Friday Favorites

Hi guys, happy Friday! It feels like it's been forever since I did a Friday Favorites post, but it's actually just been a couple of weeks. I had a post started last week and forgot to finish it and never got around to posting it. Sooo I combined last week's favorites with this week's favorites for a giant Friday Favorites post... and I'm not hating it! 

This week has sort of kicked my butt! I worked Monday, Wednesday, Thursday this week, and I still have work today and tomorrow. I am so not used to these longer weeks and am so thankful that my typical week is only 3-4 work days. (3 is totally my sweet spot!) Because the weekend will be so short, I have a feeling it will be low key (which is honestly pretty typical) and involve some deep cleaning on Saturday, and hopefully a family picnic on Sunday. To be determined and shared with you on Monday... :)

If you haven't already checked it out, I shared a Day in the Life via my Instagram on Friday last week and I saved it to my stories. You can find my Instagram here.

I also shared a little life update here, where I talk about testing some Montessori methods at home with Ella. We are still in the learning process but are liking what we have learned so far and making our apartment more Ella friendly has been so much fun.


Also... don't forget that on Monday I am linking up with some lovely ladies for our monthly Not Just a Mom link up. We were planning on talking about the freedom that comes with back to school season and what that means for us as Moms. Obviously we could not have predicted this pandemic, so I think it will be a fun opportunity to share what our individual school districts or daycare centers are planning on doing for the Fall, and what our plans are. It's a bit off the "Just about Mom" topic, but I think it's the best way to salvage the link up. Please join us! :)

Okay, sorry I had a lot to share before we finally got to the point of why we're here... favorites!


Last week we went to Trader Joes for the first time in ages and got sooo much yummy stuff. It's one of my favorite places to shop, but because the store itself is so small and compact, I haven't felt comfortable going very often. But when I do go, I make sure it's worth my while. That focaccia bread is in my freezer and anytime I want a slice, I pop it in the toaster oven and it's just delicious (especially if you add a thin layer of butter and a sprinkle of garlic seasoning.)

We also grabbed these coffee ice cream sandwiches and they were SO good but a little on the sweet side, even for me. I think 1/2 of one satisfies my sweet tooth just fine.


We signed up for Hello Bello diapers and I wish we had signed up sooner because I just LOVE them. The diapers are hypoallergenic, plant-derived and the prints are sooo cute. I love the idea of diapers and wipes coming to us automatically every month. I will let you know how we like them as we use them more, but so far so good. If you are interested in a discount, you can get $15 off here.


Sometimes my favorite meals are the random ones where I throw everything in a saute pan and eat it with a bowl of tofu and rice. This meal was one of those! I usually saute the veggies with a bit of oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Sriracha is one of my go-to sauces. If you haven't tried the "throw all my leftover produce in a pan and see what happens" meals, I suggest you do. Some of my favorite dinners are found this way.


I had to go see Dr Zhang last week for a cleaning and a filling. Can you see the terror in my eyes? Going to the dentist is NOT my favorite, but having fresh clean teeth IS. I also love getting work done by him because he really is good. I didn't even feel my shot for my filling. I am also anxious to get started with my invisalign and I know he is too. We are planning on extracting some 3rd molars and then proceeding with my aligners. Goodbye crowded teeth!

I prefer doing the cleaning, rather than being cleaned... but the feeling after is just so good.



Ella and I spent some girl time at the beach, which is always our favorite. It was a bit more crowded by the shore so we stayed back and just played in the sand. I was cracking up at how Ella was eating her baby carrots... Who eats them like that?? Can anyone tell me? Hahahaha! She is so silly.


We did a fun little sensory project with these Dollar Tree jars and it was Ella's favorite activity! The jars are meant for salt or pepper and have little holes in the top... but I knew it would be perfect for a scent-related activity. She loved the lemon jar and spent the rest of the day smelling everything in sight. 


Also at the Dollar Tree I was able to grab some supplies for Ella's kitchen area to make it a bit more functional for her and it's my favorite little space of hers. Watching her use the water and scrub brush to "wash" her dishes is just precious. I plan to do a whole post on some of our favorite Dollar Tree items for sensory play, as well as creating a more Montessori-friendly environment.


Still loving my blue-light glasses! They are 20% off right now. Side note- I need a haircut in the worst way- my ends are terrifying.


On Tuesday this week, so went to Laguna Beach to go on a hike. Ella did so great in her carrier and also did a lot of walking on the flat parts of the trail. She was wiped out by the end and actually passed out on Michael's back.

The best family picture we got. Fail!

It was gorgeous weather too.


Ella wanted to get out and do some hiking herself. She made it up this big hill all by herself- bunny in hand (always.)

All that hiking makes a girl tired. Her sleeping was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. That little face just melts my heart. Her cozy little hiking carrier was a great purchase for us, especially now that she'll actually sit in it! 



Bike rides are forever a favorite and so is Ella's dress. I snagged it on sale at Nordstrom rack but it's a Mini Boden and normally way out of my budget. It's my favorite favorite favorite clothing item of hers. If she wanted to wear it everyday, I would totally let her!


Evening trips to the park are my favorite! Ella was so funny the other night playing with her little purse at the park She's turning into a little girly-girl. Her obsession with the purse has continued throughout the week.



She just loves it so much, hahaha.


Homemade pizza is my favorite! I made the crust from scratch too and unfortunately most of the crust stuck to the parchment paper and we had to toss a lot of it... so much work down the drain. And it's pizza... Who throws away pizza? SAD!


The best pretzels. Buy them. You must!


Ella has been helping me with her own meals and it has been so fun for both of us. She helps peel hard boiled eggs, oranges and even sliced her own bananas the other day. Her little tool is not that sharp but I still supervised her and made sure her little hands weren't in the way. 

And that's ittttt! Wow, that was a lot. Thanks for hanging in there. We hope your family is safe and healthy, and that you all have a great weekend. We will be back on Monday with a little recap of ours! :)

-Ashley & Ella xoxo


  1. I love Trader Joe's! The smelling jars are so fun! You make me wish I had a little kid.

  2. I love Ella sleeping in the carrier. It looks so comfy.

  3. Yummmm all the food in this post! I want to get to Trader Joe's ASAP now ;) That pizza looked sooooo good too, bummer the crust stuck. Love seeing Ella doing things on her own!

  4. My husband made up an errand to go to our local Tractor Supply just so he could buy another bag of Dots! We "found" them on our South Dakota trip and they quickly became family favorites. Those trader joes ice cream sandwiches look amazing.


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