Five on Friday:)

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Hello and Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday:)

{1} This year, we decided to put together two boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  My original plan was to have Harper fill a box for a girl around her age and for Will to create a box for a boy his age.  However, after reading more about Operation Christmas Child, I realized that the most needed boxes were for boys ages 10-14.  As a result, we compiled two identical boxes for boys in this age range.  This was such a fun project for the kiddos!  Will and Harper loved sorting the items and filling the boxes.  At first, Will said, “Mommy, this ball won’t fit in the box, so we will just keep it.”  Ha!  We plan on making this a yearly tradition.

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{2} I decided to go through my closet and get rid of some old clothes that I haven’t worn in years.  My friend recently sent some of her clothes to thredUP and received a decent amount of money.  I bought some nice children’s clothing from thredUP but did not have a good experience when I sent them a huge bag of kids’ clothes.  However, I was planning on donating my old clothes and thought it would be worth it to see if any of them would sell.  We’ll see how much I get!

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{3} My first Stitch Fix came this week!   Here’s my little helper digging into my box:)  I loved the experience of Stitch Fix and plan on getting another “fix” in the future, even though I ended up keeping only one of the five items.  More about my experience with Stitch Fix will be in an upcoming post, hopefully sometime next week if I can get my blogging act together.  Work has been so busy lately, and after the kiddos are in bed in the evenings, all I want to do is read blogs and relax, not write blog posts:(

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{4}  My parents came last weekend and spent the night.  Will loves it when they visit (and Harper, too), especially since he gets to camp out in our bonus/play room.  Will’s bedroom serves as the guest bedroom, so he gets booted out of his room when company visits.  Here are my parents playing with the kiddos:)  While they were visiting, we went to downtown to an event called Sparkles and Sweets.  It’s a holiday kick-off open house where many stores are open until 9pm, including our favorite toy store.  We did a little Christmas shopping and walked around in the freezing cold!  But not too cold to stop at our favorite gelato shop and share some ice cream (I actually had some yummy hot chocolate instead, since I was really COLD!)!

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{5}  Christmas cards, check!  I’m trying to do some holiday prep in advance so it doesn’t become so overwhelming. We had our fall pics taken several weeks ago, and I had been waiting for a good deal on Christmas cards. I typically use Shutterfly for our cards, but the quality isn’t the greatest.  I happened to find a great deal on cards at Minted from The Mom Creative.  I’ve heard great things about the quality of cards from Minted, so I was excited when I purchased 25 Christmas postcards for $8 (including shipping and tax!).  What a great deal! Plus, it will save on postage!  Here’s the front of the Christmas postcards; the back has our address (already printed!) and a pic of Will and Harper.  The cards are made of nice quality, thick paper.  Now all I need to do is narrow down our Christmas list to 25 people!  Ha! I plan on buying a few additional Christmas cards to send to some family members (since I will include copies of our fall pics for them).

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Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday, my favorite link-up!  It’s hard to believe that it’s already November 8th! The time is flying by!

{1}  For an upcoming Pinterest project (these are weekly projects I where I attempt a craft, new recipe, or something else I have pinned on Pinterest; see here and here for a few Pinterest projects that I’ve completed), I decided to start crocheting again.  I crocheted when I was younger but haven’t really done much with it in the past few years.  My mom and I are going to make some crocheted dishcloths over Thanksgiving, and I thought I’d start practicing crocheting again by making an infinity scarf.  Here’s my work in progress (which, by the way, hasn’t made much progress this week-I’m just too tired in the evenings to pick it up; all I want to do late in the evenings after the kiddos are in bed is visit with my hubby and read blogs).  Hopefully, I will have the scarf completed in a few weeks and will share it on one of my Pinterest project posts:)

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{2} This whole time change thing is not fun when you have kiddos.  We are still adjusting to our new sleep schedules.  The kiddos have been waking up super early and are ready to go to bed early…plus, their nap schedules are all messed up.  I’m not liking how dark it is when we come home from work.  We’re trying to get outside as much as possible.  Here’s Miss H enjoying the outdoors, or the “fresh air,” as Will calls it.  He always says, “Mommy, we need to go out and get some fresh air.”

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{3}   Out with the pumpkin, in with the peppermint!  It seems like we just started pumpkin flavor season, but in the stores, it’s time already for peppermint.  I made these pumpkin pancakes from Trader Joe’s last weekend.  We loved them, especially the kiddos!  I found a chocolate peppermint loaf mix at Trader Joe’s but haven’t tried it yet. Peppermint is another of my favorite flavors, but I’m not quite ready to give up pumpkin yet:(  Actually, what am I saying?  I make pumpkin breads and other pumpkin recipes through the winter, ha!

pumpkin peppermint

{4} I’m a huge fan of Burt’s Bees lip balm but I came across this EOS lip balm the other week at Target.  I have the pomegranate raspberry and sweet mint flavor and love them both! They are in such a cute container and are 100% natural.  I happened to see a huge package of the EOS lip balm at Costco the other week and had to resist the urge to buy it!

lip balm

{5} In our family, we love Crocs! I have several different styles that I wear to work and my hubby even has a pair (his don’t leave the house, though!).  I recently bought Will and Harper each a new pair of Crocs.  Harper is finally outgrowing her pink size 2/3 Crocs (so tiny!).  The new purple Crocs are size 4 but are slightly big on her.

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Have a great weekend:)

Five on Friday!

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Hello! Happy Friday!  I’m so glad I only have to work a half-day today:)  Last night, we had to work late for parent/teacher conferences, and we have parent/teacher conferences this morning.  I’m going to spend the afternoon at home with my kiddos:)  I’m linking up again with Darci and friends for my favorite link-up!

{1} It’s getting cold and finally seems more like fall here in Virginia!  I bought these hats for Miss Harper on Etsy from KT and the Squid.  I love all the different color combos you can use to create these hats!  Just for fun, here’s a comparison of Harper last fall and this fall.  How much she has grown!  She’s no longer my baby:(

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{2} I realized that I didn’t have many fall themed books, so I visited our local toy store, Pufferbellies, the other day and picked up two fun fall books!  I’m enjoying reading these books to Harper and Will.  Pretty soon, we will be reading Christmas books! Oh, my, the time flies by!

fall books

{3}  Will and I went to a friend’s house last Saturday for a fall harvest party.  Here’s a pic of us at the party. Ignore the fact that Will isn’t wearing any shoes-he had been jumping in the bouncy house. My friend has her own inflatable bounce house-how cool is that?! We had a great time doing cute pumpkin themed crafts and eating yummy fall desserts inspired by Pinterest. We came home with a bag of goodies, including pumpkin pie play-dough.  It smelled so yummy and was fun to play with!  My friend shared this website full of play-dough recipes.  I’m thinking about trying the gingerbread play-dough with Will closer to Christmas!

fall harvest party

{4} I have seen this quotation from Anne of Green Gables recently and just love it!  I.Love.October!  It’s one of my favorite months! So many fun activities to do in the fall!  It’s a great time to create new traditions with your family.  Here’s Miss H. enjoying fall at my parents.  Anne of Green Gables quote

{5} Last Saturday, I went to a baby shower for (one of) my babysitter’s daughter, Susan.  Here is a little background of our wonderful babysitting arrangement.  Anyway, my friend hosted the most adorable woodland themed baby shower for Susan, who is expecting her first child (a boy) in December.  I had passed on to Susan several big baby items that Harper and Will no longer used, so she told me the only gift she wanted from me at her shower was a batch of these brown butter snickerdoodle cookies.  I first made these last year for our annual cookie day at Nana’s (our other babysitter), and Susan and the rest of the cookie day crew gave the snickerdoodles the 2012 cookie of the year award!  Sidenote: the pressure is now on to find a new cookie that wins the award this year…any recommendations?  Last Friday evening, I made the batter and baked them Saturday before the shower.  They were still warm when I arrived at the shower!  How fitting is it that she’s due around cookie day this year!  I also bought her two of our favorite board books, Gossie and The Going to Bed Book.  baby shower

Five on Friday!!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up once again with Darci and friends for my favorite link-up! I love finding new blogs and reading other Five on Friday posts!

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{1} My parents spent last weekend with us and we went on our yearly apple orchard trip!  After our apple orchard adventures, they spent the afternoon playing with Harper and Will.  I love seeing my kids play with their grandparents!  Here’s Will and my dad putting together Will’s train set.  So much joy!  We need to do a better job of going home to visit our family.  The last time we went home was for the state fair in August.  My in-laws visited us the weekend before last, and we plan on visiting my parents again next weekend at our hometown’s annual food festival (another activity from our fall fun list!).  We’re so busy during the week with working that on the weekends, we like to hang out at home.

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{2}  What’s up with this crazy weather?! This past weekend, it was in the 80s!  It’s like summer in October!  Harper and Will enjoyed playing outside with a bowl of ice and water (seriously, this kept them occupied for an hour!).  They like to “paint” the sidewalk with ice and decided to make the pumpkins shiny with water.  So fun!

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{3}  Remember when I mentioned Trader Joe’s cookie butter and how delicious it was?  Well, here’s the latest product from TJ’s-cookie butter and cocoa swirl!  YUMMY! If you have a TJ’s near you, go out and purchase this now! I recommend eating it straight out of the jar!

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{4}  On Tuesday, I took the day off work to go on Will’s first preschool field trip to the pumpkin patch.  Here’s WIll that morning after we made a pumpkin craft.  We had a great time at a local pumpkin patch where we went on a tractor ride, rode a pumpkin train, found the perfect pumpkin, ate homemade pumpkin chocolate chip pumpkins, and ran through a pumpkin play area (big black tubes where the kids could crawl through).  It was great to get to know his teacher more and to meet his classmates.  I feel disconnected from his preschool since Nana drops him off and picks him up each time.  I get updates from Nana and Will about his day, but I still feel out of the loop with his preschool experience.  It helped to spend the morning with him at preschool:)  That afternoon, I got to spend time with both Will and Harper-so nice!  I would love to be a stay-at-home mom, but that’s not possible.  I am fortunate to have nice breaks throughout the year and summers off!

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{5}  I finally gave in and signed up for it! Stitch Fix!  My friend recently received her first box, and I had been thinking about signing up for a while.  I’m very curious to see what will be in my first box!  It’s scheduled to ship the week of November 4th!  Once it arrives, I will share what’s in the box!  In the meantime, if you’re interested in signing up, please check out this link.  I was not compensated by Stitch Fix, but if you use my referral link to sign up, I receive a credit off my next box!

5 on Friday!!

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Hello, Friday! It’s been a LONG week! It was my second week back at school (first week with kids). The week went well, but it was just long and stressful. I’m linking up with Darci from The Good Life Blog for Five on Friday. It’s such a fun blog link up!

~1~ I bought a chalkboard sign on Etsy from Delight Designs Vinyl to document Will’s first and last day of preschool. I found several on Etsy but liked this one since it was double sided with the first day and last day of school. I’d love to take a first day and last day of picture of Will and Harper from preschool through high school! We’ll see if this happens! I will be starting on September 5th when WIll starts preschool (yikes!).

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~2~My kids love to do artwork! Miss H. will play with markers for hours! She recently started playing with play dough (without eating it!). I need to find more crafty activities to do with my kids. This is one area that I don’t feel I do enough with-all the cute, crafty ideas I see on other blogs. I’d like to start doing more art projects with them. Any good preschool/toddler art activity suggestions?

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~3~I’m in search of fall outfits for our fall mini photo session in October. I tend to buy several outfits, keep the tags on, and then decide closer to the session what to wear, especially for Harper and Will. I found some really cute clothes at Target but I’m not sure which outfit I like best for Miss H. I always get their outfits selected first, then look in the closet for what my husband and I will wear. For the past several sessions, I’ve worn neutral colors with a bright scarf. I might find a purple scarf to go with the outfits I picked out for Will and Harper.

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~4~I’m really loving the color plum for this fall. Isn’t this skirt cute? Maybe I will have Miss H. wear this instead of the outfits I picked out above.  Hmm…decisions, decisions.

~5~I’ve been pinning yummy pumpkin recipes on Pinterest.  I might have to try this Starbucks copycat pumpkin pound cake recipe!  The only recipe that I made for dinner that my husband and I did not like was a pumpkin pasta recipe by Rachael Ray.  Never again will I make any savory dish using canned pumpkin.  It was disgusting!  So bad that we threw it out (this has never happened before).  Sometimes I will make a dish that’s only ok, but not to the point where we don’t even eat it.  It was quite gross.  I will be sticking to pumpkin dessert recipes, thank you!