The Adventure Starts Here: November 2015

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!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Five

Happy Friday!  This week was interesting.  Just the normal stuff for me and Noah, but Chris is so busy and stressed at work that we barely saw him this week.  I feel so bad for him!  I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend so we can spend some quality time as a family.  We plan to take Noah to see his first movie in the theater... The Peanuts Movie!  We also have a 1 year old birthday party to go to :).  Hope you have a fantastic weekend and enjoy my random Friday Five!


This week, I was in charge of brining the "healthy snack" for Noah's preschool class.  Since Thanksgiving is next week, I decided to make it turkey themed.  I found the printable on Pinterest, but just used the turkey and skipped the "grass".  I cut up a red, yellow, orange, and green pepper and the teacher filled the cups at snack time.  There are 9 kids in Noah's class and all 4 peppers were eaten!  The teacher told me they were a hit and later Noah told me that all the kids kept asking for "more more more" and that his teacher even had an orange pepper :)


This week was also Noah's teacher's birthday.  I sent an email out to the other moms and we decided we'd have each of our kids make a card for her.  Noah had fun making the card, giving it to her, and wishing her a Happy Birthday!  There have been so many birthdays lately that Noah now likes to "play birthday".  He sets up his play cupcakes by the seat where we normally sing happy birthday at our table, and even has me wrap one of his toys up as a present!  It is the cutest thing ever!


Speaking of Noah and movies, we've been watching more movies than normal now that he doesn't take regular naps.  So far we have Toy Story 1 & 3, Madagascar 1-3, The Incredibles, The Lego Movie, Wreck It Ralph, Frozen, and Monsters Inc.  To be honest, he wasn't a fan of the third Madagascar, I liked the Lego Movie more than he did, and he was scared of the beginning of Monsters Inc and asked to turn it off.  So based on that information, what movies should we get next?    Not sure whether we should just get Netflix or keep buying DVDs.  


I guess I slacked off a bit on photographing my outfits this week, because these are the only two that look decent.  


I know I will need to do more organizing after Christmas, but I quickly went through Noah's toys in the basement this week.  I donated a bunch of his "baby" toys to his preschool (they have a babysitting room) and organized the remaining toys into bins and shelves.  It's so nice to be able to see the floor again!  It won't last for long!

I'm linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm for "Oh Hey Friday"!

I'm also linking up with A. Liz Adventures for "Five on Friday".

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving Inspiration & A Recipe

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week!?  While we hosted Canadian Thanksgiving at our house, we will be going to Chris' family's house for the American Turkey Day.  While I don't need to set a table, I can't help but oohing and ahhing over these tablescapes!  While I often gravitate toward more neutral decor, I am absolutely loving some of these rich colors and the use of fresh fruit as part of the decor.  

And while Noah will be the only kid at our Thanksgiving, I love the idea of a kid friendly table where they can color and really enjoy themselves.  

And of course, I had to include a photo (and link) of my table from Canadian Thanksgiving!  

While I won't be hosting or decorating a table for Thanksgiving, I will be bringing a side dish to dinner this year.  I got this recipe from a friend and knew right away it would be the perfect dish to bring!  I can do all the prep at home and then bake it at my in-laws' house right before dinner :)

Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs

1 tbsp butter
4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp plain dry breadcrumbs 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  
Coat a 13X9X2 inch baking dish with 1 tbsp of butter and set aside.  
Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are very tender, about 15 minutes. 
Drain and return the potatoes to the same pot and mash well.
Mix in the milk and melted butter.  Mix in the mozzarella and 3/4 cup of the parmesan.  Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. 
Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking dish.  
Stir the breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan in a small bowl to blend. 
Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mashed potatoes.  
Recipe can be prepared up to this point 6 hours ahead of time.  Cover and chill.
Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 20 minutes. 

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?  I'd love to hear some of your traditional recipes!
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