Friday, July 23, 2021

Friday Favorites

Hi there! Happy Friday! This week flew by for us-- I can't believe it's already Friday. We had such a fun week over here, trying some new activities and new foods. They say time flies when you're having fun and this week proved that statement! It also helps that we are pretty easily amused-- it doesn't take a whole lot for us to have a good time. 😊 Let's have a look:

Favorite Moments:

Trying New Foods: Since we decided to try a plant-based diet for the month of July we have been having a blast trying some new and outside the box fruits and vegetables. 

This week we made purple sweet potatoes (above) and jackfruit. Both were unique (to us) and the kids both loved trying something new. 

Which bring me to our next favorite: the Asian Food Market! 

When I saw I needed jackfruit for a recipe, the blog I found the recipe on said "try to find an Asian market in your city". Luckily Charlotte has a few, so we went to one near Devin's work on his lunch break so he could join us. WE LOVED IT!! It reminded Devin and I of visiting grocery stores in China or the market in Indonesia. So many fun, unique food items we can't get at our typical grocery stores in Charlotte.

Here is some jackfruit (what my recipe called for, but I got canned jackfruit because I had no idea what to do with a whole jackfruit).

Chinese Eggplant

Lily Grace and I grabbed some oyster mushrooms for a recipe while Devin and Liam went to go check out the fish.

I was surprised by the amount of live seafood they had at the market. Like these tilapia above, they had live crabs, lobsters, eels, conch, clams, turtles (this one made me sad 😞), and more. Needless to say, the kids loved seeing all the animals. Thank goodness they don't quite get the connection yet of why the animals were in the grocery store. 😉

This KitKat piqued our interest but we didn't buy it. Maybe next time.

My next favorite has been getting back into yoga again. 

I go through phases where I'm really into it for a year or so, then I take a break from it, then get back into it again. I love everything about yoga. I love that I can have a slower pace practice that feels calming and restorative. I love that I can have a faster/harder practice that works up a sweat. I love how I feel both afterwards, both physically and my emotional/mental health. I just love, love, love yoga.

And finally, we got to go on a double date with some of our best friends for the first time in years, literally years. Between both our families having babies and the pandemic, it has been way too long since we have been able to get together as just the adults. We all love our children dearly, but it was so nice to get to spend uninterrupted time with the adults and carry on full conversations! The only pic I have is from before we left:

Dress/Earrings (from a local boutique, but similar here)/Shoes (old, but similar here)

Favorite Recent Purchases:

We have had one of these lemon juicers for awhile and use it almost every single day. Our old one finally broke so we grabbed this one on Amazon. I really like it! It's a bigger size than our old one so it holds bigger lemons. Great for squeezing some lemon juice into your water or onto a recipe without getting the seeds. 

Liam's Backpack!

Liam's backpack came in the mail this week and it was such a bittersweet feeling. I know he will love preschool and will do very well, but holy moly he's still my baby! You all know how much I love L.L. Bean. We bought Lily Grace's backpack from there 3 years ago and it is still in great shape. I still have several L.L. Bean bags from high school-- and I won't mention how long it's been since I've been in high school! These bags hold up for forever. Both kids have the junior size backpack and the lunchbox. The lunchbox fits their Bentgo or Yumbox and an ice pack. I can't say enough good things about L.L. Bean!

Favorite Way to Spend Our Free Time:

Last but not least, we have hit the ground running with planning our trip to Europe next spring! I've been Pinning, reading, and researching like crazy.

Every night before bed we've been watching an episode or two of Rick Steves' Europe.

Do any of you love Rick Steve's? Before we went to Italy we must've watched 10+ different videos of his. They were very informative and helpful when trying to plan our trip. When we plan a trip we usually get our information from:

- Travel blogs we know and trust

- Guide books from the library

- If possible, talking to people we know who have been to our destination

- Rick Steve's or other travel TV shows (I used to love Samantha Brown's shows when I was in high school!)

- Pinterest! I usually find ideas that look intriguing and then research them further to see if they're a fit for our family.

- Trip Advisor (I love to read other people's reviews-- we found some of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Rome by using Trip Advisor!).

What do you all do when you plan a trip? Do you have a travel agent? Do you like to plan yourselves? Where do you get your information when traveling? My friend Stephanie is a big traveler and she is a part of a travel private Facebook group. It sounds like such a cool idea to me. The people all write about their trips and what they would recommend vs not recommend. I think that sounds like such a cool idea and love that they keep it private. I think you need to know someone in order to get into the group-- that way someone can vouch that you've actually been there and know what you're talking about.  

I'd love to know how you plan your trips! 

Today I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!


  1. Yay for a date night out! My girlfriend and I have been trying for over a month now to find a date that works for both of us couples... maybe in August?! LOL. That Asian market looks so neat; we don't have anything like that here. I still have my LL bean bag from high school too and bought one for my boys (when they actually went to public school).

    1. Haha good luck finding a day to get together! Finding a time that works for everyone is always half the battle!

  2. I love yoga, too - for all the reasons you mentioned! :) I used to live in Charlotte!! We were up in the corner near Huntersville & Concord...I still miss my old house!

    1. Oh one of my best friends lives in Huntersville! We love Huntersville!

  3. Wow! I’ve never been to an Asian market. What a fun experience for the kids! The LL bean backpack just gave me flashback to my kids. Hayden had that exact one for kindergarten/ 1st grade. I just bought him a new Nike backpack for middle school. He gets about two years out of a backpack 😂

    1. Haha yes I imagine boys are much harder on their backpacks!

  4. Now I want to go to an Asian Food Market. I love L.L. Bean backpacks. I hope you have a great evening.

  5. Love your date night outfit! =) And, I love yoga too for all the reasons you mentioned! I love that it can meet my needs everyday no matter how I am feeling!

  6. Love your dress!!
    For trip planning, I usually start with Pinterest. Then I start a Google Doc and make lists of excursions, restaurants, and things to buy (special to the area), then break down our trip by day and start plugging stuff in. I will also ask people who have traveled there, or consult old blogs of people that I remember have traveled there too. I sometimes look at the Lonely Planet guides too.

  7. I like to look at trip reports or information on travel forums like Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. When we go on a cruise, to me it's a must to look at the cruise forum for info. When we went to Italy a couple of year ago, I also looked at Rick Steves' shows quite a bit. I found the website for the show to be super informative! Especially when dealing with ATM's and the like. Going on to Google Maps/Earth and looking at what areas actually look like from the street view is also pretty helpful to me (is there a sidewalk from the hotel to ____ if I plan to walk {although in Italy we walked a couple of miles to a beach/park area and part of it was not sidewalked and even though the cars were thisclose to us, we made it back.}

    1. Yes I love Lonely Planet too! Good idea about Rick Steves' website and Google Maps/Google Earth.. so smart to do the street view. We do Google Maps a lot when trying to decide on our hotels/AirB&B's. We check how walkable the hotel is to all the stuff we want to do. Thanks for the tips!!