Blogtober #5: The Autumn Boyfriend

Y’all know I’m a singleton, right? If you didn’t know: I’m a singleton. I enjoy my singleton life immensely, but yeah, full disclosure:  I also want that demographic to change.smile And I have to tell you, dear reader, that the desire to change my singleton status becomes even more heightened when autumn settles over the atmosphere.

Is it the image of walking down a leaf-strewn path with my hand inside another’s? 

Gazing up at an orange moon and marveling about its wonder to someone else and not just to myself?

The general electricity in the air that seems to call out for change?

Years ago, I mentioned this to my bestie, that I seem to crave the presence of another even more during the fall. “I get it,” she said. “There’s just something in the air that makes a lot of folks feel that way.” autumn2

Is it the prospect of dressing up in my burnt orange and boots for a non-solo dinner or movie outing?

Leaving the mark of my fall-inspired chocolate and/or burgundy lip color on another’s cheek?

Cuddling?

You’d think that a season where nature dies beautifully and bursting with color wouldn’t necessarily call for the welcoming of love. Or perhaps that’s it exactly. It is the fall of the year, after all. Nature’s last hurrah as it prepares for the unremitting winter to come. Maybe I want to fall in love in fall to prepare for the inevitable chill on its way; the darkening, cold, hushed days that, sometimes, can be unbearable when you’re alone.

#realtalk: It’s a year-round desire. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t entertain the idea of a seasonal love and then moving on when summer wakes up. But there’s just something about love and this time time of year.

C’est la vie en automne, I suppose. Happy Friday, onwards, and bon weekend…

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Blogtober #4: Autumnizing the Apartment

Oh, Pinterest. An abundance of lovely goals that likely will never see the light of day. Nevertheless, this year, I’d like to spruce up my place with an autumn theme. Because why not? Some of the ideas running around in my head:

apt4apt3apt2apt1

All images derived from Pinterest.

Onwards and Autumn-wards…

Blogtober #3: How to Enjoy Autumn, Wherever You Are.

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Photo by Vladislav Vasnetsov on Pexels.com

Because some of us don’t live in areas where we get to breathe in the vivid fall colors and hues and wear snazzy peacoats and wear booties and close our eyes as the crisp breeze surrounds us like an old, trusted friend. Some of us live in Texas. Or Alabama. Or Florida. Or…the Virgin Islands. And regarding where I reside in the Lone Star state, it does get cool in the late autumn/winter. We may not get the amazing colors, but there’s certainly room for lovely coats and sassy booties. Nevertheless: it’s not the same, is it? Boo hoo.  But we shall make do.

alley autumn autumn colours autumn leaves
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Here’s an Autumn Wherever You Are Guide for those of you in areas that traditionally don’t have the full, seasonal experience:

  1. Starbucks to the Rescue. Every fall, to the delight of the masses, Starbucks brings back its popular Pumpkin Spice Latte beverage. Personally, I can’t even. Pumpkin ain’t my thing, and I can’t even fathom whatever Pumpkin Spice is. (I stick to my chai latte year-round.) But a lot of folks love the autumn-y drink and I won’t take that away from them, because whatever makes your palate happy is fine by me, especially if it’s related to fall. So, if you live in area where balmy breezes fill the atmosphere even in mid-November, get your derrière to the local Starbucks, order this drink, and pretend you’re somewhere in New Hampshire.
  2. Weekenders and Staycations. I’m a massive fan of getaways, even if it’s from Friday to Sunday. Sooo…find a fall-y place. Get thee to that place. Spend a nice weekender/staycation there. Rinse and repeat. Fall-y places can be any states in the New England area such as Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island. And before you say, “but Square Peg, there are tumbleweeds in my wallet. Weekenders and staycations involve money.” My response: get thee also to Groupon. There are always getaway travel deals to investigate and use. I assure you that one can be found. Why don’t we still use thee in daily speech?
  3. Art Imitates Life. You know I’m artsy fartsy. Naturally, when art and life intersect, it’s a beautiful thing. When autumn and art intersect, even better. Want to take a gander at classical art that evokes autumn? Head to your local museum and fall in love with the works of the Hudson River School; the pieces done by artists in this school, such as Thomas Cole (one of my very favorites), are brimming with landscapes and nature and always give me that fall-y, changing of seasons, introspective feeling. Get thee to a museum!
body of water near orange and green leaf trees
Photo by PUSCAU DANIEL FLORIN on Pexels.com

4.  Art Imitates Life, Redux. It’s not just classic, autumn-inspired art that gets me. I love film as an art form, and I certainly love films that provide that autumn feeling. From cinematography to plotting to images of foliage and small, New England towns, there are plenty of movies that will feed the autumn longing during your eternal summer. Here are a few:

  • Dead Poets’ Society
  • The Village (Honestly, anything with William Hurt reminds me of fall. I have no idea why.)
  • Dan in Real Life
  • Autumn in New York…is easy to choose as an option, but this is one of the worst movies of all time, y’all. Yes. Of all time. It’s so terrible. Watch it if you like, but you’ve been warned.
  • Indian Summer

5. Rise to the Occasion, Even Briefly. You know how at the slightest hint of warm weather you see folks walking around in flip flops? Even though it’s not really that warm? We may side eye those folks, but honestly, they’re expressing a level of excitement that I find almost inspirational. They’re doing everything possible to take advantage of the change, even it means exposing their poor toes to draft, not-that-sunny weather. Let’s be those people, dear reader. When the weather wherever you are dips in temperature, cools down a bit, etc., throw on a nice wrap or mock turtleneck or whatever you can find that can incite that autumn-y feeling. It may last just a day or may be a fluke, but at least you’ll be dressed for the day.
6. Fall for the Photo and other Misc. Items: See below.

  • Got any photog friends? Grab them and set up a fall-themed photo shoot. I’m serious. Look: what do you have to lose? Every home store has fall-inspired decorations. Grab a few, find a nice park, and go for it. Have fun.
  • Light a woodsy candle in your place.
  • Wear orange and brown whenever you can.
  • Two words: Autumn screensavers.

There ends my list. Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration for how to be autumnal wherever you happen to be in the world. And fall isn’t your thing, that’s fine.  Just tell me what your favorite season is in the comments below, won’t you?

Onwards and Autumn-wards.

acorns autumn autumn decoration autumn leaves
Photo by Caleb Wood on Pexels.com

Blogtober #1. (aka: We’re Doing This.)

We’ve done Project Blogtober before. (Search and ye shall find.) And we shall do it again, despite my lazy blogger fingers. 31 days of blogging this entire month. 31 days of blogging about fall as a theme in some way, shape, or form, because October is my favorite month and because I turn 40 this month so I feel like I should start doing what I want, no? 31 days of you and I, dearest reader.

Onwards and blogwards.

African Black Soap is The Truth.

Happy Monday. So, I talked about my skincare routine here. Recall that I wanted to make some improvements to my quick routine, being that with age came crazy, random blemish bursts and also, I think my skin had become way too used to the products I had been using for years. Several months ago, I was in the store and saw a bar of African Black Soap on the shelf.

I asked myself, Self, why haven’t you gone the African route? Hello? Your blood is 100% Motherland. Of course the Motherland would have the remedy for your skin. I checked out the ingredients (I knew it wasn’t pure, raw African Black soap; that one will tear your skin apart and I needed to take baby steps towards that kind of detoxification) and decided to purchase it. Slowly, dear reader, I saw the improvements to my skin. Trouble spots, particularly on my left cheek (three pimples that were hanging on for dear, dear life) and that insane forehead of mine slowly began to fade and ultimately disappear. I started doing more research on the YouTube about black soap and decided to try Shea Moisture’s products. Even better results.

The above two are my personal favorites. I use the soap twice a day (look at your Square Peg; months from 40 and making good skincare choices) and the mask is a once-a-month thing. Here’s my new and improved skincare routine, broken up by night and day:

clayclay2Night

Day

Same routine, except I skip the toner.

I haven’t yet hit up any eye creams and serums, but the toner has been great in diminishing the dark, waking-up-at-3AM circles under my eyes.

So far, so good. I’d very much like to apply African Black Soap all over my life, but that’s entirely another matter.

Bon Monday…

things i currently need #11

Shall we?

MeghanOutfits

I want all of her clothes. Each. And. Every. One. Classy. Feminine. Elegant. Modern. Yes, Meghan. Yesssss

magnoliamagnolia table

Are y’all familiar with Chip and Joanna Gaines? I’m sure your mother has also gently forced you to watch back-to-back episodes of Fixer Upper on HGTV when she knows that you’re positively allergic to anything having to do with home constructions, DIY, building, terms like rebar and backsplash, so on and so forth. Anyway, the popularity of their show led to the Gaines’ expanding. Magnolia Market at the Silos has a bakery/store/etc., and the Magnolia Table, which I’m far more interested in, has breakfast served all day. So, yeah, I need to go to there. Not just for the breakfast, but the look and feel of the buildings, both rustic and clean, are calling out to me. This need may happen pretty soon, though, because the Magnolia Marvels are all located in Waco, TX, which is about an hour and 30 minutes away from me. Huzzah!

kitchenaid

Aren’t they lovely? I need a KitchenAid mixer, y’all. And I need it now. But, wonders the eagle-eyed reader, will she even use it? Why, yes, indeed I will. Hey, look, I’m not known for my kitchen anything prowess, but I love to bake (fun fact; I used to bake a ton when I was younger), and I feel like that mixer will come in handy for experimenting overall in the kitchen. So, yeah, if you want to donate one, send it to P.O. Box This Square Peg. Because these things are pricey. 

swimsuit

Remember this gorgeous retro swimsuit from TICN #8?

Welp, it’s not a need anymore because…I bought it.

Pics coming soon on how it looks on me. The colors are a bit different, but it’s essentially the same outfit. We shall see. This is huge, folks. I don’t wear two-piece swimwear. And when I do, it generally involved a giant T-shirt and shorts. But the Summer of This Square Peg doesn’t call for hiding, does it?

More on that later.

Onwards and upwards…

Because Solange.

Okay, dear Reader, you know I cut my hair.

Well, I cut it again. And again.

After the first cut, I went back to my stylist and asked for another cut, to even things out, and to color it, as well, since the gray hairs were like all these changes are making us nervous so we ’bout to legit multiply. Here’s how it looked after the second cut:

I went with a wine-y, berry color, which may not be evident in these pics but will be soon. Having been red and brown red and burgundy and jet black, I wanted something in the reddish family, but a bit different than the hues I’ve tried before. Fun story: when my stylist washed out the color, it only lifted on my sides and back of my hair. purpleThe middle remained completely unaltered by the color. So…she added a bright purple color all over, hoping that it would aid the lift…and it did. But that bright purple…whew.

So I was happy with the changes.

Or was I?

This past week, I headed home to VA to spend some much-needed time with the Mama and my family. (It was awesome.) While there, I contemplated cutting my hair again. Deep down, although I liked my look, I wasn’t 100% content. Why? What was I looking for?

Her.

Stylistically, wedding-y, everything-y, Solange has long been a marvel for my eyes. And I certainly remember my gaspy (new word, just created by me, you’re welcome) reaction to her gorgeous big chop in 2009. It was everything. Do you hear me? Every. Ting. I think she was hiding in my subconscious this whole time, patiently waiting for me to bring her back up and acknowledge that this was the hair destination I was headed to. Because even the other photos I had for inspo were cuts that looked exactly like Solange’s.

cutinspo
Solange inspo.

Interesting, right? Anyway, the previous cut was fine, but there was a fro-hawk-y nature about that middle part of my head, and as much as I love frohawks, I’ve had that look before. I wanted something different. I wanted Solange. I wanted simple, chic, lovely, even–all of what you see above. So, when I had some time while home, I drove to the local Hair Cuttery and asked for my third cut.

With the color and this new look, dear Reader, I believe we have reached Destination: Solange. Or, more importantly, I can 1005 percent say I love my new look. Check it out.

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A few more things:

  1. I need a barber. My stylist is awesome and started this style change rolling, but to maintain this look, I’ll definitely need a professional barber. The search begins.
  2. I love this look.
  3. That’s all.

Have you had this experience? Loved a look but deep down, wanted something more? Shall we meet in the comments below?

it had to happen.

December 2012: after eight months of waiting and impatiently wearing two different hair textures on my head (the relaxed ends and the growing, textured, natural roots), I walked into a salon and big chopped my hair. The smile on my face below should tell you how I felt about my decision.

bigchop2

I felt free. At the end of the day, a sense of freedom captured me and sweetly refused to let me go. As the months and years passed, I experimented with my natural hair, as you well know. ‘Fros, tapered cuts, a variety of protective styles–my hair officially became my canvas. And whenever I sensed one iota of boredom, it was time to change the painting.

Take a walk down memory lane with me…

Deep down, though? Real talk? That inner Square Peg longed for that feeling. The feeling that took over me when I got back into my car on that winter’s day in 2012. When I gazed in the mirror and felt that indescribable sense of freedom and beauty and satisfaction. As that revolving door of style changes continued to open and close, I really think that I was trying to re-capture that moment in the car, when it was just me and my ‘lil fro.

Fast forward to last Saturday. It had to happen. I had to go back.

Back to square one, dear reader. Back to the beginning. (And even shorter than the previous big chop, ha!) I sat in my stylist’s chair and I told her what I was thinking and despite her “we’re cutting it again?” response, I showed her the picture of what I was thinking and she took out that razor and got to work.

Look: after years of twist-outs and Bantu knots and braid-outs and all those lovely looks under the sun, here’s the truth: this is my look. This is the style for me. I think, with my previous cuts just a few months ago (here and here), that I was subconsciously moving in increments, slowly heading back to the start. And here we are. Finally.

A few fundamental truths:

  1. Short hair almost automatically influences your style. I found myself wanting to ensure that my earring flow was on point; that my red lippie was on point (and a bit of purple, too, as you can see); etc. It’s almost organic the way it happens.
  2. This is a big one for me. (No pun intended as you read on.) I had head issues. For various reasons, I thought my head was just way too large. Even when I big chopped in 2012, there was always a voice of doubt in the back of my mind concerning this head of mine. And as my stylist was razoring and cutting last Saturday, I almost panicked a bit, wondering if I had made a completely ridiculous decision. But look at that round head! It’s delicious!
  3. Barring a wig or weave if I feel like it, the short hair life is the life for me. When winter comes, I plan on wearing tons of hats and head wraps to keep the cool air from freezing me out, and could allow the ‘fro to grow just a bit, but the short hair look is mine to keep.

I am not my hair, as India says. My hair is an accessory that can be shaped and created into whatever strikes my fancy. For me, the inside needs to be shiny and lovely first, followed by the accentuating of the inside. In all honesty, that’s what happened in 2012: the outside finally matched the inside. Openly, visibly, plainly: me.

 

i didn’t look pregnant!

jump2

Party people: I rarely wear jumpsuits. Because when I do wear them, I look with child. And since I’m not with child and haven’t ever been with child, you can imagine me wanting to avoid appearing that way when it comes to my personal style. Nevertheless, while at Ross a week or so ago, I came upon the jumpsuit you see above and it really delighted my eye. The pattern, the texture–everything. My friend, who was shopping with me, gasped. “You have to buy that! It’s so cute!” Me: But I’ll look pregnant. “You won’t!” Me: I will. Every jumpsuit I’ve ever owned or worn–with the exception of like, one–has created a weirdness in my mid-section area, creating an illusion that I certainly wasn’t looking for. Hence my reluctance. But my friend’s encouragement won me over. Fast forward to me wearing the jumpsuit for a graduation this past weekend and happily discovering that it was lovely and non-pregnant looking!

huzzah

Here’s to taking tiny risks with style and in life, too, which all culminates to tip-toeing out of that warm comfort zone every now and again.

Soooo: do you have outfits that create said weird illusion? Wanna share?

Share!