Friday Favorites: 17 January

Happy Friday friends!

This weekend is supposed to be extra snowy and we have a baby shower at a local brewery on Sunday, so bring on all the cozy!

I have been drinking loads of tea this week. A cup while getting ready in the morning and two each afternoon. There is something so warm and comforting about a cup of tea.

This week has been crazy with mailings at work. Between admit packs, various letters based on student programs, and our sticker sheets were sending out to all applied students, I have handled so much mail!

William is fixing slow cooler pulled pork for supper tonight and I can’t wait – so excited.

This week has been a bit all over the place style wise based on spring like weather on Monday and blowing snow in high winds at the end of the week. Throw in a full team meeting Tuesday and a casual Wednesday where we wear spirit wear and my outfits were all over the place!

I was pointed to this fun article about parlor games by Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy and I love it. I have a soft spot for games with the family I grew up in, and these all sound like such fun and good way to spend a winter evening with friends.

My mama sent me a box of all my Beatrix Potter figurines and my Beatrix Potter treasury alongside some other bits and bobs. It included a fun folder from preschool with funny stories of bringing Corduroy home for the weekend and playing Aladdin with my friends. It gave William and I a good laugh.

How was your week?

Weekend Update: 13 January

We’re halfway through the first month of the year friends!

Friday morning took me to my GI specialist where I began a new anti-inflammatory medicine to help with my Ulcerative Colitis. I had two injections in the office, and will now be doing one injection every two weeks at home. I love that it enables me to be off the steroid and I’m excited to see how I feel in a month or two. That night was super rainy, so we ordered pizza and had a cozy night watching the 2019 Aladdin. I loved how colorful the film was and found it to be a fun update on one of my favorite Disney movies. I had an Aladdin suitcase in preschool that I loved dearly.

We had unseasonably warm weather Saturday that took our family on a neighborhood walk before coming home to make fajitas for lunch. I spent some time doing laundry, coloring, and hanging out with William and Mavis.

Sunday I slept in later than I have in a LONG time and then we got ready to head to the grocery store for the week. When we got home I prepped my chicken salad for the week and William roasted an eye of round in the oven that we enjoyed alongside my beloved parsley potatoes. We spent the afternoon finishing laundry and binge watching most of season two of Just Add Magic on Amazon Prime. It is cheesy and delightful tween television – a total guilty pleasure genre of mine!

I’m excited for the National Championship game tonight and find it hilarious that Clemson and LSU are both purple loving tigers. It kills me a little inside, but I’m hoping for LSU to win tonight. William is making homemade poutine for dinner which will be a fun new meal and something super indulgent and cozy.

How was your weekend?

Friday Favorites: 10 January

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We all survived the first full week of 2020! This was a really productive week at work, especially in regards to the part of my job that works with the HEOP program in New York State. I love feeling accomplished at the end of the week!

While I am waiting to see the latest adaptation of Little Women when I can stream it at home, I really enjoyed this Vogue interview with the costume designer. I have such an appreciation for the power of strong costuming and found this article so interesting!

I started a new Bible study for 2020 this week with She Reads Truth going through the book of Genesis. Its a refreshing way to spend the new year.

I added Chick-fil-a honey mustard to my chicken salad mix this week and it was delicious! A fun change of flavor. I never get sick of chicken salad sandwiches for lunch because there are so many ways to play with flavor combinations. This one was a definite favorite though!

I’m enjoying playing with my wardrobe and dressing up for work again. I was feeling a bit uninspired at the end of 2019 from a crazy October through being sick all of November to being in recovery and survival in December until the holidays. Its fun to feel inspired and joyful when it comes to my closet and choosing what to wear each day, even when the weather is colder than I prefer.

I’m still holding strong to my commitment to listen to NPR’s Up First every morning on my drive to work. It is the perfect length for my morning commute and I enjoy the way they present the major stories of the day.

I start a new medication today for my Ulcerative Colitis – praying it makes a difference and helps make 2020 a healthier year than 2019 ended.

What are your favorites from the week?

Christmas in Colorado

We flew out to Colorado on Christmas Eve and came back to New York on New Year’s Eve. I am so glad we were able to spend a week in Colorado this year, and that my whole family was there. My brother flew in from California and my sister flew in from Virginia with her husband. It was just nice all being together again, as we tend to only get together for a couple days once a year. Distance makes time together a rare treat.

Christmas Eve my dad drove to DIA to pick up William and I. When we got back to the house, it was time for a quick lunch and then getting ready for Christmas Eve mass. After mass we headed to PF Chang’s for dinner, where my brother-in-law and his parents joined us. When we got home, it was time for new pajamas and reading Twas the Night Before Christmas.

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Christmas Day we opened gifts, enjoyed a tasty brunch, visited with my brother’s best friend and his girlfriend while playing the game Buzzed, and then we finished the day with a trip to see The Rise of Skywalker as a family.

We spent Boxing Day at home, where we enjoyed a long walk through the neighborhood and quality time relaxing with family.

On the 27th, after a walk around the neighborhood, my sister and I headed out to make some returns and do some shopping at the local outdoor shopping center. I also enjoyed my only chestnut praline latte from Starbucks of the season – it was a delight!

That night my family joined my sister’s in-laws for dinner at The Golden Bee, where I enjoyed the most festive of Christmas cocktails – a Mistloetoe Spritzer, at The Broadmoor and a nice walk around the lake. The Broadmoor had some beautiful Christmas decorations and some great outdoor lights!

The 28th was my brother’s last day in town, so that evening Mama divided us into teams to decorate gingerbread houses. It was team SNW (or snow), G2, and Weiner. SNW was William and I, G2 was Rae and JP, and Weiner was Ben and my dad. While Team Weiner finished their house first and used all the provided candies, their house fell before SNW or G2 were done. G2’s house also collapsed, while SNW was still standing when we left town. It was hilarious and competitive, and I have little doubt that my sister practices, and makes her husband practice, before next Christmas.

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The 29th we spent time with some of my friends who still live in Colorado. Karen and Evan generously invited us into their home for dinner and drinks, where Sarah and Caleb joined us. It was so rejuvenating to spend time with these friends who walked through a season of life with me as I figured out who I was an adult and what I wanted in life. We were coworkers who became friends. They walked through a breakup with me, and rejoiced in our dating, engagement, and marriage when William and I said I do. I was able to meet Karen and Evan’s boys who were both born since I had last seen them. It was just such a nice night of catching up and spending time with people I deeply love and friends who I miss dearly.

On the 30th I worked from home for a couple hours in the morning before my parents took William and I to lunch and then to wander around Old Colorado City for the afternoon. It was fun to poke around the shops and spend time together just the four of us.

The morning of the 31st, my parents took us to the cutest coffee shop where I ordered a delicious lavender-cranberry latter before driving us up to DIA and sending us home to New York.

The week flew by extra fast with the holidays, but I am so very grateful we were able to spend the time together and look forward to the next time I see my family again.

10 Questions

10 Questions for Couples from Kate

 

 

 

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One. If you could repeat any vacation from any time of your life, which would you choose to repeat?

William: I wish that I could do my London, Reims, Paris trip again, but add you to it.

Sarah: My favorite vacations have been with William, but if I had to pick ones to go on with him, I’d say my senior trip to Hawaii would be cool to do with him, or our family trip to Glacier when I was in middle school – the hiking and white water rafting were amazing & it was the first time I saw the school that would become my alma mater!

Two. What is one thing you discovered about me after we got married that you love or appreciate?

William: That your kindness really does extend to every circumstance, even when you’re frustrated.

Sarah: How intentional you are with caring for our well being financially and through the delicious meals you make (though I knew about your fabulous cooking skills before saying I do!)

Three. What did you think you wanted to be when you were a kid?

William: An anesthesiologist or radiologist.

Sarah: I wanted to teach or be Secretary of State or do historical reenactments. In middle school I wanted to be on Broadway.

Four. Is there anything you feel competitive with me about?

William: Yes, when we go out whose prettier.

Sarah: Finding our next beloved show or movie – your track record is better than mine!

Five. Is there a book you could read over and over again? (Or, is there a movie you could watch over and over again?)

William: Harry Potter series forever. The Intern, The Holiday, Ratatouille.

Sarah: I don’t really enjoy re-reading books, though I have re-read the Harry Potter series and loved the little things I noticed! Movies, I could watch The Intern, The Holiday, Sweet Home Alabama, Mary Poppins, Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast.

Six. If you were a guest on a talk show, what would you want to talk about?

William: Pass.

Sarah: Being kind to people and easy ways to live that out daily, or books that we’ve been reading lately, or finding ways to serve your community.

Seven. If you could choose one restaurant to deliver lunch or dinner every day for a month, which would you choose?

William: The Cheesecake Factory because of the extensive menu, even if the food is mediocre.

Sarah: A local sandwich shop – so many tasty ways to play with sandwiches!

Eight. What does your ideal weekend look like?

William: Crisp autumn hiking with my family, perfect weather (sunny in the 50s with low humidity), really good food, relaxing with my family on the couch to watch football or a movie.

Sarah: Honestly, what William said!

Nine. What personality trait of yours do you hope that any future kids get?

William: My curiosity about the world around me and my love of travel.

Sarah: I hope they have a kind heart and a desire to learn more about the world through travel and reading.

Ten. How would you describe me in three words?

William: Sarah is loving, frustrating & empathetic.

Sarah: William is wise, inspiring & loyal.

2019 Reading Life

Goodreads reading challenge: 52

Total books read: 75

Total books by women and people of color: 57

Total pages read: 19,521

Longest book I read: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (513 pages)

Shortest book I read: She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton (18 pages)

Average book length: 260 pages

Most popular book I read: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Least popular book I read: Satisfaction Guaranteed by Isabelle Drake

My average rating: 3.7

The first book I read: Dog Songs by Mary Oliver

The last book I read: The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

The 12 best books I read (in no particular order): 

  1. Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
  2. Upstream by Mary Oliver
  3. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
  4. She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton
  5. The Gown by Jennifer Robson
  6. There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
  7. Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen
  8. Recursion by Blake Crouch
  9. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  10. Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
  11. I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott
  12. American Royals by Katharine McGee

What were the highlights of your 2019 reading life?

Weekend Update: 6 January

We enjoyed a cozy weekend in as the weather was wet and gray.

We started The Witcher on Netflix Thursday night, watched a couple episodes Friday night, and finished on Saturday. While difficult to know what’s going on, I enjoyed the fantasy and magic. I’m already looking forward to season two!

Saturday was spent catching up on laundry, discussing the enneagram, and hanging out. I colored some in the Beatrix Potter coloring book Rae & JP gave me for Christmas. I was inspired by a recipe in The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook my parents gave me for Christmas, and made sheet pan pork chops and potatoes. While watching the Bills game, where they unfortunately lost to the Texans, I took a nap. I read my first book of 2020 and started my second. Both nonfiction to start the year. We also bought our plane tickets for my best friend’s wedding later this spring. We ended the night by watching The Secret Life of Pets 2, which was cute, but not as cute as the first one.

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Sunday we enjoyed a cozy day in while the snow fell outside. I finished our thank you cards from Christmas and finished the laundry from the day before. We did a homemade “fish fry” with fish sticks and roasted potatoes for our lunch. I read some more of my second book of the decade (Killers of the Flower Moon); it is fascinating and sad, and gripping in it’s narrative – exactly what I love in good nonfiction! We watched another disappointing football game this afternoon when the Saints lost to the Vikings. I made some chocolate chip cookies to end the night while we watched 6 Underground and Tolkien.

On a different note, did you see Kate’s hat she wore to church on Sunday? Her whole look was stunning (that coat!), but her hat was quite dreamy! I started following the company, Hicks and Brown, on Instagram and love all of their designs. I’ve now added a few of their hats to my wish-list – particularly the suffolk fedora in olive green with the pheasant feather wrap. It’s exactly the style I’ve been looking for for a couple years.

How was your weekend?

Friday Favorites: 03 January

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Happy first Friday of 2020 friends!

This was such a strange week, spent half in Colorado and half in New York, with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in the middle of the week.

Being home and in our space again is definitely a favorite, as is the fact that I cleaned everything before we left for the holidays. Is there anything better than coming home to a clean house?

Being reunited with Mavis is another favorite – I love snuggling up to our sweet girl and had fun watching her enjoy her Christmas gift from my parents.

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I bought a handful of honey sticks while we were in Colorado and I just love them – they’re perfect to keep at work for an afternoon cup of tea!

I bought some tights at Loft after Christmas and I love them! Tights and dresses are definitely my “go-to” this time of year. This dress was my Christmas gift from my sweet mother-in-law!

What are you loving this week?

73 Questions With William

1 Favorite place to be? Home.

2 Something I can never live without? A hot shower.

3 Hobbies that I’ll never give up? Hiking, golf, travel.

4 Three words to describe me? The motherfing greatest. 😂

5 My biggest fear? Losing my mental faculties.

6 What makes me angry? Dumbass-ery.

7 My inspiration? The success of my students.

8 Favorite wild animal? Why? A polar bear because they get to see the world, be left the f alone, and enjoy an ice cold Coca-Cola while living in the snow.

9 Favorite food? Yes. I am a chef. I love food. My favorite food is probably something I haven’t even tried yet.

10 First memory of life? I don’t know.

11 The best advice I got? Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

12 Where do I see myself in 10 years? Tenured.

13 Books reading these days? Academic journals.

14 The fictional character I want to be? The child. AKA Baby Yoda.

15 My hidden talents? It’s from the late 50s through the early 80s, I can probably guess the song in the first 8 bars.

16 Favorite type of music? Indie folk and Americana.

17 When do I feel happy? When enjoying good food with good people.

18 Which song brings you joy? In My Life by The Beatles.

19 My favourite word? Schadenfreude.

20 My favorite food? I haven’t tried it yet.

21 Top 3 things on my bucket list? Traveling to Scandinavia, attending a game at Tottenham Stadium #COYS & driving around Germany for a month to see the whole country.

22 What city do you most want to visit? I’d love to take you to NOLA or Nashville. Copenhagen or Seoul.

23 Last meal you cooked? Curry.

24 Favorite quote? See the Winston Churchill quote above.

25 If I had a superpower what would it be? The ability to absorb other superpowers. Why only have one?

26 Favorite sport? College football and golf. To play, golf

27 Biggest Dream? To be rich enough to own a Patek Philipe.

28 Favorite Band? The Beatles.

29 Favourite Cusine? Thai.

30 A positive quality about me? My ability to inspire others.

31 A negative quality about me? My RDF.

32 Best place I’ve visited? Anywhere I’ve ever been with my wife.

33 When do I laugh the most? Life.

34 When do I get creative? When I’m inspired.

35 Favorite lyrics? In my life, I love you more. Home is wherever I’m with you. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

36 The scariest thing I’ve done? Put myself through a PhD.

37 Biggest accomplished achievement? Obtaining my PhD.

38 What am I horrible at? I have horrible OCD.

39 Favorite book genres? Thriller mystery, detective mystery, fantasy mystery.

40 Adventurous thing I want to do? Hike parts of the Appalachian Trail.

41 Something I would like to try? The stinky ammonia smelling fish in Iceland.

42 Optimistic or pessimistic? Apparently I’m more optimistic than think I am.

43 Favorite TV show? Stranger Things.

44 Skill you want to learn? Patience.

45 Something from your childhood that you still have? Bear and nother bear. All my Ghostbusters toys and wrestling figurines.

46 If I had a chance to change something what would it be? The 2016 election.

47 What would I do to calm myself? Breathing exercises.

48 When do you find yourself singing? Always.

49 What do you consider unforgivable? Being a hypocrite with your faith.

50 Have you ever sleepwalked? Not that I’m aware of.

51 If you got a chance to go somewhere outrageous, where would it be?

The Met Gala or the Oscar Vanity Fair party. I don’t actually care about them, but they feel outrageous to me.

52 What is your dream career?

Retirement or a trust fund.

53 An impossible wish?

The end of American Christian hypocrisy.

54 Who is my greatest role model?

My dad. & Winston Churchill minus the racist stuff.

55 If I could live in any home on a television series, what would it be?

Jay & Gloria’s house in Modern Family.

56 Favorite song currently?

We Americans by The Avett Brothers.

57 Advice for future children?

Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill

58 How do you handle jetlag?

Like any good person, with booze. But actually, just trying to get on the local time as quickly as possible.

59 Describe your style?

Classic Mountain Prep.

60 Oxfords or Brogues?

Oxfords, though both have their place.

61 What’s a guilty pleasure you have?

Ice cream, cheesecake, Star Wars animated series.

62 Favorite Star Wars Character?

Ahsoka Tano.

63 Biggest pet peeve?

Ignoring basic acts of human decency; not returning shopping carts, being rude to service line employees, not making eye contact or saying hello, not holding a door, etc.

64 If you could raid the closet of anyone, whose would it be?

Ryan Reynolds or Galahad/Harry Hart in Kingsman.

65 What’s your schedule these days?

It changes daily.

66 Have you ever broken a bone?

Yes.

67 Who’s your style icon?

David Beckham.

68 Ideal day?

Every day with you is ideal.

69 Favorite movie as a child?

Ghostbusters.

70 Last show you’ve binge watched?

Clone Wars.

71 First toy you had?

Bear.

72 What can you see from your window?

Trees.

73 What’s for dinner today?

Chick-fil-A. (On Wednesday)

December Reads

After not reading anything in October or November, I finally found some time to read amidst the business that was the month of December!

An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow

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A cute steamy winter romance with the classic awful first impressions and snap judgements. I loved our main characters and the best friend/sister who helped bring our couple closer. If you want something enjoyable to pass an evening or two, give this romance a try!

Knocked Up Cinderella by Julie Hammerle

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a FUN book! I laughed out loud often and really enjoyed Erin and Ian. I found their relationship believable and loved the supporting characters and how everyone’s lives intersected. While there were certainly aspects that made this book an idealized version of what this situation would like realistically, I found it so endearing and delightful. There is some language, but it made sense where and when it was used for the characters. This was a great rom-com and I would totally read it again.

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

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Another sweet read from Julie Murphy! This middle grade book was a delightful lol into the world of Patricia, or Sweet Pea, as she prefers, and her navigation of her parents divorce. It also has her navigating friendships and the transition between childhood and adolescence as she prepares to leave primary school for secondary school (in this world, that split is between US grades 7 & 8). Sweet Pea was endearing and relatable and frustrating and lovable. She was a wonderful protagonist to share this journey alongside.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

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What a genuine delight! I devoured this story in one day and loved reading Vivian and Malcolm’s story. The premise was fun, the setting perfect, and the plot was very sweet.
I love that our main characters were in their fifties and that they acted like it. For how romantic and dream-like the plot is, they addressed relationship questions and road bumps like adults, which I loved.

This was the perfect read as we countdown to Christmas and I continue to adore each of Jasmine Guillory’s stories. I highly recommend this one.

American Royals by Katharine McGee

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What. A. Delight. This book was such a fun look at what a royal family in America could look like. I loved the world building that Katherine McGee did and the fun winks to reality and history she had throughout the book.

There are characters you love and characters you hate, there are complicated relationships and the layers of this story were enough to keep you turning the page over and over.

I can’t wait to read the sequel in autumn 2020!

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved this group of men and how they used romance novels to better understand, communicate with and love their women. The main couple had you cheering for them to get back together.
It highlighted some of the reasons why I love romance novels and was fun to see this group of men express vulnerability in relationships, instead of being stoic like can be so often used in books.

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

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I first picked this up because Melinda Gates is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, whose tagline is Leading Women, and this book seemed to align with that perfectly.

I really enjoyed reading the stories she shared about the women she’s met through the work that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation does, particularly around the issues of family planning and fighting for girls education and against child marriage. The other chapters were interesting too, particularly the one about creating true partnerships in marriage, but the childhood marriage chapter and family planning chapter really stood out to me.

I really enjoyed seeing the world through Melinda’s eyes and learning about the areas she sees as where we can create the most “lift” for women around the world.

What did you read in December?