Friday Love 10.19.18

Happy Friday! I can’t believe I missed the last week! I had every intention of getting on here to post but there is good reason I didn’t, I was exhausted. My older daughter had a late acting class Wednesday night then we had to be up early for her field trip to the Mission San Juan Bautista Thursday morning, which immediately after, she had rehearsal for her school play! It was a long couple of days. But I’m back with lots to share. I hope you enjoy today’s Friday Love!

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Mission San Juan Bautista

I was lucky enough to be able to chaperone my daughter’s field trip to the Mission San Juan Bautista last Thursday. We started with an early morning charter bus ride and the kids thought this was the coolest thing ever. We arrived at the mission almost two hours later but the long ride was worth it. The town itself was absolutely charming and I had the best time hanging with Lyla and her friends, and a couple of my mom friends. Neither Lyla or I had ever been to this mission and it was so fun to explore a town and place new to us. It was a great day with my big girl!

Art & Craft of Acting

For her birthday this year, my hubby and I gifted Lyla acting classes at our local theatre instead of a big gift. She has been wanting to take acting class for the longest time now but was not old enough to enroll (the age to start was nine). Well, since she turned nine this year we thought, why not? We love our local theatre and have taken a myriad of classes there since we moved to Tracy in 2014. I really cannot say enough wonderful things about the Grand or the classes/programs they offer. Lyla took the Art & Craft of Acting class for five weeks and her finale performance was on Wednesday. Now, these young kids didn’t learn a Disney play or anything like that. They tackled a murder mystery play, Blood on the Dining Room Floor, written by Gertrude Stein. This was tough stuff! The had to memorize some pretty long monologues but it was such a joy to watch them perform. The icing on the cake was that Lyla’s best friend also took the class. They had such a great time together.

Livermore Wine Trolley

Dates for my husband and I are very rare these days so I really cherish when we do get to have some one-on-one time. My in-laws gave us tickets to the Livermore Wine Trolley for Christmas last year and we finally got around to using them last weekend. We live about 20-30 minutes from Livermore and visit the wineries pretty often but we had never gone on the wine trolley. We booked ourselves on the 11:15 trolley this past Sunday and had a blast visiting three different wineries. I had never been to any of the three while my hubby had been to just one so it was nice to visit some new places.

Our day started early, dropping our kids off with their auntie then getting to downtown Livermore about 10:45. We were a bit early since we didn’t have to be there until 11am. Once we were settled in the trolley, we were off to our first winery, Wente Vineyards. Now, I have been to Wente’s smaller property many times but never to this one. It was breathtaking. I loved everything about the place and can’t wait to go back. From there we went to Tenuta Vineyards where our catered lunch was waiting. We enjoyed our lunch and tastings out on the beautiful patio. Our final stop was Tesla Vintners, which housed three separate wineries in the same outdoor location. We had a great day doing one of our favorite things, wine tasting!

 

Halloween Town

We took our girls to their first Halloween event this past weekend. We decided to check out the Halloween Town event that took place on Friday and Saturday at the old outlets in town. My kids love this time of year and love any excuse to dress up in their costumes. For me, it was really fun to see them in their costumes for the first time, and play with hair and makeup. They got some candy, some slime and got to ride the train. It was a great start to the big event!

 

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Halloween 2015

We had quite the Halloween this year. Lyla got to wear her costume five days in a row! I know this was fun and exciting for her but quite a bit of work for mom – hello hair curling, hair color, glitter spray and full makeup five different times! But I’ll do anything for my baby. Our week started on Tuesday night when Lyla’s dance studio held a studio-wide costume contest. Lyla was so excited to wear her costume “officially” for the first time and she was determined to win the contest. She went as a Shopkin this year, the limited edition Cupcake Queen.

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On Wednesday, we headed to the Bass Pro Shop. We live about 20 minutes away and I have to say, I’m always very impressed with their special holiday events. The store is always beautifully decorated for each holiday, they offer one free 4×6 picture and have free crafts for the kids, I mean, how can you beat that?

Before moving to Tracy, I had never even been to a Bass Pro Shop. We went for the first time during Christmas last year and again for Easter. The girls love the store, its huge and there’s so much to see. They have a big fish tank and waterfall, a fun country store, its really neat but I have learned a few tips if you plan to go for a holiday event. Arrive EARLY! At least an hour early. We skipped the picture with Santa on our first visit because the line was out the door and this is a BIG store. For Easter, we came about 30 minutes early and were maybe 20th in line. For Halloween this year, we got to the store an hour before and were the first in line for pictures, the first! We got some popcorn, fudge and a drink from the country store, trust me, a little snack makes all the difference when waiting in line with children. They had the cutest set-up for Halloween and offered one free picture with characters from the Peanuts gang. Such a fun outing!

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On Thursday, Lyla’s Girl Scout troop had their Halloween party. She had a blast with her friends.

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Friday was the big Halloween celebration at school. She walked in the Halloween parade and showed off her costume to the entire school.

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The parade ends in the large field behind her school. All of the students (K-8) form a very large square. The school brings in a DJ and the kids get to watch the 8th graders perform to Thriller. It’s a really fun time. Afterwards, we spent the day in her classroom for her class Halloween party. It was a fun, but long day.

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On Friday afternoon/night, we did an easy Halloween craft (pumpkin magnets), carved pumpkins, made Halloween Rice Krispie treats, ate Jack-o-Lantern pizza from Papa Murphy’s and watched Hocus Pocus. That movie is one of my all time favorite Halloween movies and was worried about Lyla being too young to watch it and getting scared but she ended up loving it. It was a busy, exhausting but very fulfilling day.

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On Saturday, we had a very, yummy, festive Halloween morning breakfast. I used this amazing mix from William Sonoma and added orange food coloring and chocolate chips to make Jack-o-Lantern pancakes. A hit all around except that I forgot to pick-up syrup while at the grocery store and we only had enough for the girls pancakes…. wah, wah, wah. I put butter and cinnamon on mine and it was still good. Just had to work with what we had.

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We spent the rest of the day just being lazy and lounging around the house. I wanted to get ready in time to take some pictures outside but I underestimated how long it would take all of us to get ready and by the time we were, the sun had gone down – momFAIL! The lighting definitely wasn’t as good inside the house but at least we got our pictures. Only one kid smiling but you can’t win em’ all. I went as a baker and my girls were my two little cupcakes, my sweetest creations 😉

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We met up with some friends in our neighborhood and were ready to trick-or-treat! Because it rained last year, this was Sophie’s first experience trick-or-treating door-to-door. It didn’t take her long to figure out how to get the candy. We had such a fun time and Lyla filled her basket pretty quickly. It was a successful Halloween!

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Throwback Thursday – Halloween 2014

With Halloween quickly approaching (this Saturday! ekkk!), I thought it would be fun to look back at last year’s festivities. Halloween has become Lyla’s favorite holiday (that is until Christmas arrives) so I do my best and try to make it really special for her. Halloween fell on a Friday last year, so I surprised her with a Halloween themed breakfast, a balloon, card, and a fun, little message on the chalkboard.

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We had been watching the forecast like crazy because it had been raining on and off earlier in the week and rain was scheduled for that day but thankfully it held off and we were able to enjoy the festivities at Lyla’s school.

Here’s my girl dressed as Kiera from the Barbie movie, Princess and the Pop Star. The picture does not do her dress justice, it was absolutely beautiful! We ordered it from Etsy and fell in love. Not only did it look exactly like Kiera’s dress, the quality just blew me away. It was so well-made and she’s worn it many times since Halloween. I thought she looked awesome and so much like Kiera. She loved getting into character and singing and dancing along to the movie.

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PicMonkey Collage

Lyla’s school does a Halloween parade and then everyone watches the eighth graders (her school is K-8) perform Thriller. I have to say, it was such a fun day. She had a class party afterwards, which I helped plan and organize, and it was just great. I’m so sad I didn’t take more pictures. It was a busy, hectic day and I barely had time to pull out my phone or camera. Normally, I’m snapping away like crazy, especially since it was Sophie’s first Halloween but between the parade and the party, I just wasn’t able to.

We ended up at the mall that evening because the rain came back with a vengeance. Here’s my little cat Sophie at the mall play area. Again, I’m so sad I don’t have more pictures of her. She wore Lyla’s old Pottery Barn Kids cat costume and looked just adorable.

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I love to do family costumes so Sophie was the Figaro to my Minnie (again so sad we didn’t take more pictures). The mall has an inflatable indoor play area and they were letting the first 50 kids jump and eat for free. We got lucky and happened to be at the right place at the right time. We met Lyla’s best friend and her family there and the kids had a great time. I think this made up for not being able to go Trick-or-Treating outside. Lyla was so tired by the time we got home, she didn’t even want to go to one house. In my book, that makes for a successful Halloween.

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We are beyond excited over here and ready to start one of our very favorite holidays. I love looking back at old pictures of Halloweens past. We love to dress-up and of course Lyla adores this holiday. This is her first year celebrating it as a Kindergartner and her school has some really fun activities planned for today. Here is a look back at Halloween…

Pre-baby – October 2008

I got pregnant with Lyla in November so this was our last hurrah as non-parents out on the town for Halloween or at a house party. We went as Princess and Mario and had so much fun.

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1st Halloween – October 2008

Lyla was only three months old for her first Halloween and, of course, she had to go as a our little pumpkin!

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2nd Halloween – October 2010

Pottery Barn Kids had the cutest cat costume and I couldn’t resist! We are actually reusing the costume for Sophie this year. I can’t wait to take pictures of her tonight and compare them to Lyla. We had a blast visiting my work at the time for a party.

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3rd Halloween – October 2011

Lyla went through an obsession with the Monsters Inc. movie so when she saw this costume in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, she had to have it. She called herself, Wazowski, as in Mike Wazowski and wanted John to go as Sully and myself to go as Boo, and how could we say no to her? This year was especially fun, I loved that we coordinated as a family. And I have to give myself a little shout-out on the bangs. I did not have bangs at the time and I watched a YouTube video on how to make fake bangs and I was really impressed at how they came out.

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4th Halloween – October 2012

This year Lyla was obsessed with Jake and the Never Land Pirates on the Disney Channel so she went as Izzy. John and I didn’t really dress-up this year. I reused my ears from a couple years prior and went as a cat.

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5th Halloween – October 2013

I was thrilled to pieces with Lyla’s Halloween costume choice last year. She saw this in the Chasing Fireflies catalog and after a few weeks of going back and forth, she decided on the Fab 50’s girl costume. John and I coordinated with her and I loved out it turned out. These costumes were super fun to wear and I think Lyla just looked fabulous, Fabulous 50’s! I was pregnant with Sophie at the time (due in December) so this costumer worked well with my pregnant belly.

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I can’t wait to post a weekend recap to share what we all went as this year. It’s also Sophie’s first Halloween so it makes this holiday extra special – Happy Halloween!

Halloween decorations.

Happy Halloween Eve! In honor of this awesome holiday, I thought I’d put together a quick post of our Halloween decorations.

Here’s a look at our front porch area. I wish I’d done more here but it’s been a really busy month. We carved and painted pumpkins tonight (I took these pictures earlier today) so I’ll have to post a picture of the finished products later.

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I love this candle guy. He is sitting on the side table in our front room. He used to light up (he no longer does) but he has the most funny face and I still love him.

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Our small entry way table has some old Halloween pictures in fun frames, a small glittery haunted house and some really cute LED glitter candles I found at Target in the dollar section – score!

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My favorite area of the house, by far, to decorate is the area behind the sink. I found another great free printable online and filled the area with skulls, eyeballs and black and orange pumpkins – s0 fun!

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This little guy sits on the stove and he matches my Halloween kitchen towel perfectly. I spared you the picture of the towel because, well, it’s a towel.

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Lyla made this spider at Michael’s one Saturday. I found out online (I had no idea before this) that Michael’s does crafts on Saturday mornings for only $2. And you can go and shop around while your child does their craft. She really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Here is our mantel. The banner is actually made of wood. I found it at HomeGoods for only $8. I was going back and forth on buying it and I’m so glad I decided to get it. The colors go perfectly with the pumpkins I already had out for my Fall decorations and I feel it just completed the  mantel perfectly.

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I had to get a close-up of the candle holder. My mom got it for me from Bath & Body Works and it is so beautiful. I’m not sure this picture does it justice because the detail on it is really, really pretty. And I believe it was really affordable. Looking at it I thought it would cost way a lot more than it actually did. I think it was just around or under $10.

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Lyla picked out this candy corn candle because she absolutely loves candy corn. Next to it is my little candy corn dish. It’s really cute. You can’t see the colors but it looks just like a candy corn and I filled it with, you guessed it, candy corn!

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There you have it, our Halloween decor. I forgot to take pictures of the decorations in the girls rooms and they are both asleep now so unfortunately I won’t be able to show those. They both have a few things up in their rooms which they love and make them happy, which makes me happy 🙂 I think that may be the best part of all this decorating. I love to walk around my house and see all the fun decor but the girls, well only Lyla because Sophie is too little to realize, but Lyla really loves it and these are the types of special memories I love to create for her.