As for the weekend ahead, we have another birthday party on the agenda (anyone else feel like they’re going to a child’s birthday party every single weekend!?) and I’m taking the big kids to an afternoon play in the city. It should be a good weekend and I hope to have a recap coming your way on Monday but until then, keep on scrolling for a roundup of a few things that are making me smile this week!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Homemade Treasure Maps
Ryan gets all the credit for this one! He created a treasure map for the boys during a rainy day last weekend and they were all about it! At each spot on the map, he hid a letter and once they got to the end of the map, they had to assemble the letters and go to the location noted by the letters to find their treasure! Our big kids were so into it and we’ve been creating treasure maps all week long! Chase and Ryder even made a treasure map for us which was so adorable, especially when they hid the peppermint bark Dove Promises for me as my “treasure.” (They knoooow my obsession.)
The “treasure” we hide for the boys is just random stuff we already have on hand — lollipops, stickers, etc. so it’s nothing crazy. The hunt for the letters is the REAL fun! Even Rhett loves sprinting all around the house following his brothers to try to find hidden letters!
- Glo Pals Light Up Water Cubes (For Glow-in-the-Dark Baths!)
I briefly mentioned these Glo Pals on my blog in a weekend recap post but they are the best thing that’s happened to bath time in our house in a while. (Thank you to my mom for finding them!) Our boys love these things and think they are the coolest! The cubes light up upon contact with water and glow bright enough that we can turn off all the lights in the bathroom and the boys can have a “glow bath” using only the glowing lights from these cubes. Every single one of our boys (ages 7, 4 and 2) love them and I cannot recommend them enough for making bath time feel a little more special. (FYI, they also have Sesame Street charater-themed Glo Pals but they are more expensive.)
Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: A
I should preface this review by saying I am a huge fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her books The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six get A+ ratings from me so I am not sure why it took me so long to read her latest novel, Carrie Soto is Back. Now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long because I enjoyed every single page of this book. The peek into the life of a tennis pro fascinated me. The fact that I found myself rooting for an otherwise unlikable character is a testament to the author’s talent. I loved the way the book weaves in complicated relationships but stays true to the main character’s challenging personality. I cringed and I sighed and I smiled and I held my breath throughout this novel. I loved the beginning, the middle and the end. It’s a solid read and one I highly recommend.
Carrie Soto is a 37-year-old retired tennis champion and undoubtedly the best women’s player in the world… until now. When one of her most coveted records is overtaken by Nicki Chan, a force of power and talent on the courts, Carrie makes an unexpected return to the sport she loves so much. With her father Javier, a former tennis pro, at her side as her coach once again, Carrie is determined to reclaim her record but her ruthless, polarizing personality means not everyone is rooting for her. Carrie’s lack of desire to be loved by the public is a characteristic that hasn’t lessened in her years away from tennis. She returns to the court with laser focus and zero desire to make any friends or forge any romantic relationships, even if she senses increasing interest from fellow tennis pro and former one-night-stand Bowe Huntley.
ALDI Coconut Cream Pie Bites
The ALDI Finds section of ALDI always gets me! I cant resist checking out what’s new to the store and when I saw these coconut cream pie bites in the frozen section, they immediately found their way into my cart. While the ingredient list on these bad boys is less than stellar, I couldn’t resist trying them because they contain three of my personal favorites in one little square: Coconut, chocolate and a graham cracker crust. I was instantly sold and I think the fact that I’ve since purchased three additional boxes of these coconut cream pie bites can tell you how I feel about them. They’re perfectly pop-able and a delicious little sweet treat. I’ve been enjoying them most in the early afternoon when my sweet tooth surfaces and chocolate is calling my name.
January 2023 Top 10
Below you will find a recap of the top 10 most popular blog posts and your top 10 favorite items from January 2023. Hopefully this will help you check out some blog posts you may have missed or help you easily locate an item I’ve mentioned in the past that got buried in blog/social media mayhem!
- Greek Yogurt Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- A High and Low Holiday
- Easy Orange Juice Marinated Chicken Thighs
- Catching Up on a Monday
- Egg White and Oatmeal Protein Pancakes
- Mae Returns + Date Night + Carolina Raptor Center
- Week of Weeknight Meals: January 2023
- Top Blog Posts of 2022: The Extras
- Top Recipes of 2022
- A Giant Amazon Haul
Your Favorite Finds
- 3 Car Garage Toy (The hit of Christmas for Rhett! I bought this when our ISR instructor who is also an occupational therapist raved about it and cannot recommend it enough for a toddler gift. It’s also currently on sale for the lowest price I’ve seen it so I would nab it now and save it for when you need a toddler gift!)
- Glo Pals Light Up Water Cubes (I mentioned these briefly in a weekend recap post because they were an instant hit with our boys! See more details about them above.)
- Ruggable Kamran Rug (I ordered a few Ruggable rugs in the Kamran design for our new home and love all of them!)
- Paint Tray Palettes (These things are a gem for painting with multiple kids. Each kid gets their own tray for painting crafts and they’re easy to wash and re-use.)
- Crayola Retractable Markers (No longer worry about losing and replacing marker caps with these clickable markers!)
- Oak Bench (Easy to put together and I think it looks stunning in our foyer.)
- Wood Pedestals (Such a great home find with so many home décor uses!)
- Faux Leather Storage Bin (We have them in all three sizes and are using them for toy storage in the big kids’ room, as blanket storage in our foyer and as built-in shelf décor in our home office. They’re even more gorgeous in person!)
- Target Long-Sleeve Wrap Dress (So comfy and currently on clearance!)
- Memory Foam Slippers (Sure they look like space shoes but they are so crazy comfy and I never want to take them off my feet.)
Our Annual Valentine’s Day Mission (Ryan and I started this tradition when we were dating and incorporate the boys into the fun now!)
Perfect Chocolate Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake (So good and you’d never know it’s gluten-free.)
Question of the Day
What is one thing making you smile today?
Yes at least one birthday party every weekend and sometimes two-I remind myself we are in the peak birthday party years and it’ll probably stop in middle/hs years (hopefully right?!) it’s hard when only one kid is invited too-siblings always sad to miss out and logistically
Katie S says
One thing making me smile (and cry) is that I finished The Nightingale – why did it take me so long to read this GEM?! – and oh my gosh I am still processing it. It was unreal. Best book I’ve ever read by far! Onto the Lilac Girls per your rec 🙂 have a great weekend!
Oooh I hope you like Lilac Girls!! I loved that one!
Definitely saving the treasure map idea! And I’ve loved anything I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Carrie Soto Is Back was no exception! As I was reading I kept wanting to watch videos of the match on YouTube and then had to remind myself there was not an actual match to watch 😂 I did the same thing with Daisy Jones and the Six – I kept wanting to play their music on Spotify haha
Haha!! Yes!!! I honestly had to Google to see if Daisy Jones & the Six was a real band when I first read it!
janet pole says
I am reading “Earl and the pharaoh: from the real Downton Abbey to the discovery of Tutankhamun” which is written by Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon, the real home behind the Downton Abbey TV show.
Also….what makes me smile is (You are going to think I am nuts!) BUT.
1. it’s a minus 40 windchill
2. it’s snowing so hard I cannot see the street
3. I have a pile of books and two now-healthy cats (Yes, CURLY is alive!!! $850 later!)
4. Hubby is beside me.
5. I fully appreciate this quote: Dogs and Cats will eat anything unless it is a pill (or a syringe) and then they are Gordon Fricking Ramsay!)