Fall Bucket List

Pumpkins

Our carved pumpkins from last year :)

I know that we are already a month into the autumn season, but I’m just now getting around to sharing my Fall Bucket List!

Fall is my favorite season, and I’m especially excited about it this year because in a few more weeks we will be welcoming our little baby boy into our lives and I can’t wait to experience all my favorite holidays and fall activities with him :)

2015 Fall Bucket List

  • Carve some pumpkins
  • Go apple picking
  • Make homemade apple pie and berry cobbler
  • Decorate our apartment for fall
  • Have a Harry Potter marathon (complete with HP themed snacks)
  • Make crock-pot apple cider
  • Finish crocheting Little Baby French Fry’s baby blanket
  • (speaking of babies…) HAVE A BABY!
  • Read some science fiction
  • Go on a hayride (Matt really wants to do this)
  • Prepare some freezer meals for after baby’s arrival
  • Go to the farmer’s market before it closes
  • Take our first family photo

I’ve technically already put up our autumn decor, but I haven’t posted any pictures of it yet, so that’s still coming :)

What are some of your favorite fall activities?

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July Highlights!

This year is flying by. I can’t believe it’s already August. Before I know it we’ll be in October and I’ll be a mom! I was a little bit busier this month so I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked, but it does feel amazing to be a bookworm again.

I read 3 books:

The Martian Anne of Avonlea Wives and Daughters

Anne of Avonlea is a well-known favorite of mine, but The Martian and Wives and Daughters are new favorites that I LOVED reading! I am now on a Classics-craze which is perfect because I need to get a move on with my Classics Club list.

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What I Watched

Wives and Daughters BBC Little Dorrit

I watched and loved both the Wives and Daughters and Little Dorrit BBC miniseries last month. Matthew Macfadyen is always lovely in a period drama and Andy Serkis will freak you out with his acting talents. And Wives and Daughters is a beautiful adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s unfinished last work. I watched the ending several times :)

July Highlights

  • Hanging out with friends! – We had several movie and game nights this past month. It’s been an important goal for Matt and I to hang out with friends as much as possible before the baby arrives, because then we probably won’t be able to for a while.
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    Playing Ticket to Ride for the first time :)

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    Spending a summer evening downtown with friends watching an 80s cover band (The Breakfast Club)

  • Reading! – Last month I finally felt like a bookworm again. I started a new book as soon as I finished an old one, I carried my Kindle around with me everywhere, and I had a “book hangover” for the first time in months :) I’ve really been into Classics lately and I wish I could be reading them all at once. I also finally organized the bookshelves in our living room:
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  • Surprise trip to Atlanta! – Last month I drove to Atlanta with my best friend Jae to surprise our other best friend McKenzie after she got engaged :) Her fiancé coordinated everything and he did a fantastic job. It was so thoughtful of him to ask McKenzie’s close friends to be there and I know it meant a lot to all of us.
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    After dinner selfies with my friends Caroline and Jae.

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    With my newly engaged BFF McKenzie!

July Challenges

  • Being uncomfortable – I was at the end of my second trimester in July, so things are starting to become more and more uncomfortable for me. I have such a short torso already so that doesn’t help. Bending over to put on shoes or pet the dog cuts off my circulation a bit and most nights I can’t find a good sleeping position. But as of today I have 12 weeks to go! Little Baby French Fry will be here before we know it :)

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    27 weeks & 1 day

  • Longing for autumn – I’m so tired of summer and I can’t wait for my favorite season to arrive! I’ve already seen so many autumn decorations out in the stores and last week I even bought a fall-themed monogrammed banner for our front door on sale at Joann’s :) I can’t wait for cooler weather, changing leaves, college football, Thanksgiving, and a sweet baby boy to arrive!

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    It’s hard to enjoy the lingering summer months when autumnal candles bombard me with their lovely scents.

Looking Forward To in August

  • Read-alongs – I’m participating in a read-along of Villette with my Goodreads group this month. I’m also joining a 4-month read-along of the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter) hosted by The Book Addict’s Guide. Both of these read-alongs just started so feel free to join in :)
  • Austen in August – This year I’m participating in two different Austen in August events! One is month-long and the other is a week-long. I plan on reading Sense and Sensibility as well as some modern Austen-inspired adaptations. I’ll be posting several Austen-themed blog posts, and I’m even hosting a giveaway at the end of the month :)
  • Preparing for my baby shower – It’s in just over a month from now and I can’t wait! My mom and my dear friend Robin are helping plan it and already I’m overwhelmed by all the love and support I’ve felt from them and from all my other friends during my pregnancy.

Autumn Afternoons & Pumpkin Patches

IMG_5852Last week, my husband, my mom, and I took advantage of a lovely autumn afternoon and visited a local pumpkin patch to scope out some perfect jack-o-lantern candidates.

We found a quaint little rustic farm where they had 3 acres of pumpkins to choose from!

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We each picked out a pumpkin and then had a lovely chat with the farmers, who told us that it only takes a few months to grow their pumpkins.

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And then it was carving time! Matt and I both picked Disney stencils, big surprise ;)

IMG_0102 IMG_0087Rapunzel for me, and Mickey Mouse for him.

Have you carved any pumpkins yet this season? Show me a pic in the comments!

 

30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 26-30

thankfulnessI have been rather busy this week and every night, by the time I get home, I have barely enough energy to put myself into bed. So my apologies for slacking so much on my thankfulness posts. I am still thankful for many things! So here are the last 5 posts of the month, all wrapped up nice and neatly in one simple blog post:

Holidays that revolve around family – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…it’s always fun to celebrate holidays surrounded by family (and family also includes close friends!). I’m once again thankful for being able to celebrate Christmas with my family in the States this year! It has been 2 years since I’ve seen most of them!!

Seasons – I LOVE seasons. In Florida our seasons are limited: there’s summer, hotter summer, and then if you live up north you’ll get a cold, dry winter for a couple of months in between a short autumn and an even shorter spring (literally less than 2 weeks). But where I live right now we have equal seasons! What a concept :) I just love seeing nature change constantly but slowly throughout the year.

Owning a car – You don’t really need a vehicle to get around over here in the Grenoble area, but it has been such a blessing to us to own a car this past year. We went for about 6 months or so without owning a car and I remember quite vividly having to walk to the train station every other week because half of the tram line was out of service during the summer. But now we have a car :) and we’re able to drive other people around as well, something that I have always loved doing since my freshman year at FSU when I was dependent on other people giving me rides. So thank You God for blessing us with a car!

Christmastime – I admit, we decorated our apartment for Christmas Monday night, the day after our first Thanksgiving celebration of the week. I will try to have that post up tomorrow hopefully :) I have already been listening to Christmas music since mid-November! I couldn’t stop myself after the first snow fell, but we abstained from buying a tree until this week so we could have 3 full weeks of Christmas decorations in our apartment before we leave for the States.

All of you readers! – And last, but certainly not least, I am very thankful for all of you who read and comment on my blog! I am thankful for the friends I have made and the conversations I have enjoyed having through the blogosphere. I’ve had this blog for nearly 2 years now, but until this year I didn’t really keep up with my posting but I am thankful for doing that now :)

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and a wonderful November! May the rest of your year continued to be filled with thankfulness and blessings :)

Autumn Sentiments

october

Me too, Anne-girl. Me too…

Autumn is my favorite season. Well, that’s what I say during this time of year. But when April rolls around I’m all like, “Springtime is my favorite time!” But the beauties of autumn last longer than the springtime ones, and I would rather wear comfy sweaters, boots, and scarves than shorts and flowery prints.

This is the second autumn I will be spending in France, and I have definitely been feeling homesick for all of my favorite American traditions that I will be missing again this year. While I know that French people love to have get-togethers and dinner parties, Americans love to celebrate everything. We revel in holidays and seasonal goodies, especially during this time of year, when we spend a lot of time with family and close friends.

So what am I missing the most from my homeland right now?

Seeing my favorite colors everywhere: Bring on the neutrals! I love the reds, oranges, yellows, browns, golds, and blacks combined that really make me feel like autumn has arrived. I’m sure in the States right now you can see those colors everywhere you go (and you Americans may already be getting tired of them); not so much here. But, fortunately, the trees are finally changing colors and that is just as beautiful.

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Yeah, we like to stick to character…

Halloween (and candy): France doesn’t celebrate Halloween, and when they do they only focus on the evil and scary side. What I love most about Halloween is costume parties, especially themed ones. And my favorite costumes have been Robin Hood and Thing 2, nothing scary or demented…Also: day-after-Halloween candy sales!

Autumn-scented candles: Ahh. Nothing like those $5 Walmart fall candles to make your home smell amazing. My favorites of course are the pumpkin pie and vanilla scented ones.

e736dfad0696f08c62b39b9963f456f8Autumn-themed movies on TV: My favorite would be the ABC Family Harry Potter marathons, although they do those practically every holiday weekend, and that’s why I adore this tumblr conversation. So hilarious and so true. I also love watching 90s chick flicks and Nicholas Sparks movies during this time of year, my current favorite is Safe Haven, which is also my favorite Sparks novel. Here’s a cool list of some other great films to watch during Autumn.

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My trying to get a picture with my brother on Thanksgiving a few years back…he hates pictures.

Thanksgiving: This is my favorite holiday, and not because of the food, although I love Thanksgiving Day meals. No, my favorite part is just spending time with loved ones–watching the parade, helping each other out in the kitchen, playing games and football, going to the movies after eating entirely too much pie, going on Black Friday scavenger hunts around town together…I love it all, and that’s why it’s so hard for me to be away from family for Thanksgiving. But this year my husband and I are celebrating an authentic American Thanksgiving with our French family!

Starbucks: Yes, they have Starbucks in France, but the closest one is over an hour away in Lyon. We will probably be stopping there on our way to the airport in December!! Since the weather has gotten cooler I’ve been craving Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Apple Chai Infusions (my fav…it’s like apple cider but better).

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My roommates and I at HHN in 2010.

Halloween Horror Nights: This is a tradition I used to do most years when I lived in Florida, but my favorite years were probably the last two times I went, in 2010 and 2011. Theme parks with friends are a blast, but theme parks in the dark with haunted houses are even better! So many fun memories from Universal’s HHN…I would love to be going there again this year!

Bonfires and hayrides: Here’s something that’s very American–sitting in a wagon full of itchy, scratchy hay while you ride around in the dark with friends…bundling up in warm clothes, looking at stars, telling spooky stories before heading back to the bonfire to make s’mores (another very American thing). Mmm, sounds like fun to me!

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A 2009 FSU night game…I miss these days!

Football season: Saved this one for last because this year my desire to watch football in the States is even greater than it usually is, since my Alma Mater Florida State University is having an amazing season and I have to either miss the games or stay up all night watching them, which is what I did last Saturday for that phenomenal Clemson game. Going to bed at 6:30am never felt so worth it! Fortunately I have found several people over here who enjoy American football and who understand my crazy desires to pull football viewing all-nighters :)

What are some of your favorite fall activities?