Hello! How are you? For many of you it’s a somber day, but I’d like to consciously begin today’s post with positivity, beauty, and hope! That’s not to gloss over the loss and tragedy of this day — I was a sophomore in college on September 11, 2021, and I remember watching the second plane crash into the towers. It impacted me, along with many other members of my generation, in an immeasurable way. I began my career in national security, counter-terrorism specifically, because of what I saw and felt that day. Continuing with my Sunday Post today is in no way meant to discount the events of that day — if anything, it’s proof that we can carry on and still celebrate all the goodness and beauty in the world.
Sweater Weather — How to Choose Wisely and Care for Them Properly
If you’re anything like me, you’re ecstatic that Labor Day has come and gone, and fall is upon us! Apple picking, pumpkin carving, gatherings with family and friends, and crisp, cool air welcoming you each morning — it’s sweater weather time! Although we now live in California’s central coast, the mornings and evenings here are chilly, so layers are the name of the game. Those of you who know my midwestern roots, know sweaters to be one of my favorite things. Julie Andrews’ biggest blunder was to identify “bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens” as her favorite things — she absolutely should have said “warm woolen sweaters!”
So, to welcome you all to sweater weather I’ve gathered up a few of my favorite sweater picks for this fall, plus a checklist for how to choose and care for these wonderfully cozy garments.
My Favorite Fall Sweaters 2022
If I told you that I purchased this beautiful blue sweater from Target, for under $25, about 5 years ago, would you believe me? Yes! It’s true. And it looks just as gorgeous today as it did the day I purchased it! On the flip side, I’ve had sweaters that cost 10 times as much that lasted a year or less. Why? Fabric is everything! Fabric trumps label, retailer, and price. Always. If you want a quality sweater that will stand the test of time, fabric content must be your number one priority. Natural fibers will always win over synthetic ones in terms of beauty, quality, functionilty, and durability.
Have you ever purchased a beautiful, luxe feeling sweater to find that after only a few wears it looks like a tattered mess? Unless you’re not caring for it properly, chances are it was made from a synthetic material, such as acrylic or some polyester variation. These materials are often much cheaper than natural fibers, so they frequently find their way in many sweaters, often in the form of a blend (i.e., 50% acrylic, 30% polyester, 10% cashmere, 10% wool). This is true of even high-end sweaters with impressive labels. Early on I fell victim to the idea that a high end label guaranteed quality. Not so. Luckily, I’m not a label person — I don’t care where something is purchased, I care about it’s beauty, quality, and functionality.
The lesson: pay attention to the fabric tag, not the brand label tag. And no matter how stylish the sweater, unless you know you’ll wear the item only a few times, if it’s not made of 100% natural fibers, run! There are, of course, always exceptions. If you find a synthetic blend and it’s absolutely calling your name, go for it, just know it probably won’t be your best long-term investment. In my experience, acrylic almost always leads to disappointment.
So, why does my blue sweater still look as good today as the day I purchased it, even though it’s from Target and cost under $25? Because it’s 100% cotton in a thick, heavy knit, and I’ve taken good care of it! All the sweaters I’ve chosen above for my Fall 2022 picks are made of 100% natural fibers (cashmere, cotton, or wool), and I’ve outlined some easy, basic care instructions for you below.
Welcome to sweater season my friends … if you choose wisely and care for them properly, their beauty and function with last for years!
A Beautiful Read & Story of Queen Elizabeth II in Photos
If you’re looking for an interesting read that will challenge your preconceived ideas (many of them probably informed by a biased media), paint a truly historical figure in a fair and accurate light, and teach you some fascinating tidbits about American history, pick up a copy of Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty by John B. Boles. Jacob and I are currently reading it together, and it’s wonderful. It is not only a page turner, but it treats Mr. Jefferson fairly: acknowledging his failures and contradictions, while celebrating the timeless principles and truths he authored as part of our founding.
And speaking of history, we saw the end of an era this week with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. She served England with grace, dignity, and class for nearly 70 years, and was the longest reigning monarch in UK history. Check out this beautiful story of her life in photos.
On a side note, for those who’ve been unkind towards the Queen (and Jefferson and other historical figures of the past), just some food for thought: perhaps we should refrain from judging people who lived decades or centuries ago based on the moral and ethical standards of today. Historical figures should be examined, analyzed, and appreciated based on the realities of their time. To do otherwise seems intellectually dishonest and grossly unfair, does it not?
An Easy, Yummy, Nutritious Breakfast
Have I mentioned how excited the kids are that our chickens started laying eggs a few months ago — and I no longer need to buy eggs from the grocery store! We have more than enough 🙂
With our garden overflowing and our egg basket full, I thought I’d share one of our new favorite breakfasts — garden and chicken coop not necessary! While everything you see here came from our garden and chickens (except the hash browns), all of it can be easily purchased on your trip to the store.
- Prepare 2 hash brown patties according to instructions and place on two plates
- Scramble 3-4 eggs — once cooked, split the eggs between the two plates, layering them on top of the hash brown patties.
- Top with 1 avocado (cubed), fresh chopped tomatoes, and chopped chives and dill.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt
Jump in and enjoy!
My Latest Vintage Art Piece — Free Download
I was hoping to share our laundry room reveal with you this upcoming week but there was a delay with our new washer and dryer, so it’ll have to wait one more week 🙁
In the meantime, as a little teaser, this gorgeous Monet, the Seine at Giverny, 1897 (which is free for download at the National Gallery of Art — click here), will be prominently featured! I adore this painting, and I was thrilled to find it available for download. I used mpix.com for printing, and purchased this frame from Craig Frames.
Wishing you all a wonderful week!