a snow day

Monday, February 6

This January has been a real doozy. I wish I could love it, I really do, but it tends to get to me every year and this one has been particularly depressing for a number of different reasons. So late the other night, I was googling this, right. A basic, "how to make Janurary suck less" google search. And it tells me that the two solutions are, get some light, and get some exercise. So I call my husband to tell him about all of this. Really keeping the main focus of the conversation on my various feelings, and then oh also, by the way, these are some solutions. And if your husband, is anything like my husband, then you know that, MAN, a good, solid solution to a problem is like striking gold. Well great! he basically says. Light and exercise? You've got it, you can do this. And while the next words out of his mouth were essentially, "wait, hang on. I didn't mean to try and fix it, let me start over" while I silently laughed on the other end ... he was, actually, right.
So. For now, my resolution until it's not anymore, is to do just that. Get some blood flowing to my limbs on a semi-regular basis. Maybe. Fingers crossed. And also, get outside.
So last week for starters, my sister and I went rock climbing, and then this week we decided to take our girls out sledding, and just general snow stomping. Everett, however was uninterested in coming, as he does not function well in the cold, and is very good about honoring that part of himself haha. 
This girl on the other hand, loves the snow/being outside in general, and begs to stay long after I'm ready to go. It may have something to do with this puffball of a snowsuit which she asks to wear constantly.
I may be smiling, but on the inside it's all melodrama and pleading.
 Spring, are you there? It's me, Syd.
Of course, we could not show up without something warm to make us feel better about our life's choices for the day.
I'd warmed some hot chocolate on the stove before we left, and I'm telling you right now, there ain't no hot chocolate like some hot chocolate made with fairlife ultra-filtered chocolate milk. I will never go back to the mini marshmallows version and THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING. Nutritionally dense in protein (13 grams per serving!), with 50% less sugars than regular chocolate milk. Also the best you'll ever taste.
We took turns sharing sips in between sled runs.
And all in all, it was an afternoon venture that included neither exercise nor sun but we'll give it points for trying!
This girl is my sunshine anyway.
This post has been in partnership with fairlife, a company that we use and love in our home daily.

frameable, hangable, kid-made, modern art for your home

Wednesday, December 14

Oh yes, frameable, hangable, kid-made, modern art for your home. I mean, technically it's all frameable and hangeable. No one loves that carefully crafted piece of paper covered in blue and glitter and hearts with stick-on googly-eyes and glued on neon fluff balls more than I do. Those hang proudly on the fridge and then into a keepsake box a while after. But you know, usually not framed.
In our home, we have this gallery wall in the center of everything and as silly as it may sound, I kind of like to think of it as a grounding place for our kids. A reminder to them of where they belong and what is theirs. Often, when we're sitting in the living room together, they'll point up to a picture of themselves and recall the memory from it. Isla loves to point out that it was, in fact, her in my belly in that picture of me eating that ice cream cone. And she's quite fond of knowing that in the picture of the two of us on the beach in Oregon, she was nursing. Everett adores the picture that was painted of him, and tells Isla the story behind the picture of him and Tyson at Niagara Falls. The whole wall is us, and it's them. They know that I was the one to attempt painting that black and white canvas on the wall, so they were excited when I asked them if they wanted to make some black and white art for our walls too.

I do feel a bit like a weirdo for having them create art within certain aesthetic parameters, but they loved it! Everett actually called it his "favorite project ever." Mainly because I never let them write with sharpies haha.

And really that's the only trick to kid-made "modern art" haha. Just some black sharpies, and black paint and some big ol' sheets of this week's ads covering your table.

Their cousin, Roo joined in on the project as well, creating some of her very first smiley face prototypes.

Isla went with more of a traditionalist approach to modern art.

And Everett went with a Halloween scene under a night sky. He was born the day before Halloween and it is still his very favorite.

Everett didn't get messy at all (he noted emphatically), but the girls did.

Washing her hands is basically Isla's favorite part of any project and/or any activity and/or just because. Which is why I've always been legitimately happy to have Seventh Generation's hand wash around each sink in our home. Naturally hypoallergenic, it's made from plant-based cleaning ingredients, leaving those little hands soft but also squeaky clean. And 97% USDA Certified Biobased too - which means no triclosan, dyes or phthalates.

And the bottles are made from 25% post consumer recycled plastic to boot.

After their paintings dried, I framed and hung them. That poor gallery wall is already pulling its weight with frames, so we continued it one wall over, in our entryway.

And voila. We just love them.

This post has been in partnership with Seventh Generation, a company we've loved and trusted in our family for years.

my favorite on-the-go meal

Tuesday, November 29

I don't know about you, but feeding myself is hard. Not like physically hard. I like eating. I like having a large plate of food in front of me, ready to eat. But taking the time to first, create that plate of food in my head, and then cook it, and then eat it, THREE WHOLE TIMES A DAY, most often feels like a giant pain in the arse. So recently, to save me from myself, I jumped on board the overnight oats train. Now I know these are technically supposed to be eaten on the go in the morning, but I just make a bunch and have been grabbing them at any ol' time of the day. A LOT of 10 pm meals over here haha. Some days just get too busy.
So! My favorite recipe BY FAR has been this really chocolatey version. Because duh, it tastes amazing, but overnight oats in general helps me consume a hearty portion of good carbs and fats which is great for building muscle of any kind. Which I will be working on soon... any day now. Probably January. In the MEAN TIME though haha, it's a slow burn and keeps me full for a really good chunk of time.
Here's what I use!
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup (heaping) rolled oats
2/3 cup fairlife chocolate milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
handful of dark chocolate chips
handful of walnuts

Throw it all in a mason jar and mix it up! Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
Most recipes for overnight oats call for almond milk, but I love using fairlife because in terms of protein, it's much more nutritionally dense (2 grams vs a whopping 13 grams), and it has 50% less sugars than regular chocolate milk. Which ... I don't know how they manage that, but props, because this stuff tastes like dessert. It is liquid gold in our house, and requires an emergency run to the grocery store when we're out. I'm also always picking up their little single serving bottles at the gas station on road trips. TRY IT.
I wish they sold overnight oats at gas stations as well but alas, SOME forethought must be thrown into my meals.
So. If you're like me and A) approach chocolate with a bit of religious fervor, and/or B) tend to approach your meal prep with a serious helping of lazy, then give this one a whirl.
Comes in handy when you're suddenly starving at almost midnight.
This post has been in partnership with fairlife, a company that we use and love in our home daily.

sweet and kid-friendly homemade christmas ornaments

Monday, November 28

I'm sure pinterest and/or our own childhood has informed us all by now of the science-y magic of milk + food coloring + dish soap. However, as of this week, I had yet to demonstrate this magic to my own children. This year Everett has expressed very strong feelings about our approach to Christmas decor. The bigger the better, the brighter the better, and if we could find him an ornament that looks exactly like Wink, that would be super. The other day, he found a neighborhood home that was strung corner to corner with yellow and blue lights, so the next day we made a 30-day Christmas countdown chain out of blue and yellow paper. This was of course after I had suggested that we make the countdown chain green and red, to which he replied incredulously, with "What? Mama those are NOT Christmas colors."
It was very important to him this year that he make his very own Christmas ornaments, so I decided to science it up while we were at it. They ended up turning out quite subtle and charming and are the perfect addition around the house and on the tree.
If you, like me, have never broken out this particular craft before, I assure you it was incredibly easy and shockingly mess free.  Here's what we used:
Watercolor paper cut into stars or whatever shape (I've heard cardstock also works well)
Shallow pan
Food Coloring
Seventh Generation dish soap
Q-tips for stirring
String for hanging
The kids took turns dropping their chosen colors around various parts of the pan
Then I dipped each of their Q-tips in Seventh Generation dish soap and they swirled the colors into each other. I've been using Seventh Generation in my home for years and love that all while being 95% biobased, with essential oil fragrances and no dyes, it works for literally everything I need it to.
They took turns dunking each of their stars and gasped every time we pulled the results out of the mixture.

We let them dry and then ran some string through the top. They were so proud, I can't wait to see them on our tree for year and years (or as long as they survive haha).
Happy Decorating one and all!!

This post has been in partnership with Seventh Generation, a company we've loved and trusted in our family for years.

Happy Halloween from Wink, Purple, and Rey too

Friday, October 28

I am really not the type to make a homemade costume. I am not particularly crafty, I really don't enjoy DIY unless it's exceptionally baller, and if the pop-up halloween shops are there, I figure it's my duty to utilize them fully. So my original plan this year was to buy two little matching Firefighter costumes. That was until last week when Everett came to me with the idea to dress up as his beloved Winky. AND I COULD NOT SAY NO. Maybe because he and Wink are going five years strong and I don't know how much longer the friendship will fully last. Maybe another year or two, maybe longer. But knowing that these two will be turning five together this week, tugged on that nostalgia string juuuuuust right. And I went ahead and DIY'd the shiz outta him. My hands are still fully spray painted green.
He was so sweet, running around the whole day, sneaking peeks of himself in the mirror and dancing around with Wink. I dare say it was even a little fulfilling to see the whole thing come together so nicely, and the painting was .... fun. It was worth it, ok? I ADMIT IT.
And for Isla's costume ... when I asked her what she wanted to be, she just said that she wanted to be purple. At lunch time when I ask her if she wants a red apple or a green apple, she says that she'd like a purple apple. If you ask her what color her eyes are, she'll tell you that they're purple. And if you ask any other kid in the room what his/her favorite color is, she'll pipe up in the background with, "ME PURPLE!"

So here she is, living her dreams.
My sister Caytlyn is the creative one of our gang, but I think you probably already knew this, based on the 800 weaves, costumes and headdresses she's thrown out onto the internet in the past month or so as if it's nothing. She's very disappointed in my penchant for store bought costumes.
Here you can see just one of the costumes she made for Roo this year. A perfectly executed Rey from Star Wars.

These next few pictures light up my world, since we were taking these right after Isla had woken from a nap, and so she was still a little somber. Until ...
... she got a few leaves in her bucket. And was then pleased enough to bestow upon us this complimentary smile, almost as if to say, these leaves are totally useless to me but your donation is appreciated.
Now if it feels like there's too many pictures of kids being adorable in leaves, just let me know.
Cause I can stop anytime.
So you just tell me when.
Alright, I'll call it. 

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