Hi, hi! How are you! How was your week? I am personally a little extra happy it’s Friday because Ryan returns from India late this evening! He’s been gone for nine days on a work trip and we’ve missed him like crazy. There’s an 11-and-a-half hour time difference between Charlotte and Bengaluru but thankfully this means we can typically talk twice a day though it’s on opposite ends of our days. (When it’s 9:30 p.m. in Charlotte, it’s 7 a.m. the next day in Bengaluru.) Communicating with Ryan when he’s in India always blows my mind a bit because I feel like he is living a full day in the future. It’s wild.

Ryan’s been to India for work a number of times and we’ve learned not to overload the weekend when he gets back because jetlag is real. After a day or two, he’s a million times better but we intentionally left this weekend free of plans (other than a birthday party) so we can hang out as a family and not overload our calendar after a day filled with 20-hours worth of flights for Ryan.

I’m sure we’ll still fill our days with some fun things and I hope to share more of our weekend happenings with you guys on the blog on Monday but until then, keep on scrolling for this week’s roundup of Friday favorites!

Things I’m Loving Friday

If you are someone who loves doubling or tripling recipes to freeze to use in the future, please let me introduce you to Souper Cubes! I first discovered Souper Cubes thanks to two blogging friends (hi Lindsay and Brittany!) who used them regularly for meal prep purposes and to make getting food on the table for their families a little easier. They’ve far exceeded my expectations and I cannot recommend them enough. Souper Cubes are silicone freezer trays that come with a lid and make freezing your food a breeze. Food pops right out (truly, it releases from the trays so easily) and can then be transferred into your baking dish, slow cooker, a pot for reheating, etc. One tip: You can really get a lot of use out of your Souper Cubes by transferring the frozen molds out of the Souper Cubes and into freezer gallon bags once your food is completely frozen. This frees up your Souper Cubes to be used again!

souper cubes

We have the full Souper Cubes set but the 2-cup size is my personal favorite and the one we use most for everything from soups, stews and chili to lasagna, curries and more. I also find myself using the 2 tablespoon size trays to freeze small portions of homemade sauces, fresh herbs chopped up with olive oil, leftover tomato paste, etc. and I can only imagine how handy this size would be if you’re in the baby phase of life and want to freeze small portions of baby food for a little one!

tangle teezer hairbrush

One random thing I love about girls’ weekend getaways is sharing and swapping favorite beauty finds, clothes, accessories, etc. I always leave a weekend trip with girlfriends with a mini list of things I fell in love with over the weekend and my trip to Scottsdale with my childhood best friends was no different. This find came from my friend Carrie and it is magic. I borrowed her Tangle Teezer hairbrush when it was sitting on the bathroom vanity countertop and am so glad I did because it combed through my hair like a dream. I immediately called out to Carrie to ask about it because it was THAT noticeably amazing. The bristles are flexible and gentle but incredibly effective at combing through tangles. I ordered it on the spot and use it on both wet and dry hair. I also couldn’t resist ordering one for my sister for my nieces because I know kid hair tangles are a beast! If you give this a try, I hope it exceeds all of your expectations because it blew me away.

And just for fun, here are some of the other finds I fell in love with thanks to girls’ weekends over the years: BaByliss Ceramic Hairdryer (I’ve had mine for 8+ years and love it so much — it dries my hair crazy-fast and leaves it feeling so soft and silky), Slip Silk Hair Ties (I use one in my hair every night), Hanging Toiletry Bag, Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Gloss

Love is Blind is getting a lot of attention right now especially in our area, as the most recent season was filmed in Charlotte. Though I’ve never seen the show before, my interest was piqued because of its proximity to our home. (I was a little disappointed not to see more of the Queen City but I think would’ve understood this likely wouldn’t happen if I had seen the show before based on the format of the show.)

The concept of the show is interesting — contestants get to know each other thorough a series of dates but never get to see each other unless a couple agrees to be together and/or gets engaged. I was honestly surprised how quickly the show sucked me in but I also fast-forwarded it a bunch and half-watched as it’s a great background show to have on as you do other things. I don’t want to reveal anything if you haven’t seen the show and don’t want any spoilers but the drama is intense and plentiful both on the show and outside the show which came up in the reunion special on Wednesday night this week. (Phewyyy!)

For anyone else who already watched the show, I think you’ll know who I am talking about when I say the mother of one of the grooms-to-be who makes it to the altar truly made the entire show for me. She’s been through a lot in her life and the way she converses with her ex-husband who was regularly unfaithful during their 20+ year marriage is captivating in its honesty, strength and forgiveness but also in the firm way she doesn’t let him off the hook. The way she talked about how his actions have impacted their son and shut down his attempt at humor had me cheering for her from home. I definitely did not think the mother of a contestant would be my favorite person in this show but she was a gem.

My rating: A-

I have such mixed thoughts about Freida McFadden’s novels. They’re immensely creative and rope me in quickly but I also find myself rolling my eyes a lot as I read. The dialog between the characters often leaves a lot to be desired and I never really like any of the characters in her books. Does this prevent me from seeking out more novels by this author? Absolutely not. Ha! They’re just too addicting. They’re always easy-to-read, page-turning thrillers and I have a bunch more on my holds list at my local library.

The Locked Door was my latest Freida McFadden novel and it was another audiobook listen. (I did not love the narrator of this one but I powered through.) I found myself seeking out little pockets of my day to listen to this book because it was such a twisty, wild ride from start to finish. Freida McFadden is always great about leading you down a million different paths and this book is no different. I was engaged in this one immediately and found it suspenseful but not too scary, which is right up my alley.

Easy BBQ Meatloaf (One of the first recipes we made when we first started cooking post-college that Ryan and I still love!)

Easy BBQ Meatloaf

Corned Beef & Cabbage Creamy Potato Leek Soup (Kindly ignore the terrible 2015 photography but this recipe is a great one for my fellow corned beef lovers who might have some corned beef leftover after St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday!)

Corned Beef and Cabbage Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Question of the Day

What is one thing making you smile this week?