Feel Good Friday 94
WE MADE IT!!!! Insert marching band walking across my front lawn. Yes, we all made it to the weekend, but my family made it to the end of Chris’ five weeks of training. We’re all so glad to have it behind us. The hardest part of it all has been that Wilder has grown a bit clingy with me. On the weekends when Chris has been home to help out, Wilder cries and wants Mom to do everything, but Mom wants to do nothing. Looking forward to he and Chris reconnecting – aka leaving me alone. It’s been a pretty busy week filled with loads of great recipes, a short and sweet book and much more to make me smile.
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Ready for Fall
Oh my gourdness, are we ready for fall here! To be honest, I am not doing a single fall tour or blog hop this year because they just don’t light my fire anymore. (I am doing one Christmas tour this year and that’s it!) But I still like to sprinkle little seasonal touches around the house. Last weekend I worked on restyling my kitchen shelves a bit and, of course, that included redoing my wooden letter board.
Of course, I had to also change the felt board in my living room. And now we wait.
Three Savory Recipes with Hints of Fall
Last weekend, we tried a few new recipes and all of them were keepers, with a few little notes with things I would do – or accidentally did – to improve them.
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad: Out of the three we tried, this was my favorite! I made a couple of little tweaks. This recipe called for avocado as well as candied pecans. While I love candied pecans, they just have so much sugar. I replaced those with roasted pecans that paired well with the other sweet flavors of maple syrup and dried cranberries. As for the avocado, this recipe featured goat cheese and nuts already so I didn’t think another fat was necessary and I felt like it was going to already have great flavor without it. (I LOOOOVE avocados, but I just didn’t see the need here.)
Potatoes and Green Beans: This one really surprised me with how delicious it was! Chris loved it and Emmy, who generally says no to trying things, loved the potatoes. It was really easy to make and flavorful, but that last comment is partially due to the fact that my taco seasoning exploded into the bowl. My potatoes got much more seasoning than the recipe called for, but we all decided it was a happy accident that we will repeat on purpose. (If you look at the photos in her recipe, you’ll see just how much extra seasoning mine have!)
Maple Chili Lime Salmon: I love salmon always and the flavor of the glaze on this was incredible! However, here’s my two cents. This recipe called for baking and the glaze just didn’t caramelize like I wanted to. I broiled for 5 minutes at the end to fix that and I think that caused it to slightly over-bake. Next time, I will try broiling it the entire time.
Short and Sweet Read
Last week, I visited a local used bookstore I’d heard a lot about. Boy, was I overwhelmed! Walls and walls and shelves and shelves of books upon books. I had a list of some that Emmy was looking for but nothing in mind for myself, so I just wandered for a bit. I came out with two of the books she requested plus Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg. I enjoy her books because they’re almost always short and sweet. This one was a story of middle-aged female friendships, each woman starting a new life journey. I think I loved it because it felt so relatable in that respect. You can be 50 and begin something new or decide on a new future. I will say I rated it at 3 stars on Goodreads because the ending wasn’t really that satisfying and I think she could have gone much deeper with character development. (I just read some reviews on Amazon and many of those readers felt the same, apparently.)
By now, you know my favorite audiobook jam is non-fiction that makes me laugh. I recently listened to Dear Girls by Ali Wong because A) it was available, B) it ticked my funny nonfiction box, C) I adored her in Always Be My Maybe and D) it was short. I really enjoyed the format, which is basically a letter to her daughters to read when they are much older. Like MUCH older, because there’s also a lot of vulgar humor within. It’s definitely not one to listen to with little ears around, but it made me laugh and passed my morning walk time quickly. Also, the afterword from her husband is really sweet.
Shopping local & vintage
Last weekend I popped over the the cottage (behind her house) of my friend Lora to try on some of her vintage goodies from her instagram shop, Our Village Goods. I went over for this blazer in particular – which I did purchase – and came home with a few other tops as well, including the one pictured above. If you’re local, check her out for sure but if you aren’t I’d definitely encourage you to seek out vintage clothing sellers near you. You’re sure to find great quality unique goods at a great price. I spent $68 on 4 pieces!
Gorgeous Clay Jewelry
Last week, I was shopping for a friend’s birthday and I know she’s a fan of Lettie & Row, a jewelry company created by a preschool mom friend of mine! I reached out and asked if I could swing by to pick out a gift and couldn’t help but finally buy myself a pair. I took a picture of mine while I was killing time in the car waiting for Sawyer to finish cross country practice. The online shop is on a bit of a hiatus (because working-mom life, plus she’s also going back to get her Master’s), but keep an eye on it!
Let’s Be Pal-otons
A couple of weeks ago, I saw that Peloton had knocked $400 off their original bike and decided to go for it. I’ve always hesitated because it seems so expensive, but I also knew we’d use it. You might recall that I used to teach spin classes. And, before the pandemic, Chris used to go to spin classes a couple times a week. It arrived this week and I am loving it!!! Chris is excited to put it to use this weekend and even the kids were stoked so I set them up and got them shoes as well. I’m excited about the community surrounding Peloton and the access to exercise, no matter the weather or time of day. If you have one and want to be friends, I’m CassieBusta. Let’s connect!
Gotta burn burn burn on that peloton when you have neighbors that bring you pumpkin cream cheese swirl bread. Yes, I ate a piece almost every day this week. It’s called building your winter body. Hot girl summer is over and it’s time for well-fed girl fall.
Back to school for the littlest
My littlest went back to school this week and I just need to sing his praises because I’m a proud mama. He is the only child from last year’s class that didn’t get placed with any former classmates. So he’s got new teachers and all new kiddos. Before he went back on Tuesday I didn’t mention that he wouldn’t be with any friends and instead told him he was going to have new teachers and the opportunity to make lots of new friends this year. He went right into his new class with a smile on his face and has had the best time all week! I am sad to be missing out on time with the moms I connected with last year, but really proud of him for handling all the newness so well.
Also, here’s a helpful parenting tip I heard on Glennon Doyle’s podcast that I’ve started using with Wilder. At moments when I would usually say, “I am so proud of you” I replace it with, “I am so happy for you. You must feel really good!” It takes away the feelings of shame that might develop if he things I am not proud of him and also teaches him to live for himself and his happiness and not to please me. I love how this simple change of phrasing will impact him in the long run.
Hoppy Little Life Moments
Last weekend, our local Minor League team, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, played their last home games of the season. We took the kids on Saturday night and had a great time! The weather was perfect, the beer was delicious and the kids had a blast. I do believe that Wilder will forever associate baseball with Dippin’ Dots as this was his second game and second dish.
I mentioned picking up a gift for a friend and here we are all celebrating Erienne’s birthday last week. We celebrated with wine and snacks at one of our fave places, Lewis & Elm. I am so grateful I get to go through life with this crew by my side. (Also, side note: I am the old lady of the group!) I’ll just paste what I said on facebook about this photo: Behind every badass woman is a posse of more badass women, straightening her crown and telling her, “Yes, you can. And we’ll be with you every step of the way. We’ll pick you back up and dust you off when you fall, but we’ll let you cry as long as you need to first. And we’ll cheer you on all the way to the top. And if we happen to get there first, we’ll send down a rope to pull you up, too. Because the view at the top is nothing unless we get to share it.”
That’s all I’ve got for this week! I hope you have a fabulous weekend surrounded by your own badass crew.