Fall Wardrobe Essentials

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Sharing some of my favorite fashion finds for fall + some new wardrobe essentials.

Helloooooo! How’s the week going? I hope you’re having a great morning so far! I’m subbing a class at the gym and meeting with a friend for coffee afterwards. It’s been raining a ton here in Tucson lately (summer monsoons are the best) and it’s cooled down a bit. While we’re definitely not ready for boots and sweaters here, it’s making me very excited for fall.

For today’s post, I thought I’d share some of the fall fashion picks that I have my eye on + some wardrobe essentials. I’d love to hear what you’re scoping out for fall and if there are any trends this season that you actually like. Fashion has been a bit weird the past couple of years, but I tend to stick to the classics, like blazers, sweater dresses, cute headbands, and cozy sweaters over the fall and winter season.

Here are some of my top picks!

Fall Wardrobe Essentials

Tops and sweaters

This gorgeous cut-out sweater. I have one from last year and wore it all the time.

Classic v-neck button-up.

This recycled cashmere wrap sweater.

This off-shoulder pullover.

Outerwear and blazers

Classic black blazer.

LOVE this plaid blazer.

This lightweight star jacket.

Dresses and skirts

I want this sweater dress in every color.

This floral dress would be so cute with booties or heeled sandals.

These sleeves are everything.

The perfect date night dress.

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Students supported by Samaritans and The Positive Planner

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Specifically aimed at students in further education, a new journal co-created by Samaritans and The Positive Planner seeks to improve wellbeing

Students supported by Samaritans and The Positive Planner

University can be a brilliant, joyful experience for many. But it can also be tough on mental health. For those with existing mental health concerns, living away from parents (often for the first time), the pressure to make new friends and being put under the stress that comes with further education can all exacerbate conditions. It can also trigger the onset of conditions for some as they navigate a new stage of life.

The pandemic has, perhaps unsurprisingly, made matters worse for some. The NUS (National Union of Students) has reported that half of students say their mental health is worse than it was before Covid, noting feelings of anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression.

Coming together over a mutual concern for students’ mental health, suicide prevention charity Samaritans has joined forces with wellbeing journaling brand The Positive Planner to create The Positive Student Planner. The partnership arose after students asked for an alternative to online support. After two years of the pandemic where everything from studying to socialising took place online, students were keen for something different.

The planner guides students to develop coping mechanisms for tougher times and more positive habits to support them long-term

This new planner (created with the help of leading student mental health expert Dr Dominique Thompson and UK students) supports students in a practical and emotional way. Helping users better understand their thoughts and feelings, the journal also encourages self-care while tackling common challenges such as budgeting, meeting new people and balancing work and fun. The planner also guides students to develop coping mechanisms for tougher times and more positive habits to support them long-term.

Within the planner there are daily journaling pages, meal, time and budget planning pages, self-acceptance exercises, breathing exercises and tools to challenge negative self-beliefs. Students who buy the planner will also receive regular emails with tips from their peers, written by student writers at young people’s mental health charity Student Life.

While Samaritans are best known for their support to those in crisis, they also encourage people to look after their wellbeing every day in an effort to prevent people reaching crisis point

Journaling encourages reflection, self-awareness and an exploration of thoughts and feelings, all of which can be incredibly beneficial to mental health and wellbeing. While Samaritans are best known for their support to those in crisis, they also encourage people to look after their wellbeing every day in an effort to prevent people reaching crisis point.

Neil Gilbert, Head of Supporter Innovation and Insight at Samaritans commented:

“Further education is a significant transition for people embarking on young adulthood – one many find challenging or lonely as they grapple with the reality of their independence. We jumped at the chance to work with The Positive Planner, along with students from a range of backgrounds, to co-design a resource that will help students prioritise and manage their own wellbeing at a time when it has never felt more needed. This is just one of the way

Grandma’s German Pancakes

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Have you tried German Pancakes? Served with Grandma’s orange sauce, they’re unforgettable. They are basically the world’s easiest to make giant popovers.

These pancakes are baked in the oven, where they rise tall and they gently fall, instead of being cooked on a griddle like traditional pancakes.

German Pancake on blue plate with berries

German Pancakes

I remember my grandmother waking early in the morning to start breakfast before anyone else was awake. We’d come downstairs and she’d already be working in the kitchen.

I’d peek through the oven door as the German pancakes rose so beautifully in the oven. German pancakes are a cross between a souffle and an omelet.

German pancakes with strawberries on blue plate

What is a Dutch Baby?

These are light airy pancakes with a unique taste. Often called Dutch baby pancakes, these are a real treat and a fun breakfast for a lazy weekend.

Have you made these? German pancakes rise amazingly high and then fall once they are removed from the oven. As a child, it was always exciting to watch the process. I waited years to attempt making them myself.

Once I discovered just how simple they are to make, I had to restrain myself from making them far too often. We love them with powdered sugar, or maple syrup, but my grandmother’s Orange Sauce is our favorite topping of all.

The sides of the pancake will rise high over the rim of the pie plate, as pictured below.

German Pancakes on plate with berriesRead more

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant

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Sharing tips on how to not kill your houseplant and keep indoor plants alive and thriving!

The Pilot says I used to have a gangrene thumb. I was the person who’d walk through the plant shop and plants would instantly recoil in fear that I would bring them home. The unlucky chosen ones were brought into our house, neglected, and lived a sad, yet quick, death.

With a huge learning curve, over past handful of years, I’ve really turned things around! We now have a full garden with lots of herbs and veggies, multiple thriving indoor houseplants, and the legendary Frida, our 10 ft-ish fiddle leaf fig.

Houseplants can make such a difference in home decor and the overall vibe of the house! They can help purify air and can also add more style and character to your home. Plants naturally grow in the wild but you can recreate a plant’s natural habitat indoors. Today, I’m sharing some tips that can help my horticulturally challenged friends out there kiss their black thumb goodbye and keep your plants alive thriving inside your homes.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant

Choosing plants wisely

Don’t be afraid to start with an “easier” plant, like a succulent, lavender, aloe, cacti, spider plant, or my fave easy plant, the Heart leaf Philodendron. This post has a list of popular houseplants. Check out the tag to see how much sunlight and water they need and plan accordingly for the type of care that’s required. Succulents and cacti need very little water (too much can give them wet feet and soggy roots), while aloe needs a bit more, and the Heart leaf Philodendron likes to dry out a little and then be completely drenched.

Put plants in the right spot

Sunlight is a critical factor, as some plants need a lot of sun and others don’t need much at all. Before making your purchase, check out the tag of the plant or do a quick google search to see how much light they prefer. Our fiddle leaf fig loves being in a large south-facing window, which receives hours of indirect sun. Other plants in the house do well with indirect sun from various windows. When you bring your plant home, place it into its spot in the same pot you brought home from the nursery. This way it can get used to its new environment befor

Bourbon Chicken

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Bourbon Chicken

This Bourbon Chicken is tender, moist, and full of flavor and so simple to prepare! I’ve been testing this recipe for 20 years exactly now, and it was time for a refresher on this recipe! It is my new fav thing!

One of the things that we absolutely love is that it’s so easy to spice it up or take it down a few notches depending on who you will be sharing your meal with. 

a photo of juicy flavorful bourbon chicken with a side of brown rice and sauteed vegetables.

There was a great bourbon chicken, hold your breath, at the Washington Square Mall when I was in high school. I know, mall food. Can you even believe that I said that?! It’s completely ridiculous, and if I went back I’d probably be a bit disappointed now that my palate has evolved. Or, at least I hope that it has! And this sauce isn’t exactly like the one from the mall, it’s even better!

And I won’t even tell you about Hot Dog on a Stick. Or should I say…the cheese on a stick. I know, I know, it’s ridiculous. That one I’m still tempted to make a homemade version though…

Ingredients Needed for Bourbon Chicken

This chicken is sweet and sticky and made with tender and flavorful chicken thighs. You start by browning the chicken on the stove top with a simple dry rub and then it finishes cooking in the oven in the sauce. Here is what you will need:

Chicken

  • Chicken Thighs – boneless and skinless thighs, you can also use chicken breasts if you prefer
  • Salt – adds flavor
  • Garlic Powder – adds flavor
  • Onion Powder – adds flavor
  • Pepper – chicken should just always be seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Olive Oil – gives the chicken a good sear and keeps it from sticking to the pan

Sauce

  • Garlic Powder – paired with the ginger, it is that essential Chinese food flavor combo
  • Ground Ginger – it’s very fine and blends into the sauce beautifully
  • Apple Cider – adds richness, tang and a fruitiness
  • Water – thins out the sauce some
  • Brown Sugar – adds the perfect sweetness to the sauce
  • Rice Vinegar – gives the sauce a nice tang
  • Soy Sauc
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