Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ditching the Mom Guilt

  I shared with you our costumes from last year.  I must confess seeing these pictures gave me mom guilt.  Every year I go out of my way to make our costumes.  It's one of my favorite things to do. Other than all the Christmas traditions, making costumes is my thing.  I just love every part of it.

 This year I decided that I was not going to make them.  With being room mom, and field trips, two Halloween parties, pumpkin carving, meetings, a visit and all the rest I knew I would be stretched too thin. It was a shock to everyone who knows me, but it was the right decision.  As hard as it was to say NO, I can see it was a sign of my maturity.  I was telling the hubby the thing he has been telling me for years.  I can't do everything all the time.  

So instead of getting down because I was feeling the mommy guilt, I decided to take this opportunity and turn it into a memorable moment.  Instead of just buying costumes we made a day out of it. We went out to eat and to a few stores to go on the hunt for our our super hero gear.  We finally ended up at Party City.  Can you tell she is excited?

This was the first time she has ever gone costume shopping.  I gave her the honor of choosing the costumes for all of us. Totally her thing because she thinks she's the boss. 

We had a blast trying on different super heros but once we tried them on, she knew.  This crazy little lady didn't care for the pink frou frou or cutesy tutu.  She decided we were going to be the Incredibles.  We have been watching the movie and it's very fitting because I think these people I get to share life with are pretty incredible.  

It's not just about getting the costume or making it.  I'm not just trying to buy her love by buying her things.  It's not about the stuff, it's about the time.  We had the best time together and I know this will be a memory for her as much as having a costume made from me.  Here's what I learned this year... sometimes I think I have to sacrifice my sanity and sleep to do it all.  This is totally a lie because what the  kiddos really want is time and experiences with a very present and not exhausted ME.  It's not about the stuff I can give, it's about giving them myself.  

Happy Fall everyone! 


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Monday, October 26, 2015

Frozen Family Costumes

With all the rush from last year I didn't get to share these fun costumes.  It was the perfect theme for the family.  Frozen had just come out and was huge all over the place.  And of course in a world full of Elsa's my little lady wanted to be Anna.  The little guy made the perfect Olaf! 

His costume was the cutest!  It was also super duper warm and fluffy.  I found the tutorial for this costume HERE.  The only difference was I added some elastic to the bottom and made matching fleece pants. 

I bought a beanie for a dollar at the store and hot glued the felt shapes to make the face.  I put pipe cleaners in the little brown wood pieces to make them stand up. 

The little lady's custom was of course much more intense.  Unfortunately I was just winging it so I don't have a tutorial.  It was worth all the hours and that one sleepless night.  Her face when she saw it was priceless. 

My favorite part was the cape.  It kept her warm but was also super cute! 

She's silly just like Anna.

Mine was probably the easiest.  The only thing I had to make was the headband and the fur trim.  I went to Joanns to buy fur and made wrist bands, trim for my boots, and added some for the headband.  Curious to know how I got the antlers to stay upright in the felt??  Pipe cleaners did the trick! 

It was a great Halloween and we had a blast trick or treating!  I'm really looking forward to this year especially since it will be on a Saturday.  What are you going to be for Halloween? 

Happy Fall everyone! 


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Friday, October 23, 2015

Yummy Apple Cakes

If you're wondering what I did with the insane amount of apples we got from the orchard, I used tons to make apple cakes.  I will not disclose how many of these delicious little mini bundts with a caramel goodness glaze I have eaten, but it's been worth every single bite!

We all have that one pan we only bring out once a year.  For me, that's this pretty one that I use for my yearly apple bundts.  You can find this recipe HERE.  It's simple and delicious!  It always remind me of my lovely cousin Krista because it came from her.

There is nothing better in the fall that apples, baking, and friends over for coffee [or tea].  My friend Liad joined me this year and I how adorable is this mug?  I love what it says.

And this little guy woke up just in time to eat the cakes right out of the oven.  If he could talk, he would tell you they are so good!  Love that happy smile!

He's such a boy and I love watching him eat!

What's your favorite apple recipe?


Happy Fall everyone! 


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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fresh off the Tree

Some days I am the most random person.  I woke up one weekend with the deepest urge to go apple picking.  It was the perfect fall day and I've never gone before.  I woke up thinking, today is the day I want to try apple picking.  Ha!  After an hour trying to call to make sure the apple orchard was still open we didn't make it [we went to the zoo instead].  BUT my husband being the amazing man that he is, made it happen.

We were suppose to go on a hike but somehow ended up at the apple orchard.  It was chilly but we still had a great time using that tall stick to pick the apples and fill our bag.

Have you ever tried a fresh apple from a tree?  Let me tell you, it is delicious!!!  Fresh, cold, and sweet. 

Did I mention the endless options of apples.  An apple for every taste bud. 

The day was so yummy, but the best part was seeing the kids excitement.  I live for moments like this.  Memory building moments.  I'm a bit of a sentimental sap.  I know they wont be this little again and she won't always look at the world with such excitement and wonder.  These are those times to fill those memories with adventures like this.  

   This little cutie was bouncing all over the place squealing about how she can pick apples for herself from the bushes.  I loved her enthusiasm.  It warmed my heart.  She kept saying best day ever and on the ride home told us "I love our family".  She doesn't realize it now but that was the best compliment a kid could give her parents.  

Sappy rant over.... other than the fun the best part was hitting the bakery afterwards!  So many yummy treats!!  I couldn't decide so I got a little of everything.  I may or may not have eaten both of these desserts.  Which one is your favorite?!  

  Which is your favorite? 

Happy picking! 


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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fun Times with Fanta

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fanta Freaky Foto Booth for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
While I was getting gas at 7 Eleven, I decided to surprise the little lady with a treat from our Fall Bucket List.  She wanted to have a milk shake night, but how fun would it be to do a jack o lantern shake?!  Instead of the usual pump and go I headed in and picked up a bottle of Fanta and got everything ready at home while she was at school.

I cut a few black pieces of paper, put tape on the back and got out the mason jars and straws.
I let her make the little jack o lantern face.
Got out the two ingredients…
And the best part!  We scooped the ice cream
Added the Orange Fanta.
In a matter of minutes we had a Fanta Jack O Lantern float!

  How fun is that?!
A quick and yummy craft.

 But the fun kept on rolling because while I was at 7 Eleven I saw a sign for Fanta Freaky Foto Booth.  I thought she would get a good kick out of it.  I went on the site, entered my info to get started, and uploaded my photo.
You line up the eyes and start swiping to see the different costumes.  What a hoot!!  These two were her favorite.
You keep swiping and there are so many other choices.  So funny!!  We had a great laugh together. 
Of course she loved it.  We sat, laughed at the pictures and enjoyed our floats and chatted about her busy school day.  Oh the life of a preschooler.
Which of the photo booth costumes is your favorite?
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lions, Tigers and Pasta OH MY

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Buca di Beppo® for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
This past weekend was the most beautiful fall day!  The air was fresh, no humidity, with a slight chill in the air.  Not wanting to waste the day inside, we drove into the city and took an impromptu trip to the zoo.   The kids absolutely loved seeing all the animals, but after a long day of walking, we were as hungry as the bears. 
Lucky for us Buca di Beppo was right around the corner!  It’s a family favorite.  The kids love the pizza, and I love sharing the big portions.  There is always plenty to take home too.  This month is a special month because it’s World Pasta Month!  We would for sure be one of those Americans eating 6 billion pounds of pasta a year.  There is no one I would rather share pasta with than these two crazy munchkins and my hubby.  We are pros at sharing food.  Who would you or who do you share your pasta with?
We love Buca di Beppo.  It has a fun and cozy atmosphere.  I love looking at all the funny pictures on wall.  The booths are perfect for the wiggly kids and sharing the meal makes it feel like home.  We’ve gone here on date nights and give mom a cooking break night.  All the items on the menu are meant for two to four people, so you order and share!  It’s the perfect place for holidays and even to cater a party. 
 In honor of World Pasta Month, you can Create Your Own Pasta Bowl.  How fun is that?!  The little lady, who thinks she is the boss just loved being in charge of “cooking” dinner.  Choose your pasta, sauce, veggies, protein, and season it.  This would be a great date night practice on compromise because the hubby and I both have different taste.  My perfect pasta would be penne with Alfredo, spinach, mushroom, broccoli, and chicken, with a touch of garlic.  His would be linguini with marinara, sun dried tomatoes, spicy peppers, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Can you tell he likes it spicy?!  The kiddos would keep it simple, spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs.  The possibilities are endless. 
If you don’t like making so many decisions like myself, you can always celebrate World Pasta Month by choosing one of the specialty pastas on the menu.  Leave it to the professionals to create the perfect flavor combinations!  The pastas with the seafood are my favorites.
How would you and your family create your pasta?  If you head over to Buca di Beppo be sure to take a photo of your plate in a #PastaSelfie.  Share it on Instagram using #pastaselfie #sweepstakes and tag @bucadibeppo.  You could win $100 Buca di Beppo gift card! 
To make life a little sweeter there are two chances to win!  You can win a gift card here just by telling us what your favorite pasta dish or recipe is.  Is it your mom’s special spaghetti and hot dog?  Or grandmas meatball marinara?  Let us know and enter for a chance to win!  
Buca di Beppo Create Your Own Pasta Bowl Giveaway
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We've Been BOO-ed

I absolutely love our neighborhood.  It's that one neighborhood you dream about, where the kids go outside and take control of the streets.  Dads and boys playing baseball with those cheap plastic bats and foam baseballs.  It's one I'm so grateful my kids get to experience.  I fell in love a little more when we got BOO-ed this weekend.

Say what?!  This must be a new trend on Pinterest and I LOVE IT.  It's like a fun way to pass along treats between neighbors.  So fun for the kids!  The doorbell rang and there on the porch there was a bag, followed by who was it mommy?!  What is that?!

  Once you've been booed you hang up the Boo on your door, print out more sheets like below and pass along a gift two neighbors.  

Confession.  Not just fun for the kids because I was cracking up laughing delivering our boo gifts.  Grown up version of ding dong ditch.  And apparently I am the worst BOO ever because I mixed up the treatss so I ended up having to go back to my friend Liad to switch the treats.  I just hear her son say Mommy, it's Ms. Patty. Oh my word, we had the best laugh! 

Did you get BOO-ed this year?  

Until next time.  Toodles! 


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