The Adventure Starts Here: January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday!  We spent the week recovering from the blizzard and getting back to our normal routine.  I've been wearing my snow boots all week, not to play in the snow, but simply because so many of the parking lots are covered in slush!  This weekend we have a few fun things planned but also hope to relax a bit too.  Today I wanted to share a few things that we are loving at the moment!  From snow days, to favorite toys, and some new items we've picked up!  

One

Noah is a huge fan of doing puzzles.  Not only does he love them, but he's actually remarkably good at them too.  I am pretty good at puzzles too and loved doing them as a child (and still do now... I just wish I had more time and a clear table to do them).  Many mornings, when I ask Noah what he wants to do, he says he wants to do ALL his puzzles... and we have a lot of them.  It used to be that he'd want/need me to help him a little, but now he's gotten so good at them that he can basically do a whole 48 piece puzzle all on his own!  I'm hoping that when he's a little older we can do those massive thousand piece puzzles together :)


Two

I love that stores now carry bathing suits almost year round.  Noah has swim school from September-June and then we have the neighborhood pool for the summer.  But this winter, we are also escaping the cold and taking a tropical vacation... to Turks & Caicos!  I'm beyond and excited and had a lot of fun ordering Noah a few new swim suits.  While I got a few on sale, I did order him this one (thanks Grandma!) from Hanna Andersson.  I gave Noah a few choices and he chose the pirate ship trunks :)  I also got him another swim hat.  This is the third year we've bought him one and I love that they come out with a different color every year.  His hat from last year still fits, but this way there's a greater chance one will match his swim suit.  I love this hat because it's totally waterproof (same material as a rash guard) and covers every bit of his ears and neck from the sun.  Best part is, since Noah loves hats, he has no issue keeping it on!  If you do plan to get one, I'd order it now... they usually sell out fast online!


Three

Noah had his first "snow day" this week.  Noah's preschool follows the public school for closings and since our town is still recovering from the 30 inches of snow, school was closed Monday and Tuesday.  We took advantage of our morning off and baked some muffins and went out to lunch and ice cream with Grandma!  My mom then watched Noah so I could get my hair colored and cut :)  I have to say, I'm a fan of snow days!


^^^ Noah found the box of paper bag animal puppets and asked to make the cow.  It was so cute watching him "moo"!

Four

Noah is a huge fan of Paw Patrol.  I think it's safe to say we watch the show every day and have almost every toy they have come out with.  Today they have a new episode airing debuting a Paw Patrol Plane!  Noah is very excited for it!  And I have to say that this franchise is very smart... they keep coming out with new gadgets, vehicles, and even new characters in the show, which then creates even more merchandise to sell.  And leave it to Chris to find the plane for sale on Target and order it before it sells out.  You can also find it on Amazon and Toys R Us, but when we looked, Target was the cheapest.  I also laugh, cause one day Chris will say we need to cool it on the toys for Noah, and the next day he's sending me a link with the newest and coolest toy saying we have to get it for him.  I love that he gets so excited for these things!  


Five

I just picked up this new eye shadow palette and I'm in love!  I have worn and loved Bare Minerals for a while now and I'm loving this combination of neutral eye shadows.  Depending on what I'm wearing, I'll go with either the gray (on the left) or brown (on the right) shades and I like them both equally as much :)

eye shadow palette

Have a fantastic weekend!

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, January 28, 2016

Toddler Crafts | Snowflakes and Mittens

Today I'm sharing two winter themed crafts I recently did with Noah.  Even though he creates a lot of artwork at school, he's still eager and excited to do art projects with me at home as well.  He's always asking for crayons and paper so he can draw me pictures.  He will draw something and then ask me what it looks like.  Usually, he tells me my guess is wrong, but he doesn't know what it is either!  I guess he's checking to see if he likes my answer ;)


For these two projects, I brought out the paint.  While we love using watercolors, I just recently restocked our supply of tempura paint.  I started out with the multi packs of 2 oz bottles.  Once I knew that we'd be painting for many months/years to come, I decided to upgrade and buy the set of 16 oz bottles.  I also prefer that I can squeeze the paint out of the bottles and be more precise with how much I give Noah for each project.  


The first craft I want to share with you is a tape resist snowflake painting.  I'm a huge fan of these types of projects because it lets you have some control with the end result while letting your child have free reign and control when painting.  When I was in Michaels the other day, I saw that they had a deal on blank canvases.  They had a package of seven 11x14s for $12.99.  I immediately grabbed it and started thinking of all the different projects we could make!  For this craft, I used washi tape to mark my snowflake.  I often use painter's tape, but this time I wanted thinner lines.  I then gave Noah dark blue, light blue, and white paint and told him to cover "all the white".  I found it was best to use the blue paints first and then use the white paint to add some variety and dimension to it at the end.  But in reality I just let Noah do what he wanted.  

^^^ so many people ask me about his smock... here's the link!

Once he was finished, we let it dry, and later that night I removed the tape.  He was so excited to see the finish product and we even hung it up in a soon to be (hopefully) completed gallery wall in his basement playroom.  I hope to have him create seasonal canvases so I can switch up the gallery wall every month or two :)

^^^ as you can tell, I totally freehanded the snowflake.  It clearly isn't symmetrical or perfect, but every snowflake is supposed to be unique, right!?!

Here's another super simple craft.  For this one I used some Crayola finger paint to make some Noah handprints.  My number one tip whenever doing anything involving hand or footprints is to have wipes on the ready to clean your child's hand or foot off.  I would recommend washing them in the sink as well, but at least the wipe will prevent them from getting your furniture or clothes dirty on the way to the sink.  After the paint was dry, I simple drew a mitten around each of the hands, cut them out, and then wrote his name and year on each of the mittens.  Super simple craft that I know I will look back fondly on and marvel at how small his hand was at 3!  



While we are on the topic of paint, I decided to do a little reorganization when we got the 16 oz bottles.  I got this cool stackable clear box (that I can carry to the table) at Target to hold his paint brushes, watercolor and finger paints, and smocks.  I then used this open basket (also from Target) to hold all his large tempura paint bottles.  Now whenever we are doing a project I just grab whatever colors we will be using and squirt the paint onto a paper plate.  I'm loving this new corner in my kitchen closet.  


*may contain affiliate links

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Guys Behind the Blog | January 2016

I'm back again today with another installment of "The Guys Behind the Blog".  This month, Betsy decided to mix things up a bit and have the guys do kind of a "currently" post, like so many bloggers do.  I did have to explain to Chris that the answers did not have to reflect what he's doing right at this exact moment, but once he knew what was expected, he did really well (in my opinion)!  I really like this new format and I enjoyed reading all of his answers!  


Watching: Goldbergs, Superstore, and Shark Tank
Reading: only business/finance/car magazines lately
Listening to: podcasts... mostly Adam Carolla, Jim Florentine, and Clark Howard
Dreaming of: Turks & Caicos vacation
Eating: grilled chicken and pasta
Learning: a new computer system at work that should make parts of my job easier
Wishing: I had a 3 day weekend every weekend
Obsessed with: my Tivo app on my iPhone so I can watch a ton of tv shows on the train
Loving: Noah taking some occasional naps so he wants to play with me until pretty late a few nights a week
Planning: some long weekend trips in 2016

And as much as we all love reading all about the "guys behind the blog", don't forget about our new series "The Kids Behind the Blog"!  We will have our first linkup on Wednesday, February 10th and we would love for you all mama bloggers to participate.  You can read all the details here.  #TheKidsBehindTheBlog 


And since Chris shared what he's been up to, I also wanted to share some books that I've been reading  this month.  One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to read one book a month.  I started reading "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio right away and I finished it in under a week.  Even though it's technically considered YA, I really enjoyed it (who am I kidding, I love most YA literature!).  I think it shares an important lesson we could all learn, not to judge a book by its cover.  It was sweet, funny, and even had me in tears at parts.  I would definitely recommend reading it!  


Since I didn't see the point in waiting until February (since I said one book a month) to start another book, I dove right into another friend's recommendation, "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Samson.   It's about a very scientific man (reminded me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory) who has a hard time dating and decides to create a survey for potential dates to see if they'd make a suitable wife.  His plan is thrown for a loop when he meets Rosie, who doesn't meet any of his criteria.  I really liked this story, even if it has a predictable "love story".  Another quick read that I recommend :)  

I'm linking up with Stephanie's "Reading Wednesday" and can't wait to see what books I should read next!  


What have you been up to this month?  Read any good books that I should add to my "must read" list?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stitch Fix #4 | January 2016

On Friday afternoon, right before the blizzard hit the East Coast, I got my Stitch Fix box delivered to my doorstep.  I was actually very surprised it arrived since the tracking email estimated a Monday delivery.  I quickly tried on the pieces on Friday night, texted a few photos to my mom and a friend, then spent the night thinking about what I was going to keep.  Saturday morning, I tried everything on again, this time with the correct jeans and jewelry, and photographed them all.  I definitely find this helps because it helps me see how each item will actually look when I go to wear them.  Sometimes the pieces look better in person, and other times they actually look better on camera.  After a few more texts to family and friends, I decided what to keep and what to send back.  

Overall, I thought this was a pretty decent shipment.  While there were some misses, there were a few pieces that kept me debating whether to keep or send back... I guess that's a good sign! 

Le Lis - Sutherlin Contrast Print Knit Top (Size Large) - $54


I liked this top as soon as I pulled it out of the box.  Part of the reason I love Stitch Fix is getting pieces I wouldn't normally find in the store.  So for that reason, I really liked the combination of the stripe with the floral.  While I wouldn't be able to wear it until Spring, I think I'd get a lot of use from this top.  But then I sent Chris the photo and he said it looked like something someone older would wear... not something you want to hear from your husband!  But a good friend said she really liked this top.  I was seriously questioning my style and couldn't decide who to trust more... a friend or my husband?!  In the end I decided to send it back... who knows if I will end up regretting it.  


41Hawthorn - Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan (Size Large) - $48

necklacejeans | navy top (TJ Maxx)

I'm a sucker for a well fitting cardigan.  I loved the style of this one... it was flowy and covered by butt.  The only thing I wasn't sure about was the color.  I don't usually wear burnt orange (not sure why) and I kind of viewed the color more for the fall than winter into spring.  It's funny cause every time I sent someone the picture of me wearing this, they thought it was a different color.  At first my mom thought it was maroon and then Chris thought it was red.  Regardless of the color, I really love how this cardigan looks on me and I can see wearing it in my everyday life... ahh the decisions!  After getting some feedback from family and friends, this seemed to be the favorite... and I ended up keeping it!  


41Hatwthorn - Meryl Tulip Print Sleeveless Blouse (Size Large) - $54

  

I found it odd that my stylist sent me a sleeveless top in January.  And to make it even more ironic, I tried these on during the huge blizzard we got this past weekend.  Regardless, I did like the top and the print.  However, while I wouldn't have minded a little extra length, it was already too big in the armhole.  I wore a black camisole underneath which made it less obvious, but in the right photo below, you can see that the armhole hangs a little too low.  Since I'm trying to be pickier in what I buy, this had to go back.


Next up are the pieces I didn't like.  

Kut From the Kloth - Danny Knit Pant (Size 10) - $68

So these pants... they are definitely a skinny cut, but were super comfy regardless.  My main issue was how long they were!  And I'm 5'6", I can't imagine what these would be like on a shorter person!  And since it's a skinny cut with a tapered ankle, wearing heels wouldn't even help.  And it looked silly when pulled up because it just created a ton of bunching around my ankle. 


Le Lis - Leavy Lace Sleeve Knit Top (Size Large) - $38

The sweater was cool in theory, but the sleeves aren't just a different print.  They are a see-through lace material.  While I'm usually a fan of lace, this material just felt cheap, I guess that's why it's "only $38".  It actually photographed way better than I think it looks in person.  The sweater and the pants obviously went back. 

jeans (that actually fit) | necklace

As always, if you are interested in signing up for Stitch Fix, I would really appreciate it if you used my referral link!

What do you think?  Do you like the pieces I got?  Did I make the right decisions?


Monday, January 25, 2016

A Super Snow Filled Weekend!

This weekend, the east coast was hit with the biggest blizzard we've had in a long time!  The forecasted ranges seemed to be all over the place, and honestly I thought it was a lot of hype and didn't expect to get that much.  Boy was I wrong!  We went to bed Friday night, Noah in his snow plow pajamas, hoping to wake up to snow.  We woke up Saturday morning, and we definitely got some snow!  It snowed ALL DAY Saturday and according to the official measurements, we got almost 27 inches.  



All of our plans were obviously cancelled.  We spent the day at home, with Chris going out three separate times to clear off our driveway and car.  He figured it would be easier to go out multiple times than to shovel over 2 feet of snow at the end of it.  I'm just glad we cleaned out the garage so that at least one car was safe and clean!  While Chris took care of the snow, I spent the day inside with Noah.  We played, we baked, and I even organized our pantry!  



It was still snowing when we went to sleep Saturday night, but thankfully it had stopped by the time we woke up.  We had purposefully decided against taking Noah out in the snow on Saturday.  It was super cloudy, cold, and windy.  And I don't know about you, but I don't particularly like playing in the snow when it's flying into my face nonstop!  I'm so glad we did this, because it was absolutely gorgeous to play in on Sunday.  It was sunny and not as cold as it could be, considering the amount of snow.  We went out for about an hour in the morning and then back out in the afternoon.  The snow either wasn't good for making snowballs or snowmen, or we just stink at it.  Good new is Noah had fun just walking around and digging holes.  We tried to get him to go sledding down the miniature hill in our backyard, but wasn't really interested in it.  I did talk him into going down one time with me, and while he said "that was fun" at the end, he didn't want to go again.  











^^^ I made a little chair for me to sit on while the boys played :)

^^^ the boys only club, no girls allowed!  

^^^ we came inside to warm up.  Chris and I enjoyed some hot chocolate (mine in my new I heart Mom mug) while Noah had some chocolate milk (he thinks everything is TOO HOT!).  

After warming up all our snow gear in the dryer, we were right back out in the snow.  This time, I was brave and brought out my good camera (Nikon D5500).  I also had to switch coats since I was having trouble zipping up my black one right as we were walking out the door!  



^^^ playfully throwing snow at me, and trying to avoid hitting the camera!




^^^ Noah said some snow got in his coat, so Chris was checking it out :)

^^^ Noah asked Chris to dig him a hole, and kept saying it needed to be "bigger"








While I'm not sure how we are going to get back to our normal lives with this much snow, it really was fun to be completely snowed in this weekend.  I loved reliving my childhood and actually play in the snow with Noah.  And in case the photos weren't enough, here's a video of us out in the snow as well!  And, here's a video that's going viral of some guys snowboarding through the streets of NYC... it's pretty amazing!

Did you get any snow this weekend?  
 
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