1. The Night Circus
I'm starting off this list with a sorcery-saaked book hit from 2011 for good reason. I don't know abut you, but I am fed up with Fall, 2019! Well, with all the disappointing sequels coming out now anyway. I read The Testaments by Margaret Atwood along with Nerdette podcast's inaugural bookclub, and I thought it was two-dimensional. (*Spoiler alert: the Nerdette crew hated it, too.*) I'm a huge Margaret Atwood fan-- some might even say fangirl, so that's a gut-wrenching admission. I was similarly excited for Rainbow Rowell's follow-up to Carry On, her Fangirl (the excellent book) inspired-take on Harry Potter. Wayward Son has also gotten mixed reviews, so burned once, etc. Yes, I'll probably still read it... (I also really love Rainbow Rowell. If you've never read her books, start with the unmagical but unequivocally wonderful Eleanor & Park!) Meanwhile, The Night Circus also concerns magicians. I love a good magic read when temperatures dip and Hallowe'en is in the air.I know you can't always go by reviews, but my need for others' opinions is how bad the last few hyped books I've read have been, and The Night Circus has nearly 6,000 positive reviews. I wish I HAD read the customer reviews of The Testaments or My Year of Rest and Relaxation. (Both very poorly reviewed by readers with weirdly laudatory reviews by professional publications.) Safety in numbers.
2. When Harry Met Sally
I recently re-watched When Harry Met Sally, because it was featured on The Rewatchables, one of my favorite podcasts! I wish I'd waited for fall to re-watch it, though. As you can see from the movie poster alone, it is somehow a fall movie, even though it takes place over the course of many years! Most of the scenes take place in and around New York City in the fall, which gives me the same feeling in my heart that people who love pumpkin spice latté seem to experience in theirs. The scenes are all painted in ochre and sepia tones, and the scenery is as crisp and soothing as the smart, crackling dialogue by Nora Ephron. I also worship Meg Ryan's tailored trousers and artfully cozy layers. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised at how well this movie has aged but you might even get some fall outfit inspo ideas. Her 1989-era fashion looks that current!
3. French Fall Lookbooks
Can't make it to Paris this autumn for Paris Fashion Week? Moi non plus, le sigh. Know what you can do? You can check out so many beautiful fall lookbooks online. Maybe cozy up with a cup of tea or be extra Parisian and grab a shot of espresso and pick out one special piece as a consolation prize! (If that's still out of your budget, send me the piece of your dreams and I bet I can find the French designer version for you secondhand for peanuts.). Here are a few of my fave autumn lookbooks from Paris: Rouje, Ba&h, Sandro, Balzac Paris, Maje, Sézane, and Musier Paris . A few of them don't charge shipping from France, either! I know Sézane doesn't if you spend $200 or become a regular shopper there, and they also usually include a little gift as well.
Above: I'm wearing the one special piece I ordered from Sézane last fall. (This bag is no longer available online, but I found the same one secondhand. Follow me on the Like To Know It app to shop it!) My coat is from Rouje last fall as well and is still available in their stores, not sure about online. Psss, did you know Rouje is doing a pop-up shop in NYC this fall? I bought my Tory Burch booties pre-owned but in new condition from Tradesy!
4. Best Fall Podcasts 2019
As I mentioned in my first example, I'm not a huge fan of hype, having been burned a lot recently. However, Vulture put together an intriguing list of all the new podcasts coming out this fall. If you like crime pods-- something about Hallowe'en seems to make a lot of publications who post these lists online go there with their lists-- but nothing too gory or graphic-- I've personally had it up to here with the whole true crime trend-- then check out Criminal! It's more like a Fresh Air episode with a broken law theme. It's smart and interesting rather than voyeuristic and horrifying. Specifically, you've got to go listen to their pod on "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes". Actually, that one is a little gorier than most of their fare, but the crimes in that episode were committed more than a century ago, so I guess that helped me not feel as nauseated. And the so-called "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes" is a real historical figure! One of the first female detectives in the U.S.! She specialized in finding lost girls, and her story remains sadly relevant. Which leads me to my last but not least fall reading rec...
5. True Crime But Make it Feminist!
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes: The True Story of New York City's Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation is quite a mouthful but also sounds like an incredible read, right? I can also happily tell you the reviews are largely positive (phew!). Also, the podcast episode about the real-life Mrs. Sherlock Holmes on Criminal features an interview with Brad Ricca, the author, and his enthusiasm for his subject is definitely catching! Really looking forward to digging into this incredible tale while cozied up by a fire with a cup of hot cocoa...
What's on your fall reading, watching, listening list? xx
I love coincidences, don't you? Whether they're actually signs from the cosmos is debatable. (I guess. I vote yes!!) However, superstition aside, I've always found that paying attention to recurring themes that pique my curiosity always lead to equally intriguing discoveries. About two weeks ago, I happened to order Biossance's squalane and vitamin c rose oil at the same time as a friend of mine sent me samples of rosehip oil from her new green beauty company Dowey Laugh based out of Portland, Oregon. At the same time as all of that, I was suddenly seeing rosehip oil all over my Instagram feed, touted by my favorite beauty bloggers. Why are rose and rosehip oils suddenly so popular, I wondered? Was it just another blogger trend or something deeper and more magical to do with roses themselves?
I'm happy to report the latter is the case! I've always loved the scent of roses. One of my husband's first gifts to me when he was courting me-- aside: marry the one who woos you-- was a tiny bottle of rose scent he ordered from Bulgaria. (Another aside: did you know Bulgaria is called the Land of Roses? How romantic, right? I still have the little bottle. It came sealed with a wax rose, and I swear I can still kind of smell it, and it takes me back to 2009 when we met.) Another, less personal plus to the new rose oil craze: I know you all are probably super saturated with green beauty bloggers pushing coconut oil. Well, I am sooo excited to report I have found the remedy for that oversaturation (pun semi-intended) and for many other skin issues: rosehip oil!
1. What is Rosehip Oil?
First of all, keep in mind rosehip oil is not an essential oil and is in fact different from rose oil! Rose essential oil is made from rose petals while rosehip oil, also called rose hip seed oil, comes from the seeds of rose hips. Rose hips are the fruit left behind after a rose has flowered and dropped its petals.
For facial skin care, rosehip oil like coconut oil is a non-greasy oil that offers several benefits when applied externally. It protects the skin and increases cell turnover because it contains beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), vitamin C and vitamin E which are all antioxidants that help fight free radicals-- aka a fancy phrase for the aging process.
2. Why Is Rosehip Oil Anti-Aging?
It's a very rich source of vitamin c for one! One of the richest plant sources, actually! Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, and the oils are able to penetrate deep into the skin's layers to repair damage, improve moisture, and reduce signs of aging. In fact, it's so effective some doctors are calling it a "natural alternative to Botox". Sign me up! Needles terrify me, so Botox sounds particularly unappetizing. I haven't used the rosehip oil long enough to comment on longterm benefits, but I have noticed, after applying it, my skin has a nice glow!
3. What Are Some Other Benefits of Using Rosehip Oil?
If anti-aging isn't your concern, using rosehip oil probably can probably still benefit you. Its many applications are astonishing. In fact, it was made into a rationed syrup in World War 2 and used to help children fight infection. Applied externally, it can also protect from sunspots, help with stretch marks and reduce acne-scarring, boost the immune system, help with osteoarthritis, and help with eczema among a myriad of other benefits.
4. How Much Does Rosehip Oil Cost?
As I mentioned above, I'm beginning to see rosehip oil from a variety of brands from pretty pricey $68 bottles in high-end brands like Biossance to Kora or this bottle of plain, unvarnished rosehip oil from The Ordinary for only $9.80. (I have their $6 glass bottle of hylauronic acid, which I use every night before I put on my moisturizer, and it's amazing.) If you want a more affordable but still pretty mixture, Dowey Laugh offers a gorgeous, all natural option for only $38. Half the price of similar oils at Sephora!
5. Tips on Applying Rosehip Oil
Keep it cool. Rosehip oil is a natural ingredient, so it can go rancid, eek! And if you are investing in a pricier bottle, that would be heartbreaking! The best kind is cold-pressed, although it's more expensive and might explain the difference in price points. It retains the most nutrients. To see the most benefits, use it twice a day on your skin and neck. The good news (as far as priciness goes) is you only need a couple drops at a time! If you're using it to combat acne scars, keep in mind it is an oil and shouldn't be used on active acne as it might clog pores. Consider adding a few drops to your bathwater. There isn't a lot of science on this yet, but there's a chance rosehip oil can help with arthritis and inflammation. Either way, it can't hurt!
Here's a link to another post listing a few more benefits of using rosehip oil, including the cool fact that Kate Middleton and Miranda Kerr number among its fans! Do you plan to try rosehip oil? Here's a coupon to my friends shop if you do. (I don't personally benefit btw, other than the satisfaction of helping a friend succeed at something that clearly has benefits for us all!)