Friday Faves

Friday, December 2, 2022

Whew! It’s Friday! I am linking up with the gals here for Friday Favorites.

It’s been a good week, though. I have been tired at the end of each day, but that is my normal.

So, here are some of my faves from the week. I hope you had many, too!

I sent my kids back to college with a Trader Joe’s 99cent chocolate advent calendar. They chuckled. I don’t think I had gotten them one the last two years of college. I always get them for all my nieces and nephews and give them to them at Thanksgiving. I got the guitar version especially for Jack who plays guitar.

We actually had a Tuesday night outing. Tom and I got to hear the jazz ensemble that Jack is a part of. He is playing electric guitar for this group. Mason was able to slip away and join us, as well. He was in the middle of writing a paper, but came anyway. Again, it’s nice to be able to do something like watch a Tuesday concert. Jack is on the far left with the guitar. His professor is next to him on stage and played with the group and seems really enthusiastic. We noticed one of Jack’s other music professors in the audience supporting this group. Small colleges, you all. Don’t discount them. My kids are going for cheaper than a state school and I know without a shadow of a doubt that their professors know them. Small was the way to go for us. I also attended a small liberal arts college so I guess I have a bias.

I need some new black tights! Anyone got a recommendation? Actually, I haven’t even looked to see what state mine are in, but I thought I would check. How cute is this outfit?

I picked up a $10 blanket for my couch at Target. I am enjoying it!

Who is ready for Emily in Paris? We only have to wait until December 21st!

Jennifer recommended this brand and I am really loving it. You cannot be the price and it doesn’t have any of the yucky stuff in it.

I love my holiday plates from Target many years ago. I have the Santa,

the tree,

and the reindeer and I think I have 10 plates total.

Let’s talk food from the week. I made a shepherd’s pie that is Erica’s recipe. I used double beef broth because I don’t have any beer and I added some tomato paste to make it more tomatoey. You all, this is so good! Tom approved, too!

Erica made my favorite meal of the week – beef bulgogi bowls. Wow!

I am enjoying watching the squirrels eating my pumpkin!

Fashion Files was yesterday, but here is my Thursday outfit. I love this bright sweater.

I really love this Gucci stripe sweater look and I ordered a similar one from Amazon.

We will see if it fits. I went down a size to get it quicker. One size would have been here January 14 and another size on Monday!

I am re-instating Soup Sundays! I am really excited to make skinny lasagna soup this Sunday. I’m going to add spinach and zucchini to boost the vegetables.

So, what were your favorites this week? I would love to know!

Amy

Fashion Files

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Happy December to all! Did you catch my December goals post yesterday? I urge you to make a list, too – even if it’s just in your phone memo. I know I forgot some things and I will also be adding to mine as things come up.

It’s time to link up with Jill and Kellyann for our weekly Fashion Files. My hope is that I give you an idea from your own closet. I don’t think you have to run out and buy something new, but maybe you will say, “I think I have something I haven’t thought to wear that way”. I know that happens for me when I look at fashion posts or Pinterest.

What have you been wearing lately? I try to wear all of my “fall colored” stuff by the end of November so that I can get excited about my blacks, plaids, sparkly, and velvet stuff. It just makes me feel like I have more to choose from when I look at the seasons that way, you know?

I did a Turkey ‘Fits post here, but our weather turned out super warm on both of my Thanksgiving celebration days – Thursday and Friday.

Thursday I wore a Target Knox Rose dress from last spring with my Target suede boots from last winter and a Target sweater from last winter.

Friday I wore a Loft clearance dress from last year that happened to be in a petite length – score for me! I think this dress looks like a tablecloth in the very best way.

The most important thing was that I was comfortable and felt like myself.

Back to life, back to reality on Monday had me wanting to rebel. I wore my new Deff Leppard t-shirt from my crazy Target delivery – I had ordered this back in July and it finally showed up on my doorstep in late November. I wore my Amazon silk leopard skirt (leppard/leopard – too much?) with my Walmart Scoop blazer – both from last year. I wore my Lucky booties.

On Tuesday I wore my TJ Maxx chambray tunic with black leggings and my new black wedges for part of the day and then changed to sneakers. I also wore my new velvet/faux leather headband that was a bday gift from Elizabeth.

I was so happy to find some new Dr. Scholl’s wedges at DSW. One problem. The 8s seemed snug in the toe box and the 8.5s slip a bit when I walk. Ugh!

They also rubbed a bit at the top of my foot. I think they would be fine for a few hour event, but they didn’t serve me well for an 8 hour work day on my feet. Other than that, they are just what I was looking for. Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard to know this until you actually wear them.

Then, I wore this yesterday with my new Hush Puppies Sofie pumps. So comfortable! I was shocked when I saw they carried a pump like this.

My mission with both the above pumps and the black wedges was to find more shoes to wear with my leather pants. I will not consider these school shoes because they would be destroyed and they aren’t quite comfortable enough for 8 hours.

What have you been wearing lately? Any favorites from above? I do take lots of risks with my teacher outfits and I got lots of compliments from students on the brown leather pants and the Def Leppard t-shirt. Ha!

Amy

December Goals

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Look at me posting this before December – woohoo! Can you even believe it’s the last day of November, though? What a whirlwind of a month, no?

Who is ready to eek out all of the December goodness? I am also going to really be focusing on how to make my January something to treasure and not dread. It’s the hardest month of the year for me.

This year I thought I would do a December-specific Bucket List. I did well with my summer and fall lists and I think the whole point of these lists is to be intentional and joyous in a particular season of life.

-Attend a holiday concert for Jack’s music group at his college.

-Attend my school’s annual madrigal dinner – it is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and support one of my students in the group. I have plans to attend with Erica.

-Attend Tom’s work party and wear one of my new sparkly pieces.

-Attend my work party – it is a very casual affair after school on the last day before break but last year it was a hoot.

-Wear all the plaid, sparkly, velvet garb that I own.

-Go to a Christmas pop up bar downtown. I have got to make this happen. It is like Christmas threw up and they have seasonal drinks in fun holiday cups and a few snacks on the menu, too.

-Make my family’s pink merengue cookies! I love making these for my sisters because they hold special memories for us.

-take my time wrapping and watching a Christmas movie

-go to as many little events around town that I can – many of our little shopping areas have festive events.

-make a new Christmas cocktail. I am thinking about making it Lindsay’s White Cranberry Cosmo! Also, I bought a bag of cranberries to sugar and freeze.

-enjoy J and M at home from college on December 15.

-go ice skating – hopefully at our little pop up Christmas village but if not at the normal skating rink. I grew up ice skating on the lake that we lived on. I love ice skating but haven’t done it in years.

-celebrate Christmas as a family of four – I need to decide on our meals.

-celebrate with my side of the family – we decided to have a pasta party and have several types of pasta and pasta bakes, salad, and garlic bread so that will be fun.

-celebrate with Tom’s side of the family and decide on the food.

I know I am forgetting a few things. What’s on your December bucket list?

Amy

The New WW Plan

Tuesday, November 29. 2022

The new WW plan rolled out in mid-November -ust in time for all of the holiday eating! If you remember the color plans – purple, blue, and green – it is pretty much the blue plan. Erica (my meal prep partner and co-worker) choose blue in 2021 and I was on purple. There was an assessment that you took that told you what would be best for your habits and tastes. Basically, the criticism of the Personal Points plan (which came between the color plans and the newest one) was that is was too loosey goosey and allowed too much freedom.

In my humble opinion, they can all work for you because they all teach you to track and to look at your portion sizes. And, that is another criticism – that people can live and die by the food tracking. I get that, too.

Anyway, I am still paying the monthly membership and trying to get back to better tracking and I have been doing pretty well. I found out there is a teacher monthly rate for only $10 a month. I might have to quit and re-join to get that, but I plan to call customer service. For me, the app is absolutely worth the cost.

I used to get potatoes as a zero point food, but now I have to count a plain baked potato as 4 points. I made this Spanish omelette over the Thanksgiving break and ate about half of it and saved the rest. Having to control my potatoes is probably a good thing.

I made this “Big Mac” salad Saturday after my body needed something other than heavy Thanksgiving food.

On this new plan, I get all the non-starchy vegetables and fruits for zero points. I get beans, chicken, fish, eggs, fat free cottage cheese, non-fat Greek yogurt for zero points. You are supposed to build your meals around the zero points foods and add in whatever else you want that keeps you within your daily points range. I get 23 points a day. Also, you get 28 extra points a week that I usually use on Saturday night.

My goal is to get back into tracking from now until Christmas. I just want to maintain and continue my habits I have acquired. Erica and I will continue sharing the meal prep duties for our last 3 weeks of school until break. We are using WW or Slender Kitchen recipes for the most part.

I also want to try to be conscious about getting the protein I need at each meal to fill me up.

I am excited to get fruit now and plan to eat more apples and clementines and to especially use these as my after dinner dessert.

I plan to use some of the same strategies I used last winter break. The holiday is only one day (or two or three if you count Eve and NYE), wear jeans for some part of everyday as accountability, continue to meal prep to have healthy foods on hand, and walk and work out as many days as possible.

Are you on the new WW plan? Thoughts?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, November 28, 2022

It seems like so long since we’ve talked! How are you? How was your holiday? I am linking up with Sarah and Holly for the Hello Monday link up.

Can you believe it will be December in just a couple of days? I cannot! We have 15 school days until Winter Break but it is 3 five day weeks. We’ve gotten spoiled and don’t have too many five day weeks anymore. It will be a busy time with all of the school stuff on top of some evening holiday activities. I am grateful we start our break on December 16, though. One of my sisters has to go until the 23rd! What?

Ok – let’s go back to Monday. This is not a holiday drink. It’s not a cute peppermint mocha or a gingerbread latte. It’s a freaking medicine ball tea!

By the way, they are amazing and I think they really do help. So, Tom was under the weather from Friday morning on. Guess who felt a bit of a twinge in her throat Sunday morning but then was ok, but then felt it again on Monday morning but went to school in a mask? This girl! I asked permission to leave after my last class (I have last period planning) and my principal said yes and to go ahead and put in for a sub for Tuesday. I didn’t think I would need it. But, I will say that I was not fit for teaching Monday. If I could have just sat at my desk and not talked then maybe, but…

Also, these eye patches feel good for sinus pain and pressure:

I did stay home Tuesday and I stayed home Wednesday (we didn’t have school but I didn’t leave the house). I had to cancel a fun thing and a hair appointment. Jack and Mason came home Tuesday night at 7:00 and I had my mask on. Tom stayed home from work Monday and Tuesday. We were negative for Covid so I think it was just this virus going around. The weather turned warm and sunny and I took my eye patches outside in the afternoons. Tom was well enough to return to work Wednesday, thankfully.

I used my neti pot a bunch and drank so much water and by Thanksgiving I felt almost 100%. I was so grateful.

Tom’s sister hosted Thanksgiving and always makes a beautiful charcuterie board.

Tom trying to smile. I ended up going with a short sleeve dress because the weather was so mild.

My plate – yes, I indulged!

My niece Brooke making the macaroni and cheese – her specialty!

J and M watching tv and chatting:

Tom, the dog whisperer:

Brooke and her friend who came to celebrate with us:

My niece Morgan and her boyfriend:

Friday, we traveled an hour to my mom’s house and I wore my other dress option:

Cute cookie:

We did ham for this meal since some of us had turkey the day before:

We sat in the sun and drank some wine. This was really good – from Trader Joe’s.

The two youngest nephews played with the two dogs – Ernie and my sister’s German Shephard Felix.

I led the kids in the pumpkin pie crackers and they were not super impressed nor did it work out that well.

My sister Kate, Jack, Mason, and I went downtown to the coffee shop, bookshop, music store, and popped in a couple of other places. No one else wanted to come but we did invite everyone.

I peeped J and M at the top of the steps perusing books:

Then, we played some games.

Sweet niece Samira. I never got a good picture of all the kids together.

We got home around 9:00. So we had two nice days of celebrating with both sides of the family. It was so fun to have my college kids here. I love waking up and finding this note from Jack. He left me lots of notes throughout the middle and high school years. I had told him how much cheaper the Kroger brand was and this was his response:

I responded at the bottom. He makes me laugh.

Our weather was really nice – in my opinion. That cold snap we had a couple of weeks ago was too soon for me.

Saturday I felt great because all of the cooking and celebrating was done and I could run a few errands and I got motivated to decorate. I decided to go with a kind of woodsy theme this year. I have bulb lights that weren’t turned on.

I bought these pine cones for my dough bowl and a new candle. I added my tablecloth in the dining room.

Everything is done excpet the tree and I was waiting on Tom’s help. I also have my Christmas card table set up. I have all of our past cards framed.

Our kids went to a gaming tournament with high school friends and then out to dinner and I told Tom I needed to sit at a restaurant because it had been at least 2 weeks but probably closer to 3 since we had gone out.

Oh yeah! We hit up the Mexican place close to our house. It is now $58 for two of us to eat Mexican. I can remember just a couple of years ago when it was $28. I sound so old.

It was nice to have a good book to turn to this long weekend. I am almost done and have enjoyed it. I don’t necessarily agree with the reactions of everyone in the book and there are a few things that annoyed me, but I did enjoy it.

Sunday was super lazy but with some back to life, back to reality tasks and meal prep thrown in. I had done my meal planning and grocery pick up on Saturday so it was really nice to have that done.

Alright, let’s try to keep our sanity in the next few weeks!

I can’t wait to hear about your holiday if you blog or leave me a comment if you don’t!

Amy

Fashion Files

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

I am doing Fashion Files a day early. Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers!

Let’s go back to last Thursday:

You can find this sweater here and it comes in tons of colors. It is part of my Birthday Swag, too!

On Friday I wore my new Target Universal Thread charcoal jeans, my old Madewell sneakers (I cut the laces to make them slip on), and my new Loft royal blue sweater.

I placed a birthday order from Loft and ended up keeping all but one item. I took it back in the store and imagine my surprise when I saw an entire rack of tops for $3! You can’t get that at Goodwill!

I have only worn the plaid so far.

I dressed up a bit for a college play. They look black, but I am wearing my dark high rise jeans, a black sweater, and a black blazer.

Also, I have a funny story. I was supposed to get this t-shirt in July. I gave up hope in ever getting it. It arrived Monday! So weird!

They even lied and said it was out for delivery. I don’t love Target’s shipping situation. The app constantly lies to me.

Do you have a favorite?

Amy

Birthday Swag

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

I realized I was long overdue in showing you my birthday gifts! I got this amazing clutch from Heather and Heather. I had seen it this summer and they went back and got it for me!

I received some Amazon gift cards and some money. I bought this sweater with one of the gift cards:

I ordered this black silk blouse from Chico’s. It is amazing! I picked up these sequin pants at TJ Maxx last month but I had not shown them on the blog.

I also placed a Loft order:

this sequin top:

This black plaid top:

And, the blue sweater I had my eye on!

Do you have a favorite?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, November 21, 2022

I am linking up with Sarah and Holly for probably the shortest Hello Monday I have ever done. I took very few pictures.

Friday lunch was amazing and I can’t wait to make this for Tom. Erica lightened up a shepherd’s pie.

I had Erica and Elizabeth over for a Friday flocktail!

Tom and I ate a grilled cheese in the car and went to hear Jack sing. This is the only photo I got. He is on the far right at the end of the performance.

Saturday morning was cold but I had a Kroger pick up. It took me awhile to get my ducks in a row for what I needed last week. I hope to not go back to the store until after T Day!

I did a green gel and I didn’t have as good of luck. Yesterday they started peeling. I think it might be an issue with this bottle of color.

Jack worked Saturday near our house and came home for homemade orange chicken. He then went to a play.

I finished this and liked it but the main character really bugged me towards the end.

I made 2 – just 2 – breakfast burritos on Sunday!

I made Mexican spaghetti squash for my one lunch.

Tom started feeling bad Friday and was under the weather all weekend. I walked Ernie in the cold tundra.

Ice!

I made a quick trip to Costco for just two things and I arrived at 10 and the parking lot was already so full. Why? How?

They are offering a complete-ish Turkey Day meal.

I went to see a play that Mason did the lighting for. Jack went with me. This play is where the term “gaslighting” came from. It’s a long story but it was a really good play!

So, how was your weekend?

Amy

P.S. – I am not sure how much I will post this week.

Friday Favorites

Friday, November 18, 2022

Well…that went by fast! I wish we didn’t have a weird week next week of only two school days; often this means we have poor attendance. I heard that one school in our area only goes on Monday? What? What about you? Do you have the entire week off? I am linking up with the girls here for Friday Favorites.

Well, the burgundy gel nails are still going strong. Y’all I am so happy! It appears this is not damaging my nails like would happen in the salon. The remover I bought is the magic ticket. The gel peels right off with little effort. I know this is vain, but I do like my nails to look nice. I do not want to visit the salon or pay the price. This gives me a little arts and crafts project that is just my speed!

The remover:

I do need to give credit to Niki at The House on Silverado for recommending it!

Even though it’s been cold this week, I try to bundle up to get a little fresh air. A Woodwick candle would make a great gift. They make a nice little crackle as they burn.

I love roasted spaghetti squash so muich! Microwave your squash for like 5 minutes after poking a few holes. Let it cool a bit and then slice in half, remove the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and add salt, pepper, garlic powder then roast face down for a long time – like 45 minutes to an hour. It’s worth it. When it’s done, it should “string” very easily with a fork.

Tom had angel hair and I had this with my spaghetti sauce on top. I also made us a side of zucchini and I had some mushrooms and onions that I had made. This meal was so satisfying, and I also tried to use 30 g. worth of Laura’s Lean ground beef.

Erica made us French onion chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli one day this week. It was delicious!

One night I made tacos for Tom and taco salad for me:

Ernie watching me work:

My friends are so sweet. One gave me this beautiful looking and smelling candle that I have been enjoying. She also gave me a Kitsch silk pillow case! I love it! A good one really makes a difference. The Amazon one I had was subpar and I stopped using it after a month or so. This one is great! That would be another great gift idea for the female in your life that doesn’t want wrinkles on their face or tangled hair.

And, another friend gave me this cool bourbon bottle candle. It smells amazing, too! She also gave me the coolest faux leather and velvet headband.

I found this coffee medley at Costco last week and I am loving these flavors. What a great way to try new ones. Mason is excited to enjoy these with me soon.

I am ready – anyone seen Winter Mint in the stores yet? This is your sub for a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie. Ok, you’re right – there is no substitute!

Dare I say it, but this might be better than La Croix – at least in this flavor. Wow! This is great!

We got more snow Wednesday night! I almost didn’t notice it. I was headed to bed and was shocked!

I had a round table discussion in Spanish with 3 of my classes Thursday where we talked about favorite Thanksgiving foods, traditions, their plans for break, etc. It was so fun!

Then, the teachers were treated to a Thanksgiving catered meal by our alumni and a few other organizations. It was really good!

What were your favorites this week?

Amy

Fashion Files

Thursday, November 17, 2022

It’s time to link up with Kellyann and Jill for Fashion Files!

I only had three days with students last week and this is what I wore on Wednesday. Here is my Target dress that I got in olive, cream, and charcoal. I tried to link it for you and I am afraid these may now be out of stock. I wore my Old Navy flannel that I am using as more of a “shacket” and some booties and later on I changed to…

sneakers for comfort.

On Thursday, I wore my new Target jeans, an Anthro blouse, and a black cardigan with my black MIA clogs.

And, on Friday I wore my new Target grey jeans, a black tank, my new Target flannel recommended by Jen – it has pockets! Look! I wore my pearls for a bit of a feminine lumberjack look. Have I told you that pearls on men is a trend? Well, my male student was also wearing pearls this day and he said he liked mine. I told him I wasn’t afraid to fight anyone but I was still a lady with this look. Have you seen pearls on men yet?

On Monday my goal was to wear my fall colors! I wore my consignment blouse, my Matilda Jane flares, and a mustard cardigan.

And, on Tuesday I wore brown leggings, a white button down, my Amazon vest, and my moo shoes. I got so many compliments on the vest and the shoes – even from kids I don’t know.

Did you see my Turkey Day ‘Fits post yesterday? Some of you suggested hemming my two Chico’s faux leather pants – black and brown cherry burnette but I am seeing full length in this type of pants, too. Speaking of which, I am seeing faux leather everywhere! Look at this ad for a Kohl’s pair and the shoes and how much ankle is showing. I think any length and silhouette goes now. I think by keeping mine the length they are might make them more versatile.

What have you been wearing lately? Are you like me trying to wear all the fall colors now?

Amy