Happy Fri-yay! This was such a fun week because it was full of fun diversions from my usual mom duties. I just got home from one of the coolest little road trip adventures ever. My longtime reader, Carie, messaged me to share that Emily St. John Mandel was coming to her town and wanted to know if I would come out for the author meetup, to hang out in her town, and meet her family.
I’m not sure if I have ever shared this, but this has been the year of truth telling on here, hasn’t it? I struggle with anxiety and one of my biggest anxiety triggers is driving. Honestly, if I could have a driver cart me around, I would. In fact, my friends lovingly call me, “Daisy,” and generously pick my anxiety-ridden behind up when we go out. So when Carie asked me to come to her town, I consulted a map and saw she was four hours away, BUT it looked like a pretty straight shot. I just knew, in my heart, I would be so sad if I did not do this even though it was entirely out of my comfort zone.
I share this because I know many of you struggle with anxiety too. Maybe you are cool driving, but maybe it is something else. I felt very brave doing this simple thing that I struggle with daily.
How did it go?
Do you remember the scene in Divergent, when they throw them into a fear simulator? I remember it involved birds (another trigger for me- hahaha!). Well, that fear simulator happened on the road as the heavens opened up, the construction narrowed the road into a tiny pathway, and a UPS truck was swinging its backend into my lane.
And I survived.
I was sweaty and needed a shot of something, but I survived.
And I was really proud.
The best part though is that I got to meet someone who has read this site for years and loved books as much as me (and neither of us was crazy which we were both concerned about. I mean, meeting your internet friends can be a little SCARY!) Meeting Emily St. John Mandel was the icing on the cake for this week as she graciously shared about the story behind Station Eleven with all of us.
I didn’t let something like my anxiety hold me back and I made a beautiful real-life friendship with someone who has supported my family for years. How cool is that?
The other incredible escape was spending the weekend in Chicago with some of my dearest girlfriends. My friend, Nancy, moved to Nebraska and I miss this woman every single day. When I headed out that way for some medical testing, we stayed with her family and it made a really tough time into a mini-vacation. She is just good people.
We got to see Lake Street Dive in concert and it was, truly, one of the best shows I have ever seen. We danced the night away at the rooftop bar and got hounded by annoying guys which was annoying, but also proved, WE STILL GOT IT. I got to eat great food and laughed in that rare away that only comes through with your truest friends. I could ride on that high for a good month!
Here is a great Lake Street Dive playlist for you to kick of your weekend! PS- Follow me on Spotify for some killer playlists! You will never hear the same song twice again!
Here are a few other things that are making me happy this week!
A Decent Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix
Now that three of us are gluten-free, I have had to figure out some new options for some of our weeknight favorites. When it was just me, I loved the ease of the Udi’s Gluten-Free Crusts, but that doesn’t make sense with three people eating this way anymore. I read a ton of reviews on gluten-free pizza crusts and this Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix had great reviews and was surprisingly affordable.
We had pizza last weekend and this crust was REALLY good and came together REALLY easily. It is sticky, but you just use a little plastic, between your crust and hands, to help shape it. The edge is crisp and the slices were fluffy and not as dense as I have come to expect with gluten-free pizza. It made a huge pizza that fed all 4 of us with 3 slices leftover!
If you have any other recommendations for great pizza crust mixes to try, please let me know! I’d love to hear what your favorite is!
Bluetooth In My Old Ride
I have a car without bluetooth (feel sad for me, a poor white woman!), but I wanted to listen to my podcasts, audiobooks, and music in my car from my phone. My husband said I could get a bluetooth adapter for less than $20 and I found this Mpow Bluetooth Receiver and had it shipped to me before I left for this week’s road trip.
It comes with an auxiliary cable that I can plug in and pair with my phone to stream all of the content I want to listen to while I am running around. I also discovered that it can be paired in your house to make other things that you have also bluetooth-enabled. Want to watch a show on your phone with your regular headphones? You can plug it directly into this and not have to connect with your phone. Want to make use of some old speakers you have laying around to create a killer sound system? Plug this into the computer speakers and you can listen to Spotify from your phone.
The battery life is pretty incredible (approximately ten hours) and the sound was really good. Phone calls weren’t awesome (Siri is like, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU, AMY. DO YOU EVEN KNOW ENGLISH, AMY. WHY ARE YOU CRYING, AMY?”) but it was really good for squeezing a great book on my trip and rocking it out to some tunes.
Who says you can’t teach an old car new tricks?
This Old Woman Is Starting a Club
The most meaningful connections I’ve made as a mom were through my mom’s group. They all still remain my dearest friends today. It seems though that once our kids are done being little, that the support isn’t there anymore. Almost all discussions I have with people with kids in school all day are asking how to make friends now, searching for others to help navigate the new waters with older child, and how they can get involved in meaningful volunteer work.
This socially awkward woman is starting a local Michiana Old Mom Club because small talk & Facebook aren’t enough to sustain a mom socially. There will be 3 meetups a month.
Coffee Talk- A daytime chat centered around a discussion related to parenting older children (how to manage cell phones, tween fun, teenage angst, preparing financially for college, etc..) Each person brings an article that they read that they think is helpful and their own experience to the table. No judgement.
MNO- One outing a month where we get to know Michiana- try a new restaurant, see a great local band, have a wine/whine night, see a flick, etc..
Charity- We do one thing for charity each month. Busy months might be throwing change in a pot for something, slower months could be spent doing REAL things for our community.
That’s what I’m bringing to the table because I miss connecting in real ways with people. Kickoff will be Wed. Oct 5 at 7PM at Barnes & Noble (in UP Mall) & then the after-party is at Bar Louie. I’d love for you to join me for a drink and to introduce yourself. Although I’m awkward, I’m a good connector of people, and I’d love to fill that empty spot that I see so many of us have!
Join the group HERE!
Completing: I painted pumpkins this week and it was such an easy & gratifying 5-minute project.
Reading: I am closing in on the final pages of this book and it is BEAUTIFUL. I have learned so much about an event in history that I did not even know about. I am hoping to reach out to the author to get our Sundays With Writers series going again.
Sharing: If you aren’t part of the MomAdvice Book Club, you are missing out on some incredible Kindle deals!
Here are your incredible book deals for today (even if you aren’t in the club!):
IS THIS TOMORROW?, $1.99
HEAT & LIGHT, $1.99
A CERTAIN AGE, $1.99
ISLE OF PALMS, $1.99
THE 19TH WIFE, $1.99
CROW LAKE, $1.99
ROSE IN A STORM, $1.99
BIG SUR, $1.99
THE MERMAID CHAIR, $1.99
THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, $1.99
NEVER KISS A RAKE, $1.99
Laughing: Pretty sure my husband is singing along to this one. Are you #teampumpkinspice too?
Happy Friday, friends!
*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!