Saturday, February 28, 2015

Daily Photo(s)

Still Life #fmsphotoaday

I take so many photos and I love having them as documentation of our lives. This year I've been following the FatMumSlim prompts along with collecting daily photos of the girls with the Collect App. I love that every evening Collect reminds me to collect my best photo from the day. At the end of the month, I made a collage of my daily photos to remind me of what we did, what we liked, what we enjoyed.


I love looking back and smiling over our adventures. I love remembering what we did. 


I love seeing old photos that I've taken and falling in love again. I love seeing the magic come alive. 



You can follow along on my 365 journey here: 2015:365
Friday, February 27, 2015

Final Day to Vote!

OMG! My Girl Scout Samoas Salted Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream is a finalist in the Western Washington Girl Scout contest! I'd love your vote - #GSC

Today is the last day you can get your vote in for my Girl Scout Samoas No-Churn Ice Cream recipe! This means today is the last day I'll be harassing you to vote for me. I'm one of five finalists in the Western Washington Girl Scout Cookie Contest! I'd love it if you voted for me - HERE.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Home! (Special Opportunity for Seattle Readers)

I'm super excited about this movie and the fact that I have free passes for all my Seattle Readers! 

Home comes out on March 27th but you can see it sooner with the links below. Enjoy! I'm planning on taking Molly to this and it will be her very first movie to be seen in the theatre. 
Home Synopsis: 
When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.
Screening Date:  Saturday, March 7
Screening Time:  10:00AM
Location: AMC Loews Alderwood
Passes:  Enter Code:  ZFHEq63352

Screening Date:  Saturday, March 14
Screening Time:  10:00AM
Location:  Lincoln Square Theater
Passes:  Enter Code:  QnQUw78505

Screening Date:  Thursday, March 19  
Screening Time:  7:00PM
Location:  AMC Southcenter
Passes:  Enter Code: qtPSH85980

Screening Date:  Saturday, March 21
Screening Time:  10:00AM
Location: Regal Thornton
Passes:  Enter Code: IAxnU85939

Screening Date:  Tuesday, March 24
Screening Time:  7:00PM
Location:  Regal Meridian
Passes:  Enter Code: dhYaW90028

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Checking In, New Podcasts and Awesome Colors are This Week's Links Around the Web

Fremont Directions

Just Checking In OMG! This is both the worst and the best!

Three dads don 'empathy bellies' to experience pregnancy I love this! I remember how hard it was to get comfortable at night and how much Scott hated my pregnancy pillow. I told him he could take it over my dead body before hissing at him. 

The 5 Best Podcasts for Creative People I've added a few of these to my podcast list. I'm still listening to tons of podcasts because they entertain me while I do tons of dishes at the end of the day. 

Don't forget to vote for my Girl Scout Samoas No-Churn Ice Cream recipe. I'm a finalist in the Western Washington Girl Scout Cookie Contest! I'd love it if you voted for me - HERE.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

San Diego!


I went to San Diego last week to meet my friend's newborn. The weather was sunny and warm. I was able to get a good 8 hours of sleep and help out my friend. I hogged the baby snuggles because my children rarely sleep on me anymore and I love the sweet breath of a newborn baby as they sleep on your chest (I don't love this enough to have another child though, that ship has sailed). I loved seeing my bestest friend as a Mom. She's wanted this for so long and she's really good at it. I was more than happy to help usher her into the tribe of Motherhood, the exhausting, worrying and awesome tribe of Motherhood.

Fresh #fmsphotoaday Sweet clouds tonight!

This is So Me #fmsphotoaday


Monday, February 23, 2015

Fourteen Months with Mag-Pie


Dear Maggie,

You are 14 months old and such a little person! You have your very own desires that don't always aline with the rest of the family's desires. In those cases, you really let us know. I admit to having some hearty laughs at some of your temper tantrums. You have passion!


I'm starting to think of activities for you to start participating in. We start swim lessons later this week and I'm checking to see if you can get an age exception into gymnastics class. Like your sister, you are a mover and shaker and need to get that energy out. I'm already thinking ahead to this Summer and all the time we'll spend at the pool. Momma loves to go swimming! 

Love Sisters

You still don't have any words but you clearly communicate your needs (and desires) to anyone and everyone around you. I love watching you find an adult to get you a toy, a cup or something else you've decided you want. I also love how you problem solve to get your wub out of your crib when I've hidden it from you. Speaking of your wub, you are obsessed with that thing now. OBSESSED!

You loved Valentine's Day because you got your first taste of chocolate. It's good stuff, isn't it? You have started begging for chocolate whenever you see anyone eating some. 


We've been hitting up the tot gym a lot and you go nuts. You love ride-on toys and spend most of your time at the gym, on them, going backwards. I like the tot gym because it wears you and your sister out. 

I've signed you up for Toddler Co-Op preschool next year and I know you are going to be excited. We'll go once a week while your sister is in drop-off preschool. I'm also trying to figure out what activity we should do together on your sister's preschool days. 


You are almost down to one nap a day. We are in that time where I never quite know when you need to drop and take a long nap. I've been trying to put you down for two naps but some days you reject that idea and struggle to stay awake until you collapse for two-three hours. 

Makes Me Smile #fmsphotoaday These two monkeys make me smile!

You and your sister spend so much time playing together and it reminds me why I wanted to have two kids. Your sister is sad every day when you take a nap because she can't play with you. She just loves chasing you around the house and dressing you up like a princess. 

Wee Patient Maggie and Mini Doctor McMolly! Maggie went in for some vaccinations today. We had originally delayed the MMR to her 15 mo appt due to a rash she had at her 12 mo appt. In light of the current measles outbreak, I asked if we could come in this

There has been a measles outbreak going on so we got your vaccinations done a few months early. You were excited to go to the doctor until the needles came out BUT this means at your 15 month check-up, you won't need to get any shots! I feel better knowing that you have gotten your vaccinations even if you didn't find the experience to be that awesome. 


Keep rocking, Mag-Pie! You have the best personality, awesome hair (that is growing like a weed) and a smile that keeps me laughing. We love you so much!

Temptation #fmsphotoaday Maggie won't even look at the camera if something more tempting is walking by.
Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Moment

I'm not sure if this is even a real Swedish proverb as I couldn't find anything about it online but I love it nonetheless. It reminds me to be patient with my children. They really need my love when they seem to least deserve it. They are just little with big emotions which means they sometimes (often) act out.

It reminds me to be patient with others because sometimes they are fighting their own battle, one I know nothing about, one that means I need to love them more because they need it.

It reminds me that sometimes I need more love because I'm acting out due to my own battles. Sometimes I need people to be more patient and loving with me.
Saturday, February 21, 2015

January/February Book Report


I love reading and I've been making more time to read this year. I thought it would be fun to share my latest reads with you. I try to read every night before bed for at least 15 minutes. I find that it calms me and I love discovering new stories. 

The Curious Case of the Copper Corpse: A Flavia de Luce Story by Alan Bradley I love all Flavia de Luce tales and so was extra delighted to find this short story about her. Flavia is a unique little girl who busies herself solving mysteries around her English manor and town. I'm looking forward to reading the next Flavia book, As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust.

I jumped into Longbourn by Jo Baker without even reading the dust jacket. I liked the cover and was looking for something to read when I picked this book up. As I read the book, it felt super familiar. Then I realized this was the tale of the servants from Pride and Prejudice. I think I liked this story even more than Pride and Prejudice. I have Return to Longbourn on my reading list as I can not get enough of this story. 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell was both utterly heartbreaking and utterly up-lifting.  You cheer Eleanor as she triumphs over life and your heart lifts with Park as he discovers his first love. I was enthralled with the comic book and musical mentions. 

I loved, loved, loved this last book. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a story about Don Tillman who embarks on the Wife Project to find a wife but meets Rosie along the way. I'm beyond excited to read The Rosie Effect next. 

I'm currently reading, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which is a National Book Award Finalist about a blind French girl and a German boy working to survive the destruction of World War II as their paths collide in France. What are you reading? What else should be on my reading list? 
Friday, February 20, 2015



I'm still taking weekly pictures of the girls following prompts from AudreyAnnPhoto. The prompt this past week was, "Since it is Valentines Day at the weekend, let's incorporate some love into our images this week.  You could show your love for your child, or the love between siblings, or the love your child has for a toy."

I have to admit that I struggled with this one until I saw Molly snuggling up to her HUGE pink bear. Molly's Grandpa sent this HUGE bear to us for Christmas one year and of course, she loves the darn thing. It floats around the house, being huge and well-loved.  This bear has been through so much and keeps on ticking. I suspect she'll take him to college.

You can see the entire set, here.

Don't forget to vote for my Girl Scout Samoas No-Churn Ice Cream recipe through February 27th. I'm a finalist in the Western Washington Girl Scout Cookie Contest! I'd love it if you voted for me - HERE.
Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Spring Garden


I've been plotting out my garden plot for my Spring garden all week. Next week I plan to head out and gather some seeds but for now, I've been busy deciding what will grow in my garden this Spring. It's been unseasonably warm around here so my plans have kicked into high gear. 


I still have a few things growing in my boxes so I'll be adding to the existing plants. There isn't much - one Kale plant, Swiss Chard, Strawberries and a Rosemary plant. 


I found some awesome garden planning sheets on Terraganics Living and have planned out all my boxes with Cauliflower, Broccoli, Beets, Lettuces, Carrots, etc. 


I can't wait to hit up the garden nursery to buy all the seeds! 

Don't forget to vote for my Girl Scout Samoas No-Churn Ice Cream recipe. I'm a finalist in the Western Washington Girl Scout Cookie Contest! I'd love it if you voted for me - HERE.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pancake (Shrove) Tuesday!


Today is Shrove Tuesday, the day before the Lenten season begins. In England, they feast on pancakes on Pancake Tuesday, a tradition I much enjoy. In honor of Pancake Tuesday, the girls and I devoured pancakes this morning. I thought I'd share my favorite pancake recipe with blueberry compote. 

I can't wait for blueberry picking season to come around again this year. I'm hoping Maggie will be up for visiting the blueberry picking farm with Molly & I. Until then, our leftover frozen blueberries are keeping summer alive at our breakfast table. 

Happy Shrove Tuesday! 


Favorite Pancakes

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients (Nine 4-inch pancakes)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In another small bowl, mix together sour cream and whole milk.
3. Using an electric mixer and a large blow, beat eggs at high speed until light and fluffy.
4. Slowly add in flour mixture and sour cream mixture, alternatively to the eggs. Slowly blend in the melted butter once everything else is combined.
5. Using a hot griddle, add a 1/4 cup of pancake batter and cook until bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook for approximately 2 1/2 minutes until nicely browned. Serve with blueberry compote, butter and maple syrup.
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The Blueberry Compote Recipe can be found on my Recipe page. (PS Photographing blueberry compote is hard!) 

Happy Shrove (Pancake) Tuesday!
Monday, February 16, 2015

Reading with Kids


Reading is a big part of our family. I take the kids to the library a few times a month for either story time, to pick up a few books or just to play (they have awesome Magna-Tiles for loan). We have bookcases stuffed with books and pretty much any time the kids ask for a new book, I'm willing to get it for them. 

Over Christmas, we received a few gift cards to the bookstore. On one particularly rainy day, we headed to the store to acquire a few new books. I let the girls pick out a board book each and then my eyes wandered over to the classics. There are a few that I've always wanted to read but never have. I quickly stacked "Anne of Green Gables", "Little Women" and "The Secret Garden" in my arms.  


My Mom used to read a chapter a night to me from "The Secret Garden" when I was a little kid and I LOVED it. I used to beg her to read to me at night, far after I learned how to read myself. I decided to start this tradition with Molly and so a few weeks ago, we dug into "Anne of Green Gables". I've never read the book and am enjoying the story as we go along. The best part is that Molly drifts off to sleep with a smile on her face during our evening Anne sessions. 

I'm excited to keep reading chapter books aloud to the girls for years to come. It's a fun way to explore some wonderful books, full of grand stories and words. I especially love that the stories are long as honestly I've gotten a little bored with some of our board books. 

What are your favorite books to read to your kids? Do you have any reading traditions that I should steal for Molly & Maggie? 
Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Moment

I worry. I worry a lot. I worry about my Mom. I worry about my kids. I worry that maybe I'm not the best parent. I worry that I'm not eating the right stuff or exercising enough. I worry. 

Today I am reminded that if I give thanks more, I might worry less. I need to be thankful that I have such awesome kids. I need to be thankful that my parents were so prepared for their later years and my Mom is going to be taken care of. I need to be thankful for a body that moves and can work out.

I am thankful for all of this and more. I am thankful for the privilege I have been given to stay home with my kids. I am thankful that I have enough to eat (sometimes more than I should). I am thankful that I am capable of worrying about my parenting. I am thankful.

What are you thankful for? 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Sweetest Day


Forty-five years ago, my parent's went on their first date. My Mom was only 15 years old and my Dad was an older 20. I'm not entirely sure that my Dad knew my Mom was so young but that date was the first of many, many dates for them before getting married a few years later. Today would have marked 45 years together for them. Their love continues on even if my Dad is no longer with us through the loving family they created. 

Today is also my brother's wedding anniversary. It is a day of love for my family though Scott and I only half-heartily celebrate it. We gave the girls little buckets filled with socks, stickers and a small toy along with some chocolate. I may have regretted the chocolate after a few breakdowns from Molly and a HUGE mess from Maggie because sometimes I make poor parenting choices. 


We celebrated this morning with my Mom, SIL, niece and the kids by having brunch together. It was a fun way to see everyone. My brother is away for the weekend which makes his wife the nicest person ever. She let him go off on an adventure without her and their kid on their wedding anniversary. I'm sure they will celebrate when he gets back. 

What are your Valentine's Day traditions? Do you celebrate or do you ignore? I believe you should celebrate your loved ones every day especially when it feels hard to do. 
Friday, February 13, 2015

Girl Scout Samoas Salted Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream


I'm lucky enough to have two best friends. One that I grew up with in Seattle and one that I grew up with through letters and phone calls. I still keep in touch with both of them even though we all live far apart from each other. Facebook, email and Facetime has really helped to close the distance. 

Earlier this week, I was messaging with the best friend who lives in England. We never know what time of day it is for the other person but we love to send messages and wait for responses. It sure beats the days when we'd write each other letters and then have to wait weeks and weeks for a response! 


We were chatting about what we were up to and how our 40th birthday goals were going. I mentioned that it was also the 40th anniversary of the Girl Scout Samoas Cookie and that I was crafting a recipe to highlight their deliciousness. I told her that I was inspired by her and was thinking of making ice cream. You see, my friend is an ice cream maker and a really damn good one at that. She currently specializes in creating frozen desserts for a large grocery chain but before that she made ice cream at her family's ice cream factory. The factory holds a special place in my heart. It's the first place I got to see food being made with machines but also made with so much love and heart. I used to visit her and steal tastes from the tasting room and I thought the freezer was my own personal ice cream store. 


I floated a few ideas past her and she quickly suggested using sweetened condensed milk for a no-churn ice cream. I asked her for some more details, threw out a few ideas with her and the following recipe was born. 

A few nights ago, I had Molly help me make the ice cream and we talked about the Girl Scouts. I told her that I can not wait for her to become a Brownie and I'm kinda excited about being a Girl Scout leader. I'm going to be so disappointed if I can't live out my Girl Scout dreams through Molly. Of course if she refuses, I'll just put the pressure on Maggie. I have double the chance to fulfill my dreams! 


After we finished making the ice cream, Molly asked to eat it right away. I think I crushed a bit of her dessert dreams when I told her it had to freeze overnight. Those ice cream dreams came rushing back the next day when I let her have ice cream for lunch. 

You could make your own salted caramel sauce for this ice cream but I decided to go the quick and easy route. I found that my local grocery story had a huge selection of caramel sauce choices. 

Looking to score your own Samoas? You can find the Girl Scout Cookie Locator here.

Girl Scout Samoas Salted Caramel No-Churn Ice Cream

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6+ Hours
Ingredients (1 1/2 quarts)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon
  • 2 cups cold Darigold heavy cream
  • 14 Girl Scout Samoas Cookies (One Box, minus one)
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
Place Girl Scout Samoa Cookies in a large plastic bag. Smash with a wooden spoon to break up the cookies. (I also used my hands to break them up)
Stir the sweetened condensed milk with vanilla and Bourbon in a medium bowl and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream in a large bowl on high until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk mixture.
Stir the Girl Scout Samoa Cookies into the milk mixture and pour into a 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Drop spoonfuls of caramel sauce into the loaf pan and swirl into the cookie milk mixture.
Freeze until firm, 6-8 hours.
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