Tag Archives: fall

Caramel Apple Sangria

cocktail 1cocktail 3This year for Friendsgiving, Ray and I decided to offer a fall/winter inspired cocktail. We knew we could go one of two ways. Apple based or cranberry based. This year we went with apple.cocktail 2We knew we wanted to make it in large batches to accommodate for the crowd. We chose a simple, but delicious Caramel Apple Sangria recipe.
Here’s what you need:
1 gallon Apple Cider or Apple Juice
1 large bottle Pinot Grigio
3/4 bottle Caramel Vodka
chopped apples for garnish
Mix, refrigerate, and serve!
Pro Tip – We used two different types of apples, red delicious and pink lady because that’s what we had on hand. The pink lady apples definitely help up better than the red delicious, which got a little mushy. I suggest using extra crisp apples like pink lady or gala.

We served this cocktail in a a medium sized glass drink dispenser. It was a big hit at Friendsgiving this year, but I think it would also be appropriate for a Christmas party!

October 2015 Favorites

October has flown by! We’ve had plans every weekend of October and it looks like it will stay that way through November and December. Here are a few of my favorites from October:
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– Apple Cider – It’s apple cider season and I couldn’t be happier about it. My inlaws just brought us some apple cider from their recent trip to North Carolina. I can’t wait to try it!
– Popcorn (with a few reese’s pieces on top) – We watched the first hour of Scream this month, and I had to have popcorn. We don’t have a microwave, and sometimes cleaning the popcorn maker seems like torture, so we usually buy jiffy pop (a la Scream).
– Pears – It’s pear season and I can’t get enough of them!
– Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak dry shampoo – Historically, I’ve had bad luck with dry shampoo. This is my first time trying Not Your Mother’s and so far, so good!
– Sally Hansen’s Diamond basecoat – I finally bought another one of these a few weeks ago. For the past several months I’ve been using up basecoats that I don’t really love and don’t really work well. I’m finally back to my tried and true!
– Size Matters by Essie – A fall essential!
– Peppermint Essential Oil – I’ve had a few headaches this month and I’ve used peppermint oil on the back of my neck and my temples to aid in alleviating pain. Ray has also used it under his nose to help with his nighttime stuffiness.
– Lemon Essential Oil – I’ve been using lemon oil to clean and to freshen my sink. Not to mention, it smells amazing!
*Not Pictured*
– My birthday – I turned 30 in October. 3-0. Thanks to all my friends and family who celebrated with me!
– Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival – I don’t want to say too much, as full post on the festival is coming Wednesday. Just know it was awesome and I loved it!
Scream Queens – Guys… just trust me. Best new show of the season!

“What fresh hell is this?”

Photography, hospital stays, and Margot West


  1. I took this photo during the fall of 2005. It was the beginning of October and I  was on my way to my friends, Dale and Amber’s house. I remember the moment very specifically because it was then when I started to believe I was probably the best photographer in North America.
  2. In reality I just happened to capture a pretty sky. But look at it! 10 years later and I still love it!
  3. It’s a lot harder for me to blog in the fall and winter. I work during the day and once I get home I have approximately 12 seconds of optimal light left for photos. And, I mean, who wants to read blogs with no photos? I sure don’t!
  4. Ray always says I should just learn to take better photos in low light… but I’d rather watch The Mindy Project than learn about photos.
  5. Speaking of Ray (my bae, hunny bunny, muffin cake), it was a year ago that he went into the hospital and we discovered he had diverticulitis. 3 hospital stays, 2 major surgeries, lots of dilaudid,  $5690450968456, and a year later, Ray’s doing pretty well. old 5
  6. Speaking of Ray again… Here’s another old fall photo. A selfie before selfies were such a thing. I love this photo, but I hate that hat. I’ve always hated that hat. The Newsboy/B-Spears/train conductor look just isn’t my fave.
  7. This was maybe taken in 2007? Maybe 2008? There’s a guitar in the backseat so I’m assuming this was during the years of Margot West (Ray’s old band, if you’re new here).
  8. Margot West is one of my favorite bands and I promise I’m not even being bias.
  9. One evening in late October of 2007, Margot West (then sort of called Gun Smoke?) played a show at the county fair. After the show Ray pulled me over to his truck and gave me a birthday present of two Nancy Drew books. One about a robot and one about a fire dragon. That’s when I knew he liked me.
  10. This post got too mushy too quickly. Sorry not sorry!!!!

Autumn 2015

IMG_0593I know there are technically a few weeks left of summer (and literally months of 90+ degree weather here in North Florida),  but labor day always marks a sort of farewell to the summer season. It’s generally bittersweet to see the summer go, but this year it’s only sweet. I can feel in my bones how much I need autumn right now.
Last September Ray got really sick and spent over a week in the hospital (another week in December and another few days in May). He was in a lot of pain, ended up having 2 major surgeries, and still (even a year later) feels the effects from last fall. That time was stressful, chaotic, scary, and just really hard. And while we were fully taken care of and carried through those difficult times, it’s nice the medical issues are over. I feel like we skipped fall (or actually entire holiday season) last year. I’m looking forward to Autumn 2015 as a season of renewal and refreshment.
Autumn 2015 is already starting to look very (VERY) different than 2014. We already have a trip to Disney World planned for my birthday, a trip to Nashville with friends for a wedding (and hopefully a visit with Jenna), our annual Friendsgiving party, and a plan to take time and enjoy the season. I can’t wait!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

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Last Saturday I had a hankering for apple cinnamon pancakes. I’d never had them before, but the idea of them was mesmerizing. That’s what watching Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives on netflix  for hours on end can do to a person.  I perused gawker and pinterest for recipes, but ended up making the recipe up as I went along.

1 C flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
dash of salt
1 C milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 shredded (or finely chopped) apple
1/2 C apple sauce

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients (except shredded apple and apple sauce). Mix dry and wet ingredients together slowly. Fold apple and apple sauce into mixture. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a buttered pan or skillet on medium. MAKE PANCAKES. Pretty easy, right? I also chopped an apple and mixed it with a little cinnamon and sugar for a fancy topping.

These apple cinnamon pancakes are a perfect fall breakfast!