Good morning, my friends. Happy Friday the 13th – so spooky! It does feel great to finally have Friday upon us.
What are your plans for the weekend? We’re headed to a a concert with friends tonight, and tomorrow we have brunch plans with Bobby’s family, but are staying in for a romantical night of homemade pizzas on Saturday. I’m definitely looking forward to some downtime.
Enough small talk; let’s get right to your regularly scheduled posting, Favorite Finds Friday. It’s here that I share anything in my life or from around the web that has made me laugh, cry, think, covet or drool over the past week.
What’s your favorite find from the week? I’d love to hear form you!
- Valentine’s Day. How do I not include the upcoming holiday in my list this week? Bobby and I plan to exchange inexpensive gifts, and this year we’re continuing the tradition of making dinner and dessert at home.
My lone decoration
- Dark chocolate almond milk. I originally saw Heather drinking this stuff most nights after dinner, and I was inspired to give it a try. I’ve been enjoying the chocolate milk for dessert or as a post-workout recovery drink.
- When you eat allthecookies.
- The sweetest video where a seal wiggles out of the water to hug a dog.
- A fascinating perspective on how your name affects your success in life. <– Take it with a grain of salt for sure. You’re more likely to work for a company that matches your initials? Umm…
- 50 pictures that look JUST like my childhood. <– For fellow Gen-Yers, how accurate is this?!
Thanks to Running 4 Cupcakes for the link up!
I’m welcoming Friday with open arms this week! I’ve mentioned it about 16 times already, but it has been an exhausting five days. It’s been a while since I’ve really looked forward to the end of the week, and now I’m reminded of that lost feeling.
Any plans for the weekend? I’m working later on Friday night before heading home for a DVR-marathon and Whole Foods takeout. Saturday will include some blog stuff, organizing, errands and a friend’s birthday festivities. It should be a nice little weekend.
Since it is Friday, it’s time for Favorite Finds, one of my favorite posts during the week. It’s here that I compile all the things that have made my week that much better. I would love to hear about your favorite finds in the comments section. Feel free to link, link, link away!
- Homemade oat balls. I started making these a few weeks ago and they have quickly become a favorite snack for both Bobby and me. I’ll usually take two to work for an afternoon snack or enjoy a couple for dessert at home.
- L.K. Bennett heels. Kate Middleton wears this brand all the time and I’d be lying if I said I purchased them for any other reason. I’ve had my eye on the classic style for months and when Gilt.com hosted a sale, I snagged the navy pair right away. They are some of the most comfortable heels I’ve worn, the 2.5 inch is perfect for work and they will last a very long time. Three cheers for investment shoes!
- Egg burritos. I’ve really been on a Mexican food kick lately, which is strange because it’s not usually my favorite. One of my go-to breakfasts this week has been a whole wheat tortilla with plain greek yogurt, hot sauce, one scrambled egg, egg whites from the carton and a little sharp white cheddar. It really hits the spot!
- Clinique Lid Smoothie 8-Hour Eyeshadow. I knew I wanted to streamline my weekday makeup routine before I started working again. My mom has sworn by this shadow for years and I finally decided to give it a whirl. I settled on the Cashew Later color and already want to buy the whole line.
- I never really know what to include in homemade salad dressing. This infographic lays everything out in a perfect step-by-step tutorial.
- Buzzfeed typically posts hilariously satirical articles, but this one about 27 life-changing tips for twentysomethings is really thoughtful and full of great advice. I happen to think the tips are applicable for people of any age.
- Have you seen the Saved by the Bell reunion on Jimmy Fallon? I die! I can’t get over how Jessie Spano and AC Slater look the exact same.
- I’m not even a music person, but Ed Sheeran just gets me. I can’t get enough of this song.
- It seems like “happiness” is already the buzz word of 2015. Huffington Post shares 27 common things that prevent our happiness. I like to think I’m a pretty happy person, but of course I’m guilty of some of these, particularly #3 and #20.
Did you like this week’s edition of Favorite Finds Friday? Check out past versions here:
Thanks to Katie for the link up!
Have a wonderful weekend.
As soon as I hit publish on this post, I’m headed out to a dentist appointment (awesome) and some errands. Today started a bit later than usual since Bobby and I were out way past our weeknight bedtime of 9 p.m. We had a reservation at Cafe Ba-Ba- Reeba, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. When I first moved to Chicago, Ba-Ba-Reeba was a go-to for my girlfriends and me since it’s affordable and always delicious. Bobby and I hadn’t officially celebrated my new job, so last night we did just that over a pitcher of white peach sangria and Spanish tapas.
Spicy potatoes & lamb meatballs (my favorite)
Manchego cheese flatbread
Butterscotch custard & mini banana split for dessert
I could wax poetic all day long about my love for Ba-Ba-Reeba, but it’s time to jump to the real reason you stopped by today, Favorite Finds Friday. If you’re a new reader to The Magic Tree (welcome!), Friday’s post is always a bit random. It’s the place where I share my favorite finds from the past week, including links, pins, articles, recipes, products and anything else that made my week!
- Madewell booties. I was on the lookout for weeks for the perfect pair of tan booties. Once these babies went on sale last month, I snatched them up and couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, the exact boot is sold out, but I almost went with these, as they’re very similar.
- I’ve been on a major kale salad kick lately. This one included craisins and parmesan cheese.
- I love this classy southern gal, and don’t think she’s ever looked better.
Liked what you saw today? Check out past versions of Favorite Finds Friday:
Have a fantastic weekend, friends! ❤
Happy Friday, my friends! Any plans this weekend? I have nothing too exciting on the docket, just a few errands and more organizing and studying, plus dinner and a movie with some gal pals on Sunday.
But let’s get down to it, the real reason you stopped by today, Favorite Finds Friday. In case you’re a new visitor to The Magic Tree, Friday’s post is my corner of the e-universe where I share allthingthings from the past week that have made me laugh, cry, think, drool or covet. I’d love to hear about your favorite things from the week, so feel free to link away in the comments section.
- OPI Funny Bunny. My new favorite nude for weekday nails, and the best part? I bought it on eBay, my secret (shhhh!) source for brand new beauty products for a fraction of the price.
- The Miss Universe pageant that airs this Sunday at 7 p.m. CST. I’m not ashamed to admit that I am obsessed with beauty pageants. I look forward to Miss USA (in June) more than any other TV program all year. Just for fun, I’ll throw it back to September of last year when I competed in Miss Illinois USA.
- Gigi New York totes are 50%! Did you hear me? 50% OFF! It’s probably my favorite bag I’ve ever owned and they are never discounted this much. Here’s how I styled mine in black (with monogram):
- Paddle boarder who wanted to see orcas gets an up-close look. <– Mesmerizing! Fast forward to 1:45.
Typing 1/16 in the above title just does not feel right. How on earth is it January 16th already?! Bless me.
How was your Thursday night? I made a new-to-me soup that was out of this world and we tried to watch a movie that was made before 2000. You see, I have an issue with “old” movies. They do not hold my attention – I can’t help it!
Here are some of my Favorite Finds from the week. I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments section.
- My new purse notebook. I always carry a writing pad in my bag for when those earth shattering ideas comes to me (they haven’t come yet, FYI). I bought this miniature beauty at a junky jewelry store in Naples.
- Simple dinners. Usually our go-to on busy weeknights, this salmon + brown rice + brussels combo really hit the spot after a week of wine and chocolate.
I have such a conflicted relationship with post-Christmas Christmas decorations. I love drinking out of my Santa mug, but also feel a bit down that the holidays are over. However, it does give me an excuse to decorate in a more general “winter” theme and even bring out our Valentine’s Day decor in a few weeks. I love Valentine’s Day.
It’s hard to believe this is my first Favorite Finds Friday of 2015. It’s always one of the posts I most look forward to writing. If you’re new to The Magic Tree, Favorite Finds is my last post of the week where I compile all the articles, pins, recipes, videos, or things that have been making me smile over the past seven days. Feel free to link away in the comments section. I would love to know your favorite finds!
- Purging my closet gives me a natural high. I love getting rid of unnecessary clutter.
- This pantry. Forget a walk-in closet, you’ll know I’ve made it in life when I have a pantry that looks like this <sighs>.
If you liked this roundup of favorite finds, check out past editions:
What’s on your agenda for the weekend? We’re headed to a friend’s house later today to see their new baby girl, then out to dinner with my girlfriend and her husband. I also have a lot of cleaning and organizing on my list for Saturday and Sunday, and creating a study plan for my social work license (eeek!).
Have a lovely weekend ❤
Does anyone else have a Christmas hangover? I don’t know if it’s all the sugary foods I’ve been consuming, the lack of exercise, or the fact that I’ve been staying up way past my usual bedtime (2:15 a.m. last night!), but I woke up today feeling extra groggy and puffy faced. I’m more than excited to return to my healthy eating and exercise routine in a few days.
Anywho, let’s get to the real reason you’re reading this post: Favorite Finds Friday. This edition will follow a bit of a Christmas theme (as well as an accidental animal theme, but what else is new?), with a few random tidbits sprinkled in. Let me know your favorite finds from the week in the comments section — I’d love to hear from you!
- Scarves! Scarves seemed to be the theme of Christmas this year. My mom received three as gifts, Bobby was gifted two, I got two and my oldest brother Jeff received one – that’s eight between four people! Definitely not complaining though 🙂
My mom sporting her three new scarves
- Old family photos. Each time I return home for the holidays, I end up sorting through old photo albums with my brothers. Looking at a childhood picture elicits many memories for me and I end up remembering so many aspects of that particular event. I snagged a few to frame once I get back to Chicago.
Practicing t-ball with my older brother Garrett
- Stockings. Arguably my favorite part of Christmas. I’m always so excited to dig into my own stocking and watch as everyone else empties theirs. Santa includes many random, but thoughtful items. For example, this year I received a meat cleaver, underwear, barre socks and hand cream, in addition to a sea of candy!
Grayson the cat trying to eat Baxter’s catnip-filled stocking
If you liked reading about my favorite things from the week, check out:
Can I just say that I am beyond excited to head home to Louisville tomorrow. One of my friend’s from high school is getting married tomorrow night and I can’t wait to reunite with some gals I haven’t seen in way too long. I’m also looking forward to downtime with my family, not having an agenda and breaking from regular life for ten days. Bobby and I are almost worried that we’ll be too bored, but that’s kinda how I like it.
What are your holiday plans?
Today marks this week’s edition of Favorite Finds Friday. If you’re new around here, this is a weekly series where I share some articles, pins, items, products, etc. that have caught my eye during the week. Let me know your favorite finds in the comments section!
- Christmas crafts. I’m pretty crafty by nature, but rarely want to spend the money to DIY something that might turn out a fail. However, I’ve been really into adding personal touches this year like special gift tags or including the recipe for homemade treats.
My current craft set up
Gifted to the hostess at a Christmas party last weekend
- Making recipes my own. Until recently, I never felt comfortable making significant changes to recipes if I wanted to say, make the flavor more intense. I don’t know what was holding me back – kitchen confidence, I guess? Anywho, now I rarely make recipes exactly like the instructions and tend to add, subtract or substitute. So far, so good!
- On the baking note, I just discovered another outlet in my kitchen! It has been a game changer when I’m trying to use the blender and hand mixer at the same time. Might sound trivial to some with large kitchens, but I know Ashley can relate.
- The reading material in doctors’ offices is so diverse. I remember the days when Highlights magazine and the local paper were your only options. I guess enough people in the U.S. have allergies now that Allergic Living is a real thing.
- Gingerbread coffee. Ever since I realized we were spending way too much on daily k-cups, I’ve been loving using regular coffee in our Keurig. This gingerbread cookie flavor has been the star lately, scored on clearance at TJ Maxx, where else?
- “I’m totes a kale blazer” tote. Will someone buy me this for Christmas?! I can’t track down the original link for the life of me.
TGIF. Who’s with me!?
Welcome to this week’s edition of Favorite Finds Friday, where I share everything I’ve discovered over the past seven days that has been made me laugh, cry, ponder, desire or drool. Feel free to share your favorite finds from the week in the comments section!
- Ashley’s wreath. I am dying to make this and pretend that my semi-creative mind thought of it. 🙂
- Pretty great words to live by:
- The story of my life right now:
- A three-minute video on the power of empathy. Truly, a lesson for us all (thanks for sending, mom).
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially finalized a ruling that makes listing calorie counts mandatory nationwide for chain restaurants and food places with 20 or more locations.
- Seven foods a registered dietitian preps for herself each week.
If you liked my favorite finds, check out past editions:
Have a fabulous weekend!