2013 Best Gift Ideas for Boys

It just wouldn’t be fair if I only offered up great gift items for girls so I’m happy to say I also polled parents to get their best suggestions for holiday or special occasion gifts for boys.

Some of the best comments from parents of boys…

“I like giving the kids gifts that will continue to spark their sense of adventure.”

“We try to focus on family trips, tickets (zoo, movies, museums, etc) or lessons (tennis, swimming, music, etc). I find these are things that we can all enjoy as opposed to toys that have fifty pieces which will be scattered all over the house and partially lost within a week.”

“I prefer gifts that are engaging and choose items my son enjoys. Children’s tastes change so much and right now my son is into super heroes, building and cars so those are all fun toys for pretend play. We do a lot of craft kits for both our children and use them as gifts – it is so fun for them to make gifts for others vs just buying something at the store.”

“Honestly, my son wants a real vacuum cleaner for Christmas. He likes things that he can take apart and put back together. He loves his scooter too.” (parent of 3-6 year old boy)

“Boys in this age group are pretty easy – electronics and video games.” (parent of 9-12 year-old boy)

I must admit since I have a girl (my only child), boy gifts are always a struggle. My mind immediately goes to cars, trucks and Legos, and I’m left wondering if my lack of imagination and experience is easily recognizable. Selfishly, I’m so relieved to have the list below next time I need ideas for boy gifts.

All Ages

  • Sporting equipment (clothes, bat, baseball glove, t-ball stand, soccer ball, soccer goals, helmet/pads)
  • Outdoor gear (compass, Camelbak hydration pack, hunting gear)
  • Activity voucher/tickets (paintball, bowling, batting cage, arcade)
  • “A Day with Dad” and “A Day with Mom” voucher (lunch + arcade = happiness!!)
  • Things with wheels (bicycle, balance bike, scooter, Plasma car, skateboard)
  • Tickets to sporting event, movie or concert
  • Enrollment in lessons (tennis, piano, swimming, martial arts, guitar)
  • Trip to museum or zoo
  • Personal entertainment device (iPad mini, Kindle HD, 2DS XL, MP3 player)

Ages 0-3

  • Puzzles (Melissa & Doug wooden peg puzzles)
  • Blocks (Duplo, Mega Bloks)
  • Books (I Spy, anything Dr. Seuss)
  • Games (Spot It, Bingo, Dominoes)
  • Animals in a toob
  • Magazine subscription (Zoo Books, High Five, National Geographic Little Kids)

Ages 4-6

  • Legos
  • T-Rex shirt, sports team clothing
  • Puzzles, books, flashcards
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Leap Pad reader/early reader/explorer
  • Toy cars, trucks, machinery, trains (Thomas the Tank Engine train set/table)
  • Instruments (guitar, keyboard, bongos)
  • Action figures/sets (Batman, Spiderman, Mike the Knight, Star Wars)
  • Chalk trail (attach to back of bicycle)
  • Games (Angry Birds, Hungry Hippo, I Can Do That/The Cat in the Hat)
  • Magazine subscription (Highlights, National Geographic Kids)

Ages 7-9

  • Skylanders Swap force figurines & Wii game
  • Video game console/games
  • Board games (Hedbanz, Apples to Apples Kids/Junior, Life)
  • Magazine subscription (Ranger Rick, Sports Illustrated Kids, YUM Food & Fun for Kids)
  • Donation to children’s charity in his name

Ages 9+

  • Gift cards (iTunes, batting cages, arcade)
  • Star Wars Death Star Lego set
  • Kitchen supplies (hot dog steamer, popcorn maker, personal smoothie blender)
  • Magazine subscription (Sports Illustrated, Ranger Rick)

I hope this list has helped inspire gift giving to the boys in your life. And just for fun, I’ll wrap up this boy gift post with a few fun snapshots of my little brother and a few of his favorite gifts from childhood…love you, bro!!!

Erik and “Arnold Leo” (an original Cabbage Patch Kid)

Erik + Arnold Leo (one of the original Cabbage Patch Kids)

Erik and his GI Joe loot (during his 9th birthday party)

Erik + GI Joe gifts (9yo)

2013 Best Gift Ideas for Girls

Wow! I asked, you answered, and I’m so grateful. A few weeks ago I asked a group of parent-friends to share some of their favorite gift ideas for girls so I could steal them and pass them off as my own share them with you! I was blown away with the responses!

I hope this post will help parents, grandparents and all gift-givers as you brave the crowds this holiday season in search of those special items for the young girls in your world.

Here are some general thoughts on gift-giving shared by my parent all-stars…

I like gifts for girls to be something they can engage with – such as crafts, Legos and dolls for pretend play.

I prefer all the stuff leading up to Christmas – getting and decorating the tree, making cookies, reading Christmas stories, ice skating, looking at lights, making things for other people, singing Carols. I would prefer only a few special gifts be given on Christmas.

Anything that involves glitter and art is a hit – sparkly pens, glitter glue, shiny/metallic beading crafts always provide hours of open-ended creativity!

[I’m] trying to get gifts to foster activity, imagination, and play yet aren’t branded or suggestive with image. There will be plenty of things telling our little one what she “should” be before we know it.

Every year before Christmas and birthdays, the girls and I go through their toys and see which items other kids might enjoy more than themselves, and we donate them to different charities. It helps teach the children a good lesson on life and also helps to keep my house clutter-free.

And while you’re out-and-about this season, don’t forget to SHOP LOCAL! This coming Saturday (November 30) is Small Business Saturday. You can support the health and wellness of your community this holiday season by spending your hard-earned cash at small retail, dining and service businesses in your local town. Visit the link to find a list of stores in your area. I’m excited to spend a few dollars this Saturday in my parent’s mom-and-pop drug store back home in Danville, IL!!!

52% of local sales image

This is also a great time of year to select a charity and help your kids celebrate the joy of giving to those who need our support. Last week, Gemma and I gathered a cart of groceries to contribute to her preschool food drive, and this will be the second year we’ll let Gemma purchase several items from her Christmas wish list to give to other kids through the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign in NC. Take as many opportunities to instill a passion for community service in your kids…the world will thank you for it later!

Now on to the survey results! A majority of parents (47%) said they prefer giving a combination of both material and “experience” gifts (i.e. tickets to sporting events/concerts). I’m so with you on this one! It’s nice to know so many folks strive to create more meaningful memories with their kids. Keep it up! Your kids will undoubtedly recall fondly the year you took them to a pro sporting event or enrolled them in art class.

This was Gemma and I last December (2012) before we headed out to our first annual mother-daughter outing to the Carolina Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker:

Gemma + Jill Nutcracker Day 2012

And now…without further ado…the list of gift suggestions for girls…

All Ages

  • Tickets to an event (ballet, baseball games, live theater, carriage ride and tea)
  • “A Day with Dad” and “A Day with Mom” voucher (lunch + fro-yo + movie = happiness!!)
  • Clothes (pajamas, robe, slippers)
  • Summer camp registration
  • Travel gear/luggage
  • Athletic apparel (leotard, swim suit/goggles)
  • Personal entertainment device (iPad mini, Kindle HD, 2DS XL, MP3 player)
  • Kitchen gadgets (ice pop maker, popcorn maker, measuring cups/spoons)
  • Things with wheels (bicycle, balance bicycle, tri-cycle, skateboard, skates, scooter)
  • Sports equipment (helmet/pads, balls, basketball hoop, zip line, swing set, pogo stick, golf clubs)
  • Furniture (bed, desk, playroom/toy storage, “hope chest” to store memory-heirlooms/artwork)

Ages 0-3

  • Books (Olivier Dunrea’s Gossie series, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, anything Dr. Seuss)
  • Puzzles (rock-a-stack, wooden peg puzzles)
  • Pretend play sets (doctor kit, baby care center, kitchen)
  • Melissa and Doug toys (Magnetic dress-up set, puzzles, play food, really anything M&D rocks!)
  • Music table
  • Easel, art supplies
  • Bounce house
  • Power Wheels
  • Dolls and accessories
  • Soft, cuddly bath towels

Ages 4-6

  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Rainbow Loom
  • Magnatiles
  • Dress-up clothes
  • Puzzles
  • Motorized car
  • Rollerskates
  • Legos/blocks (Friends sets, Duplo, Disney and Barbie series’ were offered as popular choices)
  • “My Very Own Library Card” for your child (and make a cute book of vouchers to redeem for weekly visits to select books at local library)
  • Books (Pinkalicious, anything Dr. Seuss)
  • FurReal Friends Pet (there are kitties, puppies, monkeys and horses)
  • Leap Frog reader/early reader/explorer
  • Dolls/character figurines and accessories (Hello Kitty, Doc McStuffins, Disney princess, American Girl, Barbie)

Ages 7-9

  • Dolls/character figurines and accessories (American Girl, My Little Pony and Disney were popular suggestions)
  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Hello Kitty beauty kit
  • Musical instruments (keyboard, karaoke machine)
  • Tickets to the ballet
  • Legos (Friends sets)
  • Dance classes
  • Sewing machine and gift certificate to local fabric store

Ages 9+

  • Clothes
  • Jewelry (monogrammed necklace, heirloom ring/necklace)
  • Tickets to show/concert (Broadway series, music, dance)
  • Gift cards to favorite retail store or movie theater
  • Bedroom re-do (let your daughter select new paint color for her bedroom and then paint it together!)
  • Paint-n-pour art class registration for daughter + a friend/sibling/parent (lots of cities are offering these one-night art classes where everyone paints the same image; class is led by a local artist/teacher)

Special thanks to all the parents who responded to the survey. You offered up some great ideas…especially those unique, memory-making “experience” gifts for girls!!!

Update: My mom thinks it’s unfair I put up ancient pics of my bro without putting ancient pics of myself…so here you go…





Check this out! 2013 Best Gift Ideas for Boys

Festive Puzzle Ornaments

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” -Albert Einstein

I’m so glad to be blogging today and super excited to share this special craft with everyone. For the last few days our kitchen table (and almost every other surface within 10 feet) has been awash in paint and glitter…all in the name of these festive little nuggets of joy!

puzzle ornaments

I can’t quite remember what inspired this project…other than seeing holiday images in magazines and perusing the web for a kid-friendly craft idea. I wanted to create a set of cute ornaments to decorate a small tree just for Gemma. The art supplies I needed were already in my craft closet. Unfortunately, we had just donated some puzzles that would have been perfect for this project, so I had to find another set (which only set me back $1.50).

This craft is super cute and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy the tutorial and catch a creative bug this holiday season!

Festive Puzzle Ornaments


  • Large puzzle pieces
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes (small and medium tip, firm and loose bristle)
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Other materials you might consider: buttons, glitter, string, sticky-back jewels/pearls, glue, etc.

1. I found an inexpensive box of large puzzle pieces at a local kid’s consignment store. It helps to have a few ideas of what you want to create so you can set aside pieces with corresponding shapes before you start painting.

puzzle box

2. Grab your paint and give the pieces a base coat. White is a classic base for Santa, the Christmas Tree and angels. Green works well for the poinsettia and Rudolph. Red and blue are great for presents or gingerbread people. Feel free to play with colors…you can always paint over it if you don’t like the way it looks. Let your base coat dry completely before you start the next step.

puzzle craft paint

3. Use a pencil to faintly sketch the designs, then begin painting. Use the wider or fuller brushes to fill in larger spaces or blot in the paint to create textured looks (like on Santa and Frosty below); use the smaller, fine tip brushes for things like the eyes, noses, polka dots or other dainty features. Once the paint dries, you can embellish with goodies such as buttons, pearls or poms. If you are worried about materials falling off, you can give these a quick seal with glossy, clear Mod Podge (or for more festive-glittery goodness, use the Sparkle Mod Podge…and don’t worry, it goes on opaque but dries clear so only the glitter remains visible). Here are some pics of my ornaments as they were drying:

painted puzzle 3

painted puzzle 2

painted puzzle 1

4. Once your paint/topcoat and all glued adornments have successfully dried, use your hole punch and find a good spot to make your hole. Next, cut about 6-8″ of ribbon or fishing wire (or just use a simple ornament hook) to hang your new decorations. Before you use your hole punch, be sure to think about how each piece will hang on the ribbon. (I.e. I put a hole in the neck of my angels so when hanging, the ribbon covers their faces; I’ll be replacing the white ribbon with clear fishing wire for better viewing as they hang on the tree.) 

Here are my finished ornaments all snuggled into the lighted garland on my mantle. Can’t wait to let G hang these on her special little tree!!!

puzzle ornaments puzzle ornaments santa angel poinsettia puzzle ornaments stars rudolph puzzle ornaments frosty swirl puzzle ornament polka tree puzzle ornaments gingerbread santa puzzle ornaments frosty swirl present puzzle ornaments angels

A Break in the Monotony

You’d think with a 4-year-old in my care the word monotony wouldn’t cross my lips. However, the reality is while we’re active and adaptable most days, Gemma and I still have a pretty consistent routine – eat, school, eat, play, eat, sleep. It’s been just over four years since I became a stay-at-home mom, and I’m still coming to terms with what that means.

I get asked “What are you up to?” a lot. And many times it’s a subtle implication about not working outside the home…”Are you really still doing the stay-at-home mom thing“? (like it’s taboo). In response, I usually get fidgety, break eye-contact and offer some long-winded response that only half makes me feel relevant (and mostly never exudes confidence). I want to scream “This is doesn’t define me. I didn’t plan to still be at home four years later. I am still relevant. A little person relies on me…loves me…can’t live without me…and that means something, dammit!” But that seems a little desperate, right?! In reality, I didn’t plan it. And it’s still not a natural “career” for me but I have to remember you don’t start a job at the top of your game…it takes time, training, guidance, mentors, confidence, mistakes, apologies, ownership, more training, more mentoring, etc. And so it goes…parenthood.

The work of being a stay-at-home mom is primarily teaching and involves a high level of craftiness, planning and undivided attention (even when you’re not in the mood—no sick days or “I’ve got a headache” excuses will do when a little ball of energy wants you to play UNO or dress-up). Oh, and btw, the cooking, cleaning and transportation duties are just the icing (so they say). Sometimes I miss working outside the home, the selfish part of being able to have something “just for me” but then I have days like yesterday…

  • Woke up and got G ready for school.
  • Had a rare and special family breakfast at Dunkin Donuts (since daddy is going out of town for the week).
  • Delivered G safely to school then dropped packages at the shipping store, got in a 2-mile walk and a P90X workout, grabbed a shower, posted a blog, and prepped dinner.
  • Picked G up from school and hit the grocery store…G got to put all items in and mostly push the cart herself AND hand all items to cashier AND “pay”…which by the way turns a 15 minute grocery trip into an hour-long learning activity).
  • Got home, put away groceries and finished putting crock-pot chicken noodle soup together.
  • Made chocolate chip cookies with G (baked 1/2 of dough, rolled and froze 1/2 of dough).
  • Played 5 hands of Slap Jack then snuggled with G in home theater for 1 hour “quiet time” watching the Dreamworks holiday shorts episodes featuring Shrek, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon (super cute, btw).
  • Ate chicken noodle soup dinner; G crowned me Chopped Champion for soup…again! Golly, do I love this girl and her accolades!
  • Drove “in the dark” to UPS to pick up a package. (This, by the way, is also exciting for a 4-year-old who is usually not in a car after dinner/dark…she noticed the moon and Venus in the sky, so we chatted about the universe, planets and why the moon is not a planet even though it looks like one. Note: We need to get out more in the dark.)
  • Got back home and had a kid-friendly “nightcap” (hot cocoa).
  • G helped me put on a clarifying face mask (and take it off…which elicited a lot of giggles from both of us!)
  • Snuggled in jammies and read 3 books before bedtime.
  • Got a few quiet moments by myself to clean up kitchen/dishes and brush/floss before having a great chat with my brother and sis-in-law (planning Thanksgiving dinner so my mom doesn’t have to cook!).

I don’t realize until I write down my day’s activities how much of G’s life I would miss out on if I had a full-time job outside the home. Who would be there to answer her silly questions? Or her serious questions? Who would tell me she now has an imaginary dog (in addition to her imaginary friend)?

But truth be told…I have a mild jealous streak, and I often envy Ben’s ability to break away from our “monotony”…

  • to converse with other adults about “business things”,
  • have quiet moments in the car listening to “his” music,
  • watch a movie or “catch up on email” on an airplane,
  • have a cocktail or eat “peacefully” at a fancy restaurant on a business trip,
  • talk on the phone without being interrupted,
  • select and eat his lunch at will,
  • to pee (for God’s sake) without a tiny human sticking her fingers/artwork/candy under the door to get your attention (assuming the door is even closed!) or yelling through the door “do you need me to turn the fan on for you, mommy?”.

While I envy his luxuries, I’m learning to better accept my position and its “on-the-job training”. My latest revelation is 4-year-old’s are bipolar…one minute I’m gritting my teeth because G’s refusing to finish breakfast and get dressed for school, and the next minute my heart is melting because she’s sweetly requesting a hug and a kiss, with arms outstretched and puppy-dog eyes, because (doh!) we haven’t hugged and kissed since we woke up (a mere 40 minutes ago).

This is a special time for both Gemma and I. It is challenging and rewarding in so many ways. I must remind myself more often because someday I’ll work for someone else again but for now I’m pretty happy working for Gemma.

On a side note…while searching the archives, I came across this photo…

shaving cream mask

You see, I was at wit’s end. We were visiting my parents in Illinois, and Gemma had been pushing everyone’s buttons the whole day. Come bath time, she was spitting fire, and I’m fairly certain scales were forming on her arms and legs. So instead of fighting it (more), I decided to just be silly. I snuck off, grabbed a can of shaving cream and slathered it on before creeping through the house to give my l’il dragon a scare. Before I knew it we were all laughing, and l’il G returned to her kind-hearted self.

As I look ahead to this week while Ben’s out of town, I may need some ideas from you (yes, you!) on how to inject some more levity like this into our daily routine! Suggestions are greatly welcomed in the comments section below. What out-of-the-ordinary things do you do to maintain humor in yourself and with your kids/family??!!

A Headscarf for Granny

Most of you know my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer this past summer. She had a lumpectomy and is currently in chemotherapy.

After her first treatment, she got the tell-tale signs of hair loss…head tingling and tiny, loose hairs showing up on her arms and pillowcase. A head scratch here and another there and before she knew it small clumps were falling out like crazy. So instead of being annoyed by all that hair all over the house, she chose to shave it off! You. Go. Girl!!

After getting a sort of “high and tight” from her hair dresser, she attempted to razor-shave it on her own (fail!). Finally she resorted to a full-blown buzz cut…by my dad! Man, do I wish I could have been a fly on the wall that night! Can’t imagine my dad gathering the nerve to make that first guard-free pass through her partially shorn scalp. Not to mention mom tensing up when he finally did make contact. LOL!

Last week, during my follow-up visit to the doctor, I happened upon the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Center information library, which also houses the “gift shop” (the Mary Ann Long Brighter Image Boutique) selling wigs and a wide variety of head wraps and scarves. I ventured in, prepared to buy an item or two to send to baldy mom, only to learn the shop is only open by appointment for cancer patients. To my surprise, after a brief conversation about my mom and what I was hoping to do, Tina, the very kind and knowledgable attendant, invited me in and graciously gifted me a soft, red head cap, a burgundy head scarf and a “port pillow” (like the ones in this tutorial) for me to send to my mom.

And after learning I could sew, Tina also gave me a tutorial on how to make a turban-type head wrap. Unfortunately, I don’t have a serger, so I set off to make a more simple head scarf my mom could tie on to keep warm inside and out this winter. The color options most of the cancer centers offer are pretty plain so I wanted to make something colorful to match my mom’s personality and let her beautiful face shine through over the winter and spring months in Illinois (and hopefully Florida, if she can swing down for a visit).

Here’s Winnie the Pooh, modeling the headscarf I made for my mom.

blue headscarf front 2  blue headscarf back 2

Here’s a brief tutorial on how to make a super easy headscarf.

Step 1. Select your fabric. Since I wanted to make this one reversible, I chose two complimentary cotton fabrics I already had in my stash at home. You’ll need at least 1.5 yards of each fabric (or 3 yards of a single fabric if making single color piece).  Make sure to pre-wash your fabric to avoid puckering after laundering later.

headscarf prep 1

Step 2. I made a simple pattern using freezer paper. Be sure to iron your fabric to ensure straight cuts. Your triangle should be 32 inches on the short sides and 45 on the long side. Pin your pattern to the fabric and cut two triangles. A rotary cutter is best for cutting fabric to a pattern…the fabric stays flat while you cut straight lines.

headscarft prep 2

headscarf prep 3

Step 3. Place the two pieces together (good/patterned sides facing in…i.e. your backside/reverse sides will be facing out). Unfortunately I didn’t take photos during this process. Sorry, folks! Feel free to email me and I can walk you through it, if you need help. Make sure your sides line up, then pin the pieces together (roughly one pin per 6 inches). You’ll need to maintain a 3-4 inch opening (so you can turn the fabric right side out before closing it fully. I typically use a special color pin or change the direction of my pins where I want to leave the opening so I have a signal while I’m zipping this through my machine.)

Step 4. Using your sewing machine, sew the two pieces together using a straight stitch. (When I made my pattern, I accounted for a 1/2 inch seam around all edges.) Before you turn your piece right side out, snip the extra corner fabric a bit so you’ll get a nice pointed corner on the outside.

Step 5. Use your 3-4 inch opening to push your fabric through and turn the piece right side out. Use the eraser end of a pencil to push corners out so they point nicely.

Step 6. Now you need to close your opening. To get a nice, tight close, fold the fabric under/inside so that the seams are even on the inside edge of the opening (i.e. the frayed/cut edge of the fabric should not be visible). Pin your fabric together and then sew it as close to the edge as you can to ensure a nice aesthetic. Trim your thread strings and you’re done!

flower side headscarf flat

blue side headscarf flat

Special thanks to Gemma’s friend, Winnie the Pooh, for modeling the finished product!

blue headscarf front 2

blue headscarf front 1

blue headscarf back 1

After some practice and tweaking, mom was able to roll up that back flap to cover the knot and keep the “tail” under wraps.

And here’s the burgundy headscarf I picked up at the Cancer Center. I’d like to think the one I made will give mom some style, boost her skin color and remind her how much she’s loved every time she looks in the mirror!!!

burgundy head scarf front

Special Notes:

Escape to Topsail

We love, love, love the beach! It’s such a treat to have a special place to enjoy the sand and surf, and absorb the therapeutic benefits of nature.

Last weekend we escaped to Topsail Island to help our friend, Lisa, celebrate her birthday. All us kids (wee ones and big kids-at-heart) enjoyed fresh shrimp and soft shell crabs from the Surf City Seafood Market, afternoons full of building sand castles and walking in the surf, and fun nights relaxing and playing games.

The beach is just the perfect place to let your stresses melt away, sport awesomely wind-blown hair and give your feet a natural buffing!

sea oats  sparkle water

surfer surf  fishermen on pier

fishermen  football or ballet?

active jack 2  gemma sand turtle love

kelly calyn and ben castle building  emily and david love

active jack 1  gemma sand turtle love topsail wear  under the piercalyn sand play  calyn and kelly

gemma seashell  lisa and jack beach

Happy Birthday, Lisa! So happy we could all celebrate your youth, our health (aside from your broken foot!) and the glory of life at the beach!!!

Special Note:

Halloween Wrap-Up

Better late than never, right?! Today I’m sharing my favorite shots from last week’s Halloween festivities!

First up are the fantastic food creations we snacked on at our neighbor’s annual Halloween bash. Seriously, some of these things were very hard to eat if you thought too much about their festive names.

The big winner of the food contest was….the meat head and cheese platter (below)!

meat head and cheese platter

And here are some more amazing additions to the buffet…

cheese queso in a pumpkincheese queso in a carved pumpkin

guac in a spider bread bowlguacamole in a spider bread bowl

cockroach dipcockroach hummus dip and pita chips

witches hatswitches hats

jello wormsjello worms

pumpkin puffspumpkin puffs

graveyard dirt cakegraveyard dirt cake

vampire fangs and blood dipmonster fangs and congealed blood

krispy screamskrispy screams

alien oreo eyeballsalien oreo eyeballs

zombie fingers and blood dipzombie fingers and blood dip

Ben’s office also hosted a fall festival for employees and families, including (cubicle) trick-or-treating, cookie decorating and fun games…

cubicle trick or treat  gemma and daddy trick or treat

minions cookie decorating  cowboy and gemma cookie decorating

And, since we had a few minutes to kill before the party, Gemma and I had a mini Halloween photo shoot on the American Tobacco Campus…love this place!

gemma witch jumping  gemma bull bike rack crawl

gemma witch stairs  gemma witch peeking powerhouse

And finally…Halloween night! Several families on our street all pooled together for pizza and a face painter for the big night. It was such a fun night!

face paint group   face paint gemma   face paint jack face paint addison   face paint maya   face paint kate face paint matthew   face paint molly   face paint kiran face paint hunter   face paint tyler