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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 – especially 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 – until 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!

Thrifty Fall Updates

Thrifty Fall Updates

I’ve been a thrifty woman for a very, very long time. I used to love going thrift store shopping as a teenager, where I could update my wardrobe with pieces that were both current and vintage. This love followed me into adulthood, where I have found some of my favorite home decor pieces.

In Seattle, thrift stores can be a bit of a hit or miss. Many of the thrift shops around here have amazing finds, but the prices are way too high. I’ve had to leave several amazing things (including two brass crickets) because they were just too pricey for a thrift shop. Other shops in the area have better prices, but you have to do a lot more work to find great things. I clearly favor the latter, and love finding great pieces at amazing prices!

Thrifty Fall UpdatesAfter ditching almost 80% of my wardrobe before last year’s move, my small wardrobe has been doing a lot of heavy lifting over the past year. While I love most of the pieces I have, they’re showing their age and heavy use – especially jeans. So I headed out to a few thrift shops in the area to see if I could find some new jeans for fall…and of course, I got more than I originally planned on!

Clothes were something I struggled to find in Ohio, but in Seattle I’ve been impressed with what’s available. I managed to get 4 pairs of jeans for what I’d usually pay for 1 in a store – and most of them were brand new with tags still on them. In Ohio, this would have been impossible to do!

I wasn’t planning on picking anything up for the home, but the pieces I came home with were just too pretty to pass up. The carved wood box and flower-print container are going to add some much-needed color to my jewelry storage. The candle holder now houses a large white candle in the bathroom, and looks amazing with the other vintage pieces I have in there. The scarves were a bit of an impulse buy, but I have some ideas for what I want to do with those too.

My thrifting adventures haven’t been totally successful, though. I still struggle to find sweaters and tops, and I’ve never been a fan of buying shoes from thrift shops. Lately, we’ve been working on a decor project for the living room that requires lots of photo frames…but good luck finding any! Many of the places here sell the frames with art in them as a (very highly priced) packaged deal. Not very thrifty, to be honest.

So far, I’m really digging the Seattle thrifting scene, and can’t wait to see what more I can find!