Fall Favorites Tag

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I LOVE me some fall weather, fashion, activities, & movies!

Fall is right up there with Christmastime in terms of most exciting times of the year in my book! One of my favorite YouTubers, Jaclyn Hill, started the “Fall Favorites Tag” a couple of years ago and since then, hundreds of other YouTubers have done the tag. Since I haven’t ventured into the YouTube world, I thought it would be fun to do the tag in blog form!

 

1. Favorite Fall Candle

Alright, confession time: I’m kind of a fall/winter candle FREAK. I’ve done my absolute best to narrow it down to just one fall candle, but I couldn’t choose between these two!

I’m big on the Bath & Body works candles and my favorite for the colder seasons is Marshmallow Fireside. I don’t know exactly how to describe it except that it’s not exactly what I was expecting. It’s not sickly sweet or smoky. Call me crazy, but it smells just like you’re cuddled up in a warm blanket, sitting by the last campfire of the season with an ooey gooey s’more pressed up to your nose. If it were at all possible for that scenario to have a smell, this candle would be it.

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My other favorite fall candle is a Brookside candle called Harvest Spice that I got from TJ Maxx a couple years back. It’s a warm, spicy, sweet pumpkin scent and it’s so inviting and cozy. I burn it almost every day in the fall and even into the winter months. This scent just makes my house smell like home to me and I love it! (I can’t find this candle anywhere online! So sad!)

2. Favorite Fall Lip Color

I’m so incredibly indecisive (personality flaw) so I have 2 favorite fall lip colors, too!

My first fave is Wet n Wild’s Megalast Lip Color in Black Cherry. It is so vampy and beautiful and the undertone compliments my skin and eyes really well. Sometimes I wear it with a full face for a more glam look, but I usually wear it with “barely there” makeup (just brows, mascara, and concealer). It puts a fall twist on whatever look you’re wearing which I love, plus vampy fall lip colors excite the heck out of me. (And did I mention this is only $1.99?!)

My second fave is Ofra x Kathleen Lights Liquid Lipstick in Miami Fever. It’s a super pretty spiced pumpkin color that looks completely different on every single person I’ve ever seen wearing it. (Search #miamifever on Instagram and you’ll see what I mean!) I love to wear it by itself, but I also love to mix it with red lip liner for a deeper, more spiced look. Simple face makeup + winged liner + mascara + Miami Fever = perfect fall makeup look.

3. Favorite Fall Drink

I never feel like it’s truly fall until I have some mulled hot apple cider. My mom used to make it when I was growing up so the smell of it reminds me of being in my childhood home. Warm, spicy, and sweet… it’s by far my favorite thing to drink in the fall!

4. Favorite Fall Blush

I love the e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Blush Palette in “Dark” for fall. It ranges from peach-toned to berry-toned which is perfect the the transition from summer to winter. I especially love to mix the top-left shade with the bottom-right shade.
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5. Favorite Fall Clothing Item

I might be totally cheating here, but fall accessories are my favorite. Scarves, hats, boots, jackets… yes, please! I just love all the cozy accessories fall brings. You can take any outfit, throw on some fall accessories, and bam! – You’ve got yourself a fall outfit. Give me ALL of the beanies, knit scarves, leather jackets, and suede booties. That is my happy place.

6. Favorite Fall Movie

My ALL TIME favorite fall movie is Halloweentown. I probably watch it close to 10 times every fall season because I just love it that much. I love Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, and Halloweentown High. (I’m not a fan of Return to Halloweentown though. Sorry, Sara Paxtson, but you ruined it for me.)

P.S. I may or may not have just ordered this shirt for myself this morning

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7. Favorite Fall TV Show

The two fall premieres I am counting down the days to are This is Us and Law & Order: SVU. I could watch these shows every day of the year, but they’re premiering later this month and I’m super excited! And if you haven’t watched these shows yet, well… 10/10 highly recommend.

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8. Favorite Thanksgiving Food

My mom’s sweet potato casserole. Hands. Down.

(I hadn’t even thought about my first vegan Thanksgiving until this very moment! Cheat day or no cheat day, that is the question… update to come.)

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9. Favorite Halloween Costume

In kindergarten, I was the pink ranger from the Power Rangers and that’s probably my favorite costume I’ve ever been. (Wish I could find a picture!)I’m not big on parties or anything like that, so as an adult, I never really have a reason to dress up on Halloween!

 

If you enjoyed this Fall Favorites Tag, I encourage you to do it yourself! It’s fun! Here’s the list of faves:

Favorite Fall Candle

Favorite Fall Lip Color

Favorite Fall Drink

Favorite Fall Blush

Favorite Fall Clothing Item

Favorite Fall Movie

Favorite Fall TV Show

Favorite Thanksgiving Food

Favorite Halloween Costume

 

Thanks for visiting my blog! Hope to see you again soon!

xoxo Emily

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

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I think this post is pretty self explanatory… let’s get into it!

1. I started writing poetry at the age of 9 as a coping strategy after my dad passed away. Since then, I’ve written hundreds poems, song lyrics, and journal entries. I have over 15 notebooks filled with everything I’ve written over the years. They are my most prized possessions and I’ve never shown them to anyone.writing.gif

2. I wish we still lived in a time when we weren’t constantly connected to each other with smart phones and social media. It completely drains me mentally and emotionally being connected to other people constantly. #oldsoul

3. I feel most “at home” whenever I’m near the water. I can physically feel my soul come alive when I’m near the ocean, swimming or floating in the water, or on a boat. I can’t fully explain it, but it’s the most captivating, comforting feeling.beach

4. I’ve only lost 8 baby teeth. I’ve also never had a cavity.

5. I’m super connected to “the other side” and things kind of out-of-this-world. I’ve seen ghosts since I was a kid; after my grandma passed away, she would come with me to Kindergarten every single day and sit at the empty seat next to me. After my dad died, he would wake me up in the middle of the night and we’d walk downstairs together to get water or just sit on the couch for a little while. Sometimes I will just have a feeling that something isn’t right (it can even make me physically sick) and those feelings have predicted some serious tragedies, like the night my uncle was killed. I have had tons of dreams that have predicted the future, too. Pretty crazy. gif

6. I’ve gone to every Fall Out Boy concert held in Buffalo since they started touring in 2006. Never missed a single one. #emokidforlife

7. I’ve always been a little too interested in eyebrows. I wouldn’t necessarily call it an “obsession” (my mom might disagree), but I have always paid a lot more attention to people’s eyebrows than your average Joe. My eyebrows, your eyebrows, your mom’s eyebrows… if I’ve met you, I could describe your eyebrows in explicit detail.eyebrow

8. I’ve never had a serious injury. No broken bones, sprained ankles, cuts that needed stitches, or anything like that.

9. I LOVE to be alone. (Not to be lonely, just to have time by myself.)alone

10. I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid. His name was Brian and he was an Asian kid around my age at the time. I always thought he might have been a spirit and not just a figment of my imagination, but I guess I will never know!

 

 

Did any of these things surprise you? Do we have anything in common? Let me know in the comments! I love to get to know my readers better.

Why I Went ‘Plant-Based’

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Last Sunday, Ryan and I had just finished our massive grocery shopping trip for the week ahead (which sucks the energy right out of me), so I decided to let myself veg out for a couple hours and binge watch some Netflix. (Sunday funday, am I right?) I had seen the documentary entitled Minimalism floating around, so I watched that. (It was very interesting, btw, but unrelated.) After I finished that, I browsed through the rest of the ‘documentaries’ section and I saw so many documentaries about the food industry. I was surprised, honestly. I’d heard of Food, Inc. before but never watched it. I had never heard of the other ones before and there were so many. “They must be important,” I thought. So I started with one called Hungry for Change. At that point, Ryan had joined me on the couch and decided to watch it with me.

I’m not going to recap each documentary because I think it is extremely #worthit to take the 1.5 hours to watch each of them, but I will list the ones that I watched: Hungry for Change; Forks Over Knives; Fed Up; Food, Inc.; and Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I have to say, Hungry for Change impacted me the most.

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Half way through the second documentary, I looked at Ryan and said “I don’t want to eat anything we just bought at the store.”

We were on a high-protein, low-carb diet at the time, so our diet consisted of mostly meat, eggs, and some vegetables. What shocked me was that in one of the documentaries, they mention all the different kinds of “diet plans” that are out there (including the one we were on at the time) and explained just why they don’t work in the long-run.

We finished watching three documentaries in one night, and afterwords, I felt like…

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My eyes were completely opened to the truth that the food industry and the government don’t want us to know. I felt as if I’d just woken up from a 22-year-long nightmare of battling with so many things related to food and I finally had the answer. There is so much conflicting information out there about “low-fat” and “low-carb” and every time I thought I had it all figured out, my weight spun out of control and I was left feeling helpless. For so long, I just assumed that my weight was just something I was going to have to struggle with for my entire life. These documentaries opened my eyes to the truth about food, our bodies, and the way those two things were created to work together. When I really sat down and thought about it, it was so simple and it made so much sense.

A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products (in our case, none).

Right then and there, on that Sunday evening, we decided that we were going to adopt a plant-based diet the following morning.

Here’s why:

  1. The poor animals. The way animals in the food industry are treated is beyond disturbing and inhumane.
  2. Health. Eating a plant-based diet can help strengthen your immune system, organs, and all of your body cells. It can help prevent and fight against cancer and other serious diseases. (yes, please!)
  3. Weight. No more yo-yo dieting. We had both been up-and-down with our weight our entire lives. We’d been making it so much more complicated than it needs to be simply because we didn’t know any better and that had to change.
  4. Faith in God. The main thing that sunk in for me is this: Everything we need in order to live and thrive in our human bodies were given to us by the one-and-only man upstairs who made this whole earth and everything on it. Nothing makes more sense to me than that fact.

We decided we would eat oatmeal the next morning for breakfast (because the only other option we had in our fridge was eggs and bacon), skip lunch while we were at work (because we didn’t have anything but meat to eat for lunch), and go grocery shopping for our new lifestyle after work that next evening. We gave away all of the animal products in our possession, which was a lot of food, but we were perfectly okay with that. It was never an option in our minds to continue to eat the way we had been, not even for one more day.

We made stir-fry for dinner Monday night after we went re-grocery-shopping and started a “detox” on Tuesday. (HUGE shout-out to www.bitchindietitian.com). The first couple of days were rough. Caffeine withdrawal migraines are the worst. I was down for the count on Tuesday and Wednesday with horrible migraines but by Thursday, any trace of a headache had magically disappeared!

(Note: We followed the detox step-by-step for the first 4 days. After that, we still used the recipes suggested, but we adjusted the schedule and moved the meals around a bit to fit our needs.)

Here we are, 1 week into our plant-based lifestyle and we’re feeling great! Since the first of the year, between our “high-protein, low-carb” diet for the first 3 weeks and our plant-based diet for the last week, I’ve lost 10 pounds and 7.5 inches total off of my body (but 3 of those pounds and 2.5 of those inches were lost within the last week), and Ryan has lost 13 pounds and 13.5 inches total off of his body (but 5 of those pounds and 4 of those inches were lost within the last week). It’s a great start, but we’ve got a long way to go!

I can honestly say that I don’t miss any of the foods we used to eat… not one bit! We have been trying so many new things and making so many new recipes, we don’t have time to miss any other foods. For Ryan’s birthday, we even made a vegan cake and it was delicious – way beyond our expectations.

I HIGHLY recommend watching one (or all!) of the documentaries I mentioned earlier. It’s a sad, cruel world we live in, but you don’t have to be a victim. I’m not one to try and convert people, but that’s just the truth.

I can’t wait to see where this plant-based life will take us! I will post any earth-shattering recipes we try, as well as updates on our new plant-fueled lifestyle every now and again. Please post any questions or tips for us that you might have down below in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

 

Xoxo Emily

The Christmas Tag!

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FIVE DAYS until CHRISTMAS! YAY, YAY, YAY!

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas… who doesn’t?!

I’ve seen this tag floating around and I thought it’d be a fun little post for the week of Christmas! Enjoy! xoxo

 

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

The Santa Clause and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! I love me some Tim Allen 90’s humor and I’m pretty sure Jim Carrey was made to play the Grinch.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

We exchange with my side of the family on Christmas Eve, then Ryan and I exchange on Christmas morning and we exchange with his side of the family on Christmas day as well.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

Yes! One of many funny memories of my dad. One year when I was about 7 or 8, my parents bought all of us kids a karaoke machine for Christmas and we were so excited because we all love to sing. But my dad (who we learned later secretly bought the karaoke machine for himself) sang on that thing all day long and we harldy got a chance to play with it because he was having so much fun with it! We used to tell my dad he couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle, but that didn’t stop him from singing! I can’t help but laugh when I think of my sister and I sitting in the living room huffing and puffing at my dad singing song after song on the present he bought “for us.”

4. Favourite festive food?

I love homemade Christmas cookies. It doesn’t feel like Christmas without them! I also really like hot chocolate around Christmastime. (Can you tell I have a serious sweet tooth?)

5. Favourite Christmas gift?

I really don’t know! I always love my Christmas gifts, but I can’t think of one that stands out for any reason. I never ask for much; I’m bad at coming up with a Christmas list. So I’m always very pleased and surprised with everything I receive. I’ve never focused on the gift aspect of Christmas.

6. Favourite Christmas scent?

The smell of a Christmas tree! There’s nothing better than the whole house being filled with the pine tree smell. I even light pine scented candles to really fill the whole house with the scent.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

We do our big Christmas celebration at my mom’s house every year on Christmas Eve. I love it! Being with my family makes me so happy.
8. What tops your tree?

A gold, sparkly star!
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?

I think I remember asking for a trampoline for a couple of Christmases in a row, but I never got one. That’s probably a good think, in retrospect, because I probably would have broken a bone or something!

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

The best part of Christmas for me is just the happiness and bliss it brings. Getting to celebrate the birth of Jesus with my family and friends while we’re all warm and cozy, laughing and being happy together… there’s nothing in the world that compares to that!

 

Thanks for visiting my blog! I wish you all a very blessed, Merry Christmas. Comment down below and let me know what some of your favorite Christmas traditions are!

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If you’d like to do the Christmas Tag, here are the questions:

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?
2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
4. Favourite festive food?
5. Favourite Christmas gift?
6. Favourite Christmas scent?
7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
8. What tops your tree?
9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

xoxo Em