Friday, January 29, 2016

5 on Friday

1. I took this picture yesterday and was so glad I caught the moment. Little Miss went down for her nap soon after. (My sister turned it into a meme.) 

2. Pajamas, pajamas, pajamas... My kids are on the small side and tend to stay in the same size clothes for a long time. However, pajamas are something that we buy much more frequently. Charlotte is close to needing to go up a size. I just found out that my favorite pajamas for her only go up to the 9 month size, which would be the next size for her. I'm not sure if I should buy something bigger so it will last a little longer. Anyway, I love these pajamas because they are all solid colors and so soft (and a great deal).  

3. Weekend plans... Tonight I'm meeting a friend from CA in New York City for dinner, Nick and I are planning a date night in on Saturday night (since our babysitter was booked) and we are planning some snow play since we still have tons of it hanging around. 
4. To Costco or not to Costco? I am debating joining Costco. We've never really been one to buy in bulk but I know they're really stepped up their game and a lot of people are happy with their organic meats, their fish, and produce. We are having a hard time finding a grocery store that we really love out here in New Jersey, so I'm not sure. I would hate to have the membership and then not really use it. 
5. Valentines. Usually, I make Valentines for Hayden to give to his friends, but our printer hasn't been working since we moved and I found such cute ones on the Minted site that I'm tempted to just go that route. I love the deer one and the s'mores one. (I mean, Charlotte clearly needs to be passing out Valentines too, am I right?!)


Thursday, January 28, 2016

weekly pinterest roundup

I rely on Pinterest a lot. I like to do most of my weekly meal planning with Pinterest open; I love finding cute crafts and activities for the kids, and it's my go to for DIY and decorating inspiration. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show some of the pins that we have been putting into action each week. This week's roundup: 
We made this Valentine's Day Soup water play. It's messy but fun and both kids loved it. Everyone needed a change of clothes after but it held their interest for about 45 minutes! I just used a couple drops of food coloring in a tub of water. We added some confetti and Valentine's Day foam stickers from Target.
We made these cute heart bird feeders too- great fine motor practice and they look really cute hanging in our tree. Plus Charlotte was just as entertained with a pipe cleaner and eating the cereal. Win, win!
I did this stationary bike routine at the gym and it was such a good and quick leg work out. I added in some weights and I had my whole workout done in 30 minutes. Perfect for the day I didn't feel like another 4 mile treadmill run!

We made these sugar cookies because I wanted a fast recipe that didn't require chilling before we used our cookie cutters. They were delicious and gone in about 2 days. The almond extract adds a little something extra.
We did this arctic animal sensory play activity and the kids loved it. We didn't have all arctic animals- more like a woodland mix, but they didn't care (obviously) and I put it back in the freezer when we were done for another round in the future.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

motherhood right now...

Eating lukewarm Annie's Mac & Cheese straight from the pot, whilst cleaning the kitchen, carrying on a serious conversation with your 3 year old about Mickey Mouse, and holding your one year old on your hip. 
Laying in your toddler's tiny twin bed with him at 1:40 am, because "I just need to hold you, Momma."
Continually pouring hot coffee over your half finished ice cold coffee, because you can never manage to finish the whole cup before it gets cold.
 Having to say "meow, meow" after every sentence, because your 3 year old is a kitten today and you get to be the momma cat.
Keeping several pairs of baby socks in the car because your 1 year old will inevitably take them off and manage to lose them during a 10 minute car ride. 
Listening to Taylor Swift's 1989 album on repeat, in  the car, in a very specific song order, as dictated by the 3 year old.  
Feeling like you deserve a medal when all the clothes are washed, folded, and put in the correct drawers.
Building elaborate Brio train tracks with your toddler that take up the whole floor and then leaving them there for a few days, because you're actually pretty proud of your engineering as well. 
Relishing those early morning bottle and snuggle sessions with the baby, knowing that they go by way too quickly.
Feeling exhausted and ready for the kids' bedtime at 6 pm and then missing them and wishing they were up still by 9 pm.
Giving midday elaborate bubble baths with all the toys, because there's nothing sweeter than seeing your two babies splashing and playing together. 
Regretting saying your baby was a "pooping machine" one day in front of your toddler. Because he still remembers that one and brings it up frequently.
Sharing soggy bunny crackers, sippy cups, and squished pear slices because "it's so fun to share with Momma."
Constantly finger swiping your baby's mouth finding toys, stale mini marshmallows, dog fur, and every other gross thing that's on the floor in there. 
Being way more into the Pinterest craft/story time/music class  than either of your children.
Sweeping/mopping under the highchair 5 times a day, because the dog has gotten picky...  
 Talking in a high pitched Min  (Minnie Mouse) voice, so your toddler can be Mickey (or Mick)
Being able to recite Goodnight Moon, Lllama Llama Red Pajama, and Little Blue Truck on demand. 
 Feeling so in awe and so in love with these two perfect little babes 500 times a day. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

snowy weekend

Well, we made it through our first big New Jersey snow! We've been in a lot of snow before in Tahoe, but this was a first for me to see it go from nothing at all to burying our entire yard in 24 hours. 
On Friday morning, I ran out quickly with the kids to stock up on a few grocery store items. That was our last time leaving the house until I went to the gym/grocery store solo last night.
The snow was really pretty and we watched it blanket our entire yard, hiding our patio furniture, driveway, and steps. We stayed inside on Saturday since it was, you know, blizzard-y, and we played with all the toys, watched a couple movies, drank too much coffee and hot chocolate,  did a few minor projects around the house, FaceTimed all our California relatives to say "hey- look at the snow!", and took naps. We put both kids to bed before 7 pm and watched as the snow finally stopped at 10 pm. 

On Sunday, it was bright and clear and Hayden and I got bundled up to go out . We decided against taking Charlotte out because she doesn't love the cold weather already, can barely move in her snowsuit, and has been a little under the weather anyway. Hayden had tons of fun though he could barely walk in the snow since it was going up over my knees as I walked through it.
Hayden and I went out twice and his favorite activity was using his sand shovel to dig in the snow.  
We have a really long driveway that circles back behind our house, with the garage at a sharp turn under the house. Our landscapers also do snow removal and came with their plows to clear the driveway.... and got stuck. When they finally got pulled out by another truck, they just left, leaving only half the driveway plowed and nowhere near the garage. We waited all day (and contacted them several times), shoveled for an hour, and finally the owner of the company brought his snowblower back at 10 on Sunday night. We can get out of the driveway, but it's really tricky and we still have mountains of snow on some parts of it.  Soooo... just wondering when this will all melt, New Jersey??

Thursday, January 21, 2016

homemade croutons: a game changer

I'm not a big fan of grocery store croutons because they always seems a bit dry to me. I usually avoid them in salads or other dishes. However, homemade croutons are so great - and super easy to make. My mom has been making them for years and they are the best! We always have leftover bread that sits in our fridge so this a perfect way to use it up. 
1/4 of a baguette 
1/4 cup of butter
Sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Directions: Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to broil.  Cut the bread into one inch cubes. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, toss the bread cubes in and stir them to coat with the butter. Also, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to your liking. When the bread starts to get a little soft, take them out of the pan and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Then broil them until they get a little crispy on the outside. 
When you're finished, you'll have a flavorful crouton that is soft on the inside and a little crunchy on the outside!  



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

playroom before

Hello, hello! I hope you had a good long weekend. Now that we are back home and finally settled from our recent trip, it's time to start making this house our home. We hadn't really done anything but hang a few pictures on the wall and it just wasn't really feeling very us. So, I've been in the mood to start making little changes here and there. One place that we want to get finished soon is the basement. The basement is finished with a laundry room and finished floors and ceilings. Up until quite recently, it was the storage area for all our extra bins and boxes that we haven't unpacked. We are down to a small amount of bins to make their way to the attic and then we can finally have this room cleared. 
One side of the basement house Nick's workbench and tools, and our boiler and other house-y things like that. The other side will be the  playroom for the kids. They both have good sized rooms and aren't really lacking in places to play but I have dreams of a playroom where we can do our art projects, and play with some of the bigger toys that tend to take up a lot of space in the rooms. 
I cleared the space (those 3 boxes are toys and books that will remain down in the basement) and am ready to get to work! The before pictures aren't anything special, but as you can see this area is a blank slate.  (That door with no knob is our laundry room).
We have a snow storm headed our way (allegedly) so I foresee more time spent at home in our near future. 
This is going to be a quick little makeover, with some shelving, some chalkboard paint, and some kid-made art on the walls, so I should have the finished product to blog about in the next couple weeks!   

Thursday, January 14, 2016

5 on Friday

It's been a long week with some cold weather, everyone feeling a little under the weather, some residual (continual?) homesickness for California, and Nick has been on a business trip for the last few days. Some highlights of the last few days include Hayden falling into the bath, fully clothed and fishing items out of the toilet that Charlotte gleefully threw in. Obviously we spend too much time in the bathroom. Anyway, in spite of all that, there are always good moments to cherish in a challenging week. 
1. We got an ice cream maker for Christmas and Hayden and I have made ice cream twice this week already! My favorite so far has been vanilla with peanuts and caramel swirls. So good. Never mind the 20 degree weather, every day is an ice cream day. 
2.  I painted Charlotte's room well into the night on Wednesday and am so happy with how it turned out! It's not a color I thought I would have chosen, but I love it. Here's a little sneak peak. 
3. These babies sitting together eating cuties (don't worry, Dad I was right there the whole time).
4.  Lots of mellow music on in the background. My favorite currently is anything by Gregory Alan Isakov. So good. 
5.  Decorating for Valentine's Day! (Less than a month away!) 


H&M Kids

I buy probably 80% of the kids clothes at Baby Gap or Old Navy, because I have the credit card and always get really good deals. However, one place that I always forget about is H&M. They have some of the cutest baby/kid clothes that is oh-so-trendy, and really affordable. Plus, their sizing is a little different so it seems that we can wear their clothes for a lot longer than other brands. Hayden has a couple of jackets/cardigans from there that are in the 18-24 month range that still fit fine. Anyway, I was perusing their baby items and I thought I'd share some of the goodness with you today. So many cute things- I'm obsessed with those little cat ballet flats and the knit pom-pom booties. Though Charlotte prefers to be shoe-less (and sock-less) most of the time... 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Oh Wednesday

This week we are having our first taste of cold East Coast weather, and I'm not quite sure we are fans... We had a light dusting of snow yesterday afternoon and today it is COLD. My little California babies were crying on the walk from our car to the doctor's office today. Hopefully we'll all get used to this weather, or at least survive it until Spring. Both kids have colds and slight fevers, so that's fun.... 
(our backyard after yesterday's little snow) 
I didn't really have a warm enough coat before we moved here and I was resistant to spending a lot of money but I got this one from Old Navy for only $25 as an interim coat and it's surprisingly warm!
We had Charlotte's 1st year check-up today and we were at the doctor for an hour and a half. We weren't really waiting too long, but they were super thorough, which was nice. Poor thing had 4 shots today and was feeling pretty bummed about it.

Speaking of Charlotte Mae, I've decided I really need to work on her nursery. It's been a harsh yellow color since we moved in and I've finally decided on a paint color. She has trim dividing the walls in half so I'm going to paint the bottom white and the top a purplish-grey. I might just be motivated to get the whole thing done this week! Here's a few rooms that I've been pinning for inspiration.

Happy Wednesday, friends! 

(Linking up with Jessi)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Charlotte's First Birthday Party

We decided to throw Charlotte's birthday party while we were still in California, because we wanted to celebrate her big milestone with friends and family. My parents graciously provided their house for the party we had a smaller party on the Sunday before we left CA. Usually, I'm a bit more together with my party planning, but with the holidays and planning it from afar, it made it more difficult. Nonetheless, I feel like the whole thing came together pretty well and I'm happy we were surrounded by family and friends. This party was definitely a group effort, with my parents order supplies, making hot chocolate, my brother making the cakes, and my sister, mom and me being involved in the decorations. 
Our theme was a Woodland party. I found these adorable invites from Paperless Post (my go-to now for all invites since you can also send paper versions). 
 I purchased most of the decor from Target, Etsy, or Hobby Lobby. We got a moss runner for the table and my dad made the wooden serving platters. My mom made the cute fabric tassel banner.  
Since it was a pre-dinner party we didn't serve real food. Instead, we had a hot chocolate bar, a donut cake, regular cake, popcorn, and some cuties to balance out all the sweets.

For the kids in attendance, I found woodland animal masks at Hobby Lobby and the cute treat bags at the Target Dollar Spot.  
The favors were gourmet marshmallows (to go with the hot chocolate theme) wrapped in gold foil boxes.
The party was fun and a really nice way to say goodbye to everyone before we left. It's funny to think that next time we'll be back, we will be celebrating another birthday as Hayden turns 4!  
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