Feel Good Friday 74
Big news here: we are finally potty-training. While I usually like to run a few miles four times a week, this week I worked on my hallway sprints, making several runs to the bathroom for false alarms, not-in-times, and successes. Wilder turns three early next week and I really wanted to get the ball rolling on this. He’s resisted in the past and there have been meltdowns, mostly from him but I’m not immune. With the added stress of the last year, I just decided it wasn’t worth it. But now, come on, Wilder. You’re almost three. Man up. Or at least learn to pee sitting while mom helps you aim down so she doesn’t get sprayed in the face. We also chose this week because Chris took time off and potty-training is not a one woman job. I mean, it could be for some, but I am not that woman. I prefer a team effort, complete with cheerleaders and some players hiding in the dugout – do not put me in, coach! Anyhow, I’m happy to report that we’re making a lot of progress. I’m truly grateful for all of the moments of joy and laughter this week that helped take my mind off of how many pairs of underpants (x) one child could possibly use in one day. ( x = 7.) Let’s get to the goods, shall we?
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Food, Glorious Food: Four Recipes
Last weekend I had the chance to hit a couple of local farmers markets and was thrilled to come home and try some new recipes with my finds. Plus, I’ve got a couple other good ones in here for ya. Did somebody say banana bread? Did somebody eat it all? Me. I did.
I bought beets at the market and knew the greens could be used, but wasn’t sure how. Pinterest to the rescue! I came across this recipe for “easy sautéed beet greens” and they were indeed as advertised. Chris ate his but made no comment, so I don’t think he loved them, but I was a fan! More leftovers for me. The greens just reminded me of spinach and the stems were tasty and rich in nutrients. Also, please remember when you go to the bathroom later that you ate beets stems and you are not, I repeat, are not bleeding internally.
My photo came out terribly of the next farmers market item we tried so there’s no use in showing it, but it was this peach arugula salad with basil mint vinaigrette. I had purchased arugula and mint at the market, but we got our peaches down in Harris Teeter, not Georgia. This salad sounded absolutely refreshing and perfect to pair with seafood. Well, I totally forgot to add the herbs (oops!) but it was still delicious! I chose to toast my almonds a bit to give them a little nuttier flavor. Next time we’ll actually use the herbs, too. 😉
We ate the peach salad with dijon almond crusted tilapia that was SO simple to make and absolutely delicious! I really couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was. We’ll definitely make this again. I also recently came across a pistachio crusted salmon I want to try.
The last recipe I tried this week was a paleo banana bread. In all honesty, I was baking it for a friend who is going through a rough patch. Actually, I promised her pumpkin bread but I had no pumpkin in my pantry. Plan B: I decided on a healthy banana bread option, but I added chocolate chips. As one does. Of course, our oven baked it a little faster and it turned out too dark to give to a friend, although not too burnt to eat. Emmy, Wilder and I all enjoyed it! Loved this recipe and will bake it again but keep a better eye on it. As for my friend, I went with Plan C and brought her Prosecco. Note: It’s now Thursday and I am editing this post and the bread is in the oven. True to my word, I am making it again and keeping an eye on it.
A Sweet & Hilarious Movie
Last weekend, my turn to select out family movie came around and I landed on a film I’d been wanting to watch: Hunt for the Wilderpeople. OH MY GOSH, we were all cracking up! This New Zealand production centers around Ricky Baker, a chronic foster child, who lands in a home with a woman (who’s so excited to have him) and her curmudgeon husband. When she unexpectedly passes away, the two men are off on the craziest and funniest adventure of a lifetime. Check out the trailer:
A Quick and Thrilling Read
Full disclosure: I received this book from a publicist who occasionally sends me new releases. Mirrorland hit bookstores this past Tuesday and is available now! I started this book last Thursday while Wilder napped, took it with me to read at soccer practice and continued to read it into Friday night when I finished. I couldn’t put it down! It’s about twin sisters who are grown and one lives in Scotland in the house they grew up in and the other has moved to California to get away. The Scotland sister goes missing and is presumed dead, but her sister feels she isn’t gone and returns to their childhood home in search of answers. She finds both answers and memories she’s buried deep inside of herself about their dark past. I LOVED this book – if you like thrillers, give it a read!
Farmers Market Days
The farmers markets have been reopening and filling up with vendors this month and I finally made the time to get out and stuff my big reusable tote. It’s great when you can support local farmers and makers plus buy products you know are generally healthier and cleaner. Like the cookies and chocolate chip scones I brought home to my fam. Healthy.
Would you look at that freshly made cheese? The soul inside of my body loves cheese and probably lived a past life in the wine country of California or perhaps Italy, but the forehead attached to this body is like “Please limit to less than a toddler’s serving or I will smite you.”
And I had to document the beauty of this loaf of sourdough before my family of heathens ripped it apart with our teeth. Ok, so we did use the knife to slice it, but still. We’re animals when it comes to fresh bread. Picture a pack of coyotes feasting on prey. That’s us with a loaf of bread in the middle.
Check locations near you to see if your markets are opening back up.
Beach Condo Airbnb
If you’re looking for a place to get away in Ocean City, Maryland, you’ve got to see this condo my friend Angelique designed. From the hanging banner to the mint Smeg, from the windows – with the beach views – to the walls, I am smitten! Book it here.
All Dosed Up
This week I received my second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccination and it went swimmingly. My arm was a little sore, but otherwise I felt totally fine. Plus, I got free chapstick, so watch out world. When it’s safe again, I’ll be hugging and kissing with my luscious, balmy lips. I am feeling so grateful for science and progress, socially as well. I also feel grateful to be living in a time when those who commit wrongful and racist actions are being held accountable. Maybe we’re finally going to start changing the world for the better.
Perks of the Job
Why yes, that is a pygmy hippo, and yes, I was that close to it. It’s fine. I wasn’t scared of those teeth that could pierce straight through my torso at all. Actually, we had a little snugglefest after this shot. Kidding. Greensboro is home to an incredible science center and last Friday morning, I got to meet with the Executive Director for a tour of the new space that’s about to open in May, including a behind the scenes visits with some of the new animals, like this guy. Glenn, the director, was an incredible guide and offered me so much insight and knowledge. This center is focused on ecological preservation as well as animal conservation. The animals they have are meant to breed to help grow their populations. I could honestly go on and on about my day there, but I’ll just tell you that when I got in my car after, I texted my editor and said that I’d just had the best day ever. If you are anywhere within driving distance to Greensboro, I encourage you to visit. Revolution Ridge opens May 22 and we’d love to have you in GSO!
Little Moments We Hold So Dear, Unless They Include Worms
Actual quote from the above photo: “Mom, I have a worm for you.” He said it very sweetly, and I had to sweetly say in return, “No, thanks.” Wilder loves to pick up creatures of all kinds but hasn’t yet figured out that I’m not as much of an insect/creepy crawly enthusiast. Yay bugs.
A sweet friend brought over a bunch of clothes for Emmy, including a few pairs of shoes. Wilder was digging these heels and feeling fancy. (That’s his “cheese” smile, even though it looks like he’s in excruciating pain. I mean, he may have been but we all know that you have to just grin and bear it through heels.)
Lastly, this week with Chris being off, he and I had a lovely afternoon trail walk while Sawyer was at soccer practice, and Wednesday I took a long walk through a local cemetery and park with my editor. We’ve become close and felt like it was time to take our friendship to a new level. I mean, you don’t walk through graveyards with just anyone. As we headed out, we walked by this adorable florist’s shop and I was smitten!
Speaking of local shops, I will be headed out to a local bakery to pick up cupcakes tomorrow for my boy! His birthday is Tuesday and we’re bringing cupcakes to school for snack time. I am sure all of the parents will thank me when they pick up their sugared up kiddos. What can I say except, “You’re welcome!?”
And on that note, have a wonderful weekend. Get outside, eat some sugary treats and balance it out with farmers market veggies. 😉