Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween friends!  We have been sick for a majority of October, so we missed out on a lot of Halloween events in our area. When holidays roll around, I love looking back at previous years and I thought it'd be fun to share some of Cora's old costumes.
For Cora's first Halloween, she had two costumes. She was 6 months old and it is so fun to dress them up in little costumes. She had the giraffe costume above (this is what Ida is wearing this year) and the owl costume below. Cora wore the owl costume over to my parent's house on Halloween. It was rainy so we hung out inside and helped pass out candy whenever a kid would come to the door.
When Cora was 1.5, we dressed her in a bee costume we got from my cousin. For some reason, this is the only photo I have from trick-or-treating that year. I promise she was thrilled to be hanging out. We only hit up a couple of houses and then we spent the rest of the evening hanging out at my parent's house (they usually have chairs and a fire setup in the front).
When Cora was 2.5, she really really wanted to be a cat. Last minute, we found some cat ears and tail at Target and this almost too small cat hoodie that she loved. I have no pictures from actual trick-or-treating that year, but his is from a trunk-or-treat at her school. The picture in front of the leaves is one of my all time favorite fall photos of her.

Last year, we really phoned it in and didn't even get a costume ordered from Amazon in time.  We lucked out and found the exact same costume at a Halloween store for $15 less than online. Cora immediately lost the tiger head at Home Depot. After a lot of phone calls and dropping by Home Depot, we finally got the head back a couple days later. She still dresses up in this costume and loves wearing it around the house.

This year we have three costumes to choose from. Our town had a little costume swap and Cora picked out a princess costume and a wizard costume. A couple of weeks later, I lucked out on our town's free Facebook group and got the cutest handmade little red riding hood. I'm pretty sure she'll wear the red riding hood costume, but she's always in to last minute changes.

I hope everyone has an awesome Halloween and gets lots of treats (and some tricks)!


Fall Family Outings

We've been working on having some family outings at least once a week/weekend. Two weekends ago, we came up with a couple of options for Cora to pick from... She picked Parky's Farm. She picked out her farm outfit and turns out we had an overall skirt for Ida too. These were the perfect coordinating outfits for sisters going to a farm and I love when Cora picks to match her sister.

We didn't get animal petting in like we have in previous visits, but we had fun walking around,  checking out their Halloween decorations, and playing on the playground. Cora was the sweetest older sister making sure to help Ida walk and play on the playground.

After the farm, we needed to stop by Sam's club for a couple of things.  As we were cutting through Winton Woods, Ben pulled over and suggested we check out the paddle boating... at least to check out how much they were. We spontaneously decided to rent a boat. The girls weren't really into it and paddling is exhausting work with a baby on your lap, so there was a lot of whining coming from our boat. We lasted maaaaaybe 20 minutes. It was a fun little activity and we'll have to try it again when the girls are on board.

We missed some of our town's Fall events due to being sick, but we did make it to the local church to buy some pumpkins. What is your favorite Fall outing? 


Grandma Flower Quilt

This quilt was one of my longest works in progress. I was feeling the urge to sew one weekend two years ago and broke out some of my grandma's old fabric. I picked some pieces from my stash and bought a couple more colors of fabric to coordinate. I spent one day cutting out and sewing the front pieces together.

I tried a new (to me) herringbone pattern to quilt the front and back together.  I love the double stitching and the pink contrast on the black fabric.  I'm pretty sure there is a way to do double stitching on a machine, but I just go over it twice and will learn how to do that some day.

This is where I got hung up for a while.  I didn't know what color binding I wanted to do and some other projects, so this project got pushed to the back burner. Recently, I had some downtime between projects and finally decided I should finish this piece. A pink I had in my stash was perfect for this quilt and I finished it in one evening.

I can't wait to see a little baby wrapped up in this quilt.


Our Home One Year Later

It has been one year since we closed on our house! My to-do list is pretty long, so I kind of feel like I haven't gotten that much done... Until I look back on these before pictures and realize how the house has changed so much. We're loving our home and working on projects.  Even one year later, we're still adjusting to the new area and vibe of this town. We're finding new favorite spots, meeting new people, and learning new things about our town every day.
To see some updated pictures of our home, you can check out my posts on the exterior, kitchen, living room, dining room, entryway, kid's room, and the master bedroom. The living room (now partially gym) and dining room (now studio/messy room) have changed a little since I last shared pictures, but they're all works in progress. It has been fun spending the last year working on projects and really making this space into our own. One year down and many more to come...


Baby Bookworms : October

Some of our favorite books this month...
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If I Were A Lamb - This is one of Cora's old favorites and now it's back in the rotation since Ida got one for her birthday. Ida likes touching all of the different textures and Cora likes counting the sheep on the last page.

If I Were A Monkey - Ida also got this for her birthday and she LOVES the furry tummy page. Both girls are fans of these books so I'm thinking of getting some of the other books from this series for Christmas... Like If I Were A Dog or If I Were A Giraffe.

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker - This is an alphabet books with pictures of the peas doing lots of different activities.  Cora is into this one right now and seeing what each Pea is up to.

The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool illustrated by Alison Jay - This is about a boy that can spin thread from clouds. The King sees the boys awesome scarf and demands he make the Royal family a bunch of garments, but the overuse of the boy's cloud spinning results in a drought. There is a happy ending and a great lesson to be learned from the story. I think Cora picks this one because it is one of our larger books, but we all enjoy reading it and I love the pictures.

Lois Ehlert's Growing Garden Gift Set (This set includes Eating the Alphabet, Planting a Rainbow, and Growing Vegetable Soup) Cora got these gardening books for her birthday and she is obsessed!  Eating the Alphabet has a glossary in the back with a bunch of different fruits and vegetables, their origin, and a description. Cora really likes for me to read this part to her and I've learned new things about different kinds of fruits and vegetables.

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman - The bunny family finds Wolfie on their doorstep and Dot (the daughter) keeps trying to remind her parents that he might eat them all up. It's a cute little story and I love the illustrations by Zachariah OHora

and because it wouldn't be October without having some kind of Halloween themed book...

Wee Witches' Halloween by Jerry Smath - This is a quick little book about witches trying to scare people on Halloween. It makes Cora giggle and it gets us in the Halloween spirit without being too spooky. 


Life With Ida : 13 Months

What a big month! Baby girl is a walking machine.  Ida doesn't always feel confident enough to walk when I put her down, but she practices every chance she gets. She loves when we chant "Go Ida!" when she is walking and will usually stop to dance a little bit when we're cheering her on.
Ida had her first sleepover this month and is sleeping almost all the way through the night most nights. We're going to transition her into her bedroom soon. As excited as I am to get my own bed back, I'll miss her cuddles in the middle of the night. What I won't miss is when I go to the bathroom at night or wake up early for work, Ida wakes up and follows me. When she crawls after me, she reminds me of the girl from The Ring and scares the crap out of me every single time.
Ida has all four of her front teeth growing in. They're all crooked and cute and remind me exactly like Cora's teeth when they grew in. Ida reminds me more and more of Cora. When I look back at pictures of Cora, I'm just seeing pictures of a bald Ida. I know they may resemble each other, but they're personalities are so completely different.
Baby girl is curious and is always trying to get into something. We never needed to baby proof our old place, so this is a whole new territory. She's always looking into our bathroom cabinet, clothing drawer, and pretty much anything she can get her hands on. Ida loves to push her sister's buttons by taking away some of her toys or teasing her with them.
The first year of her life, Ida spent most of her time being quiet and observing, but now it feels like she's really pushing her way through. She joins in screaming and rough housing. We went to the park the other day and she walked around playing with Cora and exploring the different playground features.
I'm so exciting for the upcoming holidays and to watch as Ida really experiences them for the first time this year. I can already picture her making her "oooooh" face at all of the holiday lights.


DIY Pumpkin Patch

This tutorial is so easy and barely even needs a step-by-step, but I wanted to share a couple of tips I've discovered along the way. This post contains affiliate links which cost you nothing, but I earn a small commission from purchases through them.  Thank you for your support of my little blog!
Two years ago, I made this cardboard pumpkin patch for a Trunk Or Treat event at Cora's school. It was so easy to make and I loved the impact that it made. I was blessed with an abundance of cardboard boxes through work and was able to make these from start to finish in an hour with a little help from Ben.
This year, I dreamed of making a wood version of this for our front garden. I knew it would be a little more labor intensive than the throwaway cardboard ones, but I loved that we'd be able to use them for years to come. I'm more into the autumn decorations than the Halloween-themed decorations, so this is perfect.

+ Plywood (I used OSB for mine because it's what I had on hand, but I would recommend plywood)
+ Craft paint (I'm not really brand loyal with this. I usually pick up whatever is cheapest at Michaels)
+ Foam brushes
+ Clear coat (I used this, but this spray paint is also a great option I use for other projects)
+ Sand paper
+ Jigsaw (I have this one and I love it so far)
+ Drill and screws

1 .  Draw a rough outline of pumpkins and use jigsaw to cut them out. Sidenote: I just got my jigsaw and loved ThriftDiving's tutorial on how to use it. 
2 .  Sand edges
3 . Paint. I like to squirt a couple different colors and lots of orange straight on the pumpkin. The different colors give it a little dimension without spending a bunch of time on it. I used orange and white for the cardboard ones and orange, dark red, and light pink for the wooden ones. I think it would also look good with a little yellow or even brown. You can paint the stem brown or leave it brown of the wood/carboard/whatever you're making the pumpkins out of.

4 .  Paint black around the edges black and draw in lines.

5 .  Add a stake using screws.  I ripped some salvaged pallets into skinnier pieces to create a small stake, but any skinny piece of wood should work. I attach them about halfway up the pumpkin. One screw in the middle and one near the bottom.
6 .  Clear coat.
7 .  Display!

This weekend I'm planning on clearing out our front garden and setting all of the pumpkins up for the rest of the month.  Where would you put your own little pumpkin patch?


House Exterior : Taking Off the Awnings

We've been working hard lately to make the exterior of the house a little bit more attractive. See where we left off here. We got some loppers and cut down hella weeds from the front 'garden' and did my best to clear out what I could.  Ben has been slowly taking off some of the extra stuff on the house that isn't our style. He took off the screened in porch in one evening then the porch awnings and side door awning the next day.

It is surprising to me to see how much more open this seems so far.  I walk out onto the porch and it feels so much brighter and airier without all of the extra stuff blocking the view. Now that it's cleaned up a little bit, it's much more inviting to hang out there.
Our previous house numbers were covered up by the ridiculous amount of weeds and we knew we wanted to replace it at some point anyways. I knew I wanted to do something on the house and somehow incorporate wood. I checked out my salvaged wood stash and found the perfect piece. I oiled it a little bit and it looked so much better already. I measured and taped off some rectangles for the numbers. In hindsight, I should have accounted for the spacing of the numbers, but I would love to go over it another time with white paint to try to correct the spacing issue.

We still need to take off the remaining awnings, but progress is progress!

+ remove the remaining awnings
+ replace the mailbox
+ repaint the porch/steps
+ rescreen all of the screens
+ more defined garden beds in the front 
+ Down the road, we'd love to paint the house and get the steps, path, and driveway/retainer wall redone
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