Friday Favorites

Friday, March 5, 2021

Happy Friday! Today is my boys’ one day spring break for their college! Ha! Due to
Covid, many colleges are packing in each semester more tightly. They are discouraging travel this way. They have the weekend, too, of course! I am happy today to link up with Andrea and many more here for the most fun link up of the week.

This was a busy week and it went by quickly. We had lots of sunshine. Tuesday I met my friend Victoria at Red Hog. I’m becoming a regular! This time I tried the drink Elizabeth had – yum – and…

we had the fries again and the feta with lavash but I forgot a picture and…

we split this German grapefruit beer after our cocktails. It is so good and I first tried it in Germany five years ago!

The patio is empty at 4:00 but then it fills up by the time we are done. I would say we have perfect timing.

We will have a couple of days to get ready for our in person return but we were supposed to go in and do our arrangement and measure our 6 feet apart. It’s close but not totally do-able for half of our roster.

Also, I got my second vaccine.

After working in my classroom, my co-worker Erica and I had a late lunch at Wild Eggs.

It was so sunny and nice to sit outside! I went home and worked some more and then I sat outside and read.

I picked up a new stack of library books and will do a book post soon!

Today our businesses can go up to a 60% capacity from 50% capacity.

The river is really high from all of the rain we got last weekend so many businesses and homes had to pack up temporarily.

So, my highlights this week were time in the sun and time with friends! I think I said that last week, too, but honestly those will always be my favorites!

How about you? Are you starting to see the sun again? I mean that both literally and figuratively!

Amy

Mexican at Home

Thursday, March 4, 2021

I had mentioned I might not post today but I decided to post, after all. Maybe you need a weekend meal idea? Or, you can use one of these for next Taco Tuesday!

Who doesn’t love Mexican food?

Here are the things I typically make:

quesadillas

burrito bowls

tacos

taco salad

enchiladas

Mexican lasagna

I find Mexican food so easy to make and I think it’s great for families with young kids because you can offer them some choice. You can serve it as a “bar”.

If you are a member of Costco, they have a street taco kit. I noticed my Kroger has this sometimes, too. You could buy that or just make your own kit?

One thing you can do to make this meal more special for a weekend is to pick up the restaurant chips and queso. That’s the best part anyway! Lol!

If you make Mexican at home, don’t forget to make my favorite margarita I have ever had in my life (Spanish teacher talking here so it’s kind of a prerequisite for my job). Here is my recipe.

Last week, I made Mexican potatoes and I thought I would share here. I do need to give credit to Isabel’s Eats blog.

1.5 lbs petite red potatoes, washed, and cut into quarters

2 T. olive oil

1.5 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder (I only had normal)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. coriander (I didn’t have this)

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I didn’t have any so I just used the powdered stuff)

4 T. chopped cilantro (I left this out)

Don’t you love how I don’t follow recipes!

Preheat oven to 400

Combine all spices and oil in a big bowl and toss potatoes together with everything until all coated.

Transfer to baking sheet and try to make sure spread out and nothing touching.

Bake for 20 minutes, flip, bake for another 20.

I have also done this with olive oil and a taco seasoning packet. Don’t kill me because that would be a heck of a lot quicker, right?

Think about what you typically order in a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant and look up a recipe; I bet it is fairly easy to make!

Buen provecho!

Amy

Currently and What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

I am joining in with two fun link ups today! Currently with Anne in Residence is the first and The Style Six with Kellyann from This Blonde’s Shopping Bag and more is the second!

Currently…

Loving

I am loving being able to sit outside again. I have figured out there is a strong correlation between how much I read and how much I am outside!

Sharing

Yesterday I shared my recent Prime Purchases with a fun link up. What would we do without Amazon? I am still trying to frequent my locally owned shops, but Amazon is amazing!

This is a great color and formula!

Remembering

My brother in law sent me some Lake Michigan photos from a couple of years ago. Having twins is such a cool experience. Here they were walking and lost in conversation.

And, friend sent this photo with her son in the middle of my two. This was the last year we played baseball.

I was looking through old photos and found this of Tom and I in the river before we were married. It looks like Tom is sans trunks but I assure you he is not! We had a group of friends and would get on Tom’s brother in law’s boat most Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It was so much fun.

Reading

This has made me want to read again! I had a rough go of books in January and most of February – just not finding anything to hold my attention. I didn’t want anything too sad or deep but I wanted well written. That is sometimes hard to find!

Love this so far!

Wishlisting

I am making some strategic spring and summer fashion purchases. I would like some new shorts and need them badly. I sleep in black tank tops and soft shorts year round.

I have been so impressed with American Eagle and Aerie and I’m wondering about these Sunday shorts.

Wearing Lately and Spring Purchases

I wore this sleeveless black tassel blouse with a kimono one day to teach last week. I only wear this blouse with this kimono but I love it together. You can’t see the red and blue tassels in this photo.

I tried a middle part (not exactly middle) because of the side part meme going around! First of all, my hair doesn’t want to go in the middle and second of all I think it calls attention to my nose.

My scarf is messsed up but this is what I wore Saturday for some errands.

And, Sunday I wore my new blouse, my yellow short Hunters, leggings, and a rain jacket.

Here is my new blouse. It’s another Savanna Jane from my local boutique.

Sunday, my husband, one son and I went to the outdoor mall. I hit the mother lode at Chico’s. I had been wanting to go in because of Kellyann and Lisa and because I know the quality is great. I had pants from them that lasted forever. They had a final sale section and I seriously got each of these items for either 5.98, 9.98, or 14.98. I did try everything on because of no returns on final sale items.

My goals have been to buy smarter. I am trying to get away from fast fashion. I know I will not always avoid the siren song of Target (especially Universal Thread and Knox Rose!) and Old Navy, but I am trying to buy more quality and more items I love and don’t just like.

I chose to get this lilac feminine blouse because I don’t have anything like it. I was thinking this would be cute with white jeans or a skirt.

I was just thinking I need basics to go under my kimonos and this is a nice thick material so I got it.

I know this sounds silly but I have been thinking about adding more things with white to work with my white booties. I also love this ombre/tie-dye effect so I got this ruana/kimono. Sometimes you need to size down in kimonos and ruanas if you don’t want them too voluminous.

I have a swing dress that will work perfectly with it, too!

This white gauzy skirt I thought would be nice. I used to have a similar one but I think it got stained or started looking too old and I had to say good-bye.

And, finally, I have been needing going out tops. I love this kind of poncho silhouette and…

it is silky and has a banded bottom.

So, that entire haul was $59, which is what I would be willing to pay for one top if I loved it. I usually caution myself and others about shopping the sales rack because I know for me it has often been a trap. I get caught up in the prices and just buy things because they are cheap. I also want to say that I have a wide variety of sizes in this haul. Try things on and achieve the fit you want regardless of the size on the tag.

I will style some of these items soon, I promise!

What are you up to… currently?

What have you been wearing or buying?

Amy

P.S. – I may not post tomorrow!

February Prime Purchases

March 2, 2021

Here are my Prime Purchases for last month. I am linking up with Tanya right here!

I love, love, love this product and do not want to live without it. I found this 3 pack on Amazon. While looking at the label, I noticed it not only helps with fresh smell and wrinkles, but also with static!

I started getting worried about my Revlon goldpearl plum running out and I found it at a great price – less than $5. It is a great color! I don’t think this photo does the color justice.

I also ordered this in Peony Pink because it was recommended by Kristy Wicks who is an Instagram influencer and blogger. It is also a great color! It is more pink, obviously, and perfect for spring. This one was a little more expensive at around $6. Ha!

I know, I know – not many people will be seeing our lips, right?

These are really great leggings! They are 7/8, have an interesting ankle design, and have pockets. I love the material and I am super happy with these reasonably priced (under $20) leggings on a recommendation from Jen from Show Me and Sweet Tea.

And, I mentioned I am thinking about Easter baskets already. I ordered Luke’s Diner shirts for both of my boys. I think they will get a kick out of it. They wear t-shirts every day – under things usually and they like kitschy t-shirts. Since these haven’t arrived I can’t speak about the quality/softness.

I think I did pretty well in the month of February!

What have you purchased on Amazon lately?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, March 1, 2021

Happy March! Is it going to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb this year?

February went by so quickly that I cannot even believe it! Linking up today with Tanya, Heather, and many more here!

I have big news… Thursday night after I had already scheduled my Friday Favorites to post our school board voted to go back to in=person learning in our district of almost 100,000 students. Elementary will go first and high school will go last. My high school will be starting on Monday, April 5, which is the Monday after spring break and each student will attend 2 days per week (divided by the alphabet) with Wednesdays being asynchronous. Many schools have been doing this already and in my opinion, it is the safest way to return with half of our 2000 person student body. I am nervous, excited, and a bit worried about how to teach in person under the new guidelines.

Friday night, Tom and I got in on the Friday night fish for Lent. This is half a portion and I am so glad we split.

I started Ginny and Georgia and it is so cute. I have to admit that I did not finish Firefly Lane and I didn’t gush over Bridgerton. This, however, is really well written and pretty good acting. It is not appropriate for young kids or even young teens. There is some content that I think is pretty adult.

Saturday morning I had time with Mason! We walked around on my favorite street,,,

and went to Blue Dog Bakery…

where we ordered vanilla lattes, breakfast sandwiches, and two macaroons.

Mason had lots of homework and an online play rehearsal and Jack had plans with friends but did come home for a bit.

I soaked up every bit of sun on the deck and finished a book and started another. I wore black leggings and my white booties for our little outing.

I am going to do a book review I think, but let’s just say this book was meh. It had potential being set on Nantucket and with food descriptions and three sisters but the characters fell flat and the writing was not great.

This is by the author of Simple Wild and I cannot put it down!

For dinner, it was Tom, Mason, and I. I made Mexican potatoes and an 80s Doritos taco salad. It was good!

I turned on the lights and sat outside for just a bit because it was pretty cold.

Sunday Mason was off with friends but Tom, Jack and I went to the outdoor mall and looked around in the book store and a couple of other shops.

It rained a bunch but then it cleared up and I read outside with my crackle candle and an Irish coffee.

For dinner we ordered Mexican. Oops – I forgot we had Mexican Saturday night, but really, couldn’t you have it every night?

Now, I have 4 more weeks to work at home. I am going to savor it and I know I will miss the outdoor time the most, but we will only have 8 more weeks left of school.

I had a good and relaxing weekend. How was yours? Any highlights?

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, February 26, 2021

Happy last Friday of February!

I am happy to link up today with Andrea, Erika, and many more here!

Look at this forecast! I will even take rain! I like rain!

Tuesday was our best day. I finished teaching and then went outside and read. I had to put on shorts in the direct sun!

I had a fun outing with my French teacher friend Elizabeth this week. We went to the prettiest patio I discovered this year. You may remember I went with Beth in January.

We had fries with curry mayo and

whipped feta and lavash.

We also had their craft cocktails! I was so happy and I really felt some of the funk I have been feeling lift away with the sun and warm temperature.

I let my plants get some Vitamin D while I was out.

I also heard birds chirping and the sounds of kids playing basketball on the playground behind my house. What nice sounds of spring!

One of our empty nest meals was salmon and TikTok pasta from here!

This time I took an entire bulb of garlic and chopped off the end, drizzled in olive oil and roasted it for about 45 min. at 400. I used to do this all the time to spread on bread with goat cheese (my sis in law’s idea) but my cousin Julie said the addition of garlic would be good for the pasta and she was right!

I use the block of feta sparingly and only use about half. It can be overpowering in my opinion.

I got a much needed car wash and enjoyed my quiet time inside the carwash!

I felt like a garden gnome in my red clogs! It was chilly but I wanted to be on the patio!

I made a cocktail one day.

And, I ate tomato soup on the patio for my lunch one day.

My friend Kim recommended this and it is good!

I had a good week and I realized how much I need to be outside. I got some friend time, some outdoor time, some good food and cocktails this week, and had dinners and tv with Tom each night. My mom got her second dose of the vaccine!

What were your favorites this week?

I hope they were plentiful!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Monthly Musings – Spring Fashion Essentials

Thursday, February 25, 2021

I am joining in with a fun link up today! Holly and Patty have a series called Monthly Musings and this month is all about spring fashion – one of my current favorite topics.

I guess I consider spring in my neck of the woods to be the official March 20-mid May-ish. Our temps definitely start feeling like summer even though the official start of summer isn’t until June 20. Some of these questions are hard to answer this year because it will officially be since the spring of 2019 since I have really worn spring clothes! That is mind blowing! I am normally a high school teacher who dresses every day with usually three articles of clothing and accessories and shoes! I became a virtual teacher at the beginning of April so I wore leggings and camera ready tops until the end of the year. There is talk of us going back after spring break this year, but I cannot imagine me dressing up too much while wearing a mask. I will probably try to be as comfortable as possible, but I could be wrong.

What are your spring must have pieces?

I love color! It feels so good to wear more color after my winter wardrobe of black, grey, wine, etc.! I like palazzo pants, swing dresses, kimonos, and flowy blouses. I love tie-dye and camo! Sometimes I forget I need solid color basics. Those aren’t fun to buy! Lol!

What are your spring must have accessories?

I love my new white Madewell tennies from last year. I love a new spring handbag and I purchased the yellow one below. I love fun earrings and bracelets. I think this is the best area to try the trends. Here are spring trends I researched! Here are my January and February purchases. I tried to mostly buy spring!

I hope to wear my white booties as much as I can! You also see my new snakeskin/western-vibe blouse.

How do you transition your wardrobe to spring?

I first like to look at my last season spring stuff and determine what I need to say good-bye to, then I kind of gradually pull the spring stuff forward and put the winter to the back. I have a lot of things I should say good-bye to, but it’s hard. I definitely do a gradual transition because that is what our weather does here in Kentucky! We will have spring one day, winter the next, and this can go on for some time!

What are your favorite colors to wear in spring?

My spring and summer palette is still black and white, but I add in yellow, navy, pink, red, a little bit of blue, and of course multi-colored clothing!

Any spring fashion advice?

Do not buy anything until you have a chance to look at your last year’s stuff.

Weed out anything that looks old, doesn’t fit, or that you wouldn’t buy today.

Look at what is in for spring if you care about following trends.

Think about your lifestyle and what you will be doing in the spring.

Make a list of holes in your closet.

Start looking online or in stores and pick up pieces that are 10/10. Do not settle!

Have a couple of outfits that make you look fabulous and feel fabulous! You really do not need a ton.

Do you change up your makeup in spring?

Not really. Now that I am a Maskcara/Seint makeup user I can blend a bit more bronzer. Seriously, I love this contouring cream makeup system. I think my makeup has never looked better. I am a bit messy with it. My bronzer tin is not pictured. I think the brush is magical (not pictured). I do like cheetah dots all around my face with the different colors and then blend. I did a post on it in the fall, but I have gotten better at it!

Do you change your skincare in spring?

I do more sunscreen, of course. I change to a daily moisturizer with sunscreen or increase my spf in my face lotion.

Do you have a favorite spring scent?

I need one! I am very picky! I did like a Tory Burch one a couple of years ago. I think it was called Loved Relentlessly. I need to go sniff that one and see if I still love it. I bought a couple of sampler perfume sets from Nordstrom last year and I really like a Juliette Has a Gun brand scent. I hate to spend money on perfumes but I really value good smells; I’m weird like that.

Best budget tips for updating your wardrobe?

Quality, not quantity. I am really trying to learn this! Look on Pinterest in addition to the tips I gave above. If you want to wear a white blouse and cut off shorts all spring long, then hunt for the best quality and fit you can afford/find. I have gotten into the trap of buying not quite right things and keeping them and then continuing on the hunt and buying more. It would be much better to wait on an item that is a 10.

Do you think you will be wearing dresses this spring?

I would like to? It will depend on what spring looks like. I think swing dresses and kimonos are great teacher clothes for me. If I am virtual I probably won’t wear them. I would like to have a couple of dresses that make me feel great, are the perfect length, and that I want to wear. Dresses are harder for me to find than skirts and tops.

I bought this dress but I’m not sure I like how it looks on me. I think the print is fabulous! I have a few more days to think about it and I may return it.

I am so anxious to read what everyone else wrote about spring fashion!

I can smell spring in the air!

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday + February Purchases

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

We are close enough to the end of February, right? For my January purchases, click here. Linking up today with The Style Six here!

I did pretty well in February!

My Goals: Stop buying things because they are cheap; I really want to get away from fast fashion for the most part. Think about holes in my closet. Think about spring trends that I want to participate in.

Purchase Number One:

Red Clogs. These were from an Etsy shop and I am really happy with the quality. I have mainly worn them around the house as I love a slip on shoe and I love having some support when I am working from home. I am looking forward to wearing these outside of the house! I did wear them to drive somewhere for a curbside pick up, I think!

I bought this Goyard knock off from Goodnight Macaroon. Yellow is a trend for spring and I thought a yellow handbag would be fun.

I bought these awesome unique ankle leggings from Amazon and I want to wear them every day. But, I will say I am trying to show my other pants some love now. These leggings are true to size with a bit of give in my opinion. They feel like butter. They are meant to be athletic and have pockets but you could wear these with a sweater, too, I think. It is now time to stop buying leggings for a while!

One of the holes in my closet is going out tops. I bought this simple black knit top with a banded bottom and a lace detail at the neck. You can adjust the neck as you would like. Now, let’s hope I go out.

Another hole is dresses. I fell in love with this print. I need to try it on again and see how it looks with different shoes. This is Savanna Jane from my local boutique.

And, this is not a purchase, but I cut off my jeans to make them more of an ankle length; they were pooling at my ankles a bit. I think I will trim the white threads for more of a current look. Yes, they are probably considered skinny jeans to go along with my side part, cause I’m old. We get it! The jeans below are Wit and Wisdom from Nordstrom from last summer on super sale. Lighter jeans are on trend. I have had good luck with the short length jeans on American Eagle and as I was browsing I noticed lots of what I would call skinny jeans. Check them out!

And, if you clicked on my January purchases, I bought this Savanna Jane blouse in the photo below from my local boutique and these Vionic white cowboy vibe short booties.

I like to test run some outfits for virtual teaching at home. Low stakes, people! I kept the tags on the blouse. I felt fabulous in it. No necklace needed because of the front of the blouse. I did worry that I was carrying the western vibe too far with the blouse and the booties, but what the heck. The booties are super comfy and I could feel them forming to my foot to be even more comfy. The heel height is perfect for me.

I’m gonna give mad props to the fashion bloggers that do their photo shoots with multiple outfits on the daily. This is hard, y’all! The time of day, the lighting, the background, the neighbors – ha!

I feel like the booties call for another pop of white in the upper half of the outfit. I think my poncho needs to be slightly longer? I also think the little bit of white frayed fabric in the jeans ties the booties together.

I kinda felt like a Pioneer Woman plate below. I love this kimono from last fall. I forgot my necklace, but I like this outfit and I would wear it out. I will probably do my white Kendra Scott Rayne to add another pop of white. I also have a turquoise one.

I plan to experiment with skirts and dresses and these booties and then I plan to do some outfits with the red clogs.

What have you been wearing lately?

Any February fashion purchases?

I have a favor to ask… drop me your favorite fashion blogs. I am in need of some new ones to follow.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

The Best Low Cal Margarita

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Reposting this from almost exactly one year ago! Yesterday was National Margarita Day so I had to make one!

Hope you like it!

As the weather starts to warm up my drink preference changes. I want something lighter and one of those lighter drinks is a margarita. I will sometimes make one when we are having Mexican food.

Are you ready for the best recipe ever?

Ingredients:

white tequila (I really like Trader Joe tequila and the price is great)

half of a stick of Crystal Light lemonade powder or True Lemon – I will buy the True brand from now on but had to use this up

a splash of lime juice – I just keep a bottle in the fridge for recipes

Fresca

Start with one shot of tequila in the bottom of your glass and add half of the stick of lemonade powder. Mix up with spoon. Add splash of lime, ice cubes and then fill to top with Fresca. You could also fancy it up with a slice of lime.

Please let me know if you try it! You will never want a syrupy sweet marg from a restaurant again!

Amy

P.S. – It is Taco Tuesday if you want to make this tonight! Ha!

Hello Monday

Monday, February 22, 2021

How was your weekend? Mine was good! Linking up today with Tanya, Heather and many more here!

This is what my deck looked like Friday!

Ernie wanting to go back out in the snow. He was born in January and we have always said he is a winter dog!

He has been eating a lot of snow!


I have found a great way to do my nails. I take my supplies to my desk and do the different coats when I take breaks in between classes.

I thought the ice in my rain chain looked pretty Friday late afternoon.

I made enchiladas for dinner Friday night. I did have to go in the grocery store after class on Friday! I only left the house twice last week – once Wednesday and then on Friday.

I think I fell asleep around 9:00.

Saturday was hair day! I always take the first Saturday appointment at 9:00 and have the whole salon to myself for most of the appointment.

Then, I went to Target. It wasn’t very crowded at all because our roads were still pretty bad. I strolled through most aisles and just browsed and it was so nice. I started getting a few Easter basket things. Jack seems to really be into white shirts lately. I got him a long sleeve white pocket tee for Valentine’s Day. So, I thought I would get him this short sleeve with buttons. Mason wants more color and regrets dressing so drab in high school. Lol! So, I got him this light pink that was sale for $4. I love these pull on sweatpant style shorts for them. The Goodfellow brand has been great for us. It seemed a little early to do Easter but I don’t know how much I will be out and thought it was smart. We have always disguised things they need as gifts. We always did swim trunks, swim shirts, goggles for Easter. We often did new toothbrushes for Easter baskets. The other thing is that items and sizes go quickly in the stores.

The Easter stuff is out in full force, but I didn’t get anything else.

I couldn’t even get my cart in the cart corral!

Jack came home around lunch time! He had some homework and he watched a show with me. Then, he went with to pick up Shiraz Mediterranean Grill.

We basically split two meals and had leftovers.

Tom’s plate: chicken with tzatziki, mahi mahi, roasted vegetables, rice, and brussels sprouts.

Jack’s plate: boring – sidewinder fries with spicy mayo, chicken with tzatziki, and rice.

My plate: mahi mahi, roasted vegetables, rice, brussels sprouts.

I decided to use our wedding china. We went with something not too fancy. I love it.

Sunday morning I noticed how naturally tan my legs looked, in my opinion. I think the key is to start doing the tanner a few days in advance and then after a few showers it comes our really nice.

Sunday morning Mason came home at 9:00! He wanted coffee and an omelet and he chatted with Tom and I while Jack was still asleep. We put bacon, feta, mozzarella and cheddar in his omelet.

I also made the cinnamon roll biscuit bake from Bev Cooks and Jen! It is basically my cinnamon roll monkey bread from Christmastime.

It felt like a special Sunday brunch so I made a mimosa! I bought myself champagne flutes finally! I got them on Valentine’s Day when Tom and I went to Homegoods. We stopped in at Meijer for a couple of things and I saw a set of 4 very substantial flutes for only $7.99.

Ernie and I took a slushy walk.

I ran into our little market to get just a couple of specialty items. I love this little store.

I made dinner and all four of us were together.

I saw this on Instagram; we have a city park with a really big sledding hill. These were broken sleds that people didn’t bother taking with them. I later saw that a community group cleaned them all up. Come on people!

This little chart I saw on Facebook this weekend made me happy!

And, that’s a wrap on this weekend. What was the highlight for you?

Thanks for reading!

Amy