Sunday, May 31, 2015

100 Days of Summer Starts NOW!

Freshly Harvested Carrots #100DaysofSummer2015

My friend, Francesca is hosting a 100 Days of Summer photo challenge and it started today! Mine stated with some fresh from the ground carrots. All of my veggies are really starting to come in and I'm so excited. We've already had salads with lettuce from the garden. Maggie enjoyed harvesting it with me. She's getting to be such a good little helper. 

Come join us! Document your 100 Days of Summer!
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Birds & The Bees, 10 Letters and 100 Days of Summer Make Up This Week's Links Around the Web


The 10 Letters Project A friend shared this on Facebook today and I've already watched the trailer a few times. I'm excited to check out the full project!

rom Beach To Timberland, Carkeek Park Is A Wonderwall Of Discovery I wrote about my favorite park, Carkeek Park for Seattle Refined. There is so much to discover at this park!

Influential Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Dies The kids fell asleep in the car today and as I drove around Magnolia, I listened to this amazing story on NPR. They interviewed another photographer who talked about Seattle in the time that Mary Ellen Mark photographed so many street scenes. I was transported to the time when Downtown Seattle wasn't really a safe place and I remembered why I never went Downtown as a kid. It's fascinating to see glimpses into a city's past through a great photographer's work.

100 Days of Summer Speaking of photography, I'm planning on participating in the 100 Days of Summer which starts on May 31st! This project is a photo a day from May 31st to September 7th. I can't wait to see where this project takes me.

The Birds & The Bees I recently went to a presentation about preschoolers and sex by Amy Lang. I learned so much and shortly thereafter casually started discussing sex with Molly who is entirely uninterested. The only thing she's hung onto is that her good guy friend is built differently from her. Since this is what Amy Lang said to expect, I'm happy with how things are going. I was fascinated when This American Life did a recent show on just this subject. I was enthralled for the entire hour and hope that I can continue teaching my kids about sex, how to engage in it respectfully and wisely (and not until they are 34!) and to be a good resource for them on this tricky subject. The show also touches on death and racism. We've already had to tackle death in this house and I feel good about how we are dealing with that but racism is something I still struggle with.

Ghostwriters and Childhood Classics Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys were childhood classics for me. Nancy Drew more than the Hardy Boys but man I was so excited when I was introduced to these books by my Mother. I remember the aisles and aisles of these books in the book store. They made my book loving heart flutter wildly.

Abandoned: The Rise, Fall and Decay of Disney’s River Country I read this article while hunched over my phone on our getaway this weekend. It is fascinating and I feel like I've seen River Country on previous trips to Disney World. Now I want to visit again and see the decay!
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

42 Months with Molly Pop!

Molly - 42 months

Dear Molly,

Wow! Three and a half is so very hard. It's hard for you to have such big emotions and it has been hard for us to deal with your big emotions. Having said that, I do so love the little person you have become. We have the silliest conversations. The other day, while enjoying Fro-Yo, I asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up. You told me that you want to be a Unicorn. Then you turned the tables on me and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Talk about putting me in the hot seat! 

LIttle Carkeek Hikers

You love your little sister so much. I can practically see your heart swelling with love when you look at her. The two of you have started playing together and getting in trouble together. I love seeing the two of you plotting together. I'm not sure that I'm a huge fan of your escapades but I love watching the two of you bond together. 

In the past six months, you've graduated from speech therapy, started ballet lessons, kept up on your gymnastics, taken an all girls road trip with your sister and me, visited Suncadia with the family, gotten your second haircut, saw your first movie in the theatre, had your tv viewing cut down, started swim lessons again and survived the worst flu/sickness to have hit this family ever. 


Molly, you are turning out to be one great kid. Whenever we go out, I get told what a cute girl you are and how wonderful you are. I believe this to be true so I like having my beliefs reinforced. You are pretty darn cute and quite wonderful. You also have amazing hair which would be even more amazing if you would just let me brush it! 


Your school photo was amazing this year! You wanted to wear your tiara (I bought a dozen of them and hand them out at will) and you let me curl your hair. I've been joking that this is your parade princess photo but I'm only partially joking. 


I'm looking forward to seeing what the next six months bring. We have a fun summer planned and then you start drop-off preschool in the Fall. You'll be going four days a week and I am so excited for you. You always say that preschool is your favorite thing so I'm hoping you like four days of your favorite thing. Until then though we are going to fill our Summer with swimming, hikes, adventures and so much fun! 


We love you so much, Molly Pop! You are one damn awesome kid! 
Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Scott!

6:06 pm Date Night! Celebrating 5 years of marriage and 8 years of dating! #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Today is Scott's Birthday! Happy Birthday to one of the most AMAZING husbands out there. I'm so happy that we get to spend the rest of our lives together. I'm lucky to have you through the worst of times and the best of times. I'm hoping this year is full of more best than worst.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SCOTT! May you have the best birthday ever!
Saturday, May 23, 2015

Seventeen Months with Mag-Pie

Showing off her belly

Dear Maggie,

You are closer to two than one. You are becoming such a big kid. You know what you want even if you don't have the words to say it. You communicate so well without words. I did have have your speech evaluated this month and she said that you do have a delay. I haven't received the report yet so I don't know by how much. You'll be getting some help to find your words soon which I think will bring you great joy. I'm excited to hear your little voice say more things.


We've had a lot of fun this month. We went on a girl's only road trip, explored many beaches, went our on first summer hike and enjoyed time at Molly's preschool. Molly's school had a family day last week so I stayed with you so you could play. You are so ready to start school there in the fall. You love to explore the rooms, play with the play dough and sing songs at circle time. 


The weather has been warming up so we've been eating outside, playing in the sprinkler and basically just hanging out in the backyard when we can. You love playing outside with your sister and helping me water the garden. Luckily, unlike your sister, you haven't pulled out any veggies that are not ready to be harvested yet. 


You are growing up so fast that I often yell, "Who is this BIG girl? Where is my BABY?" I'm excited though that you are growing up. As much as I like cuddling babies, I really enjoy watching toddlers explore the world and watching their eyes light up at their discoveries. You are making so many discoveries. 

You love playing with your sister and other kids. I'm trying to increase your friend circle which I'm sure will grow when you start co-op in the Fall. 

Who is this kid? Where is Baby Maggie?

Oh sweet Maggie, we love you so very much! You are one awesome kid! 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Munch, Munch, Munchery!

I'm away looking for ways to eat healthy, good food that require little prep and are not expensive. I'm so happy to have discovered Munchery! 

My first order contained a little note and a surprise cookie. Scott swooped in and ate the cookie which he said was delicious!

I ordered Steak Cobb Salad for Scott and I and Spaghetti and Meatballs for the kids. The kid meals were huge! They even contained a little toy which the girls spent more time playing with. They mostly ate the grapes that came with their meal but I tasted the meatballs and they were quite good. 

My salad was delicious and quite filling. I was so happy with our meal and most especially with the clean-up. The dishes are compostable so when we were done eating, I threw everything in the compost bin and walked away. The only dishes I had to do were the cups we drank out of and the forks we used to eat with.

Check out Munchery with this special promo code: They are now in Los Angeles as well as Seattle, San Francisco and New York.

**This is not a sponsored post. I just really enjoyed Munchery. Full Disclosure, if you use the link above, I get $$ to use on future meals.**
Thursday, May 21, 2015

The barre3 Anywhere Challenge

The weather this week has given me a glimpse of Summer and I am so excited. I am also super excited about the upcoming barre3 Anywhere Challenge

The challenge starts on June 1st and runs though June 28th. To complete the challenge you need to do four 60-minute workouts, one 10-minute outdoor workout, and make one summery barre3 recipe. 

I've been attending barre3 studio classes regularly since last December and go four to five times a week so I've got the studio classes down. The challenge for me will be completing the outdoor workout and trying some new recipes. I'm excited about the recipes though since we are in a serious food rut. I need some new, exciting and healthy recipes to add to my usual meals. Molly and Maggie are going to dig having me workout at the park while they climb on the jungle gyms and swing from the monkey bars. The exciting part of this challenge for me is that if you already have an online subscription or have a studio membership, then the challenge is free! Though I did order a turquoise barre3 ball for some at home workouts when I can't make it into the studio. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rituals, Meals and Why Do We Need to Always be Available! are this Week's Links Around the Web!

YIIP: Day 204

5 Things You Should Do Everyday I love this list and I like the suggestions but how the heck does one keep their kitchen clean everyday. I feel like I already live in my kitchen and it is currently a MESS!

The Food Ritual I like these ideas. I like anything that helps me be more efficient in the kitchen while helping me eat healthy. 

100 Days of Slow Cooker Meals I have a secret. I love using the slow cooker more in the Summer than the winter. We're so busy in the summer having fun that I don't want to be slowed down by dinner prep. The Slow Cooker to our rescue!

The Tyranny of Constant Contact I feel this. If I don't check email and reply immediately, people will be upset! When actually they won't. I'm working to be more thoughtful about when and how I respond to email, texts, etc but it is hard for a social extrovert like myself. 

The Definition of Hell for Each Myers Briggs Personality Type - I'm a ESTJ and THIS IS SO TRUE! 
Monday, May 18, 2015

Giddy Up!


I was lucky enough to snag an invite to the "Patio Launch Party" at Giddy Up Burgers tonight. I dragged my friend, Kristel along to enjoy burgers, fries, sautéed greens, onion rings, microbrew beers and other amazing sides. Giddy Up recently gussied up their 1,500 sq. foot covered patio and it is even more amazing than it was before.


Giddy Up sources from local purveyors whenever possible and has an amazing beer program featuring only the best breweries of Washington, Oregon and California. Giddy Up is the perfect place to gather with friends and family to watch the big game, celebrate events or just enjoy a really good burger.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Meal Plans


I've been monthly meal planning for awhile but fell down this month which has left me scrambling for meals and spending more than I should on food. I've decided to leap back in by menu planning this week and then starting our June menu later this week. I'd love if you shared your favorite meals with me as we have gotten into a serious food rut in this house and I need some new inspiration. I need to do a clear the pantry week so I plan to focus on that the last week of May. 

Here is this week's plan though to keep me honest. 

Sunday: Turkey Pesto Meatballs with rice
Monday: Salmon with Broccoli
Wednesday: Meatloaf Muffins with Sweet Potato Medallions
Thursday: Chicken Apple Sausages with Sautéed Kale (tossed with salt and white balsamic vinegar) and Sweet Potato Fries
Friday: Many Bean Crockpot Soup (Slow Cooker p. 39 )
Friday, May 15, 2015

Soon to be Summer Days


The girls and I spent the morning at the park today. As we explored the forest trails and built sand castles on the beach, I got really excited for Summer. I can't wait until we can reliably dig our feet in the sand, play at the splash parks and swim until our skin wrinkles like prunes. What are some of your summer wishes?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

100 Day Project Update


It's Day 39 of the 100 Day Project. Our prompt today was to show a grouping of what we've been doing for the past 6 weeks (Whoa! It's been 6 weeks!). I'm 9 swatches (yikes) behind on my project but I have a nice collection of 30. I've been throwing them in a plastic shoebox at the end of the dining room table and was fascinated to see how much there were when I dumped them out today.

I've also started the writing portion of my TKGA Master Knitting 1 submission and I'm getting excited about digging deep. I think I reserved every knitting technique book available through the Seattle Public Library.

Paper #fmsphotoaday #100daysproject #100daysofswatching

I'm currently deep into research on blocking knits. I never knew there was so much written about blocking one's knitted garments and yet this is such an important part of caring for your knitted work. Got any great blocking tips? I'd love to hear them!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May's 10 on 10


This month's 10 on 10 was lucky enough to fall on Mother's Day. I had a great day with my family. Scott and the girls got me flowers and a wonderful gift card. Scott made breakfast and then watched the kids while I escaped to the garden store. I was able to work in the yard for most of the day before ending my day with the yummiest dinner and cupcakes. We visited the beach on the way home and dug our feet in the sand. It was such a lovely day.

Without further adieu, here are my 10 on 10.











Please follow the circle and check out Francesca Russell's 10 on 10 images. You'll love her images showcasing her day. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

April Book Report


Unlike my previous book reports, I did not finish any books in April. I started reading Wildwood and got hung up in it. I'm still plowing through but I'm only about 27% through the 576 page book so I'm withholding judgement until I get a bit further through it. 

I am excited about a new book through the Seattle Reads program though. "Seattle Reads" is a program where the city of Seattle is invited to read one book together to deepen our city's love for literature though reading and discussion. Hundreds of books are loaned out and then the author visits various libraries throughout Seattle for readings and discussion. 

This year's selection is The Painter by Peter Heller. From the Seattle Reads website, The Painter is about" Jim Stegner, a famous expressionist painter from Taos, struggling to manage the dark impulses within him. Jim suffered a tragedy that she's still grieving. He now lives peacefully in rural Colorado, spending his days paining and fly-fishing, until one day he encounters a brutal act of violence that rips his life wide open. Pursued by men dead set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico and the high-profile life he left behind, where he'll reckon with past deeds and the dark shadows in his own heart."

I picked up my copy on Saturday and started reading it right away. This might be just the book I need to jump start my reading again. If not, I have quite a few books in the queue that are sure to get me reading again. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday Moment - Happy Mother's Day

Image: A Night Owl Blog

Today on Mother's Day, I want to thank my Mom for all her sacrifices for us growing up. I want to thank Scott's Mom for all her work raising him to be the man I'm thrilled I married. I want to remember the Grandmothers who are no longer with us and celebrate the two we still have with us - Great Grandma Helen and Grandma Sherry. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas (and future Mamas) out there!
Saturday, May 09, 2015

Sixteen Months with Mag-Pie

Maggie - 16 Months

I'm a little late on this month's letter but I didn't want to let the month go by without writing this. We had a few adventures in your 16th month, from Easter to the Tulip Fields. I think you enjoyed everything.  


I dressed you and Molly in matching dresses for Easter. I'm going to keep doing this until the two of you revolt because it is so dang cute! You had a fun Easter with a big family dinner the night before, church the morning of and a quiet afternoon at home. 


You've become quite the curious little child, always digging in drawers and exploring. One of our favorite activities (and one of my least favorite) is to open the big drawer in the kitchen full of your plates and throw them all over the kitchen. You laugh and giggle as I tell you, "no".


The weather has continued to be nice so I try to take you and your sister on walks. You guys really dig hanging out in the double stroller. It's a heavy load for me but it's a nice time together.


You still aren't talking very much but we're working on it. You do know where your nose is but you also think that your ears and mouth are in the same location. It's hilariously cute.


You love getting up early with the sun but also like going to bed early. I do wish you and your sister were on scheduled that sync'd up a bit better. She likes to go to bed late and sleep late while you are my early bird. *yawn*


You've become quite impish. You look at me while I tell you not to do something, smile and quickly do it. It's hard not to laugh while trying to get you to stop your naughty activities. I love your passion though.


We went up to the Tulip Fields and while you had a few temper tantrums, you also loved running around the fields and most especially enjoyed the ice cream afterwards.

You are fascinated with Molly's co-op preschool which is great since you'll be going there next year. It will be strange to be there with you instead of Molly but I know it will also be terribly exciting for both of us. Keep being awesome, Mag-Pie! 
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