our plan to take the boys to see Disney on Ice tomorrow and I think I’m just as excited as they are because the theme is Encanto! Our whole family was borderline obsessed with the Encanto soundtrack when the movie debuted.

As for today, all the boys are home for the ay (Chase’s school did a remote learning day out of caution due to the storm) so it’s time to put my mom hat back on but please keep on scrolling if you’d like to check out this week’s roundup of favorites, Things I’m Loving Friday style!

Things I’m Loving Friday

Why yes, yes I did order a play pen for our leopard gecko. Ha! We’ve reached a new level of lizard-lovers in our house but this play pen has been worth its weight in gold for my peace of mind when the boys take Lucky out of her cage for playtime. She’s always been pretty good about not making a beeline for hard-to-reach places when we take her out, but there have been a few instances when I’ve had to have cat-like reflexes to catch her when she’s on a mission to crawl under the couch. Chase actually gave me the idea to look for a playpen for her because his friend Claire has one for her bunnies and $12.99 + 2 days later, Amazon had one on our doorstep.

I realize this is one of the more random “Things I’m Loving” favs I’ve shared on this blog, but the play pen also works for small animals like hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, etc. (Amazon has a pic of a squirrel, too, but ummm I’m gonna go ahead and say this is not ideal for squirrels.) It pops up easily and folds away nicely into a small little zipper pouch. Lucky seems to love it!

For a few months there, emails of my blog posts went away because Feedburner, a service previously provided by Google for free went away without notice to any of you (or me)! I tried to find RSS email options but oh my gosh it was a much bigger pain than I anticipated, as most email services out there want you to create newsletters. I just wanted a way for those of you who prefer to get my blog posts sent your way via email to continue to receive them. Thankfully Follow.It came along and I was able to import anyone who previously subscribed to my blog posts to this similar service so those of you who previously subscribed should now be receiving my blog post emails again. I’m sorry it took so long to figure that one out!

If you would like to subscribe to receive my blog posts via email, you may click this link and you’ll be added to the list! I don’t send anything else your way and it’s just an automated way to get blog posts delivered directly to you.

You know you love a new apparel purchase when you wear it multiple times in one week. That was certainly the case with my new denim dress! After wearing it apple picking, I found myself reaching for it three days later to wear on a bunch of house-related errands while the boys were at school on Tuesday. It’s crazy comfy (very billowy and flowy) and I love that it’s not super short. I’ve been pairing it with these ankle booties but think it would be so cute with white sneakers, too.

My rating: A 

I listened to audiobook version of The Good Sister through the Libby app last week and it was another Sally Hepworth winner. I’ve loved a bunch of this author’s novels in the past (I highly recommend The Mother-In-Law and The Family Next Door) so I had high hopes for this one as well. It didn’t disappoint! The story is told by two sisters — fraternal twins! — who are different in nearly every way except for their steadfast devotion to each other.

I don’t want to share too much about my thoughts on this novel because I think any words I share about how much I loved one of the sisters might reveal too much but if you read this book and find yourself adoring one of the sisters, I am right there with you. The feeling of truly knowing and loving a main character in a novel is a testament to the author’s writing and Sally Hepworth did a wonderful job crafting a character who felt whole, endearing, complete and wonderfully flawed.

Rose and Fern are twin sisters whose relationship goes beyond that of typical siblings. Fern needs Rose and looks to her as her anchor in a world filled with overwhelming noises, lights, social interactions and everyday stimulation. Rose leans into her role as Fern’s protector and helps her live a perfectly structured life, complete with dinner together three times a week and a steady job at the local library.

When Fern learns of Rose’s desire to become a mother, a dream Rose explains may never come to fruition, she becomes determined to give Rose the baby she desires. She sets out to find a man to help her have a baby for her sister and in the process meets Rocco, a man she calls “Wally” inspired by his resemblance to Where’s Waldo, who isn’t put off by the qualities Fern has always believed make her different and unsuitable as a partner or mother. As Fern sets out on her mission, relationships grow and change and secrets are revealed; secrets that could change everything.

Below you will find a recap of the top 10 most popular blog posts and your top 10 favorite items from the month of September 2022! Hopefully this will help you check out some blog posts you may have missed or help you easily locate an item I’ve mentioned in the past that got buried in blog/social media mayhem.

Top 10 Blog Posts

Your Top 10 Favorites

September 2022 best sellers


Pumpkin Paleo Oatmeal (I had one of you tag me when you made this recipe on Instagram and it put it back on my radar. SO tasty and perfect for that extra pumpkin you may have on hand this time of year.)

Oatmeal Apple Crisp (The fact that I’ve made this recipe 3 times since we picked apples last Saturday morning is saying something.)

Question of the Day

What is one thing making you smile this week?