Saturday, September 29, 2012

Apple Picking

Hi Friends!  I hope you all are enjoying cooler fall weather (we are supposed to see temps in the 100s again this week!  Hello?).
To try to get myself in the mood for fall, I convinced my husband to take a small adventure with me to go apple picking in Julian, CA this weekend. It is about a 2 hour drive from home and the apples are not available on the trees for picking much longer.  Last year somehow I thought of this idea too late and, after a little research, figured out that November is certainly well beyond apple picking in Julian.
This was a fun day.  We arrived in Julian around 12:30.  It is a quaint and very old little town.  


 a horse drawn buggy touring the little town
We arrived rather hungry, so the first thing we did when we got to town was to eat some of their delicious homemade apple pie.  My piece had no sugar added and was still amazing!
This little chicken was like a pet at the back of the apple pie store...
"let me out!"


After our pie eating, we walked around the cute town and I bought a couple of Christmas gifts in the gift shops.  These were not exactly the types of stores my husband likes to frequent (think potpourri and tourists), so I tried to make it quick!  Then we were on to the...

lovely scenery...

...and the wine tasting!  This old truck was in front of the winery, pointing the way.  We had a great view and good conversation with the owners of the winery.  I always enjoy talking to people we meet when we are out.  I wonder if I seem overly friendly?

After the wine, we headed to the apple orchard, where there were many varieties of dwarf-sized organic apples to pick. 
I loved the signage...

We really had a good time together picking, tasting and gathering our bag of apples.  Many people had dogs with them and I saw the most beautiful 9 month old Golden Retriever I think I have ever seen.

I loved these baby apples.....this is my favorite shot of the day (below):

After the orchard, we drove to Carlsbad for dinner.  Wow, how I love Carlsbad. 
When we got home, I emptied our apples into my rustic wooden dough bowl.

I think it at least gives a FALL feeling to the dining room...even if it is still 90 degrees out!
Happy Early Fall!  :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Mantle

Hi Friends!  It has been tough to write any blog posts since my job has started up again, and I apologize to any of you who regularly check Balanced Style.  It has been so hot in SoCal that the idea of Fall seems entirely out of the question.  Anyway, I have been negative enough about the heat, so I decided to start the Fall Decor today with our mantle. 

Our fireplace is different from last year because we painted it!  I also changed out the mirror to a less rustic, more glamorous one.  If interested, here is how the mantle looked last year  (I think it looked better for fall decor, but the rust brick had just worn me out after 15 years).  So here is what we've got this year:

Here is how it looked just before changing it out!  This was our summer mantle and I really liked this look in our family room...

To change it, I just added my glamorous Fall Pumpkins from last year and a few other things I had hanging around the house...

(Now that I look at it, I think I should have swapped out the mirror, but I was being lazy...100 degree temps do that to me!)

Little mum in the pot from Home Depot for about a dollar.  The pretty ceramic urn was a gift from one of my closest friends last year for my birthday.  :)

The pretty metallic ribbon on my cement topiary is from Costco.  Their ribbon lasts a lifetime!

That is it for now....I will post my door closer to Halloween time!  I will take prayers, vibes and anything else that might help it cool off here! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Inexpensive Date Night: an Evening Picnic

Hi Friends!  I am back to work (public school district) and feel so spent most nights, so I have been trying to get some extra cooking done on the weekends.  Saturday I roasted a nice free range chicken (directions here) and we decided to take a bit of it to the Dana Point harbor Saturday night to watch the boats come in and to see the lovely sunset.

In addition to the chicken, I cooked and packed up some orzo salad with extra parsley, a bit of good cheese and some crusty French rolls that I had just crisp up in the oven.  All of that plus a lovely merlot.

Here was our view!

The hubby enjoying his food: coming in...

sunset view...

And all free!  :D  I really cannot think of a better way to spend a weekend night.

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