The Adventure Starts Here

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Monthly Goals | Versatile Blogger Award

Happy December!  It's up for debate whether the holiday season started as soon as Thanksgiving dinner was over or if it's today, December 1st.  I'll let you guys decide :)  Since this month has enough going on, I decided not to set 5 goals for myself for the month of December.  I figure I will be busy enough getting ready for Christmas and doing all of our Christmas Countdowns/Advents.  So my main goal is to just enjoy the holiday season, avoid stressing out, and hopefully not get sick ;)  Here's a recap on how I did with my November Goals...

Go through Noah's clothes and toys
I donated a lot of Noah's "baby" toys to his preschool.  They have a baby-sitting room and will take basically anything other than stuffed animals.  I did go through a lot of Noah's clothes, but haven't donated them yet.  I have a box I'd love to send to a friend of ours that has a boy one year younger, but I haven't packaged it up yet.  I have a feeling this will be an ongoing project for the new year.  

Make a birthday slideshow for my niece
Done and everyone loved it :)

Photograph my daily outfits
I missed a few random days, but in general I think it really helped.  While my outfits remained to be comfortable and practical for my lifestyle, the thought of taking and posting a picture of my outfit reminded me to actually get dressed in the morning and put more thought into what I chose.   

Go on a date with Chris
Done :)  This almost didn't happen since Chris wasn't feeling 100% the night we had planned to go, but we persevered and had a great time.  

Start planning for Christmas
I consider this goal met.  I planned out our advent calendar and other Christmas countdowns.  I made a list of all the gifts we need to buy and even purchased and wrapped a few of them.   I still have more to do, but at least I have a plan that just needs to be executed :) 


While I don't have any new goals to share with you this month, I do have 7 random facts about me :)   Why you may ask?  Because two of my favorite bloggers (Whitney and Crystal), turned friends, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  I personally love reading posts like this where I can learn new random factoids about my blogging friends, and I hope you do to :)

The rules of accepting this award are simple -- a) thank the person who nominated you b) link back to their blog c) share 7 facts about yourself and d) nominate up to 15 other bloggers.

1.  I was born in England, lived in Canada until I was in kindergarten, and moved to the US when I was 6.  We lived in Delaware for 4 years and then moved to New Jersey, where I've lived ever since.  Since we moved quite a bit as a child, it still surprises me that I've lived in one state (and town) for over 20 years now.  

2.  I am not a good sleeper and never have been.  I'm such a scaredy cat that I don't like the dark and any little noise freaks me out.  While I never had them as a young child (when they normally present), I had night terrors throughout high school and college and even a few random episodes as an adult (when stress is high).  I've also been known to sleep walk and almost walked out the front door as a teenager.  While Noah isn't the best sleeper (he prefers co-sleeping), I will consider myself lucky if he doesn't inherit my sleeping issues.  

3.  Being a mom is the only thing I've ever really wanted in life.  But if that wasn't my dream, I would spend my time and money traveling the world.  I know that having children doesn't make this impossible, but it would be easier to do without the added responsibility and more money ;)  

4.  I went to school to become an accountant, worked as an auditor for 6 years, and even got my CPA license.  While my career was all business, I've always had a passion for a more creative outlet.  Hence why I started the blog and have been working on my photography.  I also love to decorate interior spaces, especially around the holidays.  

5.  I am addicted to crime shows.  While I don't like things that are too scary, I love trying to solve the cases right along with them.  My current favorites are Castle, Elementary, Minority Report, and Blindspot.  

6.  I used to be a paper and pen person.  I had a pretty planner in college that I kept everything in.  Now I rely completely on my iPhone.  I put everything into my calendar and my notes.  Sometimes I worry I rely too much on technology, but honestly it's one of the few things I always have on me.  

7.  If I could only eat one type of food at every meal, it would easily be cheese.  I love it and honestly wouldn't mind eating it any time of the day.  And apparently Noah has inherited this same love ;)

And now for my nominations:
Erin @ Hello Erin
Megan @ Willow Way

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Recap | Christmas Pajama Party Announcement

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is officially upon us!  But before I start talking about everything Christmas, I want to do a little recap about our Thanksgiving.  This year, we spent the holiday with Chris' family.  We went over to his parents' house around 12 and spent the entire day eating, playing, and enjoying each other's company.  We lucked out and had absolutely gorgeous weather!  This year it was sunny and in the mid 60s, while last year there was snow on the ground!  You really never know what you'll get on Thanksgiving on the East Coast!  

"Dinner" was served around 2:30, so while we waited, Noah snacked on some peppers while dressed as a train conductor.  Just a day or two before Thanksgiving, he found the hat and scarf in his dress up box and became obsessed with it.  He wore it all day Wednesday and even napped in it!  I was just glad we got it off for our group picture and he didn't ask to put it back on for dinner ;)

Noah is usually the only kid, so he was super happy that there was a 6 year old boy joining us this year.  Noah followed him around almost the entire time and loved copying everything he did!  I was shocked that they weren't hungrier after playing catch and running all over the backyard!  

Then it was time for the main meal!  All the food was delicious, but the kids decided bread was their favorite and barely picked at the rest of the meal.  My personal favorite was the mozzarella and the ziti (I guess I prefer the non-traditional thanksgiving food) :)  I brought way too much of these potatoes and ended up bringing most of it home!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving just as we did!  While we aren't big Black Friday shoppers, we did get a few things online and spent the rest of our time making our house ready for Christmas!  Almost all of the decorations are up and I'm loving the way our house looks right now!

Now that we are all decorated for Christmas, I'm so excited to jump right in with all the festive activities.  I personally plan to wear lots of buffalo plaid, dress Noah in multiple Christmas t-shirts, and have him wear Christmas jammies every night until Christmas!  I'm sure many of you have at least one pair of Christmas pajamas for your little ones... and we'd love for you to share them with us!  On Thursday, December 17th, some of my blogging friends and I are hosting a fun Christmas Pajama Party Link-up!  Make sure to grab the image above, link-up your Christmas PJ posts, and tag any photos you share on social media with #CHRISTMASJAMPARTY15 :)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mama & Noah Currently

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.   I plan to do a full recap on Monday, but in the meantime, enjoy my monthly "Mama & Noah Currently"!

Instead of doing monthly updates with all of Noah's stats, I decided to share some things that we are into each month.  You can check out November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015, and October 2015.

This is what we've been up to in November 2015...


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies | Picture of a Turkey!


Ankle boots | Lots of hats (hat, hat)

Listening To

Adele (it got me through some boring ironing) | Christmas Music

Working on

Personalized Calendars as Christmas gifts | Numbers


What have you been up to this month?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to stop by really quickly and wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!  We will be spending the day at Chris' parents' house and eating way too much food :)  I will also be reminiscing about how little Noah was on his first Thanksgiving, at only 3 weeks old, and how much he's grown since then!

I bought the shirt at Old Navy and had our friend print it

Thanksgiving - 2014, 2013, 2012
(before Noah) 2011, 2010


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don't Get Caught Without | #HostingHacks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HostingHacks #CollectiveBias

While we don't have any overnight guests planned this Christmas season, we do have many holiday get togethers planned.  And I have a feeling that there will be some last minute guests and parties as we get closer to Christmas.  This time is busy enough as it is, so I'd hate to have to run to the store last minute when I could stock up on a few essentials ahead of time instead.  That's where Costco saves the day!

When we moved into our house, one of the first things we did was head over to Costco and get a membership!  Both of our parents already had memberships and we knew that we loved many of their products.  And since we finally had some space to stock up on certain items, we knew we'd be doing a lot of shopping there!  It just makes sense to get your cleaning supplies and paper products there.  You don't have to shop as often for them (since they sell them in larger quantities) and you really can't beat the price.  We also love their Kirkland food items.  Some of our favorites are the chocolate covered almonds, guacamole, spinach artichoke dip, and organic corn chips.  And it's always fun to peruse their books, toys, and gifts they have... it truly is a one stop shopping experience!

Other than making sure I have a stocked cleaning closet and pantry, here are the ten steps I take to get ready for last minute guests.  To be fair, this is what I do if I get at least an hour's notice.  You're on your own if someone shows up at your doorstep unannounced ;)

1. Scramble to pick up all of Noah's toys so I can see the carpet and vacuum up all the crumbs.

2. Swiffer the floors while Noah either follows me around or starts playing with the toys I just cleaned up.  Or sometimes I even put him to work ;)

3. Quickly use the Swiffer duster on any flat surfaces. This is not the time to dust the frames and knick knacks... save that for a day when I actually have time, or just continue to put it off ;) 

4. Wipe down all the surfaces in the bathroom and hide Noah's toilet seat. The seat he sometimes sits on but rarely does anything while on!

5. Spray some Febreze Air Effects in the bathroom, and anywhere else that doesn't smell yummy.  My personal favorite is the Cranberry Cheer!  Might as well leave the spray bottle out for guests, just in case ;)

6. Clean off the kitchen counters. Anything that doesn't have a home, gets thrown in the laundry room.  Close the door and walk away... you can deal with it tomorrow, or next week!

7. Take out the cheese and crackers, that Noah asks to eat at least five times a week, and put on a pretty holiday platter. 

8. Get the wine and Kirkland chocolate covered almonds (also from Costco) ready and try not to eat/drink it all before my guests arrive!

9. Put on a Christmas music play list while cleaning up the toys one last time!   Take out a few baby toys, some crayons and coloring books if other kids will be joining us.  It's easier to chat with our friends if the kids are entertained/distracted!

10. Hopefully I showered in the last 24 hours! If not, put extra deodorant and dry shampoo on and a spritz of perfume.  Put on some makeup, brush my teeth, and get dressed as I hear the door bell ring! 

And finally, enjoy the company of my guests!!!

How do you make sure you are always prepared for last minute guests?  What items do you make sure you "Don't Get Caught Without"? 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Guy Behind the Blog - November Edition

In hopes to share some more random information about Chris, I'm back today for The Guys Behind the Blog link-up.  And I have to say that these are Chris' favorite questions so far!  Ask a guy his opinions on sports and he will talk for days!

1. What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?

I played nearly every sport possible when I was younger. Baseball ages 4-13, football ages 9-13, baseball ages 5-12, soccer ages 4-11, golf age 13-on, tennis ages 13-on.

2. If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?

In the ideal Super Bowl, I'd want the New York Giants to face the New York Jets in Miami, Florida. It would be fun to go see the two teams that literally share a stadium compete on the grand stage against each other in the Super Bowl. It would remind me of 2000 when the Mets played the Yankees in the World Series.

3. Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?

I love both the Summer and Winter Olympics, but I prefer the Summer Olympics. I love the track & field, swimming, basketball, tennis, and even gymnastics events. If I could participate in any Olympic sport, I'd have to pick basketball with the Dream Team, back in 1992, or even the present.

4. What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?

My favorite food to eat at a sports party is probably buffalo wings. They're so messy but they taste so good!

5. Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?

My favorite all-time athlete is probably Mike Piazza. He was picked in the 62nd round of the baseball draft back in 1992 (the 1,390th pick!) and it was basically as a favor because his dad knew the Dodgers coach Tommy Lasorda and asked him to select his son. He went on to become one of the 5 best catchers in history. He ended up being traded to the NY Mets in 1998 and becoming a huge fan favorite and the face of the Mets for years. I was a catcher back when I was younger so I always liked watching and rooting for catchers.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Monday!  It was super nice to be home this weekend.  Chris was working late all week, so we were extra excited to have him home for a few days!  It was a nice combination of staying busy with activities while also having some time just hanging out at home :)

We "started" our weekend a little early by bringing up some of our Christmas decorations on Friday afternoon.  Noah was so excited that he was getting his own tree this year!  Last year, we had this tree in our dining room, but this year I asked Noah if he wanted it in his room instead.  He's in love with it and couldn't wait to put it up and put ornaments on it!  I offered the felt ornaments we bought last year (for the bottom of the tree so Noah couldn't break them), but he said he wanted "real ornaments".  We compromised on some plastic Thomas the Train and Jake ornaments and some wooden toy soldier ornaments I had just picked up at Home Goods.  While Noah really wants a star for his tree, the Santa is holding it's place for the time being.  

And I totally think I confused Noah by letting him decorate so early.  Right after we finished his tree, he said he wanted to go to sleep (it was only 4 pm).  I asked why, and he said so that Santa would come and bring him his presents!  The rest of the afternoon he kept asking me if Santa was coming over, telling me he loved him.  The first thing he said when he woke up Saturday was "Did Santa come?".  Thankfully he stopped after that, but I think I win the award for confusing a 3 year old!

Back to Friday night... not only did Chris not have to work late (he was getting home after 9 every day this week and hadn't seen Noah), he actually got home early!  He got home at 6:15 (30 minutes earlier than normal) and Noah was so excited to play with him!  I guess all the recent birthdays (Noah, his cousins, both of my parents, and 4 of his friends at school) has rubbed off on him, because this week he was really into "playing birthday".  He has me wrap one of his toys as the present and then he puts a bunch of cupcakes and cookies out in the chair where the birthday person also sits for us to sing happy birthday.  We had already celebrated my birthday (which isn't until March), my mom's birthday (which just passed), and it was now Chris' turn.  I couldn't get over how cute it was... Noah kept saying it was "Dada's birthday" and he was going to yell "Surprise!" when he got home.  So far, 3 is a pretty fun age!

Noah's pajamas

Originally, we had planned to take Noah to the Peanuts movie on Saturday at 11 am.  But Friday night, we saw that the only seats left were the first two rows.  We decided instead to take him Sunday afternoon instead and just take Saturday morning easy.  Noah stayed in his PJs much longer than he usually does and even wore them out!  Here's a little backstory... Chris has wanted a remote starter for his car ever since last Christmas when he started driving to the train station.  He leaves super early and doesn't give himself much time to get ready in the morning.  He hates wasting a few extra minutes waiting for his car to warm up and the windshield to defrost.  He decided this was going to be his Christmas gift (and possibly birthday gift as well) and just needed to find the time to bring it in to the shop.  Since we now had a free morning, he called the shop to see when he could get an appointment, and they told him to bring it right in!  So off we went, with Noah still in his pajamas :)

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  Lots of hanging out at the house just playing while Chris worked on the leaves outside.  In the evening, my mom came over to watch Noah so Chris and I could go out on a date.  We hadn't been out just the two of us since our anniversary about 3 months ago.  We had a gift card to one of our favorite restaurants in our old town, so we went there and it was delicious!

shirt | jeans | boots | scarf (old)

On Sunday, we had a 1st birthday party in the morning.  It was Winnie the Pooh themed and everything was just so cute and perfect!  There were only a few other kids there, but it didn't bother Noah.  He had fun playing in the playroom and eating a few too many of the desserts :)

the birthday boy's grandpa made him that sensory wall... it was so cool!

Noah's shirt | my shirt

Noah fell asleep on the way home from the party.  I moved him to the couch when we got home hoping he wouldn't sleep too long.  After he was asleep for about an hour, we needed to leave for the Peanuts movie.  So I turned him over to get him changed and he naturally woke up.  He wasn't upset, but definitely clingy.  I was able to get him changed and into the car, where he fell asleep again!  I was getting a little nervous that this would mean disaster in the theater, but he woke up as soon as we parked and was so excited when we told him we were at the theater!  He was so excited to go see his first movie... everything from handing his ticket in, getting popcorn, and finding our seats.  There were too many previews, but he was incredibly patient.  Halfway through the movie he started moving a little in his seat and playing with the recline buttons, but in the grand scheme of things he did amazingly well!

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