Things I'm Loving

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hey guys!

We have been loving fall here in KC and been enjoying parks, libraries and being outside without the fear of being eaten alive by mosquitoes or suffocating in the humid Kansas summer heat.  Fall is when I feel most alive.  I know it's cliché and very basic to say fall is my favorite holiday but pardon my french, I don't give a s***, I'm gonna say it.  I feel alive, rejuvenated, fresh, and the most myself I ever am in fall and with that... comes all good things.

I don't know if this is a new trend that will eventually catch on or if she literally doesn't get it, but she wears her glasses upside down and it makes me so happy she's mine.
Buddy, takin care of sis.  Putting her purse on.  Characters, they are.

Em girl- full of SASS.

I've thought about doing a post like this forever with some current things I'm loving, as a mom and human. And with that....

1. French Vanilla Lattes

Guys.  I'm normally suuuuch a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) girl but this season, it's not my thing.  Haven't had ONE.  Don't get me wrong... I am still loving all things pumpkin BUT this sweet, simple drink is my jam right now.  It's just a vanilla + hazelnut latte.  BUT the barista at Starbs told me to order a French Vanilla latte and it's the same thing.  It's so good.  And so fall-ish.

2.  Toddler Talk

Em and Bennett are talking like, all the time now.  Mini sentences even.  "Dada work" (when Alex leaves for school),  "Mama water" (when I have my water bottle around), "No go downstairs" (when Bennett doesn't want to go in the basement).  And Emmy girl can count!  She can count by herself to 11! After that, she starts over at 8?  It' the cutest dang thing ever.  I think she picked it up from Sesame Street.  Bennett is so good about asking for things and always including Emmy.  We have also hit a stage of biting, and so "sorry" and "I love you" are heard round the clock in our house.  They are pretty good at making up.   I haven't figured out our discipline for that yet.  TBD.

3.  Apple Crisp

This one's easy.  But lately, the craving has been stronger than ever.  We went with our awesome neighbors to an apple orchard and got some apples (and apple cider donuts obvi) and my taste for this sweet goodness overwhelmed our household.  Below is my Aunt Nancy's recipe for an incredibly easy apple crisp that more of a dessert and is best with warm cream or even better: vanilla custard.  It's not the apple crisp you may be used to but it's easy and delish.

4 C. sliced and peeled Granny Smith Apples
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Topping (You can use any streusel topping)
1 C. sugar
1.3 C. soft butter
3/4 C. sifted flour
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350℉.  Arrange the sliced apples in an ungreased 8" square pan.  Mix together the water, cinnamon and salt.  Sprinkle over apples.  Mix the topping with fingers until crumbly.  Spread over the top of apples.  Baked, uncovered for about 40 minutes.

To their HIGHEST delights, they has Wizard of Oz characters at the orchard and I seriously thought they were going to faint when they saw them.

We can't get enough of our neighbors.

Two happy, happy, sugar filled boys.

4.  Disney Movies

I'll say it again: very cliché of this 90's baby to like and want all the disney movies for my kids.  They have seen Toy Story, Ling King, Aristocats, Beauty & the Beast, Bambi and countless more and I'm pleased to say, they are loving it.  Dad, not so much.  Those dang movies are all like $20 online and digital is the way to go nowadays.  Ugh.  So it's been a slow collection of the movies but with the holidays and birthdays approaching, maybe we can add a few.

5.  Coloring Books

We hit up the dollar store recently and I'm so glad we went.  They had disney and sesame street coloring books, crayons, flashcards, and we only got through one section of one aisle!  I know it's mostly kinda junkie stuff BUT the nice thing is that everything is a dollar!  And I don't feel bad if the pages get ripped, or barely colored on, or lost.  Which is nice with two 22 month olds.

6.  The Public Library

We recently discovered how awesome libraries are.  And it used to be a fear of mine to bring my babies there since one of their favorite pastimes was pulling all the books off their bookshelf every day, multiple times a day.  BUT we found a library close to us that caters to little ones as early as 6 months old.  They have a toy kitchen, activity area with coloring books, toys, building blocks, dinosaur action figures (Bennett's jam) and so much more- they even change it with the seasons!  They also have toddler story time on Tuesday's- we haven't been but are planning to go soon!  And best of all?  It's FREE!  Research one close to you!  I'm sure they have activities for tiny humans just like ours.

7.  Spiced Cider Candle from Anthropologie

This one is self explanatory (and not an ad).  But seriously... if you want probably the most potent and beautiful smelling autumn candle, this is it.  Yes it's a $30 candle but I'm here to tell you: if you are a candle person and a fall person, this is your spirit scent and it's worth every single penny.  Per Anthropologie's website, here is the description:  nutmeg, clove and cinnamon are layered over fresh apple and juicy orange notes... I mean COME ON!  Love it.  And the jar is so pretty- can't beat it.

8.  Quilts

Seasonal love.  Alex's sweet Grandma has such a talent for quilt making.  She gave me my first one when I graduated from nursing school and our second for a wedding gift!  I love how cozy they are and after being washed a handful of times, quilts only get better and softer.  She even made tiny quilts for the babes and we used them as tummy time quilts when they were little.  Joan, thank you for your love of quilts and for sharing your talents with our family.

This is the pattern of our quilt for our wedding.  It's my favorite.
9.  Work/ Flexible Schedule

This is a weird love right now... very weird.  BUT I'm feeling thankful for my job.  I recently worked an all night case and it just solidified my love of where I'm at with nursing.  And I'm just super thankful for the time I'm able to spend with my kids.  I know that's not the case with most people, so in this season, I'm counting my blessings.

Our favorite thing to do during the days, if we aren't at the library, is frequent parks.  We've found an AWESOME park that caters to toddlers.  It's a newer, redone park and I think that's why.  There are 2 separate playgrounds, one for ages 2-5 and one for 5+.  Normally when we go to playgrounds, the babies always want to climb to the highest spot and give mom a heart attack from the ground.  I spend most of my time racing up rock walls and slides to get to them and make sure they don't fall.  With this park, I can breathe easier and let them roam and explore without the fear of them getting too high.

My advice?  Research parks online in your area.  Lots of times people will rate them and leave comments about how well they work for certain age groups.  There's also an app: winnie that I found that caters to "modern parents" (whatever that means).  It's basically a community that helps you find kid friendly places to eat, local activities or even the closet changing table to your location.  It's been pretty great to use and I haven't even used the whole app yet!

Everything is low to the ground, and easily accessible for little ones.  

 This particular playground has interactive sound makers too.  Such a huge deal for toddlers who are hands-on (which is basically every toddler ever).

10.  Holiday Books

This is a new love and inspired by my Mom and her friend Nikki.  Growing up, we would have Christmas books that would make their appearance in our home when the decorations came out.  Nikki has been so generous with the babies and bought them books for holidays.  (PSA: books are the best gift you can ever give kids... seriously... their parents will love you).  I've decided that we are going to start collecting books per holiday and I'll put them away with the decor to get them out so the kids can love on them again.

Anyways, hope maybe this list sparks something in you.  Anything.  Working on another post already for the beginning of November!  See you soon!

Lauren, E&B

We went to Alex's school's auction this weekend and the theme was, if you can't tell, Mardi Gras.  Alex was the emcee and he was the hit of the party with that giddup.

I even got a selfie with the Archbishop... he asked ME for one. Such a sweet man.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lauren,
    Wrap your Christmas books in holiday paper and after you've collected 25, they can choose one each day, unwrap and read. I do this on beach vacation with Cami and she loves it. Something you can do for many years.


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