Happy Friday: Volume 22

Happy Friday: Volume 22 // Back in the USA, camping in our house, and so many appointments. We couldn’t be any happier to be back and exploring our new town.

family arriving at customs in atlanta

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. If I had to sum it all up in a word, it would be appointments. Man, we’ve had so many appointments in the last few weeks. Getting the kids registered for school, physicals to register for sports, housing, getting cars, meeting the new orthodontist, dentists, so. many. appointments. 

I am not complaining at all. I am thrilled to be here and these things are just par for the course. We absolutely love it here. We are in the Lexington/Concord/Bedford area and it is the nicest place we’ve ever lived. 

flag cookies
How cute are these cookies my mom had made for us? She has a Welcome Home/Birthday party for my uncle when we arrived.

The only real hiccup is that we don’t have any of our stuff yet. We are bare bones camping in our house. We won’t get out first shipment until July 3rd, and the other two trickle behind them. It’s truly amazing what you can live without. Generally speaking, I’m not a big stuff person, but I am going to be very happy to be reunited with mine. I really miss cooking and baking and working in my studio. I also never want to wear these clothes ever again in my life.

I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it is to be home. I think that I was low-grade depressed for two years and didn’t realize it. As soon as we got back, I immediately felt more like myself. 

kids standing in front of hanscom AFB base housing

I can already read the comments in my mind, “But you lived in Europe. You got to travel and do so many things.” 1000% yes. I did. And I am forever grateful for the opportunity. Just because something is wonderful doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard or full of challenges. 

I also experienced loneliness I’ve never felt before. A disconnection from myself and my community. Wes wasn’t happy, the kids couldn’t wait to get out of there. We never felt settled. We made friends, but the way life is set up there it was hard to really grow those friendships. It was really hard. 

laptop on wayfair box for a desk
My current “office”. Also Wayfair has been the MVP of this move.

The travel and the cool stuff was the relief from that, the day-to-day was really challenging for all of us. Some people really love it and never want to leave, and some survive, not thrive. We fell into the second category. 

Would we do it again? Yes. But differently. Knowing what I know now might have made a difference in our overall happiness. 

nahant beach massachusetts

Ava is at camp for a few weeks, so it’s just me and the boys. (I miss her, and I also miss having another girl to temper all of the boyness in our house.) We are going to go to Vermont this weekend and stay somewhere that has real forks and plates. Did I plan this getaway with the sole purpose of going to King Arthur Flour? You betcha. 

Have a great weekend!

teenage girl assembling bed


I can’t wait to be manipulated. We’re so ready to meet our baby.

The dog I never wanted is getting me through the teen years.

I would like something to make me as happy as The Spice Girls make Adele happy.

I love a party, but asking people to spend $500 for one is a little unaware.

We’ve watched countless episodes of this show. I knew it was staged, but I really had no idea how much.

I really need to clean my makeup brushes.

I bought Wes an espresso pot for Father’s Day. I love the ritual of making coffee this way.

On being a stepmom.

5 minute technique for overcoming anxiety.

I’ve been working with Jamie and she’s a wonderful coach if you are looking to up your blogging game.

I have missed flying my drone and was so happy to take it to my childhood beach. These are some recommended settings for shooting with your drone.

This is my favorite purchase of recent. I make the kids put their phones to bed before they go upstairs and this is helping. *affiliate link*

I’ve been working on making this site faster. I learned this week that I have almost 100k images here!!!

To the average kids…. so much of this.

I’m a batch worker and it really helps me. If you feel like you can’t catch up, give this a try.

I now have a Whole Foods less than 10 minutes from me!! Whole Foods hacks.

drone shot over longport, new jersey

Orange Inspired Recipes

I started going to Orangetheory this week. I'm so sore I can barely get up and down my stairs. So this week's recipes will be all orange recipes.


Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake

Orange Sunshine Coffee Cake - Don't let this beautiful breakfast bread fool you, it's really simple to make. Follow my step-by-step photos so you can make it yourself.

Get the Recipe

Orange and White Chocolate Muffins

Orange and White Chocolate Muffins are like a Creamsicle in muffin form. A little crunch from cornmeal and lots of orange freshness.

Get the Recipe

Orange Ricotta Pound Cake

Orange Ricotta Pound Cake - This is the kind of cake that Italians eat for breakfast or in the afternoon with coffee. Simple and perfect.

Get the Recipe

Blood Orange Amaretto Cocktails

Blood Orange Amaretto Cocktails - Almost too pretty to drink. Make the most of blood orange season with these amaretto and vodka cocktails with lemon simple syrup and some fizz.

Get the Recipe

Roasted Beet and Orange Salad with Walnuts

Roasted Beet and Orange Salad with Walnuts - A beautiful salad that gets better as it sits.

Get the Recipe

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  • Happy to hear you are getting settled and finding some normalcy again. What a journey you’ve been on.

  • Welcome home! Dawn dishwashing liquid is the best thing I have found to clean makeup brushes. Really cuts the buildup.

    • Thanks! I like to use baby shampoo, I like the way it smells. And a makeup artist told me to treat my makeup brushes like I do my hair.


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