home decor

3 Best Candles for Autumn

3 Best Candles for Autumn | Writing Between Pauses

It’s finally here: Blogtober (and October). This is the month I look forward to most throughout the year: it’s my birthday month, the start of the holiday season for me, and include Halloween, one of my favorite holidays. I love the colors of falling leaves; I love pumpkin patches; I love warm, spicy scented candles, orange holiday lights, thick scarves, and boots. I love everything about Autumn.

I’ve been looking forward to Blogtober for ages. It hasn’t been far from my mind since the beginning of August. Yep, that’s when I started making graphics, drafting posts, and getting everything scheduled. I know that seems quite early, but posting every single day takes a lot of advanced effort!

Without further ado, let’s jump into the first post: 3 candles perfect for your home, apartment, or bedroom this season. When picking scents, I stuck to my favorites: I like sweet, spicy scents, as well as more herbals scents. I hope you love these ones as much as I do! And don’t forget to leave me your favorites in the comments.

1. Leaves from Bath & Body Works

If I had to say a favorite candle from Bath & Body Works, it would be this one (or maybe Kitchen Spice, which they don’t make anymore). Leaves is scented with apple, nectar, and clove spices, making it the perfect almost apple cider scent: not too apple-y, not to sweet, very Autumnal. To me, this candle can also smell very pumpkin-like, as well as that smell of crisp leaves. Nothing gets me in the Fall spirit quite like this candle!

2. Hickory Clove from Decoware

My husband picked out this candle--and he picked a winner. I’m a huge fan of the smell of clove; it is so perfectly spicy. It reminds me of gingerbread! This candle promises “musk-infused oakwood” scent with “warm amber, spiced evergreen, and autumn herbs alongside clove and vanilla bourbon.” It reminds me a lot of the Spiced Bourbon candle that I got at Bath & Body Works last year! It is absolutely lovely. We’ve been enjoying having it in our bedroom the last month or so.

3. Sage & Citrus from Yankee Candle

I rarely buy Yankee Candles full price; you can often find them at stores like TJ Maxx for about half off, which is pretty decent. That’s how I found this Sage & Citrus scented candle. This is a less stereotypical Fall scent, but if you’re looking for something that is a little more herby and light, it is absolutely perfect. I love the smell of citrus, but especially around Autumn, I like for everything to be more orange-scented. This candle has notes of lavender, as well as patchouli and musk, so it’s perfect for a more “masculine” scent.

Product Review: Maxwell USB Floor Lamp from Brightech*

Product Review: Maxwell USB Floor Lamp from Brightech* | Writing Between Pauses

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Brightech** asking if I'd like to test out one of their lamps.

Home decor is one of those areas I really love, but with a toddler, is one of the areas of my life where I feel everything is severely lacking. We still have a combination of college leftovers (the two bookshelves in my photos are both hand-me-downs that I had in my apartment in college!), hand-me-downs, and things purchased purely out of need, rather than aesthetic design. 

We have recently been trying to clean up our house and get rid of our mish-mashed furniture. Our dining room table finally matches our china cabinet, for example; our entertainment center in the living room is finally a functional piece of furniture, rather than something that was falling apart. It has been a slow and steady process, mainly because we don't really have the money to buy all new furniture! 

One thing we needed in our living room was some kind of additional lighting--which is why that email from Brightech felt very serendipitous! 

With a toddler, we don't like to have table lamps, as they can be easily pulled down (and the more cords we have, the more problems). We wanted to get a floor lamp that we could eventually transition to another part of our house or repurpose later on. 

So, that's what led me to pick the Maxwell USB Floor Lamp** in white from Brightech. 

I haven't mentioned this much, but Danny and I are going to be moving in about a year's time to a new house. I know, I know... it's very overwhelming. So everything we have right now isn't forever. We chose the Maxwell USB Floor Lamp with the intention of having it in our living room for a bit of extra light in the mornings; Forrest wakes up at 5:30 or so every day and our overhead lights are very bright. Not a gentle wake up for anyone! The Maxwell gives us a good bit of light while also being very functional. 

In the new house next year, I plan to put the Maxwell lamp in my office; I already have a vision for what I want my new office to look like (yes, I'll get my own dedicated office!) and the Maxwell fits in perfectly. I like that it can be both incredibly functional and part of the design of a room itself. 

Right now, I don't love where I have it in our house; however, again, with a toddler who is running at top speed with little foresight to something like cords, we didn't want to have it beside our couch (where I originally wanted). I knew that Forrest would trip on it!

Brightech Maxwell lamp
Lamp with USB Charger

However, my favorite part about is the USB charging ports on the top. There is a plug in, which means I can use it for some Christmas lights in the next few months; there are also USB ports for cell phone chargers. This makes it super handy to listen to podcasts or books while folding laundry, cleaning the living room, or just playing with Forrest. 

Brightech has lots of great lamps that are just as beautiful and functional as the Maxwell; they eve have a great selection of string lights**. When we move into our house next week, we have some big plans for a backyard and I'm really excited to get some Edison lights**. 

Even better, shipping from Brightech was fast (like, really fast) and assembling the lamp went really easy as well. Putting together furniture is always a test of a marriage and we didn't fight once while putting together the Maxwell. If that's not a testament to good instructions, I don't know what is! 

If you're looking for great, functional and beautiful lighting, I can't recommend Brightech** enough! 

Disclaimer: As usual, an asterisk (*) in the title of this post indicates a sponsored post. I received the Maxwell USB Floor Lamp from Brightech in exchange for review. However, all opinions remain my own! As well, links marked with a double asterisk (**) throughout this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any purchases through that light. This helps me keep the lights on here at Writing Between Pauses! For more information about my disclosure policy, click here

Product Review: Photowall*

Product Review: Photowall* | Writing Between Pauses

If you're like me, you have photos of just about everything. I have more photos of Forrest than I truly care to admit to (it's numbering in the 10,000 range, ok?) and I have a lot of them printed. I am a little obsessed with creating collages of all kinds. I love being able to see photos throughout my house; I think it makes a house feel really warm and lovely to have photos everywhere. Plus, I just like showing off our cute little family!

So when I was approached by Photowall to review a product from their website, I jumped at the chance. 

Photowall is a Swedish-run website that produces wallpaper and canvas prints. They have hundreds of designs available, plus you can upload your own photos and have a canvas printed with that photo! There are lots of websites that do this and I have used them before--but I'll be honest, Photowall is the highest quality canvas I've ever received!

Photowall Review 1 | Writing Between Pauses

It took me what felt like forever to choose an image for my canvas! I originally wanted to have a family portrait printed, but I couldn't decide on one, many of my photos (being from my iPhone) were just a bit too low resolution, and I really hemmed and hawed. Then I started browsing Photowall's catalogue of available prints and realized there were so many options! I almost got a floral design; I almost got a print of Portland, OR's skyline; and then, I found this one. 

It's a grove of aspens with yellow leaves. As we all are probably aware of at this point, I love Autumn--and I have a grey painted wall in my living room. I love grey and yellow together; my kitchen is grey and yellow themed. So it seemed perfect to get this canvas and do a little redesign in my living room. 

Ordering was super easy; you choose your print, or upload a photo, choose your sign, pay, and that's it! Shipping was super fast too. I ordered this on a weekend, I believe, and it arrived on the following Friday. 

When it arrived, my husband said, "this is way too small for a canvas!" That's because Photowall ships with everything for you to stretch your canvas yourself. You have a roll of canvas and a few pieces of wood for the frame, plus screws to secure it together and a hanger for mounting on the wall. Putting it together was super easy and the instructions were very clear. It was also really fun! 

In the future, I think I would go bigger; I got the smallest size canvas, as I just wasn't sure how it would look in the space (it's a little less than 16 inches). I definitely wish I had gone 24 inches or larger, I think it would work just as well! But I really love how it looks and I feel like I'm slowly but surely sprucing up our living room to look like grown ups (and not just a toddler) live here. 

If you'd like to try Photowall, just visit their website here and use my code MichelleLockeCampaign2018 for 20% off your order. My code is only available until the end of April, so order soon! 

*Disclaimer: As always, the asterisk (*) in the title of this post denotes that I received product from Photowall in exchange for a review. However, all thoughts and opinions remain my own. I really love Photowall and hope you will too! 

3 Ways to Spruce Up Your House for Autumn

3 Ways to Spruce Up Your House for Autumn | Writing Between Pauses

Every year, I take on a few Autumn crafts. Mainly, it's just fun to make something to decorate your house with. I keep a collection of potential crafts throughout the year and then once Autumn roles around, I pick my favorites. 

This year, I'm sticking to some kid-friendly crafts so Forrest can help me with them. However, here are 3 that I'm going to take on in the evenings sans Forrest! 

1. Paper Leaf Wall Hanging

This is so cute! It uses watercolor paper (perfect for older kids to take on) and then a cutting machine to create them. However, I really think you could just use a larger leaf pattern and cut them out by hand. Click here

2. Autumn Candle DIY

This is a super easy craft! You can buy the supplies for it at the dollar store too, which is really cool, and it would make a great Thanksgiving centerpiece. Click here

3. Autumn Embroidery DIY

I'm really into embroidery lately and this craft would definitely be a little bit more of a challenge for me! It's so cute and would be perfect for the entirety of Fall and Winter. Click here

Things I Love: Seasonal Scents

Things I Love: Seasonal Scents

A few weeks ago, I posted a thread on Twitter about the scents I like in my home during specific seasons. I, luckily, live in a place with 4 distinct seasons and for that reason, I'm very particular about home decor and smells during those seasons. I get very caught up in the whimsy of changing seasons and what each one represents. If you want to see my original Twitter thread, click here. (And share your favorite scents with me there too! Why not!?) 

I thought it would be fun to do a round up of my favorite candles, air filters, and more to help bring these seasonal scents home. Here they are. 

Summer

My favorite scents in the summer are fruity, citrusy smells: lemon and orange, specifically, but also pineapple and coconut, as well as mint, eucalyptus (very clean), and even something kind of smoky, like a musk or bergamot. 

Fall

Fall is my favorite season and, therefore, contains my favorite scents: flannel shirts, crunchy leaves, foggy early air, cinnamon, caramel, sandalwood, and bergamot. Deeper, rich, spicy scents alongside smoother, sweeter ones. 

Winter

Winter is my second favorite season, so, obviously, these are my second favorite scents. Because I celebrate Christmas, a lot of my scent memory comes from Christmas. That means, evergreen trees, pine needles, cloves and ginger, coffee, cinnamon rolls, and the smell of wrapping paper. One of my friends on Twitter pointed out one of the smells of Winter: that smell when you first turn the heating on in your car or house after a long time. It's that dusty, dry, warm smell. It's so distinctly wintery. 

  • From Yankee Candle, the Winter Glow candle is so perfect. Oranges, rosemary, cedar, amber, and spruce combine to give that perfect light, winter smell.  
  • Another Yankee: Soft Blanket has bergamot, blackberry, vanilla, rose, amber, and musk for that perfect mix of sweet and subtle. Great for a classy party. 
  • From Archipelago, the Black Forest Diffuser is a perfect moody winter scent. It combines black currant, ebony wood, and douglas fir tree for a luxurious, cozy smell. 

Spring

Spring is not my favorite season. It's very ho-hum for me. However, there are still some scents I love, that make me think of Spring and Spring only. I always think of lemon soap (different from lemons!), roses, linen, rain, and the smell of wet roads. 

  • From Archipelago, the Magnolia Diffuser has the perfect smell of a magnolia flower tree. It's also very classy looking and perfect for hiding up on a shelf. 
  • From H&M (really), the No. 9 Tulip candle is a light, sweet, floral scent--very reminiscent of the Tulip Festival in Oregon every year! 
  • The Mineral Springs candle from Bath & Body Works is a really unexpectedly amazing smell: mineral water, water lily, and a dash of lime. It's fresh without being over scented. 

A Little Reading Nook Inspiration

If you follow me on any social media, you know that on Friday, I was hit by the flu. Well, both Forrest and I were hit by the flu. Having a toddler get so sick is bad enough. But trying to take care of him while simultaneously being taken down by a 103 degree fever is even worse. Nothing anyone can say will fully prepare you for the moment you just can't get off the couch to stop your toddler from throwing every book over the baby gate. But it happens. We've made it through the worst of it. All Forrest has left is a small cough; he's finally eating again (thank goodness!). 

I, on the other hand, can't sleep at night I cough so much and my throat hurts so bad. I have absolutely no voice (try ordering a tea at Starbucks with no voice, it's fun for everyone!). But we're making it through. 

One thing that fell by the wayside over the weekend was, obviously, my blog. I thought and thought about what I should try to post and one thing that came to mind was... reading nooks. 

I've been reading a lot since I got sick. When I wake up in the middle of the night and slather myself with Vick's VapoRub, I often read for an hour until I get sleep again. Looking at reading nooks on Pinterest is also a great way to pass those wee morning hours until everyone else wakes up. 

So here's a little fun reading nook inspiration. Just because it's fun to imagine. 

I definitely have a preferred "look" when it comes to reading nooks. This one (source) is pretty much perfect. The natural wood, tons of books, a bed. I could sleep there. Forever. It's very "cupboard under the stairs" in terms of size, but looks way cozier than Harry Potter's former bedroom. 

That being said, I'm really into these two opposing nooks: you can roll from your computer nook to your reading nook. The window seat reading nook is super popular and you can find tons of options for it on Pinterest. To tour the entire house that features these nooks, click here

Let's get back to my aesthetic, however. If I had to have the flu anywhere, I'd prefer to have it here. Because it's just... better than anywhere else. A big comfy bed and a bunch of books (plus maybe some DayQuil and a few boxes of tissues and someone to bring me tea) would be much better than chasing a toddler and falling asleep on the couch while he watches BabyFirst TV. You can check out an entire Buzzfeed article of these beauties here

I had to include one more just for practicality. When it comes to reading nooks, ones that also act as bookshelves are genius. I love this style and could for sure see myself sleeping there for several days in a row. I couldn't find an original source for this, but you can view the Pin from Pinterest here


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What is Hygge? + Inspiration

It seems like, out of no where, this thing called hygge started showing up on social media. From Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest, social media decor seems to be dominated by #hygge (hashtag-hygge, as I often say to my husband). I can't deny the allure of what appears to be a focus on warm, cozy spaces. So I thought I'd share a few bits of inspiration for hygge--as well as talking about what hygge is, practically. 

So, what is hygge? 

According to KhachiLife, hygge is:

"hard to pronounce and directly translate (try saying ‘hoo-gah,’ then Denmark-ify it). It’s also hard to describe, mainly because it’s more so a state of mind and heart and less an actual thing or action. The two closest English words that offer a good start to understanding this positive attitude are ‘warm’ and ‘cozy’."

So, that makes it... easier? 

In general, on Pinterest, it seems to center around being cozy, using lots of throw blankets, and make sure your living space is warm, inviting, and relaxing. In general, decor has recently been what I consider rather cold (the all-white walls, the stiff, retro couches, the uncomfortable dining room chairs that look pretty); hygge is totally opposite. I would say my mother's living room growing up was "hygge": it was safe, it was warm, it was perfect. Even if it wasn't in Martha Stewart Living. 

Want a little hygge inspiration? 

Here are a few lovely resources I've gathered up. 

My friend, Sian, at Rebel Angel has a great post on hygge. She covers some elements of hygge that are easy to include in your own home. 

25 Ways to Fill Your Life with Hygge. I love this list of 25 ways to add a little hygge to your home (without going totally overboard on one design concept). Most importantly, this list invites you to make hygge your own. 

A free hygge printable, from Design by Claire. I love this pretty little printable. I actually printed it out myself and put it up in my bathroom (which is teal and embroidery themed, in general!). It fits perfectly. 

12 Ways to Create the Danish Hygge Look at Home. Again, great suggestions to adding a little hygge to your life. Of course, the photography is top notch. If only my own hygge home looked that pretty all the time... I notice none of these decor blogs feature toddler-destroyed living rooms as hygge! 

From Oprah (the queen of comfy & loving bread), a few ways to embrace hygge. I do enjoy the reference to calling candles "living lights." Very hygge. 

If you want even more hygge inspiration, be sure to follow my #hygge board on Pinterest