Things I’m Loving Friday #404

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Hey friends! How are you? I hope your Friday is going well so far. We are in an especially good mood in our house this morning because Ryan is arriving home this evening! He left on a work trip super early Tuesday morning and we are really looking forward to having him home again.

Do you guys have anything special planned for this weekend? The Super Bowl is this Sunday and while I can’t say I am invested in the game in the least, I always enjoy the energy around it. My focus this weekend actually isn’t so much on the Super Bowl but more so on Valentine’s Day! We’re planning to take the boys off on our annual Valentine’s Day mission. It’s one of our favorite traditions Ryan and I started when we were dating and morphed into a family activity after we had the boys. (For newer readers, here’s the gist: We divide up into teams, give each other a small budget of $15-$20 and a time limit of an hour and then shop for some Valentine’s Day treats we think the other person will love at the same time.)

It should be a good weekend and I’ll try to have a recap of the fun up for you guys on Monday. Enjoy the next few days and today’s roundup of favorites! As always, thank so much for making PBF a part of your week!

Things I’m Loving Friday

waterproof sling bag

This sling bag is a $25 gem of a find!!! I ordered it when I was looking for a waterproof bag to bring skiing and on our wintery adventures. I wanted something with ample pockets and the design of this bag is so intelligent! There are a ton of pockets all over the place with lots of spots for snacks, tissues, lip balm, lift tickets, keys, a phone, etc. It makes it easy to be organized (key for me as a mom) and the size is large enough to hold a lot of things without feeling cumbersome. The sling design is also really convenient since I can just swing it around my body to access whatever I need whenever I need it. Another bonus: It comes with a USB charging port for on-the-go charging. I’m telling you, whoever designed this bag thought of everything. I feel like it should be at least double if not triple the price for the quality and design!

travel led mirror

A folding travel LED mirror was in my Holiday Gift Guide for Her this year and while I’ve been using mine for months, I somehow never mentioned it in a TILF post. It’s one of those items I use regularly so I’m not sure how I’ve missed sharing it with you guys. It wasn’t until I noticed a bunch of my girlfriends borrowing my mirror during our trip to Breckenridge that I figured it might be of interest to some of you out there, too!

The mirror is a pop-up LED travel mirror and while I figured I would use it and enjoy it, I had no idea just how handy it would prove to be! I initially thought it would be great to have on hand for travel and it absolutely has been, especially for girls’ weekends when mirrors are a hot commodity (I bought it to Savannah as well!) and trips where I’ve wanted to do my makeup but not be holed up in a bathroom (especially with bad hotel lighting).

What I did not anticipate was just how much I’d love this mirror in my day-to-day life. It’s been SO handy to whip out when I’m sitting at the counter eating breakfast with the boys and has absolutely made a difference for me when it comes to finding time to get ready every day. (Note: I have the Vanity Planet mirror which unfortunately is always sold out — the mini version is still in stock! — but this Amazon dupe is cheaper and looks identical to mine and has 2,000+ positive reviews.)

Last week, I downloaded a thriller to read and got about one chapter in before realizing I was still in the mood for something light and breezy and a little romantic. I’ve been on a streak with this genre for a while and I’m not sure when it will end! I paused on the thriller and opted for The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood instead. It ended up being a winner! First, let me get this out of the way: The premise was not believable (to me) and there are several moments that made me roll my eyes but once you decide to let that go and just enjoy the ride, it’s a fun (and steamy!) read with a little bit of science and academia sprinkled in the mix that made me enjoy the book even more.

The book follows Olive Smith, a third-year Ph.D. candidate, who has all but sworn off relationships. Determined to convince her best friend Anh that she is not even the least bit interested in Jeremy, the last guy she briefly dated that Anh is increasingly interested in, Olive grabs the first guy she sees and kisses him. It is only when Olive pulls away after the kiss that she realizes the man she accosted in the hall is Adam Carlsen, a genius Stanford professor with a reputation for being cold and heartless… and hot.

Olive is surprised when he agrees to pretend to be her boyfriend in a charade that proves mutually beneficial. As their fake relationship continues, Olive can’t help but deny the feelings she’s faking continue to feel increasingly real.

  • Ski Vacation Apparel + Accessories

Getting the whole family adequately outfitted for snowy fun took a little effort on our part! I started by visiting local consignment shops which were totally picked over so Amazon ended up saving the day! I am always looking for recommendations from other moms for quality gear and apparel for our boys for things like this so I wanted to share a quick rundown of the items that worked well for our family during our ski vacations.

Here’s a roundup of the still-in-stock/non-hand-me-down items we used and wore that I’d recommend!

For the boys: 

Note: I added all of the Amazon items from the boys’ gear to the Kids’ Winter Clothing + Accessories list from my Amazon shop for future reference. 

  • Chase’s Ski Jacket (Waterproof and super warm. This jacket kept Chase plenty warm while skiing and sledding in 9-degree weather! Love the cozy interior.)
  • Ryder’s Ski Jacket (He never complained about being cold and I love the color! I ordered both boys’ jackets in a size up so we can use them next year, too, and the velcro around the wrists made it easy to keep the sleeves up above their mittens.)
  • Chase and Ryder’s Balaclava Ski Mask (Worth its weight in gold! They wore these during every snowy activity to help keep their face/nose/cheeks warm. It can also be worn under a helmet which was key for skiing!)
  • Chase and Ryder’s Snow Boots (Durable +Waterproof + Easy On/Off + The big kids genuinely seem to like wearing them!)
  • Rhett’s Snow Boots (This is the updated version of his SOREL boots that were hand-me-downs from the big kids. Fantastic quality and he actually walks well in them despite their clunky appearance.)
  • Rhett’s Mittens (The only mittens we could get to stay on Rhett’s hands! The velcro strap made them easy to tighten so he couldn’t easily pull them off.)
  • Rhett’s Baby Carrier Cozy (This carrier cozy fits overtop most baby carriers and is a game changer for cold-weather baby wearing.)

For me: 

  • Cozy Balaclava (So warm and comfy and much cheaper than the Burton version that looks identical!)
  • Wool Socks (Great quality for an affordable 2-pack of wool socks. Ryan and I wore these skiing both weekends and loved them.
  • Mittens (These mittens are warm and offer good mobility! I also love the little pocket on the top for lip balm. This came in extra handy in the cold, dry Colorado weather. I wore thin, sweat-wicking glove liners under them in Colorado — a tip from my friend Merri — and they easily fit under them, too.)
  • Mint Green Ski Pants (I’m such a sucker for these pants and love the color so much.)
  • Columbia 3-in-1 Jacket (I’ve had my jacket for years but this is the most recent version. It has a waterproof-breathable shell exterior with a detachable insulated puffer jacket liner. It’s SO warm and comfortable and I love that the layers can be worn separately or together. I wore them together for all of our skiing adventures and was never once too cold.)

Clearly Valentine’s Day is on the top of my mind right now and if you’re hoping to show those you care about a little extra love on February 14 this year, here are a few inexpensive and last-minute ideas we’ve loved over the years: Valentine’s Day Ideas: Last Minute + Easy to Assemble / Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas  / Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas: Part II / 12 Inexpensive Date Ideas

Valentine's Day Gift Baskets for Kids

I also love to put together small Valentine’s Day baskets for the boys and usually include a little treat, something they need (toothbrush, water bottle, craft supplies, etc.), a small toy (The Dollar Store is great for this!) and a book. It’s 100 percent unnecessary but I enjoy doing it and it seems to make the day feel a little more special for all of us!

  • Friday Flashbacks

Super Bowl Eats (A collection of apps, mains, sides, salads and sweets perfect for enjoying during the big game!)

Super Bowl Recipe Ideas


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