Hi friends! We made it to Friday, and I’m sure I can speak for all of us here in the United States when I say that I wish we had an outcome of this election already.
Is anyone else constantly refreshing their newsfeeds throughout the day like something is going to change? It’s madness and very addicting to do.
In an effort to continue on with a more normal routine in a pleasant distraction, I have a new batch of Friday Favorites to share with you. Below you will see highlights and the things that made me smile this week, and I hope that you had some, too.
Thanks so much for checking in today, and I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What are you up to this weekend? How are you holding up?
Here we go!
Friday Favorites: Week of 11/6
- Scott’s Birthday in the City
Tuesday was a big day in our country, and an even bigger day for our family as we celebrated Scott’s birthday! Yup, his birthday fell on Election Day, and we started our day early by voting before breakfast.
Lucky for us, the process was extremely quick and we were in and out in about five minutes total. The line for his request of Winner cinnamon rolls was longer, and that made us laugh.
I didn’t make structured plans for the rest of the day ahead of time since I wasn’t sure how long voting would take. But, I knew that he didn’t want a specific present this year, and instead a nice lunch date out. I literally couldn’t tell you the last time Scott and I had a meal together at a restaurant without Skyler (definitely before March), so our adult-only lunch was extra special.
After running a few errands, we jumped on the subway and got off near the Financial District. We’ve been wanting to check out a few bath houses over there, so walked around to see where the day took us. There weren’t many restaurants open, but I saw Nobu on the radar for an available reservation and booked it immediately! It was my first time there, and Scott had raved about the food and service on a previous visit years ago.
Well, it was fantastic and it was really hard not to order more than we did. We shared a bottle of bottled sake fresca and ordered a few appetizers, rolls, and the Black Cod with Miso to split.
Oh. my. goodness. It was all so delicious and we left feeling completely spoiled after a complimentary birthday Banana Soy Toban dessert.
I did a quick search on Groupon before heading back to pick Skyler up from preschool, and I found a couples massage nearby for a total steal! It was the best, and I felt like it was my birthday, too, with a full day to enjoy ourselves.
We walked around for a bit after that and took in the sights of Manhattan that we don’t get to see too much of these days. It reminded me of the pre-parenthood era where we’d “get lost” for hours and just walk around different neighborhoods. So fun!
Eventually, it was time to head back to Brooklyn and celebrate the rest of the day in a very low-key way. I made (requested) mac-n-cheese with a side of peas and carrots and we dug into Skyler’s Halloween candy for dessert.
It was a great day!
- *NEW* Minestrone Soup
I am a BIG fan of minestrone soup. Give me a chance to eat an Olive Garden (Scott does not like chain restaurants, and does NOT share my love for OG – haha), and I will order the Soup, Salad & Breadsticks lunch 9.9 times out of 10. It’s just so good.
If you’ve been checking in around here over the last few months, then you know that I am a sucker for hearty soups around this time of year, so I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon!
This week I tried a new-to-me recipe straight from the cookbook I’ve mentioned a few times, Cooking For a Cure, that directly supports The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (If you’d like to support the cause, you can purchase your own copy for a $25 donation here.)
Anyways, it turned out delicious, although I did shave down the timed cooking sections throughout the recipe. Maybe I didn’t stir it enough (I’m notorious from walking away from a recipe and letting it burn – whoops), but the bottom of the pot cooked way too much while softening the vegetables. I’d recommend turning the heat down to medium and/or shortening the time instructed if you give it a try.
Other than that, it was a win!
Here is the recipe …
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock
1 tsp black pepper
3 drops Worcestershire sauce
1 can great northern white beans (navy beans)
1 cup carrots, diced or sliced
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup potato, diced
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 cup cabbage
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 tsp basil
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
3 cubes bouillon
1 can chick peas
3/4 cup Ditalini pasta
Your choice of cheese to sprinkle on top
- Sauté the onion and garlic with a little olive oil in a large soup pot. Add chicken stock and black pepper. Add Worcestershire sauce.
- Bright to a boiling point and add navy beans (drained), then cook about 15 minutes. (I only cooked about 10 minutes.)
- Add celery, carrots, and potato and cook for 20 minutes. (I cooked for about 15 minutes.) Add green beans, cabbage, zucchini and basil. Cook for 15 for 15 minutes. (You need to really watch these cooking steps and stir often to avoid burning on the bottom of the pot!)
- Add crushed tomato, water, bouillon, and chick peas. Bring to boiling and then add (uncooked) pasta. You can also add a little tomato paste and the heel of Italian cheese to the pot.
- Simmer for 8-10 more minutes and then serve!
Yum! You can also check out my Hearty Vegetable Minestrone Soup recipe if you’re looking for an easy, vegetable loaded soup to try.
- Let’s Zoom & Self-Care Together!
I don’t know about you, but I know I could use a little time to relax, do an easy self-care routine, and enjoy some non-political adult chatter right now.
One of my favorite things to do to make sure I get some “me time” on a weekly basis is to apply my Charcoal Facial Mask, enjoy a glass of wine, and just sit and decompress while it does its thing.
By the way, this mask is key in preventing breakouts (especially from wearing masks!) for me right now. It exfoliates, detoxifies and helps minimize pores. And if you watch my Instagram stories, you know I love my mask and use it quite often.
I’m excited to share that I’ve finally scheduled a chance to party with you! I’m going to be sending samples of the mask along with two other hero products (Overnight Resurfacing Peel and your choice of the Countertime Supreme Cream or Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion) to up to twenty participants, and I would love to send you more information if you’re interested.
Just make sure to RSVP as soon as possible, so I can get samples in the mail and in your hands!
This party is going to be very casual and we’ll go through the steps of the samples along with a brief rundown of how you can easily find safer-for-you products (in and outside of Beautycounter) to help improve your health and balance your hormones. I’d love the chance to get to chat with you in real time and anyone is invited!
Please comment below, message me, or email email@example.com if you’d like to reserve your spot. I’ll be sending samples out until next Wednesday, so please make sure to do it sooner than later!
Also, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t let you know that certain holiday sets are very low or out of stock right now. The very popular Bright Side Duo is no longer available, but both products are still an option in the full-size year-round. The Jellies – Shimmers are temporarily out of stock, but will return later this month. The Luminous Lids Cream Shadows are low on inventory, but will also return later this month.
Just a friendly reminder that holiday sets are limited-edition and once they are gone, they are usually gone for good unless I mention otherwise.
Please reach out with any questions!
- *NEW* low-impact strength workout
Those of you who follow along on Instagram might already know that I’ve had something going on with my right foot for about a week. It started hurting over the weekend and escalated to extreme pain above and below the arch as well as on the right side of my calf on Monday and Tuesday. Somehow, I limped my way through our adventures in the City, but I took it easy all day Wednesday to recover and woke up with it feeling a little better yesterday!
It continued to improve on Thursday, so I decided to finally attempt a workout that was light on my feet with modifications as needed. It went better than I expected and my foot is continuing to feel even better today. Yay!
Since I don’t have a full week of workouts to share with you as a result, here’s the full workout I did yesterday. It was a good one.
kettlebell squats (you could also use a dumbbell)
None of the moves required jumping, but my heart rate elevated on several of them! I also appreciated the extra support provided by the stability ball.
Let me know if you end up giving this one a try!
- favorite LIL posts
Take a small break from the news with a super lighthearted post filled with a lot of pictures of Skyler dressed up as Batman. We’re also talking about what Halloween was like in Park Slope, Brooklyn this year with creative ways to still have fun and safely keep our distance.
Let’s talk about productivity! Here’s what has been working for me to immensely increase the amount of work and tasks that I can fit into each day while working at home and still being present as a mom.
Okay, I think I’ll wrap things up here. Skyler and I have a date at the playground followed by a quick trip to the grocery store and then our usual Pizza Friday for dinner. It’s becoming a tradition that we both look forward to every week.
I hope you all have a great weekend, and thanks again for clicking over!
*Disclaimer: Friday Favorites posts may contain affiliate links. Also, I am a Beautycounter consultant and love what I do with the company. By using the links provided in this post to order products, you are supporting my business. I always appreciate you!