Happy Halloween!

This past Saturday it was once again time for our playgroup's annual Halloween party. Everyone came dressed for the festivities ....

Our family theme this year was Monsters Inc. The idea started back in the spring when I stumbled across a kids' Sulley costume at Goodwill for $5. I bought it thinking it would be fun for Dylan's dress up collection but later decided it would work great for Halloween.

We tried for a family photo similar to last year, but, while he posed for the kids' shot and the group one above, our little monster refused to pose with just us. I tried begging to no avail ...

Nope. Not happening. So Trent & I posed just the two of us ...

I made both of our costumes. For the Mike costume, I took a green t-shirt we already owned and added fabric to create a giant eye and smile. The hardhat was a thrift find (50 cents). I spray painted it blue using paint leftover from my canvas art project and added a sitcker with the Monsters Inc logo that I created in Photoshop.

For the Boo costume, I used her monster costume as inspiration. I combined a sparkly purple dress and sheer gray top - both thrift finds ($7 total). The hat I created using purple felt, leftover white fabric from Mike's eye (teeth), batting, a headband (free from the NC State Fair last month. I just added sticker "eyes" over the original stickers), and yarn (hair).

All in all I spent under $20 to outfit all 3 of us. Hopefully I can do just as well next year and we can get a true family photo. Maybe.

Happy Halloween!


Monster Pizzas

Looking for a fun Halloween inspired food idea for our playgroup when Dylan & I hosted earlier in the month, I came across a recipe for Monster Pizzas. We changed it up a bit, but kept the same general concept. The boys all loved creating their own special pizzas.

English Muffins
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese 
Mini pepperoni
Red, green & yellow peppers in various sizes

I gave each toddler half an English muffin and added the sauce for those that wanted it. Then let them top with cheese.

Next I brought over a divided plate of peppers and mini pepperoni to top their pizzas and create the faces. I got mixed reactions. To be expected from toddlers. :)

Dylan loves his veggies - especially peppers. He made a face but kept eating the green pepper nose before I could snap a photo.

Red pepper hair (or eyebrows?), mini pepperoni eyes and yellow pepper mouth.
Then ate off all the veggies before I could nab the pizzas and put them on a tray to warm in the oven. Thus his is the "ate all my veggies" pizza.

The lunch was a hit. I think almost every bite of pizza was eaten plus a good amount of fresh fruit (bananas, apples & strawberries). Of course, the promise of mini pumpkin cupcakes for dessert might have helped. ;)


Friday Freebie: grow template

This month I have a new 12x12 template to share. I created it for my grow layout and it is free for personal use only. It features 12 layers including photo masks and the paper borders.

Click here to download the grow template


Have you missed one of my previous digital freebies? Click HERE to find them. And, don't forget to subscribe to my feeds so you won't miss future freebies!


Wordless Wednesday: Little Pumpkin


the Studio by Kiwi Crate

Forever searching for fun ideas to entertain Dylan (and help him learn), I was excited to see that Kiwi Crate has a new website - the Studio. It's loaded with project ideas to enjoy with your kids like Halloween crafts, Thanksgiving crafts, kid-friendly recipes, two-ingredient projects, and more. Each project has instructions and photos to make recreating simple. You can also create an account to easily tag projects you want to try or have completed.

Dylan & I made the Flying Bat Ornaments last week and are already marking more projects we want to do. Check it out!


Candy Corn Art

On a rainy afternoon earlier in the week, I went to Pinterest for a craft idea to entertain us. Dylan was very excited when I said "candy corn." I quickly explained it was an art project and that I didn't have any of the actual candy. I have a feeling it will find our cart during our next grocery trip... That said, he loved this simple craft I found on Mamas Like Me blog.

I hand sketched the outline of a candy corn using a white crayon. Then wrote each color name in its section using a crayon of the same color (ie, I wrote 'yellow' using a yellow crayon). I gave Dylan a small bottle of glue and pieces of white, yellow & orange construction paper. Together we worked on the glue (our gluestick had dried up and this was his first time using a bottle of glue). Dylan carefully placed each colored piece on his own.

He was very proud of his finished project and showed it off to Trent when he got home. Then hung it on the fridge for everyone to see. :)


Wordless Wednesday: Ferris Wheel



On our wish list for a new house was a playset for Dylan - or at least the space to put one. He's enjoyed Step 2 climbers in the past (Kangaroo and Woodland), but needs something bigger as he grows. We were fortunate to find a house that already had a redwood playset installed. It was a little worn from age and neglect so Dylan & I made a visit to the local Woodplay store last month to set up a date for cleaning & repair.

The set was checked for safety, pressure washed, stained and a new ladder and swings were installed. It literally looks brand new. Dylan was ecstatic when the work was complete and he could finally play.

He even convinced me to climb up in the playhouse with him:

I have a feeling a lot of hours will be spent out here.


Moving - the layout

This cut out template for the October Blueprint Challenge at Design House Digital was perfect for little glimpses of our move. I used "cardboard" paper and masking tape to mimic the feel of all those packed boxes (which I wish I could say were all gone but we're still working through them!).

Supplies: DHD October Blueprint Challenge template by Jen Papadimitriou; Kindergarten Crafts kit by Miss Mint; Picket Fences kit by Jen Allyson; I Love Boys elements by Robyn Meierotto; Digi Essentials brushes by Karla Dudley; Back to Basics - Black Frames by Sara Schmutz; Another Typewriter font.


Wordless Wednesday: Snail

Credit to Dylan for spotting this little guy during a park visit a few weeks ago.

Linking up to Wordless Wednesday and Sarah Halstead


Goodbye. Hello.

Tuesday, September 25th was *the* day. The day we closed on the sale of our first house. The house we bought on a whim when we were young. The house where Trent proposed to me. The house we started married life in. The house & yard we poured our heart & soul into. The house we brought Dylan home to. There have been many, many more good memories and some not so good. But for 9.5 years almost to the day, it was "home."

March 2003

July 2012
The past few weeks have been filled with excitement, chaos and a bit of sadness all mixed as we found our way from closing on the old, renting back for a few days, closing on the new and, of course, literally moving every belonging we own.

As of a week ago, we are officially in our new house. Still getting settled. Still adjusting. The new house is starting to look and feel a bit like home. And the new memories have begun such as the moment my mom brought Dylan after our move and he ran from room to room squealing and jumping up & down with joy. I was too excited myself in having him back that I didn't even manage a photo. :) But it was a sure sign of many happy moments to come as we create our new home together.