New Blog Address!

Just a quick post to let you know that I have a new blog address! Click on over to harperandwill.com to check it out! I also have a Bloglovin’ button on the new blog for you to easily follow me that way. I hope to get back into blogging after taking a little break while my blog was being redesigned:) Thanks!

{oh hey friday!}

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up today with Amy and Karli for oh hey Friday!

{one} If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, stop what you’re doing and go buy this cashew butter! It is SO GOOD! The kids and I have been eating it on apples, but it’s delicious just by the spoonful. Yum!IMG_5218.JPG

{two} Now that I’m back to school, Will and Harper go to Nana’s each morning. Earlier in the week, Will was out helping Nana pick vegetables in her garden and brought home these goodies for mommy. How fun! I love that my kids are able to explore and play on a farm.IMG_5216.JPG

{three} Cousin fun! Last weekend when we went home to the state fair, we got to visit Will and Harper’s cousins. We played outside, took walks, and enjoyed a yummy dinner together. Although their cousins live in Kentucky, we have been able to visit them several times this summer at Mimi and Grandaddy’s house. IMG_5197.JPG{four} I usually always have pictures for each of my topics, but as I was uploading additional pictures for this post, I got a message saying that I had maxed out on my allotted space for wordpress. Uh oh. Fortunately, this summer my brother started helping me transition to a different site. Unfortunately, I have no clue what I’m doing, ha! Luckily, he does, but we’re having to communicate via texts since he’s in NC. 

{five} So I’m on the hunt for the perfect blog template. I’ve been browsing Etsy but there are just so many to choose from…it’s hard to narrow them down. Eventually, my new site will be harperandwill.com but in the meantime, my blog might be pretty quiet as I try to transition to the new site. Again, any suggestions/feedback on this would be most helpful!

Have a great weekend:)

 

{fair fun! // it’s the little things}

Last week, we headed to our local county fair for a night of fun. Harper and Will received free gate passes from their summer reading program (sidenote: we got some nice prizes from our local libraries-free passes to a bounce house, free books, fair tickets, coupons for free fro yo, and Harper won one of the end of summer raffles, which was a $10 gift certificate to a local Mexican restaurant that we all love!). Anyway, this was our first time going to our county fair.  I grew up going to the State Fair of West Virginia (in my hometown), so our county fair was quite small. However, we got to pet some animals, look at fun exhibits, and check out the fun rides (though we didn’t ride any). 

Milking cows…you’d think that my kiddos would be tired of seeing cows since we live right beside a dairy farm, but no, they love cows!

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Checking out the animals.  Harper and Will got in the pen to pet the calves!IMG_5074.JPG

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Smoky the Bear!IMG_5081.JPG

Checking out the tractors…IMG_5087.JPG

And of course Harper had to do the same thing!IMG_5090.JPG

Inspecting the fire trucks. IMG_5097.JPG

Ready to roll!IMG_5107.JPG

This is a really neat sensory activity! A swimming pool full of corn with scoopers and toys. Harper and Will could have stayed there for hours playing in it!IMG_5126.JPG

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Last weekend, we headed to the WV State Fair for one last hurrah before I had to go back to work.  

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Although it was very cloudy, it didn’t rain at all. It was actually nice weather-not too hot. IMG_9426Will LOVED the rides! We only bought a few tickets because they were pricy and we weren’t sure how much the kids would ride.  Well, next year we will be buying the ride bracelets which lets the kiddos have unlimited access to the rides!IMG_9463I rode the carousel with Will and Harper. IMG_9436IMG_9471Daddy and Harper on the Teacup ride!IMG_9488Silly pic!IMG_9509

IMG_9516 IMG_9547Eating some yummy Ben Ellen Donuts (a fair favorite-they taste like nutmeg!).IMG_9578While watching Galaxy Girl spin around and climb the tower…yikes!IMG_9585Checking out all the animals.IMG_9599They even have a cow birthing center set up! Two calves were born that morning and there were about a dozen cows who were about to give birth! IMG_9621Petting the horses. Will and Harper absolutely love horses! They talk about visiting the horses in the horse barn at Nana’s all the time. IMG_9629Trying their hand at weaving. IMG_9641 We also enjoyed some delicious German chocolate ice cream-yum! The kiddos had a blast and we can’t wait to go back next summer! 

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Linking up with Ashley and Jess for “It’s the Little Things.”

{yearly photo books}

Back in 2011, I came across this post by Katie Bower of Bower Power and loved the idea of a family yearbook. Kiddo yearbooks are the best way for me to organize and print zillions of pictures that I take of Harper and Will (I’m really, really bad about actually printing out pictures throughout the year, except for when we have professional pics taken….anyone else like that?!). 

I started creating yearly photo books chronicling the year in photographs for Will after he turned one and did the same for Harper after her first birthday.  I have worked on Harper’s second photo book this summer and finally finished it! I worked on it little bits at a time in the evenings and during naps but kicked it into high gear when My Publisher* came out with their best (for what I was purchasing) coupon code that had to be used by July 28 (*not sponsored by them at all; I just love their photo books!).  I always max out at 100 pages, so the deal I was on the lookout for was free extra pages. The grand total before the coupon for three photo books (I always order one for both sets of grandparents) was $327.57! Yikes! With the coupon, my total came to $118.93. Shipping is pricy-$22.97, but the quality of the photo books is worth it. Including shipping and tax, each book cost $39.64. Not too bad, considering it comes with a lovely linen cover and Harper’s book this year had over 600 pictures in it!

Another favorite blog of mine, Young House Love, hopped on the My Publisher bandwagon after reading about Katie Bower’s photo books {how cool is it that they’re real life friends!}. Check out their fun post about how “photo albums are dead to us” here (complete sidenote: I really miss their posts on BabyCenter) and other photo album posts herehere, and here. Katie Bower also has several other good photo book posts. 

Anyway, back to my photo books, ha! It comes packaged in a fun red box that says, “Ta da, I’m here…”IMG_8757Every time I get a package from My Publisher, I can’t wait to open up the box and look at my latest photo book creation!IMG_8760I love how thin the books are and the look of the linen covers. I’m soon going to run out of color choices for the books, ha! Below are Will’s three books (sage, navy, taupe) and Harper’s (grey, ivory). IMG_8768Here are the front covers of the books.  My plan is to continue creating one book per kid for a while…we’re going to have a lot of books! Luckily, they are narrow and fit nicely on my bookshelf. 

IMG_8767I organize the photos in chronological order from just after the birthday party through the kiddo’s next birthday party. For example, Harper’s second year photo book (below, that I just finished) was from March 2013 (right after she turned one) through March 2014. I ended with her 2nd birthday party.  

Here’s just a glimpse at some of the pages and the different layouts.  This page only has three pictures but most of the other pages have more than that (in order to fit in all the pictures I had selected…I still wasn’t able to use all the pictures I wanted due to the huge # of pics I took).  IMG_8739Summertime fun with the cousins…IMG_8742I include our professional photo sessions we do with a local photographer.  Last year, we took pics in summer and fall.  This year, we’re only going to take fall pics. IMG_8740More summertime fun.  When creating the pages, you select the number of pics you want to include on the page and the program gives you several options for layouts.  One thing I forgot to mention is that you download the free My Publisher software to your computer and create the book that way.  Once the book is finished, you upload and purchase your masterpiece:)IMG_8738 IMG_8736 IMG_8735I try to organize the pictures by event/trip, etc.  For example, below is our yearly trip to the peach orchard.  I included two pages from our peach picking trip. IMG_8744More fall scenes-the page on the left is our pumpkin patch trip and the right page is our apple orchard trip. IMG_8746Our professional fall photos…these covered several pages.IMG_8748IMG_8747Scenes from Harper’s 2nd birthday party.IMG_8753At the very end of the book, I include several pages of Instagram pics from the year.  I selected a page of 12 square pictures to display these pics.  It’s nice to end with a year recap from Instagram, plus, it helps if I have a few extra pages that I need to fill up (though that usually doesn’t happen!). IMG_8754

IMG_8755I’m curious to see how others create photo books for their kiddos!

 

{oh hey Friday!}

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Happy Friday! It’s my last Friday before school starts, boo:(

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a busy, fun weekend and I’m linking up with Karli and Amy for oh hey Friday!

{one} Last weekend, Mimi and Grandaddy came for a visit (my in-laws). We had a great time playing outside, reading books, and going out for dinner. My mom is here today to visit, so the kids and I are going to have a fun day with Grammy! Soaking up the last few days of summer. 20140806-145438-53678447.jpg

{two} We have a tiny garden with a few pepper and tomato plants, along with some zucchini and basil. I checked the garden recently and picked these yummy cherry tomatoes and a pepper. Fresh veggies=the best!20140806-145437-53677904.jpg

{three} Goldfish+kids=successful Target trip. Ha! This is the only way I can keep both kids contained in a cart at Target lately-our first stop is to the food section where each kiddo gets their own goldfish container. It keeps them occupied and me able to shop at Target for approximately 18.3 minutes! And as you can see from the picture below, there was still lots of arguing about the placement of their feet.  20140806-145437-53677682.jpg

{four} Do you cook with quinoa? I have cooked with it several times but want to incorporate it into our meals more. I recently made a quinoa and black bean casserole, which turned out great. Of course, as is always the case, only one kiddo liked it. It’s really hard to find a recipe that both kids like. I think Harper ate enough to make up for what Will didn’t eat though, ha!

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{five} Look at these curls! Lately, Harper’s hair has become more curly. I love it! I wish it would stay this way! It’s getting so long, too. Love it! And the blond hair too, that can stay! I don’t want it to turn darker. Love my two blond-haired kiddos:)

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20140806-145437-53677469.jpgI hope you have a great, relaxing weekend!

 

{my year of weekly pinterest projects: a recap}

20140629-153854-56334072Whew, I have finished a year of weekly Pinterest projects! Yahoo! While it feels good to have finished this project without skipping a week, I’m ready for a break. Although I won’t be posting weekly projects, I will continue to create things I’ve pinned on Pinterest and blog about them. It just won’t be every week!

Here’s a look back at all 52 weeks!

week one: individual baked oatmeal and energy bites

week two: freezing zucchini

week three: slow cooker peach cobbler

week four: frito pie

week five: two ingredient chocolate croissants

week six: garlic bread

week seven: easy banana bread

week eight: fall rosette wreath

week nine: pumpkin spice chai latte

week ten: organizing the hall closet

week eleven: scarf organization

week twelve: Halloween treats

week thirteen: mint and navy outfit

week fourteen: crock pot lentil burrito bowls

week fifteen: Pinterest fail-crock pot lasagna

week sixteen: thankful turkeys

week seventeen: cake batter and snickers dip

week eighteen: 25 Christmas countdown activities

week nineteen: diy foaming baby shampoo/wash

week twenty: cinnamon applesauce ornaments

week twenty-one: an organized pantry

week twenty-two: toddler infinity scarf

week twenty-three: diy reed diffusers

week twenty-four: homemade vanilla coffee creamer

week twenty-five: owl valentines

week twenty-six: muffin tin lunch

week twenty-seven: Valentine’s Day trail mix

week twenty-eight: peanut butter energy bites

week twenty-nine: painter’s tape race track

week thirty: washi tape clothespins

week thirty-one: washi tape flag labels

week thirty-two: washi tape spoons

week thirty-three: green smoothies

week thirty-four: lego birthday party decorations

week thirty-five: homemade taco seasoning

week thirty-six: primary color banner

week thirty-seven: lego juice boxes

week thirty-eight: magnetic alphabet boards

week thirty-nine: homemade ranch seasoning mix/Greek yogurt ranch dip

week forty: tissue paper tassels

week forty-one: mother’s day notebook

week forty-two: peanut butter honey yogurt dip

week forty-three: creaseless hair ties

week forty-four: yogurt covered frozen berries

week forty-five: strawberry pie

week forty-six: magic shell

week forty-seven: homemade microwave mac and cheese and spaghetti ohs

week forty-eight: fruit infused water

week forty-nine: peach dump cake and homemade cake mix

week fifty: beach countdown chain

week fifty-one: Pioneer Woman coffee granita

week fifty-two: peanut butter sheet cake

The most used project in our household has been week 19.  I switched over all of our hand soap to the homemade foaming soap and have saved lots of money in the process! It appears that while I tried to do a variety of projects, new recipes seemed to win (particularly desserts). A summer favorite of ours has been the homemade magic shell (week 46). Will frequently requests the muffin tin lunch (week 26), and it’s so easy to throw together, especially when your fridge and pantry is getting empty.  I have made the energy bites (week 28) several times and they’re a great go-to snack/fast breakfast. I’m really looking forward to next year’s strawberry season so I can make another delicious strawberry pie (week 45)! Out of all 52 projects, only one of them was a complete fail (week 15: crock pot lasagna). Granted, not all of them were the best or as pretty as they look on Pinterest, but for the most part, the crafts/food/etc. turned out well!

Now it’s time for a break from Pinterest for a little while! Ha, that won’t happen! I continue to pin tons of recipes and crafts on a weekly {sometimes daily!} basis and love to try new things.

{take your kids to work day // it’s the little things}

Happy Wednesday! Yesterday, my husband’s company had a take your kids to work day. He’s an airplane mechanic for a local company. While Harper and Will were too young for the majority of the activities, I took them after work yesterday to look around the airport and see what daddy does at work. Once the kids are six, they are able to spend the entire day at work, which is so cool! The kids get to shadow their parents in the morning and in the afternoon there are specific activities for them.

Checking out all the airplanes..20140806-080858-29338565.jpg

Walking through the hanger…20140806-080858-29338357.jpg20140806-080858-29338124.jpg

Afterwards, the kids enjoyed cookies and lemonade outside.

20140806-080859-29339020.jpgIt was a fun time, but I’m really looking forward to when they’re able to shadow at work and stay all day!

I’m linking up with Ashley and Jess for “It’s the Little Things.”

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