What I’m Lovin’ in October

October is my¬†favorite month of the year! I’m sad to see it go, but man was October good to me ūüôā

{Image via Pinterest}

{Image via Pinterest}

There are¬†so many things that I’m lovin’ this month, but here’s my short list!

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Since October is my birthday month, you’ll have to forgive the fact that almost all of my favorites this month¬†revolve around that ūüôā

Oh, well – Cheers to being one year older!

1. the watercolor family portrait by Rachel Tenny my sister had made for me

If you've ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is ;)

If you’ve ever met me, the Hubs and our pets, you know how very SPOT ON this painting is. ūüėČ

Y’all know how much I love my sister and when it comes to birthdays, she never disappoints! She’s also been pushing me to get some family pictures taken (no wedding = no fancy couple pictures) so this was the perfect solution! ūüėČ

A few months ago, I discovered Rachel on Instagram through some common friends. Her posts are so thoughtful and uplifting Рnot to mention beautiful. Of course, I had told my sister all about how much I loved her work.

When I opened the portrait (which my sister had framed beautifully…upside down!), I almost cried. It was beyond thoughtful and something I will cherish¬†forever.

My sister says that Rachel was amazing to work with! I’m shamelessly¬†encouraging you to support this super talented local artist by ordering from her shop, but secretly I want to hoard all her time because I have about a billion family portraits I want her to make for me! ūüôā

2. the Lavender Mocha at Drip

Lucky for me, my birthday fell on a Saturday this year which means I talked my sister, brother-in-law and the Hubs into going to The Good Life Cafe for brunch followed by a stroll through the Soda City market which ultimately landed us at my very favorite coffee shop, Drip on Main where Rachel aka “the Best Barista in Town” (as confirmed by Free Times) treated me to an iced Lavender Mocha {to.die.for. – for real, go grab one now!}

The Lavender Mocha is to.die.for!

Thank you for the treat, Rachel!

3. Learning new tricks to make my snail mail even fancier!

After learning the calligraphy basics (read more about that here), I’ve been diligently practicing and sending obnoxious amounts of snail mail (this month brought on a great excuse for thank you notes!). I was thrilled when I ran across a tutorial for “5 Unique Ways to Address an Envelope” on The Postman’s Knock.

{Source: The Postman's Knock - click the image for link}

{Source: The Postman’s Knock – click the image for link}

The best part about¬†the post is that she includes styles that you can do without any “real” calligraphy training (aka: faux calligraphy).

4. Flowers

The morning of my birthday, the Hubs said he was going for a run. An hour later he arrived home¬†carrying a vase full of beautiful flowers! Not only were they gorgeous on their own, the story of how they got to my house paints quite a comical picture:¬†The Hubs arrived at Publix, picked out pink roses for sentimental value (the first flowers he ever bought me were pink roses), baby’s breath because they are my favorite and yellow because who doesn’t love yellow?! Then bought a vase, scissors and a bottle of water [which must have come from a cooler because the vase nearly slipped out of my hands from all the condensation!]. He cut the stems in the parking lot and arranged them all by himself in the parking lot of Publix. I can only imagine what this looked like to the grocery shoppers that morning!

flowers

I think we’re all familiar with the fate of most plants that end up in my care (remember the Dutchess?), but my sister insisted on sending pansies home with me last weekend.

After a bit of resistance, I gave in and took those pretty purple flowers home to adorn my porch for as long as I can keep them alive.

pansies

I have to admit, being greeted by colorful little flowers after a long day of work sure is splendid. ūüôā

5. Any excuse to shop for vintage clothes!

One of my favorite local vintage shops is having a sale on Saturday, November 8th from 12-4pm at the Conundrum Music Hall. The Thrifted Sisters are two super sweet sister-in-laws who have a knack for finding the coolest vintage apparel (and other neat vintage goodies) and making them generously available to you (and me!).

thrifted sisters

Aside from the event on Nov. 8th (which you should definitely go to), you can find their goodies on Instagram (you get first dibs there¬†and you’re the first to hear about sales!) and Etsy.

My friend Shanika and I attended the  last party the gals threw and we had a blast trying on some super cool vintage outfits Рlike this awesome faux fur wrap Shanika found:

shanika

This picture makes me feel regret for not snatching this for myself!

And last, but not least: I’m lovin’…

6. All of you who made me feel so special on my birthday!

If you're not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

If you’re not following Kid President on Facebook, you need to! {Click the image for a link to his page}

I love birthdays – not only because they’re full of delicious treats (like homemade cupcakes from my sister!), but because they’re a reminder of the fact that people care about you! My heart is so full from all the birthday love this month. Thank you to everyone who made me feel so stinkin’ special!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}


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Star Spangled Family Weekend

No matter how many days “off” one has, Monday always comes too soon!

Kicked off the long weekend¬†with the Slice Sisters tackling¬†the Fabric 101 sale (keep an eye out for a pillow DIY post next week! ūüôā )

I may have had the whole day off, but the Hubs had a 12 hour day so I did what any good wife would do and bought him flowers…

only kidding - I bought him cheesecake, but aren't these bright pink flowers perfect in my new yellow vase from IKEA?!

only kidding – I bought him cheesecake, but aren’t these bright pink Publix flowers perfect in my new yellow vase from IKEA?!

On my way to pick up the flowers (err…cheesecake), I passed the new farmers market on North Main Street (at the edge of Cottontown). I did a quick U-turn and stopped to see what the local farmers had. We had weekend plans with family so I eagerly jumped at the $5 watermelon (what a steal!) – it’s my favorite summer time treat!

This was the SWEETEST watermelon I've had in a l-o-n-g time! If you're in Columbia, be sure to stop by the North Main Farmer's Market - they're open every Thursday from 1-7pm.

This was the SWEETEST watermelon I’ve had in a l-o-n-g time! If you’re in Columbia, be sure to stop by the North Main Farmer’s Market – they’re open every Thursday from 1-7pm.

Friday my Dad invited us over for a cookout¬†– I might not eat meat anymore, but when my Dad says he’s grillin’ I know to grab the Hubs and head over! It’s always a great time hanging out with my parents.

Then…there were sparklers!

The pictures a little blurry, but the face the Hubs was making was priceless. He's a child at heart!

The pictures a little blurry, but the face the Hubs was making was priceless. He’s a child at heart!

Saturday my sister and her husband invited us all out for a day of sailing. Being that Lake Murray is so close (& my sister always extends an open invitation) it’s a shame how little time I spend on it. I haven’t been swimming (well…floating) in far too long. The sun felt splendid and there was enough breeze for our adventure to be more sail and less motor ūüėČ

This is before I thought I was going to fall overboard..

This is before I thought I was going to fall overboard..

And as every perfect weekend should, the Hubs & I brought it to a close with brunch at Drip.

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Best coffee in Columbia!

 

The sun, water and time with family was just what my soul was craving! I’m so grateful to be part of such an amazing family that I live close enough to spend our holiday weekends together.

I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July holiday weekend!

Drip Coffee & Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

The forecast is oh-so-gloomy today so I’m happy to spend the morning with a warm cup of coffee and a pup snuggled up beside me on the couch.

My favorite lazy Saturday: a cup of drip coffee & a banana chocolate chip muffin!

My favorite lazy Saturday: a cup of drip coffee & a banana chocolate chip muffin!

Since I was on Spring Break this past week, I felt the need to bake (just once). So I made a batch of Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. I ran across this recipe from On Our Weigh To Health a few weeks ago and have made them twice now (which means they’re lazy cook approved!). It’s easy, delicious and healthier than your average muffin!

If you know me at all, you know my addiction to our local Drip coffee shop. I’ll admit that my home brewing isn’t¬†quite as delicious, but it’s pretty dang tasty (and it saves you from leaving the house on a lazy Saturday morning!). In fact, it’s so good that I gave my Keurig and collection of K-cups to my sister and I make a cup of drip coffee every morning.

Ok! Let’s get started on making that coffee.

For making drip or pour-over coffee at home, you’ll need:

  • coarse ground coffee beans (I haven’t invested in my own coffee grinder so I cheat by using the grinder at Trader Joe’s on the “drip” setting – be sure you choose drip instead of auto-drip so that your grounds will be just right)
  • a ceramic drip coffee filter¬†(got mine at World Market for only $7!)
  • #4 coffee filters
Supplies: coarse ground coffee (I prefer dark!), #4 filters & a ceramic drip filter (not pictured).

Supplies: coarse ground coffee (I prefer dark!), #4 filters & a ceramic drip filter (not pictured).

To start, boil some water in your tea kettle. If you don’t have a tea kettle, microwave some¬†water for about a minute.

Heat til she whistles then let it cool for a few minutes.

Heat til she whistles then let it cool for a few minutes.

Set up your pour-over station by placing the ceramic coffee filter on top of your cup (make sure the rim on the bottom of the ceramic filter fits inside of the brim of your coffee cup). Using a tablespoon, dump 2 heaping scoops of coffee into the filter.

Place the paper filter inside the ceramic filter & add 2 heaping scoops of coffee.

Place the paper filter inside the ceramic filter & add 2 heaping scoops of coffee.

Now you’re ready to pour! Pour about 1 1/4 cups of hot water over the coffee grounds (this may take 2 separate pours). Gently stir the grounds after you add the water.

drip DIY_5

Be careful not to pour too much water into the filter or your grounds will spill over and into your coffee. Yuck!

Voila! Now sit back and enjoy your tasty cup of joe.

What’s your favorite way to spend a lazy Saturday morning?