Friday, October 13, 2017

A Fall Tablescape Without Pumpkins

We love pumpkins for decor, and we did it last year. Our coffee table even has some right now, BUT this year we wanted to try to not use them in a fall tablescape. There are so many great fall things that get lost while the pumpkin remains the poster child for Fall. I know, I know, not using pumpkins is almost like not using Christmas trees for Christmas, but what can I say- I just wanted to do something different this year. For this tablescape, we went with Fall colors, flowers and textures to give the same cozy feeling. Think golds, coppers, flannel, leaves, rusts, etc.
One great thing about this tablescape is that we were able to use a lot of things that we used at our last party. Even though the theme then was boho, we were able to reuse the neutral colored candles and jars and napkins.
At our last party we went for a very large floral arrangement in the middle of the table. This was okay then because the table was only holding the food and we weren't going to be sitting at it. This time we went for 4 small floral arrangements so we could all sit at the table and be able to see each other over the arrangements. There is nothing worse than sitting down to a meal and not being able to see the face of the person you are talking to.
*Pro Tip- Don't be afraid to use utensils and glasses as part of your table decor. Without the flatware and champagne glasses, this table seemed a little bare. We also decided to put dessert (the macarons) and the mimosa ingredients on the table. This gave the table a more relaxed an inclusive feel. It's always a good idea to give your party a family-style element. It would be a disaster to put everything on the table and pass around every dish to a group of 14 people, but when you put a drink or dessert on the table, it creates just the right amount of forced interaction. Always keep the guests interacting!
We used our wood slices again for displaying centerpieces. The next time we have a smaller dinner party, we will probably use them as chargers.
The goal with the flowers is to keep it really neutral and use one color. We chose a rust color, but you may have to base that on what you can find. Since I made this flannel table runner, rust is the only color that would've worked, so glad we found some! Our next option would've been to use no color, but glad it worked out because rust is as fall of a color as it gets. We also had some tiny white roses and tons of eucalyptus. Simple, yet beautiful.
Champagne glasses were on the table, and we kept water glasses with the water dispenser by the food. This was a potluck so it was a serve yourself kind of thing.

*Pro Tips*
- When you are dining outside, always keep glasses upside down to prevent dirt and bugs from enjoying your glass before you do.
- Go ahead and break down and buy real champagne glasses. You can buy them for $1 each (we got ours from Old Time Pottery) We bought 24 and use them a lot! The throw away plastic ones can cost more than the real ones.
Still mastering the art of the macaron... I've had some turn out really great and some really bad, but they've all been delicious!
These feather napkins are a favorite of mine now because they are pretty versatile. They can be interpreted as a feather OR a leaf, which is what I'm going with for this tablescape. The patterned taupe napkins are neutral, so they could go with practically anything!

And if you're wondering where the table runner came from, it was a DIY piece and I wrote a post about it here. It would be great it any flannel color!
Okay, one more thing, this bucket is something I got in the paint section at Home Depot. Turns out it was a really great $3 to spend. Keeping wine or champagne cool right on the table is a fabulous thing to do. We also used it and a couple others to serve different kinds of canned drinks at the bar at our last party.

See our Thanksgiving Tablescape from last year here and our last party tablescape here.
And if you like this post, please pin it on Pinterest!

xo,  Savannah
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Camping at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

After our last camping trip to Nolin River Lake, we booked two more camping trips almost immediately. What can I say, we are hooked! We had a few days in October with nothing scheduled, so we were looking for a place to camp for those days. Casey found a brochure for Cumberland Falls State Park and it was talking about something called a "Moonbow". We were intrigued. So if you didn't know, a moonbow is a rainbow that happens at night time. You can see one at Cumberland Falls when there is a full moon and no clouds. Turns out, the moonbow was happening on the exact dates we were wanting to book something for, so it was settled. And, this is the only place a moon bow happens in the western hemisphere! Pretty cool. 
They call Cumberland Falls the Niagra of the South, which cracks me up! But let me tell you, it really is spectacular. It is bigger in person that I thought it was going to be- you really can't tell in photos how grand and magnificent it is.
And of course, the dogs were with us again!
If you look behind me in this photo you will see some tiny little people- that is where the waterfall is. We first saw the waterfall at night right after we set up camp, but we went back the next day to see the waterfall in the daylight.
This is a view of the sun rising over the river from the Lodge. If you aren't into camping in a tent, you could always check out the rooms there!
We explored a lot around the park. It's in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest, so there is no lack of beauty.
Okay this is my second favorite part of our trip. We randomly found this abandoned parking lot on the other side of the river. It was huge! We were so intrigued and ended up taking photos here for a while. We couldn't make sense of what it was because the parking lot was pristine in places and grown over intensely around the edges- like it had been abandoned for years. But it was so big, it seemed like a theme park parking lot of a massive walmart parking lot.
We asked the people who worked at our campsite and no one knew what it was. On our way home we stopped at a gas station and they knew what it was and good thing, because curiosity was killing us! It was apparently something called Tombstone Junction. Look it up and read the Wikipedia page- it's a bizarre thing. What is crazy is that we couldn't see any evidence of what used to be there at all.
This wildflower bush was just growing in the middle of the parking lot. How resistant does a plant have to be to burst through asphalt or concrete?
Here is a view of one part of the parking lot.
This is another part...
The road to the park was beautiful so we stopped and snapped a few photos here and there.
This is actually a picnic area in Cumberland Falls State Park. It's up on a hill overlooking the river, so could be a great place to stop and eat after checking out the waterfall!
In case you were wondering, the dogs were always with us. In all the photos, the dogs were just off to the side rolling their eyes.
Our campsite (TG20) was really spacious and it had electric and water- what a dream! If you decide to camp here, I would recommend booking TG19 or TG20. TG19 is bigger and perfect for large groups, but both are pretty private and level and beautiful. They have many other spots but these were the most spacious- some spots have your tent right on the road, which is no bueno for us with dogs (or children).
Our last night camping we played through a whole game of Phase 10. Have y'all ever played this? I used to play this in high school and it would get really tense. We were always playing with a bigger group of people and it was cut-throat! Sometimes we didn't even make it through all 10 phases because we were tired of playing. But Casey and I made it through and it was less stressful than with a huge group!

I'm happy to say that after this trip we decided to upgrade our tent. This four person tent just isn't cutting it for two air mattresses and three dogs. I mean it has worked just fine for our last 3 trips, but we are ready to be able to stand up and have a tiny bit of room. Anybody have any recommendations?
Okay, here is one more photo of the moon bow. When you see the moonbow in person, the colors are so faint, it's like a rainbow made of pastel colors. It almost seemed white at times when you just glanced quickly. I know that doesn't sound as cool, and that the photos look really pretty, but nothing compares to seeing this in person. It happens once a month, so maybe look into a trip there?

What a privilege it is to be able to see things like this with our own eyes. I know this word is overused, but what an epic moment it was. Things your brain hasn't even thought of exist in this world. And sometimes you get to see those things and be in awe of the phenomenal creation we live in. Finding these kind of things is so rewarding and enjoyable. The opportunity to experience extraordinary things is not lost on us and we hope you find time to make your own adventure!

Our favorites from this trip:
- Birkenstocks (These are just a camping must have for us!)
If you liked this post, please share on Pinterest!

xo, Savannah

Monday, October 9, 2017

the myth of busyness

So we have been crazy busy lately, but who isn't busy these days? Seriously. You used to ask people how they were doing and they'd reply with the obligatory, "I'm good." But now we all respond with, "I'm busy." Today our pastor was talking about busyness and he was saying how we wear it like a badge of honor. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. We are all guilty of bragging about our busyness as if that makes our lives more worthwhile. Today we have teamed up with SoundAura and Amazon to show you how easy it is to disconnect from the crazy and take a moment for yourself. These headphones are noise cancelling, so it makes it even easier to keep out the "busy" for the small moments you may have. And bonus, you can buy them on Amazon, which we all know is the easiest and fastest place to buy something online.
I'm not trying to shame you for your busy life, because we are just as guilty of being overly busy. We just can’t use busyness as an excuse. We also can't use our busyness as sense of self-worth. Honestly, when we tell other people that we've been so busy, it's actually a little condescending to the other person we are saying that too. When we reply, "Oh I've been so busy." It's almost like we are saying, "yeah my life is more important than yours because I'm busier than you." I don't think that is what anyone intends when they say that they've been busy, and it’s definitely not what I mean, so we just have to be careful. I find myself trying not to use that anymore.
As I have been thinking about my overly packed life, I've been trying to evaluate the activities that take up my time. I've been trying to figure out how I could use my time more wisely. I’ve been questioning what I could give up so I could make more time for things that matter. Because when push comes to shove, we always make time for the things and people that matter. And I want to choose the right things.
Anyway, self care is definitely something that should be prioritized in our lives. One thing we don't do consistently, is rest. Sure we take a break here and there, but rarely do we take a day to just relax. When we do just take a day to do nothing, I always feel guilty like I should be doing something else. Today we set aside time to do nothing, and I feel like I should have cleaned my room or something. We are pretty guilty of relaxing and working at the same time- you know watching TV or listening to music but also sending e-mails or writing blog posts. Not only do you not get to enjoy the TV show or music, but sometimes it is nice to sit down and not use your mind and just be still. When we don't stop and rest, we cannot give other things in our lives our entire selves. We should focus on doing less and doing it really well.
I recently got the new iPhone 8+ and like the iPhone 7 models, there is no headphone jack. I do love the phone but not having a headphone jack is a real bummer. These Sound Aura headphones are perfect to fill in the gap because they are Bluetooth headphones. But even if you have a headphone jack on your phone, not being attached to something while you're listening to music is really nice. What I also love about these headphones is the sound quality and the comfortable fit. They also block out sound really well. In fact, during this photo shoot I kept trying to talk to Savannah while she was wearing the headphones and I forgot that she totally couldn't hear me.
Anyway, what would it be like if we spent less time being busy and more time taking care of ourselves and the relationships we have? What if when someone asked how we’ve been our answer was “relaxed”? I know we are all busy- like crazy busy, but try to find something that you can take out of your schedule so you can relax and recharge. Don't you just wanna lay down sometimes? Well lay down, listen to so music, and think of absolutely nothing. I dare you.

Dueces, Casey

Pick up your own pair of headphones on Amazon here.
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