Monthly Archives: October 2017


Fall Reading List: 12 Must-Read Books

Now that we’re getting into the swing of life with a newborn all over again, I’ll admit, I’ve watched my fair share of Hallmark movies and Gilmore Girls reruns (and I’m slowly tackling this list); mostly, because soothing and feeding and changing a newborn baby on an every two-ish hour schedule can be pretty all-consuming. In the afternoons, though, when Scarlett is home from school, I try to set her up with activities while I’m going through the newborn motions with her sister, so I’ve found myself reading books again. If you know me, you’ll know that I am a total book junkie. (Reading even more is on my fall bucket list, after all!)

Veteran mom tip: if you’re going to read a book while holding a newborn, it might be worth investing in a tablet, iPad, or e-reader. You won’t need two hands to hold a book and turn the pages; SO much more convenient.

But I digress.

Books. I can’t get enough. And when I’ve found a few good ones, I read and devour them like candy. Sometimes you can go through a whole slew of books that are all just good, or okay, or decent, or worse still, hard to get through; but not that literary candy you crave. So I’ve been on the hunt, and I’ve compiled a pretty awesome fall reading list of 12 must-read books, because, good news: there are so many incredible-looking novels out this year that I can’t wait to dig into. And trust me, I read many, many reviews. Let’s get to this Fall reading list!

12 must-read books on my fall and winter reading list, because, good news: there are so many incredible-looking novels out this year. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Fall Reading List: 12 Must-Read Books by North Carolina lifestyle blogger Glitter, Inc.

So if you’re on the hunt for a few awesome books to read – including books topping the bestseller list, a cheeky beach read that still totally counts for fall and winter, two YA novels with rave reviews, love stories that you can plow through in one sitting mixed in, a few great history lessons, even the epic new Ken Follett novel – check out these 12 must-read books. (Get your wish lists ready!)

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas - Fall Reading List: 12 Must-Read Books by North Carolina lifestyle blogger Glitter, Inc.

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas

I viewed the consumptive nature of love as a threat to serious women. But the wonderful man I just married believes as I do—work is paramount, absolutely no children—and now love seems to me quite marvelous.

These words are spoken to a rapturous audience by Joan Ashby, a brilliant and intense literary sensation acclaimed for her explosively dark and singular stories.

When Joan finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is stunned by Martin’s delight, his instant betrayal of their pact. She makes a fateful, selfless decision then, to embrace her unintentional family.

Challenged by raising two precocious sons, it is decades before she finally completes her masterpiece novel. Poised to reclaim the spotlight, to resume the intended life she gave up for love, a betrayal of Shakespearean proportion forces her to question every choice she has made.

Epic, propulsive, incredibly ambitious, and dazzlingly written, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is a story about sacrifice and motherhood, the burdens of expectation and genius. Cherise Wolas’s gorgeous debut introduces an indelible heroine candid about her struggles and unapologetic in her ambition.

Buy it here.

The Twelve Lives Of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

The Twelve Lives Of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

A coming-of-age novel and a literary thrill ride about the price we pay to protect the people we love most.

Samuel Hawley isn’t like the other fathers in Olympus, Massachusetts. A loner who spent years living on the run, he raised his beloved daughter, Loo, on the road, moving from motel to motel, always watching his back. Now that Loo’s a teenager, Hawley wants only to give her a normal life. In his late wife’s hometown, he finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at the local high school.

Growing more and more curious about the mother she never knew, Loo begins to investigate. Soon, everywhere she turns, she encounters the mysteries of her parents’ lives before she was born. This hidden past is made all the more real by the twelve scars her father carries on his body. Each scar is from a bullet Hawley took over the course of his criminal career. Each is a memory: of another place on the map, another thrilling close call, another moment of love lost and found. As Loo uncovers a history that’s darker than she could have known, the demons of her father’s past spill over into the present—and together both Hawley and Loo must face a reckoning yet to come.

Buy it here.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….

Buy it here.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Buy it here.

Miss You by Kate Eberlen

Miss You by Kate Eberlen

“If ever a couple was ‘meant to be,’ it’s Tess and Gus. This is such a witty, poignant, and uplifting story of two lives crisscrossing over the years, with near miss after near miss. . . . I couldn’t put it down.”—Sophie Kinsella

A wryly romantic debut novel with echoes of One Day that asks, what if you just walked by the love of your life, but didn’t even know it?

“TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.” Tess can’t get the motto from her mother’s kitchen knickknack out of her head, even though she’s in Florence on an idyllic vacation before starting university in London.

Gus is also visiting Florence, on a holiday with his parents seven months after tragedy shattered their lives. Headed to medical school in London, he’s trying to be a dutiful son but longs to escape and discover who he really is.

A chance meeting brings these eighteen-year-olds together for a brief moment—the first of many times their paths will crisscross as time passes and their lives diverge from those they’d envisioned. Over the course of the next sixteen years, Tess and Gus will face very different challenges and choices. Separated by distance and circumstance, the possibility of these two connecting once more seems slight.

But while fate can separate two people, it can also bring them back together again. . . .

Buy it here.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.

In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.

After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.

Buy it here.

The Futures by Anna Pitoniak

The Futures by Anna Pitoniak

In this dazzling debut novel about love and betrayal, a young couple moves to New York City in search of success-only to learn that the lives they dream of may come with dangerous strings attached.

Julia and Evan fall in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a rural Canadian town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia–blond, beautiful, and rich–fits perfectly into the future he’s envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan lands a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, whose privileged upbringing grants her an easy but wholly unsatisfying job with a nonprofit, feels increasingly shut out of Evan’s secretive world.

With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in a high-stakes deal at work–a deal that, despite the assurances of his Machiavellian boss, begins to seem more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of live. As the economy craters, and as Evan and Julia spin into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more–good and bad–than they’d ever imagined.

Rich in suspense and insight, Anna Pitoniak’s gripping debut reveals the fragile yet enduring nature of our connections: to one another and to ourselves. THE FUTURES is a glittering story of a couple coming of age, and a searing portrait of what it’s like to be young and full of hope in New York City, a place that so often seems determined to break us down–but ultimately may be the very thing that saves us.

Buy it here.

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

Buy it here.

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person – a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel about bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.

Buy it here.

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner

When a DNA test reveals long-buried secrets, three generations of women reunite on Cape Cod for the homecoming of a lifetime.

Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it’s paid off: at twenty-eight she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and the hard-won admiration of her father. But one moment of weakness leaves Marin unemployed and alone, all in a single day. Then a woman claiming to be Marin’s half-sister shows up, and it’s all Marin can do not to break down completely. Seeking escape, Marin agrees to a road trip to meet the grandmother she never knew she had. As the summer unfolds at her grandmother’s quaint beachside B&B, it becomes clear that the truth of her half-sister is just the beginning of revelations that will change Marin’s life forever. THE FOREVER SUMMER is a delicious page-turner and a provocative exploration of what happens when our notions of love, truth, and family are put to the ultimate test.

Full of delicious descriptions of coastal New England and richly imagined characters, THE FOREVER SUMMER is an emotional, hot-topic page-turner and a must-read.

Buy it here.

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love.

Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.

The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else—no matter what the cost.

Set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, A Column of Fire is one of Follett’s most exciting and ambitious works yet. It will delight longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series and is the perfect introduction for readers new to Ken Follett.

Buy it here.

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper

Elise Hooper’s debut novel conjures the fascinating, untold story of May Alcott—Louisa’s youngest sister and an artist in her own right.

We all know the story of the March sisters, heroines of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. But while everyone cheers on Jo March, based on Louisa herself, Amy March is often the least favorite sister. Now, it’s time to learn the truth about the real “Amy”, Louisa’s sister, May.

Stylish, outgoing, creative, May Alcott grows up longing to experience the wide world beyond Concord, Massachusetts. While her sister Louisa crafts stories, May herself is a talented and dedicated artist, taking lessons in Boston, turning down a marriage proposal from a well-off suitor, and facing scorn for entering what is very much a man’s profession.

Life for the Alcott family has never been easy, so when Louisa’s Little Women is published, its success eases the financial burdens they’d faced for so many years. Everyone agrees the novel is charming, but May is struck to the core by the portrayal of selfish, spoiled “Amy March.” Is this what her beloved sister really thinks of her?

So May embarks on a quest to discover her own true identity, as an artist and a woman. From Boston to Rome, London, and Paris, this brave, talented, and determined woman forges an amazing life of her own, making her so much more than merely “The Other Alcott.”

Buy it here.


What’s on your fall reading list? I’ll take all of the recommendations I can get!


And if you’re looking for even more amazing books (or just want to join the club and save a dozen more to your wish list), check out last year’s 12 Must-Read Books for 2016, and the year before: 12 Must-Read Books for 2015.


Looking to binge-watch a few great shows instead? I’ve got you covered. The Best Shows to Binge-Watch on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Streaming (This list is HUGE!)


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail

I love a great fall cocktail or drink, and this pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail is no exception. Pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail, a play on the more classic Kentucky Mule, is quintessential fall.

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other fall gatherings on the holiday horizon, it’s nice to have a fun, seasonal punch cocktail recipe ready when guests arrive. Ever notice a signature cocktail can make a party or event feel all the more special?

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall drink recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

As for this pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail, the homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup is the star of the show; and it’s topped with smooth bourbon and spicy ginger beer. What’s not to love? Make a batch or two of the simple syrup to keep on hand and you’ll be the hostess of the season!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall drink recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Our awesome food contributor, Hope, dreamed up the recipe for this fall punch cocktail, and the result is amazing.

The pumpkin ginger simple syrup used to create this ginger bourbon punch is full of fall spices and makes any cocktail (or mocktail) taste like fall in a cup. The pumpkin flavor is present without being too strong for the drink. We love ginger beer in any drink, especially in the colder month. It adds a bit of warmth and spice and makes the punch cocktail cozy and comforting. The combination of the subtly sweet pumpkin ginger simple syrup, bourbon, and ginger beer tastes like a Kentucky Mule with an autumn twist. It is cinnamon-y sweet and warm with a touch of pumpkin and some heat from the bourbon and ginger beer.

We love serving this one on ice – crushed or one big cube – and of course, dipping the rim in cinnamon sugar to give the glasses a fun sparkle. It is delicious!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail

This perfect fall drink recipe - ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving - combines homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer. What's not to love?

Ingredients

Pumpkin Ginger Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • pinch of ground cloves

Pumpkin Bourbon Punch

  • 1 to 1 ½ ounces pumpkin ginger simple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 3 ounces ginger beer
  • Lemon juice, for the rim
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, for the rim

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, mix all of the simple syrup ingredients together and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Strain the simple syrup through a sieve to remove the ginger root.
  2. On a plate or shallow dish, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Pour the lemon juice into another plate or shallow bowl and dip the rim of the glasses in lemon juice, then in cinnamon sugar.
  3. Stir (or shake) the bourbon, ginger beer, and pumpkin simple syrup together, pour into the rimmed glasses, top with ice, and serve!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

How perfect would this be served at a Halloween or Thanksgiving celebration?

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

That cinnamon-sugar dipped rim adds such a festive (and sweet!) touch.

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Cheers!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

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Love this pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail recipe? Head to our recipe page to check out what we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your delicious cocktail creations!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Little Love Notes

Lifestyle blogger Lexi of glitterinc.com shares a few little love notes to the things she loved most this week, including this dreamy fall patio. | @glitterinc

Happy weekend! We’re hunkering down today; everyone seems to have whatever little bug is going around, so we’re watching movies and laying low. Clearly, it’s too cold for our Miami veins. We have a jam-packed weekend full of birthday parties, another blog photo shoot (you might be able to catch a glimpse at yesterday’s photo shoot on my Instagram Stories), plus plenty of errands, and Monday is our wedding anniversary, so resting up today is a must. I’ll be sharing what we’re up to throughout the weekend over on instagram (lots of fun behind-the-scenes on my insta stories too!), facebook, and twitter. Follow along! How about you? Any exciting weekend plans?

With that, a few little love notes to the things I loved most this week …

Dear fall patio dreaming, you’ve got to see Zevy Joy’s neutral fall home décor.

Dear hostess with the mostest, how to throw a dinner party like a Parisian.

Dear nothing to wear, this blogger favorite sweater dress is selling like hotcakes; and at under $100, it’s no surprise. If you love the tie sleeves, this sweater is equally awesome.

Dear obsessed with flowers, a guide to the most common fall flowers.

Dear R & R, the most popular types of massages—and how to find the right one for you.

Dear pint-sized writers, how cute is this secret society of letter writers?

Dear weekend bakingthin and chewy spiced oatmeal cookies with brown butter icing.

Get the origins of these sweet little love notes, here, and catch up on love notes of the past.

image via Zevy Joy

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Fall Kitchen Decor: 16 Must-Haves

Fall, in my mind, kicks off the season of baking and cooking. Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, I find myself cooking in the kitchen even more than I already do. And of course, I love to decorate for fall. So why not combine my love of cooking and baking and fall décor, and round up a few fall kitchen decor must-haves topping my wish list?

While some of these fall items are classics that can easily work in your kitchen all year round, others are just great additions to add warm pops of fall color and whimsy to your fall kitchen decor.

I love all of the copper and brass that re-emerges every fall season, so you can bet I included a few copper accessories, including a huge KitchenAid mixer, because a girl can dream, right? (Seriously, though, I have the smaller Kitchenaid stand mixer and it is one of the most amazing kitchen tools you can own. I use it CONSTANTLY.) I also loving mixing in rustic wood, pops of gold, and clean white in my fall kitchen decor, because all of those elements work so well together and can easily translate into other seasons. And if I could put a wreath everywhere, I would; so why not in the kitchen?

Lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. combines her love of cooking and baking and fall décor, rounding up a few fall kitchen must-haves topping her wish list. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Fall Kitchen Decor: 16 Must-Haves by North Carolina style blogger Glitter, Inc.

1. KitchenAid® Pro Line® Copper Stand Mixer, 7 Qt. // 2. Figural Pumpkin Bowls // 3. Williams Sonoma Checkered Adult Apron in Drizzle Grey // 4. Autumn Mosaic Tumblers, Set of 4 // 5. White and Gold Flatware Set // 6. Olive Wreath // 7. French Stripe Napkins // 8. Providence Wood Tray // 9. Copper Measuring Spoons // 10. Copper Measuring Cups // 11. Cork-Lid Beverage Dispenser // 12. Gold & Wood Servers // 13. Marble Melamine Serveware Collection // 14. Bodum ® Chambord Classic Copper Storage Jars, Set of 3 // 15. Copper Pumpkin // 16. Maple Leaf Condiment Plates

SHOP THE KITCHEN FALL DECOR POST | CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

 

Anything on your fall kitchen decor “must-have” list? I’d love to know!

Love these fall kitchen decor must-haves? Head to our home décor section to get inspired and head to our recipe page to  check out what we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Breakfast is one of those things that we all know we need, we know is good for us, and yet, on most busy mornings, we can’t seem to get it together enough to serve a balanced, healthy breakfast. I even struggle with this on the weekends. Part of it is the planning. I mean, really, who wants to plan for breakfast? Then of course, there’s the actual cooking of a somewhat good-for-you breakfast that feels like the last thing on your busy day (or even lazy day) to do list.

Although still new-ish to me, the slow cooker (or crockpot) has totally blown my mind as of late. I don’t know if maybe I was living under a rock, but my goodness, a slow cooker makes life easier. It’s basically a kitchen wizard and makes meal-making SO much easier. You dump all of your ingredients in, set it, and forget it.

And you can MAKE BREAKFAST IN IT. I know; right!?

I’ve already tackled dinner (and dessert) in our slow cooker: this 3-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Thai Coconut Curry Chicken and Hearty Chicken Vegetable and Quinoa Soup have both become slow cooker staples in our kitchen, and if you’ve never tried dessert in a slow cooker, allow me to introduce you to slow cooker/crockpot apple crisp. SO good. (By the way, this Instant Pot basically does it all – slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker – and you’ll love it.) But breakfast; it totally works too!

Introducing, slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs …

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Our awesome food contributor, Hope, put together the recipe for these slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs, and the result just might be your new favorite fall and winter breakfast.

From Hope:

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are the easiest fall breakfast. They are hearty, delicious and healthy, with heaps of cinnamony flavor. Throw everything together overnight for the perfect breakfast on those busy, crisp mornings.

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc = Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Want the recipe? Scroll down for the yummiest slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs.

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy, with heaps of cinnamony flavor. Cooking them in a slow cooker also makes it an unbelievably simple breakfast option on those busy, crisp fall and winter mornings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 apples, cut into small chunks (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Optional Toppings:

  • apple slices or chunks
  • fresh berries
  • nuts (like walnuts or pecans)
  • pepitas
  • milk
  • maple syrup
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Stir together all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and set on low for 6 hours to 8 hours. 6 hours works well, but 8 hours will give you even softer oats. If you are around, while the oatmeal is cooking, stir once or twice. If you are not around to stir, it may stick to the sides a bit, but should still be fine. I made it once without stirring for 6 hours and once when I stirred at 3 hours (of 6) and both tasted great.
  2. Serve the oatmeal hot with extra milk, maple syrup, apple slices, and nuts on top.
  3. Any leftover oats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge (use jars for on-the-go breakfasts!). Stir in a splash of milk before reheating to bring back some of the moisture.

Courses Breakfast

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

I’m such a big fan of steel cut outs. Also often referred to as Irish or Scottish oats, steel cut oats are a type of oatmeal that are processed by chopping the whole oat groat into several pieces, rather than rolled. Steel cut oats take longer to cook than regular oats, and have a hearty, chewy texture; a.k.a., they’re perfect for cooking in a slow cooker or crockpot. (We love this brand!)

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

It’s so satisfying to have an entire hearty meal ready to go in a crockpot. You just throw all of your ingredients in and let that slow cooker work its magic.

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Don’t forget to serve your slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs with all of your favorite toppings. A few tasty suggestions for topping your oats:

  • apple slices or chunks
  • fresh berries
  • nuts (like walnuts or pecans)
  • pepitas
  • milk
  • maple syrup
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • shredded coconut

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Love these slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats? Head to our recipe page to check out what else we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own slow cooker apple cinnamon oats, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) or let us know in the comments so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Little Love Notes

Lifestyle blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a few little love notes to the things she loved most this week, including decorating for fall, Airbnb’s most popular listing ever, and white chocolate pumpkin scones. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Happy Friday! Who’s busy decorating for Halloween this weekend? Other than a few pumpkins, I feel SO behind. Normally, on October 1st, I’ve got my giant rubbermaid bins out, hanging bats and pumpkins and witches; but of course, a certain perfect newborn came whirling in on the 3rd, thwarting my Halloween decorating ambitions. Here’s to hoping we can get it done this weekend! As for life around here, we’re adjusting to a new normal with two girls. Of course, having a two-and-a-half week old and a three-year-old means we’re tired ALL of the time, but it’s learning to juggle two tiny humans that’s been the biggest challenge. Still, I melt every time they do anything adorable (which is about every other second), and I can’t get enough. We’re going to attempt to go somewhere with the girls this weekend, mostly to give Mama and Scarlett a chance to be out of the house. (Thank goodness for Scarlett’s school each weekday morning; I think that’s really kept things mostly normal-ish for her and I’m so grateful.) Any moms out there have any sage words of advice about parenting multiples? The juggle is SO real.

I’ll be sharing what we’re up to throughout the weekend over on instagram (lots of fun behind-the-scenes on my insta stories too!), facebook, and twitter. Follow along! How about you? Any exciting weekend plans?

With that, a few little love notes to the things I loved most this week …

Dear Anthro lovers, Anthropologie is turning 25 today and it’s their BEST Anthro Day yet: I’m talking 25% off EVERYTHING! The sale is ON.

Dear picture perfect, this photographer spends an eternity waiting for museum visitors to match artwork and the result is worth the wait.

Dear cool weather must-haves, a pretty perfect velvet dress for fall.

Dear wanderlust, you’ll never guess where and what Airbnb’s most popular listing ever looks like.

Dear good scents, an education in finding the right fragrance.

Dear bride styles, the evolution of wedding dresses throughout history.

Dear smiley face no-no’semoji etiquette in work emails.

Dear playing dress-up, here’s a pretty good guess at what everyone’s going to be for Halloween this year.

Dear weekend baking, white chocolate pumpkin scones with espresso glaze.

Get the origins of these sweet little love notes, here, and catch up on love notes of the past.

image via @dreamywhiteslifestyle

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi