IV: MY MESSY APARTMENT

Dishes fill the sink to the point of spilling over. Laundry creates a mountain sized mound on your bed waiting be folded. The shelves need to be dusted and the floors haven’t been swept in some time. Cat toys are strewn across the floor.

As my mom says, cleanliness is next to Godliness. Anybody else hear that growing up? 😂

As I catch my mind wandering to the thousands of chores that need to be attended to, I am learning to embrace the messy. “Housekeeping” will always be a revolving door of being in the middle of // different things. Nonetheless, I can be appreciative. Is that weird to say? I have free access to a washer and dryer. I have free access to a vacuum. I have access to a dishwasher, which I didn’t have just last year. Some of these basic necessities are truly an answer to prayer and things I have been wanting for it seems like for forever.

A messy apartment shows me that there is life, and an abundant one at that.

I can be the first to agree that some (okay, most) days, my to-do list seems way too overwhelming to even start. The to-do list seems Mt. Everest long and continues to grow by the minute. If you are feeling like this is you, I get it. You are not alone. Take one task at a time. Be patient with yourself.

For myself, I find myself navigating to writing up a list to follow. For me, I compartmentalize by rooms. One day, I will work on the bedroom and get things organized and put up. I make the bed. I ho through my closet to see if there are things I want to thrift or give away. Find a method that works for you, though!

Balancing a full-time job, a spouse, a pet, and a social life isn’t easy by any means. It is in those moments, however, that I am the most grateful. I am grateful to have all of those things in my life.

I’m sure my list will grow that much more when we have kids, but I will learn to adapt. We tend to put unrealistic expectations on ourselves, which is good in some regard, but can also make us go crazy. Keep your head up and do the best you can. Ask for help. That’s all you can do.

Today, embrace the messy. Life is more than a perfectly clean house.

TOP 5 FALL ACTIVITIES

Fall is almost here, y’all! Fall has always been my favorite season and means sweaters, leggings, boots and bonfires. Just two weeks ago, pumpkin spice hit my local Dunkin’ Donuts and it touched my soul a little differently.

As our first fall season in Asheville, I figured I would make a list of my favorite activities to do to help get us in the mood for the best season of the year. 🤩 Within the last week, the weather has dropped and it makes this girl one happy camper.

Taste the apples of a local harvest

SKY TOP APPLE ORCHARD
This has always been a Fall favorite of mine! Chandler and I have gone to Sky Top every year since we started dating and it definitely helps jump start your mood for the fall. This is a great place for families with kids, groups of friends and couples to go and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery lined with acres of apple trees. Dogs are allowed, so don’t shy away from bringing your furry friends. Sky Top offers hay rides, apple cannons and the most delicious apple donuts and slushies. Expect a longer line when buying your donuts, but don’t let that detour you from getting some for yourself. These delectable desserts are made in house and literally melt in your mouth. We usually go in late September to get the full fall effect, but any time really is a good time. You can grab a bag of apples to go or fill your basket as you get lost in their luscious fields. Each different row of apples are clearly marked if you are looking for a specific type.

*Because of new Covid rules, you now get to keep the basket you pick apples with. I fully expect to use mine for some kind of fall decoration this year.

Spend a day baking your favorite fall treats

Baking has always been a “therapy” of mine, so I had to include this on my list! Set aside time to try a few new recipes. If you’re unsure of what to make, Pinterest is always a good place to start. You can always make treats for coworkers, neighbors or friends! If you do end up going to the apple orchard, make a batch of apple butter. It’s definitely a fan favorite and is super easy to make! Below are some of my other personal favorites!

Thanksgiving Margarita Recipe
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Caramel Cheesecake Bars

Visit the fair

Some of my fondest memories growing up were at the Piedmont Interstate Fair every year! We’d load up the whole family (cousins, grandparents and neighbors) and take a trip (or three) to the fair that week! We’d ride every ride at least once and eat funnel cakes until our stomachs hurt. I always loved stopping by the animal exhibits to see the horses, cows and rabbits. The Spartanburg fair always had such beautiful table exhibits and art galleries to stop and marvel at. Once I got to college, I drug my friends to the state fair and loved reminiscing on my younger days. Check out your local fair. It’s nothing short of amazing.

Host Friendsgiving

Like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving gives you another chance to indulge in the soul food that ensues around this time of year. Offer to host your friends and create a sign-up sheet for people to volunteer for different food and drink options so you don’t have any repeats. It’s a great night of community and a great refresher for the soul.

☆ Run (or walk) a holiday race

Every Thanksgiving morning, it feels like my entire hometown of Spartanburg is at the Turkey Troy 8k. It is an opportunity to see friends and other people that you wouldn’t otherwise see that day. Our race begins at Spartanburg’s Morgan Square and is a big loop through downtown’s local neighborhoods, parks and streets. People wear turkey hats, full pilgrim suits and crazy Thanksgiving socks for the race and it’s always a good laugh to see what new outfits people whip out every year. Starting at an ungodly 7am, you finish just in time to watch the Macy’s Day Parade and take a nap before the Thanksgiving feast starts. I’m sure there are plenty of race options in your area, so be on the lookout for those in the weeks to come. Get your exercise in early and don’t feel as guilty for the wearing your sweatpants later that night.

If you have any other fall favorites, I would love to hear from you!

As always,
♡ Alex in Asheville

There’s only #oneSpartanburg

“Home is a place where your feet may leave but your heart will always be.”

Growing up in the small and quaint of Spartanburg, SC I feel like it’s only appropriate that it gets the first official highlight!

Spartanburg, known as the ever endearing “Sparkle City,” is located in the Upstate South Carolina and is seated at the crossroads of Interstates 85 and 26. This community is the cradle of economic development in the Palmetto State, making it a great place to live, work, play and invest. It is home to seven different colleges and offers a wide array of outdoor activities, access to the arts and a great nightlife scene.

Below, I’ve highlighted a few of the most popular restaurants, sights and sounds below, so feel free to check any of them out and let me know how you like them!

EATS & DRINKS

→ THE BEACON DRIVE-IN
The Beacon has been a famous Southern landmark since 1946 and has also been home to many presidents’ campaign runs. The Chili-Cheese A-Plenty, a chili-cheeseburger buried underneath piles of sweet onion rings and french-fried potatoes is a must! Their ice cream is some of the best around, too!

IKE’S CORNER GRILL
This compact, but lively joint on the north side of Spartanburg is known for their burgers, hotdogs, fries, onion rings & beers. It’s been voted to have the “best burger” in town multiple times and has been serving the area for more than 50 years! If you’re looking to add some grease to your diet, Ike’s is the place to go!

MONSOON NOODLE HOUSE
If you consider yourself a foodie, do yourself a favor and check out Monsoon! Monsoon has genuinely been my favorite place to eat since I was a freshman in high school and is some of the most authentic Asian food you will ever taste.

FR8 YARD
FR8yard is South Carolina’s first fully outdoor biergarten built entirely from re-purposed shipping containers! Located in the heart of downtown Spartanburg, FR8yard is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, community gathering spot centered around great food, drinks and entertainment creating an all around great time! Relatively new to the community, this was also a go “got-to” hangout to have a drink and some appetizers.

→ DOWNTOWN DELI & DONUTS
This eatery will serve a variety of vibrant and healthy breakfast dishes, a lunch menu chocked full of fresh and wholesome entrees, and the BEST gourmet donuts in town. DDD offers a range of breakfast sandwiches and bagels, a “Quiche of the day,” and a selection of sides.

Other notable restaurants and breweries:
1) Cyclops Brewery
2) RJ Rockers Taproom & Silo

SIGHTS & SOUNDS

→ CLEVELAND PARK
As one of my personal favorites, Cleveland Park is the most visible public park and is located in the historic center of Spartanburg, adjacent to the Northside Redevelopment project. This venue is where my husband and I got engaged and married, so I will always be biased to its’ beauty! Cleveland Park has a newly renovated playground and a beautiful pond, island gazebo, walking trail, waterside amphitheater.

→ BARNET PARK
Spartanburg’s premier outdoor concert and special events venue, the seven-acre Barnet Park plays host to dozens of events each year, from performances by national recording artists to family reunions and company picnics. BP also features a 2-mile paved walking trail, interactive water fountain, 1,036-square-foot picnic pavilion, original sculptures “Exuberance” & “Circle of Friendship.”

→ GLENDALE SHOALS PRESERVE
Glendale Shoals Preserve consists of thirteen acres located at the old Glendale Mill on Lawson’s Fork Creek. The Shoals have plant, animal, and bird life. When the water is low, walk across the shoals, skip some rocks, and enjoy the view.

Thank you for coming by! If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns, feel to drop me a message or comment below.


♡,
Alex in Asheville