Friday Favorites (except for the murder)

Great photo, right?
What a majestic, beautiful, amazing creature, right?
Okay, okay, right, but I’m adding another, less pleasing adjective to his list: MURDERER.

Last week we watched this majestic, beautiful, amazing creature murder in cold blood one of our lake’s darling, happy baby loons. What about the other bably loon, you ask? Oh, you know, HE MURDERED THAT ONE THE WEEK BEFORE.



You guys, it was awful. He and his partner in crime went swooping in and he just snatched up that baby — the one we’d seen diving happily for fish with his mama just minutes before — and took it up on the shore and started eating it before some people zoomed over in their boat and rushed at the eagle forcing him to drop it. They jumped out and checked to see if the baby could be saved, but he was dead. The eagle sat in that tree where we took his mug shot and yelled bad things at him before driving off in our boat, a little bit terrified we were next.

And oh, you guys, the mama and daddy loon squawked and flipped and hooted and cried loud loon cries for hours after in the spot where it happened. It was heartbreaking.

Only a few days before

It’s not like we’re not used to this carnage, though. Most summers the eagles — who we do really love having reside on our lake — attack and eat the baby loons. It’s been years since the babies have made it to full maturity. But we don’t usually witness it. To have seen it happen with our own eyes is something I really wish I could unsee.

Wow, way to start the favorites, Michelle. What’s next? People who walk around willingly infecting others with a potentially deadly virus?
Oh, don’t worry. It’s coming.

Now, about that pesky post title (the one before the murder part, obviously).
Let’s put this silly business to bed, shall we?
After weeding through the pages of suggestions I received after my call for a fresh, snazzier title (JUST KIDDING I GOT ZERO) I’ve decided to just cut bait on the line that’s been dangling in the ol’ lake of inspiration for the past year and keep the old “Friday Favorites” standby.


Honestly, the number of hours minutes and brain cells I’ve wasted trying to come up with something more clever is ridiculous, and so, in a very out-of-character move for me, I’m settling.
For now anyway.
Oh, who am I kidding, the boring Friday Favorites title will live on forever, so let’s never speak of it again and move on.


So how’re you doing this week?
Wearing your mask every time you are in a public place?
Socially distancing &/or wearing a mask when around anyone else who doesn’t live in your household?
Steering clear of all the COVID Petri-dishes that are popping up everywhere thanks to the moronic people who don’t seem to realize that they’re the ones keeping the pandemic alive?

July 4, 2020 via The Mercury News

I’m not kidding, you guys. I’ve got some pretty serious anger issues now.
I am so insanely pissed off at the lack of humanity and responsibility I’m seeing that I don’t know what to do.
I’ve tried writing about it, but not only is the subject matter making me angry, the fact that I can’t seem to adequately put into words that anger, frustration, and disappointment is causing me to shut it down every time I try to work on it. As if good old writer’s block wasn’t enough.

Being able to spend the majority of our summer at our little cabin up at the lake is helping alleviate a bit of the tornadic emotions … UNTIL I SEE ALL THE GATHERINGS OF PEOPLE ON BOATS AND HAVING PARTIES — WHO CLEARLY DO NOT LIVE TOGETHER — WITHOUT MASKS.

God Bless America … and those who all of you irresponsible people will infect with Coronavirus

Today’s favorites are book heavy because I’ve been reading a lot more than usual lately to, you know, try to stop thinking about defenseless baby loons and boats full of COVID. But I’ve also thrown in a new podcast I’m loving as well as healthy recipe that came from a very surprising source. And finally, I’m sharing a slight change I’m making to the YMFT Instagram page, which I hope you’re all following — it’s my favorite place to (over)share!

Oh, and for all of you readers out there, don’t forget to check out my book recs up there on the tab called “Great Reads” (or obvs, just click that link).!

*Bonus points for those of you who’ve noticed the new title photos that represent favorite things or moments! This week’s brought to you by my gorgeous Peonies from a couple of weeks ago (#favoriteflower). I wish this pic was scratch-n-sniff!

Favorites to READ ~

28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand

It wouldn’t be summer without an Elin Hilderbrand book, would it? I haven’t read all of them, but my little canoe bookshelf at our cabin holds quite a few!

This year’s story is (so far) one of my favorites of hers: Set in Nantucket (of course) it follows the tryst of two people over 28 summers as they have a “same time, next year” affair (the classic 1978 movie that they watch each summer and one that I’ve somehow never seen but am definitely adding to my list … if I can find it anywhere). Told from each character’s perspective and peppered with fun tidbits about each year (from 1993 – 2020), the book is a fast-paced romp through their lives and scandalous love story, which you’ll somehow forgive. I’m only about 1/3 of the way through it but bought this one in hardcover because I loved the sample so much!

Sidenote: Last fall after dropping off our younger daughter at college in Connecticut my husband and I took a “reverse babymoon” to Cape Cod (Chatham) and took a glorious day trip to Nantucket. Much of the day I kept thinking about the Elin Hilderbrand books I’ve read because most of what I know about Nantucket I’ve learned from her books!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet

I. Loved. This. Book.
The end.

But really, it’s been a while since a book has come along that has had me so immersed in its characters and complex story. I honestly can’t even begin to describe it because I know I won’t give it justice (click the book photo for the official synopsis). It’s heartbreaking, exhilarating, maddening, complicated, endearing, frustrating, and ultimately, simply lovely. One I will recommend for a long time!

The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan

I just bought this one yesterday (it’s only $3.99 on Kindle right now!) and I stayed up later than I wanted to last night because I couldn’t put it down! It’s about three sisters (wildly different personalities) who gather at their childhood home in Connecticut after their father — a famous author — dies. When they discover they have another (half) sister things get complicated, especially when they discover their father’s unpublished memoir. Have heard nothing but good things about this one and am excited to continue the story!

Favorite to LISTEN to ~

Can’t Stop Watching podcast

I think I discovered this podcast last week when I was on Twitter, which is super weird because I’m rarely on Twitter; it makes me nervous.


Anyway, I saw that James Corden was a guest on this podcast — and I love me some James Corden — so I checked it out. The format isn’t groundbreaking — it’s basically a half-hour interview with a celebrity about their work and about which other celebrities they can’t stop watching, but it’s somehow different. It’s oddly refreshing, even if it is pretty unoriginal. Maybe it’s the host, who is a natural interviewer (she asks great questions!) and super non-irritating, which is very rare and a huge plus in a podcast host.

I’m a sucker for a celebrity interview, it’s true, and I subscribe to a ton of podcasts that do just that (my faves are Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend, Armchair Expert, Life is Short with Justin Long, and Literally! With Rob Lowe (listen to his latest with Conan — doubly delightful!) but I’m adding this cute one to my list for sure!

Favorite to WATCH ~

Never Have I Ever – Netflix

It’s true. My TV watching taste is often that of a pre-teen girl. But I’m not apologizing.

Last week I binged this show in two nights — all by myself (#noshame) — and thought it was darling. If you’re thinking it’s a Nick at Nite level sitcom, think again. Sure, it’s definitely got some silliness and cringy moments, but there are also serious, heartbreaking components to the story that gives this show a lot more depth than the trailer shows.

Teen show or not, I thought it was a fun escape and a great show for ALL AGES to enjoy. 😉 Oh, and the actress who plays the lead (who was an unknown and saw the audition notice on Mindy Kaling’s Instagram) is adorable and amazingly adept for this being her first acting gig.

Favorite to EAT (drink) ~

Super Green Smoothie by my daughter

Wait. What? Who??
You can’t possibly mean my 24-year-old daughter who has the palate of a 4-year-old, can you? The girl whose only acceptable food groups are carbs, cheese (not dairy, just cheese), and fruit, and have been since birth?

Why yes, it appears that’s exactly who I mean.
Yesterday she appeared in my office while I was in my Zoom writing group and presented me with a smoothie that was green.
And not because of food coloring!
What is this, who are you and what have you done with my daughter? I mouthed (because Zoom).
She didn’t laugh.

But really, she’s been changing her eating habits for the better lately and this smoothie is one of her favorites … and now one of mine. Despite green being my favorite color, I’ve never been into green drinks (except, of course, Appletinis) so I was delightfully surprised at how delicious this is.

Here’s what she used for a good sized smoothie —
1/2 sliced cucumber
1 C frozen pineapple
1/2 frozen banana (peeled, which I hope is obvious)
1 C light coconut milk
1/2 C water
1 medium lime juice + 1 TBS zest
1 large handful spinach

I think it’s my new go-to breakfast, and bonus, she can make it for me!

(We use an inexpensive Magic Bullet to make smoothies and I love it!)


Want the favorites more than once a week (or once every few months)?? Then make sure to follow along on Instagram, because I’ve started posting daily favorites! (Disclaimer: the author does not promise there will be a favorite posted every single day as she sometimes — shockingly — does not take photos every day and may or may not worry about being a pain in your feed’s ass.)

Back in February, I changed my Instagram bio to read, “Keeping Life Full When The Nest Is Empty” and had started switching my content over to more photos of life in the empty nest (much like I did with this little blog). But then, you know, COVID HAPPENED, my nest refilled and that cute little plan got shot to hell. So last week I thought, you know what? YMFT has always been about finding the favorite — which is something I try to do every day — so why not make that the focus of my content? So I did. And much like what listing my daily gratitudes does for me, finding (and posting) my favorite in each day keeps me appreciative of all the small moments in my life.

My hope is that it helps you to notice yours.
Happy weekend!

Favorite moment from the summer so far.
*Not pictured: when my other daughter and husband jumped in and joined us — perfection!


  1. Judy H on July 10, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I was thrilled when the great blue heron would visit, until I saw a video of one swallowing a duckling ALIVE. I know,I know the circle of life blahblahblah

    • Michelle on July 14, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      Right? We know they eat the baby loons (and that knowledge alone is horrible) but to have seen it was scarring. I could never watch those nature movies where the cheetah chases down the zebra and rips it apart either.

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