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We are moving to ARIZONA!!!

…and back to the desert we go. The photo below was our last trip to Arizona when I was eight months pregnant with Mason. We can’t wait to raise our family in the desert!

We started our life as a married couple in Tucson, Arizona eight years ago and it’s crazy to think we are heading back to the desert again! This time we are a family of four and will be two hours north in Phoenix. I am so proud of Ryan for the career he has created in tennis and we are excited to become a part of Camelback Village and the Village Clubs family.

I have so many feelings and emotions about this move but the overwhelming ones are EXCITEMENT and GRATITUDE! It still doesn’t seem real to me and I’m realizing how life has a way of falling into place. There were times over the past few years we questioned why we were still in Seattle. Some days we felt defeated in life, overwhelmed with parenting and frustrated we had no family close by to rely on in times we needed help.

When Ryan left his legal job to get back into the tennis industry, we knew our family would be leaving Seattle at some point for a job opportunity.  I had envisioned my kids would be going to elementary and middle school in Seattle. We love our home and the life we have created in Seattle. However, Seattle never felt like our forever home. We become parents in this city and it shaped us in so many ways. It took my love for the outdoors to a new level. Hiking became the family norm and I now have a whole new appreciation for a warm sunny day.  I started my blog in this city and the blogging community in Seattle is amazing and so supportive of each other. I’ll forever be thankful of the relationships & friendships I made.

I hope to see as many people as possible before we leave Seattle. We are living our family dream and can’t wait to welcome the sun and a lower cost of living in Phoenix!! Seattle we will miss you!! Sharing some of my favorite family photos from our adventures living in Seattle!

 

Give Bees A Chance

It’s hard to believe the month of June is coming to a close. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you saw this post of my travels to North Carolina at the end of May. I flew solo with the two boys and it was a wild ride to say the least. We scheduled our trip back to North Carolina this year around a two weddings and I decided to come earlier and spend more time here with my family. Logan has had the time of his life being in North Carolina.

Our life revolves around food — whether that means a snack or a meal. Logan’s carry-on bag during travel was stocked full of KIND snacks to help keep him happy. Once we landed in North Carolina, our first stop was Chick-Fil-A. Ohhh how I miss living near Chick-Fil-A! It’s the only fast food I will allow my kids to have — well except for the Happy Meal my mom gave Logan during our trip. One of our next stops was Black’s Produce Stand. As usual, Logan had a good time like he does everywhere he goes. Local produce always tastes better and I want my kids to know the importance of supporting local farmers.

I’m excited to partner with Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market nonprofit to help spread the word this month about their “Give Bees a Chance” campaign and importance of honey bees. Teaching my kids about nutrition and where our food comes from is important to me. Honey bees are so vital to many of the foods we consume.

 

Here are a few fun facts about bees:

  • 75% of  the top  100  crop  species  rely  on insect  pollination.    Bees  are by  far  the most  productive  pollinators,  doing  80% of  all  the pollen  work  in the  world.
  • Honey bees are responsible for one in every three bites of food in the United States.
  • Honey bees are  the  only  insects  that  produce  something  that  humans consume.
  • Be a responsible  consumer:  support  bees  by choosing  organic  and non-GMO  products that do not  contain  chemicals  that  are harmful  to  bees.
  • Choosing native  and  heirloom  plant  varieties  is beneficial  to the environment.  Hybridized  plants  are engineered  for  their  looks  and produce  scant  amounts  of nectar  in  comparison.
  • Bees are attracted  to  the sweetest  watermelons,  where  they  leave  small  brown  blemishes  on the exterior.   The more  spots  you see, the  sweeter  the melon!

There are few days left to donate to the cause and you can donate to my team here —> Use this link to donate to my team!

Boulder River Trail

When we moved the Pacific Northwest, hiking quickly became part of our life. Most weekends we opt for urban hiking on city trails close to our house like Discovery Park or Carkeek Park. Packing up and planning to take two kids under three is a lot of work. When we stay closer to home, we don’t have to take as much food and gear.

Ryan asked what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day this year. He said he would watch the kids and I could go do something alone or we could have a family day. I decided a family hiking day sounded ideal. We got on the Washington Trail Association website to research what trail we wanted to do. I love this website and you can filter hikes based on criteria you want. I always filter on kid friendly hikes so we don’t get in a situation where the trail could be too dangerous for us.

Boulder River was the perfect hike. We only did the 1.25 miles in to the waterfalls and back. The trail is wide and not steep so if your little ones are actually hiking and not being carried, you should feel safe. There are some big drop-offs along the trail so we kept Logan in his Osprey pack for most of the hike. We let him out at the waterfalls to explore and let him walk about the last half mile of the hike. He did really good that last half mile and it gave me confidence to let him walk and not be in his pack the entire time. You should always read the updates of the wta.org or Trailblazer app. People are really good about updating trail conditions and more. We knew the service road leading in was going to be filled with potholes and it was. Bouncing on the potholes was the worst part of the day. This hike was one I would do again!!

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The Caymans

 

Traveling with kids is exhausting and there were times during our flights we questioned if all the hours of travel were worth it. At the end of the trip, we both agreed every bit of exhaustion and travel stress was worth the memories with our family. Logan was in heaven at the beach and had the time of his life on the trip.

Our trip got off to a bit of a rocky start with Mason not feeling well. The night before we left, Mason a slight fever and cough. I decided to contact my doctor office nurse line to make sure we were still good to travel. After I let the nurse listen to his breathing and cough, she advised us to come in to urgent care or the ER to get him checked. We went to urgent care and he was diagnosed with croup and given a dose of steroids for his distressed breathing and cough. The doctor said we were fine traveling and he would probably be back to normal in a few days. The next day he sounded much better and we made the decision to take the trip. Mason was a little lethargic the first few days of our trip but it ended up working out ok. I was able to focus on him and basically baby wear him 24/7. He slept a lot and was content being held.

OVERVIEW OF OUR TRIP TRAVELING TO THE CAYMANS

WHERE TO STAY:

We stayed in a condo at Morritt’s.  My inlaws have a timeshare so we went on the trip with them. Morritt’s is located on the east end of the island which is more quiet and laid back. I see why they enjoy their time here and return yearly.

Most of the hotels and resorts are concentrated closer to the airport on Seven Mile Beach. Seven Mile Beach is beyond gorgeous and if you don’t stay here, you must take a day trip.

 

WHAT TO DO:

On vacation, I don’t like crowds so we tend to partake in adventures that are aren’t super touristy. We are also an extremely active family so we like to do fun adventures that keep us moving. We spent a half day at Cemetery Beach on Seven Mile. It was beautiful and this part of Seven Mile wasn’t crowded. It is not a crowded beach and there are no chairs provided to sit in or places to buy food at the beach. Bring a picnic and spend some time here — you won’t regret the pictures you take or the snorkeling you get to do here. All the photos below are from our time at Cemetery Beach. The blue water was out of the world!!

We also spent some time at Rum Point Beach. Make sure to check if a cruise ship is coming in that day because it can get really crowded. If you go at an off time like we did, you can get some great seats right by the water. They have food stands to buy food. We made sure to indulge in some Rum Punch and french fries! Ryan and my in-laws spent time snorkeling — I’m not a snorkeler so I basically wore Mason, relaxed and walked around on the beach.

Other Ideas for Cayman Adventures:

  • Explore downtown Georgetown.
  • Sting Ray City
  • Snorkel — so many places to snorkel here
  • Check out other beaches
  • Check out the restaurants – I would have loved to do more of this but not as practical or relaxing with young kids. We passed so many cute restaurants on the water with awesome looking ambiance!

WHERE TO EAT: With two little ones under 3, we didn’t go out to eat much on our trip. We got groceries for most of our breakfasts and some of our lunches. For dinners and other lunches, our resort had restaurants to dine in or take out. Logan is 2.5 years old and doesn’t nap anymore so going out to dinner was unpredictable at best. Had Mason felt better, we probably would have ventured out more on this trip. We did go out to a late lunch on our last day to Tukka Restaurant. It was happy hour, awesome laid back vibes and on the water. They even had corn hole and some swings overlooking the water.

All the travel time was well worth it. I am missing the morning walks to get coffee and the nightly sunsets on the beach.

….now I am just sharing my favorite swimsuits below. Some of my outfits are linked at the end of the post.

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Roche Harbor

After taking our first trip to the San Juan Islands last Fall, we knew we would be back! Our first island visit was to Orcas Island in the off season. We took a late Fall trip to Roche Harbor this time. We woke early and were in Anacortes to catch the ferry to San Juan Island as the sun was rising. What I love about the three hour trip out to the islands is that half of it is on the ferry. We are able to get out of the car and enjoy the gorgeous Pacific Northwest scenery by boat. Logan could run around and get energy out. On our ferry ride back home, we saw whales!

We arrived to Friday Harbor around 10:30am and it was only a 20 minute drive to the Roche Harbor. Roche Harbor was such a charming place and I already want to go back. We booked a super last minute stay through hotels.com and found room for under $100 a night. My only advice is to make sure you read carefully when you book because I reserved a room in the historic hotel that had a shared bathroom for the hall. I didn’t even know this until we were checking in — there were rooms available since it was off-season if we wanted to upgrade but we decided to stay in this room. It ended up being fine for one night since we were literally the only people on the entire floor. The shared bathrooms were really nice but not something I would have wanted if the hotel had been crowded and we were staying more than one night. Next time, I would book one of the charming cottages on the property with more space and a kitchen. After seeing some of our videos below —- you might see why we would also consider making this a day trip since sleeping with Logan wasn’t exactly fun. Our first stop on arrival was at the Lime Kiln Cafe on the property for lunch.

We checked into our room shortly after lunch and decided to take a little hike to the Mausoleum. It was a fairly short hike and Logan got to see lots of deer on the way.

Logan was borderline delirious so we decided to attempt a nap in the hotel room. BAD IDEA !! It was a waste of an hour and our energy. Logan jumped on the bed singing “no more monkeys jumping on the bed” and fought laying down. An hour later, we opted to head to the playground on the property. The weather was beautiful and we had such an amazing late afternoon hanging here as a family.

We ate dinner at Mcmillin’s Dining Room and the food was good. Our dining experience was a little stressful. Logan was so tired and basically causing quite the scene during entire dinner. Ryan and I were downing our glasses of wine quickly and trying to keep Logan from bothering others in the restaurant. I noticed an older couple that kept staring at us and I was so embarrassed. As we left I was going to apologize to them if we ruined their dining experience. They were sooo nice and told us how entertaining Logan had been. This whole time I thought they were annoyed by us but they said they enjoyed watching Logan and his love for life. Logan is exhausting but I will say he does have such a love for life and has an absolute blast wherever he goes. He loves people and is a charmer. If only my little free spirited child would take naps 🙂

 

We headed back to the room after dinner and after quite an effort we finally got everyone to sleep. Mason was awake a few times in the night to nurse and Logan was up at 5am. Not exactly a restful night for the parents. At 6am, we packed up and headed out. We spent the morning walking around the property and then taking a drive around the island. We stopped at a cute cove we had all to ourselves and enjoyed the scenary. What a beautiful island and I can’t wait to come back!

 

 

VIDEO CLIPS FROM OUR TRIP

No Napping

No Napping 2

No Napping 3

Playground

Playground

Swinging Boom

Swinging Boom 2

Swinging Boom 3

Swinging Boom 4

Ferry

Ferry Fun

Ferry Fun 2

Ferry Fun 3

Ferry Fun 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 – The Year of Focus

FOCUS. This is my word for 2018. As I sit down to write this post, I realize January is already passing by quickly. 2018 is off to fiery start and I feel myself feeling like I am drowning in my to-do list and all the things I want to accomplish. I wrote this post earlier this year talking about keeping focus. After re-reading the post, it inspired me to chose focus as my intention for 2018. It’s so easy to get distracted with everything going on in life and to spread yourself thin trying to do it all. Focus on the task I am on or the moment that is happening. I plan on working to minimize my distractions and allow myself to be fully present this year. This is going to require me to put my phone down much more. People can say what they want about social media but it has brought so much positivity in my life. I have made real life friends, felt connected on days I only talk to a toddler and been inspired to continue living my best life from these tiny squares of Instagram. However, this year I’m focusing on my family more and hoping to put my phone away a little more.

Even with focus as an intention for 2018, I did want to list out a few goals I have for myself. My list of goals is extremely long but I am focusing on a select list this year.

  1. Obtain another Pilates certification – I obtained my Level One certification with Peak Pilates in 2015. Currently, I teach one group reformer class weekly and a few private reformer sessions out of my house. Pilates truly changed my life and I hope to keep learning more. I invested quite a bit of money into my training and learned so much but not sure I want to continue with Peak Pilates.
  2. Try one new recipe each week – Meal planning is one of my least favorite tasks. We eat at home almost every night so this task I don’t love ends up taking up a lot of my time. Amazon Fresh pick-up and delivery has been a life savor for me. I am able to order and pickup groceries without ever leaving my house or getting out of the car.
  3. Grow my social media presence on Facebook and Pinterest – I spend most of my time on Instagram but want to grow my numbers on Facebook and Pinterest. At the end of the day, I really hope to inspire other moms to live a healthy and adventurous lifestyle. Connecting with my followers is the reason I getting putting work into my blog and social media presence.
  4. BE PRESENT – This goal isn’t exactly measurable but I’m putting it on the list. I want to look back 5 years from now and remember how great these days were with my boys! Living in the moment is important to me this year.

I also wanted to share my happy space at home. This is my office and home Pilates studio. During nap times and late at night, I escape to this place while also teaching a few privates each week. I recently added a diffuser to the space from Saje Wellness. I’m a little late to the world of diffusing essential oils but they really are a life changer. This diffuser is going when I’m working out or trying to get some computer work done in this space.

 

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Office Chair // Office Desk (similar) // Bookshelf (similar) // Saje Wellness Diffuser // Saje Wellness Diffusing Blends  // Live Localish Leggings // Letter Board

 

 

 

 

Staying Active into the New Year

As the holidays and end of 2017 comes to a close, I am hoping to get some time to sit down and reflect on all the memories from the past year. I love taking a few minutes to see what all we accomplished over the last year and use it for ideas to set intentions for the New Year.

New Years Eve is a lot different than it used to be. There is no more getting all dressed up and going out but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My ideal New Years Eve would be with close friends and family at a cabin in the mountains. Not this year — we will be home and likely won’t even make it to midnight. Good thing we can celebrate with the East coast at 9pm when the ball drops in Times Square!

Since we were blessed with a magical white Christmas and didn’t get out for our Christmas Day hike, we are planning to try for a New Years Day hike or a family run by the water. Running is always better when you have gorgeous scenery like these photos down by Golden Gardens. One thing I have learned over the last year with two little ones is have a plan but be prepared to go with the flow. The plan we envision never becomes reality but somehow the memories we make end up better than that plan we made!!

I’m sharing a few ideas on how to be active on New Years Eve or New Years Days:

  1. Hike – hiking is free and gets you outside!
  2. Go for run or walk – Another inexpensive way to get fresh air and get the heart rate up.
  3. Sign up for a workout class — I personally recommend a Barre3 if you have studio near you!
  4. Home workout — find a service online like CodyApp and stream a video.  You don’t even have to leave the house.
  5. Find a sport you love and make it competitive with family – I am sure we will create more family traditions around sports as the boys get older.

Hope this motivates you to have an active New Years Eve and New Years Day! Start the new year off right!! Make it fun!!

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A Holiday Wish List for the Wellness Minded Mama

Fly-By Hoodie // Ghost Crop // Go-To Tank // PureFlow 6 Shoes

Instead of doing Holiday gift guides this year, I put together some of my favorite products centered around fitness and wellness. I am calling it “A Holiday Wish List for the Wellness Minded Mama.” These products are from some of my favorite companies including Brooks Running, Terez, Alala, Saje Natural Wellness and more.

Holiday Activewear Favorites

 

Athletic Shoes

As an active Mom and Pilates instructor, I spend most of my days wearing athletic shoes.  Brooks Running is my go-to brand for shoes. They are Seattle based, produce the best running shoes in the market, and put a focus on giving back to the community. Recently, they partnered with UNICEF to help benefit some of the world’s most vulnerable children and you can read more about it here.

 

Wellness Products

I love companies that strive to help you feel better naturally. Saje Natural Wellness products contain pure ingredients and are free of parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic colors and artificial fragrances. If you haven’t heard of this Canadian company, you can thank me later.

Wellness products in photo:

Saje Pocket Farmacy: This cute travel case consists of Saje’s top five essential oil roll-ons. You can use them to help you feel better naturally whether you have a headache, stomach issues, sore throat or need something to help you relax.

Saje Silence Candle: I love to burn candles in the winter and this one smells heavenly. We don’t have a diffuser in our living room (YET) so this helps set the mood in the evening.

Saje Unwind Face & Body Mist: I use this spray after all my home workouts. It helps to restore a sense of balance with its blend of essential oils. It instantly makes me feels refreshed & relaxed.  Hopefully, Saje will open a retail location in Seattle sometime soon!!!

 

My Favorite Fitness Accessories

My Favorite Nursing Sports Bras
I wear my Bravado Designs Nursing sports bra the most and it works under non-activewear too.
XOThree is the nursing sports bra I will continue wearing past my nursing days! Some of their bras are on promotion until December 9th and you can get an additional 10% off using code SARAHBG10.
Cadenshae is another company with cute nursing & postpartum activewear. I am wearing the Smoothie Crop below.
HAPPY HOLIDAY SHOPPING!!!!

Soccer Shots Seattle – Fall Season 2017

Sports were an important part of mine and my husband’s life growing up. My husband played tennis in college, coached as a graduate assistant in law school and is back in sports with his career.  We certainly don’t want to force our kids to play sports but want them to be exposed to as many sports as possible. We will let our children decide what sports they want to continue playing as they get older. Hopefully, they will share our love of playing and watching sports.

Logan started Soccer Shots this Fall and this Saturday morning ritual has been one the family looks forward to every week.  Logan learned and loves to say toe-tap, toe-touch and airplane when he sees a soccer ball.  Most importantly, Soccer Shots has helped Logan learn to listen and follow directions.

I can not say enough great things about Coach Victor and Soccer Shots Seattle. Ryan was working a lot of practice mornings. I was there solo, baby wearing an infant, and attempting to get Logan to listen. Logan normally lost all attention span at the 20 minute mark and Coach Victor ended up carrying him around the remainder of the time.The practices last thirty minutes and that is the perfect amount of time for this age.

 

ENJOY SOME VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE SEASON:

video5

video4

 

 

 

 

Deception Pass & Whidbey Island Day Trip

Rain, wind, and more rain is the best way to describe late Fall and Winter days in the Pacific Northwest. Our day trip to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island was a typical Pacific Northwest winter day.

We left the house early Sunday morning and headed north for the one hour and a half drive to Deception Pass State Park. If you haven’t been to Deception Pass, you need to put this on your list. Deception Pass is simply breathtaking and has amazing Pacific Northwest views. You don’t even have to hike for the views. We drove across the bridge and parked in the first parking lot after entering onto Whidbey Island. We took the short .3 mile trail down to North Beach. It was a fairly easy hike but all downhill. Once we got down the beach, we noticed there was parking lot. Later we learned this road was currently closed but it’s good to know for the future you can drive to the beach area.

After our short hike to North Beach, we headed back up the hill to the car. At this point, it was pouring. We got back into the car and starting driving towards Coupevillle. The main entrance to Deception Pass State Park was just a little further down the road. We did a quick drive-thru and decided West Beach would be another stop for us in the future.

Next up was lunch. We stopped to eat at Christopher’s in Coupeville and it was delicious. Ryan couldn’t get enough of the Penn Cove mussels. The prices were reasonable and the chocolate mousse dessert was more than a healthy serving — enough for four to share. Coupeville is an adorable little town. If it had not been pouring rain, we would have explored more.

Our last stop was Fort Casey State park. We spotted deer on the way in and Logan was officially on a deer hunt the rest of the day. It was soooo windy and cold when we got out to explore but at least the rain stopped for a bit. We walked around and up to the lighthouse. The views were amazing and I can only imagine how breathtaking the Olympic mountains would be on a sunny day. Logan enjoyed jumping in each and every mud puddle he could. When he decided to sit in the freezing cold puddle, it was time to pack up.

We changed Logan out of his wet clothes and were off to catch the ferry in Clinton. We stopped at Timbuktu Java Bar & Cafe for some hot drinks to warm up before our ferry adventure. The short ferry ride back was pure excitement for Logan. From Mulkiteo, it was only a thirty minute drive back to our house.  Our day trip was quick but gave us a good overview of Whidbey Island. We will be back for sure!