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12 Things, October Edition!

12 Things, October Edition!

I went to Corepower this morning and the theme of the class was “Showing up Authentically”. The idea that we all want to be understood, seen and valued, but that many times we put on a mask to who we really are, afraid to show up as our true selves.

This hits home for me as someone who shares so much of their heart (and life) in a blog. That when I am vulnerable and share, I try to come from a place of usefulness and healing for myself and for others. Only showing ‘the most evolved’ version of myself (as Laura Conley would say) who can’t remember self-doubt or personal struggle isn’t genuine, and isn’t the best way for me to show where I’ve been and where I’m going — to show my humanness knowing that my readers can relate because they are also human and have had to continue to learn and evolve and fall down or misstep or let go…and still keep getting back up a more ‘raised up’ version of themselves.

This ain’t all Instagram headlines, ya know?

Anyway, as we head into the holiday season, I think it’s a perfect time to reflect and see that everything around us is changing. From the leaves and — eek — the climate, to our children and ourselves. Change is the only constant and when we embrace the idea that we are all changing and evolving and carry endless potential, it allows us to show up as who we truly are, even if we’re not where we want to be yet. It’s all about the journey anyway, right?

So. This week I decided to do a ‘12 Things for October’. I hope you enjoy!

1. We took our first little day trip since moving and hit up San Antonio’s Riverwalk. It’s own website describes it as world famous and it really is a special place. Matt described it’s aesthetic as “Epcot in the 80s”, so basically he and I LOVED it and the kids thought it was a little boring. You can spend a few hours outdoors walking the river banks, have lunch or a margarita and watch the boat tours pass. They need a toy store though!


  • Valet park at the Westin Riverwalk. They have a great restaurant for dinner, right on Riverwalk and their great location puts you right in the middle of everything.

  • Don’t bring a stroller if you don’t absolutely have to. There are so many bridges that are lovely and necessary to use, but carrying a toddler and his stroller over them aren’t as fun.

  • There’s more than just Riverwalk. We spent maybe three hours on Riverwalk and dinner, but there’s a Mexican Market that apparently rivals Mexico’s and a lots to see and do in San Antonio. We’ll go back again now that we know how to plan it out better.

2. Austin has a pretty good flood going. Life here is operating as normal, school is in session and our house is up a hill and safe (and the part of the lake we live by hasn’t been as affected as Lake Travis).

The water levels are high though, and the water is murky, so there’s a restriction on the drinking water. We’re forecast to get four more days of rain, and there’s a “boil water notice” for all of Austin for up to two weeks. I was a little shocked when I got to the grocery store at 10:30am yesterday morning and the water that was left was being rationed, 4 gallon jugs per person and 4 flats of water, but the flats were sold out. We have enough, but we’ll have to start boiling soon. And that’s okay.

3. We’re having a Halloween party! We used to host all the time - in fact, when Matt and I bought our first house together (pre-kids) we threw a huge party two days after we moved in. Looking back, I’m sure the family next door with three with young children at the time loved that about us. Hahah. We’re still friends with them, so I think they’ve forgiven us, right Lani? Side note - one party we threw, my friend Francis was going “Mandy, you’re neighbor is calling for you at the window” it was probably midnight and I was standing there in my bathing suit going “Francis, they’re not even home” and I look over to see the husband had his head out the window face to face with me going “We’re home now”.

Whoops! Anyway. I think Matt knew I needed a little hosting back in my life and while I’m usually the planner among us, he’s thrown me back into the deep end and I think we’re having about 40-50 people on Sunday. It’s going to be fun. My outlier is Shep because it’s hard to host with him. My other two were pretty chill at 2.5 years old. I mean, at least I knew they had their eye on me just like I had my eye on them and they wouldn’t go climb the roof, open the front door or like, eat a whole bag of Doritos at 9am without checking with me first. Shep is my wild man. Anyway, here’s Scarlet practicing the mummy game on the dogs. Chai adores her and trusts her and was happy for the attention, even if it meant she got toilet papered. Hehe.


4. I’m back to cooking! I love to cook but I hadn’t been doing the kind of dinners I like to do since the move. This week I planned out three big-ish dinners, including one of my faves, vegetarian chili. I like to serve it with sour cream, cheese, chives and corn bread. So good.


5. We went to the most fun restaurant EVER on our date night this week - Ranch 616. It was like a par-tay with great food and I felt like the DJ read my musical mind (and don’t think I didn’t try to get him for our Halloween party - he was already booked. THAT’s how much random amazing music he plays ha!), so this is my playlist for the week, inspired by our night out and played and replayed by me til everyone in my car is complaining:

  • Come on Eilene, Dexy’s Midnight Riders

  • Hey Baby, Bruce Chanel

  • Jump in the Line, Harry Belafante ——-> Where are my Beetle Juice fans?

  • Whatever You Like, TI

  • Shotgun, George Ezra

  • Always Be My Baby, Mariah Carey

  • Ball for Me, Post Malone

  • Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Paul Simon

  • Girls Like You, Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B

6. Our Chai Chai is getting older. It’s strange when you’ve had a dog since you were 23 and think she’s gonna be around forever. She’s as feisty as ever, running around after the kids like it’s her job, but we’re starting to see her limp a little and sleep through things she’d have gone nuts for a year ago. Barking is her passion after-all, and she’s still on top of that when she’s not heavy-sleeping.


7. Austin City Limits. Three of my girlfriends from LA came to stay with us for the weekend and we had the best time! We didn’t know most of the music at ACL, but it didn’t really matter. It was so nice having them stay with us and the comfort of having them here in our new home, in our new city meant so much to our whole family <3

8. House update: The new mudroom /former “mold room” is getting so close! Next week will be ALL before and after - so excited to show you that!

9. It’s always interesting to me to see what articles get the most engagement! I was super surprised that in October, my article from August 31, “Three Weeks into Life in Our New City” was the most read! I’m often surprised which articles peak the interest of my readers. Sometimes it’s because an article takes off on my Pinterest page and the rest, I can’t really figure out…but I’m not complaining! And actually — is there anything you’d like to hear more about?

10. Speaking of which - I love when I get to interview people. I think it might actually be fun to start a podcast!!! A Polite As Fudge Podcast where the first thing you have to tell me is your favorite curse word and just how uncomfortable you’d be saying it in front of your most uptight relative. And why. HA! Then we’d get into all the juicy details of what lights your soul on fire, what your favorite kind of bra is, and what you’d do if you woke up tomorrow with a billion dollars in your bank account.

11. I’m trying to come up with a super-fun contest for sharing Polite As Fudge. I just had a birthday, and I'm considering this is a year for personal and professional growth for me, and I want to come up with a way for my readers to win something great for sharing my blog with some friends they think might love it. I’m going to brain storm, but if you come up with anything, you know where to find me!

12. And last but not least…I love being a mom. Like so much. I’ve wanted to be a mommy since as long as I can remember. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding motherhood online and I just wanna say…fudge that. Be who you are, like what you like, babes!

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before + after on our new house!

before + after on our new house!

So you agree.  You think you're really pretty.

So you agree. You think you're really pretty.