What We’re Doing/Reading/Watching


We’re having a very March-y weekend. It’s cold and biting, so going outside is still not an option, unless it’s to run to the car. We survived a blizzard/hurricane thing here on Friday night and were lucky not to lose power. Our town was ravaged and so many trees and power lines are down. So we’re hunkered inside and making the best of these last few weeks of winter.

I can’t say that January, February, or March have been too terribly exciting, but we’re still kept things interesting. Here’s what we’ve been up to.


What We’re Doing

  • Making lots of origami
  • Using Model Magic to make American Girl Doll food
  • Playing Zingo (both math and word versions) and Boggle Jr.
  • Cleaning out (that spring cleaning vibe is here)
  • Ice skating
  • Cheering on the Eagles (football), Sixers (basketball), and Flyers (hockey)
  • Making Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments (I am determined to wrap up mine this year)
  • Recovering from flu (it was a LONG February!)

What We’re Reading

  • Beartown
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
  • The Little Book of Hygge
  • Berenstein Bears books
  • The dinosaur sports series by Lisa Wheeler (Dino-Baseball, Dino-Boarding, Dino-Basketball, etc.)

What We’re Watching

  • Mozart in the Jungle (I am obsessed)
  • Victoria on Masterpiece
  • Michael Keaton movies
  • The Olympics (as of a week ago)
  • The new Pinkalicious series on PBS
  • Wild Kratts (there has been a renewed interest in this show in the house)
  • Coco

Life will get a little crazier in a few weeks, so it’s good to enjoy a few more quiet weeks. Not only do spring sports like baseball and soccer start in early April, but our family has a few back-to-back trips booked at the end of March and beginning of April. Looking forward to getting to the more action-oriented time of year.



Cookies and Crafts

Hi there! As we count down the hours for the Eagles game to start, I wanted to write a little about how we’re spending our time these days.


This week kicked off the Girl Scout cookie season. My little gal is a Daisy and is having her first experience selling cookies. So far, it’s so much fun! We’ve done a cookie booth with the troop, created a video to share on Facebook and Instagram, and sold cookies to the neighbors.

We’re also crafting quite a bit these days too, which was evident when Miss N headed to school last week on the first day of cookie sales. She not only wore her Daisy vest, she rocked the skirt we made with Riley Blake Girl Scout fabric as well as a bow featuring some favorite Girl Scout cookies, also designed by Riley Blake.

We’ve been creating bows in more than just cookie fabric too. Nora and I have been making many of them with her friends and for her friends. The pattern is pretty simple–you just need three rectangles of fabric, an iron, a glue gun, a needle and thread, and a hair clip. We’ve even made some for the American Girl doggies we have at home on hairbands. Just glue the bow directly on the band and the dog can wear it by her ear or around her neck.

This girl is so much fun, and I have to say I think very highly of first grade. We’re having a great year.

What We’re Doing/Reading/Watching

slimeOne thing I’ve noticed in the last year is that I am able to do a lot more in the REAL world. What I mean by this statement is that I am no longer drowning in baby, toddler, and preschool stuff, content, etc. The kids are much more interested in things I like to do, read, and watch. This doesn’t mean that we’re only partaking in adult activities and content, though. I am perfectly happy doing kid stuff too.

In an attempt to keep track of our favorite interests, I’ll try to share a doing/reading/watching post a few times a year. We’re fully engaged in this stuff right now, as temps are crazy frigid and the kids have had two days off from school (after just two days of school since winter break!). When we’re more into our school and activity routine, I am sure we’ll be engaging in content together less, so now is the perfect time to capture what we’ve been doing through winter break and into early January.

What We’re Doing

  • Playing Just Dance on our Nintendo Switch
  • Making slime with Elmer’s glitter glue
  • Practicing origami
  • Putting together puzzles
  • Playing Uno, Clue Jr., and Mario Monopoly
  • Sewing on Girl Scout patches, teaching Nora how to use the sewing machine, and making hair bows
  • Building Legos and Lincoln Logs

What We’re Reading

  • Julie Albright’s Beforever novel: The Big Break (American Girl)
  • Soccer on Sunday (Merlin Mission book from The Magic Treehouse series)
  • Mo Willems and Mo Willems-endorsed books
  • Pete the Cat readers
  • The Crown: The Official Companion (Vol. 1) by Robert Lacey
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl (given to me but Steve is reading it)

What We’re Watching

  • The Crown
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Zak Storm
  • The Barbie cartoon on Netflix
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  • The new My Little Pony movie (watching it tonight to beat the winter blues)
  • The Last Jedi
  • Ferdinand

So that’s just a snapshot of what we’re into right now. Hoping you have found some content to keep you occupied during these dark winter months.



Adios, 2017!

This year, New Year’s Eve is not going to be too crazy. Our plan is to snuggle up under blankets and watch movies and football games (and maybe an episode or two of The Crown when the kids go to bed), eat up holiday leftovers, and go to bed whenever we feel like it. After all, it’s been a hectic winter break full of many, many highs. We just said goodbye to our last holiday guests today and are ready to put the period at the end of 2017.

It’s been a great, FUN year. We traveled a lot, saw a lot of friends and family, were very active, and got into our groove for the elementary-school years.

What will next year bring, I wonder. We’re starting out on a good note with several exciting trips booked. I have plenty of paid work in January, and I am looking forward to the kids getting back into their routines in just a few days. I am hopeful we’ll be healthy and happy in 2018 — pretty basic stuff. As for my word for 2018 (you know much about the 2017 word — fun), I’ve decided to go with the rather simple “prioritize.” Not sure exactly what this means yet, but I will let you know as I go along this year. I am hopeful it means weighing my commitments (both volunteer and work ones), being present, and giving myself room to grow as a mother and as an individual. We’ll see how it unfolds as the calendar months go by.

No matter your plans for ringing in 2018, I wish you a happy new year!




Holiday Update

winter-houseWe are in the midst of a mid-December snowstorm this afternoon, and I am happily inside working on my to-do list. I am really trying to embrace the coziness (the hygge, if you will) of this chilly and dark time of year. Tonight, I’m making a yummy veggie soup for dinner and plan on snuggling with the kids with a holiday movie until Steve gets home from work (whenever that will be!).

Here are a few of my favorite cozy additions to our holiday decor this year:


I am excited to have added a second Christmas tree to our house, though it’s just tabletop sized. I love getting a little corner of light in the dining room, and it’s a treat to have a place to display my twelve days of Christmas ornaments. While my hands have not been able to handle making too many of these ornaments this year (boo joint stiffness!), I am hoping to finish the swan a swimming this weekend so I can add one more to the tree in 2017 (leaving the people-themed ornaments for 2018).


Nora and I enjoyed putting together a little tray featuring some Christmas elements on the coffee table in the living room. I picked up this cute hammered silver tray from the Hearth and Hand collection at Target in November thinking we could turn it into something fun and festive. We’re enjoying the easy access to the candy canes this season and love the smell of this locally made Christmas Tree soy candle (I’m also diffusing pine regularly since my dream of getting a real tree this year fell off the must-do list).

We’re relishing our cozy time at home particularly right now because this year has been so full of fun adventures. In November, we took a weekend trip to New York City as well as the Jersey shore. I fulfilled a dream of seeing the Rockettes when we were in New York (such an entertaining show!) and got to visit the brand-new American Girl doll store too. I am totally maximizing these doll years with the kids (hard to believe this was my third visit to the NYC AG store with Nora this year!).


We happened upon a beautiful light display in Margate, New Jersey, when we visited over Thanksgiving weekend. The best part of the light display was that it was completely empty of people when we toured it. Shore towns are not exactly hopping during this time of year!


Another highlight this holiday season was watching Nora in her first Nutcracker. She wanted to dance this year specifically to be in the Nutcracker, and I have a feeling we’ll have the chance to watch her dance in it again. She was not at all nervous to be on stage, which Steve and I agreed wouldn’t have been the case with us at seven.


Finally, we are having fun making some gifts this year. Both kids picked out a project for gift making and giving. I’ll reveal more after the holidays so I don’t spoil the surprise for those receiving these items.

I know I’ve been short on blog posts this year. It’s due in part to the kids growing up and me wanting to keep their lives more private and also because my day job is keeping me pretty busy. I’d love to continue to document life in 2018, and maybe I’ll find some newfound time to write here once the year of fun frenzy winds down in a few weeks.

Happy holidays, dear readers!



Year of Fun in Review


About eleven months ago, I went out on a limb and chose “fun” as my word of the year for 2017. My networking group and others were very into the trend of choosing one word to guide the year, and I hopped on board, unsure of what it would bring. Could I stick to this word all year? Did it matter at all?

“Fun” seemed like a strange choice at the time, given that many people around me were choosing adjectives that most applied to working hard, being dutiful to health, etc. At the time, I questioned my choice, but I knew deep down I needed a year of fun. I had been a mother to young children for six-plus years already and had built a successful freelance business during that time. We had moved into an old house that required (unofficially designated) years of “save,” “clean,” “repair,” and “replace.”

The year of fun became almost like the year of saying “yes.” Less fretting over the budget and saving (a natural tendency) and more focus on planning fun trips, purchasing show tickets, hosting parties, and more. We did less to the house this year (though a few things insisted we pay attention to them, much to my dismay). We spent more time together as a family in hotel rooms, rental cars, and restaurants.

My year of fun included:

  • An ambitious Pacific Northwest trip with my family that included Seattle, Portland, and my West Coast family.
  • A trip to New York City to celebrate Steve’s birthday in February, including tickets to the School of Rock Broadway show.
  • A brief winter getaway with girlfriends to Walt Disney World.
  • A visit to New York City with my daughter and her friend on an impromptu Girl Scout trip.
  • A camping trip with friends in Maryland.
  • A trip to Ithaca, New York, with my family for my October birthday.
  • An upcoming trip to New York City to see a holiday show.
  • A family trip to Disney World in 2018 that I planned as part of the year of fun.
  • Tickets to lots of local performances all year long.
  • Membership to a local pool.
  • Lots of activities outside the usual budget for my kids–saying yes to pretty much any idea they proposed.

Obviously, one can’t have a year devoted to fun every year–it would be impossible to fund these types of years annually. But the experience of letting go of my hesitation to spend and conserve really was life changing for me. I am especially grateful that I did this during a year when my kids are young but mature enough to enjoy the ride along with me. Hoping the year of fun can continue on a smaller level in future years.

So now I am left to choose a word for 2018. I have to admit that nothing can top the year of fun, but I hope I can come up with something equally meaningful and apt for next year. I highly recommend you try this simple way of making resolutions.



October Air


Today is a beautiful fall day here. The sun is shining and the afternoon feels warm, but the mornings and evenings are crisp. We’ve all been lingering in bed in the morning with these cooler temperatures. It may also be due to our fall schedule, which is pretty darn tiring.

I can’t complain about the pace of life these days though. Everyone is really happy, thriving, and putting time and energy into what gives them joy, or at least purpose!

The first grader loves the full day of school and is applying herself at many after-school activities, including soccer, ballet, and Girl Scouts. She loves to be busy and among the people, so being on the go is truly what brings her joy.

The kindergartner has adjusted to his new school routine finally and is making new friends. He amazes me with his abilities at soccer, and he is excited to be learning to play the piano.

I am trying to keep up with these kids and continue to dig myself out of a big editing pile (I project that I’ll be done with it this Friday!). I hope that October brings a little more balance in my schedule, as long work days make me a little crazy. I am like my daughter — one who likes to be with the people — so balancing my solitary editing and writing work (which also recharges me) with some volunteering, exercising, and socializing will boost my happiness for sure.

We are excited to celebrate fall in many ways this season. We’re headed to a “pumpkin days” celebration next weekend and will travel to the Finger Lakes for my 35th birthday. We’ve also signed up for a Trunk or Treat at the school and have several other Halloween events planned. Yay for October and all its festivity!

I would be remiss if I neglected to mention that my heart aches for several tragedies and natural disasters in the news as of late. I am also disheartened by the low levels of rhetoric we are stooping to in our country. Raising children in this world is not easy, folks. I hope that the efforts we are putting into their lives as parents are going to give them the confidence to lead this world into a much better place.


Back to School and Everything Else


It’s amazing to me how the last days of summer seem so long as we await the beginning of the school year. Last weekend we were literally counting hours of days. The weather wasn’t great and the kids were tired. We’d done everything on our summer to-do list and we were ready for a change.

And then Tuesday, the first day of school, happened. And we haven’t stopped moving since! My oldest started her first year as a full-day student and my son started half-day kindergarten as well as an enrichment program in the afternoon. Piano started up again, as did soccer. And more is slated for next week!

I absolutely adore this time of year, and we’re off to a cool start weather wise that is helping with earlier bedtimes and a change of schedule. So happy the kids are enjoying this first week — it helps that there hasn’t been homework!


What a Summer!

Today is the last day of kid summer. Tomorrow, the bus rolls up our street every weekday through June. And this year, both kids are hopping on that bus. There is a mix of excitement, anticipation, and nervousness in our house today, but we most forge ahead.

This summer was pretty amazing when I think about the scope of what we did. There was a killer West Coast vacation, a camping trip, a few beach trips, a girls’ visit to New York City, and lots of visits to local museums and theater performances. The kids did several weeks of camp, swam at our pool, and got plenty of bike riding in. We even painted their rooms!

We closed out summer with several fun activities, including watching the solar eclipse at our local park with friends, going to the Reading Public Museum to see the Ninja Turtles exhibit, and wandering through the attractions of our own city — Philadelphia. I finally got the kids to the Liberty Bell! Summer bucket list completed!

As the mama bear to these cubs, I have mixed feelings sending them off tomorrow. I am thrilled to establish a new routine in the house, but I’ll miss the excitement that summer brings. I should keep in mind that we’re already planning Halloween costumes and holiday happenings, so there is plenty going on this fall.


Gearing Up


Though there are still nearly three weeks left until school begins around these parts, the end of summer is feeling closer and closer. I have been tackling lots of projects that have remained on my to-do list all summer long. In just the last week, I’ve sewn on Daisy patches; sorted, organized, and recycled old artwork and schoolwork; and started adding fall dates to the calendar.


Oh, and we’ve done our school shopping, of course. I am a planner, so prepping early for school keeps me feeling a little more relaxed for the last stretch of summer. I am excited to welcome my parents at the end of August, so I don’t want this stuff hanging over my head. We tackled both the kindergarten and first grade lists at Target this year. I do wonder if the shopping created a little anxiety about the beginning of school or if that was bound to happen in August no matter what. I’ve noticed the kids seem a little more on edge as camp weeks wind down and we start preparing for September.

Of course we have many fun things to do before we close down summer 2017. We’re headed to a few more museums, plan to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, and can’t wait to see the partial eclipse from here on Monday. Schedules can wait for just a few more weeks.


And my kids know there are a few more summer treats to come too!