happy halloweeeeeen!

oh! i love halloween! it’s always the kick start to the holiday season but i love halloween for all the cute kiddie goodness. i love that it’s such a kid holiday to me. i enjoyed it soooo much as a kid and now, i love that my daughter will love it too!

i’m into the cute kiddy, spooky, fun part of it. not the gory, scary, bloody part of it. nope. not that at all. i love charlie brown’s pumpkin patch, i love all the kid’s shows that display a halloween theme, i love hocus pocus, i love fun pumpkins, yummy candy, cute little costumes, and spooky fun decorations.

halloween has always been a holiday of imagination and eery haunts. so, every year i look forward most to the trick or treaters! oh, it’s so much fun for me to give out candy to the little ones. i love seeing all their costumes and the giddy looks on their faces when they get a big handful of candy!

when i was younger, my most favorite thing to do was to decorate our house {mainly our front door} with fun, festive decor. i would play spooky music on a radio {hidden in the garage} and look forward to every ring of the doorbell! i would sometimes go so far and make dozen of treat bags. yes i did. a total sign of my overzealous, crafty nature. i would buy fun little halloween treat bags; fill each bag with candy, festive stickers, spider rings, trinkets, and anything i considered fun halloween items a kid would love!

as a kid, i loved running home to see what was in my bag of goodies and going through all the fun stuff that was given to me. my most favorite items were always the unique treats. whether it’d be a coloring book, or a fun pack of goodies, or something different that you didn’t see every day. of course, my most favorite candies were reese’s peanut butter cups, heath, bit o honey, and sweet tarts. yum.

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i really do hope olive grows up to love halloween just as much as i do or any holiday for that matter. i hope that her imagination is vivid and inspiring to create some halloween memories and magic of her own!

happy halloweeeeeen everyone!

xoxo

caramel apples

we love getting festive! so in celebration of halloween, i decided to use up the rest of the apples from our apple picking excursion and make caramel apples! yum!

it’s so easy and simple. just grab a few bags of your favorite candies or toppings, a few tubs of marzetti’s caramel sauce, lollipop sticks, wax paper, and your pretty much set!

first, remove any stems from the apples and then take the lollipop sticks and push it down the center, about a quarter of an inch or so. i warmed the caramel in the microwave in increments of 10 seconds to get it soft, easy to use, and coat. once the caramel is warmed up, i then take each apple by the stick and run it around in circles and coat it from top to bottom. i placed the apples onto the wax paper to run off the excess.

after i coat each apple, i then tear another sheet of wax paper to sprinkle the apples with yummy flavors. this is the fun part! i decided to coat my apples this year with reese’s pieces, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate toffee bits, and mini m&m’s! yum! you can use candy sprinkles, oreo cookies, peanut butter chips, anything your sweet tooth desires!

once i coated each apple, i then set each one into the fridge to harden just a bit; it only takes 15 minutes or less. after they chilled for awhile, i bagged each candy apple in a cellophane bag and tied it with a twist tie and voila! you’re done!

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[supplies]

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[for some reason, the sticks were so difficult to punch in!]

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[just chill in’…hardening the caramel // graham cracker, m&m’s, chocolate toffee, reese pieces]

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[the final product! yummmmmm]

there ya go my lovies! caramel apple deliciousness. i love making these every year. it’s so easy, fun, and everyone loves a good candy apple! i love gifting these to friends and family! a perfect autumn treat.

xoxo

walnut apple pie

yet again, after apple picking…the gratuitous apple pie baking begins. i used the same recipe we used last year that you can retrieve from this post here. it’s a walnut apple pie recipe that is quite delish. we make everything from scratch.

we started with cleaning and peeling the apples…about six apples per pie. as hc did that part, i started mixing together the crust ingredients. flour, salt, shortening, and then some, all mixed by hand. after i finished the crust, i stored in the freezer until we were finished with all the other ingredients and we were ready to assemble the pie.

i started next on the walnut layer. i crushed three fourths cup of walnuts and mixed it with brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. once hc was done coating the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and vanilla, we were finally ready to assemble the pies!

i rolled out the crust and covered the bottom of both pie pans and then smoothed on a layer of the walnut mixture. i filled the pans all the way up with the apple slices, dotted each pie with cubes of butter and then covered it with the¬†crust. i was a bit disappointed because last year we were a bit short on dough, so this year i doubled the recipe and still ended up short! boo! i know i didn’t thin out the dough enough! anyhoo, after i placed the top crust, i then brushed it with milk and sugar and popped them in the oven for sixty minutes {or until the crust is golden and it’s bubbling!}.

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[ingredients]

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[peeling and slicing apples]

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[watch out! she’s got a rolling pin]

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[roll with it]

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[the finish product]

i really enjoy making the apple pies every year after we go apple picking! i mean, what else should you do with them apples?! hahaha! no really, it’s always fun to bake something delicious and i can’t wait until olive is older and we can bake pies together!

xoxo

kira and eric’s wedding

i was super excited to attend kira and eric’s wedding! it had been a long time waiting and we were ready to party!

we arrived just in time for the ceremony. it was a bit blustery and a cold day. as hc and i were walking in, i couldn’t wait to get inside because i was cold, the wind was killing my hair, and the setting sun was shining directly in my eyes! as we walked inside, we crept around only to find out the ceremony was outside!!!! eep. so there goes my hair, my warmth, and the sun continued to shine in my eyes! hahaha!

i was shaking in my coat, i couldn’t imagine how the bridesmaids and flower girls felt in their strapless/tank dresses! the whole area outside was beautiful. the white chairs, lined with tulle and flowers were pretty. the aisle had a white runner with flower petals strewn all down the runway. the pergola was lovely with flowers hung from it. the greenery in the background was so pretty and a perfect backdrop to their nuptials.

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[the welcome table]

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[here comes the bride]

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[the giving of the bride]

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[wedding party]

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[kiss the bride]

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[yay! married!]

after the ceremony, we hurried inside to warm up. we made our way into the reception area and checked out all the fun details of the wedding. my favorite part. people always think that the details of a wedding aren’t important because people don’t care or pay attention…not moi! it’s my most favorite part! i love how the couple incorporates their likes, their lives, their loved ones into the reception. i love weddings for the fact that it can be so unique, personal, and special to the bride, groom, and family!

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[welcome table and seating cards]

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[card table]

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[me and mutts]

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[wedding table centerpieces]

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[me and the hubs]

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[wedding cake]

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[my girls]

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[maid of honor and best man]

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[i know, this pic is terrible! but hey, i got something!]

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[cutting the cake!]

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[wedding selfie, gotta have one every time]

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[red velvet]

after dinner, dancing ensued. we got down and boogied! i had so much fun with my girls and we had so much fun on the dance floor! as soon as the music started, we partied it up out there. we didn’t care if we were the only ones dancing, we loved that we would start it up for the other guests, and we loved jamming out to some good songs out there.

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[sweet first dance]

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[with the beautiful bride and groom]

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[there goes the bouquet!]

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[oh no he didn’t! eric totally stripper danced for kira! hahaha!]

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i love weddings. they are so much fun! we had such a great time at their wedding. it was great to know {almost} everyone’s significant others and have such a grand ol’ time together! we totally had a blast eating, drinking, and dancing it up!

kira and eric, we wish you both nothing but the best in life. we hope that your marriage is filled with joy, laughter, love, goofiness {per kira}, and endless respect of your differences to guide you down the road of a long, lasting happy marriage.

xoxo

baby asher joseph

i was so excited to meet baby asher! my friend jodi was pregnant with her second child and had a scheduled c-section {prentice // northwestern // chicago}. so, i knew she was going to have her wonderful little baby on a weekend where i could see her! easy peasy!

we had a jammed packed day, the day i decided i would visit her and the new babes. we were already running around doing too much {what’s new?!} but i was determined to stop by. besides that, i had already told her i would. i am a women who stands by my words. it’s very rare i renege, very rare. sometimes it happens {it would have to be an extreme circumstance} and i will get very upset because i don’t like letting people down.

anyhoo, since we had olive and she couldn’t go upstairs to the room, hc just parked downstairs {olive was sleeping} and i ran upstairs to say hi. i vaguely remember where to go…i toured the place once when i was pregnant, i had visited jodi when she had jett, we attended a few prenatal classes there, and hell if i remember anything when i was in labor!

so, i checked in with the front desk and cruised on up…totes finding my way around. the memory is a powerful thing. i found her room and knocked on the door. her mom, ann {love this women}, opened up the door and i came inside. her mom was holding the precious asher. oh he was soooo tiny. you forget how tiny they are when they are born. although asher was two pounds heavier than jett!

i said hello to handsome jett, such a cutie! love that little face. i chitchatted with them for a bit and then matt arrived back, he had gone out to get food for them. it was so great to see all of them. i loved catching up and seeing the little baby. he is so precious and darling.

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[adorable jett]

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[little presh baby asher]

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after a 15-20 minutes or so, i had to go since hc and olive were waiting downstairs. i am super excited that jodi will be off the next few months and now i can see her without going through the hassle of questions: when do you work or are you free, etc? woot woot!

oh children are such a blessing. i can’t wait to see these beautiful faces again soon!

xoxo

late lunch

matt’s mom, sheri, was in town and really wanted to see baby olive. of course we had to oblige! we always seize an opportunity to see matt and johann and bonus points that his mom is visiting!

it was a busy day ahead of us. we or rather, i tend to squeeze too much out of a day sometimes. i overbook or think we are super humans where we can be or do multiple things in a small period of time…forgetting that we have a child. hahaha! no, not really but still dragging olive everywhere is sometimes a drag. not in a annoying bad way but when it comes to scheduled naps and time in a car, those things can get wonky when you are always on the go!

anyhoo, we arrived at matt and johann’s in no time flat. they live in north center of chicago. it’s such a cute little neighborhoody area. as we were ringing their doorbell, johann flies by in his car! we waited for him to park and come let us in. he had run out to grab some last minute ingredients for our late lunch.

once inside, olive started exploring and slowly become comfortable in the new environment. she was curious about peanut. she knew there was a dog around but she wasn’t sure where he was! little peanut was in another room because johann was nervous that she would jump all over olive and knock her around. so we had to wait until matt came home to see if peanut would be nice with olive.

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[the table setting]

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[my babe…she loved throwing the dog’s ball around]

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[our engagement gift to matt and johann]

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[my energetic toddler]

johann was a cooking fool. everything smelled delicious and we couldn’t wait to eat! matt was still at work and his mom was downtown exploring, so we waited for the two of them to get home and eat.

while we hung out, we were served wine, cheese, and crackers to munch on. olive loved the crackers…she kept calling them chips! haha! we conversed with johann and enjoyed our time with him while he prepped the food. i love johann {and matt, of course!}. he is such a great guy, a fantastic husband to matt, and so, so sweet. truly a wonderful person inside and out. we are so blessed to have this fabulous couple in our lives. ya know how they say you should always surround yourself with good people? well we lucked out with these guys.

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[the hubs]

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[grilled zucchini]

well sheri and matt finally arrived home and it was time to eat! matt and johann finalized a few items of our meal and it was lunch time! we sat down to a lovely table setting and passed the dishes around and noshed away. it was a delicious meal! johann did such a fab job on every dish. i was stuffed and happy!

after dinner, matt and johann suggested that we go get ice cream. hells yes! i love margie’s ice cream! we decided to drive over there instead of walk {we didn’t want to walk with olive because we didn’t bring the stroller and it was a looooooong walk for a 22 month old}. it was such a beautiful, beautiful evening.

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[sheri, johann, matt, and moi]

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[pot roast, risotto, and grilled zucchini]

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[in awe over her sparkle ring]

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[curious over peanut…she was so sweet to him and gently pet him]

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[yum!]

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[my baby girl…so sweet]

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[ice cream galore!]

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while at margie’s, we definitely ate waaaayyyyyyy toooooo much ice cream. like too much. i was so stuffed i felt sick. yes. i ate so much ice cream, toffee bits, chocolate, whipped cream, and such while we were there. it was shameful.

after hanging out for a bit at margie’s, we decided it was time to go. it was a wonderful afternoon with matt, johann, and sheri! we were so thankful for the hospitality and squeezing in a chance to see them! it was a fabulous afternoon hanging out with them!

xoxo

andy and corinne’s wedding

ohhhhhhh, ‘little’ andy and corinne got hitched!!

we have known andy for a looooong time. he grew up right across the street from us. kind of like how carol and i grew up together, my brother dan and andy grew up together. so, when we received the invite to their wedding, i was beyond excited to go!

when hc and i tied the knot, we invited andy to our wedding, natch. we invited just andy. my brother, dan, asked me if andy could bring a date. mmmmm, ok i said. hey, it’s andy. what’s one more person added onto the guest list?? {anyone who has gotten married knows the wedding guest list nightmare situation} so, here is andy at our wedding reception and he introduces me to corinne, a girl he had just started dating.

fast forward four years and now they were getting hitched!!! how fabulous! the ceremony was at a local church by our house. it was beautiful and sweet. i always get teary eyed at weddings. i love them so much! i love that it’s about love, commitment, faith, and unity. just a few words to describe it! weddings always evoke such strong emotions within me.

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[the cute saying and wedding programs]

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[my brother dan, the best man]

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[the poor, blurry pic of the bride]

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[her wedding band]

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[his wedding band]

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[wedding program and cards]

after the ceremony, i rushed home to change my outfit, pick up the hubs, and take olive over to my parent’s house so they could watch her for the evening. we cruised on over to the reception banquet, it was quite close {a good thing because we were running late!}, and nabbed a great parking spot next to the building. as we were walking in, we ran into my sister thuy. we have a tendency to run into her at the same time whenever we are going to the same destination, although we are always traveling separately!

we walked in to the pretty welcome table. they had vintage glass window panes written with all the guests names and the table numbers. they also had frames where we signed our names and wished them something sweet. speaking of sweet, when we first entered the reception space, the ginormous dessert table caught my attention! yummmmmm!

we saw the bride and groom but of course they were flocked by a ton of guests {we decided we would track them down later}. as we stood there and chitchatted, my brother dan walked up and greeted us. we small talked about the wedding and finally decided to take a seat to get this party started!

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[the sign in table]

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[seating chart]

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[the yummy dessert table]

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[my awesome brother]

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[siblings]

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[sister love // we coordinate]

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[the centerpieces made by the bride and groom]

as the wedding reception began rolling, the speeches started…i was anxiously waiting for my brother’s speech. one: he’s a super quiet guy two: you don’t envision him as a public speaker and three: he’s my brother and i only hoped he would do well in a situation like this because, he’s my brother! duh!

the father of the bride gave a wonderful, beautiful, heart warming speech. it was sweet, loving, and heartfelt. then the bridesmaid gave her speech…i thought, ok, my brother is being set up well. then came dan. i was stoked. he was relaxed, articulate, and damn funny! he hit the right notes and had the crowd going. it was perfectly timed, not too long and not too short. he ended it on a sweet, loving note toasting the love between the bride and groom. bam! he nailed it. i was so proud!!!! i screamed from across the room, “BEST SPEECH EVERRRRRRRR!”. oh yes. i got chuckles from the table around us. i definitely can be rowdy and redic at times. hahaha!

per usual, typical wedding shenanigans ensued. my sisters and i were goofing off, we raided the dessert table, we mingled with different folks, took more stupid pics of ourselves and ate and drank too much. isn’t that what weddings are about?!

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[the dessert table was in demand! we hardly got any!]

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[with the beautiful couple]

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[goofing around]

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so this part is where it gets wild. andy decided he was going to sing a song for his bride. he did a fabulous job! he nailed the song and was completely entertaining! it was pretty cool to watch. as he stripped down to his shirt and pants, he continued to sing to his wife. at the very end, he turned his back to her and he dropped to his knees and then fell onto his back. this is where his groomsmen grabbed his legs…slid him under her dress and he nabbed the garter belt! hahaha! it was the best garter belt grab i have ever seen!!! so flippin’ hilarious and oh so good!!! way to go andy!

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[andy sung to his bride and then went in for the garter!]

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[garter toss]

after dancing to a few songs, nabbing a pic with the bride and groom, and eating too much food, it was time for hc and me to head home and get our baby girl. we had soooo much fun at their wedding! andy and corinne, we wish for you and your marriage enduring love, respect, never ending faith, laughter, and happiness! thank you for letting us be a part of your special day! congratulations love birds!

xoxo

september snapshots

bye bye september…hello october!

it was a glorious month. lots of fun activities and lots of great, great weather. we were so blessed with such a wonderful month filled with lots of memories! the highlight of this past month? apple picking! yay! it was so much fun {albeit the super warm temps}. i love watching olive explore and experience something new. it’s always new to a child, non? ’cause i know this baby girl has no recollection that she apple picked last year. hahaha!

we had a great month filled with brunches, brand repping goodness, craft fair fun, family fun filled days and nights. september is such a good month…a perfect transition into fall, when the weather is still warm and you squeeze in the last few activities outdoors {where you don’t freeze!} and throughly enjoy the fresh air.

anyhoozle, please enjoy the pics below! a few that summed up our fabulous month {in rewind}!

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[my pretty princess]

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[sunday night ice cream trip]

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[big pink balloon]

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[oh, just hanging out and messing things up in my crop top]

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[twinning at the apple orchard]

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[working the cheese snack]

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[a refreshing treat]

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[seafood crab night]

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[my doll]

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[nom nom nom on her bunny blankie]

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[her first time picking apples]

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[renegage craft fair]

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[lemon tee shop]

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[out to lunch with olivia]

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[i found her one morning with her shirt down by her waist]

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[funny selfies]

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[my most favorite picture]

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[homemade pie]

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[wee monster skirt and shirt]

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[anniversary dinner]

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[kid + kind tee // kidssuaveapparel pants]

via tandeminlove.com[first braid]

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[baby in a box…how hc rolls with olive]

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[olive and cheeks tee // the twisted knot bow // little big dreamer shorts // the little wears socks]

well i hope you had a fantabulous september yourself and that you it was relaxing, enjoyable, and that it was filled with laughter and love. cheers to an outstanding october! happy fall y’all!

xoxo

baby date

we love our playdates with brady and now brooklyn! i was excited to meet up with kim, i love hanging out with her. she has become such a great friend over the years and i love that our kids are so close in age.

we gathered ourselves up and headed out to her house. it was a gorgeous day. the sun was shining and the temp was perfect. we arrived right on ‘time’ and we were ready to play!

olive walked in all cautious as usual. she was intrigued by the dog and the new environment. i was happy to see kim, got a hug from bradybear, and scanned the room for miss brooklyn…there she was, all snuggled in her bouncy. oh, she’s a chunker!!! the baby rolls were ah-maze and she’s growing up so fast! slow it down brooklyn, slow it down!

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[what’s the matter brooklyn??]

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[warming up to each other]

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[hi baby brooklyn]

of course, it took olive and brady a bit to warm up to each other. olive immediately took to the toys…brady hovered around, curious and concerned. it’s so fantastic to see them interact or lack thereof. olive totally minds her own business, she is quite content playing by herself and brady looked like he wanted to interact but didn’t quite step over that boundary, just yet.

slowly but surely they started to play together but brady being a boy, he was just a wee bit rough with olive {oh he’s a boy!}. poor olive, every time brady pushed her around, she wasn’t quite sure what to do!

kim had cooked us a delicious casserole for lunch! how lovely. we decided to ‘eat’ lunch but that is always a circus in itself. olive didn’t want to sit and eat, brady sat down for two seconds, and kim and i barely touched our lunch and wolfed down bits and pieces of it throughout the hour{s}. hahaha! #momlife #momproblems

of course, kim and i just blabbed and blabbed and blabbed on and on. our relationship has always been like that, we are quite the chatty cathies when we are together. we droned on and on from subject to another. it’s like we never have enough time to talk or when we decide it’s time to leave, we will gabbed about stuff for another hour! while we were hanging out, her hubby mikey came home to say hello! love the guy…he’s a sweetheart and quite the funny guy. it was great to spend some time catching up with him too! after a bit, he had to go {back to work!}.

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[she loved the big bear]

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[this was pretty much brooklyn in and out]

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[mikey made a cameo appearance]

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[olive loved sitting in the bucket]

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[me and my babe]

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[hugs goodbye]

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hours and hours went by and before i knew it, it was getting past her nap time and getting too close to traffic time! we said our goodbyes for like an hour {haha!} and finally parted ways. olive gave brady and kim hugs and kisses goodbyes and we headed home. olive was out within minutes in the car and i was content that we had such a great day with kim and the kids. love her and her family! we can’t wait to see them again!

xoxo

autumn to do’s

so i am a wee bit behind on my autumn to do list. fall has been in full swing for a few weeks now. we have been able to accomplish quite a few things on our list already but nevertheless, it’s always fabulous to have goals, right?!

1. carve pumpkins

2. trick or treat

3. go apple picking

4. hit up a pumpkin patch

5. make candied apples

6. bake an apple pie

7. jump in autumn leaves

8. eat apple cider donuts

9. decorate…get ready to nest!

10. go on a hayride

anyhoo, a few things on my list that have already been accomplished is decorating and getting ready to nest! we hit up a pumpkin patch and brought home a few really awesome looking pumpkins. i love the ones that are unique and different. white pumpkins are my faaaaaavorite kind. i love your classic orange but anything unique or different is my jam. pink, white, green…you name it, i will favor it and buy it. whaaaaa!

i pulled out all our halloween decor and got a crackin’ on decorating our home. i do think to myself sometimes, will i always want to do this? yeeeeeeears from now? will i be too old and crikety to even want to pull out decorations and get all festive. or will i be too lazy and bothered? haha. yea, i think about those random things sometimes but as of right now, i lurve it and will do this until i can’t no more.

anyhoo, last year was our first halloween in this house and i was a bit rocky on our decor. one: i had to buy it all {yeah, new house = new decor}. two: i wasn’t 100% sure what i wanted to do {hey, new house + remodel = i am unsure} and three: we were still remodeling our rooms, so getting creative caused limitations. well, at least this year…our living room is dunzo but i can’t say the same for our kitchen!!! ahhhhh!

i love halloween. i always have since i was a child. i love the spookiness of it all. i love decorating. i love dressing up. i love the change of the season, the cool air. i am not into the gory, scary, bloody type of halloween, i love the excitement it creates with children. i love how giddy they get to trick o treat. i love the creativeness it provokes in kids. i love the candy. the smiles, the cute costumes. i love the cartoons, the kid shows that do fun halloween programs. i love charlie brown’s pumpkin patch cartoon. i love seeing people’s houses all dressed up in eerie decor. it’s always been a happy kind of holiday to me and continues to be!

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[obsessed with white pumpkins // wooly ball banner by littledovie]

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[fall foliage]

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleDovie

[i love fall…it’s so cool, literally. hahaha]

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[window appeal]

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[minus the flag refection…or plus. however you want to look at it!]

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[some rustic style pumpkins]

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anyhoo, i hope y’all have dressed your home in fun, festive ideas! i love halloween and can’t wait until i can hand out candy to all those happy little faces! muwahahahaha!

xoxo