September

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“May I a small house and large garden have;

And a few friends,

And many books, both true.”

- Abraham Cowley

September is here, and any other year I would have already had my Halloween decor strewn throughout the house. But, I’ll be holding off for a couple more weeks this year. We go to Paris at the end of the month, and I plan to do all of my decorating right before we leave - since we won’t be back until October.

On another note, I love my new job. I love the people that I work with, the culture, and the company as a whole. I am grateful beyond measure. Everything is different now, and different is so, unbelievably good.

In between life and work and gardening and everything else - I’ve been reading again. In the last three or four months, I’ve read eleven books. And, since I’m off work today - I’m about to begin the Little House series. First up: Little House in the Big Woods. I can’t think of many things better than welcoming the autumn months with books that paint the prettiest, coziest mental pictures.

5 Things.

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  1. It’s November and I haven't written in weeks. I’ve been checking things off of that autumn bucket list (three posts back), and I’ve almost knocked it out completely! Trey and I are leaving for vacation tomorrow, and I think that by the time we come back, it will be as complete as its going to be for the 2018 autumn season.

  2. We’ve had a pretty fantastic autumn so far, and while I’m ready to deck the halls for Christmas, I’m choosing to let autumn have its own moment away from the Halloween and Christmas decor. We’ve been exhausted and busy and we’ve accomplished far beyond what’s shown on the list. We saw my step sister get married, which was a fun and tasty weekend event. We went house-hunting and fell in love with one house - only to not end up getting it. Trey and Jon spent the day together while my mom and I went shopping around Birmingham. I planned an elaborate birthday party for my mom, and wow I feel like this list could go on and on. Upcoming events: our vacation (that I don’t want to come back from), My Favorite Murder in Atlanta with Abbey, and continuing on with our search for a house.

  3. I mentioned in past posts that I’d been going to a ceramics class with Abbey on Tuesday nights last month, and I can’t stress enough what this did for my mental state. It was life-giving to HAVE TO spend two hours doing something with my hands at the end of a hectic day. It became something that I looked forward to for the rest of the week, and I’m grateful that she and I got to have this. A MASSIVE THANK YOU to her husband who gifted such a thoughtful gift for two, and a massive thank you to Abbey for taking me.

  4. I haven’t had time to finalize my Christmas playlists this year, but that’s my number one project for my time off. I’ve noticed that more and more people are starting their Christmas decorating earlier than normal this year - and I’m so glad about it.

  5. My mom came to Birmingham for the day so that she and I could go to Christmas Village, and we had so much fun. We bought some small wooden toy cars and trains for future (way way future) bebe, and we just got to catch up on everything. We’ve always loved the movie Chocolat, so I made sure to take her to the new chocolatier in town called Chocolata. We picked out some luxurious looking pieces and sat, shared, and savored them.

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5 Things.

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  1. The movie section of my fall bucket list is the only section that’s gotten any action lately, but the rest will come in time. I’ve been wearing sweaters for weeks in hopes that the weather would catch up with me and so far…nil. BUT. I’m not letting the Heat Miser get me down. This weekend, I am going to check things off of this list left and right, and one of those things is…Christmas playlists. I’m going to get to work on them so that they’ll be ready to HO-HO-GO in November.

  2. Other things: my friend Eden ( Hi Eden!) got me the most beautiful fall candle as a “Happy Fall!” present and it’s such a gift to feel understood by friends new and old. She and her husband Ben have merged their creative talents and will be launching an incredible business soon. We are about to embark on a fun journey together! Stay tuuuuned for more on that! AND. It literally, in this moment, just occurred to me that I get to send them Christmas cards this year and GOSH that’s fun.

  3. Other other things: my friend Abbey just invited me to take a ceramics class with her this month and once again, it’s such a gift to be thought of for the exciting, messy, creative moments opportunities in life.

  4. My brain is buzzing with all sorts of things that I hope to accomplish this season that aren’t even on my list. There are people to love on, parties to throw, costumes to make, weddings to attend, pieces to craft, and so much more. I intend to schedule it all out so that nothing falls through the cracks because each and every one of these things are worth doing, and they are all for the greater good.

  5. I’ve missed my chance to visit an apple orchard this year. Apple picking season has ended for the most part, and all of the You-Pick days have come and gone and never ended up aligning with time that I had away from work. But one day, I’ll visit an orchard and I’ll come home with a basket of apples so big that I’ll have to spend the next few days baking caramel apple pies, making caramel apples, brewing fresh apple cider, etc.

Autumn 2018 Bucket List

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All aboard the Autumn Express! Toot toot. This is my first pumpkin of the season. For the last several years, I’ve purchased the first pumpkin that I laid eyes on, and this year is no different. He’s a beaut. Here’s my 2018 Fall Bucket List, and she’s a beaut, too. Feel free to make this list your own, changing bits up however you wish. This will surely be a jam-packed autumn if I can manage to make all of this happen. I wasn't able to knock everything off of last year's list, and was pretty ambitious when I made it. I think I'm even more ambitious this year - BUT, I love a good challenge. I just want to squeeze every bit of cinnamon and clove-scented joy out of this season, and this list will ensure that I do just that.

Follow along with me and let's get cozy.

Go:

  • Visit a pumpkin patch.

  • Visit an apple orchard.

  • Go to an Alabama football game.

  • Go for a drive to see the leaves.

  • Go on a hike and spend the entire day outdoors.

  • Spend an off day in Birmingham - exploring and eating/doing all the things.

  • Take Jon to the Zoo.

Cook/Bake:

  • Bake two pies (not pumpkin).

  • Make Pho. (We had some insanely delicious Pho, so i’m going to count that since we won’t have the chance to boil bone broth for two days ourselves.)

  • Make Halloween themed churros.

  • Bake cookies to take to work.

  • Make S'Mores.

  • Make a "Sarah" soup.*

  • Make Chili.

  • Make Halloween party treats.

  • Make a new Thanksgiving food.**

  • Make mulled wine.

  • Make a festive trail mix.

Watch:

  • You've Got Mail

  • When Harry Met Sally

  • Sleepless in Seattle

  • Julie and Julia

  • Dan in Real Life

  • Garden State

  • Mona Lisa Smile

  • The Dead Poet's Society

  • Good Will Hunting

  • Chocolat with chocolate of course.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas with festive Halloween trail mix because why not?

  • The Corpse Bride

  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox

  • Coraline

  • Hocus Pocus

  • The original Addam's Family

  • The Munsters

  • Harry Potter (any or all of them) with Butterbeer

Do:

  • Sit by the fire with boozy drinks and roast marshmallows.

  • Have a Halloween party.

  • Canoe in Lake Guntersville.

  • See a drive-in-movie.

  • Go home and enjoy mom's beef stew.

  • Carve pumpkins. - Decided to leave my pumpkins in tact this year!

  • Eat a caramel apple.

  • Send five handwritten letters.

  • Go to Christmas Village on Halloween morning.

  • Make new turkey shirts for Thanksgiving. - There was no time for this, but my mom did dig out her very first turkey shirt with all of our baby handprints.

  • Have a Friendsgiving.

  • Take Christmas card picture and work on updating the Holiday playlists.

 

*Trey and I have different taste in soups. He likes his with noodles and I like mine noodle-free but hearty af. 

**This was on my list last year too, and I did it. Except, I made a seven layer salmon dip and it was the smelliest, most extravagant and high maintenance dip in the world. Also, no one ate much of it because it was seriously rank. 

I've been in love with autumn ever since I can remember. I loved going back to school, and had the biggest butterflies in my stomach every year - but I loved dressing for school in the fall, and seeing where my desk was going to sit and how my teacher was going to put my name on my desk that year. I loved organizing the little nook in my desk that fit all of my folders, pencil boxes, notebooks, etc., but I remember that I couldn't ever figure out the best place for my ruler. I rarely ever used it...but it seemed important, and it was a requirement year after year. I usually would just tuck it along one of the sides of the nook - but that felt wrong and so it just kind of moved all around the nook. I'm sure you all really, really cared about all of that. But, I ate it all up. I remember the graphic turtlenecks that my mom would dress me in. Sometimes, they were hand-me-downs from my older brother but that still suited me just fine. I remember I had this orange plaid jumper that I wore in school pictures one year and it felt.so.right. 

There were hayrides and pumpkin patches and themed days at school. There were hand-stamped turkey shirts and crafts and cold afternoons and it was all even better at home. We'd go to school one day, and come home to find cobwebs stretched from the chandelier to the banister. There'd be pumpkins and vintage decor and once we decided what we wanted to be for Halloween...my mom would make it happen for us. Halloween morning was always a treat, but the fun would last for months. Over the years, one thing that hasn't changed is that the day before Thanksgiving is always spent in the kitchen with my mom in preparation for the following day. We listen to music and whip up dressings and pies and casseroles until the whole house is warm and smells like heaven. 

There is so much comfort in this season, and my love for it goes far beyond my memories of school and the way that my mom would decorate the house. It's deep-rooted and it feels almost tangible, and as far as I know, it's always been there.

I'm currently making a list of the things that I'd love to accomplish this week. Included in the list: buying stationery to start writing letters, and blogging my autumn 2018 bucket list. What would YOU like to see/read/hear about? 

Mood Board

So, it’s November, and I may have over committed when I made my autumn list of to-do’s. I think I forgot that there are only 31 days in October, and that when November 1st rolls around, I’m in full on Christmas mode. Maybe I didn’t forget. Maybe I thought that I honestly could take a trip to my favorite pumpkin patch near Birmingham, and my other favorite near Florence, and also take a trip to Georgia to pick apples, and also carve these  pumpkins, while taking a trip to Huntsville for my girl to get married, while also having a Halloween party, while also taking trips to the best antique stores, and then also working 40 hours a week. I’m not sure what happened. But, the fact of the matter is, I won’t be able to knock everything off of that list. I’ll make my winter list in the next couple of weeks, but until then, I’ll keep checkin’ things off the autumn one. ENOUGH ABOUT MY FAILURES. MOVING ON.

Today is my mom’s birthday. I wish that I was home celebrating her because she truly deserves all of the celebration in the world. Today is also my in-laws’ anniversary! My younger brother’s 21st birthday is in seventeen days. Christmas is in… *not counting it because the I will think I’m late to the party and I can’t feel that way*.

Yesterday, I felt thankful that my sister in law lives so close to us where she can just come over and watch Stranger Things while she does homework.

Today, I’m grateful for a month that encourages gratitude (even if it does get mixed up with major money spending days that are confusing).