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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?

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? ūüėČ
  • 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

Happy Friday!

It’s been a busy week! I started doing some freelance writing and editing, and I’m driving almost 3 hours away for a job interview/meeting this morning. It’s going to be a long day – but hopefully a productive one!

Here are some things I enjoyed online this week:

I plan to spend the weekend watching¬†The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and working on some blog posts for May! Oh, and brainstorming things to do on my next vacation (which isn’t happening¬†soon enough!).

What are your plans for this weekend?

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!

Falling in Love with Whole Foods

whole foods

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it took me until now to set foot in a Whole Foods. Yep, at 33 years old, I finally went there.

I’ve lived in Seattle for two years, and I’m finally coming around to the idea that Whole Foods may have more to offer than overpriced produce. While I usually¬†preferred Trader Joe’s,¬†I thought it was time to see what Whole Foods had to offer.

On a cloudy day in August, I drove to my local Whole Foods. By local, I mean a 20-minute drive through soul-crushing traffic. Not sure I’ll make that trek very often, but hey, it’s technically “in town.”

My first impression of Whole Foods was a pretty good one. For one thing, the prices for food were close to the chain grocery stores. Of course, if you’re going for small-batch, pretentiously organic, blessed-by-a-shaman kind of stuff, it’ll cost you – but that’s expected. I even tried out their lunch buffet, and came home with¬†tasty¬†nachos and this vegan almond-chocolate thumbprint cookie that was…pretty amazing.

I initially went to check out their essential oils for a project, and was impressed by both the prices and selection. Also, I¬†grabbed¬†the latest issue of Thrive, a vegan food and lifestyle magazine, and a couple candles from a local company called Big Dipper Wax Works. The magazine gave me a few new recipes to try, and while the candles weren’t blessed by a shaman, they smell pretty damn good.

In the end, I have to say I would happily return to Whole Foods if I was on the hunt for something specific. I’m not sure I’ll go there on a regular basis (mostly because of that damn traffic), but it’s a nice place to go when I want to switch up my routine!

Summer Beauty Cleanout

Summer is coming to a close, and our September magazines¬†are already telling us what to buy for fall. As seasons change, it’s always a good idea to do a summer beauty cleanout. This is a great time to go through our beauty arsenal, noting what we’d love to keep, what needs to go, and what to stock up on for the future.

My beauty stash isn’t nearly as large as others, but I still need to take stock to make sure the products I have are¬†safe, loved, and useful. It also keeps me from buying things I don’t need, which is a huge bonus!

Here are 5 tips I use to do my own summer beauty cleanout each year. Whether you have a small stash like me, or a giant one, this should be easy to do in an afternoon!

Summer Beauty Cleanout

summer beauty cleanout

1: Get it all out

I find that when cleaning, it’s best to just get it all in one place to start. This helps you see what you have and take note of how you feel about it. Do you feel okay with how much you have? Overwhelmed? Underwhelmed? If you are overwhelmed with¬†how much you have, it’s a good sign that it’s time to pare down.

Before you begin,¬†grab a notepad and pen to take notes of what to buy/replace when you’re done. I never remember what I tossed out, so I always do this!

My beauty products were stored in my bathroom, office and bedroom. Once I got it all out and looked at it, I realized I shouldn’t have it divided among 3 rooms. There isn’t that much, and I don’t know why it was spread out all over the apartment.

My goal for this project became simple – try to get everything in one room!

summer beauty cleanout

2: Check expiration dates

The first thing you should do to start¬†your summer beauty cleanout is to grab everything with an expiration date and check that it’s still good. It’s also good to go through your medicine cabinet and travel kits too. Anything that’s past it’s prime, toss it – no excuses¬†– and jot down anything that needs replaced!

For anything without an expiration date, you can check out this handy guide for how long to keep common beauty and makeup products.

summer beauty cleanout

3: Be brutal with makeup

Many women I know agree that makeup is tough to pare down. We¬†keep things well beyond their shelf life, buy duplicates of products over and over, and keep things we don’t like. Being ruthless with your makeup stash will ensure your products are safe, effective, and will actually get used.

My biggest issue with makeup is that I buy duplicates. Do I need two bronzers that are basically the same? No Рespecially since I know the Sephora one is at least 4 years old. I also got rid of all the nubs of eyeliner I was holding on to. I bought new ones months ago, but never replaced them because the nubs still had product in them. It felt wasteful to just throw them out Рuntil I noticed I kept stabbing my eyes every time I tried to use them.

Once I pared down my makeup, I took notes on what needed replaced, and some ideas of things to freshen up my makeup routine for fall.

summer beauty cleanout

4: Toss / Keep (and what to do with each)

Once you’ve gone through everything,¬†now you have to deal with the “toss” pile.¬†Do you throw it all out? Give some of it away? Sell it? Here are some simple rules for how to get rid of things:

  • Throw away anything that’s past its expiration date – no exceptions!
  • Throw away any used makeup that didn’t make the cut. I know it’s tempting to give it away to friends or family, but it’s too risky – especially if the product is old and/or used.
  • If you have any makeup that was never (and I mean never ever) used, and it’s still relatively new, see if you have a friend you can give it to. If not, toss it.
  • Don’t sell makeup online. I know some people do that, but it just seems…shady to me.
  • For those almost-empty bottles of lotion, shampoo, soap, etc.: Decant them into travel-sized bottles and toss into your travel kit! Why spend money on a travel-sized bottle of shampoo when you have 2 ounces of it sitting in a bottle in the back of your bathroom sink?

After doing my summer beauty cleanout, I was also left with a small box of “things to use later.” It’s a great place to keep things that I haven’t used in a while, but should work on finishing before buying new stuff. Keep it under the sink so you¬†don’t forget about it!

summer beauty cleanout

5: Stock up on essentials

The last thing to do¬†is easy – go shopping! Take your notes of what to replace or stock up on, and head on out! Fall is a great time to stock up on essentials like cotton pads, cotton swabs, sunscreen (lots of end-of-summer sales!), and other basics. With everyone heading back to school, or moving off to college, stores are having crazy sales right now. I hit up my local Target and grabbed a few things I knew I’d need soon, and a few things just for fun!

I met my goal of getting all my beauty products in one room, and feel more confident that nothing left will go to waste. I’m also looking forward to stocking up on some new fall makeup soon too, whenever it’s not 90 degrees out anymore!

Spring Thrift Shop Haul

spring thrift shop haul
It’s strange to think that spring is coming soon – it’s felt somewhere between fall and spring for the past several months. I don’t think the temperatures are going to change much, but I still wanted to update my wardrobe to reflect the changing season. One afternoon, I headed out to my favorite thrift store haunts to add some much-needed color to my closet.

On my first trip, I was looking for a handbag that I could adjust from a shoulder to a cross-body bag. In true thrifting form, I came home with 3 – all of which will be perfect for the spring/summer months! I also found a few scarves that I can’t wait to find a good use for. I’m thinking about framing and hanging the red one, but we’ll see – finding frames is next on my list….

About a week later, I ended up at another store to find they were having a 50% off sale on all of their long-sleeved tops, and I went a little nuts. With the exception of the short-sleeved top, all of them were around $3-4 each! After a winter of wearing mostly black and navy, I can’t wait to add some softer pastels and ivory¬†into my wardrobe.

Now, if only it would warm up a little around here, I’d be all set!

February on Instagram

february on instagram

February was a great month for hiking! The weather was sunny and warm most days, and even if it wasn’t, I managed to get out anyway. It has been amazing to see things starting to sprout, even if it does mean allergy season is fast approaching! Hopefully I’ll be able to get out even more in March!

february on instagram

I didn’t write much about food this past month on the blog, and I probably won’t much next month – but I instagrammed about it a lot. February was all about getting back to normal after the holidays, and I’m looking to keep up the good work in March. Fat Tuesday, or as I know it Paczki Day, was obviously an important day for me (holla to my fellow Poles out there), but after spending the month behaving myself, I could indulge without feeling guilty. I’m finding a balance between eating healthy while still eating well, so of course I make sure not to cut out anything too crazy. I still love a glass of wine…but now, I stop at one (otherwise I’ll be eyeballs deep in junk food later).¬†

february on instagram

Finally, this past month was big for stocking up on things for spring. I updated my skincare routine after a nasty breakout, renewed my love of print magazines, and did some serious thrift shopping. I can’t wait to share more of what I scored while thrifting this past month – so stay tuned to find out what I came home with!

March is going to be a busy month, with moving into a new place, more job hunting, and some of my favorite shows coming back to TV (is anyone else excited for House of Cards?). I’m also planning to kick up the posts to 4-5 days per week, if I can manage to work that around packing, unpacking, and spring cleaning (which should be easy in a new space, I hope)!

If you want to catch up with what I’ve been ‘gramming, make sure to
click here to follow my Instagram feed!

2015 Year in Review: Style

2015 Year in Review: Style

Winter Style Inspiration / Thrifty Fall Updates / What’s in my bag?: Fall Edition / Style Confession: I’m Basic

After going through my style posts for 2015, I realized that I wrote a lot more about other people and their style more than my own. I guess it’s because I have taken a while to really nail down my personal style, especially now that I no longer have to dress like a teacher.

While I hate taking photos of myself, I want to get better at it in the next year, so stay tuned for posts of my own outfits (and a few Pinterest-heavy posts too).

2015 Year in Review: Style

Spa Night / Fall Nail Polish Update / 10 Beauty Duds…and how not to waste them! / Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition

One topic I did talk about a lot this year was beauty products! I’d say that if I had to choose one topic for my blog, I’d have the most fun with beauty-related posts. I love trying new things, and sharing my old favorites. Each season in WA is different than the last, so it has been fun trying to find the right products to get me through spring, summer, fall, and winter!

Right now, I’m piling on as much lotion and lipgloss as I can (thanks cold, dry air), but I’m also looking at self-tanners, BB creams, and other fun things I want to try out next year!

Overall, I assumed my style posts would be the worst out of all the topics this year, but they weren’t so bad after all. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thrift store steals, drugstore beauty buys, and my process to figure out my own personal style. I hope the coming year has more of the same, and maybe a few more career-friendly fashion posts too!