Friday Fun

It's the weekend, hooray!!  After a few back-to-back weekends jam packed with out of town friends visiting, ballet recitals, Father's Day celebrations, we are looking forward to a low key laid back two days.  Currently on the agenda, farmer's markets, bike riding, and hair appointments (that'd be me, yessss).  What are you up to?

bookmarking for a backyard picnic fire pit dinner this summer (potatoes are my favorite!)

+ love the details of these little girls' bedroom

+ wearing my summer staple errryday in peony

+ making this festive cake next week

+ kind of love this idea for a savings account

+ enjoyed this quirky, illustrated book and love her instagram account

+ want to make this for dinner soon, looks amazing

+ clean chemical-free nail polish (finally!!)

+ looking forward to a bubble bath using these this weekend (jump on the oil bandwagon with me)

+ love this vintage looking ringer tee

Have a wonderful weekend!

Currently...

Summer is in full swing.  Our sleep schedules slowly shifting to accommodate a teensy weensy bit of sleeping in, the skies are dry (well, most days), the air is warm (again, well...most days), and summer solstice is upon us.  Around Seattle, the skies were a pinky gray until about 9:45 last night.  Oh, how I love this time of year!

After a packed Wednesday of back to back play outings with friends and a car service, which involved unbuckling and rebuckling two carseats approximately six times, which is an exhausting feat in itself.  Basically, what I'm getting at is we were due for a low key, stay-at-home-morning.  We did a lot of nothing. My floors littered with toys and the laundry is piling up, but we have nowhere to be until the afternoon, and honestly, it's kind of glorious.  Here are some other things we've been up to...

+ amused by the "most instagrammable {non-touristy} spots in Seattle"

+ been enjoying this summery watermelon wheat beer

+ posted about my fave new paleo, vegan, dairy-free chocolate indulgence on my blog's new instagram

+ downloaded this new audiobook and I'm loving it

+ trying out this new local coffee at home

+ just started season 2 of this show (love me some Mike Colter)

+ started reading this book (I absolutely adored book #1, eh on book #2, and so far, book #3 seems promising).

Hope you have a great day!

image/bloom

10 Years

My husband and I met 10 years ago today.  June 27th, 2008.  This is a picture taken that day.  It was completely random, I did not show up to my friend's birthday party expecting to meet my future husband.  But as it turns out, my friend was dating his friend, who happened to bring his entourage of guy friends along to the party.  We met at this hole-in-the-wall dive bar in a neighborhood I had never gone out in prior to that night.  I guess it was just meant to be.  

It's crazy to think it's been an entire decade.  TEN YEARS.  I remember a time when ten years felt like a lifetime, but now it feels like a short amount of time in hindsight, another reminder of how fleeting life is.  

Cheers to us!  Happy 10 years of knowing you, loving you, and watching you become an amazing dad to our kiddos.  I love you, love you!

2018 Goals


Well this is embarrassing... I realize it's a bit absurd to be posting my goals for 2018 at the HALFWAY POINT OF THE YEAR, but...oh well!  I'm doing it.  No shame here!  Goals are goals, amiright?  (Anyone with me? Anyone?)  Let's just pretend that instead of gathering dust in my blog queue for the better part of the past six months, it went live in January, but we're just reading it on a delay.  Besides, I like to have goals documented to look back on anyways, so better late than never!

This year, inspired by 18 for 2018 the goal setting mode of operation by Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Kraft of the podcast, Happier, I've tried to come up with many short and sweet goals (namely 18) as opposed to few lofty goals as I think that will be easier to manage and attain in this season of life.

1. start journaling again

2. get outside as often as possible

3. make cinnamon bread (my daughter has been asking to make this since we read this favorite book)

4. paint my nails more often

5. celebrate the little things

6. work out at least 3-4 days a week

7. make smarter eating choices (avoid the sugar)

8. try and limit checking my email/social media to time before my kids are awake / rest time / after bedtime (i.e. avoid being on my phone in front of my kids)

9. cut myself some slack (underlined three times)

10. get a new instagram account for the blog up and running

11. read 70 books (my current goal on Goodreads)

12. save $--- for my destination travel fund, always inspired by this blog


14. make montage videos for my kids' birthdays

15. try more savory (international) options for breakfast (getting sick of boring ol' granola over here)

16. make pita bread from scratch for this favorite dinner which we always have in rotation 

17. sub a few times this year (getting back in the swing of teaching, as I miss it so)

18. enjoy every little moment. stop. look. listen. breathe.

Alright, I did it!  It's out there!  Phew... Honestly, I'm pretty proud of myself that I got this up in June and not July.  It's the little things people.

image/bloom

Quote of the Week

"Summer is always the best of what might be."
- Charles Bowden

Are You Green Enough?

Lately, I've been stepping up my clean living game.  Ditching the OxyClean, Chlorox wipes, Rinse Aid, and other chemical laden products which populate my home.  It's been a progression, definitely not overnight.  A few months ago I ditched scented candles, tossing everything but my unscented in-case-of-a-power-outage stash, and replacing household scents with essential oils. As you may recall in early May, I made the switch to Beautycounter, so now I'm confident my skincare and makeup are clean, but still...that's barely scratching the surface!

I recently finished the book Green Enough by Leah Segedie of Mamavation, which reads like a guided map to all the toxins lurking in your home.  Turns out, my home is filled with things I wouldn't ever thought to consider as harmful.  More than anything, by reading this book I've educated myself.  

Leah Segedie is frank, she straightforward and she doesn't sugar coat. There's even a little swearing thrown in which I found amusing. She is blunt about buying organic vs. not, where to save your money, and where to splurge. She examines products and packaging many Americans use and likely have in your home, and sheds light on which ones pose the biggest threats to you and your family's longterm health.  

My favorite part was walking room by room through an average American household, naming names, calling out the worst offenders and highlighting products that are legitimately clean through the categorizes "bad," "better," or "best."

Not gonna lie, reading this book was a little overwhelming, as I can't financially justify ditching all the bad stuff in one fell swoop, but I did find it useful, and gave me some helpful tips and suggestions of what to buy and avoid going forward.

So...how green are you these days?

image/designmom

Zzzzzzzz

Last year, Mother’s Day weekend, I had my gallbladder removed. It wasn’t an easy decision, but after several hours-long gallstone attacks when I was home alone with my kids, I decided I needed to do something.  After months of weighing my options, I ultimately made the difficult decision to have my gallbladder removed. Naively, I thought that my surgery would “fix” everything. 


Not the case. In the weeks following my recovery, I could not sleep. At all. I was exhausted. Riddled with anxieties about even going to sleep. If I did fall asleep, it was only for 1-3 hours, and upon waking was up for the remainder of the night. It was a very difficult season. 

After trying every method under the sun, I found oils. Upon the recommendations from a trusted friend, I discovered Cedarwood and Northern Lights Black Spruce. It was with these two heavenly oils that I was able to calm my mind and sleep deeply. And what a relief that was. Cedarwood with its warm, woodsy aroma paired with Northern Lights Black Spruce’s rich, meditative piney scent created my sleep oasis.  These oils brought me back. 4 drops Cedarwood, 4 drops NLBS in my bedside diffuser. Zen. 

Prior to this sleep hiatus, I was a bit skeptical of the whole essential oils thing, but boy, oh boy, do I stand corrected now!  Interested in trying oils out for yourself?  Click here and I'd be happy to help you get started on this essential oils journey.  

Questions? Sure!  Email me at lovelylittlethingsblog@gmail.com

And sleep tight! 😴

Weeknight Baking: Fresh Strawberry Pie

Earlier in the week, we met up with friends for some strawberry picking.  It's our third year in a row at the same field.  It's become a little tradition of sorts.  We pick / they nibble until our basket is satisfactorily full and their lips and t-shirts are stained by rings of red juices.  We celebrate our pickings with a picnic lunch under a shady oak tree, usually followed by running shenanigans in the grass.  All in all, it's a wonderful day.  

The first year, my son was in the carrier, while I awkwardly attempted to kneel and pick berries, tipping him forward along with me. My daughter was actually decently helpful this year, though she too had a feast in the fields.  

A few days later, with our cleaned berries, my daughter helped me slice off the stems with her learning knife and I attempted strawberry pie.  Truth: it's a bit gelatinous despite having chilled in the fridge for a good four hours, but the flavor is on point.  While it retains it's lovely pie shape for pictures, it might hearken to more of a strawberry syrup on crust upon indulging.  I'll call that a win.


Cookbook Crush: The Minimalist Kitchen

I am going through a bit of a cookbook renaissance my friends.  I've noticed my cookbook shelf has a few stand out favorites and a sizable handful gathering dust.  I no longer turn to Giada DeLaurentiis with the same enthusiasm as I once did, namely since we've cut back considerably on our pasta consumption.  As for other favorites of years past, I've decided it's time to swap out those I've neglected and refresh my shelf with some new titles.

I still check everything potential cookbook out from the library first.  If you don't do this, convert now, it's a huge money saver!  If you're anything like me, who can easily be swept up in the silken pages and delicious color photos of cookbooks when they're breezily displayed on bookstore shelves.  At any given time, I have about ten cookbooks in my library queue.  Typically there is a wait, so I just bide my time and enjoy my thirty days once they arrive in my name.  I typically read them post bedtime, bookmarking the recipes, before trying to discern if number of sticky notes justifies the price.

A recent favorite which will surely be dogeared once it arrives is The Minimalist Kitchen, the brainchild of Melissa Coleman, you may know her from the blog The Faux Martha.  This cookbook boasts all my favorite things, lovely full paged color photos of the food, easy step-by-step directions, easy tabs indicating make ahead, or ideas for quick substitutions should you not have an ingredient on hand.  I also want to eat every. damn. thing. 

I made her quinoa bimibap bowls for dinner, which was surprisingly well received by my kids, hooray!  Other pages currently sporting sticky notes include the blender dutch baby, soba bowls with peanut sauce, a quick 'n dirty fried rice, takeout cashew chicken, baked falafel pitas with tahini sauce, and while I'm not currently indulging in dairy, I couldn't help but salivate over the recipe for roasted banana cream pie.

Sound good?  Well then, put it on hold already!

image/parade