Tuesday, May 28, 2019

What I'm Loving Lately

Hi There,
   I love writing these "What I'm Loving Lately" posts. There's so much to love and be grateful for. Ready, set, go!

1. Obvi, #1 on this list is SUMMER
I am wrapping up a solid decade teaching 1st grade this week! Wowee, it's been a rollercoaster and sometimes I can't believe the path that led me here, and I am so thankful for another year in the books. (Side note--why are kids such angels when they clean?? My students love looking through my books to see which ones need repairs, dusting, testing markers etc. They adore it! I get a kick out of it every year!).  I love the cyclical nature of teaching and while it makes me sad to see my little ones move on, I adore wrapping things up, allowing myself to rest and recharge, and do it all over again. I am looking forward to summer break and all its adventures. Which leads me to...

2. Summer Reading---
There are so many great books out now and my holds list for the library is long! There's nothing like a great summer novel! Check out my May reads (and all my 2019 books so far) click HERE

3. Dead to Me:
I binge watched this show in about 3 days (it's 8 half hour episodes) and loved it. It was such a perfect mix of comedy, drama, suspense, and really great female leads. Christina Applegate is amazing in this. Highly recommend!

4. New Recipes---
I have been experimenting in the kitchen lately (well, not this week, my in laws are in town and my MIL is more than happy to take cooking duties for the week, so nice during this last bit of school!). I made this delish Mushroom Fettuccine and have my eye on some yummy new recipes to try this summer. Three words: Farmers. Market. Finds.

5. Dates---
With and without Hankers! It's nice to have grandparents in town and grandparents who come to visit so AJ and I can enjoy some much needed date nights. This past weekend we went and saw Book Smart (I liked it!) and dinner at our fave place. We've also taken a few "dates" recently with our little guy in tow. I pretty much go to sleep when Hank does so early nights are my jam!

6. Celebrating Hadley--June brings up all sorts of feels for me. I spent the first 2 weeks of June 2016 in the hospital and I can hardly believe our sweet girl was born THREE years ago. We went to visit her on Memorial Day and it was just super special. I posted this on my social media this week.

7. Hank's first train ride and baseball game

My fam treated us all to Bees tickets last week and fortunately, the rain held out! We took Trax (Hank loved it) and enjoyed the game. Hank is fiercely independent and he just walks around waving at strangers. He is very friendly. Haha. I love experiencing new "firsts" with our little man.

8. Summer travels---
We are road tripping for 9 days this summer to visit friends and family and I am so looking forward to it! I love a good road trip! And planning and anticipating a vacation is half the fun!

9. Philosophy Skin Care---
I am completely in love with the Purity line from Philosophy and have been diligently using it since December. My MOST fave new beauty product, which I think it's being discontinued (why is it always that way with cosmetics/skincare?!), is The Supernatural, it's a tinted SPF primer. I wear it after moisturizer and under bronzer. It gives some pretty coverage and since I'm getting deeper into my 30's, I needed to get serious about that SPF. BUT---it's all sold out on their website so now I'm on the hunt for a similar product. Any ideas?

I've got 3 days left of school and am just thankful for it all and ready to spend some more time with this dude!
 That's a bit of what I'm loving lately!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Friday, May 24, 2019

May Reads

It's time for a monthly reads post! I read 4 books this month! Well, more like 4 and 1/1000th. Haha. I've had the book Hamilton since last summer. It's no secret I adore the show Hamilton and listen to the music on a near daily basis. I figured being a fan, I should make like Lin Manuel and read the bible that started it all. But guys. This thing is a beast. It's interesting, no doubt. But it's not exactly "read in the grass on a sunny day" or "read in a Lush bath bomb scented bath" type of thing. And this, coming from a history major and from someone who already basically knows the whole story. I'm about 90 pages in and so I won't dare count it as a monthly read until it's done, but I'll be slowly chipping away at this saga for the next few months (years?).

 Ok....time for the books I DID finish this month!

Good Riddance by Eleanor Lipman: This was a super fun read. It's about a woman who inherits her mother's old yearbook (her mother was the teacher) and the mishaps and adventures that she discovers while trying to figure out the yearbook's importance. Along the way, she develops a "frenemy" relationship with a wacky neighbor, an exciting and unexpected romance, and family relationships that shift and grow. This book is an offbeat version of classic chick lit and I really enjoyed it. This would be a great one to toss in your pool bag this summer.

Maid by Stephanie Land: I read a huge chunk of this book while on jury duty. Ok, I have some thoughts on this one. This is a memoir of a single mom and her struggle to make ends meet and navigate the welfare system. I love how this book really puts you in her shoes and it's a great picture of the hardships many people have to endure. It puts the spotlight on a broken system. However, I wasn't a huge fan of the main character and at times, it felt like one sad let down after another. It's important to know this stuff, but the book was pretty slow I felt and just ended up leaving me feeling blah. There's a ton of descriptions of the nastiness of the homes she's cleaning which yes, gives you perspective on how tough her job is, but just no thanks. I liked this one, didn't love it.

Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson: This was my April Book of the Month club pick and I really enjoyed it! I love a story that spans years (think Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah), and this one follows the journey of 3 young woman as high schoolers, students at West Point, and into their lives after they graduate. It's about modern womanhood, the military, relationships, war, loss, and through it all, there's this awesome powerful story of friendship. If you liked the show Army Wives like I did (vintage Sterling K. Brown alert!), you will really enjoy this one.

Sh*tty Mom by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, MaryAnn Zoellner: This is a teeny book that showed up on my Pinterest suggestions and I picked up used on Amazon for a buck! This book is funny....in an offbeat, Chelsea Handler sort of way. It's a brutally honest look at motherhood that did have me chuckling a bit. It's written like a guidebook, but in a very cheeky way. This might be a fun gift for a friend but I think there are better books about motherhood that have a bit more sweet and a little less snark. HOWEVER, there was part about names and they said regarding Hank, "Just say no," so I'm forced to hate this book forever and ever. No wonder it was a dollar. #dontmesswithhank

2019 Books! (I put * by my most fave ones!)
1. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
2. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
3. The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
4. *Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
5. Happy Teachers Change The World by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare
6. The Day I Went Missing by Jennifer Miller
7. *Glow Kids by Kardaras Nicholas
8. Final Girls by Riley Sager
9. *Becoming by Michelle Obama
10. As Long As We Both Shall Live by Joann Chaney
11. *The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
12. If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey
13. *The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
14. Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanne Elden
15. *Regrets Only by Erin Duffy
16. *Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
17. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
18. *The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
19. *Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
20. When Did I Get Like This? by Amy Wilson
21. *Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman
22. Maid by Stephanie Land
23. Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson
24. Sh*tty Mom by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, MaryAnn Zoellner

Happy reading, friends!
Savor Your Sparkle,

Monday, May 13, 2019

Life Lately

Hi There! It's been a minute since I've blogged! I always forget what a whirlwind May is! But we've got that "summer on the horizon" feeling,  we celebrated the amazing moms in our life this past weekend, we've been hanging with friends, teaching super fun units at school, and I am here for it all! I decided to make this post a caption one---lots of pics, plenty of captions! Ready, set, go!
What's your mom for if not to make you take embarrassing photos? 

Trying ice cream with Grandpa

Grocery pick up---part of my weekly routine and one of the greatest inventions of the modern age

In between spring rain storms, we've been trying to get outside as much as we can! 
Sometimes Grandma and Grandpa come over to play with Hankers! And Aunt Libby too! 

The pool has been uncovered! The surest sign of summer to come! 
I got jury duty a few weeks ago! It was SUPER interesting and I'm glad I wasn't chosen (it was a 3 day trial, no thanks). I spent from 8-2 at the downtown courthouse getting in some good reading time, people watching, being part of an evacuation thanks to the fire alarm, and seeing the inside of a courtroom live and in person...not on Dateline. I made sub plans for all 5 days so I was actually glad to use them one day. Just doing my civic duty, here, folks. 

Speaking of civic duty, I was concerned about the snack situation. 

I took my class outside for a spring writing activity and they loved it. I predict more of that in our future. 

Is it even spring if you don't get a nail art mani for the occasion? 

We field tripped! My team and I (and lots of brave parents) took all 125 first graders to the Museum of Ancient Life and a park. 

Water table fun! We went to a birthday party last week and Hank loved the water table so we had to get one. 

Splish splash
I've been wanting to try this burger place called Seven Brothers in Utah County. We went with some pals after exploring Thanksgiving Point Farm Country. It did not disappoint! 

My dudes and I 

Pure Joy

Hank is almost always pointing at something. Haha. 

Thanks for following along here at This Sunday Kinda Love!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Slow Cooker Greek Bowls

I am so excited to post this recipe for you today. This was a new one for us and we really loved it! I based this recipe on this one that I found on Pinterest and made a few tweaks, served it over rice, added Greek fixin's (can this be a thing? like taco fixings?) and it. was. so. good. Next time I might try putting it in a pita like a traditional gyro, but this bowl concept might have me sold. And bonus....this is a slow cooker recipe so it's easy peasy too.

Cast of Characters:

-1.5 lbs. flank steak
-1/2 cup beef broth
-salt and pepper
-1 tsp. oregano
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1/2 tsp. onion powder
-Juice of half a lemon
-1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Tzatziki Sauce-
-1 container plain Greek yogurt (I like Fage 2%)
-1 tsp. minced garlic
-3 tbs. finely diced cucumbers
-1 tsp. white wine vinegar
-1 tbs. lemon juice (I used the other half from the beef)
-1 tsp. olive oil

-diced tomatoes
-feta cheese
-red onion
-squeeze of lemon juice
-Chickpeas (we didn't add these, but afterwards, I was like OMG, you could add hummus or chickpeas too! Yes, please)
-Roasted red pepper

Cut the steak into strips and place in slow cooker with all beef ingredients for 6-8 hours on low.

When you're ready to eat, heat up some rice (Uncle Ben's microwave for us) or quinoa, add meat, Tzatziki, and toppings. Enjoy!
Savor Your Sparkle,