Today, The Brightest Soul I Know Turns 9

What do you do when your youngest child suddenly turns nine? You celebrate, you buy XBox games, and you cry a little inside. Today, the brightest soul I know turns nine!

What do you do when your youngest child, the youngest of six, suddenly turns nine? You celebrate, you buy XBox games, and you cry a little inside. Today, the brightest soul I know turns 9!

My Bubby, my baby, the last of a lineage, turns nine today and as proud as I am of this brilliant and funny boy of mine, I can’t help being a little melancholy. Watching him grow and become the wonderful person he is has been a life-altering experience for me. He, quite literally, amazes me every single day with his wealth of knowledge, his beautiful sense of humor, and his obvious lack of common sense.

He can pass a STAAR test with ease at grade levels well above his own, he can spout random facts (that his teachers and I often have to Google to verify) about ancient Egyptians or sea creatures, yet when you point to something “over there” that you need, he can’t figure out where that is. And don’t even get me started on his “punny” sense of humor. He’s such a little old man wrapped in such a beautiful package and I love him to pieces.

the brightest soul i know turns 9 today

But he’s growing up on me…way too fast…and I’d love for time to stop for just a bit so I can just enjoy his little self just a little bit longer. Yes, he’ll always be my baby and I believe that “huggy time” will always be a thing, but his independence is starting to shine, which I encourage, and that’s a little hard on this doting momma.

Enough of my whining though. Time to celebrate the brightest soul I know. He’d give you the shirt off his back, he’d gladly give you his last dollar (but probably not his last XBox game), and he’s always there to lift anyone up when they’re down. He’s as perfect as I’d hoped he’d be nine years and eight months ago when I found out about him, and he’ll do amazing things in this world. Watch him, you’ll see!

So, today, Zachary Alexander Gossett turns nine years old. He’s growing into a fine, caring, productive human being and I couldn’t be more proud of my little man. Thank you, Bub, for making my life complete and allowing me to be your mom. I love you more than the world is big, more than the sky is blue. Enjoy your last year in the single digits and always remember, enjoy being a kid for as long as you can. It all goes by in a flash! You’re doing a really phenomenal job at this life thing and I’m oh-so proud to be your mommy!

Are Your Boos Ready with Halloween Costumes?

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids’ Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online? Just so you know, the kind folks at Oriental Trading® did send me costumes for this post, but the opinions are entirely my own.

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online?

Halloween! It’s everything, right? OK, it’s not Christmas, but it’s a really close second. I have a Halloween baby and it’s a big deal in my house. A really big deal. But what’s a busy mom to do when she wants to make sure her kids are clad in the best costumes in town, but she doesn’t have a bunch of time for shopping, traveling from shop to shop, or worrying about sizing? She turns to Oriental Trading®, of course, right from her couch! The fact that her kids look amazing on Halloween (OK, I’m talking about myself and my own kids here) is a true win. Want to be a Halloween hero this year, and every year, too? Follow my advice because these costumes are amazing, affordable, and SIMPLE for mom. I’m a Halloween hero and I didn’t even try!

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

See, just like with my Halloween decor, I logged into Oriental Trading®, and I let the kids do the work. They picked out their costumes, I pressed a button, and done. DONE. Ninja, Gothic Prom Queen, and skeletons…oh my. Oh, how I love my simple life!

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

Are Your Boos Ready with Halloween Costumes?

I ordered the costumes, headed to the dollar store to pick up some extra props, and I’m a Halloween hero without taking out a second mortgage. Seriously, this holiday stuff can get expensive if you don’t know where to shop! Plus, how cute is he? I know, I know…cute as a button, in a threatening sort of way, of course.

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

Plus, having all of the best (and affordable decor) for photo ops is amazing because we, as moms, need all of the pictures we can muster to savor every memory!

Busy Mom Alert: You can still be your kids' Halloween hero without leaving the couch! Did you know that there are affordable options for Halloween Costumes online now?

I can’t wait for the actual night of all Hallow’s Eve. With the outside decor, plus the amazing backdrops in the house, there are so many memories to be made and cherished for years to come. What are you waiting for? The clock is ticking. Halloween is JUST around the corner. Be a Halloween hero this year! Your kids will thank you for it, and so will your bank account!

Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home Decor

Decorating for Halloween doesn’t have to be expensive. You can have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home Decor with Oriental Trading® and these tips!

Decorating for Halloween doesn't have to be expensive. You can have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home Decor with Oriental Trading® and these tips!

I’m a little obsessed with Halloween. Not quite as obsessed as I am with Christmas, but obsessed just the same. Other than the coming of fall and cooler weather, I look forward to it all year long. Although I always say that I’ll wait until October 1st to start decorating, I really never do. This year was no exception. I started on September 23rd this year and began the process of building my Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home!

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

What was a little different this year from the past years is that little budget word I had to toss in there. See, if you’ve been following along at all (especially on Facebook), you already know that our family grew recently and we have two extra mouths to feed for awhile. All good! It’s a happy chaos and I’ve done this budget thing before; I got this! If you’re looking to turn your home into a haunted house on a budget this year, here are some tips that may help you out!

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home Decor

Tip 1: Know where to shop! You don’t have to go to one of those big fancy-pants Halloween stores (although, they are super fun) to build your Halloween home decor arsenal. Each year, I set a budget and see what’s new on Oriental Trading’s Halloween Headquarters. Greta here was last year’s big ticket item and she’s pretty darned creepy standing on our front porch with her glowing red eyes and blood smeared everywhere. Isn’t she PERFECT?! This brings me to my next tip.

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Tip 2: Build your arsenal up over time. Don’t think you have to go all out the first year or two. Buy a little each year (dollar stores are your friends here too), and within a few years, you’ll be amazed at how much stuff you’ve accumulated!

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Tip 3: Do buy an assortment of noisy stuff! The more spooky noises coming from your walkway, yard, and house…the better. All of those spooky noises coming from everywhere actually up the fear factor quite a bit (don’t expect the toddlers to be overly thrilled though!). This year, I added this fantastically frightening Gargoyle Door Knocker to “welcome” our guests into our home. Doorbells are so overrated, dontchathink?

  Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Tip 4: Always make your trick or treaters feel welcome! Come on in, my pretties, let’s take a look at the inside now, shall we?

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Tip 5: You can never have too many gargoyles during the Halloween season.

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Tip 6: Backdrops are your friends. They’re cheap, they’re easy to put up, they make for great decorations, and they’re prefect for pictures at all of your parties. Everyone loves standing in front of a great scene and taking a selfie. Provide the perfect corner for your party guests!

You can have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home Decor with these tips!

Tip 7: More is more. Look, I’m all about the less is more concept. I apply it with my makeup, my hairspray (except for in the 80s because…BIG HAIR), spices in my recipes…but that concept doesn’t apply here. Ever walked into a haunted house that just had a little stuff scattered here and there? No, you say? Of course not! Make sure to drape spooky cloth wherever you can. It adds to the ambiance and it’s SO cheap. It’s seriously your best friend!

DIY Budget Halloween House Decor

Tip 8: Don’t feel the need to remove your normal decor from the equation. It’s YOUR house. Make it your own, but creepier. Leave the beachy touches as they were and dress them up for the occasion!

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Tip 9: Little DIY projects from last year’s leftover party favors are your friends. I had some skeletons left over. I strung those boney guys up on some fishing line…insta garland for the tiki bar. FOR FREE.

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

Tip 10: Leave surprises throughout your home. See that guy up there? He’s kind of hidden out and it’s super funny in fact. Once you get past the yard, the entrance, the living room fright fest, you turn the corner, and he starts screaming away. It’s priceless to scare your guests over and over again. That’s what Halloween is all about, right?

Have the scariest house in the neighborhood without breaking the bank when you build your own Spooktacular Budget Halloween Home decor with these tips!

This last one isn’t a tip, just a fact actually. You want to use all of the cool lighting that you possibly can…inside and out…but you need to know that said cool lighting (especially strobe lights) will not photograph well so be prepared for that. However you choose to decorate for Halloween this year, or any other holiday in fact (and you should totally decorate for ALL of them because…FUN), be sure to be kind to your wallet. Visit Oriental Trading® today, build up your spooky arsenal, and just have fun. The world is so full of stress these days. Kick back, relax, and make people scream (in a good way) for a change. There’s so much fun to be had. Who’s with me? Happy Halloween, y’all!