June 28, 2020

Summer Wknd #4 (Father's Day)

We did Wells' 2nd 2nd birthday party last weekend. That is not a typo. 

Cake tutorial here. Yellow cake recipe and chocolate cake recipe. Highly recommend both! 

And sharing this ^ because Jett is annoyingly good at pictures and Wells is...not.

We also attended a baby shower and did lots of playing outside. 

June 26, 2020

5 Friday Things

If you saw on Instagram, I gave myself permission ("permission") to just take the week off from the blog. I rarely do this, but next week is looking scant as well. Things are busy, to put it mildly, so I'll just catch up when I catch up. I never take time off when we PCS, but Wells has been sick this week and I've also never PCSed with a toddler, so...here we are. 

I DO want to share these recommendations before I forget about them. 

1. This eye cream.

I found this in my mom's medicine cabinet. I saw "Energie", couldn't read the rest of the instructions or details because it was in French, Googled it real quick, asked if I could try it, and she gave it to me. It's a sample size and she got it with a purchase but never used it. I love it. I may have to buy a new one when it's gone. 

I own an embarrassing number of blush-colored phone cases. My coping mechanism for stress is, apparently, buying a new phone case. This came yesterday and it's fabulous. Highly recommend.Very soft and very sturdy at the same time. 

3. Two books I'm all-in on but I'm not done yet because I don't have the time to sit and read for long stretches. A Good Marriage is a legal thriller and Final Girls is a fast-paced horror mystery. 

4. This face wash. I don't like VaniCream lotions but this facewash is wonderful. No scent at all, convenient pump...perfect for sensitive skin. 

5.  This tutorial on how to make a naked cake. I did it for the second time last weekend and I had an issue with frosting texture but the method works. 

I still need to post the pictures from last weekend's birthday party but I figure since he's not going to be two for two more weeks, I can put that off. So much for keeping up with the summer weekends. 

(I had the worst time finding a "shrug" gif. Everyone out there is a racist now according to this new, current cultural standard, so might as well post a pic of an actual Nazi, right? Don't want to post someone who may be canceled for being a racist tomorrow. 
Truthfully, this is just one of my very favorite movies.)

June 19, 2020

5 Friday Things

I confess: I bought a pair of espadrilles at Costco for $15 a few months ago. They're BOBS so they're supposed to be comfortable, right? No. They are not and now I'm stuck with them. 

These shoes from Target, though, have never done me wrong. I affectionately call them "fake TOMS" and I've worn them for years... more than my TOMS because they are more comfortable! Get you a pair if you want a slip-on sneaker. I ordered the gray online because it'd been a few years since I'd bought a pair.  

It's incredibly frustrating that I couldn't get the cheetah print because it won't ship to my zip code (or my mom's zip code or my new zip code starting in July...I tried). They're so comfortable though...try them if you can find them!

2. This essential oil combination. 

3. This Father's Day gift.

I used Wells' footprint and he screamed like he was being tortured and it took about 30 minutes and a popsicle and a trip outside to recover from the trauma. 

5. These tweets. 

June 17, 2020

WIWW: High-waisted shorts?

These are coming across as the opposite of flattering. What do you think? I have no skin (my very, very pale skin apparently) in this game because I'm not trying to sell or affiliate-link these. They are quite comfortable and I went with black because I don't need to worry about matching that way. I bought random pink shorts last year and never wore them because I had no need for pink shorts.

I'm just confused about how they are supposed to fit. They are more of a skirt, to be honest, but the waist doesn't cinch as much as I would like? It's a weird fit. And, full disclosure, these are a size extra-small. They are maybe just vanity-sized to that extent. Usually I go with a small in most items, but these seem to run big.

In a case of being overly obvious and obtuse, these do not look like they do on the model. And the website says she's wearing a small? I'm confused. More height might make a difference. She's got 3 inches on me. I feel like people look at me strangely when I wear them. Like, Why are her shorts so high? What's she hiding? 


Are you doing high-waisted shorts? These are more of a culotte. Which is cool. I just think this particular fabric/fit would be better suited for a skirt?

Lots of question marks here. 

I'm thinking of trying these but they don't look super comfy. 

June 16, 2020

SW #3 2020

A day late...that is the story of the next month, I'm afraid. Everything is running on weird schedules with coronavirus protocols for errands and traveling, and the tasks associated with moving.

I saw this and thought, How perfect.

But onto the weekend...Wells played with some cousins. 

I also tried to take a few naps...Wells never lets me/us sleep when we're at my parents' house so it's always a little stressful. Luckily my parents keep him occupied outside for hours at a time (I'm not kidding. He never wants to actually come in the house.)

 I finished one book and started another. We took the dogs on a nice phone-less walk. 
And now we're almost halfway through another week.

I came across this when I was trying to keep up with my Bible reading plan this weekend. It speaks to the situation in our country right now, pretty clearly. 

Just something to think about if you're feeling uncertain!

June 12, 2020

5 Friday Things

1. This podcast.

We are absolutely enthralled by the story of Lindsay Buziak. Some true crime fans go nuts over the disappearance of Maura Murray..for us, it's Lindsay Buziak. So much so that we've been listening to the True Crime Garage episodes together. I mean, it's a rabbit hole. 

But I truly recommend TCG as well. They really deep-dive. The JonBenet episodes were fascinating. 
You do have to fast-forward through the first 5 minutes of nonsense at the beginning of each episode. I don't need ads and music. 

2. Frozen vegetables. (for toddlers, not for you)

A friend often gives her toddler frozen corn as a "special treat" and it worked wonders with Wells too. He loves having his corn frozen and I've now added frozen peas to the mix. He also is a HUGE fan of popsicles now. I have to start policing this more, I know, but he just loves to snack on a popsicle in his chair after naptime so...I let it go. 

I hate weed-eaters. They are heavy and awkward and loud and filling up the gas with a combo of gas/oil (or whatever) that's different than the lawnmower gas...all of that is a hassle. Plus, they're dangerous: I cut my leg once years ago, so I'm also afraid of them. 

Our rental here had this battery-powered weed-eater in the shed. It's a dream. I use it for FUN. It's light, not too loud, no gas, no pull string (the workouts I got trying to start the weed-eater in Colorado were no joke), and now I want one for myself. Yard work, at this moment, is enjoyable. I don't need construction crew-grade yard equipment so this is perfect for me. 

I grabbed it yesterday when I went "to Target for contact solution". It was only $10. Fits true to size and it's not see-through.

5. Alright, that was 4 recommendations for you...I need help: what's your favorite flip-flop? And what's a great one-piece swimsuit? (Don't worry I'm not going on a vacation...I just need to be prepared for summer. There's a lot to hate when it comes to swimsuit shopping at the last minute out of necessity.)

June 10, 2020

SW 2020 #2

When we were thinking of what we'd do for Wells' 2nd birthday, I had been assuming we'd be living far from family and it'd just be the 3 of us and I was considering what we'd do...
Then coronavirus hit and our travel plans were delayed by a couple of months, and now we'll be staying put for a chunk of the summer. So, Wells gets two pretend birthdays during the month of June, and I'll have to figure out what do for the actual day in July. I figured it be silly *not* to celebrate in some way while we're still on the east coast. 

So last weekend, we just did a small cookout with some family. This is the cake I made. It's the best luck I've had with a homemade cake. I made it twice to get extra layers and it didn't disappoint, so I'll keep that one bookmarked. 

It was very hot. I didn't take a ton of pictures but Wells had a good weekend. 

June 9, 2020

May Books 2020

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

This was fabulous. I had never read anything like it. It stood out because ancient world fiction is not my go-to genre. I had just finished Genesis as part of a Bible-reading plan a few months ago but this prompted me to go back and re-read large chunks of it to see where the author was getting her inspiration. I took a huge deep-dive and then did some research online. Anything that makes me that interested is worthy of 5 stars. 
As a narrative, this is a solid hero's journey. It has a satisfying beginning, middle, and end. It's just so well-crafted. 
I could describe it as taking a couple of chapters from Genesis and blowing it up into a 300 page novel. The amount of research was probably astounding, because a whole world was created. It was just good. 
The author took a lot of liberties but, truthfully, there's no reason why things couldn't have happened somewhat the way they did in this story. 
And we often forget that the Israelites were a broken group of people who constantly made mistakes and God pursued them anyway. This book has more about the pagan gods than God himself, because God was Jacob's God and this story isn't about Jacob. Jacob was the strange outsider with an "invisible god" in this book. 

Anyway. Super good. You should read it. I picked it up in as a Kindle deal because I'd seen it recommended by someone but I also read The Boston Girl years ago. I liked the story of The Boston Girl but the narration was awwwwwful. I don't recommend the audio. 

This was rom-com but deeper. It was vey well-done in many ways. I don't have anything bad to say, actually. I felt for Laurie. I really liked Jamie. It was so much better than the typical rom-com/romance. I had another of this author's ebooks from the library but it expired before I read it. I didn't hate it either but, truthfully, I find it to be a lot more work to read a rom-com than any other type of book. I really have to psych myself up to push through these types.
But If I Never Met You was so good that I wanted to keep reading! 
I will say this was about 100 pages too long...430 some pages? It was a great story but lots of words. Could've been told in a lot less? 

I really enjoyed this. It was suspenseful and created a realistic fictional world; meaning a world with a historical backstory and that was kind of interesting. There's a bit of suspension of disbelief toward the end but it wasn't completely out there. 
So a suspense thriller? Check. I recommend it. 


So it was NOT a heavy reading month, though I did read often and had memorable reading experiences; it wasn't a ton of books. 

I'm still 4 books ahead of my goal for the year and currently trying to get through some library ebooks before they disappear from my Kindle. 

Linking up with Jana and Steph!

June 5, 2020

5 Friday Things

This is another list of recommendations...I think that's what I'll do on Fridays for now, because that ring wash recommendation (that I found as a recommendation from another blogger on IG) was brand new information last week! That's the point of blogs and whatnot...I get my best recommendations from other bloggers.

No pictures because I haven't put the cake together yet, but it's absolutely delicious if you are in need of a chocolate cake. I ate a bunch of scraps while I trimmed the layers to level them. 

Our friend from India would sigh and shake his head, but I added roasted zucchini and broccoli because I had it to use and I didn't have any chickpeas. Seriously so good. I skipped the kale because kale is gross. 


The Pittsburgh salad. Not officially named that, but that's what I call it. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was flabbergasted and confused to find that "salads" in Alaska weren't covered in french fries, back when we moved there in 2009. I couldn't understand what was happening in restaurants. 

Then I realized that only in Pittsburgh are salads covered in fries. I do recommend trying this if you get a chance. Got this at a place downtown yesterday. 

5. Socially-distant vet visits. 

Scout had his yearly check-up this week and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND doing vet trips this way. Wells got to just crawl around the car while we waited because they just came out to get Scout when it was his appointment time. SO MUCH EASIER than hauling him and a toddler into an (always kind of smelly, right?) office. The vet is never my favorite errand. 
Scout likes it less than I do, obviously. 
(And this sour, refuse-to-look-at-the-camera face, really, is just because he doesn't like the kid and The Vet + Wells = True Punishment.)

I also shared a few recommendations on Wednesday...mascara and shorts!