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!

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 🙂

Giving Thanks -TBB Asks-

I wasn’t sure what to write today (thus the late post), but I’ve seen this link-up floating around and figured why not. Linking up with The Blended Blog.

1) Gratitude Journal? I’ve tried. I started one in October but I’m terrible at remembering to write.

2) Hosted Thanksgiving? I don’t think I’ve ever hosted this holiday. I usually host Easter for K’s family. That’s my holiday. And I like to host because ham is the Easter meat and I don’t like ham so I usually serve something else 😀

3) Favorite food? Can I say turkey skin…? Seriously, though. And real mashed potatoes. YUM.

4) Nature: I love the stars. I could stare at them for hours. I’m also a big fan of trees & mountains.

5) Pumpkin pie? I’m not a huge fan of pie, but I’ll eat pumpkin as long as the whipped cream dollop is roughly the same size as the pie slice.

6) Traditional cookbook? Sure, but also Pinterest & Google.

7) Oven Baked or Deep-Friend Turkey? I don’t think I’ve ever had the latter. I’d love to try it!

8) Thanksgiving Leftovers? Um. Duh. Turkey, lettuce, tomato sandwiches allllll week.

9) Household product? The vacuum. #dogproblems

10) Home cooked meals or restaurant meals? Pretty much always home cooked.

In response to yesterday, I’m so freakin’ happy to see some representation in our politics. We have a long way to go, but so many women, citizens of color, and openly gay politicians took over their state’s representation. I think that’s awesome and a great start. 

Tell me about your Thanksgiving favorites!

Happy Halloween (Tag)

Tomorrow is HALLOWEEN!!

Tonight is trick-or-treating in my town & I’m so excited. I carved some pumpkins last night for the big day! Also, Saturday is our annual Halloween party so stay tuned for pics from that!

For today’s post I’m borrowing this Halloween tag from Stephanie. I’m adding to it, though.

Favorite Halloween movie? Beetlejuice. I don’t know if that’s considered Halloween or just creepy- but I love it.
Least Favorite Halloween movie? I don’t watch any slasher flicks, so I guess those would be my least favorite. Also… Hocus Pocus isn’t my favorite at. all. I know I’m in the minority here.

Favorite Halloween (or Halloween adjacent) song? Dave Matthews Band has a song called Halloween that I love.
Least Favorite Halloween song? I don’t really like Black Magic Woman or Somebody’s Watching Me. But I honestly don’t feel that strongly about it. Lol

Favorite candy? I don’t love candy but Twix bars, runts (the bananas!), and gobstoppers.
Least favorite candy? Candy corn is ew. Whoopers are ew. Peppermint Patties are ew. There’s a TON of candy I don’t like…

Favorite costume you’ve worn? Oh man… I don’t know. I’ve been Wednesday Addams & loved it. I was a Rockford Peach one year with Kyle as Jimmy Dugan. I’ve loved the majority of my costumes. My mom made me a princess dress one year- it was awesome. I’m SO excited for our costumes this year!!
Least favorite costume? My freshman year of college I went to a party and I was a “sexy librarian.” I was actually a mess and I HATE that I went with that. First because of the stupid “sexy” adjective but also because the costume suuuuuuuuuuucked. Shame on freshman Audrey.

Favorite Halloween related activity? As an adult, it’s our annual Halloween Party 🙂 I’ve always looked forward to decorating the house, trick-or-treating, and carving pumpkins.
Least favorite activity? I honestly thought I’d love passing out candy but our neighborhood is dull. Hopefully as they continue to develop it we get more kids!

Favorite Halloween decor item?  I just bought a vulture this year and I love him!! I named him Edgar. (I got him from Target.) I love all my decorations!
Least favorite…? Who are we kidding. I only keep the stuff I love and I love it all.

Favorite Halloween memory?  I remember getting dressed every year and setting out into the neighborhood with my parents and brother. We’d always run into friends in the neighborhoods behind our house, and then I’d creep around with them. We were the only kids on our street so our neighbors put together HUGE bags of candy and full size bars for us. It was great!
Also, my mom has always been SUPER into Halloween and I think that’s where I get it from. She still dresses up each year and goes all out in her 1st grade classroom!

I hope everyone has a safe & spooky & spectacular Halloween!

Share your favorite costumes or memories with me!

28 Things (because I’m turning 28)

Tomorrow is my birthday. It’s weird to be turning 28 because I feel like I was 18 or 22 or even 25 just last week. It’s weird to say I’m 28. I’m not bothered by it, I’m just confused about how I banked 28 years of life and where the past decade went…

But anyway, here are 28 things I know:

  1. Avocados are delicious. It took a while for me to acquire the taste, but YUM.
  2. You need to be passionate about something, even if it’s not what the cool kids are passionate about.
  3. There are no “cool kids.”
  4. Be friends with people you trust and love and want to succeed. It’s ok to not like or not get along with everyone, but when you find your people hold on to them tightly and lift them up and cherish those relationships.
  5. Horses are still terrifying.
  6. Sometimes it’s about who you know, but it’s always about how you treat them. Always.
  7. Kindness costs nothing but you’ll pay dearly for anger or hatred.
  8. No means no, silence means no, and walking away/resisting means no. And you are allowed to say no whenever the hell you want.
  9. Kids do not equal success. Owning a home does not equal success. Traveling all over does not equal success. YOU get to define your own success. Don’t hand that power over to society.
  10. Facebook sucks. If you have the willpower to quit it, you should. I don’t yet.
  11. Read more. Learn more. Talk with people from different walks of life. Educate yourself about what’s going on around you.
  12. Practice empathy, but don’t internalize all the world’s drama. It will 100% destroy you.
  13. Find role models. And change role models if you need to. Inspirational quotes actually go a long way.
  14. Meditation, prayer, yoga, exercise, gratitude journals… they all work. Get in the habit of doing something that works for you.
  15. Don’t let your fears control you. I’m still working on this one.
  16. Pay attention to who is excited to see you and to see you succeed and to share in your special days. Return the favor and love them completely. (This includes pets.)
  17. If you’ve ever thought about getting a dog, DO IT. And adopt from your local shelter.
  18. Pay attention to what you put in your body and on your body.
  19. But also, eat dessert whenever you gosh darn please.
  20. Cake and pizza are suitable breakfast foods. I don’t like pizza or (most) cake, but I’m giving you the go ahead to eat it for breakfast.
  21. Spend your money responsibly. I don’t mean save it- I mean research where your money goes when you make purchases and know who or what you’re supporting with the swipe of a credit card.
  22. LaCroix is gross. Sorry, but it is. (Hahaha. If you like it that’s ok, too.)
  23. You don’t need to find a life partner, but if you happen to meet “the one” make sure that person fully respects you & encourages you.
  24. I know it’s a popular phrase right now, but “self-care” is a real thing. It’s as easy as taking a bath, sleeping in on the weekends, or pouring yourself a cuppa tea and reading a few chapters.
  25. Go freakin’ vote. And don’t ignore politics. These things are happening in your world and they will eventually effect you. Stay on top of them.
  26. Learn the difference between effect and affect, who and whom, then and than, their they’re and there, etc. I’m still working on that first one.
  27. If you partake in the drink, know what cocktails you love and learn how to mix them correctly.
  28. Be unapologetically yourself. If you love Harry Potter or Disney or superheroes or fantasy or baseball or the beach or whatever. There is NO normal. There really aren’t any rules when it comes to being you. Identify what colors or things or people or places make you happy, and then invest in them wholeheartedly.

And that’s all I’ve got. Off to eat ice cream & donuts because I really don’t like cake that much.

Amazon-ing for the Holidays

Back in November I shared a post with my recent Amazon purchases. Compared to that one, this list is a monster. Ha. Many, many Christmas gifts came from the smiling box. Nothing here is an affiliated link and I have to give props to Rebecca Jo for the post idea.

Let’s do this…

B O O K S

The Complete Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Beginners: A No-Stree Meal Plan with Easy Recipes to Heal the Immune System
Purchased for my sis-in-law because she suffers from a very limiting chronic illness.

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities
Purchased for my other sis-in-law because I thought she’d like the strange and interesting stories.

The Magic of Motherhood: The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff, and Everything In Between
Purchased for my bff because she’s a momma who enjoys a good book.

So far the only feedback I’ve received has been from Erica who is loving The Magic of Motherhood!

The Sisters Brothers
Purchased for my husband’s grandfather because he loves westerns and I loved this book (& cover).

Q&A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal
Purchased for my 10 year old cousin.

The Girls’ Doodle Book
Also purchased for my 10 year old cousin (who enjoys art)!

C L O T H I N G

Sanuk Women’s Yoga Duet Sandal
Purchased for my mom because she liked mine and these don’t go through the toes.

Eddie Bauer Men’s Cloud Layer Pro 1/4-Zip Pullover, heather grey
Purchased for my dad-in-law because I thought he’d like it and most of his clothes get ruined at work. #welderlife

yige Women’s High Waisted A-line Skirt Skater Pleated Full Midi-Skirt, green
Purchased for me because I liked it… lol.

Large Trojan – Mascot Crystal Post Earrings
Purchased for my mom because she’s a school teacher at a school district with a Trojan mascot.

E L E C T R O N I C S

Pawbo Life Wi-Fi Pet Camera
Includes 720p HD video, 2-way audio, video recording, treat dispenser, & laser game…
Purchased for K (from Lylee and Enzo).

Oh my gosh, we love this thing. We haven’t used the treat dispenser or the laser game, but the video aspect is awesome.

Homeweeks 100ML Auto Off Ultrasonic diffuser LED Colorful Night-Lighting Aroma Mist Maker
Purchased for my 16 year old cousin because she’s a teen who could use some de-stressing scents in her life.

Pure Body Naturals Pure Therapeutic Grade Top 6 Essential Oil Basic Kit
Includes lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemongrass, orange, and peppermint…
I gave Allie the orange and lavender scents from this kit. I kept the other 4 🙂

G A M E S

TableTopics Couples: Questions to Start Great Conversations
My brother and sis-in-law like to talk to each other (weirdos) so I got them this.

Codenames
Purchased for our niece and nephews.

Sleeping Queens
Also purchased for our niece and nephews.

O F F I C E * S U P P L I E S

Blue Skyle 2018 Laminated Erasable Wall Calendar, Double Sided, 36×24
Purchased for me at work. Ha. Super exciting.

MyLifeUNIT Fineliner Coloe Pen Set, 10 assorted colors
I got this for Amber in our blogger swap!

Bloom Daily Planners Classic Planner Sticker Sheets
I also got this for Amber!

K I T C H E N

Masterbuilt 30″ Digital Electric Smoker
Purchased for K as his “big gift.” Hopefully this means I get a few more nights off where dinner is concerned…

Star Wars Lightsaber Salt and Pepper Shakers
Purchased for my bro-in-law who also has the R2-D2 cookie jar.

Ello Cole Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mugs
Purchased one for Kayla and one for Aubrey. I freakin’ love these mugs.

Fred MY TAI Unbrella Drink Markers
Purchased for Aub. (Kayla got the wiener dog ones but I didn’t buy them on Amazon.)

S U P E R * R A N D O M * G I F T S

Knock Knock Personal Library Kit
Purchased for my 19 year old college cousin because she is anal about people borrowing her books. She makes us sign them out. #perfect

Schwinn Air Center Plus Floor Pump with Gauge
My brother wanted a bike pump so I got him a bike pump.

Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit
…obviously purchased for Ly and Enzo. Turns out A LOT of people took advantage of this sale on Amazon. I’ll share the results when we get them 😉

Funko POP! Marvel: Dancing Groot Bobble Action Figure
My dad loves Groot and he’s a child so I figured he’d love this bobble head. I was right.

Seeing all the money I spent (through Amazon alone) is quite shocking. Maybe these recaps are a bad idea… hahaha. Fortunately, everyone seemed to really love their stuff (and truthfully I really love gifting people).

What’d you get from Amazon this holiday season??