Friday Favorites #9

Happy Friday! How was your week? I'm checking in once again to share some of the things that I'm loving or that have made me smile this week. I didn't think I had much to share, but turns out I have a lot to say about tropical fruit and other random things. I'd LOVE to hear what made you happy this week in the comments. Thanks for stopping by. <3



Google told me that these are also called pawpaws, which made me excited because how adorable is that?! Upon further investigation (googling "pawpaw"), that appears to be an alternative fact. Pawpaws are a different fruit that I now need to track down. Despite not having a super cute name, I am still loving papayas at the moment.

I like having a little fruit after dinner some nights, and lately papaya has been what I'm craving. Papaya wasn't even really on my radar until recently, but sometimes I feel like trying new things. One day I noticed the large, oddly shaped, kind of boring looking fruit at ALDI and decided to put it in my cart. I was happy to discover that papayas are super easy to eat - I just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and eat it like a melon. Is this common knowledge? It was an adventure for me.

I always like to have a few kinds of fruit around each week. This week I have apples, kiwis, blueberries, grapefruit, an orange that traveled from the Maldives, AND papaya. Probably that's overkill for one person. Yeah? Usually I only buy one papaya each week but ALDI had them on sale for like 69 cents so I went crazy and bought TWO.

Basically it's worth adding this fruit to your cart next time you're shopping! It feels like a treat to enjoy something tropical when it's still cold outside, and it has a sweet, soft, and creamy texture that's super satisfying. I don't know where to find a reputable fruit resource online (they all look kind of sketchy), but it sounds like the fruit also may be good for digestion, eye and heart health, and fighting inflammation. We might be playing two truths and a lie with those claims (I don't know what to believe after pawpaw), but I'm sure it has some health benefits and it's what I'm enjoying at the moment regardless.

Hipster Cocktail Pandora Station

This screen shot is courtesy of my mom because she splurges on Pandora Premium so that you don't have to see a giant ad instead of the album cover. Probably time for me to upgrade.

I've mentioned this Pandora station briefly in a post, but it deserves it's time in the spotlight that is Friday Favorites. I play this station constantly - while I'm cooking, when we have guests, when I'm getting ready in the morning, in the car... I've even played it in the operating room. And I'm still not bored with it!

I think it was my aunt who originally recommended it to our family, and since then I'm pretty sure we've all become addicted. Ignore the name - I'm not even sure what image "Hipster cocktail" is supposed to evoke but I don't think it's a great description. Basically, it's just loads of great feel good music. It took a little while to "train" the station to consistently play awesome songs, but now it has been my go-to station for reliably great music and for discovering new songs that I love. I highly recommend checking it out!

Asking Someone How Their Day Is Going

It's easy to go about my day being in my own little self-absorbed bubble, so I like to make an effort to connect with other people around me. One way I do that is by genuinely asking cashiers how their day is going when I'm in the checkout line. Sometimes I get a brief response, which is totally fine. But sometimes (like this week), they seem to appreciate me asking and it leads to a nice conversation with a stranger. It makes doing errands more enjoyable for me, and I like to think it makes their work day a little more enjoyable, too. Just a little reminder to look up from our phones and connect with those around us sometimes. <3

Creating new recipes to share with you

nut butter
Nut butter photography fail. Working on it...

This week I had two recipe ideas pop into my head that I felt the need to create immediately. After one epic fail, I had two successes that I'm totally loving right now. I can't wait to share them with you!

Shockingly, neither of these recipes are Amazeballs, though I'm still loving on those. (Right now I have the sunflower raisin ones in my freezer and these chocolate balls of goodness made with almonds instead of walnuts. FYI, walnuts work better.)

I'll have both recipes coming out in the next couple of weeks. One is a nut butter that tastes completely decadent and has an unexpected added ingredient to give it a nutritional boost. The other is a quick, easy, and super satisfying healthy breakfast that I dreamed up this morning and now want to repeat every morning. So yum.

Now instead of just texting my mom to share my creations, I love that I have this space to share it with all of you! Mom- you're still going to get those texts ;-) I hope you enjoy them just as much as I have been. On the agenda for the weekend is trying to take attractive photos of nut butter. Guys, it's not easy. The one above is a fail. I'm working on it.

Infrared Sauna at Live Well Sauna and Salt Bar

infrared sauna, live well sauna and salt

I tried a full spectrum infrared sauna for the first time on Sunday and kind of love it! Have you heard of them? When I first noticed Live Well Sauna and Salt and googled it, I honestly dismissed it. I wondering who would go to a place with only infrared saunas and halotherapy (salt therapy). Turns out, I do.

The hosts on one of the podcasts that I listen to (MindPump Media) have recently been talking about full spectrum infrared saunas and the benefits. "Full spectrum" infrared basically means it includes three different infrared wavelengths (near, mid, and far) that each penetrate the body at different depths to achieve certain therapeutic benefits. My main interest was for relaxation (and being warm), but there are several studies on the use of infrared for a variety of conditions and some seem promising.

live well sauna and salt

Matt and I both had a stressful week back after our vacation. There are some weeks when Matt needs to work straight through the weekend. Unfortunately, this past weekend was one of them. The thing is, I kind of like my husband and sometimes it's cool to spend time with him. Since I knew our stress levels were pretty high and we both needed a little time to de-stress and be together, it seemed like the perfect time to book 30 minutes of sitting next to each other in an infrared sauna sweating profusely. Romantic, no?

live well sauna and salt

Live Well Sauna and Salt is currently offering $10 for the first sauna session, which seemed like a great deal to give it a try. The spa is attractive and clean inside and even offers a variety of CBD treats for those looking for the ultimate relaxation. There is a comfy waiting area that includes coffee, tea, and snacks available, but we didn't have to wait long before being brought to our sauna.

Live Well has several rooms with two-person infrared saunas which meant 30 minutes of time sitting with Matt without our phones or distractions (though they do allow you to take your phones in if you choose). I had only ever been in a steam sauna before, so this was a new experience. Unlike steam saunas that heat the air and then you, infrared saunas heat the body directly.

The temperature is set to around 140-150 degrees. The temperature sounds hot, but it's more of a dry heat so I felt very comfortable compared to other saunas. I wish that I discovered this at the start of winter, because I can definitely see this being a place where I go just so I can be happy and warm for 30 minutes (kind of like yoga). It actually took a long time for me to start sweating, but by the end of it I felt like I do after going for a long run in the middle of the summer. I also felt super relaxed.

I don't know how much of my relaxation was from the infrared sauna versus just having a few minutes of quality time with my husband after a stressful week, but it was my favorite part of the weekend. We both agreed that we'd happily return, so I'm keeping this in my back pocket when I need to chill (or rather be warm). If I go regularly, I'll update if I notice any of the other therapeutic health claims such as helping with muscle pain/recovery, improving skin, or reducing stress/fatigue. If you're local - it's definitely worth trying, especially while they're having that deal!

What pandora or spotify stations do you love?!

Have you ever tried an infrared sauna or halotherapy?

What was your favorite part about this week? I would love to hear the highlights of your week or for you to share something you're loving!


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