I hoped to share a recap of our weekend and then dive into some random musings from the week on the blog but that clearly didn’t happen because our house was hit hard with some kind of a bug. (I thankfully had Tuesday’s blog post about my favorite chicken thigh marinade pre-written.) Just when I thought we were going to escape cold and flu season without any sickness in our house, I went down hard on Monday (throwing up, achy, the works) and then nausea returned for most of the day again yesterday. Poor Chase has been out of school sick since Tuesday so we are quite the duo. By some miracle, Ryan and Ryder are both healthy and I’m crossing my fingers and toes it stays that way!
On the bright side of things, my father-in-law arrived in town yesterday and didn’t seem to be too phased by our less-than-healthy household (he’s a trooper) and Ryan was able to get off work earlier than usual so we enjoyed a nice Valentine’s Day at home as a family even if Chase and I were a little out of sorts.
(Chase was pretty excited to see the final heart on his door yesterday morning! I definitely see that becoming a Valentine’s Day tradition in our house!)
In today’s Friday post, I wanted to recap a little bit of last weekend’s fun since I didn’t get the chance to earlier this week and also share a few things that are currently making me smile. As always, I’d love for you to join in and share something you’re loving right now with me in the comments section of this post. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and have a fantastic weekend!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Valentine’s Day Secret Santa
I felt bad that Chase had to miss his preschool’s Valentine’s Day celebration because they did the cutest thing this year! Las week, every kid in his class drew one of their classmate’s names out of a hat for a sort of Valentine’s Day Secret Santa. The kids were then supposed to spend time making their classmate a homemade Valentine to go along with a simple little treat or toy ($5 or less). They did this in lieu of the usual candy/card exchange to emphasize the importance of thinking of others and I thought it was the sweetest idea.
Chase drew his best friend Claire’s name and took Claire’s gift selection very seriously. He had the best time making her a card and putting together her little surprise so we dropped it off at school and his teacher sent me home with a sweet gift for Chase from his friend Cayla. Chase couldn’t stop talking about the fact that Cayla made him a card and got him a special gift and seemed blown away by the whole thing!
Ryder’s Dedication + A Visit from My Parents
Last weekend, my parents came into town and were able to witness our family dedicating Ryder at our church! (You may read more about dedication vs. traditional baptism in this post about Chase’s dedication if you’re curious.) It was an incredibly special day for our family and I was so grateful my mom and dad could join us to celebrate.
The rest of our weekend with my family was a wonderful one, despite the fact that my mom and I both started to feel a little sick toward the end of the weekend. We ate at CAVA for the first time on Saturday night and it was fantastic (why have I waited so long to try that place!?), grabbed ice cream from Kilwin’s, hung out close to home and just enjoyed being together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I love where we live but man oh man I wish our families lived closer!
Prior to my parents’ visit last weekend, I did a little digging and tried to find some new plant-based recipes to try since my mom and dad are currently sticking to a mostly plant-based diet at the moment. I stumbled upon a recipe for vegan spaghetti squash lasagna and was instantly intrigued by the faux-ricotta cheese made with soaked almonds, fresh basil, pressed tofu, lemon juice and spices. It was pretty easy to assemble and we all really liked the recipe. One tip if you make it: Serve it in bowls and stir everything up to maximize the faux-ricotta mixture in every bite!
I have a wonderful resource to share with any of you out there who may be on the cusp of or in the middle of introducing solids to your little ones. One of my blogging friends, Whitney, is a registered dietitian and self-proclaimed “science and research junkie” who adheres to a predominantly plant-based diet. After the birth of her son, she teamed up with Alex, a fellow registered dietitian and mother, to launch Plant-Based Juniors in an effort to share evidence-based nutrition advice to empower parents to make the best nutrition decisions for their families. Together, Whitney and Alex created Plant-Based Juniors: First Bites, an ebook created especially for those looking to introduce solids to their little ones in a healthy way. They sent a copy my way and I instantly LOVED it. Plant Based Juniors: First Bites is packed with information and I love the science-based approach to feeding babies, as well as the visual guides that make it easy to see what bites of real food for little ones should look like at such a young age. The picture tutorials were truly SO helpful, especially if you’re a visual person and want to see a simple photo of what bites of real food should look like for babies of a certain age.
The ebook breaks down baby led weaning in an easy-to-understand way and is only $12.99. I am doing a mix of real food and purees for Ryder (you may read more about my approach in this post: Beginning Solids with Baby) and have found the ebook incredibly helpful and a wonderful resource. I’ve already made a handful of the recipes in her book for Ryder (they’re kid-friendly and not just for babies!) and the cinnamon sweet potato sticks and mango chia pudding were both major hits with our little guy!
Coconut Hemp Seed Granola (I made a batch of this granola earlier this week and enjoyed it all week long on top of Greek yogurt with fresh berries.)
Beach Legs Workout (This leg workout incorporates lots of squats and lunges to target your quads, glutes and hamstrings and will make you feel the burn in only 15 minutes.)
Question of the Day
What is something that is making you smile this week?