I’ve finally had a chance to update my picture over there to the right. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of pulling out the camera to take an ol’ self portrait, so I’ve put off this task for months and months and months. In fact, I think Liv is actually less than a year in the old photo – meaning it’s almost a year old. Sooooo this past weekend I used my mom as a photographer and instructed her to ‘just keep snapping’. This was the one picture with both of us looking at the camera:
Liv is at that age where it’s almost impossible to catch her with a smile on camera (unless you are fortunate enough to have the camera ready during those moments of pure joy – swinging at the park, playing with musical instruments, dancing…). She is a very smiley girl indeed, she just doesn’t do it on command. This means I’m left with lots of photos of her looking at me with a ‘not this again’ look, while I’m pleading ‘cheese! smile for momma! where are those teeth?!’. There is a pose she is quite fond of these days though – you are almost guaranteed to get at least one quality tongue shot.
Followed by a fit of giggles. I love that girl.
Posted in Family & Friends | 4 Comments »
It feels a little funny to leave home in the middle of a hot summer and come back right in the thick of fall, Halloween, cool weather and changing leaves (well, that last one is almost true. We have only two trees on our street here in San Diego that go from green to red but I marvel at them all season long…) This past weekend we made our annual trip to our favorite pumpkin patch (complete with pumpkin spice lattes before hand and a delicious chili potluck after) and the reality of the season has finally hit! More on that below…
While at the pumpkin patch I picked up a handful of pumpkins to decorate the house with too, and thought I’d share my faux ‘dipped’ versions today.
I’m not sure where the idea came from but while brainstorming fall & Halloween decorations I thought it might be fun to bring a few organic, neutral details into our house (that I wouldn’t mind leaving up for a few months) while also filling it with plenty of oranges and reds and traditional colors.
Gold has been a favorite accent color of mine, from shiny knob handles to burnished vintage vases to classic jewelry – and that became a starting point. Creating some sort of dipped decor out of white and green pumpkins seemed like a neat way to try it out.
I’ll have to mix some spooky Halloween decor in there soon, too.
These pumpkins really don’t looked as if they were ‘dipped’ in paint in the traditional sense, but I actually love the contrast of the lines and attempted to give it a slightly crooked, mis-aligned feel on purpose. A little more organic.
My original thought was that maybe I’d actually try to dip the pumpkins and considered buying a quart of gold paint, filling a round bowl large enough for my pumpkins and literally ‘dipping’ them, but then realized that spray paint might be a bit more efficient in application, cheaper and less wasteful.
I love the result!
Just a little bling for the room, and a fun alternative to decorating pumpkins in the usual way. Soon Liv will be old enough to really help!
The process was simple. I first wrapped the pumpkins with painters tape (choosing the wider version since spray paint can get a little crazy and I wanted to avoid paint getting on the top half of my pumpkins. The alternative would be to tape on some type of barrier like cellophane or paper to cover the top completely), pressing down on just the lower half of the tape (since the edges are round to prevent creases in the tape) and aligning it at a bit of an angle.
Then spray away! Be sure to keep your can of spray paint at least 10-12″ from the actual pumpkin to avoid dripping.
And here they are again in the dining room:
Looks great with the turquoise buffet!
Decorating the pumpkins has been a lot of fun, but visiting the pumpkin patch to find them is a great family tradition, too! Years back a friend found the perfect pumpkin patch for our annual trip just about 25 minutes east of us here in San Diego.
Summer’s Past offers huge, crawling gardens to roam, a snap pea ‘maze’, animals for petting, a coffee bar for warm beverages (although the weather in October is always about 75), a cute little shop full of lavender soaps and such, little ‘vignettes’ around the property that are perfect for holiday photos, jump houses for the kids and a great big open pumpkin patch. We’ve even aligned our visit with their little harvest festival in the past for even more goodies.
Liv romantically walking the gardens with her potential future hubby, Gavin.
Why won’t it move!?
Here’s our group shot this year!
And a sneak back on previous years… the quantity of children continues to climb!
Liv picked out a few pumpkins, enjoyed a little cart ride and played in the jump house for most of the morning. We managed a family photo as well.
Sort of. Liv’s not paying attention, but what can you do…
I look forward to this event with amazing anticipation every fall! This one sort of snuck up on me but I already can’t wait to go back. And now it’s time to really get decorating for Halloween! We’re also throwing a little dinner and trick or treating around the neighborhood party again this year. Yay for fall!
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Dining Room, DIY, Fall, Gold, Halloween, Home, Paint, Patterns & Color, Thanksgiving, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Holidays, Olivia | 11 Comments »
Happy weekend! I’m going to make you sit through just a few more travel-related posts… I feel a little guilty because I know that reading about other people’s vacations is not always the highlight of blogging, thank you for the patience as I attempt to unload and share all of the details and memories and images that are swimming through my head. They’re so relevant and so fresh, I’m sure I’ll lose them forever if I don’t capture them in time right now! And this being the giant journal of sorts that is our family’s life, I only hope I can indulge your interest with a few last posts on Spain and one giant, crazy post on Morocco. Plus, if you’re ever interested in traveling to any of the three countries we visited (Ireland, Spain & Morocco), are on the search for tips on traveling with toddlers, for extended periods or on a budget, I hope that these travel posts will be of use!
Back to Spain. On day three of our time in Spain (more on days 1 & 2 here, PS that video has finally loaded!), we rented a car from the Barcelona train station (rather than straight from the airport to avoid crazy parking fees in the city) and began our road trip down the eastern coast.
Because we left Barcelona later in the day, we ended up finding an impromptu destination about two hours out of town for the night. I was thrilled to come across a ‘Paradores’, or restored castle (courtesy of the Spanish government) in Tortosa with lodging available!
The ancient castle has been converted into a hotel and it’s very neat to wander the hallways and various rooms as if you were an occupant hundreds of years ago. And check out the beautiful city!
We probably wouldn’t choose Tortosa as a city destination but I thought it was very cool to be lucky enough to try out a castle experience (the ‘jovenes’ rate to attract younger tourists didn’t hurt!).
We continued our journey down to Valencia and enjoyed lunch and drinks in one of the main squares. I captured an angel in this shot.
Olivia could have entertained herself in that square for hours! Running, chasing birds, visiting the fountain, saying hi to strangers.
She would just sit herself down next to a group and lean in to be a part of the conversation until she was noticed. They would laugh and smile and she would smile back.
For the most part I’m happy to report that traveling with a toddler was not such a big deal, not in the ways you expect it to be, anyhow. We actually really really enjoyed being together as a family for such a consistent amount of time. But I’d be amiss if I didn’t say that it had its share of toddler moments! like this one after Liv realized that the crepe was allll gone.
But shortly she was running with the birds in the square once again. You’ve just gotta roll with it.
We wandered the streets, took funny pictures of our shadows (check out that Liv hair – she won’t allow any rubber bands or bows or headbands, so it stays pretty crazy 99% of the time) and had a beautiful afternoon in the city!
Hope you have a LOVELY weekend and see you soon! I have a new window seat project (involving and awesome fabric) to share from the kitchen… Have to take a few after shots this weekend.
More on our four week adventure starts here.
Posted in Family & Friends, Ireland + Spain + Morocco, Travel Adventures | 6 Comments »