Thursday, January 23, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 1.23.20

  • Girls' Trip - My 14YO and I just returned from a fantastic Girls' Trip to Houston, Texas where we each enjoyed the company of one of our dearest friends, separately. ;) When G and her best friend from summer camp started talking about getting together for a visit, I reached out to one of my longtime besties who lives in the same (enormous) city to see if we could pull off a choreographed weekend. Thankfully, it all penciled out without any difficulty. After arriving in Houston, I drove G to her friend's house and dropped her off (after a longer-than-planned and enormously enjoyable visit with her friend's mom) then hopped on the freeway and headed north to arrive for a long weekend with my friend Amy and her family. We each had an amazing time and made lots of great memories doing all of the things that bring us joy: visiting, eating, exploring, relaxing, laughing, did I mention eating? So cheers to saying, "YES" and making things happen.

  • Sorel Sneakers - I took these babies with me on our trip over the weekend and they were perfection. I love the way they look and am obsessed with the wavy sole. They are so comfortable that the fact that they are cute too is honestly just a bonus. I worried about the "sock" fit a bit (no adjustability with laces or even the strap --other than to make it tighter), given my very high arches but after I wiggle my way into them (with a little effort), they are roomy without being loose. I do think that the versatility justifies the price tag. They are true to size; however, if you run between sizes, go up.

  • This Egg Thing - My friend Miranda has a blog and a big following on Instagram --her stories are gold. She mentioned this "rapid egg cooker" from Dash the other day and I immediately ordered one. I love hard and soft boiled eggs so much that I've resorted to purchasing them peeled in those plastic bags from the grocery store --and they're FINE that way, really (so I guess I have low standards --but not "meat and milk from Amazon" standards). But fresh is always best. As soon as it arrived, I gave it a try. I made 2 "soft" boiled eggs to begin. They were absolutely perfect... for a matron in England, I imagine. The white was a little too loose and milky for my taste so I tried the next setting and they were perfection! Apparently, my preference and what I have been calling soft-boiled eggs for years now are actually "medium-boiled." Medium boiled eggs have solid but soft whites and runny, bright yellow yolks. There is a third setting for hard boiled and an insert for an omelet (haven't tried it) and another for poached (perfection over my beef fajita leftovers for breakfast this morning). I love that you can cook 1, 2, 3, and up to 6 eggs at a time. There're no timers to remember or debate about when to add the eggs to the water (when it's cold or after it's started boiling?). There's no "boil the eggs for this long with the lid off and then "remove from heat, cover, and set a timer for this long" either. I'm telling you, for me, this is a game changer. Some reviewers have complained about the buzzer. The company may have changed it because my "buzzer" is more like a jazzy little tune --albeit, a loud, jazzy tune.

  • 49ers - Speaking of GAMES... the San Fransisco 49ers are going to the SUPERBOWL! We are not a sports-fanatic family by any stretch --but do and will always root for our Bay Area teams: Niners, Giants, and Warriors. We couldn't be more excited to cheer on our team in the big game coming up... not this weekend, right? Next weekend? I think so. (See what I mean? No worries. I'll find it. Greg will help.)

  • LipSmart - This is definitely a splurge item and it would never have even made it into my hands if not for the generous gifting of my friend, Carrie, on my birthday. But now she's created a monster because I love it! Honestly, I hadn't even looked it up until this moment so that I could share it with you and then I hesitated a bit because it is so pricey... The good news is that a little goes a long way. All of my skin dries out in the winter --especially my lips. I can honestly report that LipSmart makes an immediate difference in the dry/lined look and feel upon application. It has a slight tingle but none of that "bee sting" nonsense. It feels silky and not a bit sticky. 

  • Home-Roasted Bell Peppers - Another little take-away from my trip out to see Amy in Houston was learning to make roasted bell peppers. We (mostly Amy!) put together a delicious meal on Sunday night: Fiesta Bowls (something I have actually never prepared with my family --even though we all love a good Taco Night). Amy made cilantro-lime rice, black beans, and corn. She grilled chicken, onions, and fresh jalapeƱos. I took the job of roasting the peppers right on the gas range then peeling, slicing, and drizzling with olive oil. There was fresh cilantro and lime wedges, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsas and hot sauces... everyone built and enjoyed their perfect bowl (or two). It was lovely. I will definitely plan this for dinner soon and now that I know how to roast peppers my stovetop will never be the same. #Truth --and worth it.

  • Amazon Prime - OK. We've been Prime members for a very long time. It has always calculated as a good deal to pay for the Prime membership and not pay shipping. However, having signed up so long ago... I sometimes feel like I'm late to the game on some of the more recently offered services. I have tried Subscribe and Save (not a fan --I can't get our quantities and delivery days to work consistently). I eventually tried some kind of "pantry" option some time ago (where you add things to a "box" over the course of several days until you have it full for delivery) It was Eh. Today I was stuck at home with some work to do around the house and desperately needed to get to the grocery store for a few items. I visited our local grocery store's online system (Harris Teeter) and filled my "cart" for their delivery option (not a typical move of mine) and because I was going to pay a small delivery fee, I went to town restocking our needs. As I was adding things to my cart, I felt like the prices on a few items, in particular, were really high. I opened a second window and looked for them on Amazon. The prices there were a fraction of those at HT and the delivery options were within hours of placing my order. In choosing a 2-hour window, I paid no service fee. There was no knock on the door --no followup text or email asking me to tip my delivery person. Just three bags of groceries on the porch within hours. Is this a thing that's just available in my area or have y'all been enjoying this service for ages? It should be noted that I kept the fresh diary, meats and produce in my delivery from HT and only ordered pantry/household items from Amazon --but all of the grocery items were available through Amazon --I was just too skeptical this first time to try them because where are they coming from? Is that weird? Have you bought things like milk and ground beef from Amazon? Would you? 

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