Hello Monday

Monday, October 5, 2020

I am linking up today with Heather, Tanya, and others here. This is going to be short and sweet because I am writing this at 6:30 Sunday before my college girls dinner!

I had the day off Friday and today is Parent Teacher Conference – virtually – so I get a bit of a break today. I will be using all of my down time for planning for the upcoming week, though!

Friday I checked a big thing off of my list and did the eye doctor. I ordered glasses and prescription sunglasses and I will show you everything when it comes in.

Hub asked if I wanted to meet him at a Cuban restaurant on the patio for lunch. It was a bit chilly but in the sun we were fine.

I had salad and hub had a sampler plate. Yum!

And, honestly, I went home around 12:30 and did not go out again! I read on the patio, watched Emily in Paris on the patio, and just relaxed and it was much needed!

I had a pumpkin spice (homemade) in the afternoon.

Saturday the highlight was seeing one of my sons. He was doing a monologue in the park for his community theatre. I took some photos of the beautiful structures.

Son ordered chicken and waffles at a little cafe and hub had a sandwich. I had already eaten because it was 3:00 so I just had a

peach beer! Yum!

and then we got Graeters ice cream. A kid scoop is enough for me – chocolate toffee chip.

Saturday evening Tom and I had a fire and watched some shows on the patio.

And, Sunday I gave up on Lucky Dog and started Bringing Down the Duke and I read most of the day Sunday except for picking up groceries and cleaning. The book is rated R but I am loving it!

I took your advice and did really thin coats and then I used Sally Hansen Shine topcoat and it worked! Thank you!

I also made a daytime fire – all by myself because it was perfect weather for it! I need to do this more!

By the way, we really love our Solo Stove!

What was your highlight?

I would love to know!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, October 2, 2020

Linking up with Andrea, etc. here!

My first favorite is that I am off today! I am going to try to not even look at my computer! I am off because this was on our original calendar as a flexible professional development day – teachers can work it ahead of time. So, I did that. It is a flex day because it is the weekend of the huge St. James Art Fair here in Louisville that is not happening this year because of 2020 and nothing happening anymore! The students have off today and Monday so it is like a mini fall break. Monday is our virtual parent teacher conference day. That should be interesting…

My next favorite is my first PSL of this year! I had to go out in the rain around 3:00 (unplanned) and I thought I would treat myself. I just got a tall and it was perfect!

Here is the reason I had to go out in the rain – hub locked his keys in his truck at work. Does anyone want to know how many times he has done this? No, o.k.! Anyway, I got a PSL out of it and it was my almost daily trip out of the house in the car for the day.

Ernie enjoyed a rainy 11:00 am walk one day this week. Our walks are so good for me to break up the work day.

Not just a favorite, but the highlight of my week was this:

My friend met me at Gravely Brewing Co. for happy hour. We sat on the rooftop deck and had a nice visit. I had been before but did not realize they had this space. They were super strict about masks on until you got to your table. They had really good safety protocols in place. They not only have beer and cocktails, but also have a permanent Mexican food truck.

We split some guacamole. Later we ordered tacos for her and burrito for me. It sprinkled a few times but the sun came out and it felt amazing. I love this weather!

And, on the way home I was treated to this!

And, here are some more random favorites from the week:

I have been sitting on my patio in the evenings during the week and not just on weekends.

And, even though it has gotten chilly in the mornings, I am still trying to have my coffee there most days, too.

I have been looking for the plain flavor of these for forever – like a year. I did not want to try apple cinnamon. I finally found these in my Kroger. 50 calories for one roller and it tastes like Sugar Smacks cereal! I am obsessed!

I got my flu shot this week at Target and it was free with my insurance card plus I got a $5 coupon! Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

I made the pumpkin pasta dish from Jen from Show Me and Sweet Tea blog here! I wish I had had the good parmesan. I thought I had a block of it but I did not – so I used some of the bag stuff. It was like something you would have at a restaurant! It was also my first time using whole wheat pasta and I really dug it!

What were your favorites this week? I hope you will read my Fall Goals post from yesterday if you missed it here! I also talked about fall nails here! And, Wednesday WordPress failed me but you can still see my outfits and a couple of new purchases here.

I hope you had a great week and I hope you have a great first weekend of fall! I really appreciate you visiting my little space!

Amy

Fall Goals

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Do you make a seasonal list? I really like to do this. It keeps me accountable and helps me to be intentional about my free time. I miss having little kids and getting to do kid stuff! Most of the things on my list are for my husband and I to do together or with friends. I am really trying to focus on what I can still do during the pandemic, instead of what I cannot do. I think it helps my mindset.

Fall evening boat ride with charcuterie and another couple?

Have people over for chili on patio

Treat myself to a couple of pumpkin spice lattes! (Had my first one on Monday!)

Attempt to wear my black felt hat somewhere!

Watch my high school’s home football games – three coming up in October and November.

Go somewhere to watch a UK football game – outside on a patio at a restaurant or a home of a friend. Anyone want to invite me?

Make a German Oktoberfest meal – maybe with friends?

Do something for Halloween? It does fall on a Saturday this year? Maybe I can just do something on my patio?

Sit by the river at The River House (a seafood restaurant on the river) with their fire pit.

Go to new charcuterie restaurant that I just heard about with a huge outdoor area

Go to outdoor flea market

Make apple and pumpkin recipes

Make apple sangria

Start Soup Sundays

Celebrate my birthday as much as I can – but definitely one day with my hub and boys and hopefully with a dinner out with my two besties and their hubs. We made a pact to go out three times – this past weekend for one, October 16 for one, and then early November for mine.

Get my half off Kendra Scott piece during my birthday month of November. Below is what I am considering!

Start Christmas shopping

Figure out how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving

Any other ideas for me?

What is on your fall list?

Amy

Fall Nail Colors and Help Needed!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

I love darker nail colors! And, it is about that time!

I did not purchase anything new for this post, but rather, I got out my old faves. I have been loving Essie for fingers lately. The brush is tiny but it helps you to not make too big of a mess.

Left to right:

I love burgundy/wines, greys, green-greys, and navy! I also have included a metallic.

OPI We the Female (a burgundy with a bit more of a brick red tone)

Essie Wrapped in Rubies (a nice gold glitter mixed in with the burgundy)

Essie Wicked (a super dark burgundy)

Essie Exposed (this is the one I saw on my friend and had to have – a grey/green)

Essie Smokin’Hot (a grey-lavender in the bottle but looks darker on with two coats. This is what I will show you below)

Essie Penny Talk (a nice metallic gold)

Essie Dressed to the Nineties (currently have this on my toes)

Now, you do not have to go out and buy these brands. You may prefer a different brand and can simply use these colors for inspiration.

Tip: Put a tiny drop of remover in a polish bottle and shake, shake, shake for best results. The polish will come out smoother instead of clumpy.

Help! I hope you can see from the photo below. I am waking up with hair marks? in my manicure. I follow with a shiny top coat and I wake up to a dull and scratched up mani. I polished at 3 p.m. Saturday and did not go to bed until 11. That would give me 8 hours of drying time. What am I doing wrong?

What are your favorite fall nail colors and favorite brands? Are you a polish girl or a natural girl?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, September 28, 2020

Hello Monday and hello everyone! These are our last couple of days of September and by the end of the week we will be into October. I am linking up today with Heather, Tanya, Lindsay, and more right here.

I had a very full weekend. What about you?

Friday our favorite band was playing at the little pizza place at the marina on the river. We asked a couple if they wanted to join us and they did. The girls got frozen bellinis and they were so good!

The guys. Tom likes to give me that look for pictures and it is so annoying!

We split the barbecue pizza. We were hungry so the photo came after we dug in!

The music ended at 8:30 because we had a city curfew Wednesday night-last night.

Saturday I ran some errands and did some stuff around the house and then we had a memorial service to go to. I obviously do not have any photos. It was really sad and emotional. Masks were required but it was also open air.

Then, that evening it was time to celebrate the birthday of my college roommate. She chose a restaurant that used to be a gas station. The walls were open and the air was flowing.

All three gals chose a different fancy cocktail. I got something with Aperol and tequila. It was strong!

Three of us ordered the salmon on a bed of grits with vegetables and it was amazing.

We stood close to get a quick photo. I ordered a new fall kimono that I will show you Wednesday. The birthday girl is on the right and we roomed together for most of college and then for four years after college. We met our other friend the first day of college I think! Our dream came true a few years ago when we all were living in the same city again, finally!

Sunday I got a slow start. Around 12, Tom, Ernie, and I went out on the boat for a couple of hours. It was really cloudy and a bit cool.

We came home and I rested on the patio for a bit and then got a text that the birthday girl and her husband were going out to dinner on their boat so we went and met them.

Crazy, right? So we boated for about an hour and then ate dinner outside at their marina.

So, it was really full! And, I was really grateful for some quality time with friends. I gifted my friend the softest camo leggings from a local boutique and two pairs of earrings. I love giving gifts! I forgot to get a photo of her gifts!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

This week is supposed to get really cold around here and we are expecting some rain. I have a four day week! Students are off Friday and Monday and we are off just Friday with Monday for Parent-Teacher conferences – virtual, of course.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, September 25, 2020

How was your week? Mine was pretty good! I did not leave my house Monday at 3:00 or Tuesday at 3:00 as has been my habit. So, I did not use my car from Sunday until Wednesday! At 3:00 I went out and read in the wonderful weather on my patio and I think it was a good change of pace. I had no pressing errands to run. I came in both days around 5:00 to cook dinner. I may have dozed off on the patio between 3:00 and 5:00, too. I also talked on the phone to some friends so that was nice, too!

I am linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here.

Here are some faves and things that made me happy this week! What made you happy?

I am super picky about my coffee and my creamer. I use a Keurig and love, love, love the Costco Kirkland breakfast blend K cups. I also love Kroger hazelnut. I cannot live without my Dunkin Donuts creamer. It is so good. It enabled me to stop adding a sweetener to my coffee a few years ago. I have two cups each morning and really measure out the serving size for my creamer.

I took a chance on this Chobani Pumpkin Spice and I really like it! It is a light pumpkin flavor.

I have had an afternoon coffee a couple of days this week and for a little treat, I can put a bit of whip cream with the Chobani and sprinkle a bit of pumpkin pie spice.

I filled up my candy again like a Grandma! No offense to grandmas; it is a compliment!

I used my lights one evening this week. Hub says he wants to change these out and string more lights. These are pretty large and intense and I think we want to do something a bit softer. This kind of things makes me so happy.

Last Saturday I told you about my hometown trip, but I did not show you what I found. There are a bunch of cute little shops and I found these in one of them. This is a bourbon shot glass or measuring cup I guess. I thought it was so cute. They had tequila, vodka, and many more. I also bought this lip gloss that smells amazing – like cherry Chapstick.

Last week I went to Trader Joes to look for fall themed things for my charcuterie board. Fall is the time to go! There were so many goodies. I really like my pack of Old Navy masks so I wanted to recommend them again. They have adjustable ear straps and the material is thick enough but still breathable.

And, I forgot to tell you about our bagel and farm market date two weeks ago. Hub is really good about going along with my ideas – most of the time. We got bagels and found a fountain with a little table then walked to the farm market to look around. I was happy to do that together!

I polished my nails one day this week with Essie Smokin Hot. It is like a grey/brown color.

I have been filling in my wardrobe staples for fall and I needed the no show socks to go with my Madewell sneakers from the spring. I am really happy with these. You can find them here.

It is so easy to get down right now. I think we are all embracing fall even more than we ever have before – if that is even possible. I sent this quote to my sons – one of them is a big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is my English major son!

We have not been told what school will look like after October 6. There is a school board meeting next week to vote on the decision. I think we will be home for a bit longer, just due to the numbers in our area and the fact that our district is so large.

My sons seem to be doing well with masks and their mixture of in person, online and hybrid classes at college. Their college has a dashboard that shows how many positives, how many are in isolation, etc. They will be taking mid-term exams soon and they are set to move home November 20th. I am worried about them having to move home earlier if there is a break out, I am worried about the elections, I am worried about potential violence in my city, I am worried about being an effective teacher in this climate, and I am worried about my loved ones staying healthy and safe.

I know you are worried, too. I am trying to be thankful for the blessings and to think about what I can do now and not what I cannot do.

What were your favorites this week? How are you doing?

Amy

Apple Butter

Thursday, September 24, 2020

What is apple butter? Is it butter? No, not at all!

The finished product:

It is more like an overcooked applesauce or apple jam. It is delicious on bread or biscuits and maybe even pancakes or waffles? It would make a great gift in a cute little mason jar.

My first memory of apple butter is from my Girl Scout troop. Our leader had us come to her house to make it when I was maybe 10? I sure hope I got a badge!

This time, I didn’t get a badge but I was sure proud of myself and my house smelled amazing all day long while I was toiling away behind my computer for my virtual teaching. I have now made it twice; I tried it again this week on Monday while I was working.

I used all honeycrisp the first time and did not take the peel off.

The second time I used a mixture of honeycrisp and fuji and did take the skin off. It takes a lot of apples to make a small amount of apple butter. I halved the recipe and used about 7 apples and only produced about a cup of apple butter!

Here is the recipe:

In your crockpot,

put 5 lbs. apple of your choice, chopped

1 and 1/2 c. brown sugar

1 and 1/2 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Cook for 10 hours on low or 4 hours on high

I stirred several times and mine did not take nearly 10 hours on low. I would say it was ready in more like 4-6 hours. Also, I used a liner and I felt like the liner did not hold up to this liquid. I will do it without the liner next time.

Allow to cool. Will last for 2 weeks in fridge.

This is about halfway through. I stirred often and kind of mashed it up when it was close to done.

Have you ever made your own apple butter?

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday – Fall Staples and a Guest Appearance

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

I am linking up today with The Style Six so go here to see more fashion posts and I am linking up here for the fall link up with Emily and Sarah where today their theme is fall fashion!

I am having fun wearing my early fall clothing. I realized I needed some staples. I love a v neck t-shirt. I mentioned buying these last week and one of my readers wanted to see which ones I picked.

Target A New Day white v-neck t-shirt below. I sized up and am really happy with the fit. This is super soft.

Same shirt in burgundy. I really like this color. It is my school color and the college color of my boys, too!

Old Navy olive green linen blend. This is not as soft but it hides flaws a little better due to the material. I also sized up one in this.

These will work and already have worked under my kimonos and my cardigans.

So, I have a confession – I have been wearing exercise bottoms for my 11:00 a.m. walk and business/teaching attire on the top. When it is time for my walk I change shirts and then change back after my lunch break!

Old Navy sleeveless blouse with Lularoe kimono – All are old.

Sunday boat outfit. Old camo sleeveless dress and new Target Universal Thread cardigan.

Hometown day trip outfit: Old Matilda Jane consignment pants, MIA Sofia clogs, new embroidered blouse, and Target Universal Thread cardigan.

My sister is my guest appearance! She is wearing DSW BOC brand clogs, Meijer patchwork jeans from a couple of years ago (smart purchase as these are super trendy now!), design t-shirt, and drapey jacket. I thought she looked great and comfortable! I ordered her shoes for me! They were on sale for $40.

Old Matilda Jane pants from consignment, new embroidered blouse, and Target Universal Thread cardigan, with Old consignment Birkenstocks.

New Amazon Umgee sweater – you guys, I loved it! It is so soft and the perfect weight, black capri pants and black tee. I got fully dressed this day for a meeting with my principal.

My other new Umgee item from Amazon. I love this fall kimono and this is why I wanted the new white v-neck t-shirt.

And, finally just my new embroidered top to teach in sitting at my computer with my blue light blockers on.

I am trying to have fewer items in my closet but more items that I love. This goes against my bargain shopper nature, but I am working on it! I also know I need staple items. These are not especially fun to buy but without them you cannot put an outfit together, you know?

What are you wearing lately? Have you made the switch from summer to fall? I put all my white things away and anything that looked super summery. I know the white thing is not a big deal anymore but I wear so much white in the summer that I am ready to say adiós and move on. Over the last couple of years I have been looking for fall colors in lighter weights for this time of year. It has helped a lot!

Thanks for visiting me!

Amy

Empty Nest Grocery Shopping

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

So, we have been empty nesters for a bit over a month. If you are new here I have twin boys who just started their freshman year of college. Just like we went from zero to two kids we also went from two kids to zero. Wah! It is still surreal that it all happened so fast!

During March through August I felt like I spent soooo much money at the grocery and I know I am not the only one that felt that way, right? I was doing so much more cooking than normal and we were eating almost all of our meals at home. My grocery bill was $1000-$1200 a month I think (I must admit I did not track it very well)! So, after we packed the boys up, I set a goal to only spend $500 a month with just the two of us here.

Here is how I did from August 15-September 15:

Kroger $170 – I really do not know what happened. It was my first time shopping in person instead of doing Kroger pick up. I found new products and I was buying some things for my first care package to drop off for the boys. Plus, I had run out of a lot of staple items or had put off buying things until after we got the boys situated.

Kroger $70 – the next week I just filled in and did not need as much

Trader Joe’s – $60

Kroger $140 but only paid $40 – had rewards checks – yippee!

Fresh Market $25 – just needed/wanted a few things

Kroger $90 – but had $41.10 in coupons (more rewards checks and a valuable coupon) – so only spent $48.90.

Kroger $25

Paul’s Fruit Market $20

Grand Total for first empty nest month = $458.90

I was really happy and proud! But, honestly, I think I should be able to spend even less once I figure out what we really need in a week. I have not done really well with meal planning because I am busy with school.

Shopping now: a little tiny can of beans. Womp, womp. So sad and small in my palm.

I have never seen my fridge so empty. It was a good time to clean it out. I am also still really working hard on less food waste. We did not need two gallons of milk. I had a coupon to get a free box of cereal with two gallon of milk purchase. Bad idea.

A couple of meals we have eaten lately:

tortilla soup with little grilled ham and cheese on sourdough

oven baked cajun tilapia, corn, asparagus, half a baked potato.

Strawberry salad – grilled chicken, spinach, goat cheese, strawberries, sunflower seeds

I am hoping to do more soups soon.

What have you been eating lately?

Do you think your grocery bill went up during the pandemic?

Thanks for reading!

Amy