Fantastic Fridays

This weekend is all about the chaos!  We have a super busy Saturday with a birthday party at Climb Iowa and a LEGO building gathering at Toys R Us. I’m not sure Finn will be able to handle all the fun :)

Finn and I have been battling this nasty hacking cough all week. Finn’s been taking Zarbee’s at night, in addition to his humidifier and essential oils. I’ve been doing oils and some immune boosting supplements. It’s one of THOSE coughs that once you get takes seemingly forever to get over. Finn brought it home from school and then I picked mine up from Finn. Sharing the love, right? We’re hoping our coughing nights are behind us.

As you head into your weekend, enjoy my most fantastic finds from the web. Click the blue “Fantastic” link to go directly to the source page.

Fantastic Cough Remedy: I found this mix for our cough earlier in the week. It does help soothe our coughs during the day. This recipes comes from one of my blogger favorites. Gotta check her out. She saves the world with coconut oil. You think I’m kidding? She does!


Fantastic Compost Lesson: I’m kind of obsessed with composting lately. I think it’s because I skimped on it this summer and am wanting to get back into the rhythm.  There are some areas in our garden we’ll be adding what’s left of our compost to in hopes it will kill the ill that the former owners left in their garden.  Fingers crossed.

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Fantastic Toy Ideas: Has anyone else started Christmas shopping? We’ve been toying with lots of “Santa” ideas, but these are some fun boy ideas for the holiday season. You can never get started too early, right?!  Anything with Legos and superheros are always a crowd favorite in this house!


Fantastic iPhone 6 Cases: I am so happy to have a new phone! My previous phone was (no joke) 4 models ago and dying a slow, painful death. In recent weeks both the back and front of my old iPhone shattered. Gazelle still graciously gave me $35, but still…. it was time. Now, although the kids know my phone is now off-limits, I still need a case. I’ve never had a phone case before, and I’m kind of sad about it as I have the pretty rose gold iPhone. Something sparkly like this might make it all better :)

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Fantastic Fall DIY: Love this idea. I’m not one for the slop of pumpkin insides, although we’re getting to the age where that kind of mess is destined to happen. For as long as possible, though, I’d like our pumpkin decor to look more like this…

fall diy

Fantastic Stain Solutions: The Illinois Extension did a justice to all mothers by creating this guide. Seriously, bookmark it, pin in, print it, frame it. It goes through every possible stain you might have in your home and gives you a remedy for cleaning. I.Heart.Illinois… even if it did produce Blagojevich.

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Fantastic Apple Overview: I always question my apple choice when we go to the orchard or when buying them in the fall for special occasions.  This is such a down and dirty reference for what apples to buy when.

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Fantastic IKEA Upgrades: I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA. Now first, I’m not Martha Stewart! I rely heavily on the inner webs to decorate our house, but there’s always been something about IKEA, although cheap and simple, that just seemed too blah in many cases.  Once again, inner webs to the rescue, IKEA has a firm place in my heart as there are so many simple swaps that can be made to pieces to class them up. Paint changes the world. Well, at least it can change a house.

DIY Ikea

Fantastic Fall Treat: Some simple swaps could make this dairy-free. And so much yum. I mean, really. That g.l.a.z.e!


Fantastic Wall Art: I can’t even choose which piece I love most. So simple and so fun.

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Fantastic Grain-free Snack: We are always looking for new snack recipes, particularly grain-free options. If I could get the kids to make these with me, I know they’d chow down. Helping making the food is key in our house, I’ve found! These are Whole30 approved, too.


Fantastic Onsie: My older brother and his wife are expecting a sweet baby this spring, and I couldn’t be more excited. Finn saw this onsie and instantly wanted to get it for his Uncle Meatball. I mean, how perfect is this?!?

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Fantastic Honesty: If you’ve ever wondered what a group of 2nd graders might think about a six-course $220/plate meal, your question will be answered in this adorable video. The giggles! Oh, the giggles!

 Here’s to lots of adventures this weekend! What’s on tap for you?

My Mommy Mind

  • Justin and I had tickets to the So You Think You Can Dance tour in Ralston, NE, last Thursday. Justin, in case you’re wondering, enjoyed the local brew, Lucky Bucket :) Insanely fun night out!

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  • The following day, we bundled the kids up so my parents and I could take the kids to a local pumpkin patch. They loved it! Finn even did a “made for kids” zip line. Once was enough for that cautious monkey, though. The highlight was the hay rack ride.


  • My dad and Finn raked and jumped in leaves later that day. This is much more fun for the kids, right? All that raking… not awesome!


  • This morning we made the slight error sending Justin off to work with the carseats in his car. I noticed this just as we were about to get into our car for school.  Oh boy. Unexpected 30 minutes to play in the rain. They didn’t mind!Rain

What was the highlight of your weekend? 


Pumpkin Picking with the Kids

We spent our 4th fall picking pumpkins as a family at Wills Family Orchard this weekend.

During our first visit in 2011, we were still a family of 3.

Evie was an unhappy peanut in 2012. It was chilly and she’s missed a nap.

Last year we visited twice: to pick apples and to pick pumpkins. Those pictures just one year ago blow my mind. Evie’s hair is SO short and she looks so small!

So much can change in the matter of year.

One thing that doesn’t change is our love for this land. We visited another orchard a few weeks ago and we all walked away saying there was just no comparison. Wills Family Orchard remains our family fall spot!

It was the perfect chilly fall morning.  Our previous plans with friends fell through so we took the surprise open morning to do something we love.


Evie, in classic Evie style, wanted to pick what she wore. The tutu is an infant picture tutu that my friend Jennie was going to donate to Goodwill. Evie saw it and GAME OVER. She wears this thing like it’s attached to her skin: mall, grocery shopping, and now pumpkin picking. To each their own!


It was a chilly morning, perfect for wearing all things fun. Like mother like daughter :)


Finn was very into picking this year. He ran through the vines looking for the perfect pumpkin for each of us.  He was all in helping Justin cut them away from the vine and desperately wanted to lift the pumpkins into the wagon. Maybe next year since he and Justin found a TWENTY-EIGHT-POUND beast. They were so proud. Like father like son :)


After a brief bonding moment…


… we were off with our loot!


But not before stopping to look at the gourds. This is often my favorite spot. I love the shapes and colors!


I loaded the pumpkins up the vehicle while Justin and the kids made their way through the corn maze. Justin asked before going in, “now, am I going to get lost?”

Thankfully they made it out and met me in the Country Store where we picked up our fair share of organic apples, fresh made jams, local honey, and Apple Cider Donuts.  The kids LOVE these donuts, as do J and I. We were able to chat a little with Maury Wills, “Farmer Wills” as Finn calls him.  He is a good man and has raised a great family. Supporting his family by visiting the orchard is well worth your time this fall.


Once the donuts were gobbled, Evie demanded an apple. Happy to comply, my dear…


After a visit down the way to visit the chickens and goats, we headed home to put our favorite fall finds on the porch.


It is officially fall in the Wise house. Nothing better! What are your fall traditions?