Fall Decor

Every season I find myself changing little things here and there in the house. Just little reminders that we are in a particular season because living in Southern California comes with some blending of seasons. Basically we have flip flop or no flip flop weather. Short sleeve or long sleeve weather. That’s pretty much the extent.

Last week I received in the mail a lovely little coupon to a store I haven’t been to in ages, World Market. And what better way to fall into their marketing schemes than to cut out that coupon and head on over. Which is exactly what I did. I’ve been super thrifty the last couple months and haven’t spent much of anything on clothes or shoes, well, except for the Nordstrom sale in July. But other than that, I’ve been thrifty, I have! The coupon was $20 off when you purchase $50. Pretty sweet.

I filled my cart with lovely new couch pillows, fall themed coasters, a new kitchen counter compost container (since Aaron shattered the last one), and a bag of delicious egg noodles. Grand total? $51, before the coupon. I couldn’t find the coasters online, but they’re adorable. They are felt leaves in autumn colors. One of the pillows I found online, but the other not. So here’s some lovely photos from World Market.

One of the pillows that now is residing in our living room.

And if I had four more coupons to spend, this is what I would splurge on.

Reading Time

Can you believe I went 3 hours yesterday believing it was Wednesday. Oops. Looks like Wordless Wednesday was a day early. Sorry bout that.

I have been so physically tired the last few days. It’s a good physically tired, much better than emotionally or mentally tired. But it’s better when you’re feeling no longer tired. As in well rested. This weekend we took on a bigger house project than I thought it would be. Our built in desk in the kitchen has become increasingly annoying to look at for me. All I see when I walk through the kitchen are all the chips and dings and paint worn off from the last 5 years and a puppy who thought it would be a good idea to chew the paint off the desk baseboard. So, five years later, finally, we did something about it. This summer we plopped down a chunk of change to get our backyard relandscaped, so hiring professionals for the desk wasn’t going to happen. But after a few days of talking, Aaron and I figured it couldn’t look any worse than it already does, so let’s try our hand at it. I have sanded and repainted a few furniture pieces and I’ve painted the kids’ art closet and everything is still holding up nicely, so we went for it. Fortunately, Aaron took on most of the sanding this time and I focused on the taping and painting.

What I thought would be an afternoon, turned into 2 days. With a desk it’s hard to pick a spot to stop so it went from repainting the drawers, to the drawers and edges, to the drawers and edges and front face, to the drawers and edges and front face to the whole thing. But I must say, it looks great. I have only 4 drawer faces left. You can really tell the difference between the newly painted and the dingy 5 years old paint. Very fresh and clean looking and now I’m much happier as I pass through the kitchen. And I also must say it was a great reason to clean out every drawer and organize them. So there you have the physically tired part. Then I’m also mentally tired I think. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed between getting all the kids’ classes organized and prepping for Thursday nights back to school night. My first workday at Greta’s new preschool was Friday, and it was work. Laundry, and dishes, and cleaning out paint buckets, and cutting up snack. But it was great to be at her school and watch her with her friends. I think most of my work for the boys’ classes is done. The last of the roster and volunteer sheets went to the teacher today so other than hopefully minor changes, I’m done for a bit. Also, Gunnar’s teacher isn’t super friendly. So I’m having a hard time deciding between killing her with kindness to break through this ridiculous wall, or just ignore it and leave it be. Not to mention the 108 degrees we had here on Monday. 108 degrees. In the westside of Los Angeles! Unheard of. Unenjoyable. Unwelcome. So glad it’s gone. Also, not to mention I’ve been working a whole lot, which is great. But to be so busy with the kids’ school and homework, and house, ¬†and then once dinner is served I go to work. I really shouldn’t complain, I work only 2-3 nights a week, but I felt spread a bit thin this week and last. But there’s light at the end of my tunnel. So there’s my rambling on about why I thought Tuesday was Wednesday. I have good reasons.

Now onto the whole purpose of this post! Books! Reading!

I just finished 2 great books. First, I finally got at my library a copy of The Help. Fantastic. Such a good book, I know it’s on everyone’s book club lists right now, but since (sigh) I am not in a book club I had to go get it and see what the hype was about. I thought it would take months because the librarian told me I was 736 on the list! But since there are hundreds of copies in the libraries it was only a 3 week wait.

Secondly, I just finished Mockingjay, the final book in the Hunger Games trilogy. Run, don’t walk. I’m a bit obsessed with trying to figure out who they will cast for the movie. Hoping they don’t go the Dakota Fanning’s sisters’ way, but someone a tad older, who is actually closer to 17 and not 14 and not 21. These books are quick reads, and when I say quick I mean it takes me 1-2 days per book. It’s because I can’t put them down. Greta had a cold the weekend I read it so I was home all day Sunday with her and I started and finished this book on the same day. And I didn’t even start it until around 1 in the afternoon. But Aaron working til midnight that same weekend gave me ample read time.

Gunnar loves this book right now, each day he comes home with new facts about The Beatles. It cracks me up. It’s a great easy read for kids. He started reading the series last year for one of his book reports and then he gave me a list of everyone he wanted to read about. So far he’s read about Louis Armstrong, Houdini, Albert Einstein and now The Beatles. Quite a variety. They have virtually everyone and they’re great non fiction chapter books for kids. He rattled off all the names of The Beatles to me last night at dinner. Cool little kid.

Greta’s preschool just sent home the scholastic book order papers, so happy they do that at her new school! And they’re totally age appropriate for kids starting school, in the 3-5 age range. Now I won’t have to order books off her brothers book orders that are a little old for her.

Happy Reading everyone! I have 2 books I’m waiting for from the library, so for now that means my laundry is caught up and my floors are clean.

Underwood Farms- Part II

This is the second part of our Underwood Farms adventure. We picked quite a variety of food and honestly, if you live within a 20 mile radius of the farm, it’s worth the money in gas. Blackberries were $1.99 a POUND, raspberries $2.49/lb, heirloom tomatoes $2.49/lb, I can go on. Each kid picked their own container of raspberries and blueberries, I picked a huge head of lettuce, a container of heirloom tomatoes, and everything all together was something like $9. Greta of course would come back from her picking adventure down each aisle with a completely empty container. She ate everything she picked. Literally, everything. Warning: lots of photos below.

This is the little building where you checked the per pound prices and got your containers/bags for picking.

They even have these fantastic wagons you can use to pull all your produce and lazy children in. Thanks for meeting us guys!

These lips are a tell tale sign of dipping into the blackberry bush.

Underwood Farms- Part I The Animals

I have heard of Underwood Farms in Moorpark for years and only this summer did I actually put it on our to do list. It’s only about an hour drive from us and bonus is that I have 2 teenage cousins who live there. I coaxed them into hanging out with us for the day. My kids totally eat it up, they love my cousins. I have so many pictures from this day, I’ll divide it into the animal part and the pick your own food part. This farm is different than Tanaka Farms, although I love them both. This one has a little ticket booth where you purchase tickets and bags of carrots for $1 to feed to all the animals. Then you can go and use your tickets for lots of different fun activities. Train rides, games, pony rides. The kids had a total blast. And I think we went through 5 bags of carrots not to mention the feed for all the birds and goats. We had an absolute blast and I cannot recommend it enough.

In October I hear they have a huge fall festival with hay rides and corn mazes, so if you’re thinking about it I would check it out then, but beware I heard it gets busy that time of year. The day we went was a Thursday and it was overcast and we were some of the only people there. In fact, when we went out to pick our produce, we were all by ourselves. Another difference is the choices of produce here. They grow everything, and I mean everything. And they have little signs telling you on a map where each section and aisle is located on the farm. And they let you just go off on your own and pick your veggies and fruit and flowers.

Here’s some of the attractions my kids’ were over the moon with.

Such a good sport. This one cracks me up, he can barely fit in the little train compartment.

First Day of School

I just realized I never actually posted info about the first day of school. I was bracing myself for havoc, and chaotic it was. I don’t recommend that preschools and elementary schools have the same start day. It made me a bit crazy trying to make sure everyone was okay all on the same day. But it did distract me emotionally from what was going on. Which is good. I didn’t really have time to get sad and melancholy since it was a hurried blur to get every off to their class and school.

Sawyer is completely at home and comfortable. And Gunnar, well, there has yet to be a teacher to not fall in love with him the first day of school. And this year was no exception. His teacher loves him, she may be tough, but he thinks she’s great. Which is all that really matters. She won’t be his language arts and math teacher, but she’s his homeroom teacher where he will stay for social studies, science lab, computer lab, gardening, art, etc. So far so good.

Of course some standard front porch first day of school photos.

I think I’ve been avoiding gushing about Greta doing so well at her new school for fear that as soon as I type it the universe will align and scheme against me and I will hear the first “I don’t want to go to school” line of the school year. So far we have had no tears. No complaining. No injuries. No bullies. Just a lot of happiness. After the first week I commented to Aaron that she is happy, all the time. Of course her attitude comes through daily. But she’s so happy. She runs into school, she shows me her cubby. She introduces me to the class hamster, Oakland. She shows me the Dorothy costume in the dressup area. The play kitchen in the loft. She tells me about the yummy snacks they give her like bagels and cream cheese and quesadillas and fresh fruit and english muffins. She tells me about the automatic sink and soap dispenser in the kids bathroom. She tells me about the art projects and paintings she does every day, several each day. She keeps asking me when her teachers will visit her at home, (which they do at this school!) which was actually yesterday. Both teachers came for the afternoon to play with her in her room, they enjoyed a tea party set up by Greta. Heaven for this little girl.

Finding her cubby.