A Few of My Favorite Things {September 2015}

I've still been openly referring to the season as "summer" this September, afraid to let go of summer and scared to watch winter creep in. But I did bust out my leggings and drink two Pumpkin Spice Lattes this past week, so I think it's safe to say fall is already here.

And autumn in Atlanta is truly one of the best seasons. The month started out with my first visit to the popular outdoor amphitheater that's practically in my backyard. We've heard a lot of famous artists in muffled form from our back porch.

But my friend Katie and I got to see Pentatonix and Kelly Clarkson live and un-muffled. It was rainy, which means I also got to wear a poncho. So much fun! Here are a few other favorites this month:

Favorite Cultural Experience

This month I took Billy and Gabriella to Dollywood. Can we just say dream come true? Growing up, my family was like multi-year Gold Member season pass holders. I mean, we even got free parking, people!

The park has changed quite a bit in the last decade or so with the addition of many new "thrill rides." Lucky for me, that meant there was absolutely no line at my beloved "Blazing Fury," a very low-key roller coaster with lots of mannequins moving on automated tracks and recording dialogue playing in the background. (I know it all by heart... still.)

But even with the changes, there was still plenty of glass blowing, candle making, and bluegrass music. Billy was astounded by the East Tennessee-ness of it all. And it just felt really fun to share that experience with my two lovelies. (Isaac got some one-on-one time with the great grandparents, which was a huge gift to us.)

Favorite TV

Season premiers kicked off this month, which is pretty exciting for a TV watcher like myself. The Mindy Project is hanging out on Hulu, and Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish returned to network. I was really impressed with the Black-ish premier.

I also enjoyed some of my favorite dramas, like Nashville, How To Get Away with Murder, and Grey's. Although truth be told, I can't even decide if I like Grey's Anatomy anymore. But How To Get Away with Murder was awesome, as was Viola Davis's Emmy acceptance speech. Now, I'm just holding out for Jane the Virgin on October 12!

Favorite Unmet Goal

Well, I started the month with some hefty health ambitions. I'd been slowly gaining weight, despite a pretty regular workout routine. When our life insurance company did some blood work, I basically interpreted the results as "You've got six months." To give you an idea of my accuracy, Billy's casual response was, "Should I start playing the violins?"

Anyway, I decided it was time for two-a-days. I purchased Tone It Up, which has a lot of good at-home weight lifting routines and walked you through one month of double workouts. For approximately 10 days, I did pretty good. But then life got in the way, as tends to happen. The good news is I saw some results and I created a couple new habits. So we'll build from there!

Favorite Instagram

Gabriella started dance this month. It's safe to say she's all about it.

A photo posted by Sarah Quezada (@sarahquezada) on

Favorite Books

September was all about humor reading. I mentioned last month that I'd started For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. It was such a fun and refreshing read. I can get burned out on super-serious spiritual books, so it was great to read a joyous collection of essays. Topics ranged from parenting to friendships to church to yoga pants, so there's likely something for everyone.

I also devoured Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me? Her second memoir was full of all the humor and dramatic storytelling we love from Mindy. I appreciated her essay on confidence and also how she pulls back the curtain on her life writing and acting in Hollywood.

And she tells a story about flying in an airplane that had me literally laughing out loud as I sat on a bench in the gym hallway. (Isn't that why one goes to the gym? To put their kids in childcare and read and giggle to themselves in the hallway?)

Favorite Date

Okay, it's not a humor book, but I also listened to the second Maze Runner book, The Scorch Trials, on Audible. (Click here to get two free audio books with your trial.) It was so good.

Billy took me to see the movie. If you've read the book, the movie is a pretty significant departure. I read an interview (spoilers!) after I came home to understand more why because I really liked the book. But the movie was still really good. My only complaint was the loud teenagers in the theater, chatting and laughing and flirting. I felt very old.

All the Links

Here's a few favorite links I shared this month:
(For all the links all the month, I'm on Twitter or Facebook.)

The Sanitized Stories We Tell - This piece by Sarah Bessey gives us the freedom to grieve even when our tragedies may feel small in comparison to others'. I have been thinking about it ever since I read it.

Jimmy Fallon's Fave #OneTimeInClass Tweets Are Your Best School Fails - Oh my goodness. So funny. The first one just slayed me.

Mexican Broadcaster Uses Trump's Words To Blast U.S. In Soccer Match - When a situation makes you want to cry, sometimes getting creative is the best way to laugh. This is genius!

This Book Truck Is Making Sure Young, Bicultural Latinos Stay Bilingual - I love books. I love my two bicultural Latinos. This just seems like a terrific idea!

And here are some posts on A Life with Subtitles that readers enjoyed:

Immigration in the News - The second part of my interview with immigration advocate Matt Soerens.

5 Spanish Cartoons on Netflix - If you want to increase your kids' exposure to Spanish, Netflix can be a great resource. But they can be a bit tricky to find.

On Mothers-in-Law & Offensive Hand Gestures [VIDEO] - Billy could hardly stand this one, so I had to be offensive for both of us.

Shout out to Leigh Kramer for her hosting this link-up monthly. What did you love in September?

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