Saturday, July 30, 2016

Week in Review - 7.30.16

We've been home for a week and I feel like we are just settling back in. The girl's sleep has been horrendous and all of my friends have had to suffer through my miserable texting about it. Fingers crossed that it improves next week. Otherwise I might slowly go insane.



I wanted to dive back into exercise this week but I kinda just slid back in. I did three boot camps which were really hard after only doing two in the last two weeks. It felt good to get my groove back on though! I was supposed to go to barre3 on Thursday but when I went to bed on Wednesday, I knew I'd be just too tired to go so I cancelled.

I, however, did hit up Inspire Ballard this morning for their Beginner class. It was still amazingly hard. There were planks on the reformer machine and I tried not to cry along with my wiggly abs. I'll be back though because there is seriously room for improvement. I do feel like the Beginner class is so my level right now. I'm not ready for more. I also discovered today that ClassPass has SUP Yoga classes which I am really interested in.


I had both Blue Apron and Marley and Spoon delivered this week so I've been cooking from meal delivery services all week. I like both of them but two at the same time was a bit much. Marley and Spoon had this Peach Chicken Salad that was so good that I plan to add it to my lunch meal plan.


I also posted a recipe this week for Pesto Potato Salad with Roasted Tomatoes. It is seriously good! I plan to start posting recipes more often so if you have any requests, send them my way! I'm definitely thinking about the girl's snacking and how to make that healthier.

The Girls

The girls visited the dentist this week. We went to a new one and while I was ok with their old one, I LOVE their new one. It's closer and the dentist and her staff are amazingly awesome! Molly also lost a second tooth this week so she's keeping the Tooth Fairy busy. There was some drama with the second tooth though. It was literally hanging there for almost a day and she would not let me pull it (or should I say gently tug on it). She finally let me and I barely touched it before it was out.

UntitledWe attended Scott's work picnic on Friday and the girls had so much fun! There were balloon artists, face painting and delicious food. The only downside was that it was 88 degrees and in the direct sun. This Seattleite does not do well in the bright sun! The girls passed out on the ride home as I downed a ton of water. #100daysofsummer to Silent Book Party Reading!

Other Goings On

I went to another meeting of the Silent Book Reading Party and loved it! I finished up two books and got a good start on a third. I had about 10 pages in the first two left so don't be thinking that I was speed reading.


My Mighty Fix came and I got some e-cloth window cleaning cloths which I'm excited about. I love e-cloth and their window cleaning cloths are awesome. All I need are the cloths and some water for sparkling clean windows. Oh and children who don't wipe their fingers on the clean windows.

We went and saw "The Secret Life of Pets" today and it was cute. Maggie even made it most of the way through the movie. She decided to dance in front of the screen for the last 10 minutes and since there were few people in the theatre, I decided to let her continue.
Friday, July 29, 2016

Project 52 - Week 20

Project 52 - Week 20

This week, Molly lost her second tooth and now she looks all grown up! It's all going way too fast. 

Dear Dad...

In my writing workshop, we were asked to write a letter to someone so I wrote to my Dad. Two years ago today, he passed away from Pancreatic Cancer and we miss him every day. I thought today I'd share my letter. 


Dear Dad,

I’m sitting in the dark at the dining room table, listening to the happy noise of three little girls, thinking about how much you are missing. This first sleepover with all three girls really should have taken place at your house, but that house has been sold and those memories tucked away. We talk about you often. Molly is probably the only one who really remembers you. She’s the one who had all the sleepovers at your house while the other two missed out on them. 


These little girls all remind me of you. Molly is so your granddaughter. She has a natural order to how things should be done and gets so worked up if they aren’t exactly right. Abby is always watching. She’s figuring out her place. Maggie is mischievous. Maggie reminds me a lot of your brother, Lynn. She likes to do things to get a rise out of a person. I think her Burgess blood shines through there. 

It’s been 24 months since we saw you last, and we’ve missed you every second of every day. 


Mom is doing better now. She used to cry until her eyes were red and ask if she would see you again. I’ve never been able to answer that question. In my heart, I hope that she’ll be able to see you again, but I can’t promise what I don’t know. 


So much has happened since we all saw you last. Chris is having another baby. This time they found out the gender and your first grandson will be arriving in early September. They call him “Baby Legend.” Abby is very excited about her baby brother. Ariana must have told her how babies are made because all weekend she told me about her eggs and how she can feel them moving. Seriously hilarious. 

#100daysofsummer to, "Hey Girls! Stand by the pool so I can get a photo!"

Maggie is now 2 1/2 years old, and she is a jokester. She has the best sneer and likes to pretend she is sleeping with huge snores and snorts. She also talks about being a baby all the time. We’ve been working on potty training her, and she is fighting it almost as hard as her big sister Molly did. I have stubborn children, but I know that doesn’t surprise you. 

#100daysofsummer to losing her second tooth!

Molly is getting so big, as the tallest in her class she is starting to do some amazing things. She's lost two teeth already. She swims in the big kid’s class and kicks their butts. Her swim teacher said he was used to having 6 year olds in his class and was impressed to find out that she was only 4. My kids are water babies, and I’m often reminded of the joy you had watching Molly swim. I think you came to every swim lesson that first year of her life. 


Oh Dad, I miss you so much. This past weekend, I built a run for my chickens. Oh did I tell you that I got chickens? I bet you never thought you’d see that day since I was so scared of them as a kid. Long story short, I was offered four chickens and a coop. Maggie is obsessed with chickens so I got them against the advice of my husband. The girls adore them, and I’m oddly fascinated by them. So this weekend, I was building a run for the chickens: It was so hard. I am not good at building things. I just always assumed that I’d have you around to build things for me. Chris came and helped. He said it was really good for a beginner and then fixed a ton of things that I had done wrong. I really missed you this weekend. I could see you playing with your granddaughters and helping me with my hare-brained project. 

#100daysofsummer to when the girls helped volunteer at Mary's Place on Friday.

I am grateful that we did get to have you for as long as we did. It was good that we had some warning that you’d leaving us but the day we received the diagnosis will always be one of the hardest days of my life. I remember driving down 99 with Maggie asleep in the backseat and wailing on the phone to Scott about the injustice of it all. Someone as kind as you shouldn't have been taken so young by pancreatic cancer. Someone as devoted as you should have lived forever. Sometimes life just isn’t fair, which is something you told me over and over again as a child. Do you remember? You’d play the world’s tiniest violin in response to my cries over the injustice of the world. This injustice requires more than the world’s tiniest violin. 

Dad, We miss you every day. And remember I’ll love you forever, my best Dad you were. 
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pesto Potato Salad with Roasted Tomatoes


I was recently introduced to Tasteful Selections potatoes and guys, I love them! They come in 1-bite, 2-bite and 3-bite sizes and are all consistently sized for even cooking which gives me more time with my family. 


After cooking some simple fare with these potatoes, I decided to try something more complex.  Potato salad is pretty standard summer food and while the traditional one is good, I knew it could be better. I set out to create a potato salad with tons of flavor but one that can be easily made without fuss. 

Roasted Tomatoes

While I suggest roasting the tomatoes yourself and making pesto from scratch, these are two ingredients that can easily be substituted with pre-made ones from the grocery store. I really do recommend making them yourself for the most flavor. Using Tasteful Selections Potatoes guarantees that your potatoes will roast evening due to consistent sizing and the creamy texture really ups the ante in this salad.


You are going to be the hit of the BBQ with this flavor-packed potato salad and you'll never go back to regular, boring potato salad again. 


Pesto Potato Salad with Roasted Tomatoes
by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Ingredients (8 servings)
  • 4 cups San Marzano or grape tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • 24 ounces of Tasteful Selections Potatoes, 1-bite potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup Kale-Basil Pesto
  • 6 ounces crumbled salty cheese, such as queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, well-toasted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup pitted and rough-chopped olives of your choice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  1. Start by roasting the tomatoes. You can use jarred oven-roasted tomatoes but slow roasting them on your own is way better. Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Cover a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper. Halve each tomato and arrange cut side up in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in oven for approximately 90 minutes, until somewhat shriveled and dry to the touch, but not fully dehydrated. Set aside until needed, letting them cool.
  2. In the last 30 minutes of roasting your tomatoes, start the Tasteful Selections Potatoes. Cut each Tasteful Selections Potato in half, sprinkle with dried basil, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Once the tomatoes and Tasteful Selections Potatoes are done, set them aside to cool and begin assembling the salad. Take a large bowl and fill with pesto, cheese, toasted pine nuts, olives, tomatoes and Tasteful Selections Potatoes. Mix gently but throughly. Add any extra salt and pepper to taste and finish with basil.
  4. While the salad can be consumed right away, it will also keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
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You can find Tasteful Selection potatoes at your local grocery store. Use the store locator to find a store near you. Also follow Tasteful Selections on Facebook for even more fantastic recipes and tips.

With all the amazing time saving tips and recipes that Tasteful Selections has to offer, there may just be one thing that will really save you time–an updated kitchen! Enter to win the #RescuedMoments Sweepstakes for your chance to win a kitchen makeover that is sure to Rescue your Moments.

Disclosure: This is post is proudly sponsored by Tasteful Selections. I have been paid for this post and given free product in exchange for my recipe and thoughts. All opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Week In Review 7.23.16


We're traveling again this week so it's been another week of adventure, fun and lots of California sunshine! Scott had a business trip so the girls and I decided to tag along with him. And after having a week of him 24/7, I'm glad we did because the girls miss him every morning when he leaves but are so excited to see him when he returns.

5:44 am I'm Classpassing a barre3 Los Altos class. I'm keeping up my activity while on vacation. #adayinthelifechallenge


We may been traveling again this week but I still made a huge point to get exercise in! Sunday I went to the new barre3 Ballard location which was great! It was such a hard workout. Monday was a boot camp class that I almost crawled out of. I'm a bit scared for next week when I'm back to my usual boot camp schedule. Tuesday was a day of travel which left my body sore. Wednesday and Thursday, I got up and attended barre3 Los Altos at 6 a.m. It was fun to do barre3 in a different location and still hard work! I decided to skip Friday's workout as I was tired from driving into San Francisco the day before.

10:35 am Shopping at Whole Foods for essentials for the week. #adayinthelifephotochallenge


We ate out a lot this week but I did my best to order good, healthy food. Our room has had a kitchen so I was able to head to Whole Foods on Wednesday to load up on some good healthy food. There were some quintessential meals, like In-n-Out Burger one night and Blue Bottle Coffee when I was at the Ferry Building.  I am looking forward to getting back to home cooking and Big Ass Salads for lunch.


#100daysofsummer to losing her first tooth. *sniff* My first baby is growing up!

The Girls 

For the past two weeks, Molly has been wiggling her bottom front tooth. It's way too early to lose a tooth but well she did! It fell out after we went swimming. She was running away from me as I was trying to dry her off. I attacked her face with the towel and when I pulled it away, she was crying and there was blood everywhere. EEK! I noticed her tooth was missing and we started searching the ground for it. It is so little that it took awhile to find. I got her all cleaned up and she was so excited about her new toothless grin. Seriously excited and quickly forgave me for my towel attack.


Otherwise the girls have been busy having grand adventures and swimming everyday in the hotel pool. I took them into San Francisco on Thursday and we had a grand adventure. They also had a great time at Happy Hollow in San Jose on Wednesday after having lunch with a friend at Apple.


Other Goings On 

We've been having so much fun with our California adventure. The girls and I took a plane trip on Tuesday without Scott and I'll be reporting on that later. It went really well though.

I did my third Photo in the Life Challenge on Wednesday and had a great time! You can see my photo set here.
Friday, July 22, 2016

Project 52 - Week 19

Project 52 - Week 19

Maggie was obsessed with the fridge in the house we rented last week while at the beach. OBSESSED! I think she liked that she could open it and get food out. Our fridge has the freezer on the bottom and she can't reach the handle. I think, I prefer our fridge while she prefers the beach one. 
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Little Fishy Swimmers


Molly and Maggie are little fishes who love to swim, swim, swim. I started both of them in swim lessons when they were about 6 months old. Those lessons entailed a lot of singing and clinging to me but since I believe swimming is an essential life skill, I kept re-enrolling them in classes. There was a brief stint when Molly refused to go in the water and we spent two weeks sitting by the pool, every single day for 30 minutes. She gets her stubborn from me and while neither one of us won that battle, she eventually went back into the water.


They quickly fell in love with the water and have solidly advanced their swim skills. Molly can almost swim across the wide part of the pool on her own and Maggie thinks that she is a pro swimmer. It's been fun watching them grow in their swim abilities. They often ask to go swimming and so this summer when I was offered free swim lessons with SafeSplash Swim School, I quickly said yes even though the girls were already enrolled in another set of lessons. This meant that some days were double swim lesson day and the girls loved it!


SafeSplash Swim Schools are held in various locations around the country and the one closest to me was hosted at the Lynnwood LA Fitness. Unfortunately this is 45 minute drive from our house which was not so awesome. However the lessons were AWESOME! Maggie was in a class by herself while Molly had 2-3 other students in her class but still received a lot of personal attention. Molly was so excited that her teacher and I shared the same name and kept popping her head out of the water to tell me about this fun fact.


Maggie was a bit apprehensive about her teacher at first. She doesn't do great with male teachers and well she had a male teacher. The manager and her teacher had some tricks up their sleeves though and enticed her into the water with toys. She cracked me up. She had a great time and learned some wonderful skills for about 20 minutes and then remembered that she wasn't sure about her teacher. She got out of the water and kept giving him grumpy looks.

#100daysofsummer means double swim lessons for the girls!

Molly leapt into the water for each of her lessons while Maggie was more hit or miss. She got in the water for all the lessons but had to be convinced a few times. This is around the same age that Molly was unsure about swim lessons with male instructors too.


You can tell from this video that they loved their lessons! The SafeSplash Swim School provides a quality swim lesson for a great price. You can join at any time and go for as long or as little as you like. They do lessons by the month and prices vary by location. The ones in Lynnwood are $65 a month for once a week lessons. I know we'll be back even with the dreaded 45 minute drive. I'd love some SafeSplash Swim School locations closer to me in Seattle. I lobbied hard with the swim manager for the LA Fitness location just down the road from me. 

Interested in trying out a SafeSplash Swim School session? Find out more on their web page at, most locations offer a free initial lesson. 

Disclosure: I was provided with 4 free swim lessons for my children in exchange for a review of SafeSplash Swim School. Thank you for your support! 
Monday, July 18, 2016

**REMINDER** A Day in the Life Photo Challenge Coming Wednesday, July 20th

7:25 am This little monkey is getting up and ready for the day. #adayinthelife #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Starting on Wednesday when you wake up, take a photo every hour (or more) to document your day until you fall asleep that night. You can join the Flickr group and/or tag your photos #adayinthelifephotochallenge on Instagram.

8:42 am Bunny Molly drops off her bag in her cubby #adayinthelife #adayinthelifephotochallenge
  1. Here are some guidelines (adjust as needed for YOU!)
  2. From the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep...
  3. Take at least one photo an house (but you can take more!).
  4. Post your photos to the "A Day in the Life" Photo Challenge Flickr group when you can. Posting your photos throughout the day as you take them is great (so we can see what everyone is doing in real time), but no worries if you cannot post until later. 
  5. Your photos do NOT have to be self-portraits.
  6. Include the time of the photo either as the title of the photo or in the description. (i.e. 9:45 am Hilarious Hand Holding! My friend and I had to walk really, really close to each other.)
  7. Use your phone or camera - whatever you want to use to capture your day, however ordinary or extraordinary it may be. 
  8. Have Fun! 
8:15 pm Laundry day is never ending. Two more loads to go! #adayinthelife #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Since this is my ninth (maybe 10th) time doing this challenge and I'll be away from home, I'll be shooting on my DSLR and posting later in the day, possibly all at once at the end of the day.  I've set up a new album on my Flickr photostream for July 20th's challenge which you can follow here: A Day in the Life 7.20.16 (I currently have a photo of Molly at the park so you'll know you are in the right place). Can't wait to see your photos and your day on Wednesday! 
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Week in Review - 7.16.16


We've been on vacation all week but I haven't let that get in the way of exercise or eating healthy food. This much-needed break has been fantastic for us. We deliberately choose a low-key vacation to recharge, reconnect and just be. 



On Monday, I took a SUP Paddleboard lesson with SUP Manzanita and it was awesome! I had a group lesson with another Manzanita resident, Ken. We had a great time out there paddling and neither one of us took a spill in the water. Paddleboarding was harder than I anticipated though and really hurt my feet. My shoulders were so sore the next day. 

On Tuesday, I did a boot camp workout before the family woke up and on Wednesday we went on a hike. While we didn't make it as far as I had hoped, we still had a great time. Thursday and Friday were spent walking miles of beaches and keeping it low-key. While I didn't exercise as much as I usually do, I still kept myself active and made sure to get my 10,000 steps in a day. 



We rented a beach house which meant we had a full kitchen available to us. We had lots of salads for lunch and simple breakfasts but ate out for dinner a lot. 


I did make the most amazing nachos for dinner one night and we had HUGE burritos for lunch one day. We may have been eating a bit too well. Back to salads all the time next week! 



The Girls

The girls are LOVING the beach and having the best time. I think they also love having both Scott and I around all the time. It's been great to hang out as a family. While we may have sand in more places that I could ever imagine, it has been so much fun watching my kids exploring their little hearts out. 

Project 52 - Week 18

Other Goings On

There isn't much other to report on this week! We've been relaxing, going for beach walks, flying kites and just enjoying our time as a family. It's been wonderful! On Thursday the girls discovered a deeper section of tide pools and spent time entertaining the beach goers with their enthusiastic dives into the water. They were absolutely covered in sand and salt water by the end and happier than they've ever been. 


Friday, July 15, 2016

Project 52 - Week 18

I have taken over 1,000 photos this week and so selecting just one as my Project 52 was incredibly difficult. We've had so much fun on vacation and I've been taking way too many pictures of all of it. 

Project 52 - Week 18

This photo captures the thrill of this entire week though. Molly is in love with flying kites and was devastated when her last kite broke. Scott got the girls new kites for this trip and they have been a hit! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

May/June Book Report


I held off on May's book report because it felt so small. However, now I have a lot of books to report on. I read seven books in May and June. The Seattle Public Library put out their 2016 Summer Book Bingo cards which means my reading has really ramped up. I was slow to realize that my love for long books was bringing down my Bingo Square accomplishments but I've fixed that problem in July. #shortbooksforthewin. My yearly total for books is at 29 at the end of June.

I decided to read Raising the Barre by Lauren Kessler after it was recommended on the barre3 blog. You know, I love barre3 and I also happen to love the Nutcracker ballet. I thought it would be a great book to meander along with. The premise is that the writer, who is obsessed with the Nutcracker ballet, decides that she will dance in the Eugene Ballet Nutcracker performance. She goes on an almost year long journey to accomplish this goal and begins taking barre3 classes to strengthen her body. I thought the book was hard to get into but about halfway through I started flying through it. My two friends who read this had the same experience. I'm not sure I'd recommend the book but if one were to start reading it, I'd encourage you to keep going! 

The next book I read was The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. This fit into my "Novel" bingo slot for the  2016 Summer Book Bingo. This is a book for true Jane Austen lovers. I don't think you'd get much out of it if you haven't read her books. I've read most of them and was honestly a bit lost on the chapters that included novels that I haven't yet read. Maybe a Jane Austen novel will fulfill my "Written More than 100 Years Ago" slot.

My parenting book club read The Importance of Being Little by Erika Christans. I've been meaning to read this book since I heard about it on NPR. It was a very academic book which thrilled Molly's preschool teacher and was only ok for me. I did enjoy reading this book though and found a lot of it fascinating. This also filled my "Nonfiction" bingo slot. 

After such a heavy book, I decided to read something a bit lighter. Catastrophic Happiness by Catherine Newman was excellent! I read Newman's previous book and laughed all the way through it. I was in hysterics with this book about raising children and the toll it takes on life. This was a hilarious view of parenthood and filled my "You've Been Meaning to Read" bingo slot. 

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler was the 2016 Seattle Reads selection. I was intrigued by this tale of a family raising a chimp as one of their children and the effect it has on their actual adult children. I took much too long to read this book though and accumulated so many library fines. This fulfilled my "Prize-Winner" bingo slot. 

I have no idea how I discovered this next book but the story was so beautifully told that I am glad I did. I decided to listen to the audio version of The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin and the narrators voices were perfect. The story is about a child who suffers from some unknown trauma and his mother's struggles to get him help. Along the way she meets a psychologist who is beginning to battle a type of dementia that presents with significant aphasia. Along the way, they learn about her son's previous life. I filled in my "Read Out Loud" bingo slot with this book. 

For my "Collection of Poetry" bingo slot, I decided to read What Loves Comes To by Ruth Stone because Elizabeth Gilbert talks about her in Big Magic. I can't say that I loved this poetry but I did find it intriguing. 

I filled out 6 bingo slots in June out of 25 but have already been barreling through books in July. 

This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something from a link, I receive a very small percentage back. 
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