Good morning from Black Mountain, North Carolina!
A couple of weeks ago, I planned a mountain vacation for our family as part of Ryan’s birthday surprise. We’ve made it to the mountains two years in a row with my family but when schedules didn’t allow all of us to connect for a week away again this year, I didn’t want to miss out on spending time in the mountains in the fall since it’s my absolute favorite season of the year. The mountains simply call to me as the leaves begin to change and since I know Ryan feels the same way, I planned a long weekend away for our family of four (Sadie included, of course). We’re also calling this weekend away an anniversary celebration since Ryan and I celebrated 7 years of marriage on Monday! Woop!
We’re planning to fill our time here with hiking, exploring, eating and relaxing. I’ll be sure to recap the fun on the blog next week and give updates on Instagram along the way! For now, I wanted to share a few things that are making me smile this week in true Things I’m Loving Friday style. As always, please feel free to comment on this post and tell me about one thing you are loving right now!
Have a great weekend, my friends!
Things I’m Loving Friday
- Low Maintenance Halloween
This year was the first year Chase really understood trick-or-treating and he fully embraced this sugar-filled holiday! We met up with friends to eat pizza and trick-or-treat together and it was a blast! Chase very quickly caught onto the concept and we had to hold him back from running ahead and hitting up all the houses on the block (while he simultaneously ate a bazillion Skittles, his candy of choice this year). While Chase dressed up as an elephant last Saturday for his school’s trunk-or-treat celebration, I wasn’t sure the elephant head would last for trick-or-treating so I Amazon Primed some sweatbands for our family, high socks for Chase and made us race bibs on Microsoft (you can’t see ours but they said “Mom” and “Dad” with our birthdays as the numbers) and we called ourselves runners for Halloween.
(My friend Lauren snapped the above picture as a man in a huge T-Rex costume walked by. Our toddlers were transfixed!)
I actually first got the idea for this costume for Chase a while ago when Chase became 100 percent obsessed with my basket of race medals after he found them in my office. He refused to take one off for hours and wore it to play and help me cook and even made me wear one as well. Thankfully the runner costume was very toddler-friendly, with the exception of the headband sweatband which Chase thankfully fully embraced once he saw Mom and Dad put sweatbands on as well. He loved being a runner and would make “pshew, pshew” speedy runner noises as he ran from house to house. It was such a fun Halloween!
- Holidays at the Biltmore Estate
Chase and I had the best time at the Biltmore yesterday! Ryan’s work schedule is a little bananas right now, so he actually ended up meeting us in the mountains in the late afternoon after some important meetings but Chase, Sadie and I headed up to Black Mountain a little early. Once we were unpacked and settled in our cabin, we hugged Sadie goodbye and Chase and I were off to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.
We visited the Biltmore with my family last year and I really wanted to see it all decked out for the holidays, so Chase and I spent several hours on the property, gazing at the gorgeous Christmas trees that lined nearly every corridor and soaking up the stunning mountain views. I think we made it through the house in record time (having a two-year-old as your travel buddy will do that to ya), but Chase absolutely loved running around the gardens, visiting the chickens and goats on the estate’s farm and sharing a delicious double chocolate chip muffin with Mom.
- Leg Day Tripod Workout
I am normally not the biggest fan of leg days at the gym but Wednesday’s Burn Boot Camp leg day tripod workout was actually kind of enjoyable… in a sick and challenging way. I think the tripod format helped with the flow of the workout a lot and I need to keep it in mind for the circuit workouts I create for myself in the gym. We spent 12 minutes going through the first tripod before moving onto the next. The workout went by quickly but definitely challenged me!
- The Girl Before by JP Delaney
I briefly mentioned this book in Tuesday’s blog post but I ended up reading for FOUR hours one night this week and finished it in two sittings. (Yes, I was up WAY too late reading. I paid for it the next day.) The Girl Before was an easy read and really pulled me in. The book follows the lives of two women, Emma and Jane, one in the past and one in the present, who find themselves renting the most beautiful house, One Folgate Street, after they have both experienced tragedies in their lives. After Jane moves in, she quickly learns about the death of Emma, the woman who lived in the house before her and becomes entangled in the same experiences, people and lies as the girl before. As Jane tries to figure out what happened to Emma, she begins to question whether her death was truly accidental and a suspenseful journey unfolds.
- thredUP Giveaway Winner
Big congratulations to Emily, the winner of the $250 thredUP giveaway! “I have found such cute stuff in Thred Up. They have some Kut from the Kloth jeans I have been eyeing.” Emily was emailed first thing this morning. Thanks so much to all who entered! And don’t forget you can still use the code PBF40 to get 40% off your first thredUP purchase. (This code is available to the first 100 PBF readers who redeem it!)
- Friday Flashbacks
Simple Shrimp Dip (As the holiday season unfolds, keep this tasty appetizer in your back pocket for a delicious dish to bring to a party!)
Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Bars (I made these bars for a friend earlier this week and ended up doubling the recipe so we could have a batch as well. Love these bars so much!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing that is making you smile this week?