Good morning and Happy Friday!
It’s hard to believe that we are already a week into the new year. How has 2018 been treating you so far?
I don’t really have any complaints over here. Scott is officially done with his overseas and national work travel, and the only extended time he’ll be away from home until April is to take two trips to see hometown family and friends with me. I’m really looking forward to an Orlando visit in late-January followed by a trip to Northwest Arkansas/Missouri to see his family in early-February.
Now that he’s back and settled, we are starting to focus on making our apartment feel more like home while setting up the nursery. It’s all becoming so real!
I’ve got to get off to work, but I wanted to close the week with a look back to share a new batch of Friday Favorites with you before I do. As always, I invite you to share what you’ve been loving in the comments and link-up sections, too.
Happy (almost) Weekend!
Friday Favorites #196: Week of 1/5
• snow day
I’m sure a lot of you heard of the “bomb cyclone” that made its way through the Northeast this week. What the heck is a bomb cyclone? Good question.
All I know is that it was probably the most intense blizzard I’ve seen for myself since moving outside of Florida. There was a mixture of high snowfall and strong winds that made a simple task of taking Roadie outside for a few minutes pretty tricky.
We ended up closing the studio and there weren’t many businesses open yesterday. It’s so odd to see such a populated area so quiet on days like this. Once yesterday was deemed a snow day, I got excited and spent the day taking care of odds and ends around the apartment while checking in with co-workers. Of course, a few hours of curling up on the couch with the fur babies and Netflix ensued, too.
I don’t always love living in a place where blizzards exist, but I have to admit that they are a lot prettier to see than hurricanes. It’s still considerably windy out there today — I hope all of you who have to drive and commute in it stay safe!
• homemade chili (& stovetop solutions)
Speaking of curling up in our cozies, I was very thankful to have a few servings of homemade chili leftover in the refrigerator yesterday. I shared a sneak peek on my Instastories a few days ago, and I ended up loving the recipe so much that I had to share it here on the blog. It’s actually Slow Cooker Turkey Chili by Two Peas & Their Pod.
I ended up picking the ingredients in the late afternoon on Tuesday, and I realized that the slow cooker may not be the best way to cook dinner that night, so I added nearly three cups of water to the recipe and cooked it right on the stove top! After everything was ready to cook, I set the burner to low-medium for about 45 minutes (rather than waiting 4 hours for the slow cooker) and chili was served. I learned that a general rule is to add more liquid ingredients to the stovetop and take about half of the liquid ingredients away if you’re cooking a stovetop recipe in the slow cooker.)
I topped the chili with freshly grated cheese, avocado, green onions, and cilantro earlier this week, but I was only left with cheese and cilantro by the time Thursday and this picture came about. The recipe made plenty of servings, and I’m planning on making it again and freezing it closer to the baby’s arrival. (We’re in the third trimester, people!)
• Kate Spade shower curtain
This may sound ridiculous, but I have been looking for “the” shower curtain to decorate our tiny all-white bathroom since the day we moved in. Scott bought a dozen bright blue bath towels right before we moved from Michigan, so I’ve always had to keep those in mind with anything else I put in there. After a year and a half of searching, I’m happy to report that I finally found one that I love from Kate Spade.
This find has unashamedly progressed into a bit of a black hole for me. I found the entire bathroom dot deco set online at Bed, Bath & Beyond and then ended up getting it directly from the Kate Spade website at 30% off my entire order. (They normally have some type of sale going on, so keep an eye out!) I’m completely in love with their line of kitchen products, but there’s no reason that we need to spiral down that road right now. Maybe one day!
We’re turning our second bedroom into a nursery/guest room, and now I’m set on bringing the look of simple dots and patterns in there with one of these comforters that goes with our grey and white nursery bedding. If you search hard enough, you might be able to find Kate Spade designs on other retailer websites like Amazon, Macy’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and more.
So yeah, it all started with a black and white shower curtain. While I returned the coordinating bath rug (it was a little too dark for the space), I love the quality of this specific product and so does Scott. (That’s the true win!)
• a NYE to remember
I had a true New Yorker’s New Year’s Eve this year.
I didn’t do much last year since Scott was working, so I wanted to change that this year. Scott was set to work agian, so my friend, Becky, and I made plans to get out and make the most of it. Her boyfriend, Justin, actually works with Scott, and since they were both scheduled to work, we were elated when we got special permission to join the VIP party they helped host that included a five-course dinner, drinks, and an escorted walk out to the ball drop twenty minutes before midnight. (What?!)
It’s true. It was freezing outside, and I ordered (and returned) a variety of outfits from different websites to attempt to dress my growing belly beforehand. When the temperatures were then predicted to drop to the teens, I changed my outfit again and finally felt the most comfortable in a black lace dress from Guess paired with these over the knee boots. They’re actually very comfortable and were on sale for $69!
(almost 28 weeks pregnant here!)
While the boys were hard at work, Becky and I took in the atmosphere and truly enjoyed ourselves. It was so nice to get out and toast to the New Year (with mock-tails for me), all dressed up.
I look like I’m geared up for winter because we were getting ready to head out to the Times Square Ball Drop right after this picture! Watching the actual ball drop has always been on my bucket list, so when I heard there was a chance to go see it in person and only have to be outside for under twenty minutes to do so, I JUMPED on the opportunity!
Unfortunately, Scott had to stay indoors to set up for the guests to return back to the party, so I didn’t get to experience this with him. He was really bummed, but we hope to be able to figure something out to be able to return in future. (He may or may not have been a little bitter looking at my photos here.)
It really was a magical experience. Just being in that crowd and seeing the performers and hosts in person really was something. I’ve been to this spot dozens of times, but it never felt this surreal.
I really hope that Scott and I get to return together in the future, and hey, maybe it won’t be as cold next time! As soon as the live music stopped and the crowds started to clear, we made our way back to the restaurant and spent the rest of the night there.
I was glad when Scott was able to finish his shift, and I felt so grateful to ring in 2018 in such an amazing way. Here’s to an incredible year ahead!
• knitted blankets
And finally, speaking of ringing the new year in with so much to be thankful for, I wanted to include a set of knitted blankets that we received from Scott’s parents for Christmas. The blue and grey one is for our living room and the smaller teal one (and elephant) is for our little one.
Aren’t homemade presents the best? I’ve already been loving the blanket in the living room so much, and I can’t wait to wrap our little boy or girl in the other one in just a few short months. Thanks again for taking the time to knit these, Kay!
• favorite LIL posts
» (Free) Youtube Workouts You Can Do At Home
A variety of at-home workouts that you can stream online (for free!) and complete with bodyweight, resistance bands, or at most, a couple sets of dumbbells.
» Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
This homemade recipe makes a healthy and flavorful tasting soup with a rich broth and plenty of noodles.
Have a great weekend!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Friday Favorites is a series of posts that features items I genuinely want to share with you, and affiliate links may appear from time to time. As always, any support is much appreciated!
What an amazing opportunity to see the ball drop – you are so lucky! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you Anna-Marie! Wishing you the best in 2018!
Emily @ Pizza & Pull-Ups
What a cool New Years Eve! Stay warm this weekend.
I hope you have a great week, Emily! Thanks for checking in 🙂
What an amazing new year, Heather! Seeing the ball drop is also on my list, just not when it’s so cold lol. But I’m sure everyone would want to go if it was warmer. It looks like it was an amazing experience and you looked so pretty! Wishing you all the best in 2018!! Sierra~Beautifully Candid
Sierra recently posted…5 Thoughts For Blogging In The New Year
Yes, the cold made it pretty tricky – but still so worth it. It was kind of nice … the crowds weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they would be! Happy 2018 to you!
Patricia @ Sweet and Strong
What a fun way to ring in the New Year, but definitely a bummer Scott wasn’t with you. And chili is my all time favorite cold weather comfort food! And love it for all the leftovers!
Patricia @ Sweet and Strong recently posted…Sweet and Strong Top Posts of 2017
Give me ALL The chili! I can’t stop making it around this time of year!
Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams
How amazing are your New Years photos?! You look fabulous girl! I’m happy you were able to spend most of it with Scott. I watched the ball drop in person when I was 14 and always think every American should experience it once in their lifetime, even though it’s insane lol. Happy New Year!
Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams
Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams recently posted…Friday Favorites 1.5.18
Hi Amanda! Aw, thank you! I was bummed that Scott didn’t get to see it with me, so we’ll have to come back … when I’m brave enough 😉 Happy New Year to you!
I was supposed to fly home from Florida to CT yesterday but my plane got delayed so I happily changed my flight. It got me three more days in the sunshine.
email@example.com recently posted…5 tips to bounce back from indulgence
That’s definitely an upside to a flight delay! I hope you enjoyed it for me!