Good morning! Happy Friday! I hope your Friday began on a good note but if not, the weekend is on the horizon and that’s something to get excited about, right?

Our weekend should be a good one. My father-in-law arrived in town yesterday in the early evening and we will be celebrating his birthday together on Saturday night in addition to soaking up some quality family time with our guest of honor! Before all of that fun gets going, I wanted to pop in this morning and share a roundup of some of my favorite things from the week in typical Things I’m Loving Friday fashion. As always, feel free to join in and let me know about something that is making you smile this week in the comments section below. And have a GREAT weekend!!

Things I’m Loving Friday

Calm App

I first used the Calm app when I was in the waiting room at urgent care last month when I had the flu. I was so sick and ended up in a ball on the floor with my hood over my head in a secluded corner waiting for more than an hour before I was called back to be seen by a doctor. I previously downloaded the app after reading about it in a magazine but it came in handy when I desperately needed something to help me breathe, quiet my mind and do anything other than focus on how awful I was feeling.

I ended up using the app daily when I was sick to give my mind something to rest on when something as simple as reading or watching TV gave me horrible headaches. The app offers a decent number of free meditations and sleep stories and, to be honest, I’ve just listened to the free ones on repeat when I’ve wanted something calming and haven’t paid for anything else in the app. It’s a great option for those who might be new to meditation or simply want someone to guide them through focusing on their breath to put their mind at ease. Plus, I love the peaceful background noises of waves crashing or trees rustling in the mind.

final girls book

I briefly mentioned this book in my blog post from yesterday but if you are looking for a book that will have you flying through the pages, this is a must-read! Final Girls is a suspenseful thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat (errr… bed) for the two nights it took me to devour this one. The book follows the life if Quincy Carpenter, a woman who managed to survive a brutal massacre that killed five of her friends when she was on a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods in college. Dubbed one of three “Final Girls,” one of three women who survived horrific killings when others did not, Quincy is trying her best to lead a normal life. Then Lisa, one of the three Final Girls and the only one of 10 sorority sisters to survive a sorority house murder massacre in college, is found dead and Sam, the other Final Girl, shows up on Quincy’s doorstep. Quincy’s life is turned upside down again. This book includes twist after twist and there was not one dull moment in the whole thing. If you’re in the market for a new thriller, definitely check it out!

spicy peanut soup

I am still waiting for the day a Pinch of Yum recipe lets me down and it just hasn’t happened yet and I’m beginning to think it never will. They know their food! And apparently we have very similar taste in food because I want to make practically every recipe they share on their blog. My most recent Pinch of Yum success came last night when I made their spicy peanut soup in the crock pot. I followed the recipe almost exactly (though I used a little extra coconut milk and added chopped cauliflower that was about to go bad in our fridge) and Ryan, my father-in-law and I all loved it! (Real talk: Chase was riding the mac and cheese train last night.) The recipe is packed with tender sweet potato, onion, peanuts and kale but the flavors from the curry, peanut butter and garlic take it to the next level. You can also make it on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot, but the crock pot worked really well for me.

thrive market haul

We recently renewed our Thrive Market membership for another year, so the healthy food deliveries keep comin’! This time I filled my box with some of our usual staples (apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, pumpkin seeds, sesame oil, coconut aminos), coconut wraps, Primal Kitchen turkey jerky sticks and a few new-to-me items as well, including smoked clams (worth a try for this seafood lover) and an alcohol-free witch hazel toner that has received a bunch of rave reviews. If the toner is as great as everyone claims, I’ll be sure to report back!

  • Favorite Workout: BBC Full Body Stack

Full Body Stack Workout

When I shared my Top 10 Workouts of 2017, I had someone request more updates from the workouts I do on a day-to-day basis. I figured including my favorite workout of the week in every Friday post might be a fun way to share a new workout with you guys that appealed to me for one reason or another. Just don’t be surprised if you see a whole lot of circuit-style workouts, boot camp workouts and strength training workouts because those tend to be my favs!

In the shocker of all shockers, my favorite workout of the week this week was actually a Burn Boot Camp stack workout which is traditionally my most dreaded workout of the various BBC formats. I liked the way this particular stack was broken up into two mini-stacks so getting through all four exercises didn’t feel quite as daunting as building up to stacks that include 8+ exercises.

  • Around the Web

Fitness: Eight Burpee Variations Workout / Postpartum Marathon Training Plan / 20-Minute Full Body Workout

Food: Butternut Squash Pancakes / Healthy Peanut Butter Cups / Easy Chicken and Rice Soup / Ultimate Winter Bliss Bowls

Weekend Sales: 15% off everything or 20% off purchases $100+ at Kohl’s with code SUPERSAVER / Up to 50% off last-season styles from Nike (includes my fav high-waisted training capris that hold everything in!) / All clearance under $20 at American Eagle Outfitters (love this cozy hoodie!) /  Extra 50% off final sale from J.Crew Factory with code GOTIME

  • Friday Flashbacks

5 Easy and Healthy Weeknight Dinners (A glimpse into what a week of dinners looked like in our house with an emphasis on clean, healthy recipes.)

5 Easy and Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Upper Body Strength Pulse Hold Workout (You’ll seriously feel the burn in your biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest thanks to the tiny pulses in this workout.)

upper body strength pulse hold

Question of the Day

What is one thing that made you smile this week?

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