Meet the Sullivans: December 2013

December 31, 2013

2013, Looking Back...

2013 has been a great year for us!
Here are some of the best of the best moments that stand out in our memories and on this blog.

 
In January Owen turned ONE! And we celebrated with a big party with friends and family!

In February I shared with you the contents of my diaper bag, and so did some of my blog friends.

In March we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with our family and I threw together a green cheese plate.

In April we took Owen on his first trip to the San Francisco Zoo.

In May we celebrated (my 2nd) Mother's Day with a trip up to Crissy Field in San Francisco...


In June we celebrated Keith's 34th birthday...

and Father's Day

And I revamped an Ikea Latt Table for Owen.


and bought him his first bike!


In September we took Owen to Disneyland for the first time!!


In November we celebrated Thanksgiving with family. 

And in December Owen met Santa, exchanged gifts with our blogging friends and celebrated the birth of Christ with our families!

Tonight we'll be ringing in the New Year at home with some fellow toddler-parent-friends at with an East Coast New Years celebration. Meaning we'll be shouting "Happy New Year" at 9pm and will hopefully be hitting the hay not soon after. We're wild around here.

Here are our 2012 and 2011 recaps, of you're interested! 

Wishing you all the best in 2014!

December 30, 2013

Monday Morning This and That

-A little late, but noteworthy nonetheless. I contributed a great recipe to an article about Secretly Healthy Fall Comfort Food. I altered, and then combined two of my favorite chili recipes to create the Creamy Chicken White Bean Chili recipe I share it the article.

-And as I mentioned before, I'm competing in a recipe competition for Golden Grain Pasta. For the competition Golden Grain asked me to create an original recipe with fewer than 8 ingredients, and I'm really proud of the 3-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese recipe I came up with. The competition ends on January 2nd, so there are only a couple days left to cast your vote! And remember, ever time you vote you are entered to win $250!

photo from here

-I've been working on a menu plan for the New Year that includes delicious, simple and healthy recipes that I hope will become a staple on our dinner rotation. So far I've got: Moroccan Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato, Spaghetti Squash Bolognese, Skirt Steak Tacos and Pesto Shrimp with Squash Fettuccine. Most of these are from the Practical Paleo cookbook or Relish, and if any of them turn out well I'll be sure to document appropriately! What are your favorite simple, healthy, weeknight meals? I bought these pads of paper too to help with my grocery store shopping!


We have been spending copious amounts of time at home since Christmas, and it's been glorious. We're homebodies to the core. Keith has been working and I avoid crowded places when I'm solo with the toddler, SO I've been online shopping. It's really hard to drag myself out to a store when I can get free shipping too! Some of the things I've picked up this week:



I know I've mentioned that Owen has been taking longer than normal for us to rock him to sleep at night. Sometimes up to an hour, and he usually just wants me to rock him. So, in my efforts to keep myself from going totally stir crazy up there I've started listening to audio books. I just finished Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (really funny, easy listen) and now I've moved on to Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. In my opinion, comedies are the easiest to listen to with out becoming annoyed by the voice of the person reading, since it's usually the comedian themselves. Next up I am totally trying whisper sync.

And now we're off and out the door on a fun family day!!

December 26, 2013

Our Christmas Eve + Christmas in Photos

What a busy and beautiful Christmas we had! We have been blessed lots and lots of family, so holidays around here are never dull. We spent Christmas Eve with Keith's mom, sisters and brothers-in-law, our nieces and nephews, and my mom, sister and Grandpa. It was a full house!


my mom, sister Kathee, Grandpa and us before church
We started the evening off at 4 o'clock Mass. Unfortunately, we didn't really get to sit and enjoy Mass together as a family. Owen had other plans, and the exterior of the church was more to his liking. Keith and I took turns chasing him around outside with all the other parents chasing their toddlers. 




On Christmas Eve we ate lots of food and desserts. We also had a White Elephant between the 16 of us and it was so much fun! Keith scored me the HedBanz Game, which I can't wait to play, and I traded him for my reusable Solo cup and scratchers. We gave away a pair of Wonder Woman socks, Bacon Flavored Toothpaste and a Microwavable S'Mores Maker. It was so much fun shopping for our silly gifts and then getting to watch them get opened!

We spent Christmas morning with Keith's mom and his sister Teri's family. Owen loves having his cousins around to play with him!

So, we bought Owen quite a few cool new toys, but once he opened his stocking (we do that part first) and found the cheap little Light Up Lip Balm Lightsaber the rest of his (really super cool and thoughtful) gifts might as well have been COAL! It had not been out of his reach in the last 24 hours.


We did finally manage to coax him into playing with his cool new (Conductor Carl )train set for a while though! I think he'll have a lot of fun with this for a very long time!


See? Back to the cheap key chain! He's so easy to please! He just adores that toy!


The requisite Christmas Morning Present Opening in our Jammies photo. 


 He's pretty happy with his cute little Skip Hop Backpack too! We loaded it up with some of his trains, books and toys to bring to my grandpa's house for Christmas Day dinner. He wanted to carry it himself from the car to the house when we got there and it was a little too heavy so he keep stumbling., but insisted on carrying it, so we just lifted it in the back to take some weight off.


I put together a little cheese plate to bring to my grandpas and made this Chocolate Pie for dessert. Both were a hit!!





We hope you had a Merry Christmas with your family too! 

Today Keith is back at work and Owen and I are going to hang around home all day in our jammies. We'll likely get dressed later, but only for a quick trip to the store for milk. We'll be playing with our new toys, doing some shopping from the couch and cleaning up the aftermath of our abundant, beautiful Christmas!

December 21, 2013

Meet the Sullivans is Now Accepting Sponsors!


Starting today Meet the Sullivans is accepting sponsors! 

If you think your blog, site or product would be a good fit for my blog I'd love to work with you!
You can email me directly at colleenpsullivan@gmail.com, or check out what I have available for sponsor up in the "SPONSORS" tab in the tool bar at the top of our main page. If you don't see something that fits your preference feel free to email me and hopefully we can work something out.

I look forward to working together and giving your brand great exposure!

December 20, 2013

Owen's Christmas Room

I had big plans for this Christmas season! I wanted to have Owen's room decorated for Christmas by the week after Thanksgiving -- what was I thinking?! Unfortunately life got in the way and I still haven't quite gotten it to the point where I'm happy with it, but I want to show off the few little bits that I spent time on before I take them down next week.

I tried my best to buy very little new decor to add to his room, and instead used some of the Christmas stuff we already had. I did pick up a few small items at Target though!


My favorite thing in his room this year was his little tree with the fair aisle tree skirt. The tree itself is so tiny that it couldn't really hold more than one ornament at a time, but it did it's job of brightening the room with its Christmas warmth! When I turn it on Owen says "Oooo, prrrrity!"


I picked up a couple of these yarn wreaths at a garage sale last month for $1 each and added the little poinsettias that I already had. 

**Let me excuse the quality of these photos by blaming the ugly lighting on the yellow walls. The color isn't this yellowy in person, it just really comes out in pictures. And it makes all the photos look kind of shaded and too warm. Sorry about that!**


Those cute Christmas sheets from Pottery Barn Kids are what started me on the whole idea of giving his room a little yule tide makeover. 


I also added the beautiful canvas print that was given to us by the nice people at Easy Canvas Prints. The photo is my favorite one of the three of us from our most recent family shoot in October. It is also the photo we used on our Christmas card this year.


Styling selves is actually a little challenging. You have to find the right balance (something I haven't totally mastered), and I love how the print helped complete the look I was going for on the shelves. Since I already had that cute picture in a frame I knew I didn't want to have our family picture in a frame too, so the print was a great alternative.


After the craziness of the season is behind us I'm planning to create a little gallery wall in our bedroom, and of course I will incorporate the print in it! I'm so glad we have another way to display the sweet photo in our home all year round! 

Now a little bit about the print itself: The 8x10 print they sent me is very high quality. The frame it is on is sturdy, but not too heavy that it will be difficult to hang. There is also a bracket affixed to the canvas for easy hanging. Easy Canvas Prints website is so easy to use. You can even upload photos from your Instagram account to use on your prints. 

The sweet people at Easy Canvas Prints sent me this print in exchange for sharing my honest and genuine review of their product with you. They also wanted me to include a discount for you too all use if you'd like to purchase one of your own! Use the code 50FREESHIP to get 50% OFF a canvas print and free shipping! That's a great deal!