Hello, my friends! Popping in with some things I’m loving lately today. I’d love to hear in the comments what you’re loving lately, too!
Things I’m Loving Lately
1) Festive fun!
We put our Christmas tree up earlier than ever before this year, per Riese’s request – the weekend after Thanksgiving! I didn’t mind – it makes the house look so much more fun and cozy.
Riese was SUPER into decorating the tree this year which was a lot of fun. And now that the tree is decorated, my “I never stay still for one second ever” child will actually lie under the Christmas tree (with her head inside/under the middle of the tree) and relax and stare up at the lights. It’s really sweet and relaxing to join her!
Unfortunately Wes was mostly interested in taking ornaments off as soon as we put them on, and tossing them around on the floor.
After quite a few ornaments ended up broken we were quickly reminded that all fragile ornaments need to be on the top half of the tree! Riese was very diligent about helping me find all the fragile ornaments and getting them to safety. 😉
I’m feeling more able to receive the fun playfulness and joy of the holiday season this year than I was last year at this time, when Wes was only 6 months old and I was so exhausted and overwhelmed.
Feeling grateful to be in a much better headspace for the holidays this year!
2) 6am Hot Yoga
I think part of why I’m feeling in a much better headspace is that a couple days a week I’ve started exercising first thing in the morning again!
For those who know me in person, I definitely said that I would “never do 6am workouts again” – and, yeah, well, never say never, right? Long time readers know I used to be all about the super early morning workout classes and runs, but when covid life hit I stopped getting up early for workouts since, well, there was nowhere to go!
And then Wes was born and I was way too tired and also had nursing logistics in the mix for awhile, etc.
I’m not sure why I all of a sudden changed my mind, but one day about a month ago I just decided I would give a 6am class a shot and see if the endorphins + good vibes made up for the less sleep situation… and turns out they do! I felt dramatically better the rest of the day.
It helps that it’s a super good teacher and that the studio is a short walk from our house (I love walking there in the dark when it’s so quiet and peaceful outside), but it has honestly been a HUGE game changer to have a couple days a week where I start my day on my own doing something for me vs. immediately going into kid chaos first thing. I’m loving the heat first thing, too, since it’s so chilly outside (TBD if I’ll still like it come summer)!
It has also been really amazing that going to a 6am class does not have me relying on childcare or preschool for my workout, since with all the sickness going around this fall there have been a lot of days Riese is unexpectedly home.
So, there you have it. Never say never. 😉
I am really starting to feel more and more strong and like myself physically now that Wes is 18 months old – I remember it being around this point after Riese, too, when I suddenly started craving and enjoying harder workouts again.
It has been fun to do some of the more challenging poses in yoga again (like forearm balance!) and to see myself get better with more consistency!
3) Seeing Matt’s brother and his wife perform together in a musical in Roanoke!
Last weekend, Matt and I drove the 4 hours over to Roanoke for a special occasion: getting to see his younger brother Drew and his wife Morgana perform together in a musical at the regional theater down there!
That’s Drew in the front left singing, and Morgana is right behind him to the far left spinning!
The show is “Holiday Inn”, and we were joined by Matt’s parents and his older brother Chris and his wife Jess, too. We tried to get a pic of the whole group at dinner but it came out blurry, so here’s just the sibling gang:
It was such a treat to all get to be together and to have some adult only time with them for the first time in ages as well!
(Our kids stayed home with an overnight babysitter… our first time doing that and it was not cheap and I was nervous about it but the kids did really well and had fun – it’s a babysitter they’ve had before and like.)
We made it a quick trip and arrived in time for dinner on Saturday and left right after breakfast on Sunday, but we were really glad we made it happen!
For dinner on Saturday we met up at a spot in Roanoke called Lucky.
They had a really unique and interesting menu! We all shared some cheese board action to start. The creamy white stuff in the pot is goat cheese with lemon and honey – it was soooo good. Great flavor combo.
And I got oysters, of course – my fave!
I had their Mexican-themed chicken wings for my entree. That green sauce is cilantro based – yummy! It was very unique.
(I also had some bites of some shared veggies around the table, plus one of my sister in law Jess’s scallops!)
We went to the show after dinner and it was so fun to see Drew and Morgana in action – they were really great! Drew was one of the leads, and Morgana was in the ensemble.
On Sunday morning before we headed out we all met up at the hotel buffet breakfast. I had a veggie, cheese, and bacon omelette plus some overnight oats in a cute little jar that reminded me of my old fave Almond Milk Overnight Oats recipe.
On the drive home, Matt and I stopped for lunch in Harrisonburg (where James Madison University is) at a place called “Greens and Grains.”
I built my own creation which was basically a salmon Greek salad with quinoa added. Yummy! I really liked their feta-infused Greek vinaigrette. I have already recreated a variation of the salad back at home this week!
4) Girl’s night sushi dinner
Speaking of dinners out, I had a fun meal out last week with a few girlfriends who I’ve known since high school. It was so good to catch up – always nice to be with people who have known you for so long!
We went back to one of our usual faves, Yume Sushi in Arlington (right on the Falls Church border). Their sushi is sooo good!
5) Cold weather running.
Ahhhh I love running when it’s cold out! SO MUCH better than when it’s hot, in my opinion. (If you’re a runner, too, I’m curious – is hot or cold weather your jam?)
I have two standing run dates each week with friends from Riese’s school (we go right after dropping the kids off) and it has been nice to have some consistency.
It has also been really nice to run when it’s light outside vs. super early – I’m loving super early yoga but with running I’d rather go when it’s not dark out and I’m grateful I can do so a couple days a week!
I’m running another 10k race (a fun, small holiday one recommended by a blog reader!) in a couple weeks so that will be fun, too!
Other random things bringing me joy:
- The calm place on the internet via the NY Times website (for some reason I am completely obsessed with watching the oranges falling into water on this page… but the whole page is amazing)
- I recently read Dr. Becky’s book (Amazon affiliate link) and it is legit phenomenal. Highly highly recommend. Best parenting book I’ve ever read and I’ve read a fair amount.
- Matt and I listened to NPR’s “The Last Cup” podcast mini-series on our drive to and from Roanoke last weekend and even as someone who does not follow soccer at all, it was super fascinating and well done!
- This “Cup of Calm” tea (Amazon affiliate link) made with passionflower, chamomile, lavender, catnip, rosemary, and more. Not sure if it’s placebo or what but I think it works! Now that it’s cold out I’m loving a cup or two of (decaf) tea in the afternoons.
- My fall sangria recipe is currently the most popular recipe/most visited page on my site. So fun and festive! Great for holiday parties. My Cranberry Orange Bread recipe has also been getting a lot of love lately and is great for the holiday season as well.
Have a great weekend, friends, and I’ll see you back here next week!