Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It’s one of our favorite days of the week (duh, #basic, whatever). Even though neither one of us has a traditional job with a traditional workweek, everything just seems lighter on a Friday.

Plus, not to be a summer humbug or anything, but every Friday that goes by is another week closer to not being hot and worrying about rattlesnakes. Fine, just label this Take 1 from Confessions of a Summer Humbug.

I’m so grateful to be getting back into the swing of things, so here’s a sort-of-celebratory Friday Favorites post! These are all things that I’m currently loving.

Favorite Face: Beautycounter Cleansing Milk. I love this, truly, which is sort of a big deal because I was a little sad when I got it because I usually order their Nourishing Cream Cleanser, and this doesn’t smell nearly as good (my one criticism of this product!). But, good golly it works. It gets my skin clean without drying it out–the first cleanser I’ve ever tried to do so! I’m trying to simplify my skincare both in terms of products and ingredients, and this is a permanent part of my lineup. At least until I have another baby and my skin changes completely again.

cleansing milk
Favorite Drinker: Yeti Rambler. Bert got me one of these for Mother’s Day customized with our brand (as I’m sure you know since I hardly hide my love for it on Insta), but I really do love it. It’s huge, but not too too, and fits in a cupholder. You put ice in this baby and hours and hours later, it’s still there. Icy-cold water is one of my love languages, and so I want like, five more of these.

yeti tumbler

Favorite Thing: Yeti Tundra 45. I got Bert this bad boy for Father’s Day (one of those “I want one so I’m getting you one so I can use it” sort of affairs) because, well, all the other kids have one, and please see all comments above re: Rambler except for the cupholder part. Keeps things cold for literally days. Expensive as hell, worth every penny. I want another to keep in my car for when I go to town. Specifically a pink one. Or one of the new ones with wheels.
yeti coolerFavorite #NerdAlert: North Point Media’s There & Back Again Podcast. I love podcasts. I love book series. So you can imagine how I feel about a podcast that talks about one of my favorite series of books! I love learning more about Tolkien and the universe he created and all of the nerdy things that go along with that. I’m not a mega-super-nerd, but I love stories, and I’m re-reading the LOTR series to follow along with this podcast so you decide. He also has one for Harry Potter, and the Outlander series, ps.
tabagin
Favorite Summery Pasta Salad: Herby Couscous salad. So, couscous is a pasta, in case you are like me and have been going through life believing it was a rice. It is not. Thus, this is a pasta salad and it is delicious. Bright and fresh and would be so good with herbs from your garden if you are not like me and have a garden. Worth mentioning though is that Bert didn’t love it. Like at all. So, it’s not on the dinner menu but it’s delicious cold so it’s perfect for lunch! Which is what it’s supposed to be for, so…
couscous salad
Favorite Worky-Outy-Thing: Nike Dri-Fit Sports Bra. So, disclaimer, I didn’t actually buy this. I was given a pile of them by my beloved best friend who is a collegiate athletic trainer and gets tons of team gear and passes some of it on to me because she’s amazing and one person can’t possibly wear 1000 sports bras. I love these. They are so soft–with other sports bras, I’ve had problems with chafing underneath my arms and on my sides, but not with these–and their length is perfect. Also they are constructed in such a way that Sports Bra Uniboob isn’t as pronounced, and they come in both normal colors and crazy colors depending on how much hoo-rah you need to get your workout done. Verdict: I’d actually buy these, and probably will if I ever run out.
sports bra
Favorite Yes I’m Shocked Too: Frankincense Essential Oil. So, I am not a woo-woo crystals type of gal, and I’m very wary of things claiming to be toxic or not toxic or green or more natural, etc. since a lot of the time those claims aren’t true. I did order a starter kit from Young Living, though, mostly out of curiosity and because they were on sale. and my good friend made a small commish. I’m sort of hooked, and want to try more. No, I don’t think they are a substitute for modern medicine, and yes, I think lots of people overstate their use and/or efficacy. But let me tell you what–this little oil has made a huge difference in my skin. I will keep buying it because, like I said before, I’m trying to simplify my skincare. I mix a drop or two with jojoba oil to use as a moisturizer, and apply neat on blemishes. My skin has never been so luminous, less flaky (to be fair I know this is in part due to the new cleanser, but this is also making a huge difference!), and it actually works to help heal zits. So, while I’m not totally jumping in the essential oils deep end, I’m sticking a toe in the kiddie pool and so far, I’m liking it.

frankFavorite Car Snacky Snack: Rx Bars. One thing I am sure about, though, is that there is so much sugar in so many foods! I really noticed it in Canada, where I’d have something that they have here, but it was so much less sweet (and typically much tastier), so I’m sort of on a mission to remove as much excess sugar from our diets. If I’m eating sugar, I don’t want it to be in a granola bar, or in yogurt, or in peanut butter. I want it to be in ice cream and cookies and cakes and candy and sugar straight out of the jar, you know the little lumps of brown sugar? #ragingsweettooth. Anyways. I love Rx bars and have added them to my monthly subscribe & save order. I picked one up for the first time in the airport a few weeks ago, and I’m hooked! My favorite flavor, of course, is one of the sweeter ones (Mixed Berry), but it has no added sugar, and that’s what I’m focusing on (first–baby steps!). I’m looking forward to trying more of their flavors because I love to keep bars on hand since we are often eating snack in the car (a habit that I hate but that is nearly impossible when everything is at least an hour’s drive). I also love that if things are frantic at home and I can tell hangry is right around the corner, I can grab one and be a better human.
rx barFavorite Kid Thing: Joey. So, last time they were here, my in-laws brought this for Wace. It’s basically a magnetic paper doll, and while I thought it was cool I wasn’t sure if it was something he’d be super into for more than a day or two. Friends, I was so wrong. He loves it, and we’ve taken to having some one-on-one time each evening before bed playing with Joe–he’s made bedtime so much easier because Wace really looks forward to it and I enjoy that time so much with him, since most of the day is spent trying to keep him and Buster for assaulting each other. We put on each outfit, talk to Joey about it a little, and it’s adorable and is great for those fine-motor skills and imagination muscles. When we’ve done each one, we put everything away, Wacey covers Joe with his “blanket” (an infant washcloth), and–I kid you not–gives him a kiss after tucking him in. It’s adorable. They don’t have very many of these, but I think we definitely need to get him another one–Julia looks like a nice gal, and I think we can always use another feminine influencel around this tiny frathouse.
joeyFavorite Tiny-Bit-Shocked-That-Something-So-Cheap-Is-This-Awesome: Kroser Laptop Backpack. Before I went to Vancouver, I decided I needed a better carry-on situation for all of my things. I don’t have a satchel big enough for my gargantuan laptop (I’m a 17″ type of gal) and I wanted to minimize the hot mess-ness that is inevitably Cassidy in the Airport. So, All Paths Lead to Amazon and I found this guy for less than $40 and I love it. It has pockets for everything, and my megatron laptop fits in the compartment even if I keep it in the sleeve. It has a charger thingy that I bet is real cool but I need to figure out how to use it, and a couple of pockets in the front that make you look real slick when you need to produce your travel documents or credit card in a hurry. Now, it’s a straight-up backpack. It’s not beautiful, but it’s not ugly, and does the job perfectly. Of course, if it were made of hair-on hide it would be perfect, but this is a solid 9/10 and makes running to the next gate so much easier. Just hike that baby up and go.
backpackFavorite Apparel: Embroidered Tunic. I don’t need to say much about this top except that it’s beautiful, makes me feel like a million bucks, and is currently sold out but that’s okay because this little boutique has the most amazing things at really surprising prices. Get thee over there, fellow embroidery lover!
pink embroidered top

Favorite upgrade: Adirondack chairs. We finally got a couple of new (plastic) Adirondack chairs to replace our grody ones on the front porch and they are wonderful. They are super comfy, and look nice. Granted, they’re not the solid-wood versions. But, I don’t want the wood versions. I want the plastic versions so that when they inevitable become pulled over by a child, they just cause said child to be pissed off instead of injured. Now, you might be saying “But Cassidy, a child couldn’t pull over a wooden Adirondack chair,” to which I’d say “But Gentle Reader, Buster weighs over 30 pounds and has the most shocking strength you’ve ever seen. He’s like a tiny, less tan Hulk. I promise you he will get it done.” To which you’d say “Touche.” Because it’s true. Anyways, I digress. These chairs are fab, the mini version are great too, and we are getting two more because no one wants to sit in the sad old ones anymore and now they look even sadder. Someday we’ll get wooden ones. That decade is not this decade.
adirondack chair
Happy Friday, team! I hope your week was great and that you have some amazing things planned for the pre-Fourth weekend. We have an exciting weekend full of a birthday party or two, caking cattle and checking water, and (God willing) a little hanging of things on the walls because our house is still bare and it makes me feel like I live in a tan mental institution. In the best sense, of course.

God Bless America, and Amazon Prime.

Family · On The Ranch

A Family Affair

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Do you remember going with your parents on “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” or when you had a day off from school? I grew up in the city–Denver–and remember those days so well! I remember camping out under the conference room table at my mom’s office, eating snacks, or playing dolls and listening to CCR with my dad in his office while he worked.

When we bring our kids to work, they may not get fun snacks in a conference room table fort, or get to have their own desk to “work” on, but they have a ball and we’re lucky that on a ranch, there’s a whole lot of “Take Your Kid to Work Days!”

A couple of weekends ago, we preg-checked our fall-calving cows (to see who was pregnant and who was not) and it was so  fun. I didn’t really help, to be sure–the boys and I showed up late (but can you blame us, the vet was there at 6:15!) and mostly just went because we just love working cattle. The boss’ whole family was there, too, with some of the neighbors and the owners, so we had 70+ years between the oldest (the owner) and the youngest (Buster).

The kids were pushing the cows from the tub to the chute, the neighbors were pushing the cows up the alley to the tub, the vet was doing his thing, Bert was running the chute, the owner and his wife were vaccinating and taking care of the records, the boss was checking teeth*, and his wife was making sure the kids were actually helping, and taking over when they needed a hand. I was taking pictures, offering encouragement and bad jokes, and we were all holding Buster, haha.

The kids only hit each other in the face with the flags a couple of times, one of the girls got peed on by a cow but only a little bit, the owner’s wife made the most delicious snickerdoodles, and Buster didn’t eat too much dirt or dirt-like substances, so we’ll count it as a major success.

Afterwards, everyone got wet (or downright soaked) putting horses in trailers and packing up supplies, but we were so grateful for the rain that not a soul complained, and it made lunch together a little festive. I love that we get to spend time together, and that it’s always a family affair when it comes to this ranching gig.

Except when it’s reaaaaalllll hot outside. Then I’m busy. With something inside. I won’t always have the excuse of “it’s too hot for the baby!” but you’d better bet I’m going to use it while I can.

*as cattle get older, their teeth can get worn down or fall out altogether, and that can make it hard for them to eat, so we check teeth to make sure they are living their best life. Plus, our country is so rocky that their teeth can wear down faster!

 

 

Personal

I Went To Vancouver and My Movie Moment

vancouver in the morningpastriesflower treedinnerolympic cauldronseaplanesgiant rhubarbbreakfastvancouver at nightwaterfallOh my gosh hi, it’s me, Cassidy.

I wrote several “No, I didn’t quit blogging! Life is just crazy!” posts and not one of them was ever finished.

Life got crazy for a bit, but I’m so glad that it seems like it’s winding down back to normal. We’ve moved, I’m home from traveling, we’re mostly unpacked, we have food in the fridge…things are good.

So, I was in Vancouver last week for the Sustainable Brands conference and oh my heavens it was amazing. Not just because it was in Vancouver, but because it was a great conference full of people I never, ever would have been connected to. I have some big, major things to share about the actual content of the conference, but that’s a post that’s best not written on the fly so I’ll save it for later this week.

In the meantime, I’m going to tell you all about the fun parts of my trip, in list form, of course.

  1. Vancouver is amazing. I want to go back there with Bert and the boys so badly. The weather is cool, it’s not too humid, and it’s beautiful. I loved watching the seaplanes fly in and out, and I think it would be so fun to go on one!
  2. Candians are so nice. I don’t think it’s necessarily that their manners are so much better, but that they have a calm and ease about them that you don’t see in the States. Even when people are in a hurry, they’re not rushing, and they’re courteous and friendly.
  3. Eating at local restaurants is always a must. I love long, leisurely dinners (another quality that is often lost on us Americans), with plenty of food and conversation, and the group I was with in BC felt the same way, praise the Lord.
  4. That being said, I love a Starbucks. I love having something reliable and familiar, even if they do make fun of my gigantic Yeti tumbler.
  5. The weather. The weather, the weather, the weather. It was unseasonably cool when I was there and I loved every second of it. The locals told me, though, that even when it’s not unseasonably cool,, it never really gets hot or cold. Being by an ocean means it’s very moderate and now I’m trying to find a way to start a company and have an office in Vancouver so I can travel there regularly.
  6. French everywhere, even though most of French-speaking Canada is in the east. It made me feel like all of those years of French through college were worth it!
  7. In addition to being so kind, the Canadians are also very well turned-out. I didn’t see a lot of sweats, or messy hair, or disheveled-ness. Even when it was apparent that someone was being leisurely and comfortable, they still looked so put together and classy–much less athleisure than in the US. Like an outdoorsier French. Which, I suppose, is sort of what they are?
  8. It was such a treat to be able to tourist just a little bit while I was there. The last day, some of the other folks in my group and I went to explore this park that is actually basically a botanic garden. We had our heads on a swivel and our phones outstretched the entire time, and it was the perfect start to a long day of traveling. It did make the transition back to the dry, dusty desert that much more stark, though.
  9. So much diversity! Everywhere we went there were people of different ethnicities speaking different languages, and I loved it. That’s another reason I want to take the boys there–it will be good for them to see so many different kinds of people speaking so many languages in one place.
  10. It was so fun to wear “fancy” (read: business casual) clothes for a few days, but golly I need some comfier shoes. Heels are fun, but I’ll take boots any day of the week.
  11. I want to see so much more of BC, and Canada in general. I never really thought of Canada as a vacation destination (sorry aboot that, eh?) but now I want to go back to Vancouver, and spend time in Montreal and visit a ranch in Saskatchewan and go to Nova Scotia and on and on.

 

And I’ll leave you with this tidbit about the time when I had my very own movie moment.

On the way back, the first flight was delayed (nothing direct from Albuquerque to like, anywhere) and I had a tight connection in Denver so I was a little apprehensive at takeoff. Fast forward two and half hours and I’m sort of freaking out because it’s apparent that it’s going to be really tight but there’s no point in really worrying because you can’t make the plane fly faster, right? So we land, and I must have looked a little anxious (was it the immediate throwing-on and cinching down of my backpack? The nervous hand-wringing? The jitters that rivaled a four-year-old in need of a potty break? I wonder.) and the guy next to me was like, “You okay?” and I was like “Yep, totally fine, I just don’t want to miss my plane.” He asked when the plane left and I told him, and everyone around me was like “Oh God.”

You know where this is going, right? I totally missed that plane.

Nope. I totally didn’t miss that plane. What I did do was legit run through Denver International Airport, thanking my lucky stars that I wore tennis shoes, checked my suitcase, and that I know the airport’s layout really well (you have to train a freaking train between concourses), with my backpack bouncing like a kid in elementary school. I ran down moving walkways yelling “ON YOUR LEFT!” like some demented on-foot bicyclist and almost ran over an old man whose name was evidently Ralph since his a lady near him yelled at him for standing on the “walking” side of the moving walkway. I made it to my gate literally as they were closing the door, quite actually yelling “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! DON’T CLOSE THE DOOR! NOT YET NOT YET NOT YET!” and shoving my crumpled, damp (how? I ran for like, seven minutes) boarding pass at a very shocked attendant (hey lady, don’t pretend you haven’t seen this level of desperation of obvious lack of regular running before). Needless to say, they let me on the plane, at which point I took my sweaty, red-faced, hard-breathing self allllllll the way down the aisle to row 22, at which point the man in my seat audibly groaned because he’d already had his heart set on sitting in the aisle and having more room to stretch out with an empty seat next to him.

Not today, pal. Not today. Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m a badass.

When you started this, I bet you didn’t think by “movie moment” that I meant the running-through-the-airport scene of Home Alone.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m a badass.