Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone! This week just flew by and I'm sure the next few weeks leading up to Christmas will do the same. I love this time of year though. It's just so cliche as it sounds lol. I love that everything is decorated for the holidays, Christmas music is constantly playing, and all I can think of is gift buying haha. I love buying presents for people and I seem to go a little crazy trying to figure out exactly what to get everyone. I came up with some ideas early this year and posted quite a few gift guides.
Check them out here:

As always I'm linking up with AprilNatashaChristinaKarliErikaNarci, and Andrea. I hope you all had a great week!

One- Oh Christmas Tree...

We decorated our house early this year because Mark went out of town on Tuesday for work and won't be back until we head to Vegas for Christmas. We wanted to experience some sort of Christmas cheer in our home before he had to leave, especially since we only get to be with each other every other year during the holidays. Ohhh, deployments :( We moved our table out of our kitchen this year so our spot for our tree is now a little squished. We made it work though :)

Also, a couple of moms from my class brought a tree into the classroom and decorated it. Seriously beautiful!!

Two- A Delicious New Rub and Herbed Butter

I have been trying tons of recipes from Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook since I got in a few months ago. This week I made the steak rub and herbed butter and holy moly it was so good! We usually have steak on Sunday nights and rib-eyes are always my go-to. I typically just marinate the steak in olive oil, garlic, and salt & pepper. When I saw this recipe I was excited to try something a little different. I made the rub out of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and pepper. I added extra cayenne pepper because Mark and Greg both like their food on the spicier side. It turned out so delicious!!

 I also made the herbed butter which is basically where you take softened butter and add in minced parsley, chives, roasted garlic, and sea salt. *The original recipe called for fresh tarragon as well but I didn't have any. Then you mix it all together and put the butter into the refrigerator to harden. After the steaks were grilled and then rested you place the butter on the top and it melts into this garlicy deliciousness. Seriously so good! I also made oven parsnip fries and truffle oil aioli to go along with the steak. These were delicious as well. I'm thinking about doing a dedicated blog post to this little side. 

Can you tell that I LOVE this cookbook??

Three- Wreaths Across America

I came across a post from a friend on FB the other day about an organization called Wreaths Across America. They organize all kinds of veteran events but what they are most known for is placing wreaths on the gravestones of veterans during the holidays. This immediately grabbed my attention because I have such a soft-spot for our military and I think it is incredibly important to honor our fallen. After further investigation of their website I couldn't help but LOVE what they stand for and their mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach

My friend's post on FB stated that Arlington National Cemetery is down 30,000 wreaths this year.  That makes me so sad! I immediately sponsored a few wreaths and I encourage you to do the same. If you aren't convinced that it's important yet then watch the video above. I cried several times! If you want to find out more about Wreaths Across America click here for a link to their website. 

Four- Nevada Brining Company

One of my good friends, Matt, started a business called Nevada Brining Company where he makes his own pickles, rubs, brines, etc. This is a Nevada based (Battle-Born) company where Matt hand-crafts everything. NBC also uses local vendors and seasonal ingredients so you are always getting great quality produce. Matt is an incredible cook so when he started this business I knew it was going to be a success and I wasn't wrong :) 

He recently just sent me a batch of the deli style pickles and the boozy pickle. I am a pickle fanatic so I ripped the package open as soon as I saw it on my doorstep. You guys... these pickles are fantastic! He even recently partnered with Great Basin Brewing Company in Reno, NV and made an Icky Pickle using their famous Icky beer. This new pickle will be featured on their menu in two weeks. If you live in that area go try some asap! 

And if that's not awesome enough NBC pickles will also be in Whole Foods in Reno!!! SOOO STINKIN' COOL! If you want to check out his pickles and other products visit the NBC website here. You won't be sad you did! :)

Five- Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff 

Buy it here

I just finished Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff and holy moly it was so good! I don't even know where to begin when describing this novel. It's unlike anything I've ever read. It was very serious and sad, a little disturbing, but so incredibly intriguing. I found myself wanting to read it any chance I got even though this is not my typical kind of novel. I'm going to do a book "over" review on it next week because I really need to think this one through before I give my full opinion. It's definitely a must read though!


  1. OMG, those pickles! I'm a pickle fanatic, too so that is right up my alley! And so sad to hear about Arlington Cemetery - I had no idea. Will definitely be looking into making a donation! Happy Friday!

    1. The pickles are soooo yummy! I've been eating them all weekend :)