I started thinking about my past Halloween costumes the other day and I came to a few common themes. One, I seem to always wait until the last minute. Even when I was a kid I remember my mom pulling together costumes out of clothes from her closet. Two, I would rather buy my costume from items I find at a thrift store than in a package. Gathering your own costume together is so much more fun and unique than buying it out of a package. I am guilty of buying a few of those, but my best costumes were those I pulled from my own closet. And lastly, I enjoy dressing up as a man or something classic. Last year I dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, and in high school I dressed up as an old man. This year I’ll be going as someone classic. Follow me on Instagram to see who I dress up as!

Halloween pumpkin carving

Note: What’s your favorite costume you wore for Halloween?

Fun Fall Activites

Fall always makes me think of family time. Kids young and old all enjoy gathering around the fire with loved ones. As the weather cools down the relaxing activities warm up. Here are a few of my favorite fun fall activities.

Take a drive. Summer seems to be made for road trips, but fall is the best time to take a drive and see the changing leaves. Take pit stops along the way to enjoy local cafes and grab a warm pot pie. Unfortunately where I live there aren’t many changing leaves. Whenever I see a picture of an open road with fall trees my heart melts.

Tunnel of Trees scenic drive in Michigan: One of our readers' favorites! More information: http://www.midwestliving.com/travel/michigan/tunnel-of-trees-scenic-drive-michigan/#

Host a game night. Games like Taboo or charades will have everyone laughing and forgetting that summer is over. Play kids verses the adults or boys against girls, and mix up the family dynamic. If you’re playing with an older crowd, Cards Against Humanity is always a hilarious way to bring everyone together.

Cook a hardy meal. Stay in and teach the kids a family recipe or have them pick a recipe out of a cookbook to make together. Sweet treats are just as nice in fall. Everything seems to be made out of pumpkin. Bake a pumpkin bread, pie or cookies.

Perfect Pumpkin Cookies 2 Perfect Pumpkin Cookies

Fall festival fun. Check out the local harvest festival and join in on the fun. Enter the pie eating contest, carve pumpkins, and play a few games. Summer may have been too hot to spend hours outdoors, so grab a scarf and enjoy the cool air.

Get some R&R. Curl up and read a book or watch a movie together. Everyone can be in the same room doing their favorite quiet activity, but you don’t necessarily need to do it together. Just being around family and relaxing can help create balance in the household.

styled engagement shoots

Note: I have yet to check any of these off of my fall bucket list.

Picture credit: 1 – midwestliving.com; 2 – freutcake.com; 3 – ruffledblog.com

Mad Men Makeup

made men makeup

This year I can’t decide what I want to be for Halloween or if I’m going to do anything at all. I recently started watching Mad Men, yes I’m years behind, but with Netflix it’s so easy to binge watch. I’ve been inspired by the fun 60′s makeup looks and if I was going out this would be high on the list. Here’s a step by step tutorial on how I created this Joan from Man Men makeup look. I figured with the red hair our looks were the most similar.

no makeup

Step one: I primed my skin with Murad’s Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15 and Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur, then apply Stila Perfecting Concealer to red spots to create an even skin tone. I then applied Laura Mercier Mineral Powder all over my face. I don’t use a foundation, just a loose powder.

Mad Men makeup halloween

Step two: Next are the eyes. Apply a nude eye shadow to the entire eyelid all the way up to the eyebrow. I used MAC eye shadow in Naked Lunch. Next apply a matte shadow on the creases in a slightly darker shade. I love Kevyn Aucoin Soft Clay eye shadow for this. This look is all about the eye liner, brows and lips, so keep the focus there. Next I applied Stila’s Waterproof Eye Liner to the top lash line only. Create a slight cat eye. The final step for the eyes is the mascara. After curling my eyelashes I applied a few coats of Stila Forever Your Curl Mascara. Don’t apply any mascara to the bottom lashes. Instead lightly dust the darker eye shadow along the lash line. The last step for the eyes are the eye brows. These really need to be played up with a dark pencil or brow powder.

Step three: The final steps are the checks and lips. I applied Kevyn Aucoin cream blush to just the apples of the checks. Use a light pink color. First I conditioned my lips, since they tend to be dry and it helps the lipstick pop. I used Kevyn Aucoin ‘The Expert’ lip color in Micavel. This is one of my favorite lip colors. I didn’t apply a highlighter, since I wanted to keep the matte look of the 60′s.

mad men inspired makeup

Notes: I think I’ve decided who I want to dress up as for Halloween.

Sunset Magazine Travel Awards

sunset magazine travel awardsA few weeks ago I had a chat with Bruce Anderson, deputy editor of travel for Sunset Magazine, to talk about their first annual Travel Awards, and of course talk about something we both have in common, our love of travel and of the Western region. As an expert on travel, he gave me some insight on the area I’ve always called home. There have been quite a few firsts in the West. The first motel was in San Luis Obispo. The first theme park was in Southern California and Yellowstone Park was established as the first National Park in 1872. And now, Sunset will have its first Travel Awards.

Sunset Magazine has been showcasing the best of the West since its first issue in 1898. Sunset Magazine started out as a promotional magazine for the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in an effort to debunk the stories about the wild west and California stereotypes. Since its first issue hit the rail stations, and train coaches, it has succeeded in conveying life in the West. Now, as the publishing world gets smaller and we move into a more digital space, Sunset is keeping up with the rest of them and providing digital issues, online content and up-to-the-minute social media news. But why start an awards series now?

“We’ve been doing this since the first issue,” Anderson told me, “We’re reverse-engineering and taking what Sunset has done and consolidating it.” There seems to be three pillars to every Sunset story: honor, excellence and innovation. And this is what they’re looking for in the award winners. There should be an aesthetic, a new innovation and be particularly Western. Each winner will receive recognition both online and in the print cover story with a short write-up. In search of the West’s standout travel destinations, organizations, and businesses, Sunset will issue awards in 33 different categories. Awards submissions are due by November 25th, so you’d better get yours in soon! To submit an entry you must represent a business, city/town, attraction, or service in the West and enter online by going to the Travel Awards page and click ‘ENTER NOW.’ Finalists will be announced January 15th and Winners will be announced May 25th, 2015. I can’t wait to see who wins!

As we continued our conversation and chatted about our love for the West, Anderson noted that the reason travelers are drawn to this area is because of the diversity. We have the mountains, the cities and the beaches. Everything is within reach. When covering a destination, Sunset writers look for what’s new and different, which is also part of the magazine’s core mission. The Sunset Travel Awards will help steer the magazine’s six million readers to the best destinations to match their taste, budget and interests. It will narrow down these new hot spots and old favorites into a comprehensive resource guide. If you’re a winery owner, tour guide, hotelier, or restaurateur, you want to be on this list.

Talking with Anderson revived my love of travel and California. With so many noteworthy locations it’s hard to narrow down who I would nominate for the Sunset Magazine Travel Awards, but I would have to nominate Santa Barbara as the best beach town. It will always have my heart.

Note: Want to submit a nomination? Send a tweet to Sunset Magazine at @SunsetMag or post to Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/sunsetmagazine). #sunsettravelawards.

Safari Inn

Safari Inn

It’s always fun taking pictures in a different location. My friend Danni wanted to take me to this retro motel to take pictures before we headed out for the day. It made for an amazing backdrop and fun to take pictures in a completely different location than where I’ve shot before. Whenever I have guests come from out of town I go to places that I normally don’t get to all the time. L.A. has so many great areas and I tend to stick to the same spots. I eat at the same restaurants, shop at the same store and take the same streets around town. But having the chance to step out of the box, even if it’s not very far, is always nice. After our photo shoot we went shopping on Melrose, which I rarely do. I love vintage and secondhand shops, so it was great to pick through the clothes and try to find some goods.

Retro Motel LA Safari Inn BurbankLos Angeles Fashion BloggerNatalie Zimmerman Natalie Notionsretro pink sunglasses

Banana Republic Sweater, Splendid Pants, Steve Madden Heels, Vintage Pink Sunglasses {similar}, J.Crew Necklace, J.Crew Bracelet

Note: I’m inspired to wear more retro fashion.

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