Hey friends. How are you? How have you been? It’s been a hot second since I’ve checked in to chat but lately life has felt like a bit of a whirlwind.

Ryan has been gone on back-to-back business trips for 10 days but is returning from India late this evening. A fire occurred at the boys’ preschool late last week at the time of pick-up and thank goodness everyone is okay. We are feeling so fortunate everyone was alright but the preschool experienced damage and has been closed all week and will be closed next week as well. (From there we are awaiting updates.) I’ve been in major mom mode without too many breaks but feel very grateful my mom, sister, nieces and nephew planned a visit to come our way while Ryan was in India and extended their visit which was the biggest blessing. My Aunt Laurie also came in town so we’ve had a full house! Little blessings that feel like big blessings.

Like all Friday blog posts, today’s roundup of Things I’m Loving serves as a reminder to look for joy in the little things in everyday life. Below you will find some things that are making me smile right now and I hope you’ll share a little bit about what you’re loving lately as well in the comments section of this post. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Things I’m Loving Friday

You knew this one would be number one on today’s list, didn’t you? The extra time with my mom, sister, nieces, nephew and aunt was the highlight of my week. We filled our time with visits to some of our favorite local hot spots, including Sweetwater Farms, Patterson Farms, Hope Park and Discovery Place Kids. The boys absolutely loved playing with their cousins and my mom, sister and I stayed up way too late after the kids’ bed time just talking and catching up. It’s hard to sneak in adult conversations with all the kids around so we treasured our evenings together. I’m so grateful they made the trip up to see me and the boys and their visit absolutely flew by!

Two weeks ago we booked a mini session for family photos through a fundraiser at the boys’ preschool. The photographer, Yulanda, did such an incredible job and it was one of the easiest family photo sessions we’ve had to date. Pictures were snapped in less than 15 minutes and booking our photos for 9:30 a.m. was amazinggg since our kids were all happy and energetic versus the fussy and tired kids we’ve had on our hands when we’ve booked “golden hour” photos at sunset in the past. I’m convinced morning mini sessions are where it’s at with kids! And now our holiday card photos are d-o-n-e!

amazon duster cardigan

(Cardigan: Amazon / Tank: Target / Slip skirt: Target / Shoes: Kork-Ease but old / Bag: Cuyana) 

I’m feeling this cardigan and have been pairing it with everything… and I mean everything. A midi skirt? Yes! Jeans? Yep. Leggings and sneakers? So cute! Sweatpants around the house? Of course. It somehow seems to work with so many different looks and is the perfect throw-it-over-anything cardigan for fall. I have it in the khaki color in a small and it still has a slouchy, oversized fit so I’d recommend staying true to your typical size even if you’re looking for a slightly baggier look. I love this one so much!

My rating: B+

Talk about a whirlwind of a book! His & Hers is filled with twists and mystery and plenty of page-turning intrigue that lasts right up until the very end. It’s a murder mystery that left me clueless about the identity of the murderer for the vasty majority of the book which only served to increase my interest. While I saw the major twist coming it didn’t make the book any less enjoyable and it’s a novel I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good thriller.

From Amazon: 

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

Chia Seed Oatmeal (My mom’s oatmeal recipe and my absolute favorite for a filling bowl of oatmeal with a lot of texture.)

Chia Seed Oatmeal

Easy Marinated Pork Chops (Simple, incredibly flavorful and perfect for busy weeknights.)

Easy Marinated Pork Chops

Question of the Day

What is one thing making you smile this week?


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