Thankfully, I received a couple of encouraging words asking me to continue with my Things I’m Loving Friday series which made me happy! We’re 358 TILF posts in, so I’m glad it’s a staple you guys want to see continue on the blog because it’s one I always enjoy writing. Anything that helps me focus on the little joys in life every week is a win for me. Let’s dive right into this week’s roundup of favorites, shall we?
Things I’m Loving Friday
Okay, I kind of feel like I’m 5,000 years old with this one, but I am loving oat bran lately and apparently this is the kind of thing that gets me excited these days. As a kid, I loved Cream of Wheat and the texture of oat bran reminds me a lot of a hybrid between that throwback favorite hot cereal and grits… but with the flavor of oatmeal. It’s awesome and easy to make and I’ve been enjoying a bowl several times a week for a while now. For some reason a lot of local retailers around here don’t carry oat bran, so I just order mine on Thrive Market (it’s only $3 for a 1-pound bag). From a nutritional standpoint, oat bran is a great source of fiber and even boasts five grams of protein per serving! Some ways I like to enjoy it: Topped with fresh or frozen berries, with cottage cheese or protein powder stirred in (for a protein boost), topped with a dippy egg, salt and pepper and some diced green onion or with pureed pumpkin, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Joules Padabout Boot Slippers (aka the BEST kid slippers)
I included these boot slippers in my holiday gift guide for kids two years in a row for good reason! I discovered them years ago when a pair was included in one of Chase’s Stich Fix deliveries and they are the absolute best! Both Chase and Ryder live in them all winter long in our house because they are warm and cozy but, perhaps most importantly in the kid slipper department, they actually stay on (thanks to the boot design!) and have non-skid soft soles. The quality is fantastic and Ryder has been able to wear Chase’s hand-me-down slippers with barely any signs of wear. (For sizing reference, Ryder wears an XS and and Chase wears a size small.) Thank you to my mom for getting the boys matching pairs of dinosaur slipper boots for Christmas because they LOVE them!
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis
(Friendly reminder that you may easily find my past book recommendations in one place in my Amazon shop!)
I first discovered Fiona Davis’ novels thanks to one of your recommendations which lead me to The Lions of Fifth Avenue. I loved the book and have kept the author on my radar ever since. I began reading The Dollhouse last week and it immediately sucked me in. I love the way the author uses real places and incorporates some elements of history in her novels along with her interesting characters and plotlines.
The Dollhouse was another great read and follows two women whose lives are connected by the famous Barbizon Hotel in New York City. In 1952, Darby McLaughlin arrives at the hotel and is enrolled in a secretarial school with hopes to become an independent, career-minded woman. She initially feels out of place when she realized she will share the hotel with models from the Ford Modeling Agency until she befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, who opens her eyes to a different side of the city, complete with jazz clubs, drugs and possibly an intriguing love interest.
Many years later, the Barbizon Hotel is now a condo in the city but some of the women from the hotel remain, due to a rent control agreement. When Rose Lewin, a journalist living in the building, is on the lookout for a story to impress her boss and distract her from a recent breakup, she begins digging into the past of some of the women who share the building, While discovering the death of a former hotel maid is initially intriguing, what she continues to find is shocking and may change not only the lives of the women in the building, but Rose’s life, too.
Mama, All I See Is You by Jessica Urlichs
(The gorgeous artwork in the above image is by Chole Trayhurn)
Cue the waterworks! This piece by Jessica Urlichs is something I read a couple of weeks ago that hasn’t left my mind. It is so beautiful and emotional and so pure and the way Jess writes from the perspective of a tiny baby was all I needed to read to shift my perspective after one particularly challenging day. It’s absolutely worth a read, especially if you feel like you’re in the trenches with little ones right now.
Valentine’s Day Ideas: Last Minute + Easy to Assemble (A roundup of ideas to spread a little love on Valentine’s Day!)
Leg Workout (A throwback leg workout that hits your glutes, hamstrings and quads!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend?
Tell me about one thing that made you smile this week!