Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Smitten: Pumpkin Spice Everything

Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin candles. Canned pumpkin. Pumpkin mac & cheese. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin hand sanitizer. Pumpkin this and that and everything in between.

The autumnal equinox doesn't mark the beginning of fall anymore, the sudden appearance of Pumpkin Spice Lattes does (and I'm okay with that).

Everywhere you look, people are eagerly sipping on pumpkin drinks, eating pumpkin-inspired foods. While I once dismissed foods that were pumpkin flavored, saving my annual helping of pumpkin for pie at Thanksgiving dinner, I too was quickly won over. To me, pumpkin spice lattes are like the autumn-specific chai tea; they have similar notes in their spices that make me think of comfort and warmth and that very delicious pie.

Pumpkin Spice
Sure, I get a little sick of pumpkin coffee and food by the time December rolls around (probably because I pile the pumpkin high during the autumn months). But it marks the transition from summer to fall, a time that I love dearly, and makes me feel like I'm pouring all of the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn into a big steamy cup to drink in day after day.

What's your guilty pumpkin-flavored pleasure? The craziest pumpkin-inspired item you've seen?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Best Places to Find Inspiration

Best Places to Find Inspiration
Believe it or not, I do not wake up and feel instantaneously inspired. Not to write a novel, not to write a blog post, not to draft a lesson plan, not even to go to the gym or get out of bed. That's not to say that there aren't a few errant days here and there where I wake up, bound out of bed, throw open my windows and shout, "HELLO WORLD! TODAY I'M COMING FOR YOU!", but those strokes of creative genius are few and far between.

Yet as a blogger, as a writer, what I do demands creativity and inspiration. Some days I just have to create it myself.
Best Places to Find Inspiration
Inspiration comes in the littlest of forms, the most unexpected of places. I'm no expert, but I've learned enough along the way to at least know where to look. Sometimes I find inspiration when I'm least expecting it, and other times I turn inspiration-seeking into a game. More often than not, inspiration comes to me from the little quips, the happy accidents lurking in unsuspecting corners and catch me completely by surprise. It may not be ideal or efficient, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

This post was inspired by my contribution to the 30 Days of Lists challenge. You can read the full post at the exclusive 30 Days of Lists blog! 

Where do you find inspiration?

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.121

( via Massimo Bairati ) 

desultory adj. [ˈde-səl-ˌtr-ē]: not having a plan or purpose, dragged out; disappointing in performance or quality (via)

The desultory shopping trip threatened to take up half of Amy's day, where she would rather have spent it seeing a movie with friends instead.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

link love

♥ Need a soundtrack to the book you're reading? I didn't even know this existed!
Sneaky Cleaning Tips for People Who Hate to Clean. YES.
♥ In the Pittsburgh area and want to explore? Look no further. My Guide to Oakland will make sure you don't miss any dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs.
The 14 Absolute Creepiest Places to Visit in the United States
♥ Literary fabrics!? Who would like to make me a twirly skirt of books!? Pretty please?
♥ How to Be Alone: An Antidote to One of the Central Anxieties and Greatest Paradoxes of Our Time
♥ I haven't had good, homemade guac since I visited friends of mine in California years ago. Megan's guacamole recipe may change all of this, however
♥ What's Right with Hermione, from a 14-year old girl's perspective.
♥ I don't always actively follow football for my own reasons, but no one can escape the recent news and even PittGirl Declares She's Breaking Up with the NFL.
Need a new book? Here are 10 Victorian novels you should pick up next.

Find anything good online this week?

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Guide to Pittsburgh: Oakland

I've spent my entire life in Pittsburgh, and I still don't know all of the nooks and crannies, the hidden gems of spots that this city holds.

I do know some awfully good spots to see the dinosaurs, however.

My Pittsburgh looks a lot different from my best friend's Pittsburgh, from my father's Pittsburgh, even from Marissa's Pittsburgh. The city holds so many different spots and vibes and secrets that no two people experience Pittsburgh in the same way. Or at least that's my theory.

Pittsburgh is comprised of so many diverse neighborhoods. So when Xandra asked if I would write a guide to Pittsburgh for her Heroine Training project, I panicked — how was I going to fit all of the amazing things Pittsburgh has to offer into one post!?

So I didn't.
Carnegie Library
For some reason there are a lot of dinosaurs in Oakland. I had to actively try to not take more pictures of various ones about town.

It was a compromise, but I instead decided to focus on Oakland, the pocket of Pittsburgh that houses my alma mater, The University of Pittsburgh, and a plethora of cultural and academic sights to see. Come on now, you didn't think I was going to write a guide to my city that was devoid of intellect (and a library mention), did you? Especially when Heroine Training aims to help women become the adventurous, classy, well-rounded, and well-read heroine of their own story!
What are you waiting for? Pop on over to read my full guide to Oakland (and find out how you can be in the library and see a stegosaurus at the same time!)

What do you love most about your city?