Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

FullSizeRenderSo, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. (Although, apparently we have holiday confusion over here because right now I hear the big girls singing Jingle Bells in the kitchen.) Surely, I’ve already told you about the first Valentine’s Day Matt and I were together. We did the “dress up and go to a nice dinner” thing except when we got there the menu was limited and cost twice as much as normal. So, the next year we went to Chuck E. Cheese, which I realize is the polar opposite in terms of food quality (and health score,) but it was fun to go and eat bad pizza and beat each other at Skee Ball. Then, we had kids and Chuck E. Cheese pretty much became the last place we wanted to go. Ironic, huh? So, now we feed the kids gobs of sugar until they crash and we collapse onto the couch and toast to the best kind of love, the kind born not of expensive roses and mysterious cherry-filled chocolate but of sacrifice and selflessness. I wouldn’t trade this love for anything.

In honor of VDay, a few favorites I love…

Moleskin journals: I’m a big Moleskin fan. I keep snippets and ideas for future writing in one, folding the page in half once I’ve actually used those words in a post. So that when I come to the end of the journal it is at least twice as fat as it was when I first got it. I also stuff in there little pictures and such that inspire me. My friend Jess gave me the idea a couple years ago to get one journal and have the girls color or write something in it each year for Mother’s Day instead of getting me a card. I loved that idea, and started it soon after she shared. Just recently, I found a pack of three skinny Moleskins with kraft paper covers, and we started a Gratitude Journal to add to each night after dinner. The girls colored the cover and love giving us things they are thankful for. Theirs: Mommy, Daddy, Sissy, pizza, cupcakes, and such. Ours: Bedtime, bedtime, bedtime. I’m just kidding. Sort of.

Origins Ginger Souffle Body Cream: I am very picky about scents and also lotions because I don’t love the feel of stuff on my hands. But I love this scent, and I love this lotion. It smells just like fresh ginger, a little spicy, a little citrusy. It’s not a sweet smell at all. And in the winter I just have to have something to keep the skin on my knuckles from cracking.

Tiny Fawn: A family friend gifted Georgia a beautiful butterfly print from this Etsy shop, and I just love it. I love collecting different pieces of unique artwork, and these are just so adorable. Also, I was watching an old episode of Fixer Upper, and I saw where Joanna used two of these in a reading nook. If it’s good enough for JoJo, it’s good enough for me.

Signed and Numbered: I needed a special size frame for the butterfly print and also for a little Lindsay Letters Peachy card I ordered the day Georgia was born (priorities, people.) I found this Etsy shop, and ordered two frames, and they are perfect. You can totally customize the colors and finishes, and they have all sorts of sizes.

The Orphan Train: I bought this book on my Kindle the week before Peach was born, and I never got around to reading it in the first few weeks following. Last week, I remembered I had it, started reading, and couldn’t put it down. The writing reminds me of The Book Thief, both woven with beautiful words and a haunting story.

Roast Beef Sandwiches: Back in the fall, our friends Jacob and Jana had us over to watch the Bama game. Jana is an amazing cook and made these delicious roast beef sandwiches. I told her I had to have the recipe. She told it to me right then–that’s how easy it is–and I have since made these many times. They are scrumptious.

To make, put a roast, 3/4 stick butter, one packet of Ranch seasoning, one packet of Au Jus mix, and a jar of pepperocinis in the crock pot. (You can use less pepperocinis if you like. Me likey lots.) Cook on low for 6ish hours until the meat is super tender. Take the roast out, shred it, remove the excess fat, and put the shredded meat back in the crock pot yumminess. Meanwhile, slice and toast some hoagie buns with provolone until the cheese is melted and the bun a tad crispy. Pile on the roast beef and a drizzle of Dijon mustard. I like to serve these with sweet potato fries. I just peel and slice sweet potatoes, spread them out on a baking sheet, dab on some coconut oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt. Roast them at 425 for 20-30 minutes until they are brown and slightly crispy on the outside. I serve the fries with a side of the sauce from Bread and Wine. Just mix ketchup, mayo and Sriracha to taste. Yum!

Our Valentine’s Day is going to be low-key. I scoured the dollar section at Target, so I can surprise the girls with a breakfast party in the morning. (You have to know a day where everything is pink is a favorite at our house.) Then, I’m making our favorite chicken pot pie for dinner. We’ll probably play 89 rounds of Hello Kitty bingo at Lottie’s request, and maybe we’ll turn on our favorite Pandora station and play Scrabble after the girls all go to bed.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Donuts, Pink & Rodents

Donuts, Pink & Rodents holiday that incorporates chocolate and the color pink is a favorite for our oldest. Lydia has been counting down the days to Valentine’s for two weeks now. While Matt and the kids were still asleep this morning, I snuck out to the donut shop to surprise them with a sugary start to the day. I’m sure I will pay for this in a few hours when they’re bouncing off the walls, but Daddy gets home at lunchtime on Fridays so at least we can go back to man-to-man coverage then.

A little Valentine’s Day happy for you… the photograph is from Kelli Trontel, a crazy talented photographer. Every month she puts out a new photograph to download and use as your lock screen or home screen on your iPhone or as the desktop image on your computer. I love change and I get a little giddy when I change out my lock screen photo each month. You can follow her on IG so you’ll know when to go download the new one each month.

The first Valentine’s Day Matt and I celebrated together he made reservations at our favorite restaurant. Archestratus no longer exists, but they had the most delicious crab cakes and I could drink their comeback dressing out of a pitcher. When we showed up on the evening of February 14th we were shocked when they handed us a menu a quarter of the size of the usual menu and double the regular price. Excuse me?!? That was our first and last time to dine at a nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day. The next year we swung to the complete opposite side of the restaurant pendulum and went to Chuck E. Cheese and ate bad pizza and tried to beat each other at Skee Ball so we could rack up tickets to buy the other one something *real nice* at the ticket counter. Much more our style. Some people like diamond earrings. I got a slap bracelet and a spider ring. Perfection.

Ironically, we kept the Chuck E. Cheese tradition for many years, but after two kids we decided to skip the scary rodent and just eat pizza at home. Last year, I baked Ina Garten’s White Pizza with feta, mozzarella and goat cheese. This year, I think I’ll swing by Coletta’s and celebrate Memphis style with a BBQ pizza. Later, after the kids are in bed, we’ll pull out the glasses and toast to this sweet life we share. This will be our thirteenth February 14th to share together, and we’ve definitely made our fair share of mistakes but we’ve also learned a few things. One being that true love isn’t necessarily found in expensive meals with limited menus. True love–be it crab cakes or Chuck E. Cheese pizza–is a daily choice to die to self, to love my spouse more than I love myself. We love because He first loved us. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!