Meet the Sullivans: September 2017

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!

September 1, 2017

Friday Five

Hey there! I'm so thrilled it's Friday, because we have a nice long weekend ahead of us! Owen has today and Monday off and I think he is really ready for four days of r&r -- Kindergarten is exhausting, so I hear.

| O N E | Owen started soccer practice this week! He is the biggest kid on the team, which always surprises me. I don't think of him as being tall or big or whatever but when he's in a group of other boys his age it always strikes me. He's growing quickly right before my eyes! He had a great time, but he was beat after 45 minutes in the 93+ degree heat. Their first game is next weekend!

| T W O | Earlier this week I asked what you all do about a fridge like ours that's not magnetic. A few people suggested a cute cork board and I was like duh, why didn't I think of that! What a great solution. I found this one the next day at HomeGoods for $19! It's really light, because the frame is actually a plastic made to look like wood. I hung it tucked away around the side of the refrigerator that faces the kitchen table. This ways it's accessible without having all the clutter right out in the open!

| T H R E E | Luke and I were in Target yesterday and I saw they have a new women's line A New Day. Some of the stuff is pretty cute! I bought these two tops. I'm not sure I love the cold-shoulder one yet -- it always takes me a while to get on board with some trends. I bought the lace-up one in long sleeve and it's so soft and will be super easy to throw on with anything.

| F O U R | One of my most popular posts from a few years ago was when I shared my drug store beauty routine. I am no make-up expert at all, but I know what works for me and it's whatever is SIMPLE and worth the money I've paid for it. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites lately for a quick 5-minute face: 
  • Clinique Chubby Lash Mascara came in a gift with purchase! It is amazing and gets me full comes off easy at night too. 
  • LipSense Carmel Apple with Glossy Gloss is my current favorite lip color! It lasts forever and this color is so pretty for transitioning from summer to fall. 
  • Anastasia Brow Definer has been life changing for my eyebrows. I think they've been thinning as I've gotten older and I really feel more pulled together when I'm wearing this. 
  • Sonia Kashuk blush for a inexpensive brand this one goes on way better than the more expensive ones I've bought in Sephora. 
What are your current beauty favorites?

| F I V E | All sorts of new, fun places are popping up around our neighborhood and a few weeks ago we got to test out some samples of the new ice cream shop, Tin Pot, that will be opening SOON (fingers crossed!) around the block from our house. They had a little ice cream social for the residents in our neighborhood with a big spread of flavors and toppings. The vanilla was the BEST vanilla ice cream I have ever had in my life. Keith and I are in serious trouble when they finally open!

Well, now we're off to enjoy the day! Tomorrow is date night for us -- trying out a new restaurant and seeing a movie, so it's going to be a real treat! Have a lovely weekend!

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!