Happy Halloween – Hayride fun

October 31, 2014

We went to the pumpkin patch for some apple cider donuts and hayride fun.  We already have several pumpkins at the house, so we didn’t buy another, but we enjoyed the firetruck slide, the big sandpit with tractors, the water duck races and especially a family hayride.  Gigi even joined us for the holiday fun!  If you’re in Charlotte, Hall Family Farm is awesome!

Gigi vs Landon duck racing:

hay15 hay14 hay13 hay12

Brooks just loved the sandpit with all the big diggers, trucks, plows and cranes. It was definitely melt-down city when we had to leave them behind:

hay11 hay10 hay9

What, every mom doesn’t give their kid crazy squeezy faces for pictures?


Ready for some hayride fun!

hay7 hay6

The firetruck slide was a HIT:


hay2 hay3

hay4 hay5

What things did you do to celebrate Fall/Halloween with your kiddos?


Kids love paint

October 30, 2014

I already detailed how we sponge painted our pumpkins with ghosts and bats for Halloween.

The kids loved this project and it was great to get them outside and into some art materials.

Just sharing a few pics of their action shots:

pumpk pumpk2 pumkp3 pumpk4 pump5 pimpk5

So, how did my little Picasso’s do?  What painting projects do you do with your kids?


Fitbit: Review

October 29, 2014

I’ve been surprised over the past year how much people comment on my FitBit.  It’s not uncommon for me to be checking out the store, meeting someone new at church, at a kids playdate and people ask, “Is that a FitBit? How do you like it?”

I figure I’d throw my two cents out there on what I like and don’t like about it.


I have the FitBit Force – which is no longer in circulation. They had the big recall for skin irritation and just announced some new and improved watches coming out this year and next to replace that model.

Things I love:
1 – It’s very compact and easy to use.  Some monitors and trackers are big and bulky and this one is slim and modern. I love that on this model – as opposed to the Flex version, I can see my actual steps, mileage, calories burned, etc.  On the Flex, there are just little lights that shine when you hit a certain percentage, but I like to be able to see how close I am.

2 – I love that it tracks sleep.  While I don’t track it all the time now, for several months, I wore and tracked all the time so I could see how I slept and I was surprised at how often I would wake and have activity in my sleep.  And it was also interested to see how rested I was when I only had activity a handful of times.

3 – I love that I can check it on my phone and sync it with other apps. I have it sync to other fitness apps – like “My Fitness Pal” which makes it so easy to use multiple apps simultaneously.

4 – It’s motivating.  When I check out my tracker and see where I am in the day, it pushes me to take a walk around the block during my work day, or go ahead and get out on a quick run even when I’d rather snuggle my couch.  I generally can guess, with relative accuracy, where I am in my step count for the day based on what I’ve been doing so it’s a good reminder to get out there and hit the street for a little bit.

Things I don’t like:
1 – I had an issue with the skin irritation. It got really bad on my left wrist – the natural wrist for a right hander – but I had to switch it to my other hand and then be more cautious about it when I wore it.  For example, I would take it off for five minutes after my runs when I was super sweaty to let my skin air dry before I put it back on.

2 – It definitely comes off easily.  I’ve “lost” it more than once when picking up a kid or taking off my jacket because the clasp is backwards and easily opens.

3 – It’s not 100% accurate, especially when running. I’m sure it’s because the stride is longer on my runs, but I’ll just my Nike app during runs to track my distance and pace and the FitBit is always short when I run, usually by at least 10-15%.  Because I’m mostly using it to see how many steps I take in a day, I don’t mind that much. I just rely on my Nike app for training distances.

All in all, I love having it. It’s definitely motivated me more to get out and exercise. There have been more than one occasion where I’ve just walked around my bedroom late at night because I only need 500 more steps to hit my goal for the day and I want to get there!  And I really love being able to see how many steps I’m taking on the weekends when we have TONS of errands and projects on the radar, they add up quickly!

Anyone else use a fitness tracker? Love it, hate it? What’s the best feature?



Little Fish

October 28, 2014

Dean and I decided to wait until our kids are at least 5 before they participate in team sports.  With our boys being little, I don’t feel there is a need to push them to get involved in team activities just yet.  Dean plays a lot of catch, baseball and basketball with our kids at the house and we don’t feel like we need to be running all over town during the week and on weekends to get them to practices and a game.I know that kids activities will be a scheduling monster in the future, so we decided that there is no need to start until they are a little older.

That being said, one thing we both thought was important was to get our kids into swimming.  Our boys love being at the pool and I want them to learn how to get to the wall, float on their back and other water safety techniques. My kids likely aren’t going to die in a soccer incident, but they are basically rocks in a pool (they sink!) and I want to feel like they can get to the wall if they accidentally fall in the deep end.

This fall we started swim lessons.  I am already shocked at how much they have improved. Landon can do a few strokes all by himself and has started floating on his back. Brooks is pretty comfortable on his back and now puts his face under the water all the time.

We just started session two and I hope that by next summer, we’re feeling pretty safe and confident  in the water!


My little fish!



First time on a speed boat

October 27, 2014

This fall, my boys got to experience their first trip on a speed boat.  I had a company work event at the lake and we all brought our families.  You can see from the smiles that the boat ride was the highlight of their day!


And yes, Brooks was the first to take the wheel and he didn’t want to stop. My little adventure seeker!


Kid Craft: Painted Pumpkins

October 23, 2014

So, did you guess what we did with the sponge in this post?

If you guessed this, then you were right!

I wanted to do something Halloween-y with the kids over the weekend so we painted our pumpkins from the Boo Bash.

It was super simple:

Cut up a sponge into Halloween shapes.

Then squeezed some acrylic paint on paper plates and let the kids go to town.

Brooks did the bats and Landon did the ghosts.


After they dried, we added the eyes and mouths to the ghosts with black permanent marker.

I think the bats might need some beady red eyes or fanged teeth, so maybe we’ll add those this weekend!



Curtains finish a room

October 22, 2014

Last week, I shared the process for renovating our sons bedroom into his space. Of course, there is more décor and projects that we’ll need to tackle to really make it look polished and finished, but I’m pleased with how much more complete it looks in the past few months.

My latest DIY project has been making lined curtain panels for my kids rooms + the guest room.  This was not an easy project for me because – well, I don’t know how to sew.  But my mom does!!  And she gladly (right mom?!) came over and helped me complete the task. There were 8 loooooong panels to complete three rooms so it take a few weekends of work, but thankfully they are done.

(You may be wondering – why didn’t you just order them online?  The reason I made curtains is because we have very high window-to-floor length in our bedrooms and they required over 100″ – that length is not very common – most are 63″ or 84″ or even 96″ but over 100″ is hard to find – there aren’t many options and definitely not a ton of kids room options. Plus I wanted them lined so that it would provide some blackout capabilities for naptime. The couple options I did find were very expensive, so I decided to go the homemade route.  All in, I spent about $380 on fabric for all 8 panels – and half of those were lined, as well! It would have cost me well over $1000 just for curtains in these three rooms)

And now for the big reveal (via phone pics so amaziiiing quality!)


before curtain

and the after:


I just love them. The punch of color is fun. The simple striped design is perfect. I know that I want curtains to be a one time thing – I don’t want to be recreating them every couple of years, so I think this style is perfect, something that can grow with him for many years to come.

Other things I’d love for his room:  I’d love a bright punch of orange on his bed – maybe in the form of a fun comforter. We’ll need to get a new bed – this one is on loan from my sis while she does her renovation, but I think we’ll be ready to get L a new sleeping abode sooner rather than later.  Refinish his dresser with a light gray stain (we’re still recovering from the kitchen table refinish, so this may be a while). Move our old desk up here and refinish it gray or paint it a fun bright color for him.  Add some fun to the walls along with some strategically planned shelves.

**Don’t worry dear Husband, we don’t need to do any of these projects this year!!


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