Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday, Friyay

As I mentioned earlier this week, it's been full fall mode around here with chillier temps and lots of soup on the menu. Here are a few things that I'm loving this week.... 

Pumpkin candles. Always a seasonal favorite (so basic!) I found some nice ones for a good price at TJ Maxx. I forget that this is always a great option for high quality, low priced candles and I picked up 3 for under $20.
Smoothies. I have been trying to get back into the routine of having a smoothie for breakfast and it's been nice to have something filling when we are on the go with school and play dates. Two  recipes that I've been loving this week are this fig smoothie and this pumpkin one.
Meditation... This might sound a little out there, but hang with me. A few of the workout classes that I take end with a meditation and I've found it so so peaceful...I found this meditation app that I started using over the summer and loved, but it ended up only having 10 meditations for free and then you had to pay a costly monthly subscription. So I searched around for another one and found this one by Gaiam. It has over 120 meditations and they are applicable to all sorts of situations. I've been trying to do one most morning and they are quick and really seem to start the day off right. If you're a busy mom (or person = all of us!) this is such a great way to take a quick mental break and reset. I really encourage you to try it!  
Wagon walks. A few nights this week, the kids, Lucy and I took the red wagon out for a quick post dinner walk. It's been really nice and another good mini-reset for us. I hope we can continue the practice until it starts getting snowy!
 Weekend plans... We going to a movie night tonight for Hayden's school which should be fun and we have a birthday party this weekend as well. Nick's had a busy week at work and we are looking forward to lots of downtime at home with the babies! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

5 tips for a peaceful morning routine

Hayden started preschool this year and after having a year off from any real schedule, we are back to having to be somewhere almost every morning of the week. I know that everyone talks about the morning rush with kids and getting out the door on time, but as much as possible, I didn't want us to have to feel rushed and stressed in the mornings. It doesn't always happen, but I've strived for a peaceful morning routine that gets us all off on the right foot and out the door on time! Here are a few of my tips for making that happen: 
1. Wake up earlier than your kids: This is my number one tip! I usually wake up between 4:30 and 5 each day to work so I have a couple hours on my kids. I also try to have some coffee and get myself ready during this time, so it's one less person to focus on in the busiest part of the morning.
2. Get your kids dressed before leaving their rooms. As nice as it is to stay in their pajamas, we reserve that for the weekends now. It's so much easier to change them once (like when I'm changing Charlotte's diaper first thing in the morning or helping Hayden use the bathroom) than to try and herd them back upstairs and get them ready. We also brush teeth before coming downstairs because they tend to eat breakfast slowly and up until the last minute before we leave.
3. Play some peaceful music. I found this Jim Brickman Disney album  recently and it's a good mix of soothing music and fun songs that the kids recognize. When I play this in the car or on the speakers in the house, they really seem to tune in a mellow out. 
4. Pack anything you need the night before. Hayden doesn't need a lunch or backpack for school but I make sure to have anything I need for the next day ready to go, like a change of clothes if Charlotte and I are heading to the gym.
5. Make time for what your kids like to do in the mornings. Hayden loves breakfast and he likes to help make it, have several helping and really take his time with it. If we are quick with other things (getting dressed) there's still time in the morning for our usual breakfast routine.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Charlotte at 1.5

Our feisty little one is growing up so fast. I can't believe that we are on our way to two years old already. Here's a little snapshot of our baby at this moment in time. 
Size: She's currently 20 lbs. and pretty petite for her age. She can still get away with 12 month clothing, though I've been buying everything bigger for the coming change in weather. She has been in a phase the last couple months where she barely eats anything at all at most meals. She's not picky in the sense that she only eats certain foods, but isn't super interested in eating in general. Her favorites consistently are apples ("bapples"), spaghetti, avocado toast, and yogurt. Oh, and her bottle with milk. If we let her, she would probably drink a gallon of milk a day, but we limit her. 
She started walking at 15 months and has been zooming around ever since. She loves to dance, run, and climb. She's always up on the highest part of the play structure at any park. 
She loves shoes and accessories and always wants to have multiple shoe and bow changes throughout the day, though I usually end up with 5 bows and a couple pairs of shoes in my purse by the end of the week. She loves getting into my make-up bag and after one too many destroyed compacts, I primed this make-up bag for her. She walks around the house with it slung over her arm and loves to give makeovers to anyone who is willing. 
Other things she loves: the color pink (girl picked out her own pink sparkly tennis shoes at the shoe store), dolls, Mickey (also known as Dickey), being outside, bath time, and  playing with her brother. They love to wrestle and tickle each other on our bed our the couch and it's a daily thing around here. 
She is a decent sleeper and consistently sleeps 11 - 12 hours at night without waking up, along with a 2-3 hour nap per day.  She's puts up a fight nearly every night when we put her down, but ends up going down without too much help from us.  
She's been talking a ton all of a sudden and tries to repeat all the words we are saying. She also sings the first couple lines of Twinkle Twinkle and it's adorable.
She's super sweet but definitely a bit reserved around new people. She warmed up to our family members this summer, but is still tearful when left with anyone but Momma (at least at first!). She blows kisses to everyone when we say good-bye and has the cutest little mischievous smile all the time.  I love this sweet one so much and love to see the little person she's growing into. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Full Fall Mode

The weather here in New Jersey seems to have changed for good and I'm not mad about it. Though we had a good summer, I am ready for cozy layers, cooler temps, soups on repeat, lots of pumpkins and colorful leaves. nach season feels like a fresh start and I did a ton of cleaning and organizing in the weeks leading up to fall. My closet is finally organized, my summer clothes put away. Lots of other unseen spaces in our home got a makeover and the shift in weather has brought us new energy (and some unwelcome colds). 
Nick and I decorated the front porch with some mums and pumpkins with the promise of more pumpkins to follow. 
The kids and I have been collecting fall leaves on walks and around the yard and Hayden made a sweet little leaf collage with the first signs of fall. 
Nick's sweet grandma has been visiting us this past few days and it's been so nice to share our home and uninterrupted time with her. She's been along for trips to the park, a long walk, and apple picking with Nick and Hayden. (Charlotte and I were too sick to join the fun.)
This fall we are hosting 4 - 5 different sets of visitors and we're looking forward to having a full house throughout the season. Fall, I love you! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday, Friyay

How is it that the short weeks always seem extra long?! Seriously, I kept having to check the days to make sure it really wasn't Friday yet... 

1. Paint it white. I talked Nick into painting our guest room white last weekend and I can't tell you how happy this change makes me. I love how bright the formally-sage-green room is now and it just feels so clean and peaceful. We have a slew of guests booked all the way through December so making this room pretty and functional was a priority. I can't wait to share more when it's all pulled together! 
2. Preschool... Hayden starts school on Monday and I'm so excited for him. Even though he's been before in CA, we took last year off while we transitioned to New Jersey. I know he's going to have the best time, even though it will be so different not having him around 3 days a week. His school is a co-op which means that I get to be in the classroom with him once or twice a month. I love that aspect of the school and the ability to be connected to him that way.
3. TV... We're late to the game (standard) but we are currently watching Bloodline and just finished Stranger Things. Netflix is definitely our favorite for shows (also, Orange is the New Black- so so good this season). 
4. Fall is coming... Last weekend it was in the low 70s all weekend and so so nice. Of course, now it's back up to 90 but there are leaves on the ground and I have hope that Fall is just around the corner.
5.  Cat & Jack... Have you seen this brand at Target?? Cutest little kid clothes and such fun Fall styles. I picked up a few things for Hayden this past week since he had a little growth spurt and everything is so reasonably priced. 

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