Tag Archives: fall

‘Tis the Season – of Indulging Your Taste Buds!

During the month of November, I’m participating in NaBloPoMo, where I try to write and publish each day.

I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me abandon any sort of diet or food regulations I might normally have going for me. Perhaps it begins with Halloween and the amount of candy that enters the house. Or it might have to do with being inside more often… which typically leads me to baking a lot. Or maybe it’s just that the holidays are full of sugary treats and fatty, sharable sides. Who knows. But what I DO know is that I LOVE food that tastes good.

Now, for me, saying “food that tastes good” covers a multitude of sins. I love fancy meals. I love farm-fresh eggs and meats. I love organic fruits and veggies. I love cuisine from all over the world (here’s looking specifically at you, Italy and Thailand). BUT! I also love a good slamburger (the term coined by my husband for a greasy burger from a no-name burger joint). I love a late-night hotdog from a street cart. Coldstone ice cream creations can cheer me up any day. My kids don’t have to beg to get me to eat at Chick-fil-A. To me, they taste good. And that’s what matters.

But this time of year, I lean in to those home-baked cookies, the cinnamon-sprinkled drinks, and the heavily-buttered breads or potatoes. I want large cuts of fatty meats (hey there, prime rib!) and richly-flavored, creamy soups (butternut squash soup, anyone?). And who can blame me?! It’s getting dark at 5:00pm and I’d like to have some compensation for the stealing of my daylight.

So today, I celebrate the pumpkin muffins with maple-pecan drizzle, the eggnog spiked with bourbon, and ramen from the Bahtmobile (our local Asian food truck). I celebrate shortbread cookies, King’s Hawaiian rolls (why are they so good?!) and 18-pound hunks of prime rib – if you’re having Thanksgiving lunch at our house, anyway. I celebrate good ol’ GBC (if you’re from around here, you should know that’s green bean casserole) and mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and Honeybaked Ham. It’s going to be a good couple of months, y’all, in the world of flavors. Indulge. ‘Tis the season!

Currently – November Is Here!

Happy November, y’all! I am loving the weather, the pumpkins on everyone’s front porches, the warm drinks, and the gorgeous colors around here these days. I’m linking up today with Anne in Residence and Julie of A Hopeful Hood. Join us and let us know what’s happening in your world currently!img_0358

Realizing || that I had been pushing myself too hard. I love running, working out, and being healthy, but I wasn’t getting enough rest/sleep to support my rigorous habits. So I’m trying to take more days off (or at least take it easier) and give myself a little grace when my schedule and lifestyle just can’t fit in that long run on my training itinerary. My second half marathon will just wait until spring.

Stirring || up the first cups of hot chocolate for the children, and spiced cider for myself! If I don’t feel like making the kiddos hot chocolate from scratch, Swiss Miss usually does the job for them… and my favorite store-bought cider is from Trader Joe’s! Less additives, more flavor – and spiked with some bourbon? Yes, please!

I wanted to capture the steam coming off the top of this cup, but I didn’t quite manage it.
Appreciating || the extra time I’ve spent reading recently. I’ve been watching a little less TV, listening to more podcasts (eating them UP actually – post coming soon) and reading every chance I get. “The chance” in my life right now looks like after the kids are in bed, while they’re napping, or real talk: on the toilet. But I’m reading through several at once (usually just one novel at a time, and several non-fiction of some sort) and enjoying spending more time in the quiet with some hot tea in my hand.

Here’s what I’m working with right now: top two I’m currently reading (or finishing finally), and the bottom two are next up. Not pictured: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. It’s on my Kindle, which just doesn’t photograph very well.

Investigating || the Enneagram, and therefore learning things about myself I didn’t know before… or, at least, I didn’t have words to describe it. I’ve just learned about the Enneagram (check here for a synopsis of what it is if you’re new to it, too) and finding out my type, and learning about it within a Christian perspective (with resources like this). It’s been so fun to find out my number, and read up on it! I’m a 4w3, categorized by most as The Individualist or The Romantic. The other exciting thing is that our community group is going to walk through the Enneagram journey together as well!

Following || Jess Connolly and Emily P. Freeman on Instagram! They’re my new follows of the month, and they post encouraging things almost every day. I’m also listening to Emily’s podcast, The Next Right Thing. And obviously I’m about to start Jess’s brand new book!

And here are the only Halloween photos I got yesterday. We had a great time with our neighborhood tribe, especially since we had to make up for being sick on Halloween last year!

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EK wanted to be “Blackbird”. As in the song by the Beatles. So obviously she won Halloween.

Currently: September!

Y’all! Is that fall I smell in the air?! I am beside myself for a this magical weather. Even if it just lasts until 10:30am, I am so excited for a cool down. It’s a glimpse of what’s to come, surely! Now if the rain would just calm down… but I know that I cannot complain, since those towards the coast are in for much worse pretty soon. 

This month, I’m linking up with Anne in Residence, and Lowanda of Sunshine and Elephants for our monthly Currently link party. Leave a comment, or link up and join us! Thanks for stopping by… and here’s what’s going on in my neck of the woods currently…

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Celebrating || the start of school! We’ve really amped up this year with our first true school experience (my oldest is off to kindergarten!) and the fact that the baby (age 2) began preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It’s blowing my mind that all three of my kids are in some sort of school! And that they’re even old enough for that to be happening at all… time flies when you’re having fun busy with small children!

Watching || Our TV shows that are starting back up soon! We are excited to continue New Girl and I’ll be glad to get going on This Is Us. We also flew through that new installment of the Netflix Wet Hot American Summer Series (Ronnie Reagan, yikes) while we were on vacation last month, and recently began our trusted favorite show for the hundredth time: Arrested Development (the original, though I’m sure we’ll watch the Netflix add-on of that as well). We’ve also recently watched all the Star Wars movies, and several of them with the kids. They looooooove them. #nerdalert

Welcoming || a little tease of cooler weather! All last week the high was in the mid-70s and I was not sad. I have a new pair of suede booties that are BEGGING to be worn (thanks, Target!) and my scarves have been forlorn in my closet for months. I know that it won’t truly be cold enough for scarves here in NC for at LEAST another six weeks but I am READY!

Preparing || lunches for my kinder-girl and breakfasts for all. I’ve been trying to get some semi-meal planning done, which for me isn’t necessarily preparing a week’s worth of a meal schedule, but more like baking (healthy) muffins for breakfasts (or lunch!) and making twice the amount of (again, healthy) waffles I need in one morning to cover another morning’s breakfast. I pack most of EK’s lunch the night before, since she mostly just snacks for lunch (raw carrot, pretzels, cheese, fruit, maybe a PBJ or a turkey wrap). If I’ve got leftovers I know for sure she’ll eat (here’s looking at you, mac and cheese) I’ll send those along as well.

Photographing || the first day of school, as well as getting a fall photo session booked. I want something updated for Christmas, even if it’s a hot mess like it sorta was last year. It’s still tough to get a nice photo with all five of us in it, and so I usually end up with a collage on our Christmas card. But I’d really like to have something approaching a nice family photo this year. SO – bribery it is! (Jelly beans and M&Ms work best for my brood.) Here are our first day of school photos:

So now, tell me: what’s going on in your world currently?

Friends and Fire and Fun and It’s Fine. 

We had a wonderful evening tonight. We went to our friends’ house and ate pizza and drank wine around their bonfire. 

It was an evening of not caring what the kids ate for dinner or whether they kept their coats on (it wasn’t that cold). It was an evening of catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in way too long, hearing our first “ghost” stories, and getting dirty with soot and sticky with half-melted marshmallows. 

I actually tried to take a few pictures. As you can probably imagine, they didn’t turn out well. Firelight is beautiful in person, but not as amazing when it’s captured by an iPhone camera. Round, red cheeks, flushed with cold and running around the yard. Pizza crusts on the ground, getting sniffed out by the dog. Sand, dirt, and grass making a nice coating inside jackets and boots. Scarves and hats blocking all the faces from view. 

I guess I’m okay with it. 

I’m really okay with it. 

Because these are the times that the pictures are etched in our memory by the firelight, and not by the flash. The faces with rosy cheeks and big grins aren’t because we shouted, “Say cheese!” They’re because we just played. We threw caution to the wind and let them throw logs (and their paper plates) onto the fire. We let them go in and out and out and in without micromanaging. We snuggled the children that weren’t ours and let our own run wild and share sippy cups. Because who cares? It was fun. It was fall, and fire, and friends. It was blurry photos, but who cares about that? We had fun. 

Currently

Happy Monday, and happy Halloween! I’ve never been more happy to not be in the classroom as I am right now. Monday + Halloween is the worst elementary school combo I can think of.

Since it’s already November,  I’m linking up with Anne in Residence and A Short Blonde for their first Wednesday link up as well. I haven’t done a little update in a few weeks, so here’s a little bit about what I’m currently doing!

Celebrating || my bestie’s new baby girl! She arrived last week, and I was excited to be able to spend most of my time in the hospital during her labor. It’s such an interesting and beautiful process, and it was really neat to be a part of it from the outside, versus being the mother in labor. Here’s a picture of sweet Adele being snuggled by my J.

Hoping || for a few good pictures for a Christmas card! My friend Mary Catherine was sweet enough to come take pictures of our family last night, and when I get done writing this post, I plan to go through them, and try to arrange a few for our Christmas card. There’s a sneak peek below…

Wearing || blanket scarves and ponchos and big sweaters. This is sort of new for me, but I found a couple of things at Target and one at TJ Maxx that I fell in love with, and they’re going to be my favorite accent pieces this fall. A couple of them are tribal patterns, which I love! They don’t work super well with coats, mostly because they’re bulky, so it’s likely that I’ll drop them when it gets really cold – maybe around Christmas time. This photo is a peek from our shoot with MC yesterday, and I’m wearing one of those pieces I love!

Enjoying || a quick date with Hubby yesterday afternoon! My mom has been in town for the past few days, and during naptime, she let us go to our local beer growler store and enjoy a couple of flights. It’s been a while since we were able to just sneak out like that. Our dates usually take a lot of planning.

Eating || So. Much. Pho. It’s such a good fall treat, and fairly healthy. If you don’t know anything about it, it’s basically chicken noodle soup, Vietnamese style. You can also get different kinds of meat, but it’s delicious broth, rice noodles, onions, bean sprouts, and toppings like cilantro, Thai basil, lime juice, and/or hot sauce. The weather cools off, and there’s nothing I like better to eat. The kids like it as well, so that’s an added bonus! But all this pho does remind me that it’s almost RAMEN TIME!

Googling || blog post topic ideas. I know that seems a little trite, but I’m going to join some writer friends in publishing a blog post every day for the month of November. It’s a spin-off of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which works for me, since I’m not writing a novel (and don’t really plan to). But I love writing, so NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) is a perfect excuse to write and write and write some more. When I began this blog, I wrote something almost every day for the first several months. But as I got busier and wrote about a lot of things that I’d been saving up for, ya know, the first 28 years of my life, I ran out of QUITE as much material. That being said, kids are constant fodder for writing, and the world is constantly changing. I plan to keep it up!

Well, this catches you up a little bit on my life. What’s going on with you currently?

Currently

Celebrating || Hubby’s birthday last Friday! His band played at our favorite pub for their ten year anniversary party, so the celebration was even bigger than normal! My parents were in town, and the kids got to hang out and party too, which is always fun! We were glad to celebrate Finnigan’s Wake AND Hubby!

Enjoying || cooler weather – finally! The afternoons are still warm enough to need short sleeves, but the mornings are delightfully chilly. I’ve even started a fire during breakfast, just to take the chill off! I don’t mind bundling up when I wake up, but my kids have complained about “freezing” when they get out of their beds. Just you wait, little babies!
Eating || pumpkin pancakes! We eat a lot of pancakes at our house, and so why wouldn’t I be adding some pumpkin in?! I typically just add pumpkin into our regular pancakes, instead of buying the pumpkin-flavored mix. They just taste better, they’re a little healthier, and I don’t have to add anything to my grocery list.

Making || SO. MANY. SOUPS. We have been experimenting and looking for recipes for different soups to try. Everyone in our family loves a good soup, we can usually make them fairly healthy, and it’s a less expensive way to feed everyone. On deck this week: butternut squash soup, and zuppa toscana (here’s a similar recipe, but we almost always just improvise).

Anticipating || a visit from my brother and his girlfriend this weekend! They’re coming to spend some time with us and the kids, and I’m REALLY excited. We haven’t gotten together in a couple of months (summer was busy for all of us) so I’m extra glad for some time with them! We plan to hit up the local pumpkin patch, and hopefully have a little Oktoberfest, among other fall-related activities!

What’s going on with you currently? What’s your favorite soup recipe for this time of year? Have you gotten your pumpkins yet, or celebrated Oktoberfest?

Currently

It’s October! Finally! I love October’s weather, colors, tastes and smells. Here’s a little about what’s been going on in my life…

Cheers-ing || Hubby’s cousin Liz and her new husband Taylor! Their wedding was a blast, and EK’s first that she will actually remember. She had a blast watching “the princess bride” (I made sure Liz knew that was her new title), dancing and eating cake. She also wore a dress I wore when I was her age. That was a special detail for me.

 Organizing || D’s new room! We recently moved him from the nursery (across the hall from our room) to his new room next to his siblings’ rooms. He’s farther away from us, but since he’s sleeping much better, that’s not a big deal. I think he likes being downstairs with his brother and sister, especially since it’s usually J that wakes him in the morning now. We’re mostly just taking out all of his clothes that he’s outgrown, organizing his diapers, sheets, etc, and putting some art on the walls.

Dreaming || of wearing the boots it’s still too warm to wear. Here in NC, it’s definitely cooled off, but it’s not quite fall weather yet. The afternoons are still quite warm, even if the mornings are chilly. If I don’t get a change to change midday (like usual) I have to layer to keep from sweating to death in the afternoon.

Buying || a couple of new dresses. Well, hopefully soon I will be. I don’t have much time to shop, and I’m always nervous to get things online. But many of my fall dresses are too big now (no complaints here!) and so I need a few dresses with sleeves to get me through the next two seasons. I don’t mind wearing a sleeveless dress with a cardigan, but many of mine are either thin (and I’d freeze when it gets cold), or they’re too summery-looking to put a sweater or boots with. Either way, I just need a couple more dresses that are long or 3/4 sleeve for church, or the occasional date night!

Listening || to Hillsong’s “Of Dirt and Grace” album. The tunes are stripped, mostly live versions, and I love it. The songs sound so much different, and much more worshipful, when they’re more realistic to how you’d do them in a worship setting versus in the studio. There are even songs that I didn’t think I liked until I heard them that way, and I like them now. It’s interesting how production can make such a huge difference.

Thanks to Anne In Residence and Jacqui at Drink the Day for hosting this month’s link up!