Monday, January 30, 2017

Fancy Paper Crowns

We've all been needing something to make ourselves feel a little better lately. So I dug out one of our favorite go-to crafts and we all made each other fancy paper crowns! Determined to get ourselves in a good mood, we made some sparkly lovelies. Head over to OOLY to see how!

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Friday Five!!

I was listening to rapper/singer Lizzo on Lena Dunham's "Women of the Hour" yesterday who was talking about playing in New York after the Daniel Pantaleo trial (the police office who killed Eric Garner). Lizzo described how one can feel a city when the city is in mourning or sad. That's exactly how I felt about about DC this week. After the hope instilled by the Women's March, this week DC sort of vacillated between depression and rage. Maybe that's but me. But I am still trying to be positive and proactive and, to that end, here's what else we did this week besides hang our heads in despair at our Facebook feed.

Cooking -- I've mentioned before about how I get bored with chicken recipes, but this Charred Chicken with Sweet Potatoes was fabulous! I used skinless, boneless chicken breast (because that's the only kind of chicken everyone in the house likes) and it still came out super juicy and flavorful. LOVE. Plus it looks so pretty on a platter, it would be a great main dish for guests.

Reading -- My sister gave Kane The Inquisitor's Tale for Christmas and we started reading it together as a family this week. It jumps around a bit, but we are all mesmerized by the weaving together of individual tales and the stories within the story. We loved Loot so much that we moved on to the second book: Sting. So far, it's even better! Cam has forgone her slot of music in the car to listen to the book on the way home as well.

Making -- We made some awesome paper crowns this week ... stay tuned for the tutorial!

Wanting -- we have been eating SO many avocados -- I need this avocado saver!

Playing -- I just got a new Fitbit so we've been playing "how many steps does mom have?" incessantly. The kids are so good about checking in and telling me to get moving. I seriously thought I was much more active than I have been. But between working at home, carpooling, and my main form of exercise being strength training lately, I just haven't been moving that much. Not any more!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Valentine's Day Strawberry Italian Sodas

Yes, the Valentine's Day madness is starting around here. So those who loathe the holiday should probably pack it up for a bit. As I mentioned yesterday, we are deciding to stick with love this year and I'm dreaming up simple ways to spread the feeling. And that includes novel ways of sharing the sentiment with our kiddos. So head over to OOLY's blog to see how I used their awesome Color Lustre Metallic Markers to serve up a sweet drink.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Favorite Valentine's Tops

We are big fans of Valentine's Day in general and this year I feel like everyone needs some extra love! So I might just pick up more than one of these tees for the kids.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Friday Five!!

Ugh. I feel like all the negative energy from the end of 2016 has just come to a head this week in D.C. With the Obamas on the way out and the inauguration tomorrow, our whole household (and town, it feels like) is C R A N K Y. Not to mention that the kids haven't had a full week of school since mid-December, so I've just been trying to jam my normal amount of work into a few days a week. So, sorry for the lack of posts around here! It wasn't all bad though. And at the risk of coming across like all we did was complain this week, here's what else was going down!

Reading -- Kane wanted to re-read the kids adaptation of Boys in the Boat. We read it last spring, but Joel did most of the reading. This time around, Kane and I are sharing the reading duty and we are all riveted even though we know how it ends up. I finally got Eligible off the library waitlist! The author is one of my friend's sisters (actually, my friend's husband wrote the book on my Friday Five a few weeks ago too) and I'd been waiting to read the modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Loved it!

Making -- Cam has been sewing and crafting like a mad lady lately! We spent some time over the weekend working on the beginning projects in the Sew Mini Treats kit. Now that she has a handle on the basics of the projects, she's been able to progress herself. I don't always love kits, but this one is fabulous!

Cooking -- I ended up being way to heavy handed on the red meat dishes last week, so I tried hard to incorporate more chicken and turkey this week. I always find them less flavorful and when I'm on a Whole30 and can't eat so many things, I want the stuff I can eat to be super delicious. But this Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad did the trick (even without the pita)!

Wanting -- I'm obsessed with ear jackets lately and I love these from Rebecca Minkoff.

Playing -- it had been a while since the kids played Catan Jr., but Kane broke it out at a playdate this week and got right back into it. Lots of good strategizing going on!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Crystal Wynwood Mural

We have never sent out a holiday card before—I just never got it together to plan enough ahead and intentionally set up a photo shoot that would work for a card. But when I spotted some snaps of the Crystal Wynwood Mural last summer, I knew it was the perfect excuse to make the kids go take photos in front of a really amazing mural. Inspired by Miami's Wynwood Walls, this Crystal City mural features work from DC's No Kings Collective and local graffiti artists. It is bright, bold, graphic, and was the perfect backdrop for our holiday shots. Now that the holidays are over, I thought I'd share our outtakes!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Friday Five!!

Despite the fact that we just started school back up after a 2 1/2 week winter break, our kids have today, next Monday, and next Friday off too. So this week I've been cramming everything in so that I can actually do some fun things with them. They've both barely scratched their holiday present piles, so we've been getting in to some things this week and anticipating the long weekend to really get into it. Here's what we've been up to ....

Wanting -- I had to fight tooth and nail for every piece of gold and brass furniture and fixture in our house, so there is likely no way that I'm getting these. But, I mean!!!

Cooking -- Everyone LOVED this Slow Cooker Paleo JalapeƱo Popper chili -- I followed the directions to leave out the red pepper flakes and I wish I didn't. It was still great, but I could've used a little more heat. 

Making -- did you catch our DIY Rainbow Lip Gloss post yesterday? We're kind of obsessed with it. It's so easy, but super fun -- it would be a great activity for a playdate or birthday party. 

Reading -- I started I Let You Go a while ago but somehow moved on to other books without really getting into it. So I started again this week. And we started Loot for our commute audiobook, which I thought Cami would love and Kane reluctantly agreed to after seeing Rick Riordan's praise for it. 

Playing -- we bought Kane Pyramix for one of his Hanukkah presents. Strategy AND hieroglyphics? It's pretty much perfect for him. Plus the games are quick (much quicker than his 45-minute math homework games have been -- he's only supposed to play them for 15 minutes, but I can't show you a Green out there who will give up on a game before it's done). 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DIY Rainbow Lip Gloss

It's that time of year when I chase our kids around with chapstick, warning them to head off the inevitable chapped lips. And because they never listen, I find myself sneaking into their rooms at night and smearing A&D ointment anywhere on their face I can get it. To try and keep these charades to a minimum this year for at least one kid, I decided to help Cam make her own "lip gloss" after I spotted this tutorial on BuzzFeed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Winter Bucket List: 50+ Ideas of Cold Weather Fun!

The frigid weather has finally arrived in D.C. and nudged me to post our annual Winter Bucket List. We actually put this together before the holidays, so we can already cross a few of them off. As usual, some of the items are highly unlikely (Iceland, sorry Kane), some of the items are recurring favorites, and some are holdovers from the Fall Bucket List that we just didn't get to. So don't let the cold weather get you down -- bundle up and get your family moving on your own list!

p.s. we knocked off just less than 1/2 of the items off of our Fall Bucket List. Not bad!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chuck Close Self-Portraits

 As the kids get older, I've been trying to challenge them a bit more with more difficult art projects. Sure, we still do our fair share of free creative time. But when we are doing particular projects, I've been trying to find some that require a certain technique or study a particular artist. To that end, we are sharing our Chuck Close Self-Portrait project over at Honest to Nod and I kind of love them! It wasn't easy for the kids, but they stuck with it. And they've since reported back that they are trying the style out on their own at school too. Head over to Honest to Nod to check them out!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Friday Five!!

I don't think we've ever been both so sad and excited to have the winter break come to an end. On one hand, we had a fabulous time hosting, dining, exploring, and relaxing. On the other, we all went through various iterations of whatever flu and cold bugs had been going about town and just kind of overdid everything. So the kids happily went back to school on Tuesday and I happily started a January Whole30. We managed to still fit plenty in this week in between our readjusting to normal life. Take a look!

Cooking -- It's only day five of our Whole30, but I must say that we are slaying this round. I have known Joel for almost 15 years and he has never once taken leftovers for lunch to work until this week. We negotiated hard for who would get the leftovers of this Garlic Lover's Beef Stew.

Reading -- I just started a friend's new book: Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics. Brings me back to my Seattle college days when I studied ecology and is a thought-provoking read (especially considering our country's current political climate). The kids have moved on to another Stuart Gibbs series and are on Spaced Out. I can't really remember another author and set of series that has captured both kids' attentions so well -- they insist on listening to it ALL THE TIME. They somehow both snuck in extra audiobook sessions the other night and I didn't notice until the next morning when I went in to wake them up and found the book still playing.

Making -- the kids both got a ton of maker presents for the holidays, but Cam has been loving this loom. At just over $20, it's a bargain!

Wanting -- ummm marble moto workout tights?! How do I not own these already?

Playing -- We are pretty restrictive when it comes to video games in our house, but we bought Kane the Bloxels: Build Your Own Videogame for Christmas and I'm SUCH a fan. You build your own set, storyline, and characters learning about animation, strategy, and a whole other host of great things along the way. Highly recommend!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Chicken Shawarma Naan Salad with Sweet Potato Fries + 30 Days of Dinner!!

Chicken Shawarma is a regular fave of our whole family, so I love trying out new recipes. And this one was a HUGE hit. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that even though it's a salad, it has sweet potato fries sprinkled all over it. But, whatever. The kids ate a ton of it, including the veggies. So I'll count that as a win!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Winter Coat Favorites for Boys

Happy New Year! We've been at the New Jersey shore for the past week and the temps have been FAB. But, Kane got a sled from Santa and is hoping for real winter weather sometime soon. So it's time to share my winter coat faves for boys. I ended up picking out a much darker set than I did for Cam's favorite coats. But Kane wears such bright clothes to begin with that I think they work!