Friday Five – May 31, 2024



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Well hello there and happy Friday!  It’s time for another edition of what I call “Friday Five.” This is my time to step away from all things food and recipes and share a glimpse into life stuff. 

May is wrapping up and I’m in disbelief that summer has already arrived! Didn’t I just send my boy off to start 3rd grade? His last day of school is next week and he is super excited for summer break. Here are five things I wanted to share with you today:

1. Saying Goodbye to Mali

The month of May started with learning that my sweet Mali girl had end-stage kidney failure and I had to make the gut-wrenching decision to say goodbye. Mali and Lila were litter mates and out of the two of them, Mali has always been the one most in-tune with who needed love and attention. She was my girl, and a member of our family in every way. From the time Miles was little, when people would ask if he had any siblings, he’d reply “yes, I have two sissies.” 

Needless to say, we’ve all been adjusting to her absence. If you’ve had to say goodbye to a fury member of your family, I know you know how hard it is.

2. Family Photos

My mother’s day gift to myself was to have family photos taken. If you’re in the Chicagoland area and need a photographer, I highly recommend Firefly Nights Photography. Megan does an incredible job. While Miles hates having his picture taken, and it always feels like a hassle to choose outfits, I never regret when I take the time to have professional photos done.

When is the last time you had family photos taken?

3. Sweet Summer Time!

Looking ahead to summer break, we’ve got a pretty low-key summer planned. There will be plenty of days spent at the pool, jumping on the trampoline, basketball games in the driveway, too many popsicles to count, along with a long weekend trip to St Joseph, Michigan. 

Do you have any fun activities or trips planned for summer?

4. My Favorite Snack

Don’t knock it until you try it. It sounds unusual but it’s so good! My in-laws introduced me to this snack and it grew on me over time. I will eat this on repeat all summer long. Start with a cracker, add a slice of pepper-jack cheese (or whatever cheese you like), top it with a slice of cucumber and then a sprinkle of celery salt. Sometimes I add tajín. It’s SO good! 

What is your go-to snack lately?

5. Pretty Flowers

As I’ve gotten older, I have realized that I am turning more into my mom each day. I remember her spending so much time planting and tending to her flowers each summer and now here I am, doing the same thing. I love it!

One of my favorite days of the year is the day I go to the garden shop and choose all of my flowers. Here’s a little peek at some of what I bought this year. I love going out in the evening to water my flowers and pick weeds. Yes, pick weeds. Who am I? 😊

I should probably let it be known that while I love to plant and care for flowers, I am terrible at maintaining a vegetable garden and otherwise have a hard time keeping house plants alive. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, right?!

That’s it for this edition of Friday Five!

PS: here are a few new recipes you might’ve missed!

  1. Grilled BBQ Chicken Kabobs
  2. Caprese Pasta Salad
  3. Air Fryer Kielbasa
  4. Air Fryer Red Potatoes
  5. Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

I hope life is treating you well. Please feel free to leave a comment on Facebook, or send me an email. I love hearing from you!



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!