First of all, we need to announce the winner of the Chevron Pumpkin Tea Towel giveaway! Alyssa Clark, you legitimately WON! Even when I found a bunch more hidden comments on our Facebook plugin on the blog post. 😉 Thanks for playing, everyone! Be watching for more fun giveaways coming up!
#1 The past couple of weeks have been super busy – first with a HUGE multi-family yard sale that ran almost a week, then a weekend trip to Chattanooga for a visit with Jeremy’s family (which turned into a delicious pre-Thanksgiving), and then finally Homecoming at my alma mater, Freed-Hardeman University, this past weekend.
For those of you who don’t know me in real life, I enjoy working with the FHU Associates year-round, which is a women’s group that raises money for FHU student scholarships. Our biggest event is an enormous tea party each May (which you’ll hear more about later, don’t you worry), but another event I’ve been involved in the past two years is the new FHBrew Coffeehouse. It’s not a permanent fixture on campus, but was created to cater to FHU Lectureship guests during the first week of February. With our special coffee (Bell Tower Brew, Three Swings and a Ring, and The Lion Sleeps Tonight) and yummy homemade baked goods, it’s been such a hit that we’ve been able to set up a slightly smaller version for a few other events. And of course, one of those is Homecoming! So I had fun working the coffeehouse all day Saturday. I’m a wanna-be barista. 😉 Plus, I do so love my sister friends on the coffeehouse committee. It’s a lot of work, yes, but we love each other and we love the cause. =)
Here’s Saturday’s set up, with two sweet students who helped us for a few hours.
#2 Our weather has been pretty mild lately, but it finally got cold around here this last week! And while I’m not a huge fan of cold weather (unless there’s a pretty snow) one major thing Jeremy and I always dorkily look forward to is our polar fleece sheets. I tell you what, I was always pretty crazy about flannel sheets…but then my mom and aunt introduced us to polar fleece. A few years back, several of us got these sheet sets (Malden Mills Polar Fleece KG Sheet Set w/ Extra Contrast Pillowcases) for Christmas and we all fell deeply and madly in love. Even the guys! There’s hardly anything cozier than crawling in bed on a cool evening and snuggling up in an already-warm bed. And when you wake up in the morning, ahhhh! Seriously, I tell people about these sheets all the time. And everybody who stays in our guest bedroom during the winter wants to know where to buy some. 😉
#3 Don’t punch me, but I’m ready to decorate for Christmas. I know some people have really strong feelings about decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving is over. Or even shopping or listening to Christmas music before December 1st (ahem, Jeremy) But I’m one of those rebels. I love fall and everything that comes with it – you know I do – but by the time Thanksgiving officially rolls around, there are no pretty colorful fall trees anymore. And I’ve been pumpkin-spicing everything since August. 😉 And I adore twinkle lights. It’s time to put ’em up and jump right into Cranberry Season. I can still celebrate Thanksgiving fully and completely, and then come home to my Christmasy house. =) But whatever any of us does, let’s not argue about it, O.K.? Thankfully, it’s just not that important in the big scheme of things. 😉
#1 Way up here at 11,000 ft. things are dry. Reeeealllly dry. My lip balm keeps a permanent residence in the front pocket of my jeans. I can’t drink enough water. The skin on my hands begs for hydration. You get the picture. I’ve never been one to suffer from dry skin on my face. I’m a pretty solid combination kinda girl. However, I can’t help but want to nourish my skin anyway. Back before we moved Kristen and I made a trip to The Body Shop and I picked up their Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask (among other things!). I.love.this.stuff. Everything about it. The consistency, smell, packaging, hydration…all of it. It comes in a good size jar with a little scoopy thing and takes just a tiny amount of product. I apply it at night after I clean my face and let it soak on in. Now, I can’t attest to the bounciness of my skin the next morning, but it does seem nice and moisturized and smooth. It’s practical, but feels oh-so luxurious.
#2 OK, this one is big. Huge, if you will. I can bake bread!!! And good bread at that! Oh, and did I mention that I can bake bread at 11,000 ft. above sea level?? Because I can. Honey wheat bread to be specific. We might have even had bread for dinner one night. :-/ I’m a grown up. Don’t judge me. 😉 If you haven’t already, check out Ashley’s post on her family’s bread that she makes weekly!
#3 Before we moved I thought the things I would miss most from the States would be Chick-Fil-A, Dr. Pepper, Target, and the convenience of basically anything and everything I want at my fingertips, a short drive, or a quick 2-day Amazon Prime delivery away. But I haven’t even thought about Chick-Fil-A or Target, and we found Dr. Pepper at a store down the street….what I am really missing is craft supplies! With the holidays coming up and (Hello!!) a little girl’s 1st birthday party just after New Year, I’ve been craving a mega trip to Hobby Lobby and/or Jo-Ann’s. Thankfully, Kristen is a peach and made a trip on my behalf to pick up a few things to send down so that I can participate in our big annual ornament swap. By the way, can we have a long-distance award for that? 😉 Oh, and I’ve also been wanting stuff to make sensory bags/bottles! I’ve been kind of obsessed with making some for EJ. So far, I have bags and cute duct tape. That’s it. I want glitter! Pom-poms! Googly eyes! Foam shapes! And other various little itty bitty things that are just not showing up around these parts! That’s part of the excitement of living abroad, though. Creativity gets bumped up a notch! I sense a blog post coming up… Oh, and McCafe decaf K-cups. I miss those, too. 😉
#4 See Kristen’s #3 above. Seriously. Those sheets. We bought a set of our own right before we moved. They’ve yet to be unboxed, but boy, when we find them… Cozy Town, baby!
#1 Fantastic news! My parents have purchased real estate ten minutes from our house. They currently live 14 hours from our house, so this is a really big deal. I’m so excited to have them close by. And, um, date nights! Growing up, we ate dinner at my Nana’s house every single Friday night. Even when my brother and I were in high school and had our own social lives, we wanted to be at Nana’s house on Friday nights. I hope we can start a similar tradition with my parents. 🙂
#2 Sad news. When we go visit my folks at Christmas next month, it will be the last time I get to stay in my childhood home. Bittersweet for sure. It’s the house I came home from the hospital to. My tiny handprint is stamped in the sidewalk out front. My old bedroom still has glow in the dark stars all over the ceiling and fan blades. Rather than being sad and weepy, I’m working on a long list of places to go, pictures to take and memories to soak up. I’m also working on a list of favorite foods to eat while I’m down there!
#3 We just got back from a wonderful family getaway in East Tennessee. (I’m sure I’ll work some of our adventures into a blog post in the near future. ;)) Our big splurge on the trip was to get each of our kiddos outfitted with some sweet cowboy/girl boots. All over the Gatlinburg area are these boot shops that boast Buy 1 Get 2 Free on their boots. Of course they are overpriced, but it still works out to be a really good deal. And I strategically steered Pickle Pants away from the pink boots towards something gender neutral, so Man Cub will get three pairs out of this purchase! Frankly, I’m a little jealous. I had to wait 31 years to get my first pair of real leather western boots!
#4 I made bread last week as usual, but it wasn’t rising right. I scratched my head wondering what I’d done differently…then it hit me. The house was a little chilly; not optimum bread rising conditions! If you’re baking bread this winter, try setting your covered bowl by an air vent with the heat on. Better yet, wrap a warm heating pad around the bowl.
#5 Dear Santa, please see Kristen’s #3 and Keli’s #4 above. Queen size, surprise me on the color. Thanks in advance, Ashley.