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It’s officially my favorite month of the year! Happy October!

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  1. I love everything about this embroidered cardigan.
  2. What are you reading lately? I’m reading The Stand for the first time ever, and I love it. I’m not sure why it took me so long.
  3. Last year when I read about Death Salon at the Mütter, I made tentative plans in my head that I would return to Philadelphia again for my birthday. This was, of course, long before our Hawaii plans actually came into fruition. I’ve been following The Order of the Good Death and its co-founder, mortician Caitlin Doughty (her current project: Undertaking LA) fairly closely over the last handful of years, in the hopes to help deal with my own crippling anxieties about the inevitable.
  4. This Harvest Greetings card from Poison Apple Printshop is a beauty. I usually send a few fall greeting cards every year. My dad always gets a special Halloween one. It’s our thing. ♥
  5. These apple caramels from Lake Champlain Chocolates are made using Citizen Cider. If you have never in your life tried Lake Champlain Chocolates, I highly recommend that you do. And not just because they’re from my homeland.
  6. My next big jewelry purchase (one I’ll need to save for) will most definitely be a piece from Bloodmilk. Maybe I’ll start with the Petite Planchette ring.
  7. I’ve been really into facial masks and treatments, lately. I’d love to try this pineapple brightening mask from Herbivore Botanicals. My skin gets pretty dull looking, especially when winter rolls along, and I have yet to figure out how to work any magic using makeup.



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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 ::

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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Note bene: Friday Favorites contain a few affiliate links. I will receive a commission from any sales made through the use of some of the links below. Thank you!

Friday Favorites // 035 ::

  1. I am on the fence about whether or not I need a new hat for winter. I love this hand knit wool toque by MORPH knitwear for SOTBM, and it’s among my top contenders. I’ve been on a break from buying clothes (because I have no real job), and it’s actually made me quite a bit more thoughtful in my purchases. There is definitely more of a desire to make use of what I have. That doesn’t mean I don’t want things (because I do), it just means I’ve become less of an impulse buyer. I think that no longer working at a thrift store has also helped. I will always support buying second hand, but it’s a little silly to buy things you’re not likely to ever wear just because you see them every day. PS do you say toque or beanie? As I’m from northern Vermont, I’ve always been a toque girl. Thanks, dad! ♥
  2. PrAna’s fall 2015 collection is full of some really great, versatile pieces. The Marin pullover is Fair Trade certified and made partially from recycled polyester. This blog is not officially affiliated with PrAna (I wish!), but I love everything about this company. Tj and I both have pieces from them that have officially withstood the test of time.
  3. It’s scarf weather around here! I love this olive and red scarf at Moorea Seal.
  4. Julep’s October collection is totally stunning, as I suspected it would be. I’m a Maven, but I had to opt out of this box simply due to lack of funds (look at me, being a responsible adult). Among my favorites from this collection is definitely Laurel (black with a silk finish). Julep polishes are both vegan friendly and 5-free! If you’ve considered becoming a Julep Maven, now’s a good time to sign up. New subscribers to Julep’s monthly subscription can receive a Halloween Welcome Box for free. Just pay $2.99 to ship. This Welcome Box includes three spooky polish shades and a beautiful black gel eyeliner pencil. When you sign up, use code BOO.
  5. A million times yes to these cozy made-in-the-USA thigh highs!
  6. Haunted Air (a book about Halloween, with a forward by David Lynch) has been on my book wishlist for a while. Amazon just reminded me. Happy October!
  7. Melissa Rand, the artist behind Skullery, makes beautiful resin fantasy crystals and replica skulls. I love her work. Shown here is sphagnum moss embedded in a resin crystal, definitely one of my favorite pieces. Check out her etsy shop for more. I can think of a hundred applications for this lovelies.
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The money we spend daily speaks volumes, and every purchase matters.

I’m thankful that I am usually able to be a little picky about some of the things I buy. I understand that not every one can afford to do that, and I certainly haven’t always been able to. Sometimes I still can’t. Sometimes I have student loans to pay and have to eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, but for me, right now (and hopefully for always), shopping ethically is important. It comes down to making choices. When I can, I support local business. When local is not an option, I do some research (check out Good Guide) to figure out my options. Sometimes, shopping fair trade involves some planning; sometimes, it involves some digging. You have to do what’s right for you. Decide what’s important to you, and make an effort to do it. It all comes down to the little choices we make every day. Do what makes you feel good. Do good.

  • Buy local: support local farmers, artisans, and businesses.
  • Research: know brands, compare prices, find alternatives; learn about the work that goes into the products you buy most.
  • Buy fair trade when you’re able.
  • Say no to companies with poor business practices, or values you can’t get behind. Be on the lookout for non-existent or vague information regarding the subjects you care about. And just because a business is honest doesn’t mean you have to support them. Maybe they don’t share your values. It is totally okay to move on! I recently ordered from a clothing company that I wanted to support, but their customer service was so wretched that I will probably never buy from them again! Find your balance.
  • Make things last.
  • Be kind, be patient, be understanding.
  • Engage! If you find something you love, share it with the people you love!

As for the last part, here are a couple of my favorite favorite fair trade/handcrafted treats:

♥ Check out: Maine Made // NH Made // Vermont Made if you’re in northern New England

Additional resources: going local v. fair trade infographic via Ethical Ocean / How to Shop Ethically at Chain Stores via Stylewise

More on girldust: some favorite online shops / ethical underthings


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I thought it would be nice to honor October, and my birthday, with another gemstone focus post! Opal is, by far, my favorite stone. It also happens to be my birthstone, so for me it’s incredibly special.

Have you seen opal in person? It’s beautiful.


These rings belonged to my mother. The smaller one she gave to me when it no longer fit her finger; the larger single stone was given to me by my father, along with her wedding band, after my mum died. When I wear either of these rings, I feel magic. I’m sure most of that has to do with her.

Opal is said to absorb energies and reflect them back to the source. Because of that, it’s sometimes known as a karmic stone. It is associated with creativity and self-expression, as well as cosmic consciousness. It’s a stone often used by people who believe in psychic and mystical visions; it is used for spiritual protection.

Other common attributes| comfort for grieving; improves memory; strengthens relationships; fidelity; encourages expression of positive emotions

astrological signs| Cancer, Libra, Scorpio, Pisces

There are so many kinds of opals, including boulder opal, fire opal, Andean opal, water opal, etc. Each color/type has its own specific set of metaphysical properties. While opal is commonly found around the world, the cut gemstones are fairly expensive.


  1. opal print by La Petite Mascarade (handmade)
  2. opal “intensity” solitaire ring by Novica (fair trade)
  3. Zoya fleck effect top coat in “opal”
  4. Badger Balm “Pink Tourmaline” lip tint and opal shimmer gloss
  5. Whiterock “midnight sky” bear pendant with man-made opal inlay
  6. tiny opal studs by Le French Chic
  7. LUSH Shimmy Shimmy sparkle solid lotion bar (vegan)

Happy October!

* My laptop is functioning and back in my hands; I am having to get reacquainted with the keyboard.

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