Get To Know Me

Hello! You may have noticed that this are looking a little different around here…site design, Instagram, and consistency and content! With everything morphing a little bit, I thought I’d sit down and make today’s post the kick-off with a silly, simple Q&A!

For a quick background, I’m Alaina–hi! Founder, writer, creator, photog…all the things here at The Colorful Notebooks. I’m also a mom to 2 under 2 (they are 15 months apart), wife (former and proud Army wife), and proud New Yorker living in Colorado!

If you want to know a little more about me…well, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading!

  1. Are you a morning or night person?
    • Neither?…I think I’d be considered a night person, but not of my choosing. Having kids has forced me get things done later at night…Now though, I think I’d enjoy being a morning person and go to bed WAYY early.
  2. Are you afraid of the dark?
    • YES, absolutely. 100%…but you live in a house with 500+ bats growing up and then we can talk
  3. Are you an extrovert or introvert?
    • YES, absolutely. 100%…but you live in a house with 500+ bats growing up and then we can talk
  4. Are you double jointed?
    • Ick, no.
  5. Are you left or right handed?
    • Right handed!
  6. Are you more of a tidy person or a messy one?
    • Tidy, organized, type-A. Whatever you’d like to call it. Clutter and disorganization (in my own home) makes me so anxious and unsettled
  7. Are you on time or always late?
    • On time. “Early is on time. On time is late.” I try to be a good 10 minutes early to…as much as possible .
  8. Are you ticklish?
    • YES, and I kick, so don’t bother trying!
  9. Can you curl your tongue?
    • Nooo…? I have no idea
  10. Can you ice skate?
    • Not at all! But I’ll pretend, if you will.
  11. Can you wiggle your ears?
    • Nope.
  12. Coffee or tea?
  13. Neither, I don’t consume caffeine.
  14. Cookies, cake or donuts?
    • Donuts, first, then cake
  15. Did you ever participate in a talent show?
    • Yeah, every year from 2nd to 4th grade. Britney Spears skit, sign language song…those are the 2 that stick out the most.
    • Did you go to prom?
      • Yeah, junior and senior prom. I would have been a-ok not going at all.
  16. Did you like school?
    • Elementary to High school, no. College, yes!
  17. Do you believe in ghosts?
    • I think so
  18. Do you bite your nails?
    • Oh yeah, it’s a habit I try to break twice a year
  19. Do you consider yourself a good cook?
    • No, I think I’m a good baker and recipe follower
  20. Do you enjoy dancing?
    • “Dancing” when it’s in the house during a family dance party, yes! …Or when I’ve had a little too much to drink
  21. Do you enjoy DIY or crafts?
    • Yes, just yes
  22. Do you forgive easily?
    • Nope
  23. Do you have a nickname?
    • Lu-lu (from my parents; no one else calls me that)
  24. Do you have any allergies?
    • Yeah, to medications, and weird random foods
  25. Do you have any phobias?
    • HUGE fear of bridges and bats
  26. Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
    • Yes. I have a tattoo on my ribcage and my ears pierced. I used to have my cartilage and belly button pierced.
  27. Do you have children?
  28. Do you have pets?
    • 2 dogs. Sadie (Australian Shepard, 7) and Auggie (Coton de Tulear, 6)
  29. Do you have siblings?
    • Yes, a younger brother
  30. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
    • Dogs, hands down
  31. Do you prefer Mac or PC?
    • Mac
  32. Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?
    • Both. Mountains mean the surrounding areas are generally cooler, but I mean come on, the beach is gorgeous!
  33. Do you prefer to bath or shower?
    • Shower, I feel really gross getting out of a tub after sitting in the water
  34. Do you sing in the shower?
    • No, my showers are quiet and thoughtless
  35. Do you smoke?
    • No, never
  36. Do you speak any different languages?
    • I used to be fluent in Spanish. Since having kids, I’m reteaching myself American Sign Language
  37. Do you still have your wisdom teeth?
    • No.
  38. Do you still watch cartoons?
    • Only because I have kids…
  39. Do you/have you played any sports?
    • Growing up I was in gymnastics and dance. In high school, I played tennis, volleyball, and track and field. I tried to play golf for a year, too…
  40. Have you ever been to a concert?
    • Josh Turner and Blink 182
  41. Have you ever met any celebrities?
    • Of course not!
  42. Have you ever skipped class?
    • Once, senior skip day and I was so anxious
  43. Have you ever won something?
    • I won a vacation and tungsten wedding rings
  44. What did you want to be when you were younger?
    • An elementary school teacher
  45. What do you do on a typical Friday night?
    • Try to stay awake past 9PM
  46. What is your shoe size?
    • I’m a size 9
  47. What movie have you watched repeatedly?
    • When Harry Met Sally
  48. What phone do you have (Apple or Android)?
    • Apple
  49. What should you be doing right now?
    • Sleeping or cleaning up, but sitting on the couch feels so much better!
  50. What’s one goal you would like to accomplish this year?
    • I’d LOVE to have lost more of the “baby weight” and become healthier overall.
  51. What’s one of your pet peeves?
    • People taking food from my plate bothers me to no end! I don’t even like my kids taking from my plate…ick!
  52. What’s the last song you’ve listened to?
    • HELPLESS from Hamilton. If you haven’t seen Hamilton, it’s on Disney+ and is FANTASTIC!
  53. What’s the thing you can’t leave the house without?
    • For myself, water. For my kids water and diapers
  54. What’s your current obsession?
    • Medical documentaries and organizing
  55. What’s your favorite gadget?
    • A camera or cam-corder. I LOVE documenting and being able to look back and everyday life!
  56. What’s your favorite hobby?
    • Reading, between 13 and 18 I read over 450 books
  57. What’s your favorite movie?
    • When Harry Met Sally
  58. What’s your favorite season?
    • Fall, hands down. I love EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!
  59. What’s your favorite series?
    • Grey’s Anatomy and Blue Bloods
  60. What’s your favorite sport to watch?
    • Baseball, volleyball, and gymnastics
  61. What’s your longest relationship so far?
    • My marriage! 6 years and 8 months married, 8 years, 2 months together
  62. What’s your zodiac sign?
    • Sagitarius
  63. When is your birthday?
    • Novemeber 28, 1992

So there we go, 63 questions all about my life! Answer a couple in the comments below and see if your answers match any other readers!

alaina

#blackoutTuesday

I’m sitting here today, June 2, 2020, trying to do what has been rightfully plastered on all forms of social media. Educate oneself. Listen and learn. I’ve read articles, social media messages, and have started to my own research (via documentaries, articles, and looking for items to bring into our home).

I thought I’d share with you some books that I will be purchasing for my kids. Especially, as they get older. At this point in time, I have two boys (a 20 month old and an almost 5 month old). In my opinion, they are quite young, but I ABSOLUTELY think that this is a benefit. We can start introducing books, people, and discussions that are centered around inclusivity, empathy, compassion, and love.

I put together a list of books for toddlers/babies/kids that we will slowly be purchasing. I’m also including a small list of movies that I have watched or am planning to watch, in the hopes of having a better understanding of what is happening around us.

Please note, that it is NOT my recommendation to show the movies to your child/children without having watched them first.

You can find all the books here, on my Amazon Idea List.

The links shown in this post are not affiliate links and I will not receive any money or kickback.

I know that this is not a comprehensive list. Please(!), leave any recommendations for books/general media, discussion topics, or people my family should learn about. I’m looking for items that, again, promote inclusivity, empathy, compassion, and love.

sign off!
book club reading list

Book Club | Spring/Summer Reading List

Oh man, my posting schedule is ALL messed up! I posted our Life Blip on Monday (some TWO weeks ago) and this Reading List post keeps getting pushed back week after week. I’m hoping that this week I can work to get back on track because I MISS writing and create content!

For those who don’t follow on Instagram, I was FINALLY told that I have Mononucleosis, for the second time. It has truly kicked my BUTT! I am officially on the mend, but it is going to take quite a while before I’m feeling like myself again.

The one positive of having mono, if there is one, is that I got to put together my summer reading list! It’s a little different this year compared to previous years, but I’m still very much looking forward to knocking out these books one by one!

I’m “reading” all of these books via Audible because I really don’t have the energy to sit down and crack open a book at the end of the day. With that said, I can listen to a book just about anywhere, anytime.

Note: The links provided are affiliate links. The price has not and will not change. I may make a small commission from your purchase, at no cost to you.

My List

book club reading list

Grace, Not Perfection | Little Fires Everywhere | Take Control of Your Life | Shelter In Place | The 3 Day Effect | More Bedtime Stories | A Mind of Her Own | Cultivate What Matters

My goal when creating this list was to get as close to equal genres as I could–fiction v. non fiction. If you counting, no I didn’t do a fantastic job of that, but oh well! I have 3 fiction books on my list and 5 non-fiction/self discovery books.

As of today (July 2, 2019) I’m already reading the first book, Grace, Not Perfection. I chose this book first because it’s one of the shortest books on the list and I figured it’d be an easier read/listen. So far, so good!

My Plan

I gave myself from June 21 (the start of summer) until September 22. September 23, 2019 is the first day of Autumn and we’ll start the next reading list!

That was 93 days to read. From today (July 2), I have 82 days to read. If I’ve done the math right, I need to listen to a total of 3247 minutes. It seems like a ton, but if broken down, it equates to about 40 minutes of listening a day.

THAT I can do!

Do you have a summer reading list you’re trying to check off? Do you want to join me in this reading list? If so, comment down below!

sign off!
Screenshots of the books I have read during the first 3 months of 2019.

Book Club | Three Books I’m Loving…

At the beginning of January, I decided to pick up some old habits that I’ve been missing. The first one I decided to reintroduce back into my day-to-day living was reading. Reading has been a HUGE! part of my life! After having a baby, it became the last thing I had time to do. The few times that I had a couple of minutes to read, I was either reading a bedtime story or would fall asleep with the book in my hands.

For 2019, I promised myself that I would read a book a month, minimum. It could be anything I wanted…fiction, non-fiction, self betterment, screenplays, short stories, anything! Well, it very quickly became apparent that I was not going to accomplish that goal the traditional way. I mean, let’s be honest, reading, right now, is damn near impossible!

So, I went on the hunt for a better method. Audiobooks are now my best friend and I am LOVING the Audible app.

This post is NOT sponsored. I am sharing with you what I’m enjoying and will not make any type of commission. I have purchased all of the books I will be talking about today.

Quick side note: I purchased the monthly plan from the app, so for $14.95/month I get 1 book of my choosing PLUS 2 free Audible originals. Each month, I can listen to 3 books!

January

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis was the first book I choose and I’m sure I’ll be listening to it again and again. I

have found that I love hearing the authors read their book. There is something about hearing them feel their words that is powerful and even more convincing and motivating! Listening to Rachel list out the myths that we’ve all heard and then smash them into a million pieces left me feeling inspired to kick ass and take names!

This is a MUST read!

February

Becoming by Michelle Obama is a look at her life. Politics aside, her life is very interesting. I find myself feeling beyond empowered when listening to her story.

This book is on the longer side, and to be honest, I haven’t completed it yet. That being said, the way she writes and speaks sounds like she is only talking to you–the individual reader.

March

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Yes, you read that correctly. Two books by the same author, within the first 3 months of the year.

When I tell you that this lady has motivated me to get my s..stuff together, I mean it! I’m ready to get moving, on fire, and ready to conquer ALL. THE. THINGS!

This book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, is all about finding your potential and USING it. She walks you through the process, roadmap (if you will), of finding and using what you’ve got. Once you know exactly how to apply the steps to your life, whatever that may look like, you’ll feel excited and ready to get started!


Apparently, the first 3 months of the year was all about self-empowerment, self-betterment, and finding my voice. While that wasn’t planned, on my part, I think that was the PERFECT way to kick of 2019!

What book or books have you read this year? Leave your book recommendations in the comments below and maybe I can read and discuss that one next!

alaina

5 New Parent Stay at Home Date Nights

Earlier today, I was writing up a post all about my thoughts on the Simplified Planner.

Let me know if you still would like to see the post.

Long story short, the computer crashed and autosave didn’t save my writing, so good-bye post!

Anyway, with Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought this was as good a time as any to talk in-house date nights! For us, right now, must date nights consist of either quick outings, lunch out with our third little wheel, or staying home.

We are trying not to spend too much money for various reasons, so getting creative is key! We’ve done a few of these at home date nights already, but not all of them. Writing this post is as much for me as it is for you guys!

Movie night

Hello, Redbox! You are our new best friend!

It’s not often that we stay up late snacking on popcorn, candy, drinks, and generally all things you try to avoid on a daily basis. Sometimes, though, it’s just too good to pass up.

We will put the baby to bed, make all our treats, settle in and press play! First, and most importantly, it’s WAY cheaper than going to the movie theater! You can have all the food you WANT to eat, keep your lights on or off, watch the movie at your pace, etc. Hello, bathroom breaks, food/drink breaks, dogs need to go outside breaks.

Secondly, we can watch the movie in our pajamas and under warm blankets! You really can’t get any better than that!

Bonus: You can still get to bed before 10PM!

Can I get a whoo-hoo?!

Romantic dinner

Let’s just get this out of the way, all of these allow you to put the kid(s) down BEFORE date night.

Now that that’s out of the way, this dinner can be anything. Homemade, takeout, leftovers, whatever! Sit down together, with distractions turned off (phones, TV, computers). Light a couple of candles and talk.

If you’re stuck in a rut, or just want to talk about something other than your day/kids/upcoming events, I found something that might help! It’s called The 36 Questions That Lead to Love from the NY Times.

It might seem silly or weird, but you never know, maybe it’ll spark a longer conversation!

Picnic on the floor

Like the romantic dinner, turn off all the distractions. Throw a blanket and pillows on the floor, grab picnic foods and drinks, and enjoy!

If it’s warm enough, you could also head out to the backyard and watch the sunset or stars. Just pick a spot, toss a blanket down, and voila–date night!

Bonus: Because you’re home, you can spilt a bottle of wine and not worry about getting fined for public consumption! Win-win!

Game Night

There are TONS of 2 person games out there now! Card games (Karma, 5 Crowns, gin), board games (Scrabble, Ticket to Ride), even game apps (Heads Up) that require interaction between players.

Pick one or two, grab a couple of treats, and enjoy. We don’t do this one often, but the times that we do, the night gets away from us and we end up going to bed SUPER late.

Laundry night

Lastly, laundry night. I know, I know. Alaina, that doesn’t sound fun or even like a date night at all.

You’re right, maybe right now it doesn’t, but you can fold laundry doing just about anything–talking, watching TV, answering emails…so why not fold the laundry together. It’ll get done faster because there are 2 of you AND no one is stuck the next day folding by themselves.

That never-ending pile of laundry shrunk for 2 seconds. YAY! 

Wouldn’t that feel good?

You could do this with just about any chore, if laundry isn’t your big issue. Cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, organizing an area of the home… I could go on and on!


The whole point to this post is that you can tweak date nights, save money, stay at home, and still enjoy yourselves! You can get things done AND spend time (quality time) together. It’s just a few little things, but the little things do add up and slowing down together might be just what you both needed!

If you have any date night ideas, leave them in the comments of this post! Remember, sharing is caring!

My Fall Essentials

It is my favorite time of the year! AUTUMN IS HERE!

If your favorite season is summer, or you’re just curious about the prior season, I have a summer essentials for you!

I’m not sure what I like more about the fall time…the change in colors, the cool, crisp weather, the beginning of the warm foods and drinks, football games, cozy nights in with blankets and a fire…I could go on! Oh wait, I am continuing! 

I’ve broken my essentials into 3 categories. Home. Clothing. Beauty.

Let’s get started!

Home

This season is all about creating warmth and coziness using all five senses. For sight, I like having a fire element in the house. Candles (or melting wax), a fire in the fireplace, and blankets tossed around the house. Taste, we keep coffee and hot cocoa readily available, and warm, hearty meal in the oven or Crock Pot. Touch–the cozier the better! Blankets, pillows. The softer and plush the better! Smell tends to go hand-in-hand with sight and taste. The candles or wax will have a pumpkin, apple, or woodsy scent. The food and drinks will slowly permeate the house. Lastly, is sound. For me, the louder and friendlier the better! Football on the TV or music over a speaker. Friends and family in the kitchen hanging out. And a new one for us, a baby cooing over it all.

If I can’t find the exact link, I will have a similar one (look and price) linked.

Home.png

blanket 1|blanket 2|blanket 3|candle|melting wax|Crock Pot

Clothing

My autumn essentials, in this category, usually consist of jeans, sweaters, and cute jackets. As I’m writing this post, though, pants of ANY kind are NOT comfortable and the sweater and jacket options I currently have are limited thanks to the weight gain of pregnancy! For this area, I’m showing you some of what I already own (labeled with an “O”) and some of what I am planning on buying postpartum (labeled with a “PP”), as my body changes.

If I can’t find the exact link, I will have a similar one (look and price) linked.

Fall Clothes.png

jeans 1 1 (PP)|jeans 2 2 (PP)|leggings 1 (PP)|leggings 2 (PP)|sweater 1 (O)|sweater 2 (PP)|booties (O)|Scarf (O)| jacket (O)

Beauty

During the fall, my the makeup and skin care items start to get a little more involved thanks to the colder, drier weather. For makeup, I add-in foundation, change out my lipstick, regularly wear a single nail polish, and occasionally wear a bit more eye makeup. For skin care, the only add-on is a face mask. I use one about every 7-10 days depending on what my skin needs.

Note, I only have this one eye palette and am okay in spending the money on it. I love the quality of the shadows and I keep repurchasing this palette.

Fall Beauty (1).png

face wash|moisturizer|face mask|mascara|eyebrow pencil|lipstick|foundation|nail polish|gel nail polish|eye shadow palette

Let’s share! In the comments below, share YOUR Fall essentials or favorites! Happy Fall!

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