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Author: Heather Patton

Friday Favorites

Time Magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year: The Silence Breakers

Welcome to another Friday Favorites!

I spent this week reflecting on how far we’ve already come as a country, thanks to Time Magazine honoring the men and women who have spoken out about sexual harassment and abuse. It’s been a long year of protesting, sharing, healing, and hard conversations. I’m glad that we’re ending the year in the middle of progress. We still have a long way to go before women can feel safe and respected in the world, but we’re slowly chipping away at it.

This has also been a week of making wish lists and locally-sourced gift guides here at Afternoon Glow! I am excited to share my favorite things with you and hopefully treat myself to a few of them soon!

Anyways, here are a few more of my Friday favorites from the past week:

  • Well+Good has announced the top 18 fitness and wellness trends for 2018, and I can definitely get behind a few already: cozy activewear, nut milk yogurt (finally!), and women’s coworking clubs!
  • I love burning candles at home, but never really thought much about what was in them until recently. The Chalkboard Mag came up with 11 natural, non-toxic candles that will make great gifts this holiday season – or you can scoop up a few for your home too!
  • I’m already planning and plotting my holiday baking, and this post from Camille Styles has 27 cookie recipes that look yummy and pretty easy to make! I can’t wait to try out a few!
  • As much as I’d love to try some Moon Juice’s Moon Dusts in my morning coffee, I can’t justify paying $40 for a jar. Thankfully, Hello Glow has their own recipe for a Brain Dust that you can easily add to tea, coffee, or smoothies – and it won’t break the bank! I can’t wait to hit up my local health food store to stock up on the ingredients!
  • My canvas duffel bag fell apart this summer, and I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since. I recently discovered Lemur Bags, a company that makes beautiful canvas bags and totes. They donate 15% of their profits to conservation efforts specific to lemurs. I’m seriously considering grabbing this pineapple-print duffel bag!

 

Well, I’m off to a lunch date with the husband! I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday with more great posts!

My #ShopLocal Gift Guide!

#shoplocal gift guide

In addition to shopping online for gifts, now is the best time to #shoplocal! You can find unique gifts for everyone while supporting great local businesses in your area.

The Seattle area has so many amazing local businesses, it’s tough to narrow it down to just a few. Whether you’re shopping for friends and family here, or looking to ship gifts across the country, there are so many great things out there! Here are some things I’m looking at this year to send out to loved ones (or get for myself)!

My #ShopLocal Gift Guide: Seattle

Boehm’s Candies

The Seattle area is home to several local chocolatiers, but this one is my favorite. For one thing, it’s about a 5-minute drive from my home in Issaquah! They have amazing holiday chocolates (including solid dark chocolate Santas), licorice, and even dog treats!

Jungmaven

I found out about Jungmaven through IndieGetUp, a site dedicated to helping you find local shops in your area. They make hemp and cotton clothing, bedding, and other fun accessories. I’m seriously digging the Sherpa Crewneck Sweatshirt – it looks so lived-in and comfy!

Stumptown Coffee

Okay, so technically this company started out in Portland, Oregon, but it’s still a local favorite of coffee shops around the Seattle area. Their Hairbender blend is one of my favorites, and it pairs well with just about anything I put in it! Their packaging is also gorgeous, which makes for a great gift during the holidays!

Big Dipper Wax Works

Based in Seattle, this candle company is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I’ve burned through a few of their Meditation candles this past year, and I can’t wait to stock up on more! They make great stocking stuffers or gifts for the office!

George’s Sausage & Delicatessen

If you’re a good little Polish lady like me, Christmas means eating your weight in kielbasa. If you live in the Seattle area, head downtown to check out George’s for all the kielbasa and Polish goodies you can carry! It’s honestly the best kielbasa I’ve ever had, and I need to get back out there soon to stock up for the holiday season. They also have a ton of Polish candy, pickled everything, and wine…tons of wine!

If you’re looking for local shops in your area, check out IndieGetUp to see what your state has to offer!

The Afternoon Glow 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Every year, I try to put together a holiday wish list, and usually come up short. Not this year! I found plenty of fun things to get for your wellness-obsessed friends, woke witches, and hygge masters!

Enjoy the list, and come back on Wednesday when I share my favorite local gifts from the Pacific Northwest!

For the friend who is all about wellness…and coffee:

2017 holiday gift guide

Stonn Stainless Steel Electric Milk Frother ($6.95, Amazon)

To thicken up a bullet coffee, matcha tea, or a superfood latte, I highly recommend grabbing your coffee-obsessed friends a handheld frother. It’s small, easy to store, and does the job!

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder ($15.00, Amazon)

I’ve recently gotten into adding “extras” to my coffee, and collagen is a great place to start! It’s tasteless and mixes in well with whatever morning drink you prefer. I also find it thickens my almond milk lattes a little more! Give your friends the gift of amazing hair, skin, and nails along with their favorite coffee or tea!

4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee ($10.94, Amazon)

Adding extra fat to coffee is a great way to add flavor and helps your body absorb caffeine more slowly throughout the day. Ghee is a healthy option, and this one contains a little vanilla to add some flavor and sweetness. Plus, the packaging is adorable and would look great in a gift basket!

Kate Spade Travel Mug ($18.00, Amazon)

You can’t have a beautifying drink in an ugly old mug! Grab your friend a pretty one like this floral Kate Spade travel version, and they can start the day on a pretty note!

For the feministas in your life:

2017 holiday gift guide

 

“Feminist Killjoy” Sweatshirt ($23.90, Etsy)

I really, really want this sweatshirt – and I want to buy it for all my fellow “feminist killjoys” out there! It will keep you cozy and warm while dismantling the patriarchy, or telling an ignorant relative or two where to stick their “not all men” argument during your next holiday get-together.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg Prayer Candle ($12.95, Etsy)

I think prayer candles are beautiful. They are even more beautiful when covered with beautiful images of our favorite feminist icons! This Etsy shop also has candles for my other two role models – Ilana and Abbi from Broad City! Get them all, and channel your inner feminist badass!

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan ($17.95, Amazon)

If you haven’t checked this book out yet, get one for yourself and all your bookish friends. It’s an important read if you want to better understand how society, higher education, and advertising have been oppressing women for…well…forever. Since this book is over 50 years old, keep in mind it does largely gloss over women of color and doesn’t address other sexualities – but it was the start of a conversation that later included those groups.

Tiny Smudge Kit ($5.95, Etsy)

I’m not a big spiritual person, but there’s nothing wrong with ridding the world of bad energy however we can, right? This is a great stocking-stuffer idea for your wellness-loving friends, and cheap enough you can grab one for yourself while you’re at it!

For that friend who could use a little hygge:

2017 holiday gift guide

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living ($10.69, Amazon)

The Danes are some of the happiest people in the world – and it’s no wonder! The concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) promotes comfort, staying in the present, and enjoying friendship. They also believe it’s okay to let go of perfectionism to indulge once in a while. This would be a great book for that friend who could use a little break during the stressful holiday season!

Pendleton Plaid 5th Avenue Throw Blanket ($159, Pendleton)

Comfort is a big part of hygge, and this cozy wool blanket would be perfect for curling up under with a good book! They come in so many patterns and colors, you could find one for everyone!

Lavender Scented Soy Wax Candle ($15, Etsy)

Candlelight is another great way to bring some coziness into your life, and this one smells calming and warm. Lavender is a great scent for relaxing after a long day, and staying in the present.

Cable Knit Knee-High, No-skid Socks ($10.90/pair, Amazon)

It’s almost impossible to get cozy vibes with cold feet! These socks are warm, fuzzy, and have anti-slip grip so you can wear them all over the house! I can’t wait to pick up a pair in every color!

 

Friday Favorites: Welcome to December!

friday favorites Photo via Unsplash

Welcome to another edition of Friday Favorites!

This week was rainy and cold, so it was the perfect time to get work done, read a good book, and get plenty of blog posts ready for December! We also managed to get some holiday decorating done last weekend, so the house is all cozy. I’m even working on bringing some serious hygge vibes into my bedroom for winter.

Without further ado…here are a few things I’ve been loving online this week!

Friday Favorites!

I hope you have a great weekend! I’m planning to spend the weekend reading, baking, and shopping for more hygge-approved fun to make my bedroom cozy for winter!

If you want to catch up with me over the weekend, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter! I’ll be back Monday with my annual Gift Guide!

#NoSpendNovember: Reflections + Lessons Learned

#NoSpendNovember

Photo via Unsplash

As the #NoSpendNovember challenge comes to an end, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the past month. It was a learning experience for sure, and I plan to take some of the lessons I learned with me. Here’s a quick and easy breakdown of how things went!

How did I feel throughout the month?

I went into #NoSpendNovember a little anxious, to be honest. I know that I tend to shop when I’m bored, and wanted to break myself of that. For the first week or so, it was tough. Work wasn’t terribly busy, and the weather sucked, so it was hard to re-route my brain when I got bored. To combat this, I spent time at the library, walking outside, and cleaning. None of this is very exciting, but it got me through.

As the month went on, it got easier. The job I had that required going on Amazon ended, so that temptation was gone. I focused on writing for the blog more, exercised more, and got more work done. Instead of going to Target, I went outside for some fresh air. By the end of the month, I now feel like I have a better handle on things.

How much did I save?

I’ll be honest here – I don’t know exactly how much I didn’t spend because…I didn’t spend it. My spending habits aren’t very consistent, and since I work freelance, my paychecks aren’t either. I’d say a safe prediction is about $200 over the past month, which isn’t a lot – but it’s something. I also didn’t work as much as I usually do, so I know it would’ve been a lot more if I had a regular schedule.

Did I ever break my #NoSpendNovember rules?

I did a lot better with this than I was expecting to! Here is how I did with each “rule” I set for #NoSpendNovember:

Stay off my Amazon account

I would say I behaved about 80% of the time. I did have to use Amazon for a copywriting gig, but once that ended, it wasn’t too hard to avoid it. This past week, I only went on a couple times to check for Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals.

Unsubscribe from marketing emails

I’ve unsubscribed from as many marketing email chains as I could this month. I’d say I’ve gotten off around a dozen or so, and I’m continuing to do this as the month goes on. There are so many on my personal and blog emails that I just don’t use anymore, and it feels good to get rid of them. My inbox is much happier!

No beauty-related purchases

I happily achieved 100% success on this one! I didn’t buy a single beauty-related thing this month! To help with this, I took my own advice and used my stash, and found that what I have is definitely plenty. I plan to continue this for December, then I’ll probably be due to stock up on some essentials (shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, etc.).

Do more DIY projects

Okay, so I fell short on this one. I didn’t get any DIY projects done this month, but I plan to do them in December instead.

Sell some of your shit

I had ThredUp send me a cleanout kit this month, which I’ll fill up with clothing I want to sell through their site. I’ll consider this a success if I can get my bag filled and mailed out this week!

Once a week coffee day / One grocery trip / Black Friday exceptions

I did pretty well on sticking to only the exceptions I made for myself. The weekly coffee shop trips were productive, and I only made a couple extra grocery trips. I didn’t shop at all on Black Friday, but I may pick up a few things online for Cyber Monday.

The only time I truly broke with the #NoSpendNovember challenge was to buy a sweater and dress shoes for a Thanksgiving party we were invited to last-minute. I don’t own “party” clothes, so I let myself off the hook this once. It only cost me $40 for both (thanks to Marshalls!), and the rest of my outfit was stuff I already own, so it wasn’t too bad.

What did I learn?

I learned that challenging myself to spend less during the holiday season is ROUGH. This would have been so much easier to do in August or September! But I guess that’s the point of making it a challenge, right?

I also learned that so much of my “extra” spending has to do with boredom. Replacing those bad habits with good ones really worked, and I hope to keep it up!

What will I take with me moving forward?

I plan to do this challenge more often in the future, but instead of a whole month at a time, I might do one week every month instead. This seems a bit more manageable for me. By the end of the year, I will have done 3 months with no spending, rather than just one month!

I also want to focus more purchasing things I truly love, rather than what “works” at the time. Over the next few months, I’m planning to really purge my life of things I don’t love or need. It’s time for me to let go of jeans that don’t fit, notebooks I never use, and kitchen junk I have no space for. This challenge put me on a path to simplify my life. I can’t wait to put it into practice!

#NoSpendNovember: Use Your Stash!

use your stash

Beauty products are one thing I easily spend too much money on. I’m guilty of buying a new shampoo, conditioner, or body lotion before my current one is empty. I also don’t know why I own so man lip glosses and lipsticks – I rarely wear either.

This month, I’m making a better effort to use my stash. It’s a good idea to go through your beauty stash every 6 months or so to weed out anything that’s expired, dried out, or otherwise not useable. Once you pare down to what’s still good and useful, you can find clever ways to use up what’s lingering in your beauty cabinet! Here are just a few tips to help you use what you have!

#NoSpendNovember: Tips to Use Your Stash!

Tip #1: Decant “almost empties” into travel-sized containers.

Many of us are gearing up for the holiday travel season, and that means getting your travel kit ready. Instead of buying all new travel products, use your stash! For only a few dollars, you can pick up a travel-friendly kit with bottles and containers you fill yourself. Some good items to decant into travel containers are shampoo/conditioner, body lotion, face moisturizer, toner, and foundation.

Also, if you hoard sheet masks like me, pop a couple in your travel kit – they are great to use on long flights! They are also a good reminder to practice some quiet self-care during your trip!

Tip #2: Put “almost empties” on display.

Instead of hiding away your “almost empties,” put them out on the bathroom counter so you can remember to use them up! Out of sight, out of mind is totally true for beauty products! Grab that bottle of toner you’re almost done with, and put away the new one until it’s needed.

Also, whenever you run out of something, check your cabinets before heading to the store! I have a bad habit of buying toothpaste before checking to see if I have one at home. At some point, I ended up with 4 unopened tubes of the stuff! Get into the habit of shopping your cabinets first to avoid over-buying things!

Tip #3: Gift things you’ve never used.

Okay, this piece of advice comes with a lot of restrictions, but you can still do it in some cases! If you have a lot of beauty products or samples you never opened, and they’re still in good condition, give them to family or friends! They can make great stocking stuffers, or put a bunch together in a cute basket for your teenage niece, makeup-obsessed sister, or brunch buddies!

Obviously, avoid giving away products you’ve already used, and anything that’s old/expired. Many of us bloggers get samples mailed to us year-round, and this is a great way to put them to good use!

Tip #4: Find new uses for old products!

This is especially important if you have products lingering around that didn’t work for you. Instead of tossing them out, consider if they could be used for something else! Here are just a few examples of how I’ve used beauty products in a new way:

  • Extra body lotion or conditioner makes a great shaving balm! Just apply a small layer over legs or underarms for a smoother shave, and moisturized skin afterwards!
  • Eye makeup remover (oil free) is great to keep around to clean leather handbags! I use eye makeup remover to get rid of blue streaks on my grey leather handbag left over from my jeans. It works amazingly well while leaving my bag in great condition.
  • Toners or facial mists make really good room sprays! Spritz them in pillowcases, bedsheets, bathrooms, or in your car (not while driving, of course)!
  • Lip colors can often pull double-duty as a cream blush or eye color. Dabbing face powder or blush onto lipstick creates a matte effect without having to buy a new matte lipstick!

So instead of heading over to Sephora…again…try using what you have around the house instead! You might find that if you use your stash, it will save you a ton of money this month!

Cleaning Up My Haircare Routine

clean_haircare_routine

As the year quickly winds down, I’m already starting to think about my 2018 goals. This year was all about healing and self-care, but I want next year to be more about taking action. I am already starting to make the transition to natural products, and for me, it all starts in the shower!

One thing I know I want to work toward next year is cleaning up my beauty cabinet, and it starts with a clean haircare routine. When Maple Holistics reached out to see if I wanted to try their Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, I was super excited.

My scalp needs a lot of extra love during the winter months, and this product has done the job already! This shampoo has already cleared my mild dandruff and a breakout from recently dying my hair. It smells divine, and even created a healing aromatherapy effect in the shower when I was congested from a cold! It does leave my hair a bit dry, so I’m looking forward to adding the Tea Tree Oil Conditioner to the mix soon.

When creating a clean haircare routine, I wanted to find products that were free of harsh chemicals but still effective. The shampoo is cruelty free and doesn’t contain parabens, GMOs, or gluten. It’s also perfectly safe to use for men, women, and kids! They also do more than just clean haircare – they have skincare products, lip balms, and some decadent bubble bath blends!

If you’d like to give Maple Holistics a try, you can sign up on their website for a free sample! It’s great that they do this, especially for people like me who are still new to clean haircare products!

#NoSpendNovember: Fun + Free Ideas!

Photo by Drew Geraets on Unsplash

One of the biggest challenges for me during #NoSpendNovember is to find things to do that are free – and fun!

I work mainly from home, and it’s important to find things to do outside the house. I enjoy being able to work in my pajamas, but it does get old after a bit. Most of the time, I leave my weekly shopping trips to during the week, and use that as an excuse to get out. When the weather’s nice, I make a trip to my local park for a hike. It’s tempting to hit Target on the way home, though!

We’re almost halfway through the challenge right now, and I’m sure some of you are struggling to find things to do like me! Today I wanted to share a few things I’m doing that are fun, free ideas to keep busy!

#NoSpendNovember: Fun + Free Ideas

Idea #1: Get outside!

Instead of spending time walking through the mall, get out and enjoy some fresh air! Go on a walk through your neighborhood and enjoy all the fall colors and home decor. If you’re lucky to live somewhere with a great parks system (like me!), take advantage of all they have to offer! Part of my #NoSpendNovember challenge is to unplug more often, and getting outside helps. It’s also a great way to get some free exercise!

Idea #2: Get sweaty for free!

If you typically spend money to work out, whether it’s a gym membership or online streaming program, consider the free options out there! Instead of paying for group yoga classes this month, try out Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. She has 30-day programs, beginner lessons, meditation practices, and more advanced stuff too! I’m also a big fan of Blogilates, Popsugar, and Tone It Up on YouTube as well!

Idea #3: Curl up with a good book!

Now that it’s getting cold outside, there is nothing quite like curling up under a blanket with a book and a cup of tea. Check out my earlier post on how to read for free, grab a book or ebook, and get reading!

Idea #4: Clean & declutter your space!

Part of the reason many of us do #NoSpendNovember is to deal with just how much stuff we really need in our lives. Instead of spending your Saturday morning thrift shopping (like I often do), work on cleaning up your space. Give the bathroom a good scrub down, shred old paperwork you no longer need, and reorganize your sock drawer. A clean, simplified space can be calming and soothing – something we all could use more of these days!

Idea #5: Give back!

In addition to donating old clothes or home goods, consider giving away some of your time as well! Volunteering is a great way to spend some time making new friends, staying busy, and having a positive impact on your community. There are so many ways to volunteer, from tutoring students, cooking for the homeless, cleaning up your local park, or even cuddling puppies at your local shelter!

I hope everyone is having a great time with their #NoSpendNovember challenges! If you have any other great ideas for fun + free ideas, leave a comment below!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I am definitely glad this week is over! I had a nasty cold and spent most of the week stuck working from bed, or bundled up on the couch. The week also started with a snowstorm that took me (and a few others around here) by surprise!

Tuesday was election day! It was encouraging to see several elections won (many for the first time ever) by women, people of color, and transgender candidates! Voting is something I take very seriously, and encourage everyone around me to do their part. Change begins by electing people at the local and state levels – not just federal! I can only hope the momentum keeps up in 2018!

Anyway, aside from elections and destroying boxes of tissues, here are a few things I’ve been digging:

  • My husband and I just finished the Netflix show Mindhunter, and I really liked it. It follows an FBI program dedicated to understanding the psychology of serial killers, taking place in the 1970s. I didn’t think this would be a show I’d get into, but I totally did. It’s perfect to watch late at night, lights off…but maybe not alone! Oh, and it’s total wardrobe inspiration if you’re craving a bit of a 70s vibe in your closet!
  • Ever wonder what kind of houseplant you should have, based on your zodiac sign? Wonder no more! It’s no surprise to me that I already have the plant suggested for Geminis – a philodendron!
  • If you love vintage and subscription boxes, consider giving Divine Trash Vintage a try! It’s only $30 each month, and you get a “trash bag” of vintage to pick from! I’m really tempted to give this one a try, since buying vintage here in Seattle can get stupidly expensive!
  • With all the news lately centered around sexual assault in the entertainment industry, I’m starting to wonder: what we do next? Enter Gretchen Carlson. After her public battle with sexual harassment policies at her old network, she is gathering up legislators to start making change. Her focus is on anti-arbitration laws, which allow companies to turn a blind eye to sexual harassment and assault, leaving the victims with no real legal recourse. The only job I ever had where I was viciously harassed and demeaned on a regular basis also happened to be the only company that has ever made me sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and anti-arbitration clause – go figure!
  • I’m currently making my way through Kristin Newman’s memoir, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, and it’s giving me a serious traveling bug! I plan on finishing it up tonight, while sipping a warm cup of tea and covered in blankets! Gotta kick that cold to the curb!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! My plans this weekend are pretty up in the air, as usual, and totally dependent on how I feel. I predict a lot of books, pajamas, and vegan hot cocoa!

#NoSpendNovember: Reading Tips

#NoSpendNovember Reading Tips

Reading is one part of my life that’s easy to adjust to the #NoSpendNovember challenge. I don’t buy books very often, and have given up reading magazines for the most part. Plus, there are so many ways to get your reading fix for free!

I’ll admit that it might be easier for me to do this because I don’t re-read books. It doesn’t make sense for me to buy a book I’m only going to read once. The only time I prefer to buy a book is when I go on vacation – no stress over leaving it in an airport/hotel, or destroying it while reading on the beach.

If you’re a bookworm on a budget like me, here are some ways you can read for little to no cost!

#NoSpendNovember: Reading Tips!

Tip #1: Use your local library!

If you haven’t been to your local library lately (or ever), they’re worth checking out! Most public libraries now have a lot more than books. My library system has print books, electronic books, magazine subscriptions, along with digital movies, television shows, and more! If you have a tablet, your library probably as access to apps like OverDrive for digital books, or Zinio for magazines. I prefer to read magazines this way (they subscribe to pretty much anything I would already buy), and I’m currently in the middle of reading What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding on my iPad.

Tip #2: Use your stash!

Many of us buy books with the intention of reading them, only to put them on the bookshelf and forget they exist. Instead of buying a new book, see if you have any books at home you haven’t read yet! I own fewer than 20 books, but I know there are at least 2 on my shelf I haven’t gotten to yet. So at least for November, I can work on those before buying something new next month!

Tip #3: Host a book swap!

I don’t know why more people don’t do this, to be honest! Many of us have friends or family who also read a lot, and why not give your old books a new home? In exchange, you’ll also go home with a stack of new reads for free! Tell your friends to bring a few books they no longer need, and have a swap meet!

Tip #4: Download a free book app!

If you’re a fan of reading classical literature, definitely check out the Free Books app on iTunes. I’ve had this app for several years, and though it’s not perfect, they do have hundreds of public-domain classics you can read for free! You can also check out other free reading apps for just about any device – your phone, tablet, or reading device like Nook or Kindle will even have free books to download.