SLIDER

How Living in California Affects My Style

Saturday, November 29, 2014

To me, fashion relates to clothes, trends, name brands, while style is how you as an individual portray those fashions. I was raised in California, near San Diego, where the weather is usually in the 70s. It's not ever super humid. We don't get much rain, definitely no snow. The beach is just a few miles away. These types of things are factored in when it comes to my style. 


On top of that I work full-time, so Monday through Friday I'm sitting in an office doing social media. The office environment is casual, so I'm free to wear what I want. The temperatures in the San Diego area are dropping a little bit. In summertime you need 4 fans blowing on you to sleep at night. Finally, at the end of November, I need 2 fuzzy blankets & the window closed to sleep comfortably. That's how much of a wuss I am in the cold. Sorry, I'm from SoCal.


My style kind of reflects that California attitude. It's a relaxed vibe. I like to mix & match & I'm constantly figuring out myself & my style. I've had this purple top & patterned skirt for so many years. So many years in fact, I honestly can't remember where I bought them. I wore them when they were new but there was a 2 to 3 year gap when I just ignored them. I challenged myself to give them a go & I came up with a bold, bright, purple, patterned look.

Top: Unknown // Skirt: Unknown // Windbreaker: Thrifted (vintage Nike) // Boots: H&M // Tights: Pink Zone 
I feel that what you wear is kind of a reflection of your personality. What type of girl walks around in a vintage Nike windbreaker & lots of color & pattern? This girl! Keep up with the news & current events. Learn more about what's happening around you. Figure out what you like & challenge yourself.


Yes, I have that SoCal relaxed style. But I can still push my own boundaries. I don't wear black very often. Hmm...maybe that's something I could try. I feel weird wearing heels on a regular basis. Maybe I can challenge myself to wear them once a week. Years ago, combat boots were extremely ugly to me. It was something the punk kids wore at school when I was more of a jeans & t-shirt type of girl. Now combat boots are my go shoe during the fall. Last year was my first year delving into beanies & now I wear them all the time.


Take risks. Try something new. You may just surprise yourself & the world. How has your style changed over time? How would you describe your fashion sense? Does where you live affect your style? :]

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50 Things to be Thankful for

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I'm here to give thanks. I want to take a moment to just be thankful. Be joyous for everything I have. I want to inspire you as well. We need it. The world needs it. Hopefully, there are some things on this list that you are thankful for too.



1. Being alive 
2. Oxygen for making all life possible 
3. Blossoming flowers in spring 
4. Puppies, kitties, baby animals of any kind 
5. Food when you're hungry 
6. Music 
7. Shoes on your feet & clothes in the closet 
8. Good health 
9. TV, literature, & film 
10. Opportunity to get an education 
11. Comfort when you're feeling down 
12. Seeing friends & family you haven't seen in ages 
13. Cold water on a hot summer's day 
14. Sleeping in 
15. Fresh cut flowers 
16. Cell phones for being able to reach people with ease 
17. The ability to read 
18. Sun, moon, stars, & everything beyond
19. Taking off your shoes after a long day 
20. Receiving a handwritten letter in the mail 
21. Dark chocolate 
22. Access to the internet & technology 
23. Knowing true love 
24. Gravity & breathing, that which we have no control over 
25. Caller ID 
26. Wisdom that comes with age 
27. Pizza 
28. Freedom to vote 
29. Enough money to pay rent 
30. Kindness of strangers 
31. Sense of smell to smell mum's cooking or fresh bread 
32. Sense of sight to see the sunset or your baby's first steps 
33. Sense of touch to hug others with love or feel the rain on your cheeks 
34. Sense of hearing to listen to thunder or your favorite song 
35. Sense of taste to enjoy a warm meal or cold ice cream 
36. Holding hands 
37. The love & support of friends & family 
38. A long night of sleep 
39. Sales 
40. Cozying up on winter's night 
41. Sound of a baby's laughter 
42. The last piece of anything (pie, pizza, candy, etc.) 
43. How the leaves change color & fall in autumn 
44. Travel 
45. Sunshine to brighten the day 
46. Advancement of technology & medicine 
47. That first cup of tea or coffee in the morning 
48. Pool & beach days in summer 
49. Clean drinking water 
50. Holiday traditions 

Let's spread thankfulness, gratitude, appreciation, & kindness. Don't spread racism, hate, lies, or bad thoughts on others. We don't need any more fighting or death or darkness. Take the time to be thankful, genuinely. Don't do it to do it. Go out of your way to be grateful or do something kind. Lord knows the world needs more love. 

Any plans for today? This is my first Thanksgiving away from my family (they are visiting my sister up in Berkeley). I will be spending the day with my boyfriend's family. Should be interesting. Now time to prep this vegetarian bake! :] 

What are you thankful for? Anything from this list? What are your Thanksgiving plans? Does your family have any special traditions? 

That's it from me on the blog today. :]
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3 Ways to Wear Beanies

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beanies are a fall & winter favorite of mine. However, pretty much a year ago you would've never seen me in a beanie. Why? Simply because my style is constantly evolving. I am consistently learning more about myself & life & fashion in general.

Beanies are extremely flexible when it comes to styling. You can dress them down or you can dress them up. They're so versatile that you can either look like a hobo from one of those old time films or a beautiful modern day princess, depending on your stylistic choices. 

What we have here are three ways to wear beanies. I was originally going to go with titles like "casual" & "dressy," but I decided what works for me is figuring out how to style it with certain articles of clothing. Here you can see how to style a beanie with pants, a skirt, & a coat or some sort of outerwear during the fall & winter months. 


Pants - A casual, comfortable outfit. You could go grocery shopping in this & then head to lunch with your boyfriend. It's all about a relaxed, easy fit to keep you mobile & looking chic wearing it. This look features one of the new Wang sweaters from the Alexander Wang collection at H&M. To me this look is very California cool. This is something we would wear any day or night during winter & fall, seeing as it doesn't get too frigid here in Southern Cali.

Skirt - You may be a little freaked out wearing a beanie with a skirt but that's just because you haven't opened your mind up to the possibilities of beanies. This outfit is the ideal edgy night look. Heels, skirt, & a beanie are definitely for the risk takers in life. You're not going to be afraid or shy to rock this look. Depending on the beanie, it can either be your statement piece or just something to pull the look together. In this case, it's both -- some rhinestones for sparkle, but it's not super loud.

Coat - Not everyone lives in SoCal where we can survive off a light cardigan in winter/fall. There are people going out & doing day-to-day things -- or nightly things -- & they're wearing giant coats, jackets, parkas, layers, because it's literally freezing. This way to wear a beanie look is for those who really have a winter. The vibe of what's going on underneath your outerwear could be totally different that what's on the surface. You can mix & match your beanie accordingly. First things first, choose your beanie! Next, determine what clothes to wear underneath. Lastly, style your outer layers. Ta da!

For me, women who wear beanies are strong, independent, forward thinking ladies. A beanie has been seen as masculine but that's why it's called style. Style is about interpreting fashion & trends to mold them into your aesthetic. There are many ways to wear beanies. But it's all up to you! Which one of these is your favorite? Pants? Skirt? Coat?

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Primal Strips Review - Meatless Vegan Jerky

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I'm vegetarian which means I don't eat animals. This includes cows, pigs, chicken, duck, fish, frogs, turkey, crickets, what have you. With that in mind, beef jerky is not something I've had in nearly a decade, so when I saw the Primal Spirit Foods* range of meatless vegan jerkys I was thrilled. These jerkys, called Primal Strips, are all natural, vegan, & non-GMO. They have no preservatives, artificial colors, or cholesterol. Primal Spirit Foods was kind enough to send me 12 individual strips in 6 different flavors. Woohoo! Now to test them out...aka eat them! :D



The flavors are Thai Peanut, Hickory Smoked, Mesquite Lime, Hot & Spicy, Teriyaki, & Texas BBQ. From this selection, the jerkys range from soy jerky, seitan jerky, & shiitake mushroom jerky. I didn't eat all these by myself; I got a couple other people to try them too. The verdict was clear: Delicious. Everyone loved these mini protein packed snacks, whether they were vegan, vegetarian, or not.



Texturally, I would choose any of the soy options. It had a nice chewiness to it. Other than that I'm not sure how to describe it. Texas BBQ was my #1 favorite. My boyfriend & I were oooo-ing & aaaah-ing the entire time we were eating it, wiping drool off our faces. I loved the smoky seasoning.

Mesquite Lime had a slight tartness to it. Perfect for those of us who like a little kick. Teriyaki had a salty & somewhat sweet taste -- likely due to the mix of cane juice & soy sauce. Mmm mm good. I would truly say that you can't go wrong with any of these flavors. You can cut them up for salads, stir frys, sandwiches, & whatever else your heart desires. I recommend trying them & figuring out which taste you enjoy the most.



Pictured here is the scrumptious Teriyaki vegan jerky made from seitan. Most of the jerkys were chewy like normal jerky but a little more moist. I liked the power of the flavors as well as the kick from biting into it. Primal Strips make for a wonderful snack to have at work. One of the best parts is they have a ton of protein! These ones ranged from 6g of protein to 10g of protein; the shiitake mushroom one having the lowest protein while the soy meatless vegan jerky had 10g.

From what I can recall, these sell for around $1.85 a piece. There are retailers in the US, UK, & Canada, so check out the Primal Strips retailers if you're interested in these yummy treats. I have bought these before & would buy any of these again. Are you vegan/vegetarian? Would you ever try these? I'd totally love to know! :]

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* Disclaimer: These products were received complimentary from Primal Spirit Foods in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are 100% mine aka Carmen's. :]

My Everyday Makeup Products

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's safe to say that most of us have more products than we will ever actually need or fully utilize. That said, it seems that there are always those items that you keep coming back to, you always reach for or you can't live without. This post is about those must-have pieces. These are my current day-to-day makeup products.


No I don't use pumpkins everyday. Like many humans, I just enjoy having them around in the fall. I have a few products from E.L.F. because I find that their quality is quite superior for the price. So let's get to it...

For daily wear, I use the sleek black E.L.F. Powder Brush for my powder. I've had it for a year or two. It's soft, works well, & applies the product evenly. The only negative thing is that it's kind of starting to detach a little bit, but you can't beat paying $3 bucks for it. 

The E.L.F. Total Face Brush is perfect to apply blush. However, it needs to go into retirement soon because it's old & about to fall apart. Time for new brushes!

I also have an oil free E.L.F. Maximum Coverage Concealer in the shade Sand. It's a decent concealer that covers up blemishes & things I don't want the entire world to see.

My blush is by MAC in the color Summer Rose. It came out a couple years ago & was a really cool rose shape. As you can see, I hit the pan. I've really utilized it. When I mean "everyday product" I do use this nearly every day. :]

Up next is the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in 040 Nude Chair. Dream Wonder is a lightweight powder I put on my face to provide light coverage & eliminate any shine. Works like a charm. However, it's not long lasting. Keep that in mind.

Rimmel London's ScandalEyes Curve Alert is my current mascara. I love the curved brush which lifts your lashes with minimal effort. No need for an eyelash curler. It works very well as far as mascara drugstore brands.

The Cynthia Rowley eyeliner was actually a sample from Birchbox. It was one of my favorite products from the subscription company. The eyeliner is dark, long-lasting, & pigmented.

The featured lipstick is Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Brilliant Bordeaux. Sometimes I use this by itself or layer on top of a lip balm for a lighter tint. This stuff works brilliantly. The color lasts for hours without any touch ups.

Well, that's it folks. I just wanted to give you some insight into my daily face. It's relatively simple & casual. What are your go to items? Are any of my everyday makeup products in your collection? :]

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An Empty Room

Monday, November 17, 2014

This room is empty. It prompts several questions. Is this person moving in? Moving out? Is someone else moving in or out? Is there a roommate? Why is it empty? How long has it been vacant? Why? What happened in this room? What will happen in this room? Is it the end of an era or the start of a new one?


This room is empty. Who lived here? It doesn't matter. What matters is: why the move? He moved back home. He wanted to save money. He wanted to achieve his goals, whatever they may be. He felt the pressure of living paycheck to paycheck. He didn't want to feel that way anymore. He wanted to focus on moving forward instead of being stuck. But did he go backward?

This room is empty. It's been that way for a couple months. I feel the same way, somewhat. Empty. When he moved, when he packed up his belongings & said "sayonara" that was it. Whatever happened, whatever has happened since then, I do not know. He is in his own world. A world apart. A world disconnected.


This room is empty. But I shouldn't be. I should move forward. Look ahead. Determine some goals. Strive for my dreams.  Is it the end of an era or the start of a new one? Isn't it always both? Does it even matter? Every day is a new day. Each day the room is empty when I wake up. But it's only empty because I never filled it. It doesn't have to be empty. Neither do I.

+++++++++++++

What does this narrative mean to you? What does an empty room signify? I'd love to hear what you think. :]

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Julian Casablancas + The Voidz at The Wiltern

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I always love spending time in Los Angeles. On November 6, my boyfriend & I headed to LA for the evening in order to attend the Julian Casablancas + The Voidz performance at the Wiltern. If you've been keeping up with my blog you know I'm from the San Diego area, so heading to LA for a day trip is about a 2 hour journey. We headed out during the early afternoon & of course, there was traffic. D'oh!


My boyfriend was actually going to head to the show alone because he had to cover the event for a gig (he's a music journalist). I thought I'd come along for the journey so he didn't have to drive to & from LA on a weeknight, go to the show alone, & then have to go to work the next day. Am I a good girlfriend? Sure. Do I also enjoy music? Absolutely. Do I like LA? Most definitely. Aside from being tired for work the next day it was a no-brainer to attend. 


The show was pretty cool. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti opened up the night. I don't know if you can spot this in the photo (which is actually a film still), but he was wearing a sleeveless top, short shorts, tights, & high heel shoes similar to that of Jeffrey Campbell. Oh & the shoes were glittery. I'm almost certain that he's not gay. It was just for his performance. As my boyfriend commented, "he's just eccentric, quirky." I thought it was cool. I really enjoyed his voice. He was entertaining, got the crowd going, & had kind of like an old-school rock voice to him. 


I found this simple yet cool graffiti on the bathroom stall. It was dated, initialed, & everything.  It was just so nonchalantly written. I don't care if I wrote a quote in permanent marker. It's about the music, dude. I liked the grungy vibe of the people at the show. The artist & his music make a difference in who listens. 


Next up was Julian Casablancas + The Voids. They were quite energetic live. Julian has an edgy, raspy voice. Definitely a crooner. He was sporting a sleeveless denim vest & signature shaggy hair. In case you didn't know, Julian Casablancas is the lead singer of The Strokes. Here's a music video of JC + The Voidz.




If you want an alcohol beverage at the Wiltern, you're going to have to cough up about $12 for any type of drink. Yep, $12. You could buy a 6 pack of Lagunitas for less than that. However, that's the nature of going out at night. You have to pay for it. The bartender was nice though.


Going along with the grunge theme is this gorgeous toilet shot. Look at the purple walls, the way the water is moving. Just kidding. I just liked the composition of it all. The night was thrilling. It's exciting to have a mini road trip with a loved one. We played some music on the way up, found a quant place to get pizza, & watched a little bit of Ferris Bueller's Day Off before we walked to the venue.

Do you go to live concerts & shows? Have you ever heard of The Strokes or The Voidz? Which photo is your favorite? :]

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The Cold Shoulder // OOTD

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It is NOT fall in California. Despite it technically being autumn, California is like "nahhhh." It was 82 degrees a few days ago. 82 DEGREES! Today it's 66 degrees & slightly cloudy. The temperature fluctuates, so sometimes I can utilize my beanies. Other times my head may catch on fire from the heat. This is not one of those days though. Thankfully.


Beanie: Forever 21 // Shirt: Rue 21 // Pants: H&M // Boots: Wet Seal

I'm really starting to see how my fall style varies from others. California is just a different place. Our autumn is odd. It's cool enough so that wearing boots & a beanie wouldn't be totally weird. It's warm enough that I can have these nifty shoulder cut outs & not get chilly. No cold shoulder here. :]



I picked up this beanie last fall from Forever 21. If you know me in any way, shape, or form you know that I am a woman who enjoys color. A statement beanie such as this neon yellow one is no surprise. I'm pretty sure it was on sale for under $5. It's loose & one of my favorites during the chillier California days.


I've never worn this shirt before, so I like how it looks. The mix of tribal / geometric pattern & the cut out give it a bit of oomph. Today I get to work from home, so maybe the boyfriend & I will end up heading to a movie later. Hope you're having a happy fall!

Any plans for the day? Let me know! Toodles~

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Hottest Fall Trends

Monday, November 10, 2014

As a fashion & lifestyle blogger it's my duty to inform the world of the hottest fall trends. Well, I'm just going to say that's my duty. I spend a lot of time browsing designers' collections, viewing other bloggers' outfits, seeing what's hot hot hot. Fall has officially been here for almost 2 months, so I now have a grasp of some of the most popular trends this season. What are they? Lemme tell ya.

There are 5 things that I kept seeing over & over: animal prints of any kind, chunky knit sweaters, booties booties booties, faux fur everything & tartan. There you have it folks. Honestly, you could wear this entire look minus the dress & with only 1 pair of shoes. It works. 




Booties are not very groundbreaking, but they're stylish & useful. They're chic & versatile to sport for any occasion, yet they give off a warm fall vibe. Go for a natural color -- beige, brown, nude. Trust me on this one. 

Animal print is so in. I've seen an infinite about of leopard, giraffe, cheetah, tortoise shell, & the like. It doesn't matter what animal it's supposed to emulate, just as long as it's animal print. It doesn't matter if the print is for a dress, your shoes, or sunnies, just as long as it's animal print.

Faux fur is along the same lines as animal print. Doesn't matter what you're wearing -- coat, hat, scarf -- just as long as it's faux. I love faux fur because it's totally chic but without the cruelty. Hooray! Can't wait to bust out my faux fur jacket. 

Chunky knits are a fall & winter staple. Grannies have been knitting for centuries & this season is no different. Wear your chunky knit sweaters with pride. I've seen a lot of natural & nude colors, but you can rock a rainbow sparkle knit for all I care. Knit is knit.

Tartan is the new black. The pattern gives off an edgy vibe to spice up your look. What's the difference between plaid & tartan? I'm not a doctor or anything, but in short plaid is a garment, tartan is a pattern.

Just because it's cold out doesn't mean that you can't look hot! Which of these 5 hottest fall trends is your favorite? Leave a comment! :]


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Aroma Naturals Review

Friday, November 07, 2014

How is it a week into November already? Where does the time go? All I know is...it's time for a review! I received a decent sized parcel full of sample sizes from Aroma Naturals*. Their range of products are cruelty free & eco-friendly. Woohoo! I received 5 Hi-Vitamin Crème & Lotion samples, 6 Beauty & Body Oil samples, 4 Whipped Butter Crème samples, 5 ButterX Lip Care samples, & 5 Castile 4-in-1 Soap samples. So many samples, so little time.



I thoroughly enjoyed the Castile 4-in-1 Soaps. All the ingredients are 100% natural, paraben free, & biodegradable. These 2oz. bottles retail at $3 each. I liked to use Fresh Mint for a morning shower. Mint is the perfect way to feel awake & refreshed even though you're totally groggy. The soaps become frothy & foamy & they smell fantastic. I would recommend any of their scents really. I was impressed with the quality. :]






The Beauty & Body Oils are fun to use when giving massages. These 1 oz bottles retail at $3.25 a piece. The oil helps you get a nice friction going when kneading the skin. I enjoyed the Tea Tree Eucalyptus oil as well as the Orange Honey Blossom. They smelled particularly soothing. Technically these aren't solely for use in massages; you can use them on your face or neck or anywhere. These contain no preservatives; they're allergy friendly, non-greasy, & moisturizing. Multifunctional items are a treat!



As far as lip balms are concerned, both my boyfriend & I enjoyed Aroma Natural's ButterX Lip Care products. They're 80% organic. They do contain beeswax. Each of these retail at $5. I like Iced Green Tea, Cherry Vanilla, & Orange Honey Mint. The lip butters are all enriched with vitamins C & E. Fancy. These aren't as replenishing as say, Wholly Hemp's. If you have super chapped lips, Butterx may not be for you.




As far as the range of body creams & lotions, I wasn't super impressed. They worked as far as hydration but I wasn't blown away. The vitamin enriched ones retail at $2.80. They're unscented, although there is a slight smell from the ingredients. The Soft Whipped Aloe Vera Butter Créme & the Soft Whipped Mango Butter Créme each have a subtle yet pleasing scent. Out of the bunch, I'd recommend either of them.
Overall my very favorite products are the soaps. It's a practical purchase, especially fantastic for those of us with sensitive skin or those who want to be aware of what we put on our bodies. The soaps smell great & work well. These products are moderately priced, so if anything piques your interest you won't break the bank by trying them out.

Do you opt for organic or natural products? Would you consider it? :]

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* Disclaimer: These products were received complimentary from Aroma Naturals in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are 100% mine aka Carmen's. :]

Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter | Redhook

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Okay something I've been wanting to do is start a craft beer segment. I enjoy a fine beer once in a while. No no, I'm not talking those Natural Lights or Coors Lights. No siree bob. I mean craft beer! Delightfully hand made craft beer. What is craft beer? In short, a microbrewery or craft brewery is a brewery that produces a small amount of beer, aka craft beer. I'm 21+, so I don't know if I'm supposed to give you some sort of warning about underage drinking. Consider that my warning.



Today's beer is Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter from Redhook Ale Brewery. The brewery was established in 1981 in Seattle, WA. These beers should be available in your local grocery store, liquor store, or wherever you buy alcohol from. If not, I'm sorry about that. These bad boys are seasonal! It's all about autumn, baby. 



I've had Redhook before, but once the boyfriend & I spotted these seasonal guys we couldn't resist. The bottle has a cool shape. The packaging is very Halloween-y & has a headless dude holding a jack-o-lantern, as well as a spooky looking tree. Each cap has something different written or drawn under it. You'll have to buy it to see what's under there. ;D



The beer itself is rich dark brown & made with pureed pumpkin. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & maple syrup are also added, so you've got yourself a marvelous spiced beer. The Pumpkin Porter is full bodied & goes down smooth. No terrible after taste here. This brew is perfect for those of you who enjoy a good coffee stout. It is 5.80% ABV (alcohol by volume) which is not too shabby. 



Here's my beer selfie! We make a great team, no? I believe these retail at $9.99 which is a fantastic deal for a 6 pack as well as the alcohol content. I recommended trying the Pumpkin Porter if you like seasonal beers, dark beers, or beers that taste kind of like coffee. That's it for this #BrewReview!

Are you a beer fan? Or do you prefer liquor? Or no alcohol at all? Let me know if more beer/food/drink posts interests you. :]

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15 Fall Inspired Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Running out of blog ideas? Writer's block can happen to anybody, so don't worry. I've got 15 lifestyle blog post ideas for fall to get you going for the rest of the season. Keep up with seasonal topics & create fresh content for your readers. The thing to remember is that consistency is key when it comes to blogging & growing your readership. Updating your blog once every 2 weeks doesn't make for good statistics. Your readers won't know to keep coming back. Stay inspired with these lifestyle blog post ideas!


1. Your fall bucket list
2. Best autumn decorating ideas from Pinterest
3. An easy seasonal DIY (do-it-yourself) project or craft
4. Goals for this week
5. Things to look forward to in autumn
6. Best celebrity Halloween looks
7. What's in your autumn makeup bag
8. Top songs that remind you of fall
9. Recap of your month on Instagram
10. Your 10 favorite fall films
11. New book review
12. Style must-haves for autumn
13. Short story based on a recent experience
14. How to make your favorite seasonal meal
15. Review of recent purchases

Fall is a wonderful time of year when the nights start to get cooler. The morning breeze starts to chill. The sun no longer works like it did in the summertime. You might find yourself in a nice, thick coat or some comfy boots. Use this time of year to your advantage. Write about it. Write about those pumpkin spice lattes or your favorite seasonal dish. Write about those fantastic crafts you've seen online. Write about how you love this time of year, hate this time of year, or are indifferent to this time of year. Just write!

Set aside some time. Get inspired & stay inspired! Writing posts only gets tedious if you aren't enjoying the process. Brew some tea. Surf the net. Get to it. Have you written about any of these topics recently? Did I give you any ideas? Which is your favorite? :]


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