Lens on October 2019

Never a moment too late, here’s my recap of October!

Following a busy September, I spent October catching up with friends and family, relaxing, and some days with a cough/cold that I tried to kick with lots of tea, cough drops and rest. I tried my best to listen to my body and rest.


I didn’t go too far this month and went where it was convenient… the Upper East Side!

Cafe D’Alsace (Upper East Side) – upscale offerings with outdoor seating and very good service. So upscale the mint tea was actual mint leaves.

Duke’s (Upper East Side) – a friend and I went specifically for the mac and cheese and it did not disappoint. It has a funky interior with a standard American/Southern menu. We were disappointed with what was billed on the menu as “Big Ass Drinks” being a cocktail drink in a mason jar. To me that’s not necessarily big ass, but it was still good.

Legit mac and cheese at Duke’s.

Sabor a Mexico II (Upper East Side) – small joint off a side street, with good offerings including a huge plate of nachos!

Boqueria (Upper East Side) – back to an UES favorite! We got a paella which took a while to come out, as it probably should, but I prefer their tapas! I would rather try a few different dishes than have to eat a ton or rice and seafood. Gambas al ajillo, patatas bravas, escalivada and leave room for the churros…!

Paella from Boqueria.

Friend of a Farmer (Gramercy) – I had passed by this place many times before going there for a brunch. I have to say this place exceeded my expectations. Everything I ate was delicious, the service was good and friendly, and they even gave us a little cornbread before the food came out. I would absolutely go back here!

Javelina (Union Square) – trendy Tex-Mex with great cheese dip right by Union Square.


Spent this month catching up with friends and family that I didn’t see in September, so it was pretty quiet otherwise.

Apple Picking at Wightman Farms – this place is like a fall theme park! Pumpkin slinging, food stands, apple picking, an incredible store with cider, donuts and homemade jams and sauces, this place has it all! If you find yourself in Morristown, New Jersey (or near it) during the colder months, this is your destination for all things fall. We walked up the hill to pick apples and had an incredible view down the mountain and enjoyed sampling hot cider, and are ready to break into one of the many canned jams we purchased from their farm store.

Beautiful apple trees at Wightman’s Farms in New Jersey.


Soledad, Angie Cruz – in anticipation of Cruz’s new novel Dominicana, I read Soledad, where the titular character returns home to Washington Heights at her family’s request to aid her mother, who is living in a semi-dream state. The family reflect on thier pasts, Soledad struggles with her identity; and finally her mother finds solace in going home as well. I connected with the book over its descriptions of Washington Heights, where I used to live, but it wasn’t a top read of the year.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson – A classic horror/thriller from before that was a thing? Merricat and her sister and uncle live in a secluded house away from the village. Slowly, their circumstances are revealed as you delve into Merricat’s revengeful mind. A quick but creepy read about family loyalty, trust and connection. There’s a movie version available on Netflix which I’ll check out when the mood strikes.

The Curated Closet, Anuschka Rees – In a perfect world I’ll have a perfect closet and that’s what this book aims to help you with. I was not ready to take the steps laid out in this book but when I am I will come back to it!


Joker (2019) – I was a bit apprehensive before seeing Joker, I felt no one could be Joker after Heath Ledger (RIP!). While Joaquin Phoenix did an amazing job, I kept asking myself, why, why did this movie need to be made? It felt a bit tone deaf when you look at what’s going on today with all the violence here in the United States and perhaps justifying it or making you sympathize with those who wish to harm others. Chalking violence up to mental illness is not going to make these issues go away. Anyway. I prefer the Dark Night. Joker felt like a slow burn, waiting for something to happen but it was a bit anticlimactic.

The Addams Family movie (2019) – the much advertised movie fell a bit flat, especially as I am not familiar with the cannon. Darkly whimsical and trying too hard to be odd, maybe this would have been better if I was a child. There was one moment where the daughter goes to the public school and her commentary made me literally laugh out loud but otherwise not worth seeing.

Baggage Reclaim podcast – I absolutely adore Natalie Lue’s Baggage Reclaim blog, and have recommended it to friends many times over. Her words are like a much needed smack in the face about boundaries, relationships and more. I was looking forward to her podcast but found it to be too longwinded, but I will definitely try more because I like hearing what she has to say!

Low Buy Update

I didn’t use up too many products this month, mostly sample packets. However, October was my first successful no buy month! Regardless I did acquire a few items – they were gifts or from friends or family or giveaways, plus I redeemed a coupon for a free hand cream from Bath and Body Works.

What I used up in October.

The Lippy lip butter is so old that one is a declutter. I think the micellar water caused some minor eye irritation so I would not repurchase. I loved the smell of the blue ginger shampoo, I would consider purchasing this. And I love the Caudalie serum, I’ve already got a back up!! It just feels very luxurious. I’m not sure if it’s time, my new routine, the serum, or everything combined but I feel like my skin tone is looking more even.

What I brought in during October.

Super excited to burn the lychee candle, and I’ve already been using the hyaluronic hand cream, it smells so good.

Hope your season is going well, on to the next month! I’ll leave you with this: the most New York Halloween decoration I saw in October:

Someone on the Upper East Side went all out for Halloween, then someone put a menu inside the upside down bat. Yup, that’s New York for ya.

2 thoughts on “Lens on October 2019

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