Friday Things #375
1. After nearly three months of maintaining Joseph’s current doses for his oral immunotherapy due to Covid, we recently started back again and he hit a HUGE milestone last week – he has reached the threshold where he is safe from cross-contamination of peanuts! We celebrated with Kit Kats, which are manufactured in a facility that also processes peanuts, and were totally off-limits until now. He LOVED them! We are so incredibly grateful that this type of treatment is available and that thus far we have had success 🙏
2. I absolutely adore Dominic’s love of life. Nothing much ever gets him down, he is always eager to help and just wants to be with his people. He loves both his big brother and little sister fiercely, and I think he has a bigger sweet tooth than I do, which is just downright astonishing.
3. Isabelle has started doing this hysterical little routine where she tries to “sneak up” on one of us, feet really wide and stomping like a monster making scary noises. However, she always gets the giggles and the absolute best part is when she starts giggling, she covers her mouth with her hands and tries to get a straight face again. It is the funniest and most adorable thing!!
4. Friends of ours recently lost their dog and were gifted a sketch of him by Tiffany Carmi Studio. It was just beautiful – it looks like she does pets and homes; a great gift idea or keepsake.
5. We’re currently shopping for a new office chair – do you have one that you love and would recommend?
6. I feel like it’s never quite summer until I make blueberry crumb bars. One of my favorite summer recipes!
7. We listen to a lot of streaming music here through Sonos speakers and lately we’ve been loving the mix of country and rock on Red, White and Booze on Sirius. There’s country music but also bands like Aerosmith, Tom Petty, etc. I feel like every night when I’m brushing my teeth, Johnny Cash comes on and I’m reminded of how much I positively adored the movie Walk the Line. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen it!
8. Love this take on whether quarantine life is going to put an end to minimalism. I’ve talked many times before about purging through lots of our clutter and it feels wonderful to do that. However, the pandemic situation has definitely caused me to reevaluate keeping our pantry and freezer better stocked in the future. My grandma, who lived through the depression, never wasted a single thing and always had food on hand a full pantry and freezer (made up of things she had purchased on sale) to throw together a meal. I feel a certain kinship with her now and a much better appreciation for how she lived her life. If you keep a short-term stock, do you have any tips?
9. Are summer bucket lists out the window this year? I might make one for all of the fun things we can do outside and around home! After all, when I think back to summers as a kid, they are all memories of eating popsicles and Klondike’s at my grandma’s house, getting a treat from the ice cream truck, running through sprinklers, going down the slip n slide, playing wiffle ball with my dad, and the list goes on of incredibly simple, yet wonderful things that take up the most space in my heart. Isn’t that the case, always? ❤️️
10. TGIF! I hope you have a beautiful weekend!
Thank you for your blog, I love the pictures of the kids and your wonderful food. This is a great way of getting our minds off of the awful news, we need this.
I love your blog. Recipes are delicious, beautifully photographed and clearly explained. You graciously share your life in pieces with us and I for one am richer because you do so. Your children are delightful and I am amazed to see how fast they are growing up, meeting milestones and definitely have distinct personalities. Thank you for all you do, your family and friends are blessed to have you in their lives. You are so correct that respect and kindness go a long way in today’s world, well actually they always have and always will.
Very well said, and I totally agree with you!!
Hi. Thanks for another lovely update. I so enjoy your recipes and blog. Regarding your search for a chair: I work from home fulltime since 2011 and needed to replace an office chair that was about 15 years old. On the recommendation of a co-worker, last year I bought the Mirra 2 task chair. It was sticker shock for sure but have not regretted it, and my neck and pain have been much approved. It has mesh style seat which I wasn’t sure I’d like, but its great. Good luck!
The sheer happiness and joy on Joseph’s face with the bag of Kit-Kats is so precious! Thx for the Friday update! I look forward to it each week—I get to relive all the innocence of when my kids were that age.
The best part of summer to me is the longer days. It’s so nice to walk the dog when the weather is nice & it gets dark later. And I love it when one of my kids walks with me or my husband, just appreciate that one-on-one time.
Enjoy your weekend!
Lazy Boy Sutherland—I think it’s still available on Overstock.com. A little pricey, but your back and body will be grateful. I work from home 50+ hrs and LOVE it.
Hi Michelle, So happy to hear about that Joseph is no longer allergic to peanuts. Congratulations.
I live in Southern California so summer mostly all year around. I remember my grandmother’s making banana nut bread, pies, and heavy on grease when cooking anything. But my brother na I always had a good time visiting. Where I lived back then, did not have sidewalks. So when went to visit I would have my skates and could go around the block several times. Loved it. Dominic looks so cute with his glasses. I can’t believe how much Isabelle has grown. She is a cutie. I am single and so I have to think of things to cook. I don’t stock up but lately I have cooked several meals that I have frozen. Always love hearing about the family and reading your recipes. You are so uplifting , so keep blogging.
Thank you for posting today. It’s nice to hear from you. Have a great weekend.
By the way, Michelle, the naysayers always have something to gripe about and they do it non-stop.
Don’t pay any attention to them, as they are so wrong and YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Your entries are exciting
to receive, family pics make me feel like an aunt to your children, your dogs are always well groomed, and your
home well kept. In addition, you have fabulous recipes and pics of them that always make me want to attempt
what you do in such a way that it looks easy. You are a wonderful example of a home-maker, momma, and wife.
You are fantastic in what you do and share. Good job, Michelle. Good job.
When filling a pantry with essentials, start small. Not everyone can stock a full pantry because of the cost. BUT, a person can buy a case of veggies, fruit, soups, etc. Add some condiments. Then remember two is one and one is none. For example: If you have two bottles of mustard and take one off the shelf to use…that leaves one. Therefore, two is one. When you use the one bottle that is left….no further product is on the shelf for that mustard. Therefore, one is none. I try to buy meats (pork, beef, chicken and fish) when on sale buying several packages at a time to put in the freezer. Also try to buy family packs which are less expensive, and then divide into sealable bags for amounts that we eat at one time. We find that this is economical. Don’t forget about staples: flour, sugar, etc. We put these in big buckets. On-line there are companies that sell dried products put up in cans, these are usually quite tasty…just don’t salt until you taste them. In addition, purchase treats like energy bars, hard candy, etc. It adds to basic meals if you have to remain at home and groceries are not available.
I share the love of Kit Kat’s! I look forward to all your posts. Thanks for sharing your family and recipes! Have a wonderful weekend.
My favorite summer memories are playing board games with my brothers and my sister. I’m hoping that my kids will have similar happy memories of simple, relaxing time together.
Yours is my favorite blog. Thank you for your kind, uplifting content and for sharing your beautiful children with us.
God bless you!
Keep us posted on what you get for an office chair. I am looking for one as well. Mine is 17 years old and it is barely tolerable now. I usually look at TheWireCutter.com for their reviews. Their recommendations are a little more money than I want to spend and the recent reviews of their Budget Pick did not look great. As of right now, I am considering the Ergonomic Chair from BranchFurniture.com. It is on sale, but it won’t be in stock until August.
I used to so enjoy food shopping and would carry my list with me but also casually look for meal ideas as I went up and down the aisles. Now unfortunately, I carry my list but feel very rushed to get in and out of the supermarket trying to follow the arrows, staying out of the way of others, learning the new protocols – these times have tainted my shopping visits so much but have forced me to be better at meal planning. My dad always kept a well-stocked pantry, so I learned a lot from him over the years growing up. However, my mom didn’t like freezing meals, so I had to learn that on my own. I don’t like to waste food either and have been trying to repurpose leftovers. Your children are adorable, thank you for sharing updates about them as well as your fabulous. I look forward to your weekend posts!
Congrats to Joseph! My 11 year old was anaphylactic to peanuts from 15 months until 9 years old. At 9, he outgrew the peanut allergy. He won’t eat anything with peanuts, but loves that he can have things like KitKats now :) He’s still anaphylactic to eggs, and this week his allergist told us that oral immunotherapy for eggs will be available in a year or so, and that she’d like to see him participate. Very exciting!
The blogs Food Storage Moms and Mel’s Kitchen Cafe have been great for helping me build a good kitchen stockpile.
I hope you have a great weekend!
I try to keep a fairly well stocked pantry and freezer by buying when items are on sale, hopefully at their lowest price. The key is to stock up on items you use a lot so you can regularly rotate through. My other suggestion is to weed through your pantry at least twice a year and anything close to the best by date gets donated to the local food bank. I keep macaroni and cheese (boy mom LOL), pasta sauce, tuna fish, anchovies (husband’s favorite), peanut butter, jelly, olive and avocado oils (not too much b/c they will go rancid), oatmeal, canned tomatoes, pastas, sugar, powdered eggs (for baking), shelf stable almond milk and canned/dried beans. You can make A LOT of meals with those items. In my freezer, I keep some meats but also keep nuts, flours and at least 1 loaf of bread (put a paper towel inside before freezing – it will defrost perfectly). Also, IF I can keep the boys from eating all of my muffins, etc. that I bake, I freeze extra of those as well. It can take a while to figure out how much of things you need to have on hand without being wasteful and I still miss the mark sometimes (just had to throw out a brand new bottle of salad dressing I forgot was in the pantry) but having a decently stocked pantry is so helpful and will save you $ is purchased @ the right times.
Love your blog; don’t let people get you down! I love seeing your kiddos grow and the doggies wishing us all well each week!
Since this whole crazy pandemic thing started and food began to be in short supply, we have decided that we are not going to waste a morsel of it. We used to throw away left overs quite regularly. Now, we cook just enough for one meal and if there is anything left we incorporate it into the next days meal. Taking leftovers, chopping them up and adding to a quiche or frittata or making a soup. We also purchased a wee freezer so that I could keep my frozen veggies, tortilla wraps and the ever vital ice cream in. That allows me to store more meat in the freezer portion of my refrigerator. As always, love your blog, kiddos are adorable and the fur kids are the sweetest, second only to my two Cairns, Tucker and Alfie. Keep healthy, and blessings to your family.
Thanks for the lovely blog. Do you have a recipe for cherry version of hand pies?
And yes, simple summer things are the best…catching lightening bugs…letting them go after….your kids are adorable. Wishing you all best of health this summer!!
Wow Duke looks so much like Einstein now 😍. He’s such a cutie!! I just have to say, I look forward to reading your Friday posts every week. Thank you for sharing with us and keep up the great work!
Two Peas and a Pod posted an excellent summer bucket list for her family and kids this week. Worth checking out if you want ideas!
I’m always on the lookout for gifts for my 5 and 4 year old grandsons so Josephs watch caught my eye. Could you tell me about it please? brand, purchased where, does he love it, etc? Thank you so much. ps I really enjoy your friday things posts.
Michelle, I forgot. Checkout the website for Relax the Back. We got an office chair there for iur daughter’s office.
In the summer, when visiting our grandparent,s, my sisters and I would fight over who got to lay in the hammock first. They had a huge lawn and we would play croquet for hours.
You are my favorite blogger! I wait for your email every week! Your recipes are the best.
I am so happy about Joseph conquering his peanut allergy. Congrats!!
I live in Southern California so I’m lucky in having Summer-type weather almost year round. However, it’s not “Summer” to me until I eat my first Watermelon. I have great memories of my Sister and I eating juicy sweet watermelon while playing in the pool during summer vacation! Food memories really stick with us! :)
Happy Friday Michelle! Your children are little cutie pies, just love them and love seeing them. I keep a pretty well stocked pantry with basics such as canned tomatoes, olive oils, pastas, canned tuna and salmon sugars, oatmeal, etc. My freezer right now is pretty full with my order of meat from my butcher, along with frozen squash soup(proportioned), asstd. frozen beans, frozen veggies and frozen blueberries, which I always try to have on hand for smoothies or baking.
Macy, your grandmother reminds me of mine…she was always praying for everyone, and always had a chocolate bar for the grandhldren and later great grandchildren on hand to give out, usually a kit kat! She never forgot anyone’s birthday or anniversary. She was a great baker.
Neat post😊 your Grandma sounds wonderful. Like yours…my Grandma never forgot a birthday, special occasion. I got my love of handwritten letters, cards being sent in the good old school mail. I still love sending and writing and receiving notes by mail because of her. I hear she was an amazing baker as well. Sadly I dont remember much of her baking. But I do know she was an amazing cook. She could throw anything together and make it taste good.
P.s.Michelle…regarding stocking up..I’ve always been pretty prepared with keeping things on hand. I usually have enough purchased groceries to cover a month or even 2 if I had to.
Oddly before covid crisis I somehow had let my t.p. stash run low (I never had in the past)and my rice stash(who knew what was coming our way with the tp and paper towel shortages and rice shortages). So now I’m being a bit more careful about keeping stock to greater degree on everything. I cant tell you how many days and weeks I spent searching for paper products online. Now its hard to find weird things like canned green beans, rubbing alcohol, and frozen chubs of beef…and boy are things expensive!!!
Dear Michelle, I have enjoyed your recipes, recommendations, and stories for over 5 years. As an ER doc, I have looked forward to your stories and cute pictures during the recent difficult months. We all need a big dose of happy in these trying times. Please do not be hurt by the ranting of some readers with only one agenda. We can acknowledge their pain while realizing that every platform is not the same. You are very good at what you do and it has value to those of us who enjoy your work. Stay safe …
PS – My husband still loves his Eames desk chair that was his Christmas, birthday and everything else present 10 years ago – expensive but worth it. Still in excellent condition despite daily use.
Thank you so much for writing your blog! I thought I lost another thing in this world that makes my day! So much has changed in so little time and I literally thought, great here goes another thing because of evil in this world. On another note, my grandmother was the same way. She had a separate pantry just for paper towels, kleenex and toilet paper. She lived close so if we ran out at home we knew we could run across the street and she would have what we needed. I think she could have run her own store with her supply! LOL By the way, how much is beef in your part of the country? Here in southeast Louisiana, a boneless rump roast was $11.99 recently. It just came down to $8.99 a week ago. Usually I can get one for $3.99 on sale. We have been eating a lot of chicken and pork. Have a great day!
Thank you for yet another wonderful Friday post. You are doing a great job and offer us all an awesome place to go for great home life stories and delicious food. Thank you for all you do!
Joseph needs to be in a commercial for KitKats…he looks sooooo happy.
Dominic and those glasses…he looks like the sweetest little professor ready to bust into a grin at a moments notice.
I love reading about your little family. Thanks for continuing to share every week.
Have a great weekend.
Happy Friday, Michelle!
Regarding the comment on grandmom’s stacked groceries, I too had the same thought. My mom did the same and during the worst of the empty shelves this spring, I was kicking myself for not doing the same! Would love to hear ideas from others. One thing I always do is by the large packs of boneless chicken breast when on sale. When I get home, I separate and wrap individually and freeze to use a needed. Making the blueberry crumb bars this weekend! :-)
Glad that he is doing a lot better with his allergies.
hi, i used to like kitkat too, until they are too sweet because now they use corn syrup, which is linked to diabetes. that is a big bag, i hope it lasts you 20 years. https://news.usc.edu/44415/high-fructose-corn-syrup-linked-to-diabetes/
…and that is why i bake my own goods to make sure i know what goes in there.
chair suggestion: i can recommend NOT to buy a Herman miller expensive chair. awful!!
I have throughly enjoyed your recipes and watching your children grow.
Please don’t change a thing.
If people are looking for controversy or an editorial they should tune into the news.
I read your blog because it’s pleasant and your are doing exactly what you should be doing bringing up three children with great values.
I wish every child could go through the nut therapy!
I’m a retired teacher and saw so many children with food allergies!.
It just makes it safer for the child and Epipens are so expensive!
I’m so glad you talk about the topic here.
Please keep us posted on your search for a office chair. I am also looking for one and having trouble deciding. Thanks for your Newsletters. You’re part of one of the things I look forward to on Fridays.
Have a great weekend!
Happy Friday Michelle! Just love you and your posts. Your kiddos are adorable!
My Dad has instilled in his three daughters to always have an emergency stock of food at home. I have a chest freezer full that I rotate things in and out of and try hard to keep items on hand: pasta, sauce, veggies, flour, sugar, baking items, powered milk, homemade jellies, peanut butter, soup and bottled water.
With the pandemic happening I’m also trying to have extra bleach, cleaners, disinfecting wipes, disposable gloves on hand. Some are hard to get. But when I see them in a store I feel as though I just won the jackpot – ha ha!!
Still planning to visit Maine this summer. Will be a different trip as we won’t dine in any restaurants.. That’s ok with me, I’m there for the ocean. Our two daughters will be going and my oldest daughter is married with two babies – 13 months and 2 months old! Should be a blast!
I always have five pounds of butter in the freezer along with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chicken breasts, a beef roast and assorted ground meats. A few bags of frozen veggies and strained bacon grease round out the freezer. My pantry stays pretty full with assorted pasta s, canned tomatoes, flour, sugar, oats, grits, cream of wheat, broth, juices and the lot. I am not a hoarder (smile) but my mother always taught me to be prepared for guests. As far as other essentials I live in central Pennsylvania and the winters can be brutal. Saves me a trip when I can’t or won’t go outside.
Not sure why….but this Friday post made me tear up after reading it. So many beautiful things to read about..Isabelle’s hair, Dominic’s love of sweets (especially when he has a big donut and is happily waiting for it😊), the wonderful news about Joseph, and hearing about your wonderful memories of Grandma, your Dad, Summers, great food memories and of course the big doggie smile at the end. Maybe I needed to read something joyful and this was just that.
Some of my most precious and joyful memories include my Grandma and her simple gifts-her frugality (she didnt waste anything, was thankful for everything, she prayed for all of us her entire life, and loved us all beyond words)…Grandpa too. Summer feels like Summer to me once we’ve had a big fresh home grown juicy tomatoe on a sandwich, anything peachy be it cobbler or pie, cold sweet juicy watermelon, berries, beautiful flowers…ice cream.
Thank you for the joy you bring.