Fall Fun Series II: A Plethora of Pumpkins

Pumpkin spice update 2017: I’m still basic. However, there has been noticeably less straight-up pumpkin spice in my life this fall. If anything, the combination of pumpkin cake & frosting has taken its place. I found myself adding many scented candles and wax melts into various shopping carts over the summer that went along with that concept. It is the year of the pumpkin cupcake.

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Yankee Candle’s Pumpkin Buttercream, Goose Creek’s Frosted Pumpkin Cake, and Bath & Body Works’ Pumpkin Cupcake are some new-to-me candle scents I’ve enjoyed this season. I originally planned to compare and contrast the three candles with one another, but each scent is unique in its own way and is a welcome addition to my fall collection.

I gathered up a few new-to-me pumpkin themed wax melts to use throughout the autumn season as well.

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Vintage Chic Scents – Headless Great Pumpkin
Vintage Chic Scents – Loretta’s Haunted Plantation House
Dessa’s Homespun Scents – Pumpkin-Mallow Bake
The Bathing Garden – Pumpkin Pie Spice
The Bathing Garden – Banshee Dreams
Candles From The Keeping Room – Pumpkin Cupcake
Candles From The Keeping Room – Pumpkin Mocha Latte
Scentsy – Very Peary Pumpkin
Goose Creek – Pumpkin Caramel Swirl
Goose Creek – Pumpkin Pie
Goose Creek – Pumpkin Cinnamon Ice Cream
Super Tarts – Psycho
Super Tarts – Elm Street

 

The rest of my recently purchased & used pumpkin favorites so far this fall include decor, hand soaps, body care, and a couple more home fragrance items.

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A sparkly gold 3-wick candle holder from Bath & Body Works, a festive Jack-o’-lantern towel for the kitchen, and last year’s mug I completely forgot about until the other day.

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Yankee Candle’s Moonbeams on Pumpkins 2-wick tumbler, Bath & Body Works’ Pumpkin Cupcake room perfume, and three Bath & Body Works hand soaps: from last fall, Pumpkin Berry Crumble made with pumpkin butter, and from this fall, Pumpkin Cupcake made with pure honey, and Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin (Purrfect Pumpkin) in Halloween packaging.

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Bath & Body Works’ Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin 3-wick candle, Kringle Candle’s Pumpkin Sage wax melt, and Sassy Girl Aroma’s Pumpkin Pecan Waffles Sugar Cookies chunk bag, to cover all pumpkin bases.

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Bath & Body Works’ Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte body scrub and whipped body butter, made with pure honey. These products are divine!

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And finally, a little farm pumpkin with a lot of character, and a random attempt at pumpkin-shaped cookies: Halloween-y gingerbread cookies with orange frosting and green sprinkles. I’ll need to get more creative with these for the next batch, but they were quite tasty.

 

 

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Fall Fun Series II: In The Kitchen

This week is all about crafting and culinary adventures. I’ve been in the mood for soups and chilis lately and was holding onto a particular recipe for a couple of weeks. It was based off of a recipe from Ayesha Curry’s cookbook The Seasoned Life, and comes from the blog How Sweet Eats: Game Day Beer Chili.

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The finished product is a well-balanced, hearty, and flavorful chili with enough servings in the pot to freeze plenty for later. I did need to tweak the recipe a little to suit what I had available when I spontaneously decided to make it after a family event.

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What excited me the most about this recipe were the additions of maple syrup, cinnamon, and a can/bottle of beer. I chose the beer Madtown Nutbrown with the intriguing description: A blend of seven unique malts give this brown ale an earthy aroma and a flavor reminiscent of caramel with a slightly creamy finish.

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Migraines and exams over the past week have prevented me from doing all of the crafting and baking that I planned to do by this point in the fall season. In lieu of making a sweet treat over the weekend, I threw together a very simple, but tasty latte a couple of times. The drink combined Starbucks’ dark roast coffee Caffè Verona, lightened with International Delight’s sugar free Pumpkin Pie Spice creamer, and flavored with Torani’s sugar free Salted Caramel syrup.

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Another busy week precedes a trip to the pumpkin patch on a farm with family this weekend. I think this marks my first official autumnal outing, unless shopping and decorating for Halloween counts. What kind of fun fall activities has everyone been up to?

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Blogmas 2016 Day 15: Winter Beverages

Where I live it is important to stay warm during winter, so hot coffees, teas, and cocoas are part of my diet every single day. The holidays are just an excuse to take them with more sugars and creams than usual.

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What I have been drinking most often this month is a regular black coffee with two tablespoons of Silk Almond creamer in Caramel. It’s no salted caramel latte from Starbucks, which I also love this time of year, but it is healthier and less expensive. It has a great flavor as it is, but if I want to jazz it up, I’ll add a little bit of my Torani caramel sauce.

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I also drink peppermint tea every day during winter. I absolutely love this tea. It is soothing and refreshing, and I don’t need to add anything to it as its natural flavor is excellent. If I run out of peppermint, I’ll have some green tea.

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Hot cocoa is another beverage I drink throughout the winter season, of course. I know I am not alone in this! Whipped cream and chocolate shavings are a nice touch, but lately I like a pile of mini marshmallows.
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I can’t post about winter go-to beverages without mentioning a peppermint mocha from Starbucks. That would just feel wrong. However, after hectic shopping trips lately, or busy days putting up decor or baking cookies for hours, since I’ll be inside with the heat blasting I’ll take a frappuccino to cool off from all the work!

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From time to time I’ll have a hot beverage from Starbucks as well. I like to have my homemade lattes most often, but since I’m out shopping so much in December, it helps to begin or finish each trip with a caffeine boost or a yummy hot chocolate.

Fall Fun Series: Beverage & Colors

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October ended with another lake trip, three more birthday parties, and multiple days of Halloween fun. After two fall months packed with activity, November is my calm before the holiday storm. I’m not skipping over Thanksgiving, but that has never been a very complicated holiday for me. Each year it never fails that I have more than one Thanksgiving dinner to attend, and traveling anywhere from one to four hours is usually part of that. I don’t mind it at all, though. I could argue that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It makes me so happy to get together, cook with my family and friends, and spend the day vegging out together either watching football or playing card games. Everyone has “their element” and apparently, this is mine. Up until that week, though, the only thing on my agenda is paying attention to the election and hoping that there is peace in the U.S. once it is all over. Life must go on…

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It’s interesting observing my own patterns and the way I act according to the season or how I categorize things according to the time of year. For example, since it’s November and I know Christmas will be taking over my life soon, I feel pressured to “finish up” with my pumpkin spice body care, home fragrance, and snacks. I’ve had my fill of pumpkin spice lattes, there is no doubt about that, so lately I’ve been making caramel mocha lattes instead. An ex-boyfriend gifted me a latte machine for Christmas several years back, so I get to have the whole cafe experience: frothed milk, coffee infused with syrups and creams, and single or double serving sizes to prevent me from going too crazy and drinking a whole pot. My current boyfriend, on the other hand, does not share in my “everything according to the season” philosophy and will eat, drink, use, and smell like anything at any time of the year as desired. I’m fairly certain he cannot relate to my need to rotate scents, flavors, and colors simply because it is November now. I don’t blame him.

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I’ve removed my Halloween decor, of course, but also switched some other things around. I’ve pulled out sweaters, scarves, and mittens to keep warm, and the contents of my beauty bag have darkened in their shade range. Nothing screams “I love fall!” quite like coordinated lip, nail, and accessory colors. Obviously, scents are included in this November transition of mine. I am a Bath & Body Works junkie first and foremost, so I set aside two 3-wick candles just for the beginning of November: fall 2015 Sweater Weather, and a new release from this fall, Caramel Woods. I have not mentally prepared myself enough to go through my collection and decide which fall scents I want to use before it becomes winter’s turn, but I do know there is a Pumpkin Pie large jar saved for Thanksgiving week.

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Fall Favorites Tag: Remixed

I am not a warm weather person. It is uncomfortably humid where I live, so my summers are sticky and suffocating. On the flip-side, my winters are frozen and eternal. The spring and fall months are my reprieves, so I get very excited once they arrive.

To help immerse myself into the first official week of fall, I thought it would be fun to try out the Fall Favorites tag that became popular among beauty gurus on YouTube last fall. Since I am a scent junkie, and not a beauty guru, I decided to tweak the questions a little to suit my interests!

 
Favorite Candle
Bath & Body Works – Leaves

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This is just my perfect autumn fragrance. It’s the first scent that I think of in relation to the fall season, and it’s the only one I cannot go without once the season begins.

 

Favorite Wax Melt
Goose Creek – Campfire Marshmallow

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This scent is very, very similar to a popular pick for the candle question, which is Bath & Body Works – Marshmallow Fireside. However, I prefer Goose Creeks’ version by far. It is stronger, and in my opinion, the scent throw is much better. Highly recommended!

 

Favorite Body Care
Bath & Body Works – Plum Cider Warmth

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These products are from the 2015 fall traditions line. I regret not buying a matching shower gel, or the full-sized bottle of fragrance mist. They seemed to sell out fast.

 

Favorite Perfume
Victoria’s Secret – Forever Sexy

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I have a whole mob of perfumes for cooler weather, but this rollerball has been my favorite transitional warmer-to-cooler weather choice for the past 2 fall seasons.

 

Favorite Lip Color
NYX – Devil’s Food Cake

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I prefer lip glosses to lipsticks, and the Nyx Butter Glosses are pigmented enough to put deep fall shades on my lips, while providing the glossy finish that I like.

 

Favorite Eyeshadow Palette
Too Faced – Chocolate Bon Bons

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I didn’t think of this as a fall-related palette until this past month, and now I can’t stay away from it. The deep browns, the mauve/taupe and gray shades… it’s just so perfect for the season.

 

Favorite Clothing Item
Scarves!

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A scarf paired with a sweater is likely how one would see me dressed between October and March, whether I’m inside or outside.

 

Favorite Drink
Pumpkin Spice Latte

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I like both homemade and Starbucks PSLs. If it’s one of those times when I’m trying to lay off of the caffeine, then my go-to fall drink is a decaf vanilla chai tea latte… but I’ll still be craving a PSL.

 

Favorite Dessert
Tie-dye Cupcakes

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I love making these spooky, colorful treats for Halloween gatherings. They are especially great because it’s a surprise whenever someone bites into them!

 

Favorite Thanksgiving Food
Pumpkin Pie

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The truth is, I LOVE Thanksgiving dinner. All of it. I like to cook each dish, I like to eat each dish, I like the days of leftovers that follow. I couldn’t pick just one, so I decided to go for the dessert – pumpkin pie. The reason why is that I can have Thanksgiving dishes year-round, but I pretty much only have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. It’s a little more special.

 

Favorite Fall Movie
Rob Zombie Movies

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This guy just does creepy really well, but what I appreciate the most are the bits of humor that sneak by in his films. The Halloween remake was festive and entertaining.

 

Favorite Fall TV Show
American Horror Story

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I watch AHS every fall, as well as The Walking Dead, but I’m not a superfan of either show. I’m a Game of Thrones girl. However, I have enjoyed watching each season of American Horror Story so far. Season 2: Asylum was my favorite, and one I may have to re-watch.

 

Favorite Halloween Costume

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Simple, easy, and obvious is the way I go for Halloween – or I should say, this is the stage that I’ve graduated to now. I killed it on costumes as a kid. I did cool face paint looks as a teen. I did “sexy” costumes as a young adult. Since age 24, I may have drinks with friends or take my nieces out trick or treating for Halloween, but I’ll typically stay home, eat candy, and watch horror movies with my boyfriend. (Picture: We dressed as Handsome Devils.)

 

I tag everyone to do the Fall Favorites tag, whether it is my remixed version, or the original by Jaclyn Hill!