pumpkin patchin’

our annual visit to the pumpkin patch commenced this past weekend!

we decided to go to goebberts…it’s been a past favorite. it has everything there! gorgeous pumpkins, fun foods for the kiddos, and sooooooo many fun activities for the kids! it’s ‘gram worthy! ha!

hc dropped us off…the parking area was as bit redic, so we waited in the front for him but as we were waiting, kim, reagan, and bennett walked right by us! so we scadaddled into the farm with them.

we met up with lan and avery {who had been there for a bit} and soon we were all together. we were on a search for dan and agata…they had arrived earlier as well. as we text each other and tried to find them, we realized that they were at another pumpkin patch called goebberts 20 minutes away!!! we can’t believe that happened! we were so sad…we told them to stay there because we didn’t want them to drive all the way cross town, deal with parking, and then look for us inside this huge establishment. plus, alll these years, we had no idea there was another farm called goebberts!!!!

well, as you can tell through our pictures, we came, we conquered, and we left happy! it was a chilly day but not overbearing and the kids had a blast playing on all the activities! we’re so lucky to experience such fun fall activities and be together!

before i end my post…i have to type that ellie, for the first time, completely wandered off on her own. we were amazed and intrigued. we were standing by a pumpkin board game activity and watched as ellie started to wander. she walked 10 ft away, then further away, then she turned and started walking towards a play set with a slide. we watched her walk around the area and disappear behind the play set. completely unaware that we weren’t nearby and honestly, it looked like she didn’t care. hc ran over to ‘find’ her but didn’t reveal himself. he then finally walked up to her and she told him she wanted to go on the slide. she was not fazed. we were a bit shocked and amused that she completely wandered off on her own. it made me think if we were distracted or not paying attention, how far would she have gotten away from us? or worse, get snatched up by a terrible person!

oh ellie…so different from her beautiful big sis and so uniquely and fiercely her own person.

well, that concludes our annual pumpkin patch visit! i absolutely love going every year and the weather conditions were just perfect! a chilly, overcast autumn day! happy fall y’all!

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[hey pumpkin heads]

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[isn’t she so cute?]

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[i think this paci thing has gone on too long…]

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[the cutest cousins]

via tandeminlove.com[oh these kids!]

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[silly babes]

via tandeminlove.com[she’s getting so big]

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[love these kiddos]

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[ellie: yeahhh, i’m outta here. no pics for me]

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[just chillin’]

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[corn maze]

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[lost and trying to find our way out!]

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[chillin with my babe]

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[well, at least we’re looking at the camera]

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[this is her rebellious i won’t do what you say kiki look]

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[caught her just in time]

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[they were fearless and climbed to the top]

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[we climbed almost to the top]

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[lan and avery]

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[she loved her hog dog meal with a prize!]

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xoxo

apple picking ’18

our annual apple picking adventure has come and gone. and boy oh boy, it was a hottttt one! we had planned it with my mom, my brother dan, his girl agata, our family, my sister’s family, and my sister. it’s hard to coordinate a day with that many people, so we had settled on a sunday {the weekend before fall officially arrived}, where honey crisp apples were ripe for picking!

the temperature was not in our favor. i was hoping, everyday leading up to the day, that it would change but it did not. it was going to be 90 degrees and humid. ugh. i don’t mind it being hot but when you have two little kids and one who is high maintenance, it’s literally a sticky situation.

as soon as we got there, ellie was having a fit. her cheeks became extra rosy and she was sweating profusely. oh goodness, she was so grumpy and uncomfortable!

we met up with everyone in front of the restaurant area and once we were all there, we headed to the line. it wasn’t as long as when we first got there {everyone rushed into line when the orchard opened} but it was still long and you definitely don’t wait in the shade! ellie screamed and cried and wanted to be held but it wasn’t comforting for her at all. oh boy.

we finally paid for our bags and got into line for the tractor wagon {and the workers there warned us of the mosquitoes in the orchard, they said it was realllllllll bad and to top it off, honey crisp apples were not available to pick. whaaaaaa?!}. they dropped us off in the field and we walked down a row of trees and boom! the mosquitoes attacked!!!!! bzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzz bzzzzzz. no joke. they landed on us left and right. buzzing in our ear. biting us. bleeding on us. bouncing off my face. biting us through our clothes. i swatted mosquitoes off the girl’s faces non stop. five mosquitoes landed directly in the middle of ellie’s forehead! holy crap! it almost looked like child abuse, i was hitting the girls so much just to get the little blood suckers off their bodies! my sister and family came running at us {they were a bit further down the orchard row} and said they were leaving and ran away! ohmergawd! it was so bad!

we all left, although, we actually did a decent job picking apples despite the circumstances {my mom, agata, thuy, and dan decided to hit the other side of the orchard to pick}! the rest of us walked back to the main area and debated on leaving or staying. we weren’t sure what we wanted to do but i definitely didn’t want it to be a wasted trip. ellie was a mess. so, hc took her to the car to cool down. my family and i decided to get food. we walked into the restaurant, ordered food and sat in an enclosed area…it wasn’t air conditioned but it was covered, there was no sun shining directly on us and no bugs!!!

we cooled down, relaxed, and really enjoyed ourselves. after filling our bellies and imbibing some cool libations, we were feeling good. we all decided to head on over to the shop and peruse a bit. {i text hc to bring ellie and meet us} we nabbed mini apple cider doughnuts, bought too much candy, toys, and random knick knacks. after hanging out in the shop with my family for a half hour or so, we decided it was time to leave. we had apples, we had pictures, we had doughnuts, we had fun! we really did!

here’s to hoping that next year’s date is a lot cooler and less buggy! happy fall y’all!

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[apples on the market]

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[ellie started to burn up right away! she was so uncomfortable!]

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[here comes the tractor and wagon]

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[mom and thuy]

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[my sweet family]

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[collecting apples!]

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[she’s sweet as pie]

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via tandeminlove.com[my current favorite picture of her…she’s so tumultuously sweet]

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[the only moment where she wasn’t crying…]

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[me and my babe…i can’t express in words how wonderful she is]

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[hey girls…let’s take a picture together. girls: let’s look the other way!]

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[yup…ellie cried, they were melting from the heat, and olive asked me if she could stop itching from the mosquitoes bites]

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[cooling off and eating bug free. she had pink spots all over her face and neck from the mosquitoes]

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[my handsome nephew!]

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[oh look, another handsome nephew!]

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[olive can you wink? wink. wink.]

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[twinning at its finest]

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xoxo

apple pickin’

we had a wonderful day planned! we were getting up early to go apple picking at a fun orchard up north. well, who knew it would be sooooooo dang warm? that was a recipe for disaster!

we had been to royal oak farm a couple years ago and really enjoyed our time there. this time was such a sweet disaster! haha! one, we weren’t dressed right for the oh so hot temperatures. two, olive had multiple meltdowns. three, hc refused to wear the ergo, so he was carrying ellie {not having your hands free when you have two kids is not a smart thing, especially if you are able to avoid it}.

we ate lunch first but the food they offered was very fried, sugary, and limited. the flies and bees were ridiculous. i mean RI-diculous! they were all over us and the food. my mom didn’t want to eat, thuy didn’t want to eat and was a bit grumpy, and we were ready to just go pick apples. although, olive was hilarious about the bugs. she kept giggling, screaming, and saying, “shoo, shoo bug! shoo!”. it was very, very cute!

we got into line to purchase our bags and we all herded onto the hayride towards the orchard. olive thought it was fun and really enjoyed being in the wagon being pulled by the john deere tractor! we arrived at our destination and began apple picking. oh my goodness, it was so hot! it was 90 degrees and the sun was beating down on us! my mom and sister wanted green apples but they weren’t ripe yet, so we kept walking around trying to find green apples. hc didn’t want to hold ellie anymore so he left to go get the stroller. while hc was gone, olive had a few meltdowns and wanted me to do this, that, hold her, she cried, mumbled, and did a bunch of things i couldn’t really help her with because i was holding ellie…sweating in the sun!

he finally made it back to help but olive was on a roll. every time the hayride came by, she wanted to get on it and we told her no and she cried and cried and cried. she didn’t want to pick apples, although i did, we were super hot and sticky, and it was just a bit crazy.

well, in the end, we got our apples, we took some marvelous pictures, and we were ready to go home! i know, what you just read probably sounded like a disaster of an outing but it was a great day despite the hot temps and the tantrums displayed by olive and her mama! ha! yes, if it was cooler, it wouldn’t have been so intense but i still loved that we did it and spent some crazy time together. we were soooooooo ready to go home and shower though!

well, next year we will make sure the temps are low so we don’t melt in the sun when we go apple picking! i am super excited to use the apples to make apple pie and candied apples this coming month! more fun activities to look forward to!

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[sweet girl who’s ready to have a few meltdowns. eep]

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[having lunch with grandma]

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[apples available to pick!]

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[wagon riding to the apple orchard]

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[ellie’s first wagon ride]

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[thuy and mom on the wagon ride]

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[thanks auntie thuy for the cute family pic]

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[it was sooooo stinkin’ hot]

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[ba with ellie]

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[olive apple picking]

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[auntie thuy chillin’ while we pick apples]

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[mom and dad]

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xoxo

happy fall y’all!

yAy! it’s the first day of fall!

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i am sooooo excited! it’s my favorite season! cool weather, layers, pumpkins, fall leaves, so many good things to come! here is a list of things i would love to do this autumn:

1. jump in a pile of leaves

2. eat apple cider donuts

3. go apple pickin’

4.  make apple pie

5. go to a pumpkin farm

6. decorate

7. make candied apples

8. carve pumpkins

9. go on a hayride

10. go walking in the cool weather

 i started number 6 and i am ready to take on the rest! i am looking forward to a fun and festive holiday season!

xoxo

morton arboretum

the last time i was at the morton arboretum, i was just a child. it had been soooooooooo long since! i was excited to head back and especially excited to go with my friends jaime and pam and their kiddos!

it was a perfect day. not too cool and not too warm. just a few layers and we were set. i knew the day would warm up nicely and it was going to be lovely out. we set out late {well, knowing that it was only a bit away…eep!} but arrived just a few minutes behind our agreed upon time and ended up being the first one there! jaime was unloading her car as i strolled on by and pam was just pulling up.

it was so awesome to see them! it had been awhile since we all had been together and it took awhile for us three to coordinate a time to get together again! our schedules are so crazy and busy that months later, we finally secured a date!

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[ready to go out!]

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[the moms and our babes]

we trekked inside and started walking around. it’s so beautiful there…so many lovely things to look at and i loved how kid friendly it was! the children’s garden was interactive, playful, fun, and secure. you always had an eye on your kid but you didn’t worry about losing her or having her completely out of your sight since it was almost laid out like a maze.

olive had a blast hanging out with the boys. it was so cute to see them together and at a stage where they could walk, kind of talk, and play with each other. they did a lot of running around…each babe was curious over something or another. parker and olive were a bit like two peas in a pod and liam was mr. independent.

we walked and walked and talked and talked. it was such a lovely time. we had a great time catching up and watching our cute kiddies play and explore. i love these gals. friends since childhood {pam} and high school {jaime} through my bestie carol {who lives in seattle}. i love seeing them and love their babes! it’s pretty awesome to have parallel lives and have that common ground. we all got married around the same time and had babies close to one another. that connection in life makes the bond stronger!

halfway through our exploration, we popped a squat to have lunch. each of us packed our goodies and fed our babes and ourselves…at least we tried to eat. it’s always so hard to feed and take care of yourself, sometimes, with a little one at your hands! ya know?! you stuff a few bites into your mouth and call it a meal. doh!

after lunch, we walked some more. it’s so beautiful there! pam and j were telling me about all the fun things they do, year round, at the arboretum. it’s such a great place for kids and families, we can’t wait to go back and explore it some more!

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[loved this area]

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[hi liam]

via tandeminlove.com[my little love // scarf by hobsonvilleco. // bow clip by coco.and.lulu]

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[hiiiii parker]

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[the three stooges // liam, olive, and parker]

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[exploring]

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[learning]

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[watch and learn]

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[little independent buggers]

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[gorgeous displays everywhere]

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we had such a great time hanging out with these lovely ladies and their handsome fellas! oh how i love them! such great people and such beautiful, sweet babes. olive and i loved out playdate time with them and we can’t wait to do it again. this time around, i hope it’s not months from now!!!

xoxo

pumpking pickin’

we were ready to hit the pumpkin patch. we needed pumpkins for our house to start our festive decorating and i was sooo ready to decorate! fall and october were calling my name!

we picked a pumpkin farm that wasn’t too far away from us. we wanted it to be a fun but quick trip, just spend a couple hours doing some fun activities and then head home to relax for the rest of the day.

it was perfect weather to be outside. not too warm and not too cold. a few layers of clothes and we were set. olive and i decided to twin with matching cowboy boots! when we arrived, she insisted on walking but she wanted to hold my hand. i find it so cute and funny, only because months ago, she would never hold my hand. oh, no. she would grunt and scream if i tried. it made me a little sad only because i wanted to hold her hand and she would always reject the attempt at affection. but now she is much more keen on the idea but the only problem with that is that she is two feet tall. hahaha. so, holding her hand gives me a back ache! ahhhaha! you ask and you shall receive, non?!

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[she insisted that i hold her hand but it was so awkward because she is still so little…i had to walk hunched over for a bit. eep]

once we walked inside, she was completely smitten! she loved all the pumpkins and craziness that was going on! well, first things first, we decided to go through a haystack maze…um, not my cup of tea! the tunnel of swirling lights would totally make me sick and dizzy, so i literally closed my eyes and walk forward. haha! it’s a good thing i didn’t fall down walking in the dark with my eyes closed as well!

after the maze, we saw a bumble bee ride and knew olive would love something like that. so grace and olive waited in line to get their turn. she was soooo stinkin’ cute riding around and smiling ear to ear! she looooooved seeing all the live animals, she would get so excited and i would teach her the animal names and i loved that she would repeat everything. watching her learn and grow is just the best feeling and such a great gift! although, seeing all the animals caged in up in little bitty cages made me sad. such a bummer to see them in such small capacities with no real room to run around.

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[matching cowboy boots]

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[my love]

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[picking out pumpkins]

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[the dizzy haystack maze]

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[checking out the bunnies]

after we saw bunnies, turkeys, llamas, and more…grace really wanted to eat corn, so we hopped on over to the food joint and bought a few ears. while hc and grace chowed down on some delicious corn, olive entertained herself with the rocks and dirt and was being the cutest little girl where all the strangers were smitten with her.

after a mini snack break, we sat down in the stands for a pig race. it was crazy. there were three races in total and i felt like it went on forever. the actual races were short but the mc droned on and on! plus, with us sitting in the front row with olive, she was constantly wiggling around. she kept running up to the fence {us knowing she probably shouldn’t be near the fence} and we kept calling her to sit back down. thank goodness she was listening but we must have done that a half dozen times, at least!

the last pig race was hilarious…oh my gawd! they were the biggest, fattest pigs i ever did see!!! they were soooooo slow and charming. yes. they were so cute, big, and adorable. olive was so distracted by the audience noise that she missed the first two pig races. ha! she did not miss the last one! she ran up to the fence {and by then, i gave up trying to call her back} and was totally mesmerized by the pigs!

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[ohmy! the huge piggies racing!]

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after the pig races, we decided to pick out the pumpkins we wanted! we perused and perused and we all finally picked out the ones we liked! grace and olive had a great time playing around the pumpkin patch. everything is so novel to this little one so watching her awe and excitement is just amazing. while we were picking out pumpkins, hc was waiting in line for some funnel cake! it was in big demand, so the line was a bit long but always oh so worth it! when hc made it back with two plates of goodness, we sat our tushies down on the floor and devoured our funnel cake.

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[sisterly love]

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[looking over and double checking our selection of pumpkins]

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[funnel cake anyone?]

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it was a perfect day at the pumpkin farm. we had such a great time…it’s so fall to do fun stuff like this! the sights, the colors, the smells, the food…it just makes you so excited for the season! olive had a blast and so did we! cheers to the start of a great fall season.

xoxo

apple pickin’

yay! apple picking is our fall ritual. ok, so we have only done it a few years in a row but hey…it’s become one! it was a sunny, warm day. i had already planned our outfits, regardless of the temps, but i was kind of questioning my tenacity when we stepped outside. it was going to be a hot one! flannels and warm temps don’t really go hand in hand! eep!

well. no matter. we were committed and so we moved forward. we packed ourselves into the car for a quick ride on over to kuiper’s orchard. they had two separate areas for apple picking and pumpkins. i am so used to going to an apple orchard that has pumpkins, so i thought it was different that they were separate.

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[ready to go apple picking!]

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[my sanity in a cup]

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[braids, buffalo, and boots]

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[riding dirty]

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[twinsies]

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[“mom, look!”]

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we met up with our family and explored just a bit. first thing on the agenda was eating! we were soooo hangry. hahaha! we traipsed inside to the restaurant. olive was a riot! she was such a hit everywhere she walked. especially coming into this eating establishment. she had her sunnies on and was walking around like a boss! hahaha! we ordered hot dogs and burgers and waited patiently our our food to be served. in the meantime, olive gulped down chocolate milk and got sassy with everyone.

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[stomping around like she owns the place]

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[drinking chocolate milk in style]

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[family time]

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[simple please. just mustard]

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[nom nom nom, hot dog]

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[selfie]

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[she’s such a doll]

after noshing on our meals, we headed on over to the apple orchard to go picking! ugh, it was hot standing in the sun and the line was sooooooo long! no matter, we did it. it was finally our turn and when the john deere tractor pulled up, we were so relieved and excited. we packed ourselves in and off to the orchard we went! olive looooved the ‘hay’ ride, when we reached our destination she didn’t want to get off the cart. too cute.

we were greeted by a worker and given directions and advice. once that was done, we were off on our own. olive insisted on walking and anyone who has a toddler who insists on walking knows how slooooooooow they can move. oy vey. we were ten minutes behind everyone! we finally arrived at the ripe trees and started picking some golden delicious apples to take home.

olive did such a great job! she was a pro apple picker! daddy helped and she had a great time picking. it was too stinkin’ cute. i remember last year, she was 9.5 months old and all we did was carry her around. so, it was pretty cool to see her in action and picking apples herself!

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[sunshine selfie]

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[the sweetest pic. this makes my heart melt…the love for these two]

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[twist and pull olive!]

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[my precious babe]

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[she did well! get it girl!]

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[typical pic of the kids. baaahahaha!]

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[olive and auntie kim]

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[my sweet, darling, loving parents]

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[really?!!!! she’s sooooooo cute!]

after apple picking, we perused the shop and purchased a few goodies. we never go home without some apple cider donuts!!!! yum! we bought apple bread, donuts, and brought home our tasty apples so we can bake some apple pie!

it was a wonderful successful day of apple picking. we had a great time with the family and can’t wait to do it again next year! woot!

xoxo

fall fun

the famille got together to take some fall photos. i now sound repetitive but for reals, the weather was ah-mazing!! it was sunny, beautiful, and the temperature was perfect.

we met up at the ‘red barn‘. the famille was already there, olive and i came a little bit later than them. we drove through the narrow and very long parking lot. i pulled up to the barn {also, after seeing their cars} and parked. from afar, i saw a little figure by the barn {call it intuition} and i knew it was the clan. i pulled olive out and we started walking towards the barn. yup, from around the corner they all appeared and came towards us.

from there, we started to pose, take pictures, and get creative with the photos we wanted to snap. we definitely wanted cousin photos and it was such a challenge to get little o to sit still. we would get a few snaps in before she boogied in some sort of direction. overall, we were pretty successful!

we just played around. posed. enjoyed the weather and captured some great memories. it was short and quick but fun. i tried my best to match olive to me and to the boys. i knew they were going to sport red, so i had a bit of red on o. we both wore the same colored jeans and both our shirts had some sort of print and little tabs that held our sleeves up. she’s my mini me!

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[super auntie thuy]

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[hanging out]

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[look closely, we almost having matching shirts…natch]

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[where’s waldo]

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[cutie pies]

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[olive! look at the camera…um, nope]

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[olive giving bennett a kiss!]

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after lollygagging around some more, we called it a wrap {that’s a wrap!}. we all popped into our cars and skedaddled our way home. as you can see above, we got some great, sweet shots in {although they would have been sooooo much better if my brother huy took them!}. happy fall y’all!

xoxo

october delights

to celebrate autumn and halloween, i started to dress our abode with some festive fall decor. it took a few weeks to collect everything, especially since we have a new house and all the decor had to be bought {next year will be easy peasy!}.

i hung our pretty crate and barrel wreath on our door…always a warm greeting! this one is from a few years ago but there is a similar one here. we purchased a few pumpkins to put by our door too. another festive welcome to any of our house guests!

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[the changing of the leaves]

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[a view from outside…i wish i could capture a better pic! i just love the way the windowsill looks!]

i purchased a bunch of pumpkins from pottery barn kids…i just love, love that store! they had the cutest, most fun halloween stuff this year! my favorite purchases were the white star pumpkins, i love the way it looks! especially when i light a candle inside of it. it gives it an eery, spooky glow. the black cat and the orange pumpkin are actually treat containers but i thought it looked best as scary additions in my window display. i’m glad i bought the pbk decor early because all these items are sold out now!

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i debated on placing burlap autumn leaves underneath the pumpkins but decided to go with a burlap runner. it was a more even, flat foundation than the burlap leaves on a wire {it was too bumpy for the pumpkins to lay flat}, plus it looked better.

i bought the regular looking pumpkins from hobby lobby. the burlap runner, the corn husks, and the colored leaves are from hobby lobby as well. oh, that store is wonderful…i can find so many wonderful things there. the fall leaves were the perfect, final touch to the window display.

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[i was experimenting with different burlap…leaves or runner? the runner won]

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of course, we hung the bright lab lights up! i love these lights. they were the final, final perfect touch to the halloween decor!

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throughout the house, i added a few festive touches. like these pumpkin candles from bath and body works. the smell is so yummy. pumpkin, pecans, and spice, so nice!

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i purchased these white pumpkins from hobby lobby. i love the look of these pumpkins. very ethereal and cool.

via tandeminlove.com

the halloween banner is from pbk and the burlap autumn leave are from hobby lobby. the candles are led vanilla scented candles from target. the pumpkins i bought while we were on an outing with our friend dana, one afternoon.

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

well, that’s it. that is all i have for this decorating moment. i had a great time scheming up ideas on how, what, and where to decorate in our home. it was so much fun putting everything together! i’m really enjoying our festive home right now and i hope you enjoyed it too!

we love holidays and festive fun stuff! i hope your home is full of fun, spooky, cozy decor and warmth. happy halloween!

xoxo

happy october!

it’s october. oh, how i love you october. it’s one of my favorite months. it kick starts all the holidays {i loooove holiday season!}. i love that it’s a ‘spooky’ month. i love that halloween is this month. i love to see all the leaves change into their vibrant colors for their last hurrah. you can wear, buy, collect all sorts of boots and throw on a cozy sweater and scarf to keep toasty warm!

i love that first chill in the air. ya know, that morning you feel that coldness and you know old man winter is starting to creep up on you {stay away mr. winter!}. you smell the aroma of burning leaves, you watch the sunset burn across the sky. you see people scatter pumpkins across their doorsteps and decorate their doors with autumn leaves. i’m about to fill our house up with the smell of pumpkin candles and spice. so nice 😉

i’m excited that fall is here. i look forward to trick o treating. i can’t wait to buy olive’s halloween costume…hmmmm, what shall she be? {most likely something to match her cousin’s minecraft costumes} suggestions welcomed! i’m ready to decorate the house with fall accents. i’ve been scheming up some great, festive ideas for decor! we’ll be spending more time indoors, so it’s time to get it all cozy inside, don’t you agree?!

via tandeminlove.comautumn to do list:

1. apple picking

2. pumpkin carving

3. trick o treating

4. decorate the abode

5. jumping into a pile of leaves

6.  buy a new pair of boots

7. drink hot cider and eat an apple cider donut {again}

8. go on a hay ride

9. eat a caramel apple

10. eat anything pumpkin(y) {cookie, latte, pie}

hmmmm, with this list, i might have to add in exercise to negate all those extra calories! or maybe not. hehehe.

what’s on your autumn to do list? i hope it’s full of fall type activities, goodies, and fun! happy october everyone!

xoxo