The Little Things Newsletter #222

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Ohio 222

Welcome to the weekend, my friends! Are the leaves starting to fall where you live? We had a little bit of rainy wind this week and the trees started to shed. I’m getting so excited for sweater weather and cooler mornings.

My kids start back to school this week and we’ve been sorting school supplies and triple checking that we have everything we need. This will be our 12th year of homeschooling. It’s hard to believe sometimes that we have a Junior, a Freshman, and a 5th grader! While homeschooling isn’t something that I ever would have expected to do, it’s been a great fit for our family.

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Whether your family is headed back to classes in person, doing distance learning at home, or tackling homeschooling for the first time ever, I’m thinking of you all. (And if you don’t happen to be living with any school-age children these days, know that I’ve thought of you with a bit of envy at times this year too.) 2020 sure has been a year we will never forget.

ON THE BLOG this week: With tender pork and noodles, broccoli, mushrooms, red pepper, and onions in a sticky sweet and tangy pepper sauce, there’s a lot to love in this Kickin’ Black Pepper Pork Stir Fry.

Chipotle Garlic and Lime Vinaigrette is a crazy flavorful dressing that is great drizzled over a simple garden salad, or a hearty taco salad. This salad dressing is a keeper.

Juicy steak, plenty of crisp vegetables, a sprinkling of cheese, and a drizzle of the best sweet and spicy vinaigrette you’ll ever taste combine to make this Southwestern Steak Salad.

What I’m CRAVING: These Zucchini and Corn Fritters that my friend Katerina shared this week look so good! (And best of all they are made in the air-fryer, so there is minimal fuss to make them.)

What I’m WATCHING: My kids and I have been watching the Jurassic Park movie series. It’s the first time watching these movies with my youngest son and we’re all enjoying them.

What I’m READING: North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person. (link HERE) I picked up this book expecting something similar in vein to Educated or The Glass Castle. While this is certainly a story of survival from a counter-cultural and highly dysfunctional family, it’s a completely different kind of family.

The book was both hard to read and hard to put down. Sex, drugs, enforced nudity, bug stew – this is not just a story of survival but is a story of how a child from a truly horrific family situation grew up and made drastic choices that changed her life.

As I read this book, I was impatient for her to grow up and find her way. (That it would eventually happen wasn’t in question, as I was reading a book written by her.) The ending does not disappoint.

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.” – Patrick Ness

Wishing you a beautiful week full of little things that make you smile!


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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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