Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You should probably feel sorry for me....(JK...sort of)

I've been so MIA - this summer has given me one swift kick in the you-know-what, I've been so busy! The good news is, I lost 5 pounds without even trying (but that was before I made 2 dozen pumpkin chocolate chip cookies last week, so that may not be true anymore....)

Anyway we've had lots of great visitors, and still have more visitors heading their way to us this weekend. It's turned our lives upside down - for the better....but still way way upside down. So here's what's been going on:

Natalie is on the move. I.E. she crawls everywhere. She crawls fast, she's constantly busy, constantly moving OH!...and she basically sounds like she's being murdered any time I leave her alone in a room. This makes going to the bathroom, showering, or getting a glass of water extra fun...*sarcasm*......

Demolition has started on our new house and the renovation/addition is underway (Did I ever even really talk about this??!!) I'll explain all this in more detail later on. But this means I have to spend time picking out things like windows, fireplaces, tile, faucets, lights, doors, door handles, flooring, kitchen, etc. etc. etc. Basically every single thing that goes into a house....It's exciting, but daunting and the little pieces of my day that used to go to blogging, reading, showering, eating, general living, is now going to house stuff.

As you know I take a LOT of pictures. a LOT. Mostly on my phone, but oftentimes with my really good canon dslr camera. I had been really good about backing up my photos to both my computer and an external hard drive every 3 weeks for the past year. Well, I slacked off this summer. With vacation, visitors, craziness, I hadn't backed up my pictures since the end of June. So yesterday I took an hour to really organize, and take all the photos from my phone and camera and do a backup. I had 5 videos left on my phone to move over to my hard drive before doing a full system back-up. All of a sudden Natalie, who was sitting very contently in my lap, moved her feet, got them tangled in the wire and caused the hard drive to drop on our tile floor. I really didn't think anything of it at first, but then I plugged it in and it didn't work. As I type this, Chris is trying very hard to recover the data, and has already asked our IT friend to take a look at it this weekend - but I think the photos are gone. Everything I've taken with my good camera this summer: Natalie's Baptism, two baby showers, the wedding we were at this past weekend, and house demolition progress is gone. Just. Gone. Cue tears, mental breakdown, panic attack, pretty much full-throttle meltdown for the past 3 hours - total hormonal teenager style type of's been a night.

Sooooo that's been great. In other news: I did a guest post for I Guess I'm Due last week! Here's the link where I talk about what I'll do differently the Next Time Around.

I think I will be taking the rest of the month off from blogging. I need a few weeks where the blog isn't hanging over my head, making me feel guilty every night when I don't have a post ready. I will hopefully be back at it again after Labor Day. I still have to do an 8 month update, that is, if I can recover the photos...sigh...

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and if you've learned anything here today: Always back-up your photos!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Southampton Recap: Natalie's First Vacation!

In the beginning of July, my parents took us out to Southampton for 3 days for Natalie's first vacation! This was our first time vacationing in the Hamptons, and since we are only a quick 1 1/2 hour drive away, we were eager to see what Southampton was like. It was a very nice and relaxing vacation, and I was surprised by how not crowded it was. Even though we were there during the week, I just expected summer-time crowds all day, every day. I guess most people out in the Hamptons stay at their big, expensive, summer houses most of the time, so we didn't have to deal with lots of traffic or big crowds at all!

We stayed at the Southampton Inn, and the setup was absolutely perfect. Nice, big, clean rooms and a great setup with connecting rooms so my parents could come back and forth to help with Natalie. 

In addition to this being Natalie's first vacation, it also marked a TON of other "firsts" for Natalie: 

First time at the beach, touching sand, seeing the ocean, etc. etc.: We were the first people on the beach on our second day of vacation, and basically had the whole beach to ourselves. The water was coooold, but Natalie enjoyed touching the sand and getting her feet splashed! She also fell asleep while I was nursing her - which I realized was probably in part because we use an ocean waves sound machine in her room at night. She probably thought it was nighttime in her nursery with the ocean sounds!

First time in a swing: This made me sooo nervous, but she was fine. She seemed a little bit uncertain about what was going on, I'm not sure she loved it, but we'll keep trying :)

First time sleeping in a hotel room: Natalie wouldn't sleep in the pack n' play on vacation. I would get her down in it each night, but she would wake up as soon as she'd move or turn over, and honestly, I couldn't blame her. The "mattress", if that's what you can call it, is basically a piece of cardboard and not comfortable. It was clearly different from the nice mattress she's used to, and she just wasn't comfortable. She was happy to play in here during the day though!

Sooo, this little lucky lady got to sleep with Mommy and Daddy for 3 nights! Luckily, she transitioned back to her crib quite easily when we came back home, but we're looking into getting a better mattress for her pack n' play for future travel needs.

On our last full day of vacation we drove waaaaaaayyyy out to the tip of Long Island to Montauk. I enjoyed this drive because it was scenic and I was able to see allll of the Hamptons on our drive out there: Bridgehampton, Amagansett, Sag Harbor, Easthampton, Montauk. These were all towns I've been hearing about but never saw or could picture for myself. Our first stop was Gosman's Pier, where we ate at Gosman's Restaurant.

No trip to Southampton is complete without a visit to Tate's Bake Shop. We enjoyed some iced coffees and cookies on their outside patio.
On our way back we stopped at Duck Walk Vineyard for a brief wine tasting and bought a few bottles of wine. I always loved Duck Walk, and it was nice to partake in a good wine tasting again! Like I said, this vacation was very relaxing and enjoyable and Natalie was so good the whole time! I actually think we took this trip at the perfect time because it was right before she started crawling. I don't know if a vacation with her right now would be as easy and enjoyable, because all she wants to do is constantly be on the move and go, go, go!

Natalie is such a lucky girl to go on such a fabulous first-ever vacation! Thank you mom and dad for a wonderful getaway and amazing memories for all of us and for Natalie. (Good thing there are pictures, because she's never going to remember this trip anyway!)

How do you vacation with a baby? Does your baby sleep in a travel crib? Do they end up in the bed with you? Finally,- are you back in the hotel room by your child's normal bed-time or do you keep them up later than usual?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hay Rosie Creamery Datenight

A few weeks ago, Chris and I went on our second How About We? (which is now called You&Me Concierge) date to Hay Rosie Creamery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

First, we got a tour of the facility (which is literally the size of my living room - and no, I don't have a huge living room). I was amazed at all they could do in such a tiny little space! Hay Rosie pasteurizes their own milk, before making their ice cream. They have a different lineup of ice cream flavors every single week.

When I asked how long the shop had been open she answered "3 weeks". We were all shocked! This place was brand-spanking new, I felt so cutting-edge! After the tour, we went back out to the "tasting room" where we were offered a flight of 4 different ice creams to try. Our options were: Lemon Bar, Bananas Ferrari, Bruce Wayne, Mascavado Caramel, Brownie Batter Brickle, and Bonfire at the Beach.

This was a LOT of ice cream to try, and it was all amazingly delicious! 

We each got to take a pint of ice cream home! We chose Bruce Wayne (champagne with peaches) and Bananas Ferrari (Bananas Foster), which were our favorites. I soooo wish I lived closer to this place so I could try their ever-changing menu of flavors!
I would love to make my way over there again to try their amazing ice cream and unique flavors! I'm enjoying You&Me Concierge (formerly How About We?) because it's forcing us to get out and explore areas of NYC that we otherwise wouldn't explore on our own, and all the planning is done, we just have to show up! Crown Heights, Brooklyn was VERY nice! My only regret was not going in sooner for dinner, and since we had our little ice cream pints, we felt we had to rush back home to get it in the freezer afterward!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jessica's Baby Shower

Back in June, Natalie, my Mother-In-Law, and I attended Chris's cousin, Jessica's, Baby Shower at Douglaston Manor, NY.

It was nice that Natalie was able to attend with me, and this marked her first official shower! (well..besides my baby shower, which she was "technically" at). She was a hit...of course.

Douglaston Manor was a beautiful venue for the occasion. There was a full array of appetizers out when we arrived, and then we were served a three course meal with penne a la vodka, salad, and a great selection of entrees. I had the salmon, and it was great!
We had mimosas and wine, and after our meals cake was served along with a full ice cream bar and various cookies!

I loved this adorable forest animal cake!

A DJ provided music throughout the afternoon. Jessica got to share a dance with her dad - the soon-to-be new grandpa.
Then they had the kids of the party wrap Jessica up like a present before she opened her own presents! It was pretty funny, and they did a very thorough job!
We can't wait to see if Jessica and Sam have a boy or girl, but even more so, we can't wait to meet our newest little cousin and addition to the family! Good Luck Jessica, only a few more weeks to go!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Natalie's Baptism: The Party!

This week, I've recapped Natalie's Christening Gown, her full Christening-Day Look, and the Church Service. Now, we're onto the party! We held the luncheon at Benny's Ristorante in Westbury, NY. I am so happy with our decision to hold it here and I think it was a really great place which provided the whole package for us: fabulous food, drink, service, and ambiance.

My sister, Melissa, is Natalie's Godmother. Melissa is getting married in October, so I figured it was the perfect way to incorporate a gift for the baptism with something that she'll need now that she'll be a married lady, like a ring dish! I ordered this personalized earthenware clay ring dish from Momology Pottery on Etsy.

Natalie's Godfather, is Chris's Brother, her Uncle Michael. I ordered Michael's "Godfather" cufflinks from Cufflinks 4 Him on Etsy.

The cookie favors were homemade by Jill Cramer, who is a family friend of my good friend Molly. Molly had these cookies at her wedding a few years ago and I loved them. Molly set up everything to have them made again for me, she even went over to Jill's house to help her make them, and then Molly and her mom packaged and stickered every single one for me! I am so grateful to have Molly as such a good friend who helped me out tremendously with this!

I ordered the label for the cookie favors from My Sweet Little Angel on Etsy.  Printing these was a bit more of a challenge than I anticipated but I have to say Sophia, the shop owner, was AMAAAAZING. She didn't rest until I had these printed right, she helped me tons, and always checked in on me to see how it was going. I would definitely order from her again just because of the customer service.

Speaking of good, talented friends, my friend Kerry who owns Daisy Fay Floral, did boutonnieres and corsages for me, Chris, and the Godparents for the day. She did a beautiful job! Natalie really enjoyed pulling at the flowers during the ceremony, which was comical, but they were very pretty and I was so happy to have a little something special to distinguish the important people of the day (apart from Natalie of course)

We got the cake from Jeanie's Bakery, which is where our wedding cake came from. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed in it. The vanilla cake had a hint of lemon to it, and I can't stand when dessert has lemon in it. The whole thing just didn't do it for, I'm going to be looking for a new local bakery to use from now on. At least it looked nice!

The party was great fun! We were surrounded by so many important people in our lives, and it was so wonderful to "officially" introduce Natalie as the newest addition to our lives!
She was exhausted by the end of the day, she took a short nap on my shoulder, but was awake and smiley the whole way home! I think she was excited to be going home to bed!