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!!

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!

The Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration | The 2000s

Ok. How the heck are we at “2000s”? I swear we just kicked this thing off with 1900s/1910s. So crazy how fast this year went in Blogland. Don’t forget– next month we’re hosting a LINK-UP for any and all period dramas, historical/fiction books, and historical movies that you want to review or share!! That will be Tuesday, December 4th!

(Check out Alexandra’s post today, too!)

And now on to the sweet 2000s.

On the first Tuesday of the month, February through November, we’re highlighting books & films from/about specific eras that we recommend! (Television shows, too, sometimes!) There’s no commitment or link-up during those months on your end, but in December we’ll host a recap/link-up for the entire year!

I thought it was hard to find books set in the 2000s.

B O O K S

One of my all time favorite books is The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein). The reader is introduced to Enzo and his family- and Enzo is a dog. It is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, real books I’ve ever read. And of course I loved it because Enzo is named after the same person/car that my Enzo is named after 🙂

I have no idea why, but The Royal We (Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan) is one of those stories that has stuck with me. I already loved the royals (whom this book is not-so-loosely based on), but something about the personalities and hardships of each character in this book really stuck with me. It’s kind of long, but I enjoyed all the drama and romance and parallels.

M O V I E S

(2001) It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Save the Last Dance but I loved this movie when I was a teenager. Julia Stiles is such an underrated actress and the whole love story between her and Sean Patrick Thomas’ character is beautiful.

(2001) Does anyone NOT love The Princess Diaries (and also, has anyone not seen The Princess Diaries?!)? I love this adorable movie and the star power this one packs is insane. Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, Mandy Moore, Sandra Oh… And Brink.

(2001, 2004, 2007) My love for the Ocean’s movies knows no bounds (including Ocean’s 8!!). I’ll admit that, as far as the male cast movies go, 11 is my favorite with 13 being a close second. I’m crossing my fingers that we get a 9 and 10 (with the ladies!) because this franchise is the best.

(2004) My favorite Pixar movie is The Incredibles. I love the story and the musical score and each character. Violet and Dash’s relationship is my favorite. I haven’t seen The Incredibles 2 yet but I need to!

(2006) It’s no surprise that Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby shows up on my list. We probably watch it every time it’s on TV and we definitely quote it daily. Damn- it’s just so funny and good and quotable. Especially for a NASCAR lover.

*dates indicate both when the movie was released AND when I think it was set

B O N U S

I mentioned The West Wing in our 90s post but most of it takes place in the 2000s. Seriously guys, if you haven’t watch it yet, DO IT.

Has everyone already seen The Office? It’s hysterical and awkward (and mildly not PC). Easy to binge, easy to follow, good mindless television.

On Deck…

Middle school/high school (without Hulu or Netflix) made me miss a lot of good shows. I’d love to watch:

  • Veronica Mars
  • Friday Night Lights
  • 30 Rock

Be sure to hope over to Alexandra’s blog and check out her recommendations!

Next month we are linking up & we want you to join us!

Did you watch or read any of our suggestions from year? Maybe you thought of your own recommendations and you’ve been waiting for the right time to share them! Perhaps you just *happened* to read a book from the 1950s and you want to review it!

There’s no right or wrong way to link-up with us! Just do it! We will see you December 4th for our final Roaring Swinging Fabulous Groovy Blog Collaboration post!! Join us, won’t you?

Check out our past posts from this series: 19101920193019401950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990

A Crisp Morning Coffee Date

I show up for our coffee dates about every 2 months it seems. I’m a little late with this one. Oops!

Linking up with Kristen for What’s New With You? today.

If we were sitting down for coffee I’d have to lament about the end of my favorite month. October kicks off the best quarter of the year (in my opinion) and it’s always bittersweet to say goodbye to the month. But I’m excited that the holidays are around the corner!

If we were having coffee I’d admit that I’m still recovering from our quick 5 day trip to Daufuskie Island, SC. My best friend & I drove through the night (Wednesday) to surprise our other best friend, who was on vacation with her girlfriend. We had been planning it for months and the surprise was perfect. Our time on the island was so relaxing. Here’s a link to the super quick video of the surprise: https://splice.gopro.com/v?id=yPjm4K

While sipping on our pumpkin lattes or maple coffees I’d probably gush about some of my birthday gifts. K got me tickets to see the Columbus orchestra play at a screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 🙂 My mother-in-law spoils me with a week of birthday gifts and some of my absolute favorites this year included this pillow, this skirt, and this wine stopper!

I’d also share about the new underwear I just got! (A little weird, I know, but what better way to end 2018 than cleaning out your delicates drawer and adding some comfy, quality undergarments?) Tommy Johns Underwear reached out to me a few weeks ago and set me up with some ah. may. zing. underwear. So soft and comfortable, dang near invisible, and it stays in place. I got a pair of their Cool Cotten Cheeky, Second Skin Brief, and Air Cheeky. I’m not kidding when I say I love these styles and all three materials!

When draining our adorably fall coffee mugs I’d ask if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve done it every year, but never to completion. I’d really like to push myself to do it this year… I haven’t decided which novel idea to conquer, though.

Before we pull on our coats and dig for our keys I’d ask about your holiday plans. Are you doing anything fun for Thanksgiving? We have a business trip this month, then we’re spending a little bit of time in Williamsburg on a family vacation. I love historic little villages & I’m super excited. November is kind of crazy for us and I’m hoping for a slower December. How about you?

Sigh. I guess our coffee date would have to come to a close now… I’d head back to work & hopefully you’d head off and do something fun (like an apple orchard or pumpkin patch- fall isn’t over yet!).

Share with me what you’ve been doing this fall & tell me about your early winter plans!

Currently…

HEY HEY HEY! It’s fall AND it’s October! Welcome to my month, yo!!

Can you tell that I’m currently happy & enjoying this time of year?

Linking-up with Kristen for the best month’s edition of What’s New With You?. This is a long one…

Today I am currently:

Celebrating… my little Enzo! Today is his 5th birthday! I can’t believe our puppy baby is already 5. It hurts my heart and my head and my soul to think how little time we get to spend with our fur family. Good thing Enzo is living until the rip old age of 80. He’ll be putting me in a home some day.

Grateful… that my September challenge is over. I tried- I really tried. I am not a morning person. UGH. I think I’ve settled on a wake up time of 6:30am (most days). I was attempting to wake up at 6am every work day last month. I failed soooo hard. Yikes.

Moving on to… October’s challenge! This month I am not yelling or raising my voice with Lylee. Y’all… she is freaking stubborn and way too smart and incredibly defiant. She’ll still have to follow commands and be disciplined (inevitably), but I’m not going to raise my voice. (Lylee is a dog for anyone who’s new here.)

Working on… filling out my 2019 planner. I know many of you don’t think I’m nuts, but my husband & coworker give me quirky looks when I tell them that I order a planner/calendar/work planner for 2019. I don’t care- I love it.

My personal planner is from Plum Paper 🙂 (no affiliated links- I just thought I’d share pics)

(This is my third year with Plum Paper. Would anyone be interested in a planner post? Just highlighting how I like to use it?)

Reading… the last two books for Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge! One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake and After Alice by Gregory Maguire.

Watching… all my tv shows that are back! The Good Place, Superstore, and The Voice are all back on tv! I typically catch the comedies on Hulu a day or two later. K and I watch The Voice together each week.

Listening to… Ben Rector’s new album Magic & Thomas Rhett’s album Life Changes. We just saw Ben Rector again (for the third time) two weeks ago and he was as fantastic as he always is! His music is very appealing and relatable for late 20- & 30-something year olds.

Planning… our Halloween party among other things. This year the theme is famous people- real & fictional. (So you can’t just say you’re a dog or a ghost, you have to be Scooby Doo or Casper.)

Paying for… our builder to come back and add on to our back porch. We also *finally* brought in painters and our kitchen, living room, foyer/hall, bedroom, and master bath are PAINTED!

Wearing… all the jeans, all the sweatshirts, all the cool weather clothes. Last spring I bought myself a pair of lace up Vans (these) and last month I got a pair of Chuck Tailors (these). I honestly didn’t realize how badly I needed these shoes. I either wears my Vans or my Chucks almost every dang day.

I also recently bought these jeans from ON (I LOVE THEM) & this lounge sweatshirt from ON (so dang comfy!).

And also I just got my hair done last night!

Looking forward to… meeting K’s cousin’s new baby, my birthday, a fall trip with my loves, our Halloween party, celebrating birthdays, a business trip in November, and Williamsburg with the family over Thanksgiving!

Eating… as many fall things as I can get my hands on. Soups, Halloween candy, fall flavored donuts, caramel apples…

Drinking… lots of fall flavored coffee in the morning and relaxing tea at night ❤

Praying about… the world. It’s infuriating. Lack of respect, equality, common sense, and human decency are not a part of this Christian’s agenda. (Don’t get me wrong, in addition to praying I’m also voting, making calls, and writing letters.)

Thinking about… how I love this month and hate the world right now. How being an adult looks easy when you’re young, then you arrive and it’s like shit. How much I love my friends and how fortunate I feel to have *real* people on my side and in my corner at this stage in life. How K might be springing a last minute company cookout on me this weekend, lol.

Donating/Ditching/Regifting… hundreds of items around my house for the #MinsGame! And tracking it all on Instagram.

And that’s it. That was a long-ish post. If you made it through, thanks! Tell me what you’re currently up to!