Hey y’all-I realize it’s already November, but I still haven’t posted my September 2021 Favorites yet. “Better late than never” has been my modus operandi for these monthly round-up posts this year. September is always a month of transition because it starts out feeling very much like summer, but ends with fall in the air. However, transitions were even more apparent in September 2021. For instance, my two football teams (Clemson and UNC) began September ranked in the Top 10. Yet they ended the month not even in the Top 25. In addition, there was a situation in my personal life filled with lots of hope and potential at the beginning of September. But by the end of September, it didn’t pan out quite the way I expected. Despite a couple not-so-welcome transitions throughout September 2021, there were still some good things about the month. So here’s my “better late than never” September 2021 Favorites!
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Labor Day Weekend Beach Trip
Labor Day Weekend is one of my favorite weekends because it’s the one weekend of the year where summer meets football season. I like to call this “the best of both worlds.” I usually tack a couple days of vacation on to Labor Day weekend to make it an extra long weekend, and this year was no different. Weather was perfect the entire time. (As a side note: I spent 24 days at the beach throughout summer 2021, and I’m pretty sure it only rained one day!) Overall, it was a relaxing time reading on the beach, watching football, and reflecting on God’s work in my life over the summer.
Ever since I switched to clean beauty products two and a half years ago, I hadn’t worn perfume as much. This is because fragrance is one of the biggest offenders with respect to harmful or questionable ingredients in cosmetics. Since artificial fragrance is considered a “trade secret,” companies aren’t legally required to disclose these ingredients. In order to avoid rubbing potential irritants, hormone disrupters, or even carcinogens on your skin, it’s best to stick to natural fragrance. I finally did some research on natural perfume and discovered Skylar. So I tried the Skylar Isle Escape Eau De Parfum Rollerball and really like it! Skylar Isle Escape contains hints of cardamon, sandalwood, and bergamot. Rollerball is 10mL, but it also comes in a 50mL spray bottle. I like the rollerball because it’s so easy to travel with. After using almost daily for six weeks, I probably haven’t even used 1/8 of the rollerball up. Check out all the Skylar scents available at Sephora.
Sarah Flint Natalie Flats in Black Vacchetta
The iconic Sarah Flint Natalie Flat celebrated it’s birthday in September. Thanks to a special birthday promo for Sarah Flint Brand Ambassadors, I added the Natalie Flat in Black Vacchetta to my collection. My very first pair of Sarah Flint shoes was the Natalie Flat in Saddle Vacchetta. I also have the Natalie in Gold Nappa. I loved styling my new black Natalie Flats with my Lilly Pulitzer Pandamonium shift for an early fall outfit. It was one of those North Carolina days where the heat and humidity subsided enough that I could comfortably wear closed-toe shoes, but it was still warm enough for a sleeveless shift dress!
For a thorough review of the Sarah Flint Natalie Flats, check out this post. Also, you can save $50 on your first pair of Sarah Flint shoes with code SARAHFLINT-BALIZS.
Disney World 50th Anniversary McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys
The Disney World 50th Anniversary Happy Meal Toys arrived at McDonald’s in September. This was definitely the most intense set of Happy Meal toys I’ve attempted to collect since I got back into Happy Meal toys last fall! In honor of 50 years of Walt Disney World, McDonald’s featured 50 different toys in this collection. Each toy consists of a Disney character figurine with a display stand and lenticular background of a day-to-night scene of one of the four Disney World theme parks. I wasn’t even trying to collect all 50 of the toys, but I was able to get my collection off to a good start in September. Some of my favorites include Goofy, Pluto, Donald, Dumbo, Pooh, and Piglet!
Also, I love that the little bag of apple slices has Daisy on it, and the milk bottle has Minnie on it.
First Live Sporting Event in Over 18 Months
Going to my first live sporting event since before COVID struck was another September highlight. This was the UNC football game versus Georgia State. Before the game I got a picture with Rameses and Rameses Jr, and these were my first mascot pictures since late 2019! Mascot photo opportunities were definitely something I missed most during 2020! In addition, the UNC cupcakes at the tailgate really hit the spot! Since the game was on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, they did some really moving tributes during the actual game.
Trader Joe’s Everything Pretzel Thins
I discovered a new Trader Joe’s snack I love during September-the Everything Pretzel Thins. These are basically standard pretzel thins with Trader Joes’ “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning on the. They’re a healthier alternative to the Trader Joe’s “Everything but the Bagel” kettle cooked potato chips I also like to keep in my pantry. I highly recommend grabbing a bag (or two) of these next time you’re at Trader Joe’s.
Trader Joe’s Face & Body Sunscreen
As much as I like to use clean beauty products, I realized this summer that using mineral sunscreen (the safest option) all over my body simply doesn’t work. It dries my skin out and is very difficult to get off in the shower. So mid-summer I switched to safer chemical sunscreen that doesn’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate. (These are the most problematic chemical sunscreen ingredients.) I tried this Trader Joe’s sunscreen for the first time Labor Day weekend and have continued to use it on some warm September days at the pool. The Trader Joe’s face and body sunscreen is also fragrance free. This is a huge plus in making it a better option than other chemical sunscreens. It’s also less expensive than brands like Coppertone. I only use it on my body, so can’t speak to how it works for your face. But I can confidently say it’s my new go-to body sunscreen!
Back in September I had dinner with a dear friend shortly before she moved to Hawaii to start a six-month missions program to equip her to share God’s love to a lost world. Shortly before we got together, she texted me to ask what my favorite candy was. It’s honestly hard for me to pick one favorite candy because I love so many different types, but I told her m&m’s, Three Musketeers, and Skittles. After dinner, we sat in my car to pray over each other, and she gave me a little bundle of the three candy types I mentioned earlier. She then told me what each different candy symbolized: the m&m’s for my sweetness, Three Musketeers represents the Holy Trinity (God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and Skittles symbolize the rainbow of God’s covenant promises. This touched me so much, and I love how sweet and creative she was. It’s totally obvious she used to be a teacher!
Hope you enjoyed reading my belated September 2021 Favorites! Other things I enjoyed about September include my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season (I can’t bring myself to have on prior to Labor Day), and my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) class kicking off in-person after being virtual for over a year due to the pandemic! It was definitely a whirlwind of a month with lots of ups and downs, but by the grace of God I made it through!
Stay tuned for my October Favorites (which I am actually going to get up in a timely manner), and Gift Guides coming soon!