New Hampshire...

I miss you already. I love the peacefulness. The scenery. The friendly people. Nature showing off. While we went all over New England last week, today I want to share my five favorite New Hampshire moments.

~1~Mount Washington.
We debated over whether or not to take the cog railway to the top, or do the auto van tour. Because of lil' miss, we voted on the van trip and all 8 of us filled up one van. I can sum the drive up in one word. Terrifying. oh wait, maybe two... as it was also gorgeous.

~2~ Jackson

This is where we stayed while in New Hampshire. I love this sweet, charming town and it feels as if it was conjured right on up via a book. So relaxing. I loved the Wentworth Inn and would recommend it any time{thanks again, Mom & Dad B for the ten year annv surprise!!)
I love the covered bridges and this barn shaped library. I die. 
and as we drove by a covered bridge that had been converted to a walking bridge, there was a yoga class going on, with the mountains as their back drop! Amazing.

~3~ The Mount Washington Hotel

Every time we come to NH, we make it a point to come to this serendipitous spot. Whether it be for lunch, a cocktail or even just some afternoon tea. You will never regret a visit here!

~4~ Castle in the Clouds
 On our way up to Maine, Wiki was adamant that we stop at this place. I was ready to get to Maine, but when he is up for an adventure...there is no stopping him;) I wish I had more pictures, but the stop was well worth it and we never even made it up to the mansion... It is a three mile drive to just the halfway point. First we took in the waterfall and then we stopped in at the Carriage house and had a quick drink before the rest of our drive. and it was magnificent! They had a large patio with a stone deck and you could see for miles.

On our way back from Maine, we stopped for a quick java break in Portsmouth. This was actually my first trip back here in almost ten years, as we normally venture towards the mountain and not the sea. I may have forgotten how much I loved it there, but after only a few minutes, I quickly remembered why I appreciated it so much. 

It is such a pretty city with a very funky and artistic vibe.

Next week I will highlight my favorites from our time in Maine. It was also very lovely. I may be a Southern girl to my bones, but there is just something almost majestic about New England. 

Monogram Swap Reveal

I am so excited that the day to show off our goodies is finally here. I have participated in lots of swaps before, but this seemed one of the most unique and fun ones I had spotted.

I am a Southern girl...but my love of monograms has been kept to a minimum I have spent plenty of time oogling items I adored...but never really took the plunge to get them for myself. And wait till you see what I got! And you will see that my partner did me up some kinda good!

But first, meet the lovely lady I was paired up with for this swap. Rachel from A front Row Seat. She is just the sweetest girl and we got along really well. She is from Mississippi and I want to hear how she talks. Mainly because lots of people ask me if I am from there. Remember back to my whole "I don't have an accent post?" ha so I want to compare;)

I was actually so excited over what I sent her that I couldn't even imagine what I may have been getting. And then we were headed out of town and after checking with Fed Ex my package was supposedly on it's way out for delivery but when we headed for the airport, it still hadn't made it's appearance.

So I had my neighbor pick it up for me. And midway through I could take it no longer and I texted Tharina and she was sweet enough to open it and send me pictures. She was pretty funny in drawing the whole process out. Sending me texts of the box, then the opened box and finally...

I saw the light and the light was amazing.

My favorite colors and I love and utterly adore the anchors. She did such a wonderful job of reading what I would like. I couldn't have picked out a better choice for myself and cannot wait to have my next gathering and show off this lovely platter.

Thanks so much, Rachel, now head over to her blog to see what I got her.

and thanks again to Nicole and my sweet friend, Sara! I loved everything about this swap!

so very true.

Linking up with Nicole & Sara

WIWW: A Tale Of Twins

I am so excited to have one of my besties on the blog today. She is many things, and not the least of which is one stylish momma. Actually, let me rephrase that... She is stylish and chic period. And she just so happens to be a  mom;) and oh, you know...preggers with twinsies. 

I have mentioned Nicole on here before, sometimes directly( like here, on our trip to see Luke Bryan) or indirectly as my co candle addict and my green tea drinking partner. 

So I will just let her get right to it...

Hey, I'm Nicole, a friend of Maddie's from the Raleigh-Durham area.  We met over 3 years ago, and have pretty much been best friends since.  Maybe it's our shared love of candles from bath and body works, maybe it's the fact that our husbands bond over their love of maps and historical information that nobody else cares about. (sorry to interject here,  Nicole, but I am nerdy and care about historical information...but not maps, never maps;) Whatever it is, I'm blessed to have her as a friend in my life.  

When Maddie asked me to do a guest post, I wasn't sure what I could do.  While I like to bake, I'm not excellent at coming up with new and exciting recipes like she is.  And while I do travel, it's not so glamorous, as it's usually with a 3 year old to be with my husband when he works out of town.  Then, she told me I could do a What I Wore Wednesday for her blog.  Typically, I really love clothes, shoes, purses, you name it.  But when she asked me to do it, I had recently found out I was expecting twins, I was starting to show, and I wasn't loving the change in my body nor my wardrobe.

Let me let you in on a little secret about maternity clothes shopping: it stinks.  Nobody likes to have to go shopping because they are gaining weight.  Nobody.  

Another of my non-favorite things about shopping while pregnant- a lot of the clothes are expensive.  I'm not one that is afraid to invest in a piece I'm going to be wearing for a couple years, but I am the type that doesn't like spending $100 on a blouse that I'm not even sure will fit in 6 months.  

So, I've been doing a lot of my shopping online.  Mostly for shoes, because they are again better than buying clothes, but I have found some clothes too.  

My mom and cousin were recently so kind to throw a shower for me back in my home state: Indiana.  
They made it a Mad Hatter's Tea Party theme, and it was awesome!  
After a little online searching, I happened to find this little gem, which I love and will probably wear for another dressy engagement.

I found my dress at Asos, and I believe they have converted me into a lifelong customer.  This company is based out of the UK, but ships super fast.  They have great prices and great clothes that fit well.  Asos knows how to make a girl like me feel great!  I finished off my look with some Jessica Simpson pumps that I found at DSW, some bangles, and cute earrings.  

The flower was compliments of my shower hostesses.  

Overall, I felt good about my look that day.  The dress was long enough to move around in, without being too heavy or constricting, and I got to enjoy a great day with friends and family celebrating my little girls.  

Momma Raymer, Nicole & {her sweet sis} Ashley
and obviously none of them fell out the ugly tree.
Three gorgeous ladies.
Make that five;)

Thanks, friend! You looked so pretty. And as a side note, most of you who read my blog..know my struggles with infertility. Over nine years worth of hopes being raised, only to shatter. In dealing with that it is often...a delicate balance to handle yourself in a becoming manner when everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant. And I wanted to elaborate as to why Nicole is not only one of my best friends...but favorite people...

Lots and oh, I mean lots of friends and family have had to 'break the news' to me. Some have done it in a nonchalant way, some have just been happy to share...and then there are the ones who almost apologize. That. is. the. worst. There is nothing worse than realizing you are invited to a pity party...and no biggie, but you're the guest of honor.

and I mean...for future reference, the least people could do is tell me at a place that offers cocktails. While you can't indulge,  I now need one!! Preferably one with bourbon

Anyways, a while back Nic had posted a facebook status and my internal antenna went up. And I was actually in the process of texting her this "are you pregnant? and are you pregnant with multiple babies?! If it's three, you have to give me at least one! haha" when I got a text from her that asked what I was doing at that very moment and that I needed to call her...

and as you now know...I was right. Two lil ladies(she got lucky and didn't have to share;) and I have mentioned it to her once, but I will always be grateful for that moment. Because when she was most nervous and excited for a big occasion in her life...she wanted to share her glee and nervousness with me. And she did it in a way that left me with no time to feel bad for myself. I wan't the 'infertile friend' I was simply just...her friend. And it mattered.

 I promise that in the end, eventually after I have my babies, the hurt and sorrow I often feel like I am drowning in now will possibly be remembered, but the moments of friendship shared...will not be forgotten.

And wow, I just got all kinds a serious up in here. Enough of that before I will need a drink this early in the morning;)

Linking up with Shanna, The Pleated Poppy, Tucker Up, Transatlantic Blonde, Style Elixir & Amy

A Boston Blate

After ten days of New England Bliss...I am back in my home land. And I should mention the first thing I did this morning was get Chic Fil A...

Before I get to my blate, here are a few pictures from our adventure( I will be doing a more specific post on each later, but for now)

Dinner in Sharon at my brother in laws house

The Bridge leaving Boston and heading up towards New Hampshire

A view of 
Lake Chocorua
Our favorite spot in N.H.:
Mount Washington Hotel
Wiki reading our niece a story. She was all into it.
This picture does absolutely no justice.
Popham Beach, Maine.
Bye Bye, Maine! We had a great time!
 The view from Wiki's aunts vacation spot in Portsmouth, R.I.
Was beyond peaceful here. Could have stayed forever.

After a week we were back in Mass and on Saturday I got to meet up with a favorite bloggy friend, Kerry from Till Then, Smile Often. We met up at the 99 off Rte 1 for lunch. and oh you know...

a few (giant) margaritas. all for $3.99 and they don't play either. These things were potent!

A picture to commemorate the event!

and how awesome are these little goodies! 

I wrote a post on my other blog last week about my favorite bourbons and she got me some and a mason jar  insulated glass I had been eyeing, I mean...what better way to a Southern girl's heart;) 

We had lots of giggles. and the best was after Wiki showed up, he joined us for a bite. Our server was funny and said what ever was on her mind. First she thought he didn't know us and was just flirting and I laughed off that he was my husband...but then she looked at him...looked at me. and then quipped "Have you ever seen the sun? Why is he so dark and you're so pale? 

I mean...what do you say to that?! I was so offended too because I thought I had a little tan! Humph.

Popcorn with Spicy Bourbon & Maple Bacon

So there is good and then there is gooood. This easily falls into the latter category. When I was flying home(from who knows where) last year there was a recipe for a bacon and popcorn. It looks delish, but then the recipe seemed like way too many steps. lacked the only thing that makes bacon even better: Bourbon. So the challenge to recreate it was born. and obviously, if you don't want bourbon, you could abstain from using it, just use a little more syrup/mustard.

6 cups cooked popcorn
6-8 slices bacon(thick sliced)
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 tbsp bourbon(I used Makers Mark)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp chili powder

Combine the syrup, mustard and bourbon, brush on one side of the bacon. Mix together the brown sugar and chili powder and sprinkle over the bacon. Bake for about 20 min at 325. Take out, turn over and repeat process. Once bacon has cooled, using kitchen shears, cut into small pieces. 

In a large bowl(that has a lid) combine the popcorn and bacon and after the lid is on, shake for about a minute to fully combine. 

This is perfect for a party or small get together or even as a late night snack. I have no idea how long this would last. I would imagine with the lid on, probably two days...but you do what you think is best. Besides, it made it about thirty minutes when I served it;)

Don't forget to head over to my other blog where I whipped up a Mediterranean flat bread for a quick and easy lunch.

and I hope you are all having a fabulous week...I am loving life in New England for our vacation. Getting my niece fix in;)

Linking up with Tell Us Tuesday your whims wednesday Jessica, Ashley & Wonderful Foods Wednesday

It's Almost Fall...Y'all

Oh, how I love the Fall. Pretty much everything abobut it, except for maybe the cooler temps. I am the person who actually walks outside and says "Yay, it's super hot and really humid...Perfect" My husband really loves that about me. or so I will tell myself

The next few weeks will be really crazy and we will barely be at home, and for half the time I will be in Boston & New Hampshire, so I am sure the Fall buzz will be hitting me even harder and here are a few things I am looking forward to most.

Bath & Body Works Fall Candles. Ok. I should probably use this time to admit I started burning some of the 100 plus few Fall Candles I already had laying around starting in July. But my house will be in full swing of pumpkin and apple scents here in a few weeks.

My friend, I will call her co- candle addict for the sake of this post. I am pretty sure we keep them in business. And I have it down pat. I have never...and I mean never paid more than $10 for one of their candles. I always wait till they are 2 for $20 and I will buy 3 and I almost always have a coupon for take an extra $10 off. So basically, buy one...get two free. and my entire linien closet is full to the brim right now.

Here are a few of my old favorites. and then a few new scents you must try.

and oh my word...Have you smelled this new one

I just want to eat it. 
Great. now I am hungry.

My favorite candles for Fall are usually Apple Crumble & Salted Caramel. I don't see them on here. Due to the fact that I may have over 5 of each in my closet...I will refrain from freaking out now...but you may want to check back in on me in a month. May not be doing so well;)

Ad obviously I love Football, boots and Fall TV shows, those are for another week. You can head over to my foodie blog to check out one of my other Fall loves here.

Nudo italia

and how you can adopt your own olive tree. Ever since I posted a picture a few weeks ago about the gift I got Wiki for our anniversary. A tree from Nudo- Italia., I have gotten lots of questions, so here is the easiest way to share with you guys.

I am not sure where I even stumbled across this idea, but the second I saw it...I knew I wanted to give him this for our ten year anniversary. He always gets me the coolest and interesting gifts and I was excited to actually give him something that he hadn't heard of before. That never happens!

The concept is really cool and unique. Once you head to the website, you have a few options. You can simply adopt a tree as a gift for someone. They will get an adoption pack in the mail and then, in the spring, they will receive 3 containers of oil from their own tree! 

Or you can do the second option(which is what I did) you adopt the tree and then you sign up for quarterly shipments. You will get a shipment in Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter. As I mentioned before, the Spring is the oil from the tree you adopt, and the other three shipments are different flavors. You can choose to do one, or two or how many ever you'd like. If you choose the quarterly, you get the money deducted from your account when the shipment is about to be sent out.

They also have really cool gifts you can send other than adopting the tree. And the best part is that once you adopt a tree, you receive 20% off all future purchases! I have already taken advantage of buying a few gifts since I ordered Wiki ours. And you do not have to adopt a tree to buy any of these gifts.

I was really excited when I got the picture of our tree! It is fun to know we have "some land" haha In Italy and we are hoping that when we got to Italy next year to visit Family, that we can visit our tree. They let you do that! Kinda cool, huh?!

and this was our first shipment!

This is Where I

am today: Swirl Of Cinnamon:, you probably remember Hannah from last week's amazing peach and blueberry cobbler recipe. 

Anyhoo... I made these for you.

So head over to her blog and check it out. And while you're there, try not to drool over all of her incredible recipes and amazing pictures. They seem to grab your attention and pull you right on in.

Basically Food, Wine & Chocolate

ruled my weekend. I know you guys are shocked. Eating and drinking Always.
The best part of this weekend was that we had no plans other than being around and following the wind as it blows. And it is also the only weekend we have been home in 4 weeks and we won't be back home till the 3rd weekend of September...I am already tired thinking about it!

Friday night we ate at our new favorite place, Bruno's next door. And once again I devoured the Bourbon & blackened chicken rigatoni. Why mess with a good thing? and then, afterwards, not quite sure what to do with ourselves and our free time...last minute remembered that the Art Museum does outdoor movies in the Summer and headed over to catch that night's flick.

Love this movie! Not only was it filmed on our favorite beach in Jekyll Island, it is based on the first black regiment which was out of Readville, MA, a suburb of Boston and Wiki's aunt lives right where they trained for battle in the Civil War.

Checked out some of the outdoor sculptures on the way back to our car.

On Saturday, I made some fluffatella goodness bars and then headed out for baby shower pow wow planning for some twinises.

My bestie sent me this awesome and super sweet photo book from her wedding. And she wrote the best note in the back that may have left me bawling. happy tears of course.

 Saturday night we headed to one of our favorite areas, Layfette Village and hit up one of our favorite wine & tapas bars: Vinos Finos I love the barrel table with the corks and lights underneath the glass top.
Wiki enjoying his coffee after a delicious meal! and looking all kinds of hot. If I do say so myself.

yesterday we headed to the outlets to pick up some last minute tickets to see the Killers tonight. I cannot even tell you how excited I am to see this show!!! I love them!

On our way home we stopped in the super sweet town of Hillsborough. We had a quick bite and then refuled with coffee and homemade chocolates. They were so beyond tasty!

and then we headed out to downtown for the food truck rodeo. Over 70 vendors and amazing scrumptious eats! If you want to find out more about it and when the next one is,head over to my other blog.

How was your weekend?!

Linking up with Meg, Join The Gossip, Sami and Funday Monday

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