Friday Five – March 8, 2024



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Somehow February has already come and gone and we’re a week into March. Where does the time go? 

Here’s a new edition of Friday Five – a post where I step away from all things recipes and talk about life stuff.

I loved hearing from all of you on Facebook when I posted the last Friday Five. It had been so long since I shared a more personal update. I forgot how fun it is to interact with all of you on topics other than food and recipes.

Which reminds me… Facebook is probably the best place to leave a comment right now. My comment system here needs to be updated, so for now, please feel free to leave a comment on Facebook. I love to hear from you. :) 

By far, I received more emails about dating than any other topic I talked about. Apparently I am not the only one starting over at 40 and having to figure out how the whole world of online dating works. ;) 

February was filled with the usual day-to-day stuff along with a few other highlights.

Super Bowl

In case you haven’t heard… the Chiefs won the Super Bowl!  😉 This was such a fun game to watch and was even more fun because we watched it with some of my very dearest friends. My shirt featured a shirtless Jason Kelce (the Chiefs vs. Bills game was iconic! If you know, you know!) and I was pretty excited for the win! Miles was rooting for the 49’ers simply to do the opposite of what his mom was doing. 


February’s highlight was a trip to Florida. Miles and I, along with my sister-in-law and niece went to Sarasota – specifically Longboat Key, and it was beautiful! It is always fun to step away from Chicago in the winter and head to somewhere with sand and sun! It was definitely a relaxing vacation. Miles made a few friends at the pool. His favorite friend was a boy from the United Kingdom – he loved his accent!

I always wonder if I’d appreciate the beach as much if I lived in Florida. Do Floridians always go to the beach? Or not often because it’s always there? There’s nothing I love more than walking on a sandy beach with the sound of the ocean next to me. I enjoyed every second soaking up that Vitamin D! ☀️

We stayed at Zota Beach Resort and it was lovely! This was our view from our room:

zota beach resort longboat key, Florida


I wasn’t planning to make this a topic I talk about regularly but like I said, I received more emails about dating than anything else I talked about last time. So here I am… talking about dating. 😝

There are a few of you that emailed and said that you want to start dating but you’re terrified to join an app, and you asked me how I built up the courage to join an app and go on a first date. 

It was the end of March last year (2023) that I downloaded Hinge (an online dating app) and set up a profile. I was ….. so nervous. While I have been content being alone for the last six years, I also realized that it would be nice to find someone to share life with again.

My mindset from the start has been to have fun with it. I’ve talked to and met some great guys and have had some really great conversations. The conversations alone and interacting with another adult when you’re used to only conversing with a 9 year old boy, have been so fun. 

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous for that first date though. Sleep the night before was minimal. I was thinking of all of the things that could go wrong… but it all ended up being just fine. Now I don’t get nervous for first dates. I’ve come a long way.

If you’re wanting to start dating my best advice is to just do it.  Download an app – Hinge or Bumble are my recommendations, and setup a profile (Arguably, the hardest part of creating my bio was finding enough cute pics of myself to include. My camera roll is filled with pictures of Miles). Just start swiping and see what happens. :)

Anyhow…if you’ve got more “dating at 40” topics you’d like me to cover, I’m all ears. 

Friday Five for March 8, 2024

Here’s 5 things I wanted to share with you this week:

1. A fun family game – If you’re looking for a fun family game, you need to try Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza – <— that’s the Amazon link for it. 

2. Jackie and Shadow – I am currently obsessed with Jackie and Shadow, a pair of Bald Eagles with a clutch of 3 eggs waiting to hatch in Big Bear Valley in California. They have a live webcam here, and I check in on them at least once or twice a day. I am absolutely invested in them and already so sad thinking that the first egg that Jackie laid will likely not hatch.  They are such a dynamic duo and have so much personality! 

3. Pickleball – Does anyone play Pickleball? I know I played it in high school gym class but it’s been so long, I didn’t remember the rules or much about it. Last week I tried it and it was so fun! I’ve played twice now, and while I’m not good (yet!), I’m excited to continue to learn and practice. 

4. Taquitos – Have you tried this recipe for Taquitos yet? I’ve made it a couple of times lately and just came up with a version made in the air fryer that you’ll love! That recipe will post in a couple of weeks but for now, try the oven baked version and let me know what you think. They are so easy to make and Miles loves them too!

5. Easter – Easter is coming up! Here are some easter things that I’m loving (The title of each item is linked to Amazon!):

Lego Easter Rabbits Display – so cute!

lego easter rabbits display

The Eggmazing Egg Spinner – we have this and it’s a fun alternative to dying eggs! 

egg spinner

Easter Dishes – I’d likely never buy these because I’m a minimalist and only want/need one set of dishes, but these plates are so beautiful! They’d make for gorgeous Easter dishes. 

easter dishes

Happy Easter, Mouse! If you love the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book series by Laura Numeroff, you need this one – Happy Easter, Mouse! It’s so cute! 

Happy Easter, Mouse!

That’s all for this week.

As always, thank you so much for being here! Have a great weekend!



Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!