As of 5 p.m. today, North Carolinians are allowed to shop for “non-essential” items at stores allowed to open at 50 percent capacity and socialize with non-family members once again in small, outdoor gatherings of no more than 10 people with social distancing practices maintained. It’s a big change but still prohibits the opening of restaurants (with the exception of takeout), salons, gyms, etc. which should come within the next two weeks as part of Phase Two assuming everything trends in the right direction. Is anything beginning to re-open and change in your hometown? I know all of this looks so different depending on where you live.
As far as our weekend plans are concerned they once again center around family time. All day every daaaay. Haha! Are you guys doing anything fun to celebrate Mother’s Day? I wish we could be with our mothers on Sunday but Chase already seems excited about another reason to have cake or “one of Mom’s treats” and told Ryan he wants to get me a puppy. I think Sadie would revolt if we brought a puppy into this house and then showed up with another baby in September. Haha!
Before signing off for the weekend, I wanted to share my weekly favorites with you guys below in my Things I’m Loving Friday roundup. I hope you guys all have a good weekend and are able to enjoy some sunshine!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Chase’s Outside Journal
One of my friends texted me a picture of an “outside bracelet” her daughter made by placing little things she found outside onto a piece of tape around her wrist. I thought the idea was so cute but since Chase is all about finding a LOT of things and some very odd treasures I thought he might enjoy making an “outside journal” to keep all of his finds in one place.
This homemade journal isn’t anything fancy (just some card stock stapled together) but, you guys, he’s been SO into it this week! Whenever we go out on our walks and wander around our neighborhood, he keeps his eyes peeled for new finds to add to his journal. His collection now includes everything from random berries, plants and rocks to a blue jay feather, robin’s egg shell and more! I just thought this was worth sharing for anyone else with little nature enthusiasts on their hands!
Did you guys do anything to celebrate Cinco de Mayo social distancing style? We had nachos for dinner on Tuesday for our low key celebration and oooh wow were they ever amazing! I followed this recipe from Pinch of Yum for spicy lentil nachos with a homemade three cheese sauce and we were blown away! The recipe was so unique and flavorful (and that cheese sauce was addicting!!!) and I’ll absolutely make this one again in the future. I’ve found the serving sizes for a lot of Pinch of Yum recipes on the smaller size (when they say they feed four, they’ll often feed just me and Ryan) and I didn’t realize that this one was supposed to feed eight... so we had nachos for three separate meals but there were zero complaints! (Note: We ran out of cheese sauce by the end of the second round of leftovers, so if you like a heftier cheese-to-lentil ratio like we do, I’d consider making 1.5x the cheese sauce the recipe calls for. More cheese, please! I also needed to add more quinoa to the lentil mixture to get it thick enough — I did a mix of wheat berries and quinoa for our grains — so keep in mind the recipe might need to be adapted a bit.)
The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane by Kelly Harms
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve shared a book recommendation in a TILF post and that’s not because I haven’t been reading; I just haven’t been reading anything particularly good. I finally found a winner with The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane by Kelly Harms. I greatly enjoyed The Overdue Life of Amy Byler written by the same author so I had high hopes for another book by Harms and this one was really interesting to me for a myriad of reasons. At first, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t really into it. But this is the kind of book that gets better with each page. The quirky characters become more interesting as the story unfolds and the plot is unique.
The premise of the book centers around two women with the same name who both believe they won a dream house in Maine. Janine “Janey” Brown was entered into the competition by her spunky Aunt Midge with the plan to coerce her grief-stricken niece into a fresh start in a home with an unbelievable kitchen, a temptation she believes will be too good to resist for Janey whose passion for cooking is unparalleled. The “other” Janine Brown, “Nean” also believes she won the competition and high-tails it to Maine as the perfect escape from an abusive relationship and one bad job after the next. When Janey and Aunt Midge arrive to find Nean in “their” home, a witty and heartfelt story of love, loss and self-discovery unfolds.
Cooking with kids is a M-E-S-S but, honestly, I love it. Our boys are so into being involved in the kitchen which is fun for me since it’s a happy place for me as well, especially when it comes to baking a little something sweet! Ryder is now all about Chase’s cooking stand (<– that’s the one we have and love and it’s actually IN stock at Target!) and Ryder will constantly push it up to the counter and say, “help, help” when he sees me prepping something in the kitchen. Love it! Last Friday night, the boys and I whipped up our first made-from-scratch strawberry cake and it was wonderful. Ryan described it perfectly when he said it tasted like some kind of a strawberry doughnut/strawberry cake hybrid. It’s a great summery cake and for this weekend’s sweet treat creation, something lemon-based is calling to me. Maybe my favorite lemon sugar cookie icebox cake? Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Healthy Berry Banana Ice Cream (A dairy-free, kid-friendly dessert! No ice cream maker required!)
Killer Cardio Total Body Tabata Workout (Short + sweaty! Just the way I like it!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you’re loving this week?