Yesterday, T and I celebrated the six year anniversary of us dating. We transplanted all of the seedlings that have been taking over our kitchen for the last couple of months and spent the whole day working in the yard. He is still fascinating to me and I think that he is the most fun.
I’ve been researching recipes of all sorts because if all of the fruits and veggies that we’re planting actually take off…we’re going to be swimming in fresh produce. A few that I’m particularly excited for: this fig and prosciutto pizza (since we have a fig tree!), this Mediterranean recipe, and this recipe for chicken thighs in a creamy tomato sauce.
I’m also reading a lot about canning and how to do it properly and safely. I’m excited to be able to give away tomato sauces, jams, pickles, beans, salsas, etc. When I was growing up, my grandparents had a closet in the garage where they stored all of their canned foods. Everything looked so pretty in the jars, it seemed like every shelf was always full of corn, okra, tomatoes, beans, peas, green beans, squash, and so much more. Because Martha Stewart is just…a dream, I’ll use this article as a guide when I start canning.
I’ve been reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and it just solidifies my love for her. Click the photo at the very top or below for one of the many articles displaying photos that Julia’s husband took of her.
- I want to bake THESE and THESE chocolate chip cookies asap. They're all the rage right now and I want to give some baked goodies away.
- Trey and I are still struggling to figure out a routine that balances work, our commute, and everything else that we want to do daily. Right now, the only sure thing is that when we get in bed, we will read Harry Potter. We're rereading the series right now, and we're starting The Order of the Phoenix tonight and I can't wait. He's reading the new, anniversary editions that came out this year. I'm reading editions illustrated by Kazu Kibuishi and each book is soooo preeeeetty. It's a comfort to know that at the end of the longest day, I'll end it with my mind drifting in and out of Hogsmeade and the halls of Hogwarts.
- Speaking of Harry Potter, happy September 1st!! Below is one of my favorite Harry Potter themed prints (by artist Kendra Miller) that I think would look pretty lovely framed in a nursery or a little one's bedroom. ;)
Here are some links to two other Potter themed prints that I'm particularly fond of: this alphabet, and this one (that we own). Oh, and this t-shirt by MouseketeersandButterbeers is one of the few graphic tees that I really just LOVE and want in my closet. Plus, it's customizable which is always a win.
4. If you're wondering what Madewell's current gems are... I have them right here for you and they're all on my wishlist. These mules are crazy comfortable. The Elinor Loafer is a staple, but they upped the cushion so it's actually even more fun to wear them now. Lookin' at you, Trey. Hint hint buy me these hint hint. This bag! I'm not sure which color that I love the most, but the snap clasp sounds just like your grandmother's pocketbook that she'd pull out at yard sales..it's just missing that bottom-of-the-purse/winter fresh gum smell. This blazer is delicious. Then, there's this bag, and the only thing that I'd want to put in it is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I imagine that it would be a perfect fit.
5. I'm planning to visit Mercier Orchards this fall and I'm very excited because I've never been to an apple orchard before!
6. My blog friend Haley is pregnant! She and I don't know each other in real life, but we follow each other's lives via the internet and she and her husband have been wanting a baby for so, so long! Congratulations, Haley!! P.S. I voted that it was a girl and... I was right.
7. I've been talking a lot about babies lately... I mean, read back a few lines and I was talking about nursery decor. I don't have baby fever...but it sure seems like I do? It's a topic that finds its way into conversation more often than I'd expect, but now is not the time. BUT. I found out that there is a very, very strong possibility that mine and Trey's babes might have red hair. THIS IS FUN FOR ME. We might have a couple of little ginger babies with freckles and GOSH YES PLEASE. But any way, I don't have baby fever. But look at these baby things that I would buy if I DID: these bird blocks, this beanie, this swaddle.
8. I've been feeling inspired to start creating, but I haven't been able to kick off and get the wheels turning. What do you do to get yourself moving?
9. Fall is here, and I expect that my next post will be some sort of a love letter to autumn. Stay tuned.
1. I've been flipping through my Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook and pulling all of the pies that I want to make. More on that to come later. ;)
2. These paints by H.K. Holbein are on my wishlist at the moment. I just started experimenting with gouache, and I'm loving how flexible it is. It's been quite some time since I picked up a paintbrush - but I'm getting back in and it feels goooood!
3. My friend Hope had her baby boy the other day and he is as beautiful as we all imagined he would be. Hope has the cutest nose, and face, actually. So, it wasn't surprising that her baby boy would be as gorgeous as she is. His name is Glenn, and I cannot wait to buy them all of the baby things that I want for myself - but have no need for yet. LIKE THIS SHARK SWADDLE.
4. My order from Thrive Market came in yesterday, and it could not have come at a better time. The night before, Trey and I drove around Birmingham for nearly two hours trying to find something amazingly delicious, satisfying, and also Paleo compliant to have for dinner. We found zip. SO! Thrive came in and saved the day, delivering my order filled with all sorts of ingredients that Paleo dinners usually call for, as well as snacks and treats to keep me feeling excited. A couple of my favorites: Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips and Sejoya Coco-Roons. Thanks for the recommending those Tortilla Chips, Caley. They save the day almost every day.
5. I've found that a huge part of doing these extremely restrictive diets is finding a support group. I know of three girls in Birmingham that have autoimmune diseases, and while I only know two of them personally, (looking at you, Caley and Dianne) they have been such a huge help to me! I don't have an autoimmune disease (that I know of), but I am very sensitive to certain foods, and I'm lucky to know people that will stand behind me while I push myself to do what is right for my body.
6. On that topic, I'm going to Disney World in two weeks! Paleo is pretty hard to maintain at Disney, but we will see how it goes. It's not always easy for me to pipe up and ask someone for something that they'll have to go out of their way to accommodate. So, we shall see. Things I'm most excited about eating, paleo or not: those massive turkey legs, macarons, and a crepe in Epcot's Paris.
7. I'm going to Florence for the day next week to help my mom with a kitchen renovation! I have vivid memories of helping her paint the kitchen the first time. It was right around the time that Uncle Kracker's song Follow Me came out (18 years ago?!), and the radio stations played it at least once every single hour. So, we spent the sunny summer days painting the kitchen and singing along to early 00's radio. I can't wait to go home even just for the day, to relive this with her!
8. I've been stuck on Lino Lago's pieces lately (one is featured above), and I think about them all the time. He uses oil on linen paintings, and they remind me of that sweet moment when you're baking brownies, and you swipe some brownie batter from the sides of the bowl for a taste, leaving that clean line of crystal clear glass. Satisfying.
9. I imagine Everlane's Day Glove to be everything I've ever wanted in a flat. I love everything about this brand, and can't wait to get my hands on some of these one day.
10. I'm genuinely wondering how creative introverts balance a 40 hour work week with their drive to create, while also having down time to recharge. If anyone has found the answer to this question, please enlighten me. Do I need to wake up at 5am? Do I need to buy a certain planner? What do I need to do, to be able to do everything that I want to do?
- I spent my entire Sunday baking goodies that I had been wanting to try. I baked these GF Chocolate Spinach Muffins. I believe that I added too much spinach, because they turned out well, looked pretty, but I just get this little twang with every bite. So, they're just sitting in the fridge, going bad. I know that T won't eat them if I won't. So... bummer. I also baked this Paleo Apple Pie. I've made some goodies from The Bakerita before, and they are now regulars in our dinner line up. But, maybe I'm just so used to the Caramel Apple Pie that I make, that this one felt too dry to me. I know that it was my fault because I added some pizzazz instead of doing a lattice on top, and it resulted in a very bready, crusty top crust. And, the recipe calls for the remnants of the juices or liquids to be left out of the pie, but, I think I should have added them. So, T won't mess around with Apple Pie because he hates the texture. SO. It's all on me to eat this pie that was made with some v. expensive ingredients. So...another bummer. I also made this Zucchini Bread, which turned out so perfect, and rich, and it takes just like a very serious chocolate cake. BUT, I'm so overwhelmed by all of the other goodies in my fridge that are going to waste, that I just feel guilty only eating this zucchini bread. And, to top it all off, as if baking three specialty treats wasn't excessive enough for you, I made these Whole Wheat Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies. They looked nothing like the pictures, but T ate them all and raved about them. There's a lesson here: Don't try four new recipes all at once, under any circumstances. Even if I had a lot of people around to eat them, it doesn't mean that the dishes would actually get eaten. So, while it was fun, and I spent the day exactly how I wanted to spend it...I will be sticking to one recipe at a time from now on.
- I'm throwing a potluck Halloween party with a friend this year, and I cannot wait.
- Anthropologie's holiday decor has riled me up, which you probably gathered from my last post. But, here are some of my favorites: the merry fishmas ornaments (I don't understand them, but they make me giggle), this pom wreath (I would rather make my own, but this one is so much fun!), every single one of these pearly glass globe ornaments, all of these mini bulbs, these botanical globe ornaments (I'm planning on making my own), this Cardinal clip ornament. My mom always had bird ornaments clipped onto our Christmas tree, and I know that Papa would have loved this cardinal. This pumpkin pie ornament, and all the other food ornaments (but I don't really want my Christmas tree covered in food).
- Trey and I have started watching Newsroom and we can't get enough of it.
- Some of my mornings are spent driving around my city, finding things that I haven't seen before. A couple of days ago, Trey and I stumbled right up on this little Christmas store that has been around for thirty years. Trey had a long conversation with the sweet, elderly owner about Alabama's football situation this year (that's all I can tell you). But, the woman was as knowledgeable as he was, and they had fun together. And, we found this stunning home.
- I got my biannual haircut, and it’s the exact same haircut that I’ve gotten since I was 12. I haven’t had truly long hair since junior year of college, and no matter what I do, I always go back to this style. It’s my thing. I like it. If only I could master the effortless beachy wave technique.
- Andy is in Africa, and I’m ready for him to come home. I plan to go home that weekend, hopefully visit an apple orchard, and really soak up some Florence time. A visit home this time of year always means a trip to Old Baker Farm, a cuppa cider at Coldwater Books, and lots of strolls downtown.
- The latest Madewell collection is just so good. I’m not really feeling all the velvet, just because velvet was everywhere last year, but there are plenty of other gorgeous gems. My favorites are the Oversized Jean Jacket with Sherpa Lining. It reminds me of the one my mom wears in the winter. I can practically see her throwing it on to run outside and bring in some firewood. The Plaid Tie-Neck Shirt is beautiful, and very Christmas 1977. It screams Stranger Things and I love it for that. This sweater is fantastic. It drapes just the way you want a sweater to, and it’s perfect for the sweaty, early autumn days. I already bought one.
- Paperless Post is one of my all time favorite online shops. I’ve never sent online invites with it, because I’m a true blue snail mail gal. BUT, I used them for my wedding invitations, and I loved them. I love everything that they do, and Trey and I are very serious about planning our children’s birthdays AROUND Halloween, so that we can throw Halloween themed parties. You bet your butt that I’ll be using Paperless Post. Until then, give me any reason to buy things from them and I’ll do it. Go ahead, give me a reason.
- I’ve been eyeing this children’s book since it was released, and I love this illustrator!!
- I’ve blogged about Kelle Hampton before when I read her book, Bloom, but she is future me, and I love it. She has three precious kids, and I love watching from afar as she raises them. She is a Holiday QUEEN. When I lived in Florida, I had fantasies of her strolling into my store with her kids, and I had a whole spiel that I was going to say to her about how she is such an inspiring, strong, bad ass mom. BUT, she never came in and that’s probably for the best because I would have cried AT her, in her face, and so…yeah, it’s for the best. BUT, I just went deep into her blog’s past and scrounged up some old Christmas posts, and oh me. It’ll be here before we know it and I will be screaming carols in everyone’s faces.
- Pyne and Smith dresses: I have one dress from this fantastic brand, and I could live in it. I wore it all summer and it proved itself to be the most perfect, most comfortable, easy, breezy dress that I ever could have hoped for. I would love to add a few more to my closet, and I think that the black and the blue would be great for work, off days, and days when pants just aren’t ideal. I could layer a chunky sweater over them for chillier days, and oh boy, I just want them right NOW.
- Brooklyn Candle Studio Pumpkin Harvest Candle: I’ve never smelled this candle, but if it’s as good as the branding, I know it would be perfect. Some pumpkin candles are too sweet, but this one sounds like it hones in more on the spice component, which is my favorite part of pumpkin anything. Pumpkin Spice everything please.
- Brooklyn Candle Studio Spiked Apple Cider Candle: Again, I’ve never smelled this candle, but I’m confident that it is heavenly.
- Manready Mercantile Cedar + Sage Candle: Never smelled, but I know that it would not disappoint me. It would fill my home with its blissful, woodsy aroma, setting the tone for an evening of cocktails and visits with friends.
- Parachute x Jenni Kayne Striped Linen Duvet Cover: Abbey received a Parachute duvet cover as a wedding gift, and all of us gals passed it around the circle and admired it longingly. I stumbled upon this one and I love the subtle, almost railroad striping, and I know that it would look just as lovely in spring with crisp white sheets, as it would look in November with a big, cozy, rusty red colored throw laying at the foot of it, and my black and white cat perched up by the pillows. (Heart eyes for daaaays)
- Madewell Rivet & Thread Sweatshirt: I have the red one and I want to live in it. I know that the ivory would be just as perfect. It’s slouchy, but sexy in just the right way. It’s comfortable and warm, but light enough for Alabama. Want want want.
- Red Musc Eau de Parfum by Mad et Len: Years and years ago, a friend of mine was an au pair in Paris for the children of a woman who worked with Chanel, I believe? The woman sent my friend back to the states with gifts, and rejected Chanel perfume scents that never made it to production. My friend let me pick one out for myself, and I wore it all the time. It was exactly what I wanted in a perfume. Sweet, but not too sweet, dark, but not too dark, light, but not too light, and feminine, with a hint of masculine. It was just right. I used every bit of it, down to the last drop, and then it was gone. Getting it reproduced would be such a process and probably expensive. BUT, the other day a different friend took me to a shop in town and made me smell this perfume that she loved, and it.smelled.just.like.mine. There was the slightest difference, that I couldn’t pinpoint, but it’s the closest that I’ve come to finding THE ONE. It has a pretty steep price tag. BUT, that’s what Christmas and anniversaries are for? Right? wink wink.
- Apple Watch: Trey says that I have a scary heartbeat, and sometimes I believe him. I’ve gotten my heart checked out and supposedly all is well. BUT, he said that he wants to get me the new Apple watch, and I’m not going to argue. I love the gold, and I’ll buy a brown or black leather band for it one day. I love that Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Woody, Buzz, etc. can all be the background, just tapping their foot as the seconds pass. It’ll have a bunch of fun, new, fitness features, and I think it would be nice to know how my heart handled the two cups of coffee I had last night, and the cup I had this morning, and the cup I’ll have later on…
- Runamok Maple Syrup Sugarmaker’s Cut: I’ve seen this in magazines for years, and I keep forgetting about it. If I put it here, maybe I won’t forget. Runamok Maple is known for their maple syrups, and this one is as pure as it gets.