Cohen's First Birthday!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Yesterday we celebrated Cohen's first birthday. We celebrated four days late because we were waiting for Kari to arrive. We didn't do a party. Basically we just did a cake smash and opened presents. It took only one present to realize that Cohen HATES the sound of paper ripping. He LOST IT! So, we had to quietly unwrap his presents for him. He loved all his new toys. Thanks Grandpa, Grandma, and Kari!

Cohen didn't really get into the cake smash. Aunt Kari had to help him out a bit. :) He didn't mind the taste of it, but he just wasn't into getting messy. I'm not really surprised since he's a bit of a diva.

Grandma and Grandpa helped me with the the one year photo-shoot on Friday. I have to say it was the best one yet! I think it was because Cohen loved smiling at Grandpa. Oh, and the fact that we were sneaking him treats. :)

I can't believe he is one years old! This year has just gone by so fast! It's been fun watching him grow and learn new things.

Cohen at 1!

Cohen can now get around on his feet! He loves pulling himself up and walking around the coffee table.

Sitting (Down)
Cohen learned to pull himself up to a standing position last month, but couldn't figure out how to get down. It was really annoying for the first week or so because he would pull himself up and then begin to whine or cry because he could 't figure out how to get down. Jeff and I would have to come to his rescue and try to help/teach him how to sit down. Luckily this didn't last long and Cohen figured out how to sit down!

Top Firsts/Memories of Cohen's first year
  1. Traveling: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, California "Disneyland", Washington DC, and Alaska
  2. First road trip and first plane ride
  3. First restaurant/bar - The Pour House
  4. First Christmas and first Thanksgiving
  5. Baby Blessing with Family and Friends.
  6. First face plant off the couch
  7. Three Haircuts!
  8. Sleeping through the night and then not sleeping through the night and then sleeping through the night again
  9. Rolling - His preferred mode of transportation for several months. He would roll and push off the walls
  10. Figuring out how to crawl 
  11. Flirting with all the ladies at the grocery store
  12. First cold
  13. Laughing whenever he starts crawling into a place he knows he's not suppose to go and mom and dad start chasing him
  14. First baby sitter (Kimmy)
  15. First pinched fingers in the door
  16. First sporting event - Rutger Football game!
  17. First trip to NYC!
  18. First train ride (Disneyland and in Alaska)
  19. First ride - Jungle cruise at Disneyland
  20. Met two Great Grandparents - Great Grandma O and Great Grandpa A
  21. His first sweat treat - Wendy's Frosty (Daddy got in trouble for that one)
  22. Participated in the Apple Cider Donut Crusades of 2014

New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Melick's

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cohen and I went to two Melick's properties, Califon Farm Market and Oldwick Farm Market (they aren't very far from each-other - Califon, NJ and Oldwick, NJ). There are actually four Melick's properties, but after not being impressed by the first two, we didn't even bother with the others. The donuts are supposedly the same at all four locations (I'm not really sure since the staff didn't know if they were). The markets were not put together very well. The outside flower and pumpkin displays were nice, but the inside was not that impressive. I'm also not a fan of the staff. They weren't mean, but they were very cold and not very friendly. I think I noticed it because the staff have been very friendly and helpful at every other farm I've visited. I'm glad that their donuts were not the favorites, because I really wouldn't want to go back.

 Melick's Apple Cider Donuts: $4.99 per half a dozen
  • These were ok donuts. I'm assuming they were not fresh since they were very dense and dry.
  • There is a Cider Mill property for Melick's and they make apple cider donuts on the weekends. I'm assuming they would be a little better.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Alstede Farm Market

    Monday, October 27, 2014

    On my way to Melick's Town Farm I came across, Alstede Farm Market in Chester, NJ. It was a pleasant surprise :). They have a really great animal exhibit with lots of animals and a really great goats pen where you can feed them. I really enjoyed walking around with Cohen and showing him all the animals.

    The market small but nice. They had a lot of produce in bins under a tent outside. I couldn't find very many donuts. I'm assuming that they make them on the weekends for the rush and what I saw what what's left.

    Alstede Apple Cider Donuts: $5.25 for half a dozen

    • These donuts were similar to the plain donuts at Delicious Orchards. They didn't have sugar on the outside of them, so I was a little skeptical that they would beat out the other donuts with sugar, but I was wrong! These were our favorite of the bunch.
    • Their texture was in the middle...not very fluffy, but not dense either.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Stony Hill Farms

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    Ok, now we go up north. Well, north for me :) The first farm I visited was Spring Hill Farms in Chester, NJ. I liked the farm. It looked like they had some fun activities and it had a good feel. They had a lot of staff, especially for a Tuesday.

    The decorations in front of the market were great and the market was very charming. Small, but charming. The strawberry rhubarb pies had sugar on the tops of them at all the places I stopped during my outing. I really should have bought one, because they looked AMAZING!

    Stony Hill Farms Apple Cider Donuts: $4.95 for half a dozen

    • Jeffrey referred to these donuts as "meaty." We think that they might use whole wheat flour in them.  This gave them a very dense/solid texture. It didn't really go over well for us.
    • There weren't any donuts packed up, I served myself. I'm not sure if this is due to the fact that I was there on a Tuesday or if this is how they always do it.

    Fall is my FAVORITE season!

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    I just love Fall....the leaves, the weather, the food! I can't think of a better season! When I think of fall I think of pumpkin treats, pumpkin steamers from Starbucks, and donuts! I still haven't gotten my steamer, but I've done everything else!

    Even though Cohen is too young to remember, I thought it would be important to introduce him into a favorite fall tradition of mine. Meeting up with Ashley for pumpkin picking! We started this tradition in 2009 with Karen and Jen. We drove up to Connecticut to go pumpkin picking and to buy an assortment of backed goods, and then we would always go to TARGET! Cause that's what city girls do. Ashley and I kept up the tradition when Karen and Jen left New York (the traders) and I was so glad Ashley was willing to share our little fall activity with Cohen! Of course we brought Eric and Jeff along with us :)

    Last Saturday we went to A Casola Farms and Delicious Orchards. The farm in Connecticut was better (Something to remember for next year), but we had a good time.

    Cohen got his first pumpkin! Eric picked it out for him! I'm a strong believer that kids should only get pumpkins they can carry themselves. Yes, I'm going to be that lame mom. I think we found a pumpkin that's perfect for Cohen.

    Ashley and I then dropped the boys off at home and headed to Target. Seriously, you can't mess with tradition.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...A Casola Farms

    A. Casola Farms is the last Central Jersey farm I will be visiting/reviewing (with the exception of Delicious Orchards of course!). I liked it there. They had a lot of activities and I bet teenagers would really like it. They have a bunch of haunted activities (hay ride, maze, etc). Jeff thought this place was a little "white trash." I really didn't think that until he said something. I'm not sure if they have a market there traditionally, but what they had there wasn't that impressive. The apple cider they sell is from PA, not NJ! I just think that's wrong. Also, the place was PACKED and they only have two cashiers for buying tickets and any merchandise. A little ridiculous for such a big place.

    A. Casola Farm's Apple Cider Donuts: $4.99 for six of the sugar donuts.

    • They don't sell the sugar donuts in plastic bags since they are concerned with it melting and getting sticky (I totally respect that), so you have to buy them individually at the counter.
    • These donuts really remind me of the Johnson's Corner Farm donuts. They smell amazing, but that smell doesn't translate well into taste. I will say that one of my taste testers did say they like the taste. Said it tasted just like apple cider.
    • The texture was not all! They were very chewy and dense.

    New Jersey's BEST Apple Cider Donuts?...Twin Pond Farm

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Twin Pond Farm (Howell, NJ) was one of my favorite places to visit. It's not too far from our house and I think they did a really nice job with the Fall Activities. They had a lot of photo op opportunities, which I totally appreciate. The market was nice and the produce looked amazing!  I think this will be the place we will visit next year when Cohen's a little older and can appreciate it more :)

    Twin Pond Farm Apple Cider Donuts: $3.49 per half dozen

    • These donuts reminded me of the ones from Mood Farm shape wise. They are smaller and fatter than most of the other apple cider donuts I've tried.
    • I really like the texture and they had good flavor.