Meet the Sullivans: February 2017

February 21, 2017

RECIPE: Pear, Pecan and Pomegranate Winter Salad

Wet and stormy weather is still here in full swing, and boy am I over it. I can't remember the last time we had this much rain here in California. We've been in a drought for a long time, so it's really good for all, but we're still looking forward to warm, sunnier days ahead.

When the weather is warm we have salads almost nightly for dinner, but when it's cold out I find it hard to serve them, except for the one I'm sharing today!

I made this Pear & Pecan salad for a potluck last December and it was fantastic! It is great as a main dish topped with grilled chicken or along side a pasta dish.

 Pear, Pecan and Pomegranate Winter Salad

Ingredients
2 cups butter lettuce (spring mix and spinach work well too)
1 pear thinly, sliced
1 cup candied pecans
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Instructions
Place your lettuce of choice in a serving bowl. I love to use a glass one we received as a wedding gift because the salad layers really nicely. Top with cheese, then pears, pom seeds, pecans and cranberries.

Toss with a homemade dressing just before serving -- I used a Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette. I really believe homemade dressings can totally take your salad to the next level! Enjoy!

What's your favorite winter, spring, summer or fall salad to serve?

February 20, 2017

Weekending + Menu Monday

Hey there, friends -- Happy Holiday Monday! Don't you just love three day weekends? We saw my mom and sister on Saturday, spent the day with friends yesterday and today we're doing our usual gym / grocery / Gymboree routine. Having three days off really allows us all to get everything done that we want and need to do -- and a bonus is that Keith will be off for his regular day off tomorrow too. Here's what our weekend looked like... Saturday morning Keith and I took turns working out in the morning so Luke could nap at home and we could keep them out of the gym child care. I ran 3x this week and by Saturday I could really feel it in my knees. I was reminded why, although I really enjoy running, I just can't do it so often anymore. It felt so good to get outside though -- we've had so much rain lately.
Luke was still sleeping when I came home, and Keith took Owen to his basketball game, so I had about an hour to myself at home -- all by myself! I got so much done! Prepped a salad for lunch, folded laundry, read a few blogs, cleaned up the house, polish some furniture and flipped through a magazine with a cup of coffee. It was lovely!
 Lukey is dying to get outside! He's tired of the rainy weather too.
Sunday morning I made chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes before we headed up to the city to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum. Luke has been such a great eater lately! He really loves eggs right now!
The kids (and the grown-ups) had a great time checking out the museum! Keith and I have been before, pre-kids, and it is a totally different experience now. There is a lot of stuff to look at, read and watch, and with Luke more interested in running (yes, he practically runs now) it was hard to pay much attention. The big kids were great and played nicely together! Luke and I spent lots of time walking up and down the ramp above and looking out the glass floor to ceiling windows. We all went to lunch afterward and for a visit to the Disney Store -- I think we're all ready for another trip to Disneyland! Our menu this week is inspired by my fascination with one-pan meals. I'm not totally convinced they'll be as great as they sound, but I am more than willing to give them a try because they'll probably save me a lot of time and effort. 

 


I got a few of these ideas on the Goodful Facebook page. I love their videos and they make the recipes seems so simple -- we'll see! How was your weekend? What are you making for dinner?

February 16, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

Ahhh, Valentine's Day. There is so much commercialization and expectation around this holiday, but I like to think of it as an extra excuse to do sweet things for the little (and big!) guys in my life.


I added the final heart to Owen's door first thing in the morning, after Keith let me sleep in. 

This year on Valentine's Day Owen had school, which worked perfectly, because they had a little celebration in class and Keith and I had a chance to spend some time together, since he has Tuesdays off from work now.


We had to snap a photo of the boys in their handsome, festive tees before we headed off for school drop-off. Owen wore the same shirt last year and he was able to juuust fit into it again this year. Luke's shirt was Owen's when he was a baby.

I was surprised I was able to get a good picture of them. Owen is pretty willing if I just take a quick one and he gets to hold Lukey. Luke on the other hand last about a split second before getting up to try and grab my camera.


We dropped Owen off at school with his valentines and walked over for brunch at Crepevine. We thought Luke might fall asleep on the way over, but no such luck. Instead he had some avocado, eggs and beans.



We killed time in between brunch and picking Owen up with some shopping, more coffee, a stop at the park and more shopping. Luke eventually fell asleep in the stroller, so we had a nice little "date" while he was napping.

After school we went home and went about our usual routine. I made Owen a lunch made of all of his favorite lunch foods, only they were heart shaped! I think he enjoyed that!


The cards I gave my guys! Paper Source has the cutest cards! The "You Are My Sunshine" one was for Owen because that's the song I always sang to him (and still do sometimes!) to get him to fall asleep. 



And that was our day!

I hope you had a lovely day full of love!

February 13, 2017

10 on 10 : February 2017

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month! 

{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}
ten on ten button
 
Last Friday 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 Friday, February 10th, 2017!

Friday morning started for me at 6:15am when Keith came into our room to bring me the baby monitor. He had already been up with Owen for almost an hour, and being the sweet husband he is, took the monitor downstairs with him, so he brought it back to me so he could shower. 

Luke woke up shortly after that, and we went down stairs to see Owen.

On Fridays I like to treat Owen with some homemade pancakes. He loves sitting at the counter and watching a show on YouTube Kids while he eats his pancakes with a fork and a knife. He's such a big boy these days!

Keith's mom watched Owen and Luke for me so I could give a few prospective families a tour of the preschool.  It was a good excuse to put on a little make-up and real clothes. This is a busy time of year for my position there with lots of tours, applications and acceptance letters, etc., but my job is almost finished. It will be bittersweet because we have loved his preschool and I have enjoyed getting involved myself!

 
I forgot to eat breakfast before I left, so when I got home I had an early lunch, leftover Spinach & Turkey Sausage Frittata from the night before.

 
My little helper! Lukey tagged along with me around the house while I tried to straighten up a bit. I love when the counters are clear and the beds are made. I really feel at peace and more calm when the house is neat(ish).

Our nephew Nick came by to babysit and spend some time with Owen, and I took Luke to have his ears checked again. His ears were looking good after the first shot, but the doctor and I agreed that we should just go for it and give him the 2nd one to be sure. Poor little guy was so upset. I hate having to hold him down while he cries and gets poked, it's emotional for both of us. He recovered quickly and was pretty happy on the ride home.

You can read all about the whole ear infection saga here

 
We had a TON of rain this week, and Friday was the first dryish day all week, so when I came home we went out in the backyard to play. My intention was that we would practice basketball, but both boys really just wanted to play in the dirt. I really can't wait for the longer, warmer and drier days ahead!

Once Keith was home it was the usually routine of playing, dinner, more playing, cleaning up, bath time and then bedtime.

Once the boys were down Keith and I watched an episode of The Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. I have heard so many people talking about it, so we had to give it a try. Have you watched it yet? What did you think?

Well, that was our day! I love looking back on these over the months and year. It's a fun way for me to remember what our days were like.

February 10, 2017

Friday FIVE!

I'm I'm so late to the blogging game this week -- like 4+ days late. It has been a whirlwind of a week. Keith had a sinus infection, Luke has another ear infection and I had to be out two nights this week for meetings / school tours and then gave another school tour this morning. It has been a super busy week and I'm SO glad it is the weekend and that my two sick guys are feeling much better.

Here's my five for this week...


1. SUMMER CAMPS! It's only February, yet summer plans are underway! So far I've signed Owen up for one week of VBS and British Soccer Camp! I'm thrilled for him to have a full week of soccer in hopes it will get him excited for AYSO next year. If you enroll your child in a British Soccer Camp today you will receive a FREE SOCCER JERSEY, SOCCER BALL, T-SHIRT & POSTER with code: CAMP17 .

Here is a little more info about the camp:
British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US. With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, The British Soccer Camp provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!


2. ELF LIP STICK I picked up this lipstick duo in The Best Berries at Target this week for $5! What a steal, right? I love the daytime color, and the nighttime color is pretty too, but I just haven't had a chance to give it a try yet.

3. PROTEIN PANCAKES Owen has been requesting pancakes pretty much every morning, and while I love them too, I just can't eat pancakes every morning and still fit into my swim suits this summer, so I have to make a compromise. Earlier this week I made Kodiak Protein Pancakes using their mix and adding peanut butter protein powder. They were really good -- and I only used a little bit of syrup ;)

4. POOR LUKE has had pretty much 8 straight weeks of ear infections. He might have a day or two of feeling better in between doctor visits and another round of antibiotics, but these infections have been almost non-stop. I barely know what it's like to have him not be irritable anymore. Yesterday I took him in because he had just finished his third round of medicine and still seemed to have an infection (cranky, not eating a lot, rubbing his ears, runny nose etc.) The doctor and I talked and decided to go with the final antibiotic they try with chronic ear infections, which is a shot. Today I take him back to see if it did its job. If he's cleared, we can come home, but if he still isn't better he'll get a shot today and another one tomorrow. If this round of medicine doesn't do the job the next step will be seeing an ENT and possibly getting tubes.

5. VALENTINE'S! Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Do you have big plans? Keith will be home that day, but I think it will be a pretty regular day for us around here. I'm picking up the cards I had printed for Owen's friends at school. He wanted to give them all bubbles (we did them two years ago too!), so we are using this cute and FREE bubble printable. I want to get something cute for his three teachers too. Any ideas?

I hope you all have a nice weekend!
 
You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

February 3, 2017

Friday Five!

Hey there! Are you ready for the weekend? I know we are! Ours will consist of a basketball game for Owen, hopefully a haircut for me and the Super Bowl with friends on Sunday!

Here's my five...

| O N E | The boys and I went to a "new to us" library on Monday. Owen had been under the weather on Sunday evening so I kept him home from school on Monday. We don't go to the library enough to pick out books to borrow. This week we visited the Redwood Shores Library, which will be a regular spot for us this summer. They have a really cute children's area that the boys loved!



 
Owen and I picked out some great books this week: 
Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Owen's favorite of the bunch!)

| T W O | I saw this idea on Facebook last week and decided to do it for Owen. Positive affirmations really warm his heart, and after he told me earlier this week that he misses when it was just me and him, I thought I should do something special for him to give him some extra love. It was actually really hard to narrow down my list of things I love about him to just 14! I've been putting one on his door each night after he's in bed.

| T H R E E | I'm excited to share with you that I'm teaming up with Netflix this year as part of their Stream Team! I'll be sharing more about what we love and try out on Netflix and from time to time I might even have some fun and exciting tidbits or exclusives to share with you! They sent us an awesome "welcome to the team" package this week that will help us watch our favorite shows. Stay tuned!

| F O U R | I tried a new top coat (Essie Gel Setter) last week and I'm loving it. It helped my polish stay glossy and chip free through the weekend and into Monday, which for me with all the cooking, weights, cleaning etc., is a long time. Last weekend I tried it with my favorite light pink polish (OPI Infinite Shine in Indefinitely Baby), and this week with my favorite red (OPI Big Apple Red) -- we'll see how long it stays put this time!

| F I V E | I've been making this soup for years, but always followed the recipe. I've made it the last two weeks in a row just from memory of the recipe and it totally turned out better than when I follow the recipe. I'm all about winging it! Last week I made my own walnut pesto, but this week I had fresh pesto from Costco on hand. It is definitely worth it to make your own or buy some fresh, just don't use the jarred stuff -- it won't be as good.

Here is the list of ingredients and how to make it:

2 chicken breasts, diced into bite-size pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 heaping spoonfuls of fresh pesto
2 cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed 
2-3 handfuls spinach
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cups chicken stock
olive oil

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add olive oil to grease it. Sauteed the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add a little salt and pepper. Add bell peppers and cook until they soften a bit. Add the chicken and cook until it is browned just a bit and cooked through. Stir in pesto and cook for a minute. Add chicken broth and beans, simmer for 15-20 minutes then add the spinach. Let the spinach wilt a bit and then serve!

I hope you have an awesome weekend! 

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!