September 2023 Favorites

Now that I’ve finally caught up with a recap of my favorite things from the earlier months of 2023, I am switching back to monthly favorites with my September 2023 recap. However, since I included Labor Day Weekend in my Summer 2023 Favorites, this post features my post-Labor Day September 2023 Favorites. This was definitely a September to remember with one particularly unforgettable experience, and a few other fun ones. Keep reading to find out more!

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Carolina Ballet Firebird

After having the best time seeing Carolina Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty back in May, I purchased a season ticket package for their 2023-2024 season. The first ballet in my season ticket package was Firebird in September. Since Firebird is a shorter story ballet, the program also included a few other short ballets. One of them was Allegro Brillante, which is set to Tchaikovsky music and features choreography by the notorious George Balanchine of The New York City Ballet. Another one of the shorter ballets was an original piece choreographed by Carolina Ballet artistic director, and another was a world premiere ballet by a guest choreographer.

Also, Firebird was in Fletcher Opera Theater, which is in the same Martin Marietta Performing Arts Complex where I saw The Sleeping Beauty. However, Fletcher Opera Theater is much smaller and more intimate than Raleigh Memorial Auditorium (where The Sleeping Beauty was). There is literally no a bad seat in the house in Fletcher!

Carolina Ballet Firebird September 2023

Carolina vs Minnesota Football Game

I went to my first college football game of the season in mid-September, Carolina vs Minnesota. A highlight of the day was getting a picture with Rameses Jr (RJ). 

Rameses Jr at UNC vs. Minnesota game September 2023

Meeting Goldy the Gopher

Another highlight of my time at the UNC vs Minnesota football game was getting to meet the Minnesota mascot, Goldy the Gopher! I saw him over on the opposite side of the stadium and thought he was really cute, and I noticed that he was spending a good bit of time interacting with fans in the stands as opposed to staying on the sidelines. So I briefly walked over to the Minnesota section and got a quick pic with him. He was a good sport even though I was cheering for the opposing team. It was fun to add a new mascot to my mascot photo collection, especially one that I probably won’t have many opportunities to meet!

Goldy the Gopher University of Minnesota mascot


In September I played pickleball for the first time ever, thanks to a clinic hosted by the UNC Alumni Association and UNC Pickleball Club. I’m by no means a pro, but I can serve the ball and actually return some hits! And most importantly, I had a blast! In my late-30’s, I’m finally at a point where I actually want to try new physical activities simply because they look fun, without giving any thought to how good I will be. Thus, trying pickleball was a big deal for me!

Growing up, I was a competitive swimmer and a solid distance runner due to being in shape from swimming. However, I pretty much hated PE after elementary school (unless it was fitness testing week). I had convinced myself that I didn’t have hand-eye coordination and was awful at any sport other than swimming or running.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that my issue wasn’t as much lack of hand-eye coordination as it was lack of confidence. I felt self-conscious attempting most sports because I was too worried about how I looked or how good I would be rather than merely having fun. And whenever I did attempt other sports, I put so much pressure on myself and get so frustrated when I struggled at the beginning. In retrospect, that was self-sabotaging and prevented me from picking up new athletic skills.

Thanks to a more relaxed and low-pressure attitude towards trying something new, I am much better at pickleball after a 90-minute clinic than I would have been if I attempted this 20+ years ago! I definitely want to play Pickleball again! And here’s to continuing to try new things that sound fun! 

Learning how to play pickleball

Experiencing College GameDay Live

If you’ve been reading my blog and following me on Instagram for awhile, then you know that watching ESPN College GameDay is my favorite tradition on fall Saturday mornings. The very last day of September College GameDay came to Durham for the Duke vs Notre Dame game. So I made a sign, and got up before the crack of dawn to head to Duke’s campus and get a spot on the set. I proudly wore my Clemson jersey even though Duke had beat them several weeks prior.

It was amazing to experience GameDay live on the set, and totally worth the early wake up call. Icing on the cake was that I had a few seconds of fame on ESPN. The shot of me on ESPN also made the Clemson Barstool Instagram account!

College GameDay at Duke September 2023 College GameDay bus

I got one of the iconic orange Home Depot hard hats as a freebie!

College GameDay Home Depot hard hat

A closer look at my GameDay sign. I used hand lettering tips I learned from All She Wrote Notes!

College GameDay Sign

Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale Luxletic Skorts

During the September Lilly Pulitzer Sunshine Sale I bought two Luxletic skorts. One is a hot pink gingham print, and the other is a blue gingham print. I like how these prints aren’t overly summery, so they are great to wear during warm early fall days in N.C. where it’s still bare legs weather, but summery prints feel out of season!

Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic Skort Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic Skort

Shop currently available Lilly Pulitzer Luxletic Skorts here.

American Girl Claudie’s Christmas Accessories

American Girl added some new items to Claudie’s (their 1920’s historical doll) collection. Even though I don’t have Claudie, I thought that her new Christmas accessories were so sweet because the set features a mini Velveteen Rabbit doll and book. Since The Velveteen Rabbit is such a beloved children’s classic, the plush and book are great for Claudie’s era and beyond. The set also includes a yo-yo, Christmas postcard, and a tin with three heart sandwich cookies. I used some of my American Girl Rewards to add this set to my collection. As a child, I had lots of outfits for my two American Girl dolls, but not quite as many accessories. So it’s been fun adding accessories to my collection as an adult. Miniature sized things are just so cute!

Claudie's Christmas Accessories

American Girl Samantha Notebook

Earlier this year American Girl launched a line of accessories to appeal to nostalgic millennials. This collection features notebooks and travel tumblers with the patterns of the original five Pleasant Company girls + Kit’s Meet outfits. When I placed my order for Claudie’s Christmas Accessories, I also got the Samantha notebook. Samantha was my first-ever American Girl doll, and I simply adore her iconic gingham print!

American Girl Samantha Notebook

Meet Isabel & Nicki Book

Although American Girl launched Isabel & Nicki Hoffman, their 90’s twins, back in February, they didn’t release their Meet Isabel & Nicki book until September. Since I wasn’t sure if/when the public library would get this book, I ordered my own copy. I was so curious to see how American Girl would write my childhood into a historical novel. Disclaimer: I haven’t actually read this book yet, because I have too many TBR books and too little time. But I did read the first page, where Isabel and Nicki are at Blockbuster on a Friday night, and all the copies of The Parent Trap are rented out. Talk about a #90sStruggle. I know the rest of the book won’t disappoint!


Dunkin’ x Goldfish Pumpkin Spice Grahams

Goldfish collaborated with Dunkin’ to make their graham snacks with Dunkin’s pumpkin spice flavor. At first I thought they would only be available at Dunkin’, but then I saw them at Target, which is much more conveniently located! They are so delicious, and I’m glad I picked up a few bags so I could enjoy them all fall long!

Dunkin' x Goldfish Pumpkin Spice Grahams

Stoney Clover Lane Minnie Mouse Halloween Patch

Stoney Clover Lane launched a cute Mickey & Friends Halloween collection in September. I couldn’t justify the prices of pouches I would only use for one month of the year, but I did get this super cute Minnie Mouse Trick-or-Treat patch to add to my patch collection. This collaboration sold out really quickly at launch, so I’m glad I was able to get the one patch I wanted. As a bonus, they threw in a fun Minnie Mouse sticker and Pluto postcard as freebies. In the past when I’ve purchased Stoney Clover Lane x Disney items, it’s been well after launch day. Thus I’d never gotten any Disney freebies from Stoney Clover Lane until this order.

Stoney Clover Lane Minnie Mouse Trick-or-Treat Patch Stoney Clover Lane Minnie Mouse Sticker freebie

Thanks so much for reading my September 2023 Favorites! I realize September was two months ago, but based on how behind I’ve been with recapping my monthly favorites over the past year or so, this feels ahead of schedule! Stay tuned for my October 2023 Favorites coming soon!

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-xoxo Liz

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I'm Liz- and I'm here to inspire you to embrace the simple joys in life and encourage you to be your authentic self!

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