Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don’t) – 1.26.18

I hope you’ve had a good week and are ready to roll into the weekend.  I’m wrapping up a kitchen today and am excited to share it with you (new floors and counters are going in soon).  All good things.  I’ve hit the ground running with ideas, books, learning new things, and I’m excited to share it with you!  Let’s get on with this week’s Friday 5+1!  This post contains some affiliate links.

Necessary Lies

Like I said, I’m back on the book reading (listening) train, and have already listened to four books this year!  Perhaps I need to set a book listening goal for myself – but I really love discovering new books and interesting stories.  Necessary Lies is a work of fiction, but is based on true events that took place more than fifty years ago.  In some ways it reminds me of  “Before We Were Yours” in that I can’t even believe some of the things that happened not so long ago.  

Necessary Lies

Here is the Amazon description:

“After losing her parents, 15-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness, and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.

When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed. She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients’ lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband. But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm – secrets much darker than she would have guessed.

Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong. Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: How can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?”

It was a great read, albeit unreal in so many ways.  I was sad to see it end, as it was such a compelling and well told story, leaving you to wonder how you would react in the situations that were presented.  Highly recommend.

Balsamic Glaze

I know this is totally random, but while I was away on my scrapbooking trip (yes, once a year I geek out and go scrapbooking, old school.  With actual pictures that are printed out.)  Anyway, one of the appetizers one of the girls brought was a Caprese salad – fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil and a balsamic glaze.  I’ve had this mix with balsamic vinegar at home during the summer, and I love it, but this balsamic glaze takes it to a whole new level.  It’s a thicker consistency and is absolutely delicious. This summer I’m going to have to stock up on this yummy goodness.

Balsamic Glaze

Tomato Tortellini Soup

I made this tomato tortellini soup this week (on the stove, not the crockpot) and it was delicious.  Even my husband used the word delicious to describe it – which hardly ever happens when it comes to my cooking.  So I’m calling that a win and filing this recipe away to use in the future.

slow cooker tomato tortellini soup

Camo Speedlight Tank

While I’m no fashion blogger, I do think that I can speak to workout wear, as I workout regularly and often find myself in workout clothes for a large portion of the day.  I recently ordered this Camo Speedlight Tank from Athleta, and really love it.  It’s comfortable, stylish, and it even has “hem grippers” along the bottom to keep it from riding up on you while you’re working out.  

Athlete Camo Speedlight Tank

Gray Cabinets + Brick Backsplash

I keep finding myself going back to look at this pretty kitchen with their soft neutral color and the brick backsplash.  So classic and pretty!  Would you ever consider a brick backsplash in your kitchen?  I can’t find the original source of this photo, so if anyone knows it, please let me know so I can give it proper credit!

Brick backsplash gray cabinets

Original Source Unknown

My +1 for the week – Too many mascara choices

So, I needed to buy some new mascara – nothing crazy, I was just browsing in the the L’Oreal section alone, and I swear, there were about TWENTY different kinds of mascara to choose from for just one brand.  Telescopic Mascara, Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara (whatever that means), Fiber Mascara, Million Lashes Mascara, Extra Volume Collagen Mascara, Butterfly Lengthening Mascara.  

Come ON, people, I just want my lashes to not look so pitiful, and perhaps look a bit more like my 12 year-old daughter’s (which are long and full, I’m so jealous).  Is that so difficult?  They need a brand called “Tween Girl Natural Look Mascara” – that’s the one I want.

I hope you have a great weekend!



  • Reply
    Calypso in the Country
    January 26, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Love the brick! I just use some kind of Covergirl mascara but one of my favorite bloggers, Golden Boys and Me, had recommended Loreal Lash Paradise on her Favorite things list a month or two ago. I have been meaning to try that one. Have a great weekend!

    • Reply
      January 27, 2018 at 10:56 am

      I will add Lash Paradise to my list of mascaras to try! I swear, too many choices out there!

  • Reply
    cassie bustamante
    January 26, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Have you checked out the Think Dirty app? It rates products on toxicity and I’ve been using it for all my makeup and self care products and has helped me make many choices as I want to make sure I am not rubbing carcinogens all over myself!!

    • Reply
      January 27, 2018 at 10:56 am

      I have never heard of that app Cassie – I’ll have to check it out! Hope you’re doing well with your pregnancy – you look great!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2018 at 10:13 am

    I will have to look for that book. Our book club just finished Before We Were Yours. And yes, hard to believe some of the things that took place years ago. And, I have always wanted a brick wall/backsplash in my kitchen. My friend has one and I love it!! Paired with the gray cabinets it is gorgeous. Too funny about the mascara.

    • Reply
      January 27, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Isn’t Before We Were Yours amazing? It really left a mark on me, and I’m still absolutely stunned that it was able to happen in the first place.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    go for the Butterfly L’Oreal mascara. It keeps the clumps away and looks really nice.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Not sure about brick backsplash. Its porous nature would make it difficult to keep clean. I have to have an easy clean surface. As it is used in the photo, it might probably work.
    As far as mascara is concerned, I agree. Covergirl is out for me, I’m allergic. But I do like Physician’s Formula. I get the waterproof kind, because every brand flakes off on me. Can’t wait to see the kitchen you just finished!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Re: Mascara

    I love L’Oreal’s Primer and Voluminous mascara. The mascara comes in a straight wand and also a curved wand. I prefer the straight wand for myself.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 9:23 am

    You can make your own balsamic reduction very easily. Simply simmer balsamic vinegar for 20-30 minutes until it reduces to a syrup. Google a recipe if you need specifics. I make it every summer for a simple tomato mozzarella salad.

    • Reply
      January 27, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Well you can tell that cooking is not my love language, as I didn’t even think of this! Great idea – and I will definitely be doing a balsamic reduction of some sort the next time I have a Caprese Salad! 🙂

  • Reply
    Beth Ann
    January 27, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Book recommendation… ealinor Oliphant is completely fine, really good

    • Reply
      January 27, 2018 at 11:00 am

      I read that not long ago Beth Ann – totally agree, such a moving book. I really came to love Eleanor and felt such an empathy towards her (and others like her) after reading that book.

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