In an effort to share a little more day-to-day life and some of the smaller moments, I wanted to start a new series on my blog: a bi-weekly (hopefully!) Five Things I’m Loving post! I love the idea of sharing a little overview of random things/moments that I’ve personally loved from the past couple weeks, as some may not be quite worthy of an entire blog post on their own. Plus, I love taking a peek into what others have discovered and loved! These are all things I’ve been raving about to friends in real life and/or are highlights of my days, and I hope you take great delight in one or all five of these, too!
my dutch oven & baking bread | A dutch oven has been on my wish list since this past summer, and I was so happy to receive not one but two (!) for Christmas this year! Of course, mine is dusty French blue, and you can bet I’ve already been putting it to excellent use since I received it. I finally baked my first ever loaf of bread (about ten months behind the trend) using a very simple Half Baked Harvest bread recipe from her cookbook, and it was as delicious as I dreamt it would be. Warm bread right out of the oven with a bit of Kerrygold butter = instant bliss. We’ve made some cozy soups and a couple other winter recipes already, and I have a feeling my dutch oven is going to quickly become a kitchen favorite. Please share any beloved dutch oven recipes with me, too!
the Buffalo Bills! | My husband is a lifelong, diehard Buffalo Bills football fan, as he and his family were all born and raised in Buffalo! Really, the entire Shaul family loves the Bills so much, and as of dating Rob back in 2016, I’m now a lifelong fan. In case you hadn’t heard, the Bills are having an unbelievable football season (especially given the fact that they’re usually not a very good team…) with an outstanding regular season record of 13-3 and are the AFC East division champs. They even won their first playoff game this past weekend for the first time since the 1990s! Rob is beside himself with joy at the Bills’ play this year (and that they’ve had good years much of the last 4 years – I think I’m their lucky charm!), and we’re so excited about their second playoff game on Saturday! It’s all very exciting, since the last time the Bills really were a good team was when Rob first started watching them back in the early 1990s. It’s definitely time for some big wins, and we’re very happy Bills fans around here – fingers crossed! Of course, I had to decorate the house a little with some of Rob’s favorite Bills paraphernalia as we had a football viewing party for two for the game.
chess | Surprise, surprise… we love The Queen’s Gambit and therefore love chess now! We first watched The Queen’s Gambit when it came out with such rave reviews, and when we were home with my family for Christmas, all six of us adults watched it together again. I’m thrilled my parents love the show as much as the four of us younger generation do! And of course, watching The Queen’s Gambit reinvigorated a love of chess in most of us. We played many games together in person (on the gorgeous wooden chess board that my dad made/carved in high school) and many more games on our phones! Rob and I have been busy playing board games and more chess now that we’re back at home, and it’s fun to get back into playing and attempting to incorporate some chess moves and strategies we’ve learned. Anyone else?! Rob planned a date night this past weekend where we dressed up, ordered in sushi, he set a fancy dinner table, and then we played chess… it was the sweetest gesture and a fun new tradition!
reading & books | As always, reading and books are a highlight of my days, especially since it’s wintertime and post-holidays. I currently have 24 books checked out from the library (don’t ask! and I’m not even exaggerating) and have been furiously trying to make my way through my ever-growing stack! I’ve finished five books in 2021 as of now (The Age of Light, HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, The Book of Lost Names, and Things We Didn’t Say) and am currently reading Prayer by Tim Keller and The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. You can follow along on Goodreads and share what you’re reading/want to read, too! And if you missed it last week, I also shared the 21 non-fiction books I plan to read in 2021.
new running shoes | After 2+ years since getting a new pair of running shoes, it was finally time to buy some new ones since my old pair had zero tread and were so worn. I have long loved Nike tennis/running shoes since they fit my feet best and are usually a good price, too. I love the white and hot pink pair I landed on (and for $50!), and they’ve been so comfortable during our daily walks. Speaking of daily walks, I am determined to go for a 2+ mile walk every single day this month – and hopefully well past the end of the month – no matter the weather. So far, so good!
What about you?! Have you discovered or tried anything new and noteworthy over the past few weeks?! Do any of these five resonate with you? Do tell, if so!