Monday, October 5, 2015

A Bayside Wedding

On Saturday morning, we headed off on a trip to Steve's cousin Carol's wedding. Carol and Mike were married in a small Lutheran church in Erie (where Steve and I lived for a couple of years.) The wedding details were so perfectly thought-out and coordinated. We so enjoyed spending time with Steve's extended family on such a special occasion!

 When we got to the reception, I realized I didn't have the memory card in the big camera, so the iPhone had to do.

The placecards were cute little watercolor paintings with our names on them. Ours had a beach chair on it, and we found our table by matching it to a cake centerpiece with a beach chair scene! Every table had a different coastal-themed cake, each with a different flavor, and they were perfect!

The reception site was a beautiful building with huge glass windows overlooking Lake Erie and the peninsula, Presque Isle. Unfortunately, it was about 45 degrees and rainy, so we didn't spend any time outside. But it was a gorgeous spot!

The kids headed straight for the craft table to color. (What a brilliant idea!)

Steve's brother Josh and his beautiful girlfriend, Mackenzie.

We enjoyed a visit with Great-Grandma Olive. She turned 98 this summer, and she is a wonderful lady!

The guestbook was a pretty framed painting of the view from the reception site :)

Grandpa's got the moves!

The beautiful couple!

It was Josh's birthday, and the cake on our table had candles so everyone at the wedding could take a moment to sing to him.

 We had a long drive home, and the boys crashed hard after all that cake-eating and dancing.

Their cousins spent the night with us, and we woke up with a big chocolate chip pancake breakfast before church. :)

After church, we sang "Happy Birthday" to our niece Abby, who turns 11 on Friday, and we dove into a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.

The cousins are here for a couple more days, and we are so happy to have them with us! The five kids play hard together, that's for sure.

Congrats Mike & Carol! We had a blast celebrating with you, and we wish you all the best in your new life together!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Favorites


Hello, Friday! The blog's been a little quieter this week, but I'm back to share some of my favorites from the past few days. This weekend promises to be a good one, and I'm really looking forward to spending time with our extended family!
 This week, Steve has worked really hard on our first floor bathroom. It is a TINY closet-sized bathroom, and it was a mess, so it is a difficult project. On Monday and Tuesday, he sanded, stained, and sealed the wood floor in the hallway in front of the bathroom. Then he laid some cement board down in the bathroom, set the new white tiles, and then he grouted them yesterday! It is definitely a favorite of mine that someday in the near future we will have two functional bathrooms in our house :)

"Fall Lakeside Breeze" is my new favorite scent of Bath & Body Works hand soap. My mom bought it for me, and I thought the packaging was perfect! The smell is a combination of blue sage, basil, and sandalwood, and it is lovely for this time of year. Next up to try--"Pumpkin Pecan Waffles". . . :)

Most of the time, I like to bake from scratch, but sometimes I love the ease of cake and muffin mixes. I really try to be conscious about the ingredients in the packaged foods that I buy. As I was standing in the baking aisle trying to choose a box the other day, I realized almost ALL of these mixes (blueberry muffins, lemon bars, brownies) say that they're artificially flavored. (What does that even mean?) If you search closely though, you can find a few gems that claim to have completely natural flavors. These lemon poppyseed muffins are DELICIOUS! I think that adding vanilla Greek yogurt made them extra soft. I picked up a few Pillsbury "Purely Simple" mixes, too, and I'll have to let you know if those are any good. :)
Photo Credit: Joe St. Pierre, Creative Commons

As I was browsing Facebook yesterday, someone linked to this article by Shauna Niequist. It's called "Stop Hustling and Get Your Life Back", and is about letting go of the busy-mom mentality. I love everything that Shauna writes, and this one is no exception. I don't consider my life to be "go-go-go" right now, though I'm sure this will change as my kids get older. But I could use a lesson or two about being "anti-frantic." I also see the need to constantly examine my priorities and rearrange my life accordingly.

I love when she says, "Publishing is all about striking when the iron is hot. But sometimes you have to trust that the iron will still be hot later, and that there's more to life than that iron. Sometimes you have to trust that life is long for most of us, and that there will be other irons."

Some of my favorite photos are the ones that I catch of my babies while they're sleeping. Above, Ephraim curled up under Nolan's covers in hopes that I would let him sleep there and not in his crib :)  He looked so little in that big bed!

Yesterday, Nolan took an afternoon nap, and Steve and I were shocked. (He hasn't napped regularly in two years.) The house was so wonderfully quiet, and I had time on my hands that I didn't know what to do with :)  Unfortunately, it turns out that Nolan wasn't feeling well, and I'm praying he feels much better today!

 I snapped a photo of Little Brother during his nap as well. He was laying on his arms with his little bum up in the air. I love that he still has some baby left in him :) He is 20 months now! That sounds way too close to 2. . .

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great weekend--I hope it's filled with sweater-weather and all things pumpkin :)

Keep up with us this weekend on Instagram @floralandfudge.

Linking up with Andrea, and Erika.

And remember, if you have Halloween decorations up in your house, we want to see them! Take some photos and link up with Astleigh and me on Thursday! 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Today, I'm excited to join in on What's Up Wednesday for the first time!

What we're eating this week. . .

Nolan and I made these brown butter donuts again yesterday, and they are amazing! They melt in your mouth and fill every chocolate craving. They're also made from scratch, and baked instead of fried, so there's no guilt. . . none at all ;)

I'm going to make this Asian Ramen Noodle Salad for lunch either tomorrow or Friday. I am so bad about making lunches, so I need to get on the ball and start planning ahead!


As for sweets, I am thinking about my Chubby Hubby Bars or Graham Cracker Toffee. My boys are crazy for sugar, so I will have to hide them, for sure :)

What I'm reminiscing about. . .

I am thinking back on our vacation to Family Camp this summer! I am a summer girl through and through, and I wouldn't mind being back on the lake for a few more days before the weather gets cold!

What I'm loving. . .

Steve has been working on our first floor bathroom! We've had plans to redo it ever since we moved in over two years ago. I will have to share photos soon! Maybe tomorrow?

What we've been up to. . . 

We went to the Moon Party this past weekend, and that lunar eclipse was so cool!

Nolan's FOUR year check-up was yesterday. He was a champ! He's around the 60th percentile for height and weight, and he aced all of the questions the doctor asked him. Nolan, Ephraim, and I all got flu shots, and rewarded ourselves with the donuts above. :)

What I'm dreading. . .

 Waking up early! Ephraim has been crying out for me a lot in the middle of the night, and then it's hard for me to get up in the mornings. I need coffee before my feet hit the floor!

What I'm working on. . . 

I'm working on Halloween decor for Astleigh's and my link-up next week. (Join us on October 8th if you have Halloween touches to share!) Right now, I have a mix of Fall Decor and Nolan's Camping Party on the mantel, so I have to figure out how I'm going to twist it into a non-scary Halloween motif.

What I'm excited about. . . 

I can't wait to see our nieces this weekend! It's been over two months, and Nolan and Ephraim are SO excited to play with their cousins!

What I'm watching. . . 

We wrapped up watching the entire series of Royal Pains this summer, so it's on to White Collar! We've really been enjoying it so far. . . definitely right up the alley of what Steve and I like to watch together.

What I'm reading. . . 

Currently, I'm reading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace. This is my first Dave Ramsey book, and I am glued to it! I am learning so much about personal finances, and I can't wait to start putting some of his advice into practice.

What I'm listening to. . .

Right now, a super loud cricket hiding in our living room (we can't find it). And pouring RAIN. We have had over 5 inches in 24 hours!

I also have Hillsong United's EMPIRES album on repeat. It's a favorite!

What I'm wearing. . . 

I'm wearing this charcoal-colored dress from Eleventh Avenue. It may not be on there now, but it was called the "Everyday Tee Dress". I often go on Eleventh Avenue and search for "Lucy and Lyla" items, because they sell such cute clothes!

I'm also wearing outfits like these three below--plaid, jeans, and lightweight scarves. I can't wait to bring out my brown boots and fall wedges!

What I'm doing this weekend. . . 

Spending time with Steve's side of the family at his cousin's wedding!

What I'm looking forward to next month. . . 

October is a BEAUTIFUL month in Pennsylvania. We get to see the most amazing leaf colors and landscapes. I'm looking forward to visiting the pumpkin patch with the boys, spending an evening looking at the elk, and engaging in other fun fall traditions :)

What's your favorite Halloween tradition?

I am a little on the fence about how much I like Halloween, but I get really excited about dressing up the boys and making memories with them. Last year, they were a little baby duck and Batman's Robin. This year, Nolan's already talking about being a Pirate family. We will see if that works out! :)

Follow our family on Instagram @floralandfudge

Linking up with Shay, Mel, and Sheaffer.


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