Monday, January 9. 2023

Let’s link up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday and with Jen and lots of ladies here for Not Just a Mom – Introductions.

How was your weekend? We saw the sun and had some pretty mild temps for January on Saturday and I’m not gonna lie, it helped my soul!

Let’s go back to Friday’s lunch. Erica made “my” Doritos Tacos Locos salad. It’s a very small amount of Doritos crushed up (she was smart and bought a small bag instead of a giant bag of triangular temptation), Taco Bell taco sauce, good ol’ iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, and taco meat. We both feel that 20 minutes for lunch and potty break makes it a bit hard to eat a salad, but this one is worth it. You know what I mean? Salads take some time commitment.

I had Elizabeth and Erica over for a Frugally Fabulous Friday Happy Hour.

I made a bourbon cocktail that they agreed was worth $15 in a bar, Trader Joe’s frozen fries in my air fryer with truffle oil and sea salt and with a homemade garlic aioli dipping sauce, Trader Joe’s mini croissants, and popcorn with truffle oil. I also “made” them try the Truly hard seltzer holiday pack.

Elizabeth brought us homemade apple butter.

Her grandmother called her “Barefoot Bessie”. We used the napkins my mom gave me for Christmas:

J and M were home to get the rest of their junk and Tom and I had some random leftovers for dinner and J and M had Door Dashed a super late lunch.

Saturday morning I got up and made old fashioned rolled oats with cinnamon.

I read that this is the cinnamon that has health benefits so I had ordered some from Amazon.

I did a rare Saturday morning Kroger pick up and Mason wanted to go to a coffee shop and read. We picked a coffee/donut shop – North Lime in Westport Village if you are local – and had a really nice time.

Look at that foam!

I was reading my paperback while Mason had a little light Plato to read.

We each got a donut and took one home to Jack.

The venue was so quiet and peaceful with only about 3 people there. We kept talking instead of reading and then a playgroup of some sort showed up. There were toe curling screams, trucks going 90 mph across the floor, a boy named Gentry who really liked us, and it was crazy. It made us laugh, though.

Mason went out in the sun to read and I popped into two shops in the center. I brought these home with me!

Jen gave me the idea to do the Big Mac salad with the addition of potatoes and you don’t have to tell me twice to eat a potato. So this was my lunch:

It was only 50 degrees, but the sun was intense and I got to say hello to my old friend. You know how much I love my chair. Gosh, these mild days really help me to get through the long winter months.

I did a brownish burgundy gel nail mani from the new set of polishes I got for Christmas. I feel like I’m getting better. I still need to learn to neatly polish along the edge to “seal” in the manicure.

I went for a library pick up:

The above two were requests I had made and the one below is something I saw on the shelf. I love cookbooks. This one is like for bougie campers or glampers. I plan on using some of them inside, though.

Here’s one that I didn’t check out:

This is very specific – “Carrying Her Boss’s Christmas Baby”. Were they trying to make this a Christmas book?

While I was out going to the library, I also stopped in to Sun Tan City. I don’t know if I told you this, but I bought a spray tan package in November for unlimited sprays until the end of February. It was $80 and I used birthday money. Yeah, it’s kinda silly, but I have been going every other week or so just to get some color.

Then, it was time to get ready for a night on the town. We had reservations for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants that I have only been to maybe three times in my life – Varanese.

It was the usual six plus Faye and Brett. Faye is one of the Heather’s high school friends, but we all became friends when we all lived in Lexington. In fact, Faye credits me for her starting to date Brett. She says I am the one that said she should go out with him.

This is the type of place that brings you an amuse bouche. But, their prices are really reasonable for how good their food is. The last time we were here the waiter brought this (he was probably only 17 years old) and I said, “Oh, is this an amuse bouche?” He replied, “I think it’s just bruschetta.”

I ordered a burnt lemon old fashioned for my cocktail:

I split a goat cheese salad with Heather:

And I ate an open faced burger with potato gratin:

The restaurant is housed inside an old gas station:

Sunday morning and it was meal prep time! I spent about 2 hours doing this, but it will pay off this week.

My breakfasts will be low carb egg casserole and Amy Lu chicken breakfast sausage links.

My two lunches for Erica and I are zucchini lasagna bowls and Mexican lasagna.

A zero point homemade marinara for the bowls:

I really do enjoy doing this and I have the time. Morning is my high energy time, but I know some people would do well with this in the evening.

If you are interested in the bourbon drink I made for the Friday happy hour, here it is. I got this from Austen on Southern Charm on Bravo and tweaked it a bit:

1 shot of bourbon

a splash of orange juice

a half shot of cranberry juice (I used diet)

a half shot of pomegranate juice

a big splash of diet ginger ale

a big splash of prosecco

You may think this has too many ingredients and it does have a lot, but I had all of this leftover from the holidays. I am also trying to learn more about putting bitters in cocktails so I put some cardamom bitters in this drink. My mom gave me a set of cocktail bitters for Christmas.

I feel like I’ve been talking for a long time, but I guess now I need to do my introduction!

Hi. My name is Amy. (Hi Amy!) I live in Louisville, Kentucky, but I am originally from Indiana. I am 51 years old. I have been married for almost 22.5 years. My husband and I have twins who are juniors in college. They go to a small liberal arts college about 20 minutes from our house and live on campus but not in the same dorm room. I am in my 29th year of teaching high school Spanish at a public high school really close to my house. This is the school where my twins went, too. I have been at this school for 22 years. I love to be outside and on the water when I can. I love to read, watch tv, cook, chat with friends, and try out new places around town for food, drink, and shopping. I enjoy consignment shopping but not really antiques or thrifting, as much. I love fashion and putting together outfits.

I am doing WW and have been since April of 2021. I had lost almost 50 pounds and have gained about 20 back because I started slacking and stopped tracking over the summer and into the fall, even though I did continue to make better choices most of the time. I don’t want to live and die by the WW points system and I don’t want to be obsessed, but I think it’s a great system. I am trying to get motivated again.

If you are new to my blog, I talk about all of my interests above, plus my ongoing house projects, frugality, products I love, life hacks, and more.

This is a totally amateur blog, but I do have a search bar, so depending on how you read this blog it will be at the bottom when you can’t scroll anymore or in the top right hand. You might get lucky and find what you’re looking for.

I post 5 days a week and my posts go live at 4:00 a.m. Eastern, unless I mess something up or take a short blog break. I think this year will be my 5th anniversary of blogging! I also want to say that if you have ever thought about having a blog, just do it! I have been so blessed by the friendships I have made in this community.

Ok, hope your Monday doesn’t suck. I hope you aren’t offended by my teen lingo from time to time.

Thanks for visiting!


37 thoughts on “Hello Monday and Not Just a Mom – Introductions

  1. I literally laughed over these two lines: “No, I think it’s just bruschetta.”, and “Hope your Monday doesn’t suck”. I love your humor! I get the feeling you’d be the person I couldn’t sit next to at a quiet event, for fear of laughing or spewing a drink out of my nose. Everyone has that person, you know? For me, it’s my sister Debi when she’s in town, my best friend Missy, and I think you’d be the same for me.

    I love that Mason wanted to go read at a coffee shop with you! That restaurant looked amazing and you looked beautiful! I love that shimmery threading on your shirt, but let’s talk about your hair and great it looked- you should curl it like that more often! It looks very natural. I’m actually posting about that tomorrow…I’m sharing tips and tricks I’ve learned on hair care, skin care, and being healthier. I also talk about adding cinnamon to my coffee each morning. That post was written with you in mind, since you mentioned doing skin care and being frugal with what I use. Have a great day, my friend! In your own words, I also hope your Monday doesn’t suck. ❤


    1. Ha – thank you. I think you must have the same sense of humor as me. But, I am never rude when there are speakers. I hate when people try to talk to me because I feel bad for the person presenting. But, I would be the one making the jokes afterwards. Ha!
      It was a real treat and I have learned to drop everything. I had my morning mapped out, to be honest. But, this was way better. I try to curl it like that everytime, but I think it just worked out better for me? Thank you so much. The shirt is from Loft and it was perfect because the restaurant was hot. My friend was dying in her cute turtleneck sweater.
      I can’t wait for that post! Oh, I need to add cinnamon to mine. I am wondering just how much you need to add for the health benefits.
      My Monday didn’t suck too bad at school. Also, hoping to hear about your first day, unless you had training and didn’t get to do it yet.


  2. Hello Amy! It’s been so fun to follow your blog for the past few months! I am also a teacher (although at the elementary level) so I love seeing your classroom and teaching outfits! Thanks for sharing!!


  3. A spray tan package is so good – I used to get them a lot because they were always on Groupon. Haven’t done it in years but I may go back and buy one this Spring/Summer – it is nice to have an all over tan.
    That book with the pregnant woman – whoa!!! Ha!!! That is funny! Carrying her boss’ baby?? Like as a surrogate? Hmmmm…interesting.
    Hope you have a great week my friend!


    1. Oh, what happened to Groupon! I used to love it. So, I paid monthly at Sun Tan City for a few months and then I quit and now I get all these deals in my inbox. I think the spray tan helped me to not be in the sun so much this summer, too. I was like, nope, I’m already tan. He!
      I have so many questions about the book but I couldn’t touch it for fear of being judged.
      I hope you do, too!


  4. I so enjoyed all your fun details in this post! The night on the town looked amazing. Yes Ceylon cinnamon is so good for you. I try to eat it as much as possible! Your bourbon cocktail looked amazing, and right up my alley. Cheers to a great week.


    1. Thank you so much! It was a fun night out. I have to coerce my homebody hub sometimes. I wonder how much cinnamon I need for the health benefits and honestly, I did not know there were different types. I love a bourbon cocktail. I am in Kentucky, so I have to enjoy it!


  5. I LOL’d at the “going to a coffee shop to read”. I haven’t been to a coffee shop without running in and out as fast as possible because of holding a baby or something in a long time ha ha. Which is fine. Seasons of life and all.
    The cocktails look tasty!


    1. It’s actually been a winter goal of mine since pre-Covid to go in and sit and have coffee out of a real mug instead of using a drive through. I didn’t get very far with my goal, though. I have another nice one near my house. You will get there. I know you are single momming it a lot, but maybe you could go on a time that Scott is home?
      I love a good cocktail!


  6. “A little light Plato” Thanks for the Monday morning laugh! Looks like a great weekend, especially the girl’s night at the restaurant. Here’s a topic request, since I’ve never done a spray tan, could you explain the process? How long does it take? What do you wear? How long does it last?


    1. The stuff this kid reads. He has always been like this. He loves Shakespeare. My kids would check out non-fiction books, too. One of my kids went up to the librarian and asked for books about “dark matter” when he was 6. I was like, “what’s that?”
      We had our hubs with us, but they were on the other side. It was kinda noisy which I hate and when you have 8 people you just can’t all talk. Boo.
      Ok, so I go in my birthday suit in the booth. You have a locked door and there is a booth and you stand up and there is a recording that tells you to turn at certain times. You can pick light, medium, or dark. It takes probably less than 5 minutes. It dries very quickly but you should wear loose black clothing. You can’t shower for 6 hours after if you want it to last and mine lasts about 5 days? You also shouldn’t use a loofah or washcloth and scrub hard in the shower – just use hands and bodywash or soap. It does have a slight smell, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I like to take a shower on a day I’m not working, go to spray, and then 6 hours later take a body shower to get rid of the smell.


  7. How cool you’re from Indiana! I dint know that. I’m born and raised a Hoosier and still call it my home. What part did you live in? Did you go to high school here? I graduated from Lawrence Central (92) and lived in Lawrence, New Palestine and have been in Noblesville now for 8 years.


    1. So funny! I was born in Evansville and raised in Madison. I had a teaching application for Lawrence schools after college but chose a Kentucky county. My sister lives in martinsville and teaches in Plainfield. I have high school friends around Indy, too!


  8. Hello Amy, nice to meet you! I didn’t know you’re from Indiana!
    Your weekend seemed wonderful! And look at those nails, they are perfect, I’m impressed!
    No, my Monday didn’t suck (thanks!) but it’s hard to be back in the saddle!


  9. So far my Monday’s been great! I am so glad you are joining us again this year for the NJAM; it was wonderful learning a little bit more about you. Your lasagna bowls sound delicious.


    1. Wonderful! I am going to try and do a better job of remembering the linkup dates. Erica also loved the lasagna bowl we had at school today. It’s a winner of a recipe!


  10. What a nice weekend. How wonderful to spend time with friends and family. Your blog is one of the first I visit every day. I love all the pictures of your life.


  11. another great post!you always seem to have so much going on but i think it is just you really living life and getting the most out of daughter recently turned me on to cheesegal on instagram. she had a charcuterie business at one time, but she is really into making the perfect martini or old fashioned. she is good and fun to watch but i think you could give her some cocktail lessons with all the ingenious drinks you feature!
    and here’s to a non sucking week!!


    1. Thank you! I don’t think I do, but thank you! I do try to divide my weekend in 5 and do something in each of the spaces. But, I have friends that pack so much in that they are so stressed. You knew CheeseGal! I do not like martinis. I don’t like olives and I have tried to like the flavor but it’s just gross to me. Thank you for the compliments on my cocktails. I am trying to learn about cocktail bitters and I didn’t even know what they were until recently. Yes – here’s to not sucking!


    1. My mom gave them to me – do you think she was trying to tell me something? She doesn’t even drink! I drop everything if I can when one of mine asks! I wore the earrings today. Thank you – I should have talked more but I was out of steam. Thanks for providing the fun link up!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So good to treat your self with the tan package and also so admirable you have been teaching at the same school for 22 years! Fun to read these introduction posts!


  13. That was a fun post! Your dinner out looked like a great evening! I bet you have seen some things teaching high school for that long! I surely have after 21 years in an elementary school… Your blog is so fun and such a great mix of family, food, fashion, happy hours, and fun! I hope your Monday didn’t suck either. 😊


  14. What a great post!! I loved learning new things about you. I didn’t know the twins were so close by, how nice!

    Your food pictures always make me hungry– I bet you are one heck of a cook!


  15. I really enjoy your blog! I liked the introductions and I’ve been a reader for several years now and I think your introduction was very fitting. I always look forward to reading your blog. Thanks for putting yourself out there and being so real.


  16. What a fun weekend and introduction! I think I’ve dropped by your blog a couple times before (other link-ups perhaps?) and always think it would be so fun to go out to lunch with you! By the way, I’m in my 50s and still use the teen lingo that I learn from my young adult children and used to learn from my students. I’m all about it.


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