Fashion Files

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Do I have a hodge podge for you today! I have part of last week which was jeans and sweaters for virtual teaching (my self-imposed theme) and part of this week which was – I don’t even know what! I am linking up with my friend Kellyann and others!

I am trying to wear all of the things in my winter closet, but honestly my style has changed. I don’t want want to live the frump life any longer, you know? I have let a few bags of stuff go and I am working with a much smaller closet. it’s actually bringing me joy to have less to choose from! Thoughts? Anyone else?

I have been teaching from my classroom without students for almost two weeks now. It’s weird, ya’ll. I miss their energy.

One day I wore my light jeans and Madewell sweater. I have on my new Amazon sneaks that I am loving!

Saturday night I went out for dinner and left after dark -thus the mudroom pic – I wore jeans, booties, and my fave hot pink sweater with my new purse strap!

Tuesday for school my theme was leggings and ponchos but I felt so frumpy!

Yesterday was another poncho and hiding a secret underneath…

My secret:

We were headed after work to the charcuterie place!

I bought my new pink leopard strap from a local boutique, but i found a couple on Amazon:

I also bought this perfume. I first discovered it at Lake Michigan a few years ago and my little sis loves it, too!

I did the Essie marshmallow on my nails.

I may add my glitter because glitter!

What have you been wearing lately? I would love to know!

Are you content with your winter wardrobe? Already shopping for spring? Spill!

Amy

Teen Fashion

Wednesday, January 19. 2022

Today I have a fun and short post that my nieces helped me to write.

I have 6 darling nieces that are ages 22, 20, 15, 14, 13, and 11. This post is probably best suited for those of you who have girls aged 11-18 in your lives!

If you are having trouble connecting, maybe suggest a thrift store shopping spree?

Here is my panel:

These Nikes are super popular. I love the colors they chose!

Also, just so that you know, my niece Nora was diagnosed after a year of medical mysteries (including multiple ER visits and hospital stays) with something called POTS and is currently on a feeding tube that she has to wear 24/7. She is such a strong girl, but this has been such a hard year for her and her mom, my sister.

Favorite Stores:

Thrift! – I love this! I think it is so great that teens have embraced shopping second hand.

American Eagle/Aerie – I love my Aerie items. The quality is great and the price is not bad.

Forever 21 – I haven’t been in one in years.

Dry Goods – there is one at our mall and I went in several years ago. It seemed overpriced.

Aeropostale – we have one but I don’t think I’ve ever been in one.

Dick’s – I guess this is where they could get their Nikes, but also the athletic clothing is so popular.

Champion – I think we have an outlet store at our outlet mall?

Target – Yes!

They all agreed that it’s less about the brand and more about what the item is.

They love the trends of Mom jeans, belts, and cropped shirts.

They also wanted me to mention that they like natural hair with volume and they like layers.

What do the teens in your life wear?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, January 17, 2021

Well…for most of us the weekend is not quite over! Yippee! But, the gals of Hello Monday are going on with the show so I will share what I have done so far! I am linking up with Holly and Sarah, our hosts. Check out some more blogs and maybe find a new one or two! If you are a blogger, link up!

So many wonderful quotes by MLK, but the one I am going to share today is…”You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

This applies to so many things…

Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to be more organized? We want it all now and don’t want to be patient, but it really does start with one step. I am only halfway up my staircase to being healthier. And, I am starting my 30 Bags in 30 Days challenge to have less stuff to organize!

Life may be hard right now. We have the quiet time at home to work on some things in our lives, possibly.

I’m feeling ok this January. I can’t believe it’s halfway over. I always have the hardest time with this month, I think. This week was hard, though. We went to virtual teaching for the week and my first day was rough. The rest of the week got better and some of it was due to my attitude. I made up my mind that the second day would be better.

As I write this on Sunday, I don’t know what the school plan is for this week – in person or virtual – so the uncertainty makes life hard. But, I told my students on Friday that either way we would carry on with our curriculum and our routine. Darn, it’s hard to be the adult sometimes. My attitude affects their attitudes, right?

Also, today is Betty White’s 100th birthday, so donate to an animal shelter in her name if you are so inclined and have the means.

And, now I will show you a margarita…hahahahaha! Isn’t she pretty?

There is a teacher at our school that has repeatedly invited us to a standing happy hour on Fridays at our nearby Mexican restaurant, but we have never been. The stars finally aligned for Erica, Elizabeth, and I to join this group.

Elizabeth teaches French so she did not get the t-shirt below that Erica ordered for she and I. It says “witch” because we call each other that and we think it’s funny. We decided to wear them on Friday.

It was a great way to start the weekend. I ordered a “skinny margarita” by asking for a shot of tequila, fresh lime, and a tiny bit of the “normal” margarita mix. It was amazing! Maybe I am on to something? It is most likely less “skinny” than my at home margs, but it’s ok.

There is just something so nice about talking to other work people who “get it”. We vented a bit about school, but then stopped the “shop talk” and one teacher told us the craziest story of winning his honeymoon trip on Wheel of Fortune and then being flown to the wrong city in Mexico. The story had several crazy details that had us all laughing and wondering how embellished the tale was!

We said goodbye and I took pineapple fajitas from the restaurant home for Tom and I with some chips and queso. Work smarter, not harder, right? Seriously, I had had that dinner planned all week.

Also, I had ordered groceries so I picked those up before heading home.

I wish I had taken a picture of the fajitas – they put the mixture in a half of a pineapple and it has shrimp, chicken, pineapple chunks, and onions, and then they give you the flour tortillas, rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, guac, sour cream on the side. Tom and I split a one person order and I use my own low carb tortilla. We watched a show together while we ate. Empty nester life…

As is typical with college kids, we were surprised when Jack and Mason came home Friday night at 9:00! I had thought they would come Saturday so it was a nice surprise. They had a three day weekend, too.

I woke up Saturday morning and I was excited to see the library books I had picked up on Wednesday waiting for me. I had been so busy I hadn’t even gotten to look at them.

I kinda hate it when all the books I request come in at the same time; makes me feel pressure to hurry up and read, but it’s also wonderful to have so many great options. Our library gives you three weeks but there are no longer any fines. Still, I feel guilty when others want to read the books I have.

I made myself a beautiful Spanish omelette of potato, onion, and mushroom. What makes it Spanish? They don’t fold it over as the Americans do. Don’t the French fold it thrice? Super fancy. I perfected the Spanish method of placing a plate over the skillet and doing a quick flip and slide so I like to do it often! Who knew how long I could talk about omelettes, right?

J and M are on a cinnamon toast kick lately when they are home. Yum! I made it in the air fryer on the toast setting.

I made giant chocolate chip cookies with mini chocolate chips!

I did my own laundry (we all do our own) and then piddled in my closet – one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday. I usually listen to a podcast while moving things around and tidying up. Kellyann mentioned that she changed her metallic laces to plain ones for a bit of a higher end look. I stole from another pair of shoes that are too big really and doesn’t it look great?

So, I have been an 8 in sandals and an 8.5 in closed toes shoes since I had my twins. I think before that I was a 7.5. I have a few pairs of 8.5s that are really too big now. Can your shoe size shrink with some weight loss?

I made myself a Greek Bowl for lunch – only for me! Yes, I am pretty obsessed with this meal.

I basically only used 3 WW points up until after lunch because I was “saving” points for dinner. My creamer for my coffee, my protein shake, and my tiny bit of feta were all I needed to count. And, I managed to eat about 3 cups of vegetables and drink most of my water for the day by lunch.

I showered and washed my hair – I am not washing my hair everyday lately. I think it’s been good.

I sat down in the basement to do a new mani.

I really liked it! I got several compliments on it when I went out.

I finally went out for the day around 3:00 and went to three boutiques in the nearby shopping center. I bought a couple of little things that I will show you Thursday!

I talked to J and M and made orange chicken, rice, and broccoli. They can make it but I do like to cook for them when they are home.

Tom and I went out with our two couples friends who we hadn’t seen for awhile.

We met at World of Beer which is pretty casual but has really good food in my opinion.

One of my friends and I tried a drink called a Greyhound with Tito’s, grapefruit juice, and lime. This is pretty much a Paloma, too. It was really good!

They have an amazing German pretzel!

I ordered the Cobb salad and look at the presentation! It looks small, but when you start eating it, it is a lot. I only put dressing on some of it so I could take the rest home!

We had a nice time and when I got home I microwaved a cookie and put a tiny bit of ice cream on it! Yum!

I stayed up kinda late watching Cheer 2. I also had watched part of Look Who’s Talking and Legally Blonde in the afternoon – such good movies! They just happened to be playing on YouTubeTV.

Sunday morning I slept in until 8:00!

I had my coffee and read a bit of this:

It’s really good and really makes you think about consumerism and what we really need and why we don’t let it go. I often like to read a fiction and a non-fiction at the same time.

I made a veggie scramble bowl:

The book inspired me to tackle my basement storage area with my seasonal decor tubs. I made a trash pile, a donation pile, and I got my Valentine stuff out.

I went to Starbucks and got a doppio with extra ice to put a Premier shake in and then I went to Target to get a few things. I have a problem resisting nail polish – I came home with OPI Gelato on my Mind and Essie Marshmallow.

I did the OPI Gelato for my pedi and then announced to Tom that I saved him $40. Lol. This is funny because I don’t save HIM and because the polish was $10! I may add a glitter coat because glitter! Y’all tired of my glitter? Don’t tell me if you are.

We got a dusting of snow and I was super lazy all Sunday afternoon until I made dinner.

And, that was about it! What was the highlight of your weekend? Did you get snow? Is anyone in your family sick? I hope not!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Friday Faves

Friday, January 14, 2021

Welcome to the happiest day of the week! In blog land, we share our favorites from the week with Andrea and Erika right here! Thank you to these ladies for helping me to get out of bed on Friday mornings. Coffee and a big blog day start my morning in a great way! Also, if you need more blogs to read…check out my post from Tuesday here.

And, check out my friend Tanya here. I feel horrible that I left her off of my favorite bloggers post, but her blog was in my photo! She runs the Prime Purchases link up and my photo is clear evidence that she is one of my favorite bloggers. See, I always leave someone out and it makes me feel horrible!

Here are some favorites from the week…

I have a couple of policies. When your kid asks to hang out with you, the answer is always YES!

If anyone asks me to do something fun, I try to say YES! I used to say NO a lot, but now I am at a stage in my life where I can say YES more and it is a favorite. It fills my cup to have some fun things to do during the week and not just live for the weekends.

Mason wanted to see me but had just gotten to school a few days before. He suggested we meet for coffee and I suggested Gralehaus – new fave place in town for breakfast.

Look at his honey bee latté. He let me try it and it was delish!

Mason ordered the same that Elizabeth had ordered when I went with her. Burrata toast with red pepper jelly on homemade sourdough – I took a bite and it was amazing!

And, I got the ugly frittata again. There is nothing ugly about this in my belly. This is a reminder to me to make a simple salad like this more often with a really light dressing.

So stinking cute! It is a bed and breakfast! See the little sign above the cute blue fireplace?

I love this Instagram follow; it is a favorite.

Anyone else need this inspiration to keep going? Following her and other great influences for healthy living is a favorite for me.

Such a simple meal, but they are always my favorite. Roasted red potatoes, roasted broccoli, and a new find – frozen salmon burgers from Trader Joes that are only 2 WW points for me. I also purchased the Mahi mahi burgers for 2 points. I always wanted to make mahi mahi and couscous for my kids when they were little because they are both repetitive foods apparently. Dad jokes?

I put the salmon burger on a Keto bun with a little mayo.

Also, theses are only 4 or 5 WW points. Not bad if you are really craving a corn dog. Tom, Jack, and Mason eat these regularly.

Not a favorite on Tuesday, but Wednesday things got better. We got an unexpected day off Monday – no school for teachers or students – still not sure exactly why. Then, Tuesday we started a four day virtual class stint. I am teaching six 40 minute classes each day. Tuesday I had all kinds of problems with technology (the fault of the technology, not of me! We think?), but Wednesday I found my groove and had fun with it as much as I could. We have to work from school and are not allowed to work from home this time around.

Help me! I’m old!
Lonely and sad classroom

I have been enjoying adding this glitter overlay to my nails lately. Still doing the home manis that only last for two days… It is hard to remove, because the glitter wants to infiltrate your entire being. I have found that soaking a cotton ball with remover and letting it sink on each nail for a bit helps.

Wednesday evening I got to meet Beth at Red Hog! They have heaters and it was the warmest day of the week, so it felt great. I love the vibe.

We had the purple people eater which was a beet infused tequila drink.

fries with curry mayo – yes!

Some house made bread and olive oil:

I ordered and tried the Kitsch pillow curlers and I am not sure…

See why I’m not sure? Lol!

Thursday was another great virtual day. Yes, it is hard, but I had so many kids out sick last week and this week my virtual attendance is close to perfect! My neighbor Elizabeth let her sweet pup hang out during her classes. He was so calm and it made her students so happy.

I don’t normally do back to back social things during the week; I usually only do one. But, my friend Jessica suggested the day after I had hung out with Beth and we had a nice time getting caught up and were the only ones in the place we chose. I got a pomegranate mimosa.

I really think this cup is making me drink more water. I really like it!

And, my final favorite is your comments! You all are so sweet to leave them and engage with me!

Well, that was a hodge podge! But, do you expect anything else from me? I’m all over the place!

What was your favorite from the week?

What’s on tap for your weekend? I need to place a grocery order. There’s talk that we might get snow and freezing rain on Sunday. I would love to have a couple of college kids come home for at least a night as they have a 3 day weekend just like me for MLK holiday.

As of now, we are supposed to return to in person instruction on Tuesday, but nearby Cincinatti public schools are virtual until January 24th. My niece works for our largest hospital system and they have more Covid patients now that they had total during the entire pandemic. So…let’s get this Omicron a-hole out of here. Bye Felicia!

Stay healthy and happy Friday!

Amy

Fashion Files

Thursday, January 13, 2021

I am so excited that Kellyann, etc. here are starting up a Thursday weekly feature called “Fashion Files”. If you are a blogger, link up! I’m gonna set the bar really low today so don’t feel intimidated at all!

So, last week I wore a sweater the first day back and thought I would pass out. The rest of the week I wore my identical red, black, and brown Matilda Jane layered flairs below. I don’t think they are very flattering with an untucked blouse (thus you only get one photo) and I just don’t think I can tuck into these pants. The boots I’m wearing for the snow aren’t doing me any favors, either. Oh well.

The top I’m wearing is Loft and is super soft.

I love these pants, but maybe I need to say good-bye?

I wore this to run into TJ Maxx the other day. It is an Amazon sweater from last year, jeans, and my new sneakers. Better photo of the shoes coming later in the post…

Another day to run errands I wore all black with my old Old Navy vest. I think I am over these vests. I have been wearing them for years.

The new sneakers:

I want to try wearing them with dresses and skirts. The sparkles make me happy and the price point is pretty good.

And, finally a work outfit:

We are teaching virtually this week, but from our classrooms. I can wear sweaters without getting hot without the students in the building! Ha!

This is my new pink boutique sweater – I have had it for like 2 weeks and I have worn it maybe 5 days already! I have on black jeans and my black Lucky booties.

Do you think nails are part of your fashion? I have been enjoying this glitter top coat. It is hard to remove, but it hides any imperfections in your home mani.

What have you been wearing lately? Last week was those knit pants for me and this week is jeans and a sweater each day. This is making it easier to get dressed! I am picking weekly themes!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Let’s Look! How I’m Organizing for the New Year…

Wednesday, January 12, 2021

I will not be talking about fashion today as I normally do on Wednesdays, but come back tomorrow when I link up with Fashion Files.

Today I am linking up with Let’s Look, a monthly affair with a different topic each month. The hostess’ are Erika here and Shay here. Be sure to check out more posts; I need this topic badly!

I think this is really the key…

I really try to scrutinize every purchase that will come into my home. Where will I put it? Do I NEED it? Is there something else that can be used in its place?

The less stuff you own the less stuff you need to organize.

One of the best things I do yearly is my 30 Bags in 30 Days challenge. I list 30 spaces in my home and try to get a “bag” of stuff from that area that I don’t need. I have donation bags and trash bags. The spaces can be larger or smaller. I like to be super specific so that I can tackle more than one in a day or while dinner cooks. I got this idea from a former blogger, Mel Larson. She is on Instagram and has great ideas and is a fun follow!

Here is my list for 2022: (If you are a long time blog reader, you will recognize many of these same spaces.)

  1. drawer under microwave
  2. silverware drawer (take out plastic dividers and wash, too)
  3. dishtowel drawer
  4. plastic storage container drawer
  5. baggies, foil drawer
  6. kitchen junk drawer
  7. big utensil drawer
  8. freezer
  9. fridge
  10. pantry
  11. medicines
  12. spices
  13. Amy closet jewlery drawer
  14. Amy socks
  15. basement storage room
  16. seasonal decor
  17. Amy car console
  18. throw blankets
  19. seasonal pillows
  20. wrapping paper box
  21. cabinet above microwave
  22. shelves below tv in living room
  23. book shelves in basement
  24. playroom shelves
  25. playroom closet
  26. jackets and coats – do this quickly so someone can be using
  27. bathroom linen closet
  28. mudroom dog towels and beach towels
  29. under sink cleaning products
  30. living room hall closet

I’m sure that is super boring to read, but it gives you an idea of how I do this and it holds me accountable.

I don’t mess with any of Tom’s stuff or Jack and Mason’s stuff.

Another tip: Do not go out and buy a ton of organizing products (baskets and bins) until you know where you need them and how you will use them. I did that once and then regretted it big time!

Papers:

-I throw away/recycle anything that can be looked up online.

– take a photo of any important things so that it is on my phone’s camera roll.

-I open mail while standing over my trash and recycling and immediately deposit it in one of the two if I don’t need to keep it.

I am a product/makeup junkie but since I have started buying better brands I don’t throw so much away. When I was buying impulsively in Target and drugstores I had so much that I was tossing out.

I am utilizing a vase for my laundry pods:

and a giant Mason jar for my dishwasher pods:

I love these white baskets in my closet:

I have some varying sizes:

I also keep a paper planner and write lots of lists.

My phone memo section has tons of lists to. I have lists for:

-my next grocery order

-restaurants I want to try

-Shows I want to watch/movies I want to watch

-Books I want to read

-Spring fashion items I am interested in

-passwords

-the grades of all my nieces and nephews are in – hey, I have a lot!

I hope I gave you at least one tip you can use! Leave me your best tip in the comments!

Amy

My Must Have Products

Tuesday, January 11, 2021

I try to mostly buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and lean proteins, but these are the other things that I don’t want to run out of!

Let me also say that I refuse to eat anything I don’t like or that doesn’t taste good. With these foods, I don’t feel deprived, you know?

Boca grilled – these are great on a bun or in a wrap and you recently saw my Big Mac salad!

Boca chicken – I make a faux Chick Fil A with these on a bun with pickles and a bit of mayo! Joanne mentioned making a chicken parm and using them on top of salads. Genius!

Brownberry Keto bread (no photo) – this is a pretty common brand and should be in most grocery stores. It tastes a bit like sourdough and I like this bread toasted for my avocado toast.

and this bread – I found this brand at Costco. This is the one that I like soft for a turkey sandwich. It tastes like good, old fashioned, bad for you, enriched bread.

Keto buns – these are also at most major grocery stores. I toast them up a bit.

Kraft reduced fat olive oil mayo – I really like this!

Frigo light string cheese – yes, I do eat it one string at a time.

Laughing cow light cheese – new favorite way to eat is on celery with everything but the bagel seasoning, but it can also be used for a creamy pasta sauce.

Dill pickles and mustard – I really have almost stopped eating ketchup, but I can have as much of these as I want for zero points!

Everything but the bagel seasoning – I put this on everything. Spices are so important to keep you enjoying your food!

Frozen cauliflower rice – Love it! I don’t like the fresh as much. I put this in a skillet with some salt, paper, and olive oil. I cook it for quite awhile until it gets a bit brown. I really was never a big rice eater and I don’t miss rice at all.

Raw popcorn kernels – I have a microwave cooker and this is my snack of choice!

Movie theater butter – I get mine on Amazon. I like this more than movie theater popcorn now!

Premier Protein – I talk about this a lot, but I love my iced coffee with this. I use instant coffee, a bit of water, and a half (or a whole sometimes) carton of this. I aim to get about 30 grams of protein at each meal.

La Banderita low carb tortillas – this is my favorite brand I have tried. These are great for a quesadilla, a breakfast burrito, a sandwich wrap, and more! I am going to attempt to make my own tortilla chips with them soon, too!

Built Bites – I really like this size. I ordered a limited release of peppermint mocha flavor and they are so good! I count these as 2 points and use it as a dessert or a mid morning snack.

Do you have any recommendations for me?

Amy

Hello Monday & Favorite Bloggers

Monday, January 10, 2021

Starting my day with my coffee, candle, and favorite blogs!

Today I’m linking up with both Hello Monday and Not Just a Mom link ups! This month, the topic for Not Just a Mom is favorite bloggers. I have done this blog topic before, but it was a long time ago and many have changed. I am also excited to do this topic because I got a blog comment recently asking me what blogs I read.

I.love.blogs!

I want my blog to be a blog I personally would want to read. My favorite topics to write and to read about are fashion, food, books, lifestyle, hacks and tips, and product recommendations.

I like a blog that posts on a regular schedule and that posts early. I read most of my regular blogs in the morning. I do sometimes come back to check out blogs in the evening but I mainly read in the morning, because it is my ME time before my day starts.

Moms of young kids, it took me a long time to get this ME time in the mornings, so don’t give up hope! I also decided when they were preschool age maybe that it made my day so much better if I got up before they did. I was just in a better mood and ready to be my best mom self. So, if your kids are your alarm clock and it’s making you feel like a frazzled mess, try to get up even 15 minutes before they do?

These are in no particular order…and I really hope I don’t leave any off my list!

Fashion:

Big Mama Blog – but only on Fridays. I also listen to her podcast with another lady called The Big Boo Cast. I am not interested in everything they talk about but I do like their fashion and product recommendations sometimes.

This Blonde’s Shopping Bag – Kellyann has become a big supporter and a friend. She is a sweetheart.

Susan After 60 – I do not know Susan, but I really admire her. She teaches women about dressing for their body type. She is truly a classy and elegant lady.

Home Decor, Recipes, Product Recs:

The House on Silverado – Nikki does not know who I am, but I really like her home decor, her product recommendations, and her recipes. Her blog is really pretty, too.

Everything:

Show Me and Sweet Tea – Jen is a fellow mom of twins. Twin moms unite! She writes mainly about her life as a mom but has great home style, great recommendations, recipes, and more. She is also a teacher.

My Glittery Heart – Heather provides our Hello Monday link-up and she has the most awesome bar carts!

Sunshine and Books – Sarah is so sweet and gives great book recommendations.

Carolina Charm – I think Christina’s post about blogging is what made me finally take the plunge. She has great style, great recipes, and I just enjoy the beautiful aesthetic of her blog.

Lindsay’s Sweet World – I only wish I could be as organized as Lindsay. She has great ideas!

Honey We’re Home – great recipes, great product and fashion recommendations, and more!

Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stillettos – a fellow Kentucky blogger. I really like her recommendations and her writing style is very professional.

Preppy Empter Nester – Katie is hilarious and is living a great empty nester life!

Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers – great style, great recipes, and some good product recommendations. She is on a champagne and caviar budget, though, and I am on a Boone’s Farm and pickle relish budget.

Momfessionals – Andrea has great recipes, style, and more. She provides the Friday Favorites link up.

Mix and Match Mama – recipes, trip information, and more.

Stuff, Things, Etc. – Kristin does not hold back and tells it like it is. She has given me some great recommendations on some products.

My Slices of LIfe – Joanne has great recipes, book reviews, and shows her nice life living on a lake and hiking in the woods.

I have left off the blogs that simply seem to be selling, selling, selling or that are so inconsistent that I just don’t even bother checking anymore. I follow some of them on Instagram, but I just don’t like Instastories as much as traditional blogs. There are some blogs that I used to love that I can barely read anymore. I am not saying this to be mean; it is just a fact. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. Many think blogs have changed and many also think they are going to become obsolete. I understand that the money as an influencer might be too hard to pass up. I hate it when I feel duped and think a blog post is a true blog post but it becomes clear that it is an ad. Example: “My Tips for Organizing” is the title and then it starts with, “I know I’m not alone that keeping things organized is a constant struggle…I use this from Amazon, and this from Amazon, and this from Amazon. Click here!”

What blogs should I read? Leave them in the comments! I really do need some new ones!

My Weekend:

Let’s start with Thursday night! Will we have a snow day Friday? Yes! We found out around 7:30 p.m., which was really nice. While I waited I polished my nails with Essie Bahama Breeze which is very old.

It is so nice to know the night before. I stayed up about 30 minutes past my normal bedtime!

Look who else must have had a really tiring day!

Friday morning and no school! I lit up the living room to enjoy my morning quiet time!

I weigh on Friday mornings after coffee, but before eating any food. I really hope this is right. I weighed 4 times.

After not losing anything since before Thanksgiving, the scale showed a 6 pound loss! Now, I had gone up a bit temporarily and hadn’t weighed during the holidays so it wasn’t quite that dramatic! And, remember I lost 10 pounds before officially joining…So I have officially lost 50 pounds! Finally! I really wanted to lose 50 by 50, but it’s o.k.

I never really went off the rails during the holidays. I had the things I wanted on Eve, Day, and NYE, but I ate normally the rest of the time. I think the key for me was consistency and patience. I still can hardly believe that I have been able to do this. I’m also sad at myself that I let myself have 50 lbs. to lose, but that is not a productive way to think.

I feel like snow days call for soup, so I had been wanting to make this mushroom, onion, and kale soup with beef broth. I made chicken sausage to add to it the next day.

I had a Kroger pick up, but didn’t leave the house other than that. Our roads were really bad and it was soooo cold.

A better view of my snowman mantle:

For dinner, we had burrito bowls.

Saturday morning I made the chicken sausage and

my faux-tisserie chicken in the crockpot.

Ewww…apologies for this photo! I use chicken tenders, a bit of seasonings, and a bit of water, and a whole jug of chicken broth. It shreds beautifully for your recipes and tastes just as flavorful as a rotisserie chicken from the grocery; you don’t have to get all messy!

The snow remnants on Saturday morning:

I did a bit of reading in the morning. This is really good but it is serious…

So, I took a little break and started this…

It is so cute! It reminds me of Kim’s Convenience (the show). I highly recommend if you need a cute show that the whole family could watch.

I had a bit of cabin fever so I was ready to get out of the house late Saturday morning.

I went to the library because they had a hold ready for me.

I may not get to all of them, but I like to have back ups.

I stopped in at our little Walmart Neighborhood grocery. My Kroger order said there were no green peppers or zucchini available. Well, the produce shelves were bare there, too. Apparently the snow kept some trucks from delivery. Oh well.

These are 3 points each and really good. They are the French steak rolls from the bakery section.

I found a replacement for Thin Mints!

I went home and had a Boca chicken on one of the buns with some wedge fries I made and a little dipping sauce.

I was super lazy the rest of the day and read and watched tv. I needed to clean and organize but just wasn’t feeling it.

For dinner, I talked Tom into going out early.

I had a salad with roasted vegetables and a goat cheese fritter – yum! I also had some jerk chicken but didn’t get a photo. It was so nice to not cook after many, many consecutive nights of making dinner.

And, I am writing this on Sunday morning so I am going to leave it right here.

That was long!

What was the highlight of your weekend? Did you get snow?

Don’t forget to leave me blog recommendations in the comments!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, January 7, 2021

It is Friday of our first week back so I am especially happy to see Friday today! I am linking up with Andrea, etc. to share things that were my faves this week.

I love my little calendar and I love to take the time Sunday mornings to look at my week ahead. Taking a portion of time on Sundays has been a game changer for me. I am able to streamline the weekdays so much better. Are you still a paper planner person? Like that alliteration? I also use alarms on my phone, but I love to write things down and cross them out! This smaller size has worked really well for me and I found it at Michael’s on a tip from Jen, I think?

I did a Target pick up on Sunday and it is amazing – more amazing than Kroger pick up. Just think of how much I save by not going in! Girl math! I use the app and it is so user friendly. I prefer Target for my toiletries and a couple of other hard to find things at Kroger. I did an order for Jack and Mason to take back to college along with a few things for me. Is this a great time to be alive or what?

I want to do something fun on Sundays after the work is done. Sunday Funday, right? Tom and I went to Drake’s to watch a little bit of football and eat some lunch. I don’t care about sports; I just go for the food.

I tried the Italian sparkler and it was delish! I have started taking photos of restaurant cocktail ingredients to try to make them myself for a fraction of the price.

Sushi and nachos!

Then, we watched a movie with a red neck fire. A red neck fire is simply a fire starter log. Jack and Mason were hanging out with a friend so we had the house to ourselves.

It was good to see my colleagues at work on Monday!

I tried a new recipe…A Big Mac salad using a Boca burger. Jack and Mason were bowling with friends and Tom had fish sticks and peas and Kraft mac and cheese so I made this.

The sauce makes it! The recipe is from the WW app so you see the points values.

I had a happy hour Tuesday after school with Erica at BJs. We had the place to ourselves and I have to get the sparkling sangria every time I go there. It is so good! Do you have a BJ’s?

We split some spinach queso and Erica got a salad because she had not had lunch yet. She had just gotten back from Ecuador with students so had to miss school and she had a lot to tell me. She said it was a nice way to ease back into school…starting with a happy hour before returning to work the next morning!

Santa brought me a new teaching tool – a Clear Touch panel. Ask me if I know how to use it! Ha!

Have I ever told you about the red “H” on my board? It is the “Scarlet H” because the “h” is never pronounced. One must don it if they pronounce this sound. I am not mean about it and I don’t force it. I just think it’s funny. Let me have my fun, okay?

It was great to see my students, but it was hard to get back in the saddle. I asked if they missed me and…crickets. Wednesday was much better and I felt much more in my element.

My own kids left the nest Wednesday night after dinner. They said they wanted one last dinner so I had some pressure to make it good. I made chicken alfredo and broccoli. I must say that I am ready to do a deep(er) cleaning this weekend. I was holding off until J and M and all of their stuff left the building.

This was the dinner for Tom, Jack, and Mason:

this was mine:

I really like these noodles. I got mine at Costco. I made my sauce from one laughing cow wedge and chicken broth and it was delish! I whisked them together and heated them on the stove top. I added some garlic powder and cajun seasoning. I also added mushrooms to Tom’s portion and mine.

I wanted to show you an example of how I do variations for myself. They had angel hair and heavy cream and butter. Did you read my meal plan post yesterday?

So, Jack and Mason left Wednesday after dinner and I was a bit sad, but not like last year. I took a long hot shower and then settled down for some trash tv.

We thought we might get school cancelled on Thursday, but no such luck. Ha! I went to school as usual at 6:45 and had my planning period and then started teaching my second period. About halfway through class the students got texts from friends at other schools saying we were getting out of school at 11:00. Don’t you love it how they are the first to know?

Oh, and it was Covid testing day. We have optional testing at our school and if a student is positive the office calls the teacher and they have to take all of their stuff and do the walk of shame out the classroom door. So, right after we found out we were dismissing early, one of my sweet students had to do the walk of shame. I guess I do not need to say that not much learning happened that day. We had to go to one and a half more classes and the students were just so excited they had a hard time focusing.

They also let the teachers go home after the kids left.

Ernie got a walk and he loves the snow so much!

I ate the lunch I was supposed to eat at school – the Big Mac salad again!

My new obsession while I ate…Peacock! I am paying $4.99 because my Real Housewives of Miami are now on Peacock instead of Bravo. I am also watching the Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.

Anyone else loving Peacock? I give up on trying to keep my television subscription services to a minimum! I guess it is just not possible.

So, these are not all traditional favorites this week, but what I have shared keeps me on my toes and makes my life anything but boring.

In other news…there is talk that we may go to virtual learning with live classes for a short time of no more than two weeks until the Omicron dies down? But, will it?

Also, for a bit of Covid information from someone with boots on the ground (me, but only in a school)…

During the first semester, I hardly had anyone out with Covid or that had to be out because of being a close contact. Out of my 130 students, I had about 8 total for the whole semester. In the last 3 days, I have that same amount, if not more. I have some kids that have not returned from winter break that I have not even heard from, so I can’t be sure of my exact number.

I am conflicted…do we just let everyone get it and get it over with? Do we continue in person school for those that can come and use Google Classroom for anyone who cannot or prefers to stay home? Is this ever going away? Do we learn to live with it?

And, who just really wants to stop hearing about it? Me! But, I think it is super odd when a blogger just pretends it doesn’t exist. That is just my opinion, though. I think turning 50 made me more willing to just state my opinion, have you noticed?

Alright, I am babbling. I hope you all are happy and healthy this week!

Thanks for reading and happy Friday!

Amy

This Week’s Meal Plan

a homemade taco salad!

Thursday, January 6, 2021

Is one of your resolutions to eat better? I am considering sharing more of my weekly meal plans. I do repeat a lot, though, and you might be bored. I would love to find a healthy meal link up, too. Any bloggers out there want to start that? Ha! I get new ideas all the time from Instagram. Put “WW” in the search and you will find accounts that are eating the WW way.

I was originally going to post this on Tuesday, but then I remembered it was the Amazon link up!

If am doing the WW Personal Points plan and I am trying to eat very little artificial sweetener or processed foods. I am trying to eat several cups of non-starchy vegetables a day and maybe one beloved potato per day – he! I love potatoes! I am eating a lot of eggs/egg whites, chicken, ground turkey, and a bit of lean ground beef. I have fish maybe once a week. I have a piece or two of Keto bread or a Keto bun maybe 3 times a week. I have sadly drastically reduced my cheese intake – ha! I am trying to drink as much water as I can, but I really only drink water and coffee on the daily. I drink a cocktail a couple of times a week. I am trying to use more sparkling water when I want a “drink” at home. I do have a sweet treat if it is something I really want. I don’t eat much fruit – I love vegetables WAY more. I have lost 46 pounds since April of 2021. The scale has not gone down in quite a while…but, it hasn’t gone up, either. I enjoyed my holidays but I didn’t go off the rails. I probably need to change something up because my body is probably used to what I’m doing. I have a few ideas…

This week I have a four day week with students. Monday was a teacher day and on these days, we can go in a little bit later so I did not prep for Monday. I also get a full hour long lunch on teacher days and like to take advantage of that and go home for lunch. It just feels like a bit of a treat. I can eat leftovers or whip up something really fast. Lately, I have been enjoying my new Keto bread from Costco with a bit of reduced fat olive oil mayo and Costco turkey. Yum!

I do take the time to plate everything I eat for the most part. I don’t do all the standing up eating that I used to do. Cooking is a good time to chug water I have found. I used to eat so much while cooking and those calories add up. I also used to eat leftovers from my kids’ plates. Whoa Nelly! That is not even good!

Here are my breakfasts for the week:

I was happy to use up three 100 calorie English muffins and then I used one low carb La Banderita flour tortilla for a breakfast burrito. Being able to grab one of these in the morning is a game changer!

I will have my two cups of coffee at home and then prepare my Premier protein cold brew to take with me.

Erica is my co-worker and meal prep partner. She traveled over break and got back late Monday night so I said I would do our first two meals of the week – Tuesday and Wednesday – and she will do Thursday and Friday.

I am doing egg roll in a bowl for our first one. I browned ground turkey – 99% lean. This is zero points for me. I use a full bag of cole slaw mix – zero points – plus you get to add a point for a cup of non-starchy veg. I think add about 2 cups of water with about 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce.

I purchased this cilantro lime cauliflower rice from my freezer section and it’s pretty good! It has never been easier to eat healthier – there is just so much out there to help!

I also found a deal on rotisserie chicken so our second meal will be a burrito bowl I think.

Or, I can use the chicken for the Greek bowl.

Yes, you are tired of seeing these meals, but I could seriously eat both of them several times a week! These both also give you an extra point for the cup of non-starchy veg.

Erica loves both of these meals, too.

Erica is working smarter than I am with her meal prep. She and her husband eat the meal one night and she makes two extra portions and brings it the next day. Her husband is a bit more amenable to these meals than mine is. I do variations for mine and give him real rice when I do cauli rice.

So, it’s a process and I’m still learning.

Tom, Jack and Mason will have fish sticks, mac and cheese, and peas one night and I will have either a Boca burger or chicken patty or my zero point veggie pasta.

They will have orange chicken, rice, and broccoli one night and I will have the broccoli but something different.

They will have tacos and rice one night and I will do a giant taco salad.

I know this sounds like a lot of work and I need to get better at my prep/plan, but I have always kinda done a variation for myself.

I am also really trying to work on reducing food waste and eating from my freezer.

For snacks this week I have celery I need to use so I will have it with laughing cow and everything seasoning. If I am super hungry I will have avocado toast.

For evening snacks, I will have popcorn and a dum dum sucker, but I am trying to cut down on my popcorn consumption. Love my popcorn!

Thoughts? Let’s help each other!

Amy