Friday Favorites

Friday, May 14, 2021

Happy Friday! It’s that time again; linking up with Andrea, etc. right here.

Here are some of my favorites from the week. I hope you had many, too!

After a dreary weekend, we have had some gorgeous sun! I met my friend Victoria at River House and we had a cocktail overlooking the river.

I had sangria.

They give you complimentary cornbread in a little skillet.

This is brie; I don’t like nuts so I asked for the almonds on the side. I love peanuts and pistachios but that is it!

It was great to enjoy some sun and catch up.

I have been enjoying low carb tortilla breakfast burritos this week. This time I added a bit of leftover baked potato – cut a bit of it into diced potatoes. It also has one egg and a very tiny amount of Trader Joe’s light shredded Mexican blend cheese.

I had a library pick up and I browsed the new release shelf while I was there; I can’t believe I found this! I had requested it but I was way down on the wait list. The Reese Witherspoon book picks seem to all be quite good. I cannot put this down – The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave. I have been sitting outside in the afternoons and even after dinner. Told you I am a fair weather reader!

I have two brands that I think are pretty dependable on Amazon – Amazon Essentials and Daily Ritual. I got a two pack of t-shirts to wear under kimonos. These are very lightweight and a really nice material but a bit clingy so I may not be able to wear them with all of my kimonos.

And, this Daily Ritual is not clingy and it is the best material! I want more! It is a very thick material. I bought the pink and it is a gorgeous color.

You know how you always need just basic t-shirts for summer? You all have any recommendations? I think for what I am looking for this may be my holy grail.

Melanie Shankle of Big Mama blog and Big Boo podcast never steers me wrong with her recommendations. I ordered this Old Spice Timber for me and I love it. It isn’t super masculine, but a nice smell.

This is what it looks like. I think my Dad used this when I was little – not this scent but I feel like he had a blue Old Spice deoderant. So, it is a bit sweet and nostalgic for me.

What a random Friday Favorites! I don’t have much this week.

What were your favorites? I would love to hear!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Amy

Less Errands, More Weekend

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Sounds appealing, right? We all want MORE WEEKEND!

I may be too late this week for this blog post, but put it in your backpocket for next week, ok?

I don’t know why, but I am kind of obsessed with productivity. Are you like that? I want to get stuff done, but then I take my down time very seriously…

I had a really great Saturday morning on the Saturday before Mother’s Day and I realized why…

I had done the major errands during the week and I woke up Saturday free as a bird! I actually felt like I was forgetting something!

Working moms, but also stay at home moms, might dread Saturdays because it is traditionally the day we have to get all of those annoying errands done, right?

Wouldn’t you rather be doing this?

You might just be able to…

-If you have young kids, set out a forgotten toy or toys the night before where they will see them upon waking or set out the breakfast and tell them to take care of themselves! lol!

-Tell your husband you want to start a “tradition” of him taking the kids out for breakfast or to a park for a “breakfast picnic”. Maybe he won’t get the subterfuge?

-See what you can outsource – order it instead of running to a store, delegate to a kid or to spouse.

-Pick one weekday to bundle your errands. Since I have Wednesday as my work from home day I do this during my lunch break. Yesterday I picked up a repair from the tailor and my groceries which are in the same shopping center.

-I have decided that if I can do my big grocery run during the week it makes me happier. I like going in to the weekend with fresh groceries.

-This does require some planning and of course there may be a few things you need, but I have decided if I can do grocery pick up for the bulk of it I don’t mind running in for a few things and in fact, it can be enjoyable.

-Pick one weekday to do the cleaning so that Saturdays are not all about that life. When I was totally virtual, I did my cleaning on Friday after my last class so I could go into the weekend with an already clean house.

-Pick one day to do your laundry. I have been doing mine on Wednesday mornings.

Why are we such a society obsessed with productivity? I thought we learned our lesson in 2020?

I think you all will appreciate this…

I told my students I would do a “life lessons” session for them because they were interested in this. We don’t really do a good job with this in high schools of 2021, in my opinion. So, I asked them to submit questions about college, finances, and other general questions. These were anonymous and I am using this to prepare my power point.

One of my sweet teens asked, “How do you achieve a healthy work/life balance?”

You all, I love teenagers! They are so smart and so aware. I have really enjoyed reading their questions and they are so excited to talk about this. Yes, I teach Spanish, but our principal told us to not try to make up for lost time, to pick the most essential standards for our courses, and to help the students with what they needed to close out the year. So, I am squeezing this in while they are preparing their final presentations.

I think the secret to achieving a healthy work/life balance is using your time efficiently – bundling errands, outsourcing, etc., knowing yourself and when and how you work best, compartmentalizing work and trying to keep home and work separate, and taking time to re-charge your batteries and do things that fill your cup.

What are your best tips for less errands and more weekend?

Thanks for listening to my Thursday Thoughts,

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Happy Hump Day! I am linking up with The Style Six right here today!

Quick notes if you are new here…

I am a high school Spanish teacher. I am challenging myself to wear a unique outfit for each of my 32 days of in person instruction to end out the year. I started April 5 and finish May 28. We work from home on Wednesdays, so that is how I got 32 days!

My classroom was a refrigerator, but it has gotten much better and I can wear more on-season outfits now!

Wearing in my hair…a mask!

I started walking two days a week with some co-workers. I forgot my hairband one day so I made do with my mask; it has elastic ear straps. It worked great! Did I look weird? Probably!

Blue swing dress, Amazon kimono, new white knock off Birks from Amazon here. I just did not want to spend on real ones and these are super comfortable and pretty darn well made! I closed my eyes so head is cropped!

Bonus weekend outfit…

This is what I wore to see the outdoor play of my son last weekend.

Another swing dress with another kimono. This time I did wear capri leggings under – mainly because the dress is on the shorter side.

What is up with my eyes? Is it sheer exhaustion and a sign that I am done with school? Maybe! Long orange skirt – given to me by a colleague who did not want it, black tank, and another kimono.

White linen Old Navy pants (very old), navy t-shirt, and another kimono! I wore the red Saltwater sandals. The necklace is a hand me down from another friend.

Do you have a favorite outfit of mine this week?

Yes, I do love a kimono!

What have you been wearing?

Amy

Mug Cake

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

I have been enjoying this simple and low calorie mug cake for my after dinner treat lately and I thought I would share! You may have heard of it? This would be a great recipe for your kids, too!

You need:

a mug

Pam spray

2 cake mixes – angel food and another one – I have only used chocolate because I like chocolate cake!

water

fat free whip cream (optional)

Mix your two cake mixes in a big bowl or a baggie. You are just using the cake mix powder as is – you are not adding anything at all! I just used a baggie and I wrote the recipe on the bag to make it easier until I had it memorized. This makes a lot and you will have mug cakes for days!

Each time you want a mug cake, spray a mug with Pam,

Put 3 Tablespoons mix and 2 Tablespoons water in your mug and stir really well with a fork,

Then, microwave for 50-60 seconds. You can turn it out on a plate or eat from the mug!

Have you tried this? Let me know if you try it!

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, May 10, 2021

How was your weekend? I am happy to link up today with Heather, Tanya, and many more here!

Let’s rewind to Friday…

I was so happy that my new chairs arrived! We have needed the portable camp chairs to replace our old (maybe 10 year old?) ones for quite some time. I saw this chair and thought it would be awesome – for taking to outdoor concerts, plays, etc. They are from Walmart.com and only $35 and they arrived in very little time.

I enjoyed reading in my new chair after school!

I made charcuterie and put it on the patio and ordered pizzas.

After pizza and some t.v. I fell asleep pretty early.

Saturday morning I didn’t have to get groceries because I had done Trader’s and a Kroger pick up . during the week. I started my meal prep – I try to prep breakfasts and lunch for me and this week I am having vegetable soup.

Then, I made myself an iced coffee in a wine glass and did some computer work and watched t.v.

I took off to get a mani and pedi around 11. I went with OPI Funny Bunny for both. I rarely get both a manicure and a pedicure at the same time. I hate sitting for that long. Is anyone else like that?

I went home and showered and did some cleaning and laundry and then Jack’s opening night of Shakepeare’s Comedy of Errors was happening! For Covid, they build a stage outdoors in the back of the theatre and we brought our own chairs and food and drink if we wanted – guess what chair I brought? It rained and they had to delay and then they were able to start and it drizzled for much of it.

They set the play in modern times at a Bonnaroo-like music festival. Here is Jack below. He was amazing! Of course, I am biased.

It was really good to see him act after almost a year and a half.

Sunday morning I drank my coffee outside on the patio because it was fairly warm out but it had rained. And, the weather proceeded to get worse all day long. It got colder and we had a wind advisory, so I am glad I got some outdoor time!

I got this card from Tom and some magazines – yay!

and went back to my bed and read them while watching bad t.v. I very rarely do this so it felt decadent.

Then, we went to a movie, The Wrath of Man. It was really good!

Jack on left and Mason on right. Jack has serious photo face.

I love the card they picked out for me because it is so true!

The kids made a reservation for me at a mediterranean restaurant and the four of us had a great meal – but they gave us so much food and we left with four boxes!

Hummus:

I got mango salmon:

Mason got my favorite meal there which is like a vegetable mixture with chicken.

So, that is what we will be having for dinner tonight, too!

I finished this book this weekend too. I really liked it! It is a bit sad, but it wasn’t too much for me.

And, just like that, the weekend was over. What did you do this weekend? I hope it was a good one and that you had better weather!

Three.more.weeks…..it is hard to believe that we are almost ready to put this school year to bed. I don’t think I will have as much to do on the last teacher day because I didn’t get much out when we returned April 5.

Thanks for reading and have a marvelous Monday!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, May 7, 2021

Happy, happy Friday! Maybe I am a bit dramatic, but this week was the busiest week I have had since February, 2020! It was all good and it was a combination of things – having a full nest and cooking and buying more food, my job and it being busy May season, and an exciting event for one of my sons. Stay tuned and I will tell you more!

I am happy to link up with Andrea, etc. right here!

Here are my favorites from the week as I look through my camera roll….

Sunday afternoon after I had already prepared my Hello Monday post, Tom and I went to the farmer’s market for a bit. It was so nice to be out and about and it is farmer’s market season again! Yay!

This one has a variety of vendors and food trucks. I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon here last year with a bottle of rosé and Tom and our couple friends. I need more of that!

A few people were wearing masks, but most were not. Tom and I did not because we were outside and are both fully vaxxed, baby. Our governor just passed the no masks outdoors for less than 1000 people and it is time, in my opinion. I was super compliant with the mask mandate and I was super careful but at this point I am comfortable in certain situations like this.

Also, this past Wednesday my boys were two weeks out from second vaccine so they are now fully vaxxed! I am so grateful!

We ran into some friends that we hadn’t seen in about a year and it was so nice!

I am really enjoying this book and I went outside to read any chance I could after school and in the evenings.

I am a fair weather reader! That is it! That is why I was in a reading rut. It is a bit depressing, but I am liking it well enough to stick it out.

These are amazing! I have been able to have just one after dinner for 60 calories. Get you a box if you can eat just one!

I am the AP Spanish teacher and our exam is next Tuesday (where they can potentially earn college credit). I got to take my kids to practice in the library where they will test. I had four girls on this day. Normally we go and practice a bunch but this year it will be just once. Sweet kids. I hope some are able to pass with the circumstances of this weird year.

I had a new Trader Joe’s find. These are delicious – so much so that I don’t know if I should really be buying them.

I heard an Instagram person recommend these chairs so I ordered two for various outdoor events this summer. I am super excited!

Did you do anything for Cinco de Mayo? This popped up on my Facebook!

More photos of my flowering bushes…

I had a fun happy hour one day this week. This time it was Elizabeth’s turn – lol! We went to Gravely where I went the week before.

A word about my almost weekly happy hours. We were with our couple friends and one of them told her husband that I had almost weekly happy hours and she said it kind of judgmentally like “who would have time for that?”

I make time. I am just as busy as she is. I bring this up to say that we, as wives and mothers should absolutely not feel guilty about making time for ourselves. This is something that fills my cup. I consider my friend time as crucial to me making it through the pandemic in a mentally healthy way. I mainly met with three friends – two are teachers and one is a retired librarian (she got to retire at 52 after 30 years in education – go her!). We were all like-minded about sitting outside and we all worked from home.

It required planning but if you don’t plan you won’t do the things you want to do.

I feel better having defended self-care time for myself and anyone else struggling with that.

We tried their new peach sour beer and it was amazing!

Look at the view from the highest patio. That is downtown Louisville and you can see Indiana across the river – just barely.

We also tried their plum beer and had chips and guacamole from the permanent food truck.

And, we tried their churros for the first time – OMG! I had eaten really well the rest of the day for this splurge and then I didn’t have any dinner… it was worth it!

This was teacher appreciation week and the teacher in the middle surprised us. Her parents wanted to treat her “lunch bunch” to a box lunch. We sent them this photo to say thanks. What a thoughtful gesture! I told everyone to really “ham it up” but they made me look crazy, no?

My son Jack gets to act for the first time since February of 2020 on an outdoor stage this weekend! I am so happy for him and so anxious to see it! He is in Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare, but it is set in modern day at a music festival like Bonnaroo. It should be interesting to see how they adapted it! He has four performances over the next couple of weeks.

What made you smile this week? I hope many things! Happy Mother’s Day to all my mom friends out there. If you are sad on this day, I will be thinking of you.

Amy

Product Update

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Who doesn’t love a product post? Basically the only reason I try new things is because someone recommended them! I don’t want to waste my money! I also am always curious if bloggers still use those products they recommended.

I don’t have any links for you but most everything came from Amazon or Target!

It is allergy season and this is a product I don’t live without. I keep it in my shower and use it daily. My husband has one in his shower, too. We found this several years ago and both agree it has changed our sinuses for the better! It comes in a 3 pack at Costco and it is the best price there, too!

I talked about this on my Prime Purchases post Tuesday, but it deserves a place here, too! It comes in a two pack on Amazon and I have it on subscription.

I love Downy Wrinkle Release! It is another product I don’t want to live without. They use it on Below Deck to smooth the sheets – what? It has changed my ironing life!

I really like this Trader Joe’s face lotion. I have bought this several times.

I love Glossier Boy Brow but this NYX brow is a close second. I would buy it again. My Charlotte Tillbury cream eyeshadow is still going strong after almost 2 years? Maybe I shouldn’t keep it this long, but I am! I will definitely replace this.

Melanie Shankle of Big Mama blog and Big Boo Cast podcast has great recommendations and this is my favorite self-tanner to date. I am curious to try other brands but this is still so full that it will be a long time and I don’t feel the need to try others because I do like this so much! It has a subtle sparkle and hardly any smell to it.

I first ordered Maskcara cream makeup in October and I have since ordered a couple more colors but I still have all of the original I ordered back then. This is now called Seint and it has changed my makeup life. I love it so much! If you are curious, search Seint on Pinterest. You do need a blending brush but it is magic. It has saved me money – it is very reasonably priced and it has kept me from looking for the next holy grail of makeup! I did a post a long time ago here!

I still can’t believe I paid this much – $28 a bottle – but it is amazing. I especially love the lather that the shampoo gives you. It has a nice smell, too. You need very little and I am often getting too much product. I am trying to do better. I think my hair is really loving it.

I can’t remember who recommended this, but they compared it to using Crest White Strips. I love this mouthwash! You swish for 60 seconds and I think I immediately see results. I like the flavor, too.

Several people recommended this and I love it! I love the foaming quality and my skin feels so good after using it!

I wouldn’t say the Olaplex conditioner gets my tangles out very well, so I started using this. I like it a lot!

Do you use any of these products?

What products would you recommend?

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Happy cinco de mayo! I have a short one this week! Linking up with The Style Six!

Saturday night we went to dinner and I wore my new Target Knox Rose dress. I don’t have any dresses like this. I only have knit swing dresses really so I am excited to have a one and done outfit.

For school on Monday I wore this old camo tank dress. You will be happy to know my room has settled down and isn’t a refrigerator anymore!

No, you aren’t seeing things… I have this blouse above and I bought the dress. I love this pattern and dresses are scarce in my wardrobe.

Also, I did my Prime Purchases post yesterday and wanted to show you my Amazon faux Birkenstock/Birkencrocs.

What have you been wearing lately? I am still managing not to repeat an outfit at school, by the way! 13 more outfits needed!

Prime Purchases

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Today is everyone’s favorite post – Prime Purchases for the month of April with Tanya and many more here! I don’t know if I should read these posts because I get severely influenced!

To be honest, I return more than I keep when it comes to Amazon clothing. I guess that is o.k., though, because I am learning not to settle for things that aren’t 100% for me. I buy snack items, toiletries, households goods, too. But, I definitely don’t go crazy on Amazon!

I didn’t want to spend almost $50 on real rubber Birkenstocks – Birkencrocs? I do have a pair of real pinkish melon ones and I also bought that same color for my MIL, but I wanted white this time and I knew that a knock off would do. I am very happy with these!

I almost ran out of this and I cannot let that happen! Seriously, I cannot tell you how many cans of this hairspray I have gone through. I love it and it really works for my hair! This is the only thing I have on auto-ship.

I really like these – two pockets and a nice material! I did go up a size and I feel like it was the right call. I am just wearing them to walk in or lounge at home with a big t-shirt.

I’m trying to drink more water and I bought this jug, influenced by Heather!

I had the worst rug in my hall bathroom that kept slipping. I bought this set and I am super happy with how soft and how non slip they are!

That is it for me in April!

Amy

Hello Monday – 3 Day Weekend

Monday, May 3, 2021

And, just like that… it is May! May is always a super busy month for teachers and parents. This year doesn’t quite look the same for me with my kids out of high school, but it will still be busy!

-I have 15 more days of in person instruction, then we have an in person graduation on our football field! (We normally go to our convention center indoors and I’m actually really excited about this change.)

-Jack is in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors in the parking lot of his community theatre – complete with food trucks. This will be the first time he has performed since Februrary of 2020’s Pride and Prejudice.

I am happy to link up today with Heather, Tanya, and many more right here!

We had some wonderful weather this weekend. Thursday evening after dinner, I went out to my happy place and read.

Friday morning I slept in until 7 because I didn’t have school! This is my tree top view from my bed. I really want to open the blinds fully.

I did my coffee, blog, and devotional and then got motivated to get to Trader Joe’s by 8:30.

I came home and made a new breakfast favorite – a low carb tortilla with egg and cheese. I plan to add more items to this soon – onions, mushrooms, etc. I ate on the deck.

I spent some time reading my library books and the sky was as blue as blue can be!

I forgot to take pictures but my friend came over for lunch and a cocktail and to watch the Oaks race (part of the Derby). That evening we just stayed home for dinner.

Saturday morning I had my iced coffee on the deck after breakfast with my new library book.

Then, that afternoon, our friends came over to watch the Derby. I made a cocktail called a Twin Spire (named after the architectural structures at Churchill Downs) and charcuterie platters and I forgot photos!

Our friend brought his new bourbon smoker.

Then, the four of us met our friends who went to the Derby for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants that used to be a gas station.

I had the vegetable platter and it was so good!

Then, we came home and watched some tv on the patio because we kept our bedroom tv outside. I am anxious to permanently put a tv on the patio. But, this worked for now!

Then, Sunday morning it was not so cold and I had my coffee out there, too!

Then, it was time for Sunday morning meal prep and school work. I like to get things done in the morning when I have energy so I can have that off of my plate.

So, I didn’t take many pictures and as you can see the ones I did take were mostly of my deck or patio! When the weather is nice, I am outside as much as I can be!

What were the highlights of your weekend? Did you have nice weather?

Thanks for reading!

Amy