Fall Recap | What’s New With You

For the link-up today I’m recapping some of my fall adventures! I didn’t share about my trip to Daufuskie Island in October or our Halloween party at the start of November or our most recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg. So today I am 🙂

This is gonna be a long one…

Daufuskie Island, SC

Aubrey wanted to vacation with Kayla & me at the end of October, but her girlfriend Megan was offered a free stay at an island condo that same week. We urged Aub to GO on that vacation and take advantage of the opportunity. And then Megan invited us to secretly come along!

The island was small & adorable. It was too cold to swim in late October, but we spent lots of time outside in shorts and sweatshirts. We stayed from Thursday morning to Sunday morning.

You access the island by boat. There’s a slow moving ferry (runs on a schedule/takes an hour to cross) and then there are water taxis. Megan kindly arranged for our crossing on a taxi. The ride was cold and awesome and quick- about 25 minutes- and the two different captains we had both had dogs onboard.

The island had a very small general store (a few necessities but mostly souvenir-like items), a school, a fire station, and some small businesses. We visited the rum distillery, the two little wineries, the wood shop, & Lucy Bell’s Cafe. There was also a golf course and coffee shop on the island but we never found them.

That goat tried very hard to eat my lunch.

We used a golf cart to get around the island. Might I recommend a gas powered cart over an electric one? Ours died twice. We charged it at the fire station and bummed a ride home from a fireman the first time. The second time it happened we left it at the station and walked the 2+ miles home.

We might’ve trespassed at a rundown abandoned hotel.

Aubrey is a chef & she cooked for us most of the week. (She relaxes by cooking- no one forced her.) Our food was SO GOOD all weekend. Aub even sent us home with breakfast sandwiches when we left on Sunday morning.

Our final night & the Sunday boat taxi.

It was a really nice trip. Almost everyone was friendly and helpful, we got to explore and nap, and I only came home with 56 mosquito bites. (I think I got them on the last night while collecting firewood.) I’m so glad Megan invited us along!

2018 Annual Halloween Party

I know everyone is in Christmas World and long past Halloween, but I wanted to share pictures of the party. 🎃 We throw one every year, and I love seeing the costumes and visiting with our friends and family!

I sucked at taking pictures this year. Food included the puking pumpkin, a veggie tray, dead man’s toes (smokies wrapped in bacon baked with brown sugar), buffalo chicken dip, & pizza.

Those dragon toes (the grapes) were a new addition. SUPER easy and a huge hit.

Soak a whole bunch of grapes in vodka for at least an hour (in the fridge).
Remove grapes and dry them. Prick them with the toothpick and partially dip them in heated caramel and roll them in crushed peanuts. Refrigerate so they firm up & serve ’em.

I made some mummy & witch cupcakes, too.

The guests that came in costume were ah.may.zing. Our friends did a duo lamp theme- she was the leg lamp (above) and he was the PIXAR lamp. We also had a bearded friend come as Paul Bunyan, complete with Babe the blue ox. We had a Bob Ross (plus his wife as a tree and newborn daughter as a happy little cloud) and a kitty and a butterfly. These were our costumes:

(HINT: )

I won’t lie. My absolutely favorite costumes were my brother-in-law and his wife. I freakin’ screamed when they walked in the door…

(You can check out our past years here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014..)

*In between the Halloween party & Williamsburg we threw my mother-in-law a surprise birthday party. We also traveled to Indianapolis for five days on business. And I was also sick- BLEH.*

Williamsburg

My brother lives two hours south of us so my mom LIVES for holidays and family vacations. This year she combined the two and whisked us all away to Virginia.

…can you tell how tired we are? We had two days in between trips.

This was my second trip to Colonial Williamsburg. Back in April K and I visited Gettysburg for our anniversary. I really love historical sites- there’s something eerie and whimsical and humbling about them.

We split our time between Williamsburg (Th/F) and Jamestown (Sat). It was in the 40s and awfully chilly, but the holiday cheer kept us warm.

My favorite building in Williamsburg is the Governor’s Palace. I feel instantly transported back in time when I walk through that structure (above). Both Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry called the palace their home post-colonial era. And the gardens out back freakin’ give me life. I love walking through them (below).

We arrived on Thursday and explored a little, then had our Thanksgiving dinner at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern. We spent Friday morning touring the (colonial) public hospital, which specialized in mental health and chronic illness- the first of its kind in North America-, and The Art Museum of Colonial Williamsburg.


K and I love to sit in museums and talk sh*t about people in paintings. Like, honestly, who gave the creepy baby a dead pigeon to play with?!

We had the pleasure of listening to a crazed right-wing “christian” shout about how we’re all sinners while we waited for lunch. I honestly though my dad (a republican), my brother (a devout Christian), and K (just a take-no-sh*t kind of guy) were going to drag his ass behind ye old courthouse and beat some sense into him… LOL. We took a selfie instead.

If you’re thinking, “Can her brother GET more hipster?”- the answer is no.

Then we were off to explore the book bindery and the printing house.

On Saturday we ventured to Jamestown but it was p.o.u.r.i.n.g. They had a really really nice museum with a special exhibit on the women of Colonial Jamestown, though. We probably spent almost 3 hours in the museum. We skipped the outside village, though 😦 Cold and wet would NOT have been a good look on any of us.

The first picture is an incredibly accurate depiction of my family.

We ended Saturday with some outlet mall shopping and an evening screening of The Grinch (which was SO cute). Then we hit the road Sunday morning and headed home.

And with that I can now officially close the door on fall.

I’m sooo looking forward to this month. It’s a somewhat lazy month with lots of holiday parties. We’ve got no travel planned (so far… that can always change). It’s the calm before the 2019 storm. I’m very excited about it and ready for it 🎄

Tell me about your fall adventures! Is December a slow or crazy month for you?

Linking up with Kristen!

The Roaring Swing Groovy Fabulous Blog Collaboration | The Recap

HOW ARE WE HERE?

Welcome to the final installment of the #RSFGBlogCollab for 2018! We went back and forth on how to set this post up. We settled on a “Best of the Best”category, a “Through the Ages” category, and a recap of “On Deck” recommendations from the year that I did end up getting to!

Be sure to link-up with Alexandra and I to share the period books and movies and tv shows that you’ve read and watched!

Best of the Best

If I could sum up all my recommendations and give you a TL;DR of the very best…

You need to read Serena by Ron Rash and Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (1920s) and Ashley Weaver’s Amory Ames series. Also, dip your toes in the Agatha Christie pool with And Then There Were None (1930s). Obviously read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (1950s) and alllll the Harry Potter books (1990s). Both of my 2000s books are must-reads: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.

You need to watch The Mummy (1920s), A League of Their Own (1940s), Roman Holiday, & Clue (1950s). In our family, Secondhand Lions and That Thing You Do are considered classics (1960s). If you haven’t seen the Harry Potter films (1990s), what are you waiting for?! Also, Talladega Nights (2000s) forever and ever.

You need to binge Downton Abbey (1910s/1920s), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (1920s), The Astronaut Wives’ Club (1960s), The West Wing (1990s/2000s), & The Newsroom (2000s).

*the Miss Fisher’s series is currently making a movie !! And a new series !!

If you are a history lover, you should check out the following podcasts, too!

Through the Ages

I read a lot of historical fiction (and some nonfiction). Here are some of my favorite books, movies, and television shows that pre-date the 1900-2000 we covered this year!

Books
(1521) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but when I was in HS it was one of my favorites. It was my (fictional) introduction to the Tudor family and it’s where I fell in love with them. I HATED the film they made from this book, but I actually like the movie version of (book) cover art. I love the green in Natalie Portman’s dress. The movie suuuuuuucked, though.

(1609) The Gentleman’s Poet by Kathryn Johnson
Again, I read this book quite a few years ago, but I loved it. I was in colonial Jamestown over Thanksgiving and they mention this wreck in several stories/museums. I loved that I had a little backstory from having read this- even if a large chuck was dramatized fiction. This is a sweet little love story filled with adventure, survival, and Shakespeare.

(1850s) The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
One of my all time favorite books ever. (Thanks, Jana!) It’s much darker than I typically read and there isn’t a sparkly happy ending, but DAMN this book is good. The characters are likable and hateable. The story is violent and touching. The setting is awesome. It’s a western, but almost like a Quentin Tarantino western. It’s also a movie now, too. (I won’t be seeing it because I can read violence- I can’t watch it.)

*It’s funny and amazing to think that people were living like the characters in The Sisters Brothers at the EXACT same time as those in my next book, Gaslight. I feel like historical fiction opens your eyes to the unique paradox of our history. Yes, it’s fiction, but these setting happened. 

(1861) A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews
I’d be shocked if this wasn’t on Alexandra’s list– she recommended the book on her blog. This is a cute, festive, romantic novella. It’s perfect for a) Christmastime and b) historical fiction lovers. Nothing too steamy in this short romance- just playful banter and gorgeous holiday scenes and the potential for a happily ever after.

(1949-1970s) 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
This book technically fell into our collaboration timeline, but I didn’t read it until the decade had passed. (Thanks for the rec, Michelle!) As I’ve recently mentioned, this true collection of letters is a sweet and short picture of Miss Hanff’s interactions with an English bookstore staff. It’s lovely and heartwarming.

Television
(16th century England) The Tudors
This is probably my favorite tv series. The costumes and the stories and the history… plus it’s not too violent as far as Showtime period dramas go. Let’s be real… the women shouldn’t be quite so exposed and Henry VIII should be WAY fatter- especially by the end, but I’m good with it. Also, Natalie Dormer and Henry Cavill are in this series and they are HOT.

“On Deck” Reviews

Books
(1940s) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
So good. I’m so glad I read it. It was sadly sweet & hopeful. A good WWII novel without too much death and despair.

Movies
(1940s) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
A little different from the novel, but equally sweet and charming. I recommended this movie to my grandparents (they loved Downton Abbey) and they LOVED it (without having read the book)!

(1990s) Empire Records
Lots of bloggers rave about this film. (Stephanie’s blog is named after a line from it.) I’d been meaning to watch it but this collaboration finally pushed me to do it. Plus, I found it on Netflix. It was very teen-movie-nineties and I loved it. I loved the relationships and quirkiness of all the characters. It was kind of silly but I really like the take away.

Television
(1930s) And Then There Were None
I ended up finding this 3-episode mini series on hoopla. Holy sh*t, I loved it. It was a perfect dark British mystery. And while Philip Lombard (Aidan Turner) was a very, very terrible man, he was freaking smokin’. Hot damn.

Thank you SO much for going on this historical ride with us!! If you want to relive any of the past decades you can check them out here: 19101920193019401950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000

Check out Alexandra’s wrap up! Don’t forget to link up below!

 CLICK HERE to join in the fun & visit other blogs!

RSFG Reminder

Coming in hot on a Monday. I know this is off schedule for me, but I wanted to remind you about our LINK-UP tomorrow for the Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration!

Come link-up with us tomorrow and share your favorite historical/fiction books or movies or tv shows. Or review some that you hate. Or share a gift guide for the history lover in your family. The options are endless- just tie it back to history 🙂

See you tomorrow for the link-up, friends!!

Waltz Into December With a Happy Heart

Last year I remembered seeing a reverse advent calendar (maybe on Jana or Kathy‘s blog?). I struggled to come up with a fun advent calendar for us in 2017 so this year we’re going to give this a shot…

Steph donates money every year on New Year’s Eve to a charity so that’s my plan once the advent season if over. Chances are all my funds are going to a humane society or dog shelter.

If you click on the image and save/print it you can join me! It should be the perfect size to print on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper 🙂

Christmas Movies to Stream

I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving. No denying it now- we’re officially officially into the Christmas season 🎄

Last year I put together a list of classic Christmas movies and I did my best to watch as many as I could. I’m married to someone with a heart slightly larger than the Grinch (pre-Cindy Lou Who), so we don’t binge holiday films every single night. (You can bet your ass I still play holiday music all the time, though.) We almost always watch The Polar Express and The Santa Clause, though. And I like to watch Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas and all the 1970s stop motion films.

Anyway, this year I’m talking over the apps and watching some cheesy Netflix (& Hulu & Amazon Prime) Christmas movies. I kind of feel like those platforms are giving Hallmark a run for its money! Here are the movies I want to see:

The Royal Ones
A Christmas Prince
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
The Princess Switch

The Convenient Love Ones
Holiday Engagement
Christmas With A View
A Christmas in NY (hulu)

The Small Town Feels Ones
Christmas Inheritance
Coffee Shop
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (Amazon Prime)

The Magical Ones
The Holiday Calendar
The Christmas Chronicles
How Sarah Got Her Wings

The Classics
The Grinch
White Christmas
Love Actually
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas
Miracle on 34th Street (hulu)
It’s a Wonderful Life (Amazon Prime)

I should note that I’ve already watched A Christmas Prince and The Princess Switch. (Yay, sick days.) Both were cheesy but cute. Which is the norm, I think. Lol. All of these are Netflix films unless otherwise noted.

What holiday movies are you streaming this year?

I More Than Love You

Last week we kicked off our trade show/travel season at work. It’s a six month chunk with roughly nine potential shows or competitions spread throughout. (We also do a trip in August.) I spend a great deal of time with my husband regardless, but traveling together pushes us physically closer for longer stretches of time in higher stress situations.

So natural I got to thinking about our marriage.

I really enjoy my husband. I think he’s funny and witty and smarter than even he knows (and, trust me, he thinks plenty highly of himself). He’s sarcastic and not romantic (in the traditional sense) and not nearly as sentimental as me, though, so I don’t always tell him how gosh damn wonderful I think he is.

But I realized this weekend- five years post wedding & 11 years after agreeing that we should, in fact, date- that I ought to tell him sometimes.

I drank a few adult beverages one night on our recent business trip and *accidentally* gushed to a mutual friend about how our business’ success is 50% luck and 50% my husband (plus all the people we’ve had cycle in and out over the last 6 years, self included). I told them that K has a large ego so I’d never tell him this, but he’s so damn smart- socially & logically. He has no business or engineering education but he’s really done something incredible with the company.

The applicable part of this story is that I have these thoughts about K but I don’t ever tell him. Maybe our marriage is rare, but I doubt it. Chances are there are some “obvious” things you admire about your spouse (or grandma or brother or best friend) that you don’t tell them because… well… why would or should you?

So I’m encouraging you to tell them. It makes your marriage or relationship or work experience or neighborhood that much better. People like being told that the things they’re doing and saying every single day are being noticed and admired and appreciated.

They say to tell loved ones that you love them. Or to say thank you more often. Or to spend quality time with people. But I also encourage you to notice what you admire or appreciate about someone & tell them.