High Five for Friday

H54F - A weekly link up, hosted by Cup of Tea, Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin & Della Devoted

Welcome to High Five for Friday – hosted by Katie, Caitlin, Tif and Della! If you want to know more, read about it here!

The Sequin NotebookThis week’s featured blog is The Sequin Notebook! Two friends with a blog has got to mean good times! These girls write about all my favorites things in a blog – fashion, beauty, every day awesome, and DIY! Did you see their photos from their Oscar Party? So fun!!! Swing by and check them out!

Here’s what I was up to this week:

H54F on the Cup of Tea Blog

1. Elizabeth got sick this week, so we spent quite a bit of time staying quiet and lounging on the couch, watching Daniel Tiger. She is quite the little TV junkie… and I’m sure she would watch it all day, every day, if I let her. Like Mother, like Daughter.

2. I revolutionized Elizabeth’s world when I dug up an old iPod Touch (remember when those things were, like, awesome??). She’s been toting that thing around all week. And then, woah. Mommy found Daddy’s old blackberry, with actual buttons. Heaven!

3. I saw this pop up on my Instagram feed, and it just hit home. This year I’ve been involved in a Bible study where we’ve been talking about prayer and how to have a richer prayer life. I have a good, casual, “chat with God every day” kind of prayer life, but I rarely pray what’s on my heart, and don’t like to give up control. My more serious prayers sound something like “God, here’s what I’d like done, and I think it’s for the best. Sound good? Please agree with me, thanks”. And it’s all because I don’t like to hear “no”. I needed to be reminded this week that even if God says “no”, it’s because He’s got a bigger plan, with something amazing later for me. And even if I get “no”, He still listened and loved me enough to answer.

4. Anyone else get some snow this week? I sort of scoffed at the weather men that said “North Carolina should expect 6-8″ overnight” on Wednesday, but I hate to miss a “stock up on supplies” run pre-weather event. So Elizabeth and I, along with all other Durham-ites, hit the grocery store Wednesday to buy ice cream and donuts – the essentials. And, just in case, I made brownies….. smart.

5.  But, lo and behold, the weathermen were right! On Thursday, we woke up to the prettiest snow fall I’ve seen in a while! It was such fun enjoying the peace and silence that snow brings.

So what were you up to this week??? I want to know!

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Fellow bloggers – ready to join in the link up? Just write a blog post about 5 things that made this week awesome! Add your link to your blog post down below (make sure it’s your blog post, not your blog home page!!). And then grab the H54F button to add to your post!

Don’t forget to visit your fellow linkers and say hi!

I’m also linking up with Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre5 on Friday & Diary of a Real Housewife

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Currently Craving | Old Navy Spring Sales

I was cruising ye ol’ Facebook a few days ago, and came across this ad:

Old Navy Ad

I’ve been itching for some new jeans, and that ad! Cue the birds, trumpets, choirs and sun beams!

So naturally, when the snow stops, I’ll be making a little trip to my local Old Navy to pick up a few pairs of jeans. But in the meantime, I’ve been cruising the site in case there are other things to try on.

Here are my favorites!

Currently Craving at Old Navy from Cup of Tea blog

For Me: Pants | Dress | Shoes
For Elizabeth: Dress | Shoes

I have been wanting a pair of colored jeans for a while, and with the light colors for Spring, plus a great jeans sale, I may just have to bite the bullet this time. I also love a simple dress that can easily be casual or dressy. I live in dresses, and this one looks dandy! (And so does this one!)

If shoes always came with polka dots, I’d always be happy. And that goes for Elizabeth’s shoes too. I’m not really into buying her tons of shoes, but since she has 20 dresses in her closet to wear for spring, some cute shoes are in order. And I can resist that floral dress!! (If they make it in mommy size, let me know!)

Are you getting the itch for Spring clothes yet? Will you be hitting the shops soon? Let me know!

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Foster’s Market Family Dinners | The Week I Didn’t Cook

Review of Foster's Market Family Dinners on Cup of Tea blog

You may have seen me mention that last week we ordered a Family Dinner plan from Foster’s Market here in Durham, NC. Since so many of you were curious as to how it went, I thought a review was in order!

Just note: Foster’s is located in Durham, NC, so the awesomeness of the service may make you jealous. I’m sure there may be something similar in your town. OR you could move to Durham!

A quick “how it works”: You pay $100, and get 5 entrees for 2 adults (+toddler), plus a salad, bread and dessert, which is enough to last through those 5 meals. You can add extra servings, side dishes or kids meals for additional charge. Pick up the food on Monday, and you have meals to eat as you please!

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

Why do the dinners? Well, personally, I was feeling stretched thin. Too many things going on, and something had to give. We’d been toying with doing these dinners for years, but we decided to bite the bullet and just try it out. This would have also been fantastic when I was working full time and traveling a ton. My husband wouldn’t starve, and I wouldn’t feel pressured to pre-cook meals for him before I left town. OR this would have been awesome postpartum, at the time when I was literally a zombie, sitting on the sofa, cradling a wailing newborn.

So what did we think?

First off, the menu options were delicious (see below)! It was a step up from our usual weekly fair. We also appreciated that they had a full vegetarian menu we could order, instead of picking and choosing, or getting double meals of one dish.

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

The quantity of food varied. The portions were meant to feed two adults. But, basically, it was whatever fit in a small foil pan. Our first meal was roasted acorn squash. Two halves fit in the pan, so that’s what we had. Another night was a pilaf. PLENTY fit in to that pan. We definitely had leftovers for the next day!

I toyed with the idea of ordering a second side dish, for convenience. But I opted to instead spend some time roasting a large Costco-sized bag of brussel sprouts and asparagus one afternoon. Then when dinner rolled around and we needed another vegetable, I was able to quickly reheat the veg with minimal effort.

We were also impressed by the dessert! Foster’s packed 10 large chocolate chip cookies, two for each night. They were so good! It was a nice treat compared to our usual dessert-less evenings.

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

Overall, it was a great treat! Husband and I decided we would definitely do it again, and may do it once a month. I felt if I planned my grocery shopping in anticipation of that Family Dinner week, the cost of the dinners plus groceries for additional meals (breakfast and lunch) would be no worse than a usual grocery shopping/menu planning week. However, if I was needing to feed a family of 4 adults, the $200 price tag seems a bit steep. Seems that I could feed a family of 4 (non-toddlers) for around that cost for all meals.

This may also be my golden go-to “you just had a baby!” gift for friends. I know receiving meals was the perfect gift postpartum.

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

Curious as to what the menu was?

Dinner 1 – Stuffed Acorn Squash with Rice
(Forgot to take a picture that night! We were too excited!)

Dinner 2 – Stuffed Shells with Spinach, Ricotta and Marinara

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

Dinner 3 – Mixed Grain and Vegetable Pilaf

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

Dinner 4 – Spinach and Tomato Mac & Cheese

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

Dinner 5 – Swiss Chard, Tomato and White Bean Stew

Foster's Market Family Dinners Review by Cup of Tea blog

Extras: Greek Salad with Feta Vinaigrette, Focaccia bread and Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re local to Durham, or see a place near you that does this, give it a whirl! See if it would work for your family!

*Note: I was not compensated in any way for this review. We purchased this Family Dinner with our own money. I was just that desperate for someone else to cook.

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High Five for Friday – The Really Cold Edition

H54F - A weekly link up, hosted by Cup of Tea, Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin & Della Devoted

Welcome to High Five for Friday – hosted by Katie, Caitlin, Tif and Della! If you want to know more, read about it here!

This week’s featured blogger is Jayme from Simply, Always, Forever! She’s a huge book fan, so I know I’ll definitely visit often to check out her book recommendations! Plus, she went to school in my current neck of the woods at Duke, so we’re already kindred spirits :) Be sure to stop by and say hi!! So glad you’ve been linking up with us, Jayme!Jayme From Simply, Always, Forever

Here’s what I was up to this week:

1. Can anyone else believe it’s Friday? This was the fastest week in history. YET, it was the slowest…. anyone else get house-bound by snow, ice and cold weather? While I have no problems driving in snow or ice, the rest of the locals here are not… so I chose to stay home most of the week. And enjoy the pretty snow from the comfort of my house! This was our backyard on Wednesday!

High Five For Friday Link Up at Cup of Tea blog

But with snow and ice come “Elizabeth’s First Snow Action” pictures! In all fairness, she did experience her first snow last year at 4 months…

High Five For Friday Link Up at Cup of Tea blog

Which doesn’t count. But she absolutely LOVED standing in the snow on Monday! And watching it from the window. AND playing in the snow! Until she slipped and fell. Then it was not so fun :)

High Five For Friday Link Up at Cup of Tea blog

High Five For Friday Link Up at Cup of Tea blog

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2. Our furnace decided, with the cold weather and all, that it was a great time to conk out. When I walked into Elizabeth’s room Wednesday morning, it was so cold! Not something you want to deal with when the day’s high is supposed to be 15*! But all’s well now… thank goodness!

3. I mentioned Monday that we were trying a 5 Dinner Plan from a local catering company. Basically 5 dinners with salad and dessert, for $100. So far (our last meal is tonight), it’s been a good experience, and I’d definitely do it again! It is nice not to worry about what to make for dinner. However, I found myself missing cooking by the end of the week.  The grass is always greener! But full review coming next week.

4. We finished our latest Netflix series – Lilyhammer. It was so funny!! It took a few episodes to get into it, but it’s just so quirky. Basically, NYC mafia guy rats out other mafia guys, and gets put into witness protection program. He requests to be placed in Lilyhammer, Norway, with all those polite, calm, mild mannered Scandinavians. Gold! But now that’s over, we’re searching for something new. We’ve started Mad Men, and then balancing that out with Friends (which we haven’t really watched much of before!). If you have any Netflix recommendations, let me know!! We’re basically just buying time until House of Cards comes out, anyway.

5. I had a number 5………………… and then I forgot………………… ugh…. obnoxious. Oh well…..

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Fellow bloggers – ready to join in the link up? Just write a blog post about 5 things that made this week awesome! Add your link to your blog post down below (make sure it’s your blog post, not your blog home page!!). And then grab the H54F button to add to your post!

Don’t forget to visit your fellow linkers and say hi!

I’m also linking up with Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre5 on Friday & Diary of a Real Housewife

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Current Toddler Favorites | Toys + Books + Bath

Current Toddler Favorites on the Cup of Tea blogI love the monthly favorites posts that pop up at the end of every month. Shoot – even I do them here on the blog and my YouTube channel!

This time, though, I thought it would be fun to do a collection of Elizabeth’s current favorites. She’s 16 months now, and has some clear preferences when it comes to toys and books. I also threw in a few of my Mommy favorites.

Items Mentioned:

1| Wooden Stacking Rings

2 | Sea Creature Magnets

3 | The Pout Pout Fish book

4 | Mozart Music Cube

5 | Plush Noah’s Ark set

6 | Burt’s Bees Baby Bubble Bath

7 | Squeeze pouches in any flavor

Also | Outfit sets from Little Me

Of all the ones mentioned in the video, we ALL love the Pout Pout Fish book! It is just so cute. I’ve even got the cadence down pat, now, and have integrated some amazing voices for all the fish. HA!

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The Noah’s Ark set was given to Elizabeth as a gift from Nana. And it’s really is an adorable set. It’s a bit pricey! There are alternatives that are similar and cheaper, but this set in particular is just the cutest! Elizabeth loves pulling all the animals out, making their noises, and the shoving them all back in again. We also try to act out the Bible story by reading one of our (many) Noah’s Ark books and mimicking the story with the set.DSC01142

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I could have taken pictures of her playing with all her toys, but… a boring post that would make…..

Do you have a toddler in your life? What are the favorite toys & books right now?? I’d love to hear them! Always looking for some new ideas!

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For the record – none of these products were given to me, and there are no affiliate links. I’m just not that cool.