Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer Bucket List

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This is Molly's last summer before she starts Elementary School and I am determined to make it one of our best summers yet! We have an epic road trip planned, rocking climbing classes scheduled and so many swimming lessons but there is so much more to do. We spent some time this weekend discussing summer bucket list ideas as a family and got really into it. Whenever we saw something cool. someone would yell, "Put that on the list!" I'm kinda excited about our list. 


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Epic Summer 2017 Bucket List


  • Go Swimming
  • Visit a National Park
  • Have a Picnic Outside
  • Go to the beach
  • Make popsicles
  • Go Blueberry Picking
  • Go on a Hike 
  • Splash at the Wading Pools 
  • Go to Golden Gardens and build a sand castle
  • Run through the sprinklers in the yard
  • Have Ice Cream for dinner
  • Swim in Lake Washington
  • Go Kayaking
  • Visit a Farm
  • Go to the Enchanted Forest
  • Go Rock Climbing
  • Have a Molly Day
  • Have a Maggie Day
  • Go to a Baseball or Soccer Game
  • Fly a Kite
  • Go on a Road Trip

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Week in Review 6.24.17

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Scott comes home today after a week in Australia! I'm so excited to see him and honestly for another adult around the house. Being the one in charge of everything gets kinda exhausting. I especially missed Scott when I had to scoop the cat litter and take out the garbage. I missed him for other reasons too but the feelings of extreme sadness were around the cat litter clean-up. ha!

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Exercise

I missed bootcamp on Monday this week due my lack of getting my work done before my deadline so I worked hard to make for that later in the week. I went to 2 super hard boot camps, one of which we had to HOP UP A HILL! Seriously, that was intense. Then I got in a barre3 class in the studio with a new teacher who was so hard it was good. I'm starting to plan my workouts for our upcoming road trip and plan to do a post about my workout plans with links!

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Food


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I'm working on a story for healthy travel food and one of my twitter friends introduced me to Picky Bars. They are AMAZING and super healthy. I love bars that have natural ingredients that I can pronounce, are low sugar and taste great. These fit all those needs and have silly names.

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I prepped on Sunday for my solo week and it made a huge difference. I made Spicy California Shrimp Stack for lunches from Skinnytaste. For dinners, I made Blackened Shrimp Tacos from Budget Bytes and Lemon Ginger Meatballs from Nom Nom Paleo. We ate out on Thursday and I had pizza delivered on Friday which helped me limp to the finish line.

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I made yogurt in my InstantPot and it is delicious. Probably more work that I'll plan on doing most of the time but really good yogurt. I used this tutorial which was easy to understand. My best friend's Mom suggested it and she knows her stuff.

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The Girls

The girls continued with swim lessons this week and had their "last" day of preschool. They start the summer session on Tuesday so they'll be back for summer fun! Molly is going to be so sad on her true last day at preschool. She loves going there but is also looking forward to being a "big kid" and going to kindergarten. 


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On Friday, we spent most of the day swimming and it was so great! I somehow put way too much money on my swim card so I plan to have us at the pool as much as possible. Luckily we all love to swim!

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The girls were actually quite good while Scott was gone. They still struggled with bedtime. I think the daylight until forever is messing them up even though their room has blackout shades. They tried to keep the house clean and help me out which was very nice. 

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Other Goings On

I didn't really have to many other things going on this week. I was focused on keeping everything in motion and realizing how lucky I am to have Scott in my life. I also worked on our Summer Bucket List which I'll have a post this next week.

Stories Published 

Kayaks

Seattle Refined: Paddles Up! Here are the absolute best places to kayak around Seattle
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Garden Update

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Every year my garden grows a bit more. Scott teases me that soon our backyard will just be raised boxes. I love the process of gardening so much. I love watching things grow. I however am not that enamored with the pest control or weeding. I am ok with the harvest but that does not make my soul sing. My excitement comes from planning my garden and watching it grow. 

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After a fitful start, the peas are huge and producing so much. I have to remember to get out there everyday to pick some peas. Some of the peas are hiding so I have to take some time to find all the plump peas. 

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My tomatoes and tomatillo plants are flowering and I can't wait to eat their sweet cherries. I stuck to the small tomatoes this year since that is what I really enjoy eating. I can't wait to see what happens with the tomato/potato plants! 

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The squash are spreading out. Their leaves are green and strong. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

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I made a rookie mistake and planted my lettuce seeds too close and planted too many. The chickens are enjoying the fruits of my labor. There is more lettuce than I can hope to eat. 

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My poor brassicas have gotten attacked by caterpillars. My friend Katie helped me out with some tips. I've been out twice a day searching for caterpillars to feed to the chickens.

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The rosemary needs to be hacked back and the mint is trying to take over but all in all, I am so proud of my garden! I'm planning to do a bit more planting next week of some short season vegetables. Hopefully they'll thrive! 




Saturday, June 17, 2017

Week in Review 6.17.17


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Today is all about ballet recitals and spending time with the family. This week has been busy, busy with travel, end of school year celebrations, the start of swim lessons and other obligations. We are go-go-going over here!

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Exercise

This week started out slow and quickly turned busy. I got in 4 workouts - 3 boot camps and a barre3 class. Scott was out of town for the last half of the week which always changes my workout schedule. Luckily I've gotten better about being flexible and knowing which studios have childcare options. This is where ClassPass is a huge lifesaver for me since my main gym doesn't have childcare options. They do, however, have classes available when the girls are in preschool which is awesome.

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Food

I prepped again last weekend which made the week's meals work. When Scott is gone, it means more solo time for me so if I can get ahead of the cooking, I can then stay on top of the never-ending cleaning. I made the Probiotic Salad from Amy Pennington's Salad Days book and this is being added to our rotation. It was delicious! I also made Honey Roasted Strawberry Muffins from Andrea Bemis's Dishing up the Dirt cookbook and they barely lasted until the next day.

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I also made a big batch of barre3 chocolate truffles for when I want something sweet but need a more nutritional option than ice cream. I also started adding collagen powder to my coffee. It is supposed to help with achy joints, gut health and help one look younger. My joints have been aching a lot and my gut could use a boost so I did some research and decided to add it to my daily diet. The awesome lady at Whole Foods told me that she adds it to her coffee. A lot of people at my gym add it to their smoothies but I'm not a great smoothie drinker. I excel at drinking coffee so I decided to add to my morning drink. I honestly can not taste it in my coffee which is awesome.

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The Girls


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The girls started daily swim lessons this week. Molly missed Tuesday due to her school having swim lessons which meant I just had Mags with me. She would not go in the water. We had this situation happen before and I've figured out that she is so attached to Molly that she won't go in the pool without her. They aren't even in the same class so as you can guess, this refusal drives me nuts. Molly had a hard start on Monday but eventually got in the pool once she got over her anxiety about it. She's been having a hard time with "new" situations. I explained that she has been taking lessons at this same pool for the past four summers but she couldn't remember them and was completely worked up. Luckily her instructor remembered her and was able to coax her in and then couldn't get her out at the end.

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Molly has her first Popsicle Playdate at her new elementary school. She was able to meet the principle and teachers and was able to reconnect with a ton of co-op, ballet, etc friends. She told me that she had a really good time and was looking forward to kindergarten. I know she is still nervous about it but the school has summer playdates, orientations, etc to help ease the kids in. 

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On Friday, I took the girls to get their hair cut and then to the nail salon for mani/peds. It was hilarious. Maggie can barely hold still but the ladies at the shop loved her. The owner even brought them extra candy. So they want mani/peds everyday now and I said it will be a long time before I do that again.

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Other Goings On

All 5 of my chickens finally laid. I was waiting for the last new one to get going and the one who lays green eggs is not a daily layer. My friend is watching the chickens while we are out of town next month so I was also excited because I can make her a graphic to id the eggs. I only get worried if I don't see an egg after 3 days so hopefully it won't be a problem for her.

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I've been really focusing on my MK1 project this week. I worked on my preliminary swatch and then dove into the questions. I feel like there is very little actual knitting with this project and lots and lots of questions. Those require a lot of my concentration which is hard with the amount of attention the kids also seem to require. 

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I've been reading about using coconut oil in one's beauty routine and picked up some Conscious Coconut. I've been using it before bed and my hands and feet are feeling less dry. I also like that for every tube purchased, they provide a meal to a hungry child. 


Stories Published 



Seattle Refined: A Beginner's Guide to SUP (Paddle Boarding)
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Week in Review 6.10.17

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We had some ups and downs this week, mainly related to the girl's sleep. They both magically went to bed on their own on Tuesday night at a very reasonable time. After re-charging, they were back to their late ways the next night. Something has got to give! 

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Exercise

I had another week of 5 workouts and it was great! I went to 2 boot camps, walked Greenlake, took a barre3 class and saw my TWO favorite instructors and took a SHIFT class with a friend. I had some great workouts this week even though the week started out iffy. I woke up on Monday and felt horrible. I decided to skip boot camp and headed back to bed for a few hours of zzzz's. Turns out all I needed was some sleep and then I was back at it!

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Food

Over the weekend, I cooked up a storm and prepped a ton of our meals. Sunday night's meal was from Amy Pennington's Salad Days book and it was delicious! I made miso glazed salmon with soba noodles. I even made some zucchini bread from Andrea Bemis's Dishing up the Dirt cookbook. I admit to being a bit hesitant about it since it only had 1/2 cup of honey and no other sugars added. It was amazingly good! It did not need any sugars other than honey. YUM!

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Prepping for our meals ahead of time meant that I was able to make a bit more complicated dinners this week. We had Half Baked Harvest's Korean Chicken Tacos which I usually save for weekend cooking due to all the sauces. I made the sauces on the weekend and then was able to pull dinner together in a short timeframe.

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The Girls

The girls are growing like weeds and keep us on our toes. They are so full of energy and strong spirits which will serve them well but right now is just so much energy. I recently read an article from Motherly on The strong-willed child: How to turn power struggles into cooperation. It had Scott and I nodding our heads in agreement. For instance, Maggie decided she didn't like swimming lessons and was not going to go into the pool. I spent an hour talking to her about her options and finding out what she didn't like. Turns out she didn't know the name of her teacher and was worried about falling off the swim platform. I found out her teacher's name and then asked her to place Maggie on the inside corner of the platform so she'd have two pool walls around her. She then happily did her lessons. But it took so much work and time to get there.

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Wednesdays are dessert day for the girls. We get dessert after school so they can get the sugar out of their system. I also enjoy the time we spend talking about their days. Maggie told me that she had painted her face and arms at school so she could be a zombie. She then walked around the room with her arms raised while saying,  I'm a Zombie. I have no idea where she gets this stuff but it is pretty hilarious.

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I had my car detailed on Friday as it was super gross. The place needed it most of the day and a friend suggested that we take the bus somewhere. We turned that into Adventure Day! We took the bus to Pike Place Market, walked to the Olympic Sculpture Park, went to Scott's work for lunch and then ended the day at the Zoo. I walked over 17,000 steps and we took 7 buses. It was an epically fun day and I can't wait to one again! We are at a sweet point where the girls can go places, carry their own things and have a great time. We are not bogged down with diapers or naps. I LOVE it! 


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Other Goings On

I deep cleaned the garage this last weekend and took a huge load of crap to the dump. I was thrilled that most of the items I wanted to get rid of were happily taken by my Buy Nothing Group. I was able to offload a bike, excess fencing wood, millwork and some Ikea bed slats. I'm preparing for our basement remodel early next year by purging the basement and garage. I'll have less to pack up and less crap in our house. I'm taking my time but it feels really good to get rid of stuff.

I've also been revamping our June Menu as Scott will be traveling extensively *surprise!* the last half of the month. I love cooking but I am not motivated to cook gourmet meals for kids who really only want Mac and Cheese. I'm going to be making my life easier, not harder when he is gone.

Stories Published 



Seattle Refined: Cold Brew: May you have it, love it, and drink it (ALL)
Thursday, June 08, 2017

May Book Report


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I got my reading mojo back at the end of May. I read 4 books in just under 9 days and am ramping up for Summer 2017 Book Bingo!

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The Sun is Also a Star" by The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon was a quick read and my first book for Summer 2017 Book Bingo. It fulfilled the  "Young Adult" category. I enjoyed this one but not nearly as much as "Everything, Everything". This tells the story of a young girl on the day of her deportation from NYC back to Jamaica and how she meets a young man who she falls in love with over the course of a day. 



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You Might be an Artist If.. by Lauren Purje was the book I choose for the "Graphic Novel" category of Summer 2017 Book Bingo. I loved this book and enjoyed reading about the creative process. I spent a lot of time nodding my head and yelling, Yes! So True! 

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The third book I read was for the "Recommended by a Librarian" category for Summer 2017 Book Bingo. The Girls by Emma Cline was a compelling read which reminded me of the Manson girls and Helter Skelter, the one book that terrified me so much I threw it in the garbage and thought about setting it on fire. I loved getting inside the mind of a preteen and her jumbled thoughts. 

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I next read Turner House by Angela Flourney. It was both a Refined Reads for Seattle Refined and fit the "By an author of color" category for Summer 2017 Book Bingo. This was a fast and lovely read. It is a compelling story of a family (the Turner family) and their life in a Detroit house with 13 kids. My only complaint about this book is that I wanted more of the Turner family. 

Yearly Book Total: 22/52

Disclosure: 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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