As for today, Ryder is having a friend over for a play date this morning (there is no preschool on Fridays), I promised Rhett we’d make cookies together and Chase is dying to continue reading the second book in the Percy Jackson series with me and Ryan after school so it sounds like it will mostly be a cozy at home day which is always a favorite.
If you’d like to check out this week’s roundup of favorites — I cannot believe I’ve almost shared 500 TILF posts! — keep on scrolling and, as always, feel free to tell me about something you’re loving this week. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. I appreciate YOU!
Things I’m Loving Friday
Air Fryer Chicken (from Pinch of Yum)
When it comes to chicken, if I’m going to marinate it, there’s a 99 percent chance I’m going to use our favorite paleo chicken marinade. You cannot beat it! I admittedly don’t use rubs or spice mixes on chicken nearly as often so when I saw Pinch of Yum, one of my all-time favorite food blogs, share a recipe for air fryer chicken that heavily relies on spices, I figured I’d give it a try. I made it for the first time last week and already made it again this week so that should tell you something! It’s flavorful and easy (and fast!) and Ryan and I loved the combination of flavors in this recipe. I preferred it on chicken thighs (no surprise as I always gravitate toward chicken thighs versus breasts) but this week I made it with thinly-sliced chicken tenders because our grocery store was out of organic chicken thigs and thought it was still fabulous, especially when served with a little ranch dressing on the side for dipping.
Planning Our Favorite Things Galentine’s Dinner
We officially selected a date for our annual Galentine’s Day Favorite Things Dinner! I wanted to share this here in case it’s something you might be interested in planning with your friends so you will still have enough time to gather inexpensive gifts and put a date on the calendar! After morphing our Favorite Things dinner into a February tradition, the evening when my girlfriends and I all get together to exchange little surprises quickly became one of the things I most look forward around Valentine’s Day every year. Here’s how it works: A group of my girlfriends and I get together and wrap up $10 gifts for each person in our group. (We actually have 8 of us in the group so to keep costs down, we’re each doing 4 gifts and will pass them in a circle. Trading is allowed!) A little tip: Buying sets of things and splitting them up makes it fun because you can give a few extra surprises but stay under the $10 limit. I already know what I’ll be gifting this year and cannot wait for our dinner! (I have a feeling regular blog readers might be able to guess one or two of the items I hope to include this year.) A few past “favorite things” I’ve gifted: Electric lighters, organic rosehip seed oil, organic peppermint lip balm and microfiber wristbands to keep their arms and sinks dry during face washing.
Beckham Documentary (Netflix)
Ryan and I love a good documentary and in the shocker of all shockers, I actually selected this one for us to watch. Ryan played soccer his entire life so he was an easy sell and I admittedly was a little more intrigued than usual by the documentary because of David Beckham’s marriage to Victoria, aka Posh Spice from the Spice Girls. I remember bits and pieces of the whirlwind surrounding their relationship in the ’90s but the documentary was especially interesting to watch for me because I was very much in the dark about his childhood, upbringing and soccer success beyond the knowledge that he was a good (and good looking) soccer player. It was an interesting documentary wit some laugh out loud moments thanks to some dry humor and banter between Victoria and David which I thoroughly enjoyed!
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
My rating: B
I went through a huge Christina Lauren kick a while back but then I read a few duds by this author-duo so I book a little break. I dove back into Christina Lauren’s work this week with The True Love Experiment. Having read and enjoyed The Soulmate Equation, I was excited to find this book played off The Soulmate Equation a little bit, incorporating some of the same characters and revisiting GeneticAlly, a DNA-based matchmaking company heavily featured in the first book. (Note: You don’t need to read The Soulmate Equation before The True Love Experiment but I would, as I preferred that book to this one.) I loved the premise of The True Love Experiment. It was intriguing and creative and just plain fun! I enjoyed reading the book and also loved the way the authors made the main character a romance novelist, as I felt like this gave the reader a little bit of not-entirely-fictional insight into what their career as romance novelists is like behind the scenes. That being said, I wish I liked the main character a little more. She was funny, strong and intriguing — all positive traits for sure — but I felt like the authors tried a little too hard at times to make her shocking and irreverent which detracted from her likability for me. I still enjoyed the book and loved diving into this one before bed every night. It would’ve been a slam-dunk if I loved the main character but it was still a book I would recommend for anyone looking for a fun, lighthearted novel.
Fizzy, a 37-year-old popular romance author is single and in a serious dating drought. Documentary filmmaker Connor Prince loves adores his job but his work doesn’t bring in the revenue desired by his company. Recently tasked by his boss to produce a reality dating show in an effort increase viewership and company profits, Connor remembers spotting Fizzy, a luminous and intriguing woman, at a bar. When a photograph of the same woman pops up on a romance book he sees in his ex-wife’s house, everything clicks and he realizes Fizzy would make the perfect lead in his new show. Initially Fizzy firmly says no to his request… but then she sends over a list of demands and Connor realizes he has a chance. Having met her (somewhat ludicrous) demands, Fizzy agrees and Connor is elated, not only because he knows she’ll be a star on television but also because he knows this means he’ll get to be near Fizzy every single day. She’s quickly making an impression on Connor and the feeling is mutual but the pair know anything beyond a friendship is a terrible idea, not only because Fizzy is about to embark on a journey to find her true love, but also because it would put Connor’s livelihood in jeopardy.
Paleo Coconut Crisps (I made a batch of these coconut crisps to use as a topper for Greek yogurt and oatmeal this week but ended up eating most of it by the handful. Can’t stop, won’t stop.)
Hearty Vegetable Bolognese (Years later, this is one of the blog recipes I’m most proud of sharing as it’s packed with vegetables, unique and incredibly flavorful.)
Question of the Day
What is one simple thing making you smile this week?