I could not be more excited for a LOW KEY weekend ahead. Throughout the past few months we’ve had so many visitors and when people weren’t staying with us we seemed to be traveling somewhere, so I am beyond psyched for a weekend of N-O-T-H-I-N-G with my little family. Bring on the couch time, baby!
I’m sure we’ll also sprinkle in a decent amount of time outside and we have plans for a date on Saturday (Chase will be coming, too… does that count as a date?), so I’m really looking forward to the next couple of days.
And now, since it’s Friday, it’s time to dive into your weekly Things I’m Loving Friday blog post where we all share a little bit about what we’re loving most each week. As always, feel free to join in the fun in the comments section of this post!
Things I’m Loving Friday
- Celebrating 12 Years
(Pic from our early days in college!)
On Monday, Ryan and I officially celebrated 12 years together! Our first date took place on February 1, 2004 and since Ryan says we’ll never stop celebrating our “dateiversary,” we’re heading off to the place where it all began on Saturday to celebrate. You will find us sharing a slice of banana cream cheesecake at the world’s most romantic establishment: The Cheesecake Factory! Haha! The Cheesecake Factory was the place where we went for our first date, so it’s only fitting we return there each year to reminisce a bit. (We took a few years off when we lived in Ocala because there wasn’t a Cheesecake Factory nearby.)
- Surprise Sweet Treats
Since Chase and I were still acclimating to “real life” after our weekend travels on Monday, I told Ryan I’d prefer to celebrate our dateiversary on Saturday rather than on the actual day this year so he arrived home from work with an assortment of sweet treats from Maddy Fatty’s for a mini-celebration at home. That man knows sugar is the way to my heart, I’m tellin’ ya! We shared and enjoyed everything but the vanilla bean crème brulee was the standout.
- Applegate Pepperoni
If you’ve ever purchased pepperoni at the grocery store and glanced at the ingredient list, it can be quite horrifying. I noticed a package of Applegate Naturals pepperoni for sale at Publix the other week and since Applegate is one of my go-to brands for deli meat, I picked up a pack of their turkey pepperoni. I immediately recognized all of the ingredients and the flavor of the pepperoni was slightly spicy and delicious! It’s a great grab-and-go high protein snack option for me and I also used it to make Danielle Walker’s pepperoni pizza pasta and it was AMAZING. Annnnd this is a decent segue into my next “Things I’m Loving Friday” feature…
- Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
My friend Leah was my Secret Santa this year and she apparently caught wind of how much I loved Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook and gave me Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain cookbook for Christmas. It is wonderful! The photography in the cookbook is stunning and every recipe we’ve made so far has been fantastic. Many of the recipes are also quite simple and perfect for an easy weeknight meal. Some of my favorite recipes I’ve made so far include Danielle’s chicken curry, pepperoni pizza pasta (<— the BEST), chipotle barbacoa and the garlic-herb chicken thighs.
And because I’m sure I’ll get this question, no, I’m not eating a paleo or gluten-free diet – yesterday was a beast and I’m pretty sure 80 percent of my diet consisted of refined carbs – ahem, cereal – but I do appreciate delicious, clean recipes and find that paleo recipes often taste amazing and focus on veggies and quality proteins.
- Finishing A Cup of Coffee Before Chase Wakes Up
File this under things I would think sound totally lame pre-kids, but now that I have a rambunctious little six-month-old in my life, this is definitely something I’m loving this week because it happened TWO days in a row. Glory, glory!
- Lindsey’s Handmade Key Fobs
Chase’s Burn Boot Camp BFF, Miss Lindsey, is one of the craftiest people I know. In addition to creating some of the most adorable baby artwork with Chase’s hand and footprints, Lindsey always seems to be creating something beautiful at home, too, and this week, she shared an image of homemade key fobs on her Facebook and Instagram pages.
Lindsey ended up with a bunch of orders from Burn Boot Campers and I bought four! I couldn’t resist picking up the teal and gray fobs for myself for the random house keys we give to guests who stay with us or take with us on runs/walks around the neighborhood. I also sent a screen shot of Lindsey’s Instagram photo to my mom and sister and they both wanted one, too! I asked if Lindsey might be willing to ship them out to any of you guys if some of you are interested and she said yes! She’s asking $6 for them (that does not include shipping) and you can feel good about supporting an awesome woman, too! Lindsey is looking into setting up an Etsy shop, but in the meantime, you can order them by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org (she accepts PayPal) or reach out to her on Instagram at @ltyner87.
The Pampered Mommy Box team sent me a sample of their January box and it was such a fun treat to receive in the mail! Those who sign up for a Pampered Mommy Box receive anywhere from five to seven carefully selected bath and beauty products and small gifts selected especially for moms every month. My box was filled with an assortment of beauty products, including an organic sugar scrub, blow-dry spray and tea bags for the eyes as well as a lovely mini candle and the cutest MagSoul headband that a few of you asked about when I posted some pictures of it last week. If this seems like a box you or a mom in your life would enjoy, they’re offering PBF readers $5 off with the code PBFINGERS. Enjoy!
- Around the Web
23 Incredibly Helpful Charts For New Parents (Super interesting!)
The Best Restaurant In Every State (And I’ve been to none of them.)
A Friends Reunion Is Finally Happening (Yessssss.)
10 Most Romantic Restaurants in Charlotte (For the locals!)
- Friday Flashbacks
Winter Boot Camp Workout (A boot camp style workout from 2014 that works your whole body while seriously elevating your heart rate!)
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake (I shared this recipe last February and it truly is the most decadently delicious gluten-free chocolate cake I’ve ever had. The recipe is also relatively simple for a made-from-scratch cake. Don’t skip the icing!)
- Bouqs and Blue Apron Giveaway Winners
Congratulations to Jillian, Sarah M. and Liliana, the three winners of the Bouqs.com giveaway, and Brittany B., the winner of the Blue Apron giveaway. All giveaway winners were emailed first thing this morning. Thanks so much to everyone who entered!
Question of the Day
- What is one thing you are loving this week?