A Saturday Tale

It was a chilly, winter Saturday morning, and I wanted nothing more than to follow my New Year’s resolution and chase adventure!

My family decided to take a stroll through our local farmer’s market to visit an old friend (who sells thebest salsain the whole world) and grab a hot breakfast cooked to order. We enjoyed her quail egg breakfast sandwiches, as well as some baked cinnamon donuts by the most exquisite baker in town. Is your mouth watering yet?

We also tried some spicy BBQ sauce made with cane sugar, and warmed our frigid fingers to a blend of freshly ground coffee, made from a local couple. I’m SO grabbing a bag of that Sumatra next time! Pop that into the French press and steam away…

A couple of other goodies we found was a homemade king cake by the talented Mrs. Francis (who’s basically everyone’s grandmother), some chips created by a guy who was in the high school band with me, some divine pastries from yet another baker, and a bottle of herbal root beer kefir soda. I have to admit…I really dig this soda! It’s fermented with yeast, and the lady who makes them in town has so many flavors to choose from! When I visit her tent, it’s like going to a juice bar. She even has little fountains so you can taste a few different flavors to find your favorite. Be warned–these are considered probiotics! (And make you feel GREAT!) [Insert Thumbs-Up Here]

I’ll take this time to mention I also pet the most adorable boxer I’ve ever met. She’s chocolate brown with a satin coat, and the sweetest smile and tail wag! I made her extra excited, so she almost knocked her owner to the ground… She looked like this, just a darker brown.

I apologize for the lack of photographs, I seem to have been too concerned with keeping my hands warm that I neglected my phone! You can see a few of our buys here, though:

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Can you spot hard-boiled Mardi Gras quail eggs?

The Farmer’s Market was only the beginning of Saturday adventures, though. After running a few errands and resting for a couple of hours, it was time to get ready for the Polyester Power Hour PartyIt was a night filled with disco music by a local band, Krossfyre, and boogie shoes all around. The band was phenomenal! No one even needed a chair, because everyone wanted to dance. If you want to hear some clips, visit my Instagram post and swipe past the photos.

I’ve never really been “out,” as people call it, because I don’t drink, and I don’t prefer to be around a bunch of people who drink too much. It’s not usually how I have fun, so it was a new experience for me. But…this party was a riot, and my beau and I had a blast!

The main reason I had a blast was due to two people whom I’ve been dying to meet–the hosts of the morning show on our local radio station! I have been listening to them for nearly 15 years now, and it was an honor to meet them. It MADE. MY. YEAR. Thank you, C.J. and Debbie Ray, for being so kind to take a photo with me.

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-beaming with pure happiness-

What new experiences do you look forward to on the weekend? Once you have the chance to unwind and have time to do what you love?

❤ Michelle

The Super Bloody Blue Moon

Let me begin by admitting that before today, I wasn’t absolutely sure of the definition of a “blood moon” or a “blue moon.” Just in case you are also in the dark (pun intended), here’s some explanation!

Blood moon – a lunar eclipse where the moon appears to be red when shadowed by the Earth.

Blue moon – the second full moon in the same month.

Super moon – when the moon is closest to the Earth


This morning before work, Mum fluttered in like a sparrow before the sunrise to remind me of the all-natural, awe-inspiring, magical phenomenon that was the blue blood moon. I was lucky enough to capture a photo that didn’t blur.

Check it:

The Bloody Blue Moon

This super moon lit up the frosty grass with an azure glow. I find the moon mysterious, inviting. Moonlight is only a reflection of the powerful light that our sun creates, but it seems to breathe into us a different life force. While practicing yoga, I learned that the moon is connected to our feminine spirit. Could this be true?

Ever since I can remember, my mother and grandmother wouldn’t sleep well on nights of a full moon. I’ve had this trouble as well. (I’m sure there’s plenty of folklore to keep that tale afloat.) Could our bodies or spirits be connected to the moon like the oceans’ tides? Are we being tugged at in earnest, as the moon closely rotates our planet? Are we closer to our natural satellite than we understand? Is it electric? Is it emotional? Is it biological? Is it magnetic? Is it…spiritual?

Do you feel connected to the universe? Do you feel unusually connected to nature in some way? I’d love to know. 🌘

❤ Michelle

Fall Favorites

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Bienvenue! Another Autumn Lovin’ segment is coming for you and with many suggestions for your seasonal entertainment; stay tuned for your second Fall Freebie, too!

Before we begin, I’d just like to point you down there to the sidebar where my Instagram photos are lodged. I’m taking part in the new Instagram Mini-Series for Write 31 Days! This daily writing series happens every year in October, and you can join in on the Write 31 Days website. There’s also a link to the official Facebook group where you can follow and meet other writers who are also taking part in the annual challenge. You can follow my “Coffee Thoughts”  edition by clicking on any of the Instagram thumbnails in the sidebar!

Want to start the Autumn Lovin’ Series from the beginning? Visit the Kick-Off post!


Today for our Fall Favorites, I’d like to share 10 of my favorite things that I like to take part in during this cozy season—my favorite:

  1. Movie – This category is probably the hardest! With ABC’s 13 Nights of Halloween I can’t choose my favorite; so I nominate this channel as my favorite Halloween movie(s)!
    • A couple of my favorites include Sleepy Hollow, Coraline, The Addams Family, Frankenweenie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and even the musical, Sweeney Todd.
    • If TV shows are included, I also enjoy watching the Halloween Baking Championship and Halloween Wars on the Food Network, as well as Once Upon a Time on ABC.
  2. Music – Any Danny Elfman music, especially from Nightmare Before Christmas, is wonderful, plus Monster Mash and music from Hocus PocusHarry Potter music is also just perfect for the coming-of-Halloween and witchcraft vibes! I love to feel like I’m in the season when they come around. I want to experience it fully so I don’t feel like I missed out in the celebration that can break out every day!
  3. Color – My absolute favorite color, if I had to choose, would be a pastel orange. I love light and bright colors. But this season, I prefer a burnt orange, more dirty-pumpkin color. (Pumpkins are the cutest. They’re up there with donut cuteness, ya know? Did I mention I love pumpkin-everything? Especially just pumpkins in general?!) I’ll just admit that October is my favorite color. #stereotypicalwhitegirlquote
  4. Apparel – Wearing and surrounding yourself with earthy colors really bring out the color changes in the season, as well as that cool—yet still cozy—autumn air. Colors like dark, golden yellow, olive greens, and maroon/burgundy are huge this season. Try mixing those into one outfit—you’ll even get others feel that autumn aura! If it is cold where you are, light scarves may be the perfect way to easily dress up (or autumn-up) any outfit for any occasion. Well, maybe not jogging. Don’t go jogging with a scarf. Ankle-high boots with a cute buckle would also help you to settle in and take advantage of the cooler weather. Right now, I’m still dressed in shorts and sandals. Maybe one day it will get cold. Maybe…
  5. Activities – Other than baking, which I adore…
    • If you’re looking for something new to do this season, just to change it up, the first thing I’d recommend is grabbing a pumpkin from your grocery store and carve it up. You get to decide what you want your special pumpkin to be, and it’s easy!
    • I also think geocaching something really fun to do outside. It’s hard in the summer with bugs and the sun beating down, but it’s much more enjoyable in the fall.
    • Camping and hiking are always a good idea. Always. I want to go camping.
    • Photography—because the autumn colors, duh!
    • Birdwatching is a relaxing way to enjoy your morning coffee. Migrating birds start coming around when the weather gets cooler, so we see many different species throughout the season, and even in the winter. Right now, we have hummingbirds visiting, but they will be going soon. Who is in your yard?
    • Going on a hay ride is itchy, but fun! Especially if you’re riding to a giant bonfire where there will be s’mores.
    • Visiting a pumpkin patch near you is a great place to take family photos and participate in family activities that only happen in the fall. Be wary of pumpkin prices, though. Might want to get those at Walmart…
  6. Beverage – This category is also a difficult one, because beverage stores all over introduce new fall flavors every year. I like a good PSL, but I have to admit that it can’t be my favorite. Hazelnut roasted coffee is my favorite, actually (I could drink it all year), but I also enjoy Mexican hot cocoa and a warm, cinnamon-y apple cider.
  7. Snack – Two words: PUMPKIN. BREAD. That is all.
  8. Art – This time of year, soft watercolor paintings is what’s in. From woodland animals to pin-up zombies and skulls, it’s a competitive show out there. Not to mention, Inktober is currently in progress. Check up on your favorite artists on Instagram by searching the affiliated hashtag and watch their 31-day inking journey!
  9. Book – (Disclaimer: this is shocking, so please don’t scream.) I haven’t yet read Anne of Green Gables, but I do plan on it! I am looking forward to reading this book as a part of making the most of the season, as well as my free time. There’s also a new series on Netflix based on the book, titled Anne with and ‘E’. I’ll give that a gander once I’ve finished the book.
  10. Poetry – My favorite poet has always been John Keats; well, ever since we studied Romantic Poetry in British Lit. He wrote a beautiful ode, To AutumnIf you’re a lover of literature like myself, here are pages one and two of his original manuscript this famous poem. (Totally fan-girled when I found these!)

That just about covers everything that you can fit in this fall! If you have any other fall experience that you’d recommend to me, I’d love to hear it. I’m always up for new adventures. If you dip your toes into anything I’ve suggested, tell me about it!

Just as I promised, here is your Fall Freebie! The freebie today is an autumn-inspired memoir that could also double as an autumn romance poem for you to enjoy. I think romance + fall = super cozy feelings. Don’t you?

◇.:Late Autumn- A Memoir:.◇

See you next week on Friday the 13th…

Muahahahaha…

❤ Michelle

Pumpkin Sweet Pumpkin

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Good afternoon, sweet readers.

I hope you’ve been taking advantage of every moment this week and had new adventures along the way.

Thanks for catching up in the Autumn Lovin’ Series! If you’d like to start the adventure from the beginning, visit the kick off post.


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A couple of cake toppers I made at work for today’s baking schemes

Not to my surprise, I had the urge to bake. There was a can of pumpkin in the pantry that just had to be opened! I thought, “maybe cupcakes?” But in reality, I wanted to do something a little more special than just…cupcakes.

Wracking my brain for ways to make them a little more special, I thought of mini bundt cakes; and then—what if I put two bundt cakes on top of each other? You know, to make a pumpkin!

 

I enjoy decorating and making new things each year because it’s as if I’m going on little adventures, expanding my horizons. There are so many ways to bake a pumpkin cake, and there are even more ways to decorate it! Because autumn is my favorite season (and unfortunately our shortest), I try to fit in as many autumn-feeling activities as possible each time it comes around. It’s amazing how adult life makes it harder to do anything besides sleep, though!

This cupcake recipe was on point. If you’d like to try this easy, from-scratch recipe, visit  The Cake Blog! These cakes come out insanely moist with a delicate texture and powerful, spicy pumpkin punch. What other recipe could  you need?

For the stem, I used melted chocolate morsels to pipe the shapes I wanted. I just popped a few different designed into the freezer for a bit and chose my favorites to decorate. As for the leaves, I used a leaf piping tip with green candy melts.

Not only are these cakes a festive addition to any fall party, but they also make a Pinterest-worthy tablescape.

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I used the tiny leaves for miniature cupcake toppers!

Thanks for stopping by; I hope you’ve been inspired to bake and decorate with an autumn-fevered passion! Here’s a link to my Pinterest board, Autumn Lovin’ for more seasonal ideas.

More pumpkin is coming your way, so be prepared~

❤ Michelle

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Autumn Lovin’ Kick-off!

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Welcome to the first installment of this year’s autumn series, Autumn Lovin’! Fall just gives me all the happy feels when it finally arrives. I’ve noticed everyone I’ve been around today has been in an unusually good mood. Probably that cool, dry air we’ve been blessed with!

When I began to write this post, I was sitting at Starbucks enjoying a beverage that nearly every girl in America waits for: the (in)famous PSL. I made one once, but I couldn’t remember whose recipe I followed. This year, though, I decided to combine a few different ideas to build my own recipe. I require real, cooked pumpkin in mine, not just the spices and flavored syrup.

Some people don’t care for the flavor of pumpkin, so you can go ahead and skip down to the bottom to get your first Fall Freebie! But let’s be honest: there aren’t many pumpkin haters!


Grocery List

What you’ll need to start preparing your single-serving Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • 1 cup Almond Milk, or preferred milk
  • 1 tbsp Puréed Pumpkin (canned will do)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar, or preferred sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon*
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg*
  • pinch of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 cup Extra Strong Coffee
  • whipped cream, if desired

*Keep one of these handy for a finishing sprinkle on top!

Directions

  1. Combine milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and spices into a pot and heat on medium-low heat until the milk is warm. For those of you who haven’t heated milk this way before, you will notice the mixture begin to thicken slightly, and all of the pumpkin should be broken down.
  2. Using an immersion blender, whip the milk mixture until frothy. (If you don’t have one of these, grab a whisk and get ready for a workout!)
  3. Pour coffee into your favorite campfire mug, and add the milk mixture to the coffee.
  4. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top with your favorite topping: sprinkles, nuts, or just another little dash of nutmeg (my flavorite!).

All that’s left is to grow a whipped cream mustache and drink that sucker up! Yum yum yum~ Nothing like cool air and a little cozy-something to warm you up on the inside.


Like I promised…here’s your first Fall Freebie! I drew these Autumn Lovin’ printable stickers myself and wanted to share them with you. Just download a copy of this PDF to access them. If you print them out on a shipping label, you can cut each picture out to make your own stickers! They are so cute for the beginning of the school year to decorate notebooks, a journal, your planner, or a birthday card for a friend. Of course, you could also give them to the little ones so you can find them in the weirdest places later on!

◊∴Autumn Lovin’ Stickers∴◊

I hope you enjoy your delicious fall beverage! I know I have. I had to make a double recipe so my mom could have a cup, too. You can’t just make one for yourself! Do you have a particular beverage you love to drink in the fall? Share with us in the comments!

Are you lovin’ autumn yet?

❤ Michelle

Fit for the Future

Good evening, all!

I’ll start this update honestly, by saying that today was rough at work. Naturally, writing will help to ease that anxiety and remind me that “it is just a job”. So I came to you guys! This fall will be an extremely exciting one for this blog and I hope it will be for you as well. Currently I am sitting outside listening to the squawky bluejay and the buzz and sweet chirping of hummingbirds at the feeder—that’s a good start to fall, if I must say!

Part of this excitement is a new series I’ll be starting Friday! I hope all of my readers will return (after my long hiatus) to join me on an Autumn Lovin’ adventure, because I just can’t resist its charms! There will be 7 installments, or so I have planned, and will be posted once-a-week on Fridays. Ponder all of these wonderful things that fall brings: color changes, pumpkin recipes, feelings of the ever-encroaching holidays, sweaters, boot socks, costumes, camping, new crop to harvest… The list goes on!

◊◊◊Have an idea that you’d like to share, or is there a favorite thing that you look forward to all year that comes in autumn? Do you even care for the season? Get in touch with me in the comments below!


Business #2:

Heard of Write 31 Days before? I actually did it last year! If you don’t know what this is and want to participate, here’s a link to the website that will be most helpful in informing you.

Last year, I did 31 Days of Five-Minute Free Writes, which was just a more specific version. Basically, you join thousands of writers around the globe writing every day of the month in October. This event happens every year, so it is definitely something I look forward to!

I will be changing it up a bit this year, since I am running the Autumn Lovin’ series during the month of October as well. I read on that same website that they are also hosting a micro-blogging for 31 days on Instagram. I haven’t fully researched their explanation of what it is, but I am significantly intrigued. I have my Instagram account linked in the sidebar, so if I do decide to micro-blog for 31 days, you can keep up with me there!

Well, that’s the skinny of it. Lots of new stuff coming! I hope you stick around for tons of fall goodies and photos. For me, it’s the best time of the year!

❤ Michelle

Labor Day

When I opened my eyes at 9 o’clock this morning, I wished I could tell both of my bosses “Thank You!” for letting us have Labor Day off. It was such a blessing and so healing. My soul feels much lighter and happier, as well. 

My beau and I went out for our very first geocaching adventure today! I wanted to go out and do something special on our day off. Boy was it worth the sweat and mosquito bites! It took a while to get used to looking for…exactly what we were looking for! We successfully found 6 of the caches in our area. Both of us are stoked to go on more adventures in the future, hopefully even out of our state!

After snowballs, we returned home to celebrate my bunny’s special 4th birthday. We gathered together all of her fluffy baby bunny friends, baked her a special carrot cake with banana frosting, and decorated her pad with all sorts of birthday décor! Like any rabbit, she performed the ultimate bunstruction on those decorations promptly after inhaling her carrot cake. I take that as she liked her pawty very much!

A buntastic 4th birthday pawty!

How was your Labor Day, if you celebrate it? Do anything exciting? 

❤ Michelle