Thursday, October 20, 2022

Stuff I Like: Decorative Gourd Season.

Ah, fall in Oregon. We've had a really good run of unusually warm, dry weather but the rain starts tomorrow and doesn't look like it's going to stop. I've been preparing for it with the following autumnal favorites:

My SAD Light That Staves Off Despair
I'm pretty sure I posted about my Verilux light last year but it bears repeating, as the mornings have been dark and it's getting on towards winter. I turn mine on first thing when I sit down to work and let it beam happiness directly into my face for 30 minutes or until my retinas burn out. It really does help with the seasonal sads and I feel like they should just issue everyone a Verilux when they arrive in the Pacific Northwest.

This Tana French That's Way Better The Second Time Around
I love Tana French but a few of her books, like The Witch Elmweren't a super favorite the first time around.  Sometimes a re-read is in order and makes me like a story more because I pick up all kinds of things I missed the first time. The Witch Elm is one of those - it's so much better the second time around! Just a little weirder, the atmospheric beauty of French's writing, the off-kilter feeling of it all. The main character in this one is unlikable in such a good, subtle way. Like, he's not a bad guy but he's that guy. Anyway, it's a perfect Halloween read - an old house, a mysterious skull, and an unsolved murder. Good stuff all around. 

These Comfy Pants I Am Wearing Right Now
You guys. I have found a pair of lounge pants I like at least as much as my Vuori pair. Sadly, they are MORE expensive (but on sale at Zappos!) and are so freaking good that I have to tell you about them anyway. They're the Spacedye Midi Jogger from Beyond Yoga and they are a sort of legging/jogger hybrid. Soft and stretchy and somehow kind of flattering? My only complaint is that the pockets are too shallow. 

This Weeknight recipe That's Stupid Easy
Okay, despite disliking the name of this website, I really love Skinnytaste's Turkey Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe. It's one I add into the rotation the minute acorn squash arrives in the stores. Marianne introduced me to it because she's magic that way and I'm just a copycat. Anyway, I double the spices (seriously, what the hell with 1/4 tsp of chili powder?) and usually add a dollop of sour cream on top as well as the cheese and it's delicious. 

Adrien's Candle Corner
I generally skip the pumpkin spice bullshit that is fall candles and jump right into Christmasy-type scents (this one is excellent) but I will admit the Honeycrisp Apple candle at Trader Joe's is surprisingly nice. 


  1. I always double the spices in Skinnytaste (also despise the name) recipes! It's funny because most of her recipes are winners otherwise, but way too bland if you stick to her spice measurements.

    1. Yep! She under-seasons everything but otherwise the recipes are generally solid. (I also use regular cheese instead of low-fat because life is too short.)

  2. This has inspired me to re-try the Witch Elm because I realize I never got to the main part of the plot. I stopped at the whole burglary part 😬

    1. Definitely give it another chance. The initial burglary part of the story is too long, but helps set up the main character's personality.


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