Finally Friday.

 

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Nothing like a four-month hiatus. Let’s call it summer break and then some. Mmmmk?

All I have to say for this week is that thank goodness it’s Friday. There was a spider in my car (which is NOT ok on so many levels), I spilled nail polish all over my comforter and duvet, Eleanor has been fighting a stomach bug and simultaneously fighting sleep… which means we’re ALL fighting sleep.

With that said, this weekend should be pretty low-key (which I’m very thankful for). The only real thing on the agenda is a birthday dinner which will be delicious. I’m hoping we’ll get out for some walks in this wonderful fall weather and just get caught up on life (re: dishes and basement organization, #adulting). I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

Can I just tell you that it’s not often that I find myself totally enamored with something. In this case, that something is Real Talk Radio. I’ve enjoyed every. single. episode I’ve listened to and can’t recommend it highly enough. Its long form format digs deep and keeps things real  (hence the name). Download it. You won’t be sorry.

I’m not sure I would have categorized myself as a “highly sensitive person”… but after reading this list of things a highly sensitive person needs it must be true. I really resonated with #4, 6 and 10!

Have you heard of the 16 Personalities personality test? It is hands-down the most accurate personality test I’ve ever taken. When I was reading the description I had to really consider if someone had taken up post inside my mind. Take it and let me know if it’s as accurate for you as it was for me.

Being a Mom is hard and wonderful and the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in how motherhood is affecting me that I forget that it’s hard for them too.

Chrome is my browser of choice… Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari are {mostly} dead to me. With that said, it would be hard to make me love it more, but these Chrome life hacks may have done the trick.

A couple of months ago I had an EPIC craving for something asian. We were at the height of Eleanor’s food allergies which meant I couldn’t eat anything delicious. I stumbled across this pad thai recipe and we’ve been making it a couple of times per month since. It’s easy, delicious and just so happens to be gluten, dairy and soy free!

Finally Friday.

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It’s Friday! Hooray!

This was my third week of work and things feel like they may be starting to settle into a bit of a grove. I’m enjoying the challenge of working but also enjoying the benefit of being home with sweet Eleanor at the same time. I love it when life feels like it’s falling into place (at least sort of).

There’s nothing officially planned for this weekend so we’re just going to wing it! The weather is supposed to be in the 70’s (whaaaat?) and I plan on enjoying every darn minute of it. Eleanor better get ready for some long walks because I’m going to make it happen!

Hope you have a great one and enjoy my finds from around the interwebs:

Have you seen the shampoo prank video? I might be the last person on the internet to see it, but I couldn’t stop laughing. If you need a bit of a pick me up, this will certainly do the trick.

I’m not sure I can adequately express my love for this French Vinaigrette recipe. It’s simple, delicious and turns regular old lettuce into something you’ll crave every. single. day. Make it, now. You won’t regret it.

The last time I bought shoes that weren’t tennis shoes was… um… a very long time ago. I’m talking years here. That’s why nobody is more surprised than me that I can’t stop thinking about these sandals for summer. It’s March which means it’s almost summer and I can wear sandals, right?

Every time someone brings up Donald Trump or I catch a glimpse of that terrible haircut, I feel mildly nauseous. This post by Max Lucado on Decency For President really struck a cord with me. And, while we’re on that note, Cape Breton making it easy to move there if ‘ol Donald is elected.

Would you ever try making your own watercolors? This video makes it look so easy (damn you Facebook videos) that I sort of, kind of, maybe want to try it.

If you’ve ever talked to me about maternity leave or anything having to do with that, you know that it makes me incredibly angry. INCREDIBLY ANGRY. I couldn’t help but relate to this article and I totally agree that “Having It All Kind Of Sucks“.

I know so many people that are pregnant… which means they’ll be needed a name for that little bebe. This baby name app is tops and I’m thinking it might have saved us from the naming conundrum we found ourselves in. I’m book marking this for baby #2.

Hope you have a good one!

Finally Friday.

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It’s Friday!! And, it’s been just under two years since I did a finally friday post. Whhaaaaaat?!? How in the world has it been that long? When I dug back through my past posts I was certain that it would have only been a year, but nope, it’s been two. Crazy!

This was my last full week-ish of maternity leave and I spent it feeling anxious about the dreaded return to work. We have a pretty low-key weekend planned and I’m going to do my best to enjoy every last second that I have with my little lady before I don’t get to see her every second of every day.

Here are a few of my favorite finds from around the web – some new, some not so new:

I’m still just the teensiest bit obsessed with pregnancy, birth and babies — I’m not sure this obsession will ever end… which is why I DEVOURED this article. Two moms, two pregnancies, two babies at the same time. And, I thought one was hard. Holy Smokes!

I’m going to be 30 this year. In my mind that’s an age where you have your shit together… it’s an age where you’re really a grownup and not just pretending to be one. Turns out, I don’t feel like I’m about to be 30 and I certainly don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe these 50 healthy habits for women will help me get it together? I already do #’s 27 and 32, but need to be better at 45 and 48.

Little E has food allergies so I’ve been off a number of foods since before Christmas (that’s right, I had to forgo all the holiday deliciousness and you better believe that I cried about it more than once. Let’s blame it on postpartum hormones and not my overindulgent love of rum cake, mmmk?). In my efforts to find delicious foods that fit into my limitations, I came across this dark chocolate coconut oil fudge recipe. It looks delicious, which means I’m going to have to make it ASAP.

Since dairy is one of the food categories I’ve been avoiding, real pizza is right at the top of the list of foods I’m craving. Do you think this adorable sweatshirt would suffice until I can be reunited with a cheesy slice of pepperoni?

I happen to be someone who really, REALLY enjoys free stuff. I especially enjoy it when it is quality free stuff. Are you a free stuff lover too? If so, this list of 12 of the best free products on the internet will make your little heart flutter with joy.

I love food. In college, long before the food network was as popular as it is today, I would watch it for hours and hours on end. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why this article appealed to me so much. I first read about this man’s encounter with Jacques Pépin last summer and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

That’s a wrap! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 

Finally Friday.

It's ok to be happy with a calm life.

Whoa there. Friday? Are you sure it’s Friday? I was pretty convinced that yesterday was Friday and that didn’t turn out, at all, the way I had hoped. Not at all. 

You can, then, understand why I’m a little less enthusiastic about “this” Friday. Turns out having two “Fridays” in a row makes it feel just the tiniest bit less special. Also, I was probably spoiled from the 3-day President’s Day weekend and subsequent 4-day work week last week. Back to a full five days feels like some sort of  joke!

Anyways. Enough about that.

This week had all kinds of good packed in. Here’s a glimpse, via list-form:

1.) Denver Restaurant Week — we tried Vesta Dipping Grill & Oceanaire, have you ever been to either?
2.) Nuggets Game — they lost to the Trailblazers… it was a fun game, but seems to be the story of the season.
3.) Crossift — I can’t fully straighten my left arm, but at least I finished (even if it was last).
4.) Bathroom Remodel — because we can’t go long without tearing something else up, we’re onto the bathrooms.

That about sums it up! This weekend, in addition to the hoping for warm weather, we’re watching my Mom’s golden retriever, Joe — he’ll be having a little doggie vacation at our house. On Friday we’re having dinner with family, then on Saturday we’re Crossfitting and painting numerous rooms around the house (re: basement & bathrooms). We, also, made an appointment with a Realtor for Sunday. Part of me thinks it’s time to move on (since I never loved this house to begin with) and another part of me feels like we finally got the house in beautiful shape… then we leave just to start it all over again. Tis life, yes?

What are you up to this weekend? How’s the weather in your part of the country?

Here are my finds from around the interwebs this week:

This is the favorite from the entire week — I’ve even pulled it up on my phone twice to show it to people (since I can’t stop blathering about it)… Did you ever watch the Thornberry’s growing up? Well I did. And, this story of a French little girl who grew up in Africa and befriended wild animals is pretty much the epitome of my childhood dreams come true. Trust me, after reading this you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. Side note: She’s standing on a crocodile — are you kidding me?

It’s no secret that I’m tall. Almost 6′ tall, in fact. These 34 things every tall girl can relate to was spot on — especially #:   . If you’re short — they have an even longer list for you too!

It’s, also, no secret that I love my dogs. Or fur-babies, if you will. That’s why this list of 15 signs that you’re an overly obsessed dog lover really hit it out of the park. I can firmly agree with #’s: .

Do you love Costco as much as I do? Pretzel bread (swoon), lemon cakes (drool), cases of bacon (shout for joy). Sometimes, when shopping, I do wonder if I’m actually saving any money buying in bulk (the addition of all the impulse buys — cough, cook book, cough, workout pants — probably don’t help). But, now, I have a great list on what “real food” items are actually cheaper at Costo. This means that I can purchase with confidence.

Life is messy. Sometimes that messy comes with four kids, a husband, rats and a house that’s falling down. Rebecca’s writing is so honest, eloquent and impossible to stop reading.

My Mom is my best friend — I rarely go a day without talking to her at least once (and sometimes it’s even more). So, in the spirit of sharing the Motherly love — here are 30 signs your mother is the best person in your life. I can agree to *almost* all of these. I sure do love that lady.

*Image Source: Melody Ross.

Finally Friday.

If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.

Today is not only Friday (which is, of course, enough reason for celebration)… though I’m pretty sure after Denver’s big Superbowl loss last week the entire city has been in a state of overall depression. I’m not really into football, but even I can admit that was embarrassing.

This week has been a trial in finding my new “normal” with food now that the Whole 30 is over. I still have a post in the works about my thoughts on the program as well as another one on what I hope my food life will look like moving forward. They’re coming… at some point. Other than that we went to a Nuggets game on Wednesday night (they won!) and have enjoyed a pretty low-key week — though, we’ve had freezing cold temperatures (think -11 when you get up) making staying warm a big priority.

This weekend we’ve got a date night booked for tonight. I came up with 12 unique dates, wrote them down and put them all in envelopes, mixed them up and gave them to Christian at the beginning of the year (who says marriage is boring) and this is the first one (since food was so restrictive in January we decided to just do two in February). Saturday Christian and I are taking our first foundations class at our local Cross Fit gym (I’m so nervous!) and then Sunday we’ve got the second session before we can start taking normal classes. We’re also going to squeeze in a trip to visit my Dad and then take the rest of it as it comes.

What are you up to this weekend, anything exciting?

Here are my finds from around the inter webs:

If you’re looking for a fascinating read and wanting to develop a small desire to move to Detroit (I know, I can’t believe I said it either) then this article written by a guy who bought a house in Detroit for $500 will warm your heart and break it all at the same time.

I’ve always felt rather indifferent toward Bill Murray. He’s a good actor, but beyond that I never really gave him much thought. Until I found out that he might just be the most interesting man in the world. Also, think he’d want to be friends?

Food is an issue for me – gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, no carbs, paleo, Whole 30 etc. I believe strongly in the power that food holds over our health and as you probably know, the past couple of years have been a struggle to find what works and what doesn’t. At some point I’d like to be able to say “I gave up on healthy eating“, too.

I’m not much of a snoop. I’ve never had the desire to hunt down my Christmas presents (why ruin the surprise), but even I’ve been guilty of checking out emails that were left open on my computer… but sometimes, don’t you think, these things are better left unseen? What if your snooping ended like some of these scenarios?

All I have to say about this article on the fear of success is, “amen”. I’ve always felt like I had a pretty big fear of failure, but turns out I also have a fear of success. If I don’t bust down those barriers I’ll be stuck in mediocrity forever!

This happens to me all the time. I’ll receive a gift, like beautiful personal note cards, and I won’t want to use them for fear of wasting them… but life is short and those beautiful things are made for using rather than sitting at the bottom of a drawer

You’re a confidant to one of your friends, the life of the party at church, the overachiever to your parents… the many faces we wear and roles we play. However, it turns out (which we already knew) that we truly can’t be everything to everyone

Happy Friday — have a great weekend!

Finally Friday.

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.

It’s still the start of the year, so the majority of these articles are still applicable. I had planned to post this last Friday, but got caught up in the ways of Whole 30 and decided to postpone a week.

This week was pretty good — not too crazy, but I still had enough going on that I didn’t feel like a bum. Know what I mean? We went to a Nuggets game on Tuesday night and have officially finished season 3 of White Collar on Netflix (have you seen it? I can’t stop). Other than that I’ve been cranking out innumerable Whole 30 meals and re-started a hopeful 2014 yoga practice. If I could hit 1 time per week (on average) this year, I’d be happy.

I, also, in full new years resolution gusto bought a Groupon for 1 month of unlimited visits to our local CrossFit gym. I’m simultaneously scared and excited. I’ve had friends that love it and I’m secretly hoping that I do too.

This weekend we’re having dinner with friends followed by a showing of Saving Mr Banks (have you seen it, what did you think?). Then we’re taking it easy and having a family dinner during the Broncos game on Sunday. Low key and just what I need. Christian’s going to another Nuggets game on Saturday, and during that time I’m hoping to paint my nails, meal plan and watch the something girly on TV. Wish me luck! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

I’m a bit of a vision board junkie, or at least I have been the past couple of years. With the advent of Pinterest, it’s made it that much prettier and that much more addictive. However, I always dread putting them together in photoshop… that’s why this tutorial on creating a fast and easy vision board caught my eye. Do it, I did… and I promise that you’ll love it.

Since I’m in the midst of the Whole 30, this list of Whole 30 approved recipes really caught my eye. There are some delicious looking meals on there and one or two of them might end up on my meal plan for next week.

Did you make some resolutions for 2013? Big ones? Small ones? Somewhere in between? Either way, here is a list of fifty “bite-sized” resolutions for the new year. Some of these are so simple you could easily add them into your daily routine.

I think that sometime around your mid-20’s and up you start to realize that all those things you were waiting to make you happy — won’t actually make you happy. Kids – marriage – house – car – savings account…. they’re all nice, but life doesn’t begin at your next milestone.

Purging all the needless crap in my house makes me so happy. I love it and could spend countless hours each week weeding through drawers, closets and boxes looking for things to trash/give away. This article was full of great things you could donate or toss — 21 things you should get rid of today!

Each of these rules was so great that I want to print it out and hang it up so that I can see and review it every day. If nothing else, these 24 rules for being human are a great read through.

And, lastly, to stick with the theme — new year, new start. Here are 15 great ideas to give you a fresh start for this year… even if I’m a week late in posting them! 🙂

Happy Friday to all, and to all a goodnight!

Finally Friday.

Ollie on Halloween

(because how cute is this little Ollie dog in his hot dog Halloween costume?)

It looks like October was a blur… mostly because it was. A great, vivid blur. Now, we’re into November and if I didn’t know that I was completely off base, I would declare that yesterday was Monday. Clearly, time is just flying by. 

This week was a good one, albeit a speedy one. There was yoga, some time spent with Jillian Michaels yelling at me from the TV, a Nuggets game and a most delicious dinner of short ribs. I, also, managed to finish all the Orange Is The New Black episodes on Netflix and am now anxiously anticipating the next season. Seriously… I need to know what happens. Anyone else on the OITNB bandwagon?

This is, hopefully, going to be one of the more low-key weekends we’ve had in several weeks. We’ve got plans to see the new Thor movie, spend the evening with friends from our marriage class doing Dinners For 8 (or in our case, 6) and then help my Mom with raking all the leaves in her enormous backyard on Sunday. I may, or may not try to sneak in some nephew snuggles as well. I’ve been missing those chubby, drooly little cheeks.

Here are my finds from around the interwebs this week lately-ish:

If I read a recipe with the words “crock pot” or “slow cooker” in the title — I *have* to click on it. Anything that makes my life and nights easier is a complete win in my book. This recipe for chili verde chicken is totally going on the menu plan for next week.

I’ve written about friendship before, both the good and the bad… and about how hard it is to make friends as an adult. No matter what phase you’re in… these things real friends do for you was great! And, I totally agree… tell me if I have spinach (or corn chips) in my teeth, check on me after the statute of limitations has passed, show up early to parties (to help!) and tell me if I’m acting shady (or if others are). What do you think?  — also, loved this post on friendship truths.

Each Sunday morning I have a little debate in my head about whether or not I want to get up for church. I inevitably do pry myself from bed… but it’s not easy — I’ve never claimed to be a morning person. This post on replacing Sunday mornings struck a chord with me… especially how I felt in my early 20’s. Just like the author, I too am finding my way back.

This girl hit the nail on the head. She nails what it can sometimes be like to be a girl, a woman, a mom. And the habits that we, sometimes, unwillingly inherit.

Finding people who are authentically themselves and are willing to share their day-to-day realities is rare. We’re all guarded and boarded up in some way or another. Reading this post and watching these videos that Jacob Sokol posted after his article went viral on the Huffington Post was both inspirational and refreshing. There’s always so much more that goes on behind closed doors.

Cookies are delicious. So are cupcakes, scotcheroos, milkshakes and slices of key lime pie. Sugar is delicious and toxic in high doses. This post on sugar, fructose and replacements really lays it all out there – turns out she wasn’t wrong about sugar.

I’m such a sucker for a good love story. Sarah Ann Noel’s post on her 5 year anniversary and then the link to she and her husband’s love story sucked me in. I read every, single word and then cheered them on from my desk chair. If you like love, marriage and all that great mushy stuff — read it. You won’t regret it.

And, lastly… in case you’re a sucker for birth stories (re: baby fever) like I am, Emily’s birth story from Daily Garnish was just perfect! I’ve read her blog for several years and love following along with her sweet family. As a bonus, she has great recipes, too!

Finally Friday.

Finally Friday.

If I had to dub this week something, I would dub it the week of the corn chip. And, the week of the rain. First of all, my diet has been squeaky clean this week with the exception of corn chips (and a touch of gluten-free/healthified chex mix). The corn chips started with a stop of at my Mom’s earlier this week to try out her freshly made salsa, then dinner at a Mexican restaurant with a friend, then a Mexican catered lunch at work. I can pass up the flour tortillas and the cheese just fine… but you offer me a slightly salted, crispy corn chip and all bets are off.

Also, have you heard about the rain in Colorado? They’re calling it the 100 year flood. I’ve lived here my entire life and have never seen rain this hard for this long. It’s crazy and wet and sad and glorious all at the same time. My heart is so sad for those that are suffering damage, leaks and flooding — it’s absolutely mind-blowing to see all the photos and videos of normal streets turned into rushing torrents of muddy water. On the positive note it’s nice to have a reason to wear pj’s from the moment you walk in the door and feel totally justified spending the evening snuggled in your bed watching episode after episode of Rules of Engagement (in which Jeff makes me laugh every minute).

This weekend is a total toss-up — the only thing I know for sure is that I’ll be having dinner with my Dad tonight. Otherwise it will be a mishmash of wrapping up ceiling painting, debating whether to start installing our wood floors and living out of the kitchen and our bed room, the only two rooms that aren’t full to the brim with couches, tables, chairs and other furniture. Having a house in renovation flux really forces you to be flexible in the way you live. Dinner on the bed? Sure, why not.

What are you up to this weekend? If you’re in Colorado, I hope you’re staying safe & dry!

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

It turns out that I’m right at that age where people are starting to get pregnant, share the news and pop out kids. This site/app that keeps all your friends and family informed on your delivery status looks insanely perfect for abating all those constant questions and texts about “is he/she here yet”. Plus, it’s easy to use (and cute) to boot.

I’ve already put this recipe for Zucchini crust pizza on the menu plan for next week. With our over abundance of squash varieties we’re getting really creative in ways to use them. Shredded, sliced, blended, grilled, roasted, sautéed, baked, and on and on and on.

In order to burn off all those corn chips, I probably need to start/re-start a fitness routine that actually has a schedule. When I do this, I’m going to add this quick AB workout video to help spice things up.

How many times have you prevented yourself from starting something because you knew you wouldn’t be able to do it as well as you’d like. [slowly raises hand] Personally, I don’t like to feel like I can’t even meet my own standards so I’ll let ideas and projects stall instead of giving them my all. This, my friends, is called perfectionism and at its heart it’s ridiculous. Here are a few ways to beat perfectionism to a pulp that I intend to try.

This article on how to, successfully, use Facebook for you business is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s officially book marked for sharing and using and re-reading. If you’re looking to up your game, there are some really great (easy) ideas to help you get started strategically.

Do you ever have those quick moments of intense feeling when you want to tell your best friend (or husband or mom or sister or co-worker) just how much you love/appreciate them? But… you don’t. Yeah. That happens. If everyone were a little more proactive about truth-telling and self-expression I wonder where the world would be?

This layout of a “Fat Loss Template” was an interesting read. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all the science out there these days it’s hard to know where to start. I feel this is a pretty good place.

And lastly, have you seen these Fridge Coasters — I want the polka dot ones in Orange or Yellow (I think). Now I just have to measure my shelves/drawers.

Finally Friday.

Christian's Birthday Surprise Adventure

In last week’s finally Friday post I alluded to some top-secret plans, and I’m here to tell you that those plans went off without a hitch. Christian’s birthday was this past Tuesday (he turned 31). Tuesdays are generally a pretty lame day to have a birthday – they’re better than Mondays, but not by much. In order to save this birthday from the doldrums of mid-week, I decided to turn Saturday into Christian’s semi-birthday. I rented ATV’s on the sly and dragged him 40 minutes outside Denver for an adventure. The verdict? He totally loved it. I followed the adventure up with a fancy dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse downtown (where he pretty much died from steak joy). On his actual birthday I made him one of his favorite dinners + brownies (and ice cream) and surprised him with a new board game… nerd alert! I’m calling this one a total win.

This weekend, it’s a 3-day weekend! Whoop, whoop. I love 3-day (and 4-day and 5-day, you get the picture) weekends. A lot of our family is out-of-town so I’m hoping to check a few things off the to-do list — things like painting. We’ve had a variety of splotches all over our walls for the past several months and it’s time to make a decision and slap some color up. Wish us luck. We also borrowed this really intimidating looking ceiling painter from my mom – she says it’s not as scary as it looks – jury is still out on that one. Hope your weekend if full of all kinds of good stuff.

Here are some of my favorite finds from around the interwebs:

In the mood for a sweet, sad, precious, melt on the floor in a puddle of tears kind of cry? I’ve got the perfect thing, and it’s called “A Letter From Fred“. Something about adorable old men that truly love their wives (and vis versa) gets me every time. I want to hug him.

One of my favorite parts of making brownies – outside of, you know, actually eating the brownies – is licking the batter. I try to make them when Christian is either a.) not home b.) not in the house c.) blissfully unaware of what is going on — all this so that I can spend all the time in the world meticulously eating the batter left on the spoon/bowl. If this could be achieved in a semi-healthier form, I’d be all for it. Enter Cashew Brownie Batter Bites.

My Mom gave me this beautiful print on holding yourself to a standard of grace for my birthday and I can’t wait to get it hung up in our house (waiting on the paint I mentioned above). 

Raise your hand if you love Instagram? –(hand raises)– It’s such a great tool to connect as well as get perspective on the world around you. I loved this article on how Instagram can make you a better photographer (and why it shouldn’t be dismissed in professional circles).  I, actually, went to high school with the author, Tim, but didn’t really know him (there were almost 1,000 kids in my graduating class) — turns out he’s an uber-talented photographer in CA that’s always up for crazy adventures, paying it forward and offering really intriguing blog posts. 

I’m trying so hard to lighten the load when it comes to cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but making and chopping the same things every week for salads + smoothies + dinner can get a little old. This recipe for slow cooker burrito filling not only sounds delicious, but also seems like it could be used in everything from the burritos it’s meant for to omelets to salads. This one might be a new favorite in our house.

Finally Friday.

We can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are. - Oprah

Let me start this Friday out by saying that I like my job. I don’t, however, like it as much as I like time off with my friends and family… if you know what I mean. With that being said, you will rarely find me asking for more days to work in the week, but this week? I could use at least one or two more. Being out last Friday/Monday put me really behind and my to-do list is literally off the page. Le sigh. I’m hoping that I can up the efficiency factor and head into the weekend feeling a little better about where I’ll find myself come Monday morning.

For the weekend? It’s going to be top notch. I can’t share all the details just yet because some of them are still top secret, but I can tell you that we’re having two fun family dinners, a fancy steak dinner for Christian’s birthday and we’ll probably head to the farmer’s market (where I’ll spend a ridiculous amount of money on the BEST watermelon I’ve ever tasted). Also, I have to find time to clean… the kitchen is clean, but that’s about it (oh! and the dogs need baths, I can’t even remember the last time they were bathed), it’s gross.

How was your week? Anything fun on tap for this weekend on your end?

Here are some of my favorite finds from around the interwebs:

We all have those little things that we’re so good at — the things we don’t even recognize because we’ve done them for so long? You know what I’m talking about? For instance, I’ve been using URL shorteners for years and it’s not even something I think about. However, there are plenty of people in this world that have never heard of bit.ly or goo.gl or all the others. Ever thought about sharing your obvious talents with someone else?

This paragraph on writing hit me so, so hard:

I didn’t start writing because I had a novel to publish or even an idea of what the hell that would look like. I didn’t start writing because I had some master plan about where this was all going. I started writing because when I was a kid, I saw an old man make people happy by grabbing a pen and not overthinking the words he put to paper.

I always find myself caught up in little nuances and I let it get in the way of just writing to make me happy and to make others happy.

One of the places I’ve always wanted to live is North Carolina — there’s something about having access to both mountains + ocean + southern charm that just completely draws me in. That’s why I have entered (every single day) to win this sweet little cottage in NC. Would you want to win a vacation home on the water?

Historic black and white photos always look so poignant and beautiful — I could frame a lot of them and never get sick of looking at them day in and day out. These updated, colorized versions of historic photos are amazing, and I’m pretty sure some of them even look like they could have been taken today (or any day). Sometimes I just love technology and what we can do with it.

There’s always that moment when making guacamole where you wonder if you’ve made too little (the shame!) or if you’ve made too much (the waste!). I’ve tried every trick in the books for keeping guacamole fresh and none of them ever work to my satisfaction. That’s why this tip on keeping guacamole fresh seems so amazing — it actually makes sense.

Apparently ketchup isn’t the most healthy condiment? According to some people, that are clearly not me. I even took the time to check out the back of the bottle last night and wasn’t completely repulsed by the calorie count — I mean, it’s a little high, but has nothing on, say, a dollop of chipotle garlic aioli. If I were to cut out store-bought ketchup (which I have no plans to do), I’d want to try this homemade ketchup recipe. I might try it anyways, because it sounds so intriguing.

** Update, I made a loaf of the paleo bread I posted about a couple of weeks ago and it actually turned out really well. I even messed up the ratio of egg whites and left out the honey, and it’s still definitely edible (even delicious). The texture is like a really moist pumpkin bread and it has a bit of nuttiness from the cashew butter. If you’re looking for a paleo/gluten-free/sugar-free/dairy-free bread, then this is the ticket (and here’s the recipe). Here’s how it looked fresh out of the oven:

Baking Paleo Bread - Lifeloveandgarlic.com