Route 11 Potato Chip Factory

Route 11 Chip FactoryLast weekend after we visited the Shenandoah Caverns, we went to the Route 11 potato chip factory. Personally, I was excited because I haven’t been to a potato factory before and I planned on buying some awesome chips.

When you go through the red door, you enter a room where you can sample the chip flavors and then pick which ones to buy. Then, separated by glass, you can peak into just a few rooms of the factory and watch a little bit of the process including picking out the bad chips and then packaging. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside of the process, but stole a few others.

Route 11

Route 11 is cooking

Route 11 canvas

Route 11 signage

Route 11 chipsThis may have been a short post with not a whole lot to show, but wanted to share anyway because these chips are so good! Nice, crisp, and imperfect – the way a chip should be! Would you believe this haul is already gone?

Autumn Mug Giveaway

Autumn Mug GiveawayI’ve realized that I’ve only done one other giveaway, and that was to celebrate one whole year as a blogger. That was almost a two years ago! How time flies…

Today, I wanted to share with my readers my love for a mug…and Autumn! A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of my mug (shown above) and decided to get the same one for my readers (twinsies!). I love how cute, cozy, and happy the colors are and want to pass that on to one of you!

Giveaway Rules:

  • be a follower on my twitter
  • be a follower on my instagram
  • comment on this post about your favorite part of Fall
  • make sure to be a subscriber

I’ll pick a winner a week from today. And not to discriminate my international readers (love you all), but the giveaway is U.S. only.

Good luck!

Fall Is Near, My Dear!

Tomorrow is the official day of Autumn! I’m pretty excited that this is happening officially. Because everyone knows I’ve been prepping for it for weeks!

The September IssueLet’s start with the September issue of Vogue and Marie Claire. I’ll be honest, I haven’t looked into the pages of a glossy magazine in ages, but by the time these landed for free in my office, knowing no one else would be interested in seeing such thick pages filled with the next inspirational Fall outfit or makeup, it was mine. Seriously, the Vogue issue is like a dictionary.

M&M'sI enjoyed all too much finding these maroon, orange, and gold M&M’s and candy corn to go along with my upcoming Welcome Fall get-together. I love festive touches and the colors are perfect for Fall.

Fall Planner FunI spotted these fun October inspired sticky notes at Target for $1!

BBW CandlesLast year was the first year I had ever bought Bath and Body Works candles, and I knew that once they went on sale for 2 for $24 (because there’s no way I’m paying full price for these things!) I had to add these ones to my collection this year.

Fields of GoldAlmost harvest time for this corn!

CandyIndian corn, Candy Corn, and M&M’s all displayed colorfully in flat 8oz mason jars. I can’t wait to eat them at the party!

owl mugPretty much fell in love with this owl mug.

shoesMaroon or “wine” colored anything is my color of the season.

car scentsLook at the gorgeous designs for the Yankee Candle Car Jars! This reminds me that it’s time to open up that Autumn Wreath…My car is going to smell awesome!CostumesCostumes! Even though I haven’t dressed up for anything in ages, it’s still fun to see this wall of costumes where kids can pick and imagine what they want to be for Halloween. I remember my mom taking us in the days I was still trick-or-treating and how fun it was.

Candy cornOkay, one more picture of candy corn. Because I couldn’t resist. I’m going to blame my recent obsession for candy corn on my Welcome Fall Party. And then this will be done, I promise.

Happy Fall, ya’ll!

Shenandoah Caverns

Shenandoah CavernsYesterday morning we headed out the door around 7:30 to start our venture into the Shenandoah Valley. As we drove, we were surrounded by early morning sunlight and fog, which made me wish I had a better camera because the views as we left the city behind and watched as the land became more rural and mountains outstretched before us was simply stunning. I managed to snag a few pictures anyway on my phone and I’m so glad I did. Of course the quality does not do it justice. We did bring our digital camera and found a lot of the pictures we took ended up being blurry. Apparently it proved to be a difficult task to take pictures in a group tour setting and wait for the little green light on our camera to stop blinking and the “no shake” hand symbol to come up on the screen to get a perfect picture. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Eventually I gave up and used my phone again which actually ended up taking better pictures than the camera!

*warning – picture heavy post!

Behind the Wheel

Fields of Gold

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{notice how we both have our headphones in. Listening to music is a must on a long trip!}

Mountains and skymoutain range

Some days it’s so refreshing to see fields spread out all around you and rolling hills that go on for days. When we pulled up to the caverns site, I soaked in every second I could, seeing the beautiful and peaceful landscape around us.

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As we were waiting for our tour guide, we took a step back in time and explored the Main St. of Yesteryear display. These were figurines that were displayed in the window of stores on Main St. during the Holiday seasons and provided entertainment for the little ones and sparked their imaginations. At times, I catch myself wishing we could go back to those simpler times and toss all of our electronics!

Main St. of YesteryearMain St. of Yesteryear 2

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Main St of yesteryear

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After the tour of Yesteryear, we spend some time looking at rocks and crystals in the gift shop awaiting our descent into the earth to see the caverns.

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{steps down into the cavern, although we used the elevator}

DSC03799{down below on the flip side}

VA Fault LineWhat was interesting to learn was that we were standing right under…a fault line (pictured above). The tour guide said that currently the fault line is inactive, but my imagination couldn’t help but run wild and think of what could happen that very moment if an earthquake occurred!

IMG_3290One of the first things we saw was a wishing well and we were all amused that people had thrown in dollar bills. Look at all the pennies on the bottom!

DSC03817Not far from the well, there was a barricaded off area, and on a rock sat a lone penny, which my niece pointed out to me. I had to take a picture of it because pennies hold a huge significance for my family (on my mom’s side), reminding us of my Aunt who passed away a while back. You can read about it on the Pennies From Heaven “Like” page I started!

DSC03820This was the grand room that started it all. Two boys playing in a field back in the early 1900’s discovered the caverns at this site, although they didn’t quite go deep enough with their candle sticks to see the room we’re standing in. Our tour guide said the boys didn’t tell anyone of their discovery for a year! What a secret to keep (not to mention a great hideaway and play area!).

IMG_3253{probably not the best picture due to lighting and whatnot, but hey – we were there!}

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{can you spot the elephant?}

IMG_3261This was a beautiful area in the caverns where you can really see the rocks glitter. People have actually gotten married at this site as well. Can you imagine the wedding pictures? Gorgeous!

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IMG_3289IMG_3292{They called the long thin strips bacon. Not good when you’re already hungry…}

IMG_3294IMG_3295{Lovely rock from the caverns that sat outside the elevator}

Visiting the caverns was such an experience and I loved every minute of being down there with family and seeing our gorgeous earth from the inside out.

Fried Green Tomatoes | In Olive Oil

Fried Green Tomatoes 2When I was a little girl, my mom introduced me to the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. It was (and still is) one of her favorites and it quickly became one of mine as well. I’ve always wondered how those fried green tomatoes tasted and coming from a family who lives in the South, I’m still wondering how I’ve gotten by with never having this very southern dish. So when I got to pick some fresh tomatoes straight off the vine with my dad earlier in the month, we made sure to grab quite a few of those green ones so I could try it out! Now, we did wait a little too long grabbing the ingredients to make this dish and some of them began to ripen, but that didn’t stop me from frying them anyway!

Colorful TomatoesI knew that I didn’t want to fry the tomatoes in vegetable oil (personal choice) and wanted to find a recipe that called for olive oil instead. Between google and pinterest, I found a fantastic recipe that I would love to share with you! I know the season is coming to a close, so if you grow your own tomatoes or if you can get your hands on some green tomatoes, hopefully you can grab a few to try this recipe and enjoy! You can do this with red tomatoes as well, but green ones are much more sturdy to fry. Believe me on this one!

Green TomatoesOkay, first of all, how gorgeous are these tomatoes? I loved when I cut into the ones that were beginning to ripen and could see some of the red beginning to spread throughout. So beautiful. Never thought I’d think that about a tomato, but there you have it!

What You’ll Need:

  • tomatoes for fryin’, cut thin
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • olive oil

Fried Tomato IngredientsCombine the corn meal and flour. Then season your tomatoes with the salt and pepper. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Pour your olive oil in the pan (the recipe suggests 1/3 cup for a 12 inch pan). Coat (or “dust” as the recipe says…yeah right…) your tomatoes with the cornmeal and flour mixture and lay into the pan. Do not crowd the tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until well browned. Add more oil if needed (I did and fried them in batches, as well). Place on a paper towel for draining. Sprinkle with extra salt (I did).

Salt and pepper tomatoesFlour and CornmealFrying Green TomatoesFried Red TomatoesThis recipe was so much fun to do, not to mention super easy and quick! I think my first batch turned out slightly over done, but they still tasted great! If you’ve never had them before, the best way I can describe them is like eating a french fry covered in ketchup.

I hope I can get my hands on some more green tomatoes next year and make this again. It’s too yummy not to!

Fried Green TomatoesTowanda!

My Fall Beauty Collection

Fall Beauty CollectionI’m back out on the front porch this evening sipping apple cider and enjoying the cooler weather while writing this post. Today has inspired me to share with the beauty girls out there some of my fall beauty items. Half of this I already had from last year and I’ve acquired just a few more items over the year that I’ve been saving for the season.

Spice it Up & Half Red Mac CosmeticsSpice It Up! from MAC has been on my list to get for quite a while and was inspired by one of my favorite YouTuber’s, Elle Fowler. She wears this in many of her Fall and Winter videos and I always catch myself staring at her lips throughout the whole video! I don’t typically buy MAC Cosmetics, but considering how much they’re raved about, the quality, and the fact that I’m trying to stay away from certain chemicals found in drug store makeup (more on that in a later post), this might be the beginning of a collection. I paired this with MAC’s lip pencil in Half-Red, and love the results. It’s a deep burgundy color that I think is pretty flattering on and great to wear for both the Fall and Winter seasons.

Fall Eye ShadowThe NAKED Urban Decay eyeshadow palette has been in my collection for a few years now, and, like most girls, I love it. I found that last year I only used it in the Fall due to it’s warm colors and used the color Toasted and Smog a lot.

Last year I was craving a wine or burgundy colored eyeshadow and finally found one by NYX in the color Skinny Dip. I’ll admit, I’m a little nervous of how I’m going to wear this color. In the crease? All over the lid? I’m sure I can do both, but with a dark color like that, it’s so easy to look like you’ve been punched in the eye and I’m trying to avoid that. Wish me luck and let me know if you have any tips!

Sugar Scrubs 1Oh man. These sugar scrubs were love at first sniff. The Brazilian Nut sugar scrub I’ve been using since the summer and love the smell. It reminds me of a type of coffee scent. I’d like to say hazelnut comes to mind but at the same time I don’t think that’s quite it.

Sugar Scrub 2Then at the beginning of September, Ulta released some yummy Fall scents in their sugar scrub line and I almost couldn’t resist. Both the pumpkin and apple scents are so scrumptious you could almost eat them. They exfoliate wonderfully and the best part about it is there’s no parabens! The only con is the price. Luckily I got them on a Buy 2 Get 2 sale. It was a little more justifiable then. My first tub went pretty quickly, so having two of the same scent works out for me since I stocked up!

Fall Nail PolishI found this O.P.I nail polish in the shade I Sing in Color, at Ulta one day in the Summer and grabbed it at a major sale price. I may have gotten it for less than $2. I had eyed it for ages and finally caved in knowing it would be a great vampy shade of red on my nails for the Autumn. I’m itching to get it on my nails! I can’t wait.

The middle shade is Chocolate Kiss, by Ulta, and sadly, I can’t find a link to it and think it may be discontinued. I bought this last year in November, and it’s such a beautiful chocolate color I had to include it in the event they bring it back.

Sunset Bronze nail polish by Ulta, I also bought last year and thought would be great to include for this post. It has gorgeous shades of red and brown mixed in it that make me think of apples and turning leaves. Another one I can’t wait to wear!

Okay beauty lovers! What colors will you be adorning this season?

 

Sunday Morning

Sunday Moring CoffeeThis morning has been the best laid back Sunday Morning I’ve had in a while. Just sharing a moment with my love on the front porch with some toast, coffee, and my husband singing made up words to the tune of “On the Road Again”, by Willie Nelson, and much laughter between us. It’s the first morning we’ve had that feels crisp and perfect with no humidity. Exactly what I’ve been waiting for. The mug, of course, has an added festive touch (from Michaels Craft Store).

Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday, too! Here’s a little soundtrack for your Sunday!

A New Blog Theme

Old vs New HeaderThe other day I figured it was time for a change. The blog needed a fresh look and I was on the hunt in the WordPress theme archives for just that since I am definitely not building the blog myself. Worpress makes it so easy! When I found this one, I fell in love with the header image and only wish I had taken it myself! While it’s not mine, I’m thinking I’ll use it for quite a while until I can come up with something of my own. It’s too awesome to change! I think it gives the blog a more mature feel.

What do you think?

Bidding Farewell To Summer

I’m fully prepared that this might be the last day we see 90 degree weather this year. Looking ahead into the next week, it looks like we’ll be greeted with pre-Fall 70 degree weather and I find myself mixed with emotions. I love Fall (everyone knows that by now), but we had such a cold and snowy winter and it makes me wonder if I’m really ready to start bundling up yet. Sure, I’m ready to wear my scarfs and boots again, but it’s what’s after Fall that I’m not looking forward to.

For now, as we bid good-bye to Summer, here are some pictures to remember it by!

IMG_2829My oh-so-hot hubby casually playing Lacrosse

IMG_2875Donut Day

IMG_3020Okay, I might actually miss my husbands yummy burgers on the grill. And the grilled zucchini.

IMG_3022IMG_3025IMG_3032Summer is always a good excuse for my Father-in-law’s Mojitos. “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” he’d say! The chips and salsa aren’t bad, either…

IMG_3034Walks around the neighborhood with my love in warm weather…although I cannot tell you why he’s wearing a hoodie in this picture…What a weirdo!

IMG_3051IMG_3053Gorgeous bridesmaid bouquet I had in my friend’s wedding back in August.

IMG_3130Honey Bee…

IMG_3148IMG_3151Home grown tomatoes that were so incredibly delicious, I want to eat this picture!

IMG_3179And learning how to make Fried Green Tomatoes was probably one of my last Hoorah. I was so excited to make these that I might do a quick post on them soon!

Hope you all had a great summer and looking forward to what the Fall season brings you!