Five on Friday: Guest Blogger Edition

Friday, October 21, 2016

Today I've got a special guest blogger taking over my Five on Friday! One of my friends and faithful blog followers asked if she could guest post today to share her favorite fall things and I was so excited to let her take over for me :) She's been thinking of starting a blog and I'd say, she's well on her way and should definitely start one to document her upcoming marriage! ;)

Say hello to Madison!


Hi! I’ll give you a little info about me first. I’m a senior Industrial Engineering student at the University of Central Florida. It’s been nice having Ashley a few years ahead of me to give advice! I’m an intern at Siemens, and I’ll be starting there full-time in January. I’m engaged to Alec, and we’ll be getting married in the historic, Spanish town of St. Augustine, FL in March. We have two puppies, Alice and Belle, and (if you couldn’t tell from the puppy names) we are huge Disney fans! This is my first blog post, so here we go!

My favorite season is fall, which is a little ironic since we don’t even have “real” fall in Florida. I do, however, enjoy all things pumpkin/maroon/etc. I’ll be sharing some of my fall favorites today, and I’ll start with a yummy fall recipe. I feel like a lot of foods associated with fall involve pumpkin, but I came across this recipe on Pinterest for One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner and thought it looked very yummy, easy, healthy, and fall-ish! Win win win win. Here’s the recipe:

4 - 5 (6 - 7 oz) bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp each minced fresh thyme, sage and rosemary, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet potato (peeled if desired), chopped into 3/4-inch cubes
1 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced into halves
2 fuji apples, cored and sliced into half moons about 3/4-inch thick
2 shallot bulbs, peeled and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
4 slices hickory smoked bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and herbs into a gallon size resealable bag, add chicken, season with salt and pepper then seal bag and massage mixture over chicken while working to evenly distribute herbs. Set aside and let rest while chopping veggies.
Place sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, apples and shallot on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil then toss to evenly coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread into an even layer then set chicken over veggie/fruit mixture. Sprinkle bacon (separate any pieces that stick together) evenly over veggie/fruit mixture. Roast in preheated oven until chicken and veggies are golden brown, about 30 minutes (chicken should register 165 in center). Broil during last few minutes for a more golden skin on chicken if desired. Sprinkle with more herbs and serve immediately.

I made this the other night, and it was yummy! It made my apartment smell sooo good. Since it has everything all in one dish, I didn’t do a side, but I think next time, I will use butternut squash in the dish instead of sweet potatoes and serve with mashed potatoes on the side. I think I’ll also add a little bit of cinnamon for next time. Definitely a keeper fall recipe!

Another fall favorite is pretending to dress like it’s getting cold! While it’s still in the 80s here in Florida, it’s still fun to wear boots and scarves and maroon sweaters and pretend like we’re in somewhere with real fall! For this part, I enlisted my little sister, Natalie, as a model. This is an outfit we put together for a Florida “fall” transition outfit:

Her suede tank is from Burlington, the blanket fringe skirt is from LOFT, the booties are from TJMaxx. Unfortunately, none of the exact items are available anymore, but you can find links for similar items below! Her lipstick is called “Persistence” from MAC, and the sunglasses are RayBan (exact item links above as well).

While we’re talking about my sister, she helped me decorate for fall the other day! I have a small apartment, so I don’t have a ton of room to decorate. BUT, she helped me make it look very cozy and festive with some good finds at Goodwill, TJMaxx, Target, and Ross! My favorite part is this “accent” table:

She suggested changing it up every season and making this little table a d├ęcor focal point, which works well with limited space.

For my last fall favorite, I’ll share some non-traditional ways to “carve” pumpkins! I’ve seen a lot lately where people are not actually carving pumpkins, just decorating the outsides. This is good for when you don’t have a good place to make a big mess! Some of my favorites are the donut pumpkins and the emoji pumpkins!

I also think these succulent pumpkin and firefly pumpkin ideas are fun and unusual, and they still require minimum pumpkin guts!

And finally, here’s a little something for Ashley, I heard she is obsessed with likes pineapples….

Thanks for reading my first blog post!


A big thank you to Madison for sharing all things fall today! Y'all know I love that carved pineapple ;)


  1. Hi there! :) Fell Knight here as well and currently sweating thinking I could wear a sweater today. hahaha

  2. Hi Madison! Your puppies are adorable, I love their names! Congrats on your upcoming wedding, such an exciting season of life you are in right now!! :) I love your fall decorations on your accent table too cute! And of course, I am LOVING that carved pineapple, way too cute!!

    Happy Friday to you and Ashley! :)

  3. Stopping by from the link-up to say that I LOVE those pumpkin and succulent ideas. They are so cute! I'm hosting an all white birthday party on the beach next week and I'm thinking to myself...I could totally paint those pumpkins white and rock that! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Hello! I hope you start a blog, I would like to read.

  5. That chicken looks absolutely delicious and the pineapple adorable! Hope you both are enjoying your weekends!

  6. Hi Madison! I love the outfit you put together! Jess at Just Jess