A couple of weeks ago Chase set up a mini countdown to Christmas on his bedroom dresser comprised of gold coins and jewels he keeps tucked away in his treasure chest and knows that once all the coins are used up and he’s onto the jewels, it means Mae and Pop arrive. Naturally every day this week he’s been talking about their arrival getting closer and closer and now it’s almost here. Clearly we are ready!
My parents arrive in town tomorrow afternoon and will be here through Christmas so I’m hoping to fill our time together with lots of holiday fun as well as some downtime around the house with our crew, too. As far as my blogging plans for next week are concerned, I’ll pop in when I can though I’ll be keeping family time my top priority. I’m sure I’ll share more via Instagram and Instagram Stories if you’d like to follow along there as well!
In the meantime, let’s dive into my usual roundup of Friday favorites! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and Happy Holidays!!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Ever since my friend Laura surprised our boys with homemade gingerbread play dough, a small cookie sheet, mini cookie cutters and a mini rolling pin, Chase has been so into making us play dough cookies every day. I figured the play dough was worth highlighting here with Christmas coming up next week since I have a feeling many of us will be inside with kids for hours on end and might be on the lookout for a festive, kid-friendly activity. The play dough looks really easy to make and smells absolutely amazing!
During last weekend’s Christmas kid pajama party, our children did a little gift swap and Chase received a Grow ‘n’ Glow Terrarium. I thought this was such a fun idea for a gift and Chase has been SO into it! He loved setting up the terrarium with Ryan and planting the seeds and rushes over to check on its progress every morning. It took about three days for things to begin blooming which has Chase all the more into this sweet little gift! I’m keeping this one on my radar for future birthday party presents since it was such a unique find and a neat departure from a typical kid’s toy.
My mom and my friend Merri recommended Seth Meyers’ Netflix comedy special to me within the same week, so I figured it was worth checking out. Ryan and I watched this one together and could not stop laughing out loud. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re right in the thick of parenting and it talks a lot about life with kids and marriage or what, but it was SO funny. I highly recommend watching this one if you need a laugh!
America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
After sharing a bit more about some of the historical fiction novels I’m loving lately in last week’s TILF post, I was excited to read that quite a few of you are also into historical fiction that creatively incorporates real people into the plot. For those who share this interest, the book I’m in the middle of reading read this week may fall right into your wheelhouse!
America’s First Daughter is the “untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter” and follows the life of Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, a bright, devoted woman who becomes fiercely dedicated to her father following her mother’s death. While I obviously know about Thomas Jefferson and have read about his relationship with Sally Hemmings, the woman he enslaved who was the same age as his oldest daughter, I didn’t know anything about Patsy and I am finding this book to be both educational (though it is non-fiction, it’s also clearly very well-researched) and interesting, as it covers the Patsy’s life through a lens that touches on historical events, relationships (notably her love with her father’s secretary, William Short), family loyalty, her father’s devotion to his country and freedom despite owning slaves and more.
Burn Boot Camp Cardio Workout
I am a strength training lover through and through so if I’m highlighting a cardio workout in this space, you know it’s a good one! Yesterday’s Burn Boot Camp cardio workout was a sweat fest but the format of the workout kept things moving and made it fly by. It included three supersets of cardio exercises but within the supersets the exercises kept things interesting. For example, rather than do medicine ball slams for 90 seconds for one of the exercises, we did 6 medicine ball slams + 6 medicine ball over the shoulder tosses (AMRAP) for 90 seconds. It was challenging but oddly fun, too!
Cheese Puff Casserole (NO there are not actual cheese puffs in this casserole but YES it is deliciously cheesy! It’s been my family’s go-to Christmas morning casserole for years!
Oatmeal Apple Crisp (I know this was a recent recipe share on the blog but I’m just putting it on your radar again in case you’re on the lookout for an easy dessert over the holidays. I’ve officially lost track of how many times I’ve made it this fall. )
Question of the Day
What is one thing making you smile today?