Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Confessions of a Busy Mama...

It's Wednesday... I haven't done my "weekend in review" post... I haven't finished my "Finish This!" Weds Blog post in almost 3 weeks now... my laundry is piling up.. I'm crazy busy at work.. I am studying for an insurance ed test and it's almost time to go pick my sweet boy up from daycare!

I am one busy Mama!

But who isn't?!  Seriously.  We are all busy running kids to and from places. Cooking. Baking. Cleaning. Laundering. *Laundering?!*  you know what I mean!  Ahhh.... And on top of that I'm training for a half marathon.  How does one have enough hours in the day?  I know I don't!!

Well here is my short and sweet version of my weekend in review.

Friday - DATE NIGHT :)  Adam and I had the chance to go and have a wonderful meal at a local restaurant called the Orchard. It has been hit and miss in the past but is under new management and the food was phenomenal.  I cannot say enough positive things about how incredible our food was!! We stopped at Striker's (the bowling alley in Baldwin) had a beer and ran into Adam's cousin Becky and her husband Luke.. which led to another beer at their place.  It was such a wonderful night!!

Saturday - Adam was roofing so George and I went down to the Chili Cookoff in Baldwin on Main Street. What a great little event put on by the Chamber. It was entirely free and there were a lot of local businesses with some pretty amazing chili!  George and I also baked cookies on Saturday and for anyone who knows me, knows this was a HUGE feat. And let me just say it LOUD.

I made the best cookies EVER!!

These are the FAMOUS Robbi's M&M Cookies.  My neighbor Jen brought them to me after I had George and they were Ahhhh-Mazing!!  But as I said before I cannot bake cookies!!  And I have tried and tried... I have used cold butter.. used more flour... more brown sugar... eggs at room temperature. I have chilled the batter.. I have reduced oven heat.. I have taken them out sooner than the recommended time and I simply never got it right. I typically ended up with crunchy flat cookies. They were terrible. Until now. I, Kristen Laura Van Ness, vow to NEVER bake cookies with butter again.  I used Crisco flavored butter sticks and an extra 1/2 cup of flour and that was the trick!  They are PERFECT!!!!  Yummy :)

And on Tuesday of this week my Sweet Baby George turned 8 months!!  He started Swim Lessons at the Baldwin Area Medical Center last night so we had ZERO time to get photos on the exact day.. So I was able to set him up this morning and take photos with these sweet blocks I won!  Thank you to Stormy from LifesADanceBlog for picking me in the drawing!! (She's a good Wisconsin girl too! Love reading what she's up to.. and she always has great giveaways as well!)   Also, you can head over to PrettyinPolkaDotSky's Etsy shop and you can get your own blocks!  They customize them for you if you wanted to do a name block.. or you can pickup the date blocks as well!  What I love about these is they are UV printed on the blocks so they don't chip or fade.  Which is great when you have a sweet little boy who thinks they are toys and not props :)

 Sweet Baby George - 8 Months on 9/23/2014

Loves:  Bananas, Sweet potatoes, Apples, Carrots, Pears,  and Pumpkin in his baby food!  He's like a little birdie when he's ready to eat :)  Very sweet!  He still needs his blankie when going to bed.  Likes reading books and hearing music.  Being outside. Anytime he's fussy if we go outside he calms right down and is happy again.

Doesn't Love:  Naps.  My little George is "Fomo" - which I've learned is the new slang for "Fear of Missing Out."  This little boy will fight sleep until the bitter end if he thinks something awesome is happening that he cannot miss.  And we all pay for it dearly!!

We've also finally cut our first tooth as of this morning!!  So very exciting since we thought he's been teething since Mo 3.

I think I said this was going to be short but as you can see once again I'm long winded.  I started this earlier and have slowly been adding to it.  ha!

I need to get back to my studies... Have a wonderful few days ahead until the weekend!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekend in Review - Tuesday Edition

Ahh.. it's late in the day on Tuesday. Forgive me! It's been a hectic week my friends. Hectic!  We also had a VERY busy weekend, so I only have a few photos to share.

On Friday Judy and I took George to a Flea Market in Beldenville, WI while Adam and Paul tore off our roof getting it ready for new shingles on Saturday.   We were so lucky to have Adam's friends come over and give him a hand on Saturday to replace the remaining slopes of shingles on our home. We had some minor wind damange back in April and due to availability, the insurance company agreed to replace the entire roof. YAY for us!  

While Adam was roofing, a few girls (Claire, Shonda, Emily, Jen and her daughter Tory) all attended the River Community Church's family 5k/10K fun run.  Shonda and Emily ran the 5K and the rest of us completed the 10K.  It was my first 10K and I was pretty pleased with the outcome.  I had a goal of 1:10 to finish and was able to complete it in 1:05ish.  Although now after running that I'm losing motivation for my 1/2 Marathon Training. I hope my drive comes back!! 

On Sunday while Adam was finishing up the roof, George and I went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Grandma has been working knitting this bomber hat for George.  She needs to get a few buttons for it, but since it was cold out we used a safety pin to hold it up :)  Grandpa took G out for a ride on the lawnmower while Grandma and I stayed in and did some cooking/baking. 

Crazy hair after we took off his hat.
I am a very late bloomer when it comes to Pinterest. So when Judy sent me this from Pinterest I was all over making these!  Sunday was a perfect morning for G and I to escape the house and do a little baking.  They are rice krispie bars with good coloring, tooties rolls for the step and a little fruit roll up for the leaf.  Very cute and SUPER easy!!

Hope your week is quiet and easy :)  It's already late Tuesday.  Almost hump day.  Love to all.

-- KV

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Weekend in Review - Tuesday Edition

Since I posted my Stitch Fix Review yesterday, I didn't want to be overwhelming by posting my weekend update right after it!

Friday night we hosted a get together at our house and Uncle Greg and Aunt Jayme came over. They are George's Godparents and spoil this sweet little boy!  They gave George a new onesie (see photo), new shoes, and a new bib that has a little fisherman and "Hudson,WI" on it.  So sweet!  I think the onesie will fit now, just have to wait on the shoes and bib!

We also had Greg's friends (and our new friends) Sam and Ani over as well. Sam's brother had just flown in from England and he also made an appearance. We had such a wonderful night with them. The guys played a ton of ping pong while us girls sipped on wine and had laughs.

On Saturday night a group of us went to Vino in the Valley. It is this gorgeous little vineyard that's set at the base of the bluffs in Maiden Rock, WI.  They serve pizza and pasta and make 3 different wines on site.  There is live music, a bonfire, beanbags and other things going on while you wait for your table.   And on Saturday night we waited... 

Shonda, Emily, Me, Claire and Katie

We had reservations set for 7:30pm that Emily had made weeks in advance.  Our babysitter was onboard until 10pm for us.  Well things started to look a little questionable when at 7:45 we were told to "check back later.."   Eventually they buzzed us at 8pm but at that point we had already decided to head back to Baldwin and simply grab food at the local bowling alley... But first we had to stop quick and say hello to friends who were at a wedding... 

Josh, Emily, Adam, Me, Claire, Mike, Nathan, Katie, Dusty and Shonda.

And that's when our night kind of took a turn... We somehow arrived well before the rest of the group (Adam and I drove separate)... and waited at the place where the wedding was going on.. I was growing completely impatient (weird!) because A. They weren't serving food (even though it's a restaurant) and B. I was STARVING and C. it was now 8:45 pm and See A and B above.  So I convinced Adam to leave and just as we were walking out, the guys were walking in... I was kind of over the night at that point and we agreed to still leave.  

I share this sad part of the story because A. I never did get to eat supper.   And B. Because had we stayed at Vino to eat dinner we would have never made it to pick up George on time!  We literally had 45 minutes that they would have had to take our orders, bring drinks, food, eat and leave.. and as busy as they were, it wouldn't have happened.  Needless to say I was kind of bummed our night went South.. but that just means we'll have to have a do-over!!

On Sunday while Adam was golfing, I was trying to get ready for my 6 mile run. I have NEVER run that far in my life. 5 was my max and that was a the peak of my running 3 years ago. So I was determined to crush it (okay, not really.. I just didn't want to die during my run). While I was eating a banana George kept grabbing for it, so I let him have it and he was all over it! He looks like a little monkey in this picture. So cute!!  

Little Monkey
Hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa's

We spent Sunday night over at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We had a wonderful Sunday dinner (as always!) and took pictures for my Stitch Fix Review - thanks Judy!  The boys shot bow and Grandpa gave George a ride on the ATV.  George is sure becoming a pro at riding with Grandpa. I think he thinks its only his to ride because when Uncle Alex hopped on, little boy gave him the stink eye. Pretty funny!!

Have a wonderful week ahead! It's Tuesday.. only 4 days until the weekend :)

A few other pics from Sunday at Grandpa and Grandma's House...

Not amused with riding the deer target
Cozy with Great Grandpa

Monday, September 8, 2014

Stitch Fix #5 - My Fix Reviewed

It's that time again!  The time where I literally watch out my kitchen window hoping to catch a glimpse of the Fed Ex truck heading my way... and after 3:30 on Friday when I finally saw it, I squealed like a kid at Christmas.  My Stitch Fix was almost here!

What is Stitch Fix?
Stitch Fix is a monthly or as you request clothing service that's delivered to your door. You sign up, fill out their Style Profile, and then pay $20 as a styling fee. They send you clothes that match up with your profile. If you purchase something, the $20 is applied against your purchase. If you do not purchase anything, then the $20 is forfeited as a "styling fee."

Bilson Embroidered Pleat Detail Blouse
(Daniel Rainn)

This blouse was very unique.  The front was a lace type detail and the back was sheer and very lightweight.  However, the stitching on the front made the blouse feel unusually heavy.  Additionally it was too big on me.  It's hard to tell, but if you look just above my hands you can see that there was a lot of extra material with this blouse. I love the neckline and pleat detail  on it but this was just not for me.

Verdict: Returned.

Danny 5-Pocket Knit Pant
(Kut from the Kloth)

One of the great features of Stitch Fix is you can make requests.  So I actually asked for a pair of Ponte Knit Pants and these came in my fix.  While I was hoping for black when I tried these on I fell in LOVE.  They were soooo comfy!  I was a little bugged by the fact that they were a bit long, but nothing that a little hemming can't fix, right?  Well, then I went shopping on Saturday and found an even better pair from GAP for half the price and in black that weren't too long. So how do I justify keeping these?  

Verdict: Returned
Pardon the dog sniffing me in the pic!
Aspen Boat Neck Striped Cotton Tee
(41 Hawthorn)

Once upon a time I LOVED wearing boatneck tops.  I felt like they helped with my broad shoulders.  Well... this shirt was a disaster.  The gold buttons on top of the shoulders brought attention to how broad I am.. then the horizontal stripes and the unflattering material simply did nothing for me.  The top was overall a little too big as well.  I couldn't find anything that I actually liked about this time.  Well, I actually like 3/4 length sleeves, so there is one positive, right?  

Verdict: Goodbye horizontal stripes - Returned.

Fey Textured Knit Crew Neck Sweater
(Sweet Rain)

Oh how I love the color of this sweatshirt!  It was so complimentary of my skin tone... but the rest of the shirt was less than wonderful.  First of all, it is WAY too short on me.  I think that's kind of a current trend -- shorter tops, but I haven't embraced it yet.  Additionally this sweatshirt was polyester and was just icky.  It felt like an 80's bedspread that you might find in a hotel. It felt gross and I couldn't wait to get it off my body!!

Verdict:  Returned

Kelly Zig-Zag Dot Scarf
(Spun Scarves by Subtle Luxury)

Let's first talk about my sweet accessory in this photo.  Isn't he just adorable?  Love this little boy!! For anyone who knows me, knows that I am crazy about wearing scarves. I will wear them regardless if it's summer or winter.   This scarf is no exception.  The colors are a little different, browns, greens, blues and yellows.  Not really my typical color palette ... If you see above I've returned everything and am down to one piece.  I wonder if it's worth buying this one so I don't "Lose" my $20 styling fee?  Or return it and not paying the additional $18 to keep it?  
Verdict: Undecided

So Stitch Fix #5 was a slight bust... I really like the excitement I feel each month when this box arrives but have had some disappointments the last few fixes.  I think I might make some adjustments in my profile and see if I can get a little better results.  

For those of you who aren't familiar; Stitch Fix carries sizes XS-XL and 0-14. It's not age or body specific, they do try to meet your tastes and likes! If you're interested, here is my referral link. I receive a $25 credit for you signing up and once you are a member, you can have other friends sign up under your personal link. (The credit isn't applied until the first box ships!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Finish This - Week #35

This game is called "Finish This," and all you have to do is finish the following prompts and link up your post below! You can also visit the other hosts of this party on their fun blogs: Nicole {Three 31} Lisa {Coastlined}, Jen {The Arizona Russums} and Becky {The Java Mama}.

I celebrated Labor Day by... Running!  I had WAY too much fun going out on Saturday night while at the cabin, so needed Sunday to recover.  Normally I do my long runs on Sunday, but had to push this one off til Monday.  It was a great run though!  Glad I was able to push myself and get it done.

My dream job/career, would be... teaching.  I have my teaching degree and license but have worked for the same company for 15 years.  The only thing holding me back is money.  Unfortunately I would have to take a significant pay cut to pursue that dream of teaching.  Maybe some day.

My first paying job was ... well I actually delivered penny papers for my very first paying job. The job I consider to be "first" is bussing tables at a local hotel/restaurant.  My grandfather would take us there as kids, so it was so sweet for that to be one of my first jobs.  I was 14 when I started.

My current job is ... I am a Business Analyst in Human Resources for an Insurance Company.  I support Human Resource computer applications such as our absence and staffing systems.  It's definitely a "job" and not my most favorite, but I am blessed to have a job locally (since most of the jobs are leaving this area) and one that allows me to be flexible and work from home.

Invite your blogging friends and come back next Wednesday for another round of Finish This where we’ll answer another set of prompts!

Prompt for WEEK 36 — September 10
I am serious about
I am most relaxed when
There’s no place like

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend in Review - on Tues!

Ahh, what a glorious 3 day weekend for this girl!  We went up to the cabin and had a wonderful time with Adam's parents and brother.  I might have even had a little too much fun on Saturday night :)  Hasn't happened in a while and we really had a great night out!  Sharing a few photos of our weekend up North.

Little boy and Grandpa took a snooze on Friday night while Mama and Grandma went out and hit the casino.. we had a WONDERFUL time, unfortunately luck was not on our side.  George also LOVED Alex's dog Max.  He kept trying to pet Max whenever he was around.  He also would just sit and stare at Max and Barley when they were outside.  Alex thought it would be funny for George to ride Max.. I don't think Max was nearly as excited :)
Adam and Alex helped Paul work on a bridge all weekend at the Cabin, so Paul and Judy took us out to an amazing dinner in Hayward.  Here's a picture of the guys just before dinner.  Pretty obvious where my little George gets his handsome (and VERY Norwegian) good looks from! 

We came home on Sunday and went over to visit friends Sunday night.  Jonelle and Chad have a sweet baby girl Katelynn that was born 3 weeks before George. We always have so much fun when we spend time with them!  George usually gets to see Katelynn every Thursday as Jonelle and I hike together every week.  However we've both been so busy lately it's been a while since the little ones have seen each other.  Crazy how big they are both getting.  Quite challenging to get them to both look at the camera at the same time. Ha!

Well that's it for another weekend. So happy to have a short week ahead of me..

And... it's my favorite week - Stitch Fix comes this Friday!! Stay tuned for another Stitch Fix Review!