5 Friday Favorites | 28

It has been a rough tech week for me. Working online and writing a blog means I am 100% reliant on servers and the internet working properly. This week both were in cahoots against me. Sunday the blog went down (thank you to all those that alerted me and were so patient with me!). Thankfully it was only a short while and I lost nothing in the process. I probably would’ve cried. Then Tuesday, my actual job’s server went down for the day and I was rendered completely useless. It’s awful. I lost so many things. I did cry. It also only reaffirms – BACK YOUR FILES UP! Now! Do it. Then come back and read about my favorites for the week!

one// Pinewood Derby!

Last weekend Caleb and Carson headed to one of the last major Cub Scout events that Carson will ever do – the Pinewood Derby! With graduation from Webelos at the end of the month, he’ll be heading into Boy Scouts. Carson wanted a Ghostbusters Ecto 1 (or 1A – I honestly don’t even know anymore) car and with Caleb’s expertise handiwork and Carson’s creativity I was super impressed with the outcome!

pinewoodderbycar

Working with cars isn’t Carson’s deal, so Caleb and I were a little worried he wouldn’t have fun. Boy we were wrong. Although he didn’t invest as much time into the actual creation of the car, he was fully invested in the event! Before he left, Carson goes “Maybe I’ll win for the best design!”. Caleb and I did one of those Mom & Dad smile and nods – you know the one. The uh-huh kiddo whatever you say kind.

Once again, we were wrong! He earned a certificate for the best design/most creative! He was soo proud! And to top it off….. they even got third place! Caleb’s actual design of the car put them in Caleb’s perfect position (a trophy for Carson, but not fast enough to have to keep going into district and regional races, ha!). They both were so excited, they stopped by the house before bringing Carson back to his Mom’s so they could both show me the trophy and certificate!

trophy winning

trophyandcertificate

I know babies are wonderful and sweet and cute and just so squishy (we love you Bubba!), but man I’m kind of loving on this whole grown up kid thing too.

two// Wacky Hair Day!

Caleb is just killing it in the Dad department this week (not that I ever expect anything else from him), but it’s Carson and Ava’s spirit week at school and Ava wanted ‘something creative’. Dad did NOT disappoint!

Caleb found something similar to this on the good ole internet and recreated it for Ava.

Tada!

popbottlehair

Did you back up your files, yet? I’m telling you, don’t lose your stuff! 

three// Loaded Potato Soup!

I had been craving a big bowl of homemade soup and crusty bread last week. It had been a few chilly days and I was into trying out a new recipe. So I scanned pinterest and found this recipe and we were all pleasantly surprised! The kids all ate it happily (win!) and I devoured the carbs. #winterfood

loadedpotatosoup

We did change the recipe slightly though as I don’t like the bacon bits in the jar. I cooked up our own bacon and added that instead.

Ingredients

1 30oz. bag of frozen diced hash browns
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10 oz)
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz, not fat free)
3 oz bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Add everything, but the cream cheese into the crockpot. Cook on low for 5 hours and then start to incorporate the chunks of the cream cheese slowly. I did the entire package in 4 separate pieces over a one and a half hour period.
Adding the whole 8 oz. at once will make the soup difficult to thicken up and get the creamy factor.

four// Aged Meat.

We (meaning Caleb) put a chunk of beef in a dish uncovered in our fridge for over a week. Hear me out, before you click that red X. We are NOT crazy  Ok we are, but not for this. Caleb learned a while back that most butchers, restaurants, and cooking shows age their meats for weeks uncovered in an “aging fridge” (yes that’s a thing, apparently a rich people thing, because we don’t have one). Anyway, He read lots about it and learned from the butcher what to do, so needless to say he wanted to try. I’ve learned that I don’t say no to his plans in the kitchen. So in the meat went.

It got weird looking. I know you know what I mean. The whole brown edges, getting kind of hard around the sides, the kind of meat you’d throw away or turn your head at in the grocery store. But this is exactly what Caleb was hoping for!

The aging was easy:

Stick in pan.

Put in fridge.

Done.

There was some prep involved before cooking. He had to cut away all the outside brown and think beef jerky textured meat. We weren’t going to eat that. You see where I’m going now? Then once the outside layer was all gone, we had this fresh cut of meat that was now “aged”. Then we prepped it like a normal roast and baked it in the oven. Slow and steady.

I know what you’re thinking again (because I had these same thoughts). We just lost half the meat. Yep that was a hard lesson. Buy bigger, because lots will get trimmed away and you will lose money. And no, it didn’t taste like the rest of the fridge and it all it’s weird ness from being uncovered.

So the outcome?! Well I wouldn’t be putting it as a favorite unless it was AMAZING! Seriously. So tender and juicy and the flavor was perfect. Caleb wins again for the week!

five// Gratitude.

This is going to stray further than I like to usually, but I can’t ignore it anymore either. Trust me, I’ve tried. Right now our world and our country is in great turmoil and distress and it’s awful. I’m not going to preach about what you should believe in or how you should be reacting or parenting through all the noise in the media. Only you know what is right and best for the little (or big!) people that you love.

My heart has been so heavy lately though and I’ve been trying to keep it from my kids. Yes, I know you may feel different, but right now mine are little and I want them to enjoy their childhood for as long as possible. But, my immense gratitude came when I watched my family giggling and laughing and dancing around the house on Wednesday and it hit me like a wall. I’m pretty damn lucky. I don’t have to worry about this or that. I don’t have to wonder if my kids will come home safely. I don’t have to worry about anyone of their safety.

I am blessed and that’s pretty amazing.

countyourblessings

 

You didn’t back your files up, did you? You rebel, you.

What are your favorites for the week? What has made you feel blessed this week? Where have you found gratitude in such a state of scary turmoil?

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In case you missed it. Here’s this week’s posts:

  • Monday, I talked about how we surprised the kids with a trip to FLORIDA and how we did it. PLUS there’s a free download! (Don’t need it now? Pin it for later!). Read it here. 
  • Tuesday, I checked in for January’s goals and I’ll be honest I was less than thrilled with my results. Check it out –> here. 
  • Wednesday, I set some new goals for February and took January’s flops with optimism and set out for some goal crushing! More here. 
  • Thursday, I shared 7 variations on the typical nacho in preparation for the BIG Game on Sunday! 

Linked to: // Christina // Katie // Heather // Andrea // Karli //

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