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Fun fact–the first item Zach and I bought when we found out I was pregnant was a giant Winnie the Pooh bear. I had grand plans for a Pooh themed first birthday party pretty much from the day Erin made her appearance in the world. (Obviously, the army had other plans since her first birthday fell two days before Zach deployed #fail.) This year though, I started planning her Winnie the Pooh Second Birthday party from the moment September started and, you guys, it was so worth it.

Planning a Winnie the Pooh Birthday Party

I knew that, since the party was going to be just us, I wanted to keep things fairly simple while still trying to bring a little bit of whimsy and Hundred Acre Wood’s flair to the festivities. Pinterest is my go-to for any type of party planning but I also scoured the DisneyFamily instagram where I found the inspiration for Erin’s birthday cake. Full disclosure: I’m horrible at baking cakes. This is actually the first time one of my cakes turned out both edible and aesthetically pleasing.

Winnie the Pooh Party Food

For the food, I went with a few light lunch options to pile on our plates and they ended up working perfectly for our 3pm party.

Pig(lets) in a Blanket: I felt a little bad eating something named after one of my favorite Hundred Acre Woods characters but these mini pigs in a blanket were soooo good! And super simple since they’re just mini versions of hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. One can of crescent roll dough cut into smaller triangles worked perfectly for one package of mini sausage links.

Veggies from Rabbit’s Garden: Maybe one of the simplest foods on the table. An assortment of veggies straight from Rabbit’s garden.

Tigger Tails: aka bacon ranch pasta salad-one of my go-to summer recipes and a dish Erin (and Zach) really loves. Rotini pasta is a must for these twisty tigger tails and the bacon elevates a super simple dish into something a little more special.

Twigs from Eeyore’s House: Again, simplicity for the win–simple pretzels equals cute twigs.

Lemonade with Mint: I added some mint to give this simple lemonade recipe a little more pizzazz. The real star of this though were the cups. I used some brown construction paper and a sharpie to make a Hunny label for our mason jar cups. So cute and seriously so simple.

Pooh Bear Birthday Cake: Cakes are not usually my forte, you guys (ask my husband about my past years of failed birthday cakes) but I think this year I found my go-to recipe. This lemon layer cake tasted amazing and was perfect for Pooh’s face; for his ears, I baked some lemon poppyseed muffins (from a box because #momlife), cut the tops off and stacked two for each ear. Buttercream frosting is my birthday cake kryptonite but I attempted it once again and managed to make a version of a simple buttercream that was edible (albeit a little sweet).  It’s probably not a surprise that I’m not the best decorator so this simple Pooh face worked perfectly for my skill set! All in all this was definitely my most delicious and I love how cute it turned out too.

Winnie the Pooh Party Decor

Most of the Pooh themed parties on pinterest were geared more toward boys with lots of green and red but I chose a slightly more muted color scheme with gold + butter yellow+ white. I only bought a few things to decorate for our party since we had quite a few things we already owned that fit perfectly with the Pooh theme.

Pooh & Piglet Stuffed Animals: We bought Erin’s gigantic Pooh Bear + Piglet at the Disney Store before she was born and of course, I had to include them in the party decor. She loves playing with her giant Pooh (he is still almost twice the size of her) and they really made the whole party come together.

Wooden Crate Photo Display: Originally, when I was planning her first birthday party, I had planned on having a photo display of all of Erin’s monthly photos from her first year but since this was her second year, I opted to include a photo of her as newborn, as a one-year-old and a current photo. We got the crate photo display from Hobby Lobby and it actually hangs in our living room on most days. For the fourth photo slot, I printed out a little invitation I created using some vintage Pooh illustrations to look like an old book cover.

Tree Slice Birthday Sign: Can you have a Pooh themed party without mentioning Pooh’s beloved hunny tree? I think not. We bought this tree slice at Target and I used black paint to write out ‘Erin Turnz Two’ in Pooh-esque handwriting. To add a little extra interest, I printed out some bee illustrations, cut them out, and pasted them to the sign.

Yellow + White Tassel Banner: Another find from Hobby Lobby and part of the decor for Erin’s new bedroom in Hawaii. We hung this on the wall as a backdrop to the table decor.

Gold Balloon Garland for Erin’s Highchair: Which we ended up adding to the front of the table because Erin couldn’t help kicking it while she ate. Still super cute though!

We tried to make most of her presents super interactive and she absolutely loved this drawing pad.

Even though it was simple, Erin really loved her birthday party and we had such a blast celebrating her!

This Winnie the Pooh themed birthday party was so adorable and came together so easily. I’m absolutely tempted to use it again when Erin gets a little older or for a future kiddo!

Am I the only mama who struggles with birthday cakes? If you have a tried and true recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below (especially if it’s chocolate)!

The post Erin’s Winnie the Pooh Second Birthday Party appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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Last Thursday, I turned 28. Oof! Does anyone else feel younger than they actually are? I swear I’m not a day over 24!!

Anyway, as you’re reading this, I’m probably in the middle of a tornado (aka the aftermath of packing all our belongings and sending them across an ocean). But, I thought I’d pop in to share a few lessons I’ve learned in my twenty-eight years of existence. Some of the lessons are funny and some were downright hard but each of them helped me become the person I am.

What I’ve Learned in 28 Years

1/ Never wear socks with sandals.

2/ The people who really want to be in your life will make an effort to be in your life.

3/ Childbirth is simultaneously the best and the worst moment of your life.

4/ Mom was right–you should never have refused naps as a child.

5/ Life takes you unexpected places.

6/ Make messes.

7/ It’s perfectly acceptable to read a book more than once, especially if that book is Harry Potter.

8/ Love is love.

9/ Practice really does make perfect.

10/ Your child will test your patience (continuously and in unexpected ways) but that doesn’t make you a bad parent, just a normal one.

11/ Photos are forever—both a blessing and a curse.

12/ It’s easy to get sucked into the comparison game. Remember your story has meaning.

13/ There’s not much that can’t be solved by a warm shower and good night’s sleep.

14/ Laughter is indeed the best medicine.

15/ A healthy marriage is a team effort.

16/ Disney World is always a good idea.

17/ There are few smells better than rain during a thunderstorm, a freshly sharpened #2 pencil & the scent of the person you love.

18/ One day can absolutely change your life.

19/ Giving yourself grace is one of the hardest but most necessary things you need to do in life.

20/ Embrace your personality with all of its quirks.

21/ Your worldview broadens everytime you travel so travel often and far.

22/ Art, any kind of art, can be therapy for your soul.

23/ Find someone who loves you on your good days and your bad.

24/ Be silly.

25/ School is much more enjoyable when it’s not required.

26/ Our choices make us who we are.

27/ There’s nothing more beautiful than your child’s smile.

28/ Take chances, push boundaries, and always stay true to yourself.

The funny thing about making this list was that, once I started, I just kept coming up with lessons that have been instrumental in shaping who I am.

What is one important lesson you’ve learned in your life?

The post 28 Things I’ve Learned in 28 Years appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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Hey friends, it’s been awhile. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that these past few weeks have been hard for us and, as I’m writing this, we’re scurrying to get everything ready for the movers to pack up our house. But, before the real hectic-ness (is that a word?) of the month really kicks in, I thought I’d take you along on our newest fall tradition–apple picking.

There really isn’t anything more fall-ish than visiting an apple orchard. Especially in northern New York when the temperatures start dipping lower as soon as the calendar says September. I knew that I wanted to take advantage of our last fall here at Drum so I scouted around and found Behling Orchards, located in Mexico, New York. Mexico is about a half hour drive from Fort Drum which makes it the perfect spot to cross apple picking off the bucket list.

Established in 1947, Behling Orchards is home to nearly 80 varieties of apples (including one variety unique to the orchard) and is open to the public every day during the fall season. We loved exploring their barn store where you can buy already-picked apples & pumpkins or try some of their delicious baked goods, including apple pies and apple fritters (both of which we recommend wholeheartedly).

Although the barn and play yard were quite busy when we stopped by Behlings, we felt like we had the orchard all to ourselves. Which was great since our toddler loves to roam.

Erin just turned two last month and she had an absolute blast picking (and sampling) the apples. Even for the end of September, some of the trees were a little sparse at Erin’s level but it was nothing a little lift from dada couldn’t help!

And, of course, she had to share her treats! Boy, do we love doing life with our sweet little!

Apple picking turned out to be such a fun outing for our little family and definitely something I want to make a yearly tradition!

Check out our apple picking adventures and a little coffee chat!

APPLE PICKING IN NY + SEPTEMBER HAPPENINGS | Coffee Chat - YouTube

How about you? Have you and your family crossed apple picking off your bucket list?

The post Apple Picking at Behling Orchard + September Stories appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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Happy Thursday, friends! Some of you might know that Zach and I celebrated our six year anniversary in July. Honestly, I can’t believe how far we’ve come–from young newlyweds to new parents, we’ve had so many adventures together.

If you’ve been a part of the blogging community for a while, you might remember a video linkup all about interviewing your spouse each month and honestly, both Zach and I really love looking back at the videos we made back then. We look so young, you guys! And, I love that we have those to share with our kiddo one day when she asks about Mommy and Daddy’s early years.

So to celebrate six years together, I put together our very own anniversary interview.  I’m a big fan of dates that involve lots of conversation so this one is pretty much perfect for me! A few of the questions delve into previous years of your relationship and some are about the current year but I love that all of them focus your attention on different aspects of your relationship as a couple.

Here are a few questions included:
  • What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple right now?
  • What was your favorite meal from this year?
  • Describe our first kiss in one word.
  • What advice would you give to a couple who are just starting out?

Zach and I ended up making this a mini day date during Erin’s naptime one weekend. He even humored me and let me film it all for you guys!  You can check it out below or on our Youtube channel.

HE SAID WHAT?? || Marriage Interview with Life With Us - YouTube
And, of course, I’m sharing the printable questions with you so you and your spouse can do your own anniversary (or anytime) interview together! Bonus points, if you film it!!!

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE

DISCUSSION:

How long have you and your spouse been married? What is one lesson you’ve learned about marriage since you’ve been together?

The post Anniversary Interview for Couples || Darling Date Ideas appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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You guys, my baby is two! Every time I think about it, I have to pinch myself. It was just us girls (+ the pup) yesterday for her actual birthday (daddy is away this week doing army stuff) but we have big plans for celebrating her next weekend. Any guesses what her birthday party will look like?

Anyway, I’m not popping in today to gush about my feelings on being a toddler mom. Today, I’m recapping the rest of our summer!

Old McDonald had a Farm (and we went to it)

July was a big month for us. A few days after we got back from our road trip, my dad and his wife came to visit for a few days. Even though their visit was short, we had lots of fun checking out one of the kid-friendly places here near Drum–Old McDonald’s Farm.

It was a little smaller than I thought it would be but had a really good assortment of farm animals. Any guesses as to Erin’s favorite?

Yep, this girl is obsessed with the goats. The rest of us fell in love with the horses–most of whom were rescued from bad situations. Also, the bunnies.

Old McDonald’s Farm in Sacket’s Harbor has over 200 animals to visit as well as a hayride and a corn maze + pumpkin patch during the fall. Admission is $12 for adults, and $10 for children ages 1-16.

Overall, we enjoyed our morning here and I’m definitely thinking of visiting again later this fall.

Our Summer Favorites

If you venture into the North Country for any amount of time, you will stumble upon a Tim Hortons. They’re everywhere and I even remember them from our trips to Quebec as a kid. However, being a Starbucks girl myself, I’d never tried their coffee before. Don’t make the same mistake I did!

Zach and I both ended up falling in major coffee love with our respective favorite drinks at Tim Hortons–for me, a caramel macchiato; for him, a caramel latte. Seriously, though we went to Starbucks the other day and it just wasn’t as good, you guys.

This summer, we were also in search of some delicious ice cream. I have very fond memories of my grandma and I getting cones (with lots of sprinkles) at the little ice cream shack in my hometown every Sunday and I wanted to start that little tradition for Erin as well. We tried a few little ice cream places around the area and stumbled upon Cowlick Icecream. For all my Fort Drum peoples, be share to try them out! They have more than 30 flavors and each one is delicious (our favorites are Maple Pecan and Kahlua Almond Amaretto).

I mean, look at my child’s face! As soon as Zach gave her a bite, she would not take her eyes off the cone!

We tried Paint & Pour

I consider myself blessed to have a husband who is pretty much up for any crazy crafty idea I come up with. When I heard about the Paint & Pour technique, I instantly wanted to try it so that’s exactly what we did. It was just messy enough to intrigue Zach too so we ended up making it a day date during one of the kiddo’s naptimes.

We bought the already pre-prepared color pour paints from Jo-Ann Fabrics and went to town on some canvases. We ended up making four and I have big plans to incorporate our masterpieces into decor for the kiddo’s room.

Our State Fair is the Best State Fair

I feel like no one is going to get the above reference. If you do, let me know so I don’t feel like the only person who watched a lot of musicals as a child.

The New York State Fair took place during the last week of August and we ended up going with one of Zach’s military buddies and his kids. It was super fun and super busy and the boys spent entirely too much money competing with each other at every shooting gallery they saw. Spoiler alert–neither of them won anything.

My favorite part of the fair was definitely the gorgeous sand sculptures.

Erin, however, was much more interested in all the colorful stuffed animals around the rides. Overall, I would have loved to see more of the exhibits and less of the rides but, alas, I was severely outvoted.

It was still fun though and I’m hoping to visit the Hawaii State Fair next year once we’ve moved.

 Check out our summer fun vlog below or on our Youtube channel!!!

NY TO MONTANA ROADTRIP || Life with Us Summer 2018 - YouTube

And that was pretty much our summer, you guys! We had so much fun these past few months and I hope your summer was just as fantastic!

DISCUSSION:

Have you been to your state fair? What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

WHAT’S NEXT:

The Marriage Interview [6 Years]

The post Stories of Summer 2018 // The Rest of our Adventures appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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Happy Monday, everyone! It’s definitely starting to feel like fall here in the North East–we went from 80 degrees last week to 60 degrees over the weekend. Definitely sweater weather!

But we’re not here to talk about fall–today I’m doing a little recap of one of our summer adventures. We had so much fun this summer, you guys! And if you follow me on Instagram, you know that one of the first things we did was….

Go on a Road Trip!!!

If you read Friday’s post, you know that our family will be moving back to Hawaii later in the year so it was important for us to visit our extended family before we headed off to the islands. So about two weeks before Zach’s block leave started in July, we decided to scrap our plans for a staycation and start planning an epic road trip to Montana! (Those of you who have followed along for a while might remember Montana is where Zach and I met and almost all his family lives there.)

July 3rd was our six-year anniversary and it just so happens this year it fell on a Tuesday, the same day Zach and I got married. It seemed like fate to celebrate six years of marriage in the same exact spot we started our lives together!

DAY ONE – June 30th

We started off our trip bright and early on the 30th (and by bright and early, I mean 2 in the morning). We made pretty good time and stopped at the New York/Pennsylvania border at about 7am for some breakfast. It was around this time that we realized something that could really only happen to us. We’d left a day early. Yep, only us. It turned out for the best though as it gave us an extra day to explore Yellowstone Park.

Our plan for the first day was to drive to Des Moines, by nightfall. With a 20-month-old. Go ahead, you can call us crazy. It was a little bit of slow-going through Indiana and Illinois (so many fields, so much traffic going 60 mph) but we finally got to Chicago.

We stopped at Culvers for dinner and enjoyed one of their frozen custard desserts. So delicious! By 6pm, Zach and I were both running on fumes. Once we crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa, we decided to stop for a nap. Well, Zach napped. Erin decided to boycott naptime so we burned off some energy running around the Davenport, Iowa rest stop.

After about an hour, we headed back on the road, just in time to add a few more miles in before a rainstorm stopped our progress. See those clouds in the picture? Apparently, Iowa has some pretty epic storms.  Since there was a flood warning and the highway was already pretty much flooded, we decided to stop at a rest stop for a few hours instead of pushing on to our hotel. Worst sleep ever, you guys. Trying to sleep in a car during a thunderstorm with a man who snores and a baby = no fun for mama.

Thankfully, by morning, the rain had subsided and we pushed on.

DAY TWO – July 1st

More driving! Nebraska may or may not be the most boring state to drive through. Ever. And I’ve driven through South Dakota. This day of driving went pretty smoothly and we got to Rock Springs, WY by 5pm.

We stayed at the Hilton Homewood and I definitely recommend it if you want to stay close to the parks. All three of us were exhausted after two days in the car so we ended up falling asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.

DAY THREE – July 2nd

The morning of the second we drove up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming which is at the southern entrance of the parks.

We stopped at the visitor’s center to get our FREE annual National parks pass and headed off to the Grand Tetons.

Of course, we had to stop for family pictures on the way.

We got to Billings in the early evening and surprised Zach’s mom, who had no idea we were coming! The whole trip was amazing but it was definitely worth it just for her reaction!

DAY FIVE – July 3rd

Woohoo! I honestly can’t believe we celebrated six years of marriage this year! To commemorate, we went back to one of our favorite date night spots–the Beartooth Pass. It’s a gorgeous drive up into the start of the Rockies.

It was also extremely cold!! And windy, if you can’t tell from the state of my hair in this photo!

The view can’t be beat though! The rest of the day was spent visiting all of our favorite places around town, going out to a family lunch date, and then meeting up with Zach’s mom for dinner before heading to our hotel.

DAY SIX – July 4th

One of the things I loved about the Billings area when I lived there while Zach and I dated was their Fourth of July celebration. The town comes alive for Independence Day with a parade and a fireworks show that touts itself as the largest in the state. To be fair, it wasn’t as grand as either of us remembered but it was still really fun and we got to spend all day introducing Erin to her aunt, uncle, and cousins which was the best.

One of the things my mom-in-law loves to do with her grandkids is bake with them so I love that she was able to bake with Erin while Zach and I were at the fireworks. Erin had such a fun time hanging out with Grandma T and her kitty!

DAY SEVEN – July 5th

On the fifth, my sister-in-law suggested going to the zoo with all the kiddos and we had the best time ever. This was Erin’s first time at a zoo and she was absolutely taken with all the flowers and animals.

Especially the goats. Girlfriend LOVES goats.

Since it will most likely be awhile since the whole family is together again, we decided to take some family photos in the evening and I honestly want to frame every single photo of Erin and her cousins.

Erin and Lexi (pictured above) especially had such a fun time together. When they met, Erin instantaneously bonded and it almost made us all cry. Our short time with family definitely made me wish we lived closer so family get togethers like this could be a little more often.

The whole gang!

DAY EIGHT – July 6th

Our last day in Montana was spent just hanging out with family before heading back onto the road again.

Since we were planning to stop in Minneapolis on our way back home, we headed the South Dakota route and got to Mount Rushmore just before sunset. And just in time to take photos of ourselves in front of our states on the Avenue of Flags and see the monument lit.

We stopped for a few hours to rest at the South Dakota/Minneapolis border.

DAY NINE – July 7th

This was probably my favorite day of our road trip. We headed back on the road after a few hours sleep and headed to Minneapolis.

We got to Mall of America just in time for lunch. We got lunch at Shake Shack and then headed off to the stores.

You know your officially parents when you go to Mall of America and you only buy things for your kiddo! I’d been wanting to get Erin her first American Girl doll since, well, the day I found out she was a girl, so our first stop was the American Girl store. We got her one of the Wellie-Wisher dolls and I think we were both super excited about it.

Then it was off to the Crayola store we went!

We may or may not have gotten a Crayola tin with almost 200 crayons. For Erin, of course. Not at all because we’re really two kids masquerading as adults.

Once we were done with our shopping, we headed to downtown Minneapolis and our hotel. We had plans to explore the area before heading to bed but sleep won out once more.

DAY TEN – July 8th

At this point, Zach and I realized that at heart we are true home bodies. When we checked out of our hotel and headed back on the road once more, we realized just how much we wanted to be home. We ended up driving straight without many stops for the whole day, hence no photos from this day.

Except for this one–this statue of Sacagawea was so huge and really gorgeous with the setting sun behind it!

We drove straight through the night and got back home in the early morning of the 9th. It was so amazing to be home again!

DISCUSSION:

Have you ever gone on a road trip? Have you ever been to any of the places we visited on this trip?

The post Stories of Summer // Roadtrip 2018 appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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There’s something about fall–it’s a little bit like my own personal New Year’s Eve. You know the feeling that you can conquer anything with a new planner and a laundry list of resolutions? I get that feeling every August.

Hi, I’m Elizabeth–and fall will always be my favorite time of year. Ok, maybe not when I’m that mom running around like a mad woman with three school supply lists and an innumerable amount of #2 pencils in her Target cart the day before school begins but then again, you never know, my husband does call me a crazy paper lady. What can I say though, to me, fall is the time to take a breath and begin again.

Which is why I’m back to blogging on this beautifully brisk September afternoon. (Well, that and I finally feel like I have the chance to sit down for more than 10 seconds after our whirlwind summer).

Welcome Back, Friends

First off, welcome to the new and improved Our Darling Adventure. Since it’s been a bit, a little reintroduction seemed in order.

Us in a Nutshell

I’m Elizabeth-wife, mama, wearer of sweatpants + baggy t-shirts, textbook INFP, documenter, procrastinator, autumn-lover (as you’ve probably already noticed), and creator of this small corner of the interwebs. My husband Zach and I celebrated our six-year anniversary this past July so we’re not quite newlyweds but not quite old-timers to this whole marriage game. Our sweet and sassy little girl made us parents two years ago this month and neither one of us can really remember what we did for fun before she joined our little family.

This blog started out as a way for me to connect with other military spouses during my first year of marriage and I’ve taken so many breaks from this space I can’t even keep track. If you’ve been a long-time follower of the blog, thanks so much for sticking with me through the years! I really appreciate the community of women I’ve found through blogging, and time and time again that community is what brings me back to this little space.

You might have noticed already that the blog got a new look just in time for my favorite season and I’m so excited to be blogging again and taking you along on our family’s next big adventures.

What’s Coming Up for Our Darling Adventure

// it’s taken me a while (years, actually) to realize it’s ok if I never earn a living from this blog.  I know it’s not cool to say because all of our social media channels are constantly bombarded with the newest way to improve SEO, grow your follower count, and make it big, but I’m slowly giving myself permission to think of this blog as a hobby and not as a job and write less about ‘Pinterest-worthy’ content and more about our lives. Hurrah for going back to the kind of blogging I love best! And if you’ve been in the same spot I have, know that blogging for fun is ok for you too!

// with that in mind, Zach and I have started a new just-for-fun Youtube channel called Life with Us. I’m so excited to dabble with video, you guys, and Zach + Erin are already completely comfortable in front of the camera. As of right now, I’m hoping to post a vlog video at least once a week with other videos corresponding to blog posts sprinkled in throughout the month.

// this summer, I turned my creativity away from blogging and focused my attention on my memory keeping endeavors. If you’re interested in learning about what kind of scrapbooking I do, be sure to check out my very own class coming to Big Picture Classes later this month!! You can sign up for a free trial here!

// if you’ve taken a look at the new homepage or the newsletter freebie for this month, you might have already noticed the hand-drawn elements in the new branding for Our Darling Adventure. After spending a lot of time during Zach’s deployment early in the year taking art classes on Skillshare and Big Picture Classes, I’ve decided to make drawing part of my creative routine. I’ve never thought of myself as an artist and I definitely have lots to learn, but I’m loving the process and the cute little graphics I’ve been creating. Hopefully, you have too! (Also if you’ve ever had an interest in art and drawing, I encourage you to try a class!)

// we’re moving back to Hawaii! Yay! For those of you don’t know, we lived on Oahu, Hawaii for the first four years of our marriage thanks to the Army and we’ll be heading back there in December. I’m so excited to explore the islands more and really take advantage of all Hawaii has to offer.

So that’s a teeny tiny bit of my heart and vision in coming back to this space during our current season of life.

Discussion:

I’ll be back on Monday with an overview of all the fun things we were up to this summer but in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. What’s on your heart today? Do you love fall as much as I do? 

What’s Next:

Stories of Summer 2018

The post Welcome to Life with Us appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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Fun fact–the first item Zach and I bought when we found out I was pregnant was a giant Winnie the Pooh bear. I had grand plans for a Pooh themed first birthday party pretty much from the day Erin made her appearance in the world. (Obviously, the army had other plans since her first birthday fell two days before Zach deployed #fail.) This year though, I started planning her Winnie the Pooh Second Birthday party from the moment September started and, you guys, it was so worth it.

Planning a Winnie the Pooh Birthday Party

I knew that, since the party was going to be just us, I wanted to keep things fairly simple while still trying to bring a little bit of whimsy and Hundred Acre Wood’s flair to the festivities. Pinterest is my go-to for any type of party planning but I also scoured the DisneyFamily instagram where I found the inspiration for Erin’s birthday cake. Full disclosure: I’m horrible at baking cakes. This is actually the first time one of my cakes turned out both edible and aesthetically pleasing.

Winnie the Pooh Party Food

For the food, I went with a few light lunch options to pile on our plates and they ended up working perfectly for our 3pm party.

Pig(lets) in a Blanket: I felt a little bad eating something named after one of my favorite Hundred Acre Woods characters but these mini pigs in a blanket were soooo good! And super simple since they’re just mini versions of hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. One can of crescent roll dough cut into smaller triangles worked perfectly for one package of mini sausage links.

Veggies from Rabbit’s Garden: Maybe one of the simplest foods on the table. An assortment of veggies straight from Rabbit’s garden.

Tigger Tails: aka bacon ranch pasta salad-one of my go-to summer recipes and a dish Erin (and Zach) really loves. Rotini pasta is a must for these twisty tigger tails and the bacon elevates a super simple dish into something a little more special.

Twigs from Eeyore’s House: Again, simplicity for the win–simple pretzels equals cute twigs.

Lemonade with Mint: I added some mint to give this simple lemonade recipe a little more pizzazz. The real star of this though were the cups. I used some brown construction paper and a sharpie to make a Hunny label for our mason jar cups. So cute and seriously so simple.

Pooh Bear Birthday Cake: Cakes are not usually my forte, you guys (ask my husband about my past years of failed birthday cakes) but I think this year I found my go-to recipe. This lemon layer cake tasted amazing and was perfect for Pooh’s face; for his ears, I baked some lemon poppyseed muffins (from a box because #momlife), cut the tops off and stacked two for each ear. Buttercream frosting is my birthday cake kryptonite but I attempted it once again and managed to make a version of a simple buttercream that was edible (albeit a little sweet).  It’s probably not a surprise that I’m not the best decorator so this simple Pooh face worked perfectly for my skill set! All in all this was definitely my most delicious and I love how cute it turned out too.

Winnie the Pooh Party Decor

Most of the Pooh themed parties on pinterest were geared more toward boys with lots of green and red but I chose a slightly more muted color scheme with gold + butter yellow+ white. I only bought a few things to decorate for our party since we had quite a few things we already owned that fit perfectly with the Pooh theme.

Pooh & Piglet Stuffed Animals: We bought Erin’s gigantic Pooh Bear + Piglet at the Disney Store before she was born and of course, I had to include them in the party decor. She loves playing with her giant Pooh (he is still almost twice the size of her) and they really made the whole party come together.

Wooden Crate Photo Display: Originally, when I was planning her first birthday party, I had planned on having a photo display of all of Erin’s monthly photos from her first year but since this was her second year, I opted to include a photo of her as newborn, as a one-year-old and a current photo. We got the crate photo display from Hobby Lobby and it actually hangs in our living room on most days. For the fourth photo slot, I printed out a little invitation I created using some vintage Pooh illustrations to look like an old book cover.

Tree Slice Birthday Sign: Can you have a Pooh themed party without mentioning Pooh’s beloved hunny tree? I think not. We bought this tree slice at Target and I used black paint to write out ‘Erin Turnz Two’ in Pooh-esque handwriting. To add a little extra interest, I printed out some bee illustrations, cut them out, and pasted them to the sign.

Yellow + White Tassel Banner: Another find from Hobby Lobby and part of the decor for Erin’s new bedroom in Hawaii. We hung this on the wall as a backdrop to the table decor.

Gold Balloon Garland for Erin’s Highchair: Which we ended up adding to the front of the table because Erin couldn’t help kicking it while she ate. Still super cute though!

We tried to make most of her presents super interactive and she absolutely loved this drawing pad.

Even though it was simple, Erin really loved her birthday party and we had such a blast celebrating her!

This Winnie the Pooh themed birthday party was so adorable and came together so easily. I’m absolutely tempted to use it again when Erin gets a little older or for a future kiddo!

Am I the only mama who struggles with birthday cakes? If you have a tried and true recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below (especially if it’s chocolate)!

The post Erin’s Winnie the Pooh Second Birthday Party appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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Last Thursday, I turned 28. Oof! Does anyone else feel younger than they actually are? I swear I’m not a day over 24!!

Anyway, as you’re reading this, I’m probably in the middle of a tornado (aka the aftermath of packing all our belongings and sending them across an ocean). But, I thought I’d pop in to share a few lessons I’ve learned in my twenty-eight years of existence. Some of the lessons are funny and some were downright hard but each of them helped me become the person I am.

What I’ve Learned in 28 Years

1/ Never wear socks with sandals.

2/ The people who really want to be in your life will make an effort to be in your life.

3/ Childbirth is simultaneously the best and the worst moment of your life.

4/ Mom was right–you should never have refused naps as a child.

5/ Life takes you unexpected places.

6/ Make messes.

7/ It’s perfectly acceptable to read a book more than once, especially if that book is Harry Potter.

8/ Love is love.

9/ Practice really does make perfect.

10/ Your child will test your patience (continuously and in unexpected ways) but that doesn’t make you a bad parent, just a normal one.

11/ Photos are forever—both a blessing and a curse.

12/ It’s easy to get sucked into the comparison game. Remember your story has meaning.

13/ There’s not much that can’t be solved by a warm shower and good night’s sleep.

14/ Laughter is indeed the best medicine.

15/ A healthy marriage is a team effort.

16/ Disney World is always a good idea.

17/ There are few smells better than rain during a thunderstorm, a freshly sharpened #2 pencil & the scent of the person you love.

18/ One day can absolutely change your life.

19/ Giving yourself grace is one of the hardest but most necessary things you need to do in life.

20/ Embrace your personality with all of its quirks.

21/ Your worldview broadens everytime you travel so travel often and far.

22/ Art, any kind of art, can be therapy for your soul.

23/ Find someone who loves you on your good days and your bad.

24/ Be silly.

25/ School is much more enjoyable when it’s not required.

26/ Our choices make us who we are.

27/ There’s nothing more beautiful than your child’s smile.

28/ Take chances, push boundaries, and always stay true to yourself.

The funny thing about making this list was that, once I started, I just kept coming up with lessons that have been instrumental in shaping who I am.

What is one important lesson you’ve learned in your life?

The post 28 Things I’ve Learned in 28 Years appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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Hey friends, it’s been awhile. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that these past few weeks have been hard for us and, as I’m writing this, we’re scurrying to get everything ready for the movers to pack up our house. But, before the real hectic-ness (is that a word?) of the month really kicks in, I thought I’d take you along on our newest fall tradition–apple picking.

There really isn’t anything more fall-ish than visiting an apple orchard. Especially in northern New York when the temperatures start dipping lower as soon as the calendar says September. I knew that I wanted to take advantage of our last fall here at Drum so I scouted around and found Behling Orchards, located in Mexico, New York. Mexico is about a half hour drive from Fort Drum which makes it the perfect spot to cross apple picking off the bucket list.

Established in 1947, Behling Orchards is home to nearly 80 varieties of apples (including one variety unique to the orchard) and is open to the public every day during the fall season. We loved exploring their barn store where you can buy already-picked apples & pumpkins or try some of their delicious baked goods, including apple pies and apple fritters (both of which we recommend wholeheartedly).

Although the barn and play yard were quite busy when we stopped by Behlings, we felt like we had the orchard all to ourselves. Which was great since our toddler loves to roam.

Erin just turned two last month and she had an absolute blast picking (and sampling) the apples. Even for the end of September, some of the trees were a little sparse at Erin’s level but it was nothing a little lift from dada couldn’t help!

And, of course, she had to share her treats! Boy, do we love doing life with our sweet little!

Apple picking turned out to be such a fun outing for our little family and definitely something I want to make a yearly tradition!

Check out our apple picking adventures and a little coffee chat!

APPLE PICKING IN NY + SEPTEMBER HAPPENINGS | Coffee Chat - YouTube

How about you? Have you and your family crossed apple picking off your bucket list?

The post Apple Picking at Behling Orchard + September Stories appeared first on Our Darling Adventure.

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