Last minute {children’s} Valentine ideas

In case you missed it, Valentine’s day is THIS Thursday. (On Feb. 14)

If you’re a little behind and still figuring out what to do, allow me to give you some great ideas.

Assuming you have an Amazon Prime account, you’ll be able to start and finish these with time to spare!

For space lovers…

You’re out of this world!

Space ducks: unite!

For dinosaur lovers…

You’re dino-mite! Thank you for being my friend-o-saurus!

These valentines are DINO-riffic!

For construction lovers…

We bought these cars (Michael loves them so much he’s keeping some to play with!) and I made these simple tags with four fitting phrases:

Construction valentine tags

You are TONS of fun! You MOVE me! I totally DIG you! LOADS of love!

Here’s the construction tag PDF for you. Print it, cut it, tie it, and you’re set!

I totally dig you!

Finished product: construction valentines

Finished product: construction valentines

Need even more ideas? Head over to Pinterest. Happy Valentine’s day!

2018 {Year In Review}

While 2018 wasn’t the best year for the blog, we had a blast in real life.

It was our first full year in Buffalo, including our first winter and full summer. (Apparently Buffalo doesn’t have a spring or fall with climate change the way it is. I’m pretty sure it went from snow to sweltering this spring and same for the fall.)

2018 started off with travel. We celebrated a late Christmas in Seattle and loved catching up with everyone.

Brandon taught his first class during the spring semester. He taught a mere 550 inquiring minds. Overall it was a positive experience and he’s getting ready to teach the class again in early 2019.

Over the summer, we took advantage of our flexible work schedules to celebrate some of our good friends’ love, traveling to Arizona and the Hudson River Valley. Both trips were so much fun and will be their own blog posts in the coming year.

Szerwos take the Grand Canyon

Our introduction to the Finger Lakes, en route to the Hudson River Valley

 

For Father’s Day, we went camping at Letchworth State Park, a first for Michael. We went with our best Buffalo friends and enjoyed it. We hope to camp again next spring/summer.

Father’s Day camping at Letchworth 2018

We continue to explore Buffalo and have really perfected our tour for guests who visit. That’s a blog post for another day, too.

Niagara Falls: One stop on our Buffalo tour

Professionally, I launched Delaware Park Living in September. It’s a monthly neighborhood newsletter magazine for the residents of one of the most established communities in Buffalo. I’m the publisher of the publication, which means I get to work with the residents, business sponsors, and our central design team to make a beautiful 30-40 page magazine each month.

Presenting: Delaware Park Living

Halloween 2018 was pretty epic. I went all out and created an award-winning (seriously! I won $100 for it!) Mater costume for Michael. He continues to love playing in it. I’m working on a “how to” tutorial for the costume as there isn’t a complete one currently online. Brandon and I phoned it in and were both Waldo. We’ve already started thinking about Halloween 2019 costumes though.

Where’s Waldo? Hanging out in Buffalo!

Halloween costumes

Mater with his two besties

Michael’s day-time costume: Captain America.

Captain America with his super squad

We finished up the year with a pre-Christmas holiday trip to NYC. We’ve been there before and seeing it in all of its holiday splendor was magical. We caught up with friends, shopped the holiday pop-up markets, rode through Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage while sipping hot chocolate, and walked more than 13 miles one day, among lots of other fun things. I think we should make it an annual tradition!

Rockefeller Plaza all done up for the holidays

The only thing missing was snow! {Central Park Carriage Ride}

Merry Christmas from NYC!

We’re actually looking forward to our Buffalo winter and the snow, and all of the adventures we have planned for 2019. We can’t wait to share them with you. More posts in 2019, I promise.

What’s Michael doing these days?

Our 3.25 year old is SO active. He loves running and jumping and can move for hours… unless you want him to walk beside you on a neighborhood walk. Then his “shoes are hard” and he requires holding.

Michael knows the alphabet (both the song and capital and lower case letter identification) and can count to 20.

He’s back in swim lessons and getting more and more comfortable bobbing underwater. He loves school and has several best friends.

He’s sweet and sassy and still even likes to snuggle sometimes. Michael learned Christmas carols this year and his favorite song is Jingle Bells which he’s recently re-titled to “Jingle Smells.” He’s been using the potty since his third birthday and loves using potty words any chance he can (toot, tooty, poop, poopy, etc).

2019 resolutions

A new year, a new me? Not exactly. I’m pretty pleased with myself and my habits going into 2019: we’re eating less meat and more veggies, drinking a ton of water, exercising often, and living a generally healthy and happy lifestyle. (I totally nailed those 2018 resolutions!)

BUT, there is always room to spice things up a little, right?

So, without further ado, my goals for 2019:

2019 resolutions

I also want to read more, so please share your favorites in the comments below! My goal is 12 books; one per month.

What do you think? What do you have planned for 2019?

National Doughnut Day {2018}

This week we’ll celebrate National Doughnut Day on Friday, June 1.

It seems like there is a new National ____ Day every day, but this is a holiday we can really get behind as doughnuts are some of our favorite foods.

In Seattle, we had our favorite shops and doughnuts: Top Pot (maple old-fashioned, apple fritter) and Daily Dozen Doughnuts (assorted dozen or a dozen sprinkled).

We love Daily Dozen Doughnuts so much they made an appearance in our wedding photos! {Photo by Mike Fiechtner Photography}

We were sad to leave them, but pleased to find that Buffalo is a doughnut city too! Buffalo also fancies itself an expert in wings (duh), pizza (the greasier, the better), and ice cream (it’s so good! That’s for another post!), among others.

We’ve sampled most of the doughnut-eries in Buffalo and Donut Kraze is hands-down our favorite shop. Brandon doesn’t have a favorite doughnut yet and always tries the classic or seasonal favorites. Michael always gets the white cake doughnut with frosting and sprinkles. I opt for the blueberry old-fashioned (it’s like eating just the crispy parts of a blueberry muffin) and a bagel egg sandwich that I share with Michael.

Weekend breakfast goals.

Michael and his favorite breakfast

As you get ready to celebrate National Doughnut Day the best way you know how, let me offer some ideas and recipes I found on the internet that are sure to be your new favorites:

Travel the Ohio Donut Trail with us? We’re legitimately looking into a trip…

S’more doughnuts

Triple dipped chocolate peanut butter doughnuts: Two of Brandon’s favorite flavors!

Catnip doughnut with pink frosting: I met the owner of this Etsy shop at Craft Camp last year and fell in love with her catnip toys, especially this doughnut!

If you still haven’t had your fill of doughnuts yet, keep reading some of my favorite doughnut posts:

Mother’s day “flowers” {last-minute gift idea}

Still looking for the perfect gift or card for your Mom this Mother’s day? Look no further!

Presenting a special bouquet of flowers:

Mother's day bouquet of hand print flowers

My Mother’s day bouquet

These are really easy to make:

  1. Squirt out your paint – we used Michael’s Crayola washable tempera paints
  2. Take subject’s hand
  3. Paint subject’s hand. Work quickly depending on age and patience level of subject.
  4. Press subject’s hand onto paper.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Add some foliage (stems and leaves) and cut out or back with additional paper.

And if you’re a visual learner:

Handprint flowers | Mother's Day

Prep your materials.

Handprint flowers | Mother's Day

Painting your subject.

Handprint flowers | Mother's Day

Stamp, stamp, stamp.

Handprint flowers | Mother's Day

Hand prints: complete!

Handprint flowers | Mother's Day

And then when the hand prints turn into painting…

Happy Mother’s day!

2018 resolutions

As I think about my resolutions or goals for this year, the usuals come to mind: exercise more, eat healthier, sleep more.  Then I  popped over to Pinterest and searched “2018 resolutions.” Lots of content and this one really struck me:

2018 resolutions

Here are my thoughts. Once I publish this post, they will become commitments to myself for 2018. 

Sleep more. I definitely want to adjust my bedtime from 11/11:30 p.m. down, closer to 10/10:30 p.m. Do I really need to be awake that extra hour? The Daily Show is already being recorded. I don’t need to watch it live.

Self care. My friend Anna posted about self care on her FB recently. Physically I’m big on pedicures, but I usually scrimp on lotions, potions, and other tools to keep me looking and feeling my best. I finally found a stylist in Buffalo, so my hair is looking good again. I will continue to drink lots of water, and I hope to incorporate more activity (exercise, movement in general) in my everyday life in 2018. I also hope to read more. I just finished Origin by Dan Brown and highly recommend it. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in basically three days of travel. What books should I pick up next?

Explore more. My new job gives me the opportunity to meet lots of new people in our new city, and find all sorts of cool shops and neighborhoods. I hope to continue this local exploration, but also explore up and down the east coast this year. Toronto and Montreal are also on our list. With the sub-freezing temps and constant snow flurries, we’ve been hibernating and need to get our list ready for the spring and beyond.

I think that’s it for me. No wacky food resolutions. No crazy crafts. Just me focusing on me. What do you have planned for 2018?

 

Merry Christmas! {2017}

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

 

We stayed in Buffalo this Christmas and were able to experience the white Christmas we were hoping for! It’s been a weekend full of movies, presents, and great eats. Recipes and photos to come! Enjoy the time with your family and friends today and everyday!

My favorite outtakes from our Christmas photo shoot:

Mini Mr. Claus

“Ho, ho, ho” or “Ha, ha, ha”?

Holiday jazz hands!

Our photographer. He loves being behind the camera now!