Casual Friday + Love of the Week

  • I didn’t even make it through my towering book stack. In a fit of desperation, I put my giant to-read pile into the library-return bag…unread. It feels like treason, but it needed to be done. In the last few years, I’ve gotten better about abandoning books after the first 50 pages or so, but these were mostly books I knew I would enjoy and had wanted to read. That’s one of the (many, many) great things about books – they’ll wait until I’m ready.
  • So, I was on a podcast. Kind of. I got a text from a friend this week saying: “I just heard you on Best of Both Worlds.” What?! In this week’s episode, Laura and Sarah answered my listener question. Aside from the trauma of hearing a recording of myself, it was a fun experience. My question shows up around the 30-minute mark.
  • Remember me mentioning the thought of picking out new running shoes is enough to drive me crazy; well, I ended buying FOUR pairs of sneakers (and counting) last Saturday. I’ve made a table and am evaluating each one on various categories, before assigning an overall comfort score. Each sporting store I visited encouraged me to take them for a test run, so I’ve been doing 20 minutes in each set of sneakers on our treadmill. For the amount of time I spend on my feet each day, it does make sense to maximize this purchase…or so I’m telling myself.
  • I went out for supper with one of my closest friends (the wise one I mentioned) this week. It was my first outdoor dining experience since the lockdown lifted and it was lovely. No kids, a great friend, wonderful conversation, and delicious food (I didn’t prepare). Per tradition, I treat this friend to supper each year around her birthday; somehow the predictability of it makes us both happier. No dithering about what gift to buy and, if we want to shake things up a bit, we can always vary the restaurant (though we rarely do). Supper was followed by some fun and productive thrifting. I get such a thrill reinventing – or at least rejuvenating – my wardrobe in an inexpensive, environmentally-friendly way.

Love(s) of the Week.

#1. Outdoor dining.

S’mores – outdoor dining at its finest.

I had my love of the week picked out (see below), but then just had to add another because eating outside really has been such a lovely addition to my life.

With the kids back in school, I’ve been eating my lunch under our apple tree. While the blooms have passed for the year, it provides great shade. I don’t use a device – no audiobooks or browsing the news. Just me in a comfy chair, enjoying my lunch break.

We picnic as a family regularly, but it’s a different (more relaxing) experience when I’m dining solo. No one is spilling their water or asking for seconds of fruit salad…and there is no bickering, complaining, food throwing or other unpleasant sibling interactions (not that my kids ever participate in these sorts of behaviours).

#2: Oat Milk

I’ve struggled with lactose intolerance since my daughter was born over a decade ago. After a lifetime of consuming milk (daily) and enjoying ice cream, cheesecake, and other delectable treats with immunity, overnight I had to rethink my diet.

It’s been a relatively seamless shift. I’m not much bothered by avoiding dairy, and when I do consume it – accidentally or on purpose – I’m lucky enough to not have any major issues.

In terms of milk substitutes, I’ve tried them all: soy, cashew, almond. For anything requiring cream I’ve made the shift to full-fat coconut milk but, for everything else, I’m a full-blown convert to oat milk. My favourite brand: Suzie’s from Costco, made with only two ingredients (oats and water, thankfully). Delicious on cereal, in baked goods, and when added to tea and coffee.

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