Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Snacks, Death and Egos make up this week's Links Around the Web!


Make-Ahead Snacks for the road. I'm so making a few of these for the road trip I'm taking the girls on later this week.

How to talk to kids about death This is such great information and pretty much what I did when I had to tell Molly about my Dad's death. We still talk about him all the time so we're keeping his memory alive.

How to Spot Reliable Recipes on the Web Good stuff here! I hate making something and having it fail because I followed an untested recipe off a website.

10 Things Your Kids Need to Know

There are No Egos in our Knitting Group This was a bit too close to the truth so I laughed until I cried and then I laughed some more.

1913 Photos in Color and oh what beautiful colors they are!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Uncommon Gifts for Uncommon Mothers


Last night, I panicked. Mother's Day is almost here and I am not ready. I haven't even started to think about gifts for my Mom, my Mother-in-Law, Scott's Grandmother, my Grandmother or my Sister-in-Law. I have a lot of special Moms in my life and I want to honor them on this special day for all the hard work they do as Moms. I have spent some time dreaming about what I want for Mother's Day but that's about it, just some dreams about having time in the garden, a hot cup of coffee in bed, some jewelry and maybe even a barre3 class. 

Day 145 (145/366): Happy Mom-a-Sun Day!

Until I became a Mom, I never quite knew all the hard work that my Mom put into being the best Mom she could be. Moms are a vault of information; they know their children's clothing sizes, their favorite foods, who broke their heart in the 9th grade, how they got that scar above their left eye or what soothes them when they wake up scared at 2 a.m. Moms are the cornerstone of the family. There are no gifts that can adequately thank a Mom for everything she does but I do know that UncommonGoods has some gifts that come close. 

A few Uncommon Gifts for Uncommon Mothers (right to left)
Bread & Butter(fly) Serving Board, Upcycled Sari Lounge Robe, Tiny Seeds Necklace
Birdie Yarn Bowl Knitting Kit, Literary Scarves, Anatomical Heart Pendant
Bluetooth Tracking TagSucculent Living Wall Planter Kit, Region Dish Towels
After panicking, I spent some serious time checking out the unique and handcrafted gifts that UncommonGoods has to offer from the Hand Embroidered State Pillows which might be perfect for my Mother-in-Law to the Elephant and her Little Peanuts necklace for my Bestie (and new Mom). There is a beautiful Bread & Butter(fly) Serving Board that might tickle my Sister-in-Law's fancy. Scott might want to get me the Bluetooth Tracking Tag after suffering through my many, many episodes of losing my keys in my purse. 

As an aside, I love that UncommonGoods is dedicated to featuring unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. If one is going to spend time selecting the perfect gift for their loved ones, it really should come from a company who honors the creativity and individual expression of artisans.

Looking for the perfect gift for your Mom? Check out UncommonGoods's gift lists here:

This post is sponsored by Uncommon Goods. Thank you for supporting ReeBeckiSupergirl! 
Monday, April 27, 2015

This Moment


This morning, I got up at 5:15 a.m. after only 6 hours of sleep. It was a hard wake-up especially since Maggie had been up twice the night before and then joined us at 3 a.m. to snuggle into our bed. Still I arose. The birds were chirping and the sun was just starting to peek out. I slipped on my workout gear, brushed my teeth and grabbed my keys. I stopped to snap a picture of the lilacs, I had picked the afternoon before. 

I headed to barre3 class and watched the sun rise over the hills. I love the drive to barre3 in the morning. Few people are out and now that we are closer to Summer than Winter, the sun is gorgeous in the morning. I made it through my workout and headed home to my family. 


Maggie greeted me at the door with a huge roar and a smile. She leapt into my arms and laughed when I said I needed coffee. I chatted with Scott as I got everyone ready for the day. Scott headed to work while the girls and I headed to Greenlake. We met a friend who I haven't seen in a long time but adore. We caught up on life, had a few laughs and strolled around the lake. I'm always left feeling a peace when I see this friend. She's a wise soul. I realized that these simple moments are what make up the joy of life. A simple stroll, a simple cup of coffee and some laughs can start off the week at the right pitch. The girls and I played at the playground after our walk and even ran into a friend from co-op. This afternoon will be spent catching up on work, naps and chores but after our simple, magical morning, we can take on the drudgery of daily life. 
Saturday, April 25, 2015

Animal Jam!

This morning, Scott, the kids and I headed to the Pacific Science Center for Animal Jam! I had been invited earlier in the week to check out this new game but honestly I hadn't paid much attention to what I had actually been invited to other than a free morning at the Pacific Science Center. After learning more about the Animal Jam's game, I'm super stoked to share it with Molly (Maggie can learn about it when she's a bit older). 

Briefly, Animal Jam is an online playground for kids who love animals and the outdoors. Players create animal characters and dens to feed their curiosity about animals and the natural world around them. This game was created in partnership with National Geographic and features a classic playground role playing game infused with life sciences. Players can learn about Animal Conservation and talk to real life scientists; like herpetologist, Dr. Brady Barr and marine biologist, Dr. Tierney Thys. 

Molly LOVES animals and often plays zoo in our playroom. She likes to line up her stuffed animals and take care of them by feeding them, providing medical care and most importantly, cuddles. All animals need cuddles according to Molly. She is currently very interested in tigers and dinosaurs, even though the later are very much extinct. Creating unique animals, learning about their environments and decorating their dens is going to be right up Molly's alley. 

We had a great time at the Pacific Science Center this morning. After a hearty breakfast and presentation, we roamed the center for a few hours. We saw butterflies, dinosaurs, a live snake show, played in the tots area and learned about germs. Molly is really into germs lately too. 


I particularly loved the butterfly exhibit. They had butterflies coming out of their cocoons which is exactly what Molly has been studying in co-op this week. We spent a long time watching the butterflies struggle out of their homes, wings all wet and then slowly spreading their wings. The butterfly area had some gigantic butterflies too. They were beautiful! 


Thank you to Animal Jam, National Geographic and the Pacific Science Center for providing my kids with a fun morning to explore, learn about science and this fascinating new game. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

NEEDED: Yard Advice


Most of the time, I love our yard but every Spring I begin to hate it. Our yard requires A LOT of weeding which is fine if I had time to get out there and do it. Unfortunately the girls get bored after a few minutes and try to run into the road while giggling in the face of danger. I've been slowly working on re-doing the yard to reduce the need for weeding but I have one corner that I have not been able to come up with a solution for.


We have a beautiful, wee Cherry Tree that is surrounded by irregular rocks. The previous owners planted heather around the tree and it was pretty but the grass and weeds quickly grew up between the plants. Last year, I covered the ground around the tree with cardboard and covered that with topsoil. When Spring arrived, the grass has taken over and covered the area beneath the tree. I spent 4 hours last weekend, pulling out grass and weeds and am now left with a blank canvas.


The advice I need is what should I plant under the tree that either stops weeds/grass from growing in OR hides them well. I've been thinking about decorative grasses or a flowering plant or just flailing around. What would you plant?
Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Comfortably of Routine

I've written about routine before. There is a comfort in having a routine and for me, there is calmness is knowing that things happen on certain days at certain times. Last year was full of uncertainty, change and little comfort. This year, I've been working toward simplicity which has also meant a dive back into routine. 

12:15 p.m. Time to clean up from breakfast and lunch while Molly plays. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

We have our daily routine which changes according to our planned activities every day and that has been working well. It is my weekly routine that has needed some shaping. I have a lot going on with my two kids, freelance writing, taking care of my Mom and maintaining the home front. 


I based my new weekly routine on my old weekly routine:

Monday is for Errands. I do all errands on Monday from stopping by the library to going to the store to returning things to friends. During Maggie's nap and Molly's quiet time, I concentrate on getting some writing work done. I can usually get a good hour or so in. 

Tuesday is for Laundry. Molly goes to co-op in the morning so Maggie and I play and start the laundry. I concentrate on clothing laundry on Tuesdays. I tend to save towels and sheets for later in the week but get started on them if I have time on Tuesday. I also concentrate on getting more writing work in during Maggie's nap and Molly's quiet time. 

Wednesday is for Cleaning - I clean half the house (Playroom, Living Room, Dining Room and Bathroom) on Wednesdays during Maggie's nap and Molly's quiet time. If Molly doesn't want to have quiet time then she helps me clean. She loves washing windows so I put her to work! I love having a clean house but I don't like cleaning every day. I do have the kids help me pick-up every night and we try to wash dishes every day so cleaning days are focused on actually cleaning. This is also a day we visit my Mom in the morning. We see her at other times but we almost always see her on Wednesday. 

Thursday is for Cleaning, Part Deux - Molly has co-op in the morning and I work in her classroom. I clean the other half of the house (Bedrooms and Kitchen) and launder the sheets, towels and kitchen rags during Maggie's nap. Molly has usually given up on quiet time at this point in the week so either helps me or watches a show. If Maggie takes a long nap, I get more work done then. 

Friday is for Big Projects - Friday is a pretty open day for us, other than gymnastics class in the morning so I like to use it to focus on getting bigger projects done. I've fallen behind on my goal purging the house with the Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Plan. I got behind on the office and am getting back into it. I have a HUGE list of home improvement plans to tackle too. I'm planning to talk more about this later but the list is basically some small things like painting, putting up some new house numbers (because ours are a weird, ugly font) and bigger things like new insulation and a new cover in our backyard.

Weekends is for Catching Up and Fun - I try to take time on the weekend to head to a coffee shop to get some work done and get in some swatching time. I also try to work on the yard and garden on the weekends when Scott is around to wrangle the kids. 

As with everything in life, this routine has it's ebbs and flows but I have found that when I stick to it, I feel calmer, more accomplished and most importantly happier. 

8:05 pm Gathering clothing so I can start the weekly laundry #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Creative Goddess Restoration Periods, Being Strong and Working Your Butt Off Make Up This Week's Links Around the Web

Fields of Gold

Buying Organic 101 Great information from Weelicious!

Creative Goddess Restoration Period I love this. This is a great thing! 

Box Top Hate! I can already see myself as this Mom. "No! I'm not going to buy you some process crap because your school needs box tops. Here's $5. Leave me alone."

Please don't tell me I'm strong I have this friend who says the right thing at the right time. I'll text her and say, "OMG! LIFE IS TERRIBLE!" and she'll reply, "I do not envy your life right now." I need that honesty. I don't need to hear that it will get better. Sometimes I just need to hear that it does indeed suck because some days it does indeed suck. 

I worked my ass off "I could say: “Follow your heart,” but I never did that. I worked my ass off instead." If only more people were honest about the hard work that gets them to their successful point. This is an honest and awesome article about the woman behind some of the best tasting ice cream out there. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day Goals!

One of my goals this year is to "Become more thoughtful about how I consume products and produce waste. I want to compost more, recycle more and produce less trash." With Earth Day happening tomorrow, I've been thinking about this goal a bit more.

We have been doing awesome on the composting front. 95% of our leftover food waste (potato peels, the kid's uneaten food, etc) is composted nightly. I'm still trying to find the best kitchen compost container for us but right now we've been using a plastic bucket. It works ok but I know that with the weather warming up, we need to come up with a covered solution.

Recycling is also pretty awesome around here. Even Molly knows to check the container before tossing anything into the trash as most of our trash items can actually be recycled.

As for producing less trash, I feel like we have a lot of room for improvement. We recently switched from cloth diapers for Maggie to disposables and that has increased our trash output. I was not keeping up with the laundry and the diapers were the tipping point. I may still go back to cloth but for right now, disposables are where we are at.

I did find this interesting infographic on ways to help the Earth on Earth Day and I'm going to work to adopt more of these ways. We do already bring our own bags into the story (you have to pay for bags here so that's a great incentive to bring your own bags) and most of our bills come electronically. I could however bring my own cup when I get coffee (which is rarely) and while I use environmental cleaners, I could make more of my own (Pinterest has a ton of ideas!) What are you doing for Mother Earth as Earth Day comes around?

Monday, April 20, 2015


Day 289 (289/366): Tired, Worn Out, Exhausted

At the end of March, I posted about doing another Whole30 and starting C25K. I was full of excitement and ready to tackle these challenges.

Unfortunately after a few runs with C25K, I started to doubt my decision. My hip started hurting so bad that I was waking up from the pain. I felt so rundown and exhausted. I stopped running and kept going to barre3 and I am feeling awesome! My hip is still a bit sore so I'm trying to stretch it and take it easy.


Whole30 was another failure. I didn't plan ahead accurately and when I don't plan ahead, I get hangry and eat what I want. I decided to have a "cheat' day even though that goes against the plan and never got back on the plan. I felt grouchy toward Whole30 which says to me that now is not the time for me to tackle another one. I want to do another one soon but right now, I'm not feeling it.


I've decided to just chill. I got myself into a state trying to accomplish too much. I get very enthusiastic about challenges and sometimes overwhelm myself. I do hope to tackle another Whole30 soon and we'll just see about the running. Maybe my running days are behind me? I might need to see my doctor about the ole hip.
Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Moment

I'm often told that I expect too much from others. What they don't know is that I only expect half as much from them as I expect for myself. I also believe that if we lower our expectations then we will let the world slide by. High expectations can lead to great things! The tricky part is knowing when to let some things slip and when to fight for one's expectations. 
Friday, April 17, 2015

The 100 Day Project

100 Days of Swatching

On April 7th (a day late), I dove into the 100 Day Project with 100 Days of Swatching. It fits nicely in with my goal of completing the TKGA Master Knitting Level 1 project.

I'm a day late but I'm jumping in with the #100daysproject! I'll be doing 100 days of swatching which corresponds with my goal of completing the TKGA Master Knitter 1 program. #100daysofswatching

The basic premise is to make something everyday for 100 days. I decided on swatching because I need to submit 17 perfect swatches for the TKGA Master Knitting Level 1 project and I've found that repetition leads to better knitting for me. I calculated that I need to do 5 swatches for each perfect swatch which will give me 85 swatches and leaves me with 15 swatches to do however I see fit. I've already done 3 swatches of my 15 for fun and have been concentrating on knitting up swatch #1 this week. I'm currently working on the 5th one. I'm hoping one of them feels perfect to me. 

5:14 pm Swatching while the girls eat dinner #adayinthelifephotochallenge #100daysofswatching

I'm documenting my efforts on Instagram and keeping an album on Flickr.  I'm using the hashtag #100daysofswatching along with the group hashtag of #100daysproject. Check out the other projects under that second hashtag. Some of the projects are quite intensive and all of them impress me. 

Inspiration #fmsphotoaday #100daysproject #100daysofswatching

Other misc. details: Most of my swatches are being knit in Cascade 220 Ivory. It's what I'm using to submit my watches for TKGA as it fits nicely into their requirements. It also shows off knit stitches in an exceptional way. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pinterest Thursday - Glitter Jars

This week has been Spring (No) Break for us so I've been busy thinking of fun craft activities that we can do. While searching Pinterest, I found this fun Glitter Jar activity and I luckily had everything on hand! I found an old salsa jar and decided to spray paint the lid to dress things up. Molly loved watching me spray the paint and really wanted to get involved. I was a bit apprehensive about giving a can of spray paint to my 3 year old though. 

The kids love shaking the jar and watching the glitter settle. I had Molly select the figurine for the inside. She has a ton of small toys. The first two she tried were too big though but we finally settled on this funny looking dog. I then glued the dog to the lid and had Molly had glitter to the jar. We poured in water and glued the lid onto the jar. It was a very easy process and would have taken less than 10 minutes if I hadn't spray painted the lid. 

Here are the directions from Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. They have a ton of fun DIY projects. 

Photo Credit: Whimsical Wonderland Weddings
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

C-Section Mamas, 100 Days of Summer and Ann Patchett's Musings are this Week's Links Around the Web!


Three Truths about C-Section Mamas This beautiful article says all that needs to be said to c-section mamas. You have to be brave and strong to lie on the table as doctors and nurses whirl around you getting ready for surgery as your husband waits anxiously in the hallway. Scott said he thought he was going to pass out while waiting. I felt strangely calm but I think that is because I knew the birth wasn't going to be the hard part. The hard part is when you meet your baby and then you have to really become that brave and strong mama.

7 Things Good Mothers Do That I'm Not Going to Do Anymore Word.

100 Days of Summer! Doesn't this sound like fun? I'm in!

Ann Patchett's musings on Gourmet, the magazine and her time spent there.

These are the cutest!

Milk & Honey Popsicles!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015


We went to the park this morning. Molly ran around with her friend and Maggie did her best to keep up. She took her time warming up though. First she hung out with the mamas before deciding to emulate the big kids. 

It wasn't until we were on the slide structure that her true daredevil side came out. She took a tumble at one point, cried and then shook it off before re-tackling the stairs. She went down the twisty slide that scared Molly's friend (and rightfully so, it's tall and twisty and a wee bit scary). Once down, she toddled back to do it again. 

I love her carefree spirit even as my heart lurches in fear. I love that she giggles when I swing her too high. I'm thrilled when she tries something new out. My little daredevil. I hope she keeps adventure in her heart, for always. 
Monday, April 13, 2015

Tulip Fields Forever


We headed to the Tulip Fields yesterday. I had visions of sweet photos of the girls in the fields, much like my friend, Kelsey took. I envisioned photos of sweet sisterly love. Kids frolicking through the tulips.




Maggie had other plans. She did her best to alternate between extreme happiness and utter tragic sadness within mere seconds of each other.




Molly had her own plans for the tulip fields and went in search of mud. Luckily for us, there was little mud in the fields yesterday.




It was a beautiful day though and we had a wonderful time visiting the tulip fields. They were truly a gorgeous sight.


Our day was made even more perfect with a stop at Snow Goose for some ice cream!



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