March Favorites

Despite the weather being mostly chilly and dreary this month, we managed to make it a good one. I got to go on a field trip with Jona's preschool to the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, I got a much-needed haircut, and I took a day off to spend with just Violet, among other things. Here are a few favorites for March.

Favorite dinner - One Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce. I love a dish that's a one-pot meal, although sometimes I'm a bit skeptical of how they will turn out. This one impressed me though. It was easy to make, really did only use one pot, and the pasta cooked fully without becoming a clumpy mess. Plus, EVERYONE ate this one. Success!

Favorite breakfast treat - Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones. This recipe is an old favorite, but it's one I love so much I made it twice this month! With peanut butter and oatmeal, these scones fill me up for breakfast, and with the chocolate of course, they're an indulgent treat.

Favorite dessert - Carrot Cake. I'm usually in camp "if it's not chocolate, I'm not interested" when it comes to dessert, but I try to make exceptions since Aaron isn't as chocolate-obsessed as I am. I made carrot cake once before, several years ago, but haven't tried since so decided to go for it. I don't make a lot of layer cakes, so I could use some practice, but this recipe turned out great! I did two 9 inch pans instead of the three 8 inch, and I should have cooked them a bit longer. I had a bit of a gooey middle situation. The frosting is as delicious as you imagine 3 bricks of cream cheese and 2 sticks of butter to be! Jona even helped me with this one, although he complained that it took too long. Layer cakes aren't for the impatient... which is why I make them so rarely.

Favorite mascara - Maybelline Define a Lash. I love trying new mascaras but often wish I would have just repurchased my favorite L'Oreal Telescopic. That wasn't the case this time. I love the length and definition this one gives, and it's also great on lower lashes, an area I find tricky to apply.

Favorite lip productRevlon Balm Stain in Honey. I picked up this lip color on my last Target run because I wanted a pretty spring lip color that would be good for everyday wear. This one is perfect; I love the rosy pink color and that it falls somewhere between lip balm and lipstick.

Favorite podcast episode - How to Create a Book Club Culture at Home from Read Aloud Revival. Read Aloud Revival is one of the first podcasts I ever listened to and it's been a favorite ever since. In this episode, Sarah Mackenzie reads a chapter from her newly released book, The Read-Aloud Family. Since I'm a loyal listener, this book has been on my radar, but I hadn't been in any hurry to get my hands on it before listening to this episode. I wondered how much more I'd learn from the book than I've already learned from the podcast. Well if that episode was a marketing trick, it totally worked. I can't wait to go pick up a copy of her book, and if I were more of a learn-by-listening type of person I'd buy the audio version; her voice is so pleasant to listen to. Moreover, I loved what this episode/chapter was about and can't wait to implement her ideas for creating a "book club culture" at home.

Favorite book - Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I'm almost positive that I read this as a child, although it's been so long ago that I can't remember for sure. Either way, I am so glad I read it as an adult because I enjoyed every moment of it. Basically, I wanted to climb inside that book and live there. I can see why Anne Shirley is a character that so many people still adore. I can't wait to read this one with (or to!) Violet when she gets older. Even at her young age, I can tell she's going to have a personality that will appreciate someone like Anne.

Favorite picture book - Love by Matt de la Pena. For the record, this was my favorite picture book, not Jona's, although he did like this one. (I'll share more picture book favorites next month.) This sweet, soothing, lyrical book is about love and all the forms that it takes, from the sounds of new parents' voices at the foot of a crib, to the music a cab driver plays on his radio. The beautiful illustrations, by Loren Long, perfectly enhance de la Pena's message.

Favorite outing - On St. Patrick's Day we had the perfect combination of a day out with family and friends. In the morning we went to a friends house for breakfast (and Irish Cappuccinos, yum!) and the kids all got to play together while the grown-ups hung out. In the afternoon, we took the kids to their grandparents' while we met some friends for food, drinks, and basketball-watching. It was a fun day!

Favorite post on Shea Lennon - Moto Jacket with a Print Dress: Closet MVP Remix. I like my outfit fine, but what I really love about this post is my little mini me's look. That tiny moto jacket kills me every time she wears it, and her facial expressions in this post pretty much sum up her personality--a healthy mix of sweet and sassy.

Favorite memory - My alma mater, Kansas State, beating Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen and advancing to the Elite 8! Our basketball team has been pretty mediocre the last few years so it was exciting to make a good run in the tournament this year. We lost to Loyola-Chicago in the next round, but I'm proud of how far we got. (Besides, they had a 98 year old nun on their side, you just can't beat that.)

Favorite (bittersweet) parenting moment - Jona cheerfully leaving Aaron and I behind at Kindergarten Round-Up. Kids got to go explore the classrooms while parents filled out paperwork. I thought Jona would hesitate and possibly resist going to a new classroom with an unfamiliar person, but nope, he just went right on ahead and didn't even want to leave when we were done. I'm glad he's excited, but it breaks my heart a little seeing him so grown up!

Favorite challenge - I created a "Spring Reading Wishlist" in my reading journal, filled with titles both new and old, fiction and non-fiction. I'd like to be able to check them all off before summer starts.

Favorite wardrobe addition - I did a lot of online shopping this month. There were some good deals and also I needed some spring clothes. It's hard for me to pick a favorite, but I love these green pants from Old Navy and these blush pink sneakers from Target (those are all your fault Anne!).

What were your favorite things this month? 

Linking with The Blended Blog.

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