Happy Friday!!! Emily and I just finished Stranger Things 2 last night and all I can say is I LOVE STEVE. And also Season 3 please hurry up! Thank goodness for these wonderful shows coming out recently or I wouldn't be able to handle the constant barrage of horrible political news. Sometimes escapism is ok. And on that moderately depressing note, here's some web things!

+ This Stranger Things quiz is NOT ACCURATE! I am not Barb!

+ I was on the Haven't Seen or Heard podcast discussing two Halloween movies - Psycho and Nightmare on Elm Street.

+ What do you think about Blake Shelton being People's Sexiest Man Alive this year? Not sure I agree...

+ A Very Good Dog Hunts Very Bad Ants

+ I'm obsessed with this song!

+ Have a Nice Day!


Buying blushes has become one of my biggest makeup weaknesses - I can never seem to have enough in my collection! I like to try out different colors when the seasons change, and with winter coming up I've been digging out some old favorites. Here are the blushes I've been using every day this fall:

Two Faced Love Flush: How Deep is Your Love?

This blush is as Barbie pink as it gets - and it comes in a compact that looks like a Polly Pocket. What's not to love? Two Faced's formulation is long wearing (16 hours!) and it definitely lives up to that hype. The color is so pigmented that it would look brilliant on any skin tone. I also love that it's a cruelty-free product.


Tarte Amazonian Clay: paaarty

This little blush has been my every day go to for the last few weeks. It's a dusty mauve colored blush which I usually don't choose off the shelf but looks absolutely beautiful on the skin. This has convinced me to try out colors that aren't immediately attractive to me because you never know when you might find a new favorite.


the Balm: Frat Boy

OK yes, this is a sample size but I've been using it and using it and it keeps going so I've had no reason to buy the full size yet! Frat Boy by the Balm is a very natural, your cheeks but better kind of color. And the style of these little samples is so convenient for throwing into your travel makeup bag.


Cargo: Los Cabos

This is 100% the most pigmented blush I own. You only have to just lightly dip a brush into it and you're set. This is my choice for a party or special occasion blush as it has a little bit of gold shimmer in it. It's also a perfect transition from summer into fall/winter.


I hope this gives you some inspiration for your cheeks this season! 

With Halloween on a Tuesday this year, I decided to get my costume-ing done over the weekend before. Every year my work does a very over the top event with different teams in the company competing in team costume and decorating events. It's a ton of fun, but this year I was more on the management side of things so I just kept it simple and wore some deer accessories from last year.

In the evening Emily and I went to a Wes Anderson pop up art show called "Bad Dads" where everyone was encouraged to dress up. I had so much fun making my Agatha from The Grand Budapest Hotel costume - and I think I did a fairly good job! I free-handed the Mexico birthmark so don't judge me too harshly. Emily was Max Fischer from Rushmore and we had a great time mingling with all the Steve Zissous and Susies & Sams. I bought a big print of The Darjeeling Limited and then we went home to watch some spooky YouTube.

Tonight my plan is to watch some scary films and just stay in. I hope every year that some trick-or-treaters will stop by but they never do, so all the Butterfingers are for me! 

Happy Halloween!

Dear Gus,

Hey kiddo. It’s weird thinking that you’re not around anymore. It doesn’t seem real.

I have a confession to make to you – something I couldn’t tell you when you were here. I didn’t like you when we first met. I know, how could that possibly be? You were a little puppy – no one could possibly dislike you. And yet, I did. Let me explain. 

Before you, I had a puppy named Misty. We were inseparable from the second she was born. We had an amazing year together of agility training, teenage crying sessions (I was 14) and howling at ambulances (Misty, not me) before she passed away. She was poisoned by a toxic algae bloom in our lake that none of us knew anything about. I’ll never forget that day – finding her half paralyzed, the look of fear on her face, leaving her at the vet despite wanting to stay, the horrible phone call – it was one of the worst days. I didn’t understand why I’d been cheated out of this relationship I was just starting with her. I still don’t understand, really, beyond the simple fact that things just happen.

Fast forward a short time and my mother decided to go and adopt a puppy without consulting anyone, as a surprise. I wasn’t over Misty. I didn’t want a puppy. And then you showed up, and you were the complete opposite of Misty. Where she had been quiet, calm and polite, you were loud, annoying and pushy. Where she was super intelligent and perceptive, you – just being honest here – were a little dingy. And suddenly I had to look after you while you cried to go outside at 3 a.m. and I was NOT happy.

Luckily for us both, time has a way of working things out. Despite your quirks and the fact that you flunked out of obedience school, your heart won me over. You were the goofiest dog I knew and constantly made us all laugh with your antics. I looked forward to how excited you got every time I returned home from college, and started to miss you more than my family.

Thank you for giving me the chance to love you. Thank you for trusting me enough to take you to the vet. Thank you for trying to eat my camera every time I took photos of you. Thanks for leaving shreds of leather soccer ball fabric all over the lawn. Thank you for healing my heart.

Bye bye Goose, Gus Gus, Ding dong, Augustus, Gus.

Love Alison

Happy Friday you lovely lot! What are you up to this weekend? I'm going to a big boxing jamboree event at my local gym - 10 rounds of sparring + cake & beer = heaven. I'm videoing it for the gym and have been having some camera issues so I'm really stressed. I'm also finally hoping to convince myself to sit down and read a book for at least an hour. Anyone else having trouble with taking downtime lately?
Here are some fun things from around the web for your Friday - have a good one!

+ Cup of Jo talked about the cute things kids do - the comment section is a comedy gold mine!

+ If you want some political rage, this Buzzfeed story will do the trick.

+ What the heck is up with this Nikon zoom???

+ Noel Fielding is a freaking treasure on Bake Off.

+ I love Ava so much I can't even handle it - this video of her talking fashion with W Magazine kills me!

We all have guilty pleasures. Sometimes I worry I have more than the normal person but I also just happen to have a huge range of interests. So I wanted to share something I've been enjoying in my spare time recently: dance videos.

There's just something about a well-choreographed dance routine that I've always loved, but watching these videos is like a whole other level. I've started to follow certain dancers and choreographers whose styles I like am now like a proper fan girl of this dance studio group. I also harbor this little feeling that I too could dance like this if I took lessons and practiced a ton - nevermind that these people have mostly been dancing since they were tiny children. And I have no real rhythm. But a girl can dream! I find the way these people are able to be so in touch with their bodies and so confident really inspiring. So here's a collection of my favorite dances that I find myself watching over and over and over and OVER.

Do you have any fun things like this in your life that you're keeping a secret? Let me know!

Let me just preface this by saying that I'm not here to tell you that being alone all the time is how we're meant to be. I don't believe that for a minute. What I do believe, however, is that there are a lot of people deeply uncomfortable spending time with their own thoughts or doing activities alone. I think some of this can be attributed to a social stigma against being alone. You’ve probably heard it from friends before, saying things like “Well I don’t want to be the only one eating alone” or “Yeah but I can’t find anyone to go with so I probably won’t go…” You yourself start to internalize that being alone is undesirable or strange.

But the reality is that there are times in your life when you’re going to be alone. Embrace these times. Enjoy them. Being alone should not stop you from living your life the way you want to. Yes, there are sometimes things that you probably shouldn't do completely alone for safety reasons - but I'm more talking the small fun things in life. Limiting yourself because of what others might think is a sure way to miss out on fun experiences in life.

Here are some things I delight in doing alone:

Going to the movies
I've heard people say "I would never go to the movies alone - it's so depressing!" to which I always reply "Huh?" (intelligent, I know). I LOVE going to the movies alone - in fact, there are certain films I purposely avoid telling anyone I'm going to so I can see it alone. I like not having to share my popcorn with anyone and not being influenced by anyone else's opinion on the movie. There's nothing worse than having a near tears reaction to a scene and having your friend/partner lean over and whisper about how boring it is. Going alone lets me immerse myself completely in the story. And you're sitting in the dark not talking anyway, so do you really need someone else there?

I took my first trip alone to London and I'm not going to lie, I was VERY nervous. I was paranoid about having my bags swiped in the airport, about missing my flight/trains/reservations, etc. But proving to myself that I could navigate transportation, currency, bookings, and directions in a foreign country alone was a huge jolt of self-confidence. I shopped, ate meals, wandered the city, chatted with locals, attended a workshop, and even went to a huge sporting event all on my own. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone was a challenge but the rewards of that have stuck with me ever since. Now I have the confidence to know I could travel alone again. Also, there's a HUGE freedom to being able to make every decision on your trip - if you want to spend 4 hours in a museum, you can. If you want to eat something specific or at a specific time, no one else will complain. Traveling alone can allow you to structure your trip exactly how you want it.

It can be nice to spend time alone with your thoughts. Practicing mindfulness is a great start if you're having a hard time: If you're saying "I'm bored" or "I'm lonely" within 2 minutes of sitting alone, take a deep breath and concentrate one by one on your senses. Connect to what you can see and describe each thing in your mind, then what you can smell, taste, feel, hear. Notice the taste in your mouth, the feel of the ground under your fingertips. It will ground you in the present moment. And once you're there, sitting alone with your thoughts can be so productive. Having time to absentmindedly daydream or mull over your life in a lazy way can spark creativity and new ideas. My best inspiration has oftentimes come from moments where I let my thoughts wander. 

A note on dealing with loneliness
I do get lonely sometimes when I'm on my own. I think there's a fundamental difference between being lonely and being alone, and we should embrace the times we are alone even as we worry that loneliness will creep in. It’s a feeling that will pass. I try to recognize it and sit with it for a minute and then let it go. 

Simply summed up – life is too short to let the absence of another person stop you from doing something you want to do. Do it anyway. Do it alone.

photos by Emily Anderson / sweater from Stay Home Club