Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love +1 Thing I Don’t) – 3.31.17


So here we are, the last day of March already.  I’m kind of freaking out at how quickly this school year is passing, and in total denial that I’ll be hosting a graduation party in just two short months.  I still have a gazillion things to do to get ready, and I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that my oldest is going to be going to college in less than six months.  I’ll be honest – on some days, I’m so ready for him to be on his own – it’s Mother Nature’s way of preparing us as parents for our kids to fly the nest.  But I still see glimpses of that little boy in his smile or a look, and I get nostalgic.  So, for any of you who are in the trenches of toddlerhood, or sleep-deprived in dealing with a baby (or perhaps baby and a toddler), trust me when I tell you that you will miss those days.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I still don’t think I can fully articulate it.  No matter how hard you try to live in those moments of your kids’ childhood, you look back on it with a different prospective than when you’re in it.  In talking with some of my other mom friends, I think it’s unavoidable and impossible.  I believe that part of it, is that when they’re older, you have the benefit of comparing the “before” to the “after”, if that makes sense.  When they’re little, you just can’t imagine them older.  But once they’re grown, you see and appreciate them in a different way.  Does that make any sense?

Growing up

Sorry for the detour there, I guess I’m feeling sentimental. 🙂  Let’s get on with this week’s Friday 5+1.  This post contains some affiliate links.

The Kite Runner

I just finished The Kite Runner today – it had been on my list for awhile, and I finally got to it.  It took me a little while to get into it, but once the story got rolling, it was really compelling.  

The Kite Runner - Great Read!

I know it’s a book that’s been around for awhile, so I’m probably late to the party on this one, but it’s definitely a good read (albeit sobering and heartbreaking in many ways).  Here is the Amazon snippet: 

“The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, caught in the tragic sweep of history, The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction. A powerful story of friendship, it is also about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.”

I think I need to move on to some more light-hearted books.  I’m enjoying all of the books I’ve been sharing, don’t get me wrong.  They’re good – they’re interesting, but sometimes you need to take a break and go in the opposite direction.

Brick Porcelain Tile

Now, I heard an advertisement for brick porcelain tile on the radio, and had to look it up and see it for myself.  I have always admired the look of brick – whether it’s inside or outside a home.  I think it just offers a neat character and charm all its own.  But in a porcelain tile?  I guess when you think about it, it makes sense.  Brick flooring could be hard on your feet – this tile, not so much.  And it looks fantastic.  I have admired this laundry/mudroom many times, and would you believe that this is porcelain brick tile?  Look for yourself at the options here.  Endless options when you think about it.  A wall, a fireplace, a cool flooring detail – love it!  I’m thinking that this might be the perfect solution to the door that leads outside from our basement.  There is carpet there now (light, beige carpet), and if you come in from outside, you inevitably track dirt.  Not sure who came up with that brilliant design idea, but this would be a great solution.

Baby Animal Prints for Spring

I spotted these adorable prints at HomeGoods recently, and just fell in love with them.  How can you not love that smirking little lamb?  These would be fun as seasonal decor, or even more adorable in a nursery, don’t you think?

Baby Spring Animal Prints

Tree Ring Artwork – Installed!

Remember when I shared this amazing Etsy shop that carries gorgeous tree ring artwork?  Well, my friend ordered some of it, and it’s absolutely stunning in her kitchen.  This long wall with the fireplace has been a tricky one to decorate:

Gray Kitchen

Here is a photo that kind of shows you how it looked before this kitchen redo was underway.  See those blue desks (yes, they’re desks) that are flanking the fireplace?  Those were removed, so we needed to find a way to fill the space.

Blue Kitchen Before

And here it is now.  I absolutely love this artwork, and it’s perfect in her kitchen with the gorgeous dark gray wall color as a backdrop.

Tree Ring Art

Architectural Eye Candy

I love when I stumble upon an amazing builder, designer or architect.  I found Michael Smith Architects via Houzz, and their portfolio is nothing short of stunning.  Here’s a peek:

My +1 for the week – Homemade Pasta

I should clarify that I love homemade pasta, I just don’t love making it.  I have been trying new recipes from what I’ve come to call my “Cooking Bible”, which is really my Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.  I told my boys that if they ever wanted to impress a girl at some point in their lives, that they should cook a meal from this cookbook.  You can’t go wrong with it, and so far, I’ve never made anything that I didn’t like.  That said, I was trying out a recipe for fettuccine alfredo, and the recipe said that it is best with homemade pasta.  

Being that I’m a rule-follower, I dug up my pasta machine and figured I would whip up a batch of homemade pasta, no problem.  I ended up recruiting my husband to help me, as it helps to have an extra set of hands.  Even with the extra set of hands, we were a flour-dusted mess by the time we finished (as was our oldest dog, and biggest food spectator).  The pasta wasn’t pretty, and dinner was later than planned, but it sure was delicious.

Homemade fettuccine alfredo

There you have it!  I hope you have a great weekend!




  • Reply
    Shelly Mathes
    March 31, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Oh my gosh Jenny your son is very very good looking! Look out girls! He looks just like you. I love the porcelain brick, I am going to have to check that out in person. Thanks.

    • Reply
      March 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words Shelly. He’s a good kid – just going through those normal growing pains of getting older (both of us are going through growing pains I think!). Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Sheila Sexton
    March 31, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Loved the Kite Runner and also the movie, if you haven’t already read it, I think you would also enjoy ” A Thousand Splendid Suns ” by the same Author Khaled Hosseini. That pasta looks yummy, I’ll have to dig out my pasta maker as well. Sheila

    • Reply
      March 31, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      The movie is now on my watch list. I have the physical book (vs. Audible, like I usually use for my “reading”), of “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, but I haven’t gotten to it yet! The pasta was amazing, although certainly not pretty. Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Charlene Cunningham
    April 1, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Your son is SO handsome!! I felt the same as you when my son was a senior. He was a good kid, but he was ready to go, and I was ready for him to go!! (I also reflected on those early years, and the different perspective I had>) The best is being a grandparent though!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.