Wednesday, February 15, 2017

my funny valentines

before i had kids i never would have dedicated an entire post to valentine's day (sorry thatcher!). but it's so much more fun now to celebrate with them too! we started by working on valentines for the grandparents last week and valentines for azalea's classmates over the weekend. i have to give credit where credit is due: thatcher happily helped azalea cut, glue, and write out alllll of the valentines. i married a good man :) this is what they looked like: 

i was pleasantly surprised that azalea's school was allowing valentine's day celebrations (even halloween had to be a "fall harvest party"). i definitely understand why religious holidays shouldn't be celebrated in schools, but things like halloween and valentine's day seem harmless to me. moving on...i wish i could have attended the class party, but you have to be an official parent volunteer and younger siblings can't tag along. oh well. she brought home a whole box of valentines and only 2-3 candies which were all fruit-flavored. so different than when i was in school. ha! 

after thatcher got home, we made pasta with grilled chicken, zucchini, squash, and red onion for dinner. i got the kids a couple small gifts: a new umbrella for each (both of theirs broke in the same week) and the movie trolls (which they saw in the theater and loved). they were thrilled! i got thatcher some sweets.

 thatcher made his annual chocolate souffle and we ate it after the kids were in bed - so good! we snuggled up on the couch and watched a movie the rest of the night. it was a normal day, with some fun things sprinkled in to make it special. just the way i like it! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

dentist, co-working, pedicure

happy monday! it's feeling more spring-like here, it's valentine's day tomorrow, we have a family getaway to vancouver coming up this weekend, and i'm generally feeling more refreshed in life. backing up a bit...

this is like so 3 weeks ago, but i realized i never blogged about ashford's first dentist appointment. it really bugs me when i miss blogging about things that i intended to (i might be a bit neurotic, no?), so i'm just gonna do it now! january 19th was the day. i took him to the same family dentist we all see. ashford has watched azalea get her teeth cleaned twice, so i was hoping it would be a breeze. and it was! apparently both of my kids think it's fun to climb up on the big chair, lay back and get their teeth worked on. ha! they don't do much at appointments at age 3 (mostly count their teeth, talk about dental hygiene, and look for visible signs of cavities). the dentist said he teeth looked great! we're all set for 6 months now. woo hoo!

one more thing before i get to the weekend recap. ashford and i ended up going to check out that co-working / drop-in preschool place i mentioned in my last post and it was awesome!! we went last tuesday morning, met the women who run it and the preschool teacher and saw the space. we took the registration forms and bought our first 10 hour punch card. we got ourselves on the schedule for thursday morning from 10-12 and off we went! they are still getting up and running and trying to build awareness, so ashford was actually the only kid there. haha. and one of the founders and i were the only moms working, so that was kind of funny, but nice. i was right down the hall from him and got a ton of work done. he had fun with "miss alex". they played with toys, did an art project, and ate lunch (that we brought). and we are going back today too! i think we'll do 1-2 mornings a week. i'm so glad my friend heather told me about it!

now onto the short recap of the weekend...

friday night we had dinner with the kids and got them to bed, then thatcher went to a birthday party for his co-worker's wife the rest of the night. i watched a movie and drank wine on the couch in my pajamas. amen!

saturday morning i met up with my friend beth and another friend of hers for pedicures at a nail salon in our neighborhood. beth turned 40 on friday, so it was to celebrate! i hadn't had a pedicure since last october, so it was a much-needed treat! 

we hung out at home with the kids in the afternoon, grilled burgers for dinner and watched a muppet movie (confession: i do not like all). but the kids enjoyed it. 

sunday morning we took the kids to the children's museum. we came back for lunch then ashford took a nap (for maybe the second time in a week). we aren't letting him totally give them up yet ;) azalea actually took a long nap too, so that was awesome. except it made for a less awesome bed time for both. we made salmon for dinner and helped azalea work on her valentines to bring to class tomorrow. we need to finish them up tonight! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

february so far

it'ssss monday! we had another quiet weekend here. i know i sound like a broken record lately. truth be told, i've been in sort of a funk. we haven't had much going on and and yet i'm feeling burned out. burned out on parenting, burned out on what's happening to this country, and burned out on winter. while i love the idea of a "lazy" day at home once in a while, it's just hard to actually have a relaxing day at home with young least not with my young children. ;) 

our weekend consisted of: work time for me saturday morning while thatcher took the kids to a recreation center (the kids love the ball pit there), board gaming for thatcher and a friend at a game store/restaurant in our neighborhood, skype date with uncle anders and aunt nith, a trip to the library and the grocery store. sunday we stayed home for most of the day. thatcher and i were both feeling tired and we couldn't come up with anywhere to go as a family. the kids wanted our attention and for us to entertain them every second. i know that won't always be the case and some day i will miss it (?), but today is not that day. i am just exhausted. not to mention ashford has been refusing to nap more often than not (and barely sleeping more at night to make up for it). we watched the super bowl through the half time show and then i went to my friend heather's after dinner to write postcards to elected officials with some other ladies. that was super fun and productive!

we woke up to a couple inches of snow this morning and a message from the district that schools are closed all day. sighhh. 

i was supposed to take ashford with me this morning to check out a brand new co-working flexible workspace geared towards work from home parents that has an attached prechool. so cool right? you can do a set # of mornings per week or buy an hourly punch card. ashford does not need to be potty trained to go, but i do need to stay on site in case he needs to be changed. i'm excited to check it out, it could be a great fit for us! we will still try to go depending on the roads. 

finally (to add a little more positivity to this post!) we are going to vancouver, canada as a family in a couple weekends and i'm so excited for a little getaway. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

january wrap up: weekend, fashion finds, healthy eating

january is finally wrapping up (did it feel 5 years long to anyone else?). once again, i don't have a whole lot in the recap department, but here we go:

friday night we watched "happy feet" with the kids and let them stay up a bit late since ashford took a long nap in the afternoon and azalea fell asleep on the couch after school (which happens quite often. girl loves her naps).

saturday morning we walked to the locks for the first time in quite a while, then to the library to get some new books.

the kids were not into napping in the afternoon, so that was my cue to escape for my sanity's sake. thank you thatcher for seeing the look of panic in my eyes. haha. i walked around our neighborhood, got some coffee, and went in a few stores. in the evening, we watched ewan while vanessa and matt had a date night. the kids were wild and crazy in our small apartment as usual, but we survived and it was fun. 

sunday morning thatcher took the kids to carkeek park, so i could do a little work from home. i even got to eat my lunch in peace :) 

it seems like all i talk about lately is thatcher taking the kids to do fun things on the weekends so i can get a break and i'm feeling a little guilty about it. i don't blog too much about our weekdays around here, because the weekends are more memorable, but when i solo parent 10+ hours a day on the weekdays, i'm really ready for a kid-break by the weekend. i'm so grateful for all the time i get to spend with my kids, but i do miss going into an office a couple times a week to break things up. when you combine me staying home with no family around to give me/us a break, it's tough. not that we didn't expect that to be the case when we moved. the rest of the day yielded no nap again for ashford (sigh), but a nap for azalea. then dinner and baths to end the night. 

what else is on my mind this week? 

1. this presidency that continues to be a disaster. and we're only one week in! every day i am absolutely dumbfounded by the disgraceful decisions that are being made. will it ever end? i'm embarrassed to be an american right now. i didn't think we were a country of assholes, but that is quickly becoming the case. it is so disappointing. i hope some one can put a stop to this madness. taking away people's rights because they are not white, male, christian, etc is just plain wrong. why does there have to be so much hate, ignorance, and fear?

2. this post is quickly becoming a carbon copy of last monday's - weekend recap, politics, fashion. ha! i've been doing a little too much shopping lately and should probably reign it in, but i can't help myself. here are my latest purchases from old navy and target. yes, those jeans have a hole in the knee. yes, that is a trend i said i would never get on board with. ha! 

these riding boots were $20 at target!!
3. finally, i've been making a serious effort to eat healthier lately. the last couple months of 2016 were a non-stop stream of sugar (i'm looking at you, starbucks holiday drinks) and while that was fun and all, i was feeling really sluggish physically...not to mention my pants were not fitting like they used to. i am not overweight by any means, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to your health, right? i've adopted an "everything in moderation" approach. it's been about a week and a half now and i am really noticing a difference in how i look and feel, which is encouraging. here are some of the changes i've made: 

- if i'm hungry for snack (which i always am!), it has to be something healthy: fruit, veggies with hummus, pistachios, almonds, yogurt, etc. no junk. 

- no eating the kids' food off their plates that they don't want when clearing their dishes. 

- i am not the type who can eat "just" a salad for lunch and be satisfied, but i've been buying these chopped salad kits at the store and they are awesome! one bag lasts me three lunches and i will have a little warmed up pita bread or rolled up deli turkey with mustard, and usually some fruit with my salad. it keeps me least for a couple hours ;) 

- finally, dessert. i loooove dessert and can't live without it. i don't think anyone should have to. i'll be honest, up until recently i was eating sweets multiple times a every day. not good. my new rule for myself is no sweets during the day (meaning typical dessert stuff: chocolate, donuts, cookies, etc). after dinner i can have one piece of dark chocolate. it's been going really well. i'm actually appreciating the chocolate now and not just eating it as a given. i'm hoping i can keep this up long term. 

okay, this post got way longer and all over the place than i intended, but thanks for reading! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

monday tidbits

our weekend was pretty quiet and picture-less. friday night i went out for drinks with my friend beth to a cozy little tapas bar in our neighborhood. it was fun to catch up with her, because we usually hang out during the week when we are with our kids and neither of us can finish a sentence. saturday morning thatcher took the kids to uvillage (outdoor mall) and i went to toast coffee shop and worked on invoicing for 2 hours. thatcher hung out with a friend around dinner time and the kids and i made pizza and watched frozen. sunday morning thatcher took the kids to the zoo, so i could do more invoicing. all of these kid "breaks" were very much appreciated as this was a pretty trying week in the mom department. sunday afternoon brought naps and grocery shopping and another movie night. not bad, weekend, not bad :) 

since you got a short and sweet recap of the weekend, here are some other things on my mind: 

1. as everyone knows, donald trump became our president on friday. i could write a novel about why that is very concerning to me, but instead i will just say, i hope and pray that our fears about his leadership are unfounded (although i am already having doubts considering all of the important issues that were immediately removed from the white house website, and the lies that are being reported about the inauguration and march numbers) :( i wasn't able to attend the seattle women's march this weekend, but i was so inspired seeing everyone's posts on social media. thatcher and i also made a donation to planned parenthood, so i feel like we were able to make an impact in some way. i'm thankful we live in a country where we can voice our opinions, hopes, and dreams.  

2. on a totally different (and sort of embarrassingly less important) note, i want to share my favorite new fashion blog i came across recently. maybe you already know of it, (it's been around since 2011), but i found it through my friend lisa's blog just last week and i've spent an embarrassing amount of time pouring over the archives since then. it's called putting me together and it's written by a woman in san diego named audrey. there are a few reasons why i'm proclaiming this to be the best style blog ever. 1. she is super down to earth and has a very relatable body type (unlike some of the fashion bloggers out there who intimidate me with their super model-like appearances). 2. she breaks down her outfit inspiration advice into super easy to follow instructions. 3. most of the clothes she links to are reasonably priced (again, unlike some of the fashion bloggers out there promoting $1k purses. no thanks!). i know i'm not the only one who gets bored with their wardrobe from time to time, but i swear, since reading her posts, i have put together some super cute outfits i never would have thought of on my own. and i'll admit, i have started a list of some pieces that i want to add to my wardrobe, but my main focus is getting inspiration for clothes i already own. :) 
Outfits With a White Plaid Blanket Scarf

hope you had a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

ashford's kid party and a trip to anacortes, wa

we all had a 3 day weekend over here. thatcher and azalea were both off for martin luther king day, so it was nice to have a bonus day together. i won't recap the entire weekend, but just some highlights. it was a busy one! also, before i move onto the weekend, i want to record that azalea started a basketball class at the community center last thursday (her pick!). she seemed to love it despite being one of the youngest and definitely the shortest. :) she also went to another birthday party for one of her classmates, stella rye (there are two stella's). they invited the entire class (and any parents who wanted to stay to their house). as you can imagine it was quite chaotic! now onto the weekend...

ashford's kid party

saturday morning we had ashford's joint 3rd birthday party with his buddy ewan. ashford's birthday is 12/21 and ewan's is 1/13 and we share a lot of the same friends with their family, so we decided to do one together. best decision ever! we rented a party room at the children's museum (just like we did for azalea's birthday). vanessa took care of all the food, decorations, party favors, etc. i basically just showed up. she is amazing :) we had about 25 people come (including parents and siblings). the kids had a blast running around the museum and then we served some snacks before having 'birthday donuts'. we got home and both kids crashed, which was nice!

until the day of the party, i don't think ashford understood that it was for him too. he kept calling it "ewan's party" and when i would remind him, he would say "but i already had my birthday!" so cute. needless to say, he had a great time. 

anacortes, wa

the first year we lived in seattle we did so many little day trips and exploring, in general. it has certainly slowed down the second year and i miss it, so i suggested we do a day trip on sunday. thatcher agreed! we picked anacortes, which is the "gateway" to the san juan islands. we had not been to anacortes yet and it was on our list. it was about an hour and a half drive to get there. the kids did okay, sans electronic devices (something we are going to invest in soon for car trips for our own sanity). 

we stopped in mount vernon and grabbed some coffee on the way. when we arrived in anacortes, it was lunch time, so we found "secret cove", which was a restaurant we picked before leaving. every table in the place had a beautiful view of the water! we had a nice lunch (despite the kids being really squirrly and talking loudly the whole time) :) 

after lunch we walked through the downtown area. lots of shops that were closed and restaurants that were open. 

i'll give you one guess who took this one ;) 

then we walked over to an old train station, which has been turned into a plaza. in the spring, summer, and fall there is a farmers market there, but not a whole lot happening in the winter. 

 this ship is only open march-november. womp womp.

our last stop in anacortes was washington park. we drove into the park and decided to take the "scenic drive" which was a 1 car width road that was also shared by pedestrians and bikes. wowza. at least it was a one way and no treacherous drop offs or anything like that. the coolest part was, there were small parking areas along the drive where you could get out and look at the views. and let me tell you - they were spectacular! 

some nice ladies asked if they could take a family picture for us. "yes please!" says the mom blogger :) 

a couple more for good measure: 

this one cracks me up. 

thanks for the fun, anacortes!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

another outfit post

in an effort to break up the "this is what we did this weekend" posts, i thought i'd do another outfit post from your favorite wannabe fashionista. :) my last one was from 9 months ago! i post my outfits on instagram probably once every week or two. i love looking for outfit inspiration from fashion bloggers, especially those who buy reasonably priced clothes. who knows, maybe i will help inspire some outfits for my friends along the way. 

here is a collage of some outfits from the past 4 months: 

1. i had a flannel shirt a couple years ago that i liked, but it was super tight in the shoulders, so i never wore it. i went to value village (think goodwill) this fall and actually found two of them second hand. they have been getting a lot of wear. earlier this week i wore this one under a gray sweater and that was cute too. 

2. this is the dress i wore for kelli and jake's rehearsal dinner in october. i found it second hand at buffalo exchange for $12 and it's a free people dress, so that was kind of exciting. i'm a sucker for anything lace, especially on dresses and the color is so pretty! 

3. the striped shirt is a target find from this fall. i had been wanting a black and white striped shirt because they look really cute under vests. i also love that this one has more of a boat neck and the stripes don't go all the way up. the green vest is an old navy find from a couple years ago and i love it because it's super thin, so it fits well underneath jackets. jeans were second hand viggoss brand from buffalo exchange. they just bit the dust this week with a giant hole in the crotch ;) tan booties are from h&m this fall. i love them, they have a short heel (super comfortable) and they go with everything! 

4. gray sweater was second hand from value village. i'm obsessed with gray sweaters, they are so versatile. green jacket is from target last year (but they have a similar one this year). i love this jacket as a jacket, but also because it looks super cute as part of an outfit as well. you can't really see in the picture, but i'm wearing white jeans which i've always wanted (but was scared to buy). i found this pair (mine were bought major on sale) from nordstrom this fall and i call them my "no kids" pants. i typically only wear them when i'm not with my kids, for obvious reasons :) my purse is from target probably 3 years ago now. as much as i love some of the designer purses out there, i just can't bring myself to spend the money on them. this one is starting to fall apart (i've used it pretty much every day for the last 3 years), so i replaced it with a similar cognac-colored cross body from nordstrom. 

5. this is probably my favorite outfit of the collage! i got this chambray tunic shirt at buffalo exchange our first summer here and it's so fun to style it different ways. i have mixed feelings about the denim on denim look, so i'm more comfortable wearing it with pants that are a different color. which brings me to to these cropped skinny black jeans from gap outlet. they are sort of high wasted (keeps everything in - ha!) and sooo comfortable. i got them this fall, so i'm looking forward to wearing them in warm weather with sandals. the scarf is from buffalo exchange as well. i've been trying different ways to wear scarves, this attempt was as easy as it gets! :) same booties from h&m. 

6. this cranberry top is from target and i love it except i ordered it a size too big and was too lazy to exchange it, so i always wear something over it. but i love the lace detail on the bottom. the black and white cardigan is from nordstrom this fall and it is the comfiest stretchy light-weight material. i have another one in gray and black and they get a lot of wear. jeans are gap skinnies from buffalo exchange. 

7. the famous blanket scarf! this was a gift from kelli to all of her bridesmaids and everyone loved them. (we even used them for the outdoor professional pictures). i've always loved the look of blanket scarves, but was too intimidated to figure out how to fold/wear them. getting one as a gift was the perfect way to dive in! there are so many tutorials online for folding blanket scarves and it turns out it's not really that complicated at all. the colors in this scarf are so pretty, and it's the perfect way to "dress up" a plain shirt. 

8. finally, this white peasant-y top is from target. i love the way it hangs and that it's more exciting than a plain white tee. the cardigan is from target as well and is super loungy and oversized, which is a style i don't own much of, but i really like it! these gray jeans (which are really more like jeggings) are from h&m last winter. somedays the tightness is not my friend, but i do love their color for a change from regular denim. 

so, there you go. no idea if this post was fun or bored you to tears, but i had fun writing it. i'm sort of "over" cold weather clothes and itching to wear shorts, skirts, tank tops, and sandals once again. but we have quite a few months to go before that will be reality. until then, i'll just keep looking for new ways to wear my current wardrobe. oh and buy more clothes i probably don't need. i can't help but take advantage of a good deal when i see one :) 


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