It’s officially October. We’re excited about this month for a few reasons – from fall leaves to our No Spend Challenge, to our JCR Girls reunion (starting October 26 in NYC!). What gets you excited about October?
To make the most of this month, we’ve put together a list of favorite fall activities to do over the next 31 days. Here’s a glimpse at our list:
Visit an apple orchard
Visit a pumpkin patch
Carve said pumpkin
Go on an outdoor wine tasting tour (or, if that fails we’ll just sip our Winc on the deck!)
Mull wine and/or cider
Take a fall foliage walk and/or scenic drive
Run and/or bike outside; breathe in the crisp autumn air
Bake apple crisp and/or pumpkin pie
Have a bonfire
Go on a ghost tour
What’s on yours? I’m not super into haunted houses or corn mazes, but we’ll see how this ghost tour goes!
P.S. anxiously awaiting peak leaf season over here…
Lake Life While the Midwest maintains the reputation of flyover country (whether we like it or not!) it’s hard to argue with the merits of of the region in summertime. Perfect temps paired with lake breezes and plenty of sunshine? Hard to top that!
In order to soak up all of the fun & sun, we’ve been making the most of each and every weekend – whether hanging by the pool, jumping in the lake, or biking for miles on end.
We all scream for ice cream! Licks Unlimited | Excelsior, Minnesota.
I don’t always run, but when I do, I stop to snap photos of Lake Life every half mile (at least!).
Favorite brunch spot. CōV | Wayzata, Minnesota
Another great patio (and those table-side spun salads are to die for!) Gianni’s | Wayzata, Minnesota
House goals! | Minnetrista, Minnesota
I mean, who doesn’t want to spend Sundays sitting on a deck by the bay? …Complete with retractable screen for bug protection and Adirondacks with built-in wine glass holder? Too perfect.
Skincare In addition to lake life, summer skincare has also been on our minds.
We’ve been purifying ourselves in the waters of Lake Minnetonka AND with Amala Beauty Purifyproducts.
And blocking harmful UVA + UVB rays (basically a requirement for maintaining healthy, youthful skin) with COOLA Skincare’s Classic Sunscreen Trio. Find COOLA products at Anthropologie, Nordstrom, ULTA.
We are new to the brand, but loving how a tiny drop of each #oleglow product goes a long way. Excited to try more from the Ole Henriksenlineup, let us know if you have suggestions! We are loving this kit so far – find it at Sephora.
When I was little, I used to walk past the Estée Lauder counter at Marshall Fields (anyone else?) and admire all the pretty products and think “one day, I’ll be a fancy lady with legit beauty products.” Happy to report the day has come! Read more about these two products on Instagram. Also, you can purchase the Repair + Renew Set as part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for a limited time!
Target Finds These Merona Women’s Kona Backless Mule Loafers are perfect for the gal with Gucci style but a not-quite Gucci budget. Some reviewers noted ordering a size up, but I stuck with my typical size 8 and have no complaints!
But, beware that these mules are not made of high-end materials (hence, $23.00 price tag), so I wouldn’t advise wearing them in the rain. You should also take caution when walking down stairs (if one slips off, well… that could cause a scene. Or worse, an injury!).
If you’re ready to make the leap to the real deal (I’m still waiting to pull the trigger personally, but…just look at these!), here’s the Gucci Princetown Leather Slippers in all their glory. For now, I’ll just practice my outfit pairings with my Target mules. Someday, someday….
Kylie Faux Fur Trim Gloss Puffer Jacket While the model looks “not impressed,” let me tell you I’ve had the early version of this jacket (sans fur trim) and have worn it religiously for the past 3 winters. It’s the right hybrid of casual and elegant, and makes me feel like I’m ready to hit the slopes at a fancy mountainside Colorado resort. This new version comes with upgraded features, and the soft fleece “half gloves” (not sure what these are actually called) that are super helpful in instances where you:
A) forget your actual gloves
B) don’t need actual gloves, but don’t want cold air sneaking up your sleeves
C) still need to do important things like drive, text, type, etc., unencumbered
Back to Basics
When the sale first went live, I resisted theHanky Panky lace thongs because… I compared the $14.90 price tag to last years’ $13.50 (I literally checked my purchase history on Nordstrom.com, ha!) and just wouldn’t have it. As the weeks went by it hit me, $14.90 is still better than $20, and after some Internet digging, this kind of is the best price outside of the occasional HankyPanky.com sale, so… added a couple of these to cart. Pro tip: This one is on sale(but not on ‘Anniversary Sale,’ if you know what I mean).
I also took the recommendation of Merritt Beck (aka The Style Scribe — give her a follow if you don’t already!) and ordered the Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra. Wish I would’ve acted sooner as the black was already sold out in my size and I would’ve been nice to have one of each color. Went for my first run today and… it lives up to the hype!
To go with the sporty theme, I wanted to add another pair of Nike Dry Tempo Running Shorts to cart (was so pleased with my first purchase, and realized I wear these more than once per week!), but unfortunately they sold out, along with these Moonlight Short Pajamas. Better luck next year, I guess! …Is it going too far to set a calendar reminder for July 2018?
No? Ok, good, didn’t think so.
Kiehl’s LifeRide for AmfAR Last but not least, is the Kiehls LifeRide for amfAR. It’s an 8-day multi-state motorcycle ride with celebrity activists and it kicks off at MallofAmerica in Minneapolis (our backyard!) tomorrow.
LifeRide raises money and awareness to help fight HIV/AIDS. If you’re in MN, join in the country-style sendoff tomorrow, July 31 @ 11:00am – Kiehls Store, Mall of America.
You can also help by purchasing this Limited Edition Ultimate Hand Strength Salve as 💯% of the purchase price up to $25k will benefit amfAR. Our favorite Kiehl’s products are linked below. As Kiehl’s puts it – together, we can find a cure for HIV/AIDS. What’s more inspiring than that?!
Fall is in full swing, and that means miniature pumpkins and decorative Indian corn will magically make their way into your shopping cart. You’ll suddenly have an irresistible urge to visit an apple orchard and a pumpkin farm. Perhaps a vineyard, too – while you’re at it! A strange sensation pulls you in the direction of all things plaid and flannel and it becomes abundantly clear that you do not have enough cozy socks and blankets (and never will).
That said, cider season is officially upon us! If you’re like me, you skip the PSL and go straight for the good stuff.
If we were ‘real’ lifestyle bloggers, we’d whip up our own clever cider concoction and share just how rewarding it is to make your own from scratch. I must say, this Trader Joe’s version isn’t half bad!Disclaimer: These apples aren’t freshly picked from the orchard. They’re Trader Joe’s, too.
And with the crisp autumnal breezes comes a myriad of gorgeous natural colors. A unique mix of reds, greens, yellows, oranges and maroons. A striking blend of colors that are just too Instagrammable to resist. It’s peak fall foliage season in Minnesota right now (meaning, we have ALL of the colors), and I have plenty of ‘grams to prove it!
Including this one, featuring my recent encounter with a real-life emoji!
And this snap, that’s really just a tease because that body of water is about to FREEZE soon.
And this tunnel of trees at a scenic outdoor wedding venue. Ok, I lied. This is actually outside of the public library. Looks like a lavishly decorated aisle though, doesn’t it?
This recent hike was an eyeopener, featuring trees with only a few fall leaves left : (
When it comes to fall clothing and accessories, I gotta admit, I don’t overdose on plaid and flannel and oversized capes. They’re not for everyone. I do love a cozy cable knit sweater, a fleece-lined quarter-zip (like this Heathered Green Patagonia “Better Sweater” that’s become a weekend staple), and leather riding boots (like these Frye faves I’ve been wearing on the daily).
Accessory-wise, stylish wood watches are seasonally appropriate and make quite the fashion statement. This Zebrawood and Dark Sandalwood combination caught my attention, and the best news is, the husband likes it, too! Check out woodwatches.com to explore the full collection of men’s and women’s watches. (Shown: Dover Series Zebrawood & Dark Sandalwood. c/o).
Doesn’t it make you wanna go all analog and take a hike? Reaching for your iPhone is not required to tell time. It was, however, required for this photo, HA!
Things have been slowly but surely coming together in the new place! (Did I tell you I moved into a new apt? One with 325 extra sq feet and a whole bunch of closets?!)
Although I didn’t plan to move so quickly (thanks, leaky ceiling), it really did work out for the better: nicer neighborhood, copious closets and NATURE. Still close to the city, but look at that view – still getting over the fact that’s it’s not a parking lot!
Even though the new place is practically perfect (well, minus the lack of crown molding, carerra marble countertops, chandeliers and hardwood floors), some aspects of furnishing it weren’t as easy as I thought they’d be….
Sofa Shopping is Stressful Take sofa shopping – should be easy, right? Plenty of pinboards full of em. Ample online reviews from people just like me. That plus…a discerning eye that immediately blocks out 95% of sofas for not passing the “pretty” test and a bank account that’s well, not unlimited. This should leave me with a pretty direct path to the perfect new sofa, right?
Well…after sitting on couches for three weekends in a row, I finally found this nautical thing that suited my style and my budget. Unfortunately, it was on backorder, but I waited patiently until the delivery truck showed up weeks later. I was giddy.
Giddy up until they convinced me that there was no way it was going to fit in the elevator or up the stairs because “It’s just too tall for this apartment building.” Ummm, excuse me, what??
**PS don’t worry, I was going to recover those pillows that look like they’re covered in French graffiti
So I was back to square one. Luckily, a trip to Macy’s Furniture showroom made everything better. As it so happens, Martha is My Homegirl. I set my eyes on this Martha Stewart Chesterfield in “Saybridge Storm” (or as I like to say, “Elephant Gray,”) and I was in love. What’s better? A surprise sale boasting the best prices of the year!
Maybe it’s because Martha and I share a name. Or maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted a Chesterfield and this one actually fit in my building. (Side story: the guy selling me the warranty plan asked if I owned any of them “bedazzled butt jeans.” Ummmm no, J. Crew doesn’t sell those! And also, I’m not a 45-year-old divorcee.)
Too Dainty for DIY Story number two is stressful, too. I can’t be the only one who’s been giddily pinning things to a board titled “DIY” under the notion that this will be so “cheap and quick and easy and fun!” Because in reality, DIY projects (like the ones I’ve gotten myself into recently) have been the exact opposite.
They make it look so easy, but sanding? Sanding takes strength. And that brown desk is gonna take about 18 coats of primer and paint until it turns white. Which isn’t even that big of an exaggeration. My index finger was numb from pressing on the spray paint can for so long. And it didn’t regain feeling for 3 days. The boyfriend says I’m “too dainty for DIY,” and it’s sad, but totally true. That, and I really just don’t have the patience for it.
But, despite the battle scars, here’s what I was able to accomplish:
Picked up at the Blu Dot warehouse sale for $19. Put 2x that in paint, primer, lacquer and sanding supplies into it, along with a whole bunch of elbow grease, and VOILA!