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!

I’ll Be Home For Christmas…

Everyone’s posted a holiday home tour but me (or so it seems ). Let’s fix that!
(Check out other people’s houses, too! Mattie, Emily, Taylor, Michelle)

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Typically the decorations go up mid-November, but we don’t get our tree until December. This year we really procrastinated. I knew I wanted a smaller one this year (and we set up a larger one in K’s company office), but I don’t know that I was picturing it this small… Perks to buying your tiny tree the Saturday before the holiday weekend? We got it half off. Say hello to $10 ‘Ronald Trees-ley”:

ronald_trees-ley
Yep, he’s real. Both of them.

Ok… on to the house tour.

No house light this year. Just my sled & fox.
No house light this year. Just my sled & fox.
Favorite holiday spot in the house
Favorite holiday spot
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K and I are the snowmen, Ly is the “woof”, & Enzo is the fox

Ronald, Enzo, & Ly

If you missed it on IG here's one of my favorite ornaments!
If you missed it on Instagram here’s one of my favorite ornaments!
I think we have five nativity sets in our house...
I think we have five nativity sets…
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I love this little cutout in our house

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What a Christmas wreck... ha.
What a Christmas wreck… ha.

Where all the magic happens ;)

And there ya have it. We only decorate the first floor, although there is a pine candle in the basement. Sorry my pictures aren’t high quality… that’s just life!

. . .

I’m going to get religious for a minute.

I am a firm believer in faith by example. Rarely do I mention religion here on my blog, but I don’t shy away from identifying as a Christian. It’s my hope that through acts of kindness and openminded-ness toward others I get across what I believe to be the important parts of being a Christian. I think that being ‘Christian’ means knowing that you are flawed, seeking forgiveness and wisdom, and spreading kindness and love to the other flawed humans (and animals) on this planet. We’re meant to love and take care of one another. I don’t think Jesus cares if you voted Republican or Democrat (or Independent). That doesn’t make you a better Christian. I don’t think Jesus cares where (or if) you got an education. That doesn’t make you a better Christian. I don’t think Jesus cares about your skin color, gender, pay grade, criminal record, or hobbies. I think that Christianity is about serving Christ- and since we have no idea what He looks like or when He’ll appear, it’s best to serve one another with a happy, genuine heart.

All that to say, Merry Christmas, friends! (And if you celebrate a holiday other than Christmas, I welcome your festive greeting! I do not feel like there is a war being waged on me or the holidays I celebrate, and I hope you feel the same.) If you’ve ever thought about visiting a church you should slip into one on Christmas Eve and listen to the story of the birth of Jesus. If you live near me and you’d like someone to go with I’d be more than happy to have you along!

If you are not a Christian or you celebrate another event this time of year: Happy Holidays!  ❤︎

christmas

Regardless of your beliefs, spread a little love and cheer and kindness this weekend, friends! Thank you for your friendship here in Blogland ❤︎

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Things I’m Thinking About

It’s Labor Day, yo! Happy Labor Day! (Well, to the US folk…)

Since it’s a holiday I get today off from work.
When my brain’s not busy doing work/daily routine stuff it’s busy thinking about random stuff…

My local yoga studio is offering a 30 day yoga challenge starting Sept. 12th. For $60 you can sign up to take a yoga class every day for a month. It’s an amazing deal, but only if you actually go to class. Their classes are held any time between 5:30 am and 7:30 pm. This is their second time offering this challenge and I’m so tempted but sooo doubtful (of myself, ha).

Chelsea had her baby and I am SO excited for her & Ryan!! Here’s a pic of the new family  ❤︎

On Saturday I’m starting a new volunteer opportunity. I’m super pumped about it and I plan to blog about it soon. Obviously it has to do with animals 🙂

My grey hair is coming back with a vengeance. Good thing I have a hair appt. on Thursday.

I’m in a book rut- I’m currently just reading one book and I don’t care about it. I need to start a good one soon…

On Saturday, all by 10 o’clock am, I made the bed, folded laundry, enjoyed a doughnut and cup of tea, finished the book I was reading (no, not the one I just complained about), and took the dogs on a long walk. I felt pretty dang accomplished and adult-ed.

I think I kicked my caffeine habit a few months ago, but now it’s back. Dagnabbit.

My baby brother & new sister were in town this weekend & I’m so glad I got to spend ample time with them!

In college we didn’t get Labor Day off and I was cheesed about it every year, but as a graduate I totally get it. I hadn’t really labored yet- I didn’t deserve the day. (Haha, I’m kind of kidding. I’m still irked we didn’t get the day off.) Whatev, guys. I have the day off today so I’m letting bygones be bygones.

Short and sweet and random. Go swim in a pool or crash a BBQ once you’re done here 🙂

summer swim

Today is the last day I’m allowing “summer” to be a part of my vocabulary until 2017.
Byeeeeee, Summer!

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The Holiday Weekend

It’s been a while since I posted a weekend recap- mainly because my weekends are typically laid back and slow- but this past weekend we crammed a lot into those beautiful three days of freedom!

F R I D A Y

If you’re new here you might not know that I gave all four years of my high school life to my school’s band program. I lived, breathed, ate, and slept band (or drumline). My town still has a strong band program and part of the reason for that is the healthy support of alumni. At the end of my high school career a new tradition was started for alumni band members to come back and march in the 4th of July parade with the current band. This alumni parade happens every four years and this year happened to be it.

In this video the very first person you see conducting (in red) is K’s friend. (He’s a band director is central OH who we don’t get to see very often.) The next person you see conducting- the wonderful older woman in black- is Mrs. Graham. She’s the saint who keeps music alive in our area and beyond. She is the most dedicated, hard working, kind, selfless person you will ever meet. She’s smart and sassy and everything in between. She’s the one who heads up this crazy event every 4 years. The current students are in white, the alumni are in red. There are over 200 alumni.

K and I were both band nerds percussionist in school, but we didn’t sign up to march in the parade this year. Instead, we cheered from the sidelines and attended the alumni banquet/reunion afterward. It was nice to see friends from my school years, K’s high school years, and even my dad’s years in band. (K was four years ahead of me in school so we have a wide mix of friends. My dad is a band alumni, too, but he’s a little rusty when it comes to playing an instrument now.)

S A T U R D A Y

On Saturday morning my doll of a husband headed off to a “man’s breakfast” without me. (Turd.) I spent the morning picking up the house and weeding the driveway and cuddling the dogs. When he finished breakfast he stopped at home quick before jetting off to another boys-only event. This time, a bachelor party for my brother in Columbus, Ohio.

My homemade breakfast :)
My homemade breakfast 🙂 eggs & peppers and a smoothie

I spent the afternoon cooking some food, cleaning some nooks, and getting ready for evening festivities. I put together some Turkey Salad Skewers, left the pups at home, and joined my parents at family-friends’ pool party. This was one of three parties I was invited to, but I only made it to this one. After some pool time I drove my little introverted booty back home and snuggled into bed with the dogs to watch the NASCAR race 🙂

Holiday_weekend_2

I came home to be with Lylee for the fireworks. We live close to the city park where they set them off and we don’t like to leave her on the 4th of July. Enzo, of course, couldn’t possibly care less. We can actually see the high fireworks from the backyard and he sat on the patio furniture and watched them. Ha.

S U N D A Y

K returned to me around 5 am which disturbed my slumber and ruined my plans to attend church. We ended up getting a late start and I had just enough time to run to the grocery store & whip up a Berry Cheesecake Salad for an afternoon cookout at K’s aunt and uncle’s house. We spent some time sipping adult beverages with his family before popping out to my parents for a second and then heading to my grandparents’ house for an evening dinner. (We typically get together on Sunday nights with my family at my grandparents’ house, but this Sunday my grandparents also had guests in town which made dinner even more eventful.)

A some point in the evening one of my four cousins made a comment about going to see Finding Dory at the drive-ins. After much debate and discussion (and a few sparklers) we decided that I should take my four cousins to the movies. (Cousins’ ages range between 8 and 17.) K opted to go home and take advantage of the empty house so I loaded up my car and we went to the first feature at the drive-ins. The movie was cute- more humor and less sadness than Nemo.

M O N D A Y

On flag holidays (Memorial/4th/Labor) my family all meets bright and early in Amish County for some breakfast. K and I opted for a productively lazy day after that. He hardwired the new garage door opener into the garage (so glad I married a handyman!) and I left town for a bit to shop for vacation! (There are lots of stores about a half hour north of us.) I snagged a dress shirt, a t-shirt, some sunglasses, and a pair of flip-flops at NY&Co for $25 🙂 I also got some goodies at Target.

Since I’m a total psycho I started packing for vacation as soon as I got home. (We don’t leave for another few days… ha.) I realized I needed my big suitcase from my parents’ house so we hopped in the car and headed out there. On our way back into town we stopped at First Town Days- which is the city’s 4th of July festival at the park- and got some deliciously bad food for dinner: two sausages on a bun, fair fries, and sugary lemonade. We ended the night/weekend on the front porch in the chairs K put together.

Holiday_weekend_3

This week mirrors the craziness that was my weekend… We have dinners and vet appointments and last minute chores and get-togethers and a wedding. (Yes, I am counting down the days to vacation. Ha.) But what’s life without a little excitement, right?

Linking up today/tomorrow with Kristen & Gretch for What’s New With You?

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What's New With You

#Hashtag-Schmashtag

It’s Wednesday and I am so total ready to just check out. #ButICan’t

Today I’m linking up with:
Laura and Lauren and Nadine and Kathy and Alanna and Sarah (Plucky)! (Whew, that was a long one!)
Time to confess…

Since Sunday I have worked 24 hours at my full time gig & 6 hours at the part time place, spent 8 hours in a car, survived IKEA, and attended a major sporting event. #BringOnTheHolidays #IWorkRetailOnBlackFriday #ICoordinateAWeddingOnSaturday #I’mPrayingForSundayToArrive

We spent Monday night in #CLE watching the #Cavs beat the Orlando basketball people… (I don’t know who they are…) #IStillDon’tGetSports #WeBoughtShirtsToFitIn

Speaking of sports… my one true love just wrapped up another season and I have to wait until next year for more races #IAlreadyMissYouNASCAR #Let’sGoRacing

south park gif

Fallout Boy is in my top 3 favorite bands. I feel like that alone is a confession… #EmoKid4Ever #WhereIsYourBoyTonight #Guy-liner&SkinnyJeans

I will do everything in my power to avoid letting my food touch on my plate tomorrow. #ExceptMashedPotatoesAndGravy #YummmmyMashedPotatoes

thanksgiving_meme

Monday I gushed about the blog world, but we have some crazy-cool IRL friends, too. #ThanksForTheTickets,Nic&Erx #ThanksForGoingWithUs,Woz&Kelsey #ThanksForHangingChristmasLightsWithMe,Kayla

I’m secretly looking forward to working retail on Black Friday… I know that’s weird. #Hello6am #IWantToSeeCrazyPeople

And on that note, I’m off to work a full day and then enjoy four days off from my full time job! Woot woot!

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Favorite side dish? Are you venturing out Thursday night or Friday morning to score some deals??

-Louise

Hashtaghumpday

hump

HUMPDAY CONFESSIONS

Halloween Costumes | Part 3

Three days until Halloween!! The rest of my week consists of last minute costume details, pumpkin carving, house cleaning, and food prepping! In hindsight, I should’ve written a post about dog costumes, especially since Ly & Enzo will be adorable this year, but I just didn’t have the time/interest. I did write a few costumes posts and a party-prep article:

Today I will share some last minute costumes that are easy to assemble and can be made with household staples or a quick trip to the store!

Cat
Last night our local mall had a two hour trick-or-treat event. Since I work part-time at a retail store there I was lucky enough to be scheduled & pass out candy! I had to come up with a costume fast and my mom just happened to have ears and a tail in her costume box. Add some black clothes, a little make-up, and voila!

halloween_costumes

. . .

Medusa
In college I had the genius idea to buy a white bed sheet, find some plastic snakes at the dollar store, and experiment with fake lashes. Medusa was a super easy costume to whip together in a day!

halloween_costume
(Another shot of cute little Dobby.)

. . .

Cowgirl
Everyone has a flannel shirt. Hat and boots are optional so long as you can braid in some pigtails and dot your cheeks with freckles! (I actually dress like this sometimes (sans the freckles), so it’s not really a costume to me… haha.)

halloween_costumes
(source)

. . .

Ninja Turtle
This one takes a little more effort, but my friend Sarah made these costumes with some ribbon, green shirts, and paint!

halloween_costume

. . .

A Witch
If you don’t have a witch’s hat lying around I bet you can find one at ANY store this time of year. Spice things up and use some hair chalk to turn your locks green or glue beetles to nylon stockings and make people squirm!

halloween_costumes
marthastewart.com

In case you’re wondering, our costumes are coming along quite nicely. We have a local costume store in town that rents costumes so I have a green dress on hold for Saturday. Kyle’s costume is a DIY project and I think we finally have all the pieces.

He would be upset if I revealed his costume before the party so I’ll tell you about the dogs instead 🙂 Enzo will be Buzz Lightyear (a costumes that has served us well three years in a row) and Lylee is going as Crush the turtle from Finding Nemo!

Do you dress up your pets? Have you ever been a “monster” (i.e. witch, vampire, ghost) for Halloween?

-Louise