Thursday, November 11, 2021

Things I Love Thursday // 11.11.21

Our US Military

Today on Veteran's Day and everyday, I am grateful for the service and sacrifice of those who have served and are currently serving our country in the armed forces. A special shoutout to these stud-muffins, from left to right: my grandpa Dale Gowin (WWII, Tank Commander - Normandy), my grandpa Robert Purse (WWII, Radio Reconnaissance - France & Belgium), and my dad Clyde Purse (Military Police K9 Unit - Korea).

Gertie & Elliott

We went to an amazingly fun 80s Halloween party this year! All the appetizers and food were from the 80s as well: spinach dip in a bread bowl (revolutionary!), loaded potato skins, Stoeffer's french bread pizza, sloppy joes... Gertie, Elliott, and E.T. left very stuffed and aching with all the belly laughs!

Frasier Fir Season

As soon as Halloween is over, Frasier Fir season begins. My friend Megan (Happy Anniversary, Megan and Thomas!) introduced me to this scent by Thymes and I'm forever ruined for any other holiday/winter scent. While it is definitely pine-tree-scented --FF is so much more than that (think: clean, crisp, layered, and perfect). I'll be burning these until Valentines Day! If you're at all interested in trying it or this is your reminder that it's time to restock --don't delay. These sell out every December!


My little meyers lemon tree is actually ripening! I'm over the moon. Now, if I can just harvest these cuties and transfer this baby to the screened porch before our first frost --I'll really be celebrating. Please send all your best wishes that this lovely is able to survive our winter on the screened porch. Where are my gardening friends? Do you think a little sheet over the top will do?

Lasagna Soup

The first time I had lasagna soup was in my friend Gretchen's dining room over ten years ago. It was a sensation that evening, and continues to delight my family today. The best thing about the soup is how easily it can be varied to suit your preferences (add veggies, serve without noodles, use beef or Italian sausage, kick up the spice, skip the cheese, DOUBLE the cheese...). Here is a fairly simple recipe you can use as a jumping off point. I like to double the protein and prepare my noodles separately. You do you.

Revlon's Hot Air Brush

Fascinated by some of the extremely pricey options of these blow-drying brush/wands, I read and watched lots of reviews before deciding to try this super-affordable Revlon version. This tool boasts a 4.6/5 stars on Amazon with almost 240K reviews. I bought it several weeks ago and wanted to test it out before deciding if I would recommend. And here it is. I love it! It even works beautifully on Piper's hair and she has a TON. (At the time of publishing this post, the price has been reduced from the $60 I spent to $35.) Tips: 1. Let your hair dry naturally until about 70-75% dry and then piece out small sections to wrap and smooth with this brush; 2. If you don't have a lot of time to let your hair dry naturally, use your traditional dryer to quickly rid most of the moisture from your roots before switching to this brush; 3. Pump up the volume between washes by using this on your dry hair at the crown; 4. Instead of winding the length of your hair around the brush, just lift from the root and roll over once as you drag the brush to the end.

The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

We finally made it out to see the immersive Van Gogh show hosted by Blumenthal Arts. In Charlotte, the show is being held out at Camp North End --a very cool venue in its own right. Once inside the actual "performance," the 30+ minute movie runs on a loop with images shifting, alighting, and dancing across multiple screens and surfaces accompanied by music. It is a bit of a pricey ticket at about $50/adult and $30/kids up to 16YO but we were all captivated and felt it was worth the price of admission. The exhibit has been extended in Charlotte to run through January 2nd --so consider a family outing over the holidays.

Mossy-Green Floral Maxi Skirt

Loving this pocketed floral skirt with boots and sweater or t-shirt and sneakers. I wasn't sure about the fabric and it was hard to tell in the link what it would look like in-person. However, the reviews were numerous and positive so I thought I'd give it a try. Very happy that I did! I love the pleating and the elastic waist. It comes in several prints and colors. I'm tempted by the tiny polkadots in both coffee and pink!

Charcuterie-Building Class

It was a great night with friends learning some hot tips for putting together a beautiful charcuterie plate with one of the city's best: Queen Brie. I was over-served at the event (it happens) but did manage to recall a few key points: use both hard and soft cheeses; never stack your meats (instead, fold them for volume and texture); always think about adding color to your plate with the use of dried and/or fresh fruit, mustards and/or chutney, and edible flowers; fresh herbs like sage and rosemary add aroma and interest... and lots of other cool hot-takes that I missed or forgot due to the being over-served situation. If you're in the Charlotte area, you can sign up for her next workshops at this link.

(before we began --when my memory was still excellent)

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