6.21.2015

Sartorial: Basic Black Body Con Dress

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List 045 by seattlemom featuring a black top

I've been a huge fan of the basic black, skin tight dress since highschool.  I think it's one of the most versatile items you can have.  With flip flops or sandals it is casual, with a heel or boots it can become dressy and what can't you layer over it?  Here are three ways I would dress it up from brunch, to date night and something a little dressier like a dinner or party.  I recently updated my body con dress to a basic tank top style one mid thigh length and one knee length.  I like to throw a flannel on over it and when it gets to warm I can tie it around my waist and keep on keeping on with my day.  Yeah it evokes a little bit of grunge but that's not a bad thing!

The body con dress in black.  Try one on, its the perfect closet staple!

Fathers Day 2015

Today my husband is lucky enough to celebrate his 10th Father's Day.  It's a day we get to shower him with extra kindness, his favorite foods and activities.  A day the kids look forward to and all fight to spend 1:1 time with him.  My husband is a good sport about it, better then me that's for sure.  

T has grown into being a wonderful father.  He's respectful of each child, recognizes all of their individual strengths and weaknesses.  Is stern in the right ways at the right times and is continually nurturing our children.  If you asked me 15 years ago if I thought what kind of father he would be, one day, I would have no answers to provide.  I could have never imagined he would become the man, the father that he is.  My children are lucky to have him.  I am lucky to have grown this life with this man.

Happy Father's Day T.  Never in a million years can I think of any other human on this planet that are as wonderful to our children as you are.

5.29.2015

Warm Weather Uniform

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List 043 by seattlemom featuring Givenchy

It's been unseasonable warm here in Seattle.  I'm  not complaining, i'm loving it and taking it day by day.  One thing is for sure, our weather is totally unpredictable and tomorrow could be totally overcast and chili.  Let's not go there.  Instead let's talk about the warms.  

I was never really big on wearing shorts when I lived in sun shiny Los Angeles but here in the Pacific Northwest I embrace the sun and bask in it every chance I get.  That means showing off the pasty winter legs in shorts.  Cut off jean shorts, or jorts as I like to call them, are my shorts of choice.  Normally they are a pair of old jeans I have actually cut but once in a while I do buy a pair of actual, on purpose, denim shorts.  I did this year, and picked up a pair of Old Navy boyfriend cut shorts.  The pair I got are a little distrised and the cut is nice and loose and rides nicely on the hips.  If they made the exact same pair in a faded black I'd probably buy that to.  Most of my black denim shorts are cut from old jeans.  I'm a creature of habit when it comes to dressing in shorts.  I'll 99% of the time pair it with a muscle tee or tank top.  Jewelry is typically simple, a pair of earrings usually studs or hoops, a necklace and a few delicate rings.  That's it.  Top that off with some unique sunglasses and a big ass hat or "messy" curled hair and that's it.  Shoe wise will always be one of two things, high top vans or my salt water sandals.  Easy peasy.  I'm telling you, creature of habit!  

These warm days have been heavenly.  I've been spending a lot of my time out in my backyard, planting and babying my veggies, watching my little play with her barbies in their "pool" and when I have some time alone I'm really loving basking in the sun and having time to read one of my many half read books.

BBQ season is here and I look forward to the school year wrapping up and having friends over more often!  And yes, i'll likely be in jorts and a tank.

5.25.2015

5 Things: Week of May 25, 2015

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List 044 by seattlemom featuring yellow gold rings

This weeks five things have been on my mind or in my life for a little bit now but still very fresh.  First off cold brew, is there anything better?  I'm a big coffee drinker and I really, really like Stumptown.  They make a few variety of cold brew a couple of which have milk added and it tastes like straight up desert.  I don't do milk or cream in coffee so I normally drink the black cold brew and love it.  I recently discovered Nitro Cold Brew and god damn is that stuff smooth!  It's yummy and delicious and you should go try it if you are a cold brew fan.

I love personalized jewelry so when I found initial rings for $3 a each I had to get one for each of my kiddos and my man.  I stack the three kids rings together and I wear T's ring on my ring finger since my wedding rings no longer fit me.  I think these are sweet and minimal and totally right for me.

Are you watching Halt & Catch Fire?  Yes, I know it aired last summer but thanks to Netflix I'm watching it for the first time now.  I'm only a few episodes in and I'm really loving it!  Lee Pace is one of the main characters and he was so great in Pushing Daisies and I'm so glad he's on another fantastic series.

Summer's around the corner and it had me fantasizing of shorter hair.  I've been eyeballing short lobs on IG for months now.  Last week I took the plunge and cut my hair.  I promised myself to never have hair shorter than shoulder length and I broke my own promise.  Why?  Well, I have a fantastic stylist who gets my hair and if anyone could give me shorter hair without it turning into a mushroom it would be Ava.  And she pulled it off.  I have a wonderful, layered, thinned out short lob and it feels fantastic!

Bean teepee's rock.  I wish I had the garden space to create a giant one.  But alas, I don't and instead have a couple of smaller narrow bean teepee's going on in my backyard right now.  

5.22.2015

Weight Loss Journey - May 2015

There I am.  In my current incarnation, 46lbs lighter then when I started.  I've been on my weight loss journey since September 2014, that's 8 months now.  Almost to the day, actually! The journey has been amazing and I've learned so much about myself.  I've learned that I have a tough as nails sense of dedication.  If I didn't I don't think I would be where I am today.  I love that this journey is visible to my kids, especially my little girl.  Although she'll occasionally comment and say things like, "mommy you look skinny,"  she more often says things like "mommy you are strong" or "mommy I want to be strong like you one day."  Those are the comments that make me smile.  Skinnier then I was before, is like the side effect, so to speak.  I started my journey wanting to be smaller, skinnier if you will, and healthier then I was.  As my training progressed and the weight started coming off my perspective changed.  Yes, being smaller is fabulous but its nothing compared to my energy, stamina, self-confidence and strength.  Those things are priceless.  My journey is not over, I have a little bit more to go to reach my goal then my focus will shift to building up my muscle and tightening things up.  

So yes I'm down 46lbs today!!!!!  I cannot believe that number.  It's huge, its more then my little girls weight!  About a month ago I went through my closet and, finally, removed all my big clothes.  Most of my clothes were big, like 95% of my clothes.  I kept trying to wear them with the addition of belts or sweaters to hide all the extra space.  I looked weird in my clothes.  The few things I did have that actually fit were very few.  Since clearing out my clothes I've bought a few inexpensive pieces to fill the gap and give me some variety in clothing.  I bought 4 pairs of jeans and 2 skirts from Forever 21!  I cannot believe I can buy clothes from Forever 21 -  Woot!!!  They are the price point I want to deal with at the moment because I feel like my body is still changing and I don't want to invest in quality pieces that I may not fit into in a couple of months.  I also picked up some new work out pants and shorts, for the summer, at Old Navy.  Typically I just cut up my old jeans into jorts for the summer, and I still did to my smaller big jeans but I HAVE to wear a belt and i'm cool with it since its comfy, worn and baggy.  But mostly I can't because my old pants are way to big.  Let me put it into perspective, the day I started my journey I was in a 12/14 and i'm currently in a 2/4.  WTF!  So clothing right now is not an investment for me, its totally transitional and I'm just dealing with minimal pieces and the few things I can still wear (because baggy sweaters are cool, right?) I mix it in.  
That photo up there is a side by side comparison of me, taken a year apart in the same dress (drawstrings are an amazing thing!).  I can hardly believe that is me.  I can hardly believe I somehow thought that dress fit me in 2014!  Ugh.  When I look at that photo I cannot believe that is me.  I cannot believe that I let myself get to that weight, however the before photo was taken in March 2014 over the course of the summer of 2014 I gained an additional 10lbs!!!  So the before picture is still lighter then I was when I started my journey.  I'm proud of where I've gotten to and i'm super motivated to get to my actual goal.  

My health feels amazing.  My body feels great, I don't get winded as quickly, I don't get much aches and pains (unless its from a workout) and I get excited to do outdoorsy things.  I've been told by friends that my journey has inspired them to a commit to a journey of their own and that is amazing.  To be that inspiration for another human being is warming for me.  Everyone has that moment when they feel that they need to make a change in their own life.  Wether that moment comes from seeing a photo of themselves and them not being what they thought they were, or seeing a friend/person they know make that lifestyle change.  And this is, most definitely a lifestyle change first and foremost.  I've been to the other end and I know I never, ever want to go back there.  I want to be healthy.  I want to be strong.  I want to be fit.  Not just for me but for my family.  If I inspire others along the way that is wonderful.  

Everyone deserves the best for themselves.

.....the journey continues!

5.01.2015

Spring Break

Spring break came and went this year.  Technically we had two weeks of spring break in our household.  Crash goes to a pre-k that's part of a private K-8 AND my boys are in the public school system.  Thus, two back to back weeks of spring break.  

Spring break with my daughter was pretty low key.  Just playing at home, going to the park and just fun hanging out time.  With my boys it was a little tricky because Crash goes to afternoon pre-k so we had to revolve our days around drop off and pick up.  She did spend two days at home with us and enjoyed the beach and zoo with our friends.  During our second week of break we had some seriously gorgeous days, the temps were cool but the sun was out in full force.

Golden Gardens is a fabulous beach and park not to far from our house.  The kids love going there and we'll go year round.  The beach view is beautiful you see the Ballard marina, Magnolia and even some islands.  Unlike many other beaches in the area the sand is actually nice and soft but there are lots of charcoal bits scattered about, especially during the summer, due to evening bonfires (which are fun in its on rite!)    There is also a fabulous playground steps from the sand so that's pretty awesome as well.  Whenever we head to Golden Gardens we really do make an afternoon of it.  The kids were super excited to head to the beach during Spring break.  Crash's lovely friend and my friend joined us and they spent hours upon hours playing in the sand, digging and building and looking for shells.  The boys indulged in the playground and the girls couldn't even be bothered!  

We also visited the zoo during Spring break.  The Seattle zoo is pretty big and very  nice.  And on this day it was beautiful.  It was helpful that my friend had her prime card so we got in for $5/pp!!!!  Score! We didn't get to see the tiger cubs but that's okay, we had a great time nonetheless.  As usual Crash went crazy when we got to the wolves, which are her favorite animals.  She stood there and howled and howled and howled.  She's so loud its nuts.  We went into the aviary area and it was filled with lots of love bird, cockatoo type birds.  I was a little afraid I would get poo'd on, but it was all good.  While in the aviary we noticed you could buy a seed stick for $1, which we did and boy do those birds know what those sticks are!  They immediately came swooping down, landing on your hand or arm and just ate that thing clean!
I had nice days with the boys while Crash was at school.  One of their favorite days was when I took them to the mall.  We don't do the mall often, but I thought they'd enjoy it since they had been saving their allowance and I knew there was a Game Stop at the mall.  Yep, they were excited when I broke the news to them.  Even bigger surprise was when they went to pay I paid for their games.  We stopped into Sees candy to check out all the Easter sale candy and the sales girl offered us a sample.  i expected a small piece of chocolate but instead the boys each received a giant bag of jelly beans (and hot damn are their jelly beans yummy!!!!) AND a chocolate bunny!  Wow!  I received a delicious brown sugar cream chocolate egg.   I need to remember that egg for next year because I was impressed buy it and normally im not a cream filled chocolate person.

All in all I think Spring Break was successful.  The kids all got a lot of rest and relaxation, plus we got out of the house and did things together and for me 2 weeks of break was fine.  It gave me time to chill with the kids more and that's always a good thing.






4.03.2015

Lately - 04032015

I've been very bad at updating lately.  C'est le vie - no excuses just living life.

Life has been great.  I've been doing my thing, taking care of me and my family.  Spring break is around the corner and for the first time Crash's break DOES NOT coincide with Big Red and Donx's break.  It totally sucks, but this is what happens when one kid's school aligns with the private school calendar and not the public school calendar.  This will be the only year this ever happens.  I haven't really planned anything to exciting for the upcoming vacations.  Just lots of movie time, baking, board games and on sunny days beaches and parks.

We've had some amazing weather lately.  The sun feels so good after months of gray skies.  Temperature wise its not getting much higher then the low 60s but it feels amazing.
There was one glorious day last week.  I dropped off my tiniest little at preschool, grabbed myself a Stumptown Cold Brew and headed home to curl up in the sun and relax with a book.  The sunshine has my heart aching for summer!  The great thing about living in Seattle is when there is even the teeniest hint of sunshine its shorts and outdoor life living.  I love it so much!

Years ago the boys each received an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas.  We used it often when they were small but the last couple of years its been packed away.  I nearly forgot about them until recently and I introduced it to Crash.  She was beyond excited to use it and could hardly wrap her mind around the fact that we were going to bake with a light bulb!
We had so much fun making sugar cookies in the easy bake.  Crash felt so in control with the activity.  She mixed the bater on her own and placed three little drops of dough in the tiny pans and patiently waited for her cookies to bake.  You better believe that this bad boy will be used during Crash's spring vacation.

T's been working long hours lately.  This used to bother me but not anymore.  I've accepted it and as a stay at home mom this is one of the sacrifices you make.  I feel for him, though.  He's sleep deprived and stressed but he does like the challenges he's presented with.  He thrives on the challenge and definitely rises to the occasion.  I'm proud of him, he's grown so much in his career path and I know that whatever is thrown at him he can handle.  T is still riding his bike to work and he really loves it.  I think the bike ride to and from work is perfect for his work life balance.  It really allows him to commit to the time alone and to clear his head before and after the work day.  Plus he gets in some physical activity, nearly every day.  T's office has recently moved as well, for the better.  He was based off of Bainbridge Island, which is a 25 minute ferry commute from the Seattle Waterfront and now his office is right downtown.  Same bike commute just no ferry commute.  He'll venture out to the island maybe 1 a week or every other week but that's no big deal since its no longer a daily doing.  As long as T is digging his job we are all happy.

I've been really trying to enjoy the time with the kids.  They are growing up so quickly and one of their favorite things to do at home is family movie time especially when it involves some sort of fort, popcorn and "movie theater" candy.
We don't do movie theaters often, with 3-kids and 2-adults it can get pretty expensive pretty quick.  So we save the theater trips for extra special family movies.  But because we don't do the theater often many of the movies we can't rent online, that are more recent movies, are brand new for us.  So I feel like we always have choices.  With the boys being 10.5 and 9 we have much more movie choices with them.  We aren't committed to strictly "kid" movies.  Many times Crash falls asleep early or chooses to watch a cartoon movie in her room on a kindle, that allows us to watch things like Divergent or Hunger Games with the boys.  I know every family has movie night together and its a great thing to do.  I will drag on this tradition as long as my kids allow for it.

With the arrival of spring we have a whole new bunch of hurdles to cross.  Like allergies and planning for summer.  Summer.....that's another post for another day.





3.06.2015

Weight Loss Journey - March Update


Since returning from Hawaii my body has been so out of whack.  I haven't gained weight, some daily fluctuation +/- which is normal, rather i've been maintaining my current weight.  This is necessarily a bad thing but its not moving toward my goal.  This has been going on for a month!  A MONTH!

I talked to my trainer about this and realizing what my workout routine is its been determined that its time to readjust the nutrition portion of my journey.  Not eating less but actually eating more.  My usual diet and workout routine are to much in sync now, like my body has become complacent, aka my metabolism needs to be jump started.

To do this I need to increase my macros.  Upping my carbs, fats and proteins which is an overall increase of calories.  I towards my macros not necessarily my calories.  because you know the macros added up equals the calories.  It's strange eating so much MORE carbs and finding good places to find it.  Bready foods are still not my first choice but yes, some times i'll eat some bread or a small bite of pasta but mostly i don't.  One of the biggest changes with this whole "eat more carbs" thing has been my breakfast routine.  As you may already know, my Greek yogurt/chia/honey/fruit combo has been a staple in my morning's for years.  It's my happy place and really gets my day started on the right foot.  But not anymore.  I strive to get my carbs in all by 3pm, which is no easy feat.  My new go to morning staple has become a third of a cup of oatmeal with a little honey, a lot of cinnamon, and a sliced up banana (typically around 70-90g which gives me between 16.5-20g of carbs) and of course a big 'ol mug of protein infused coffee.  

This new nutrition portion of my diet is still new to me, i'm still tweaking and figuring of the correct food choices and what I actually enjoy eating, since you know, I kind of eat the same thing every.single.day.  Not a bad thing, its just what I have to do.

It's been working, so far.  I've had less fluctuation which is good and I have actually gone down.  The real measure for me, that really brings all this home is how my clothes are fitting.  Yes, so many things are to big for me, and I love it but its getting hard to get creative with my to big clothes.  I'm not at a place I really want to start buying new items because my journey is not over.  I've picked up a few pieces to supplement but until another large drop i'm saving my cash and making due with what I already have.

In other news, my elliptical is dead.  There's a slight chance its something we can actually fix on our own, and we'll pry the casing open to take a look but if its not, well, its a good thing we will be receiving our tax returns soon.  Until then i'm sticking to my 2-cardios/day if the weather is nice I can run (ugh!) but most likely i'll probably be doing a series of tabata's to burn enough calories that i'm satisfied with.  

Let the journey roll on......

Here is March 1 progress photo in case you're curious: