SOCIAL MEDIA

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 4.2.20

  • April Jones Day - Today is April Jones Day. I'm sure some of you already knew that. For those of you who didn't: April 2nd is my husband's birthday and many moons ago, his friends dubbed the day "April Jones Day." It stuck. Quarantine birthdays are new to all of us but some traditions are easy to execute. We all wore our felt crowns this morning (as we do for any celebration). The girls are baking him a yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting. We will enjoy it with his favorite ice cream, chocolate chip. We usually have tacos for his birthday dinner but with all the at-home dining these days, a takeout order from one of his favorite restaurants felt more celebratory --so that's the plan for later. His gifts are small and (I'd argue) more thoughtful this year. There are a few material surprises wrapped among our homemade cards; however, the big gift from the girls and I are individually made coupon books that we filled with offers --specific to the things he most enjoys and can be accomplished/cashed-in during this time of sheltering-in-place. A surprise for all of us and a highlight today was definitely the giant sign in our front lawn that had been planned and ordered by his team at work. Hilarious and much appreciated!


  • Homemade Ice Cream - Let me tell you... now is the perfect time to bust out that ice cream maker that you registered for all those years ago and put it to good use! Find a recipe that requires eggs and cooking --because you'll enjoy the process and the product so much more. Piper did just that over the weekend and made an outstanding batch of coffee ice cream that went far too quickly around here. We are all looking forward to her next creation!


  • Thoughtful Deliveries - In times of crisis and strife, generosity, love, friendship, and thoughtfulness certainly abound! Over the last week alone, I have had been moved by stories of neighborly/community love and support from cities and towns all across the country --and have been on the receiving end of the most thoughtful and unexpected gestures of friendship and caring. Last week, I wrote about a surprise delivery of fresh cut flowers and this week has brought a gorgeous sourdough starter kit, fresh biscotti & gently used puzzle, and a perfectly-timed supply of disinfectant spray and wipes! I continue to feel as though we've won the love lottery. I'm sure I'm not alone in this... What are some of the ways your friends and neighbors are showing up for one another?



  • Liberate Your Palate - I've written about this amazing, interactive, fun, and educational mixology platform before. If you're in Charlotte (or nearby) you have got to check out Liberate Your Palate! I've had the pleasure of a public class, a private-in-home class (to celebrate a friend's birthday), and now I get to enjoy these hand-crafted syrups (delivered to my door) over the next couple weeks in both cocktails and homemade sodas. While we are unable, at this time, to attend a class in-person with the ever charming and lovely owner/operator, Tamu Curtis, we CAN and should treat ourselves to a virtual class with her via her Instagram platform. This first batch of syrups sold out; however, I have it on good authority that she's planning another offering soon. Follow her feed and don't miss out! 


  • Dinner that I did not have to make - Inspired in part by my girlfriend, Laura, and also due to some extenuating circumstances, I decided this week to hand the dinner reigns over to our teenagers (13 and 14). Laura was definitely braver and more imaginative than I was --in that she let her kids (4 of them!) plan the menu, write the shopping list, and then execute on the meal. In our case, I had a meal planned already (pasta and a salad) but realized that both husband and I were "booked" during the early evening so I gave the girls the recipe, walked them through a few of the instructions, and then abandoned them. Wow! Not only did they love doing it, they also made an excellent meal --one that we will add to the rotation, for sure: Bon Appétit Pasta with Brown Butter, Whole Lemon, and Parmesan. "Dinner by the Girls" is going to become a regular feature in our family. Do your kids help cook? When did you first start making complete meals?


  • Picnicking - It's a simple idea that feels much bigger than you'd think. Even if it's just in the backyard --I must recommend an outdoor picnic! With a lunch or snack in-tow, grab a blanket and a family member or two and head outside. Bring a book, magazine, dice game, or napping pillow and soak up some vitamin D and relish in a change of scenery. 


Monday, March 30, 2020

Recipe Review | Skillet Enchiladas Suizas

It's been a minute since I shared a recipe here. I've been compelled to do just that because this week we tried an excellent new dish that is absolutely delicious and super easy to make! If you've been following along, you'll know already that some of my girlfriends and I have been sharing recipe and meal ideas on a group text chain recently --as we are all doing a lot more cooking than normal and like many, are running out of ideas. My girlfriend, Amy, shared the idea of skillet enchiladas. She didn't follow a specific recipe, but was inspired by the one I'll share with you now from Southern Living Magazine (August 2018). 
Not only is this recipe super easy to pull together, it is also very versatile. Amy made her's with browned, ground beef and red salsa. I made mine with shredded rotisserie chicken and red salsa. I'm sure it would be great with any shredded or diced, cooked chicken or ground turkey too. Any shredded cheese will do. The recipe calls for fresh cilantro but I didn't have any --so I used a couple green onions, diced. You could kick up the heat by adding a small can of green chilies, chipotle pepper, red pepper flakes, or diced jalapeños. The dish came together so quickly that I didn't have time to throw together the caesar salad I had planned to serve with it --but my family did not mind because they just served up extra big portions of the enchiladas.


Skillet Enchiladas Suizas
~

What you need:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced (1½ Tbsp.)
1½ tsp. cumin
1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1¼ cups tomatillo salsa (I used red salsa)
4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup sour cream
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, torn
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) (I used a Mexican blend)
For serving:
1 small avocado (diced), fresh cilantro leaves
(We did not have cilantro so I substituted green onion)
~

What to do:
  1. Preheat broiler to HIGH.
  2. Place oil in a medium-size cast-iron skillet, and heat over medium, swirling to coat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. 
  3. Add garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in drained tomatoes and salsa. Simmer over medium-low, stirring often until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in chicken, sour cream, tortillas, and ½ cup of the cheese. Top evenly with the remaining 1½ cups of shredded cheese.
  6. Transfer skillet to oven, and broil until cheese is lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. 
  7. Top with avocado and sprinkle with cilantro (or in my case, green onion).
As I mentioned above. The recipe is super versatile. I hope you'll try it and let me know what you think. If you make other substitutions and improve upon the recipe, be sure to circle back and share your edits! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 3.26.20

  • Tiger King (Episode 1) - If you're like me, one of the few who haven't yet burned their way through the entire docuseries "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" on Netflix, I encourage you to believe the hype. I'm only one episode in and already I am baffled, disturbed, confused, alarmed, fascinated, and so, so entertained. Also, I'm in love with the idea of Dax Shepard playing Joe Exotic in the biopic. Yes, please.

  • Virtual Happy Hours - Feeling a little isolated? Have you tried a virtual happy hour or coffee date yet? There are a lot of platforms available and surely you and your friends can find a common one to try together (FaceTime from your iPhone, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Houseparty). While the audio can be a little stilted and it's certainly not as good as in-person --these little "hellos" go a long way toward helping me feel connected to my friends when we can't be together. My book club is going to try to have our monthly meeting next week using Zoom --I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

    Please enjoy my manicure and quarando.
    I put on my eyebrows and a little mascara --as to avoid scaring my friends.
  • The Bookface Hashtag on Instagram - Are you a reader and on Instagram? If so, you will probably love following the hashtag "bookface" (#bookface). When you follow a popular hashtag, your account will not be inundated with every single post that uses said hashtag --but you will get a daily sampling and I've been fairly impressed with some of the creative ways people celebrate books in this way. I hope you are too! Below is a sample. Not sure the woman on the bottom left is doing it right... but cheers to her for playing along!


  • Heather Cox Richardson - According to her Facebook page (which is where I discovered her), Heather Cox Richardson is "a political historian who uses facts and history to make observations about current American politics. [She is] from rural Maine, was educated at Exeter and Harvard, and [is currently] a professor of History at Boston College. [She] writes books about the American past and articles about modern politics." Each night, she writes a summary of the day's events in a concise, straightforward, and highly readable post. If you're not on Facebook and cannot follow her there, you can find her on Twitter. And if you want to be sure to not miss an update, I strongly encourage you subscribe to her website "Letters from an American" where she publishes these brief summaries. If you subscribe, you'll receive one brief email each morning. There are no ads. The summary is the same whether it is posted on Facebook, Twitter, or on her website. The website version is fully cited, in case you're looking to check sources and information. 


  • A Surprise Delivery - Y'all have heard me rave multiple times about my sweet friend Laura of CityStems. Not only is she exceedingly talented, she's also one of the kindest, most generous, and thoughtful peeps around. I love her --even when she isn't dropping my doorstep during a quarantine and leaving a lovely bunch of fresh cut flowers for me to "play" with and try to arrange. I have taken one SkillPop "Flower Arranging" class --so I had an idea of where to begin... Obviously, it's nothing compared to Laura, but it was so fun to create it myself. If you have an opportunity to surprise a friend, neighbor, or family member during these strange times, go for it! We could all use a distraction and some love! (BTW, SkillPop --another of my "loves," continues to offer virtual classes and you can explore them here.)


  • Meal Idea Thread - One of my great friends, Sarah, recently started a little group text with a handful of friends and neighbors who like to cook. While we do get sidetracked (often), it's a simple place where we are sharing pictures and recipes of the meals we are feeding our families during this time of SO MANY MORE meals at home. My family is running out of ideas (as well as ingredients) so this thread has helped generate inspiration. More than that, it's offered laughs and camaraderie, a place to vent (just a little), and verification that indeed, snacks, leftovers, and takeout are most definitely strong offerings at mealtime and also, our kids/teens can and should pitch in --a lot.

    My submission from last night: nothing fancy.
    Burgers, roasted brussels sprouts, homemade potato salad

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 3.19.20

  • Working in the garden - Good for the soul and good for the SOIL. *chuckles to herself* For her tenth birthday, we gave our daughter a garden. She wanted a phone. Since then, the garden has been loved and ignored depending on the year. Last year, it was ignored and now it is in terrible shape. It's going to take a lot of work to get it back and guess what?? We have a lot of extra time right now. The girls cleared the beds the other day and I've been spending time in the afternoons pulling the weeds between the containers. In an effort to freshen and prepare the containers for a new growing season, I ordered what might be enough soil for the entire neighborhood. Oops. I'm pretty sure we have this year's freezes behind us so I hope to have some things planted by this weekend. I look forward to keeping you informed!

    Birthday Girl 2015
    Neglected Garden before/after 2020
    Exactly how much is a "cubic foot" anyway?
  • Our School District & Community - One of the major concerns regarding the closing of public schools across the nation has been keeping programs in place that feed children breakfast and lunch, daily. I am so impressed with our own district and the swift action that they've taken in order to continue providing free breakfast and lunch to every child under the age of 18. These meals are available for drive-by pickups at 70 campuses across our district. Thanks to the organizational efforts of local chef and restaurant owner, Christopher Sottile and the generous donations of many Charlotteans, there are also many local restaurants that are providing addition food for children. If you know someone who might benefit here in Charlotte, please share this list. I also love that many of the grocery stores in our area are providing "senior only" shopping hours for those in the highest risk category and some are even offering free delivery to local seniors. 


  • Card Games, Board Games, Puzzles - Sweet, simple, fun --Oh, and the nostalgia is pretty awesome too. Honestly, it's been ages since we busted out our deck for Sleeping Queens. It stands up! Certainly, not a hugely strategic game --but playful and fun while we're talking about other things. Have you ever played The Game of Life with your kids? When the girls were little, we used to insist that they "name" their spouse once married (and then name all their kids too) --was fairly insightful at the time but I don't think they'd fall for it now. They learned how to play Texas Hold 'Em a couple summers ago (Thanks, Uncle Ben) but it's time to wager more than candy and work on their betting strategies. I firmly believe that poker is a lifeskill. What are your family's favorite board games (for teens)?


  • Humor on the Internet - We all need a giggle right about now and some of the homeschooling memes and tweets out there are hilarious: Here's a good list. And have you seen any of the hysterical threads where people who are trying to work from home share what their kids are doing but call them "my co-worker" in the sentence? Wow. Funny, funny stuff! There are a lot of co-workers refusing to wear clothes, a lot of employees cannot recall the last time their co-workers brushed their teeth, there are lots and lots and lots of snacking/hungry co-workers, and my favorite entry from this thread has been, "My coworker cut his own hair. My other coworker was supposed to be doing math work on Khan Academy online but instead was playing Teen Titans Go when the coworker cutting his own hair came to tell on him. I want to quit this job."


  • Amazon Prime Workouts - Did you know that if you're already subscribing to Amazon Prime Video then there are hundreds of free "Exercise and Fitness" video workouts available that you can do at home? I did not. Now I do. The girls and I tried yoga this morning. It was great. If anything, there were too many options to choose from. News Flash: G does not like yoga (unless it's with goats). She did hang in there for a solid 15 minutes though. Tomorrow we will try something else. Any ideas? Any favorites? Also: There are a lot for young kids too! So if you're looking for a PE substitute for your own homeschool program, have a look!

    Let me know if you'd like to see a tutorial this week on my "Quarantine Hair"

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 3.12.20

I waited until this afternoon to even begin typing up my list for the week. I hesitate because of the state of things in the world with regard to the Corona virus pandemic (and more specifically, our lack of tests), the bear market, and the lack of real leadership in this crisis. These are serious and troubling times --does anyone really want to read about necklaces, sandals, and pajamas? I'm not sure. However, (clearly) I've decided that I want to take a few minutes to write about them (and the girls) in order to focus my energy and attention toward a few little things that I feel joyful about --despite my anxiety around what looms on the horizon. So here we go...

  • Soccer Sisters - Y'all! For the first time ever, the Jones Sisters are playing together on the same soccer team and I am over the moon for them. Yesterday evening in their second game (and perhaps last --considering the scope of the pandemic) of this middle school season, they started side by side as center defenders. Love. Love. LOVE. Go Pirates! 


  • GLDN Circle Friendship Necklace Sets - Instagram Ad victim hero right here *points to self*. These lovely necklace sets came across my feed a couple months ago and I ordered them for myself and three girlfriends who live too far away from me. When put together, they form a circle. Ah-dorable. They come in sets of 2, 3, or 4 --14k gold overlay or sterling silver, and three different lengths. I think they would also make a great gift for moms and daughters, between sisters, or bridesmaids. The packaging is perfect. The company sent me all four necklaces, individually boxed. My necklace had a different card inside --the other three had cards for gifting to my friends. They also included 3 padded envelopes to use for sending my gifts after I filled out the cards. 100%


  • Sorel Ella Sandals - This weather. So lovely! I sat outside on the patio for lunch today and it was such a welcomed feeling. I bought these sandals before the holidays and I have yet to bust them out. I see you, Spring and I'm ready to walk all over and through you in these. I love the neutral colors of the "Ancient Fossil" style I chose --but there are MANY color options. If I were in the market for another pair, the "Ash Brown" is fantastic with a slightly metallic sheen over the toe. I love the flat sole and leather accent at the heel. The elastic bands over the top are super comfortable. I'll wear these with all of my dresses, skirts, and capri-length pants. Can't wait!


  • My ear piercings - Almost 35 years ago, when I was about eleven or twelve, I was allowed to get a second piercing in one of my earlobes. My ears were first pierced when I was two. Sometime during middle school, my older brother decided he wanted an ear pierced. We went to the mall. The policy then (and may still be the case) was that you were paying for 2 earrings and 2 holes. He just wanted one. I got the other. Several months later, after not caring for it properly --or something like that, he had to go back to have it done again and rather than even-up my piercings (2 to an ear), I decided I'd like to add a third on one side. Later, in college, I pierced the top cartilage (and took poor care of it). In my 20s, I went on to pierce my belly button and my nose --I honestly don't remember in what order. It was a blurry time of my life. Both the nose and belly button jewelry came out in the following years. The fourth ear piercing never quite healed right. And I stopped wearing earrings in my second and third holes. However, I have recently become a fan of wearing small pieces in those second and third holes --which remarkable never closed! Maybe my mid-life crisis --or maybe it's just fun. In any event, I like it. My "Capricorn" earring set was an Anthropologie gift from my friend, Simone. The set is on sale now --though limited to Virgo, Cancer, Libra, and Sagittarius. I like these sets because they have a perfect assortment of tiny and interesting options to mix and match. 


  • Jammies - I've blogged about these jammies before and I find that I'm needing to again. I love them that much. It might be an obsession. I literally don't want to wear anything else when I am home. When it's time to get dressed in the morning (after carpool --obviously), I experience sadness in having to take them off. As soon as it is socially acceptable, I change back into them at the end of the day. If I were not on a "spending hiatus" (Yes, it's true. Until August. More on that later.) I would buy a set or two in different colors/patterns because this plaid set is beginning to fill up my photo album and I feel as though my morning carpool kiddos might enjoy a new lewk for me. If you're not on a spending hiatus and want to treat yourself to a wonderful present, consider purchasing a pair of these true-to-size (now marked down to) THREE DOLLAR jammies (limited quantities). 
    Styled here with a navy cardigan sweater, cat slippers, and favorite Amazon sunglasses

Sunday, March 8, 2020

What I've Read Recently // February 2020

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller
Adapted from Goodreads:
She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words.  Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.
What I thought: 10/10
This book was totally upsetting and totally uplifting. It is, without a doubt, worth your time and attention. The copy I read was checked out from the library and as soon as I was finished reading it, I ordered a copy for our home. I think everyone should read this book. The system is broken and the way victims are treated is outrageous. Miller does an unbelievable job of putting the reader in her shoes as she navigates her way through the days/years in the aftermath of her assault. Her voice, through her gift of the written word, is powerful and compelling. The subject matter is obviously challenging. With excellence and candor, Miller is able to put her experience on the page in a way that is honest, shocking, emotional, and also profoudly readable. I loved this book.


Inside Out by Demi Moore
From Goodreads:
In this deeply candid and reflective memoir, Demi pulls back the curtain and opens up about her career and personal life—laying bare her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, her struggles balancing stardom with raising a family, and her journey toward open heartedness.
What I thought: 6/10
I agree that Demi gave us a look inside --especially as it related to her early life and experience with her parents, childhood abuses, and abandonment --all linked to her parents' addictions and toxic relationships. It's no surprise that her "childhood" resulted in feelings of unworthiness, fear, and inability to connect interpersonally with others. These early-years passages were honest and unflinching and made me feel as though I understood what lead to her troubled adulthood. Having said that, I didn't find much beyond these first chapters to be impressed by. I found the tone of the storytelling to be shallow and lacking much self-reflection. There was a lot of blame placed elsewhere and not enough responsibility-taking. If you're looking for a great Hollywood memoir, read Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe instead of this.


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottleib
Adapted from Goodreads:
As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients' lives -- a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can't stop hooking up with the wrong guys -- she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to her own therapist.
What I thought: 8/10
This was a great book! I thought it was funny, honest, warm, and useful. As a therapist, Gottlieb is full of compassion, patience, and wisdom. As a patient, she is vulnerable, uncertain, and self-doubting. Her writing style is conversational and in peeling back the curtain on both sides of the couch, she is able to show us what good therapy ought to look and feel like. As far as the writing style and format, I loved the movement between therapist, patient, and parent, and young professional. The passages are interesting, helpful, insightful, and entertaining. I certainly learned a lot as a side-effect of enjoying this book.


Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham
Adapted from Goodreads:
A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name. When she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult, a forensic psychologist must determine if she is ready to go free. 
What I thought: 8/10
I very much enjoyed this psychological thriller! The story is told through the perspectives of Cyrus Haven, a forensic psychologist and Evie Cormac, the mysterious victim of unspeakable childhood trauma. The first in a series (that I can't wait to continue), this book revolves around the murder of a prominent young ice-skating champion. Robotham uses this compelling and suspenseful storyline to introduce the reader --in bits and pieces --to Evie's back story and Cyrus's own tragic past. All three of these strands are woven together in a natural flow that, while complicated, never feels forced or gimmicky. I look forward to the next installment to see how Cyrus and Evie continue to develop their relationship.


The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Adapted from Goodreads:
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
What I thought: 9/10
This is a small book with a giant story to tell. While the characters and setting here are fiction, this book is based on the true and horrifying Dozier School for Boys in Florida which only recently closed its doors in 2011. Whitehead reveals so much heartbreak and tragedy in this work --it's tough to read; however, it deserves your attention and time. I loved Elwood and Turner who came to life on the pages and I know you will too. Remarkably, despite the horrendous injustice and brutality throughout, this book is also beautiful and full of grace. I hope you will pick it up.


The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Adapted from Goodreads:
An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master's Son follows a young man's journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world's most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea. Part thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master's Son is also a portrait of a world hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.
What I thought: 6/10 (Listened on Audible)
Ugh. I'm so conflicted about this one... Occasionally, I really liked it and sometimes I absolutely hated it. For all the rest, I felt: meh. The story is certainly ambitious --spanning one man's life but squeezing in enough twists and turns for the character, Jun Do, that it felt easily like it could have been the lives of six men. I did not find the characters to be very believable --but I'm not altogether convinced that the author intended them to be. I found it difficult to distinguish imagination from fact-based research throughout the books description of life in North Korea. Perhaps I would have had an easier time understanding what I was supposed to glean from the book had story been set in a dystopian/fantasy setting versus the very real North Korea. Because Johnson presents his world as North Korea with such (misplaced?) conviction, I kept getting snagged up on having to swallow (ox protein, anyone?) the countless unbelievable details which left me feeling disconnected from the story (and fairly irritated too). So in the end, I'm left floundering. I really didn't enjoy much about this book.


The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by Ron Lieber
From Goodreads:
New York Times “Your Money” columnist Ron Lieber delivers a taboo-shattering manifesto that explains how talking openly to children about money can help parents raise modest, patient, grounded young adults who are financially wise beyond their years.
What I thought: 9/10
I found this book to be very readable which was a huge bonus because the topic is so important. Financial literacy is a life skill that any functioning adult needs to have in their toolbox --but so often, we leave these conversations with our kids unspoken. The other important takeaway for me here was the discussion about teaching gratitude to kids who are growing up in a household of abundance and comfort. The book covers a lot: charity, expenses, budgets, decision-making, etcetera. Not only does the book introduce real situations --Lieber also provides some tangible and applicable tools for giving our kids room to practice financial life skills before we send them into the world of consumerism and credit. I recommend this book to anyone desiring to raise adults. I wish I had read it when mine were 6-8 years old --but even at 13 and 14, there's still time to create a learning environment that will set them up for better success once they're on their own.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 3.5.20

  • Camo Butter-Soft Shirt - I found this crazy-soft camo shirt by No Boundaries at Walmart several weeks ago and lucky for you --it's widely available online. The material is stretchy and incredibly comfortable. Needing something to wear over a workout top and leggings, I purchased an XXL (I'm normally a M). The extra big size allows the hem to come just past my bootie (I'm 5'6"). The sleeves are obviously long in this size --but not ridiculously so (and the top is cute with the sleeves rolled a bit too). If you're not into the front knot, other reviewers mentioned doing a french tuck --which leaves me wanting this shirt in my "regular" size too!


  • Homemade Hummus - I absolutely LOVE homemade hummus and I've been using the same well-worn recipe for years. I can't remember where the recipe is attributed to but I've found this exact replica from The Modern Proper (with gorgeous photos too) for you to bookmark or print. The thing I love most about this version is the fresh lemon juice and zest that adds a perfectly bright flavor twist to a classic. And now I have found an almost-as-delicious store bought substitution! Sabra's new Lemon Twist Hummus is dangerously good! While not quite as creamy as homemade, the zippy lemon flavor is done really well here. You should give it a go!
  • Homemade Sneakers - Well, they're not really "homemade" --except that I did get to design them myself. These Nike Air Force 1s were fun to make and I'm so pleased with how they turned out. Nike lets you choose the colors for nearly every aspect of 15+ shoe styles (soccer cleats, basketball shoes, running shoes, lifestyle...). These would make a great gift! Many styles can be customized down to the personalized embroidery addition.



  • Dermaplaning - I treated myself to a hydra facial and first dermaplaning session last week and I couldn't be happier with the results. Dermaplaning is an exfoliation procedure that uses a sterile surgical scalpel to shave the surface of the face to remove dead skin and peach fuzz. Benefits include: deeper product penetration, removal of soft hairs that could otherwise trap dirt and oils, minimizing the appearance of acne scars, and reducing the appearance of fine lines. I had my treatments at The Center for Women's Aesthetics in Charlotte (lovely, lovey --highly recommend if you're in the area)--but the service is widely available at spas everywhere. Many people do their own treatments at home. I am in no way promoting that you do that; however, if you do --please consult an expert.


  • Easy Dinners - This new "pumped up" salad in a bag is quickly becoming a go-to for dinners between school sports and club sports. (It's so tasty though, you'd likely enjoy it --even if you weren't eating out of a tupperware in the car!) One bag of Asian Inspired Salad Kit from Whole Foods, a handful of shredded rotisserie chicken, and a couple tablespoons of Trader Joe's General Tsao Stir Fry Sauce (or something similar) and you're good for 3 generous "meal sized" portions. Fresh cabbage, cilantro, celery, shredded carrots, crunchy wonton strips, and toasted almonds pack the dish with flavor. Just toss the shredded chicken with some extra sauce (or not) and dump all salad kit ingredients together in a bowl. Toss with dressing (included) and serve --or pack in containers for when you pick the kids up from one location to drive them to another.