Thursday, January 30, 2020

Things I Love Thursday // 1.30.19

  • Trader Joe's Beef & Broccoli - What do ya know? It's another Trader Joe's go-to from our house to yours. You'll find this in the freezer section next to the Orange Chicken (Yum!) and Chicken/Vegetable Fried Rice (Love!). The package contains about 2 meal-sized portions when serving with rice. If you're also making Orange Chicken, potstickers, or an additional side dish, then the bag could stretch to 3-4 smaller servings. Preparing it on the stovetop is simple and takes about 15 minutes. While it is best served crispy from the pan, the girls enjoy this one in their lunches from time to time as well.

  • Celebrate! - My favorite event of the year is right around the corner! As many of you know, I have been volunteering with the Children's Theatre of Charlotte for years. (This year, it has been my honor to serve as President of the Theatre's volunteer organization, Encore!. If any of you local peeps are interested to hear more about how you can get involved, do let me know.) Regardless of your availability to volunteer your time with me, attending the annual fundraising gala is open to the community and a MUST. The theme this year is Back to the 80's (music, arcade games, heavy appetizers, and themed cocktails from the open bar --all included in the ticket price). Yes, you should dress for the theme. Yes, you should purchase your tickets today. Yes, I will be the dance floor waiting for you to join me!

    Celebrate! moments from years past --in varying stages of sobriety.
  • Wrinkle Warriors - Here I am again, behind the times on what I assume many of you have already been enjoying the benefits of: RETINOIDS. Wow. Wish I had started with a topical vitamin A serum a long time ago... better late than never, right? After a lovely lunch with girlfriends about a month ago where the topic of retinol was discussed at length, I did a bit of research (googling) and read a lot of articles --both sciency (definitely a word) and beauty-based. After being convinced of the benefits, I found this article in Marie Claire to be the most succinct and helpful in providing a simple, reasonably-priced starting point for an over-the-counter, topical treatment plan. My favorite of their suggestions (I have been using 3 of the 4 products for about 14 days) has been the Roc night cream. I can feel it working as a pleasant heat that feels almost cold (does that make sense?) blooms across my upper cheek/under eye area upon application. I have noticed minor flaking/peeling during makeup application --which is a nuisance but assures me that it's doing its job. 

  • Snacks - I love snacks. Because my schedule is never the same from one day to the next, I especially love easy, grab-and-go snacks that are low in refined carbohydrates and sugar (two things that I try to be thoughtful about limiting). These individually portioned "California" packs of salami and provolone cheese are great! I find them at Costco and get 8 packs for about $11 in the store or a couple dollars more through Instacart. The downside: bad breath. I apologize in advance. 

  • Musicians - This little monkey plays the French horn. Despite being nervous as hell and understanding all the extra work she was potentially adding to her already full plate, she auditioned for and made the All-District Middle School Symphonic Band. All of that anticipated extra work was packed into 16 hours of rehearsals over a day and a half followed by an amazing concert performance (that overlapped her first soccer tourney of the season). To say that these student musicians were impressive would be an understatement. Both our girls play instruments and have from 3rd and 4th grade, respectively. They have both wanted desperately to quit at one point or another because music can be challenging and their lives get busier and become more “their own” over the years. Despite the emotional protests, my husband and I remained united and clear: quitting was not an option. I’m happy to report that we've all survived the rough patches (so far). As one Band Director said this weekend, "I've met countless adults who say, 'I wish I had never quit playing my instrument.' But I have never --not once met someone who said, 'Gosh, I wish I had quit.'" ;) Cheers to this phase of their musical adventures where both seem to be enjoying it!

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