Thursday, August 3, 2017

Happy Birthday, Hayden


The sweet boy who made me a mother turns 5 today! He is kind, sensitive, silly, and creative. Hayden loves to cuddle, read books, and build with his legos or magnet blocks. He loves the Octonauts and his marbles. He cares deeply about his family and is always offering words of encouragement- whether it's for potty training (Charlotte) or pushing the stroller up a steep hill (me), he's always shouting "You can do it!" He has a strong sense of what's right and wrong, although he definitely knows how to push his sister's buttons. He is a fan of helping me cook and he loves math. He loves salad and most raw veggies, but also pizza and dessert. Hayden has made huge gains with his swimming this summer and is learning to ride his bike. He loves school and is so excited that Charlotte will be there next year too. Happy Birthday to our favorite little boy; we love you so!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Living Room is Done!


In our house, our sunroom/kitchen is the most used and populated area of the home. Our living room has always been in a state of not-quite-done. We didn't use it as much as our sunroom so it got ignored for awhile. However, we've found that it's nice to hang out in there when the kids are watching a movie in the sun room- we can close the door and have an adult conversation. It's also the room that's held our Christmas tree and all our decorations for the last two Christmases.

Monday, July 31, 2017

STEM Toys

Hayden's birthday is coming up (5!) and I've been doing a little birthday shopping for our guy. His interests definitely veer toward building, engineering, and creating. He absolutely loves playing with his legos and creating very detailed structures. I decided to create a round-up of some favorite STEM toys for his age range- some of these we have and some I know Hayden would love. We have the marble run (2 actually to make giant tracks!) and the Magna tiles. Those, along with the legos get played with daily. We also have the code-a-pillar and he and Charlotte both have fun with that one. Let me know what fun STEM toys your kids love!





Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit//Skoolzy Straw Structures //Marble Genius Marble Run Starter Set//Domino Rally Classic //Magna-Tiles Clear Colors //LEGO Classic Large //BathBlocks Floating Ball Run//Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar//Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set

*Affiliate links used- thank you!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Five on Friday


impromptu trip to the zoo

It's been another busy summer week and we are looking forward to our final quiet weekend at home. We're hosting Hayden's birthday party next weekend and packing and getting ready for our trip to CA. Here's what has been going on in our life this week:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Charlotte's Baptism


We celebrated Charlotte's baptism on Sunday with friends and a small luncheon. My brother Chris and my best friend Erin were Charlotte's godparents. Charlotte did well during the ceremony and was very serious the whole time. Her favorite part of the day was wearing the dress, which she wore up until bedtime.  Here are a few pictures of the day:

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Little Love For Your Monday

A few weeks ago, we let the kids watch the movie Storks for movie night. I was in and out of the room while they were watching, but I caught one of the final scenes and it brought tears to my eyes.  I can promise you that if you watch the first minute and a half of this clip, it will warm your heart and give you a little extra faith in humanity:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five on Friday




TGIF, Friends! It's been a hot one in New Jersey and daily trips to the pool, popsicles, and our window AC units have been helping us survive the heat. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Taking Care of Number One


Let's be honest, you (and I) probably don't consider yourself number one if you are also a momma of young kids. Moms are consistently putting their kids, husband, household, jobs, and any number of things ahead of self-care. It can leave you feeling, well, depleted. Most of the time, I'm only too happy to devote myself to the kids and our family, but every once in awhile, I feel myself getting extra grumpy and the build up of not taking care of myself makes takes its toll. In order to avoid that build-up, I've found that doing something for yourself can make all the difference in the world. Here are a few things that are easy to fit into my life:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Paper Plate Art: Sunny Side Up!

This is a guest post from education.com. As a former teacher, someone who still works in the field of education, and a mom who loves finding new learning projects to do with her kids, I'm all too happy to share this fun activity that you can do with your kids! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Five on Friday!

1. Water Babies: Both my kids have really taken off in their love of swimming and their confidence in the water. We did two weeks of swimming lessons so far this summer and we'll probably do two more. Even without the daily lesson, we are at the pool more days than not. Hayden is making such great progress holding his breath and coordinating his arms and legs to propel himself forward. Charlotte thinks she's a mermaid and loves to float along in the water in her puddle jumper. Our pool has a small whirlpool and she loves to be swept around in circles repeatedly. We are taking full advantage of our membership and the summer weather!


2. Guests, guests, guests: This summer we have a full schedule of visitors; first my parents, then Nick's mom, and most recently Hayden's favorite friend from California and one of my dearest momma friends. We met in our birthing class and our kids were born 3 weeks apart and we've stayed friends ever since. It was so lovely to have them in our house this weekend and have some extended time with them!

3. Touch-a-truck Day: Our town had a special event yesterday with firetrucks, other emergency vehicles, a giant snow plow, and some ride on lawnmowers. The weather was sweltering, but the kids loved it and had the best time crawling all over these giant vehicles!

4. My favorite outdoor chair ever, ever: Nick bought me this swinging chair 5 years ago and we ended up placing it our yard in spots where it wasn't conducive to conversation. This year, we moved it onto the patio and it is by far the most comfortable seat in the house! It's held up amazingly well - having never been brought inside or covered from the elements in 5 years. (Side note- these glasses fit perfectly in the cup holders of the chair- if you are looking for something to hold your margarita ;)


5. The striped bathing suit hunt: I saw a little girl at the pool today with the cutest red and white striped bathing suit and never got a chance to ask her mom where she purchased the suit. I searched on google for a bit last night and came up empty-handed, but did find a bunch of other cute striped suits. I've always found that late July/August is a great time to shop for next year's swimwear- there are great sales and I can buy a few sizes up knowing it will get worn eventually!

Happy Weekend Friends! 

*Affiliate links used.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fourth of July Recap

A little late but I wanted to share some pictures from our holiday last week! We had the best time (even if we missed the fireworks this year...). My mother-in-law was visiting so we decided to host a BBQ at our house so that she could meet our friends here in New Jersey.

My BFF came out from New York in the morning and I picked her up from the train station and went straight to the cutest little parade (where my kids collected more candy than they did this past Halloween!).



After that, we went back to the house to put the kids down for naps and prep for the party. I wanted the party to be really laid back with no one stuck in the kitchen during the festivities so we did corn, watermelon, and grilled steak and shrimp. I made some (potent) sangria and we did s'mores and root beer floats for dessert. Super simple and tasty.





We had a lot of kids here and they played all over the driveway with our ride-on toys, and on the swingset and in the sandbox. We also set up our water table since it was a warm night.


Fireworks didn't start until almost 10 pm so we decided to stay home and hope to catch some of them from our backyard- which unfortunately didn't happen this year. Our kids had fun running around in the dark with their glow bracelets on anyway!


Friday, June 23, 2017

5 on Friday: Happy Summer!

Growing up summer was always my favorite season and it's definitely ringing true this year as well! 
One: Last week, Nick and I took our first ever kid-free trip to the Carribean and had the best time. My parents flew out and stayed with kids and we enjoyed 5 nights away. We had yummy drinks on the beach, each read multiple (library) books, and enjoyed hours of conversation without constant interruptions (even if many of our conversations were about the kids!). It was so nice to focus on each other and have that time! 






Two: Yesterday, I took a trip to the beach with a couple of girlfriends. Everyone had such a good time and we didn't end up getting home until 9 pm! 


Three: We've been spending our days at the pool and both my kids have turned into such water babies. Charlotte is so much braver about getting in and getting her hair and face wet. Hayden is determined to learn how to swim this summer and loves to practice in the big pool. They start swim lessons next week. 

Four: A (long) while ago, I blogged about a sandbox I wanted Nick to build. He did a wonderful job and we've been playing in it almost daily. He built it so it ties in with the retaining wall in our yard already. 


Five: If you're looking to refresh your home for summer, be sure to check out my e-design website! Summer time gives me a little extra time to take on more work and designing is one of my favorite things to do! 


Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A new venture!

Anyone who knows me knows that interior design and decor have been a passion of mine for a long time! I have always loved decorating my own home and helping others when the occasion arises. The last few months, I've had some opportunities to help friends with their own spaces. This inspired me to set into motion an idea that's been percolating for awhile now. I am excited to announce my own little side business, Jessica Reisfelt Designs. Jessica Reisfelt Designs is e-design consulting for anyone who wants help designing their own beautiful space.

I hope you check out the site and let me know what you think! I'm so excited about this next adventure and to see where it takes me! As always, thanks for reading and for your support! xoxo

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A little story about the kindness of strangers

free wine and a (finally!) sleeping baby

Our flight out to California last month went so well (thank goodness since I was flying without Nick). Our flight back to New Jersey was the exact opposite. Charlotte was a grump from the get-go and she started screaming an hour into the flight for at least an hour straight. She was so tired that every time she stopped crying (for a minute) her eyes would close. I kept trying to lay her down on my lap so that she would stay asleep and after the fifth try, I was finally successful. The flight attendants on the plane were AMAZING (on Virgin Airlines, by the way). They brought us a (complimentary) big bottle of wine and offered any help. Charlotte wouldn't even let Nick hold her, let alone a stranger, but it was still so kind of them to offer.

When I was walking around with Charlotte, one of the flight attendants told me that she thought I was doing a great job and was a great mother and not to worry about what anyone else said. It was such a sweet encouragement when I was feeling at the end of my rope trying to calm Charlotte down (especially after a few passengers made less-than-kind-comments).

I know that being seated by a screaming child is no one's ideal on a cross-country flight but I also know that sometimes there's no way to control the tears. She wasn't in pain and nothing we were trying to calm her would work. I tried so hard to stay calm because I knew my own agitation would feed into Charlotte's.

I'm glad our next flight with Charlotte won't be for a few more months and so grateful for kind people in this world!

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