Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Join me for a Day in the Life Challenge on Thursday, December 8th


Starting on Thursday when you wake up, take a photo every hour (or more) to document your day until you fall asleep that night. You can join the Flickr group and/or tag your photos #adayinthelifephotochallenge on Instagram.


Here are some guidelines (adjust as needed for YOU!)

From the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep...
  1. Take at least one photo an house (but you can take more!).
  2. Post your photos to the "A Day in the Life" Photo Challenge Flickr group when you can. Posting your photos throughout the day as you take them is great (so we can see what everyone is doing in real time), but no worries if you cannot post until later. 
  3. Your photos do NOT have to be self-portraits.
  4. Include the time of the photo either as the title of the photo or in the description. (i.e. 9:45 am Hilarious Hand Holding! My friend and I had to walk really, really close to each other.)
  5. Use your phone or camera - whatever you want to use to capture your day, however ordinary or extraordinary it may be. 
  6. Have Fun! 

Since this is my 1 billionth time doing this challenge and I'll be away from home, I'll be shooting on my DSLR and posting later in the day, possibly all at once at the end of the day.  I've set up a new album on my Flickr photostream for December 8th challenge which you can follow here: A Day in the Life 12.8.16. Can't wait to see your photos and your day on Thursday! 
Monday, December 05, 2016

Monthly Goal Check-In (November)


Wow! Seriously, we have just 26 more days left of 2016. It's time to start thinking about my goals for 2017! Until then, here is an update on my 2016 goals. 

1.  Workout 4 times a week 
2. Complete Whole30 in January 
3. Keep purging the house with the Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Plan  - This is an ongoing project. I'm considering this done because every day, I'm purging! 

4. Complete Four (4) Day in the Life Challenges and participate in at least ten 10 on 10's - I did another 10 on 10 in November and will be doing my last Day in the Life Challenge this week! 

5. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - Yeah, I have some thoughts on why I'm not getting this done. 

6. Grow a kick-ass Garden! 

7. Read for 15 minutes a day 
8. Volunteer with two organizations and include the girls.

9. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - So yeah, still haven't done this. 

10. Get back to Blogging on a more regular basis and focus more on my writing.

Monday, November 28, 2016

How to Make the Ultimate Cheese Plate


The Holidays are in full swing and that means celebrations, parties and gatherings. I love putting together a quick cheese plate for my guests and have even found it to be a great appetizer to bring along to parties. I especially love using Stella cheeses in my platters as their selection is superb and delicious!


A good cheese plate can be a conversation starter and a fantastic centerpiece. It may look complicated but a winning cheese plate can be simple to put together if you follow a few guidelines.

1. Mix up your cheese textures - have a soft, semi-firm and hard/aged cheese - to provide a wide selection. Stella cheeses are available in many different varieties and textures to match any celebration. 
2. Have different types of cheese - cow, goat, cheese. I always include Stella Parmesan Cheese in my cheese plates. It's got a great flavor. 
3. Go nuts with nuts, fresh fruit, olives, dried fruit and jam.
4. Offer 2 or three different crackers.
5. Give your plate 30 minutes at room temperature before serving to your guests.


Cheese Lovers Rejoice! Stella Cheese is hosting a contest to win a trip to Napa Valley -  'Enter Here To Win A Trip To Napa Valley With Stella Cheese'

Looking for more great and easy recipes? Check out the Stella Cheese website

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Advent Season 2016

November 28: Visit Santa  #mongrainadvent2015 Both girls screamed and cried and it was the best thing ever!

For the past few years, I've created an Advent Calendar full of activities for the girls. This year is no exception and I'm really excited about what I've put together this year. May the girls cry when they meet Santa, squeal with excitement at the Gingerbread Houses and end the season with delightful memories of the Advent Season. 


Sunday, November 27- Attend the Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker 
Monday, November 28- Visit Swansons Nursery to see the Reindeer
Tuesday, November 29- Make a Paper Garland for the Tree 
Wednesday, November 30- Drop off Socks at the WeCount Box of Sox 
Thursday, December 1- Decorate for Christmas
Friday, December 2- Visit the Sheraton Gingerbread Village 
Saturday, December 3- Visit Santa Claus at University Village 
Sunday, December 4 - Make Christmas Cards for the Preschool Teachers
Monday, December 5- Visit Lahaina’s famous banyan tree wrapped in Christmas lights
Tuesday, December 6- Go Whale Watching
Wednesday, December 7- Go to a Luau 
Thursday, December 8- Sing Christmas Carols on the Beach
Friday, December 9- Collect Sand and flowers to make Hawaii Ornaments
Saturday, December 10- Celebrate Grandpa’s Birthday by floating candles in the ocean
Sunday, December 11- Listen to a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas
Monday, December 12- Make Paper Bag Reindeers and Eat Reindeer Poop (Chocolate)
Tuesday, December 13- Make Christmas Treats for the neighbors
Wednesday, December 14- Collect Gifts for a Giving Tree
Thursday, December 15- Walk Olympic Manor and check out the Christmas Lights
Friday, December 16- Visit Snowflake Lane in Bellevue 
Saturday, December 17- Watch the Christmas Ships at Carkeek Park 
Sunday, December 18 - Drive Candy Cane Lane to look at Christmas lights
Monday, December 19 - Celebrate Mommy’s Birthday and take pictures of the Christmas Tree Lights
Tuesday, December 20 - Make Christmas Cards for Grandparents
Wednesday, December 21 - Celebrate Maggie’s Birthday!
Thursday, December 22 - Watch a Christmas Movie and eat Popcorn
Friday, December 23 - Buy Christmas Cookies for Santa at Larsen's Bakery
Saturday, December 24 - Christmas Eve Church Service

Scary Santa

Project 52 - Week 37

Project 52 - Week 37

Maggie appreciates a good Cheese Plate!
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