Current Faves: Humpday Edition

Hello strangers!

I almost named this one 'Current Faves: SUMMER IS HALFWAY OVER YOU GUYS Edition.' But I decided to try coming across way more calm and collected, and keep any panic I have about summer activity time management to myself, without bringing you all down with me. So since we're halfway through the week and also the summer (and also the year?)... Humpday Edition it is.

True Confessions: I was in high school when I first heard the term 'Humpday', and it never really made sense to me, but I just kind of casually assumed that all of these people thought that Wednesday was just a particularly great day to have sex. 
(I'm not making this up.)
"I mean, that's kinda random..." I thought, "but whatever floats your boat, I guess." 

And it would be YEARS before someone finally explained the important visual aid of a camel's hump figuratively compared with the days of a calendar week to me.
Truly eye-opening! 
(And in many ways, such a relief, considering how many teachers, pastors, and family members I had heard use this phrase before, in what felt uhh, out of context, at the time.)

Anyway! It's been over a year since I've posted on my blog, which is pretty lame, but it's also given me a lot of time to rack up a big list of new favorite things to gush about:

1.) Goddess Planter 

Meet Freya, my favorite indoor planter.
Luke got her for me for Christmas and I am just smitten. She is such a whimsical, elegant addition to any room, and I've already been known to move her around the house for exactly that reason.

She's mostly lived on my kitchen shelves, but sometimes I style her on other surfaces.

Even though I've just kept some generic foliage in her, there are a lot of great house plants that would look amazing, like string of pearls or even some succulents. 
The one time I switched out her plant and bought a new one, my kids were like "Are those Freya's new brains??"

(They love to throw shade at Freya because they think she's creepy and weird, but in general I don't take home decor advice from people who rarely shower and keep collections of dead bugs in their sock drawer. Back off, you dirty little haters.)

Anyway, if you love her as much as I do, you'll be thrilled to know that this gorgeous cement planter, which is made to look aged and antiqued, was not found in the depths of some vintage shop or estate sale, but is actually just from Amazon. Let me hear a woop woop for mass produced treasures!
Buy one for yourself HERE, and get ready to enjoy her regal beauty and stand your ground with any disapproving family members who have poor taste.

2.) Chacos

I probably broke some sort of hippie law for living in Colorado for over a decade, without ever owning an overpriced hiking sandal. What was even the point of living in a crunchy, outdoorsy subculture if I didn't take advantage of the opportunity to wander the trails looking borderline homeless, in clothing and footwear that I spent hundreds of dollars on at REI?

So many regrets.

Oh well, better late than never. My apologies, posh bohemians! I'm catching up now!

I invested in a pair of Chacos last year and they've been so great to have around. The straps are adjustable and dry easily; plus as someone with a high arch, I love the foot contour and support they offer.

I've worn versions with and without the toe loop, and I like them both. But comfort-wise, I personally prefer without the toe loop, although the loop can be helpful for rockier hikes. 
They are both fantastic shoes for hiking, fishing, camping, boating, and days at the zoo or the beach. 

They're not necessarily cheap, but they're so worth it and you'll have them around forever.

Find Chacos at your local outfitter or on Amazon HERE.

3.) Mango Margaritas 

I first fell in love with the heavenly beverage that is the mango margarita last year, when my husband and I went to Mexico together and had a friendly guy named Ricardo bringing us drinks on the beach all day.(For the record, Ricardo could have served us Broccoli Margaritas and probably talked us into joining a scented candle pyramid scheme, that's how much we loved him and everything he gave us.)

 But 6 months later, Luke and Vienna both got Covid (consecutively, of course. At the same time would have been too easy. *eyeroll*), which means that we were all quarantined for a little over 2 weeks. So in addition to sitting around doing puzzles, pouting about the fact that my travel plans were cancelled, and waiting to get Covid myself; I also played bartender and perfected my own favorite version of this fabulous cocktail.

It's simple, refreshing, and delicious. The chili salt rim gives it a zesty kick, and it's not too boozy. 
(I tend to like drinks with a lower ABV, so that I can have more than one without feeling the urge to grab the person next to me and go sing karaoke.)

Here's what you need to make it (makes approx. 2 drinks):

-4oz (1/2 cup) Tequila (I use silver)
-1 cup margarita mix or limeade 
(Trader Joe's has a JalapeƱo Limeade that is said to be awesome in margs.)
-1 cup Ice
-2 cups frozen mango chunks
- Fresh Limes or lime juice
-Tajin or any other Chili Lime seasoning 

Throw the tequila, marg mix, ice, and frozen mango in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust thickness with more ice or mix, it should be easily pourable.

Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then turn it upside down on a plate that has your chili lime seasoning on it, until it's been appropriately salted, then turn it upright and pour the drink in.

Enjoy one by yourself in quarantine, or make a big batch for friends and serve them with chips and salsa on the patio. Cheers!

4.) The Office BFF's 

If you're a fan of The Office Ladies podcast, well then.. you've probably already read this book.
BUT if you haven't yet, and have ever been a fan of The Office, you absolutely need to read this.

Jenna Fischer (who played Pam) and Angela Kinsey (who played Angela) are the cutest co-stars turned best friends the world has ever seen. 
In their joint memoir, they open up about their time on The Office - what they did before they got their big break, how they landed the role, what it was like working on set with such an amazing cast and crew, each of their on-screen love stories with Jim and Dwight, and how they navigated going from unknown to famous (and all the articles and parties and award shows that came with it.)
They also share about their friendship- some of the highs and lows they've been through together on and off the show, about becoming moms, and then starting a podcast together.

I'm already such a huge fan of them because of their podcast, but this book was extra sweetness. 
Jenna and Angela are such authentic and down-to-earth people, they feel like they could be your actual friends. And they make you feel like you were THERE when The Office was being filmed and changing the face of network television. It's such an exhilarating insight to the process.

Ok, but here is where the tough decision is- to get the hardcover OR the audiobook version?
The hardcover print has hundreds of never-before-seen photos from Jenna and Angela's personal hoarder stash, most of them taken during the making of the show.
But the audiobook version has a forward written and read by Rainn Wilson, which is, much like him, absurd, dramatic, and hilarious.

It's a tough one, but the choice is yours.
(I got the audiobook, Rainn is 100% worth it. )

Download it on Audible or get it HERE on Amazon.

5.) Chick-fil-A Sauce 

The Lord's chosen fast food restaurant made its miracle sauce available in grocery stores last year, and we've kept it in constant supply in our fridge ever since.

If you've never had this stuff before, it's almost like if BBQ sauce and honey mustard had a smoky, tangy sauce baby, born of a virgin, and meant to bring peace on earth and good will toward men.

It's ridiculously good. And I'm here to make disciples of it.

Source: Official Instagram of Chick-fil-A 

Buy it at Target or your local grocery store, and put it on burgers, brats, sandwiches, and/or use it as a dipping sauce for literally everything. And then thank God for giving us this nectar straight from Heaven.

6.) Ted Lasso 

Watching this show falls under the (very large) category of 'Things Most People Have Already Experienced Or Liked But That Took Elise Yeeeears To Finally Get Around To'. 
(examples: curry, skinny jeans, literally any new technology, the accurate definition of Humpday, the list goes on and on.)

And after hearing so many rave reviews about Ted Lasso from so many people whose opinion I trust, the second season was released so I decided it was time to join the party, and have been gushing about it ever since.

Anyone who has seen it will tell you right off the bat how uniquely heart-warming and inspiring this show is, compared to anything else on television lately. If you haven't seen it before, the main premise is that an American football coach is hired to coach a British football (soccer) team, without any real understanding of the sport. The titular character of Ted Lasso is such a one-of-a-kind individual, that between his folksy wholesomeness, genuine loyalty to the people in his life, and incredible leadership of his team- you cannot help but love and root for him from the get-go.

As a sort of sports-comedy, sure, it has some of the realities that come with that- foul language and some crude locker room talk and all that; but in juxtaposition to those more minimal aspects, I actually found it to be such a refreshing look at honorable masculinity in so many ways. Men rising to the occasion of needed leadership, men humbling themselves in the consequences of their own vanity, men willing to face their own mental health struggles with honesty, and men being there for each other in tight-knit, affectionate ways that any good friendship should mimic. 

The writing of this show, particularly all of the development within the other characters's lives and personalities, is nothing short of incredible. I could go on and on about how much I love the mysteriously charismatic Coach Beard, and adorable Keeley, and grumpy Roy, and Higgins! and Sam! and Rebecca!
But I just need you to go watch it yourself.

It's available on Apple TV, and c'mon you guys- just get the free 7-day trial and binge watch it. I know you can do it, you know you can do it. This is who we are, why try to deny it?
 You'll probably be finished watching it by the end of the weekend.
But if you're like me and you end up needing to rewatch it with other people to show them how good it is, an Apple TV subscription is only $5.99 a month. Totally worth it.
(The latte I bought at Starbucks last week that cost that same price? Not worth it.)

Happy bingeing!

7.) Half Gallon Water Bottle 

I got this adorable thing last year and it's helped me A TON with my daily water intake needs. 

I make it a goal for myself to drink 2 of these a day, that way I've had a full gallon and I know I'm well hydrated. (Lately I've been adding lemon juice+apple cider vinegar to my first bottle, and enjoying all those anti-inflammatory, detoxifying benefits.) 
(Pro-tip: Wear your hippie Chacos while drinking your extra healthy water.
Bonus points if you either 1.) Tell people about it without being asked, or 2.) Ride a bike instead of driving a car.) 

I often use the shoulder strap to basically make it a giant water purse and carry it around in public like someone whose favorite hobby is to go pee.

You can get this one HERE on Amazon.

8.) Fresh Pasta Maker 

This was one of my birthday presents that I got back in January. 

And when I say 'birthday presents', what I mean is 'the gift I ordered myself after I returned the items bought for me because they didn't fit and what I really wanted instead of a cute dress was a pasta maker.'
(Thankfully, Luke doesn't take offense to my unromantic hyper-practicality.)

After wanting to make homemade pasta or the past few years, finally having this has been oh so fun.
I've made homemade fettuccine and lasagna noodles a few times now and it elevates the dish in such scrumptious ways, without being anywhere near as time-consuming as you'd assume it would be (I love this easy dough recipe from Gimme Some Oven.)

I ended up choosing THIS machine on Amazon, but you'll probably find a million similar ones in that price range that, from my understanding, are all basically the same thing. It's not super expensive or fancy, but it gets the job done. You're *this close* to wow-ing yourself and others with homemade chicken alfredo or authentic lasagna. 

Well, that's all for now folks. Hopefully it won't be a year before I'm able to post again, but until whenever that is, have a fabulous rest of your summer :)


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