A few weeks ago Austin, the boys, my mom & I loaded up the car & headed up to northern california for my cousin Shawns wedding in Sebastopol, a tiny town in wine country. We decided to make the most of it & stopped along the way in Avilla, Carmel, Santa Cruz & San Francisco. It was really fun because I hadn't been to a lot of the towns that we stopped in.

Northern California is rad. It's got a totally different vibe up there & I love it. The entire time we were up there I kept telling Austin that I could move there, it's just so cool & pretty! I love how it has seasons, access to mountains & is close to the ocean! Well, depending where you are, haha but the towns we stopped along in were all like that & I was loving it.

This drive was a little different than any others we've taken up north because we couldn't go through Big sur with the bridge closure, but it was pretty cool going a new route with new scenery & towns to see. We stopped in Avilla to see the elephant seals & have some lunch before heading to Monterey & Carmel, where we stayed the night.  The boys looooved running on the pier in Avilla & seeing all of the elephant seals. Milo kept pointing to all of them & saying "doooooooooooog", haha, which is about what he calls every animal, except ducks which are called "qwaaaaak". It was cute to see how excited both he & Cedar were though.

Our next stop was In Monterey which I was pumped on because I was obsessed with Big Little Lies. Have you seen that?? If not, you totally need to watch it. I was looking up filming sites while we were walking around, haha. We grabbed some ice cream there & then did the infamous 17 mile drive around pebble beach, the beautiful houses & golf courses. It was so pretty to see & the whole time we did the drive my mom told stories of when she went up there with my dad which were really fun to hear.

In Carmel we stayed at the cutest b & b called Fireplace Inn. Every room was different & had their own fireplace, of course. It was so cute & cozy.  We got into Carmel right in time for dinner. We ate at Il Fornaio, which was easily one of the best Italian restaurants i've ever eaten at. If you ever are in Carmel, you need to go. I had the butternut squash ravioli & it was delicious. The next day the boys & I grabbed some breakfast at Friar Tucks, a little diner that was walking distance to our b & b that the kids loved because the owner kept telling the funniest jokes & giving them candy.



Guys, I am pumped that it is almost October. I've come to realize over the years that Halloween is totally my favorite holiday, with Christmas coming in at a close second. I just love dressing up & seeing everyones costumes! & Since it is almost Halloween,  I thought we could  revisit our family donut costume from last year because it was one of my all time favorite costumes.We were a group of donuts. Cedar had found a donut costume at target & we just went from there for mine, austin's & milo's costume. It was a total crowd pleaser, people loved that milo was a donut in a donut box & it was totally convenient for me just to have fun! him strapped on while we trick or treated with cedar! But, it is totally a doable costume if you don't have a baby strapped on too :). Not all of it was DIY, like I said, we bought Cedar's costume at target. We made the milk carton for Austin & the donut box for Milo & I & then I found little inflatable donuts that I put on the donut box & on a headband for Milo to wear.

3-4 cardboard boxes
Lots of white spray paint
Pink spray paint
Sharpie Paint Marker
Red & White paint for touch-ups
Duct Tape
Hot glue
Box Cutter
Baby Carrier
Inflatable Donuts

For Austin's Milk carton costume we used two large cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other, about 6 cans of white spray paint, a whole lot of duct tape & a little bit of red & black spray paint. Pretty tricky stuff ;) After building the shape of his costume he then got in it & used a box cutter to cut out the holes for his arms & face. The front of his box read: Missing, have you seen me? call.. & then a random made up number. The back of it read: Milk does the body good & the sides said Whole Milk & had cow print painted on it.

My box of donuts costume was a lot easier. I used a box that my friends microwave came in, spray painted it pink & then cut a hole in the bottom for Milos little feet to kick through. The slightly tricky part was cutting the holes for the Baby Bjorn. The way that it worked was I put the Bjorn on & we cut two holes that the Bjorn clips would go through, so the back of the box rested against the back of the Bjorn & then Milos back rested against the box. The way to go! that we did it made it so I didn't have to hold onto the box which was really nice.

If you wanted to wear this costume WITHOUT a baby, all you'd need to do is add ties to the box & wear it around your shoulder & make the box big enough for you to fit in. This was my initial plan until Austin came up with the smart idea of just putting the baby bjorn through it. My original plan was for me to be standing in the box with Milo, so it would have been quite a bit bigger & I was going to use nylons to wear it over my shoulders.

After painting & cutting it, we hot glued two pieces of white tissue paper & these little inflatable donuts that I found on Amazon. They are really cup floaties but they worked perfectly. I then safety pinned one to a soft fabric headband to put on Milos head & we poked holes into a smaller piece of cardboard which we then got glued onto the box "lid" for 2 headbands (figured 2 would be good because it was pretty heavy!) to go through for me to wear

I have to admit, this was by far my favorite costume I have ever created/ thought of / been. & I am pretty proud of myself, haha.



After the lake we stayed in Utah for a week & tried to do as much as possible. We went for hikes in the mountains & did one of my favorite walks around Silverlake up Big cottonwood where we saw two moose! Both of the boys were pumped on seeing them. Austin took Milo & Cedar for rides on his dads 4wheeler & we discovered Milo has a major love for it. After he rode on it he would cry & point at it anytime we walked by the 4wheeler, haha. Cedar loved playing with our friends in Utah, swimming & going to picnics & especially loved playing at Grandma & Grandpas house. We had a bbq with a group of our friends & had a much needed night without the kids when Austin's parents offered to keep the boys for us. We had so much fun & like always felt like we didn't have enough time.

Now it's back to real life & reality. Cedar starts preschool this coming Tuesday & I start on a bowling league on Wednesday. That's right guys, I joined a bowling league! Honestly, I don't even really like bowling & I'm horrible at it, but I joined anyway, just for fun with a couple of friends. Another fun fact of the bowling league is my mom has been playing in it with some friends for a solid 10 years & they are GOOD, but we will get to play against each other every once in a while & I am excited about that!



Austin & I decided to take the boys on a last minute road trip up to Utah & meet up with his family at a lake they were boating on for the weekend & it was so good. we left bright & early thursday morning & made it just in time for an evening ride on the boat & a campfire dinner. We stayed in the cutest little cabins on the lake & Cedar LOVED it, like straight up love. He couldn't get over that we were staying in a cabin, that he got to sleep in his sleeping bag & that he was with his grandma & grandpa.

We spent all day friday on the boat. Milo sort of hated the boat when it wasn't moving, mostly because i was constantly pulling him off of stuff & holding his life vest handle because i was terrified of him falling into the water because he is a crazy baby & is always climbing on top of everything & he legitimately loves jump into water sooo.... my fear is totally justified :). once the boat was moving he was totally good though & would either help grandpa drive the boat or instantly fall asleep on me which was adorable. I thought it was be really fun to take Milo tubing but i felt like when i leaned forward to hold onto the handle i was squishing him too much, so we decided it would work to hold onto the back handle & we were sooo wrong. Within the first 5 seconds of the boat moving the tube flipped back & milo & i were instantly thrown into the freezing cold lake. I felt pretty bad for Milo babe, he was in straight shock from the water, it as pretty sad! But we got back on the raft & i held onto the front & once it started moving he totally loved it & was laughing & almost fell asleep on it, haha. I still felt bad though!

Maybe it was because Cedars cousins were there & it gave him a little more courage but i was so proud of him because he wanted to try water skiing & if you know Cedar then you know how unlike him that is. I wrote an entire blog post about how cautious he is & here he was wanting & asking for us to let him try water skiing. I was so proud that he even wanted to try it! before we let him we made him show us that he knew how to float in his life vest. it sounds funny, but the kid has never really worn one & we were worried that he wouldn't trust it if he fell & that he would freak out, so we had him show us that he could put his arms out of the water with Austin's sister floating next to him to prove that he would be ok & he totally hated it. He was sobbing when we asked him to float for us but he still wanted to water ski afterwards so we let him! Austin sister, Brittney, was in the water the entire time & held him while he waited for the boat to move & then she helped him stand up a little bit & he stood on his very first try! it was so exciting & he never let go or fell! we did a full little circle & dropped him back off right next to Brittney & he was SO excited, i loved watching how much he loved it & how he faced his fears. it probably helped that i promise him so dinosaurs for doing it! He also stayed on the tube for a solid 2 hours one day, he was having so much fun. 

Britney lives in Massachusetts & our kids don't get together too often so it was really fun to see Cedar playing with her kids & Milo following them around trying to be a big kid too. We spent the majority of the time on the boat but if we weren't there, we were fishing, the kids chasing bunnies, scootering around the site & playing games. It was the perfect little weekend escape. 



From Paris half of the family left to go home & the rest of us flew on to Nice. It was my mom, my sister & her family, my sister-in-law & her two kids & then me & my two kids. It was totally a bit crazy with so many kids & no husbands to help, but we were able to all help each other out & avoided any major meltdowns which feels like a total accomplishment. Nice was such a cute little beach town with such clear, blue, warm water. The beaches were covered in black pebbles & sea glass rather than sand & the kids loooooved it. All day long they were running & down the beach hunting out seagulls, my nephew filled two water bottles worth & Cedar got a good little collection himself! It was so much fun & Milo was in rock heaven. He just sat & threw rocks into the ocean all day long. The rocks weren't very comfy for walking on or anything, but I actually totally loved it because it kept my kids from going into the water, haha.

One day we decided to drive to Monaco since it's so close to Nice & it turned into a huge mess. We were split up in two cars & were following each other the entire time, but finding paring was pretty hard once we were in Monaco & we ended up getting separated & since Monaco is technically a different country, none of our phones were working. My mom & I drove around for 40 minutes trying to find my sister & sister-in-laws car & after not having any luck, we were so over Monaco that we turned around & left without ever getting out of the car! So, we got a really great car tour, haha. We messaged them as soon as we were out of Monaco& luckily they were on the same page because not too long after they also left & were able to call us & meet up in Eze, a little mid-evil town that we drove through when we went to Monaco. Eze is a teeny tiny mountain top, walled village that is totally worth checking out if you're in the area.

Another day we drove to Provence to see all of the pretty lavender fields & I could not have been happier. The fields were soooo pretty & there were so many of them! I was so excite to see all of the flowers & then we discovered a sunflower field & I thought I was in heaven. Seriously, being surrounded by so many flowers is my idea of heaven. The kids were loving running through all of the fields & we actually sort of lost my little nephew in the sunflowers for a couple minutes... the sunflowers are so tall that we couldn't see him & he wouldn't respond to us because he was playing hide & seek he said! So scary. Luckily it was only a couple of minutes though. After our run through the fields we drove to Gordes, one of the coolest little villages I have ever been to. 6 years ago my mom & I went to Gordes with one of my friends & we all fell in love & when we saw that we would be semi nearby, my mom had to go back! We got there right in time for sunset & dinner & it was the perfect time. It was so pretty, the kids loved going through the little village & we ate at a restaurant that had an entire menu but told us we could only order an omelet or pasta, haha.