Fall (Cleaning) Is My Jam

So pumped that Fall is here. It is without a doubt my favorite time of year. The weather has been amazing and the kids and I have been enjoying trips to the park and the zoo here (which is free!). I love opening up the windows and airing out this old farm house before the temp drops and we have to close up everything and hibernate indoors.

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Fall for me is also when I go on a major cleaning/purging spree. Spring cleaning doesn’t really happen in my house, Fall cleaning is more my jam. I don’t know if it’s the crisp Fall weather that puts an extra spring in my step and motivates me to clean, or the thought of being trapped indoors all Winter. Whatever the reason, I feel a huge urge to get rid of old clothes, toys, decor and revamp all the rooms in the house. I like to just declutter and get a fresh start.

My plan of attack for purging is to go in each room of the house and pull out anything that isn’t working for me anymore or anything that has wandered into a room that belongs in another room. Once I go through each room, then I go through the closets and storage areas. I have learned that if I go through the stored items first, I end up keeping a lot of things I don’t really need. If I go through the rooms first, then I have a much clearer idea of what I need to hang on to and what I can let go of.

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I also go through every clothes closet and dresser to get rid of out of season things and anything that doesn’t fit or get worn often. I have been downsizing my stash of baby clothes the past week too. It is hard, but I’m trying to let go of some baby things (not everything) but I’m starting with the excess clothes. I try to sneak out toys and books that the kids no longer pay attention to. I have learned to put things in a tote and hold on to the tote for a month or two. If they don’t notice the items are missing, than I usually feel like it is safe to go ahead and donate them.

IMG_2667My favorite part of Fall cleaning is that each room also gets a mini makeover. Whether that is just swapping out throw pillows, rearranging the furniture, or giving it a fresh coat of paint. I just like to switch things up to try something new and keep from getting bored. Anyone else do Fall cleaning?…Just me?

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Hollis Turns Three…

 

 

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This girl.

This girl keeps me on my toes. She’s funnier, smarter, and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined her being. She teaches me so much patience and mindfulness every day. I love that she loves dressing like a princess while walking around the house with her tools ‘fixing things like mom’. Brian and I constantly look at each other and shake our heads amazed at the things that come out of her mouth. She loves to have a good time and wants everyone around her to be having a good time too. She has only been a big sister for seven months and is already a pro at it. Bowen lights up when she walks into the room and I have no doubt they will be the very best of friends.

A couple of weeks ago Hollis turned three. (I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my tiny baby is now a giant three year old.) This is the first year that she has really understood what her birthday is and been excited about it. She knew there would be a party, she knew there would be presents and most of all, she knew there would be cake. Cake is very important to this kid. She is undoubtedly my child.

This is also the first year that she had an opinion about the party theme. I was fully expecting a princess party or even Peppa Pig, but no. I asked her what kind of party she would like and she said a giraffe party. I offered other suggestions, great suggestions, but no. This is what I love most about my darling daughter. She knows what she wants. She wanted a giraffe party so she got a giraffe party.

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I scoured Pinterest for giraffe cake ideas and found two different cupcake designs that I really liked. I sent them to my mom to see what she thought. We both agreed that we liked the layout of one cake and the decorations on the other cake. So we mashed them together and ended up with this guy. My mom did all the work, I really just watched her while tending to a fussy baby. (Bowen was working of 4 of his 6 teeth that weekend…) She used a mix of chocolate and white cake. Then she made buttercream frosting that she colored orangey-yellow. And she made the spots out of salted caramel flavored candy melts. The nose and feet are Oreos.hollis-three

It was delicious. I think it turned out really cute and Hollis LOVED it!

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We celebrated at my parents house with family. We kept it simple with pizza and salad, and decorated with orange and green for a jungle/safari look.

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My aunt and my grandma also surprised everyone with these sweet giraffe party bags full of giraffe swag!

Happy third birthday sweet girl! I can’t wait to see what theme Hollis picks next year!