Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nobody Saw You, Parenting Demands and Advice for New Mums Are This Week's Links From Around the Web

#100daysofsummer are sometimes dark, rainy days where the only time you leave the house are to workout before coming home and getting into your soft clothes for the day.

Nobody Saw You I can't get through this without tears coming to my eyes. Nobody sees all the work that a Mother does, not even another Mom.

The Supply and Demand of Parenting "There is no winning in the war on resources. I am constantly trying to balance my desire to teach my kids lessons about appreciating what they have, that life isn’t always fair, with my urge to spoil them a little and provide them with things that are just for them and not their siblings."

When Does it Get Easier? Spoiler Alert! It doesn't. It gets different and wonderful and horrible and awesome. 

Awesome Advice to New Moms Such important advice 

Life Hacks for Busy Parents One of my latest articles and one where I learned so many great hacks for life! 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Week in Review - 6.25.16


This was a pretty great week and I totally killed it with working out. It was also the end of a chapter for me - the last day of co-op. I've really struggled with co-op this year and was really glad to be at the end. I also spent some time thinking about to all that I accomplished there and have to say that I'm quite proud of what I did even if the appreciation wasn't there. I know I made some good improvements to the school that will help it go forward. (Now excuse me while I work on getting my arm back into joint from patting myself on the back)


As I said, I killed it on exercise this week. I went to Sync Bootcamp, 3 times. Wednesday's workout was epic. The trainer had four decks of cards and we were to select a card to find out our workout. If someone pulled a Joker then it meant the entire class had to run the huge hill and do 10 burpees. I think 6 of the 8 jokers were pulled! My Fitbit reported that I had run 30 floors by the end of class. A typical day is usually 12 floors so I was way over my average. I also took a barre3 class on Tuesday and put Maggie in childcare. I was pouring sweat throughout the class and then had to drag Maggie out of childcare. She did not want to leave! On Thursday, I took a reformer pilates class that was honestly way too easy. It was nice to stretch but I was hoping for a little more of a workout. It was a huge difference from the reformer pilates class I took a few months ago where I prayed to God and decided that I'd rather give birth again than continue with the class. Friday's class was hard, partly because I was so tired from 4 straight days of working out and partly because Jill (the trainer) always gives us a nice, hard workout. I don't think I'll be doing 5 straight days of working out again. I need a break every three days!



I get an organic box of vegetables and fruit delivered on Wednesdays and this week, I decided to quickly prep everything as soon as it was delivered. I cut up the broccoli, shelled the peas, sliced up the lettuce and get it all taken care of about 20 minutes after delivery. Now my fridge is stocked with healthy vegetables which makes them easier for all of us to eat.


I also had Maven Meals delivered this week. I had a busy week and having some pre-made, prepped food in the house meant that I ate well. I had salads delivered and some breakfast foods. The breakfast quiche was so filling that I couldn't finish it and wasn't interested in lunch until way later. I love that kind of breakfast. It was also full of veggies and delicious-ness.

#100daysofsummer is celebrating the last day of co-op!

The Girls

The girls had swim lessons all week again and have really been improving. Poor Maggie is terrified of her teacher on Monday night though. I think I'm going to take them one more time and let her sit out. She was physically shaking which is not like her. She was eventually lured into the pool when they switched the teacher and did fine at swimming at the other pool all week.

Both girls enjoyed their last days of co-op and preschool. Molly will continue at preschool for the summer session before moving to a pre-K classroom in September. Maggie will start in September.

Molly had her last ballet class this week and is bummed that she won't be dancing until September. I told her that she could always dance at home. Both girls will be taking ballet again in the Fall. Maggie has been dying to be in classes so she'll be thrilled when classes start.


Other Goings On

I received my Mighty Fix this week. I started this a few months ago and I love it. Every month for $10, the company ships me something that is better for the environment but super useful in my home. This month, I received some glass containers. Previous months have included dryer balls (love them!), bees wrap (ehhh) and reusable snack bags (hooray!).


We also received our monthly Bookroo package. Every month the girls receive two new books. They love books and getting two new ones a month is a winner. I also got a Give $10, Get $10 referral code this month so if you are interested in trying Bookroo out, here is my referral code: REBMON I also gave into temptation and signed up for the Book of the Month Club so I'll be getting my own books every month too! Disclosure: The Book of the Month Club link is also a referral code so if you sign up, I get free stuff. 


I received an avalanche of work so I spent Wednesday night putting all my stories on index cards with due dates and the research that needs to be done. I find that using index cards helps me keep my thoughts organized and means that I actually work faster which when you are being paid per piece or word and not for the actual time it takes you to write, means you get paid more in the end. Now excuse me while I get back to researching, photographing and writing all these fun stories! 
Friday, June 24, 2016

Project 52 - Week 15

Project 52 - Week 15

For Father's Day, Scott requested Peace, Quiet and Sanity. While I couldn't give him sanity, I knew I could give him a few hours of peace and quiet. I took the girls out with me to Madison Beach. I needed some photos for a story and thought it would be a fun place for them to play. I, however, neglected to take into account the fact that they are fish who will dive into any water, even if their Mother doesn't have an extra change of clothing for them. Molly ended up coming home in a cape as a skirt paired with a coat while Maggie wore a dirty sweater I found in my trunk with a diaper. They were so stylish! I've now packed a change of clothing for both of them in the trunk of the car! They had a blast and are ready to go back to the beach. I'll gladly take them again but I'll be better prepared.
Thursday, June 23, 2016

54 Months (4.5 Years) with Molly Pop!

Project 52 - Week 8

Dear Molly,

I went looking back for your 4-year-old update and I can't believe that I didn't write you a letter! I must have gotten caught up in the holiday celebrations and never got one written.


Four has been amazing though. This year, you started at a drop-off preschool which you love. You are starting to recognize letters and can spell your name like a champ! You can *almost* swim on your own. You are so close that I hold my breathe while I watch you try your hardest.


You take ballet classes once a week and alternate between loving them and not wanting to go to them. You were awesome at your ballet recital on Father's Day. You were a cat and told me all about your special cat ears which for some reason did not make it into the recital. I conquered the high bun your teacher wanted for your recital hair do. You looked so grown up with your mascara and hair that it made me cry a little bit.

You have a ton of sass. Your favorite expression is, "HOW DARE YOU!" with a hip twitch and curl of your lip. I try so hard not to giggle. We're already started having serious discussions about why you can't watch certain shows and whatnot. It's hard to be firm but so important too.

Week Two

You have two best friends, Penelope and Lorelei who you are going to miss next year when you move to the pre-K class room at school. Penelope is staying in your old classroom and Lorelei is headed off to Kindergarten. I know you'll still have fun though in your new room, just as you've had fun in your current classroom.


We went to Suncadia for Dad's birthday and you had a grand time again. You love going there and made me do the Thousand Stairs twice. I also took you to family boot camp at my gym which wore you out. It was the best!

Project 52 - Week 11

You are a prolific artist and will spend hours coloring in your books and then hanging the pictures on your bedroom wall. I love indulging your artistic qualities. I have piles of your art on the bookcase in the living room, waiting to be displayed. I really need to get on that.

Project 52 week 5.1

Molly, you are growing up to be a kind, caring kid with big thoughts and huge emotions. I love how much care you have for others, your zest for life and your adventuresome spirit! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sweet Cherry Granola Yogurt Popsicles

Sweet Cherry Granola Yogurt Popsicles

Now that Summer is here, Maggie is obsessed with popsicles. Every morning, she wakes up and heads to the kitchen where she points at the freezer and says, "Popsicle?" I decided to grant her popsicle dreams by making her one that could double as breakfast. And it was easier than I thought it would be to make.

Sweet Cherry Granola Yogurt Popsicles

Mix up the cherry pie filling with fresh fruit, blueberry pie filling or even more granola. This is breakfast disguised as a frozen treat. It's also a great way to celebrate Popsicle Week

Sweet Cherry Granola Yogurt Popsicles

Sweet Cherry Granola Yogurt Popsicles

Prep Time: 6 Minutes
Makes: 6 Popsicles


  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1/2 cup cherry pie filling
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  1. Whip the honey and greek yogurt together in a small bowl.
  2. Using popsicle molds, place a tablespoon of granola in the bottom of the molds.
  3. Spoon the honey/yogurt mixture over the granola and alternate with the pie filling for a nice swirled effect.
  4. Insert the sticks and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.

Sweet Cherry Granola Yogurt Popsicles

Find more Popsicle recipes at the Popsicle Week Blog!
Monday, June 20, 2016

Monthly Goal Check-In (May)


May was seriously focused on fitness but I still did some work on some of my other goals. 

1.  Workout 4 times a week - I consistently worked out 5-6 times a week in May due to Sync Fitness and their boot camp. I am back in my fitness grove and loving it. I'm going to barre3 about once a week along with boot camp three times a week. My fifth workout is usually something new or a good walk. 

2. Complete Whole30 in January 

3. Keep purging the house with the Bowl Full of Lemons 14 Week Plan - I've been purging as I can. The kids mess up the house faster than I can clean it so purging sometimes falls by the wayside. 

4. Complete Four (4) Day in the Life Challenges and participate in at least ten 10 on 10's - I skipped May's 10 on 10. I have two more Day in the Life Challenges to go and 7 more 10 on 10s. I plan to do a Day in the Life challenge soon. 

5. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - I made some great progress on this goal. I'm still working on a swatch a day for 100 days to get perfect swatches for this goal and worked on my blocking report some. I also tackled swatch #15 and need to do yet another one to see if I can knit it a bit cleaner. 

6. Grow a kick-ass Garden! I made even more progress on this goal. My garden is growing like mad! The intense sunny weather and heavy rain has made for some major growth. I need to plant more lettuce but things are going well. 

7. Read for 15 minutes a day- I have read every single day so far this year! I had a hard time reading in May due to a slog of a book but I still read everyday. I'm going to combine my May book report with June's. 

8. Volunteer with two organizations and include the girls - I've been leading a newborn PEPS group and they are really clicking! I also followed another photographer around the NICU to learn how they take photos. The babies are so small but mighty and their parents are so awesome. 

9. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - yeah, I really need to get going on this goal. 

10. Get back to Blogging on a more regular basis and focus more on my writing - I feel like I've accomplished goal but I'm still working at it every day. I signed up for a writing course that starts in July with Coffee & Crumbs. I'm so excited! 
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Week in Review - 6.18.16

#100daysofsummer The girls started outdoor swim lessons today and for me, this means Summer has really begun!

I thought it would be fun to start doing a weekly post on what I've been doing for exercise, great recipes I've found and random things that the kids and I have been up to.



First up, exercise! I joined Sync Fitness and I LOVE it. I've always been a fan of weights mixed in cardio so this is the perfect boot camp for me. The workouts are hard but enjoyable. My weekly goal is to workout five times, with three of those times being spent at boot camp. This week I achieved my goal! I went to bootcamp three times and worked out elsewhere twice. I also went to a free community barre3 Ballard class at Verity Credit Union. I was sweating up a storm even though it felt wrong to sweat in a credit union! The studio opens up on July 11th and I am so bummed that I'm missing out on opening week. We're heading to the beach which will be awesome on its' own. I am sneaking in a class on the final day of free classes and hoping for a swag bag! I also took a cycling/TRX class at a local studio with a friend today. While we didn't really enjoy it, we were still glad to get some exercise in. I've been doing a combination of ClassPass and Sync Fitness membership which is working out great for me right now.



This was hard for me this week. The kids have been all-encompassing and I missed my regular prep day due to grocery delivery snafus. Meal prep is huge for me! I like to make salads in jars, prep dinners and snacks and just plan ahead. It's really the key to a healthier lifestyle for me. I did however discover a super easy lunch that Maggie and I ate in like 30 seconds. I'm a huge fan of the Skinny Taste blog and she had these Spicy California Shrimp Stackers on her site. I used microwave brown rice to shorten the prep time and had so much fun making these. Maggie was excited to have something fancy for her lunch. One of the ladies in my fitness group said that she made these as salads which I'mg going to try next week.


The Girls

The girls had a huge week! They got real bikes (with training wheels), started swim lessons and had so much fun in general. I'm a proud mama bear with the swimming skills the girls are showing. Molly's teacher said he was really impressed with her level of swimming and that he was amazed to learn she was 4 since most of his students are 6 or 7. My heart swelled with pride because Molly has been working really hard to swim the entire width of the pool on her own. She's almost there and I know by the end of the summer, she will have conquered that goal. Maggie just loves swimming and brings joy to her teachers. She leaps into their arms as soon as she sees them and they often have to caution her to wait until someone can catch her. She thinks she can swim on her own but really she can just sink on her own. On Mondays, the girls currently have two sets of lessons which really wears them out.

Over the weekend, we tried to buy the girls bikes at Target but they didn't have any in stock so I ordered some on Amazon. When they came, the girls hovered over me as I did the little bit of assembly necessary. They have spent every afternoon riding their bikes either down the street or on the back patio. They are obsessed!

The kids are currently off with Scott for Finding Dory and fingers crossed that everyone is well behaved and having a grand time.

Other Goings On

I've been reading a lot this week which means I'm officially out of my reading slump! May was so dismal that I'm planning on a May/June reading update so I have something to actually write about. I also started knitting a baby sweater this week. I have a new nephew coming in September and he is going to need something to keep him warm. I'm terribly behind on my 100 Days of Swatching but I'm working to get caught up. I was able to knit three swatches in church last Sunday but then fell behind again this week.

I have a lot of exciting articles coming down the pipeline and getting all of those sorted out has been both awesome and horrible. I also did my first solo NICU photography session last Thursday. I was so nervous about it but I think it went really well. We were able to get everyone photographed and now I just need to process the hundreds and hundreds of photos that I took and get them back to the organizer. I'm going back in July and hopefully I won't be as nervous this time.

That's it for this week! I'm off to schedule my workouts next week, plan my meals and maybe get some real work done while the house is quiet.

Project 52 - Week 14


This past week was Maggie's second to last co-op class and while both of us are excited for her co-op time to end, I am also a wee bit sad. I've been taking my children there for the past three years and while there are many things I'd change, we made a lot of memories in those walls and my girls have done a lot of growing up in that space. 


This week was beach week at school so Maggie splashed in a pool before heading to play in the regular rooms all while still dressed in her swimsuit. She loves her swimsuit so much. Almost as much as she loves swimming. 


This week will be Maggie and I's last time at the co-op and we'll celebrate closing out this chapter.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Father's Day Gifts, Daughter's Weight and Self Care Are This Week's Links From Around the Web

The girls got new bikes this week and are obsessed with them!

What Happens When Parents Comment on Their Daughter's Weight? I am very aware of not commenting on either of my daughter's weight. When I weigh them at the doctor, I talk about that they are the perfect size for them. I do run into issues sometimes when they are climbing on things that can not hold their weight but then again, sometimes I overthink things.

Self-care And Parenting, Sleep And Loneliness Such a great article! Self-care is so important as a parent.

Three Ways to Connect with Your Kids Individually I tend to group the girls into one big lump but it is so important to connect with them as separate people. We sometimes go on dates just just one kid which is so much fun and something we need to do more often.

37 Summer Reads I'm crazy reader lately and I think every single one of these books made my library hold list.

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts that Don't Feel Last Minute I just put together a round-up of gift ideas for Father's Day. Time to celebrate the Papa in your life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

10 on 10 (June)

This month's 10 on 10 fell on a Friday. Friday is the girls and I's one free day of the week so I try to plan adventures. I thought we had a birthday party to attend but got the date totally wrong (we showed up a week early to the party) so I had to think quickly on my feet. I decided to take the girl's Strawberry picking. We headed up to Monroe and had a grand time before returning to Seattle for Maggie's doctor appointment.


I started my day with Sync Boot Camp before enjoying breakfast with Maggie who is obsessed with this leapfrog phone she found on the playground.


The girls watched tv while I got ready for the day. For some reason, they decided to use their play tunnel as a blanket which cracked me up. 


After loading up the girls for our ill-fated trip to Lynnwood for the birthday party, I quickly turned the morning around into something fun - berry picking!


We headed up to Monroe since I had seen a post on Facebook that morning saying that they had berries. I didn't have much time to plan so I went with my first thought which worked out great! The berries were thin but that didn't matter since we were just there for the experience. 



After berry picking, we headed back to Seattle for Maggie's doctor appointment. She's been having some unexplained hives so we were headed to the allergist for some answers. We got back early so I stopped at UVillage so the girls could get their wiggles out at the play area. The girls also convinced me to get them some candy. 



Once at the allergists, Maggie had an allergy test which required me holding her still for 20 minutes. It wasn't fun but we made it through with a little help from a Dora video. Unfortunately we didn't find anything for Maggie to be allergic to so the hives continue to be a mystery. 


I finished the day out in the backyard. My garden is going gang-busters and I'm ready to start a second planting of lettuce. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Fitness Success


Just over four weeks ago, I started off on a Fitness journey. I've been struggling with weight loss since Maggie was born over two and a half years ago. I haven't been struggling to lose baby weight which is the frustrating part. Instead I've been trying to leave behind the grief weight, the weight I gained when Maggie wouldn't breastfeed, the weight I gained when my Dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and died a few months later, the weight I gained when I was thrust into the roll of caregiver for my Mom while also being the main caregiver for two little girls under the age of 3.

Whew, that first year and a half after Maggie was born was brutal and when I'm stressed, sad, lonely or happy, I like to eat and not move. In December of 2014, I announced that I would be working to get my shit together and I did really well doing that in the past year. I developed a daily workout routine through barre3, I started to eat a little bit better, I learned to say NO and most importantly, to put myself first.


Earlier this year though, I began to drift and feel frustrated. I wasn't losing weight! I wasn't into my workout routine. I was bored. Then I stumbled upon the Little Black Dress program and decided to jump aboard. It was serendipity as the night I signed up, I also met a friend for drinks. I mentioned my new program and she said she was working out at the same gym! I also got a friend from college to join in and that has been amazing! Community is so important to me. It's almost as important as the workout. I need to feel like there are other people who are working hard toward the same goal. Sync Fitness does all that for me. When I'm crawling up the hill, thinking about puking, someone always says, "YOU ARE AMAZING!" I find myself telling people that they have beautiful form and complimenting them. I want to sing from the rooftops. I also wrote about my new found love for Boot Camp on Seattle Refined.


So I'm four weeks into this new regime and so far, so awesome. In the past month, I've revived my eating, identified my stumbling blocks and figured out ways to work around them while beating the 3 p.m. slumps. I've also lost almost two inches from my waist and hips; one inch from my chest and almost 10 pounds. I still have a long way to go but I know I can do it.

Deconstructed Shrimp Rolls for dinner!

The eating plan is so realistic and includes my favorite concept - the treat meal. Once a week, I have something I have been really craving - something not that healthy and seriously, it has been enough. We've been tearing through our weekly organics box. For awhile there the chickens were eating more of it than we were. Yes, they are displeased about this turn of events but we are really enjoying the fresh vegetables and fruit in our diet. Otherwise my daily diet is usually cottage cheese with banana for breakfast, a Zing bar for a snack, a Big Ass Salad for lunch and a healthy dinner of a lean protein and lots of veggies. I've been fully and satisfied.


I took Molly with me to Charity/Family Boot Camp last week and it was so much fun. The gym has you donate to Mary's Place both financially and in a concrete way. They asked for Snack Foods this month so Molly and I took her Give Jar money to the store and bought a ton of snacks.


Molly was exhausted from the workout! It was fun to show her what Mommy does when she leaves in the morning to workout. Molly said that she was impressed which made me smile. She also said she needed a nap after the workout which is how I feel most days when I'm done with Boot Camp. 
Friday, June 10, 2016

Project 52 - Week 13

Project 52 - Week 13

Molly and her friend spent a long time negotiating who could play with which doll. They both wanted Elsa and so had to discuss the terms of holding her for quite awhile while Maggie looked on with deep interest.
Thursday, June 09, 2016

Summer Goodness - Pico de Gallo

Day 2 of the #barre3challenge and I'm planning on having more of this awesome Pico de Gallo with lunch. This mornings class was perfectly challenging. Now to take on today's remaining challenges. (Read more about my challenge on the blog - link in profile

Summer has hit Seattle hard this week which has me scooping up mounds of Pico de Gallo. I love the simplicity of the flavors mixed with the sharp tang of the lime. I love making a big batch of this and adding it to everything throughout the week. I've also discovered that yes, while delicious with tortilla chips, Pico de Gallo is fantastic with vegetable crudites and way healthier that way. It also means I have ZERO guilt shoveling this in my mouth while watching the kids cool off in the pool in the backyard. 

Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods and summer tomatoes are delicious. I'm especially into the cherry tomato varieties that come in a rainbow of colors. 
Day 22 #barre3challenge I am addicted to the Pico de Gallo (sans mangos) from week 1 and keep making it. So good!

This Pico de Gallo screams summer to me. I think it is the combination of summery flavors and the lovely tomatoes. Make a batch for your next backyard BBQ and watch your friends swoon over this. It's so simple but don't tell them that. Let them think you slaved over this creation for hours. 


Pico de Gallo

2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. coarse kosher salt


1. Mix everything together and let sit for at least 10 minutes before enjoying. Serve with vegetables for a healthier bang!


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