Monday, September 19, 2016

Apple Picking at Skytop Orchard (and recipes!)

The hubs, pup and I took our yearly trip up to Flat Rock, NC to go apple picking at Skytop Orchard! We went a little earlier this year thinking we were smart to beat the crowds. We were wasn't as crowded as last year mid-October, but it was still packed! Different apple types come in season at different times so we were able to get some apples that are available mid-September that were already out of season in October, so it pays to go different times of the fall season!

It was a lot of fun and Aspen had a great time running through the orchard, sniffing the apples, and meeting all kinds of people! We got the famous apple cider doughnuts again but this time there wasn't a 45 minute wait! I bought a voucher in the barn when I bought my apples and apple cider so we just walked right up to the window and got our doughnuts!

I couldn't wait to start trying out apple recipes! The first thing I did was peel and slice a few then sauté them with sugar, cinnamon and butter. SO GOOD and SO EASY. You can pretty much just wing this one, but if you are nervous about how much of this and that to use, this recipe from Southern Living and My Recipes is a good one to help you find your way

I tried to make some applesauce from a recipe from The Pioneer Woman and it was going well until I left it on the heat too long and all of the liquid dried up and the sugar burned on the bottom of the pot... Note to self, keep a closer eye on the applesauce.

After ruining the applesauce, I was determined to make something else with my apples that I could enjoy so I made an apple cake with browned butter frosting. Oh my heavens this is a delicious cake! The large pieces of apple and the spices in the cake with the nuttiness from the frosting make a glorious combination! I ripped this recipe out of my September 2010 copy of Southern Living and had it in a binder with other recipes I've saved over the years. A hard-copy Pinterest if you will. 

This is the next recipe I want to make. Gotta love a good bundt cake! And a brown sugar glaze makes everything better :)

What apple recipes have you been dying to try?


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It's Fall, Y'all!

Labor Day has passed and we are well on our way to the wonderful, crispness of fall! Fall is easily one of my favorite seasons, if not my favorite (besides the Christmas season, yes it counts!) I think in the South we look forward to it more as a relief from the heat of summer. I saw a quote a landscape designer made in an issue of Southern Living and it fits the thought perfectly: "Fall is a Southerner's reward for having survived summer." YES. 

As we are all getting excited at the thought of fun Fall festivities (yay alliteration), I have rounded up some favorites I have come across.


1. A round-up of 10 things to do in September from PureWow. This is an awesome website that curates "the breadth of women's lifestyle: fashion, beauty, home, arts and culture, money, tech, food and travel."

2. Free Fall printables! An easy and inexpensive way to ready your home for the season. Thanks to Ann from "On Sutton Place" for her creativeness and sharing her talent with us! (See one I printed at the top of this post)

3. We all know the beauty Fall brings - here is Southern Living's pick of the South's Best Fall Colors so you can go enjoy it! I'm all over a weekend getaway to Blowing Rock!

4. While you're out and about leaf peeping, head to your local U-Pick apple orchard (my favorite is Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC), Country Living has taken the guess work out of which apples are best for which favorite fall treat in their article, Best Apples for Cooking and Baking.

5. And finally, what gets us in the mood for fall more than pumpkin spice scented candles, lotion and hand soaps? Cult favorite Bath and Body Works has tons of new scents this season that I can't wait to try...think Salted Caramel Pumpkin, Pumpkin Apple Cider and Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Leopard Flats

Today, I splurged on a pair of leopard pointy toe flats from Target. And by splurge I mean a purchase made without Ebates money or cashed in Shopkick points. They were $19.99! Drop everything and head to Target now. 
I had the perfect pair of leopard ballet flats that I wore until they literally fell apart and have been hunting for an affordable replacement pair every since. Sam Edelman has a pair that I love (pictured and linked below), but I can't really get past the $120 price tag. They'll go on the "luxury wish list". That may be a post for another time :)
After I bought the shoes, my brain immediately went to "how can I wear these?" I went through my closet and put together three different outfits that are suitable for this late summer/early fall. I used the same pair of burgundy cropped pants from Loft for all three, I just think burgundy and leopard is the best combo. 

Lace top (old) from Madewell, Gold watch from Target (similar), Gold tear drop earrings from Francesca's (they blend in with the shirt, oops)

I am taking these pictures in Aspen's "play room" aka my coffee bar room. He loves the shag rug and is always in here, so when I started styling these outfits, he made himself comfy - right on top...

Cream peplum top (old) from Kohls, pendant necklace (old) I think is from Francesca's - I love sea foam green with burgundy!

Chiffon plaid tunic (old) from New York and Company - mixing patterns; plaid and leopard just make sense, earrings from Francesca's - I also love pale pink with burgundy! I think burgundy is as much a neutral as leopard print, Gold watch from Target (similar), initial bracelet from a local boutique in Greenwood, Ala's

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Farmhouse Finds at Target

Farmhouse decor is sweeping the nation! Not sure how it got to be so popular, but I think Mrs. Joanna Gaines from my favorite show Fixer Upper had a little something to do with it. I have been a fan from the beginning and couldn't wait to incorporate some fun "farmhouse" pieces in our new home. 

Target is a great place to find anything, so of course this was one of the first stores I went to on my search for fun farmhouse finds (how's that alliteration for ya ;) Here is what I found and how I used them in my home!

Preserved boxwood topiary

Clover accent (on sale!)

Wood tray (on sale!)

Here are some shots of how I used these fabulous decor items in my home, except for the wood tray which I don't have, but want!

This pitcher can be used in so many ways, other than what it is intended for! I stuck it in the middle of my dining room table and put a fall-ish sprig in it (with cotton bolls) with a burlap runner.

I put a topiary on either side of the fireplace mantle and as you can see, paired it with the clover accent. I added some height and variety with the hardback books. **Frugal find** I perused the Free Bin at 2nd and Charles, snagged a few hardback books and just took the dust cover off to make them look, well, "cooler" for lack of a better word... 

In my kitchen there is a small counter section between the refrigerator and the rest of the cabinets. (In hindsight I should have stepped back to give you the bigger picture). Again, this wire basket could be used for all kinds of things, decorative or practical. I bought this antique kitchen scale in Florida and the vintage cookbooks are my mom's, the fit perfectly in the crate!