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!

Monday, April 10, 2017

It's been awhile...

We've been back from CA for almost two weeks now but it still feels like we are playing catch up! Hayden has been sick and we've been busy, but this week is Spring Break and it looks like we are going to have a few days of Spring-like weather so I'm excited to get outside with the kids.

We bought the kids a play structure last month! We have a swing set in the backyard (built by my father-in-law) but we have a huge yard and thought it would be nice to have more at home activities for the kids. I shopped around and found it on Wayfair. The same one was on Overstock, and Amazon (all with free shipping) but the price was best on Wayfair. Nick has been putting it together in his spare time and we're hoping it will be all the way finished soon.

We are also planning on adding a little natural sandbox like this in the yard. We have this little area under a tree where our grass doesn't grow well. It already has a rock wall on one side and we have a bunch of stones left over from the previous owners so it should be an easy-ish project.

Last week Nick and I went to a benefit dinner for a charity and it was fun to get dressed up and go out on a Thursday night.

We (along with everyone else) had been watching Big Little Lies obsessively. I loved the book when it came out but I loved the show even more. Now that's it's over I've been listening to the soundtrack on repeat- so good (all the Elvis covers are my favorite...)

Also, speaking of Big Little Lies, I may have taken a few online character quizzes (definitely a Madeline, hahaha)...

Nick and I also listened to the S-Town Podcast last week and really loved it. It was so different than I thought it was going to be but really well done.

The kids and I made these copycat Reese's peanut butter eggs last weekend and they were delicious. I mean, it's clearly the best of all the Easter candy (or maybe tied with Starburst Jelly Beans...) so it was a fun, easy treat to make.

Friday, March 17, 2017


We made it to California, leaving behind the aftermath of a blizzard and showing up to 70-degree weather. As I worked outside yesterday while the kids were napping, I texted Nick that we need to move back- hahaha.  Being home is so good for the soul and I'm happy to be back and enjoy my family and friends (and warmer weather!) for the next couple weeks.

The plane ride went very smoothly -until the last 30 minutes. For a 6 hour flight, I'll take it! I attribute our success to coloring books, wiki sticks, numerous snacks, the iPad, and Moana. I am glad that on the way back Nick will be with us so it will be man-to-man defense for the travel.

We have plans to see Beauty and the Beast while I'm here and I can't wait! It was one of my favorite Disney movies growing up and I am so excited to see it come to life. We're still on the fence if Hayden is old enough to go- he's 4.5 and he also really enjoys the cartoon version, but I'm not sure if this one is right for him? Any thoughts?

Does anyone else read the Skimm? I have been for the past month or two and I really enjoy it. I admit that I don't always have time to keep up with the news and this is a daily (free!) e-mail that you can read over in about 5 minutes to keep you up on the most current news. It comes pretty early in the morning so I have time to read it before the kids get up. If you're interested in signing up, here's a link to do so!

Lastly, now that my kids aren't donning heavy winter coats, I have Spring on my mind and some cute Spring clothes are catching my eye:

Happy Friday and Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope it's the best! 
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Packing Kids for a Long Trip

Since moving across the country from our family, we've had a lot of experience for packing for long trips. Our visits to CA are always at least 2 weeks so packing (without overpacking!) is something that we've refined over the last year and a half. Here are my tips for packing (semi) lightly...

Make a list. I am a little type A so I like to make a printed list that I can check off and detail each item. I make a list for myself and one for my kids. Sorry Nick, you're on your own!

I usually only pack 6 -7 outfits for the each kid, and 4 pairs of pajamas.  The kids can wear each outfit more than once and I also don't end up packing every single one of Charlotte's cute outfits. I also like to pack things that can mix and match easily. We have access to a washer and dryer since we stay at my parents. If you're going to a hotel, it might be worth it if to check if they have laundry services available. Anyway, I pack each complete outfit in a separate gallon ziplock bag. I include pants, socks, underwear, and a shirt for each outfit (and a bow for Charlotte). Both of the kids' outfits used to fit in one bag, but they've gotten bigger and that doesn't quite work anymore.

I include 1 -2 outwear items that can go with multiple outfits and try and limit it to 2 pairs of shoes per kid (including the one they are wearing. For example, this trip, they are both wearing tennis shoes on the plane and I am packing their rainboots since it's been pretty rainy lately in CA. In the summer, I would pack their sandals instead.

I also pack all their toiletries in one bag as well.

Each kid has their own backpack(we love the SkipHop Backpacks so much!) with a few books/toys and Hayden will carry the iPad. I always pack lots of plane snacks and a water cup in their backpacks. We always buy a giant bottle of water and divvy it up into everyone's cups once we get through security. We use these containers for packing snacks so they don't get crushed.

I also always buy diapers when I get there so I don't have to waste valuable suitcase space with those. This time, I did an Honest Company order and sent it ahead so we will have diapers on hand when we get there.

Favorite Skip Hop Backpacks:

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Basement Stair Redo

So we've lived with some pretty ugly basement stairs for over a year now... They were painted brick red, though the paint was chipped in places. They had black rubber covers nailed down to each stair. Many were feeling loose so it not only looked unspectacular, it was also not the safest. Our playroom and laundry room are at the bottom of these stairs and there is also an entrance to our garage down there. It's safe to say, we use these stairs a lot. Given their steepness, I always carry Charlotte up and down because I'm worried about fall.

Anyway, we decided a little stair makeover was long overdue. After pinning lots of painted stair options, we decided to paint the stairs black and get a natural looking runner for the stairs. These are definitely not the best-looking stairs, with chips and nicks in the wood. I would have gone with white but I was nervous about them getting scuffed and dirty too quickly.

Nick took off the rubber runners and sanded the stairs for me. I did all the painting and he installed the runner. We used 2 of these rugs on the stairs and he worked to make them look pretty seamless.

Overall it was a fairly quick update the after is 100% better than the before!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Happy Friday/ Happy March!

The spring weather has been making its appearance here and there and even though we're heading into a cold weekend, I'm feeling hopeful that we're shaking off the last vestiges of winter in these next couple weeks.

Two my-kids-are-so-funny-stories: This week I took both kids to an Ash Wednesday prayer service and Charlotte very vocally and dramatically refused the ashes.... twice.... The woman offered a feeble "God Bless!" as we hurried back to our seats. Also, we had the cable guys here yesterday and I took the kids to the gym while Nick stayed here and as we were walking out the door, Hayden turns and says, "Dad, you better keep an eye on these guys!"

Our trip to California is just a week and a half away(!!!!!). I am so looking forward to spending time with our family and being back home again.

Everyone with little girls, do you always check out the Cat & Jack endcap at Target? They have been killing it with their selection of fun (and warm) tights. Charlotte has the fox, bunny, and rainbow pair below and they are so adorable. She prefers to only wear tutus whenever possible so these tights are a fun way to keep her legs warm.

Our basement stairs are very steep and painted brick red and we've been wanting to repaint and also add a full-length runner. The kid's playroom is at the bottom of the stairs and I'm always nervous about Hayden navigating the stairs alone. I always carry Charlotte down. Anyway, anything that can make them safer and more visually appealing is a win-win in my book. So, this weekend's project might be coming from this inspiration picture:

That's all I've got! Hope you have a great weekend! 
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Friday, February 24, 2017


It's been a week of sunshine and warm (for New Jersey) temperatures! We've been taking full advantage of the break from the snow and cold and been park-hopping all week. It's amazing what sunshine does for the soul!

A few quick things...

This time of year, I get really into cleaning, organizing, and redecorating. I've been working on Hayden's room lately and I love this new rug we got from Wayfair. It's huge and soft and looks similar to a lot of pricier Dash & Albert rugs. I can't wait to show you his finished room ASAP. (Side note, is anyone else's kid OBSESSED with magnetic tiles like Hayden? We love these things so much!) 

A PSA for all those who are obsessed with Anthropologie's Capri Blue Volcano candle... This Citrus candle from Target is an almost identical scent and less than half the price of Anthro's (only $12.99!).

Do you listen to podcasts with your kids? I found a good one this week that curtailed the usual backseat bickering while we were stuck in traffic. Both kids listened very attentively and it was a nice change from the kid music I usually put on when all else fails!

We are in the throes of the terrible twos with Charlotte Mae. She is equal parts adorable and temperamental. I snapped this sweet picture after we had an especially hard morning this week. Seeing her sleeping so peacefully in her crib makes all those hard times melt away...

A $3 arrangement: I have always had a deep love for Trader Joe's flowers, but it seems that my favorites don't last very long at home. I saw a pretty arrangement on instagram last week and mimicked it using $3 of Eucalyptus and $3 of alstroemeria. I had enough to make two full bouquets and they are still holding up nicely 6 days later. Eucalyptus always reminds me of California so I love having it in the house. 

The Jord Watch $100 giveaway ends on Sunday so make sure you enter today! 

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Friday, February 17, 2017


I can officially say our kids aren't sick anymore! Also, I got to go out for a girls night last night- always good for the soul! Aaannd my bestie is coming to stay the weekend! Aaannnd our California trip is less than a month away. Things are definitely looking up.

I know I shared this already on Instagram (for those that follow) but I feel like my kids are finally at the age where they enjoy playing together and have a lot of fun. They always seem to miss each other when they are apart. Of course, I have to break up 20 million little squabbles a day, but when they're being sweet, it really is the best!

Nick and I were texting during the day yesterday and we were both saying that we miss having a home project. I think we are going to tackle our laundry room. I've been pinning pretty images and Nick is all about the functionality but I think it will be a fun project and something that might make that dreaded chore more fun. Here's my favorite laundry image that I'm hoping to borrow from for our own space.

There are some serious President's Day sales going on this weekend if you're in the market for anything home related... I actually got 2 area rugs because we've been living with too small ones in the kids' rooms and I want the pretty hardwood to stay pretty... I got 2 rugs for around $300 which is pretty amazing for 8x10. Check out Wayfair and RugsUSA. Both shipped fast and I've had really positive experiences with both companies.

After an indulgent Valentine's Day, I made this "detox" soup that is actually really tasty.  I've been eating it for lunch or dinner the last few days.

Hope you have a great weekend!! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

5 Tips for a Healthier Year

1. Drink tons of water. I have my giant water bottle with me at all time and I try to drink at least 3 full bottles a day (plus an extra bottle when I work out).
2. Schedule your workout... It's easy to run out of time to work out but if it's in your daily schedule instead of some vague goal for the day, you're much more likely to do it. I look at the gym schedule each week and decide which classes I want to do and when is the best time each day to work out.
3. Be positive... That being said, life gets in the way! My kids have been sick since New Year's and so a lot of times we can't make it to the gym more than 1 or 2 times a week. Instead of getting frustrated or giving up, give yourself grace for those days when things don't go as planned.
4. Give up sugar! I made this a resolution for 2017 because I'm definitely a sugar addict. I decided to give myself 1 day a month to eat sugar and then try and steer clear the rest of the month. I'm not so vigilant that I will refuse food at someone else's house. I make 95% of the food I eat so it's easy for me to make sure I'm avoiding sugar.
5. Find something you love... for me this is Barre Class. My gym has it twice a week and it's my favorite workout. I try to make it to every class that I can. After going pretty regularly for the last year, I can tell that my body is stronger and more flexible. I still mix it up with other workouts but this one always gets me excited to go to the gym.

What do you do to stay motivated and healthy??
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