Monday, August 31, 2015

A Place to Create and a Place to Dream


I have two budding artists in my house. They love to paint. They love to color. They love to make messes in all parts of my house. For Molly's second Christmas, we bought her an art easel which quickly was put into time out after Maggie arrived. After staring at it (and the crayons that were also put in time out) for months, every time I went down to the basement to do laundry, I decided it was time to create an art area for Molly and Maggie. 


I took an empty wall in our basement which is partially finished but not really a "liveable" space and painted it with chalkboard paint. It took about three coats and honestly, I probably should have done a fourth but I was anxious to get on with the project. Next, I hung some big Bullfrog binder clips on the wall. My plan was to have a space to display finished artwork. It's also turned out to be a great place to dry some of the watercolor masterpieces my little Picasso(s) have created. 


I attached ribbon to two small chalkboards and hung those up too. So far, they haven't used them but I like how they look. I also strung up some lantern lights, I had laying around in the basement. Sometimes keeping things forever is good! (most of the time though, it isn't.) I also repurposed a plastic rolling cart that Scott had but was no longer using as an art caddy. I put all the girl's paper, crayons, stencils, scissors, playdough, etc in the cart and placed it on the side. Above the little Ikea table, which used to sit in our dining room but got shoved out after some rearranging, I hung three command hooks. I added three silver buckets that I found in the dollar aisle at Target and filled those with chalk, paint brushes and crayons (we have a lot of crayons around here). And finally off to the side, I put Molly's art easel. 


My final addition was a rug from Ikea. The floor in the basement isn't the best and while we have plans to remodel someday, I knew we needed something to make the floor more attractive. I searched on several sites before finding the perfect rug on the Ikea site. While shipping was a bit more than I wanted to spend, I justified it by saying that I would have spent a lot more if I had actually gone to Ikea. I always spend more than planned when I go there.


So far the art area is a hit! Molly asks to go down and paint daily. Scott pulled out our camping chairs so I've been sitting in them and folding laundry while she paints. We're working on letting Molly hang out in her art area alone but so far our experiments haven't really worked. Molly gets bored with painting on her art paper and moves to a more exciting canvas, herself! Maggie also loves creating in the art area and has made some fantastic pieces. I sense this area is going to get a lot of use as Fall and Winter close in.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kid's Bedrooms, Raising Healthy Eaters and Chickens are This Week's Links from Around the Web

Swinging at the Park #100DaysofSummer2015

Awesome Idea for a Kid's Bedroom This is so sweet!

Raising Healthy Eaters I struggle with this all the time but I think we are doing pretty good over here. My kids eat most foods though mac and cheese is a true love. They eat at least one fruit and/or vegetable a day. In fact, they refused cookies at a gathering earlier this week and went for the strawberries. So I think we are doing ok but it doesn't mean that I don't need reminders because I do.

Homeowner's Checklist - This is a great list to up on home repair/upkeep. I feel like when you own a house, there is so much to keeping it up and a checklist gives me a good reminder.

Chickens in the City - Confession! I think I want chickens. Scott doesn't but I think I do. Would I be crazy to get some?

My cooking mojo is back! I made this Cool Ranch Chicken last night and it blew us away. It's going into the menu rotation.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Blanket for Molly

Make #fmsphotoaday I'm making a blanket for Molly.

When I was pregnant with Molly, I spent most of my time knitting sweaters for her but I never quite got around to knitting her a blanket. When I was pregnant with Maggie, I made her a blanket but not as many sweaters. Molly was so intensely jealous of Maggie's blanket and asked me to make her one. I think she was feeling a bit replaced after Maggie's birth. She didn't quite understand that no one can replace her so I felt the act of making her a blanket was a way to show her my love for her.


I sat down with her and we cruised around Ravelry, checking out different patterns for blankets. We found an amazing pattern and I asked Molly what she wanted the colors to be. She was 2. 5 at the time so not very imaginative in her color choices. She asked that her blanket be the same colors as the pattern. I ordered the yarn and got to work. I knit for awhile and then put it aside for one reason or another.


This past June, I picked it up again and began to knit furiously. I knit and I knit and I knit. Within a few weeks, I had completed the blanket. Molly has loved it from the start. She likes to wrap herself in it (even on 90 degree days) and says she is wrapped in love.


I also love Molly's blanket. It was an easy yet entertaining pattern. I love that Molly asked me to make her a blanket. I'll pretty much make her anything if she asks. I love that the blanket really reminds me of Molly. The colors are perfect! Her 2.5 year old self knew exactly what she wanted. 
Monday, August 24, 2015

Nineteen & Twenty Months with Mag-Pie


Dear Maggie,

We've had the Summer of FUN which is really the only excuse I have for missing your 19 month letter. The last two months have been jammed pack with travel, swim, excitement and most importantly, fun! We headed back down to the Oregon Coast for Great Grandma Helen's funeral in July and back to Suncadia in August. In between that, we swam and swam. You progressed so much over the summer with your swimming. You believe you can swim on your own but I know you can when you are wearing the safety of a puddle jumper.


You are full of opinions, little one and you have no difficulty letting them be known. You are a passionate little person. We had your speech re-tested and you don't have a speech delay as of right now. You are right on track. We are still working to encourage you in the speech department though because you do like to just grunt and pull us in the direction you want us to go rather than using words. 

Good Summer Morning! #100DaysofSummer2015

You and your sister are now playing together and tend to get along pretty well. Having said that there is still so much bickering between the two of you. I think sometimes you guys do things just to upset the other one. I know it drives me batty! 


You took a gymnastics class with me this summer which you both loved and hated. You love jumping on the trampoline and hanging from the rings but you hate waiting to do the obstacle course and following directions. We're going to take a break from it this Fall as I just don't think the timing is right for you. We'll try again later. Until then we'll be checking out the open gym so you can jump, jump, jump and hang, hang, hang all you want. 

Maggie and I are taking a Parent/Tot gymnastics class and this kid is insane for it!

We went to many parades this summer and took the bus a ton of places. You and your sister LOVE riding the bus. It's an easy adventure for me to grant so I'm all for taking the two of you on the bus.



You started really climbing on things and being in general very naughty about it. You like to shriek at me when I tell you not to climb onto the dining room table or the back of the couch. So that's fun. 


You walk almost everywhere now. I rarely use the stroller any more. We have been using the Beco Gemini a bit more as you like being worn on my back. I'm great with that because it is less to deal with. 


You start co-op in a few short weeks and I'm excited about your next adventure. You are going to love finally being able to go to school. You were so sad that you couldn't go with Molly last year but now you'll get to go with your friend, Noah! The two of you have so much fun together and I'm quite pleased that you have a little friend. Soon you'll have more! 

Happiest Swimmer on the Block #100DaysofSummer2015

Keep your Summer attitude going! We love you so much, Maggle-Rock! 
Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Suncadia Revisited!

Our last day @suncadia was spent swimming until the kids collapsed! #100DaysofSummer2015

This past week, the girls and I were lucky enough to tag along with Scott on a work retreat to Suncadia. We've visited over Memorial Day weekend and when Scott said he was going to return for work, we leapt at the chance to join him. On the way over, I did get a bit worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Scott was in meetings all day and often late into the night which meant I was in charge of the kids in a strange place 24/7. This was so not a problem. In fact, it was easier than being at home.


The week before we left, I carefully packed and planned out our meals. I brought most of our food with us since our room had a small kitchenette with a little stove, mini fridge and microwave. The only thing missing was a freezer. Planning and packing our food was a savior for me and left me more time to play with the kids. Suncadia has three pools - one at the Lodge and two at the Swim Center. We ended up swimming at the Lodge pool most of the time as Molly said that was her favorite. I think she liked the small setting and I loved the view of the Cle Elum river.


I also signed the kids up for some Tot Time at Campcadia. As luck would have it, it was the one day where everyone fell asleep during nap time. After some internal debate, I decided to wake them up so they could enjoy their Wee Picasso painting time. I think they were happy that I did. They created some very messy masterpieces. 


We had the best time at Suncadia. It was a nice way to start winding down the Summer. We've had such a hot and awesome Summer but there is a part of me wishing for the crispness of Fall and the comfort of routine. I know I'll feel differently when I'm trapped inside with the girls due to rain (or heck outside in the cold rain with the girls because nothing keeps them inside) but for now I'm dreaming of hot coffee, cozy knitting and crisp Fall days. 


When it starts raining again, I'm going to hold on to the memories of my water babies playing at Suncadia. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Parenting, Food Blogging and Prepping for Any Emergency are This Week's Links from Around the Web

Swimmer #100DaysofSummer2015

Our house was hit with sickness (in the summer!) this last week so instead of cruising the Internet finding some awesome stuff, I was mainly stuck on the couch with two sick little girls. I still have plenty to share though starting with an article I wrote for Seattle Refined.

Prepare Yourself And Build A 72-Hour Disaster Emergency Survival Kit My latest article with Seattle Refined helps get yourself prepared for any emergency! Our kit is super stocked and ready for any emergency. I really hope we never have to use it. 

What Parenting REALLY Looks Like in Pictures Oh man, this is just too close to reality for me!

So You Want to Write a Food Blog I was seriously crying while reading this. Crying!

18 Perfect Gifts for Your Long-Distance Bestie! I'm buying (making) all of these for Motty because I miss having her live just down the street from me.

The first trailer for ROOM is out and DAMN! I remember reading this book (way before I had kids) in a hotel room and my kindle died. I didn't have my charger with me so I switched to reading it on my tiny phone screen. I read until the wee hours of the morning. While I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, I know it is going to just kill me as a Mom.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Going to the Dogs!

4:15 p.m. Beast! #adayinthelifephotochallenge

This past week, I've spend way too much time on pet adoption sites looking at kittens. I'm convinced that Mel-B needs a cat buddy since Kato died a few weeks ago. She's been overly affectionate and has even let the kids see her which is unlike her because she is terrified of the children. 


Earlier this week, I found the cutest kitten, Anakin and was showing his picture to Molly. I've decided to enlist the children in my quest for a kitten because there is no way that Scott can deny his children a kitten, right? Anyway, I pull up Anakin's photo to show Molly and she says, "Oh yea, he's cute but we already have a cat. We need to get a dog. Let's look at dog photos and get one of those." Molly is super dog obsessed and talks about how she is going to get a dog, a big, yellow one. She never waivers from this decision. She is 100% certain that we are getting a big, yellow dog. I'm just trying to hold her off until she is 5 before we get serious about getting a dog. 

I might however take her to a fun event this weekend that caters to dogs and their owners. Natural Balance Pet Foods is hosting the 'Natural Character Cafe' which is Seattle's first pop-up "doggie foodie station" where dogs can sample a wide variety of wholesome Natural Balance food and treats specially formulated to bring out their one-of-a-kind personalities. There are sure to be some great dogs at this event and if you have a dog, you should take your pup for some treats! They will, surely, thank you. 



Denny's Pet World

12534 120th Ave NE. Kirkland, WA 98034
Saturday, August 8 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. & Sunday, August 9th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
More details can be found at


Natural Balance has partnered up with Learndipity Data Insights to conduct a survey of 1,015 U.S. dog parents on “pup personality,” and what they found is doggone fascinating. 

It turns out, dogs exhibit many of the same emotional behaviors often considered to be unique to people. 


*99% believe their dogs feel happiness
*93% believe their dogs smile


90% believe their dogs worry
79% believe their dogs feel embarrassment 


*66% of extroverted people have extroverted dogs
*Only 28% of introverted people have extroverted dogs


*79% of dog parents say their dog actively attempts to comfort them
*55% say their dog looks at them with loving eyes
*52% say their dog senses it when they are sad

To see more doggie personalities in action and share your own canine character, visit []. 
Thursday, August 06, 2015

Pinterest Thursday - Birthday Present


My Mom's 61st Birthday was this past weekend. My brother and I went round and round on gift ideas for her until I found the perfect gift on Pinterest


Since the loss of my Dad, my Mom has been feeling a wee bit unloved. This was the perfect gift for her! It reminds her daily of all the things we love about her. I emailed the whole family and asked them to send me all the reasons they love her. I added in a few of my own and created a love document with canva


This gift was a hit and so easy to create. We loved making it for my Mama-a-Sun and especially loved giving it to her during her birthday celebration.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015

No Sliding Housework, Quick Meals and the Love of Sleep Are This Week's Links Around the Web

This picture makes it look like we had an idyllic time at the beach this morning. What it doesn't show is the sand throwing, screaming at swings, crying and stumbling that also happened. #100DaysofSummer2015

Why I Can't Just Let the Housework Slide I mean some days I can but most days, nope!

Quick Family Meals for the Busiest Parent These look good, real good!

Amusing Drawings Illustrate an Easily Relatable Deep Love of Sleep I never would have related to this before I had children. I wasn't much of a sleeper but now, now I totally relate to them. 

Want to Be Smarter and More Emotionally Intelligent, and to Laugh More? Start Reading These 10 Writers Today Good stuff, here.

Kids + Sewing I really want to sign Molly up for sewing classes but I know she isn't quite ready. Soon though! Soon!

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