last ode to fall.

I think it's safe to say that winter is on its way.
What with the thirty degree drop in temperature and snow flurries that greeted me this morning.

Still reminiscing about the beautiful fall days we had this past week.
Even if all the colorful leaves left us much too soon.

[lace tunic from urban outfitters, cardigan and pendant from target, jeans from express, enzo angiolini boots

But onward to Christmas.  And thus begins the great debate in our house.
I grew up with a fake tree trimmed with white lights.
Adam grew up with a real tree trimmed with colored lights.

This is the kind of argument that results in divorce.  So we're avoiding it altogether and putting up two trees this year.  Double the Christmas in our house.  It will look like the Griswolds moved in.

So for market research's sake.  And because I'm hoping the internet scales tip in my favor, what tree/lights combo do you put up?


great lakes brewing company

While my family was in town we made sure we had time to visit the important landmarks of Cleveland.
It's pretty much our pride and joy.  You might think your town has the best brewery, but you'd be wrong.
People literally line up outside the doors to get Christmas Ale when it's released.
It's that glorious.

So since us Clevelanders hadn't been on the official brewery tour, we headed down there to watch the famous brew being made.

To make a long story short, you take grain, hops, water and yeast, mix them together and move them from vat to vat.
Very exciting.

Luckily there was also free beer tasting.

And tons of historical brew-related items to peruse.

Vintage brew.
I love that the middle one just says 'beer.'  Straight to the point.

i like to eat.

We hosted our first holiday at our house.
The fried turkey extravaganza.
 [headband c/o gleeful peacock]

We high-five our turkeys.
No joke.

We also made homemade potato chips in the fryer.
They were to die for.
There was no need for turkey after those.  But it was thanksgiving, so the bird went swimming.

Turkey tastes better with shots.

How was your holiday?  Did you fry or bake your bird?  Adam wants to give grilling a go, but I don't think our grill can handle a twenty-pound bird.

He thinks it's an excuse to buy a new grill.



For puppy snuggles.
And puppy sneezes.
For a husband who just fixed our sink like it was nothing.
My superman with a tool belt.
For the people in my life who are there in a moments notice.
Even if it's for something like forgetting to shut my garage door.
For living close to those that make everyday a new adventure.
For the ahmazing friends I've made this year.  Here and very far away.
For our new adobe.  In all it's 1960s decorating style glory.

And for food.
Cause that's what today is really all about.


wine and a winner

We went wine tasting Friday night.  Which is our standard winter social activity.
It really is winter isn't it?
[still in denial]

But wine tasting makes you forget that it's cold outside.  Cozy inside with a glass of vino.  Laughing and sharing stories with friends.  Strolling around the little shop pretending you know what a tannin is.  And swirling.  Because all the people that know what they're doing swirl.
I'm quite the wine connoisseur.

You know how you click on someone's blog and they're having a giveaway but no one has entered yet.  And the internal battle begins.  Do you risk it and be the first to comment?  Or abandon ship and come back to comment later?  Will you really remember to come back?  Maybe you should just comment now just in case...
But no one wants to be the first comment.
The first comment never wins.
Until today.  The Random.org Gods have spoken.


Miss Sarah, commenter number ONE is taking home the gold.  The gold being her choice of a fabulous state or country love print from Zavalick Designs.


simple decor

Yesterday as I was walking to my car I was surprised to see snow swirling around.
I don't know why I'm always in denial that summer is indeed over.  I'm not ready to face the cold.  Embrace the snow.  Endure the months of darkness.
Fall is a quick relief from the heat, but sometimes I wish we could just go from summer to fall to spring.
Except that the holidays would be odd.  When we lived in California, December was never quite the same without the snow.
And it's easier to get in the spirit of decorating the house when the temperature drops below 50.

I finally broke down and put out my first winter decoration this past weekend.
An easy one that can last through the holidays and all the way till April.
Yes, it snows till April here.

A pack of pinecones from the dollar store.
Classic white pillar candles.
All piled on a mirrored tray.

A simple and quiet nod to the impending cold season.

[don't forget to enter to win a print of your choice from zavalick designs!  today is the last day to enter!]


military in navy

I love pairing navy and black.
Even if it 'technically' doesn't match.  In my book it does.

This military style coat from ShopKempt is one of my new favorites.  Tailored with brass button details.  It's the perfect piece to layer on top of a feminine look to add some edge without looking too hard.

[admiral military coat c/o shopkempt, dress and tights from h&m, booties from target]

Coats might be the only part of winter I don't hate.


zavalick designs giveaway

So you know how we created a gallery wall the other month?
It's still there.  Just looking a little updated.
When we put the frames up we just threw some photos in them to get the general idea of the wall.  But now I've been concentrating on filling each frame with meaningful photos, mementos and prints.

[sorry for the terrible photo lighting.  due to daylight savings time i no longer see daylight on the weekdays.  yeah, that whole idea is working out well.  and it makes taking indoor photos a bit tricky]

Regardless.  I'm in love with this new addition.
Simple and meaningful.

Which is exactly why Adrienne started Zavalick Designs ONE year ago this month!  To combine her love of typography, color and design into something positive that evokes a feeling or memory.  She draws inspiration from her life around her, her family and travels.  Yes her family.  She's a wife, a mom of 3, a puppy mom, business owner and STILL has time to create these amazing designs.

Here are some of my favorites from her shop.

Love her designs? Me too.
Want to snag your choice of a State or Country Love print?
Thought so.

Here's how:

MANDATORY ENTRY (leave a comment): 
Visit Zavalick Designs and let me know which state or country you would choose and in which color (40 colors to choose from!) 
Other ways to ENTER (leave a comment for each):

Follow Busy Girl via Google Friend Connect
Pin your favorite Zavalick Designs print
Tweet/Facebook/Blog about this giveaway
Winner will be selected THIS Friday, November 18th by random.org

disclaimer: i was provided with a print along with the option to giveaway a print. i was not compensated financially for this post.  as always, all opinions are my own.


teatime and a winner

The winner of the Starbucks giveaway has been selected.
But before I let you in on if it's you or not, I want to introduce you to Candice.

   Who has the most gorgeous blonde hair and amazing style.
Maybe it's just me, but I think she looks like Dianna Agron.
Lucky girl.
Her blog is full of musings, outfit posts and spectacular writing.  Grab a cup of tea and go check her out at Teatime Thoughts.

But before you go...

The winner of the Starbucks gift card is Katy from Twenty Three Oh One!  Congrats :)


starbucks giveaway!

This was totally not a planned or sponsored giveaway.
But let's be honest, Starbucks pretty much unofficially sponsors my life.   Without them, I would not be awake and blogging.  Thank you for fueling my caffeine addiction.

Back to the point.  I've been blogging for oh-my-goodness-seven-years.  But have only been on Blogger and ramping up the GFC for six months.  Which means I am thrilled to have gained 100 new followers via GFC :)
So in celebration of this monumental event, I am hosting a giveaway.
A $10 Starbucks gift card is at stake.

Everyone who is a GFC follower (now or by Friday) is automatically entered - no comment necessary.

If you want an EXTRA entry because you can't wait to get your hands on this hot little gift card.
Let me know you did.

Winner announced this FRIDAY!
Get on it.

open to us, canada and international entries

black and white

No this isn't a nod to that majorly big trial that just went on.
Though I probably could get my thriller on in this getup.
I just wasn't feeling colorful the other day.  The sky was grey.  The air was still.
Obviously the plants behind me have given up and accepted that winter is coming.
I just felt drab.

I dress how I feel.

 [jumper/dress from h&m, black cardigan from target, leggings from urban outfitters, boots from charlotte russe]

Some days it's not all that exciting.


thanksgiving bunting

There's a bare wall behind our dining room table that will hopefully one day house shelves similar to these.  But until then, I've been randomly decorating it, most recently with a Halloween 'Boo!' bunting.
Since the Day of Stuff-Yourself-With-Candy has passed, I thought I should update the look with something more fitting for November.

So I created a new bunting with Thanksgiving in mind.

Like it?  Want it?  I'm happy to share.  Just download the PDF below, print, trim and hang!
Since Scribd is now charging for people to download the bunting, so I've uploaded to Google Drive :)  Please use this link!


dog walk

The town next to ours is raising money to build a dog park.
It seemed like a good excuse to get up early on a Saturday morning.
For a walk around around a beautiful park with our pup.

And about twenty other dogs.
I had puppy fever.
Someone had a pomeranian corgie mix.  He was like a pudgy hairball.
I wanted to snuggle him.

Ricki had a blast.
All those smells.
So many trees to pee on.
Leaves to roll in.
You bet he got a bath the second we got home.

But it was worth it.

PS Congrats to Meg from Henning Love for winning the Burts Bees Giveaway!  Email me your information :)


attention all...

I'm now accepting sponsorships!
From amazing blogs, etsy shops and random people.

Check out rates/stats/other info here.

Or just click that handy sponsor button on the nav bar.

It's handy isn't it?

While you're at it, check out my current sponsors to the right.
Especially The Grace Project.
Which is an unbelieveably amazing project.



November always brings the perfect balance of fall and winter.
The one time of year I don't absolutely despise snow.
Actually I welcome it.  With an oversized sweater and fresh mug of coffee.

With cinnamon on top.

Currently making me happy: 
all of the above.
slowing down.
puppy snuggles when he comes in from the cold.
feeling enveloped in a warm house.
lazy sunday mornings complete with breakfast potatoes.
snail mail letters.  beautiful and full of kind words.
the anticipation of holidays around the corner.
ginger-snap cookies.  the smell of cinnamon.
feeling completely content with my life and who I share it with.



Going along with today's theme for the entire blog world: my Halloween recap.
Which ended up being quite different than planned.  We have a tradition of going over to my brother's house to hand out candy, drink cider in the driveway and eat until we're fat and sleepy.
But Adam had to work until late last night and the dog has some kind of dog-flu.
So it ended up being a Halloween at home, in our new neighborhood.

Which meant I, being completely unprepared, had to run and get candy, decorate our house and create some type of costume in under an hour.

I know you don't have to dress up to hand out candy.  But I feel like if the trick-or-treaters have to dress up to eat candy, then wearing a costume makes it okay for me to eat candy too.
So I grabbed a child's witch's hat.  Yes.  Child-sized.  I have a very petite head.
And raided my closet.
Voila.  A witch's costume for under $2.

[dress from express, tights from h&m, booties from target]
Cheesy.  I totally can't wiggle my nose by the way.  I spent a lot of time last night trying to.

I attempted to make Ricki dress up with me.  But he pretty much became sullen and angry once I slipped his Ohio State Jersey on. 

Sheesh, it's not like I made him wear a full-on costume.

So that was Halloween.  The bad part is that I bought way too much candy.
Actually that's the good part.
The bad part is I sacrificed some of my favorite kinds to the trick-or-treaters.

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