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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What October Taught Me.

That I have a strong desire for being able to peacefully disagree. || It's been bothering me so much lately how we, as humans, can't seem to just disagree and move on. We have to be right, and if we're right, then the other person must be wrong, and that's that. And if that's that, we neeeeed to argue about it.

Now, I'm not talking about basic good and evil. Some things are inherently wrong. Racism, for instance. If you're a racist, we're never gonna peacefully disagree and we are gonna argue about it. But if you hate something I'm a huge fan of, or vice versa, we should be able to just disagree and go about our lives. If you think I'm spending my free time doing something stupid, or if I think you're crazy for what you spend your money on, or if we're voting differently, let's hear each other out and then say, "Cool! Let's move on!" It is good to have people in your life who are different than you. It stretches you as a human. 

Long lesson short: Try harder to understand those who view things differently than you. Not everything needs to be so polarizing and not everything needs to be an argument. 

Fall weather makes everything better. || We got a little chilly spell here in Florida, and the second I was mobile again after the stomach flu, I opened alllll the windows and instantly felt better. This last week has been a very stressful one, and taking a few minutes to step outside and breathe in some cool air has helped tremendously. It's a little bit of magic. 

Long lesson short: Get outside and enjoy the fall weather. 

To not be afraid to buy from MLMs. || Just gonna level with you here: I (subconsciously?) have believed the stigma of MLMs. I personally have nothing against them, they're filed under "good for her, not for me." But, it's one of those things where a few bad apples can ruin it for the good ones. In this case, the bad apples being the girls you haven't spoken to since high school sliding into your dms saying "You've been on my mind! Can I help you lose weight?" No Karen, no you may not. So much yuck to make a buck, amiright?

Anyway, I've bought from a few MLMs in the past, but only from people I'm real-life close enough to that I could just straight up say, "hi, I hate this, never bring it up again, okaythankyoubye" if I needed to. But I finally got so fed up with my skin breaking out from makeup that I wanted to try non-toxic stuff. Googling told me Beautycounter was the best non-toxic brand, but...ding ding! It's an MLM. I suspended my ick feelings about MLMs, ordered from a stranger on instagram...and I love it. I don't know that I'll ever wear any other makeup because my skin is doing so well on this stuff.

Long lesson short: Shame on me for being judgy. Stop that. 

That I'm never going to be fully happy if I'm not writing. || Why, why, whyyyyyy are the things that make us happy the first to go when we're busy and overwhelmed? I know for a fact I've written something similar here before, but apparently, I'm not in the business of taking my own advice. 

For the last two months, other than blog posts, I've written  n o t h i n g. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I've been having a stressful go at it, and things I deem unnecessary fly off the to-do list to make room for everything else. Sometimes, we go through survival phases, and we have to do what we have to do. But YOUR GIRL NEEDS TO WRITE. I've been squeezing in ten minutes writing here and there the last few days, long to-do lists and all, and it has made a world of difference. 

Long lesson short: Do the things that make you feel happy, no matter how busy you are. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! What did October teach you?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My Favorite Things I've Discovered in October.

How in the whole wide world is October coming to a close?! Aside from a nasty little visit from the stomach flu, October was a pretty magical month, and I discovered some new favorite things: 

The Beachwaver. || I have wanted to try the beachwaver forever and was so excited to finally get the chance to! It. Is. Amazing. If you don't know what it is, it's basically a curling iron that does all the work for you. You clip the end of your hair in at the end of the curling iron, then press one of the arrow buttons telling it which direction you want your curl to go, then presto! Even, bouncy waves. It's magical and I'm obsessed.

Expensive, yes. Worth it, also yes. The waves in the picture above took me roughly seven minutes to do. Highly recommend. 

Downy Unstoppables scent boosters || I can only use unscented, free & clear laundry detergent because anything else breaks my skin out and makes me super itchy. But I decided to risk it and try these, and I'm a fan! Now all our clothes smell amazing. 

Webster's Pages composition planner || If you are like me, you love planners, but have never found a planner that quite fits what you need. I end up rotating several notebooks of to-do lists and ideas at a time. If that's you, YOU NEED THIS. It is a magical little contraption that holds four notebooks. So basically, you get to make your own planner. I have mine set up like: Daily to-do list book, goal book, blog book, running list book. ALL IN ONE. My mom gave me this and I have no idea how I've gone my whole life without it.

Brandless. || I've heard about this so many times and seen lots of bloggers I know post about it, and I finally got around to trying it this month. I'm a fan! The concept is that you're not paying for a brand or fancy packaging, so everything on the website is three dollars. Definitely look at the size when you order, because some things are cheaper than $3 at the store, but there's a lot of things on there that are great deals. Some favorites: The pretzel thins, almond butter, and vegetable broth packs. If you use my referral link you'll get $6 off your first order! 

What did you discover this month?

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Deep Breaths, You're Doing Great.

"Deep breaths, you're doing great!" 

I've been going on walks with Jack every morning because the weather has been straight up magical. Yesterday, we passed a woman walking with a tiny little one year old, one who was just learning to walk. He was holding on to the wagon she was pulling, taking the slowest, smallest steps, and falling down a LOT. 

"Yay! Deep breaths, you're doing great!" 

She cheered him on, and even though there was no way he knew what she was saying, no way to know what a deep breath was or how he should take one, she kept saying it. It was sweet and comforting, and he kept getting back up. And he kept trying again. 

Deep breaths, you're doing great. 

I know that you're trying. You're trying to eat healthier, you're trying to get sober, you're trying to be a good mom. You're trying to get a raise, you're trying to chase a dream, you're trying to be better. 

I know you're trying because I know I'm trying.

Deep breaths, you're doing great. 

I also know that you're failing. You ate the whole basket of bread, you drank too much wine, you yelled at your kid. You dropped the ball at work, you put that big dream on the back burner, you accidentally haven't even thought about exercising in two months. 

I know you're failing because I'm failing. 

Deep breaths, you're doing great. 

Failing is just part of the gig as a human. But you're trying! And just like there's no way that sweet little bub could learn to walk without first going through the wobbly, fall down a lot stage, there's no way you can get to the other side of your goal without going through a similar stage. Falling down, getting back up, wobbling a little bit, trying again. 

But I hope, every time you fail, your voice is kind to yourself. Just like you would never see that little guy trying to learn to walk and yell at him in disgust, demanding perfection, I hope you don't do that to yourself. I hope the next time you hit a setback, your voice is the same as his mom's voice was, proud and encouraging.

Deep breaths. 

You're doing great. 
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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Dear Fall: A Love Letter.

The last three days, I've woken up and immediately opened all the windows. The mornings have been so crisp and chilly and perfect. Even if it's just for a few hours, Florida has been getting fall, and it's been magical. 
October and November are a special kind of magic. It's not just the weather, it's the slowness that trickles through the hecticness, the hovering holidays, the pumpkins everywhere you go. It feels like a fresh start without the pressure of New Years. 

It's pumpkin patches, seeing how much Jack has grown since the last time he was there. 

It's buying mums for my front porch that I know I will kill soon, but they sure look pretty while they last. 

It's the best smelling candles of any season. And how every time I light them, my mood improves instantly. 

It's pumpkin coffee (and almond toffee coffee) in the mornings (and afternoons). If I could pour the constant desire to curl up with a blanket and read a book into a cup, it would taste like pumpkin spice coffee. 

It's wishing it would last forever, but knowing it won't, which is for the best because it makes you stop and enjoy it. 

I think the last three months of the year are the closest thing we get to magic, and I want to soak it all in.

What a beautiful thing it is to be alive in October. 

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Back From The Dead.

Coming in live today because I am wide awake way too early due to the weirdest sleep schedule ever this weekend. And for that, I can thank the stomach flu sent straight. From. Hell. I'm telling you, hand-delivered by Satan himself. It was honestly maybe the sickest I've ever been, and I am so thankful to be done with that. Also so thankful for the ability to be drinking a cup of coffee without feeling nauseous for the first time in four days. 

You know the cliché that you don't know how good you feel until you're sick? Well that's TRUE. I am still not 100% and still have that weird sickness hangover, but waking up without a pounding head and a desert-dry mouth after puking all night is making me feel amazing. 

Before the stomach flu took me out, I got to wear my cactus costume to my work's annual fall party. I love how it turned out! 

Side note: Really underestimated how prickly those pipe cleaners would actually be and definitely stabbed everyone I hugged. Do di doooo. 

I hope everyone has the best Monday! It is 53 magical degrees here and I have all my windows open and I hope it is just as wonderful wherever you are. I feel like I could probably run a marathon (lies, I would definitely faint and probably die if I tried to walk to my mailbox today because WEAK), but instead, I'm off to Clorox my entire house. Please tell me you're doing something more fun? 

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Give The Good Some Airtime.

I'd venture to say last week was a heavy week for almost everyone. The damage this hurricane has caused is truly awful. The political climate is  r o u g h. Just lots of heavy, hard things. 

I posted on instagram a little while ago about giving the good airtime. The general gist being that if you're going to call out the bad, call out the good, too. 

I used to think that focusing on little happy things when big bad things were happening meant you were being insensitive, or naive. Now, I think it means you're trying your best to survive the hard things. 

You know how when you spend time with a friend who is negative, you leave and just feel exhausted? Like when someone only says the bad things out loud over and over, it's so draining? I think we (unintentionally) create that environment for ourselves sometimes. 

We do a realllllly good job of giving the bad airtime. We complain (out loud) about things as simple as getting caught by red lights, our alarm not going off, the grocery store being out of something we needed. We say things like I'm so tired and longest day ever over and over. And you know, that's fine! That's life. But if we're gonna give the small, not so great things so much airtime, we owe the small good things the same. 

So, in the spirit of giving the good some airtime: 

It was 53 degrees when I woke up on Saturday. MAGICAL.

Fall TV is back on. Has anyone watched Manifest?! It's so good! 

I have some really, really good friends. A close friend of mine texted me on Thursday that she was having a bad day and just wanted to come over and sit in my backyard. So we did, and it was the best afternoon. And it reminded me of how much of a blessing it is to have people in my life that I can just sit outside with and talk about life and it fill me up so much.

It's pumpkin patch season.  AKA I'm in tears over how much I love Jack because he is SO DANG CUTE and something about kids around pumpkins just melts me. 

I'm in the middle of a hilarious good book. Like, I want to skip all my responsibilities today and just read it. That's how you know it's a good one. 

Your turn! Tell me one good thing (or seven good things or every good thing - just give them some airtime!)
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

10 Under $10: Earrings You (Maybe, Might) Need.

I mentioned yesterday that I can finally wear earrings again. AKA, Jack no longer sees something shiny in my ear and has the instinct to rip it out and play with it (Or maybe he does and he's just grown fond enough of me that he doesn't wanna also rip my earlobes off? The world will never know!).

I was meeting my friend at the mall a few weeks ago and got there before her, so I decided to take a quick stroll through Forever 21 while I waited. Turns out, they're totally killing the earring game. Which is nice, considering their clothes seem to get tinier and weirder by the day (do not you dare suggest I'm just getting old, no thank you).

Anyway, me and my earlobes' newfound freedom went a little crazy and bought way too many pairs, and I have zero regrets. I wore them all of vacation-even with bathing suits-and they're my new favorite thing. Don't feel like getting ready but still wanna look cute? Throw your hair in a bun and put some fun earrings on. Congratulations, you're done!

Here are 10 (okay fine, 12) pairs all way under $10 that you totally (maybe) need.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Date.

Good morning! I'm back after a (much needed) week by the beach. When I hear people say they don't like the beach, I truly don't understand. Nothing makes me feel happier, more refreshed, and more at peace than a day by the ocean. 

One of my favorite things about blogging is that I can sit down and write a bunch of random things I want to share (but that have nothing to do with each other) and call it a coffee date. So let's get to it!

Anyway, back just in time for a hurricane to come barreling through. We should be totally fine here, but we've been under a state of emergency for two days, which is confusing. My best friend is a teacher and they've canceled school for the week, which is so weird when it's not even raining.  If you're in the path of the storm, know you're in my prayers.

Speaking of pumpkin spice coffee, I've made it through September and the first week and a half of October without touching pumpkin spice creamer. I knew this would be the real test on if I could stick with my non-sugar filled coffee, and hey, I'm passing!

Today's my mom's birthday, so yesterday I spent the day teaching Jack to tell her happy birthday. He woke up this morning, popped out of bed, and yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GAGA! Like he knew it was today. So precious.

On the subject of Jack, we are f i n a l l y  at a place where I can wear earrings and he will not try to rip them out of my ears because he thinks they're pretty. Naturally, I celebrated this by buying ELEVEN pairs of obnoxious earrings last weekend. I know my priorities, okay? 

I currently have approximately 92 fiction books checked out from the library, but I need recommendations for non-fiction books to download on audible. I love listening to a book while I commute or do things around the house, but I can't listen to fiction books (and, you know, I've got 92 of those already). Have you read any good non-fiction lately? You know I love a good self-help book, so if you've got any recommendations, send them my way. 

Your turn - what's going on with you? Wishing you lots of coffee and no bad weather today, wherever you are. Have a beautiful Wednesday! xo

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Books I Read in September (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

At the start of this month, I finally paid off my EIGHTY dollars in library fees due to Jack "reading" (ripping) some books of mine. With my card back in action, I went through the library and tossed book after book into my bag. No method, no books I was looking for...if it looked interesting, into the bag it went. Which means the books I read this month were sheer "you look nice!" picks. 

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley

Plot: The once-close Sunday sisters have not done a bang-up job of keeping in touch. Cassie is consumed with trying to make her life work as a Manhattan wife and mom to twin toddlers, while her bighearted sister, Sid, lives an expat's life of leisure in far-off Singapore. So Sid, who shuns social media, challenges Cassie to reconnect through old-fashioned letters.

Soon, the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. They just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.

But first, one of Cassie's infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up in the one place you'd never, ever want to see them: the Internet . . .

My thoughts: I thought this book was adorable. It was lighthearted and snarky, but still covered some serious things that I really loved seeing in a book (like a stay-at-home mom who wasn't in love with being a stay-at-home mom, unconventional family bonds, and forgiving those closest to you). After a month of self-help books, this was a light, refreshing read!

Should you read it? I'd recommend it as a beach read! 

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Plot: "Lisa is living a lie and everyone is about to find out.

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job and her best friend Marilyn.
But when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him, too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it's time to let her terrifying secret past go.
But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa's world explodes.
As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it's up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear.
But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer.
Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren't meant to be broken."

My thoughts: WHAT. A. RIDE. There's really no talking about this without spoiling it, but I did not see the twist(s) coming. Better yet, I thought I had guessed the twists, and was completely wrong. I love when that happens. *TRIGGER WARNING: Lots of rough content covered. I would definitely look it up first to see if you should read it.

Should you read it? SO MANY TRIGGER WARNINGS, but if you're okay with that, then yes. 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Plot: "Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them."

My thoughts: Amazon described this as "Pretty Little Liars meets Breakfast Club" and that's 100% accurate. I loved it and didn't want to put it down, and even though I guessed the ending, it was still a good read. I'm a sucker for young adult books and murder mysteries, what can I say?

Should you read it? Yes! 

What books have you read lately? Do I need to add them to my list?

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Spending October: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through The Month.

HAPPY OCTOBER! The last three months of the year are my's the moooooosssssttt wonderful time of the yearrrrrrrr...and it's here! Yay! Here's some ideas for how to spend these magical 31 days.

1. Make a decision to finish the last 90 days of 2018 strong. Because ready or not, here we are.

2. Make a fall "must-do" lists. Listen. The last three months of the year? They fly. So write down the things you really want to do and make them a priority, or they might not (probably will not) happen.

3. If you haven't yet, get some fall candles. It doesn't have to be pumpkin or apple, just anything that makes you feel cozy when you light it. 

4. Get your kid and / or pet a Halloween costume. Animal costumes will never not be funny to me. Jack and Gatsby both got dressed up in their costumes for months after Halloween was over. 

5. Go to Trader Joe's and check out their vast selection of fall stuff. If you don't live near one, it's worth a road trip. They really shine this time of year. So. Much. Pumpkin. 

6. Take your TJ finds on a picnic. Whenever it's cool enough to sit outside for five minutes without sweating (so, not here yet), I immediately think of picnics. There's something so nice about eating outside, no TV or distractions.

7. Make an "Autumn in New York" Station. I recommend this every year because it is just the best. Instant fall mood. 

8. Have friends over for a fire. Make s'mores. It's fall's version of a cookout. 

9. Go to a fair. Nothing says October like cotton candy and corn dogs. 

10. Go to a pumpkin patch. Take all the pictures. 

11. Sneak your pet into a pumpkin patch and take all the pictures. (Preferably in their costume).

12. Make caramel apples. PS: Does anyone know why this got labeled a fall thing? They're delicious!

13. Read a thriller. I read one every October...any recommendations for this month's choice?

14. Carve pumpkins. But don't leave them on the porch in the Florida heat, because they will rot and stain your concrete. Not that I know this, or anything.

15. Bake your favorite fall treats. 

16. Make a list of people you'll be buying Christmas gifts for. Trust me, it's gonna sneak up on you. Put a list in your phone so when you see gifts or have ideas, you can write them down.

17. Take advantage of cooler nights (whenever they come) and open your windows. It's just refreshing and let fresh air in your house. 

18. Get some mums for your front door. They're less than $10 at Home Depot and they brighten up any area.

19. Try a new soup recipe. I could eat soup for every meal any time, but fall makes me want soup allll the time. 

20. Rent a carpet cleaner. This might not seem like an exciting thing, but it totally is (or maybe I'm just getting old). We got a carpet cleaner on super clearance a few months ago, and it is amazing how much cleaner my house feels when I use it. Trust me. Try it.

21. Go to Goodwill. I am constantly amazed by the nice things I find there.

22. Get a coffee frother. I've been using this one and it makes coffee so much better.

23. Go through your summer clothes and sell or donate ones you don't wear. It's freeing to have your closet limited to-wait for it-clothes you actually wear.

24. Have a scary movie night. If you're like me and cannot do scary movies, have a thriller movie night. 

25. Spend more time outside. Going for walks, sitting and drinking coffee, whatever you like. Get more fresh air this month.

26. Get yourself a floppy hat. Or a beanie, or a scarf, or something that feels "fall-ish" and makes you happy when you wear it. 

27. Try this almond toffee coffee. If you need a break from all the pumpkin flavors, this one is delicious.  

28. Take some freakin' breaks. Seriously, we're heading into the busiest and most stressful (if you let it be) season of the year. Take care of yourself.

29. While you're taking a break, watch the sunrise or sunset. Don't forget how beautiful the world we live in is. 

30. Stock up for trick-or-treaters. And yourself, let's be real.

31. Celebrate Halloween! Please send pictures of your pets and kids in their costumes, thank you very much. 

How will you be spending October?
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