brother hugging sister

Shockingly, I’m checking in already again with another Friday Thoughts post, and I’m going to *try* to do it speedy speed style. 

Nothing dramatic. Nothing serious. Nothing all that thought provoking to be honest, haha. Just a lot of quick random tidbits and thing I’ve wanted to share lately (YES, I’m finally telling you about those pants and shoes I promised). 

As always, chime in on the comments with any feedback or recommendations of your own!

{Thank you to everyone who commented on the last Friday Thoughts post. I read each and every comment and try to respond to every one! Sure appreciate you guys.}

woman walking two miniature donkeys in pasture

1) Headshots: after 12 years of blogging, I finally hired a professional photographer (the amazing Carrie Elton) to take some headshots and fun true-to-life photos of me and the family. Out of the hundreds she took, I wanted to share this one which I feel is probably the most flattering of the bunch and which will most likely become my new profile picture.

{I was trying to climb over the vinyl fence WHICH WE TELL OUR KIDS TO NEVER EVER CLIMB OVER BC IT COULD EASILY BREAK and also trying to avoid the electric/hotwire fence and Brian’s expression is clearly screaming: you aren’t going to make it – but also, he obviously wasn’t being much help either, haha}climbing over vinyl fence

2) Exercise Lately: regular exercise has been a beacon to my soul and mental health the last few months. I’m an at-home exerciser (shocker, I know). For the last few months, I’ve been doing an exercise combination that is working better than any other home exercise program I’ve ever done. I am loving it!

The Peloton app (I don’t have a fancy Peloton treadmill or bike; I just use my iPad with the Peloton monthly subscription and do a walk + run class a couple times a week) + The Sweat app (I’m currently doing the Lifting at Home program and try to get in two workouts a week on alternating days of Peloton). My favorite trainers on Peloton for walk + run classes are Matt Wilpers and Olivia Amato.

peloton plus sweat apps

3) Hip Pain: I’m getting old. So is my hip. For the last many months, it has caused me some very significant pain (especially after I picked up a little light jogging with exercise). I can’t sleep on that side and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night (or after I’ve been sitting a long time) with excruciating pain that, if I’m being totally honest, usually brings tears to my eyes. After a conversation with a brother-in-law this summer, I decided maybe I should try yoga.

You guys, I hate yoga (I’m so sorry for everyone I’ve offended with that statement). I’ve tried doing it in the past when I went through a P90X phase, and I also tried a hot yoga class once that almost killed me within the first 10 minutes because clearly hot yoga is akin to opening the jaws of hell and taking a bath. I really thought I was going to die. Through all the yoga trial and error, I’ve just never felt the love for yoga that others do. It’s boring and I’m not flexible (this is ironic, I know; I’m the person who needs yoga the most) and I do a lot of side eyeing when I’m commanded to think of my legs being rooted into the earth with my heart center floating above me. I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.

meme lemur doing yoga come on inner peace i don't have all day

ANYWAY (remember when I promised this edition of Friday Thoughts would be brief, ahem), fast forward past all my yoga boredom, and I finally decided that trying 10-15 minutes of yoga every day might be worth it for my hip pain. I promise you I am not exaggerating, but you guys, 85% of my hip pain was gone within the first week. I kid you not. I still have some residual hip pain when I sit or sleep, but it is so significantly decreased, I feel like it is borderline miraculous.

All I’ve done is add a 10 minute yoga session after I work out. Some of the classes have been targeted for hips, others have just been restorative, and some have been yoga flow classes. I can’t say that I’ve necessarily fallen in love with yoga, but man, do I ever have a testimony of the benefits. I take back *almost* everything negative I’ve ever said about yoga. (I’m finding yoga workouts on YouTube + Peloton + Sweat apps). 

cow yoga poses

4) Almonds: we are obsessed with these “bold” sriracha almonds {aff. link}. My 13-year old was introduced to them on a campout with cousins this summer, and he hasn’t stopped talking about them. I finally picked up a can at the store and they were gone in about 3 1/2 minutes. We can’t keep them in stock around here. I bought the 12-pack snack size {aff. link} for school lunches because the kids love them so much. The Sweet Thai Chili flavor {aff. link} is also very, very excellent.

bold sriracha almonds

5) Pickle Ball: speaking of being obsessed, pickle ball is life right now. I mentioned this on Instagram a few weeks ago, but we painted our own pickle ball court last year (in front of one of our cow pastures). The lines are regulation, our skills are not. Haha.

We aren’t anything special, but we play all the time as a family and now that Brian rigged up some super fancy stadium lights (ahem, old corral posts with LED lights zip tied to them), we play a lot in the evening (if anyone ever plays with us, I am quickly reminded that my best talent is providing snacks). Any other pickle ball fans out there? 

pickle ball court

6) Marbles and Jokers: my brother introduced us to this game in June. We’ve literally played it almost nightly since. So, so fun. It’s like the board game Sorry but with marbles, face cards, and a few twists. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

There are lots of variations/brands available online through Amazon and Etsy if you look around. The exact rules vary based on which brand you buy. I’ve played other variations, and I have to say, the version we have is my favorite. It’s handmade from this small company, and it’s beautiful AND fun. Unsponsored. Just love it. 

marbles and jokers game

7) Cardistry: my talented 14-year old practices card tricks and cardistry nonstop. He pretty much has a deck of cards in his hands at all times (except for family scripture study and dinner time, ha). It blows my mind sometimes. He has a compilation video of all of his tricks (he learns them mostly from YouTube videos that I approve first), but he isn’t feeling quite brave enough to share that yet, so I’ll just give you a glimpse of a picture that showcases one of his tricks.

In the land of New Quarantine Skills We’ve Picked Up, I’m over here still stuck on the talent of seeing how many chocolate chip cookies I can eat in a day while my kids have apparently decided to go for more ambitious skills, like cardistry and card tricks (and keeping kunekune pigs and miniature donkeys alive and well).

teenager showing cardistry trick

8) Silk Pillowcase: Brian gave me a silk pillowcase {aff. link} for Mother’s Day earlier this year, and you guys, I’m totally and wholeheartedly converted even though I was the one rolling my eyes months before at the silk pillowcase revolution. I know you’ll say it can’t be scientifically verified, but I swear I sleep better now using this thing – it keeps my head and neck cooler and somehow just soothes me to sleep. I swear it.

Sadly, it hasn’t diminished any wrinkles as promised, haha, and I can still fall asleep anywhere, anytime (see below), but I don’t know if I can go back to a regular pillowcase. I love how it feels and how I sleep. Also, I’m lazy and just wash and dry it (on gentle). 

mom asleep in chair at kitchen table

9) Pants I Love: Ok, so the pants I promised to tell you about last time…well, they’ve been a disappointment. Good thing I waited to wear them a few more times! So I’m not going to waste your time with those.

(In case you are curious, they are these pants that are inexpensive and based on the reviews promised to be amazing, but after wearing them a few times, they lost their shape, made me feel claustrophobic with the super thick fabric, and were generally uncomfortable and not flattering on this 42-year old bottom – sorry I just mentioned my bottom).

Good thing I have other pants I love. And they’re super fancy. 🙂

Let’s talk about joggers, ok? I love these super comfy joggers {aff. link} (I have the black camo ones), and for a total splurge, I bought these joggers last year when they were on sale (you can also get 20% off with a first time purchase). Nothing compares to them. Nothing. They are the best loungy pants ever (I wear them out and about, too). But. They are pricey, so I get that spending that much on joggers might make you choke. All I’m saying is, if you can get 20% off and a mini inheritance, DO IT.

Also, my name is Mel and I apparently really like wearing joggers. Every day. Can we still be friends? {Wearing them in the picture below}

mom and son hiking on dirt path

10) The Shoes: I’m probably showing my style (or lack of) with these last couple paragraphs, but hey, life’s short, and this is me. These shoes/sandals, {aff. link} are amazing and so, so comfortable. I haven’t worn another shoe all summer except for when I exercise or when I go tromping around the pig pasture.

I promise I hardly ever wear them with socks (that was just at a cabin trip this summer when my fashion standards were at a wonderful all-time low), but I definitely wear them every single day. I’ve foregone wearing my favorite “real” Birkenstocks for these, I love them so much. I have them in silver and white (full disclosure: the white ones are super dirty and impossible to get clean). 

birkenstock sandals with socks

Ok, I have about 17 1/2 more things I could share with you today, but I’ll let you get back to your real life. 🙂 

Any new fun recommendations to share with me?? Tell me in the comments below!

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