Saturday, July 22, 2017

Week In Review 7.22.17


Untitled

We spent this week in Palo Alto as Scott had to work. The girls and I enjoyed staying in one place for 5 nights and loved the hotel pool! It was a fun week full of relaxing, adventures and connecting with a dear friend. 

Untitled

Exercise

Formal exercise returned this week and guys, I am so sore! I went to two barre3 classes at the Los Altos location and they were pretty good. My hips were so angry at me though after spending a day at the Monterey Aquarium that I cancelled my third class on Friday morning. I was practically limping after a day at the aquarium and had shooting pains down my leg. Not good! I've had hip problems for awhile and think all the hiking and car time in the last two weeks have not been helpful. I'll be working to get back on my hip exercise program and am going to go get some acupuncture when we get back to town. We also spent so much time swimming in the pool this week. We were out there every single day except Tuesday when the pool was closed. 



Untitled


Food

Food was so much better this week since we were in Palo Alto, CA for Scott's work. We stayed at a Hilton Home Suites which allotted us a small kitchen. I went grocery shopping on Monday and picked up lots of greens and fruits for salads and snacks. Our vegetable intake was on the up and up this week! I also got some of my beloved kombucha but none of it was as good as my Puget Sound Kombucha! Additionally our hotel provided a really good breakfast and "nibbles" at night. The "nibbles" were literally a full-fledged meal. I took the girls down one night when Scott was at a work dinner and found a huge spread which took care of my "what are we going to eat for dinner" dilemma. 


Untitled

I also had the opportunity to meet up with a friend from Junior High (I like to keep friends forever!) and we had the most amazing (and un-photographed) Tea Leaf Salad with Burmese tea leaves, fried garlic, yellow beans, peanuts, sesame seeds, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers and dried shrimp. It was so good! 



Untitled

We tried Creamistry for dessert one night. They make your ice cream using liquid nitrogen in front of you. It was a bit gimmicky but fun. The ice cream was tasty too!

Untitled

We'll be back home on Sunday night so I've planned out our meals for the next week and got my grocery shopping done online. I'm trying out One Potato this week so some of our meals come from them. We'll be having: 

  • Monday: Sausage and Slaw
  • Tuesday: Tacos
  • Wednesday: Tofu Stir-Fry 
  • Thursday:  One Potato Veggie Chicken Fajitas
  • Friday: Pizza 
  • Saturday: One Potato Steak Fajitas

The Girls


Untitled

The girls were much better this week which I attribute to staying in one place, eating healthy food and getting good sleep. We had some adventures but we also had days where we just hung around the hotel and chilled out. We took in Happy Hollow Farms and made the trek to the Monterey Aquarium. Both were fun experiences!


Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled


Monday, July 17, 2017

Week in Review 7.17.17

Untitled

We spent the last week traveling to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and The Grand Tetons. It was a week of driving, excitement and fun. I plan to post more about our vacation later but wanted to get a quick week in review done first.

Untitled

Exercise

Exercise was so great this week because I didn't consciously do any! We went on hikes, explored the national parks and I racked up the steps on my FitBit. I was exhausted by the end of every day and thrilled to have seen so many sites.


Untitled

Food

Food was not great this week. I was grateful that I had packed two rubbermaid bins full of food because it meant we had some healthy options available. We had PB&J sandwiches at Glacier National Park and ate cereal out of cups in Yellowstone. By eating one of our daily meals in the hotel room, it saved us some money and time. The food in Montana and Wyoming tended toward BBQ Western Cowboy food which is certainly tasty but man, made my system complain. 

Untitled

The Girls

The girls were hard this week. They were wild with excitement. Tired from all the traveling and completely off their schedule. They, however, had an excellent time and keep telling us that they love vacation. They also the hotel carts and were practically falling over themselves to ride them along with our luggage.

Untitled

Untitled
Other Goings On

It was vacation all the time around here so nothing much else went on. I did get out one morning and hit up Yellowstone Falls at 6 a.m. It was so lovely to be out in nature, alone in the silence. I got some pretty great shots too!

Stories Published




Seattle Refined: Yes, you CAN eat healthy on a road trip. Promise!
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Heading out for Vacation

Across the Norris Basin

We're off on a vacation to explore the Western National Parks and have some family time. I can not wait to see what the girls think of Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. 
Saturday, July 08, 2017

Week in Review 7.8.17

Untitled

This week had a long weekend and lots of vacation prep going on. We enjoyed our four day weekend with Scott. I used his time off on Monday to get new tires for my car and run some errands while he dropped the kids off at school. We figured it was best if they went to school to have fun with their friends instead of staring at us, waiting for us to entertain them.

Untitled

Exercise

Exercise was great this week! I wanted to get all I could in before vacation so I went to four boot camps and took a long hike on the Fourth of July. The kids were amazing on our 5 mile hike. It was a pretty easy hike but we've done easy hikes before and they've turned into quite the episodes. The kids only started to complain about being hungry when we were less than a 1/2 mile from the car. I had lunch waiting for us so we noshed in the car before heading home.

Untitled

Food


Untitled

I took a pre-vacation approach to food this week which meant we ate out more than we normally do. I also worked hard to use up the food in the fridge. I ended up making Beet Pickled Eggs since I had lots of beets in the produce drawer and eggs from my chickens. I also grated up a bunch of carrots and froze them for future meals.

Untitled

I tried the Money on Honey chocolate from Starbucks and it was so good! Wildflower honey caramel with dark chocolate and french sea salt. DIVINE! 

The Girls


Untitled

The girls are full of summer excitement. All they want to do is be outside. They want to ride their scooters, go swimming, frolic and play. I can't say I'm against any of these plans. I love their zest for life.

Untitled

We did our annual family hike on the 4th of July at Tiger Mountain which went really well. It made me hopeful for more hikes! Scott had the day off on Monday so we found Molly's class at Carkeek Park which she loved. She loves showing her Dad what she does during the day while he is at work. 

Untitled

We had my brother and his family over on Sunday. Maggie loves her baby cousin. She says he is "baby tiny" which cracks me up. Molly spent a ton of time playing with her other cousin. They love seeing them. 

Other Goings On


Untitled

Other than vacation prep, cleaning the house and running a lot of errands, not much went on around here. We did catch up with some friends and the girls got to meet their sweet dog. I got new tires on the car and worked hard to finish up some projects. Whew! I love going on vacation but I am not a fan of prepping for it. I always prep too hard. I've also been doing more Instagram Stories. I'm kinda obsessed. 

Stories Published

Sweet Cherry Granola Yogurt Popsicles

Seattle Refined: Summertime is Popsicle Time
Thursday, July 06, 2017

June Book Report

Untitled

I was a reading machine this month and got through 6 books. The 2017 Summer Book Bingo is helping to keep my head in a book which I love! I also discovered a few new authors and read some really interesting books. 


Untitled

For the LGBTQIA author or character" category, I read "Every Heart A Doorway" by Seanan McGuire in the 2017 Summer Book Bingo. I LOVED this book. This was a beautiful book with so much packed into its' slim pages. It is the story of children who attend a special boarding school made up of kids who have visited other magical lands. I wasn't sure how she was going to pack so much information in to so few pages but it was perfect. 


Untitled

 "The Call of Cthulhu" by H.P. Lovecraft fit into the "Genre that is new to you" category in the 2017 Summer Book Bingo. This was a crazy and awesome story of horror. I can see why H.P. Lovecraft was inspirational to so many writers. Creepy story!


Untitled

My super quick read was "Seedfolks" by Paul Fleischman for the "Recommended by a young person" category in the 2017 Summer Book Bingo.. This was recommended to me by the students of a middle school teacher and I loved it. Each chapter is told by a different person but it all revolves around an empty lot that is slowly turned into a garden. I loved the short chapters about various people involved in the transformation of one vacant lot. 


Untitled


  • In the "Washington state author" category was "A Year Right Here" by Jess Thomson in the 2017 Summer Book Bingo. This is the story of a Thomson's pledge to explore the world where she is rather than far-flung places abroad. I started the book excited to discover more about the food and locations near me. Kirk Thomson, I live in Ballard and love food. Unlike Thomson, my children do not have a disability. This book chronicles both her journey and her family's journey as they work to help their son with his disability. I do wish there has been more adventures in the here. Due to life circumstances she didn't go huckleberry picking and never ventured east of the mountains to see what most of Washington's farmland has to offer. 
Untitled
Last year, I read "My Name is Lucy Barton" and this year Elizabeth Strout wow'd me with "Anything is Possible" for the "Recommended by an independent bookseller" category in the 2017 Summer Book Bingo. This was the Refined Reads pick for June and the discussion was way more fascinating than I expected.  This is a story of small town people and how they cope with their devastating pasts, love and losses. I read this book so fast and always love all of Elizabeth Strout's books. I felt heartache and joy for all the characters.
Untitled

I read "Ways to Disappear" by Idra Novey for the "Set in another country" category in the 2017 Summer Book Bingo. An author goes up into a tree in Brazil and disappears. Her American book translator arrives to help her family find the author, shenanigans happen from there. This was a very entertaining book.

Yearly Book Total: 23/52

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something from a link, I receive a very small percentage back. 
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Monday, July 03, 2017

Monthly Goal Check-In (June)

Untitled

We are officially more than halfway through the year! Life continues to move at a rapid but extremely fun pace. While Fall is truly my favorite season, I do love the playfulness of Summer and all the swimming. Oh, I love the swimming! 

2017 Goals

1. Workout 217 times in 2017 - I worked out 19 times in June. I'm at 122 workouts with 95 more workouts to complete this year. I'm tracking well on this goal. 


2. Participate in the Year of Creativity -  This month was all about space, specially making space for our creativity. I am terrible about making space for writing. I write in the midst of the chaos. I write as children climb over over me and shout at me. I write and photograph as the craziness of life overwhelms me. I have space downstairs but it is in our cluttered guest room and will soon be remodeled. 


3. Shoot one roll of film a month - I slid in with this goal at the very end. I shot my roll of film on June 30th at the pool. Now to get it developed along with my other rolls of film. 

4. Complete TKGA Master Knitting Level I - I worked on my primary swatch and some of the questions related to it. 


5. Finish my Miter Square Blanket - I worked on a lot of squares this month. I want to say that I got 4 done. I can see my blanket growing! 

6. Read 52 books. - I read 6 books this month. This means I have 24 books to read this year and 28 under my belt. Book Bingo is already helping me crush my book numbers.

7. Finish up various House Projects - This month was spent keeping things together with Scott gone so I did not get to any of my house projects. 

8. Catch up on my yearly photo books of the girls - I'm still gathering my images. Five years of images takes a lot of time to gather and put in the appropriate albums. These books are going to be epic! 

9. Become more politically active and work to be the change in my community - Ermmm, yea about that... 

10. Learn how to make a really good stock 

Bonus Goal: Grow two new crops in my garden and add some chickens to my flock. 
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Week in Review 7.1.17

Untitled

We had a quieter week around the house due to a big writing job I had. I had a lot of fun working on the project but am glad to have a bit more time back to myself. It also made me realize how many little time sucks there are in my day. I get 9 hours a week while both girls are in school to get work, errands, appointments, etc. done alone. Sometimes drop-off sucks away some of the time. Then there are surprise tasks that pop up that need to be done during my kid-free time. Soon I find out that my 9 hours have shrunk to 6 but I still have 12 hours of work to get done. It is exhausting. I have high respected for full-time working parents and all that they have to juggle.

Untitled

Exercise

Bootcamp was brutal this week. I angered my back on Monday so I was very gentle with it the rest of the week. I still got in three boot camps, a barre3 class and a SHIFT class. I love that crazy SHIFT class so much. I used my ClassPass for the barre3 and SHIFT class. Interested in trying out ClassPass, use my referral link for $40 off your first month! If you missed it, I posted 5 Rockstar Workouts for Summer Travel this week.


Untitled

Food

I prepped again on Sunday which helped me prepare for my work load. The house doesn't slow down if I am needed elsewhere. I made Shrimp Dragon Noodles, Quiche and Burrito Bowls along with Zucchini Bread and Chicken Salad for lunches. Instead of roasted chicken for the chicken salad, I used canned chicken and it was really good. Scott and I both had evening things in different directions later in the week so the kids had macaroni and cheese with their sitter and we finished the week with Shutterbean's Sausage Kale French Bread Pizza

Untitled

I'm not doing a monthly meal plan for July since we'll be traveling. I'll be playing it week by week. I'm also doing a condensed prep session since our meal plan is pretty simple. Our meal plan for this coming week is: 
  • Sunday: Hot Dogs and Sausages with Corn on the Cob
  • Monday: Teriyaki Chicken with Rice and Broccoli
  • Tuesday: Picnic Dinner
  • Wednesday: Crockpot Spaghetti
  • Thursday: Salmon and Fish Stick Tacos (cleaning out the freezer!) 
  • Friday: Pizza
  • Saturday: Out
I also cleaned out the fridge and felt so accomplished. Seriously a cleaned out fridge feels like a huge accomplishment. I love how easy it is to find what you need and how fresh it smells. 

Untitled

The Girls

Untitled

The girls continued with swim lessons this week and Molly learned how to ride a two-wheeler at school. I was honestly shocked. Of course, now all she wants to do is ride her bike which I do love.

Untitled

Sleep shenanigans continue but they are easier to take on when there are two parents around. I gave up on a solid bedtime early in the week and decided not to force the issue. I'm hoping when the nights start getting darker again, that they will start going to sleep earlier. Molly's teacher claims summer days at school will exhaust her but I'm not sure he's encountered a sleep avoider quite like Molly. Molly is also wearing a sleep tracking watch for the sleep study she is in, this week. She claims to not like it but then talks about liking it so I don't know. 

Untitled

Other Goings On


Untitled

Somehow in the midst of all the chaos this week, I managed to finish reading three books. I was getting worried because the first book took me forever to read but the next two only took an evening or two. I also started working on the doll outfits for the church charity project I'm doing. I took out two dolls for the Atlantic Street Center and am outfitting them with sweaters, pants and blankets. I'll be knitting some and sewing some of the outfits. 
Thursday, June 29, 2017

5 Rockstar Workouts for Summer Travel

Untitled

This year, I'm working toward 217 workouts in 2017 and I am not about to let travel get in the way of my goal.  As we prepare to head out on our two week road trip, I'm making plans for my workouts. I've put together a set of workouts that don't require any special equipment and can be done in 30-40 minutes. I also plan to hike some and walk a lot.

ABC Workout

Workout #1  - The ABC Workout

I found this one in one of my workout groups and shared it with another. This led one of the Sync Fitness trainers to have us do this workout at Sync Fitness Boot Camp and I loved it! The concept is simple. Do a quick 5-min warm-up and then start spelling (i.e. your name, your school's mascot, etc) and do the corresponding exercise. One of my friends just did the entire alphabet which I like too. Set the timer for 25-30 minutes and get going! You'll be amazed at how quickly you run out of things to spell. Make sure to stretch at the end.

TabataWorkout
Image Credit: PopSugar

Workout #2 - PopStar Tabata

This workout comes from Pop Sugar and is a great 40 minute burner. Bonus: No equipment is needed! Find out more information at Pop Sugar: Do This Superset Tabata Workout Anywhere

barre3
Image Credit: Barre3

Workout #3 - Barre3 Online

Barre3 offers an awesome subscription service but a little known fact, some of their workouts are free! I love this one because it is a quick 30 minute blast of intensity. This video does suggest the use of a barre3 ball and weights but you can leave those out if you don't have them with you.

Check out the barre3 workout here!

Untitled

Workout #4 - ClassPass

I use ClassPass at home but love it when I travel. It gives me the opportunity to try new studios in different cities. If the city you are visiting does not have ClassPass, I recently discovered that ClassPass has workout videos!

Interested in trying out ClassPass, use my referral link for $40 off your first month. Videos do not count toward your monthly class total!

Untitled

Workout #5 - Boot Camp Card Play

One of my favorite Sync Fitness Boot Camp workouts is when the trainer pulls out a deck of cards. As with the ABC workout, each exercise is determined by each card. Start with a proper warm-up then draw cards for 20 minutes and finish with a good stretch for a great workout.

Hearts = Pushups
Diamonds = Squats
Clubs =  Overhead Press
Spades = Frog Jumps
Jokers = Run in Place or Around the Block + 10 Burpees
Face Cards = Cardio for 20 seconds

Cardio Ideas: 180 degree Squat Jumps, Jacks, Skaters or Squat Hops
 
Rebecca Mongrain's Blog © 2013.

Design by The Blog Boat