Double double toil and trouble…

I’ve always wanted to throw a Halloween party. Always always always. My mom and I would dream them up all the time when I was growing up, but we never actually had them because life always gets in the way. But, this year, my friend Dianne and I hosted one and my dream came true.

We were coming down off of a very busy weekend of celebrating, so we were running on fumes, but it all fell into place. Dianne and her husband Pierce came swooping in, putting the finishing touches here and there. Pierce was a fantastic cohost, and a hilarious Eleven. Dianne, the best Barb ever, took pictures of everyone and made a fantaaaaaaastic taco dip. Luke came as a nerd, or a preacher, and kept snapping his suspenders all night. His wife, Autumn came as a cat, in her nurse uniform. They made corn dip and I’m still thinking about it. Trey whipped up these S’mores brownies, and it just now occurred to me that everyone was telling ME how wonderful they were all night, and I took full credit without thinking. *exhausted brains do weird things* Jerika came in full armor and her girlfriend joined her! Cal and his wife came as a wolf and a deer, and I just have to say that I love all of Trey’s friends. Trey’s sister came in with a plaid shirt, painted Stranger Things-y, and her hair wild and messy. My friend Xanna came as Sandy from Grease, but her cigarette broke immediately, so she was really just Xanna. Oh, and Trey and I were farmers. It was so much fun, and I can’t wait for Friendsgiving.

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One of my favorite things about parties is the snapshots that can be taken the morning after. Candle wax drips make me swoon.

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Halloween is tomorrow and I think that I will be spend the entire day taking naps, watching movies, and drinking leftover boozy cider.

Happy Halloween, ya spooks!

Good Together

This weekend, Abbey married Colby. The ceremony was beautiful with hawks flying overhead, and they were married beneath a tree, in her parents’ backyard behind their barn. Everything was perfectly Abbey. The reception was a wild dance party. Her godfather wore sparkly gold vans that he made himself “for his fashionista goddaughter”. The family brought out the Topper cigars that are present at every Crain/Roth get-together. There were moscow mules and manhattans for the sipping. The dinner was HeAvEnLy, and just so happened to be from the place where Colby asked Abbey’s father ‘s permission to marry her. I’m confident that every single attendee had a wonderful time, which I don’t believe can always be said for all weddings. This was special though. There is so much love on both sides of Abbey and Colby, and so much support that is ready to be given should the need arise.

Here’s a recap of the best wedding ever.

Thursday: I went up for the wedding a day earlier so that I could help finish up a few things and spend some time with Abbey. We went to dinner with her family and her *new* in-laws, and then spent the evening listening to Christmas music and wrapping up wedding to-do’s. Christmas music seemed to play in the background throughout the weekend, which kept everyone extra cheerful, and kept the bride calm.

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Friday: We had a slow start to the morning and sipped coffee on her parents’ back porch. We went on a scenic walk to get our heart rates pumping and to work off a little of that steak and wine from the night before. The rehearsal went well and then there was a Halloween themed rehearsal dinner for the two of them. There was a video, expertly made by her cousin Daniel, and there were speeches given by a few of their nearest and dearest.

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Saturday: Wedding day. The morning was moody and dim, which I’m thinking was meant to be, just so Abbey could  sleep in. We watched Father of the Bride and drank mimosas and snacked all morning, turning Christmas music on whenever Abbey started feeling a little jittery.

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We pampered ourselves, had our hair and makeup done, and just spent time together. Props to Abbey for finding a squad that is so easy to like and love.

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I mean LOOK AT HER. I would marry her.

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I only saw her for a few minutes after the ceremony because brides have to be on the MOVE. But, she looked phenomenal. He looked so handsome.

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BADA$$ BABEZ

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My three favorites. Notice that nod to GoT on Daniel’s jacket.

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Despite the chill in the air, everyone had a smile on their face.

 

Abbey and Colby, “may the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Mood Board

I have been thinking that it’s Monday all  morning, so we are off to a bumpy start. But, this is a huge week. Abbey gets married on Saturday! I’ll be traveling up to northern Alabama this weekend to spend time with her as we finish up wedding projects, and I am so excited.

I have one week from today to gather all of the pieces for my Halloween costume, and I still need to send out the e-vites.

I have to get my home 100% ready for the Halloween party, because we will be coming back from the wedding on the day of the party, and running straight into the kitchen to make goodies.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I won’t be able to scratch everything off of my autumn list, BECAUSE ONCE NOVEMBER STARTS, I’M A HOLLY JOLLY MONSTER. SO. I’ll move some things from the autumn list to my winter list, and all will be right in my world.

Happy Sunday!

Show and Tell

  1. I spent my entire Sunday baking goodies that I had been wanting to try. I baked these GF Chocolate Spinach Muffins. I believe that I added too much spinach, because they turned out well, looked pretty, but I just get this little twang with every bite. So, they’re just sitting in the fridge, going bad. I know that T won’t eat them if I won’t. So… bummer. I also baked this Paleo Apple Pie. I’ve made some goodies from The Bakerita before, and they are now regulars in our dinner line up. But, maybe I’m just so used to the Caramel Apple Pie that I make, that this one felt too dry to me. I know that it was my fault because I added some pizzazz instead of doing a lattice on top, and it resulted in a very bready, crusty top crust. And, the recipe calls for the remnants of the juices or liquids to be left out of the pie, but, I think I should have added them. So, T won’t mess around with Apple Pie because he hates the texture. SO. It’s all on me to eat this pie that was made with some v. expensive ingredients. So…another bummer. I also made this Zucchini Bread, which turned out so perfect, and rich, and it takes just like a very serious chocolate cake.  BUT, I’m so overwhelmed by all of the other goodies in my fridge that are going to waste, that I just feel guilty only eating this zucchini bread. And, to top it all off, as if baking three specialty treats wasn’t excessive enough for you, I made these Whole Wheat Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies. They looked nothing like the pictures, but T ate them all and raved about them.  There’s a lesson here: Don’t try four new recipes all at once, under any circumstances. Even if I had a lot of people around to eat them, it doesn’t mean that the dishes would actually get eaten. So, while it was fun, and I spent the day exactly how I wanted to spend it…I will be sticking to one recipe at a time from now on.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  2. I’m throwing a potluck Halloween party with a friend this year, and I cannot wait.
  3. Anthropologie’s holiday decor has made me very riled up, which you probably gathered from my last post. But, here are some of my favorites: the merry fishmas ornaments (I don’t understand them, but they make me giggle), this pom wreath (I would rather make my own, but this one is so much fun!), every single one of these pearly glass globe ornaments, all of these mini bulbs, these botanical globe ornaments (I’m planning on making my own), this Cardinal clip ornament. My mom always had bird ornaments clipped onto our Christmas tree, and I know that Papa would have loved this cardinal. This pumpkin pie ornament, and all the other food ornaments (but I don’t really want my Christmas tree covered in food).
  4. Trey and I have started watching Newsroom and we can’t get enough of it.F1F915C9-327F-49FD-8EAE-E6BB29C72EB5
  5. Some of my mornings are spent driving around my city, finding things that I haven’t seen before. A couple of days ago, Trey and I stumbled right up on this little Christmas store that has been around for thirty years. Trey had a long conversation with the sweet, elderly owner about Alabama’s football situation this year (that’s all I can tell you). But, the woman was as knowledgeable as he was, and they had fun together. And, we found this stunning home.

Practically Screaming

I’ve said it countless times: I love autumn. BUT  EXCUSE ME BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO COMPLETELY LOSE MY SHIT BECAUSE IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS AND I CAN’T STOP PLANNING CHRISTMAS CRAFTS AND ORNAMENTS THAT I’M GOING TO MAKE AND CHRISTMAS TREE THEMES AND MY MIND IS A NON-STOP SLIDESHOW OF CHRISTMAS TREE FARM PHOTOS, ANTIQUE CHRISTMAS CARDS, IMAGES OF GARLAND STRUNG UP JUST SO, AND I AM JUST LOSING MY MIND OVER HERE BECAUSE I DOVE IN TO CHRISTMAS WHEN I SHOULD HAVE WAITED JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER. BUT EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I START EARLIER AND EARLIER, AND I THINK I’M JUST ABOUT TO GET STARTED BECAUSE OF HEART PALPITATIONS.

I MADE A LIST YESTERDAY OF CHRISTMASSY CREATIONS THAT I’M GOING TO MAKE, AND THEN JUST NOW I WENT TO PINTEREST, AND BECAUSE OF ALL THE INTERNET COOKIES, OR MAYBE CHANCE, OR PINTEREST’S ALGORITHM, OR BECAUSE OF SOME GODLY FORCE, EVERYTHING ON MY FEED WAS CHRISTMAS AND THAT IS WHAT SPARKED THIS VERY EMOTIONAL POST.

I spent the last several days nose deep in Anthropologie’s Christmas preview, and it has wrecked me. “Where are you, Christmas? Why can’t I find you?” Oh, because it’s still over two months away? That makes sense.

I just realized that I didn’t even mention Christmas baking, and I haven’t even started researching recipes, so now I want to scream about that. BUT I WON’T.

 

Someone help.

My Autumn 2017 List

I was inspired by Kelle Hampton and her summer 2017 list. I loved seeing her and her family scratch things off of their list of to-do’s, knowing that they squeezed every bit of life out of the summer season. Some of the to-do’s on her list were: epic lemonade stand, drink from a coconut, go to the movies on a rainy day, twirl in a sundress, buy corn from a midwest farm stand, have a water balloon fight, family night swim party, and so much more. So, seeing that her list ranged from big to teeny tiny small. Mine does too.

  1. Go to a pumpkin patch
  2. Carve pumpkins.
  3. Bake cupcakes with Jena.
  4. Bake cookies for work.
  5. Bake sweet potato bread.
  6. Bake whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies.
  7. Hike the arboretum with Jena.
  8. Drink hot apple cider on the Weichman’s front porch.
  9. See a drive-in movie.
  10. See Abbey get married.
  11. Go to McGee farms in Florence.
  12. Learn how to make Papa’s biscuits.
  13. Have mom’s beef stew.
  14. Spend the weekend at the Weichman’s and wake up early for a scenic drive.
  15. Take Jon to the zoo.
  16. Eat a caramel apple.
  17. Make new turkey shirts for Thanksgiving.
  18. Watch Coraline.
  19. Watch The Addam’s Family (the original).
  20. Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  21. Watch Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.
  22. Watch Frankenweenie.
  23. Watch The Corpse Bride.
  24. Have a Harry Potter marathon day.
  25. Watch You’ve Got Mail.
  26. Go on a hike with Trey.
  27. Buy a new autumn nail polish shade.
  28. Have waffles at The Pantry.
  29. Work in Papa’s yard.
  30. Watch the sunrise somewhere.
  31. Watch the sunset somewhere.
  32. Go apple picking.
  33. Spend a day antique shopping.
  34. Go for a drive.
  35. Go on an early morning walk.
  36. Take Christmas card photo.
  37. Collect “pinecorns” with Jon.
  38. Bake a “Friendsgiving”.
  39. Do SOMETHING on Halloween.
  40. Buy a new pair of super cozy socks.
  41. Go on at least six drives just to see the changing leaves.
  42. Go to a football game.
  43. Have a game night with Dad, Lisa, and Andy.
  44. Have the cousins over for a weekend.
  45. Make chili.
  46. Buy a new candle.
  47. Make a Thanksgiving food that’s new.
  48. Bake a pie other than pumpkin and apple.
  49. Bake an apple pie.
  50. Have Trey make his cinnamon rolls.
  51. Have a bonfire or campfire.
  52. Roast marshmallows.
  53. Find that perfect table that I’ve been looking for.
  54. Spend a day watching football with Trey.
  55. Go to Florence’s Renaissance Faire.
  56. Show the cousins how to play train and Phase 10.
  57. Get that new HP book.
  58. Get outside and use my camera.
  59. Get an autumny latte.
  60. Feast and Forest’s fall treats.
  61. Have a scary movie night with friends.
  62. Hike in a Natl. Forest.

I’ll be checking things off through November. But, I know that in November, I’ll make a winter to-do list and it’ll be twice as long. These are the things that I live for.

P.S. I’ve already been scouring the internet for Christmas decor. I love me.

Home-Home

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I went to Florence last weekend for a visit that lifted me up and left me feeling a million times better. It’s always hard to go home, because I know that I won’t want to leave when my visit is over – especially during the holidays. I’ve always been a homebody, meaning that so much of my years were spent right at home. My mom and I would have “spa nights” together while all of my friends were at the movies or out getting ice cream. She and I would order our favorite salads, put on face masks, and curl up on the couch with movies that are now woven into every fiber of my being. This is why I can quote Notting Hill, You’ve Got Mail, Chocolat, Sabrina, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, One Fine Day, Two Weeks Notice, Pretty Woman, French Kiss, and many other 80’s and 90’s chick flicks backwards and forwards. We would bake together, and she and I would decorate for holidays as a team. At the very beginning of October, she would let me bring out the Halloween decorations, and I’d string faux spiderwebs down the banister. I’d bring out her vintage Santa collection, and arrange them just so for Christmas. We never missed decorating the Christmas tree together as a family. But, time passed, college happened, I moved away, my brother moved out, he traveled the world, and things slipped through the cracks. Now, she gets a tree whenever she has a chance, and we hope we are able to come help her decorate it. These are the bitter things about being home. I remember all of the things that I miss out on, and I know that I’m never around for things to be like they were.

But, the sweet things about being home are the new memories that we make. My dad moved into a new, beautiful house that is perfect for them. My mom and I make lists of everything we want to accomplish, and are doing a pretty good job so far of checking things off of it. My brother bought a house that I know is going to be a perfect home base for all of his travels to come to an end.

I’ve found that I’m making new, sweet memories every time I drive through the city of Florence and remember this parking lot where all of my friends piled in the back of Hope’s SUV. I pass the spot where I had my first kiss, and the park where I would take Jon to throw rocks in the river. I take the back roads that I would drive in high school, just for fun. I pass the church that used to be the movie theater where I met my first boyfriend. I pass the coffee shop that I’ve been going to since before it was Rivertown, near the park where I once saw a stranger wait with a red rose for someone who never showed up. I pass the cemetery where I attended a policeman’s funeral. I pass the park where I rode a tandem bicycle with my friend Samantha. I pass County Rd. 42, where I said something funny, which resulted in Hope making me a cd of songs, with my quote written in Sharpie as the album art. I pass the store where my mom used to buy soy milk for Jon, because all other milk made him sick. I pass the fairgrounds where I first saw my Wybie – my pup that my dad and stepmother have made their pup *grumble grumble*. I pass the clothing shop where my mom and I would get those little mini cheesecake bites during the Christmas parade. I remember feeling so fancy next to her, with her lipstick, and her wool coat, and her perfume floating along with her. I pass the ballpark where we would watch Andy play little league baseball. I pass the gas station where my dad met me after I walked up on my mom’s house after someone had just broken in. I was panicking and I couldn’t find my mom, but my dad rushed over to save the day. Oh, and my mom was at ballroom dance lessons the whole time *grumble grumble*. I pass Stagg’s, where my dad and I would get hamburgers when I worked in the chemical plant with him that summer. I pass the place where he and I bought my steel-toed boots, and I remember thinking that I felt so badass, and that the old men in the shop couldn’t handle my badassery. I pass the Indian Mound, that I visited once, and the restaurant that used to be Tourway, that I went to countless times. I pass Trowbridges, the ice-cream shop that I would walk to with my grandmother when I was very small, and then later as an adult with all of my friends. I still remember the pansies that were planted all around her apartment complex, and pansies always make me think of her. I have memories tied into every inch of my lovely hometown, and when I go home, they flood my heart and send me swimming.

Seeing things through a new, matured lens makes me want to hug my younger self, even if I’m sometimes embarrassed for her. I want to hug all of these memories close and never let them go.