Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall Nostalgia

Living in such a busy season of three kids with school, baseball, attitudes, homework, nap times, piano, playdates, and so on, I often find myself thinking of the past. Things seemed simpler and it felt like we had more time to celebrate. I'm sure it wasn't as perfect as it seems in my head for every season of raising kids has it's ups and downs but I have so many fond memories. We did crafts, we made cookies, we had playdates at a farm an hour away (twice in a month!), and I loved it all. Our playgroup always joked that our motto was, "Livin' the Dream" and I can definitely say I look back with no regrets. 

So if you'll humor me, I'd love to revisit our past Halloweens in a few pictures. 

My first baby and his first Halloween. My mom and I made his costume from a towel and some felt. It's one of my favorites and I'm hanging onto for his kids some day. He didn't trick or treat but we did pass out candy together (including to some of my former students)!

Toddlerhood for N and one of my favorite stages. He was everywhere and the most adorable dinosaur ever. This was the year he caught on to the whole trick or treating deal. We made it up two streets and he was determined to fill his pumpkin!

N had a homemade robot costume this year. No one really knew what he was (mom fail). It rained on Halloween which was okay with us. We spent the night before in the hospital after N fractured his skull and suffered a concussion. He was fine, but we were all on high alert for the next few weeks.

A new little guy entered our lives this year. N and T made the cutest police officer and doggie. We also had just taken the kids on their first trip across the country which made this year extra exciting.

N changed his mind about a zillion times before October. Then he and I flew back out to California and a flight attendant suggested he be an airplane for Halloween and it stuck! Another homemade costume but it was perfect for him, and up until this year was played with frequently.

T was obsessed with Cookie Monster. It started as an Elmo obsession and quickly morphed into a love of all things Cookie Monster. N finally joined the superhero craze and was Spiderman. He had always been scared of super heroes (if you need a super hero there must be a villain and villains are scary) so this was a big step. We also laughed at his choice because each year one kid in our playgroup decided to be Spiderman, N continued the tradition.

T stuck with his Cookie Monster costume for another year and N borrowed a homemade Angry Bird costume. We did a lot of our usual Halloween festivities, but I was pregnant, sick, and tired!

Another little one joined our crew and in true 3rd child fashion, did not have a costume. N had moved up a level in baseball and a lot of our fall was practices and games. We still made it to the patch and trick or treated with friends, but the month long celebration of all things fall had definitely slowed. 

This brings us to the present. The boys and KC have costumes (although today Chris mentioned we need to get the guys light sabers - not sure where to find them this late in the game). We've been to the farm, we've painted pumpkins, throw in some cookie baking and I'll call this year another win. Are you ready for Saturday? Or as a parent I should ask, are you ready for Sunday?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday

I'm tired. KC came down with a cold Saturday night and sleep hasn't been happening around here. Last night was our best night yet, but we've been up since 4am. She's currently napping and I should be folding laundry, but I'm tired and want to sit.

Yesterday the new issue of Our State magazine arrived. The subscription was a present and it's quickly grown to my favorite magazine (I even just cancelled my Real Simple auto renew because I usually read this magazine and never make it to the Real Simple). ANYWAY - There's an article on Vivian from A Chef's Life on PBS. This is one of my favorite shows and it was exciting to read more of what happens behind the camera and how her show has changed Kinston. I cannot wait for her cookbook to come out! (This issue also has an article on one of Chris' coworkers family's Thanksgivings - it was kind of neat to see in print).

Our weekend life is all about baseball these days. Since it rained so many weekends we now have make up games in addition to our usual games. Last Friday and Saturday we had 4 games total. This Friday, T plays, Saturday and Sunday N plays. N has grown so much as a player I'll be sad to see this season end. T received the game ball on Saturday for getting an out at third!

I need a pair of winter shoes. I'm debating booties but I'm not in love with the look (especially on me). I'm guessing trying them on would help me decide. I need something to keep my feet warm, which lead me to these (but maybe a ballet flat would be better). 

I realized last week that I took out my big camera exactly 1 time in the month of September. I'm trying to be better about but it's usually the last thing on my mind or I don't want to ruin the moment by going to grab the camera. I hate missing cute moments though.

Did you hear about the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix? It may have made my week. There are a few shows I watch over and over (Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Gilmore Girls) and I CANNOT wait!! 

I've been cooking a lot recently and want to share some easy recipes. I try to make dinner while KC naps because once she's awake absolutely nothing gets done. She is by far my wildest, most demanding, craziest child.

Happy almost weekend! Linking up with Natalie and Annie :)

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Pumpkin Patch

It rained weekend after weekend and then they called for more rain last weekend. I was starting to think visiting our favorite fall farm wasn't going to happen. Then, Chris worked from home one beautiful Friday (before the rains returned) and we picked up the boys from school and drove two minutes down the road. 

Normally my boys would be in nice shirts, KC's outfit would be themed (and would include shoes), and I'd have put on makeup. But these days it just seem lucky to make it out of the house together. I guess that's my disclaimer that these pictures do not live up to their predecessors (in the clothing department - they are still adorable pictures and it was still a wonderful time). 

We started off playing. 
(technically the boys ran off to play the moment we arrived)

KC was super excited to figure out the slide. 
She probably would have stayed for an hour.

Slushies were a must, and a hayride too.

The boys were excited about the maze. 
KC quickly caught on to the whole running through the corn thing. 
I think we finished in record time this year. 
Maybe they are ready for the big one next year.

 Last but not least, we grabbed some pumpkins from the patch!

Now, just imagine the boys in polos and KC in this outfit and our trip was a complete success :)

I was thrilled we fit everything in one afternoon (including doughnuts). This weekend is supposed to be beautiful (but cold) so maybe we will get a chance to return. As of now the farm has about 2 more years before it's developed into something like apartments or offices. The boys will have one of those memories, "I remember when this used to be a farm and we would go on hayrides." Until then we'll soak up every minute we can at this wonderful place!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday // A Little Q&A

Natalie of East Coast Chic was super sweet and nominated me for a little blogger Q & A. I always love reading these so I'm excited to participate and link back up with her (and Annie) for Thoughts on Thursday.

Bower Studio Photography

Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging five years ago on a family blog. My plan was to create family year books using Blurb to create books from my posts. I never did. Blurb was complicated and time consuming. I wanted to share more of my love of kids clothes, activities, books, but I didn't think my family blog was the place so I started Playground Prepster in 2013. 

Has blogging created friendships for you?
Maybe not the traditional sense of a friendship, but definitely friendships where I feel like a I know another blogger. Maybe in a pen pal sort of sense.

What is your number one tip for blogging?
Don't do it unless you want to. Don't worry about schedules because it leads to pressure about what to post. Instead, post when you have something to say (even if you may be the only one to read it). I love organizing posts about kid's clothes, even if it's just for me. I use them for reference later.

What is your favorite kind of blog post to write and read?
When I read blog posts I like to feel a connection with someone writing it. I can read just about anything if I think the person writing it is genuine. I tend to go through phases on what posts I prefer to read. I used to love to read posts on crafts and diy, then I started loving inspirational posts before moving on to fashion. Now it seems I read quite a hodge podge of topics.
My favorite posts to write are simply organizing my finds for children's clothes, books, or toys (but mostly clothes).

Is it hard to keep up with blogging and your regular every day life?
I don't necessarily stick with a schedule or really plan out my posts which makes blogging fit into my life a little easier. I'm not saying that one day I won't start having some type of posting schedule, but it would be a little too much now. 

Have you met any bloggers you met through here?
I've met Katharine from Southern Bourbon Mountains. Our boys were in the same soccer league. She is extremely nice and makes you feel like you've known her forever. She organized a dinner with some instagram ladies (and then couldn't make it because of an illness - boo), but I also met Dominique (and Elle) from ComfyCozyCouture. Elle was tiny at the time and just as adorable as she is now.

How much time do you spend blogging?
Maybe 1-3 hours a week. Usually I spend one night catching up on posts I may have missed.

What is your most popular blog post?
I wrote a post with all my End of Year Teacher Gifts, which is my most popular post. I need to reference it again (and update it) as I'm N's 2nd grade class room parent! 

What is your favorite post on your blog?
Wow that's really hard to choose. I loved putting together my Baby Gift Bundles post (I always love a theme), but I'm not sure it's my favorite. Maybe my most recent beach vacation recap as it was our first big trip as a family of five and I have so many wonderful memories from the trip.

Thanks for including me Natalie! I'm nominating:
Amanda at Tickled Pink

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My Target Finds

This weekend on a quick run to Target (without kids) I had a minute to glance over the clothes. Target is such a hit or miss place for me but this weekend it was a total hit. I grabbed two shirts without trying them on and love them. It makes me wish I'd looked a little longer in the clothing section.

I wore this top yesterday and loved it! Funny enough our neighbor brought over cookies and was wearing it too. It's a thicker material so it will be great throughout winter.

This one has a lot more options in store but it's the perfect alternative to a sweatshirt (and can be long enough for leggings if that's your thing). I purchased one that is white with navy stripes and know it will be a go to this fall. I usually don't buy more than one color of a top, but may break the rules with this one.

These are both Merona which were on sale with Cartwheel this weekend - I haven't checked if they are on sale still. Both were around $22 without a sale.

I love when people share their finds that don't break the bank! I was actually looking for a cardigan another blogger shared - I found it but it didn't work for me (I'm way too short). Any other Target must haves?