Five on Friday

Woohoo it's almost the weekend! I have been working half days this week and I'm exhausted haha. Well I guess I can't call it "work" because we are crafting (for a summer enrichment class) but I still have to get up early and drive all the way to Rancho Santa Fe, so that equals work. It's fun "work" though. I get to hang out with Stephanie all morning and craft with some sweet little kiddos from school. I wish I could teach a class like this all year long! Plus it's been nice to stay for a little bit extra each day to work on my classroom. I finally feel like I am getting everything organized in the new room. Progress is good! Anyways here is my five on Friday...

1. New Store Love

On the North Island Navy base I just discovered a new store that I LOVE. It's technically called a gift shop but they have the most adorable things! Lots of d├ęcor for the house, nautical trinkets, purses, wallets, ornaments, hats, and so much more. Lauren and I stumbled upon it last week when we realized we had forgotten to get her a beach hat. We saw it on the way out to the beach and pulled over. We were pleasantly surprised to find such an adorable little store that is so reasonably priced. Plus, everyone who works there is a volunteer and all proceeds go to military families for scholarships. How can you not love that? I got a new bag for work and Lauren surprised me with a new hat. Lauren found a ton of things she loved so it was def. a success!

2. Baking Up a Storm

I have been on a real baking kick lately. I love to cook but normally baking isn't one of my strong points. I tend to over-mix things and they all turn out dense. Not a word you want to associate with cookies lol. I decided to make some oatmeal raisin cookies because they are Mark's favorite. I made a paleo version first but I only had almond meal, not almond flour, and they turned out funky. I decided to try my hand at the "bad" version and they actually turned out perfectly! 

The weird Paleo cookies

I was so shocked and I think Mark was too haha. I also made a brownie cake that I found in our Newlywed cookbook. We've technically only had it since the fall because I bought it for us from William Sonoma. Mark and I used to cook together when he lived on Garrison and I would come visit, so I wanted to get a cookbook that would inspire us to do that again. Sadly, I didn't look closely enough at the cookbook and it isn't the kind that has steps for each person. Oh well! I ended up pulling it out on Sunday when making a grocery list and decided to give it a shot since I had all the ingredients. It was SOOO easy and turned out delicious. 

I served it with fresh fruit and vanilla ice cream... mmm
When Katie was in town a couple weekends ago she made banana bread and it was so delicious! We had some VERY ripe bananas that were about to go bad so I decided to try my hand at baking the bread. I added chocolate chips to mine because who doesn't love chocolate lol?? It turned out well except for the fact that I cut it too early and it kind of fell apart. I didn't start baking it until 9:15 p.m. and I was ready to go to bed by the time it was done. I learned my lesson and next time I'll let it sit. :)

3. Ozarks Here We Come

On Monday morning Mark and I fly out to Kansas City to meet up with my family. From there we will be driving to the Lake of the Ozarks to spend a week with my mom's side of the fam. Saying I'm excited would be an understatement. I am THRILLED! I love being able to see my extended family because we rarely all get together. The last time we took a trip as a family (other than my wedding) was over five years ago. Plus, Mark has never been on a trip with this side of the family. We will be staying in a house on the lake and will be spending 7 days swimming, jet skiing, pontooning (apparently this isn't a word but I want it to be haha), fishing, eating yummy food, and relaxing. I also plan to read, read, read- more on that below. 

4. On the Hunt for New Books

I don't normally make a New Year's Resolution because I a) don't keep them or b) I just never keep them lol but this year I wanted to challenge myself with something I know I can do. It's obviously not to eat healthy because I love ice cream lol... I decided to do a book challenge. Mark's cousin Laura's best friend Katy (wow, thats confusing lol) read 30 books last year for her 30th birthday. I thought that would be fun to try but since I read so much already I decided to challenge myself to read 50 books by the end of the year. Well we are more than halfway down with the year and I'm only at 22. YIKES! I need to get moving. To be honest, I don't know if I have all of the books written down. Some books I've read on my nook, some on iBooks, some are paperbacks that have been loaned to me, and others I've given to friends to read. My system for remembering what I've read is obviously failing haha. I'm sticking to the number I have written in my phone so I better get moving. Anyways, now that I told you that long, dragged-out story here is what I'm really getting at... I bought two new books for our trip! I bought the Paris Wife by Paula McLain because my friend Heidi recommended it. I'll link the synopsis here. I also got the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I'm probably the last person on Earth to read this (or see the movie) but I just wasn't that interested in it until recently. My friend Emily loved it and I trust her so hopefully I will love it too. I still have the Luckiest Girl Alive to read but I just haven't been into it lately. Hopefully when I have more down time next week I will be able to finish all three. 

5. Mosquitoes. yuck.

I get eaten alive by mosquitoes any time we are near water and bug spray always burns my I am not looking forward to that part of vacation. I was in Target the other day and I saw these bug repellent bands. You wear them on your wrist, belt loop, backpack, etc. and they are supposed to last for 120 hours. I'm super excited to have found them and I really hope they work!! Has anyone tried them before?

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