Welcome to the weekend and welcome to the Extra+Ordinary Newsletter, friends! I realized I have so much to share with you all that doesn’t always fit on the blog, so I’ll be sending out a personal note to you each Friday along with a link to the new and improved Easy Meal Plan.
What kind of note can you expect? Today's will be a little longer that normal because it's our first, but think "letter from a friend". I want to share what’s making my extra, super, completely ordinary life extra+ordinary and bringing laughter, contentment, and a little bit to ease or joy to my days. I so look forward to inviting you into my week and hope to hear from you as often as you want to share your life with me.
KEEPING ME SMILING:
EASY MEAL PLAN HIGHLIGHTS:
- This photo of my mom arm wrestling with one of my first cousins (once removed) makes me grin. Arm always been a rite of passage for boys in my family. "You're not a man until you can beat Aunt Cathy at arm-wrestling!" said the dad of this young man in the photo.
- I'm always a complete sucker for silly or adorable animal videos memes, and this one of dogs and the weird sounds they make gives me a smile from ear to ear.
- It's no secret that I'm a total ballet fanatic. I found this quick clip of the Igor Moiseyev Ballet Company a while a go and it blew my mind. That led me to this longer rehearsal video that was jaw-dropping. What those dancers can DO! Be sure to like them on facebook so you can see when they release new videos.
This week's Easy Meal Plan Week 122 is the first one for our new format. It has some amazing food you won't want to miss like Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad, Tex-Mex Chicken Casserole, One-Pot Lightened Up Chicken Parmesan, Easy Spicy Broccoli Beef, Cloud Eggs with Bacon and Gruyere, Slow-Cooker Honey Mustard Pork, Crispy+Gooey Fresh Mozzarella Steaks, Peas with Bacon+Shallots+Parmesan, Selfish Bars, Grammy Cake, and Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S EASY MEAL PLAN.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG THIS WEEK:
BRINGING ME JOY THIS WEEK:
- Baked Ricotta Appetizer: Baked Ricotta Appetizer: This rich, savoury, warm cheese dip with a light, airy, souffle-like texture can't be beat for any occasion, but don't confine it to appetizers only. It makes an amazing dinner alongside a crusty bread and simple salad. It's a favourite for date night for Mr. Foodie and me.
- Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette: Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette: crisp-tender Brussels sprouts with tart, sweet dried cranberries and a warm bacon, green onion vinaigrette. This will make a beautiful and beautifully simple side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and beyond, for sure, but my husband and I like to eat it by itself as a light lunch, too.
The weather is finally getting chilly which means *I* am chilly, too. But I also spend a lot of time in the warm ballet studio so I need layers that are easy to add and remove as needed. I love these "arm sleeves" from Sock Dreams. They fit under a cardigan, jacket or sweater to extend and keep my wrists warm without adding bulk, but they remove easily if I am in a warm room. I own about four pairs in various colours and love them to bits.
Photo courtesy of Sock Dreams
I found a new brand of chocolates to love. Have you heard of Money on Honey Caramels? They're dark chocolate covered wildflower honey caramels. These ones have clusters of peanuts in them and I am absolutely smitten.
I have major respect for REI and their annual decision to close their stores and encourage people to opt outside instead of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. This suits my outdoorsy family just fine and gives me another great reason to buy from REI. I'm so glad I'm a member.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHTSTAND:
The Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Kelley is the inspired by the real life story of a World War II heroine and features three young women whose lives collide when Hitler invades Poland and remains intertwined across the continents. While I've been on a steady diet of non-fiction for a book for quite a while, this book came highly recommended by many of my friends and I am really enjoying it.
May laughter, contentedness, and many tasty things find you in abundance this week!