Hello and happy Friday friends!

Can I take a minute here to just brag for a sec. Okay, maybe two.

Last weekend we celebrated my dearly loved and much-missed Grandma Mary Jane and her side of the family at a long-overdue family reunion. Grandma MJ was simply the best. You’ve seen me recreate so many of her recipes her on FC, like her cool as summer 4-ingredient ice cream pie and her secret weapon for easy entertaining marinated lemon and oregano sliced turkey breasts.

Because she had the true gift of gab as a remarkable storyteller and an inspirational soul, I try to live by her quotes of wisdoms and truths. “Inch by inch it’s a cinch but mile by mile it’s a trial,” and “Keep your eyes upon the donut and not upon the hole,” will always be phrases I value, keeping in mind when I need them most.

So…See these three ladies below? Looking happy, healthy, and beaming with full hearts and knowing souls? They are the riches of my grandma and grandpa’s legacy, and I’m blessed to say, that’s my gene pool, right there in 256 shades of RGB you’re seeing on your screen.

I took this picture of my mom (in the middle) and my two aunts before the family reunion. While I don’t typically share a whole lot of extended family pics here on le bloggity blog, the reason I am today is because these women are a testament to doing all the right things and living all the right ways.

Healthful eating that’s centered around balance. Lifelong exercise. Keeping that brain thinking and stimulated. Loving instead of hating. Having faith in others, and more importantly having faith in themselves.

I’ve looked at this photo more times than I can count, and each time I do, I am in awe of their agelessness. I know they would hate for me to tout their beauty in fear they may seem vain, but who else is going to shout to the rooftops other than me that these ladies are BABES! And each and every time I look at this pic I wonder how in the heck can they STILL look more like my sisters than my own mother and sweet aunts?

I mean, is that really my selfless Aunt Jill who is 63 years young?

And how is it possible that my biggest cheerleader aka my beautiful mama Ms. P is 75 years young?

And Aunt Shelley (yep, that’s her!), who continues to be the woman who could out-do any 24-year-old in EVERYTHING any day of the week, is peaking at a glowing 65 years young. (p.s. She always did have a dewy complexion, even before it became vogue.)

I mean, if there is any chance I will exude their healthful glow and look and feel as good as they do in the coming years, all I have to say is, “HELL YES, sign me up.”

My mom may not think she has as much wisdom to share as her mother, Grandma MJ, but I’m here to certify that she does…and possibly even more.

When I asked if I could share her age here on the blog, she easily replied, “I don’t care if people know my age. I’m proud of it! It took a lot of work to get here, and it’s still a lot of work to keep it up. But, I don’t want to be young again. I just want to be healthy and happy, and to be the best that I can be at the age I am now.”

Now, those are wisdoms and truths and words to live by. And I hope you too can gleam that it all starts with a healthful, loving lifestyle.

But enough about me and my pride in my family, let’s dig into this week’s Friday Faves. ENJOY! XOXO

You couldn’t pay me to take these photos, but how amazing are they?!!!!!!

This pasta is truly a work of art. I mean, seriously!!!!

This totally seasonal caprese-eque minus the cheese salad is totally on my radar.

Yes, breakfast cookies make every day a little easier to get a start on.

The EASIEST way to make pulled pork. Don’t forget the pickles!

A copycat Starbucks mocha frap? I just made Smudge’s day!

INSTANT POT ALERT: Chicken Tikka Masala ready to eat in under 30 minutes!

These popsicles just moved to the top of my “to make” list. Rosé all the way all day.

I posted my fave seafood Cobb salad yesterday, and this one is just giving me the itch to make another totally seasonal one.

This one-bowl cake is giving me a craving to have a party. Or maybe it’s that lush frosting. Either way, how gorgeous are those mauve sprinkles?!

If you’re looking for pizza from the expert, you’re looking for this cookbook.

Mine is burnt almond fudge or German chocolate cake. Here’s theirs: 25 creative people share their favorite pints of ice cream.

Every week after our volunteer hours at The Children’s Center, Smudge and her friends ask to go see the animals from NKUT for adoption. This week it was all about the kittens and it’s obvious why. SO CUTE!

RHONY UPDATE! Luann is already getting a divorce. Shocker!  not.

and…

Sly is joining This Is Us? Well that’s odd.

plus…

It’s definitely one of our favorite shows and the trailer for season 2 is about the only reason I’m looking forward to summer’s end.

and…#TBT…

Did you know THIS is back on the air? With updated celebs of course. Recycling IS the thing.

and…because they don’t stay little forever…

If you have any of these VHS tapes, you could be sitting on a gold mine.

plus…

This is so scary. I had a conversation about this exact scenario with Smudge and her friend just last week. But next time around, I’m going to have them reading the entire encounter in hopes it will make it real.

On a lighter note, this quiz is so eerily accurate it’s sort of freaking me out. The results reveal I’m either from Stockton, CA, Modesto, CA, or SALT LAKE CITY! I guess I am where I’m from!

The best beauty products on Amazon Prime, including my favorite Becca highlighter. Total babe fave.

and…other faves I got this week:

There’s still summer loving to do and that’s why I’m loving the drapey flow of this colorful wrap dress.

How cute are these makeup and toiletries bags? Yaaas, more Target!

and…

These bath bombs have me ready to fill up my nightly tub, especially the Millennial Pink. No! The Mermaid Lagoon! Oh hell, I can’t decide.

The light is shining on these copper and rose gold accents…but will the trend go as quickly as it came?

Totally crushing on these hanging planters.

At our house, back to school shopping is in full force and Smudge has taken a literal shine to this site for online back to school shopping. We ordered a few things over the summer, and the quality is actually good and the prices are GREAT, but beware, discovering where to return stuff that doesn’t fit is a bear, and thus, we still have a pair of jeans yet to return.

and that’s why we go to Nordstrom, because…

Smudge is all about the mom jeans. She really likes mom jeans?? GAHHH! I am so not ready to return to this style.

Okay, so that’s about all she wrote for this week. Wishing you have a fabulous weekend and hoping you get in the kitchen and cook something good!

As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.  

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