Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fall Home Tour 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, friends! Tomorrow, we will be hosting our parents in our new home for Thanksgiving and it is definitely a day to be Thankful for. 2016 has been a great year, following a very difficult 2015 and we are feeling very blessed this season.

If you stopped by to visit our home tomorrow, you wouldn't see a single Christmas decoration. I am a big believer in not rushing through Thanksgiving to get to Christmas. Each holiday gets its own time in our household. Come Friday, though, I'll be packing away our fall decor and pulling out the start of our Christmas decorations. 

I never got around to sharing our fall decor so I thought I would share it now. We moved into our new home back in June and with a new baby, it has been a work in progress since then. (New home before shots here.) Next year I will need to add more decorations but I think we got off to a good start this year. I took these photos in about ten minutes and they are pretty candid. Some are off center and I didn't have time to edit them amidst my Thanksgiving prep, but we like to keep things real around here anyway. 

I shared my front door already but I have just loved it this season. For the first time ever my mums made it through to Thanksgiving alive and well. The planters and lanterns are from At Home and I made my wreath several years ago. It has seen better days but I still do love it.

Our foyer is simple. Just a pretty white pumpkin, fall candle, and some fall colored flowers. I only got that foyer table and mirror in October so I really have no idea how I will style this area for every day. It has only ever seen fall.

Our dining room might be my favorite room of the house. One day I will do a full home tour once everything is finished and I have time to photograph. I love the little sparkly pumpkins and will probably try to do something incorporating acorns and faux leaves next year to add a little more depth.

In our living room, I added a few white pumpkins to our built ins and mantle and a fall throw pillow I picked up at Home Goods. Next year, I would like to add some kind of garland to the mantle. I love the white pumpkins in this room, though, because it adds that touch of fall without detracting from the color scheme I chose for this room.

I just added some fall flowers to the table in our breakfast nook. This is where we eat most of our meals so I don't do anything really fancy in here. I picked up these cork placemats from HomeGoods and I am obsessed with them. It took some getting used to because I prefer cloth but just being able to wipe them off is a game changer for every day meals.

I have this pumpkin, purchased years and years ago, on our kitchen counter with a smaller pumpkin and fall candle beside it. We have lots of counter space in our kitchen so there is one long stretch that typically has nothing on it. I think it will be fun to play with this space during the holidays. Plus, I will always need a little something to detract from that backsplash that I hate! 

This wraps up fall in our home for this year. I am excited to start decorating for Christmas over the weekend. I know I will need to hit up my favorite home decor store, too, because I will surely need a few new items once I have a chance to unpack and play with what I have. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday! And happy Thanksgiving week!

We had a great weekend and I had fun celebrating my birthday with our little family. On Thursday, I went to the Panthers/Saints game with some girlfriends and had a great time. The weather was perfect and the Panthers won! 

We had a low key Friday night at home with Thai takeout then my husband cooked a birthday breakfast Saturday morning and we enjoyed homemade pumpkin pancakes, fresh fruit, and mimosas. 

Then, Corey took Madeline for a walk while I headed out for a mani-pedi. I tried the new Essie 14-day wear polish and so far I am loving it. I got the color Take me to Thread and I'll report back soon to let you all know how long it really wears. 

Saturday night we got all dressed up and headed out to dinner. I totally splurged and enjoyed steak and lobster AND a baked potato. It was delicious and always nice to have a little date night.

Then on Sunday we took a little drive to Mooresville to try Alino's, a pizza place. Y'all, it was soooo good! Corey and so are total pizza snobs from living in New York and New Jersey and we really haven't found any pizza in Charlotte that we love. We've found some we like at a couple places but Alino's has been the best we have tried since moving back South by far. I might even go as far to say it is better than many of the places we are while living in Hoboken.

It's finally been sweater weather around here so I wore this sweater that April recommended and it was so comfy. The back is open so that gives it a little something unexpected. I paired it with my favorite leggings and Frye boots

It was a great weekend and I will be detoxing until Thanksgiving after all the delicious but unhealthy foods we ate this weekend! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Best Sour Cream and Coconut Cake

I made this cake last week for Madeline's baptism lunch and it is a favorite in our household. It is a super easy recipe that I adapted from a coworker who made it for my birthday years ago. It needs to be made 24 hours ahead of time and is always a crowd-pleaser so it is perfect for entertaining.

  • Boxed white cake and ingredients to prepare it as instructed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 8 oz cool whip
  • 2 6-oz bags of frozen coconut
The best thing about this recipe is it just starts with a box of white cake mix. Bake in two 8 inch round pans following the directions as stated on the box. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. While it is cooling, make the filling and icing.

For the sour cream filling, you will need a 16 ounce container of sour cream, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and a 6 oz bag of frozen coconut. Simply mix these ingredients together and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Next, take about a cup of the filling and mix with an 8 oz container of cool whip to make your icing. Add extra coconut to taste but make sure you save some to top your cake.

Once your cake has cooled, cut each cake in half so that you have four layers total. I use toothpicks to give myself a guide so that my layers are straight...or straight-ish. Find on top layer and place it round side down. Then, add the sour cream filling. Be generous. There is plenty! Add your next layer, repeat with more filling, and so on.

Its ok if it looks messy but you really want to get that filling in there because it will soak into the cake overnight and make it taste moist and delicious. Then, use a spatula to frost the cake with your cool whip frosting. Sprinkle extra coconut on top to give it a pretty look then refrigerate. Its best to let it stay covered in the refrigerator for 24 hours but I have made it in a pinch with just 12 hours to spare and it was still amazing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Birthday Lust List

My birthday is on Saturday and I really hadn't given much thought to what I wanted this year. This has been an exciting year and with a new baby and a new home, I'm already feeling very blessed. 

I guess there are a few things I wouldn't mind showing up on Saturday, though. 

Waterford balloon wine glasses. I have a couple of these but am still working on building a complete set. They are so pretty and a great weight. I also love that they are dishwasher safe, unlike most crystal. 

Tiek ballerina pink flat. I bought my first pair of Tiek flats last year when I received a teacher appreciation gift card and they have been a complete game changer. I know my collection of Tory Burch's is getting a little nervous. 

Anthropologie gift card. Anthro has become my favorite store since I stepped away from the classroom. I wear either jeans or leggings everyday these days so I love pairing them with a cute tunic or top. Especially one that I can wear out for a date night or girl's get together. I'm loving this tiered lace top and this lavender off-the-shoulder top. 

Instax mini camera. I grew up in the days of polaroids and I just think it would be fun to expose Madeline to the world of polaroids, too. 

What is on your lust list currently? 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Coffee + Conversation

A busy weekend has come to a close and I am sitting on the couch drinking a coffee, enjoying my shake, and...watching Daniel Tiger with Madeline. 

Saturday was a busy day for us as we ran some errands to finish getting ready for Madeline's baptism.    I had my heart set on picking up a new pair of monogrammed bloomers for her to wear under her gown and had a few other items to pick up. I also had our lunch catered so I had to pick up our meal. I'll do a full recap of the day soon but I have to say catering the lunch might have been one of the best ideas I ever had. So easy! 

Saturday night, we watched the (very disappointing) Clemson game at home, ordered Thai takeout, and I drank wine while I set the dining room table. Wine drinking + party prep wasn't a bad way to spend my evening.

Madeline did so well at her baptism. I wasn't so sure how it would go when my (now) great sleeper was wide awake at 6:21 on Sunday morning. I'm guessing she was just excited? She took a pretty decent morning nap for being off schedule as was happy as can be through the whole service.

I feel like I keep mentioning every Monday that we "have a busy week ahead" but that's how I am feeling this week, too. Today, I am making a meal for a neighbor who recently had a baby before I tutor this evening, we are going to Story Time tomorrow, trying to hit the Southern Christmas Show on Wednesday, have Madeline's nine month checkup and a Panther's game on Thursday, and a playgroup on Friday with a few other activities and errands thrown in. birthday on Saturday! Yay! 

Friday, November 11, 2016

5 on Friday

Happy Friday! And a special thank you to all of our veterans who have heroically served our country. I am proud of the veterans in my own family and grateful to the other families who have shared their loved ones in order to keep our nation safe.

Madeline hit the polls this week for the first time. I don't have anything to share publicly about the election other than I am truly saddened by all the hate going around right now. The last thing our country needs is to be further divided. 


This week I enjoyed a Panther's stadium tour and happy hour with some girls from my sorority alumni group. It was a fun evening and I learned some pretty cool information about the stadium that I didn't already know. 

Madeline's baptism is this weekend at my family's church. This is where Corey and I were married nearly five years ago! Afterwards, we are hosting a lunch at my home and I'll be busy making my favorite white coconut cake tomorrow morning. I'll post a recap early next week. 

My birthday is next week and Corey just informed me for the first time ever I have not mentioned anything I wanted ahead of time. I'm contemplating asking for the new cordless Dyson vacuum. Hahaha! #youknowyoureoldwhen So, I suppose I have some thinking to do on that over the weekend and a little window shopping. Happy Friday!

Link up here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday.

Things have been pretty busy over here lately. It's nice to sip a cup of coffee and catch up this morning.

We enjoyed Madeline's first Halloween last week. I even more enjoyed watching her crawl around in her owl costume. It was hilarious. She doesn't really do the conventional crawl. I'd say it most closely resembles an inchworm with some mini frog hops thrown in from time to time. 

Corey's mom just moved to Charlotte. She stayed with us while getting settled but is officially in her own house now and we are really enjoying having her so close and I am glad all of Madeline's remaining grandparents now live close by and she will get to spend lots of time with them growing up.

Corey and I try to be very intentional with healthy eating. Last week I made zoodles and a lightened up meat sauce. This was my favorite way to eat zoodles to date. So good. 

Over the weekend, we had some friends over to watch the Clemson game. Corey cooked ribs on the Big Green Egg and I made our favorite southern cole slaw. I also made a few of my favorite easy appetizers that I will share with you soon. The game wasn't very exciting (poor Syracuse) but it was fun to spend the time with friends. 

With Madeline's Nonnie in town, we snuck out to Good Food on Montford, which has been one of my favorite restaurants (behind Soul Gastrolounge) but I have to say we were majorly disappointed this time. The dishes seemed rushed and mediocre and the service was awful. I was really disappointed since we don't get a baby free date night all the time these days. 

I have been trying really hard to push Madeline's schedule back for daylight savings and was so happy when she slept until 6:40 Sunday morning, only waking twenty minutes early. However, she drooled and chomped on her hands and toys alllll day long yesterday so we had a very rough night last night. I hate teething. 

Despite being a teething grump yesterday, we made it through our holiday photo shoot and I can't wait to see how these turn out. I'm both excited and apprehensive because I'm pretty sure she pouted the whole time. Babies will be babies. At least Riley, wearing his southern gentleman bow tie collar, put forth his best effort.

Today is super busy for us. We have playgroup and lunch with friends. It is my first afternoon tutoring my new client and then I'm off to Bunco. 

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Day Trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway

A couple weeks ago, we took a fun day trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was that random week where the weather cooled off a bit and it actually felt like fall. We left during Madeline's nap time and drove to Blowing Rock. We stopped for her to eat, have a diaper change, and walk around for a bit. Then, we headed on to the Parkway making some stops along the way.

My favorite was Linville Falls, where there is a short half mile hike to some small waterfalls, which is perfect for an infant. I love fall in the mountains but my husband really loves fall in the mountains and growing up in New Jersey, he wanted to see some more exciting foliage than we currently have in Charlotte.

We ended at the Switzerland Inn, which has the cutest little restaurant and an incredible view, and had a late lunch before heading home. Madeline did great considering she was in the car most of the day and it was a fun little fall family outing. That is one of the best things about working from home. As long as there is service, we can work from anywhere.