The Adventure Starts Here: September 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Trunk or Treat Inspiration | Rewind Friday

Since tomorrow is October, I can't help but turn my attention to Halloween.  I don't know about you, but around here, Trunk or Treats are becoming more popular, especially with the younger kids.  It's a safer alternative to the traditional trick or treating and is often hosted by local churches.  The church where Noah goes to school hosts one every year and I'm debating whether to volunteer again this year to decorate my trunk and hand out candy.  Today I'm sharing all about last year's Halloween and our decorated trunk.  If you will be decorating your trunk this year, hopefully it will give you some inspiration.  And if you have no clue what a Trunk or Treat is, you can learn a little more about it!

Halloween 2015 - with some more trunk inspiration

And since this is our fifth Rewind Friday, I'd love to read some of your older posts too! In case you missed it, BethWhitneyStephanie and I are hosting this new linkup as a way to share your favorite overlooked content. As a blogger, we are constantly creating and sharing content that we are proud of, and that we've often put a ton of time and effort into. Sometimes a post that we love and worked really hard to put together doesn't get the kind of attention (comments, visits, shares, pins, what have you) that we think it deserves. Now's your chance to get some new eyes on these posts! So grab my Rewind Friday button and link up some of your favorite overlooked posts!  #RewindFridayParty

 photo Reward Friday Button_zpsvlv12xto.jpg

Now for the fun part... when we feature the bloggers with the most clicked links.  Here is the Spotlight Post for August!    Make sure you link up this month for the chance to be showcased next month!

Here are the dates of our future link ups! 
October 28th | November 25th | December 30th 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Favorite Shoes for Fall

The temperatures here have finally started to feel more like Fall.  It's chilly in the mornings and  evenings, and rather sunny and pleasant during the day.  I'm once again reminded why Fall is my favorite of the seasons.  With the change in weather comes new shoes.  I can no longer just slip a pair of sandals on and walk out the door.  And while it took a little bit of time to get into my groove, I've found 4 pairs of shoes that I know I will wear in heavy rotation this Fall!

Lace-up flats

While it definitely has gotten cooler, I don't feel like it's necessarily boot weather yet.  Maybe my feet just sweat more than others, but I prefer to wear flats during this transitional time.  I figure why rush it, there will be plenty of cold months for me to wear my boots!  This first pair of flats are a new purchase.  I had been eyeing the lace up trend for a while, and while I loved the look, I wasn't really interested in the fuss involved with tying them.  I loved my gladiator sandals this summer, but it was definitely more work compared to slipping on my leather slides!  So when I found these flats that had the look of a lace-up but are actually just stretchy slip ons, I was sold!  And the best part is they are one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I've ever worn! 

Leopard Sneakers

leopard sneakers (old Gap, but these are similar)

This will be my second or third Fall wearing these sneakers and they are still one of my favorites!  I love slip on sneakers in general (and own a few different pairs), but I most often reach for this leopard pair.  I have to be honest that when I first bought them, I was worried I wouldn't wear them that often.  I'm not a huge leopard print fan, but after wearing them a few times, I love that they act as a neutral but give my outfits a little extra punch!

Ankle Boots

While I may not be reaching for my ankle boots just yet, they will be the first pair of boots I end up wearing this season.  I give it another few weeks and this will be one my most worn pairs of shoes!  I am in love with these Sam Edelman boots and love that they go with everything!  They are a low enough heel that I can wear them all day long and my feet never hurt.  This is a huge plus when out with Noah!

Riding boots

riding boots (on sale!!!)

After loving my Sam Edelman ankle boots so much, I jumped at buying these Sam Edelman riding boots when I found them on sale last year.  I considered them a Christmas present to myself!  I have always had wider calves, so I got the extra width, and they fit perfectly!  I also have a pair of black riding boots, but once I got these, I found I stopped wearing them as much.  I have slowly become a girl who prefers brown and tan shoes... they go with EVERYTHING!  I love how these boots can easily be dressed up and down.  Once it gets cold, you'll find me wearing these boots almost every day!  

What are your favorite shoes to wear in the Fall?

Pin for later??

*affiliate links may be used

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Currently | September 2016

I love "currently" posts because I love documenting what's going on at the moment.  I'm a huge fan of making digital scrapbooks (both for our family and for Noah) as well as using this blog as a scrapbook of sorts.  I've been doing "currently" posts for a while now, but changed up the format at the beginning of the year.  Here's what I've been up to in September...

Cooking/Baking:   I'm happy to say that I've been cooking more and back into meal planning.  While Chris still works late many nights, I'm back to making dinners that can be reheated easily.  I've also been baking more this month... breads and muffins are my favorite!

Eating: Chipotle... might as well with the "Kids Eat Free" on Sundays in September!

Smelling: Fall candles burning!  I absolutely love the smell filling the house!

dishtowel and candle (Target)

Wanting: this wide angle lens.  I think it would be great for when I photograph my home decor.  I also think it would be handy when photographing in small rooms where I can't back up far enough.  

Looking:  for birthday gifts for Noah.  I am personally leaning towards gifts that have a learning aspect to them since he has so many "toys" already.  What do your 4 year olds love???   

Loving: The cooler weather!  I'm loving that it's chilly in the mornings and evenings and rather pleasant during the days.  I sure hope we get a long "fall" this year!   

Enjoying:  Our afternoons spent outside.  We have gotten into the routine of taking afternoon walks around the neighborhood with Noah in the stroller.  And Noah rides his bike either around the cul-de-sac or to the playground before or after our walk.  Noah just got a new bike.  He's still getting used to riding a real bike versus his big wheel, but he's doing great.  

Hoping:  we have a long Fall and a mild Winter.  I really love spending time outside!  

Needing:    I was going to say I needed to buy some mums to decorate the porch, but I ended up doing that yesterday!  I can officially say that we are ready for Fall!  

Wishing: my bathrooms would clean themselves.  Is there really more explanation needed?

Drinking: anything but a PSL.  While I love Fall, I just am not a fan of PSLs.  First off, I don't like coffee, and while I'm starting to enjoy more pumpkin flavored things, it's not my favorite flavor by any means! 

Feeling: bless and lucky that Noah is healthy!  September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month and it breaks my heart whenever I hear about kids being sick!  I learned about this awesome idea from a fellow blogger and immediately knew I wanted to help out. 

Brittany, who blogs at Just Another Day in Paradise, has a neighbor who lost their little boy, Noah, last June to pediatric cancer. But before he went to heaven, he sure left his mark on the world by starting something called Noah's Bandage Project. Here's a quick background... at the young age of 6, while going through his own treatment, he quickly realized how un-cool it was to just have the boring skin colored bandages all over his body with all the pricks and pokes that comes with treatment for pediatric cancer. If he felt that way, he knew other kids did too. He started a drive to collect fun bandaids (that all our kids love) and distributed them to other kids at Children's Mercy Hospital in downtown Kansas City. What started as a small drive, turned into something much bigger. The KC Royal's got involved, the KC news, etc. While he did end up passing away in June 2015, his family and friends are working hard to ensure this amazing project lives on.  

So Noah and I stopped by the bandaid aisle during our latest Target run.  I explained to Noah that there are some kids who are very sick and have to get needles a lot. Considering how much he loves his character bandaids, I asked him if he thought other kids would like to have fun bandaids over the regular plain kind.  He of course agreed and helped me pick out a few boxes... some he thought boys would like and some for the girls too :)

If you'd like to donate some fun bandaids, you can send them to the following address...
Noah's Bandage Project
119 N Parker Street Suite 110
Olathe, KS 66061

Planning:  Noah's 4th Birthday Party!  We have the place booked and invitations have been sent out. Since we are having it outside the home where they take care of almost everything, I just need to make a trip to Party City and get all the paper products and decorations.  While Pinterest parties are fun, after having Noah's party outside the house last year, I've decided this is the way to go!

Wearing:  lace up flats 

Watching: Fall television!  I love this time of year when all the shows come back and there are some new ones to check out.  A few of my summer season shows had their finales... like Rizzoli and Isles and Big Brother!     

Listening to: Young House Love Has A Podcast!  I love their blog so it's no surprise I love their podcast too!  

Reading:  My goodness, I just can't get back into the groove of reading for myself!  But the good news is we've been reading more at night with Noah.  We've been reading some new Halloween books and loving them.  Every night, Noah picks out 3 books... one that I read, one for Chris to read, and one for him to read.  And no, Noah can't read yet (wouldn't that be crazy), but he has memorized Brown Bear, Brown Bear... so we read it every single night :)  

What have you been up to this month?  

*affiliate links may be used

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Home Tour 2016 | "All Things Pumpkin Party" Announcement!

Good Morning Friends!  One of my favorite things about the seasons changing is making small tweaks to our house and decor.  I love bringing in more neutrals in the Fall, pastels in the Spring, and lots of red and metallics at Christmas! Another one of my favorite things to do is to peruse Pinterest and go on virtual home tours.  I really enjoy seeing how others decorate for each season and holiday.  So today I thought I'd share how I decorated our house this Fall for all of you who are just as nosey curious as I am!  

As I do every year, I like to buy a few new things to incorporate with my old favorites in new ways.  I love moving things around and finding new ways to display some of my favorite pieces.  So while I tried to provide sources and links as much as I could, many of my decor pieces are from previous years and no longer available.

When walking into my house, the living room can be seen right away.  This sofa table acts as a separation, creating almost a hallway to the rest of my house.  It also stores Noah's shoes and our winter hats and mittens (not yet, not yet!).  I like adding a few seasonal touches to it, but also leaving some space since it's often a landing zone when we walk in the door.  

runner - similarpumpkins, and lamp (Target)

The mantel is one of my favorite things to decorate.  When we lived in an apartment, I longed for a fireplace... not for the fires, but for the mantel!  This year, I decided to keep it very neutral and a little more simple than last year.  I found these brown vases in the Target Dollar Spot, the fake gourds are from last year, and I used one of my favorite vases, but updated it with some new stems of cotton.

vase (Crate and Barrel)
brown vases, basket, plaid throw (Target)
gourds and stems (Michaels)
mirror (Home Goods)
^^^ and can I tell you how upset Noah got over this basket?  It usually says Noah (which it still does on the other side) and it's usually located near our sofa table.  He noticed right away that is was moved and at first didn't care.  But then when he was playing, he all of a sudden said "Why doesn't this say Noah?".  I told him to turn it around, but apparently that wasn't enough.  The tears began and not only did he want me to erase "Fall" and put "Noah" back on, but he also told me to put it back where it was before.  This kid clearly doesn't like change!

Other than that, I kept our living room practical, and just added a bunch of pumpkins on side tables and bookshelves.  In a few weeks, I will swap some of these regular pumpkins out for some jack-o-lanterns.  

wooden "bowl" and white pumpkin (Target)
pumpkin candle (Pottery Barn)
pillow (Home Goods)
white and gold pumpkins (old Target)
wicker pumpkin (old Pottery Barn)

Next up, I added a few seasonal touches to my dining room.  We don't have an eat in kitchen, so this is our main eating area.  Because of that, I wanted to keep it functional and not set a formal table.  Instead, I keep a stack of rattan placemats on the sideboard so we are ready for family meals.  I kept the table simple with a buffalo check runner and used this gold tray to corral a few simple decor elements.  It's the perfect combination for me... decorated, but still practical for the every day.  We can still enjoy family meals here, but it's also a clear space for us to play board games and put puzzles together on!

gold tray, potted boxwood, candle, squirrel (Target)
table runner (Etsy)
^^^ Noah picked out the squirrel in the Target Dollar Section.  It was between a squirrel and fox, and honestly both would have been super cute!

Other than the stack of chargers, I added some warm touches with the orange and yellow stems, a white owl, and orange pumpkins.  While I love having fresh flowers in my house, when it comes to stems of leaves, I prefer to use artificial.  There's just something about bringing stems in from the trees outside my house that makes me worry I'm gonna be inviting the bugs in!  

owl and artificial stems (Michaels)
 bronze pumpkin dish and white urn (Home Goods)
placemats (Ikea)
orange pumpkins (Target Dollar Spot)

Other than that, I love using smell to really make it feel like Fall!  A potpourri filled pumpkin in the bathroom and a Fall candle in the kitchen.  There's nothing better than the smell of Fall filling your house!

vase (Michaels)
dishtowel and candle (Target)
Flinn pumpkin (Etsy - similar)
potpourri pumpkin (TJ Maxx)
owl (Michaels)

Do you switch up your decor depending on the season?  How do you like to decorate for Fall?  As you can tell, when I think Fall, I think pumpkins!  So what better way to celebrate the Fall season, then with an "All Things Pumpkin Party"!  

Every Tuesday in October, we (Wife Mommy Me, Our Pretty Little Girls, and Hall Around Texas) will share something pumpkin themed... a craft, recipe, DIY decor project, homemade beauty product and so on. Anything goes, as long as there are pumpkins involved... it's really that simple! And since I highly doubt I'm the only one obsessed with pumpkins right now, I would love for you to join in with the pumpkin fun and link up with us!  Just grab a button and meet us back here starting Tuesday, October 4th!

And don't worry, we will still be having our Tuesday Talk linkup as well!  So make sure to linkup with both :)

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Whitney at Polka Dotty Place | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Weekend with the Cousins

I think today is going to be a pretty lazy Monday... a day to recover!  While we often stay busy on the weekends, this one felt even busier.  My brother, sister-in-law, and Noah's cousins drove down Friday afternoon.  The reason for their visit was because they were going to a BYU football game down in Washington DC.  My parents' house was a nice half way point and they were going to babysat my youngest nephew (who's Noah's age) while they took the older two to the game.  The game was a birthday gift for my middle nephew, who will be 6 next weekend (how did that happen so fast???).  It was a whirlwind of a weekend, with lots of driving for them, and trying to fit in as much cousin time as we could.  

My brother and his family arrived Friday evening, so Noah and I headed over to my parents' house and then Chris met us there when he got home from work.  Since we won't be seeing my nephew on his actual birthday, my mom decided to throw him a little family birthday party on Friday night.  We played some party games, had Matthew's favorite (baked ziti) for dinner, opened presents, and sang to him over an ice cream cake!  The kids had so much fun playing some of the party games I grew up on.  Pass the Parcel was always a staple at our parties growing up, so I was surprised when Chris had never heard of the game!  So tell me... have you ever heard of it?  

After a late night partying with his cousins, Noah slept in Saturday.  He basically woke up, ate breakfast, and we were out the door for the day.  My brother and his wife took the older kids to the football game while my youngest nephew stayed home with my parents.  My mom is a firm believer in keeping kids busy and distracted, so we planned to spend the day with them in an effort to help entertain Aidan.  But first, we took Noah to Lowes for this month's Build and Grow.  The Avenger themed projects are officially over, but Noah was very excited to make a Fire Boat!  From there, we met my parents and my nephew at the bookstore and then grabbed some lunch at McDonalds.  The new happy meal toys are DC Comic figures, and I'm honestly not sure who was more excited for this, Chris or Noah!

After lunch, we took the two boys to the zoo.  While Noah and I had taken my parents there just a few weeks ago, Chris hasn't been since our zoo got the giraffe exhibit.  He was so excited to go and was very hopeful we'd get to feed the giraffes.  He was seriously bummed when there were signs at the entrance saying the giraffe exhibit was closed for the day.  Workers said that the field was too wet and was dangerous for the giraffes.  But they did say that the gazelles (which we later found out were actually antelopes), that are in the same area, were still out.  So we took our time looking at some other animals while still making our way to the African/Giraffe section.

So you can imagine our surprise when we walked down and saw that not only were the giraffes out, but there was one super close because a zoo worker was feeding him!  We learned that the giraffes were inside all morning and now that the field had finally dried out, they just let them out (how lucky for us).  We also learned that they usually do feedings everyday, but not until 2pm (which is why we missed it the last time we came).  The boys were really excited to see the giraffes AND it put Chris in a much better mood!

From there we saw more animals, the boys had some snacks, and Noah proceeded to avoid the camera!  The only time I could get photos of him was when he was distracted eating his Swedish Fish.  The funny part was when he would be looking away and Aidan would be smiling at the camera.  I told Aidan he was such a good model and it was time I photographed him more.  Clearly Noah is over all the photos.  I just hope he gets over that soon since we are having family photos taken in a few weeks.  That, or I will need to do some major bribing!

You can try to hide, but eventually I will get you...

On Sunday, Chris was gone for the day at the Giants game, while we went to have one last family lunch before my brother and family drove home.  Noah sure does love when his cousins come to visit.  And as much as Noah loves to follow the older cousins around, it was a treat to get some one on one time with just Aidan.  Since he's the youngest, I've never really had the chance to see him all by himself.  Those sibling dynamics have always been a factor.  Noah and Aidan usually don't end up playing with each other when everyone is around, but the two of them got along really well at the zoo.  It was nice to have a different kind of visit this time.    
Blogging tips