Moving to a New Blog!

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The day has finally come for me to close up Fancy Alter Ego, and start over in my new online home over at Afternoon Glow!

While I’m going to miss this space, it’s time for me to move on to something new. I’ll keep this blog open as long as I can, if you’re interested in going back down memory lane. I’ll also do the same with my old social media accounts, but from here on out I’ll be mainly posting only on the new accounts.

Since I’m moving over to the new site today, I wanted to invite you to make the move with me!

Please make sure to update your social media so you can get updates on what I’ll be posting every weekday, and keep up with what’s going on outside of the blog, too!

I hope to hear from all of you soon. Have a great day!

Make the move to Afternoon Glow!

New Website: www.afternoonglow.com

Twitter: @afternoonglow

Instagram: @afternoonglow

Pinterest: pinterest.com/heatherpatton54

Email: heather@afternoonglow.com

Bloglovin: Click here to follow!

Introducing Afternoon Glow!

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For some of you, this will be big news…and the rest of you probably knew this was happening because I suck at keeping things private. Keeping secrets isn’t my forte – especially when it’s internet-related (thanks Twitter for telling all my friends I have a new account…dicks).

After almost three years at Fancy Alter Ego, I’ve decided to switch gears a bit and start a new blog! I’m excited to finally have the chance to work on something that isn’t a super-secret project (that, frankly, isn’t a secret anyway). I’ve always considered Fancy Alter Ego a kind of “rough draft,” where I could learn about what goes into making a blog work well for myself and my readers. I’ve grown a lot over the past few years, learned a ton, and met some amazing people along the way. Now, I’m ready to take things to the next level.

Afternoon Glow is still going to feature a lot of the same things that I wrote about on Fancy Alter Ego – food, exercise, beauty, and my rambling about random shit. The biggest difference is that this time, I’m attempting to make this more of a career than a hobby, so it will probably take on a more “professional” tone. Yes, that means I went out and bought my own domain name (like a grown up), and will start working toward finding ways to make money with my blog in a way that works for me and my readers. I promise it’s not going to turn into click-bait and affiliate-link hell, but it will feature some things I’ve never tried before, and hopefully you can bear with me as I learn some of this stuff as I go!

I’m also excited to get back into blogging after such a rough year or so of trying to stay motivated with Fancy Alter Ego. As a side project, it was perfect for me because I didn’t have to commit to writing on a regular schedule. I used that as an excuse to be lazy about what I posted and when I posted – and it definitely started to show. I also went back recently and looked through old posts, and realized that most of my writing took on a decidedly negative tone, which isn’t something I feel reflects who I am at this point in my life. It was time to move on, and focus on creating a more positive and inspiring place to share my life with you.

Now, I’m looking forward to sharing with you all the things I’ve been working on, and moving on to bigger and better things. This blog was a great starting point, but it was never something I intended on having for close to 3 years. It was always my intention to move on, and these past few (very frustrating) months of job hunting have given me the push I needed to make the jump.

So, over the next couple weeks, I’ll keep you updated on how to make the switch over from Fancy Alter Ego to my new home at Afternoon Glow. The blog is pretty much ready to go, but now I’m in the midst of updating/changing my social media stuff, so I’ll let you know how to make the jump ver soon!

Here’s to happy endings, and even happier beginnings!

The Birthday Curse

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(My first birthday, where I appear to be unwrapping something that looks identical to what I’m already wearing. Awkward. I swear I’m not throwing shade at whoever made such a terrible faux pas.)

Birthdays aren’t my thing.

I don’t know exactly why I’ve never been a big fan of my birthday. Maybe it’s because I’m always battling allergies this time of year. Maybe it’s because there is a 50/50 chance of it being cold and rainy (just like it is this year). Maybe it’s because I hate being put on the spot when it comes to getting gifts (I’m of the “open it after the party” opinion…my family was not). Maybe it’s because, when I was like 6 or 7, my dad chopped the tip of a finger off while gardening the morning of my birthday (I spent the whole day worried about him).

I grew up thinking I was the victim of some kind of birthday curse…like I was destined to have a shitty time. Most of the time I had fun in spite of the sneezing, rain, and pink toys (I have only recently grown to tolerate pink). I love cake and ice cream, and I enjoyed having my family around to celebrate. It’s also the best time of year for strawberries and lilacs – my two favorite smells of summer.

As an adult, I think I went through the same growing pains many of us do when it comes to birthdays. There are no more family parties, and most years I’ve had to work or go to school on my birthday. In college, all of my friends had already gone home for the summer, so I didn’t have anyone to go out with. Most years, I just had dinner with my family and treated myself to some shopping whenever I had the chance.

When my husband and I started dating, I explained the whole “curse” thing to him, and that I didn’t want to do anything for my birthday. Of course, he didn’t listen – but he has found ways to make things more fun, even if I can’t breathe out of my nose.

For starters, he doesn’t buy me birthday gifts. Instead, he takes me out for a day of shopping so I can pick out what I want. I know some of you think that’s insane, and it sucks all the fun out of it – but it’s perfect for me. I’m not big on surprises, and he’s always nervous that he’ll buy the wrong thing. That, and I think he likes spending the day acting like my sugar daddy. :-)

He also makes me the same cake every year – a strawberry shortcake. He’s done this since my first birthday with him, and it’s perfect because it’s one of my favorite desserts. It’s also one of the few desserts he can make well (he sucks at baking), and I appreciate that I don’t have to make my own cake. I’m looking forward to chowing down on it tomorrow (or today, I guess)!

So in spite of the curse, I have found ways to make my birthday a bit more “me,” thanks to a stubborn husband, and a few tweaks to the traditional birthday celebration.

Here’s to my 32nd birthday – go have a drink or a cupcake for me!

PS: I wanted to send a birthday shout-out to my birthday buddy, Christina of Profresh Style! Hope you have an amazing day!

Back to Normal

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This past week has left me feeling like I’m coming out of a fog. The past couple months have been tough, and while things haven’t gotten any better on the job front, I’m not as depressed about it. I imagine the nice weather has helped with that – nothing like waking up to rain to kill any motivation to do anything.

I’ve also gotten out twice this week to go hiking – both times were so well needed. Being home so much is weird, and while I know that I should take advantage of the time to get outside, write more, and sleep in, I feel guilty whenever I do. I constantly have to remind myself that taking care of my body takes care of my mind, too.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll leave you with some more beautiful photos from my hike on Monday!

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Oh, and one from yesterday – the cottonwood is so bad here that in some places, it looks like it’s snowing!

There was so much cottonwood on the trails today it looked like snow. #allergies #hiking

Life on Instagram: Random Tidbits

After one of the longest breaks I’ve taken on the blog so far, I’m back with a renewed energy and focus. Job hunting is still going to take up the great majority of my time, and I can’t guarantee I’ll post often, but I’m starting to get excited about blogging again. So to honor that newfound energy, I thought I’d update you on what I’ve been up to lately when I’m not eyeballs deep in resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn.

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(Clockwise from top-left)
I cut my finger really badly about a month ago while chopping parsley. Thankfully, no stitches needed – but my nail is growing out with a gash in it. Also thankful for bright nail polish to hide it. / A throwback to my college years – cranberry and vodkas. No, they were not both for me (though in college, they would have been). / Saw this while out hiking at Cougar Mountain. I was having a rough day, and it was just what I needed to see. / Took a quick trip one day to the beach to clear my brain. I’m trying to take advantage of that more often, since for years I didn’t live anywhere near water!

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I’ve been on a bit of a cookbook tear lately. I’ve read two Barefoot Contessa books, a few Giada books, and I’m currently working my way through this one. So far, it’s a gorgeous book and great read! / My sweet tooth got the better of me one day, and I threw together some apple-crisp muffins. I only had enough ingredients to make 6, so they went fast (especially once D found them)! / Another book I read recently, and pretty quickly too. I think I read it over a couple hours? / The weather has been insanely nice so far this week, so I am determined to spend more time outside. I started off Monday with a hike near home. My legs are paying for it today, though!

Beach Hunter

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While Seattle didn’t have much of a winter, I can definitely tell that spring is definitely here! I decided to take a short break from job applications to find a park in my new neighborhood. I’ve been craving some beach time, and even though it’s not beach weather yet, it was nice to get out by the water. This one is only a few minutes away from home, and when the sun is shining, it’s a great way to kill some time in the afternoon.

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I ran across these two ducks while on a short hike around the park. They were a little too friendly – you could tell they are fed by park-goers all the time. Thankfully, they kept their distance and let me take a few photos before heading on my way!

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By the time I was done with my short hike, the sun had faded away and storm clouds rolled in. I made a quick beeline for the car, and barely made it home before it started storming! Normally I don’t mind a little rain, but I had my camera with me and nowhere to hide it if it started pouring, so I had to cut my trip a little short. I can’t wait to head back there soon, hopefully with D, for a nice picnic or afternoon on the beach when it gets a little warmer outside.

I can’t wait to find more great parks in the area. This was a great place to start, though!

Positivity is Key

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(Found this happy little rock in a tree while I was on a hike a couple weeks ago.)

If you were to ask me right now if I’m happy, I’d say it’s complicated.

Leaving teaching is something that still fills me with doubt, but I’m working through it. I have a better idea of where I want my career path to go, and that helps. I don’t have a job yet, but I have a direction, which is better than where I was even a week ago. I’m hopeful that things will get better from here. I have no choice but being hopeful.

I’ve also been getting outside more, which always makes me feel more at peace. The hiking trails near my apartment are great, and the weather has been amazing for the most part. It’s so nice to be able to get out in nature without having to drive somewhere first. Now, if it would just warm up and stop raining, I could get out there today. It probably won’t happen, though – I’m still trying to kick a headache I’ve had since Saturday (thanks, Aunt Flo).

In addition to reading more, I also started baking more often. I know that cupcakes and brownies aren’t the best things to eat, but baking is one of the few things that can calm me when I’m having a rough day. The precision and attention that baking requires keeps my mind busy and distracted, and the end result usually tastes pretty damn good too. :-)

Blogging is still taking a backseat to everything else at the moment, but I’m hoping that it won’t be this way for much longer. I miss sharing what’s going on in my life here. Unfortunately, lately it’s been days on end with the same thing – and no one (not even me) cares about reading the same whiny shit about sweatpants, job applications, and how much HGTV I’ve been watching lately (hint: it’s a lot).

Hopefully you’ll all still be around when I get back to writing more often, but for now, it’s time to take a break…and a nap.