I confess...

...I started listening to Christmas music on Tuesday. Usually I wait until after Halloween, but I was having a very blah day...

...I cut my own hair a couple of weeks ago-- I'm talking like 6 inches off the ends... more on that later though.

...I really want to do NANOWRIMO, but I know I don't have time even though I've been feeling inspired lately. One day left to decide!

...I was really excited to finally try out the Sephora Color IQ and it was a huge letdown because it definitely did not work (or the girl did it wrong?) The number matches me to Tarte's light sand and when I use that it seriously looks like I'm dressing up as a mime because it is so insanely light against my complexion. I even tried light-medium sand and even that was waaaay too light-- so I don't get it?

...I really wanted to linkup with Alyssa and Tracy this week but I made zero progress sooo there wasn't much to update about-- but reading everyone's posts really did motivate me and I'm hoping I'll be ready with a post for next month!

...I watched all of season one of Parenthood in a single weekend, but I haven't been able to get through a single episode of season two. Sarah (Lauren Graham's character) annoys me on every level, and there are so many things I'd rather do with my time than watch a show with someone so obnoxious.

So there's that for a random Friday post. I'm working on a favorites post to linkup with Mia & Kelli next week, and a few other things as well-- trying to get back into a blogging routine or schedule at least. Just like that October is over... two months left of 2014, where does time go?

Wishing you all a very happy Friday and joyous weekend!

[linking up with a blonde ambition & lauren elizabeth]

Recent Etsy Finds & Gift Ideas

This is kind of my Etsy wish list, because I want every single one of these things, but I also wanted to share these shops in case they're new to you and you're in the need of some inspiration, motivation, or just something cute to spruce up your space. I think fun prints (or mugs) are also great gift ideas, so here are seven Etsy finds I'm loving right now.

1. East West Design Co: Love the globe artwork and the meaning behind the quote (Matthew 28:19)
2. Pen Meet Paper: Being away from home I'm always looking for things that remind me of Michigan & I just love this print (it's a Shel Silverstein quote)-- they have other states too!
3. Afternoon Coffee: I don't think this mug needs much of an explanation if you're a fellow Harry Potter fan...
4. History in High Heels: Love all of Ashley's artwork, especially this fun Elizabeth Taylor quote, though it was hard to narrow down a favorite.
5. Lady Poppins: I'm obsessed with everything she does-- this print is soon to be en route to me because I love it so much. If you're a lover of books, reading, or writing she has some really great pieces.
6. Laura Row Studio: If I could travel back in time I would probably choose the roaring twenties-- plus the Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books, so I love everything about this print.
7. Pen and Paint: I love the colors in this print and the quote is one of my favorites.

I think it goes without saying that all of these shops have multiple items I would love, so definitely check them out to see what else they have on hand.

My Experience Making Apple Bread

Happy Monday! This should actually be titled the apple bread that almost wasn't. I had some major baking issues with this and I think our oven temperature might be off a bit. I'm actually really proud of myself for salvaging the bread & it was delicious even with a few flukes.


A Package Full of Sunshine

There have been so many times I've wanted something small to send to someone-- either for a birthday gift or because a friend is having a bad day, or just because...this is just a quick little round up of some of my favorite gift ideas that are great together or on their own.

(1) Depending on the person your current favorite paperback may do, but if it's a friend who doesn't read as much, a fun book like Unplug Every Day is always a good option.

(2) Perks of Aurora has some great mugs based on popular TV shows, movies, & other pop culture references so there are some fun ones to choose from. The Bridesmaids and Legally Blonde are some of my favorites. Adding a Starbucks gift card (real or virtual) is never a bad idea.

(3) Fun notecards are another great option- I don't think I've ever come across anything from Rifle Paper Co. that I don't like. You can sometimes find really nice (and good quality) stationary or notecards at places like Home Goods or TJ Maxx for a great bargain. I may or may not tend to stock up.

(4 & 5) You know I couldn't skip out on a beauty product! A lip balm of some sort is usually my go to option. I'm a huge fan of Clinique's Chuby Stick lip balm's because they're moisturizing, provide a hint of color, and they have a lot of color options. I've never tried Lush's lip balms, but they're a great natural option for something a little different.

What are some of your favorite gift ideas?

Mini Apple Hand Pies

I don't think anything screams fall to me more than apple pie! Not to mention, there's always something special about making your own apple pie of some sort with the apples you picked (plus you know exactly what ingredients were used). Last year I made mini apple pies that were so cute and so easy to share, but this year I wanted to try something a little different- especially since baking something new was on my October to-do list.


A look back at the week

I had planned on getting more than one other blog post up this week, but for some reason I'm slacking when it comes to blogging motivation. I also haven't been on my computer as much, so if I haven't been commenting that's why. I try and keep up with all the posts on my iPad- it just takes too much effort to comment from there (#lazytyper)


tomato, rice, and chickpea soup

I've been on a soup kick lately, and this is a recipe I came across from The Faux Martha via Pinterest did not disappoint.

I made quite a few changes to the original recipe due to my own taste preferences, but I imagine following her recipe exactly would be just as delicious.


Naked Basics Palette: First Impression

urban decay naked basics

I know I'm like a billion years late over here, but I thought sharing my first impression and some photos might be helpful to anyone else out there who over-researches when it comes to makeup. You may remember this post, where I was on the fence about an eye shadow palette... well I ended up going a totally different route and got the Naked Basics palette- though I still have my eye on the Lorac for my Christmas list...


Mini Shepherd's Pie

In my mind I love shepherd's pie... I actually don't think I've ever had the traditional version, but whenever I see it, it always sounds so good. When I came across this recipe for a version of mini shepherd's pie, I figured it would be a good alternative to try out before tackling the task of making the real thing.


Merry October

"October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins." -rainbow rowell (attachments)

A few October goals/plans: 

1. GET A HAIRCUT. This sounds like a ridiculous goal, but I'm not a huge fan of going to the salon. I usually only get my hair cut 1-2x a year so it's not too big of a problem for me, but my hair is insanely long right now and it's way too hard to manage.  

2. Apple Picking. I think we've gone almost every single year since I've lived here- so it's definitely a fall tradition. 

3. Less TV more books. I got obsessed with watching The Wire, which really put a kink in my reading progress. I really do prefer reading to watching TV, I just get lazy. 

4. 5k/running training: see post here.

5. Bake 1-2 new recipes-- preferably something with apples.

6. Plan for the holidays. This is vague, but I mean everything from figuring out our holiday plans to beginning to look for gifts. I want to stay on top of everything this year so I don't end up stressed out or disappointed when I run out of time.

September went by so incredibly fast, it's just kind of a blur when I look back. I'm hoping to make October a month of productivity.

What are some things you're looking forward to this month? 
Even though I have like twenty-five books to read right now, I feel slightly out of the book loop-- what have you read recently? 

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