Friday Faves

Friday, October 30, 2020

Wow – this week went by so quickly! Halloween is tomorrow – that is crazy! I am linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here.

Here you go – a hodge podge of things that made me happy this week!

I finished this book early in the week. I really enjoyed it – it was a touch cheesy. If you are a fan of country music you might like it. A singer songwriter goes to Paris to meet a big country star for her business shared with husband who has cheated on her. A little Paris, a little country music, a little romance, some challenges – it was a good quick read for me!

I had a meet up with my French teacher friend who teaches at another school. We sat outside and only got through about 1/3 of this giant cider. We tried pineapple cider and grapefruit guava cider.

She wanted to give me an early birthday present – so sweet! Would it be o.k. if I tried to show my foot on the computer screen while virtual teaching or is that weird?

I bought these disposable coffee cups a few weeks ago. I like to have some disposables on hand. I made myself hot chocolate one afternoon.

I am really enjoying the crackle of my new Woodwick candle!

Ernie makes me laugh when I catch him sleeping on his back!

I got a nice stack of books from my library pick up on Monday after school. The Last Flight by Julie Clark, To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters, and I cannot believe I already got the third book in the series by Elin Hilderbrand, Trouble in Paradise.

I got my Christmas Pioneer Woman magazine! I am trying to save it. I am not really into Christmas until Halloween and Thanksgiving are over.

You guys – Clare has to be the worst Bachelorette ever! I do not want to spoil anything but it is a trainwreck. First of all, they cannot go anywhere because Pandemic. So, the dates are like on another part of the property I guess. She is cancelling dates or parts of dates because she does not feel like it, yelling at her men, getting into fights, and she clearly favors one man and is not giving the other wayyyyyy hotter and nicer and more authentic guys a chance. I said too much! Can anyone recommend a blog or podcast that makes fun of this show? I need this now. Sheaffer, you would have pure gold here!

The French teacher at my school, one of the Spanish teachers at my school, and I planned to meet for lunch at our local French place one day and this week was the day. These two teachers were supposed to take kids to France and Spain this summer but of course it was cancelled. I was invited to chaperone but I knew it would be a busy summer with graduation, college, a big trip for our 20th anniversary/graduation so I declined. Oh, 2020!

We all started with the French onion soup.

And, I split a croque madame sandwich with one of the teachers but forgot a photo! We talked and talked for 2 hours on the patio.

I started this book first and I am hooked! I cannot remember which blogger recommended it.

This weekend I plan to make chili, mummy dogs, lasagna soup, and a few more fun things just for Tom and I as far as I know! I also plan to switch to my Thanksgiving decor below.

Other things that made me happy were sharing my apple cider sangria recipe, my fried rice recipe, and my new camo purse strap. If you missed those, feel free to read back to my other blog posts from the week.

What made you smile this week?

How are you celebrating Halloween safely?

Thank you for reading and happy Friday!


Easy Fried Rice at Home

Thursday, October 29. 2020

I am so excited that I learned to make this! Guess how I learned? Students at my school just created a video with cooking demos that they shared with the student body – virtually, of course. I watched the video and was so excited for this recipe, especially. I have since made it a few times. The only ingredient that I did not have on hand was oyster sauce and the bag of frozen peas and carrots – so you may have most of the ingredients, too.

It looks professional, right? Sorry, that sounded braggadocious; I am just that excited. I like it better than the restaurant version! You can control the butter and soy sauce amounts and I used low sodium soy sauce!

I made this for dinner again Monday night and added chicken that I had cooked myself and brushed some soy sauce on while cooking. Quote from Tom: “This is way better than anything we have ever bought from a restaurant.”

You will need:

rice – already cooked and chilled- I used the Trader Joes frozen Jasmine rice. You microwave it, empty into a bowl, and pop in fridge to chill


frozen peas and carrots mixture

2 eggs

soy sauce

oyster sauce (found in the grocery next to the soy sauce)

You could add shrimp or chicken or another protein if desired.

First, put about 1 tbsp. butter in a skillet.

Crack the eggs and mix them up with a fork in a bowl and then cook them in the skillet until they are browned. Chop them into smallish pieces and set aside.

Now put another pat of butter in the skillet and add frozen veg and saute about 2 – 3 minutes until warmed up. Just add the amount you desire.

Next add in the rice. Add a little more butter. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce. I added about 2 T. soy and 1 T. oyster but you can taste and add more. Start with a little and add more to taste. It can get to be too much and/or be too salty.

Stir around until the sauces are incorporated. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add in the egg and cook for a minute or so.

That is it! So good!

Let me know if you try it!


What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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

One day last week I put on my colorful Loft knit pants (old) and an Old Navy black peasant blouse to teach in and to do a curbside grocery pick up.

I was thrilled to bring new life to an old purse. This purse was a Sak brand consignment store find a long, long time ago. This purse holds a surprising amount of stuff and it is great for travel (ha!) or hands free errands. I had started seeing these cool guitar straps on blogs and I really liked the one Kellyann found but it was out of stock and about double the price of the one I found on Amazon here. I got tons of compliments when I took it shopping Saturday and then at the pumpkin even Sunday. I love the feeling of making something old new with a very little change.

Saturday night I wore my Lucky booties that I told you about last week. I wore my Aerie crackle leggings, a black tank and my Target A New Day poncho – the version this year has 3/4 length sleeves that make it more like a sweater. It is One Size Fits Most and I went ahead and got the burgundy and the tan after loving the black so much. You can find the poncho here. I really think it will be the most worn piece(s) for me this year. I wish I had caught the 20% off sale, but I still think $25 is a great deal for this piece. It will work with leggings, jeans, skirts, and if you throw on a long necklace you are good to go in my opinion.

My two friends dressed alike without planning it! We got a good laugh about that, but black and camel are such a classic combo. I love them together. I usually do the camel on top and black on the bottom but I like it both ways.

I love the look of the bare legs and booties on my friend on the left.

Here is a close up of the strap for my purse before I go.

What have you been wearing lately? I am doing self-tanner right now so that I can try to wear some of my fall skirts with short and long boots. It really helps!

My closet still has a hodge podge of summer and fall all mixed together because of our fickle weather. I need to organize and try some combos.

Thanks for reading!


Apple Cider Sangria

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I have posted about this many times, but it is just that good that I need to keep reminding you about it! Ha!

No leaves were moved for this photo. They were already there. I promise!

You will need:

Bourbon of your choice – I really like Trader Joes for this recipe but this time I went with this reasonably priced brand. I toured this a couple of years ago and it was a great tour on Main Street in Louisville as part of the urban bourbon trail.

Fireball, baby!

Real apple cider

Ginger Ale – I like diet. I think it has enough sweetness from the cider.

Do one shot of bourbon, half shot of Fireball (more if you are feeling crazy or you really like spice), 1/2 cup of cider.


Add ice.

Fill to top with your ginger ale.

You can also make a batch of this but leave the ginger ale out until ready to serve and then add to individual glasses for maximum fizz factor.

You can also soak apple chunks in your bourbon and Fireball mixture ahead of time.

Let me know if you try it!


Hello Monday!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Hello all! I am linking up today with Lindsay, Tanya and others right here.

First of, all, you need to read this book! It was really good and one of the best of 2020 for me.

Friday after work was really good because I got to see both of my boys! One was brief because he was going to a friend’s house nearby to hang out for the night. And, the other ate pizza with Tom and I at home because it was pouring rain. That was o.k. His favorite pizza Boombozz has been under renovation for almost a year and it has re-opened so I think it was a treat for him. He also ate ramen! And, he and I made indoor s’mores – in the microwave. He was in a great mood and it was a really nice treat.

Saturday morning I had told Tom it was going to be Amy Day. It was much needed hair day and I just decided to take myself out. I started with a local coffee shop bourbon caramel latte. It was just a flavoring, people. I was not drinking at 9 a.m. I always take the first hair appointment of the day.

Is there life on other planets? Hello?

New hair.

I then took myself to this cute little holiday pop up shoppe at a shopping village. It was really cute. I really want to shop locally as much as I can.

This was my hair outfit. I get hot under the cape so I did not wear the vest. All black. I will talk about my new camo purse strap on Wednesday.

I did my nails this grey/lavender Essie color that I featured in my fall nails post.

I also went in one more store at the village, Target, and then I got myself a veggie sandwich for lunch. I went home and watched a movie and it was nice.

Saturday night was our celebration for the girl on the left. It was her birthday!

We went to the country and ate in a barn. It is a farm to table concept at a farm. The owners are also big into art collecting/curating. After we ate (the food was not that good so I am not even showing you, but it was an experience), we got glow bracelets to go on an “art walk”. We didn’t really know what to expect.

They had built wooden walkways in the woods and had a light installation set to sound effects and music. You were free to take a drink with you but we didn’t and we wished we had because we could’ve stayed there for a lot longer.

At the end there was a light show and a place to sit to view it. These pictures don’t do it justice. I would like to go again.

Sunday I was super lazy but I did make my breakfast for the week and I had already made my soup for the week – lentil bacon. I piddled around, cleaned, read, drank coffee and then around 1 Tom and I went to the restaurant on the river for the annual charity pumpkin chuckin’ where they launch pumpkins into the river trying to hit a target.

Tom’s sister, brother in law, our niece, and some other people were there so that was nice. I had a mimosa and we had some food.

Then, we went home to some yard work and my new Woodwick candles from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It crackles when it burns! I think it’s best for outside, but people do use them inside.

And, that is about it. How is it the last week of October? It is crazy! I can’t believe Halloween is in less than a week. We are not going back to school any time soon. Our numbers are horrible here. We are in the red. Everywhere I go people are wearing masks so I don’t really know why it is so bad. The sports that are in the playoffs are allowed to continue but if a sport is not, they are pumping the brakes on those. I feel so bad for the kids. I know some desperately want to go back. On the other hand, some want to remain virtual and some are doing very well with our online curriculum. This is hard – there is no doubt about that.

How was your weekend? Any highlights? How are things in your neck of the woods?

Thanks for reading!


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday to all! I am linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here!

How was your week? Mine was o.k. I am in a good routine but at the same time I am starting to get tired of that routine.

Here are some favorites…

I continued to either sit outside in the evening some nights or to

have my coffee outside some mornings.

I guess I feel like my outside days are numbered and that is forcing me to take advantage when I can, which is a good thing, I think!

Monday Ernie and I had a wet walk but that is what Hunter boots are for! These are now 8 years old!

I showed my students these Day of the Dead tortilla chips that I found at Kroger.

You all – this popcorn is so good! The maple is not too strong. I need to go get more! Maple is the new pumpkin – you heard it here.

I had one weekday outing with a friend. I went back to the patio at Gravely Brewing Co.

When I am on the lower patio, Ernie is usually right here, guarding the back door.

Something very exciting happened Monday! This is our Master Bath frame. Between the green wall and the frame is our hall. The old tiny bathroom door will be a solid wall and our new Master Bed is beyond the opening you see on the right. And, our his and hers walk-in closets are first before the bedroom.

Hallway – the door on the left will be gone, too –

This is where the double vanity will be – used to be the Master closets.

So, it is exciting that after a 7 month hiatus, we are getting something going again!

The leaves really starting turning yellow in my yard this week.

During my lunch break one day I got my second pedicure since February. Everyone has to wear a mask and I brought my own Essie Wrapped in Rubies polish. I think it is safer and I can do touch ups when needed.

I am almost done with this book and you must go get it! So good!

If you are a Keurig user like me, this hot apple cider is yummy! It is 80 calories a cup.

So, those are some things I enjoyed this week.

What did you enjoy? Any highlights?

Any fun weekend plans?

Thanks for visiting me,


Cornbread and Caramel Cake

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Another strange blog post title coming at ya this week! Stay with me, though – you will like this!

Have you ever had really good restaurant corn bread? Want to hear a weird secret? Some places use this trick I found many years ago on Pinterest.

Take a Jiffy cornbread mix and mix according to package directions.

Take a Jiffy yellow cake mix and mix according to package directions. (I could not find the Jiffy cake mix because my Kroger and Covid and 2020 – so you can use Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist Butter Golden – I read it has to be this mix because you do not want a mix with pudding in it.)

Combine batters and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and you can stick a toothpick in and have it come out clean.

Now, because I had a full size cake mix I only incorporated half of the cake mix which left me with the other half.

I bake the corn bread then put the other half of the cake in after it was done because I did not want to mess up baking times.

This is a sweeter corn bread but it is really good! Put butter or honey on top if you like.

And, above you see the cake – sorry I was not planning on posting about the cake but a reader requested the recipe. I think cake mixes are great. A tip – you can add an extra egg to make it more homemade tasting! I do this regularly! Also, I love a bundt pan and there are some really pretty cake pans out there now.

Here is the deal: Make your own frosting and the entire cake will taste homemade. This is one of my favorite icing recipes that I found in a church cook book. Those are really the best. Everyone gives their best recipes. I like to buy these at garage sales sometimes! Ha!

Easy Caramel Icing:

1/2 cup butter (one stick)

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 and 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar (I did not sift mine and nothing bad happened!)

Melt butter in saucepan.

Stir in brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring over medium heat for 2 minutes.

Stir in milk.

Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. (I decided to also add some bourbon and vanilla because why not?)

Cool to lukewarm.

Gradually add in the powdered sugar.

Beat until thick enough to spread. (I just used a wooden spoon)

Add a little hot water if icing is too hard.

It is so good! You could put this on top of a spice cake, a chocolate cake, on top of apple bars or apple pie.

Let me know if you plan to make cornbread or caramel cake!



Tuesday, October 20, 2020

No, my title is not a typo! Did anyone used to read the blog of the same name? Did you know Cara now has a direct sales company? (I think direct sales sometimes gets a bad rap but if it is a quality product it is the small business of its representatives. )

So, a few weeks ago my college friend Jennie was hosting a party for this company – an online party via Facebook. I joined in – what the heck? I like makeup! I like spending money on the internet! I am a little bored! Just kidding – but I listened and read and watched some of the videos that were being posted.

Basically it is a contouring for dummies system of makeup. I had never really been that into contouring and I always envisioned a Kardashian when I thought of this. But, if you are a faithful reader of mine (thank you!), you know how I feel about my recent discovery of cream blush, cream eyeshadow, cream everything. Who wants powder settling in their fine lines?

This is what the system looks like.

First you take a photo of your face in natural light and then your artist comes up with a palette for you. The colors look weird and the dark one you may freak out over.

They come in these cute little tins and if you buy four you get the compact for free. Below you see that this works for both cheek and lip! I have not used it for lips. I am only using this for my foundation/instead of foundation and blush.

Naked face:

First you start with your darkest color – you put it at your hairline, right under your cheekbone and right along your jawline. It kind of resembles the number 3. You also do either side of your nose.

Then you use your lighter color (the first one in my palette) and do a stripe under the dark hairline, under the cheekbone stripe, under eye, and on chin.

Then you do blush. By the way, I hope none of my neighbors were concerned. I kept going in and out of the house taking selfies.

Then you blend with their brush or I just used my Beauty Blender egg shaped sponge.

Below is the final result. I also added my own eye stuff and lip stuff and brow gel.

The tins are really reasonably priced. My entire palette of 4 tins came to under $50.

This is an artist who did half of her face.

And here is Jennie:

If you are interested in learning more, Jennie became an artist after having her party! That is how much she fell in love with it. They do also have eye products and skin care products and more, but I only know about the face contour system.

or email her at

Jennie did not ask me to write this – in fact she knew nothing of my blog. But, when I told her I was writing about it (and that I had a blog!), she offered to open up a hostess rewards party for me, so if you do order from her I may receive some free or discounted items. I just wanted to fully disclose that.

Have you heard of this? I hope you liked hearing about it. I am really enjoying doing my face this way. I hope to get the brush and the setting spray next.


Friday Favorites

Friday, October 16, 2020

How was your week?

I am linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here!

My favorites this week are not in chronological order, but here we go – I have a little of everything today that made me happy this week. What made you happy this week?

This Wednesday I did not have to teach live classes. It may not seem like it but teaching live virtually is hard, you all! You are ON the whole time and you are trying to bring the energy to the screen and it just takes it out of you. You have multiple tabs open on your computer and you share your screen and go back to see your students and it is a lot. I feel like the Wizard of Oz or something. So, Wednesday we had a mandatory mental health professional development… I will let that sit there a moment while you absorb the irony. I took my workspace outside and it was a good call.

I cleaned up a bunch but left the leaves because I like them.

A different day I did my nails on the patio while listening to a podcast.

I bought the OPI Shine formula and I thought this was kind of fun for fall.

More leaf changing photos on my walks.

Anyone listen to Even the Rich? I am not interested in all of their topics, but I started the one on JFK Jr.

One afternoon I volunteered to bring my easy skinny margarita to a patio with two teacher friends. I started teaching at my current school 21 years ago with these two girls – now we are all at three different schools in my city. I am so glad we have stayed in touch. One teaches French and the other teaches Latin so we have a lot in common! My easy skinny margarita – one shot white tequila, half a stick of Crystal Light lemonade – stir, and add ice and fill to top with Fresca. Add a lime. Yum!

It is now getting dark at 7:00! The upside is that I am still awake and can go on the patio and light a candle some evenings!

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to have lunch at Joellas Hot Chicken with just one of my sons. It was so nice and the first time we have gotten to do this since August 14. I just realized this is a weird photo. This is his drink but he had gone to the restroom.

And, later that night all four of us were reunited for the first time since September 5 (their birthday). One son wanted to go to Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (instead of in the park) to see Macbeth where one of his drama teachers was a part. You stayed in your car and tuned to a certain radio station. It was unique. I brought popcorn and candy and we all kept masks on except when eating so maybe that did not matter anymore. We also had the sunroof and windows open for some air flow. Our boys have been very, very serious about the mask mandate on their campus. They had to sign a pledge.

So, this is out of order, but on Wednesday when we did the mental health in the morning I also had to have a meeting with this sweet colleague. We decided to meet in person instead of virtually and she brought us lunch. We both thought this did way more for our mental health!

She brought breakfast tacos for me and tres leches pancakes for her from a place called Con Huevos.

This is a bit creepy but I have enjoyed having a nightlight for my nightly bathroom trips. Do you wake at the same time every night? I usually wake at 3:35 (weird, right? and also TMI) and this nightlight has been so nice so because I am no longer turning on a big light. I think I have a Christmas one and I will be looking for a rest of the year one! But, I cannot wait to destroy this bathroom soon I hope!

My very favorite trees in the fall are these red/pink ones. Look at that blue sky. We have seriously had the best fall weather. Or, maybe I am finally noticing it because of WFH (work from home)?

I am super excited about this. It is a Christmas tree made from bourbon barrel slats. My former student was advertising that her Grandpa was making them and selling for a very reasonable price.

I should probably keep this for What I Wore Wednesday but I am too excited. I really want to be a hat person but I am not sure I am. I took a chance on this one – it does have some Smokey the Bear or Curious George Man in the Hat vibes but it is a great price. And, this is why…

Look how cute my little sister looks! I think I need to ask her about that jacket, too.

This is our old bedroom and I was thrilled to hear something might be happening soon… Hub ripped up the carpet solo and dismantled the closet systems and doors to save some time and money. Look at this beautiful floor that was hiding! Well, it is dirty, but still…

That was quite a hodge podge this week. I hope you also had lots that made you happy!

Thanks for reading and tell me what your highlights were in the comments.


P.S. – Sorry no Thursday post this week. I had a bit of writer’s block. So, leave me anything you would like me to write about and I will see what I can do!

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Just want to let you know there will be no Thursday post this week! See you back here Friday for Favorites, though!

I am linking up today with the ladies of The Style Six here.

Saturday was balmy but I still wanted to wear my pumpkin spice t-shirt (old!). I wore my new short sleeve Umgee from Amazon sweater and consigned Matilda Jane pants.

This is what I wore for meeting my friend for happy hour.

I tried the all black under this kimono and I still am not sure. I think I like the white t-shirt under it the best.

Below are my Wild Fable from Target liquid leggings from last year. They were $10 ish dollars and I wore them a bunch! Everytime I went out for the evening I wanted to wear them. I thought they worked with black booties and ponchos. I never did wear them casually because it felt kinda weird to me – maybe it was a shoe issue. I would 100 % recommend these and I believe they still carry them.

So, last year told me that I would wear them a lot.

I decided to order the Aerie crackle leggings for about $30. I think I can maybe try these with white sneakers for a casual look.

Here is a closeup of the crackle. It is not a great photo, but you get the idea – it has a bit of a textured look. I could not spend the $$$ on the Spanx leggings that everyone loves. I am sure they are worth it, but these will be fine for me.

I also want to show you the Target Goodfellow pullover again. My son liked it and wanted one so I ordered him one, too. I have already washed this twice and worn it maybe 4 times. I really think I am going to like having this.

And, even better is my Aerie pullover. I am not sure it is better, really, but I like the print. I have also washed this twice and worn it probably 5 times. So, I am embarrassed and ashamed that I am just now experiencing the joy of the pullover.

If you are starting to think about gift ideas, I think these would be fabulous! I know I would like to receive them!

What have you been wearing lately?