Playlist for a Long Fall Drive

One of my favorite things to do on an early Saturday morning, is hop in the car, stop for coffee (and an apple cider donut) and then take a drive upstate. It’s such a treat to go for a drive on a fall weekend and see all of the leaves changing – it’s truly magical!

What a luxury it is to drive with no destination and no itinerary – with absolutely nothing to do. Let yourself get lost in the hills, find a cute spot to grab a bite to eat, get some fresh air, and go home.

This quarantine is definitely starting to wear on me – it hadn’t been since we had Harper and have been so busy adjusting to life as new parents. We don’t socialize as much, we haven’t been traveling, but these Saturday morning drives have been breathing life into my weekend.

I’ve found that music has been helping a lot to set the tone for us – for our day during the week, for our mood. I’m all about a good playlist for a drive – always changing up the music depending on the season.

Quarantine is weird, isn’t it – you kind of feel like you’re home “doing nothing,” but then you take a step back and realize how busy you are. It’s a constant cycle of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, cleaning more, cooking more. Meetings and emails. All while being home “doing nothing.” But a slow weekend – not even necessarily a lazy one – a slow weekend is really helping me savor this fall season.

It’s been nice to take a break, slow down and just enjoy. It’s fun to explore when we typically save exploring for traveling. It’s fun to be able to soak up and savor the moments with our little family.

3 New Favorite Fall Nail Polish Colors

All year, I stick to my tried and true neutral manicures, rarely veering off into any significant color on my hands (pedicures, a totally different story!). But come September, October, November and December…it’s a different ball game!

I love the moodiness of fall, and always start gravitating towards a darker color manicure. You can bet I’m asking for Linkin Park After Dark and Wicked for a manicure or a pedicure. But I found 3 new colors this fall I am LOVING.

The first, In Stitches by Essie. It’s a more youthful take on a rosey mauve, and I’m so into it.

Then there’s Essie’s Limited Addiction, which I swear is the shade of red I’ve been searching for. I’ve been gravitating towards this color two or three times already.

Finally, OPI’s Rub-A-Pub, which is a gorgeous charcoal and has been taking Wicked’s place this year.

What are your go-to polish colors for fall?

8 Favorite Fall Wreaths

Fall is by far my favorite season, and I love bringing all the #fallvibes to our house for some simple seasonal touches. The first thing I do, before i even go pumpkin picking, is put out a wreath.

I’m obsessed with this farmhouse style wreath my sisters in law gave me for my birthday from Joi Prints.

I’m not into Halloween decorations (but man is my neighborhood!) – I stick to general fall for Octoer and November, before we shift into holiday decorations. Feels like I get more longevity by sticking to generic fall – which just means lots of pumpkins, mums, and a welcoming fall wreath!

You don’t have to put a wreath just on a door, either. i’ve hung wreaths over the fireplace mantle, small ones on cabinet doors and windows, and even my entry way wall.

How do you decorate for fall?

Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treats

I wish I was the #dogmom that whipped up dog treats every week and kept the cookie jar perfectly stocked all the time. But let’s be real, this girl ain’t no Martha Stewart. That’s alright. Every once in a while, usually when I make some candied bacon, I save a few pieces of bacon for these dog treats.

These guys are super easy to put together, just some flour, eggs, peanut butter and bacon. You can cut the treats into any shape, but I use these cookie cutters. I like that I can make any size, which is great when you make treats for a gift!

Bed Bath & Beyond Sale Must Haves

Okay, y’all! I was poking around for a new baking dish because my 9×13 broke and I just realized there are SO many great finds in the Bed Bath & Beyond sale that goes until 4/12. Some of my favorite things in my kitchen are on big time sale!

  1. This multi cooker crock pot – it can be a pressure cooker or a crock pot, and when you have it in crock pot mode you can use the glass lid. Love a good multi-use appliance, especially for those of us with limited kitchen storage! $40 off!
  2. Kitchen utensil set – sometimes ya just need a refresh, and this has all the essentials. $15 off!
  3. Emeril’s Air Fryer – okay, so we’ve not been eating super well this quarantine and we’re trying to get. it. together. I’ve been wanting an air fryer and at $40 off mama’s feeling like it’s time to pull the trigger on it!
  4. A polymarble cutting board – chic! It’s $3 off (ha), but it’s only $12, this feels like a must have! This is a great dupe of a real marble cutting board (which are expensive and stupidly heavy).
  5. Staub braiser – I have so many pieces of Staub, they’re my favorite (just know they’re also v heavy) and they’ll last you forever if you take care of them. One piece I don’t have is a braiser and I’ve had my eye on this one FOREVER. $90 off.
  6. A hand mixer – if you don’t have room for a stand mixer, you have to have one of these! $15 off.
  7. My stand mixer is $100 off! $100 off!!!!
  8. This pot set is looking mighty fine considering how much pasta we have been making. I’ve always wanted the pot with a strainer insert. $10 off, which makes it about $35!.
  9. A toaster oven! – We don’t have one and with a new baby, eventually we’ll want one. $84 off!
  10. Immersion blender – every kitchen needs one, especially if you like to make soups! And if you don’t have room for a food processor, this is a great tool to make hummus. $15 off.

$15 Trader Joe’s Hostess Gifts

This time of year, I’m always trying to come up with some cute and clever hostess gifts that don’t kill your bank account but also feel like a thoughtful gesture. It’s the thought that counts!

I love a consumable gift, especially for a hostess gift, and when I saw this olive oil set from Trader Joe’s I knew this would be a great part of a gift! The set comes with three oils, one each from Italy, Greece and Spain. Together they would make a great present, but you can separate them and get 3 gifts out of the $10 set.

3 Favorite Target Candles for the Holiday Season

Come November 1, I am ready for the holidays. I really love this time of year – there’s something about it that’s still magical, no matter how old I am. And one thing I’m totally a sucker for is a great holiday scented candle – especially when it means making the house festive before it’s appropriate to put up a tree!

This year, I have a few scents that work together around the house: the kitchen, the family room, when you first walk in to our home, and the bathroom. Here are my three favorites from Target this season!

Carrot + Roses Arrangement for Easter

For the past few years I’ve been seeing this arrangement, and ones like it, pop up on Instagram when I’ve been looking for Easter centerpiece inspiration. Feeling intimidated, because really who the heck do I think I am to be able to create something like that, I just moved right along and saved it for “someday.” Well, friends, someday came this weekend and I went for it. And it was not at all as challenging as I thought it was going to be!

You just need a few of the right supplies and a little bit of patience, and I promise you, you too can have this centerpiece. And I’ll even tell you how to make it better than how mine came out!

10 Cookbooks Releasing in 2019 That I Can’t Wait to Read

I have far, far too many cookbooks. It’s an obsession. Every time I bring home a new cookbook, my husband says, “Why do you need another cookbook? Everything is online. Go on Pinterest.” Yeah, he knows what Pinterest is. #soproud.

But, we all know not everything is online! I kind of think of it like an artists’ music on the radio. We are all out here enjoying Luke Bryan’s What Makes You Country song but you don’t get to hear the album on the radio. So, yeah, Chrissy Tiegan’s Bagel Bake might be online, but not the whole book – ya know?

There are so many good cookbooks coming out in 2019, and these 10 are the ones that are on the top of my list.

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Foodies & a GIVEAWAY!

So are you team “Yay V-Day” or are you team “Hallmark Holiday move on?” I feel like in our house we’re kind of somewhere in between, but I do love a holiday that gives you an excuse to acknowledge people you love, whether with a little sweet treat or a little gift.

And for you, dear, sweet readers, I have a little treat for you!