Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Birth Story and A Simple Animal Themed Birthday Party

My spunky, fierce, high pitched screaming, lovable little mush turned two on the 19th of this month and I thought I would fill in some blanks here on the blog and share his birth story along with some pics from his second birthday party!

We were living with my parents when I found out I was pregnant.  I took my positive pregnancy test, put it in a wrapped box and gave it to my husband as a gift.  I remember standing in my parents kitchen and watching his face light up.  Days, maybe a month after that moment, life would change.

I remember telling friends that I felt great -- no morning sickness or anything.  Later, I would have many trips to the doctor to confirm that I was having a miscarriage.  All I remember is feeling lots of physical pain and then nothing.  Like I was hollow, empty... I was only about 5-6 weeks along so I told myself that it could have been much worse and thanked God that it wasn't.  I don't know why these things happen.  I only pray it doesn't kill our hearts, but makes us stronger.   

Months and months later I remember singing to a very different tune.  I was too sick to get out of bed, to eat, or to go out.  Yep! I peed on that holy grail of a stick and it was positive! After keeping quiet for as long as I could, I spilled the beans to my family and friends and began my pregnancy journey; 
a journey filled with many challenges.  I saw many specialists, needed a root canal for some serious tooth pain, and ended it with an iron transfusion as the cherry on top! lol  I do remember one special moment though. 

I remember praying about many things -- what to name our little boy was one thing on that list.  What came down was the sweetest response -- Luke 1:13.  Don't be afraid, you will have a son and you are to name him John.  From that moment on I could only call our boy John even though it wasn't even close to my first, second, or third choice!  

John was a big boy from the get go.  All it took was for the doctor at one of our last appointments to say "he's 8 lbs, 3 oz" and I was like, 'when are you inducing me?!' I could barley walk toward the end.  He was head down for as long as I could remember and he was ready.  

Febuary 19th, 2015: After 7 epidural attempts, and 6 hours of labor, our big beautiful baby boy came into the world at 9 lbs even.  And no, I did not have a c-section! And yes, I had a grade 4 tear and an episiotomy!  Ouch is an understatement!  He was the best at nursing from out of the womb though-- no problems there at all.  Reflux, largynomalasia, and not pooping is what drove us crazy. Medication, a Rock 'n Play, and time is what brought back our sanity -- a little of it anyway.  I'm still looking for the rest.  I have a feeling I'll be looking for quite some time! lol

So John is obsessed with animals -- all animals! So choosing a theme for his second birthday was a no brainer.  His first birthday was at the Long Island Aquarium and was so fun, but this year I kept it simple with just having immediate family at the house.


The minimal decorations consisted of animals that we already owned, their cute party hats, and balloons! Those tiny party hats were a trip to put together! lol Here's what you need if you want to take a crack at them.

1. Paper pad. I got mine from Michaels Craft Store but these are so cute too!
2. Scissors
3. Tiny 5mm assorted colored pom poms
4. Glue gun


As for activities we had cute tattoos from Wee Gallery, a piƱata, and painting stations for each kiddies to paint at! Here are the supplies we used

1. Paper Roll which we hung on the walls (like wall paper)
2. Canvas Panels that we put up against the "paper wall" at each kids station
3. Paint Brushes
4. Natural Paint that we didn't end up using because I didn't allot enough time so we went with Crayola Washable Paint
5. Smocks


The bear plates, napkins, and utensils were all from Etsy 


We used a recipe from Good Housekeeping for the best chocolate cake and Betty Crocker for a simple vanilla buttercream icing. We bought tiny animals for toppers and the cupcakes from our local bakery.  We are not professionals but we did the best we could for waiting 'til the last minute! Oops! lol 

Come say hi in the comments section and share a little of your story as well! 
xo Alissa 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Weekend Wear -- A Minimalistic Look

Asos distressed denim overalls
Zara belled top

Zara toddler coat sold out. I love this one too 
Hunter Boots  toddler boots
Neve and Hawk toddler pants
Rylee and Cru toddler hat 

"Minimalism -- a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness or simplicity."  We watched the documentary "Minimalism" the other night and I was intrigued on how others view the clutter in the world that is propagated as things we need.  It confirmed my belief that less can be more.

Here's a minimal look for the weekend! Black distressed denim overalls and this simple bell-sleeve top, because it's all about them bells this coming season! The drama behind them may scare some, but consider this bell-sleeve top the appetizer to the main course.  If it fills you up there's no need for more! lol  :)  I wore this look to lunch with my my sis and her fam at this sweet spot called  Love Lane Kitchen the other weekend. You can also layer it with a slip dress for a weekend date night!

I may not subscribe to the extreme of minimalism, but what I do subscribe to in its entirety is contentment. To be content with where you are and what you have in life is gold, and it brings gain that no one on this earth can give.

Here's to being content and having a fun weekend friends! It snowed about 10 inches here so you know I'll be playing in the snow ;)

xo Alissa 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Something Old and a Fresh Look at Something New

Let's start with something old, as in all the holidays that just flew by.  Our Christmas was the best.  In the morning we said a prayer to thank God for sending us love and grace in the form of a baby boy named Jesus and then it was all about John and his sweet sweet face while he opened each present.  He truly has that pure, gentle and happy heart that makes you just want to hold him close forever.  My best present.  Church was next and then fun with tons of family!  Our New Year's was quiet with just us - Mike, John, and I.  Pajamas, mini hot dogs, and balloons were all involved. :)  Wine made its appearance after John went to sleep and yes, Mike and I watched the ball drop. 

As the days followed I tried my darndest to come up with a new "word" that would encourage us and remind us of our foundation in God throughout the year.  I was coming up short.  I was praying while running one night and the "word" dropped into my spirit like a rock.  "Renewed" -- to make like new, restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection.  The bible verse attached to it was "And the one sitting on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new!' And then he said to me, 'Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true."  You better believe I wrote those words down! 

Do you have a "word" or a resolution that will make its way into reality this year, or maybe just a simple hope for this year?  I encourage you to write in down.  Put it in your pocket before going to work, put it on the fridge so you walk by it 100 times a day, write it on the bathroom mirror so your spouse sees it before they leave for work.  I had a "word" in college that I used as a password on my computer.  Ha!  Put that "word" in site.  

As we walk into this week, some with heavy hearts, I pray that hope, love, and peace lead you.  Don't let anyone steal your hope.  I choose to put my hope in the God that I believe created the heavens and the earths, not the man that was chosen to lead this country.  I choose to pray for the man that was chosen rather than worry about what's to come.  I choose to trust God.  

Praying for you this week friends.  I hope it's one for the books (in a good way ;)! 
xo, Alissa 

Monday, December 19, 2016

What to Stuff in Your Toddler's Christmas Stocking and Our Christmas Tree Tradition

My little guy loves books - big, small, picture, pop-ups, touch, smell - he doesn't discriminate! He does have a sweet spot for animals though. We have a built in book shelf in our living room and the bottom is completely filled with his books. I plan on adding to his collection with some new fresh reads this Christmas and wanted to share some of my top picks!

Top Picks 

1. "My World My Words" shop here or here

2. "Now I am Big" shop here or here

3. "Mommy! Mommy!" shop here or here

4. "Silly Little Animal All Day Long" shop here or here

5. "Are You My Mother?" (my husband remembers reading this as a kid and wanted to get it for his little guy -- hashtag heart explosion!) shop here

6. "Home" (not going to fit in his stocking, but had to get it!) shop here

7. "Gaston" (also not going to fit:) shop here

Top Toy Picks Too! 

1. "kids wooden name puzzle" shop here or here

2. "I See" stroller cards from Wee Gallery shop here

3. "wind up train" from Little Cottonwood shop here

playing with his cousin -- they share a love of rocks! 

Whether it's baking cookies, making a gingerbread house, watching our favorite Christmas movies, or going to an ugly sweater party, I love family Christmas traditions. Going to pick out and cut down our Christmas Tree is my fav!  This year was a little different because the little human we are raising loves to eat everything in site and I was so afraid of what would happen if he ate a pine needle. I of course googled "what would happen if a child ingested pine needles" and surprisingly very little info popped up! I did find one article that put my worries to rest and we went for it! Thank the good Lord he actually hasn't tried to eat it --yet!

We head to Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm in Mattituck,NY every year and they never disappoint!  I never have a crazy amount of pine needles falling and we cut it down the weekend of Thanksgiving and it lasts until Christmas and then some! On the weekends this place is hopping and I know why.  They have a cozy fire pit to gather around, a women singing christmas carols who you would think is the radio playing, yummy eats, wine, hot chocolate, a gift shop, santa, and a train ride around the farm!  So much fun! Can't wait until next year! We actually/most likely will stop by again this year ;)

My little is in Rylee & Cru Black Bear Long John and Zara cardigan with a little face on the hood and their Cable knit neck warmer with fleece.

Hope you gathered some good ideas from my picks and hurry to get that last min shopping in!
Happy Monday! 

xo, Alissa

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ideas on What to Wear for You and Your Little This Thanksgiving

Mango printed wrap jumpsuit  
Rylee + Cru starlight long john 
Converse chuck taylor all star 

I've never met a weekend that I didn't welcome BEFORE becoming a nurse at a hospital 10 years ago.  Ive been working weekends ever since and they've been much less of a welcome.  After having a baby I stopped working for a good year and took time to decide if I wanted to go back.  I had all the holidays off for the first time in 10 years and I could not have been happier, but I chose to go back because nursing was never a career for me, it was a calling.  I was blessed to be able to go back per-diem (I work mostly once a week) and still connect with my patients and friends.  That said, this past weekend was rough - in every sense of the word.  I am thrilled it's over.  On to what to wear for Thanksgiving!  

I'm usually a last minute kinda girl -- I get ready last minute, I plan vacations last minute, and I choose my outfits last minute, etc.  I know, I'm working on it! lol  This year our Thanksgiving outfits were picked and ready to go 2 weeks ago! It might have to do with the fact that I worked this past weekend and will be working the night before Thanksgiving so last minute was not an option.  I may be sleeping through Thanksgiving, but at least I'll look good while doing it ;)

I'm in Mango's wrap jumpsuit.  I paired it with a black thin turtle neck, black tights, and black boots.  Its flowy fabric, bell sleeve, sweet tiny floral print, and side pockets made this my Thanksgiving pick!

Here are some other ideas for you:

1. Zara oversized check dress -  pair it with tights  
2. H&M knit mock turtleneck sweater - pair it with your favorite jeans (preferably a stretch fabric jean - bloating happens on thanksgiving my friends, ha!) 
3. Asos slouch wide leg pants with  Zara's printed blouse or Zara's frilly high collar blouse 

My little guy is in one of my favorite small shops Rylee + Cru's long john and it doesn't get any cuter!  The material is thick and cozy enough for this cold weather here in NY and its print is perfect.  

Here are some other ideas for your littles:

1. carleymegan hemingway coverall in gingham print 
2. Rylee + Cru black bear long john 
3. H&M chinos with suspenders and Old Navy cable knit reglan