The Adventure Starts Here: February 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mama and Noah Currently | February 2017

February was a short and kind of strange month.  The weather was all over the place... 60 degrees one day only to have a few inches of snow the next.  I literally can't keep up!  Here's hoping March brings us some more mild springlike days!

This is what we've been up to in February 2017...


Eating


I had planned to tell you about Costco's Vegetable Taquitos.  We discovered them on the Saturday before Super Bowl, when they were offering samples.  I dip them in guacamole and they make the perfect quick weeknight dinner!  I was hoping to buy another package, but just 3 weeks later and they no longer carry them!  I really hope they bring them back ASAP!

Noah is a lover of popsicles.  We recently picked up the Outshine Fruit and Vegetable kind and I've even started having a popsicle with him in the afternoons.  He loves the cherry and blueberry kind while I prefer the strawberry and lemon.  

Watching


We've had Amazon Prime for a while, but never utilized to it's full advantage.  Earlier this month, I decided to look into what movies were free for Prime members.  I found Age of Adaline and loved it... even though I couldn't talk Chris into watching it with me. 

We took Noah to see the Batman Lego movie the weekend it came out.  We got our tickets 2 weeks ahead of time for the 10 am showing and I love that you can pick your own seats now!  Noah was so excited, that was until we got to the theater and he remembered being scared by one of the previews when we went to see Sing with his cousins.  He all of a sudden got anxious, first saying that he didn't want to go in until the movie started and even suggested going home all together.  I stayed out with him in the hall until the movie started, and thankfully that did the trick and he really enjoyed the movie.  

Wearing


Pink lipstick (Smitten) and gloss (Kissyfit).   I find wearing a bright lip is really brightening up Winter (and my mood) as I wait for the warmer weather to arrive (and stay!). 

Shoes that are too small!  This kid seemed to grow over night.  Everyone we run into comments about his height change, and I'm not surprised at all since he was complaining about growing pains.  Well I guess his feet grew too, because all of a sudden he was taking his shoes off in the car and complaining that his feet hurt.  And of course physical shoe stores for kids are rare these days and it doesn't help that Noah has extra wide feet, wears a size 12 now, but still needs velcro!  It took us two orders, but we finally found some new shoes that fit him... thank goodness!

Listening to


I was first introduced to Maren Morris when watching the Grammy's a few weeks ago.  I loved her performance with Alicia Keys and immediately bought her new album.  It's been on repeat since then. 

The ABC song while I brush his teeth.  I learned that they sing this while washing their hands to make sure they do it long enough, so I thought it would work for teeth brushing too.  The only problem is Noah can't help "dancing" along and it's hard to keep him still ;)

Making


We've been making a new baked good each week.  This month we made banana bread, chocolate chip muffins, oatmeal cookies, and just this last week we made our apple zucchini muffins.  And I'm loving this cake stand that Chris got me for Valentine's Day!

Noah is constantly doing something artsy.  Whether it's drawing a picture with crayons, painting on his easel, or gluing and cutting, he loves being creative.  

For past "Currently" posts, click here

What did your February look like?  

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Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
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Friday, February 24, 2017

Giraffes Can't Dance


Giraffes Can't Dance has been one of our favorite books since Noah was born, even before that.  My mom gave me the board book version at my baby shower and it was one of the first books we ever read to Noah as a baby.  Maybe that's the reason Noah has always had a soft spot for giraffes, at the zoo and the stuffed animal variety. So when I heard that Raising Fairies and Knights was doing Giraffes Can't Dance for the February book and craft, I was very excited to revisit an old favorite.  


While Noah still loves art and is constantly creating, he has really started to have his own ideas and isn't always interested in me dictating the craft.  So this time, we tried something new.  One night, we were reading Giraffes Can't Dance and I told him to think about what kind of craft he'd like to do while reading the book.  As we were reading, he picked out two pages that he wanted to recreate.  The next day, we went through our colored paper and picked out the supplies we'd need.  While I'm confident Noah would have made an excellent giraffe, since it wasn't a normal giraffe shape, he asked me if I would draw the outline of Gerald flipping over backward.  I happily obliged, even though I wasn't super confident in my own drawing skills.  I think it came out okay, but I'm especially impressed with how Noah finished it.  


I loved watching him color and adding every detail of Gerald the Giraffe.  I didn't realize how often he switches back and forth between his left and right hand until I was going through the photos.  I find he predominantly uses his left (other than with scissors... he always cuts with his right hand), but he is very comfortable with both.  As someone who has a very weak left hand, I love that he appears to be ambidextrous.  


We knew we wanted Gerald to be against a dark blue sky, but I worried that you wouldn't be able to see Gerald well if I drew directly onto the dark blue card stock.  Instead, We drew Gerald on regular white printer paper and then cut him out and attached him with some glue.  Using a white crayon, he added the moon and the stars.  


Next up, Noah wanted to copy a scene from earlier in the book.  As he was doing this, I was distracted by an outside conversation.  I had watched him draw the tree, but was really impressed with the giraffe and other animals he drew all on his own.  I just wish that he had used a darker color for the giraffe so it would stand out more against the yellow paper.  I am constantly amazed at his art skills and hope that it's something he continues to love and develop.  My art skills are very juvenile and I have no doubt that he will surpass me very soon!


If you have a younger child and are interested in making your own giraffe, here's a really fun craft involving a paper plate and some paint that I did with Noah back in 2015 (when he was only 2).  While our craft projects aren't the same as they used to be, I really love how they are evolving.  I love that Noah is expressing his creative side and has a true passion for art.  His new favorite game at restaurants is to draw a picture and have one of us copy it.  


You can find more ideas here.

Giraffe's Can't Dance Craft - Monthly Crafting Book Club is celebrating Giraffe's Can't Dance Crafts this month with a group of bloggers and crafts to show that Giraffes CAN dance.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Guys Behind the Blog | February 2017

Just like I love interviewing Noah every month for The Kids Behind the Blog, I also love hearing from Chris each month.  I especially like how the questions are usually related to an upcoming holiday :)   

February 7, 2010 (our 1 year dating anniversary)

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

1 // Name two things your wife has taught you.

My wife has taught me about all of the fun things families can do together, such as picking apples, strawberries, or pumpkins or going on a hayride or doing a homemade craft. She has also taught me that things need to get purged or donated every year if you're not using it. 

I couldn't help laughing out loud when I read this answer!  I guess my purging sessions have really made an impression on him! 

2 // What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Favorite part of the wedding day was probably walking into the reception as husband and wife to all the cheers from our family and friends.

Yes, that was a pretty cool and surreal moment!

August 28, 2010

3 // Valentines Day is usually more about the girl... but tell me, what is something YOU would love to receive on Valentine's Day?

I love receiving homemade photo cards with memorable pictures on them. 

I love getting photo cards from Chris too!     

4 // What was the best date you and your wife ever had?

Best date was probably our California trip in 2011 because it was my first time there and we did so many cool things and saw such cool landmarks and such. 

I then told him that while California was super fun, I'm not sure we can classify it as a "date".  So then he changed his answer to the Rock of Ages movie. I would probably have to say anything Rock of Ages is good in his book... the movie, seeing it on Broadway, to even seeing it performed in our own town.  

5 // If money was no option and you could go anywhere in the world with just your spouse, where would you go and what would you do?

I'd want to go to Australia if money was no object. It's a place I've always desired to go to. 

I definitely want to go to Australia too.  But considering how far away it is I can't imagine not taking Noah with us.    

6 // Valentine's Day - Hallmark Holiday or Real Holiday?

Hallmark holiday. 

I guess I should be happy we still celebrate considering his feelings ;)

7 // What is your favorite romantic comedy movie?

Not really a romcom fan. Maybe Fever Pitch since it was also about baseball.

Funny thing is I think this is one of the few romantic comedies I haven't seen.  




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mommy Style


While you might not believe me if you saw me on Saturday or Sunday (or even yesterday), I've actually been pretty good at wearing real clothes lately.  Here are my actual outfits from the last week and a half.  As for the other days, you can safely assume that I was in sweats ;)


Friday - I went grocery shopping while Noah was at school.  I love graphic sweatshirts.  While this (Pardon My French) is from last year, there are still so many cute options available this season!  Since it had snowed the day before, I threw on my Sperry duck boots and was glad I did since the grocery store parking lot was all slush!

sweatshirt (similar) | black jeans | socks (similar)

Saturday - We went to the Lego Movie and decorated Valentine's Day cookies at my parents' house.  I'm all about sweaters this time of year.  Comfortable and fashionable!  It had warmed up and the snow had melted, so I was even able to wear my ankle boots!

sweater (now 60% off!!) | black jeans 

Sunday - February Date!  I already shared this outfit when I posted about our date.  But I realized that I never shared the back detailing of the sweater, which is the best part!


sweater (now 40% off), similar (more sizes) | necklace (similar) | jeans
brown boots - I ordered up half a size and in wide width based on reviews. 
lipstick (Smitten) and gloss (Kissyfit) 

Monday - I dropped Noah off at school and we an afternoon play date.  I love these sweatshirts Old Navy came out with.  They are perfect for the a New Jersey spring... warm but in a bright cheery color!  I even got the floral one :)

sweatshirt (now 30% off!) | jeans (now under $40!!!) 

Tuesday - Valentine's Day.  I'm honestly not thrilled at the fit of this black shirt anymore, so I don't think I'll be keeping it going forward.  But I had to wear my heart scarf for Valentine's Day!

top (old Old Navy) | scarf (Urban Cowgirl) | jeans | boots (similar) 

Wednesday - I worked on blog posts while Noah was at school.  I kept it simple with a t-shirt and jeans and added a scarf and boots when I left the house.  

top (old Old Navy) | jeans (now under $40!!!) | scarf (old Loft) | boots (similar) |  
wool coat (currently on sale!)

Noah came down with a cough and runny nose on Thursday evening.  He stayed home from school on Friday and I took him to the doctor.  It turns out it's "just a virus", but we ended up taking it easy the rest of the long weekend.  As a result, I spent the weekend in sweats, glasses, and no makeup.  I finally got dressed and went outside on President's Day!

Monday - We spent the morning at the playground with Daddy!

top (similar) | jeans (now under $40!!!) | boots (similar) | scarf (Stitch Fix)


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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Never Ending Laundry!

There are some things in life, especially as a mom to a young child, that seem so repetitive and never ending.  As soon as breakfast is made and cleaned up, it seems a snack is being requested and then it's time for lunch.  Crumbs are constantly being vacuumed off the floor and from inside the couch.  Even the simple routine of brushing teeth, washing hands, and reminding him to go to the bathroom before we leave the house.  And the laundry, it never ends!  Between the washing, folding, and ironing, it seems that by the time I have one load completely done, another has already piled up in the hamper.  


I can't say that I hate doing laundry as much as some people do. I actually do find satisfaction in having all my clean clothes folded and put away and love having an empty hamper, even if it's only for an hour!  When Noah was a baby and spit up often, it felt like I was always throwing a load on.  And I try to block out the time in our life when Noah was leaking through his night diapers and I was changing his sheets on a daily basis.  Now that we are in a more predictable stage of life (at least when it comes to laundry), I've found that creating a loose laundry schedule has helped a lot.  I wash all of our clothes on Mondays and Fridays.  I usually end up doing three loads since I like to wash Noah's clothes separately and often have to wash my tops on gentle cycle.  Barring there were no middle of the night accidents, I wash sheets on Tuesday.  And all the towels (bath, kitchen, and swim) are done on Thursday.  As for ironing, this is a work in progress.  Right now, Chris picks out 6-7 shirts for the week and I iron on Tuesdays.  Ideally, I would like to have all of his shirts ironed and hanging in the closet so that I just iron as I do the laundry.  That way he wouldn't have to plan out his outfits in advance and we will be more prepared if something comes up last minute. 

^^^ we have three of these laundry baskets (old from Crate & Barrel) in our house.  One for Chris and me, a second for Noah, and we use the third in the basement to store Noah's stuffed animals!  I love the divider so I can keep my "gentle cycle" items separate from the rest.  

When we were looking at houses, I was very torn with whether I wanted the laundry room on the first or second floor.  I knew I didn't want one in the basement (two sets of stairs didn't sound fun), but other than that I didn't have a clear preference.  While having it on the same floor as our bedrooms sounds convenient, I didn't love the idea of the loud washer and dryer waking Noah if he was sleeping.  And I kind of like being able to switch loads throughout the day while Noah is playing without having to go up and down the stairs.  In the end, the house we ended up buying had a laundry room on the first floor, and so far I really like it.  It's not huge by any means, but it's much better than the "closet" we had in our apartment.  In theory, I love the idea of front loaders which then give you a work space above to fold.  But in reality, I didn't love our front load washer in the apartment.  It was constantly getting mold in the rubber front and I never found a way to fully clean it.  So while I miss the extra work and storage space, I was very relieved to have a top load washer again.  

When we moved in, the laundry room had a small linen closet as well as a hanging rod above the machines.  I knew I would need more storage than that, so we hung a simple wire shelf above the machines.  In the future, we might upgrade to actually cabinets, but for right now this works well.  We use this room to not only store our laundry needs, but also to store some extra bulk items, like tissue boxes, sponges, ziploc bags, and cleaning supplies.  Chris loves buying in bulk, and as you can see from the photos, we are very well stocked!  While I don't think I'll be buying sponges or detergent any time soon, I'm always amazed at how quickly we go through tissue boxes!


In addition to extra cleaning supplies, I also keep Noah's swim bag in the linen closet.  I find it easy to just empty Noah's wet towels and swim suit into the washing machine, and then refill the bag as soon as everything has dried.  It's so much easier knowing I'm prepared for the next week's class.  


I thought I'd share a few helpful tricks that really work for us.  First, is having an extra hamper that I keep in the laundry room.  Noah prefers to get dressed for school downstairs after he eats breakfast.  So every morning, his pajamas get thrown into the laundry room hamper instead of having to run back upstairs to his room.  It also comes in handy when Noah inevitably takes off his socks or I have a dirty kitchen towel.  My second trick is so new that it isn't even shown in the photo. I recently added a small trashcan to the bottom of the linen closet.  While I haven't really had a problem emptying pockets (yet), I do use it for cleaning out the lint.  I used to avoid this for way too long because it was a pain to have to take the lint trap to the kitchen (even though it was just around the corner).  But now that I have a trash can right there, I empty it out more often.  When it's full, I empty it into the large kitchen garbage.  I love when super simple additions make a big impact!

Drafting this laundry post reminded me of a conversation I had about 10 years ago with some coworkers.  Somehow we started talking about how often we wash our jeans.  Most of us, including myself, said that unless we spilled something that we wore them a couple of times before washing.  One of my male coworkers was shocked at this and told us that he washed them after every single wear.  This memory made me curious to hear how often people wash other things.  For instance, I wash our towels and sheets on a weekly basis.  As for clothes, other than jeans, I'm a wear once and wash.  Everything from pajamas, to bras, to sweaters.  But I really am curious what you guys all do, and I promise there will be no judgment!  I've seen some posts on Pinterest on how often you should wash and clean things, and I'm always convinced that people just don't live that way.  Are there people out there that really wipe down their toilets and sinks every single day?  Maybe there are, but I'm definitely not one of them! 

So tell me, how often do you wash your clothes (jeans, pajamas, bras, etc.), sheets, and towels???

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Our Valentine's Day

Being that Valentine's Day was on a weekday this year, it felt a little different.  Not that we necessarily go all out when it's on a weekend, but I have to admit that Chris and I really do like to shower Noah with love and treats.  So while Chris and I had our "Valentine" date over the weekend, we still tried to make the day special for Noah, even if Chris had to work.  Our Valentine's Day was filled with festive food, a craft, and a few gifts.   

On Valentine's Eve, we went over to our friends' house for a play date and made some heart shaped mini pizzas with the kids.  Some sauce spilled over and more cheese went in their mouths than put on the pizzas. But the kids had fun, and the pizzas still resembled hearts when they came out of the oven, so I call it a huge success!


Noah had so much fun doing the "Buddy the Elf" scavenger hunt, that I knew I wanted to do another one for him for Valentine's Day.  After he fell asleep, I hid some heart shaped clues all over the house while Chris blew up a bunch of balloons to hide in the basement as the "treasure" at the end of the hunt.  The clues were things like "your favorite drink", which led him to the chocolate milk in the fridge and ended with "where you and Daddy play on the weekends", which led him to the basement to find the balloons!  He got every clue really fast, and was only confused by the last one, guessing that he and Daddy usually play in living room, not the basement.  He loved the scavenger hunt and I definitely think this will have to be a new tradition for us!  

And even though Chris had to work on Valentine's Day, he still managed to surprised Noah and me when we came downstairs in the morning.  Balloons, roses, and lots of sweet treats greeted us when we walked in to the kitchen.  While I had originally planned to make Noah some red pancakes for breakfast, as soon as we saw the donuts, those plans changed! 


We then quickly got ready and headed out the door to meet up with some friends.  I was a little bummed he wouldn't wear his Valentine's shirt, but he did promise me he'd wear it to school the next day for their Valentine party.  We went to our local environmental center where the kids learned about birds, and then made a Valentine craft AND a bird feeder.  It was so sweet when Noah decided that his craft was going to be for Daddy when he got home that night!  We then went to lunch with his friends before heading home to just hang out.  It really was a great way to spend Valentine's Day! 


Once we were home, it was all about the gifts.  Chris and I kept it simple by giving Noah a new construction Lego set and some alphabet stamps.  He loved them both and was ready to start building, that is until Grandma arrived with even more gifts!  This boy is definitely loved (and spoiled!).  


Grandma and Papa gave him Guess Who, a Batman Lego set, a few books, and even more candy.  I think it's safe to say that Noah was basically surviving on an all sugar diet at this point!  After reading Wacky Wednesday, playing multiple rounds of Guess Who, and building his Batman Lego, it was time for dinner.  Noah wanted to eat at home, so my mom went out and picked up Chipotle for us, getting an extra bowl for Chris for when he finally got home from work.  I was so relieved to see the sugar didn't affect Noah's appetite and he inhaled his quesadilla, rice, and cantaloupe!  


Grandma went home, and we were lucky enough to have Chris home on time (which still isn't until 6:45).  Noah helped us exchange cards and open our gifts.  We were cracking up to find out that we both used the same photo in our personalized cards!  Chris took my hints and got me a few things I mentioned in this post.  I was a happy girl :).  As for Chris, I got him some beer a little 6 pack cooler we can use when we go to BYO restaurants.  I had put the beer in our basement fridge a few days ago, knowing there was a good chance of him seeing it.  He kept quiet but admitted that he had already seen it.  I got him Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and he was convinced that I bought it after asking his friend what his favorite beer was.  We don't really drink much at home and I really know nothing about beer. When we are out, I usually see him order a Miller Lite, or prefers to try something new that they have on tap.  But since this was a gift, I wanted to get something a little nicer than Miller Lite.  So I went to our local liquor store and just started looking at all the different beers.  I ended up with the Cherry Wheat because I remembered he liked the seasonal Sam Adams and he's always down for trying the fruity flavors.  Chris was shocked that I just happened to pick out his favorite beer without any help.  We couldn't get over how random and fortuitous my beer selection was!  


So that was our Valentine's Day.  An otherwise typical Tuesday, that was made special and full of extra love!  

How did you celebrate Valentine's Day?

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