The Adventure Starts Here: November 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Good bye Movember

Since this is the last day of November, I figured I'd say good bye to it with some cute pictures of Noah.  Movember is a global charity that encourages men to grow a mustache during the month of November to bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancer and men's health in general.   Since Noah can't grow a mustache (he can barely grow hair on the top of his head!), we got him this super cute hat from Gap (no longer available).  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Five on Friday - Thanksgiving Edition

I hope that everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving yesterday.  We spent the day with Chris' family.  Here are some of the highlights of our day!

^^^ we spent the day with Chris' parents, his brother Justin, his Great Aunt Judy and Uncle Bobby, cousin David, and family friend Joanne.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to use today's Five on Friday to list some things that I'm thankful for.  

1.  Noah and Chris.  Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to be a mom.  I babysat from middle school all the way through college.  I've always loved being around babies and kids of all ages.  But nothing compares to being a mom to your own child.  And to top it all off, I get to see Chris be an amazing dad to Noah as well.  Honestly, I don't think it could be any better!

2.  My family.  I really love that I live close to family.  We moved far away from my extended family when I was only 6.  My entire family was in Canada, while my parents and brothers moved all the way to little old Delaware.  As a result, I didn't have that super close relationship with my aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  Not only am I thankful that Noah will have a close relationship with both sets of grandparents, but I really love the relationship that I get to have with my mom... we really are best friends!

^^^ The Freels

^^^ The Flinns

3.  The opportunity to be a stay-at-home-mom.  I am fully aware that in today's world, it is very hard to live on one income.  Chris and I have decided to cut back on certain things (not buying a home at the moment) so that I can stay home with Noah.  And while the days can sometimes be long, I would never give this up in a million years.  The joy that I get from spending my entire day with Noah is priceless.  I am so thankful to Chris for being a hard worker and having a job that allows me to do this.  

4.  Friends.  I have always been the kind of person who has one or two good friends.  I don't know if I'm just not good at balancing a ton of friends, but I really like that the few friendships I have are strong.  I am still close with 2 girls from high school, 3 from college, a few from work, and now I have my new friends through the MOMS club.  While it makes parties interesting (since the groups of friends never really co-mingled), I am so thankful to say that we've kept these relationships going through the years. 

5.  And finally, my health.  Before trying to get pregnant and then being pregnant, I think I really took my health for granted.  In general, I usually feel pretty good on a daily basis.  Yes, I have struggled with migraines, but I dealt with it.  But I have to say that I just felt crummy most days when we were trying to conceive and when I was pregnant.  I almost forgot how it felt to have my body back and not be in pain.  I am very thankful to be feeling good again!

Make sure to check out DarciAprilChristina and Natasha's blogs for their Five on Friday!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to stop by and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!   

This is Noah's 2nd Thanksgiving, but the first Thanksgiving meal he will actually partake in :)   We will be spending the day with Chris' family.  

^^^ looks like this Turkey has already moved onto Christmas ;)

We hope you all have a great thanksgiving!  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Wish List - Women

For the next month, I thought it would be fun to put together some wish lists in preparation for the holiday season.  I'll start off with some ideas for women.  I know when I shop for my mom or friends, I often think if I'd like to get it as a gift... and I definitely wouldn't mind receiving any of these items!

scarf | socks | pajama pants | photography class | bracelet | spa gift card | jewelry stand

First of all, when I think of winter, I think of trying to stay warm and comfortable.  That's why I love getting new scarves, socks, and pajama bottoms.  I love the quality of Gap and that they stay current with the trends.

I already took this photography class, but honestly I can't recommend it enough!  This is how I learned to use my DSLR and I have since taken more classes with Candice through  It's not offered all the time, but the next time it is SIGN UP!

A friend of mine got me an Alex and Ani bracelet for my birthday last year.  I didn't know anything about them at the time, but since then have seen them EVERYWHERE!  I'd really love a few gold ones to add to my collection.  Maybe birthstones for my favorite people and some initials?  The possibilities are endless!   This would be a fabulous gift for any woman on your list because you can customize it to their life and personality!

And if you often buy the woman in your life jewelry, it would help to have a way to store/display it.  Right now my jewelry is hidden away in boxes.  And now that those big statement necklaces are popular, I often have a hard time storing them in traditional jewelry boxes.  I would love to have this stand to display some of my fun pieces and save the jewelry boxes for my "finer" jewelry.

And honestly, if you can't decide what to give a woman, a gift card to a spa is usually a safe bet (except when it comes to my mom).  The link above is to the spa Chris got me a gift card to one Valentine's Day and I loved it!  I definitely wouldn't mind getting another massage there ;)

I'm always interested in hearing what other women want for Christmas... so feel free to add some fun gift ideas in the comments!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Fashion

This year we will be spending Thanksgiving with Chris' family.  We want to look nice, but since eating a lot of food is involved, we also want to be comfortable!  For myself, I like the idea of some stretchy pants and loose sweater, such as a poncho.  For Chris, I know he will stick with his normal button down shirt and some jeans or khakis.  For Noah, I think it would be classic Fall/Thanksgiving for him to wear a rich golden sweater with some dark grey cords!  

pants | poncho | sweater | cords | shirt

What will you be wearing to Thanksgiving Dinner?  Do you keep it casual or get more dressed up?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Noah's First Haircut! (Mommy & Me Monday)

Noah had his FIRST haircut on Saturday.  While Noah really doesn't have any hair up top and in front, it was getting pretty long in the back.  And it didn't have enough curl to bounce up, instead it just looked like he had a lot of bad hair days.  My hairdresser recommended we go to this place in town that specializes in kids' haircuts.  They even have little cars for the kids to sit in!  It only took 5 minutes, and when we were done, they gave us a certificate documenting Noah's First Haircut with a little bag of his hair attached!  (Sorry the pictures aren't that great... we just used our iPhone)

^^^ here you can see how it's short in the back now too 

In addition to the certificate that the hair dresser gave us, we decided to save some of his hair as well.  When Noah was born, we were given these little decorative boxes.  One holds his hospital bracelet, this one holds his first curl, and the last will hold his first tooth.  

I have to admit that I had mixed feelings after it was all over.  While I think he looks so adorable with his shorter hair, it really makes him look like a little boy now instead of a baby.  I will miss stroking his hair when I rock him to sleep.  My baby is officially growing up!

I'm once again linking up with Leah and Emily for Mommy and Me Monday!  

Friday, November 22, 2013

5 on Friday


Chris picked up these super adorable bath toys at Walmart the other day.  He said there was another one that was a stack of wrapped presents, but he liked these better.  While they are technically bath toys, Noah has had more fun playing with them out of the tub so far!  On a side note, this is why we have a hard time finding "gifts" to give for his birthday and Christmas.  As soon as we see something cute that we think Noah will like, we just give it to him!  We should probably start saving some things to wrap or put in his stocking!


The other day, I started singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and Noah started clapping along when I said "Clap Your Hands"!  I was a proud mama and was amazed at how brilliant my baby was :)  Thankfully, it wasn't a one time thing, and I got it on a video when we did it again.  You can also see that he loves to play "Peek-a-boo"!  


I am currently taking this online photography class "Flash of Brilliance" with Candice Stringham to learn how to use an external flash.  I'm loving it so far cause now I can take pictures in low lighting!  And it couldn't have come at a better time since it's getting dark so early now!  Before, once it got dark, I avoided taking pictures with my good camera cause they never looked that great.  While I'm still learning all the tricks, my pictures are so much better.  


I just bought Noah a toddler pillow.  Yes, I know, they aren't supposed to be using a pillow at 1.  But since Noah loves sleeping in our bed and using our pillows, I thought it was worth a shot to see if it would help him sleep in his crib for longer stretches.  And I figure if he doesn't like it, I can just put it in the closet until he's older.  


I can't help but want to address my Christmas card envelopes like this.  Maybe next year, since I already printed out the boring labels with all my addresses.

I'm linking up with Darci, April, Christina and Natasha for Five on Friday!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

December/Christmas Bucket List

With December almost here, I can't help but have Christmas on the brain!  Last year we were just getting used to life with a newborn, so it wasn't a typical holiday season in our little household.  I have so many things that I want to do this year, especially now that Noah is a little older.

1.  Take Noah to see Santa.  A photographer we used in the past is offering a deal where Santa is coming to visit and you get 2 pictures on a CD.  So we plan to do that as well as take Noah to the traditional mall Santa.

2.  Decorate the tree.  We only put up a little (less than 3 feet tall) fake tree in our apartment, but we plan to help my parents' decorate their tree Thanksgiving weekend.

It's nice we are able to help decorate both sets of grandparents' trees!

3.  Hang and stuff stockings.  I actually think this year will be pretty easy to fill Noah's stocking.  Lots of toys and items for 1 year olds are the perfect size for stockings :)

4.  Bake cookies.  Every year I make Angeletti cookies.

5.  Go to the MOMS Club Cookie Exchange.  This will be my first time going to a cookie exchange party, and I have to say I'm really looking forward to it!

6.  Take Noah on the Santa Train!  Not sure what it exactly entails, other than Santa... on a train, but I expect it will be fun.

7.  Send out Christmas Cards and display the ones we receive.  We've already ordered our cards, so we plan to send them right after Thanksgiving.  In previous years we displayed our cards on a card holder we got from Pottery Barn.  But once Noah started crawling, he was drawn to it and tried pulling it down, so we took it off the wall.  This year I think I will clear off my bulletin board and display the cards there.

8.  Decorate the apartment (Noah proof style).  I'm kind of limited in how I can decorate since Noah gets into everything!  I figure I will put my Nativity figurines up high on a shelf, put dishcloths up in the kitchen, and maybe even hang some christmas lights around the apartment where Noah can't reach.  I'm also tempted to make this felt tree for him, though I might not be crafty enough for it!

9.  Make a Christmas Music Playlist to play in the car and around the apartment!

10.  Do a Christmas themed photo shoot with Noah.  I'm thinking Santa hat, Christmas lights, and a tree in the background!

11.  Go to the Rockefeller Tree in NYC!

12.  Buy a read Christmas books.  I'd love to start the tradition of opening a new Christmas book each night to read, but we may have to grow our collection over a few years rather than buying 25 books all this year!

13.  Watch a Christmas movie.  Haven't decided whether to watch Elf, Love Actually, Home Alone, or one of the many other classics.

14.  Get a "Christmas" manicure and pedicure.

15.  Take a Freel family photo wearing the matching red plaid scarves my mom got us.

16.  Have Noah wear Christmas PJs ALL month long!

17.  Plan the MOMS Club Christmas Party :)

18. Make personalized gifts from Noah to give to our family.

19.  Go to the Green in town to see the tree and all the lights.

20.  Shop for a child or family in need.

21.  Act out the nativity with Noah and my niece and nephews... a Freel Family Tradition!

22.  Decorate sugar cookies with my niece and nephews.

23. Watch Elmo's Countdown to Christmas on Christmas Eve!

24.  Make handprint ornaments like these.

25.  Take a "cousins" picture on Christmas Eve in their matching PJs!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday Party Outfits

When I was working outside the house, we always had an annual holiday party that was cocktail attire. I always had a fun time dressing up for a fun night out.  Chris' company has a holiday party, but spouses are not invited.  Even though I don't have a cocktail party to go to this year, it doesn't stop me from "window" shopping.

This year however, I will have a friend's 30th Birthday Party.  Since the party will be at her house, it won't be a really dressy affair.  However, I will still have just as much fun putting together an outfit for the occasion.

shirt | jeans | booties | earrings

After coming up with both outfits, I can tell I'm drawn to black, understated outfits and bringing in some color through my jewelry.  I also picked a dress and shirt that had an interesting neckline... so I didn't really think a necklace was necessary.   What kind of holiday parties do you have this year?  Do you tend to go for black and simple or wear more color?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Craft

With Thanksgiving next week, I thought it would be fun to do a Thanksgiving related craft with Noah.  I found this on Pinterest and thought it would be fun.  

I already had the googly eyes that I bought for a craft that we didn't end up doing.  I went and bought some fall colored paper and some finger paint.   My paint set didn't come with brown or orange, and I was not having an easy time mixing colors... but I'm still happy with how it turned out.  I am so excited to start saving all of Noah's craft projects.  Now I just have to buy this display book like Courtney used for her kids' artwork!

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