Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Fun: Simply Me

So many great ideas on this list!  A Splendid Long Weekend in Seattle - WSJ:

Happy Friday!! And Happy Halloween weekend! Today Lila's preschool kids are having pajama day (guessing so they aren't tempted to wear costumes to school). Tomorrow we'll be dressing up and trick or treating EARLY. I'm hoping since it's a Saturday this year that we can take the kids out earlier than normal since people will be home. Then it won't be a rush and we can do more before we come home and shut off the lights! Ha. Then Sunday we're having a little birthday dinner party for my Dad! Should be fun!

Today I'm mixing things up a bit by participating in Liz's first "Simply Me" link-up! Talking all about ... my state!

The Questions!

"I've lived in (how many) states."  ONE! It's true. I've only lived in good old Washington state my whole life. I grew up on Whidbey Island, went to college in Bellingham, WA (go Vikings!), moved to Seattle after college, and then moved to the suburbs after I got married, where I've lived in the same house for the last 8 years! 

11 Things to Do in Seattle If You Only Hanve One Day.  Read more at
(The Space Needle has SUCH cool views) 

"My favorite state is ... ?" WASHINGTON? Since I have only lived in one place I really can't pick favorites because visiting and living are two very different things. If I had to pick a second favorite, I'd pick HAWAII because ...well, it's tropical and amazing. 

"Why do you live in the state you currently live in?" Well, I've always lived here and never had a reason to move! My family and Grant's families also both live here, we both grew up here and went to college here, and both have good jobs here, so unless we moved totally randomly or for work, I don't really see us moving. 

(Seattle stereotype? We bust our our summer gear if the temps crack 60!! True story). 

"Would you like to move to another state?" YES! Well, maybe. I wish I lived somewhere on the water, with year-round nice, warm weather and no snow. We don't get much snow here, but the winter is very gloomy - think 50s and grey. I would love to live on the beach in California or something. Maybe when I retire. 

"What is your state known for?" Oh, so many things. I'd say rain is #1. Although that's not necessarily all that true. We actually don't get as much rain as a lot of states - but those states get massive rain storms all at once and then not again for awhile where as we get a lot of light rain/misty days. We're also known for coffee, lots of HQ's (Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, REI), hippies/earthy people, apples, great water/mountains scenery, musicians (Dave Matthews, Macklemore/Ryan Lewis, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc ...) ... and ... what else? What do you think of when you think of Seattle stereotypes? 


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rainy Thursday

Good morning! The week's ALMOST coming to a close. Well, the work week that is. Mine's been super busy and the fact that it's been SO RAINY here hasn't helped boost the mood (or the traffic). This is what it's looked like all week through my windshield (can you tell where I just pulled into?). 

This is what Seattle is known for. Mild temps - not too hot, not too cold, but grey and rainy. I guess I should be used to it by now!

On the bright side, I got to wear a few of my new fall finds lately! First, I was able to finally wear my new coat this week, which I picked up during the Nordstrom sale this summer. It's slightly puffy, warm and has a zip off hood which is nice! I don't see it online anymore, but it was under $50, so perfect for a less formal option to my hardcore North Face rain coat. I was a tad hot in it, but it was fun to wear finally and was nice to use the giant hood to protect my hair from the rain. 

My new go-to for work recently has been sweater dresses, tights and booties. The nice thing is they are warm, work appropriate, but cute enough for an "occasion" after work too - whether a date or meeting friends. I always feel more fancy if I add dangle earrings or a cute clutch thrown into my laptop bag. 

I picked up this dress recently at Nordstrom. It's MUCH cuter in person than in the online photo. It's a light sweater material, is more navy than it looks in the picture, has pockets, and looks great with navy or grey tights too. I also have a red blazer that looks fun with it too for a little more formal work look. 

Other than that, is it too early to wish for summer?! HA!! 


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

How the heck is it the end of October already!? I feel like I JUST did the September "What's Up Wednesday" link-up, but no, here we are again. I still can't believe how fast this year is going by! 

Here's what we've been up to lately! 

What we're eating this week. We've been eating a lot of salads lately. I've been LOVING this one, with BBQ chicken marinated in taco seasoning and lime juice, on top of chopped romaine, avocado, cilantro, green onions, shredded jack cheese and a sriracha ranch dressing. Delish!

We also have been having more comfort food from the crockpot. We made this delicious "low carb" stroganoff recipe with a delicious red wine cream sauce, baby portabellas. I based mine off of this recipe, but used steak instead of meatballs. 

What I'm reminiscing about. Summer ... hahah. Already? Yes. I love fall but having a warm day or two would feel great. That or maybe I need a warm vacation where I can read on a beach. 

What I'm loving. Have you ever tried the macaroons at Whole Foods? I always thought these were kind of crunchy, stale looking cookies but they are NOT! They are delicious! I spent $20 bucks on a dozen, but they were worth every penny for a birthday treat. My fav? The pink "Strawberries & Champagne" one. 

What I'm dreading. The time change this weekend - ugh! I hate this one. I used to love it because it meant that it was an extra hour of sleep on the weekends. But once you have kids they don't "do" clock changes, so that means if the clock falls back they'll get up at 6 a.m. instead of 7. It's also my least favorite time of year in terms of "light" - aka, it's dark when I go to work and dark when I get home. Boo! 

What I'm working on. Finishing the kids' Christmas shopping! I'm almost done! And luckily they are too young to really notice because I haven't done a great job of hiding things! 

What I'm excited about. We're getting family pictures in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to figure out what we should wear to match but not look too matchy. Last time we all did black/denim, but this time I am kind of into a cream/grey/neutrals look. Pinterest has some fun inspiration, but I'm really not that creative so we'll see! Wouldn't be this formal, but I kind of like these color combos:

Love me some neutrals - can be infused with pops of color through accessories (earrings, scarves, headbands, etc.):

What I'm watching/reading. I've been watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix! It's so cute! Do any of you like this show? It's funny because it's filmed like a Spanish "telenovela" soap opera. The story line is kind of out there like soap opera ones are and there's a funny voice over that narrates things. I'm only a few episodes in, but it's super cute so far. 

What I'm wearing. 

What I'm going to do this weekend. Halloween! It'll be fun that it's on a Saturday this year so we don't have to race home after work to get the kids dressed. We'll probably start trick or treating early so it won't be dark yet and then finish with enough time so the kids can have a couple pieces of candy before bed. Here's Lila being silly next to a few ghosts at our local pool!

What I'm looking forward to next month. Thanksgiving! I love spending hours pouring over recipes only to make the same things every year - lol! THIS year though we are mixing it up and we rented a beach cabin on the water to spend Thanksgiving weekend! The nice thing is, it's only an hour drive away so our family can all still come join us but we can actually relax a bit more rather than cleaning our house, cooking and racing to other family members' homes. Check out the view and the little kayaks!!! Even though it'll be cold, I can't wait to park it on that patio with a giant cup of coffee!

What else is new? They aren't in season around here, but I love these pretty fall colored tulips from California at Whole Foods. 

Also, my mom got me the most adorable planter from a little boutique that has a fun owl vase and a bunch of succulents ferns planted in it. This isn't the best picture, but it's so cute!

Hope you are having a great week! Only two more days until the weekend - almost there!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend fun

Happy Monday! It's a rainy, dreary day here this morning and I wish I was tucked into bed for a long lazy morning in bed. But let's be honest - that never happens, so I guess I shouldn't wish for it! 

I had a nice birthday evening on Thursday, celebrating with pizza, wine and a Seahawks win! The "kids" (aka Grant) got me pretty flowers which still look bright and cheery on our table. 

I was treated by my parents to a chocolate chip cookie pie with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Mmmmm. 

Saturday morning the kids took over the bed (along with "Megan," Lila's baby (if you can spot her) to snuggle and watch videos on our phones. 

My mom and I had a little shopping day that afternoon and enjoyed some amazing cappuccinos. I don't normally order these, but with rich foamy milk topped with raw sugar and cinnamon, I'm a fan! I probably wouldn't order this from Starbucks, but from a cute cafe yes please! 

Sunday we left the boys at home and Lila and I headed downtown to the Seattle Center for a play at the Seattle Children's Theater. Lila's finally the minimum age for three of this season's shows so we bought season tickets with a few friends and I was particularly excited because my mom and I used to go there when I was a kid. 

The theater is right under the Space Needle so it was fun to go early for lunch and some great people watching. 

Here's Lila ready for her first play! She wasn't quite sure what to expect and I think thought we were just going somewhere to play, but she understood right away and had so much fun watching. 

For all you parents, we saw a play called "Elephant & Piggie" based on the Elephant & Piggie books - they turned it into a musical and merged the stories from all of the books together. It was SO cute and we had to buy a few of the books in the gift shop after. 

Hope you had a great weekend!!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Birthday #33!

Today is my birthday! I'm 33 today - GOOD LORD where did the time go. I feel like I'm maybe, right out of college still, maybe 26ish ... not 33 with two kids. Time truly flies.
septagonstudios:  Matthew Taylor Wilson:
So here are 32 "highlights" (some more exciting than others) of my 32nd year ... 

1. I celebrated Owen's first birthday!

2. I celebrated Lila's fourth birthday with an Elsa cake, naturally.

3. I started a new job after being at my old one for the last 5 years.

4. I managed to get the stomach flu 3 times, including once while we were on vacation (thank you toddlers)

5. I celebrated with Grant during his 10 year anniversary party at work!

6. I said goodbye to the first of my four grandparents, after my sweet Papa died at age 88.

7. I clapped and cheered for Owen when he learned to walk!

8. I went on another magical vacation to Palm Springs

9. I ate Chinese takeout for Christmas dinner because we celebrated that morning with family and didn't feel like cooking after the busy day.

10. I rocked Owen back to sleep many nights while he got almost ALL of his teeth (he got them a little late!).

11. I swam in Lake Chelan and Puget Sound.

12. I went to Chicago and Orlando two times each, all four trips for work.

13. I got to see Lila perform in her first Christmas pageant.

14. I went to the zoo COUNTLESS times.

15. I walked many, many miles with our BOB stroller. I wish it had a pedometer so we could see how many miles it's logged in the last four years.

16. I welcomed a new niece!

17. I celebrated Grant's birthday dinner with ice cream because he had strep throat and it hurt him too much to eat anything else (also, thank you toddlers!).

18. I decided getting AC in our house was the best home improvement we've ever made (our summer was SO hot this year!)

19. I watched Frozen and Cars 1, 2 (at least in part) at least 50 times.

20. I decided I wasn't above getting McDonald's Happy Meals for the kids because they truly do make them happy.

21. I decided heels weren't for me anymore. I'm still upset about this one, but my feet aren't.

22. I started trying to be an early bird. I love it, but it's still a struggle every morning.

23. I finally let Grant get rid of our cable and DVR - UGH!!!!!!!! I miss it, but I don't really have time to watch TV so I can't complain.

24. I had so many fun jam sessions with Lila in the car to all the hits. "Shut Up and Dance" was our summer anthem, but Taylor Swift was our overall favorite to sing along to.

25. I applied many Band Aids.

26. I switched my Starbucks order from Caramel macchiatos to mochas and then switched again to just go with drip coffee with cream.

27. I sang so many bedtime songs to Owen, but his favorite is when I make up a song about him.

28. I decided I can't "do" malls anymore and only shop online.

29. I hosted my 7th Thanksgiving for our families.

30. I said "be careful" and "don't eat that!" about 5,000 times.

31. I felt sooooo blessed and loved!!!

32. I turned 33!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Autumn Tag

I saw this fun idea on Andrea's blog and had to try it!! I'm a sucker for all things fall, and even though I do miss the summer heat, I love fall mainly because it's the gateway to ALL things holiday!

Favorite thing about autumn. I love the crisp cool air, the changing colors and the overall festiveness! It seems like the change from summer to fall is more distinct than the others (maybe it's where we live), and it's exciting after a long summer to wear layers and boots again!

Favorite autumn drink. I love a nice spicy chai tea latte. I also love peppermint mochas once it gets cold, but that seems more Christmasy to me than fall. Last year on a biz trip I got to try Dunkin' Donuts pumpkin coffee AND pumpkin donut and both were sugary and delicious.

Favorite autumn candle. I love any "baking" scented candle, and am especially loving this vanilla pumpkin marshmallow from Bath & Body Works. Smells delicious!

Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow Mini Candle

Favorite autumn snack. I love pumpkin spice bread as a treat with a mid-morning cup of coffee.

Favorite sweet treat. Fall themed M&Ms and chocolate chips! Even better for baking into cookies!

Favorite autumn lipstick. I don't really change mine up seasonally, so instead I love to use pumpkin pie Chapstick that I pick up every year!! Smells so delicious ...

Favorite autumn moisturizer. I do like switching from citrusy smelling ones to vanilla/coconut scents and I am loving this body butter that I picked up from Target. Smells like like a sugar cookie!

Favorite autumn movie. Every year my mom and I watch this Thanksgiving movie - Home for the Holidays. If you haven't seen it, you must watch immediately! It's about 20 years old but a classic. It has Robert Downey, Jr, Holly Hunter, Claire Danes and is hilarious and sweet. It's become a tradition for us and we never get tired of watching it year after year.

Home for the Holidays

Favorite autumn attire. To work I love to wear sweater dresses with tights and boots or booties. At home on the weekends I love to wear black leggings, loose tops and slipper boots.

Favorite place to be. At home watching the Seahawks! Football season is fun and since the games are only once a week it's a fun Sunday tradition to park it on the couch and cheer them on.

Favorite Halloween costume. I just posted about our Halloween plans yesterday if you want to check it out, but my favorites are always how cute the kids are. I've shared this before, but I always get a kick out of this pic of Owen trying on Lila's Elsa wig - anything to be like his big sister!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Costumes

Happy Tuesday! Today I'm linking up with Momfessionals for Show & Tell Tuesday to share our Halloween costumes! I've said before that I never used to like Halloween until we had kids, now I think it's so cute and festive!!

Here we are last year. I was Minnie Mouse, Lila and Owen were Jessie and Buzz from Toy Story, and Grant was Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks player).

Minnie Mouse was a really easy costume to put together. I bought cheap ears from Amazon and a cute little homemade apron from Etsy that was under $20. then I wore a black T-shirt and pants I already had, along with little Mary Janes I also already had. I painted some mouse whiskers and nose on and I was set!

Lila's had some cute costumes over the years too. Here she is as an 18 month old Raggedy Ann ... so cute.

And then as a two year old Cookie Monster! I think Owen will be wearing this costume this year ... recycling at it's finest!!!

This year Lila's going to be ... Elsa. Hahah. She already has the dress, wig, shoes and gloves so really we don't need anything for her. Hopefully we can keep her wig on a little better.

Grant is going to be Olaf the snowman from Frozen!! I bought him an adult XL on Amazon and it is like capri pants on him (he's 6'5). Hilarious.

I am going to be a simple witch! I bought this little tutu skirt on Etsy. I'm going to pair it with a black shirt, a little witch hat headband, and some fun black and purple striped tights (both from Amazon). I may need to wear the tights over leggings or something because I'm not sure this tutu will appropriately cover the old bum, but we'll see. Ha!

Spooooky hat with black spiders on the veil - eeeek!

We're excited Halloween is on a Saturday this year so we can start trick or treating earlier without racing home from work and scrambling to get everyone ready. Hopefully it doesn't rain!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Hello Monday

Happy Monday!! We had a jam packed Saturday balanced with a low-key Sunday, which made for a great balance and lots of fun. 

Friday, Owen had his first official "face plant" which included a scuffed nose and forehead. Poor baby! He didn't seem to mind, but thankfully at least his teeth were spared. My sweet boy is always smiling! 

Not pictured, Grant and I had a little Friday night date. I made a new recipe and we decided to watch a movie. I gave him the option of Magic Mike 2, or Entourage. He chose Magic Mike 2 haha!!!! Who would have thought. I was "entertaining" to say the least. 

Saturday morning we relaxed in our PJs on Owen's new "couch" ... we gave our changing table/dresser away to friends who are expecting and so needed a little something to fill the space. It's one of those foam ones that folds out into a little floor bed, and the kids love it! So cute. 

After some morning books, I headed to Seattle for a baby shower! I do love some pink bubbles! I also loved how the host had pre-written our names on the glasses with a glass pen. I'd never seen one before but now I want one! 

Directly following the shower, Grant met me in Seattle with the kids so Lila and I could dash off to one of her little preschool friends' birthday! The girls were SO cute and all dressed up like princesses. So much fun with these sweet girls!! 

Sunday we contemplated going to a pumpkin patch but it was pouring and we were ready to veg out, so we instead made a big Sunday breakfast and lounged around home. 

We took a nice little walk in our neighborhood, stopped to swing and of course stomp in puddles. I wore my puffy vest for the first time this season. So cozy! 

Then the stars aligned and the Seahawks game was during naptime (woooo!). So off the kids went to bed and Grant and I parked it on the couch with Bloody Mary's to watch the game. 

Unfortunately, the Seahawks loooooooooossssstttttttt agaaainnnnnnnnnn. Soooooo depressing. It was another game they should have won. But! Better luck next time. 

After the game we hit the community pool for a swim on the baby beach and Lila was FINALLY tall enough to go down the waterslides by herself!! Such a big girl! Owen's favorite was the little baby splash pad, and of course, the hot tub. It was a nice way to close out the weekend.

Have a great week!

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