Monday, October 31, 2022

Happy Halloween From Our Favorites!

Happy Halloween!

I hope you've got some fun plans to celebrate with people you love today!

We had a fun Halloween weekend and the kids cannot wait to trick or treat tonight.

I'm really excited to show you the kid's 2022 Halloween costumes.


We went with a theme: Our FAVORITE things! 

Olive the Starbucks Barista //

She loves coffee, PSLs and all Fall flavors.  She loves going to get a coffee drink with Kevin on the weekends.  She loved planning out every detail of her costume.  She goes with Kevin to Starbucks often enough to have a favorite barista.  Maria loaned her an authentic Starbucks apron and hat.  Olive wore coffee earrings, we made a coffee cup candy bucket and she worked hard to make sure her costume was authentic as possible.  I have a feeling that Olive would love being a barista in real life one day.


Fletcher the Blue Raspberry Icee Drink //

Fletch loves a good slushy drink.  When Kevin takes them out for drinks, Fletcher wants a slushy.  He was so excited to be his favorite drink for Halloween.  Everyone loved his costume and gave him many compliments.  This funny, silly, awesome costume reminds me of all the things we love about Fletcher.

Lightning McQueen Leo // 

I've mentioned before that Leo adores Lightning McQueen.  He loves every movie and Cars show.  He sleeps with cars, plays with cars and thinks about cars 24/7.  He was so proud of his costume.  I have a feeling you'll be seeing Leo in this outfit for many months to come.

Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, Friends!  I hope you've had a nice week.  Ours was low key.  Fall is beautiful in Indiana and we're all excited for Halloween.  But, Kevin hurt his back.  Leo hasn't felt great, we cancelled plans and everyone else just seems sniffly.  Nothing serious, but no one is functioning at 100%.

The best parts of our week were:

1 // Fall Party

We got together with Kevin's family and celebrated Fall!  Everyone brought something and it was a fun evening.  I made homemade bread and cookies to go with homemade chili and homemade pronto pups!

2 // Double Rainbow

We had the most gorgeous double rainbow show up in our backyard after a stormy day this week.  It was AMAZING.  It lingered for a long time and we loved it so much.  We couldn't believe how bright it was.  And if you've been around here for a bit, you know that our family loves rainbows!  For the past year or so they have been a sweet reminder to us that God has great things in store for our family.

3 // Boo at the Zoo

We went to our local Boo at the Zoo with my parents.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect.  The kids got candy and got to do some fun things - games, carousels, pet animals and enjoy an evening at the zoo.

4 // Protect Yourself

Did you catch my blog post earlier this week about protecting yourself when you're out and about?  Go read here to see why I was sharing that this week.

5 //Kid Favorites

We played lots of cars, read books, went on walks and had lots of time at home this week.

I hate having to wake him up from a nap to go and get the big kids.  Look at this sweet guy!  He tucked himself in perfectly with cars and creatures nearby to snuggle.

The big kids have been taking turns reading to Leo.  It's my favorite to see them snuggled up together with a good book!

There have been several costume days at school lately and Olive loves them!  This was her Rock Your School Day look.  Purple streaks in her hair, dark nails, feather earrings, tattoos and all the outfit details she deemed rockstar worthy.  I love to help her with these dress up days.

Fletcher is a numbers guy!  He's so good at math and it's really fun to watch.  He noticed Olive working on her multiplication math facts.  He asked to join in the fun haha.  So we gave him a blank multiplication grid, explained to him the way that multiplication works and that there are patterns.  And you guys - he filled in the entire chart with very little help!!  It was incredible.  He wants to keep working on these to get faster.  Not a bad goal for 1st grade!

More reading.  This time with Olive.

6 // Yummy lunches.

The kids have enjoyed taking veggies with their favorite dressing to dip and sneak in some early Halloween candy.

7 // Heart tree

This week we just so happened to notice that we have a yellow heart tree!  Yellow is my favorite so this pretty heart tree has made me smile all week!

8 // Book Fair Fun

We headed to the kid's school this week for a fun book fair.  They had games, science stations and cool technology toys to play with.

9 // Jordan Bakery Box

I had some fun cookie tray orders this week!  Look at these school color cookies!

10 // Bible Study Buddy

Leo and I love going to Bible study together.  We're going through John with a sweet group of Moms & toddlers.  And I love pom pom hats so much.  They're my favorite!

I hope you've had a good week and that you've got fun plans for your weekend!

Linking up with Momfessionals

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Learn from Me: Protect Yourself

Have you ever felt like you needed to protect yourself??

I wasn't sure I was going to write about this story, but I'm hoping that if I start the conversation, some of you will be able to relate and maybe even benefit.  Two different times this month I have been in situations that made me feel uncomfortable or even scared when I was out on my walks.  I've been working hard to make walking a part of my daily routine and that is going great.  However, I do not like feeling uncomfortable or scared.

I almost always walk with my kids or with my toddler or by myself.  

I only occasionally walk with another adult.  I'm guessing that other moms or women can relate to that set up.  You try to fit in exercise whenever you can.  I vary my routines, vary my routes and always have my phone with me as safety precautions. 

The first time, a door to door salesman was making his way around our neighborhood.  He spotted me, slowly followed me home and then knocked on my door when I got inside.  I felt uncomfortable by his tactics so I opted not to answer the door.

The second time, a speeding car came out of nowhere on my walk.  

The car was full of men and I was in a quiet area of our neighborhood.  They were driving erratic and my mind was racing.  I was able to snap a picture of their vehicle and plates when they went speeding by, but I couldn't get over how helpless I felt.  I was scared.  What if they had jumped out of the car!?  What if they were up to no good?  What if they tried to grab me or Leo?  Or maybe they were just driving crazy to be crazy?  It was just me and Leo.  I was honestly terrified.  The car disappeared almost as quickly as it had appeared.  I ran home with him and felt shaken up.  I talked to my husband about it and knew I needed to make some changes so that I wouldn't be in that same position again. 

I don't feel comfortable carrying a gun.  I have zero training or education in that department.  I also don't feel comfortable carrying a knife.  I don't have a problem with either, but they did not feel like good options for me.  I searched online and found alarms you can attach to your key chain.  That would be great if you're around other people and need to get attention, but again, I don't think an alarm would have put my mind at ease in either of the situations I was in.

Insert: SABRE Pepper Spray.

I have had friends tell me that they always ran with pepper spray or kept it on their key chains.  It sounded like a good option, but I never got serious about it for myself.

I found some great options online, watched videos and researched my options.  SABRE pepper spray seemed like a really good fit for me.  It has over 93,000 reviews.  It's really affordable.  It has a safety feature that was appealing to me as a mom.  I could keep it in my car or on my key chain or on my purse.  It works from a distance of 10-15ft, this spray can be sprayed 25 different times and it comes from a company that has been around for almost 50 years.  

I hope to never ever have to use it and having it gives me some peace of mind as I go about my regular routines.

I'll link the SABRE Pepper Spray options on Amazon below.

I don't know if you have ever been in a situation that made you feel uncomfortable or scared, but if you have, I'd encourage you to think through some safety options that would work for you. 


We shouldn't have to feel scared when we are out and about!  Be smart!  Be safe!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

4 Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids

We've done a few different Halloween crafts this month.  They were all affordable and easy so I wanted to share them with you today.  Look at these cute cats and pumpkins!  The kids decorated their playroom and bedrooms with their Halloween art.

1 // Painted cardboard cut outs!

Break down some recent Amazon, diaper or shipping boxes that you've got around the house and then cut out Halloween shapes.  My kids requested pumpkins and cats.  I cut out a variety for them.  Diaper boxes are thin and easiest to cut, but any boxes will work.  Grab paints and paint brushes and you're ready to go.  We had everything for this project so it was free fun!

No rules - just paint them however you want!

We tried to include little brother when he woke up from his nap, but as you can see by his puffy red eyes, it wasn't the easiest toddler craft :(  He kept painting everything and got frustrated with painting rules.  He enjoyed finger painting the most and then was ultimately happiest when we gave him a tray of water, a favorite car and a brush to paint his car with water.  So note this if you're trying to come up with a toddler craft.

2 // Paint pumpkins with friends!

We went to Lowes and grabbed small pumpkins for ourselves and our friends.  The kids LOVED picking out pumpkins for their friends.  I grabbed this washable Crayola paint for the project.  It worked fine, but it's a little thin and isn't waterproof.  So these pumpkins have to stay inside.  If you want your pumpkins to be outside you'll need to grab a sealer or a waterproof paint set.

We washed the pumpkins, let them dry and then everyone got to customize their pumpkin.  Leo loved this project.  He did a candy corn theme and couldn't have been happier.  All of the other big kids loved this project, too.

Leo needed close supervision and still somehow ended up painting his face.

They had to dry overnight, but they turned out great!

3 // Olive made these sweet wooden ornaments at her class party.  They turned out really cute.  You can find similar cut outs at Hobby Lobby or Target.

4 // And if you have littles, you need to do some cute hand print or foot print art!  We did these ghosts last year and I love them so much.  The kids grow so fast so I'll never regret taking the time to stamp their sweet feet and hands.

What Halloween crafts are you doing this week??

Monday, October 24, 2022

Homemade Italian breadsticks & Italian Nachos

I made the yummiest dinner last week and my family loved it!  I got the idea to combine two dishes to make a semi homemade Italian meal.  Kevin and I love the Italian Nachos and the kids always love bread sticks.  I didn't want to go to the trouble of making homemade so I have a trick for you to make easy bread sticks at home.


Italian Bread sticks:


1 can of pizza dough

garlic salt

grated Parmesan cheese

your favorite marinara sauce


Directions: Remove the dough from packaging but don't unroll it.  Slice it into 6-7 circles.  Unroll them and twist them.  Lay them on a greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle them generously with garlic salt and parmesan cheese.  Bake for 9-10 minutes or until golden brown.

My kids loved the seasoning so I could have easily done double the amount of seasoning on top.  You could brush them with melted butter.  I didn't because my kids don't love melty messy butter on things.  We dipped them in marinara.

 Think nachos + pizza and you get Italian Nachos!


Italian Nachos:

chopped turkey pepperoni

turkey sausage crumbles - we love the Jimmy Dean fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles.

shredded mozzarella cheese

sliced black olives

pepperoncini peppers

tortilla chips

your favorite marinara


Line your baking pan with tortilla chips.  Sprinkle on half of the cheese, meat and olives.  Then do the rest of the cheese.  Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Then add on the pepperoncinins while it cools.  Serve with your favorite marinara.  They're so good!

These would be perfect for game day gatherings or a yummy dinner at home!

Would your crew enjoy the bread sticks or the nachos?