Friday, October 24

Fashion Friday: The Road Home

TODAY WAS A DOUBLE POST! If you missed this mornings post, go read it and come back!

Jamie (follow her on Instagram: @browneyelovely) has now shown you what to wear when you hit the road for a day full of traveling, where to go for an ultimate October vacation, and now she's going to show what to wear on the way home! Just as in the first post in this series, layers and comfort are still key! You've just finished a vacation and are feeling good! Don't ruin the high because you're shivering in your cabin with high AC. You also want to look stylish and keep the fun and confident feeling you've had all vacation. A cute pair of flats, bright colored leggings, a long, flowing shirt, and thick cardigan are perfect for this. Also, curled hair seems to wear better when it gets messy, so throw your hair into loose curls if you plan on napping part of the way home. Then with a simple flick of the head, your hair is ready for a glamorous exit, no hair brush required.

Sweater: Modcloth, sold out (similar here & here); Shirt: Modcloth, sold out (similar here & here); Leggings: Target; Shoes: Modcloth, sold out (similar here & here).

Don't forget to spend lots of time looking out the window at all the beautiful colors! The golden leaves are only going to stick around for a few more weeks, so soak in all the glorious color you can.

Fashion Friday: Oktoberfest

Last week Jamie (find her on instagram: @browneyelovely) talked about getting ready to travel, this week she's sharing where to travel! During the fall there is one other holiday that may rival Halloween for prominence: Oktoberfest. The official German Oktoberfest is already over, but around the world we like to celebrate the idea of Oktoberfest for the whole month. Really all you need is a good outfit, good beer, good friends, and a place to all hangout. Extra points if the meet up place is somewhere like Leavenworth, Washington, a city known for its classic Bavarian charm.

To fit in simply find a Bavarian costume, they can be found at local thrift shops if you are lucky, and, if you aren't so lucky, local costume shops. Jamie and Chris found theirs for $20 each.

Once you've got your charming outfit together be sure to grab some friends, kick back and relax, and toast to a night you'll always remember!

TODAY IS A DOUBLE POST! Come back in the afternoon for a second Fashion Friday post!

Monday, October 20

Literary Libations: Thirsty Throwback

Are you ready for a blast from the past? I've had a busy, busy weekend. Not that I've been going anywhere, but I've taken on some freelance work which took up some extra time this weekend (it's good stuff, and I'll share what I've been working on once it's completed). In the meantime I didn't have the chance make or create a new savory drink, so I'm going to send you over to this post from last year at this time! I'm guessing you won't remember this post as it was before I had any followers and I'm pretty sure no one was reading my itsy-bitsy blog at that time. SO, go have some fun at Pumpkin Patch and try to remember that my photography skills have improved in the last year...

Today I am finishing up my report on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. I just want to start out by saying that I loved this book, it was intriguing and mysterious, the characters felt absolutely tangible, and at points I think my hair stood on end. That said, this book needs serious trigger warnings. There are many points that deal with sexual abuse. All of it is portrayed in the worst light it could possibly be portrayed in, the perpetrators considered the lowest of the low and not worth saving. If you are extremely sensitive to such issues or are overly affected by what you read, I would suggest stopping here, please find some other, happier book. If, however, you are willing to plunge forward and delve into the dark inner sanctum of Larsson's work, read on.

I've covered a bit of the story already, but now that I know the direction the book actually takes I'm going to start from the beginning. Blomkvist is somewhat famous reporter in Sweden. Is is co-owner of the magazine Millennium and has just been convicted of libeling against a very prominent businessman. Blomkvist has presumably been set-up and is unable to defend himself, he therefore faces a three month prison sentence. Seemingly ready to slip into a depressive state, Blomkvist wants to cut himself off from the world and a job opportunity presents itself at just the right time. The beginning of the book is a bit slow, picking up as you go until it seems to snowball in the middle, gathering momentum with the turn of each page.

Henrik Vanger, the rich, ex-CEO of the Vanger Corporation hires Blomkvist to try and solve a mystery, the problem is the trail has been cold for nearly 40 years. Vanger's niece, Harriet, disappeared at the age of 16. The most intriguing part of this, however, is that she disappeared off of an island to which there was no exit. Henrik, the head of the Vanger clan, lives on Hedeby island. There is only one entrance and exit, a long bridge connecting them to the mainland. Much of the extended family has come over for a family business meeting when a tanker truck jack knifes on the bridge, effectively cutting the island off from the rest of the world for 24 hours. At this point Harriet is still on the island. She seems agitated and worried about something, she tries to approach Henrik for advice, but he is too busy to be bothered. Some time over the next several hours she disappears for good. No one claims to have seen her or know where she is. The island is searched, but no sign of poor Harriet is found. Henrik spends the next 36 year pursuing every possibility for her disappearance, but has found no evidence. The Vanger clan is a truly unlikeable bunch and Henrik is convinced that a family member must have murdered Harriet and somehow removed the body. Starting from age 8, Harriet used to give Henrik a pressed flower for his birthday every year. Since her disappearance he has received an anonymous pressed flower on his birthday every single year, Henrik is convinced that Harriet's murderer must still be alive and taunting him.

At this point The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo really hits it's stride. Blomkvist brings in Lisbeth (the girl referred to in the title) to help him with his investigation. She is a professional private detective, working for Milton Security, and an invaluable asset. Lisbeth is my favorite character in the book and also the character with the most baggage. She is consistently surprising and yet invariable in her actions and personality. As clues are uncovered, the past of the Vanger Clan proves to be even darker than imagined. If you want to read a truly thrilling tale, I would highly recommend Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. I've moved on to the second book in the series and am already enthralled. If you've read this book before let me know what your final impressions were below!

Friday, October 17

Fashion Friday: Well Traveled

Fall has always felt like the perfect time for traveling by train. A more leisurely journey where you can look out your window and watch the flaming leaves pass by. The world just seems more colorful and peaceful. A good book like Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie is an absolute must for train travel, as well as a great duffel bag, and a comfortable yet stylish outfit. Jamie (follow her on instagram: @browneyelovely) shows you the perfect outfit for climbing on board.

Beanie: gift (similar here); Sweater: Modcloth, sold out (similar here); Shirt: Target, sold out (similar here); Pants: basic black denim (similar here, here, and here); Socks: Target; Boots: American Eagle; Watch: Fossil; Bracelet: Lou Lou, sold out (similar here); Bag: Hershel Supply, sold out (similar here).

Starting from the top, a beanie is a great way to keep warm while waiting for the train. Layers are a must because you never know what the heating or AC will be like in a train car or plane cabin, so using a thick warm cardigan over a plaid shirt creates an easy and casual look that is also stylish. Jeans or jeggings are always a great starting point when going on trips. You don't want pants that are too stiff, but you want to make sure they will hold up to a long day of traveling.  Add tall socks and boots to keep your toes safe and warm. Safe travels, everyone!

Wednesday, October 15

Food Inspiration

There are so many yummy food blogs out and about today. I have some favorites that I regularly gather inspiration from (and most importantly recreate the recipes from) so I thought that I'd share them with you today! Hopefully you will find them as inspiring as I do!

Joy The Baker

Yeah, I've mentioned her several times because she's basically the goddess of food. I love her because she makes grilled cheese sandwiches elegant and trendy while simultaneously producing cookies that even Pinterest is jealous of. She also recently came out with a cook book named Homemade Decadence that I definitely plan on buying. Her pictures are stunningly glorious examples of true food and the voice she writes in makes you want to be best friends.

Chocolate Covered Katie

Katie is one of the most inventive food bloggers I've read. She's constantly taking unhealthy and delicious recipes and making them healthy and delicious recipes. She does things like using pumpkin in Mac and Cheese to cut back on the heavy cream and calories and teaching you how to bake your oatmeal days in advance so you never have to have the early morning breakfast munchies again.

A Beautiful Mess

I could never leave out A Beautiful Mess, they just know how to be so seasonal and festive with all of their dishes which makes my holiday loving heart nearly burst with joy. They also know how to use alcohol liberally which is never a bad thing around holidays. Currently for all us fall and Halloween obssessed ghouls they have Candy Corn Jell-O Shots, Pumpkin Spice White Russians, and for a twist on classic apple pie, try their Apple Pecan Pie made right in the apple! Mmmm, don't forget the vanilla bean ice cream.

Is there a recipe above that you just have to try? What websites and recipes have been inspiring your inner foodie? I'd love to hear all about it!

Monday, October 13

Literary Libations: Pumpkin Spice Latte & One Lovely Blog Award

Do you remember when Jamie suggested everyone go get a Pumpkin Spice Latte to celebrate fall? I still hadn't picked one up because I was in the midst of a dilemma. You see since I began drinking my coffee black (a little over a year ago) most of the specialized, overly sugary drinks have become a little too much for me. Often times they give me headaches. I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the fall, though, they always seem so festive, so what to do? It's so simple I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but I simply got 2 pumps of syrup instead of 4. It still has a lot of delicious pumpkin-y goodness, but it isn't headache inducing and it's much lower on sugar. Best of both worlds!

I'm still working away at The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, it's amazing and I'm loving it so far. Every spare moment I find myself reading. Next week I will give you my final over view as I'm sure I'll be done with the book by then.

This past week I was nominated for The One Lovely Blog Award by Chelsea of Chowing Down By The Bay! I want to thank Chelsea for the honor of the nomination and tell you all how awesome her blog is, you should definitely check it out! She has a lot of awesome food and fashion posts, two of my favorite topics.

The rules of the award are:
1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Share seven things about yourself.
3) Nominate some bloggers you admire.
4) Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

So, without further ado, 7 facts about me (I'm going to try and list things I haven't shared before):
1) I'm a Doctor-Who-A-Holic. If that wasn't a thing, it is now. I love the show, something about it just captures my imagination. I don't have a favorite doctor, but my favorite companions were Amy and Rory. I'm currently also obsessed with Selfie largely because Karen Gillian is in it and I loved her role in Doctor Who so much. I even have a little paper craft Tardis and Dalek that sit on my desk. Yup, so now you know how cool I am.

2) I used to think I was a cat person because growing up I always had cats. I adopted a dog last year and found out that I'm definitely a dog person. He's lovely, but any time Hubby and I decide to watch TV he feels the absolute need to squeak one of his many squeaky toys over, and over, and over again. If we put them away for 30 minutes to have a bit of silence, he frequently whines. Unfortunately it's extremely cute, so we let him get away with it.

3) I'm a bit obsessed with holidays and generally decorate extravagantly for all of them, including the not very important ones like Valentine's Day. I've picked up holiday themed reusable grocery bags to store the decorations in, that way I can tell at a quick glance which bag has which decorations.

4) I'm always pretending that I have goals to get fit, but generally those goals are short lived because I like food, candy, and sitting on the couch a little too much. Then I blame it on the fact that I'm working a day job, blogging, and freelancing so I don't have time. But I do have time, I just choose not to do it. Oops. But hey, at least I walk my dog every day. That counts for something, right?

5) Have I told you that I'm obsessed with pizza? But I'm weirdly specific about it. I love pizza, I could almost eat it every day (I normally eat it only once or twice a week, because will power), but I only like pepperoni pizza. Nothing else.

6) I really like love free things and am normally super stoked when someone gives me something for free. Occasionally I don't want something, though, and I always feel an odd, crippling guilt at refusing free things (even if it's someone clearly just cleaning out junk from their basement, who probably wouldn't be insulted because they don't want it themselves) so I either end up taking it even if I don't want it, or I end up blaming my refusal on someone else. "Oh, that chair is so lovely, but Hubby doesn't like that color for some odd reason, who knows why, so I better not bring it home."

7) I hope one day to work from home by freelancing, blogging, and perhaps writing a novel or two. I actually have a novel that I've been working on, on and off, for about 2 years now. I often take long hiatuses because life gets busy, but I hope to eventually finish it. I've scrapped it and started from the beginning twice now, though, so it might take a while. Once it's finished you all will be the first to know!

Bloggers I'm nominating (in no particular order) are: A Very Sweet Blog, What To Style, Le Stylo Rouge, and Upbeat Soles.

All of the above bloggers are amazing, please check them out! They have very well done, informative, and beautiful blogs!