Happy Fourth Of July 2017

IMG_8605IMG_8607IMG_8608IMG_8617IMG_8620IMG_8621Anndd there goes the hat…IMG_8623IMG_8625There it goes again…IMG_8626IMG_8627^Caught him standing by himself!^IMG_8629IMG_8630IMG_8631Since I have been enjoying photography, I have liked to have little mini holiday photo shoots. I staged this little 4th of July mini shoot with the boys on the front porch. I realized that I didn’t get Jake a patriot t-shirt for the 4th this year when I was changing their clothes right before the pictures. I could have sworn I did too! But I figured what is more American than Cubs baseball anyway. So perfect. I had found some cute little decorations at Target and thought it would be fitting to have the little rocking chair on the front porch. This holiday photo shoot was a bit challenging with wiggly and moving Liam but I think I got some cute pictures.

Since we are finally in a nice schedule and sleeping all night regularly now, I have challenged myself to learn something new. I have decided to try my hand at editing some Go Pro videos. I have been interested in learning how to work with videos and recording some fun video memories with my family. So if anyone has and advice or suggestions on what software to use or which works best or some books or tutorials that are informative, feel free to leave any comments for me.

Hope you all get to watch some fireworks and celebrate our country’s Independence this weekend. Until next week, XOXO.

Father’s Day Painting

For Father’s Day we painted a cute little beer crate. I know painting can be super messy but with these Toddler Finger Paints, clean up is a breeze. Liam is still a bit small to enjoy the paints or use them without trying to eat the paint. Thankfully it is nontoxic. Jake really gets into the painting and all the different colors. He was so proud he painted all the screws in the beer crate for dad. IMG_8567IMG_8569IMG_8571

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After Liam failed at painting, he got put in charge of coloring the card the boys picked out. He also tried to eat the crayons too. IMG_8575IMG_8576IMG_8556IMG_8554

We got some balloons and Jake was sooooo excited about them. He even asked me to take his picture with the balloons. I knew he would be too excited about them to keep it a secret. 20170616_113218The Father’s Day pool party I planned got rained out but everything the boys and I made for dad was a big hit.20170618_153138Delicious mini cuban appetizers. 20170618_19462620170618_161543^It was starting to storm and Jake has been so scared of thunder lately. This ended up the best daddy and boys picture we could get.^20170618_185059

It was so much fun celebrating such a great daddy. Until next week, XOXO!

St. Patricks Day

This weekend we were celebrating St. Patricks Day with the boys in downtown Tampa. Nice weather and a green river made for a very nice afternoon walk. On Friday I got the boys some St. Patrick’s Day stickers which was alot of fun. They just love stickers. The hubby is not a sticker fan.

Then we had to complete the fun by putting all the stickers on little brother. Oh these boys!
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Off to Downtown… Cheers from us…2017-03-18 13.37.372017-03-18 13.39.512017-03-18 13.49.492017-03-18 13.49.532017-03-18 13.50.152017-03-18 13.50.572017-03-18 13.54.262017-03-18 13.57.122017-03-18 13.57.562017-03-18 14.03.462017-03-18 14.04.102017-03-18 14.04.31

“Jake come take a nice picture with me.”

Fine I’ll just take one by myself.2017-03-18 14.06.532017-03-18 14.09.42^At least hubby wanted to take a cute picture with me.^

We found this bench with a xylophone built in it. How cool is that?2017-03-18 14.32.142017-03-18 14.32.44

Hope everyone had a fun and green St. Patrick’s weekend!

Until next week, XOXO.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I just wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year by sharing some cute pics we took for Valentine’s Day with my little boys. We had a little fun with a mini photo shoot in my mini studio. I did not get organized enough to print up some of the pictures and send them out but hopefully everyone can enjoy them here on my blog. 2017-02-05-08-32-322017-02-05-08-32-352017-02-05-08-33-14-22017-02-05-08-34-44-22017-02-05-08-37-29-32017-02-05-08-37-32-32017-02-05-08-37-38-22017-02-05-08-37-50-3

The next set, I tried to use a new background but it did not turn out how I had hoped. At least the boys still look cute.

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I made this super cute breakfast from some pinterest inspiration I had seen the past few weeks. I think it was a huge hit even though Jake did not appreciate the artistic presentation. He picked out the donuts because his special stuffed animal is Doughie Dog from the book “If You Give a Dog a Donut”. He woke up this morning asking for the Doughie Donuts. Annndd you know… If you give a dog a donut, he ask for a cup of Starbucks to go with it. 🙂2017-02-14-07-24-212017-02-14-07-25-31

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with lots of love with everyone you see today and everyday.

Until next week, XOXO.

Family Christmas Card Pictures

A few weeks ago we all traveled up to Indiana for a wedding and visited my parents. My mom and dad own a Christmas tree farm which was super fun to grow up there. Over the past 3 years, I have been pretty sad not to get any Christmas tree farm Christmas card pictures, so I was pretty excited when it worked out that we got to take some family pics. Since it was quite an Indian summer this year a bunch of tree still had fall leaves on them. I loved being able to get some of the beautiful orange leaves in the background too. Everyone cooperated fairly well too… well we bribed with cookies. 🙂 The Christmas season is hard for me living in Florida. I really miss snow, and sweaters and boots and family. It just never feels like its Christmas and the holidays just sneak up on me. added-emma-2

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This little Santa helper has gotten all the Christmas shopping done, THANK YOU ONLINE SHOPPING! But I have been busy the past couple weeks with visitors and a sick baby. My little office is just a mess of amazon boxes. Lets hope Santa finds a way to get them all wrapped… hopefully during some good nap times!

Until next week, XOXO. Keep spreading holiday cheer to all! ❤

Thanksgiving Inspiration

I am getting very excited for Thanksgiving next week. I have gotten the meal all planned and I think I will try brining a Turkey this year. I have read that it makes a super tender and delicious turkey, so we shall see. How to Brine a Turkey . I will also be making a pecan and pumpkin pie. Pretty traditional, but I love making pies. There are not to many excuses to make pies so I have to get my fill when the opportunity arises. (Or be like 600 lbs :-/ )

 I thought I would share a quick post about my Thanksgiving table this year. I wanted some cute place settings that were unique without buying a whole new set. So I found various mismatch salad plates to add a bit of a fall touch. It is super easy to find and to do on your own. I like that it makes the festive dinner set easy to expand if we get more people coming years down the road.

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Last year my husband helped make this centerpiece box. It is so fun to change out the box for each holiday. Here is how we did it. Thanksgiving Tablescape2015-11-19 13.47.182015-11-19 13.48.062015-11-19 13.49.392015-11-19 13.49.172015-11-19 13.48.222015-11-19 13.50.342015-11-19 13.48.382015-11-19 13.50.052015-11-19 13.48.462015-11-19 13.50.252015-11-19 13.50.582015-11-19 13.54.412015-11-19 13.54.53

Here is my little dessert table decorations. I can’t wait for the pies to be on here! YUM!2015-11-19 13.51.51

Hope you all have a very wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to be Thankful for all you have.  Until next week, XOXO.

Halloween Weekend

We had a very busy Halloween weekend. It was Jake’s very first time going Trick-or-Treating and I think he had a great time. I just wanted to share a few snaps from our weekend. It was so weird carving the pumpkin and reaching inside to find a warm middle. I guess that is a small detail that is different in the warm warm warm Florida climate. I thought Jake would be super into the slimy pumpkin guts since he loves dirty things like mud, but he was not amused. I was able to get a couple cute pictures, but don’t be fooled; he hated it!

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We had gotten two pumpkins to carve but one of them got rotten before we even got a chance to carve them. Sooooo, I decided to carve a PINEAPPLE! We are in a tropical climate so it seemed fitting to me. carving3 carving4 carving5

I thought they turned out cute.

Jake and I also made some Halloween Pumpkin Patch treats for Saturday. Jake really likes helping cook. 😉carving6  carving8

Here is the super simple recipe. I just added pumpkins instead of worms on them.

Dirt Cups

I was pretty excited about our Halloween costumes this year. Jake was a super cute Hobbit!

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That was the best family picture we could get. It isn’t the best but I am glad we got one!

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Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween weekend. Until later this week, XOXO!

Pumpkin Painting

This week I thought I would do some pumpkin painting to liven up the decor around here. Since painting them keeps them from rotting to early, we could enjoy them now since we have to wait until the last minute to carve the jack-o-lanters. The warm weather down here in Florida does not keep carved pumpkins for very long. Although we will for sure carve some pumpkins, they will just be lit for a couple days. These painted ones will look nice these next couple weeks and can even be used for Thanksgiving too.

Last weekend we went to a Pumpkin Festival in Bradenton Florida. It was way bigger than I thought. Way more than just a pumpkin patch with hayrides like in the midwest. It was a whole fair! We picked out some pumpkins and I got some super cute Pumpkin patch pictures, only to realize in the car on the way home I had forgotten my memory card so we got zero pictures. Oh well. We were pretty tired and didn’t get any little pumpkins for decorating either. Luckily this week Jake and I found a wonderful market with lots of cute pumpkins and fruits and veggies to choose from. So I got some more pumpkins to paint and decorate with.

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To make sure you get a good pumpkin you must hold them, and pat them and try to pick them up!2015-10-21 11.13.14-2 2015-10-21 11.20.25

They even had a giant pumpkin that you could take your picture with at Bearss Groves market! Jake was into the skeleton guy. 2015-10-21 11.20.39 2015-10-21 11.21.20

After we got the pumpkins to paint all washed off, I thought Jake man might color some pumpkin pictures for his grandmas and grandpas while I painted. That was an epic fail of an idea. He is still to little to use crayons without trying to eat them. I had to delay the painting until nap time like normal. (And people always ask if I am still painting…yes but its extremely slow now with crayon eating man!)2015-10-22 08.30.05

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Before we had to stop until nap time, I got a base coat on a few of them. This one I used a white linen color.2015-10-22 08.41.10

Gold on this one. 2015-10-22 09.29.032

For this one, I cut out a circle stencil using a scrap piece of paper to make the gold glitter polk-a-dots. The glitter blast spray paint looks cool but is a huge mess! It took many tries to make sure the dots weren’t goopy or smeared. 2015-10-22 10.10.02

I hand painted this pumpkin with gold puffy paint for a neat effect.2015-10-22 10.43.24

And a base coat of chalk board paint. A few of these pumpkins are fake pumpkins I had picked up from Michael’s. I figured I could paint them and keep them year after year. 2015-10-22 10.43.44 2015-10-22 10.43.54

^The mess. I am a very messy crafter/painter.^

This pumpkin basket I found at Michael’s also. I painted the face on one side for Halloween and then I can turn it around for a Thanksgiving basket!2015-10-22 10.51.17 2015-10-22 10.51.25

The first coat of paint on the face pumpkins…2015-10-22 13.46.57

and some more drying…2015-10-22 14.59.43

And here are my finished painted pumpkins…2015-10-22 15.26.36

^Chalkboard Pumpkin painted first with chalkboard paint then chalkboard marker to get the chalkboard effect.^2015-10-22 15.26.49

The gold and the black puffy paint pumpkins. 2015-10-22 15.26.55 2015-10-22 15.27.30 2015-10-22 15.28.29

I put a few non painted and painted on the front porch of a cute little display.

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^Jake helping arrange my pumpkin display.^2015-10-22 15.40.32

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And the face pumpkins… These were painted freehand so I don’t have any stencils to share.2015-10-22 15.38.07 2015-10-22 15.38.19 2015-10-22 15.38.23 2015-10-22 15.38.26 2015-10-22 15.38.30 2015-10-22 15.42.36 2015-10-22 15.45.31 2015-10-22 15.46.01

^Thank you Jake man for looking after the face pumpkins!^

I hope you enjoyed and were inspired for some Halloween fun next week. I know we can’t wait to go Trick-or-Treating for the first time ever! Until next week, XOXO

October 2015

With only a few more weeks until Halloween, we are busy putting up Halloween decorations and figuring out our costumes. I am so excited to take Jake Trick-or-Treating for his first time ever. Such a fun time! With my very energetic toddler boy running around, I have not had much time to do many Halloween crafts this year, but I did want to share a few of my favorite Halloween toddler outfits.

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And here is the super cute Halloween wreath I made last year. It still looks just as cute on our front door this year!

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Halloween Wreath

Annnddd for the first time in October in a while, we must show off our Cubs W flag flying in Florida!

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Go Cubs Go! #FlytheW

Until Next week, XOXO

Fourth of July Pt. 2

We had a wonderful 4th Of July weekend and even got to fit in some adult time!! YAY!! I was so proud of the strawberry pie and sangria I made, that I wanted to make sure to share with you all. Both were very delicious!!

Here is the pie before going into the oven…

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I made a basic strawberry pie but added some blueberries on the top left corner for the American Flag blue. I cut strips of pie dough to make the flag stripes and used a christmas star cookie cutter to cut the stars out of the pie dough. Next time I will cut three stars instead of two because it will look more balanced.

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We also made some homemade ice cream. It has always been a tradition on my side of the family to make ice cream for the 4th. Since there aren’t very many of us, I used the KitchenAid Mixer Ice Cream Maker Attachment. It works really well and isn’t to difficult as long as you plan ahead for all the freezer time.

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Jake approved of his first homemade ice cream tasting!

Until next week, XOXO.