Meet the Sullivans: May 2016

May 31, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend!

The Memorial Day weekend is behind us which means summer is right around the corner! Keith had four days off and it was so nice! We spent a lot of time hanging out at home, enjoying the company of family, and doing all the things we usually do on the weekend but at a slower pace.

I just have to warn you, there are so many photos in the post, but we had such a great weekend, so I took a lot of pictures. I hope you don't mind!


The weekend started Friday morning, since Keith had a four day weekend.  I dropped Owen off at school and Keith and I went for breakfast with just Luke. Hindsight is 20/20 because we used to think (when Owen was a baby) that it was so stressful bringing a baby to a restaurant, but now it's like a date only having one kid with us. We picked Owen up from school and then in the afternoon Keith took him our by the bay to play for a while. They came back with all sorts of treasures, included shells, dead crabs (yuck!) and more shells. Owen was thrilled and spent most of the evening in the backyard admiring all of his treasures.

On Saturday we took it easy and took turns going to the store, the gym, etc, and then went to Keith's sister's house for a barbecue and to watch the Warrior game. The game didn't look too good for the Dubs in the beginning, but they pulled through with a win! Our night was made!

We had a lazy Sunday morning, until about 8:30 when it was time to hustle to get us all ready and out the door for church. Can I get an amen for the LBD? I've had this dress since I had Owen (pssst it's actually maternity!) and I just can't get rid of it because it is so easy to nurse in, and I can wear it in the winter and summer. 

After church we stopped by the sales office to take quick peek at some of the finishes so I can get a better idea for how it will all look. We won't even be moving for quite a while since ours will be one of the last to be built, but thinking about it keeps me up at night, so it was good to get a closer look!

In the afternoon, after a two hour nap (!!!), I mixed up our favorite cocktails, the Moscow Mule, while Keith barbecued.

Dinner was a mashup of all sorts of our favorites. We've been bbqing chicken drumsticks lately since they're super easy and Owen loves them. I bought a watermelon at Costco and we've been having it all weekend, and I still have more in the fridge!

Monday morning we got going super early to beat the traffic out to Half Moon Bay, and go to the beach. The traffic is always so bad that we gave ourselves and hour to make a 30 minutes drive and I'm so glad we did because at 9:30am there was still traffic.

Lukey was asleep when we arrived at the beach and schlepped alllll of our stuff down to the sand. When he woke up he was in the best mood! This was his first trip to the beach!

Owen was in pure little boy heaven with all of the sand and the little sand crabs. He and Keith caught a lot of little ones and some pretty big ones too! He was busy digging in the sand the entire time we were there, and it wasn't until we were close to leaving that he stopped to have some lunch.

We used our Quick Shelter I bought at Costco and it was so awesome. We had shade and were shielded from the wind. I wish I'd had one of these when Owen was littler. It was so easy to put up and down.


I hope you all had a lovely weekend with the people you love!

May 24, 2016

KID CRAFT: PERSONALIZED NAME MUG

I have a super simple crafty gift idea to share with you today!

Owen is at an age where he has started contributing his own ideas when we give gifts. He remembers the things people like, they're favorite colors and their interests, and then makes his suggestions based on those ideas. It's quite adorable! We were brainstorming ideas for something he could make for his grandmas for Mother's Day, and he remembered that both of his grandmas like to drink coffee. He suggested a coffee cup, so we decided a personalized coffee mug would be a nice gift.


I wanted to make sure that Owen could really take some creative ownership with this project, and that I could still make sure it looked nice enough to give as a gift. I decided that the best way to do this would be to add some stickers to the mugs, let him paint them, and then pull the stickers off.


We bought some simple letter stickers, a mug painting set, and some little stenciling sponges at Michael's. It was a very inexpensive craft to create since the mug painting set ended up being on sale when we bought it. 

Owen calls my mom "Granny" and Keith's mom "B", so we though it would be cute to use those names instead of their real names. I washed the mugs first, dried them thoroughly, and added the stickers. I did them a tad bit crooked on purpose because I knew I would never be able to get them all perfectly straight.



I made sure Owen added more dots around where the letters were so that no white was peeking through, and so the white of the letters would really stand out once we removed the stickers.



Owen added the paint around the rim of the mugs as his own little personal touch! See what I mean about creative ownership? After he was done I stuck them in the oven and set it to heat. The mug has to heat up with the oven, and then cool down completely before the pain is set.

After they cooled I was able to peel off the letters. I was worried that the stickers weren't going to come off or that the paint would leak through, but they came out perfectly!


I thought they turned out really nice, and Owen was so proud of his gifts for his grandmas! I think these would make pretty sweet little gifts for Father's Day or Grandparent's Day too!

May 20, 2016

FRIDAY THIS & THAT

Hey there! It's Friday and Owen is in school, Luke is sleeping, so I'm finally getting a minute to sit down and do a little catching up. Here's a little bit of what's been going on with us lately!

 
What's new with the boys? The weather has been really nice this week -- minus the wind we're having today -- so we've been outside A LOT this week. Owen stays busy outside searching for bugs and trying to catch lizards, and Luke and I love watching him. Luke's pink eye is all cleared up thanks to 4x daily eye drops, but now we think he's teething. Poor guy has been up every hour for the last two nights! We moved on from bananas last week to applesauce and sweet potatoes this week, both of which he LOVES!

We've been trying hard to cut back on eating out and ordering takeout for the last few months, so I've needed to find new ways to barely have to cook! No seriously, I love cooking, but not when it includes the witching hour, so a few times a week a give myself a "break" and cook something super simple. This week I doctored up some frozen Trader Joe's fettuccine with some shrimp, red pepper flakes and fresh parm. It was delicious and no one new the difference!

 
I don't think I've shared this here yet, but we are in the process of buying a townhouse! The foundation is just being laid (this is a shot of a neighbor's), and it won't be ready until the end of the year at the earliest, but we are SO excited! I'll share more details as it all develops.

The school year is almost over, and while I'm really going to miss being in the classroom with Owen I am NOT going to miss bringing Luke with me when I do. All I can say is thank goodness for the Lillebaby carrier! He's not a fan of the Ergo, but he does tolerate being strapped forward facing while I man the art table or the snack table.

I have a huge pile of O's art work for the year on the dining room table and I'm looking for a way to do something with it. I've saved all the really great little projects, but there are a lot of colorful little paintings that I still need to take care of. I'm thinking this would be a really fun way to display them! That's all from us for now! I hope you have a lovely weekend!




Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife.


May 18, 2016

Tips for Staying Healthy On-the-Go!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ElevateSalads #CollectiveBias

It seems like my little crew is always on the go! Our day starts before the sun is up, and we are out the door by 8:15 to make it to school or the gym by 9am. Most days we also have errands to run, lessons or play dates too, so it's important that I pack snacks for myself and the boys or we might fall victim to the temptation of the drive thru. Any other moms out there know how important it is to stay well-fueled with healthy, nutritious food so we can keep up with our energetic kids!

It is so tempting to stop into a coffee place for a quick snack or swing through the drive thru, but those options are not nearly as convenient or healthy as I'd like them to be, so here are a few of the things I do to make staying healthy on-the-go convenient.

#1 PACK and GO! - In an effort to be healthier and save my sanity I've started packing our lunches in addition to the snacks I would regularly pack. I pack Owen's lunch and Luke's puree in small containers and my salad in a soft-sided cooler. I bought the cooler last year and I use it at least twice a week to pack snacks and lunches.
 
I've also recently started buying Ready Pac elevĀte on-the-go salads at Costco for myself! The salads are made of high-quality ingredients and make packing my lunch really convenient. I literally have no excuse to not eat healthy when we're out and about.

I spotted the salads a couple weeks ago while I was shopping at Costco for all of our regular necessities, and I have been buying them ever since. They're kept in the refrigerated section near some of the other prepared meals and salads, which in my Costco is located near the back of the store. I just love how convenient, fresh, and healthy they are. They make making the right choices really easy.

#2 OVER PACK, but pack smartly - I always like to pack more than we actually need because I never know how hungry Owen might be. I pack things I know we will both enjoy so we're less likely to waste any food, and I always make sure it's something that can be eaten in the car if we don't have time to stop for lunch before moving on to our next destination.

#3 KEEP it SIMPLE - I don't have time to do a lot of shopping in the morning, so what I pack has to be ready to go and easily be tossed into a cooler. Here is a little run down of what I packed over the course of two days that required little to no prep:

Day One (in the car on the way to a play date):

for Owen - string cheese, apple sauce pouch, an individual package of almonds, carrot sticks and a sunflower butter sandwich

for Me - Ready Pac elevĀte on-the-go salad and cucumber water

Day Two (lunch at the park):

for Owen - turkey and cheese roll-ups, whole wheat tortilla, raisins, cucumber, oranges and raspberries

for Me - Ready Pac elevĀte on-the-go salad and sparkling water

It sounds like a lot of food, but there isn't anything that takes long to pull together, so it's not a chore o do.

There are eight different varieties of  Ready Pac elevĀte on-the-go salads, and they satisfy a wide range of dietary needs including vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options. All the salads are anti-oxidant rich, high in omegas and include plant-based proteins. And of course I love that the packaging is fully recyclable! I can't wait to give a few more of them a try!

What are some of your favorite easy, healthy and convenient ways to stay healthy while on-the-go?

Don't forget to follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more on these delicious salads!

May 12, 2016

10 on 10 : May 2016

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!


{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}





Yesterday was the tenth of the month, so I tried to document our day by snapping ten photos to show what we were up to. This is Tuesday, May 10th, 2016!



You know how some days you just have too many balls to juggle? Well, this was one of those days. I didn't plan to have so much in one day, and to someone else it might not seem like a lot, but for us this was a busy one.







The morning started early as usual. Luke is up every couple hours through the night, so the 6am wake ups always seem WAY too early. We played downstairs for a while until Keith came home from the gym and showered and came down to relieve me so I could go shower.






I usually shower at the gym on Tuesdays, but on this Tuesday I had too much I had to get done in the morning, so we skipped the gym. And also I cut my thumb pretty badly on Mother's Day, so weights were out. Showering, doing dishes, cleaning, etc. are all a huge hassle right now since I have to cover my thumb with a plastic bag to keep it from getting wet. Ugh!






My mind is all over the place these days and if I don't write something down I WILL forget all about it. I keep an Erin Condren Functional Family board in the kitchen to help me remember everything and to use as a general spot to keep a visible schedule, shopping lists, to do's and reminders.









We hung around at home in the morning waiting for someone to come by and pick up some baby clothes. Luke has out grown bags and bags of them, and I wanted to give them to someone who needed them. A woman contacted me about wanting them through a Mommy Buy /Sell Facebook group I'm in. We scheduled a day and time, and I waited around for her for hours, and then she never showed up! And she never called! That kind of thing really frustrates me. This is the second time something like this has happened when I've tried giving something way for free to someone in this group.



We started Luke on bananas this week! He's been showing signs of being ready and some real interest in our food, so we thought he could start a little early. Our pediatrician recommended waiting until 5 months 2 weeks to start, and he's 5 months 1 week, so. And he's been really fussy for the last few days, so I was hoping it would help. He LOVES bananas and there are lots of "mmmmmm"s happening. I think it was a good idea to start him. He had his morning meal before we left for Target.







This is us trying to get out the door to Target while Owen had a bit of a 4 year-old moment. He wanted to wear a pair of Luke's socks that were his. I said they were too small, he disagreed. Full on meltdown ensued. On the front lawn. And then he asked if he could get a toy at Target (see his wallet in his hand?). I said no. More tantrum. Somehow we made it to the car and got to Target.




When we got there I pulled a shopping cart over to the car to load the boys into and found a razor blade in cart. Imagine if I had just popped Owen in there without looking? I can't believe someone would just leave something like that in a shopping cart. Check your carts, my friends.




We had two main needs on our list this day: diapers and brownie ingredients for the brownies I took to our school board party that night. I made it out with both before O lost his patience! Luke just slept :)









Both boys asleep in the car by the time we got home! This never, ever happens. If Owen naps it's usually not when Luke is also sleeping. I successfully transferred both kids inside and then went back out to unload the car. So much stuff.









Quick little lunch and some Downton while I had the chance. I'm still working my way through the series finale -- can you believe how behind I am? I also folded a basket of laundry and picked up the family room and emptied the dishwasher. Gotta take advantage of those double naps!



And then this is when things got a little busy. I had to clean up the house, make brownies, make dinner and get all the boys stuff set up before I left for the party. My grandpa called to stop by, and I can never tell him no because I love to see him, so we had a jam packed afternoon.



When Owen woke up from his nap he helped me make the Creme de Menthe brownies before my grandpa came. We visited for an hour or so, and as he was leaving my sister arrived to help watch the kids between my departure and Keith's arrival home. She helped me with Owen and Luke while frosted the brownies. I ended up running out of time to make dinner so I ordered a pizza instead.


 

I ended up only being a little late for the party, and I think the brownies were a hit. I felt like just yesterday I was at last year's school board party, pregnant and feeling clueless about my role, and here we are a year later. Amazing how much can happen in a year and how quickly the year goes by! The board president and school director gave the 2015-16 board these cute pitchers for "pitching in" -- such a cute play on words!

It was a late night and I didn't get home until past 10, which is super late to me these days. It was a long day!

May 10, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

This was my 5th Mother's Day and each year they keep getting better and better! The first one was sweet because I was a brand new mom, but this year was perfect because I got to spend it with both my little boys. And it helps that Owen has an idea of what the day is all about and is extra snuggly all day!



We celebrated with my mom and sister on Saturday. We met at THREE in San Mateo for brunch. The food was good and there were so many great sounding things on the menu that it was hard to chose. I ended up ordering the Chilaquiles. I have to learn to make them myself! We had a nice time and Owen and little Luke were good little guys through the meal!

We exchanged gifts (I'll show you what we gave our moms soon!), and my mom surprised me with a pedicure and a copy of some of our home videos from when Kath and I were little! I can't wait to show them to Owen!

Sunday morning I tried to sleep in a bit while Keith ran out to get coffee. He and Owen brought me a latte in bed, and I couldn't just stay up there all by myself knowing they were downstairs having fun, so I joined them all downstairs.



Owen had me open the gift he'd made in school and it was super sweet! The kids decorated frames and then the teachers dictated their answers to some questions onto a card. I had an idea that the card was coming and I looked forward to reading Owen's answers all week long. I thought for sure his answers would be sweet if not just plain funny!


Afterward I made rocky road to bring to Keith's sister's house for lunch. It is soooo easy to make and I'll share the recipe soon!


The day kind of took a turn for the worse after that. I went to get ready for church and when I was rummaging through my closet looking for a pair of shoes I cut my thumb on a razor. It must have fallen out of my gym bag. It didn't hurt too terribly, but it bled for 30 minutes and caused us to miss church.


It wasn't all bad though because I did manage to get a cute picture with my little men!


We went to Keith's sister's house for lunch and had a fun time hanging out together and catching up. Luke had a great time being held by his cousins and aunts, and took two naps while we were there. Owen always loves going to his aunt Kelly's for many reasons, one of which is because she saved all of her son's Legos from when he was little and O gets to play with all of them when we go! 

It was a lovely Mother's Day!

May 6, 2016

Dear Mom,

Dear Mom,

Happy Mother's Day! How can I ever thank you enough for all you do for our family, for all you've ever done for me and all the love you've always given us?



Kath and I had a fairy tale childhood, filled with love and happiness; you always made it look so easy. I know now that it really isn't as easy as you made it seem. Anything I know about being a good mom is because of you! When I'm stuck in a tough mommy situation, and I don't know what to do I just try to think about what you would do. A few of my favorite mom-isms:

"It doesn't have to be perfect" I think of this often when I need to give myself a little grace or a break. There are so many times that we feel pressured to do it all, but it doesn't all have to be perfect. Good is good enough.

"First come first serve" I remember you saying this to me when I would want to back out on a commitment to take on a better one. You taught me to have integrity and stick with my choices even if it meant not always getting what I wanted. 

"If you like it, buy it" Great advice from a professional shopper! This has saved me lots of time and stress, since I just force myself to make the right decisions rather than wallowing over deciding.

"Turn the other cheek" You're better at this than I am. I have a hard time letting go, but I try to be like you and just forgive and forget.

We love you so much mom and we're looking forward to celebrating you this weekend!



May 4, 2016

Favorite Cinco de Mayo Drinks + Recipes

Cinco de Mayo is one of my very favorite holidays to "celebrate"! Oh course by celebrate I mean cook Mexican food and drink margaritas. I've ever met a taco or margarita I didn't love, so I have made an variety of Mexican flavored and inspired foods over the years from tacos and salsas, to pastas and soups, these are some of my very favorites!
Favorite Cinco de Mayo Drinks + Recipes
Add caption
All of these apps, drinks and recipes are pretty easy to put together, and of course, a lot of them have the same ingredients. This year for Cinco I'll be making my All-Natural Homemade Margaritas, Copycat Pico de Gallo and Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole!

Favorite Cinco de Mayo Drinks + Recipes
APPS
Individual 7 Layer Taco Dip(pictured)
Fresh California Salsa
Copycat Pico de Gallo
Butternut Squash Nachos 

Favorite Cinco de Mayo Drinks + Recipes
DRINKS
Mexican Hipster Cocktail
All-Natural Homemade Margaritas  (pictured)
Whole Fruit Margarita
Watermelon and Strawberry Sangria

Favorite Cinco de Mayo Drinks + Recipes

DINNER
Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup
Chili & Lime Slow-Cooked Pork with Red Onion Escabeche (pictured)
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Fiesta Salad Pizza
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde 
Taco Pasta
Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

If you give any of these a try let me know what you think!


Enjoy! And cheers!