This year, we have something a little gruesome in our home for Halloween.

 gross halloween decoration

I find it funny that with all the Halloween decorating, this is the one piece that the boys find fascinating.  Maybe it is the bit of subtle humor, maybe it is the blood.  Who knows?

I do know that as these boys get older, I find myself pushing away from cutsie and sweet Halloween décor to a bit more scary.

I will give real credit to my father who was over while I was putting up decorations and took this idea of a hand in a jar to the next level.

The boys loved also creating a spooky graveyard.  I love that the dark red roses were still blooming!

graveyard halloween

This year we definitely had some spooky costumes as well.  (Thus far we had avoided the spooky stuff)

We have a Ninja.  So stealthy!


And a little Bat.  Adorable!



Pumpkins 2014 (Our First Year Growing)

Wow!  Fall has come!

I love summer and all the fun that can be had, but fall…oh fall, I love fall!

This year, when we planted our garden, we decided to try our hand at Jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

pumpkin growing

We quickly learned that pumpkin plants will take over your garden space!  That plant got sooooo larger, enormous even.   Seriously, look at the picture below…that is ONE pumpkin plant spread out all over the right side of the picture!  Wild.

pumpkin plant

We grew 12 pumpkins this year in our patch and we able to share with friends.  The boys were very excited to pick and carve the pumpkins they grew themselves!

 pumpkin on vine

pumpkin garden


jack o lanterns

What a great new tradition I hope we have found!  We definitely learned a couple things about pumpkin gardening and will be relocating the pumpkin to a less “in the way” area next year.  I think it will be one of our must plant items for years to come!


Flu Bomb Recipe

As many of you know, I have fallen down the rabbit hole with essential oil usage.  It seems once I started educating myself about how many things western medications do to our bodies that are a side effect I truly wanted to find something more natural to help our family.  Not only did I want it to be natural and less invasive on our bodies but it had to work.

Here is the recipe for what is called the “Flu Bomb”.  On the onset of sickness you begin rolling this on the bottom of your feet for absorbtion a few times a day.  If you are already sick, up that to every hour.


Flu Bomb recipe






I have had such great success with the flu bomb, and I wonder how I ever lived without it in our lives.  How great to have something that doesn’t have to pass through all of our organs before it works!  How great to not be killing precious gut bacteria every time we get sick!  Those bacteria are necessary for balance in our bodies!

I hope this helps you fight viruses this season.


Hair changes… going dark… AGAIN.

I have been at a weird turning point with the way I look over the last year.  I have been going back and forth between blond hair and brown shades for several years now.

When Paul and I met, my hair was super super blond… I was also 27. (Man, this is an old photo!  Look how long my hair was too!!!)

paul leah 2006

Shortly after that, I went brown.

ezra and leah

Paul has always said he likes my hair either way, and I honestly believe him.  I don’t think he has a preference at all.

 I struggle with it sometimes.  So much of my identity is wrapped up in being blond.. I was blond most of my life.  I was a blond child.

However, I started feeling like it didn’t suit me anymore.

I stalled for a few months, letting my natural color grow out to see what it really was supposed to look like, and of course it was very very dark.

Here is my awful before.  (I joked that I was starting to look like the soccer mom version of Ke$ha… not good).


Finally, when my roots got to the point where I couldn’t stand it anymore, I took the plunge.


This time I decided to do it myself, which took some serious inner pep talks, but I am glad I tried it.  It took my cost from $150 (or more)and 4 hours in a chair in the salon, down to $30 in supplies and about an hour of my time.  (Seriously, I don’t know how I ever found the TIME to go get my hair done like that in a salon!)

Here is my after.  I love how my eyes stand out more.

brown hair

I am not going to lie, I miss my blond hair.  However, I feel more natural this way, and it certainly has taken some of the fuss out of getting ready in the morning.  Having the brunette hair for some reason makes it easier for me to go with less makeup and a less “done” look.

I really love the rich color also.  I used a medium warm tone.  One tip the woman at the hair supply told me when going from blond to brown was to use a protein filler.  Blond hair is more porous so it would take the color differently.  This is how you get weird colors like orange and green in those mishaps you hear about.  This protein filler was really helpful and my color turned out consistant and rich!  I am not going to lie, I was really nervous to do it myself, but I am glad I did.

Lucas’ Trip to Cape Cod 2014

After my summer trip to the Cape with Ezra, I decided that Lucas deserved a little trip to Cape Cod to visit my grandparents as well.  I booked our trip around a trip that my parents were wanting to take Ezra on so that he could be traveling at the same time we were.

Taking a trip with Lucas was a bit simpler since he is 5, and the activities that make him happy seem to be much simpler than a 10 year old.

Here are some things that Lucas and I experienced on our special trip to Boston and Cape Cod.


We spent quite  bit of time on the beach.  Five year olds love the beach!  There is so much to see and do.


loops beach cape cod




And why not just roll around in the sand??!







Our Lucas LOVEs mini golf so we found a fantastic place called Pirates Cove that was right up his alley as it was all about pirates!


mini golf




pirate cove mini golf


We spent a little time at the aquarium in Woods Hole.  It was very small, but since he is five and it was FREE (yes, since it is a research institute the aquarium is free to visit), it was plenty for him to enjoy.



On one particularly rainy day we headed to the Cape Cod children’s museum which Lucas really enjoyed.


cape cod childrens museum


He also was able to carve and decorate a pumpkin with Grandpa Bill, which was a highlight of the trip for him!




Grandma Jean made sugar cookies with him.  They were yummy!

making cookies


And he played and played and played.  Oh to be 5!



We had a wonderful time getting to know cousin Summer a bit better also and they became little friends.


I am so glad he had the opportunity to spend some time on the Cape with everyone!  What a blessing!


Fall Books for Kindergarteners

Now that Lucas is in Kindergarten I feel strangely free.  Since we are not together all day anymore, I have to make more of an effort with our time together.  I am back on pulling seasonal books for us to enjoy together.

 Fall books for kids


Here are my fall book pics for littles



Pumpkin Soup  HERE

The Littlest Pumpkin HERE

The Children of the Forest  HERE

Pumpkin circle: the story of a garden  HERE

It’s Fall: Celebrate the Seasons  HERE

Autumn Nature Activities for Children  HERE

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin  HERE

Do you enjoy seasonal reads with your kiddos?  Did I miss a fabulous Fall book?


Pie Baking Frenzie

My parents have a very mature apricot tree on their property.  Every year we love going and picking up a bucket of apricots for eating.

This year Ezra decided to make a pie with his pickings.


I found this recipe on Martha Stewart.


apricot pie


He then took his pie baking and decided to make a cherry pie.  He liked the Martha Stewart topping so much he carried it over to his cherry pie.


cherry pie

Then about a week later, we had some friends over for the day and he and his friend Aiyanna decided to make apple pies.

pie bakers

Here is the apple pie finished.  We again used the topping recipe from Martha Stewart because Ezra liked it so much.  Look at the coconut in there!


She was so excited to have a pie to take home to her family.



Back to School 2014

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of back to school madness.  Lucas began kindergarten at his school and Ezra began fifth grade a week later at his new private school.  We are so blessed and happy that both boys seem to love their teachers and their new schools!

Here is Lucas on the first day of kindergarten.  So excited and happy.

He really wanted a picture of the second day as well, so why not?  He is too cute!

lucas bakc to school 2

Here is Ezra on his very first day of fifth grade.

ezra backt o shcool

We decided we needed a pic of the second day as well, if for no other reason that he really loved his outfit choice.

ezra number 2

Note the  “Nerd” socks.  He is very into funny tall socks these days… it must be a thing because I see many other boys his age doing it.

nerd socks

So far both boys are excited each day for school and I couldn’t be happier.  Making the decision to send them to school this year was one I lost many nights of sleep over.  However, now that it is in session I feel very good about our decision.  Everyone seems to have found their flow very easily.  I listen to them gabber on excitedly about their day on the way home.  I have time to help Paul at the store and a little more time to run errands and take care of life and things that were much more of a chore with kids in tow.

Our Hot Tub

I have been meaning to write about this since OCTOBER!

Last October, we finally got around to pouring our hot tub pad.  We took awhile to decide where the best place for it would be.  We settled on a corner of the yard by the side door, which exits from the sunroom.


laying concrete

concret preparation

I never did get a picture of the concrete pad complete, because mere days after it was poured Paul broke his ankle and Ezra broke his collar bone.  Our life was turned on its side for a few months.

It wasn’t until March that we were actually able to set the hot tub.

MArch Hot tub

Doesn’t it look cold out there?!  See all the frost on the cover?  Brrrr.

Here is how our hot tub is looking this summer.

Hot tub

Hotspring hot tub

Hot tub

We may build an arbor over the top of the tub to tie it into the pergola on the other side of the yard.  We are unsure what we want to do exactly.  We are however, loving the relaxation and fun having it provides our family.

Here is the view of our yard from the seat in the hot tub.


We are hoping the fruit trees we planted last September will heighten and fill out to give us even more blockage from the neighboring house back there.

Our hot tub is a Hotspring brand tub, if you are interested you can check out their site HERE.


Warrior Dash 2014

This April I signed up to do something that at the time seemed a little crazy.  Myself along with about twenty others from my gym formed a team and signed up to run the 2014 Warrior Dash.  (You can go to their site to see if they have one in your area)

Here I am pre-race, a little nervous!

warrior dash

I stole some of the pictures from their site to illustrate some of what the race entailed.    It was three miles with eleven fun obstacles.




It was one of the most exciting things I have done in awhile.  I left the race feeling exhilarated and empowered.

The entire town area was set up to celebrate the warrior dash.  They had live music playing all day and into the evening.

warrior dash

The run was mostly fun, jogging along, climbing over stuff, through mud and laughing along the way.  There were a few hairy spots but I never felt in danger.  The Warrior Dash is what they call a fun run.  (There are more intense competive ones like The Spartan Race, The Tough Mudder etc.)

warrior dash medal

I am so glad I had this experience and I think I may even have Paul talked into running it with me next year!

Here are a few tips for anyone thinking of running a fun mud run.

1.  Bring a plastic bag for your clothes after the race or to sit on in your car.  They have rinse off stations at the finish line but it isn’t enough to get all the muck off.

2.  Check a bag.  They have bag check areas where you can keep a bag with our phone,money and change of clothes.  This was very convenient.

3.  The tall socks I am wearing in the picture were not only cute but functional.  They SAVED my shins going over some of those walls.

4.  Go with friends.  At one point my buddy had to give me a hand up over one of the walls and I was very thankful for it!

5.  Don’t wear shoes that you won’t want to part with.  They take all the muddy shoes and donate them to charity.  Trust me, you won’t want to deal with washing them after that!  So back to number 2, bring shoes in your bag that you check.

6.  Sunscreen!  I didn’t wear any sunscreen.  The race was at a higher elevation at a ski resort so I got scorched.  Ouch!

Hope you are having a fun summer also!