spooky afternoon

we had our family over on a lovely afternoon to carve pumpkins, eat sweet chili, and watch football. my sister, kim, made a delicious cheese plate, my hc made a savory chili in the slow cooker, and we had a bloody mary bar! yuuuuuuuuum!

we knew our family was going to come over for over a week but we didn’t plan on doing too much. then that morning, hc and i whipped together some decor, cleaned, prepped the house, set out the entertaining serve ware, and stepped back to realize that we are conditioned to host at our house. we don’t even blink an eye and can set up to have anyone over with our eyes closed. hahaha!

once everyone was over, we just hang out. that’s what it should be. some people ate chili, some people made bloody mary’s, some people watched football, and some people ate appetizers. after swaying back and forth between food, drinks, and typical conversations, we finally decided to carve pumpkins. hc had set up a table in the heated garage for the kids to carve. a perfect set up conducive to creative minds.

olive did such a great job with the pumpkins! she drew on two pumpkins and hc cut them out using a skil saw…ha! i helped the boys and drew out the design they wanted on their pumpkins to carve. it was a fun time inside the garage and quite successful! everyone loved their pumpkins! olive insisted on a ‘go cubs go’ pumpkin and demanded we cut out another one! she’s such a chicago cubs fan {hmmmm, just like dada??}.

after an easy and almost mess free pumpkin carving session, we excitedly came back inside with our works of art and lit up some candles to get these boo’s glowing!

my mom had fried egg rolls and brought over the right ingredients to make spring rolls, so we then had ‘dinner’ served. gosh, i love family! it’s the best kind of company you can have {and friends of course…i love my friends}. it was getting a bit late and the boys had school the next day, so we said our goodbyes. olive was super sad. she wanted to hang out with the boys and cried when i told her she couldn’t go over to their house. awwwww, so sad!

well, it was a great afternoon and such a fun time had carving pumpkins. i love being able to do this every year, creating such great memories!

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[tasty cheese platter by my sister kim]

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[my sista adding more vodka to her drink!!]

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[corn bread and chili]

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[sour cream, shredded cheese, and oyster crackers…yum]

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[having a good time carving pumpkins]

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[the sweetest smile]

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[working hard]

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[working easy]

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[sweet cousins]

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[dan’s creation]

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xoxo

happy halloween

oh, i was sooooo excited for halloween!

i couldn’t wait to match the girls! i was so stumped for quite awhile on what i was going to dress them as. i hemmed and hawed over so many ideas but alas, i chose fairies. olive loves tinker bell, so i thought it was fitting for her to be a fairy princess and ellie as well!

i ended up curating their costume pieces. i shopped only small {meaning small businesses that were handmade} and quickly put together their sweet, whimsical costumes. i loved every single piece i purchased. the best part? olive can and still wears all the pieces after halloween! it ended up being her most favorite outfit to date!

we dressed up both girls and went outside to take pictures {the weather was amazing!! not cold or rainy! it typically is every year!}. that was a complete debacle. olive couldn’t hold ellie upright {her costume was too slippery} and by the time i decided to lay both girls down on the blanket on top of the grass, they were both in sour moods and wouldn’t stop crying. seriously?! fml trying to take a decent picture! ha!

after pics {i needed a shower because these girls stress me out sometimes!}, we started our trick or treat journey. it was the cuuuuuuutest thing to watch olive! i did a few a examples for her but after that, she got it! i loved watching her be so independent and sweet! she would quietly knock on people’s doors and not move so it was difficult for them to open the door. ha! she would quietly say, ‘twick o tweet’ and ‘dank you!’ to every person who gave her candy. man did she get brownie points for her cuteness…so many folks gave in and would dump candy into her basket or give extra because they say ellie. olive made out like a bandit for only hitting a few houses!

as we walked along the block, we chit chatted with neighbors and got to know quite a few people on my parent’s street. olive did such a great job and really enjoyed the whole process! after a eight houses {which probably took more than a half hour}, we asked if she wasted to go home and she said, “yes! go home!” and go home we did!

once we arrived home, olive loved checking out all the trick or treaters at the door. she’s finally starting to break out of her shy shell. granted, she still doesn’t really talk around others but she was quite brave with the strangers while trick or treating and loved peeking at all the kids coming to the door and would actually walk downstairs to say hi!

we waited for the trick or treating curfew to end and then packed up our stuff to go home. we tried to get olive’s costume off and that turned out to be the biggest debacle of all time. i mean major meltdown…she flipped out. how dare we tell her to take off her wings and skirt?! we were the devil in her eyes. she screamed and cried and went completely bonker hysterical on us. that was a loooooooooong process that we soooo regretted. ugh.

anyhoo, once we got the little bugger into the car…we finally made it home. phew! that was a knock down dragged out fight but we kind of won. hc stuffed her into the car seat with the compromise of her holding her wings instead of sitting with them on. oy.

overall, it was an awesome halloween. the weather was so fantastic, soooo many people complimented her on the costume, and she had the best time! i love halloween, i always have but now i love it more with our kids in it! it’s so fun and delightful to see such joy in her eyes!

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[such a beautiful fairy princess]

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[i looooooooved their costumes]

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[walking house to house, trick or treating!]

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[her trick or treat bag…collecting goodies]

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[me and my girl]

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[walking towards the cool halloween house]

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[soooooo pretty]

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[hitting up a house for candy…knocking on the door. oh how i loved watching her do this!]

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[her loot]

xoxo

cubs, pumpkin carving, and cookies

we had invited my family over one night for pumpkin carving, watching the cubs game, and decorating cookies. we tend to do that…mix occasions and everything together!

it was a lovely day out…not too cold, not too hot. an typical fall day of weather. we decided to do burgers and simple side salads for dinner. we pulled out everything cubs that we had…napkins, cheese plate, coasters, wine, we carved a cubs pumpkin, and my sister brought over cubs dessert! woo hooooooo! we were ready!

everyone just did their own thing…the kids were playing, us gals were talking, and the boys were talking, grilling, and watching the game. it’s so interesting how we congregate with like species with similar interests! hahaha!

these are the days that i really enjoy! afternoons where you just go with the flow, relax with family, eat, have fun, and chill. we started our pumpkin carving excursion outside but the mosquitos were in full force so we relocated the artwork inside. the carving attempts were a bit competitive but honestly, mine was the best. ha! i was so carefree with my carving that i got slack for it…whatevs! i win with my perfect cat carving! meow!

after we carved our pumpkins, the kids decorated pumpkin cookies – well, they pretty much ate their cookies whilst decorating! i don’t blame them, they were oh so yummy. i am a sucker for sugar cookies. a total weakness!

we had such a great time with everyone. the cubs won against the giants and we were super happy!!! it was a great evening indeed! go cubs go!!!!!

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[i love ellie’s expression]

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[go chicago cubs!]

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[chicago cubs napkins & cheese plate]

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[reagan loving his cousin ellie]

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[oh bennett… that face]

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[we’re looking like a bit of a hot mess…let’s just say it was a very casual evening]

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[dan working on his craft]

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[hi bennett…how many family members does it take to carve one pumpkin? ha!]

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[these kiddos and their iPads]

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[pumpkin cookie decorating]

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[hey olive, you’re suppose to decorate…not just eat the cookies!]

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[bennett hard at work]

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[sweetest smile]

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[yummmmmmm]

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[potty training requires interesting outfits]

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[my spooky cat carving]

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[i love carving pumpkins! so fun and spooky!]

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[c for chicago cubs!]

xoxo

goebbert’s pumpkin farm

it was a perfect day to go to a pumpkin patch!

we decided to meet up at goebbert’s pumpkin farm. it was definitely a pumpkin circus! this farm had everything under the stars for kids, halloween, october, and autumn! there were a gazillion pumpkins to choose from, a haunted house, haunted hayride, games, petting zoo, play areas, entertainment, you name it, they had it!

once we arrived, we waited for everyone else to get there and then met everyone in the food area to grab some lunch. we had a great time noshing and chatting it up with everyone. the kids were having fun and the weather/temperature was perfect! once we ate {our hotdogs, nachos, pretzels, chips, and many other healthy choices of food}, we packed up and headed on our adventure to explore the area. my sisters and lan have been here before but i {and the fam} have not. so it was all so novel and unique to us!

olive was a bit overwhelmed at all the big kid playing and didn’t like the corn maze. it didn’t make sense to her so she got scared and started crying. we took her to the kiddie’s web play area and she felt right at home. she loved it! she just kept walking around and around and around. we let her play there until we were summoned for a hayride. i wanted to do that, so we got olive out of the web and walked over to the hayride area.

once that was done, we bought tickets to get into the another fun area of the farm where they had the petting zoo, pig races, and other fun activities. the kids were having a blast. it was awesome to see olive like certain things for the first time. like for example, earlier this year, around easter, she didn’t care for a petting zoo and this time around she was alllllll about it! she was sooo excited to see all the animals and loved trying to pet them! it just melts my heart to see her so happy!

after we visited all the fun rides, activities, and cool play areas, we hit the shop to buy pumpkins and sweet treats to take home. we had to buy apple cider doughnuts…it’s not fall without a dozen or two! we eyed the pies, candies, and popcorn but went with the yummy doughnuts.

after being there for almost four hours {yessss, it was a long time but it did go by fast!}, we headed on our way home. it was so much fun and always an autumn must do! we love fall…it’s my favorite time of year! happy cool nights, warm layers, and hot apple cider!

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[so many pumpkins and gourds to choose from!]

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[it was soooooooo bright all day!]

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[pretty mums]

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[how cute is this?!]

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[ellie pretty much slept through the whole pumpkin farm excursion]

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[scooby dooby doo!]

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[reagan the giraffe]

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[their version of a kid’s meal]

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[how tall are you this fall?]

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[heading into the play yard]

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[she loved the spider web play area!]

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[she reluctantly posed for a picture for me…diiiiiiiiiiva]

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[getting ready for a hayride!]

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[our scenic route on the hayride]

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[the kids boogie-ing down to the music at the empty theatre]

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[best pic i could get]

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[checking out the play area]

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[silly kids]

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[first time she was interested in petting the animals!]

via tandeminlove.com[she was sooooo happy!]

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[she’s so cute]

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[how cute is this giraffe? i felt so bad for the caged animals…]

via tandeminlove.com[enjoying her end of day treat]

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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

flashback friday {happy halloween!}

happy halloween lovies!

today takes us back to 2012. the family took a trip to bengston farm in homer glen {where?!}. it was a fun, fall event. there were plenty of pumpkins, rides, and greasy food to nosh on. we had a swell time exploring the place, there were plenty of fun activities for the kids like train rides, carousels, petting zoo, and haunted houses.

we played around and had a great time with the family. there were so many people there! it was a beautiful sunny day and it was perfect weather for us to hang out outside. i really do love going to a pumpkin farm, apple farm, any type of farm in october. it’s a tradition, it’s a must. it adds to the festive mood of the season. it totally gets me happy.

here, reagan and i snuggled onto the big wheel bench. look how small he was. so adorbs and cute. i love this pic because it’s sunny, cute, and sweet. i love this little guy and he is so wonderful to olive, such a caring cousin he is! what a cutie patutie.

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i hope you have some fun, exciting plans for this halloween night! we sure do. we can’t wait to experience olive’s first halloween. we are ready! what is she going to be?? shhhhh, it’ll be a cute surprise {something fluffy, furry, and adorbs…of course}!

happy, spooky halloween y’all!

xoxo