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My Favorite Pumpkin-Spiced Recipes

Photo by sydney zentz on Unsplash

Fall is for more than just the PSL – it’s the perfect time of year to break out your favorite pumpkin and squash recipes! I have a few recipes that I’ve grown to love over the years. They go beyond the typical pumpkin pie, and make for great options to take to your next fall dinner or Thanksgiving.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that use pumpkins or squash to their full flavor potential – and my personal recipe for the perfect PSL you can make at home!

Acorn Squash and Black Bean Empanadas

I recently started cooking my way through Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, and this is one of my favorite recipes so far! It’s savory, sweet, and a little spicy. The cornmeal empanada dough is a little sweet and crispy. You can make a bunch of these to freeze and reheat later, or just bake off today! They’re super filling, too!

King Arthur Flour’s Easy Pumpkin Bread

If you’re looking to add even more pumpkin flavor to your breakfast, bake a loaf of this pumpkin bread! It’s super easy to make, and in about an hour you’ll have a moist, decadent compliment to your PSL!

Butternut Squash Stuffing

I made this last year for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit! It has some bold flavors, thanks to sourdough bread, butternut squash, bacon, and plenty of sage. If you’re looking for a fun alternative to traditional stuffing, try this one out!

Pumpkin Bars

For those who aren’t a fan of pumpkin pie, you can’t really go wrong with pumpkin bars. It’s a classic Martha Stewart recipe for moist, flavorful pumpkin cake and a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. This would be great to make for a party, or for breakfast (if you’re not looking to keep things even remotely healthy).

Butternut Squash Mash

I’m sure you could figure out how to do this on your own – simmer up some squash, mash it up, add some salt and pepper, and you’re done! This is a great side dish for all the fall roasts I do once it starts cooling off outside. I sometimes do half squash, half yukon gold potatoes – it’s a great way to tone down the sweetness if you’re not a huge fan of squash.

Now, for my all-time favorite homemade pumpkin-spiced recipe: my homemade PSL! There is no pumpkin in it, but it sure tastes like it!

My Homemade Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp ground coffee
8-12 oz. boiling water
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 tsp. raw sugar
Almond milk

Directions:
1. Put ground coffee and pumpkin spice into French press. Pour boiling water into press and let sit for 3-5 minutes (however long you like to steep your coffee).

2. Strain coffee, then pour into your favorite fall-themed mug.

3. Stir in sugar, and pour in almond milk to taste. If you want to make it extra decadent, froth your milk before pouring in!

4. Enjoy your tasty PSL for a fraction of the price you’d pay at Starbucks!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 10/13

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Welcome to another edition of Friday Favorites!

Fall is (finally) in full swing here, complete with chilly temperatures and a lot of rain. It’s been a great week to snuggle up under a blanket with a good book and some tea. In fact, that’s my only real plan for this weekend.

Here is what I’ve been digging online this past week or two!

  • I’m not a big salad eater, but even this Fall Protein Power Salad looks like the perfect way to force some veggies into me this fall! (Hello Glow)
  • Another recipe I’m dying to try out is these Vegan Cheez Its. I’ve never made my own crackers before, and this recipe looks like the perfect snack to go with some hot apple cider! (Minimalist Baker)
  • If you’re looking to clean up your beauty routine, I suggest checking out The Detox Market. They have tons of great products that would make great gifts, and a monthly subscription box if you want to try something new each month!
  • I am on the hunt for my own vaporizer pen, and this rose gold version from Beboe is so pretty. Too bad they only sell them in California…sigh. Get on the rose gold weed pens, Washington!
  • Speaking of curling up with a good book, Wit & Delight’s list of uplifting and inspiring books is perfect for fall. I’ve got all 7 books on my library holds list!
  • This is the first Kickstarter campaign I’ve seriously considered giving to. Therese Shechter is making a documentary about the current issues surrounding women who choose not to have children. She talks to a couple living in the South who chose not to have kids, a woman whose fertility struggles led to a change of heart, and young women trying to build their lives without motherhood in mind. I think these are important stories to hear, especially now that our access to birth control and abortions hang in the balance. (Kickstarter)

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll be back next week with some new posts – if I don’t spend the whole weekend buried in a book!

Friday Thoughts

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

I would say, “Happy Friday,” but honestly…it hasn’t been a great week.

We woke up Monday morning to news of the worst mass shooting in modern American history. Yet again, we have to seriously talk about gun control laws, domestic terrorism, and a government that does very little to fix either. It’s sad and draining to know that 58 people died, and hundreds were injured, because our gun lobby and government allow this to happen. I don’t know how many more people will have to die for people to get it. It hurts to know that not even the shooting in Las Vegas, or at Sandy Hook Elementary, or the Pulse nightclub in Orlando were enough.

We found out on Wednesday that the House passed H.R. 36, which will ban abortions past 20 weeks and jail or fine doctors for performing them. I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t pass the Senate. I have seen what carrying an unviable pregnancy to term can do to a woman and her family. It makes me sick to think of all the families that could be forced to endure such a heartbreaking experience. Keep hounding your senators to do the right thing, and to stop chipping away at Roe v. Wade.

Just today, our current administration announced they are going to roll back the ACA contraception mandate. This will allow insurance companies and employers to deny coverage for contraception based on their moral or religious beliefs. Conservative estimates say it will cause 120,000 women to lose contraception coverage – which is still too many, considering many of those women won’t be able to afford it. More realistically, this puts birth control coverage up in the air for all 62 million women in this country. This affects more than just women using birth control for contraception – it also affects women using it to treat endometriosis, PCOS, migraines, PMDD, acne and other health issues.

I could keep going, but it’s just going to depress all of us. Our country is having a terrible week, and it doesn’t look like things are going to get easier anytime soon.

I plan to spend this weekend writing to my senators and representatives.

I hope you do too.

To find out how to contact your state and local representatives, head over to www.whoismyrepresentative.com, and send them a phone call, email, or postcard to tell them what you think they should be doing to best represent you!

Friday Favorites

fall favorites hiking

Welcome to another edition of Friday Favorites!

But most importantly – FALL IS HERE!!!

It’s been another busy week around here, but a good one. The weather is cooling down, and the leaves are slowly starting to change over to their fall colors. I even had to turn the heat on in the office on Wednesday! I’m excited for sweater weather, and can’t wait to start using my giant scarf collection too!

Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s what I found fun and interesting online this past week (or so).

  • If you enjoy workout videos like I do, check out Tracy Anderson’s total body workout video! (Goop)
  • If you saw my Instagram earlier this week, you’ll know my skin has totally gone to shit. None of the usual acne stuff seems to be working at all, so I’ve gone the herbal route and bought some products that use Neem. I’ll report back and let you know how it goes.
  • I also have a giant order from The Ordinary on its way. I’m really not happy about this skincare thing, and willing to try anything to fix it. This stuff is not only potent and effective, it’s also the most affordable skincare out there.
  • I’ve been toying around with the idea of going vegan for, like, years now. I pretty much eat vegan already (except for dinner), so it’s just a matter of getting a better recipe arsenal. Mac ‘n’ cheese is a lot of what’s holding me back, to be honest – that stuff is hard to give up. Might try this recipe this weekend from Goop for Superfood Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese to see if it’ll help me get over the “cheese hump” I hear is brutal when making the switch!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m planning to go watch the new Kingsman movie, hang out with the in-laws, and hopefully get some much-needed down time!

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favorites

friday_favorites

(A short attempt to work outside during a smoke-out)

Time for another Friday Favorites!

While this was a short week thanks to Labor Day, it wasn’t a very fun one. First, temperatures were supposed to hit almost 100 this week, which meant hiding in the AC for another week. Next, the entire west coast has been on fire! The smoke and ash has been so bad that it looks like it’s snowing. Yuck! I went to my favorite coffee shop to get some work done on Tuesday, but I only made it 20 minutes before leaving because I was already covered in ash. It didn’t really start to clear up until yesterday, and unless it rains soon, it’s going to be around for a while.

Being cooped up all week wasn’t fun at all, but I did have some extra time to goof around online! Here are just a few of the things I enjoyed online this week!

Friday Favorites

    • The Everygirl did their list of favorite beauty products from Trader Joe’s. I’ve never really bought any beauty products there, but I might now!
    • Since it’s been hot as balls lately, I’ve been using a facial mist to “freshen up” as I sweat all damn day. If you’re looking for a good one to try, check out Darling’s wish list!
    • BUST is killing it lately with their articles. This one is about one of their writers recreating 4 lipsticks from history. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say some are more tempting than others!
    • I just picked up a copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, which seems to be the book of the moment. If this weather clears up, you’ll find me reading it at the beach this weekend!
    • In honor of it being almost fall, I decided to grab a pair of pumpkin-spiced flats from Ollio. They arrived yesterday, and I can’t wait to wear them everywhere! It’s going to be hard for me not to order them in every color! Here they are in all their glory:

friday favoritesI’m not sure what the weekend holds for me – it largely depends on the weather! Maybe a trip to the beach, or a seasonal closet switch-over…who knows! What are you doing this weekend?

My Top 5 Thrifting Tips

top thrifting tips

(My most recent thrifting haul – a wardrobe update for fall…whenever it gets here!)

As you may know from following my Instagram feed, I’m an avid thrifter. My love for thrifting started in high school, and followed me well into adulthood. I grew up in a college town, which meant we had amazing thrift shops (thanks to the annual “I’m moving out and have too much shit” effect). My favorite thrift score to date was finding my sister a vintage homecoming dress, straight out of the 1950s. It looked amazing on her, and she could guarantee no one was going to show up wearing anything like it!

After years of thrift shopping, these are my top thrifting tips that work well for me! Feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments!

My Top 5 Thrifting Tips

Tip #1: Do some research before you go!

Before heading out, I suggest researching your local thrift shops online. You can find out their hours, specials or sales, and if their proceeds go toward a charity/cause. This will help you find the best thrift shop for your needs!

Also, if you’re planning to look for furniture or other large items, have a plan for how to get them home! You can easily rent a truck from a moving company, or by the hour from places like Home Depot. In Seattle, some of our Goodwill shops even have Zipcar vans you can rent!

Tip #2: Make a list to keep you on track!

Thrifting can be incredibly overwhelming – especially if you don’t have a game plan! Bring a list of things you’re looking for to keep from getting swamped.

I like to shop for one category or theme each time I head out. For example, I’ll spend one afternoon looking for furniture at a few places. Next time, I’ll focus on books or clothes. Having a specific item in mind keeps you from feeling rushed or tempted to buy too much.

Tip #3: Sizes are arbitrary!

Anyone who has tried to buy vintage will tell you not to bother with size tags. Many of the clothes in thrift shops have outdated sizing, have stretched over time (especially jeans), or been tailored. When looking for clothing, don’t rule out looking a couple sizes up or down!

It’s a good idea to try on clothing before you buy it, but that’s up to how comfortable you are or if the store has changing rooms.

Tip #4: Be realistic about upscaling/repairs!

When you start thrifting, it’s tempting to purchase a “fixer-upper.” Whether it’s a dresser that needs some paint, or blouse that just needs an extra button, you can find great stuff that just needs a little TLC! However, you should be honest about your ability and desire to fix things.

If you already have a stack of clothes that need mending you haven’t touched in months, don’t add to the pile. Also, when it comes to furniture, make sure you have the space to clean/paint/stain your new piece safely!

Tip #5: Be super nice to people working there!

A little kindness really goes a long way at your local thrift shop! I find that when I’m friendly with the staff, I have an easier time bargaining or getting a better deal. More often than not, they’ll give me the employee discount, extra savings points, or “forget” to scan a book or two. If they do, remember to thank them!

However, some places don’t allow for it, so don’t be too disappointed if they say no. It’s probably against their policies, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Just say thanks, and remember you’re getting a major steal anyway!

*****

There you go – my top thrifting tips to make your next trip run smoothly!

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone is out celebrating the unofficial end of summer!

We’re expecting temperatures well into the 90s this week, so we’re not exactly busting out the fall sweaters or pumpkin spiced lattes just yet. If I can get out the door early this morning, I might make it to the beach – otherwise, I’ll be hiding in the air conditioning while reading a good book!

Have a great day, and we’ll be back this week with even more fun articles!

If you’re interested in learning more about the historical background of Labor Day, check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s website!

Friday Favorites + Welcome to September!

Friday favorites

(From my mini-adventure in Seattle: Pike Place Market / Lamplighter Books / Storyville Coffee / Left Bank Bookstore)

Happy Friday + Welcome to September!

As always, it’s been a busy week. However, I did escape to downtown Seattle on Wednesday for a little mini-adventure. While D. was busy with a work outing, I spent the afternoon chilling on my own. I checked out a few bookstores, grabbed a latte, and went to the Olympic Sculpture Park. I met up with D. later for dinner and (a few too many) drinks. It was a wonderful day, and we’re going to definitely do that more often!

Without further ado, here are my Friday favorites from this past week:

  • I’m not a big smoothie fan, but I am looking for a more protein-packed, easy breakfast (I’m so lazy). The Chalkboard Mag has a few recipes I can’t wait to try – especially the carrot cake smoothie/shake!
  • Aimee Song from Song of Style is in the middle of remodeling her new home, and has a drool-worthy list of small items to add to any home. I kinda want all of it. 
  • I’m always looking to clean up and simplify my beauty routine, and Into The Gloss has a great list of beauty products with the fewest ingredients. My life goal is to smell like a beautiful hippie, can you tell? 😉
  • It’s been hot as balls here lately, which makes it so hard to cook (or better yet, want to cook). If we get another 90+ degree day, I’m gonna give this recipe for One Pot Summertime Pasta from Camille Styles a try!
  • Now that fall is finally on its way, I’m looking into upping my shoe game. First up – a pair of green suede flats that don’t match anything I own, but will look killer anyway.

I’m off to keep working on some editing work, then hopefully spending the weekend relaxing and reading. I picked up Rebecca Solnit’s book The Mother Of All Questions at the library, and I think I could easily get through it this weekend while relaxing at the beach!

What are you up to this weekend?

Friday Favorites

friday favorites

(Getting some inspiration to switch up my diet and cooking habits!)

Happy Friday!

It’s been an insanely busy week, and while I’m grateful to have so much work, it also keeps me away from the blog. I had a lot of great ideas for what I wanted to post this week, but man, after editing and writing for 8+ hours each day, I was burnt out!

I wasn’t online much this week, but there were a few things I enjoyed in between work and sleep:

  • Harling Ross from Man Repeller decided to dress like her 2000s high school self for a week, and it was fun to go back and reminisce about the good ol’ days of polo shirts and flared jeans (both of which I hear may be coming back again…sigh).
  • I’m a busty lady, and have had to rely on underwires to support me for my whole adult life. Thankfully, companies are starting to figure out how to make bras for people like me that don’t involve wires digging into my ribcage! Thanks, BUST magazine, for letting me know they’re out there!
  • After switching birth control recently, my skin suuuuuucks again. Like, 13-year old breakouts bad. Thankfully, I found a simple fix to my skincare routine that seems to be working – tea tree oil! I add a drop of it to my cleanser each night, and it seems to be keeping my breakouts at bay. Now, if I could find an easy fix for the bloating and hormonal rages…haha…grrrrr.
  • If you like your salsa blazing hot, with a bit of sweetness, definitely try the Charlie’s Salsa Four Pepper Hot version! It kind of has a barbecue-sauce-like flavor, and it’s hot enough to numb your whole mouth, but I really like it! I think it would be great on wings, mixed into queso dip, or eaten plan with Fritos!

I hope everyone had a great week, and that you find something fun to do this weekend! We’re dog-sitting this weekend, so it’s going to be a fun one. I’m looking forward to wearing their butts out on a hike or at the beach – if I can tear them away from D (they’re both madly in love with him). 🙂

Favorite Blogs + YouTube Channels

favorite blogs youtube channels(Me watching “Getting Doug with High” on YouTube…while probably high…and eating Oreos.)

After taking a long break from reading magazines and blogs, I got back into it this summer. Writing a blog makes it tough to read them sometimes. It’s that whole “knowing how the sausage is made” issue. Many blogs became a string of sponsored posts and advertisements, and I gave up on those. Others changed their content drastically after having kids, a topic I have no interest or relation to. I typically read my blogs through Bloglovin’, and after doing a “clean-out,” got rid of almost 2/3 of the blogs in my feed – and I don’t miss a single one.

I also got back into watching YouTube again, and found a few channels I really like. YouTube is another place where I kind of lost interest, but thankfully there are people out there putting out amazing new shit every day!

Here are just a few of the blogs and YouTube channels I’m digging lately. Enjoy!

Blogs I’m Loving Lately

Hello Glow

I am on a DIY-beauty kick lately, and Hello Glow has been a great resource for my newfound hobby! Stephanie has recipes for DIY sugar scrub, eye masks, rosewater, and much more. Her site also has great posts on essential oils, food recipes, and overall wellness. If you want to learn more about wellness, this is a great site to start with!

The Chalkboard Mag

If you want to dive a little deeper into the spiritual and wellness world, check out Pressed Juicery‘s blog, The Chalkboard Mag. I love reading the refrigerator tours of course – because #nutritiongoals. They also have articles like what the upcoming solar eclipse means for your wellness journey, the best organic bed sheets, and Nauli (the weirdest yoga move I’ve ever seen). The site is a little more hardcore than Hello Glow, but it has a ton of useful information!

Because Im Addicted

After Geri Hirsch left LEAFtv, she decided to revamp her blog – and I am all about it! She encourages her readers to try her Wellness Challenges, which are (usually) simple tasks aimed at making us happier and healthier. Her healthy recipes are another reason I keep coming back. They are all super healthy and easy to make! I can’t wait to see her blog grow over the coming months!

Man Repeller

Man Repeller is a blog I come back to from time to time when I need some fashun and snark in my life. They were the first to inform me that low-rise jeans are coming back (gross), and that I’m not the only one who thinks quinoa is a load of crap (also gross). I also recently read that yellow is now the new “Millennial Pink,” which is great because I might be one of the few people who can pull off bright yellow.

YouTube Channels I’m Loving Lately

The Sorry Girls

If you are a DIY fan like me, definitely check out The Sorry Girls, a Canadian duo that have some of the coolest tutorials out there. Everything they do is totally #pinterestgoals, from their midcentury plant stand to their amazing DIY Halloween costumes! I know Halloween is a couple months away, but if you’re like me and always wait until the last minute, their site is full of last-minute ideas!

The Lo Down

Yes, I used to watch Laguna Beach and The Hills obsessively when I was in college. It’s no surprise that when I heard Lo Bosworth started her own YouTube channel, called The Lo Down, I subscribed immediately. She has great videos on skincare, wellness, recipes (she went to culinary school, after all), and her battle with depression. If you’re looking for videos that sound more like you’re chatting with your best friend who has all the right answers, check her out!

Lisa Eldridge

If you don’t know how to do your makeup, or always wanted to learn how to master the illusive cat eye, go here. Seriously. She will change your whole life. I started watching her videos before my wedding 6 years ago, and I’m still watching. Lisa’s relaxing voice is mind-numbingly amazing, and her tutorials are totally do-able for most people. My makeup skills improved a ton after watching her videos – and yours will too!

LEAF

I wasn’t sure what would happen to this channel after its two founding members, Geri Hirsch and Erin Falconer, left the brand. It took them a while to find their footing, but the new LEAF channel (short for living, eating, and fashion) has become a new favorite. I’m enjoying their #WakeUpWith series, and the longer videos in general! I’m glad LEAF is living on with new creators and great new ideas!