I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have been hanging on to the past few weeks for dear life. Working too much with too many challenges, and I’m feeling kind of burnt out. Whenever I feel like this, I like to hit up Pinterest– like any true twenty-something gal would– and look at quotes. In between the Audrey Hepburns and quotes about not needin’ no man, there are a few good ones.
I know it’s already 12 days into October so (per usual) I am kind of late to the game here, but I have been seeing more and more of these Autumn Bucket List posts popping up all over Bloglovin’ lately.
Speaking of– if you have a Bloglovin’ account, why are you not following me already? How lame are you? Just kidding, I love you. I just want to bake a cake made of rainbows and unicorns so we can all eat it and be happy and be best blogger friends.
As the season is finally in full swing, and the weather is finally colder in my little part of Ohio, my Fall spirit has been through the roof. So much so that mine and Cathy’s new favorite fighting topic is the fireplace. I love having it on full blast, adding to the ambiance of the room, but she hates the heat. I sense a long (and sweaty) winter ahead of us.
Now that my love for autumn finally fits with the weather, and I’ve been feeling inspired the past few days (if you couldn’t tell by yesterday’s knitting tutorial post), so I thought I’d share the Autumn Bucket List activities that have been marinating in my brain lately, snuggled right in there along with the fantasies of flavored coffee, piles of leaves, and new nail polish colors.
1. Start wearing lipsticks. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very neutral style when it comes to make-up. As I’ve been getting more and more into beauty channels on Youtube, and beauty bloggers, I’ve become inspired. Some super bold reds and deep plum lipsticks have me feeing very Autumn-esque, so I think I want to take a stab at them this season! And with people like VivannaDoesMakeup talking lips 24/7, how can I not want to get involved in the game?
Plus, people just look like they have their lives sooooo together when they wear lipstick. Like inside their boots, their socks actually match, and they didn’t sniff their shirt to make sure it was clean before they got dressed. I want to look like that too.
2. Carve a pumpkin. It’s been years. But honestly, I’ve always thought of pumpkin carving as kind of gratuitous because like… literally, you’re plucking a squash from the earth, killing it, and hacking out it’s insides for the sake of fun and home decor. Basically ruining something that could nourish somebody’s starving body for the sake of entertainment. Does that not sound morbid to anyone else?!
— Anyway. For some reason I’m just really in the mood to carve one this year.
3. Start running again. Running in the summer was brutal– Midwest heat + humidity around here made me feel like I was practically swimming in the air sometimes, but I loved seeing the world wake up early in the morning when I ran in the park near my house. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is now that the colors are changing. And how much better my butt will look in my leggings if I start moving again.
4. Eat a caramel apple. They keep tempting me at the grocery store, so I think I’ll have to stop by the apple orchard by my Dad’s house and pick up a real one soon! Or I’ll just stop at Kroger and pick up container of Oreos. Whatever is easiest.
5. Go to a football game. This may prove tricky as I work every weekend, but I want to at least try. Maybe. Or I may just want to dress up in the cute outfit and drink a beer outside on a Saturday morning. Or a mimosa. Or a Bloody Mary. Or we can just forget the game and I’ll just drink Bloody Mary by myself in my bed on a Saturday morning while watching the updates on the ESPN iPhone app. FOOOOOTBALLL!
6. Use the crockpot! I love thick stews (that’s what she said?!), and hearty soups. I made this really great beef stew recipe while I was at school, but have yet to break it out since moving home. And there is no better smell than a simmering crock pot all day.
7. Bake. I’ve been craving muffins lately– I’m thinking revamping a banana muffin recipe is in the works. I’ve had an idea to switch around some ingredients to make it a little healthier, which could be really fun to experiment. And I’m actually being sincere with this one. Stay tuned.
8. Catch up on Sons of Anarchy. I am a season (or two… or three?!) behind, and the final season is airing now. One of my co-board members in the CSAC watches it, and is begging me to get caught up so we can talk. I’m mostly afraid of everyone I love dying, so I think that’s why I’ve been hesitant. But Jax is also hot, so maybe I’ll catch up on SOA while drinking that aforementioned Bloody Mary.
9. Revamp my wardrobe. I don’t know if this is as much an “Autumn” goal as it is so much a continuous life goal for myself. But now that I have a little bit of money to spend, I am trying really hard to fill my closet with well-made pieces that will help me not feel like a troll doll make some good outfits. Also, I’m trying to steer clear of the typical places with cheap clothes that will fall apart by the next season, and focus on good, long-lasting clothes. Which will be expensive as sh*t, but will make me feel pretty, so it’s totally worth it.
10. Enjoy the season! I know I gripe about working 24/7, but that’s because sometimes it honestly does feel like all I ever do is go back and forth between the restaurant and the gym, with weekly appearances at sports for the CSAC. Autumn is my favorite season, and as much as I love my workaholic tendencies, I do want to make sure I take time to enjoy these months. And see my friends, and eat good food and actually appreciate the fact that the leaves are changing. But mostly I want to enjoy the prime coffee drinking and pretty-leaf snap-chatting time while I still can.
“Organized” or “tidy” have never been strong words in my vocabulary. Despite always looking up to the girls who had their notebooks color coordinated to their backpacks and pencil cases, I somehow always ended up as the girl with the frayed and ripped edges to her binders, and the papers overflowing out of the bottom of her locker.
I have no idea how this turned into school metaphor– probably because I just had a three hour board meeting in a first grade classroom and was sitting at one of those desks with the giant compartment in it. So many flashbacks to Mr. Oker’s 5th grade classroom and the class-wide unspoken competition about having the coolest desk.
Now, many, many years later, I still find myself drawn to people who seem to have their sh*t in order. Girls who not only had all their assignments organized neatly in their planner, but had a patterned pen and notebook to match. Meanwhile, I sit rummaging through my backpack, pushing crumpled pieces of paper and empty coffee creamer containers aside before finally admitting defeat and asking someone next to me if they have an extra pen.
Thankfully, despite my lack of talent in the Having My Sh*t Together department, I somehow managed to keep the peace with my college roommates by keeping my mess contained to my personal space (usually). I learned to just shut my door, shut out my mess, and nobody was the wiser. However, now that I am cohabiting with Mom, that style will no longer suite my lifestyle.
Though I have my own bedroom and bathroom, it’s kind of hard to argue with the person who actually owns the physical space you are occupying when they yell at you ask you to tidy up. Therefore I have adopted a few new techniques to keep the peace, and also make my life a little easier:
Downsize // It’s a lot easier to keep your things clean when you don’t have so much of it. When you have a few hours of free time, blast some music and start sorting through your crap. Create a system to decide what stays and what goes. Mine includes:
Does it still have tags on it? Yes, then it deserves to go to a better home.
When was the last time I wore it/used it? Can’t remember, get rid of it.
Did I even remember I owned this? Nope, throw it out.
Is it damaged, stained, too big or too small? Then why do I need it; get rid of it.
Am I saving it for a “rainy day”? Too bad, time to go.
And so on and so forth. Be honest with yourself and donate whatever you truly do not need. The less you own, the less you need to maintain.
Improve your curb appeal // Evaluate how you are storing your things. The more visible things lying around, the messier or more half-hazard a space feels. This has been a true struggle for me personally. Just because I use my make-up every day does not mean the bag needs to sit out on the bathroom counter– a direct quote from my mother. The solution? Downsize my make-up collection (which I definitely recommend– did you know make-up products have expiration dates!?), and repurpose a mason jar (or old salsa jar) to hold your brushes. A smaller bag of make-up now fits under the counter, and the brushes stay clean in their cute new home sitting next to the soap dispenser. And now Mom can allow guests to use my bathroom without feeling ashamed!
Get it off the floor // Not everything you own needs to be seen. This goes with the above tip, but holds true to itself as well. Closets, under the bed, drawers, shelves are your friend. Plastic storage bins come in a variety of sizes and are stackable for closets, flat for under the bed and even small enough to fit multiple inside drawers. Take a walk through Target’s homeware section and be amazed at the storage opportunities. Bonus: labeling them makes it even easier to keep things straight and mindless for when you really don’t want to clean. Extra purses can go under the bed for easy access, but those heavy sweaters you definitely don’t need to wear during the summer can go in the storage bins in the bottom of your closet. For visible areas, invest in some super cute containers, baskets, or even cover some card board boxes with patterned paper or wrapping paper to make boxes to hold items on shelves, or for things that must sit on desk tops, dressers, etc. If everything has a place, it’s super easy to keep it picked up without having to really think about it.
Still, it’s a work in progress. Whenever the mood strikes, tackle an area. The closet one day, and then your dresser the next. Start small and work your way up to finally having the desk area that the girl with the color coordinated folders and day planner would be proud of you for having. Or, at least one she wouldn’t be horrified to look at.
I spend all year looking forward to Fall and Winter.
Spring is humid, which makes my hair and skin turn against me. Spring to me is just feeling perpetually ugly from February through May while I try to tame my hair, calm down my face, and pretend the humidity isn’t making me sweat through my clothes.
Then Summer is just so hot and has so much pressure. Never has there ever been a season that has required so much effort and so much peer pressure. The perfect summer is obviously going camping, swimming, having the perfect bikini body, going on adventures with all of your friends, late night bon fires, cook-outs, having the perfect tan, and wearing next to no clothes. That’s too much pressure for someone who loves to hibernate. The 4th of July is an amazing week day but other than that, Summer is just a few months I spend planning out my favorite months.
(And January, February, and March are okay. Both those don’t have “burr” in the title, so let’s just pretend they go with it, okay?)
Also, this is a picture from my loving second home: Indiana University’s campus.
It has been my favorite place to spend fall for the last few years, and I’m hella sad I’m missing it this year.
I love wearing big sweaters and slippers. I look forward to the feeling of a warm cup of coffee in cold hands on a chilly morning, where you can actually see the steam rising off the top of the cup. I love how the colors slowly change from the bright, eye-assaulting neons to muted, and deep tones that match the leaves. Dark reds, mustard yellows, browns, grays, navy blues. I love the sparkling, frozen grass early in the morning that crunches under my boots.
I love Thanksgiving. All year long I look forward to drinking mimosas with my cousins in our sweaty clothes after running the Thanksgiving 5k, all the while my mom is prepping the turkey and everyone else is still asleep. I love pretending to care about the football game that my uncles are clustered around, and acting like I am not filling up on afternoon snacks while the delicious dinner cooks. I love sweet potato casserole and my mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing. I look forward to piling into a bed with my cousins and taking the after-dinner (and wine) nap. I even look forward to pulling myself out of that warm cozy bed to go wait in line for Black Friday (or, let’s face it, Thanksgiving Thursday) deals. I even love getting home super late at night, just to wake up early Friday morning and go back out again.
And then after Thanksgiving, I love Christmas. I love actually wearing the things that I spent all summer knitting: socks, scarves, headbands. I love wearing those cozy, warm woolies while curled up next to a twinkling Christmas tree. I love drinking spiked hot chocolate, or putting Bailey’s in my coffee. I love getting together with my family, and watching my grandma open her special gift from all my aunts and uncles each year. And, despite how desperate and pathetic it seems, I do love mine and my mother’s new Christmas Eve tradition of a bad restaurant or bad take-out food and Christmas movies while opening all the presents.
But I hate New Year’s. Apparently there is a limit to my love.
Ever have one of those days where you just want everything and anything, all the time, and you need it right then and there, and you’re upset that you don’t have it?
Yeah, me too.
It usually hits me when I do stupid things– like browse on Etsy, or catch up on beauty blogs/beauty vlogs/DIY websites. Or walk through the homewares section of any store on my way to the freezer aisle for ice cream.
Suddenly, my bedroom and house (or Mom’s house, but whatever) is suddenly very drab and not trendy enough (LOL, me… trendy), and doesn’t have enough cute little touches and I just want to move into my own little house with a perfect bedroom, a beautiful office with a big desk, and a giant kitchen full of freshly baked goodies.
So, because I can’t actually have any of that until I figure out my life, I thought I’d plan instead. Maybe that will take the edge off. Or maybe I’ll play The Sims later and design their rooms with all the fake money instead.
This is my current inspiration. I love the mix of white with wood trim, especially light or variated shades of wood for spaces like this. The yellow and blue accents are really cute and bright (which is super similar to how my room was in my college apartment, and how it will be again when I move out), and I already have a rug that is super similar to the one on the floor sitting in storage. I would opt for a more finished wood floor, and probably bring in some other colors too, but this is what I am currently loving.
(Sorry it’s just a link back to my Pinboard, I couldn’t find where this actually came from out in cyber space!)
I love the industrial light on the right side of the book case (though I’d probably do blue or something, like the fan on the desk in the first picture), as well as the twinkle lights at the top. I also am a sucker for bulletin boards, especially for things like calendars or reminders. Though I’d rather have a white or natural wood book case to match, I like this feel of having the wide book case and a lot of flat space on top too. I always tend to clutter my desk, so putting containers for supplies, or other organizational stuff on there but still in reach of the desk would be perfect. You could also do baskets in the cubbies for holding things, like even craft supplies or extra paper, office supplies, etc. Functional and ka-uuuuute.
I adore this for mostly the functionality, not so much the design– I’d probably paint it like a distressed white, or keep it natural wood– anyone else sensing a pattern here?– and maybe line the inside of the drawers with a patterned paper to make it pop. Having a crafting section of an office area would be amazing, especially as a knitter, and someone who loves crafts (bow-making, painting, anything that involves hot glue… etc), but sometimes posting up on the kitchen table, or at the coffee table in the family room is also cozy, so having a moveable crafting station like this would be super easy for clean-up.
Bonus: The source link is to a whole post about craft room storage if you’re interested. Lots of cute stuff!
Though an office should be functional, I think I’d need to add a cozy section. There will most definitely be a TV in there somewhere, so we also need a sofa and a table, perhaps? Source
This, with a low-sitting natural wood coffee table, nothing too fancy, as it’ll probably get scratched up being in a crafting space anyway. But I’m low-key obsessed with printed couches in an otherwise non-busy space. Plus, I feel like this is perfect for a working space, as opposed to a living room or a family room where other things might be too busy. (Except, LOL @ the couch being from Anthropologie, I’d probably go looking for a flea market one, or something cheaper off eBay.)
Annnnnd that’s the end, for now. If you’re just absolutely enthralled by my brilliant taste, feel free to go check out my Pinterest. Somewhere between pinning recipes, and really awkward Harry Potter jokes, you can find more stuff like this.
What do you think? Do you ever plan your own future home? Link me to your own Pinterest boards! I’d love to see them!