Links to Love:
- I have been loving the Daily Connoisseur’s YouTube videos. I don’t watch YouTube often, but hers are some that I seek out. I find her very soothing and I agree with so many of her philosophies.
- I came across her video about three ways to do overnight oats and recommend the blog post with the recipes. We have tried the blueberries and cream version and the chocolate almond version and they are both delicious. What overnight oats recipes do you recommend?
- This song. (Million Reasons by Lady Gaga) It has been on replay in my brain for the past week.
- Amanda linked to this article recently. Definitely check it out and consider searching for yourself and opting out of having your personal info displayed on the site.
- This first look video was so funny!
- We had our guest bathroom renovated this month! It looks so great. Kevin and I marvel over all the things we’ve done to our home since moving in. It really is like a different house! The previous owners wouldn’t recognize the inside.
- We also had some touch up painting done around the house. It felt good to get a few things patched and cleaned up!
- I was on the Nominating Committee this year for Junior League and got to help interview candidates for the slate next year. I was slated as Nominating Chair for the upcoming year, which is exciting. I go back and forth on leaving Junior League because I sometimes feel resentful when I’m at events, wishing I could be at home with Kevin and Ava. But ultimately I know that it’s good for me to be involved in the organization and get out of the house for meetings and events. I am very grateful to have such a supportive, amazing husband – he doesn’t bat an eye when I have meetings or events that take me away from home for hours at time in the evening or weekend.
- I went to an Escape Room with some girlfriends one Friday evening and it was such a blast. I can’t wait to go back and am already planning a triple date with Kevin and some friends.
- Kevin and I made an early bird reservation at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse as a joint birthday celebration dinner. It was so nice to get dressed up and have a date night. We ate so much food and it was amazing.
- Read Truly Madly Guilty. It’s Liane Moriarty’s newest and I gave it four stars. I can understand why some people didn’t care for it. The story did seem to move a little slowly at times, and the characters are very strong personalities. You’ll likely either love them or hate them. I loved them. Each of them! I thought they were well developed and quirky and real.
- Read At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life by Jennifer L. Scott. I’ve read the other two books by her about lessons learned from Madame Chic (the author’s hostess when she lived in France in her early twenties) and polishing poise. I think At Home is my least favorite of the three (I gave it three stars). I have gotten into Jennifer’s vlogs recently. (See above in the links section.) I agree with much of what she says and think that she’s a great role model for teenagers and young adults.
- Currently reading The Danish Way of Parenting: A Guide to Raising the Happiest Kids in the World by Jessica Joelle Alexander & Iben Sandhal; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (on my phone/iPad); Duplicity by Newt Gringrich (listening to this one on Audible with Kevin); and Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Oh and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, because it’s time to re-read that series.
- Kevin has been reading The Looming Tower: Al-Quaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright and Duplicity, as mentioned above. He also started taking a class (Leadership and Organizational Behavior) this month, because he didn’t feel like he had enough on his plate with only a baby and a wife and a full time job. :) He’s toying with the idea of getting an MBA through UMass Amherst and this class allows him to metaphorically dip his toe into the graduate school waters.
- Ava hit the 1000 book mark in her 1000 books before kindergarten challenge. We’ll try it again in a few years, when kindergarten is on the horizon.
- Ava has been a bit of an inconsistent sleeper for the past couple of months. I feel silly saying that has been a challenge because in general she is such a good sleeper. But there were a few nights where she woke up out of sorts and on one night we threw up the white flag after an hour and a half of crying it out. Kevin slept on the floor of her room and that seemed to satisfy her. She also does not like to be left alone to fall asleep, whereas she used to sooth herself to sleep just fine and dandy. Now we need to stay in the room with her until she drifts off. It’s just different and we don’t know what caused it. Our trip to Denver last month? A developmental leap (she’s in the ninth Wonder Weeks phase now and she is always hyper-aware during those leaps)? We finally seemed to be getting back on track and then…dun dun dun…she got a cold. However, the latest and greatest is that as of last night, January 31, Ava has been left in her crib awake and has not cried a bit for four consecutive nights. She chats to herself and then falls asleep alone and on her own. It’s been very exciting and I hope it continues. January – I guess you could say it came in like a lion and out like a lamb on the sleeping front for the sweet girl.
- There was a bit of a challenge to our schedule when the reno work was being done to the bathroom. The cats had to be locked up in our master suite (woe is them) during the day and it was loud and disruptive. Ava couldn’t nap or even peacefully play at home so we spent a lot of time at Craig and Sue’s house. Fortunately they live close so it’s easy to go back and forth. We’re glad to have this project done! We’ll tackle our master bathroom in the spring when we can play outside more. That’s going to be a longer project. Yikes.
- After almost 15 months of perfect health, a cold virus struck my poor baby. She was sniffly, stuffy, and sneezy, and it was so hard to watch her struggle with not feeling 100%. She is such a trooper though, and we were really lucky – overall she continued to feel well and be her cheerful self during the day. She struggled to get comfortable at night and had a hard time breathing while lying down. Fortunately it was pretty mild and passed relatively quickly. We did a few steams and ran the humidifier and diffused peppermint oil.
- I don’t want to get into politics, but regardless of where any American stands on issues, January was a challenging month. As a nation, we are very divided. That division scares me. I am scared for this country and the world, and I am disappointed in how leadership has handled many things.
- This month we ate a few of our regular rotation meals – chicken fajitas (strips of chicken breast, bell pepper, onion, seasoned with salt/pepper/garlic powder, sautéed in olive oil, and served over a tortilla with cheese), beef stroganoff (we usually use ground beef rather than stew meat and we always add mushrooms), roast, a smoked salmon that we regularly get at Whole Foods, these Cuban sliders…
- We made lentil soup for the second time and really enjoyed it again. It’ll become part of the regular rotation in the winter. It’s not an Ava friendly meal though. Soup is hard to eat for a little lady mastering utensils, and she did try it…but didn’t love the flavor. We made her a ham sandwich and she was content. :)
- I feel like we tried more than two new recipes this month, but I’m only remembering these – braised coconut spinach chickpeas with lemon and the Pioneer Woman’s Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce.
- Perhaps the meal highlight of the month was our joint birthday celebration dinner date out at Ruth’s Chris. Oh it was so delicious.
- Effective January 5 (we had to wait until after my birthday :)), Kevin and I are back on our righteous eating plan and allowing ourselves three cheats a week. Cheats include fast food, fried food, sweets, pizza, and pasta. We followed this plan for the majority of last year and feel like it is a good way to stay on track with conscious food decisions while also not depriving ourselves altogether. Kevin also has started seeing a personal trainer once or twice a week. He’s hoping to expand his repertoire of workouts that he can do on his own. I’ve signed up for a month of unlimited hot yoga at a place very near our house and I’m excited about getting into that.
How was your January? Tell me something good!