Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Screentime, Preschool Crafts and The Little Things Are This Week's Links From Around the Web

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Screentime is a feminist issue This article is so well written and makes amazing points.

Why Typical Preschool Crafts Are a Total Waste of Time When Molly started at her new preschool this year, I was surprised at the art that came home with her. It was unstructured and messy and so Molly. I quickly realized that the art she had made at her previous school was way too structured. Molly adores creating and is really thriving while making some crazy art.

The Little Things It is really amazing how the little things can break you because at the end of the day, it is the pile up of the little things that build into a huge pressure cooker.

Mini Tacos! I'm so putting this on the list for Molly Cooks! nights.

Smile at a Baby! This reminded me of all the times I've flown with my kids.
Tuesday, May 03, 2016

April Book Report

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I read A LOT of books this month. Seriously, I was a reading machine. I read seven (7) books which brings my yearly total to 22 books in 2016. I am really enjoying that my love affair with reading has been rekindled.


The first book I read in April was The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen. At first glance, this book reminded me of Room (which by the way, I LOVED). I dove in with a bit of apprehension since I read Room before I had children so I wasn't as affected by it. I was a bit worried about this one and it was crazy difficult to read. The premise is a family who lives in a basement. You don't know many details and what you learn is slowly doled out by the narrator, the 6 year old son who has always lived in the basement. I loved finding out why the family lived there and how they got to that place. It was simply amazing.


I initially started reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery a while ago with Molly but she lost interest so I decided to finish it this month. I've never read the books even though I was crazy devoted to the show. In fact, I need to watch the show again. Maybe Molly would like that. This is a total classic and one that every woman should read. Anne is the best.


I kept seeing The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes on people's Instagrams and decided to read this one next. It was simply breathtaking. It's the story of a woman left behind in WWI in France, her portrait and a woman in modern times who owns that portrait. The story goes where you least suspect and is beautifully told.


After all that heavy reading, I decided I needed a lighter novel next. I snagged A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan for some ChicLit reading but discovered a topic that was a bit too close to home. The narrator is a middle-aged woman with kids who works part-time for a magazine. When her husband decides to go into law practice for himself, she steps up and into a bigger role at a new company. Her life becomes more stressful and shenanigans follow. Luckily for me, Scott is not going into business for himself and so therefore, I get to keep on part-time work and full-time family joy.


I love books about knitting and I love Clara Parkes. Unfortunately I didn't love Knitlanda by Clara Parkes. Piece by piece it was good but for some reason this book didn't grab me like her other one. I do always enjoy books about travel and yarn so it was still a good read. I still love Clara Parkes though and will have her next book in my cart as soon as it comes out.


Molly's preschool has a book club for parenting books. I've been meaning to read Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson for years and when this was announced as the book, I had a solid reason to read it. I feel like this has changed my parenting. I was already on the Positive Discipline train but now I'm driving the train, yelling CHOO-CHOO! The kids are happier. I'm happier. Scott is happier. READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVE KIDS. IT IS AWESOME. THE END!


The last book I read was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I loved Moyes other book and quickly reserved all her other books at the library. This is a tale of a girl who becomes a caregiver to a quadriplegic. Her time with him changes her life and the story is so compelling.

I loved almost all the books I read this month and am excited for all the other books on my To Be Read list. I think I read so much this month due to Scott being gone for 10 days and my Social Media Free week. It's amazing how much reading you can get done when you aren't refreshing Facebook.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links
Monday, May 02, 2016

Monthly Goal Check-In (April)

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Seriously I just barely checked-in for March and now it is time to check-in again with how I did on my goals in April. I did great on some goals and terrible on others. 

1.  Workout 4 times a week - Scott was gone for 10 days in April which meant that before he left, I worked out 5 times a week. Then he left town and I did nothing, absolutely nothing. I am starting a really cool program on May 9th called Sync Fitness's Little Black Dress Program. I'm excited and scared and excited. Until then I'll be taking some more Body Pump classes at Community Fitness. I love that class! 

2. Complete Whole30 in January 

3. Keep purging the house with the Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Plan - This month I sorta tackled the car and laundry room and did nothing else. I did manage to keep the house clean and picked up while Scott was gone which I consider a huge accomplishment. I also did the dishes every night. Big Accomplishment here! 


4. Complete Four (4) Day in the Life Challenges and participate in at least ten 10 on 10's - I completed this month's 10 on 10 and really enjoyed it. I have two more Day in the Life Challenges to go and 7 more 10 on 10s. 

5. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - I made some great progress on this goal. I worked on the questions to swatch #1, #2 and #3. I'm using an index card system to keep track of what needs to be done. I'm also knitting a swatch a day for 100 days to get perfect swatches for this goal. 

6. Grow a kick-ass Garden! I made even more progress on this goal. I plan to talk about everything I did on Thursday in detail. I was also featured on NW Healthy Mama for my Ballard Garden. 

7. Read for 15 minutes a day- I have read every single day so far this year! I'll have my April book report out tomorrow.  

8. Volunteer with two organizations and include the girls - Due to Scott's travel, volunteering was light this month but I have my first bedside follow photography session in the NICU at Swedish First Hill in about a week. My PEPS evening group starts on May 12th and I need to get another time scheduled for the girls and I to volunteer at Mary's Place again. 


9. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - No progress here!

10. Get back to Blogging on a more regular basis and focus more on my writing - I have been writing almost every single day. I took a Social Media break this month for a week and my writing really took off. I plan to do that more often. 
Friday, April 29, 2016

Project 52 - Week 7

Project52 week 7

This week's photo is not perfect but I choose it anyway because I love what is happening here. I was in the kitchen when I heard rustling in the living room. I walked in to find Maggie intently coloring in her coloring book. She's become obsessed with coloring lately which means my walls are covered in crayon and any scrap of paper has marks on it. I love it though even if I don't love cleaning off my walls. 
Thursday, April 28, 2016

Molly Cooks!

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On Monday, I talked about how we are introducing responsibility to Molly through an allowance, routine charts and cooking. I said that I would talk about cooking in another post and today's post is about teaching Molly who is 4 and a half, how to cook.

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A few months ago, some parents at Maggie's co-op were talking about how hard it is to keep their kids out of the kitchen while they are trying to make dinner. Our parent educator suggested that they involve them in cooking.

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I remembered that Molly's friend, Other Molly likes to cook with her Mom and even has her own cooking supplies. I quickly ordered a few things from Amazon (because all problems are solved by going shopping) and started to scheme.

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I found this awesome chart that shows what kitchen skills are appropriate at what age. I also checked out a book on kid's cooking from the library. I talked to Molly about taking over dinner one night a week. We decided that Wednesday would be perfect because we get home early enough from ballet for her to make a simple meal. On Sundays, Molly and I discuss what she will be making on Wednesday so I can get all the ingredients. I have a Pinterest page full of ideas and we also consult cookbooks. Her first meal was boxed Macaroni and Cheese. She was so proud of herself and I was happy to see her excitement grow.

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Over time she's grown her skills in the kitchen. She's made PB&J's for dinner, Monster Pizzas, Mini Lasagna Cups, Fish Tacos, Grilled Cheese and Crockpot Spaghetti. I help her by gathering the ingredients, helping her measure out the food, reading the recipe and showing her how to use sharp knives. I also put take everything out of the oven.

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Most nights, Molly loves cooking for the family but sometimes she is not into cooking at all. One night when she refused to cook,  I said, "Well if you don't to make dinner, what will we eat?" Molly is a quick one and said, "Let's order Pizza!" and so we did because some nights, you just need to order pizza.

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