Happy February, loves! After saying, "This month just flew by!" for the past few months, January seemed to take it's time, and that was just fine with me. It's been nice to slow down, take a look around, and enjoy the snowy winter we're having so far. I know not everyone loves snow nearly as much as I do, but I would bet that everybody enjoys cuddling up inside with thick fuzzy socks, a mug of hot chocolate, and a a great DVD. Cozy and happy weekends are the best!
With January in the books, some folks seem to start feeling a little stir crazy in February. I'm here to banish those feelings with things you can plan and look forward to in the next few weeks. Fun things on the calendar always make me happy and giddy with anticipation!
Here's this week's Friday five: upcoming fun things in February!
1. Fat Tuesday & Mardi Gras celebrations - Fat Tuesday falls on February 12th this year. NOLA is #1 on my list of cities to visit, but I think I'd rather pick another time to visit the famous city. That being said, I'm not going to let geography keep me from celebrating this year! I'm planning to take a crack at making a quintessential southern dinner -- red beans and rice -- using the slow cooker. Any other, PG-rated ideas for how to celebrate?
2. The Happiness Project -- I've been making a conscious effort to read more because, as it turns out, I enjoy it! Plus, having something besides Scripture to read in the evening before bed really helps my mind "power down" and makes sleep more satisfying. I've heard good things about this book for a while and moved it to the top of my must-read list after I finished my most recent book club selection (bizarre, in case you're wondering). A long distance friend and I have decided to read this "together", and I'm really looking forward to sharing the experience with her!
3. The 85th Annual Academy Awards - Mark your calendar for Sunday, February 24th! Funny man and Family Guy mastermind Seth MacFarlane is hosting the Oscars this year. While the show begins at 8:30, red carpet coverage starts at 6, which is just as great if not slightly better. I'm cohosting a viewing party with a friend for the 5th (!) year in a row, complete with a score sheet and themed food. There's nothing like judging the well-dressed and perfectly toned Hollywood elite in one's sweatpants :) And, you know I'll be sharing recipes with you the following week.
4. Valentine's Day! - Say what you will about this commercially-created holiday, but it is a fabulous occasion for festive decorations, sweet sentiments, real mail, and delicious desserts! I picked up some adorable (and, yes, childish) Valentines cards last weekend and can't wait to put them into the mail. Matt and I aren't into a big to-do on 2/14, but we absolutely make sure to spend quality time together and surprise each other with little thoughtful items. Something like these matching spoons and forks totally fits the bill and also gives me an added reason to make a special dessert. As if I really needed one, right?
5. Sizzling slow cooker February! - Just in case I haven't already given you some super fun things to look forward to in February, I've saved the best for last. For the entire month of February, I'm going to heat things up by featuring slow cooker/Crock Pot recipes on the blog! I used it to make dinner recently and realized that I've been neglecting it over the last few months -- shame on me. My goal is to share at least two slow cooker recipes per week, but I'm hoping for many more. Is there any recipe or kind of food you'd like me to feature? Sound off below, please!
And, with that, I bid you a fantabulous first Friday of February!