Halloween Spirit

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I am not sure why but I just love everything that goes into it. The pumpkin carving, corn mazes, baking, great movies, caramel apples, dressing up etc… The holiday is just made up of so many fun activities that all take place in the fall, which is my favorite season. I thought I would give some ideas for fun Halloween outfits. This is not a costumes post but just ways to make an everyday outfit feel more Halloween ready. For me it is definitely about embracing orange and black. There is definitely a way to wear those colors together without feeling like it is too much.

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Midi dress (I so wish this was in my budget right now), pumpkin body suit (a little more costume-like but still great for getting in the Halloween mood), booties, pumpkin sweater (number one on my wishlist so I had to include it), bag (comes in a perfect orange as well), skull sweatshirt

Here are some outfits I have been wearing that are Halloween inspired:

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Happy October! Let’s fully embrace the Halloween spirit!

Erin

Finding the Time to Read

While I love to read finding the time to do so can be a real challenge. In college I really only read during breaks because I was reading so much for classes that I never had the time. It was also just a busy time in general with endless homework and socializing (don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved college). Since graduating I have made a big effort to get back into reading and wanted to share some of the ways that I allot time for reading.

I am definitely a believer that if you really want to do something you can make the time for it. There are definitely ways to bring reading into your day despite a very busy schedule. I am in graduate school and it is honestly if anything even more crazy than undergrad. There is still lots of reading involved and I always could be doing something else. Here are some ways I try to make reading a daily habit:

  1. Getting an hour in before bed and/or just after waking up. This has been the easiest way for me to get some reading in every day. Just by waking up an hour earlier or choosing to read instead of watch TV before by has really helped.
  2. Spending the occasional weekend half day. I say occasional because I know that it is not practical for many people to have even half a day every weekend to dedicate to reading. I usually do this when I really just need some time for myself. It also usually happens when I am reading a book that I just can’t put down. Giving this kind of time does allow me to actually finish multiple books.
  3. Audiobooks. If you really don’t have time this is probably the best option. Audiobooks are a great way to kind of multitask. I usually have an audiobook going for transportation and even sometimes at work. I can usually listen to an easy novel and follow the plot while still doing basic things.
  4. Choosing the right book. This is a really hard one to articulate but I am way more likely to finish a book quickly if I am really excited about it. For me this means mixing genres and reading books that I just can’t put down.
  5. Rereading your favorites. I find that rereading Harry Potter is so therapeutic and is often easy because I don’t need to be fully present (although I love it so often end up fully immersed). This is a good strategy if you have not been inspired to read recently and need something familiar (and that you know you will love).

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Have a great Friday!

Erin

Favorites to Read as Audiobooks

Choosing to listen to a book via audio has definitely change my reading experience and my opinion of it drastically. Personally when I listen to a book I feel like it is easy for me to miss a lot so the person reading it really needs to be engaging and read true to the story.

Daisy Jones and the Six: This is hands down my favorite audiobook ever. Each character’s part is read by someone different and for me that really brought the characters to life. It is a whole different experience that is so worth it. I don’t often feel like I would listen to an audiobook again but I would for sure listen to this one many times.

Leaving Time: This Jodi Picoult novel was such a beautiful story. This is one of relatively few audiobooks that I really felt there for the whole time. I didn’t think I missed anything. I am pretty sure this had to do with the narrator. She just told it well and with emotion which really helps when listening to an audiobook.

The Caraval Series: So far I have finished the first two book as audiobooks from Audible and the library. I am about to start the second one on Libro.fm and I can’t wait. I think the reason I like these as audiobooks is that the narrator just has a great voice for this particular story and these characters. I feel like she really embodies how Tella and Scarlet feel. I have talked about this series in past book posts so I won’t go into the plot too much but I do recommend it as an audiobook!

Talking as Fast as I Can: Lauren Graham narrates her own book and of course it is amazing. She is hilarious and definitely does not disappoint in her autobiography. I do think actors reading their own books are so entertaining and really bring out all the feelings and stories.

Big Magic: Again, books narrated by their authors tend to be much better. Often this occurs in non-fiction but if you find fiction narrated by the author it is usually pretty good since they know exactly how things should sound and feel. Big Magic is such an inspiration and Elizabeth Gilbert does a great job articulating her story and how creativity has played a role in her life.

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I wanted to end this post by talking a bit about where I get audiobooks. There are several great options. First I recommend making an Overdrive account with your local library. You just download the app and can borrow up to five or six audiobooks. This is a great way to borrow for free however I often have to wait for books I want to download. It also really does not work for extra popular books (it is always worth checking though). There is also Hoopla which is another library app that lets you borrow books. I can only download one at a time and only one a month.

The second audiobook option is buying them. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is through a subscription service. I started out with Audible a couple years ago. It is run by Amazon and a cheapish (14.95 per month for one credit which gets you one book per month) way to get just about any book. You do get some other things from that membership like two of their Audible originals. The way I am currently purchasing audiobooks is through the app libro.fm. This app allows you to support either independent bookstores in general or a specific one of your choosing. It works very similarly to Audible in that you pay 14.99 per month and get a credit for a book. It also has additional discounts for other books you purchase. I really like supporting independent bookstores so I switched in order to do that better.

Let me know if you have an good audiobooks that you have listened to lately!

Erin

Monochromatic Looks: Fall Edition

I have always wanted to challenge myself to embrace the whole monochrome thing. I never really felt like I would be able to pull it off but I have never tried so this is my attempt to wear different colors in monochrome. I definitely chose colors that I was comfortable in and that are perfect for this time of year.

Camel/brown: The perfect color for fall is easy to make monochromatic. There are so many shades that work well together. I really think there are so many ways to wear browns and camels that it could never get old in the fall!

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Coat Mark and Graham, fleece Dudley Stephens, pants old (similar), boots Sam Edelman, crossbody Madewell, hat old (similar)

Pink: It might not be considered a traditionally ‘fall’ color but I love pink so I really wanted to include it in this outfit round up. I will also be doing a post on Thursday about wearing pink in fall. It will focus on pink as more of an accent in fall outfits so it might be much more applicable. I wanted to choose two outfits for this since one is rather formal and the other is kind of athlesure.

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Dress Atlantic-Pacific, heels old (similar), sunglasses old (similar, also I am so loving these)

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Top Nike, leggings Lululemon, Sneakers APL

White: This one is also not traditionally fall but I think most people have accepted white as a year round wardrobe addition. I added this grey bag and a beige coat to add to the fall feel.

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Sweater Everlane, sunglasses Amazon, jeans Madwell, sneakers Adidas, bag Cambridge Satchel Company

Green: My all time favorite color always deserves a spot! There are so many great shades of green that work for anytime of year. My outfit here is a forest green and is perfect for right now but there are some lighter greens that could be a great addition to a fall outfit. This one is not necessarily monochrome but relatively close and I do love the hints of color.

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Sweater Madewell, pants old (similar, here is a cheaper option), bag Madewell, booties old (similar)

Navy: Navy is also a classic color that can be easily found year round. I was on the fence about including it in a monochrome post since I don’t wear a ton of navy (or at least I didn’t think I did) but while I was going through my closet I found a ton of navy staples that I wear, especially during fall.

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Vest Barbour, top old (similar), jeans old (similar), sneakers Adidas

Thanks for reading and have a great Tuesday!

Erin

Fall Movies

Last year I did a post on my favorite Halloween movies to watch and this year I decided to share my favorite movies to watch during fall (in general). Cozying up with a cup of tea and a blanket on a chilly fall evening and watching the perfect fall movie is a great way to end a day.

fallmoviesYou’ve Got Mail: An absolute classic New York City fall movie. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend giving it a watch this fall. It is such a sweet romance about two bookshop owners and their love story. Books, romance, fall… what more could you want?

Stepmom: I have not seen this one in quite a while but for some reason I always think fall when I think about this movie. It also has Julia Roberts which always makes things worth watching.

Election: A classic Reese Witherspoon movie. There has to be a back to school flick on this list considering fall and ‘back to school’ typically go together!

Charade: This one is not necessarily a fall movie but it is a classic Audrey Hepburn. We watched it the other night and absolutely loved it. It is highly entertaining and takes place in Paris.

October Sky: Another very classically fall movie. I also haven’t seen this one in a while but it is a classic true story and beautifully made movie. It is so inspiring especially as a scientist!

Others that I am looking forward to watching: Sleepless in Seattle (yep another Nora Ephron with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and I really haven’t seen it yet), Autumn in New York.

Town and Country did a longer post on recommendations for this time of year! I found it just as I was finishing up this post and many of these are on my list so they definitely nailed it!

Erin

 

Week in My Life No. 4

Wow I can’t believe it is already almost mid October. The leaves are beautiful here in Logan right now and the temperature has really dropped. I actually started off the week in Vermont. I fly back to Utah on Monday afternoon and was pretty sick. I was kind of dreading Tuesday since I had two labs to teach and lots of prep work to do on top of feeling bad. I honestly have not been sick in a while and had just been thinking about that when I got some sort of cold just before going to Vermont. I got to school at 7:30am Tuesday morning and did not leave until nearly 7:30pm. There was so much to do to prep the labs and get myself ready to teach. My voice improved just enough to talk to the students which was a relief. I worked on some blog stuff and went to bed to try to rest up a bit.

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Emails and tomato bisque at the Denver airport. I had a long layover so I tried to catch up on some work things.

Wednesday and Thursday were just filled with work and trying to recover from my cold. We did have some friends over for pizza one night which was fun! Friday I went into work to do a few things and then Aiden and I went to Crumb Brothers to work for a few hours. I had a couple of Skype meetings so I was able to work out of the lab. We had a chill evening, just made dinner and watched You’ve Got Mail.

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Tea to sooth my throat while watching the movie.

Saturday was so fun and relaxing! We went to the farmer’s market for a butternut squash, peaches and olive bread. It is on of the last markets so we had to stop by. We went to Great Harvest for bread and a cinnamon roll on the way home. The leaves are so pretty right now. We took care of things at home and watched some Downton Abbey in the afternoon. Eventually we went for a long walk up around the neighborhood and then made some Trader Joe’s food for dinner. To end they day we watched Charade.

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Farmer’s market finds. So many pumpkins right now.
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Gorgeous views of the sunset on our evening walk!

Interesting articles:

Professor McGonagalls Letter for Tenure. This letter is hilarious and just brilliant. It is probably the best thing I have read all week.

More outfit inspiration. Love this round up of fall outfits!

Relationship “hacks”. I think these are all great ideas to keep up a good relationship.

Modern Love TV Series: This is a fantastic column and I know the TV series is going to be amazing.

Eileen Fisher on Sustainability. I am so excited about this company and their mission!

Watching: We watched Cold Case files on Netflix over the past week and I actually really liked it. I am not usually big into true crime but I found these stories to be really interesting. They are all cases that went cold and then were solved around 30 years later. It is just crazy and amazing!

Reading: While I am still in the middle of The Seven and a Half Death’s of Evelyn Hardcastle I also started reading Upstairs at the White House while on the plane and I have been learning a ton. I will give a better update when I finish!

Clothing obsession: I have been wearing my adidas stan smith’s almost everyday. They are so comfortable and since they are white they go with just about anything.

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A day at the office outfit. Those stan smith’s are life.

Have a great Sunday!

Erin

Autumn Sweaters

Happy Saturday! I hope you are having a nice weekend. It has been beautiful and sunny but freezing cold for the past few days (in the 20’s and 30’s). We went to Crumb Brother’s to get some bread and work for a couple hours. I had several phone meetings but was able to work out of the office for most of the day. It was so nice and productive! Today we are headed to the farmer’s market for pumpkins and whatever other produce we can find. I hope you are doing something fun and fall related this weekend! Here are some perfect sweaters for fall.

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Bone cable sweater, rose cardigan, green creworange sweaterdark brown pullovercamel crewneck

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Erin

Vermont Travel Diary

I flew out on Wednesday morning and spent pretty much the whole day traveling. There are definitely no direct flights form Salt Lake to Burlington so I had a layover in Newark and there was lots of weather there. I didn’t end up getting in until 12:30am. So my trip in Vermont really starts on Thursday!

Day 1: We stayed the night in a hotel in Burlington since I got in so late. Because we were in town we went to breakfast with my brother at Sneakers in Winooski. Apparently it is usually very crowded but we got there just at the right time and I was really glad we went because they had some amazing vegetarian options. I feel like there are often only a couple of veg options on menus but there were so many options! From there we dropped my brother at his class (he goes to UVM) and went to Church street to check out Crow Bookshop (of course). On our drive to Middlebury we stopped to taste maple syrup at the Dakin Farm store (so delicious and I highly recommend it). My uncle works at Middlebury College so we met at the school to see his office and then his house. We all drove to Snake Mountain for an absolutely beautiful hike. The drive was gorgeous and the hike was even more spectacular. We drove back to town and had dinner at Two Brother’s.

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Crow Bookshop on Church Street has a really great collection of used books.
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An amazing farm with delicious maple syrup and yummy cheeses. We had to make a stop along the way. 
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View from Snake Mountain!

Day 2: Our second day started with pastries from Otter Creek Bakery and homemade breakfast. We spent the day driving around and stopping at orchard’s for cider donuts and apples. Vergennes was the first top (such a quaint town) and then we went to Boyer’s Orchard (amazing donuts). We drove around the countryside for a while longer, enjoying the foliage and stopping at more orchards. From Bristol we took a drive up 17 toward Mad River Glen to really see all the leaves in full color. It was truly beautiful. We stopped back in Bristol for lunch at Bristol Cliffs Cafe. I think Bristol is the town I would want to go back and explore a little. It is tiny and would only take a couple of hours but the shops were so cute and we had to kind of rush back since my dad had a meeting at UVM. My mom and I checked into our hotel and then went down to the shop, Common Deer, to meet up with my brother. The rest of our family (uncles, cousins) met us at Foam for drinks. It is close to lake Champlain and the sunset was beautiful. I also just highly recommend Foam because they have a great atmosphere (and music!), lots of beers and some great local ciders. We ended the day with dinner at Daily Planet.

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Mom and I at a park in Vergennes. The weather overall was much colder than I was expecting!
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First cider donut of the trip at Boyer Orchards. They might be the best cider donuts I have ever had. So fresh and the perfect texture.(I know I know that porta potty really adds to the fall vibe).
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Amazing views and foliage from the top of the pass at Mad River. My dad and I actually started a little hike but the trail was really wet and we were not wearing great shoes.

Day 3: We drove down to Perkins Pier in the morning to see my friend who was working a boating event. It was very random but I actually really enjoyed it! We stopped for breakfast at The Spot before really starting our day (great breakfast plus not too expensive and the breakfast burrito was amazing). The next stop was Shelburne Orchard for more fall adventures. This is by far the orchard with the most to do (of the ones we went to). There was bourbon tasting (so good), gorgeous views of the lake, donut ice cream sandwiches, tons of pumpkins and much more. We started with the bourbon tasting and then went to pick apples (they also have such a big picking area). Just before leaving with tried their cider donuts. From there we drove back to Burlington to watch the men’s UVM soccer game (fun to watch but I won’t talk too much about it). After refreshing at the hotel we headed to my brother’s fraternity house for their family weekend social. We finally made it to dinner at Bleu Northeast Seafood. That dinner was so fun and both the food and the service were probably the best of the trip.

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Grapevines at Shelburne Orchards (we did not get to do a wine tasting here but that is on my list for next time).
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This door at the orchard is amazing. Also the dead bird symbol above it is the logo for the bourbon company.
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Another day, another delicious cider donut. These were probably my second favorite cider donuts.
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Pumpkins pouring out from the Shelburne Orchard farm store.
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Family dinner at Bleu.

Day 4: While the whole trip was amazing this was the day I was definitely the most sick. My mom and I met a friend of mine at Feldman’s Bagels for breakfast. They have a little bookshelf that made my day. We spent the rest of the morning/afternoon walking around downtown Burlington with my brother. There are some amazing stores. We ate lunch at The Farmhouse Tap and Grill (number one favorite place for brunch and right in Burlington). My mom’s flight was in the evening so we said goodbye to her and I drove to my friend’s house in Addison. That drive as absolutely gorgeous! I would really do it just for the drive. She lives right on Lake Champlain so while she had a dinner I got to enjoy the beautiful views!

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The book cart at Feldman’s Bagels had some real gems.
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Lunch at The Farmhouse Tap and Grill. It actually started to sprinkle on us!
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Shopping on Church street. Monelle and Ecco were my favs.
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Pumpkins on the porch in Addison getting me psyched for Halloween.

Day 5: My last day in Vermont! Ahh I was so sad to leave. It is just such a beautiful place with so much local food and drink. I had a delicious breakfast with my friend before driving back to Burlington. I stopped along the way to pick up some things from Dakin Farm Store and to check out the Vermont Flannel Company. It was pretty so rainy! I headed back to spend some time with my brother before flying back to Salt Lake. I was able to eat at the Skinny Pancake in the airport before flying out. It was good but they hype gave me pretty high expectations so it was not my favorite.

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The rainy view from my friend’s porch.
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Vermont Flannel Company for the win. Their flannels are so so soft.

Vermont is amazing and I definitely recommend visiting when you can! I would love to go back even without the foliage.

Erin

Leopard for Every Fall Outfit

Yes leopard is a big trend right now. I have seen it everywhere and for good reason. The brown and black patterning goes with just about anything and is an absolute perfect addition to any fall outfit. I am excited to share some fun finds for great additions of leopard. There are so many ways to wear it from small accessories to full on head to toe.

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Booties, dress #1, scrunchiemule (from an amazing brand called Able), clutch, scarf, pants, dress #2 (not a true leopard but very similar and from H&M’s conscious collection), sunglasses (I hadn’t though of this but sunglasses would be the perfect leopard accent), loafer (love love love these), clutch #2 (sustainable vegan brand called Wilby)

Some of my favorite leopard pieces:

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leopard cardigan

Have a great Thursday and stay warm (it snowed here in Logan yesterday)!

Erin

Books to Get in the Halloween Mood

This time of year is the best! I just love everything and probably talk about it way too much. Halloween is such a fun holiday and I love embracing October as that season. Give me all the pumpkins, corn mazes, costumes, witches, etc… A big part of what influences my mood are books. I love theming my books to get me excited and even more into that season. So here I am listing books that give me all the fall/Halloween feels. Most are mysteries but my criteria are just books I either love to read at this time of year or books that I always pictured set during October. I have not read a lot that would probably be on this list so I am just giving a disclaimer that I am only including books I have read or am reading now.

The Seven and a Half Death’s of Evelyn Hardcastle: I am reading this now and am really enjoying it so far. I can just feel the crunchy leaves, forest paths and cool air. It is the perfect choice to get me in the mood right now.

Harry Potter (any but especially the first book): It is true that I could read Harry Potter any time of year but the best time to read it is October through December. I just love all the holiday scenes and it goes perfectly with a cozy blanket and cup of tea.

Murder on the Orient Express: Agatha Christie is a fantastic writing and this classic story lives up to the hype. I first read it for a project in eight grade and it has been a favorite ever since.

Sherlock Holmes: I have loved every Sherlock Holmes mystery that I read. They are relatively short, interesting and great for October evenings. I also enjoy great detective stories in general!

Magpie Murders: A great murder mystery (involving a editor) that has great twists and is perfect for Halloween.

A few books I am looking forward to reading: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, The Women in the Window by A.J. Finn and Serpant and Dove by Shelby Mahurin.

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I would really love to hear about any books you love for this time of year!!!

Erin