21st Anniversary!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

It’s hard to believe that we have been married for 21 years today!

I feel like every year I talk about our wedding and put this photo – one of my favorites – on the blog:

This year I thought I would dig out the honeymoon photos! This required taking photos of photos so the quality won’t be that great. Our honeymoon was in the era of “take your film to Walgreen’s and wait 7-10 days for it to be developed into prints”.

We went to Aruba! I think we had to be at the airport at 3:00 a.m. after our wedding reception!

Dinner on the beach:

I remember really liking all of my honeymoon wardrobe. Tom still owns most of his clothes he wore! I don’t own a stitch anymore!

Dinner at a romantic outdoor place that had the trees all covered in lights:

The food in Aruba was really good. We did not do all inclusive because we wanted to be free to go wherever.

On this day we sea kayaked and snorkeled. We snorkeled at least three times during the week. We are not big on just laying on the beach!

We had a disposable underwater camera.

We went on a “pirate ship” and snorkeled around a shipwreck.

Tom did a flip off the boat; he was invited to do so, he didn’t just do it!

We rented a “Jeep” one day and saw all of the 60 square mile island. I remember we thought this purple rental was funny.

We saw lots of cool things while exploring. It is very windy in Aruba; there are even trees bent from the wind.

Tom used to get so tan.

Is that Fabio? Michael Bolton? Matthew McConnaughey? It’s my new husband!

This was a famous bar so we had to check it out.

I remember being excited to return home and just be married! And, a year and a half later we would find out we were having twins!

We have a dinner reservation tonight! Hopefully Tom will gaze into my eyes and profess how much more he loves me today than he did 21 years ago.

How long have you been married? Where did you go on your honeymoon? I love hearing others’ stories!

Amy

what I wore wednesday

wednesday, july 14, 2021

Hello all and thank you so much for your support and kind words in regards to my post yesterday. I continued to second guess myself after I scheduled it to post. But, from the comments you all left I am now happy that I put it out there in the blogosphere.

I am linking up today with The Style Six here!

Let’s just pretend I never mentioned taking a shopping break in July, o.k.? The way I shop, though, I think you have to strike while the iron is hot, you know? (Do you all use that expression? Maybe I shouldn’t use it? What even is the history with that?) I have my little boutique and my consignment shops that I pop into and I have a running list of holes to fill in my closet. Also, I did a nice purge of things I wasn’t wearing – so I felt I was hyper aware of what I should be wearing and what things I “needed” to add.

I added this velour/velvet Old Navy top for $8. I have the burgundy and the mustard from a few years ago. I like to have a short sleeved winter/festive option because homegirl gets hot sometimes, you know? I am the homegirl to whom I am referring. Is three of one shirt too many? Maybe? I just imagined this looking chic with some black pants and black heels. I love the look of navy and black when done intentionally. We won’t talk about the time I was a student teacher and wore identical navy and black pumps – one on the left foot and one on the right foot.

And, this Chico’s kimono was $18 – kinda pricey for consignment – but I know that the original price was probably steep. I love the navy/white tie-dye/ikat look and thought this would look great with white jeans. I often size down in kimonos because more billowy isn’t always a good look on me. When you have a larger chest you can look bigger with oversized items. I did purge about 10 kimonos and many of them were too big.

A closer look at the design:

If you are local, those were both from Clothes Mentor. I feel that their quality is down and their prices are up but I still do find things every once in a while and I try to go in once every couple of weeks. It is super organized – by size and color – and it is right next to my favorite Target so it’s convenient.

Then, if you read my hello monday you know that I popped in to TJ Maxx on Saturday specifically looking for something to wear to dinner that night. When I was in my early 20s my friends and I did that almost every Saturday – we would shop for something to wear that night! I feel that I have teacher blouses but not necessarily going out blouses. You could still argue that this is more of a teacher blouse, but I loved it.

And, I found this blouse which I would not say is a going out blouse, but I loved the simple greenery design and the material. I have to have comfortable material or I won’t buy it!

And, the true test for me of a good purchase is if I wear an item right away. I wore the red on Saturday night below.

I wore it with white jeans that I cut off myself from Old Navy and my beloved MIA clog sandals.

Then, on Sunday, I wore the white blouse to eat lunch at a Mexican restaurant with friends. I paired it with my Target cut offs and my lace up sandals and an old consignment clutch.

I also tried the front tuck both on Saturday night and Sunday and found it to be flattering. I have not thought I could do it.

Finally, I wore the cut offs again to run errands on Monday with an old Old Navy black top and my black patent Birkenstocks. Nothing exciting but you have an instant outfit when you pair cut offs with a top, right?

What have you been wearing? Are you going to shame me for my purchases? Ha!

At this moment, I am not planning to shop the Nordstrom sale and I am already tired of hearing about it. I am going to eat some words, though. I do think the Spanx faux leather leggings are great. I talked last year about the Target Wild Fable and the Aerie crackles in comparison to them. I think the material of the Spanx is pretty magical but last winter the waistband was rolling down on me and uncomfortable. I am hoping that they will be comfortable this year with a few pounds off. With that said, if you think you will wear faux leather or had a starter pair like I did to see how much you wore them, I think they could be a good purchase of the NSale. I hope that makes sense! I think a big ticket item like a leather jacket or a purse could be a good thing to buy, too. Remember you can always return it if it isn’t perfect. I will let you know if I do buy something.

As always, thanks for stopping by. You make this a really fun hobby!

Amy

Eating Lately

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

My most frequent summer breakfast – sauteed veggies topped with egg

This is a very personal post, and it has been in my drafts folder for quite a while. On April 8th, I started cleaning up my diet. I wanted to wait awhile until I shared it with you. It’s not you – it’s me. I was scared to put this out here because I don’t want to fail and become a hypocrite.

Also, I want to make this a permanent lifestyle change with more balance and I don’t want to consider this being on a diet with an end date! You may remember I started WW in March 2019 and did really well for a couple of months and then summer came and I got lazy and didn’t want to have to worry about it. Now I am pretty mad at myself because I had already started, you know?

Ultimately, I decided to finally share this post because it may help someone else. And, it may help me to put this out there and get more ideas from you!

You might be scratching your head thinking, “I just saw her happy hour or restaurant foods” – yes, you did! I am still making room for those in my weekly plan! Again, this is a lifestyle change and I want to sustain it and not hate my life while doing it!

My main goal is to be healthier and that can be partially achieved by getting down to a better weight. I never really struggled with weight until after I had my twins and I did really well until about age 34. I had them at 30 and then I picked up running again (I ran from age 24-34) to lose the baby weight, but then life happened and I got busy and had lots of excuses. I also had some neck issues and a chiropractor suggested it was from running and said I should stop. I’ve spent the last 15 years accumulating “baggage”. In addition, I was learning to cook and enjoying the fruits of my labor – too much – if you know what I mean. I love and appreciate good food and drink and never want to be fussy about what I can and cannot have, if that makes sense. I think that food and drink are so tied in with a joie d’vivre or love of life.

I feel kinda weird sharing this but below was around age 27 when I was running almost daily. I am wearing white pantyhose?

And, this is such a happy memory. This is from my sister’s wedding which was only two months after mine. We have so many funny stories from Kate’s wedding. Maybe I will share them with her permission some day!

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I gained a bunch of weight while pregnant but two years later and I was back in pretty good shape. Sadly, there are not many pictures of me. Moms, make sure you get in the pictures! These were all pre-smart phone, of course!

On April 8th, I started by using the old WW zero points food list and I tried to mainly eat those foods. The points system is really very easy. The macros thing makes my head swim, but I know that works for many people. And, maybe some day I will learn how to do that and what that means.

Basically, the zero points list encourages you to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and very little processed foods. I love vegetables and eat way more of these than fruits. I think I prefer cooked vegetables to raw. I am not a big fruit person, but I am trying to add more. I do love a banana for a mid morning snack; I also like to talk about how a banana is so filling and comes in its own perfect compartment – lol. I love to have eggs involved in my breakfast and those are zero points. This start date also coincided with me having to go back to school in person. I was able to pack my breakfast and my lunch and that helped a bunch, I think.

I was and have been inspired by bloggers I read namely Joanne and Katie, and my blog reader and friend Kim. Kim has been a great source of recipes. Kellyann is also a big believer in WW and she is an inspiration for maintaining a balanced and happy life while staying healthy. My RL bestie Heather has kept what she learned in WW going for over 20 years. She went to WW in the early 2000s. And, this is the main reason I finally decided to post this – maybe this will help someone else out there who is struggling. The above people have no idea I am mentioning them. Oftentimes you don’t know that you are an inspiration to others!

On May 1, not even a month after I started I was having success and decided to officially join WW. I took the assessment and it told me I should do the purple plan. There are also blue and green plans. I am tracking foods on the app but not attending any meetings. The app has recipes and a ton of information.

Some things I have learned:

I know that I need protein to fill me up! One way to do this is with my iced coffee recipe. I take a packet or scoop of instant coffee powder and add a bit of water and stir up really well, then add half of a Premier Protein shake which is 1 point. I have also found drinking it from a mason jar or wine glass feels fun and decadent at home. When I take it to school or elsewhere I put it in a Starbuck’s reusable cup with lid and straw! This feels like a nice treat to me! My favorite is still vanilla but now I also love peanut butter chocolate and caramel.

Other than that, I would say I am trying to not drink my calories. I do have a cocktail a couple of times a week, but I have really reduced my consumption of alcoholic beverages. I have coffee in the morning and then I just drink water the rest of the day. I rarely have a soft drink or really any other drink. The app also has a place for you to record your water intake.

I needed to look at serving sizes. Kim also recommended a food scale. It is nice to be able to weigh your foods for a more realistic picture of how much you are eating.

A weekend breakfast of an omelette and turkey sausage links:

Like I said, it really helped that I started this when I went back to school in person and packed both breakfast and lunch each day. Almost every school day I took a 100 calorie English muffin with one egg and one slice of fat free American cheese. I prepped these on the weekends. Then, I got into the breakfast burrito kick using a low carb tortilla and including egg, a tiny bit of cheese, a tiny bit of potato, and random vegetables if I had them. I could have also added turkey bacon or turkey sausage.

An example of what I packed for the day:

breakfast sandwich from above, banana for snack, baked potato and avocado toast for lunch, piece of Dove dark chocolate, gummy vitamins, and a brown rice roller if needed.

taco salad for dinner

Below, I made my fried rice with cauliflower rice and my husband’s with regular rice. This is my plate with a bit of the regular rice, too. This turned out great with cauliflower rice!

I love veggie burgers and found this Trader Joe’s to be really good and spicy! I have tried 3 other brands now and the quinoa cowboy is definitely my favorite! I put in in a low carb wrap sometimes with dill pickles and mustard.

Another taco salad with spicy cauliflower and a bit of a ground turkey hash on the side. I have been learning to love ground turkey!

A weekend lunch of avocado toast, turkey, a laughing cow wedge, and celery

non fat Greek yogurt with berries and a bit of granola

I love celery! These three items from Trader Joe’s are great for dipping with celery.

I made meatball subs for the family and I had turkey meatballs on light bun. I am just doing easy variations for me, but still having the same meals. I used Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs for me and regular meatballs from the freezer section for my three guys. I often do small swaps for me but we all eat the same dinner. I think I am making the boys and Tom eat healthier, too!

A simple bean burrito on a low carb tortilla for a school lunch

Egg roll in a bowl with ground turkey and cole slaw mix. You add soy sauce and water and I added a bit of oyster sauce. This is a very low point meal and it’s delicous!

The famous zero point vegetable soup with cabbage. I used v8 juice as my base so it’s more like 2 points. This was my lunch one week. Egg roll in a bowl was my lunch one week and sweet potato lasagna with ground turkey was my lunch one week. You use sweet potato slices as the “noodles”. I need to do that recipe again and make it better. It has potential! My sweet potatoes were not cooked enough – probably because I didn’t slice them thinly enough.

A dinner of open faced veggie burger with melted cheese and pickles, potato chunks with romesco sauce, and brussel sprouts. The fam had regular burgers.

Derby night restaurant meal:

The vegetable platter – it was so good!

I am making better choices in restaurants but I am saving up the extra points you get weekly to use on Saturdays normally.

For dessert, I have been making a mug cake (I shared the recipe a few weeks ago), having a mini muffin (shared the recipe last week), or having one of these. They are so good!

Here is the list I used for the first 3 weeks:

Then, after 3 weeks, like I said, I officially joined. color. You guys, guess what is zero points on purple? The potato! Is there a more perfect food? Now, they don’t mean the potato in greasy french fry form, unfortunately! Lol!

I feel really lucky that I like to cook and find new recipes. That has helped a lot.

Other things that are helping me:

I unfollowed decadent food accounts and started following some WW accounts – people who are on the plan or have like-minded recipes.

I started walking after school with two co-workers during our 8 weeks of in person instruction.

There are no foods I cannot have. That is an important mindset. My dietician friend doesn’t like when people say “bad foods”.

I will absolutely not stop doing fun things! It was eye-opening to realize how much involves food! I mean I did know that, but it is so true! And, I may do a recipe post once a week but I won’t talk about this ad nauseum, I promise!

Now, I guess you want to know how I am doing if you are still here…

I have lost over 20 pounds so far, but the biggest thing is that I FEEL so much better already. I am sleeping better, I have more energy, my clothes are looser, and there are probably more things I am forgetting.

I am still scared. I am still learning what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. I have a long way to go, but again, I don’t have an end date; I want to treat my body better always.

I would love to hear about your journey or your thoughts on a healthy lifestyle!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

hello monday

Monday, July 12, 2021

It’s time once again to link up with Lindsay, Tanya, and many more here to see what everyone did this weekend.

Friday I went back to the adult pool with my friend Elizabeth and it was so much fun! The time went by so fast and we talked and talked. I need to go alone with my book one day but I also love the company, you know?

Here is the front of the historic home. I think it’s just so picturesque!

Friday night is just easy to do pizza, right? This is kinda weird but I make myself the skinny biz pizza while Tom gets his $1.00 frozen Totino’s and if the boys are home they get a medium Domino’s. Hey – it works for us right now. Tom loves Totino’s supreme and doesn’t love my skinny pizza – but why? It is so delicious! Mason likes it but Jack is so picky. So, anyway… a little crazy but it works!

We are now watching Kim’s Convenience and Superstore together when all 4 of us are at home.

Saturday morning I did some veggie prep.

And, then I went to Aldi and again was super impressed by what I found. I am thinking about showing what I bought if you all are interested.

Then, I hit up TJ Maxx specifically looking for “going out” tops. I found this below and thought it had a bit of an Anthropologie vibe which is quite a high compliment for me.

And, I found this blouse.

The test for me of a good purchase is if I wear it right away. I am happy to report that I wore the red one Saturday night and the white one Sunday. They cost $39 combined and I was quite pleased. Please don’t bring up my July spending freeze, because… oooops.

Then, Tom and I saw the 1:00 Black Widow. It was really good. Again, we love the theater! It is so fun to go again!

Tom washed and cleaned the interior of my car for me and it looks so good. I am a neat freak with my car.

I ordered and received gel polish and a lamp but thought the base and top coat were included. Still, I was pretty impressed by the product on my first try. Anyone do gel nails at home?

Our two couple friends came over at 6:30 and we had some cheese and crackers and cocktails and then all piled in our car to go out to eat. As we were going out to the car the skies opened up and my back and hair got soaked. Oh well! You can tell that I look like a drowned rat below!

I had a mezcal grapefruit drink that was really good.

Guacamole with vegetables and house made chips:

Pecan crusted brie:

I ordered mahi mahi tacos and they were delish! It was an upscale (pricey) Mexican place.

It was a fun evening! I love riding together instead of meeting at the place. Tom is always the designated driver!

Sunday morning I did the once every couple of months Costco run.

Oops…I veered from my list quite a bit.

We were supposed to take our friends on the boat but we still had rain in the forecast so we did lunch at another Mexican place. Can you really eat Mexican too much?

I had fajitas and they were so good!

This mural is part of the restaurant.

Then, we hit up the farmer’s market that is held in the neighborhood where the Mexican restaurant is.

We came home and I watched some Virgin River and fell asleep on accident. Anyone watching Season 3?

For dinner, we heated up leftovers from the weekend and added a few other things. Sunday night seems like a good leftover night, right?

What was the highlight of your weekend? I hope you have too many to choose just one!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, July 9, 2021

Happy Friday! I am linking up today with Andrea and others here!

I have a lot of food favorites this week! I hope that’s ok! I guess this was a four day week with Tom off on Monday? And, I have not really known what day it is.

I made mini muffins this week and I could do a separate post, but they are so good I wanted to go ahead and share.

You need: any cake mix, 1 cup of water, 1 tsp. of vanilla (you will see I added the vanilla to my measuring cup), and a Chobani non-fat plain Greek yogurt.

Mix everything up, put in mini muffin pan (I had extra batter for more than 24 so I did a second batch with 8 more) and bake for 13 ish minutes. You may need a bit longer depending on your oven. I can’t remember exactly how long I did because I had to cook for longer.

They are delish and not too bad for you! I believe they are one point on WW if you do WW.

Sometimes I just want something sweet and I picked up this pineapple gum. Yum!

I had a breakfast with a friend at a place called Con Huevos. It is kinda Mexican and kinda Cuban. I ordered an omelette with tons of veggies, a bit of Oaxaca cheese, and salsa roja.

My friend ordered chilaquiles.

Mason requested churros so I brought them home!

I also had a nice happy hour with a friend this week and just ordered a good old Michelob Ultra Light on draft. It was tasty.

For breakfast at home I often have a veggie scramble with veggies and egg. I am a total egg for breakfast person. I make a big batch of vegetables one day and use them all week.

I am reading this now and it’s cute so far.

I love a non-fiction or self-help book and got this to start. Lindsay recommended it.

I talked about cleaning recently and I’m doing really well. It always helps me to have cleaning products that I enjoy using. This smells great. I love Method products.

So, what were your favorites this week? Did I show you enough food? Ha!

Thanks for visiting me,

Amy

Nashville Getaway

Thursday, July 8, 2021

I was looking for a short trip before one of my sons dedicated the rest of his summer to his Shakespeare in the Park rehearsals and performances. We could have done a whole week to somewhere in June, but honestly I just didn’t get anything together. It’s been a big and crazy year, as you know. The kids moved home April 29th and we were busy with that adjustment and finishing up my school year. Our kids are not big beach people anymore. They could’ve handled a couple of days on the beach, but need more options I think. I also wasn’t excited about flying yet for various reasons. So, that is how I picked Nashville for our very short getaway.

It was an easy drive at just under 3 hours. Tom always drives and I always navigate. He does not enjoy being a passenger and that is fine with me. After rolling into town around 11, we stopped to see the interior of the Opryland Hotel. It was swarming with people and it looked like a convention was going on, as well.

I had made a reservation to eat at The Aquarium for lunch because Jack loves marine life. Nashville is an hour behind us so that made it nice. We kind of gained an hour.

Mason dressed for it, which I thought was sweet. It was just o.k.- the food was o.k. and the experience was just o.k. I thought it was going to be a little more interesting than it was. Oh well.

Then, we drove into downtown Nashville to go on a redneck comedy tour of the sights of Nashville. It was bad. We were trapped on a school bus that was quite hot for two hours. It wasn’t funny and I wouldn’t even say it was very informative. You guys, I normally laugh at everything. I kind of have to as a high school teacher, right? I hardly even cracked a smile. One of the tour leaders went off on personal tangents and political tangents. It was uncomfortable and our kids hated it.

They stopped halfway through at this moonshine place with a nice outdoor area. Jack and Mason walked to the hotel at that point. Oh well again. You live and you learn. Tom was a good sport but he thought it was not great, either.

Our hotel was really nice! We stayed at The Graduate. I had never heard of this chain before planning for this trip but apparently they are commonly near college campuses. It was across form Vanderbilt which is gorgeous.

It smelled so good and I shared Tuesday that they had full sized products in the shower by Malin + Goetz. I can’t wait to order the rum body wash. I doesn’t smell like rum to me but I can’t put my finger on what it does smell like.

In the photo above those are pencils embedded in the lobby coffee bar!

The rooftop bar is below.

rooftop pool:

For our dinner the first night, we walked to Hattie B’s hot chicken. We have Joella’s and Royals hot chicken here in Louisville and we love them; they are also hot chicken places.

We were all tired from the long day and the hot bus, I think! We stayed in the room after dinner.

The next morning we wanted to do the art museum for Mason, so we walked to The Gulch area and found a little coffee and breakfast spot.

We had everything croissant sandwiches. I am going to add my seasoning to the Trader Joe’s frozen croissants! So good!

We found the murals!

This was Tom’s idea to have little wings and he did the face to emphasize that he was sad to have smallers wings than me.

We made it to the art museum and had to wear masks! Luckily I had packed some for the Lyft. Those were the only two places we had to wear them.

The art museum is in the old post office and it is a really pretty building.

From there we walked to Broadway. This is where there are tons of bars and restaurants with live music. There are also some record shops.

Below is Miranda Lambert’s place called Casa Rosa. We had driven down the main drag in our bus the day before, too.

We sat down in Ole Red, Blake Shelton’s place, and had a drink. Tom doesn’t drink and the boys were appalled at all of the “day drinking”. Tom and Mason like country music and I am fine with it. Jack does not like it. But, Jack plays guitar and piano, so he appreciates musicians.

We Lyfted back to the hotel to rest after walking the whole day – from maybe 9-3. I had to take another shower because I was sweaty. I cannot stress this enough. Wear very comfortable shoes and dress for the city heat and humidity.

That night the boys wanted to order food and Tom and I walked in the rain to a different area. He wanted pizza and I didn’t care. I tried a prosecco cider – yum! We split a small pizza and I even let Tom get his preferred toppings because they wouldn’t let us get half and half. I am a vegetable pizza person. I also like just cheese. but Tom wants his meat.

We found some music in the Virgin Hotel lobby.

They were handing out free prosecco for their one year anniversary. Okay!

Then we walked around some more looking for more live music and couldn’t find any. This was a Thursday night and it was raining and we were not on Broadway, but we thought surely there would be music. Nope! I did talk to a friend who said she was really disappointed in Nashville after having been to Memphis. I don’t know. There were lots of bachelorette and 21st birthday groups and many of them were staying in our hotel but they didn’t bother us. We did not get to check out any suburbs like Franklin which I have heard is really cute.

So, the next morning we headed out. It was a quick trip but I’m glad we got away.

Some things I learned:

-Boutique hotel kinda means smaller hotel rooms – or maybe the rooms in a downtown area are always smaller? I tried to splurge a little and the common areas were great but the room was small. I also encountered this at the Omni in Louisville. I think we are Comfort Inn type people!

-We probably need to get two rooms now. We had not stayed in a hotel room as a family since the boys were 14. We have rented VRBOs where we can spread out. I figured for only two nights it would be fine and it was, but next time we probably need two rooms.

-The parking situation is rough in any big city’s downtown area. We had to rely on walking and using Lyft one time. Lyft and Uber still require masks. I did not have an account set up so we used our kids’ account once. The hotel did not include parking and it was $40 a night in their garage. We took our Suburban with racks on top and it didn’t fit in their garage so Tom had to find a different one and then didn’t want to risk losing that spot. It was a whole thing!

–Tom wants to go, go, go and the boys and I want a bit of down time to head back to the hotel between activities.

-Manage expectations when teens are involved.

–I brought an extension cord and will always do that from now on. It was so nice to have with all of the chargers one has in modern life.

Have you been to Nashville? What was your favorite activity?

Thanks for reading,

Amy

What I Wore and What I Packed

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Today is the day I link up with The Style Six here! Maybe you are starting to get tired of your summer clothes and can “copy” off of one of these ladies? Maybe you have a trip planned and my “What I Packed” portion will help you?

Let’s get started!

We had a 3 day getaway that was under 3 hours away. I wore my heaviest shoes in the car – aren’t you supposed to do that? Bad idea for a road trip for me. My pigs need to breathe! Oh well!

I wore my yellow Walmart dress for day one and I must have seen at least 4 women wearing the blue color! Lol! Our first stop was to look around the Opryland hotel. It does bother me that the line is not totally below the bust line on me but I decided to let it go. I got a few compliments on the bright yellow color.

Day two I decided to wear the cut offs and white top. I only wore these sandals in the hotel in the morning for coffee. They are super comfortable but I didn’t want to ruin them with lots of walking and I didn’t think they would be the best choice.

I put my tennies back on and I had to put the hair up. Nashville is hot and humid just like Louisville but worse! Ha!

That night I changed into the black version of the yellow dress for dinner but still paired it with the tennies because it was raining. I forgot to get a photo but here I am wearing it below to shop before the trip.

I was pretty good with packing this time. I am a total overpacker! I always worry about things I might need and different situations that may arise.

I used the Vera Bradley consignment overnight bag and it was perfect. I don’t think this would be good for a plane trip but it is great for a car trip.

I took three pairs of shoes. Shoes are normally the hardest category for me to narrow down.

I took only these pieces of jewelry. As you can see I focused on gold in both the jewelry and the shoes.

I sleep in black tanks and shorts at home and I brought this on the trip, too.

The yellow Walmart dress:

a blurry photo of the black Walmart dress:

my favorite Target Universal Thread cut offs that I won’t stop talking about along with my old Costco top:

Loft patterned knit pants and Target Universal Thread black knit top:

I wore the above for the ride home.

I brought a pair of athletic shorts and a white tee and flag kimono but didn’t end up using those. I packed very lightly and felt really good!

Yesterday I wore this to breakfast with my friend:

I Marie Kondo’ed my kimono collection and offered about 10 kimonos to her. I told her I had so many that I wasn’t ever going to wear my 11th favorite! She was thrilled. It makes me happy to let things go when I know someone will use them!

I am trying to have a “No Spend July”! Can I do it? I am not sure because there will be some mighty good sales. I think organizing my closet and seeing all that I do have and all that I haven’t worn yet will help. You know that I like to challenge myself to wear everything before a season ends! If I don’t want to wear it it has to go. It feels wasteful but I always feel so much lighter when my closet is curated. As Marie says, the item served you for a time but you need to let it go and thank it for its service.

What have you worn lately?

What is your packing style?

What is your unpacking style? I unpack right away! I can’t sit down until mail and packages are taken care of, unpacking is done, and laundry is started.

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Weekend Recap

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Hey everyone! I took a break from my computer and did not touch it for a full week! I missed you!

How was your 4th of July? We did not do a whole lot, to be honest. We have several friends away on vacation and we had just gotten back from a little getaway. We spent the end of last week in Nashville and I will recap that soon.

I finished this and I really liked it. It was cute! It involved a travel company and a trip to the Galápagos Islands and of course there was some romance! My favorite from this summer is still probably Float Plan. It had everything I want in a summer book. I did enjoy Golden Girl but I didn’t like that the main character was a ghost or a spirit. I am also not sure about a recent quote by Elin; she is retiring from the beach reads in a couple of years and wants to become a book influencer. She said that only writers are qualified to be book influencers and she criticized Oprah and Reese Witherspoon and their book clubs. She also made an Anne Frank reference in Golden Girl that she later apologized for. I am not one to “cancel” someone but it gave me pause and I think I might be done with her books. I have read them all up to this point. I am not sure if I will read the little e-book that follows up with 28 Summers because I didn’t love that book. It made me mad. Any thoughts? Again, I always want you to know you can disagree with me!

I made this red, white, and blue salad for Friday night dinner along with salmon, broccoli, and potatoes. I did romaine, blueberries, strawberries, sunflower seeds, and feta. I used Brianna’s brand dressing. Yum!

I love coming home and going through all the mail and packages (I only had a couple I promise!). Isn’t that the best? One of the things that arrived was this cereal below.

Tom mentioned to me that he wanted to try Magic Spoon and I had been curious as well. This is bad. We spent $30ish on the variety pack – peanut butter, cocoa, fruity, and frosted. I have only tried the peanut butter and the fruity but there is a strange after taste. Tom has tried all but cocoa. Tom hates it, too. I am sorry if this is an unpopular opinion. This is heavily pushed on some of my podcasts and by some of the influencers I follow. Now I know; I will not be buying this again.

The hotel we stayed in in Nashville had full size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in the shower. I fell in love with the body wash, especially. Has anyone heard of this brand? I can’t wait to splurge and order a bottle! It says it is rum scented, but I don’t really get that. It is a wonderful light smell that I really can’t describe. The whole hotel smells like it and Mason noticed how great it smelled upon first entering!

Saturday I woke from sleeping in my own bed! Isn’t that the best, too? I had to don a sweatshirt. It was so nice.

My new shoes arrived! I love them! I don’t know if it is because I was wearing very worn out shoes to walk in, but these have great support in my opinion. The tongue is attached and you don’t tie them. I like that aspect, too!

Saturday our boys had 3 friends over and they played games in the basement. It made me so happy and I made two platters to be silly. This one had homemade brownies, little cookies from Trader Joe’s, Sour Patch kids, and chocolate rocks that I get from Paul’s Fruit Market.

Then, I popped popcorn and did individual bags of chips. The guys were so appreciative!

After all the friends came around 2, Tom and I were going to take the boat out, but there had been lots of rain and the river was high with lots of debris. We decided to wait until Sunday.

We decided just to go sit on the banks and have a drink at Captain’s Quarters.

I had a glass of prosecco. See how there are hardly any boats out?

We went home at dinner and the boys ordered Domino’s for their friends and Tom had a Totino’s (he loves them!), and I made the skinny biz pizza dough pizza for me.

I also made two little bread sticks and used some spray butter! Yum!

We put our bedroom tv on the patio and watched t.v. and read.

Sunday morning I did a Kroger run and then made the lemonade pie. This is the first one of the season! This is a recipe from my Aunt Sally – mix about half of a frozen lemonade canister with about 1/4 gallon vanilla ice cream. Stir until it’s melted together and pour into the crust. It works best if you let it freeze an entire 24 hours before serving. Yum!

Mason had a 4th of July party to go to and I offered to make brownies in cupcake liners with homemade icing and sprinkles.

Then, Tom and I finally made it out to the river around 1 on Sunday.

We were NOT part of this party. It looked like fun, though!

We just hung out for a few hours and then pulled into Captain’s Quarters and were met by this cute little duck family.

We ordered some spinach and queso dip and ate on the boat.

And, then we went back home and had cheeseburgers, asparagus, and fries for Tom and Jack. I had a veggie burger with asparagus and a baked potato. Mason was at the party until late. We aren’t big fireworks people anymore so we didn’t go anywhere. The sun made me tired and I could hardly keep my eyes open.

Yesterday was a day of all the things – floor mopping, laundry, taking my car to the shop, and other adulting!

Come back Thursday to hear about Nashville. Tomorrow I will tell you what I packed and what I have been wearing. I’m sure you can hardly wait! Just kidding, of course!

How was your holiday weekend? Can you believe we are already to this point of the summer?

THanks for reading,

Amy

Friday Favorites and Ideas for the Fourth!

Friday, July 2, 2021

Linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here!

I will be back here on Tuesday, July 6th! I decided to take Monday off!

Here are a few favorites from the week. Stay with me and I will share some ideas for your 4th of July celebration!

I liked the Pure so much I got another color called “honey harmony”. Sorry for the bad picture.

I found this at The Dollar Tree and I love it! Have you ever had a fountain vanilla Coke? It is so good!

I haven’t tried this yet, but I bought the strawberry moscato from the summery Target display!

I sped through this book. If you have a kid in college or close to college you may enjoy it more. It’s really good, in my opinion.

I have been trying to find this and I finally found it at a different Target than my normal one. I had it with my instant coffee powder in iced coffee form and it tastes like someone melted a Reese’s Cup. OMG! This is a great afternoon treat!

What are your plans for the 4th of July? We normally try to boat and follow it up with a cookout with just our family of four or with a few other people.

If I go to a cookout I usually like to pick two patriotic colors – maybe just blue and white or red and white. I did find a flag kimono last year on sale and scooped that up! If you scroll to the bottom of this post you will see some outfit ideas! And, there are better pictures here with some other ideas.

If we go on the boat, I have learned to do a portable charcuterie with some red, white, and blue touches. I put things in a plastic container to be arranged later on the boat when we are stopped.

I love to buy:

red, white, and blue potato chips and tortilla chips or blue chips and red salsa

red, white, and blue M and Ms

patriotic Rice Krispies for the treats

blueberries and strawberries – some years I make fruit pizza with these

I would love to create a red, white, and blue candy charcuterie board sometime!

I also love to stroll the grocery aisles looking for red, white, and blue inspiration!

What are your 4th of July traditions? Do you dress for it? Are there any foods you like to make?

I hope you had lots of favorites this week! Let me know one in the comments!

Amy

Easy Popcorn

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Does your family love popcorn as much as mine?

I don’t love the stuff in microwave popcorn. It actually doesn’t look as bad as I thought… but, still..

Take a brown lunch sack and put 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in it. Add a bit of salt if you would like. Fold the bag over a couple of times. Place the bag upright in the microwave and press your popcorn button. When finished, you can use spray butter (which probably also has chemicals!) or real melted butter if you want!

This would be fun for kids to do! Watch out for hot popcorn kernels, of course!

Amy