What’s Up April
Hi friends! How are you? I know that sheltering in place is effecting us all differently. Overall, I have embraced #quarantinelife. That isn’t to say I haven’t had bad days, worries and disappointments, but the good has far outweighed the bad. I’m mindful that it isn’t the case for a lot of people. If you are struggling and there is anything I can do to help, please reach out. I would also love to read about you’ve been eating, loving, watching, listening and reading lately. So many of the things I have loved most about this month were inspired by you.💕
What We’re Eating This Month
We have started to make some of our favorite warm weather recipes including this scrumptious steak and potatoes salad. We decided to jump on the homemade bread baking bandwagon so that we could enjoy a fresh-out of the oven loaf with our salad. I have tried a couple bread recipes this month, but need to do a little tweaking and try a few more recipes before I give you my recommendation. This tasty BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad and this easy sweet corn, burrata and basil ravioli dish are two more summer favorites that we have added back into our dinner rotation.
What I’m Reminiscing About
I love looking back on our family’s Easter photos. The bright spring colors and bellies full of candy always make for cheerful pictures. This Easter I was planning to stay in my jammies all day and forgo family photos, but my husband surprised us all with the fact that he had bought himself a new shirt specifically for the day (he rarely shops for himself). We couldn’t let him be the only one to dress up. We got dolled up just in time for dinner and even managed to take family photos with the help of this tripod and bluetooth remote. I’m so glad that in the end we were able to continue the tradition of capturing a family photo on Easter.
What I’m Loving
- long chats on the phone with friends
- painting and sketching with my daughter outside most afternoons
- riding around on my cruiser
- the roses blooming in our yard
- giving the garage a good clean-out with my husband
- reading with my son every evening
- cooking dinner with my husband
- hiking in the hills among the California poppies
- OrangeTheory At Home Workouts on Zoom with Coach Becky
- S’mores around the firepit
What I’m Watching
Earlier in the month my husband and I sent the kids upstairs early one night and had a stay-at-home date night. We both had Bombshell on our list of movies to watch ever since Oscar season. It did not disappoint. In fact we found the storyline so fascinating that we decided to watch The Loudest Voice next which goes into even more depth on the life and career of Roger Ailes. The actors in both the movie and limited series did an amazing job transforming into their characters.
What I’m Listening To
I’ve continued to listen to How I Built This on a regular basis. The interview with Rent the Runway’s Jenn Hyman was one of my faves. I’m hoping my daughter will listen to it as well because of some of the valuable lessons she shares as a female entrepreneur. I also really liked the recent Rob Lowe interview on Armchair Expert. He had so many great stories ranging from attending high school with Robert Downey Jr., Sean Penn, and Charlie Sheen to behind the scenes of the Outsiders and how one of his lowest moments ended up providing him with incredible opportunities. He is coming out with his own podcast coming this summer called Literally! With Rob Lowe. I’m really excited to hear more from him.
What I’m Reading
I’ll be honest, this book would have probably never gotten read if we hadn’t been ordered to shelter in place and the library hadn’t allowed us to keep books well over their due date. What Happens in Paradise is the second in a series of books Elin Hilderbrand has written about a wife that discovers her late husband was leading a double life in the Caribbean. The first book in the series was a bit slow and didn’t answer any of the questions wanted answered. I procrastinated picking this book up until everything else I checked out had been read and I found myself in desperate need of some new reading material. Luckily, this book answered many of the questions I had left at the end of the first book and was a much faster and enjoyable read. If you read the first book I would recommend continuing with the second.
My dad read The Hobbit to me as a little girl and I thought it would be nice to take advantage of our slower pace by doing the same with my son now. We take turns reading around to each other after dinner every night for about 15 to 20 minutes. I especially like this copy of the book because it includes illustrations and has a beautiful fabric cover. We have already added the movie to our playlist to watch once we are finished.
What I’m Wearing
A brand new pair of Brooks Ghost 12 running shoes. With all the sunny days we have had lately, I traded my cozy loungewear in for athletic apparel. Daily walks, runs hikes or bike rides have made the shoes below become my go-to footwear. Thankfully, they also hide the fact that haven’t had a pedicure in months!
When was the last time you replaced your running shoes? When I first started running years ago I suffered from knee pain and shin splints. I thought is meant I just wasn’t supposed to be a runner until somebody suggested I get fitted for a pair of running shoes. Up until then I had always chosen running shoes because they were either cute, on sale or both. Once I had a pair of shoes that actually fit my foot and gait properly, the pain disappeared. I also learned that it is important to regularly replace your running shoes. Recently running started to feel really hard again. My hips and knees started aching regularly. At first I wrote it off as getting older, but then it dawned on me while scrolling through old Instagram posts that my current pair of shoes were almost 2 years old. Our local running store, Forward Motion came to the rescue. They texted me photos of the running shoes they had in stock that work best for me. I paid for them over the phone and offered me the option of either delivering them to my home or scheduling a time to pick them up from out in front of the store. They even included in a roll of toilette paper and sweet thank you note in the bag.
So, that’s my long-winded way of saying…if you are considering taking up running or are experiencing pain when you run, I highly recommend getting fitted for a new pair of running shoes before you start or decide to quit!
What I’m Doing This Weekend
I have no idea! Our weekends lately tend to be pretty relaxed. The kids have done an awesome job of getting up each morning and immediately tackling their school work. I want our weekends to feel different from our weekdays and be a bit of a reward for their hard during the week. On the weekend they can sleep in as late as they like and we tend to make a big brunch and eat together as a family. Our afternoons usually include a hike or bike ride. On one of the nights we will typically order take-out, then head out to the fire pit, play a game or watch a movie. We have been alternating church services on Sunday. My kids prefer Project YM Live. It is an hour of games, music and a teaching from one of the top Catholic youth ministry speakers in the country geared towards Catholic teens on Sunday evenings. I prefer the more traditional mass that we can livestream in the morning. Switching off between the two has been a good compromise.
What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month
More time to be able to do the things I’m loving that I listed above. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that we will be allowed a little more leniency to gather in small groups with friends and family in the coming weeks.
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