50 Fall Flavors Better Than Pumpkin Spice

Out of all the fall flavors, Pumpkin Spice is far too overrated. Here's a list of 50 other ideas... / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

It’s Autumn. The best season of the entire year, and the best potential for delicious fall flavors to indulge in while you can cover up your foodie sins with endless layers of puffy clothing. And yet, this is the season that we celebrate the worst flavor known to mankind:

Pumpkin Spice.

In an entire world of culinary treats… how is this the damn fall flavor that consumes us from September-December? Literally thousands of flavors, and hundreds of which could easily compliment the background of a crisp fall breeze and leaves crunching underfoot… and we decide that friggin’ Pumpkin Spice is going to the the theme of the best season known to man?

I don’t think so.

And I’m not just saying this because I hate Pumpkin Spice almost as much as I hate Cheeto Jesus, but because in a world of endless tastes we are set to suffer with this one flavor profile to rule over the other delicious flavor profiles? Nah bro.

In the interest of spreading the good word of oh, I don’t know, any other flavor ever, I thought I’d share my top 50 other flavors that are better than Pumpkin Spice (in no particular order).

50 Fall Flavors Better Than Pumpkin Spice

  1. Chocolate
  2. Peanut Butter
  3. Chocolate AND Peanut Butter
  4. Mint
  5. Butterscotch
  6. Stale Chocolate
  7. S’mores
  8. Toffee Nut
  9. Apple
  10. Cinnamon
  11. Day-old apple cinnamon
  12. Caramel Apple
  13. Cranberry
  14. Orange
  15. Orange Spice
  16. Toasted Marshmallow– not to be confused with S’more, as this one contains NO chocolate
  17. White Chocolate
  18. Maple
  19. Salted Caramel
  20. Bad apple flavoring that really tastes like what a bad candle smells like, kind of waxy and sour
  21. A gym sock, probably
  22. Nutmeg
  23. Apple Pie
  24. Peach Pie
  25. Blueberry Pie
  26. Literally any kind of pie, like any pie at all, including spinach
  27. Caramel Corn
  28. Candy Corn (AKA literally the shittiest candy known to man)
  29. Turkey & Gravy
  30. Mashed Potato
  31. Green Bean Casserole
  32. Canned Cranberry Sauce
  33. Pink Gelatin Mold Your Grandma Makes But Nobody Eats
  34. Raspberry
  35. Toffee (minus the nut)
  36. Amaretto
  37. Wet Dog Smell
  38. Leftover Chinese Food
  39. Cat Treats
  40. Water
  41. Mint Chocolate Chip
  42. Cloves (or whatever that Christmas-smelly spice is)
  43. Apple Pie Spice
  44. Dirty Diaper
  45. Dollar Store Lip Gloss You Didn’t Mean to Eat But It Accidentally Got In Your Mouth And Now You’re Full of So Much Regret
  46. Cinnamon Toothpaste
  47. A day-old Skittle you found a the bottom of your purse
  48. Coconut
  49. Drinking Orange Juice After Brushing Your Teeth Taste
  50. Vanilla

And I could go on, but you get the picture. F*ck Pumpkin Spice.

 

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The Ultimate List of Facebook Groups For Make-Up Addicts

Do you ever feel like nobody in your life understands your love of makeup, and you have nobody to ask questions to, or share in excitement with? Welcome to Facebook Groups... // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

If you’re ever feeling alone in something you like– don’t. Welcome to the world of Facebook Groups.

My beauty product obsession is only an interest I developed in the last few years. And until recently, I was pretty alone in that obsession, especially when I was living at home in Ohio. There are only so many times you can show your cat mom a swatch of a lipstick before she goes to her bedroom and locks the door.

So I turned to Facebook Groups to help curb my addiction for talking about products. To this day these groups are still the reason why I have yet to delete my personal Facebook. It’s not very often that you can get a group of women and men together who will all fan girl over a Sephora shipping notification with you, or help you guess the brand/shade of a lipstick that a celeb is photographed wearing. And all from the comfort of your own home!

Get a new lipstick and you’re feeling yourself? Post it to the group, and share with (literally) thousands of others.  Curious if a product is worth the hype? Ask the group and get answers immediately. I’m serious– there is even a woman who is SO talented at creating these gorgeous, intricate eyeshadow looks that there is currently a campaign going to get her to create a Youtube channel or to study make-up professionally. Outside of Alpha Delta Pi, never have I ever belonged to a group of such supportive people.

Obviously there are bound to be a ton of these groups, but I do have a few favorites.

Make Up Tips Connection

This was the first group I joined. It had a few thousand members when I found it, and now it’s got nearly 20,000. This is the perfect place for product recommendations, to ask questions, gossip over the beauty guru committee (like the Kat Von D & Jeffrey Star Cosmetics feud?! DAMN!), and more. People even post selfies with “How do I look?” or “Make-up looks banging today, just needed to share with people who understand!” and everyone is pretty much always very nice and encouraging. Even if you’re a make-up newbie, this is a great group to join.

ColourPop Fanatics

This group is dedicated purely to ColourPop Cosmetics (as you can tell from the title) so if you’re a ColourPop fan, I highly recommend joining. Not only is it the best place to hear about new releases, see swatches, examples of make-up looks using ColourPop products, etc, but it also has a really great community feel with people thanks to creator of the group hosting giveaways and other games.

Everything Makeup, Hair & More

This one is as large as Make Up Tips Connection, but has a much different feel. People “go live” a lot in this one and just hang out and chat while they do their make-up or hair. And as you can guess from the title, a lot more general beauty topics are discussed instead of just make-up. It’s less informational than the other two, and more of a community-based group.

Makeup Addicts

Though the other groups seem to have a wide variety of genders, this one has a wider variety of ages. It also seems to be a much more international place– with (I THINK, so sorry if I am just an ignorant American and am so wrong) a large proportions of Australians. A lot of the references that are made that I don’t always understand, but everyone is again super supportive. If you’re outside the U.S., I would check this one out. Everyone is really nice and helpful, and is great for reviews.

 

And those are just my favorite beauty Facebook Groups. If you’re looking for a great online forum, just search your interests on Facebook and I guarantee there is a group out there for you. This social media age is great (and a little creepy) for finding people who are interested in the same things you are.

Have any makeup Facebook Groups you love? Let me know. I’m already in six, what’s a few more?!

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How to Find a Therapist

Finding a therapist or counselor to speak with can be incredibly overwhelming. Let's talk about how to make the process easier // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

At beginning of the month I wrote about the unexpected benefits of therapy. Now, let’s talk now about how to find a therapist. Though the process can seem SUPER overwhelming, don’t get discouraged. It was definitely easier than finding a boyfriend, if that makes anyone feel better!

I took two approaches to find a therapist, but only really found success with the second one. As the first approach was suggested to me by my doctor, I thought I’d include it anyway for good measure.

BUT, before you go a-searchin’, there are some things you need to do:

Decide what are important qualifications for you.  For example, my qualifications were pretty simple. As I don’t have a car, location was a major key for me.  I wanted someone close to where I lived so it didn’t make going to see them that much harder.  I also knew I wanted a woman, someone who specialized in anxiety, and who was relatively young. Another important factor was needing them to be able to work with a sliding pay scale, as the fate of my insurance coverage would be fluctuating in the future.

When looking for someone, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Location
  • Specialty/Experience in specific mental ailments (ie: depression, anxiety, sexuality, trauma, etc.)
  • Gender
  • Insurance/pay schedule
  • Age
  • Appointment availability
  • Style or theory of counseling, ie- Are you a big jokester? Do you want someone with a sense of humor? An optimist? Do you want someone to take you very seriously? These types of styles are important, as they’ll affect your comfort level and ability to open up to them.
  • TYPE of therapist– there are many types of counselors, and many different certifications of what we probably all lump together as “psychologists”.  Though most will help with the average talk-therapy, you may want someone who has a different specialty. Don’t hesitate to do a little research if you are unsure of exactly what you are looking for.

Check your insurance.  I checked mine online, but you can also just call your provider and ask about your coverage. Thankfully, my current health insurance covers mental health very well, so that was a huge load off my mind.  If you are without insurance, or don’t have insurance that covers mental health, make sure you take that into account when looking for someone.  I knew that I will be switching jobs in August/September, or possibly even going without a job for a short period of time this fall, so having someone who accepted many insurances, or worked on a sliding pay scale (relative to your income!) if I lost insurance was a huge bonus. Your insurance may have certain restrictions, or not cover mental health care at all, so be sure to know this before looking for people!

Approach #1: Referral from my Primary Care Physician

My general doctor issued me a referral, and gave me a list of therapists that were in-network with my primary care office.  I sorted them by location, then by gender, and started calling places that were recommended.  Honestly, I got a lot of not-so-nice responses from some places, some crazy long wait times for my first appointment, and some really staggering prices for sessions that scared me off immediately.  I think I made about six calls before I gave up and decided the process was hopeless. This was not exactly the most encouraging way to do it, in my opinion.

Plus, making me CALL THEM was not an ideal situation— anyone else out there with anxiety can probably agree with me on that one.

Approach #2: Using Psychology Today.Com

A friend who is in the mental health field suggested I use the “Find A Therapist” feature on  PsychgologyToday.com. Not only could I plug in exactly what my specifications were, like creating a search filter, but it had an EMAIL option. I picked four counselors that met my specifications, and sent them all an email:

Hello, my name is Kelsey and I am looking for a therapist to help with anxiety.  Are you accepting new patients? I have a referral from my primary care physician if you need it, and Cigna health insurance. I’d love to book a preliminary appointment if you have any openings. Thanks!

I received 2 responses from therapists with open availability, and two that were not accepting patients at that time. I booked a free consultation the same week with one, and told the other I would get back to her if I wanted to book an appointment.

Why I Chose My Therapist:

Now that I found someone to talk to, I had to decide if I thought she was the right person for me.

After our 1-hour consultation, I knew I wanted to keep seeing her because I immediately felt very comfortable and welcomed by her. It was a gut-feeling thing more than anything else. She made me feel as relaxed as I possibly could in that situation, but did it without making me feel pressured to feel relaxed.

After two more sessions, I knew I had made the right choice and wanted to keep seeing her. She was very good at taking the lead of a conversation when I needed her too, or letting me control the session when I wanted to. The conversation never lulled, and every single moment felt productive– which was huge to me. It also helped greatly that she laughed at my stupid jokes, which happened a lot because I make bad jokes when I’m uncomfortable.

Finding the right fit will feel different for everyone, so my biggest piece of advice is simple: just go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, then try someone else. And there is no shame in telling someone you try out that it doesn’t feel like a good fit– if they are a professional, they will completely understand! It may take time, but it is soooo worth it in the end to have someone you can speak candidly.

Any questions? Do you see a therapist yourself and have other tips to offer about finding one? Put your recommendations in the comments!

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10 Ways To Fight Blogger’s Block

Don't get discouraged when you have no original thoughts. Here are 10 super simple ways to right the dreaded blogger's block. // www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

I’ve had blogger’s block for months, and fighting it is starting to get reallllll tiring.

The mind is a mysterious thing. Creativity is a muscle*, and it can tire just like a regular muscle. Use it too much, it gets sore, and won’t give you the results you want.  Use it too little, it will atrophy and it still won’t give you the results you want.  If you ask me, creativity is a finicky little motherf*cker.

My blog has been almost silent for months.  Words just weren’t coming to me, and it stressed me out to try to produce content that made me proud.  Eventually I just stopped, because it was making me anxious to try to worry about it.

But then today (after a conversation with my therapist, of all things) I decided to just lean into the blogger’s block. Why not write about that? How many other bloggers get blogger’s block? It’s a universal thing. Everyone can relate, so everyone will get this post. How can that possibly go wrong?

Bingo. So here is a post you definitely didn’t ask for.

10 Fool-Proof Tips To Fight Blogger’s Block

  1. Throw your computer out the window. It may not help you write a post, but at least it will give you an excuse as to why you don’t have a post. The dog ate my homework. My laptop is in a pile on the asphalt. Whatever.
  2. Write about what you ate for breakfast. Who doesn’t want to read a 500 word essay about your Cheerios? I know I’d be riveted. Extra points if there’s bacon.
  3. Interview your cat. I’m sure he/she has great ideas. When the cat is no help, interview the dog.
  4. Spin around in a circle with your laptop clutched to your chest until the words just come to you. It especially helps if you have Bloglovin’ open on the screen while you do it.
  5. Copy and paste another blogger’s post. Copy their pictures too. Make sure to remove the watermark, it’ll be fine. Nobody will notice that you blatantly ripped off someone else’s material.
  6. Look up those super helpful blog posts about needing blog post ideas. Reading about writing about your worst nightmare, or everyday make-up routine for the 40th time is definitely bound to spark some creativity. It’s like flicking a switch. Brain go ON!
  7. Cry in the shower.
  8. Organize your house. Then quit halfway though and think of a great idea to blog about as a procrastination tool while you avoid the mess you’ve made while organizing your house.  You can’t find your cat, or your child (if you have one) but who cares because now you have MOTIVATION.
  9. Listen to Lemonade and feel Beyoncé’s words move you. Becky with the good hair is bound to spark some ideas.
  10. Have a glass of wine. Or six. Totally forget about how you can’t think of a story, and just enjoy your night. Motivation is for losers anyway.

Or, you can just take a break, realize that it’s not that big of a deal, and just write what seems to flow out of you. And I’m only sort of kidding on #10. Sometimes the glass of wine really does help. Just be careful not to take it to an extreme, or you’ll end up completing #1.

Do you have blogger’s block? How have you combated it? Share your tips — real or silly– in the comments!

*Alright, scientist. No it’s not a real muscle, it’s a metaphor. Get off my back. Gosh.

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24 Thoughts on Turning 24

24-thoughts-on-turning-24-poka-dot-baby-candidly-kelsey

Happy Birthday, Me! Today I turn 24 years old.  Time to party! Or, only 1 more year until my quarter life crisis! Much like last year’s 23 Things on Turning 23, I decided to share the wisdom I have learned as I celebrate another anniversary of when a world without Kelsey became a world with Kelsey.  Enjoy!

  1. Cool, only one more year until I can officially declare a Quarter-Life Crisis.
  2. It’s only a matter of time now until my metabolism starts slowing down.
  3. Gross. I need to start getting my life together now, don’t I?
  4. Years are going faster and faster now that I have more time in the past to compare them. That’s terrifying.
  5. I wonder how many more years until my face stops breaking out. Any day now, right? Puberty should be ending sometime soon.
  6. Age does not mean adulthood. I may be able to make my own doctor’s appointments, but I still call my Mommy to ask laundry/cooking/life/philosophical questions at least once per day.
  7. I should probably buy stock in antacids now.
  8. This past year was huge for me, and I’m very excited to continue on with the momentum of those major changes to continue to see positive change in my life. Like getting more cats.
  9. Goat cheese is amazing, and I’m ashamed it took almost 24 years for me to figure that out.
  10. Now I want goat cheese.
  11. Life is too short and time passes too quickly to not choose to be happy. Even if you can’t feel happiness, focusing on cutting out whatever negativity you can and working towards what makes you happy is 100% worth it.
  12. Puppies make me happy. So do cats. I should get another cat.
  13. Naps also make me happy.
  14. It’s totally okay to do things by yourself, and try new things by yourself. You don’t always need to hide behind other people.
  15. Living alone is actually really great.
  16. You have to learn how credit and credit scores works. Seriously. You have to.
  17. Now is the time to start addressing things that you think may be problems, especially with mental health. If you think something is wrong, better try to fix it now than regret it later.
  18. Preventative Care.  Say it again for the kids in the back: PRE-VENT-A-TIVE CARE.
  19. Food is starting to hurt me. Why is food, something I hold so near and dear to my heart, starting to hurt me?
  20. I am not 21 anymore. I cannot drink like I am 21 anymore. I cannot live my life the day after drinking like I did when I was 21. It just doesn’t happen. Time to accept that and move on.
  21. There is nothing wrong with being a 20-something homebody. It’s fine. Embrace the sweatpants and Netflix life on Fridays and you could be much happier. Add some goat cheese and you could be REALLY happy.
  22. A couple thousand in savings seems like a lot until you need to spend it.  Always be putting money away. ALWAYS! You never know what will happen/when you will need it.
  23. Just because something is normal doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I’m referring to no longer having a car– but this can be used for pretty much anything. You do you, boo. Life is too short.
  24. A year ago on this day I was very unhappy. I had no idea that in a short 365 days I would be sitting in my Chicago apartment, working from home for my nonprofit job, and taking a break to write this blog post. You just never know, kids.

Cheers, friends!

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