Another Fall Tag P. II

Blogoween

Are ya’ll ready for Christmas yet? I think Mall of America decorates the first week of November and I am really looking forward to it this year. There is a local restaurant that I am dying to check out, they have decorated the entire establishment in 50’s holiday kitsch and changed their menu with all kinds of retro recipes. Now, the 50’s weren’t good to the vegans but I still want to check out the decorations. I feel as though, November is really just pre-December, aren’t we all skipping past Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas? Maybe that’s why I feel that fall goes so fast, I skip right over November anyway πŸ˜› This will be my last tag post for the season and then I’ll do some favorites or recipes or something.

Shelldon Regular

Turtlenecks and the corduroy this year are blowing my mind! I saw the chicest pair of corduroy culottes at Zara recently and wanted them desperately but since I am 5 foot nothing, they just looked like really wide-legged pants on me.

Shelldon Regular

The same music I listen to year round, I don’t really have seasonal playlists.

Shelldon Regular

Neither, I have these headband/ear warmer things that I wear. Yes, I know that all of the heat is leaving off the top of my head up I can’t stand hats.

Shelldon Regular

Relief, in the boujee suburb that I work, the residents are waging a war on geese. I won’t get into it but the methods to control the population are cruel. Then, what’s even more hilarious is that the same people complaining about the geese want the coyotes removed. Not realizing the if nature was allowed to take its course, the coyotes would pick the geese off, naturally controlling the population and wouldn’t be wandering the neighborhoods looking for food. When I see the geese leaving, I feel tremendous relief that they will survive another season without Yoga Pants Betty and Patagonia Vest Steve murdering them.

Shelldon Regular

Usually but I also have to clean my oven and there is nothing I detest more than having to clean the oven. I hate the smell of oven cleaner and I’ve used various other cleaning solutions on it but they don’t work as well. It’s a disgusting job, I hate it and so I have not baked anything yet this year. Plus, the first batch of anything after you clean the oven tastes like poison.

Shelldon Regular

Soups of any kinds, roasted brussel sprouts, mac & cheese.

Shelldon Regular

Yes, any time of year. I’m reading a really good book right now about the most haunted city in the South – it’s so good.

Shelldon Regular

Probably candles but closer to Christmas, I will have both out.

Shelldon Regular

Nope, Halloween then straight to Christmas.

Shelldon Regular

So, here’s the deal – do you recall things tasting more intense when you were a child or at least up to like you turned 25? My favorite tea used to be cinnamon and cardamom, like the most intense, spicy flavor – I had a cup a couple of weeks ago and it was so weak! It was a new bag too, I’m so disappointed. Anyway, the store where I purchase my loose teas had some other fall’ish flavors and I will give them a whirl but I’m disappointed. Is this aging? Everything tastes bland so you just stop eating.

Shelldon Regular

Yes, but not the fun, plaid-wearing version. I’ve had to harvest pumpkins before and it’s a nightmare. You feel like you got hit by a truck the next day and for many days after. I prefer strolling into the grocery store and purchasing pumpkins that someone else harvested. It’s all fun and games until you have to pick 500 pumpkins.

Shelldon Regular

Pumpkin chili or pumpkin breads are my favourite.

Shelldon Regular

Karma Kream.

Shelldon Regular

Whichever one most hides the fact that my lips are chapped.

Shelldon Regular

Apple, pumpkin pie always reminds me of baby food in a crust. Gag.

Shelldon Regular

And all at once, summer collapsed into fall. – Oscar Wilde

For me, fall has always happened in an instant when you step outside and the air isn’t thick and stagnant anymore, the birds are quiet, you feel a collective urgency as all the creatures start preparing for winter – it’s like someone snapped a finger and it’s finally fall.

That’s it – I hope you enjoyed, what fall things have you been up to recently? And be honest, are you already preparing for Christmas πŸ˜›

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31 Nights of Halloween: The Shining (1980)

31 Nights of Halloween

Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of King’s The Shining is pretty good if you haven’t read the book but also totally sucks if you have. He left out the most hair raising parts and instead went for shock value. It leaves out my absolute favorite part of the book where the giant topiary animals start to surround Jack outside of the weird maze on the property. But of course kept in the decayed, old lady corpse. Anyway…

Jack Torrance, a failing writer, his wife Wendy and son Danny are headed to a secluded inn that’s closing for the off-season. They will be looking after the property with no access to the outside world. Of course, the inn is haunted and weird things start happening. Unfortunately for Danny, he possesses the shining which allows him to see into the inn’s tragic past. Jack’s sanity and sobriety quickly deteriorate putting his family in danger.

I just don’t love this adaptation, the only element that somewhat redeems it is the atmosphere of the hotel Kubrick used. Which, is not the Stanley Hotel that the book used but still plenty creepy. I think it’s more accurate to say that the movie is influenced by the book but if you haven’t read it, you probably wouldn’t know the difference and it’s a decent movie otherwise.

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October To be Read!

Blogoween

Admittedly, this list may be a little ambitious but this is the time of year that I love getting into bed and cracking into a new (e)book. I have to say that using the Kindle doesn’t feel nearly as cozy as an actual book but it sure is easier on the eyes. I don’t know if having millions of books right at my finger tips is a good or bad thing though πŸ™‚

We Should All be Mirandas byΒ Chelsea Fairless and Lauren Garroni:

Little known fact, I am a hugeΒ Sex & the City fan, Carrie was my least favorite and in my opinion, pathetic character throughout the entire series. Miranda was hands down my favorite character and not just because she’s a fellow ginger. She was independent, successful, didn’t need a man but still chic, classy, feminine – I just adored her. I am excited to see her star in a book all of her own and can’t wait to read it.

Mirandas

I Love the Bones of YouΒ by Christopher Eccleston:

The most underrated and overlooked Doctor, in my opinion. A fantastic actor all-around and looking forward to learning more about him.

Eccleston

The NannyΒ by Gilly Macmillan:

Did the nanny just up and leave or did she get murdered?

The Nanny

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne

This could be cheating, I’m already half-way through this book and it is pretty brutal. I don’t read a lot of Native American History books written by Caucasians, I find them less interesting but Sam Gwynne is a fantastic journalist and author who really does his research.Β  This book chronicles the decades long war between the Comanche Tribe and settlers.

Summer Moon

Inside Out: A MemoirΒ by Demi Moore:

Who doesn’t want to read this one?! Again, not a celebrity that I know a lot about but have always watched and enjoyed in films and interested to know more about!

Inside Out

So, I mean, that’s only one book each weekend πŸ˜› Have you read any of these, what’s on your list?

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Best of May

Monthly Favorites

I can’t believe it’s June, spring sprung seemingly overnight after weeks of cool, rainy weather. I love the rainy weather but it’s nice to see the sun shining and we’re well on our way to Halloween πŸ‘» My deck is almost summer ready, I spent too much time and money in IKEA last weekend. I had this fantastic idea to change my master bathroom from beige to white because I love hotel bathrooms. Clean ones, that is with white towels and that subtle bleach scent. What I didn’t realize is that they get cleaned everyday, I’m pretty clean but it’s misery so far πŸ˜‚ I’ll post about my deck decor sooner than later. Anyway, here are some items that I was loving in May.

For the last year I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant, most of them have given me a rash. I picked this up recently and love it so far. It has a light, floral scent – not too rosy but just pleasant enough. The consistency is on the wet side but very moisturizing and dries down to nothing. It’s made my armpits so soft and cleared up the rash in no time. It’s on the expensive side but all of these natural deodorants are.

My skin tends to get congested as soon as the weather starts to heat up, this is a seasonal favorite since it dries my skin out too much during the winter. It’s a mild acid that keeps my back and chest clear. It smells funky like fermented fruit but it works and it’s pretty affordable.

This is one of those blue light therapy devices. It’s supposed to help kill bacteria and I could be nuts but I think it’s working. I had to stop taking oral contraceptive due to starting another medication so I’m getting some hormonal spots but I swear this is knocking them out. My skin is almost back to where it was before my change in meds. I use it for about 15 minutes each night, focusing on different quadrants. I like it because I’m not adding another chemical to my routine. I purchased this from my dermatologist but Amazon sells the exact same one.

Nature’s Bounty recently released a line of skin vitamins, I picked up this one and the moisture one. I really think that my overall skin feels firmer and smoother. I’m also trying the moisture one but can’t say that my skin feels any less dry than usual.

One day, whilst feeling sorry for myself, I ordered a bunch of Charlotte Tilbury because no brand makes me feel prettier 😝 These are the daily go-tos so far. The Peachgasm is this glowy, liquid blush that’s perfect for making pasty skin look flushed and glowy. The cream shadows in Rose Gold and Star Gold are easy to smudge on and go. Her entire summer collection is stunning.

And because I’m a total blush whore, this peachy Burt’s Bees blush has been my ‘bronzer’ of late. I like a bronzer that’s on the redder side because it looks more natural for me to be a bit burnt than actually tanned πŸ˜‚ I love this formula, not terribly pigmented but easy to build and blend.

I cannot get enough true crime as of late! Yes, I purchased some books but I’m on the hunt for an e-reader. I’m also hooked on the My Favorite Murder podcast and Buzzeed Unsolved: True Crime series on YouTube. I thought the Netflix Ted Bundy movie was pleasantly tame while still being super creepy. Finally, I cannot wait for Stranger Things season three and recently binged the first two seasons. What have you been loving recently?

These goslings were also a fave this month, look at how fat they are! There are spring babies all over the place, it’s lovely. Let me know what you’ve been up to!

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A Week’s Review

Random

What an odd week, I thought Wednesday was Monday which should have been a pleasant surprise when I was actually two days ahead but it pretty much set the tone for the rest of the week. Let’s get to the shit part, I missed Elton John – the fact that I had two tickets to a once in a lifetime show totally slipped my mind because I was helping someone else deal with life bullshit. I cannot express how sick and tired I am of putting someone else’s needs and wants before my own and getting burned. I feel like every friendship or relationship that I find myself in, I’m giving and giving and getting nothing. Is it really anyone’s fault? No, I should have written it down but one would think they’d remember that they had tickets to fucking Elton John. I’m still so bummed.

I started doing pilates on Monday, I’ve taken the same yoga class for years and was feeling a bit bored so I swapped my classes. I don’t know if I love it, the yoga class had a more chill vibe and the pilates group makes me feel a little old and off trend. I’ll give it a couple more weeks, I like that I am sore in new places, I think I was getting a little complacent with yoga.

I found a new favorite recipe that is super easy for week nights and makes a ton of food so that I can take it for lunch too. It’s just an enchilada type bake, I botched the first batch because I only had red quinoa on-hand and there’s definitely a distinct difference in flavor. I found it surprisingly hard to find a vegan enchilada sauce but ended up really loving the brand that I found. I’ve been reading a lot about intuitive eating, it’s all about rejecting diet culture and it’s supposed to be a good approach for dealing with eating disorders. Even though I don’t actively have an eating disorder, food is always on my mind and I find myself dieting or restricting my diet out of habit. This approach is all about eating when you’re hungry, eating what you want and stopping when you’re full – which seems so simple but also feels like I am relinquishing control.

We have so much snow! I love snow, everyone seems to be a bit done with it and even I am going to punch the next person who tells me that March is the snowiest month right in the face but it really is lovely. A co-worker got to yakking about Arizona being the best place to live and I was reminded of how much I love the southwest and got a little home sick. I love Minnesota winters and loathe the summers here, I prefer a dry heat – is there a perfect climate, honestly.

Now I am going to take a 27-hour nap, listen to some Agatha Christie and not leave my apartment until Monday πŸ˜› What’s new in your world?

QuiteSimplyStella(1)

Death of a Paperback Romance

Minimalism

No, this post is not about my non-existent love life πŸ˜‚This weekend I went to a used bookstore that I frequent on the regular. I haven’t purchased anything in awhile and mostly just go to check out their enormous collection of unusual sci-fi novels with hopes of picking up my very own Fox Mulder 😝 It’s a very cool shop operated by some old hippies and just one of those peculiar places that are disappearing. There are literally thousands of books in this store and this weekend I got to thinking about all the stacks of unwanted books and if books are becoming too much of a good thing.

There used to be a time when printed books were incredibly hard to acquire and treated like precious commodities. In the era of the mass paperback though, every household tends to have a few dozen books laying about. As a former educator, I certainly understand the importance of reading and literature being accessible to everyone. However, clearly there’s a lot of waste when it comes to books. While it’s important to ensure equal access to books, does there really need to be 20 copies of one Danielle Steele novel in existence?! Books can be recycled but it feels a bit wrong to throw a book away no matter how trivial the subject matter might be or how well-worn it is. Unwanted books can be donated which seems like a great way to waste not but are they really being purchased or rather sitting on a shelf in triplicate?

Even if the rest of the world doesn’t recognize what I refer to as book-waste or, seemingly doesn’t since I can’t find a single statistic on it, it’s something I’m trying to be more cognizant of. I rarely purchase physical books but always buy used when I do or simply check the book out from the library. I still absorb a ton of literature though through other mediums as well like audiobooks and yes, even the sacrilegious e-reader 😝 I don’t love the e-reader, I only just recently started using one and it doesn’t feel like a real book to me. That aside, my library offers a service where I can check out most any book digitally and access it on my device. There are also loads of free books available through my Amazon Prime subscription. My favorite zero-waste book though has to be the audiobook which I never would have thought possible since I love reading so much. Listening to a book though somehow makes me feel more immersed in the story. Even though I’m sure it’s more beneficial to my brain to actually be reading I still love a good audiobook. I’m still a total book junkie, whenever I need my book fix, I’ll visit a bookstore, do some browsing and then download the titles I’m interested in. It’s not quite the same but having consumed so many book already in my lifetime, I feel better about not creating more waste.

What are your thoughts on book-waste, is it even a thing to be concerned about? Tell me if you prefer a physical book or are fine with digital media! Does it make you a bit melancholy to see stacks if unwanted books or am I just a bit odd πŸ˜‰

QuiteSimplyStella(1)

The Lost Man: A Teaser

Books

Jane Harper’s first standalone was an intense slow burn of a thriller set in the striking vastness of the outback. When I found out that this was no an Aaron Falk case, I was a bit disappointed but the characters in this novel were equally as endearing with their character flaws, secrets and histories – none more so than the man found dead of dehydration only feet away from the safety of his vehicle at the very start of the book.

HARPER

Cameron Bright is a father of two with a beautiful wife, prosperous land and seemingly the best put together of the three Bright brothers. When his older brother Nathan starts to dig deeper into the mysterious death, events from the past and the secret life of Cameron starts to unravel. On the whole, the family is shocked at the unexpected death and can’t fathom what would drive a man to walk out into the desert to his demise. There are members of the household that hint at Cameron’s unstable mental state in the days leading up to his disappearance but there are whispers of something more sinister when a woman who accused Cam of taking advantage of her in their youth makes mysterious phone calls to the house. She wasn’t believed at the time but as the adults who were there start to recount the story, we find out that there are those who did believe her and suspect that Cam’s father drove the girl out of town.

With the police reaching the conclusion that it was a suicide, Nathan, the black sheep of the family who lives in exile starts to dig into who Cam really was as an adult and what secrets his wife and kids might be keeping. It’s pretty clear from the start that he knows that his brother has demons, having been raised in an abusive household and starts to wonder just how stable he really is. What he uncovers is a history of domestic abuse, a wife with an exit plan, adultery and a murder that was committed for love.

What I love about Harper’s books is the atmosphere, being set in an environment as hostile as the outback further augments the intensity and mystery of the story-line as you never know what’s hiding out there. You could fall victim to a killer on the loose or simply getting a flat tire and getting stranded in the elements. The setting creates an urgency that can’t be sated. Her books make me want to immediately experience the vast wilderness of the outback while also never, ever setting foot there at the same time. I could not stop listening to this book, I finished it over the course of two days and was so shocked by the ending that I had to go back and listen to it a second time to see if I missed anything. Even though this is a standalone, there are some references to her debut novel The Dry that I felt were very clever and helped to flesh out some of the character’s stories. It’s a fantastic book, the ending was tragic and unsettling but poetic in its own right. I’m sure that the book is just as good read but if you have a chance to listen to the audio version, Stephen Shanahan is awesome. I loved it, I will listen to it again and again. Have you read any of Harper’s novels? What’s your fave? I think mine is The Dry followed by this one with Force of Nature coming in last but still being very good!

QuiteSimplyStella(1)