Favorite Things

But can you read that title as Oprah, please?

“It’s time for Favorite Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiings.”

You know, deep and sing-song-y?

Dear readers, Oprah has truly out-Oprah-ed herself this year, by gifting us with these promotional photos. She is just the ultimate best; shining so much light into an increasingly dark world.

Here’s what I’m loving from this year’s list.

(These are not affiliate links because I am not that fancy.)

My Audio Pet Mini Bluetooth Animal Wireless Speaker with TRUE WIRELESS STEREO TECHNOLOGY – Pair with another TWS Pet for Powerful Rich Room-filling Sound – (OWLcapella Brown)

Just ordered a little bluetooth speaker for the main floor of our house. We reconfigured our life a little bit, and lost the one we had there. I was agonizing about what to get in its place – a nice speaker felt too expensive, I still don’t understand why anyone needs an Alexa for anything except playing music, and then this little dude popped up for $30, coming with a whole bunch of 5-star reviews. Done and done. He arrives in two days (God bless Amazon Prime), and I can’t wait to listen to Disney Pandora with him. I think this is the first time in my long, storied history with Oprah’s Favorite Things that I’ve ever seen something and bought it right away.

I have a very different relationship with Sundays now that I’m not working full time. Simply put, I love them. Hands-down my favorite day of the week. They are slow, they start with a fancy breakfast (read: pancakes or French toast) and church, they are mostly for family, until dinner, when we welcome friends, and share a meal. Dream. Day. Oprah knows Sundays are for saving your best stuff, too, and she put together this book with some insights from her Super Soul Sunday guests.

Love me a mom shoe, and if these are good enough for O, they are surely good enough for me. Vionic Slip-On Shoes look perfect for wearing with jeans. The hardest decision on days I wear real clothes (don’t judge my activewear habit) is almost always what shoe to wear. What’s stylish is rarely comfortable for someone popping up and down off the floor all day, and what’s comfortable are Nike sneakers, which don’t go with the whole, look, I got dressed in real clothes thing.

Links for your Weekend

plaid headboards.

(These plaid headboards are striking.)

Dear readers, have we ever talked about my fascination with the Mormon church? It’s

been an on-going part of my life for some time now. Design Mom just posted about church vs. religion, and I found this post about Mormon bloggers via Julia.

We are on a serious oatmeal bender in our house, and Jessica’s baked oatmeal with bourbon and bananas looks like the best possible way to spice up breakfast tomorrow morning.

When you’re a minimalist living with someone who isn’t. (Or, when you want something one way, and your husband wants it the other). Always love Erin’s peaceful takes on life.

There is not a single thing I need to add to my kitchen collection (see above, and file under: Minimalist, I am not), but this marble cake stand caught my eye at Target this morning, and I can’t get it out of my head.

Always love hearing from Janssen, who is a couple steps ahead of me in the parenting game (she has four little girls under her roof). Her post on chores that toddlers can help with gave me a couple of new ideas.

We are so, so ,so close to Thanksgiving. That means we can definitely be thinking about what’s on the table this year. I bookmarked Simply Recipes’ list of the best store-bought pie crusts just in case it doesn’t all happen from scratch this year. Don’t tell CV(D)’s mom! And one more Thanksgiving-related note. This book is the all time best, and worth a quick reread every year.

What I’m Working On Now

21 Best Workspace Decor We Spotted on Instagram this Month | Brit + Co

(source – AGOMYR, is this your rug? It looks like your rug, no?)

  • Putting my phone down more often. (During the day, this has been going so well. At night, not so much.)
  • Blocking time on my calendar for to-do’s in the name of doing them once, and doing them right. (Super liking how that’s going and hoping to share more soon.)
  • Choosing calm.
  • Having patience, as we add so many finishing details that make our house feel more and more like home.

The Best Stuff on the Internet

Sharing some of my favorite recent links today, dear readers. Enjoy!

triple layer chocolate chip cookie cake.

(This is the most beautiful chocolate chip cakechocolate chip cake.)

As we make more and more friends with young kids, I’m learning that it’s almost innate for some parents to compare what their kids are doing and what yours are. When I saw this post via Brown Eyed Baker, I teared up. This is what all kids and parents should know. Let’s work on these. We’ve got a long way to go.

I’m not crying, you’re crying. If you need a laugh, try this. I’ve watched it about 8000 times. (Also, it kind of reminded me of this, which is not humorous, nor incredibly appealing to many of you, but was interesting to me.)

Whenever Janssen rounds up kids’ books, I’m listening. I can’t wait to pore over her list of I-Spy books. I put The Odd One Out on my Christmas list, and yes, it’s early October, and I said Christmas. Not sorry.

Joy the Baker shared a recipe for Detroit Style Pizza. I didn’t know that was a thing, but I do know pizza and salad is one of my favorite combinations, and this looks like a great, easy weeknight dinner if you make it on French Bread instead of making your own dough. Sign me up.

Backing up my iPhone. Ugh! I haven’t done it since I got a replacement phone a while back. It’s on that list of to-do’s that are necessary, but not urgent, so it doesn’t get done, and it doesn’t get done, and if I lose all my photos of Goop I’m going to cry. I need to get on it!

What Do You Want to Know?

IMG_4208

While I take this Monday to try to climb back into real life after a wonderful whirlwind wedding weekend for Sous Chef Lauren, I figure I’ll let you guys boss me around a little. What questions do you have for me? They can be food-related, or not, ask anything! Let me know in the comments and I’ll pull my answers together soon.

What’s New

It has been forever since I added another list to the internet, dear readers, so after way too long, today is the day. Here’s what’s new with me. Tell me what’s new with you in the comments.

  1. Are you even kidding me with this glass of milk Land of Nod bedding? I need it, and plan on purchasing as soon as we figure out which furniture goes where, post-basement renovation.
  2. I watched the Emmys last weekend. I wasn’t going to because I typically love the Golden Globes and the Oscars so much more, and I was tired, but dear readers, the show was awesome. Great outfits, speeches, winners, and the cherry on top was that it opened in song (as obviously all awards shows should).
  3. I spent the night away from Gooplet for the first time last weekend too, and I’ve got two more nights away in the near future. It should have felt amazing, and in many ways it was, but mostly, I just like when our little family of three is under the same roof. I am so out of sorts when we’re not. So curious to see if this feeling changes the more I up and leave.
  4. Speaking of Gooplet, when we collect him from his crib in the morning, he asks where people are. “Daddy? Moo? Coco?” and then he makes his next request, “Mo-ah?” And we proceed to listen to the Moana soundtrack on repeat for the rest of the day. Dear readers, I’m over it.
  5. Queen Cupcake is back on the East Coast, and before too much longer we will have seen each other three times in a month! That’s gotta be a record for us, at least post-2002. We’ve got plans for a November get together, and another a couple months after that. I can hardly contain my excitement.
  6. Will I send you into a pumpkin-spiced panic if I tell you how excited I am for Halloween and Thanksgiving this year? Dying to host the latter since we all know I was still a hot mess of a mom last year, and couldn’t cook my own turkey. I will? Okay, never mind, forget I brought it up.

When Something is Better Than Nothing

This concept has come up in my life a couple of times lately, and nothing makes for a better blog post than something that keeps popping up in front of me.

reminder.

(image)

Something is better than nothing must be a cousin of done is better than perfect, as both are mantras I’m working on embracing in my on-going quest to do all the things.

A couple of real life examples from the last 5 minutes (give or take) of my life right now:

  • Even if I am still eating Goldfish by the (massive) handful, eating more fruits and vegetables during the day is better than massive amounts of Goldfish alone.*
  • Even if I am not back at the barre 4 times a week, going when I can make the time is better than sitting on the couch for another episode of Gilmore Girls.
  • Even if I my weekly meal plan has gone off the rails, getting creative with the remnants of the fridge is better than Annie’s mac and cheese for dinner again. Often way better.

*Flavor Blasted Goldfish forever, though.

In Which We Discuss Serving Vessels

While I was reading the best reader comments on Cup of Jo the other day, I loved the one about not putting out enough chairs for your guests when they come over. It makes everyone cozy up and make friends, even if they’re initially feeling a little awkward.

whaaaaaaaaat.

(I can’t even with these pizza fries.)

Which reminded me I read a somewhat similar tip about serving food when you’re entertaining. I’ve completely forgotten the source, but they said to choose containers a bit too small, so that it looks like you have a surplus of whatever you made, as opposed to leaving something in a container with room at the top.

Peach and Prosciutto Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette - Cookie Monster Cooking

(A late summer peach and prosciutto salad is sounding just right.)

Dear readers. This is hysterical because I am notoriously awful at judging how much space there is for something. Filling Tupperware and other such storing and serving vessels is always something I miss the mark on, but I’ve been keeping this tip in mind and trying to plan a little better for our next Sunday Dinner.

Bouquets of Newly Sharpened Pencils

Despite this being the second year I’m removed from the back to school process, I had my first back to school dream the other night. Ask any teacher, and she’ll tell you that August is when thoughts of the new year start creeping in, no matter how desperately you try to push them away. I’m not school supply shopping this year, but if I was, these three pencil sets* would be at the top of my list. Clicking on each will take you to the appropriate Etsy shop.