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.

2016: A Call to Arms

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2016 had a great start. But then, I guess that’s why they call it the calm before the storm.

January 2016 was the beginning of a new chapter in my life: deciding to pursue my dreams of being a cosmetologist and take on more opportunities as they came to me, which meant finding the emotional strength to leave college and make a completely new path for myself.

March brought my 22nd birthday and a lot of personal growth.

In April, I took the scariest jump of my life and I started my very own consulting business.

Ryan and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary in May and took an amazing vacation in honor of it!

June and July brought tons of awesome concerts, a trip to Cape Cod a for a National dance competition, a visit from my sister who lives in Florida, camping, babysitting my nieces every Friday, and going to three weddings in three different states in three consecutive weekends! PHEW!

Throughout most of the year, I found myself growing in so many ways. I felt closest to God as I’ve ever felt; I was eating healthy and exercising regularly; I was investing so much time and energy in my relationships and rekindling friendships that had needed a little more work; I was working hard and living comfortably; I was happy. I thought 2016 was going to be my year! Marking each and every good thing that happened down on the calendar so that, come December, I could look back and say “wow… could it get any better than this?”

Then everything changed…

On August 13th, my grandfather passed away. Losing him is a wound that has yet to heal. He was the only grandparent I’d ever known. My grandma died when I was in preschool so I don’t remember her, and my dad’s parents disowned my sister and I after my dad died, so they haven’t been in my life in over a decade. Considering all of that, my grandpa was everything I’ve ever known about what a grandparent is and what they’re supposed to be, and I loved him.

We found out early on in the summer that he was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years back, but he never told any of us. Maybe he didn’t tell us because he didn’t want us to worry. Maybe he didn’t tell us because he had faith in God’s plan for his life any which way it turned out and telling us wouldn’t make much of a difference in that. Whatever the reason, I don’t think that knowing of his diagnosis any sooner would have made me miss him any less, or made his passing any easier to take.

It still doesn’t feel like he’s really gone. It hits me at the most random, unexpected times. Like when Ryan and I were Christmas shopping and I touched a jacket that felt just like my grandpa’s jacket. There I was in the middle of Target, Starbucks in hand, buying Nerf guns for my nephew, and it hit me. And on Christmas, I picked up my phone and said to Ryan “I better text my grandpa before we…”

 It’s always like that.

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After the funeral and everything was said and done, I did the only thing I knew how to do: keep on living life as God had intended. I missed him, sure, but it never felt like he was gone entirely. Things went on: I went to an awesome church retreat, I got a promotion at work, my husband got a new job that would provide for us and allow us to start saving for a house. More weddings, more traveling, more living. It seemed like things were starting to look up — and they were!

The first week of November, Ryan and I found out we were expecting a baby. That day, I was the most excited I had ever been in my entire life. This is difficult for some people to understand, but the only thing I have ever felt called to do in life is to be a wife and a mother (and kick butt at it)! We didn’t know how far along I was, so I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for the following Friday. We would get a sonogram done and see the baby that was growing in my very own body with our own eyes. Truly magical… truly a miracle. I felt so blessed, and so in awe of the whole thing. My body was created for this… to create another life, and here I was doing just that! Here was my life’s purpose in a living, tangible existence. The entire week before my first doctor’s appointment was spent creating Pinterest boards dedicated to “Baby D,” making to-do lists consisting of everything we wanted to accomplish before the baby was born, and reminding each other to keep it a secret from everyone until we came up with the perfect way to announce our pregnancy to our families.

After much anticipation, the morning of my first appointment finally came. November 11th – 11:30am. I sprung out of bed bright and early, made breakfast, took a shower, picked out my outfit, and…

I started bleeding.

I cried out in fear and pain as I bled life right out of me.

We spent the day in the E.R. I was poked and prodded and spoken to in whispers for eight hours while the doctors and nurses tried to find the answer that I already knew: I had a miscarriage.

Call it a mother’s intuition, call it whatever you want… I knew. My baby was alive one minute, and gone the next. I rolled around on the hospital bed in unbearable pain while the only purpose in life I ever knew slowly drained out of me. Ryan held my hand the entire time. In the dull moments, we would look each other in the eyes and through tears, tell each other “We will be okay,” which we wanted to believe so desperately.

I still have so many questions, so many fears, and so much pain. I’m a different person since I lost my baby. I tried not to be angry at God but how could I not be, at least a little? People have babies all the time. Women and teenagers who don’t even want babies get pregnant and give birth to beautiful, healthy babies all the time. Why me? Why us? What did I do wrong? What aren’t we ready to be parents? What could we have done better? Drowning in unanswered questions, I didn’t just lose my baby – I lost myself, too.

November and December were filled with tears, relapsing depression and anxiety, and emotional eating. I didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, or tell anyone what was going on. And I didn’t. I felt like saying it out loud would make it all too real. It’s a pain that I can never understand or forget. I still blame myself, even though doctors and friends tell me I did nothing wrong. I still lay at night and cry, cradling my now empty stomach.

As weeks went by, the world seemed to go on as if nothing had happened and I tried my best to go right along with it. Christmas was coming up, but it didn’t feel much like Christmastime. When Christmas day came, Ryan and I were both still grieving – grieving the loss of my grandfather and grieving the loss of our Baby D. We couldn’t help but constantly wonder how different the holidays would have been if our baby hadn’t died.

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On Thanksgiving, we would have announced our pregnancy to our families. Christmas surely would have been filled with tons of pictures of us plus my growing belly and gifts from our loved ones for our unborn baby. But it was just us, and no more baby. That night, we went home and cried again and talked through it again, just as we had many times before, but we were different this time… stronger somehow. God breaks you down and tears you apart just to rebuild you on a completely new foundation, and I still can’t decide if I find that clever, ironic, or just plain sad. There we were: broken and shattered, then put back together in a new way. With glue still dripping and the cracks still visible, we were stronger than before.

I dedicated the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to coming up with a list — a master plan — of my goals for 2017.

I came up with a way to use my now stronger self for the better… for the best. I will truly deal with the losses I suffered in 2016. I will reclaim my relationship with God, and I will put my faith in His plan for my life. I will make my body healthier, stronger, and ready for the day when God decides that we are ready to be parents. I will push myself past my comfort zone and do the things I’ve always been afraid to do. I will love harder, work harder, and get stronger. I will live 2017 for Baby D and for my grandfather. I will remember them and I will grieve them and I will love them more than ever before, and I will use their losses to propel myself forward into 2017 with a new momentum.

Here is my new motivation; here is my new purpose:

I will make my grandfather proud that I am his granddaughter.

I will make my Baby D proud that I was his or her mother… even if it was only for a little while.

 

2017: A year of new beginnings, new life, and new dreams.

 

So to 2016 I say “nice try.”

 

It’s time to run. It’s time to fight.