Fall Bucket List Items: Around Town

Every October, I have two local activities that are at the top of my list. I can’t go without seeing a performance of The Ghastly Dreadfuls, which is the Center for Puppetry Arts’ adult Halloween show. It’s a cabaret-style performance with singing, dancing, and lots of puppets — and it’s always just what I need to get into the spooky Halloween spirit. I scored a ticket from one of my old coworkers so that I could go to the staff preview, which is my favorite way to see the show. I got to visit with tons of old puppet friends, and they make the best audience because everyone knows the cast. It’s a fantastic, fun, well-done show, and if you’re in Atlanta this month, it’s a must-do!


My other fall favorite is visiting the Scarecrows in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. We made a daytime field trip out of it with my mom this year, and Leighton loved checking out the new childrens’ play area. She hugged a kid she met, walked up and down and all around the wooden play area, and wanted to take home the giant mums. There were so many impressive pieces; a few of our faves are below. We ended our little field trip with lunch at Tom + Chee, where Leighton had her first grilled cheese! She loved it… the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 










This year, we also added a new activity — Boo at the Zoo! My mom and I took Leighton last weekend while Craig was at the Auburn game, and we had the best time! I was shocked at how many people were already there by 10am, but thankfully the zoo is big enough that it didn’t feel too packed at all. We brought L’s wagon to tote all of our stuff (and her when she’d allow it), which was such a big help. Leighton dressed up in her hula girl costume, and it was a huge hit all over the zoo! She got a few pieces of candy, which she held onto with a firm grip, and she gave lots of high-fives to Zoo volunteers and staff who were giving out the candy. We spent most of our time in the childrens’ area, which we didn’t make it to last time. We rode the train and the carousel, petted goats and a pig, and met a lot of walk-around characters at a special party tent they had set up for the event. I can’t wait to go back next year!







happy 34!


Today our favorite guy turns 34!

Craig, I dare say that 33 was probably the best year yet for you (and me), which may have just a little something to do with that red-haired fireball known as LL. ūüėČ

We have you totally outnumbered in the Hayes household, but you don’t seem to mind much. You have such a go-with-the-flow personality and are always up for (almost) any of my crazy ideas, projects, and plans. You cook almost all of our dinners and sometimes even do the laundry… sometimes. hehe

Even though you’re an Auburn and Tennessee fan at heart, you’ll still travel to Athens with me to cheer on the Dawgs (or at least tailgate) each season.  You’re an avid country music fan, but you also have a shared love for my Phil Collins and JT playlists.

It’s been so fun to witness your relationship with Leighton growing over the past year. She’s the spitting image of you, and she loves saying “dada” alllll the time, even when I ask her to say “mama.” You’re the most amazing dad to her and Coco and you’re the best husband and best friend to me.

You’re handy, smart, silly, handsome, and the rock of our family. We are so fortunate to have you all to ourselves, and we love you more than you’ll ever know!

I look forward to watching what 34 has in store for you this year. Hopefully it will include a lot of laughter, adventures, and more joy than you thought possible. Happy birthday, my love!

Fall Bucket List Item: Pumpkins


I didn’t make an official Fall Bucket List for this year, but I do have several things in mind that I want to do/make/see/eat throughout the fall. One of the first items involved lots of pumpkins — pumpkin picking, pumpkin painting/decorating, and eating all the pumpkin things. So we headed up to Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in North GA for a weekday field trip with my mom. Going on a weekday is highly recommended if possible, as we had the place almost to ourselves.


Leighton was much more interested in running through the rows of pumpkins and picking up wood chips than choosing pumpkins to take home,¬†but I don’t think anyone was surprised by that. Burt’s is a definite drive from Atlanta (took us well over an hour), but it’s worth it for the pretty drive and the¬†massive selection they offer.




So many giant pumpkins!



Later in the week, we set up shop to paint a pumpkin with this little goblin. I’ll just say that I’m thankful I decided to buy washable paint…



She was more interested in painting herself and trying to lick the plates of paint, so I finished up her pumpkin… isn’t that how it usually goes with things like this anyway? ūüėČ



Now the house is fully pumpkined-out and ready for Halloween!


september recap

I’m not sure how the rest of September flew by so quickly, but it certainly did! After Leighton’s birthday, we had some other fun things going on the last couple weeks of the month, so I thought I’d recap here before we get into full-on FALL mode. Who’s excited about that?!

I got to spend a long weekend in Asheville, NC on a girls trip celebrating one of my best friends on her bachelorette party. It was my first girls trip in a couple years and also my first time leaving Craig home to man the house with Leighton…. just a tad scary — mostly for him! ūüôā¬†Asheville is such a beautiful place, and the Grove Park Inn (where we stayed) lived up to the hype!

We spent the weekend eating way too much good food, hanging out at Wicked Weed Brewery downtown,¬†doing a wine and beer tour all day Saturday, enjoying the mountain views from the GPI (no actual hiking took place), and just having a fun time with D’s girls.












Leighton spent a lot of time this past month playing with her new toys, riding her trike and cozy coupe around the ‘hood, trying her first kids meal, going to music class, and making a big mess during meals. Oh, and she’s now mastered the big, slobbery, open-mouthed “kiss/lick”¬†when you ask her for a kiss.










We welcomed three new baby friends into the world this month, and I was fortunate enough to be asked to photograph all these sweet babies! My job is the best. I had a fun little girls night out last week with my old coworkers at our new fave meeting spot, Krog Street Market. Among other things, I had the most amazing frozen sipping chocolate, pictured below.



We also started prepping for Halloween before we headed up to Nashville for a wedding last weekend. Our house is now officially Halloween-ed. Bring on Fall!