Z Style – Back to School

I can’t believe in less than 3 weeks my little Z will start going to Nursery School. SCHOOL. Anything with that word in it sounds so grown-up! She is more than excited and I often hear her trying to tell whoever will listen “I go school!” She asks me to read “The Night Before Preschool” multiple times a day. And she is officially obsessed with her teeny tiny backpack. I decided to order a Swankaroo backpack since they are made for kids under 5 years old – she’s so small and anything we found in stores just made it look like she’d tip over. Anyway, the big first day is all the talk around here so I thought I’d pull together and share with you what she’ll be wearing for her first day of nursery school.

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Chambray shirt – babyGAP (similar, similar girly version)/ Skirt – Target / Shoes – Livie & Luca / Socks – Amazon / Backpack – Swankaroo

Couple Things…

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The most interesting restaurant in #newportri right now: The Revolving Door where they have a house chef (consistent menu) and a chef of the month who brings their own menu in. We’ve had our worst and best meal of the summer there! It really depends on who the chef of the moment is… I’m showing you this past weekend’s meal that was DELISH!

Speaking of going out to eat, we bring this bag of princesses out to eat with us every time to keep our Z entertained, we call them “the girls.”

Always on her “phone” in the car.

We made another batch of homemade pickles.

This guy is smiling, laughing, and cooing non-stop – the best!

I took the kids to The Butterfly Place in Westford, MA on Thursday to soften the blow of daddy’s first day back to work. Z loved it, M slept, and the butterflies (especially the giant ones) gave me the heebie jeebies.

 

Have a great weekend!

Handmade Baby Announcements

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Every time I mention making the birth announcements for my babies, people think I’m nuts. And, well, maybe I am a little but I can promise it’s not as laborious as you would think. The main trick is to make most of the card while you’re still pregnant, you can do everything but take the photo of your baby and write up his stats ahead of time – even address your envelopes! Here’s how Baby M’s announcements came together, and yes – I used the same color scheme as his nursery:

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I stamped my message and then used embossing powder on it to give it a textured feel.

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Once those were dry I cut each one out with a scalloped edge scissor.

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Then I used the top of a giant pencil to stamp polka dots on the blank card.

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After M’s arrival, we had a little photo shoot and ordered prints. I then placed a photo on each card using photo squares. Then used tape to adhere the “Welcome Baby” message. We included a photo of Z and M on the inside along with his baby stats.

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And I had to add a little baby stamp to each envelope as a special touch.

All Good Things Must Come to an End…

So today is the day – the last day of the Summer of Us, my husband goes back to work tomorrow. We have had the best. summer. ever. Can imagine the luxury of 10 weeks off together as a family? And to start our sweet baby M’s life with such a bang? It’s been truly wonderful. You can click through all of the Summer of Us posts but I also wanted to share a few fun days that I just honestly ran out of time to make posts for…

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2 separate rides on the carousel where my husband and I got married in Newport, RI…

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…and a trip to the aquarium at the same beach. After a major Z meltdown we had fun (although the shark touch tank was a little scary as seen here).

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A day at the Franklin Park Zoo.

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Outdoor concerts and picnics (where we made Deviled Eggs and a Quinoa and Edamame Salad).

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A ride on the swan boats in Boston.

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Lots of playground time.

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Local long weekends.

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Countless beach days.

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and best of all – non-stop sister/brother bonding, she loves to help him with tummy time.

This summer was fun, it was stressful, and boy was it tiring (especially for me, our M still gets me up twice a night to eat!) but I wouldn’t change a minute of it. And thankfully we have about 5,000 photos to remember it by! I hope your summer was as kickass as ours!

Toddler Nutrition

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I would say our Z eats pretty well. But there are certainly times when it seems as though she on a hunger strike and will only want “friiiies” or “noodlz,” and well, those foods certainly aren’t nutritious. When the folks at HappyFamily asked if we’d like to try their new Super Nutrition Shakes for toddlers, I jumped at the chance, you know what big fans of HappyFamily we are already!

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The shakes come in yummy flavors – chocolate and vanilla so your toddler will be sure to love them. We tried them for breakfast…

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…and part of lunch (along with hummus & pita and pickles). Each shake has 8g of protein and 21 vitamins and minerals so you KNOW she is being nourished well. Let me know if you try them and how much YOUR toddler loves them!

 

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by HappyFamily, however all above opinions and thoughts are my very own.

 

Couple Things…

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Uch, this week… It wasn’t a bad week, just one of those weeks where we were just over-scheduled and too busy. We had some last minute house guests, nights out, and now my hubby is gone for the entire weekend, wish me luck! I’ve been up since 4:30 today between feeding baby M, my husband getting up at 5 to catch his flight, and Z getting up at 6 for the day. Did they all plan this as a cruel joke?

Anyway, I went through my phone last night to pull my Friday post together and there weren’t too many pics to choose from. But I did find a series of about 30 Z selfies which is always a fun surprise so I thought I’d share one with you today.

Have a great weekend – cross your fingers for me that I get more sleep than last night!!

KidNosh

If you read this blog, you must know how much we enjoy food in this house. We cook a lot – trying new recipes weekly, if not even more frequent than that. What I don’t share all that often is how much we enjoy dining out, too! We are always on the hunt for a great, new restaurant – in fact my husband follows the blog Boston Restaurant Talk to always be in the know of what’s new, what’s closed, and what’s coming soon. We have an active list of new places we want to try and of course a never ending list of local faves we love to visit often.

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A recent trip to Parish Cafe (Z’s meal and milk not pictured)

And yes, before you ask – we love to take our babies out with us! I remember the first place we took our Z was when she was a month old and we were dying to go out. We strapped her in her bucket car-seat, went at night when we knew she’d be asleep, and had a lovely dinner at (the now closed) Chez Henri in Cambridge. We’ve been taking her out with us ever since and of course Baby M has been dining out since he was 2 weeks old, ha!

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Tavern on the Square in Burlington, we love to dine outside!

I will say though, especially now that we have a wild toddler, it’s tricky to always figure out a good place to go out as a family and have everyone be happy. Enter KidNosh. An awesome website that reviews restaurants so you know the best places to dine out with your kids – they do the tough part for you! You can search for restaurants by neighborhood, price range, or cuisine. It’s SUCH a great idea.

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Ruyi in Lexington for hibachi! Z covered her eyes for the onion volcano…

I am so excited to share with you today that I have joined the team at KidNosh and will be reviewing restaurants for the site. You can imagine how exciting this is, I of course already have a short list of places to review. I’ll be sharing links to my reviews as they come up but in the meantime, check out the site and do some research as to where to bring your kiddos out to dinner next!

 

Time for Mom

Homemade Pickles

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Do you know how crazy easy it is to make your own pickles?

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We received a large bag of pickling cucumbers (Kirby Cucumbers are their official name) from our CSA a couple weeks ago and there’s not much else to do with them other than make pickles, so we did! We bought a 2 liter jar with a hinge lid (like this one) and went to work finding a recipe. If you read this blog you know we prefer relatively simple recipes with few ingredients but the recipe we found for pickles on Smitten Kitchen took that preference to a new level.

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To make pickles you need: pickling cucumbers, dill, salt, and white vinegar. Oh, and time. That’s it!

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Start by using a mandolin to slice your cucumbers to 1/8″ thick and add them to your jar. You could always make them thicker if you want, your call.

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Toss your 3 ingredients on top, close the lid, shake up all the ingredients, and refrigerate. We got a great pickle by 6 hours later, they were really great the next day and lasted in the fridge almost a week.

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Try it yourself! These are perfect on sandwiches, as a side, or as a little snack all on their own, we brought them to the beach last week – enjoy!

Couple Things…

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We took a ride on the swan boats in Boston #summerofus

After the boats we went to an old fave for dinner – Parish Cafe! I happened to score this great selfie, too.

We made this delicious Kale and Butternut Squash Tart this week only we substituted carrots and yellow squash for the butternut squash and I may have liked that even more!

Nothing cuter than baby feet….right?

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Summer of Us – North Conway, NH

We were in North Conway, NH for 5 days last week and I just had to share some photos with you because we had such a great time! We go up there pretty frequently but this time was centered around something we had never done – go to Storyland (well, actually, I’ve been to Storyland quite a few times as a child but this was our first time as a family and more importantly Z and Baby M’s first time there)!!

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We weren’t quite sure how Z would do, if she’d like the rides or be nervous. So we arrived and started slow with the Storybook section of the park and she could not have been more disinterested. She didn’t seem to be having any fun so we stopped to get an ice cream with sprinkles and we thought that would perk her right up – it didn’t…

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Across the way was the Polar Coaster (Antarctica-themed roller coaster) and since she IS 36″ and that’s the minimum to ride, we brought her on. Let’s just say, a daredevil was born! Yes, that’s her in the last car with both of her tiny arms in the air (don’t worry, she has a lap belt on AND I am clutching her for dear life. We went on ride after ride and had the very best time!

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Baby M’s first ride and a family selfie!

 

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IMG_7686 Baby M’s view of Storyland…

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Taking a pumpkin coach to Cinderella’s Castle was. awesome! Baby M and I took the foot path, btw. A great thing about Storyland is if you go and buy your pass at 3pm or later one day, you can go the next day as part of the same ticket – a timeline that worked perfect for us with a napping toddler (we went after nap Sunday and were home for a late nap Monday afternoon). The other great thing is kids under 3 get in free!

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After all the excitement of Storyland, we had some pool time the next day.

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We also went on a hike because how can you be in the White Mountains and not do something outdoorsy?

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And now I have to share my favorite story of our trip. We pulled into the parking lot of the hiking trail we took and got the very last parking spot. All of a sudden this guy comes barreling out of the woods! I shouted “Holy SH*T that’s a MOOSE,” grabbed my phone, and ran out to grab some photos.

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I may have gotten a little too close, by the way – but it’s SO rare to see a moose in person I had to get some shots. I yelled for my husband to get out of the car (I don’t think he was understanding just how exciting this was) and he grabbed Z so she could see too. Mr. Moose never stopped trotting until he got across the highway to a small pond. We could see cars pulling over and droves of people stopping to see him. It was so fun and exciting! Technically I had seen a moose before as a child on the side of the road on the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire, but I really understood just how special it was this time around. It was a fun way to end our time in North Conway!