Feel Good Friday 76
Whew! This week was a total whirlwind. I am working on a collaboration I am super excited and passionate about because it’s all about promoting the amazing area we live in, but it had me running all over town and then some this week. I am ready for Mother’s Day so I can just relax with my feet up. Hahaha, not quite. My parents are coming, so I will be spending Sunday cleaning toilets. Yes, I could let the family clean, but I can’t let go of my standards. Plus, isn’t it just so fun to clean toilets! I kid. Despite a crazy busy week, I managed to make time for myself and my family with books, shows, music, exercise and even trying a couple new recipes. Let’s get to the goods this week!
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It rained pretty hard early this week and my peonies burst open! These pale yellow beauties are in our front yard, as planted by us. We only have a couple of newer plants, so I don’t cut any stems off of them. I will say, I miss the plethora of mature peonies in shades of pale pink, white and raspberry that graced our front garden in Maryland. The flowers were plentiful. I hope the new owner enjoys them, but sadly, from what I’ve heard, he’s not the peony type. It appears he may be growing some other, ahem, plants.
Last weekend we had ideal spring weather. Chris fired up the grill to make burgers for him and Emmy and I prepared this super simple halibut to toss on. As you can see from the plate, I also had Chris grill farm-fresh tatsoi for me, which is similar to bok choy. To prepare it, I simply halved it and sprinkled with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I roasted beets from a local farm to top the tatsoi and Chris and I agreed that they were the best beets we’d ever had! And as you can see, he grilled asparagus. Between the beets and asparagus, going to the bathroom following this meal was interesting.
Wednesday evening I headed to a girlfriend’s house for a cozy evening in with her and another friend. Her husband and my husband were both away, so it was nice to get together with a delicious, healthy meal, wine and good conversation. I brought this quinoa tabouleh as a side/appetizer. I had an event to go to before, so I needed something I could make ahead. The taste was really fresh and light, but I think it could use extra lime and seasoning.
A Relatable Read
Over the last few years, several people have recommended Glennon Doyle’s Love Warrior to me. Last year, I read Untamed, which was my absolute favorite book of 2020. Love Warrior is very much about learning to love yourself as you are and it hit me at a good moment in life, when I feel ready to receive that message. This book was so raw and honest and depicts Glennon’s personal struggles with bulimia and alcoholism and addictive behavior in general. I am taking a deep breath before I type this next part because it’s very hard for me. If you’ve read this blog for a while, I’ve told you before about my past with anorexia, but I’ve not told the whole truth. I struggled with bulimia for years. What changed me was becoming a mom, just as it’s what made Glennon want a healthier life. Knowing that I needed my body to carry a healthy baby and that I needed to be a good example caused me to take a hard look at myself. That baby will be 16 this summer. Bulimia is such a shame-filled and dark secret, so I appreciated Glennon making me more comfortable in being honest with you. At almost 43, I’ve just finally started taking strides in loving my body for me. Loving it as it related to my kids was one thing, but loving it for me is another thing altogether. I have friends who are my age and are going through things right now that also make them doubt themselves, their bodies. I want to give them a hug and tell them they’re beautiful just the way they are, but to do that, I need to believe it about myself, too. For now, I think this book will do as that hug and I will pass it on to my friends who need, not to come to terms with who they are, but to look in the mirror and be 100% in love with the person looking back.
Speaking of bodies . . .
I so appreciated this post by Emily Henderson. She’s one of my favorite designers because her rooms are rad, but she also does an amazing job of keeping it real. In this post, she shares honest opinions on a large variety of bathing suits and shows herself in all of them. First of all, I will say, I think her body is beautiful as it is, but I also appreciate that it’s not airbrushed perfection. She also makes a point that I completely agree with: Growing up, our generation was the one that saw waif-like and lean model perfection on television and media. I remember the early days of Kate Moss well. There were not too many examples of realistic body types portrayed to us which caused a lot of shame in how we saw our own imperfections. Finally, in the last 10 years, companies have started to use real shapes and sizes in their ads and images and I truly hope it does wonders for the girls watching now, like my daughter. I hope that she never struggles like I did.
I was told there’d be cake
In an effort to love my body more, when there’s cake, I don’t deprive myself. I don’t eat the leftovers every day, but I let myself have a nice big slice to celebrate Wilder’s birthday this past weekend. My neighbor and friend, Wendy, just finished creating her LLC for her baking business. We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy her cakes and cookies over the past few months. When it came time to think about Wilder’s cake, I enlisted her, knowing we’d get a delicious and beautiful cake!
She knows he’s into construction trucks, so she ran with that theme and created a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting (I figured simple flavors for a three-year-old palate!) That adorable topper is an iced sugar cookie. Around the perimeter, she added trucks, signs and traffic cones. As you saw from his expression above, Wilder looooooved his cake. And the rest of us did, too. We’re still working our way through it.
If you’re local and looking for a cake or cupcakes for any occasion, I will be happy to pass on Wendy’s information! I mean, look at that little traffic cone!
A Movie for the Whole Family – Teens and Toddlers
After we had cake Saturday night, there was no way we were getting Wilder to bed. Chris mentioned a new movie had come out on Netflix: The Mitchells Vs. the Machines. Oh my goodness, it was so good! It’s an adorable movie with so much great humor! With a cast that includes Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, Conan O’Brien and even the Legend-Tiegens, it’s gotta be good. I was afraid it might be over Wilder’s head since the premise is a family road trip to take teenage daughter to college , but he was captivated. We stayed up until 10 p.m. to finish it. If Wilder and I stayed up that late to watch, you know it’s worth seeing. Check out the trailer:
Speaking of sitting on the sofa, Guess who’s back!
I was late to The Handmaid’s Tale party and didn’t watch it until last spring, when I binged the first three seasons. Season four is now out on Hulu and I just started watching it this week. So far, so terrifying – in the best way. Blessed be the fruit.
A Musical Duo
These days, the most I hear of newer music is what Emmy plays. But I have always loved folk music and tend to listen to old favorites like The Civil Wars or other singer/songwriters from my younger years. My editor, who is 8 years younger than me, introduced me to Shovels & Rope, and I am smitten. This song, Birmingham, is their most popular and a fun place to start. The one she played for me was Lay Low, which is really beautiful. (Also, obviously these are actors in the video and the duo doesn’t consist of children.)
Little life moment
Not the most fun gift for a toddler – or so I thought – is bedsheets. I spied these construction truck sheets at Pottery Barn Kids and had to get them for Wilder’s birthday. To my surprise, he was thrilled! After we washed them and dressed his bed, he wouldn’t get out the next morning because he enjoyed looking at them in daylight. He made me remove everything but him from the crib so that he could look at every single truck on the fitted sheet, blissfully unaware of a thing called pattern repeat.
Well friend, I hope you have a beautiful weekend. I know that Mother’s Day can be a painful day for some, so I will just say, no matter where you are in life, I wish you peace and love and that the day brings your soul something to smile about.