october 2018

October 2018: The Start of Fall

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October 2018 feels like it has come and gone by in a flash. For how hectic September was, it almost feels like October went by twice as fast.

While the start of October still had lingering feelings of summer, I can now say that we are fully into the autumn season.

The days are much, much colder and the feeling that winter is coming is hard to ignore. But, at least for now, most days the sun is out shining and it feels good to breathe in crisp air that is free from the heaviness of the humidity of summer.

Halloween has always been my least favorite holiday, but I did my best to embrace the start of the festive atmosphere and everything fall, including pumpkins, apples and cozy candles.

Blog Posts in October 2018

Most Popular Instagram Post in October 2018

Cloud Forest

From the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. I love this photo and getting to experience the Cloud Forest was one of my favorite things that I got to do while I was in Singapore.

Books Read in October 2018

I was captivated by the mystery and storytelling in Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal.

The book is about a young, modern woman who starts teaching what she thinks is a creative writing class to widows of the community that she is trying to break away from.

She learns quickly that most of the woman don’t even know how to read or write in English and think that this is why they are attending the class. Eventually the class morphs into developing erotic stories by the widows.

Throughout the novel, it dives into cultural differences between family members with regards to tradition and adapting to the modern world.

The novel covers a coming of age story while exploring cultural traditions and questions if they should be broken. It also contains a couple mystery story lines and becomes suspenseful towards the end.

As the title suggests, it also contains many of the erotic stories that the widows end up writing in their class.

The book became interesting to read at about the halfway point due to all the mysteries that were starting to be revealed. It is thought-provoking although in the end, you are still left with many questions to what is going on in the many storylines that are started throughout the book.

 

Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson. I’ve had this book for a few months, took it with me everywhere I traveled last month and only just opened it up last week.

Inspired by the author’s grandmother, it is about a female American journalist who is sent to London to cover the Second World War.

The book takes you through what it was like to live in London during the war. It is clear that so much research went into writing this book to make it as accurate as possible.

For a historical fiction novel, it is very informative because of the details and descriptions that the author offers about what life in London was like during that time period.

It is one of the better written fiction books I’ve read in a long time and different from most that I read since it covers about a five year time period from the beginning to the end.

Favorite Podcast Episode Listened to This Month

I am so late to the game on this one, but I finally started the podcast series, Start Up.

The first season, which is the season that I’m currently listening to, is about starting a business and everything is recorded in real time. It’s really fascinating to listen to how everything panned out.

Also, it’s pretty meta since it’s a podcast about starting a business of starting podcasts.

It’s pretty interesting stuff and easily digestible since each episode is only about a half hour long and contains a bunch of different audio clips from the real-time conversations and then commentary around them.

Favorite Restaurant in October 2018

The only restaurant I ate at this month, La Contenta Oeste. It took over the once beloved French Roast located in Greenwich Village.

For a quiet and rainy Saturday, it was the perfect spot for brunch with a contained menu and well priced cocktails. They had exceptionally good lattes and great carne asada tacos topped with guacamole.

What I Cooked This Month

Making up for lost time with traveling so much last month, there was plenty being cooked up in October.

Most of it started with a produce delivery service that brings fresh fruits and vegetables to my door every week.

Sometimes I have never even heard of certain items that they bring, like mini eggplants, asian pears, or celeriac.

But, by getting new, fresh things delivered each week brings up the opportunity to try many new recipes.

I have two favorite recipes that I cooked this month. They are very different from each other.

The first is The Apple Pancake which made it’s way into the 9 Late Summer & Early Fall Inspired Recipes posts.

October 2018

It was perfect and delicious. I have never made anything like this before. It was like a warm, custardy, cinnamon apple treat.

The Apple Pancake is the perfect thing to make for a brunch on a cold fall day.

 

The other thing that I loved making this month was the Award Winning Instant Pot Chili from Oh Sweet Basil.

I don’t know if I loved it so much from the bacon that gets cooked in and added on top. Or if it is also from how velvety and rich the ground beef turns out from cooking it this way.

It’s so good and everything in this dish can be cooked in the Instant Pot which means less dishes.

This has started to become a pretty regular thing to cook since the weather has been getting colder.

It’s the perfect comfort food. Delicious, warm and hearty.

What to Watch This Month

Movies in Theaters

With the changes to that have been made to Moviepass in the last few months, I have seen a lot less movies. Mostly, because it is getting harder and harder to see a movie with it.

There were still a couple movies I saw though, including:

  • The Hate U Give
  • A Star is Born
  • First Man
  • Hocus Pocus

It feels like the quality of new movies in theaters is improving lately. Probably due to the upcoming Oscar season.

I think all these movies, with the exception of Hocus Pocus, will be nominated during this award season.

Each movie was drastically different from the next but all of them were so good.

The Hate U Give is really powerful and hard to watch at times but so important. I think this was a really hard movie to make and that it was done really well.

I had no idea what the premise for A Star is Born was before I saw the movie.

All I knew was that is was a remake and I had seen the trailers with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. This movie was so emotional. It was so much heavier than I was expected, because I had no idea what the story line was.

The music from A Star is Born is incredible as is the chemistry between Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

First Man is also really different than I expected. I was excited to see Ryan Gosling in a movie but the role of Neil Armstrong was one of a steady, studious and unemotional man.

The movie is really slow but at the same time captivating and suspenseful.

I’ve never though so critically about what it really means to go to the moon and space travel in general. I think they tried to convey the sentiment that the nation felt during the time all of this happened. 

 

TV Shows

Made in Mexico: I’m obsessed with this show. It’s a reality show about socialites living in Mexico City that’s on Netflix. Made in Mexico is really interesting and makes me want to visit Mexico City.

Dynasty: The second season of the new version of Dynasty is here and it’s great. I talked about how much I loved this show in my August monthly recap. I’m super excited that it’s back but it is definitely a binge-worthy show so I think if you are not already invested in it, it will be better to wait until the whole season has been moved to Netflix.

I Feel Bad: This new fall tv is way better than expected. It has Sarayu Blue and Paul Adelstein as the leads and it’s so funny. The premise of the show is relatable even though it has a big focus on the what being a wife, mother, daughter and career woman all at the same time means. If you haven’t started watching this show yet, it’s at least worth a one-episode try.

Looking Forward to November 2018

November means the official start to the holiday season! It’s the time for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, decorating for Christmas and so much more.

It is also a month filled with travel and to start looking ahead to wrapping up the last quarter of the year and planning for 2019.

How was your October 2018? Did you see any of those movies or have you watched any of those tv shows yet? Have you read any of those books? If you have, what do you think of them? Do you have any big plans for the next month?

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