A Long Weekend Well Spent

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Well – it’s not Monday but here I am. I took Monday off because…you know…Labor Day and all that jazz. I feel like you aren’t supposed to “labor” on Labor Day and as this blog is a labor of love…I took a break, ha-ha!

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Always begging for a bite of something…

Friday night was really the only time I wasn’t “doing something” – I came in, got my exercise taken care of, took a bath and ate dinner…and of course, Watson begged for my food. When does Watson not beg for my food? I honestly did a whole lot of nothing on Friday night; I spent a lot of the evening after dinner reading and it was really nice to just relax!

I was out and about on Saturday – my Mom and I took a family friend’s daughter out for a little girl’s day – we got pedicures, had lunch and took her shopping (she’s eleven). It was good fun and it took up a pretty good chunk of the day. I managed to take not a single photo of any of it though. Once we were home for the afternoon, I exercised…and ate soup…and watched multiple episodes of Outlander. So okay – maybe I didn’t do that much on Saturday. I made up for it on Sunday and Monday…prepare for the photo dump.

Also – that picture has nothing to do with Friday or Saturday – but I got my hair redone this week and I felt like I needed to include that, right? One of my sweet, wonderful friends Melissa was a double blessing – she does an amazing job on my hair and has become one of my most precious friends – and even though she’s about to pop with wee baby number one, she worked her magic on my hair! Love it! Moving on from that…

Sunday morning…after much drinking of coffee…we made the 45 minute drive over to Great Meadows/The Plains for the 44th Annual Virginia Scottish Games. Now; if you’ve read my blog you know I’m a big fan of Outlander (both the book series and the TV series) but what you might not know if that my Dad has researched our ancestry and I have Scottish ancestry on both sides of my family. I was so thrilled to be able to take in a festival that included Scottish food, a clan parade, Scottish music and dancing, re-enactors from different periods in Scottish history…everything about it was so exciting to me!

The event was held at Great Meadows and something about the rolling hills, the stones breaking through the grass and the mountains in the distance brought to mind the Scottish Highlands (not that I’ve been…but the program mentioned that, ha-ha). The sky was bright blue, there was a gentle breeze and so we perused the set-up for each of the different periods of Scottish history – of course; the Outlander fan in me was most intrigued by the set-up from the Jacobite Rebellion. The “costuming” and weapons were also fascinating and I took every bit of it in…

We perused some booths, grabbed some shepherds pie for lunch and found a seat along the parade field to watch the Highland Games and wait for the Clan Parade to start. As we munched on our lunch, the Clans represented at the Games came together, the bagpipes began to play and the different Clans paraded across the field. Once the parade was over and our lunch was done…complete with Scottish shortbread to finish it off!

I think the most interesting part of the day for me was discovering some more information about our ancestors. We found a map that outlined the land that was thought to be held by Clan Somerville, we found the Clan crest and motto…and most fascinating to me – we found the Clan Somerville tartan! Each clan in Scotland has a distinct tartan pattern and so I was absolutely thrilled to find the pattern that was used by our ancestors. I think I’ll definitely want to get something made with the Somerville tartan pattern in the future! Perhaps in time for our *tentative* trip to Scotland next Summer? *screams internally*

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Scot (sort of) right here!

I absolutely enjoyed every aspect of the Virginia Scottish Games – the food, the people, the incredible music, taking in the history, traditions and customs of a place that…somewhere down the line, I hail from. I would go to the VA Scottish Games again in a heartbeat – it was so much fun! Perhaps if I go next year, it will be fresh off a trip to Scotland?

We took the scenic ride home and stopped in at an antique store on the way. We enjoyed the gorgeous weather all evening – it was cooler and so we had pizza on the deck for dinner and talked to my little sister for a bit while the sun set. Sunday was a gorgeous day and I’m so glad I spent such a large chunk of it outside, taking in everything that Northern Virginia has to offer!

I slept in on Monday – what a glorious feeling that is! Can I get an amen on that? After getting my two cups of coffee in; one of which I drank sitting on the deck in the morning sunshine, I got in my elliptical time and got ready for the day. My Mom and I decided to head over to Marker Miller Orchard to pick some apples and Monday was another glorious day; perfect for roaming between the rows of apple trees and choosing the perfect apples for a pie.

Marker Miller Orchard had a BBQ stand on site and there were people everywhere – and of course; the sky was blue, there was gentle breeze and it was a perfect early Autumn day. We grabbed some BBQ for lunch and ate it at one of the multitude of picnic tables before getting a bag and making our way into the orchards to pick apples. We chose to pick Ginger Gold and Empire apples and every time I pick apples, I’m surprised by how many will fit into the bag – it holds so many more than I ever expect.

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How absolutely beautiful is this view?? And this house?

Have I mentioned that the weather was perfect for most of the weekend – because it was. Once we returned home with our apples, we made a Lowe’s run (hello kitchen mock-up) and of course, popped into Wal-Mart for a hot second before spending the rest of the evening grilling burgers on the deck and enjoying the spectacular weather.

I’d have spent more time outdoors but I got a headache around 5:00 and it just never seemed to let up. I did some reading on the porch and watched some more Outlander before finally tapping out around 9:00 in an effort to try and get my headache to go away! Not the perfect end to the weekend…but the weekend on a whole was pretty perfect!

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Watson does not want to hear about the long weekend being over…

As a shameless self-promotion; I’m currently having my Launch Party over on my Perfectly Posh website! If you’d like to check out what Perfectly Posh is all about, feel free to hit up my website at: http://NatalieSummerlin.po.sh/  and see if there is something you might like. You simply select “My Launch Party” at check-out and if you place an order during my party – you’ll be entered to win a free chunk from me!

Anywho guys – that was my wonderful and well spent weekend – and now it’s absolutely pouring buckets outside and thunder just rattled the windows of the office; a cold front is moving in and the weather…not so pretty anymore. But I can’t wait for those cooler temps and perhaps more perfect Autumn weather!

 

 

Five on Friday – Perfectly Posh

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This edition of Five on Friday is a little bit different – I recently made the decision to become a Perfectly Posh independent consultant and so I’d like to share five things about Perfectly Posh and why I love it so much!

Five on Friday

One. Made in the USA & All Natural – All of Posh’s products are made with natural ingredients and all of the products are made in the US of A! When you purchase something from Posh, you can be confident it is free of parabens, paraffins, sulfates, petroleum, lanolin and soy/gluten fillers!

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Ingredients are sourced from all across the US and include natural butters, oils, fruits and flowers.

Two. Cruelty Free & Vegan Options – That’s right; all of Posh’s products are cruelty free and they also offer Vegan options for those who want to avoid animal ingredients. By standing behind the quality of the natural ingredients in the products, Posh does not need to test their products on animals. There are a wide variety of vegan products that are still made with natural and high quality ingredients – perfect for pampering!

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Three. Unbeatable prices – Everything that Posh sells is $25 and under! You read that right; you can buy awesome products to pamper yourself that are made in the US, are made from all-natural ingredients and are cruelty free…for $25 or less! And no matter how much you buy, shipping is always $5.99! Posh also has Buy 5 – Get the 6th Free for so many of their products! What’s not to love about that?

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Four. Variety – Perfectly Posh has something for everyone! Hair care, face masks, specialty face products, skin sticks, body mud, body butter, big fat yummy hand cream, chunks (that’s soap y’all), snarky bars…the list goes on and on! There is something for everyone and everything smells amazing! It’s easy to use that buy 5, get the 6th free with so many wonderful offerings to choose from!

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Five. I was a customer first – And I’ve experienced first hand how great the products are! I jumped in with a Posh to Meet You Bundle that allowed me to get a Big Fat Yummy Hand Cream, Chunk and Lip Balm of my choice for $22 – you can’t beat that! From there, I was all in and now I have Posh products lining my bathroom countertop! I have washed my face with Complexion Perfection for over 6 months now, I have been smearing Moisture 911 on my face for over 6 months now, I don’t think I’ve bathed with anything besides a chunk in ages, I love the body butter and I keep a hand cream at my desk, in my purse, in my bathroom…guys – I could go on and on… 

I think the above picture(s) speak for themselves – I am 100% hooked on Posh and I have a feeling if you tried it out, you would be too! Feel free to check out my site and take a look around!

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As always – I’m linking up with the ladies from Smidge of This (April) and Carolina Charm (Christina) and if you’d like to join us, just write about five things on your mind this Friday and share!

Have a wonderful LONG weekend everyone – I plan to!

August Interests

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The real title of this post should be “August – the month wherein everything related back to Game of Thrones…” Honestly; the show comes back on and I end up rereading the books, listening to the soundtrack and devouring podcasts that relate to all things Thrones…

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Books I Couldn’t Put Down

Game of Thrones: The Enhanced Edition by George R. R. Martin – The enhanced edition; I cannot say enough about this edition of the book(s)! I purchased the first on a whim on my cell phone…yes…my cell phone – and I haven’t looked back! The enhanced edition has notes on the character’s movements/map location at the start of each chapter, passages that are “important” or “iconic” to the series (think of the conversation between Ned & Cersei where the line “when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die…” is uttered) and notes added into each chapter to tell you anything and everything you could ever wonder about…

A Clash of Kings: The Enhanced Edition by George R. R. Martin – In addition to the above mentioned things that the enhanced edition(s) contain, they also include a breakdown of House Sigils, House Lineage, Maps of each character’s journey(s) as the book progress, and maps of the known world where A Song of Ice and Fire is set. I honestly thought I’d struggle to read something on my cellphone (it’s an iPhone 6S) but I haven’t had any issues!

Books on the Shelf

Remember all the books I bought…and plan to read one day? I still plan to read them one day;  but as is my delightful habit, I’ve gotten distracted by rereading books I’ve read before (and loved).

Must See TV

Game of Thrones – Last month the seventh season had just begun…and this month the seventh season bowed out with a mind-blowing finale…but the moment(s) below were still some of my favorites of the entire season! The action (and travel across Westeros) moved at an alarming speed this season; the story is really ramping up towards it’s conclusion.

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The dragons are bigger, the characters that have been thousands of miles apart are converging and the story lines are beginning to pull together. The best episode of the season was also the shortest – The Spoils of War – and I can’t really choose an episode that was the worst, ha-ha! While sometimes it seems that logic is a moot point; the show is still easily the best show on television and it will be a long wait for the final season!

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Movies of the Month

I didn’t see a single movie the entire month of August – and I myself can’t even believe that! There were a couple movies I wanted to see, I just didn’t ever get around to getting to the theater to see them…for one reason or another…

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I am still working on finishing up The Iron Fist; there are so many intriguing things I’m interested in watching…but there’s also a lot of life happening that keeps me from sitting indoors watching the TV. And I’m perfectly fine with that!

Tasty Treats

Ma-ka-rohn – Such a splurge purchase; I’d heard of Ma-ka-rohn before but when I saw the Game of Thrones themed macaroons, I jumped right on that! The macaroons were absolutely delicious and I would absolutely order from Ma-ka-rohn again…and again…especially with flavors like Butterfinger, Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake and Toasted Marshmallow!img_9303

Hunter’s Head Tavern – Anything and everything that I’ve eaten (or drank) at Hunter’s Head Tavern has been delicious…and my most recent visit was no exception! I always fall for their delicious baked macaroni and cheese and I’m never disappointed! I also grabbed a Blackberry Mojito that was tasty and got to sample a few bites of Grasshopper Pie that was…DIVINE. If you want to check out Hunter’s Head – I say do it!img_9315

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Game of Thrones: Season Seven – Another stellar outing from Ramin Djawadi; the music for Game of Thrones is almost as iconic as the show itself and this seventh set of tunes does not disappoint! I’ve had this on repeat in my car/at my desk since it dropped on iTunes on Friday the 25th… before it came out, I was listening to the soundtracks for the previous seasons.

Podcasts – I spent a lot of this month listening to Storm of Spoilers and Cast of Kings, two Game of Thrones podcasts (shocker…I know). When I’m not listening to those podcasts, I’m also listening to The Popcast with Knox & Jamie and Between Innings with Dan Kolko. All great podcasts!

What I’m Looking Forward To

Autumn – I absolutely and completely love everything to do with Fall. I don’t think that I quite have words for how much I love the color, the cooler weather, the clothes, the boots, Pumpkin everything…I could stretch this list on forever. September – December are my favorite parts of every year and Autumn kicks that all off!

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Labor Day Weekend – Say the words with me here…a day off work! What’s not to love about a long weekend?!?

Tiny House Show – How cool does this sound? I am very much interested in the option of building a tiny house as my home here in Virginia and this is a chance to check out some tiny homes in person! It’s in Luray, which is about 45 minutes from my current home and I can’t wait to see the wee houses! Granted – I don’t think I could do something that’s 250 square feet or anything like that…but this gives me a chance to check them out and see!

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Outlander Season Three – A blessing from the TV gods; only one weekend between the conclusion of Games of Thrones and the beginning of the third season of Outlander! Outlander is easily right up there with Game of Thrones for me and as a book reader, I can’t wait to see how the third book; Voyager, translates to the screen! Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe play Jamie and Claire to absolute perfection and I’m counting down the days! Only ten!

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Nationals Baseball – It’s August 31st and with a 15 game lead in the NL East, the Nationals magic number to clinch the NL East Division Title for the second year in a row is 16! Jayson Werth came off the DL on Monday, Trea Turner came off the DL on Tuesday and on Wednesday, Stephen Strasburg threw a complete game shut-out of the Marlins, allowing the Nationals to sweep the series. I can’t wait to get back to Nationals Park in mid-September and cheer my Nationals on to another NL East title!

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Game of Thrones Brunch – That’s right; at the end of the month my friends and I are attending an All-Inclusive Game of Thrones Brunch at a local restaurant called Union Jack. The brunch includes Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa and is a three hour themed feast! I can’t wait…and I suppose it will help the long wait between seasons?

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And that’s all for August – can you believe there are only four months left in 2017?!?

Baseball, Baking Gone Wrong & Blooms

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The last weekend of August has come and gone – that seems hard to wrap my head around and yet here we are. My weekend was a good combination of activity and leisure, all wrapped up at the end with a spectacular Game of Thrones finale.

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On a whim earlier in the week, I ordered a limited edition box of Game of Thrones themed macaroons from Ma-Ka-Rohn; a shop based out of Miami, and they arrived on Friday. The speed of the shipping was impressive and the macaroons arrived in near perfect condition – and they are tasty! The flavors are Mulled Wine, Dornish Wine, Milk of the Poppy and Sansa’s Lemon Cake – each one more tasty that the last! I did save them for my weekend re-watch ahead of the finale…and of course, I had some during the finale too!

I headed out from work a few hours early on Friday, met up with my friend Jennie and her son and then further down the road met up with my parents so we could all go to a game at Nationals Park. Our driver (who I will not name…) took the opposite route the GPS gave him every time and yet somehow we managed to make it to the ballpark with thirty minutes to spare before the game started…

We didn’t stay for the entire game – Jimmy had an early football game and we wanted to avoid the crazy crowded Metro, so we left around 9:00 to begin the trek back to my car and the house… Jimmy had never been on the Metro before; I think he was more impressed than any adult would be with the DC Metro, it was certainly amusing to watch him be awed by it all…and eagerly map our route back to the car…

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I slept in on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed sipping my coffee in the quiet and sunshine. I was feeling more ambitious than I usually feel on a Saturday morning and decided to make double chocolate banana bread… I spent almost 30 minutes measuring out all my ingredients, pre-heating the oven and generally just getting things together. I’d mixed together my sugar, butter and bananas…and happily cracked the egg…and watched in horror as smelly, green and thoroughly rotten egg plopped into the middle of my creation – and ruined it.

I hadn’t even thought to check the date on the eggs…and they were a good three weeks expired! There were no more eggs to be found and so I put away the ingredients I hadn’t used, trashed the sad mixture that the egg ruined and got myself another cup of coffee…45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. *sigh*

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I met my friend Rachel and her daughter for dinner at Hunter’s Head Tavern; a unique and delicious restaurant about thirty minutes from my house, inside a house that’s been around since the late 1700’s! I’ve never had anything that wasn’t delicious from Hunter’s Head and Saturday was no exception…and I almost always get pulled in by their to die for baked macaroni and cheese…which I got on Saturday night! I also had a yummy Blackberry Mojito and got to sample a bite of Rachel & Sophia’s grasshopper pie.

After good conversation and time spent with a lifelong friend, I headed home to finish up laundry, continue my Game of Thrones re-watching and have MY dessert – some of my macaroons. Of course; Watson thought he needed to sample them too…even if he acted like he wasn’t “that interested”…

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I slept in on Sunday as well and realizing that the weather was pretty close to perfect – in the upper 70’s, sunny and breezy – I decided to take Watson to the VA State Arboretum. It’s one of my favorite things to do with him and he loves sniffing every tree, bush, bloom and twig he comes across. I was surprised by how much was still in bloom in late August and I can only think that the milder Summer is somehow to thank for that…

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We grabbed some Panera for lunch and I passed the afternoon tidying up the house, reading and getting in some exercise. After a shower and a chat with my little sister, it was time for the Game of Thrones finale – the longest episode the show has ever done – and what a finale it was! I sat in my living room in the darkness, eating my Game of Thrones macaroons (I shared with the dog…) and doing my best to resist the urge to scream at every twist, turn and confirmation of long held theories.

My little sister finally decided to get on the Game of Thrones band wagon and managed to catch up with all seven seasons just in time for the finale… She shared some pretty impressive facial expressions with me during her binge of the show and I couldn’t resist sharing them here…

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Another week come and gone – the weekends always seem to pass so quickly! However; once this week is over, there is a four day weekend to look forward to…and September will be here as well! September starts the Fall season and I love the final four months of the year so very much…

So here’s to a (hopefully) speedy work week, a good and long four day weekend and plenty of goodness to come in the next four months!

Game of Thrones – Season Seven 

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Once upon a time I wrote recaps of Game of Thrones episodes…and then season five came along and the show diverged so far from the books that I got a little despondent. However, season six righted the ship and season seven has just flown full speed ahead…plot holes be darned…ha-ha!

The season seven finale is tonight and I cannot wait – so I figured, just for some fun on a Sunday afternoon – some of the best memes to come from season seven! Always good for a laugh…

 

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Waiting on season seven to finally start….

 

 

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And because I’m a diehard Jon Snow fan… I had to include just one more…

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I hope everyone is looking forward to the season seven finale – enjoy it while it lasts; something tells me that we won’t be getting that final season until early 2019. *sigh*