Friday, December 23, 2022

I don’t think the gals are doing the Friday Favorite link up, but I am here to do one last FF post of 2022.

And, YOU are my number one favorite! Thank you for being such a big part of my life. This hobby has been so fun for me and dare I say necessary as I started the empty nester chapter of my life. You have been more encouraging to me than many of my IRL folks. You show up and leave me the kindest comments. I don’t share everything here, of course, but I share a lot. Life is hard and one can never have too many cheerleaders, you know? Writing and having a supportive audience can be cathartic. The fact that you take the extra time to leave a comment warms my heart.

I am going to try to sign off and take a break for a week or so. I say this often and then I can never really stay away for long. I have some ideas about Best of 2022 posts so we will see if I can make that happen. Please let me know what you want to see more of in 2023, too!

I like my blog routine for the most part but sometimes I feel repetitive and stagnant.

Hello Monday, Fashion Files, and Friday Favorites are probably here to stay. Tuesday and Wednesday are wild cards some weeks and some weeks I am part of themed link up parties.

So let’s continue on with Friday Favorites…

I really want and need to just splurge and get more of the Donna Karan Cashmere Mist deodorant. I will probably do that soon. I can be really cheap about things I know would make me so happy or make my life easier.

I really like this – It was only $5 at Target. I do worry about deodorant showing up on all my black!

I gave my sister in law a pair of shoes that didn’t fit and she gave me this lip mask I have been wanting! I think I got the good end of that deal! Love it! My bedside table is starting to look high maintenance. I have my pillow spray, my Vick’s Vapo Rub, my lavender sleeping balm, ibuprofen, water – he, he. It was bound to happen. Is your bedside table starting to fil up?

If you saw my Festivus post, I complained about Target. But, I really like their beauty/Ulta section. You can return any makeup you don’t like! Makeup is so expensive and you do feel like you are taking a big risk. I have trouble with colors sometimes. Now, I will say that I have saved tons of money since using Seint makeup, but I still need eye stuff, and a few extras.

I bought some Burt’s Bees lip shimmer in the color fig. Love it! I am very picky about how lip stuff feels and this feels great.

I love Benefit products and the secret is buying the smaller size. Sorry for the blurry photo but I bought the color Starlaa for an added blush on top of my Seint.

I love this! I was looking for something creamy to put on top of my Seint makeup to give me more of a dewy youthful glow.

Moving away from beauty items…

I’m still loving my Winter Mint.

I am indulging in this most days. It’s tasting really good to me!

On the last day of school I treated myself to a good old Egg McMuffin. They are 8 WW points. It was so delish!

I know I said I was gonna do at home gel from now on and I am going to do it more now that I know how easy it is,but I am in need of a better curing lamp so I am waiting to see if I get one for Christmas.

So, in the meantime…

I had purchased this matte navy set a long time ago and put it on Monday. It is still going strong. This couldn’t be easier and it looks lip dip or gel. The hardest part is finding the right size for each of your nails. You want to go a bit smaller and never bigger because it will cut into your skin. First you use the enclosed wipe on your nails and then you simply take the sticker backing off and stick it on your nail. When you are ready to remove, you use dental floss by the cuticle. I am impressed!

Looks pretty good, right? Oh, I forgot to say that I cut them down after they were on with a nail clipper and then filed them with a regular nail file. At the time of this writing, they are still looking perfect after 4 days.

My sister once said that the more time off you have before Christmas the more you will spend spinning your wheels getting ready for Christmas, buying more gifts, overthinking your gifts, etc. I tried to be really intentional this week about not just being on the Christmas consumerism hamster wheel. I went to the gym. I caught up on tv, I cleaned and organized, and I spent time with a friend.

My friend Beth and I tried out Nouvelle Wine Bar.

We had a glass of red and then walked over to Bar Vetti for another glass of red and we shared a margarita pizza.

It was a lovely and relaxing couple of hours!

And, Tom was still working but we met for lunch one day. He had a project to look at and suggested a nearby bagel place. I got a veggie sandwich on an everything bagel.

So thankful for Kroger pick up. I think I have my meals planned and I placed a big order and picked it up. I will have to run in the store once more for a few odds and ends, but what a time saver. And, a money saver. I can be so impulsive when I shop in store. I especially get crazy with holiday items and then it derails me and I think of more recipes to make.

I also did a quick Trader Joe’s trip for a few items I can only get there. This came home with me and it is a winner! I like it alone or in some of my cocktails.

At Jennifer’s rec, I ordered this set of glosses. I love the texture and the staying power! It comes in quite a pretty box from Amazon. It has several different shades and a clear to put on top. The shades are all pretty matte which I do like sometimes. I have a lip product problem!

A text exchange with my sister Kate made me laugh this week. Kate is an art teacher and I love her clothing and her home decor style, but not her shoe style. She has made some very questionable shoe purchases. If you understand the sister dynamic, you know that I always let her know what I think. One time she showed up in high heeled yellow and purple soccer style shoes. I had a good one liner that I can’t remember now, but it was probably something about her having to play in a match but needing to hit the club immediately afterwards. Another time she showed up in bright red shiny lace up boots. I asked her if she had gone to Ronald McDonald’s garage sale.

Her most recent shoe decision:

My response:

Well, this is only part of my response. The rest wasn’t fit for this blog. Hey, she probably doesn’t like all of my shoes, either.

I abandoned Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes when this came in for me at the library. Let’s just say Christmas in Vermont was as boring as its title.

And, yes, I do judge a book by its cover. Look how cute!

Hallmark apparently has branched out. This was actually kinda cute and very foodie centered. It was set in New York, mainly. I feel like it used every Jewish stereotype, though. I’m wondering if it would be found offensive?

This could turn out to be a happy accident. I ordered canned biscuits for my monkey bread and Kroger gave me Sweet Hawaiian. Did you know this was a thing? I didn’t!

We are getting ready for extreme cold here, like many of you also are. I don’t think I even got out by big winter coat named “Darth Vader” last year. I can usually get away with just my North Face jacket for most of the winter.

So, here is my meal plan with lots of extras in case we can’t go out to get more rations.

Christmas Eve Day:

Make Spinach tortellini soup to have on hand for that day’s lunch and Christmas Day lunch if needed.

Christmas Eve Night:

Ham, macaroni and cheese, green beans, red potatoes, Sister Schubert’s rolls

Christmas Morning:

Breakfast Board – fruit, cheese, little donuts, monkey bread, egg casserole

Snacks: Mexican restaurant chips and salsa

Hawaiian sliders with the ham I made and swiss

Chili cheese enchiladas – this was suggested by Big Boo podcast and I am going to use flour tortillas and add chicken

None of this is set in stone, but it gives us options.

Day After Christmas at my mom’s house:

We are having a pasta party so someone is making spaghetti, someone is making lasagna, someone is doing salad, someone is doing dessert.

I am making Narci’s Bacon Alfredo Pasta Bake (couldn’t find the link) and Baked Ziti and bringing bread and a butter board.

I love having a plan, but I am not super rigid about it.

So, what were your favorites this week?

I need to get my Chick Fil A peppermint mocha shake sometime and I also want to try Wendy’s peppermint Frosty. My Wendy’s closes at 3 pm now? Is this a thing?

Merry Christmas and may you have a nice coffee and cocktail today!


40 thoughts on “Friday Favorites

  1. Merry Christmas sweet Amy! And thank you for a lovely post! Don’t thank us readers, it’s a treat to read your blog and comment – and thank YOU for your replies!
    For 2023 I just want you to carry on like you do! I actually think I discovered your blog in December your first year of writing, and I love your ability to create coziness and ambience!
    I hope you post a lot this holiday! (Yes, I’m being selfish…!)
    Ho ho, talk to you soon! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh…I loved this post! There are so many things I want to comment on/ask. I’m numbering them for my own ease and for your eyes. 🤣

    1. I am so thankful for you too! I LOVE your blog and I know if we were close we would be besties in real life. I was rearranging my bookmark bar last night and I moved you to the number 1 spot, because you are my FAVORITE.

    2. We do greatly need cheerleaders and encouragers in our life and I am also thankful for people who take the time to comment on my blog. Life is hard! We need friends.

    3. As for blog posts for 2023, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are also my wild cards. How funny! Personally, I’ve decided to do a monthly post that I call Talk about it Tuesday- I did one post in December, and my first one of the new year is in the works. I’ll pick different topics- home hacks, things that worked for me, little things that are saving my sanity, tips and tricks on ways to save money and time…you get the drift. I also want to encourage more, so I’ll share more personal and meaningful stories on a Wednesday each month. I am thinking of trying videos more…and recorded myself putting my makeup on last week. Stay tuned!

    4. I love that Burt’s Bees color! I need to remember to try that. I love tingly lip products! For those lip glosses I suggested- I do one or two layers of the color, then I add some Chapstick, then I add the clear gloss or my own other brand of gloss to top it all off. It still lasts a long time even with all that!

    5. Your nails look BEAUTIFUL! Guess what? I bought my first kit to start doing my own nails here at home. I found a dip kit on Amazon and it’s due to arrive Tuesday the 27th. I’ll share about it!

    6. I laughed when I read your text about the shoes your sister picked- I just said about a 70’s style outfit on my blog today that the 70’s called and wanted their outfit back. Our humor styles are even similar! I consider myself a sarcastic person, but not in a mean way.

    Lastly…that book looks great! Do you like it so far? I can’t even begin to tell you how many books I quit this month. I wrote a post that’ll publish next week about the books I read this month, but there was a strong theme for me. I woke up randomly at 3 a.m. this morning and started a new book- All I Want for Christmas by Susan May Warren- it’s so good! And Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes was terrible and also as boring as the title sounds….much like your Christmas in Vermont.

    Well, I didn’t mean to write a book here, but you shared so many great things that I couldn’t help myself. Merry Christmas, my friend! Much love.


    1. And I have to get my laptop back out to type on my computer instead of my phone. Ha!
      1. That is the ultimate compliment! You have become one of the first blogs I check because you are dependable and set yours to post early like I do. I actually have a typed blog list that I need to update. I’m old.
      2. Yes we do. My Dad was my biggest cheerleader and thought almost everything I did was wonderful. I saved his voicemail when I guest hosted a podcast because he loved it so much and told me how awesome it was on the voicemail. My son Mason is so much like him and is now one of my biggest cheerleaders!
      3. I love a theme and I love an alliteration like Tuesday Tips or Wonderful Wednesday but I also like the freedom of just posting whatever. I am going to marinate on it. I really want to learn more about makeup and TikTok and Youtube are overwhelming, so I think you would have an audience. I would also like your skincare. I like all of your ideas.
      4. I think the Burt’s Bees is a good winter product and a nice everyday type lip product.
      5. I am intrigued about dip at home. It looks so hard to do when I see the manicurists with the powder. I am hoping to get better at gel, but I also think keeping some impress short nail press ons at home is a good option. Day 5 and they still look perfect.
      6. I actually liked that 70s outfit. I might do the pants with a solid top! That looked like Kohl’s and it looked like spring wear was already out? I am also very positive and complimentary and try not to be mean about my jokes. I asked my sister if I could use that text and she thinks it’s funny.
      The book is so cute. It’s about two country contestants on an American Idol type show. I think you would like it. It’s not overly Christmasey but it takes place at Christmas. I have no problems quitting a book. Susan May Warren sounds like one of the authors I can’t read – no offense – so many bloggers recommend the type of writers I just can’t. Short sentences. No character development. Repeating of details. I like chick lit, but it has to be well written chick lit.
      I watched About Fate on Prime last night and it’s so cute! I am also starting Emily in Paris and plan to do your morning watching tip this am with a croissant (mini) from Trader Joe’s. The best part of Emily in Paris is Paris! Ha!
      I could type more but I am lazy.
      Have a wonderful day!


  3. So many great favorites. I love your nails! You’ve had such a great week! Out and about and time at home. I feel like Christmas is dragging to get here haha I guess it’s because we’ve had this whole week. Your meal plan sounds delish! I hope you have the best holiday with your fam


    1. Thank you! The nails don’t bother me either or that would be a no go. I can’t even tell they are on. It really is dragging but in a good way. Next year they say we don’t get out until Dec 22! Let’s find a happy medium! I think I’m gonna make the tortellini soup today because of the snow. We got about 3 inches. What about you?


      1. I heard we will go the Monday / Tuesday (so I think the 19th?) but I haven’t seen an approved calendar yet. We are hoping to get to Louisville today. We got a couple of inches but keep hearing 64 is bad?


  4. I love your blog, and I love your routine of posting certain topics on certain days! I suffered through Christmas in Vermont! Why was it so long? And predictable?! We have rain today, and the cold is coming tomorrow. It’ll be in the 30s at night and daytime highs of 50s-60s! I’m excited because I can break out my sweaters! That is painfully cold to me, tho, after 20+ years in Florida. I grew up in CT and lived in Maine and Quebec years ago, so I know cold. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! 🎄 I have some shopping to finish today!


    1. You’re so sweet! Ha – glad you felt the same about Vermont! That sounds warm compared to here but I know how you Floridians live for your sweaters so I am happy for you! Oh you know cold more than I do! It’s funny how it’s all about perspective and if you have the right gear on.
      I won’t get out today most likely. We have 3 inches on the ground and horrible drivers in the snow! Merry Christmas!


  5. Your sister is 100% right about overthinking and buying with too much time before Christmas. I try to not pick up the impulse stuff especially sweets before the holiday, I end up tossing it after 1 or 2 tastes. That said, I did have a peppermint milkshake from Chick-fil-a a few weeks ago, so worth it! Sadly I have not been able to find the mint premier.
    My nightstand has pretty much the same as yours and also a stack of books.
    I hope you have a great Christmas and new year! I love your blog any old way you want to do it!


    1. Yes, she is! The weather this year forced me to just be content and I went with it. I wasn’t able to get out the last two shopping days before Christmas. I didn’t manage to get the CFA shake yet! I have no problem tossing sweets after I have had a taste. I tossed almost a whole monkey bread that no one was eating but me and I didn’t need more. Shoot – the winter mint is very elusive. I have enjoyed it but I am ready for birthday cake! It’s coming in my order. I placed a giant order of toiletries and stuff – some for me and some for the kids to take back to college.
      I don’t read before bed anymore. I watch House Hunters and only get to house number one. Lol!
      You are sweet and I guess things will stay pretty much the same around here unless I come up with a better idea. Happy New Year!


  6. We have a grocery order to pick up tomorrow morning and then I will be all set since we’re only hosting the one meal (brunch) this year and aren’t expected to take any food with us to the other two parties. I’ve been enjoying a pretty relaxing week at home and getting in some hiking since our temps were actually pretty mild this week. Today it’s downright warm with temps in the 50’s but raining and oh so windy! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.


    1. I love brunch so much! It really might be my fave meal. We are finally having that type of weather. Most of the ice is melted now and we will be in the 50-60 range the rest of my break! I am really hoping to get on my patio and do some reading and use our Solo Stove. Happy New Year to you and yours!


  7. Just wanted to say how much I love your blog. It’s my favorite and I always save it for the last one I check on daily. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2023! Thank you for your consistency and honesty. Oh, and I’m very “Impressed” with your manicure. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


    1. Diana, you are so sweet to say that. I have loved this little hobby because of people like you. It has been cathartic at a transitional time in my life. Ha – have you tried this mani? It lasted 7 days! Happy New Year to you and yours!


  8. Love this post and your blog! I also am so thankful for our blog community and the encouragment between one another. Your menu sounds great and so smart to also plan for the day after Christmas. Merry Merry Christmas!


    1. You are so sweet and I have enjoying getting to know you. There are so many of us with college age kids! Thank you – I did enjoy having a loose plan and it really helped!


  9. I love your blog – it is a must read for me every day. I enjoy hearing from another empty nester mom of college students. The matte blue nails are gorgeous. MERRY CHRISTMAS!


    1. You are so sweet and kind to say that! I took a little break and it was good but I missed my blogging. Yes, it is. It is hard to know how much to talk about, though, because this is my blog and not theirs, you know? I have loved this color nail! I hope you are having a wonderful break with your sweet kids!


  10. I’ve only recently discovered your blog but love it. I’m also a mom of college students. Looking forward to reading more in 2023.

    Love your nails and must try that cranberry ginger from Trader Joe’s. Adding to the list for a trip next week!

    Merry Christmas!


    1. Oh, thank you so much! I am sorry I took a blog break and it took me so long to respond! It’s a hard stage to parent, right? Also, I don’t like to talk too much about them for their privacy so that makes it a bit weird, too.
      Thank you so much! I love my manis. The cran ginger is seasonal so if you like it, stock up. I really enjoyed adding it to my at home cocktails.
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!


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