Happy Weekend – A few fun links to send you into the weekend, including some small businesses we love supporting, ideas for keeping kids entertained, fun walks to try, books we’re reading, and more!
We made it to the weekend! How are you doing?
I heard the term “Blursay” this week, describing the way no one really seems to know what day it is since they all blur together, and I REALLY identified.
It was a week of Blursdays for me–I waffled between tackling some projects and feeling overwhelmed at others. One big thing on my mind this week has been our approaching summer break from school.
We “get out” of school in just 1 1/2 weeks, and then we have an 8 1/2-week stretch of time to fill without the structure of the school routine to count on. Our travel plans are canceled, and it’s tough to say how much things will open back up or return to a new normal, so my focus has been trying to figure out how to “mark” time (as Gretchin Rubin calls it). We mark time by doing things that set down little anchors in our memories–Friday night movies, family vacations, traditions, holidays, classes & camps, etc.
I don’t want it to feel like Blursday all summer long, but this summer will definitely be different than past summers since we’ll likely have different access to our summer staples–the pool at the gym, summer movies at the theater, parks, classes, library afternoons, summer travel, etc.
I’m still mulling it over (and I’m all ears if you’ve already thought of something great!), but in the meantime, here are a few fun links for the weekend…
A FEW BOOKS I’VE READ LATELY:
I’ve been reading a lot more and a lot less lately–more with the kids, less on my own. With them home during the day, I seem to have less time for audiobooks on my own, but I’ve been making my way through the stack of hardbacks on my nightstand over the last few weeks. Here are a few I’ve read lately…
- IN PIECES, by Sally Field. I didn’t know much about Sally Field’s life before tucking into her memoir. I just knew I thought she was adorable, and brave and fierce and funny in the handful of her movies I’ve seen. I listened to her read her stories in her own words and she broke my heart with her pain, her relationship with her mother, and her feelings of powerlessness. She inspired me with her grit, her determination, and her triumphs. I haven’t stopped thinking about her book since the day I finished it.
- NOTHING TO SEE HERE. This book has an absolutely absurd premise: Lillian is asked by her wealthy childhood friend Madison to come to spend the summer on her estate secretly caring for her twin stepchildren after Madison’s politically-ambitious husband’s first wife passes away. Why? Because the children have a tendency to catch on fire. You read that right. As crazy as it sounds, the book has a way of coming together! (Cup of Jo recommended it, and I usually like her picks!)
- UNTAMED, by Glennon Doyle. I’ve been following Glennon since her Momastery blogging days, and have loved her nonprofit Together Rising since it launched. Untamed is her latest book, all about unpacking some of her long-held beliefs about everything from parenting, to appearance, to honesty & authenticity, to marriage, and more. I read several chapters out loud to Michael and had some great conversations.
- THE MR. LEMONCELLO BOOKS. I’ve been reading these out loud to the kids and both Milo and Sophie have been HOOKED. They’re all about adventures, puzzles, riddles, and games that take place in the most fantastical library you could ever imagine, run by quirky “gazillionaire” Mr. Luigi Lemoncello. The books are dotted with book references and my kids are SUPER invested and entertained.
- THE STARLESS SEA. I’m actually in the middle of this one and it’s beautiful and dreamy, and I’m really not sure where it’s going to end up. I’m doing the audiobook and the narrators are fantastic. I feel very caught up in the story, even if I’m not *totally* sure where I’m going…
A FEW THINGS I’M LOVING:
THE “START TODAY” JOURNAL. This morning journal is a place to put a gratitude journal, a 10-year dream list, and daily goals. I’ve been doing my own version of this practice in a blank notebook as part of my morning routine for a few years, but love that this puts everything in one (super cute!) place. Having gratitude and a bigger picture in mind has been really helpful for me, feeling like an anchor over the last few weeks when so much feels uncertain.
CUTE, COLORFUL SHORTS FOR BOYS. Milo prefers his shorts above the knee for running, jumping & playing, and it can be hard to find good ones that last. We got these on sale recently and LOVE them. I love that he can mix and match with his tops to create all kinds of cute, colorful outfits.
THIS SOAP smells like my favorite Anthropologie volcano candle. (Like, I smelled them side by side and it’s crazy close.) It’s making all that handwashing more enjoyable. Also loving: Crisp Morning Air and White Tea & Sage.
RAISING WONDER KIDS ART CAMPS. Sarah Jane Wright (author/illustrator of the Lola Dutch books) ran a creative kids camp during March and April that she’s just turned into a course. We followed along every week and really loved the activities–she includes printable coloring pages, activity pages, 3-D papercrafts, puppets, journal pages, and more on all kinds of subjects, from cars to flowers to space to bugs and more.
This week, she just launched a new “camp” for kids called Nature Camp that runs from this week (starting May 4) through the end of August. This is a bit more outdoors-focused and includes video drawing lessons, journal pages, coloring pages, crafts & activities, and more all delivered to your inbox. Topics include things like birds, seeds, rain, sun, flowers, ocean, forest, leaves, and more. Right now, it’s on sale for $40 (I believe it’s going to be $65 when the price goes up). If you’ve been looking for ideas for your kids for summer, this might be a great way to go!
WALKS KEEPING OUR KIDS HAPPY
I could walk for 1-2 hours every day and be the happiest girl on the block. My kids…do not love walks very much right now. So we’ve been trying to make things fun, interesting or silly. In addition to tossing in some of John Cleese’s silly walks on our actual walks (seriously, go watch that sketch if you’ve never seen it!), we’ve been trying to change things up to help our kids be more interested in coming. So far, we’ve tried:
- COLOR WALKS. See how many colors you can find, or look for as many red (or blue or purple, etc.) things you can find.
- BUNNY WALKS, DUCK WALKS, OR BIRD WALKS. Count how many we see while we’re out. We’ve been checking on a few little duck mamas & ducklings lately and it’s the BEST. You could adapt this to dogs/pets, bugs, trucks, etc.
- CHALK WALKS. We write notes or draw pictures in front of friend’s houses or by the community mailboxes. It’s a fun way to cheer people up or say hi while distancing!
- DREAM HOUSE WALKS. Describe your dream house if money and space were no object. Pick just one room (describe the ultimate playroom), the backyard (pool with a lazy river! firepit! trampoline!), or the whole house. My kids loooove talking about this.
- DREAM VACATION WALKS. Same idea, different topic. Where would you go & why? How long would you go? Where would you stay? What would you do? Eat? Try?
- THIS OR THAT WALKS. An easy conversation starter. Would you rather have chocolate ice cream or vanilla? Would you rather go to Disneyland for a week or go on a Disney cruise? Pizza or BBQ? Popcorn or candy? Fruity dessert or chocolate dessert? Pool or beach? Be able to fly or have super strength? You get the idea.
- GRATITUDE OR “GOOD THINGS” WALKS. When the mood is just right, I love starting one of these. “What’s something you’re enjoying right now?” “What was one of your favorite parts of the day?” or “What’s something you’re looking forward to?” are sometimes easier questions for my kids to answer than “what’s something you’re grateful for?” From there, I usually prompt something like, “ooh, I’m glad about that, too. What else? How many good things can we think of?”
SMALL FOOD BUSINESSES I LOVE THAT ARE EASY TO SUPPORT FROM HOME:
- QUEEN CREEK OLIVE MILL. I absolutely love this family and their olive mill. They started their business using responsible agriculture practices, long before it was cool, and continue their commitment to quality + taste that’s tough to beat. Their Balanced oil + aged balsamic vinegar are staples in my kitchen, but there are SO many yummy flavors to choose from. Fresh Crush Basil + Meyer Lemon + ACV + Strawberry Balsamic Reduction are some of my favorites. They ship nationwide! Use code “onelovelylife” for 10% off your first order!
- SAFE + FAIR. This company was started by 2 best friend dads who have kids with nut allergies. They run a great line of allergy-friendly products, from granola, to chips, to baking mixes, and more. Two of my favorite things are the Honeycrisp Apple Granola and their Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn. Get 20% off your order with THIS LINK.
- ANDERSON FOODS. (Formerly Frontier Soups) I ordered a box of soup mixes from them after Joy Cho recommended them on Instagram recently. Of their 37 soup flavors, there are 34 gluten-free options and all the soups are naturally vegan-friendly. They’re made from real food ingredients (things like beans + pasta or rice + freeze-dried veggies + herbs + seasonings), then you add fresh ingredients (like optional chicken, meats, or sausage or the occasional onion, etc.) when you make them. They’re a great option to keep on hand and smell amazing!
A LITTLE LOVE NOTE:
Lastly, this weekend is Mother’s Day. I’ve had a lot of feelings about this day over the years. Wishing I was a mother, struggling with heartbreak after a miscarriage, feeling overwhelmed by motherhood, wishing I could be with my own mother, missing my grandmother…it’s a day that can stir up a lot of emotions (guilt, tenderness, fear, shame, grief, longing, happiness, anger, resentment, love, confusion, and more). If it’s a hard day for you, I just wanted to say that you’re not alone. I’m sending you virtual hugs this weekend.
This year, I ordered a summer dress I’m excited to wear to…my living room…making something chocolatey to enjoy (hopefully brownie sundaes with this on top!), and reaching out to the ladies in my life. I hope it’s a good day and a good weekend for you, and I’m holding space for you if it isn’t yet. I know how that can feel, and I’m sending love your way.