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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Mt Ascutney - a Vermont Winter Getaway

I am great at traveling but I have to admit, I am terrible at relaxing. Lazy days aren't in my wheelhouse and if there's a quiet day on my weekly planner, you know I am going to fill it with something (a new house project, a house deep clean, etc). There is nothing like the holidays and getting sick to show you just how run down you are. I also took a few new projects for work which added to my work and stress load. Holiday hustle, work, and back-to-back colds left me worn down. I was all ragged edges and little patience, so much congestion and attitude, all just in time for another COVID surge. 

Winters can be long and dark here in New England. The only way to survive is to find something you love to do in the winter. For me, it's skiing and we planned a winter ski trip in January, strategically placed before Adam's parents head out for a month-long trek to Florida. We bought Epic passes, so excited to ski after being pregnant last winter, only to forget we were running really low in the childcare department. We invited Adam's parents to stay with us (and watch the baby while we skied) and it could not have worked out better. They were happy to hang out at the condo, we snuck away to ski, and we all spent the afternoons and evenings relaxing. Vermont is a perfect place to unwind, to acknowledge that winter is a season of stillness. That you can spend cold bright sunny days enjoying the mountains but when the sun goes down at five, it's time for stillness.  The landscape reminds you to slow down as you drive down its windy roads. No traffic, just long drives through small towns that beg you to pull over and admire a covered bridge or winding river. Four nights in Vermont recharges your batteries. It was slow mornings, easy days, and lazy afternoons. We went out to dinner one night and the rest of the time, opted to stay in the condo, cooking meals and enjoying the slow pace of life. Nowhere to be, nothing to do, no project to be completed. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

A Neutral Nursery

I think most women who want children someday have daydreamed about what a future nursery would look like. When we started renovating this house (and before we found out we were expecting), we started calling this room in the corner "the nursery". It was sweet and dreamy, to be sitting in this terribly old outdated and dirty room in the corner of the house, thinking of all its potential. We peeled wallpaper and painted walls, installed new windows, and redid the floors, envisioning how this room would all come together when the time came. And then, it did. 

There are so many themed and styled nurseries now, ranging from safaris to unicorns and while they are fun, they just aren't for me. When I found out we were expecting a little boy, I knew I wanted something more neutral. I didn't want anything decked out in bright blues and dark greens and figured a neutral nursery would also work for a possible Baby #2 down the road, regardless of gender. 

Future planning aside, planning a very neutral nursery was something I wanted to do for me. My thought was this - he isn't going to know or care what the room looks like as a baby so I may as well make it a calming room I love, a room that matches the rest of the house. When he's older with opinions on decor, I will embrace planes and trains on the wall.  But for now, I wanted something neutral and calming that matched the rest of the house which is a simple clean Scandinavian neutral design. I didn't want to invest insane amounts of money into decorating this room, but knew I needed a few solid staples. Here's what we came up with for Whitney's room and how it became my favorite room in the house. 

Friday, December 31, 2021

Year In Review 2021

2021.... What a year it's been. I can say for certain that 2021 will be a year I never forget. It was filled with some of the most rewarding moments of my life yet, but also some of the hardest. It was another year of the pandemic and navigating this new way of life. We also had our son early in the year and shifted a bit into a different lifestyle - one where keeping him healthy and safe was our number one priority.

Despite the challenges the pandemic brought, we had an amazing year. We made so many memories together, finished some projects on the house, and watched Whitney steal everyone's hearts. This is my 8th year writing this review (you can see 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014) and it's still my favorite post I write all year.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Adirondack Balloon Festival (September 2022) New York

There is something so magical about hot air balloons. It's a bucket list item for many to go soaring through the sky in a hot air balloon (and one I checked off while in Arizona). If going ballooning isn't in your budget or desires, I at least highly recommend heading to a balloon festival to see the balloons blown up and in flight. If you live in the northeast, there are a ton of amazing options. If Lake George is within reach, the Adirondack Balloon Festival is an amazing and free family-friendly event that needs to be on your 2022 calendar. 

The Adirondack Balloon Festival is one of those events that can be molded to fit into whatever kind of weekend adventure you are looking for. Romantic morning watching the sunrise in the morning - yep. Family-friendly day adventure - absolutely. An evening watching the balloons lit up - definitely. Stop by for an hour or pack a picnic and chairs and stay for the evening. It is an awesome event that should be on everyone's bucket list. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Holiday Gift Guide (1 year old)

This is Whitney's first Christmas but even more importantly, it's the one Christmas where he doesn't have any say over his gifts. I know there will be a future Christmas filled with legos and toys but for now, I wanted to focus on some items he needs or things we can enjoy through the winter (okay, and a few fun toys). I know it's not as genuine and sort of"tacky" to have a list but here's the thing... some people love to find that organic perfect gift but some people really like a nudge in the right direction, or, a direct link.

These are functional gifts more than they are toys, and they are based around an almost 1-year-old. He will be one this February and we are so excited to be out in the snow this winter with our 1-year-old. If you are looking for a gift for the little one in your life, this guide is a great place to start. 

Kidkraft A-frame Hideaway & Climber Tent
I loved that his compact climber functioned as a tent too. I figured this would be really fun for his room... especially during the winter months **currently on sale $30 off **  

Seasonal Books
We have a seasonal rotating bookshelf in his room. We have a lot of Christmas and Halloween books now, but we are on the lookout for the other seasons (spring, summer, easter, thanksgiving, whatever!)

Flexible Flyer Sled 16"
Hoping we could tote him around the trails and let him sled in the front yard!

Foldable Pail Bucket Collapsible Buckets
These look super fun and easy to tote around for beach or camping trips

Water Table
Kids love water tables! Fun summer activity

LLBean Snowman Kit
How fun is this kit for building snowmen in the winter??!
10% off when you signup for their email list


REI Kids Water Bottle
No Caption Needed :)
Use discount code “gearup2021” for 20% off through November 22 anything at REI


They send high-quality age-appropriate toys on a subscription plan

This would be great for getting him and our things down to the beach or concerts on the green

Burley Encore Bike/Run/Ski trailer
This is a big-ticket item that Adam and I bought for each other and Whitney - it goes from bike trailer to running stroller to skiing trailer! We bought this as a 2 seater so it's the perfect way for a growing family in the future, to tote two kids around and have a 2 kid running stroller. I originally wanted the Thule Multisport but at over $1,000 and no discount codes accepted, I couldn't stomach the price tag. The Burley is currently on sale at REI and had amazing reviews for a middle price point bike trailer.