Favorite Things! Sharing what I'm cooking, watching, reading, wearing, & all the things bringing me joy right now.
As we approach a new month, I'm trying to reflect on things that bring joy to my life and share them with you each month. I hope you find a new favorite or two!
Camping and more
Spring activities! It's starting to get warmer which means I'm motivated to spend more time outside. Al & I have gone on a few hiking & camping trips to Missouri State Parks, and plan to go on many more!
THE best jean shorts ever! As someone with larger quads, every summer I struggle to find jean shorts that are comfortable and cute. Well not this year because these Madewell shorts are my FAVORITE & I will be wearing them all summer long.
Note: I got a size down from my typical size in the Curvy version. I went into the store & tried on the Curvy & regular version, and Curvy worked so much better for me. There was much more room in the thighs. (My true size worked in the regular version, but one size smaller in the Curvy version).
This cute Patagonia bag! I just bought this bag and I'm obsessed. It's big enough for your wallet, phone, keys, chapstick, and a snack buuuut it's super lightweight and I forget I'm even wearing it. This will be another most-used item this summer!
Did anyone make a decent bracket?! We watched soooo much basketball during the March Madness tournament... it still has a few more games this weekend, but none of our favorite teams made it to the end.
I also went to the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour viewing in St. Louis, and it was awesome! It was basically a night of really awesome outdoor adventure movies -- I left feeling so inspired to get outdoors!
I have been really into Colleen Hoover's books! I enjoyed "It Ends With Us" & "November 9" -- I have more requested from the library as well! I've read some flops lately too, which I shared on my Goodreads account.
I also have "Where the Crawdads Sing" requested so I can read it before the movie comes out! (Have you seen the trailer yet?)
It's Easter season, which means it's candy season. Don't get me wrong, I eat candy year-round, but here's some of my favorites lately:
- Easter Peanut Butter Wrapped Bites (code JORDO for a discount) - This peanut butter flavor is delicious and these would be so cute for an Easter basket!
- The Dark Chocolate Pretzels from Jojo's (code JORDO for a discount) - I've already demolished a couple bags of these. They're not exactly the same as a decadent chocolate-covered pretzel, but they're really good for a healthier version!
- & Starburst Jellybeans -- because they're out in every store & I always pick up a bag.
- Chacos: I've had the same pair since 2014 and this is the year I'm finally upgrading. These super durable sandals are great for hiking and the water!
- Hiking Boots: I rotate hiking in my Hoka Speedgoats (trail running shoes) and Salomon hiking boots. I've heard great things about the Danner hiking boats so I'm thinking about those as well.
- Birkenstocks: Not for hiking, but they're super cute and casual to wear all summer long!
Monthly Meal Plan
This month I'm continuing my free monthly meal plans! You might be familiar with my free weekly meal plans which are published every weekend. They have a menu, macronutrients for a few days, and a full menu.
This monthly meal plan was highly requested by all of you! Some people really wanted a plan that focused on dinners, so I created this monthly meal plan. It has dinner plans for a whole month of eating easy, healthy, and delicious recipes.
Download the PDF so you're able to click each recipe! Or check out the monthly meal plan post.
Most Popular Recipes of the Month
Here's the top 4 recipes from my website this month!
Whether you're in the mood for something sweet or savory, these four dressed-up rice cakes have your snack time covered.
When I think of enchiladas, I think of green chiles, crispy tortillas, and a creamy sauce on top. That is exactly what you're doing to get with this healthy chicken enchiladas recipe!
These overnight oats are creamy, delicious, and have actual Oreo cookies.
This healthy buffalo chicken pasta bake is the BEST. It’s more delicious, more nutritious, and so easy to make!
Questions of the Month
Q: Does spending time outdoors benefit your mental health?
A: One million percent! I feel the most real out there. It's the place I show up as who I truly am & it's always enough. I forget about work, others' opinions, and really just focus on the present (& dream about the future!) It feels like weights are lifted off my shoulders & armor comes down.
It's hard to describe the empowering feelings I get from spending extended time in the outdoors, but it's so important. The outdoors accepts you for who you are, no matter what. & it's a place you always leave feeling better than when you arrived!
Q: Do you have any low-carb snack ideas?
A: Yes, I have an entire post of 20+ high-protein, low-carb snack ideas!
Q: Have you done an Aldi grocery haul?
Recipes to Try This Month
Looking for some new recipes? Here are a few of the newest recipes to my website...
This Pizza Pasta Casserole is high in protein, low in carbs, and a great addition to your weekly meal prep.
Fajitas shouldn't be complicated, and they should be delicious. Don't overcomplicate things: make these cast iron skillet chicken fajitas and embrace the spicy, steamy goodness.
If you tell me it's too early for a quesadilla, I'll make you one of these easy, delicious breakfast quesadilla recipes and change your mind! Now that's a good morning.
Turn any dish into a complete meal with this simple side salad recipe. Pair fresh greens and crisp veggies with a basic honey vinaigrette.