Pumpkins Galore

As I told you before, my obsession for fall and Halloween is no secret. I milk this season for all its worth and this week we were all about pumpkins! Ashley decided she wanted to carve our pumpkin with a scary face, so I looked online for some inspiration, she picked the face she liked best and we got to work.

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Pumpkin carving is absolutely one of my favorite past times. This year I put on a Halloween Pandora station and set everything up for us. Ashley was so excited and everything was perfectly festive. We had a great time and I love how our pumpkin turned out!

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The next day we still had pumpkins on the brain, so I decided we would do some salt dough pumpkins! They are so easy to make and look incredibly adorable.

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I mixed 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water. We kneaded the mixture until it formed a nice dough. If yours is too sticky, add a little more flour and if it’s too dry, add a little more water. This recipe worked really well for us and I didn’t need to add anything. Ash loved being able to help me add the ingredients and mix!

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I let her roll it out and she did a surprisingly good job! I finished it off to make sure it was about 1/4″ thickness.  prints

I pressed the kids hands into the dough and cut out a pumpkin shape (complete with a stem!) around the handprint. I had a little dough left over so I decided to make one with our cat’s paw print as well :). I baked them at 200º for about 3 1/2 hours. All the information I found said to bake for 3 hours but ours were still a little soft so I left them in a bit longer. We used acrylic paint from Michaels to paint them.

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We painted the whole thing orange and then I used a small paintbrush to fill in the handprints with black. I really like the way the acrylic paint worked. It covered the pumpkins well with only one coat and dried nicely with no bumps or creases.

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I added some green for the stem and voila! I’m going to add some Halloween ribbon and hang them up. I think they are so cute, it’s going to be hard to put them away after the holiday! I made another batch to make a set for my mom and my mother-in-law. I’m going to wrap them up and attach a cute card saying “From your 3 little pumpkins!” I know it will be a huge hit. What are your favorite fall crafts? I’d love some ideas for what to make next!

XOXO-Kelly

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DIY Uncrustables

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A few weeks ago we went on a playdate and Ashley had a peanut butter and jelly Uncrustable for lunch. Since then, she’s been talking about it nonstop. So when we were food shopping and she spotted the box in the freezer she about lost her mind. I picked it up and was less than thrilled with all the ingredients. I’m pretty picky with what my kids eat and I just couldn’t justify buying those adorable, but preservative filled little sandwiches. I was determined to find a different way. I came home and started to experiment. I tried just cutting the crust off and pinching the sides shut with a fork, but Ash wasn’t having it. The next day a food store by us was going out of business and had all their merchandise marked down to 95% off. I decided to check it out and when I walked in what is the first thing I see? The Wonder Seal’r N’ Decruster!

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I was SO excited. What made things even better was the fact that I was able to purchase this awesome tool for .54 cents! As soon as I got home I made a sandwich with it and Ashley was ecstatic! I was able to use the bread we like, along with our organic peanut butter and jelly. I loved being able to control the exact ingredients of the sandwich all while pleasing my 5-year-old! The Seal’r n’ Decruster cut the crust off neatly and sealed the edges perfectly. The sandwiches stayed sealed and even the boys were clean when they were done with their sandwich. I have used this so many times since we got it! I plan on making a bunch to freeze, which will be so easy to do. Just make the sandwich, wrap in foil and put in a freezer safe bag or food storage container. SO simple! I’d call this a Mommy win!

XOXO-Kelly

Halloween Handprints

While perusing Pinterest I saw some pictures of Halloween handprint crafts and I knew instantly I wanted to make them with the kids. It was quick, easy to do, the kids LOVED it and it looks adorable hanging up. It’s a win, win, win, win! I headed to Michaels and grabbed our supplies!

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Supplies needed:

Canvas (I used 8×10)

Foam paintbrush

Acrylic paint

Ribbon

I decided to get a 10 pack of canvases because I had a 40% off coupon (yay!) and I have a feeling we are going to be doing a lot of crafts like this.

I set everything up and we got to work!

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I had Ashley paint the background of all the canvases and she was so excited. She also did such a good job!

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I used Ashley’s hand and both of the boys’ feet. I strapped the boys in the high chair that way they couldn’t squirm away from me and I was able to paint their feet, place it on the canvas and wash it off all very quickly. It worked out perfectly. After we were done and the canvases were dry, I cut some ribbon and used my husbands staple gun to attach the canvases to the ribbon.

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I am thrilled with how the project turned out. It was just how I imagined it and I’m sure it’s going to be something I treasure forever!

XOXO- Kelly

Twin Tuesday

I cannot believe the boys are 14-months-old! It seems like I blinked and their first year was over! They are the cutest, happiest, most curious little boys and I cannot get enough of them. They both throw up their arms when asked how big they are, shake their heads no, and wave bye bye. They both say “duck, cat, and bye” (along with the normal Mama and Dada) and are both now walking! Adam started to walk about 2 weeks before Collin but he caught up quickly! Adam is a little more steady but Collin is getting better day by day. Their personalities are so different and it’s amazing to watch them grow and learn. Adam is my little daredevil and takes off as soon as he can, while Collin likes to hang back by Mommy until he’s a little more sure of himself. That’s fine by me, I’ll take baby snuggles for as long as I can get them. I can’t wait for the boys’ second set of holidays which are fast approaching. They are going to be so fun. Here are a few of our favorite things this month!
14 Month Favorites
1. Earth’s Best Chicken Nuggets- We have these for lunch A LOT. They are so easy and quick to make and the boys gobble them up. I also cut up cheese and strawberries or blueberries with them which makes for a nice healthy lunch that tastes great too. Even Ashley likes them, so these are a staple that I keep in the freezer at all times.
2. Rubber Duck- Duck is one of the few words the boys say and they learned from playing with this classic toy! Bath time wouldn’t be the same without it and as soon as the boys get in the tub they are reaching for this little guy!
3. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn House– They really love this toy. They actually play together with this, which I love to see. They practically fall over from laughing so hard at each other while swinging the door back and forth. I could watch them for hours.
4. Mickey Flip Sofa– Ashley had one of these when she was a baby so I figured I would get 2 for Adam and Collin. They LOVE them. They pull out to be like a little bed so It’s a nice comfy spot to recharge while playing and when they are ready they hop up and we flip it back to the couch. They sit on the couch part like little men with their arms on the arm rest. It might be the most adorable thing ever.
5. GoGo Squeez applesauce- These are healthy and so easy to toss in the diaper bag for an easy on-the-go snack. We love them.
6. Ikea Lillabo Toy Cars– In the morning when Adam wakes up these are the first toys he goes for. They are colorful and easy for little hands to pick up. The boys play with these literally all day!
7. Burts Bees Shampoo and Wash– Both Adam and Collin have slight eczema and sensitive skin. I can’t begin to list how many different baby washes we have tried. Burts Bees is the only one that doesn’t over dry or irritate their skin. It smells delicious and it’s almost all natural. They have gained a customer for life!
8. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Chair– The boys love anything that makes noise or plays music. This chair is so fun and has a sensor and can tell when a baby is sitting in the chair. It plays such cute music and also says letters and numbers. Today Collin sat in the chair and Adam wanted to play too so he plopped right down in Collin’s lap. My heart burst into about a billion pieces. This toy gets a thumbs up from all of us!
XOXO- Kelly

Fall Fun

The fall is by far my favorite season, and weekends filled with fun fall activities is something I look forward to all year long. This weekend was jam packed with all of my favorite autumn activities. On Saturday I woke up and made special Mickey shaped pancakes for the kids. Ashley loves when I make them and has so much fun eating them.

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Since the boys can’t have syrup yet (I can’t wrap my head around that mess yet haha) I decided to add some strawberries to their pancakes for some sweetness. They LOVED them and gobbled them up quicker than I could cut them! I’d say our Saturday morning breakfast was a success.

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After breakfast we played, relaxed and got Ashley ready for soccer. She really enjoys playing and I can really see an improvement in just the few short weeks she’s been going. Plus it gets her out of the house and running around in the beautiful weather, which is a huge win in my book!

On Saturday night we had Halloween Movie night complete with popcorn in pumpkin buckets. Ashley loved the whole idea of it and was unable to contain her excitement as she jumped around the living room. We all changed into jammies and put on “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and snuggled on the couch. Ash fell asleep in my lap and I couldn’t help but want to press pause in that very second of our lives. I knew that exact moment would be one I would want to cherish forever. It was such a great day.

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On Sunday there was a street festival within walking distance of our house. I seriously love street fairs and go to every single one I possibly can. The fact that I didn’t even have to look for parking for this one made it that much better! It was a lot of fun. They had lots of vendors, food, classic cars and some activities for the kids. It wasn’t huge, but that was fine because it was pretty cold and I could tell the boys wouldn’t last long. We walked the length of it, got some chicken gyros and fried oreos (YUM) and headed back to the house to eat.

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Getting ready to go! Poor Collin was asleep.

After lunch we headed to the Pumpkin Festival! We go every year and it’s just so much fun. They have animals, games, rides, festival food and of course pumpkins!

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I love the ‘How tall this Fall” sign. We have a picture of Ashley each year in front of it and it’s so fun to look back on the older pictures and see how much she has grown. Now we have the boys for it! They are still a little unsteady on their feet so we didn’t take them out of the stroller, but they are in front of the sign and that’s what matters!

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The animals they have are just so fun to see. The Mommy pig with her babies was adorable and the boys loved the little piglets. The cow was a baby and was so sweet!

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Ashley loved this and even hit the bell!

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Ashley got to milk a pretend cow and run around in a kid size “spiderweb!”

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We headed over to a “kiddie pumpkin patch” that had all little pumpkins scattered around and decided to let the boys explore a little bit. They LOVED it and had so much fun grabbing for the pumpkins. We loved watching them. It was the cutest thing.

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Then it was time for the big patch! We grabbed some cotton candy and kettle corn and hopped on the hay ride!

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It was insanely cold so we were all bundled up!

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We found our pumpkin! It was a picture perfect day and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

XOXO-Kelly

Adam & Collin Turn One!

Let me start off by saying I LOVE parties. I love brainstorming a theme, I love coming up with a menu, I love executing my plans and I love celebrating. Before the boys were even born I knew what I wanted the theme of their first birthday to be: Toy Story Carnival. I’m a Disney addict and I just adore Toy Story. I felt it was a perfect boy theme. One of my favorite things to do in the Summer is go to carnivals, and the fact that the boys were born in the Summer made it a no-brainer to add the carnival to it! I also had some inspiration from the Toy Story Midway Mania ride in Disney World. We had SO much fun at this party and I had an even better time planning it. It was a perfect first birthday and I couldn’t have been happier about how it turned out!

Invite

Here are the invitations! I had a vision in my head how I wanted them and my friend Kelli couldn’t have made a more perfect invite. My Mom had gotten the boys Woody and Buzz jammies for Christmas and I thought they were perfect for an invite picture!

For the centerpieces on each table I cut out the characters on card stock and hot glued them to very thin wooden dowels. I stuck the dowels into floral foam. I got the red and green containers from party city for .99 cents! I was so excited when I found them because they were perfect for what I was imagining. We had three Woody centerpieces and three Buzz ones.

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I knew I wanted to have a place for people to take photos, so I decided to make a big Etch a Sketch photo prop and a blue sky with clouds background. It was a hit!

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I searched Pinterest and found a blog called Purple Patch Parties that actually had a Toy Story Midway Mania party on it. She made carnival games out of cardboard boxes and I just loved the idea. I had my husband go to an appliance warehouse and pick up some large refrigerator boxes for free!! I drew out a plan for him how I wanted the boxes cut out and he did it exactly the way I wanted them!

For the first game we had “Andy’s Room” which was where the kid had to knock down cans with bean bags.

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I made some boxes to look like the ones in Andy’s room from the movie, and they also doubled as something to stand the cans on!

For the next game we had “Army Men Shoot Camp”

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I decorated the inside of the box with camouflage fabric and the kids shot ping pong balls off golf tees with a nerf type gun.

The third game was “Al’s Toy Barn”

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I ordered a farm bean bag toss game from Oriental trading. The kids really loved this one.

Last we had “Hamm and Eggs” I had cups with numbers on the bottom and the kids tossed pretend eggs into the cups.

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Kids lining up to play!

For the games each kid got tickets to use at the prize table, although I had enough prizes for each child to get one of each prize. They loved going to the prize table and being able to “buy” their prizes. To hold their loot I made little green men goodie bags for them.

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For the prizes we got Toy Story bracelets, mini barrel of monkeys, disguise glasses, lip whistles, parachute army men, Toy Story bubbles, Sheriff badges, Toy Story candy, Toy Story books, and some Toy Story noise makers.

After the games it was time for dessert!

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For the desserts I had a cake made for each of the boys. They were the same decor, just flipped. Adam’s cake had cow print on top and blue with stars on the bottom and Collin’s had blue with stars on the top and cow on the bottom.

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I absolutely loved the addition of the light up letters in each of the boy’s initials. I think it added such an adorable “carnival” feel to the table.

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What’s a carnival without popcorn!? These popcorn cupcakes were such a hit and so incredibly easy to make. I took mini marshmallows and snipped the tops into 3 and 4 and stuck them onto the tops of the cupcakes. I sprayed the top with Wilton yellow spray and they were done! I just love how they turned out.

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Little green men marshmallow pops! The kids just adored these!

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We also had some Sheriff badge cookies and chocolate covered pretzels.

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Mommy and her boys!

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Family

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The birthday boys having some much deserved birthday cake!

And here are some pictures of party fun! It was a perfect day.

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I cannot believe my tiny boys are one! This has been a crazy year but we made it! I wouldn’t change it for the world.

XOXO-Kelly