Monday, October 31, 2016

Hocus Pocus

Happy Halloween! Being an October baby, autumn has been my favorite season since I was a kid, but when it comes to holidays, I've always been more of a Christmas kind of gal. The past few years, though, I've noticed that Halloween has really been growing on me again. Part of that, I think, has really been rediscovering the parts of Halloween that I loved when I was younger--the history, the magic, the dark and creepy parts (and of course, the classic movies!). It's been a few years since I've donned a costume, but hey, maybe next year, right? I'm starting to feel the need to up my decorating game too. For now, though, just give me a cool night, some hot cider, and a good ghost story and I'm as happy as can be.  

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Smile Brilliant Review + a Giveaway!

Teeth Whitening Kits

The following is a sponsored post. I was provided a whitening kit and desensitizing gel by Smile Brilliant for review. All opinions are my own. 

I've never been one to fuss all that much about my appearance--I'm a little bit lazy that way, if you want to know the truth. Beauty routines have come and gone since my junior high days, but one thing that has been pretty constant is my dedication to maintaining white teeth. I can take or leave eyeshadow and blush, but you better leave my whitening products alone. 

Since starting my current job a little over a year ago, I've become a twice-a-day coffee drinker, with some tea also thrown in most days. It's good for my sanity, but not so good on my smile. When Smile Brilliant contacted me with the opportunity to review their whitening kit, it seemed like perfect time to set aside the whitening strips and try something a little more personalized.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fall Reading List

Now that the seasons have changed, I thought I would share my fall reading list--or at least part of it! I've been trying to make an effort to read more, even if that means letting blogging and other responsibilities lapse a little bit. The last couple months have really shown me the importance of self care and giving myself grace, and for me, reading is a big part of that. I'm generally reading multiple books at once--usually a fiction book, a non-fiction (mostly British history) book, and a book of poetry. Here's what I have on deck:

1. The Long Sonata of the Dead by Andrew Taylor and The Compendium of Srem by F. Paul Wilson:  A friend from work lent these to me to read. They're short little mysteries--perfect for a quick read right before bed.

2. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur:  I've been following Rupi Kaur for awhile on Instagram; I love the snippets of her poetry that she shares online, so I can already tell this is going to be a frequent read for me.

3. The Night Sister by Jennifer MacMahon:  Honestly, I'm already almost finished with this. I picked up another one of her books, The Winter People, a couple months ago, and I immediately went to Half Price Books to find every other book I could by her. They're all so dark, suspenseful, and creepy.....and a little bit weird. Perfect for a pre-Halloween read, you know what I mean?

4. The Book of English Magic by Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate: I've started this one already as well, and I honestly can't decide how I feel about it. I thought it would be a historical view of pre-Christian England, and it is--but it's also insight into current magical religions as well. Not that I'm not interested in alternative culture in the UK, but historical is more my speed--and let's be honest, I'm never going to try dowsing, so I really don't need a how-to guide. The historical bits are really interesting, though!

5.  The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins: It's Billy Collins. Enough said.

6. King Death by Colin Platt: This is another one from the non-fiction (i.e. British History) section, about the bubonic plague in England. Also creepy enough for Halloween season--which means I need to hurry up and get it started!

7. Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs: This is series of short "historical" stories in the Peculiar Children world. Tyler and I went with family to see Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children a couple weeks ago at the theater, and even though I had mixed feelings about the film, I mostly liked it and it made me want to jump back into that story again. I had picked this up right after it came out, so it was perfect timing.

What are you reading lately? I'll need some recommendations for when I finish this list!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Columbia River Gorgeous: Ponytail Falls

One of my favorite little hikes in the Columbia River Gorge is the hike from Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls and the scenic overlook. It's perfect if you don't have much time (or hiking experience) but you want to see more of the Gorge than just the waterfall pit stops by the road. After viewing Horsetail Falls, you take the trail to the left of the falls and hike up a series of switchbacks--no shame in having to stop and catch your breath! Make sure to turn around once in a while, too--you can get gorgeous glimpses of the river through the trees, and it's rather rewarding to see how high you've climbed! 

Blog Design by Get Polished