Becoming our bar: The tale two hutches

I’m probably posting this for accountability. We need to get this project started! I’ve been dreaming about it for months now.

As you can see these beautiful hutches are still filled with things that need to be unpacked. BUT most of the boxes and things that are there are going to be going in/on our finished products.

We plan on sanding these down a little and updating them with a new stain, a grey. The great will fit perfectly in our living room.

The one hutch we will make into our at home bar. We have plans to hang some wine glasses, although I recently started buying plastic ones since Matt is really good at breaking real ones 😆.

I think this will be a great addition once finished to our living room area and a plus when entertaining!

The other hutch we want to put our more grown up games that the boys are too young to play, like monopoly, and I hope I don’t destroy their souls the first time we play…I’ve never lost 😂 and I’ve always been playing the cheaters edition for as long as I can remember. We also will use this as our bookshelf for our books and cookbooks! I love a good cookbook, I know we can use our tablets and phones, but I like having the recipe on paper in front of me.

I know this will be a project, but the outcome will be so fun! I’ll share updates as we go along and I’ll share the final product and take suggestions on what we should add to them!

Who is coming for drinks once it’s done?! Just know we have children and dogs, so your cocktail most likely won’t be enjoyed in peace and quiet!

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Urban Forage: Winery and Cider House

I’m writing this post while I enjoy a nice cold cider from this fun winery and cider house I got to check out today.

Matt and I like to venture out and find fun and new place to go, with and without the kids. Today we drove across the Mississippi into Minneapolis to Urban Forage.

We walked in and we were greeted by Jeff, the owner. Jeff is extremely knowledgeable about his wine and cider and we enjoyed talking with him about his bar and the details that go into making their wine, cider, and mead.

We started with a tasting of the ciders, Urban Forage currently has four ciders on tap: Dry Cider, Pear Cider, Spiced Cider, and a Semi Sweet Cider. We also tried the dry red wine and the sangria (you have to see what this is a combination of!…go and order! You won’t be disappointed!)

I have to say, my favorite was the seasonal Spiced Cider, it tasted like Holiday Cheer in a Cup! I even left with a growler (that what I’m drinking now).

The Pear Cider was another favorite. The Pear Cider reminded me of growing up since my parents have a pear tree in the backyard and the cider tasted like fresh pears. All of the pears are gathered from all over the Twin Cities and Metro area, it really was incredible to speak with Jeff and see how much love he and his wife put into their production of their wines and ciders. I really love that everything they use is locally sourced, I feel like it makes it feel like home, even though the Twin Cities are heavily populated!

I feel like Urban Forage is the place to go where everyone would know your name, there was such a welcoming and calm feeling in the tap room. The Urban Forage also had a cute game hutch included Hungry, Hungry Hippo! The Urban Forage is family friendly! I know my children would love to play a game or two while snacking on the cheese plate and Mom and Dad could enjoy a drink or two.

I wish I tried the Wassail, their warm spiced cider! Next time!

Jeff offers tours on Sundays at 1:15, you can purchase you tickets online. Their hours are as follows: Thursdays 4-9 (GAME NIGHT), Friday 4-11, Saturday 2-11, and Sunday 2-6. They are located at 3016 East Lake Street, Minneapolis. You should check them out and follow them on social media. I truly cannot wait to go back, visit with whoever I am with, drink delicious, locally sourced ciders and wines, and fill my growler!

Who is coming with me to game night?! (Fun Fact: Jeff comes up with all the themes and trivia questions!)

Urban Forage Winery and Cider House

Disclosure: This post is an honest review based on my experience. This post is sponsored by Urban Forage.

Wildkin Luggage

Traveling with children isn’t a walk in the park. Lucky for me, my boys have been traveling for a good part of their lives and are decent travelers. Since L was about 2, he was carrying something of his own when we traveled. It gave him great pride to have something that was his, that could be filled with his things. I think this was a start of instilling responsibility in him.

Now that H is almost two, and he will be 2 when we fly across the country next, he will also have to carry something of his own.

When I came across the Wildkin luggage, I knew it was perfect for our family.

I partnered up with Wildkin to share with you about their luggage for children, and oh my goodness it couldn’t be cuter!

We received two pieces of luggage, a rolling suitcase and a duffle bag.

The Roller Bag:

This bag is lightweight and the wheels roll nicely. Either child (4.5/2) would be able to successfully use this bag. We plan on using this as a carry-on. The bag also comes with a strap that you can attach to the back to carry as a one shoulder bag and there is a loop that you could use to connect to a larger bag.

The Roller Bag also has a water bottle holder and a front pocket. L is already planning on what snacks and books he can pack in there!

The Duffle Bag:

It is so cute seeing L holding the duffle bag! He fell in love with the bag instantly! The bag has a padded shoulder strap and a small front zip pocket. Perfect for a weekend getaway or toys, books, and snacks!

Both bags are wipeable and should only be cleaned with a cloth. Make sure to let them dry complete before closing them up!

Whether the boys are flying to Revvie and PopPop’s or driving down the street to Gert and Papa’s, these bags are perfect! The boys know that these bags will be used for special times and are excited to use them ASAP! I know these Wildkin bags will be with us for a while! Oh and did I mention how many fun patterns they have?! You have to check them out! Wildkin Luggage

Disclosure: I received these bags from Wildkin and this review is my honest opinion about the luggage. This post is sponsored by Wildkin.

The Question of Cutting Cable

This is something that we have gone back and forth on for a very long time. We pay for so much cable and we barely use it. We do our best to keep screen time for the boys to a minimum but there are days we have something on in the background. We try to be outside as often as possible (although it’s gotten so cold so fast here) and encourage play and learning when we are inside.

The TV tends to come on in the late afternoon when I try to get dinner started…sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I always enjoy winding down to something mindless or funny at the end of the day, but life gets crazy and I’m trying to read more! I’ve even joined a book club!

On top of the cable we also have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (through Prime). And these companies have some great shows of their own, for both adults and children. We sometimes pay for extras, like Showtime, we love ending our Sunday nights with the Gallagher family when they are on.

I mean this list is excessive and we watch over the air channels and maybe three others. So we have decided that now is the time we CUT it, at least for now. We have narrowed our choices down to HuluLIVE or YouTube TV. Does anyone have any either of these? Pros/Cons? Let me know your opinion!!! These options will be significantly less expensive than cable. Now, if only we could find a way around the cable company’s cancellation fee!

Bachman’s

GUYS!!! I was invited to Bachman’s for a sneak peek event at Bachman’s Holiday Idea House! I was able to bring a plus one and I brought my mother in law since she has been telling me about Bachman’s since we moved here (for about 9 months now) that I had to go to this place and how amazing it is!

So the Holiday Idea House was incredible! I felt like I walked into my Aunt Karen’s house (she’s an incredible decorator!) and just made me so happy! I’m all about Thanksgiving, it’s my favorite holiday, but Bachman’s gave me such Christmas cheer!

The House is open to the public today, November 8 and is open until December 16.

This was just one of many rooms!!!

We also were able to explore the rest of Bachman’s and even had some delicious treats from the cafe located there too!

The best part about the house was that you could go to the store and buy anything and everything that you loved inside the house! (This could be dangerous!!!)

I found the most magical trees all lit and ready for Santa!

Since I was there for a special event we were able to make these super cute ornaments too!

I honestly can’t wait to go back to Bachman’s to shop for the holiday season so I can decorate my new home for Christmas!

Below are the list of events coming up a Bachman’s. I know we are excited to attend a few of them!

Holiday Idea House: November 8-December 16.

Holiday Open House: Saturday, November 17: 9 am-3pm *Santa and his reindeer, Albert, will make an appearance!

Who Wants to be a Toymaker? Holiday Play: November 17-December 16

Santa and Albert Photos Only Nights: Monday, November 26, 6 pm-7 pm and Monday, December 3, 6 pm- 7 pm

Inspiration Night: Make it Merry: Thursday, November 29. 4-8 pm

Holiday Design Workshops: Holiday Wreath: December 2 and 4 Trendy Greens Wreath Design: December 9

I gave addition information on each of these events so please feel free to ask for more!!

Huge thank you to MNBloggerBash and Bachman’s for a very merry night!

My #momlife

This. This photo. This is how my #momlife looks most of the time. My husband had come in from the other room to see our two children and two dogs basically on top of me. In this position I usually end up covered in slobber (from both the humans and dogs) but I also know I’m covered in so much love. I wish you could hear this moment, there was so much laughter and I’m so thankful Matt snapped this photo. It’s not perfect, it’s not set up photo, this is our real life…and I wouldn’t change it for the world. (Ok maybe I would make the dogs not shed, but you know what I mean.)

What does your #momlife (or #dadlife) look like?

Voting

I swore I was taking the boys to vote with me on November 6…just like my parents would take me when I was little. I said it every day, “We will vote on November 6.” I may have said it as a reminder since you know, mom brain.

Last week, two of my friends posted about early voting and voting in general (Hey Danielle and Allison!) I didn’t think about early voting. I decided to look into it and realized I could apply for an absentee ballot. It took me maybe 5 minutes to fill out the online form and by the next day my ballot was in the mail.

I was excited at how fast it came! The real reason for my applying for an absentee ballot was that things come up…I know my life can go from calm to poop literally on the floor in the matter of seconds. I didn’t want November 6 to roll around and me lose track of time or miss my chance to vote because of something coming up.

This morning I made sure to get my ballot in the mail and I will proudly wear my sticker today. (Ohio, I hope you’re with the program now and give stickers to absentee ballot voters!!)

I voted while the boys ran around and sang Baby Shark. L asked what I was doing and I did my best to explain to a four year old What voting was and why we do it. I told him that I voted to help make our world a better place, for me, for him, his brother, my sister, my brothers, and our friends and other family. I want the boys to know that their voices matter and they need to make sure their voices are heard. Their vote might only matter when it comes to meal planning right now, but eventually they will be 18 and voting with the rest of us adults.

Family and Friends…PLEASE VOTE. I will love you no matter how you vote, just please do it.

Minnesota Children’s Museum Night

Mini Postal Workers
The car wash might be the boys favorite exhibit! They can get all soapy and wet!

This week we got to explore the Children’s Museum after hours! We have been many times but there something about Matt being able to come after work even more fun!

We two hours to play and explore and that time flew by! I know we could spend an entire day here! It’s such a fun space for children and adult. There is even a sign that said “Attention: For Children and for those who use to be Children”.

For kids of all ages!

We are so lucky to live in a big city where there are so many opportunities for us to take our children so they can grow and learn as individuals, with each other, and with other children.

My only complaint…the parking garages 😂 Other than that, this place is a membership worthy spot, especially with the cold winter months coming up!

Our Pumpkin Patch Adventure

Yesterday we decided to head back to Pine Tree Apple Orchard to explore the pumpkin patch and corn maze. If you remember when we went apple picking, this was our first stop and then we realized they didn’t have U-pick Apples.

The adventure started off great. We explored the corn maze first. I do wish that they had some sort of activity to do while going through the corn maze. It was so windy and chilly while we were in the maze but it made it that much more fun.

If any of you reading this saw my Instagram story the other day, I posted that four years old is a much more difficult year than the terrible twos or the threenager ages. I’m going to be real with you, once we got to the pumpkin patch, something didn’t go L’s way and he had a meltdown. I don’t really know why but we did take him to the car to settle down. The looks from the teenagers staring while Matt carried him down the hill made me chuckle a little…we were totally their birth control for the night.

After L cooled down and we discussed his choices he understood the few mintues prior to our conversation. We then went to the Farm Store (which really is the best part, right?!) and grabbed some goodies..probably too many goodies, but so delicious.

We then sat by the lake and enjoyed a treat and played for a little bit. Overall we had a nice time other than our little hiccup. We might have to go back to the farm for strawberry picking in the summer, but I do think there will be other pumpkin patches we try next year.

Tonight we will carve the pumpkins and roast some seeds! Photos to follow 🙂

How to help a loved one going through a miscarriage.

I think this is appropriate to share again today. Today is Miscarriage, Still Birth, and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. You or someone you know may be experiencing loss. Someone might not be ready to talk about their loss, others may be looking for someone to talk to. Let’s break the stigma. Let’s “replace silence with storytelling” (@ihadamiscarriage) Always remember, they are yours and you are theirs. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about our two Angel Babies, Harper and Ava. I am so thankful for the love and support of our family and friends over the last three years, but I am still grieving and I probably always will be…having the conversations though, that is helping me heal.

I heard many things from many people after experiencing my miscarriages. “At least you know you can get pregnant.” “You already have one.” “You can try again.” “Maybe there is something wrong with you.” “God has a plan.” “Everything happens for a reason.” All of these things were said to be helpful. I truly appreciated all of the love and support and I know the people who said these things were trying to help.

I also found that many people were more sympathetic rather than empathetic. A friend who also experienced a miscarriage and I had a deep discussion about this and she sent me this video. Empathy vs Sympathy

From my own experience, I have found that just lending an ear was helpful. I had friends that told me how I was feeling was ok. I was angry and sad. I was confused. But I felt so much love and compassion from those around me.

Allow your friend or family member to grieve. They lost their baby. Bring them food and just be with them. Be their shoulder. Give them hugs.

Matt and I knew we wanted to do something special for our babies. We wanted to plant a tree for each baby but we were renting a townhouse at the time of both we decided to donate to a local conservatory and our babies names (yes we named our babies) are on The Tree of Life and they will be there forever. We have pictures with the tree as well as our friends who came with us for the dedications and who have gone back to visit our babies. We also adopted Remy after the second miscarriage. I needed a distraction. He needed a family.

Every person will grieve in their own way; and that is ok. The mother will not be the only one grieving. The partner, the grandparents, as well as others who are apart of that babies life will also be grieving. Just be there for them. They just lost a baby.