Fall Fun Series II: Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I’m really glad that this day is finally here. There are a lot of reasons why, but one is that I have been craving pumpkin pie all week; definitely more than usual this year. While preparing for the holiday at home, my candle & wax choices have been variations of pumpkin pie to tide me over. However, I made room for a sweet cranberry scent for good measure today. I don’t feel ready to switch over to winter scents, so I’ve been burning and melting a ton of fall goodness this week.

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I’m heading out of town on Thanksgiving Day to visit with some relatives for a big dinner, drinks, and games. As usual, we tend to have more than one gathering, so I’ll be stuffing myself all weekend long. I hope that those of you celebrating Thanksgiving have a great time as well.

I don’t plan on shopping in stores on Black Friday (never have), but I might have to shop a little bit online. I splurged during Ulta’s Cyber Fundays sale already, but I’m considering a Barrett Wax Crafts order. I’m also eyeballing philosophy’s bubble baths. There are so many things going on sale, it’s hard to resist at least taking a look. Good luck to any of you braving the crowds this year!

 

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Fall Fun Series Finale!

Now that my long Thanksgiving weekend is over, it’s time to put this fall season behind me. It seems like just yesterday when summer was wrapping up and I was looking forward to weeks full of fall fun. I’ve had such a great time this autumn, from pumpkin picking at the farm, to a cabin trip in the Northwoods, plenty of festive Halloween and Thanksgiving events, and way more birthday gift shopping, celebrating, eating, and baking than I do during the entire rest of the year. I got to take part in every fall event that my heart desired and now it is time to move onto the winter festivities.

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Posting for this series each week helped me to be more mindful of my favorite time of year, even if some days it was just for the simple fact that the trees looked awesome and there were pumpkins everywhere! I’ve never been a very consistent blogger, in fact in the past I’ve abandoned my blog for several months at a time. There was a lot about this series that worked perfectly for me: talking about my favorite things, during my favorite time of the year, and doing it regularly on my blog – not to mention, checking in on some other wonderful bloggers to get their perspectives as well. I could have kept going and going if only the fall season were longer.

And then there are the scents. My spare bedroom full of Bath & Body Works boxes, bags, out-of-season products, and the three Facebook groups I’ve joined with “Bath & Body Works” somewhere in the title, is proof that I need to branch out and try new things. I need to spice up my scent world, and I realized it was time to look beyond my Bath & Body Works happy place this season. Reading everyone else’s blog posts was eye-opening in that respect – so much wax. So much festive wax. And plenty of reviews and opinions that I’ve grown to trust over these past few weeks and will use as a guide this winter. Bloggers beware: I’ll be returning to your Fall Fun Series posts just for reminders!

Of course, I plan to hit the B&BW candle sale next month (rumored to be Dec. 3rd?), and I already placed candle and wax melt orders for Black Friday, but my take-away from this series is to explore other scent-related companies and wax vendors more often this next season. There is a sugar cookie wax melt somewhere out there just waiting for me to discover it and fall in love with it, I am sure of that now. No more missing out on the goodies!

To wrap up all of my fall experiences, I will share a top 10 for things I plan to do differently next year:

10. As stated above, try new scented products from different companies.
9. Take a longer vacation at the cabin on the lake.
8. Bake MORE. I made a few birthday cakes and cupcakes, but none of the pumpkin recipes I saved on Pinterest…
7. Make time to craft with my nieces and nephew. Or even just craft by myself.
6. Actually carve a pumpkin, don’t just decorate with them.
5. Find the elusive Cider House Donuts wax melt from ScentSationals.
4. Don’t skip the corn maze at the farm!
3. Drink the Pumpkin Spice Lattes with fewer calories in them. 😐
2. Visit another state and experience someone else’s fall for a weekend.
1. Go all out with home decor. Salt shakers, curtains, rugs, picture frames, cutesy knick-knacks, and anything else. Maybe I won’t miss the fall season so much when its over, if I spend the whole time over-saturated by all things autumnal.

 

I was planning on doing Blogmas this year, which is a winter holiday-oriented blog post every day in the month of December leading up to Christmas day. I do enjoy the spirit and atmosphere of the holiday season, as much as I don’t care for the bitter cold or the miserable mornings shoveling my way out of two feet of snow. I’ll be doing a lot of cookie baking next month, plenty of decorating, binging on Christmas movies and music, and whatever else I can get into while I have time away from school and work. If you’re into that sort of thing, stay tuned for more festive holiday posts starting December 1st. Until then, I’ll just continue transitioning myself and my living space from fall to winter.

Fall Fun Series: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wow, this year has flown by! I gotta say, I’m ready for a holiday like Thanksgiving. I’m spending this evening half lounging, half gathering my things so I am ready to go in the morning. Each year is a little different when it comes to Thanksgiving in my family. One thing I have gotten used to is having multiple Thanksgiving dinners, and this year, that tradition lives on. All that varies each year is who is hosting, what each person is bringing, which days we are getting together, and so on. I’m not hosting this year, and I’m not even cooking much – I’ve been assigned to cocktails and games for the first round.

Wednesday through Friday I will be celebrating out of town with my father’s side of the family at my aunt and uncle’s house, and then Saturday and Sunday will be my second Thanksgiving with one of my brothers and his family. They have very young children that aren’t happy to travel, so my parents and I are spending extra time with them to make their lives easier and allow them a proper turkey day experience. For this particular meal, I believe my mom and I are just going to tag team all of the sides once we get there. I suppose I could end up doing a lot more cooking than I anticipate, so I’ve packed an apron.

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I have some personal traditions as well, but I’m sure they aren’t unique to myself. Of course, I like to start decorating my Christmas trees either the night of, or the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a little difficult to fit that into my schedule this year, so tonight I’m just taking out my trees, ornaments, and lights to be ready whenever I get around to it on Friday. I have five mini trees, two medium trees, and one regular sized tree – all fake ones. My 5 and 8-year-old nieces like to come over and help me decorate the colorful mini trees, but I’m on my own with the bigger three.

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For now, I am just on the couch watching the Netflix series The Crown about Queen Elizabeth II. I made some hot chocolate and put in a Goose Creek wax melt in the scent Holiday Rum Cake. The boyfriend is at a work meeting, but my cats are being cuddly and adorable as usual. I didn’t even need to cook today, aside from tossing a Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie into the oven. There is nothing at all exciting about this day and I suppose that is why I am so content – and so ready for five days of celebrating! I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving has a wonderful time doing whatever it is you plan on doing.

Fall Fun Series: Fall Candles

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Today is the perfect day to do a fall candle post, because unfortunately, I’ll be stashing them away in my closet tonight. Yes, it’s a sad day in my fall-loving world. I’m only going to be home on Monday and Tuesday this week since I will be out of town for a few days celebrating Thanksgiving with family. I’m one of those people that likes to decorate the Christmas tree ASAP after Thanksgiving dinner, so by the time I return home, I will officially be in Christmas mode. It’s only appropriate, then, that my main candle/wax shelf be ready for me with all of my favorite winter fragrances.

Five large jar candles and fifteen 3-wick tumblers were evicted from my shelf and are preparing to hibernate in a cool, dark place for the time being. I think the only ones that I didn’t talk about on my blog were:

Bath & Body WorksFlannel: I can’t not have this candle on hand, even though this year I didn’t burn it. It is what I consider the fall version of B&BW’s Black Tie which I also love. It’s a masculine, cologne-y type of scent (I’ve never been too great at describing those), but since I purchased a Better Homes & Gardens wax melt dupe, I didn’t really miss it in candle form. I’ll save it for next year.

Goose CreekCherry Cobbler: I purchased the candle this spring along with four other fruity/dessert combos. When I lit the candle, I picked up on a spicy bakery note and noticed cinnamon, brown sugar, and buttery cake among the cherry, orange, and lemon notes listed on the website. I had to blow it out and put it away for fall, as it just didn’t feel right for spring. I lit this one a few times in September, but it couldn’t survive Pumpkin Mania and was eventually trapped in the back of the shelf. Perhaps it’s a good late winter candle?

Goose CreekFrench Autumn, and Autumn Romance: These are the backups of two jars that I bought last fall, and despite having Autumn in their names, neither one strikes me as an exclusively fall scent. I decided to save them for another time, but it was still nice to see their colors instead of a sea of orange wax this season. Autumn Romance is a strong one with amber, sandalwood, and musk, while French Autumn is a bit sweet, combining notes of plum, fig, orchid, and again, more sandalwood. It makes me think of a strong, musky perfume mixed with red wine.

 

 

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At the moment, I’m burning Goose Creek Creamy Pumpkin Pie, and Mainstays Pumpkin Spice. I’m also starting to decorate what I refer to as my Autumn/Thanksgiving tree. It’s a two foot tall red Christmas tree which I cover with gold and brown ornaments and clear/white lights. It’s just one out of the six mini trees I have to sprinkle some holiday cheer all over my living areas. I can’t believe I’m already getting ready for Christmas!

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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!

Fall Fun Series: Favorite Fall Item

I’m jumping in a little late here, but am excited to participate in the Fall Fun Series; a series of fall-related posts on Mondays and Fridays, until after Thanksgiving, along with a group of other bloggers that I look forward to getting to know! I was searching for fall tags that I could post about on the first official day of fall when I came across the Fall Fun Series, and it seemed right up my alley.

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There were a number of things that came to mind when I thought about my favorite fall item, but what really stood out to me were my solar dancing woodland creatures. These are placed on a window sill, or in any other bright, sunny area, and will “dance” while they are in the sun. They’re small and adorable, and are my favorite little way of bringing fall inside with me.

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My sister-in-law and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner two years ago and some family friends that joined us gifted us the solar dancing turkey. We’re an easily amused bunch, so whenever the turkey started flapping its wings, one of us was sure to point it out and we’d celebrate what little sunlight we receive here in the Midwest when it gets cold. Since then, I just don’t want to cook on Thanksgiving day without this little guy present.

I was able to find this particular turkey on Amazon for about $10, should any of you be interested in purchasing one of his cousins. You can purchase the solar dancing turkey here along with all kinds of other dancing, sunlight-activated critters.

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A solar dancing owl recently moved into my window sill and has been flapping in the sun since September 1st. The turkey will join him after Halloween.

 

To celebrate the first official day of fall this Thursday, I decided to give my Pumpkin French Toast candle from Bath & Body Works a shot. Holy cow, is this one strong. This is as far as the wax had pooled out before the entire bedroom and hallway were scented:

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It is late into the evening the following day and I am still catching whiffs of maple syrup. It smells like all I’ve cooked for myself in the last 24 hours is french toast! I LOVE strong fall scented candles, but since this one packs such a punch of breakfast-y goodness, I may have to be selective about when I decide to burn this 3-wick candle (and around whom).

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My life in pictures: Fall!

I haven’t gotten around to heading outside and taking any fall photos yet this year. I’m no professional photographer, but capturing my surroundings is a hobby of mine. I love to look back at all of the beautiful or exciting points in my life with visual representations. Maybe one day I’ll take a photography class.

I’m actually in the market for a new camera, I just haven’t decided on which kind I’d like to get. I’d like something a lot nicer than what I’ve been using; I’ve had my two digital cameras since 2007 and they’re hardly better than the camera on my smartphone now.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some fall photos I took between 2012 and 2013. The first few were taken in southern Wisconsin, and the rest are from way up north Wisconsin. It’s really beautiful this time of year.