This week has flown by for me, thanks to a last-minute road trip. Perhaps the best part of working for myself this year has been the ability to make plans last minute and have some spontaneous adventures. Sometimes I forget that perk of being my own boss, but this week was a good reminder that a few nights spent working early mornings and late evenings can be so worth it when you balance it with a little bit of mid-week fun. Jane and I packed up our bags and drove down to New York on Monday to surprise my grandmother for her birthday. She was so surprised, it was great to see my family, and I got a little bit of work done while I was down there thanks to my mom helping out with Jane. We got back home just in time for a Valentine’s Day celebration, and now it seems the week is already over! To wrap things up, I have a few fun links to share in this installment of the download:Cook’s Tools. I have been working through a list of reader-requested-posts from a survey I did at the end of the year, and one of those topics was my favorite cooing tools! I have been raving recently about my new everyday pan, which is on the list along with over a dozen more tools that I use in my kitchen daily. (PS: if you have other blog topics ideas you want to read about, add them in the comments!)

Healthy Eating. Our household has been on a healthy eating kick, and I have been loving the positive feedback on Instagram from readers about the new recipes I’ve been sharing. Healthy eating isn’t my area of expertise (I would say Rice Krispy Treats is my area of expertise), so getting the thumbs up on these cooking experimetns has been exciting! The one-pan roasted shrimp and veggies has been very popular; lots of you made the sausage and cauliflower stuffed peppers, and the crispy panko brussels sprout pasta was a favorite too!

Gingham for Spring. My mom bought Jane a pink gingham rain coat that is melting my heart (similar one here), and I have decided this spring is going to be painted in all things gingham. I’ve been eyeing some gingham pieces for myself for spring: an Old Navy dress, some darling gingham bow flats, and pink gingham sneakers that I think I’d wear daily! Not to mention gingham at home, I think these appetizer plates would be perfect for Easter and then again for the Fourth of July!

Reading List. I skipped the New Year’s Resolutions this year, but did make a few small goals for myself that I’ve been having fun tracking in a new app called Done. One of the goals that I’ve been tracking well on is to read 2 books a month this year. I’ve been on a huge Nora Ephron kick and just finished I Feel Bad About My Neck and Crazy Salad (I also just watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time because of this). On the other end of the reading spectrum, I balanced out my Nora Ephron laughs with an absolute ton of tears in the beautiful book When Breath Becomes Air. An absolute tear-jerker, but one of the most beautiful, introspective, and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. Up next on my reading list is Little Fires Everywhere, which I just borrowed from my sister!