Saturday, May 27, 2017

Week in Review 5.26.17

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It was a week! We had sleep shenanigans, Scott's birthday, so many activities, a lot of cold brew tasting and a bunch of fun! 

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Exercise

I was able to get in 5 workouts this week - 3 boot camps and 2 barre classes. I feel like I am back on my exercise game and while I am pretty darn tired, I am also so happy about it. We did this incredibly hard alphabet workout on Wednesday and I am still tired from it days later. Basically each letter of the alphabet has an exercise associated with it. You spell out your name or something else. My friend decided to just do all 26 exercises in a row. Her technique seemed a lot easier as I hunted for letters and added names to my name until time was up.

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We are away this weekend but I'm already planning ahead for my workouts next week. I'll be heading to boot camp, getting in a barre3 class (I have one more pass left on my pack and it expires soon) and hopefully conquering a SHIFT class. 

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Food

Scott's birthday was this week so the girls helped me make a carrot cake from Gimme Some Oven. The frosting was divine but my cake ended up a tad on the dry side. Next time I think I'll add a smidge more oil. It was really good otherwise and Scott was super impressed. I had fun baking with the girls even though it was a bit messy.

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Maggie and I tried out the new Poke place in Ballard called Poke Square. It was really good! My only complaint is that they only have two sizes - Regular and Large. Maggie can pack away a lot of poke but that adds up so I would have loved to have seen a side or a small so I could get her raw fish (which is all she loves) and I could have had my own bowl. Instead I ordered a large and we shared. 

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The new Amazon Fresh Pick-up location opened up which was perfect as I needed snacks and fruit for this weekend but had neglected to place a grocery order. I ordered our food this morning, selected a pick-up time and grabbed our food in just under 5 minutes. While I think I'll mainly use grocery delivery, I love having this option especially since there is no minimum and sometimes I just need $15 worth of groceries but I do not want to drag the kids into the store with me. 

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The Girls


Sleep is still broken but the girls are so much fun. They made birthday cards for Scott this week and really concentrated on them. They helped bake him a cake and did a lot of work cleaning up the house.

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Maggie is getting more excited about attending speech therapy and her language is getting so much better! She is so much easier to understand now and way less frustrated. 

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The ballet recital is coming up in a few weeks and we are all anxious for it. I'm ready to be done with dance for the summer and the girls are excited to wear their dance costumes. 

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Other Goings On

One of my new chickens started laying eggs and they are so wee. I believe it is Pinky Pie because Hai Hai is supposed to have green eggs. My neighbor is checking on the chickens for me this weekend and was excited to see the little egg. She loves birds so they are in for a treat!

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Book Bingo is back! I have a post planned for Monday with details but I've been reading like a mad woman and planning my attack. Also my car strangely repaired itself. About a month or so ago, I thought I tapped my neighbor's skinny tree when I was backing up but then decided I was imagining things. I drove to the gym and then saw that the corner of my bumper was totally caved in. I was so upset! This week I came out of the grocery story and almost walked past my car. The bumper was almost completely back to normal! There is a small ding if you really look at it but the bumper is back to normal. I told Scott that procrastination paid off big time in this case. 

Photo Credit: Helsing Junction Farms

Stories Published 

Seattle Refined: Weekly Produce Box Roundup (with AND without a commitment)
Friday, May 26, 2017

March/April Book Report

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I fell into a reading slump in March and April. I think I carried the same book around most of the month. It was bad. I spent more time scrolling on my phone before bed than reading. This has happily changed for May! 


Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny Rosenstrach changed my meal planning ways. I love to cook but I've been busy planning complex meals and then feeling annoyed when it is time to cook dinner. Rosenstrach's book made me view weekday dinner times as necessary meals that need to be quick and then weekend meals that can take more time. I now make her tomato sauce at least once a week and am getting back to prepping. A few of the dishes from this book are now on permanent rotation. 


Modern Lovers by Emma Staub took me a long time to slog through. I was enticed by the beautiful cover and this book appeared on everyone's reading lists but the story took too long to develop and I never really cared much for the characters. I ended up forcing myself to finish the book when I was about halfway through. 


We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a beautiful short book based on her Ted talk. I felt empowered by this book and was amazed at all the things she has accomplished. This is a must read book. 


How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn is a brilliant book. I believe that every married couple with kids needs to read this book. I read most of it on my kindle app on my iPhone while the kids played happily at the Children's Museum. I read snippets to Scott who smartly nodded along. While not all of the tips work for all relationships, I feel like everyone can learn something from this book. I learned that my passive aggressive ways mean a whole lot of trouble and have been speaking up more. 


The Magic of Motherhood by Ashlee Gadd is near and dear to my heart. I'm in Coffee + Crumb's Year of Creativity which is led by Gadd. She is an amazing support and an amazing woman for starting the website. I attended the book party in Spokane and had the honor of meeting Gadd and another one of the writers, Katie Blackburn. You can just feel their giving nature when you meet them. They want to support moms and this book is a support. In fact I gave copies to a few friends who desperately needed to know they weren't alone. I put post-it notes on my favorite essays and said, Read these first! I love you! That is the kind of book this is. Every Mom should read it and she should pass along copies to other Moms. 


Animals of a Bygone Era by Maya Safstrom is a delightfully illustrated book about extinct animals. I really enjoyed this quick read and shared some of the pages with the girls. I loved finding out interesting facts and look forward to reading this again. 


Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lidato was the Refined Reads pick for May. It was a long book which I struggled with a bit but I was enticed by these characters. I had been warned that this book took a bit to get into but once you were in, you wouldn't be able to stop and it was true. Edgar and Lucy tells the tale of Edgar and his mother, Lucy. The other characters that drift in and out of their lives create a rich novel. At the end of the story, the book is about love and family. You can see what we all thought about the book on Seattle Refined: http://seattlerefined.com/features/bookclub/book-club-review-heres-what-we-thought-of-edgar-lucy

Yearly Book Total: 18/52

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something from a link, I receive a very small percentage back. 
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Week in Review 5.21.17

1:20 pm Time for scooting and visiting the chickens #yocdayinthelife

This was a great exercise week which made me very happy. I love working out hard. I also spent too much time cleaning and I'm making plans on that front as it is a source of constant irritation.


6:01 pm SHIFT class with the amazing @srosebernhardt at @thegrinningyogi #yocdayinthelife #yesididtwoexerciseclassestoday #thatisnotnormal

Exercise

I may not have achieved my goals last week but this week, I surpassed them! I got in SEVEN (7) workouts and yes, I am so sore. I went to boot camp three times and did the damn hill for the first time which led to sore calves. I took a SHIFT class at Grinning Yogi on Wednesday night with a friend and still love it. It was extra intense since it was my second workout of the day. On Thursday, I went to a Body27 class at Breath, Body and Soul with the same friend. I loved this class. It's a boot camp style circuit where you do each exercise for 1 minute, three times. So awesome! On Saturday, I took a barre3 class from one of my favorite instructors. Afterwards Molly announced that we needed to go on a family walk/bike ride. We packed up the kid's bikes, scooters and stroller and headed to Green Lake. Molly pedaled her bike almost 3/4 of the way around and then walked the rest. Maggie scooted a good portion of the lake but also road in the stroller a lot. I'm excited about the change in weather and am looking forward to many more Greenlake walks with the kids. Saturday was Goal Day 2017 with Fitbit and due to our Greenlake walk, I got in over 15,000 steps! It was a banner day.

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Food

Food was kinda boring this week. I tested some cold brews for an article and slogged through the week. I'm excited about all the summer produce that is starting up though. I harvested some radishes and planted more because I LOVE them. So good!

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I noticed that when I made my May plans that I left out a week so I had to do some planning for the coming week. I laughed so hard when I discovered my mistake. 

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The Girls

The girl's sleep is slowly starting to improve but they are exhausted and acting out. Molly was so grumpy at the beach with her friend on Friday. They were really just nudging each other the wrong way.

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I've been working hard to get back to our Peaceful Preschool learnings. Maggie's teachers say they can defiantly see an improvement in her behavior when we are doing it. That is a great thing to me especially since Maggie's activity teachers have noticed some stubborn behavior related to not wanting to follow the rules. 

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Other Goings On

I got the patio cleared off and cleaned off the furniture. I tried to pressure wash it but we need a new part for our pressure washer. I expect to be back in business by Wednesday. There is some pretty gnarly moss on our patio this year from our record 144-days of rain.

Stories Published 

Seattle Refined: Spokane is your weekend destination
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Monthly Goal Check-In (April)

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I seriously can't believe April is over. I feel like this year is just speeding up and I'm running as fast as I can to stay next to the out of control train. I did ok on my goals this month but did not make as great of progress as I would have liked. 

2017 Goals

1. Workout 217 times in 2017 - I worked out 15 times in April. I'm at 79 workouts with 138 more workouts to complete this year. I need to do 4.3 workouts a week to accomplish this goal. 


2. Participate in the Year of Creativity - April was about being Vulnerable which is something I am TERRIBLE at. I did spend time writing in my journal every night and followed a lot of the writing prompts. I did have trouble with re-telling my birth story. I do not have any lingering trauma regarding my daughter's births. I feel they happened as they should have and the scars left on my body tell that tale. They do not necessarily make me vulnerable and in that realization, I am vulnerable. It's something I want to explore more. 


3. Shoot one roll of film a month - I shot some film but need to get it processed. Sadly processing is my roadblock. 

4. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - I worked a bit more on my Blocking Report research but need to step it up with this goal. 


5. Finish my Miter Square Blanket - Again, I didn't knit any of my squares this month. 

6. Read 52 books. - I read 5 books this month. This means I have 33 books to read this year and 19 under my belt. I've been struggling to read lately but my kids have not been sleeping and I usually read before bed. 

7. Finish up various House Projects - We selected our contractor and architect so I feel like the basement remodel is on the way. I also selected colors for the kitchen and bathroom which need to be repainted.

8. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - I'm still gathering my images but slowly making progress on this goal. 

9. Become more politically active and work to be the change in my community - I finished up another cross stitch for my acupuncturist's political donation and called/wrote my senators. 

10. Learn how to make a really good stock  I'm counting this goal has being done! 

Bonus Goal: Grow two new crops in my garden and add some chickens to my flock. These are done! I added two chickens and planted some new crops. We'll see how they do! 
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Week in Review 5.13.17

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Wow-zers! This week was intense. Scott was on a business trip from Monday to Wednesday and then worked late on Thursday so it was just me and the girls, a lot. I'm also working to ramp up my freelance writing so I've been busy looking for new places to pitch and researching publications. Have any tips/sources for me? I'm happy to hear them!

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Exercise

I tried to get in 5 workouts this week but only got in 3. Molly refused to go to school early on Tuesday so I could go to barre3. She literally had a crying tantrum about being dropped off 15 minutes early and I decided it wasn't worth the angst. Unfortunately the other times just did not work out for my schedule that day. I did take a spin class and went to two boot camp sessions. I had planned to go to boot camp this morning but yesterday's workout left me so incredibly sore. I have to say boot camp continues to amaze me. I've been going consistently for a year, three times a week and I am still left with sore muscles. This morning I woke up and thought, I think even my eyelashes hurt and so I went back to sleep. My workouts this week may not have gone as planned but I got some in.

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Food

Our first Smith Bros milk delivery came and I'm hooked! I love the little box. I love the cold brew coffee. I love the ease of it all. My friend and I were excitedly texting each other about our deliveries on Tuesday when they arrived. It really is the simple things that make us happy.

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Last Sunday, I prepped all our meals for the week since I knew Scott would be out of town. It really made a difference in the witching hour for us and I'm going to try to do this every week. It does take some pre-planning and a bit of time (an hour or so) but it is so worth it. 

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The Girls

The sleep drama continues and I got some great advice from my pro parenting friends. The girls slept with me on Monday and Tuesday because I was too tired to fight them after two hours of trying to get them to go to sleep. They were both so tired by Friday that Maggie slept in until 9 a.m. and Molly took a nap. Something has to give!

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Otherwise we took advantage of the nicer weather and took out their bikes to go for a ride at the church parking lot up the road. We also played in the backyard more and soaked in the sunshine. Being outside makes all of us happier! 

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Other Goings On

I got most of my garden planted this week and I am so excited about the growing season. I still need to plant some zucchini but the Swanson's didn't have any out and my friend said it might be too early so I'll wait.

I've also decided that I need to start working hard(er) on my Master Knitting 1 program so I'm going to be posting about it twice a month to keep myself accountable. I also want to post more recipes. Have any requests?

GTWB2016

Stories Published 

Seattle Refined: The ultimate Mother's Day gift guide for the ultimate Mom

Seattle Refined: Eat Your Way Through Washington State

Friday, May 12, 2017

Kale Leek Quiche

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I'm a huge quiche fan. It's an easy dish that uses up all the eggs my backyard chickens lay and is easily made ahead of time so I can enjoy it for lunch throughout the week. While I do enjoy a handmade quiche crust, I also love the time-saving measure of using a pre-made pie crust. I created this particular quiche after receiving some beautiful leeks and kale in my organic produce box. I knew they would be delicious together in an egg dish. Enjoy this quiche at your Mother's Day celebration. Mom will thank you! 


Kale Leek Quiche

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients (8 servings)
  • 1 Pre-Made Crust
  • 5 oz lardons bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced leeks
  • 1 cup sliced kale
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place pre-made pie crust in quiche pan.
Fry up bacon and add leeks and kale. Cook until wilted.
Sprinkle bacon, leeks and kale over crust. Spread parmesan cheese on top.
Lightly beat eggs and egg yolks in a medium bowl with heavy cream, salt and pepper. Pour over bacon, leeks, kale and parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30-45 minutes until filling is golden brown. Allow it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
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Monday, May 08, 2017

Coming out of the fog...

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The lack of sunshine hit me hard this year. Really hard. I'm coming out of the fog and I can, in hindsight, see how hard it hit me. March and April were a mess.

Easter came and I'm reminded every year of that horrible year when my Dad told me something was wrong with his body. I remember sitting at the long table at Preservation Kitchen with my whole family and feeling that punch in the gut. I remember taking charge and telling my Dad that I would be attending his doctor appointments with him. I knew I had to rise up. I knew I didn't want to rise up.

This year, there was no sun to lift my spirits. There was just vitamin D deficiency and a creative ask to be in the mess. My creativity group dove deep into the mess of life and I was wallowed in it. I kept looking back and remembering how I was struggling with two kids, pumping because my baby wouldn't breast feed, taking on the responsibility of my Mom and praying that my Father was not as sick as his doctor said he was. He was sicker than we admitted to ourselves.

Every Easter, I try to embrace the cheer of the season. I try to remember, "He is risen!" but I drift down that road where I am reminded he is gone. I work to embrace my children's pleasure in the Easter bunny and their chocolate smeared faces. I watch them as they sneak candy from all the places we attempt to hide it. Candy desires are hard to tame.

This weekend though, the sun came out and I felt my soul soar. I felt the fog lift away. The last week or so, I've felt my energy coming back. I've felt my desires to get things done lift up. This is a core part of me, I am a do-er. I do stuff. I do not sit on the sidelines and yet the fog made it hard for me to see the field, to see what I wanted to accomplish. I felt lost and aimless.

Now though that the fog is lifted, I'm feeling my creativity grow and I'm excited. I'm going to need the sunshine to stick around for awhile because it appears I really need it.
Saturday, May 06, 2017

Week in Review 5.6.17

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The SUN is out so I am UP! Seriously the sun has shone more this week than the previous three months and I am feeling so much more alive! I have more bounce in my step and more excitement in my heart.

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Exercise

I set a goal for 5 workouts this week and as of this morning, I smashed it. I did three boot camp sessions, a fun cycling class at CityCycle Seattle which opened this week and a Shift class at Grinning Yogi. Shift is a class I love to hate. It's a combination of barre, boot camp and yoga. It's awesomely hard. There is literally sweat pouring down my body and I LOVE IT! The CityCycle class was so much fun with the flashing lights and the great energy of the instructor. I just wish they were on ClassPass so I could afford to go more often. It felt good to get in 5 workouts. It was hard to push myself to get to the class this morning but I'm so glad I did. I have 5 workouts scheduled for next week and I can't wait to crush them.

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Food

I'm working on a story about CSAs so I've been getting so many vegetable deliveries and eating them like mad. I'm also doing a story on Cold Brew so I've been sipping on refreshing coffee drinks around town.

We are also trying out Smith Bros milk deliveries. We start up this week so I'll report back next week. They offer other foods than just milk and hooked me with their Tony Cold Brew. I had one sip and asked where to sign up for deliveries. I like that they don't have a delivery minimum and offer really fresh dairy products.

I also started back on my monthly meal plans. Here is the link to our May Meals. I'm really excited about this month's meals.

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The Girls

We've been having major sleep issues this week. Scott and I are hoping it is a developmental thing and not some crazy demonic possession. The girls were so terrible on Wednesday night that after many hours, we took away tv for Thursday. It actually worked out out but on Friday, they attempted to binge on it.

Maggie had a playdate on Thursday which she loved. I realized that she doesn't really get many playdates like Molly does so I need to work on making that happen. The girls also did an experiment at the UW on Friday and had a great time with it. We are working on teaching Molly our address and she is almost there, she always leaves off the street number. Ha! Next up is teaching her my phone number. Any tips?

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Other Goings On

As I said at the beginning the sun is out! This means the chickens are getting more roaming time. The new chickens are slowly integrating. There are still a few pecks and squawks but all seems to be going ok. One of the hens got a bit broody yesterday but moved along when I took away the eggs. I'm planning for summer over here and got the girls signed up for outdoor swim lessons in June.

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Stories Published 

I did a filming with Seattle Refined on where to find the best doughnut in Seattle and it posted this week! We had such a fun time doing this!
 
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