Dear {blank}, please {blank}

Have you ever had a very witty and sometimes heated conversation with a stranger, that's all in your mind?  You know what I mean - the person who cuts you off in the parking lot, the lady who can't stop running into your heals with her shopping cart.  I have the Minnesota-nice in me where I just smile and say "No problem" but the inner-brat in me is going nuts with smart jabs that would make any studio audience go nuts!

So I've started a list.  This is sure to continue.

Dear Lady on the Treadmill Next to Me,
Please stop talking on your phone.  One:  it's a flip phone that I had when I was 19.  And Two, it's obnoxious.  I can only crank the volume on Parenthood so much.  Oh and Three, you're huffing and puffing so I'm sure the person on the other line is equally annoyed.

Dear Woman Scoping the Same Clearance Rack as Me,
Please give me an arms length of space please.  I promise, if I put it down, you can have it.  You don't need to reach over me to check out my discarded item that might be 30% off gold.  Slow your roll.

Dear Parent of the 8-Year Old at Target, mid-day, mid-week,
Why is your kid not in school??  If they're home sick, be home sick.  If they're home-schooled, shouldn't they be at home learning, not drinking an Icee while you run errands?

Dear Boobalicious Lady at the Gym,
Please go workout instead of talking to everyone else.  They are clearly in the middle of their workout and you clearly have the need to feel popular.  Get a job.

Dear Menards Employees,
Sorry to have interrupted your super-important conversation that I'm sure was about work and not about how cold your Mom's basement gets, but I need some help over here.  Thanks.

Dear J-Hole Parents at Elementary Drop-Off,
Please use the parking lot.  This lane is for dropping off.  Not parking, walking in, chatting and wasting time.  Push 'em out the door, get a kiss and move along.

Dear Candy Crush,
I just don't know how to quit you.  That is all.

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Love Makes a Family

I'm inspired to write this because of some very special people in my life.

I am fortunate enough to not only have siblings of my own, but sisters and brothers of the heart.  I have wonderful friends who I share no blood relation with, but love as if they were my own.
And it's so special to see that love around the world with so much yuck.
Icky people kidnapping children, beating up strangers, just the yuck that's out there.

There is a lot of love.

I've mentioned some of these {friends} before, some of which are celebrating joy and coping with loss and disappointment.
I am reminded that these joys and pains are mine to celebrate and mourn.
I wouldn't exactly say I'm happy to do it, but I know they'd do the exact same for me.

It's always awesome to have someone be excited with you.
It's also nice to have someone who doesn't want to pull you out of the mud, but is willing to sit down with you.

This is all just so I can share a gift I was able to give a friend.  She and her husband are waiting for their baby.  One day, a birth mother will give the ultimate gift and make them parents.  This child won't share their blood.  But they will still be a family.

Love makes a family.

I had this made by {Olive + Birch}.  Alyssa is incredible and has made more wall art in my home than I have!  I shared some Pinterest inspiration and she ran with it.  It was perfect.  My friend loved it.  It made me happy to remind her (and mostly myself) that Love is what makes things work.

My immediate family holds four souls.
Outside of that, I have a countless network of love.

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So What Wednesday

Life After I Dew

This week, I'm saying SO WHAT:

  • Two of the past three times I've gone to workout was because I finally got access to the WiFi and could watch my shows on Hulu completely uninterrupted.  And be on the treadmill - the fat-free icing on the cake.
  • Avery has a legitimate obsession with Chap Stick.  She's hoarding them - I may need to call in TLC.
  • I let Avery pick out Nate's birthday cupcakes.  They were Sesame Street.
  • I didn't get Nate a birthday present.  I did, however, take the girls to the Dollar Tree and let them go nuts.  They bought him Chapstick (guess who's pick), a Spiderman wash cloth, a travel coffee mug and two chocolate bars.
  • Project Runway Spoiler Alert:  I was more disappointed than I should have been about Justin not winning.  But I feel like we're friends because he likes me Tweets.
  • This week we dug out the winter coats and bought new snow boots.  Ugh, I miss summer.
  • With new babies in our world, Olivia is asking more and more questions.  The answers "from God," and "I don't know," are only going to last me so long.

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Apple "Cookie" Snack

I now have a school-aged child.  It's weird to say.  She's still little, right?  Always be my baby.  Anyway, back on track.

I'm now forced to think of good lunches to send with her to school, and no matter how much I pack, and how much she eats, she's always hungry when she gets off that bus.  Now to think of fun after-school snacks.  Something that makes me feel like a super mom, instead of my go-to package of fruit snacks.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  We eat those more often than not.

Apples have always been a favorite for us.  Peanut butter is an added treat, but usually I just give them cut up slices in a bowl with a blup of peanut butter to scoop from.  In comes the need for "fun."

Slice the apple horizontally, about 1/2" thick or so and cut out the core.  You could use a corer, or a fun little cookie cutter.  Or a pairing knife, no need to go too crazy.

Lay on paper towel to let one side dry out a bit, only for a minute.  You can certainly skip this step, but good luck trying to spread sticky peanut butter to a wet, juice apple.  Have fun with that.

Frost your "cookie" with peanut butter.  You could stop here.  I happen to find a bottle of sprinkles when I was searching for little cookie cutters, so I added those.  Chocolate chips, coconut or even raising would also be tasty.

In one afternoon, I ended up making 3 apples worth of "cookies" for my girls.  How do I say no when they ask for more fruit?

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How to Clean Your Chalkboard Wall

Our play room boasts a floor to ceiling, whole wall chalkboard, compliments of a naptime and a $10 can of chalkboard paint.  It's been really fun to have, the girls just love it.  Now that Liv is in school, she "plays" school and sets up Avery and her toys in a line to practice reading and math.

Love it.

Wanna know what I don't love?  The line of chalk dust that lines our baseboard and the smudged look that I would get from cleaning it with a rag and water.  Even rinsing the rag several times in between left things streaky.  Granted, most days, it really didn't matter.  No need to have a perfectly clean board that was going to get trashed in a matter of minutes.

This weekend, we had friends over and while the grown-ups talked in one room, the kids went to town on the chalkboard in the playroom.  Not gonna lie, it was a mess.  And that's OK - play rooms are meant for play.  But we needed more than a wet towel to tackle this puppy.

A quick Pinterest search populated two options:
  • warm water with a little dish soap (duh)
  • Coke and a sponge
Seriously?  Wash my walls with pop?
It's too crazy not to try.  The blogs made comments of their same apprehension, fear of stickiness being the main drawback, so I thought what the heck.  

I was sure soapy water would work, but this sounded way more fun.

Take a look and you be the judge of it's effectiveness.

No water, just a wipe down with a rag to erase various letters, unicorns and ladybugs.

Nearly try, thus the darker spots.
Not too shabby.  Truth time:

  • There are some darker streaks, even dry, where it seems there is more "pop" on the walls that others.  It's not sticky at all, but it's streaky and not uniform.
  • Our wall wasn't super, duper smooth, so there are some pits where chalk has settled and it's cleaner, but not "freshly painted" clean.  I have a feeling this is just how thing will be regardless of whatever magical cleaning solution I use,
  • While this was a clever find, I'm not sure I'm going to make it a regular routine.  Probably stick to boring soap and water.


Buffalo Wings & Blue Cheese Dip

Football season means more Sundays and snacks.  I'm OK with the snacks part - the football I really could care less about.  But eating - I'm all about that!

Nothing says football food better than wings, right?  And wings that I don't have to pay $30 is even better!  Plus, there's blue cheese in the mix too.  Need I say more?  And you could roast wings too, but I wanted to try frying them.  It was super easy.  The only complaint I have is that I didn't have a bigger pot so I could make more than 4 at a time.  I was worried about splatter and overcrowding them.  But, if I can do it, so can you!

For the wings:

  • chicken wings, broken down into the wing and drummy, tips removed (as many as your little tummy can hold!)
  • flour (about 1/2 c for 1-1/2 lb of wings)
  • salt and pepper to season flour
  • vegetable oil - enough to cover 2-3 inches in a heavy-bottom stock pot
For the buffalo sauce:
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 c Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce of your choosing) - I used the Tabasco Buffalo variety
For the blue cheese dip:
  • 1/2 c sour cream (4 oz)
  • 4 oz package of blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Start heating your oil to 375 degrees.  A candy/deep fry thermometer is highly recommended.  Keeping the oil at the right temperature is important so that you can cook the chicken and get a good crust at the same time, without burning the wing.  

Tommy no like burny wingy.

Dredge your wings in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.  Working in batches, cook the wings for about 10-15 minutes, until they are a wonderful golden color.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate or sheet pan to drain.

Don't worry about your wings loosing too much heat as you work through your batches.  These babies stay HOT for awhile, so your crowd (or crowd of one) will still get their hot treat.

While your wings are cooking, you can prep your sauce and dip.  Both are very easy to put together.  The buffalo sauce is as simple as melting the butter over medium heat and mixing in the Tabasco.  Likewise, mix all of the dip ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated.  We are a family who loves the chunky cheese, but if you'd prefer a smoother dip/dressing, you can run this through a food processor to get your desired consistency, mixing in a tiny bit of milk (or buttermilk if you have on hand) to thin as needed.

Once all of your wings are cooked and drained of oil, place them into a large mixing bowl and add the sauce.  Add sauce sparingly at first so you don't drown them in sauce.  Toss with tongs or with a little wrist-flip of the bowl (if you're so culinarily inclined.)

Serve up with your dip and celery if you'd like and enjoy!

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So What Wednesday

It's officially fall here in Minnesota.  Leaves are falling, along with rain and the temperature.  So sad.  I miss summer.  My tan lines are fading and I miss them.  Soon we will all hibernate; go into hiding until the first signs of thaw in April.  

That doesn't mean that the laughs need to stop!  Ready for So What Wednesday with Shannon?  Let's go!

Life After I Dew

  • I taped An American Tale to show the girls.  I still tear up over the "Somewhere Out There Song."
  • Avery went from wearing 2T summer clothes to 4T fall clothes, that are a little droopy.  It's either pants that are long enough, or fitted to her waist.  I opted for droopy rather than the "high water" look.
  • I want to know who at Starz and BBC I can write to about The White Queen.  Totally obsessed.  Can't believe that it's a "miniseries" that is almost over. They need to continue the story of The Red Queen and The Kingmakers Daughter.
  • I started reading Catching Fire again.  I caught myself within the first few pages groaning "Ugh, why is this so angst-y?"  Because it's a tween book, dummy, that's why.
  • Now that I've got family photos in hand, I'm bound and determined to order Christmas cards and have them ready to mail on Black Friday.  Check, check.
  • I am doing a little happy dance because by putting my own {clutter-control} thoughts in writing, I've been able to keep the house relatively picked up for a whole week.  Small victories.
  • Liv still needs new tap shoes.  They literally won't fit on her feet anymore.  I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pay the hefty price at her studio *ugh*
  • Spoiler alert:  the highlight of my week is the Girls' Night I have planned for tomorrow.  I already know it's going to be awesome.

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Fall Sale on Etsy

Time to start thinking about family photos, if you haven't already!  Or even get a jump on your holiday shopping for those ladies in your life!

I'm excited to share a huge sale, as well as some new offerings for you all to gobble up!

For the little ladies:
{tulle flower with jeweled center}
{tieback headbands, perfect for snoozing newborns}
Photo Credit: Melissa Skow Photography
{small puff, perfect on elastic or clippies, over 20 color options!}
Stocking stuffer for the older girls (or even sisters, aunts and friends!)

{hair ties, in sets of 4, 8 or pre-selected color assortments}
{tiny flower earrings, many colors and styles to choose from}
{bobby pin sets, five color combos to pick from}

So many thing to choose from and I'm always up for custom orders!  Have an outfit you're trying to match or a favorite color?  Just ask!


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Pins I Hate

Last week, I talked about my first Pin.
What a delightful trip down memory lane.

Lately, as I've been scrolling my news feed, and then my other favorites "Popular" and "Everything" I've noticed there are a lot of dumb pins out there.
I mean, a lot.
Dumb because of their picture, their caption, the fact that they are so obviously fake (a la the politically fueled forwards that I'm often sent by my father.)

Examples of what I'm talking about you ask?

The caption is what bugs me about this one.  
"Great place for family fun pictures!"
You want to poo and look at smiling pictures of your kids?
If your house is like mine, chances are while you're pooping, your kids are actually IN THERE with you because privacy is not in their vocabulary yet.
Wait, I take that back.  Avery will close the door when she sits with me.  And I'll have privacy.

Even the most liberal of parent would kinda want to have a conversation about any major life revaluation or relationship happenings in person.  Not via text.
You think they wouldn't pick up the phone on this one.
Granted, it is funny.
Funny, like live-audience sitcom funny.
Nice try nerds.


This bugs me for several reasons, thought not all of them are completely fair.
My laundry room is an unfinished pit that houses our overstock of paper products, water heater, furnace and washer/dryer.  There is not "decorating" happening in there.
I'm in and out.  This is not a hang out spot for me.
To be fair, even with drywall and tile flooring, I can't see myself sipping a cup of joe and relaxing while admiring my Pinterest crafts.
Second, if it's a lost sock, throw it away.  Throw it in a rag pile, make a puppet (of which I'm sure you have at least three pins giving you creative ideas with wiggling eyes and pipe cleaners.)
Sorry Bob Vila, not in my house

Just a random sampling.  For starters.
Any pins that especially drive you bonkers?? 

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Washi Tape Necklace Display

So my love of accessories is apparently rubbing off on my girls.  At first, it was only a few necklaces, so they could hang from the corner of the hair clip board I made and have hanging in the bathroom.  The collection hit a point where trying to pull down a specific one without tangling the whole mess was impossible.  My need to organize and de-clutter took over.

I've made a few crafts with washi tape before.
{Wall Art Letter}
{Flameless Candles}

This design is simple enough to do, but I apologize I started making this at night and the pictures turned out horribly.

The basics:

  • a board of desired length
  • paint, if you'd like to color your board first
  • washi tape
  • pulls or hooks for your choosing (I used 2 packs of clear, acrylic pulls from IKEA, a whopping $2 a pack)
  • ruler and pencil
  • scissors
  • X-acto or craft knife
  • Modge Podge
  • paint brush or foam brush
I started by having Nate drill holes in the board for my pulls to screw into.  Then, I used a sand-colored acrylic craft paint and painted the surface and all of the edges.  

I had purchased gold washi tape from In the Clear, my favorite shop to find great washi tape that's super affordable and comes right to my door!  The girls' room has a lot of bright colors, but because this was going to be displaying a lot of color itself (in necklace form) I wanted to keep the background fairly neutral and understated.  Your coloring choosing is completely up to you!

Using a chevorn-like pattern that twists on itself in various ways, I started drawing lines with pencil, measuring them the same width as my washi tape so I had a guideline once I was ready to start sticking it down.

Once I was satisfied with my pattern, I started cutting my tape, making it long enough to wrap along the sides and stick to the back.  The scissors are especially helpful in cutting a straight line for where your tape intersects.

Once you're all done and satisfied with your work, brush on at least two layers of Modge Podge.  While washi tape is super cute, it's decorative.  Not exactly super sticky and you don't want all your hard work to peel up.

Once it's dry, you're set to hang and get that rats nest of necklaces in order where they belong!

TIP: When you have tape intersecting, lay the "tributaries" down first and the lay the "top" piece over last leaving a nice clean edge.  (Like above, on the right)

TIP:  Use your craft knife on corners to create clean corners.

TIP:  Don't be too married to your orignial design.  When I was drawing lines, I wasn't exactly planning how intersections were going to overlap, so there were some pieces of tape that were added and taken away to make the overall pattern make sense.  That's the beautiful thing about tape.  Just peels right off!

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10 Ways to Keep the Mess to a Dull Roar

One of my "back-to-school" goals was to get back into the habit of picking up and keeping things in relative order so I don't lose my mind and go on a screaming/cleaning/tantrum rampage.  I won't say that my house is perfect by any means, but in the past few weeks, I've noticed a few key habits that I try to practice most every day to help keep things relatively contained.

That being said, I want you to set some realistic expectations.
I have a five-year old and a two-year old.  It seems when ever I pick up or organize their toys, they are then drawn to the neatness and immediately rip it apart and carry things back to their original WRONG spot on the floor/in the hallway/bathroom floor/stairs/you get the idea.
Toys are a key concern, but they are also TOYS and meant to be played with.  I try to keep toys in the toy room, or where ever they belong.
But keeping the toy room impeccable is just moving deck chairs on the Titanic.  Sounds like it would make sense, but it's a sinking ship, so don't waste your time.

Make beds.  Start the day on the right foot.  Encourage/teach the kiddos to do the same.  At least pull the comforter back so there's not a huge pile of blankets and stuffed animals staring you in the face all day.

Limit yourself to one load of laundry a day.  You may need to adjust this based on sports and number of family members, but I find that one load, washed, folded and put away and much easier to tackle than doing seven loads on the weekend.

Motivate yourself for a 10-minute de-clutter run and leave it alone.  If you limit yourself, you'll prioritize better and not get bogged down with a marathon of things to do.  Remember those toys that are still being played with?  Avoid that area.  Sort mail, toss old magazines, dust shelves and TVs.  Small, achievable goals will make you feel much better than failing at giant ones.

When you do feel a marathon clean coming on, limit yourself to one area so you can stay focus and complete the task of organizing, sorting and tossing things.  Often, I'd stop mid way to put away things that had a real home elsewhere and then got distracted by cleaning that area.  Now I had two half-finished projects and an overwhelming sense that I was opening Pandora's Dirty, Dluttered Box.  Remember that small goal thing I just mentioned.  Stick to that mantra.

Don't be afraid to donate or even throw away old items.  No sense hanging on to things that you have high hopes for, when realistically you know you're never going to do anything with.  Let someone else make it their new treasure at the Goodwill.  And there's no shame in pitching things too.  Sometimes you need to just purge and be done with it.  Oh, and do this frequently.  Spring cleaning isn't nearly often enough.  Find a schedule that makes sense for you - I try to do major donating when I change over from summer/winter clothes and when the kids need to trade up for bigger sizes in clothes.

Be proud to use convince cleaning products.  I'm talking about the Clorox wipes and flushable bathroom cleaners on the shelves.  A quick swipe and your cleaning is done.  They make life simple, sparkling and lemony-fresh.

End your day on the right foot too.  The next three tips are end of day routines that I've been using to fairly consistent success.  The first is to wipe clear and wipe down counters.  After dinner, bedtime snack, teeth brushing and anything else is finished in the kitchen and bathrooms, wipe down the sinks.  In the kitchen, I opt for the Clorox wipes that are sitting on my neat little pedestal next to the sink.  The bathroom usually gets nearby face cloth damped after Nate and I have brushed our teeth to give it the once over.  Saves from the stress of waking up to yesterday's mess.

Clear counters.  Same logic as the sink activity, but really this is ideally a two-second process because of your awesome 10-minute de-clutter earlier in the day!

Load and run dishwasher.  I hate waking up to a sink of dishes.  It's so depressing.  Another reminder of what you didn't get to yesterday and already adding to list of things to do today.  Clean sink.  Clean dishes to start the day.  These are all good things.

This is the most important things you can do.  It circles all the way back to setting realistic expectations.  Allow for some mess to occur and don't get too bent out of shape about it.  Sure, we all want the clean, gleaming floors of those sought after pins.  Gorgeous natural light, perfectly fluffed pillows.  This is a STAGE.  It's not real.  Same goes for the food photos and the rest of it.  People spend a lot of time with tweezers and q-tips to get things to look perfect for those shots.  It's a great goal.  But it's not something to agonize over.

Take little bites.  There's no shame in not eating the whole pie in one night.  In fact, is recommended and applauded to take your time!

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So What Wednesday

It's been a while since I've vented and bragged with Shannon, but it feels like a good time to spout off some of my clever comments to hopefully, make you laugh, or even feel better about yourself in comparison!

Life After I Dew

Lately, I've been saying SO WHAT:

  • Sadly, shows like Modern Family and The Office have totally ruined sitcoms for me.  If there's a stage and an audience, I find everything cheesy and unwatchable, even if the jokes are good.
  • I learned that there are six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the fact didn't phase me.  I'm a staler, no matter what.  It'll all get done, the kids don't know when gifts are wrapped in July or Christmas Eve!
  • I am, however, starting to think about Christmas cards.  We had an amazing session and I can't wait to see all of the final work.  Spoiler alert:  we have an actual photo of both girls looking and smiling at the camera at the same time!
  • Mandatory stops during any trip to Target now include a stop at Food Ave so I can buy a Diet Coke and the bakery, so the girls can get a free cookie.  Liv knows her favorite baker by name.  Dustin.  He's about 19.  Don't tell Nate about her crush.
  • Weekends this fall have been so busy, we have been able to take the obligatory and traditional trip to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch.  Maybe this weekend.  Or maybe I'll just snap a pic of the girls in front of the pallet of pumpkins in the grocery section on my phone and call it a day.
  • Mornings when I don't have to go into work and Liv doesn't have school have the following routine:  girls wake up after 7 AM, I tell Liv to turn on a show for them in the living room and I snooze until 8.  There have been no fires or incidents that resulted in blood, so I'm good with this routine.
  • My favorite new fall shows include, but are not limited to:  Hostages, Brooklyn 99, and The Goldbergs.  And of course, my returns lovers:  Top Chef, Survivor, Homeland and New Girl.
  • I have no desire to see Gravity.  Reviews are good.  The images look spectacular.  I cannot figure out how they make Sandra Bullock floating around in space for 2 hours entertaining.  Redbox, maybe.  I'd rather see The Croods first.

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My First Pin

Remember life before Pinterest?
I really don't.
I remember having a coworker tell me to sign up for it and had to WAIT for an invitation to join.  I mean, this was an elite thing when it first hit the internet.
That, or the webmaster was super smart and didn't want to overload the servers.

I did a little scrolling into the first things that I fell in love with.

There were boards about food (of course), funny pictures that made my happy and even a board that I had a bunch of wedding stuff on.
Keep in mind, when I started pinning, Nate and I had been married for three years, maybe even four.
Come to think of it, the thing that makes me most upset about the Pinterest craze is that it's about eight years too late for me to plan my wedding, decorate my first home and plan for two new babies.
Not to mention countless showers, birthday parties and complimentary family photo outfits!
I've really gotten the short end of the stick. #firstworldproblems

You know what my first Pin was??

And so began the dreams of making/cooking/designing/painting/sewing/photographing things that will never be.
This image was just that.
A costume I've never made, or even attempted.
Come to think of it, this costume would be an absoute joke in Minnesota. It would be a kid, bundled in a winter jacket and hat carrying a umbrella with damp toilet paper. 
The bigger joke, it's just an image. No link, no tutorial, nothing.
An image uploaded by a user, and even that data isn't listed anymore.  

I have since progressed in my pinning skills.
60 boards to organize my 4,694 pins, and counting.

I am undecided on the new "psst you've already pinned this" option.
I see that pop up and I think:  oh yes, I see I've already wanted to do this and clearly didn't.  Probably best to not pin it again and perpetuate the lie.

There are surely duds that should be weeded out, things that no longer fit my tastes or taste buds. 
Let's work on organizing closets and kitchen cupboards before reorganizing Pinterest boards thought.

Just curious, what was your first Pin??

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Five on Friday

I've been in a writing rut lately, and stumbled upon a link-up with Darci.  Why not share with you all some of my favorite things going on lately?!


Monster Cookies.  I made these with Liv a few weeks ago, and the rain and chill that hit our world yesterday made it the perfect excuse to make them again.  The warm smell of toasty vanilla-chocolatey goodness was perfect.  And there was cookies at the end of it.  This is a win win.


School pictures.  Normally not a huge fan on the super posed pictures, this is a right of passage that I still can't believe that my baby girl is actually getting to experience.  The carefully chosen outfit, combed hair, special unicorn necklace and all.


Leggings.  Fall is the time of year when you can wear pajama pants and be totally "put together."  And I love wearing ballet flats, one because they're super simple to on and off when I've got two other bodies to get out of the house, but also, being 5' 10" I'm not exactly always trying to add to my height!


Reconnecting with my kids when I'm not at work.  I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom so I could do the fun SAHM things that you see splashed all over Pinterest.  Summer days drove us outdoors and to the pool, as it should.  Cooler, and even down-right freezing days will drag on longer than I'd like, but my glass-half-full approach is now I get to play and paint and let my littles get messy.  The house is almost always at about 40% messy, what's a few more percentage points? {you can keep track of what's I'm scheming on my Busy Body Projects board}

Getting organized.  In the same vein as staying home and inside more as the weather gets colder, that also means more messes get made and more cleaning needs to happen.  I'll never have the house that looks like a page from a Pottery Barn catalogue, but I certainly don't need to resemble some cat-lady's home who's on next week's Hoarders!

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