Friday Favorites: Spring Fever

You guys.

I could show you this first picture and call the Favorites over for the week, but since I’ve neglected them lately I won’t do that to the hundreds 18 of you who enjoy them.

But really, for the past four days we’ve been warned by all the weathermen, apps, and websites to prepare for snowpocolypse overnight on Thursday — at one point they predicted 20″ — and this morning this is what we woke up to.

Photo Feb 23, 8 01 08 AM

Cue angelic choir.

And as if this wasn’t a lovely enough turn of events, Global Warming has already spoiled me a bit this year. Last week we had like five straight days of temps in the high 50’s and even a couple of 61° days. IN FEBRUARY.


The snow melted.
The birds and dogs and small children went crazy.
Windows were opened to let out the three months of stuffiness and sadness.
People left their homes.
Skin was exposed.
I shaved my legs.

Listen, as much as the fate of our polar ice caps and the coasts of Florida and California concern me, it was glorious. (Sorry, Leonardo DiCaprio, it was.)

But as all of us who live in the midwest have learned, when dealing with the weather any time of the year — we don’t blink.

Or listen to the weathermen.

Looking ahead though, it does look like it will be back to parkas and snow boots and suppressing our feelings with Girl Scout cookies and Cabernet soon. Because even though the temps will remain in the warmish 30s and 40s (it’s all relative, people), it’s almost March, which in Minnesnowda means Mother Nature laughs in our face saying hahaha you just think it’s almost spring but sorry suckers Ima crush your spirits with mountains of snow until Easter before dropping her flowery mic and walking away.

Midwest Mother Nature is a real bitch.

So let’s get to the favorites quickly before all this talk about the weather makes me tear open the box of Samoas I hid from myself in the basement freezer behind the bottle of Apple Vodka … that is also supposed to be hiding.

Black Elderberry Syrup

Photo Feb 12, 1 18 07 PM

You guys, I think I have stumbled upon a miracle elixir.

Here’s the thing. We’re not a pukey family. I mean, unless we make you want to puke with our adorableness.


And by adorableness I mean dorkiness, obviously

No, what I mean is this: We rarely — if ever — get stomach bugs. Seriously, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my kids puke, and they’re 21 and 15.

But we do get head colds. A lot.

Like, gunky, swollen throat and junky nose kinds of colds where you lose your voice and hack up chunks of disgusting stuff for like 10 days in a row. It’s not pretty, but I’d still take it over puking any day.

Poor Thing 2 gets them like four times a winter despite all the Vitamin C and fluids I practically pump into her via IV from December to March. And because she’s a theatre kid and always in a show, these colds pose a real problem. It’s pretty damn hard to hit the notes she has to hit on stage or deliver her lines when she’s hacking, or worse, has no voice at all.

The past two weeks she’s been in a show where she has a LOT of singing to do. She’s one of the main characters, and without her the show literally can’t go on (for those of you who know the show, she’s Rona Lisa Peretti in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”).  So naturally, about a month ago I panicked. How was I going to keep her healthy, other than making her bathe nightly in Purell (obviously)?

Other than the daily EmergenC Immune+ packets and the humidifier and mini-steamer and throat teas and threats to not touch anything in the world, I needed something powerful, and then another theater mom told me about Black Elderberry Syrup, which is a natural immune fighter. Naturally, I was skeptical. So I turned to Google (as I do) and learned about the almost impossible powers of this magical berry.

I’ll let this site do the talking, but basically, we’re sold. Again and again and again. Seriously, we’ve all been taking it daily and have blown through like four bottles in the past month. It’s pricey, but a small price to pay to have the odds on our side.

Especially this girl’s side, who killed it opening weekend with no cold and a strong, clear, gunk-free voice.


Goes without saying, but watching her shine when she performs is a favorite every day!

We use the Gaia brand (there are many) because you only have to take one teaspoon a day, and while it’s not terrible (tastes like liquid jam) it’s not delicious. I’ve found it at Whole Foods (on sale) but lately have been ordering from Amazon.

Green & Black’s Sea Salt Dark Chocolate

Photo Feb 12, 1 17 51 PMStop what you’re doing.
Grab your keys.
Throw a hat on your head.
Leave your pj pants on and speed to Target and get a box of these little squares of heaven right now.

And then tonight open a bottle of red wine and alternate between bites and sips.

Or today. I’m not judging.

Bath & Body Works SPRING scents

You guys know how I love me some Bath & Body Works.

Photo Jun 07, 1 31 24 PMLike, I am powerless to ever pass it by without going in and buying a few 3-wick candles I do not need and that will not fit in my candle cupboard (yes, there is an entire cupboard of them) and at least six bottles of soap, which I usually do. Thankfully I’ve stopped buying lotion. Mainly because the drawer in my bathroom where I keep them will no longer close.

So naturally when I received a text from my SIL in Arizona the other day wondering if I’d checked out the new spring scents I changed all plans and drove straight there where I picked up another Honeysuckle 3-wick (my spring favorite), Spring Leaves (which doesn’t smell like Fall Leaves which is my very, very favorite but is still fresh and slightly spicy which meant I had to have one immediately), and some new soap scents that I love (Sweet Mint Mimosa and Apple Mandarin – so delicious I considered tasting them).

And look, no lotion.

Photo Feb 23, 10 44 54 AM

Before you’re proud of me for only getting four soaps … *whispers* I got two of each.

Sassy new boots

Working at a cool store has proven to be far more dangerous than expected, ya’ll. Seriously, I’m basically working to pay for the clothes I buy every time I work, and I’m okay with that.

Photo Feb 16, 10 32 52 AM

This jacket is the latest thing I left the store with, and if you live around me you can expect to see me in it every day until May. At least.

I told you a few months ago how I quickly realized almost every item of clothing in my closet was outdated &/or generally ugly (and I’ve worked very hard to replace almost everything — and by worked I mean literally worked), but what I didn’t initially realize was that I’d also be replacing — or adding to — my shoe collection.

Here’s the latest addition, which I’m in love with:

Thankfully the weather was cooperating the past week and I’ve been able to wear them without my ankles freezing. Next week it will be back to my other new faves this winter, my Sorel booties –


I’ve seriously worn these almost every day. I’m not a heels girl, but these wedges are so comfortable, stylish, and best of all for Minnesota — weatherproof!

We just got an entire shipment of new funky Converse into the store.
I’m doomed.


Sneaky Pete

Screenshot 2017-02-24 10.37.10Our latest binge during our hibernating months is this new show on Amazon Prime, Sneaky Pete. It stars Giovanni Ribisi (a long time favorite of ours), Bryan Cranston (a scene stealer in everything he’s in) and Margo Martindale, a brilliant character actress you’d recognize and love from, well, from just about everything.

Screenshot 2017-02-24 10.39.39

It’s dark. Smart. Suspensful. One of those shows I always have to pause to ask my husband if I missed something (which I know he finds secretly adorable despite the look he gives me every time I do it).

Ribisi plays a guy posing as another guy who…. nevermind. I’m not even gonna try. Here’s the official summary:

Screenshot 2017-02-24 10.43.39

from AmazonPrime

We’re not the only ones loving this show. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 100% and it’s already been renewed for a second season. If you have Amazon Prime check it out and let me know what you think. 

This Is Us episode: Memphis

Speaking of television shows, can we talk about This Is Us?!? Don’t worry, DVR’rs, I won’t give any spoilers away, but I will say that this week’s episode of This Is Us left me breathless. It was easily the best, most well-written television episode I’ve ever seen.

Don’t let the fact that I was a big fan of Joanie Loves Chachi diminish that opinion.

But really, if you watched it you surely agree. It was powerful. It was heartbreaking and sad, but in a rather beautiful and surprising way. The connections the writers made — as they do on this show — between characters and the past melding with the present was astonishing and brilliant. More so than usual. My husband and I sat there mesmerized and literally holding our breath (and back a lot of tears) the entire final 10 minutes.

If you’ve already watched, check this video out with the two main players from the episode giving lots of insight about how they brought this story to life (do NOT watch this if you haven’t watched “Memphis”) –

But if you have it sitting on that DVR, go watch it now — after you’ve gone to Target to get the dark sea-salt chocolate, obviously.


And before I leave you this week, I promised to give you updates on my daughter’s Australian study-abroad journey.
Here’s the first, by the numbers:

# of days my daughter has been on the other side of the world: 7
# of times I’ve “found” the Apple Vodka: 2 (but we all know I’m lying)
# of times I’ve gone to text her and realized she was sleeping (the +16 hours will do that): countless
# of times I’ve gotten goosebumps and tears in my eyes looking at the photos she sends: 50. At least
# of times I’ve re-looked at the photos she sends: 100. At least

And as for her:

# of times she’s complained about the humidity and heat via text: 8 … or 18
# of koalas held: 1
# of selfies taken with kangaroos: 13, at least
# of times she’s mentioned hanging out and doing fun things with new friends: so, so many, which makes this mama’s heart so, so happy.

Here she is on her first full day there, already fitting in nicely with the locals at a place she’ll be volunteering on weekends:



Seriously, it may be worth the $2K and 20+ hour flight for me to be able to do that.  

That’ll do it for me this week, friends! I’m off to light my Honeysuckle candle and pretend it’s already April … or hibernate and find the Samoas.
Probably both.

Enjoy your weekend! 

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