Hello Monday

Monday, September 16, 2019

How was your weekend?  Mine was a lot of much needed time at home with a lot of productivity and a little bit of fun!

Thursday night Jack had theater and an audition so the other three of us tried out a new restaurant and got take out for Jack.  It had a nice atmosphere.  It was upscale pub food.  The only problem.  A lady 4 tables away with no one in between us was obnoxious!  I think she was tipsy, but she was talking so loudly that it really took away from our experience.  

Friday at school was a good day, but I brought home way too much work.  I broke out my Target glasses from last year and had some wine and cooked dinner at home Friday night.  

We also had a pasta bake.  We watched two episodes of That 70s Show with our boys.  

Saturday morning Trader Joe’s runs are my favorite.  They have several apple and pumpkin products out now!  

How cute are those leaf chips?  Jack and Mason explained to me that the many edges would just kill anyone’s mouth.  I guess they won’t be enjoying the bag I bought! 

I was excited to see the Kentucky reusable bags.  So cute!  

I also had to go to Target and I forgot it was the designer collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer, etc.  I didn’t get there until about 9 so it was calm.  I didn’t see anything I couldn’t live without!  

Finally!  I finally found the acorn spice scent in the handsoap and the cleaner.  Oh. my. gosh. this smells soooooo good in my opinion.  Go get some stat!  

After lunch, Mason went to a friend’s house to play Dungeons and Dragons (yes, this is still popular – at least with some of my boys’ friends) with 3 other dudes.  Jack and I went to my good friend Dan’s house to talk all things electric guitar.  Jack is buying one and wanted to get some advice.  He looks like such a serious rocker here!  

By dinnertime everyone was back at home and the boys wanted to order pizza while their Dad and I met two other couples at BJ’s for the UK/FL football game.  I got a Kentucky mule.  If you like a Moscow mule, the Kentucky mule has bourbon instead of vodka. 

My friend got the amazing sangria with prosecco and I was kind of jealous because I normally get that.  It’s so good, too!  

Sunday morning it was in the 60s and I wore my first leggings of the season!  I sat outside with coffee for just a bit before workers came to work on our project with hub.  He has been busting his butt working along side workers the last two weekends or working solo.  I know he is exhausted.  

I did meal prep and it makes me so happy!  These are my five breakfasts.  I didn’t take a photo of my lunches, but it is the mexican quinoa from this post.  

Then, remember I told you I brought so. much. work. home?  I had to get caught up or I knew my week would stink.  

The rest of the day was laundry, more grading, and a Hallmark movie.  Mason went bowling.  We have a busy week ahead but I’m going to try to take it one day at a time!  

How about you?  

Amy 

Friday Favorites!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Wow – this week went by so quickly compared to last week in my opinion!  What is it about short weeks?

I am linking up with Andrea, etc. today so go there to see some more faves!  

Also, today is my mom’s birthday!  Yes, my parents had birthdays one day apart and they were the same age.  My mom is a faithful blog reader so happy birthday to her!    She has been super strong throughout the last year.  She has a big trip coming up with her college friends and I’m really excited for her!  How cool that they are still doing things together over 50 years later, right?  

My first favorite is my new Myra bag which is available on Amazon but I bought it at a local boutique for around $40.  It is made from recycled materials and I love the unique look of it.  It has held up well this week as my purse/tote for work.  

Since it’s almost fall, I broke out my favorite fall scent only available at Soft Surroundings – online or we have a store locally.  It is called “L” and I love the unique smell.  It is kind of woodsy with tobacco flower.  I hate a super sweet smell.  This is strong and a little goes a long way.  Pro tip:  Spray a bit in your hair for the scent to last longer.  

The boys and I have added elderberry for immune support.  They are from Trader Joe’s but you can get them anywhere.  I told both of my boys about it separately and they both quoted something from Monty Python.  This happens often with twins!  They both said, “Your mother smelled of elderberries!”  Ha!  Have you heard about elderberry to ward off illnesses?  We will also get the flu shot!

This is really good!  I picked it up on a whim and I really like it.  Give me all the pumpkin spice!  I have broken my rule and enjoyed pumpkin before October!  

I also picked this up at the regular grocery for a treat and it’s really good!  

The weather was so nice last weekend but it’s been hot hot hot this week.  My boy Ernie loves being outside.

We got the patio cleaned up and put out our new furniture that has been in boxes in the garage since June!  Also, we painted the patio ceiling white.  

This is my view from the patio. The construction mess has kept me from enjoying it all summer!  That’s o.k. – I love our fall weather for patio sitting along with a beverage!  img_9112.jpg

How was your week?  Any favorites?  Any fun plans?  

My boys take the ACT but other than that I don’t really know yet what’s on tap.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Recent Recipes

Thursday, September 12, 2019

New Favorite Recipe right here!  This is from my friend Kristin at Stuff, Things, Etc. blog.  I have changed it slightly to make it easier but I have tested my changes and I love this!  

Mexican Quinoa

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Quinoa – prepare one cup according to package directions (it only took about 17 mintutes to make.)  Preheat oven to 350.  

When quinoa is done, fluff with fork and add to a bowl with:  

half can corn, drained

half can black beans, drained

a can of green chiles

cup of Mexican cheese, or mozzarella, or any kind really 

a dash of cumin

can of mild enchilada sauce

Mix together and then spread in an 8×8 baking dish.

Cover with more cheese. (about 1/2 cup)

Bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through and cheese melted.  

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Serve with tortilla chips and a side salad if you want.  

Do you use quinoa often?  I have made quinoa mac and cheese before and I need to try that again!  

I also used my leftover totchos (nachos made from frozen tater tots) last week to make a breakfast casserole.  I had fully cooked tater tots with bacon and cheese on them.  I broke them up and put in bottom of 8×8 baking dish and then I added a mixture of 1/2 cup milk and 5 eggs mixed up and poured on top and added shredded cheese.  

I baked at 350 for 20 minutes.  It was delish!  Also, I am always so proud when I can use leftovers.

What have you been cooking lately?

Amy 

What I Wore Wednesday and Consignment Find

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Today I am linking up with Kellyann and friends for The Style Six.  What a great idea! I don’t see many fashion link ups these days and i think they are really fun and always give me new ideas to wear what is already in my closet.  

I don’t want to forget to mention the significance of today, however.  9/11 is a date that we will always and should always remember.  I was teaching when my principal made the announcement about the twin towers around 9:10 am.  It is really hard to be calm when you are the one in charge.  My teen students were fearful and scared and we didn’t do anything that day but watch the news.  Many parents came to pick up their children.  This was before I had kids of my own.  It is a day I will never forget.

And, this is my Dad’s birthday.  He passed away last December.  I saw an explanation about grief saying that it is not lineal – meaning that you will experience bad days and it isn’t a steady progression of healing, necessarily.  Today will be sad for my family and I.  My boys’ birthday was sad to me because of my Dad not getting to see them reach 17 and I know their graduation will be hard, too.  

There is no smooth way to transition into fashion now, so here goes…

Typical teaching outfit – Matilda Jane green pants, Old Navy blouse, consignment Banana Republic cardigan, Target Universal Thread shoes.

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Forgot to get full outfit, but black pants, black blouse, fun necklace and earrings and a yellow cardigan.

Capri leggings and poncho for a Friday outfit.  

$18 consignment find – transition booties.  They have cut outs so I won’t wear them into winter.  

They are by a brand called “Rebel” and I looked at some of their stuff on the website and they are pretty unique.  I think these are cool but also a little 18th century style!  

I think this is a hard time to dress!  The weather is still very warm but I want all the fall!

I did put all of my white away.  I also put away anything that looks super summery; I’ve just worn it all to death and it’s time for a change!

What are you wearing lately?  

Amy 

My Fall Decor

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

So, I like to do generic fall decor on September 1 and then add Halloween touches on October 1.  After Halloween, I take those down and do some Thanksgiving specific decor that I have but still use the generic fall from September 1!  Keep in mind I am pretty minimal and I do not invest much money.  I like natural decor and easy stuff!  

First, my hub had our front door stained and it looks so much better! 

I added the beautiful leaf doormat from Target for $12.  I love it!

I also went ahead and bought my giant mum at Kroger for just $9.99

Just a few touches in the corner on the side table.

The mantle.  I love the look of candy corn in a jar or vase.  

Kroger had these cute leaf bowls for just $1.59.  

Here is my minimal tiered tray!  I found these cute fake acorns at Dollar Tree!  

So, it is very minimal and I spent very little money! But, it makes me happy – especially in my renovation mess!

So, even if you have small children I think it is worth it because it makes your home more festive!

What do you think?  Do you get into the different seasons?

Amy 

Hello Monday

Monday, September 9. 2019

How was your weekend?  I am linking up with Heather at My Glittery Heart and Tanya at The Other Side of the Road.  Thanks ladies for providing the Hello Monday link up!  

Even though last week was a short week after the Labor Day holiday, it literally kicked my butt.  I woke up Monday feeling either sick or the effects of fall allergies (but never stayed home from work), we had the start of community theater after school for son Jack, our boys’ birthdays were Thursday, we had Open House at my school/the boys’ school Thursday night, a renovation going on at our house, and a German cousin visiting! 

On Friday at school we played Scrabble for the last 20 minutes or so of class.  I have authentic Scrabble boards from Spain.  These are some of my sweet AP Spanish girls.  

Friday after school I came home and took a nap.  Then I got up and got a medicine ball tea from Starbuck’s for myself but also one for Mason who had reported that he was feeling poorly, too!  Have you tried this tea?  I really think it helps!  I also don’t think you have to be sick to enjoy one.  Teavana makes some really good teas!  

Son Jack had a theater retreat after school Friday followed by dinner and a show for families.  We headed over from 6-8 and it was a lot of fun.  Then, Jack went bowling with theater friends.  

Jack on left.  His group won for best skit.  

I went to bed around 10 and slept until 7:00!  I think I got almost 9 hours of sleep and boy, did I need it!  Jack had community theater from 10-12 and a choir car wash from 12-2.  I took him and went to Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and to get two more medicine ball teas for Mason and I.  

I just love these little pumpkins!  I will add those to my decor when we get closer to October.  Post on my decor coming tomorrow!

I finished this book.  I do recommend even though it drug a bit.  I especially recommend it if you have ever thought of doing the camino in Spain/France or if you are Catholic.  It’s not just about those things but the references are very cool.

Then, I started this.  It’s really cute! 

Saturday was so nice.  I didn’t leave the house after my morning errands.  I read, watched t.v., cleaned, cooked, sat outside for a bit.  I had almost no voice and it felt good just to be home.  Our German cousin got invited to tailgate and go to the U of L football game so it was just the four of us until after the game.  

Hub worked on the brick mess.  Our brick is completely done but I guess clean up is not included.  We ordered a dumpster (from our friend!) and I told hub he could start “construction cross fit”.  He was getting a work out.  

Sunday morning our German cousin left after being with us for almost two weeks.  He had to drive himself to Detroit for his next filmmaking assignment.  I cooked breakfast for him, cleaned up, and started all of the laundry, did some school work, and the good news is – Mason and I were feeling much better!  Let’s home hub doesn’t get it because he is the worst sick person ever!  

That’s about all I can say for my weekend!  

How was yours?  September really is a busy month! 

Amy 

Friday Faves

Friday, September 6, 2019

Even though it was a short week, fall allergies or a cold, a different testing schedule at school and lots going on after school hours have made this gal ready for another weekend!  

Also, last night was open house at school so it was a long, long day and on my boys’ birthdays!!  Did you see my post yesterday here?  It’s time for the reveal of their names!  My first favorite is my newly turned 17 year old identical twin boys!  

This is Jack – my theater and musical theater lover, artist, guitar player who is also, funny, smart, and sensitive.  He is very articulate and can do some hilarious accents.  He loves New Girl, That 70s show, and Parks and Rec.  He was baby A.  He was born first at 6:03 and really has always taken on the “older” role – even twins have that, I think!  His real name is James Jackson but we have always called him Jack.  

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This is Mason – my avid reader, record collector and music buff, foodie, debater (he retired after three years and is doing academic team this year) who is also hilarious with a dry and intelligent sense of humor and who is so sweet to me.  He compliments almost every dinner I make.  He was baby B and born at 6:04 and thinks his brother hung the moon.  His real name is William Mason.  

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They are very private but I don’t think they will mind this divulgence!  

My second favorite are these products.  I always appreciate when other bloggers update me on products they recommended.  So, you have seen these items before.

I cannot and won’t live without the Downy wrinkle release, the John Frieda blonder spray, the hairspray, and the Revlon goldpearl plum.   

I love this Cover Girl clean matte cc cream, this Physician’s Formula foundation and butter bronzer.  I will buy these three things again, too!  

And, finally, these fall touches are making me happy!  I decorated for fall last weekend and a post will be coming next week!  

 

What made you happy this week?  

Do you have any fun weekend plans?  We will continue celebrating our boys, our German cousin will still be here until Sunday morning, I have some library books on hold, I’m hoping to boat, I’m hoping to go to a restaurant, and I’m hoping to do a bit of cooking, too!  

Thanks for stopping by my little space,

Amy 

My Twins are 17!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

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This is such a special day!  My identical twin boys are 17!  I really do remember everything as if it were yesterday.  I look at my precious boys today and I have a hard time believing they were 10 weeks premature (only 6-7 weeks premature for twins, though). 

But, first…I have never given their names on my blog.  Any guesses?  You can’t guess if you know them IRL, ok?  And, yes, I have decided to reveal their names after you try to guess!

Hub and I found out we were pregnant about 1.5 years into marriage which is pretty quick, but he was 33 and I was 28 when we got married and we were ready. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was told that something was wrong because the timeline and development didn’t match up(?) but to come back in a week.  Um, ok…..  Then, I went back and they said that the heartbeat was great and everything looked wonderful (still don’t understand why I was beside myself for that week thinking something was very wrong) but let’s just look around some more.  I remember thinking what on Earth would looking around some more do and then the tech said “Yup, there’s another one.” and I still didn’t get it!  So, I found out that I was having twins at 6 weeks pregnant.  I was shocked!  I had so many people tell me they had always wanted twins but it had never ever crossed my mind.  I will always say this was the best surprise of my life!

The pregnancy was actually really great until 27 weeks.  I got pregnant right before spring break and then had an easy rest of the year followed by a relaxing summer where I supervised a pool and was in the pool everyday with my big belly.  I think things changed because I tried to start school.  I made it to the first day and then was told to check into the hospital at 27 weeks after my doctor appointment.  I was able to get the lung development shot and then got to go home after three days on partial bed rest at home for the next 3 weeks until I had to have an emergency c-section due to my platelet count and my liver enzymes.   Then the boys stayed in the NICU for a little over 5 weeks.  They came home at just under 5 lbs. each after being born at 2.9 and 2.14 lbs.  Those 5 weeks were super hard.  I made it my job to go there every morning and hold them and pump and feed if I could.  I called every night to get their weights and was so excited when they went up.  We had some set backs, too.  We had lots of support and lots of visitors and hub was a great partner and came everyday after work, too.  

My sweet angels still in the NICU…

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We finally got to bring them home and then we were zombies for the first year, I think, but we also had so much fun!  They quickly turned into chubby little things and it was hard to tell they had been so small.  We were told they could have developmental issues, eyesight issues, learning disabilities, etc. I put them to bed with classical music for 2 years, taught them baby sign language, exposed them to Spanish and other languages, had tons of educational toys, etc. – basically the teacher in me came out to try to do everything to help them with any difficulties they might have. Hub was awesome and did so much reading and play with them, too. I don’t want to make it sound like I did it all because I didn’t.

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Anyway, we were so blessed with the best babies ever. They slept great, ate great, were happy and funny, and they developed into smart little things with great senses of humor. They have rarely fought and really have been great friends but are not co-dependent at all. We put them in separate classes all through elementary.

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5th grade safety patrol!  We couldn’t believe they put them in charge!  

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They figured out how to make my back minivan seats go backward!
Don’t worry – it was just in the driveway!  img_9019

They made the high school yearbook on the twins page! img_9018.png

It has been so fun to get to watch their sweet and supportive relationsship!  img_9021

I hope these photos have given you a glimpse into how fun it’s been to be their mom!  I will talk more about their personalities when I reveal their names!  

Thanks for indulging me, 

Amy 

What I Wore Wednesday, A New Bag, and a Manipedi Update!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Happy hump day!  Why do short weeks feel long?  

This week is dedicated to the versatile kimono.  I showed you my co-worker in her swing dress and kimono last week but recently I have not felt like wearing dresses.  Not to fear, this look works just as well with pants in my opinion.  

The monochromatic underneath is very slimming.  This can be a base for many a completer or third piece – a cardigan, a blazer, or a kimono.  I can wear this base once a week and add a different topper and no one will know, I bet.  

And, this look incorporates blue, yellow and my bright Amazon kimono with my Target Universal Thread slides.  

Both outfits were super comfortable yet I think/I hope I look put together for school.  I also think they are some of the more flattering that I have worn lately.  

Meet my new bag for fall…

I was looking for something unique and a bit artsy.  This is by Myra bags and is made of recycled materials and it was only $40!  They are sold on Amazon but I got mine at a local boutique.  They have different designs and styles and I might like another one, too!  

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I had some self care on Saturday and got a new dip manicure.  I was going for a blue or a grey and my nail tech talked me into layering two different dips.  My previous one had lasted 3.5 weeks and could have gone a few more days probably.  

I have provided the dips and the numbers for you.  She did OPI 42 on bottom and DNS 142 on top.  I really like it!  

And then my pedi was Ïncognito in Sausalito by OPI – a navy.  So, they coordinate but they are not an exact match, which is what I was going for.  

What have you been wearing lately?  Where do you stand on the no white after Labor Day rule?  I usually stop wearing it just because I am tired of it!  

Thanks for reading!

Amy 

Long Weekend Recap!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Let’s go back to last Wednesday, o.k.?  Our German cousin (husband’s first cousin’s son) Max, who is 22, arrived.  He is a filmmaker and between gigs in D.C. and Detroit so he asked to come stay with us for the 2 weeks in between.  We know him pretty well. We met him in Germany when he was 4, his family came here when he was 12, he came by himself when he was 15, and we went there when he was 19.  Did you get all that?  

Thursday after school I took him to get his cell phone working here and we popped into Liquor Barn next door and did a bourbon tasting – of only one bourbon but we did it!  

Then, we all met up at the Mexican restaurant because what is more American, right?  

Saturday morning I tried the cold brew pumpkin and I’m not a fan.  I think pumpkin works better with heat – I’m sticking with the PSL! 

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I was very happy to finally organize my “china cabinet” built into my dining room.  I created a mini “bar cart” on the bottom.  I would love to really have a bar cart but it doesn’t make much sense right now with the house in a state of chaos with the renovation.  

Then, we watched a noon game and were slugs until almost 4:00.  Noon games not good.  

Did you see my game snacks yesterday here?  They can be a meal and there is a crockpot recipe for you, too, so check it out.  I turned the leftover “totchos” into a breakfast casserole the next morning and I will give you the recipe soon!

Around 4:30 we took Max shopping for some clothing he needed for Detroit.  Then, we went home and ate the crockpot stuff along with baked salmon and rolls and around 7 we went to Captain’s Quarters to hear some music.  The weather was perfect.  


And, Sunday, we were lucky to have our boat running again.  We went out from about 10:30-2 and showed Max the city from the river and tooled around a bit and then had brunch/lunch at CQ.  

I got salad and spinach queso to share.  

Max ordered the hot brown!  

Later Sunday afternoon we took one boy to shop for used books and records.  

And, the boys and I stayed home while hub and Max went to a baseball game.  A friend had given us two tickets and we could’ve bought more, but the boys and I were worn out from the first three weeks of school.  I know it sounds lame, but it really is true.  It’s a big adjustment.      So one son and I watched Big Brother and I think there was a bit of homework done.  

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Monday was the day for all of the errands and I decorated for fall (coming soon!).  I woke up not feeling great.  I seem to suffer more from fall allergies than spring ones.  And, I had some school work to do.  Even though it’s a short week it will be a busy one.  I also made pulled pork in the crockpot (recipe coming soon!) for dinner.  

How was your long weekend?  I hope it was great and as always, thanks for visiting me!

Amy