Fall Friday Favs

 

1. I picked up a new nail polish at Target and it’s pretty great. I’ve had mixed luck with Sinful Colors in the past, but this one made it almost a week with no chipping, so I’m a fan! (And it was $2) The color is called “Hush Money”.

 

2. I had a day this week where I got up and settled into my morning work routine as usual, and then decided NOPE. I need to get outside. So I went to a local hiking trail to take advantage of the beautiful fall day. (I want to fit in as much outdoorsy stuff as possible over the next few weeks before it gets cold!) The area I went to has multiple trails; I’ve done two of the shorter trails before, but this time I decided to add on an extra loop. The total trail I did was only a mile and a half, but OMG, y’all. A mile on flat ground is nothing, but a mile of trail that looks like this?

 

It was really pretty with all of the fall leaves changing colors…

 

And聽 gained a whole new appreciation for just how wonderful old wooden benches are.

 

And as usual, tree roots are the coolest thing ever. I love how these basically formed stair steps up the hill.

 

3. This month, Chewy.com sent my furry family a variety pack of Tiki Cat After Dark. I took the cans outside with a few other products that I wanted to photograph, and when I came back to the front porch after photographing something else, Captain Kitten was there yelling at me that he was VERY READY to review these, please and thank you.

“Use your opposable thumbs already, human!”

 

The cans contain quite a bit of broth, which my cats loved, and they come in unique flavors. (I’ve always thought it’s interesting that all of the cat food you see is turkey, chicken, fish, or beef – never any pork, but here one is!) I expected the Chicken & Quail Egg variety to look like the tuna and egg food I often buy – little specks of egg mixed in, but this had an entire half an egg inside!

I let Bear and Tennyson split this can and attempted to take pics, even though I know taking photos of black cats is basically the hardest thing ever. Outdoor pics will occasionally work, but anything inside? LOLNOPE. This sums up how THAT photo session went:

I’m probably the best photographer ever?

 

4. I made a VERY quick trip down to Eureka Springs again this week. It as originally supposed to be a leisurely two day trip, but it turned into one of those days where nothing goes as planned. Instead of leaving home around 10 a.m. like I’d planned, I didn’t get on the road until 1, and then my accommodations for the night fell through, so I set off for home around 5:30 to avoid driving the crazy twisty Arkansas roads after dark. Still, the entire trip was worth it just because I discovered a free parking lot. Most parking in town is $5 for 3 hours, but I stumbled upon a lot near the north end of town that’s not only free, but has a trolley stop! I didn’t want to buy trolley tickets for such a quick trip so I just walked and got to see an entire part of the city that I hadn’t explored yet.

It was a 3/4 mile walk to get to the historic downtown area, but thankfully it was like 70 degrees so it was an enjoyable stroll. (The entire city is mountain-y, so like my trail above, walking one mile feels like walking five anywhere else.)

A few pics from along the way:

 

It was so sad to see that this amazing little cottage doesn’t appear to be taken care of. Like most of the town, it probably dates back to somewhere between 1890-1910, so it broke my heart to see parts of it literally crumbling. Oh, to be wealthy and be able to buy it and restore it and use it as a little escape when I need a break from my everyday routine! I mean, that Juliet balcony is everything!

 

 

Almost every business downtown was decorated for Halloween. Very appropriate for a town with so many ghost stories!

This guy isn’t a Halloween decoration, he always lives in this gas lamp-lit alley next to a vintage聽undertaker’s sign.

 

5. This post is so long and I still have one spot left?? I guess that I will treat you to these lovely photos of a vintage knitting magazine I found at the library. I aspire to be this cool someday.

 

“Mom, I booked a magazine cover! This is going to skyrocket my career!”

“It was the most stylish threesome ever.”

This is what we did for fun before the internet, kids.

 

Happy Weekend!

 

Friday blog linkup

Friday Favs for the 13th

 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Before I get into this week’s favorites, I have a question for you guys – What’s your favorite comment system? I currently use CommentLuv but wow am I tired of sifting through 50+ spam comments per day. What do you guys use and like? What should I avoid?

 

1. I heard about this interesting study on the Brain Candy Podcast (I’m working on a new list of podcast suggestions, btw!) and it’s pretty amusing to look at the results. Basically, they asked a bunch of people to draw the logos for popular brands – Starbucks, Apple, Target… logos you probably see on an almost daily basis. It’s weird how little detail our brains seem to retain about these images that we see over and over and over! You can see the full article (full of amusing drawings) here!

The best part is the series of gifs at the bottom where they put people’s attempts at drawing the logos onto products.

 

My other favorite part? Whoever drew my favorite attempt at the Sbux logo:

 

How is that one MORE accurate than the one on the far left that looks like HRC sipping a cup of coffee?

 

2. It’t time for Target Birds (again!)! (I feel like that needs an official name.) On this week’s pilgrimage to the holy land of Tar-zhay, I had a gift card from Swagbucks so I got to do a bit of a “Treat yo self” trip.

Important life question: How is one supposed to choose between these three??

Also, OMG OMG, I just searched the Googles to find that image and found out there are three MORE that I’ve never seen in the store!!

What other secrets are you hiding from us, Target?? (You can order the trio of zombie birds online.)

Anyway, I noticed that apparently Target is aware of how beloved these guys are, and made some changes from previous seasons! First, they have names now!

 

The other change is that the new ones have little tags printed with the year on their feet. I’ve been collecting these guys for a few years now, so assuming that Target keeps making them for a while, it will be fun to easily see which year each one came out.

The two on the left are my fall birds from last year, two on the right are this year’s new additions!

 

3. Had to share because this made me laugh a lot. I often use Emojipedia when I’m posting to social media from my laptop since it lets you copy and paste. I noticed this note…

 

So obviously I had to scroll down to check it out.聽 It did not disappoint.

One of these things is not like the others…

 

4. I’m working on a whole post about it, but I visited my local theme park, Silver Dollar City, to check out their fall festival on Weds. I grew up spending big chunks of my summer there, but haven’t been in ages! I went to see the Saloon Show for the first time ever, and was literally shocked when a song from HAMILTON popped up!! (That Samsung shocked emoji above might actually be appropriate here!)

 

Now if they could just find a way to work Guns and Ships in…聽馃槀

 

5. One other amusing story from my day there…. Back when I was 18-21 I worked at the Dixie Stampede in Branson. I wanted to audition for the show because I’ve ridden horses since I was three, but I had ZERO dance experience.

Me, basically. I really miss when Allie Brosh blogged, btw!聽

I was practicing in a backstage hallway with a couple of friends who were also planning to audition. I don’t think either of them had dance experience, either, but they definitely had more grace than I did. (A few years later in a dance class, the teacher started to ask me “Could you kind of just…” and I completed her sentence “Be awesome?” “Yes, but…” “Not suck?” “Yeah, that’s kinda where I was going.” “Be Awesome, Don’t Suck” became our dance troupes motto.) ANYWAY… after aforementioned friends and I had run through our little routine backstage, one of the trick riders from the show as kind enough to show me how to properly prep for a turn…

Basically, something more like this…

and less like this.

Using a Drake gif is actually an understatement here.

Getting a note on how not to suck is a very helpful thing. Getting that note from a hot dude who is a WAY better rider than you and later realizing just HOW dumb you looked doing the thing the wrong way…

 

The point here? Same dude who kindly showed me how to look less dumb like 15 years ago was now hosting the Wild West Show at the theme park.

 

I said hi post-show but chose NOT to re-create my former dancing glory. Despite the embarrassment factor back then, what I remember more is the kindness of taking time to help an awkward 19 or 20 year old when he had zero obligation to do so. I will probably *always* be way more graceful on horseback than when flailing my limbs around in an attempt at choreography, but that moment of kindness did make a difference and has clearly stuck with me given that it’s the primary memory that hit me when I saw him 15-ish year later.

As usual, I’m finishing this post while curled up at the library trying to finish writing ALL THE THINGS before the weekend. Also as usual, I’m probably going to work through the weekend, but this time it’s for a better reason than usual! I get to go on a dinner cruise on Monday (yay, blogger perks!) and then make one last (probably) trip down to Eureka Springs mid-week where I’m staying in an ADORABLE historic cottage and checking out the art festival. (And buying a big bottle of that butter-flavored olive oil at Fresh Harvest that somehow tastes JUST LIKE BUTTER despite being vegan. It’s magical. It makes me want to cook. Or just buy really good bread to dip in it. Or maybe just drink it straight from the bottle, although I haven’t quite hit that level of obsession with it yet. Yet.)

Hope your weekend is awesome! Go forth and do amazing things.

 

Friday blog linkup

Show Us Your Books – October Edition

 

Happy Show Us Your Books Day! I don’t have many reviews to share this month, so be sure to visit Life According to Steph and Jana Says to check out the link-up and see what dozens of other bloggers have been reading lately! It’s the 3 year anniversary of the link-up!

 

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Goodreads * Amazon

“When two celebrities mate, something like me is the result.”

I placed a hold on this audiobook shortly after Carrie *almost* survived the deadly year of 2016, and it finally became available last month. I definitely recommend going the audio route if you can since it’s read by the author, so you get a real performance of the story. I was surprised by how short it was; I listened to it in an evening. I felt like it was about what you’d expect from the celebrity memoir genre, but Carrie’s storytelling style does make it unique.

 

The Wife Between Us

Note: The first four chapters are currently available as a free ebook on Amazon. Not sure how long this is going to be up, but at least for now you can grab the extended-length preview here! It’s like 50 pages, so a pretty solid way of finding out if you’re into it!

Amazon * Goodreads

This book will be released in January 2018.聽 I received an advance copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I liked this one. I don’t read a lot of books in the psychological thriller genre, but I realized a while back that I can’t do the super suspenseful ones or I end up feeling anxious. This one hit that balance of being interesting without putting me on edge. It wasn’t a “I can’t put it down!” – I read it over the course of a couple of days, split up into several sessions. It was compelling enough that I wanted to finish and figure everything out, but not one of those books that’s SO good that you’re tempted to skip work or plans to find out what happens. I did appreciate that one thing I kept expecting to happen never did, so high five to the author for not taking a disturbing route juts for the sake of it. (It’s hard to write thriller reviews without spoilers, y’all!)

I guessed one “big twist” by 15% into the book, but was still a little surprised when I turned out to be right. (If you’ve also read it, I’m referring to the thing that’s revealed after Part 1.)

 

Reach Out by Molly Beck

Amazon * Goodreads

I probably wouldn’t have normally picked up a book about online networking, but I’ve followed the author’s blog, Smart Pretty Awkward, for years, so I was curious to check it out. The basic idea is that by contacting one new person per day, you can grow your network and influence quickly and use who you know to advance your career.

The book includes a lot of actual e-mails and the responses they received, which I liked because emailing any kind of new potential business contact is kind of a weird art. You want to blend sounding professional with not sounding like a robot, actually catch their attention, etc etc. There are tons of email formulas out there, but seeing real emails that got a good response is a nice change.

A minor pet peeve, but every time the phrase “reach out” appears, it’s capitalized. I get why they did that since it’s the book’s premise, but given that it appears multiple times per page, it got annoying really quickly.聽 “The day after we met at the party, I reached out to her…” would be just as effective as “I Reached Out to her…”, but not interrupt the flow so much.

This is a pretty short read – two or maybe 3 hours at the most. I have to admit that I ended up skimming a lot because I already kinda know why you should have a blog or how to set up a good LinkedIn profile. I already contact businesses I’d like to work with all the time, so I didn’t really need the section on conquering the fear of reaching out. That said, I think this book would be great for someone in college or the early stages of their career. It’s well-organized and breaks things down for specific situations – reaching out to get a mentor, reaching out to get a promotion, etc. There’s a great section of tips from bloggers and other entrepreneurs on inbox management. So basically there’s some good info in here, it just wasn’t a great fit for me personally.

 

Hoping to find more time to read this month, although given that it’s probably the last month of good outdoorsy weather, that may not happen (again!). Have you read anything awesome lately?

Friday Favorites – October!

 

October is kind of the best, am I right? The crazy summer heat is gone, but it’s not yet chilly. Pumpkin spice everything is everywhere. And there’s Halloween stuff out the wazoo. Best month ever? It’s possible.

My plans are packed with all kinds of Autumnal stuff over the next few weeks – going to Silver Dollar City’s National Crafts & Cowboy Festival next week, fitting in as much hiking as possible before it gets cold, and then heading back down to Eureka Springs sometime the week after to catch a couple of events, including (hopefully, if I can make it work with my schedule!) stories of past residents told in the cemetery.聽馃懟

Here’s what I’ve been into this week!

1. This collection of images of protesters getting trolled is delightful.

 

 

2. I stumbled across the聽airBOSS Closet Odor Eliminator in the closet organization aisle at Walmart, and I’m a huge fan. Pretty much any kind of air freshener makes me sneeze, but this is charcoal-based and has ZERO smell at all. I’ve been keeping one next to the litter box, and it does a great job of soaking up odors. Walmart’s website has it for under $5, but I feel like it’s actually even lower than that at my local store – like maybe $4? I opened it over a month ago and it’s only about half gone (it kinda deteriorates over time).

 

WEN replenishing mist

3. WEN sent me some of their summer line of hair care products way back in the summer, but since I’ve been behind on life in general for actual months, I’ve just recently had the chance to really check them out. My absolute fav is this Cucumber Aloe Replenishing Treatment Mist spray. You can spritz it on wet or dry hair for extra moisture, and it definitely makes my hair feel softer. You guys know I can be sensitive to fragrances – it’s really hit or miss if something is going to be fine or make me sneeze all day – but luckily this one has a pretty light scent so I’ve been able to use it without problems. YAY! (I just discovered when going to their website to grab the link that they sell a fragrance-free version of their original conditioning cleanser. I need to check that out! Any beauty product company that offers a fragrance free option is automatically my new BFF.)

They have some awesome sounding Fall scents now like Vanilla White Pumpkin, Tuscan Pear, and Apple Spice that I really want to try out in hopes that I have as good of luck with those ass I did with the spray, and I’m working on a giveaway so that you guys can try some products, too!

 

4. As usual, Chewy.com has been spoiling my cats rotten with food and extra fun clubhouses:

Nothing good ever comes from this look.

 

My little kitty crew is not that picky (except Tennyson, who has declared himself entirely too delicate for dry food. Or most pate. Or anything turkey flavored. Or…) but this week’s Chewy Influencer review item was a serious crowd favorite.

 

First, I’m always a fan of food that comes in little pouches because they at least feel like less waste than big containers (My recycling bags fill up SO FAST.) and it’s easy to squeeze all of the food out. These Wellness Core Simply Shreds are meant to be used as a sort of “side dish”. You can use it to top dry food or serve it as a treat.

 

One thing I love about this food: it has a lot of liquid and a pretty strong fish smell, which makes it ideal to have on hand if your cat comes down with the sniffles or generally isn’t feeling great. Usually when cats are congested they don’t want to eat, so stronger smelling food can tempt their palate, and I’ve always found liquidy food seems to be more appealing if they don’t feel like eating, too.

My other favorite thing about these is that there are literally four ingredients: Chicken, mackerel, fish broth, and water. No crazy multi-syllabic ingredients you can’t pronounce. Just protein-rich goodness.

Pro tip: Don’t leave the empty pouch sitting around while you get distracted by something else. Your fluffy friends will steal it and make it their life mission to tear it apart to reach any last drops that might be hiding inside.

 

5.聽You are more than welcome to judge me, but I have really been enjoying these lately:

I’ve bought the big jugs (dirty!) in past years but they never tasted quite right.聽 The new single serve ones that came out this year are pretty acceptable, though. They’re not as delightful as a freshly-made PSL, but they’re also $2, so…

 

As often happens, I’m finishing up today’s post from the library when I’m supposed to be working. (Good thing my boss is me.) Also as usual, I’m feeling totally overwhelmed with all of the things I need to get done ASAP. I took last weekend off and wow was that a terrible idea. The break was fantastic but the “Ahhhh, I’m so behind!” feeling that followed it all week doesn’t feel worth it. I think this might be a marathon “Accomplish ALL the things!” weekend so that I can actually enjoy the fun stuff that I have lined up for the coming weeks.

That said, it occurred to me while writing this that I should totally do a post sharing the good, bad, and super weird hotels I’ve come across since I’ve been writing for a suite booking website. Is that a thing you guys would be interested in reading? (I wrote about a gorgeous hotel set in a Victorian country home yesterday… that offers its event rooms funeral services. WHYYYY?)

Go forth and have a fantastic weekend!

ICYMI: Here are two new posts about recent adventures!

New Moon Spa Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday blog linkup

Relaxing at New Moon Spa at the 1886 Crescent Hotel

New Moon Spa Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs

 

New Moon Spa is located on the garden level of the 1886 Crescent Hotel, perched atop a hill in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Eureka Springs has become one of my favorite places for a day trip; it’s about an hour away from where I live but it feels like such a different place. The Crescent Hotel has such a long and crazy history (check out my post about their ghost tour!) that it’s fascinating to wander around, just thinking about how long it’s all been there and how much those walls have seen. On one of my most recent trips, I got to check out the hotel’s spa. Eureka Springs is almost entirely steep hills, so given that I’d walked several miles on my historic downtown tour the day before, my body was SO ready for a little TLC!

I was really surprised by how large and modern New Moon Spa is. Given the historic vibe of the rest of the hotel, I wasn’t expecting the bright, spacious lobby that I stepped into.聽However, historic details are there if you know where to look! Take a close look at the floor in the salon in this pic:

1886 Crescent Hotel Salon

 

This space was once a bowling alley, back when the Crescent as a school for girls around the turn of the 20th century!

 

Crescent Hotel 1900 bowling team

 

When the Crescent was renovated, they preserved two of the original bowling lanes. Later, during further restoration, they found a couple of the bowling pins from around 1901 inside the walls!

 

bowling pin from 18th century crescent hotel eureka

 

The salon boasts pretty incredible views. Here’s the view from the pedicure chairs:

 

The Crescent Hotel is a popular destination for Eureka Springs weddings, and the spa features a room perfect for the bridal party to relax in while getting ready for the ceremony.

In the spa lobby, you can shop a whole array of bath and beauty products. It’s like a mini Sephora in there! They sent me home with some of their awesome signature spa products:

Grapefruit is my go-to hand soap scent, so I was excited about the citrusy scent of these!

After my tour of the spa and salon, it was time for my massage! Lockers are available if you’d like a place to stash your stuff while you’re off relaxing.

1886 Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs spa key

 

I was offered a beverage and given a quick info form to fill out, which included a diagram where I could circle any areas on my body that needed attention and X out any places I wanted to avoid聽 having worked on.

Fluffy robes and slippers await!

The spa offers an array of massage styles, but don’t feel restricted to what’s listed on the menu. They’re happy to customize something that you’l love. I requested something blending the two listed below, since I couldn’t really choose.

 

I wish I could get massages on a weekly basis. I never realize how crazy tense my body is until someone starts hitting all the knots. I was pretty zoned out for most of this massage, but I do remember the massage therapist hitting a spot near the back of my head that almost made me jump. I asked her to go back and spend a little time on that area, and I’m pretty sure that doing so saved me from an impending tension headache that otherwise probably would have ruined my day in the near future. How does an hour go by so slowly at work, but so quickly when you’re getting a massage?

 

The spa’s hot tub and infrared sauna are included with any treatment, so even though I had a full day ahead I couldn’t resist slipping into my swimsuit to enjoy just a little more relaxation out in the garden hot tub. I wanted to make it to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge before a predicted rainstorm hit later that afternoon, so I skipped the sauna this time. Honestly, if I hadn’t had another place to be that day, they probably would have had to drag me out of the hot tub. Such a perfect way to follow up a massage!

 

(Apparently this is what my dopey “I just had an hour massage and now I’m chilling in a hot tub” face looks like.)

I couldn’t resist making “ghostly mist” jokes about the steam rising from the hot tub, given the Crescent’s lore!

 

It’s crazy to just be hanging out in the hot tub, just relaxing, and then glance up and see a building that’s been there since 1886.

 

 

One of the spa receptionists even offered to bring me a beverage to enjoy while relaxing. Sipping cold water definitely made it more enjoyable, even though that’s such a simple thing. (I believe they also have coffee and tea, but I was craving water!)

 

 

Eureka Springs became famous in the late 1800’s after its “healing waters” were discovered. Chilling in a hot tub in a garden after a long massage probably wasn’t quite what those early settlers hand in mind, but I was definitely into it!

Check out New Moon Spa’s website for their full menu of spa and salon services, and be sure to check out their specials if you’re planning to stay at the Crescent Hotel – they offer some great perks for hotel guests who book spa services! You can also find them on Facebook.聽 I’d definitely love to return here in the future – there are entire menus of body treatments and facials that I haven’t explored yet!

 

Thanks to New Moon Spa and the Eureka Springs City Advertising & Promotion Commission for treating me to such a relaxing morning in exchange for sharing my experience!