Anniversary Week & Thanksgiving Preparations

B2-EUfqIcAAZDSuExcuse the lazy blogging, but we have been in hibernation mode. Here in West Michigan, we are experiencing our snowiest November in a decade, at 28.4 inches. Seriously. In November. I mean, it’s nothing compared to Buffalo, NY… But Peyton has already had snow days!

Yesterday was our 4th wedding anniversary :) We are heading out tonight for a nice dinner sans children (rare and exciting). David is impossible to get presents for, so I have to get creative. It’s especially tough since his birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas are all within a matter of weeks. So this year, I did little presents, which he could open every hour on the 20 (as our anniversary is the 20th). It took him the better part of the day to realize the significance of the 20 ;)

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Some of the gifts included this mini desk vacuum, new gloves, and a much-needed mouse pad with a photo of the girls.

And I always tease him, since our first anniversary when he got me a giant bouquet of roses with beautiful, twisting twigs interwoven with the flowers; I called it a tree. “Other girls get flowers, not me – I get a tree!” It’s been a running joke between us. Here is this year’s tree: B2-D2MtIYAAVTqRLilies and hydrangea are right behind peonies on my list of flowers that turn me into a total girl.

In other news, we are getting ready to host Thanksgiving next week! Which means, annoying our contractor to finish some cosmetic issues on the main level, like paint drips and nail pops…as well as some bigger things, like finishing the framework/drywall/painting on the formal dining room. How grown up do I feel? The formal dining room. Growing up, our dining room was the homework table, and tent fort on rainy days. Here is our finished product:IMG_0406

We are doing a table-hustle and adding a few tables for the big dinner. I am obsessed with my linens. Look how shabby chic this table cloth is! I’ve been working on centerpieces, using these frosted mason jars from Target:FullSizeRender

Our menu is going to look something like this:

Starters: Shrimp cocktail and extra spicy cocktail sauce, veggie tray with a fun red pepper dip centerpiece, relish dish (David and Peyton could live on olives and pickles). Dinner: Turkey (duh), stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pasta salad, some fun veggie sides (green beans, corn), and wild rice. Dessert: my aunt and uncle’s famous pies, and my extra bad for you cake balls and pumpkin flavored fudge!

I think that sounds pretty coma-inducing. We are going to plan on eating during halftime, so everyone can watch the Lions (hopefully) win! We are starting off the morning with the parade and maple parfaits, as my parents will be staying Wednesday night here! I’ll post the recipe on here later :)

What are your favorite Turkey Day dishes and traditions??

Our Weekend

After FINALLY recovering from a random bout of laryngitis last week, I was ready for a fun weekend. My idea of a fun weekend is not six inches of snow. In November. The world had other plans.

FullSizeRender_1Peyton immediately insisted on busting out her snow pants and exploring. Which turned into her throwing snow at everything within range, which fortunately isn’t far. If you follow me on instagram (@heyitsjenna) then you saw she is obsessed with snow angels. It’s adorable to watch her trudge to fresh snow in her suit and plop herself down.

My parents came out for a short visit over the weekend, which is always nice. They live two hours away, and don’t see the girls as much as any of us would like. FullSizeRenderAnd great news! My younger brother just accepted a job over here, so he will be relocating!! I think out of everyone, Peyton might be the most excited about this. She carries his high school senior picture with her almost everywhere we go. Even to show and tell at school, much to Jarred’s embarrassment.

10689571_10102226687522375_8674608531952591309_nLondon slept through her first snow experience. But how cute is that bear suit?? I swear everything at Baby Gap right now is bear-themed, and I love it.

And my favorite snow day treat? Homemade chicken noodle soup! IMG_0243I combine two large boxes of chicken stock with 2 cups of water and bring that to a boil. I add in whatever veggies I want to use (this time, I used carrots, celery, and onions), along with seasonings (in my case, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and parsley), I let that simmer for a bit, while I rip apart 2 rotisserie chickens (I get the herb seasoned ones), and add the meat. I let that cook for about 2 hours, covered, on the lowest heat, until the veggies are soft. Then I add noddles (if I am feeling like Susie Homemaker, I make them myself. This weekend, I used egg noodles), and let those cook for about 20-30 minutes. And BOOM!

And as I write this, we are getting dumped on, I think we already have nine inches! Peyton’s school had a snow day (along with pretty much every area school). Crazy. Snow days in November?! And Peyton woke me up at 7AM, asking if we could play in the snow. Haha, sounds like we are in for it this winter!!

Statement Sweater

FullSizeRender_4There’s nothing I’d rather do on a rainy morning than sip coffee with a best friend and people watch downtown! Despite the rain, it’s actually not freezing here, so I took advantage of one of our last “nice” days before we have to bust out the down jackets.

I call this my sexy grandpa sweater. And isn’t it just that? It even ties around like a robe. I just love it. And it really adds a much needed punch to my all black outfit.

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FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRenderI am wearing:

Sweater: Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent via AK Rikks | Top: T by Alexander Wang | Jeans: American Eagle | Boots: H&M | Purse: 3.1 Phillip Lim | Necklaces: Etsy | Ring: ℅ Katie Dean Jewlery

Poncho Weather

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TGIF!! It’s been such a rainy, blah week! I’ve been super excited for this weekend, since it’s David’s birthday weekend!! Just wait until he sees what I have planned for him!

Yesterday, I grabbed coffee downtown with a good friend, and we were able to snap some photos as we dodged rain drops! Rainy weather leaves me completely unmotivated to get dressed. So, I go to my go-to outfit: all black everything. Never fails, and always makes me feel chic. I added this fun poncho for a pop of color, and it was actually super warm!FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_2

FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender FullSizeRender_3I am wearing:

Poncho: Forever21 | Top: Express | Leggings: Express | Boots: Aldo | Hat: PacSun (similar) | Purse: 3.1 Philip Lim | Bracelets: ℅ Katie Dean 1 2 and 3 | Necklaces: ℅ Katie Dean and Katie Dean | Earrings: ℅ Katie Dean | Ring: ℅ Katie Dean

Thanks for reading & have a great weekend!!

Halloween Weekend

Our neighborhood celebrates Halloween the weekend before, with a HUGE party and costume contest (which we won), so we were on our own last Friday. I was SO excited that Halloween finally fell on a Friday, and was going crazy with ideas for trick-or-treating, and wouldn’t you know – IT SNOWED. After the snow, it sleeted. I don’t think it got above 35 degrees. Such a bummer! The day was not lost, we headed to the local fire department for some fun with extra hand warmers.

Not wanting to deal with the balloons in the freezing rain, my husband was out for Mr Fredrickson, which left our Up costume a little confusing. Peyton joyfully tossed on her Anna dress, and I became a makeshift cat for the evening. Much to everyone’s enjoyment our friends’ kids dressed as Elsa and Olaf, so that was pretty perfect! (not original at all – I must have seen 50 Anna and Elsa’s, but come on, these 3 have to be the cutest!)

1487443_10102197456077425_4484895343888971378_n10710977_10102197703137315_5394500128126633495_nHalloween Tee

The next day, we put all of our extra pumpkins to use by letting the kids have at it with paint. We backed the cars out of the garage, turned on some heaters, and we were ready! We used Crayola washable paint, so messes weren’t a concern.

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Of course, Peyton only wanted to use pink paint and gem stickers.

I also made MY FAVORITE last minute party snack. It’s so easy. Mini pretzel sticks, chex cereal, melted dipping chocolate, and festive sprinkles. Since Halloween was over and I had an ridiculous stockpile of candy corn, I tossed some of that in, too. This is super easy to make for the Forth of July, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, or a color-themed birthday party!10696195_10102199467601315_6041586168070459698_n

Despite the weather, we had a fantastic weekend. And now, it’s NOVEMBER. Usually, I would be slowly sneaking in Christmas decorations (much to my husband’s dismay and disapproval), but we are breaking in the new house by hosting Thanksgiving this year (for about 30 people – cue my anxiety)…so the holly jolly decor will have to wait until after Black Friday. Decorating the hearth with this garland and some fun painted craft pumpkins this week is going to help ease the pain of holding off on Christmas decorations! ;)

One Month of London

We made it a month! You’d be surprised how little sleep you can actually function on. But it’s worth it, because she is absolutely adorable.

10387399_10102193184372955_1854075467079334116_nI thought it would be fun to round-up some of our must-haves for surviving the first month:

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1. California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash – this stuff is amazing and smells great. We are also obsessed with the lotion.

2. Cute Burp Clothes. Because the “burp cloths” by Carters are cute, but worthless (sorry), nothing beats the cloth diapers for soaking up spit-up, but why do they have to be so ugly?

3. The Boon Drying Grass. This might be the cutest and most functional purchase we’ve made. I didn’t think I would love having it sit out on the counter 24/7, but the green actually matches some of our decor….so I am considering this art. The cute accessories are a must.

4. The 4Moms mamaroo. This is everywhere now, and I think anyone who owns it would recommend it to any pregnant friend. London loves to be held [read: screams when put down], however, she will sit in this long enough for me to make dinner!

5. Crewcuts baby clothes. I didn’t even know J Crew made baby clothes until I got pregnant. Now, I can’t get enough of them. They’re less “babyish” and more stylish.

6. The Cybex Aton Q. My husband and I spent literally an entire Sunday scouring the internet for the perfect carseat/carrier. We wanted one that wasn’t bulky, but that looked modern. We stumbled upon the Aton Q and fell in love with the silhouette. It has a few new safety features, like its new “safety leg”. We bought a base for each vehicle, and it’s so easy!

Wish us luck as we start on month 2!