Feel Good Friday 72
Our weather this week has been summery and while that may seem a very trite opening, I will follow it with this gem: Wilder has been refusing to wear shorts or take off his fleece jacket. Tuesday I let him wear his jacket to school. His teachers reported he wouldn’t take off. The one time they were able to coax him out was at rest, but he had to still put his hands inside the sleeves. Then Wednesday morning, Chris was away again, and I had a sobbing, screaming toddler who was distraught over wearing shorts, begging for me to change him into pants. And he wanted that damn fleece jacket. The high that day was slated to be 86 degrees. I forced him into shorts and we compromised with a sweatshirt over a t-shirt. By the time we got to school he was in hysterics again and refused o get out of the car. I am a monster for not making him sweat it out in fleece that day, obviously. Part of me wanted to so he could see the error of his ways, but he’s SO stubborn that it wouldn’t have done any good. On Monday afternoon when he wore his fleece jacket under the 75 degree afternoon sun and I asked him f he wanted to take it off, his answer was, “No, it feels really nice outside.” So that’s how my week is going. Thank goodness for good food, good books, good movies and a sprinkle of retail therapy. By the way, this post is a long one, but feel free to just read the bits you’re into. Or read it all because you’re a good friend. Or my mother.
A little man on a mission headed out the door for his Easter morning egg hunt
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Let’s Start with My Favorite Topic, Food
At the beginning of the year, we resolved to try one new recipe each week. I am proud to say that 14 weeks in, we’ve already tried 23 new recipes! At the end of this month, you can look forward to a more in depth of all that we tested in March and April, but for now, a couple recent favs.
On Easter Sunday, we decided to have a simple brunch with the five of us. For Chris and me, I made eggs in purgatory from Half Baked Harvest, my number one go-to source for recipes. This dish has a bit of kick to it, and is topped off with fresh herbs, crumbled feta and a nutty sesame chili browned butter. Chris and I both really enjoyed it! It’s a simple dish to prepare and perfect for a vegetarian meal any time of day. Also, the irony of eating a dish named after purgatory on Easter is not lost on me.
For the picky eaters of our household – aka everyone but me and Chris – I made another breakfast dish from Half Baked Harvest, French toast sticks. I mean, you can’t go wrong with french toast sticks that have drizzled brown butter and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar. Plus, let’s not forget the dipping syrup. I sampled one to make sure they tasted OK, but I couldn’t tell. So I sampled a few more. The answer: yes, delicious! I really need to order Tieghan’s books because I am such a fan. Her photography is food pornography and I am here for it.
The night before Easter, we decided to try lime-cilantro grilled shrimp from Skinny Taste. Chris actually prepared these because touching uncooked shrimp is not in my skill-set. So while I can’t tell you if they were easy to make (but I do believe so!), I will tell you they tasted great! A lovely combination of spring flavors. We paired this with a kale and Brussels sprouts salad with creamy lemon dressing from Every Last Bite. I did opt not to add bacon as I don’t eat meat. I absolutely loved this salad, and finished mine. Chris looked at my bowl and said, “Want the rest of my salad?” He wasn’t a fan. But if you, like me, are in the 3% of weirdos who genuinely like the taste of kale, you’ll enjoy this salad, too.
Speaking of Food…
I mentioned last week that I’d just started working with a health coach (more to come on that once we’ve made more progress). Before you question me, let me tell you that my goal is not to lose weight, although I would like to build more muscle. Truly, what I desire most out of this is a healthy relationship with food and my body. She’s helping me work towards that and I can honestly feel and see a difference. I’ve started telling myself that it’s OK to eat things I would normally dub as “bad” and I’m understanding that food is neither good or bad, but different foods serve my mind and body in different ways. I’ve gone through this past week without shaming myself when I eat something I’d consider a poor choice. And the fact that I’m allowing myself to eat what I want makes me desire the foods that don’t bless my body less. Because we all know that when we take things away from ourselves, they become all the more desirable. This past weekend, I sent my coach this article from The Chalkboard because it embraces the mindset I’m after. While it comes easy to some naturally, I’ve got a past with trauma and a subsequent unhealthy relationship with food and eating disorders that are always there in my subconscious.
A Book To Be Shared
And I don’t mean with you. I mean with friends. For April, my book club selected Laura Tremaine’s Share Your Stuff. I’ll Go First: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level. I LOVED this book! Each chapter poses a thought provoking and introspective question which the author then proceeds to answer from her life. At the end, she poses the question to you, the reader, and adds some journal prompts. I did go through the journaling exercises with this book and remembered some pieces from my past I’d long forgotten. The question that really got me: When did you belong? All of the times in my life that I remember truly feeling that sense of being with my people are in the times that I’ve been creatively expressive. When I was a freshman in high school I landed a part in a local production of Bye Bye Birdie and discovered many new friends who loved theater and singing as much as I did. At my high school, I hadn’t fallen into the theater group, so I always felt a bit like a strange outsider amongst my field-hockey playing friends. In middle and the first two years of high school, I sang in choir. Singing with that group always felt like home to me. I quit when I freaked out about trying out for the madrigals. Looking back, I regret that I didn’t audition because, to be honest, I would have made it. My choir instructor was even pressing me to go for it. But I let my fear get in my way. And lastly, O.Henry magazine is a place of belonging for me. We all embrace our weirdness there – and that’s the stuff that makes the best kind of writing. Looking back at these three times that I felt like I truly belonged, it’s been when I’m surrounded with people who aren’t afraid to show the world who they are in a creative way. I’d love to start this conversation with you, if you feel so inclined. When did you belong?
Next Book Up
One of my absolute favorite authors just released a new book this week! I preordered it so it arrived Tuesday and I already dove in. Jenny Lawson does it again in Broken. She writes with such relatable realness and humor like no other. Do yourself a favor and get it.
A Fascinating Read
Last week, a reader (Hi, Shawn!) sent me a fascinating piece from Harper’s Magazine about an animal whisperer. We recently worked with one (Hi, Erika!) and I can’t deny their skills. This particular article is about a crow whisperer and SO so good. Question: Do you buy into the woo? You know I do! Our animal whisperer, Erika, actually told me once that she’d been a skeptic until she started receiving messages from animals and they were undeniable.
Academy Award Nominated Film
As you know, I’e been working my way through some of this year’s Oscar nominees. Pieces of a Woman stars Vanessa Kirby as a woman who loses a baby in a home birth and follows her grief and relationships after the devastating loss. It’s not nominated for best film, but Kirby is up for best lead actress. After watching it, I see why. Her performance is incredible. Ellen Burstyn is also fantastic in it. This movie is raw and painfully beautiful.
Since I now actually go to work, I want to revamp my wardrobe a bit, thoughtfully and little by little. I haven’t made it out to a thrift store in a while, but I do want to be as conscious of a consumer as I can. Everlane is one of my go-to shops for sustainable and ethical selections and when they released this eyelet dress, I ordered it immediately! A bit of a splurge for me, but I know I will wear it often and it can be dressed down or up. Plus, it looks ridiculously comfortable – like a stylized 1960s muumuu. Wear your pajamas and look nice? Sign me up.
Local Tulip Farm
Last week was spring break here and Friday afternoon, Emmy and Wilder and I piled into the car, scissors and buckets in tow, to head to a local tulip farm. I was worried that by Friday evening all of the flowers would be chopped down, but there were tulips a-plenty, much to my relief. Wilder thoroughly enjoyed playing in the sand and checking out the old tractor. Emmy and I loved perusing the assortment of colors. I wish I had a photo of my final choice because they were a striking sanguine – dark and luscious and they fit my end-of-break-being-a-single-mom mood. Enjoy some photos from our trip:
And for Laughs
In the afternoons, I walk my dogs with a friend. We strolled by this plot of garden in front of a house, and I said, “OOOH Stop! I need a photo of that. And this is where they buried the body.”
I mean, it even has its own little cemetery bench. Of course, after I took the photo and said that, the man who lived their popped out from behind a car so I explained that I just found the shape of his dirt mound funny. He explained what it was from but was hard to hear. If there’s anyone missing locally, this is the first place I’m sending the cops.
Well, that was a lot this week! Hopefully something in it spoke to you, or you ignored me, much like my family does. I’m used to it. Water off my ducky back. 😉 Have a wonderful spring weekend!