Happy Fall Y’all!

Hello My Lovelies!

I am currently in Denver, Colorado for a conference and y’all! It is blissfully like fall here <3 I am slightly dreading going back to hot old SC tonight.

With fall comes a few of my favorite things…Pumpkin Cranberry Bread (thank you momma!), Spiced Tea, Vests (I’m a complete vest addict) and crunchy leaves.

We always know it’s fall when my mom makes the first batch of her famous Spiced Tea. When you walk into her house, it smells deliciously of orange & clove and you instantly want to grab a blanket and snuggle with a mug. She’s been making Spiced Tea since we were little kids. I remember grabbing my mug and standing by the stove anxiously waiting until she would deem it the perfect time to dip us out a scoop.

It’s one of her signature recipes and my absolute favorite to make for a fall party or Christmas event!

Spiced Tea

Momma’s Spiced Tea

2 Cinnamon sticks
2 TBSP WHOLE cloves (about 16)
3 cups sugar (can sub 1/2 Splenda & 1/2 sugar)
1 qt. boiling water
1 qt. strong tea (Like REALLY STRONG y’all!)
Juice 3 lemons (Or lemon juice)
1 cup pineapple juice (I prefer Dole’s)
1 cup orange juice
3 quarts boiling water (Or sub 1/2 apple cider!)

Directions:

Bring 1 qt water (or cider/water blend) to a boil, add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sugar (Mom throws in a dash of nutmeg). Boil for 5 minutes, then add tea and remaining ingredients. Keep on low for about an hour to encourage the flavors to blend. Serve hot or cold!

I will tell you a little secret about the spices. Momma splits them into two large tea balls and puts one on each side of the pot.

It’s good right after she makes it….but it’s AHHHHHMAZING the day after. All of the flavors and blended into this synergy of taste that I’ve yet to find anywhere else.

So go home, dig your favorite mug out and make a batch!

You can find more of my fall party favorites here!

XoXo!

One vest wearing, mug huggin’ Lemon

 

PS: Reply to this and I’ll send you my mom’s Cranberry Pumpkin Bread recipe! It pairs beautifully with Spiced Tea!

 

 

 

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Herbs…

I love summer! As I sit here curled up in my big yellow chair, the smell of my herb garden is flowing through my house. I keep my herbs by the bay windows in my sun room and I love to fiddle with them. I have loved watching my tiny little seedlings grow and flourish this summer. Some of them I grew from seeds and others were tiny seedlings when I rescued them from Lowe’s (they were severely dehydrated…it was a close call).

This year I grew a few new herbs… Lavender, Parsley, Citronella; along with a few of my favorites: Lemon Balm, Basil, Purple Basil, Sweet Mint and Rosemary.

South Carolina heat can be a beast in the summer..and my poor little purple basil got fried. Whoops…

But! I had three full harvests of my regular basil so plenty stored for winter this year. My citronella plant took off! I highly recommend planting that bad boy in a planter…he took over the box.

One afternoon, I was looking around the internet for a fun way to use my fresh herbs and stumbled upon this recipe by SARA MOULTON. I had several events to go to the past few weeks and hosted a few get togethers at my house, so I tried it out! It was so easy to make and everyone loves chatting over cheese and crackers!

Roasted-Garlic-Herb-Cream-Cheese_Boursin

 

FRESH HERBED YOGURT CHEESE

Start to finish: 2 1/2 days plus 20 minutes (20 active)

17.6 ounce container (about 2 cups) Greek yogurt, full-fat or low-fat, your choice

3 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

ย —–

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

Toasted baguette slices or crackers

—–

Line a large strainer with a triple layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth and set the strainer over a larger bowl. Pile the yogurt into the strainer, spreading it out. Cover with plastic wrap, top with a plate and a weight such as a can of tomatoes and let the yogurt drain in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

Transfer the drained yogurt to a bowl and stir in the next 7 ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. If time permits, cover and chill the cheese for up to 8 hours (to develop the flavor). Shape the cheese into logs or rounds and serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers. Makes a little over 2 cups.

—–

Nutrition information per 2-ounce serving: 76 calories; 43 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 4 mg cholesterol; 56 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 5 g protein.

— recipe by SARA MOULTON —

 

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

XoXo,

One Cheese Loving Lemon

Buh-Bye Mosquitoes

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Hello My Lovelies!!

I used to hate summer because Mosquitoes love me…seriously! They chew me up super bad. And then I get these horrible welts that make me look like a polka dotted crazy person. But this year…I said no way! I ordered some Citronella oil, bought a citronella plant (which has taken over..plant those things in a container!!) and a few other oils to see if I could keep the mosquitoes and other biting insects at bay. Y’all! I’m so excited! I made a bug bite roll on and bug spray using my oils and a few other natural ingredients. So far…I’ve only gotten bit twice. Hurray! I’ll take 2 bites over 250 any day. Sorry not sorry mosquitoes!

Here’s the recipes I used:

Bug Bite Roll On

Bug Spray

I also wanted to make a yard spray. But I have a multitude of cute furry things that live out there…some squirrels, possums, rabbit, Penelope & Patches. So I wanted one that wouldn’t hurt them if they came in contact with it. This recipe is the coolest thing every! I was a little unsure about it at first..but it works! The hardest part was finding stale beer. I don’t drink so I called a few friends and thankfully one of them some that he let me have :)

Mosquito Yard Spray

1 bottle of Mouthwash
3 cups Epsom Salt
3 – 12oz stale beer

Mix the ingredients together until the salt is dissolved. Spray anywhere outside where you sit, around the pool and it will keep the mosquitoes away for 80 days :)

The stronger you make your mix the longer it lasts. It’s safe to use on or around plants or flowers :)

Plus it smells like mint!

XoXo!

One Not Itching for the First Time Ever Lemon

Whoop….there it is…

Hello My Lovelies!

Do you ever have a Fabulous Friday and then in a matter of thirty seconds it comes crashing down?

Amazing how that happens isn’t it? Well…it happened.

I was enjoying my half day off yesterday and looking forward to my date this weekend with Montana. We had planned to go to the Big Mo drive-in movie theatre to see Jungle Book and Captain America after I got off work Saturday.

It’s been such fun with him over the last six weeks and I was excited that I FINALLY seemed to have made it past the second date disaster zone that seems to be my struggle in life. We had the best date last weekend. He and Koda came and surprised me on Sunday and we had plans for this weekend.

I have been very careful about not getting too emotionally invested.ย  My sister is always telling me I fall too hard and too fast for people that I need to take some lessons from the Ice Queen. I guess that’s the artist emotional side of me…but I had been mindful to guard my emotions and my heart. This was the first week I allowed myself to be happy and get a little bit excited.

I was sitting on my couch yesterday afternoon watching Chicago PD (I’m slightly obsessed with the whole Chicago series…PD, MED, Fire…) and my phone went off. I knew by the ringtone it was Montana.

Excited, I picked up my phone expecting it to be about our date tomorrow….only to read this:

Hey, I need to tell you something. Billy (bar owner of Coates) introduced me to a gal earlier this week. Her and I kind of hit it off and I don’t know…something about it seemed like a pretty good connection. I hate to do this because I enjoy our time together. But I don’t want you waiting around for me and missing out on some other guy. I’m going to see where things go with her because I feel like I can see things further down the road with her. I don’t know how to explain it to make it sound any better. Just how I feel I guess. I’m really sorry….. :(

Yeah…not what I was expecting at all.

I replied: Thanks for letting me know.

A few minutes later, I got another text telling me he just didn’t feel right not saying anything at all. He then proceeded with the whole “You’re going to find an amazing guy who will love all of the fabulous things about you. I’m just sorry it wasn’t me…”

Ha…

I wasn’t devastated but it did hurt….I cried a little….It’s been a year since MB and I broke up (crazy how time flies huh?). I’ve been very selective about who I have gone on dates with since. I wasn’t looking to have my heart broken again, but I guess that’s the risk you take when you go on a date huh?

So I did what any girl would do…went shopping…then had a tearful moment after I checked out because all I was holding was a bag of cat food and toilet paper…

Thankfully my Berkley bestie was working the bar at Longhorn and I happened to have a Darden gift card thanks to my awesome momma. So I sat at the bar (my parents would be appalled), eating chicken tenders (sometimes you just have to say screw healthy food) and watching the Braves game. Told my story to the two hilarious ladies sitting beside me who were appalled that he had texted that and laughed with them about life for awhile. The man sitting on the other side of me with his wife overheard and told me before they left that it was pretty lame and sh*** for a guy to do that and that I was better off without him.

My other bestie was sweet enough to drive back to town to sit with me for awhile. She is the best! I am thankful for her listening ear and hugs and I’m glad we are kindred spirits.

So after the tears, the anger, the what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-me moment…I realized there is nothing wrong with me. Mind boggling….

I always tend to blame myself when things go wrong. But I can’t do that. I have to accept that just because he chose that ending for our story doesn’t mean that I messed the story up.

So I think it’s time I stop trying to take control of my love story and let God do His thing. It is the one area in my life that I struggle to give Him complete control. I want it to happen now. I love my single life. I love the things He allows me to do, but I want to share that with someone. I want to have my own family to come home to at the end of the day. I want the kind of love my grandparents shared for 55 years.

So thanks Montana for reminding me that what I want, wasn’t what I had.

XoXo!

One Sweatpants Wearing Lemon