Things I Can't Shut Up About

Choose happy.

Lately, these words keep running through my head, sometimes deliberately--they're kind of a mantra for me right now--and sometimes surreptitiously. I've been focusing on my nears and dears, the things that are most important and the closest to reach, because that's what's been paying the biggest dividends.

I'm pretty happy overall, and I want you to be happy too. If you see me or talk to me in regular life, you've probably heard me gush about these things already, but I'm sharing all of my current favorite things with you, so that maybe my happy can be your happy too.

In the kitchen
Le Creuset Everyday Pan - I know: "Everyday Pan" is quite the self-important title, but honestly, it's the pan I reach for the most. (Not every day, though, because hot dogs don't require this sort of firepower.) I've been doing a lot of skillet dinners lately, and this pan is amazing. It's big enough, deep enough, (and gosh darn it, people like it) and oven- and broiler-safe. It makes a killer grilled cheese (especially if you use this garlic herb butter), pan-fries meats and veggies, and can easily handle a pesto tortellini gratin. Bonus points: It's cast iron, so your guns get more toned every time you use it.

Cheating - A lot of those skillet recipes call for a breadcrumb topping. Every few months, I make a big batch of buttered and herbed breadcrumbs in the food processor, then stick a huge jar in the freezer. This is such a huge timesaver for me, and the payoff is amazing. You know why? Buttered breadcrumbs are DELICIOUS. Put them on mac & cheese, crust some cod, coat a green tomato, top a cauliflower and farro get the idea. Happy everywhere.

In my belly
Fairlife chocolate milk - Before I split my pants in an trampoline incident on Thanksgiving morning, I stole my in-laws' car and cranked through an OrangeTheory workout. I stopped at the store to buy every last Brussels sprout they had and grabbed a chocolate milk for my recovery snack. (It's my favorite!) I'd never seen this brand, but after a quick label glance--twice the protein! half the sugar!--I snatched it up. I've been obsessed with it ever since! I showed my nutritionist that I'd been using this as a post-workout recovery, so she looked over the ingredients and said, "You've been drinking 8 ounces? Make it 12." Yes ma'am. More chocolate milk, you say? I'm IN. I haven't split any pants since that day.

Golden Island Korean BBQ Pork Jerky - You know who you are, you jerky pusher. The first one was free, and now I'm buying it in bulk from Costco. I've never liked jerky, but this stuff is amazing. It's tender enough that I don't feel like a caveman, and I could imagine eating it over rice and veggies and calling it my favorite dinner of the week.

In other areas
Burt's Bees Peppermint Rosemary Body Wash - Those workouts make me really stinky. I picked K up from school after a workout, and as we were walking up the stairs, she said, "I smell your stink. You need to take a shower." That's why I use this body wash. It's tingly, refreshing, and wakes your whole body up!

Wake-Up Light - Guys, it's dark here in the fall and winter. Our bedroom is like the belly of a whale in a cave inside a black hole. Just the act of waking up can threaten to ruin your day. (I never intended to spend this much money on an alarm clock, but a healthy living rewards gift card made it easier.) This wakes me up with a simulated sunrise--you can set the duration of the sunrise and align it with a radio or bird-chirping sounds. It's very peaceful and natural. We haven't used a regular alarm for about a year now, and I think this winter has been easier on me because of this.

What can't you get enough of these days? I'd love to hear about your favorite things!


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