Posts Tagged ‘summer’

being actively northwest. a {30 parks of summer} partnership.

08/13/2013

actively-northwest

 

I hope those two cuties on the swings look familiar!

I’ve teamed up with the area’s newest online magazine, Actively Northwest, to spread the word about all of our favorite Seattle parks through The 30 Parks of Summer.

Their team took photos of the kids a few weeks ago at one of our fave neighborhood parks, Ella Bailey, and to say that Janie, Meg and Ev gave them a run for their money would be an understatement. I’ve never seen them run so fast or scooter so furiously… all with the photographer keeping up at every step. Seriously impressive. I asked if he babysits.

Head over the Actively Northwest for their introduction to the series (with more to come!). I’ll be the first to admit that I was skeptical, considering Actively Northwest is under the umbrella of a health insurance company, but they have won me over with content that is relevant, interesting and well-curated. Check them out on Facebook too for easy-clicking!

Now… we’re off to check some more Seattle parks off of our to-do list before we leave Seattle next week! Get out and do the same!

being summer style.

08/07/2013

I’m always so torn about summer clothes. While I don’t really care for shorts, nor do they look that great one me, I can’t really get away with wearing dresses all summer long because chasing after Everett on his balance bike just isn’t dress-friendly.

Here’s what I’ve been wearing this summer… I can’t say that I’m all that pleased with my summer wardrobe (or my wardrobe in general right now…), but it’s getting me by on these hot, casual, hit-the-park days.

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First of all, yes, I am the last person on earth getting a French pedicure. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that awkward moment out of the way, we can talk about these shorts, which I’m loving this summer. They are actually from the pajama department of Target (you can find them here)  and they’re so soft. Obviously. They’re pajamas.

summer-style-shorts-with-flats

Okay. Shorts with flats. I wore them this summer and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Do you wear shorts with ballet flats? I need encouragement. (also, don’t mind my wonky, crooked legs. can we see why i have knee issues? yikes.)

summer-style-prints

This was a risky pattern move, but I needed SOMETHING to distract from how way-too-short these shorts were (find them here at Target). I’m not sure it was a match made in mismatch heaven, but, if there is one thing I learned from working at Anthropologie all that time, it’s that matching is overrated.

What are you wearing this summer? Do you have a go-to outfit?

 

being the 30 parks of summer. {park #3} golden gardens.

07/19/2013

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Neighborhood: Ballard

Finding it: 8498 Seaview Place NW, Seattle, WA 98107 // If you know how to get to Market Street in Ballard, you can easily find Golden Gardens. Basically, keep going west. Follow Market all the way past the Locks, Ray’s and the marina and you’ll essentially dead end yourself into the park. There are signs along the way, in case you need some hand holding.

Parking Situation: Let’s have an honest moment here. Parking at Golden Gardens is horrible. Really, really awfully horrible. There are physically dozens of spots, but it just isn’t enough. Here’s the good news — with so many people at Golden Gardens at any time of day, there is high turnaround. Slow down and look for people who are headed to their cars from the beach… then follow them. Turn on your blinker and hold your ground. It might take them 15-minutes to get all of the sand off their feet and their gear in the car, but it’s worth it for that spot. If you have more than on adult in the car, unload the kiddos with one of the grownups, and some of the gear, in the little pull-off section before the playground, while the other grownup goes parking spot hunting.

What the kids loved: The playground is super cool and shouldn’t be passed up — we recommend hitting the playground right when you get there and again on the way back to the car (it will help get some of the sand off of their little bodies!). Our kids loved just being on the beach — we were close enough to the water that they could go explore on their own and of course, being able to have a bonfire, right there in the sand, was such a hit. 

What I loved: For me, it was just such a moment. Despite the fact that Golden Gardens is packed to the gills with people most of the time, there’s something undeniable about it. People were friendly, kids were enjoying themselves and the sunset in the background was beyond gorgeous. Sure, you have to overlook some of Golden Garden’s less than desirable qualities to truly enjoy yourself, but it’s worth it. I’m pretty sure the last time I’d been to Golden Gardens was in college and I think that I enjoyed it even more last weekend, even despite the fact that I had three disgustingly dirty children to wash when we got home.

Bring it: Planning on doing an entire beach day? Here’s what you’ll need at Golden Gardens: Food, drinks (um, no alcohol allowed, ahem, wink, wink, WINK.), lots of extra water, at least one blanket to sit on (two is better), stuff to dig in the sand, a paper bag for garbage, BABY WIPES for cleaning gross hands, firewood (one of those bundles from the grocery store is the perfect amount), something to light the fire with, and more food. Wear: Clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty/wet, flipflops that everyone can easily shake the sand out of, sunglasses for that pretty sunset, SUNSCREEN.

Leave it: Don’t bother with a stroller, unless you have a little one who might take a snooze in it as the day goes by. Otherwise, it’s just a hassle to push in the sand when your arms are already loaded with gear. It’s likely that you’re going to have to park pretty far away from where you set up camp, so if you can’t carry it all in one trip, don’t bother bringing it. And, don’t count on your kids to help — they’re going to be beat by the time you leave.

The verdict: Spending the day at Golden Gardens is like a right of passage for Seattle families in the summer. It must be done. Sure, it takes some prep, some planning and leaving your OCD tendencies at the door, but it’s so completely worth it. A couple of notes… Your kids are going to be really really filthy when you leave the beach and so are you. The firewood ashes have mixed with the sand for so long at Golden Gardens, that it’s practically black (not in that amazing, black sand beach in Hawaii way) and your skin is going to covered the instant you set foot on the beach. Let your kids know that baths are mandatory when you get home… hose showers in the backyard would really be best.

Second, it’s so crowded at Golden Gardens that keeping an eye on your little ones as the sun goes down can get tricky. Give them boundaries. When we were there, a mom had lost her three-year old and it was very scary,to say the least, considering the parking lot is so close, as is the water. My hero of a neighbor, Sara, found him, after scouring the beach for what seemed like the longest time. Also, can we chat about how we should help others look when they’ve lost their child? Just do it, please.

When was the last time you went to Golden Gardens with your kids? 

Find more on The 30 Parks of Summer on the Being5 homepage by clicking on the 30 Parks logo.
Park #1. Park #2.

being as easy as…

07/19/2013

janie-riding-bike

From the looks of it, Janie is kicking summer’s ass. First, she conquers swimming and now, this.

Josh and I have known that she could ride a bike since last summer, if not earlier, but, she refused to try.

This summer, I pulled out the big guns and threatened, yes, threatened, that if she didn’t learn to ride her bike, she couldn’t go camping with her cousins this summer. Total bitch move? Maybe. Nurturing parenting? Not really. Effective? Yes. Janie’s a kid who needs a little push past her comfort zone at times and it took less than five minutes for her to be off and riding last night.

And, here’s video proof, for those who need it…

Up next on the summer kid achievement checklist?

Getting Meg up on two-wheels. (wish us luck.)

being the 30 parks of summer. {park #2} magnolia park.

07/16/2013

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Neighborhood: Magnolia

Finding it: 1461 Magnolia Boulevard West, Seattle, WA 98199 // Take the Magnolia Bridge into Magnolia, then follow the road past the first curve to the right. You’ll see the park first, parking lot next.

Parking Situation: Another park with a great parking lot! It’s a city mom’s dream come true! The parking lot entrance on your left, near the intersection of Magnolia Boulevard West and West Howe Street. There are typically plenty of spots open, although they do hold events here on the weekends, causing the long, skinny lot to fill up. Don’t be afraid to park opposite of the nose-in spots, parallel parking style… just don’t block access to the mailbox!

Park stats: This is not a park with a lot of bells and whistles… and we like it that way. Magnolia Park is meant for chilling out. There’s a huge picnic area with a covered place to entertain, if you’re looking for a birthday party locale. Otherwise, the star attractions at Magnolia Park are the huge madrona trees that offer plenty of shade on hot days, the old school swings, the lush grass that was made for laying in and the perfect summer breeze.

What the kids loved: Even though there were only two of them and they were likely installed in 1983, the kids loved the swings and even climbing on the legs of the swing set itself and using the border as a balance beam. There was a ton of space for them to run around and play whatever crazy imaginary game they had come up with that afternoon (I think there were ninjas involved?) and since there were only two other people in the entire park, they practically had the place to themselves!

What I loved: This is truly one of my favorite little hidden gems in the entire city and I love popping down in the late afternoon when it’s too hot to be in the house, but not quite time for dinner yet. The park is far off of the street, so I don’t feel like I need to have my eagle mama eyes on the kids at every moment and I am always so amused with what their imagination comes up with when there is just grass, a couple of swings and the smell of the ocean to fuel it.

Bring it: There’s a ton of room at Magnolia Park for throwing the Frisbee around and even a cool, long, paved hill to ride scooters down, if you’re feeling like you need a bit more to do while you’re here. Otherwise, bring a big, soft blanket to lay on, books to read (we stopped by the library first, for this trip!) and some snacks to keep you fueled. Even on warm days, it can be pretty breezy at Magnolia Park, so it wouldn’t hurt to throw an extra layer in the car for everyone.

Leave it: With so much space at Magnolia Park, you could literally bring your entire house, kitchen sink included, and still have plenty of room to roam. There isn’t much by way of facilities nearby, so if you feel like you’ll need it, bring it.

The verdict: While this certainly isn’t the park that you’re going to pack it up and spend hours exploring, it’s the perfect in-between park for when you need to get the kids out of the house pre-nap time or bed time to burn off some energy, or if you have some time to kill between play dates or appointments. Keep it simple. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Make your kids put their creativity to work to have a good time. Bring your book or that stack of magazines that have been collecting since January or that girlfriend that you can’t quite seem to catch for a phone call and soak up the Seattle sun through those pretty, pretty trees.

Have you ever been to Magnolia Park? 

Find more on The 30 Parks of Summer on the Being5 homepage by clicking on the 30 Parks logo.

being the 30 parks of summer. {park #1} carkeek park.

07/15/2013

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psst! click on the first image above to get to the gallery!

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Neighborhood: North Ballard

Finding it: 950 NW Carkeek Park Road, Seattle, WA 98177 // It is quite the windy road down to Carkeek, so take it slow… Follow the signs down to the park from the main street.

Parking Situation: There is a parking lot next to the playgrounds, which had plenty of spots on the day we visited, but I’m pretty sure that on a sunny weekend or summer afternoon, would get packed quickly. There does seem to be overflow parking closer to the trails, but it would be a trek back to the playground with little ones. Long story short, don’t be afraid to stalk people who are leaving to secure a good spot. All is fair in love and parking, after all.

Park stats: Carkeek Park has a little bit of everything… and plenty of room for it all. There are a few different play areas, including a tall play structure with slides, a separate area with swings, a cool little hideout that reminds me of the play area near the meerkats at the zoo and, of course, the famous salmon slide. Add in a huge grassy playfield, plenty of tables for picnics and the beach and Carkeek was certainly a sweet spot to kick off this project.

What the kids loved: Um, the salmon slide. And, then, the salmon slide. Did I mention the salmon slide? I had heard of this slide before and featured it in various Red Tricycle articles over the past few years, but I had no idea how epic it really was. The kids loved it — it was fast, semi-spooky and perfectly positioned in the shade. The beach was also a favorite for Janie, Meg and Ev, and we could have easily spent all afternoon throwing rocks in the water and building sand castles.

What I loved: Carkeek got major mama points from me for having so much to do, but having everything close enough together that I could keep an eye on all three kids, even if they were all doing something different at the park. I dread playgrounds where the swings are so far away from the play structure, because Meg always wants to swing and it’s impossible to make sure Ev isn’t launching himself off of the slide at the same time. The beach was pure heaven too — I wish that I’d planned better and brought the hard-core beach supplies (like, um, sunscreen, maybe?) so that we could have stayed through the afternoon.

Bring it: If you’re going to head down to the beach and plan on staying for a while, bring all of your beach goodies, including sand toys and a place for you to sit (blanket, beach towel, folding chair, whatever…) while your kiddos explore. This is totally a Crocs moment — the walk down the stairs to the beach is kind of treacherous and that sand is h-o-t. If you’re simply looking for some playground fun, bring the usuals — snacks for them, an iced coffee for you.

Leave it: No need for a stroller at Carkeek, so don’t bother. The stairs to the beach are way to insane to carry or even to bump one down and unless you have an infant along, you won’t need one at the playground area.

The verdict: This is likely our new favorite place to play in Seattle and I’m feeling insanely jealous of Ballard-ites for getting to call it their own! We were there late-morning and I suspect that during the weekend it turns into Golden Gardens-esque craziness, which I’d tend to shy away from. My best advice — don’t plan on making a quick visit to Carkeek Park. You’ll need at least a couple of hours to enjoy it and if you try to zip in and out, you’ll likely be carrying a screaming three-year old to the car at the end of your visit. Your own three-year old, I mean. Not someone else’s. Obviously.

Share what you love about Carkeek Park and your little tips for making the best of it! We hear that there are awesome kid-friendly trails and a little stream as well? Dish it, Ballard friends!

being scenes from our weekend. omg. it’s hot out.

07/01/2013

And, another summer weekend on the books. This one was a little hot. Like, nearly 90 degrees out hot, which I will gladly bitch about because we do not have air conditioning and my upper lip is sweating.

Besides trying our best to stay cool, we hit up Monsters University (cute movie, but a little long…), played in the backyard with a new baby pool and Slip N’ Slide, did a Target run, had breakfast at our favorite spot on the water, did a lot of housework and a little yard work and even squeezed in a nap or two somewhere along the way.

Here’s to another fun-filled summer week! We are finishing up swim lessons and have plans to visit some parks this week… finally!

being 20 random things. summer vacation style.

06/26/2013

note: it took me over a week to write all 20 of these, so… just go with it.

one. So You Think You Can Dance is back, which means that I’m going to cry over some crazy ass contemporary style dancing all summer.

two. I’ve officially survived two days of summer vacation.

three. I’m exhausted.

four. Can we just take a moment and appreciate this? Because, ohmygod. Andria posted these last night and I can’t stop staring at them. Seriously. Hello. Way to capture a moment, AL.

five. I organized my closet by color last weekend and there is something about it that is so comforting to me. Like, I can feel my blood pressure settle a little bit every time I open my closet.

six. We’re taking the kids to Wild Waves this weekend. Good idea or bad? I can’t decide. I’m hoping that it’s not raining, although, I’d rather have it be raining than crowded.

seven. I just browsed through the newest editions on Nordstrom and couldn’t find a single pair that I was obsessed with to share with you. Scratch that. I couldn’t find a single pair to share with you that was under $400.

eight. I think the most I’ve spent on a pair of shoes was around $250 for a pair of Frye boots. I’ve worn them about a dozen times in the six-years I’ve owned them.

nine. We took a little online poll about what Kanye and Kim would name their baby. My guess was that they’d name her Kanye West, because we know how Mr. West feels about himself. I’m pretty sure he only had a baby with Kim because he couldn’t have a baby WITH HIMSELF. I have to say, there were some pretty hilarious suggestions.

ten. Today, I calmed a frantic soon-to-be-kindergartner mom who was consumed with mommy-mill rumors. Can I tell you how fantastic it is to have your second child start school? I think I’m actually enjoying Meg’s kindergarten experience because I don’t feel like my head is spinning with the unknown. It’s really lovely.

eleven. There’s a new Kidz Bob version of Macklemore‘s Thriftshop. It’s pretty good. Especially when I still add the “motherfucker” parts.

twelve. We should go to this. Want to?

thirteen. I wish that my single girlfriends would give me little calling cards with their picture on it that I could discreetly slip to the single guys that are always working at this Starbucks. It would be so helpful. For all of us.

fourteen. Swim lessons. Every weekday for two weeks. It seemed like a really great idea when I registered and I’m sure that I’ll be pleased with the progress that the kids have made at the end of next week and really, they’re loving it. BUT, swim lessons is totally ruining the flow of my day. Lessons for all three kids, back to back to back, keep us there from 9-10:30 a.m. and by the time we get home, they’re wiped, hungry and semi-cranky, which means that the morning swim session is pretty much our activity of the day. Swim lessons, you’re cramping my style.

fifteen. My first book club is this week. From what I hear, I should hydrate for the next two days in preparation.

sixteen. I bought Macklemore tickets today. I originally had four amazing reserved seats in my basket, but something funky happened and the page accidentally refreshed and I lost them. And, I nearly cried. After trying for another hour, I finally got my hands on two general admission floor seats, which means that we’ll be in the crowd at the Key. Better brush up on those mosh-pit skills from the old days. (I’m not kidding.)

seventeen. We popped up to Menchie’s after dinner tonight, mostly to just get the kids out of the house for a few minutes and get some fresh air in their lungs before bedtime. I was disappointed with what I picked. Such a letdown. The whole thing tasted like plastic to me.

eighteen. Tonight was the first time ever that we’ve walked to Menchie’s without someone falling/tripping on the way there or the way home. It was a small miracle.

nineteen. My to-do list for Wednesday: Run. Clean the bathroom. Swim lessons. Play date for Janie. Housework. Eye surgeon appointment for Janie. Prep dinner. Work. Hopefully be in bed at midnight.

twenty. There is a jicama in my fridge right now.


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