Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favs

I've never been more thankful for a three-day weekend. This week has been hectic - on Monday we realized Owen's ear infections never cleared and were back at the doctor for another round of antibiotics. On Wednesday, I flew across the country for a quick work trip, flew back late Thursday night and was up early again today to close out the week. I'm looking forward to a little R&R at  home this weekend. And it's actually supposed to be drizzly and cool, so I'm looking forward to some baking, movie watching and lots of coffee.

Here are my weekly five ...

1. Work. Being a working mom is hard, but thankfully I don't have to travel too often. On Wednesday, I woke up with Owen at 2:30 a.m. and by the time I got him back to sleep it was straight to the shower and out the door to get to the airport by 5 a.m. I got a much-needed coffee and pastry! 

(PS - Not a great photo, but if you caught my post earlier this week on business travel outfit ideas, here's what I ended up wearing) 

2. Blackberry Cobbler. There's nothing more delicious than ripe summer berries. I blogged a tasty blackberry cobbler recipe this week that is SUPER easy and equally delicious. And, if blackberries aren't your thing, you could easily sub in your favorite fruit. 

3. My Happy Heart. I was thrilled when sweet Astleigh of the Hill Collection Blog asked me to participate in her Happy Heart series this week (you guessed it - sunshine and beaches were mentioned! One of my favorite beaches in Cabo is pictured below). You can see my Happy Heart eight featured here. And if you haven't bookmarked the Hill Collection blog yet, please do! Astleigh and I share a love of all things Fall and her blog has become one of my daily must-reads!

4. Chef Lila. Speaking of things that make my heart happy, our sweet Lila and Grant had a daddy/daughter pizza-making afternoon recently. She was so thrilled to wear her tiny apron and make pizza with her Papa. They even made a tiny one just for her. I'll post our recipes soon - they were delicious!

5. Just because. Crawling boy with a chin covered in slobber and grass. Such happiness!

Today I'm linking up with all of my favorite blogs (here, here, here, here, here and here) so check theirs out too and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Me, Myself & I

+ i'm a typical Libra - pretty even-keel, laid back for the most part, and easy to please. One of the things Grant and I have in common is our personality - with a love of 'nonsense' and humor. 

+ i love sunshine. Tropical vacations are my favorite. There's nothing better for me than a warm summer night or eating breakfast outdoors in the morning sun. 

+ both of our kids have short four-letter names with no obvious nicknames. Although some interesting nicknames have already emerged for both!

+ coffee is my favorite. I joke that I drink cream with a little coffee, but waking up to a warm coffee with hazelnut creamer is my new favorite. During the holidays, I love a good peppermint mocha - whipped cream and all!

+ i love the peaceful quiet crackling of the ocean when you snorkel. There's nothing more relaxing for me than swimming in crystal clear water, with beautiful sea life in view and the warm sun on my back. 

+ i have a weakness for trashy magazines and reality TV ... although since having baby #2 we got rid of cable and are purely a Netflix family. It's "nice" to be too busy to watch TV regularly, although I do admit I miss the nights where I could sit in peace with a DVR full of Bravo TV's finest ... 

+ i sleep with earplugs every night (thanks husband!)

+ for some reason, sandwiches always taste better to me when someone else makes them. Especially my Mom.

+ i'd prefer to wear leggings, slipper boots and a comfy shirt all day 

+ i love to cook and entertain. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorites! 

+ i'm a "must get your Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving" kind of girl ... my loving husband has thankfully gone with it without issue! 

Pssst! I'm linking up here and here today with my "Thoughts for Thursday" so head on over and check theirs out too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Business Travel Fashion

Today, I'm off to the East Coast for a quick work trip (yes, it's my first night away from Owen - eek! Good luck Papa!). Because I'm traveling for work today I thought it'd be timely to discuss business travel fashions. On one hand, you want to be comfortable, but on the other, you don't want to get off the plane looking like you're in your weekend wear (aka leggings, oversized sweater, slipper boots ... which is what I'd prefer to wear!). 

Since I'm meeting my team for dinner after landing, I need something that'll be professional yet comfortable - and that will be suitable for the summer heat and humidity.

Here are a few of my ideas:

1. Bright Pencil Skirt & Accessories. This is a cute yet professional option. Colored pencil skirt paired with white top and bright scarf. I could even wear the same blouse again for meetings the next day since it's mostly covered by the scarf with this outfit. 

2. A shift dressLoose-fitting, bright, could easily pair with a nice belted cardigan or jacket for a more polished look. You could also wear with flats and change into heels before leaving the airport.

3. Black Trousers with Bright Top. You can't go wrong with polished trousers and a simple top. You could add a jacket or scarf with this option too. Also, since my trip is only two days, I could wear the pants again the next day and only have to pack an additional top and jacket or two. 

4. Crisp Button-Down with Skirt and Bright Heels. I don't know that I'd want to hoof it around the airport in these shoes, but I again I could swap sandals for heels. This would be cute and comfortable. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blackberry Cobbler

This is such a delicious and simple dessert. If you have fresh, frozen or even canned fruit on hand, you like already have everything else to make this cobbler (flour, milk, eggs, baking powder - so easy!). You basically just plop everything into a bowl, top with your fruit and throw in the oven. It's SO hands off and would be easy to prep in advance and put in the oven during dinner so it's hot and bubbly by the time you're ready for dessert.

We picked two cups of fresh blackberries in our neighborhood to make this and it turned out great! You don't have to use blackberries either - this would be great with any fruit really ... I can't wait to try with raspberries from our garden next, and I know peaches would be delicious too! I topped with vanilla bean ice cream while it was still warm from the oven and it was perfection.


Linking up here, here and here, so check them out!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Weekend

This was the first summer weekend in a long time where we've had no set plans. We had indulgent breakfasts, splashed at the "pool" (aka the inflatable in the backyard) and even hit the beach for a sandy afternoon (News flash! Owen thinks sand is delicious!)

Outdoor breakfast of french toast, coffee, fruit and bacon.

Post-nap bedhead. 

Owen's exploration continues ... new favorite room? The pantry.

We hit the beach!

Owen's wearing the swim outfit I bought on clearance, hoping it'd fit next summer... only to realize it fits now.

Mama and Owen.

 "Look at my pirate stick mama!"

I'm soaking up every last ounce of the summer sunshine! I can't believe it's almost September!!!

I'm linking up here and here so check them out!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend!

Another week come and gone. Next week I'm traveling to the East Coast for work (aka - my first overnight away from Owen! Eek!!!), so I'm going to soak up as much family time this weekend as possible.

Here are some of my favorites from the week!

1. The Next Generation.  It's so cute to see how kids pick up interests from their parents/grandparents. I know I did, so it was fun to see Lila get a "photography" tutorial recently from her professional photog grandfather, Grandpa Roy. Look how huge the camera looks! 

2. Bright Flats! I don't normally wear flats since I'm so short, but I wanted some "professional" flats with a bit of flare to wear while on the go (heels plus babies = no good). I recently picked up a pair of the Anya Suede Ballet Flats from J. Crew Factory. They brighten up an outfit and look professional enough for work but also are great for weekends on the go. Check them out!

3. Southwest Quinoa. This week I blogged a delicious new recipe - Southwest Quinoa. Quinoa is one of those "over-trendy" foods, but this recipe is a really good one-pot meal that is healthy and super easy. Lila loved it too! 

4. Someone's crawling ... and discovered the stairs - eek! Guess it's back to baby proofing for us! 

5. Great Parenting Read! Have you read the parenting around the world series from Cup of Jo? It's SO interesting to see how parenting can be so different in different countries. The series features parents from the US who are now parenting abroad. For all you parents or those considering becoming parents, I highly recommend reading the series. 

Bonus!! Is this really true? I read online the Pumpkin Spice Latte will make an early debut this year ... as in next week!!!! I don't know how I feel about it starting in August, but have to admit I will definitely be getting one as soon as they hit stores. I love fall!!!! 

Additional Bonus! If you're a book lover, I posted some of my favorite quick reads this week ... check them out here!

Have a great weekend! Linking up here, here and a few others so check them out!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday

loving this sweet bouquet

I saw this on It's a Girl's World and thought it was a fun idea, so I'm linking up here and here today with my "Thoughts for Thursday."

I'm currently ...

Thinking | ... about what to do next. I'm feeling in limbo about a lot of things and need to make some decisions!! 
Drinking | ... I can't get enough coffee with hazelnut creamer. My favorite! 
Dreaming | ... about our next vacation. Two babies has meant our vacations are few and far between! 
Loving | ... my sweet family. We've had so much fun this summer and as Owen keeps getting more and more fun we've just been enjoying all of our special time together :)
Reading | ... "All Fall Down" by Jennifer Weiner (see my earlier post about favorite reads lately!)
Wanting | ... new floors in our house. We've been wanting hardwoods forever but the price tag has been a bit high for our budget lately. Our carpet is SO beyond the point of needing to be replaced though ... I keep looking up cute rugs online in anticipation :) 
Anticipating | ... Fall! I am truly a summer girl, but there's just something about the transition from summer to fall that I love ... the changing leaves ... pumpkin everything (can't wait to try these cookies) and really the anticipation of the holiday season. The fact that my birthday is in October doesn't hurt either!
Eating | ... I've been trying lots of new recipes lately, but Mexican food is my ultimate favorite. I could eat it everyday. 
Trying | ... to be more patient. Sometimes after a long day at work and minimal sleep the night before, I am not the most patient ... 
Needing | ... sleep. Owen, are you listening? ;) 
Pinning | ... Christmas everything!!! (You can see the start of my board here) I will admit it's a tad early, but I'm already so excited for the holidays this year! It'll be Owen's first Christmas and Lila really "got it" last year, so we're excited!
Wearing | ... I've been wearing my TOMS wedges almost everyday. To work, to weddings, on the weekends, etc. They are so comfortable and can go dressy/casual. I have them in two colors (black and blue/white stripe) and have my eye on many more! 
Hoping | ... 
Appreciating | ... quiet time. I realized the other day that I am never home alone anymore! Even five minutes of quiet time is so appreciated. 
Watching | ... we just wrapped watching Orange is the New Black Season 2 on Netflix, and just started House of Cards. We've only seen one episode so far, but are definitely intrigued! 
Doing | ... lots of cleaning out of the kids' dressers. It's crazy how quickly they outgrow clothing!!! 
Thanking | .... god for our health!!! I'm really dreading cold/flu season now that Lila's in school and Owen seems to pick up even the tiniest sniffle she brings home ... Finger's crossed for continued health this year!!! 

Your turn!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's the Little Things: Good Reads

Do you like to read? I LOVE it. I always have a line-up of books I'm waiting to read, and not-so-secretly wish I were an author. The problem is, I rarely have time to read anymore! I've been trying to read at least a chapter or two a night and have really been enjoying some quiet time!

Here are some of my recent favorites... (full disclosure - I like chick lit!)

The Last Camelia by Sarah Jio. Have you read a book by Sarah Jio yet? She's written several and they are ALL so good (yes, I've read them all!). This isn't her most recent book, but it was one of my favorites. They all have a hint of mystery involved and this book has multiple story lines and a great plot twist! Sarah's also a local gal who went to my alma mater (go Vikings!), so I've paid close attention to her books! The other nice thing? She pumps out books like none other! It seems like she publishes a couple books a year, so I also like that I don't have to wait too long before her next book comes out!

The One and Only by Emily Giffin. I've also read all of Emily Giffin's books and this was one of my favorites. It's about love and Texas football - how can you go wrong? Since I'm SUCH a fan of Friday Night Lights, this book was right up my alley. I totally imaged "Coach" as Coach Taylor ... I highly recommend this book!

Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Technically, I think some of Rainbow Rowell's books are teen fiction, but I've loved all of her books too. Landline is her newest and I haven't read it yet but it's anxiously waiting for me on my Kindle. If you haven't read any of her books, you definitely should! Eleanor & Park is my favorite - a sweet story about "unconventional" young love. 

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner. I'm reading this one now and loving it! I've also read all of Jennifer's books (noticing a trend here? I'm author-loyal apparently!). It's about a mom who secretly has a pill popping habit ... I'm not very far into it yet but already hooked ... 

So that's what's on my nightstand! I wish I had more time to read. Today I'm linking up here for the "It's the Little Things" series to share mine for the week - good reads! 


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Southwest Quinoa

Quinoa is one of those food "trends" ... like bacon infused anything ... or kale (pssst - I don't like kale!). But I hope it's around to stay. We bought a giant bag at Costco hoping for the best, and thankfully I really like it. We've gone through several bags  now and found that it's great hot, cold, in salads, by itself and so on. I've made lots of different recipes with it, but this is one of my favorites. It's quick, easy, freezable and I usually have everything to make it already in my pantry. It's also healthy and toddler friendly, which is a huge bonus in our house (anything that isn't chicken nuggets is a win!).

Southwest Quinoa
Serves 4 Goodalls (as in two adults, a toddler and lots of leftovers) 
1 TBL olive oil
2 TBL garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup uncooked quinoa 
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles or jalapenos (like Rotel)
1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 TBL cumin

In a large saucepan, drizzle olive oil and heat garlic until fragrant (a minute or so).
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't worry, it might look pretty soupy up until the last 5 minutes or so. 
Continue cooking until quinoa is cooked and the mixture is nice and thick (watch out at the end or the quinoa might start sticking to the bottom). 
Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, additional cheese, avocado and whatever else your heart desires.

EAT and enjoy!

I'm linking up here and here today, so head on over to check out other delicious recipe ideas!!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday, Monday

my happy place!

It's Monday. I feel like the weekend could always use at least one more day. We enjoyed the sunshine and spend much of the weekend outside! Here's a quick recap ...

Friday night we picked fresh blackberries in our neighborhood and had friends over for games. I made a super easy cobbler with the berries - recipe coming soon! We stayed up WAYYY past my bedtime (which is normally ... before 10 pm!) so Saturday morning I was one tired Mama.


Saturday was our wedding anniversary! We spent the day around the house and then Grandma Cici came over to babysit while we went to Lake Washington and floated in the sunshine! It was SUCH a beautiful, carefree day on the lake. The kids would have had a blast too, but it was nice to relax at the lake without worrying about someone eating sand or taking off their lifejacket. It was also nice to do something simple that we used to do a lot before having kids. Much more fun than a regular dinner out!

Sunday we spent the morning at the Woodland Park Zoo. It was packed, which I'm not the biggest fan of, but we had a fun time and saw the new baby giraffe. So cute. And Lila was thrilled to get a Ninja Turtle popsicle.

peek-a-boo from the worm house!

tired boy!

look mama! I ate his eyes!

I'm relishing summer while it lasts!!! Fall will be here before you know it.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Whirlwind Week!

Phheeew! I made it. After the wedding festivities last weekend and Owen being sick, we were all catching up on sleep this week. I was also super busy at work and the week flew by! I'm so excited for the weekend ...

Here were my top five favorites of the week!

1. Celebrating Six Years! Saturday is our 6th wedding anniversary (happy anniversary, honey!) I blogged a few pics as I reminisced yesterday, if you missed that post you can find it here. We thought about what we wanted to do, and when grandma offered to babysit, we considered just going out to a nice dinner but ultimately decided to take advantage of the nice summer weather and have a picnic at the lake! Hopefully it's warm enough to take a dip too! 

2. Chocolate Mini Biscotti with Hazelnut Glaze. Need the perfect pairing to your morning coffee this weekend? I blogged about these delicious chocolate mini biscottis earlier this week - they are SO delicious and easy and you could really do so many different flavor combos by swapping out an ingredient or two. Give them a try! 

3. Ice Cream Dates. Now that we have two kids I don't get very much alone time with Lila. The other day after pre-school, Grant was already home from work with Owen so I surprised Lila with an impromptu ice cream date at Cold Stone. She was THRILLED! We chose a sundae of birthday cake ice cream, brownie, hot fudge and sprinkles, all topped with a heaping spoonful of gummybears! It's so nice to spend some time with just us girls and make her feel special. 

4. Fall Clothes are Here! I love fall and fall outfits are probably my favorite. I love cozy sweaters with boots, cute jackets and scarves! Although I LOVE warm summer weather, I am anxiously anticipating fall and couldn't help but pick up a few fun "transition" pieces recently. This dress is from Old Navy and is a great transition piece because it's sleeveless for the remaining hot summer days, but is a pretty heather grey, and is made out of a super comfortable sweatshirt material (I'm wearing it below with TOMS wedges). As fall rolls in, I think this will look so cute with colored tights, booties and a jacket!

5. Baby Snuggles. Really no caption needed here. When the kids wake up in the morning they often make their way into our bed to "play" while we get ready for work/try to get a few final winks ;) They are so sweet together!

Bonus! Lila's favorite thing about summer? Popsicles!!!! Green tongue and all (I let Lila pick out the ones she wanted ... yeah ... these are definitely not the organic real fruit popsicles ... oh well). 

I'm linking up today with a few fabulous ladies - here, here and here!!! Check out what they are up to as well!

Have a great weekend!

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