They are all on my list of the six things I either loved or hated about September! Luckily, it’s almost all good. However, I am going to start with the bad, so we can focus on the good the rest of the post!
(1) Political Spite
I am often told that hate is a strong word and it shouldn’t be used on the regular. However, I legitimately HATE the vitriol I have seen coming from some of the candidates in this election. I make my affiliations no secret and will be doing more political posts as the election grows closer. But no matter what side of the political aisle you stand on – can we at least try to be civil? It just amazes me how awful people can be and can claim that it is ok because they believe it to be true. I may disagree with someone on a political issue, but I don’t need to resort to name-calling or insults to get the job done. (Unless you claim that the job of the Supreme Court isn’t to decide the laws . . . because that is kind of EXACTLY THEIR JOB . . . le sigh.)
I notice that some of the candidates have been getting flack for being willing to compromise and reach across the aisle to get things done. WHY?!? Seriously, why is that a bad thing? We should always want to be able to reach out and find middle ground that will be the best path for the country. It terrifies me that people are becoming so entrenched in their beliefs that they don’t want to even try and work together to get things done. How are we going to accomplish anything for the good of this country with that attitude?
So yeah, political spite, name-calling, and insults are my number one hatred for the month of September.
Ok, on to happier topics! Here’s the best of September for me!
(1) Pope Francis
First, let me preface by saying I am not Catholic. Nor am I especially religious. If asked to classify, I would call myself agnostic. But despite all of this, I have been undeniably moved by seeing this Pope in action. Yes, I know there are still issues with the Catholic church, including (but not limited to), their views on gay marriage, abortions, women in the priesthood, etc. I am not disavowing those things. However, this Pope seems to embody what I see as what the Church (or at least Christ) should truly symbolize – humility and caring for the weakest among us.
The fact that he is humble has been touted in hundreds of news stories – from his wearing sneakers instead of the ridiculous red, leather fancy shoes specially made for the Popes, to his changing in a Burger King, to him living in modesty instead of the grand Papal apartments. There are a plethora of these stories out there and that is what convinces me that this is truly coming from him and not some publicity ploy. A handful of these stories repeated over and over could just be for show. His consistent humbleness shows me that he is coming from the heart.
I am also touched by his compassion and caring. How he will stop his car to kiss a wheelchair bound child, to taking time to take selfie, after selfie, after selfie, with countless people. He also spends time with those that others would love to overlook, such as prisoners and the homeless. I hate to admit it (I would rather be seen as a tough cookie than a sap), but there have been numerous times during his visit to America where I have teared up watching and listening to the things he has done.
So suffice it to say, this Pope is definitely one of my favorite things about September.
(2) The Digit Savings App
Yes, I talked about Digit on Monday. So if you read that post, you could probably skip this section. But this app (which I discovered thanks to Amanda over at Who Asked Her Anyways) has been absolutely amazing from Day One.
First, it tells you your balance every day via a text message. Many financial advisors say that knowing your balance and keeping tabs on it is the best way to maintain your hold on your funds. And while I COULD do this by checking my balance on my computer every day, let’s be honest, that never happens. I love that Digit makes it so simple and just texts me to tell me what it is.
The best part is – it monitors your spending activity and takes what you can afford to put into savings. I was worried at first that it may overdraw my account, but that has yet to happen. It has stealthily been socking money away for me. Since I started using it two weeks ago, it has put almost $60 into savings. That is MUCH better than me trying to move money over myself, which would happen regularly around the never day of not a single month.
So yeah, finding a way to save money and keep tabs on what I’ve got? Definitely a fave of September.
(3) Friends Made Via the Internet
In one of my magazines recently, it talked about making friends as an adult. It went over how hard it can be and then answered some questions regarding how to make friends. One of the things it said is that you can’t make friends over social media.
Welllllll, I am going to have to disagree there. And before anyone thinks – ok, that is too creepy – it isn’t. I promise. All of my friendships I have made over social media have blossomed organically out of just enjoying some of the same things. Three of my bestest and closest friends are women I met in a group dedicated to Target Collaborations. We even met up in person again this past summer (with all of our husbands as well), for a seriously epic weekend of hilarity and sassiness.
I’ve met friends through Instagram (shoutout to BitchesWithBinders and WithGreatHeart – who awesomely designed my website). I’ve also made friends through blogging classes and groups (shoutout to OmNomHerbivore and Apt5Interiors!). And this month, I can officially say I’ve made a friend through Twitter. Kelsey McEvoy, of IISGROWNUP and I started bonding slowly by realizing each others snarkiness in our tweets. It then exploded when I discovered she didn’t drink coffee (the HORROR) and she introduced me to Twitter Chats (my new favorite thing – look for an upcoming post on these!). What tipped the balance though is when we ended up exchanging numbers to text because direct messaging on Twitter wasn’t fast enough for our sassiness. Now, we chat basically every day and have a seriously brilliant plan in the works that will help others around the country.
So sorry magazine writer that says you can’t make friends on the internet. I disagree. And I am so glad I do. Therefore, IISGROWNUP (a.k.a. Kelsey) is one of my favorite things from September.
(4) I Take You (+ Blogging for Books in general)
I have to give a shoutout to Heather over at My Little HEA for introducing me to this awesomeness. I was just casually perusing her fabulous blog over the summer, when I stumbled upon her roundup of the last weekend in June. Slipped in there with her other weekend activities was the gem called Blogging for Books. Yes, it is exactly what you think it is. They give out advance reader copies of books in exchange for honest reviews. Of course, I had to jump on this right away and requested a book that I had been eying on Amazon – I Take You by Eliza Kennedy.
The book starts with the premise that Lily, who is a whip smart attorney, has no business getting married because she can’t be faithful. As someone who is happily married and faithful, I was somewhat intrigued. Additionally, having been to law school, I kind of enjoy reading about attorneys (at least on the periphery). What starts off as almost a summer jaunt (i.e. carefree and the living is easy), quickly peels back layers to hint at WHY Lily might act this way. Between her father’s multiple marriages and a childhood event that forever marked her, you start to almost sympathize with her hilariously out-of-control character.
I will say, this book is definitely for adults. There are sex scenes (though not over the top and not that many) and if that kind of thing makes you squeamish, then this book may not be for you. However, one of the things I LOVED about it was that just when I thought I had the ending figured out – it would veer off on a random left turn. Think Shonda Rimes’ level twists. And that kept happening. After I would recover from one left hand turn and think, oh – ok – this is how it ends, the author would take me on another sharp turn and throw me off. I love an author that can keep me guessing and on my toes. It keeps the writing fresh and exciting and was one of the best parts of this book.
So if you are in the mood for a fairly light read, that still has a deeper story, combined with excellent writing and hilarious characters (think almost Bridesmaid level caricatures at times), then this is the book for you.
(5) Grounds for Change
Finally, for the coffee lovers out there – let me introduce you to your new favorite thing. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with coffee. I would absolutely call myself an addict, with absolutely zero shame. If I don’t have a cup of coffee (or two) within a few hours of waking up, I start to get withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, many articles and studies have put forth potential health benefits to coffee, so I don’t feel guilty. (see here on coffee’s effect in lowering endometrial cancer rates, here on how it lowers the risk of colon cancer and here for info from the Mayo Clinic)
Long story short though, I also like to be conscious of where my coffee is coming from. I like it to be organic, sustainably grown and fair trade farmed and sold. This combination can be expensive and sometimes frustrating to find. Enter Grounds for Change. I was going down the Google rabbit hole trying to find some great coffee and came to their website. All of their coffee is fair trade grown, it meets the standards for the USDA Organic label and they have a variety of sustainable business practices in place for their entire business. But the most important of all – it tastes great! I prefer a medium roast, so I enjoy the Seabrook Blend. If you enjoy a darker roast or want your purchase to go to a specific cause, there are plenty of options for you as well.
Being able to enjoy my coffee, knowing that on its journey to me, it followed ethical and environmental standards that are important to me, PLUS is affordable, makes each cup taste even better and is my last favorite thing from September.
I hope you all enjoyed my September round-up and are fully immersing yourself in being basic and partaking in #PSL & cute fall gear for me (since I can’t do either where I live *sob*).
Until next time my loves!