College Dorm Packing List

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Do you have a kid heading off to college in August? I told a couple of friends that I would put a list together and then I thought – why not a blog post?

I am no expert, but I did just go through this process last summer and I helped to bring it all home this spring! Lol!

If you are new here, I have twins that ended up at the same college – in two different dorm rooms.

Disclaimer: My kids are really low maintenance!

Here are my tips/advice:

Before you do anything, look at college website for room content! The websites offer a wealth of information and often include a video tour. Also, check the websites for rules about what students can and cannot have in their rooms.

My kids’ college room provided:

2 beds, 2 desks, 2 wardrobes/armoires (you do need to bring own hangers), microwave, refrigerator, trashcan

If you have a spare room or a basement area, it is great to have a “holding area” as you acquire stuff over the summer. We were lucky that we have our old bedroom waiting to be demolished to turn into our Master bath.

We purchased things from Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Amazon. We gradually accumulated everything over the summer.

I would say there is a Walmart in spitting distance of most college campuses, so you might consider unpacking the big stuff and then taking a trip there for toiletries.

Amazon delivers to college campuses! You might consider having some things sent directly. Check college policies.

What we took: (Move-in day was really smooth. The college had volunteer older students unload our cars, put stuff in rolling bins, and then we could use the bins on the elevator.)

clip on bed light

sticky stuff to hang posters

long charging cord for phone

extension cord

power strip

towels (4) and washcloths (maybe 8 or 10)

sheets (no more than 2 sets)

eggshell mattress cover

bedskirt ?


collapsible laundry hamper/basket with pockets for detergent pods and dryer sheets

backrest pillow

first aid kit

toiletries to get them through first couple of month

snacks (don’t go crazy)

reusable water bottle

rain gear- jacket, boots, umbrella, backpack cover



one swimsuit

one beach towel


hammock (if they have a hammock friendly campus and want this!)

decor (go easy on this and this also depends on boy/girl) – string lights are really popular.

large IKEA bags or similar Amazon bags that have backpack straps: These are ours. They hold so much!

a smaller duffle for weekend trips home or to friends’ parents’ homes

Do not go crazy on the winter clothes at first. You can get those on a first trip home.

What have I forgotten? I hope something helped you! Share this with a friend if you think it would help them!


P.S. – Manage your expectations on move-in day. I thought we would unpack and arrange things in our kids’ rooms and make a whole day of it, with a meal with all four of us before we left. Nope! Jack was o.k. with more help, but Mason wanted us gone and didn’t want any help. Maybe talk to your college kid beforehand but be prepared for them to be ready for you to leave.

Also, we moved to college during the times of Covid, so there were lots of things that were probably different!

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Happy Wednesday! I am linking up with The Style Six here!

I have really been wearing these Amazon faux Birks a lot. They are super comfy! I am just really all about white this summer! I have on an old majorly on sale kimono from Versona, my new to me white consignment top(from yesterday’s post here), and the best cut offs for women of a certain age – maybe? I can’t stop wearing them. They are so comfortable! They have the perfect amount of stretch. Target is really my go-to for shorts this summer. Target, I can’t quit you!

This is a super easy outfit formula – cut offs, t-shirt, kimono. You know how I feel about kimonos!

I had told you last week how much I have been loving my bright pink Aerie tank and my Target cover up. This is last week from my hotel stay. I have been wearing this “outfit” quite a bit!

Here are the Target cut offs again! I wore this to meet my buddy Sheila for breakfast last Friday. Sheila and I started teaching at my current school together 21 years ago. She is now at a different school in our city.

This time I paired them with a feminine blouse (old from Old Navy) and the Birks again.

Remember the Target Stars Above robe that I love and talked a lot about? Their line of pajamas is super popular among the blogging/influencer world. I was listening to a podcast where they talked about these pajama shorts. I wear shorts and a black tank top to sleep in and lounge around in at home. I ordered both the black and grey on my Target app and did the drive up pick up. They are light and super soft. And, they have pockets! I have been wearing them non-stop!

And, I wore this outfit for my hair appointment and brunch afterwards. I think the humidity messed with my camera so I apologize for the hazy photo. I wore my Coconuts by Matisse woven wedges, white Target Universal Thread shorts, white v-neck tank from Chico’s in late winter, and kimono from Chico’s in late winter. You may remember that I scored on the Chico’s Clearance rack – finding 5 items for $50. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I have worn most of the 5 pieces!

And, I am back to doing my own nails; this is OPI Strawberry Margarita that I have had for a long time. It bugs me when I don’t do them perfectly, but I guess it’s ok!

What have you been wearing lately?


Shop with Me

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

I thought I would take you along on my last consignment store trip! If you are new here, I am a big believer in shopping second hand. I have found so many good things through the years. But, I will warn you that I walk out empty handed quite often. It is tempting to buy things because of the good prices, but you really need to know what you need and what will work for your lifestyle. You need perseverance, too! You won’t always find what you need.

My two favorite consignment stores are super organized and picky about what they take. My sons love Goodwill but I rarely find anything worth my time there.

Last week I stayed in a hotel with my two friends. I only have a carry on suitcase and a big green duffle bag. I was thrilled to find this Vera Bradley for $25. It looks brand new. This was perfect for a one night stay.

It helps to know your brands. This blouse is by Andre and it is sold in one of my favorite local boutiques. Their blouses run around $50-70 I would say. I found this hot pink top for $14. Another tip I would give you is to see if a piece has been washed. This clearly had been washed so I could already see that it maybe shrank a bit. This leads me to my next tip – look in one size up as well as in your normal size. I wore this with white jeans and wedges and a long necklace to go to lunch on the way to the hotel.

This is American Eagle and still had original tag on it which said $28. I bought it for $7. I thought this would be cute under a kimono and already wore it that way. I had been wanting to try a ruffle at the bottom but wasn’t sure if I could pull it off with my mid-section area.

And finally, for $7 also, was this basic white tank I thought could also be handy under a kimono. I have worn it to take walks in but haven’t styled it yet.

So, a sure sign for me that I had a successful shopping trip is that I already used or wore all four things within days of purchasing! Woohoo!

One of my friends from my hotel stay also went in to our two favorite consignment stores and majorly scored last week.

You really do have to check back frequently because the inventory is constantly changing!

Happy shopping,


Hello Monday and Quick Family Dinner Link Up!

Monday, June 14, 2021

I am linking up with both Hello Monday here to recap the weekend and Not Just a Mom here – with the topic of Quick Family Dinners!

Friday morning I met my friend Sheila at the cutest little bakery cafe on my favorite street – Blue Dog Bakery. Sheila and I met 21 years ago when she taught Latin at my current school. She left to move out west, then to Asheville, then back here, and now she teaches at a different school in my district, sadly. I always enjoy catching up with Sheila!

These people are not Sheila – just showing you the sidewalk tables.

We had their breakfast sandwiches, and…

I had my second cup of coffee (I already had my first at home).

We toasted with waters to be silly.

After that, I had a lazy day. After being gone for a couple of days I was just ready to do not much at home. Even though I have now been on break for a couple of weeks, I have not spent much time just being lazy at home. I need to do that!

For dinner, we had burrito bowls that I made and then I ran to Target to pick up my Stars Above pajama shorts below. More information on these will come on Wednesday.

I read outside on the patio after my Target run and I fell asleep! I think I am still getting caught up on sleep.

Saturday morning I had an early Kroger pick up, walked, did laundry, cleaned, and baked two cakes.

This is what Tom requested for his birthday. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Mason was going to a friend’s house and I offered to make his friend a cake for his birthday, too. His name is Xavier but they call him X. Can you see the X I tried to make?

I used this mix. I almost always use a mix but add an extra egg. I learned this years ago on Pinterest. An extra egg makes it taste more bakery-style. I almost always make homemade icing because that’s where it’s at, you know?

Tom’s birthday wasn’t til Sunday/yesterday but he wanted to go ahead and have some cake early!

Saturday afternoon the whole fam headed to the theater for In The Heights. It was so good and Jack and Mason and I loved all of the Spanish in it.

We went home and had one of Tom’s favorite meals – fish sticks, canned peas, and Kraft macaroni. So, that would definitely count as a quick family meal! This is not a fave of mine, so I had a veggie burger.

Tom wanted to get up early and paddleboard on his birthday!

Then, he wanted to boat.

We found a nice little spot in the cove and hung out for a few hours.

I finished this while we were hanging out. It was my third really good yellow covered book. It was a great summer read, but with depth. I don’t want to give anything away.

It was really hot and felt like summer so we stayed in the water a lot.

A surprise rain shower popped up!

It didn’t last long, but we did decide to pack up and cruise around a bit.

We noticed a new hot dog stand!

There are some really nice houses that back up to this creek off of the river.

We ended the day with a meal of Tom’s request, which I would not call a quick family meal. I did a salad with honey mustard dressing, twice baked potatoes, and copycat Outback Alice Springs chicken.

Quick Family Meals:

Your freezer is your best friend! Sometimes I make a meal that comes entirely out of the freezer.

-Trader Joe’s frozen jasmine rice, frozen orange chicken, frozen broccoli (or fresh)

-sandwiches (hot subs) I have been making easy meatball subs lately – frozen meatballs, marinara, mozzarella


-ham, instant mashed potatoes(or the Bob Evans package) canned green beans, rolls

-breakfast for dinner

-hot dogs, baked beans, chips

-baked potato bar (do the potatoes in the crockpot – so easy!) and provide various toppings that could involve chili

-grilled cheese – get fancy and add green apple and some type of jam

-salad bag mix from grocery – add a protein for a meal

-sandwich bar – make your own sandwich

-Mexican – quesadillas, tacos

-Italian – spaghetti, baked ziti

-tub of bbq – serve on Texas Toast with a couple of vegetables

Tip: I often make the meat for both spaghetti and tacos at the same time and put one or the other in the freezer or fridge. Such a time saver

Tip: Prep your dinner in the morning so that you can’t get lazy come 5:00!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

What is your favorite quick family meal?


Friday Favorites

Friday, June 11, 2021

How was your week? It is time for another edition of Friday Favorites! Linking up here with Andrea, etc.

We have had so much rain lately! We are supposed to dry up and have a stretch of several nice days. I know the upside of that is that everything will be so green, and that will be a favorite!

I finished this book early in the week and I just loved it! I have had two great summer reads in a row. I want chick lit, rom com, and light books in the summer, you know? I really love all of the Christina Lauren books – the author is actually two people; they are best friends/writing partners.

Next I am on to this:

Anyone think it’s weird that I am reading all yellow books lately? I really enjoyed The Happy Ever Playlist last summer by the same author.

So, summer reading is definitely a favorite. I get an email almost every day from my library saying they have another book for me – oops! So many books – so little time until the due dates!

This next favorite is very, very special to me. My hydrangeas didn’t bloom last year. I was so sad, but maybe they didn’t want to come out because of 2020/Covid? I don’t blame them. I was worried that I had done something wrong. I consulted with gardener friends and family and trimmed back some of the stalks in the early fall when I realized they weren’t going to bloom.

Well, they are blooming this year! They normally bloom in May but took their time a bit and didn’t bloom until June, which is totally fine because May was busier and I had less time to enjoy them.

This hydrangea bush was transplanted by my Dad from my childhood home about 15 years ago if I am remembering correctly. My parents moved to another house at that time and my Dad thoughtfully brought this to me. He wasn’t a big gardener so it still kind of surprises me. (To be honest, I don’t think I appreciated plants that much at the time and I had twin toddlers.) That was my Dad, though. He was very thoughtful about gifts. Neither of my sisters still live in the same homes from 15 years ago, so I think I am the only one who has one. I have been so happy watching these bloom and thinking of my Dad.

I heard about the Voila app from Andrea early in the week. It makes your photo into a cartoon version of you and I had fun with mine

and Tom’s. I can’t stop laughing at Tom’s. This picture of him was from a few years ago when he didn’t have as much grey in is hair.

I also did some of my nieces’ and nephews’. I just got the free version of the app, by the way. It plays tons of ads so patience is required.

My biggest favorite from the week came on Wednesday when my two best friends picked me up and we headed to our downtown. We decided to eat lunch at Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen and shared nachos

and each had a taco and a cocktail. I forgot pictures of the tacos but they weren’t as good as the nachos.

then we checked into the Omni Hotel. This was my first hotel stay since the pandemic.

We immediately got changed and headed to their rooftop pool. The rain finally stopped and we felt like we needed to hurry before our window closed. We tried to get massages booked about a week ago, but we were too late. No big deal to me. I was fine to just lounge.

Well, the weather kept improving as the afternoon went on and we enjoyed some majorly overpriced cocktails while chatting and enjoying the hot tub and pool.

This was called a “Kentucky Summer” and had bourbon and orange flavors. It was so good!

And, this was called a lavender lemon spritz.

We got ready for dinner and I took my first Uber ride.

We had reservations at Jeff Ruby’s, which is an upscale steakhouse. My one friend loves it even though she is a vegetarian! She gets their sushi and loves their bread and truffle butter.

One of my friends and I split a salad and

we both got a crab cake and I got a baked potato (could not eat much of that monster!) and she got fries.

We walked back instead of Ubering and hurried back to the rooftop to see it lit up before it closed.

The view from our room the next morning:

We were on the 11th floor so the rooftop pool is really on the 3rd flloor. It is on a roof but not on the highest roof!

The little market in the lobby has local coffee and a local breakfast place called Con Huevos. It is like a Mexican/Cuban breakfast place and there is another one by my house.

It was a fun 24 hours in our own city. I am so grateful that we all live within minutes of each other, but it had been so long since we had had uninterrupted time to chat like this.

Day drinking is not for the weak. I was tired! Lol!

What were your favorites this week?


Thirsty Thursday – Aperol Spritz

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Have you ever tried one? They drank them on Bravo’s Summer House! I made these for our friends last Saturday. We were having Italian food and we needed an Italian cocktail!

It is quite a summery drink and I put a little twist on it. It isn’t super sweet and you could even say it can be slightly bitter, but I think I found a good remedy for that. I don’t like a super sweet drink, by the way. I like just a touch of sweet and I like carbonation in my cocktails!

If you are an Aperol purist you may be mad at me, FYI!

What is Aperol? It is an Italian aperitivo liquer. The bottle isn’t cheap but it will last you a long time.

You should be able to find a bottle of Aperol at any liquor store. It has gotten pretty common. This drink has a nice summery color!

You need:


a sweeter prosecco (I’m using one with a screw top from Trader Joe’s which is good because it saves better)

Crystal light individual lemonade sticks


orange slice (not pictured)

lots of ice (not pictured)

What you do:

Using a shot glass, put 1.5 shots of prosecco in a wine glass with ice.

Add about 1/3 of a stick of Crystal Light and stir really well.

Add 1 shot of Aperol.

Fill to top with Fresca.

Add an orange slice.

It is super refreshing with a bit of a bite to it!

Let me know if you try it!

Beware: you may not want to invest in a whole bottle because it is a bit pricey. Maybe try one at a restaurant to be sure you like Aperol.


What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Hello! I am linking up today with The Style Six here. Last week was my round up of my almost 32 outfits from my 32 days of in person teaching here. After that post, I honestly wasn’t sure how many outfit photos I would be able to produce from my first week of being at home on summer break, but I do have a few for you today. The other days were spent in athletic shorts and were not blog-worthy!

Last Wednesday I had a lunch date with a friend. It was cool and rainy and I usually wear black when it rains. My Soda sandals, my Chico’s pants, and my boutique blouse. I felt like this was a school outfit and not a ladies-who-lunch outfit.

This was my outfit to meet my students at a coffee shop. It rained again, but I had already picked out my outfit. Coconuts by Matisse woven wedge sandals, Amazon skirt (it wasn’t staticy anymore!), Costco top.

Rare indoor photo of my outfit I wore to the celebration of life for our attendance clerk. Sadly, she lost her battle with cancer last week. Old Navy tank dress, Nordstrom kimono, and Soda sandals. It was held in the top floor of a bar but I wanted to dress up a bit. Again, I would call this a teacher outfit.

I feel like I need going out clothes.

I wanted to show you my biker shorts that I am really enjoying. I don’t think the brand really matters, but mine are from Amazon. What does matter – they have pockets on both sides that hold my phone, keys if needed, Ernie’s waste bag, and my airpod case. If you have an issue with your thighs rubbing together, the length of these is perfect. I really need another pair at least because I have been walking almost daily and I am sad when these are dirty.

I tried to get a view of the pocket.

I am also really loving my bright, bright hot pink Aerie tank swim suit and my white Target cover-up over it. I ordered two more tank suits and I will let you know if those work out.

What have you been wearing lately? It is so crazy but the summer clothing will be going on sale really soon! I noticed a sign in my consignment store that said no more summer clothing will be accepted. I popped in one day when I was in the area, but didn’t find anything. I don’t always find things and I feel fine walking out empty-handed.

Thanks for reading,


Summer Reading

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

I love to read in the summer! I mostly read outside for some reason. Most of my book recommendations come from blogs or people on Instagram. When I see one that sounds good, I immediately request it through my library website. I pretty much always have a book this way. I just don’t buy books. I don’t need the clutter and my wonderful library saves me tons of money. I used to have a Kindle but when it died I didn’t replace it. I like holding a real book I have found.

Here is my current stack:

I like chick lit or historical fiction the most. This will be a little more serious.

This just came out and I can’t believe I already scored it! Elin screams summer, right?

I read her other book last summer and really enjoyed it! It is called The Happy Ever After Playlist.

I have already finished this and I loved it! If you like sailboats, the Caribbean, food descriptions, love stories (but with substance), I think you will enjoy this!

A deeper book I have been wanting to read. I usually do a chick lit book after a heavier book.

I am almost done with this and can’t put it down! I love Christina Lauren books!

This looked cute, but we will see… I like when books include recipes!

Again, this looked cute!

Are you a reader? What are you reading? Do you read more in the summer, too?


Hello Monday

Monday, June 7, 2021

How was your weekend? Mine was good! I didn’t take many pictures, but here we go…

I am linking up today with Heather, Tanya, and others here.

If you were wondering if grocery shopping has changed since the college kids have been home, the answer is yes! I started my Friday (after coffee, exercise, and breakfast) with a massive grocery haul. I shopped myself rather than doing grocery pick up.

For lunch Friday, I tried cheeseburger salad with ground turkey and a “special” sauce made out of non-fat plain Greek yogurt. It was good – I had it again for dinner last night!

I started this on Friday and sadly, finished it on Saturday! It was the perfect summer read.

Tom is always tired on Friday nights so I was fine to make salad and pizza at home.

Saturday morning I enjoyed my iced coffee on the deck. I had already had my two hot coffees and breakfast. I do my iced coffee around 10.

And, Tom and I headed to the river.

We saw this guy on a foil surfboard. He controlled it with a handheld device.

We saw our friend and his daughter on their jet ski.

We got home around 4:00 and I got cleaned up and started cooking. We had our friends to the patio for dinner and I made aperol spritzs.

I tried Half Baked Harvest’s whipped ricotta toast with marinated tomatoes on some pieces and honey and strawberries on some pieces. I don’t think I will make it again. Goat cheese is better in my opinion. I don’t think I’m a ricotta person. I use cottage cheese for my lasagna because that is what Pioneer Woman does.

And, I made a spicy angel hair alfredo with chicken and mushrooms.

Tom talking with his hands. We stayed out and talked until almost 10.

Sunday morning we woke to some light rain. I had my coffee with my candle and read a bit – one of my favorite summertime things!

And, I started this right after Float Plan. It is so good! I can’t believe I have had two great summer reads this weekend.

Mason had friends over to play Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, both of my kids still play this – either online or in person. Tom also used to play in high school. To be funny, we used these school lunch trays and made a very basic kid meal (mac and cheese, frozen chicken nuggets, tater tots, grapes, and honey mustard and ketchup) for one of the guy’s birthdays. Mason also went up to Kroger and bought him a cookie cake.

Tom and I hung out on the patio after Tom did a ton of yard work and I did a ton of housework.

It was a full weekend!

How was yours? I hope it was wonderful!


Friday Favorites – First Friday of Summer!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Linking up today with Andrea,etc. right here!

I finished my school year last Friday at 2:30! Jack and Mason started their college summer at the beginning of May so I felt that May dragged on and on for me. I am gathering my thoughts for a possible post on how the school year went. But, a part of me just wants to put it to bed.

This week was a short week with the Memorial Day holiday and it felt like it flew by. There is just something wonderful about a week day off and Tuesday was the first day like that for me. Your husband leaves for work and you are free! Just kidding, but you know what I mean! I had a list a mile long of things I had been putting off, so I was actually pretty productive this week.

Here are some of my favorites (and I have A LOT this week) and you will notice a theme here…a favorite summer color is YELLOW!

I was way too proud of myself for putting four flower flats in my turquoise pot and was so happy to come home one day from running an errand to see this butterfly enjoying them, too! The butterfly knew what was up with my color scheme!

I had been seeing beautiful ceramic plant stands but didn’t want to spend $100. I was thrilled when I found a metal $24.99 version at MIchael’s in yellow. Remember I am doing lemons on my deck. I would love to have the more substantial ceramic, but the benefit of this is that I can spray paint it if the paint chips or I can totally change color if I change my decor. Michael’s decor section has gotten really good – like Hobby Lobby competition level! Anyone checked it out?

I had had dip nails for the last two months and I just don’t want the commitment of getting it done every 3 weeks. I think something is wrong with me because I can hardly sit to have it taken off and put back on. Is anyone else like this? I had my white removed and just did a regular mani in yellow! I am thinking about trying Olive and June. Anyone tried it?

I don’t think I have ever shown you my bike. Tom gave this to me for a very early anniversary gift – maybe when we had been married for 5 years? I love my bike and it is yellow! I rode my bike to school at the beginning of the school year for a few years. I wheeled my bike into my classroom and kept it in the corner. I have been dusting it off and riding it this week.

I started following Lazy Genius after reading her book and I just discovered her podcast. She has some very practical and useful tips for moms starting their summer with kids at home. She has some good stuff for my stage in life, too!

I had more time to read this week! This is cute but it drags a bit. I think I say that about a lot of books?

So, you know how I love black lemonade Trulys? Buy the red box called “Punch”. Inside the box are four types – Tropical Punch, Fruit Punch, Citrus Punch, and Berry Punch. They are 100 calories each just like the black ones.

I don’t know which I like the best!

Now for a more serious favorite:

At our football stadium graduation a week ago, I found my brick! Our old football stadium was condemned a couple of years ago and we went a season without a stadium. Our new stadium has been in the works and is almost done. They offered commemorative bricks and I wanted something for posterity. I chose to put “Jack and Mason Class of 2020 & Sra. (Señora abbreviated because that is my teaching name). It is at the opening of the stadium in the first row of bricks. I felt so happy seeing it there for the first time on graduation morning. My school is very special to me and it was a huge part of my kids’ lives. They ran those halls in the summer and on non-student days from the time they could until they were actual students in high school.

It was also fun to see so many bricks of past students and teachers.

I love this that I saw on Instagram this week:

Isn’t that great? I am trying to work on that!

Did you hear Taco Bell took their Mexican Pizza off the menu? I have fond memories of this item because my bestie was a vegetarian and still is and would always order it with no meat. So, I tried it with her many years ago and loved it! I came across a low carb copycat version and it was really good! It is just refried beans between two low carb tortillas, (I heated the tortillas in a skillet), taco sauce, cheese, tomatoes, and green onions. This was my lunch one day this week!

We had lots of summer rain this week. One lazy morning I spent a few hours reading out on my covered patio. It was so relaxing!

One day I had a lunch planned with my friend Beth. It was raining and we couldn’t sit on their lovely patio, unfortunately…

But, the interior is also pretty.

Prosecco felt right. Yum!

I ordered the salmon and it was so good. We shared a brussel sprouts appetizer and Beth got Nashville hot chicken.

And, I had a coffee date with two students – one who graduated in 2020 and the other who is friends with her and is my current student (was my student last year and will be again next year).

We talked for over two hours and it was just so nice!

What were your favorites this week?

Happy summer Friday!