Friday, October 30, 2015

amicalola falls

as I mentioned, I did do some pre-planning for our trip to the mountains. I made a google map of local vineyards and apple orchards and that was the extent of it. as stephen and I were packing for our trip, I mentioned we might want to bring some active gear. luckily, we did because as soon as we got to our b&b, our innkeepers told us about amicalola falls - the largest cascading falls east of the mississippi river.

stephen was immediately interested and my wineries didn't open until 11am so we did have some time to kill. the falls were about an hour away from our b&b and were well worth it. we hiked something like 700 steps to get to the top of these beautiful sights.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

the lady gala suite at hearthstone lodge

for our recent north georgia mountain weekend getaway, we chose the lady gala suite at beautiful hearthstone lodge. each of the three bedrooms at the b&b [lady gala, sir mcintosh, and jonagold] are uniquely appointed and comfortable. on the hearthstone lodge reservation site, the lady gala suite is described as a romantic french dream wrapped in black and white french toile with crystal chandeliers including a private bath with a claw footed tub.

all the rooms looked like a perfect getaway but I suppose the words romantic french dream sold me on the lady gala suite...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

hearthstone lodge b&b

stephen and I were in serious need of a weekend getaway to unwind after a busy few months of work and life in general. north georgia has beautiful fall foliage and abundant apple harvests this time of year and is a short hour and half drive from atlanta. we picked a b&b, did some minimal pre-planning, and set out for one of the best weekends we've had in a long time.

we chose hearthstone lodge - a well appointed, three bedroom, straight-out-of-southern-living bed and breakfast. having never been to a b&b before, we didn't really know what to expect. it turned out to be a comfortable and fun experience and we would do it again! it's especially great since you really don't have to go to the grocery store because a gourmet breakfast is included every morning. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

a gourd-geous hor d'oeuvre turns out that cutting and cleaning a gourd does take some time. I recently attended a little halloween get together and thought I could easily bring some palmetto pimento cheese inside of a gourd bowl to save time instead of baking.

I know, I know, this is how busy and tired I've been lately. such a great excuse to try out a new pumpkin recipe but I couldn't muster the energy. of course, it ended up taking me an hour to prep the gourd. I'm filing my experience under user error and first timer problems - so don't be discouraged. it turned out very pretty!

Friday, October 23, 2015

festive fall hostess gift

a bottle of wine or flowers is always a nice hostess gift, but sometimes it's fun to do something a little different. we recently attended a couples shower for our friends casey and david and it was the perfect occasion to bake my delicious pumpkin bread. since the recipe makes three loaves, I decided to share one of the loaves as a hostess gift. all you have to do is pick up a festive dishtowel (this one is from target) and that's pretty much the extent of the extra effort, provided you have parchment paper and twine already.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

a night on lower greenville, dallas

please tell me this has happened to someone else....

you go back to your old stomping grounds years later, only to find out that it's no longer the cool place to be. by that, I mean, your restaurants and bars are tired [and dead] and you have no clue what to recommend instead. no offense to past memories [ahem, glory days], but when you're trying to show someone around, it's not ideal. "wait... how old am I?! how many years has it been?!" enter my local friend, elizabeth, who saved the day and rescued us to lower greenville avenue. so next time you visit dallas, direct your uber driver to lower greenville, just trust me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

spooky spirits

a festive alternative to pumpkin beer is a well-themed bottle of red wine, whether you're drinking at home [while watching hocus pocus] or bringing as a hostess gift to a halloween party - I've got five seasonal picks for you! 

add a gift tag to the bottle, but nix the decorative bag since these bottles speak for themselves. holidays aside, I've been non-stop drinking the spellbound petite sirah after discovering it at pour bistro in brookhaven a few weeks ago. the notes of cherry and vanilla make it the perfect, luscious fall choice.

Monday, October 19, 2015

shredded chicken noodle soup

you know that sometimes I like to pull an awesome homemade meal out of left field on a weekday... so here we go, homemade shredded chicken noodle soup. does it take longer than 10 minutes to cook? yes. is it worth it? yes. especially on a dreary fall day, perfection!

I told stephen I was making chicken noodle soup this week and he asked me if it was a side dish. silly boys. this soup is full of tender, shredded chicken and veggies - plenty to fill you up! with the cooler fall breezes gracing us, I love to whip up some hearty soups. this chicken noodle soup along with baked potato soup are my go-to choices.

Friday, October 16, 2015

bff bridal gift recap

when a friend gets engaged, there are so many occasions - engagement, bachelorette, showers, and of course, the wedding! my best friend's wedding has come and gone and now I get to share all the presents I gave her along the way.

for the engagement, I picked one of those gorgeous bedazzled custom hangers with her new last name on it. these hangers are perfect for the wedding dress shots that photographers and brides love. for the shower, I ordered a monogrammed cake pan, again from etsy. you can completely customize the monogram, and I've already bought a second one for another friend's shower. read on for more details...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5 ways to be the best long distance bridesmaid

given that I moved to another state after undergrad, I have served as a long distance bridesmaid or maid of honor multiple times! as you may know, my best friend in texas just recently got married and I was her long distance maid of honor [luckily she also had a local matron of honor and an amazing mother and sister in law to help]. honestly, sometimes it sucks. you want to be there for your friend for all the special moments, but with the distance, it's just not possible to be present for absolutely everything.

so how can you make the most of your long distance role? over the years, I have flown in for wedding dress shopping days, showers, and bachelorette parties... and here's what I've learned, five ways to be a badass long distance bridesmaid!

Monday, October 12, 2015

my best friend's wedding

anddd we're back from a crazy weekend in dallas celebrating my best friend's wedding. of course the official photos won't be done for a few weeks, but her photographer was awesome enough to post several pictures the next morning. I wanted to share a few of them since they are absolutely gorgeous, can't wait to see the rest and hear about the honeymoon. 

you may remember the breakfast at tiffany shower and austin bachelorette we threw this bride... time flies and now I'm officially signing off as maid of honor as my duty here is done. congratulations to hollie and cody! all photos are from fairy tale photography

Friday, October 9, 2015

fall bucket list

it's fall, y'all! I've seen a few posts on fall bucket lists and I think it's a great idea to jot yours down. of course, we all have these visions of fall in our heads but what does fall actually mean to you? thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and fall definitely brings feelings of home, baking, gratitude, and family time to me.

I've rounded up my must-do list for this fall season - including my annual traditions such as making my friend's spiked apple cider recipe and the best pumpkin bread and I've added some new items that I want to try including baking apple bread and trying a recipe for chicken and dumplings. and of course, stephen and I carved pumpkins on one of our first dates so I definitely want to keep that tradition up! without further ado...

plant mums on the patio

make spiked apple cider

carve pumpkins

go apple picking

north GA winery B&B weekend

bake apple bread

make chili and cornbread

a&m vs. auburn: college station trip

find a new fall wreath

Thursday, October 8, 2015

hands on atlanta day presented by mercedes-benz

the 25th annual hands on atlanta day was last saturday and mercedes-benz was the presenting sponsor along with other corporate partners and local organizations who came out to support. employees and their families worked all morning in the community, afterward volunteers were invited to a private celebration of service at zoo atlanta.

stephen and I landscaped and gardened at a local elementary school. outside of a brief encounter with a pile of fire ants and some thorny branches, all went smoothly for us. other volunteers worked at the dunwoody nature center, sandy springs community assistance center, local parks and neighborhoods. read more to learn about the awesome impact of hands on atlanta day and mark your calendars to join us next year!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

q&a with pure barre kennesaw

exciting news for kennesaw area residents!! soon you will be able to lift.tone.burn with pure barre kennesaw. kennesaw resident amy markle is working fast and furious to unveil her new studio and fantastic team of instructors this winter 2015. 

amy’s passion for pure barre and empowering others eventually drove her to leave her atlanta advertising job to open her own kennesaw pure barre studio. we caught up to discuss the details - taking a calculated leap of faith, the importance of cultivating a community within a corporation, and amy’s advice for other women who want to embark on making their dream a reality!

Monday, October 5, 2015

halloween care package

little sister has been away at college for a few months now and halloween is the first occasion of the school year for a care package! guys, the halloween dollar section at target is too much this year. I honestly couldn't stop throwing things in my cart. I love going wild in the dollar section, it's so empowering like I could buy everything in this section if I wanted to... I'm rich!! money is no object!! ok ok, back to the box.

I think my favorite item is the koozie that says 'drink up witches'... does anyone else feel like this could be a year-round accessory?! my second favorite item is the black and pink kitty ears because every girl knows all you need is some cat ears to make a costume. read more to see what else I scooped up for this spooky but sweet halloween box.

Friday, October 2, 2015

fashion friday: fall workwear with loft

fall dressing is the best, specifically layers and fun fabric textures. this season's palette includes tons of oxblood, garnet, maroon which I'm also loving. I work very close to a mall and it has become a bit of an issue lately, especially since loft has been doing their 40% off!

lately I've been updating some classic pieces for my work wardrobe such as this little black sheath dress, perfect for layering with tweed jackets and patterned sweaters. not to mention, I've already worn this flutter top in black multiple times and went back to pick it up in cream. the flippy dress has the most amazing texture and thick fabric, can't wait to throw on some booties and breeze out the door. I'm a huge fan of work day outfit ease and by focusing on basics, it makes getting ready a lot smoother. did I mention that these pants come in petite so I didn't even have to get them hemmed. sold!