Self proclaimed self care journey

Hey friends it’s Molly just wanted to share some thoughts.

Olive May is 8 months old today (what the heck)!?! I seriously can’t believe it. Every month I think the same thing like “where in the world does the time go”! Olive was literally a baby baby for like two seconds😩 And now we are here forever inching closer to one year with our babe. But for now we are trying to soak it all in. All the changes and all the victories. It’s pretty amazing how fast a baby can learn how to do things.

So a few weeks ago I had been feeling like I was beginning to get stuck on this ever moving hamster wheel (you know what I mean). Being a mama is no joke. Don’t get me wrong… the good days definitely out weigh the bad ones and I wouldn’t change a thing. Buttt real talk, I was starting to feel a bit depleted. I hadn’t really done anything for me in a longggg time. And that’s when I started to think about self care and what that might look like as a new mama. When I say self care I don’t mean having a glass of wine at the end of the day (although some days that is the most wonderful thing in the world), I mean actually self care as in taking care of your self. I started to think of things that would improve my life make me a better me. Because I know taking time for me will not only help myself but my family and in the end will make me a better wife and mama. I made a mental list. At the top was working out. So I knew I needed to make working out a priority. Second was skin care. I’ve never been one to be in to skin care products but wanted to dip my toes in (Ps my skin has totally changed since having a baby). As I started to think about this “self care” stuff I started to feel guilty. Feeling like I don’t neeeed to do this stuff but only want too. Then Ethan reminded me, I give, give, give allll day and I totally deserve a little me time. Time to collect my thoughts, time to myself, time to think and just plain ole’ time. It sounds so simple but it’s hard. It’s really hard…at least for me. So this is me figuring out what all that will look like. I’ll be starting on my self, self proclaimed self care journey.

I’ve started working out. It’s a start. Nothing fancy but it’s a start.

I also went to lush (walked in and had no idea what I wanted or where to start, luckily the people that work there are amazing) and they got me all set up with all natural yummy skin care goodies for my face (yay!).

A few reminders to myself and to you too:

You deserve time, time to rest, time to be. No matter if it’s for an hour or 5 min. You deserve it.

Cheers to growing, strengthening, being whole. Cheers to all the moms, dads and guardians out there.

Also something I’m learning is to really breath, like deep breaths breathing. Like filling up your lungs breathing. Try it out it because it really works!

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts anddd if you have any self care wisdom send it my wayyy!

From our tribe to yours,

Molly, Ethan & Olive

 

Choose Joy.

 

 

Have you ever been fearful of something? Fear of starting a new job because of all the ‘what ifs’ (which I, Ethan actually just did!)? Fear of trying something new? Fear that you might burn the rolls you are trying to make with dinner (umm yeah… right here because well…we forget they are even in the oven haha.)? We have ALL experienced fear on some level (big, small and in between) in our lives. But the real challenge is understanding the impact that fear plays in your life, and how YOU can actually control it. Wild stuff, right?

 

Fear is the thief of joy. And we all want joy in our lives But no matter how hard we try sometimes the fear to do something finds it’s way back in to our minds. Which honestly is just a huge bummer. Does anybody else feel that way? But I (Ethan) wanted to share how fear is only as big as we make it! It is this mental block to keeps us from achieving our very best in life, that doesn’t have to even be there when you choose joy or just enjoy where your life is taking you!

 

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As a tribe, we face the fear that we won’t raise Olive to have the childhood that we absolutely want to give her. We consistently face the fact that we may not be able to travel or experience things that we think she would love, and would help shape her into her true self. And that fear is incredibly hard to subside. Especially on a daily basis. But, we have the daily choice to not let that fear stand in the way of life. That type of fear is so detrimental to living a fulfilling life. A life that enables us to chase our dreams as a tribe. Just because there is that looming fear of not being able to take Olive to new places all the time, we decide to do our best, and make the most of the places we are able to take her, like the beach! This thought process can apply to anything and everything in life, not just raising a little one. Are you afraid of applying for that program at school? What’s the worst that could happen? Are you able to live a more fulfilling life when you push past the fear and the risk? Then GO FOR IT!

 

At the end of the day, it is important to boil fear down to it’s base. We always ask ourselves… What is the TRUE cause of this fear we are feeling? What is the absolute true cause? And that answer varies all the time. Most of the time, it is the fear of the unknown, which I think is a main driver for a lot of the fear that people experience. Just because something is unknown, it doesn’t mean you can’t conquer it. If you never apply for that new job, then you will never know where it could have lead you in life. You’ll never know what could have been… you’ll never understand the unknown. Most of the time, the risk in our heads seems so huge, but when you ask yourself the above question, and figure out what the risk associated with the fear is, it’s actually super small! Whether applying for a job, networking, asking someone for something, whatever it may be, the motto I live by is… “The worst thing that could happen is they say no.” And, I mean, how true is that?? Someone says no, and you move on. Life continues. And you are actually a little bit better at taking on fear. 🙂

 

Fear is this nasty little guy that can run amuck in our lives if we let him, but can also sit still in the corner while we take on our life, achieving our dreams and making big moves! Our tribe motto for the year is “Choose Joy”. Think about that for a second. Fear is the thief of joy. So… Choose Joy.

 

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Go out there this week and kick fear in the butt! Tell it to move over while you try something new, make new relationships, and chase your dreams. Share a story of when you had to deal with fear in the comments below! Supporting each other and understanding our individual stories are such a key part to choosing joy on a daily basis, so we are here to talk with you, friends. Plus, we love sharing stories. Just sayin.

 

From our tribe to yours,

Ethan, Molly and Olive

 

The Magic of Disneyland!

Let us start out by saying we love Disneyland. Well, we don’t necessarily love Disneyland, we absolutely adore it. It runs in our blood. We LIVE for Disneyland. Okay, was that too far…? Nope, sounds about right. You get the gist. Before Olive May was around, we took our Senior Trip in High School there, Ethan proposed to Molly there, we took our Honeymoon there, and took a bunch of trips to the park in between. Again, you get the idea. We are kind of Disneyland people. When we found out we were pregnant with Olive, we knew it wouldn’t slow us down at all. She was going to be one lucky kid and come along for the ride!

 

Well this Christmas was the time for our first trip! It was finally time to visit the most magical place on earth (and at the most magical time of year, no less) as a whole tribe (along with one of Ethan’s little brothers and Molly’s mom!). We had only been once before during Christmas when Ethan proposed to me, and it was one of the best trips we have taken. So we were just a litttttle excited for this trip to come around. Olive obviously had no clue what it meant to get on a plane and head to Disneyland being only 6 months old, but I could see she was excited just like us. She had that little twinkle in her eye. With this blog post, we wanted to give you our top 5 tips for conquering Disneyland (and Disney California Adventure) with a little. Things that helped us, that we hope can also help you! 🙂

 

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Tip #1: Expectations.

Manage them. Own them. Keep em’ real. We have found that throughout our many years of heading to the park (with this trip at the top of the list), it is SO important to manage your expectations. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to lower them in order to enjoy your time at the park, but we have found that when you manage your expectations, nobody is let down, and magic tends to happen 😉 An awesome Disneyland podcast that shares this same mantra is Mousetalgia. I LOVE this podcast, and they can’t speak highly enough of this tip.

 

Tip #2: Slow it dowwwwwn.

With little’s, you obviously won’t be able to conquer the entire park and hop on attractions all day long. It is OKAY and ENCOURAGED to take it slow. Breaks are good. Just because you aren’t running around like mad doesn’t mean you aren’t getting your money’s worth out of the park. In fact, if you take a break and take it slow for a second, you’ll find little quirks to the park that you may have never noticed before, and that in itself is magic. There are actually places all throughout the resort that are great for taking a quick break, such as (and definitely not limited too):

– Watching Mickey & The Magical Map.

– Watching a show at Fantasy Faire Theatre.

– Listening to the Dapper Dans on Main Street.

– Animation Academy in DCA (fun, interactive, and air conditioned. Wooo!).

 

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The Dapper Dans in their festive Holiday attire!

 

Tip #3: Baby Center in both parks. Use them!

If your little is like Olive at all, she gets so distracted trying to stare at everything (and I mean everythinggggg) while she needs to eat. That is where the Baby Center is an absolute life saver. It includes a nursing room, changing room, feeding area with highchairs (kitchen with microwave and sink), a vending machine with baby essentials for purchase (who hasn’t ran out of wipes before??), and a TV playing classic Disney movies to entertain your little, and yourself 🙂 The one in Disneyland is located at the end of Main Street, directly adjacent is the First Aid building and the Little Red Wagon. The one in DCA (Disney California Adventure) is right next to Ghirardelli and across from Cars Land. In short, the Baby Center is pure gold.

 

Tip #4: Know what rides you can go on with your little.

Just because you have a little, doesn’t mean everything is off limits. In fact, you can still do a ton of stuff. Because Olive was only 6 months old, we needed to understand what attractions had no height requirement that she would be good to go on. Magic Kingdom Mamas have this AMAZING list of attractions that have no height requirement in the park. It was a life saver for us! If you haven’t heard of MKM, give them a follow on Instagram and check out their blog posts. They are just absolutely THE BEST 🙂 Being able to go on an attractions as a whole tribe was really quite magical, so be sure to know what you can do before you go.

 

Tip #5: Live a little. Treat Yo’ Self. Throw caution to the wind. Splurge it up.

It never hurts to live a little while visiting the Happiest Place on Earth. Whether that is treating yourself to a special snack such as a churro, or going all out by reserving an awesome dining/show package, it’s important to enjoy yourself. It is super easy to get caught up in the fact that you want everything to go a certain way and be just so, when in fact, the most memorable and magical times happen when you live in the moment and enjoy yourself. Ethan always (and I mean always) gets a souvenir sipper as his treat, and it has kind of turned into a tradition. It is an inexpensive souvenir to bring home that is actually fun to use at home! Above all, enjoy the time you are spending in the park and don’t be afraid to live it up a little. It isn’t called the Happiest Place on Earth for no reason.

 

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There you have it! Our top 5 tips for tackling the Disneyland Resort with a little (and as a tribe!). Let us know what some of your tips are, and if you end up using any of ours. We always love talking Disney, so drop a trip report or just your favorite Disney memory in the comments below and let’s chat 🙂

 

From our tribe to yours,

 

Ethan, Molly & Olive May

 

2019 and beyond…

Hey friends! It’s so good to be back! We have been busy, busy, busy… and we want to tell you all about it 🙂

The holidays always bring an amazing number of events. From checking out the zoo and all of it’s wonderful lights, to enjoying the magic of Disneyland, and spending some quality time with our loved ones, we were always doing something. And guess what? It was SO. MUCH. FUN! Our first holiday season as a tribe was a huge success. It included so many firsts as well and new traditions! Olive’s very first plane ride, our first year of hosting Christmas at our house, and our very first family photos. Woa. It was a BIG holiday season.

 

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Because we haven’t been writing for quite long enough to take part in a classic year end review, we want to share a few things we have been up to since we saw you last, and share with you what 2019 has planned for us (here’s a hint: it’s going to be a FUN year)! With this being Olive’s first Christmas, all focus went to her for the entireeeeee holiday season. She got some just very fun (and noisy…) presents from so many people! Needless to say, her play area is 100% full and she absolutely loves it! She also got to see all of her uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It was so great! Safe to say her first christmas was a success. I’m sure she would agree.

 

 

Are you ready for 2019? Because guess what?? It’s here! And we are so ready! 2019 is going to be such an important year for our tribe! We have some amazing things planned like traveling to New York, following our dream, and getting to know you guys better! We absolutely cannot wait to enjoy every second of it. What does that mean for the blog? Well, it’s coming at you bigger and better! Upcoming blogs include a trip report from our magical time in Disneyland, tackling the holidays with little ones, and how to set goals for yourself (and your tribe!). We will be posting a new blog every other Wednesday, and living on our Instagram account to keep up to date with you guys (you can hit the follow button right here).

 

What are some things you want to see from us in 2019? What do you want us to write about? What would be beneficial for you guys? At the end of the day, we want to connect with you and positively impact you and your tribe. Get ready for 2019, because it is about to be one heck of a year! 🙂

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from our tribe to yours,

 

Ethan, Molly & Olive

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Traditions

Hey friends! Molly here!

We are talking about all of the traditions. Do you have traditions that you do this time of year? What are they? We want to know!

 

With it being the holiday season, a lot of people have those things that you just ALWAYS do this time of year (big or small). And if you don’t do them it just doesn’t feel right! We are big fans of starting new traditions and carrying on the old. Here are a few of our holiday traditions (thanksgiving & Christmas) that we like to do.

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Turkey Trot: This one is a MUST! Every year on the morning of thanksgiving the fam runs 4 miles… (oh and let me point out it’s not an easy 4 miles… it’s basically all hills) This year was the first time for a few of our family members including me and Olive. It was a lot of fun despite the major hills I wasn’t prepared for (and did i mention i was pushing olive…) haha. Its a fun run so you just go at your own pace (but our family is competitive so there is no going at your own pace for us, its win or go home). It starts at the Oregon Zoo and ends where the Elephants live at the zoo. Super cool. If you live in the Portland area I recommend adding this to your list!! We always have a blast! 🙂

Thanksgiving Dinner/ Family Games: Of course we have to have thanksgiving dinner with all the traditional foods… so yummy. After we eat dinner we always play some type of games (minute to win it type games) and it is seriously so much fun. The family gets split up in to teams and its just a fun way to end the day. We normally have lots of kiddos so its a big hit. My cousin sets it all up and at the end there is always a winner (we are a bit competitive) with lots of fun prizes.

Black Friday Shopping: Ethan likes this one! He normally goes with his younger brothers. And me? Not so much. It’s tooooo chaotic for me (people are crazy in case you didn’t know). But he does it every year. And sometimes finds a deal or two (Ethan here… I ALWAYS find a deal. I don’t know what Molly is talking about).

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Saturday Christmas Tree / Burger & Fries: The Saturday after thanksgiving we always go and cut down our tree and then go out to lunch at this amazing burger joint (Helvatia Tavern). It seriously is one of my favorite things to do. There is nothing like going out to the tree farm (Furrow Farm) and picking out the absolute perfect tree. Funny story… this year our eyes were much bigger than our house. We had to basically move all our furniture out of our living room, cut a foot and a half off our tree and 4 hours later our tree was up… Never again will we get a 9 foot tree! Big mistake… HUGE.

Movies: We watch movies all month long but here are some of our faves (in no particular order):

  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Polar Express
  • Elf
  • White Christmas
  • The Grinch (Live action…because Jim Carey)
  • Home Alone
  • The Santa Clause
  • Edward Scissorhands (it counts people. trust me. it counts.)

Zoo Lights: Its not christmas time until you go see the zoo lights. Holy cow they are amazing! The Oregon zoo puts them on every year and they don’t disappoint. Its always super duper cold but totally worth it!

Christmas Bazaar: This was a first for us this year. You can’t be afraid to introduce some new traditions every once in a while! We definitely plan to do this every year now. There were so many beautiful handcrafted things and its always fun talking to the people that are selling stuff. Apparently its Americas BIGGEST Christmas bazaar (not sure how true that is… but we’ll believe it anyway) Fun way to spend an afternoon!

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The Nutcracker: I have literally been going to the nutcracker since I can remember. When I was living back home, the community college would put it on every year. But now living in Portland the Oregon ballet theater puts it on every year and it’s so incredibly magical. Dressing up fancy and going downtown on a cold winter day with friends and family is just the best. Something I can’t wait to do with miss Olive May when she gets old enough.

Christmas Cookie Baking Day: Every year all the ladies in my family get together and choose one different cookie recipe each to make (doubling or tripling the recipe). We bring the raw dough and meet at my cousins house to bake them. We’ve been doing this for years. It’s such a fun time to catch up and connect with people in your family that you haven’t seen in a while (that’s the whole point of Christmas, right??) Plus you get to leave with tons of different cookies made with a whole lot of love. One of my favorite traditions!

What traditions do you do with your tribe? What traditions do you hope to start? Sound off in the comments and let’s talk about all the amazing holiday traditions that we all have! 🙂

-Molly

Healthy Banana Bread

Hey! Molly here… I wanted to share a recipe that I found to make some healthy-er banana bread. I mean who doesn’t like banana bread (well besides Ethan…)?!? I love banana bread and always seem to have ripe bananas on hand so i seem to make it often. I’ve been searching for a banana bread recipe that doesn’t have all that sugar in it or dairy and I think I found the perfect recipe. If you are dairy free you are going to love this!

 

Healthy Banana Bread

Recipe yields 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 1/2 medium bananas)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (cows milk, almond, soy etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus a little extra for top of loaf)
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  • Optional mix-ins: chopped walnuts, pecans,chocolate chips,raisins, dried fruit etc..

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat them well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (if you use coconut oil it may become solid when it hits cold ingredients so you can warm up your bowl in the microwave for 10 sec.)
  3. Add in baking soda,vanilla, salt, cinnamon and whisk to blend.
  4. Stir in flour a little at a time until combined. (If its a little lumpy thats okay!)
  5. If you are adding in mix-ins do so now, fold them into the batter.
  6. Pour batter into greased loaf pan then sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  7. Bake for 50-60min or until you insert a knife to the middle and it comes out clean.
  8. Let loaf cool for about 20min before cutting into it.
  9. Enjoy! 🙂
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    use a fork! it works best to mash up bananas
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    make sure you whisk oil, eggs and honey (or maple syrup) before adding bananas 

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    fold in the flour
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    see lumpy is okay!
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    swirled cinnamon on top i just took a knife and made swirls (ps we didn’t have a loaf pan and this did just fine!)
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    nice and golden!

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    yummmmm!

 

from our tribe to yours,

Ethan, Molly, & Olive

Go Portland Timbers, Go!

Who else loves going to live sporting events? Umm yes please!! Who else has a little that make is way more difficult to go to live sporting events? Umm double yes please!! We have always enjoyed going to Portland Timbers games. The culture, the energy, the stadium, the crowd… the whole sha-bang. Super fantastic. Love every second. We used to go every chance we got when we were a Simmie duo. Now, with Olive in tow, we still go every chance we get! You read that right… we didn’t stop going. We didn’t throw in the towel because it was too difficult to go with Olive. We didn’t get afraid when we had an 8 week old in a pack and 6 million sets of eyes staring at us secretly burning with the question “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT BRAND NEW BABY HERE???”.

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The first match we went to as the full Simmie tribe was quite a task. Definitely unlike any match we had been to before. If you don’t know about the Portland Timbers, they are no doubt the loudest and most passionate fan base in all of MLS. So it obviously is quite interesting bringing an 8 week old child into that environment. Since Olive’s first match about 3 months ago, we have gone to 3 more matches. And guess what? Every time we bring her, it gets easier! She is becoming used to the environment, the loud chants, and all of the interaction that people give her. With that being said, there are definitely some tips we have to share when it comes to bringing your little to a live sporting event.

TIP #1: Headphones. Headphones. Headphones.

Ever since Olive starting going to games (throw a Trailblazers game in the mix as well!), she has had some awesome headphones. These headphones are absolutely dynamite. Even when she was a tiny baby, they fit her ears (and then some)! She doesn’t try to take them off at all, and when the stadium gets crazy loud after a goal, she just sits there biting her hand, minding her own business. Success.

TIP #2: Manage your expectations.

This is a MANTRA that we live our life by. Disneyland, Timbers games, even the grocery store… managing your expectations sets you up for success. No matter where you go, bringing a little is going to impact how you go about being there, and the case is no different for sporting events. When we go, we know we will not have our eyes glued to the field the entire game. We know we can’t scream and cheer like we used to. We also know that us enjoying the game goes hand in hand with Olive enjoying the game. When she is happy, we are happy (big surprise, right?). It’s okay to miss most of the game. It’s okay to be the parent walking up and down the concourse keeping their little happy (yep, that’s us). Everything is okay. Manage your expectations, and the world is your oyster! 🙂

TIP #3: Be prepared. Like for any situation. Except maybe the world blowing up.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to learn this one the hard way, but we can only imagine what that would have been like. We always (and I mean always!) have a checklist we run through before we leave the house. In the case of going to a sporting event, it is no different. Diapers, wipes, and the essentials are obviously important. But items such as a favorite toy, this little wonder, and a little snack or treat for momma or daddy, don’t come to mind as quickly. Plus, it’s always nice to open the baby bag and find a bite size Milky Way in there. A little piece of magic. Also, swapping out a larger sized diaper bag for a smaller, more compact backpack or satchel proved super helpful for us! Easier to carry, easier to store under the seats. Bing bang boom.

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Three tips from parents that are learning a new tip every time we go to a sporting event. But hey, try em out and let us know what you think! It never hurts to try something new, and it also never hurts to think a little outside of the box to keep that little wonder of yours happy.

 

from our tribe to yours,

Ethan, Molly, & Olive