Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Toddler Girl Easter Basket

Can y'all believe Easter is so soon? Just two weeks away.....I feel like it kind of snuck up on me this year!  Didn't we just have Valentine's Day? Heck...wasn't it just Christmas??

Since M has a fall birthday followed two months later by Christmas, Easter is a nice chance to sneak in some fun treats for spring and summer. This year her Easter basket is going to include the following....


1. Kid's Folding Camp Chair - This was an item I have been wanting to get her for awhile, and Easter is a good time to gift it. We do a lot of fun things outside in the spring and summer (cookouts, food truck Friday, Riverjam at the Whitewater Center) and I think she'd like to have her own chair at these events, and she won't be stealing mine anymore! I found this cute Melissa and Doug one on Amazon and think it may be what we'll get unless I can find a cheap one in a store.

2. Crayola Sidewalk Chalk - Her stash from last spring and summer is looking pretty rough and almost gone so we're gonna get a re-up from the Easter bunny! (Also...only $3.99 on Amazon right now for this 48 count!)

3. Frozen Swim Cover Up - Like the chair, this is something I knew we'd be getting for summer anyway, so why not put it in the Easter basket? I found this cover up at the Disney store in NYC last month, and stepped aside to buy it without her noticing. I think Anna and Elsa will be a big hit each time we get dressed for the pool!

4. 101 Dalmations Blu-Ray - She still loves her daily Daniel Tiger, but she's also old enough now to sit still for a full movie, and boy oh boy does she love her movies. Loves them to the point where she requests to sleep with the cases. We're slowly adding to her movie collection, and this one just came back out of the (very annoying) Disney vault, so I think we'll pick it up to add to her pile. 

5. Jellybeans - Because we all love to celebrate a holiday with sugar! She'll probably also get some eggs filled with goldfish and raisins too. I'm all about balance!


What's going in the Easter baskets in your home this year??



**Amazon links are affiliate links! All this means is if you click through and buy the product through my link, I will receive a small amount of money!**

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five on Friday

Time for Five on Friday!



1. Anyone else start watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? I loved 30 Rock and Tina Fey and this is filling the 30 Rock hole that's been in my heart these last two years! Also, Ellie Kemper is adorable and hilarious.


2. It's been beautiful outside for most of this week, which means lots of extra vitamin D for all of us. This has been how I've spent the first half of nap time most days this week....a good book (man I love Amy) and a tasty lunch. M goes down to sleep and I get in a good half hour of sunshine.


3. This is so random, but does anyone else own Ugg slippers where the insoles are DONE? I got a pair for Christmas the year M was born, and I love them, but the insoles were gross after so much wear and I was debating getting a new pair. BUT! After a quick google search, I found you can get new Ugg insoles for your boots or slippers for only $15!! Y'all. This is a game changer! It's like I have brand new slippers all over again and for only $15! Also....I can't believe I just wrote a full paragraph about slipper insoles...


4. Do you live Charlotte? Do you subscribe to the Charlotte Five? If not, get on it! I look forward to this email in my inbox every morning. It's a lot like The Skimm, but geared only toward Charlotte news and happenings. If you live here, sign up!


5. I made these Niman Ranch burgers this weekend after seeing them on my friend Nina's blog. Make them. ASAP! They were awesome!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

February NYC Trip: Days 3 and 4

We woke up on Saturday morning, nice and early thanks to our early riser. We got dressed and headed out to find some breakfast. We had bagels and some yogurt and of course, coffee!


We had time to kill before we were ready to begin our day, as most of the museums and things we were interested in didn't open until 10AM. We wondered around Times Square for a little bit, and found our way into the Disney store. When you ask M now, three weeks later, what she enjoyed the most about NYC, the "Anna and Elsa Store!" is what she'll tell you! She was in heaven walking around and looking at everything! (And the Easter Bunny may have found a really cute Frozen swimsuit coverup that she knows M will go bananas over when she sees it in April.)


From here, we ventured to the subway (a pretty cool experience for a two year old!) and we traveled to the Museum of Mathematics, or MoMath as they call it.  This is a new museum in town (opened in 2012) and several of J's colleagues told him about it and said it's great for kids. We read online that it's geared toward 4th through 8th graders, but children of all ages and adults will enjoy it too. As a former 4th and 5th grade elementary math teacher, I think that's a great description. M definitely didn't understand a lot of the things she saw, but she had a ball exploring and doing all of the hands on activities. I would love to bring a class here for a field trip. It was filled with so many cool exhibits and activities for kids that would be great visual learning opportunities for them. If you have kids and you're visiting NYC with them, it's worth a trip here! We had a ball!


I love this picture of the two of them!





It was really just so much fun! And M still loves talking about the things she did here. 

From here, we left and walked a few blocks to meet J's cousin and his wife for lunch. They live in Brooklyn but came in to meet us. We always love catching up with them, so we were glad we got to sit down and catch up for an hour! After lunch they walked with us to the LEGO store where we played and took in the impressive LEGO buildings.


Around the time we left the LEGO store, it was starting to snow outside, and it was snowing hard! This was the first time M really got to experience real snow that she would remember. It was fun walking back to the subway and our hotel in it!


We made it back to our hotel and J put M down for her nap, and I headed out to go stand in the TKTS line for tickets for a show for that evening. My sister offered to come babysit for Maggie that night while we went out (love you Lindsay!), and so we figured we'd try to see if we could go see a show. The tickets go on sale at 3, so I went and got in line at 2:30. At that time, the line had started, but I was maybe only 100 people back, so not too bad! I stood in the snow for half an hour debating what to see and crossing my fingers that my choices would still be available when I got to the front of the line. I was going back and forth between Cabaret (with Alan Cumming and Emma Stone) or If/Then (with Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp) as my top choices, and my third option would have been Kinky Boots. When I got to the ticket booth, Cabaret was sold out, which made my choice easier, so we got tickets for If/Then

I headed back up to the hotel, where we all napped and rested until I decided to finally wake M up at 5:30 (the big weekend had caught up with her!). J went out and got her and Lindsay Chipotle for dinner, and when Lindsay arrived we headed out for our night out. We found a little sushi place not far from the theater where we sat at the bar and had a quick meal. Really good food, but I have no idea what it was called! 

We headed to the theater at quarter till eight, and got there in just enough time to find our seats. 


The show itself was just....okay. It wasn't bad by any means, but there are so many other great shows with better music, better stories and better dancing. BUT....the performances were fabulous. Idina was Idina. She was spectacular. Getting to see her live and on Broadway was kind of like a bucket list moment for me. I know she's not everyone's favorite, but I was in awe every time she sang. Also, being a big RENT fan from my high school days made it super cool to see her and Anthony Rapp on stage together again. He was also fantastic. 

Idina was nominated for a Tony for this role and she performed at the awards last spring. This was the ballad that her character sang at the end of the show, and my word, that woman can sing. 


Okay....enough fan girl talk! On Sunday morning, M took in the views from the 32nd floor. ..


We met up with Lindsay for brunch in her neighborhood at a diner, and for the first time since we had arrived in NYC, it was actually really nice outside! After three days of extreme cold and snow, the sunshine felt nice! We said our goodbyes to Aunt Lindsay and headed back to our hotel. We stopped by the M&M store (which M called the "Treat Store" since that's what we've called them since potty training last fall). She loved this goofy store. They had an item for everything you could think of with an M&M on it. She didn't ask for any of it until the very end....she found a butterfly container with different color M&M's inside, and looked at us and in a very matter of fact fashion said, "I'm gonna take this home with me." So that was that! She's still slowly working her way through those M&M's at home and I think I may need to replenish with new ones when these are gone, because she loves that darn butterfly. Nothing like a good souvenir!


We flew out later that afternoon and safely made it back to Charlotte (no sitting on the tarmac this time, wooo!) just in time for the Oscars where we both were impressed to see Idina on stage after just seeing her the night before! 

And there you have it! Our first successful big trip with a toddler and a very different trip to NYC then ones I've had in the past. I'm looking forward to more family adventures like this one.

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!