Tag Archives: summer

august goals

IMG_5730_edited-2I’ve been a terrible blogger lately and don’t see that changing in August (but hopefully it will in September!). It’s silly, but putting these goals on here makes me much more likely to complete them so I’m going to keep doing it.

To recap July…

Lose some damn baby weight. I ended up deciding on a Sunday that I was going to start a Whole30 the next day. It was a great decision. I just finished this Tuesday. I lost six pounds. While I firmly believe that the scale is simply a numeric value of your relationship with gravity that day (and influenced by a zillion factors), it’s nice to see the number go down. A few of my shorts fit now and I feel like I’m on the right track. I also really saw improvement in falling asleep quickly and in not wanting sugar quite as much. Win all around. I had fun recapping a tip a day (most days) on my Instagram feed.

Create a plan for building out my business website. Nope. Until my internship is finished, I think it’s safe to say that I just won’t have the time to work on this. And that’s fine, it will come at some point.

Moving on to August…

Use my Barre3 classes. Last summer I purchased a set of five Barre3 classes for a ‘deal’. Well, they are only deal if you actually use them and a year later I have three left. The expiration date is August 31st, so I need to get my butt into the studio and use them by the end of the month.

Finish Paige’s quilt. Back in May I bought and cut all the fabric to make Paige a quilt. It’s taking up a bunch of room in our office closet and I need to actually turn the pile of triangles into a blanket. I’m really excited about it because it’s going to be the most cheerful quilt ever, I just need to stop procrastinating and get to work.

Short and simple this month. I’ve got a lot of stuff around the house that needs to get done and I’m still putting in hours on the internship. There isn’t a ton of time for extras but if I focus I can knock these out.

july goals

julygoalsStarting off with a recap of what I did in June…

Learn to use my ring sling.  I did learn to use the ring sling that my sister gifted Paige and I, but it turns out baby girl is not a huge fan of slings. She likes to kick her legs and pop the seat (meaning the fabric is no longer in a nice little seat for her, keeping her safe). She especially enjoys doing so while we’re walking home from the store with a bag of groceries. Towards the end of the month I bought our first woven wraps and they are amazing. So much easier to carry her around in (than the Moby) now that she’s not a newborn, but still light enough for summer. My sister has been a huge help and I’m obsessed. #wearallthebabies

Fit into my summer wardrobe. Nope. The clothes don’t fit. On a positive note, I did kick the sugar cravings I’ve had since Paige was born. So that is progress. But there definitely needs to be more, and soon.

Spend ten hours a week on nutrition. Yes. I’m having a lot of fun working with the Paleo for Women team. I’m learning so much about how a blog operates and I hope I can take that knowledge and turn it into something concrete of my own. Baby steps.

Enjoy a family vacation with no expectations. Ha. Okay, I’m going to try to not sound ungrateful for spending a week in Maui. But we learned an expensive lesson in baby traveling. Don’t do it. 🙂 It was awesome having Greg around for nine days straight but we really just moved our Seattle life to Maui for a week where it was incredibly hot and humid. It wasn’t exactly vacationing.

And in July, I hope to…

Lose some damn baby weight. I’ve given myself a few chances and not called it out, but those haven’t really worked. So here’s the deal, I weigh the exact same as I did at my two week postpartum appointment. Which is twenty pounds more than I usually weigh. While I do have some nice cleavage going on, the girls are not ten pounds bigger each. Typically I think the scale is dumb and not an accurate way to measure health, but sometimes it doesn’t lie. And this is one of those times.

Create a plan for building out my business website. The doer in me wants to make this “create my website”, but between being a SAHM and my part time internship, I just don’t have the time. What I can do though is create an action plan and tackle this in a structured way. It might turn out that I can’t feasibly finish this until 2016 and that’s okay. Once I have a plan I can start chipping away at it with my goals in mind.

My goals this month are pretty short and sweet. I decided to stop here (I have about 800 others I wanted to include) because I’d actually like to do each of the above. There are a million fun craft projects I’d love to do, but I’m going to make these two goals a priority and knock them out.

june goals

june goalsIt’s that time to #makeitpublicmakeithappen again. Yes it’s a ridiculous hashtag but I like it.

In May, I wanted to…

Average 10,000 steps a day. Yes! This ended up being more difficult than I thought it would be, but I ended the month averaging almost exactly 10,000 steps per day (there might have been some monitoring the app in the last few days to make sure that happened). I’m really proud of myself for making this one happen as it definitely took effort. I think I’ll write a seperate post on this because I have lots of thoughts and suggestions for how to make a step goal and then meet it. Because maybe someone else out there wants to be a weirdo like me? Because walking is by far my preferred exercise right now, I plan to continue adding up the steps. Maybe with a little less obsession about the total count though going forward.

Plant a backyard garden. The garden is planted! And three weeks later a few veggies are starting to pop out of the soil. Once there’s a little more activity I will do an update. I’m really enjoying checking out what’s new every morning and taking a few minutes to sit back and relax while watering in the evening.

Read four books. I ended up reading seven books this month. Way more than I would have thought, but I spend a lot of time nursing and finally stopped spending that time mindlessly browsing the internet while plopped on the couch.

In June, I plan to…

Learn to use my ring sling.  My sister gifted me a gorgeous Didymos ring sling when Paige was born (this is the fabric). My girl and I love baby wearing (it’s the only way she’ll nap and I’ll take a wrap or carrier over lugging around a stroller any day), but for some reason we’ve never been able to use the ring sling very well. Before I’ll allow myself to purchase any new woven wraps I want to use this sling more.

Fit into my summer wardrobe. I spent some time putting together a summer capsule wardrobe to make getting dressed really easy. I ordered a few new things in my post baby size but when they arrived nothing fit. Truth be told, I haven’t lost a single pound since my two week postpartum appointment. That was eleven weeks ago. I haven’t gained more, but still. It’s time to tackle this and make some progress. I don’t want to focus on the scale so rather than have a weight goal, my goal is to be able to wear these close by the beginning of July.

Spend ten hours a week on nutrition. I’m three months into my maternity leave (I took a six month leave of absence starting when Paige was born) and I’d now like to spend some time each week working on a potential future career in a new field. It’s going to be hard to carve out ten hours a week but this is important to me and I want to make it a priority.

Enjoy a family vacation with no expectations. We off on our first family vacation this month in Maui and we’re really excited. Our good friend Jon had some wise words a few months ago: there is no such thing as a vacation after kids, there are trips. Ha! We want to have down time and relax, but that’s the only expectation we’re going into our trip with. There will be fewer cocktails, more meals cooked versus eaten out, and less sleeping in, I’m sure. But we will have a blast and get to experience Maui through our baby girl’s eyes for the first time.

menu monday: perfect summer BBQ menu

Over Memorial Day weekend we had Greg’s boss and his family over for dinner. We are friends, so it was fun, not like a 1960s sitcom episode where the boss comes to dinner. The weather wasn’t warm enough to eat outside, but it was warm enough to pull out the BBQ for summer and grill our food. I’m so excited it’s BBQ season.

I threw together a menu on Friday and it ended up being so delicious I thought I’d share for anyone planning a summer BBQ. You could also make the chicken in the oven if you aren’t able to BBQ. Everything can be prepped ahead and then the cauliflower can be cooked while the chicken is being grilled. I wasn’t aiming for this, but since I know the family prefers to eat low carb I went with meat and veggies and it ended up being a completely Whole30 compliant meal (minus dessert).IMG_9087_edited-1I only managed to get a photo of the salad, but here’s what we served. Typically I would have put together a fun cocktail as well (well, asked Greg to do so), but we don’t totally have our post-baby hosting act together yet.

Green Chicken from Nom Nom Paleo. This is my favorite chicken recipe right now and while it might seem like a lot of ingredients, you only need to toss them all in a blender to create the marinade. We used bone-in thighs instead of legs and marinaded the chicken for about six hours. Greg followed the grilling instructions from the recipe and they were so good. Probably the best grilling he’s done to date. I think we are going to have a good summer of eating.

Mango Cabbage Salad from Food Network. I wanted something other than a green salad to serve and this looked delicious when I read through it. I’ve been on a mango kick ever since realizing I like them about two years ago (I’m slow sometimes). It ended up tasting delicious as well. I skipped the Serrano chiles since we had a two year old dining with us, but it turns out she loves Sriracha so maybe I should have just gone for it. With the exception of the mango that I sliced by hand, I used the shred blade on my food processor to prep all the other veggies. I made this in the morning and tossed with the dressing about an hour before we ate.

Coconut Cauliflower ‘Rice’ from The Clothes Make the Girl. This recipe is from Well Fed 2 and isn’t available on her site, but here is a very similar version that someone has adapted. This is such a great substitute for rice; it leaves you less stuffed and adds another veggie to your meal. I doubled the recipe (we had some leftover, but I think we wouldn’t have had enough if I didn’t) and it took nearly double the amount of time to cook. The key to cauliflower rice is always lots of salt to give it a little more flavor.

For dessert we had fresh strawberries and WOW brownies. They are gluten free but really tasty. I’ve eaten a lot of gluten free treats over the years that I would not say that about. I find mine at Whole Foods and while they aren’t cheap, it’s way more cost effective for me to pick up pre-made dessert occasionally. I really do not enjoy baking at all and if I buy supplies they end up going bad before I use them.

Happy summer eating! If you’ve got any great grilling recipes, please leave them in the comments. We eat at home a lot more now that Paige has arrived and I’m looking forward to new recipes this summer.

sabbatical days, part 5

I’m finishing up documenting my sabbatical with our trip to my brother and Brittany’s destination wedding.

IMG_5778_edited-1Despite how we look here (at 7am in the Atlanta airport after a redeye) we were very excited to be half way to our final destination, Beaches Ochos Rios in Jamaica.

IMG_5783_edited-1We spent the first few days relaxing at the beach and pool. The resort had a water park with some of the only poolside shade to be found. We camped out here for most of the day and then tried the different resort restaurants each night. IMG_5796_edited-1 IMG_5787_edited-1IMG_5890_edited-1 IMG_5815_edited-1

I’m so happy we were able to be a part of the wedding. There were about 25 people that made it to Jamaica to celebrate with Joey and Britt on Friday night. Maks easily won the award for best dressed.
IMG_5824_edited-1 IMG_5832_edited-1 IMG_5833_edited-1 IMG_5839_edited-1 Love, love, love that my brother had custom Vans made for his wedding. I don’t think I’ve seen him wear shoes other than Vans since he was about five, so it was completely fitting that he wear a pair on this big day. Love that Brittany let his style shine through as well. IMG_5842_edited-1 IMG_5849_edited-1

Daddy and the flower girl walking down the aisle. And below, the basket Avery promptly threw overboard when she finished tossing the petals.

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I’m pretty sure all four of them shed tears during the ceremony. Joey and Britt shared sweet vows that they wrote to each other. Here they are, the official Collins family of four.
IMG_5867_edited-1 IMG_5863_edited-1 IMG_5870_edited-1IMG_5874_edited-1I’ll end my sabbatical memories on this adorable note: cousins kicking off the dancing.


sabbatical days, part 4

The next week of my sabbatical was spent visiting family. From San Francisco I flew to Denver to spend a few days with my family. I spent a lot of time hanging out with this guy and his two aunts (of whom I did not get a single picture).




On Tuesday, we went for a hike just twenty minutes from my parents’ house. To say Colorado is beautiful is simply an understatement. IMG_5730_edited-1 IMG_5733_edited-1 IMG_5735_edited-1That night we had dinner with my dad then headed out for a girls night of wine + painting. IMG_5741_edited-1

It was really fun and much easier than I thought it would be. Here’s proof that I actually painted something (that promptly was left at my parents’  for goodwill).

IMG_5743_edited-1 IMG_5746_edited-1 IMG_5747_edited-1 IMG_5749_edited-1 IMG_5752_edited-1

We spent the second half of the class giggling like preteen boys. I happened to turn around and see something interesting on the lady’s painting behind me. I was able to grab a quick photo when she went to refill her wine. I’ll let you interpret for yourself (top left of the painting).


I flew home late Wednesday night and Friday we loaded up for Eastern WA. We like to spend 4th of July with my in-laws but we had a last minute change of plans this year to attend my Grandma’s funeral in Los Angeles. Luckily we were able to fit in a trip before we headed to Jamaica.

Alfred is in dog-heaven on the orchard. He played with that sprinkle for hours. Greg got A to follow him on the four-wheeler (pretty sure that is the first time ever this city girl has typed “four-wheeler”), but of course when I went to try and get some video of it he wouldn’t do it again. IMG_5768_edited-1 IMG_5776_edited-1 IMG_5762_edited-1

On Tuesday we headed out to Redmond to drop off the doodle for a vacation at Club Grandma while we head to Beaches Ochos Rios in Jamaica. It’s a rare week we make the rounds through ALL sets of parents!


sabbatical days, part 2

Processed with VSCOcam with x1 presetMy second week of sabbatical started the real vacation now that my midterm and class session were behind me. First up for vacation was a tri-city tour starting in Los Angeles for a few days with the Smithskis. Greg and I weren’t able to make Sloane’s first birthday party because I was in class and I wanted to make sure I got a trip in to see her before she’s practically a teenager.

We had no real plans and just hung out and played with Sloane. On Wednesday afternoon Lauren and I took her to a local park. The crappy thing about not living near most of the babies in our life is how much they grow between visits. Sloane was running all over the park, it was crazy. She also did her fair share of playing in the dirt. IMG_5662_edited-1 IMG_5663_edited-1It was unbelievably hot on Thursday (and it takes a lot for me to say that). We tried to do some exploring outside but it was just miserable so we took Sloane home and played in the air conditioning instead.

Who doesn’t love a little book nerd? IMG_5674_edited-1

Lauren and I went out to dinner Thursday night to a fantastic Peruvian restaurant near their house. I can’t remember the last time just the two of us hung out. Typically we’ve got husbands, babies, or other girlfriends. All of which are great, but it was nice to chat and catch up. We’re planning Meet in the Middle: Portland for the Fall. Back in 2009 we met up for a weekend in Paso Robles… clearly we need to work on not waiting five years between girls’ weekends!

sabbatical days, part 1

My job is pretty great for many reasons, one of them being the four-week sabbatical that we earn every three years. I actually became eligible to take mine in the fall of 2012 but waited until this summer. The timing seemed perfect when I realized there were four weeks between my big school weekend/midterm and my brother’s wedding in Jamaica. I could easily fill the two weeks between events and I was definitely ready to step away from the laptop for a bit.

IMG_5613_edited-1Before I jumped into school mode for the first week, we celebrated Soccer Sunday. Our friends, the Kays, hosted a World Cup final party complete with a German brats bar and dolce de leche for dessert. I was rooting for Argentina, but well done Germany. I’m ready for 2018 already. We went home to take care of the dog and then it was time for our second match of the day: Sounders vs. Timbers on Sunday evening. I love a city where 65,000 fans come out to cheer and sunset isn’t until 9pm.

IMG_5624_edited-1My first week was a little more work than fun, but I’m really thankful I had three full days to study for my midterm before class started Thursday. In fact, it worked out so well I’m a little nervous about not having time off before the final in October. I spent my days getting very familiar with 103 color-coded index cards and a few coffee shops around our neighborhood.

IMG_5633_edited-1Class started on Thursday (my studying paid off, the written and practical midterms went very well!) and went through Sunday. My boys were good sports while I left every morning at 8 and returned home around 6:30, most nights too tired to even have a conversation. Who am I kidding, they do just fine without me. As far as Alfred’s concerned I’m a third wheel to his time with Dad.

IMG_5645_edited-1Luckily I gave myself a few down days post-school. I had plans to get a lot done around the house on Monday and Tuesday, but in reality I just recovered from the intense learning. I somehow managed to get myself packed and ready bright and early Wednesday for my next sabbatical adventure, a tri-city tour to visit all my “homes away from home”.

Next up: Three uber-relaxing day in LA with the Smithskis!


{72 hours} waikiki

Two weekends ago we had the opportunity to spend a few days on Oahu. Greg was there for work during the week and we found a good deal with miles for me to fly out Thursday night. Greg had some work to do Friday morning so I enjoyed my coffee and the view from our room. hotelviewsOnce Greg finished work around 8am (gotta love working west coast hours while in Hawaii – can’t believe it’s been five years since I did that full time), we were off to climb Diamond Head. While waiting for the bus we saw our first rainbow and I started my palm tree photography obsession. prettyday

A quick bus ride and we were at Diamond Head.
IMG_5334_edited-1The entire hike is not more than two miles, but it’s pretty much straight uphill.


The views from the top are well worth the short hike.
view from top

Obligatory selfie followed by obligatory trade with another couple. usattop

Per the sign, it should take 60 – 90 minutes to complete the walk. We kicked ass and did it in 50. IMG_5347_edited-1It was nice to start the weekend with a little active adventure before we spent a pretty lazy day relaxing at the pool and napping. We happened to pick a restaurant for dinner that was right next to the condos Greg used to stay in as a kid.


We had plans to take a surfing lesson on Saturday morning. Greg had rented us a cabana for the day and as we settled in we decided surfing lessons could wait until our next trip. The Honolulu Pride parade went right past our cabana and Greg managed to get the Sounders game on his laptop. There really was no reason to leave our shady paradise the entire day. cabanaI was feeling a little guilty running off to Hawaii with how much schoolwork had piled up. I ended up coming home with so much work complete. Four and a half hours each way with no wifi does wonders for studying. I am actually feeling better with where I am now than I was before I went. I also got some studying in over the weekend. Studying in paradise is not too shabby.


Saturday night we tried an outdoor restaurant with Greg’s boss and his family. They have an adorable two year old, Maya, and it was fun to get to know Ian and Amanda more. Sunday morning we woke up and enjoyed breakfast at Hula Grill and one last gaze at palm trees. I heart palm trees.

IMG_5409_edited-1 I also heart TimerCam to get pictures of me and this guy. Great weekend and a great break from reality for a few days.IMG_5417_edited-1



Project Life: Week 37

Week 37 (August 5 – August 11)


This was the first normal week we’ve had in a while. Greg had a short trip to Chicago and I started a new project at work. We went to an awesome Sounders game (W over RSL!) on Friday night, had our friends Ryan & Jered over for dinner on Saturday, and met baby Roux on Sunday. Live I’ve been doing with babies, I’ll add a little insert with her birth announcement when it comes.


I haven’t been in a wedding aside from my own since 2007 and in 2014 I will be in two! My good friend Kathy sent this cute little card in anticipation of their wedding next fall. IMG_6789_edited-1This week the weather was in to the 90s for a few days, I’m pretty sure for the last time this year. It was a fun few bonus days of summer but I am really looking forward to everything fall. Maybe there is something to this whole seasons thing?

Supplies used: Seafoam project life kit; Studio Calico Double Scoop kit; label stickers from the Kelly Purkey August + September kit; stamps and free quote cards from EliseJoy.

The Mom Creative