Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

 Are you guys sick of me talking about the girls' dance yet??  Ok, good...because we are getting right to the good stuff, like...the recital theme, competition songs, costumes...ect.  Things are slowly being revealed to us and it's OMG so exciting!!  So far we know that the theme this year is "numbers", so every song or song title is going to have some sort of "number" or "number lyric" in it.   Which brings me to my #1 favorite thing this week......wait for it....Bruno Mars' song "Count on Me".  Lilli's companie ballet class will be performing to this song and obsessed doesn't even come close to describing how we feel about this song.  If you haven't heard it click over to this Youtube link and have a watch and listen right worth it.  And while you're listening, imagine seven  6 & 7 year olds little girls dancing ballet to it.  Melt this mama's heart why don't you! haha

 Last weekend after our trip to the pumpkin patch we took a nice little family hike through a nature trail near our house.  Alexa was not a happy camper about going.  Who knows why?  She's 10!  And Lilli, of course, put on a sour face to mimic her sister.  Anyways, not 50 feet into our excursion, both girls had found a walking stick and were happy little mijas.  Because that's what being out in nature in the Fall does to a person.  We didn't have the best Summer, but mother nature is making up for it this Fall...the weather has been phenomenal and for some reason the trees are holding their leaves a little bit longer so that we can enjoy them more.  Enjoy them we did....

 We got our flu shots yesterday morning.  When we were on our way home from dance late Wednesday night Lilli realized that it was the next morning that she was going to get the ever dreaded...SHOT!  Naturally, she started crying and being way over dramatic about a silly little poke in the arm.  I was being sympathetic to her, but at the same time not really letting her tears get to me.  But, Alexa on the other hand hates seeing her sister sad, scared, worried, ect.  The conversation went something like this...

Lillian : {crying} "It's going to hurt SO BAD...I don't want to get a shot, please don't make me get a shooooottttt..."

Alexa: "It's going to be OK Lilli, we're all going to get flu shots and we'll all be together."
{grabbing Lilli in a hug}

Lillian:  "Nooooooo!!  I can't do it...I don't want a shot" {more crying}

Alexa:  "Lilli, calm know what I heard??  I heard that if you're really brave, it won't hurt at all."

Lillian:  {embracing Alexa's hug and snuggled her face into her shoulder}  I love you Alexa.

Alexa:  "I love you, too, Lilli"

These two girls amaze me every single day.  When I just wanted to tell Lilli to suck it up, Alexa stepped in and gave her the words and comfort she needed.  
We got home and the girls were getting ready for bed.  I took Alexa aside and said.."Hey, I heard what you said to your sister.  You handled that so well!  Thank you."  She gave me a smile that said she would do anything for her sister always and forever.  My heart could burst...

 Here I go talking about dance again....but, seriously it takes up so much of our life right now and I really can't say that I mind it.  My girls are so darn happy, which makes me happy.  
Alexa came home from class and said she had homework...'dance' homework.

And incase you're wondering what dance homework looks like....


Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

League of Letters Review {+ Giveaway}

We've lived in our home for 5+ years now and I'm still finding fun decor pieces to add to my walls.  It's so fun to get creative and switch things up every once in awhile, too.  We recently brought the coffee & end tables from our living room set upstairs and switched them with the set we have in the family room in our basement.  It was such a simple change, but made the world of difference to us.  I love to do that with my wall space, too.  Switch up my shelves and rearrange pictures, ect.  It just keeps everything fresh, you know?

Last week I received this amazing single letter "L" monogram with a square border from League of Letters and have been brainstorming where I'm going to display it in our house.  For now I have it on a floating shelf in our living room, but I have some other ideas for it,, adding some ribbon or burlap to it and hanging it from the front door, or incorporating it into my gallery wall in our family room.  There are just so many options.

For now I have it on a floating shelf in our living room, but I have some other ideas for it,, adding some ribbon or burlap to it and hanging it from the front door, or incorporating it into my gallery wall in our family room.  There are just so many options.


League of Letter's is a husband wife team who enjoy making and selling custom monograms and letters to be used for weddings, nurseries, birthdays or home decor.

Their pieces are either sold in their plain form for you to be as creative as you'd like with color or adding other personal touches.  Or, you can purchase them already painted and ready to be displayed.
Their selection includes monograms, single letters, cake toppers, coasters and more.

Cody and his wife are very unique when it comes to customer service.  They treat each of their customers like family and truly care about you.

They are extending their generosity to one of my lucky readers by offering your choice of any 18" or 24" monogram. 

League of Letters :: Etsy :: Facebook

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Picking, Goat Feeding

Every year we go to the same place to pick out our pumpkins.  I'm not even sure the place has a name, we just call it the little farmer's market up the street.  They sell produce, homemade jams and salsa's, pumpkins, gourds and even hay bails.  To top it off..they have goats, a baby calf and some pigs.  And if you pay 50 cents, you can feed the goats...pretty much the most exciting thing in Lilli's life.

Our girls have been begging to go pick out their pumpkins and feed the goat since the calendar turned October and this past weekend was finally the time.

I'll admit the selection was a bit lame this year, but the girls found some good ones.  A nice combination of tall and thin and short and fat...perfect for carving and displaying on the front steps.

Then it was time to feed the goats.  Lilli likes to savor the moment and feed the goats one oat at a time and Alexa will pretty much let them eat right out of her cup.

Lilli has that poor goat in a choke hold.  She insisted that he be in the picture with them.

We didn't buy anything other than pumpkins on this visit, but we stop there often for onions, tomatoes, peppers and other goodies when we need them.  It's only about a mile from our house, so it's pretty convenient. 

 The field behind this little market stand used to have a small corn maze for the kids and they'd build a hay bail maze as well and give the kids flashlights to navigate their way through.  So, it's definitely gotten to be a smaller attraction over the years, but it's still fun to visit every Fall to pick out our pumpkins!!  I couldn't imagine getting them anywhere else.

I overheard a conversation the other day where a lady said she just picked her pumpkins up at Target.  Now, I LOVE Target, but buying pumpkins from anywhere from the pumpkin patch itself or at least from a roadside farmer is just WRONG, right??  Where do you get your pumpkins??

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nature Placemats {Fall Camping}

It's become an annual Fall tradition in my family that we get together at the end of September for a fun-filled family camp-out.  The weather is really hit or miss this time of year, especially in Minnesota.  We could have weather like we did last year where it rained non stop, or we could have perfect weather like we did this year where we enjoyed sunshine and temps near 80!  Either way, we are together as a family and make the most of the circumstances. 

We are also the type of family who 'tent'.  I know that isn't appealing to most, but we absolutely love it.  The last 2 years we've gone to Glendalough State Park, which is a cart-in only park, meaning you park your vehicle and then use a large wheel-barrow type cart to walk all your belongings to the campsite.  There is no swimming pool, themed party nights or playgrounds....all the fun is created by you out in nature.  Besides the nice bathrooms and showers, we basically rough it to the max.

We had such great experience this time as we got to see so much of the Fall colors in full force.  Walking the hiking trails was pretty much breathtaking.

My mom always has the best ideas when it comes to crafts and working with kids.  Afterall, she was a daycare provider for 16+ years.  And camping and being out in nature is the perfect place to create some beautiful art.

While we were hiking we all picked up pretty leaves of all colors, flowers, small twigs and anything else that caught our eye and sparked some creativity.

Then when we got back to our campsite, my mom pulled out the contact paper that seems to be a staple at our camp-outs, so that we can all make our nature placemat for the weekend.

We all chose 10 of our favorite pieces (it can be more or less, depending on the look you're going for) and placed them on the sticky side of the contact paper.  

Once we had our design exactly how we wanted it, we put another piece of contact paper over the top so the sticky sides match up.  Press down firmly and work out any of the air bubbles and voila.... have a beautifully created nature placemat.

Making these has been a huge hit every time we camp, whether or not we actually use them as a placemat or just hang them up from a rope and clothespins to add a little decor to our campsite.  We all look forward to making them each year...because "it's tradition".

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lilli's 7th Birthday {Party}

Brelynn, Lucy, Lilli, Elly, Sydney
Kamryn, Maren, Addison (+ Javier), Lauren, Ashley

This Saturday Lilli celebrated her 7th birthday with 9 of her closest friends.  

The party was from 5 to 7, which nearly killed Lilli having to wait all day.  But, for me it was the perfect time.  I was able to spend all day getting ready, which was good because I had literally JUST started planning/preparing that morning.  It's so not like me to not have a 'plan' or even a theme picked out for that matter months ahead of time.  I kept telling myself that I was going to keep it low key and I did...and it was absolutely perfect.  Lilli was SO happy and judging by all the screaming and giggling going on, her friends had a pretty fun time, too.

When the girls arrived, they all ran out to the back yard and jumped on the trampoline.  

When they were jumping I realized that some of them may not know each other since it was a combination of Lilli's friends from school, preschool, dance..ect.  So, I had them all sit in a circle on the trampoline around Lilli and then take turns saying their names, how they knew Lilli and then something nice about Lilli or what they liked best about her.  Their answers were so sweet...mostly that she is really funny, caring and kind and they all love to play with her.

Then we head inside for pizza, doritos and juice boxes.

While Adam and I cleaned up the table, the girls went downstairs to dance on the girls' stage in their playroom.  When I went down there to take some pictures, I saw that they were all standing in a single file line, taking turns on the stage.  I was expecting complete chaos, but they figured out the best way to give everyone a chance all on their own.  So cute!
And those pictures??  All blurry, of course!! 

After the danced off their pizza they came back upstairs for ice-cream.  We decided to forgo a birthday cake/cupcakes this year and just go with a fun sundae bar with a bunch of Lilli's favorite toppings.  It was a huge hit with the kids and not a single one of them asked for cake.

Adam got Lilli a little piece of chocolate brownie so that we could sing happy birthday and she could blow out her candle, but it's actually still in the fridge waiting to be eaten.

After ice-cream, Lilli opened her presents.  She received so many fun gifts from her friends.  What a great group of girls.

After presents, we played Happy Birthday BINGO and got about 4 games in before parents started arriving to pick up their girls.

Overall, the party was a huge success.  Lilli was happy and is so grateful to all her sweet friends for coming to help share in her special day.