Friday Favorites | vol 4

God is good, isn’t he? It must be that I’m still on the high from Easter Sunday, but boy has He been filling my soul this week. I am experiencing a renewed sense of my relationship not only with Him, but with new friends through church.

But, let me back up…

Greyson has been going through a tough go of separation anxiety. It’s to the point where I can’t even enjoy church service because of the meltdown he throws when I drop him off at the nursery and the mom-guilt I carry when I leave him. I know it just takes time, but it’s hard a lot of the time because on one hand I crave alone time and on the other I have a duty to care for him and I love doing it.

However, it took the kind woman who works in the nursery to recommend a moms group that meets at church once a week in the morning; that it would be a great thing for both me and Greyson (i.e. giving him another opportunity during the week to get used to being away for a period of time). I couldn’t have fallen in love with this group more and as I have become more invested I’ve learned about other fellowship opportunities and have made more friends in the process.

This leads me to…

One | MOMS

If you have an opportunity to visit a moms group in your neighborhood or community I couldn’t recommend it more. I was very hesitant about groups like these just because of the thought of women getting together to complain about their husbands, children, or lives. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth and I’ve found to really cherish this time just for me. During this time I’m not a mom or a wife…just a woman trying to navigate this life and everything that comes along with it.

Two | Apartment Pinterest Inspirations

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Yes, I’m back expressing just how excited I am about moving. And yes, I have even more inspirations I’ve pinned within this past week. Mainly it’s been about paint colors and new furniture for each room. Surprisingly I’ve managed to nail down my mood boards for most of the rooms in our new place as it relates to color, fixtures, and DIY ideas.

I love the idea of creating a little workspace for me and my blogging by using a leaning desk concept with shelves. Since I have a laptop I don’t need a ton of space, but want a designated area for keeping myself organized and inspired. The paint scheme in this photo is beautiful, especially matched with the white desk and little bit of greenery of the plant. Looking forward to recreating this idea!

Three | Greyson’s Customized Print

Minted is hosting their Free Foil Event (ends next Monday!) and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this custom print for Greyson’s new bedroom! It fits perfectly with the woodland theme and I love the lettering. This week I shared my moving announcements and also a little peek at how the foil just adds that unique touch I couldn’t find anywhere else. I always look forward to this deal each year and was so happy with my final order!

Four | Fresh Blooms

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Spring marks the return of beautiful blooms and I am all about tulips right now. For Easter I brought home a bouquet of pink tulips and I love how cozy they make our home feel. I love splurging on fresh flowers for the house because I don’t get to do it all that often. The next item to purchase more of: candles!

Five | Buttery Garlic Mushroom with Herbed Ricotta Spread

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Not as though this recipe needs any kind of explanation, but I couldn’t help but share it nonetheless because it was absolutely one of the best crostini’s we had this week. Sometimes during the week I am all out of Fs when it comes to cooking dinner so one of the ways I lighten my load is by prepping a crostini and bruschetta assortment instead. Bon Appetit always has a variety of recipes to choose from that range from savory to mixing salty and sweet. Prep time is minimal and it allows you to play around with flavors.

It’s so easy to throw together a platter full of your favorites such as baked brie with prosciutto and honey, charcuterie and cheeses, this delicious pate from Trader Joe’s, smoked salmon with cream cheese…and the list goes on. Pair with your favorite bottle of wine and dinner is served!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Amanda, Erika, and Amy

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Friday Favorites | Easter Weekend

It’s Easter weekend and in honor of our Lord and His miraculous ascension into heaven, I am sharing a few of my Easter favorites for celebrating such a season. How powerful is this that our God, the Creator of all, gave His son so that we may all experience eternal life with Him in heaven? This act of sacrifice both by God, and by Jesus, brings me down to my knees each and every year.

With that being said, here are a few of my Easter Friday favorites 😉

One | Nelle’s Cool Whip Easter Eggs

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Having a toddler around the same age as Nelle’s helps me find inspiration for creating fun memories that both Greyson and us, the parents, can equally enjoy. I just love her idea of using Cool Whip and food coloring for her son to decorate his Easter eggs. Adorable (messy, but really what toddler activity isn’t?!) and easy for a child to do. You can check out her tutorial over at her blog, Simply Love.

Two | Easter Baskets for Babies

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This year Greyson is a touch too young to understand an Easter Egg Hunt (perhaps next year?) so we haven’t done much in the Easter basket department. However, I’m keeping an eye on what exactly a mom is to put inside a basket for a toddler and when I found this list I found it to be quite helpful! I love the idea of placing a book, some treats, and maybe a couple of toys.

Are you making an Easter basket for your kids? How do you change them up every year?

Three | Passion of the Christ

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I know…it’s a bit serious for Easter weekend, right? Where things should be everything pastel, brunch with bottomless mimosas, Easter eggs, bunny photos, and family, right? Well, it is all of those things but for me (and much like at Christmastime) it’s important to recognize the purpose of this holiday and teach to Greyson as he grows up about the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us on Good Friday leading up to Easter Sunday.

Obviously Passion will not be a family movie night choice considering the graphic violence that’s portrayed, but for me it’s almost a little tradition I have. I always watch it around Good Friday as a reminder of what Jesus willingly endured all for his love of humanity despite our sinful nature. It’s a tough film to watch for sure, but a necessary one to truly understand the words written about his betrayal, crucifixion, and ascension in Matthew 26-27.

Four | The Easter Bunny

Back to the lighthearted stuff…

And speaking of the Easter Bunny…

Greyson had his first encounter with the Easter Bunny yesterday and we were both curious to see how this would play out. Standing in line he was very curious; crouching down to see under the barrier, babbling to him and even giving him a wave. All seemed well. Until we had him sit in his lap and he just wasn’t having it. We did, however, walk away with a pretty awesome photo and keepsake.

Five | Strawberry Citrus Easter Punch

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You all know I couldn’t escape this post without a little brunch cocktail inspiration, now could I? Jessica’s citrus punch looks absolutely refreshing and is so easy to pull together (and possibly something that’ll impress your friends and family) using champagne and a splash of brandy as your booze with club soda. The rest is fruit juice such as strawberries, pineapple, and orange, blood orange soda, and serve over ice and fruit slices for garnish! This will definitely be a fun summer staple for sure this year!

I hope you all find yourselves with a relaxing weekend with friends and family close by. This weekend is an important one for us Christians and I pray that each of you have a blessed evening and Easter Sunday!

10 Songs to Sing at Easter and Why | Hillsong

Linking up with Amanda, Amy, and Erika

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Friday Favorites vol 2

It’s been a busy week here in the Daniel house since the husband was away on a business trip to Colorado Springs. But I’m happy to report that he’s back home and this mama gets to enjoy time to herself again, haha. I learned a lot, especially about how crazy busy being a temporary single mom was and how hard that *ish is, but it forced me to be better with time management, setting new routines with Greyson (i.e. pulling him into the bath with me so we both get clean before bedtime), and being okay when things don’t always get done. Like dinner.

With that being said, it’s nice to have our family complete once more and I look forward to a weekend full of sunshine, family time, and perhaps a trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo!

Here are some of my favorite finds from the week!

One | Chalkboard Easter Eggs

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Why have I never heard of this or thought of this before?! I love Whitney’s idea of using chalkboard eggs, which she found at Walmart, for her daughter so that she can enjoy playing with them all season long. Such a cute idea! One could even use chalkboard paint (now that they come in all sorts of fun colors) on those plastic Easter eggs and reuse them year after year! 😉

Two | Coconut Crusted Tofu with Sweet Chili Sauce

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Whoa, is this vegan recipe delicious!

There are quite a few steps and I recommend battering and covering your tofu with the panko/shredded coconut mixture first, then frying them instead of doing the assembly line as you’re trying to cook. I made these this week and found myself trying to do them franticly in batches without burning the coconut (which burns fairly quickly, BTW). However, it was well worth it and makes for plenty of leftovers that you’ll want to eat the following day…or hours later, whichever 😉

I opted for roasted brussel sprouts and yellow squash as my veggies. The only other suggestion I have is skipping her steps to making the chili sauce only because I tried it and it didn’t taste very good. Perhaps I did something wrong, but instead I just simply mixed the Huy Fong chili sauce with a little bit of mayo (I know it defeats the purpose of being vegan, but you can always use vegan mayo).

Three | The Power of Meaning

I’ve been a member of Blogging for Books for the last couple of years. I love the concept of receiving free books for the exchange of an honest review. The selection is pretty limited, but every time I am discovering new authors and genres.

Lately I’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy emotions and in this season I’m definitely grateful for my faith which is pulling me through day-to-day. I mentioned this book, The Power of Meaning, in my April Currently post and I couldn’t rave about it enough. Just reading the introduction and first chapter has filled me with so much insight that I can’t wait to to finish reading.

Four | A Beach Family

I am always so impressed when I get our family photos back from our photographer, Toki. She was so wonderful to work with during our fall photo session and included Greyson’s one year photos complimentary. We decided to go with Philip’s vision, which was a beach themed shoot, this time around since I chose the woodland theme last time for our Christmas photos. I can’t wait to share more of our photos later on this week on the blog!

Five | A Happy Baby

Greyson is officially free of his bought of allergies and I am singing hallelujah! It was a bit scary as a new mom when you see your child’s eyes crusted shut and constantly gooping up with this yellowish discharge. Thankfully with a trip to the doctor and a recommendation for children’s Claritin and eye drops, he’s back to 100%. His smile is everything and I loved being able to take him outside and swim around in the food.

I hope you all had a beautiful week and enjoy your weekend!

Linking up with Erika, Amanda, Katie, and Amy.

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Friday Favorites vol 1

Friday Favorites | vol 1 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Happy Friday everyone! We all made it!

One thing we weren’t anticipating this week was Greyson’s bout of, what we thought was, pink eye. At the beginning of the week we awoke to his left eye crusted shut and my heart sank; as a teacher and seeing my fair share of bacterial pink eye I knew the crusties weren’t a good sign. Throughout the day his eye was a little inflamed and red, but no other signs. Hallelujah! Then the following night he began developing a yellowish discharge from his eye and it made me feel even worse – especially since we were looking forward to traveling to Colorado this week for my husband’s business trip. All night it seemed to be getting worse and his eyes more red by the hour. We used a little bit of saline eye wash to keep his eyes clean and made a doctor’s appointment for the next morning.

Thankfully the wash seems to be working really well and is keeping the discharge at bay. Having seen his doctor it turns out his pink eye isn’t contagious, but due to allergies. The one downside to living on the coast here are the Santa Anna winds that blow from the mountains down – so we get all the dust and dirt (mixed with the natural blooming and pollen). I am doing a happy dance that we don’t have to completely disinfect the house and his things, but more so just keep up with his eye drops and keep the house free of allergens.

Despite all that, and not being able to accompany the husband on his trip to Colorado, there were a few great things that happened this week. So here are a few of my favorite moments!

Spring has sprung in Ventura.

 

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I am a lover of colder weather and some rain isn’t so bad – especially since I get to enjoy it from the comfort of home. However, there’s no other feeling than spring making it’s grand return with the sun shining, the crisp air, and just an overall sense of renewal. Since much of California has been hit with a drought for the last number of years, this year especially we were blessed with a lot of rain and thankfully, for the first time in forever, we’re officially partially out of the drought in many places. With that being said, what used to be dirt and dried up plants and rivers has done a 180 degree turn and even the mountains that are the backdrop to Ventura are nice and green!

A happy 29th birthday to me!

Turning 29 was kind of a big moment for me. I mean, I know next year will be a big moment too, but turning 29 makes you realize that you’re within your last year of your twenties! So, in celebration I created a few goals for the year and spent my evening celebrating with my husband and Greyson. I even put on fake eyelashes and did my makeup for the occasion (there’s seriously a special place in heaven for women who can apply fake lashes flawlessly – I’m a work in progress) which is a big deal for me. The husband got me a very cute bouquet of flowers, I fit into a pre-pregnancy dress I hadn’t been able to in months, and was treated to one of my favorite Italian restaurants. So, all-in-all I had a pretty great day!

Thank you to everyone on Facebook for the birthday love as well as friends and family who texted, called, or sent cards!

The Painted Cabernet

I have always heard of sip and paint nights where you can enjoy some wine as you are lead through how to recreate a piece of artwork and The Painted Cabernet is exactly that. A couple of girlfriends of mine treated me this past Sunday to a little girls day in celebration of my upcoming birthday and I had such a great time! I had always wanted to do something like this and I’m so glad we did!

Have you ever done something like this?

Hulu w/ no commercials + RHOP

 

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Gizelle is kind of my favorite.

Andy Cohen is probably a genius simply because of The Real Housewives franchise and what he’s made of it since the days with the ladies from the O.C. The newest Housewives show are women who hail from Potomac, Maryland, which is just right outside of D.C. and where I grew up in Northern Virginia. Knowing the D.C. season of The Real Housewives didn’t garner and real kind of audience I was interested to see how Potomac would stack up. Thanks to Hulu I was able to catch up on the entire first season and I have to say that I’m diggin’ the new women. I thought their first season had plenty of drama, which one comes to expect from this franchise, and the dynamic of the ladies is interesting. Each Housewives city offers a different perspective on everyday life and I love it. I’m curious about what season two will bring and even heard that one cast member isn’t returning and a new one is being introduced. Hmmm….

What else do I love? Hulu with no commercials! Yes, it’s an additional $4.99 to upgrade, but considering how much I would pay in cable, it’s worth it’s weight. I’ve found that the hubs and I both enjoy watching our favorite shows without interruption. Yes, it’s bearable to sit through 3-4 of the same commercials during one episode (we’ve done that for years – I also remember back when Hulu only had one commercial!) but it’s not enjoyable. That extra $5 has made such a difference and I couldn’t recommend it more, especially if you’re a Hulu lover like me!

Loving my new Nest Cam for Greyson

Have you all heard of Nest Cam? I’ve known of their cameras and smart thermostats, but with the price tag of $200 I never really considered purchasing one. Plus, living in a one bedroom with Greyson’s crib right outside our door we never really needed a baby monitor. However, now that we are within just a month or so of moving into our new two-bedroom apartment I began my research into the best camera for Greyson’s new room. I knew I wanted it to be high quality video, stream onto my phone or other device, and be equipped with night vision. A lot of the leading baby monitors can do most of those things, but somehow I always came back to the Nest Cam.

We’ve had a few theft issues in our apartment complex recently (thankfully not our apartment) and home security and safety has been a top priority for me these days. I know my complex is secure, but I feel that one can never have too many home measures in place – especially during periods of travel or being a SAHM like me. In my quest for the perfect camera, the Nest Cam was rated amongst the top for security and was mentioned most often in the various articles and blog posts I read related to security measures for apartment dwellers.

Thankfully I won a giveaway on a blog for a $50 e-gift card to diapers.com and perusing through their inventory I saw the Nest Cam again. Diapers.com was having a sale of free shipping over $35 orders as well as a new customer discount. Using both of those deals, and my $50 e-gift card, I paid a fraction of what it retails for! The best part is that it arrived the very next day!

Linking up with…Erika, Katieand Amy.

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