Five Things Friday #211 - Erin's Inside Job

Five Things Friday #211

Happy Friday friends!

It’s been a good week and will be an even better one next week because we are spending half of it in LA visiting some family. Since the temperatures decided to drop here in Chicago, I will gladly take 60 degrees. I’ve also been battling a bit of a head cold over here, so I’m hoping the sunshine will heal me. 🙂

Here’s a look at some of the things that I’ve been loving this week!

*some affiliate links included below

1. Brown Sugar Bear

I knew about these little bears before, but I would always forget about them until it was time to take out my brown sugar and would realize it was hard as a rock. My go to forever was just to microwave it in intervals with a damp paper towel until it was soft again, then I’d use it, put it away, and forget to order one of these.

This last time Neil and I were making cookies (see below), and while he was mixing, I made it a point to go to the computer and order one immediately. It’s a simple clay bear (or disc or whatever shape you get) that you soak in water for 20 minutes and then put in with your brown sugar. It was able to transform my beyond rock solid sugar into its normal, soft consistency within the same day and even the harder clumps by the next.

You can use it to keep a myriad of things moist or even bake it to help keep things dry — all of which they tell you on the package. It’s $6 on Amazon and absolutely worth it if this is something you struggle with!!

2. Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies by Alison Roman

Apparently these cookies have made their rounds on the internet, but I didn’t know about them until a friend sent them our way. Neil and I made them last weekend and they were gone in three days (mainly thanks to yours truly).

They’re simple to make and I loved the shortbread consistency. They’re definitely on the docket to make again ASAP.

3. Fish & Kelp Blend Fertilizer

In non-food related news, I bought this fish and kelp blend fertilizer at the recommendation of one of my clients — a magical garden master. My indoor plants are doing okay, but I had noticed a little browning and some leaves were dying off on one. There were still new sprouts, so it was continuing to grow, but it felt like leaves were dying faster than the new ones could come in.

This fertilizer, so far, has seemed to work wonders after only a few days and there are no longer dying leaves while the newer shoots seem to be growing faster than before. It needs to be diluted for use with indoor plants (1 Tbsp per gallon of water), so it should last a pretty long time when used every 2-3 weeks.

One word of caution is that it smells TERRIBLE when opened. The smell subsides some as you dilute it and after watering the plants it’s really not noticeable at all, just be prepared for the mixing stage when you may need to hold your breath. 🙂

4. Vessi Footwear

Neil and I have about six pairs of Allbirds between us and they are probably our favorite casual sneaker/everyday shoe. Because they are knit, however, it’s impossible to wear them in the rain or snow because they get soaked through. This has always been a problem, ESPECIALLY for Neil, who doesn’t like to take more than one pair of shoes with him when he travels. Inevitably, whenever he would have to go on a work trip the forecast would call for rain and he would have to wear shoes that he hated.

For Christmas, I did some research and found a new shoe company called Vessi. They advertised completely waterproof shoes that I realized looked pretty similar to the Allbirds that we already liked. I ordered them and since he’s gotten them he can’t stop talking about them. He tried them in the rain, in puddles, and even in a giant bowl of water right after he got them. There was no leakage whatsoever. Last weekend when we took Donut into nature and found it completely muddy, we came home, rinsed off his shoes, and they were good as new! He even wore them in the tub with her when we gave her a bath and his feet were completely dry.

If you have any water issues or just want to have a waterproof option for wet or snowy days, these are a great choice!

5. Donut’s Second Birthday

Tuesday marked Donut’s second birthday and we celebrated by giving her a giant bone that she refused to let us near. As I mentioned above, we drove out of the city to take her to an off-leash park in the woods over the weekend, but couldn’t stay too long because everything was literally mud.

She has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives and I’m so happy that we got her. Here’s to more birthdays and snuggles to come!

That’s it for this week — see you guys on Monday!

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