Meet the Sullivans

July 3, 2015

Patriotic Food & Drinks!

Since we had Owen 3 1/2 years ago we've pretty much stuck around home for the 4th of July. We started a tradition of watching fireworks at our neighborhood elementary school on the 3rd with family, and then watching the parade having lunch at the festival on the 4th. We love having a laid back holiday weekend and the small town feel!!

This year we've invited some friends to join us for the fun on the 4th, so I've been brainstorming some ideas for what kind of fun and festive things I want to make for the day.

Although I can't seem to narrow it down, here are some of my favorites:

Cheesecake Shooters


Patriotic Strawberry Trifle




Red, White & Blue Sangria




4th of July Cheese Plate


Firecracker Dogs

I hope you enjoy the weekend with the people you love! Happy 4th of July!

July 1, 2015

Rocksbox Box #1

I love jewelry, but what girl doesn't, right? I was invited to be a Rocksbox ItGirl a month ago and it has been so fun! I'm so excited to show you what came in my first Rocksbox and to share with you a code that will get you your own box for free!

What I love about this service is that I don't have to commit to any pieces if I don't want to. As my pregnancy progresses it becomes harder and harder to come up with new, fresh outfits since wearing maternity clothes limits my options, so accessories are a great way to refresh what I already own.

What is Rocksbox? Here's how it works.
    • Rocksbox is a premium jewelry subscription that carries well-known, and upscale brands like Kendra Scott, Jenny Bird & Loren Hope.
    • You fill out a simple style profile, and based on your answers your stylists sends you 3 pieces in each box.You can even start a Wish List of the pieces you'd love to see in your box.
    • So, what's the twist? For a $19 monthly fee, you get to enjoy the pieces as long as you wish on loan. You get to try many styles with no commitment.
    • When you're done with what you have, you send back your existing box to receive a new box. You pay the same membership fee regardless of how often you send back a box, so send in for new pieces as often as you like!
    • If you love a piece, keep it when you return your box and you'll be billed at the Insiders' Price shown on your packing list, which is less than the Retail Price set by the designer. 
    • Shipping is free to you, both ways. When you want to send your box back drop the jewelry in the pre-paid envelope and put it in your mailbox. No extra trips to the post office!
    • They sanitize, and clean each piece thoroughly before they send them out, so your pieces are always shiny and as good as new!
      Pretty simple, right? When I opened by box I was thrilled with what they sent me. I love a good statement necklace to spice up a simple outfit, and teardrop earrings are a go-to for me. The bracelet they sent is more delicate than what I usually wear (hello, delicate and toddlers don't mix), but it was fun to try it out. I think my stylist did a great job!



      Now, here are the 3 pieces I received in my first Rocksbox!


      Pavé Star Bracelet by Sophie Harper (Insider price $43) - This bracelet is so dainty I was almost worried about wearing it! Went great with all of my other gold bracelets.
       

      Two Stone Drop Earrings in Turquoise & Moonstone by Ashiana London (Insider price $82) -I LOVE these earrings! I love the brightness of the turquoise and the teardrop shape. I have so many similar pairs, but nothing in this color. I was tempted to keep them, but the price is pretty steep, so I'm sending them back. That's the beauty of this service though, you can wear any piece as much as you like without having to commit to them.


      Eve Necklace by Perry Street (Insider price $51) - I've wore this necklace 2x with the same long black maxi dress and another time with a white tank and chambray button down.

      I'm getting ready to send this box back, and I can't wait to see what comes in box #2!

      Do I have you intrigued? If you decided to try it out for yourself you can use this code COLLEENPXOXO at checkout to receive your first month of Rocksbox for free! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

      June 29, 2015

      The Weekend & S'mores Muddy Buddy Snack Mix Recipe

      We had a nice little weekend, although it came and went too fast. Keith had just one day off this weekend on Sunday, but we made the most of it Saturday night and Sunday.

      Saturday our friends the Smith's invited us over for dinner and Sunday morning we drove a couple hours to my sister-in-law's house to swim and spend some time together. Owen adores his cousins and had the time of his life playing in the pool with them on all the floats. He really only got out of the pool to eat lunch and then again when we had to leave to head home.

      I brought dessert to both gatherings, which totaled 4 desserts made on Saturday afternoon. I wanted to make them all simple since I had to make so many, so I made peanut butter cup brownies, build your own strawberry shortcakes, more brownies and the S'mores Muddy Buddy Snack Mix I'm sharing below. I think the snack mix was the most fun since it was a little different from the usual desserts we have and everyone loves chocolate and marshmallows, right?

      But first, a few pictures from the pool!







       And in case you're interested, here is the recipe for the S'mores Muddy Buddy Snack Mix I made:


      Ingredients
      7 cups Golden Graham's cereal
      3 cups mini marshmallows
      2 1/2 cups chocolate chips
      2/3 cups peanut butter
      1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

      Instructions

      1. Pour cereal and marshmallows into a large bowl, mix. Set aside.
      2. In a separate bowl melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave, heating 30 seconds at a time and stirring until melted and smooth.
      3. Pour over the cereal mixture and stir to coat. 
      4. Add powdered sugar to a large container with a lid or an extra large zip top bag. Pour in the cereal mixture and shake to coat with the sugar.
      5. Lay out in a single layer on wax paper until set. I added a few extra marshmallows too. Store in an airtight container.

      And here are a few more S'mores recipes you might enjoy!



      Enjoy!

      June 26, 2015

      Berries, Father's Day and the 4th!

      We've made it through another week of potty training and I'm happy to report O is making progress! We were lucky enough to have one of our nieces hanging with us for a few days this week, which helped the week go by fast! Time flies when you're having fun!

      Here's five:

      | one | Last weekend we went berry picking with my mom and sister on Saturday. Keith was able to breakaway from some work he was doing from home to join us and we had a great time! We're still potty training, and an outdoor adventure was the least risky activity, if you catch my drift. We visited Webb Ranch in Portola Valley hoping to pick some strawberries, but ended up only being able to get olallieberries because of the awful drought we're having here in California. 

      Mr. Owen was, of course, really into picking berries. He took such pride in finding the ones he deemed good for picking -- the reddest, sourest berries. He had us all laughing at the end of the day! He walked down one full row picking super sour berry after berry, taking a bite and throwing the rest into his basket. He was in his own little world out there.

      After berry picking we were all hungry, so we stopped at The Dutch Goose for lunch before heading home. It was a great day!


      Can you guess which basket is Owen's?


      | two | We had a nice little Father's Day celebrating our favorite guy! We took it easy in the morning reading the paper, drinking coffee and having Mickey Mouse pumpkin waffles, followed by a family hike. We don't have any parks within walking distance of our house, but there is a huge hill behind our block, so we hiked up that. Keith's sister has us all over for BBQ lunch too! We stuffed ourselves and played Smart Ass before heading home. Keith's mom watched O that night while we went out for sushi and to see Jurassic World. We loved the movie! Not a bad way to celebrate!

      | three | What are your plans for the 4th of July? We'll be hanging around town with friends and family, which is just the way we like it. Our rec center does a parade, BBQ and little festival every year and we've made it a tradition to attend. I saw this Stars and Stripes Lumbar pillow from World Market on sale for $11.99 and couldn't pass it up!

      | four | We took Owen to see his first movie in a theater earlier this week! We had been waiting to bring him to a Pixar movie for a while and were waiting for Inside Out to open in theaters. The movie was really cute and enjoyable to kids and adults. We got him a kid's snack pack with gummies, popcorn and a treat and he was in hog heaven. This boy loves popcorn! He was a little wiggly during the previews, but sat nicely and watched the whole movie. I see a lot more movies in our future!




      | five | I'm hoping to have some time in the next week to make these cute mason jar vases for the 4th! Aren't they cute? I have so many mason jars! You can see the video tutorial here!

      Now we're off to the gym and to swimming class! Have a great weekend!

      I'm linking up with Momfessionals and September Farm and A. Liz Adventures today for their Friday link ups!

      June 25, 2015

      Recipe: Antipasto Skewers Appetizer

      Barbeque season is upon us and the 4th of July is right around the corner!  It's the time to entertain and live outside, day and night.  I'm a big fan of appetizers that can keep guests full and that I can make ahead of time, so I can enjoy the party too.  I made these Antipasto Skewers for Easter with my family and they were a HUGE hit with everyone from Owen to my 89 year-old grandfather!


      This ingredients list is more of a suggestion of what can be put on your skewers -- you really can't go wrong.  Just think of all the foods you might see on a traditional Italian antipasto platter and pick your favorites.  I chose what I knew would be a hit with our group and made sure I had a good balance of colors to make them appealing.

      INGREDIENTS
      Basil
      Black olive
      Roasted red pepper
      Genoa salami
      Mozzarella
      Roasted yellow pepper
      Proscuito
      Green olive

      INSTRUCTIONS
      Prep all the ingredients first so your assembly line runs smoothly as you skewer all the ingredients.  I used these Bamboo Knot Pick Skewers from World Market.  The length of the skewer and the knot at the end made it easy to fill them with everything we wanted.  The olives at the end were like bookends to hold it all together.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.


      Enjoy!

      June 23, 2015

      B2 - 16 Weeks!

      How far along? 16 weeks!

      Baby's size: About 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces, the size of an avocado.
       
      Maternity clothes? I've pulled out my old ones and sorted through what I think I'll wear this time. I was working during my first pregnancy, so the wardrobe was a little different. I'll definitely need to buy some more casual pants and tops in the next few months, although I'm just depending on dresses and maxi skirts right now. 

      Stretch marks? Not yet, although I did get a few with Owen.

      Sleep: Improving! I sleep through the night, but usually wake up by 4:30 to use the bathroom. After that I can fall back to sleep pretty easily now and sleep until O is up.
      Best moment this week: I just when Owen asks me how "our baby" is doing! It's the sweetest thing that he thinks of his little baby brother or sister!

      Miss anything? Not too much. I almost forget I'm pregnant most of the time!

      Movement: 

      Food cravings: Popsicles, juice, lemonade. I'm always thirsty.

      Anything making you queasy or sick: Still having increased motion sickness. I was watching Keith play a video game the other night and had to leave the room.

      Gender:We'll find out next month at my 2nd trimester ultrasound! I don't feel any intuition either way!
      Symptoms: Feeling large, a little lazy, but otherwise great!

      Mood: Good!

      Looking forward to: Finding out the sex and getting started on the kids' shared room!

      Are we ready?: Getting there little by little! We've decided to have them share a room. We'll be switching Owen's room and the spare room since the spare room is a little big larger. Up until this point we had done pretty much nothing to get prepared, so making this decision will get the ball rolling.

      June 19, 2015

      Life Updates According to Instagram

      You know what I love about Instagram? Even when life gets really really busy I can still depend on the app to keep up with all my friends, family and favorite blogs, and all it takes is a few taps of my finger! I follow SO many accounts on Instagram that every once in a while I go back and search my favorites individually to make sure I don't miss anything. Anyone else do this?

      Anyway, here is a little life update from us, according to some of my recent Instagram posts!

      | one | Three out of the five photos I have to share today have something to do with potty training, which is really appropriate since potty training has taken over our lives this week! We started on Monday, and Owen has made an improvement each day. It hasn't been easy, but it has been rewarding since he's so proud of himself now that he's able to run to the potty all on his own. We've even been able to venture out of the house a few times without accidents! You can get our favorite potty book here: Even Firefighters Go To the Potty
      | two | Last night I made Chicken & Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry served over brown rice quinoa for dinner and it was fantastic! It was simple to make and didn't involved too many ingredients, which are two of the most important criteria when I pick a recipe. If you haven't made this yet, I recommend you get to it!

      | three | No shame in my potty training game! We've been using stickers and candy as encouragement for O to sit on the potty. In the beginning the candy was a huge motivator, but as he's become more aware of when he needs to go he just goes and has forgotten about the candy altogether.


      | four | Using the potty all day everyday has allowed Owen to rack up stickers on his potty training sticker chart this week! He decided a while ago that when he filled up his chart he was going to get the big Bionicle Skull Spider! So yesterday after he filled he chart we went to Target to buy it. We put it together as soon as we got home and it only took me 45 minutes! Yeah, only. The spider has 145 teeny tiny pieces and 39 steps! I have a feeling this is only the beginning of my part time job as a Lego assembler.

      | five | Reintegration after being on vacation is rough, especially when said vacation takes place in the Happiest Place on Earth! Keith and I are easing the pain with big cups of coffee in our Disneyland and California Adventure Starbucks You Are Here mugs, obviously our new favorite mugs. Funny little story about them: You can only get the Disneyland and CA Adventure ones in the Starbucks locations inside the park, which didn't occur to us until we had already used up all our days in the park. We thought we'd be able to get them on our way out at the big Starbucks in Downtown Disney. We were so disappointed to learn we couldn't get them. We were trying to figure out how to get them over breakfast at La Brea, right there next to the park, when I remembered we could extend our ticket and upgrade to a 5-day park hopper for under $20!! So, Keith went and upgraded just his ticket for one more day and used it to quickly run into each park to buy the mugs. Kind of silly, but we love the mugs and it saved us the extra cost it would have been to buy them from someone on eBay + shipping. We completely embraced our inner #DisneyNerd that day!

      Anyway, that's a bit of what's up with us lately! You can also follow along with me on Instagram HERE! I hope you have a great weekend and that you get to spend Sunday honoring the amazing dads in your life!


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