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The Little Things Newsletter #398 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! Can I just start by saying “YAY for January”? I love the fresh start that the new year brings us. I’m not one for setting specific goals or resolutions in January, but I do love the fresh clean beginning after the holidays.

The first few months of 2024 are jam-packed for us and I’m looking forward to all of it – while also soaking in every calm moment at home in between times. I’m headed to NM next week for my annual sister trip and counting down the days until I can hug my sisters again.

ON THE BLOGS THIS WEEK:  Some foods are so basic, so incredibly simple, that it can be difficult to describe their awesomeness. That’s how I feel about cottage cheese with fruit. Two ingredients. (Sure, you can dress it up a bit, if you like, but at its heart, just 2 ingredients.) Whether this is my breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a sweet bite after dinner, I eat this combination at some point nearly every single day.

Savory chunks of chicken mingle with sweet grapes, crunchy walnuts, and crisp apples in this easy Chicken Waldorf Salad. This is a lunch you will put on repeat!

Tender chunks of ham meld with earthy green beans and hearty potatoes in this super simple meal of Crockpot Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes. When I tell you that this was an unexpected success, I can’t emphasize that enough. This is hearty comfort food that isn’t heavy with cheese or oils. It’s as simple as can be and my whole family gave it two thumbs up.

Fluffy potatoes with crisp, roasted edges are seasoned to perfection with just rosemary, salt, and pepper in these Rosemary Roasted Potatoes. My whole family starts to grab these right off the pan when they come out of the oven.

Brown sugar is the star of the show in this homemade Brown Sugar Icing with notes of caramel and molasses mingling in this pourable, dreamy frosting.

The unforgettable tang of rich, buttermilk cake is topped with a layer of sweet caramel frosting in this Buttermilk Cake topped with that irresistible icing.

Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream is cold, creamy chocolate with a hint of spicy heat from chili and cinnamon. This ice cream warms your mouth even as you are chilled from the ice cream. The combination of heat with the cold is fantastic.

What I’m CRAVING: I’ve gone from craving all the salads last week to craving all the pancakes today! (Did you know we have 24 pancake recipes here? and 20 pancake recipes over here?) My family really loves pancakes!) My boys and I are going to try a couple of new recipes this morning too!

My FAVORITE THING this week is my very basic to-do-list style, undated planner. I’ve told you about it before, but it’s worth mentioning again as I just opened up a new one this week. I switched to this style of planner a couple of years ago and it’s been a great fit for me. It works well as my checklist for each day with the added benefit of having time slots on the side for the days when I’m more scheduled. 

What I’m READING: Atomic Habits by James Clear. I’ve probably read this book at least 3-4 times now and referred back to it more times than I know. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Teens, young adults, business owners, at-home parents, retirees – there’s advice here that could benefit anyone and everyone, at any stage of life. I own it on Kindle, in paper, and as an audiobook. It’s an excellent refresher and reminder of where I want my priorities to be.

What I’m LISTENING to: Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. Described as “A collection of well-loved stories for witches and wizards of all ages, The Tales of Beedle the Bard are the wizarding world’s Grimm’s Fairytales.” This is a fun, fast read for any Harry Potter fan. If you happen to enjoy audiobooks and are also a bit of a Harry Potter nerd, the 90-minute narration is fantastic. Jude Law reads Dumbledore’s part and I enjoyed it. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1-2 NIV

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!

Mary

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