Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 13: Favorite Seasonal Candy

For the most part, candy isn't very tempting to me.

I love dark chocolate, Jelly Belly jelly beans…and the occasional Snickers bars…but when it comes to most candies, I pass.

And seasonal candy? Peeps, Cadbury Eggs, gumdrops…I avoid them.

But there is one seasonal candy that I love: candy corn.

Now, I'll enjoy Brach's candy corn any day…but a few years ago, I was introduced to Jelly Belly candy corn.

I was a little skeptical, but when I tried it? Yum.  And it's a bit hard to return to Brach's afterwards! It's not easy to find, but if you have a grocery that carries Jelly Belly products, you just might see a little package of their candy corn as well. And you should try it.

Do you have a favorite seasonal candy?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Day 12: Favorite seven year old

Today, my baby girl turns seven.

Madeleine brings us joy and laughter every single day. She is spunky, sweet, thoughtful, and sincere. She loves anything sparkly, reading, and playing with friends outside. And she thinks breakfast in bed is the best thing ever.  She is most definitely the baby of our family, and we all adore her.

Happy 7th Birthday Sweet Madeleine! We love you!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 11: Favorite blog "round-ups"

One of my favorite types of blog posts to read are those blogs who feature a weekly "round-up" of what they've enjoyed from around the internet. I love finding new sources of inspiration and reading articles that I haven't come across before!

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite blogs who do that today, as you usually see these shared on the weekend!

The Handmade Home features Handmade Savvy Saturday is one of my go-to spots for finding DIY projects around the web.

The Art of Simple selects a few Weekend Links that usually include something fun, a video, and thoughtful articles.

Nesting Place features Weekend Links, which she files under "Bird Watching." Love that. Her features tend to lean towards home decor and inspiration.

Modern Mrs. Darcy shares Links I Love which prominently feature book-related articles. I'm always in the mood for a good book recommendation.

Elise Blaha Cripe features Weekend Links that combine crafty with smart and recipes. Her style is a bit more modern than mine, but I love the inspiration found on her site.

I'd love to hear your favorites from around the internet!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 10: Favorite new (to me) company

I first discovered LS Slipcovers when I came across this photo from Holly Mathis' instagram feed:

I loved the details of the chair, especially that oversize monogram, and enjoyed reading about the artisan quality of these slipcovers. The only drawback was that this company was in Houston, TX.

Fast forward a couple months. Over at Nesting Place, Myquillyn shared that Laura and Nathan of LS Slipcovers would be doing a southern tour, meeting clients in their homes and designing slipcovers by pin-fitting the furniture and then taking the fabric back to TX and mailing it a few weeks later.

I called and spoke with Nathan that same day. My slipcovered chair that had been purchased for our nursery 11 years ago was in need of a new look to coordinate with our now nursery-less home.

After a few weeks of planning and working out details, this week I drove up to Atlanta with my chair to meet Laura and Nathan (and their adorable children!) It was so much fun to watch Laura take pieces of linen and pin-fit my chair…it's a bit mesmerizing to watch! They were both so kind and friendly and personable. I felt like I was just hanging out with friends. Before I knew it, an hour and a half had passed and we were done.

And now I get to anticipate receiving my new slipcover!

So here's my chair. I love this chair…it just needs a fresh look! I chose a flax-colored linen, and asked for small box pleats, similar to this picture below but ones that skim the floor, as I want to hide the gliding mechanism.

I'm so excited I can hardly wait! So in the meantime, I'm  thinking about what else I could have slipcovered!

If you're in Texas, you should definitely check them out…but I know they are working on ways to work with out of state clients, so don't let your location hold you back from getting in touch with them.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Day 9: A favorite moment remembered

I imagine I'm a lot like many of you. I have a great idea for a family photo, and I can't wait to make it happen. A few years ago, I saw several cute shots taken from above of families lying in lush grass.

So back in the summer of 2011, my extended family was together at the beach…taking a few large family shots on one of our final nights all together. And there was this great grass.

So I convinced Brent it would be cute (and worth the effort) and we began. The two of us laid down in the grass and then aunts and uncles and grandparents helped the kiddos get into place. My sister sweetly took pictures (gaining height by sitting on her husband's shoulders.) We tried a few different arrangements, but it wasn't long before our littlest was done.

We got a few shots that (while not exactly what I was imagining) were still good and special with everyone making a face that could pass for happy.

But maybe my favorite one now? This one:

One of the final shots. Madeleine is crying. Nathanael is being silly. Or trying to make his sister (or Aunt Katy) laugh by making a face. Hadleigh is sweetly smiling, but I remember her asking if we could be finished yet because the grass was itchy.

And Brent and I are just laughing. Soaking up the crazy moment. I look at this picture, and I can remember this moment so clearly. And it makes me thankful for saving the not-so-perfect pictures, because that's where memory lingers.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Day 8: Hadleigh's 11th Birthday Breakfast

Today is our precious Hadleigh's 11th Birthday! It's hard to believe that eleven years have passed since we first looked into those blue eyes…but there she is, on the verge of being a young lady and not just my little girl.

Happy Birthday, my Hadleigh girl. You bring me such joy…you have taught me so much…and you make each day sweeter with your gentle smile, generous heart, and giant hugs! I'm so thankful for you and eager to see all that this coming year will bring! 

It is one of our birthday traditions for the birthday girl (or boy) to choose the meals for their special day. This year, Hadleigh chose our family's favorite pancake recipe. So in honor of her birthday (and in the spirit of revisiting old favorite recipes), I'd love to share our deliciously easy pancake recipe!

We love these plain with syrup…but we also find them perfect for adding your favorite fruit or topping, especially blueberries, chocolate chips, or pecans!

The Best Buttermilk Pancakes Ever!
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg

1. Melt butter and allow to cool. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

2. In another bowl, combine liquid ingredients. Add liquids to flour mixture and whisk until just blended. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat griddle. Pour batter onto griddle and cook until pancakes are bubbly and the edges are slightly browned. Flip and cook approximately 2 minutes on other side. Keep pancakes warm until ready to serve.

Yields: about 12 medium-sized pancakes.

And it seems like it was just a few moments ago that this two-year old Hadleigh was helping me make these pancakes!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Day 7: A character I've grown up with

I don't remember how old I was when I first met Anne Shirley. But I quickly realized that she was a kindred spirit…though I never knew the term until I met her.

I think I probably first read Anne of Green Gables when I was in fourth grade. We had recently moved to North Carolina, and I can remember exploring our street with my brothers, pretending to "run away" but never getting past the "haunted" cottage that we glimpsed through the old hemlock hedge at the end of our street. All my memories there are laced with a vocabulary and imagination that reminds me very much of Anne.

My picture of Anne is a cross between Megan Follows' on-screen portrayal of my favorite character and the drawings of Anne on the covers of my copies of Anne of Avonlea and Anne of Windy Poplars. As a child, I admired her courage, smiled at her curious shenanigans, and wished to have such a loyal friend. I identified with her love of the beauty surrounding her and found someone who had similar romantic notions as I.

Before long, I had read all eight "Anne" novels (followed by everything else Montgomery wrote) and was so thankful to get to follow the eleven-year old girl for much of the rest of her life. I always dread a book ending at the "happily ever after" point…I always yearn to know "what's next" and with Anne, I got that.  

Tomorrow, Hadleigh will unwrap her first copy of Anne of Green Gables…I'm so excited to share this favorite character with my almost-eleven year old. Autumn always seems to be the perfect time to reread Anne…and I think I will read along with Hadleigh. I understand Anne from a different perspective now…a teacher…a wife…a mother…but when I open my well-worn and well-loved copies and read their pages, I am reminded of the girl I used to be.

Do you love Anne as much as I do? Share your favorite character with me in the comments!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Day 6: A Favorite Antique Shop

One thing that I want to start sharing more often is favorite spots to shop, eat, or enjoy in the places where we've called home over the years…or from our travels.

I love browsing antique stores. Sometimes I'm on the hunt for something very specific…and other times I just happen upon something that I love.

Whether on the hunt or just window-shopping, my all-time favorite antique spot is in my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. The Antique Tobacco Barn is a must-see if you love thrifting or antiquing and happen to be visiting Asheville. 

screenshot of the website

From fine antiques to well-worn pieces that need some vision and elbow grease…bone china to children's tea sets…you will find surprises around every turn. I always leave, brimming with ideas for something to look for or a new way to use something I have at home! 

I loved this stack of colorful ladders a few years ago…and I'm wondering now why I didn't take home one or two of those crates pictured above!

Near these Ball jars, I discovered one of my favorite finds on a trip with my Mom. We found a couple of vintage Biltmore Dairy milk bottles. We excitedly took them home…a sweet reminder from both of our childhoods: enjoying the company's ice cream at the Biltmore Dairy Bar!

The Antique Barn is a spot I try hard to visit each time I'm in Asheville. And lately, Hadleigh has loved visiting antique stores too…so I love getting to share some of these trips with her too! Can't wait until my next visit!

Do you have a favorite antique spot? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Day 5: A verse I love

Okay. I can't really narrow down the Bible to just one verse that I love.

But this one has been a good reminder lately:

Far too often, I spin my wheels and make my plans and fret and cling white-knuckled to having control. I make myself dizzy, trying to figure everything out.

But all that frantic mess drives me to turn my eyes to Him, and He reminds me.

"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

And then I see how He has fit pieces together and they make so much more sense in His order and His time and His plan.

In the midst of another move, in the midst of our adoption journey, in the midst of homeschool and house hunting and relationships and children…in the midst of all that life brings, I am clinging today to this verse.

I hope it encourages you today too.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Day 4: My favorite outdoor spot

Almost a year ago, we added a hammock to this corner of our backyard. There is a little cluster of trees that provides the perfect amount of shade for resting, reading, or dreaming in the hammock.

I love wondering where the kiddos are…only to look and find them talking together on the hammock. I love overhearing their adventures while running around it. (I think it looks like it would make a pretty good ship, personally.)

I love it when Brent says he's going to go read a book in the hammock…but he takes a pillow along too!

And hearing Hadleigh ask if she can spend her quiet time on the hammock on a nice afternoon reminds me that a hammock was the perfect birthday gift for her last year.

I love piling into the hammock with them to read and talk and just enjoy being together.

The autumn is my favorite time of year to be outside…and we are finally enjoying some cooler temps now! Do you have a favorite spot outside? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Day 3: A Fun and Healthy Find

I'm hoping to share some fun things this month with you as well. 

My parents gave me this Citrus Zinger water bottle recently, and I LOVE it.

I've been trying to drink more water every day and naturally flavored water is my favorite way to go. This water bottle allows you to add fresh fruit or veggies to your water and then you just keep refilling all day long.

As pictured above, I've tried clementine oranges, limes, and strawberries so far. And while they've all been delicious, I drank the most water when it was strawberry flavored! There are so many flavor possibilities! And the fruit continues to steep the water as long as you keep filling it up.

The water bottle comes in four parts: lid, upper canister, reamer, and base. The base and upper canister twist apart at the green ring. The reamer locks onto the upper canister. You simply place you fruit on the reamer and twist to begin to release the juices. Then attach the base tightly and fill from the top with water. The mouth of the bottle is wider than a typical bottled water, so it will easily fit ice and is comfortable to drink from.

I love drinking "spa water," so to be able to easily make it at home is such fun!

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Day 2: Worth Subscribing

Over the years, my magazine subscriptions have varied…from style magazines in college to scrapbooking subscriptions in their heyday…to home decor.  

My all-time favorite magazine EVER was (and I think will always be) Cottage Living. I was so very disappointed when they ceased publication. I happened to subscribe from the very first issue (I think I received a card in the mail to try it out), and I have saved each and every issue. I still love to flip through those pages. I've used so many of their ideas and tried and loved so many of the recipes.

Does anyone else miss it too? I keep hoping that just maybe they will start again. We can hope, right!?!

In the meantime, there are three home magazines I have subscribed to for a long time:

As I grew up, my Mom subscribed to Southern Living. It seemed only natural to continue the tradition in my own home! I have lived in five (soon-to-be six) of the southern states that it features and love learning about the different regions of The South. I have seen this magazine change over the years, but it always remains true to its purpose.

The mix of home decor, regional travel suggestions, and unique southern products are my favorites. The garden section makes me want to try my hand at planting something new. And the recipes. Oh the recipes. I have yet to make something we haven't loved. I use SL recipes all the time when I have company because I know that I can count on them to be delicious. And I never miss reading that last page written by Rick Bragg.

I discovered Victoria right after we got married. I loved the warmth of the photography and the beauty of the writing immediately. There was an artistry to the way they featured home and travel and the outdoors that I fell in love with immediately. I was saddened when they ceased publication shortly afterwards…and then elated when many years later, they renewed publication!

I look forward to the issues that feature France and England and tempt me to travel to faraway places. I love the featured writers and artists in residence…and I love how they include poetry in their pages. (I just wish they'd bring back their "Calling Cards" feature…where I first started to appreciate unique business cards!)

And finally, Better Homes & Gardens.  I love the monthly focus page…the featured color page…and the DIY projects. I love that I often see the homes and spaces of favorite bloggers featured in the pages! And again, the recipes are some of my favorites! It was the last magazine to join my favorites, but I'm glad to say that I look forward to its arrival each month!

I will often pick up an extra magazine or two at the newsstand throughout the year, but these are my very favorites.

How about you? I'd love to pick up a new magazine for the fall season so share your own favorites with me in the comments!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

31 Days: a month of favorites

For the last six years, Myquillyn over at The Nesting Place has hosted a challenge to blog each day in October. This will be my third year to participate, and I'm hopeful about writing each day this October. It's going to be a crazy month with lots going on, but I have missed writing here and hope that participating again will encourage my writing!

I had several ideas over the past few months for what to focus on, but due to our schedule this month, I've decided on a topic that will be a bit easier for me to keep up with.

This year, I'm sharing A Month of Favorites. 

It seemed like a perfect choice; after all, October is my favorite month! (And that photo above? Yep. Hydrangeas are my favorite flower!) You can expect to find me sharing favorite projects, favorite recipes, favorite tips, favorite vacation spots, favorite products and MORE!

I hope you'll join me here each day this month and share your own favorites in the comments with us! 


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