Ballet Barre at Home

My sweet little girl, who just turned 7, asked for a gymnastics bar for her birthday. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I said, "Let's buy her one!" He said, "Where on earth will we store it?" He had a point. Gymnastics Bar-kickover

Well, surprise! The bar arrived on her birthday and she was thrilled! I set to work reorganizing our office/workout area, all in an effort to get the bar out of the living room when it's not being used for practice. I think my solution was pretty genius - you see, it's now in the perfect spot for me to use it, while in storage, for some Bar Method workouts!

Have I ever done a Bar Method workout before? Nope. Will I do it again? YOU BET! Do I even know the difference between a Bar Method and a Ballet Barre workout? Not yet!

Here's the workout I did last night. You don't actually need a bar to do this workout, you can use any old chair or couch, the bar is just there for support. But let me tell you, by the 50th pulsing squat, I was needing the bar so I didn't fall over! Yes, I just said PULSING squat! This workout was really fast paced, in the videos comments some people suggested changing the speed of the video down by just a touch so you have time to see what the next moves are and stay on track. It's very fast paced!

Ballet Barre

Something I love about exercise is that it comes in so many different forms - it never gets boring! Or really it's that when it does get boring, I switch it up to keep it fun and interesting. ;)

Are you looking into getting some gymnastics practice equipment for your budding gymnast? I searched high and low before making the purchase, so I'll save you some time and share what we found to be the best bang for the buck on quality equipment. Here's what we ended up with:

Norbert's Athletic Products Gymnastics Mini Bar

Soozier PU Leather Gymnastics Tumbling/Martial Arts Folding Mat

Tumbl Trak Sectional Floor Balance Beam

 

The beam is really lightweight, so she can carry it around, and it's helping her get over her fear of falling off the beam while doing hops and cartwheels and pivots. She can also carry the mat around by herself, so when she wants to practice, it's on her to pull things out and start. She just needs my help with the bar - because I don't want her punching her legs through the window, so it's off limits to her in it's current (convenient for my Barre workouts!) storage location.

*This post contains affiliate links.

CHALLENGE GROUPS

Every month, I host a new 30 day challenge. In each challenge, you, yes YOU, will work with me to establish your health and fitness goals and then you will work your way to better health, with me by your side! You will receive one-on-one support and accountability from me and you will find great camaraderie within the group. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, build massive muscles, or you just want to learn how to...

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Spring, Summer and Fall 2014

Written (and not finished) 10/24/14
----------------------------
I have had blogging on my mind for a while now as I realized I haven't really captured this sweet time in our lives by way of writing words. So here are the words, and maybe I'll add some pictures too.

Last year I got into the travel mile game. And by game, I mean I read a ton of blogs and forums online and then signed Pete and me up for a ton of credit cards and by doing so, I built up a nice stash of miles. One of my priorities in life is to travel with my family - but you are probably well aware of the cost each additional person in an airplane seat can cost. So this is why I decided to embark in the mileage game. It was addicting, and I'll admit, a little stressful. But, the end result is that we flew our family to Belize using travel miles I had accumulated by playing the game. My family would probably say it was worth the effort, because we had a super amazing trip and because we saved so much money on airfare (nearly free!) I was able to totally splurge and booked 3 nights on a 15 acre island that was pure paradise! If. Was. Perfect.

 We stayed in a bungalow with roaches. Oh, sorry to ruin the surprise - I guess there are roaches in paradise! I didn't mind so much because I was in awe of the whole experience there. We had a whole 4 days of multi-course meals provided 3x/day and they were so sweet and didn't mind our gluten-free requirement at all, the meals were superb. The hammocks on the beach, the clear water, the hot sun, the snorkeling on the reef, it was all dreamy. The kids were in heaven and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Spring, Summer and Fall 2014

Written (and not finished) 10/24/14
----------------------------
I have had blogging on my mind for a while now as I realized I haven't really captured this sweet time in our lives by way of writing words. So here are the words, and maybe I'll add some pictures too.

Last year I got into the travel mile game. And by game, I mean I read a ton of blogs and forums online and then signed Pete and me up for a ton of credit cards and by doing so, I built up a nice stash of miles. One of my priorities in life is to travel with my family - but you are probably well aware of the cost each additional person in an airplane seat can cost. So this is why I decided to embark in the mileage game. It was addicting, and I'll admit, a little stressful. But, the end result is that we flew our family to Belize using travel miles I had accumulated by playing the game. My family would probably say it was worth the effort, because we had a super amazing trip and because we saved so much money on airfare (nearly free!) I was able to totally splurge and booked 3 nights on a 15 acre island that was pure paradise! If. Was. Perfect.

 We stayed in a bungalow with roaches. Oh, sorry to ruin the surprise - I guess there are roaches in paradise! I didn't mind so much because I was in awe of the whole experience there. We had a whole 4 days of multi-course meals provided 3x/day and they were so sweet and didn't mind our gluten-free requirement at all, the meals were superb. The hammocks on the beach, the clear water, the hot sun, the snorkeling on the reef, it was all dreamy. The kids were in heaven and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

My friend, gluten.

I am so emotional today, and I read something last night that talked about how therapeutic the act of writing can be. So here I am, writing on a blog that was almost entirely forgotten.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, I had a nagging voice in my head saying, "Eat gluten, eat gluten, eat gluten..." over and over it went. In all my 4 years of being GF, I've never actually eaten gluten on purpose - it's always been accidental as I never wanted to go through the effects of having gluten in my body. I feared it, actually. This voice was annoying and it was gnawing at me loudly for a couple of weeks before I took action.

I was in the car, by myself (rare), when Top Pot Donuts appeared suddenly before me. I've driven past the same Top Pot Donuts at least a 1,000 times as it's on one of my regular driving routes - but I'd never had the urge to go there. Until that moment. I pulled into the drive through and ordered a maple bar. I was in disbelief the entire time, from pulling into the parking lot to exiting with donut in hand. What was I doing?????

I devoured that donut.

Then I dreaded what I was sure would be coming to me in 2 days time (a change of mood, tiredness, anxiety, bloating, constipation, sharp shooting pains in my GI tract...).

And I waited. And waited. and waited.

Nothing happened. I was shocked, joyous, and utterly confused all at the same time.

It wasn't until I was at a child's birthday party and directing someone with a gluten-free cupcake toward my daughter that I had a conversation about this anomaly that made sense. The employee at the bounce house party began to question me about Charlotte's GF requirement.  The gal I was talking to was diagnosed Celiac 15 years ago and she had a similar experience with being off gluten for years and then accidentally eating a gluten filled meal, expecting the worst and then having nothing happen. She went to the doctor over it - thinking she'd been cured of Celiac Disease. Her doctor informed her that after so long off of gluten, her gut had healed from the damage done by gluten all those years she had been eating it. So ingesting gluten in limited quantity after years without, wouldn't cause the same physical ailments that lead her to be diagnosed in the first place. This made sense. Lots of sense. This girl had also been told by her doctor that even if she didn't have physical evidence of a problem or reaction to gluten, that it was still damaging her body and it was still important for her to stay away from the source.

--------
I just discovered this draft. It was written in November 2014. I decided to publish, because well, it's where I was at back then.

My friend, gluten.

I am so emotional today, and I read something last night that talked about how therapeutic the act of writing can be. So here I am, writing on a blog that was almost entirely forgotten.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, I had a nagging voice in my head saying, "Eat gluten, eat gluten, eat gluten..." over and over it went. In all my 4 years of being GF, I've never actually eaten gluten on purpose - it's always been accidental as I never wanted to go through the effects of having gluten in my body. I feared it, actually. This voice was annoying and it was gnawing at me loudly for a couple of weeks before I took action.

I was in the car, by myself (rare), when Top Pot Donuts appeared suddenly before me. I've driven past the same Top Pot Donuts at least a 1,000 times as it's on one of my regular driving routes - but I'd never had the urge to go there. Until that moment. I pulled into the drive through and ordered a maple bar. I was in disbelief the entire time, from pulling into the parking lot to exiting with donut in hand. What was I doing?????

I devoured that donut.

Then I dreaded what I was sure would be coming to me in 2 days time (a change of mood, tiredness, anxiety, bloating, constipation, sharp shooting pains in my GI tract...).

And I waited. And waited. and waited.

Nothing happened. I was shocked, joyous, and utterly confused all at the same time.

It wasn't until I was at a child's birthday party and directing someone with a gluten-free cupcake toward my daughter that I had a conversation about this anomaly that made sense. The employee at the bounce house party began to question me about Charlotte's GF requirement.  The gal I was talking to was diagnosed Celiac 15 years ago and she had a similar experience with being off gluten for years and then accidentally eating a gluten filled meal, expecting the worst and then having nothing happen. She went to the doctor over it - thinking she'd been cured of Celiac Disease. Her doctor informed her that after so long off of gluten, her gut had healed from the damage done by gluten all those years she had been eating it. So ingesting gluten in limited quantity after years without, wouldn't cause the same physical ailments that lead her to be diagnosed in the first place. This made sense. Lots of sense. This girl had also been told by her doctor that even if she didn't have physical evidence of a problem or reaction to gluten, that it was still damaging her body and it was still important for her to stay away from the source.

--------
I just discovered this draft. It was written in November 2014. I decided to publish, because well, it's where I was at back then.

Edamame & Roasted Corn Succotash

Okay, so I'm on day 15 of my 21 day cleanse and I just had to share this recipe with you! I thought it was going to be weird, but it's not at all. It hit the spot on the warm sunny day we had yesterday. This is straight out of the ultimate reset nutrition guide (except I doubled the recipe). I will be making this again (and again!). Without much adieu, the recipe:

Edamame & Roasted Corn Succotash
(makes 2 servings)

1 cup fresh corn kernels
2 cups water
1.5 cups shelled edamame
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
4 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
Himalayan salt (to taste; optional)
Herbal seasoning blend (to taste; optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange corn in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until caramelized and beginning to brown, but before kernels harden. While corn bakes, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add edamame; cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove corn from oven; cool.

Drain edamame. Set aside. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, bell pepper, and onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vinegar, lime juice, cilantro, salt (if desired), and seasoning blend (if desired). Mix well.

I served it with a side of wilted kale spritzed with some lemon juice and olive oil.

A snapshot - Hailey (4) and Charlotte (3)

Hailey
-Is very polite, she always says her please and thank yous.
-Loves our kittens Laser and Nitro (daddy named them) and can often be found sleeping at night with one arm wrapped around Nitro as he sleeps next to her.
-Doesn't like horses up close (enjoys looking at them from afar).
-Is in gymnastics this year and was very direct with me over the summer when she told me that she didn't want to do dance - she wanted to do gymnastics.
-Loves her school and though I don't get very detailed reports about her days at school, she usually is excited to go (some days not so much). Her teachers report that she is always happy and they love having her in class.
-One of her favorite people at school is her friend Hayley (a spunky, slightly more outgoing brunette).
-The kids in Hailey's class call her 'Hailey Myron' and her friend goes by 'Hailey Boehl' (first and last names) and it's hilarious to hear them all calling for 'Hailey Myron' when they are playing
- Loves watching TV and has recently started sneaking downstairs with Charlotte in the mornings (before Pete and I are awake), turning on the tv and settling into the couch with a box of cereal while they watch a show (she can turn everything on and find her netflix channel).
-I've given her 2 haircuts so far in her life - the first one was this past August and the 2nd was toward the beginning of December.


Charlotte
-Always has ratty hair because it's so fine and she doesn't like us to brush it. I recently gave her a 1st 'real' haircut. Her actual 1st haircut was when she was a toddler and she had a few awkwardly long curls at the end of her straight hair - I snipped those off.
-Says things like 'thicky' in place of sticky. She doesn't like to pronounce S and sometimes she leaves L out of words.
-She asks me to "Tuggle" with her every night. It's the cutest thing ever, so we don't bother with correcting her all that much. I absolutely LOVE snuggling with Charlotte, she's such a good cuddle bug.
-Is usually in our bed all snuggled up to me every morning when I wake up.
-She is in gymnastics, but she doesn't like to warm up with the class. She either sits or stands the whole time while her class jumps and rolls around during warm up time. This week, she said she wanted to quit gymnastics. She wouldn't join the class until they moved to the obstacle course - then she jumped right in and afterward she told me she doesn't actually want to quit. She's been talking about how much she loves gymnastics ever since...
-Loves our kittens, but also quite frequently totally smothers them and sometimes hits them (poor kitties!).
-Loves ponies and carnival rides - when we went to the fair in September, she wanted to ride ALL of the rides. Hailey only went on the swing ride and a slow flat car ride - she refused to go on any others. So Charlotte went by herself on all the fast adrenaline pumping rides and had a look of pure joy in her eyes as she held on and zipped around. :) She was SO adorable.
-Has a lot of energy. Hailey takes naps more often than Charlotte. Charlotte will play quietly while Hailey naps. If Charlotte does happen to nap during the day, she will be up way too late at night and it's a battle to get her to stay in her bed to go to sleep. On those nights, she is often up past 10pm and usually is asleep by 11.
-Likes most everything Hailey likes.
-Doesn't like meat. She will eat everything else on her plate, but has to be bribed to eat any meat. She might just be a vegetarian when she gets older...
-Unbuckles her chest buckle in the car and climbs out of her seat as much as she can when she's mad. Strong willed little girl.............
-Recently started talking in a really deep loud drawn out voice to get my attention "MOOOOM!" It's actually so funny we have a hard time not laughing everyt ime she does it. We have named that special voice "Frank". One day she was quite mad about something as we were driving along in the car and 'Fank' was yelling at me (Pete was driving, but she was apparently mad at me). We asked her what she was so mad about and she paused for a moment and then screamed (in her Frank voice) "I don't know what I talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" We about died laughing.

These girls bring me such joy! I love being their mommy. 

A snapshot - Hailey (4) and Charlotte (3)

Hailey
-Is very polite, she always says her please and thank yous.
-Loves our kittens Laser and Nitro (daddy named them) and can often be found sleeping at night with one arm wrapped around Nitro as he sleeps next to her.
-Doesn't like horses up close (enjoys looking at them from afar).
-Is in gymnastics this year and was very direct with me over the summer when she told me that she didn't want to do dance - she wanted to do gymnastics.
-Loves her school and though I don't get very detailed reports about her days at school, she usually is excited to go (some days not so much). Her teachers report that she is always happy and they love having her in class.
-One of her favorite people at school is her friend Hayley (a spunky, slightly more outgoing brunette).
-The kids in Hailey's class call her 'Hailey Myron' and her friend goes by 'Hailey Boehl' (first and last names) and it's hilarious to hear them all calling for 'Hailey Myron' when they are playing
- Loves watching TV and has recently started sneaking downstairs with Charlotte in the mornings (before Pete and I are awake), turning on the tv and settling into the couch with a box of cereal while they watch a show (she can turn everything on and find her netflix channel).
-I've given her 2 haircuts so far in her life - the first one was this past August and the 2nd was toward the beginning of December.


Charlotte
-Always has ratty hair because it's so fine and she doesn't like us to brush it. I recently gave her a 1st 'real' haircut. Her actual 1st haircut was when she was a toddler and she had a few awkwardly long curls at the end of her straight hair - I snipped those off.
-Says things like 'thicky' in place of sticky. She doesn't like to pronounce S and sometimes she leaves L out of words.
-She asks me to "Tuggle" with her every night. It's the cutest thing ever, so we don't bother with correcting her all that much. I absolutely LOVE snuggling with Charlotte, she's such a good cuddle bug.
-Is usually in our bed all snuggled up to me every morning when I wake up.
-She is in gymnastics, but she doesn't like to warm up with the class. She either sits or stands the whole time while her class jumps and rolls around during warm up time. This week, she said she wanted to quit gymnastics. She wouldn't join the class until they moved to the obstacle course - then she jumped right in and afterward she told me she doesn't actually want to quit. She's been talking about how much she loves gymnastics ever since...
-Loves our kittens, but also quite frequently totally smothers them and sometimes hits them (poor kitties!).
-Loves ponies and carnival rides - when we went to the fair in September, she wanted to ride ALL of the rides. Hailey only went on the swing ride and a slow flat car ride - she refused to go on any others. So Charlotte went by herself on all the fast adrenaline pumping rides and had a look of pure joy in her eyes as she held on and zipped around. :) She was SO adorable.
-Has a lot of energy. Hailey takes naps more often than Charlotte. Charlotte will play quietly while Hailey naps. If Charlotte does happen to nap during the day, she will be up way too late at night and it's a battle to get her to stay in her bed to go to sleep. On those nights, she is often up past 10pm and usually is asleep by 11.
-Likes most everything Hailey likes.
-Doesn't like meat. She will eat everything else on her plate, but has to be bribed to eat any meat. She might just be a vegetarian when she gets older...
-Unbuckles her chest buckle in the car and climbs out of her seat as much as she can when she's mad. Strong willed little girl.............
-Recently started talking in a really deep loud drawn out voice to get my attention "MOOOOM!" It's actually so funny we have a hard time not laughing everyt ime she does it. We have named that special voice "Frank". One day she was quite mad about something as we were driving along in the car and 'Fank' was yelling at me (Pete was driving, but she was apparently mad at me). We asked her what she was so mad about and she paused for a moment and then screamed (in her Frank voice) "I don't know what I talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" We about died laughing.

These girls bring me such joy! I love being their mommy. 

Shauna's Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free & Vegan - or not)

Shauna's Chocolate Cake
This is simply THE best chocolate cake I've ever tasted. I found the recipe online last year (though I don't know where I found it!) and I made some modifications. The result - FANTASTIC. 

Makes one 3-layer 8" cake

Ingredients:
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour - I've used Better Batter and Namaste Foods Gluten-Free flour (these flours are a one to one replacement and are simply AMAZING for gluten-free baking)
1 cup + 2 Tbspn Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tspn salt
2 1/4 tspn baking powder
2 1/4 tspn baking soda

3 eggs (for an egg free cake, I use flax+water as an egg replacement...the cake is still good, but the texture was not quite as moist as the original - it was a bit heavier)

3/4 cup vegetable oil 
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 cup hot coffee (use decaf if you like)
Frosting:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, flour, and line the bottoms of three 8" round cake pans. 
2. In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and milk. Stir to mix. Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix on low until evenly distributed.
4. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and mix on medium low until smooth. The batter will be soupy.
5. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
7. Level the cakes (this is easier if they've sat in the freezer for at least one hour beforehand).
8. Stack the cakes, spreading a layer of frosting (or jelly) in between each cake layer. Frost the outside of the cake--for a smoother finish, use a hot knife.

Note: this recipe also works for a 3-layer 9" cake, with slightly shorter layers.

Shauna's Chocolate Cake (Gluten-Free & Vegan - or not)

Shauna's Chocolate Cake
This is simply THE best chocolate cake I've ever tasted. I found the recipe online last year (though I don't know where I found it!) and I made some modifications. The result - FANTASTIC. 

Makes one 3-layer 8" cake

Ingredients:
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour - I've used Better Batter and Namaste Foods Gluten-Free flour (these flours are a one to one replacement and are simply AMAZING for gluten-free baking)
1 cup + 2 Tbspn Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tspn salt
2 1/4 tspn baking powder
2 1/4 tspn baking soda

3 eggs (for an egg free cake, I use flax+water as an egg replacement...the cake is still good, but the texture was not quite as moist as the original - it was a bit heavier)

3/4 cup vegetable oil 
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 cup hot coffee (use decaf if you like)
Frosting:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, flour, and line the bottoms of three 8" round cake pans. 
2. In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and milk. Stir to mix. Then, with the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix on low until evenly distributed.
4. Pour the hot coffee into the batter and mix on medium low until smooth. The batter will be soupy.
5. Divide the batter between the cake pans.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
7. Level the cakes (this is easier if they've sat in the freezer for at least one hour beforehand).
8. Stack the cakes, spreading a layer of frosting (or jelly) in between each cake layer. Frost the outside of the cake--for a smoother finish, use a hot knife.

Note: this recipe also works for a 3-layer 9" cake, with slightly shorter layers.

The littlest gymnast

Hailey is 'the little gymnast' in this house, but technically, Charlotte is the littlest (for now) and she does gymnastics too. I'm not yet sure if she's all that into it at this point. She likes the bars and balance beam, but she isn't fond of warming up with floor exercises (the first 15 minutes of class).
I took the big camera to gymnastics one day, and captured Charlotte at work. This girl is very serious about her sport. She really doesn't like the warm up time and prefers to not participate. She just stands there and watches everyone else. Some days she won't even join the class on the floor until they've moved to the obstacle course. 
As soon as they move to the obstacle course, she is a happy camper and joins right in. 
 And she's really quite good at it all.
 She's really strong.
 And a good listener. 
 And cute to boot!

 She loves the bars and can hang from them for a long time, it's incredible to watch her out there.

We switched coaches recently as her previous coach wasn't connecting with her at all. She is with coach Kristen now - the same coach Hailey had last year! Coach Kristen is awesome with the little ones! We're hoping Charlotte joins in for warm up time soon - it's a good 15 minutes of class she misses out on.

The littlest gymnast

Hailey is 'the little gymnast' in this house, but technically, Charlotte is the littlest (for now) and she does gymnastics too. I'm not yet sure if she's all that into it at this point. She likes the bars and balance beam, but she isn't fond of warming up with floor exercises (the first 15 minutes of class).
I took the big camera to gymnastics one day, and captured Charlotte at work. This girl is very serious about her sport. She really doesn't like the warm up time and prefers to not participate. She just stands there and watches everyone else. Some days she won't even join the class on the floor until they've moved to the obstacle course. 
As soon as they move to the obstacle course, she is a happy camper and joins right in. 
 And she's really quite good at it all.
 She's really strong.
 And a good listener. 
 And cute to boot!

 She loves the bars and can hang from them for a long time, it's incredible to watch her out there.

We switched coaches recently as her previous coach wasn't connecting with her at all. She is with coach Kristen now - the same coach Hailey had last year! Coach Kristen is awesome with the little ones! We're hoping Charlotte joins in for warm up time soon - it's a good 15 minutes of class she misses out on.

Halloween 2013

I was a bit tired of going to pumpkin patches this year, as both Hailey and Charlotte's preschool classes had field trips to different pumpkin patches in the area. But...Pete and I still needed pumpkins to carve, and Uncle Jason did too. So we headed to Trinity Farm, because it was close to home and they sell pumpkins. That's right...they sell them, they don't grow them (I guess they tried, but birds kept eating all the seeds). So we went just a few days before Halloween, and many of the pumpkins were rotting and they looked quite picked over. I thought that the field where they had set the pumpkins out was sub-par and so after looking around for a while, we decided to pack it up and find pumpkins elsewhere. I had grown 2 small pumpkins in our garden (which produced so many seeds btw), so Pete and I ended up using those and the girls used the big pumpkins when it came time to carving.

 Pumpkins sitting in a random dirt/weed field = not so exciting.

 Charlotte didn't want to be in a pic.

 Walking away empty without a pumpkin.

We almost forgot to carve pumpkins this year. At 7pm a couple nights before Halloween, we thought we should get busy and carve our pumpkins. It was a school/work night, but we were determined! Here we girls are, posing with our pumpkins (Pete's wasn't finished when we took this pic).

And now for the costumes....

Charlotte was a southern belle and Hailey, a princess pirate.

 They got to wear makeup, which they were SO excited about.

We headed over to Jay & Sarah's for a scrumptious dinner and then we went trick or treating in their neighborhood.

We let the girls eat as much as they wanted to after the trick or treating....and Charlotte ate through ALL of her candy that night.

Halloween 2013

I was a bit tired of going to pumpkin patches this year, as both Hailey and Charlotte's preschool classes had field trips to different pumpkin patches in the area. But...Pete and I still needed pumpkins to carve, and Uncle Jason did too. So we headed to Trinity Farm, because it was close to home and they sell pumpkins. That's right...they sell them, they don't grow them (I guess they tried, but birds kept eating all the seeds). So we went just a few days before Halloween, and many of the pumpkins were rotting and they looked quite picked over. I thought that the field where they had set the pumpkins out was sub-par and so after looking around for a while, we decided to pack it up and find pumpkins elsewhere. I had grown 2 small pumpkins in our garden (which produced so many seeds btw), so Pete and I ended up using those and the girls used the big pumpkins when it came time to carving.

 Pumpkins sitting in a random dirt/weed field = not so exciting.

 Charlotte didn't want to be in a pic.

 Walking away empty without a pumpkin.

We almost forgot to carve pumpkins this year. At 7pm a couple nights before Halloween, we thought we should get busy and carve our pumpkins. It was a school/work night, but we were determined! Here we girls are, posing with our pumpkins (Pete's wasn't finished when we took this pic).

And now for the costumes....

Charlotte was a southern belle and Hailey, a princess pirate.

 They got to wear makeup, which they were SO excited about.

We headed over to Jay & Sarah's for a scrumptious dinner and then we went trick or treating in their neighborhood.

We let the girls eat as much as they wanted to after the trick or treating....and Charlotte ate through ALL of her candy that night.