Apple Picking

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Yesterday, I had a totally new experience – I went apple picking!


We went with four other families – a grand total of 13 people – to Skytop Orchards, which boasts over a dozen varieties of apples and is a huge tourist attraction in the area. We got there just as the leaves are beginning to turn. The weather was perfect, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day with my family and friends.  It was truly lovely!









The kids eventually got tired of walking up and down the hillsides…


So we plopped them down for a break…


And before I knew it, a wonderful photo-shoot had unfolded!  I got five of the kids to sit in a row – 5 out of 11 isn’t too bad, right?!


And this, my friends, is my favorite photo of my children ever because I feel like it perfectly captures who they are at this exact moment in their lives. And I love how much they look alike.  My loves. <3


Even the momma friends got together for a picture.  We tried to do a kid-less but our munchies ran over, which made us crack up.  I really love this group of women – we do a constant text stream all day, every day, and it sure is helpful to have friends to ask for advice and give kudos and offer support. 


We got home and I busted out a quick 2.0 mile.  Gosh, this weather is excellent for running!


And then the moms went out for dinner all by ourselves, which was pretty fun. We were celebrating two birthdays, which meant we got free cheesecake.  Not too shabby!


What have you “picked”? I have picked APPLES, Christmas trees, pumpkins, strawberries, and pomegranates (pomegranates were really cool – they grow on trees like apples!).


legging giveaway

Oh, I am so excited about this post and giveaway.  My absolute favorite leggings are from White Plum – I have waxed poetic about them numerous times.  Seriously, they are so soft, cozy, and comfortable – and CUTE.  So many adorable styles.


The solid color fleece-lined ones are an excellent choice for Fall/Winter.  They are nice and thick so there’s no see-through fears AND they keep your legs warm in dresses.  The best!


But the prints are super fun too.  I’m a pretty conservative dresser but really do enjoy wearing the crazier leggings.  I like to pair them with something solid (like this gray sweater dress) and always get comments on them when I wear them out and about – people just love to talk leggings!  Speaking of legging talk, if you have NO IDEA how to style leggings, White Plum has an awesome leggings guide that answers every question you could think of (spoiler alert – your top should cover your butt!).

leggings collage

Aren’t the merry plaid leggings perfect for the holidays?  They have so many fun designs!


Guess what?  One lucky reader will win not one, not two, but TEN pairs of leggings!  Amazing, right?  Simply enter using the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, if you’d like to go ahead and grab a pair of leggings now, use the code HTP25OFF for 25% off your entire order until October 15.  Don’t forget to check out the leggings guide, and good luck on the giveaway!


This giveaway is sponsored by White Plum.


My Favorite Salad

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This is my favorite salad of the moment!  It’s seriously perfect, and I CRAVE IT (and I am not one to craaaave salads – I crave chocolate and wine, thank you very much).


The key is making it ahead – I think it tastes a lot better if you let the dressing wilt the greens.


In the mix:





Chopped yellow and red baby peppers

Raw sugar snap peas <— essential

Sprouted pumpkin seeds (found at Costco)

Sea salt and pepper

Homemade dressing of olive oil with Italian spice blend mixed in


I do a side of plain whole milk Greek yogurt for a protein punch.  Yum.


In non-food news, I…


Survived my trip to the dentist.  I have to go back for more work though.  Now that I know I get to watch HGTV in the middle of the day, I don’t mind so much…


Went and voted in the Democratic primary runoff for Charlotte mayor.  My candidate won!  She got my vote because I listened to her in the debate and really liked her, and she walked in the Pride Parade.  Charlotte schools need help, so I hope she wins the election and does everything she promised.


Henry liked pushing the VOTE button.  He kept asking where the BOAT was, though.  No matter how many times I explained that we were VOTING, he kept asking when we were going to go BOATING.  Hah.


And last, but not least, I am going to redo my Capsule Wardrobe soon!  The weather is getting chilly, and its time to revamp things for the Fall/Winter.


(Kiddo toy pick-up is so much more fashionable these days! Hah)


In all seriousness, I have really enjoyed Capsule Wardrobe and do feel more fashionable on a daily basis (here’s an explanation of the concept).  Getting dressed is so much easier than I don’t even WANT to live in yoga and sweatpants anymore!  So many of you asked me to follow up on it, and the bottom line is this – I don’t think I will ever organize my closet another way again!


What’s new with you?


Tuesday Mornings

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After two years of Erin Condren planners, I have switched to a $8 one.  Even thought it’s only October 6, I keep needing to flip into 2016 and write down info – my old planner stopped at December 31.  I kept on meaning to order another super cute Erin one (I love the covers), but then I stumbled upon a total gem at FedEx and bought it on the spot.  It fulfills all my paper planner requirements – a calendar view, a weekly view, lots of room to write…


I switched to paper planners two years ago and haven’t looked back since.  I used to use an electronic one for appointments and use scraps of paper for To Do lists – but now it’s all in the same spot.  Long live the paper planner, whether cheap or fancy!


My morning:





Full of muffin-making, slide-sliding, and lots of love. <3 <3 <3




This was a good one!  Big and hearty.


Roasted potatoes



Eggs with spinach and Swiss


And here are some quotes that resonate with me today:



And in other news, I have a toothache so I made a dentist appointment for tomorrow. I am actually pretty scared of the dentist and haven’t been in longer than I care to admit.  So I hope everything is okay!  I’m going to focus on healthy teeth and hope it multiples.  Hah.


Have an awesome day!


Hi, Friends!

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How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?


On Saturday afternoon, the Husband and I attended our friend Isaac’s birthday party at the 5-star Ballantyne Resort. We hung out with friends, sat in the hot tubs, relaxed in the steam rooms, and drank mimosas.  I left the spa feeling very adult, peaceful, and calm, but when we got home, there was immediate kid chaos!  Even in the face of a scream fest, I thought, “Man, I actually missed this while we were away…” 


… Although I seriously wouldn’t be opposed to more “spa voices” in my real life!  Claire has gotten SO LOUD in the past few weeks, and the kids now have screaming competitions.  I swear that my ear drums are bleeding. 


Speaking of Claire, she turned 10 months on Friday.  She has gotten really good at waving bye-bye (doing it unprompted now!), and she said her third word – CAT!  Mama and Dada were #1 and #2.  And she’s taken a few steps but hasn’t really started to walk.  It’s funny how different the kids are; once Henry took one step, there was no stopping the process (he took his first step at 7 months and was a fully independent walker at 9!).  But Claire seems more cautious.  Which I am totalllly okay with.


In other exciting parenting news, I accidentally left Henry’s sneakers on the roof of my car and drove away.  I heard a THUMP THUMP when we were on a busy road and saw the sneakers go flying off the back – whoops.  I was pretty jazzed when I retrieved them several minutes later and they were not squashed flat.


It’s the little things in life, am I right?!


So… How is “No Excuses” life going for everyone?  No Excuses <— I will workout.  When there’s a will, there’s a way.  I had to dig up serious will on Sunday, when H refused (like, flat-out REFUSED) to go into gym childcare.  I ended up doing sprint intervals on the track and some strength-training moves (squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, pull-ups) while he played on a nearby playground.  It actually ended up being an awesome workout, and it made me want to do playground-workout combos more often.  Everyone was pretty pleased!


And see those stormy skies?  We have been having some rotten weather, no thanks to Hurricane Joaquin.  I’m loving the cooler temps but this rain has got to go!


We rounded out Sunday evening with a play date with friends.  Brandi made quinoa muffins – I need the recipe!


Hope you have an awesome Monday.  <3