On the bright side of things, Friday is here and the travel-like-crazy portion of December kicks off for me today. I’m heading to Charleston, South Carolina this morning to spend the weekend soaking up quality time with six of my best friends from college.
(Throwback pic from my baby shower because it was the only one I could find of the seven of us!)
We rented a house to stay in together and I am so, so ready to explore a place I’ve heard SO many positive things about ever since we moved to North Carolina. (It’s a very popular weekend getaway destination in our area since it’s a quick three and a half hour drive away.) I’m hoping to snap enough pics to warrant a recap on the blog next week and will do my best to remember to take a few while we’re out and about!
Before I check a few last minute to-dos off my list and hit the road, I wanted to be sure to share a quick roundup of a few things I’m loving this week in my usual Things I’m Loving Friday post! Feel free to chime in below and tell me about something that is making you smile as well. Hope you all have the best weekend and really, really appreciate you stopping by the blog today!
Things I’m Loving Friday
- Toddler Joy and Innocence
There’s nothing like a rough day to make you really, really appreciate the sweet, innocent lens through which children view the world. There were more than a few moments this week where I just felt such overwhelming love and gratitude for Chase and the happiness and positivity he brings into my life. He gets so much joy out of yelling “GROUP HUG!” to me and Ryan before bed and seeing him dissolve into giggles over something so small and simple impacts me deeply and makes me want to fully appreciate every second of these tiny moments with Chase because they really are the BIG moments.
- Extra-Long Cardigans
(Pictured above are two of my favorite cardigans that I’m currently wearing on repeat: Solutions Cardigan – available in a bunch of colors and so warm and cozy / Scotch & Soda Duster Cardigan via StitchFix – currently cannot find this online! And here’s one more I cannot seem to stop wearing right now: Barefoot Dreams Coastal Hooded Cardigan – truly feels like you’re wearing a robe!)
This fall and winter seems to be the fall and winter of long cardigans and I AM LOVING IT. Is there anything cozier than a soft, flowy cardigan over a comfy tee? It’s my uniform of choice these days (aside from gym clothes but that may never change). They work well with everything from leggings to skinny jeans and I’ve even seen them paired with a mini-dress and over-the-knee books which is a look I’m dying to recreate when I want to be a little fancier!
- The Pioneer Woman Come and Get It! Cookbook by Ree Drummond
I adore The Pioneer Woman. Everything about her from her comforting recipes to her down-to-earth personality and her love for her family makes me smile. I have a couple of her cookbooks and love the way she weaves her life into the recipes and pages. Ree’s cookbooks feel like an extension of Ree and her recipes are almost always a slam dunk in our house. I recently added Come and Get It! to my cookbook collection – a cookbook that’s packed with simple recipes – and it’s another winner. The honey soy salmon and dinner nachos we made this week were both fantastic and I’m dying to try her orange vanilla monkey bread next!
- A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake
When this book popped up as a recommended read for my on my Kindle, it didn’t take me long to download it and begin reading. A Tangled Mercy was easily one of the most captivating books I’ve read all year. It started a little bit jumbled for me but the writing seemed to improve as the book went on and the storyline completely hooked me. It was hard to read in parts since it depicts the brutal treatment of slaves in 1822 and horrific race-related hatred so prevalent today but it felt like an important read at the same time. (I also loved reading the author’s notes at the end of the book when she writes about the research and emotion that went into writing this novel so definitely don’t skip out on that once you’ve finished if you decide to read this one!)
The book is a historical fiction novel that follows two stories in parallel. First we meet Kate Drayton, a Harvard graduate student who recently lost her mother and father and cannot shake the lingering questions she has about her mother and father’s lives and the end of their marriage years earlier. Inspired by her mother’s research and obsession with a slave revolt nearly two centuries earlier, Kate finds herself in Charleston, hoping for answers. The story also follows Tom Russell, a talented blacksmith and slave, struggling with whether or not he should become involved in an uprising of slaves in Charleston in 1822 and help provide weaponry or keep himself safe while grappling with the atrocious treatment he sees of the woman he loves by a powerful white man.
- Friday Flashbacks
Coconut Oil Peppermint Bark (You only need five ingredients – most of which are healthy – to make this festive peppermint bark!)
Chocolate Crinkle Cake Mix Cookies (A perfect shortcut cookie recipe to bring to a cookie exchange!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you are loving this week?