Finally Friday.

It's Friday. Finally.

This week was a good week. I spent last weekend in Vail with my friend Jacqui — summers in Colorado are awesome, but summers in the Colorado mountains are the absolute best. The rest of the week was pretty good as well: got some recipes in the works, cleaned out some drawers and closests and just relaxed. I’m having a little bit of nervous energy around picking a vacation spot, which I’ve already alluded to. However, just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, I’ll read a bad review and end up doubting everything and ending back at square one. Vacations are so expensive and time off is so rare that I want it to be just perfect. Do you have any suggestions? 

Tonight I’m going to look at paint and a back splash for our kitchen. I’ve already have a few samples lying around the house, but nothing has felt like the right fit. Cross your fingers for me, will ya? Tomorrow I’m hitting the outlets with my mom (and baby Evan) then the rest of the time is excitedly plan free!

Here are my favorites from around the web:

Macaroni and cheese has been one of my favorite foods since I was a little kid. My family would eat steamed crab and artichokes for my sister’s birthday and I’d settle myself into a big ‘ol bowl of kraft mac ‘n cheese (and the bonus was, on those night, I didn’t have to share with anyone). This recipe for mac ‘n cheese with sweet corn and bacon (bacon!) had me at hello. I love bacon, as overdone as it’s been as of late. I also love pasta + cheese + corn. I would leave out the tomatoes, if I’m being honest.

This story about a youth run supper club in San Fransisco has been weighing heavily on my heart (in a good way). It feels like a really practical (not to mention inspiring) vehicle for change + just think of how big the impact is on the kids that are involved. Their realities of not finishing high school and selling drugs to support their families gets completely transformed in a way that allows for a life of possibility.

It’s no big secret that I’m something of a people pleaser and big time avoider of  un-necessary confrontation. And, I know I end up apologizing for a lot throughout the week — whether it was in my control, worth apologizing for, just filling empty space or not. With that said, these 12 things you never need to apologize for are a good reminder of what we can own without any reason to feel guilty.

This hello banner needs to find it’s way to my front door. Isn’t it cute?

I have a friend, Katrine, that is from (and lives in) Norway. She lived in Colorado for a year during 7th grade and we simultaneously tried to teach each other Norwegian and Spanish (of which I’m still not fluent in either). Anyways. This post by an American raising children in Norway was a must read – it makes Norwegians sound like they’ve totally got it together in compared to the multitudes of child raising philosophies here in the US. Other cultures will never cease to fascinate me.

During the warmer months I live in tennis shoes, flats for work or reef flip flops. No matter how hard I look, I can never seem to commit to a “grown-up” or fancier type of sandal. They’re either too embellished, not comfortable or out of my price range. However, if I saw these shoes Happy Cage Sandals on a shelf, I’d buy them in a heart beat. They’re perfect.

Lastly, don’t forget to enter the Iced Hot Giveaway over here… you have until next Wednesday, and I’d say the odds of winning are pretty good! Have a great weekend!

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Finally Friday.

Be Good

It’s been quiet around here this week, I’m a bit under the weather. It’s either Allergies, a cold or maybe a combination that’s keeping the pep out of my step and the toad in my throat. I sound like Maude from the Golden Girls and have been guzzling tea and hoarding cough drops to make it through the day. On top of not feeling so hot, all the violence – pain – grief – you name it – has been overwhelming. But, so has the good in this world.

So, today, instead of posting links to what I read or found this week, I’m going to take a moment to be thankful for my safety, the safety of the ones I love and for all the people spreading kindness and joy in this world. And, I implore you do the same. Have a blessed weekend.

Finally Friday.

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I’ve been waiting for this weekend for six months. It’s the weekend of my sister’s baby shower. There will be lots of adorable decorations, mini treats and onesies for decorating! I’ll have a post up about it soon. My friend Jacqui is coming down for the shower (and staying for the weekend) and I’ve got dinner with Christian’s Mom and sisters on Sunday. So much good stuff I can hardly stand it!

Here are a few of my favorites from this week:

I love Lucille Ball. Growing up I could not watch enough of her — I Love Lucy, The Long Trailer, Yours, Mine and Ours — each of them on repeat all the time. In elementary school I even wanted to have an I Love Lucy birthday party with her episodes playing on repeat. As I got a little older, I remember finding out that Lucille and Desi had divorced and it broke my little heart, no more Lucy and Ricky. Finding out, today, that Lucille Ball was so miserable at the end of her career, and her life, makes me so so sad.

Our house is not home. Not even close actually. Trying to figure out how to fit our current furniture/items into what I want is proving to be a touch harder than I originally envisioned. Sigh, isn’t that always the case. Seeing these floating shelves that OkayBA put together makes me want slap some up in our family room. Christian’s “build this” list is growing each week… I can assure you that he’s very excited.

One of the harder things about eating healthy is that you end up cutting out a lot of convenience foods and have to spend a little more time pre-planning and prepping what you eat. That’s probably why this recipe for slow cooker, All-In-One Crockpot Chicken + Rice + Brussel Sprouts caught my attention. Hello, yummy/easy dinner.

Crap. I collect it. So does Christian (though I maintain that he’s worse than I am). If you looked at last week’s Finally Friday post, you’d notice that “Simplicity” has been a bit of a theme for me lately. This article on Living With Less. A Lot Less. just pushed me a little further in that direction. If you need me I’ll be knee-deep in donate piles.

I thought it was really interesting that there’s a correlation between people making their bed and their level of happiness. Who knew?

 

Image via Stratejoy Pinterest Boards.

Finally Friday.

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It’s Friday. This week went by incredibly slow, not that I’m complaining since life has been on overdrive the last few months. Just wish that vacation weeks would go that slow (and not work, right?). This weekend (and the next several) is packed with all kinds of good stuff. Tonight we’re having dinner with family, tomorrow I’m shopping with my friend Jessica then headed to a schmancy dinner and Nuggets game downtown. Then Sunday, we’re having lunch with my Dad and getting all caught up on the to-do’s around the house!

There is a *big-ish* snowstorm predicted to start tonight… with 8-14″ that may or may not fall. It is Colorado after all, you can’t be certain about any kind of weather. I’ll also be spending time trying to get ready for my sister’s baby shower next weekend (I can’t believe it’s already here) and trying not to get too amped up for Blissdom (just yet).

Here are a few of my favorites from this week:

I don’t take many photos of myself, probably a mix between my fear of being vain and not actually remembering to turn the camera around when I’m taking photos of the dogs or something else adorable. Design Mom posed the question on selfies –  when is it too much and when is it too little, when it comes to taking photos of yourself.

This post on living life more simply really struck home for me. Her way with words is really moving and, I think, that with all the “connectedness” and gadgets we have in our lives, it’s even more true.

I have all these Photoshop aspirations and thought this tutorial on “mattifying” your images was really great. I’ve always admired her posts and they way all her photos turn out. Take a look.

Our master bedroom closet isn’t exactly a girl’s dream. It has a decent amount of space, but not enough. Know what I mean? These closet door shelves would be amazing… I’ll either have to learn to use a saw or talk Christian into building it for me.

I like meat (bacon and hamburgers, I’m looking at you), but I have a hard time when I’m not real sure on the quality of said meat. Hence, I’ve been moving toward eating a few more “meat-free” meals a week and this recipe for Sweet and Sour Tempeh with Pinneapple looks right up my alley. Maybe I’ll add it to the menu for next week.

With, now, less than 2-weeks until Blissdom, I’ve been reading anything and everything I can – including printing out the track/agenda and taking multi-colored highlighters to them. This is my favorite breakdown of what’s happening at the conference, in case you’re curious.

This post on growing your blog was a good read. This may or may not have something to do with the everything blog reading obsession I’ve been nurturing. If you’re interested in moving your blog forward, its worth a few moments.

 

 

Finally Friday.

May you wake with gratitude

 

This week has felt long, but also eerily short if you know what I mean. Life seems to be flying by and much more busy than this time last year… which makes sense when I realize all the things we’ve added in: Nuggets Games, Bible Study, Weekend Trips and lots more time with friends and family. I have to say that there are so many things I’m truly looking forward to this spring including Denver Restaurant Week, Blissdom and the welcoming of my new nephew. Makes it so much easier to get through these cold, dreary, barren months.

This weekend Christian and I are all over the place once again. Tonight should be pretty low-key, but we have no plans for dinner — maybe we’ll go out for a change? Tomorrow I’m meeting my sweet friend Jessica for her first trip to IKEA and lunch – we talk at least once a week, but I haven’t seen her since last summer, crazy! Saturday night C and I are heading to his sister’s house for the evening. Then, Sunday, we’re taking my Dad to a movie after church. Phew. Have to squeeze in a little cleaning (our house is a war zone) and a trip to the grocery store.

Here are few of my favorites from around the web this week:

I can’t stop thinking about this recipe for dairy-free mac n’ cheese from Daily Garnish. Early on, Christian and I bonded over our love of those cheesy noodles and I’ve missed them so much these past five, dairy-free weeks.

This post on living and working with a major time change was so interesting. I’ve got big-time wanderlust and dream of someday packing it all up and moving my arse to Europe (Christian and puppies in tow, of course). With that said, I’ve never really considered the way the time change would affect relationships with family and/or work!

Nicole’s ideas on willpower and what it takes to change hits a chord with me every time. Her no “BS” approach works for me and will really make you rethink your approach to food, exercise and/or habits in general.

My mouth will not stop watering… probably because these look so good that I could lick the computer screen. Salted caramel brownies, get this, with homemade caramel and homemade chocolate brownie-ness. Be still my sugar-craving heart.

This image of the Milky Way, if it were visible in NYC is stunning. Just stunning.