I’m so happy it’s the last week of February. I consider March the first day of spring here despite what the calendar says. It will be in the high sixties this week, and I’m so ready to get out and put the bulbs into the ground! Make sure to follow my @cottagestory account on Instagram for all the gardening and home updates. We are going to be working on a front porch project on Saturday! I’m excited about its makeover. 😊 After editing blogs and filming a few recipe videos on Monday, I made a delicious chicken pad thai for dinner. I always forget the peanuts at the grocery store, though! 😆 I used the potato peeler on the carrots this time, and it made all the difference. They cooked so much faster, and I didn’t have to spend extra time slicing the carrots. On Tuesday, I had a fun shopping day with my mom. We headed to Southpark to look for some wedding accessories and gifts. I loved the idea that some of you gave me about finding a perfume that I only wear on my wedding day to bring a bit of nostalgia back to that day every time I put it on or wear it. I definitely found the one I love! I would never have thought to do something like that. All of your tips and ideas have been so useful.
We were so hungry by the time 4:30 pm rolled around, so I took my mom to Restoration Hardware rooftop for an early dinner. She had never been there, so it was so fun experiencing it with her. Not only is the furniture store designed like a palace, but the food at the restaurant is also amazing! We treated ourselves to delicious chicken Caesar salads, grilled broccolini, wine, sparkling water, and dessert! I definitely broke my lower carb diet for this one.
They had vanilla bean gelato with a chocolate-salted cookie. It was hands down the BEST gelato I’ve ever had, and it was even better when mixed with the warm chocolate chip cookie. You also have to order an espresso with it to make it even better. I think this is what I’m going to eat next year for my birthday. But next time, I’m not sharing. 😆 I started Wednesday off with a long walk with my neighbor. I always love starting my day off with a walk or something active. Unfortunately, it’s pouring right now, so I’ll have to wait until the afternoon to walk. Speaking of walking, I’m going to be starting a 100-day challenge on Friday! Let me know if you want me to blog about it. It’ll involve daily walking, drinking more water, and cutting sugar. I made a chart for my office to hold me accountable. When I see things in and write things out, I usually stick to them better. While I was out walking, Kyle surprised me by organizing the pan madness under our stovetop. He purchased the organizer from Amazon, and it is a gamechanger. He also organized all the utensil drawers, and I’ll share that soon! He’s been on an organization streak the past few weeks, and I love it. On Thursday, the Dutch letters from the Jaarsma Bakery I ordered arrived! I was so excited for Kyle to try these. He loves anything with almond flavor, and we never got the chance to stop at the Jaarsma bakery when we visited Iowa. Plus, our next-door neighbors are also from Iowa (what are the odds of that?), and I dropped off some for them! They were just as good as I remember, and it was like instant nostalgia. Kyle LOVED them!! I’m excited to actually get to visit Pella with him next time we visit Iowa (hopefully soon 🤞 )When I got home from my eye appointment on Thursday evening, I made some shrimp go with leftover Pad Thai. We finished watching Truth Be Told and started Watching Tell Me Your Secrets. We love thrillers. The sun finally came out on Friday!
I spent the day blogging, cleaning the house, catching up on laundry, baking, and grocery shopping. I finally felt motivated on Friday, and I think the sun had something to do with that! Does anyone else finish a cleaning session by lighting a candle? I always do that! My dad was coming over on Sunday, so I made him some of my healthy carrot cake! I actually used my go-to recipe but subbed the flour for almond flour, and it worked perfectly. I’m the type of person that completely skips over St Patrick’s day. I’ve never cared for that holiday, so my mind goes straight to Easter after Valentine’s day. When I saw these Easter bunny jars at Homegoods, I had to get them! I’m not a big fan of colorful knick nacks, so these black and white ones fit the aesthetic perfectly. Even Kyle liked them.
I made Kyle’s favorite on Friday night (ok, my favorite, too) Turkey meatloaf! We make this recipe at least once a month! Usually once a week in the summer. Oh my goodness. It was freezing on Saturday morning! I’m hoping that was the last day for frost. I was just happy it didn’t rain. I started my morning with yogurt, blueberries, banana, creamy peanut butter, and decaf. I started with decaf because I was saving my caffeine for a Starbucks drink. I’m still on that one cup of coffee a day kick! It’s going really well, and it’s been almost three months now. Kyle had to go to Lowes to get some things for the house. I decided to tag along so I could get my pistachio latte and some bulbs for the garden.
On the way, we stopped at Starbucks, and I ordered a tall almond milk pistachio latte. I was so sad that it tasted nothing like pistachio. It just tasted like a vanilla latte. It was still drinkable but disappointing for someone who LOVES anything pistachio flavored. This has inspired me to try to make a pistachio latte at home! I’ll be testing it out this week. My gladiolus from Lowes was just a little experiment last year, but they ended up growing so tall and beautiful. I decided to pick up more and plant them in the same area for summer. I had so much fun browsing plants and getting ideas on what to add to the garden this year. I will be adding shrubs along the walkway up to the porch and drift roses along the sides of my driveway. Those will be my two big projects. Lowes had the tulips and hyacinths for $2, so I picked some up to plant tomorrow! I still have them in my garage since it’s going to drop down tonight, but it’s going to be warm for them the rest of the week. I grabbed blue hosta to plant near my back porch since it’s shady most of the day. I usually stop at Wilson’s nursery atleast once a week in the spring/summer. I cannot wait until they have all the flowers out. I wanted to grab a few border plants, so I headed there in the afternoon! I’m going to put the border plants along the walkway. I have everything laid out perfectly and ready to go for tomorrow! I will do my porch pots in mid-march. Let me know if you want me to start sharing those daily gardening projects on the blog. My goal for next year is to get a little white greenhouse in the backyard. I’ve seen some adorable ones online, and my dad and I have been planning it out for the build. Our privacy fence trees are getting installed on Friday, so I’d put the greenhouse right next to them. On Saturday evening, we stopped over at a neighbor’s house, and I brought raspberry peach frose! 😋 I was up bright and early on Sunday morning for a quick walk with my neighbor! We did a 4-mile route to start the day. I stopped at Homegoods on my way to pick up Chopt salads and couldn’t say no to this bench. I thought it would look perfect in the entryway since we don’t have anything there, but it still looked a bit off. I think we are going to use it in our loft or at the end of our bed! I love it too much to take it back. I was so excited on Sunday afternoon when my mom brought me over her rose bushes. She has the most amazing white sally holmes and iceberg roses she’s been growing for four years. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get enough sun for them, so she gave them to me since my house is sun central. I cannot wait to see them climb all over the fence! Stay tuned for that. Kyle and I ended our evening with roasted teriyaki salmon, pesto parm cavatelli, and leftover chopt salad as an aside.
If you’re looking for a cozy drink, I just made a healthy hot chocolate. It has 1/2 cup of hot almond milk, 1/4 cup hot water, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cocoa powder, and a few stevia drops. It’s so delicious! ♥️
Even though the week was low-key and I had the worst cramps ever (hence why I dove for more carbs than normal this week!), it was a great week. More gardening posts to come!! I can’t wait to see all of my flowers come back this spring.
Questions for you!
- How are you getting ready for spring?
- Would you be interested in a new clean with me video?
- Are you reading any books currently?
Just in case you missed it! Check out my blog post on my latest skincare update using PROVEN Skincare! I’m still loving my personalized products and have definitely seen changes. I have had many you ask how I’m still doing with the products that were created just for my skin, and I still love it!