Spring Break Recap

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Spring break ends today. I am preparing to get my eldest on the school bus this morning, but it was such fun to explore our area with my kids last week. We went into Philadelphia, visited New York City, explored a nearby arboretum, attended a Phillies game, played at our playground and creek, practiced and played baseball, watched Boss Baby, orchestrated an Easter egg hunt for the neighborhood, and more. There’s never a dull moment with these two!

What a week! Looking forward to more adventures this summer.

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March Fun

 

March has sure been a crazy month for our family. The kids had two breaks — for conferences and spring break. It’s been nonstop fun for them, but they both seemed pretty happy to get back to the school routine today. I am also relieved to have a few months with no major disruptions. My workload is definitely part- to full-time these days.

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This month included some St. Paddy’s celebrations, a trip to our college town, and around town fun, including crafting, mini golfing, trampolining, and more. Nora is Shopkins-obsessed, so we made these ones out of air-dry clay. A fun project to kick off spring break!

 

We loved visiting Ithaca again. Eating at Moosewood was a highlight for this nearly lifelong vegetarian as was seeing the beautiful gorges. Watching the kids enjoy nature and the little things made my heart so happy too. We love theme parks and museums, of course, but there is something to be said about taking your kids to a simpler place to really get away from it all.

Oh, and did I mention that I coordinated two Easter egg hunts? It was rewarding to be involved with these activities, but I sure am excited to have less on my to-do list now that Easter is over! Both went off pretty seamlessly; the weather cooperated for both, which is the most important part of the whole activity.

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And we’ve been baking, cooking, drinking, and enjoying life. The Pioneer Woman came to the rescue for our last-minute Easter meal. This carrot cake was divine, with or without the pecans.

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I love my kids at this age. Seriously, it’s so much fun.

 

Sunshine

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There’s nothing like a clear, sunny, 70-degree day without plans. I sit here basking in our first truly beautiful day of 2015, watching the kids play in the backyard. Nora pushes the Sit and Stand stroller, pretending to mother her brother. Carson plays along–until he’s had enough and then finds a stick to use for his ninja moves.

I see buds on the trees. Irises poke out of the soil in our front yard. Spring is here, at last.

School reopens tomorrow after a weeklong spring break. How I’ve loved this time to go on adventures with my little ones. We’ve logged some miles in the car, stayed up past our bedtimes, and eaten a lot of Easter candy.

These days are good.

Early Taste of Spring

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How does one prepare for spring when the ground is covered in snow and the temperatures are not even flirting with the freezing mark? Well, if you are in Philadelphia, you travel to the Flower Show for an instant pick-me-up!

This more than hundred-year tradition is one of the best-timed events. In our area, the seasons stick to the calendar for the most part. This means that it snows in March (still winter) and is blazing hot in September (still summer). As much as we’re ready to move into the next season during these transitional months, Mother Nature insists we wait it out until those equinoxes arrive!

This year’s Flower Show focused on the movies, which was a perfect them for a four-year-old and a two-and-a-half-year-old. We enjoyed the beautiful displays while trying to guess the movies.

Here are some of the highlights:

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What magnificent floral displays!

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Themed after Cinderella’s wedding.

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Here’s Elsa’s castle.

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From Ratatouille. (Love the tomatoes in the floral basket!)

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Peter Pan.

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An Up doghouse.

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Winnie-the-Pooh, of course!

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Merida’s archery skills displayed.

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And some other beautiful displays!

A Touch of Easter

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Lost in the shuffle of moving (aside from Nora’s soccer socks–anyone have a clue where those are?!) are the spring holidays and the fun crafts and recipes that can be planned around them. While I am usually capable of enjoying both Easter and Passover, this season has left me dead in my tracks. I am starting to worry about when I’ll get out to find some Easter basket goodies for the kids.

Nonetheless, Nora and I decorated our new mantel for the holiday and have made matzo bark and decorated construction paper Easter eggs to get into the festivities a bit. While it will be a scaled-back affair, the spring decor has me in a cheerier mood. And we have a few things on the wall now, as you can see above the Easter display.

SAHM Thoughts

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It’s been several months since I’ve felt in my groove as a stay-at-home mom. Summer and fall flew by as I transitioned to my new role, but between winter and our moving endeavor, I’ve felt less than adequate in my full-time job at home with the kids.

However, on this first full day of spring, I feel like I am back. Maybe it’s the official change of season or the fact that our home showings have really slowed down and our day-to-day pace has become more normal again, but I feel inspired and re-engergized. Soon, I’ll be unpacking boxes in our new house, planning messy projects for the kids, cooking my favorite and new recipes, and settling into a new routine.

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What else is on my agenda these days? Figuring out a good balance of activities for the kids, crunching numbers in our budget for the new house, working on lining up new paid-work gigs, and dreaming of my brother’s summer wedding!

Spring, I’m happy to see you!

Four-Day Weekend Ahead!

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Even though I am no longer in the workforce, this upcoming holiday weekend has me excited! Steve is off Friday and Monday, so we’ll have an extra-special long weekend to share together. On the to-do list? Constructing some toys, cleaning Nora’s closet, going on a date, hosting a small BBQ with friends, and baby-proofing the house (currently watching Carson stare up the stairs).

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I am trying to figure out how to carve out some me-time with our new routine, but I’ve been keeping the kids busy with lots of activities, and really wearing myself our in the process. Between outdoor adventures, regular park trips, meal fixing, project creating, and house managing, we’re exhausted at the end of the day.

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The kids and I are off today to collect supplies for our exciting weekend ahead. I hope you all enjoy your long holiday weekends too!

Destination: Sea Cliff, NY

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We kicked off summer travel season over the weekend, trekking to Sea Cliff, New York, a cute beach town on Long Island. This trip had been on our list for years, and now that the kids are a bit older, it was time to make the journey four hours north.

My brother-in-law’s longtime girlfriend is from Sea Cliff, and her parents own a gorgeous house in the one-square-mile village. The house has a beautiful view of the Long Island Sound, so we were able to experience the beauty of Sea Cliff without having to venture outside much. Unfortunately, the weekend weather wasn’t as ideal as we had hoped for, so we kept our exploring to the main town after our Saturday arrival.

Downtown Sea Cliff is full of beautiful Victorian homes and quaint shops. We popped into a local coffee house for some caffeine and Thai-inspired vegetarian sandwiches, which were delicious. Uncle Ricky and Aunt Emily got to fawn over Carson, who they hadn’t seen since Christmastime.

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Nora met a family friend’s pet “dogs” during our downtown walk.

Continue reading “Destination: Sea Cliff, NY”

Finished: Modge Podge Coasters

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If there was ever a holiday that called for Pinterest-inspired gifts, it would be Mother’s Day. There’s nothing like giving your mom a handmade, less-than-perfect gift–even when you are thirty years old. I treasured the gifts my kids gave me this year, and I hope my mom appreciated the homespun gift I bestowed upon her.

For this Mother’s Day gift, I was inspired by some beautiful Asian-themed paper that I acquired for a home project in March. My parents just returned from a week-long trip to Hong Kong in April so it would be good timing to gift something with that aesthetic. In looking through my Pinterest account, I realized I had pinned Modge Podge coasters twice. So, with four white tiles, the decorative paper, Modge Podge, and felt, I made these architectural/dragon-themed coasters for my mom. Here’s the best tutorial I could find for the project.

The coasters turned out better than I imagined, and I was quite pleased to send them off to Idaho, along with an invitation to tea, which I’ll host when my parents visit in June. Happy Mother’s Day to my one-and-only mama!