Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween and Fall Themed Books We Have Been Enjoying

With decor changes for the seasons, I like to also switch out the books in our book baskets. I keep one basket in the living room and one in the dining room. I leave 2-4 of our go-to books that the kids love in each basket, and then gather seasonal books from their book shelves and place them in the baskets so that they are easy to find. 
I wanted to share a few books that we have really enjoyed so far this season. I will try to link to them if possible too! I would like to share that I have only bought four of the books on this list. The others were gifted to our boys in some way over the past 5 years.

The only book I purchased brand new, and at full price, was "Five Little Pumpkins"  I found ours at Walmart last year. Parker kept singing a little tune that he learned in PreK...and then I came across this book with the same story, so I caved and bought it. It's surely a favorite though with its cute little rhymes.
I try to look for books at thrift stores, garage sales and our used book store. I LOVE buying LOTS of books, but our budget can't afford that many new ones...so I try to pay no more than $1 for a children's book. If it is one I have been hunting for, then sometimes I forget about my own little rule and break it ;)
Starting from the top left and going clockwise: 
"We're Going On A Leaf Hunt" by Steve Metzger - This is similar to We're Going On A Bear Hunt, and fun to read after we collect leaves on a walk. (gifted)
"The Best Halloween Hunt Ever" by John Speirs - This is kind of like a Where's Waldo or I Spy book. Parker and I both love these because the boys can do them without an adult since they don't know how to read. :) (thrifted)
"Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale Retold and Illustrated By Steven Kellogg" - It is hard to welcome Fall into our lives without talking about apples. (thrifted)
"Pumpkin Town" by Katie McKy - A fun story about LOTS of pumpkins. (gifted)
"Five Little Pumpkins" - Ours from Walmart last year came with a CD of "spooky" sounds but I can't find that one to link to.
"Sara Squirrel and the Lost Acorns" by Julie Sykes and Catherine Walters - This is another fun one after we have gone a walk and collected acorns. The illustrations in this book are super cute too! (thrifted)
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" by Charles M Schulz - My mom found this book for Parker a few years ago and it is fun! It has reusable stickers (see photo below) that they can place throughout the book! (gifted)
"Let's Shine Jesus' Light on Halloween" by Diane Stortz - This was either a gift from Parker's youth church leader or a prize from our fall festival at church, I can't remember but it is fun to ALWAYS remind our kiddos of Jesus, and so this will be a story that I will read again and again for years to come as my kiddos grow. (gifted) 
Happy Reading Friends!

Blessings,
Dakota XOXO

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall Curb Appeal: On a Budget

I love seasonal changes. As each season approaches, I find myself saying that "I just LOVE... whichever season it may be"... I love them all and I am so glad that we live in a state where we get to experience all four.

To get in the spirit of harvest, pumpkins, and coziness we loaded our hoodlums up on a weekend and went to the local tree farm... who sells pumpkins in the fall :)
Each kiddo got one pumpkin that they will either carve or decorate when we get closer to Halloween. Plus we grabbed a few extra for cuteness :)

Parker decided he wanted a BIG WHITE pumpkin instead of a regular ole orange one... He must take after his mama! ;) Daddy had to help him of course.
This is seriously the best I could get with all three kiddos. 
After our trip to get pumpkins, they sat scattered around the entire front yard as the boys played "pumpkin patch" and their mother got enough gumption to place them strategically and look decent. ;) We had a cart load of pumpkins/gourds and three straw bales, this totaled about $45. BUT we did not have to pay an expensive admission fee to get into a fancy place with games, and such. Don't get me wrong, those places are fun, but with three kiddos under five...it's just not something we need to do every year. Our kiddos got to enjoy the "experience" and fun that goes along with picking out pumpkins, and they don't even know that they are missing anything! So... this counts as "seasonal" budget costs and "entertainment" budgets costs in my book! 
This little corner of our yard that meets the driveway is a place that I love to spruce up each season. The lantern was found at Gordman's, about 7 years ago. Our scarecrow came from the thrift store, $2.
These little wood slices give a little more dimension and rustic look to a simple pumpkin. They were leftover from my sisters wedding and I took them off her hands for a couple bucks each. The chair they are sitting on has been around for about 4 years. It was a $4 garage sale find, and has been used outside the entire time it's held up great to the elements! 
The corn on the cobs came straight out of our field. They missed a few stalks so of course I made Jerrad drive me out there to grab them! 
Here is a peek at another little display, this is up by the garage. Leftover wood slices again. The galvanized bucket was a Tractor Supply purchase awhile back... they were on sale and cute so I needed it ... poor excuse but that is what I told myself. I have gotten plenty of use out of it at least. This past summer it served as a foot rinse before getting into the kiddie pool! Corn stalks, again, forgotten in our field... so FREE for my decor!
I also decorated our mailbox with a straw bale, corn stalks, and a few pumpkins and squash but forgot to get a picture of that :) Parker never seen me decorate it... so he told my cousin that our neighbor must have done it... HAHAHAHAHA!
Have you put any decor outside for the season? Let me know!

Blessings,
Dakota XOXO