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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!

 

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 Hiking

winter hiking

Instead of doing my monthly “PNW Parks” posts this winter, I decided to stick with parks I already know and love. This means I don’t take too many photos of my treks, since I’ve shared so many photos from these places already. I also haven’t really blogged about them much, since it’s hard to say anything new about a park I run laps around 3 times a week!

While sticking to my usual haunts, I find myself becoming a stronger and more confident hiker. Each time I visit a park I’ve been to a dozen times, I try to push myself just a little bit harder, and a little farther out of my comfort zone. This has led me to find amazing new sights (like the waterfall above), gain better understanding of the trail system, and even rescue a dog who got stuck in a nearby creek (to his credit, he was chasing a tennis ball and didn’t want to abandon it). I even got a little lost on my Valentine’s Day hike, and ended up at the wrong parking lot – but I eventually figured it out, and got back to my car without much trouble. That will teach me to rely too heavily on my GPS (which crapped out in the middle of my hike without my knowing it)!

Thankfully, the weather this winter has worked out heavily in my favor. Sure, it rains a lot during the winter here, but when the temperatures stay hovering around 50 every day, even a rainy day is a great day to get outside. I’m thankful that the winters here are mild, which means I get outside a lot more than I ever used to in Ohio. I don’t know how long this warm trend will last, but I’m taking advantage of it every chance I get!

As the weather starts to warm up, I’ll be heading back out to find new and amazing parks in the PNW area. For now, though, I’m happy sticking to the familiar.

Life on Instagram: January

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone is doing well, and getting hyped up for the weekend!

Today, I thought I’d share my favorite Instagram photos from the past month! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at @afternoonglow!

Life on Instagram: January

(Clockwise from top-left)

Packing away the holiday decorations! / Enjoying the pretty flowers my mother sent me while planning for the new year / Started off the year working on a few DIY projects! / New mantle decor to bring in some color (and more candles)

Life on Instagram: January

Started off the year with the lightest dusting of snow. / Breaking in my new trail running shoes / The fog here is serious…and creepy / I’ve only been out hiking twice in January, so I’m sharing both!

Hope you had a great start to the new year, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for February!

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….

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!