Turquoise and ?

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I need some color help, folks. I painted our bedroom turquoise recently, and am completely in love with the color, but am struggling a bit with how to proceed with the rest of the room (you know, curtains and bedding and all that).

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Arboretum time with my little one

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Sweet Daphne and I explored the Arboretum together today. She is such a little person now – very verbal, opinionated, and oh, so TWO. This Arboretum trip is something that I did many, many times with Maia as a toddler (and beyond, of course). It's fun to see it through a toddler's eyes again.

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DIY Halloween Crafts :: Coffee Filter Spiderwebs

How to Make Coffee Filter Spiderwebs - easy DIY Halloween Crafts and DecorationsOkay folks. We have more DIY Halloween crafts we’ve been working on to decorate our house and get into the Halloween spirit.

Coffee filter spider webs and little felt spiders!

These are obviously inspired by all the coffee filter snowflakes we made last winter (so many!) as well as the coffee filter hearts we decorated our window with around Valentine’s Day.

As I’ve said before, coffee filters are perfect for this sort of scissor craft because they are thin without being flimsy, making it easier for kids to cut through multiple layers.

Plus they are already round.

And somewhat transparent, making them great for window decoration.

How to Make Coffee Filter Spiderwebs

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A Felt Bat Garland :: DIY Halloween Decorations

DIY Halloween Decorations Felt Bat Garland

I don’t know what is up with me, but I’m really getting into Halloween and Halloween crafts this year. And have been making lots of DIY halloween decorations.

I’m usually not so into Halloween as a holiday. Christmas? Yes. Valentine’s Day? Yes. But Halloween and ghosts and spooky things? Not so much. So when I read Dana’s post on Dana Made It about decorating with paper bats and saw that she felt the same way about Halloween scariness, it was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one.

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Autumn Leaves Craft :: A Stained Glass Window

Autumn Leaves Craft - Make a Stained Glass Window

We made a new “stained glass” window for our front door using Autumn leaves and contact paper.

Pretty, eh?

These leaves are from a parking lot tree. I’m such a sucker for colorful fall leaves that I’ve gotten to the point where I stop to gather some when I’m running errands.

Here’s how to make this simple Autumn leaves craft ::… 

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The Best Healthy Pumpkin Waffle Recipe

A Healthy Pumpkin Waffle Recipe

Waffles are one of our all-time favorite weekend breakfasts around here. In the fall and winter, make that pumpkin waffles.

We made this healthy pumpkin waffle recipe for breakfast before apple picking yesterday to start off a perfect fall day—delicious breakfast, beautiful weather, a “hay” ride (without any hay), and apple picking.

I love Autumn!

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Delayed gratification (and some leaf cookies)

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I'm an instant gratification kind of gal. I was never one of those kids who tried to make a sucker last as long as possible. If there's a cookie in front of me, I will probably eat it. I'm also better with spontenaity than with planning ahead. I just don't know ahead of time if I'm going to want to do X when Thursday rolls around. I try to plan ahead because it makes life with other people easier and I don't want my friends to ditch me. But really? I'd rather just wake up on Thursday, look outside at the weather and inside at how I'm feeling, and decide to go the Arboretum on a whim, perhaps texting a friend or two on the way to see if anyone wants to join us.

That's me. Spontaneous and in pursuit of instant gratification.

One of the reasons I was attracted to blogging is that it completely appealed to this side of me. If I want to write about something and share it with others, I can do so right away while it is fresh in my mind and important to me. And I can get feedback and have a conversation with others (via comments and facebook) right away. I love it!

Most other forms of publishing are not nearly as quick. With my column (which I just stopped doing, by the way), I turned my copy in a month in advance. When I've written for Mothering and Parenting magazines, it was six months or more before the articles were published. With this book that I just turned in, it'll be spring 2013 before I can share it with you. So much time!

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What I'd really like to do is tie a pretty ribbon around my book and hand it straight to you today. A present from me to you. I worked so hard on it and put so much of myself into it. I want to share it. And I don't want to wait over a year to do so.

But I will wait because I must. And because I trust that my publisher will work all kinds of magic to make this book even better than it is now. Editing, graphic design, printing, and I don't even know what else lies in store for this little book of mine.

And so, even though I'd really like to hand this book straight to you as is, I will wait. And it will be better with the waiting, I'm sure.

Celebrating completion, celebrating fall

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I did it!

I finished the book and sent it off to my editor yesterday. Woohoo! Boy does that feel good. Good that I tackled the biggest project of my life and completed it. Good that I gave it my all and am happy with how it came together. Good that I have something special to share with you (someday). Good that it is off my desk and off my to-do list (at least until my editor gets back to me with any suggested revisions…). Good that I can finally catch up on sleep and basic household maintenance (you don't want to see my laundry pile!). And good that I can relax and simply enjoy spending time with my family.

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After getting the book off, the girls and I spent the afternoon yesterday collecting acorns and fall leaves…

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Sorting the acorns and leaves…

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Pressing leaves…

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Gluing the tops back on the acorns (yay, glue gun!)…

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And making a celebratory cherry pie (we attempted to turn my favorite dessert from a summery pie to an autumn dish by substituting the traditional lattice top with a collection of pie crust leaves).

I'm so looking forward to more days like this ahead!

Update: If you are going to save acorns for decorations or crafts indoors, you'll need to bake them at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Otherwise you will find to your dismay that there is a small hole in the side of the acorn and a little maggot nearby after a week or two. Learn from my mistake! (Or skip the baking and use it as a lesson in biology…)