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Holy cow, my thirty-third (is that even right?) birthday is in less than a month. It’s been kind of a whirlwind of a summer. I’m not really ready for it to be over, yet. I’m in denial that it’s a week into September, already. Have I mentioned that I’m finally employed? And that my job is actually really cool? And that my office is on top of a mountain? What is even happening?

Anyway. More on that another time, possibly. I’ll keep this short and sweet, I think. This year’s “wishlist” may seem rather boring. I’m fortunate in that I have everything I need, and I’ve also gotten much better at being thoughtful and intentional about the things I do want. I’m getting old, I guess; boring seems alright with me. I’m thankful that I have the luxury to be this variety of boring.

  1. There are always a couple pieces in the PrAna Fall collection that call my name. This year, the Paradiso Cocoon top in Olive is one of them. This will probably be my present to myself.
  2. The new Primer Drops and Facial Powders (in the shade “Light”) from Cocokind are kind of right up my alley. You may recall my “Makeup Newbie” post from April. I have a full update on that drafted and ready to go, but I’m not sure I’ll bother sharing it. I had a lot of fun experimenting over the summer, but when it comes to cosmetics, the more natural and skincare-based a line is, the more I am willing to actually make it a regular part of my routine.
  3. It’s likely I’m going to need a new pair of hiking boots/shoes sooner, rather than later. I really love the Terradora from Keen.
  4. These days, I pretty much only rotate through three or four different pairs of earrings. It’s probably time to sort through my collection again. The Bossi Bloom earrings from Daya would serve in replacing at least two pairs I don’t wear very often.
  5. I would very, very much like to read this book.
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Well hello there! It’s been a while, right? We got home from vacation a few days ago, but those 20+ hour travel days take a lot of a girl. I’ve been fighting a nasty cold since our last day in Maui, and trying to get caught up on schoolwork. Because… well… museum finances aren’t nearly as interesting as splashing around in the Pacific Ocean and summiting volcanoes. Back to the real world, I suppose. I hope you are well. ♥

It’s nice to be home. The trees welcomed us back in a blaze of fiery glory, and the air is crackling.

Here are a few photos from our trip. We’re already thinking about going back. How could we not?

You can click on the panorama shots to see them full-sized.

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 Haleakalā crater from 10,000 feet

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We stayed at the Grand Wailea resort, which was a totally new experience (for me, anyway), but a fun one. Off season is definitely the time to go if you don’t really like crowds, and don’t mind construction noise and a few minor inconveniences here and there (our resort fee was waived). We’ve already decided that our next trip will be a little more low key, and will involve some beach camping and less expensive hotels. We discovered that there were so many more things we wanted to do; five days just wasn’t enough time to take everything in.

A couple places of note:

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October is very much the start of the new year for me. It is the time of comfort and ritual. This time of year also feels fresh; I’m an October child through and through. I turn thirty-one in just a few short days. We’ll be in Hawaii over my birthday (we leave on Sunday!), but upon our return I’ll be ready for full on fall.

October Goals :: girldust.com

It’s been quite a long while since I’ve shared any monthly goals in this space. It’s a habit I would like to return to. It’s one thing to jot down a list in my day planner, but sharing these goals in a public place makes me a little more accountable. These are my October goals, in no particular order.

Deep clean and dust the house. We’re getting ready to shut ourselves in for the season, and I want everything to be clean and cozy. I’ll be washing all the blankets and picking out some new incense and candles.

Get some seasonally spooky soaps. Okay, so I actually already did this. I ordered a few bars from Cellar Door Bath Supply Co., and I can’t wait for them to arrive. Cobwebs & Candelabras, The Drunken Pumpkin, and Zombie Repellent are on their way! My roommate in Dover was serious about seasonal soaps, and I could always rely on her to bring home giant bags of fun. I’m carrying on in her honor.

Winterize the herb beds. I’m not 100% sure how to do this, but I do know I’ve got to do some major cutting on a couple plants. I brought a huge bunch of sage to a former co-worker yesterday afternoon, and will be giving more to a friend later in the week; hopefully I can find something clever to do with the rest of it.

Visit Salem. This is on my list of maybes. We had the best intentions of visiting last year, but it didn’t quite work out with Tj’s schedule. If not this year, perhaps next. It’s always on my list.

Pick pumpkins. I am going all out with jack-o-lanterns this year, now that I have an entire house and front yard to decorate.

Finish getting my graduate school documents together. Harvard’s program application period opens mid-November, and I want to make sure I have everything ready to go before then. I have an essay to write, but am otherwise ready to go.

Bake rosemary cookies for Halloween. For the last few years, I’ve been working or otherwise too busy on Halloween night, so it just hasn’t been anything special. I’d like this year to be different. Rosemary signifies remembrance, and these simple sugar cookies are eaten to honor the deceased. I haven’t made them since high school. It will be a nice tradition to return to.

Take some gravestone rubbings. It’s been a long, long while since I’ve done this properly, and I have yet to visit any of the local cemeteries. I have an upcoming post all about this, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out this great graphic guide to cemetery symbolism from Atlas Obscura!

Host a girls night. There are a couple local friends I haven’t seen in ages, and I would like to do something before the winter holidays roll around and everyone is too busy. I’m thinking cider punch and Hocus Pocus. I may be able to combine this one with my last goal…

Visit a haunted house/go on a haunted hay ride. This is another one of those seasonal things that’s always on my list. It’s always so hard to work this around everyone’s schedules, but I think with a little careful planning we can pull it off this year.

What are your goals for the month? Or even the season?

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I feel like it’s been a hundred years since my last Friday Favorites, but it’s actually only been a couple weeks! The short break was nice, though. I am welcoming fall with open arms. How about you?

Friday Favorites // 033 :: girldust.com

  1. This velvet cardigan from ModCloth is beautiful.
  2. These hyper-pigmented lipglosses from Nero Cosmetics are 100% cruelty free and vegan. I like Spell Binding for its wearability and Miss Argentina because… Beetlejuice, but I would be happy owning any one of these beautiful shades. Did I mention my birthday is in a month?
  3. Hellooo, hat. This one is also available in burgundy.
  4. This skirt is made of dreams. The bats. Are you kidding me? It’s too good. Seriously, go and zoom in. I’m a size medium. Because you know. Birthday. This is another gem from the ModCloth namesake label!
  5. Fall scents are live at Bath Sabbath! I am all about “November Coming Fire.”
  6. I am loving these golden serpent barrettes from With Care. Someday, when my hair is long again.
  7. I’d like to add these simple gold wire hook earrings to my rotation.
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Let me begin by telling you that the majority of my time in Philly a couple weeks ago was spent drinking and eating. That was the plan all along, and I couldn’t have had more fun. I’ve decided to dedicate an entire entry, by its lonesome, to only restaurants and bars. It will make my life easier, and this sort-of-kind-of counts as a BITTW post! Nice, right?

Timothy I got into town on Tuesday afternoon, and after picking up a rental car and checking into our hotel, we met up with friends for lunch and drinks. This was my first time visiting Philadelphia, and it was really nice to be there with people who knew where to go. Pete and Natalie made my trip a really wonderful one. I love you guys, seriously.

Here’s a breakdown, with links where applicable. I ate all the things.

Philadelphia eats

National Mechanics / bourbon flight at Village Whiskey

Tuesday

National Mechanics was hands down my favorite bar we visited the entire trip. Both NM and Village Whiskey had the cozy, comfortable vibe that I look for in a bar. I often feel out of my element when I go out, but both places made me feel right at home. National Mechanics was one of those places that Tj went to at one point and immediately knew he had to take me there. He knows me pretty well. Taxidermy everywhere. I was utterly in love.

Philadelphia eats

Victoria Freehouse

Wednesday

  • Couch Tomato/Tomato Bistro (prosciutto/roasted red pepper/provolone/arugula pizza)
  • Brü
  • Estia (Estia chips (fried eggplant and zucchini with tzatziki), saganaki (pan fried kefalograviera cheese with lemon), octopodi (char-grilled octopus with onions/dill/roasted peppers/capers), dolmades, romaine salad, kotopoulo (roasted chicken over caramelized onions and yogurt orzo with lemon and thyme) + Athens Smash cocktail)
  • Tequilas (margarita made with rose-infused tequila, muddled rose petals, and lime)

Wednesday was my LUSH spa day; the gang spent some time at Brü while I was otherwise engaged, and I joined them after my treatment. Estia was our “fancy” dinner out. We shared approximately a million appetizers (there was six of us), so I may have missed one or two. What an amazing restaurant, though.

Thursday

I finished my trip with a solo mini-adventure day while Tj was at work. Pete was awesome enough to bring me into the city so I could visit a couple museums and wander around; he rejoined me later in the evening for dinner and drinks. I am actually a little uncertain if we went to Cantina Los Caballitos. It may have been somewhere else. This is the sort of situation where social media actually comes in pretty handy; my memory is never as vivid as I hope it will be.

Friday

Our flight wasn’t until a little later, so Tj and I joined Pete and Natalie for breakfast. Natalie ordered red velvet pancakes, and I ate a small corner of her pancake pile before feeling like I maybe needed a nap. Huevos was a bit of an OOC breakfast order for me, but I wasn’t feeling quite up to eating a pile of pancakes and getting on a plane. I was feeling like spicy was a good idea. It was, but now I have dreams about those pancakes.

Do you see what I mean about this being a food trip, though? I feel like I did a pretty good job of staying well rounded (veggie burger, hello)! I ate a little bit of everything and drank some good whiskey. Perfect birthday.

Philadelphia eats // Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre

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