A Glimpse into Daily Life, 2/16/22

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tate cookies valentines

For Valentine’s Day I sent the kids to school with Valentines from Agape Notes (gifted, because I let her use our photos when she was marketing her Christmas cards back in December) and they looked so cute!  I tied Jack and Caroline’s Valentines to popper bracelets (these also make a good party favor), and tied mini Tate’s Bake Shop cookies to Tate’s cards.

Eating:  For Valentine’s Day I cooked one of my favorite fancy meals to cook at home: filet mignon steak.  I season it well with salt and pepper (nothing else!) and then sear in very hot butter on the stove in a cast iron skillet for 3 minutes on each side.  Do not skimp on butter and add more as needed.  This gives it a beautiful and delicious crust, even though it does make the house a little smokey due to the high heat and melted butter.  (100% worth it, I promise.)  Then I add a little pat of butter, some garlic and parsley to the top of each steak and then pop it in the over to cook the center.  Typically 400 degrees for about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak.  I like mine medium rare so just be sure to not over cook it!  Let it rest then plate and use the juices and butter in the pan to spoon over a sweet potato with some brown sugar inside.  I also cooked brussels sprouts and mushrooms in the air fryer and they turned out perfectly.  Lastly (but also firstly, because I like to prepare it and let it sit at room temperature before serving it, so you do have to plan ahead a bit), I served a tomato, onion and blue cheese salad.  I thinly slice onion (sweet or red), cut cherry tomatoes in half (or cut up some bigger tomatoes), add blue cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then toss it all together and let it sit until you serve.

Drinking:  Tom doesn’t drink red wine so I don’t buy it all that often, but occasionally I’ll grab an affordable bottle to enjoy.  I really like a glass of red wine when I eat steak, so for our Valentine’s Day date night at home I bought a bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine at Trader Joe’s (it has a blue label).  It’s $6.99 (if I recall) and it is really good!

Watching:  We are still on a Cougar Town kick once the kids go to bed.  It’s just such a fun escape at the end of the day.  The kids are loving Bluey, as always, and the movie Encanto.

Reading:  I clearly flit about with design books these days- I’m just so desperate to soak up all the great ideas I can find!  The one I’ve been reading lately is Elements of Family Style by Erin Gates.  It’s chock full of helpful tips on living a stylish life with kids, it has a beautiful spine so it looks great on a bookshelf, and it’s only $17.68.  I’ve had it since it came out in 2019 and love to reference it from time to time.

Listening:  The Ballard Designs How to Decorate Podcast is always a fun thing to listen to when I’m in the car alone after taking the girls to school or running on the treadmill, and I also enjoy the Bad on Paper Podcast, which is hosted by Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman.  I honestly don’t like podcasts that are too heavy so these are two enjoyable options I turn to often.

Wearing:   It is so cold again after a little warm weather teaser last week!  I’m quite tired of wearing coats and boots.

pink madison mathews dress | madison mathews discount code

Loving:  I am SO ready to wear my Madison Mathews sundresses again.  They’re my default outfit of choice once it’s warm and I love the beautiful floral block prints that most of the dresses have.  They recently sent me a new dress from their spring collection and it is so effortless and has me craving a warm vacation!  This style is the Darren dress in Pink Geranium and it runs large, I sized down a size.  Perhaps the style I’m most excited to break out again is the Juliette dress.  It’s the perfect day dress, if you ask me.  (Full sizing guide on all of the styles I’ve tried can be found here.)  Code KATIE always saves you 10% on their site and in stores.

Shopping:  This is purely the online version of window shopping, but I saw this $44.95 scallop tennis skirt in an ad and I love the look of it so much.  I don’t need a new white tennis skirt but I’m certainly tempted by it (it comes in other colors too)!  I also have my eye on this Tretorn Nylite sneakers collaboration with Draper James.  The white and gold pair looks dreamy!  They also come in kids’ sizes, as well as blue and white gingham.  As far as sizing goes, I have 3 pairs of Tretorn Nylites (brown suede, white and navy, and Nantucket red) and they are all different sizes.  I wish I knew how this new launch ran!  If I got them I’d likely just order my normal size and hope for the best.

Exercising:  I honestly have not worked out in a week because I tweaked my neck in bed Tuesday morning and moving has been incredibly painful since then.  I finally went to the chiropractor on Monday (The Joint in Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria) and was able to walk in and get adjusted.  I immediately felt so much better!  The prices are great and they have a military discount.  I’ve had some nagging issues in my shoulder and hip for years (I’ve tried physical therapy and strength training) so have decided I’ll continue seeing them over the next 2 months to hopefully help fix some problems that my spine seems to be causing.  Fingers crossed!  I plan to resume the Glowbody PT Lean Fast Strong Capable plan this week.  I’ve been loving it and being sidelined a bit for a fluke accident has been frustrating.  Code WHIMSY10 saves you $10 on all of the Glowbody PT plans.

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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The following content may contain affiliate links. When you click and shop the links, I receive a commission.


  1. February 16, 2022 / 8:18 am

    I’m a firm believer in chiropractic care! Seeing a chiro helped me get rid of persistent headaches a few years ago! I need to go back, as I’m having some hip and sciatic nerve issues that make my back hurt at the end of the day. Good reminder to make an appointment!

    • February 16, 2022 / 3:52 pm

      That’s so great to hear! It’s crazy how much of a difference it can make. I went again today and am feeling so much better than I did a week ago! When I lived in SC I went to The Joint there too, I love how you can do walk ins, kind of like a manicure. Makes sticking with treatment a lot easier than having to schedule appointments!

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