Things I’m Loving Friday #456

Hey friends! Pepper says “Happy Friday!”

How are YOU? We are feeling ready for the weekend! After zero date nights in months, Ryan and I have our second date night in two weeks on the books for this evening. Heck yes! I am really looking forward to a night out with my favorite guy to kick off the weekend.

Other plans for the weekend include a birthday party, house-related errands and returns and more home organization. We’ll eventually feel like we’re all move in an unpacked, right!?

As for today, let’s keep things consistent around here and kick things off with a roundup of my weekly favorites, Things I’m Loving Friday style. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Things I’m Loving Friday

  • Simple Hack for Deleting Phone Photos

I saw my blogging friend Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean share an Instagram Reel with this hack in it at the beginning of the year and it’s been incredibly helpful to me. I have so, so, so many photos on my phone — a product of blogging and sharing my life and my desire to capture photos and memories of our boys! When I think about going through and deleting photos off my phone I feel instantly overwhelmed. Enter this hack! Every day, in the search bar of the photos app on your phone, type in today’s date. You’ll then have a much more manageable number of photos to sort through every day… and it’s even semi-enjoyable because you get to look back on past photos and see what was going on in your life years ago every day. I don’t remember to do this every day but I’ve been trying to keep up with it when I do and it’s been so helpful!

We’ve had Brickyard Building Blocks for the boys for years (a gift from our friend Pete!) and while our boys have always enjoyed playing with them, lately their interest has skyrocketed ever since we found the inspiration booklet for the blocks during our move. They’ve previously enjoyed coming up with their own creations (usually some kind of a car) but now that they have inspiration pictures to follow, they’ve been passionately creating robots, dogs, airplanes, motorcycles and more. Ryder has always been super into puzzles and building and this almost seems like a 3-D puzzle to him! Chase loves creating new things he can incorporate into imaginative play so they’ve been a huge hit for him as well. I just love it when something old starts to feel new again!

My Aunt Barbara texted me earlier this week with a link to a live cam of a bald eagle nest knowing our boys would be all about it. We’ve quickly become captivated by the male and female bald eagle pair keeping watch over their nest in the San Bernardino National Forest in California. We’re a little late to the party — the camera and active live stream have been in action for years — but our boys are officially Shadow and Jackie fans. We’re planning to follow along and check in with the livestream as we await the hatching of their two eggs, anticipated to be around February 15. If there are animal and eagle-lovers in your household, check it out! Their Facebook page is also frequently updated with more information about interesting happenings and updates and our boys love hearing the latest information about what’s going on with Shadow, Jackie and their two eggs. Nature is just so amazing!

My rating: B-

You know those books that have you thinking, “Get on with it already!” That was THIS book for me. I did not feel this way because the book wasn’t interesting; on the contrary I thought it was a creative premise but it was so incredibly drawn out that it began to lose me and frustrate me.  and not because it wasn’t interesting but because the whole book centers around two secrets, one we know and one that’s very much up in the air for three quarters of the book. The implausibility of one of the character’s decision to hide news he’s unsure about from his wife is infuriating and then this feeling almost bleeds into feeling indifferent because it’s so redundant and overplayed. I say all this on one breath but then in another breath clearly I was invested in the story enough to fly through it so there’s something to be said about that as well. It’s an entertaining read but one that had me wishing the author eliminated 100+ pages of redundancy from the story. I also don’t want to speak too much on my thoughts on the ending because it might reveal too much but it definitely got to me.

The Dilemma centers around secrets. Adam and his wife Livi have been mostly happily married for years and are the parents of two young adults, Marine and Josh. They’re deeply in love and on the cusp of celebrating Livi’s 40th birthday at a party Livi has poured her heart and soul into, as it’s a party she’s dreamed about for years. The guest list is large, as is the expense, but one person will not be attending… or so Livi thinks. Livi is convinced Marnie will not be able to attend as she’s studying abroad while Adam is secretly thrilled about the surprise he’s cooked up with Marnie that will have her arriving soon after the party begins.

Adam doesn’t know Livi is secretly glad Marnie will not be attending. She’s been harboring a secret for weeks, one she know would come to blows if Marnie were at her party. It’s not until Adam gets wind of some news that could change his surprise forever that Adam’s secret shifts from one of quiet excitement to deceitful horror. Both determined to protect the other, Adam and Livi go through the motions of party planning and celebration wondering how long they can withhold information from their beloved spouse until their world falls apart.

Budget-Friendly Valentine’s Day Ideas (Just in case you’re thinking ahead!)

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken and Broccoli (Such a simple but oh-so-flavorful recipe)

Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken and Broccoli

Question of the Day

What is one thing making you smile today? 

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