Summer Nails

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Do you enjoy a manicure?  I do!  I don’t like my nails bare.  I actually enjoy doing my nails myself and I usually like bright fun colors – especially in the summer.  I do my nails in the evenings usually while watching a tv program and I can often make a mani last a full week.  

Here are my tips:  

-Use the better brand polishes.  They really do last longer and have a nice consistency.  If I buy a better brand, I am more satisfied and usually use the bottle until it’s gone.  If I buy the cheaper brands, I usually end up going out and buying the better brand after all! 

-I prefer OPI because of the brush.  Essie’s colors are maybe better, but I hate the dinky brush.  Some people like it.  I think it’s just personal preference.  

-I think shorter squared off nails look better with bright color polishes.  Again, this is personal preference.  I also think shorter nails help you keep the mani longer.  

-Do a super light coat first.  Go back and do another light coat.  The lighter coat makes it last longer – I swear!  

-If your polish is gummy and/or old, add a few drops of nail polish remover and shake and “roll” the bottle really well like you’ve probably seen the nail techs do.

-End with a top coat.  Right now I’m using OPI, but Seche Vite is really good, too.  

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From left to right:  OPI top coat, Suzi without a paddle, I just can’t Copa Cabana, Strawberry margarita, Essie  For the Twill of it and Bikini so teeny.

Example of Essie’s Bikini So Teeny.  

Do you have any brands or colors to recommend to me?  

Where do you stand on gel, dip, home manicures, or au natural?  

Amy

What I Wore and Pin It Spin It

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Happy Wednesday!  Today is my typical What I Wore from the last week with a few “extras” thrown in plus I’m linking up with Heather at My Glittery Heart for a Pin It Spin It where bloggers take some Pinterest outfit photos and put their own spin on it with clothes in their closet.  I regularly do this anyway when I’m in a rut.  You should try it if you haven’t!  I love Pinterest!  

This was my first day off and what I wore to take dinner to my friend’s house.  Versona top that I got for $8, Target Universal Thread olive drawstring shorts, MIA Susan clog sandal.  

This is what I wore to have lunch with friends.  I felt a bit fallish looking at this photo later.  My camo dress is Target Universal Thread, same clog sandals, and old consignment knit cardigan.  

I don’t have details of my friends’ outfits but they looked cute.  They have a bit more preppy vibe than I do.  

These are the Jack Rogers wedges below and she claims they are more comfortable than the flat JRs.  

I purchased the Amazon romper!  That is a paint spot on my mirror, by the way.  I think this romper can work into the fall, but the jury is still out on if I think it’s flattering on me.  I wore this to my niece’s graduation party and avoided going to the bathroom for the time I was there!  

This outfit below was my Saturday outfit and I don’t think it looks very good, but I’m wearing my new Crocs Sexi sandal.  

Close up of the Croc Sexi and check out yesterday’s shoe post if you missed it!  

Now, time for Pin It Spin It…

Camo with white is kind of unexpected and I like how she put this together.  

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Here is my spin and I will really wear this in the next week.  Target Universal Thread white cut offs, Versona camo top, TB Millers, and some gold leather earrings.  

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O.k., I was drawn to my second pin because of the round purse like the one I have.  

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My take on it would be Target Universal Thread blue denim cut offs, a white knit Old Navy blouse, round purse, Millers again, and leather feather metallic earrings.  

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And, finally we have a pin with cut offs, white shirt, and a kimono.

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Amazon kimono, same cut offs, same white shirt, Miller sandals, and hot pink leather earrings from ADVdesigns.

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I’m definitely drawn to casual outfits and cut off shorts right now!  And, this post was in no way sponsored by Target’s Universal Thread line – I just really love it and think you get a lot of bang for your buck!  

What’s your favorite outfit from above?  What have you been wearing lately?  

Thanks for stopping by!

Amy 

Summer Shoes

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Since school is out, my mind is focused on much more important things…like my summer shoe collection!  Ha!  My mom can attest to the fact that I’ve always been a shoe girl.  But, with age comes wisdom and I know I’ve learned a lot through my shopping mistakes.  Gosh, I think I’ve made the most shopping mistakes with shoes!  

Here are a few of my shoe “rules” at this stage in life:

-Try not to get sucked in by Target’s cute shoes and decent prices.  I know there are some exceptions, but as a general rule I don’t buy Target shoes or other cheap shoes.  Some ladies have had great luck with Target’s wedges this season, but I didn’t need them when I found my consignment wedge.  I may eat my words if I try on a pair!  

-Don’t buy all the colors of the rainbow.  Tan, black, and metallic work best for me.

-It’s not quantity but quality and comfort.

-I just can’t do a really high heel.  Stick to my comfort in regards to heel height.  

So, let’s see some photos…

I find myself pretty happy with what I have to choose from right now. 

Let’s start from the back.  

-New $40 ish MIA Susan clog sandals.  I have now worn them 4 times and they are great.  They won’t work for school, but I’m only thinking summer right now!  

-Consignment $18 OTBT wedges that retail for $130.  Very high but comfortable; still best for dinner out and things like that.

-New $30ish Soda sandals from Amazon per Lisa of Coast to Coast blog’s rec.  These did work for school.  Love them!  

Middle Row:

-Black patent Birks

-Bronze metallic Birks from consignment 6 years ago – paid about $18

Forgive the weird toe prints!  Ha!  

-Tory Burch black wedge flip flop – paid full price about 6 years ago

-Tory Burch Miller – consignment for $70 about 7 years ago

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Bottom Row above:  

-new this year Birks (fun to call them Birkencrocs) .  They were $40 and are super lightweight and super comfy.  I broke my rule and went with a fun bright pink/salmon

-Pierre Dumas Jack Rogers look alike from Amazon for $25ishlast year.  These were per Lauren from All About that Mommy Life’s rec and a teacher at school’s rec.  These are not high quality but I love the cork and so much more comfortable than the real thing.  I had real Jack Rogers and they were like walking on two pieces of plywood.  

-Tory Burch flip flops for $12 from consignment – not comfy at all but look good if need a dressier flip flop and silver accent

-The newest member of the shoe family on a rec from the internet about the comfiest sandals – the Croc Sexi (forgive the name, please!).  These were $17 from Amazon and I can’t take them off.  I’m even wearing them in the house.  Here’s a better photo below.  It’s all one piece.  They are kind of ugly in a cute sort of way.  

I would still like a new pair of Reef flip flops and I didn’t include my rain boots, my tennis shoes, or my flats.  I don’t like wearing closed toe shoes in the summer.  Gotta show off that pedicure!  

Do you see any holes in my shoe wardrobe?  What do you need to add to yours?  

Amy 

Hello Monday!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Boy, Mondays feel different when you don’t have anywhere to be! If you do have somewhere to be, I’m so sorry!  I will be back there with you before too long. 🙂

Today I’m linking up with Heather and Lauren for Hello Monday and Weekending link ups.  

Let’s start with Thursday night.  It was hub’s bday and he wanted to stay in and have BLTs.  I also made shaved brussel sprouts (bought the bag already shaved at Trader Joe’s) with bacon and balsamic, roasted potatoes and onion, and mushrooms.  We opened presents and had a frozen oreo dessert that I made, too.  

Friday lunch I felt ok to leave my recovering boys (from Wednesday’s wisdom teeth surgery) for a couple of hours and I met my two besties for lunch.  We are really bad about remembering photos so we made it a point to do this right away.  

We sat on the pretty patio because it was a picture perfect day and was even a little cool.  

Having a cocktail at lunch feels truly decadent!  

That night was my niece’s grad party and I failed to take any photos!  But, it was a nice night and my SIL outdid herself with the food.  

Saturday one son had an audition so the other son went, too, and we visited a nearby record store.  It was good to get them out of the house.  I feel really bad that they had to start their summer this way!  And, I will tell you they didn’t eat any solid foods until yesterday so it takes about 5 days to feel almost normal.  They have to go get their stitches out this Wednesday.  

Saturday night my husband wanted to return his birthday gifts (I tried!) at the mall so I talked him into eating dinner at BJ’s.  I had their sparkling sangria.  It is so good.  We are into sitting at the bar lately.  I think sometimes it’s faster!  We split a salad, brussel sprouts (mine were better!), and some queso.  

I finished this book Sunday and I do recommend it.  It’s cute and a good summer read.  

Next up is this book.  I can’t remember who recommended it.  

My husband wanted to go see this – Men in Black International – and the boys were able to eat a bit of popcorn .  I wasn’t looking forward to seeing it, but it was pretty good.  I wasn’t a fan of the first one, either.  

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Then, we visited a bookstore per the boys’ request and they bought their summer reading book. We came home and I read a bit and started a decent dinner for my hub.  

What did you do this weekend?  

Hope it was a great one!  

Amy 

Friday Favorites

Friday, June 14, 2019

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  I’m linking up with Andrea, etc. for their weekly Friday link up where everyone shares their favorites from the week.  It’s a fun and happy post and I always love reading others’ favorites.  Go here to check out more posts and maybe find new blogs to follow.  Also, if you are new here to my little ol’ blog, welcome and I hope you will become a regular reader!

So, my last teacher work day was this past Monday and then I did a half day workshop on Tuesday.  Wednesday was my twin boys’ wisdom teeth surgery and yesterday they were still recovering.  Whew!  So, I’m still exhausted and I’m not in any sort of summer routine yet.  

But, my first favorite is NOT SETTING AN ALARM!  

My second favorite is the photo below.  Hydrangeas are my favorite flower and this bush(?) came from my childhood home.  My Dad dug it up and gave it to me when he and my mom moved from that home 13 years ago.  This bush didn’t bloom last spring for some reason so I was really praying that it would bloom again this year and it is starting to!  Because we lost my Dad in December it was really important to me to keep this baby alive and make sure it bloomed.  Thank you, Dad!  

My third favorite is summer reading!  I have been in a real reading rut this year so far so it was so nice to pick up a book that I couldn’t put down.  I read it in the first two days of summer.  

My fourth favorite was this quote I saw on Instagram.  Love it!  

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My fifth favorite was when I went into Target last weekend and used all of my willpower.  This display was made for me.  Fiesta themed plates, cups with Spanish related quotes, margarita mix, cactus lime juicers.  Oh. my. gosh.  

I also loved this mug that says “the boss” in Spanish.  

They also had all kinds of cups you could slap a monogram sticker on.  Visit Heather at My Glittery Heart to order monogram stickers.  They just make everything better!  

My sixth favorite was found at Trader Joe’s.  I really like their beauty products.  This hair serum helps with summer hair problems and was less than $4.  

Have you heard that McDonald’s has four menu items right now from around the world?  They have favorites from other countries.  My student sent me this picture of his Stroopwaffel McFlurry from the Netherlands and he said it’s really good.   So, this is bound to be my next favorite. He sent me this email to thank me because on the last day of our class, McD’s was running a promo where if you brought in a coin from any other country, you got one of the four items for that coin even if it was only worth 1 cent!  I gave each student a coin so they could do it. img_7213

What are you up to this weekend?  Tonight we are celebrating my niece’s high school graduation. img_7217.png

I’m hoping to finish this cute little book so I can move on to another good book from the library!  

I’m hoping my boys can move on to solid foods!  I have had these “cafeteria trays” for a long time and I think they are hilarious.  I have had a dinner party with school food themed foods before.  

We are also hoping to go see Men in Black and take the boat out this weekend.  

Thanks for reading and if you missed my posts this week I have a few you may be interested in:

Go here for a meal idea and a recipe!

Go here for what I wore and my search for a summer clog!

Go here for my summer to do list!  

Happy weekend!

Amy 

 

Mexican Homemade To Go!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Today is my dear husband’s birthday!  We’ve now been together for 22 birthdays of his;  we actually didn’t meet until he was 30 and I was 25.  He likes to tease me that he expects a surprise because I’ve surprised him so many times.  One of my best surprises for him was a Reds baseball game with tons of his friends.  He thought it was just going to be the two of us.  He prefers a low key celebration or no celebration at all.  Many years he just wants me to cook a favorite of his.  He is low maintenance and easy to please.  This year our boys are recovering from wisdom teeth surgery so it will definitely be low key.  He does want to see Men in Black so if the boys feel up to it we may all go.  I will let you know what we ended up doing in my Hello Monday report!  

So, today I’m going to talk about what I did Tuesday evening with my two best friends since freshman year of college.  They both live here but I rarely get to see them because this is a busy stage of life for all of us.  

One of the two has a crazy work schedule in this season of life; she works from home but her schedule right now is 11 am-5 pm and 8 pm-11pm.  I offered to bring happy hour/dinner to her house and have our other friend come, too during her 5-8 break.  It was so much fun!  

Let’s go backwards and start with dessert:

I made the Trader Joe’s truffle brownie mix and if you have never had them they are decadent!  And, I made sopapilla cheesecake bars (I halved the recipe because I also had the brownies)  The bars are to die for.  If you love cheesecake, you will love these:

2 tubes of crescent rolls

1 and 1/2 cups of sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 blocks of cream cheese (I use the lighter neufchatel)

1 stick butter

1/4 cup cinnamon

Lay out one roll of crescent rolls in a 13 x 9 pressing the perforations closed

Use a hand held mixer to mix together the cream cheese (soften slightly in microwave or leave out on counter) and only 1 cup of the sugar.  Add the vanilla.  Now spread this on top of the crescent rolls.  Add the second tube of crescent rolls on top, seal perforations, and try to kind of close the edges of the two layers so the filling won’t come out.  Now pour the melted stick of butter on top (you could probably reduce the butter because it’s a lot).  Mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the butter.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.  

 

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Then, I made Lisa’s (from Coast to Coast blog) avocado, cucumber, feta, lemon juice mixture.  This is to die for.  My friends loved it!  

We got to sit on my friend’s lovely portico/porch and we started with chips and salsa.  

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And, for the main dish I made my Mexican Lasagna.  You basically use flour tortillas cut in strips instead of pasta noodles and the mixture in between is chicken, salsa, sour cream, corn, black beans and shredded cheese.  I have talked about this on the blog as a great dinner to bring to new moms.  Put some sour cream on the side or over the top.  

Our cocktail was a low calorie Paloma.  Tequila, grapefuit juice, Fresca and a little bit of lemonade powder if you want.  I think this is a great alternative to a margarita.  

So, we had a lovely evening together.  Sometimes restaurants can be too noisy for good conversation.  Or, maybe I’m just getting old!  

Do you prefer someone’s home in the summer or a restaurant?  

What are your go to meals for entertaining?  

Thanks for reading!

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday and the Search for a Summer Clog!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

It’s now officially summer for me, but you will still see some school outfits below because I haven’t had time to wear any summer outfits yet!  Monday was my last teacher day and I decided to do my first professional development hours on Tuesday.  And, by the time many of you read this, I will be in the oral surgeon’s office with my boys.  Yes, I decided to do their wisdom teeth surgeries back to back and on my first day off.  

So, here we go!  

This was a rainy day last week thus the garage picture.  I’m loving my new Amazon Soda black sandals.  I’m wearing my consignment Chico’s pants (yes, I wear these almost every week, they’ve been to Europe with me, and I’ve had them for maybe 6 years now and I purchased them for $10), my Loft tassel sleeveless blouse, and my TJ Maxx kimono.  One of my red earrings broke at the end of the day so I want to find another red earring.  I like how the tassel and earrings matched.  

And, the last day of school was another rainy day and I broke out my camo shirt, my brown Matilda Janes, Birkenstocks from a consignment store several years ago.  

I tried the french braid and liked it.  

That evening I changed into this to go out for Mexican.  Notice my clogs and I will talk about them in a minute.  My shirt is the Knox Rose for Target and these are my TJ Maxx wide leg denim crops.  I got each piece for around $16.  I think I need a narrower silhouette on top for these pants.  They are super comfortable, though.  
So, these were supposed to be my clogs of summer but they aren’t comfortable enough to fit the bill.  They are MIA brand Greta and I had high hopes for them.  They pinch my toes and I tried the sock stretching method to no avail.  

Now, I think I’ve found her – the MIA Susan.  I saw these in Off Broadway Shoes but they didn’t have my size.  The color, the heel, and the price were right.  I found them online at Nordstrom Rack and they took way too long to get to me, but finally arrived Monday.  But, I think they are going to be my summer clog.  

I was basically trying to find an open toe version of my beloved MIA Sofias below.  You can tell how much I wore them.  They are so stinking comfortable and that’s all a gift wants in a clog, right?  

I guess it’s the 70s girl in me that is so attached to the idea of a clog.  When I talk about comfort in a shoe, you can really trust me.  I have done the all day at school test on these.  I stand for 8 hours on hard concrete floors.  Shoe companies really should employ teachers, don’t you think?  

What have you been wearing lately?  How do you feel about clogs?  Summer clogs?  Clog sandals?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Amy 

Tuesday Tip – Make a Summer List

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Do you make a summer list?  I think it’s a good idea to make one to keep yourself accountable and to eek the most fun and productivity out of your summer.  I also like to make a seasonal or monthly list for the same reasons.  

 

Celebrate end of my twin boys’ junior year

Celebrate my 25th year

Celebrate my husband’s birthday and father’s day

Use my salt cave gift card for some halotherapy

Get regular 10 minute shoulder and neck massages

Watch Big Brother with one son

Go to my first movie alone (an afternoon matinee, preferably – Can you believe I’ve never done this?)

Take a pizza on the boat (weird, but why not?)

Host people on the boat

Read some good books – First one almost done – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – really good!  

Declutter (especially while boys recover from wisdom teeth removal)

Meet friends for coffee, brunch, lunch, happy hour

Exercise almost every morning

Get all of my PD hours done before school starts

 

I’m sure I will think of more things!  

Amy

 

 

 

Hello Monday!

Monday, June 10, 2019

How was your weekend?  I’m linking up with Heather, etc. so go here to see more posts. 

On Thursday morning, my department at school had the first 2 hour exam block as our planning period, so we did a pitch in breakfast.  

We had a quiche, a sundried tomato egg casserole, a sausage casserole, pastries, fruit, and avocado toast.  I made the avocado toast.  

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I tried to be cute and did mini muffins on Friday morning for the last day of my boys’ junior year!  

Saturday we saw Aladdin.  It was so good!

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And the rest of the weekend plans were affected by this… non stop rain.  

 

I did jump on the bandwagon and I can’t put this book down!  So many people have recommended it.  I finally am reading a book that I will finish and recommend!  

And, that’s it!  The rest of the time was laundry, chores, grocery shopping, and boring stuff like that.  Today is my last teacher day!  

Hope you have a good one!

Amy 

Friday Favorites!

Friday, June 7, 2019

School’s out for the summer!  Well, it’s out for students at 2:20 today!  I have to come to work on Monday, but that’s o.k.  

I’m linking up today with Andrea, etc. so go here to check out some posts!  

The lighting in this photo isn’t great, but I’ve been all about the blues for my manicures lately.  I was going for lavender/blue.  It’s called “Bikini So Teeny” by Essie.

I was also open to OPI, but didn’t find this.  I’m happy to know it’s one of spring’s best nail colors!  img_7039

I used to do this to my hair all the time – dating as far back as high school cheerleader days.  I need to do this for summer.  Can you french braid?  I can do this one the best.  

Have you heard of a bogg bag?  I first saw this at a debate tournament of all places two years ago.  And, the funny thing was – I saw multiple moms with them!  How weird!  So, now I want one for boat, beach, and pool.  They are sold out in every color online!  What?  I checked where they are sold and found a boutique near me and they have a wait list for when they come in!  

This is the famous Joanna Gaines lip color and it’s on sale right now on Nordstrom’s website.  If you are looking for a summer nude, this might be it.  I have only owned one MAC lipstick but I used the whole tube and loved the formula so I know it’s a good quality lipstick.  

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Also, on Nordstrom’s website and online only is the most recent collection from Cassie of Hi Sugarplum! blog.  I’m planning to look at it this weekend if it’s not all sold out!  

 

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What were your favorites this week?  Any fun plans for the summer?  We have the ACT and an outdoor bluegrass concert in a park.  I’m hoping the weather cooperates!

Amy