The Adventure Starts Here

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pumpkin Fun for Preschoolers

Since Halloween weekend is almost here, I decided it would be fun to spend an afternoon with Noah doing lots of pumpkin and Halloween themed activities.  So of course, I immediately browsed Pinterest to get some ideas and find some free printables.  And let me tell you, I found some good ones!  So Friday afternoon, when it was a little cloudy and damp outside, Noah and I had a fun filled pumpkin themed afternoon!

First up, I found this cute matching game printable.  I simply printed it out on card stock, then cut along the dotted lines.  I then set the cards out in rows and Noah and I played a few rounds of memory.  We have the Hape Wooden Animals Memory Game and play it often, so I knew Noah would love this.  We also had fun identifying the different faces on each of the pumpkins.  

Next up, we made some pumpkins using half an apple as a stamp.  They did not come out as pretty and clear as I would have liked, but boy did Noah have fun.  And boy did Noah get messy!  At first I had wipes nearby, but I quickly realized we were going to need more than that!  And to think this was the craft I let him go without a smock!  Thankfully we were using washable paint and he didn't get any on his clothes anyway.  After stamping our pumpkins with the orange paint and washing our hands, we then grabbed the green paint and some paintbrushes to make the stems.  Not sure what I was thinking, cause while Noah made a correct pumpkin stem, I was making leaves.  Apparently the time has come that my almost 4 year old is smarter than I am!   Once the pumpkins dried completely, we took a black marker and turned them into jack-o-lanterns.  But really, they are cute just as pumpkins too!  

^^^ and no, we weren't finger painting, he just got that messy!

And while we waited for the paint to dry, we played some Bingo (another printable I found on Pinterest).  They offer multiple game boards, but since it was just me and Noah playing, I opted to save my ink and only print out two.  Noah has a travel Disney Junior Bingo set that he loves to play with, so once again, I knew he'd love this too.  I grabbed some orange pom poms to use as markers.  Noah ended up winning, but he still wanted to keep going until his board was completely full :)

And finally, I remembered that I had picked up some Halloween themed gel clings from the Target dollar spot.  I set them out on the table and let him decorate the glass doors that lead out to our deck.  Random tidbit... in the past I would have him decorate our glass storm door at our front entrance.  But it seemed that with people coming in and out of there a lot and the change of temperature, the gel clings would constantly fall off.  So far we've been having much better luck on the back door.  We still had our back to school and Fall gel clings up, so he just added to the festive fun... the more pumpkins the merrier right!?!  Noah asked me to put the Happy Halloween up while he did all the pumpkins.  His favorite thing to do after putting all the pumpkins up, was to sing "5 Little Pumpkins Jumping on the Bed".  Yes, he sings the monkey song, but instead of monkeys, it's pumpkins jumping on the bed.  Doesn't fully make sense, but it's absolutely adorable!

What pumpkin themed crafts or games have your done with your kids this year?  

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Don't forget to link up with both the "All Things Pumpkin" Party 
AND the Tuesday Talk Linkup!

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

Monday, October 24, 2016

Practicing our Shapes with Have You Seen My Monster?

Even though Noah goes to school 3 mornings a week this year, it hasn't stopped me from including some fun learning activities into our daily schedule.  Noah loves to read, craft, and draw, so he's always excited when I tell him I have something fun planned.  I recently learned about this book called "Have You Seen My Monster?" and figured it was the perfect jumping off point to practice our shapes.    

The premise of the book is that a little girl is walking through a carnival, looking for her monster.  On each page, there's a black and white drawing with a colored shape incorporated into the drawing.  Noah had fun finding each shape, but especially liked spotting the little girl and the monster on each page... it was like a super easy look and find (which he adores).  While Noah is very good at identifying and naming all the basic shapes, this book goes much further than that, with shapes like a nonagon and trapezoid.  He really liked learning the names of these "new" shapes and even told Papa and Grandma all about them when they came over for a visit... he even asked to read the book again with each of them.    

Since Noah didn't really need practice identifying his shapes (we did that here), I focused on having him practice drawing his shapes.  He loves to write his letters and make pictures, so I figured he would have fun practicing drawing his shapes as well... and he did!  We stuck to the four basic shapes for right now and will move on once he's mastered these.  I found this great printable and had Noah work on tracing the circle, square, triangle, and rectangle in all different sizes.  As with most things, he did much better when he took his time.  

Now that he had the hang of tracing the shapes, I gave him a blank piece of paper and he attempted drawing them on his own.  At first he tried to draw the shapes in one continual motion.  By never picking up the crayon though, he had some pretty curvy shapes.  I then showed him how to do it and once he picked up his crayon after each line, he was doing much better.  The triangle was the trickiest for him, but once I realized he knows how to write the letter A really well, I showed him that they were very similar... you just have to move the horizontal line to the bottom ;)

While this is all I had planned for him, Noah wanted to keep drawing and decided to make a robot out of shapes.  While technically the robot is just made out of squares and rectangles, I loved that he came up with this idea on his own.  He named him Xray and was so pleased with his creation!  

Pin for later???

How do you help your children practice their shapes?

You can find more "Have You Seen My Monster?" activities, recipes, crafts and more over at Raising Fairies and Knights.

*affiliate links may be used...  see my disclosure for more information

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  First off, I have to remind you that next week, starting on Thursday the 27th, I will be cohosting a super fun Halloween Link-up!  Make sure to stop by linkup for our Halloween Pajama and Costume Party!  This past weekend, I did a little photo shoot of Noah wearing his Halloween costumes (yes, plural).  I prefer to do this before actual Halloween since I know we will be rushed on the actual day and he won't be as agreeable to taking so many photos.  I'm beyond happy with how they turned out and can't wait to share them with you.  And don't forget about the Halloween pajamas... we want to see those too!  And if you don't have a blog, don't worry, just tag your social media photos with #costumepty16 so we can see, like, and comment!

So grab our button and come link up!!!

Now onto today's post!  We had a super random week weather wise.  The beginning of the week felt like summer, with temperatures in the 80s.  And today, we are back to cooler temps with rain in the forecast.  And now I know why people get sick this time of year!  I hope your Friday goes by quickly and you have an awesome weekend.  And since we all love a good 5 on Friday, here we go...


On Monday, I shared some of my outfits from the past month.  I was bummed to find out that some of my new pieces had already sold out online.  So in the effort to show pieces that you might actually have the chance to buy, I thought I would share two new shirts I just recently got and can't wait to wear!  

First up, this ruffle cuff top.  It's so freaking comfortable, but the ruffle sleeve makes it look a little more dressed up.  I don't get super dressed up anymore, so this look is perfect for a dinner out with friends or my husband.  I actually plan to wear this to a girls' dinner very soon!  And the boots... these were actually my mom's that she bought at least 2 years ago.  She decided they were too high for her, so she gifted them to me.  And while I don't see myself wearing this high of a heel for school drop off, it's perfect for when I'm dressing up a bit.  

Second, is this red plaid flannel shirt.  I am a sucker for plaid, especially a buffalo check!  And at this price, how can you say no!?!  I love how comfortable it is and I can see myself wearing this a lot around Christmas.  But you better believe I won't be waiting until then to wear it!  

plaid flannel shirt (on sale for only $21!!!) |  black jeans | lace up flats


This year, Noah is old enough to stay a little bit longer at school for enrichments.  For the first half of the year, we signed him up for an art class and a sports class.  He does both with his two best friends at school and so far he's absolutely loving them.  I love hearing about the different sports they play each week and see the artwork they create.  Sometimes I can't believe that he's old enough to do these kind of activities without me right there watching him!  


A few months ago I decided I wanted to try filling in my eyebrows.  I never considered myself having thin or sparse eyebrows and never paid attention to the products available.  I think I always worried I'd look like those old ladies who draw a line in for their missing eyebrows.  But since the thick eyebrow trend seems to be sticking around, I started looking into some eyebrow products.  At first, I used this e.l.f brow kit that I found in the Old Navy checkout line after Becky recommended it.  And while I really did love it, I decided I wanted to see what the hype was about and try the Anastasia Brow pencil.  I ended up getting the "brow definer" after testing it out in the store.  The sales associate helped me figure out what color was best for me, which turns out to be "chocolate".  I was worried that a pencil would make them look really fake, but I'm happy with the results and it's so easy to do!  

on the left - I did MY right eye with the brow definer, some black eyeliner, and mascara
on the right - you can see that both eyes are done 


I know it's only October, but I can't help but start thinking about my Christmas decor.  Each year I like to keep a few things the same while changing where I put certain decor items and also adding some new pieces to my collection.  In the past, I've always added some super fake and lit garland to my stair case.  I love having the lights turned on at night, but I wish the garland looked a little more real.  Then I see photos like these on Pinterest and I'm debating whether to add real garland to my banister this year.  So here's where you come in... Do you decorate your stair case?  Do you use real or fake garland?  How do you attach it to your banisters?  And if you use real, how do you keep it alive and fresh looking for the entire month?


And in case you missed any of my posts this week, here they all are in one place for your convenience :)

A Day in the Life

I'm linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm for "Oh Hey Friday" and with A. Liz Adventures for "Five on Friday"!

*affiliate links may be used...  see my disclosure for more information

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Day in the Life

I'm back today with another "A Day In The Life" posts. I decided I wanted to do these quarterly to really see how our lives change throughout the year. I love reading other posts just like this, maybe it's because I'm naturally curious, or nosey! Hopefully you enjoy reading these kinds of posts as well :) You can see all of my "A Day in the Life" posts here.  Noah is now in school 3 mornings a week and has swim another morning.  So each week, we have one day with no regularly scheduled obligations.  Here's how we typically spend our "free" Tuesdays.  

Today is Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Chris is 38, I am 32, and Noah is ALMOST 4 years old.

7am... Noah wakes up.  Since we still co-sleep, we wake up in the same bed and like to start our mornings slowly.  He immediately asks if Daddy is home.  Unfortunately daddy's long gone by the time Noah wakes up since he leaves by 6am to catch the train to NYC.  I let Noah have some time watching his iPad while I scroll through emails, social media, and a few blogs.  We also make sure to fit in some morning snuggles and take a trip to the bathroom before getting up for good.  

8 am... we are up and out of bed.  On Tuesdays, I change the sheets and wash the bedding.  Noah loves helping me strip both beds by pretending to be a bulldozer and pushing the sheets to the floor.  I throw one of the sets into the washing machine.  

8:45... since Noah doesn't have school on Tuesdays, we tend to take our time in the mornings.  Staying in pajamas and watching a show or two while we drink our breakfast smoothies.  

9 am... Noah is pretty good at playing while watching TV, so I really don't mind having it on in the background.  And Daniel Tiger is always good in my book.  Since Noah is entertained, I take the opportunity to iron Chris' shirts for the week.  

9:45... The first set of sheets are done, so I switch them to the dryer and ask Noah if he wants to help put his sheets in the washing machine.  It's hit or miss whether he wants to help or has no interest.  But I like to play it safe and ask, because he's been known to get upset cause he thinks I should have known that that particular time he wanted to help.  

^^^ still rocking the mismatched Hanna PJs and bringing his stool anywhere there's help needed!

10:30... I've started showering more at night so that I can get ready faster in the morning.  I let Noah watch one more show while I head upstairs to get dressed, curl my hair, and put some makeup on.  A quick photo of my outfit and I'm ready to go!  

11am... After getting Noah dressed, we head out to meet my mom at the mall.  Noah fell asleep on the way there, but he happily woke up when we get there.  Before meeting my mom, we headed over to Crate and Barrel to replace a dinner plate I recently dropped on the floor.  Then we met my mom at the fountain to let Noah throw in countless pennies.  For about 50 cents to a dollar, Noah is happy as a clam.  Let's just say that this is much cheaper than rewarding him with a toy when we go to Target!  

12:15... we have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  While we wait for our food to come, Noah introduces Grandma to his new favorite YouTube show, "Bernard the Polar Bear".  After lunch, I did a return at Loft and replaced some makeup I was just about to run out of.    I could tell Noah was getting tired, because despite having the stroller, he wanted me to carry him so he could play with my hair.  My mom and I were commenting that he'd most likely fall asleep on the way home, to which he quickly responded, "Yup!".  

2:15... And yes, he fell asleep as soon as we got in the car and stayed asleep for the transfer.  I didn't really want him to take a super long nap, so I put him on the couch and then proceeded to do work on my laptop and watch Dancing with the Stars sitting right next to him. I guess he was tired, because despite going about my business, he still slept until 4pm.  Isn't it funny how when we want our kids to nap and we tiptoe around them, they seem to wake up with the slightest noise. 

4pm... When Noah woke up from his nap, I tried to convince him to go for a walk with me or at least go ride his bike.  He wasn't interested and instead chose to play with his toys inside.  

5:45... I made pasta for dinner.  I had it with meat sauce while Noah ate it plain.  I put the leftovers away so Chris could have some when he got home.  

7pm... Chris is finally home, and Noah bugs him the entire time he's eating his dinner to help him do this dinosaur sticker book.  I help him while he waits for daddy, but as soon as Chris is done, Noah wants nothing to do with me.  

Since Noah napped, I let the boys play for longer than usual.  Then it was time for a bath.  When Chris is home, this is there time.  I edited my photos from the day and did some work on my computer.  I then step in to get his pajamas on and teeth brushed.  We read a few books and then say goodnight to daddy.  I can't remember exactly what time Noah fell asleep, but I'm thinking it was around 9:30.  Not ideal considering he had school the next day, but this is pretty normal when he naps.  I'm pretty exhausted, so I go to bed shortly after.  

So there you have it, a pretty typical day when we don't have anywhere we have to be. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Halloween on Sesame Street

While we've gone to Sesame Place multiple times (this summer and last), this was the first time we've gone for "The Count's Halloween Spooktacular". Not only was it fun to see the park decorated for Halloween and the characters in costume, but it was a nice change of pace to go when it wasn't super hot!   I also love it when we get to go with Chris.  It's always fun doing things as a family, but it's also great to have a second set of eyes on Noah and it means I can take and be in more photos :)

When we go in the summer, we usually spend a good chunk of time on the water rides.  Since they were obviously closed, our agenda was a little different this time.  Where the water slides are located, they had a hay maze set up that ended with finding Abby.  They also had little trick or treat stands set up throughout the park with workers handing out treats like pretzels and juice boxes.    

^^^ we always let Noah pick out a little stuffed animal (or other souvenir) from the gift shop whenever we go.  Usually we do it at the end, but this time he wanted to get it at the beginning of our visit.  This time he chose Ernie and was having fun showing him all over the park.  

This visit, we had made plans to meet up with some of our family friends.  We got there a little earlier than they did, so we ended up doing the maze on our own.  When they arrived, they told us that people were lining up right outside the gates for the hayride.  We went out to meet them, and while we didn't make it on the first two tractors, we were first in line for the next round of rides.  At first we were bummed that we missed that second tractor, but then we realized we were really lucky, because it meant we got first dibs on seats when it was our turn.  As a result, we got to sit next to Ernie for the entire hayride.  What a happy coincidence that Noah had just picked out Ernie at the gift shop! 

After the hayride we explored the park a little bit more and then headed to lunch.  We had reserved a table at "Zoe's Monster Mash Party" where we had a buffet lunch, followed by photos and a dance party with some of the characters!  While the food isn't anything special, the kids love it.  I definitely preferred the time we went in the summer though, because it was way less crowded.  But because the park is only open on the weekends in the Fall, it was at full capacity.

After lunch, we met some more characters and went on some rides.  Noah isn't the bravest when it comes to rides, but he was a little better this time.  There's a ride called Elmo's Flying Fish where you can control if it goes up high or if you just stay down low the entire time it goes around and around.  Usually he is adamant to stay at the bottom, but this time I was able to talk him into going up high!

We ended our visit with the guys taking the boys into this netted climbing gym.  My friend and I stayed outside with her younger daughter.  We got to chat for quite a while since the boys were having so much fun and didn't want to leave.  I think it's safe to say that it tired them out, because Noah fell asleep almost immediately in the car!

Who's your favorite Sesame Street character?

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