Fall Favorites, in pictures

Favorite highlights from fall 2014…

Decorating with mini gourds, pumpkins, and pumpkin candles. Love adding simple touches around our place to make it feel festive.

Decorating with gourds, pumpkins, and pumpkin spice candles!

 

Baked some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies at 7am on Halloween. May or may not have eaten cookie batter for breakfast that day. 🙂
Baking pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for our neighbors

Visited the beautiful mountains in Virginia for a friend’s wedding and went on a sunrise run one morning. So peaceful and quiet out there. The cows seemed rather annoyed that I was disturbing their morning solace.

Visiting Virginia for a friend's wedding and soaking up the beautiful country scenery

A sweet client brought me pumpkin spice cupcakes one day!! Rob and I demolished these in no time.

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Loved the pumpkin spice coffee at Nadoz this year. Since I drink my coffee black, it’s fun to try various flavors to mix things up a little bit!

Drinking pumpkin spice coffee at Nadoz... (are you picking up on a pumpkin theme yet?)

 

Took our pup to the pumpkin patch – she wasn’t at all interested in the pumpkins, but loved trying to eat the hay!

Taking our little puppy to the pumpkin patch

 

I love dry erase boards on refrigerators because they give me an excuse to doodle. 🙂

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Roasted the seeds from our pumpkins and they turned out really well! I just followed a recipe I found on Pinterest and they were delicious.

Roasting pumpkin seeds from our pumpkins!

We spent lots of the warmer days at the park with Peyton, trying to burn off some of her endless energy!

Playtime at the park with Peyton

Cooked up some homemade butternut squash soup one day when I was nursing a head cold. So soothing and comforting – at least as much as soup can be. 😉

Homemade butternut squash soup - delicious!

Ran a chilly 5K race with my hubby in Kirkwood and placed 1st in my age group! The race was even called the HOPE 5K so it felt like destiny for me.  🙂

Ran a 5K race and placed 1st in my age group!

 

Lots of warm bowls of oatmeal for breakfast lately, topped with banana and peanut butter.

Lots of hot bowls of oatmeal for breakfast, with banana and peanut butter on top

 

One of my birthday presents from my parents – 3 new kinds of tea to try! My favorite is the Vanilla Caramel.

Birthday present from my parents - 3 new kinds of tea. :)

 

One of my husband’s favorite meals that I’ve been making lately: BBQ Chicken and Gouda Cheese Pizza. YUM.

One of Rob's favorite meals: BBQ Chicken and Gouda Cheese Pizza!

 

Chicken and rice soup with hearty, whole grain bread; from a cafe in Nashville.

Soup with bread...one of the best things about colder weather.

 

Hiking at Castlewood State Park with my hubby and puppy on a beautiful day!

Hiking with my hubby and puppy on a beautiful day!

Fall has been fantastic in so many ways. I’m excited to see what winter holds! 🙂

Pumpkins and Puppies… the best of Fall!

Fall has always been my favorite season of the year. I love the changing colors of the leaves, the cooling temperatures after a hot summer (especially a St. Louis summer), and the anticipation of the holidays coming soon. An added bonus is that my birthday happens to be in October, which is perfect timing: I take a short break from arranging gourds and baking pumpkin pies to eat cake and blow out candles. It works perfectly. 🙂 Fall holds so many of my favorite things, and every summer I find myself getting a little anxious around the end of August, wondering when the weather will start to cool down and the first signs of the changing seasons will appear.

IMG_0853This Fall has been especially special (that’s a mouthful) because my hubby and I welcomed a new member into our family… a sweet little 12 week old puppy named Peyton. She was abandoned and found on the side of the road with the rest of her litter and subsequently cared for by a foster mom who works with a local shelter.

We took her home with us on September 20th, and instantly fell in love. She is such a sweetheart with an incredibly fun and spunky personality. (Sometimes that “spunky personality” means she destroys our bathroom rug and leaves a nice little “present” behind to sign her masterpiece.)

Everything about fall seems even better with a puppy to share it with. Pumpkin patches, hiking through the woods; snuggling on the couch with warm apple cider. (Might I say again, fall really is the best season??!)

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The first couple weeks with Peyton felt a little like having a baby. We were always coordinating her meal times and potty times and making sure we had toys, bones, blankets, pillows, and every other amenity a puppy might desire. Some might say we spoil her, and I wouldn’t really try to argue with that accusation. From day one, she’s had us wrapped around her little finger paw. She’s definitely got a good thing going on.

IMG_1143We’ve taken her everywhere. One weekend, she went to a Jazz and Blues Festival with us; didn’t seem to be her style of music, per se, but she enjoyed smelling all the BBQ. A few weeks later, I had a mini dance party with her in the living room to PitBull and that was definitely her jam.

Whenever the weather is nice, we try to take her to a small park down the road where she can run off some of her endless energy. She’s getting faster every day and loves bounding across the field to catch one of us.

IMG_1167Raising a puppy seems like a small taste (very small) of what parenthood is like. Rob and I are always checking in with each other about how she’s doing, what she’s discovering (one day, he found her drinking water from the toilet) and I’ve definitely been reading up on dog training techniques in my free time. Of course, dog training is MUCH easier than child training, but I’m already nervous enough, having the fate of a four-legged cutie in my hands. This is good practice for real parenthood, whew.

We’ve had some scary moments, like when the incision from her spaying surgery got red and swollen (she reacted to the glue they used, apparently) and we rushed her in to the vet. Tough day for our little girl. They gave her some antibiotics, and she snuggled in Rob’s arms all the way home.

There have definitely been some frustrating times, too. Like when we went out the second week on a date night (our first time leaving her alone like that) and sat outside at a beautiful restaurant, sipping some red wine and trying not to worry about her. We came home to a house that smelled of…well, you get the gist. She’s had an explosive (sorry, TMI) accident in her crate while we were out, and also managed to walk through the whole thing. Rob and I looked at each other and he said, “You get her a bath, I’ll clean up this mess.”  (I felt like I got the better end of that deal. Hard to be mad at her when she looks so adorable, soaking wet in the tub.)

Peyton at the pumpkin patch. She tried to eat hay the entire time.
At the pumpkin patch – loved trying to eat the hay!

Despite the scary moments and the frustrating potty training experiences, Peyton has been nothing but a bundle of joy (now I really sound like a parent… 🙂 ) and we are so thrilled to have her as our little girl. Rob and I both grew up in families with dogs, so it was pretty much a no-brainer to us that we would get a puppy at some point. Peyton is such an amazing little blessing and constantly makes us laugh with her crazy antics. Like the time we were carving pumpkins and she decided to give it a taste…

So, for the near future, I’ve become that annoying person that is constantly posting photos and videos to social media about how my puppy is so adorable. No shame. She IS adorable, right?? How could anyone stare into those puppy eyes and not fall in love? 🙂

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