It feels like we are SO close right now and I am just all kinds of excited, nervous, unprepared and yet oddly calm about the whole thing because my motto related to motherhood in this phase of life is to simply “embrace the chaos.” Things in our house are already crazy and they’ll just continue to be crazy, so bring it on!
As for the weekend ahead, we don’t have much on our calendar but if the weather cooperates, I’m sure we’ll spend most of it outside, on the boat and on various family walks — aka our social distancing “usual” these days!
I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy today’s roundup of favorites, Things I’m Loving Friday style!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Back in 2015 I listened to a podcast that talked about small ways we can bring joy into our lives. (I wrote all about the concept in this post if you’d like to check it out: Little Indulgences = Big Happiness.) In this specific episode of the Happier podcast, hosted by the author of the book The Happiness Project (highly recommend!) and her sister, the women discuss indulging in a “modest splurge” as a way to increase personal happiness. A modest splurge, by their definition, is something quite small that brings you great joy. It may be something you buy, but it may also be something you don’t usually take the time to do that doesn’t cost any money at all! This episode shifted my mindset away from “saving” my favorite candles and now I light a candle nearly every single morning as I work on the computer before the boys are awake. It makes me feel happy and I love the sense of coziness I feel when our house is filled with scents of vanilla, lavender, cinnamon or pine.
Anyway, I write all of this to say that if you happen to be a candle lover and light candles in your home constantly, I have something to put on your radar. Have you guys seen these electric rechargeable candle lighters? They’re so darn cool and I now keep one in my home office to use every morning to light my candle before I begin working. I selected the rose gold color though it’s available in myriad of colors (white, black, silver, blue) and it works like a charm! Bonus: It’s not a total eye-store like traditional lighters. I’m also keeping this one in mind as a gift idea for family/friends to pair with a favorite candle around the holidays!
I know I’ve mentioned our family’s desire to embrace less waste and a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle numerous times on the blog and while there’s obviously always tons of room for improvement over here, I like to believe little changes add up. One little change we’ve been trying to do better embracing is our family’s use of reusable snack bags. We’re not perfect and still use Ziploc bags as well but the more we use reusable snack bags, the more I love them! Since I’m always packing up snacks for our boys to enjoy on the go, snack bags get a ton of use in our house and we’re slowly building up a small stash to fill with our favorite snacks on a regular basis.
In the past, I’ve mentioned our love for Stasher bags and while they’re awesome and I’d still highly recommend them, I also really love these Lunchskins bags! They’re less expensive and I love that they’re thinner than some of the silicone options out there so they don’t take up as much room in my bag. I typically use them for dry snacks like cashews or crackers but they’ve also worked well for produce like cherry tomatoes, grapes and apple or pear slices. They clean and dry easily (they’re even dishwasher safe) and I’m a huge fan!
New (Used) Push Car for Ryder
Yesterday morning, I shared my mission to find a used push car toy for Ryder on my Instagram Stories and let’s just say no one moves faster than moms looking to get rid of old kid toys because less than three hours later, Ryder was the proud owner of a new (used) red coupe! My main motivation for finding this kind of a push toy car for him was honestly to give Ryder something fun to ride in when Chase rides his bike. Ryder doesn’t care for the stroller at all unless we do the double stroller with Chase and though he’ll ride along in his push trike while Chase rides his big boy bike, the trike was bit of a pain/a little too cumbersome to push on walks over a mile. Chase clearly wants to be able to work up to riding farther distances on his bike and I have a feeling this Step2 push car is going to be the answer to our dilemma. It’s a million times easier to push than Ryder’s trike and he was beyond psyched to cruise around in his new car! I see this bad boy getting in lots of miles as Chase rides his bike and I wear our new baby out on various adventures.
The Last Flight by Julie Clark
Phewyyy this book was a whirlwind! I flew through The Last Flight (thank you, pregnancy insomnia) and thought it was a great read from start to finish. The book follows the life of two women, Claire, the wife of a man from a prominent political family “second only to the Kennedys,” and Eva, a young woman with a litany of secrets to hide and a past she desperately wants to leave behind. Eva’s desire to escape her past resonates with Claire who wants to leave her abusive marriage but fears repercussions from her husband and his entourage.
When the two women happen to cross paths in the airport, a last-minute decision to swap plane tickets changes their lives forever. When the flight to Puerto Rico that Claire was supposed to be on unexpectedly crashes, Claire is presumed dead and she wonders if she somehow got the clean break from her marriage and her former life she desperately desired… until hiding from her past proves more challenging than she ever could have imagined.
@ReadLikeARockstar‘s Conversations with Her 4-Year Old Videos
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Just a quick chat with my 4 year old about judging people by their skin color and how bias can play a part in how we think about people. When I’m not taping our conversations, we have them as they come up naturally. During a tv show, after a book, outside, at dinner… whenever it’s necessary based on something he has said or done or something someone else has said or done.
Naomi O’Brien’s @ReadLikeARockstar Instagram account and the resources she provides to her followers have quickly become some of the most helpful resources to me in my effort to be anti-racist and raise anti-racist children. (A White Families’ Guide For Talking About Racism was one of the first purchases I made from Naomi a few months ago that I found particularly educational.) I’ll be the first to admit I have a lot to learn and I’ve made plenty of my own mistakes (like learning about my own implicit bias, among others) but following accounts like Naomi’s keeps racism on my mind when, in the past, it admittedly (and unfortunately) was not something I thought a lot about in my day-to-day life.
Naomi regularly shares videos of conversations she has with her 4-year-old son, Noah, in an effort to show parents how to discuss racism, bias and other important topics with young children. (Here is the most recent one she shared if you’d like to check it out.) I wanted to highlight these videos in today’s post because they show me how to properly discuss racism with Chase in a way that feels accessible and appropriate for a 5-year-old. As a white woman, I can sometimes feel frozen and unsure how to talk about racism with my children and I’m grateful I found these videos because they’ve been a great launching pad for many of our discussions. I’ve actually watched a handful of the videos WITH Chase which I love to do because we can pause them and talk about what Naomi and her son are discussing and Chase seems to really listen to another child’s answers to questions in a different way than he does when Ryan or I chat with him. Noah answers his mom’s questions in an uncomplicated way (bless 4-year-olds!) and his answers keep Chase engaged and don’t go over his head. All it really takes is me beginning to play one of Naomi and Noah’s videos on the couch to spark Chase’s interest and he’ll wander over and we can sit down and talk about what Noah and Naomi discussed together.
Grilled Scallops with Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad (Don’t let scallops at home intimidate you! This recipe is a breeze and feels fancy without the fuss.)
10 Minute Weighted Core Workout (Get ready to feel those abdominal muscles BURN with this one!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you are loving this week?