Friday Favorites #3
Happy Friday! Here's another summary of the things that have been making me happy this week. As always, I'd love to hear highlights from your week or anything that you're currently loving. <3
This is one of my new favorite toys. I held out for a long time during the instant pot craze telling myself I was fine with my slow cooker and oven, and that I didn't need another kitchen appliance to take up space in the kitchen. Then the air fryer craze started, and that was super tempting because it seemed like a faster way to roast vegetables and there were some pretty amazing recipes I was missing out on trying. When I heard about the Ninja Foodi and realized I could ~*have it all*~, I decided I was willing to sacrifice some precious kitchen storage space.
To be honest, this little ninja hasn't budged from the counter since I got it because I have used it almost every day. It's basically a combination of an instant pot and air fryer, so you can sauté, roast, air fry, pressure cook, slow cook, and dehydrate all in one! I haven't used it to its full potential, but I LOVE being able to roast vegetables in no time without needing baking sheets and parchment paper.
This little guy heats up as soon as I select "roast" and I'm able to throw my veggies in there and work on other things while my dinner cooks. The veggies come out perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It's THE BEST. I also tested out the 37 minute roast chicken recipe using a combination of the pressure cooking and air frying settings, and it truly does make a roast chicken in no time.
I'm looking forward to continuing to play around with all of its functions. If you've been thinking about investing in an air fryer or instant pot, I think this is the best of both worlds. It definitely is huge, but the size allows for it to roast an entire chicken or a VERY large batch of vegetables (in the photos shown that was almost an entire butternut squash, at least 6 or 7 zucchini, 3 or 4 parsnips, and 3 beets, and you can see that the bucket is barely filled). So much love. Edited to note: check out my Instagram stories for a demonstration on how easy it is to use.
Sometimes I want to be a good yogi and take the time to stretch and breath in poses, and sometimes I just want to get my yoga flow on. And sometimes I realize as I'm about to head out to my yoga class that I still can't breath out of my nose and being away from a tissue box for an hour in downward dog will be stressful. This is one of my favorite power vinyasa flows for the last two scenarios. Jen is a yoga instructor in Charlotte and writes one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Runner. She has posted a few classes on YouTube and provides awesome instruction and great flows. This class goes by quickly because it's fast paced and has you constantly moving. Even though I wasn't feeling great before doing this video on Sunday I felt so much better after.
As a type-A person who loves to push myself and go as hard as possible every workout, it took me a long time to enjoy yoga (even though I wanted to like it because I knew it would be a good balance with running). If you're interested in getting into yoga, but don't want to invest in a studio or you want to give it a try at home before doing happy baby in public, I highly recommend checking out Yoga with Adrienne for a great place to start. She has several "30 Days of Yoga" that are super approachable and an awesome way to learn the basics while starting to get into a yoga routine. Let me know if you're interested in some of my other favorite yoga YouTube video channels, and I'm happy to share!
Target Artificial Flowers
I was strolling through Target this week nowhere near what I had originally intended to purchase (as one does), and was thrilled to find tons of beautiful artificial flowers. I purchased a couple of the hydrangea and allium stems to put in vases on our fireplace mantel, and I love having the look of fresh flowers in the middle of January. I decided to take these pictures at night when the lighting was least optimal for taking attractive photos, so they actually look more artificial here than they do in real life. When I went to cut the stems to achieve the length I needed, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the stems have a pretty resilient rubber wire that allows you to bend them to different lengths. If you don't have a clear vase, it's nice to have the flexibility to change their height without cutting them so that you can change vases and arrangements.
During my journey through the newly verdant Target, I also discovered some artificial trees that actually look realistic. I have been on the hunt for an artificial tree ever since the incident with my fiddle leaf fig tree. All the cute houses have fiddle leafs, and I love the life that plants and greenery add to a room. You know what doesn't add life to a room? A fiddle leaf tree with three remaining shriveled up brown leaves hanging on for dear life.
I spent a ton of time researching how to care for fiddle leaf trees before finally purchasing one. It was beautiful when it arrived and in great condition. I carefully repotted it following specific instructions and watered it...apparently too frequently....or not frequently enough. My tree looked beautiful for a couple of months before all of its leaves turned brown and started to fall off. Apparently overwatering your tree makes the leaves turn brown. Apparently not watering your tree makes the leaves turn brown. WHAT. Initially, I panicked and started to water it more frequently. That was probably the wrong decision, because I then stopped watering it and the soil has remained moist (sorry I had to) for months. I know this because that little green bulb near the base of the tree was a special gauge I purchased to help me determine when I needed to water it. Ironic, no?
At this point, we've gotten wildly off topic from my Friday Favorites. The point is that I was happy to see that Target has some surprisingly real looking trees, and I think I'll be bringing one home soon. I don't see the one that I fell in love with online yet, but I'll keep you updated if I bring one home and you can be the judge of how much (artificial) life it brings back to our living room. My poor fiddle leaf is now hanging out in my office. I originally purchased insurance for it (that's how confident I was in keeping it alive), and shockingly the company doesn't consider it dead yet. Maybe it's hibernating. These fiddle leafs are complicated. Regardless, I think we can all agree that we don't need to subject another beautiful fiddle leaf fig tree to be under my care.
This is one of those spur of the moment amazon purchases that actually brings a lot of joy to my day. I got this milk frother when I started adding ghee to my coffee some mornings so that I could easily mix it up without having to use a blender (less dishes for the win). It works well for that, but I also love using it to froth almond milk for chai tea, a golden milk latte in the evening, or a healthy hot chocolate concoction I've been making as a pick-me-up some afternoons. This does an amazing job at creating a lot of foam even with unsweetened almond milk, which baristas at coffee shops always tell me is impossible to do. If you're curious about the hot chocolate I've been making, I heat up a cup of almond milk and then add cacao, maca powder, collagen powder, and ghee (originally I added a date at the bottom for sweetness but I like it without, as well). It's delicious and provides a great level of energy without a bunch of caffeine later in the afternoon.
One morning this week as my husband and I were getting ready for work, he looked over at me while I was applying blush and informed me that I looked like Jameson (our dog). Let me elaborate. Jameson is a pit bull and pit bulls are extremely sweet and extremely emotional creatures. You can also clearly see every emotion through their facial expressions. Sometimes, Jameson makes one of our favorite faces when Matt gets home from traveling. Unfortunately, it's hard to capture on camera but he squints his eyes and has a slight grin as he walks towards Matt (happy that he is home but also kind of pissed that he left in the first place). Well, apparently that's what I also look like while applying blush. My husband makes me laugh. And feel super attractive. Now every time I'm applying blush I realize I'm impersonating my dog. It has made blush application a lot more entertaining.
FYI: Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. That means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only link to products that I own and love. Thank you for stopping by and for your support. <3