Sunday, August 31, 2014

Seattle (Where My Hungry Little Heart Is)

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic for Seattle lately.  Being surrounded by water, the coffee, the hippies & the hipsters, the rain, everything.  But especially the food!  I have just been craving some of my Seattle favorites, so I thought it was the perfect time to share them on here.  Seattle seems to be a popular destination, and people are always asking for recommendations so here they are!  Keep in mind this is only a small, small sampling of my favorites which are listed in no particular order.  If you are a Seattleite that hasn't been a patron at any of these establishments....go there today!  These places are not to be missed!
- Bakery Nouveau - 
(West Seattle)

Everything, and I mean absolutely everything here is delicious.  I'm particularly partial to the coffee (best cup I've had and best enjoyed in a mug on the wooden benches), macaroons, & croissants.  Go Thursday-Sunday for a chance at a Junction Croissant.  I'm also pretty wild about their twice baked almond croissant!  The line can get intense on the weekend mornings, so arrive early!  There is also a new Capitol Hill location that I have yet to check out.
- La Rustica -
(West Seattle)


This is a hidden Italian gem.  It is tucked away on Beach Drive, so you can easily miss it.  But the atmosphere is so cozy & romantic and the food authentic.  Perfect date night spot!
- Umi Sake House -
(Belltown)

There's obviously plenty of sushi in Seattle, but this is my favorite!  They have a late night happy hour that should always be taken advantage of!  Conor's favorite roll:  Badboy.  
- Purple Cafe & Wine Bar -
(Downtown)
Another great date spot!  Conor & I like to belly up to the bar (not usually a wait for that), get to know our bartender (which sometimes leads to a few "tasters"), and nibble on cheese platters before deciding if we are too full for an actual dinner.  The lobster mac 'n cheese is something to rave about!  
- The Other Coast Cafe -
(Ballard)
Best sandwiches when you need a quick stop!  They are huge, but you will devour every last bite.
- Portage Bay Cafe -
(University District)
I love the ambiance and that this restaurant is local, organic, & sustainable.  It has a small menu but does not disappoint.  It's also walking (albeit a bit long) from UW which is a big plus!
- Wild Ginger -
(Downtown)
Again, I like to sit in the bar here which is open late.  It's a fun spot to meet friends when trying to avoid the actual "bar scene."  I have closed down this place many a times!  Best appetizer: lamb satay.
- Oddfellows Cafe -
(Capitol Hill)
This is my favorite place on the list for ambiance.  It has such a unique style which fits into Capitol Hill perfectly!  Perfect spot for a booze filled lunch!
Hope you enjoyed this little tour of Seattle's finest food!
What is missing from my list?!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Oh hey, Friday

We are kicking off a 4 day weekend over here!  Conor took today off so that we can beat the Labor Day traffic and get right into the mountains for.... Liam's 1st camping trip!  We won't be car camping or campsite camping... Oh no, we will be wilderness camping!  Just a nice 3 mile hike to a lake where we will be packing in all our gear.  Conor will have Liam and as much as we can shove into that pack, while I'll be hauling the rest.  It's only for one night, but I'm still nervous.  Excited, but anxious!  Wish us luck and pray that I don't pee all over my pants while attempting to do so in the woods!  Here's my weekly five; thanks to the two beautiful hosts Karli & Amy!

 

-ONE-
I hit up one of B&BW candle sales last week, so I could stock up for Fall.  I went with Leaves & Vanilla Chai and I cannot wait to start burning them!  I have a rule: no Fall stuff til September 1st!  But come Monday, I will be going pumpkin crazy!


-TWO-
I of course ordered Liam some Halloween pajamas, which will also be acceptable to wear come Monday!  I love this pair, which are totally gender neutral!




-THREE-
Jessi posted about this Frye booties, and I just can't get them out of my head!  I never thought I would jump on the ankle bootie trend, but I am seriously considering these.  That big price tag is holding me back for right now.  I love Frye boots and would be more than happy to add another pair to my closet!



-FOUR-
I think I have decided on Liam's Halloween costume...  My little Liamasaurus will be a dinosaur!!!  There are plenty of designs on Pinterest, but this one is my favorite.  I will probably follow her tutorial but add my own little flair to it!  Can't wait to purchase some fabric and get started on this!



-FIVE-
Right now is the perfect time for peaches in Utah!  I plan on buying a few baskets at the farmer's market this weekend.  Next step will be to pin a good handle of recipes on Pinterest.  I definitely want to make a traditional peach pie, and I'm eyeing this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  Anyone have a favorite peach recipe they want to send my way?




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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Four Lakes, Six Miles

Last weekend we decided to take on a longer hike then usual, a six miler.  Liam just loves being in the mountains and practically asks to go on a hike every morning, so he seemed ready for a longer trek.  We like to let him hike as much as he is willing, which is usually around 1-2 miles.  It has been incredible to watch him gain confidence walking on big rocks and steep inclines.  He is becoming more fearless by the day!  
Our friend Joel recommended this four lake hike that begins at Brighton Resort, only about 30-40 minutes from our house.  The views were spectacular, by far my favorite hike that we've done in Utah!  I don't have a witty story to share about our hike or anything particularly eventful; instead, just a beautiful day spent with my family.  The pictures can do all the talking...





Wish I was back here already!
We talked about a little camping trip over labor day weekend...
we'll see...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stitch Fix #1

First off, this isn't a sponsored post; I'm just really excited about Stitch Fix!  It's pretty magical.  "Oh hey, let me just pin this really cute outfit that I wish could appear in my closet soon!"  Oh wait, that can really happen?  Yep, I literally pinned this sweater shortly before my stitch fix shipped and it was in my box!  I didn't realize how much your stylist will consider your Pinterest board, so I will definitely be pinning plenty more outfits before my next fix arrives!

I have been interested in Stitch Fix for awhile, but I only recently pulled the trigger and finally signed up!  Since having Liam, I rarely shop for myself; therefore, my wardrobe has suffered a bit.  Something about wrangling a toddler into a dressing room just isn't that appealing (especially when he's constantly peeking under the doors at the other women).  Plus, I tend to have sever buyers remorse, so I am not one to make quick decisions.  Stitch Fix is perfect for me!  I joined with the thought of getting a shipment once a month and just keeping my favorite item from each fix.  I'm considering it my little monthly splurge!

Here's what I received in my 1st fix.  Please note, I hate taking pictures of only myself...and then modeling clothes, ugh!  So forgive how unnatural I look in all of the photos!

Contrast Pocket Striped Knit Tank: liked it.

Raglan Striped Knit Shirt: perfect fit, hated the style.

Scoop Back Hi-Lo Knit Shirt: it was okay.

French Terry Asymmetrical Zip Cardigan: LOVED & KEPT!

Distressed Boyfriend Jean: hated them.
I've heard that each fix only gets better & better as your stylist learns your taste.  I'm hoping for some fall staples in my next fix!  If you want to try it out for yourself, do a girl a favor and use my referral link!  I will thank you for days!  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ridin' Solo

Conor was on a business trip for two whole days last week.  That is sun up to sun down of solo parenting.  Just me and the toddler.  And these days are tough on me.  They are getting easier as Liam gets older, but I still dread those business trips.  I give everything to Liam, everything to motherhood; so, I find that I am a much better mother when I have the opportunity to recharge when Conor gets home from work.  Two days of being on the clock constantly are a bit tiresome.  But that's enough complaining for one post!

There are two approaches to solo parent days: survival mode (don't leave the house, get nothing accomplished) & stay out of the house as much as possible.  I always choose the latter.  Our days seem to move ever so slowly when we stay home, so instead I pack our days full of activities and try to only be home for a nap & bedtime.  In the summer, it is far easier to accomplish this!

On Wednesday morning we woke up to the sweetest notes from Conor, one for each of us.
And see those beautiful dahlias?  Cut from my own garden!
They are quickly becoming one of my new favorite flowers!


On our agenda for the two days was a hike, the zoo, the children's museum, smoothie dates, & plenty of time just running around outside!  This was by far Liam & my best solo days together; however, there were plenty of "daddy come home"s throughout the days (from both of us)!


One thing I haven't done in months is give Liam a bath.  Conor has taken over this role, so I use that time instead to clean up the house, blog, or just lay down a relax for a bit.  I look forward to that half hour each day!  They have quite the routine down (which I am not in the know), so Liam told me exactly how bath time was supposed to go.  He practically could have given himself one!  I actually treasured this time with Liam, since it's something we haven't done together for awhile.  He loves the bath; it is where he is his silliest self!



Each night we picked out books (I said one, he wanted three, so we settled on two...he's already working me over) and cozied up in his bed!  He has been sitting for longer & longer books these days which really helps him relax before bed.  Our current favorites are Blueberries for Sal (one of my childhood favorites) & SkippyJon Jones!  And guess what?!  Little L has been sleeping for 7-8 hours straight for a few nights now!  It's been magical!

While our two days were very sweet, I am hopeful that there will be no more business trips in our immediate future.  I prefer having our whole little family together as much as possible!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Struggle is Real

We had a nap time battle today.
And mama really needed a nap.
Liam is stubborn.
But so is his mama...

After two hours of laying in his bed in a dark room,
I finally convinced him we would not be leaving said room
until a nap was had.
They call that perseverance.  
Sweet victory was mine!

The struggle is real.

(I liked writing up this short & sweet post so much
that it might become a regular thing!)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh hey, Friday

Conor has been out of town for two days, so now that he is home, this Friday is just a bit sweeter!  We have an awesome 6 mile hike planned this weekend that I am really looking forward to!  Here's my weekly five; thanks to the two beautiful hosts Karli & Amy!

 

-ONE-
After hearing (thanks to Katie) that J.Crew brought back this coveted vest from last winter, I made an immediate purchase!  I can't wait for it to arrive and some cooler weather as well!


-TWO-
My other favorite purchase this week was this pair of TOMS for Liam!  They are currently have a 25% off back to school sale; thanks to Cat for sharing this deal!  Apparently my blog reading list is fueling my shopping habit, oops!



-THREE-
This chicken recipe is made with a boursin sauce and is to die for!  It is super easy, so you all should make it ASAP!




-FOUR-
How adorable are these ghost cookies?!  You simply use a tulip cookie cutter which I just happen to have leftover from Easter!  I will hold off until October to actually make them, but I'm excited nonetheless.  Maybe I will perfect my frosting recipe in the meantime!



-FIVE-
We are seriously obsessed with Little Blue Truck in the Keenan house, so when I spotted this 
Fall sticker book I knew Liam would love it.  Maybe a first day of Fall surprise?!  Also, if you haven't already pre-ordered Little Blue Truck's Christmas, then you should ASAP!  I got an email that it will be shipping soon, and I cannot wait!  First official Christmas present has been purchased!




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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Status: Night Weaned

It feels so good to say that Liam is officially night weaned!  Sleep has continued to ever so slightly improve, and I am extremely hopeful that it will be much better in the next couple months!  So for those who are still nursing toddlers (I know you out there), here is our night weaning experience...

I had heard many a horror story about night weaning.  About long sleepless nights filled with nonstop crying.  I was dreading the day that we would find ourselves in that position!  Well, that was just not the case for us!  I suppose the whole process started a few months ago when I stopped letting Liam fall asleep nursing.  This was by far the hardest step.  After he finished drinking all my milk, I would simply tell him "there's no more milk, you can have more later".  This was upsetting for him; he would cry and even get a little angry.  I would always calm him down with a soothing voice and snuggles.  I would remind him how much I loved him and sing him songs to let his mind focus on something else.

It took about a month for him to adjust to this, and during that time it took me much longer to get him to sleep.  Now if he's struggling to fall asleep, he will ask me to sing a song.  I love hearing those words come out of his mouth and knowing that my voice is comforting to him.  It reminds of those early newborn days.  Once this was our new normal, I started telling him "there's no milk" at every other night waking.  This he adjusted to easily, since he seemed to already grasp the no milk concept.  We continued with this for about a month with lots of success.  He was starting to snuggle up to me when he woke up, instead of always asking for "nini"!

Then just about a week ago, I decided that he was ready to skip all night nursings.  It was a quick decision; nothing that I thought too much about.  It just felt like the right time.  Now when he wakes, I tell him "we will have nini when the sun comes up" (usually about 7am).  Sometimes he still asks for it when he wakes, but he usually only fusses for a few seconds and then goes back to sleep.  It has really been that easy!  I'm so happy that I waited until it felt right for both of us, instead of forcing the issue early on.  

So at just barely two years old, he nurses in the morning, before nap (and sometimes after), and before bed.  Although I encouraged the night weaning, it still feels like he did it on his own.  Waiting until he seemed ready was what made the whole process go so smoothly.  Breastfeeding into the toddler years is all about the relationship; one in which both people have to be happy.  We were both ready for this plunge into weaning.  We still cosleep for the second half (or two thirds), so I am right there with him.  I able to offer him comfort & support in a different way.

I feel like night weaning is the beginning of the end.  It is such a bittersweet feeling.  More sweet than bitter, but bitter nonetheless.  I'm really content with the current status of our breastfeeding relationship and am in no hurry to fully wean him.  I still hope this is something that he does himself...we will just have to see.  It's incredibly hard to imagine being completely done.  I constantly think about the last time that he will potentially nurse, and it saddens me.  I think about how he will forget all about nursing and our close bond that was built on that foundation, and it breaks my heart a little.  Breastfeeding will only be a very short portion of his childhood, but will forever hold special memories for me!

And of course, I can't leave you without a picture of me and my nursling 
when he was just an itty bitty baby.

Haley Sierra Photography

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bear Face

Last weekend we were ready for a new hiking scene, so we made the drive up to Park City!  The Town Lift is a chairlift that you take right from downtown PC all the way up the mountains.  The ride up was a bit lengthy (30+ minutes), but the views were spectacular!  Liam was slightly squirmy but seemed to love being up so high!  We plan on putting him on his first pair of skis this winter, so we talked a lot about it on the ride up.  "Keep your tips up!"  It's actually a little nerve wracking to think of him being in full snow gear and on skis while getting on & off the lift in just a few short months!  However, I think he's ready!
The lift ends at an old mining community, which was fun to explore!  Liam loved watching the marmots run in & out of the buildings, all the while wanting to pet them...  There weren't many great hiking trails from the top (it's definitely more of a mountain biking destination), but we decided to follow a ski run for a bit just to let Liam run off all energy.  
And then we found it...  A little boy's dream...  The place where they store all the snowplows, snowmobiles, and any & all construction equipment!  His bright blue eyes widened and his smile was endless!  He oohed & ahhed and climbed all over them.  The bulldozer was the favorite, but the rows of snowplows were pretty magical too!  He could have stayed there for hours, just walking around and fully inspecting each vehicle!  Unfortunately we were a bit worried about missing the last chair ride back down, so we had to pry his little body away far earlier then he would have liked!


On the ride back down, we had a little mountain happy hour!
The best kind of happy hour!
We finished the night off at one of our favorite restaurants in PC, The Silver Star Cafe.  It's right at the base of a chair lift and has tons of outdoor seating, which is really any parent of a toddler's dream!  Liam could run around while we lounged and splurged on great food & drinks!  There was a huge bear statue (making a big scary face) near our table that Liam really liked, and then...  Oh and then... a young girl (maybe 16, maybe 20...hard to tell) decided she needed a selfie in front of said bear while making the same bear face!  Oh wow, did Liam think that was just hilarious!  He kept yelling BEAR FACE, BEAR FACE!!!  Conor & I could not control our laughter, so the poor girl was mortified.  She quickly headed inside the restaurant and just as we were finally relaxing our cheeks from all the laughing, she came back outside for more pictures!!!  The first must not have been up to her social media standards!  So once again, Liam heckled her with his nonstop BEAR FACE comments!  Literally anyone that was dining outside couldn't hold back their laughs while Liam just called this girl out!  Highlight of the night by far!  I know this is only the beginning of kids-say-the-darndest-things!

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