Things I’m Loving Friday #465

Hey friends. How are you? How is your week going? I’d honestly really, really love to know. Hearing about how other people are doing or what is going on outside of our home feels like a breath of normalcy so if you’re up for sharing, I’d love to learn a little bit more about how life is treating you lately. Anything exciting happening? Any fun plans on the horizon for the summer? Please share!

Our week was okay, all things considered. I actually celebrated my 38th birthday yesterday (see more on that below) and felt a lot of love. Ryan was traveling (he returns today) but we chatted multiple times a day and I filled my week with usual kid commitments and also managed to get in some quality time with friends in the form of long walks (my favorite way to catch up!) and my girlfriends also came over and surprised me with gifts and cards and treats after the boys were in bed on Tuesday night.

I’m ready for the weekend ahead (plans include a fishing derby and two soccer games) and hope to find my way back into more regular blogging next week. Thank you for being here.

Things I’m Loving Friday

As I mentioned above, my birthday was Thursday and it’s kind of crazy to think I am 38 years old. In one breath, I definitely don’t feel 22 anymore but in another breath 38 feels like a true adult, a true grown up. When I take a step back and think about how I’m feeling at 38, the past 2 weeks of grief not withstanding, I’d say I’m feeling more complex yet more comfortable with myself. I feel more complex in that there’s so much more I think about that weighs on my heart every day but I’m more comfortable with who I am, what I want out of life, who I surround myself with and the family Ryan and I have created together. This is honestly something I may write a blog post about because I have a lot of thoughts about “growing up” after you’re “grown up” but I’ll save those thoughts for another day.

As for my birthday, I spent it with our boys. (Ryan was actually out of town on a work trip but sent flowers and worked on cards and surprises for me with the boys that he hid before he left which made me smile.) I was supposed to make my way to Patterson Farms with the boys’ preschool for a day of strawberry picking yesterday but the weather derailed our plans so we pivoted and filled the rest of our day with rainy day fun: Board games, homemade ice cream, early pajama time and stories. It was a calm, uneventful day but it was also a good day.

It’s been a hot second since I’ve found myself as obsessed with a series as I have become with the A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR) series. It’s a phenomenal blend of fantasy, drama, humor and romance (it’s steamyyy) and despite the fact that the second and third books in the series are dictionary-size novels, I flew through them and didn’t find one single page or chapter tedious or mundane. I loved every page and very chapter and am trying to drag out the fourth book in the series because I don’t want the experience of reading these books to be over. I know I mentioned the first book on this blog a few weeks ago but I can only say the series explodes and gets SO MUCH BETTER as you keep going. If you’re on the fence about this series, give it a shot and by the second book, I have a feeling you’ll be all-in on this one, too. I don’t want to share plot summaries about the second and third books in the series because it would give away too much but know my ratings for both the second and third books would be a solid A. Love, love, love them. These books have truly been a gift for me especially during a time when I’ve needed an escape and a little spark of joy in my life at the end of the day.

It’s been four months since we moved into our new home and I am so, so happy to report we finally have grass. I cannot tell you how thrilled we are to have grass in our yard instead of messy red clay, especially with three very outdoorsy boys who practically live outside. We expected to have grass a long time ago but an unseasonably wet winter kept delaying things. The timing of our grass seemed to coincide with warmer temperatures and sunny spring weather so we are beyond thrilled to have a yard with soft, lush grass where our boys can play for hours and hours.

Our previous home had a small backyard on a significant slope so it wasn’t ideal, though our boys 100 percent thrived in our previous yard and spent hours looking for slugs and worms under all of the rocks.  A huge part of the reason we purchased the lot we did was for the flat backyard and lake access. Home is where we’re all happiest and Ryan and I said having grass down and the ability to actually enjoy our yard and land is pushing us into “Phase 2” of our move into our new home: The outside era! We are ready for it!

Isn’t it weird how you find yourself gravitating toward certain music depending on your mood or what you’re going through in life? Elton John is my guy right now. I grew up listening to his music thanks to my parents but something about his music is landing perfectly for me right now. It’s not too crazy or intense. It’s not too upbeat or happy. It’s also not too depressing or sad. It’s just a perfect blend of nostalgic, comforting, beautiful and peaceful.

A few weeks ago I purchased a makeup bag with adhesive letters on it for my friend Laurel when she came to visit. I actually wanted it to have numbers on it but the little boutique I visited did not have any numbers available. (My idea was for her bag to have the room number of the room we shared in our sorority house — Room 12 foreverrr!) Anyway, all of this lead me to eventually Google to see if I could find adhesive numbers which then led me to discovering a mega-pack of these adhesive letter stickers. I quickly realized I could buy a bunch of them to use for future gifts and projects. I can see these being perfect for birthday gifts (a mini backpack or purse for a little girl), makeup bags, teacher gifts, mini tote bags, pool bags and more. This discovery had me a little too giddy (I’ve already made two makeup bags for girlfriends you may see above) and am excited to continue to put them to use for fun personalized gifting!

Below you will find a recap of the top 10 most popular blog posts and your top 10 favorite items from April 2023. Hopefully this will help you discover some blog posts you may have missed or help you easily locate an item I’ve mentioned in the past that got buried in blog/social media mayhem.

Top 10 Blog Posts:

Your Top 10 Favorites:

  • TUL Pens (No lie, another pack of these pens was one of only two items I had on my birthday “wish list” when my mom and sister asked me what I wanted for my birthday. These pens have officially claimed the “best pen ever” spot on my semi-ridiculous list of pens I love.)
  • Beauty By Earth Sunless Tanning Lotion (Clean ingredients, applies like lotion, looks natural and doesn’t smell. My fav!)
  • Diamond Painting Stickers (These were in the big kids’ Easter baskets this year and they’ve been a hit.)
  • Amazon Free People Dupe Jumpsuit (The crazy-comfy jumpsuit that looks just like Free People’s Hot Shot Jumpsuit!)
  • Biggie Beads (I love how many of our kids are obsessed with these things now! Our boys ask to do them all the time.)
  • Elk & Friends Glass Cups with Silicone Sleeves (The cups we got the boys for Easter. Dishwasher safe and the blue/gray/green color set we got was finally restocked again.)
  • Amber Glass Soap Dispensers (The dish and hand soap dispensers we have in our kitchen. They’re beautiful and have held up really well — no corrosion! — in the 4+ months we’ve had them.)
  • Instant Pot Air Fryer (Our countertop air fryer! We truly use this multiple times a week.)
  • Dr. Brand Liquid Sun Shield (The sunscreen I wear on my face every single day. I swear it functions almost like a primer, too, and makes my makeup look better when I apply makeup on top of it. Also worth noting: It also has zero white cast!)
  • (I have no idea why these popped up as a best seller since I blogged about them so long ago but maybe an old blog post gained traction somewhere on the internet and they got some attention? Whatever the reason, I stand by these as the best jean shorts, especially if you have a booty and hips.)

Easy BBQ Meatloaf (This recipe will forever remind me of our engagement/early marriage days because it was a recipe I made on repeat 10+ years ago. It continues to be a fav in our house!)

Easy BBQ Meatloaf

Chocolate Chia Seed Protein Pudding (Aka what I had for breakfast 3x this week!)

Chocolate Chia Seed Protein Pudding

Question of the Day

How are you doing? I’d love to know. Anything exciting happening in your life? Any fun summer plans on the horizon?