Halloween Party at Love of Character

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“Cheers!” This was the CUTEST little Halloween party at one of our favorite local shops Love of Character. Mary had all of these darling little Meri Meri costumes for the kids to wear, and they were treated to some yummy spooky cookies. Her party supplies is always the cutest - I love how it’s all set up here. It’s a sweet, whimsical Halloween vibe, and that’s the only vibe that my scaredy-cat-self can handle even as an adult. (Halloweentown circa 1998 is about as scary as I can go.)

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I was like no way is B going to keep this headband on the whole time, but she LOVED it. We’re venturing into the costume phase, and I’m so ready. Also love that these Meri Meri costumes are so easy to throw on over normal clothes, and they’re really comfy for little ones.

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The cookies were made by Sweet Sugarlicious - another local vendor that we LOVE!

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Love of Character is where it’s at for party supplies and gifts! I’m linking their Halloween category here so you can shop it all online: https://www.loveofcharacter.com/halloween/

Movie at the Barn with CINEMOOD

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I love little adventures just like these! It’s the end of the summer, and officially the beginning of my favorite season - Fall. It’s still warm enough to spend your evenings outside without freezing when the sun goes down. So last Friday night, we packed up the car with our CINEMOOD, blankets, pillows, snacks, and individually packed picnic boxes, and we set off for a movie night.

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I got these little boxes at Hobby Lobby, and packed them with sandwiches, fruit, cheese slices, and mini pies for our family picnic. They were a fun little way to contain everything for travel without needing to bring plates, and everything was finger foods so no need for silverware.

This little gadget we brought along was the key to everything. I’ve been using our CINEMOOD all summer to occupy B while I cook dinner or get some chores done, and I love how portable it is. I charged it the morning before we left and loaded it with a downloaded movie. It was super easy to just turn on and cast onto the side of the barn. I had it on the edge of the car for a bit, and then our busy toddler wanted to explore a little while we watched, so I just picked the CINEMOOD up and handheld it for a bit to avoid pigtails in our projection ;).

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This has been the best gadget I’ve had all summer, and I’m excited to use it for cozy nights ahead at the farm, in the car, snuggled up watching holiday movies, etc. B’s constantly on the move, and, this makes it really easy to enjoy a movie as a family without getting stuck in one spot. It’s so light and portable, you just pick it up and point it somewhere else. We’ve been exploring all the pre-loaded content that comes with the CINEMOOD, lately, and it’s stellar. B literally asks for some of the shows by name now.

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Charlotte’s Web at the barn just felt like the right choice - also I always cry at the end with the tiny spider babies.

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Those tiny hand pies were so easy! I made them in greased muffin tins with store-bought pie crust and a can of blueberry pie filling. They were baked at 375* for about 20 min. Perfect for little toddler hands! (And messy - bring napkins haha)

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We’re huge fans of the CINEMOOD, to say the least, and I’m so grateful for a device that lets us watch movies as a family in adventurous locations. It’s the best of both worlds! And yes, I do have big plans for family nights watching holiday movies this Halloween and Christmas - I know you’re not surprised ;)

You can pre-order CINEMOOD on their website for $100 less this week + get a cute free cover ($50 value) with your purchase using my code ANDSOTHESTOREYBEGINS.

At-Home Date Night

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It’s such a treat to get date nights out, even if we’re keeping things low-key with the actual date itself. Jordan and I both love the dynamic of our family now, but it’s an adjustment on your marriage and the time you spend together is SO important. We try to get a night together at least every other week, and it’s usually sporadic so some weeks are easier than others. We’re also big fans of traveling together (just the two of us) and I know that’ll be a priority for us both as we grow our family, but that doesn’t mean that quality time isn’t needed between those special dates.

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At-home date nights can be as elaborate or simple as you want. I think the best dates happen when you relax, connect, and enjoy the evening whether you’re in a beautiful restaurant by the water or in a sticky booth inhaling queso and chips. This is the same concept - some nights may be a little fancy, and others may be super casual. For us, the perfect night-in includes wine, a darn good show on Netflix, and perfectly-cooked steaks. But because I wanted this to be an after-B-goes-to-sleep activity, I kicked it up a notch with a charcuterie board from a fantastic new business that’s local to us - Boards in Wichita. It’s so similar to food we would’ve had in Sonoma where we got married, and we paired it with a really amazing red wine. Such a treat!

This board had some amazing local foods like honey from Murphy Family Ranch in Augusta, KS, and micro-greens and organic Marigolds (that are totally edible by the way!) from Kan-Grow Hydro Farm in Wichita, KS. The board itself is even locally made by JW Craftsman! They also come in Vegan and Vegetarian options - you can check out their full website with more info here. I LOVED how this board was put together. Everything on the board worked so well, and even the fruit was perfectly ripe and had amazing flavor. Aside from the fact that it looked gorgeous, it tasted even better than I expected!

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 We saved that Cute tiny apple for B ;)

We saved that Cute tiny apple for B ;)

Some important keys to a successful night-in are:

  1. Try a new location: We like hanging out on the deck when the weather’s nice (complete with string lights - so romantic and cozy!) If it’s too hot or cold to be outside, try making a picnic on the floor in your living room for something a little different.

  2. Bring home a treat: This charcuterie board is something we would’ve had in Sonoma, and I love that special detail. Another fun idea is trying takeout from somewhere new and taking it out of the styrofoam to eat on nice plates. Or pick-up a fancy dessert for you to share after the kids are asleep.

  3. No phones or distractions: Just like a regular date, this is about connecting and hanging out just the two of you. If you’re truly making an attempt at a date night at home, it’s important to set your phone aside no matter what you’re doing (and yes, that includes not browsing social media during a movie.)

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A little more info on Boards below:
Location: Will be open Final Fridays for walk-in orders to dine-in at the Revolutsia commons area
Instagram & Facebook
Full website