All About Them: Leaf Bracelets

Yesterday we took the kids to an awesome arboretum to take their fall photos (usually the ones we use for our Christmas cards). I knew the kids would have fun for a little while, but figured I would need something to keep them interested.  I found the perfect activity.DSC_0672 DSC_0694

A while ago I saw the idea on a blog somewhere for packing tape bracelets to use to collect leaves on walks and hikes. I’ve been meaning to do it with the kids forever, so this was a great opportunity. It worked like a charm. They did in fact get bored after about a half an hour, but once we busted out the tape and they could stick leaves to it, they were all about having their pics taken again. Jeremy and I did it too and it was fun finding the perfect leaves and sticking them on the bracelets.DSC_0773 DSC_0776 DSC_0777 DSC_0783

The bracelets turned out to be really pretty actually. Too bad they couldn’t last forever.DSC_0786 DSC_0790A simple fall project to encourage you to enjoy this awesome season just a little bit more.

Happening Now

Feeling excited for Pearl Jam tonight.

Baking a lot more now that Fall has arrived.

Cooking with the crockpot.

Planning to snap some family photos this weekend using my tripod for the first time.

Looking forward to Hudson’s fall break next week and all the things we have planned.

Eating too many pumpkin donuts

Enjoying the mild fall weather. Keep it up Mother Nature.

Snapping lots of photos lately. I can’t resist the colors outside or my adorable kids.

Reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It’s a long one and I’m just barely into it.

Mourning the end of Young House Love. It was the first blog that I ever read and always my very favorite. I feel like I’m losing friends. Sniff.

Listening to Fleetwood Mac. I’m so buying tickets to their concert in Lincoln.

Watching Homeland still and loving it. Then it’s on to Game of Thrones. Oh man.

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I Love Autumn

I’m so happy that it’s October and that fall is in full swing here in Nebraska. The sunrises are pink and gold. The leaves are finally starting to explode with color, I harvested the pumpkins we grew and because our house has pretty much zero insulation, we’ve already had to turn our furnace on at night. I’m in full fall mode. I’m actually sitting here writing this and watching the leaves blow off of our tree. It’s beautiful.

I always try to enjoy this season to it’s fullest. Not only because it’s Mother Nature’s last hurrah before the cold winter arrives, but because there is just nothing like fall and all the beauty and excitement it has to offer.

I’ve been savoring my pumpkin spiced coffee in the morning. Obviously. Oh, and the Midwest Living October edition is always so good. Even if you don’t live in the Midwest, you should check it out.Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset

 

I can’t get enough pumpkin flavored everything. These homemade pumpkin donut holes are a favorite around here. They’re really more like tiny muffins. My kids devour them.IMG_4511

 

I’ve also been indulging in a few too many pumpkin donuts from Dunkin Donuts. They’re really the only donuts I like from there. They’re spectacular. Yeah. I’m gonna need to run some extra miles on the treadmill to make up for these, but worth it.IMG_4616

 

 

We’ve been crossing activities off our Fall Bucket List, which you can find here. And this past weekend we went to a local garden for an Autumn festival. (I actually be sharing more about this later)IMG_4671

 

 

We’ve also made a few fall crafts with the kids and I have some more planned for the coming weeks.

This is such a beautiful season. We have so many fun activities planned during Hudson’s fall break next week. I can’t wait!

What are some of your fall traditions? Isn’t it just the best?!

My Little Garden

This year I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go to the trouble of building a raised garden bed or just do more container gardening. There isn’t a great spot in our yard for a raised bed. No matter where we place it, it would be awkward. After putting off the decision for much too long, I stuck with the container gardening in hopes that maaaaybe we will have a new house next year with a yard that would fit a raised bed or two.

My mom bought me some giant pots at Costco. I was originally going to plant flowers in them, but used them for basil and tomatoes instead. I bought four basil plants and two tomato plants at the farmer’s market. One of the tomato plants was a “patio” plant and the other was an heirloom variety. I ended up planting both of them in the same pot. It probably wasn’t the best choice, but at the time I thought the pot was big enough for both.

Anyway, we had a TON of rain in the month of June and even though my pots had drainage holes in the bottom, stayed soaked for weeks. They just couldn’t dry out because it would instantly rain again. Both the basil and tomatoes suffered. I had huge basil harvests last summer from fewer plants. I’ve only had two harvests this summer. Whomp. Whomp. The “patio” tomato plant gave us some small, but delicious tomatoes. However, the heirloom plant has only given me one so far. There are two more still on the plant, but now that the temps have plummeted, I don’t think they’ll make it.

We also planted two pumpkin plants from the farmer’s market. One of them kicked the bucket within the first two weeks, but the other one hung on and has produced two small pumpkins. The kids are excited to cut them off the vines.

Here are a few photos from my summer gardening adventure.

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In conclusion, I’m happy that I took another stab at gardening and plan to continue with it every summer from here on out. I still loved going out to check on my plants every morning. It was such a thrill to finally find tomatoes growing. I was SO incredibly excited to eat a tomato that I grew myself. It’s true what they say about how much better they taste when they’re fresh from your own garden. We used them in tacos, BLT sandwiches and to top burgers. So, so good.

I wish that my basil had produced they way it did last year, but there’s always next year!

We’ll be cutting our pumpkins from the vine very soon, so I’ll post photos of those once they’re cut and on our porch.

Here’s to another adventure in gardening!

P.S. I have way more photos, but didn’t want to bore you to death! See you next week!

14 Books in 2014-Book 9

Book 9

Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

 

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I really connected with this book. I read it in just a few days. Loved it. It’s about a man who’s going on a summer trip alone in his motor home, but ends up bringing along two unexpected young passengers. The book touches on the complications of relationships between fathers and sons. It tugged at my heartstrings. I cried both happy and sad tears. I don’t want to give too much away so I’m leaving this short and sweet and will just say that I would definitely recommend this book to my family and friends. I already told my mom that she needs to read it.

On to the next!

Kindergarten

And just like that I became the mom of a kindergartener. Sigh. I’m not sure how it all went so quickly. One day he was sleeping in my arms and the next I was standing in line outside of his new school waiting to drop him off for his first day of kindergarten.

It is so bittersweet for me. I love watching him grow up learning so many new things along the way, but I miss having him home with me all day every day. He’s loving school though and that definitely makes the transition so much easier. I guess I don’t imagine that there will ever be a time that I don’t miss having him home with me.

All of the cliches are true about how fast the time goes when you’re watching your babies turn into toddlers and then big kids. You want to slow it down sometimes, or even stop it at certain points to savor it as long as possible. But you also want to see them experience all the new things the world has to offer them at all their different stages and you can’t do that without moving forward.

It’s all so awesome.

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We are so proud of our little man.

P.S. We did not prompt him to hold hands with or hug his little sister. He did that all on his own. My heart almost burst.

P.P.S. He really needed a haircut.

Happening Now

Planning activities for Hudson’s fall break from school

Drinking lots of coffee with Pumpkin Spice creamer

Reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs and Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Decorating for Fall and Halloween

Baking our favorite Pumpkin donuts on the weekends

Running

Working on Project Life, but I’m way behind

Starting my first quilting project from the eCourse Get Quilty by Elise Blaha Cripe. I’ve been waiting since Spring.

Watching Homeland

Looking forward to all the shows starting again, especially Parenthood and of course The Walking Dead, obviously.

Wanting to redo our master bedroom. It needs a major facelift

Sipping Sweet Pumpkin Tea or Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend Herbal Tea in the evenings

Pulling out my sweaters again

Loving that it’s Fall. Hooray!

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Harper Turned 3

Back in June my baby girl turned 3. Three is such a big birthday for me because when they’re 2, they’re still babies, but when they turn 3, it’s like they’re turning into kids.

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Of course she’s still my baby and always will be, but she’s growing up. Three is proving to be a pretty great age on her though. There are so many things I want to remember about how she is at this moment in time.

-She says smace instead of face. It is literally the cutest thing in the history of ever.

-She still loves playing with my hair when she’s tired. It’s her favorite.

-She started ballet and loves every second of her 1/2 hour class. She chatters about it the whole drive home. And she’s usually talking so fast out of excitement that I can’t understand a word.

-She tells lots of stories. They are awesome.

-She loves her cousin Emmy. They’re best friends for sure.

-She loves blazed (glazed) donuts from Le Mars and macaroni and cheese.

-She says all the time, “Mommy, I love you”. And sometimes she adds “To all the stars in the sky” or “To all the flowers in the meadow”. Melts my heart.

-She still carries Baby and Bell with her almost everywhere we go and always has to have them at bedtime.

She is sweet, loving, strong-minded, silly, brave and beautiful inside and out. We adore her and can’t imagine a life without her in it.

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P.S. She had a Lalaloopsy birthday party that I designed and it was the cutest! I plan to show you the craft I made for June which were the cutest tiny pinatas for her party. Oh, and I made the ombre cake. It was so pretty and the hit of the party.

Lifestyle Photography

I absolutely love lifestyle photography and aspire to become a great lifestyle photographer one day. I adore Tara Whitney. Her photos are brilliant. I love how well she captures the simplest moments between families. Those are the moments I want to capture too. I’m constantly practicing my lifestyle shooting skills.

This summer I did a sprinkler shoot with my kids and I LOVE the end result. No posing. It was just them playing, having fun and you can see their little personalities. These are the things I want to remember about them. Sure I love a good portrait, but the real stuff is my passion.

Here’s what I captured.

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These are also part of my monthly portrait challenge because I just love them so darn much.