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#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.

 

Friday Favorites

friday_favorites_november_2_2017

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

Welcome to another Friday Favorites!

First of all, don’t forget that Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend! Check out yesterday’s post on ways to help make the change go as smoothly as possible!

As always, I plan to spend the weekend relaxing and reading. Of course, this rarely happens. I’m pretty sure I’ll be out watching the new Thor movie at some point, grocery shopping, and there will be laundry (there is always laundry). Hopefully I can shut myself away somewhere on Sunday to finish the book I’m currently so close to finishing!

Anyway, here are some things I’ve been loving online this week!

  • If you are a total beauty nerd like me, you do some serious research before trying new products. I recently discovered Reviews.com, a site that thoroughly reviews just about anything from makeup to kitchen tools. Their foundation review is extremely detailed and gave me a few ideas to try! I highly recommend their site, especially if you’re starting to think about buying Christmas gifts for friends and family!
  • After seeing this outfit on Man Repeller’s own Harling Ross, I am now on the hunt for the perfect wide-leg pants and vintage tee to re-create this look! MR gave readers some serious inspiration with their list of favorites. I’m definitely adding these to my post-#NoSpendNovember list!
  • I’m getting bored with my bedroom furniture. It’s all Ikea, and all kinda…meh. Thankfully, the Ikea Hackers have a solution that only involves some paint, marble contact paper, and door handles. I really want to elevate my beige Malm dresser into something more…grown up. Now, to find the perfect grayish navy blue paint…
  • Goop is at it again with the easy and super healthy recipes! I am dying to try their Turkey Meatballs recipe, which looks like the perfect dinner on a cold, rainy evening!
  • I’m giving thredUP a try this fall, and I can’t wait to get my first seasonal box order! They also sent me a bag to send in clothes to sell/donate, and I’m looking forward to getting rid of summer clothes I didn’t wear this year. I’ll let you know how it goes, of course!
  • Giving up dairy has been a process for me over the past month. Finding a coffee creamer that’s fully non-dairy took forever (and, no surprise…it costs a ton). Another recipe I’m dying to try is this gluten-free, dairy-free cream of chicken soup from Iowa Girl Eats. I use cream of chicken soup in a lot of fall/winter recipes, so having a non-dairy option will make this transition even easier. Once I find a non-dairy cheese I like, the transition will be complete!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Friday Favorites! I’m off to try to get all my “household chores” done before the weekend, so I can relax and finish that damn book already!

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 Favorites

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(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?

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). 🙂

Friday Favorites

Friday favorites august 18

Happy Friday!

It’s been another crazy-busy week with work and blog planning. Thankfully, the weather finally cooled down around here so I can work outside! I missed sitting outside and soaking in the sunshine, but the 90+ degree temperature and smoky air made it impossible.

We don’t have any real plans for this weekend – I may end up doing some thrift shopping in Seattle, or taking a long hike. I spent last weekend sick, so I look forward to accomplishing more and finding time to relax, too!

Here are some of my favorites from the internet this past week:

  • I’m obsessed with face masks right now, and Hello Glow posted a handy guide to choose the right mud for your skin type! My next purchase will probably be some Fuller’s Earth Clay Powder to combat the hyperpigmentation I’m fighting this summer!
  • During the summer, I am lazy as shit when it comes to my hair. I usually just let it air dry, or put it up in a bun and leave it be. Camille Styles rounded up the best products to use while air drying your hair to leave it silky, beach-wavy, and smelling great!
  • It’s that time of year again when I start eyeing up new sneakers – and these from Nike are my current favorites. I am keeping a close eye on Amazon to see if they go on sale!
  • Man Repeller asked their readers for the most addicting books, and they delivered! I will need to add a few of these to my library list!

Oh, one last thing – a few people wanted to know about the large plant in this photo. It’s a Calathea Lancifolio, also known as a Rattlesnake Plant. I got it a couple weeks ago and love it – the leaves fall in the morning, and close back up by evening – you can even see time-lapse videos of them opening and closing online!

Happy weekend!

5 Reasons I Quit Magazines

i quit magazinesIn the spirit of following my 2017 mantra of “good enough is good enough,” I want to remove magazines from my life. I hope that I can return to them more mindfully in the future. While this won’t be a permanent life change, I wanted to take a break from them for a few reasons.

It was a waste of money.

Most of us don’t think twice about dropping $5 on a magazine every so often. However, if you read as many as I do, it can easily become a $50+/month habit. If you get into reading small-batch or international magazines, the cost can easily skyrocket. I reduced my spending a lot by using my local library’s free magazine app. However, they don’t carry everything I read, so I was still spending $10-15/month. I can’t justify spending that much on reading material anymore.

The other nasty side of magazines is that they’re almost entirely ads. Whether it’s a fashion magazine pushing the latest trends, or a health magazine pushing new supplements or exercise equipment, the pressure to spend after reading is too much as well. I don’t like being prey for advertisements. I know I’m being advertised to all the time, but any progress to remove them from my daily life is worth it to me.

It was a waste of space.

Even after reducing the number of magazines I buy on a regular basis, I still find they pile up quickly. Before our last move, I piled them up and found I collected over a dozen over the past few months alone. I don’t tend to re-read things, so after I read them they just sit around collecting dust. In an effort to reduce visual clutter and useless waste, I want to keep the magazines I do read in the future to digital copies only.

I felt too much pressure to keep up.

Anyone who has ever read a Martha Stewart magazine knows my pain. Home magazines in particular are a sore spot for me. I get stuck down the rabbit-hole of wanting to organize, clean, and plan my home into oblivion after reading them. I always feel guilty for not doing more or being good enough. Fashion and travel magazines just remind me that I don’t have to money to keep up with the young jet-setter they’re aimed at. So for now, I need to quit playing the comparison game and repeat to myself “good enough is good enough.” I don’t need to know how to organize my bathroom in 20 different ways – how I did it is already fine.

They still bear unfair and negative messages toward women.

While some publications improved on this, many merely became more covert in their demeaning messages toward women. Fashion magazines may promote diversity or body acceptance, but they still largely show women with unrealistic body types. They still tell us that being thin is glamorous, and being curvy is purely for sexual appeal. I appreciate the progress, but we have a long way to go.

Many women’s magazines also promote we have to be superwomen who run marathons, have insanely successful careers, travel the world, raise perfect children, volunteer every weekend, clean our homes obsessively, and cook restaurant-quality meals for our families each night. I can’t keep beating myself up over what I don’t do, so I need to just stop reading about it for now.

I want to focus my time on books.

Instead of focusing my reading time each night to the instantly gratifying, ad-filled magazine stack sitting on my iPad, I want to read more substantial stuff. Reading magazines always had an addictive quality to them. Getting a new issue was a rush. I pour through the pages with reckless zeal, only to feel a crash when I was done. I don’t know how they do it, but magazines are like a damn drug to me. For a long time, though, they were the only reading I could stomach.

After graduate school, I was burnt out on reading almost anything. Add to that a career grading essays for hours every day, and I was usually too mentally exhausted to pick up a book. So for years, I didn’t read for fun beyond magazines.

Now that I have more time and mental energy to devote to books, I’m getting back in the habit. I was surprised how rusty I became, to be honest. At first I got distracted all the time, and I found reading took longer. However, after a few books I’m mostly back to speed-reading my way through everything. I’m also focusing my attention on reading books by women and about women.

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So for as long as I can, I promised myself I would actively avoid reading magazines. It doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading them forever. I just need a break to find other things to occupy my time and mental space. I also want to find more publications that speak to what I want to read about. Being more mindful of what I read is important to me, and I know this “cleanse” of sorts will be a good first step!

What I Read Recently

what i read recently

(This was originally posted on Bloglovin’, using their direct-posting function, which does not link to Afternoon Glow. It has been updated to reflect more books I’ve read since the original post.)

Happy Tuesday!

I thought I’d start the day by sharing what I’ve been reading lately. One of my goals for 2017 is to read 50 books, and I’m already well on my way!

I also want to focus on reading more from our feminist history, as well as honoring amazing women writers. One area I didn’t explore much in college was women’s studies. I’m going to make up for that this year, hopefully. I’d also like to read more fiction, but man I am picky when it comes to fiction. Perhaps more Margaret Atwood? 😉

2017 Reading List (So Far):

1. The Feminist Mystique by Betty Friedan

2. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

3. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

4. Blue Nights by Joan Didion

5. How to Win at Feminism by Reductress

6. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

7. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

8. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gray

There you have it!

Any suggestions for books I should pick up this year?

Friday Favorites

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Happy Friday!

My main goal for this weekend is to go for a hike. I haven’t gone at all this year, and I’m itching to get back out there. I can only hope the weather holds up!

Have a great weekend!