Friday Faves

Friday, August 12, 2022

Oh, Friday – you mean more now! Ha! I am happy today to be back and to be linking up with the ladies here for Friday Favorites!

How was your week?

Monday and Tuesday were teacher only days and we had some meetings, but we really had more time than I had anticipated to work in our rooms and to do lesson planning, copying, and things like that.

On Monday, our alumni association treated us to a taco bar. This is really easy to eat when you are trying to be healthier. I added some chips and queso on the side, but it wasn’t too bad.

Our alumni association director made churro Chex Mix for our dessert. It was delish!

I made pesto roasted vegetables Monday night.

I served it with the already cooked Costco chicken schwarma. I will not buy that again. It was just ok.

Thank you so much for the blog post ideas! A few of you said more teacher life things. Here is our beautiful auditorium with my very large faculty. I think we have 120 teachers. Yes, masks were mandatory for us that day. Some chose not to wear them.

Tom’s company lets the employees buy used technology and Tom brought me home an $80 Dell laptop. Now I can leave my school laptop at school and use this at home and I’m loving it. I’ve never had my own personal laptop – just a desktop.

I bought a cute little mint green mouse because old people can’t use track pads very well or is that just me?

Also, our library got a facelift this summer and it looks so good!

Here is my classroom ready to go for day one:

The stuff I do for them. They like to have tissues, hand sanitizer, band aids, lotion, and I added hard candy with the mask mandate. It’s the little things…

Tuesday we were on our own for lunch so Erica and I went to McAllister’s deli.

I got a baked potato and half a sandwich. It was a treat!

Wednesday morning I got up and look who was in my spot!

Year 29 photo! How is this possible? I guess mathematically it’s possible because I started at age 22 and I will turn 51 this fall. Ay caramba! That’s what we say in Spanish, you know?

I wore one pair of shoes and brought two more. The espadrilles were actually really comfortable but they only made it until 4th period. Flat sandals subbed in for the next 3 periods and then sneakers finally got to get some action for rainy bus duty. I have last period planning for the first time EVER and I got selected to help. It started pouring as the kids were looking for their busses!

Jen and I made a pact to both wear our Target Universal Thread dresses in mauve and she is also rocking the woven headband! She looks great!

We had a first day social in the library and another teacher was rocking it in the green color!

My first class of the day is my senior class and I did stations where they had to go around the room and do different things. This was my “photo booth”:

Moving around to the stations:

Beeping masks! People are saying we are one of the only metropolitan? areas in the country with a mask mandate. Maybe that isn’t true. I am really saddened to not see any faces. I had perfect attendance both days, by the way, except for one cat in The Bahamas.

So I guess what I am saying is that no one is sick. I’m not trying to be flippant about it, but the mental health is a higher priority now, in my humble opinion.

So, I have a weird expression, but this was a photo to send to Elizabeth, who quit teaching this summer. She is moving on to other things. It’s happening all over the country and it’s gonna be a problem.

I timed my makeup and hair routine without rushing and I was actually probably slower. This is my time:

Scary but final results:

Why did I do this? I just wanted to see if it was still about the same. I got rusty this summer!

I made a Kroger order yesterday morning and picked it up right after school.

I have said this before, but I really like having this chore done during the week where it’s not taking up valuable weekend time. If I do need something later, I can easily run in and it’s no big deal. For the big shop, I love a Wednesday or Thursday. I might try doing a Whole Foods/Prime delivery this weekend. I’ve been wanting to try it out and there are a couple of things I can only get there.

A major favorite is that we have been able to have dinner as a family of four! Shakespeare in the Park in the evenings is over, but there is still some daytime work. It’s been so nice. My college kids have a little over one week left at home.

Well…that’s about it!

I hope you had many favorites this week. If you or your kids started school, I am sending positive vibes your way. Give yourself grace and give them grace with this new routine! Go back to my Automatic August post if you missed it and maybe one little thing will help!

Amy

Automatic August

Tuesday, August 9. 2022

I am dubbing this month “Automatic August” and I thought I would share in case this helps anyone else!

As a teacher, August has always been a rude awakening. First of all, it feels like Satan’s armpits outside and I am a cranky hot person.

I go from Summer Amy to School Year Amy and it’s sometimes not pretty. Just ask Tom. He knows that he must walk on egg shells in August as most years I dramatically shout, “I cannot call the electric company for you! I cannot take on one more thing right now! This is August! You know not to bother me in August!”

That being said, I still try to make dinner every night and do the necesary household tasks in August. But, in the summer, I do more because I can. I take on more of the responsibility and let Tom have a bit of a break, plus in the world of commercial construction they are really busy in the summer. So, gentle reminder to Tom that this shift is getting ready to happen. He has been with me for 25 of my teaching years so he should know this, right?

At the end of last summer, I really thought about my mental health and made a self-care syllabus for myself.

This summer, I tried to think about what I could make “automatic”, thus I am dubbing this Automatic August.

I started working full time yesterday and my kids are still home from college until August 21. So, my routine will be one thing for awhile and then I will need to tweak it again when the nest is empty, I’m sure.

What in your life can you make “automatic”? If you still have K-12 kids, you have much more to worry about than I do! I firmly believe that kids and families need routines that are just automatic. The Lazy Genius podcast has given me several good ideas and one of them is her Decide Once principle. Decision fatigue is a thing. We make so many decisions in any given day. What can you decide once and then just go with?

Meal prep is something that helps me to automate. I made 10 faux Egg McMuffins on Saturday and put them in the freezer. I will grab one each morning. What if I get tired of them? I will probably just make a few breakfast burritos and add those to my stash.

I plan to have one cup of coffee at home and take one to go. I still think it’s important to have my morning quiet time before my day gets busy.

I plan to do my nails every Sunday night – because I like to have nicer looking nails and it’s something for me.

I plan to rotate through my dresses and skirts at the start of the year. I will wear one and then move the next one up in rotation.

My blogging is automated to some degree with Hello Monday, Friday Favorites, usually Fashion Files on Thursday.

Grocery pick up is another automatic. I like to do a Wednesday or Thursday pick up these days to be stocked for the weekend and to take a weekend chore off my plate.

Amazon Subscribe and Save can be a way to automate your life. You know you will order it/use it with certain things, so why not make that automatic?

Meal planning/dinners are a really easy thing to automate. Do what works for your family.

Example:

Monday could always be clean out fridge from the weekend, sandwiches, breakfast for dinner, or pasta – just do what would make Mondays easier for you

Tuesday can always be Mexican or tacos

Wednesday can always be grill night

Thursday can be take out because you have a late lesson or sports practice

Friday can be pizza

I have a single mom friend who did “Eat the Alphabet” with her girls on the weekends. They either got take out or went to restaurants around town that started with each letter of the alphabet and had so much fun finding and going to new places.

If you have older kids, ask them what they think should be automatic in your household.

What do you make automatic in your life? What tips or hacks do you have to share?

I will be back here Friday for Friday Favorites – no posts for the next two days as I welcome students back to class and get my ducks in some sort of a row!

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, August 8, 2022

Well, not to be dramatic, but as you are reading this I am back to being a full time workin’ gal. I leave for work at 6:45 and return home between 2:45-4, depending on after school meetings. So, it’s not too bad, but it will be rude awakening!

I am happy to link up with Holly and Sarah today where we share our weekend happenings!

Note: I will only be blogging three times this week (unless I get a wild hair) and I may be a bit slower to respond to comments! Please be patient with me.

I don’t even want to know how much Mason has spent at the Froggy’s popcorn truck this summer. There are 2-3 food trucks every night at Shakespeare in the park, but the popcorn truck is there nightly. We share a love of popcorn! I thought this was super sweet that he brought home beer cheese and pretzels popcorn for Tom Thursday night and left it for Tom to find Friday morning.

Friday was my last weekday off – weekdays off just have a different feel to them, you know? I decided to just do me and that started with a super lazy morning of blog reading and piddling. Then, I went to check out the new Aerie and Offline at my nearby outdoor mall.

Um, yeah, no. There was nothing that interested me. I think when the fall and winter stuff comes out there will be some items that I could wear. I absolutely love everything I have ever gotten from Aerie. I have a pair of Sunday shorts that are made from sweatshirt material and kinda 70s, a white pullover sweatshirt with collar, a leopard print quarter zip, and a few pairs of joggers and leggings. I know I am not in their demographic, but their quality and soft material factor are superb in my book. Lulu who?

I came home and made a healthy lunch at home – trying to get back on track with tracking. I did really well with only eating at home last week, by the way. I only went out to eat Friday night.

Friday afternoon was hair day!

My friend Heather had just sent her University of Georgia sophomore back to campus to participate in rush activities and her hub and son were off on an overnight trip so I asked her if she wanted me to entertain her.

We went to Steak and Bourbon (her pick) and decided to sit on the patio. The inside was hopping and noisy!

I love these neon signs that so many places have now!

We did not order steak or bourbon! Can you even believe that?

We did order spinach and artichoke dip – you can’t take the 90s out of the girl, you know?

We were talking about how in college and right after college we thought Applebee’s was the height of fine dining and we always got their spinach and artichoke pizza. Anyone else?

Heather and I call ourselves “flavatwins” because we seriously always pick the same things on a menu. It’s weird.

We got truffle fries, too!

And, we both had a glass of red wine from Lodi, California. Their reds are so good.

We were going to order a salad to share, but we were so full, so it was just appetizers for us.

A really cool surprise – I asked our waiter if my former student was bartending and he was and he came out and talked to us for quite awhile and then we found out he paid for our dip! How sweet!

Then, we strolled around the area where the restaurant is located to let our food digest and then we decided that ice cream would also help our food digest.

Two of my students who are brothers served us at The Comfy Cow! One has already graduated and the other will be in one of my classes this year.

We had a fun girls night out and Tom was happy to have a bros night with Ernie.

Saturday morning I had my coffee on the patio – my little plant head is doing really well and I moved her to my table.

After my coffee and some reading, I decided to start my first meal prep sesh of the year. I wanted to keep breakfast really simple and easy to eat to start the year so I made 10 faux egg mcmuffins.

These are 4 WW points for me.

I tried a new way to do my eggs – I mixed 8 eggs with a little bit of Egg Beaters I had left and 2 T. of water, salt and pepper and then baked them in my small cookie sheet at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Tom told me I should make the eggs round but I wish I had just done squares because I was dealing with scraps for the last few sandwiches.

I am keeping these in the freezer and I wrapped them in plastic wrap, then foil, then put them in a big plastic bag. I will take one out per morning and then heat in my classroom microwave about an hour later wrapped in a paper towel for about 20 – 30 seconds.

For Saturday breakfast, I sauteed up some mushrooms, onions, and frozen spinach and topped that with two scrambled eggs. I didn’t want to waste one of my egg mcmuffins!

I didn’t want to brave Costco on a Saturday, but I decided it was important to get it done. This trip was solely focused on easy dinners for the next two weeks and foods for me – as well as some chips for my kids. I arrived right at opening time and it wasn’t too bad.

Jennifer vouched for these and she didn’t steer me wrong. I am super picky about protein bars. Most are just plain nasty. I loved the cookie dough and haven’t tried the brownie yet. I plan to try heating it up slightly in the microwave. Thanks, Jennifer! These are 4 WW points for me, so not bad.

I also took a chance on these and OMG! I have already tried the dark chocolate sea salt and the chocolate peanut butter and they remind me of a Rice Krispies treat. These are 3 WW points, which is really good.

I picked up this new to me product – already cooked chicken schwarma – for an easy dinner. I plan to serve it with some vegetables and salad.

For lunch Saturday I made a really delicious taco salad. I mixed cauliflower rice (already cooked) with black beans, Laura’s Lean ground beef taco meat, salsa verde, taco sauce, lettuce, tomato, and a little bit of shredded cheese and about 5 Doritos. Yum! I will be making this again!

Then, it was off to see Bullet Train. It was pretty good, but super violent. I think I’m an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) so that really bothers me. I really think HSP is a thing, but 75% of my family thinks I’m being dramatic. What do you think? I also enjoy saying “I’m an HSP!” to annoy them.

I have a love/hate relationships with afternoon movies. I prefer going in the afternoon, but at the same time, I feel like it takes up the whole day. We got home and there was a nice breeze and the temp had cooled off so I sat out and read for awhile and put Tom in charge of the pizza ordering for dinner.


We ate pizza and watched a show (Jack was home with us) and then Jack went to Mason’s play and I got super sleepy. I put myself to bed before they got home.

Sunday morning I was up early since I had gone to bed when the small hand was on the 10.

A little more meal prep for the week…

And, I knew I needed to do some school work to feel ready for the week so I did.

And, then it was time for Sunday Funday! Look at that sky!

Do not look at the color of the water after all the rain and storms we’ve had. Tom called it Willy Wonka’s river. Yuck!

We went to lunch with Heather and Eric at a little place called Cunningham’s and I ordered a grilled fish sandwich and it was really good. I never get to see Heather twice in one weekend!

Then, we hung out for a couple of hours in the cove and talked.

I did my Kroger pick up on the way home. I had already done one earlier in the week, but I needed a few more things to help make the week run as smoothly as possible.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Also, I need your help! Please leave me a comment if you have blog ideas. What do you want to read about? What are your favorite topics? What’s on your mind?

Thank you so much! And, thanks for reading! You are my favorite hobby! Remember that my posting won’t be as regular this week and I will try my best to keep up with the comments!

Amy

Friday Faves

Friday, August 5, 2022

Happy Friday! I am happy to link up with the girls here!

First of all, if you read my Primary Bath update here, I neglected to mention that we do have overhead lighting as well as the backlit mirrors.

And, we have a dimmer switch. I love dimmer switches, don’t you?

So, let’s go in order of this week. Monday the favorite was getting 6 PD hours (we need to get 12 on our own), but y’all it was painful. We were at our professional soccer stadium in a bar area (the bar was closed, unfortunately) and most people had to sit at high top tables with tall chairs. I saw the writing on the wall and picked a lower folding chair and I made the right call. Also, our principal said we needed to wear masks. I know he is doing what he is told, but seriously? I just want it to be our choice.

Just notice the look of despair in my eyes:

It was really bad. Some educational consultant talked to us for the entire time. He owns his own educational consulting company and has been a teacher and a principal, but I would say it was in the 80s. I really can’t tell you anything I learned and I promise you I did try to learn, but it was nice to see my colleagues! Oh, and at the end of the 6 hours, they did open the bar and I stayed for a bit longer.

I came home drained and needed Netflix. Purple Hearts was actually pretty good. Anyone else watched this?

I also decided to go ahead and do some apple decor on my mantel. I usually do this in September and then add in touches of fall. Everything is old; I didn’t purchase a single thing!

Tuesday was classroom set up day. Our district gives us an extra day of pay to do this and we can pick whatever day we want. I decided to bite the bullet and do this the next day so I could have most of the rest of the week free.

Where the magic happens:

I cooked a lot this week after eating out so much last week.

Have you ever made alfredo sauce? It is seriously so easy. I melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and then add about a cup of heavy cream and let that cook for a bit. I add in garlic powder, cajun seasoning, and pepper. I don’t really need salt because my butter is salted and the cajun is salty. Tom likes angel hair so I use that and I used my already grilled chicken strips from Costco. I had something different (I can’t even remember now what I had) but this is what the fam had.

Wednesday I had my faux Chick Fil A Boca chicken patty on a Keto bun with a touch of mayo and lots of pickles. I had Baked Lay’s. What a good lunch!

On another day, I took the Costo Bare nuggets (which are really not bad nutrionally speaking) and added some buffalo sauce, homemade light ranch, and celery for dinner one night.

And, I had planned this a few weeks ago… I had a small get together with my graduated seniors from the class of 2022 to say goodbye before leaving for college.

I will really miss these faces!

I made it to the gym two mornings this week. I haven’t decided if I will give myself a week off when school starts or just start going at 5:00 a.m. right away.

I didn’t buy anything, but I did check out our new donut shop!

I had a sweet Facebook memory pop up. I think this was Hilton Head.

Today as you are reading this, I am having hair day! Yay!

What were your favorites this week? I hope you had many!

Check out Hello Monday here, Prime Purchases here, Primary Bath Update here, and A Hair Dare here if you missed any posts this week.

Thanks for visiting me,

Amy

A Hair Dare

Thursday, August 4, 2022

This post came to me because of Jen, Jennifer, and The Dollar Tree! Weird, right? Stay with me and I am going to issue a challenge at the end!

First of all…I need a fresh highlight which is coming soon.

Now, I cannot stress enough how I always wash my hair at night so I am not dealing with wet hair in the morning or whenever I fix my hair. I can’t with the super hot blow dryer situation.

I really like to wash my hair every night because I just sleep so much better with slightly damp hair and just that super clean feeling. But, I do try to wash every other night if I can.

First day hair:

I am going to try to wear my hair straighter, but I just like a little bit of wave/curl. I just can’t get the right facial expression so no judgement.

Headbands are great for second (or third, fourth, etc.) day hair because I think you want your hair a little flatter and the headband can help disguise the not so squeaky clean hair.

Jen took a leap and posted a photo of her straw headband and I believe this was the first time she has worn one as an adult. She looked great! Just like I said I’m not a hat person – anyone who wears a hat is now a hat person. Jen is now a headband person!

Here is my collection. The knot at the top has been in style for a few years and I think it adds a bit of modern vibe to a headband. I have some old ones without the knot that don’t really do it for me. The bottom one is from The Dollar Tree a year or so ago!

As all teachers do, I was shopping at The Dollar Tree for some stuff for school. They had an abundance of interesting hair doo dads!

Look at the sweaterish ones at the top of the photo! Look at the cute tie-dye one at the bottom. What the heck? For only $1.25 I can take a chance on these. I thought the sweaterish ones would look great with a simple sweatshirt or sweater in the winter and the tie-dye one I can try now.

Pleather/fabric scrunchies and the cute little tie back ones were also finds at The Dollar Tree on the same trip!

And, I’m a sucker for a summer fruit accessory, you know? I don’t think these look that great on me, but I couldn’t leave them.

Have you tried the banana clip recently? I wore these to school all the time in the 90s for my teacher hair. Get you some bobby pins. Get you some little barrettes.

Jennifer mentioned in her blog that she never wears her hair in a ponytail to leave the house, but she looks so cute! The heat forced her to try it!

The scrunchie looks cute on your wrist, too!

I actually think this “twist” looks better when my hair is shorter. Just take a really small piece of hair and twist and then secure with a bobby pin.

Here’s my challenge to you – try something new in your hair this week. It’s the perfect time because it’s summer! If you are a blogger, show us the photo!

Amy

Primary Bathroom Update

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

I thought I would do a primary bathroom update today after living with it for almost 4 months.

We had a tiny bathroom attached to our old primary bedroom that was “Tom’s” for almost 22 years. We had a hall bathroom that I shared with the kids because it was bigger and it was “my” bathroom before kids. About 10 years ago, we did our basement with drywall instead of paneling, new carpet, new built in cabinets, and then added a third bathroom to our house. It was the nicest bathroom in the house but it was inconvenient because it was far from our bedroom. When our kids became teens, that became Jack’s bathroom and Mason and I continued to share the hall bath.

Right after completion of the primary, we demo’ed the hall bath so we have only had one upstairs bathroom this summer. It seems that Tom, Mason, and I are sharing the new primary for some strange reason and Jack still gets the basement bath to himself. Our goal is to have the new hall bath completed by winter break, but it has been fine for this summer.

We had the hardest time finding a vanity. We ended up with this from Home Depot. We just didn’t want to spend what many places were charging for vanities. Tom’s sink is on the left and mine is on the right. Our walls are painted with Sherwin Williams Egret White.

Tom had the idea to do back lit mirrors. The mirrors have a few different lighting settings and they also have a defrost setting. He found them on Amazon. Tom hates my “grandma shower cap” that you can see in the mirror, but I love a shower cap and I have to let it dry! Ha! I hate his blue plastic cup, so we all have our crosses to bear. Could I have moved these for my photos? Of course, but it wouldn’t have been on brand for my amateur blog.

I did three “bouquets” of fresh eucalyptus. I love that when the bathroom gets steamed up a little that you can smell it.

I have been the only one to use the bathtub and I think I have taken maybe 3 baths? I think I will be more of a bath person in the winter.

I absolutely love the bath tray and sponge that Elizabeth gave me for my 50th birthday. She is a really good gift giver. I picked the candle out at Target. Tom thought it was a bathtub charcuterie tray and I think he’s on to something. Who wouldn’t want to eat meat and cheese while relaxing in a tub?

I really hate the look of our products, but what are you going to do? I thought I might decant into some nicer looking bottles but I haven’t yet. And, you aren’t going to decant shaving cream and you still have the stuff you use like razors and sinus rinse. Oh well.

Tom has an aversion to messing up the walls too much. I like the freestanding toilet paper roll holder. I found it at Target and it was the exact wooden/black metal vibe I wanted. The little trashcan is super small, but I found it on Amazon. It was one of those I didn’t really understand the dimensions and then just kept it.

The grey rugs are from the old hall bath. I like the fuzzy texture and just haven’t replaced them. They look fine.

This was Tom’s old towel basket from his old bathroom. I love the towels I picked from Costco. One of my readers suggested Costco for towels – duh! I don’t know why I didn’t look there first. And, another reader suggested going with two different colors, so I picked a super light grey and a dark grey.

I’m not gonna lie; I’m pretty proud of the photos I took myself, printed at Walgreen’s, and framed myself with Target frames. Tom is still saying they should be in color, but I wanted black and white. This is all we have on the walls right now and we might only have these on the walls.

We didn’t really have room for a towel bar, and again, Tom doesn’t love messing up walls too much. Erica suggested hooks and I shared that idea with Tom and he actually approved! Tom is very picky about design fixtures if you haven’t guessed. He has worked in commercial construction with some upscale home consruction thrown in there and he likes what he likes.

The shower tile that looks like wood was Tom’s idea and the floor tile was his idea. It has a bit of a linen texture to it.

He did let me do the paint color decision and the little design details.

I got the little stool at Aldi and the plant at Trader Joe’s. I would like more plants, but I also like minimalism so it’s a struggle.

I found the rug on Amazon and I love it. It adds a bit of color to the bathroom.

A better idea of the backlit mirrors:

I really love everything we picked out for the bathroom and I’m still pinching myself that I have a bathroom like this after 22 years in this house and the horrible bathroom I had before.

Now, I am excited to get this one done. Thank goodness I have a door so I don’t have to look at this when I walk by. I absolutely hate the disruption of renovation. I hate the mess, I hate the noise, I hate having the workers in my space (although I am very thankful for them, too!), I hate paying for all of it – but, I am happy that we can upgrade our spaces. I think renovation really tests a marriage! Have you been through this?

Anyway, stay tuned…but don’t get too anxious, because you know how slowly we work around here.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my bathroom again and my thoughts on it after living with it for a bit.

Amy

Prime Purchases

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

It’s time for another edition of Prime Purchases with Tanya! Thank you so much for providing this fun link up. It’s good for me, but probably not for my pocketbook. I almost always add to cart while reading this link up. But, I do generally have about a 72 hour waiting period to make sure I really NEED the item!

Some of these items you may have seen before as Friday Favorites, but here is almost everything I purchased in July. Also, I think it’s good to put things to the test before you put your stamp of approval on them! Ha!

I really like my new wet brush. This seems to get my tangles out really well without using any type of detangler spray.

I love the look of this headband, but it’s quite big and stretchy. I have worn it once and it stayed on, though. If you have a big head, you could probably also wear this. It is muy stretchy. I like to wear a headband on second day hair.

I really like these straws for my protein shakes and cocktails.

I needed thicker socks for my tennis shoes.

I freaking love my new purse strap. I am using it with my brown and my cream bags. I think it’s so cute.

My fedora flew off on the boat so I replaced it with a slightly darker one here.

I bought the Diva air fresheners just like the detergent! Remember they aren’t just for cars – closets, mudrooms, classrooms, hiding somewhere in your living room – they really can be hung anywhere.

I needed to restock the detergent, too. It lasts forever. I know it seems very extravagant, but with just a capful per load with your regular detergent, you only need to purchase a few times a year.

And, I re-purchased my multivitamin and my vitamin D.

And, that’s about it for July!

What have you purchased lately? Be sure to read the other posts, because you wil get so many ideas!

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, August 1, 2022

Well…something weird happened to my post so I am quickly trying to re-type everything!

As you read this, I am going to be sitting in a 6 hour professional development. It’s at our professional soccer stadium so they can call it a retreat. I live right by my school. Anyway, I am excited to see more of the stadium!

Thursday night I went out for tapas with my friend Heather and her college daughter Katelyn at our nearby Mojito.

We had mojitos!

Friday was a really fun pool day with Erica and Elizabeth!

We ordered something called “pizza bones” that were delicious. I didn’t know pizza had bones.

Dinner was just Fresh Market sushi after the pool.

I finally finished this and started…

this…

Saturday morning was chocolate chip pancakes for the college kids!

Tom and I had planned to boat but the river was high and full of debris from all of the rain, so we went to the NULU district to look around and…

I wanted him to try the Venezuelan food I had had with Johnna.

I watched a cute but very rated R movie with Miles Teller from Top Gun Maverick on Prime when we got home.

Saturday night Tom and I had dinner at the bar at Captain’s Quarters because a band we liked was playing…

we tried the hot brown pizza…

Sunday was a rainy morning so I read on the patio…

I did a fun pedicure!

I had a Target return and looked around. It is a mess and very empty because an employee told me they are downsizing – what????

And, that’s about it!

What was the highlight of yours?

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, July 29, 2022

I swear that I keep typing these dates on each blog post with my jaw hanging open. Time has just flown; I know I am a broken record. Wait – what is the modern term for that – “a buffering streaming platform”?

Anyway, it’s link up day with the ladies here!

I found these plates for Shark Week at Target. We aren’t really into shark week, but it did get a laugh out of my college kids and I will do anything for a laugh from them. When you make teens laugh, you are winning!

We had a lot of rain this week. I had a nice rainy morning on the patio Monday.

I even worked on my blog posts on the patio.

Tom took off this week. He had some vacation days to use and I think he needed a break. He was off a week for Covid but he really wasn’t himself. I think it has been a struggle for him with fatigue since he went back to work. He also lost 6 pounds when he was sick. This week he has been working out a lot and doing all the little fix it jobs around the house. He is also working on our new hall bath and getting sub contractors scheduled.

He is also up for whatever I want to do, which is really sweet.

We visited a plant shop called Forage!

And, I wanted him to pick out our next plant baby. He picked this:

She (as the shop lady called her) is now living in our bedroom. The shop lady also told us, “She’s a thirsty girl”. It made us chuckle.

After the plant store, Tom got to go to Big Bad Breakfast for the first time.

He got a burrito and I got an omelette.

Tuesday night was a favorite because we all got to eat dinner together finally. I made salmon, broccoli, little red potatoes, and Sister Schubert’s rolls.

I noticed my nail color matched Tom’s shirt – lol!

I told Tom I “needed” to go to TJ Maxx on Wednesday to get more skinny coffee syrup and he said “let’s go”. I told him I would only let him go if he didn’t judge my shopping. I would give him a B+.

I picked up more meal prep containers. I also like to use these to give people things and I never want them back.

We went chair idea shopping. I have wanted a reading chair in the corner of the bedroom. This was our favorite, but we would do it in fabric.

We took Ernie swimming and visited the marine shop, Marine Sales and Service. The dog River works the counter. She is hilarious and keeps touching you with her paw. She is better at customer service than some of the sales people we encountered at other shops!

Tom hung my photos! He was concerned about not putting holes in the wall and not hurting the wall so we used the Command strips and we are hoping they hold up.

Also, a big shout out to Tom for being so handy. My check engine light came on and Tom was able to troubleshoot it for me. Our freezer didn’t seem cold enough to me and Tom replaced the fan himself for only $10. He saves us so much money by being able to fix things. Or, by being willing to watch a Youtube video and learn!

Wednesday night there is usually a sailboat race on the river if there is enough wind. We headed by car to Captain’s Quarters:

So pretty!

Then, we saw some people we knew and talked to them for a bit. I had a Kentucky lemonade, which is lemonade and bourbon usually.

As the sun was starting to go down…

Now the big reveal…I bought salted caramel again and yes, I did it – I went ahead and bought pumpkin spice, but I promise I won’t break it open until Starbuck’s makes their first one, ok? Isn’t that the end of August now? Ha!

I re-stocked on Diva. This will be my third small bottle. I add a capful along with my laundry pod.

And, I believe this was Andrea’s and Tanya’s rec to buy the auto air freshener but to not necessarily hang them in your car. I have one hanging in the laundry room and I think I will take one to my classroom. The kids demand a good smelling classroom! They always comment on how it smells these days. I can’t imagine me loudly commenting, “Boy, your room smells of coffee, cigarette smoke, and abandoned dreams!” in the 80s. Can you?

I have been making breakfast “bowls” this week. Just when you thought I couldn’t make another type of “bowl”. I did frozen roasted veg, some diced hashbrowns, and then topped it with two scrambled eggs.

I had a Kroger pick up this week and they gave me a bag of freebies again. I get these every few months. Score! Free stuff! I’ve been wanting to try Liquid IV!

This has taken me forever to read, but it’s not for lack of enjoying it. I am close to the end. It’s not the book, it’s me.

The feminisim/women’s rights topics that are part of this book are really hitting home to me. Have we come very far since the 60s when this book was set? Even in my career field of education, women have to be careful. If we are too outspoken, we are perceived as female dogs. If we complain, we can be seen as whiney and emotional. If a man speaks out or complains, he is just being a man. I have had bosses who treat men and women differently. Now, I am by no means saying I have had it the worst of any sector of the population, but I think gender inequality still exists. What do you think? Have we come very far?

So, my favorites this week were rain, quality time with Tom, dinner with the whole family, and more.

What were yours? I hope you had many!

Amy

Monthly Musings – Back to School Prep

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Well…we have to start talking about it…back to school. While I don’t have K-12 aged school children anymore, I hope to share some nuggets of wisdom from that stage of life. I also will talk about how I personally get ready for back to school.

Linking up here for Monthly Musings…

First of all, I want to give you permission to do you and your family the way that makes sense for you. Get rid of the “shoulds” that society throws at you. Ok?

And, please remember this:

First of all…a little background if you are new around here or if you just have low reading comprehension skills (just a little eduspeak joke! don’t get mad!)

I have twins who will be juniors in college this fall and I am entering my 29th year of teaching high school Spanish.

And, these are simply my opinions but I hope they help someone out there.

Please do not give teachers a first day of school present. It’s just not necessary. It also might make someone who doesn’t give a gift feel bad. I feel like this is a newish trend? Also, the teacher has so much going on, so many piles of things, so much to pass out, etc., that they may not have a place for it. Let’s just not do this.

Also, I am really turned off by the Amazon wish lists. Is this a sad state of education in our country that teachers are begging for supplies? Yes, it is. And, I’m afraid this will only perpetuate the problem. I just found out that each teacher in my district is getting a $250 Amazon gift card. How awesome is that? So, what is the solution for the teachers making Amazon wish lists? I don’t know. I know the intention of the influencers is only good, but do you see what I am saying?

Your attitude as a parent drives the attitude of your children. Learning should be and is fun! Schools do so much for your kids and society in general. People get in to education for the right reasons for the most part. Little pitchers have big ears; do not let your children hear you speak negatively about their teachers and their school.

Make school supply shopping a fun outing. If you aren’t into it, that’s ok. Ask a grandparent to start a tradition. Ask a childless aunt. If they are restricted at school with certain notebook colors, get a couple of fun things for homework. Create a homework station. What can you do to get your kids excited?

I am not a big fan of homework. Our kids spend 8 hours in school and if done right, they should be spending their after school time in nature and getting exercise. Homework starts so early these days and I feel like a lot of teachers think that more homework is better and proves their worth. My kids needed to play on the playground behind the school and have a snack before they could do any homework. Do what works for you. Maybe the next morning is better? Maybe after dinner is better? Again, get rid of the “shoulds”.

As soon as mine were old enough, they checked off the items on their own lists. We always had fun picking out supplies. I realize I was fortunate and had the money to not worry about these purchases.

Always go to any event the school has for you and your child. Those open houses, orientations, etc. are all so helpful in getting your child and you ready. It is even important at the high school level. Don’t you want to put a face with the name that you will hear about after school? I can’t believe the lack of attendance at the high school level.

I took myself back to school shopping this week. I just bought my favorite pens which were only slightly on sale. I love a pen that clicks. Homey don’t have time for lids, you know? I love the Sharpie S-Gel pen. I bought two notebooks for examples of my journal I do in my class and some looseleaf paper. My school has a supply closet and they are really good about stocking the things teachers need.

I order some stickers with my own money and I go to the Dollar Tree for some candy. I also like to buy band-aids that have funny things on them, lotion, and then my school provides Kleenex and hand sanitizer. When we have food days, the kids are asked to bring in one roll of paper towels, a pack of napkins, a trash bag, etc. so I have a good stock of stuff like that from last year. We aren’t allowed to give grades or points for buying things so this was just an “ask” and they are happy to do this.

My kids had uniforms from K-8 and we tried to buy hand me downs from the used uniform sale, from older twins (we had neighbors with twins about 3 years older!), and then from Target, Old Navy, or the uniform store in town. I loved uniforms! I heard a great tip – even if your school doesn’t have a uniform, you can make your own – polo shirts and shorts or whatever you like that fits the dress code. Love that!

Erica wants to share meals with me again so we will do the same thing we did last year. I plan to make 5 breakfasts on Sunday, too. I will do faux egg mcmuffins, breakfast burritos, breakfast casserole and sausage, or breakfast bowls. I will keep it really simple the first week and do the egg mcmuffins I think.

For lunches, I also will do a bit of prep on Sunday, but I plan to do more like Erica did and repeat whatever dinners Tom and I have for my lunch the next day.

And, for dinners, I plan to keep it really simple in August and rely on some freezer staples.

I always organized whatever current school supplies we had before shopping for new. By about 3rd grade, I thought, “How many pairs of tiny scissors will I buy?” that’s when I realized that many things can be recycled. Duh! I get that it’s nice to start the school year with new stuff and sometimes it’s ok.

Last year, I wrote a self-care syllabus for myself and I did pretty well with it!

I like to have a new dress to wear on the first day of school, but this year I hope I can be satisfied with a dress I already have. I have several to choose from this year.

I need a new teacher tote. Any suggestions? I have a couple of ideas.

It’s sad that I don’t have to do back to school for my kids anymore, but it’s also kind of a feeling of freedom after so many years of suppy shopping, paperwork to fill out (the worst!), etc.

Amy