Thursday, August 21, 2014

4th Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

Chris and I will be celebrating 4 years of marriage next week.  According to the traditional anniversary gifts, the 4th anniversary is flowers and fruit.  While you can go the traditional route and just give a bouquet of flowers, I think there's definitely room to be creative.  You can also spend as little or as much as you want.  It's easy to find flower inspired jewelry as well as items for the home or articles of clothing with a floral pattern.  Even a pretty vase to hold the bouquet of flowers would be pretty.  I also like the idea of planting a flower bush together and watching it grow over the years.  You can keep the night simple but romantic by staying in and having chocolate covered strawberries with champagne.  If you want to splurge, why not take some freedom with the fruit theme and get something from the Apple store.  I also think a trip to a vineyard (grapes) would be fun... you could stay local or go all out and spend a week in Napa.  I feel the choices are endless this year!  


How do you normally celebrate your wedding anniversaries?  Do you splurge or keep them simple???

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Day In The Life | It's The Little Things

I'm back today with another "A Day In The Life" posts.  I decided I wanted to do these quarterly to really see how our lives change throughout the year.  Here's my posts from May 2014, January 2014, and April 2013.  

Today is Tuesday, August 19th.  Chris is 36, I am 30, and Noah is 21 months old.

Since being sick last week, Noah hasn't been a fan of his crib.  Last night he started off the night in his big boy bed and I joined him around 9:30 (I was exhausted).  He wakes up multiple times wanting bottles.  We've watered down the milk a lot since he drinks so much during the night.  At 1:45, he woke up and I noticed my shirt was wet from a bottle that spilled on me.  I went to change my shirt, put a towel down over the wet spot, and decided to change Noah's diaper (we have lots of leaks overnight).  He woke up multiple more times, but for good at 7:30


7:30… I immediately noticed that Noah's PJs and sheets were soaked when he woke up, despite me changing his diaper at 1:45 (and double diapering him).  I immediately undressed Noah, cleaned him up, and got him dressed.  I then went to brush my teeth.  



7:44... Time to change Noah's sheets... I do this a lot!  Noah played next to me while I did this.  I brought the laundry basket of sheets and the cooler (full of last night's bottles) downstairs and leave Noah playing upstairs.  I then quickly take some pictures of our living room (the only time it's clean and has decent light) for a future blog post.  When I came back upstairs, Noah was pointing to his diaper and I can smell that he's pooped.  I love that he's now telling me when he needs to be changed ;)  We then go wash our hands... his new favorite activity!  



7:59... I bring Noah downstairs and he helps me do his laundry - another favorite activity!  Noah goes to play and I put the bottles in the dishwasher, put the clean pots away, and open my Loft package :)  


8:12... I get Noah's yogurt and put my mini bagels in the toaster.  We then eat breakfast while I watch The Fosters on the DVR.  Noah gets so dirty eating his yogurt that I sometimes don't even know where to begin with cleaning him up!  He then played while I finished my show.  We were about to go up to shower when he walks into the living room holding a popsicle.  I chose to give in and avoid a mini tantrum.  He quickly ate the popsicle and we went upstairs to get ready.  



9:17… Noah likes to come in the shower with me now.  He used to hate the shower, but now that we have a large one where he doesn't have to be under the water the entire time, he loves to play in it.  I love it because it allows me to take a longer shower.  I then get him dressed, I get dressed, quickly do my makeup and we are headed downstairs.  




9:55... I put Noah's sheets in the dryer and our sheets in the washer.  I then put both of our shoes on, and we head out the door.  Today we had a Gymboree trial class.  It's only 10 minutes away (tops) and a few of our new friends go there.  




10:15... Gymboree class starts.  I was surprised at how quickly Noah became comfortable.  He had a great time exploring the gym as well as participating with the teacher and class.  At the end of the class we decided to sign up and start September 2nd when they reopen after their renovation.  Noah will also be in the next age group's class by then.  



11:26... We drove home and I immediately put our leftover pasta in the microwave.  We ate lunch outside on our deck.  Noah then played with his grill while I caught up on some blogs.  He came over to watch some videos with me and then got super upset when that was over.  I decided he must be tired and we went up for nap. 



12:30... Noah is asleep and I was able to transfer him into his crib!!!  I was shocked but very excited.  This gave me time to fold his sheets, put our sheets in the dryer, fold Noah's laundry from yesterday, and try on the clothes I had ordered from Loft.  I then got to work on this blog post too ;)



1:45… I see Noah standing up in his crib on the monitor and he's crying.  I go in to rock him and then bring him into his big boy bed in hopes he will sleep a bit longer. 

1:55... Nap is apparently over.  Noah has started to play the game with me where he gently tries to "bite" my nose.  We get up, I get him changed and we head down to make smoothies.  

2:10… My mom arrives to watch Noah so I can go get my hair cut and colored.  We finish making the smoothies and they go drink them on the deck. 




2:20… I'm out the door for my appointment.  I see Miss Lauren (from Noah's Wompy's Class) at the salon.  We chat about the fall session a little bit until Erica (my hair dresser) comes out to get me.  Erica applies my color and then it's time to sit, wait, and relax.  

2:45... I see that my mom has posted some pictures on Facebook of Noah playing on the deck.  I'm so glad he's having fun while I'm gone.  


2:50... I remember that I also need an eyebrow wax and ask if anyone has time.  Elsa does and I'm relieved to have clean eyebrows again.  

3:35… The timer goes off, I get my hair washed, and Erica cuts my hair.  We chat about her boyfriend, anniversaries, and vacations.  

4:14… I leave the salon with my new do.  I make sure Noah is still doing okay (which he was) and then stop by the grocery store on the way home.  I pick up some meat, potatoes, and green beans to make for dinner.  

4:44… I'm back home, I preheat the oven, and let my mom leave.  Noah is hungry so I give him some peaches.  He goes to the fridge again, so I give him a yogurt.  

5:00… Potato goes in the oven and I make the meatloaf muffins.  I also clean up the kitchen a little bit.  Then Noah and I play and watch some Disney Jr. on TV. 


5:47... I find out that Chris will be working super late via text.  I'm not surprised, but still a bummer.  Noah went to bed before he got home last night too :(

6:06... We sit down for dinner.  Noah eats all his meat, most of his potato, and only 1 or two green beans.  I was surprised, since last time he inhaled the green beans!  After dinner I load the dishwasher (and run it) and clean the pans.  


6:16... Noah and I head outside to water our plants and get the mail.  When we get back inside, Noah keeps going to the pantry... apparently dinner wasn't enough???  We have some skittles as dessert, but he keeps going back. He grabs some animal crackers and then some goldfish crackers!  There aren't many pictures now because Noah isn't in the best of moods.  I feel like he is tripping over himself and then crying... not fun.  

7:00...  I finally decide that Noah must just be tired and we pack it in for an early bed time.  I get changed into PJs and brush my teeth.  I then get Noah changed and he's not happy.  

7:24... I give him his cup of milk and he barely drinks any of it.  He does however drink his entire bottle of water.  He then turned over and snuggled into my shoulder to go to sleep.  I get a text from Chris that he will be on the 8:35 train and getting home around 10:15.  Chris has been having some super long and stressful days at work.  I'll be glad when things go back to normal!   Even though Noah was happy to cuddle and rock, it took longer than I expected for him to fall asleep.  

8:12... Noah is finally asleep and I'm actually able to put him in his crib!  I immediately go downstairs to make the bottles for the night and turn the outside light on for Chris.  Back upstairs, retainer in, and working on this blog post :)

8:46... Decide to call it a day with this blog post.  I plan to just relax for another hour and hope that Noah doesn't wake up for a while.  The days can be super long when Chris has to work late.  

Goodnight!



Make sure to stop by Jess and Ashley's blogs for the link up!  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Trip to the Zoo

Yesterday, Noah and I spent the morning at the zoo with my parents.  We got a membership a few months back and decided it was time we showed Grandma and Grandpa what it was all about.  The weather was beautiful... mid 70s and low humidity :)  I hate going when it's too hot, so this was perfect.  We got there a few minutes before the zoo opened and immediately went to the train.  The last few times Noah and I have gone, the line for the train was ridiculously long because of field trips.  We never wanted to wait, so the last time we went on the train was last summer!  Today we were one of the first ones on and didn't have to wait in line.  Noah was a little nervous at first, but got into it really quickly.  We then walked around to look at the animals.  This zoo isn't very large, but it's very hilly.  We brought the stroller, but Noah preferred riding Grandpa's shoulders or walking.  We saw some bison, tortoises, penguins, wolves (that looked pretty angry), and emu.  We had fun feeding the birds and one even landed right on the stick and stayed for a while!  I think Noah's favorite was seeing the horses.  It was the only time he actually let out an excited gasp :)  Our last stop was at the carousel.  Noah rode on the mountain lion and my dad came with us too and rode the crocodile (or was it an alligator... how do you tell the difference?).  Noah has been scared in the past, but this time he did really well and wanted to ride a second time.  We finished our trip by going to the gift shop (perks of going with Grandma and Grandpa).  My expectation was for him to pick a stuffed animal (maybe a horse?).  Instead, he immediately went to the trucks... at least it was a "zoo truck"!  He was so sweet and picked out two, one for him and one for grandpa to play with (my dad ended up leaving it for Chris).  My mom didn't want him to leave without some sort of animal, so she also got him a stuffed fish and a toy turtle to play with in the bath ;)  We had a great morning and had some good naps when we got home!



^^^ I think we need to work on our group selfie skills 








Monday, August 18, 2014

A Saucy Sunday

Yesterday afternoon, my in-laws came over.  My MIL (Noah's Nonna) helped us make her sauce (or gravy as some call it).  We've made it with her before at her house and once at our apartment, but otherwise she just gives us frozen jars for us to use :)   Now that we have the house and the space we decided to make some and freeze our own jars.  



The first time I made it with her I took notes, since she doesn't have an actual "recipe".  Here it is in a nutshell... 

Nonna's Sauce/Gravy
Makes 6-8 jars

Ingredients
3 lbs ground beef
3 cloves garlic
3 cans (28 oz) of Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with basil
3 cans of Tuttorosso Tomato Sauce
Olive Oil
Oregano
Garlic & Pepper
Bay Leaves
Basil
Pecorino Romano (we like the Locatelli brand)


Directions
Brown the beef and drain
Coat big pot with olive oil and brown the garlic
Add the crushed tomatoes and sauce to pot
Add meat to pot
Stick about 10 bay leaves into the sauce, cover the top with oregano, and sprinkle some garlic & pepper, basil, and pecorino romano on top.  
Simmer for at least 3 hours, stirring every 15 minutes





Enjoy!  This really is a yummy sauce and will make your kitchen smell delicious!  I love making a huge batch and having a jar ready for a quick weeknight dinner.  We will be enjoying some tonight :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday!

I am so glad it's Friday!  It's been a long week where the days have blended into one another.  Chris had to work late a few nights and I'm glad to have him home :). Here's my Friday Five... 

One

This week Noah has been sick.  It started Sunday evening (actually in the middle of the night).  We were in his big bed and at 2 am he rolled to me to snuggle and I noticed he was burning up.  I didn't want to wake him but decided next time he woke up I would take his temp and give him Tylenol.  At 4 am it was 102.6, I have him Tylenol and when he woke up at 9:30 it was back up to 102.9!  I called the doctor and the nurse said to come in.  Long story short, he had a virus but too soon to know if it was roseola, Coxsackie, or just a regular flu.  She said to keep him hydrated, make sure he's peeing, and give him Tylenol when needed.  We'd give him Tylenol and afyer it wore off his temp would be back... Climbing to 106 at one point.  We slept a lot and ate a lot of Popsicles.  The fever finally was gone by Wednesday even in but a ridiculously stuffed and runny nose (at the same time lol) was left in it's place.  At least now he's back to playing, but still not eating much.  Now I just follow him around with tissues and suck the snot out every once in a while.  Having a sick child is no fun.  It remindede of the newborn stage.. He wanted to be held all the time and napped a lot!

^^^ I love these slow melt Popsicles.  They are mini and perfect for little kids!

Two

While Noah was sick, my mom helped out so much!  She came over to let me shower, brought me lunch and dinner, and even made me banana bread!  Not sure what I'd do without her!


Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
8 tbsp butter at room temp
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 325F. 
Butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the banana mixture to the creamed ingredients and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until the flour disappears.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on rack got 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool before slicing.

Three

Loft is having their friends and family sale.  I got a dress to wear to my brother's rehearsal dinner this fall and some new jeans.  Gotta love 40% off!



Four

Sunday afternoon before Noah got sick, he helped Chris wash both cars.  Noah loved it!  


Five 

I was so happy when Noah started feeling better!  It was nice to see him enjoying simple things again like bath, coloring, and going for walks :)


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


Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Organized Hall

Our new house has a circular layout on the main floor.  When you enter the front door, if you turn right you enter the living room.  Walk through there and it's the dining room and the kitchen.  Off the kitchen there is a hallway that will lead you back to the front door.  In this hallway there are many doors... the kitchen closet (or a second pantry), the laundry room, powder room, and garage.  Since this is a hallway that we use a lot, but is not necessarily used much by guests, I decided to use it as a command center to get more organized.  


We already owned the cork board (from Pottery Barn) so we got the dry erase calendar, the letter bin, and office organizer to match.  I love having a space to put mail and papers that need to go out as well.  I also like having our keys all in one space and using the shelf for random things like our sunglasses.  Anything to help keep our kitchen counters clearer.  




I really love how it helps keep us organized but also looks pretty.  




Sources:
Cork Board (we have the small version)
Daily System Components (Dry Erase Calendar, Letter Bin, Office Organizer)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cousins | It's The Little Things

"Cousins are usually the first friends we have as children.  No one will ever understand your crazy family like your cousins do even if you haven't talked in a while."  (Pinterest quote)

I was never close to my cousins.  My brothers and I were the youngest cousins by far.  We had two cousins close in age, but they lived in Quebec and spoke French (made it harder to communicate as a child).  Also, we moved to the States when I was 6 and the rest if our extended family was in Canada.  As a result we only saw them maybe once a year if that.  I had friends who were so close with their cousins.  It was as if they had extra siblings!  Chris grew up close to all his cousins but he's a good 10-15 years older than the majority of them.  

Noah only has one set of cousins, my brother's 3 kids.  Kaitlyn is 6 1/2, Matthew is 3 1/2, and Aidan is 21 months (born just one week before Noah).  I love that Noah has cousins that are close to him in age.  While I would love it if they lived closer, at least it's only a 3 1/2 hour drive.  We get together for holidays and try to plan visits in the summers.  This past weekend I really saw a friendship forming between Noah and his cousins and I'm excited to see it grow in years to come!  

Noah lives a pretty quiet life.  We have lots of play dates, but they are always with kids his own age.  He loved watching the older kids play!  Kaitlyn was great with Noah and he loved following her around.  Noah loved playing with Matthew... they have very similar personalities and both LOVE trucks!  Noah and Aidan didn't really play much together, but I think that will change as they get older.  


^^^  the boys wearing matching outfits!  Believe it or not we did not plan this!  We showed up to dinner and saw that they were dressed exactly the same.  I guess this is what happens when Grandma buys all your clothes!

^^^ Kaitlyn trying to corral all the boys ;)

It's always fun to look back, so here's some past cousin shots!  My parents have some good looking grand kids if you ask me ;)

Christmas Morning 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

July 2013

February 2013

Make sure to stop by Jess and Ashley's blogs for the link up!