Sunday Inspiration: October 22

Sunday Inspiration: October 22 | Writing Between Pauses

Wow, another Inspiration Sunday! I skipped two Sundays in Blogtober in order to post some sponsored reviews, so I've done less of these than I expected to. However, I have a lot of things I want to share this week. So let's jump right in! 

Unfortunately, over the last month, a lot of stories about sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood (and honestly, most professions) has been coming out. I'm a big believer in putting money where my mouth is: if I say I abhor animal abuse, I have to stop using products that test on animals; if I say I abhor child abuse, I cannot watch Woody Allen movies; and if I say I will not support the abuse of women, I cannot watch movies made by people (or starring people) who abuse women, like Roman Polanski and Johnny Depp. I encourage everyone to think before they pay money to watch movies: are these people you want to support? If not, don't give them your hard earned cash. 

World Mental Health Day was earlier in October--and it's always a day that I really struggle with. I am relatively open about my mental health. I suffer from severe anxiety, sometimes so bad that I manifest physical symptoms like dry mouth and eye twitch. Specifically, in the last few months, I've been having panic attacks nearly daily. However, there are some things I just don't want to share; and seeing the above tweet reminded me that... I don't have to share. I am under no obligation to make myself a figure for mental health just because I happen to struggle with my mental health. Talking about it is a privilege that I happen to have, because I've never been made to feel like I was inadequate for it (although certainly some people don't know how to deal with how high strung I am); what I want for World Mental Health is that everyone feels like they can talk about mental health, but they don't have to. 

For my last item, let's talk about how cute this outfit is. Does anyone remember when everyone had those black flats that looked like cats around 2012? Those were the hip fashion blogging shoe. Oh and the over-the-knee tights that looked like cats too! I am not a fan of cats, but I inexplicably love clothes with cats on them; it's so kitschy and funny to me! I'm on the hunt for a pair of cat shoes now. 

Things I Love: October 21

Things I Love: October 21 | Writing Between Pauses

I have written this post three times, thanks to my fabulous internet. For real though, it's getting obnoxious to write the same thing over and over again! However, I can't believe I'm on the downhill slide of Blogtober; this month has gone by surprisingly fast, but I've been loving getting in the groove of writing one or two blog posts a day! It's definitely going to help once NaNoWriMo is here. 

As a brief shout out, I have to mention Sian at Rebel Angel for her recent Reading, Watching, Listening, Doing post. I love reading what other's are up to (hello, I'm permanently nosy) and I love getting recommendations from my fellow bloggers. 

Without further ado, here's what I'm loving this week. 

1. Dirty John

Guys. I'm so sorry. But I'm starting with another podcast recommendation. I listen to a lot of podcasts, ok? I love podcasts! This one was really interesting. It's about a guy named John Meehan who is known as, you guessed it, Dirty John. Long story short, he's a conman. The podcast is gripping, start to finish, and the last episode literally shocked me so much, I had to pause it to collect myself. You can listen to the podcast on your fave podcasting app, but you can also read the entire thing on the LA Times website, here

2. My birthday

For the last few years, I've fallen into the habit of seeing my birthday as a non-day. I found (ok, I still find) it really obnoxious when people made a big hubbub about their birthdays, especially after the age of about 24. As someone who is constantly working, my birthday was usually just another workday or, if it fell on a weekend, a chance to get more things done. I hate taking breaks, after all. But this year, I really tried to let myself enjoy it, especially since it fell on one of my husband's rare days off! We went shopping, we got lunch, we had the kind of day together that we used to have. It was really lovely. 

3. This article from the Atlantic 

Do you ever read something that renews a tiny sliver of your faith in humanity? The last two weeks have been rough; I've been trying to keep up with all the Harvey Weinstein news, while also seeing nearly every single person I know post a #MeToo status. It is stressful and heartbreaking. When I was feeling overwhelmed, a story came along just when I needed it: this story of catfishing from the AtlanticNow I love the MTV show, Catfish; I can watch it on repeat for actual hours. But this article really changed the game. Summary: girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl discovers boy is not who he said he was, girl tracks down boy who was in the actual photos, girl falls in love with that model. It's... the absolute best. Read it and feel good. 

It's My Birthday!

It's My Birthday! | Writing Between Pauses

I'll be honest, I'm never sure what to write for birthday posts! As I've gotten older, my birthday means less and less to me. It's just another day; I still have responsibilities and I can't just stop everything to celebrate.

I also hate receiving gifts these days. I like the idea of it, sure, but I am always very aware of how much stuff I have (too much, actually) and how I should be purging what I have instead of just acquiring more. 

So on my 29th birthday, what do I have to say? 

The last year has been a big one. I've dealt with a lot of serious anxiety; instead of getting better, I've found my anxiety getting worse--but my awareness of it, and how it has changed my health, has increased. How's that for mixed blessings? I've also had a lot of fun: going to Disneyland, taking Forrest on road trips, watching him learn so much in the span of a year... it hasn't been all bad, certainly. 

I think we all tend to take birthdays very seriously and in the current social and political climate, it's hard to find joy in little things. So I've decided today (and today only, because my resolve is terrible), I'm turning off social media and spending the day doing the little things I love. Watching Sesame Street with Forrest. Making us our favorite lunch (mac and cheese with chicken & broccoli). Going to the park. The little things that I so often find myself taking advantage of. 

Here's to another year! Thanks for reading my blog, as always. 

3 Outfits Perfect for the Pumpkin Patch

3 Outfits Perfect for the Pumpkin Patch | Writing Between Pauses

I love going to the pumpkin patch every year. There is a small window of time in Oregon where the leaves are changing and the patches are open--before the rain starts and turns all the pumpkin patches to absolute rivers of mud. Some people don't mind going when it's muddy--but I do! 

Pumpkin Patch Outfits | Writing Between Pauses

However, I made the unfortunate choice when we went the weekend before last of wearing a white sweater. With a toddler. Oops. even though it wasn't muddy, Forrest did end up an absolute mess! And so did I at the end. 

So I put together 3 perfect pumpkin patch outfits that are easy to clean, not white, and great for leisurely finding the perfect pumpkin OR chasing a pumpkin-obsessed toddler around. 

1. Casual Pumpkin Patch

No other responsibilities? Wanting to keep it as comfy as possible? This is the outfit for you. Your favorite skinny jeans, some comfortable brown booties, and a cute graphic t-shirt under a pretty cardigan. (I also love this cardigan from Maurices for this outfit.)  

2. For Running More Errands

If you're going more places than just the pumpkin patch, this is a perfect outfit. Lunch? A winery? Shopping? Playdate? This is the perfect mix of comfortable and fashionable, without being fussy. Knee-high brown boots and a cute, slightly oversized sweater to keep you warm, topped with a scarf and some cute accessories (I love this apple bracelet!). 

3. Family Photos

You're taking this opportunity at the pumpkin patch to get some cute photos. (Genius.) This dress from the GAP is so cute; I love the little bell sleeves and the relaxed fit is perfect for Fall. Add some tights, classic black riding boots, and a scarf to keep things optimally cozy! 

3 Easy Autumn Make Up Routines

3 Easy Autumn Make Up Routines | Writing Between Pauses

I love make up, but I tend to wear the same looks every day. Either a brown-toned or rusty-pink toned eye look, the same blush every day, and really similar lipstick every day. (I'll cop to admitting way too many lipsticks, but really only wearing 4-5 colors.) 

For that reason, I've been looking for new looks to try. I wanted to share some lovely bloggers and YouTubers in this post and avoid the "big beauty gurus" (you know who I'm talking about). I think you'll love these three looks--I can't wait to emulate them with my make up collection! 

1. Grungy/Matte Autumn Look from Rachel Leary 

Personally, I've been on the hunt for the perfect oxblood lipstick for ages; I think I finally found one recently. Paired with a cranberry eye look, it's lovely for a late Autumn glam look (like on Thanksgiving)! 

2. Everyday Autumn Makeup Look from Emily at Under the Scottish Rain 

I love this lovely, bright look from Emily at Under the Scottish Rain. An understated eye look with a bright lip is so lovely, especially when the weather outside is getting cold and rainy (or snowy!) Check out Emily's post here

3. Fall Make Up Tutorial from Chezza Bee

This make up tutorial from Chezza Bee is so lovely and such a traditional, pretty Autumn look. A copper-y eye with a mauve-y nude lip? So in right now and really, really pretty. 

My Four Favorite Autumn Teas

My Four Favorite Teas for Autumn | Writing Between Pauses

I go through phases with tea. Sometimes, it's all I want to drink. But usually in the summertime, I stop drinking tea. Once the rain starts around mid-October though, I start to replace my afternoon coffee with an afternoon tea. 

And gosh, tea is refreshing after a break! I usually end up buying a bunch of tea to last me the entire Fall and Winter. I have my favorites, definitely, and these are the ones I make sure to get every single year. 

1. Pumpkin Spice Black Tea from the Republic of Tea

I love black tea; it's my favorite type (probably because of the caffeine content). This Pumpkin Spice Black Tea from the Republic of Tea is my absolute favorite Fall-themed tea. I'm normally not big on pumpkin spiced things, because they can be quite strong... however, I love the blend on this one. It has finely ground black tea, plus ginger, cinnamon, sweet blackberry leaves, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice alongside natural pumpkin flavor. So it's a nice blend of sweet and spicy. 

2. Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Black Tea from Celestial Seasonings

This tea is very similar to my top pick, but being from a drugstore brand, it's more affordable and more readily available for when I run out. It definitely doesn't have the same depth as the Republic of Tea variety, but still has the same spicy-sweetness to it. My husband prefers this tea too! 

3. Spiced Chai Tea from Bigelow 

This is my classic favorite Chai tea: straightforward and simple, a classic Chai mix. I usually drink this the most (sometimes I'll buy the Stash brand instead if it's on sale), with a packet of Truvia and a tablespoon of almond milk. It's so good on a cold afternoon!

4. Hot Cinnamon Sunset from Harney & Sons 

This is my new favorite; I bought it on a whim at Target mainly because the tin it comes in is very cute. But once I tried it, I knew it was meant to be! This is a simple black tea with cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel; it has a nice citrusy taste to cut the cinnamon a little bit. It's a bit more Christmas-y than the other teas on this list, but very, very cozy. 

3 Beauty Products for Halloween

3 Beauty Products for Halloween | Writing Between Pauses

Can I just say something about Blogtober? I am exhausted. I brought this on myself though. I’ve massively neglected my Instagram in favor of writing so many blog posts. The page in my bullet journal dedicated to my writing goal is dominated by writing blog posts in advance every single day… and I haven’t even started thinking about NaNoWriMo. (Gosh, am I going to take on NaNoWriMo after this!?) 

But I’ve also been loving Blogtober—having the chance to write all these posts that I’ve always wanted to write… like putting together my favorite outfits, finding new beauty products, sharing the best tutorials I’ve pinned on Pinterest… it’s been a lot of fun! 

I decided to take it easy on myself with this post. I love Halloween make up; it’s my favorite time of the year because, duh, Autumn, but also, Halloween and spooky-themed everything is so much fun. Here’s a round up of some of the cutest, most fun, and most spooky beauty products. 

1. Pumpkin Bath-o-Lantern Bath Bomb

Lush Pumpkin Bath Bomb

Before every busy Halloween, we all need a little self-care. This pumpkin-shaped bath bomb is scented with “exotic pimento, sweet vanilla and cozy, warming cinnamon,” and promises to turn your bath water a pretty, pumpkin orange. What could be better? 






2. imPRESS Matte Halloween Nails with Glitter Accents

imPRESS Halloween Nails

Press on nails are not something I ever thought I would recommend… or wear. But I really love imPRESS nails—I went through a phase of wearing them every week a few years ago (post-baby it’s much more difficult to rock a long nail) and they always last 7+ days. Seriously. 7+ days! These ones feature a gray-and-white matte color scheme with a spooky church yard and several glitter accent nails. Perfect for a subdued Halloween look. 






3. Make Up Revolution Vampire Night Lip Kid

Make Up Revolution Vampire Kit

This is such a fun lip kit! It features 1 matte liquid lipstick and a matching liner so you can contour your lips (or just prevent feathering—hello aging!) in the color Vampire Night, a rich, bloody burgundy color. Perfect for a vampire costume or just for fun. 

Beauty Review: The Luxe Vox Box*

Beauty Review: Luxe Vox Box | Writing BetweenPauses

*Disclaimer: As always, the asterisk (*) in the post title denotes a sponsored post or a post where I received product for free. All opinions remain my own. For more information about my disclosure policy, please see here

I love getting Vox Boxes from Influenster. I get so excited every single time. Needless to say, when I found out I was getting the Luxe Vox Box, I was beyond excited. I really love this style of Vox Box too because I love getting a variety of products instead of just one. Who doesn’t love trying a bunch of goodies instead of just one? 

For the sake of saving time, I’m going to do mini reviews of each product. Here’s everything I received—and what I thought! 

Dr. Brandt No More Baggage Depuffing Eye Gel

This is one of those products that I was excited to try, but isn’t something I would normally buy on my own. Even though I struggle with fatigue (especially at certain points in my cycle), I don’t necessarily get puffy undereyes or even dark circles. (Ok, that sounds like a humblebrag—but trust me when I say I have other skin issues!) The first time I used this, I didn’t notice a huge difference. 

The second time, however, I used it under make up and I felt like it made a huge difference. I usually color correct under my eyes (just to brighten my skin a little bit) and then use foundation as normal. I used this instead of my usual color correcting and I felt like it made my undereyes look smoother and brighter. I really enjoyed using it, but for $42 for a tube, it’s not something I would repurchase. But if you have undereyes that you struggle with, it’s definitely a great product! 

Amika Un.Done Texture Spray

I received two Amika products and I was most excited about this one, the texture spray. My hair tends to be quite flat and dull, especially on the days when I watch it. This is an aerosol spray, not unlike a dry shampoo, that is supposed provide “instead volume and perfect-imperfect texture.” It “utilizes an invisible, salt-free formulation to deliver effortless, tousled beachy hair.” 

Did I like it? No. Like dry shampoo, it gave my hair a texture that I would describe as straw-like and almost waxy. I love the feeling of smooth, soft hair. If a product can keep my naturally very soft, smooth hair feeling that way, but also give it volume, I love it—but that seems like asking for a lot. I used this two days in a row and both days, the volume it provided barely lasted two hours… but the waxy, gross feeling in my hair did last. Hard pass. 

Amika Nourishing Mask

I love a good hair mask—even though “hair mask” is a nice way of saying “deep conditioner.” I don’t use conditioner daily, because again, my hair texture is pretty lank and flat naturally and my hair is pretty healthy at the moment. It’s not something I really need to worry about. However, my hair does have a lot of breakage because I wear it in tight ponytails and buns a lot, so I was hoping this mask would help with that. 

I have been using this in the shower twice a week and I really love using it. I almost feel like it gives my hair a little bit more body than usual and definitely makes it feel very soft and look very shiny. This mask promises to "restore hair to its natural vibrancy and health from the inside out," which is quite a hefty promise; but it also says it "hydrates for long-lasting softness, shine, elasticity, and manageability." That last one is definitely true. At $28 for 250mL, it's not a terrible price for something you use at most 1-2 times a week! (The mini size which I've linked is only $10--great for sampling!) 

GrandeLips Hydrating Lip Plumper

This is the item I was dreading reviewing. Firstly, a lip plumper is not something I would ever, ever purchase or want to use. But I couldn't very well just not use it and fluff a review. I felt between a rock and a hard place. So I put aside my reservations and I put it on one morning early last week. 

Cue my rapidly scrubbing my lips and nearly screaming. Within seconds to applying, my lips were burning. Not just feeling warm or fuzzy. But burning. I had light chemical burn all around my mouth for several days. Don't buy this product. Don't use this product. I wish I had trusted my gut!

AQUIS Hair Towel

Ok, that last mini review was a bummer, right? Chemical burns are no good. But I love this hair towel. It is made from "Aquitex," a hair drying technology that is "ultra light." It is supposed to rapidly dry hair to "damp stage" without heat. I personally do not use heat on my hair, so this was something I was very excited about. With the change in seasons, my scalp has been very dry and itchy, so I've been having to wash everyday to avoid flakes and nourish my scalp with soothing ingredients. (If you're wondering, I've been using YesTo Coconut Tea Tree Shampoo.) 

I love the shape and thinness of this towel; it makes tying up my hair after my shower to do my make up very easy. It does seem to dry my hair very quickly, which is also very nice. However, at $30-45 for a single towel, it's quite expensive. I have some not-as-fancy hair towels from Target that were $5 a piece at the most that do almost the exact same thing. But if you have a lot of hair and want to cut how much heat you use on your hair, it would definitely be a good splurge.