Meet the Sullivans: 2017

December 14, 2017

2017 Christmas Cards with Shutterfly

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly, but all opinions are my own.  

It's Christmas season once again! This is my favorite time of year with all of the festive cheer, holiday parties, twinkling lights and togetherness with family & friends. Each year I look forward to sending out our family Christmas card and seeing everyone's cards arrive in our mailbox!

I really enjoy the entire process, from picking out everyone's outfits, to having our picture taken and choosing the perfect design to accompany our favorite photo. This year we chose Shutterfly to create our holiday greeting and I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out!

There were so many fun designs to choose from, but I finally decided on Vivid Scripted Sentiment Christmas Card, one of the foil-stamped cards. I love that the design of the card is simple and elegant, and doesn't compete with our photo, but that the red foil lettering still gives it a festive feel.

On the back of the card we added a cute photo of Owen and Luke together and a short message to tell everyone what's been going on with us this year... new house, Owen starting Kindergarten etc.! I'm thrilled with how they turned out and I'm even more thrilled to have them all addressed, posted and in the mail on their way to our loved ones! 

If you haven't ordered your cards yet it's not too late! You can get 40% OFF everything including holiday cards with the code JOLLYGOOD at checkout & FREE SHIPPING on orders of $49 or more with code SHIP49.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas! 

Our holiday cards from Christmases Past:
2010 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

December 1, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Hello there! I hope you've all been having a nice week. Having four fun days off with our family for Thanksgiving really through me for a loop. We had so much fun together, enjoying the holiday and taking it slow that this week felt really long.

Here's a little recap of Thanksgiving!

We spent Thanksgiving morning hanging around the house, having breakfast (cinnamon rolls!) and coffee. I prepped the mashed potatoes we were bringing and Keith spent most of the morning building my new buffet table.

We spent the afternoon at Keith's moms house playing kickball, eating appetizers and playing games with everyone. Right before we left everyone played a game of the saran wrap ball game. My sister-in-law started the tradition last year and everyone LOVED it, so we've started taking turns making the ball each year.

Afterward we headed over to my grandpa's house for Thanksgiving dinner with my side of the family. The boys played around and entertained everyone with their antics and we have a lovely feast. After dinner Owen wanted to just curl up on the couch and take a nap.

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? I think mine will always be the stuffing!

The next morning we were up bright and early (we always are) and out the door to visit Santa's Tree Farm. We've been carrying on this tradition with Keith's family for years and it is always so much fun! The tree selection of Nobles this year was not great, so we opted to buy our tree else where, but we all enjoyed searching through the trees and visiting Santa's workshop.

Owen spent most of the time searching for banana slugs. I love that he's so fearless when it comes to creepy crawly things, because I most certainly an not. 

Owen was thrilled to see Santa! Luke refused to get anywhere near him and didn't want Owen talking to him either. Owen told Santa he is hoping for a Nerf blaster, a skateboard and more Legos.

Later in the afternoon we decorated our tree together! It was pretty hectic with two little boys who wanted to help every step of the way, but it was also really sweet to watch them ooo and ahh at the lights and ornaments. 

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! 

November 13, 2017

The Weekend!

Hello there, friends! It's the Monday after a three day weekend for Owen and I have him home sick today from school. He had a fever last night and woke up with it still this morning. He's feeling better now, but just under the weather, so we're laying low today. Giving us all some grace for all the screen time and snacking happening today.

This was one of those weekends that was just so perfect! The kids slept well at night, Keith and I had a date night out with some friends, we all got out for a run / bike ride on Sunday and started prepping for Christmas. I felt like we got a lot accomplished, but still managed to relax and enjoy the weekend and each other too. I wish all weekends could be this way!

On Friday Owen was off school Veteran's Day, so mom my and I took the boys to CuriOdyssey. It was busier than I have ever seen it with a line all the way from the ticket window down to the parking lot, but being a member paid off and sent us up to the front of the line. We loved the new exhibit IlluminOdyssey! It's open now through January 7th and is definitely worth checking out! Luke wasn't into being inside with the crowd, but he loooved seeing the raccoons and river otters.

We have a new tradition on Friday nights of "family movie night" where we have dinner while watching a movie together on the couch. Owen really enjoys it and asks about it all week. And it gives us all a break from our usual dinner time routine, and clean up since I make a point to make something super simple or order takeout. This week we watched The Lego Batman Movie, which was really funny!

On Saturday morning (at 8am!) Owen and his Green Sharks teammates had their final soccer game of the season! He had a great first year playing and can't wait to play again next year! We oved watching him play and learn this season, but I'm happy to not have anymore 8am games for a while.

Saturday night Keith and I met up with some of our friends for dinner and a movie! We never ever get together without our kids, because our kids love playing together, and we had been talking about doing this forever, and I'm so glad we finally did. We got to eat warm food, not get up from our tables, drink our margaritas and talk without being interrupted. It was fantastic!

I took a little poll on my LipSense Instagram account to help me decide on which color to wear for Saturday night. Dark Pink got a couple votes and my mom requested Napa, so I mixed the two together (2 layers Dark Pink and 1 layer Napa) to get this pretty, shimmery bright pink color. It's not a mix I would have tried myself but I loved it, and it lasted all night long of course!

Sunday morning we cooked a nice breakfast and cleaned up the house before heading out for the day!

We loaded up Owen's bike and the BOB stroller and took the boys out to the Bay Trail in Foster City which runs along the bay near the San Mateo Bridge. Keith and I ran while Luke enjoyed snacks in the stroller and Owen biked. We stopped to collect some shells and check out the water for a bit before back. It felt so good to be out in the fresh air!

Afterward we had lunch and did some Christmas light shopping. We needed new lights for our tree and some for the outside of our house. I really really wanted white lights, but Owen just loves the colorful ones, so I gave in and went with it, but I did get white lights for outside. I think this is the first time in three years where I feel really ready for the Christmas season to begin!

Alright, Luke is up from his nap, so my time is up for today!

Last thing, what would you like to see more of here? I've been popping in for life updates and the such, but is there anything you'd like to see more of? Recipes? Kid activities? House stuff? Gift guides? Let me know in an email or in the comments below! 

October 13, 2017

Around Here Lately!

Hey, and happy Friday! 

Here's a bit of this and that and what's been going on with us lately!

Owen is off for two weeks right now for fall break! This week we're checking off a bunch of fall bucket list items like bake pumpkin bread, visit a pumpkin farm make a chocolate haunted house, decorate for Halloween etc. and a few other fun activities, and next week Owen has soccer camp. When I first looked at the school calendar for the year I was a bit worried about how I'd fill these breaks throughout the year, but this one is already going by quickly.

Kindergarten is going really well! I've seen some great progress in Owen recently in his number sense, as well as his interest in learning to read words and write stories. Watching our children learn new things is definitely one of the BEST things about being a parent. The huge bonus here is that as Owen is getting more interested in reading, Luke is obsessed with being read to. I don't always have time to drop everything and read (although I know Future Me is reading this and wishing I had), so I just suggest to Luke that he bring Owen the book. The above picture is a common scene around here lately!

Owen started soccer last month, so every Saturday we can be found cheering him on from the sidelines! ...or chasing after Luke on the nearby playground. Keith and I take turns watching or playing. Owen's team name is the Green Sharks. The kids kind of decided on the name together and Owen keeps asking me what a green shark is, because all the sharks we've ever seen have always been a gray-ish blue. Ha! He's been getting pretty into playing with his team, but he's still occasionally the kid who runs in the opposite direction to try to catch a butterfly, but that's just totally our boy.

He posed like this all on his own and wanted me to take his picture. I just LOVE this boy!
 Luke on the other hand thought it was pretty funny to squirm out of every photo op. Stinker!

We did the pumpkin patch thing last weekend with some of our good friends! Owen is such a great photo taker, but Luke was feeling off so it was hard to get any of him. The kids fed goats, ate sugar cookies, took pictures with pumpkins :), rode the little train and braved through the haunted house. We rewarded ourselves with lunch at The Half Moon Bay Brew Co., cause it's a tradition and we love that place.

Sorry for the awkward InstaStories quality photo, but I wanted to share this fall / winter dinner hack with you. I bought this Cheddar Broccoli bagged soup mix at Safeway this week to use for a quick dinner one night, and it turned out great!

You'd never know that the entire thing took minutes to put together and all came from bags -- zero prep here. I think I'll stock up on these items so I can have them in a pinch when I don't want to cook.

Step 1 - Sautee the sweet potato / cauliflower crumbles in olive oil and butter. Salt & pepper to taste. 
Step 2 - Add the soup mix + 4 cups chicken stock and 4 cups water, let it simmer for 12 minutes
Step 3 - Then add the chopped broccoli and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

Not super healthy, but at least there were a variety of vegetables in it.

I participated in a little Sip & Shop a few weeks ago with a few other ladies! It was my very first time doing any kind of in person LipSense sales, so I was a little nervous, but it all ended up working out. I loved getting share my love for this lipstick and show people all the beautiful colors and benefits!If you want to hear more follow my LipSense pages on Facebook and Instagram!

We got our community garden box last week! The previous owners of the box must have given up on their garden and just left it to its own fate. Most of the plants are in poor condition, and we'll be uprooting them all to plant our own, but Owen has SO much fun pulling up what's been left behind! He literally stuffed his pockets with as many radishes and carrots as he could.

So that's what's been going on with us! Have a happy weekend, thanks for reading, and as always, you can usually keep up with us on Instagram and Instastories!
You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

September 30, 2017

Cider Sangria + Macy's Culinary Council with Chef Marcus Samuelson

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy's; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Hello there! I'm popping in on a Saturday morning to share a delicious fall twist on your standard sangria recipe.

The recipe comes from Chef Marcus Samuelsson, acclaimed chef and restaurateur, and author of The Soul of a New Cuisine cookbook. Marcus will be demoing some of his award winning dished at Macy's Culinary Cooking Council event next Wednesday, October 4th at 6pm in San Rafael, CA.

Attendees of the event will learn from the master-chef some of his best kept culinary secrets, as well as the techniques he uses to prepare some of his award-winning dishes. There will also be plenty of drinks and and food to enjoy at the event!

While I'm bummed I can't attend the event myself, I decided to make one of his recipes at home! When I saw the recipe for his Cider Sangria I knew I had to give it a try.


Yields Serves 2
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Difficulty Easy

1 granny smith apple
1 honey crisp apple
2 cups seedless grapes
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
2 cups fresh squeezed or blended grape juice
2 bottles ginger beer
1 cinnamon stick

Fill pitcher with cinnamon stick, apples, grapes, lemons and oranges.
Add all other ingredients and mix.

I was able to put the sangria together Friday afternoon while Owen was in school and then I let it marinate for a couple hours. I set some aside for the boys, since it's non-alcoholic.

Then in the main pitcher I added a few glasses of dry white wine for Keith and I. When Keith came home we all enjoyed our cider drinks to kick off the weekend!

 It was a fun and refreshing treat for all of us!

If you'd like a chance to meet Marcus Samuelsson, hear his stories and see some amazing live looking demos you can RSVP here for the event!

September 8, 2017

Friday Five: Pausa, LipSense and More!

Hey there, friends! I hope everyone has had a nice 4-day week. I love short weeks! Just yesterday I thought it was only Wednesday and then was happily surprised when I realized it was really Thursday.

| O N E | We've had a pretty good week, although poor Lukey came down with some kind of 24 hour illness where he didn't want to eat, had a 102+ fever and just wanted to sleep and be held. I hate seeing my little ones sick so much that I actually lose sleep worrying, so it was a rough and tiring couple days. Happy to report that he is on the mend and feeling much more like himself now, although we still don't know what the cause was.

| T W O | Guess what? Last week I signed on to become a LipSense distributor! It's still a little surreal to me, because I've never ever pictured myself selling anything, but I've become so hooked on this product that I just really felt compelled to give it a try. I went back and forth over the decision for a few weeks before deciding to commit -- originally I was worried about what people would think, but I'm so glad I made this decision because so far it's been a lot of fun!

If you're even in the slightest bit interested in hearing more about this product or even just want to check out what I'm selling you can follow along on my xoxobycolleen Instagram feed where I'll be sharing what I have in stock, the colors I'm into and even a giveaway now and again. Have some questions? Want to place an order? Feel free to email me at or send me a DM (direct message) on Instagram!

Thanks for your support!

| T H R E E | Last weekend was Labor Day weekend so Monday we were able to fit in a little family-fun day at the beach. The weather had been SO hot here, but of course the day we made it out to the beach it was overcast and even a little cool. Owen had a blast splashing around in the waves and running around in the sand. We built some sandcastles and chased away some seagulls. Luke wasn't too into the ocean until the end of the day and preferred eating snacks and watching Owen from the blanket. Afterward we did a little exploring and then had lunch at one of our favorite spots The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. It was a great way to end the long weekend!

| F O U R | We also got out for a date night last Saturday! It was the first time in a long time that we've gone to dinner AND a movie in the same night. We had dinner at Pausa, which is a newish spot in downtown San Mateo. We shared the focaccia, the sausage & kale pizza and the arugula salad -- all of which were fantastic! Keith had a Fieldwork Brew Co. beer and I tried the specialty cocktail that had gin, pineapple bitters and some other delicious stuff. We saw Dunkirk, a war movie, and it was great -- especially if you enjoy something suspenseful!

| F I V E | We've got another fun-filled and busy weekend ahead of us with Owen's first soccer game, team photos and the first 9er game of the season. I hope you have a great weekend!

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

September 6, 2017

Day in the Life - Septermber 2017

Hey friends! It's been a while since I've documented what a day in our life is like, so for the sake of my own memories I thought it would be fun to do one. These days of our life, when our kids are so little and sweet (and we're exhausted) are the BEST. I want to remember them forever!

So, this is Thursday, August 31st 2017. I'm 35, Keith is 38, Owen is 5 1/2 and Luke is 21 months.

5:54am Keith wakes up and starts to get ready for work without waking me, but that's almost impossible to do because I'm such a light sleeper these days (thanks, motherhood!). I try to go back to sleep for a bit, but then decided to take advantage of the fact that I am up before my children and get myself ready.

6:19am Change into gym clothes, wash face, brush teeth, comb hair, spray in dry shampoo and apply a little make up. If I have time in the morning I put on a little make up before the day starts because even though I'm going to the gym, I'll be dropping Owen off at Kindergarten first and then running errands before we come home and I can shower.

6:26am Keith and I head downstairs and make our coffee. He takes his black, and I'm still putting that awful for you International Delight creamer in mine. I know it's so bad for me, but I just enjoy it so much. Maybe next week I'll switch to just milk... probably not though.

6:40am Keith gets himself packed up for work while I make our breakfast (eggs, bagel thin and berries), prep breakfast for the boys (eggs for Luke, bagel with PB for Owen + berries and grapes) and pack snacks for Luke and I for after the gym since we'll be going to Target.

6:45am Owen is up! He comes downstairs and asks for a cup of milk, breakfast and "a little iPad time", which I give him. He gets 20 minutes in the morning to watch something he likes while he eats breakfast and I get stuff ready / cleaned up / take care of Lukey etc. He watches some "how to" videos about Minecraft, which he gets to play on the weekend. And he tells me a little about the dream he had last night.

Keith leaves for work right around this time and kisses us both goodbye before heading down to the garage.

7:16am Luke is up! Owen hears him on the alarm first and beats me up the stairs. I bring Luke a little bottle of milk so he can wake up a bit and so I can easily get him dressed and change his diaper. Owen asks if he can climb into the crib with him while he drinks his milk. They hold hands until Luke finishes his bottle and wants OUT!

Both boys get dressed. I picked out Owen's clothes and he brushes his teeth and hair while I get Luke dressed.

7:32am We're running right on time so we snap a quick picture together in the mirror in our bedroom. Most mornings we're rushing, but Owen got dressed the first time I asked instead of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th so we're making great time.

7:36am Luke on the other hand wants to do all the stairs himself this morning, which adds about 5 minutes to our clock by the time we finally make it to the garage. He's starting that "I can do it myself!" stage, and we have two flights of stairs to make it from the bedrooms, past the kitchen and down to the garage. At least he's cute while doing it!

8:00am It takes just minutes for us to drive to school, a few minutes to unload and then a couple more before we make it to line up outside Owen's class. He drops his lunchbox off in the red wagon and we wait for his teacher to come out for the class. All the kids march into the classroom and we head back to our car.

Owen is doing so well with Kindergarten! I wouldn't say he looooves going to school in the morning (he'd rather stay home with me and Luke and play), but he never complains, cries or refuses to go. Watching him do his thing at school makes me so very happy and even a little proud!

8:20am Luke and I arrive at the gym. I check him into the childcare there without too many tears. He doesn't love being left there, but after I'm out of sight he plays happily until I come back to get him. I do the HITT workout that the HIIT Challenge group I'm in is doing that day. It was a combination of burpees, push ups, hip raises, squats and buttkickers. I'm beat afterward but decided to use the Arch trainer for a little bit since I have a little more time.

9:20am Before I head to pick up Luke I double check my Target list to make sure I'm not forgetting anything. I've become increasingly forgetful as I've gotten older, but I blame that on my (sweet, amazing, wonderful) children. I like using the Wunderlist app to keep track of all my different lists.

9:49am We spend about 1 hour or so in Target gathering all the things we need from my list and stopping to look at a few things we definitely do no need, and then we check out and head home. Luke is pretty good in the shopping cart these days, as long as I give him access to plenty of snacks.

11:20am Ok, so here's what we got minus the storage bin, milk, cream, eggs and over the door hooks. Not bad for an hour worth of shopping! The boys are loving those cute Halloween coloring books we picked up!

11:30am Luke is kind of a little angel when he wants to be. While I put away our stuff and unloaded the dishwasher he played independently in the toy room. He looooves cooking in his little kitchen! We play for a little before heading out to pick Owen up.

12:25pm Owen gets out of school and hops into the wagon with Luke. They snack on Pirates Booty while I pull them home. The walk takes about 10-12 minutes but when I pull them both it takes a little longer -- they're heavy!

12:45pm Luke goes down for his nap, I make Owen a quick little lunch and he gets to have a little more downtime while I take a shower (finally!).

2:00pm While Luke naps I work on hanging my calender below the bulletin board I got earlier in the week. It's working well as a sort of "command center" to keep us organized etc.

3:00pm Luke is up from his nap! We play with toys and practice writing Owen's name. I pack up snacks and give Luke a good snack to make up for the fact that he slept through his lunchtime.

4:30pm Owen has his first soccer practice and it is blazing hot out there! The kids took 3 water breaks in 40 minutes! Luke was content watching the kids and eating his snacks while sitting in my lap on the picnic blanket.

5:45pm We head home and the boys hang around and play while I prep some dinner. I make shredded BBQ chicken in the Instant Pot, mix up some coleslaw and wash/cut some fruit and dinner prep is done!

6:30pm Keith gets home and we sit down for dinner, clean up dinner and play with the kids for a bit before heading up for bath time.

7:30pm Luke loves pouring the water out of the bath, as you can see, which drives us crazy -- it's an ongoing battle.

8:15pm Luke gets a few stories, and then it's Owen's turn. Luke is really into the Sandra Boynton books right now and we just finished reading Owen Minecraft: The Island, which was actually a pretty good story if I do say so myself.

We do hugs good night, where Luke runs around giving each of us hugs over and over again until we drag him away. Keith puts Owen to bed, and I put Luke to bed. It takes me forever to get him to finally fall asleep, so once he's asleep by 9pm I go to bed myself. Usually we watch some tv together but on this night we're both exhausted. And that's a typical day around here lately!

Thanks for reading!