Hey friends! It’s time to pop back in with a speed style Friday Thoughts post because I have so many crazy things to talk to you about. And also, these posts are my favorite. And also, you guys are AWESOME. Your comments on these posts are golden. I come back to them over and over when I need some ideas (and laughs). 

Today I’m going through a bullet list of things that have been on my mind. It’s kind of a lot. But don’t be scared. AND DO NOT LEAVE ME HANGING. I need some help and advice and friendship and support and chocolate. So answer all my questions, dang it. 🙂 Especially #7. Thanks.

You can catch all past Friday Thoughts posts here. 

1. Glasses Thoughts: I ordered my first-ever pair of glasses online at Zenni Optical (unsponsored, not affiliated with them in the least) after hearing how inexpensive it could be. I was scared (my prescription is pretty gnarly with a really high astigmatism). I had to measure my pupillary distance (gulp). I succeeded (awkward miracle). I have wanted a pair of clear-ish frames for a while and love them so much. I’ve never received so many compliments on glasses before. You can see them in these IGTV videos. Here’s the link to the frames I ordered

2. How to Teach Kids to Read Thoughts: my days of teaching kids, at least my own kids, to read are past (and it makes me kind of sad). With all five of my kids, I used this old school, simple, no frills book to teach them to read – aff. link. They are all varying levels and strengths of readers, but I can solidly say that this book gave each of them a really strong foundation for basic principles. It’s not exciting and colorful (I often bribed them with M&Ms to get through the first lessons until the pictures start appearing with the stories), but I love this book and am grateful I had it to teach my kids (they each started using it at different ages based on their individual personalities and learning styles, but it was anywhere from 4-6 years old for each of them). Anybody else used this book? 

3. Bum Bum Cream Thoughts: Yes, you heard me right. Bum Bum Cream. (Heads up, lots of bikini-clad women on the website – you can also find it here on Amazonaff. link) This stuff is magical and wow, it has a cult following. I’m sure I’m the last person on earth to know about it. And despite the name, it’s not really for your bum bum. At least I don’t think so. Ha. I use it as my go-to hand cream (along with this Capri blue lotion aff. link). I’ve never had lotion that smelled so good. Like, people have actually come up to sniff me when I’m wearing it…which has made me think swiftly about discontinuing use, personal space issue alert, but I can’t because I love it. It’s soft and smooth and not greasy and perfect.

4. Signature Recipe Thoughts: I’ve been known to wax poetic about the value of having a signature recipe and how empowering that can be. A recipe that people know you by. A recipe people request and talk about. A recipe that basically makes you feel like a rock star. Not only is it kind of fun, but it also becomes a back-pocket recipe. Something you don’t even have to think twice about when you make it because it turns out perfect every time, and it can become a really easy go-to recipe to take anytime you need a stellar ________ (fill in the blank) recipe for that certain event or potluck or whatever. Plus before you know it, people will be saying things like “I really hope she brings her famous horseradish carrot jello salad tonight!” except of course I really hope no one actually has a horseradish carrot jello salad as their signature recipe. 

I LOVE asking people what their signature recipe is. So here goes. What’s your signature recipe?? I think I have different signature recipes depending on the occasion, but one of them is definitely these super soft chocolate chip cookies and I make this fluffier than fluffy bread all the time to take to new neighbors/church members and peeps who just need a little thinking-of-you-here’s-a-loaf-of-bread-don’t-feel-guilty-about-eating-the-whole-loaf kind of pick me up. I also say it’s perfectly ok for your signature recipe to change over time (or every day). 

The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

5. Movie Thoughts: recently my two younger kids (ages 7 and 10) and I stumbled on this Miniscule: Valley of the Lost Ants movie, and holy cow, it was entertaining. I didn’t read anything about it before we started watching so I was slightly alarmed/bemused when I realized there was no talking in the movie at all, but my kids did not even notice. It was creative and funny and highly captivating. Also, I just watched the Hundred Foot Journey movie and quite liked it! I mean, yes, because it’s about food, but I enjoyed the personalities and story line (even though there was just one part that I can’t mention because of spoilers that had me side-eyeing the believability). Have you watched either of these? 

6. Sunscreen Thoughts: I’m actually gearing up to do an updated suncare/sunscreen post related to my skin cancer and some updated products I’m using and things I’m doing to protect my skin and my family’s skin. But. I had to tell you about this supergoop unseen sunscreen that has completely rocked my world. It.is.amazing. I’ve been using it every day on my face (finding the right facial sunscreen is SO hard especially with an spf 40). It has the most interesting, lovely matte texture that feels like a primer (and I love it). Honestly, it’s one of those products I’m totally scared will ever be discontinued because it’s become such a huge part of my skincare regime. 

7. Photo/Video Storage Thoughts: Ok, I’m almost done, but I just have a super big question for you. How do you store your personal/family digital photos and videos long term? On a cloud service? External hard drives? CDs? Haha, mostly kidding with that last one (ahem, says the one who has a bunch of cds stuffed with family pictures from the early 2000’s sitting in a closet somewhere). I’ve used external hard drives as a backup for our family photos/videos forever, but based on the fact that they can fail and/or a natural disaster could wipe them out, I think I need to explore a cloud service. However, the daunting task of uploading 17 years worth of digital pictures with subpar internet speeds has me holding back (as in, it would take years to upload them all). Am I missing another obvious solution? Help? Advice? Chocolate? Send it all. 

That was a lot! Sorry for the brain dump! So much for “speed style” haha. If you made it to the end, just know I love your guts and am virtually sending you high fives and lots of cookies. Love your guts!

Oh wait, there’s more! 

Friday Thoughts Update:
After the last Friday Thoughts post and your significant alarm at my game closet, a much-needed intervention took place. Behold the before and after. I’m actually happy (and completely and utterly shocked) to say that two months later, it still *mostly* looks like the new and improved version. Storing games on their sides is brilliant; thanks to the many readers who suggested that. 

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