Monday, January 27, 2014

Birthday Dinner

My sweet friends organized such a fun birthday dinner for me last week and it was such a good time. 

 Great friends are a necessity when you live across the country from your family and you're going through the craziness of grad school. I really love these girls and I'm so grateful for them! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


 I didn't realize how long Mya's mullet had gotten til I saw this little blurry picture of her. That night I pulled out my scissors on a whim and chopped an inch or two off the back. It's admittedly a very uneven, choppy haircut that needs to be fixed by a real hair stylist, but at least the choppy bob is a step up from the mullet. (And really, Mya looks pretty cute with any hairstyle so it doesn't matter that much, right?)

 Mya was pretty happy to say goodbye to the mullet.

Book Worms

 One of my favorite things lately is watching my girls read. The very best is when they are cuddled up next to each other reading side by side. So cute!

 Bryn's been doing a lot of chapter books lately (sometimes on her own, sometimes with our help) and we just discovered the A to Z Mystery series. Bryn is loving them! Check them out if you have a new reader. They are really fun and pretty short chapter books. 

Open Studio at AVA Gallery

It has been a freezing winter with negative temps lately, and it's difficult finding fun indoor activities in our small town. So THANK YOU to the "Tiny Tuckies" coordinators for reminding me about the Children's Open Studio at AVA Gallery. It's basically just a free-for-all with all the art supplies a child would need. They also have a little stage and plenty of costumes if your child is more into drama than's such a cute place. Bryn had such a good time drawing, doing stamps, making collages, and painting with her cute "Tiny Tuckies" friends. 
 Of course, my favorite thing was seeing her straddling an art horse, hard at work. I am not going to pressure her to do art like her mama, but I sure wouldn't mind if she got into it!
 Let's get one more action shot, because I'm loving this a little too much.
 What a fun morning with Bryn! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dartmouth Hockey Game

Hockey is really big at Dartmouth... and maybe everywhere in the Northeast?? We've been wanting to go to hockey game ever since we've been at Dartmouth, but the games start right at our girls' bedtime so it's been tricky. Luckily, the women's hockey games are at 4 pm, so we finally made it to our first hockey event last week. We met up with some friends and had a great time!
Apparently, the men's hockey games are completely packed with noisy fans, but the women's game was pretty empty - which was actually perfect for our wiggly kids.
Bryn spent most of the night running up and down the steps and dancing her heart out.
 Sometimes I'm really eager for Josh to graduate, get a job, and move on to real life. But on the flip side, it is so fun to be in this grad school stage and going to college activities and athletic events. Fun night! 
- - -
P.S. Not pictured is the drama that occurred right after the hockey game. As we were getting home Bryn jumped off our porch, landed on ice (of course), and smacked her head on the pavement. Hard. She was throwing up and out of it, so Josh took her to the ER where they monitored her for a three hours and labelled it as a mild concussion. Poor girl! Luckily, she was back to her normal self soon and now is actually quite proud to share her concussion story with everyone and anyone. 


 I have been 27 for two full days and so far it's been a pretty good age!
Josh didn't have school on my yesterday because of MLK day, so he was home all day to help with the girls and make my birthday fabulous. He let me sleep in and then take off for nearly two hours on a walk/run/hike. It was so nice to take my time and go further than I normally do - without feeling bad about leaving Josh with the girls for so long. Thanks Josh!
I walked/ran up around Dartmouth campus and then headed to the Mink Brook trail. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to hike the trail with snow, but luckily the snow on the trail was pretty packed down - and covered in deer prints - so I had no trouble making it to the Connecticut River and back. 
I think my face was too frozen to smile at this point :)
The Mink Brook trail is one of my favorite spots in our neighborhood during the warmer months, but it's actually really pretty and serene in the winter. 
 Josh was in our old Huntington Beach neighborhood last week and picked up some of my favorite Trader Joe's treats for my birthday. Yum. This was possibly the best present of the day.
 Josh surprised me by arranging a babysitter in the evening (thanks Steph!) and making a dinner reservation at the Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont. It's a really beautiful, fancy restaurant that we had heard a lot about. 
 The restaurant is housed in the same restored mill as the beautiful Simon Pearce showroom and glass studio. Before dinner we spent a little while watching the glass blowers in the basement and it was really fascinating. We watched this worker make a wine glass from start to finish in under ten minutes, all by hand. 
 The restaurant is situated right on the bank of a waterfall that was beautifully lit up at night. Such a beautiful and quintessential "Vermont" location. Most of the food on the menu was sourced from local New England farms so that was kind of cool. I ordered the "Horseradish crusted blue cod with crispy leeks, herb mashed potatoes, and balsamic shallot reduction" and it was some of the best restaurant food I've ever had. Josh had the roasted pheasant and caramelized onion and goat cheese tart and it was really, really good. We also shared a bowl of their famous Vermont cheddar soup and we're still talking about it. Basically, the food was incredible.
 Perfectly content! We rarely/never go out to nice restaurants so this was a treat!
Josh got even more bonus points for renting "Jane Eyre" ahead of time and agreeing to watch it after dinner. 
It was a perfect day! Thanks for all the sweet texts and messages. I have such an amazing family and friends and I really felt the love yesterday! Xoxo

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bryn's Princess Party

I've never thrown a birthday party for Bryn before (December 30th is tricky timing for a birthday!), but this year Bryn had her first one! As per her request, it was a "Purple and Pink Princess Tea Party" ...I love being a mom to girls :) 
 I had tons of pink and purple felt already, so I made a bunch of felt princess crowns in lieu of party hats.
I also made some simple princess wands with felt, ribbon, and spray painted wooden dowels. 
Bryn pointed out that fairies - not princesses - have wands, but we just kind of went with it :)
 The decorations were pretty simple with balloons, crate paper, etc. But the night before the party I got out my cardstock and added this banner and paper flowers. It was a good way to fill my big empty wall!
 I also made some simple garland for the kitchen with the same colored cardstock paper. I just punched circles and then sewed through them.
Here's the kitchen set-up. It was pink and purple overload!
But Bryn went nuts for all the pink and purple :)
 One quick shot of Bryn and Mya before the guests arrived
When the guests arrived they used stickers, crayons, and markers to decorate their "princess name card" for the table.
Once everyone arrived we did our first game: "Pin the Jewel on the Crown"
The bedazzled crown
After that the girls each got a little cups of beads and string and they made princess necklaces.
We had beads spilling all over the place, but finally we thought to tape one end of the string to the table and then it worked much better!
The girls also got another little cup of beads and a stick of pipe cleaner (is that what it's called?) to make a bracelet. 
 We had pink lemonade and lots of pink-ish snacks
 Josh (a.k.a. the Party Master) did an impromptu game of Disney Trivia and the girls got so into it. It was really funny. (That's what the above picture is of).
We played a "Floating Lanterns" game where they had to keep the balloons up in the air. 
We also played a "Find the Princess" game that I don't have pictures of.
 Mya stood back and watched, and was very well entertained by all the chaos.
 Opening presents
 Such a fun group of girls! Bryn is lucky to have such cute little friends.
Planning a party takes more work than I realized(!!) but the party was such a fun time. Josh and I are still laughing about all the cute/funny moments. And best of all, Brynlee was completely thrilled about the whole thing. Love you, princess Bryn!