Monday, September 12, 2016

Fall Trends, A Ruffed Top, and a Talk about Changing Season

Zara top

"To everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a season (turn, turn, turn,) And a time to every purpose under heaven..." - The Birds

Seasons are about to turn, leaves are about to fall and it's about to get dark a lot earlier.  This last piece is my least favorite thing about fall.  Darkness at 4 PM is not my idea of fun.  Now my mother on the other hand absolutely loves it and I am trying to gain some of her perspective.  It's cozy, it means all my television shows are back in business, and that the holidays are just around the corner. Oh, and there's always fall fashion!

Some of this year's fall fashion trends are: ruffles, bell sleeves, bell bottoms, bomber jackets, shades of nudes, and turtle necks under dresses.  One might say we've time traveled back to the 70's!  I took a chance on this bell sleeve, ruffle top because mom life has me mostly shopping online, therefore trying things on has become a thing of the past, but it did not disappoint!  It works for so many outings- apple picking, pumpkin picking, date night with jeans and a cute stiletto, etc.  I decided to wear it to this dreamy sunflower field.   We also managed to stop at our favorite farm, Harbes Family Farm and Winery, to pick up some yummy white wine from their super rustic, chic, tasting room.  It was delicious!

A second to talk about change.  "Change" has never been a friend of mine, but we're learning to be acquaintances with hopes of a friendship ;) I remember listening to a song while going through the biggest change of my life - pregnancy.  "Come To Me" by Bethel loft session.  The song, at the time, was more like a simple conversation that God was trying to have with me to let me know "Hey I got you, so you got this, and you are never alone..."  Here are some lyrics to the song.  I feel listening would be best, but sometimes all you need are the words...

I am the Lord your God,
I go before you now.
I stand beside you
I'm all around you
And though you feel I'm far away
I'm closer than your breath
I am with you
More than you know......

If you want to take a second and listen, go for it!  It just might change your perspective on change.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tips and Pics from Our First Road Trip to PA with Our Little

John was a little hesitant at first but he warmed up real quick after this 


more shopping ;)

playground time! 

Asos jumpsuit sold out {similar here}

His smile is everything!

kiddie dinosaur area

Asos dress

bye bye see you soon

Asos dress out of stock {similar here}

What started out as a trip to stay with my sister for the holiday weekend at her vacation spot in PA, turned into a weekend getaway to Lancaster!  As a little girl my family went on many vacations here.  I remember loving it, then liking it, and then hating it.  I guess I've come full circle because I love it again!

The fact that it's only about 3 1/2 hrs away from NY put most of my anxiety about traveling for the first time with John to rest.  Even though it wasn't too long of a ride I knew I had to wear something comfortable and also appropriate to wear in public. We were going straight into town to explore and I didn't want to waste time changing so pjs were not an option. :) This jumper I'm wearing from Asos fit the bill.  I got so many compliments on it and everyone wanted to know where it was from! 

Eden Resort is the hotel we chose.  It was the talk of the town in all the mommy groups and I had to see what all the hype was about.  I'm a bit of a hotel snob, but compared to the other hotels in Lancaster, PA this is luxury.  It has a little playground, little water play area near the outdoor pool, little basketball court, and little mini golf area.  We were more interested in exploring the town rather then the hotel and time was of the essence so we didn't do any of these activities - next time!  Their room selection was the main reason we chose to stay there.  They have so many options!  We picked one that allowed John to have his own room.  Mike and I didn't want to have to go to sleep at 7 pm!  I was anxious about John and sleeping...  Up until now he had only either slept in his crib or car seat.  I just prayed for the best and the best is what we got.  He slept through the night in his own room, in a new crib!  

 Lancaster is such a simple and beautiful town.  Even with all the craziness due to the holiday weekend it still managed to feel peaceful.  Our first stop was Kitchen Kettle.  It's a little village filled with shops and eats.  There's also a little band playing music that John loved dancing to.  We took a horse and buggy ride through Amish country and learned a little bit about how the Amish live all while sipping homemade lemonade.  I would definitely recommend it!  Next was shopping!  Shopping for food, shopping for home goods, and did I mention shopping for food? ;) On the same road as Kitchen Kettle are more shops and eats.  You just park your car and go!  I wanted to buy everything, but could't really fit much else in the car.  Note to self: next time leave room for shopping...  We ended our day at Bird-in-hand Bakery & Cafe. This is a must stop! They have the most delicious treats and other goodies and such. They also have a playground and Mint field on their property! Beautiful!

Sunday was a little different than Saturday. There is something to be said about a toddler that sleeps in.  You would think it would be like Christmas morning for parents, right?  It actually was while he was sleeping and then he woke up and it was game over.  He woke up a little confused and extra irritable and that was the theme for the rest of the day.  

We all rallied together and headed to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it.  :)  If you have never been to Cracker Barrel you're missing out!  This is a definite must try!  John loved the store they have before you enter their dinning area.  He found the cutest rocking horse and would not get off.  It sounds darling, but he literally would not get off and it was a true cry fest when we took him off.  That made breakfast extra fun.  Can you hear my sarcasm? Thank God for quick service and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on my husband's cell phone.  That horsey did come home with us.  Daddy said we just couldn't leave without it.  I love him.  :) 

After a nap in the car and a diaper change we headed to Dutch Wonderland.  We unfortunately weren't able to take many pics here in an effort to keep our toddler happy as well as myself and hubby.  It wasn't all tears and tantrums though, I promise.  He loved the rides just hated waiting on the lines and there in lied our battle. 

It was a long day, but John went to sleep with no problem and we had the night to ourselves! It was an early rise for us the next day where we had breakfast at Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant.  I do not recommend their buffet, it was the least bit appetizing.  It has a cute country atmosphere though.  We said goodbye to the cows and headed home.  I chose a comfy, chic dress, also from Asos, to wear to breakfast and in the car on the way home.  I paired it with a belt and Diane Von Furstenburge clogs for a welcome to fall feel.   

Here are some tips from our visit.

My first and most important tip is that you say a pray before you even put the car in drive.  Putting God first put all of us at ease and we were ready to start our little adventure.  

Tips For Traveling with a Toddler 
1. Bring an iPad.  We forgot to buy a mount so my husband used his Macgyver skills and put the iPad  into our car seat mirror.  He used rope to secure it and mounted it to the back of John's seat.  We downloaded a movie that he had never seen to keep his interest.  If your toddler loves Curious George download "Curious About Space."  John loved it! 

2. Leave time for a pit stop if possible.  It was the halfway mark and the movie was almost over.  We decided to stop before the movie ended to stretch our legs, have a bite to eat, and use the bathroom.  I feel like it reset John... We got back in the car, put the rest of the movie on and when it was over he actually took a nap!  When he woke up we only had about 30 mins to go!   

3. Bring a new toy.  We picked up some new reusable animal stickers that came with a book for him to place them on.  It kept him busy the rest of the way.  Plus, all of the animal stickers prepared him to see the real deal - cows, horses, sheep, etc.  
Tips for Sleeping on Vacation with a Toddler
1. Bring your own crib/pack-and-play.  I regret not bringing our own. What the hotel supplied was sufficient but just thinking about the germs drove me crazy... Seriously I had to pray an anxiety attack away.  Thankfully I brought my Honest Company Multi-Surface cleaner.  I sprayed everything in John's room along with everything else multiple times!!! 

2. Don't forget to bring your own crib sheets!  You want your little love sleeping on something clean, soft, and familiar.      

3. If possible, bring your baby monitor and other familiar items.  We brought his room thermometer  (Gro-EGG) and his air purifier too!  The purifier not only purifies the air it blocks out noise perfectly!   

Tips when visiting Dutch Wonderland 
1. You pay for parking. Fifteen dollars for preferred and five for regular.  We wanted preferred but there were no spots left. We got there mid afternoon.    

2. Food is very expensive and you're not allowed to bring in outside food.  We got John a tiny piece of pizza and it was 5 dollars! Bring snacks and a water thermos though.  I brought them and they didn't make me throw it away.  They come in handy while waiting in line.

3. There are a good amount of rides for toddlers.  We went on about 5 rides and that was a lot considering... We went on the merry go round, Sunoco turnpike (car ride), gondola cruise, dragons lairs (boat ride), and wonderland special (train ride).  The wait time for the rides are reasonable too. Even though John was crying for most of the wait time we were only in line for tops 15-20 mins.  That's pretty good considering it was a holiday weekend. 

4. They have a cute water area that we just passed by because John just wasn't having it.  I also was a little nervous about him catching something weird from playing in the water with that many children.... It's the nurse in me. 

5. If your kiddie likes dinosaurs they have a little spot just for them.  John's not big into dinosaurs but he loved looking at them and listening to all the sounds they made.   

6. Sunscreen and hats are needed, although I will say they do have quite a bit of shady areas.  I saw a lot of strollers with sleeping babies in them at these spots.

7. Don't overstay your welcome.  We left at about the 3-4 hr mark.  The park is not that big, so for a toddler I think 3-4 hrs works.

Hope you have a happy Thursday and please share any of your own tips while traveling with kiddies! I'd love, love to here them! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Summer Days and a Denim Jumpsuit

I'm always trying to plan something fun.  Our plans usually consist of driving out east to either eat, play, or shop.  On this day we chose to do all three!

We had some yummy eats at Harbes Family Farm which is a must stop if your headed to the North Fork of LI N.Y, and then it was to Love Lane Toys to pick up something for our very happy toddler.  Our last stop was Martha Clara Vineyard where we had hoped to find more animals, but our boy was just thrilled to see the Yaks and Alpacas.

I'm kind of in love with wearing a loose fitted jumpsuit these days - it's like wearing a one piece pajama!  I love them so much that they've become somewhat of a mommy uniform for me.   The fact that they're on trend, feel like a pajama and I can wear them in public makes me incredibly happy!  A short story was tagged onto the purchase of this denim jumpsuit.

I was 3 months post baby and it was time to rejoin society and go shopping for an outfit for church that coming Sunday.  Our new little family headed to the mall in hopes of a peaceful outing and a quick bite to eat.  Why do I always think the mall is a good idea? I almost always come up empty handed and this day was no different.  As I held in my tears, secretly vowing to only wear pajamas and never leave the house again, I walked passed Forever 21 on the way out.  Through the window I saw this simple jumpsuit.  I ran in and ran up to the register.  I didn't even look at the price.  I didn't care.  Multiple hours of shopping, a crying baby, and a frustrated husband will make you not care...  When the cashier said five dollars please, my jaw dropped.  Five dollars, really? Yes, really! I could hear angels singing in my ear, lol! I walked away with this denim jumpsuit and a lesson.

Sometimes all it takes is a sale to make me happy :)   Now for the real lesson.  God loves us so much.  He loves us enough to interrupt our pity party, no matter how big or small, and lead us to what we need.  In this case it was a silly outfit to wear on the outside, but really it was more.  Clothes didn't fit me the same because my body had changed.  Everything changed and before that thought became overwhelming God interrupted it and brought me this cute five dollar jumper.  It fit perfectly without me even trying it on.

My hope is that when your having your own pity party that you think of me and my silly story about a five dollar jumper and that you keep a look out for your own "five dollar jumpsuit" ;) 

Forever 21 Jumpsuit sold out {similar here}

H&M Hat sold out {similar here while supplies last} 

 Come visit me on instagram @alissacataldo and say hi! Happy Monday!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Naps and Fringe. They Go Together, Right?

It's 11:42 in the morning on a Friday, to be exact, and it's quiet. Quiet like all I hear is the central air kicking on and my thoughts, and it's nice.  Nice because for the last week our toddler has refused to nap.  With watery, sleepy eyes he still refuses to go down in his crib.  My husband is working from home today and took our little tot in for yet another attempt.  It's quiet which means one thing, that said toddler is sleeping peacefully, but not in his crib - in daddy's arms.

I try to remember the cliche but true statement of how time flies and I will miss this stage. So with strength from above, I hold him a little longer, pray a lot harder, and drink coffee.  I was a tea only girl, but mommyhood has revealed the power of the bean! lol

We live a walk away from the water so most summer evenings you'll find us at the beach.  This past Tuesday was no different except that the fresh, salty, air was especially helpful in making our tired and grumpy toddler feel better.  If I'm being honest, it was helping his tired and grumpy mommy too. ;)

I'm wearing a top from Storets.  I found this online shop while scrolling through my favorite bloggers on Instagram.  They were all wearing pieces from this store so naturally I had to check them out. ;) Fringe is not something I normally gravitate to, but this trend is on the rise and I wanted to give a go.  You can wear it with your favorite distressed denim or use it has a dress as I did here.  I paired it with a skinny belt to give it shape.  It's a bit see through, but it was perfect for the beach!

Our boy loves loves to dance! All you have to do is start singing anything and he starts bouncing up and down :)

Storets Top

Happy Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend. Just think it's only a few short days till Friday! ;)