Halloween Mantle

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I’ve un-decorated for fall and finally decorated for Halloween and thought I’d share with you!

As you know, I love decorating my mantle for different seasons and holidays so I enjoyed being able to get two themes out of fall.

The pillar candles and their holders are leftover from our wedding, and I think they give just the right effect.

That big plastic skull is one of my favorite Halloween decorations. I’m always tempted to keep him out and not put him away at the end of the season.

Now that we’re all decorated, I’m all ready for spooky movies and warm, spicy beverages!

What is your favorite Halloween decoration?

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A Bride No More: Our One-Year Anniversary

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Guys, can you believe it’s been a full year since Our Enchanted Wedding?

It seems hard to believe!

According to Miss Manners, in the 19th century, a woman was considered a bride for a year following her wedding during which time she was able to wear her wedding dress as an evening gown! I feel like I really missed out! I could’ve worn my dress to – so – many things.

I did actually get to wear it one more time as The Fellow and I finally got to take some “Wedding Photos” of just the two of us. I really wanted his grandmother to take them, but between the rain and our schedules we just never could seem to get together so a local friend helped us out.
Moonshine in a Teacup Wedding Photos

While I had some awesome candid shots from the wedding, we didn’t do any formal poses because it was hot and the group photos took so long, and we just wanted to join our friends and family at the reception. But it was making me just a bit sad that they’d be missing from our album. So, we got all dressed up again recently for a photo session.  They came out absolutely beautiful, and I’m incredibly glad we took them!

After a full year, I am still so incredibly grateful for all of the love, support, and help we received to help our day run so smoothly.

Between the SCA and 4-H, I have been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life who can accomplish absolutely anything.

So many people offered us their time, skills, and assistance to make it such such a beautiful day.

Our cake was made by a SCA Cooks Guild new friend – who’d only met me once at the time. She heard I had a need and immediately offered to fill it with the most magnificent three-tiered, tea-themed cake I could’ve asked for.

Other household members helped with the cake cutting and distribution.

We were offered the use of absolutely everything from homes and land to personal tents and belongings to fit our theme and needs, and we were met with nothing but grace as I changed and re-changed my mind on theme and location. Even my hair was done by my SCA family.

So many of our friends or friends of friends jumped in, and friends donated supplies and time, ensuring all of my daydreams and plans were brought to reality, and I was completely unaware if anything had gone wrong until we were all sharing stories around the campfire later.

The things I remember most about our wedding day (aside from being terrified I was going to put the ring on the wrong hand) was being kept calm, being cared for, and smiling so much that my face hurt.

It was a beautiful day of love and support and an absolutely awesome night at my favorite place to be – around a campfire. I was indulged and all of my favorite sad songs were sung.

I’m so glad that all of my 4-H, SCA friends, and our families surrounded us as we took our next step in our lives.

For our one-year anniversary, I’m reminded that I’m loved by a wonderful man, as he took me to a high tea! We sat and sipped and nibbled on dainty tea sandwiches (which is the best thing ever to see a man do). I’m starting a hashtag: #mendrinkingtea. Help me make it go viral!

Then on Sunday to be sure that he got to do something fun for our anniversary too, we went to Fogo De Chao with some of our wedding party.

Even Baltimore threw us a parade! (Well, maybe not, but I’m saying it was for our anniversary.)

I’m so blessed to have such amazing people in my life and to have had such an awesome year. Thank you for being a part of it!

 

 

 

 

 

Feelin’ Fall

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To quote my girl Anne with an e, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

I can finally sip my pumpkin spice coffee without shame and watch Hocus Pocus on repeat! (Shush, you know you do too.)

I decorated for fall in September, and am really thinking I’m going to undecorate, decorate for Halloween, then redecorate for November . . . that’s ok, right?

Any chance I get to get myself all Spooktacular, and I’m in! I’m planning a few low-key Halloween movie nights, and I’m already working on my Halloween costumes.

We took advantage of the break in the weather last weekend for a fall favorite – a hayride. My parents hosted a family gathering and after eating out, we all piled onto haybales on the back of the trailer and took a little drive through the beautiful mountains. The leaves aren’t quite in full color yet, but it was still a wonderful time.

I just need my apple cider and to carve a pumpkin, and I’ll be fully satisfied with my fall activity checklist, and it’s not even the first full week of the month yet!

What are the things you’re most looking forward to about fall? Share them with me!

Call the Midwife!

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First things first, I want to thank you all for hanging in with me. These last several posts haven’t been the most creative or exciting, but they have been doing what this blog originally intended, keeping track of what I’ve been up to and keeping me in touch with all of you! I love you all and appreciate your sticking with me.

All I’ve been up to has been cleaning and organizing, researching some SCA Viking stuff, and wishing it would stop raining. I’m not going to lie; the weather is really getting to me. I brought some fairy lights into work to brighten up my grey cubicle, and I need to do some research into a good SAD light. Any suggestions?

When I do have a moment (usually while I’m cooking dinner, right before bed, or while I’m doing my makeup in the morning), I like to throw on a TV show to fill the background silence. Right now I’m 3 seasons deep into Call the Midwife.

It’s a drama centered around a new midwife in the late 50s, early 60s in the East End of London, and it is absolutely phenomenal. The director has a thing about historical accuracy (even so far as no actors are allowed to have highlights!), so there are very few things that make me twitchy, and every episode is full of beautiful dresses to drool over.

Because of this show, I’ve basically decided that corporate neutrals be damned. I want to revamp my wardrobe (again) – vintage style.

I absolutely recommend that you check Call the Midwife out on Netflix, and Season8 should be out on TV soon. Just be careful; it’s a real tear jerker! I cry just about every episode.

 

A Taste of Ireland

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Our friends J and L have been to Ireland a few times, and this time we watched their precious little cat while they were away.

They sweetly asked if they could bring anything back for us, and I asked for two things – Orchard Thieves cider and an authentic Irish scone recipe – and they returned with both!

I was so grateful. Though it turns out cider doesn’t travel internationally very well. The bottles had problems with the pressure, and it eeked out into their luggage! L swore it was no big deal, and the clothes were easily washable. (They had gone hiking, so I’m sure at least some of the clothes were intended for worse conditions than cider.), but I still felt so bad!

What was left of the one bottle tasted as amazing as when I had it in Ireland, and I wish they would bring it to the U.S. (Letter writing or Twitter campaign, anyone?)

I’m still working on the lemon scones I made last weekend, but I’m so excited to make the Irish scone recipe as soon as those are gone.

L and J stayed at an AirBnB, and as luck would have it, they were coming in late one night and caught the hostess making the scones for their morning breakfast. She made them a cup of tea, and they sat and ate scones and chatted (which sounds like the most delightful time), and they asked her if they could have her recipe for me, and I’m so happy that she agreed!

I am sure they are going to be delicious, and I’m so anxious to make a batch! L was told to be sure to make smaller scones as they bake better. I’ve only made a few recipes where things are done by weight instead of cups, so it will be a fun mini-Irish adventure. I’ll let you know how they come out!

 

Reclaiming the Morning and Cottage Updates

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Having Little J (OK, you know I love bad TV, and it doesn’t get any worse than Gossip Girl, so I’m going with Little J) in the house has been going really smoothly. Little J showers in the morning like me, so I’ve been getting up at 5:30 a.m., so she can shower and have the bathroom at 6:00 a.m.

Now that I have to be up I’m actually making it out of bed, and I’ve been enjoying it so much! I’ve managed to reclaim a bit of my morning. I’ve usually got about half an hour to myself to read or research some SCA projects.

I’ve made finishing organizing the house my top priority. I finished purging everything from the bedroom. I purchased the rest of the tin to close out our pie tin TV stand, and now we’re working through the basement, so we can move the craft room to the basement. want everything purged, organized, and cleaned by the year’s end.

Once we’re all done, I’ll be able to truly relax and take some time and work on hobbies.

I’m so excited for the progress we’ve made, and I can’t wait to get the down and dirty stuff done, so we can work on some fun projects to share!

A Culinary Adventure

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You know that one friend you have that every time you hang out with them you’re in for some kind of adventure? I’ve had a few of those types of friends over the years. You make plans to get together and just hang out, and then somehow you wind up going on a road trip on a whim, trying something crazy, or escaping a bar fight in Spain . . .

We have a friend who is like that with food. When he invites you over for dinner or shows up with a dish, you never know what awesome treat you’re in for! T spends a lot of time hanging out, cooking awesome recipes, and he often creates dishes that are from other cultures.

When we headed up to T’s house to hang out the other day, I knew we’d be eating something good, and he didn’t disappoint!

He prepared for us seolleongtang (which is ox bone soup) and kimchi bokkeumbap (fried rice) along with a tray of side dishes which included fermented cucumbers, fried fish cakes, Korean omelette, puck led radish, seaweedsalad, kimchi, and spicy fried anchovies!

Moonshine in a Teacup Rice

While not all of it was to my taste (I don’t think anchovies are ever going to be a thing I enjoy.), it was such a fun evening hanging out with friends and tasting something new!

Growing up I had 0 experience with foods. I didn’t eat vegetables at all! Thankfully, The Fellow has been good about making me try new things. Mae West once said, “I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, and a third time to make sure.” While she wasn’t exactly talking about food, I’ve made this my motto when it comes to new food experiences. (Remember those frog legs?)

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Hurricane Flo and a New Roommate

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I hope everyone is doing well and staying dry. From what I can tell, most of the East coast is getting rain, and with Hurricane Flo heading our way, a lot of us are in for a bumpy ride as we get closer to the weekend!

We had initially planned on taking a second round of wedding photos this weekend, but the more I try to plan something, the more it seems like it is not ever going to happen! I’m not going to lie though; I’m glad to have nowhere to be this weekend. My plan is to stay snuggled up inside and work on the house and enjoy baking things while it’s nasty outside!  I just bought a new high tea cookbook, and some of the recipes look delicious and need to be tested!

It’s funny that even though I feature recipes on my blog, I’ve found lately I’ve been enjoying baking directly from a cookbook over using a Pinterest recipe. Working from an online recipe, I find myself trying to click back and forth, getting flour on my phone or laptop. A friend gifted me The Joy of Cooking, and I’m obsessed. Seriously! The best chocolate chip cookies, EVER! It’s been my go-to for a while when I have a question or need a recipe. There is definitely a reason it’s one of the most published cookbooks in American history.

I’m just hoping the power (and my oven) stays on! I’m also relieved that should something go wrong, even though The Fellow still has to work on Saturdays, I won’t be completely alone in the house – we’ve got a new roommate!

My sister-in-law J has joined the same company that The Fellow and I work for and has taken up residence in our spare room.

It’s certainly going to be an adjustment having someone else in our space, but luckily she’s pretty chill, and we’ve always gotten along. I think I finally need to upgrade my dinner game and start prepping meals in advance some though. It’s harder to just throw something together for three people’s dinners than just two.

We have plenty of candles and lanterns should we lose power, and if worse comes to worst, we can always cook on the grill, so I’m not too terribly concerned about weathering the storm. I am worried about our basement. The Fellow and his grandfather added soil around the edges of our home last fall which prevented it from flooding. (We had issues with that when we first move in.) So far, it’s held up well. We haven’t had any flooding despite all of the rain this year! Hopefully, it will withstand this next storm too.

Do you have any favorite stormy weather recipes you love? What do you do to prepare for a storm? Let me know in the comments below!

Garden Pickings

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The Fellow and I are not much of gardeners. I think we probably got our stuff planted super late, so we’re just now getting some of our garden yumminess.

Unfortunately, we lost a lot of our plants moving from the seed to fully planted stage, so we’re eating a lot of tomatoes, squash and peppers, but that’s ok!

I’m enjoying all that our little garden has to offer. It’s so nice to be able to just run outside and grab something fresh for our meals.

Next year we’re going to try to be better about our variety and research. This was a good test run.

What are your tips for easy gardening? Let me know!