Coffee Chat: September 2017 Favorites!

These are a few of my favorite things for the month of September! Who doesn’t love talking about their favorites?! Monthly favorites is one of my favorite trends in the blogosphere and I’m joining in on the fun this month.

My September favorites don’t belong to any specific category, just things that are life-changing or that I’m really excited about and want to shout about from the rooftops!


Photo Credit: nic

  1. Audible

The first thing that has changed my life this month is Audible. I’ve had an off and on relationship with Audible since 2011. I have a stack of to-read books on my bookshelf that are piling up – I want to read more than I physically can, and that’s where Audible comes in! I have been “reading” (aka listening) up a storm lately doing research for my first historical fiction novel.

The best part about Audible is that I actually look forward to doing the dishes now, just so that I can listen to my book!

I’ve also discovered that I discovered I am a huge, huge fan of non-fiction. Or maybe it’s just because Lawrence Wright is a FANTASTIC writer. One of the reviews for his non-fiction book called The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 said that it’s as engaging as a novel, and I wholeheartedly agree. The excellent thing about this book is the objectivity of a sensitive topic that gives you a clearer understanding of how this tragic event happened in the first place. If you love history and understanding foreign affairs (without a political or subjective bent), I cannot recommend this enlightening book more.

If you’ve never tried Audible, but want to, the first month is always free. The other thing that I love about Audible is that they have flexible membership options and pricing to fit your budget and reading habits. (Right now I get 2 books a month for $22.95/month). The best part is you can cancel your membership or come back anytime, which I have done many times throughout the years. I got hooked again because my cousin told me that you can return books that you don’t like (which I also did!).

*Disclosure: Audible is an affiliate link. We’ve never used affiliate links before, but we want to try it out (no extra cost to you, a win-win)! Any money we earn goes into making our blog better. Audible is something that has changed my life and I want to share it with everyone. So if you want to try it out and use our link, we appreciate it so so much!

2. Banana Republic – Washable Merino Wool Sweaters 

Here in Northern Nevada, it feels like we skipped fall and went straight to winter. Morning temperatures are in the low 30’s (which in Fahrenheit is literally freezing). This year, I am determined not to freeze so I am trying to invest in warmer winter clothes. I’ve really been paying attention to materials (I prefer natural ones like cotton or wool). I have some long underwear from back in the day when I worked at REI and they are polyester, and nowhere near as warm as wool. The problem with wool is that it’s usually dry clean only, but ain’t not body got time for that (and chemicals – yuck).

I was so happy to find machine washable Merino wool from Banana Republic on sale. I have clothes from Banana Republic from like a decade ago, and I still love them because they are classic pieces that hold up beautifully. These Merino wool sweaters are thin and soft (not itchy at all), but they work perfectly as a layer and it’s a lot warmer than you think just by looking at it. Bulkiness does not always equal warmth, I’ve come to realize.

I even went through my entire closet and narrowed down all of the clothes I love to wear to create kind of a “capsule wardrobe.” I’ve never really thought that I have a color scheme, but it turns out all of my favorites are either white, black, light blue, or navy blue. And layers – it’s all about the layers !

With a smaller selection of quality pieces that feel and look good, I have been so much more excited to get dressed in the morning! 

3. Bloglovin’

I LOVE reading blogs. Especially in the morning over coffee. The problem is keeping up with all of them. Not all of my favorite blogs are on, which has a handy blog reader (but only for blogs). I don’t want to miss out on my favorites, and besides, reading and commenting on other blogs is probably the most fun part of blogging.

Whether you are a blogger or just a blog reader, Bloglovin’ is a one-stop place where you can stay caught up on your favorite blogs.

I’ve heard about Bloglovin’ for awhile, and for the longest time I thought, what’s the point? Another thing to sign up for? But having access to updates from all of my favorite blogs in one place makes life so much easier rather than having to check for updates manually or track down email updates that get lost in a pile of junk mail.

If you already use Bloglovin’ or if you sign up, we would love it if you add Goldilocks & Bear! 

4. The “Zero Waste” Lifestyle

Along with my Audible book binge, I’ve also been on a TED talk craze. This talk called “Why I live a zero waste life” by Lauren Singer completely made me reevaluate just how much waste I use. The ideas she presents make me feel so excited about creating a more sustainable lifestyle for myself, and the contribution I can make to keeping the planet green.

The concept of a “zero waste” lifestyle is that you don’t buy anything in a plastic container and recycle or compost the waste that you do produce. This means buying a lot of food products in bulk and making your own beauty products.

I feel so excited every time I make a choice that produces “zero waste,” not only because it makes my life healthier and simpler, but also the thrill of doing my part to care for the environment.  

While I don’t know if I’ll ever live a perfectly “waste free” lifestyle, just striving for that feels like a worthy cause. It’s not easy to shop in bulk where I live, but I do hope that if this lifestyle becomes the norm, then stores will accommodate this lifestyle accordingly.

If you want to find out exactly what the “Zero Waste” lifestyle entails, here are some wonderful resources:

This is Lauren Singer’s website and she has lots of recipes for natural beauty products.

Bea Johnson is the founder of this lifestyle and her family has been living waste free since 2008!!! (She does not even own a garbage can!!) Her book Zero Waste Home was just translated into Italian! 

5. Al-bear-to

I’ve saved the best for last. 😉 My very most favorite of every month, all day every day is a person, Alberto (aka) Bear, my other blogging half, my love.

I love that this blog is something that we can do together even though there are nearly 6,000 miles between us while I am momentarily in the US and he is in Italy.

I’ve dreamed of having a food blog for a long time, and I am so grateful that Alberto is willing to listen to all of my crazy ideas and make them reality. Especially the tech and photography side of things which is not my zone of genius at all. And thanks to Alberto, whose other nickname besides Bear is “Mr. Calendar,” has finally gotten me to schedule posts a month in advance. Not to mention he keeps me laughing and focusing on the bright side, gets my silly sense of humor, and puts up with my shark week. Now, if only he could make me dinner every night…because his food and his company is just that good.

Every day we are learning how to be better bloggers, and thank you for joining our us at our table for recipes and coffee chats. We do hope you’ll keep coming back because we have a lot of exciting ideas in the works, all related to simple, healthy, homemade traditional & seasonal Italian food (and maybe even a few American recipes too!) for the holidays and lots more coffee chats all about Italian and American food, culture, language travel and lifestyle.

And now I’d love to hear, what are some of your favorites this month?

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