Thursday, August 28, 2014

Teething Woes

I am ready for this week to be over already. It seems to be dragging.  Honestly though now that school has started work is flying by, it's just being at home that's dragging.  I think Noah's teething pretty good.  His second top tooth is coming in and for whatever reason I think this one is bothering much more than any other.  He's super grumpy and clingy.  His slobbering is out of control and his nose is so stuffy that I think that's why he's been half waking up in the morning.  We're hoping this passes soon because we're already about a week in.

So to pass time by we've been trying to get out of the house as much as possible to distract Noah from all the crappy teething problems.  A couple of days ago we headed out for a Target date and some frozen yogurt. Side story: When I got home Jeff asked me how much money I spent and was super surprised when it was only $80ish dollars.  He said anything under $100 is a good day.  Am I really that bad?  Does anyone else have that problem?  Target just sucks you in big time!

Lucky for us the yogurt place had a little table with the Lion King movie and crayons around which was super cute.  Noah was more interested in the yogurt though.  Any other ideas for a little outings during teething time?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Noah's One Year Pictures

We're lucky to have a photographer that always takes such good pictures of us and this time was no exception.  Of course it's taken over three months to get around to posting, but why not now?  Better late than never right?  Noah was a little squirmy this day and just wanted to run around.  Seems to be something toddlers do I suppose.  And although he did not cooperate much, we got some pretty good ones to frame around the house.

dress (charlotte russe) shoes (also)
jeffs shirt (gap) shorts (h&m)
noahs outfit (oldnavy) shoes (target)

Days after this shoot we decided to put away those cute little shoes Noah's wearing.  Poor little guys feet are so sausagie even his cankles stick out the top! =) Such a little cutie he is.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Toddler Boy Fall Fashion

We've got a rainy yucky day outside which calls for some online shopping since it looks like my work day will be pretty slow.  It's nice and quiet... just the way I like it. This colder weather though is getting me excited to dress Noah up in some fall clothes.  Noah is a huge heat box though and is constantly sweating so I'll probably have to wait for winter, but I might as well stock up now!

one | two | three | four

There will be lots of layering and cozy  knits.  Maybe Noah will even keep that cute little pom hat on long enough for me to take a picture.  Do you think he'll figure it out when it's minus ten out?  
Thinking of fall also makes me think of our one large tree out in our back yard.  I think Noah will be big enough this year to jump all over the leaves. I can just see him flapping his little sausage hands across all the leaves...
Fall is juuust around the corner!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fall Is Here For Us...

Summer is not technically over, but for our family it may as well be.  School starts again at our local colleges and since both Jeff and I both work for them our busy season has begun.  We'll be working forty plus hours and opposite shifts.  No more sister-in-law day care since she also will be going back to school, which means we're now single parents half the time.  It's not all that bad but it certainly makes you appreciate how great summer is.

Noah is still loving the outdoors.  We've spent so much time out in the back yard running around. He's mesmerized by the hose and loves to drag it around. Firefighter in the future?  Not sure how Jeff would feel about that. Our garden finally seems to have sprouted.  Much later than last year but alas it's here.  Noah loves picking the tomatoes of the plant and using his one top tooth to bite through.  He just loves tomatoes.

After waiting all summer and thinking my broccoli plant would never produce despite the largeness I found there is actually something resembling broccoli in there!  I was so excited!  The most pumped one could be for broccoli, which I'm sure Noah will refuse to eat.

So far, we've gotten a ton of lettuce and arugula and the tomatoes are just starting to turn red. In a couple weeks we'll be swimming in tomatoes and we wont know what to do with them!  So here's to the end of summer.  You've been good to us! Bring on the fall.  It may be busy but we still have bonfires, cooler weather for cuter clothes and fall boots and maybe Noah's first football game. Who knows!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Americas Most Wanted Recipes Book Review

This is a sponsored post brought to you by  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that support my little corner of the web.

I was lucky enough to have been contacted to do my first cookbook review.  As you guys know I'm all about not using recipes because I really feel people have their own way of cooking and we cook for our own tastes. We cater to our families and what they like and sometimes following recipes kind of boxes me into a corner.  However, I do love to use recipes as a reference.  I don't always know what ingredients mix well together and although I like to make things up as I go, recipes can be a great way to get started.

I received "America's Most Wanted Recipes; At The Grill" by Ron Douglas, and paged through to find recipes that looked yummy but also easy and found a couple of really great ones.  First up we tried Applebees Oriental Chicken Salad. Asian cuisine is not really up our alley, but like I said before, this was a great guideline for us to start.  We followed the recipe pretty much to the tee but switched out the cabbage for the lettuce.  Overall - great recipe, and I would try this one again.

We're a huge fan or Red Robins burgers and we had to try the Red Robins Bacon Cheese Burger.  The recipe was easy and super fast since all you have to do is grill the burger and top it with the appropriate toppings.  It was a good burger, but it did not taste like a Red Robin burger at all.  It just tasted like our normal burger.  Which is good let me say, but not as amazing as Red Robin.  I feel like they could have left this recipe out of the book.  It was just a plain bacon cheese burger and nothing about it was that special.

Finally, we ended our recipe adventure with Applebee's Broiled Salmon with Garlic Butter.  Again, although this recipe was good.  There was nothing really special about it.  It was just grilled salmon. We made some quinoa and veggies as sides and it made a great healthy weeknight meal.  Would I make this again? Sure, but I don't think you need a recipe for this.

So a couple thoughts on this book.  Is it worth buying? Yes, but there are a couple things though you want to keep in mind.  I'm all about simple, and I think a lot of you guys are too.  The simple recipes aren't all that amazing.  If you haven't made one of these recipes before then by all means try them because they are good, but they aren't all that special.  The best recipes in my opinion were the ones with a lot of ingredients.  And I mean A LOT!  Like twenty plus.  Those are the ones worth trying.  Those are the ones that are going to be amazing.

So, final thoughts?  Don't buy this book if you're looking for quick easy weeknight meals, but do buy it if you've got some extra time on your hand and specialty items in your pantry.

Do you want a copy of "America's Most Wanted Recipes; At The Grill"?  Check out this page and leave a comment telling me which other book from the Americas Most Wanted Recipes collection you would like to try and then enter the rafflecopter bellow to win one for you!

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Thanks guys! and Happy Cooking.

And if you're looking for some yummy and easy weeknight options for tonight stop by the recipe page and check some out!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Millennium Park Triathlon

For anyone whos been reading this blog for a while, you may know that my husband competes in triathlons every summer and has been for many years.  My thing is shopping, his is working out.  Good mix right?
Last year, Jeff asked his family to participle in the Millennium Park Triathlon  here in Grand Rapids and his siblings and dad joined him in racing.  This year though, he got pretty much the whole family.  It's only a sprint race, so pretty much anyone can do it, and there's not much training required. It was a great family bonding experience and I'm glad Jeff and his family set such a good example to Noah to be active and fit as he grows up.  Here is a little recap from our morning.

This year Jeff and his cousin Mike had a great rivalry.  They both trained hard but Mike finished a little earlier than Jeff!  Good job Mike!  Jeff finished second in his age group and Mike first (in a lower age group).  They both did amazing as well as the rest of the family.  And did you see all the family that showed up!?  Lots of support in the Stoll family.  With matching tshirts of course.

I love love this race though.  It's a really pretty course.  Not that I can say much from the race itself since I'm not much of a triathlete.  Maybe one day I'll join in.   Until then I'll be the one taking the pictures!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fourteen Months

Noah is fourteen months! We did so much this July.  We had a family vacation in Mackinaw City and went to the island.  Can I just say the horse poop stank is out of control?  I'm a city girl all the way and seeing absolutely no cars was super crazy.

Noah is getting more of an attitude every day.  He whines and cries and the smallest things but he also laughs so much and making him smile is super easy.  He's become a total mamas boy which I think it's about time.  He cuddles and sits on your lap and smiles while touching your face.  He's a sweet boy when he's not running a hot mess all over the house.  He touches everything he sees and needs to "figure" everything out.  How it moves, what it feels like, what it does.  If so fun watching him learn right in front of you.

Let get to the stats of the month.  Not a lot of physical growth but he's really learning to do a lot more.

  • Stats: Size 4 Diapers | 12mo or 18mo clothing
  • Size: 28.5 lbs - 32 in 
  • New Abilities: He's really starting to babble a lot although still not words.  He does finally say "mama" but not really towards me.  He's realized that he can walk backwards towards an object and sit on it which has been pretty amusing since now he tried to sit on anything.  Your ankle, leg.... toys, buckets, it's pretty funny. He runs! and pretty fast.    He's loving cleaning and I'm pretty sure he's learning that from me.  He knows where we keep the vacuum and the electric broom.  Loves both of them and throws a fit if I put them away.  He loves to help me clean and cook.  Already making a great husband out of him!

  • Sleep: Sleeping consistently from 7:30pm to 7:30am. Naps twice during the day. A morning, an afternoon for about 1.5 hrs.  I think we're moving towards one nap though. Once in a while he's refusing his second nap which makes for a grumpy late evening.  We just have to work on moving the first nap a little later and we'll be good to go!
  • Food: We're all solids now and he will eat most anything that we will.  Milk in a sippy during meals and water in between.
  • Mom Check-In: Eeek! School is just around the corner which means busy time at work and less hubby time.  I'm trying to soak in every minute of this summer.  Here is our progress on this last months bucket list:
-Make and let Noah have popsicles
-Go to the zoo
-Make Noahs one year photo book
-Start using the spoon to eat (although not yet mastered)
-Start shopping for Noah's fall clothes
-Go to the GR Downtown Market
-Have a family lunch date outside downtown with Noah
-Buy a potty

Almost done with just a couple of things left to finish.   This week Jeff and I had Wednesday off so we headed out to lunch to our favorite restaurant ( and introduced fine dining to Noah.  We do like our fancy food and enjoy going to nice restaurants when we get the chance.  Fine dining just offers so many more unexpected choices and the quality is great.  Of course instead of dinner we did lunch, and instead of the nice seating with white linens and breakable wine glasses we sat outside.  Still a great meal though and we're happy to finally be able to share something like this with Noah.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Favorite Things Friday

Um... where has summer gone already?  Can you believe it's August!  Holy moly.  The good thing about August is that fall is almost here and there is no better season than fall.  The crisp air, the cute clothes, the smell of bonfires, falling leaves and a cold bedroom to sleep in at night with the covers over your head.  Love.

I'm looking forward to this weekend and ready to get out of work.  Six hours left to go! I need to catch up on some sleep this weekend for sure and after a good vacation and lots of quality time with my boys I've been really missing it this week.  At the house, we're getting geared up for one of the last triathlons of the season and this one is super special because most of Jeffs family will be a part of it.  We even had matching shirts for the occasion!  Fierce competition is heating up between my husband and his cousin.  I'll update you last week on who will cross the finish line first!

Ok, on to blog business.  Here are this week internet findings of my favorite things!

I've been meaning to make a growth chart for Noah (and our future kids) and I saw this tutorial of an arrow which is super cute.  I also really love this wooden growth chart.

You know like everyday when you come home the first thing  you do is take your work clothes on and put on some comfy clothes.  This shirt should be part of that outfit for sure. Plus this website has some other pretty hilarious tees. 

For those who don't know, we're in the process of building a house.  Like the very early stages because who knew even figuring out the right floor plan could be so hard.  And did I tell you I have the most expensive taste ever?!  Ugh.  I blame it on Pinterest for giving me false hope of what I can have.  Especially this entry.  I HAVE to have two stories.  I love stairs so much.  

Another example of false hope?  This closet. Can I win the lottery please?

But, on the weekends, when you finally get a babysitter and want to impress your hubster.  These shoes are a must.  If I didn't have a million shoes this color I would for sure buy them. 

I change my wallpaper on my computer a couple of time a month because I keep finding such good ones. These would also make some good phone wallpapers.

Have you seen the video West Elm just posted about folding a fitted sheet?  Mind blown.

Happy weekend guys!