Gift Ideas for Toddlers

How was everyone's Thanksgiving weekend? We had a great Thanksgiving with family and just relaxed most of the weekend. Oh, and started decorating for Christmas! I usually wait until the first week of December, but it took everything in me not to start before Thanksgiving! I wanted to respect the turkey (as they say), so I held off. But, now that Turkey time is over, my mind is full force ahead for Christmas!

I started shopping for the boys a little earlier than normal this year. Probably because I am so excited to have 2 toddlers this year that can open their gifts and be excited! Camden is just starting to understand the concept of Santa, so that is so much fun too!

I put together this gift guide for toddlers with mostly boys in mind because that is really all I have experience with. But, a lot of the items could be fun for both genders. Some of these items are on Camden and Bennett's (ok, my) wish list and some of these they already own and love!

Gift Ideas for Young Toddlers (18 mos - 2 years old):

1) VTech Push and Pop Bulldozer: Bennett is all about pushing things right now (chairs, laundry baskets, etc). He's pretty much grown out of this walker (and I personally can't stand these corn popper toys) so I think this would be a fun alternative for him! 

2) VTech Spin and Learn Color Flashlight - We actually have this toy and Bennett loves all the buttons, music, lights and colors! Keeps him busy for a solid 10 minutes at a time!

3) Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker - This toy is on my wish list for Bennett this year. He loves stacking and anything with shapes and colors. I love that these are wooden too! 

4) Melissa & Doug K's Kids Pull-Back Vehicle Set - This little car set is also on Bennett's wish list this year. He always tries to take his older brother's cars and it always ends in tears! So, I want to get him his own set of cars and I love that these are pull back cars and they are soft! 

5) Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jumbo Knob Wooden Shapes Puzzle - We have a similar wooden shapes puzzle and I swear that's how Camden learned all his shapes! Bennett is starting to learn his shapes now and even says 'Oh-fal' for oval when he sees it! It's so cute! I love that this one has the wooden knobs for little hands to grab easily. 

6) Munchkin Fishin' Bath Toy - Bennett is really starting to love bath time! We have a similar fishing bath toy and he loves to catch the fishies! Bath toys also make great stocking stuffers for the little ones!

Gift Ideas for Older Toddlers (2 - 3 years)

1) All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, 8" HD Display, 32 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case - Obviously, we try to limit screen time, but I will say that the ipad we have has saved my sanity numerous times over the past few years with Camden. Once Bennett is old enough, I'm sure we will have to get the boys their own devices so there is no fighting, but I'm happy that's not the case right now! I would definitely get these tablets instead of the ipad too because there are a lot more parental controls and you can give them selected time access to certain kid friendly apps such as Netflix, YouTube, etc. There are also 100s of books, TV shows, movies, and educational apps to choose from. These would be great for car rides or plane trips as well! AND they are currently on major sale for Cyber Monday!!  

2) VTech Record and Learn KidiStudio - My parents actually found a similar toy at a second hand store and both boys LOVE it! It's so fun because they can record their own music, it plays nursery rhymes and there's so many different sounds they can play with. Bennett is our music man and he loves dancing to all the jams!

3) ONTEL Magic Tracks Resuce Race Car Set - This is a gift that Camden got for his birthday and he is obsessed with it! The tracks all link together and are bendable as well, so you can make hills and curves for the cars. The cars light up and run around the track. Get ready for hours of fun with this toy!

4) Haktoys RC Acrobatic Stunt Car - Camden got a remote control stunt car similar to this one (I couldn't find his exact one online) for his birthday and he loves it! It's great for his age because it only has 2 controls and since it's a 'stunt' car it's ok if it flips, crashes, etc. I think Bill actually has had the most fun with this one... lol

5) Hot Wheels Rooftop Race Garage Exclusive Playset and 9-Car Gift Pack - Another birthday present Camden received that he loves! He is all about the hotwheels cars right now and we got him a few before his birthday, but now he has about a dozen and this cool racing ramp! 

6) Radio Flyer Color FX EZ Glider 3 Wheel Scooter, Red and Joovy Noodle Helmet, Red - We actually got Camden a Paw Patrol scooter for his birthday, but then decided we wanted to return it for a better one. Bill figured out it is better (especially for beginners) to have the 2 wheels in the front instead of the back for balance. We also need to get him a helmet! 

A few other suggestions are this play tunnel (great for crawlers as well!), a play slide, mini basketball hoop, and one on our wish list for Christmas: a mini trampoline! These are all great for indoor gross motor skills for when it's too cold to go to the park!

Also, Happy Cyber Monday!
Are you shopping online today?

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Black Friday Deals 2017!

Is your turkey hangover as bad as mine? We have no plans today except to put up our Christmas decorations and to shop online (ok, I'll be doing most of the shopping). Do you brave the crowds for Black Friday? I never have, but I'm always tempted! I just enjoy shopping in the comfort of my sweatpants with a glass of wine in hand instead of pushing my way through a crowded store.

Here are a few Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that are on my radar:

Nordstrom: extra 20% off select sale items. My picks: these booties, this faux fur collar coat, these sneakers, these moto leggings (I have them and LOVE them!)

Old Navy: 50% off your entire purchase!! No code needed!! I have my eye on a few more plaid tops, some tunic style sweaters, possibly some new jeans, and coats! So many cute styles!

Amazon: SO many deals that it's too difficult to narrow down. It can really get overwhelming. My suggestions for amazon prime members is to buy Christmas gifts via amazon such as electronics (like the echo dot, amazon fire stick, a fit bit, fire HD kids tablet). Also, lots of great deals on toys and games for the kiddos!

J.Crew: 40% off everything!

Loft: 40% off everything!

Shopbop: up to 30% off full price items, up to 75% off sale items!

Pottery Barn: up to 30% off furniture, holiday decor, lighting and more!

What are some of your Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on your radar?? 
Are you planning to do your Christmas shopping in the store or online?

Friday Five + Beautycounter Giveaway Winners!

Happy Friday!! I'm here with my weekly Friday Five and to announce the 3 winners of the Beautycounter Giveaway! Thank you to all of you who entered! I really am looking forward to trying some new Beautycounter products with you in the near future. If you still want to shop, please do so through my social HERE and click on 'Lindsay's Holiday Hoopla'.

Here are my five from this week:

1) Buffalo check christmas wrapping - Christmas shopping and wrapping is just starting to creep in my head. This holiday season is creeping up fast! I am loving this buffalo check wrapping design! I think I may have to have a 'theme' to my wrapping this year!

2) This long sleeve, side slit tee (I have it in Green Timber, true to size). I have been wearing in on repeat with leggings recently!

3) Plaid Alphabet Mug - How cute are these monogram mugs?! Would make the perfect gift too!

4) This lightened and loaded potato soup - I made a version of this in the crockpot this week and it was sooo good! I love a cup of hearty, warm soup when it's cold out!

5) Camden's Vehicle themed 3rd birthday party - We are celebrating Camden's 3rd birthday tomorrow morning with a little vehicle themed brunch with family. I can't believe my first baby is going to be three?!

And now... drum roll.... the WINNERS of the Beautycounter giveaway are:

1) Stella Methvin
2) Kayla Robison
and 3) Elizabeth Gallagher!!!

Amy from Beautycounter will be contacting you all via email to receive your prizes!! Congrats!

Happy Friday!

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

I can not believe that next week is Thanksgiving?! This month has completely flown by! November is always a busy month in our house because we celebrate our anniversary, my birthday, Camden's birthday and Thanksgiving! That's a lot of celebrations! We are having a little birthday brunch for Camden's 3rd birthday this Saturday and I'm so excited to see his face light up for his little vehicle themed party! Of course, with all this celebrating comes the over eating... I mean... did you read my Charleston recap post? I think I grew a whole pant size after last weekend! So, today... I bring you 6 outfits that are easy on the mid section. Swing dresses, leggings and jeans that look like jeans, but feel like leggings. All the perfect solution for your Turkey Day indulgences! 

Dress options: You could totally add leggings to either of these options if it's too chilly for bare legs too!
similar swing dress here or here | cardigan | riding boots (similar budget friendly option here) | necklace

shirt dress (I also have it in this plaid!) | riding boots | necklace

Stretchy+Soft Jean Leggings option: These are my new favorite pair of jeans right now! So soft and stretchy! I have the ankle legging jeans, but they also have the normal length version for you non-shorties!
cable knit cardigan | plaid button up | ankle jean leggings (jeans run true to size and hit right at the ankle. They are SUPER soft and stretchy!) | riding boots | monogram necklace

Legging options: My current favorite leggings are these moto leggings and my tried and true Zella high waist leggings. Although, I've heard good things about these high waisted leggings and they less than half the price of the Zella ones!
v-neck sweater (my favorite light weight, tunic length sweater!) | similar leopard scarf here and here | moto leggings | loafers (could also wear this outfit with the riding boots if it's chilly!)

Similar option as above, only change out the leopard scarf for a blanket scarf and add riding boots

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Weekend Getaway in Charleston, SC

Well, it's safe to say that we had a fantastic weekend in Charleston! We went to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday (I'm 21 again! Can you believe it?!). We left Friday morning on an early flight from Columbus, had a layover in Nashville and finally landed in Charleston by noon. We had to catch an early flight on Sunday in order to make it home by mid afternoon (there are no direct flights on Southwest from Columbus to Charleston). Both sides of grandparents were willing to help with the boys while we were away. I actually haven't left Bennett for more than a night since he was born, so I was a little anxious. But, they had a great time with their grandparents!

Brace yourself for an over load of food and beverage photos... Now, excuse me while I go do a thousand crunches and run 18 miles... 

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in the historic district of Charleston, which was pretty close to the downtown area with all the restaurants, shops, bars, etc. We were also just a street away from King which is home of the major shopping area and lots of bars as well. Since our room wasn't quite ready when we got to our hotel, we decided to drop off our bags and head out to explore the area a bit by foot. It was a beautiful sunny day and in the 60s so we did not mind the walk. 

We found Prohibition which is right off of King street and decided to pop in for a few cocktails and some lunch. It actually reminded us of Prohibition that we've been to in Powell, Oh and figured that's where they got the idea for the one at home! I had the Dartery cocktail (vodka, St. Germain, blackberry, lemon and mint... so good!) and ordered the Cobb salad. Bill had beer and ordered a burger which he said was one of the best he's ever tasted! 

After lunch, we decided to walk back down King street for a bit. Of course, when we walked past the cupcake downsouth, we had to stop for a little dessert. The flavors were all so tempting it was hard to decide! I finally landed on the french toast (which did not disappoint! Three words, sweet maple frosting) and Bill got the southern red velvet.

By the time we made it back to our hotel, it was time to check in and get ready for the night. We had reservations at Fleet Landing at 7:30pm which was a recommendation for good sea food. We headed out of the hotel around 5:30 and decided to try to pop in one of the bars or restaurants downtown for a drink before dinner. Well, now I know why everyone told us to make reservations before we came! All the restaurants and bars were packed! We made it up to the rooftop bar at the Vendue hotel, but didn't stay long because it got pretty chilly after the sun went down! But, it would definitely be a great place to go in the summer months. After trying a few other places, we finally landed bar seats at Carmella's Dessert bar. This place is basically a grown up's ice cream shop with all kinds of fancy desserts, ice cream and boozy shakes and cocktails. They also have an assortment of savory meat and cheese boards and a large assortment of wines. Basically, my heaven on earth. I ordered a glass of wine and we shared a small cheese board that also came with fig jam and bread. I really wish we would have gone back there for after dinner desserts!

By 7pm, it was time to make our way over to our dinner reservations at Fleet Landing. The restaurant is actually the only one on the water in Charleston (which we learned on our carriage ride tour on Saturday) which surprises me since the bay is so pretty and there are so many restaurants in the city! The food here was so good! We started with the sea food stuffed hush puppies which were baseball sized corn breaded hush puppies stuffed with lobster, shrimp, leeks, corn and a creamy tomato sauce! These were enough for a meal, but of course we ordered more food...

I was told that I had to try shrimp and grits while in Charleston so that's what we ordered for dinner. I actually don't have any photos of our actual dinners because I think I went into a food coma after our appetizer! The shrimp and grits were so good! I had never tried grits before and these were so creamy and just melted in my mouth. The shrimp also had a good spicy kick to them, but not too spicy since I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to spicy food. The sausage in the dish, however, was a bit too spicy for my taste, but Bill loved it! I'm glad I went out of my comfort zone and tried it!

After dinner, we decided to head back towards our hotel. We spotted a really cool looking bar down an ally close to our hotel earlier in the day and decided to go there for an after dinner drink. It's so crazy how the coolest spots are just tucked in little old ally ways everywhere! So, we had out nightcap drinks at The Victor Social Club which had a swanky feeling with a big marble bar top and leather sofas and high top chairs. It was definitely one of our favorite spots of the trip.

Saturday started bright and early with reservations at Poogan's Porch at 9am for my birthday brunch. I knew it would be a tough time getting out of bed that morning so I purposefully made reservations as soon as the restaurant opened knowing that it would be our only motivation to get out of bed. This was also a recommendation from several people I talked to that either live in or had visited Charleston.

I was really excited for my birthday mimosa to start the day and everything sounded so good on the menu it was hard to choose.

I landed on the chicken and waffles because 'when in Rome'. Bill got the lowcountry omelet and we shared the mac and cheese. Yes, we had mac and cheese for brunch... don't act like you're not impressed! Of course, the food did not disappoint! And I just loved the quaint sitting room with the fireplace. 

After our hearty meals, we decided to go for a walk to burn some of the million calories we consumed. It was a bit chilly, in the 50s and windy, but the sun was bright and the buildings and houses were gleaming! We headed over to rainbow row which is definitely a spot to see if you visit. The 200 plus year old houses are all painted beautiful pastel colors. Of course, I wouldn't be a true blogger if I didn't take a few fancy photos...

We also walked down to the battery which over looked the water all the way to white point garden.

We walked back up to waterfront park. The houses in this area are unbelievable! With 3 story buildings with wrap around porches on each level. 

We stopped by the waterfront park fountain and walked up the pier. 

After all that walking, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel to give our feet some rest and to catch the Ohio State game on TV.

After a rest and a buckeye win, we were ready to head back out for the night. We had heard great things about Magnolia's, so we decided to take a chance at grabbing some bar seats before the dinner hour crowds. We were lucky enough to snag a few by 4pm before the rush!

We just had drinks and a little snack of pimento cheese (another southern favorite I was determined to try). Of course, any cheese dish is a winner in my book!

After our little happy hour at Magnolia's, we decided to walk around the market and headed up to the rooftop of the Market Pavilion Hotel. It was a bit too chilly to stay there for a drink, but it was fun to see the whole skyline of Charleston right before the sunset.

(If you squint, you can see the Arthur Ravenel bridge in the background)

We needed to kill a little more time before our dinner reservations at 7:30, so we decided to take a sunset carriage ride tour of the city! I'm so glad we did this because we learned so much about the history of the downtown area and it's buildings. 

After our carriage ride, we headed to the Oak Steakhouse for dinner. We sat at the bar for a little while before we got our table. The Oak Steakhouse was the perfect way to end my birthday! Bill and I love a good steak meal and this was one of the best meals I have had in a long time! We started with the shrimp cocktail which is pretty standard for us if they have it on any menu. We both ordered the fillets and had whipped potatoes and crispy onions on the side. The steaks were cooked to perfection and the sides just rounded out the meals perfectly. I really tried to say no to dessert, but Bill insisted! 

We basically both needed wheelbarrows to wheel us home after that dinner. We decided to do the smart thing and head back to the hotel after dinner since we had to catch an early flight back home Sunday morning. 

All in all I am very impressed with how much we did, saw and accomplished in less than 2 days in Charleston! I knew I would love it and Charleston has been on my list of places I wanted to visit for a while. We both just fell in love with the atmosphere and southern charm of the city! Although, there is so much to do and see there I think we are both looking forward to visiting again in the future!

Here are a few places that are on my list for our next visit: Hominy grill, Husk (I tried to make reservations here 3 weeks out and they were booked!), Hank's seafood, The Darling Oyster bar, The Cocktail club, The Gin Joint (we actually tried to get in here twice, but the wait was too long!) to name a few. I'd also love to see a plantation like the Magnolia or Boone Hall

So there you have it! If you are booking a weekend getaway trip to Charleston, I hope this little recap of ours has helped! 

Friday Five (5 Items I Wear on Repeat)

Happy Friday, friends! Bill and I are off to Charleston for a quick little weekend getaway to celebrate our anniversary (4 years!) and my birthday on Saturday! I am so excited! We have reservations for dinner both tonight and Saturday and even reservations for brunch on Saturday morning. There are so many cute restaurants and little cafes on my list to visit! I don't think we will hit all the spots on my list, but hopefully most of them! 

It's been a minute since I've posted my Friday Five and this week I just wanted to share these 5 wardrobe items that I've been wearing on repeat for the past month...

1) These loafers: Seriously, the best $15 I've spent in a long time. I have them in black, which looks like is sold out online, but I'm loving the dark grey color and the blush!

2) This cable knit cardigan (SO cozy!): I wear this one all the time! And it's long enough to wear with leggings!

3) This lace up sweatshirt: So warm and cozy! Perfect to throw on with jeans! 

4) These joggers: Just like leggings are considered acceptable pants to wear in public... I am a firm believer that joggers are the acceptable sweatpants to wear in public ;) 

5) These jeans: I am a BIG fan of Express jeans. I have a handful of them and this mid rise, legging dark wash pair are my favorite currently. Like I wear them on the daily and they are super comfortable! 

What are your wardrobe staples currently?

Hope you all have a lovely weekend and happy shopping!

ALSO: Have you entered in my Beauty Counter giveaway yet?!! 

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Beauty Counter Wishlist + A Giveaway!

Have you guys heard of Beauty Counter? Chances are you have if you follow a lot of other style and beauty bloggers. I had heard of Beauty Counter over a year ago and have been curious about their products for a while. I just recently started doing more research on finding a perfect skin care routine for myself and I kept going back to the Beauty Counter products because of the fact that they are made with NO harmful or toxic chemicals. In fact, they have devoted an entire page on their website that lists all the chemicals that they will never use in their products (view more about the 'Never List' here). I was surprised to find out that the retinol ingredient (which is used in so many anti-aging skin care products including some very popular, expensive brands... *cough* R&F *cough cough*) can possibly cause skin tumors and birth defects if you are pregnant?! I think it is so important to be more informed about the ingredients used in our everyday beauty products, especially those that are in contact with our skin and can seep into our pours.
(Beauty Counter also never tests their products on animals, which I think is absurd that there are any companies out there that do!)

When Amy contacted me to try out some of Beauty Counter's products, I was so excited! I was able to try out some of the skin care products and some of the lip sheers. I loved the way the skin care products made my skin feel and I felt good using the products because I knew there were no harmful chemicals used. It's true that once you start using BC products, you will want to start switching over to all their products!

Since I'm really trying to be good about not spending money on myself this month (November is usually a no self-spend month for me), I decided I would purchase a few of the holiday gift sets for the women in my family for Christmas (sorry family members if you are reading this...spoiler alert!). I've also put together a wish list below for most likely my mom and Bill who will no doubt ask me what I want for Christmas...

Here's what is on my Beauty Counter Wishlist:

Charcoal mask (3) and charcoal bar soap: Charcoal everything is so trendy right now! ha! But, really... do you know why? Charcoal helps to draw out toxins in your skin and absorbs impurities. Charcoal masks are all the rage right now and this one is definitely one to try if you are wanting to try out a mask. The bar soap can be used on your face or body! 

Lip Conditioner in Peppermint: I have somewhat of a chapstick addiction and it gets even worse in the winter months. This lip conditioner would be the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone on your list! It soothes and softens lips with peppermint and rosemary oils. This would make a great stocking stuffer!

Perfect Pout Trio - Pinks: Although I loved the lipstick colors I tried ('Little black dress' was my favorite), I'm truly a tinted lipgloss girl by heart. I keep lip glosses everywhere and in every handbag I carry because I'm always reapplying it! This would also make a great stocking stuffer!

Body Butter in Citrus Mimosa: I don't know about you, but my skin is always super dry in the winter. I like to switch to a body butter during the winter months to help lock in moisture after I shower. And the citrus mimosa smell is just a bonus!

Morning Skincare Routine (Nourishing Cream Cleanser + Nourishing Day Cream): I really want to start getting into a routine for my face morning and night. I'm just going to start with the basics and maybe eventually add on more products as needed. For my basic morning routine, I would start with the Nourishing Cream Cleanser, topped with the Nourishing Day Cream before I put on my make up for the day.

Nighttime Skincare Routine: My nighttime routine would be a little more involved with just a few more steps.

1) Cleansing Balm: I was able to try this product out with a sample Amy gave me and I love it! It is so easy to wipe on with a cotton ball, but this product also comes with a reusable 100% muslin cloth which is much softer than your normal cotton ball or washcloth. This balm leaves your skin feeling so smooth while cleaning off all the extra dirt even after washing! This product is a best seller for a reason!

2 & 3) Nourishing Night Cream & Facial Oil: After cleansing my face, I would use the Nourishing Night Cream mixed with 1 - 2 drops of the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil. This combination leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and extra hydrated. The oil really helps to brighten dull skin, which is common in the winter months.

4) Nourishing Eye Cream: I would end my nightly routine with this eye cream which is so soothing and lightweight!

Holiday Gift Sets I'm loving:

-Hand Soap set: I just love the colorful set they have put together for the holidays! Amy had a great idea of buying a few of these sets and breaking them apart for stocking stuffers.
-Hand Lotion set update - SOLD OUT - hopefully will be restocked soon! (regular hand cream here)
-Glow and Go mini oils - a small sample of each face oil.
-Clean slate charcoal duo: Definitely a great gift set for those wanting to try the charcoal mask and soap!
-Multi-masker set: 3 sample sizes of all 3 masks, plus a facial brush for application.

Check out all of their holiday gift sets HERE*There will be new holiday sets available soon!

I'd love to know what's on your Beauty Counter wish list!

Amy from Beauty Counter has so graciously offered LLStyling readers not one, but THREE chances to win a hand lotion and a $25 gift card to BC! All you have to do is complete the entries below!

You can also shop my 'social' HERE (and click on 'Lindsay's Holiday Hoopla' social) or join my Beauty Counter event on facebook for updates on products and holiday sets!  from now until December 8th! Quantities are limited for the holiday gift sets, so snag your gifts asap!

Halloween 2017

Oh, hey! I feel like I'm apologizing every time I post now which I don't feel great about. But, things are just busy busy busy this time of year! Have I mentioned that I started a photography business on the side? Oh, yea..that happened! And it happened pretty organically which I love. One of Bill's friends contacted me about taking their family photos and I was happy to do it at no cost because it's something I truly enjoy! Once I posted the final product on facebook, I decided to create a little facebook page for my photography and BAM! I got 7 messages asking to schedule sessions! I kept my cost pretty low just to see what kind of interest I would get. I have 6 photo sessions scheduled between now and the first week of December, and one that I completed last weekend!

So, between this new photography venture, working, mothering, wifing, (oh...and throw in potty training!) my plate seems to be pretty full at the moment which hasn't left a lot of time for blogging. But, don't fret! I'm not going anywhere!

I did want to at least get some trick or treat photos posted before Thanksgiving! We had such a fun night with the boys and I was really impressed with how long they lasted on trick or treat night. Our neighborhood hosted a little pizza in the park before trick or treat started which was so nice because I didn't have to think about making dinner for the night. Bennett was a little hesitant at first about his costume, but once we got outside with all the hoopla he was excited to join in the fun! He loved looking at all the other kids all dressed up! Camden was so excited for his fire fighter/ fire truck costume! Everyone loved it! AND we had a surprise visit from a REAL fire truck in our neighborhood! The local fire fighters come every year to pass out candy to the kids. So, of course I had the perfect photo op!

And now for the photo overload...

(Camden's costume here and boots are here | Bennett's costume here)

I mean... Does it get much cuter??

Here was my creative costume... and yes, I wore the same one last year!

shirt via Etsy | cardigan | jeans Express (old, similar here)

Now that we have Halloween out of the way... Can we start decorating for Christmas? No? Too soon?

I did at least FINALLY decorate our mantel for fall! I guess this will tide me over until Christmas decoration time...

That's all for now! Hope you all had a fun Halloween!

I'm linking up with Natalie and Annie for Thoughts for Thursday!