BIG DOSE of Friday Favorites-12.22.23

HAPPY FRIDAY! Starting yesterday at 4:00 p.m. the Slaughter Six officially hit the “On CHRISTMAS BREAK” status! This entire week my body has been adapting to a later bedtime but the still early morning alarm was making things a bit tricky. We’re SO excited about having time at home and more importantly time together. I’m here with my last Friday Favorites post of the YEAR! Andrea and I have big doses of our favorites! This will be my last post of the year and then I’ll be back the week of January 8th with my well-rested self ready to share some joy with you in 2024! {Andrea’s plan is to blog next Friday as well so if you blog and want to link up next week, head to her blog.}

First up, if you haven’t given me your feedback, please take just a couple minutes to fill out this form and let me know what you like reading about, what you’d enjoy seeing more, etc. I can’t make everyone happy and trust me-the people pleaser in me struggles with this BUT I do take what I get the most overall and do my best to make that happen. Thank you if you’ve already sent yours over! I appreciate you! XO

Instead of sharing a few FAVORITES from my week, I decided this last FRIDAY FAVORITES of 2023 needed to be a big old dose of all my favorites from the year. Here we go, friends…

FAVORITE Books-

This is when I should be more organized with my books each year! 2023 was the year I was gonna read less. A TERRIBLE resolution but what I meant was I have a tendency to get sucked into books and I let everything else go until I’ve finished the book. My solution wasn’t to be more disciplined with my reading time but to read less. {Way to go, Erika!}. Let me just tell you I’ve learned some things in 2023. One of my goals in 2024 is to change that! :). These four books are the books I distinctly remember reading throughout this year. They’re the four that will stick with me and I highly recommend all four to you, if you haven’t read them!

Only The Beautiful-A hard, terrible, messy, loving story all wrapped into one. Grab your tissues when you’re reading this one because you’ll need them.

The Light in Hidden Places-This book is listed as a Young Adult book and you guys-it is GOOD! Based on a true story that takes place during WWII. Add it to your list for 2024!

Fourth Wing-All the talk of 2023! Apparently, I’m a fan of dragons! This one is rated “R”…you’ve been warned.

The Soulmate-My girl, Sally’s, latest book was another hit. This one is more suspenseful and a bit of a thriller so if you’re a thriller girl-READ IT! {I’m a thriller girl too so send me a rec if you’ve read a great one!}

Your FAVORITE Things From My Blog This Year-

You guys, I was filled with emotion when I saw the number one purchased item from my blog in 2023 was in fact, my FAVORITE coffee. Southern Pecan K-Cups…if you haven’t tried this, what are you waiting on? It has a bit of a nutty flavor that’s absolutely delicious!

Is this new? Absolutely not! I’ve been using Moroccan Oil for YEARS! And I apparently have shared it numerous times throughout the years. I must have shared it several times in 2023 because this hair treatment landed itself in the #2 spot this year. I try hair products all the time. Who isn’t on the hunt for that special product that will remove the frizz, make it extra voluminous, produce shine, etc…and this is one of the few products I continue to purchase. It’s super versatile…I put this on both wet hair and dry hair. I always have a little bottle in my travel bag.

These OnCloud sneakers rounded out the Top Three. They’re unisex, come in many different colors, and are crazy comfortable. I’m gonna grab a new pair for January 2024 and all those workout goals. 😉

FAVORITE Podcasts-

The Big Boo Podcast has been a favorite of mine for years and 2023 didn’t disappoint. They’re two newly 50-year-old women who discuss daily life, empty nest roles, college sports, and they always have me laughing.

My aunt told me about Laura Tremaine’s 10 Things to Tell You Podcast over Thanksgiving and I’ve been loving it! Best books, questions for the end of the year, and modern manners for my teens are just a few I’ve listened to recently…such a wide variety of topics.

And have I been living under a rock? How had I not heard of The Lazy Genius podcast?! Her tag line is all about being a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t. It is worth a listen!

FAVORITE Recipes-

#1 You know how every once in a while I’ll share something I threw together for dinner that turned out well and I never post a pic of said meal? Well, this is why. :). hahahaha! I tried to take pics of the steps for you and when I tell you this is the best picture that turned out, I need you to trust me. Air Fryer Salmon Bites have been my most requested meal of 2023. When my pickiest eater is asking for salmon, you know it must be tasty! I cut up the salmon, add any type of blackening seasoning and air fry them. I personally like the salmon well done but my kids don’t. Then we have salmon bowls with rice, cucumbers, red onion, broccoli, edamame, etc. I always have a sriracha mayo-ish type dressing and a sweet chili sauce. My kids ALL four love. If you have four kids, then you understand that doesn’t happen often.

#2 Chicken Parm in the slow cooker-Remember I had an abundance of pasta sauces this fall? {I’ll always remember the fall of 2023 being my Pasta Sauce Era or maybe I should say my Rao’s Era?}. Anyway, I made an easy chicken parmesan in my slow cooker that was a hit as well! I dipped chicken breast in egg and then in Panko breadcrumbs, added a bit of Rao’s sauce to the bottom of my slow cooker, then one big layer of the chicken breast. I added some seasonings…garlic powder, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, topped with mozzarella cheese and then added the rest of the Rao’s sauce. I cooked that on high for 5-6 hours…keep watching and you can always add a little water or another jar of sauce, if needed. Then I served it over pasta. DELISH!

My FAVORITE Clothing Items-

Just for the record if I’d had added a number four spot in YOUR favorite clothing items, this tee would have snagged the position. :). I talked about this outfit pretty much all year long. This cropped tee {that still covers my forty-year-old stomach} and the “loggers” {legging/joggers} are my top two favorite items from 2023. They’re both so comfy, can be dressed up a bit {I get it not a ton BUT with some cute jewelry, nice sneakers, and good hair-it can look put together} or super laid back.

I’d have to give the #3 spot to this wild, crazy, full of fun Farm Rio dress. I like color and well, this dress didn’t disappoint. ha!

FAVORITE Bible Studies-

I started this Ruth Bible Study at the very beginning of 2023 and absolutely loved Kelly Minter’s approach to her look on Ruth. My heart was changed a bit and I’ll forever remember this study.

Seamless by Angie Smith is a study I did years ago all on my own, but this year I dug into this study again with a group of moms. Same study, same girl, several years apart and once again, I learned so much. This study is perfect for ANYONE…just a great reminder of how the entire Bible is woven together. There were moms from all background in my group and everyone walked away talking about how much they’d learned.

FAVORITE Trips-

ICELAND….and I didn’t even know I wanted to visit Iceland until we were there! There’s so much adventure, absolutely gorgeous views all around, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Tab and I had a BLAST!

Sometimes as a mom I have these trips that I pour hours of planning into and we have fun but maybe my expectations are just a bit too high {kind of like the holidays?!} but other times I have more realistic expectations and I’m blown out of the water by the FUN! This Fall Break Disney trip was exactly that…I was expecting our super quick trip to Disney this fall to be good but maybe a bit rushed? Remember how the stars aligned and Tab was off to join us {which caused me to have to move resorts at last minute-probably leading to my lower expectations}? BUT, the trip was absolute perfection…the rides, the weather, the meals, the togetherness, the Disney magic, the attitudes, I loved it all!

And I can’t make a FAVORITES list without mentioning Turks and my 40th Birthday Trip! Turks had been on my bucket list for a while so to get to see that gorgeous waters in person was absolutely amazing!

*Guys, I would have listed movies {but I honestly think I only saw Super Marios Bros. in the theater this year and don’t know that I watched anything else new from 2023}.

Another FAVORITE…YOU! Thank you for reading here, thank you for commenting, thank you for participating, thank you for joining me throughout the year like you do. I appreciate it so very much and am so thankful you choose to come to this space.

“You know, Jesus didn’t come for the rich, the educated, the popular, or the esteemed folks. He came for me. For us. The beggars and misfits who say we’re devoted and then fall asleep as Jesus sweats blood in Gethsemane. His wild grace cover us and rewrites our lives.” {From the Seamless bible study}

My prayer for this space this holiday season is that everyone who visits this little blog knows Jesus came for YOU. He came for US. All of us. I want you to know you’re loved big by a God who sent his son many Christmases ago to later die on a cross for YOU and for me.

I hope you guys have a very, Merry Christmas with the people you love most. {Yes, this pic is from last year because it was a busy fall.}. I’m taking a little break/signing off until January 8th. See you in 2024!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!

XO

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Follow me on Instagram

Leave a Comment

19 Comments

  1. 12.22.23
    Elspeth said:

    What a fun recap! Have a wonderful and joyous holiday season!
    Merry Christmas!
    http://www.elspethsdaybyday.com

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Merry Christmas, Elspeth! Hope you have a great holiday with your people.

  2. 12.22.23
    Dustie Day said:

    Merry Christmas, Erika! Have a blessed Christmas season and can’t wait to come back to read in 2024!

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Dustie! Wishing your family a very Merry Christmas! XO

  3. 12.22.23
    jennibell said:

    Merry, merry Christmas!!
    Thank you for this round-up – I have 3 of your 4 books on my list for 2024 (NOT into fantasy – sorry!). Did you read The Senator’s Wife? That is also on my list.
    You and I listen to a lot of the same podcasts – maybe you would like Midlife Matters also? I think the women are late 40’s to late 50’s? Since they are just a bit ahead of you in momhood maybe you can glean some wisdom from them as they reflect and look forward.
    Enjoy your family, enjoy your time off and I look forward to being a part of Friday Favorites again next year 🙂

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Jenni! I have The Senator’s Wife downloaded on my Kindle but haven’t read it yet! I’ll do that in 2024! And I literally just started following that podcast so I’ll be sure to start listening! Merry Christmas! XO

  4. 12.22.23
    Joanne said:

    A wonderful way to wrap up your blogging year. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Merry Christmas, Joanne! XO

  5. 12.22.23
    Brooke said:

    Merry Christmas Erika! I hope you and your family have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Merry Christmas, Brooke! XO

  6. 12.22.23

    Love your blog! Love hearing about your family, love day in the life posts, love your travel posts, love new recipes, etc. Thank you!

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Emily! Merry Christmas! XO

  7. 12.22.23
    Katie Hahn said:

    Merry Christmas to your beautiful family! Can’t wait to come back to this little spot on the internet in 2024!

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Thank you, Katie! Merry Christmas!

  8. 12.22.23
    Amy Ms. Azza said:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Erika!

    • 12.22.23
      Erika Slaughter said:

      Merry Christmas, Amy! Hope you’re getting ALL your people under one roof this season! XO

  9. 12.22.23
    christine harris said:

    Hi! I should have added this in the form I filled out, but I have a comment on your links! Lately when you click a link, it takes us from your blog to a new website (lululemon, etc.). It should be linking OUT so that it opens a new tab, rather than taking us away from the blog! Just a tidbit, I’m not sure if it’s always been like that, but it will keep your readers on the blog if you link OUT. Thanks!

    • 1.6.24
      Erika Slaughter said:

      I’m not sure why that’s changed, but thanks for letting me know, Christine!

  10. 12.22.23
    Caitlin Davies said:

    Book Rec: “ The Housemaid” I think you will love it! It’s a thriller 🙂