We spent the hight of this holiday season in London, and I just can't wait to write all about it! The energy, the sights... the accents! 😍 But we were back in Alabama just in time for Christmas at home.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December is just downright magical, am I right? And being a parent during the holiday season is just the best thing ever. Each year I say it's the year Parker finally understands everything - and once again, I'm going back and correcting myself and saying this is the year! He was just so into everything! Each morning he'd run downstairs to check our advent calendar to see what Christmas activity we were doing that day, and search around the house to see what our elf, Lady, was up to.

Life Lately - Holiday Edition

Merry December, y'all! Here's what we've been up to during this most wonderful time of the year...

Turkey Day Fun

We hosted Max's sister and her husband over Thanksgiving break this year, and rang in Turkey Day my very favorite way - with a Turkey Trot! I just love getting out super early and moving, and feeling like I earned that big Thanksgiving meal! 😉

Super Easy Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Max was on travel earlier this month, and while he's away, I skip out on cooking. Tell me I'm not the only wife who does this?! Usually I'm all about sit-down weeknight meals, but if Max is gone, Parker and I are happy with snacking (I've even been known to make whole meals out of ice cream and popcorn, though I at least try to get in some kind of veggie for Parker). Sometimes I need a real meal though! Enter this super easy creamy mushroom pasta - no measuring, very few dishes, and really no actual recipe! It's a perfect bowl of happiness on a chilly day or night.

10 Years

Ten years ago today, I met the love of my life! (The man, not the goat, obvi 😉)


I've said it before - I'm the worst at getting photos printed. Sure, my iPhone is always out of space because I take so many photos, but other than posting them on Instagram or sharing them on the blog, I don't do much else with them. And real, tangible printed-out photos are just so much better. Enter Photowall. I was stoked when they reached out for us to try their site.

Blossomwood Witches Ride

Last year, one of the ladies in the neighborhood started a Witches Ride as a charity benefit. She invited women to get dressed up as witches, and literally ride the streets of our neighborhood, throwing out candy to the crowd (a reverse trick-or-treat!).

PCK 4.5

Our sweet PCK is four-and-a-half. Where have the years gone? Last month we submitted his application for kindergarten and I just about cried.

This guy has such the imagination right now. He's always pretending to be something. Last year, he would only answer to "Swimmer" after seeing the swim races on the summer Olympics. This year, we attended a summer minor league baseball game in Nashville, and Parker latched on to one of the player profiles - Jaff Decker - and insisted on being called Jaff Decker for months. He'd totally get into it and would type in "Jaff Decker" as his name whenever we went bowling, and would sign "Jaff Decker" on birthday cards and thank you cards (yes, he didn't yet know how to spell his own middle name, but learned Jaff Decker no problem 😂).

Life Lately

October always flies by. Out of all the months, it's the one where I feel like I blink and it's over. Here's what we've been up to lately...

4 Festive Butters for Your Holiday Rolls

There's a wonderful little restaurant in town that serves an herby compound butter with their bread basket. It really stands out because it's different and unexpected, and husby and I always comment that it's so fancy and fun. In anticipation of the holiday season (the fanciest time of the year!), I'm sharing four festive compound butter recipes. They'll make those dinner rolls on your upcoming holiday table even more special!

35 Things About Me

In honor of my birthday week (and completion of my 35th year on earth!), thirty-five things you might not know about me...

1. I have a late October birthday, which means I started kindergarten at age four. Of course kindergarten was much easier back then (now it's basically what first grade used to be).

2. Starting kinder at four meant I left for college at age seventeen. I always felt I was just a little ahead of the game and I loved it.


*Spooky* Friday the 13th Favorites

Happy Friday the 13th! In honor of this spooky day, here are some Halloween inspired favorites...
I just finished The Kind Worth Killing and I'm telling you - if you enjoy a psychological thriller (like me) stop everything right now and order this book! The book starts with two strangers meeting at Heathrow airport and sharing their secrets on the flight back to the U.S. The twists and turns that ensue make it such the spooky page turner! 

5 Tips for Pure Barre Empower

I've professed my love for Pure Barre many times over. I need a workout that holds me accountable, so exercising with an entire group (plus a teacher to lead, correct and modify) is just perfect in my book. Add to that all the other perks of barre - low impact, effective, fun - and it's pretty much a perfect workout.

Yee Haw, Dallas!

Max was born and raised in Dallas proper, and every time I visit I remember just how BIG of a city it is... after all, #everythingsbiggerintexas. Max randomly had a conference in downtown Dallas the week after his sister's wedding, so Parker and I stayed as well to get our Texas on!

Mimi Gets Married!

Is this the most perfect picture ever? Last month, Max's sister was married in pretty much the most perfect wedding ever! And spy the little guy on stage? Parker did his job as ring bearer like a boss, smiling to everyone as he walked down the aisle and having his best manners on stage during the ceremony! #proudparent

5 on Friday

Happy Friday, y'all! Here's my Five...

Sight Word Work

Leading reading groups was one of my favorite activities as a first grade teacher. Teaching a little one to read is just the best thing ever, and my mama heart is so happy that I get to do it now with my own child! Parker started out from the get-go with an interest in letters and words. At age one he was "reading" Exit and Stop signs, and his obsession just grew from there. He knew all letters and sounds at age two, and surprised us on his third birthday with the ability to read several sight words. It was at that moment I realized I could begin more formal reading instruction. 


Hello Monday! Huntsville schools are closed today because, wait for it, we are under a Tropical Storm Warning. When we first talked of moving to Alabama, experiencing a tropical storm was the last thing I thought we'd encounter here. Thoughts go out to those who were really in the hurricane path, of course, and hopes that it dissipates by the time it reaches this far north. 

Friday Five

Hooray for Friday and Hooray for fall! We've had gorgeous, cool mornings all week and I even busted out the peep-toe booties I scored last year (that I never got to wear because Alabama skipped fall last year and went directly from summer to winter). Find them on sale right now here! And now, onto my Friday Five...

Welcome back, Pumpkin Spice Latte! I'd been following this year's release date, so I was at Starbucks bright and early on September 1st! And just for funsies, here's the history of release dates:

Fascinating for all us PSL-obsessed, right? My favorite has been all the PSL photos on Instagram this week - I just love seeing how other people order theirs - Half calf! Almond milk! I always do a double tall, and sometimes I ask for extra whip 😊

Best news of the week? A new royal on the way! I'm just obsessed with Duchess Kate and I think she's even more adorable when preggers!

With our phenomenal weather, we've been eating outside like it's going out of style (because, you know, it will be come November). I whipped up homemade waffles for Sunday brunch and added super easy caramelized bananas - perfection! (Click here for the banana recipe.)

And Labor Day called for an Apple Pie! Max and I may have dug right into the dish with two forks once Parker was in bed (at least we weren't teaching him our poor manners, ha!).

Finally, I did a bit of fall inspired shopping! I'm hoping this top looks just as cute on me as it does on the model! And I couldn't pass up a festive pair of Halloween pajams for Sweet P! I've gotten him some variation of a skeleton pajama every year now (and bonus, these exact ones are on sale today!).

By the way, when I asked Parker what he wants to be for Halloween this year, he said "The same thing as last year." 😂 I die. He's so practical.

Linking up with...


The Bronze Anniversary

Husby and I have been using the "traditional anniversary gift" suggestions for anni gifts from the beginning (and when I say beginning I'm talking first anniversary, which is paper. Husby got all the brownie points for giving me a paper photocopy of a bracelet and then busting out the real diamond one 😍). Anyway, I love that it gives us a jumping off point each year for presents (and we actually toggle back and forth between the traditional and modern suggestions depending on the year). We've done practical (I've purchased a new belt for Max for the leather anniversary, and a polo shirt in a shade of turquoise like the water from our Bora Bora honeymoon for cotton), goofy (our faces on M&Ms for candy), cutesy (framed photos of ourselves together for wood), and responsible (a new dishwasher for appliances after ours broke - it was actually quite fancy and I'm still sad we had to leave it in Arizona when we moved!).

This year was our bronze anniversary. We celebrated with dinner out at The Bottle, where I reserved the famed Mafia Table (this fun booth in the corner window - we spotted a couple doing a celebratory dinner there earlier in the summer and I knew we had to have it!). Old Frond (my newest obsession) did the amazing floral arrangement for the table - it made the dinner so much more festive and fun! This was us spotting our table before entering the restaurant 💓

I'm still angling for a return to Tahiti for our 13th anniversary (😉), but dinner out with my love was just perfect for this anniversary. It fell on a Tuesday, and during this busy season of life, an uninterrupted meal for just the two of us is a rarity.

Plus, it was delicious to boot. I went with the pear salad (the honey pearls were my favorite) and the duck with foie gras sausage. Yum.

The corner table is so much fun - I loved being able to people watch and enjoy the light since sunset is still relatively late this time of year. 

Anniversary dessert is always a yes. 

So what did we do for our traditional gifts? I found "bronze" (I'm pretty sure they were just bronze colored) collar stays on Etsy that I could have hand stamped. Since husby uses collar stays almost every single day (he dons button-ups to work) I thought he'd like these sweet personalized ones.

And husby went "bonze-ish" as well with this new chandelier! It's the same model fixture we had above our dining table in Scottsdale, and I pretty much cried having to leave it when we moved, so I was all kinds of excited about this new one!

But those crystals! Right?!? So ooey gooey!

Does anyone else do traditional gifts for anniversaries? 

American As Apple Pie

Happy Labor Day! We spent yesterday at the pool (our last session of the season) explaining to our four-year-old that Labor Day Weekend unofficially marks the end of summer. I mean, it's pretty sweet that the U.S. sends us off into fall with a holiday 😊

What screams fall? Why the bushel of apples we have in our kitchen right now, courtesy of our local CSA. And what's more American than... apple pie? If you're looking to usher in autumn properly, whip one of these up and you won't be disappointed!

Apple Pie Recipe (adapted from Lauren Conrad)

  • 8 apples (I used golden from our CSA), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe pie crust (I used store bought refrigerated)
  • egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 Tbsp water)

Caramel sauce

  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour to form a paste. Add water and sugar, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes. (You want the sugars to be melted in and not grainy anymore.) Note: you don’t want to turn this into a dark caramel sauce—just a good sugar/butter mixture that caramelizes once baked. 

  1. Mix apples, sugars, flour, and cinnamon all together in a bowl.
  1. Roll out your pie dough circles and add one into a pie pan. Add the apple mixture into the pan and drizzle caramel sauce over apples. Cover with another crust and flute the edges. Cut vents in top, or use cut cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the tops of pies. 
  1. Brush top of pie with egg wash. Bake pie in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350, and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, until top is golden and the juices are bubbling.

makes 1 pie

Happy Baking!


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