Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Graves Mountain Apple Festival

The past few weekends I've been tucked away in the land of no cell phone signal and endless country roads at the Graves Mountain Apple Festival in Syria, VA. Visiting the festival is an annual tradition for my family, and each year I make a point to take in the mountain air, get ahold of some of the delicious fair food, like Apple Butter Donuts and fresh cooked Kettle Corn. There are hay rides, bluegrass performances, vendors, funnel cakes, and pick your own apples from the orchards nearby. It's one of my favorite fall events, and I wouldn't miss it for the world. These photos are just a little taste of the details you'll experience once attending the festival. It makes me want to go back to the mountains already!

Have you signed up for the book swap yet?
Only a couple more days to do it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Great Big Fall Time Book Swap

With the weather cooling down, what's better than curling up with a nice cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa, and reading a fabulous book? Absolutely nothing! That's why, I've teamed up with a few bloggers to bring you the Great Big Fall Time Book Swap!

It's quite simple, really! Sign up below, and in the next coming weeks you'll be matched with a partner. From then, you will be able to get to know your partner's likes and dislikes, and on November 15th, you'll send them a book of your choice!

Other than shipping a book to your partner, there are very few rules. Once meeting your partner, you can discuss if you'd like to trade brand new, used, or even multiple books. Then, if you have a blog, there's always the option to post about the book you got, and your experience in the swap!

*This swap will be open internationally!

If you'd like to join the swap, be sure to sign up by October 30th!

Can't wait to get swapping!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halfway to Halloween Party!

This past weekend we had our "Halfway to Halloween" or "Half-Assed Halloween" party! Since it was in the middle of the month, instead of on actual Halloween, we knew that we could get away with the bare minimum for decorations and costumes (hey, we're broke college students here!) and still have a great time. Plus, everyone we invited showed up, because hardly anyone is busy on the 17th of October! The party was great fun, so fun in fact that I forgot to take pictures of every guest and all the fun they were having! But I managed to scrounge together the photos I did take, and stole a few from friends, so here is a little peek at our Halfway to Halloween party!

 
I dressed up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, sans shell bra. I did wear a green maxi skirt as my "tail" and put a little red tint in my hair. I also threw on quite a bit of sparkly eyeshadow, which was fun as it's way out of the ordinary for me. I may do a full outfit post as Ariel later on this month if you all would be interested in that!

My spooky Halloween bark was a huge hit at the party. It was gone before I knew it! I'll definitely make more next time!

 
And what's any party without Angry Orchard? Hands down my favorite drink of all time. And HOW ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE is Le'Andra as Rosie the Riveter?!!?!

Le'Andra and Tianna hugged it up before the festivities began. They're the two best friends that anybody could have! (Sung like Zach Galifianakis a la The Hangover)

 
Maddy and Chris came too, as Little Red and a Zombie. They're kind of my favorite couple ever. Such cuties! BE STILL MY HEART!

All in all, we had tons of fun playing HeadBandz, Kings, Ello Gov'na, and a strange but super interesting hybrid of Taboo and Charades. We drank "Witches Brew" and ate junk food to our hearts' content. It was a great way to kick off the Halloween spirit!

What are you doing for Halloween?
What is your favorite party game?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Bread on the Floor Incident: And Other Moments When Living with People Got Really Weird.

The other day my friend sent me this photo. She'd come home to her apartment to find two slices of honey-wheat bread laying in the middle of her kitchen floor. There was no explanation, just bread. This got us started on a conversation of all the crazy things we've experienced while living with people the past few years.

I asked some of my friends to tell me some of their weirdest roommate stories, and this is what I got:

"One of my roommates managed to pull the sprinkler out of the ceiling and ended up flooding the entire building the night before finals. The building was evacuated and I had to sleep across campus and finally got to bed around 2AM..."

"My roommate used to take hour long showers... three times a day."

"My roommates left a trash bag full of dishes (both mine and not mine) in front of my bedroom door with a note..."

"One of my roommates always walked around the suite completely naked, without warning, all doors open."

"My roommate threw away her waffle iron because she didn’t want to clean it..."

"One of my roommates had her boyfriend living in her room for months."

"My roommates always seemed to use my kitchen supplies that took more effort to take down than their own that they have in an easy access drawer. Of course they never wash them or put them back where they belong."

"Once, my roommate woke me up and kicked me out of the room to have a "personal" Skype date with her boyfriend, when I was clearly in the room before she was."

"My roommate had friends over, they all got drunk, and she allowed them to barf all over the bathroom and living room. It took her quite a few days to even start cleaning it up."

"I had one roommate that only came out of her room to do laundry or get food."

"My roommate always snuck into my room without my permission to use my beauty products and stole things like my tampons and postage stamps."

"My roommate got drunk and was convinced she had been in the bathroom for two hours, but in reality it was only like 10 minutes."

"My roommate would stockpile tons of food each week, but never eat it. Then I started noticing that a lot of my food was disappearing..."

"A roommate I had accused me of not cleaning up after (wine and beer bottles) from "my friends" when they were actually hers."

"My roommates had people over without a heads up at 11PM on a weeknight and were loud enough to be heard over Skype through a closed door."

"I told two of my roomies they could have some of my lime-a-ritas, as long as they were staying in for the night. I came home from work a few nights later to find red solo cups and empty lime-a-rita cans strewn all over the kitchen and living room."

"When it was cold outside, my roommate would turn up the heat to 89 degrees"

"My roommates used my pots and pans to cook dinner super late at night and didn't clean them for at least a week..."

"After about half a semester one girl wasn't seen again until move out day."

"My roommate flooded the bathroom taking a "romantic bath" with her boyfriend."

"My roommate constantly mispronounced words and corrected me on my (correct, mind you) pronunciation... with confidence."

See, the thing is... that no matter who you are, each and every one of us is a little bit insane. We all have our quirks and our particular annoyances and our strange mannerisms. Living with people can be a pain, but it can also be an awesome experience. You learn so much about other people and can learn a lot about yourself too. You learn to adapt, you learn to solve problems, and you learn to remember which day is yours to wash the dishes.

Do you have any crazy roommate stories?
Any idea why there was bread on my friend's floor?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oreo - The Experience

I did it. I went off the deep end. I bought and tried the most frightening new release this fall. The Pumpkin Spice Oreo, and I didn't hate it.

America's Favorite cookie has become gimmicky and trendy, with flavors the likes of cookie dough and fruit punch. I'd almost given up, but something told me to try this one. Even though I hate Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of any Oreo that isn't chocolate. I gave it a shot.

The Pumpkin Spice Oreo is a vanilla cookie with pumpkin flavored cream. There is a strong bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin flavor. It tastes like you're biting into a tiny pumpkin pie.

If you're a fan of everything pumpkin, I have confidence that you'll enjoy this cookie. Even if you're a pumpkin scrooge like me, you'd probably enjoy this cookie as well. Unless you have a strong aversion to nutmeg, you'll probably be a fan.

I'm not sure if I'd repurchase, seeing that there are tons of Halloween cookies to get out there and try. Out of all the Oreos I've had in my life, classic are still my favorite. Stay far away from the fruit punch, but maybe consider giving this fall themed cookie a chance.

Have you tried the Pumpkin Spice Oreos?
What is your favorite pumpkin flavored treat?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

current ramblings - fall is here!

Autumn is without a doubt my favorite time of year. Halloween, hoodies, tall boots, apple cider, and pumpkin muffins. I took this photo over the weekend when I was in the mountains. The sun was coming up and everything was beautiful. It made me think about everything I have to be thankful for.

Then I woke up this morning with a migraine and all of that went out the window. I'm just kidding, but today has kinda been the pits. Luckily, a cup of English Breakfast Tea, an emergency trip to Chipotle, and countless episodes of Gilmore Girls have things looking up a bit.

Last night, my friends (and favorite couple) Maddy and Chris came over to watch the premiere of American Horror Story - Freak Show. Did any of you catch that last night? It might be my favorite season thus far. Weird and creepy, but not quite as gory as some of the stuff from the previous seasons... yet.

The rest of my week will be filled with shopping for friends' birthday presents (which will include as many scented candles as my budget will allow, I'm obsessed), reading poetry by Edgar Allan Poe (I just bought an anthology of all his work) and going to the Apple Harvest Festival at Graves Mountain Lodge this weekend. 

I'm convinced that autumn and fall are actually adjectives (kind of like how Gretchen Weiners used "fetch") and I'm gonna do everything in my power to have the most "autumn" fall of all.

Hope all of you are having a lovely and very "fall" Thursday!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

DIY Polymer Clay Pumpkin Charms

Halloween is just around the corner, and I don't know about you, but so many people are obsessed with pumpkin everything during the fall months! So when my lovely friend Emily showed me a pumpkin charm she made, I knew I'd have to photograph her process and show it to all of you! With these little polymer clay pumpkins, you can make pumpkin earrings, pumpkin necklaces, pumpkin charm bracelets, magnets, or even use them as miniature Halloween decorations!

You will need:
Orange, green, and brown polymer clay. Black is optional, but depending on the green you have, you may want to add black to make it a little darker. We had lime green so darkening it was necessary! You'll also need a small paint brush for creating ridges and smoothing any little imperfections that may occur.

First, take some orange clay and form a little ball. This will be the body of your pumpkin.

Then, put a little pressure on the top of the ball to flatten the bottom a bit. Use the round end of your paint brush to make an indent on the top of the pumpkin. This is where the stem will rest.

From the little indentation you made, make ridges all the way down your pumpkin to create the "gourdy" look. These don't have to be perfect, so be creative with spacing and line length!

From there, create a thin "snake" of green, a leaf shape, and a little brown stem.

Then, add your stem, curl a few loops in your vine, and attach your leaf! Congrats, you've made a little pumpkin!

For hang-able charms, stick a headpin through the unfired clay and bake according to your clay's packaging. Our clay required 275 degrees F for 15 minutes. Once baked, use your pumpkins to adorn anything and everything you want! Emily used hers to make earrings!

What are you going to be for Halloween?
What other clay charm tutorials would you like to see?