Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween & A Boo-licious Cocktail

Happy Halloween everyone!!

We hope you had a a great weekend filled with spooktacular adventures! We were all over the place this weekend - which you will hear more about as the week goes on - but we are so excited that we get to kick off the week with a fun holiday. 

Our kids were beyond excited! And I'm not gonna lie - so am I!
I can't wait to see them all dressed up in their costumes after school. 

Until then I've been getting everything together for our traditional spooky dinner and a fun treat or two for later. 

Each year I like to make the parents a little treat for when they stop by our house. We started this tradition before Cute was born, and would pass out mini-margaritas to our neighbors. After we had kids of our own, we passed out full size ones. 

This year, I've decided to hand out my own take on Blood Orange Punch. 
It is YUMMY! 

Be a good neighbor and whip up a batch!

(Large Batch Recipe)

- 2 bottles of red wine (I used a Pino Noir since its a little fruity already).
- 2 Cups of blood orange OJ
- 8 Cups of Ginger Beer
- 1/2 Cup of lime juice
- Slices from 2 oranges
- 1 cup of sliced strawberries
- 1 cup of frozen cranberries

- Mix wine, OJ, Ginger Beer, and lime juice together in a large punch bowl or pitcher
- Add fruit to mixture.
- Serve and enjoy!

We can't wait to see everyone's fun Halloween happenings! 
Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Favorites

Woo Hoo!!!  It's Friday!!!  We've had a busy, but fun week and are super excited about the weekend ahead.  Today we are linking up with some of our favorite bloggers to share our Friday Favorites.

So the weather had been pretty amazing here.  It's warm, but it feels like fall so I've been so happy to bust out some of my fall clothes and mix it in with the summer. One of my favorite outfits recently has been this: 

 Also on this day I wore my new monogram necklace from Unlikely Market.  I love it so much and right now you can use the code MM15 to receive 15% off your orders.  These would make GREAT Christmas gifts!!!  

My next favorite are all of the adorable preschool projects my little guy brings home!  I have a fridge full of them and it makes me so happy to see him so proud of his work.  Today he came home with a haunted house (gingerbread house style) and couldn't wait to start eating the candy off of it!  

It also makes me thankful for this last year of him in preschool before Kindergarten and I am trying to savor every moment.  Especially compared to the mountains of expectations for my sweet 4th grader. I just know it all goes so quickly and these kids are expected to grow up too fast, in my opinion.  I guess because of that still having one in preschool is a major favorite of mine this week!  

Last weekend we finally made it to a pumpkin patch and we were able to get pumpkins for our porch.  October has just been such a busy month for us, but I honestly couldn't bring myself to buy pumpkins at the grocery store, even though I really wanted some for the porch.  Now I feel like the porch is looking complete and ready for Halloween!  

Last week when the weather started cooling off I started my hunt for a new pair of booties.  I really was leaning towards the Toms wedge ones.  I decided to make a quick stop in to try on a few other pairs before making my decision and ended up getting these!  I love the style and the color.  Plus, they are comfortable enough to wear all day, which was my main goal. 

My others had a heel that was so high that I couldn't wear them for very long.  I love that these have a heel, but not a very high one so I can wear them from morning to night without my feet screaming at me.  I can't tell you how many complements I have gotten on them. I love that the cognac color matches pretty much everything and I'm obsessed with the detail on the back!  

Lastly I am super excited about going to see some of our favorite friends today!  I'm flying to Florida to meet up with them and we will all be heading to the GA/FL game together.  We are obviously UGA fans and they love the Gators.  We've had lots of fun adventures together, but never a rivalry football game, so it should be a fun weekend!  

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

DIY Emoji Costume

It's almost Halloween and I can hardly believe that October is almost over.  I feel like it flew by!  It's been a fun month, but he most fun comes next week when the kids get to Trick-or-Treat.  Actually, starting today we have some full costume parties and events planned so the kids are so excited to dress up.

Each year when we start getting the costume catalogs they look through and try to come up with ideas.  Long gone are the days when I could have full control and dress them in cute coordinating costumes.

We made several trips to Halloween shops and looked at tons of ideas online and finally they narrowed it down.  Boo-Boo was dead set on a camo ninja and a camo ninja is what he will be! That costume was an easy order and check-it-off the list type of thing thanks to our friends at Oriental Trading.

Little Mama spotted an emoji costume at one of the costume shops we checked out, but it wasn't the emoji she wanted so I assured her we could find one to order.  Well, little did I know that they would be hard to find and sold out pretty much everywhere.  She was set on that idea though so I promised her I would make the costume.

Blondie, the indecisive one, got wind of the emoji idea and her indecisiveness went right out the window.  She was sure she wanted to be an emoji also, so that meant I needed to get to work.  It also meant I would be really happy because at least two of the three would be in coordinating costumes!

I used felt to make these costumes and while I could have just cut out the circles, I was afraid they wouldn't hold their shape, so I went on a hunt for hula hoops to sew into the felt.  Those were hard to find this time of year, so I ended up browsing the aisles at the hardware store to see if I could find something else that might work.  I came across this piping that was in the plumbing section and it worked great. I cut it in pieces, formed circles and duck taped the ends together.

Next I used that as my guide to cut two felt circles for each form and sewed the circle forms into the felt.  I also sewed in ribbon at the top so the front and back of the costume could be tied together.

Now the yellow circles were ready to become emojis!  First I used printer paper to sketch out the designs I would need. I cut and laid all the pieces on the circles just to be sure it would look right before I cut the felt.

I used the squares of felt you can get from the craft stores.  It's either $0.33 or $0.77 each depending on the type, but it is so much easier to work with and if you only need a little blue, you only buy a little bit.

I pinned my patterns to the felt, cut carefully, and laid it all on the circles one last time before gluing it all down.

I had this felt glue left over from the DIY Superhero costumes I made a few years ago and it did the trick. I let the glue dry for about 30 minutes and they were ready to try them on.

This costume is like a sandwich board style that ties at the top and has a front and back.  

The girls were so excited and loved the way their costumes turned out!  

And because I love Halloween and dressing up I agreed to dress up with them.  I made myself my favorite emoji...the crying/laughing one (as they call it)!

Now we are all set for their sports costume parties and for the real-deal trick-or-treating on Monday!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cocktail Confessions: Bourbon Peach Poptail

Happy Wednesday sweet friends!

We've made it halfway through the week, and some weeks that just deserves a celebration. The poptail Cocktail Confession has made it's way around once already, but we just can't seem to quit it. 

Sometimes some things are so good they are worth repeating. Like this yummy little confection...

We shared this fun cocktail earlier this Fall when we discussed all things porches and poptails with our friend Amanda, but just in case you missed it...

Makes 1 serving 

- 3oz of bourbon
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 peach flavored popsicle
- a splash of water or ice if desired

- Mix bourbon and lemon juice in a lowball glass
- Add peach popsicle. Let settle  and melt for a minute or two.
- Serve and enjoy!

It's still warm enough here in the Deep South to enjoy a little poptail here and there. Trust us - this one has just enough "bite" to warm you up straight through the Winter!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Atlanta Attractions: Atlanta Botanical Gardens

We've said it before, but it's worth repeating - we love our city! Atlanta has a ton to offer, and one of my all time favorite spots is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It is like a little oasis inside the city, and is such a great attraction year round. If you are ever in Atlanta, I would put it on the top of  your "must visit" list. 

A few weekends ago, I cancelled everything we had planned, and decided to buy last minute tickets to visit the garden. As much as I love a clean garage, and we needed to grocery shop for the week, I felt like we needed something a little more fun in our day. The weather was just too beautiful, and I had been wanting to see the Chihuly in the Garden exhibit before it disappears. I love Chihuly art, and we are so lucky to have so many pieces so close to our home for a short while. (The exhibit goes on until October 30th, so if you are in town the next few days make your way over!) 

My little family was super excited about the day's new plan. Mr. Cute I think was most excited of all. I was shocked to learn as an Atlanta native he had never been to the gardens before! 

An added bonus, after we arrived we realized Scarecrows in the Garden was also taking place at the gardens. 

Amazingly, there are over 100 scarecrows sprinkled throughout the garden. It is always fun to see what different themes and supplies each entrant uses to create their scarecrow. 

The kids instantly had some favorites. This pirate one was a huge hit. 

And they absolutely loved this octopus.
I'm not even sure what was used to create it, but it was so neat and colorful in person. 

I loved this Alice in Wonderland themed one right outside of the Children's Garden

But this one had to take the cake over all. 
It was titled "The Unicorn Formerly known as Prince". 

Cute couldn't quite figure out if this was a real skeleton or not. 

He was totally convinced that this portion of the garden was haunted by a football player though. He talked about it for a good thirty minutes. And told anyone who passed by to "beware of the haunted football forest". 

The kids favorite part by far was the Children's Garden. It is a green space filled to the brim with fun interactive activities for kids. It has a tree house themed playground area, a water painting wall, a construction area where kids can build things out of pieces of Balsa wood, and during the summer months there is a splash pad area for them to cool cool off in as well. 

The Children's Garden also had a few additional activities going on during our visit. I'm not sure if this runs through the end of the month as well or if they rotate activities out depending on the season.   

There was pumpkin bowling, (which my kids were super pumped about because they were able to throw real pumpkins), apple painting, pumpkin toss and more. They had a blast and would have stayed there all day if we let them. 

But then they found the musical outdoor amphitheater and all thoughts of anything pumpkin related were out the window. This had to be their favorite part of the Children's Garden. They loved created performances with the other kids on the stage, and if you know The Cutes, you know that they are not ones to be shy in the personality department. Or the loud department. So this was right up their alley. 

They were heartbroken when we said that we needed to eat lunch and see the rest of the gardens. Luckily the city of Atlanta can be graced with their musical acoustics year round. 

The Atlanta Botanical Garden has a few spots on site for you to grab a bite to eat. We wanted something quick and easy since the kids were with us so we opted for the Quick Cafe attached to Linton's. I had the turkey chili and it was quite yummy. I will say the options are good, but they are slightly pricey for their size. So just be forewarned before you go - convenient, yet expensive. 

After refueling, we walked around to enjoy the main reason for our visit - Chihuly in the Garden! 

The Chihuly pieces are sprinkled throughout the entire garden, so everywhere you turn is colorful glass filled surprise. 

It was amazing to see how detailed each piece was (my iPhone photography does not do it justice), and how carefully placed each one was placed. 

The pieces during the day are gorgeous and mixed in throughout both green spaces as well as water features. 

The exhibit is also open during the night for Chihuly Nights. I wish we could go back to see it at night because I can only imagine how stunning it is!

The kids thought the exhibits were fun, but they also are a little young to appreciate them. Some of them are also quite close to where you stand and we had to repeat quite a few hundred times to "not touch the pretty glass!". 

But even with my blood pressure going a little high at times, it was totally worth it to enjoy seeing with my family. 

The gardens will always remain one of my favorite Atlanta attractions, and I love that my children have grown to appreciate it just much as I do. The Garden always host a ton of great events and this little outing was a great reminder that we need to utilize this attraction a little bit more than we have in the past (especially if this was Mr. Cute's only visit!).  

And with the holidays just around the corner (Eek! It stresses me out to even type that!), my Christmas bucket list this year definitely includes Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. I've always heard it's ah-mazing! 

Have you been to the Atlanta Botanical Garden? What is your favorite part? 

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