Monday, March 2, 2015

February NYC Trip: Days 1 and 2

Two weeks ago, J had to travel to NYC for work, and when this trip got scheduled back in early January, we thought it might be fun for M and I to tag along so we could explore some of the city and visit with my sister who lives there. At the time we planned this, we had no idea just how cold it would be in NYC while we were there. but we're still glad we went! It was a really fun weekend, and M is now at this awesome age where she loves to talk about things she's done in the past, and this trip gave her lots of memories to talk about over and over again!

M and I flew out of Charlotte on Thursday afternoon. It was a pretty easy flight, other than the fact that they kept us on the tarmac in Charlotte for an hour. I was mostly panicking because I was hoping to avoid taking M to the potty on the plane, but we both survived and didn't need the potty (phew!). Thank goodness for the ipad and our water wow books!

As we were descending, she told me her ears hurt, so I gave her her paci and she laid down in my lap. In a matter of minutes she was asleep. She got about a five minute nap in before we landed, but I guess that's better than nothing....

We found our luggage and our ride at the airport and we headed to the financial district where our hotel was. With the combination of our long day and the freezing temps outside (it was about 8 degrees out around the time we got in), we ordered room service and called it a day. M had no complaints about the grilled cheese and fries....

J had a work event that night, so he didn't get in until we were both asleep that night, but M was excited to see him the next morning. We had breakfast together at the hotel, and then he headed off to work, while we packed up our room and then headed across the city to Hell's Kitchen to see my sister at her apartment.

M had slept pretty poorly the night before, so within two minutes of getting into the cab, she was out. She snoozed in my arms for most the ride. 
*Side note....a few friends asked us about car seats and our trip, so I'll answer that here. By NY law, children are not required to ride in car seats in for-hire vehicles or taxis. We did reserve a town car with a car seat to get us to and from the airport since I knew those would be longer rides at highway speed, but around town, she just sat in our laps. Bringing our convertible car seat would have been a huge hassle so we opted to go this route and it worked for us.

We made it to Lindsay's place, and M got the grand tour of Lindsay's little "apartment house" (that's what M calls it). We both laughed when she asked us where Lindsay's stairs were. 

Aunt Lindsay doesn't have many toddler toys, but she did have cardboard boxes!

Lindsay took us to lunch at a burger place in her neighborhood, Bare Burger, and we had a great lunch!

Towards the end of our lunch, J came and met us since he was done with work, and then we all went back to Lindsay's place. We had decided to move hotels for the weekend so we could be closer to Lindsay and out of the financial district (not much to do there), so we had time to kill before we could check into our new hotel. M took a brief nap in Lindsay's bed while we hung out, and then we headed over to Times Square to our hotel. 

The walk to the hotel was only about 10 minutes, but it was 10 very cold minutes. My neighbor had let me borrow her stroller bundle me blanket, and I don't think I'll ever be able to say thank you enough. That thing was a game changer! We were freezing, but M stayed cozy and toasty in her little cocoon! I am so glad I asked her about this at the last minute! There's no way M would have enjoyed the "feels like -1 degree" weather!

We got checked into our hotel room and relaxed for a bit, and then we headed back out to meet Lindsay for dinner. We went to Artichoke Pizza in Chelsea, and it was delicious!! Their famous artichoke pizza basically tasted like a pizza that had a spinach artichoke dip melted on the top with lots of cheese. It was heavenly! We had way too much food, but it was awesome!

When we arrived at the restaurant, as we got out of our cab, M starts yelling, "OSCAR!! MOM! I see OSCAR!!" And sure enough, right by the restaurant there was a picture of Oscar the Grouch over their dumpsters. This may have been the highlight of day two for her. She's still talking about him!

We cabbed back to our hotel after dinner, and called it a night! We took in the lights of Times Square very briefly before passing out! Our first two days of travel and exploring had worn us out!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Monkey Toddler

I think my toddler is turning into a monkey with all this winter weather! It was absolutely freezing here last week, and then this week we've had two small snows, but small snows are still enough to keep us home for the day here in Charlotte.

We visited NYC last weekend during the "polar vortex" and while it was freezing there, we had a ball. I need to upload my photos to my computer and do an update next week, because we really had so much fun! I was nervous to travel there with a toddler in the dead of winter, but I'm glad we did it. It was a fun adventure.

Signing off now to go eat monster cookie ice cream and to catch up on Downton Abbey (side note...poor Edith this season!). I'll try to be less of a stranger next week and squeeze in a few posts!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Five on Friday

Been awhile since I linked up! Happy Friday friends!

1. On Tuesday night of this past week, J had a meeting, so M and I were on our own for dinner and I didn't feel like cooking for the two of us. We headed to the mall because I wanted Chipotle and I knew she'd want Chick-Fil-A....everyone wins at the food court! It also helps that we live closer to the mall than we do to a CFA or a Chipotle. After her dinner we went by the new American Girl store, and well....she was mesmerized. It was also empty since it was a Tuesday night at 6:30pm...perfect time to go and let her play. I thought I was going to drag her out kicking and screaming, but after half an hour and a few warnings, she was happy to leave with a "doll book" (....a catalog...) to take and read in the car on her way home. It was a fun little date night for us!

2. We finished Game of Thrones this past fall, and I am still thinking about it. All the time. I know, it's just a tv show. But people...I'm obsessed. I don't think I've been this "into" a fantasy world since my Harry Potter days. I have been seeing the trailer for season 5, and it certainly doesn't disappoint.

3. Speaking of Harry Potter...this popped up on my FB this week, and well, it kinda made me want to go back a reread the series. I'm sure all you HP fans will enjoy.

4. We have been doing the Experiencing God study at my church this winter. On Sundays our pastor has been preaching on this book (so worth a listen!), and then we've been breaking the book down and studying it and talking it out with our small groups. I recently switched Wednesday morning Bible Study groups, and I can't say enough good things about this study, the new group of women I have been spending my Wednesday mornings with, and what I have learned. I won't lie, when I started the workbook, I kind of hated it, but it has been really growing on me. I have learned so much in the past two months. We're about half way through and I'm excited to see what all I take from the next half of this. Anyone else ever done this study?

5. Anyone else a big fan of these vinyl resuable sticker books from Melissa and Doug? We're obsessed! We have this one with different animal habitats and another one of girls that your dress up. M loves them and will happily do these stickers for long chunks of time. I'm a big fan of anything that keeps her entertained on her down for more than ten minutes! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

This past weekend was a fun one. It was gorgeous outside and we had no plans whatsoever! Is there anything better? Saturday morning we got up quite early for our home, so we figured let's go to breakfast since we knew there wouldn't be a wait! We went to The Flying Biscuit, and as always, it was a crowd pleaser. I got a southern style eggs benedict which is basically eggs benedict with pimento cheese and bacon. It was fabulous!

After breakfast, J and M went to Lowe's and by the fish market to get a salmon to smoke for Sunday, and they dropped me off at home to prep Saturday's dinner in the crock pot. When they returned we headed to the playground and played and played till lunch time. We ran into some friends there which made it even more fun!

We enjoyed our slow cooker dinner on Saturday night! I posted this picture and meal on instagram, but it's worth sharing here too so you can have the link o the recipe. This Slow Cooker Green Chile Shredded Beef and Cabbage Bowl with Avocado Salsa was faaaaaantastic! And really easy too! 

Saturday night after M went to bed I got caught up on my 2015 Project Life pages. I need to take some pictures and update my progress on here!

Sunday we all slept in, went to church and had lunch at Five Guys, and then more outside time. I know we'll probably get another cold snap before spring, but I have loved these nice days! M picked out her play clothes after church....can you tell?

For Sunday dinner, we had an awesome smoked salmon courtesy of J, with sweet potatoes and my favorite bean salad from Natalie's blog. I love this salad so much....mostly because I love pancetta! It makes a great side! And I got a mandolin slicer from my mom for Christmas, so now I'm always looking for recipes that let me use it. Slicing the radicchio and onions were a breeze!

It was a slow weekend, but it was filled with good food, sunshine, and my favorite people!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Our sock secret!

I wish I could remember who shared this genius idea with me, but this is one of my top tips for new moms! When M was little and I started washing all of her socks, I found that I was constantly losing those teeny baby socks, or they'd get stuck inside of other pieces of clothing and I'd end up finding them two weeks later in the pant leg of a sleeper. Not long after she was born someone suggested we use a lingerie wash bag to put her socks in, and since then we haven't lost a single sock!

We keep it hanging in her room and at the end of the day she throws her dirty clothes in her hamper in the closet and then we toss her socks in this bag. It makes our lives so much easier, and I'm not always looking for lost socks! I've also found that the lingerie bag makes a great addition to a baby shower gift. I realize this is such a silly little thing, but I thought it was worth sharing after hearing a group of friends recently complain about constantly losing baby socks! Problem solved!