Sunday, October 18

I’m happy to say I’ve had a super productive weekend, and lots of time to unwind and de-stress after working forty hours last week! I normally only work 32 hours per week, but my boss asked me to cover a Friday shift and I can always use the extra money. On Friday, Buck came over and spent the night (as he usually does on a weekend night) and we ordered delivery and watched cartoons (as we also usually do.) My back was so sore after spending so much time running around at Starbucks, I had no problem falling asleep in the blink of an eye on Friday. The last thing I remember is Buck watching tik toks and turning his phone to show me them as I fell asleep, lol.

Check out the fabulous lighting in my room! This mirror is magical.

Yesterday was catch-up-on-things-around-the-house day, so I did tons of laundry, cleaned up my room, and went grocery shopping at Target. The Target I went to was definitely not the closest grocery store to me, but I like to go there because it’s the single ONLY location I know that carries the Gardein Chick’n Florentino. I also bought a bigger reusable water bottle, because I definitely don’t drink enough water throughout the day and I’d like to make a bit more of an effort. I also started watching Coven last night, the third season of American Horror Story, despite Buck’s warnings that it’s going to be too spooky for me. I will admit, I’m four episodes in and it is quite disturbing, but I’m definitely too deep into it now and I HAVE to see how it ends. I actually don’t watch a lot of Netflix nowadays, but hey, it’s spooky season, and what better way to spend October than binging spooky television?

To be honest, it’s been really nice to focus all my attention on something besides work. I have definitely felt like Starbucks is consuming my life lately, particularly since it’s so intensive and there’s even some internal store drama going on. I’m trying to transfer pretty badly, both for my own well being and to cut my commute in half, but I’m also not opposed to finding a new job altogether. Even if I just cut back on my hours and spend more time doing freelance/remote work, that would be a step in the right direction.

On that note, today has been all about applying for jobs and getting some writing done. I’m going to start publishing two articles a week instead of three for the foreseeable future, because with my current busy schedule it’s just too easy for me to get behind. I’m looking forward to the week ahead, including weekly dinner with my friends and taking Nathaniel on a surprise date some day next weekend, and *maybe* even a response from a new job? Stay tuned!

Had a lovely little picnic in Brighton yesterday. I love these overalls.

Wednesday, October 7

I’ve had pretty much exclusively early shifts this week, which is difficult when I’m scrambling out of bed at 5:30am but totally worth it when I’m clocking out at 3:30 in the afternoon. I think having four straight days of waking up madly early has been taking a toll on me, as I usually have one 8 or 9am start time thrown in somewhere in the middle to help me recharge. I think feeling consumed by work this week has made me a bit more irritable and sensitive than usual, which isn’t really surprising.

I’ve also been stressed because the expenses of living completely independently are more present than ever. Because I have to switch subways four times a day just to get to and from work, my train fare bills are so expensive. I did the math and it looks like I spend $115 a month just taking the subway! On top of that, I essentially ran out of food yesterday and my SNAP benefits don’t land until Saturday, so that was really stressing me out. I decided to get my dinner from Starbucks because I get free food for working there, and then I went to another Starbucks that was closer to Buck’s school so I could eat with him and spend some time getting work done with him. He bought me dinner on the spot when he learned that I’m broke, which made me cry like a baby in the cafe. And then, afterwards, he paid my train fare to get home! I also received a few venmo donations from my other friends who learned about the situation I’m in currently. It is so sweet and generous of them, and I don’t think I can accurately put into words how much it truly helped me this week. I have an amazing support system.

I think my takeaway from this week has been that I (eventually) need a better paying job. I have enough to barely scrape by every month, but not much more than that. At the rate I’m going, I’ll never be able to put away savings, get off welfare, or even dream about getting a car. And particularly since I have a college degree and I could easily cut my commute in half (cost and time wise) by finding a new job, there’s no reason for me not to. And I mean, for what? To brew coffee? I love my job and the people I work with, but now that I’m settled into my new life in Boston, I think it’s time to aim higher.

So that’s what I’ve been doing these past few days: thinking about what sort of jobs I’d like to have. There is a really great website for hiring in Boston called HireCulture, and because it specializes in creative jobs for artistic folk like me, I’ve been really excited about checking that out. I’m also trying to be easy on myself and remind myself that I’m doing the best I can with my current circumstances. I know I’m a hard worker, and I will continue to work hard to build a better life for myself. 

Sunday, October 11

It’s about eleven in the morning right now, and for the second time ever, Nathaniel and I are actually successfully sitting side-by-side and getting work done in silence! We always say that we want to hang out and do work together, but we usually end up getting distracted and putting on a movie instead or something. Today, however, we both have our headphones in, we’re fully caffeinated, and we’re both click-clacking away at our keyboards together.

It’s so nice to have reached the weekend after such a taxing week. It wasn’t a bad week or anything like that, but it was certainly overwhelming at times and I’m glad to have a chance to catch my breath now and focus on other things. For one thing, I’d really like to do some more poking around for jobs that are both closer and higher in salary. I’m also going to get some articles done today, of course, and then I want to make some plant terrariums for my friends who very kindly sent me money, as a thank-you gift. And then, after that, it’s just going to be video games until bedtime! Playing The Sims is hands-down my favorite way to unwind and forget about the world for a while in my free time. What do you guys use as escapism? Do you have a favorite video game too?

Anyway, I’m hopefully going to get today’s newsletter up in a few minutes, then I’m going to finish my fall lookbook, which was supposed to come out last Thursday. And then, I suppose I’ll move onto the job hunt. If I could find a closer Starbucks to my house that gave me more hours, that would probably be the most optimal outcome. I’ll keep you guys updated on how my ongoing job hunt is going.

It’s officially fall, which means it’s now my favorite season! This particular fall already feels so much different than past ones, as this is essentially the first October I’m spending not being in school. It’s very surreal to see the leaves changing and feeling the weather getting colder, but knowing that I’m not going back to school because…there’s no school left to go back to.

Anyhow, this fall also feels a bit different because I’m focused more on buying clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for work, rather than outfits that I think are cute for class. I’ve certainly been buying a lot of cozy sweaters, and I noticed they all fall into a similar color story, so you’ll probably notice a similar theme in this lookbook. 

Let’s start off with the color palette I’ve been loving so far. I’ve always been really drawn to pastels, particularly pinks and yellows, no matter what the season. I can also pretty much only wear neutral tones to work, so that’s why several of the tops I pick out are either white or gray. I like colors that can pair easily with denim or yoga pants, so shades of white, cream, and beige are usually a pretty safe bet. I also tend to stick mostly with cottons rather than wools, as I find wearing wool to be extremely repulsive and uncomfortable.

As you can tell, I’ve been OBSESSED with my overalls and I try to wear them at least three times a week. For one thing, they’re extremely comfortable and perfect for working in a coffee shop. I love that I don’t have to constantly hike up my pants while wearing these! I also love that they serve as a perfect transitional piece for a fall in New England- you can wear them with a short-sleeved top in the summer, and then, as the weather starts to cool down, you can transition to overalls and sweaters (as I’ve been doing frequently.) I truly believe everyone, regardless of gender, needs a pair of overalls in their closet.

Like I said, I’ve been really loving sweet, feminine pastels, such as with my color gradient sweater I picked up a couple of years ago, and the super-soft tie dye hoodie I found for 40% off at Aerie last month. I’ve been wearing both of those items constantly this fall, particularly the hoodie down at the cape last weekend. As you can probably guess, I like to purchase things that are versatile and have a multi-purposeful use. This hoodie doubles as both my pajamas and my lazy-day slip-on, and additionally, as something for my boyfriend to occasionally sneak from my closet. If you don’t have a good, everyday hoodie yet, fall 2020 is the time to invest in one. I think we could all use a big, cozy hug from a soft hoodie right now. 

Going back to neutrals and clothing items that can be easily mixed and matched, I’ve been enjoying layering my outfits this month. New England especially is known for its rapidly-changing weather; it could be 30 degrees in the morning and up to 75 by the time I’m leaving work at 3pm. With that being said, I’ve been wearing a lot of neutral cardigans that can easily dress up or dress down an outfit, depending on how the weather evolves throughout the day. 

I’ve never been huge on prints, but horizontal stripes have always vibed really well with me. If you peep some of my older lookbooks you’ll notice horizontal stripes make quite a few appearances! I think it’s just a classy, universally flattering pattern for everyone, and particularly in the fall, I’ve noticed that stripes in general seem to be very trendy.

That’s pretty much where my style has been going these past couple of months! It honestly hasn’t been a very far departure from my summer style- perhaps just a bit more bundled up and cozy. The spark notes of this lookbook are basically bulky, cotton knits in a variety of pastel and neutral colors, and lots of denim to match. What have you guys been loving so far this fall? Do you keep up with popular trends, or do you travel to the beat of your own drum? Let me know down below!

Monday, October 5 

It’s crazy that it’s already October, isn’t it? 2020 is seriously flying by, which I suppose is a good thing, since 2020 hasn’t really been treating anyone kindly. I’ve been a bit behind on blogging and writing, so today is all about playing catch-up after the very busy weekend I had! From Friday to Sunday, I was in Cape Cod with Buck and his family to attend his sister’s wedding. I had never been to the cape before, so it was really exciting to visit a new place I know nothing about (and of course, I was super excited to go to attend Hil’s wedding!). We went to the private beach near where we were staying at sunset and when I saw how beautiful the rainbow sky looked, I actually cried. I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight in my life, and especially in such a negative year, it was such a treat to watch something so astonishing and be reminded of the goodness in the world.

The ceremony was also on the beach, and I felt perfectly safe being there because it was a small ceremony (and since it was outdoors, there was plenty of breathing space.) I cried once during the ceremony because I’m such a feeler, and a couple more times during the reception during the first dances. I can’t help it- I think weddings are so beautiful and filled with good energy, it’s hard for me not to tear up a little. And particularly since I adore Buck’s family so much, it was hard not to feel blanketed in love. Being engulfed in the wedding energy all weekend made me think about my own future wedding a lot too; what I’d like for myself, who I would invite, etc. Buck knows I want to propose to him next year, but it’s not something I’m actively planning at the moment. I have a general idea of what I’d like to do, so maybe I’ll tell y’all someday. 

Normally I would be working today, but I took PTO in advance because I wasn’t sure what time I would get home last night. It’s a good thing I did, because like I said, I really wanted to catch up on some writing and do some things around the house. I’m working some overtime in the next few weeks anyway, so it’s not like I’m losing hours or money anyhow.

That’s pretty much everything I’ve been up to this past week and weekend! Obviously a lot of wedding excitement for Nathaniel’s sister and the family, which I felt so honored to be a part of, and now I’m slowly easing myself back into my normal routine. I’m looking forward to getting my paycheck on Friday and my food stamps on Saturday- my fridge is starting to look a little bit bare! When I say I’m low on food, it’s because I (stupidly) buy a lot of perishable things at once and don’t realize that many of them will go bad before my next SNAP benefits land- not because I can’t afford to eat. It’s moments like this that I’m actually grateful to work at Starbucks, because I know I can get some free (or heavily discounted) meals from my job until then. I hope you guys have a really great week ahead- I’m looking forward to spending my days with my friends at work and my weekends with buck- so I have nothing to complain about. Stay safe, everyone!

As soon as September 1st hits, I go headfirst into Fall Mode and nobody can stop me. I don’t care when the official first day of fall is- summer’s over as far as I’m concerned! I have a great variety of things to tell you about this month, so I hope you guys find this article enjoyable and informative.

Health & Beauty | Method Body

Now that I’ve used up the last of my Lush Rockstar soap, it was time to invest in something new for the shower. I noticed one of my housemates had a Method body wash in our shower, which is what sparked my interest into trying out the brand. I decided to go with the “pure peace” scent, which has notes of peony, rose water, and pink sea salt. I love traditionally soft and “feminine” scents, and this body wash is just absolutely delightful. Not only am I obsessed with the scent, but I also love the ethics behind the company. There’s nothing bad or damaging in this formula, so not only does shower time smell like a luxurious spa- I can feel good about my choices, too!

Home & Decor | Apple Pumpkin Candle by DW Home

I don’t need to remind y’all that I shop for fall candles year-round, and when I first smelled this candle, I knew I had found my new favorite. The scent is pretty strong, so if you’re sensitive to candles, you may not love this one. However, I LOVE the overpowering apple smell and I probably burned it for at least two hours a day this month. Unfortunately, I’ve now run out after burning it so much, but the good news is, I’ve got plenty of other fall candles lined up. 

Lifestyle | Pumpkin Anything

This past month, I have been cooking (and drinking) so many pumpkin items, it’s a wonder I’m not sick of it yet. For one thing, pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cream cold brews from Starbucks are my EVERYTHING right now (god, I sound so white.) And, as someone who works at Starbucks, I’ve seen a lot of other folks jump on the pumpkin drink bandwagon as well. I’ve also been incorporating pumpkin into my baking lately, such as with my pumpkin bread that I made last week. I’m sure I’ll be sick of pumpkin by November, but for now, I’m a huge fan.

Health & Beauty | POPBeauty

I’m a strong believer that one should switch up their skincare routine every few months to keep things fresh and updated. Particularly with the seasons changing and the weather getting colder, I wanted to pick out some new products that would really focus on hydration and renewal. I decided to go with POPBeauty because their line was very affordable, vegan, and none of the items looked too intense for my sensitive skin. Right now, I’m using the Fizz Jelly Cleanser, the Extra Aqua Shot serum, the Zero Shine Hydrator, and the ZZZ Mask before bed. I also bought the Makeup Magnet Mist, which I’ve been loving as well. Like I said, these products are super clean and gentle on the skin, and I also really enjoy the bright aesthetic of this brand. I’m super excited to continue adding to my collection! 

Food | Candy Corn Boom Chicka Pop

I have to make a confession, I bought this popcorn at Star Market and I literally ate the entire bag in one day. In my defense, it was a medium-sized bag and not a huge one, but still. This stuff is VASTLY addicting. I’m actually not a big fan of candy corn itself (it gives me a sore throat?), but this stuff was straight-up delicious and perfect as a sweet fall snack. I’ll definitely be buying this again on my next trip to the grocery store.

Entertainment | The Michelle Obama Podcast

I think Michelle Obama is simply just a lovely person. She seems like she really has her life together, and her wisdom shines through for so many admirers. I was really excited when she announced that she was starting a podcast; I felt like it was a really human thing for her to do, to open up about her life experiences in a very personal way with her guests and her audiences. Not only have I learned a lot about Michelle from the podcast, but I also feel like I have learned a lot about womanhood and what I can expect as I continue to navigate through the world and develop into my own strong woman. 

Fashion | Oversized Sweaters

I’m basic, I know, but there is nothing I love more on this planet than a huge, cozy, neutral sweater. It definitely does not help that I live down the street from a TJ Maxx and I can go shopping for sweaters whenever I want. I’ve been really into neutrals lately (when am I not into neutrals?), which will account for why most of my oversized sweaters are an array of beiges, whites, and grays. I’m particularly loving this gray zip-up sweater I picked up the other day; I’ve been wearing it almost every day since I bought it. 

That’s everything I’ve been loving so far in September! What have you guys been enjoying so far this fall? Let me know in the comments. 

Saturday, September 26

Right now, I’m sitting at Starbucks (the one my boyfriend is working at, actually,) enjoying a pumpkin cream cold brew and trying to get some work done. I don’t know if other people feel this way, too, but I find it easier to work when I’m not in my own house. If I try to work in bed, for example, I either end up napping or scrolling through my phone. So coming to Starbucks seemed like a good idea for today; I got to see Buck, reload some money on my Charlie Card, and get some work done! And coffee, of course. I get a horrid migraine if I don’t have my caffeine. 

As you can see from the title, yes, I did sprain my wrist this week. I’m actually not exactly sure how I did it, but it was almost definitely caused by work. I have to do a lot of heavy lifting, so it makes sense that one wrong move or strain on my wrist could cause me to get a grade I sprain. It’s not too bad, but for the past few days I haven’t been able to put any pressure on that wrist without feeling a shooting pain. So I’ve been doing most things with my left hand, which has been tricky, but going alright. I also currently can’t really afford to buy a cast or a splint right now, so I’m sure that’s going to slow down my healing as well.

Anyway, work was quite stressful this week and physically taxing (mostly due to my injury,) so I’m really happy to have a few days off to catch up on other things and have some self-care time. On Tuesday, I had a lovely dinner with my co-workers, and we decided that we’re going to continue to have weekly dinners and rotate whose house we go to. Next week, we’re going to have fancy ramen at my friend Luke’s house which I’m really looking forward to. Obviously we talk about what’s going on at work, but we also talk about our relationships, our lives in Boston, being queer, etc. It’s really nice to know that I’ve made some solid friends for life since moving to Boston.

Then, on Wednesday, Buck came to visit me at work and ended up just hanging around until the end of my shift. We got some pizza afterwards, which was so lovely of him to treat me to, and then he ended up coming back home with me and staying the night. It’s nice to have someone to sleep next to and then wake up with; somehow, it makes the day ahead feel more bearable and comforting, knowing you are starting your morning on a note of love and safety.

Besides seeing him and my friends this week, I haven’t really been up to too much! I did buy some new bedding, which I’m currently loving a lot. Besides that tiny new update, really nothing in my life has changed. I’m just having a good time enjoying my life, spending time with my loved ones, and getting blogging done in-between. Next weekend is Buck’s sister’s wedding, which we will obviously be attending, and I’m really looking forward to telling you guys all about that! Stay safe this week and remember to take care of yourselves.

Since living in Boston and working almost full-time, my makeup routine and budget for makeup has certainly changed a bit! For one thing, I hardly wear any makeup at work, so a lot of the products I do pick out are more so designed to enhance my features a little bit and make me look awake, rather than a full-coverage glam beat. It’s noteworthy to add that while I wish all of these products were cruelty free (it’s an ideal I strive for,) L’oreél and Maybelline are unfortunately not cruelty free at this current point in time. With that out of the way, I hope you enjoy reading about some of the makeup I’ve been using lately from the drugstore! 

Lightshow Palette Fire Fit | POPBeauty | $12

I normally steer clear of drugstore eyeshadow palettes because I just don’t think they hold up to the more expensive ones (nor do I find the color stories interesting,) but this one just looked too beautiful for me not to try. I’d never heard of POPBeauty before, but since the price was decent and the entire collection of products looked adorable and clean, I decided to give it a go. As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of warm browns and oranges, and that’s exactly what this palette has to offer! The colors are gorgeous and the shimmers are especially stunning, but the mattes were not quite as pigmented as I had hope. Nonetheless, I’m definitely going to keep using it this fall and I’m glad to add it to my eyeshadow collection! 

Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in “Matte-Traction” and “Matte-ly in Love” | L’oréal | $11 each

I definitely don’t need another red lipstick in my makeup bin, but oh well, I really loved the look of these two colors. I think $11 for a lipstick is super reasonable, particularly since they all perform relatively the same and look all alike once applied on the lips. I was expecting these lipsticks to be a bit more matte, considering the names, but they still looked very flattering despite being a more cream-based formula. I also really like the packaging on these lipsticks: for a drugstore item, I actually think they look quite sleek and expensive. 

BrowFast Sculpt | Maybelline | $6

I’ve been meaning to buy a brow mascara for forever now, because I’ve finally grown my brows back in and I think they look much more natural when I use a mascara wand as opposed to a brush or a pencil. Although I really love this product a LOT and I think it’s so simple to use, I wish I had gotten a lighter color! My natural hair color is quite a warm brown, and the brow mascara shade I picked out is quite an ashy, dark brown. Nonetheless, for $6, I’m super impressed and I’m definitely going to keep using it because I love the formula. 

Matte Lip Stain in “Empower” | L’oréal | $12

Right behind a classic red, my second favorite lip color is a nudey pink. This time, I decided to opt for a lip stain formula and go with this one, also by L’oréal. I love this formula because it’s not too drying- something I pay attention to as the weather starts to get colder. There’s nothing worse (makeup-wise) than putting a drying lip stain onto your cracked lips! Because this lip stain is so soft and smooth, I think it could also double nicely as a cream blush. What do you guys think? 

MasterCamo Crayon Corrector | Maybelline | $10

I’ve always had very red, uneven skin, and since I’ve had luck with green concealers in the past, I decided to buy a new one. One of my biggest reasons for wearing such a heavy foundation in the past was because I wanted to erase my redness, but now that my makeup is on the softer side these days, I’ve found it looks more natural for me to just counteract the redness and then put a BB cream on top. I really like the spongy design of the brush, and I think it’s been doing a pretty good job so far! This is definitely going to become an everyday item for me. 

Lip Liner in “Brandy Wine” | wet n wild | $4

Last but certainly not least, I decided to pick out a dark lip liner that I could wear with my nude-colored lipsticks. I think that adding more emphasis to your lower lip and cupid’s bow can make them look more defined and rounded, which is why I decided to pick a color that may mimic a shadow of my natural lip color. I’m pretty happy with the color, and for $4 there isn’t much I can complain about. What do you guys think?

Saturday, September 19

Hi folks! How are we all doing? I’ve had a pretty solid week, albeit busy with work, and now I’m relieved to have reached the weekend for some peace and quiet. I’ve been trying to hold myself to going to bed early and getting up at a reasonable time, even on weekends, so I’m happy to report I was up and walking around before 9am today. I’d ideally like to be up at 8am every day, but if I don’t have much to do, then what am I even getting up that early for?

Normally I go to the Starbucks down the street from my apartment for coffee, but this morning, I decided to take the journey outbound on the train to visit Nathaniel at his Starbucks. It was a pretty long train ride, and then I had to walk quite a bit, but it was worth it to see his smiling face and get a coffee from him. 

Now I’m back at my place and I’m currently eating lunch- a bowl of macaroni and goat cheese (surprisingly delicious) and some steamed broccoli. Nathaniel might come over for a sleepover tonight, depending on what time he finishes up his homework, which would be lovely (even though I saw him literally yesterday and this morning.) 

Sorry for only talking about my boyfriend this week; anyway, here’s a picture of me in my new favorite overalls.

My goals for the rest of the day are to get some laundry done, cook dinner (I’m thinking spaghetti and meatballs,) and schedule a blog post for Tuesday. It’s funny how much my personality and my goals/values have shifted since graduating and moving out of my house, in a way that I have a difficult time describing. Even though my life is objectively harder now, I still feel like this is the most simple and happy life I have ever felt. COVID obviously makes things a bit confusing, but in general, I feel like I have a lot of clarity and confidence in my life right now. I’m looking forward to this upcoming fall and all the subtle changes that it brings: colder weather, pumpkin lattes, and the hintings of Christmastime ahead. 

Sunday, September 20

It’s Sunday afternoon now, which means tomorrow I have to resume getting up obscenely early for work (honestly, I don’t mind that much anymore now that I’m used to it.) And besides, I’d rather go in early and get out early than get home at 8 or 9 o’clock at night. At least when I get home between 4 and 6, I have time to unwind for a bit, cook dinner, and enjoy what’s left of my day before it gets dark outside.

Buck left a little while ago; he slept over last night and went to brunch with me this morning. It’s such a nice change to see him more often now that he’s so close by for school, and it’s comforting to know I can always go to him if I need anything. Since living in Boston, I’ve felt so far away and disconnected from most of my friends and family; it’s nice to know that someone is nearby for me.

I don’t have anything particularly exciting planned for this week- just working, writing, and probably baking more delicious bread. I’m thinking either banana bread or cheesy loaf may be next- what do you guys think? I hope you all stay safe and healthy this week, and enjoy the weather as it begins to cool down (depending on what hemisphere you’re on, I suppose!)

I actually had an entirely different article planned for today, but you know what? Bread ended up happening instead. As many of you probably know, I am undertaking a newfound hobby of baking and my goal is to bake a different kind of bread each week. This week, I decided to make pumpkin bread!

As with last week’s bread, I found this recipe on pinterest and will link it here. I was drawn to it because it claims to be a “Starbucks copycat”- I’ll be the one to judge that, as a Starbucks employee and connoisseur. Find out at the end how this recipe measured up to the Starbucks pumpkin loaf!

I already had most of the ingredients; the only things I had to go out of my way to buy was the pumpkin puree (and a can opener for the said puree.) The rest of the items were just your basic kitchen staples- flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. First I mixed together the dry ingredients- the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking sugar, and salt. I only added half a teaspoon of cinnamon because I didn’t want it to be *too* overpowering, but you can definitely add another teaspoon of cinnamon if you want an extra kick.

Next, I mixed together the wet ingredients. I was a little bit nervous about “whipping up” the sugar and the butter because I don’t have a mixer, as the recipe instructs, but honestly, just using a regular ‘ole pastry spatula worked fine for me. I mixed the sugar and the butter until it was as light and fluffy as possible, and then I added in the pumpkin puree, eggs, and almond milk. After that was mixed adequately, I slowly added in bits of the dry ingredients until I had a very thick batter. I was expecting it to be less chunky, but again, I don’t have a mixer, so that probably affected the consistency a little bit.

I then poured the batter into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper (easier cleanup for me) and baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 75 minutes. The recipe only calls for 50-60 minutes, but my bread actually wasn’t quite done for an additional fifteen minutes. Make sure you test out your bread with a toothpick or a fork to make sure it’s cooked all the way through! By the way, this bread smells AMAZING while it’s baking. It’s a perfectly sweet and subtle pumpkin scent, and it made my entire kitchen smell like fall. 

I waited until Nathaniel got here to cut into it, so we could both try it at the same time (he also works at Starbucks and was ready to compare it to our pumpkin loaf.) I personally think the bread came out absolutely delicious, soft, and so perfectly sweet. I also think it had the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor and tasted preeeetyy darn similar to the actual Starbucks version (minus the fact that this recipe doesn’t have the nuts on top.) Nathaniel thought the bread was delicious, too, but he didn’t think it tasted “pumpkiny enough.” I’m gonna have to disagree with him there, I think the notes of pumpkin really came through and it didn’t need any alterations. Overall, this recipe was a huge success, and I’m excited to bake this bread for my family! Maybe for Thanksgiving this is what I’ll be bringing to the table.

So, that summarizes this week’s adventure in baking! I think next week I’ll switch back to a savory recipe, so let me know if you have any ideas or recommendations for me. Thanks for reading!

Every now and again, I like to post some sort of an update on the foods I’m buying and how I’m preparing dishes for the week ahead. This past weekend has been a great opportunity for me to cook some delicious things, and Nathaniel even helped me to cook as well! I hope you find some inspiration from this article and enjoy these fall-themed food ideas.

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

It’s hard to go wrong with overnight oats, and whenever I prepare them, I feel like I really have my life together. I love everything from brainstorming the different ideas for customizations, prepping them, and of course, eating them! I’ve been sticking with strawberry banana overnight oats this week because that’s what I picked up at the grocery store, but next week I’d like to try pumpkin oats and PB & J oats. Ellie Krieger has a great recipe on her website for the pumpkin oats, so I’ll have to think about giving those a go! 

Bread: Soft ‘N’ Sweet Dinner Rolls

Like I said, Nathaniel and I did some cooking together last weekend, and one of the things we made were soft ‘n’ sweet dinner rolls. I have to say, this bread baking experience was a lot different than my other bread experiences because this one required activating the yeast and kneading the dough. Our rolls were delicious, but they were definitely much denser and biscuit-like than the recipe intended them to be. I’ve been pairing them with my dinner soup, which I’ll get to soon. I’m really happy with how they came out, and I hope they come out even better the next time.

Lunch: Fall Apple Salad

Keeping with the seasons, lately I’ve been enjoying prepping this easy fall salad. It’s a common variation of a salad I’ve made a lot and talked about on my blog: sweet kale base, apples, walnuts, craisins, and poppy seed dressing. I really like crunchy, fruity salads, and this dish definitely offers me the perfect combination of both. It’s super easy to whip up in big batches, and several of the ingredients are fairly cheap and easy to find (if not all of them.) My favorite poppy seed dressing to use is the Panera variety, as I find the creamier versions don’t quite pair as well with the other ingredients.

Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup

Lastly, I’ve been burning through my homemade butternut squash soup all week, and there’s still a ton left in my fridge! This was the other dish Nathaniel and I made together, and I think it was an absolutely perfect choice. I was surprised because the recipe called for two cups of apple cider, but once it was incorporated into the actual dish, it actually tasted really good. I think this is one of those dishes that tastes better as a leftover, too, so I’ve been really enjoying eating a little bit every day and observing different notes in the flavors. 

So, that’s everything I’ve meal prepped to eat for this week! I really wanted to choose dishes that I felt celebrated the fall season, and I also made sure I picked ingredients that are cheap (and fresh) as well. I already have a lot of ideas for what I want to cook next week, so I’m looking forward to sharing that with you guys. I’ve been meaning to make pumpkin bread for forever now, so maybe that will be on my agenda next.