I love Halloween season. It's my favorite holiday, and time of year, for so many reasons.
The air feels fresh and clean. I can wear leggings and sweaters. Arm warmers and legwarmers. Hoodies and layers and boots. All the comfort of winter clothes, without the frozen nose or frozen toes. It's chider (chai + cider) season. The season of spices. Of colored leaves and striped socks and fried dough. October is my favorite.
And it all leads up to one day
(or two or three).
All Hallow's Eve, Samhain, The Day of the Dead, Tricks or Treats.
It all blends together for me, but I just call it Halloween.
I lived in New Mexico for a while, and one year I attended a festival for the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. I don't know if my memory of this festival is factual or twisted and turned in my imagination over the years. After spending time looking into it, I never found an explanation, but this is what I remember (and how I think of Halloween):
There was a giant puppet in the middle of a field close to the center of town. A crudely created puppet, as tall as a house. It swayed and moaned. The image and sound will stick with me forever. The puppet represented the year gone, all the events of the year, all the gains and losses, all the emotions, all the good, the bad, and everything in the middle. At the end of the festival, the puppet was burned. A sacrifice to the universe. As it went up in flames, we all let go of the past, to make room for the future.
I enjoy the whole month of October. The superficial things that make me happy during this season are just as important to me as the spiritual depth of the culmination. It's the celebration of life and fun, followed by remembrance then release of the past. The internal growth of winter, and the coming rebirth of spring. The reminder that I'm part of the whole.
And that is why I love Halloween.
I love coffeehouses.
Love is not even a strong enough description for how I feel about coffeehouses.
I've loved them since I was a teenager in the 90s, years before Starbucks took over the east coast. Back when independent coffeehouses could be found in nearly every town. Back when coffeehouses were a place to meet people, not to sit in front of laptops, earphones in, oblivious to our surroundings.
Opening a coffeehouse was my dream. I came close once, with location prepared, equipment ready, and business plan in place. Last-minute complications with the realtor and business partners brought that project to a halt (thankfully, or I wouldn't be where I am today).
I spent 10 years as a barista, in four different coffeehouses, in two different countries, and two different US states.
Whenever I travel, I seek out the coolest indie coffeehouses to meet locals. Every town I've ever moved to, I've met the majority of my friends at the coffeehouse. I even met my husband at a coffeehouse, the last one I worked at, my home away from home.
Maybe "obsessed with" would be a better description than "love".
Cleansing grains are powdered blends of clays and botanical ingredients such as herbs, nuts, and seeds. Sometimes called "buffing grains", they are used on their own or in addition to your favorite facial wash to gently cleanse and exfoliate your skin. Depending on the formula, cleansing grains may also be used as a facial mask, making them an ideal solution for anyone who loves the ease of 2-in-1 products.
Wunder Budder cleansing grains are a blend of fine mineral clays, freshly ground flowers, ground seeds, and specially blended essential oils. Handmade, they are shipped and stored dry, and can be used as both a face scrub for refreshing dull skin and as a purifying facial mask.
I love grapeseed oil for two main reasons:
The first is that it's an amazing, versatile oil for skincare. It's lightweight but emollient, easy to spread, and is easily absorbed. It softens and conditions skin without clogging pores or causing breakouts. It benefits all skin types, and is a good introductory oil for anyone new to oil cleansing or oil as a moisturizer.
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