Keep your pumpkin spice—pass me the apple cider everything!

Boots. Blanket scarves. Pumpkin spice lattes. These are sure signs of fall—as are the grey skies, crisp air, and beautiful golden leaves. For me, fall is all about the smells. The dry, dusty harvest air. Hearty soups in the crock pot. Baked goods in the oven. And while I enjoy pumpkin spice to a degree, there's nothing that quite puts in me in the mood for autumn like the smell of apple cider. Keep your pumpkin spice. Give me apple cider everything!

I think the smell of pumpkin spice is just too heavy and indulgent. Apple smells crisp. It reminds me of home—of the red apple-scented candles my mom burns. It reminds me of my favorite fall treats, like apple crisp, warm apple cider, and apple-inspired cocktails. (Pass me the apple pie over pumpkin pie any day!) And bonus: the boyfriend likes, too.

So as soon as Mrs. Meyer's Apple Cider-scented cleaning supplies hit the virtual shelves of Grove Collaborative, I snatched up a set. And shortly after, I had to have a set of the Mum fragrance, too. Because I have a black thumb. And when I bought a hanging basket of beautiful orange mums, I was so worried about them drying up in the Iowa early fall heat that I over-watered them. :( I can't keep flowers alive, but I can keep Mrs. Meyer's Mum cleaners on my sink—and my kitchen smells delightful. I plan to pull the Apple Cider scents back out in November. 

(And yes, at this rate with my Mrs. Meyer's addiction and Grove Collaborative pricing... I have a cupboard full of smell-good cleaning supplies. It's wonderful.)

Today, I'm extending a special Grove Collaborative deal to YOU!

Choose between Apple Cider and Mum (tough decision, I know!) and you’ll get: 

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s fall seasonal hand soap

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s fall seasonal dish soap

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s fall seasonal multi-surface spray

  • Free Grove Collaborative kitchen towel
    (I just got my first of these towels and I'm hooked! Great size and so versatile.)

  • Free 60 Day VIP trial

To receive the offer, your order needs to total $20

From hair and skin products to home cleaning supplies, there are so many great products to choose from at Grove—and all at much better prices than I ever find in-store.

You can choose any combination of products, but here are a few I suggest: 

  • Grove Collaborative 70+ hour all natural soy candle $12.95
    (There's a vanilla sandalwood scent just begging to make your fall nights extra-cozy.)

  • Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges $3.95
    (I love these scrubbers—and the natural, neutral colors go with any kitchen. Am I the only one that tries to color-coordinate my kitchen down to the dish-scrubbers?)

  • Yes To Coconut protecting hand and cuticle cream $5.99
    (Because crisp fall air can also mean dry, cracked hands. Keep 'em smooth and soft!)

Grove really knows how to take care of their customers. If you already use and love Grove like I do, you can get the set for 50% off. That’s a steal!  

There are only a limited number of sets available and the offer ends October 23, so hurry up and place your order! 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the Mrs. Meyer’s offer for free when you sign up!
  2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your first basket — this takes under 30 seconds!
  3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items. (This is the hardest part — so many great choices!)
  4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.
  5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.
*Please note that Grove currently does not ship to Canada, Hawaii, or Alaska

Tip to save: Once you’ve submitted your Grove order, be sure to sign up for the free 60 day VIP trial. You’ll get free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales, and personal service. (I love being a VIP member—the free shipping and personal service alone make it worth it, but the free gifts and other perks are icing on the cake.)

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Grove Collaborative and includes affiliate links.  All opinions are my own & I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. 


It's Fall, Y'all! | Autumn Haul from Gordmans

So I just got back from a lovely friend's wedding in Georgia. The bf and I made a road-trip of it—stopping half-way in for an overnight stay in Kentucky on the way there, then making the whole fourteen hour drive (we stopped several times, including for an hour long supper in Tennessee) in one shot on the way back. So excuse me while I hang on to saying "y'all" just a while longer. It's fall, y'all!

Fall is my favorite season. The warm orange and golden leaves set against cool, gray skies. The rainy days and crisp nights. The return of hot apple cider, belly-warming soups, and pumpkin spice everything! Okay, I admit I could do without the clumps of box elder bugs and Asian beetles currently invading our front porch—ew! But really, autumn is a splendid season. Especially for decorating.

I've been decorating little by little with some things I picked up here and there—like pumpkin-scented candles and such. But the time came to make a devoted fall shopping trip... to Gordmans!

Fall wreaths. Adorable autumn signs. Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins—some orange, others white, some rustic, and others sparkly! For me, it's always sensory overload as soon as I step inside the decorating heaven that is Gordmans. This trip was especially hard, as I was limiting myself to fall decor and maaaaybeee a few pieces that can sit out year-round. (It was torture avoiding the Christmas aisle—especially with a whole house to decorate this year!)

I came up $2 short of my $50 budget—and came away with some great fall finds, plus some. ;)

So what'd I get?! Well, come on in and take a look!

While I sprinkle seasonal decor throughout the living room, dining room, and office... the foyer has become the designated space for really ramping up whatever season it is. With my sweet little vintage desk, chalkboard, and turntable, it's one of my favorite nooks in the house. I had already added a little metallic pumpkin to the desk, but it was sorely lacking in the autumnal bliss.

I spent a good ten minutes trying to decide which fall leaf garland to take home from Gordmans. ;) There were some with more greens, some with sparkles, and even some with little pumpkins and berries mixed in. I ultimately decided on this orangey garland, which looks great entwined in our main staircase. Side note: It took less than five minutes for both of my cats to discover the pretty leaves and try chewing on them. 

I might have spent twenty minutes just trying to pick out fake flowers for my little red milk can. You see, I have a black thumb and my cats try to eat any fresh flowers I buy. So fake flowers it is! Luckily, the fall flower aisle was well-stocked with a variety of options—from whimsical, glittery flowers to more rustic, natural looking ones. I chose a bundle of these vibrant gold, poofy flowers and a few stems of little cattail like things. (Expert plant terminology, huh?)

Next, I wanted to show my bar cart some fall love. Okay, actually it wasn't planned. But this "Bippity Bobbity Boo! I'd rather have a martini or two" sign was begging to be brought home. :) And then I couldn't resist the little "Eat  Drink and be Scary" block. (I'm a sucker for those little blocks with sayings on them! Especially for $4!) They look great next to the moonshine we brought back from Kentucky. 

Try as I might, I can't just go into Gordmans for seasonal decor. I always see something that strikes my fancy. In this case, it was a couple things for my butler's pantry. This coming weekend, I'll be starting the process of removing wallpaper, painting, and turning the butler's pantry into a cozy little coffee nook / spare desk. And this sign was just too perfect:

I don't really know what my theme is here. Mason jars. Coffee things. Old tins. Oh, and cows. (I am an Iowa gal after all.) It'll all come together, I promise. ;)

I also have a lot of tea. The cupboards above this nook are full of those little, lightweight tea boxes that are so easy to knock over. I found this antique-inspired biscuit tin in the clearance section (you know I don't leave a store without visiting the clearance section!) and it's just the right size to stash lots of bags of my favorite Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Chamomile/Vanilla/Honey blends.

How do you decorate for fall? Lots of Halloween stuff? Lots of leaves and pretty pumpkins? In one spot of your house—or all throughout, like me?

I'm going to light a pumpkin spice candle, sip on my tea, and enjoy the coziness of my decked-out-for-fall abode—while planning my next trip to Gordmans for Christmas decorations. ;)

Disclaimer: Gordmans kindly supplied me with a $50 gift card to go fall decor shopping, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks, Gordmans!


The Wangs vs. the World Book + Makeup Giveaway

***This giveaway is now closed. Stay tuned for more!***

This giveaway is brought to you in partnership with  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Time for another book giveaway, lovelies! And this one combines two of my favorite things: books and makeup! Jade Chang's debut novel The Wangs vs. the World hits bookshelves today! 

Side note: Isn't the cover of this book gorgeous?!


Love YA and/or historical fiction? Take this poll for a chance to win a gift card

I know I have some lovely readers out there who love young adult, historical fiction, and young adult historical fiction novels as much as I do. Riiiight? :) 

Help a girl out and tell me more about what type of characters, narration, and timelines you find compelling. Fill me in on the tropes that hook you and the ones that annoy you. 

Kindly fill out the entire survey (even the "Why" sections) and you'll be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card to spend on that YA or historical fiction book at the top of your to-read list. A winner will be randomly selected in October.

Thank you! :)


Decorating with CORT: 1 Room, 3 Ways

This post brought to you by CORT. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Lovely Side.

Once in a while, I hear from you lovely readers about how you'd love to decorate your space, but you're only living there temporarily. Or how you've just relocated, and making your place feel like home is proving difficult. Something I wish I'd considered back in my moving-from-apartment-to-apartment days is furniture rental. (Especially during that stint where I didn't actually have a couch... or place to put my television...) 


Bridget Jones's Baby Baby Giveaway

This post and giveaway are brought to you in partnership with Universal Pictures.

**This giveaway has ended. Stay tuned for more giveaways!**


A Little Romance Book Giveaway for Fall: Win 'The Protector' and a romantic prize pack! (Closed)

This post and giveaway are brought to you in partnership with Forever, the romance imprint of Grand Central Publishing. Thanks, Forever! :)

**This giveaway has ended. Stay tuned for more giveaways!**

Fall is such a romantic time of year. The night air gets crisp. The leaves turn fiery colors. Doesn't it make you want to light candles, pour a glass of wine, and curl up in bed with a tall, dark, handsome ex-SAS sniper/bodyguard? Or, maybe a novel about one—and his romance with a beautiful heiress in need of protection?