So… what did we do?

This isn’t going to be beautifully written.

There is writing to be done, deep, personal writing, but I wanted to start out by just giving you a somewhat gritty, no-nonsense look at the actual changes we made in our life and schedules that we followed this year.

If you have not yet read the first post…. do so here…

Ok. Here we go.

First thing we did was pin point areas in our life that we wanted to attack.

I am going to go through my personal process, some of which overlaps with Dan’s…. but he was very much on his own journey , so we will talk to him about that in a later post.

I made an actual list.

Things that caused me daily annoyance.


  • Morning routine (waking up already feeling behind, cooking breakfast for the kids while Dan was trying to get out the door to work, me getting myself ready while the boys were running rampant, getting THEM dressed… you get it….)
  • My energy (I wanted to get us off this roller coaster of either being squeaky clean of our health….. to being totally reckless and eating pasta right out of the pot while texting Dan pictures of melted cheese as if I was sending him nudes… like…. oooh baby…look at what naughty things I am up to… you know you want in on this cheese…. )
  • My closet (this goes hand in hand with the frustration with getting myself ready in the morning, feeling rushed and almost always just grabbing a sweatshirt and some comfy pants paired with a bumpy messy bun and a side of yesterday’s eyeliner to run out the door)
  • Too much random stuff. (I’m talking tinker toy sticks everywhere, little random blobs of plastic that you cant even remember where it came from and yet you just keep ‘organizing’ it in another random bin. Did I use the word ‘random’ enough in that paragraph? ok good.

It was long…. but golly it felt good to write it all out.

And then I just started going through the list one by one and found solutions.

I wasn’t kidding when I said one of the most liberating moments of my life was when I threw away ALL of the sippy cup tops and bottoms that had been shoved in our cupboard and bought each kid one stainless steel water bottle.

Ohhhh…. and the joy of dumping all of those lone socks that had been floating around their closet…. for years…. and getting them new socks of one color so you never have to pair another sock again in your life…. I mean…. its the little things, man….

But let’s dive into some of the big things.

And trust me when I say, it took many nights of Dan and I sitting down, and talking about how to tackle the big things.

We have always put our kids to bed early. Since those twins were three months old their bedtime has been 6:30.

Now that they are a bit older and there is a third kid in the mix it is 7:00, 7:15 ish… but that has always been a non-negotiable. Dan and I have our evenings to ourselves. We cook our dinner, pour our wine, talk about our days, listen to music, throw in the occasional hip hop dance off, and just…. be together. It is the best.

But to carve out some alone time we had to switch it up a bit.

Weeknights NOW look like this:

Dan comes home from work around 5, I usually have the kids sitting down eating their dinner. We sit together, the kids spew everything we did that day to their Dad, maybe Dan plays some guitar, maybe Finn throws some squash, during December we lit candles and sang songs as a part of our advent, but this is our version of a ‘family dinner’….

….at 5:30 one of us takes the keys to the car….. and peaces out.

Dan takes a Monday/Wednesday, I take a Tuesday/Thursday… some weeks we switch…. the general idea is we give each other a smooch and say “see ya later alligator, enjoy your time.”

The one at home finishes up with the kiddos dinner, gets them in a bath, pj time and stories…. and night night kids!

The one with the keys gets to go…..wherever…. and alone. GLORY!

Dan goes to the gym. Every time. He lifts. He sits in the steam room. He has made friends with every employee. That is his happy place.

Most of the time I go to the gym too. I swim and enjoy the silence of being under water…. I don’t swim in a lane. I swim in the ‘free swim area’ like a little kid and just kind of swirl around and smile. I go on the stairmaster, The goal being to get stronger for hikes, here I listen to my favorite podcasts or books on tape. I run on the treadmill, slowly and more of a wog…(half walk half jog), I watch Survivor on my phone and plot my future victory. I sit in the sauna, the steam room, the hot tub…..sometimes the hot tub is ALL I do…. There are times I am completely alone, other times I find myself immersed in a conversation with Don, the 90 year old grandpa who still swims laps every day. I shower…. For as long as I want…. I use yummy smelling soaps and shampoos I bought just for my gym bag, I dry off in a fluffy towel. I put on my pajamas and drive the 10 mins home feeling like a new woman.

In the summer sometimes I drive straight to the beach. I walk slowly and think, or run fast and pretend I’m one of those girls that do that sort of thing. Or I lay on my belly and read a book and let the low sunlight warm my thighs, maybe take a dip…. that is always a good idea.

By the time we come back from our lone adventure, the person who put the kids down has started dinner. We sit together and chat, and on these days, we don’t turn on the TV. We eat together, albeit late, but what do we care? I’ll take a 9:00 steak dinner made by a man I’m in love with after a dip in the ocean any day…..

The other thing we added to the routine is after dinner, we snuggle up in bed… and read. Books have always been my thing, but this is something that is new to Dan, to sit and enjoy reading, so that has been nice to see him find a new way to relax.

Ok, you still with me? I’m about to drop another big thing on ya….

Food…. and everything we put into our body…

This was huge. Since having the twins we have done a dozen or more Whole 30’s… Don’t know what a Whole 30 is? There is a mountain of information that you can find out on the good ole google search bar. But you can also read the book, ‘It starts with food’.

…but the gist is… no sugar, no dairy, no bread/pasta/good stuff for 30 days. Reset your body. And then after those 30 days you slowly reintegrate things back into your diet and identify what triggers you or just doesn’t make you feel good. And we have always felt incredible while doing them. But if we weren’t doing one…. we slowly let old habits creep in.

Let me be real. Dan and I are secretly fat kids inside.

Like, we don’t like to tell people about it…. but we can seriously get dirty with food.

And we love to drink. period. I’m just being honest.

We have spent 11 years having a rockin’ good time…

But in your 30’s what comes with the ‘good times’ is the next 10 days feeling lousy…. tired… bloated…. slow.

So how to still have a rockin’ good time, but cut out all the crud that is making us feel not so great? That was the question…

And I think it is mandatory to do this part together.

Because to replace old habits with new ones is tough! You have to have one strong person when the other feels weak, you need to link arms and pour that La Croix that rhymes with enjoy and forge ahead together on this new path.

We changed our mindset from a 30 day cleanse that has ‘results’ or an ‘after’ to ‘We are changing the way we treat our bodies… indefinitely. We owe it to ourselves, to our children, to put in the time, to do the research, and to make health a priority.’ I mean, it sounds so cliche…. like I’m about to sell you something (don’t worry, I’m not) but that is pretty much exactly what we said.

I read or heard somewhere that Americans will do endless research when it comes to buying something like a car…. but when they walk into a grocery store to buy ground beef, they will pick the cheapest, bulk price lump of meat and call it good.

We didn’t follow a diet. We just did endless research, shared with each other what we were learning, replaced all of the old habits with things we were genuinely excited about, and now a year later, can confidently say we have completely changed the way our family looks and enjoys food.

(Ok but what did you do?)

We start each morning out with a green smoothie.

  • collagen powder
  • one date
  • almond milk
  • kale
  • spinach
  • almond butter
  • frozen bluberries
  • chia seeds

This is just what we have landed on that makes us feel the best throughout the day.

We don’t keep ANYTHING in the house that we doesn’t make us feel good.

For lunch is like whatever makes you feel good, in the summer it could be a salad from the garden, right now I am on a ‘snack platter’ kick…. (nuts, uncured salami, dried peaches, broccoli, leftovers….whatever floats your health boat).

And for dinner we cook a healthy FEAST. This I think was/is important for us.

To cook a delicious meal together and sit down to eat it has always been our thing. I am talking full on rib eye steaks with roasted potatoes, home made aioli, and caramelized onions and mushrooms. All local ingredients, no added bullshit, just delicious and made us feel good and strong. None of this handful of carrots and a side of broiled chicken. But we did have to say goodbye to pasta dinners, enchiladas, pizza, things that we loved, but made us feel like yuck.

If I had to connect our eating style to something mainstream, I would say it’s closest relative is Paleo.

We grew a garden full of our own vegetables. I could write a whole post just on the joys of this….. oh wait, maybe I already did 🙂

We got bad ass Yeti water bottles in fun colors and drink A TON OF IT.

We researched vitamins and supplements and how they work in your body, which ones actually make it into your bloodstream and which ones are a waste of money…. and now we take them. (read ‘Naked Calories’ and don’t be scared away by the cover photo 😉

But of course we also do this….

If we are at Prima Bistro, and it is a special date night, we share a bottle of wine and each get our own creme brulee (you don’t share a Prima dessert… you just don’t) after the pork belly and duck fat potatoes….. (you should really go to Prima…..)

If I am driving the kids home from a hike from Deception Pass and we want some drive thru fries… we get them once in a while.

We haven’t gone completely insane…

But to change the food in our HOUSE. What we eat daily and habitually. To not be on or off a wagon. To just be enjoying what we eat and knowing it comes from…. to not be having a drink or two every night, but only on occasion or when we want to….those are big steps with monumental changes in our bodies.

OK. Morning Routine. Last one for today…

Morning routine really just came down to Dan and I communicating what we wanted/needed in the morning.

Dan needed to get ready for work, shower, make his smoothie, pack his lunch, get right for the day…. but he wanted to see the kids before he went.

I needed….. not to be feeling like a crazy person.

Those were the basic goals.

But once we talked through it, it all became pretty simple.

Because we put our kids down to bed early, they get up early.

So at 6:30 in the morning we have little guys trickling down the stairs wanting to build legos and start their days.

We used to fight this.

Please just sleep a little longer… ok fine…. you play…. but mommy and daddy are going to lay here in bed.

But what did that actually accomplish?

Morning routines NOW look like this:

First kid wakes up and comes down the stairs….

We get up too, we don’t fight for that 10 extra minutes of what isn’t even sleep. We are rested, there isn’t any need for it. We just get up and make ourselves a cup of coffee.

We sit on the couch.

We drink our coffee and watch our kids kind of groggily start playing. Usually cars and legos. We spend this 10 mins all together before the hustle and bustle start. And its wonderful.

Then Dan goes off to shower, I start breakfast…

The boys have eggs and bacon or sausage with toast and fruit every morning. They are beasts.

By the time breakfast is done, we say goodbye to Daddio for the day and so begins our day……….

I feel so silly writing this all out. But I know I am always fascinated by other families routines and what works for them, so I am just assuming if you have made it this far, you are like me…. you just want to know… what do other people do?

This is just a part of what we did. But here ya go…..

I am going to dive into how I changed up the kids routine, my closet and style and some more personal thoughts in the coming weeks…. reflecting feels so good doesn’t it?

I am sure my close friends are sick to death on hearing about this… it’s no real discovery by any means…. it’s just that it feels so gosh darn good to feel good.

until next post… cheers!

next up…. wearing my joy


  1. Cindy Mason

    Love you, Rachel. You are such a wonderful inspiration and you and Dan are parents extrordinaire! If you would like to come over on one of your Rachel nights, we would love it! You Phillips rock! Love, Miss Cindyfaerie 🧚‍♂️💕🥰

    • Rachel Phillips

      ahhh Miss Cindy, my biggest fan 🙂 we adore you. Thank you for your support, it means the world, share the blog with the moms at Playscape, I never get to go anymore…. wah….

  2. Rachel I am SO enjoying your blog esp. the one about teaching riding lessons to mom’s! LOL! miss you! -lisa

  3. This is so great 😊. We have been making changes a lot like what you are talking about also. It’s refreshing to hear your accomplishments and routine. BTW I started taking collagen peptides a week ago and LOVE it. Health is so important and too easy to ignore day to day but, those days surely add up! I think it’s funny to hear about your closet. I had watched a few Marie kondo episodes and did the biggest clothing organizing and donation haul ever! I’m doing the same color sock thing that you speak of, that is genius! Great read. Now I must read the others!

    • Rachel Phillips

      The closet one is next and ooooh its a doozy! lol. So glad youre doing something for yourself, its such a game changer 🙂

  4. Rachel Briscoe

    I am loving this to bits! There are a lot of parallels in our lives… you are a refreshing soul, RP!

  5. Just really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your routine and how just starting builds upon itself. It’s an inspiration!

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