I can't believe tomorrow is October 1st! September feels like it was just getting started and all of sudden, we're a month away from Halloween. It was another really difficult month but I feel so much better now than I did at the beginning of September. I hope that it only goes up from here... but with Covid still running around and the election almost a month away, it seems like we have a little more ways to go.

 *I did a similar post back in 2015 but it was time for an update! However, I still stand by all those tips and will mention some in this post as well.

The start of a new season is always my favorite time of the year. Even though Fall is my favorite and I worship the autumn, I love any new season, the start of Spring & Summer included. However, with those new seasons comes my least favorite thing in the world: allergies.

I have had seasonal, pollen allergies since I was a little girl. When I was a child, it was only itchy and watery eyes that bothered me but somewhere in my late teenage years, sneezing, coughing, and headaches became an issue too. I was fully cursed with seasonal allergies on all ends.

 I didn' think I had any new polishes up my sleeve but I was wrong. When I went to paint my nails last weekend, I realized that I had a new nail polish I had been saving for a rainy day. I purchased it last month in preparation for Fall and here we are, in Fall!

OPI's fall collection is titled "Muse of Milan" and all the shades are stunning for the autumnal season but the one that caught my eye was obviously the burnt orange/brown shade called "My Italian is a Little Rusty". It's fitting for me since I haven't brushed up on my Italian since junior year of high school.

 Welp, another week, another gross miscarriage of justice for Black people. I'm devastated for Breonna Taylor, for her family, for the people of Louisville and for the world. If it's exhausting for me, I can't imagine how exhausting it is for Black people and POC. Please, just remember to vote AND pay attention to your local elections/politics. While the President is responsible for a lot, it comes down to your local government and that is where real change begins.

In other news, the week was hard for a multitude of other reasons. I think it was just the normal Covid slump and feeling like the world is crashing... 2020, right? 

However, I will be having some sense of normalcy this weekend and hopefully going apple picking. A little fresh air really does the body and mood wonders! 

Last year around the same time, I wrote a review of Charlie Donlea's novel, "Some Choose Darkness" and I raved about it. It was such a good novel and I highly recommend it.

That's why when I saw Charlie Donlea's new novel, "The Suicide House" on NetGalley and that it was a 'sequel' to "Some Choose Darkness", I knew I had to read it. This wasn't a direct sequel to the first book but used two of the same characters, Rory and Lane, as the catalysts. There were mentions to the story that happened in the first novel but you definitely didn't have to read the first book to read "The Suicide House." 

I read this book incredibly fast, within a few days because it was a story that I couldn't put down. 

 I've been moving this post around on my editorial calendar for the past few months because I didn't know when it felt right to write something like this. This year, with the pandemic, has been truly been horrifying. Who would've thought that a virus could shut down the entire world? This was something that I never even imagined and something that never crossed my mind as a possibility. 

Back in March, I was already feeling horrible about the year; my aunt passed away and my boyfriend broke up with me so I wasn't thrilled about 2020 to start with. Now, every day seems to get worse and there has been a huge effect on my mental health. 

When this all started and we were on full lockdown here in NYC, it felt like you were in a horror movie. I remember I went back to my office at the end of March (I needed to grab some items) and the streets were empty... I'm not exaggerating; aside from a few delivery men, I was the only person on the street. It felt like a movie set... it felt like someone was making a movie about New York and this was their fake New York. If you are in Manhattan every day, with crowded streets and loud noises, and full of life, to see the city like that was a shock to the system.

I mentioned last week that I was waiting for an order from Olive & June to come in. I've experimented with Olive & June nail polish in the past and was less than impressed but I'm always willing to give products a second chance.

When Olive & June released their Fall nail polish colors, I was pretty excited. They released some stunning shades but also I loved the way they paired the colors together. Seeing colors mixed or on actual nails always makes the world of difference for me when purchasing a color.

I was contemplating which colors to purchase when I saw this photo of the Pumpkin Spice Ombre Kit I decided to just purchase the entire kit. It retails for $45 and comes with 4 colors and a topcoat. $9 a polish is exactly what I pay for Essie and OPI and I loved that I had all the colors I wanted in one little kit. 

Somehow it's September 20th and we are in FULL fall weather in NYC. Seriously, it's like 60 degrees right now and I'm freezing. It's BEAUTIFUL and I'm so happy. I've said previously that this Fall feels so different obviously because of the pandemic but also because it's the first Fall I'm single in two years. It's bringing back memories and making me feel sad but I'm trying to stay as positive as possible.

This weekend was super relaxing and I'm so thankful because I needed it. Work has been crazy busy and stressful, so I needed time to decompress and not worry about anything. Saturday was a really wonderful day; I was up early, went to the park to walk two miles, went to Trader Joes, and bought all the pumpkin items. I gave myself a nice little cheat day and enjoyed pumpkin and apple cider goodies. 

It's a wild ride to follow an author as they finish writing and publishing their book. You feel like you're part of the process and feel strangely proud when the book is finally available for sale. Of course, this is a new type of feeling thanks to social media but when you follow Hannah Orenstein on Instagram, it's very common. 

Head Over Heels is Hannah Orenstein's third book and she documented the entire writing & publishing process on her Instagram page. It's pretty inspiring and cool to watch her start something and then have it come to life, and be able to read the words she wrote.

I've reviewed Hannah's other two books, Love At First Like and Playing With Matches on the blog, and loved them to pieces. Head Over Heels was really no different. 

Little Loves, Vol 9

in , , by RoyallyPink, 5:30 AM

 I can't believe we're closer to 2021 than we are to the start of 2020. I also cannot believe how much has changed in the past 9 months... and I don't mean the state of the world. I mean how your life could look totally different in a matter of just a few months. Change happens every day but when you look back over a period of time, you can reflect on how things look different.

This time last year, I had a serious boyfriend who I cared for very much, I was just starting a new job, my home life was pretty solid and things were looking up. Now, my personal, family life isn't that great, my aunt passed away, my boyfriend broke up with me and I'm settled & excelling in my job. 

Things are so different and it's a scary thought when you sit back and think about it. Add the extra layer of the world on top of it and it shouldn't be a surprise that we're all feeling a little less than happy. 

 It's finally PSL season and I couldn't be happier! My house is decorated, I've only been drinking pumpkin coffee, and new Fall clothes are currently en route to me. This fall is going to look a little different than past ones but that's not stopping me one bit.  

Over the weekend I switched my fall & summer nail colors so I can see everything I have. I'm so excited to wear all my dark nail colors but also excited to see what colors are new in the market. 

NCLA, a brand that I have tried a few times, recently released their Fall collection and it was stunning. I knew I needed to scoop up at least one polish and it obviously had to be PSL Season. PSL Season is a creamy, rich brown/orange shade that is the perfect shade of fall.

It's been a really odd few weeks for me as I've highlighted over the course of my last few Royal Round Up Posts. To be honest, I'm not sure what's happening but I haven't been ok and it's starting to scare me. I obviously haven't blogged in over a week which is unlike me, because I didn't feel like blogging. I have zero motivation or ambition, I just didn't want to do anything. 

Ever since I started new anxiety medication a few weeks ago, I haven't felt like myself. Sure, I'm not depressed or exhausted but something inside me is not right and it's the worst feeling. It's hard to even put into words.

That aside, I'm also trying to get my life back together. I need to be more focused, eat better, work out more, set a routine, and get out of my own head. I need to be who I was years ago because I liked her. It's a lot of internal work that I realized, today, I have to work on. It feels like I say this a lot, that I'm changing my life, working on myself but sometimes you have to reach a breaking point and I think I finally did.

A few months ago I devoured American Royals within a day or two and the ending infuriated me. I needed to know what happened but the 2nd book, "Majesty" was so far away. Thankfully, I got approved for the NetGalley ARC and was able to read the book before it's release date... which was yesterday, September 1st. 

I recently finished the book and wow, I think I loved it even more than the first. If you don't know, American Royals is a novel series that dreams up what the United States would be if they had lost the American Revolution and there was a monarchy still in place. It's America with a Royal Family, the Washingtons to be exact and Beatrice is set to become America's first Queen. 

American Royals is about Beatrice's journey to prepare for her coronation and also showcases her parents trying to make sure Bea is married before that happens. Bea also has twin siblings, Samantha and Jefferson who are, of course, the wild twins of the palace. They have their own storylines that intertwine with Beatrice's, mostly how they live in her shadow. 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day...if I could I would eat breakfast food all day and every day, and some days I do. I've always said that the beauty of WW is that you can eat regular foods and not feel guilty about it because it's all about portion control.

I love what I classify as 'aggressive' foods; sandwiches with chicken cutlets, french fries, and gravy or a hashbrown waffle -- something that is different, unique, and a little bit out there. These foods are also very unhealthy so one of my favorite things to do is hack recipes like this and find fun ways to eat the foods I love. 

That's where today's recipe comes in. Wonton and eggroll wrappers are a great way to hack your favorite foods on WW; they're low points and so versatile... it's pretty genius when you think about it. I also didn't realize that these products are available in almost all grocery stores so they're accessible.