Country Adventures in my Cranberry Dress

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Do you ever put on an outfit and think “Today is going to be an awesome day”? That was this dress. Let me tell you all about it. So I bought a new dress {not this one} for my dad’s celebration of life service. It was one of those dresses you see hanging in a store and go “This is either going to look wretched or beautiful. Let’s try it on!” and fortunately, it was the latter. It’s a really pretty Japanese-inspired floral print in gold and navy. I’m so glad I found it. My dad was always encouraging me to dress nicely, so I think he would’ve loved it, too. When I paid for the dress at Macy’s, I was handed a $20 gift card to use the next week. So after heading to Big Lots to purchase something for a blog post last week, I decided to run into Macy’s quickly. I couldn’t let my $20 go to waste!cranberry-skirt

I found a dress I liked. The perfect cranberry dress for fall. It was marked $79, less 20% off. I tried it on, and it fit perfectly. I brought it to the counter to pay, and I found out I had a $15 off coupon, too. With all my discounts + tax, my new cranberry dress was just $27. Score!cranberry-dress

Living in South Florida, there are few times during the year {certainly in early November} for me to wear my tall boots, but I absolutely love them. So last weekend, when it was in the 50s/60s in Gainesville, I got to put together this super-cute outfit to feel great in all day long! I actually purchased these boots from Famous Footwear last fall for an Instagram campaign I was working on, and whenever possible, I find an excuse to wear them. The dress was on clearance at Express in February, because who needs a jacket in February in South Florida?

tall boots + dress + lightweight jacket = fall fashion perfection

cranberry-dress-sun

Then it was time to figure out where I would be going in my favorite new outfit. There’s always something fun to do in the great Gainesville area. I had read about a fall festival at a place called Swallowtail Farm about half an hour away. Whenever I read “festival”, I never know if it’s going to be a legit event or like one guy making deep-fried Twinkies off a dirt road. This event was amazing! Let me start by showing you my little photographer.

photography-lydia

I got my love of photography from my dad, and I am happy to say I have passed it along to both my children as well. Lydia especially was so excited to take photographs at this farm. And why not? Everything there was so amazingly beautiful!

gulf-fritilary

When I was in college, I took an entomology course. Yes, I spent an entire semester learning about insects — and I found it to be absolutely fascinating. And as a mother, of all the courses I took in college, that’s honestly probably the one I use the most because children love to ask about insects all the time. This beauty I captured? It’s a gulf fritillary. I love how the underside and topside are so completely different.

orange-butterfly

There was a lot to do at this festival, like small lectures/classes on different topics, food stands/trucks, a live band performing, etc. but mostly I just wanted to look at the flowers and animals. The kids loved the sheep. Why? Because one would literally say “baaaa”, followed by another, then another. They’d stop for a whole minute, and start all over.

sheep

If you walked uphill, there was a huge, enclosed, forested area with tons of piglets. They are just the cutest! I loved this little guy, trying to get a drink of water. Seriously, how adorable is he?

baby-piglet

Across the way, there were cows and chickens. I’m glad they had lots of space to run around and do animal-like things on this beautiful farmland.

cow

white-chicken

The kids’ favorite part of the fall festival? Playing in the hay! When you live in the Ft. Lauderdale area, just 30 minutes from the beach, there are few opportunities to play in the hay. They thought this was awesome. I’m glad they had so much fun!

hay-bryce

While I am not one to completely humiliate myself in public, I had to get in on some of the fun, and hula-hooping is something I actually happen to be quite good at, so why not? I had on my happy outfit, so as long as my skirt didn’t lift up too much, I was good to go!

hula-hoop-carrie

Toward the end of our time there, we made flower crowns. There was a table set up with all of the materials – floral wire, floral tape, and these amazing freshly-picked flowers. I made a crown for Lydia and a crown for Bryce. I was trying to get pictures of the two of them together, but Lydia was definitely more cooperative.

kiss-kids flower-girl flower-crown

We had a wonderful family day in the country! What I love about the Gainesville area is that within just miles, there’s a city-like downtown, community-oriented suburbia, and beautiful country. Swallowtail Farm was such a great place to visit together. I’m so glad we got to spend quality time there as a family. With so many difficult times in my life this year, sometimes an escape to nature is exactly what my spirit needs.

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia {age 8} and Bryce {age 6}. Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.

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5 Responses to Country Adventures in my Cranberry Dress

  1. Pingback: 25+ Cranberry Recipes, Crafts and More - #SoFabSeasons | Finding Sanity in Our Crazy Life

  2. This looks like a wonderful day and I love your dress! I can’t believe you got such a great deal!

  3. Pingback: Over 25 Cranberry Recipes, Crafts, & More | Giveaway Bandit

  4. Pingback: It's Cranberry Season! 25+ Cranberry Recipes, Crafts, and More!

  5. Pingback: Flower Crown Tutorial - Our Potluck Family

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