..... it was one of those delightfully wonderful weekends spent with family -- birthday celebration, homemade cards, playing in the leaves, jack daniels, new toys, amazing weather, and most of all being with my favorite people all weekend.....

Happy Monday!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and your week is off to a great start.
[P.S.] a few lovely links for the start of a brand new week
+ in the kitchen: roasted apples
+ wordless: let their be light
+ at home: tea towels
+ fall into fall: home fall color trends
+ in my closet: sweater dress
+ at the office: fun supplies
+ collections: west elm
[above pictures via pinterest]

it's friday.

merona trench coat, xhilaration brown leather boots, pink puma shoes, jack daniels whiskey, mossimo skinny jeans, birthday cupcake, and an aquamarine necklace.

A few of these items are some things I came across while searching the lovely world of the internet.  Loving that trench coat, although I have one just like it, not as long though.  Been on the prowl for some cute brown boots for the cooler season that has arrived.  Skinny jeans rock.  Can you tell I love Target?  Jack Daniels + a birthday cupcake = Happy Birthday tomorrow to someone special!  My favorite piece of jewelry right now is the aquamarine necklace it's just goregous!  Don't you just love weekends.... 

fall minibook update #4

Adoring this process.  As the month of October is coming to an end it's hard to believe that Fall is still the season.  Once November hits I automatically start thinking of Christmas time and everything that goes along with the holidays!  The first day of winter isn't until 12/22!!!

Still going strong with this fall minibook. 
Big update this week.  Had to catch up from being out of town last weekend. Lots of pictures added using Photoshop and created a simple grid with 6 photos.  Thanks to the girls trip weekend, had some fun papers and extra's to add this week. 

See all of my fall book updates here.  If you are interested in purchasing your own fall book, please look at the etsy shop.  Thank you for your interest!

girls trip recap.

This was our 16th annual girls trip weekend. When I say girls, that includes all of my aunts, Grandma, cousin, and my mom. This year was a little different without my Grandma there. She passed away 2 months ago today. The girls trip entails lots and lots of shopping, eating, and laughing till our bellies hurt!

All of my aunts, grandma, and mom have been going to Brown County since I was at least in my late teens. The very first place we went to was nothing but a little town that had nothing but Christmas stores all over, and they had "Weiner Schnitzel" served at a restaurant we visited. And oh my was it gross! After that first year, someone in the family found Brown County. The next year we decided to go there and try it out. We loved it. Well, it took me awhile to love it. I was in my late teens/early 20's with a bunch of old girls. All they wanted to do was shop and look at little crafts. I was utterly bored.  But as I've gotten older, it's more enjoyable just being with all the girls in the family.

To start out the trip, we all meet at my Grandma's house, but since my Grandma passed, we met at my Aunt Chris' house this year. Load up the cars and hit the road jack! First stop on the trip is the Edinburgh Premium Outlets. We shopped and dropped it. My favorite shops are GAP, Eddie Bauer, Bass, and Coach.
The GAP is the first store we hit and I usually score pretty big there. Love that place. Always always always have good luck there. Eddie Bauer had some good deals on the bubble vests as I call them. My aunt Linda has her eye on this brown vest, they were out of stock in the store. She's getting it shipped. Looks so cute on her. Bass had some really sweet boots but none in my size ugh! One thing about being so tall is it's sooo hard to find cute shoes in larger sizes.
And the Coach store, oh my. It's so hard not to just charge it up in that place. Coach = $$$. This year we kept the shopping to a minimum so we could get to Little Nashville sooner than later. We aimed to leave around 1:00pm and we did just that. Left a little after 1pm. Hit up Subway and Arby's for some lunch on the road. 

When we leave the outlet mall and drive to Little Nashville, the drive is always different. I mean always different! It's so funny that after all these years, each time we go it seems to be a different route. One year we ended up on a farm out in the middle of nowhere where their was nothing but cornfields around us. Funny but scary that's where the GPS took us! That's what you get when you put a bunch of ladies away from their husbands/boyfriends for a weekend!!!
We know we're on the right track when we see the Brown County Winery. This is where they make all of their wines. The winery is off to the side of the road a little bit. They make the wine there, but also sell it in town near all the little shops. This year we didn't make it to the winery for a little taste test. My mom and I sneaked in a few times to see how crowded it was to get a little taste, but it was packed.
Years and years went by, we stayed in different hotels, houses, bed/breakfasts', etc. Until a few years ago, one of my aunts found The North House. This house is just awesome. It's right in town, within walking distance to all the little shops. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a kitchen, family room, and a back deck with a hot tub. This place fits us perfectly. Even has a driveway for our cars so we don't have to worry about a parking spot each day.
The hot tub has turned into a ritual with my cousin and I. Last year we stayed in there way way longer than your supposed too. Isn't the limit for hot tubs like a 1/2 hour? We managed to stay in like 2 hours! Just talking, crying, laughing, venting to each other....like we always do. Hot tubs are so relaxing, but after it gets too too hot I have to hop out. My body can't take that much heat. I like it cool but love the beach if that makes sense lol

Saturday morning, everyone gets up bright and early. Eat breakfast, usually just cereal, a bagel, or something small we each bring. After all the hair dryers and curling irons are turned off, we head out to the town. Little Nashville is such a cute town. It's almost impossible to describe in words. A few of my favorite shops are in the "Antique Alley" area. It's a cute little corner of shops all nestled together in between the leaves and trees.
The quaint little shops in town are all so different. Some years they have different shops in different spots. Other years it's the exact same shops in the exact same places. A few of my favorites are pictured above.

The places to eat around town are so stinkin cute. The past 2 years we've come to like Muddy Boots Cafe. It's literally a hop skip and a jump from the house we stay in . The atmosphere is really fun in there. A few of my aunts get their bean soup, they say is really good. I get the grilled cheese, a little picky with food some times. They have the best cinnamon spiced tea. It is delicious. You can buy a bag of it there to make at home. Yum yum.

They also have local live music everyday of the week. It's usually a 2-3 person little band. It's nice to sit there while we eat, sip on our tea, and have sweet melodies playing in the background. They also sell distinctive artwork by the employees who work there. They have it on display all throughout the cafe, and is on display for sale. A great way to support the local artists and their passions. 
::Soup to Nuts::
This place has some history behind it. Years ago it was at a different location in Little Nashville. It was located on the other side of the little town. When we first found it we were a little baffled by the service. You had to know exactly what you wanted when you were in line, if you didn't you had to get out of line and go to the end. Their were only 4 or so tables in this tiny little place, and lines out the door for people eye balling the next empty table. So we started calling this place the "Soup Nazi". If your familiar with Seinfeld, "The Soup Nazi" episode was this place to the T! The episode was a soup stand owner who obsesses about his customers' ordering procedure, but his soup was that good people came anyways.
After a few years went by this place had gone out of business. We were a little bummed, no more soup for you! The guy that worked there was hilarious. He was that serious about his soup. Just like on the Seinfeld episode. On Sunday after some last minute walking around we found another "Soup to Nuts" place! We quickly figured out it was the same place, in a different location. As we're all standing in line checking out the menu, I noticed this sign behind the counter. Oh my goodness, it was the Soup Nazi!!! I started laughing out loud I couldnt help myself. Then on the counter by the register was this mug. I was laughing so loud, couldn't believe this place had Soup Nazi signs all around after all those years of us calling it that. Too funny.
                            Original Soup to Nuts

 The food here is delicious! They are famous for their bread bowls of soup, and sandwiches. I of course got grilled cheese, but tried the cream of potato soup too, and boy was it good. The portions are enormous and very well priced. The owner, shown in the picture with the hat comes by all the tables and asks how everyone's meal is doing. The atmosphere was very laid back and felt very cozy. Nothing like the old Soup Nazi vibe lol Too funny, but good times. Glad we found Soup to Nuts again. What's really bizarre? The old lady in the picture looks just like my Grandma. Oh how I miss you Grandma June.

The weather :: It was perfectly pleasant, sun was shining, a bit chilly, but comfortable, and definately doable. People were saying it was freezing, but for me, I thought it was perfect. My kinda weather.
The shops :: A little disappointed than previous years. Maybe it was later in the season and not much variety was being sold. I of course bought some cute little things, but the shops as a whole were kinda so so.
My family :: The tone of everyone was a little off. Grandma not being there was hard, and maybe that was why. I missed her comical antics and just her Grandma-ish personality while we are there. She kept us all in check!
Me :: I stopped to remember the little things this year. The palm sized leaves scattered all over the streets, the smile on a woman's face as she smells her favorite candle, the eyes light up of a small child tasting his favorite ice cream cone flavor, the belly laughs of my aunts as we played minute to win it lol

I think this year was a reminder that life is way too short. I will continue to follow my heart, continue to love passionately, continue to try to make a difference, believe in my abilities as much as people think I do, We have to realize that family will always be there for each other and we have to keep telling ourselves that. Why do we as human beings need more instead of enjoying what we have now.

Not related: Still working on your Fall Minibook?  Look for an updated post on my fall minibook tomorrow. 

:: Now available......the 2011 Holiday Books ::

Have you thought about savoring this holiday season?  These 4x6 holiday books are a great way to remember the holidays or for a gift to your friends who love paper.  Add or remove pages and make this book your own!

brand new week.

.....it was one of those beautifully exhausting weekends filled with all things of the fall -- colored leaves falling from the trees, the perfect scarf and a light jacket, bourbon slushes, late October pumpkins, silvery clouds and astonishing pink sunsets, and most of all re-connecting with family once again after far too long .....
Happy Monday!
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and your week is off to a great start.
[P.S.] a few lovely links for the start of a brand new week
+ in the kitchen: brunch
+ words: overheard & illustrated
+ at home: peaceful sunsets & watering hues
+ decor inspiration: bright colors
+ fall into fall: nail polish trends
+ in my closet: colorful pants
+ at the office: ruler clips
+ collections: Sonja Ahlers

painted wine bottle.

As mentioned earlier today, our annual trip to Little Nashville is here.  The fall temperatures are definately in full force and I'm ready for this weekend!  This year we are doing a little wine project for Saturday night at the house.  If we choose to, each of us were to pick our favorite wine, decorate the bottle and have a story on why it's our favorite. 

My favorite wine is Asti Spumante.  Sparkling wine.  Yum.

To decorate the bottle, I painted the entire bottle purple.  I used acrylic paint.  It worked very well.  Painted the cork yellow acrylic paint.  For the text "Brown County 2011" I first drew on the bottle with a black magic marker as a guide.  Then used the smallest paint brush I had with the yellow paint.

The ribbon is left over from a candle from our housewarming party which matched the bottle and colors very nicely. 

The text on the bottle is a piece of purple cardstock, used the design from a page in this book, and typed in the text using Microsoft Word. 

Excited for this weekend to be with the girls in the family.   It will be a little hard this year because Grandma won't be with us.  She passed away 2 months ago and I think about her everyday.  She would have wanted us to keep the tradition going even if it's without her.  She will be looking down on us, hopefully giving us nothing but sunny skies, and beautiful autumn leaves. 

Ready. Set. Go.  Brown County here we are!

weekend getaway.

Tomorrow is our annual weekend trip to Brown County Indiana.  Some people call it Little Nashville too, including me. First stop on our trip is the outlet malls.  We usually stay there a good chunk of the day, but this year we are making it a short stop.  We want to get to Little Nashville in time to enjoy dinner and some beverages at the big woods brewing company!  It's a new place we stopped in at last year for a quick bite to eat.

The place we stay at every year is called the North House, which is right in town and minutes from all the shops.  For lunch we go back to the house and make mini-pizzas and warm up for a few.  Then head back out for more shopping. 
Saturday is the big shopping and walking around day. We go from shop to shop and check out all the latest fall and holiday items they have for this season. Hot apple cider, sweet hot cocoa with whipped cream, fall leaves, candle smells of the season, good eats, with good company.
Little Nashville even has it's own winery.  It's called the Brown County Winery.  They have a variety of flavors and even fruit wines such as the blackberry wine which is delicious! The prices are pretty reasonable and they ship to a few major states in the U.S. 

Each year we do something special on Saturday night.  After we've shopped all day and vegged out until our tummies have had just enough.....we save some room for vino!  Look for more on this wine bottle later today. 

 Excited for a little r&r time....but will be missing K a ton!

2011 holiday books.

 Now available in the shop.

Savor this holiday season with a 2011 holiday minibook.
Get yours today!