Fall Actually (Our Knoxville Visit in Pictures)

Bert left last weekend to go sailing for 10 days and after spending a fun weekend at home just the girls, we took off for Knoxville in hopes of experiencing actual fall weather. The drive up was mostly still green but we were lucky enough to drive home yesterday through the most gorgeous colorful mountains. It was such a treat to be up there at the peak and to get to do so many true fall activities. 

We skipped hiking this time for a trip to Oakes Farm for pumpkin picking, hay rides, a corn maze, farm animals and games. There is just something about looking out over the mountains and changing leaves while picking your pumpkin versus carving it in 80 degree weather surrounded by palm trees that get you in the spirit of autumn.

We hit up all of our favorite spots--The Plaid Apron, Tomato Head, Bliss, and of course, Mast General because who can resist store that has a whole section of candy bins? We also found some fun new antique stores and attended a few gallery showing for 1st Friday. 
My mom let Loulie do her hair and make up every morning and now she is ticked that I am not letting her wear make up every time she walks out the door. She said between the Paris tea room, the art show and getting her hair done; she feels like Fancy Nancy. 
I feel like being back in reality is a little too much after a fun week away.  SO thankful that we had a chance to get to the mountains this fall though. It was such a blessing to be with my parents and have a whole week off from school schedules and responsibility. 
Happy Monday to All!


Things That Go Bump in the Night (Halloween at Lovey's)

I'm almost positive that the person that coined the term "things that go bump in the night" was not referring to ghosts and goblins but to little children hopped up on Halloween candy. Because the clock was chiming 11 by the time my little ghoul calmed down and finally went to sleep. And because I had chugged a little caffeine to keep up with her, I then tossed and turned all night as well. So it's a good thing the coffee is flowing this morning.
Loulie really LOVED Halloween this year and it was fitting that we were in Knoxville. October is my mother's month--she loves all things orange and really plays up Halloween. Our first 20 minutes in Knoxville were spent with Loulie running all over my parents' house checking out all the decorations and talking to her Lovey about candy and costumes.
On Wednesday we happened upon this crazy prissy store/tea room, The Paris Apartment. Just as we were laughing over all the over the top decor and about to duck out, this woman pops out of nowhere and invites Loulie to attend their annual "Witches Fly In" luncheon the next day. It was straight out of a movie--I was all apprehensive "maybe we'll be here" and Loulie was like "YES" and my mom was like "An adventure? Put us down!"
So we show up Halloween morning to an entire restaurant full of old women dressed in the most elaborate witches' garb you have ever seen. You can see in the pictures below how shocked we were--it was quite a production. Loulie's favorites were the "jewelry witch" and the one with orange braids we decided looked just like Room on the Broom witch. I wish I had taken better pictures but like I said, I was in shock. Side note--the food was super delicious and the tea room would be perfect for a birthday celebration or luncheon.
Last night we trick or treated in my parents' cute neighborhood after a neighborhood cookout with Loulie's friend, Madeline. Loulie decided to go as a unicorn in keeping with her recent obsession with My Little Pony. We teased up a pink mane and made the last minute decision to paint her face. You could tell she felt like a rockstar and was so cute running from house to house. My shy girl was surprisingly outgoing--probably because I threatened to take her candy if she didn't say thank you. But seriously, she had the time of her life and ended the night handing out candy with GDaddyBoy. 
So my least favorite celebration of the year turned out to be a hit this year. I'm already feeling a bit anxious about the holiday season. I've spent the morning pouring over my calendar trying to organize the next 8 weeks until Christmas-yowza! I know we say this every year but this year especially, the holidays seem to be on crack! We went shopping on Wednesday and Loulie pointed out that stores already had their Christmas trees up. Really?--we hadn't even carved a pumpkin at that point. I am determined not to get stressed out this year--to really enjoy my family and the traditions we have built. More on that later--I have a few ideas to simplify the season and hope to do a post on that later. Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Go Dawgs!