Hello and happy Friday with a hole in the middle my friends!

Who else is raising their hands high with praise for breezing through this 4-day work week? Woo-to-the-hoo and whoop-di-doo!

But even more than just a day off from the old grind, Memorial Day was a heartfelt reminder to thank the veterans present and past, and those currently serving to protect our land and liberties here in the good old U.S.A. and abroad. And there is truly nothing I look forward to more on Memorial Day than waving to the veterans who stand in uniform and decorate the overpass at the entrance to my neighborhood with a row of American flags and then salute to each and every passerby. They never forget, and neither will I.

This week was the first week of no-school daze for my Ali Smudge, and as a sprouting teenager she did what most teens do best: She stayed up too late and slept in to make up for it. I’m in full agreement that teens do need more sleep and that school should start at 8:30 am, so I let it slide for a few days.

But my girl needs money to pay for her cracked iPhone screen andsummer spending cash, so I put her to work helping me out in the office. She’s up for it, I need the help, and this article thinks kids should work, too.

So, what was her first task? Scanning my Smith’s grocery receipts into my accounting software so my accountant can get busy with keeping me flush and organized. This is the accounting software I use. It makes it incredibly easy to track every expense by taking a quick photo with my phone and then entering the info right there as I stand in the store, or pump my gas, or like I am now, having my Girl Friday do it for me.

Oh jeez. Can we still say Girl Friday or is that not PC? How about Girl Friday Faves?? 🙂 Because she is that for sure. 

On that thought about helping out around the FoodieCrush lair, this was the last week that my dear contributor Hayley Putnam will be contributing to the blog. #cryingfaceemoji but #happyfaceemoji too.

You’ve all seen Hayley’s articles, recipe round-ups, and as an adventurous cook herself, this Pesto Peach and Balsamic Chicken Pizza recipe she created specifically for all of us. She’s been an amazing part of my mini-team that has really been just the two of us. Hayley started out here at FoodieCrush way back on January 8, 2013 when she emailed me to ask if she could intern for me and contribute to blog posts. Yes, I do still have that email which is part of the reason I need an email inbox detox.

Fast forward to five years later and she’s now married to a great guy, has the cutest baby girl she’s absolutely smitten with, has written thousands of words and witty lines for all of your eyeballs to enjoy, and has researched more food blogs than most anyone I know.

So while I’ll miss Hayley for so many reasons including her writing, her work ethic, her staunch values, and her valiant attempts at keeping me in line and on task, I’m thrilled for her and in new adventure as the Culinary Content Creator for The Fresh Market in Greensboro, N.C.. I can only hope her time here inspiring all of you FoodieCrush readers will continue to inspire others at her new position.

Congrats Hayley! You will definitely be missed! Be like me and follow Hayley on Instagram here and on her own blog, Seven Day Weekend, here.

What’s Up on FoodieCrush This Week

Okay, but enough about life at FoodieCrush, let’s dig into this week’s Friday Faves:

Okay, so I was sent a preview package of this all-natural superdrink and was totally impressed by it because it has:

  • 10 grams of high-quality protein
  • No added sugar or artificial anything
  • So many vitamins and more calcium per serving than 7 cups of broccoli
  • There’s only one ingredient and it’s locally sourced
  • Sounds ideal, right? Because it is (and it’s always been one of my faves
  • Hop over here to see what this superdrink is 🙂 

Even though it feels like summer, spring is still in the air and in my earbuds thanks to the tunes on this playlist.

Life lesson that seem especially important in today’s world: How to talk to everyone, even those you don’t agree with.

I’m really liking this idea for a kid’s responsibility checklist so there’s no questions what they should (and shouldn’t) be doing during their school-free season.

I’m also on the hunt for fun and easy DIYs for me and Smudge to do together. This list has some goodies, especially those Instagram magnets. And if you have any favorites of your own, will you please share links in the comments?  We need ’em!

Organizing hack alert: This is a pretty clever trick for making more room in the fridge.

The best new ice cream flavors of summer 2018. Brown butter bourbon truffle = THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Lemonade frosé all day.


What booze tastes best in a Wendy’s frosty, because you can.

I could eat this pasta dish all week long. She nailed the Asian twist.

Having a dinner party and making this is totally on my summer bucket list.

This homemade breakfast cereal is such a smart way to start the day.

These potato cakes have a sneak attack layer of healthy they’ll never know is there. Sneaky.

So much rhubarb this week! –>

How to travel the world and still hold down a full-time job. Now THAT’s inspiring!


Airport layovers: I couldn’t agree more.

What it means — and really looks like — to live a simpler life. 

5 vacation spots to summer in and what to wear when you’re there.

10 books to read this summer if you want to improve yourself.


I actually ordered this book (not on the list above) because it is a continuing problem for me. I’m not far in yet, but I’m ready for its wisdom. Ironically, my friend Courtney is giving away a copy.

And this list of summer reads because you can’t just read self-help stuff all the time. Make it FUN!

My neighbor’s garden with my favorite flower is in bloom (love this guide on how to make ’em last!) Wonder if they’ll notice me harvesting a few?

One of my favorite clothing brands and this flash sale has it all 70% off (and is the only way I can afford it!) This top would be a fun summer addition.

Nordstrom half-yearly sale is over this weekend, have you done your damage yet? If not, here’s some ideas for you:

  • This dress could easily go from work to play.
  • This bra looks totally comfortable — no underwire to contend with!
  • High waist white skinny jeans = no muffin top = happy to wear you.
  • I love anything with a graphic edge and this swimsuit fits the minimalist bill.
  • And are these sandals a “yes” or a “no!”? They seem like they’d be the right balance of comfort without looking too totally “comfort shoe” for days spent touring new travel adventures.

Okay, so I think that should do it for this week’s list of Friday Faves. I hope you found some inspiration to make your week a little more bearable and something to inspire you to get into the kitchen — or onto the grill — and cook something good. Stay safe friends.

As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There are affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.  

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