Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Monthly Medley: March 2020

Just a few days prior to social distancing, Hallie and I popped into the library to pick up a few books. Since Will wasn't with us, I spent a little time wandering around the young adult fiction section on my never-ending search for books he hasn't read. I spotted Life and Death, Twilight Reimagined on the end of a row, and decided it would be fun to reread - but a different version - of Twilight. I actually really enjoyed the novel, enough that I may read the entire series again once I make it through the rest of my library books.

I have a rather long list of movies and television shows to share this month (don't we all?) so I'll keep my descriptions and assessments short and sweet!

  • A Dog's Purpose - entertaining and emotional. You'll need tissues.
  • Happy Gilmore - two hours of laughing out loud. Language is a little rough.
  • Swiss Family Robinson - old fashioned family fun. Prompted lively dancing.
  • 50 First Dates - gentle, sweet, and endearing. Hallie adored it.
  • The Middle - hysterically relatable. Recommended by lots of friends. 
  • Frozen 2 - this will all make sense when we are older. Even Tom and Will enjoyed revisiting Arendale.

The kids have also been watching the Cincinnati Zoo's daily live streams and Will in particular has really enjoyed getting to know the animals. Tom and Will have also started watching all of the Marvel movies in chronological order, so I'll keep you posted on how (long) that saga goes...

Listening To
When I asked Hallie to help me remember what we'd been listening to this month, the only song we could come up with was the PJ Panda Happy Birthday Rap, which we have begun playing on our Birthday Brigade rides. It's a completely ridiculous song, but now that we associate it with visiting our friends via drive-by on their birthdays, it feels festive and fun.

The front half of the line for one of our many Birthday Brigades.

We drove with the windows down the entire ride -
what a simple gift, to feel the wind in our hair again.

I have a rather long list in this category as well. Here we go!

  • Zoom - heard of it but never used it before this month. Took us a few days to figure it out, but now the kids are experts and we Zoom multiple times a day.
  • Messenger Kids - didn't need or want it until this month. Love listening to Hallie tell her friends she misses and loves them as she signs off.
  • Marco Polo - similar to Messenger Kids. I think. Ask Hallie.
  • Chromebook - grateful for these on so many levels. Kids learning on their devices. Erin and Tom working on their devices. Thanks, Grandma!
  • Mossa Move - LOVE. Missed these classes when our gym changed ownership and switched to a different program. A walk outside + 30 minutes of Mossa = 10,000 steps a day as well as physical, mental, and emotional health. 
  • Typing Club - free typing program for kids. Hoping Hallie's "hunt and peck" days will soon be a thing of the past.
  • Starbucks Reusable Cups - shared previously. Loved continuously. Easter set makes me happy every morning. 
  • Haircuts by Mom - scary. Not a total disaster.

Getting dressed during a pandemic is hard, amiright?! I start each morning in athletic clothes, just as I did when the world wasn't crashing and burning around us. I stay in these clothes for my workout and the rest of the morning, while the kids are working on school and I'm working on blog posts and articles. But then, even though it would be SO easy to stay in my casual, comfy clothes for the remainder of the day, I make myself shower and get dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Nothing fancy, but I've decided that on week days I need to wear a regular bra and pants that don't have an elastic waistband.

I'm also eagerly awaiting this shirt, from Saturday Morning Pancakes, which I'll probably wear every day from here on out:

There's lots of cooking going on around here! (But not as much baking because #flourshortage - seriously people, stop hoarding the flour.)

  • We had this Chicken, Cranberry, and Pecan Salad Wraps for dinner, but the salad on its own made great leftovers for lunch the following day. When making it again, however, I'll add chopped onion - in my opinion, onion makes just about all savory dishes better.
  • This Sheet Pan Roast Tenderloin with Potatoes was a hit with everyone, which as you likely know, doesn't happen often in our house. I followed the recipe exactly.
  • Skillet Keto Chicken with Bacon Mushroom Gravy was also popular - I don't think we had any leftovers! I opted for the cream cheese thickener rather than the arrowroot powder and butter combination.
  • This Mushroom, Spinach, and Sausage Spaghetti was another crowd pleaser just as the recipe was written.  
  • Last but not least, these Strawberry Cupcakes, which I made for a friend for her birthday at the end of February. (I didn't have time to add the recipe to last month's medley.) I reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup and used plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream. I also made my own frosting using equal amounts butter and cream cheese, strawberry puree, and just enough powdered sugar to stabilize the frosting. (For those of you wondering about that approximation, for a batch of frosting that uses 8 ounces of butter and 8 ounces of cream cheese, I usually use about 2 cups of powdered sugar, compared to the 4 cups this recipe calls for.)

Feeling Good About
Because we can all use something to feel good about right now.

What's new and interesting in your world this month? Anything fun to share?

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