Happy Friday, friends! How was your week? We rolled through our typical line up of homeschool, co-op, soccer, TKD, piano lessons, working out, the library (I picked up some cookbooks and The Huntress by Kate Quinn) and couch snuggles. We had lunch out to celebrate Hailey’s half birthday (10.5- how?) I had a girls night out at Ghostface Brewery Scratch Kitchen which was a fun addition!
I hope you had a great week and have something restorative planned for the weekend. Kaitlyn has a belt test (blue stripe!) this evening and other than that we don’t have plans. I’m highly looking forward to a chill pizza night (anyone have a good sourdough dough recipe? I’m feeling wild 😜) and possibly some family Catan. It’s been a while. And I imagine we’ll fill our Saturday with some much neglected yard projects.
Before jumping feet first into the weekend, I’m excited to share a few things that have just been working for me lately. If you so feel inclined, share with me one thing you are loving lately, too! I have gotten the best recommendations from word of mouth.
The West Paw Toppl. Finley is 6 months old now and we are figuring each other out more everyday. A couple things that have helped us lately are dedicated crate time (apparently she struggled to settle for a nap when we were around otherwise) and this Toppl toy. I freezer berries, peanut butter, broth, yogurt, her food, etc (not all at the same time) in this toy, and it keeps her busy for a good 20+ minutes! Like a toddler activity, that’s a nice chunk of time. I keep it stocked and ready to go in the freezer for when she needs a distraction.
Silicone Ice Cube Trays. Yes, I’m sure I’m late to this party, but the silicone trays with the tops are lifechanging! I make frozen coffee cubes with leftover coffee and these trays (comes in a four pack) make it so simple to fill without spilling and pop out when needed. David uses them in his morning coffee to get his Yeti beverage to sipping temperature before he reaches the hospital in the mornings.
Bedtime Feature. I got an Apple watch about a month ago and have no doubt I’m still not using it even to half of it’s ability. One feature that has been helpful is the bedtime feature on my phone/watch. It shuts off all my notifications around 8:30 PM. Yes, I can turn it off if I’d like but the reminder that I want this time to be screen-free is a helpful enough deterrent at the moment.
If you have any favorite apps for the watch, please let me know! Right now I’m getting a kick out of the closing the rings and having easy access to the weather, but I’m sure there is more that it can do, right?
Nakano Chef Knife. This knife was a freebie sent to me and it’s highlighted just how dull my other knives were getting. I’m going to look into sharpening them, but in the meantime I’m almost exclusively using this knife! If you need a good, sharp, can handle any kitchen task kind of chef’s knife, I recommend the classic chef knife (currently on sale). I’ve used it to butterfly chicken recently and it cuts through it like a hot knife through butter! Use the code AHEALTHYSLICE for an additional 10% off.
Beautiful Feet. We have taken our sweet time with Early American History and I’ll be sad to see it end within the next couple of months. Designed for K-3, I highly recommend this history through literature unit. It’s brought the discovery and birth of our country to life and has sparked endless great conversations.
I’ve started eyeing where we will go from here, and I was tempted to go to Ancient History, because they are into Greek myths right now, but believe for summer/early fall I’m going to pivot into more of a geography focus in their 4th-7th Geography Through Literature program.
I bring this up here because during the summer when everyone is ordering curricula, sometimes they’ve had things back ordered, so if you are interested in Beautiful Feet for next year, you might want to look into it now.
Sharing the dinner process. In the beginning of the year I felt like there wasn’t much point to my Instagram. I think I went down a consumption spiral and felt I wasn’t adding anything of value to the space. So I decided to go in the direction I’m most comfortable with- feeding my family.
I started sharing what I was making each night in step by step detail and I’m surprised by how much fun I am having doing it! Better yet, it seems like you guys are enjoying seeing how I make it work in real life, busy days, leisurely days, and all. It’s been a fun connecting point and brought me a lot of joy. Here’a a peek at last night’s finished product, which I highly recommend- Shepherd’s Pie!
Ok, let’s wrap things up there. Finley is ringing her front door bells indicating she’d like to be let out and the sun is starting to peek out, too. It’s going to be a gorgeous day in NC and I hope it’s shining where you are, as well. Have a wonderful weekend!