ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday {May 2021}

What We’re Eating…

Monday– grilled halibut on the Traeger with a white wine lemon butter sauce, roasted okra, and rice. (It was our first time to grill halibut and it was DELICIOUS. Would definitely have this again! Also, roasted okra is about as close to a controlled addictive substance as you can get without needing a triplicate prescription. SO GOOD.)

Tuesday– grilled tenderloin steaks with crispy fried onions, crab cakes, smashed potatoes, and green beans.

Wednesday– jalapeno popper chicken, corn on the cob, and black eyed peas.

Thursday– grilled blackened salmon, squash and zucchini, rice.

Friday-Sunday– out of town, so I’m off duty, and Steven gets to eat his favorite Mexican food in his hometown, haha!

What I’m Reminiscing About…

Tiny Dancer had her first dance recital this past weekend and I will watch the videos and laugh and cry and be the most proud until I’m so old my eyeballs can’t see the screen anymore. She did so, so well, and we are unbelievably proud of her! She started a 3-5 year old ballet/tap combo class at the beginning of March just after she turned 3, so she’s the youngest/smallest in the class, and had only gone for 2 months once a week, but she hung in for the whole routine both times (one ballet number, one tap number), and had so much fun. We had both sets of grandparents, and her honorary grandparents (her nanny and her husband) there, and we had a big celebratory dinner at our house after the recital with cake and she was just so happy. I’m most proud that she gave it a good effort and had a lot of fun, and we can’t wait to start summer dance next week!

What I’m Loving…

Random Things I’ve Bought Lately That I Love:

  • L’ange Le Duo– I’ve had my eye on this for more months than I can count and just couldn’t ever pull the trigger. It’s a combo curling iron and hair straightener, but I watched and obsessively stalked the L’ange site waiting for a big enough coupon code to convince me to buy it (which is basically how I am for anything like that that I want, but don’t really need, haha!). I actually ended up pulling the trigger with a 20% off coupon at Ulta in store a few weeks ago so I was able to get it in person right away and not pay shipping, and see it in person to make sure I thought I really liked it (the 20% off made it around $65- use code 995921 for 20% whatever you want online at Ulta). It has a little bit of a learning curve, but I cut my hair a little shorter (into a mom bob, haha!) a few weeks ago, and this actually works really well for it. I like that I just have to heat up one tool instead of two, and it works well as both a curling iron and just a straightener. I’m only a few weeks in, but so far I really like it!
  • Dawn Power Wash– this is a new discovery, but I love this stuff! It’s a spray bottle of like a foamy type soap, but it works so well to clean our high chair, booster seat, table area, etc. after the kids eat. I’ll occasionally use it for dishes with something really hard to clean, but for the most part I use it like a cleaning spray and it works so well. I also used it a few weeks ago to scrub our baseboards (everyone’s favorite activity, right?), and it worked really well for that, too. I got the 3 pack (spray bottle with two refills) at Sam’s Club for a really good price, but they also have it at Target and Amazon.
  • Blank Watercolor Flower Notecards– I bought these right before Mother’s Day to use as Mother’s Day cards, but I love that they are versatile and can be used for birthdays, random occasions, really anything! They are great to have on hand for anything you might need to send/ use a card for!
  • Dashing Diva Gel Manicure Strips– I ran into Ulta last week to grab some bun forms and red lipstick for the recital, and ended up grabbing these on a whim. I’ve done the sticker manicures like Jamberry before, but they are kinda time consuming having to heat them up, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. But I do know that finding a time to paint my nails, and then having them chip not that long later feels like the biggest waste that I can just never motivate myself to do. So, I decided to give them a try, and I have been pleasantly surprised! They were super easy and fast to put on- I did them in about 15-20 minutes in between patients a week ago. The second set of pics are 1 week out- they haven’t peeled or bubbled up. They are a little dirty on the top edges, but I think that is because I wore a black long sleeve tee on Sunday and it seemed like dye rubbed off on them from that or something. But other than that, they still look great! They are supposed to last up to 2 weeks, so we’ll see how much longer they can go, but they have been a pleasant surprise so far, especially considering the time, effort, and price! There is supposed to be 27 nails worth in a pack, but I think you could get more than 2-3 times out of it depending on how long your nails are- I think one strip would do a nail twice if they are short like mine (top and bottom ends, if that makes sense?).

What I’ve Been Up To…

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day lunch with my littles and my man. They took me to Pappadeaux’s in Austin and it was delicious, and everyone made it through the meal without any meltdowns or outbursts. 😉 We went to the ranch for a few nights before that and had fun with Steven’s family leading up to Mother’s Day.

Steven was on call at our main hospital the next week, so he was pretty busy, and we were not busy at all just hanging out at home! We got caught up on all the laundry, all the house cleaning, all the climbing all over everything we could, and all the playing in Mommy’s make up that week!

At the end of the week, we went to my parents’ for the day so we could go have a girls’ afternoon getting pedicures for a late Mother’s Day with my mom. It was Livy’s first pedicure and she LOVED it. She got little pink toenails with a flower and little pink sparkle nails, and then we went down the square to the soda shop and got milkshakes and floats. It was such a fun afternoon!

And then we spent last week getting ready for the recital and having everyone at our house for the weekend!

What I’ve Been Working On…

We have a pretty busy summer shaping up, and I’ve been working on making sure we are all scheduled correctly with no conflicts or overlaps! Livy is doing all three summer sessions of weekly summer dance (ballet and tap), and Soccer Shots through the summer, which is a weekly soccer skills class to teach fundamentals. We’ve got a week at the lake, a week at the grandparents’, a week of swim lessons for Livy and Henry, and a few more activities sprinkled in. It’s looking like we’re going to be pretty tired by the end of the summer, haha! 😉

What I’m Excited About…

I’m excited that the weather is about the right temperature for night walks at the park! Now we just need the rain to calm down (we’ve gotten SO MUCH rain the last several weeks). But we love a good stroll in the wagon with one of our pups!

What I’m Watching/ Reading…

We had watched completely through Ted Lasso a few months ago, but we’re re-watching it now because Livy is about to start summer soccer and we are wanting to feel inspired by the big soccer coach vibes Ted Lasso has, haha!

Books I’ve read this month and would recommend-

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig– it’s a little unique in the premise, and it took me a little bit to get into it, but I finished it and thought it was cute and interesting. Basically the protagonist decides at the beginning that her life is so boring and awful that she doesn’t want to live anymore, so she tries to overdose herself. When she does this, it takes her to a purgatory like place called The Midnight Library where her childhood librarian shows her through book after book of what her life could be like had she made just any little decision differently at any point. She “tries on” several different lives before ultimately making a decision of which life to choose. Again, different, and interesting!
  • Open Book by Jessica Simpson– Holy smokes, I started and finished this entire book in less than 24 hours because I just COULD NOT put it down! She is a fantastic storyteller (at least in telling the story of her life), and I found this just fascinating. This was recommended by a few different places I look for recommendations (Mix and Match Mama, Boo Mama and Big Mama), but I’ll admit I had fairly low expectations, but it far exceeded them. Don’t sleep on this one- it is so good and interesting!
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn– I discussed last month how much I LOVED The Rose Code, but then was meh about The Huntress and quit just a few chapters in. The Alice Network was SO GOOD! The Rose Code is still probably my favorite of Kate Quinn’s, but this is such a close second! It is about a young American girl (Charlie) who goes to find her cousin who has gone missing just after WWII and enlists the help of Evelyn, a British woman who worked as a spy in Germany occupied France during WWI with ties to the man who potentially knows the whereabouts of Charlie’s cousin. I am consistently blown away impressed by how detailed and historically accurate or at least adjacently accurate Quinn’s stories are! It’s on the long side (it took me a week or two to get through it) and detailed, but so good!

Right now I’m about a quarter of the way through The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, and it’s another one that is a very unique premise, but I like it so far! I’ve got The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth in my library queue that will hopefully drop about the time we go to the lake in June, so I’m excited to hopefully read a lot during our week off!

What I’m Listening To…

I made us a “dance jams” playlist for the week leading up to Livy’s dance recital and we’ve kept it going since then. There’s not much rhyme or reason to it, just a little Earth, Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Jonas Brothers- anything that made us dance and sing along for fun! I also downloaded a few audiobooks for our drive to my parents’ a few weeks ago, and wasn’t impressed with any of them. I did make it about a third of the way into Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody, and thought it was interesting enough through her talking about her childhood but I abruptly jumped ship when she got to her twenties’ and gave a very in depth look at her sex life. Definitely not for little ears, and my ears just weren’t interested in continuing, haha!

What I’m Wearing…

I bought this jumpsuit a week or two ago to wear to Livy’s dance recital, and while I ended up going with a little floral tiered skirt I found at Marshall’s and one of my beloved Target tanks for the recital, this jumpsuit is SO COMFY and looks really cute and flattering on. They have a ton of different prints and options, but I got the rose and ivory stripe sleeveless in a size small and it fits true to size (I’m 5’4″ and the pant part is longer on me than the model- more like pants than capris, but I’m good with that- it works with wedges or sandals). I love it so much, I may have to get other colors- I love the hot pink and white stripe and the dusty teal and ivory stripe, and the black and white stripe is so classic and I love it, but I probably shouldn’t get it because I already have so many iterations of black and white stripes in my closet it’s obscene 😉

What I’m Doing This Weekend…

We are headed to Steven’s parents’ for the weekend because we haven’t been out there since Christmas and Steven has a hankering for his favorite Mexican food, haha! But also so he can help his dad get the boat ready for the lake trip in June.

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

We are headed to the lake for our annual family lake trip! It’ll be a little different this year because both docs have back to back call weeks so Steven’s brother and his family will go the first week while Steven’s on call, and they’ll go home and we’ll come the next week while his brother’s on call at their home hospital. And Steven’s parents and Granny will be there for both weeks! It’s always fun to just hang out at the lake house and read, and go out in the boat. We’re taking our Traeger grill for our week, so I’m also looking forward to a week of smoked and grilled food, too!

What Else is New…

One last funny to wrap up– can you tell that one of my children is growing up to be a morning person and one is not?

#henryandiaresame #hegotitfromhismama #morningsarehard

And while she may love mornings, afternoons are her weak spot, haha!

And I think that about wraps it up for this month!

Happy end of school, and happy summer, y’all! See ya next time!

2 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday {May 2021}

  1. Oh, I can’t wait to watch my daughter dance again. She hasn’t had an in person performance since December 2019. Your daughter looks adorable 🙂

    And I’m so glad to hear The Rose Code is good. I LOVED The Alice Network and was “meh” about The Huntress.

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