This and That on a Tuesday

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

I thought I would do a very random post today. This is what I would tell you about if we were sitting over a coffee or a cocktail!

From my recent Amazon purchases post…

I decided to return both the kimono silk robe – I want it much more roomy than it was- and the navy romper. The navy romper had a fixed tie and not an adjustable tie. I want to be able to cinch and un-cinch. It was super easy, though, to return both items. I did the request a return, got the QR code, and took it up to my Mailboxes, Etc./UPS store. I wore a mask and I was in and out in less than 3 minutes.


I am kind of proud of myself because I am only keeping things thing are perfect. Before I would just think I could make things work. That led to lots of items that would end in the donation pile.

I am almost finished with the sequel (kind of) to Bromance Book Club. I like the second one better. I say it is kind of a sequel because it just tells the story of peripheral characters from the first one. These are just light hearted easy reading with some PG-13 parts if that bothers you. They are set in Nashville which I liked. Weird fact about me: I get nervous if I don’t have a next book to read. I don’t currently have another book to read. I am nervous.

My sister had a Bud Light lime seltzer in a Zoom happy hour a few weeks ago and she said it was good. So, I ordered this variety pack from my last Kroger order.

I have tried black cherry and strawberry and I like them both! I have not tried the mango or the lime.


Are all the hard seltzers controversial, though? I really like the light and refreshing vibe for the summer. It seems like everyone and their brother is coming out with a line of these. I would say these are almost the same taste as the Corona seltzers that I had last time.

A pretty new follow for me on Instagram is Cattle Baron in Cashmere. I think I heard about her from Big Mama/Melanie Shankle. She has product recommendations, recipes, and funny memes. It is almost like the content of a blog in an Instagram story. I have been laughing out loud at the memes she finds and puts in her stories. You really need to follow her! If you don’t have an Instagram, you should get one. I find it to be so much more lighthearted than Facebook. I also have a Twitter but I find it really boring. I regularly get rid of the app. I tried Snapchat a few years ago and it’s not for me. I have enough social media with Facebook and Instagram.

Remember how I told you I wanted to play around with cocktail recipes with my new strawberry Fresca? I think I’m going to try a spiked strawberry lemonade! Doesn’t that sound good? Also, my SIL and I drank blueberry lemonade cocktails in Hilton Head several years ago from the beach bar – yum! I can do that, too.

Did you jump on the Facebook avatar trend? I did it out of boredom this weekend. I never made a bitmoji of myself, so this was my first time doing something like this. It was fun to choose all of the features but the features were pretty limited and I’m pretty sure I just gave my description to a Russian bot that is coming after me. I wish I could achieve her hair volume.

Back to Instagram and a very important topic…

I tried an Instagram filter and I want these eyelashes now. I was born with stubby lashes. I have been sharing my opinion about how I can’t understand the eyelash trend but I think it was because I was salty. I am now thinking about trying a treatment. My friend says the Rodan and Fields is really good. Any other recommendations out there that don’t cost as much as my first car? My first car cost $800 in case you were wondering.

Today I am teaching 3 live classes. I will try to put on earrings. If you put on your blue light blocking glasses and lipstick you can get away with no other makeup.

What would you tell me if we were sitting at a table with coffee or a cocktail?

I miss sitting at a table with a coffee or a cocktail!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, May 18, 2020

How is it going in your neck of the woods? I think lots of you are finished with school? This is our last full week and then we technically have school for two more days after Memorial Day. This week I have scheduled myself for lots of live classes to say goodbye, wrap things up, and to do a final push before my AP Spanish students take their exam on Friday. I’m so nervous! Also, it is time to start looking at final grades and planning for summer school and even next year. But, there are still so many unknowns and I don’t feel like I can wrap my head around that until I get closure on this year. As far as staying healthy at home, not much has changed here yet, but on Friday our restaurants can open to 33% capacity if spread out by 6 feet and our patios can open. We can also start socializing carefully in groups of 10.

I don’t think much will change for me until June at the very earliest. I will still be working until May 28. I am fine with continuing to do grocery pick up and getting once a week take out. I am fine with socializing at a distance outdoors only. What about you?

I am happy to link up today with Heather at My Glittery Heart so go here if you would like to read more blogs!

Here are a few highlights from my weekend…

On Friday my Walmart Better Homes and Gardens bench/storage ottoman arrived. Hub had to put it together and he said it was easy. I was pleased with the look and the size of it. Today the rest is supposed to be here!

I have no more photos from Friday but I did cook dinner at home – barbecue sandwiches, mac and cheese and salad.

Saturday morning I ran to Kroger to get just 5 things. I didn’t do a grocery pick up last week in an attempt to shop my freezer and pantry. I got the wonderful pimento cheese and found strawberry Fresca! I have plans to play around with some cocktails with this flavor.

This is the other half of our watermelon from last weekend’s farmer’s market. I cannot tell you how much more delicious this watermelon was than any I have had from the grocery store. It was only $5, too!

Ernie got a shower because his river swim Saturday left a very stinky dog!

Saturday afternoon I tried an attempt on a strawberry margarita on the rocks. I don’t have a good blender but I have had thoughts about getting a frozen margarita machine. That’s what the pandemic does to you. I did strawberry pulp, tequila, lime juice, a bit of lemonade powder and then the Fresca. The Fresca is unsweetened so I needed the powder for sweetness. I may try a take on the Sonic cherry limeade but make it a strawberry limeade?

Saturday night we got take out fish and took it to our friends’ patio and stayed far away. It was nice but we didn’t stay long and came home and feel asleep on the patio.

Sunday morning I had coffee on the deck as the sun came up.

Sunday was laundry, fridge clean out, dishes, cleaning, lots of school work for me, and then the rest of the day was just lazy on the patio. The boys had some homework due at midnight and Tom took a 27 mile bike ride and then mowed the lawn so he earned a lazy couple of hours on the patio.

I had a 2:00 coffee on the patio while it lightly rained.

I filled the bird feeders and got a kick out of this squirrel hanging upside down to eat my bird seed. I have really become one with nature.

My 12 year old niece started a blog and her first post came out on Sunday, too. Check her out! She has really started cooking and baking a lot and it amazes my sister how she can come up with something just based on what she finds in the pantry or fridge. She is the same one from my Friday Favorites that I told you about.

I hope you had a good one!

What was your highlight?

Anything coming up for you this week?

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, May 15, 2020

Are you ready for a major hodge podge of favorites this week? Linking up with Andrea, etc. right here.

How was your week? Are many of you finishing up the distance learning school year? My friends in town with kids in the private schools are. We go until May 27 so it doesn’t seem that close even though I know it really is.

This week I did a Hello Monday post, a Tuesday post about Outdoor spaces, a Wednesday post about recent Amazon purchases, and a Thursday post about last summer’s favorite clothing. So, many of my favorites today are updates on those posts.

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to Jen of www.showmeandsweettea.com. When I showed my Wayfair pick that is currently out of stock she reminded me about the Better Homes and Gardens line at Walmart. I know this isn’t a great photo and I haven’t seen it with my own eyes yet, but I chose this set (Tom liked it, too.) It is two chairs with pull out ottomans. I thought this was a cool feature and we would push them in when not in use. It also comes with a table.

I decided to also get the matching storage bench/ottoman.

The storage bench comes today! and the rest is supposed to come Monday. We still don’t have the railing material in and we have to do one more coat of the stain but I am excited for this to come together. I will miss my anti-gravity lounger but I am sure I can still use it.

Majorly shifting gears… Do you love Nothing Bundt Cakes? If you have never tried one, you must! A few weeks ago my 19 year old niece who likes to bake sent me this recipe that she found on Pinterest. It starts with a cake mix and you just add instant pudding powder, eggs, sour cream, oil, and water. You are supposed to also add chocolate chips but I didn’t have the mini kind it called for and then I forgot to add big ones. I know I didn’t do a great job with the icing, but this tasted so good and so similarly moist to the real thing!

Our weather wasn’t great this week on Monday-Wednesday, but I sat outside in my little covered corner to read and drink a Paloma one afternoon.

I know a lot of parents are going to be struggling to make this summer feel like summer. We almost always had a pool membership but even when we did I liked to have some water toys for the yard. I came across this cool sprinkler thing at on Instagram and thought I would share. I have a feeling the water toys are going to go quickly. And, you know what? Most kids would think this was just as fun as going to the pool if not more fun. Maybe you can have socially distanced water play in your yard?

I really want some new Birkenstocks and I am thinking white or rose gold. I know that white isn’t that practical but who wants to be practical all the time? Look at these Birkenstocks, though for fall maybe? I think this brand is a division of Birkenstock. These could be great teacher shoes!

My 12 year old niece is really becoming quite the baker, too. I love when my nieces are old enough to text. It just adds more fun to our relationship. This was our sweet exchange this week.

I had a fun Facetime with my work friend this week, too. It’s so nice to see faces!

My navy romper came and I am happy with the quality. Check out my Wednesday post for more info. Sorry for the bad photo.

My silk kimono robe came in, too. I think you need to go up at least 2 sizes. I want this a little bit more roomy because it is a robe. But, the quality seems decent. We will see after I wash it!

And, my earrings arrived and they are huge! What do you think? Too big?

My sister said this new movie release on Netflix is hilarious so I plan to watch this with Tom this weekend. Warning – this sister and I and our husbands like slapstick comedy that isn’t too high brow.

What were your favorites?

Do you have any weekend plans?

We are still socially distancing around here but on May 22 (our governor changed it from May 25!) we can be around 10 people! So, if today is May 15, can I be around 5 people? Just kidding!

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Last Summer Faves

Thursday, May 14, 2020

I was looking in my closet longingly at my summer clothing and thinking about a time long, long ago when I went places. I have shown you some new black and white tops that I purchased this season. I am excited to wear those somewhere besides to a Zoom call. But, an idea for a post was born as I decided to evaluate what got the most wear last season. Why did those things get the most wear? What can I learn from those purchases?

Like many of you, I am a work in progress. I am always trying to be a smarter shopper. I want to buy work horse clothing. I want to look back and say that I got my money’s worth out of a particular item. I think I have to come to terms with the fact that my style might change from summer to summer, though. Maybe I should take the capsule approach and have a small selection of in style items I just love. I am a big believer in taking stock of what you have every season and decluttering what isn’t working to make room for what better suits you.

I hope you enjoy today’s post and maybe it will inspire you to reflect on what you loved and wore last year. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you have seen all of these items multiple times and you have heard me rave about certain brands and styles. Another interesting facet to evaluate is the brands of your favorite items. I try to wash in cold and line dry, by the way. I really think it helps to extend the longevity of your clothing. I need to get a drying rack situation in my new mudroom.

This first item was a total stroke of luck and kind of an impluse purchase. I ordered this cactus off the shoulder or on the shoulder top from Amazon two years ago I think? I took it to my sweet tailor after seeing myself in photos. It didn’t hit at the right place on me but the quality was good enough and the price originally was only $16 I think so a $10 upgrade made sense to me. It looks so much better at this length and I was super happy I did it.

Verdict for Summer 2020: It has held up well and I am excited to continue wearing it!

The next two tops are Target Universal Thread from two summers ago and they are identical, but one in black and one in navy/white stripe. The black is a better fit. It is a size smaller than the blue. I wish I had gone back and bought a duplicate in the correct size in each of these tops. They are knit and soft and they are just the perfect top to throw on. I wore the black with printed bottoms and fun earrings usually.

Verdict for Summer 2020: Still love and will still wear, but lesson learned. Try on two different sizes while the stock is still available or if ordering online, order two different sizes. And, if you love something enough, consider duplicates especially if it is a timeless style.

And, here is the navy. I wore this white white jeans or white skirt mostly. Navy and white are some of my signature summer colors and this was an easy outfit to throw on that looked like I had made more effort! And, since this will be the third summer for these and I’ve worn them so much I am happy to say that I made good purchases!

This next item I bought last summer and it is the more expensive Target Knox Rose brand. I just thought this was so cute. I didn’t end up wearing it as much as I thought because it is a pretty memorable top. Also, it’s not knit and maybe it’s a little more fussy than knit. It is red, white, and blue and would look great for Memorial Day and 4th of July, though.

Verdict for Summer 2020: Excited to wear it!

This butterfly top is from Old Navy last year and I just thought it was so cute. I have already worn it once this year for a virtual class I taught on a warmer day. I don’t love it as much this year, but I still like it.

Verdict for Summer 2020: will wear it. It looks cute with black shorts and big earrings to go somewhere.

This last top is also from last year Old Navy. This is what I consider more of a school top because I would always wear it with my pink 3/4 length sleeve cardigan or my yellow cardigan. I am not as excited about florals this year as I was last year for some reason.

Verdict for Summer 2020: I might wear it this summer but I will hopefully wear this to school if we get to go back in August. I will hang onto it.

What are you most looking forward to wearing from last summer?

Has your style changed?

I would say go ahead and wear it now for that Zoom call or meeting. Heck, put it on to go pick up take out. Our clothing should be for ourselves and not for others’ benefit anyway.

Quick Recap:

6 summer tops

Amazon – 1

Old Navy – 2

Target – 3 (2 Universal Thread/1 Knox Rose)

Amy

Amazon Lately

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I really have not shopped much since mid-March. I showed you my one Loft item, my Old Navy order, and a few random Amazon purchases here and there and that is it. I don’t really need much right now. Normally I would be so excited to add a few things to my spring wardrobe. I love all the fun colorful accessories. I love summer shoes. But, I am waiting for the most part. I have plenty of things I love from last year if I do end up having places to go this summer. My main reason, though, is I don’t want to have to do returns. I have a little UPS/Mailboxes, Etc. just up the road and I have gone in there once since this started. I can just take Amazon returns there if I need to.

I mentioned on Monday that I couldn’t tell you what I sent for Mother’s Day, but now I can!

For my Mother in law, I sent a hydrangea that is supposed to get planted. I love hydrangeas and I think she does, too. She loves flowers and gardening. Here is the link if you are interested.

For my mom, I sent pajamas. She seemed to like them. She loves her pajamas and prefers pants. Here is the link.

This is not Amazon, but remember I told you about Noonday Collection? These are what I ordered and even better they are from Guatemala since I’m a Spanish teacher. They are gorgeous!

My robe is downright embarrassing. It is 15 years old and hub gave to me for Valentine’s Day. I wanted a lightweight summer robe, so I picked this below. They are calling most of these bridesmaid kimonos. Isn’t that funny? I guess that is a trend right now. Here is the link for the robe. I am worried about the sizing. I will let you know how it turns out.

Do you all follow Amanda of That Inspired Chick on Facebook or read her blog? She is like Sheaffer of Pinterest Told Me To/Sheaffer Told me To but with Amazon and Jane.com. She posted that this romper was on Lightning Deal and I went for it in navy. I hope I can wear it out with a kimono? Here is the romper. There are tons of options including pants. It is no longer on lightning deal, but still a good price.

Amanda also talked about these “no muffin top” underwear and they are fabulous! I really needed some new undergarments. Click here to see.

And these are just pure fun for summer! I can’t wait to get these! Click here for these.

What have you purchased lately?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, May 11, 2020

I am linking up today with Heather, Tanya, and more so go right here to see some more posts! How was your weekend? Mine went by quickly! I feel like I am in a weird time warp now where time is speeding up! Anyone else feel that way?

O.k., I am actually going to take you back to Thursday because I did my Friday post a bit early.

Thursday was a big day and here is why…

I finally took my horrible end of February pedicure polish off and did my own pedicure with OPI Strawberry Margarita that I had and I put on my white distressed jeans that zip and button. That’s it. Did you think it was going to be more exciting? Ha! Photo evidence below!

The weather became sunny and beautiful again and I took one of my last Corona Seltzers outside. I am going to buy more, you guys. If you like hard seltzers, give it a try! I think my favorite is the mango as pictured below.

A sweet boy emailed me and asked for my address. I didn’t realize he had delivered this or his mom had delivered it or I would have said hello. It was chocolate chip pumpkin bread and a Chick Fil A gift card. How thoughtful! I told him not to use my home address for evil and he promised he wouldn’t.

Friday was rainy and cold but it felt good to get a walk in with Ernie. This is the elementary school behind our house and he was concerned about safety.

I worked all day Friday and then had a Kroger pick up and my sweet student was the girl who brought my groceries out. It was nice talking to her. Then, we ordered pizza for dinner.

Saturday hub and I went to a locally owned nursery for my plants I have been wanting for Mother’s Day. We had to wait in line because we were early. We were the first two in line. When they opened they told us that we couldn’t go in at the same time because we were a couple. There were only 5 people allowed in this outside space that was at least 2 acres in size. So, had we stood six feet apart and pretended we didn’t know each other we could have looked at plants together. It was kind of ludicrous. It worked out, though. We picked out one plant we could both see from the fence, I picked my geraniums, and he picked our ferns. I do understand they are just following state rules. Have you experienced anything while out shopping? This is really the only retail place I have been to.

My red geranium for front porch.

Floral arrangement for new deck.

Ferns for patio.

They look great and I hope we can keep them alive.

I baked some bread. I did an egg wash on top and it looks prettier. This is the same no knead recipe.

I added italian spices to one loaf this time and it smelled like a pizza place in my kitchen and turned out really well.

I put the new arrangement on the deck in my ceramic planter I already had.

I read my next book. It was a bit slow to get into but now I am liking it. Anyone else read this?

I made enchiladas and homemade queso for dinner and then we had a fire. Jack sat outside with us but Mason had a game he had arranged to play online with some friends.

Ernie has never gotten on the new sectional but Tom invited him up and Ernie acted like it wasn’t big enough. He stayed in this position for at least 20 minutes and we were all laughing at him.

We remembered we had these lights to turn on!

I went to bed around 10 which is pretty much my new normal on weekdays and weekends. I have stayed up until 11 some nights. I was really tired for some reason!

Oh, I forgot to tell you that on Saturday I made breakfast casserole for Sunday morning. I made Mix and Match Mama’s version with cornbread. I really like the cornbread touch and it just so happened that I saved cornbread and froze it from the last time we had it so it worked out great. Here is the recipe if you want to try it. I think it could work as lunch or dinner with a salad, too! So, we enjoyed this on Sunday morning.

We took Ernie swimming. The river has gone down a lot. I am hoping to go out soon! After the river, my side of the family had a Mother’s Day Zoom call.

I didn’t end up going to the Saturday morning farmer’s market because of our plant excursion but we went Sunday afternoon to the other one. We bought a watermelon and this is how Tom put it in the car. Mason loves watermelon.

And some Lebanese/Middle Eastern dips from a guy who makes these. He told us all about them and how to serve them.

We came home and ate Costco salad for lunch (Tom had braved Costco alone on Saturday) and then Tom mowed and I piddled around. For dinner, Tom went to pick up a family bundle at Aspen Creek. It was probably the least healthy food we have had the whole quarantine, but I decided on the chicken tender family bundle with macaroni and cheese and fries. The fries are in the air fryer in this photo. The boys enjoyed this meal. Do your restaurants have these meal deals? We have a bunch here that are doing this for $20 or $29. It think it is great for larger families. We will have so much leftover from this meal!

And, that is about it.

I sent gifts to my mom and my mother – in – law, but they are running a bit late so I can’t tell you what I sent. We still aren’t supposed to travel or gather. One of my sisters lives in Indiana where they can travel and gather now so her family went to my mom’s house Saturday and spent the night and one of my nieces stayed on with my mom so that will be fun for them.

How was your weekend? Any highlights? Do you feel like time is flying, too?

I hope you had a wonderful one and I wish you a productive Monday!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, May 8, 2020

Another week down! I didn’t have a great week for mostly reasons in my control. I wasn’t as productive as I would’ve liked, I let little things get me down, I didn’t get “ready” for the day like I should have. How was your week? I will be linking up with Andrea, etc. right here.

Mondays are the busiest and we started the week with a nice walk around noon. Tuesday and Wednesday were cold and rainy or just cold – sorry Ernie! But, we turned it around on Thursday and Friday.

I bought some pineapple juice and am working on creating a good cocktail involving it. This one needs some work still.

My mom sent these funny t-shirts to my boys. I guess we will look back and laugh? I’m not in that place yet!

I had told you I would cook on Cinco de mayo but I decided to order carry out at 4:45 before the rush. I also included a swirl margarita which is part margarita and part sangria!

One of my students sent me this below!

This popped up on my Facebook feed. I still remember this day.

This weekend I am going to try to go to a socially distant farmer’s market on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. This is the one on Sunday afternoon.

And, this is the one for Saturday morning.

How was your week?

What are your weekend plans?

Are you celebrating Mother’s Day?

Amy

What We’ve Been Eating and My Week with an Air Fryer

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Have you heard there may be a chicken shortage? My bff reported that there was absolutely no chicken to be had at her butcher. I bought some chicken and put it in the freezer last week and I am also getting my Dinnerly box each week that always has one chicken meal in it. I wonder if that will change? Apparently it has to do with processing plants being shut down. I would love to buy directly from a farmer. I am excited to go to a farmer’s market Sunday afternoon. It is supposed to be a socially distant one so I hope that works out. We are still not supposed to travel or gather for Mother’s Day. I wonder if people will break that “rule” here in Kentucky?

Anyway, I feel it is time to branch out from the standard chicken and ground beef based meals. I hope to make more fish, brats, and salads as the weather warms up. Maybe I will try my hand at grilling steak and shrimp, too?

If you have a Fresh Market, they offer (offered? Don’t know if this will change?) $5 rotisserie chickens on Thursdays. I went there last Thursday morning and bought two. I served the first one just as is with a side of broccoli and a side of crispy roasted potatoes and the homemade no knead bread.

One of our Dinnerly meals recently was ravioli lasagna. I don’t really know what qualified it as lasagna as there was no ricotta/egg mixture. You just boiled two packages of cheese ravioli and baked it with sauce and cheese. I had a bagged Ceasar salad on the side with it. This would be an easy meal to pick up on your next grocery order, cheese ravioli, jarred sauce, mozzarella would be all that is required.

Another Dinnerly meal was lemon pepper chicken, broccoli, and potatoes and I had some more of the homemade bread. The Dinnerly meals have lots of fresh broccoli, fresh green beans, and fresh potatoes involved. That works out for us because everyone likes those and I don’t have to buy those things at the grocery because they come in the box.

This is the no knead bread below. It is just flour, yeast, water. If you are having trouble finding yeast, I think they sometimes have it at CVS and Walgreen’s. The little markets are also a good source for things like yeast.

Here are the Dinnerly recipes that I still have to make:

French Onion Soup burger and oven fries.

and Chicken Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. I have never made this so I am excited to try it and I think my family will like it.

Other meals I will make in the next week:

spaghetti (already have homemade sauce in the freezer)

tacos

sloppy joe’s

quesadillas

My Thoughts on my Borrowed Air Fryer:

My sister in law generously offered to let me borrow her air fryer. She has a Ninja that is not the Ninja Foodi, but just the regular one. The basket is not that big so anything for a family of four would have to be done in batches.

I tried:

Reheating husband’s leftover pizza (Worked great and re-energized the crust)

Frozen Trader Joe’s hashbrown patties (tasted better than McDonald’s)

tator tots (excellent, but had to be done in two batches)

WW 2 ingredient bagels (excellent but had to be done in two batches)

panko breaded chicken (pretty good but had to be done in 3 batches for a family of 4)

Bacon (really good – but had to be done in 4 batches)

So, I am torn. I don’t have counterspace for this appliance, nor do I really have storage space.

What have you been cooking or want to cook? What thoughts do you have on the air fryer?

Amy

Pandemic Products

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

I am calling this pandemic products even though most of us have probably been almost product free during this time. But, this is not the time to take chances on products when we cannot easily return them or we cannot browse the aisles, you know? So, I am relying on recommendations from my friends and favorite bloggers. And, you may start going more places in the near future and you need to be ready!

These are a few of my favorite things!

First of all, have you heard of Lipsense? If you need a hook up, Heather of My Glittery Heart is a rep. This stuff really works and is really worth the money in my opinion. If you need your lipstick to last for a party or for a special occasion, this really works. I save it for those times and I do not use it all the time. Maybe no one will see my lipstick because of my mask? This does not come off on your glass. It is pretty amazing. You use the middle color for 2-3 coats, then add the gloss. You have to have the remover to take it off. I have a trick. I use one coat of the color and then a normal lipstick sometimes. It lasts pretty long that way, too.

Do you suffer from allergies? I keep this in my shower (I buy it in a 3 pack at Costco but you can find it at any drug store or grocery store) and use it every day whether I am experiencing symptoms or not. It keeps those nasal passages moist and I swear it helps my seasonal allergies.

I get my hair highlighted. This seems to help me wait a bit in between salon visits so I only go every 3-4 months now. I have been using this during quarantine and it has been a lifesaver. It may not work for everyone but I really like it. I get this on Amazon now because I cannot find it where I used to – at my Kroger.

I usually just spray a bit at night and then sleep on it but lately I have been going into the sun to activate it a bit more and I am trying to get more to the roots. You can also spray it and then blow dry. Here is an up close shot of me doing my own highlights in the sun.

The best hairspray is below. It smells nice, has a great price point, and works great for my fine but thick hair! I have to get this on Amazon now because I cannot find it in stores. This used to be at my Kroger. Notice a pattern? My bff and I swear that Kroger takes away all of our favorite products.

Nancy, my reader, recommended this heat protectant. I love the smell and the price. I will buy it again. Thanks, Nancy!

I love the texture of this light feeling makeup. I will wear a CC cream under but it feels great and blends nicely. Lindsay of Lindsays Sweet World blog recommended it. She says to order off Amazon because it is hard to find in stores and has limited shades when you can find it.

Where has cream eye shadow been all my life? I love the consistency of this Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize. I got it in the shade Bette but I really want to buy another shade, too, since I like it so much. It looks so nice on and really lasts. I apply it with a small brush. This is a bit pricey but it lasts forever. That is what I find with more expensive makeup by the way. It is highly pigmented, you do not need to use much, and it ends up being a better bang for your buck in the end.

Where has cream blush been all my life? I love this little stick that I found on Amazon and I want to buy more shades. I think I like the moisture that the cream eye and cheek products give and the fact that they do not settle into fine lines like a powder? This again is a bit pricey at $18 but it seems like it will last a long time, too. I like that you can build up color. You can do one layer or more.

I will never go without mascara primer. It helps so much. I really like this Voluminous.

What are the products that you would buy again?

I swear I get my best products from the blogs I read and from my readers!

Amy

Lessons Learned in a Pandemic

A loaf of homemade bread – the symbol of the pandemic

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I know the Mexican restaurants will be hopping around here for take out so I will probably make my own tonight and then get our restaurant Mexican a different night!

1.We don’t go through toilet paper that quickly but my Costco membership is worth its weight in gold for the toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, laundry and dish detergent that we buy maybe four times a year. It’s just nice not to need those items so frequently. We had just bought toilet paper two weeks before the shelter in place order. Since then, I have picked up a 12 pack and hub has picked up a 12 pack from the grocery. We still have plenty.

2.I have been severely underutilizing my freezer. Your freezer can be your best friend. I will try to always remember this. I froze things to keep them fresh longer. I split meals in two so that we could have it again without me having to cook. I have really not been using my freezer like I should be, but I hope to use it smarter from now on.

3.I really don’t need to go to the store that often. I choose to go because I’m not in the mood to cook things I already have. I have been spoiled by having a grocery store a stone’s throw away. I really would like to only go every two weeks but it would take some adjusting and I do enjoy getting an idea and then trying it. I am super grateful for grocery pick up now, too, even if they make mistakes often.

4.It is really good to take a break from hair products and heat styling. I let my hair air dry most days. My hair feels really healthy.

5.It is really good to give your nails a break. Altthough I love the look of polished nails, it’s probably good to take a break. Also, trips to the nail salon deplete your time and money. I get tired of colors quickly, too, so maybe it is good for me to polish my own nails and change them frequently.

6.It’s nice to take a break from makeup. I think my skin looks better after taking a break. It sure saves money, too, when you do not use your makeup much!

7. I really love my home and I am happy here without going anywhere most days. I can find plenty to do that I enjoy.

8. I really do not need that many clothes. I feel kinda stupid looking in my closet these days. There are only 7 days in a week and just not that many opportunities to wear each item each season. I have been reaching for the comfortable favorites.

9. My boys and my husband are pretty easy to please and have been happy with most of the meals I have made and really are fine with home cooking instead of take out. They can all find plenty of things to do at home and have lots of hobbies, too.

10. I still have to have a shower every day and wash my hair most days, too. I honestly do not understand how people can go days without washing their hair. My hair is fine and starts looking bad, quickly. Plus, I get a hair headache. You know when your hair hurts from being in a ponytail? That is how my hair gets when I do not wash it!

I have done a lot of thinking about how I will remember this time. These weeks have felt slow and not hurried, which I like. But, they have been full of losses and disappointments – some of which were going to be once in a lifetime opportunities like my son Jack getting to sing in Carnegie Hall in NYC with his choir. Even though I miss my students and in person instruction, I never thought I would have the chance to work from home but now I get to try it out.

This pandemic has brought to the surface many emotions and chances to take stock of my life and where I am. I am getting ready to be an empty nester in one fell swoop. I am closer to the end of my teaching career than the beginning. I almost feel as if these weeks are like a pause on reality, if that makes sense.

What lessons have you learned? What will you take from this experience the most?

Once, again, I want to state that all I had to do was stay home. I was privileged to be able to do so. My list of lessons are small potatoes in comparison to a global pandemic.

Stay well and I would love to hear your thoughts – I am sure I forgot some lessons!

Amy