Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monthly Goal Check-In (January)


Seriously, it is the end of January and I'm not sure how that happened! The last two weeks have been extremely distracting and I've been busy politically. Additionally, I have made great progress on my 2017 goals this month. 


2017 Goals

1. Workout 217 times in 2017 - I worked out 24 times in January which means I have 193 more workouts to complete this year. 

2. Participate in the Year of Creativity - This month was all about inspiration. I spent most of it finding inspiration and reading. I spent a few evenings with the workbook and thought about where to find my inspiration. I pretty much learned that I need to let it in. I need to sit quietly and let it come to me. That is really hard though. You can see my photo essay here.

3. Shoot one roll of film a month - January's Roll was taken at Greenlake when it was frozen over and glorious! I was pleased that most of my shots turned out too. 

4. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - I didn't work on this goal this month. 

5. Finish my Miter Square Blanket. I knit 3 squares this month before getting sidelined with PussyHats. I have 33 of the 60 total squares to go and it is looking good!

6. Read 52 books. - I read 5 books this month and will post a book report later this week. This means I have 47 books to read to achieve this goal. 

7. Finish up various House Projects - I settled on a color to paint the kitchen and bathroom. I started the prep work on the kitchen and plan to paint it in February. We also started discussing a basement remodel so I've spent some good time on Pinterest gathering inspiration. 

8. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - I started gathering images into (private) albums on Flickr so I can make books from there. I have about 4 years of images to sort through but I'd like to get a few books done with my free coupons that expire in March. 

9. Become more politically active and work to be the change in my community - I went to the Womxn's March with my family on 1/21 and have been busy calling/writing my representatives. Scott has also started being more active and went to a march by him self recently. 

10. Learn how to make a really good stock - This has been incredibly successful! I have totally conquered Chicken and Veggie stock. I look forward to attending pork and beef stock in the coming months. 

Bonus Goal: Grow two new crops in my garden and add some chickens to my flock. - These goals can't really be addressed until Spring though I am pouring over seed catalogs and making plans. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Week in Review - 1.28.17

It's been a rough week. Not because of anything personally but because I'm having a hard time processing the new administration. It's been 7 days and I'm emotionally outraged and drained. Scott and I have been talking a lot about where to put our charitable funds and volunteer efforts. 



Exercise was great this week. I went to SoulCycle on Sunday which was fun. It's a bit too far away to be a consistent workout for me though. The current location is in Bellevue which is a 30 minute drive with no traffic and at least 45 minutes with traffic. I went to boot camp three times and took two Barre3 classes which puts me at 22 workouts for the year. 



Food has been a power struggle with the kids lately. In an attempt to amuse myself, I've started taking pictures of the meals they've rejected and posting them on Instagram. I have been vastly amusing to myself and others seem to be getting a kick out of it too. I've put the whole series on Flickr
Rejected Lunch

I ordered from Acme Farms + Kitchen again this week. I got a salad kid, a mini ready meal, a basics pack and some Oat Pancake mix. All of it has been delicious! 


I neglected to mention this really cool smoothie pack that I got from Metropolitan Market last week. They sent me their new Smoothie fruit mix, Ellenos yogurt, Almond milk and a protein pack (which I used and didn't photograph so my usual protein powder is stepping in here). Maggie has been digging smoothies so I've been making them a lot more. I love how filling they are as an afternoon snack. I've been making some for after my boot camp workouts. I make them the night before and put them in the freezer. Then I leave them in the car during my workout and they are ready to drink by the time I'm done. Yum! 

The Girls


Maggie had her 36 month screening done at Parent Trust and was deemed awesome. I've been taking the girls for developmental screenings since birth and have been reassured many times. The screening did help catch Molly's slight speech delay and then we were able to get quickly up to speed. 

Otherwise it was a pretty regular week for us. Molly asked for an at-home day on Friday so we hung around the house which was actually pretty nice. They destroyed the den and I got the living room purged. I'm on a big "Get Rid of Clutter" kick right now. 

Other Goings On


It's been rainy and cold around here so I haven't been the best about cleaning out the chicken coop. In the winter, they like to nestle up in their laying boxes which means they quickly fill with chicken poop. I never worry though because they aren't laying eggs. Well....they started laying eggs again over a week ago but not in their boxes. They built a nest in the clean part of their coop which I discovered when I went out to do a massive coop clean out. So now I'm battling with the chickens to start laying in their boxes again and hoping they haven't gotten a taste for chicken eggs. 


Last Saturday, we joined the Womxn's March in Seattle. It was profoundly moving and something I'm so glad that we did with the girls. I wanted to show them that you fight for what you believe in. While I know I'll be joining in more protests and making more noise, I'm not sure that we'll be including them in every protest. However, I will be teaching them how to speak up for what you believe in.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Project 52 - Week 45

Project 52 - Week 45

Maggie and I headed to the car wash this week to try to unearth parts of my car that haven't been seen in months. I spent over an hour vacuuming with her help and the car has downgraded from hazardous waste disaster to natural disaster. Maggie loved sitting in the passenger seat as I washed the mats and the rest of the car.
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Week in Review - 1.21.17


It's been a busy week but a fun one. I think I'm finally hitting my groove with 2017. It's going to be a hard political year but I'm hoping that it is a great personal one full of growth and involvement. 



One of my goals this year is to complete 217 workouts in 2017. I am well on my way with this one. I decided to hit it hard in January to get myself back into the habit and front load my goal in case of unexpected hiccups (illness, vacation, etc). I'm currently at 16 workouts for the year so 201 to go! 

This week, I did three boot camp sessions, one FlyWheel class and one Barre3 class. I am BEAT especially since I did boot camp and FlyWheel on the same day. Exhausted does not describe how I felt on Wednesday afternoon. However, I am also feeling stronger! 



After my FlyWheel class on Wednesday, I still had some time before I needed to pick up the girls so I headed over to WanderFish Poke on Cap Hill. It's been on my list to try for awhile and it was so good! I can not wait to go back again for some delicious poke!


I decided to try out Acme Farms + Kitchen this week. They offer free local delivery of local food directly from the farmers. I love this idea and ordered their salad kit along with a trial size of the Locavore Box. It's not cheap but it is delicious, local, healthy food!


And per our usual, I got our organics box again this week. I'm struggling to decide how to best use the fruits and vegetables. I meal plan monthly but don't know what is in my box until the week before. Sometimes the veggies match up and sometimes they don't. Also sometimes the vegetables go bad quickly. Like if I don't use the lettuce on the day it arrives, it gets all wilt-y and ends up with the chickens. 

The Girls



The girls had their 6 month check up at the dentist and I'm just thrilled that they love it there so much. No cavities and yes, we were told to floss more. Dentists love flossing! 

Otherwise, we have spent the last few weeks getting everyone back on schedule with sleeping, eating, school dayts and at-home preschool learning. We were doing Simply Learning but she's gotten busy and is switching her format to include The Peaceful Preschool. I checked it out and love the premise so we are also switching to The Peaceful Preschool curriculum. I'm pretty excited about some of the offerings. Can't wait to work this into our lives! The girls are still going to preschool at their school but this is just some additional activities for those long afternoons when I'm tempted to let them watch TV for much too long. 

Other Goings On


My Coffee & Crumbs Year of Creativity class has kicked off and I am LOVING it. This month the focus is on inspiration and I'm finding that I am too busy and don't allow creativity to find me. I'm working on slowing down and opening up to creativity. I finished re-listening to Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic this week and I could listen to it again and again. I actually put it on in the car during our weekend road trip and Scott was intrigued. I'm going to have him listen to it too. 


Most of this week was spent knitting Pussy Hats for neighbors and friends doing the Womxn's March today. Scott, the kids and I will be marching! 

Stories Published

Seattle Refined: Maui no ka oi (Maui is the best)
Seattle's Child: 25+ Indoor Things to Do with Kids At-Home & Around Seattle
Seattle's Child: January/February SHOP 

Seattle's Child Jan.Feb 2017 Cover

Seattle's Child Jan.Feb 2017 SHOP

Seattle's Child Jan.Feb 2017 SHOP

Seattle's Child Jan.Feb 2017 SHOP

Friday, January 20, 2017

Project 52 - Week 40 - 44

I got really behind on things in December so today's Project 52 is catch up day!

Project 52 - Week 40

We met some preschool friends for the Christmas Ships on the private North Beach beach. We live so close but don't have access so it is nice when others include us. 

Project 52 - Week 41

Christmas morning was wild as usual and so wonderful! We spent the remainder of the day in quiet activity after the excitement of the morning. 

Project 52 - Week 42

I took the kids to Target to get some supplies for a blog post and decided to document our trip in front of the sign. 

Project 52 - Week 43

Maggie and I had to go to the community center to meet up with the person who hit and ran my car the previous week. This stuffed beaver was too much for us. In this photo she is telling me about how the beaver is dead. 

Project 52 - Week 44

We took a weekend trip to the Washington Coast and stayed in this great little hotel. It was made for photos!

Project 52 - Week 45

I love watching the girls bother Scott when he is trying to sleep. It's a highlight for me. 
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Missed Connections, Creative Children and March Tips for Parents Are This Week's Links From Around the Web


Missed Connections for Parents - I laughed so hard, I snorted coffee out my nose. Totally worth the stinging pain. 

Anyone taking their kids to the March on Saturday? I am and so this guide from Activist Mama is incredibly helpful!

How to Raise Creative Children

15 Parenting Hacks to Get You Through 2017

29 Achievable Things in January

**I took an accidental hiatus from sharing my weekly links but I'm back at it!** 
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Film #1

Greenlake Walkers

One of my goals this year is to shoot a roll of film, once a month. I used Kodak UltraMax 400 Speed in my Nikon 35mm for my images this month.

A few weeks ago, I headed to Greenlake. I had heard it was frozen and I needed to check out the scene myself. It was gorgeous and a few of my photos captured this beauty. I'm already excited about this project and about the film lab I've decided to use. I asked Kirk of Mastin Labs where he develops his film and he confirmed my thoughts. He goes to Panda Lab on Queen Anne which is where I took my film. I especially love that they were able to send me the film scans via WeTransfer. I still need to pick up my actual film but I loved receiving them in my email. Without further adieu, here are my favorite images from this month. The full set can be seen here.

Greenlake Chairs

Greenlake Dock

Winter Greenlake

Greenlake Trash

Frozen Greenlake

Monday, January 09, 2017

Peanut Butter and Jelly Drumsticks

PB&J drums

Sports season is here! OK for some people, sports season started in September but at my house, we're not big sports people, except when our local home team (Go Hawks!) starts looking like they might be headed to the Super Bowl. Then my husband starts watching parts of a football game and soon, he's watching the entire game and shushing the kids. After awhile, I begin to wonder what the fuss is and there you go, Sports Season is here! What I never forget about is sports food which I dearly love. I, especially love chicken drumsticks so when I was at Target last week with Maggie, using my Cartwheel app which I'm seriously addicted to and noticed that I could get 5% off Jif and Smucker's products, a lightbulb went off in my head. 


Maggie and I spent a lot of time last week getting the family back into the groove after the holidays and she was more than happy to accompany me to Target while her sister was at school. 


We loaded up the cart with Jif and Smucker's products along with some other essentials. We may have headed to Target twice last week which thrilled Molly since she got to accompany me on our second trip. 


I don't shop in many stores in person but Target is my one true love and now that I've discovered the Cartwheel app, it's almost as if they recognized our mutual affection for each other. But I digress, I was in the peanut butter and jelly aisle where I believe most of our family's food budget goes when my handy app let me know that I could save 5% on Jif and Smucker's products. I may have swooped a few right into my basket while Maggie was grabbing for some bread. Then I remembered sports season and its entry into my home and my love of sports food. I decided right then and there to attempt combining some of my family's favorite flavors with sports food and I came up with the best sports food ever. 


Oh yes, I made Peanut Butter and Jelly Drumsticks and oh they are so good! The kids swear they taste just like a PB&J while I think they taste better. 


Peanut Butter and Jelly Drumsticks
by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 1 hour +
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Ingredients (12 drumsticks)
  • 10 ounces Smucker's Squeeze Grape Jelly
  • 1/2 cup Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • Cilantro for garnish
In a large bowl, combine the Smucker's Squeeze Grape Jelly, Jif Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, red wine vinegar, hot pepper sauce and salt to make the marinade.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade and set aside.
Place the chicken drumsticks in a ziplock bag along with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Arrange the drumsticks on a greased broiler pan or a greased rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn over each piece and baste with more sauce from the marinade bag (not the reserved sauce). Bake for another 20 minutes or until browned.
Once the chicken is finished baking, baste with the reserved sauce. Serve with cilantro as a garnish.
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Don't forget to visit the Target Cartwheel landing page to save when purchasing your Smucker’s and Jif products.
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