A Cake & Carousels 4th Birthday Party

Our firstborn daughter turned 4 at the end of August (how?!?) and we wanted to celebrate her in a fun yet simple way. A few years ago right before her second birthday, we took her to the Bushnell Park Carousel in Hartford, CT *nerd alert* Bushnell Park is the oldest publicly funded park in the US! ANYWAY, she had the best time there and has talked about the experience basically once a week since then.

Fast forward to this past July when we were brainstorming about what to do for her upcoming birthday and we thought the carousel would be the perfect choice.

We wanted the location to be a surprise but let her pick out which decorations and what kind of cake she would like to have – she chose pink llama decorations and requested a strawberry, lemon cake with LOTS of icing and sprinkles. Done and done. Normally I like to bake things from scratch, but was plagued by ridiculous morning sickness that made an all day baking adventure (doing anything, really) impossible. Boxed cake for the win!

The day finally arrived and as her little friends gathered to celebrate her, I was struck by what a blessing she truly is and how her life has truly impacted ours for the better!

Here are some photos from her fun day:

A Shot of the Carousel
the carousel in motion
Joona
Joona waiting her turn to ride
Joona's first ride
Joona’s first ride
the happiest 4 year old Bean
so happy!

Love

Advertisements

A Day in NYC with my Ergobaby 180 Reversible Stroller

This is a sponsored post for Ergobaby, in which they provided a free product for review. I will also receive a small commission when you purchase an Ergobaby product after clicking my referral links. Although sponsored, all opinions are my own!

For the past few months Auden has been requesting that we take her to Central Park “when it’s warm and sunny” and last weekend we were able to do just that! I was really excited when the forecast said that it was going to be in the high 70s (FINALLY!! Has this felt like the endless winter to anyone else??) and thought, “Perfect! What better time to break in my new stroller?” Ergobaby graciously sent me their newest product – The Ergobaby 180 Reversible Stroller and ohmygosh guys, it’s incredible!

The 180 Reversible Stroller weighs a little under 20 pounds and is literally the easiest thing to fold up – no more of those 9 step folding mechanisms, all you need to do is pull up on the fold strap that is conveniently located in the seat and…done! Such a game changer, especially when you have to fold it up quickly, hypothetically speaking, just before running through a train station like a couple of crazies trying to catch a train while your 3.5 year old yells, “DID WE MISS IT?!?!” the whole time. Yeah, you can laugh.


I thought about what I would highlight in this post as my most favorite thing but honestly, I couldn’t think of just one so I’m going to briefly talk about a few key features that I absolutely love.

  1. You can easily switch from facing your baby to having them face out to see the world without having to make any adjustments to the seat! That’s what makes the 180 reversible – you can move the handlebar without having to remove your baby from their comfortable seat.
  2. (This feature is my husband’s favorite) The handlebar is height-adjustable! Since my husband Mike is 6’4 the majority of strollers that we’ve tried leave him having to hunch over to reach the handlebar. With the 180 Reversible, the handlebar comes UP to him! I legit cheered when he held the handle and was still able to stand up straight!
  3. SO. MUCH. STORAGE. I’m trying to embrace minimalism in my home and really be intentional about the items I bring into our household (toys, furniture, clothing, etc.) but one look into my diaper bag would have you thinking otherwise. That bag is stuffed with snacks, spare clothes, snacks, shoes, snacks, diapers, lotion, wipes, and I’m pretty sure it weighs about 15 pounds. Guess what though? Neither Mike nor I had to carry it because of the cavernous under-seat basket that was able to accommodate all the things. 180 Reversible Stroller, our backs thank you.

Here are some photos from our day in the city!

img_2522
Holding hands, waiting for our train 
img_2531
On our way! 
img_2523
Taking in the sights! 
img_2534
Eating crepes in Central Park 
img_2525
It’s starting to look like Spring!
img_2536
Taking in the sights at the Rock! (Auden’s turn in the stroller :))
img_2527
One-handed pushing like a boss 
img_2533
img_2526
See? He’s able to stand up straight! All the praise hands for the adjustable handlebar feature. 
img_2535
#lovecarrieson

Product Review: Art & Eden

Hi everyone! I took some time off to focus on the holiday season and then ease into the new year but I’m back now! I’m feeling more refreshed than ever and ready to bring some new content. Thank you all for sticking around :). 


Lately, I’ve been feeling the weight of fast fashion and just how detrimental the clothing industry has been on the environment. I’ve been (slowly) working towards making more informed decisions to buy sustainable products for the girls that are both fun and affordable. As a rule, Mike and I try to feed the girls non GMO, organic and well-rounded meals, we use natural products throughout the house and on their bodies, but I really hadn’t thought much about the chemicals that might be on the surfaces and in the fibers of their clothing!

During my searches, I was overjoyed to stumble upon a new children’s brand called Art & Eden. The first thing that I noticed about them was that they only used certified organic cotton. We were off to a great start! After researching them a bit more and reading what they were about on their website, I found out that they are blazing a new trail and positively disrupting the clothing industry as we know it.

On their website, founder and CEO, Susan Correa said, “I wanted improved livelihood for farmers, dyers and tailors. I wanted a world of collaboration and connection where people worked alongside each other to create a better world for all.” Now that was a cause I could definitely get behind.

Art & Eden not only offers unique designs in whimsical and playful patters, ALL of their designs are created using eco-friendly practices such as low impact dyes – dyes that do not contain toxic chemicals, require less rinsing which saves water, and have a higher absorption rate into fabrics! Find out more info about their mission here.

A few months ago, I entered and won (yay!) a contest on their Instagram and they sent me some items off of my wishlist! We absolutely loved everything we received. Especially the Evelyn Sweatpants – which you will see photographed below along with the Amelia Sweatshirt! I only wish those pants came in my size *cough* an adult line in the future, perhaps? *cough*

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this brand and their mission. I’m so excited to watch them continue to bring much-needed changes to the clothing industry.

 

 

 

Currently

Where we are now: Making room for God to work in whatever way that may be. For the past year and a half, we’ve been planning to move somewhere – initially Redding, CA and then Austin, TX since February. We have been searching for jobs and a home in Austin with no real success. We prayed about just making the move without any job lined up but really didn’t hear a direct ‘Yes’ from God and didn’t want to go on our own authority. So we waited. And we’re waiting still. 

Now we’re praying about what it would mean if we stayed (in Connecticut). I was resistant at first because staying here was definitely not a part of anything I had imagined. Just last month we declared that we were going to do whatever it was that God wanted even if it meant not going to Austin (yet?) like we had been planning. We want to be a blessing to those around us and steward relationships wherever that may be. 

I wanted to wait until everything had been decided so I could present our story to you with a tidy bow on top and a “so that’s what we did!” at the end of my post, but, that’s not real life and I promised you vulnerability in this space. 

So here we are: filled with hope; ready.

Baking with my Bestie

Fall is our absolute favorite season! A few weeks ago, we went apple picking as a family and the next day, we baked some of the apples into a delicious pie. Auden always likes to help in the kitchen and this time was no different :). It was such a peaceful weekend together. 


Blessings! 🍎

Taking on the Fair in my Ergobaby Omni 360

This is a sponsored post for Ergobaby, in which they provided a free product for review. I will also receive a small commission when you purchase an Ergobaby product after clicking my referral links. Although sponsored, all opinions are my own!

I have been a mama for a little over three years and one of the very first items we purchased when I found out I was pregnant, was an Ergobaby baby carrier. I had researched so many different brands and found that Ergobaby had amazing reviews as a newborn baby carrier all the way up through toddlerhood – so I was sold. After Auden came home from her extended NICU stay, I used my carrier every single day and it really helped me bond with my teeny little preemie baby. I can still remember how she would fall asleep within minutes of me securing her into my carrier and it just made me feel like I was doing something right.

Fast forward to last fall when we welcomed our newest baby Joona, I knew that I would be wearing her all the time. This go around, since I had both a newborn and toddler to look after, being hands free was key. Wearing Joona allowed me to not miss a beat with my interactions with Auden and it made our transition from 1 to 2 children much easier.


You’ll imagine my excitement when I was sent the newest (INCREDIBLE!!) carrier: the Ergobaby Omni 360 to try out and review!
First of all, this all -in-one carrier can be worn in 6 positions – including the tried and true forward-facing, and offers babies a 360-degree view of the world. One thing that I really loved is that the Omni carrier literally grows (by simple velcro adjustments) with your child! You no longer need an insert during those infant months (all the praise hands) and you can continue to use the carrier until your little is a big  – up to 36 months!

When I received my happy mail, I immediately wanted to try it out. After reading the step-by-step instructions, I put Joona in the carrier in the front carry outward facing position and she fell asleep, no exaggeration, within 2 minutes. So good.

We decided to break it in by taking the Omni to The Big E (hugest fair in New England) and it did not disappoint! Joona happily kicked and squealed, clapped and danced the entire evening. Oh, I forgot to mention, this carrier also has a detachable FANNY PACK!! You know I stuffed that thing full of supplies for our adventure. I think I’m in love, guys.

Before I go any further, here’s a 10% off promo code for you to use at ergobaby.com! Just copy and paste >> jo8KbuYBBM and as always, shipping is free :).

Picture time!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Armed with my fork and my Omni 360

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Just hanging out!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
That right there? Deep fried cheesecake. Have mercy.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Taking in all the sights.

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset
On the carousel with Auden 🙂

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Mesmerized by all the flashing lights.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Me and my girls

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
#lovecarrieson