Thursday, January 5, 2017

Friday Favorites

Friday!  It's here, it's really here!  Was this the longest week ever or what??

Before I dive into my favorites, I have a little confession.  My Christmas tree is still up!  Am I the only one?  Please tell me I'm not.  I also still have my outside Christmas lights on.  My plan is to take care of all that this weekend.  Wish me luck!

OK, now onto the favorites.  

I saw this on Facebook and I'm absolutely sure someone made this especially for me. Oh my gosh, this is me to a tee!  I am getting this sign!!

Another gem from Facebook this week.... Yummm...whiskey sours!

This guy turning 4 was also a favorite.  Love this little man with all my heart!

I may have also celebrated a birthday, although I can't say that in itself was a favorite.   Nor was the fact that my fondue plans got cancelled due to a stomach bug and a winter storm.  BUT, what WAS my favorite was this amazing chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting my husband got for me from Coccadots.  OMG it was heavenly! 

Are you a fan of New Year's Eve?  Honestly, I usually am not.  This year we decided to take the kids to Dave and Busters instead of just sitting home or finding a babysitter and going out solo.  And you know what, we all had so much fun!  It is probably my favorite New Year's Eve in recent memory.  I'm so glad we went!  

Ok, my last favorite may seem kind of weird.   I was leaving for work the other morning and saw all these turkeys on my neighbors lawn.  Isn't that cool?  I mean, there's just something so fun about a flock of turkeys  (or maybe that's just me)!

Well there you have first Friday Favorites of 2017!  Now it's onto the weekend.  We've got a busy one coming up! Saturday A has soccer,  and N has a soccer game AND he is starting karate back up.  Then Sunday is A's birthday party.  And of course somewhere in there I need to take those pesky Christmas decorations down!

What do you have on tap this weekend?

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What We're Reading Wednesday

I saw this link up this morning and was so excited I had to hurry and put a post together so I could join in the fun!  I can't wait to see what you all are reading and hopefully get some suggestions to add to my own reading list!

First, let me tell you about the last 2 books I read.

I most recently finished What Alice Forgot.  I received this book through a book swap and finally got around to reading it.  I LOVED IT!  I can't believe I waited so long to read it.  This book kept me thinking for quite a while...what would my life be life if I woke up as my 29 year old self?  What would I do differently?  I think many of us would like the chance for a do-over in our lives.  Alice gets that chance.

Prior to reading Alice, I FINALLY read A Man Called Ove.  I adore Fredrik Backman's books and had already read My Grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry and Brit-Marie Was Here.   I think Ove is my favorite book yet!  It's charming, funny, sweet, sad, and uplifting all in one!

Now let's talk about what's on my TO-READ list!

Fredrik Backman recently released a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer.  As Backman states in his letter to the reader at the beginning of the book, "This is a story about memories and about letting go.  It's a love letter and a slow farewell between a man and his grandson, and between a dad and his boy. 

Honestly, I originally stayed away from this book because I felt it was just too depressing for me to read.  But the more reviews I see, I know I just can't pass it up (even if I am crying for the next week)!

Next on my list are 2 Liane Moriarty books- The Husband's Secret  and Truly Madly Guilty.   Since I enjoyed Alice so much, I thought I would give some of the author's other books a try!

So what will YOU be reading this year??

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

7 steps to the best kids party ever!

How to have an amazing "kids" birthday party in 7 easy steps.

1.  Don't have it at your house

2.  Pick a party location where you don't have to do the set up.

3.  Or the clean up.  Especially the clean up.

4.  Have an awesome looking cake or cupcakes.  Bonus if it tastes good too.

5.  Have food.  i.e. pizza, hot dogs, nuggets.   Have drinks,  Kids love juice and orange soda at birthday parties.  And parents love when their kids come home on a sugar high.

6.  Make sure there is a physical activity involved to tire those little buggers out.

7.  Don't have it at your house.

Can you tell I'm in birthday party mode?  Kid #2 has his birthday party this weekend and kid #1 has his at the end of the month.  Having 2 winter babies makes for a very expensive December and January around here!

I do actually love to party plan, but I have a tendency to get carried away.  I like there to be a theme and I like everything to coordinate around that theme.  So let's say I'm planning a pirate party...  we must have pirate plates, cups, and napkins.  Pirate party hats.  Pirate eye patches.  Pirate invitations.  Of course a pirate cake.  The party favors must be pirate-themed (maybe little treasure chests for everyone with chocolate gold coins inside?), the guest of honor must be dressed as a pirate or be wearing a pirate shirt.  You see where I'm going here.  And although it's so much fun to have a great theme, it does get extremely pricey.

So yes, I am still going with a theme for my little guy because I just can't resist (Blaze and the Monster Machines!) but I have scaled back, especially on the party favors and decorations.  And for my older son, the "theme" will only be represented by the cake and invitations.  

Now, if you're wondering about #1 and #7 on my list, let me just say this.  If you like cleaning and stress and mayhem, you should totally have the party at your house.  But if you don't like these things, DON'T!!  OK, I'm kidding (partially).  So far, we have had 1 kids party at our house.  And while my son absolutely LOVED it, it was a TON of work for me.  It was a ton of preparation and cleaning, and then cleaning up afterwards.  The kids were INSANE.  Some of them hung out much longer than they should have.  And in the end, I spent just as much money (if not more) than I would have if we had it somewhere outside the home.  So for me, it is much less stressful (and more enjoyable) to do parties at a "party place" where everything is taken care of for us.  Of course, as the kids get older and maybe want smaller parties with just a couple friends (and I am no longer going theme-crazy), I am open to having parties at the house again!  

In the end, I know neither my kids nor their friends will remember or appreciate the wonderful theme parties I created.  All they want is to run around and have fun, and maybe eat some cake.  Oh, and get presents of course.  

What are your tips for having a great kids party?  Do you like to have a theme?  Can you help me overcome my theme compulsion?   

Monday, January 2, 2017

20 Questions

Happy 2017!

I thought I would start my blogging year off with a little "Get to Know me" fun!  Maybe you're new around here, or maybe you've been around for the long haul, but either way, you might just learn something new about me!

1.  If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
Well hell yes!  Imagine all the fun we'd have!

2.  Do you use sarcasm a lot?
What do you think?

3.  What is your eye color?
Hazel (brown and green)

4.  How tall are you?

5.  Scary movies or happy endings?
When I was younger, I LOVED scary movies.  But now I'm all about happy endings. :)

6. Favorite smells?
Lilacs, fresh cut grass, apples

7.  What was your favorite subject in high school?  Least favorite?
Favorite- English and Social Studies   Least favorite:  MATH

8.  Do you have any pets?
2 dogs currently- a beagle mix and a lab

9.  What sports do you/have you played?
Soccer, track and field, cheerleading,  Some basketball and softball back in Jr. high.

10.  Favorite Perfume?
Falling in Love - Philosophy

11.  Favorite non-domesticated animal?

12.  What's the furthest you've been from home?

13.  What would you/did you name your children?
Well, if it wasn't for my husband's vetoes, I would have named my boys Gabriel and Aiden.
If I had a girl, it was going to be Abigail or Carly (I was also partial to Emmaline).

14.  What type of phone do you have?
Samsung Galaxy.  I refuse ALL iproducts!!!

15.  Do you speak any other languages?
A little, tiny bit of Spanish

16.  Favorite book?
My favorite book of all time is The Little Prince, with Are You There God?  It's me, Margaret. a very close second!

17.  Back sleeper, side sleeper or stomach sleeper?
Side sleeper

18.  Do you play any instruments?
Flute and saxophone

19.  Favorite song?
My favorite ever is Weekend in New England by Barry Manilow.

20.  Favorite singer/band?
Well, Barry Manilow of course!  Also Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea, Bon Jovi.  Sometimes I like to get down with a little DMX and Flo Rida too!

Happy New Year, friends!  Hope you stop by again soon!

Monday, December 12, 2016

I love winter

Crazy, right?!  Almost everyone I know complains about winter.  They complain about the snow. They complain about the cold.  They complain that it gets dark too early (this one I can get on board with).  But I really, truly, honestly love winter!  And here's why...

Have you ever been snowmobiling?  It's so much fun!  Especially when there's a bar to stop at for lunch on the route!  We have owned snowmobiles in the past, and we just bought some again this year.  We are praying for snow!!  But even if it doesn't snow here, there are parts of NY that ALWAYS have snow (Tug Hill/Old Forge region), and areas in Vermont and Canada.  My husband and his buddies have a snowmobile trip planned for Maine this winter, and I am totally jealous!  I am really hoping to get some time on my sled this year.

I really enjoy downhill skiing, and every year I say I want to get back into it.  Well, if we get any snow, this is the year!!

Again,. so much fun!  And the kiddos can join in as well.  Many of the ski areas around here have tubing parks, and there is even a place called Tubby Tubes close by that is exclusively for tubing.  We also have a giant slope of a backyard that is not good for much, but it is good for sledding!

Obviously all of the above require snow, but I just love snow itself!  Making snowmen, snow angels, snow forts.  The beauty of fresh snow on the evergreen trees.  The coziness of watching the snow fall outside the window while you're cuddled up with a blanket and a hot cocoa.  Now, I admit, if I were the one who had to shovel and snow blow, I probably would not be so fond of the snow.  But I'm not, so let those flakes fall!

So I hate the heat.  Like, if it's above 85 degrees I am probably inside enjoying my AC.  So when winter hits, I actually enjoy a little nip to the air.  It just feels so fresh and clean!  Now I'm not totally crazy... temps in the teens and below isn't my thing.  But daily highs in the 30's is just fine with me!

The Dark
Yes, I do hate that it gets dark so early in the winter.  But, it is cozy!!  I love coming home from work, putting on my PJ's and getting cozy on the couch under a blanket.  Well, I mean I WOULD love doing this if I didn't have kids that needed my attention every 3 seconds.  :)  But I do love the coziness of the season... snuggling under a blanket, getting warm next to the fireplace and lots of extra blankets on the bed!

All the best holidays are in winter
Christmas, Valentines Day, my birthday!!

 So be honest, does anyone else out there love winter??  Who's ready to move to Alaska with me?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Secret Santa Mommy & Me Book Exchange

I know this may be hard for you to believe, but I decided to participate in another blogger swap! Hehehehe.  If you're a regular to my blog, you know I just can't resist a swap!  This one was extra cool though, because it included my kiddos!

This swap was a book exchange... one for you and one for your kid!  How fun is that?  We each got to make a wish list of 5 books we would like to receive.  I gave my 5, but said to surprise me with the children's book.  Take a look at what I received from Nina at The Joni Journey:

For me... I can't wait to start reading!

For Alec

For Nick

 Nina was super sweet and sent a book for both of my boys.  We don't have either of these books  and they both look wonderful!  She also sent some treat bags that my boys will not stop begging me for.  Hands off my treats kids!  :)

If you'd like to see what I sent to my assigned person, go visit Meghan at The Adventure Starts Here.

This was such a fun swap.  I hope you'll join us next year!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016 Holiday Bucket List

The holidays for me are all about making magic for my kiddos.  I try to plan fun experiences and activities that they will look back on fondly when they are all grown up.  Here is my list for this year.  I hope we can get to most, if not all of it!

2016 Holiday Bucket list

1. Make Christmas Cookies
2. Read Christmas books at bedtime
3.  Holiday lights in the park
4.  Go on the Santa Express
5.  Make reindeer food
6.  Sing Christmas carols
7.  Help a family in need
8.  Donate to the animal shelter
9.  Christmas movies, popcorn, PJs and cocoa day!
10.  Make Christmas gifts for the grandparents
11.  Christmas crafts
12. Decorate a gingerbread house (or Gingerbread cookies)
13.  Attend Christmas activities at the library
14.  Breakfast with Santa

And just for me:
1.  Mail out holiday cards
2.  Have a date night with the hubby 
3.  Enjoy some early mornings- just me, the tree, and a cup of coffee!

What's on your list this year?