Friday Favorites {on Thursday}

Good morning!  It’s a long weekend in our household and I’m so looking forward to a few days without Big Guy working.  We’ll also be seeing lots of family – many of them haven’t met Blakely Gray (who was 2 months!!! yesterday) – so it should be a fun Easter weekend.  Since I know I’ll be silent on here starting now, I thought I’d share some of my favorites today.  I pray you all have a lovely weekend.


Favorite Mail Day:  The Pretty Dish.  This gorgeous cookbook from one of my favorite bloggers arrived in the mail yesterday.  Not only is she hosting a book club but so is Gaby.  Be prepared to see lots of recipes from this book.


Favorite Flavor:  Lemon Cream Hummus.  I’m lemon obsessed.  Not only do I love the addition of that to hummus but she also added cream cheese.  Count me in!


Favorite Mouthful:  Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I love a chewy cookie.

Favorite Sweat:  Go-To Strength + HIIT At-Home Workout.  Totally trying this workout next week while all my clients are on spring break.


Favorite Spring Appetizer:  French Onion Deviled Eggs.  What are you making this weekend?  These may make an appearance on Sunday.


Favorite Twist:  Lasagna Verde.  Curry, raisins and homemade lasagna noodles.  Sounds like a fun Sunday project to me.


Favorite Craving:  Sesame Falafel with Ginger Tahini and Jalapeño Sauce.  I have falafel on my brain apparently.  I had several recipes saved to mention on Friday Favorites and they were all falafel…

And while there weren’t any cocktails that made me wild this week, I’m obsessed with some of the drinks in my new cookbook.  And I’m also pretty pumped to open a bottle or two of rosé this weekend.





Friday Favorites

The weekend is here!  This week seemed to fly by.  Do y’all have fun plans this weekend? Tonight I am going out to dinner with some friends (helllllo, bubbles!) and the rest of the weekend will be filled with soaking up time with my little family.  I’m hoping to squeeze in a workout and a long walk somewhere along the way.  Oh, and Saturday we’re cooking up some fun St. Patty’s Day recipes in the kitchen.  I hope you have the best weekend!


Favorite Flavors:  Lamb Za’atar Panzanella Salad.  Lamb and peas scream spring to me and I can’t get over all the flavors and deliciousness in this one bowl of goodness.


Favorite Side Dish:  Roasted Mixed Potatoes with Spring Herbs and Burrata.  I’m obsessed with anything that involved burrata.  I’m thinking this and a steak would be a fantastic weekend dinner.


Favorite Gotta Have:  Pretty Dish.  It’s no surprise that I want this cookbook.  I have Jessica’s first cookbook and I feature recipes from her blog here constantly.  Basically she does no wrong.


Favorite Pasta Night:  Date Night Mushroom Fettuccine.  And while this might have to happen with a little babe on the side, I have the perfect pinot noir to pair with it.


Favorite Midnight Snack:  Healthy Thin Mint Almond Butter.    I like to keep a little something sweet (and healthy) stashed in the freezer for my midnight pumping sessions. Sign me up for this thin mint-inspired sweet treat.

Favorite Read:  The “Mental Load” Falls Squarely on Mother’s Shoulders and it’s Making Us Very Tired.  Don’t get me wrong, Big Guy helps SO MUCH with BG and things around the house but I can’t help but find so much truth in this article.


Favorite Dinner:  Crispy Pan Fried Lemongrass Chicken.  I love a good chicken thigh and I’m craving this simple yet flavorful dinner.  If only I could find lemongrass in this town.


Favorite Inspiration:  How to Set a Formal Dining Table.  I don’t have a formal dining room currently but that’s a “must have” for our “forever home.”


Favorite Sip:  Vodka Strawberry Lemonade Cocktail.  One word:  YUM.


Friday Favorites

Better late than never!  We’ve had a really good week over here.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some rough moments but all-in-all it was a great week.  Apparently we’re entering a “leap” in her development today and I’m praying it doesn’t make us both manic.  Any fun plans for the weekend?  We’ll be having another low-key weekend but I’m excited to get in the kitchen and cook a few meals. As much as I’ve LOVED having dinner brought to us by friends I’ve missed being in the kitchen and cooking.  Here are a few of my favorites from the week:


Favorite St. Patty’s Day Appetizer:  Irish Cheddar Fondue with Spiced Guinness Pretzels.    You won’t catch me drinking green beer next weekend but I am totally into this cheesiness.


Favorite Sweet Treat:  Homemade Healthy Peanut Butter Cups.  I ate my last piece of dark chocolate last night which is an excuse to make these for my after-dinner treat.


Favorite Sunday:  Carnitas and Guacamole Pizza.  I don’t think we’re making pizza this Sunday (gasp!) but this yummy combination is happening verrrrry soon.


Favorite Festive:  Guinness and Black Bean Chili Loaded Spiralized Fries.  Not into the fondue?  Here’s another St. Patricks Day option.  Now I’m torn though…


Favorite Work It Out:  Power and Plyo Workout.  I’ve been slowly getting back into working out and I love this workout that combines cardio with strength training.


Favorite Mash-Up:  Healthier Carrot Cake Banana Bread.  Big Guy would flip over this bread.  I think I may try to turn the loaf into muffins which would be perfect for breakfast.


Favorite “Appy” Hour:  Yogurt Queso with Cilantro Cream.  I can’t wait for warmer weather so that we can enjoy a glass of wine and an appetizer on our new screened in porch.  (In reality, this won’t be quite as relaxing with a little one…)


Favorite Book Club:  Little Fires Everywhere.  Adding this to my “must read” list!  Everyone is reading this book.  And then raving about it.


Favorite Refreshing:  Green Goddess Margarita.  Like I said, no green beer for me.  How about a cucumber margarita?  Yes, please.



(And don’t forget to “spring” forward on Sunday!)


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  Another week has flown by.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some realllllly long days and nights but I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Blakely Gray will be one month on Wednesday.  I feel like she’s about to go off to college.  Stop growing (though I’ll fully support you sleeping through the night)!  I hope you all have a fun weekend on tap – unfortunately, these days our schedule is kind of determined by when Miss Thing needs to eat and when Mama needs to pump.  Not that glamorous.  But I am excited to have some visitors this weekend and my Momma is coming to stay with us for a few nights.  She hasn’t seen Blakely Gray since we left the hospital – I think Gigi needs some newborn snuggles.  Here are a few of my favorites this week:


Favorite Craving:  Crispy Lemon Brussels Sprouts Mac & Cheese.  Y’all know I adore lemon anything – throw it into my favorite comfort food and I’m drooling.


Favorite Sweet Treat: The next time I buy ricotta for a recipe and don’t use it all, I’m going to make these.  They look insanely fudge (versus cake-like)  which is my favorite kind of brownie.

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Favorite Read:  10 Reasons I Still Feel Like Myself While Being a Mom.  #goals  Though honestly I feel great (more on that when I post about BG being one month), my only gripe right now is the lack of sleep (I knew that was coming) and how demanding exclusively pumping is on your body and time.


Favorite Meatless Monday:  Kung Pao Chickpea & Brussels Stir-Fry.  I am all about the one pan, quick and easy dinners these days – and if they’re healthy, even better.


Favorite Look:  Stripes for Spring.   I love how effortless this outfit looks.  And while I probably won’t be rocking rippy-stripies (jeans with holes) anytime soon, I do love the top and flats.


Favorite Inspired:  Firecracker Vegan Lettuce Wraps.  I’ve never cooked with tofu but this recipe has me considering picking up some at the grocery store.  I mean, these wraps look insane – in the best way possible.


Favorite Cocktail:  Gin Coconut Cooler.   These days I’m sticking to a glass of wine or two if I indulge but this cocktail is screaming my name come spring.  I love drinks with a little heat.


(p.s. I can’t believe I actually got this finished in one sitting!)

Friday Favorites

I’m not going to lie – I’m kind of a ball of anxiety right now.  This whole not knowing when you’re going into labor is freaking me out a little bit.  Mostly because I have this fear of not getting to the hospital in time.  But it’s all going to be okay.  Women have been giving birth for thousands of years – I’m not the first or the last.  Obviously we aren’t making lots of plans these days but we are hoping to go out to dinner tonight for one last night out before babe.  Big Guy has a few things to get done on Saturday and then hopefully Sunday will be spent relaxing.  We said that last weekend and well, it didn’t really happen.  Here are my favorites from the week:


Favorite Carbs and Cheese:  Creamy French Onion Soup Dip in a Bread Bowl.  This looks insane and perfect for Super Bowl Sunday.


Favorite Decadent:  Peppermint Brownies for Two.  This is the perfect dessert for February 14th.


Favorite Splurge:  The Felize.  These shoes aren’t cheap.  But I’ve heard over and over again that they are like butter on your feet.  I’m lusting over them in the “latte” color.


Favorite Read:  “The Last Days of Pregnancy:  A Place of In-Betweens.”  So many truths!  The last days of pregnancy — sometimes stretching to agonizing weeks — are a distinct place, time, event, stage. It is a time of in between. Neither here nor there. Your old self and your new self, balanced on the edge of a pregnancy. One foot in your old world, one foot in a new world.


Favorite Game Day:  Slow Cooker Chipotle BBQ Meatballs with Garlic Toast.  I’ve got meatballs on my mind.  (And tator tots, too.)  But these look yummy and one-bite snacks are perfect for Super Bowl Sunday.


Favorite Snack:  No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Energy Balls.  This past week I stocked the freezer with a few snacks for post-baby.  And now these are being added to list of snacks to have on hand.


Favorite Outfit:  Dressing for Comfort.  Loving this outfit.  Put together yet comfortable.  Though I can’t get on board with the shoes…but those driving shoes above would look fantastic with this.  (wink wink)


Favorite No Waste:  Whole Orange Bundt Cake.  This cake utilizes the entire orange – peel and all.  And it’s in these cold winter months that I crave the brightness of citrus.  Plus it’s in season and I love a good bundt cake.


Favorite Clean Living:  5 Things to Know About Cleaning with Vinegar.  It’s natural and cheap and a great way to “clean up” your house.


Favorite Mocktail:  Sparkling Orange, Strawberry and Ginger Juice.  I have a glass of real sparkling wine in my near future but this sipper looks incredibly refreshing and could be perfect to have on hand – to sip alone or with your poison of choice.



Friday Favorites

Only three weekends remain between now and BG’s due date.  So I’m trying to make the most of these quiet days.  Obviously we’re staying close to home because, well, babies do what they wanna do when it comes to their arrival.  The only real things I have on the agenda this weekend is good food, organizing the pantry and brunch after church on Sunday.  Other than that, there will be lots of relaxing with little spurts of productivity sprinkled in here and there.  I hope you survived yet another snow (woof) and I pray that’s the end of it until next winter.  Here are my favorites from the week!


Favorite Fun:  White Chocolate Funfetti Rice Krispie Treats.  I am instantly happier just looking at these pretty little bars of sweetness.


Favorite Spring:  Eliza J Flounce Hem Sweatshirt Dress.  I’m so over dressing the bump at this point.  And I’m so ready for spring.  This dress is adorable and can be dressed up or down.


Favorite Bucket List:  Easy Bagel Recipe.  I so want to make bagels at home.  And while I have several recipes saved this one looks to be the easiest (and healthiest).  When do you want bagels, Big Guy?


Favorite Sweet Treat:  Healthy Peanut Butter Cups.  I am totally making these for an after-dinner treat ASAP.


Favorite List:  14 Things to Make Your Life Easier in 2018. My favorites:  “wear looser pants” and “let go of expectations.”


Favorite Snack:  Actually Crispy Baked Chickpeas.  I adore crispy chickpeas.  But they can be hit or miss at actually being crispy.  And one of the tips, peeling the skins, is something I do for homemade hummus but haven’t tried for crispy chickpeas.


Favorite For Two:  Small Batch Meyer Lemon Scones.  There are few things I adore more than the flavor of lemon.  How delightful would these be with a mug of hot tea?  (I think I just aged myself 35 years.)

Favorite Necessary:  Women’s Bean Boots.  If it snows ONE more time, these are being ordered immediately.  But I also think they’d be great for rainy days.  Sometimes my Hunter boots can be a hassle to put on (and take off).


Favorite Dip It:  Wild Mushroom and Chorizo Queso Fundido.  Football season is slowly, but surely, coming to and end.  This would be a delicious way to eat your way through the Super Bowl.


Favorite Trending:  Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Recipe.  These cookies seriously almost broke the internet last week.  I saw them posted on Instagram at least 20 times.  So that means, they definitely need to happen.  Perhaps tomorrow.




Friday Favorites

The first Friday and weekend of 2018 is here!  And I’m really excited about this weekend because I’m having my last baby shower in Charlotte on Sunday.  I’m really excited to see my family, a few friends that I haven’t seen in ages and to celebrate our little girl one last time before she’s born.  Stay warm out there my friends!


Favorite Warm:  Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale.  This is totally happening next week.  I adore peanut soup and this version is loaded with deliciousness while being super healthy.


Favorite Super Bowl:  Addicting Baked Seasoned Ritz Crackers.  The truth is, I have no idea where we’ll be for the Super Bowl.  For all I know, we could be in the hospital having a baby.  But these crackers are screaming my name.


Favorite Bake List:  Chocolate Babka Pull Apart Muffins.  This is not the recipe for a quick brunch item.  Instead, this is a kitchen project.  And I think it’s the perfect thing to tackle on one of the weekends leading up to my due date.

Children In A Forest Kindergarten

Favorite Look Back:  Hopeful Images from 2017.  Looking back at 2017 can sometimes be horrifying – so much evil.  But I prefer to look at all the wonderful things or little moments of love and compassion.


Favorite Stash the Freezer:  Yummy Salmon Burgers with Slaw.  Not only do I need to be eating more salmon right now (hello, brain development for BG) but I love salmon and these are the perfect quick lunch or dinner option.  In fact, I think I should make a batch just for the freezer for post-baby.  And while the slaw isn’t something that will last in the fridge for the long, it’s easily pulled together.


Favorite Football Food:  Super Easy Cheesy Monkey Bread.  Another Super Bowl option!  Carbs + Cheese = Life.


Favorite Upgrade:  Nike Flex 2017 RN Mesh Sneakers.  My athletic shoes take a beating.  Most days they are the only shoes I wear.  These are not only functional but pretty.


Favorite Sweet Treat:  Chocolate Chip Cookie Chocolate Bark.  Wow.  That’s really all I have to say about that.


Favorite Baby Related: Everything We Used & Bought in the First Two Weeks with Our Newborn.  After this weekend, I’ll be in 100% nesting mode.  I need to get the nursery (mainly her clothes and “stuff”) organized along with pack my hospital bag.  And despite all my efforts to be prepared, I know for a fact that we’ll be making an Amazon Prime purchase or two after she’s born.


Favorite Celebrate:  Spiced Merlot Sparkling Punch.  We went out to lunch last week for Big Guy’s birthday and he ordered the sangria (totally random).  I took a sip and was 100% jealous.  I am so ready to be able to order a cocktail again.