Things I’m Loving Friday #164

Happy, happy Friday! I hope you are stopping by the blog today with a little extra pep in your step heading into the weekend. We have a Christmas cookie swap party on our agenda for Saturday and hope to make the most of a relaxing weekend at home.

I’m really looking forward to a couple of low key days ahead with my two favorite boys and furry BFF! (Well, as low key as possible with Tinytron in the mix.)

Chase Christmas Season

In keeping with Friday tradition around here, it’s time for your weekly Things I’m Loving Friday post featuring a short roundup of some of the things that are making me smile right now. As always, I’d love for you to join in on the fun and share a little bit about something you are loving in the comments section of this post.

There is also an awesome giveaway from Minted at the bottom of this post, so definitely check it out, especially if you’re in the market for holiday cards or beautiful prints this holiday season.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Things I’m Loving Friday

The Best Spiced Cider

You guys know by now that I have a serious obsession with Ina Garten’s mulled wine recipe. I’ve made it no less than four times since October and tweak it a tiny bit each time. For Wednesday night’s White Elephant gift exchange, I made it again and am convinced one key component to the mulled wine is selecting a wonderful apple cider to combine with your favorite red wine.

This R.W. Knudsen Cider & Spice apple cider caught my eye at Whole Foods before Friendsgiving and I’ve bought it for every batch of mulled wine since because it’s so fabulous. It seems more spiced and flavorful than other ciders and I love that the ingredient list is nice and simple. It’s also wonderful on it own and since we usually have a little leftover, I love heating up a mug of the cider as an afternoon pick-me-up on chilly days as well.

meal train

One of my girlfriends recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and everyone in my small group wanted to bring home cooked meals to Anna and her family to make the first few weeks a little easier. My friend Danielle coordinated meal deliveries for Anna using the website Meal Train and it made everything SO easy! We were all able to select a day and the Meal Train site said what time Anna prefers to receive meal deliveries, her dietary preferences, address, etc. We were also able to share what meal we were planning to make for Anna’s family to help avoid any repeats or similar meals back-to-back. I highly recommend this handy little site for anyone trying to coordinate meal deliveries for someone!

Beautycounter Cleanser (best non-toxic face wash)

I was just talking about this cleanser with my girlfriends last weekend when my friend Leah said she is struggling to find a cream cleanser that doesn’t leave a film on her face. I was exactly the same way (don’t even get me started on my hatred for Cetaphil) until I discovered Beautycounter Nourishing Cream Cleanser. I bought it a while back after I downloaded an app on my phone that gave my previous cleanser horrific ratings for its ingredient list. I’ve been more cognizant of the beauty products I use thanks to pregnancy and nursing and have tried to keep up with buying safer products as my older products run out. This cream cleanser was a hit from the beginning and after cycling through a myriad of more natural face cleansers, it is the one I feel does the best job at keeping my skin clear while also moisturizing my face and giving it a clean feel after every wash. A small amount goes a long way and I love the way the coconut oil and aloe help hydrate my dry winter skin.

  • Rockin’ Holidays Pandora Station

rockin holidays pandora

I think I mention this Pandora station around the holidays every year, but it deserves another shout out just in case you’re on the lookout for an upbeat holiday music station to help you get in the holiday spirit!

Celestial Seasonings Peppermint

I’ve been on such a peppermint kick this week. Every day I’ve had either peppermint coffee, peppermint tea or peppermint hot cocoa. I don’t see this trend ending before Christmas and I’m definitely embracing the festive flavor! An afternoon mug of peppermint tea makes cranking out a couple of hours of work during Chase’s naptime feel a little more cozy and fun, especially when I light a balsam candle on my desk, too. I can’t resist all the Christmasy things!

  • Minted Holiday Cards + Giveaway (THREE Winners!)

Minted Christmas Cards 2016

Is it just me or do you guys really look forward to checking the mail this time of year? I looove receiving holiday cards from friends and family and sent our holiday cards out earlier this week!

Minted Christmas Cards

Like the past few years, we ordered our holiday cards from Minted who offered to collaborate with me this year and extend an awesome giveaway to you guys, too! If you haven’t ordered holiday cards yet, you have to check out Minted! Their designs are stunning and they have everything from thick letterpress cards to foil-pressed cards and more. The holiday card designs are created by independent artists and I had the hardest time choosing a favorite from so many gorgeous designs!

If holiday cards aren’t on your radar, Minted also has awesome holiday gifts including beautiful photo gifts like this foil collage I made of photos of Chase for Ryan for Christmas last year! And I actually ordered a couple of holiday prints from Minted (this one in green and this one) to hang in our bathroom as well this year and love them!

Now here’s the good news!!!

Three PBF readers will win a $100 credit to Minted to use toward anything on the site!

To enter this giveaway, please click here to enter on and leave a comment on this blog post telling me about one thing you are looking forward to this holiday season. The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday and we will contact the winners on Monday so you can order your cards and gifts ASAP!

Good luck!!

Note: Due to promotional laws, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents.

  • Friday Flashbacks

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate No Bake Icebox Cake (Change this one up and add crushed candy canes for a festive holiday dessert!)

No Bake Gluten Free Double Chocolate Icebox Cake

20 Minute Total Body Workout (A total body workout that you can do in only 20 minutes! Add another round for a 30-minute sweat fest.)

20 Minute Total Body Workout -- Complete each exercise pairing for 2 min before moving onto the next pair. Complete 2 total rounds.

Question of the Day

  • What is one thing that is making you smile today?


Disclaimer: Though I was provided holiday cards from Minted this year, this post and corresponding giveaway are not sponsored. Affiliate links are included in this post and do not affect purchase price. Thank you so much for your support!

White Elephant Wednesday


Hiii! How are you guys today? Is it just me or is the holiday season flyin’ by!? It’s a busy time of year and I cannot believe we only have 17 days left until Christmas. Time needs to slooow down! I wanted to pop in this morning to take you through a run-down of a random Wednesday around here. Let’s start at the beginning, shall … [Continue reading...]

PBF Gift Guide: Fun Gifts Under $25

Gift Guide Under $25

The third PBF gift guide of the season is here today and this is a FUN one because it’s filled with affordable gift ideas under $25. Woo! Whether you’re on the lookout for stocking stuffers or a small, thoughtful gift to give to someone to show you’re thinking about them this holiday season, I hope something on this list pops out at you! … [Continue reading...]

Easy Holiday Pretzel Treats

Holiday Pretzel Treats

This recipe for Easy Holiday Pretzels is so simple it may not even deserve to be called a recipe. With only three ingredients, it’s a salty and sweet treat that’s sure to spread joy to loved ones around you this holiday season! Wrap them up in festive tins or gift bags for the perfect edible gift. I have the easiest holiday recipe to share … [Continue reading...]

Chase Update: 13 to 16 Months


Once Chase turned one, I let my monthly motherhood/Chase check-ins fall to the wayside because they were meant to be baby updates and my baby is now technically a toddler. (What!? I still cannot believe it.) Since it has been more than four months since my last check in, I feel almost overwhelmed with everything I want to share with you guys! Where … [Continue reading...]