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Welcome to October!

Welcome to October

October is here, and I can’t be happier about it!

Frankly, last month sucked. I was sick for most of it and am still not totally back to normal. Dealing with daily construction on our apartment building isn’t helping, either. It’s so hard to think straight with people hammering on your walls and shouting at each other all day long. I managed to get out more once I felt healthy, but even then it wasn’t enough.

Since I have a lot of work to catch up on, I’m going to take this week off of blogging. I need to focus on kicking this cold/allergy/stress thing once and for all, and work on some blog-related things I didn’t get to while I was ill. Hell, Friday was the first time I vacuumed in almost a month – and it was so needed!

I hope everyone has a great week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Friday Favorites: Fall is Here

Friday Favorites Fall

Happy Friday everyone!

This week has been so much better. I’m finally over being sick, the weather cooled off, and the leaves seemed to change overnight. Fall is officially here, and I’m excited to get out and enjoy it!

Since I haven’t done a Friday Favorites in a few weeks, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been loving online since then:

I’m looking forward to spending the weekend hiking, enjoying the cool weather and changing colors. It’s also football season, so I will hopefully get some time to read more too. There is nothing like getting cozy with a book, am I right?

What are your plans this weekend? How have you been ringing in fall where you live?

4 Pretty Nail Colors for Fall

4 Pretty Nail Colors Fall

While I am painfully aware that trends exist, I don’t always follow them. So when it came time to choose some new nail colors for fall, I ignored what I read in magazines and went with colors I knew I’d actually wear. For example, I keep seeing pastel blue everywhere? It’s not a color I associate with fall, and one I probably wouldn’t wear anyway. To me, fall is about adding a little brown or gray to shades I already wear – nothing too far off my normal routine.

Since I am trying out some new colors for fall, I thought I’d go with the Sonia Kashuk line at Target. They’re only $4.79 per bottle, and they come in some on-trend shades for fall. Here are the 4 pretty nail colors for fall, whether you’re a trend-setter, trend-follower, or neither!

Mauving On Up:

I’m not a light pink polish kind of gal, but this one seems perfect for fall. It’s mauve with a grayish tone to it, which I think will look perfect with all the grays I wear in fall and winter.

Rich Girl:

I wear orange polish frequently, but the orange polishes in my collection are bright and cheery. This is a straight-up pumpkin shade that’s perfect for fall. It looks less pink in real life, and will be a great shade to add a bit of pop to my fall wardrobe. I would love to wear this on my toes instead of my usual red or pink.

Forbidden Fruit:

This is a deep magenta that I think will be a color I wear year-round! I looked for something similar for years, but most shades were too purple or red. This is a great in-between that would look great on toes too!

Gray Matter:

I have been wearing OPI’s “Metro Chic” for years, which is the perfect muddy gray-purple shade. It’s since been discontinued, but I do love the look of grey nails in fall. It’s a great alternative to black polish (which I wear a lot in winter), and this one has a slightly bluish tone.

So there you have it! Head on over to Target to check out this collection, and I hope you find a shade or two that are perfect for your fall nails!

First Day of Fall

first day of fall

(#TBT to some amazing fall hiking from last year!)

It’s finally the first day of fall!

While it has felt like fall around here for a couple weeks now, I’m so glad it’s officially here. Now I won’t feel bad about adding pumpkin spice to my coffee, oatmeal, bread – just about everything!

Summer was great, but around here it was just too hot to enjoy. I love being outdoors, and fall is the perfect time of year to get outside and enjoy some amazing weather. Even the rain is something I welcome happily. It’s the perfect excuse to curl up under a blanket and read a book…or take a nap. I can’t wait to spend more time hiking, working, and generally being productive instead of hiding from the heat.

Fall also signifies the start of a new school year for most people. Even though I’m not a student or teacher anymore, I always considered fall the time of new beginnings. So to ring in the fall, I plan to sit down and carefully make plans and goals to round out the rest of the year. There are so many things I wanted to get done this year that I didn’t get around to, and many more I haven’t started yet. Just because the year is coming to a close doesn’t mean we can’t get shit done, right?

So to all of you like me to consider fall to be their favorite season, get out there and enjoy the changing leaves, damp air, and maybe even a latte or two. Hell, if I remember I’ll even show you how I make my own PSL – they’re easy and oh so tasty!

How do you plan to spend your fall this year? Do you have any traditions you take part in, or favorite foods you like to make? Let me know in the comments!

Fall Home Wishlist

fall home wishlistAs the temperatures here finally dip a little, I’m starting to think hard about making our home more cozy for fall and winter. While I don’t usually do much more than break out the candles and throw blankets, it’s good to fantasize once in a while about what you would do if you had an endless budget.

Here are a few things I would totally add to my fall home wishlist!

A Pendleton Blanket

I’ve been coveting these blankets for years, but they are way outside my budget! Pendleton did a line of blankets to celebrate the National Park Services’s centennial, and I really like the “Badlands Olive” pattern. It’s also a park I’ve been to (well, drove through), so that would be a fun story to go along with it. Alas, $100 is a lot to pay for a throw blanket. Maybe next year!

Cozy Fall Artwork

The artwork in our house is a complete mish-mash of random stuff both my husband and I like. Unfortunately, we also like very different things, so it makes our home look inconsistent. I’d love to replace some of our artwork with things that are reflective of the season, and this print from Society6, titled “Through The Trees” by Tordis Kayma would be perfect.

I might also go through my nature photos and print some out from Snapfish. This might also motivate me to take my camera out hiking this fall to add to my collection!

Candles…of course

While I already own a lot of candles, most of them are floral or unscented. I’m insanely picky about scents – no food smells, mainly. This sucks because most fall/winter candles have cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, or apple scents to them.

Candles are also a great way to explore local brands without breaking the bank. I’d love to add some pine/woodsy scents around the home, and this candle from Seattle-based company Whiskey Wicks sounds perfect. The description really does sound like a walk in the park (hence the name…haha), which is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. It might be the Pacific Northwest spirit talking, but I also like the idea of supporting local businesses!

New Pillows

This isn’t really a budget issue with my fall home wishlist. It’s an issue of having a husband who destroys pillows. I can’t buy decorative pillows for our living room. Within a month, they’ll be slept on, crushed, and smothered in Old Spice. However, I do have a small, white couch in my office space now that he doesn’t use, and I’d love to add some decorative pillows to add some color.

I really like these pillows from Urban Outfitters. These seem sturdy enough for my light lounging, and pretty enough to keep out year-round. I love the pattern, and that they’re woven to look like a kilim rug, which seems to be all the rage now.

Well there you have it – a budget-breaking game plan to make my home cozy for fall! Of course, I’m still on the hunt for things around the house, but at a more reasonable price for my tiny, tiny budget! I’ll have to share with you what I find!

Winter Throws

Winter Throws

As the weather cools off, I start finding myself tucked under a blanket in the evenings. Unfortunately, we really only have one “throw” blanket in the house, and as it gets colder I have a feeling we’ll be fighting over the one fleece Cleveland Browns blanket.

Since we’re quickly getting to that point, I’ve been shopping around online to find some great ideas for my own throw blanket. I also want to look for a larger one for our bedroom, so some of these would easily do well on our couch or bed!

While I would easily take the entire stack above, I went window-shopping with the intention of finding something I could use year-round, not just during the holidays. Though at these prices, I might pick up a few red and green plaid ones too!

Click on the images below, and it’ll take you right to their site for easy shopping!

Winter Throws

The Basic Choice: Fringed Herringbone Blanket from Zara Home, $35.90 (51″x67″)

As I mentioned last week, I tend to gravitate to the basic when it comes to, well, anything. I like this one because it’s inexpensive, huge, and would look great thrown over the couch year-round. Zara always seems to have great throws for great prices, and they’re not so precious that a hot cocoa spill won’t leave you hyperventilating or rushing to the dry cleaners.

Winter Throws

The (Anti) Holiday Choice: Hermine Throw from Ikea, $19.99 (47″x71″)

I really liked this throw when I saw it on my last Ikea trip. It’s plaid, which is a very “holiday” pattern for me, but it’s not Christmas colors, so I could get away with throwing on my bed during other times of the year. It’s also only $20, which is a great price for a blanket that can take the wear and tear.

Winter Throws

The Bold Choice: Eivor Throw from Ikea, $24.99 (49″x67″)

While this one feels a bit like a cheap sweater, it makes a very bold statement for a small price. I think this would be a great way to bring some boldness into a mainly metallic (silver, gold, copper, etc.) holiday decor, or some drama to a guest bedroom.

Winter Throws

The High-end Bold Choice: Skywalkers Blanket from Pendleton, $339 (Queen-sized)

Now, I know – this is a lot of money for a blanket. I just jumped to something 10x more expensive than my last one – but hey, blankets are usually either super cheap or super not! If you’re looking for an investment, and one that you can easily throw over your bed (and they do come in twin, queen, and king sizes), this would be a great option. I love the print on this, and the fact that it’s reversible!

So there you go – a few great options to add to your throw blanket collection! Now, I’m off to grab some hot tea and snuggle under that hideous Browns blanket….

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

Yesterday, I forced myself outside for an afternoon hike in my neighborhood park. It was well needed, and a great way to get life back to some sense of normal. After almost two weeks with a terrible cold, I finally feel better (for the most part) and ready to get back to work.

While it might look like I took this hike early in the morning, I actually left the house around 2:00pm! It has been cool, cloudy, and very foggy in the area lately – even well into the afternoons. The sun didn’t come out until after I got home (of course), so I hiked a bit faster to keep warm.

Once I got home, I cranked up the oven and popped in a Beer Can Chicken and some baked potatoes for dinner. While I was sick, I didn’t have the desire or the energy to cook much, so we ate a lot of last minute, lazy dinners. I know that baked chicken and potatoes seems lazy already, but I couldn’t even handle that last week!

Back to Normal

The other reason I have a renewed energy in the kitchen is thanks to my new toy! I’ve already made sugar cookies with it, but they turned out so bad that I’m not sure we’ll even finish them! I am looking forward to trying some new recipes, and figuring out all the ways a mixer will make my life easier. I’ve already found out, thanks to a great friend, that I can shred chicken with it – and I hate shredding chicken by hand!

Well, I’m off for the day. I hope you’re all doing well!

Friday Favorites: Welcome to October!

Friday Favorites Welcome to October

Loving all the sunshine this week while out hiking!

Welcome to October!

If September was all about renewed energy and work ethic, October is about building on that while also finding time to get cozy and comfortable. The weather in Seattle through September was unusually warm, so it didn’t feel like fall was coming at all – but this week it has definitely cooled off and feels more autumnal. I also started off October with a cold, so I’m forcing myself to stay home and chill out a bit more. I’m looking forward to the leaves changing color, breaking out my scarves (finally!), and everything pumpkin spiced!

Here are some things I’ve been enjoying this past week:

  • Apartment Therapy reminded us that while the holidays are a few months away, it’s never to soon to start planning. They give amazing advice for those who like giving homemade, handmade, or trendy gifts each year (hint: plan way ahead!).
  • If you wear heels, check out this YouTube video from Chriselle Lim for “5 Heel Hacks” to make sure your feet stay healthy and happy!
  • To make sure you don’t miss this year’s fall foliage, check out the Fall Foliage Map to find out when the peak days for getting out to see the fall leaves!
  • Lenny Letter No. 1 launched this week! Sign up on their website for the newsletter, and enjoy!

Now I’m off to find some spiced doughnuts and apple cider. Have a great weekend!

Vogue September Issue: 5 Trends to Buy Now!

Vogue September Issue

 

This year, I had the opportunity to get Vogue’s September issue digitally, thanks to my local library. The experience of swiping through went a lot faster than if I had leafed through a physical copy, but I also found I paid more attention. I’ve never looked to the ads before, but having them in a digital format for some reason made me take notice. I also spent more time reading the articles this year, though I think that might just be because I found them more interesting than in years past.

If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys leafing through 800+ pages of fashion, I decided to help you out by giving you a cliffsnotes (and yes, I spelled that right) version to help guide you to a fashion savvy fall!

Thrift stores are your friend!

The 1970s and 1990s played a huge role in much of this year’s issue, so get ready for some heavy thrifting this year if you don’t want to pay couture prices. Trust me, this year you can be trendy and on budget!

Floor length, long-sleeved, high-necked prairie dresses were in almost every ad and feature story. Chloe, Lanvin, and Gucci featured dresses that would make Stevie Nicks gush. The floral prints were small, and the color palette was autumn-ready (think burnt oranges, browns, deep purples, and black). There were a few shorter, 90s versions of this, but for the most part keep things pretty conservative to stay on trend this year. I thought the dresses by Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, and Celine that featured larger floral patterns (think grandma’s couch) were also a nice way to go the hippie vibe while keeping it chic.

If you managed to save your furry Muppet-esque coats from college, now would be the time to give them a good brushing and break them out! Faux fur coats were featured alongside flowing blouses, boot-cut and bell-bottomed jeans, and chunky boots. Think more Margot Tenenbaum than Kurt Cobain.

Other things to hunt down in the thrift shop this year: neck scarves (if Leandra Medine hasn’t stolen them all yet), structured handbags, chunky boots, wide leg jeans, fisherman knit sweaters, and bowtie blouses

Watch The Royal Tenenbaums to figure out what colors to rock this fall!

Look no further than Prada for the color palette this season. They, among others, featured mustard yellows, turquoise blues, soft pinks, forest greens, and lots and lots of tweed. Many of the designers for fall went with colors that would blend in perfectly with the Tenenbaum family. The pinks, purples, blues, and reds are more saturated than years past, and balanced nicely with light brown suede or leather to keep things from getting too bright and cheery. Also, keep the textures classic – tweed, corduroy, wool, leather, and denim to keep from it looking like a 90s ripoff of a 70s outfit.

Also, if you’re over 30, stop bowing down to the altar of Margot Tenenbaum (you’re too old for polo shirt dresses, trust me) and really check out Etheline Tenenbaum’s wardrobe for inspiration. Her structured pieces in gorgeous colors are far more on trend this year- the pink coat she wears throughout the movie is perfect for this fall!

The white button down is cool again…and anything but basic!

For a long time, the white button down was the Basic B’s most basic of pieces – and don’t worry, it still is if that’s what you like. However, if you’re looking to up your game this year, go with a white button down that isn’t so simple. Try new cuts, and definitely go for more flowing fabrics. It should read slightly more blouse-y than school uniform. Undo more buttons, let your black bra shine through, but keep the sleeves long and buttoned tight at the wrist!

While we’re on the topic of basic white pieces, don’t forget to pick up a fisherman knit sweater if you somehow didn’t last year. They’re still very popular, and work well with this year’s trends!

Get your inner goth on this fall, and you’ll be set for winter too!

I didn’t forget the goths of the 90s, I promise, and neither did the September issue! Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Alberta Ferretti, and Proenza Schouler were definitely reppin’ for the goth girls this year. Think lots of structured black coats, black Victorian-era lace, and dark embroidery. Of course, we can count on people like Chanel to bring the blacks and greys, but this year it seems like a lot of other designers are enjoying the ease and subversiveness of an all-black outfit. I think this trend will make for a great transition from fall to winter, where we’ll see a lot more black than we have in recent years.

Pack up the bucket bags for now!

Structured bags are where it’s at this year. I think I only saw one bucket bag in the 800+ pages this year, and even the bags that had that 70s fringe were more structured than slouchy. I’ve never been a fan of slouchy handbags, so I’m glad to bid them good riddance for now!

If you get out early, you should have no problem finding some great thrift store bags that fit the bill – or you could spring for a new one that I guarantee you’ll use for years to come. They were in all shapes and sizes this year, so whether you want to go with a doctor’s bag or a cross-body mini, it’ll work!

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Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of what I saw in Vogue’s September issue this year, but they were the trends I saw popping up again and again! There were plenty of designers who keep things the same from year to year (Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, etc.), and you can still count on the 60’s London rocker/mod trend to be around for a while. But Vogue is all about the changes in season, and this resurgence of 70s and 90s fashion is a big change from what I’ve seen recently.

So get out there and start digging around your neighborhood thrift store before you head to the department stores – you might be surprised at how much you will find…and save!

 

Welcome to September on Afternoon Glow!

While summer in general seemed to crawl along, the month of August flew by for some reason. I can’t believe it’s already September, and that summer is pretty much over. The weather around here has cooled off a lot, and with it came a lot of well-needed rain! As much as I love summer, I’m ready for fall to begin.

Part of why August flew by so fast was that I kept busy, between job hunting, getting outside as much as possible, and blogging 5 days a week. I’ve never stuck to such a strict blogging schedule before, and adding in all the social media stuff, it made for a lot of work…which was fun…but still a lot of work.

To wrap up August, and head straight into September, I thought I’d share with you what learned over the past couple months. I also want to share where the blog will be headed over the next month!

Welcome to SeptemberSummer Makeup Staples / Cookbook Review: I Quit Sugar / Sweat List / Home Office Makeover

August 2015: Lessons Learned

I’m still figuring out how to take decent photos – and the sun isn’t helping.

Photography is something I’ve never had much interest in until recently. On my old blog, all my photos were taken with my iPhone, and edited in iPhoto. Now, I use a big-girl camera, and edit with both iPhoto and Photoshop. I’m making progress, but I still have a lot to learn!

Lighting is still my nemesis – thanks to the cloudy Pacific Northwest, and an apartment that only gets decent light for about an hour every morning (even on the brightest of days), I’m going to have to learn how to use lighting more effectively. I love using natural light because it’s easy and it works, but with fall coming, I know we won’t get much of that anymore!

Writer burnout is very, very real.

I love writing so much that I dream of leaving my life behind and becoming a travel writer. Since that won’t ever happen, I’m stuck writing about what I do closer to home (lame…), and hoping someone will hire me to write about what they want me to write about (hint, hint).

One problem I hit about mid-August was a serious case of burnout. It’s not that I was “blocked” for things to write about – I just didn’t want to do it. Thankfully, this is where having a schedule helped me out! I wrote most of my posts about a week before they went live, so it gave me the chance to take a few days off to focus on other things – hiking, resumes, and sleeping in late. Even though it meant working a little harder at the end of the month to get everything done, the break left me in better spirits than if I had tried to trudge along.

My mom is the only one reading this (at least that’s what my stats say).

First off, HI MOM! Thanks for reading all my blog posts, and being the only person to actually comment on any of them!

My own husband doesn’t even read the blog – I know this because I got tired of him telling me “You should write about your cooking,” or “You should take pictures when you go hiking,” as though I don’t already do this stuff. It’s annoying to have someone constantly telling you what to do who has no idea what you’re already doing – but he’s hot, so I do my best to let it go.

Let’s be honest – I know my mother isn’t really the only one reading this. Google Analytics tells me otherwise – but my number of followers and comments don’t reflect that. So if you like the blog, make sure to let me know by adding me on Bloglovin, following me on WordPress, saying hello in the comments, or adding me to your Twitter and Instagram feeds! If you don’t like it, you can let me know that too – I can handle it!

Welcome to SeptemberReading way too many cookbooks lately! / Summer neon and gold jewelry FTW / Last nice day for lounging at the beach / See? I blog and Instagram about cooking all the time!

September 2015: Going Forward

I’m cutting back to posting 3 days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays).

I don’t want to cut back on posting, but after 2 months I learned that blogging 5 days a week takes a lot of time and energy! Since I’m not making money at this, I need to ease up a bit on posting so I can focus on figuring this career thing out, and taking more time on posts. I also want to learn more about using social media in a more efficient and worthwhile way (aka not posting only food pics…haha).

I have a plan, but probably won’t stick to it…and that’s okay.

Much like July and August, I already have the next month’s posts planned out. However, unlike the past couple months, I’m going to relax about staying on schedule. I might post more than 3 times a week sometimes, and other times I might post less – and I’m okay with that.

I want to be able to tackle more serious topics, and take on things going on in the world as they happen – both of which require me to be more flexible and thoughtful about my writing. Hopefully I can let go of the idea that I need a tight schedule to survive…but we’ll see.

Making money is on the agenda.

This has to be one of the most divisive topics among bloggers and readers alike. Some bloggers write for the fun of it, without the desire to make money from it. Others make enough money to pay for hosting their blogs, and that’s it. Some are fortunate enough to have turned their blogs into fully functional businesses. Regardless of how they do it, bloggers often face harsh criticism from readers (and even other bloggers) for their decision to make blogging a career or not.

I, for one, am all for bloggers doing whatever makes them happy. For me, I’d love to make a living as a blogger. It would give me the freedom to work whenever and wherever I wanted, travel more often, and share my love of writing with others. I know it’s a tough goal to achieve, but it’s something I want to figure out over the next year or so.

In the meantime, I plan to learn about working with brands on sponsored content, utilizing social media as a promotional tool, and figuring out how the hell people make money doing this. It won’t mean the blog turns into an ad-covered hellhole of only sponsored posts – but it does mean I may occasionally write about things in exchange for money if the chance arises.

You never know, maybe someday I will get to be a travel writer. But for now, I’ll stick with what’s going on in my boring life in the Pacific Northwest. Today’s agenda calls for hiking in the rain, and making soup.