Friday Favorites

What a week! This kiddo is seven and we celebrated at a trampoline park with friends and a family party on Super Bowl Sunday. This weekend we’ve got a Pinewood Derby race for Cub Scouts and a birthday party for my nephew. In between we’ll be making out Valentines Cards and reading, reading, reading!

How to boost your morning coffee. I already add collagen and have been impressed with the energy and protein boost.

The A Beautiful Mess interview podcast I have next on my car drive list.

Love this kitchen and floor plan.

Classic staples perfect for the transition from winter to spring. Which is happening weekly in the south.

A cooking memoir and cookbook.

Intrigued by this etching method of art creating.

I just finished the Nightingale which was excellent, but I definitely needed a lighter read afterwards so I’m starting The Proposal this weekend.

And finally, the loafers and shorts in my Nordstrom cart.

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Current favorite Disney souvenirs

Part of the fun of going to Disney is finding some new souvenirs! As I discussed in a past post we had a set amount of souvenir money for each kid. It worked out great. Especially for math loving A who decided to evenly split his money among each park. A carefully considers a variety of items before he decides on a final purchase. Like this classic Mickey Mouse to add to his Mickey Mouse collection:

J on the other hand is very decisive, he sees what he wants and immediately makes a choice like this guy:

Just kidding. While very lovable, this almost life size Stitch was out of his price range. He instead settled on this:

Pluto with the keys!

We also love the wall of Tsum Tsums at Big Top Souvenirs:

And all the plush animals in Animal Kingdom:

It’s always fun to have a memory to bring home of our trips! I have found through our many visits that the office supplies are very enticing, but can be a bit overpriced. In addition, the books are usually very overpriced, and unless it is a Disney exclusive, I’ll suggest the boys save that idea, and I’ll order it off Amazon for Christmas or a Birthday. In contrast, the plush animals and many home goods are priced pretty reasonably. Happy souvenir shopping!

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Friday Favorites

Reading is serious work! Best to wear sweatbands.

A glimpse of Spring.

Easy chicken recipes for weeknight meals.

BBQ chicken quinoa for lunch.

Best ideas to prepare for a trip.

Triple chocolate cookies.

The Home Edit’s top organizing tips. My favorite is the drawer organizers!

Modern and vintage in one gorgeous home.

My favorite new dress from Nordstrom.

The only kind of resolutions to make!

Baking the most average chocolate chip cookie based on science.

Finally, I’ve been doing a bunch of textbook editing this week and podcasts have helped me through it! My favorites were Episode 56 & 57 from The Forever 35 podcast, and Episode 215 & 303 of Milk Street Podcast.

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The Library Book

I just finished The Library Book, and it just continued to support my love of libraries. From late night studying at my university library with a stack of Communication journals surrounding me, to ten years of story time with the boys, to our on-going hold list that I swing by and pick up on my way to or from work, I love the library.

I remember our pediatrician telling us at our first newborn visit with A that if all else fails just read to him. And that’s what I did. When we ran out of tummy time, and swing time, and playing/looking at toys, we read and read. I would check-out a stack of books and just sit with both boys and read.

One of their favorite shows (and mine) when they were small was Between the Lions, that was based in the library. We would watch every week and check out the books from the show at the library.

Each of the boys had a favorite book that they requested over and over. A’s was Little Cloud and J’s was Along A Long Road. I have purchased each of those books at this point to keep as a memory of their favorite books.

One of my favorite volunteer opportunities at the boys’ school is helping in the library. For a few short hours once a month I get to help check-out books, find the current Fly Guy book for a student, or try to learn the numbering system of all the non-fiction books.

So, what I’m saying is, if you love libraries like I do, you must read The Library Book. It’s an insightfully written book that gives you a wider perspective of the role of libraries within our culture. It also skillfully weaves in the LA Central Library fire in 1986 and its ramifications on the library, librarians, and their books. I enjoyed every minute of reading it and was sad when it ended. So go check it out!

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This and That

This dress arrived on my doorstep this week and I’m in love! It fits perfectly, and can easily be worn for work or that date night that people talk about.

J and I finished the puzzle we’ve been working on…

And so I found him the next day with all of his imaginext items out, now that he isn’t getting up to work on the puzzle. I guess he hasn’t outgrown them quite yet:

My favorite blood orange margarita is in season at our favorite taco place:

And like everyone else in America, I’m currently finding the joy of organizing in my house (although let’s be honest, I’ve always found joy in organizing):

While I didn’t pile all my clothes on my bed, I’ve gone through all of my items in my closet and drawers, and I’m slowly dealing with the other clutter drawers in our house. I’ve also got the boys cleaning their drawers out as well! By the end of the year our house is going to be at a super organized level.

And finally, I put up our Valentines decorations, so our house feels very festive!

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Teacher Tuesday-Office Favorites

Right now my office space is shared while they are renovating our very old building. I’m excited for when it is completed because I will have my own office space again, and I’ll be able to move all of the items that are currently living in limbo in our garage. Here are some of my office supply essentials!

1. A stamp for especially great projects or papers (I also use this virtually for my hybrid courses!)

2. A selfie light for my laptop because I have to record lectures, and you don’t really think about lighting until you realize fifty plus people per semester are watching the videos.

3. A dry erase board that I have outfitted with this DIY for semester planning.

4. A weekly to do list that I keep beside me to write down reminders in class and in my office.

5. A microphone so that students can hear over our apparently loud air conditioner.

6. My current favorite pens recommended to me by one of my students.

7. Expo markers, I’m constantly buying these because I use them in class and lose them a lot.

This post contains affiliate links, thanks for supporting my blog!

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Orlando Stopover before Disney

We’re a good ten hours from Disney World, which means that it’s either one very long driving day, or we split it into two days. We’ve made various halfway stops on our trip down, but on this particular trip we drove almost all the way in, stopping at Lake Buena Vista. We ate at Shake Shack for dinner (one of my favorites):


One of my life quests is to get the unique concretes (ice cream) at every Shake Shack. I’ve got three so far (DC, Austin, Orlando):

Then we marveled at the huge (and I do mean huge) Ferris wheel, at the outdoor entertainment venue where Shake Shack is located. There is also an awesome pirate themed miniature golf, that we decided next time we should take into consideration!

We stayed at The Embassy Suites Lake Buena Vista, which was very nice. It does always make me laugh that B wants to get a suite because most of the time the boys end up wanting to sleep in the same room as us instead of taking the pull out sofa in the separate room.

This would be a great option if you were visiting both Universal Studios and Disney World! However, our sights were set for Disney!

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Friday Favorites

We are one hundred days in! This tiny sir dressed up as a very mysterious one hundred year old man for the one hundredth day. We’ve got basketball games, lots of reading, and potentially snow headed our way! I’m looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday, and maybe making some waffles with the big box of Kodiak Cakes mix I picked up at Costco.

Cheesy chicken and rice for our next weeknight meal.

DIYs to organize all your stuff.

Winter workwear in tweed.

The benefits of after holiday detoxing.

How long to hold a plank.

S’mores bars for when it’s too cold to make s’mores.

Winter skincare routine and product application order.

Spots to visit in Nashville.

Mindfulness to create minimalism.

And finally I was saving my Sephora points up for this set. I’m so excited to test out all the products!

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Making pasta

B gifted me a pasta maker for Christmas, and while I’m still getting the hang of it, it’s alot of fun to test out! Our favorite current recipes are from the fall edition of Magnolia Journal:

The pasta was good, but the sauces were amazing. I’ve got to step-up my pasta skills to match the sauces!

You can get a copy of the Magnolia Journal Fall 2018 here! I highly suggest picking it up, you’ll refer to it again and again!

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J’s Super Bowl Extravaganza

In less than two weeks, my baby will be seven. Seven! Both boys were born (by coincidence) on major football weekends. A’s Birthday usually falls on a weekend in October where there are critical college football games, and J was born the weekend of the Super Bowl. This was the first year that J really connected that his birthday was on Super Bowl Sunday, and he was ecstatic. I probably would’ve been annoyed if my birthdate aligned with a huge football game, but not J. He was pumped and immediately asked for a football themed party. I’ve been rounding up football decorations and party supplies, so I thought I’d share what I found so far…

The tablecover, banner, and squishy footballs are Amazon buys. I found that it was a better deal to get all the tableware (plates, napkins, straws, football cutouts), the pencils, and football candles are from Party City because they have smaller quantities. I picked up the football T-shirt from Gap online (sold out, but I also loved this one), and the football washi tape is from Hobby Lobby. I also picked up this sign from Hobby Lobby:

And I’m going to pick up some ring pops to add to the treat bags, and maybe football wristbands because J is obsessed with them:



He’s already so pumped! It’s going to be a great birthday/Super Bowl!

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