Heyyyyyy guys! Anyone else feel like 2018 is just flying by already? We’ve been so so so busy, as always, but that makes the time go by quickly. I have some exciting new blog projects on the horizon, now I’m just trying to find a way to fit them in so I can actually make them happen for you guys.

Ben is busy as ever at work. (The picture above was at last week’s basketball game. E told me I should take a selfie because I put lipstick on and I never put lipstick on, ha!) Honestly, and I know I’ve said this before, high school principals are underappreciated. I’m going to brag about him for a minute so bear with me. I could never do his job so I’m a little in awe of it. On a short day, he works 11 hours. On a long day, which is typically three nights a week, it’s more like 13-16 hours. And then there are weekend events, too!

He recently got a call from a student from a school where he was assistant principal. The student said Ben changed his life and that he wouldn’t be where he was if it weren’t for Ben. Calls like that make it a bit easier to share him SO much, but if you think of it, send your child’s principal a note of appreciation. You might not see them all the time, but keep in mind if they went to every basketball/football/swim/tennis/bowling/debate/chess/baseball/band/choir event on top of all the meetings and community events, they’d not only need a clone, but they’d be gone 7 nights a week instead of 3-4. Give them a little grace and know that they’re doing their best to make it to as many events as possible.

He has calmly and quickly dealt with serious bullying issues, scary threats, and lies being spread about him (I always tell him he should write a book, but he’s a vault). He’s often on the phone at 9pm or later with a parent. He gives his cell number out freely to anyone at all with a concern or question.

There is so much going on behind the scenes to keep schools safe and productive for students and much of it is due to the leadership of the building principal (teachers, too!). Stepping off my soapbox now. Okay just kidding, one more thing – if you are reading this and just so happen to be a student/parent/teacher at his school, please know he’s giving up so much and he wants nothing but success for everyone in that school. He might have a Marine Corps exterior, but he has a heart of gold.

Anyways, I know everyone is busy so I’m definitely not trying to get into a pity party for myself here. I’m just crazy proud of Ben. I have friends that say they don’t know how I do it with those frequent late nights. The answer is cereal for dinner. Gotta set the bar low. My kids now know if Daddy isn’t home, we’re having cereal for dinner. They love it and I don’t have to cook. I also don’t have to hear, “I don’t liiiiiiike this,” which is always a major bonus. I’m serious about the cereal, but I also tell people that you just do what you have to do. Don’t we all? I’m thankful for the times he is home and I’m thankful that he has a good job where he’s changing the lives of teens. If it means I have to take the reins more often at home, I just do it and get it done and make it happen. If you’re a mom woman, you know how it works. YOU JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN. You just get it done, even if it means cereal for dinner. Am I right?

That got long, wow. I’ve been up since 4:30 and maybe I should lay off on the coffee?

Let’s get to the randomness and what else is poppin’…

Latest and Greatest on Rachel Cooks:

Craving all the cuddly hoodies: I’m really digging this one — I think the accents are just adorable!

At the same time, I’m craving summertime and sunshine. I know I’m a weirdo…I just want a little of everything! All I have right now are boring black bathing suits – loving this one that’s somewhere between a bikini and a mom suit. Love this one too, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough to wear it.

Comment that’s making my heart happy: There have been so many great comments lately! If you’ve left a comment lately, THANK YOU! I love hearing from you and I’ll always respond! Make sure to leave a star rating, too! It’s so helpful for other readers. I have to share a few because there are just too many wonderful comments to choose from!

  • Jody made my Vegetarian Baked Taquitos and said, “I made these tonight and they were delicious and so easy! They were so good that my hubby ate 3 of them before I could finish one. I used my own guac recipe and homemade taco seasoning. Next time I’ll use your recipe for slow cooker refried beans, but with black beans instead. Thanks Rachel!” I’m so glad you both enjoyed the taquitos! It’s a perfect recipe for football season!
  • Toyoko made my Rosemary and Olive Oil Roasted Almonds and said, “So good and healthy. Keep making in our house never run out. I mix with Japanese sea salt (akaho tesho) and home grown rosemary.” Those adaptations sound wonderful, Toyoko!
  • Allie followed my How to Make Crispy Roasted Potatoes guide and said, “I have to admit, I was a little skeptical that they would actually be crispy as claimed but you made a believer out of me! I’ll never roast baby red potatoes another way!” Hooray! Converting skeptics is my favorite thing. ;)

Can’t wait: For this rug to arrive. It’s going to be the living room rug in our basement (9’x12′!) and I cannot wait to see it in person. We already got these stools and currently have two in our living room and two in our bedroom….CANNOT WAIT for the basement to be done! Oh and we got this light for our gym! I love its industrial vibe for the gym.

Trying to make our house a home: After living in our house for more than a year, I’m trying to get it decorated a bit better so it’s not a total mess. We’ve been in a bit of limbo because we’re moving our living room furniture to our basement, but now I’m starting to think ahead to how I want my foyer and living room to look. A couple things I have purchased so far: This clock, this jug, and this console table. Decorating is NOT my strong suit, but I’m making my best effort!

Recipes from around the web that are on my must-make list: 

That’s all I have for now! I want to hear from you, though! I’m planning content for the next few months – what kind of recipes do you want to see? Leave a comment below letting me know!