Driving home yesterday morning I realized where our autumns hide — Virginia! Nothing like the upper Midwest, mind you, but the colors there, even this late in the season, far outshine anything we get in NC. I also realized how fun it is to drive behind a tractor trailer carrying a harvested cotton “module“… as if a giant stuffed bear was travelling ahead of me, unbeknownst to him that his stuffing was gradually coming out in little snowy poofs along the highway! (Four-plus hours alone in the car requires a lot of personal entertainment.)

This floral skeleton is from our yard. A pretty little star, don’t you think?

There are only a handful of days until the arrival of my husband’s parents, his sister and her two little girls. For their cross-country roadtrip we are very grateful!

This weekend is about doing as much as we can in advance to make the most of their short visit. Much house-spiffing is in order and, more importantly, filling the kitchen with various components of our seven-person feast. The smoked turkey legs + wings tradition continues, to be matched with the cocoa chilli mole of 2015. For sides we’re cooking du marché, or “of the market,” as the French would say — taking inspiration from the freshest, best-looking produce at the local markets instead of deciding on recipes ahead of time.

Do you have a similar weekend in the works, or something else entirely? Here’s to productivity, plus maybe some snow for those of you in the north, and don’t miss the links + updates below!

Cheers, Heather

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Some interesting, fun, delicious reads:

  • An estimated 15 million babies worldwide are born premature each year, and more than one million of these babies do not survive their early birth. During World Prematurity Awareness Month, please consider signing up to share a message of support to help raise awareness + these preterm bubs and their families. Every baby deserves a fighting chance!
  • New blood pressure guidelines were released this week — is yours now considered high?
  • France is on top of its sustainable energy game.
  • Elsewhere in France, le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!
  • Artistic twinning.
  • This week’s pinned words of wisdom.

Recently on HGN:

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Learn about my NEW downloadable nutrition guides

p.s. I love hearing from you! Check back if you ask a question, because I’ll answer it here.

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