Friday Favorites

What a week! A and I went on field trip, J had a basketball game, there was school, work, and everything in between. J is stoked about his birthday party next weekend, that is aptly basketball themed. We’ve got another basketball game for J this weekend, and some serious sleep catching up to do. And here are some of our favorites from the week!

A lovely home.

Anxiously waiting for this sweatshirt to come out in adult sizing.

Lemon angel cake bars.

The cheesiest.

My favorite everyday layering tanks.

Work outfit ideas.

Thoughts on renovating spaces.

Continuing with day 20 today!

Finally, I have this diffuser in my cart to combat all the dryness of winter.

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My favorite tea

My work afternoons at home consist of quite a bit of grading, lesson planning, interspersed with laundry, housework, catching up on volunteer things, etc. One of the things that I frequently do to break up the day (because your eyes do start to glaze over, after reading fifty papers), is make tea and have one of my Milk Bar cookies that I got for Christmas. My tea making has become a bit elaborate, but it’s so good, I had to share:

First, make 12 oz of almost boiling water (right before the tea kettle starts to whistle). Then, steep 2 tsp of Old Fashioned Birthday Cake Piper and Leaf tea for seven minutes in the water. Then add 1-2 tsp of local honey, 1 packet of collagen and stir. Finally, add 1-2 TBS original nutpod creamer. It’s so delicious! Enjoy it with any cookie, but a Milk Bar cookie is especially sweet:


If I really need a break, I also throw in an episode of The Crown and flip through my Magnolia Journal or InStyle magazine, and then back to grading!

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Kamado Ramen

Our city has gotten several new restaurants, so B and I have been lunching at several of them on his Friday’s off. First up for the New Year was Kamado Ramen. I don’t think I’ve ever stood in a line waiting to get into a restaurant here, but we did and it was well worth it! The restaurant is situated in a line of eateries at a location called The Stovehouse. Most of the eateries have small or no eating areas inside, but there is a large inside eating area a short walk from the restaurants, and lots of outdoor seating as well. However, we managed to get a seat inside Kamado Ramen, and sat and watched the chefs prepare the food while we ate:

We got the gyoza as an appetizer:

They were excellent! The steam them and then pan fry the bottoms, so they have the perfect amount of crunch combined with softness. It is perfection. Then we moved on to our ramen choices, B got the tonoktsu ramen and I selected the shoyu ramen. They were both excellent and distinctly different. The tonoktsu is creamy with thinner noodles, while the shoyu is a soy based sauce with denser noodles.

It was all delicious and B and I enjoyed spending a lunch meal together!

I also learned a great tip from a friend! The stools you sit on at the counter open up and will hold your purse/umbrella/etc. And make sure to check out the awesome wall art. While the expansive design on the side wall is incredible, this canvas was my favorite:

We love ramen and I’d love this in my kitchen! The boys already want to know when we’re taking them back with us, so they get to enjoy it as well!

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Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A variation on our favorite cookie recipe, these chocolate chunk cookies are easy to put together and make just the right amount (about 24 cookies).

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3-4 Hershey bars chopped into small size chunks
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Cut butter into tablespoon slices and place in the bottom of the mixer. Set your egg out on the counter. Do this first then prep the rest of your ingredients
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
  4. Crack egg into a small cup and whisk with vanilla.
  5. On medium speed cream butter for about three minutes.
  6. Add sugars to butter and mix until light and fluffy about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Scrape down the sides and then add in the egg mixture. Mix until it resembles cottage cheese (so slightly lumpy, but well mixed).
  8. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix just a little by hand (so it doesn’t puff out when you start the mixer), and then mix on low speed only until barely blended.
  9. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  10. Bake for seven minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for two additional minutes. Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  11. Will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-5 days. In our house they rarely last that long.

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Friday Favorites

Hello! After taking a break for the holidays, I’m back with some of my favorites from the last few weeks. One of which is that perfect California tree above, that I saw on an impromptu and wonderful trip this past week.

Perfect pan pizza cookbook.

Creating a guest room in a multipurpose space.

All the mushrooms.

My January yoga plan.

The art of Freddish.

Creating a high messy bun.

Lunch smoothies.

Baby Yoda is a Disneyland foodie.

And finally, perfect style.

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Friday Favorites

It’s the holiday season! While we probably won’t be getting a drift of snow again anytime soon, we are going to celebrate the in-coming of winter with full enthusiasm. School is about to be out for two weeks after a slew of holiday parties today, and we are going to sleep in, watch lots of movies, and probably play too many rounds of War (J’s new favorite card game). And while I get the rest of my Christmas wrapping done…here are some favorites from the week!

Superpower strong.

Winter workwear ideas.

A python, a jackal, and a honey badger walk into a desert clearing….

Last minute stocking stuffer? Get this eyeshadow palette.

Sweetie pie chai latte.

Mini cheesecakes for Christmas desserts.

A DIY using holiday houses you can find at Target.

The most accurate clothing ad I’ve ever seen.

And finally, embracing the hygge of the season and having cookies with it.

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What’s Up Wednesday

This has been a crazy few weeks. Between final exams, the short turn around from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and other life stuff, I felt like we needed to do a bit of a check in. So I’m linking up today with Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer Told Me To to do a what’s up Wednesday.


Corn chowder, potatoes au gratin, chicken and broccoli roll-ups, carnitas, and salmon with rice.


Planning for Disney trips! We aren’t doing that right now because of our house building and I miss it. Also, this awesome hot chocolate with a cookie I had last weekend:


This sugar caramel lip balm. I put it on at night after I shower and then I follow it up with Kiehls lip balm before I go to bed.


Basketball! And school, work, last minute Christmas shopping, etc.


I’ve got to take the boys to get their hair cut this week. The barber that cuts their hair does a great job, but it’s the process, time, and the fact that I can’t schedule an appointment (they only take walk-ins).


I’m up for reappointment at my job in January which means I’ve been multitasking working on my dossier:

And wrapping presents:


Christmas! And having two weeks of no school, so sleeping in and lazy mornings.


I’m half-way through The Giver of Stars, but I’ve had The Conviction on hold at the library and it just became available, so I’m going to need to read that fast once I get it before it’s due back in two weeks.

I watched all of the new season of Fuller House and I’ve been finishing out The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt series while working on present wrapping. The boys and I are working our way through Holiday Baking Championship and, of course, The Mandalorian.


Besides Christmas music on repeat, I finished another podcast episode of Forever Thirty-Five, and I’m currently listening to this episode of The Splendid Table. I also really like Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend podcast.


Layers on repeat because we’re having thirty degree weather swings this week.


A whole lot of baking and B’s parents are coming to town for a couple of days. I made lemon chocolate chip cookies this past weekend for a work event for B and I need to make another batch for the boys.


Honestly, getting my dossier done and turned in is high on that list. Also, a new Semester! I’m excited for the new class formats I’m teaching in and meeting all my new students.

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Design Studio Decisions

Cabinets, and countertops, and tiles, oh my! We finalized all of our design decisions today, and our hours of contemplation, measuring, and Pinterest scrolling hopefully paid off. Once we have everything together in the home I’m hoping it looks similar to what I’ve envisioned. For now here is a bit of a sneak peek!

First, the exterior:

Second, kitchen cabinets, counters, and floor:

Now the guest and boys’ bathroom cabinets, tile, countertops, and faucets:

And our bathroom cabinets, tile, shower tile & floor:

And all the elements together:

I was inspired in part by this kitchen and this bathroom. My vision for the exterior is kind of a New England style red brick home with black and white elements to make the red pop. For the interior I just picked what I like, grays and whites that provide a perfect backdrop for our navy chairs, and other furniture pieces.

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Christmas Corners

Welcome to our little tour of Christmas decor! I typically use these posts to help me remember where I put decorations, but next year I guess I’m going to have to figure out all new ideas! I simplified quite a bit this year, I’ve been trying to organize boxes for packing and storage both as I put things up and take things down. While our twinkle lights may not have batteries in them and our only outside decor is a light up llama, our house is still spiritedly flocked for the holidays!

Our mantle and stockings with pops of bright colors:

Our kitchen hutch:

And the festive corner beside it:

Our foyer area:

And the boys’ bathroom (also where Link is hanging out today….which the boys’ denoted as “super weird, so I guess he won’t be back there):

Our kitchen table (the Southern Firefly sugar cookie candle smells amazing):

The boys’ reading spot:

And our coffee nook:

Finally, I think some of the boys’ favorite things are the wreaths on their doors and the trees in their rooms:

Happy holiday decorating!

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Building a little investment

We have taken a big leap at the end of this year, and we’re moving! We’ve decided to build a house, and will be selling our home in the Spring. It’s been a faith filled journey, as we very much love our current home, but we are just completely out of space. The boys need more indoor space, and we need an office that doesn’t have Fortnite being played in it. We have thought a lot, prayed more, and even though it’s scary for four people who don’t like change, we are walking in confidence that this is the right move. And the final move. I think B and I say “and we are never moving again after this” at least once a day.

With our new house we get to make quite a few more design and decor decisions than we did in our last house. These past few weeks have been a lot of this or that. Such as:

This or that mirror:

This or that cabinets & this or that countertops:

These blinds that come with the house or purchase on our own:

If you follow me on Pinterest you’ll notice the deluge of pictures of kitchens and cabinets. I’m excited to share the process on here as we go through it! I’ve created a specific board on Pinterest entitled Our Red Brick House if you want to follow along with all of my design ideas and choices connected to our new house.

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