Peanut Butter Fingers - Living a Life Fueled by Healthy Food and Fitness
Hey friends! Happy Friday to Y-O-U! I hope you had a good week. We had a pretty darn good one over here thanks, in large part, to sunny skies and temperatures that felt like spring! Rain is on the forecast all day today and since the weekend is also supposed to be a little dreary we thought it might be a good time to tackle something big for Mr. Ryder.

Guess who is beginning potty training today!? We’ve been psyching him up about it all week long and he was very excited to choose his own big boy underwear at Target along with M&Ms when he heard that his friend JJ got M&Ms when he learned how to use the potty. I hope I have a positive update to share with you guys about potty training soon but I know it can be a tumultuous journey so my fingers are crossed all goes well over here.

And now let’s move right along into this week’s roundup of favorites! Below you will find a short list of some things I’m loving this week. As always, I’d love for you to tell me about something that is making you smile in the comments section of this post. Have a great weekend, friends!

Things I’m Loving Friday 

sharpie .7mm gel pens

I feel like I may be showing my age here, but I’m officially at the point in life where a good quality pen that writes well is something that makes me incredibly happy. And, after taking inventory of the pens in our house that I reached for on repeat, I came to the realization that I LOVE .7mm medium-point gel pens the most. My favorite pens are the .7mm Sharpie S-Gel Pens because they’re not super fine, write smoothly and don’t smear. I love the crisp white color of these pens and the soft padding for my fingers is an added bonus. I highly recommend them if you’re a pen weirdo like me!

spaghetti squash baked feta

Have you guys seen the baked feta pasta recipe that’s all over the internet right now? It originated here when Finnish food blogger Jenni of Liemessa, shared the simple recipe. It exploded on TikTok and Instagram. I made Jenni’s recipe last week and we loved it — I mean of course we did it’s basically just a super cheesy fresh tomato pasta sauce! — but then I saw Brittany’s take on it and thought I’d give her version a shot this week. Brittany’s version calls for spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta and I followed her recipe almost exactly. (My changes: I prepped my spaghetti squash using a microwave method and added some diced zucchini and onion to the tomato and feta mixture before baking because I had some already diced on hand.) It was a big-time winner! I made it when my father-in-law was over and all the adults in our house gave it a thumbs up! (Ryder and Chase opted out of this one.) We will absolutely make it again and I love the way some commenters on her blog recommended adding shrimp. I’ll try that next time for sure!

I’m on a Fiona Davis kick lately and lovin’ it! I love the way the author incorporates real places and events into her historical fiction novels and The Masterpiece was another winner. The novel flip flops back and forth between the lives of Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, two women who become connected by Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Clara Darden is the only woman teacher at the Grand Central School of Art. Driven by a passion for her work and a desire to make it as an artist despite being a woman in 1928, Clara finds herself the highest-paid woman artist for a brief time until the Great Depression hits and she’s left struggling, both professionally and personally.

In 1974, Virginia Clay is recently divorced and employed at the information booth at Grand Central Terminal. Virginia soon discovers the abandoned art school and what she believes is a valuable work of art, possibly painted by famed illustrator Clara Darden. As she sets out to find out who the artist is behind her discovery, she begins receiving threatening letters in the mail and comes to discover the painting means more to her than she thought, as does the dilapidated Grand Central Terminal.

I’m trucking along with various behind-the-scenes page updates and this week I tackled my Shop page! It’s been a hot mess since the beginning but it’s thankfully a little more organized now. The main Shop page is pretty basic and contains constantly-refreshed links to items/products I’ve mentioned on the blog or Instagram. Then, if you click on the dropdown menu, you’ll see a link to my Amazon Shop for my favorite Amazon finds and a Codes + Discounts page for information about any of my discount codes/affiliate link deals. The Books page has been there all along but I recently added links to my book recommendation posts so I figured I’d remind you guys it’s there just in case you are ever looking for an easy way to find my book recommendations.

  • Whole Foods’ 365 Cinnamon Graham Ice Cream

I have to preface this next shout out by saying this ice cream was good but it really has the potential to be great. I LOVE cinnamon ice cream and graham cracker pieces in ice cream are another favorite of mine so for someone like me who is predisposed to think this ice cream is fabulous, it should be a slam dunk. It IS good. It really is and I do recommend trying it if you like cinnamon ice cream, too, but I wish it were a little creamier and that the graham crackers pieces were a little larger and more plentiful. With that silly disclaimer out of the way, I can say this ice cream is really tasty! I ended up serving it with warm oatmeal cookies (trying oh so hard to replicate my beloved Ben & Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk in some capacity) and really loved the combination! Will I buy this ice cream again? Absolutely. Do I think Whole Foods could improve it easily with a few small tweaks? Also yes.

Food: Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies / Peanut Sauce Stir Fry with Shrimp / Skillet Lemon Caper Chicken Breasts

Fitness: 30 Minute Dumbbell Barre Strength Workout / 5×5 Dumbbell Workout

10 to 100 Driveway Workout (A great option for anyone looking for a great workout with zero equipment!)

10 to 100 driveway workout

Paleo Coconut Crisps (Ugh these are SO good! I made a batch earlier this week and they disappeared a little too quickly.)

Question of the Day 

What is one thing you’re loving this week? 

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