Halloween Carnival

Last weekend, the preschool in our neighborhood put on a Halloween carnival. Our little garden gnome had the best time checking out all the costumes, dancing to the music and petting the farm animals. 

The carnival was down by the lagoon where there just happens to be a playground so, of course, that is where we ended up. Lyla loves a slide. 

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It’s hard to believe that our outings as a family of three are numbered. Can’t wait to meet our little guy soon. 

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Pumpkin Painting: Toddler Edition

Painting pumpkins is something that was pretty high on my fall bucket list this year. Carved pumpkins and Hawaii don’t really mix (hello, mold) but I didn’t want Lyla to miss out on a bit of Halloween fun so yesterday I whipped out some paint and a couple of tiny pumpkins and we got to painting. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well then, this post is worth…err…a lot of words. (math is not my strong point)

For the record: I insisted on the overalls, she insisted on the upside down hair bow. You win some, you lose some. 

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DIY Corn Husk Dolls

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I didn’t play with a ton of dolls when I was younger but I do have a pretty vivid memory of playing with a corn husk doll that I made at school. I wasn’t very attached to it, and I’m sure she found a place in the trash can not longer after I brought her home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the simplicity of a good corn husk doll today. 

Call me old fashioned, but the idea of Lyla playing with simple, handmade toys like these makes me all kinds of giddy. I love being able to create things for her that bring her joy which is why I added it to our fall bucket list

There just happened to be 8 ears of corn in the produce box that we picked up at the Farmer’s Market last week so I set them aside while I cooked dinner and quickly got to doll making! 

To make a corn husk doll you need: green corn husks, string and a pair of scissors. That’s it!

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[1] Start with 4-5 fresh corn husks. Lay them flat on top of each other and tie together with small piece of string. 

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[2] Flip upside down and pull each husk down. 

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[3] Using another piece of string, tie a piece around the top of the husks to form the head. 

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[4] Grab another husk, lay flat and roll tightly to form the arms. Secure each end with string. 
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[5] Place the arms between the long “body” husks, just below the neck. Secure with piece of string to form the waist. 

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[6] Take another husk and cut in half. Drape pieces over the body in a criss-cross pattern to form the shoulders and secure with string. 

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[7] Take a few more long husks and gather around body to form the skirt. I tied this part with baker’s twine to add a little color ’cause my doll is fancy 😉

You could easily turn these into “boy” dolls by gathering half of the long skirt husks and tying them together at the end to form feet. I left my doll out to dry for a few days before giving it to Lyla to play with and ended up having to tighten up some of the string since the husks shrink when drying. 

Now that we have started crossing things off of our list, I am in full on fall mode. This week I’ve teamed up with Jenna from A Savory Feast as well as some other awesome bloggers to share our favorite posts about fall and to give you a chance to win some cool prizes. The giveaway ends tomorrow so make sure to get your entries in today! 

Happy crafting 🙂

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We are so excited about the arrival of Fall, so we are celebrating with a giveaway! Enter to win this fun prize pack filled with all sorts of Fall-themed goodies and a Starbucks gift card. Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Fall Welcome Week Hosts
To Travel and Beyond // The Beauty Section // Back to Carolina //

Yellow Dog Pink Pig // Natasha Byrd // Glitz & Gritz // Set Free // Mandy Living Life

Wetherills Say I Do // Life w/ Mrs. G. and the Artist // The Gift of Gab

Sustaining the Powers // Bright Green Door // A Savory Feast // No Small Life

Giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age and older. Entries will be accepted via the Rafflecopter below from 9/23/2015 to 9/30/2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be randomly selected and will be verified. Winner will be emailed and must respond with a mailing address within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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diy stuffed toy holder

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #InsideOutEmotions #CollectiveBias

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As Lyla becomes more verbal and expressive, Alex and I are making a conscious effort to help her connect her feelings and emotions to words. We feel that by teaching her how to express her emotions, we will help her develop social skills that will lead to a happy, healthy childhood. 

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This is where, I think, parenthood gets hard. We are responsible for raising well-adjusted humans that are going to enter society someday. Our children are going to need to be able to communicate and function within the world around them. That is just mind blowing to me. Thankfully, we aren’t totally on our own and there are tons of tools (books, toys, movies, etc.) out there that are available to assist us. 

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To help Lyla discover her emotions, I picked up a set of Inside Out plush characters from Walmart and put together a fun plush holder. I think it’s pretty obvious that she was a big fan from the get-go. As soon as I got the set into the cart, she immediately started having conversations with all of them. Fear seemed to be her favorite – she was probably afraid I was going to embarrass her with more pictures 😉

While we were in the toy aisle, I also made sure to pick up plastic sand pails in the Inside Out plush characters colors. Don’t you just love the bright colors that are so synonymous with Disney-Pixar? I wasn’t able to find either a yellow or purple pail so I swung by the home improvement section and grabbed a couple of cans of spray paint. 

Once home, I took a pallet remnant that we had laying in the garden and arranged the pails on top. If you don’t have a pallet, any thin piece of wood will do. Or, if you have space, (and don’t mind holes in the walls) you could hang the pails right on the wall in your child’s playroom! 

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When I had the pails arranged in an order I liked, I commissioned my husband to screw the pails onto the board. Nothing like a little manual labor on what seemed to be the hottest day ever. Thanks, babe! 

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With all of the pails in place, I grabbed some paint from my craft supply stash and labeled the future homes of our new plush pals, let it dry and then I was done! 

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I’m so happy with the way this DIY stuffed toy holder turned out. Not only can we use our new Inside Out friends to talk about emotions with Lyla, but we can also work on her color recognition and practice putting the toys inside their respective holders. Also, having the pails set up on a board like this makes it totally portable which I love since I can bring it outside on these hot summer days when I can’t stand another minute in the house with no AC (being pregnant in the summer is no joke!)

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We haven’t seen the movie yet but are hoping to soon – I’m hoping it pops up on the weekly “Crybaby Matinee” list since I’m not sure how Lyla will do in a theatre. If not, Alex and I will have to sneak out for a date night soon. That will bring us both joy. (see what I did there?)

Have you seen Inside Out yet? What did you think? How old were your kids when you took them to see their first movie?

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national donut day

I’m usually not a fan of donuts. Or pastries in general. They just aren’t my jam(-filled choice of dessert). Because of this, National Donut Day is a holiday that has never been celebrated in the Byrd household. Until today. national-donut-day I woke up early this morning and started lazily scrolling through Instagram and basically all I saw were donuts. Donuts topped with sprinkles, and cereal, and marshmallows, and bacon. And apparently baby Byrd #2 is still pretty impressionable because he/she decided that we needed to get donuts for breakfast. What baby wants, baby gets. (this time anyway)

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When Lyla woke up, we loaded into the car and headed over to the donut shop. We picked out a dozen and were given a few free ones as well to celebrate this (apparently) very special day. We made a surprise donut delivery to Alex’s office and then headed home to try ours. 

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Of course, I took a zillion pictures. Are you surprised?

And, of course, Lyla ate an entire donut and loved every bite. Her baby brother/sister wasn’t mad either 😉

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After we were finished stuffing our faces, we stuffed ourselves into our bathing suits and hit up the beach with my cousin, Hoku. Good idea, right?

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How did you celebrate National Donut Day?

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