happy 4th of july!

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happy 4th of july, everyone!  we are having a wonderful day hanging out at home.  it’s been lazy and just what we needed as a family.  i got to sleep in and the boys have spent all day outside playing with their magic sand.  i got some tie dye kits from target on clearance and we just finished an epic tie dye session!  we are all so colorful (we don’t need no stinkin’ gloves!)  it looks like a bunch of hippies live here!

IMG_2246 IMG_2229 IMG_2235 IMG_2231 IMG_2243anyway, i hope you and your families have a fantastic weekend!  stay cool and Happy Birthday, America!

cheers,

e

 

harvest and halloween…

halloween is over and i always feel a little sad when it’s done.  i leave our decorations up until almost thanksgiving, and the skulls stay out year round, but i’m a little sad that the spooky season is done for the year.

this year, the boys wanted to be a pumpkin and a skeleton, so i was thrilled that i could make their costumes.  this is the first year since their very first halloween that i made their costumes.  i got a black shirt and leggings from target for the skeleton and just painted some bones with white fabric paint.  the mask is a paper-mache skeleton face that i found at craft warehouse.  i painted it  white, used a sharpie to define the teeth and eye sockets and punched holes in the side for an elastic strap.

for the pumpkin, i got a large orange t-shirt and painted a jack-o-lantern face on the front.  i sewed some elastic to the bottom so we could stuff it with a pillow to make a fat pumpkin.  we layered a green shirt and some striped leggings underneath.  i used felt to make the pumpkin top hat and threaded a headband through the bottom.

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harry was “scary harry” the skeleton and jack was “jack-o-lantern” the pumpkin king.  he wouldn’t let me stuff his shirt because he wanted to be a skinny pumpkin like jack skellington.  the boys said that daddy needed to be a ghost, so we made a very traditional ghost costume for christopher.  we went to downtown kennewick and walked down “treat street” where all the businesses hand out candy.  we had to pit stop at home before trick-or-treating our neighborhood because the boys already had full buckets!  then, we stopped by our neighbor’s house for a little halloween gathering and had a wonderful time before i had to go to work.

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my costume was kind of chosen for me.  at work, the theme was that the men would be hunters and the ladies would be the animals.  i wasn’t too keen on that thought (but since this is not a post about the rampant sexism inherent in society, i’ll skip the diatribe) so i decided to go as a raven.  i couldn’t pull off a jungle cat costume in my 20’s, let alone my late 30’s, and i figured “gothic raven” was more my style anyway.  plus, i found these wicked-cool feather false eyelashes, so i was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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we harvested the pumpkins from our garden and the boys went to a pumpkin patch on a field trip at preschool.  they love picking the pumpkins.  they drew faces on their pumpkins and christopher and i carved them into very happy jack-o-lanterns and we put them on the font porch to ward off the evil spirits.

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this has been a really fun halloween season.  i’m looking forward to thanksgiving.  i think we are going to host at our house this year and i just love the idea of having all our family here to share the meal.  christopher’s mom is living in washington now, and it will be the first thanksgiving, since we’ve been together, that she will be with us.  it’s time to get planning!

how was your halloween?  i would love to hear what you and the kids were dressed as!

cheers,

e

that maddening season…

do you ever think “if i can just make it though these next few weeks, things will slow down and get back to normal?”  i do, but now i am starting to think that there is no such thing as slowing down and going back to “normal.”  fall is here and that means that halloween, thanksgiving and christmas/new year are just around the corner.  this is the maddening season:  obligations, parties, gifts, crafts, buying, cooking, going, doing…

i am trying to prioritize some “me time” in my days, which just really means that i struggle with feeling lazy when i decide to get a cup of coffee (the most incredibly large cup of coffee-cue mike myers voice, hello!) at my local coffeehouse in between dropping off and picking up the boys from school, because i should be at home cleaning and cooking instead of visiting with my lovely neighborhood barista and reading the newspaper.

but, i’m trying not to be too hard on myself and remember that i can only do what i can do and that i need to make time to enjoy the boys and my home.  i’m learning to say “no” to some obligations and to say “yes” to things that i want to do and to things that will make life easier and more enjoyable for me and my family.

here are some things i’m doing to make this maddening season a little less hectic (starting with that coffee on school days):

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i accomplished one project, in that i think our halloween decorating is done.  bats, tombstones, pumpkins and skulls are all placed strategically around our house and they boys are delighting in the season, which, really, is what it’s all about.  bring on the spooky, i say.  i’ll be leaving all the skulls out after halloween and incorporating them into the regular home decor.  something else i don’t have to put up next year.  i also especially love halloween because all the spiderwebs in my home the rest of the year look like very delicate, handmade-from-etsy, decorations.  yay spiders and yay me for being too lazy short to clean them!

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jack and harry are happy we can still spend some time outside and that it’s not too cold yet.  the little cat loves jack jack and lets him snuggle her and pack her around.  she is so patient.  i’m loving watching this special bond they have and i’m really having a hard time with the fact that we need to find a home for some of the stray cats that have come to live on our porch lately.  maybe some cats will be a part of my holiday “giving.”  watch out, peeps.

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also got my hair cut again.  i’ve come to the realization that i am not good at doing my hair, especially now that it’s gotten much thicker and unwieldy after having the boys.  i went back to my pixie cut and i’m way happier.  i can just run my hands through it on the mornings i have to get the boys to school and i don’t look like the mom who just fell out of bed.  even though, i am the mom who just fell out of bed.  chalk up one for making a good hair decision and doing something for myself that i know would make life a little easier.  it’s not the best picture, but hey, that’s what you get when i take a quick selfie just before i walk in to work.

oh, and a good friend of mine has started selling nail wraps, so i’m jumping on that bandwagon too, because a) no drying time, b) two week wear time, c) i like having my nails done and these are cheaper than going for a manicure and easier than me doing it myself and d) no nail polish smells, which drive my husband batty.  it’s a win-win and i’ll talk about them more when i have given them a good trial run.

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finally, here is a sneak peek of the boys’ halloween costumes.  something i love is crafting, and i was thrilled when they asked for costumes i could make.  harry’s is completely different and i’ll put them both up on the blog when i make some time to take pictures.

how do you deal with the “maddening season?”  i’d love to hear your tips and tricks for making life easier and more enjoyable.

cheers,

e

around the house…

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we had a pretty busy and really fun week:  our favorite farmer’s market opened last friday and we came back with a pretty great haul!  the boys made fun dream catchers for themselves (and one for daddy for father’s day–shhhh! don’t tell.) i did some sewing – check here for that post.  we hit the market again today.  jack jack got a rockabilly haircut from howie at steadfast – an awesome barber shop in town.  we found this most excellent dragonfly in the garden today.  i pickled some radishes ate my favorite dinner and i also discovered the best beer in the world!   if you know me, i don’t say that lightly!

i hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

here are some more things to check out while you relax and enjoy father’s day this weekend:

these famous dads and their kids – get a tissue.  just saying’

i will be drinking one of these this weekend

this looks awesomely easy and i will be making one for my bedroom

it’s always a good time for popsicles

i am so in love with this outfit

…and also all of these pants which i would wear out shopping and to work

cheers,

e

little hearts…

i was looking for something fun and valentine-y to do today and this is probably the most easy project the boys and i’ve ever done.  it requires 4 supplies and really very little patience.

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my mom sent these little foam hearts in the mail to the boys and i thought a conversation heart garland would be fun.  for this project you will need:

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a pack of foam hearts (they came in pink, red purple and white — or you could just cut your own out of some of sheets of craft foam), silver sharpie marker, hole punch and some yarn.

just punch two holes in each heart — i punched them at the top of each “hump.”  write traditional conversation hearts sayings on each heart, or just make up your own.  this is a good thing to have a big kid do for you, but the marker can get kind of smelly, so be careful or do it yourself.  when the sayings were all done, i just handed the hearts to my toddlers and had them thread the yarn through the holes.  i put a bit of tape on the ends of the yarn to make them easier to thread.

they  had fun, but they didn’t really string them on so i could hang the garland, so i had to re-do them.  they boys didn’t care.  they thought it looked lovely.

see, wasn’t that easy?

here’s a little valentine for you from me:

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xoxo,

e

handmade valentines…

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today we painted hearts.  i had gotten a pack of doily hearts at michael’s on a whim and we needed a project today, so watercolor hearts it was.

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i just taped them to some yarn i had and stuck them up on our ugly cornice in the kitchen.  i just love them.  it’s been so icky outside this past few weeks and we’ve been really missing the sun, so it was super exciting when it poked out for a few minutes today after i hung the hearts.  they caught the light and i opened all the blinds to let in as much sun as possible.

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i think they look like prayer flags and they make me smile every time i walk into the kitchen.

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do you celebrate valentine’s day?  how do you celebrate the people you love?  here are some other cool valentine’s day things i’ve found recently.

a cute carved initial candle for your sweetie via henry happened.  i made a black one for christopher.

i would hang this adorable heart garland all year round.

this would be a cute decoration for a little valentine’s party.

i will definitely be making this “red valentine” cocktail via the stylish type.

xoxo!

e

we have a tardis…

now that i’m staying home with the boys during the day and working in the evenings, i seriously run out of things to entertain them.  thankfully, they have each other and are relatively content to play with one another, and i really don’t like to have them watch a lot of t.v.–hey, you try having twin three-year-olds and proceeding with the “we don’t allow any t.v. in our house” policy.  so, we do what works.  which, sometimes means putting on the nightmare before christmas at 6 am so we can get a few more precious minutes of sleep, and sometimes means using whatever paper item you have on hand to give them a few minutes of entertainment and you a few minutes to shower or finally finish the coffee you’ve heated in the microwave fifteen times.

enter the lowly paper bag.  we usually bring our reusable bags to the grocer, but when we forget, our local store, yoke’s fresh market, has the best paper sacks.  paper bags make for great robot costumes.

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i actually got to take a shower after this.

i am also a big fan of any cardboard box you run across.  the yellow chairs from the last post? they came in a great box!  after a half hour with a box knife, we had a tardis.

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after a half hour with my twins, well…only my kids could explode the tardis.

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i could really use the doctor right about now.  or at least a sonic screwdriver.  actually, one of those would come in handy on a daily basis around here.

how do you keep your little kids entertained on a daily basis?

cheers,

e