Now that we’re back in action, let’s dive right into my usual roundup of Friday favorites!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Fourth of July Weekend Celebrations
I didn’t share a typical Fourth of July weekend recap on the blog on Monday but still wanted to share some pics of the holiday with you guys because we had such a nice time with my family. We spent the morning at the pool before making our way out to the beach around lunchtime where we remained until dinner. It was an all-day outside kind of Fourth of July and despite overcast weather, the rain held off and we managed to spend hours on the beach, swimming in the ocean, chasing the kids in the tide pools and snacking in the shade of our canopy.
The fireworks on the beach were canceled this year but that didn’t stop people from assembling their own firework shows in nearby neighborhoods. We managed to see a bunch of them from my parents’ place which had us feeling festive despite the fact that everything feels so different right now.
We ended up saving our family’s sparklers for the fifth of July because all of our little ones hit a serious wall after dinner so it felt like the holiday fun was extended a bit!
(Note to self: Put the self-timer to use and somehow get a pic of our whole family together before we head back to North Carolina!)
Creature Man’s Little Critters
Florida is a jackpot for little critters and Creature Man Chase is loving collecting as many as possible. The tide pools are the perfect hunting grounds for little fish — he even caught one with his hand to put in a bucket — and lizards are incredibly plentiful in sunny spots near the pool at my parents’ place.
My sister gave Chase his birthday present a little early and the Melissa & Doug Bug House she ordered has been the perfect temporary home for lizards and bugs during our stay. We’ve caught a lizard or two a day since our arrival and told Chase he can keep his lizard friends for one day before we need to release them into the wild. Since Chase began catching lizards, we’ve had our fair share of lizard friends stay with us for the day — Silly Tail (a lizard with half of a tail), Teeny and Tiny (two baby lizards), Crazy, Long Tail, Feisty and Catchy!
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Queenie was such an interesting book and one that had me feeling increasingly invested with each page I read. Queenie is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman currently navigating a break (or is it a break up?) with her long-term white boyfriend. Their break sends Queenie into a downward spiral at her job at a national newspaper and into the arms of numerous men as she tries to distract herself from her pain. As she spirals further and further out of control, she begins to deal with crippling anxiety and her journey to self-improvement is one that kept me incredibly engaged and interested. With our country’s current climate and my desire to learn more about Black culture and ways to combat racism, I found Queenie especially interesting as it showcases racism and struggles Queenie faces in her day-to-day life that, while fictional in the book, read incredibly true and heartbreaking.
I’ve listened to the Hamilton soundtrack more times than I can count and have been dying to see it on stage for YEARS. Ryan actually had tickets for us to see the show in NYC when I was pregnant with Ryder around Christmas time but I got the flu and we had to cancel our entire trip. I then tried in vain to get tickets when it came to Charlotte (text alerts, waking up at the crack of dawn to purchase tickets, entering the lottery daily, etc.)… and then we had tickets to see the show again when it came to Jacksonville this spring but it got canceled due to the pandemic. I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever see the musical in person, though I have my fingers crossed for the rescheduled Jacksonville performance in the fall of 2021.
Needless to say, I was SO incredibly pumped to have the ability to watch the original cast perform Hamilton via Disney+! Though the soundtrack is incredible, there’s so much I feel like I missed by not seeing the musical and was blown away by the talent of the actors as well as the choreography, lighting and costumes. One thing is for sure: My love for Hamilton only continues to grow and I cannot even begin to imagine how amazing the musical is in person! Have you seen Hamilton? Please tell me its as amazing as I dream it will be!
Chicken Sausage Sweet Potato Bake (Dinner doesn’t get much easier than this simple recipe!)
Cardio HIIT Workout (This workout incorporates three blocks that you will rotate through four times. The first round is the longest (I always like to get the hardest part of the workout done first!) and the duration of each subsequent round decreases a bit. It’s a serious sweat fest!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing making you smile this week?