Hello from the other side of the holidays! They seem to go faster and faster each year, don’t they? I took down all our decorations on Wednesday, Ben is back to work, and while the cozy, magical feeling of Christmas has left the air, I will admit that it’s nice getting back into a routine. Ask me if I feel the same in a month when the snow just won’t die and I’m dying for something to look forward to!

That being said, I think we’re ready to travel with Lincoln again this spring/summer. I believe it was somewhere between praying the too-loud music at a breakfast joint wouldn’t wake him up, and Ben and me taking turns eating dinner at my cousin’s wedding to tend to our screaming infant when we traveled to Denver a few months ago, that I actually said “we are never doing this again.” Hmmm…

Looking back it wasn’t bad at all. He did really great for only being 3 months old, plus as Lincoln’s gotten older his moods and needs are much more predictable. So, where should we go? What’s your favorite family-friendly destination in the US? Spring break has always been one of my favorite travel times during the year!

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and please enjoy my favorite finds from around the web and beyond in this week’s Friday Favorites!

Click the light blue link to be taken to the source. 

Favorite thing ever: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches. DYING over this creation. Sheer brilliance!


Favorite kitchen. This kitchen island is making me all sorts of giddy and I adore how the cooking area can be closed off by barn door-style cabinets. What an awesome space.


Favorite dinner: Mexican Quinoa. Loving the flavors in this one-pot quinoa dish. Looks like a perfect weeknight meal.


Favorite find: Picture Rail Inspiration. I finally ordered picture ledges (I got these and love them) for the big long wall in my long and narrow awkward-shaped living room and this picture is my inspiration for how to style them. Need to stock up on frames, knicks, and knacks, then they’re goin’ up!


Favorite crunch: Thai Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. A reader sent me a link to this recipe earlier this week, thinking Ben and I would enjoy it – she knows us so well! I’m on a huge Thai peanut-sauce kick right now – stay tuned for a recipe using it on Monday!


Favorite place: Grand Hotel, Lake Misurina. O.M.G. This hotel in northern Italy has officially made my bucket list. What a breathtaking shot!!


Favorite stuffed: Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Style Burritos. Me thinks I don’t eat enough burritos. Will have to change that ASAP with these babies.


Favorite bling: Love Knot Stud Earrings. I pretty much only wear stud earrings so I like that these guys are studs, but fancy, know what I mean?


Favorite flavors: Brown Rice Bowl with Asian Vegetables and Sesame-Lime Dressing. Got the ingredients to make this for dinner tonight. Can’t wait!


Favorite tip: How to Travel-Proof Your Razor. One life hack I will definitely be using.


Favorite idea: Smoothie Packs. I’ve been on a big smoothie kick the past couple of weeks and while they’re awesome, it’s definitely a pain in the butt to get out all the ingredients, load them in the blender, put them away, etc. Love the idea of spending some time pre-making smoothie packs to make the whole process go much faster!

2 smoothie packets_mini

Favorite natural: Citrus Kitchen Cleaner. My sister-in-law turned me onto this tip – use leftover lemon or lime segments to clean sinks and cutting boards, then send ’em down the disposal (if they’re cut small enough, of course) to get your sink smelling nice and clean. I rubbed a leftover lemon all over my stainless steel sink a few nights ago and it seriously looked brand new.


Favorite bake: Italian Chicken. Tomatoes. Basil. Chicken. Artichokes. Cheese. One pan. ‘Nuf said!


Favorite tips: 10 Ways to Declutter Your Day. Wonderful ideas on how to stay focused throughout the day. I especially love the one about the laptop – if my work didn’t involve the computer/internet so much I’d be all over it!


Favorite upgrade: Braided Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Danish. Regular danish? Snore. Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Danish?! YES!


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Have a great weekend!