Hello, hello! Happy Friday to some of my favorite people! I hope your week was a good one. My parents left before dawn this morning and while I wish their trip could’ve been longer, I’m so glad we were able to cram in a ton of fun in the two-and-a-half days I had with them this week. We filled their time in Charlotte with trips to The Raptor Center and Duck Donuts and Chase was in heaven with Mae and Pop in town! (My mom is now officially “Mae” to Chase. He could never say “Grammy” and began calling her “Mae” several months ago instead. It stuck and we all love it!)
Today is going to be a typical Friday around here: Soccer for Chase, nap time working for me and hopefully a relaxing night at home for our family this evening. We’re also hoping to make it out to a local pumpkin patch this weekend and will be attending a chili cook off party on Saturday evening as well. I signed up to bring cornbread to the party and there is going to be a prize for the best chili and the best cornbread, so if you have a GREAT cornbread recipe you love, please let me know! As of right now, I’ve got nothin’, so I need some ideas!
And now, before the weekend officially begins, it’s time for my usual Things I’m Loving Friday blog post! Below you will find a short roundup of some things I am loving this week and, as always, I’d love to hear a little bit about something that is making you smile as well.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Things I’m Loving Friday
- The Smell of Pumpkin Granola
Since Chase is such a huge fan of “helping” me cook and bake in the kitchen, I find myself regularly looking for new recipes to try with him. Yesterday afternoon we whipped up several batches of pumpkin granola for our family and Chase’s preschool teachers and it made the entire house smell fantastic for hours! I loosely followed Pinch of Yum’s recipe that I bookmarked earlier this fall and it was wonderful. A must-try if you love a slightly sweet and salty granola with lots of flavor and texture! An added bonus? It’s made with real pumpkin which, if you do a quick Google search for pumpkin spice granola recipes, you’ll realize isn’t actually all that common.
I’m sharing this one here for any local friends! My mom, dad and I took Chase to the Carolina Raptor Center yesterday morning and he absolutely loved it! Ryan and I visited with him once before so I had a feeling it would be a hit again. The Carolina Raptor Center is located at the front of the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve and is home to more than 30 species of birds. The whole park is shaded (perfect for hot and sunny days) and the soft trails are wonderful for a rambunctious toddler. Chase ran all over the place and had a great time pointing at owls, eagles, hawks, vultures and more. Keep this one on your list if you have an animal lover on your hands and want to do something fun outside together.
- Autumn-Scented Candles
Earlier this week when I decorated our house for the fall, I unpacked all of my autumn-scented candles and love the smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, apple cider and cloves that fills the air whenever I light one and watch the beautiful flame flicker. Holiday-scented candles are my favorite and I’m already anxiously anticipating a winter marked by warm pine-scented candles and cinnamon. So cozy!
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
A couple of you guys and my mom recommended The Woman in Cabin 10 to me so I began reading it earlier this week. I’ve been looking forward to reading it before bed every night and it’s really picking up steam! There’s plenty of intrigue and it moves quickly and I’m very interested to see how it turns out. The book follows travel journalist Lo Blacklock as she boards a small luxury cruise on assignment from her magazine, only a couple of days after her apartment was burgled with her inside. Once aboard the ship, Lo witnesses a woman being thrown overboard and blood smeared on the glass pane diving the veranda of her cabin from the one next door. When she reports the incident to the head of security, the supposedly empty cabin next door is investigated and everything is clean and tidy and the blood is gone. Every passenger and crew member on the ship is accounted for but Lo is certain there was one passenger on the ship whose whereabouts no one can seem to explain.
- FlipCam “Phone”
Chase found our old FlipCam in our junk drawer a couple of weeks ago and even though it wasn’t charged and didn’t turn on, he immediately loved it and now refers to it as “Chase Phone.” It actually looks a lot like an iPhone so I can see the connection and he’ll “call” people on it and take pretend pictures (“peek-tures”) of Sadie which makes my heart swell. It’s adorable and I just had to share this little discovery here in case any of you out there happen to have an old FlipCam on hand that might make a great toy for your toddler!
- Friday Flashbacks
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins (Chase’s favorite fall muffins are officially back in our breakfast rotation. Our whole family loves them!)
Total Body Workout (A throwback workout from 2014!)
Questions of the Day
Any delicious cornbread recipes to share? Please send them my way!
What is one thing you are loving this week?