Weekly Wishes: My Wishes for this Week

The Nectar Collective


I am sad to say that I did not accomplish all of my wishes from last week! A terrible fall/head cold got me down for a few days plus I had 7 meetings for work (on top of a regular work day), so I am a little behind.

We do have some meals for the week (thanks to Chad and frozen pizzas), but no scheduled posts (besides Cameron's 15 month update for tomorrow - please stop,  time!) and no sub plans...yet! Those will be done today.

My wishes for this week are real wishes...for rest and quiet and for no complications. And for Cameron to sleep through the night for Chad. He's always been such a great sleeper but teeth have been messing with his sleep pattern lately. I will be sleeping upstairs in the guest room post-surgery, so Chad and Cameron will be downstairs together. This will be great for me because I won't hear a peep, so hopefully the same goes for down there. :)


I hope you all have a great week!

Happy (almost) October!

xoxo
Jess


5 on Friday: My New Favorite Things





This is my new favorite gadget of all time! 
It is one less thing I have to carry, and it keeps me from having my credit cards so handy...win - win!





I mean....no explanation needed!





I used to have super oily skin, but as I've gotten older, my skin becomes sooo dry during the fall and winter months. Arbonne's Revitalizing Set is the only thing that I have found that prevents my skin from being flaky dry without making it overly oily! This is certainly not a new product for me, but I always come to appreciate it a lot more when these dry months start rolling around....




4) GAP Sales
I just snagged some goodies at 40% off yesterday (plus I had some rewards to use)! I got Chad some new socks (Hey, it's the little things!), a new dress and new tights for me for under $30! Thank you, GAP Sales!

I am hoping this looks adorable with tights and boots....oh, the thrill of online shopping! ;)



5) FALL. 
Yes, fall. I am loving every single thing about it this year! Sweatshirts, warm coffee, Saturday errands...everything just seems more fun!


Poor kid has no pants that fit him...we have to roll everything so they don't fall off!





I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Ours will be full of cleaning and prepping our house to be put on the market (eek!), family time and volunteering at a Hospice Event!

xoxo
Jess





Our Weekend: Fall is Here!


I think most of you will agree with me when I say that I am sooo excited that fall is officially here!! The weather has been amazing and I am totally enjoying my boots and Cameron's hoodies! :)

This past weekend, we took full advantage of the sunshine, loaded up on coffee and stayed outside as long as possible. 

Friday night dinner date with Grandpa...this week: Macaroni Grill

Assembling our amazing IKEA table set...Cam LOVES it and has not stopped sitting in his chairs since we put them together!

See? Morning coffee chats with LouLou



After Cameron's morning nap on Saturday (which was almost an hour....those are good naps in our house!), we headed to the Eastern Prom: the neighborhood where we will be living in less than a year!!! We walked around and looked at all of the old Victorian homes then let Cam loose at the playground.


This is one of my favorite looks. It's when he's watching other kids (or adults) play....I just love it.

Happy Boy!






A sneak peek at the house we are buying now....we have so many before pictures! You would be amazed at some of them. (I will share a lot more later, but wanted to throw in some sneak peeks!)

An old closet...it's about 3.5' tall and about 2' wide...I don't think this would pass as a "Master" closet anymore!

Should we keep the carpet? Yikes! We are tearing this baby down to her bare bones!


Saturday night, Chad cooked an amaaaazing meal for me. Well, to start, we popped a bottle of Veuve at 3:30!!! We enjoyed it thoroughly before indulging in some delicious goat cheese and Stonewall Kitchen's Pepper Jelly...have you tried it? DO IT NOW. It's so good and so simple. 

(via)


For dinner, Chad made seared scallops, white truffle risotto, candied pear....oh my. The benefits of being with a Chef!



He also made an apple pie (talk about being spoiled!), but that was pretty much gone before I could get a picture of it. :)



Sundays are for....FOOTBALL!! My Uncle Bill is a die-hard Redskins fan (poor guy), so we are always sending funny pictures/comments back and forth. I snapped this super goofy picture of Cameron in his Patriots sweatshirt yesterday, so I had to send it to him. 





This was one of my favorite weekends....Chad and I got to spend some time together, Cameron was amazing and the weather was perfect. This upcoming weekend is much busier, but for good reasons!!


I hope you all have a great week!!
xoxo
Jess



5 on Friday: Weekly Roundup





THANK YOU for your sweet and confirming comments, Instagram notes and emails on my post yesterday. It's funny how you think you're the only one who feels a certain way when you're really one of many!

1) We got a new car!! We loved our Land Rover, but she was getting old, so we sold her to a new family who needed a lot of space for soccer kids!! We are leasing a brand new, fully-loaded Ford Explorer. I must say that all of the gadgets are mighty fun to play with!! We have Sirius, back-up camera, duel sunroof and heated seats...Momma is in heaven! It also has a 3rd row which folds down and lends a LOT of cargo space. The Bob fits with no problems!



2) There are less than 100 days until Christmas! I know it's not even fall yet, but I LOVE the Christmas season. From October 26 (Chad's birthday) through January 27 (Mom's birthday), I feel like we are all in a wonderful, joyous mood and are celebrating non-stop. I cam across this wonderful "planner" starting with 100 days to go, but I don't think I will splurge for it. I think I've got it down pretty well...



3) Speaking of holidays, fall starts this weekend!! I am so stinkin excited...we've already gotten a good dose of "fall" weather, but I am looking forward to more football, chili and bundled walks around the neighborhood! I cannot wait to get our new house so we can decorate it for every season! PS Do you read Jessica's blog? She is obsessed with fall, and I love it.

(via)


4) Cameron came down with an awful fever on Wednesday afternoon and had to be picked up from day care. We were up with him throughout the night; I've never felt him so warm!! The Tylenol worked wonders, and we kept him home from day yesterday. I hate not being able to make him feel better. :(

5) I love the new iPhone operating system...it's so fun!! It's definitely more"droid" looking, which isn't bad, in my opinion! Did you download it??





I hope you all have a great weekend!! Do you have any fun plans? I don't think we have any plans, which is always wonderful!

xoxo
Jess

Dear Cameron, The First Year...

**It's taken me awhile to write this post...I didn't want to share it, then I did. Then I wanted to add stuff and take stuff out. So this is quite the compilation of emotions, memories and how my view of motherhood has changed over the last year. 

The first few weeks were rough. I cried. Your Daddy and I fought. I googled things. I texted friends. I was grumpy and short-tempered. But, I was just trying to be the best Mom to you as I could. I wanted to be sure I was feeding you right. Burping you enough. You were awake and asleep at the right times. You weren't easy, Mr Man, but you are ours, and we are eternally thankful for the best year of our life.





just a few days old...


I can't lie. When we signed you up for day care, it was a relief. I thought that maybe they could take care of you better than I could. Then I started getting more sleep and found myself again at work. But then I missed you and started to get to know you better. I learned that you are a miracle and that I was one of the luckiest people in the world to have you.






I've learned to trust myself. I rarely google things anymore; I just know. And it's because you've let me learn. You are one of the most impatient babies that we've met, but you've been oh-so-patient with me and allowed me to make mistakes.

I have to say that it took a long time to fall in love with you. To really feel that yanking at my heart that I feel now when I think about you or see you after a long day apart. I didn't always feel that. And I've learned that's OK and normal...you completely changed my life and I am eternally grateful for that now. But, you completely changed my life, and I wasn't quite ready for it. I didn't understand just how much everything would change.



I remember sitting on our couch when you were just a couple of weeks old and a picture caught my eye. It was of your Daddy and me in NYC. We were free. We used to be able to go to NYC anytime we wanted to! Now, that's not an option. Taking a weekend trip requires planning and lots of packing (or a babysitter to stay home with you). I was resentful. Honestly. That word sounds so harsh, but I'm just being honest.



When I was pregnant, your Daddy and I would sit on the couch and talk about how we couldn't wait until you were sitting with us, just watching tv...well, guess what? You will not sit for more than 2 seconds, so that image has never come to life. But, I don't care. Chasing you around the house is so much more fun than sitting quietly on the couch.



I used to see babies that were calm all the time and never cried. I was SO jealous. Not anymore! You have spunk. You have a personality! You challenge us. And that is why I am in love with you. I've learned how to combine our lives and have learned what my life is really supposed to be. It's not for spontaneous weekend trips to NYC or late nights with friends. I've done that. It's baths and hearing "mama" as I walk through the door and knowing that I am the only one who can make certain situations better.



I thank you for that. I am sorry that I ever felt any other way, but I did. And I learned. You have not been an easy baby, but you are OUR baby, and I wouldn't change a single thing. I love that you go to day care and I go to work. That gives us our time and let's you go, while still letting me fulfill my second passion: teaching. I honestly don't think I would be a good stay at home mom. I envy those moms who can do that...it's hard! I need my time, but then I need my family.



I love you, love you, love you. You are such an amazing miracle, and I thank God everyday for you. I can't wait to continue to be amazed by you. To learn from you. To watch you learn and grow. You're simply beautiful.

Love you always,
Mom


Our Dream Kitchen Inspirations

As I mentioned last week, we are hoping to buy a major fixer-upper, which means we get to create and design our entire layout!

As a former chef, Chad is super excited about the kitchen. We've always loved the industrial/rustic look, but we still want it to be cozy and homey.

We love subway tiles (either white or gray, depending on the cabinets).

We love the dark lower cabinets so they don't show wear as quickly (since we will have dirty little fingers all over them!)

We love glass cabinets to keep dishes/glasses clean, but still show them off.

We love open shelving for mixing bowls, serving bowls, etc...

We love stainless steel as much as possible without it looking too sterile.

Here are some of our favorite inspirations.





This was our first inspiration for our kitchen: It's clean, functional but still has a lot of character. You have to check out her entire kitchen!

  • Dark lower cabinets
  • White subway tiles
  • White counters
  • White upper cabinets
  • Glass cabinet doors
  • Open shelving
  • Wood Floors








This kitchen is adorable...it's the same idea, but with a few changes:

  • White cabinets
  • Gray subway tiles
  • Glass cabinet doors
  • Turquoise fridge (YES!)
  • Open shelving
  • Lines cabinets with decorative paper







The stainless steel wrapped stove is amazing...I think this is a must-do for us!
(via)




I love the barstools (except I have to have backs) and the huge island. I also love having the microwave be at knee-level...It's sort of hidden, but still very usable.
(via)




Having a movable stainless steel table to use as storage or as extra workspace when cooking sounds perfect!
(via)





I think that Chad would love these opens shelves since it looks like a restaurant kitchen. It may be too "sterile" for me...what do you think?
(via)




I can't wait to watch our kitchen come to life!! Open, clean and functional are our main objectives, but it obviously has to cute and cozy, too!! 

xoxo
Jess

Baby Products: The Toddler Years



Wow, making the jump from counting Cameron's age in weeks to counting them in months has been quite the change! New clothes, new foods and most importantly, new toys!

He is no longer interested in chew toys, walkers and blocks. He wants to do something!

The place where we take Cameron to get his hair cut has a train table set up. I've never seen our little boy so focused before! (We will be getting the IKEA version on this table.)




We went to visit our friends, Liz and Jay, and their sweet little girl, Sofia, has a play kitchen. I almost ran out the door to buy Cameron one!






Some other items that are on the top of Cam's favorites list are:



He plays with our adult ones all the time, so it's nice to know that he can't knock a lamp down (as easily) with these.






An easel to scribble on















And, of course, the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe





Oh, fridge magnets are a must-have item, too, even though they are on the floor more than they are on the fridge. ;)





What are your suggestions for ages 1-2? He's not quite following directions yet, but sitting down is no longer an option!


For you new mommas, you can check out my recommendations for 3 - 6 months here!

Happy Monday!

xoxo
Jess



Our Weekend with No Plans

Man, don't you just love jamming your schedule full of plans? I do. Seriously. I love get togethers, parties and events, but sometimes, I just love having no set schedule.

This past weekend was one of them (with the exception of one birthday party), and I enjoyed every second of it.

Friday nights are always our "date nights" with my Dad. We pick up Cam from day care, pick up my Dad from his house and go to a restaurant. Some of our favorites are Famous Daves, Olive Garden and Longhorn. This week, it was Longhorn. It rained poured all week, and we were all in the mood for something warm and hearty. Cameron is getting a little more difficult to take out to eat because he doesn't want to sit still for long. We try our best with lots of food, drinks and some toys, but by the end, he is ready to go. (And I am ready for another cocktail.)





Saturday morning, we were up early to go check out our new "home!" We are so excited to start this project, and we have 3,567,239 ideas running around in our heads. I have been on Pinterest endlessly and we've been playing around on an architect program that Chad has. We can't wait to watch our layout come to life!

Next, we made a pitstop at Target for diapers and a birthday gift for our neighbor, Sam. He turned 3, and we had no idea what to get him...he has so many toys! I wanted to get some books, but he also has hundreds of those between him and his sister. So, we found a fun little "toolbox" made for a 3 year old (or so it says).

Meanwhile, Cameron found the "ba" aisle and wanted to play with every ball he found. Dad didn't object. :) I love my life.



Saturday afternoon, Cameron and I headed to Sam's 3rd birthday party (which was our only planned event this weekend). It was an indoor sports facility, but they had about 6 bounce houses set up!! They had one specifically for kids under 5, and Cam couldn't get enough. I wasn't sure if he would like it or not, but he didn't want to get out! I finally lured him out, red cheeked and all, for some cake and water.

taking it all in...

no fear

Happy Birthday, Sam!!


Saturday night, Cameron, mom and I checked out the new BonTon at the mall...overall, I wasn't too impressed. It just seemed like another Macy's to me: same brands, same prices, same layout. We did get Cam some new pajamas and got a great deal on some towels. (Oh, adulthood...)

On Sunday, we met with a contractor (first of three) to go through the house. It was so exciting to hear his feedback...now we just have to wait 7-10 days for an estimate. Yikes!

Sunday afternoons are always for Cam and me...Chad works, so we usually hook up with my dad. Considering how nice the weather was, we decided to go apple picking (and LouLou came, too)!

Cameron couldn't get enough of the apples...by the time we left, his shirt was covered in apple juice!





taking care of some very important business








How was your weekend? I love that non-scheduled weekends end up filling up so quickly with things you really want to do, don't you?! 

Have a great week!!

xoxo
Jess