Five things on Friday

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1. My potluck rut has ended! For months (years?), I’ve been toting cupcakes and pistachio fluff to work gatherings — but no more. At a going-away party for coworkers this week, I was tasked with bringing something “healthy” to, um, supplement our pizza — and fruit salad seemed an obvious choice. But because I can’t just throw fruit in a bowl, I fell down the Pinterest rabbit hole and discovered an easy addition: dry vanilla pudding mix. Genius.

Sliced strawberries, a pint of blueberries, canned pineapple with just a little of the reserved juices . . . and half a package of Jell-o vanilla pudding mix sprinkled atop, then stirred and chilled until delectable. I didn’t come home with a completely empty bowl, but close enough.

People just really love pizza, man.


2. We have a cardinal who “visits” with us every morning, and I was so charmed by him — in a very “Snow White” kind of way, you know? He sings us a little song as we get ready for work, then taps on the window glass at the base of our stairs. Like, he sits there, looks in at my solar-powered corgi toy and raps his beak — as if trying to communicate. This whole routine was magically captured by my mom below. In reality? We’re pretty sure he sees his own reflection and is trying to peck at a fellow bird, but I’d prefer the bird-to-human communication theory.

Cardinal Friend

He’s around so much that I just asked Spence if he could think of a friend or relative who’s recently passed — someone who might have been reincarnated as a feisty red bird and needs to get in touch with us. The cardinal has lived at our residence longer than we have, and I can’t step outside without seeing him near the driveway. He’s usually darting around like he’s on fire, noisy and petulant.

Well, said friend — whom we’ve creatively dubbed “Cardinal Friend” — has taken to perching on Spencer’s driver’s side mirror . . . and, um, using the bathroom. Repeatedly. Every day. I thought it was sort of funny and ultimately harmless until he started doing the same thing to me. Now he “uses the facilities” from my mirror and apparently continues to land in it, leaving little disgusting feet marks all over my car door. I’ve washed it twice already.

Oh, Cardinal Friend.

At least he’s pretty.

And I think he likes us?


3. I’ve made this cucumber salad twice in two weeks with no end in sight. I’m obsessed with it. Our fridge this week was so crammed with sliced cantaloupe, cut-up strawberries, steak and veggie soup and cucumber salad that we barely had room for beer and diet soda, two other important food groups we can’t really live without.

Need to make some changes around here.


4. I don’t want to jinx it (have I already jinxed it?), but we’re supposed to be out tomorrow taking the hot air balloon ride we’d originally scheduled for our November honeymoon and had to cancel due to weather. It’s out in Virginia, and I’m crossing all the fingers because it’s a trek and hard to find another time to get out there. It was a LivingSocial deal I purchased rather impulsively, and I do not want to lose the coin I blew on that! Sigh. Send out no-rain-East-Coast thoughts for me this weekend, will you?!


5. My preoccupation with finding a small ottoman for our new closet is taking over my waking hours. I want something script-y — like this — because that’s apparently my style? I have script-covered fabric all over the house. But then I think . . . am I going to get sick of this in a year or two? Shouldn’t I do something in a bold color? I don’t know. I don’t know much about decorating.

When it comes to furnishing the house, I’ve finally accepted I need to go room by room and case by case . . . basically, look at an empty patch of wall and think, What do I think should go in this specific spot? For a while I was doing dumb stuff like looking through pages upon pages of artwork on Wayfair (affiliate link) and feeling totally overwhelmed. That happens to me on a good day, so I finally backed up and took a new approach.

I’m much happier now.

So far, I found a console table for the hallway and a small landscape canvas for the master bathroom. I’m taking a break now because money, but I’ll be looking for artwork for the living room next.

Sweet progress.


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Five things on Friday

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1. It’s spring! According to the calendar, anyway. I made my inaugural spring-is-here Slurpee run yesterday and surprised my office friends with a treat. It felt so good to sip that sweet nectar when it isn’t 30 degrees outside. Also, thank God it’s no longer 30 degrees.

2. Speaking of spring, I also broke out my John Mayer albums on my drive home yesterday. John transitions the seasons for me. The old stuff, I’m talking — “Continuum,” the Trio set, his live sets. I sang “Good Love Is On the Way” at the top of my lungs and remembered a time when it gave me such comfort and hope. “I’ll be lonely but I know I’ll be okay . . .”

3. And speaking of not being lonely, four years ago today I walked into a coffee shop and saw a smiling, curly-haired man striding toward me. That was my Spencer. ❤ It’s our date-aversary! And though we now have an official anniversary to celebrate in November, I can’t let today go by without acknowledging that fateful afternoon. Love you, Spence!


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4. Lipstick. I’m so into it right now. I received the new Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in an Influenster box and am obsessed with how glam it made me feel . . . even if I was dead-exhausted and already in my pajamas when I checked the mail. Lipstick is just such a grown-up thing to wear, you know? Until I went on my great hunt for the perfect shade for the wedding, I’d never paid it much mind. Things have changed. I love this pink! And it is very moisturizing, I must say.

Not exactly transfer-proof, though . . . tread carefully!


Spence with kiss


5. I ate muffins every day this week. These, in particular, and I’m now contemplating making healthy-ish muffins in batches every weekend so I can watch “The Pioneer Woman” on my DVR before work and stuff my face with baked goods. Everyone knows you can’t watch a cooking show without something on which to nosh, and I eat enough fruit during the day. Muffins all the time.