To Try Something New / #The100DayProject!

 
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      Good morning! I'm excited to announce that I will be participating in #The100DayProject this year! Starting on April 3rd, I will be cooking one new-to-me meal/food once a day, for 100 days! You can read more on how the project works here, but the gist of it is that you choose one creative thing to do, every day, for 100 days - and document it all. The point of it is to improve upon that "thing" and to work past the inevitable burn out that will happen when you do anything for 100 days! I was surprised about how much doing the Whole 30 for 30 days changed my outlook on food and health, so I've always been intrigued by this 100 days idea. I considered doing it last year but just had no idea what direction I would take it - but this year, I've had a much more clear path as to what I would do!

     You all know I've been focusing on cooking, and so when I heard it was starting up again soon I thought "I have to do this"! I love a challenge, and cooking one meal a day seemed broad and doable enough, since I cook most days anyways. The challenge aspect is working with a new dish or food that I've never worked with - this seems like the ideal way to hone my skills! Another "challenge" is documenting it. I love using Instagram, but I don't update it ever day because I just don't have time nor do I usually care enough to. However, the days are getting longer (more light to shoot with), and Stories exist now - so I'm thinking it will be easier than if it were a year ago and in the dead of winter? Anywho, I'm beyond excited to start next Tuesday, and I can't wait to get cooking!! I've set out a list of rules for myself and how you can follow along so check those out below!

My Rules for #The100DayProject:

1. In accordance with the official project rules, I'm creating a hashtag for my Stories (which will be Highlighted in my profile - if they don't let you Highlight a full 100 stories into one Highlight - I will break them down into separate Highlights!). My hashtag will be #100foodfinds!

2. In lieu of posting the mandatory photo a day in my grid, I will be posting it in my aforementioned Stories, along with bts clips of the making of each recipe! I will post one of the recipes a week to my grid and to this space, which will most likely be my favorite of the week.  

3. Each thing I cook must be made with either:

A) a food item I've never worked with before (i.e. miso, lamb, tofu, etc.) OR

B) a new dish I've never made before (i.e. coq a vin, falafel, a souffle, etc.)

4. It can be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, or dessert - depending on my schedule.

     That's it! See! So broad and flexible. I think this will be a lot of fun. I know I'll get tired of documenting/the stress of a new ingredient or dish, but that's usually more exhilarating than anything else - even if it fails! I'll leave a link to my Instagram here (and the feed is also shown at the bottom of my homepage!) for those of you who don't have Instagram. Thanks for following along and I hope you follow along with the project! Have a fun Thursday!

To Explore / Downtown St. Louis

 
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     Hi there! I'm fresh off a girl's weekend in St. Louis to celebrate my best friend Cat's birthday, and I have to share about our trip! One of the perks of living in Columbia is that we're about half way between STL and Kansas City. It makes getaways for the weekend really doable, and for an explorer like me, there are endless opportunities to take your time and get a feel for a place! Both KC and St. Louis are historical cities, with STL being the well-known "Gateway to the West" (the Arch, while not really worth actually going to the top of in my opinion, is pretty amazing to spot intermittently while driving around - it really is majestic!), and KC having some of the best BBQ around, for the last 100 years at least (which I found out when I moved here is because they had some of the biggest stockyards in the country - I had always wondered why KC BBQ was popular considering they aren't in the South, where BBQ reigns).

      The cities' histories shows potently through their architecture, where driving around you can see the eras each city has gone through reflected in their buildings. This is one of the things I loved about this particular trip! Before, I had the notion that KC was the "cooler" of the two cities. However, after driving through different neighborhoods to get from one destination brunch spot in the Central West End to the cutest little cafe in the Shaw area - I decided St. Louis' cool-factor was worth it's salt. Our first stop? The aforementioned brunch spot: Cafe Osage! Pictured above, the cafe is located in Bowood Farms greenhouse and shop building. Ya, it was basically a dream come true for a person who loves food and shopping equally. 

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      This is the dining room, and every little detail was as cute as can be! As far as the food goes, that was pretty perfect too. I had their omelette, which was loaded with herbs and was oozing (for lack of a better word) with whipped goat cheese. Accompanying my delicious meal was their Rose Colored Glasses cocktail - a gin and grapefruit concoction that hit the spot!  

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      After we finished eating, we perused their adorable shop and greenhouse. While I would've bought pretty much anything in there, I opted for a little crown for Bailey (her birthday is in 2 days!) and a beautiful set of well-made Japanese notebooks for me (which I actually needed - I try and stay practical in overwhelming shopping situations!). 

     This was their children's section - when shopping for Bailey, I've had to keep in mind the longevity of her enjoyment out of items. She loves books of course, but she already has so many I didn't feel like she'd think it was a very special gift (and this also goes for stuffed animals). Craft supplies I can get from anywhere, so again not super special. I landed on a little felt crown that you can clip to the top of her head! She loves playing princess with dress-up crowns, but they always fall off her head - so this seemed like a good upgrade!

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     After our brunch and shopping expedition, we drove through the St. Louis University neighborhoods to the Shaw area to visit the Fiddlehead Fern Cafe! I had read about it in Feast Magazine, and after seeing they serve a lavender rose latte, I knew I had to stop in. They're the first cafe in the city to use a Modbar (aka a modular system bar, where all of the machines are stored underneath the bar, similar to a tap for beer).

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        The latte was everything I expected, except better because it wasn't overwhelmingly floral like some drinks can be when using flowers or herbs as a flavoring. Everything about this neighborhood was fun - from the intentional murals and unintentional graffiti to pretty much every building being built with brick. After the cafe, we ventured to the Galleria for their Urban Outfitters. Normally, I would say to steer clear of a mall, but the UO there is so well stocked and actually has their home goods line - so I highly recommend it! That evening we went to Edgewild for dinner, and it's a must-stop dinner spot, so add it to your list as well! 

     Thanks for reading, and I'll be back next week with more recipes! Have a fun Wednesday!

To Announce / We're Getting Married!

 
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      Good morning! I'm taking a break from recipes this week for a very good reason - Brett and I are engaged! He proposed over the weekend at a place very special to our relationship, and with the most "me" ring ever. It's perfect and we are beyond excited! Bailey's only interest was my ring (her first words after seeing it were "I'll give it right back" LOL), but I have a feeling on the big day she'll be just as excited as the rest of us! Thank you so much for following along on the blog - I can't believe I get to share this milestone on my little space on the internet! As far as recipes go, there's no need to worry! I have TWO lined up for next week, and they both center around one thing: brunch. Have a fun week, friends!

To Recap / January

 
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     Good Morning! I'm taking a break from recipes this week to share my recap of January, as it's coming to a close shortly. It's been a surprisingly fun but hectic month, with all of the changes that come with a new year. Personally, it's been great (other than all of the things that are due at the start of a new year) - but for friends, it's already been a challenging year. So helping them navigate new beginnings is one of the things we've been dealing with. Luckily, everyone is still in positive spirits, and the weather is turning mild after a short 3 weeks of winter (so far), which always improves moods!

      We got over an inch of snow for the first time in the past 3 years, so that was really exciting for Bailey and Brett (I prefer to enjoy the beauty of snow from our screened in porch). That was two weeks ago - last weekend, temps were in the 60's, and will be again today and tomorrow, so snow that sticks isn't really a viable option at the moment. I can't really complain though, because last weekend, spending the whole time pretty much outside was ideal, and I can't wait to do it again this weekend!

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      This month, I also shared a bit about the Half Baked Harvest cookbook, and how awesome it is. I've been cooking up a storm with this guy, and I can't wait to share even more adaptations of the recipes throughout the year!

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       I'm not 100% sure why, but this color palette at my BFF Cat's house was really screaming winter at me. My best guess is because the blue reminds me a lot of the movie Frozen, which Bailey has been falling in love with (which means I get to belt out 'Let it Go' with her 24/7)!

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     I also shared my winter glow tonic recipe! This warming turmeric latte was so comforting on the 0 degree days we were having. 

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     Bailey and I did a really fun craft last weekend, inspired by the paper cutouts of Matisse! This is the first collaging activity we've done, and Bailey is a big fan of (safe) scissors. One caveat though: she's left handed for the most part, but I haven't acquired left-handed scissors yet (didn't know they were even a thing?!), and if we plan on doing this again (which I do!), then mama needs to get those darn scissors stat! Parenthood has a constant learning curve, and this is a good example of that.

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      On a more Nutella note, I made this challah to assist in the comfort process that winter calls for! Still over here dipping mine in more Nutella, because can't stop won't stop. 

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      We found a cleared soccer field/open field in a forest on the West side of Columbia, and I fell in love with it. It was empty and secluded, the perfect place for Bailey and Luna to run around unleashed (literally for Luna and figuratively for Bailey :)), and for me to wander around and take pretty winter photos. 

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      Finally, my little bubble-catcher. We're resurrecting our outdoor play things, and bubbles were first on the agenda! Bailey is always on the move, so capturing even a remotely non-blurry image of her when playing is a feat. Also: cheetah-print sweatpants. Just another item of clothing that only a toddler can pull-off!

     Thanks for recapping the month with me! I'll be back next week with a seasonal take on grilled cheese (which no, I'll never stop experimenting with). Have a great weekend!

To Share / The Half Baked Harvest Cookbook

 
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     Good morning! Just wanted to share the gorgeous cookbook my parents got me for Christmas (thanks mom + dad!!). It's by my favorite food blogger, Half Baked Harvest, and I've already had some good use out of it! So far, I've made the spicy cauliflower soup and the salted brioche cinnamon rolls  - and both were easy and so delicious. 

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     I had never made cinnamon rolls from scratch, but they did not disappoint! The hardest part was rolling them tightly enough, but I think with a little more practice it'll be a piece of cake. Now, the next ones on my agenda from the book are the pumpkin gnocchi, a whole wheat nutella challah, and her 30-minute chicken parmesan (a family favorite of ours)!  

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     Part of why the book is so inspiring is the photography. Tieghan's photo's are always gorgeous, but having them in print makes them even better! As a visual person, photos and styling are really what draw me in to a cookbook. I love flipping through this one just to look at the photos! They're that good!

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     Another thing I love about cookbooks is the variety of recipes they can offer that aren't available on Pinterest (which is where I usually pull from). I also like that the recipes are right there in the book, so I don't have to try and remember which Board I Pinned a recipe to (sometimes it really takes longer than it should). Most of all though, what I specifically love about this cookbook is that it's filled with recipes that are fresh and unique, but also are tolerable by Brett, who has a very refined list of food he's a fan of. Nothing wrong with that, he likes what he likes, but I'm the opposite, and will now try and usually love most foods! This created a dinner issue for awhile, but ever since I discovered Half Baked Harvest, I've been able to make dishes that are creative and challenging, but are still approachable to those that find comfort in familiarity. Most of HBH's recipes are cool twists on classic or "basic" meals, which is exactly what I've needed! They aren't too crazy, but they aren't so (for lack of a better phrase) "by the book" that they are boring. Buy cookbooks people! Sometimes the old-fashioned thing can work better for you than the latest technology, so embrace it. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! I'll be back next week with one of the recipes from this book that I mentioned I'm making above (can you guess which one?)!

To Recap / The Holiday's

 
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     Hi there! Just wanted to pop in and share the last of our holiday season adventures with you all! I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas, full of chocolate and love! It's finally winter here, and it doesn't look to be letting up anytime soon, so looking at the photo of Bailey above without a jacket feels like forever ago, but it was at the beginning of the month! The red plaid shirt was her holiday shirt this year, as I didn't want to waste money on a Santa or Christmas tree covered shirt that she can only wear for Christmas time. I went with a red plaid that can be worn long after Christmas, but was still festive enough for our holiday events!

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     Brett and Bailey built a fort when we put our lights up around the house. It was quite magical!

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      We wrapped presents, and shared our new gift rules here!

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     Anheuser-Busch is a St. Louis based company, but they house their famous Clydesdale's at the nicest barn I've ever seen in Booneville, MO, which is about 15 minutes from Columbia. They host a Christmas-themed tour of their barn, and you get to walk through and see all the horses while sipping the freshest Budweiser you can get anywhere. The horses were beautiful and massive, and I don't normally care for Budweiser, but it was freshly brewed and on tap for the event, so it was actually pretty delicious.  

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      We put our Christmas cookie cutters to use for the first time, and also shared that here!

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      Bailey had her first ever school Christmas party! I volunteered to make the "sweet treats" for the kids, and made chocolate dipped graham crackers that Bailey decorated herself with sprinkles. They were a hit, and Bailey was so proud to help and show her classmates!

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     We had our first snow of the year in Columbia on Sunday (and our second one yesterday)! We went home to Arkansas for Christmas Eve, and when we came back that evening Bailey and Brett played in the snow for almost an hour. I opted to stay warm inside and organize Bailey's gifts from Nana and Grandpa, and sip some fresh coffee. Never a bad decision!

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    Lastly, on Christmas Eve, we spiked some hot chocolate and braved the cold to go visit the "Candy Cane Crib". It's a Columbia tradition, and the "crib" used to be set up in a residential area on someones front lawn, but I'd assume the neighbors got tired of that and this year, Logboat Brewery hosted the spectacle!

    It was an amazing holiday season, and I can't wait to see what the new year holds! 2018, we're ready for you!

To Celebrate / The First Day of Winter

 
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     Good moring! Today is the first day of the winter solstice, and hopefully it will bring some actual winter weather that lasts, because I've about had it with this back and forth weather. One week, temps are in the 60's, and the next, they're in the 30's! I don't mind if it's cold, I just want it to pick a side! Anywho, to ring in this beautifully barren season, I've rounded up a few tips for making the most of shorter days (tonight's the longest night of the year!). See below for more!

Winter Survival 101:

- Get outside during daylight hours as much as you can! Sunlight is extremely helpful to avoid being saddened by the lack of day and the abundance of night. 

- Adopt the hygge (pronounced hue-guh) way of life. It's the Danish concept of coziness and togetherness, technology free. Apparently, hygge is one of the reasons Denmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest places in the world! And ya, they have wayyyy worse winters than we do, so I think we could all learn a thing or two. 

- Look for silver-linings. This applies to all seasons, as they all come with their pitfalls, but winter seems to be the hardest for most. Yes, it's cold, but #1: it's temporary! Winter won't last forever - this isn't Narnia or Game of Thrones. #2: The freezing weather gives you opportunities to do things that you don't get to do when it's warm, like wear the thickest and softest sweater you own, or drink hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire place! We can't change the weather, so it's best to try and make the most of it. 

- Turn it into a party! I'm hosting a hygge party this winter, because I just can't stop myself from cozy themes that include glogg. After New Years, and until Valentine's Day, there's not a celebratory holiday, so hosting this party in January will hopefully give everyone something to look forward to!

- If all else fails, retreat. This is a last resort, because money and time, but if you have the means and just can't stand temperatures below 40, take a week off and go to the desert or a beach! No shame in that game. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Christmas! We'll be back next week with a lighter brunch recipe for when you're done feasting the weekend away!

To Share / The Holidays So Far

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     Good morning! I've been keeping pretty quiet around here, just enjoying downtime with Brett + Bailey, and inwardly debating what I want the do with this little space on the internet. My interests change often, so that makes it a little challenging to pick a "theme" for this here blog. A general lifestyle blanket is fine, and I'll probably always share my varied interests here, but lately I've been drawn to cooking - a lot. I think it's a combined reasoning of having moved to the suburbs of Columbia, and therefore cooking more at home because we are far away from our usual eating out places, but also just my general creativity and love of food. Now I have a reason to cook often, and have way less opportunity to be lazy in the kitchen. All this to say, you'll be seeing more recipes here than anything else. Don't worry though, I won't be able to resist sharing about Bailey or how health and wellness relate to my cooking choices, so every now and then there will be some lifestyle posts, but mostly, get ready to feast with your eyes (and hopefully, literally, with the recipes in your own home)!

     Now, today, I wanted to share snapshots of how our holiday season is going so far! I hosted friendsgiving this month, and whipped up a couple of contributions to Brett's family's Thanksgiving table. However, the second Thanksgiving was over, I dove into the Christmas spirit (which is unusual for me, I typically am pretty indifferent to early decorating) and played Christmas music, put up our tree and other decorations, and started developing holiday recipes (can you say Chocolate sugar cookies? I'm not a fan of the classic ones). I've started a folder on my phone to document our season, and here are the images so far! 

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Bottle brush tree's are going through a revival. I didn't know what they were as I think the last time they were popular was way before I existed, but they sure are pretty, so I can see the appeal! Mine is from the glorious Target dollar section.

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I can't not take pictures of log piles. It's just too wintery to resist!

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Bailey had a great time at the tree farm, until she had to use the restroom and the only option was in the woods. She's had to do this before, but this time it was a major fail and poor girl had to change clothes after. It's hard to be a happy camper when your clothes get wet!

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I love these vintage trucks. Throw some pine trees on the back, and they scream Christmas!

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Bailey tried her first candy cane and hated it, so I was all "don't mind if I do". 

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I like to snag trimmings from the farm every year, and turn them into decorations. All you need is some twine and scissors and you've got yourself a wall hanging (see below)!

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If you're predicting that I leave this up way after the Santa's get put away, you would be very correct. I bet I can push this one until spring!

     That's all for now! Check back here on Tuesday for a festive brunch recipe that I can't wait to wolf down as soon as the photos are snapped. Have a fun week!

To Share / Family Photos

 
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     Good morning! When we were having Kristen take some photos of Luna, we wanted to incorporate a family photo shoot into the day as well! I think it's high time we send out a Christmas card this year, and one of these photos is the winner (but I'm not sharing which 'til the cards come out)!

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     I loved all of them though. It was very comical seeing how hard it is to get one with everyone looking decent. There were some really good ones that Bailey "ruined" (not really, she's still adorable) by pulling the sides of her mouth out with her fingers for her smile! LOL. She thought it was hilarious (it was) but probably not the best for an official portrait. 

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     She's doing it here, but showing me, so it's kind of hard to see. Luna was a trooper throughout the whole thing! She can be really patient for a puppy sometimes, but mostly only when food isn't involved. Girl loves her food!

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    She really is my little sweetheart. She loves it when we match, and I'm sure you can guess that I do too!

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      Brett dislikes being in front of the camera, but he made the sacrifice for Luna. :)

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      And now just a few of Bailey! She's always loved being in pictures and taking them. I guess it's a result of a photographer aunt and a blogger mama! 

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      How many times can I say "be still my heart"? An infinite amount? Ok, good, wouldn't settle for less.

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     Bailey + Luna's most recent favorite activity has been jumping in the never-ending leaf piles that Brett has been making. They really do love playing together, but has there ever been a child + puppy combo that hasn't? (My parents are most likely scoffing at this, as I was the most petrified of dogs until my teen years. I used to tell a story about a past life I had as a cat in China when I was little, so our theory is that's the reason why I was so scared of dogs. I know mom + dad, I was the exception to the theory that children love dogs. I'm just glad Bailey isn't scared like I was!)

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! I'll be back next week with a pie recipe (duh, thanksgiving)!

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Meet / Luna!

 
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     Good morning! As promised, we had Kristen over this weekend to take some photos of Luna, our golden retriever puppy we got at the start of November! She's a beaut and so sweet, but also very mischievous (we've been told it's a puppy thing). :) 

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      She's just past 10 weeks old, and Bailey's in love with her! They're kind of already two peas in a pod. When we picked Luna up from Neosho, Missouri, Bailey couldn't stop saying that she's "SO CUTE"! 

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     It definitely feels like she's already part of the family. I've had many people point out that it's like having a second child, and I can really see that! Obviously, I love Bailey and Luna in very different ways, but as far as the care and attention aspect goes, it reminds me of a newborn. 

    Thanks for reading, and be on the lookout for our family photos later this week! Have a fun Monday!

All photos by Kristen Williams.

To Read / Fall Picks

 
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     Hi there! For today's post, I just wanted to share my favorite "fall-ish" reads! See below for more!

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      Now, none of these books are intentionally fall-inspired. They just feel like fall to me, in one way or another! 

Favorite Fall Reads:

1. The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel / A creepy thriller, like Gone Girl but somehow better!

2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman / I'm not the biggest poetry fan, but Walt Whitman's words are beautiful enough that I can actually see why people read him.

3. On the Road by Jack Kerouac / Something about Kerouac's prose combined with the road trip aspect really reminds me of autumn!

4. Love Story by Erich Segal / Any collegiate setting brings up the fall feels, especially in a heartbreaking romance such as this. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend!

To Review / Maple Holistics Tea Tree Conditioner (Sponsored!)

 
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     Hi there! I'm back with another Maple Holistics review! They graciously extended the option of reviewing another product of theirs, and I immediately picked the Tea Tree Oil Conditioner! I wanted to see how well it worked in correspondence with the Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, and so far so good!

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      It's made my hair so much softer, and with zero buildup or residue left behind! That's always a concern of mine with conditioner, so I was ecstatic that their formula is free of all the yuck that causes buildup.

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      Using both the shampoo and conditioner has been a godsend for my hair. It's gone from frizzy and unmanageable to smooth and shiny! What more can a girl ask for?! 

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        Now, not only does Maple Holistics have amazing products, they also have a pretty cool blog! My favorite post so far is their one breaking down dermarolling! I've always been interested in it, and the article was super helpful. Also, if you haven't already, be sure to check out Maple Holistics' free samples program! I can't think of an easier way to test out products before purchasing a full size! 

       Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

This post is sponsored by Maple Holistics. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support What a Fun Day!

To Explore / Peach Tree Farms

 
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     Hi there! Just wanted to share a few photos from our visit to the pumpkin patch! Ironically, we didn't get any photos with the pumpkins - we were too busy enjoying all of the other activities that Peach Tree Farms offers!

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      They have sunflower patches all over the farm, and this was as close as I could get, as the bees were thoroughly covering the flowers. They also had a new feature this year: a "corn crib" for kids to play in! It's a giant crib filled with dried corn, like a sandbox or ball pit but with corn. It was Bailey's favorite part, as you can probably tell! 

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      More pretty flowers! The ones on the left were swarmed with butterflies, so much so that I couldn't help but think they plant them specifically for the butterflies! 

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      Brett's going to kill me for this picture, but Bailey looks so glorious with the sunlight shining on her! It looks like she's on a mission, which she probably was (she adamantly insisted on getting popcorn and pumpkins after this)! And yes, she's covered in dirt. Apparently the children's corn maze was a little muddy and poor girl took a tumble inside while trying to run around! 

      Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday! We will be moving all weekend to a new house, so it may be a little quiet in this space next week. However, regularly scheduled content will follow the week after, so be on the look out for more fall goodness!

To Review / Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo (Sponsored!)

 
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     Hi there! I have a fun post for you all today! A month or so back, Maple Holistics reached out to see if I'd like to try out their new Tea Tree shampoo, and I immediately said yes! Who isn't always looking for the best products for their hair? Also, the fact that their products are made with natural ingredients sold me. You know I can't resist a good natural product!

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      I ended up loving the shampoo! It's made with tea tree, rosemary, and lavender; each providing smoothness and softness to the hair. After just a wash or two, my hair is clean and smooth, which is always the goal! All in all, this shampoo is a great homeopathic solution to haircare.

     Get your bottle of tea tree shampoo here, and bonus: Maple Holistics is offering my readers the chance to sign up for their free samples program! This is great for testing out which shampoo would work best for your hair type, and is a good way to save money by only buying full-size products you know will work! 

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! See you back here on Monday with a new #MomStyle!

Note: This post is sponsored by Maple Holistics. All words and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support What a Fun Day.

To Love / Welcoming Fall with Bailey

 
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      Good morning! Tomorrow is the first day of fall, and thought temps are supposed to be in the 90's, I'm going to ignore that and bake pumpkin cookies (recipe coming in October), decorate the house with our fall things, and do a fall craft with Bailey. The leaves are dropping like flies around here, and that's enough for me to say bye to summer!  

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        Now, one of the fun things about parenting is that you get to make a big deal out of stuff like the seasons changing! It's to get kids excited about a new season, and to also teach them something about the way our Earth works, which I think you're never to young to be aware of. That being said, I've rounded up a list of fun fall activities for everyone in the family, most of which I plan on trying to do this season with my own family. Check it out below!

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Fall To-Do (Bailey Included!):

- Do a few fall crafts / My favorite ones are this fox puppet, these pumpkin apple stamps, and any of these nature projects (fall is the perfect time for foraging outdoors!)

- Go apple picking / There is an orchard near Columbia that lets you pick 'em yourself, and we plan to finally go this year! I've never been apple picking, and neither has Bailey, so this is the fall activity I'm most looking forward to!

- Bake all of the pumpkin treats / As I mentioned, I'm making pumpkin cookies for the blog (and our pumpkin loving tummies) this weekend, but we've already made these brownies, and ya they were as good as they look!

Explore new trails / Fall is my favorite time for hiking (hello pretty trees everywhere), and though I've lived here for 6 years, I still haven't trekked all of the ones in and around Columbia. I plan to chip away at the list this season! (Bonus: Bailey has endless energy and is an excellent hiking companion)

Visit Rocheport / Rocheport, MO is the closest thing we have to a wine country around here. We like to do an outing each fall, starting at our favorite pumpkin patch with a corn maze and tepees, and ending with a picnic on the bluffs of Les Bourgeois winery.  

Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday!

 

 

To Explore / Downtown Columbia, MO

 

       Hi there! Just wanted to share a little CoMo love today! Columbia's great for many things, but the downtown scene here is probably my favorite. I've corralled some of my favorite spots to eat and shop downtown, so let's get to sharing! First on the list is Uprise Bakery, a mainstay in Columbia's downtown culture. They offer up delicious pastries, and some of the best iced coffee's in town! I'm partial to their iced maple latte. 

      Next up is Coley's for dinner and drinks! They serve classic "American" dishes, but always with a twist. The brie burger is a must try, but I took my family here when they visited last (hi mom + dad!), and everyone said their meals were great! 

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      Another great dinner + drinks spot is 44 Canteen, a more downtown-friendly outpost of 44 Stone. Brett and I just went on a date night here this week, and their hot chicken sliders blew my mind! We also tried out their fries as an appetizer, and it was definitely the right choice. 

  Photo by  Kristen Williams

      Lastly, we have Columbia's beloved Logboat Brewery! This is our favorite place to visit during the summer, as it's family-friendly (they have a massive, gated yard full of games and open free space for kids to go crazy) and serves our favorite locally-brewed beer. Also, there is at least one food truck parked by their outdoor space at all times, which is always a plus!

      Now, onto a little shopping. There are tons of fun boutiques downtown, but I'm going to single out two! Up first is Muse Clothing, which boasts a bountiful shop full of vintage and new clothes. I'm partial to their vintage selection, but all of it's just plain good!

  Photo by  Cate Willis

Photo by Cate Willis

     My second pick is the gorgeous, well-curated Poppy. They carry everything from paper goods by Rifle Paper Co., to locally handcrafted ceramics. I literally can't walk away without buying something, as I typically want it all! This is a must-stop if you are looking to buy anything downtown. Seriously. :)

     Thanks for reading, and let me know if you ever visit our little city! Have a fun Thursday!

All photos by me, unless otherwise stated.

For A Birthday

 

     Hi there! Just wanted to pop in and share that today's my 24th birthday! The solar eclipse was yesterday and it was awesome, probably the coolest way to start a new 365 days around the sun. To commemorate my special day, I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos with Bailey, as time with her is all I really need for a gift! 

     That face, I can't!!

     Kisses with my cutie! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! I know I will (burgers will be involved)!

For a Bucket List / Summer Progress

 

     Hello! As summer starts to come to a close, it's time to reflect on the joys from the season! I think it's necessary to fully appreciate the way you live your life, and all of the fun things you're lucky enough to get to experience. So here goes!

Summer 2017 Bucket List:

1. Visit HaHa Tonka! √ (This was so cool and I can't wait to go back!)

2. Go camping (Going this weekend!)

3. Read √ (I've read at least 5 books this summer!)

4. Kayak √ (Also planning to do more of this over the weekend.)

5. Put up a swing for Bailey! (Hasn't happened yet, but this can still be done in the fall!)

6. Picnic √ (More of this to come as well)

7. Explore Columbia √ (Downtown is always a fun experience!)

8. Make bruschetta, panzanella, and sangria (Half check LOL I made sangria of course!)

9. Patio refresh √ (We've been loving our front porch all summer long)

      That's all! Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend!

 

To Get Ready for Preschool

 

     Good morning! Bailey starts preschool in less than a month now, and it's strange, but I'm more excited than sad. Of course, I'm a little lethargic about my once baby turning into a full blown kid, but obviously I can't stop time so there's not really a point in dwelling on it. Like with most things in life, I choose to focus on the positive! The main positive here is that Bailey's getting the education and attention she needs during the day, specific to her age. With both Brett and I working, it's just time. 

     It helps that she's ready too. She can blossom and flourish in a preschool environment, and that's more important to me than my own feelings on the subject. It also doesn't hurt that I get to revisit the school supplies section (my favorite growing up) for the first time in I won't say how many years. Do all parents get this excited about getting their children school supplies?! I'm sure it's irrational, as Bailey will probably not care at all about her supplies, but I don't care. It's my silver lining, so I'm sticking to it! 

     I'll be sharing Bailey's school wardrobe next month on her first day of preschool, so be on the lookout for that! See you here Thursday with some shibori dying!

To Read / Summer Book Progress

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share an update on what I'm currently reading! I finished the Alchemist, and have started Love Story. I loved the Alchemist, but wanted something less philosophical this time around, and Love Story is perfect. I saw the movie at least 6 years ago (thanks mom!) and have always known it to be a classic, but had no idea it was based on a book! So far, it's very good, basically the same as the movie, and a quick read. Perfect for summer! 

     Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you back here on Monday with one of the last of my summer outfits!