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Just Lovely

A few things that were lovely for me these past few weeks…

* My 1st grader, proudly completed his book report project before it was due. He was excited to get it done and had fun doing it. I helped with the waves, I couldn’t resist when he said “mom, you are good with scissors”. Don’t you love the photo? What a character!

* Dreaming about an Airstream (yes, we are buying a vintage fixer upper… like we need another project). See my mood board here.  We want to go white, grey and pops of little color. Bunk beds would be great too! We ‘purchased’ a 1968 International 28′. But the sweet gal we bought it from and her son, haven’t been able to get it out of the yard as there are a lot of other vehicles and “stuff” that still needs to be moved out of the way. So we wait (the waiting is killing me). But if that gives you any ideas of the condition it’s in… hasn’t moved in over 15 years, a tree grew around it and broke one window, it’s missing two other windows, we had to crawl through the back window to get  inside to see it (door is broken), lot’s of dents, flat tires and original carpet. Say a prayer for us now, we are going to be in over our heads! What can I say? The old girl just spoke to us, so we bought her! Keeping my fingers crossed. NO pictures but she looks similar to this on the outside (but not in that good of condition).

* I’ve been having some fun playing around with my longer locks lately (so maybe I’ll hold off on chopping it all off this summer), found this blog through Pinterest, her tutorials are awesome. See the one I did today here.

* We are nearing our the end of ski season and my second year of coaching, the boys did great this year. My Loveys. xoxo

* Going to catch some warmer weather for spring break and put the boat in the water for the first time this season, so EXCITING!! Keeping my fingers crossed that we can find some quiet places to hang out while we’re here, working on my tan! Crazy place to be for spring break, especially since I’m almost 40 and I don’t wear a bikini, my boobs sag and our boat is little. But hey! We just wanna have some family fun in the sun (and maybe some people watching while we’re at it, lol)!

* Found this super cute key chain for our new trailer. I’m getting excited for our future camping adventures in the Airstream! I’ve ordered the “trailer trash” one, of course!!

Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead!

All my best,

Heidi

working full time – history

Thought this photo was fitting for this post! No that’s not me but I wish I had her figure! lol

I have always “worked full time”. I went to college in the 90′s and was a waitresses at two local restaurants (one was early morning shifts during the week and weekends and the other was a steak house weekend nights). Looking back I am not really sure how I functioned with a full load at school and maintained those jobs. But I do remember that I had needs wants: my own place, gas, car payment, beer. That pretty much sums up my life then, nearly 20 years ago – work to play!

After college I moved out of my home town of Flagstaff, taking the first job I was offered. I was to be a 5th grade teacher in Las Vegas Nevada, exciting! The early summer of 1998 I packed up and headed out, all alone and on a mission to start my ‘professional’ life. I loved my job. I found it very rewarding and the hours were awesome. I was young, single and committed to being the best teacher I could be. Although I was at work 1 hour before the school day started and at least 2 hours after each day ended, it was way better than being a waitress and I didn’t have to work weekends any more… life was good in ‘that’ way. I was however lonely. Las Vegas was depressing, to me. The kids I worked with were poverty stricken and their homes were drug driven, I felt bad for my students. I threw myself into doing all I could do  and by the end of my first year it had taken a toll on my life, like nothing ever had. I was also faced with making another big decision… moving… to be closer to my then boyfriend of 5 months (whom I never saw because of the distance between us).

I took a leap of faith, moved to San Diego without a job but for love. And back to being a waitress I went. It didn’t last long, my body was not ready to commit to being back in the restaurant business. I substitute taught every chance I got, I applied all over the county, I pushed, pulled, begged & more, and I volunteered …. not but 5 months into living in San Diego, I had a long term substitute position at a middle school. I LOVED THAT SCHOOL. I was there for almost 5 years. I was given a contract after the long term sub job was up, they said they loved me and I couldn’t be happier.

The summer of 2001 I was married to that boyfriend and I am so glad I took the leap to move to California to be with him.

Summer of 2004 we had our first child and I decided to leave my awesome job to take on my next amazing position as a full time mother. 2007 I was rewarded with another baby boy, life was good and I was still enjoying my time as a full time mom. Rewarding is an understatement. This was my best “job” yet.

Summer of 2010 our family decided to move to Flagstaff AZ, to be closer to my family and for a ‘better quality of life’. Not that San Diego life wasn’t quality, it was and we still travel back home about 6 times a year. But our ‘quality of life’ needs were  good air, less people, less rules, room to run around, smaller schools, and so on. Of course we’ve been lucky to find that in Flagstaff. We absolutely love it here, it’s wonderful! See what a local article in Sunset Magazine had to say here.

Once we were settled in Flagstaff I made the desicion to head back to work full time. I was offered a good job and it afforded my husband the opportunity to stay home with the boys and start his new business from home while they went to school.

Fast forward to today. Still working, but feeling conflicted in my choices. First and foremost I need to provide for my family but I also want to be a good mother and wife at the same time. Finding that balance has been difficult for me. Being a mother, wife and employee has been the hardest job of my entire life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything (not a thing), but I really need to work on finding that balance and letting go of the things in life that don’t fullfill me or help with that balance.

I have neglected this blog since day one. I enjoy it immensely; writing, taking pictures, documenting, and more gives me that time and place to escape and be myself. I want SO badly to have a “great” blog with tons of neat ideas, DIY and advise. However, finding the time to do that has been a huge CHALLENGE for me.

What I want to say is, if you read my blog, thank you. Please understand that it will probably never be that daily blog of resources chaulked full of great things. It will however be an ongoing source of information, just not on a daily basis but more of a when-I-can get to it type of blog. Probably not the best choice if I want to make money or get a lot of followers. It is however the best choice for me right now as it is realistic and the best I can do with where I’m at. One day, maybe (and hopefully) I can do more!!

Thank you for following & please keep coming back!

:) Heidi

party success

Life is super busy around here as I’m sure it is in most households during this wild-fun-chaotic-lovely time of year. My post is a little behind and the holidays are my excuse (I need a lot of excuses)!

The sweet 16 and 60th combo party went off without a hitch! Both my niece and mom had a fun time.

The kids felt extra special as they got to be waiters/waitresses for the party. My mom made little aprons for the three kiddo’s and she  purchased waitress guest receipt pads (or whatever those things are called…I’m at a lack of words here). So the three younger kids “waited” on my mom, my niece and her friends. It was extra special as everyone was included. The hubs whipped up amazing food and I assisted where needed (a fill-in-the-blank assistant).

The decorations turned out simply amazing! The cakes were a HUGE hit and at an extra affordable price (shout out here to Albertons for the amazing cakes! Fondant, custom cakes for under $30, WOW!). We added the feathers, and the diamond style band for flare. I was so impressed with the cakes. I had quotes for over $100 for similar cakes… but I wanted to spend some money in other areas, not just on the cakes. Albertsons really saved the day. This is my opinion, no one paid me to say this, just being honest! :)

As a special surprise, I set up a photo booth in the garage. That was a huge hit! I will post more on how I set up the photo booth (in another post)… here are a few pictures from the booth!

And one of the super cute wait staff…

The hubs and I, being especially goofy!

The photo booth was SO MUCH FUN!!! I have an entire post on the photo booth and how to make your own. This was such a big hit that I plan to do it at my son’s 10th birthday this spring. The kids (and adults) loved it!

The kids did such a great job waiting on everyone, it was fun to serve apple cider and fell super fancy at the same time. We roasted marshmallows at the campfire, had an amazing smores/tea/coca bar (thanks to aunt Jeanette). The party was very relaxed and so much fun that I want to do it again!!

I had fun making coca for everyone in the morning. Don’t mind the toe in the photo, that’s just a sweet kiddo sitting on the floor, next to their hot coco!

We finished off the weekend with some sledding! Perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

get wrapped

Into the holiday spirit and having some fun experimenting with wrapping! This year I have decided to take it up a notch, holla!

I was inspired by these Pinteresters and their super creative yet simple wrap jobs. Amazing peeps out there, totally amazing!

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source: readingmytealeaves.com
LOVE how they used newspaper and kraft tape for these gifts! These look great!
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source: thesweetestoccasion.com
Using branches, pine cones and elements of nature really add a special element to these gifts.
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source: burtongirls.burton.com
How cute are those pom poms on top of the branch?! Great idea! And the piece of material wrapped around the center with twine, I love everything about this wrapping job. Well played!
* * *
I actually had a great time wrapping up these gifts (all three of them and a few bagged ones too). It took me a lot longer than normal but HOLY WOW!! They turned out super fabulous!
See what Heidi did:
I love the look of bakers twine so I picked up a spool of red and white bakers twine at Joanns Fabric and used my 20% coupon. See bakers twine here, here and here.
I have a whole bunch of kraft bags (I purchased them here) that I keep on hand for all occasions and easy wrapping of any gift.
I had left over green wrapping paper from my bookshelves that I lined with green wrapping paper (see more on that here).
The red tags I just purchased from here (great deal for 100 tags!).
My favorite purchase was the glitter tape! Awesome stuff. See that here.
I used some scrap burlap, just to see how it looked and I LOVED it! Will definitely be using my left over burlap for more gifts!!
And the branches were from my yard! Free!
I can’t wait to wrap some more gifts! I want to go out and find some pine cone, little tree branches with the pine needles still attached, maybe some more sticks too! Happy December everyone!

garage entry

My sister-in-law recently purchased a new home (super exciting) in Carlsbad, blocks from the beach… and yes, we plan to visit a lot! :)

Walking through her new home she mentioned that she’d really like a place for the kids to keep their back packs, jackets, etc… to keep things organized (and since there are 4 kiddo’s it’s even more important to keep a handle on all the “stuff”).

Her original idea was to do some sort of a locker system, built-in style, near their main entrance. The house has an alcove already there, however my sister-in-law wasn’t sure of the cost and she wants to be budget friendly until they’ve had some time to actually live in their new home.

Upon walking around the house I saw a strange yet perfect space, just off the main living room and near the door to the garage entrance. I pointed it out and mentioned that I thought the space would be perfect for her backpack/jacket/locker area. She was a little thrown at first but as I explained that most of the time they’d be coming in through the garage and not the front door, this may be a better place. In addition to that, this area may become somewhat cluttered, and that kind of mess wouldn’t be nice next to the front door.

Here is the picture she sent me of her space, in it;s current state:

Her living area and kitchen are open to this room. The garage entrance is to the right of this photo, and her dining table is going to be to the left of this photo (if that helps to give you a better idea of the space… maybe not).

And here is what I came up with for her… as a starting point for this area.

#1  - Need a bench! I advised that she could make a simple farmhouse bench and it could be the exact size of the space for a reasonable price. I especially love this plan here. Paint it or stain it… almost any color would work here. I think a stain like this would look really cool.
#2. – Chalkboard paint (I am thinking less than half the wall, want to make the hooks easily accessible to the kids).
#3.  - Trim for the hooks – Purchase 1x8x8 and get it cut to size (length of your wall, it’s only one cut and they will do it for you at Home Depot or Lowes, etc.), then paint it the same color as your baseboards (you’ll already have the paint, so that’s a freebie… whoo-hoo!). Sample piece of wood is like this.
#4.  - A picture or canvas – I think a nice, large canvas print of the entire family (or framed photo), above the hooks, nice and high, will look great!
#5.  - Hook it up! – The hooks I put up are from Room and Board, they come in multiple colors, but you could do any hooks. I think 5 is good, always nice to have an extra hook for yourself or a guest and I like to decorate in odd numbers! lol! :) These hooks are fun and will be easy for the kids to use, large and wide. See the hooks here.
#6.  - Storage – Some baskets for under the bench, maybe one for each kid. I just used plastic ones from here.   These baskets are sturdy and come in multiple colors (that could be fun for the kids), I just used white. BUT, if you do a white bench, do colored baskets.
#7. – Personalize It – Those letters are faux metal letters like these, that you can make. Or these would work too! One letter or number for each kiddo would be fun & makes it personal.
#8. Label It! – Cute chalkboard tags for the baskets. I am loving this store on Etsy with all the super cute chalkboard tags like these.
#9. – Rug – Last but not least, a runner or rug for the area, to help define the space and give the gids a clear boundry of where they need to remove their shoes. I love this rug. And I love this one too (fun colors for the kid space).
That’s my idea! :) Kel said she loves the idea and REALLY loves the space I picked out. She would have never thought to use that space in that way so I guess it always helps to have a set of fresh eyes! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.
Total Cost for this project would be as follows:
Chalk Paint – free, already have
1x8x8 board cut to size for the hooks – $22
White paint – Free, already have
Bench (by Ana’s plans, for all materials and stain) $57.00 (10% added for misc. doesn’t include tools)
Chalkboard Tags – $24 (or we could make these for Free, but going to include them in this estimate)
Baskets (set of 4 ) – $40
Hooks (5 hooks) – $20 ( I used these hooks instead. They are functional, easy for kids and more cost effective for this project)
Rug (Kel’s space is just under 5 feet so a runner is too long, I thing this one in a 2×3) $33 (and wait for free shipping deal)
GRAND TOTAL $196
WOW!! A fun, functional space that will be used every. single. day. AND for under $200!! That’s a steal!
Make it a great day!

greenhouse update

Our greenhouse adventure is almost complete! This past weekend we really pushed and she’s almost done (whew-wee… the details were tiresome!).

Originally, in my last post about the greenhouse (read that here) we couldn’t find any tin roofing so we decided to go with regular house siding. Guess what? I changed my mind AGAIN (big surprise). We returned the wood siding and bought the corrugated tin paneling (it’s right next to the clear, corrugated paneling that is used for the roof of the greenhouse). We just loved the way Ana’s greenhouse looked with the metal siding, so we decided to go ahead and do what we could with what we had. There was more cutting than we thought, but it turned out great!

It went pretty smooth up until we had to put the clear panels on the very top. That was tricky. It also started to get really windy, so we had to call it quits early on Saturday (but we’d already put in 5 hours Saturday, so we were ready for rest).

I am SO glad we went ahead with the tin panels on the bottom, I love how it looks!

On Sunday we stared the door and finished the clear paneling on the roof. THAT DOOR, oh man, that was a chore. We had a hard time understanding the plans for the door, it took twice as look as it should have, but in the end it turned out pretty darn cute.

Currently the door is awaiting a MAJOR sand job (I put a ton of putty on the front side, in hopes to give it a more finished look). I think the door would be fine without putty and sanding, it is an ‘outside greenhouse’ fashioned to look like a barn, so I am pretty sure the door would be cute either way.

I plan to sand and paint the door tonight (we are painting it red). I can’t wait to have a FINAL product to show you. We are delivering this bad boy on Saturday (the 23rd) for the big surprise, to my mom at her house (thankfully she only lives a few miles away…transporting this thing is sure to be a major job).

So far so good!

Make it a great Monday,

Heidi

Paper garland DIY

Like I said, I am in PARTY mode for the next few weeks… holla! Who doesn’t loave a party?! I just hate having to clean up my house (I dread cleaning, then re-cleaning when the party is over, yuck). But it’s all workth it, this upcoming party is long over due. Celebrating my niece (Sweet 16) and my mom (the big 6-0!).

Last night I tried my luck at some paper garland. This was my insperation photo:

Source: JCPenney – Martha Stewart Collection

To make this project as simple as possible (I’m a lazy simple girl), I punched out the paper circles with my old-but-handy craft puncher (from my days of scrabooking – and I never did finish a scrapbook, epic fail on my part).

This was easy! SUPER easy! I used a light weight card stock paper for this (paper that I already had).

I made some guides on my sewing machine (yes, I used my sewing machine – gasp!). I made the guides the same width as the paper circles and use some duct tape that I found in the garage (aren’t I fancy?)!

Be sure to set you resistance on low and a wide stitch too (I am not sure of the technical terms as I am not an avid sewer). Then just feed the circles and away you go. Seriously, it was that easy! My garland is not perfect spaced, some of the circles are close together and some are spread far out, but I love the inconsistency.

Lovely and easy! My kind of project!

Here’s one last picture of the garland hanging with the tissue paper balls (that I made in this post here).

party decor + tissue paper

I love to throw a party but more than that, I love to plan and decorate for a party! Unfortunately I haven’t really found the time to party much lately (like in the past three years).  The last big party I threw (2010),  with DIY decorations and all (as in I went all out) was for my son’s 6th birthday. We were leaving San Diego + leaving a lot of our family and good friends so we made a big splash for our final hoorah. My son had a candy themed pool party, and it was totally awesome.

Here are photos from that super fun party:

We really went all out on this one.  I was purchasing bulk candy months ahead of time, it was fun to shop and prep for this theme. This was a really fun party to throw. In addition to candy I made tons of cool stuff: labels, belly bands, banners, lollipop invitations, candy centerpiece and tons of other super cute things.

I put pictures of Collin in plastic frames throughout the decorations, for a personal touch & I matched his invitations + pictures+ decor with coordinating striped paper. There was so much candy I couldn’t give it all away. After the party we had tons of left over treats (and that’s no good for my thighs, seeing as how I’m a major sweet tooth).

Now, on to the present and my reason for this post. ANOTHER PARTY!!! Whoop! Whoop! And this one is going to be fabulous too! My niece (who I totally adore) and my mom (greatest woman on earth) share their birthdays. This year, my niece is turning sweet 16 and my mom will be 60! So fun! My mom is a bit on the down-low about a major celebration and she isn’t into crowds and/or lots of people, but she will party on my nieces behalf. Luckily, I am the party planner for this event, I can keep it low-key + fun. Holla!

To keep everyone happy, it’s a family affair + a few of my nieces girlfriends (of course, can’t turn the b-i-g 16 without a few good friends in attendance).  I am just starting to plan this party, and I don’t have much time but I work well on a tight schedule. The big difference between planning this party and the one I did for Candy-land, I work a 50/hr week job in addition to everything else. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can still pump out something fabulous!.

My first project…. why decorations of course! I love DIY decor and cheap, affordable Dollar Store stuff that I can make fabulous. So here I go.

Tissue paper pom-pom balls (or whatever they’re called). I have seen these all over Pinterest and the web so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

 

Supplies:  * I used what I had. Luckily I have a ton of tissue paper (great Dollar Store buy, I always stock up on tissue paper).  Scissors, tissue paper (multi-color or all solid) and yarn (or string or wire or whatever you can find that you already have… I have a ton of yarn).

I made a purple, multi-color tissue ball first. I used 8 sheets of tissue paper, in different shades of purple.

Accordion fold the (stacked) tissue paper until you have what looks like a fan. Tie your string/yarn/wire around the middle. Tie it firm but not too tight. Will look like this.

Trim the ends. I did my first few balls with rounded edges. ** My boys ended up helping me make a few of these too, and they wanted to make the ends into points, and so we cut triangular, sharp-looking ends and those turned out super cute too!

Ever-so-gently start to separate your tissue papers. As in, lick-your-finger style. Separate each sheet on each side of the tied center. As you start to pull and separate, the ball magically begins to form. These are so awesome!! And my boys enjoyed helping too. Fun project for the whole family!

For now, we have made 6 tissue balls and I am officially our of tissue paper! We have them hanging from our pendant lights in the kitchen and they look adorable! I made some smaller ones too, I used four full sheets of tissue paper, cut them in half to have 8 smaller sheets and did the same thing to make a smaller scale ball (like the solid blue and purple one you see in the photo).

This is just the beginning of my decorating frenzy!

More to come!

 

 

greenhouse diy

Lets build a greenhouse! Best yet, lets build one as a gift, for a special someone we love.

Of course we referred to Ana White for our DIY greenhouse plans (see the link here).

Here is the super cute greenhouse that Ana built (and the one that we are going to build too!):

The family and I set out on our greenhouse DIY adventure this weekend with a goal of having it completed by the weekend of the 16th.  All of the plans and materials needed are posted on Ana’s site for FREE! She’s amazing. We set out to Home Depot to purchase  our supplies.

Ana’s list consisted of the following: (see the highlighted notes, we did not have the tin roofing at our store)

Shopping List:

Materials for 32″ stud walls -

3 – 2×4 @ 10 feet long – use on back wall
5 – 2×4 @ 12 feet long – use on sides/ridgepole DO NOT CUT)
32 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
11 – 12 foot long x 26″ wide standard corrugated plastic greenhouse panels
1 – 8 foot long x 26″ wide standard corrugated plastic greenhouse panel (use on door side)
3 – 12 foot long tin panels (use on sides and back) *we purchased house siding, tin panels not available
1 – 8 foot long tin panel (use on front) *not at our store, special order only
Tin screws
28 – 4′ long ribbing strips
L flashing (optional for the corners)

ADD ON:

*plywood for making the gussets

*a box of 2″ screws (mostly for the plywood gussets)

We made the mistake of buying corrugated tin paneling from the same area where we purchased the corrugated greenhouse panels. Not the same as tin roofing (oops!).  See that pretty silver stuff on the trailer? Yep, that’s not the right stuff! We returned it and bought regular ole’ house siding instead. The tin roofing was special order at our store, and we wanted to get this project done so we decided that house siding would work just as good (and we can paint it to match the house).

for example:

This is tin paneling. It would have worked for this project but it is not as thick nor is it as sturdy as the tin roofing. Plus, we would have to cut it to fit this project (cutting tin is not our area of expertise).

This is tin roofing. Heavier, and more sturdy. In addition to that it was exact width and lengths as sides of the green house, therefore no cutting necessary (that would’ve been nice).

And here we are gettin busy!

That’s me, making the side walls! Holla!

My little helper!

Our handmade gussets made out of plywood… Ana’s video was very helpful!

Applying the gussets to the beams (glue and 2″ screws)

Lots of beams, oh yeah!!

Making progress!! Whoo-Hoo!

All framed! WOW.

Here is where we’re at of of the end of a 2 day weekend! I can’t believe how much we accomplished. This project, so far, has been relatively easy. We spend about 3.5 hours on Saturday (that includes going to Home Depot and getting our supplies) and about 6 hours on Sunday (including 2 trips to Home Depot and a lunch break).  I do have to mention that we were short one drill. Usually when we build something like this we each have a drill. Unfortunately we were missing one drill (let someone borrow it) so we were left with our cheaper, plug in drill. It all worked out fine but we could have accomplished more with two drills and no cord! But hey, I’m not complaining… look how awesome this has turned out! Can’t wait to finish her off! Whoop! Whoop!

Nothing like a beautiful sunset at the end of a long day.

Until next time,

have a great one!!

homemade costumes

Last night was Halloween and like every Halloween with the boys, it was awesome. This year the boys took it upon themselves to DIY their costumes (I guess my blood runs deep, lol!). I was super proud of their creations, they did an amazing job.

Unfortunately (kicking myself as I write this), I did not get a chance to get a professional picture of them in their awesome outfits. I kept meaning to break out the big camera and take a picture but before I knew it, Halloween was over and all I had was an iPhone snap shot. I guess that’s better than nothing, but for crying-out-loud, you’d think a professional photographer could get a few pictures of her kids once in a while (apparently not!).

Here they are, all decked out, in their “robot” costumes! {sorry for the poor photo quality).

That is my youngest as the gold robot and my eldest as the black robot.  Cute friend in the middle. My eldest son really wanted to be a black, industrial robot with no bells and whistles…plain jane. He added the “wings” as a last minute way to dress us his costume. I love that he has his own style and didn’t want to conform to the norm (he is who he is).

My youngest really had fun with his costume. he added tin foil for a ‘belt’ and dad bought some battery operated lights for his costume (as per Noah’s request) and a tin foil antenna for his noggin.

Total for these costumes was around $15. They used silver duct tape (we have a ton of it), cardboard boxes that we already had, one can of gold spray paint ($5),  one can of black spray paint ($4) and a strand of battery lights from Wal-mart ($6). Total SCORE for homemade costumes!

All lit up:

On a sort of funny note…. during the night both of my boys costumes were mistaken for other things. My eldest was asked if he was a fire place (gasp, I almost peed my pants it was such a funny comment, but of course I acted like it was the dumbest comment I’d ever heard), and my son simply said, “no, why would I be a fireplace, I’m a robot!”. Great answer son!

My youngest son, the gold robot, was tripping and having a hard time seeing at night so he removed his robot head for the end of our trick-o-treating. At one of the last houses we stopped at the man said he wanted to guess the costumes. When he got to Noah he looked at him for a minute then said “you’re a dishwasher!”. My son laughed and said, “a dishwasher!! ha, ha, that’s funny! I’m a robot without my head”. I have to admit, the dishwasher comment was equally as funny as the fireplace comment and proudly enough, both boys brushed it off and kept on keeping on. Such good sports and what a fun night!

Hope your Halloween was fun too!

Heidi