Monday, November 30, 2015

our Thanksgiving Weekend

Our Thanksgiving was a little different that we originally planned. We were supposed to go to a friend's house (who also has a child) but both kids (and Nick and me) ended up getting sick last week, so we decided to play it safe and cancel our plans. We were a bit homesick on Thanksgiving Day, missing our family and California- particularly since my sister had just left our house on Wednesday. 
However, we ended up having a really nice day. We got up early (naturally, with 2 kids) made some breakfast and then watched the parade for a bit. We made some cookies during Charlotte's nap and then headed to a park to run off some energy.
We made a small dinner with a turkey breast from Whole Foods, some homemade rolls, potatoes and cranberry sauce and some store-bought stuffing. My sister sweetly made a pumpkin pie for us before she left so we had that to enjoy as well!
 After dinner (of which the kids ate approximately 3 bites each), everyone took their nightly dose of Tylenol (ha!) and we sat down to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol. It was a quiet holiday, but it ended up being so nice. 
On Friday, we avoided all shopping and went to pick out our Christmas tree at a local farm instead. Since it wasn't really like a tree lot, the trees weren't labeled by height and they all looked about the same size. When we got home, we realized the tree must be close to 10 feet tall- it nearly touched the ceiling.
As I was putting lights on it, I found a bird nest deep in the branches... The whole experience was very Christmas Vacation-ish. This year, decorating was so fun because Hayden really got into it and was hanging everything at the 1 foot level.... Charlotte was on the clean-up crew taking the ornaments down as he put them up... Needless to say, all the ornaments have been moved upward into the tree.
 We are having a small early Christmas with just the four of us in a couple weeks before we head out to California for the rest of the holiday season. This is my favorite time of the year! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

thanksgiving tablescape

I love a good table scape and the holidays are always a great excuse to dress up the table with a little something extra. We aren't actually celebrating Thanksgiving at home this year, but I still wanted a little decoration here before it's full-on Christmas mode. We don't currently use the dining room, but we walk through it about 10 times a day (it has a swinging door into the kitchen, so it's obviously Hayden's favorite route through the house). This means I get to see the prettily set table quite often. 
Anyway, for a table scape, I'm a big fan of using what you have and adding a few fresh elements to the mix. My favorite (and most pinned) tables include candles + fresh flowers + natural elements + a little something glam.
In this particular table scape:
  • Candles: tapers and tea lights
  • Natural elements: a branch from our yard + some pumpkins and gourds that we've had since Halloween
  • Something glam: those gold candlesticks are from Target's fall line and I love them so much. I feel like they'll be making continued appearances, regardless the season.  
  • Now let's chat about the flowers for a minute... I usually get my flowers from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (this time some pale purple roses and white hydrangeas), but I also appreciate a well-designed floral arrangement. These can be great if you don't have the confidence to arrange your own flowers or are looking for something more elevated . One option that is a step up from your grocery-store-variety is BloomNation. They offer a huge selection of online bouquets, curated from local florists (I love this one!). I really think flowers can be the key to a beautiful table. 
How are you decorating your Thanksgiving table this year?  

Monday, November 16, 2015

moms & daughters

I snapped this quick picture of Charlotte and I last Friday as I put on make-up for going out later that night. Hayden was napping and Nick was still at work, so it was just us ladies. We sat on the ground together facing the mirror in my bedroom. I was applying makeup, she was gleefully dumping out the contents of my make-up bag, inspecting each item, and taste-testing it for good measure. It hit me that this is an routine that she will probably witness countless times in her life, and eventually adopt as her own. I still remember watching my mom fix her hair (blow drying her bangs with a round brush, oh the 90s) and do her make-up in the mornings. I recall the excitement I had when she curled my hair or let me try on some lipstick. She would give me and my sister her old lipsticks when they were near the end of their usefulness, and I would carry the tube around for months in my little purse. These small rituals that become so ingrained in our daily practice are so special when looking at them through fresh eyes. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

5 on Friday

1. The weather here in NJ has been a bit dreary and it seems that a lot of people in our area are getting ready for Christmas already. I've been listening to a little Christmas music, planning some lists, and burning this candle (balsam & cedar scent) the last few days. #sorrynotsorry
2. Given the weather, there's been a lot of soup recipes on the menu. I love that I can throw all the ingredients in the crockpot during the after-breakfast lull, and have a warm, filling meal ready by the time dinner rolls around. (also - guaranteed leftovers!) Some of our favorites this week are this recipe (with chicken sausage) and Minstrone
3.  I love the blanket scarf trend of late, and received a cozy one for my birthday. Love this quick guide for how to style this piece. 
4. A very exclusive party... On Monday, we celebrated Mickey's birthday with decorations, party hats, and an elaborate playdough cake (which Lucy and Charlotte may or may not have sampled...) These are the moments...
5.  Sleep..... is what we need around here. With the exception of Hayden and his solid 12 hours a night, we are all sorely lacking in this department. Charlotte wakes up consistently at least twice a night. We didn't really have to do much sleep training with Hayden and he started sleeping thru the night at 6 months. This little one started off so well, but she is giving us a hard few months and I end up waking up each morning feeling so exhausted. Every baby is different, but at 10 months it's challenging to get up multiple times a night... Any and all advice is appreciated. 

Thanks for reading- happy weekend, friends! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sunroom | Progress & Plans

When we first toured this house, it was love at first sight, but I think that that room that sold us completely was the sun room with it's gigantic wood-trimmed windows, thick moulding and dark floors. I knew when we put our offer on this house, it would be my favorite room - and it is!  We bought a new couch and coffee table (both from West Elm) for the room. We also have a more formal living room where all our previous living room furniture went to live. 
I've loved this couch for over a year, and we even talked about buying the love seat version for our last house (so glad we waited!) We are trying to be really intentional about the pieces we buy for this house, not rushing to fill each room. Probably the only other furniture we'll buy for the sunroom would be a side table and maybe a bench for the back of the fireplace wall.
Speaking of the fireplace wall, it's not our favorite. It's pink, pink and it's not quite our style. I've seen a lot of tutorials on Pinterest on whitewashing stone, so I think that may be in my future to tone down the pink.

We would also like to have this room repainted eventually. It's currently a sage green with a pale green ceiling. I'm not sure what color we would use yet, maybe a pale grey, blue, or beige? Something we'll think about in the future.
As with most of this house, there's not much we want to change, it's basically just paint and light fixtures (so different from our last house!)  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

my fall playlist

I'm one of those people that likes to listen to the same 10 songs on repeat for months at a time (as my husband can attest to each time he gets in the car). Usually with each new season, I make a new playlist. Some songs stick around through more than one season, others shift to make room for new favorites. I kind of like have the same songs playing all the time, so that when I hear them years from now, I might just be reminded of a certain season- sort of like a soundtrack to my life. Right now, the weather is turning chilly, the leaves are swirling around, and the days are shorter. We are home a lot during the day and mellow (perhaps a touch melancholy?) music is what is on the list. Here's a few of my favorites on repeat. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My little ones

Yesterday, I dressed the kids up and took them outside to our leave-covered backyard in hopes of taking at least one suitable Christmas card photo (spoiler alert, we got one).  These two pictures of Charlotte kill me. She is such an expressive little one and she lets us know her feelings at all times. I feel so lucky to be the one that stays home and raises these two little ones with their sweet personalities. Hayden is so calm, methodical, and inquisitive. Charlotte is dramatic, loving, and very independent. Together these two fill my days and I wouldn't have it any other way... 

Monday, November 9, 2015

cozy cardigans

I don't know about you, but I love a good cardigan- the cozier the better. As a nursing momma, I'm all about the loose-fitting open front style- exactly the type of sweater my husband can't stand. Despite his dislike, I can't help but wearing this trend again and again, with sweats, over skinny jeans, a dress; really the possibilities are endless and so are the styles. Sorry, Nicholas, my love for cardigans will never die. Now that we are in a climate that actually necessitates some cold-weather clothing, I've rounded up some of my favorites, because really, you can never have too many cardigans...

Friday, November 6, 2015

Five on Friday

I don't know if it's the gorgeous fall weather or the fact that we once again have a place to call our own, but we are loving our little life right now. It's definitely challenging being away from our families- particularly when they were such a big part of our every day lives, but our little family of four is really doing well and is happy. Here are five moments from the last couple weeks in the new house that really make my heart happy.
an outdoor picnic in our backyard 
scootering, bike-riding, and any other mode of transportation every day  

baking with my favorite boy  
a pretty walk right in our neighborhood  

our new kitchen table/little areas coming together 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween 2015

I would be remiss as a blogger/the chronicler of our lives if I didn't share a quick post about our Halloween. Life feels incredibly busy with work, unpacking, and settling into the new house, but I want to document our Halloween for documentation's sake ;) Hayden's costume was quite the hit and he and Charlotte both loved the tap lights. Charlotte looked so cute in her tutu and I am trying to think of ways that she can wear them in everyday life! 
Anyway, we had a great first Halloween as New Jersey residents. We had an extended Halloween weekend, which began Thursday morning with a small Halloween party that we attended. It was at a local church where web'e been going to a Mom's and Tots group for the last 3 weeks. We carved our pumpkin that night and lo and behold, Hayden could not have cared less about this process, while Charlotte was trying to eat the pumpkin innards the whole time. C'est la vie! I did make some tasty roasted pumpkin seeds using this recipe. 
On Friday, we went trick-or-treating downtown in the afternoon and had the best time. It was so festive and the weather was perfect.
Saturday, Hayden and I made caramel apples. We had friends over and took some wine in travel mugs, the kids in the stroller and trick-or-treated around our little neighborhood. We had zero trick-or-treaters. I can't tell if it's because our neigborhood is hilly and has no sidewalks or if there aren't that many kids that live here. Now I have to send all the extra candy in with Nick to his office or I'll end up eating it all myself... 

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