Monday, October 31, 2011

halloween & weekend

Happy Halloween, spooky cats! What are you getting into this evening? The trick-or-treaters have started slowly trickling by, there's a big pot of chili bubbling on the stove, and I have every intention of eating my weight in "fun size" candy. It's going to be a low-key night, and I am perfectly content with that. Here's hoping your Halloween is no tricks and all treats!

On another note, we had a wonderful weekend in Floyd, Virginia...
 Didn't quite get the "winter weather" we had hoped for (snow) but when we woke up Saturday morning the trees were covered in ice. It was magical! 
 We played in the snow ice for a bit, and then made our way into "town."
 We spent the afternoon at Chateau Morrisette. As we turned the corner onto Winery Rd. this beautiful scene unfolded before us. It looked like a winter wonderland, but the grass was still bright green! It was kind of surreal, and absolutely stunning.
 Of the wines we sampled, my favorites were the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Petit Verdot. We also got to try blackberry wine, which I had never heard of. It was sweet, but surprisingly good! Kind of like a summer picnic in a bottle. 
It was such a treat to see Taylor's parents 2 weekends in a row!
I love the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Guilt-free Friday!

Why hello, dear ones! Thanks for stopping by. Today is Friday and it is a good day. First, some boot camp action where my dear momma will kick my butt (quite literally) and then a quick shower and I'm off to Wilmington. Taylor and I are hitting the road again to meet his parents in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The weekend promises to be a fun and relaxing time. And to be honest, I'm looking forward to some cool weather. Don't tell Taylor, but I have a little plan to possibly convince him to listen to some Christmas music on the drive home. I always try to wait until November 1 to break out the Holiday favorites, but hey, what difference does 2 days make? Besides, he loves me for it. Here's hoping your weekend is relaxing, beautiful and maybe a little festive too. Until Monday...

Hey! It's ok...

...if you can't resist packing flannel for every single day of your mountain getaway. 

...if you love sushi. but hate sake. "I'll have a pinot noir, please." 

...if JT will always mean James Taylor, not Justin Timberlake. (And if maybe, sometimes, you just feel like you were made for another generation.)

the James Taylor Christmas album? Perfection.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I have admittedly bad taste in movies. Seriously, I tend to gravitate toward the cheesiest,  most girly chick flicks out there. But lately I've been finding myself disappointed at the cinema.* They just don't make them like they used to. As a result, I've been stocking up on some of the "classics" (& a few that will someday be). Oddly enough, they seem to have made their way to the bargain bin at my local superstore. Heartbreaking, but suits my wallet just fine. 
Most recent purchases:
Sabrina- which I've never seen! Shocking, I know.
27 Dresses- which I bought right after Lauren shared the news of her engagement and asked me to be a bridesmaid!
When Harry Met Sally- even though I've seen it 100 times, I still love it. 

What are your favorite films? I'd love to know.

*Exception: I recently saw Courageous and it was truly exceptional.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall... on a budget.

Last year I did a round-up of all my fall favorites for under $10. It was so much fun, I've decided to repeat the tradition this year! Here goes...
Starbucks apple fritter $2. 
Ok, don't shoot me, but I've never been a big fan of the beloved pumpkin spice latte. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate its seasonal appeal, but I've always found it to be too sweet for my taste. And to be honest, I like my coffee to taste like, well, coffee. Save yourself the calories and order a grande nonfat latte, and then add on one of these delicious danishes. It's apple, so it's healthy, right?
Planters pumpkin spice almonds $4
I found these randomly one day in the grocery store and decided to try them out. They are absolutely delicious & perfect for a protein-packed snack. (Also yummy mixed into vanilla Greek yogurt with Craisins.)
I love the warm, red color and pretty cable-knit detail. Great for chilly evenings when it's not quite cold enough to break out mittens. 
Everyday Food November 2011
It's no secret that I'm a total magazine junkie, but this little publication never disappoints (I mean it is a Martha Stewart magazine, so that's to be expected) The November issue is full of seasonally inspired dishes that can be made in minutes. Only problem- I've dog-eared 95% of the recipes to try. (Roasted sweet potato salsa, pork tenderloin with roasted fall veggies, roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta, brown sugar buttermilk pie... I could go on and on.)
Van Morrison- Moondance $1 for the single, $9 for the whole album (on Amazon)

Well it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies 

And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


When it comes to cookies, I find it difficult to beat the classics. My go-to cookie has always been oatmeal chocolate chip. The oatmeal gives them a nutty, hearty flavor and the perfectly chewy texture is unmatched. I always follow the Quaker Oats recipe that is printed right on the lid, because I mean hey, Quaker knows oats. 
I must admit- I always use chocolate chips instead of raisins.
Kitchen Aid mixer: God's gift to the suburban housewife & the rest of humanity
Chocked full of chips, as they should be. 

What's your go-to cookie?

(p.s. nail polish is "Lady Like" by Essie- a birthday present from my dear friend/fellow polish junkie Melissa!)

Monday, October 24, 2011


There's something to be said for spontaneity. En route to Raleigh Saturday evening, Taylor and I made the last-minute decision to skip out on the concert and escape to Salisbury for the night. The past few weeks have been particularly hectic for both of us, so it was such a treat to leave everything behind for a few hours and soak up some time with his family. Added bonus: on the way back we were able to sneak in a little retail therapy in Charlotte, which is never a bad thing.
On the way there, Taylor helped me sample pie pop's for one of my oldest and dearest friend's upcoming wedding! They were absolutely delicious!
We couldn't resist stopping for dinner in beautiful downtown Raleigh. 
We went to The Pit, which soon became one of my new favorite restaurants! There was a bit of a wait, but we were able to get a table outside immediately. The weather was cool and crisp, perfect for eating delicious barbecue and sipping on southern-inspired cocktails
And then the next day we were in Charlotte!
After spending most of the afternoon at South Park mall, we refueled at Dean and Deluca, my most favorite "grocery store" ever. (if you can even call it that)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Guilt-free Friday!

Hello, hello! Friday again.... Kicked off the weekend last night with 2 of my oldest and dearest friends. We had a great time catching up over wine and a delicious dinner on the waterfront. My only complaint is that I don't get to see these wonderful women nearly enough. Now it's off to work just a little so the fun can continue tomorrow evening with a concert in Raleigh. I hope your weekend is loads of fun. 

Hey! It's ok...

if one chipped nail is enough to send you into a polish-peeling frenzy

if you can never, ever, have too many cardigans. Ever.

to make a half-batch of cookies, but still use the amount of chocolate chips required for a full. 
[poor photo of last night's lovely view]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Pie Oatmeal

I woke up this morning and the air was crisp and fresh, the sky clear and beautiful. The perfect fall day, a day perfect for something hearty and sweet. My parents used to say that oatmeal "sticks to your ribs," thus keeping you from getting hungry before lunch. To this day, I still greatly enjoy the thought of that. 

Don't get me wrong, those little packets of instant oatmeal can be convenient, but after making this apple pie oatmeal from scratch yesterday, I don't think there's any going back. (And, added bonus, the homemade version doesn't contain nearly as much sugar! Unless, of course, you dump brown sugar on top... guilty.)
 [I peeled my apple, but that's optional]
[I loaded mine up with toasted pecans, brown sugar, and milk]

To make, just prepare stove-top oatmeal, as per packaging instructions but when you add the oats to the boiling water, also add the chopped apple*, cinnamon, nutmeg, and any other spices your heart so desires. Ready in less than 5 minutes.  

*I used 1 medium-sized granny smith apple for one serving of oatmeal, but I snacked on a few slices while I was waiting for the water to boil. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well, kittens, today I find myself feeling particularly nostalgic. Maybe it's the rain, or maybe it's the fact that my little corner of the worldwide web is turning 2 today!

When I first started Soliloquy, I wanted this blog to come from a place of honesty: nothing staged or contrived, no false airs, just life and thoughts and goals and dreams and reflections. I am so pleased to say that remains true to this day. It is a creative outlet, a source of inspiration, a sounding board, a diary, a photo album, a time capsule, and so much more. 

My very first post was a recap  of the first, the original pumpkin day. Taylor and I have't had our annual pumpkin day yet this year (we are saving it for our trip to the mountains next weekend) but here are a few glimpses of autumn around here...
 [mom in classic fall colors and sister wearing my all-time fave fall staple: the oxford]
 [sign outside the door]
 [a plethora of pumpkins]
 [...with the best stems!]
 [my rusty-orange sheets make leaving bed particularly difficult on grey autumn mornings]
 [stocked up on socks at Gap this weekend in hopes that "boot weather" will finally make an appearance]
[I think the flowers that Taylor gave me a few weeks ago look just as lovely dried as they did fresh! (I'm not so sure he agrees...)]
 [You can even find  a tiny jack-o-lantern tucked inside the pantry!]
[As I was writing this today Yoshi hopped up in my chair with me and tried to boot me out! I guess even he knows that dreary days are best spent cuddled up with the ones you love.]
 [apple cinnamon pecan pancakes]
[this little lady has has pitched her tent outside my door. I've taken to calling her Emily and imagine that her eventual departure from my stoop will be quite similar to the tearful goodbye in "Charlotte's Web"]

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dig It

As I mentioned on Friday, I've never had much of a green thumb. Don't get me wrong- I love flowers. And I can whip up a beautiful bouquet or gorgeous centerpiece given the proper tools. But actually sustaining life? Eh... not so much. 

Well, after seeing succulents on Pinterest for weeks, I finally decided to go for it. After all, it is the final step in fulfilling my lifetime goal of being Martha Stewart (minus the jail time). The inspiration...
Wanna play, too? You will need:
Potting Soil
Gravel, Small Stones, or Crushed Shells
Small Succulents
Something to plant them in!
 I used a pretty glass serving bowl, so it didn't have a hole for excess water to drain out. Crushed shells at the bottom will prevent the roots from sitting in water. [If you use a regular flower pot, this won't be necessary.]
 Next, add a thick layer of potting soil (but be sure to leave some space for your plants!)
 Finally, tuck those babies in there. Tada!
I could only fit 4 in my bowl, so I popped one in a little teacup that was sitting vacant on my bar. Perfection!

Some helpful hints: 
Succulents like lots of sun
But not too much water


Related Posts with Thumbnails