The Adventure Starts Here: March 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Guys Behind The Blog | March 2017

Just like I love interviewing Noah every month for The Kids Behind the Blog, I also love hearing from Chris each month.  This month's questions were interesting.  Some of these were kind of hard decisions to make.  I think this was the first time we actually discussed the questions in person instead of me just emailing him the questions.  When we were out for my birthday dinner, I started going through each of the questions and thought it was pretty funny hearing Chris' immediate reactions.  He also got to hear my opinions on the questions too.  I'm thinking we will have to do these interviews in person going forward.  

So here we go... the questions for March:

1 // Would you rather have your dream job and make less money or have a job you hate but make tons of money?

Job I hated but I made tons of money. I'd enjoy myself on weekends with my tons of money! haha

While I think having both is possible, if I had to choose I'd pick the same.  

2 // Would you rather play a hero or a villain in a movie?

I'd rather play a hero in a movie. They're loved by everyone!

I agree, though a villain is probably more fun to act.

3 // Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never be able to speak again?

I'd rather say everything on my mind. A la LIAR LIAR. 

This kind of surprised me because I find Chris is really good at filtering what he says and keeps a lot of his opinions to himself.  I can't imagine him saying everything on his mind!

4 // Would you rather go back in time and meet your ancestors or go into the future to meet your great grandchildren?

I'd like to go into the future and meet my great grandchildren. I'd love to see their flying cars and drones and other wild technology too!

I feel the same way! I think it would be so cool to meet my future great grandchildren.  We can already read stories about our ancestors but have no clue about the future!

5 // Would you rather swim in the Arctic Ocean with nothing but a swim suit (no wet suit) or walk through the desert in the middle of the summer having to wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt?

I'd rather walk in the desert with sweat pants and a sweat shirt. I'd be hot but the question doesn't say anything about being able to drink lots of ice cold water!   

I have to agree!  And I love that he thought of a "loop hole".

6 // Would you rather live like a king but have no friends or family or be homeless with your friends and family?

I'd sadly rather be homeless with friends and family. It would get very boring very quick if you were a king with zero friends and family.

I'm glad this isn't a choice we actually have to make!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Decorating for Easter

With Easter less than a month away, I thought it was time to decorate the house for Easter.  I have to admit it felt a little strange pulling out all my bunnies, eggs, and pastels when there's still snow on the ground.  But I figure why not make it feel more like Spring, even if it's only on the inside.  And the best part is, after Easter is over, I can remove the bunny and egg decorations and still have some really pretty decor perfect for all of Spring.  

Last year I shared how I decorated for Easter, and honestly, most of it is the same.  I added a few new pieces and moved some things around, but the general feeling of it all is the same.  When we first moved into our house I was experimenting with what I liked and was constantly on the search for new decor.  But now I'm pretty happy with what I have and don't feel the need to switch it up every year.  And Chris is thrilled since it means I'm spending less money ;)

When decorating for any holiday, I usually stick with the living room and dining room and add a wreath to the front door.  First up is the living room.  When we lived in an apartment I couldn't wait to have a fireplace.  Not because I wanted to sit by a roaring fire (we have never used this one for it's real purpose), but because I was desperate to decorate a mantel.  And I'm happy to report that I still love switching up my mantel decor based on the holiday/season.  Just like last year, I hung my egg garland, put up my blue candles and pots of fake grass.  But this year, I switched out the vases for these pink ones I got for my birthday last year.  I love how the pinks and blues from the garland are repeated in the candles and vases.  

metal pots and fake grass 
candles (Target) | candlesticks (Home Goods) | garland (old Pottery Barn Kids) | vases (old Crate & Barrel)

Over the years, we've collected quite a few stuffed bunnies.  They really are the perfect addition to an Easter basket.  Many of these are from Pottery Barn Kids, but the Jellycat bunnies are some of my favorite... and softest!  While we don't keep them out year round, I love pulling out these super soft stuffed bunnies (and sheep), and displaying them as some kid friendly "decor".  

As for our dining room, I kept with my favorite decorating formula.  Since we use our table for much more than dining (think game boards, puzzles, and Lego making), I prefer not to "set the table".  Instead, I cover the table with a seasonally appropriate runner and add my new favorite gold tray filled with pretty decorative accessories as well as the necessities, like a box of tissues (cause Noah always seems to have a runny nose when we are in the middle of a game!).  

I've had this bunny candy dish for years and love filling it up each year.  It must be a popular item, because Pottery Barn still carries it at least 6 years later!  I'm actually shocked I haven't picked up any Easter candy yet... I definitely plan to remedy that situation as soon as possible!  And can we talk about this runner!?!  Another gift for my birthday last year that I was so happy to take out this Spring.  I love the delicate material, but my favorite part is definitely the beautiful floral print.  

gold tray | bunny candy dish | runner (old Crate & Barrel)

Another repeat decor item is my cake stand topped with a nest of eggs.  If you'd like to make your own, I shared exactly how I made mine in last year's post.  And if you are extra crafty, you could even paint your own eggs!  

placemats - Ikea | cake stand and bunny - Home Goods

Another piece of decor that I bought last year is this pink wreath.  I knew it had faded when I was putting it away last year, but I didn't realize how much until I compared these photos side by side.  While I love the amount of sunlight our house gets (especially for indoor photography reasons), I have a real problem with fading wreaths.  My boxwood wreath looks so horrible after one year that I am embarrassed to use it again.  While I love how vibrant this pink wreath was when I bought it, at least this one looks like it could have been light pink all along.  I wonder what it will look like by next year!?!

Here's the blinding sun I was talking about...

Do you decorate for Easter???

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

What I've Been Wearing | Mommy Style

I've been making an effort to wear more of my closet.  I found that there are a few pieces that I tend to grab for more often while leaving other pieces virtually unworn.  It's not that I don't like them, I just gravitated towards my newer pieces.  By taking photos of my daily outfits, I had physical proof of what I wear most.  This past month, I separated my closet by things I had already worn (and photographed and shared) from the tops I had yet to wear this winter.  I then made an effort to reach for those neglected pieces first.  It was rather refreshing and felt like I had a new wardrobe!  Just goes to show you that it's nice to wear some of your oldies but goodies!  And if you still don't want to wear them, then it's probably time to donate it.  

Here's what I've been wearing the last few weeks...

School drop off/pick up followed by taking Noah for a hair cut.  

chambray shirtblack jeans | leopard sneakers (old Gap, but these are similar)

Book Club - I love getting a little dressed up, even if it's just a casual book club at someone's house :)  This random February evening was so warm (relatively) and I was able to go out without a coat!  I took advantage of the warmth and swapped my usual boots for my favorite lace up flats!

blouse (old Loft, but this is pretty print for spring) |  jeans | lace up flats | necklace (with tassel)

I dropped Noah off at school and then ran some errands at Target, Costco, and Old Navy!  I was shocked we were blessed with another warm day in February.  Since the temps hit 70, I jumped at the chance to wear short sleeves!  

jeans (only $29!!!) | shirt (Gray Monroe) | sneakers (old Loft) | necklace (with tassel)

4 year old birthday party - The warm weather was short lived and we were back to cold and windy! I shared this outfit here as well as what it looks like with a mustard scarf perfect for Spring!

 jeans | striped shirt (other colors, but love this option)
boots (similar) | earrings (similar) | scarf (old Loft) 

Other than bringing Noah to school, we spent the day at home.  And since the temps were still low, I love how this sweatshirt keeps me warm but makes me feel ready for Spring!

Another day of school drop off.  While we didn't really have any plans, I did go to chapel at Noah's school.  

top (similar) | jeans | necklace (similar)

Swim school, grocery shopping, and then home to do laundry.  I used to wear these Express shirts all the time and was surprised that I hadn't reached for them recently.  I also realize I need to clean my mirror!

shirt (old Express) jeans

My 33rd Birthday!  After dropping Noah off at school, Chris and I went out for breakfast and then to the mall.  That evening we went out to dinner with my parents and enjoyed some cupcakes for dessert.  

sweater (old Limited) | jeans | boots (similar) | necklace (old, but I love this one for spring!)

I kept it super casual in the morning since we were just heading to the mall for another appointment with the Apple Genius Bar.  

shirt (old Express) jeans  

I changed my outfit for a special birthday dinner out with Chris.  Here's another sweater that I've had for years but haven't worn recently.  

sweater (old Limited) | black jeans | booties (old Banana)

After Noah had school, lunch bunch, and art enrichment, we went to do some outlet shopping with my mom.  Back in the fall I shared three ways to style this red gingham shirt.  

Noah was gone the whole morning at school.  Since I was spending the day working on my computer and doing tons of laundry (which you see behind me), I decided to stay comfortable with a tunic and leggings.  

Lou & Grey tunic (current colors, I'm very tempted to get a few more) | ponte leggings

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Give me all the rainbows!

Noah's always been into rainbows.  And who can blame him, rainbows are so pretty!  While we've made our fair share of St. Patrick's Day and rainbow crafts (Fruit Loops Rainbow, Rainbow Pot of Gold, Rainbow Clouds), we couldn't resist making another one this year.  Last week, we grabbed our scissors, glue, and sheets of card stock in all the colors of the rainbow and got to work!  

Back in December, my mom showed Noah how to make those paper chains and he absolutely loved it.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make another paper chain... this time as a rainbow of sorts.  I measured out 2 inch strips onto each color paper and Noah did all the cutting.  As long as Noah takes his time, his cutting skills are top notch.  I then helped him glue each of the strips into rings, connecting them all in rainbow order.  Noah is a pro with the rainbow colors (partly because of Mickey Mouse Club), but this would be a great activity to help your child learn the colors and the order.  Then just to make sure they were secure, I also added a piece of scotch tape.  

Finally, we added a little pot of gold to the end of our rainbow chain.  I freehanded the pot and then used the cap from a bottle of water to trace the gold (yellow) coins.  Noah glued the coins to the pot and then added some gold glitter glue for some extra sparkle.  I cut out a short strip of black card stock in order to attach the pot of gold to the rainbow chain.  

We debated quite a bit on where to hang this chain.  I wanted to hang it in front of our kitchen window, but Noah was adamant that it's in a place that people had to walk through and see.  Since I didn't want taller people running into it, we compromised and hung it in the doorway leading from our living room to the kitchen, but put it towards the side.  I was getting a little frustrated at how particular and stubborn Noah was getting about this.   My mom however was cracking up at the whole situation, saying that Noah is exactly how I was as a child (and even today) lol.  

And speaking of rainbow crafts.  While I'm usually the one to do crafts with Noah, I'm always surprised and impressed with the things Chris and Noah sometimes come up with.  While I got the construction paper for them, they came up with the plan for this rainbow all on their own.  And just as Noah doesn't always agree with my artistic visions, he was also debating with Chris on how to execute this rainbow.  He didn't understand Chris' idea to make the red the largest semi circle and keep adding smaller semi circles in the remaining colors.  But once he understood, he was on board and they made this really cool rainbow!  So simple to make and really great for your child to practice cutting and gluing.  

And just like in 2015, we had a Rainbow Pancake Breakfast.  Since our last pancake breakfast, I've been making quite a few pancakes.  It's one of Noah's favorite breakfasts and requests them to either be in the shape of Mickey Mouse or to be a certain color.  While we stick with one color on a regular day, we enjoy making all the rainbow colors for St. Patrick's Day.  I use the Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake mix (I get the big bag from Costco) and simply add some gel food coloring.  It really could not be any easier!  My only issue is figuring out how to keep them warm while I make them all.  Should I put them in the oven??  I would love some suggestions!

I mixed the batter together, which is really just adding water, and then Noah helped mix all the food coloring in.  Chris and Noah then showed my mom all of their new "games" while I made the pancakes.  Currently I'm just using a large frying pan, but now that I'm making pancakes more often, I really think I need to upgrade to a large skillet.  I just can't decide whether to get the kind that sits on the stove or one that plugs into the wall.  Any recommendations???

 ^^^ Noah was showing off everything he got at the parade ;)

And we obviously had to wear our matching Flinn shirts!  Chris' parents got us these back in 2013 for Noah's first St. Patrick's Day.  This was the first year that Noah's actually fit!!!

What will you be doing this St. Patrick's Day??

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kiss Me I'm Irish | A St. Patrick's Day Parade

I am a fan of holidays.  Some we make bigger deals out of than others, but at the very least I like to acknowledge and celebrate them with some festive food or outfit.  Friday is St. Patrick's Day, and since we are actually Irish, I figure we should do something for it.  I personally am not a fan of corned beef and cabbage, but I do like leprechauns, rainbows, and the color green... so we do what we can ;)  

This past weekend, we went back to our old town for the Morristown St. Patrick's Day parade.  I had been searching for a while for something green to wear.  While I love all shades of green, I usually think of a bright kelly green when it comes to St. Patrick's Day.  In the past I've always bought Noah one of those cute St. Patty's Day shirts, but he really only gets to wear them once or twice, and they are always short sleeve (so not good for this area in March!).  But this year I found him a green sweatshirt at Hanna Andersson and knew it was perfect not only for the holiday, but could also be worn any other day of the year!  As for me, I was having trouble finding much in kelly green... I guess it's not a hot color this year.  So when I saw this green sweater in JCrew, I knew I had to have it!  I love light weight sweaters that don't add extra bulk, and the ties on the side are a nice addition to make it something special and different.  (I also love the royal blue color... I was very tempted to get both!)

 green sweater (now on sale!) |  jeans | riding boots (similar)

While I plan to wear this outfit again on actual St. Patrick's Day, I knew that it would most likely be cold at the parade and I would end up covering this sweater with my winter coat.  So I grabbed my green tote that Chris got me a few years ago so that I'd have something green that would actually be seen ;).  While I don't use this bag a ton, I always grab it on St. Patrick's Day as well as occasionally throughout the summer.  I love the pop of color it adds and it's the perfect size to hold my essentials as well as my DSLR.  

 bag (old Tommy Hilfiger, but this is a cute green option!) | watch (similar)

But I wasn't the only one who wore some green for the parade!  It's a shame that it wasn't warmer, cause no one really knew that we were even wearing green once we added our winter coats, hats, and gloves!  But underneath it all we were showing our Irish pride!

Noah's sweatshirt 

We met our good friends for breakfast before going to the parade.  It's funny cause we met these friends back when we both lived in Morristown and our boys were just 6 months and a year old.  We became fast friends and then both moved to our new town within six months of each other.  The kids always have so much fun together and it was fun going back to our old stomping ground together.    

 ^^^ matching camo coats (Hanna Andersson, no longer online)

Boy was it cold this year.  We went to our first Morristown St. Patty's Day parade back in 2013 when Noah was only 4 months old.  It was so nice out that Chris and I wore long sleeve shirts and I just added a hoodie and hat for Noah.  The following year (2014) it was just as nice, wearing just a light windbreaker.  In 2015, we didn't end up going because it was raining, and last year we were away in Turks and Caicos.  We were so excited to finally go back this year.  Despite it being 26 degrees (felt colder with the wind), we bundled up and decided to let Noah decide how long we stay.  I honestly think I would have given up sooner, but he was really enjoying the whole thing.  I really don't think kids feel the cold like we do.   I hope next year is warmer, otherwise I'll be tempted to get a coat like this, so I can be festive AND warm!

 ^^^ this cart came by SO MANY TIMES!  I was shocked and relieved that Noah didn't ask to buy any of that crap!  
 ^^^ boy did I feel bad for anyone in a kilt!

Noah told us that his favorite parts of the parade were seeing all the instruments... and of course getting all the candy ;)  Chris told him how he used to play drums in his middle school marching band.  Noah said that when he gets bigger, he wants to play the trumpet.  I loved seeing all the bands, everything from bagpipes and drums, to traditional marching bands, to some country bands.  

 ^^^ Noah did not want his photo taken with this leprechaun... and I can't say I blame him.  
 ^^^ Noah told us that their costumes looked like half Joker/half the Riddler.  We are definitely in the Superhero stage over here!
^^^ seeing eye dogs are trained in Morristown and they had a bunch of them walk in the parade.  When we lived in Morristown, I would take Noah on many walks around town and I always loved seeing the dogs out.  Most of the time we would see them being trained and occasionally we would see them with someone who was vision impaired.  These seeing eye dogs are the most calm and loving animals, and it's amazing the service they are providing.  

Despite the cold, we had a really great time!  And for fun, I thought it would be funny to share this gem of a photo from St. Patrick's Day 2011.  Oh how different our Morristown St. Patty's Days are now.  Here I am having my first ever jager bomb...

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