Monday, November 30, 2015

Our Thanksgiving Weekend

Happy Monday! We're back from a glorious Thanksgiving weekend on Camano Island. It was a beautiful sunny but FREEZING weekend (you can sort of spy the frost covering the deck and lawn furniture in the pic below), and we had some great R&R with family. 

Here's a recap of our Thanksgiving weekend, mostly in pictures: 

The kids got to open their new matching Christmas PJs and they looked quite darling. Here they are in the window seat enjoying the morning sunrise. 

Since I grew up on Puget Sound, I can't get enough of these views. Mountains in the distance!

Just the girls! 

Grant and Lila heading out on the boat to drop the crab pots on Thanksgiving morning. 

Lila loved writing her name in the sand!

Keeping with the beach theme, we feasted on shrimp cocktails for a light and delicious Thanksgiving lunch. 

Our Thanksgiving table. The people who owned the house we rented were so sweet and put out a beautiful Thanksgiving cloth and candles. I added the "coloring" placemats where we each wrote what we were thankful for and got to color a turkey while we waited to eat. The adults were almost more into this than the kids! We also had our little Thanksgiving "crackers" to pop before we ate as well.

Our crab bounty! 

The kids snuggling on the deck. It was COLD - brrr!!!

During nap time I was able to take a hot tub with a view! And a glass of wine - heaven!

And the cocktails continued with a cranberry champagne cocktail on the beach. 

We had such a great time I hope we can visit again!!! 

Hope you had lovely weekends as well.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Simply Me Friday

It's Black Friday! And I can assure you that I am most definitely NOT shopping. I have never been able to bring myself to the madness. The only thing I like to buy on Black Friday is my Christmas Tree, but since we're still out of town the only thing on our agenda today is R&R at the beach - yes! 

We had a lovely Thanksgiving and being away at a little beach house has been PERFECT for the holidays. I've loved it. 

Anyway, I'm checking in briefly to link up with Liz though and answer a few fun "Simply Me" questions for her link-up today. 

What was the first car you drove?  Are you still driving it now? I've had three cars. The first wasn't really mine, but my dad let me drive his, and it was actually pretty nice for a 16 year old! I was even voted "Nicest Car" in my senior yearbook!! My Dad commuted via ferry, which left his spare car open for me. So, it was kind of embarrassing because it wasn't even "mine" and it was quickly sold when I left for college. Then I drove my grandparents' old Buick - OH my word - speaking of embarrassing. It had half of a hood ornament and was sort of similar to this car from the old movie Uncle Buck. 

And now I've been driving the same Volvo sedan for the past 8 years. 

The first dance you went to was? Oooh, probably some awkward middle school dance. 

What about your first job? I worked at a video store inside of a grocery store! I believe those are probably extinct now! It was pretty fun though and I had early access to movie rentals, which was a nice little perk when you're a teenager. 

Tell us about the first phone you had? Ha! I had that early 2000's "Nokia" giant phone everyone had. When I was in high school my remote island didn't even have cell reception so it wasn't even worth having a cell phone. I didn't get one until I went to college!

What was the first book you read? (an actual chapter book) I have NO idea, but I've always loved to read and loved Judy Blume, The Babysitters Club, Anne of Green Gables, Sweet Valley High, and so on. So many good ones. I also read all the Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children, etc. 

So that's it! 

Hope you're all having a nice Friday!

Thanksgiving This & That

I'm trying to wrap up work stuff and all our last minute groceries and other items today to get ready for our little Thanksgiving getaway. I tell you, if you've never packed up for a little road trip with two kids - it's RIDICULOUS how much stuff we're bringing. I always try to bring the "comforts of home" when we spend the night elsewhere, and by the time you pack up bedding, nightlights, white noise machines, travel high chairs, etc. it gets to be a LOT! I've picked up a few fun little items to add to our festiveness too ... 

Loved these little cocktail napkins from Cost Plus ...

I also had to get these little "crackers" which are cute at each place setting but also add some fun conversation to the meal too (they each have a joke and fact inside!).

I also loved these little paper name cards! I usually make new ones every year but since we will be away I thought these flowers cute and would be easy to haul with us ...

And of course, I had to pick up matching Christmas PJs for the kids to open on Thanksgiving evening. These are from Target  and came with the softest fleece pants!! I want some in my size ...

I also picked up this sweet "Little People" light-up Nativity Scene for the kids to open. They love anything with little figures, and I figured at their age this was a safer Nativity Scene option than anything breakable. 
Fisher-Price Little People A Christmas Story
Excited to spend some time with family starting tomorrow!!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekend fun

Helllooo, friends! It was a COLD but sunshiney weekend here and the sunshine was just what we needed after a few weeks of pouring rain, wind and gloom. Even though it was frosty and cold the fresh air was so nice! 

Check out those rays shining in!!! And it's a nice excuse to wear all my winter layers too. 

We kicked off a tired Friday night with some festive, seasonal comfort food - penne noodles with a creamy butternut squash sauce, fried sage and chicken sausage. SO good!! 

Saturday morning the kids woke up like clockwork at 7 a.m. and everyone snuggled into our bed. Lila is playing ABC Mouse on Grant's phone, Owen is playing with our ceiling fan remote (it got a little breezy! haha) and Grant and I were trying to pretend we were still asleep for as long as possible. 

That morning was COLD! The grass was covered in frost and it was the perfect time to decorate the windows with some fun snowflake window clings from Target. 

We started the day right with a fun breakfast of vanilla cinnamon french toast, sausages, coffee and fresh squeezed OJ! 

Then we hit the park. It was so nice and sunny out. Here's Owen playing "hide and seek" ... so sweet! 


Sunday was more of the same, followed by a GIANT pizza and the Seahawks game, which conveniently fell during naptime (aka, we could actually watch!). And they won - yes! 

I'm so excited for the short holiday week this week!! Lots to do tomorrow - I need to hit the grocery store and get everything ready for our little getaway! 

Hope you all had a nice weekend.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Finally Friday

Good morning and happy Friday! I'm so glad this week is OVER. It was rainy, STORMY and windy here this week, thankfully we didn't lose power though. And on a positive note, we're one step closer to a little Thanksgiving getaway! 

Here's what we've been up to this week ...

This is basically what it looked like all week - gloomy, grey, rainy and WINDY! Lots of leaves. They are pretty though ... (but, when is summer?)

I started trying to do some little online workouts at home and they are HARD (or am I just super out of shape? Oh right ...). 

I DID manage to get some new pants and Nike frees for motivation. New gear always helps, right?!

And to erase any calories the workouts may have burned, we tried a new Greek restaurant by our house the other day and got lunch takeout. It was SO good - these "Greek fries" (not sure how authentic they are) were SO GOOD. They were mixed with a salt/pepper spice comby and topped with feta and herbs. So delish!

Their gyros were pretty delicious as well. It's always fun to try new restaurants, especially when they are good! 

Lila and I continued our Starbucks dates. She's so sweet and seriously looks forward to her alone time with Mama. 

And I couldn't leave Owen out. You can't really tell but here is he playing with a balloon. He was entertained for about 30 minutes just letting it float up and bump the ceiling. Then he'd pull it down again. Over and over and LAUGH as if it were the funniest thing ever. Oh to be a toddler. 

Hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Calming the Crazy

As the years go on, the more this time of year makes me feel like a total granny. Going to bed early? Yes, please! Wearing PJs as soon as I walk in the door? Yes, please! I feel like this time of year especially, it's a little crazy - with all the events, work, kids, gifts, hosting, and so on, it gets a bit wacky. Also, I feel like this time of year brings the "trolls" out of hiding. Like people who don't know how to drive or shop suddenly come out of the woodwork, making things seem worse than normal.

That coupled with it being dark at 4 p.m., I'm ready for summer.

Here are a few things that are keeping me sane this season ...

+ Amazon Prime. Seriously. I hate shopping anymore. I HATE it. The stores are packed, nothing's ever there when I want it, sometimes things are on sale, sometimes not, etc. I'd MUCH rather sit at home with my mug of coffee, slippers and leggings on, and fill my Amazon basket full of Christmas items. Done and done.

+  Getting Up Early. I've been continuing to get up early (5:30ish) so I have an hour or so before the kids wake up to work, blog, read, drink coffee in peace, etc. I should probably use this time to work out or something, but even the peace and quiet is nice and I can answer emails or do a few little things I normally wouldn't have had time for. Granted, this was MUCH easier in the summer when the sun was rising at 5 a.m., however, I've been trying to keep it up.

+ Working From Home. The nice thing about being able to work from home is that I can multi-task. I've been trying to work from home at least a couple days a week, and that allows me to throw laundry in, prep dinner, clean up the kids toys/clothes, or do little errands that I normally would have to do after work. I'm also more productive when I work from home because there's no commute!

+ Crockpot/Dinner Planning. I used to be so much better at this, but we've been doing a lot of take out (which also feels like a treat after a long day). I'm trying to do at least a few meals planned ahead that I can throw into the crockpot or prep in advance. I still love having Grant grill extra chicken/shrimp for us to eat during the week, which saves time too.

+ Going Away for the Holidays. Both of our families live in the Seattle area, which is a blessing, but also makes the holidays seem so chaotic. Growing up, we would race to one event, do another one the next day, then another one the next day, or sometimes, two in one day. When we got married it was even more hectic because I wanted to make sure we saw everyone and didn't leave anyone out. I remember when Lila was 7 months old for her first Christmas, we raced between three gatherings on Christmas Eve, sitting in the car for 20 minutes to let her "nap" before heading to dinner. It was ridiculous. This is part of the reason we rented a beach house for Thanksgiving. Everyone can come to us and spend the night so we aren't racing around or racing to get food prepped before guests come over. I'll be happy to sit on the couch in my holiday garb with a giant cocktail and relax!

What do you do to keep yourself sane amidst the business of the season?


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Favorite Christmas Songs!

So I know it isn't December yet, but WHO can resist Christmas music for as long as possible!? (OK, probably a lot of people ... but whatever!).  I've always listened to Christmas music starting at least by mid-November. I also always have a special evening where I wrap all my Christmas gifts and watch a Christmas movie (and now that I'm married, it's usually a girly Christmas movie on a night Grant isn't home).

So, here are my FAVORITE Christmas songs (be prepared, I like the cheesy ones!).

1. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song. It's peppy, catchy and I love belting this song out.

2. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by N*Sync. Um. Yes. I just admitted this publicly. My BFF Tanya and I used to play this on repeat FULL BLAST in our old apartment and jam. It's SO corny but I love it. LOVE it! Also, this really dates me, but in high school I used to work at a video store (haha) and this song was at the end of that old Jonathan Taylor Thomas (remember him!?) movie "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

3. Mele Kalikimaka by Bing Crosby. I think the main reason I like this song is because it's in my favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, but it's catchy and fun.

4. Michael Buble's entire Christmas Album. Not picking favorites here, but I love his whole Christmas collection! So many great songs. Love this little duet White Christmas duet with he and Kellie Pickler!

5. Sleighride by the Ronettes. I think I love this song because it's one of my Dad's favorites so I always remember hearing it growing up. So festive and fun!

I also feel it's important to note these are my fun Christmas favorites for listening at home and in the car, but I love many classic and beautiful hymns and singing silent night with candles at Christmas Eve services. (I also feel it's equally as important to share my LEAST favorite Christmas song - Jingle Bells. Ugh.)

What are your Christmas favorites??


Monday, November 16, 2015

Happy Monday

Hope everyone had a great weekend!! We did even though it was STORMY here - super windy and rainy. We were able to get our family pics taken and despite the grey hopefully they come out OK. The good news is it was sunny by Sunday and was SUCH a welcomed change even though it was pretty cold. 

Friday night was SO nasty out that it called for a comfort dinner and a movie. I had made Momfessionals' Chicken Pot Pie this summer and frozen one which was PERFECT for a night like Friday. It was so good! Then we watched Trainwreck, which was funny but not quite as funny as I was thinking it'd be. I loved Lebron James' role though - so funny. 

Saturday we headed to Costco before our pics and they had the little Gingerbread house kits!! We quickly snapped up three. It's become one of my favorite traditions with my BFF and Lila. Lila eats more candy than makes it onto the house, but whatev! 

Then we quickly changed and headed out for our pics. Grant took an outtake of Lila and I - CHEEESE! See how grey it is? You can barely see downtown Seattle across the lake if you look closely. (BTW - for those that wondered, this is what Seattle typically looks like from November - March). 

We wore creams/pinks/greys/maroons and it all went pretty well together ... Lila was loving her "tutu." 

After naps, my parents came over and Grant and I headed to dinner with friends! Love a good date night. 

Sunday my mom, grandmother and I went to an annual holiday craft/decor show and it did not disappoint. They had leaves stapled to the entry wall. Wouldn't this be fun! (Grant would freak). I love the "Joy" sign too and would be something easy to DIY. 

Everything also had a little vintage vibe this year which I LOVE and I picked up one of the little Christmas trees below. So fun!

All in all, a nice little weekend. Hope you had a great one too!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday, Friday!

Happy Friday! It's a windy, stormy day here today! We have our family picture "retakes" this weekend since we were rained out last weekend, and it's looking like it'll be rainy again. Umbrella pics perhaps? We'll see! 

Here's what we've been up to this week ... 

Even though it's been COLD and wet, the kids still want to go outside to play after school/before/after dinner. Owen shouts "OUTSIDE, OUTSIDE!" and they love to "garden" with our bark. So, we've been bundling up and heading out as much as possible. Trying not to ask how many more days until summer ... #needsunlight 

Because it's been so gloomy, I've been burning my new "Hot Buttered Rum" candle - smells so good and festive! 

In celebration of Veteran's Day this week, my mom shared this fun picture of her dad, my "Papa," who was in the horse Calvary! You can barely make out the yellow arrow on the right pointing him out in this pic. He died earlier this year, but he loved to tell us all about his horse and the funny stories he had during this time in his life. 

And my cousin shared this pic of my other Grandpa, who was a paratrooper in WWII! He'll be turning 90 next month, but still has plenty of stories about his time in the military. I cannot imagine parachuting anywhere, let alone into battle!! So thankful for our veterans and active military! 

Last night we took the kids to the new Chick-fil-A near our house (quite the hype, we'd never been before!) and then headed to Lowe's after for a few house things. The kids and I left Grant be so he could search for what we needed, and we entertained ourselves with the musical Christmas toys. These two can find fun anywhere. Lila's holding a SUPER annoying Santa that sings about taking a selfie (he's holding a plastic cell phone with his picture on it - so lame!).

Yesterday I was getting Lila dressed to go to preschool when Owen disappeared. I found him in the guest bathroom standing on the step stool having a little tea party. I asked him what he was doing and he replied "Making hot tea, mama!" So sweet! 

Have a great weekend!!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Breakfast wrap

During the week we're a quick breakfast family - breakfast or protein bars, yogurt, apple sauce, etc. But on the weekends we like to indulge!! I made this delicious breakfast "wrap" last weekend and it was so easy and tasty. 

I'd recently found this sriracha ranch at Trader Joe's and it's SO GOOD, but surprisingly too spicy to use by itself (at least for me). I would not want to use this alone on a salad, but it went perfectly on this breakfast wrap! (PS have you noticed sriracha is everywhere now!? They even have it at Starbucks!)

Breakfast Wrap for One
2 eggs, whisked
1 TBL sharp cheddar, shredded or cubed
3 cherry tomatoes, cut into fourths
3 slides avocado, cubed
2 TBL cilantro, minced
1 TBL sriracha ranch (you could also just mix some regular sriracha with sour cream or plain greek yogurt for something very similar) 
1 flour tortilla

Scramble your eggs how you like and add in the cheese so it melts into the eggs as they cook. When scrambled, I transferred them to a cutting board and quickly warmed my tortilla in the same skillet. When warm, transfer to a plate and spread your sriracha sauce on your tortilla. Add your eggs and toppings and wrap to close. ENJOY! 

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