Extra time, extra joy
Life has been a swirl of joyful visitors for us! It's been wonderful, and all our visitors are the best kind—low-key and they make your heart glad. All that said, having people in town does upset our routine a bit (routines can do with a bit of upsetting from time to time, though). Today is for catching-up, tidying, writing this post, reading, and knitting, as a bit of downtime.
I mentioned in Nicholas' annual birthday post that my sister-in-law, Katelyn, came to visit us! We celebrated Nicholas' birthday together with fun meals out, a trip to the dog park, baking and cooking together (her and I), and lots of Dominion.
On Monday, we woke up and I made pannakakku for us for breakfast, while Katelyn brewed coffee and put some bacon in the oven. We spent the morning on the porch, soaking up the sunshine and FaceTiming with her mom. It was the day before her scheduled departure, and so we found out her flight was cancelled due to the polar vortex and frigid temps in Chicago and the north. And just like that, we got three bonus days with her! That evening, when Nicholas was done with work, we went out to Sway for Thai food and ordered a few entrees to share.
On Tuesday, she joined me at my usual coffee shop stop while Nicholas had his meeting. We ordered coffee and muffins and meal planned together, until he finished up with work. And then that afternoon, we made a trip to the mall to return an online maternity dress and buy some maternity workout clothes instead. We ran all the "fun" errands—mascara shopping, stroller window shopping (we need a third opinion), JuiceLand smoothies, and grocery shopping for supper that night. We made these fish tacos for supper (so good) and the three of us watched Interstellar together, since it's one of our very favorite movies and she hadn't seen it.
Wednesday, Nicholas and I both worked, so Katelyn did her own thing, and then made us a yummy pad thai stir fry for supper (subbing beef for chicken for my sake)!
And on Thursday, while Nicholas worked, Katelyn and I went over to my friend Jessica's house to learn how to make sourdough bread. I love slow processes and this is another slow process to love. She taught us about sourdough starters and dough resting and the ins and outs of bread making.
During the initial rest, we ran home, prepped some lunch for Nicholas, and then ran out for burgers and for a few other fun errands, before coming home, splitting and shaping our dough, and allowing it to rest for another two hours.
And then that afternoon, we baked our bread! At Jessica's advice, we doubled the recipe to make two loaves, so we could keep one, and Katelyn could bring one home with her.
Other favorite little parts of her visit:
- watching Grey's Anatomy
- baking Nicholas' birthday cake together
- sampling mochas and lattes at various coffee shops
- talking about baby registries and about baby clothes & she gave us the cutest little onesie!
- working out together on the morning of Nicholas' birthday, her running, me walking on the treadmill next to her
- getting a fancy box of macaroons from Bakery Lorraine
- wearing slippers and leggings and comfy clothes
- eating baked Finnish pancakes together on the porch
- visiting my friend Molly and Katelyn getting some Vesper snuggles
- I "popped" while she was here—it's amazing what even a day of baby's growth can do, and he/she made more of an appearance
- drinking lots of citrus-infused water out of stemmed glasses
It was such a good visit, filled with girl time and quality time with the three of us! We love you so much, Katelyn, and feel so loved that you came to visit us. :)
P.S.—I'm glad the visit turned out to be an escape from the polar vortex, as well! ;)
A mantra for hard weeks + my early March favorites
Last week was one for the books, not in a great way. The general recap is this: Cooper had a cold, I had a sore throat/chills/fever/headache//flu-like symptoms, Nicholas was in a car accident that left him unharmed, but totaled one of our cars, and a few other things (jury duty that ended up being cancelled, appointments, etc.)
Baked peanut butter oatmeal (our favorite breakfast)
Baked PB oatmeal or just "PB oatmeal" as we fondly call it, serves as our breakfast at least 300 mornings of the year. I've mentioned it about one million times on the blog, since I've been making is for us ever since Summer posted the recipe almost exactly five years ago, but I've never actually shared the recipe and how I make it. Over time, I've adjusted a few things and tweaked it to it's current state. I adore recipes like this that I can make again and again. We eat a lot of eggs for any meal of the day, and so it's nice to have an egg-free breakfast option. And I really love the idea of a make-ahead breakfast that will reheat easily and fill us up with both protein and carbs.
Simple sausage & egg breakfast casserole (overnight optional)
As the temperatures cool and the holidays approach, I dream about having a simple, savory, throw-it-in-the-oven, baked breakfast casserole. I had some specific criteria in mind: