life lately under the oaks

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Under the Oaks : life lately under the oaks(image via)

The last time I read a book that kept me up all night reading was … okay, I’ll admit … it was 50 Shades of Grey. Before that it was The Hunger Games and before that Twilight. Something about a good trilogy really pulls me in and the Divergent series by Veronica Roth is no exception. Let’s just say my mind is blown.

I started with the first in the series, Divergent, last weekend and finished the 450+ page (young adult) novel in about 36 hours. I promptly picked up Insurgent and Allegiant and am quickly making my way through Insurgent. As mentioned, this is a young adult series that takes place sometime in the far future, I’m presuming, and is set in torn up Chicago. Roth never calls it Chicago, but she mentions Sears Tower, Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and Michigan Avenue. The main character, Beatrice, lives in a world where everyone is split into 5 factions, factions being various virtues of humanity: Amity (peace), Abnegation (selflessness), Candor (honest), Erudite (educated), and Dauntless (brave/fearless). These factions play different roles in running the city and 16-year old Beatrice is required to test to see which faction she belongs in. The decision she makes changes every thing and transforms her instantly … that’s all I will say! The series is so well written, and well thought out, a true “page turner”. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Cocktail Menu

Under the Oaks blog: Thanksgiving Cocktail Menu

Y’all, I can taste the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and the rest of the trimmings already! I can’t wait till we hit the road and head a few hours north to Lake Gaston (the same place we were for Labor Day) for some time away and time with family.

In addition to our menus (here and here) last week, I thought I’d add some yummy cocktails to the mix. I’ve been seeing some amazing ones come across my blogroll the past month and thought I’d share some of my favorites with you.

(1) Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria from The Kitchen
(2) Cinnamon Apple Crisp from Angry Orchard
(3) Pumpkin Pie Martini from We are Not Martha
(4) Concord Crush fromĀ Gramercy Tavern in NYC on Serious Eats

What are you favorite cocktails to serve on Thanksgiving?

Annie's Signature




Have a thankful week.

Under the Oaks : Have a thankful week.At last, the week we’ve all been waiting for: Thanksgiving week.

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday (a close second after Christmas). Thanksgiving indicates family, friends, food, and being full; full of food and thankfulness. While it would be ideal to think of your blessings every day we all know how easy it is to lose sight, and Thanksgiving is a great excuse to think about all that you are thankful for. Continue reading