I have to be honest, it hasn’t really felt much like Fall the past couple of months in California, and I’m beyond ready for sweater weather. Despite Fall and Winter being my favorite seasons, mainly because they involve lots of family time, cozying up at home and celebrating my favorite holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), I also far prefer Fall fashion to Summer fashion. A big part of that comes down to the fact that we never have particularly hot summers in San Francisco, and I have never had to become accustomed to dressing for the heat, and therefore I have always found my groove when I’m dressing for the cold, it just comes far more naturally to me. So much of what is inspiring me this Fall/Winter is pretty standard, that is to say I don’t see myself straying too far from sweater/jeans combo most days, but I am finding that I have been drawn to different textures and colors this year more than ever. As soon as October rolls around, I’m usually the first person to start wearing all-black outfits, however this year, I’ve been much more drawn to the lighter side of the color spectrum, but still keeping things autumnal. Shades of beige and burnt orange are definitely what I find myself gravitating towards this season. Also incorporating more “winter whites” or mores- “winter beiges” based looks with really nice, luxe-looking textures have been far more interesting to me than the all-black outfits I’m usually drawn to.
I love a good night-in pamper evening filled with a nice hot bath, a beefy skincare routine, and an at-home manicure. More and more I’m finding that I just don’t have the time to do a full pamper evening anymore. However, I do still prioritize giving my skin an extra boost when I’m feeling especially drained and stressed, which is when my skin is at its worst anyways. Given that I shared my daily skincare routine not too long ago, I figured I’d share my favorite treatment-based skincare products that get pulled out for special skincare needs.
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask ~ I’m not a big PSL fan (in fact I think they are pretty vile), but I do love pumpkin pie and that is exactly what this mask smells like! Besides the fact that it smells incredible, the PTR Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is also very effective and really helps to turn around my skin when it’s in crisis. Because it’s an exfoliating mask (it has both a light physical exfoliator and chemical exfoliators in it), I tend to use it most when my skin either looks dull or is in desperate need of a more intense exfoliation. Not only does this mask help with the texture of my skin, but it also clears up congested skin and little spots much better than any other mask I’ve tried.
Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask ~ Especially in the wintertime my skin gets dry. I don’t know if it’s the dry air, central heating, or just the likelihood of feeling ill during that time of the year, but whatever the cause my skin always needs a constant stream of moisture during the colder months. The Glossier Moisturizing Moon mask does exactly what it claims to do: moisturize. The texture is a very thick cream, that has an almost retro feel (think Pond’s Cold Cream), you leave it on the skin for a minimum of 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Because this mask contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane, the mask hydrates deeply without leaving a residue or feeling clogging on the skin.
Aesop Parsley Seed Mask ~ I don’t know if I could talk about masks without talking about the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask. I’ve had this mask in my rotation for a solid five years and it has never let me down. It’s my go-to when my skin is breaking out or feeling congested because it’s a clay-based clarifying mask. There are a load of clarifying clay masks (try saying that five times fast), however a lot of them can feel very drying and stripping, which the Aesop version does not. There’s also just something about the scent that is so spa-like and calming, which is usually a welcome relief given that my breakouts tend to coincide most with me being stressed out.
I have to admit, I wasn’t as good with reading a book every single month this summer. I’ve still managed to keep my promise of reading 12 books by the end of 2018, but there were definitely months this summer that I was just too busy to put my head down and actually get some reading done. I foresee myself reading a lot more as we get into Fall since the evenings will be longer and my daily routine will slow down considerably.
Eventide by Therese Bohman ~ I absolutely loved reading Eventide! It was a book that I had never heard of, however I saw that one of my friend’s was reading it, inquired about it, and was sold when she told me what it was about. The story follows Karolina Anderson, who is a middle-aged unmarried Art History professor in Sweden. The novel is narrated by Karolina, who has just ended an unfulfilling long-term relationship and who finds herself drawn to one of her PhD students. Although the premise is somewhat clichéd, the writing and the details of the story are anything but. So much of the book is spent on Karolina’s inner thoughts and flashbacks, which are then connected to her work as a scholar. Being someone who spent a lot of their degree focusing on both Art History and gender theory, this book was incredibly interesting, however I don’t think it would be an alienating read for those who are not as familiar with either topic.
The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon ~ I have to say this book was a bit of a let-down. I really like Emma Gannon and the work that she does, however this book was not at all what I was hoping it would be. I thought it would be much more about how to construct a freelance career and the inner-workings of wearing different hats in your career, but so much of the book was spent regurgitating studies about how many people have side-hustles. So many of the points made in this book were painfully obvious and not original, that I don’t think I learned much from it in the end.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh ~ Ok, so I’ll admit I’m cheating a bit by including this book in this season’s roundup because I’m not quite finished with it. I thought I’d include it because I’m nearly finished with it and already formed a pretty solid opinion on it, and it’s hugely positive. The book is about a twenty-something girl who’s been left a hefty inheritance by her late parents, and proceeds to, as the book would suggest, spend a year “resting”. I use the word “rest” in quotation marks because she spends the better part of a year in a narcotics-induced hibernation as a way to escape from the stresses of dealing with the outside world. Although the premise sounds bleak, the book is peppered with a lot of dark comedy and nuanced commentary on both mental health and the struggles of being a woman in her early twenties.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m incredibly excited for the upcoming change of seasons.There are, of course, all the really clichéd things about autumn that I’m beyond excited for like going to a pumpkin patch, drinking cider, and crisp weather, but more than anything I’m excited about the mental shift that I always have during fall. I just feel so much more in my element from September to November, way more than I do during the summer. I always feel as though the fall and winter are my most productive times of the year because I can really hunker down and get shit done.
Higher Productivity ~ As I’ve mentioned before, I am always so much more productive during the autumn. Part of it has to do with the fact that I have spent the better part of my life in school and my brain is so used to being on vacation mode during summer and being ready to get down to business come September. My productivity is also hugely effected by the weather; whenever it is sunny, my productivity goes completely out the window, mostly because I feel inclined to be outside and soak up some Vitamin D. However, when it’s cold and gloomy, I am far more inclined to put my head down and get to work. I also have a lot of seasonally-based content that I am planning for the fall and winter, especially focused around outfits and fashion, which I am so much more excited about than summer-based content.
A Staycation ~ I haven’t been on a proper break all summer long and I really haven’t had more than a few days here and there to really switch off. Luckily, I have a family stay-cation planned later in October, which I am so excited about, especially because it’s going to be exactly what I need before the insanity of the holiday season begins. A bunch of my family is going to Monterey, which is a place very near and dear to me, for a long weekend and I’m so excited to be around my favorite people and just relax. It’s not going to be like some luxury vacation in Europe, but I would take family time over some extravagant vacation any day. It’ll be so nice to get away from San Francisco and my day-to-day routine for just a few days.
Evenings In with Friends ~ With the days getting shorter and shorter, I feel less inclined to go out with friends after work for drinks and instead opt for more casual evenings in just drinking wine at someone’s apartment. It just so happens that a lot of my friends either just have moved or are about to move, so everyone is very much in the nesting mindset and want to spend time at home. I’ve already had so many fun nights just hanging out with friends in our own apartments, and there’s something about it that just feels so adult and grown-up. As much as I will always love a good dive bar, there’s something about hanging out with your friends at your home that always feels so much nicer and more relaxed than going out.
Halloween & Thanksgiving ~ One of the major reasons why I love autumn so much is because my favorite holidays fall during the season, namely Halloween and Thanksgiving. They’ve been my favorite holidays for as long as I can remember, and I think that’s mainly because my family has always had very solid traditions around both days. My parent’s neighborhood always is packed with Trick-or-Treaters, and one of the best things about Halloween is seeing all of the decorations on the surrounding houses and giving out candy to all the adorable little kids dressed up in their costumes! I’m also incredibly excited for Thanksgiving this year for two reasons. First off, my friends and I have planned to do our first Friendsgiving, which will hopefully the first of many! Secondly, Brad and I are going to be spending Thanksgiving with his family this year, which I am very excited for! We spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family last year, and it will be so nice to get to visit more with his family over the holidays this year!
What a month August was! Between settling in to our apartment fully, Outside Lands, and work, it felt like this month went by in the blink of an eye, but I’m honestly so excited for September. So much of this month was taken up by work, however there were so many moments of seriously relaxation in between. Because our apartment is finally all settled for the most part, Brad and I didn’t have to spend any of our free time this month building furniture or unpacking boxes, which was so nice. We’ve really gotten to know our neighborhood even more and have developed more of a routine, which, for someone who is a major creature of habit, has been exceedingly comforting! As great as this last month was, I am completely ready to fully move into autumn, as I feel like I am always a unmotivated and distracted during the summertime and I’m so ready to work on this blog even more in the coming months!