Tag Archives: fall

Animals and Peanuts and more enjoying the season…

You may have gathered from the title of this post that it has no specific format or subject!  It’s mostly just what we’ve been up to the last week.

Are your animals part of your family?  Ours are for the most part…  Our dog, Syd, takes on the role of loyal favorite companion.  Our cat, Dunkin (but we almost always call him Kiki), takes on the role as a jerkhole that we all deal with.  Apparently that’s just how cats and dogs are for the most part.  They make our life interesting though.

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Yep, that’s Kiki lounging in the running stroller, fully expecting a parade in his honor.  It was raining on this particular day so he was real pissed when he was hit with that first drop.  We thought it was hilarious – him, not so much.

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He did eventually get over it when he found a suitable place on the couch.  Have I mentioned he is not allowed on the furniture? I tell him constantly to “get down!” and he just flips me the middle paw claw.

We had family visit over the weekend – cousins from Arizona that were in town for a dog agility competition.  I love having family here.  Gage gave up his room and there were some swaps and the air mattress ended up in our room with a couple of kids piled on top.

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Of course this meant that Milo went several days in a row without a nap and now I’m not sure I will ever be able to get him to take another one.  I’m thinking our nap days might be coming to an end.  Cady took a nap until the day she started kindergarten…I think Milo might be done though.  I personally would still take a daily nap if allowed…  That air mattress is still up in our room even though our family flew home yesterday.  The kids are campaigning to make it a permanent fixture so they can lay on it while watching movies in our room.

I got up extra early Saturday morning to work on this project…

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So that we could take Milo to his first movie…  This is a big deal if you are the son of a movie critic.  We saw Peanuts (in case you hadn’t guessed) and loved it.  He did fantastic and we are already planning our next movie outing.  Disney’s The Good Dinosaur, maybe?

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After the movie, Milo took a nap.  Oh wait, that was me… I think Gage may be teaching him World of Warcraft or something like that tho.

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Before our visiting cousins left, we were able to sneak up to the dog agility competition they were in town for.

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Milo learned the ins & outs of dog agility…ok, maybe he just cheered for the dogs, either way it was fun!

And of course I’ve been soaking in every single yellow and orange leaf walk I can…

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^ We totally made that with leaves on one of our afternoon walks, a walnut still in it’s fruit, berries and sticks.  Cutest turkey ever!

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And sometimes, we even bring Syd along.

Before we knew it, the week and long weekend were over…  It was back to work (for me Gage and Matt) and back to school for Cady and Milo.

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We are really looking forward to having a week off during Thanksgiving.  Perhaps we’ll have more visitors and plan more hikes and eat lots of yummy food.

Until next time,

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Welcome November – the month of Thankfulness

The 31 day writing challenge was fun, but I’m happy to get back to my lackadaisical blogging style…which means I tend to write about everything and nothing.  Every year I feel a shift at the beginning of November.  As if we are preparing for holidays or winter or something like that.  Things seem to get cozier, I look forward to family and fireplaces…yummy food and falling leaves.  I drag the sweaters and Uggs out of storage and put away the tanks and flip flops.  I’m not one of those people that gets bent out of shape about people putting their Christmas tree up early or stores being flooded with decorations.  I know people seem to get offended that Thanksgiving isn’t getting it’s turn, but thanksgiving is a mindset – not a holiday.  And the holiday is made no less important if Target has their twinkly lights on display.  For real.  Thanksgiving is about gratitude – being thankful in your circumstances…for your adversity and for your joys… Granted, I’m not about to get our tree out or start in on Christmas stories before December, but if that’s your jam, then go for it.  As a side note and just to give myself a pat on the back, I have however finished all of my Christmas shopping…and even wrapped everything…

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took this on Nov. 1… might be a new record.

This one is important to me because rushing around in December to buy meaningless gifts does take me out of the holiday spirit.  Have you been to a mall in Dallas on a Saturday in December – there is NO Jesus there, I’m serious… So I try and do the shopping early.  We do the 4 gifts policy in our family (1. something you want 2. something you need 3. something you wear 4. something you read).  I keep a running list of Christmas gift ideas in my phone all year.  This 4 gift practice and list keeps the gift giving under control.  And if I’m thoughtful about gifts I find that I can pick up things that are truly unique and meaningful to the person getting it!  And it keeps our budget in tact!  And OBVI, it frees up time for more Hallmark Christmas movies and driving around to look at lights and candlelit dinners with hot cocoa and advent discussions…

But for now, we are relaxing into November.  Enjoying cooler temps and plans for turkey and family visits.  I took Milo on a nature hike today.  We have been talking about Fall leaves and the change of seasons.  In Texas, we don’t get those beautiful autumnal landscapes, but we do our best to find what we can.

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And if you look hard enough, you find the beautiful stuff.

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By the time we made it home, we had pockets full of acorns and yellow and orange leaves…cracked open pecans and muddy sticks.  Treasures.

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And I got to take a break from my laptop…and work…and email…and listen to the wind blow those fallen leaves and Milo squeal each time he found a new bend in the trail.  Thankfulness…  November is a good month.

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Old Post: Acorn Wreath DIY

I’m probably going to copy some of my posts from an old blog just because they were fun & popular.  I thought this one was a good one because it’s almost Fall!  In our old home we had a giant acorn tree in our front yard.  We had such a great time collecting acorns for fall crafts.  This house doesn’t have any acorn trees but look what we found on a morning walk this past weekend!

Millions and Millions of acorns! ;)

Millions and Millions of acorns! 😉

We are still using our Acorn Wreath this year.  It’s above our mantle and it’s still one of my favorite Autumn decorations.

Still looking good after a year in storage!

Still looking good after a year in storage!

From 2013

Acorn Wreath! DIY

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We have tons of acorns and pine cones in our front yard.  I LOVE Fall so I was jonesing to find a cute craft to use them.  Last year Cady and I did a Fall themed ribbon wreath, but I was sort of tired of it so I decided “hey!  I could make an acorn wreath!”  There are tons of them on sale online and even other tutorials, but I figured it would be super easy and I was right.  It also cost me less than 10 bucks so that is the real win!

Gather:
First things first… You gotta find a super cute 1 year old to help gather acorns!

Fortunately I have one of these (if you don’t, gather them yourself or grab any size kid, hubby, aunt, uncle, etc)!  Cady isn’t as interested in doing crafts me with anymore (she’s 13 and can’t seem to get her face out of her phone…), but Milo loves hanging out and picking up dirty acorns, sticks, pine cones and anything else his chubby little hands can find.  I think one of my favorite parts of the holidays is doing crafting with the kids.  I’ve got a few pinned that will interest Cady and even a few that Milo can participate in.

Cleaning & Baking (don’t skip this – you don’t want outside critters infesting your house!):
Bring your Fall goodies inside and rinse them in the sink.  I use our plastic colander so that I can really shake, bounce and sift all of the dirt off – you may have to do this a couple of times depending on how big your colander is and how many acorns you collect!  I run the colander through the dishwasher afterwards to make sure it gets sanitized.  Put your acorns on a few papertowels to get the excess water off and then line a cookie sheet (or 2) with aluminum foil.  Dump your acorns (and pine cones if you have them) on the sheets and make sure they are single layer.

Once they are finished baking, let them cool.  You can leave them in longer, but I’ve found that 20 – 30 minutes at 200 degrees works perfect.  One time (yes, I’ve baked quite a few batches of acorns!) I cranked the heat up because I was going to multitask and preheat my oven for something else and the acorns started popping!  Like they seriously EXPLODED!  Another tip, before I put them in the oven I sprinkle them with cinnamon.  It makes them smell nice.

Assemble:
You’ll need a Styrofoam wreath – whatever size you want, I used a 12 inch because that’s what I had.  I wouldn’t go much bigger because you’ll need a TON of acorns and it could get too heavy.  I saw some really cute mini ones for sale online that looked like they were about 5 inches.  You’ll also need ribbon, straight pins and a glue gun.

The ribbon was (obviously) 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  You KNOW you should never buy anything that is not on sale at Hobby Lobby…  And you probably won’t use the whole roll.

Wrap the ribbon around the wreath, securing it with straight pins (see pic below).

Next I sorted thru the acorns.  I used plain ones for the first layer to cover the wreath.  I mainly covered the front of the wreath and the bottom inside.  There is no need to cover every square inch but if you want to, go for it!  I saved some of the “prettier” acorns to glue on as a partial second layer.  I also glued the tops of the prettier ones onto the acorn so it wouldn’t fall off later.

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Like I said, the second layer is just a partial one.  I mostly used it to pretty up the wreath with the capped acorns and fill in any gaps.

Lastly I bought a roll of thick burlap ribbon to use for a hanger (again 50% off at Hobby Lobby and you won’t use nearly all of it).  I folded it lengthwise and then made a bow at the top (folding it lengthwise make it extra sturdy and also gives the bow extra volume once you fluff it out).  You can use the leftover burlap on other fall or even Christmas decor!

Voila!  I love it!

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