Friday Favorites

Friday, August 9, 2019

Happy Friday! Linking up with Andrea etc. at Momfessionals today!

Here are my faves from the week – my last week of summer!

I made my instant coffee/Premier vanilla protein shake in my resusable cup several times this week!  And, I bought the Skinny Pop white cheddar in individual bags and that helped with portion control!  Try the Skinny Pop White Cheddar if you haven’t already!  

This Truly lemon is really good!  Truly is my favorite brand of spiked seltzers which seem to be all the rage right now.  I love the rose, too.  I do think you have to like sparkling water to like these, though, FYI.  

I finished this book over the weekend but it was a favorite!  

I finished this book on Monday and it was so cute!  If I’m into a book I read super fast!  

Remember when I told you about the Bath and Body sun washed citrus wallflower plug in that is a dupe for Capri Blue Volcano scent?  I bought myself a car one, too.  Sun washed citrus is everywhere!  I’m putting it into my classroom before it’s socially acceptable to start using fall scents, too.  

I started this book at my husband’s suggestion.  It is so funny and so poignant.  If you are a dog lover or if you want to be as happy as you possibly can, pick this up.  This book reminds me of why I love these Friday posts – I collect things all week long that make me smile or make my life more enriched.  I truly believe in getting excited about the little things in life.  I try really hard not to be too negative or cynical.  

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I picked this up to take on the boat and they are so good.  I can see these as part of a dessert tray.  They have just the perfect amount of lemon.  img_8442

I took just one son who wanted/needed a haircut to his hair place this week.  (In 16 years this was the first time they both didn’t get a hair cut at the same time!)  The hair place used to have Jolly Ranchers on the counter and maybe they’ve had this type before – but this was my Dad’s mint of choice – the Lifesavers Wint-o-green.  He kept a bowl in his basement and my boys would stuff their pockets with them when they were little and they called them “Grandpa Mints”.  This simple bowl of mints at the hair place made me smile.  I’m getting more to the stage of smiling rather than tearing up when these things occur.  

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I decided to get my second dip nail manicure ever this week. I went with a pink because most of my beginning of school clothes are bright and summery. I’m hoping this will last me 3-4 weeks and save me some time at this busy time of year!

How was your week?  What made you smile?  

See you back here on Monday I hope!

Amy

Casa under Construction

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hey everyone!  I don’t know if this topic appeals to all so I won’t be offended if you click away, but I did promise an update.  I told you about our plan here so feel free to go back if you don’t know what I’m talking about.  

Some exciting things have started happening and making it seem more “real” to me!  First we got windows and doors put in.  We also got the electric roughed in which I think means the outlets are now placed where we need them! 

Exterior Views:  

The new back door and mudroom (mudroom will contain storage and washer and dryer):  

French doors from master bedroom leading out to a patio between mudroom and master:  

Mudroom window:  

Interior Views:

My walk in closet furthest away and hub’s walk in closet closest with a hallway in between:

Master bedroom:  

Master bedroom french doors:  

Kitchen expansion from the black paper out to the wood on the left and mudroom:  

So, that’s where we are right now! 

Have you ever done an addition or major renovation?  Any tips are appreciated!

Amy 

 

What I Will Wear Wednesday

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

I am playing around with my new tripod today!  I am gearing up for back to school by doing some outfit planning.  Trust me when I say you don’t want to see what I’ve actually been wearing – shorts and shirts with no accessories, swimsuits and coverups – not blog worthy!  

I finally got my hair cut and colored and it feels so much better but still is in the awkward stage when you need it to grow just a bit in these photos.  

In case you are new around here, I’m a high school teacher and need to be comfortable!  I prefer pants to skirts and dresses but I have a lot of skirts and dresses that I will try to wear before my summer clothing gets packed away.  I try to wear everything I own and if I don’t want to wear it I throw it in the donate/sell bag.  I prefer the “rule of 3” where I have three items on to look more pulled together.  This could mean pants, shirt, kimono or skirt, shirt, vest.  

I think this first photo is blurry because it was starting to get very humid out.  Matilda Jane pants, new Steinmart shoes here, hot pink top, Amazon kimono.

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Let’s try a new location…

Same pants and shoes, new Versona top and old consignment cardigan.img_8429.jpg

And lastly, MIA Susan clog sandals, old Versona pants, new consignment pink tank, old Versona sweater kimono.img_8426.jpg

Do you have a favorite?  

Thanks for visiting me today!  

Amy 

P.S. – Have you heard of Fashom?  It’s a styling service like Stitch Fix but at a lower price point, I think.  I ordered a box this week and I will show you when it arrives!  

Prime Tuesday

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Today I’m joining Tanya for her Prime Purchases link up! Reading others’ purchases could be dangerous for me today.  I get the best recommendations from other bloggers!  

I didn’t do as bad as I had feared when I looked back at this month’s purchases.  

First up:  

I saw someone recommend these so I bought them and really like them.  They have basically no support but they are cute and good for the pool or the boat or I guess the rain.  Even the bow is made from the same “jelly shoes” material. Raise your hand if you owned these in the 80s?

Next:  

I haven’t had any black sunglasses this year and I wanted to try this style.  The price was right but they are huge.  I do like them but my son accused me of trying to be Elton John.  I guess I should have paid more attention to the “super oversized” in the description.  Go big or go home, right?

 

And, finally:  

Warning:  this takes a long time to ship and they are now giving me the run around about returning it.  It’s a little tight in the chest area but I can probably make it work with a minimizing bra. Lesson learned to only do prime and free returns.  Also, it is a bit sheer and may require a lip of some sort.  I just really wanted a multi-purpouse LBD.  

This is not this month’s purchase, but…

You may remember that I ordered this popular suit before our Michigan trip.  It is a really nice quality.  I wanted to show it again today because I was watching Southern Charm on Bravo and they took a trip to Colorado. In the background at the hot springs they went to you can see a random woman (not part of the cast)  wearing this!  I’d like to know just how many of these suits Amazon sold!  

What have you purchased lately?  

Also, I used Amazon to send my nephew a Spider man car for his birthday last week and I used it to send my sister in law an e-gift card because she loves Amazon.  It has really revolutionized the way we shop!  Also, I love the returns to UPS stores and to Kohl’s.  So easy!

Amy 

Hello Monday!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Linking up with Heather etc. right here today!  How was your weekend?  Mine was really fun!  

Friday night my work friend E met me at an outdoor concert sponsored by the liquor store in the shopping village near my house.  

I finished this book because I couldn’t put it down!  I do recommend it and thanks to Preppy Empty Nester for recommending it on Instagram!  

And, then I started this – so cute!  I’m almost done with this now, too.  Pick this up right away if you like rom-com movies and books.  

Saturday morning I got my hair cut and colored for the first time since February!  

Before:  

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After:  

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I’m not mad; just can’t take a selfie very well!  

We had beautiful weather so hub and I and the pup went boating!  Pup likes to be under the steering wheel by his daddy!  

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I bought the Truly citrus pack and the lemon is my favorite!  

There were lots of boats out!  

We came home late afternoon and ordered pizza and watched shows with our boys.  

Sunday morning I did a TJ’s run.  

And, we took our friends out on the boat and had brunch/lunch at Captain’s Quarters.  

We came home after lunch and I read a bit and made dinner and we hung with our boys.  Some more progress was made on our addition this week and weekend and I will do an update soon for those interested.

What are you up to today and this week?  We are doing last minute school errands and I’m setting up my classroom this week and a week from today I will be back in the world of full time employment.  My boys start Wednesday.  Where did the summer go?  

Hope you all had a great weekend and thanks for stopping by!  

Amy 

Friday Favorites

Friday, August 2, 2019

Happy Friday!  Let’s share some favorites from the week!  Please leave me yours in the comments, too!  Linking up with Andrea, etc.  here so this is a fun way to check out other blogs you may not know about. 

But, first, how was your week?  Mine was very relaxed – on purpose.  Next week I set up my classroom and my boys go to registration to get their senior! schedules and get their senior yearbook photos taken.  This week I did another Goodwill trip, did more organization, enjoyed slow mornings, and ran errands.  

If you are in the mood this weekend, try my friend H’s super easy sangria “recipe” that I posted yesterday here along with a new recipe and some meal suggestions.  I’m in a rut and desperately need some new recipes!  My latest recipe is Turkey Sausage Alfredo and it comes together in about 15 minutes and tastes like something from a restaurant in my opinion – it probably has something to do with the butter and heavy cream.  I guess I evened it out with the use of turkey sausage – ha!  I enjoyed my glass of sangria while cooking it the other night – refreshing!  

Shout out to my cousin and blog reader J for these favorites below.  I had heard of drug store brand Physician’s Formula but had never purchased anything.  She recommended The Healthy Foundation and it’s really good.  It is about $15.  It has a bit of a smell upon application but then goes away.  She described it as “your skin but better” and I think that sums it up.  I had been wanting to try the butter bronzer and I love it!  It has a nice smell and consistency and really makes me look like I’ve been in the sun more than I have. Walgreen’s had a deal and I got the butter lipstick for free in a mauve color.  I love it!  It really does go on like butter and makes your lips feel moist.  

Reporting back on my $25 Steinmart mules.  Love them!  I wore them the other day and they were super comfortable.  I think I will wear these a bunch.  I’ve included the Steinmart link if you are interested.  

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My blog friend Kellyann recommended this and I cannot stop at one serving so not sure I should tell you about it!  

I enjoyed a Target run and got an iced doppio in a venti cup (means two shots of espresso) and then I proceeded to go buy new Premier Protein and emptied my half bottle of protein shake in the store – I’m classy like that!  This is 1 WW point.  Most people sing praises of the caramel flavor, but I prefer the vanilla.  It’s so good.  I only use half of a carton at a time which saves money and calories.  It is around $7 for a pack of 4 shakes at my Target.  

I purchased this phone tripod last spring but the holder wasn’t big enough for my phone.  And, I don’t have an oversized phone.  I finally ordered a bigger replacement holder and I’m excited to use this for my outfit pictures so I don’t have to bug people.  That hopefully will mean more outfit photos!  

This stack of library books is quite ambitious with only a few more days left of my summer!  I thought I would show you in case you’re looking for something.  These were either recommended to me or I thought the description looked fun.  

Pottery Barn has products from Friends!  I laughed out loud as I looked at these.  Remember the apothecary table from one episode?  Friends will always be one of my top favorite shows.  It started when I was in college and then after college my friends and I would hold viewing parties.  Or, we would call each other and discuss each episode.  So fun!  

Universal Thread at Target does it again.  I showed you some of my colored and patterned bottoms this week and these charcoal and marigold tops will be a welcome addition and work into fall.  Check them out here.  The shirt is knit and the sleeves are more like a linen/cotton.  I ordered two different sizes from Target.com and I am returning the one at the store that I didn’t choose.  So easy!  

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What are you up to this weekend?  I am hoping to boat with some friends, see some progress on our renovation, spend some quality family time, and that’s about it.  

If you missed any posts this week, check out my palazzo pants and more post here, my sunglasses post here, and my weekend recap here and I already mentioned my recipe and meal post here!  

Any topic requests?  Let me know in the comments!  

Happy Friday and thanks for stopping by!

Amy 

Thursday Thoughts on Back To School Dinners Plus Turkey Sausage Alfredo and an Easy Sangria “Recipe”!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Happy 1st day of August!  This is the month that many of us dread.  It is our hottest month and it’s just plain BUSY.  There’s so much to prepare and it’s time to change routines which is always hard no matter what your age!  

One of the things I’m doing to prepare is making a “back to school meals” list on my computer.  These meals will be super easy for the most part and still pretty much summer meals.  I will add the chili, soups, and more fall type foods later.  Having a list helps me immensely.  When I’m making my grocery list I seem to forget every meal I’ve ever made.  I’m hoping my list will help you, too.   My list is based on what my family will eat and you may have to slightly adjust.  

But, first, how about an easy recipe?  

Turkey Sausage Alfredo

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This sausage is precooked so you don’t have to do this step, but I like to brown it in a skillet or you could also do the oven if you want.  Boil your penne while you are doing this.  

Put those two things together and now it’s time for the sauce.  

I used the same pan for my sauce because i thought it would add extra flavor.  You can start with a new skillet if you’d rather.  Just make a simple alfredo sauce.  I melted 3 T. butter and then added about 3/4 cup cream, brought it to a boil, then simmered for maybe 10 minutes.  Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, and I also added a bit of cajun seasoning.  I also threw in a bit of mozzarella cheese, but I don’t think I will do that next time.  It really didn’t need it.  

Pour the sauce over the penne and sausage and sprinkle a bit of parmesan and you are done!  You guys, this tastes like something you would order at a restaurant.  It’s really good.  Feel free to use andouille sausage or another type of sausage.  

When I went to my friend’s house last week she bought a bottle of already made sangria, and simply added her own fruit and gingerale and it was some of the best sangria I’ve ever had.  So easy!  

Yum!  

O.k., moving on to other meal ideas…One thing that worked for me last year was to have themes – Monday pasta, Tuesday Mexican, Wednesday chicken, etc.  Another thing that I did last year was to cook two meals on Monday night and Wednesday night and that way on our late nights – 6:30 arrival at home on Tuesday and Thursday and it was simply just heat and eat.  I will have that same schedule this year so I am going to shoot for that again. I will tend to make spaghetti and taco meat at the same time.  I start cooking around 5:30 and dinner is ready at 6:15 on Mondays and Wednesdays.  

Tip:  I run my dishwasher while I’m cooking dinner and the boys unload right after dinner and then reload.  We have been doing this for a few years and the system works well for us.  

The other thing I do is take out on one weeknight a week most weeks and then cook one of the two weekend nights at home when I have more time to make a nice meal.  I am also creating a computer list of our take out options.  And, of course, I will be doing online grocery shopping and pick up!  Game changer in the busy fall!  

Disclaimer:  I don’t own an Instapot nor do I want another gadget right now and I mostly use the crockpot on weekends.  I feel that I’m gone too long during the weekdays and all the crockpot meat ends up being overcooked or all tasting the same.  Maybe it’s me but that’s how I feel.  

Back to School Meals:  (For me, I will sub out rice for cauliflower rice, turn things into a salad, easy swaps like that)

Frozen orange chicken (we like Costco’s the best), rice, broccoli

Frozen fish (panko tilapia from Costco), okra (roasted on sheet pan), little red potatoes(boiled or roasted on sheet pan)

Ham (slices that are fairly thick), mashed potatoes(can be ready made), green beans (canned)

Prepared BBQ, Texas Toast, baked beans, side salad (prepared mix)

Spaghetti

Tacos, rice 

Taco Salad with Doritos

Southwest Bowl (Andrea from Momfessionals) (search my blog and you will find it!)

Mexican Lasagna (search my blog)

Fettucine Alfredo with chicken (use above recipe but sub chicken and fettucine noodles)

Bacon Alfredo (this is from Grace and Love Blog but I have also posted it here!)  

Hot sub sandwiches, frozen potato wedges or fries, green salad

Baked Ziti

Hawaiian ham and swiss sliders, chips, salad

Faux Thanksgiving – thick cut turkey from deli, Stove Top stuffing, green beans

 

What are you go to back to school meals?  Let’s help each other out!  I’m so happy that we start on a Wednesday this year so I will get to ease into the routine.  

Thanks for reading!

Amy 

 

 

 

What to Wear Wednesday – Palazzo Pants…and More!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Did you notice my Wednesday theme is different today?  I have zero outfit pictures this week!  I will blame it on summer and lack of routine.  

Do you own any palazzo pants – flowy, non wrinkle with no need to iron, feel like you are in your pajamas pants – that are still socially acceptable?  I have a few pairs that are just that and with an elastic waist.  As a teacher, I really hate to deal with fussy clothing during my approximately 1.5 minute bathroom breaks.  Even if you aren’t a teacher, I think these are office appropriate, weekend party appropriate, meeting appropriate and so much more.  The other benefit I have found is that I can wear them in most seasons here in Kentucky.  When I start school the AC can be freezing cold and in the winter our heater is way too intense so I find that I almost have to have a seasonless school wardrobe.  I’m most comfortable in pants and a short sleeve or 3/4 length top with a third layer than can be removed.  

Here is a photo of what I’m talking about.  I really like these – I feel the pattern is seasonless (like I mentioned before) and there is both brown and black which makes them versatile.  

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The ones on the left below are definitely more spring and summer.  The other ones on the right can be worn a little bit longer into fall I think.  I always get compliments when I wear these pants.  I think they really make you look “put together”.  

Tip:  I have found it makes life easier to have black in all of these pairs for easy matching to a black top.  

Tip:  I am 5’4 so I have looked in the petite section for these or looked for a cropped version that will be full length on me usually.  

I also repeat this same technique with my skirts.  You may look better in an A line skirt, a midi skirt, or a maxi skirt, so you can use any of those styles, but I think the best for my shape is a simple pencil type skirt.  All of my skirts are pull on just like the pants and they all have black in them!  

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.  This is the LulaRoe Cassie skirt.  It doesn’t wrinkle and no ironing required.  

The one on the left is the only one new this season – from Steinmart and it’s a linen type material so does slightly wrinkle, the leopard is from Chico’s, and the black and white jaguar is another Cassie.  

So, if all of these pants and skirts have black in them, what do you wear on top?  

I have a small collection of tops that will work with these.  I like to look for interesting details – flutter sleeves, tassels, criss cross – that type of thing.  img_8256.jpg

So, I think I can safely get away with one of these pants outfits and one of these skirt outfits per week.  

This also makes your footwear easy.  I currently own the Soda wedges on the left (better for school if I’m not standing all day but pretty comfortable), Tieks flats, patent Birks.  The two on the right are possibilities that I may keep.  

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They are both from Steinmart.  The first was only $25. img_8262.jpg

This one was $44.  I like the 70s clog vibe and the almost suede material could work into fall.  img_8263.jpg

I am still looking for comfortable yet stylish teacher shoes to start school.  I am very picky and I am literally standing on concrete floors for 8 hours a day, so it takes a good shoe!

Tip:  I keep multiple pairs of flip flops, Birkenstocks, etc. in my classroom so that I can switch out during the day.  

I want to hear from you!  What do you think about patterned palazzo pants and skirts with a black top and black shoes?  Could this work for your lifestyle?  

Thanks for reading!

Amy

 

Summer Shades

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

I love my sunglasses collection!  Why wouldn’t I?  It’s another accessory and if you have been reading for awhile you know I love my accessories.  I also wear my sunglasses all year long.  My eyes are very sensitive to the sun.  

Are you an expensive sunglasses person or a cheap sunglasses person?  I have a mixture.  I will say that the more expensive do hold up really well and I tend to treat them more carefully – putting them in their case and not wearing them on my head.  

Here are my current favorites:  

Back left:  Classic Ray Bans in a squarish shape.  I thought this shape looked better on my face at the time but now I kind of wish I had the classic aviators.  These were a Mother’s Day gift that I picked out about 8 years ago.  

Back right:  These are really nice by Guess.  I got them for free because my husband’s work gave them a catalog to pick an item and he didn’t want anything so he let me pick.  They are silver so I only wear them with silver jewelry.
These are two years old, I think.  

Front left:  New this year from TJ Maxx.  These were $12 and I have worn these the most this summer.  The rose gold is just fun and trendy IMO.

Front right:  These are my husband’s black Ray Ban aviators from 1995!  He still had the receipt in the case which is so him – ha!  Last year I told him I wanted some of these and he said he had them.  He hasn’t worn them since we’ve known each other in 1996 (I guess that was a bad purchase on his part!).  So, I have taken them over.  

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TJ Maxx rose gold:

Guess:  

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Black Ray Ban aviators:img_3175.jpg

What is your sunglass style?  What are your favorite brands?  

Amy 

Hello Monday!

Monday, July 29, 2019

How was your weekend?  Mine was really good!  And, let’s go back to last week, too…I had a busy but fun week – and a bit productive.  Linking up with Heather, etc. today so go right here!  On Tuesday, my son and I got to be extras in a movie!  We had to pretend we were moving him into a college dorm room!  Eek – too close to home!  It was a fun experience, though.  I will let you know when this movie comes out and also the one I got to be an extra in last February.  You may remember I had to eat a cookie in a bakery – it was rough! There is a production studio in our city that does a lot of Lifetime and Hallmark type movies so I expect these will also be on those channels!  

Here is son waiting for our scene:

img_8145 Then, on Wednesday I got 3 more professional development hours for a total of 6 out of 12 needed.  The boys did two ACT tutor sessions on Tuesday and Thursday and then on Thursday for lunch I met the sweet French teacher that teaches next door to me.  There is a 20 year age difference between us but we have a lot to talk about and I just adore her.  I love having friends of varying ages – do you?

So, she is rather new to our city and I suggested this French restaurant that she hadn’t been to yet.  It’s in a strip mall and you wouldn’t think there would be a nice French restaurant there, but when you walk inside it is so cute.  

We had a rose because it’s summer!  

We split a croque madame and it was perfect.  And, I guess I forgot the photo of the creme brulee we split!  Divine!  

Thursday night my boys went to a friend’s house and hub and I ate leftovers at home.  I’m really trying to cut down on food waste around here.  

Friday my friend invited me and our other friend for lunch at her beautiful home.  She made sangria (recipe coming soon)

and pasta salad and ordered us the sandwich of our choice from her nearby sandwich shop.  I thought this was a great idea.  I ordered benedictine and bacon which is a rare treat.  Benedictine is a Kentucky thing – a green cream cheese and cucumber spread. She also made homemade chocolate dipped strawberries and had a lovely table setting.  

Friday night we all stayed in and had hot subs for dinner while watching some t.v. I had kind of wanted to go out, but everyone was tired.  

Saturday morning hub had a bike riding malfunction and I had to pick him up near the river so I brought this boy and let him swim.  I should show you a video of him jumping with perfect form from the dock to retrieve his stick.  

The rest of the day Saturday was laundry, cleaning, and me getting 6 more professional development hours for finishing up listening to 6 podcasts and answering corresponding questions!  I was so excited to get this done.  Now, unless something crazy happens, I have all 12 hours and can check that off of my summer bucket list and reduce my stress this school year.

Then, Saturday night our friends dropped their son at our house to hang with our boys while we went to an outdoor concert.  

The first group was three guys who were excellent.  They played Van Morrison, The Eagles, stuff like that.  

It was a bit hot at first but it was comfortable for the rest of the time.  

The second group was awesome, too, but in a different way.  They played more pop music but every song was one that you knew all the words to – Prince, Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, Meghan Trainor.  They had so much energy.  This picture doesn’t do it justice – there were tons of people there and several food trucks.  

And, the sunset was a sight to behold.  

Sunday morning we had our friends meet us at the boat and we did a little cruise and brunch.  I kept my phone put away and enjoyed the day!  

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Then. we went as a family of four to the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  I knew it was going to be long so I bought a coffee!  It kept my attention the whole time and was really good.  All four of us really liked it.  Our boys are into film, cinematography, etc. so they were pumped.  

How was your weekend?  What’s on the agenda for this week?  Soaking up the last of summer?  School supply shopping?  We are pretty set for school clothes and supplies around here – one advantage to kids getting older is that I no longer have to do the super long list of specific items.  And, we did some new clothes shopping in June.  So, I’m planning to just keep enjoying my days and checking a few more things off of my list – more decluttering, a movie by myself, a happy hour or lunch with friends – fun stuff like that.  

Thanks for visiting!

Amy