Before I unplug and keep my focus on family, I wanted to share my weekly Things I’m Loving Friday post with you guys where I focus on a few things making me smile at the end of every week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Celebrating Ryan’s Birthday
We celebrated Ryan’s birthday on Monday and it was a very special day! We did our usual birthday decorations at home and Chase and Ryder also surprised him with birthday banners. (They are banner-making fiends for any and every occasion lately. A giant roll of white butcher paper and Kwik Stix tempera paint sticks were two early quarantine crafting purchase that we’ve used again and again!) We all chipped in and also got to work in the kitchen making Ryan an Oreo marble birthday cake which looked like a hot mess but tasted great. Ryan requested Oreo marble cake which was a bit of a head-scratcher at first but adding crushed Oreos to the vanilla cake mix and the middle layer of vanilla buttercream and decorating the top of the cake with the remaining cookies worked well and had everyone going back for second slices of birthday cake. We all had fun celebrating our favorite guy and hope he felt extra loved on his special day!
I finally completed one heck of a big project. I managed to get all of the photos I had on hand between Chase’s first birthday and Rhett’s arrival into a series of family photos albums and I completed Ryder’s baby book. Success!!! This project has been weighing on me for a LONG time and since I know Ryan loved the photo albums I’ve made for him in the past, I made it my mission to complete everything to give to him as a birthday surprise on Monday. He loved the albums and I feel like a big weight was lifted off my shoulders knowing our photos are organized and we can flip through the albums with the boys and have fun talking about past memories anytime.
As I briefly mentioned on the blog before, I used Mixbook to make the albums. It’s the same site I used to make Chase’s baby book years ago and it’s my personal favorite because it makes uploading and organizing photos a breeze and the selection of design templates, fonts and backgrounds available are classic and beautiful and not at all cheesy.
I’ve used a different template every time and love the way every album turned out! In case you’re interested, for Ryder’s baby book, I chose the Hand Painted Baby Book while Chase’s baby book was the Welcome Baby Boy Book. For our family albums, I opted for the Everyday Modern Family Book and the Sweet Memories Book.
The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms
After flying through multiple suspense books, I was ready for a break from that particular genre and when The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms popped up as a recommended read for me through Amazon, I was immediately intrigued since I’ve enjoyed other books by the same author. She has a gift for writing books that, on the surface seem lighthearted and funny, but have more depth than expected. The Bright Side of Going Dark is a creative book that felt very current and intrigued me as one of the main characters is a social media influencer on the fictitious platform Pictey, which is very similar to Instagram.
Mia Bell is a popular influencer who lives a covet-worthy life thanks to her sponsored and her adoring fans. Behind the scenes, her life is far from perfect and when her fiancé calls off their wedding, she’s left in a bind, as she has contracts and agreements that hinge on her pending nuptials. She decides to fake her wedding to appease her clients and then decides to go off the grid completely, hurling her phone off a cliff. Her followers notice her absence and when tech-savvy Paige Miller figures out a way to hack into her account, she begins impersonating Mia as a means to get close to her sister, one of Mia’s most adoring fans who is going through something horrible. The façade lasts for a while but when Paige is caught, everything could change… and not necessarily for the better.
Last weekend, we made our way to Josh’s Farmers Market in Mooresville to stock up on pumpkins for our porch! While I love twinkling holiday lights around Christmas, beautiful porches featuring an array of pumpkins, gourds and mums are a close second in my mind when it comes to festive outdoor holiday décor. Driving up our driveway and seeing our little pumpkin porch display never fails to put a smile on my face!
Easy Crock Pot Chicken Chili (5 star reviews from you guys + top prize at a friend’s chili cook off last year make this recipe a must-try this fall!)
Oatmeal Apple Crisp (Highlighting this favorite recipe just in case apple picking is on your agenda this weekend!)
Question of the Day
Have you made any delicious fall-inspired recipes yet? Please share!
Tell me about one thing that made you smile this week!