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1. Honeycrisp Apples are in the bins at grocery stores – they are my absolute favorite. They are delicious as ia, with cheese, peanut butter, or this time of year decorated with delectable caramel. Babble hooks you up with 9 creative ideas for caramel apples.

2. These sparkly flats from Gap are calling my name. And, so is this bag with a big bow.

3. I’m adding this DIY Mirror made of Shims to my to do list, but first I’m going to make these DIY Clipboard Frames.

4. I really like Brené Brown, researcher/storyteller, who studies human connection. She studies shame, courage, worthiness and vulnerability. I first saw her on Oprah, and really liked her. She is personal, funny, real and her research is powerful and helpful. Here’s the TEDtalk that made her BIG. If you get time this weekend, watch it. I’m reading her book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, right now. It’s good, ya’ll.

In the intro, she referenced a speech that Teddy Roosevelt gave in 1910. It’s so well said. In it, Roosevelt said:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

5. If you love lentils like me, you can stay warm this weekend with this healthy lentil soup I made this week. Delicious.

Vegetable and Lentil Soup
serves 8

Ingredients
3/4 of a 1 pound bag of green lentils rinsed
Boiling water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 large leeks, chopped
1 tsp Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground cumin
6 celery ribs, diced
6 medium carrots, diced
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons dry red wine
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

How To
In a large heat-proof bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, garlic, leeks, salt, pepper, thyme and cumin and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables tender, about 20 minutes.

Add the celery and carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 15 minutes.

Then, add the chicken stock, water, tomato paste and lentils to the pot.

Increase the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to low, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 1 hour.

Stir in the red wine.

Serve hot with a sprinkling of Parmesan, and croutons if you desire.

{image via Sugarboo Designs, Lavender Fields Online…we love Sugarboo!}

apples & sunflowers

Jessica from Pink Champagne Events organized this beautiful shoot, inspired by apples & sunflowers. I love the idea!

If you are getting married this fall, this shoot is a great way to get inspirations and ideas. The colors are rich and gorgeous, and the tone is very country chic.

dress with bouquet, boots and hat

reception table setup

centerpiece and boots

caramel apples on cutting board

groom cake

sunflower bouquet and boots

sunflower cake

bride in barn

table set up

place setting

sunflower centerpiece with apples

{images via Courtney Lee Photography}

vendor love

Wedding Planner: Pink Champagne Events
Photographer: Courtney Lee Photography
Venue: The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park
Cake: Apron Strings Bakery
Paperware : Fleur de Lis (a paperie)
Model : Jhenna Reed
Hair & Makeup: Rock, Paper, Shears