Things I Like Include: Fall Air

There is no feeling more decadent than sitting next to an open window, soaking in the first crisp breaths of Fall. The leaves haven’t started to turn yet, and I have a feeling that this weather is nothing more than a fluke. I am sure that by Tuesday it will be unbearable hot again, and I’ll have to break out the shorts that I haphazardly placed in the back of my closet until next Summer. Until then, I’ll sit in limbo right under this open window, breathing in the cold air.


There is something so quintessentially “Fall” about my home town. I don’t know whether it’s the small town football games or the County Fair that I stumbled upon this weekend, but everything about Windsor, VA screams “autumn” to me. Coming home after being at school for a while always makes me really nostalgic. I can’t help but think about doing my homework on the back porch or sitting in the third pew from the back every single Sunday morning. It’s not a sad nostalgia- I find it really comforting to revisit old places. However, I also think it’s important to realize that they are just that: places of nostalgia. I am headed in new directions, and I can’t stay here forever. 


In other news, Fall weather means that I can’t stop eating pumpkin flavored stuff- everything that includes some semblance of pumpkin, apple, or cinnamon. Last night my mom made this pumpkin crunch cake thingy, that I plan on devouring in its entirety this week.




Cooler weather also means that the Avett Brothers/ any band with a banjo and a bearded lead singer are on repeat in my room, my car, and my mind. Take a peek at my favorite fall playlist, courtesy of ashleyveekay and 8tracks.




Things I Like Include: Being Where I’m Supposed to Be

Too many housewife blogs: I can’t stop reading them.



I can’t stop marveling at their lace wedding dresses, their attractive, successful husbands, their anthropologie-inspired home decor and their cherub-looking babies. I hate them and love them at the same time. I feel a chorus of “Part of Your World” playing in the back of my mind each time I log in to read one of them.



I want to make lemon zest cupcakes at 11:00am while my quirky children play with their xylophones in the other room. I want to buy freshly cut flowers on the street below my New York apartment (yeah, I’m looking at you, Naomi Davis:



I think what it really boils down to is simply that I want to grow up.

College has treated me well. It has made me confident and brought me out of my shell, socially. I am no longer hesitant to talk to people that I don’t know, and I no longer worry what people will think if I wear the same red lipstick for the fourth day in a row. However, I am feeling like it’s time to move on. D.C., I think you are partially to blame. The cups of coffee I drank each morning on the balcony of my apartment, the red line at rush hour, the impromptu trips to New York City- They’re all to blame for my current lack of satisfaction. No matter how hard I try, instagramming a picture of my Williamsburg, VA coffee doesn’t have the same feel of adulthood as that in DC, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. Williamsburg nurtured me and helped me to grow, but now it’s pushing me to explore new parts of myself, exactly as a good mentor should.


For now, I am stuck in a beautiful place, somewhere between spice racks and keg stands. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, and I am happy.

Things I Like Include: Going Home

I know I haven’t posted anything in quite some time. For that I apologize- not to all the people that read this blog (which is not many), but more to myself. This blog has been a beautifully cathartic experience for me, and I am sorry that I have denied myself this outlet for over a month and a half. However, my new year’s resolution was to blog at least twice a week, so expect more posts from this lady.


Coming home is one of the most exciting experiences of my college life. I can’t tell you how much I took home for granted in high school. Aside from having a great relationship with my parents, I have a sincere attachment to my hometown, Windsor, VA. Windsor is the type of town where you go to the grocery store and you see at least 10 people that know you, your momma, your momma’s momma, and your cousins. Coming back to Windsor is always bittersweet. I am reminded of the town that helped me to grow into the Elizabeth that I am now- strong and opinionated, with a love for country music and linebacker-looking boys in trucks. However, I am also reminded of the reasons that I left- the scarcity of college graduates, the kind, but sometimes limited world view, the good people who are often steeped in intolerance. Windsor will always be my home and the place that I most closely associate with home.




Home is now, also Williamsburg, Virginia. After spending the semester in Washington, DC, it will be exciting for me to return “home” to Williamsburg. If Windsor is my true home, then Williamsburg is a close second. The uneven bricks, historic buildings, 24-hour Wawa, and College that I love make up the first place where I have been able to lay my own roots. Williamsburg has allowed me to create a tradition separate


from my parents, while still granting them an open invitation. Williamsburg is more perfect for me than I could have ever imagined.






I head “home” away from my home on Friday. I cherish the time spent in Windsor, and I am eager to experience another semester in Williamsburg.



Things I Like Include: Familiarity…and A Good Country Ham

Growing up Southern is a privilege. It’s about knowing the way the dust settles after a good peanut picking season, or the way cotton looks when it dots the field and post-season, when it’s boxed up in huge tarp-covered piles. It’s much more than tailgates and football, it’s about the true willingness to give the man next to you the shirt off of your back, even if it means walking around naked.



Every Thanksgiving-eve, my family goes to Smithfield, Virginia, for an oyster roast and pot luck with our family friends, the Barlows. My dad used to work for Randolph Barlow at Farmer’s Service, a “feed-and-seed” store right on the outer limits of Smithfield and Isle of Wight Courthouse. This year was no exception: at 5:30pm, we made the annual trek down route 258, towards Smithfield to enjoy oysters, food, and friendship.

After we went through the food line, my family sat down at one of the many picnic tables and we began to eat. As soon as I took a bite of the barbecue, I knew immediately that it was made by Bob Ballinger.  There is something so undeniably beautiful about being able to taste something and know exactly where it came from. I have been eating Bob Ballinger’s barbecue ever since I was old enough to eat, and it tastes like Windsor, Virginia.

Growing up Southern means asking “whose ham is that?” and having people answer you without missing a beat: (Edwards or Gwaltney being the usual suspects).



It means being able to eat home made barbecue and knowing that the man who made it is honest and hardworking and kind. It’s about the first day of deer season, and seeing blaze-orange dot the woods all the way down a back road.  It is a gift for which I am eternally thankful.