Friday Five

 
​In the spirit of forcing myself to more regularly post, I thought I would start a weekly roundup of five things I am obsessed with right now (not the most original idea as pretty much every blogger out there does something similar, but as they say, good writers borrow, great writers steal outright). So for our first edition:
​1. Recently.

This is an app that basically takes your 50 most recent iPhone pictures (or any 50 you’d like-I put together an album every month and tell the app to use the photos from the album) and then turns it into a high quality photo book/magazine that is mailed to your door. I subscribed because I wanted a physical copy of the gazillion phone pictures I take of the baby on a daily basis. We have two months of Recently albums already and I know that this is one of those things I will be so happy I did down the road. You can keep all your pictures on your iPhone and never get prints, but there’s something about being able to physically hold a photo in your hand that just feels more special. I’m not sure if we will do this forever but especially in the first year of Ryley’s life it’s already so neat to look back at our 1 month book and see how much she has changed.

​2. Blue Apron.
 
I was always a little skeptical of Blue Apron just because I heard SO much about it and figured it must be over-hyped. However I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I love it. We started a few weeks after the baby was born with the thinking that it would be nice to not have to grocery shop/menu prep/come up with recipes with a newborn. We’re about 6 weeks into it now and I can honestly say there has not been a recipe I haven’t enjoyed. Many I have absolutely loved and have even been kind of shocked as the quality of meals that my husband and I have been able to cook. Even better I feel like in general I’ve become a better cook thanks to tips and suggestions used in the Blue Apron recipes (like how they always use the cooking water from pasta to make a sauce or cook all the meat in a pan with olive oil versus baking to get a nice sear). I’ve also used ingredients that I’ve never dreamed of cooking with before (demi-glace, exotic spice blends, a kind of soft cheese called labneh, etc). The recipes are not crazy low calorie by any means (typically between 500-800) but lower calorie than most restaurant or take out meals. And because you end up cooking exactly two portions you don’t go back for “seconds” which I typically do on the “healthy” meals I cook, doubling the calories anyways.
3. Califia Farms Almond Milk Cold Brew.
 
Caffeine is really my best friend these days, and there’s nothing I love more than finding new and creative ways to ingest caffeine. My typical routine is two big cups of hot coffee in the mornings, but when it’s hot out I’ve started to enjoy subbing the second cup for something cold instead. Enter this almond milk cold brew. I’ve tried the mocha as well as the latte flavors and they are amazing. I pour it over ice to make the whole thing even more refreshing. And at 90 calories per serving they’re a lot more nutritious than getting a sugary coffee drink at Starbucks.

​4. Summer plans. I spent the majority of last summer pregnant in the throes of early pregnancy (i.e. lots of nausea and vomiting and feeling exhausted). Thus most of the summer was spent either working or napping. This summer I plan to make up for it in earnest. In July we’re heading to the Jersey Shore (not the Sookie one, a much nicer and prettier Jersey Shore that is not too different from my beloved Southern beaches other than the fact that you have to buy a ticket from the government to sit on the beach which I find violates everything good and pure about the liberty of our nation, but I digress) for a little beach vacation with my in-laws. At the end of August we’re renting a river house in Gloucester (Northern Neck kind of area) with my parents and sister’s family. In September we’re planning a girls day at the Charlottesville wineries. And in between all of that I plan to visit lots of breweries, attend outdoor concerts, eat at food truck food courts, go on walks by the river  and just generally enjoy not being pregnant in the summer.

​5. Birkenstocks.
 
I feel like I’m kind of late to the whole Birkenstocks are trendy again, but my wide feet are absolutely THRILLED with this development. These shoes are not attractive. Like at all. But like Uggs a decade or so ago or Bean Boots recently, function has unexpectedly triumphed over fashion and they have been deemed cool. And these shoes are really made for a wide footed gal. They are sturdy and don’t have tight straps. They look like something a cult leader would wear, but I don’t care because I can wear them for long periods of time and not get blisters unlike almost every other shoe in the world. My favorite thing to do is wear them when I have the baby in a sling and just embrace the granola of it all. 

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