What’s Up Wednesday and What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Happy Hump Day! Today I am linking up with The Style Six here and What’s Up Wednesday here. Aren’t I just a linking fool?

What I’m wearing:

I am continuing with black leggings and one of my sweaters each day for virtual teaching from home. I got a new one last week and wore it Thursday. It is so soft and I wouldn’t really call it a sweater. It is more like a fuzzy top. This was a purchase from one of the Facebook shopping groups I am a part of; I am helping a small business!

Ignore the paint splatter on the mirror I like to use.

Friday I did comfortable in my men’s Target Goodfellow pullover with a headband. Did you see my hair post yesterday?

I decided to do like the youngsters and I wore socks with Birkenstocks. My feet were cozy!

I have a couple of favorite little boutiques around town. I like that the clothes are better quality as I am really trying to get away from Old Navy, Amazon, and other “fast fashion”. This top was on sale for $20 and it would have been wrong not to buy it. It is so soft and lightweight; it looks like a sweatshirt but it is more of a top.

And, I am still debating this. I love it- the design, the sleeves, everything! The price is holding me back but it shouldn’t. Stay tuned….

If you are a loyal, long time reader (thank you!), you know I fell down a red sandal rabbit hole this summer. I bought Saltwaters and Dr. Scholl’s. They were so fun. Now, I find myself pining for red clogs! Am I crazy?

the MIA Sofia. I have these in tan and love the heel height, the comfort, the shade of red.

And, I keep looking at these Danskos, too, but I feel they are more matronly. Thoughts on red clogs?

I did something really crazy. I am 98% sure I am going to keep these Vionic white booties from Amazon. I was not into the white booties that seemed more of a 70s vibe, but I started seeing the ones with more of a Western vibe. They are super white. But, I have been thinking of all the things I can wear them with now and into the spring. I am super picky about heel height and wearability. These look like the leather will stretch a bit and that they will be really comfortable. I have never owned Vionic! Anyway, stay tuned on this front, as well…

For Monday’s virtual classes, I wore the new pink camo and it was perfect!

For Tuesday I did my second day hair in a bobby pin twist and wore my favorite Amazon sweater of the year.

What I’m working on:

I cannot help myself; I am looking at spring fashion trends and thinking about spring clothing! I guess you could tell!

Also, I am working on my 30 bags in 30 days project and I am supposed to be done by January 31st! I did my under sink and cleaning products last weekend.

What I’m reminiscing about:

I miss my college kids. I am reminiscing about their younger years. But, at the same time I am so grateful they didn’t have to do virtual learning. I feel for all the mamas of young kids.

What I’m up to:

Just trying to be a good virtual teacher…

What I’m excited about:

I am always excited for the weekend! And, I am feeling more positive about spring getting here eventually. I always say I can’t wait to make it through January, but February is the month we get more of our winter weather here in Kentucky, in my opinion. I guess it’s just a mental thing.

What I’m watching:

Below Deck, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City (truly horrible!), Dallas (love it!), and Orange County (might be over), The Bachelor (love Matt!), and a Gilmore Girls with my sons when we can.

What I’m reading:

I am enjoying this but I just don’t read much right now. I guess I am a fair weather reader – like fair weather, on a patio, with a cocktail!

What I’m doing:

I am enjoying my Valentine’s decor. I am going to try to plan a special dinner for Tom and I am working on gifts for the boys. I love to celebrate small holidays.

What I’m loving:

I am loving being able to work from home and stay relatively safe. I know not everyone can do that. I have surprised myself! I never thought I would like this. I think one thing that helps me is leaving the house most days at 3:00-4:00 to do a grocery, library, coffee pick up. It seems like there is always a small errand I can run in the afternoon.

What I’m looking forward to:

Honestly, summer. I want to put this whole school year behind us. I know next year is possibly going to be bad, too. There are so many unknowns and that makes it so hard.

Well, that was a lot!

What’s up with you?

What have you been wearing?

Amy

A Hair Affair

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Do you all like hair posts? I do! I have always loved working with hair. I wouldn’t say I’m that good at it but it was always fun. I am the oldest of three girls and we had hair stuff out the wazoo.

I have very fine hair but a lot of it. My hair styles the best if I wash at night, sleep on it, spritz a bit of water and brush it out, then style.

My favorite way to style my hair is to curl it. I have very stick straight hair naturally, but my hair does hold curl. Another advantage to washing at night is that I do not use many heat tools on my hair.

You can’t tell but I clip up each side with those old jaw clips.

I curl the bottom and I leave it alone with the exception of spraying a bit of hairspray.

I use a very old one inch barrel traditional curling iron. If it ain’t broke, don’t order a new one off of Amazon.

Then, I release the upper hair and curl.

Spray a bit more hairspray but leave it alone – this is my best tip to getting your curls to last. Now, go get dressed. Then, return to your mirror and use a pick or just your fingers to style it the way you want. This really only takes me about 7 minutes.

Recently, I have been itching to try out some new hair styles.

I did a headband one day.

I have a collection of headbands; none are from this season.

Headbands work best on me on second day hair. I think my hair needs to be a little flatter. So, I can curl my hair when it is fresh, then the next day, do this.

I still pick or comb it out and do a bit of water spritzing, then I add a couple of bottom curls.

And, another of my headbands. Place it back a bit and style some hair in front.

I picked up some 97 cents bobby pins and some $2.99 clip barrettes.

I do not know what I would do without my spray bottle. I keep it in the bathroom for hair and then in the summer I use it on the boat or at the beach. In fact, I am kinda famous for having a spray bottle now. My SIL Jessica taught me this trick for hot boat rides many years ago.

These hairstyles also work better on second day hair.

Take a very small piece of hair and twist then bobby pin in the desired place, groove side down. Did you know that the grooves are supposed to be down?

Example here:

Cute hair goals:

Covet on the Go from Instagram:

Pinterest Inspo:

What is your hair routine? Any favorite hairstyles? Any products you can’t live without?

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, January 25, 2021

It is not just any Monday; it is the last one of January. Wow! I am happy to link up with Heather, Tanya, and many more right here.

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty o.k. On Friday, I saw the social media post made by Red Hog (Beth and I had gone to happy hour there Thursday and saw them taking this photo. They have tableside smores or a take home smores kit with homemade graham crackers!

I cannot wait to try this when I go back!

Friday I worked and then I have started doing my house cleaning on Friday after work. We had leftovers for dinner and I was beat.

Saturday morning I did my breakfast meal prep for the week.

I will share this recipe soon. I have had a couple of people ask.

Also, during the pandemic I started cooking for Ernie. He gets boiled chicken and canned green beans and carrots mixed in with his kibble. He is a spoiled boy.

Then, I went to a small winter farm market.

I bought cheese and that is all. The cheese guy said this is his favorite because it is buttery and complex. I like buttery and complex.

There is a new show that is apparently based on our very own cat cafe here in Louisville. Basically you pay money to play with cats and then you can get a drink. That is kind of what I did at my cousin Julie’s house growing up; she also had goats.

I think he was their PR guy. I am not even a cat person but look at that face! I want to book a cat session and luckily I have some cat lady friends. That sounded weird. I have some female friends who love cats.

Then, I went into Urban Outfitters to see what the young people are into. I found a couple of sales and bought some gloves, socks, pimple patches, and a coffee cup warmer.

And, finally, I visited a bagel place. They have a super efficient Covid system. You text your order with your name and make of car, they bring it out to you with a card reader, and you are done.

Later in the afternoon, I went to one of my favorite boutiques and found a good bargain that I will show you Wednesday.

And, I got a much needed car wash.

Then, I wanted to scope out spring trends at the mall. Beth had told me she saw lots of yellow. I was very underwhelmed. Maybe the spring stuff is not quite out in full force yet.

I love the yellow and white combo.

I love the patchwork jeans.

After all of my stops, I decided to make a margarita. I added a half a shot of o.j.

And, for dinner we had Thai take out.

We love chicken pad thai and Tom

loves these corn cakes.

We watched t.v. and I was in bed around 9:00. I was tired.

Sunday morning I did some reading of this with my coffee. It is cute. It is well written and a cute story line so far. I have not been reading much at all lately!

I spent about an hour in my closet.

This week I am going to rotate through my sweaters and

my fun cozy leggings. These are seriously the coziest leggings to get your through the winter. The top ones are Valentine’s themed. They are the old LulaRoe. I am not that into them anymore but they are great for what I need right now.

Then, next week I am going to wear my pink and red for February.

I was lazy and didn’t feel like making my second cup of coffee so I got some at a coffee shop. So pretty!

And, then I did school work, watched t.v. – got sucked into a Sex and the City marathon on E! for a bit, and started prepping for dinner. I am really trying to cut down on food waste and make whatever is going to go bad first! Last night was burrito bowls because I had needed to make them for awhile.

So, that is it for me!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, January 22, 2021

How was your week? Four day weeks always seem longer to me and I was confused about what day it was all week long! Were you confused, too? I am linking up today for Friday Favorites right here!

So, Monday was a day off as we observed MLK Day. I tackled some areas of my 30 Bags Challenge (I am cleaning out 30 areas in my house – supposed to do one per day in January, but I am moving slowly).

I tackled this drawer. I take the rolls out of the boxes and I take the baggies out of the boxes, too. I sent all of the takeout plastic cutlery back to college with the boys. I try not to get them from the restaurants but sometimes they give them to you anyway.

Before: I had already removed all of the plastic wrap, parchment, foil, and wax paper so it did look way worse. Even though I am moving slowly, it is always a favorite to get more organized and to be able to find things!

Another favorite was walking in the evening with all of this light! It is staying light out until about 6:00 now! I am trying to have dinner ready so I can walk with Tom and Ernie. It feels good to get outside again before it gets dark.

I mixed up a loaf of no-knead bread one morning before classes and let it rise two hours and then baked it to go with dinner. A favorite is being able to do this while working from home!

So, I have gone back to regular coffee and this is really good!

Not a favorite: Update on this sweatshirt that I mentioned Wednesday: It is a very thin material, not a cozy sweatshirt material IMO, the neckline comes up too high for my liking, and it runs about two sizes small. It went back. I am sad because the design is so cute. You may feel differently; if those things don’t bother you, it might work for you!

Who is watching The Bachelor? Matt seems like the most genuine of all time. I am too old for this show but I can’t look away.

Did you read my spring trends post yesterday here? I mentioned wanting a yellow purse for spring! Yellow is a big trend and I love yellow. I have yellow Hunter boots. Easter egg colors are also a trend. Look at this darling Madewell tote at Nordstrom Rack!

And, here is the yellow designer dupe for a Goyard I mentioned yesterday. Which do you like better?

Abby mentioned blueberry biscuits this week here and I guess I have been living under a rock (not going into the grocery much). I did go in this week and I am going to try the chocolate!

I also bought this creamer because I was so impressed with their pumpkin spice in the fall. This is good and I am picky about my creamer.

And, the highlight of my week was a sunny 50 degree afternoon on a patio! I met Beth who did my style post here and it was so nice.

I got a blackberry bourbon cocktail and Beth got an old fashioned.

The restaurant is called Red Hog, thus the hog head. Beth is looking stylish as ever. Look at her jacket!

We ordered fried cauliflower and

fries with curry mayo.

What were your favorites this week? Any fun weekend plans? Oh yeah, we are in a pandemic! Are you starting to know people who have gotten the vaccine? My mom got her first dose this week!

Leave me a favorite and thanks for reading!

Amy

Spring 2021 Fashion Trends

Thursday, January 21, 2021

No, it is not too early to talk spring trends! If you are like me, you are trying to be happy wearing your winter clothes – with the occasional purchase of something to help you make it through until spring!

I started doing “research” to see what is on the radar for spring. Did I ever tell you that I tracked every single clothing purchase I made for several years? It was enlightening! At the end of the year I would see what I wore that most, look for patterns in my “bad” purchases, and learn from my mistakes. In doing so, I found that I bought the most in March and September for the change of seasons into spring and fall. I became a much better shopper when I looked at my yearly clothing purchases.

I cannot guarantee this will be my last spring fashion post!

Now, before I ever buy anything for the next season, I look at what I have. It is funny how you can quickly forget what is in your closet.

Here are the trends I saw and my thoughts:

Suit jackets – oversized shoulders – nope, not for me. I do not need to oversize my shoulders. I would like a knit suit jacket, maybe? I think I could go for something with some stretch. Let me know if you see anything like this.

Black Face Masks – nope. And, isn’t it sad that this is considered a spring trend? I have invested way more money in masks than I care to admit. I have my favorites and they are my Pomchies brand. I love these so much. I am curious about the Kitsch brand, though. I wish someone out there had a Pomchie and a Kitsch. Why do those both sound like diseases? Lol!

Head Scarfs – I love this idea. I do not have many small silk scarves but I am trying to do some different hair styles and I could try this one. I did steal a white bandana from my son. It is very new and stiff and has not been washed yet.

Easter Egg Pastels – Yes! I love color!

Yellow Handbags– Yes! Color, again! I actually have one in mind. This is a designer dupe. I need to find the source but I think it was $41. I don’t know why the photo is bad, but you get the idea.

Pops of Blue – Cornflower Blue and Lighter Blue Colors – Yes!

Tapestry Coats – nope! I appreciate them on other people but I am not really interested in this.

White Knee High Boots – I can see a shorter bootie or a cowboy vibe in white.

Yellow with Camel – I think I would like this! I have this old sweater. I love yellow.

Handbags with Fringe – I love fringe and I have these black and camel crossbody purses that I was thinking were out of style. Too much?

Florals – Head to Toe Flowers Included – I like a floral but I am not sure about head to toe. I hope these florals are still in style.

Holes in Odd Places to show some skin – Didn’t we do this? The cold shoulder tops of a few years ago? How odd of a place are we talking? A shirt with a hole that just shows your elbow? Is that odd enough? What about a hole that shows your right bottom rib?

Feathers – Yes! Give me all the feathers! Well, I like a feather print and some feather accesories. I guess it would depend.

White – Love white! Get you a Clorox pen, though.

Wide Leg Pants – Do my Matilda Janes count? I think you have to be careful about your footwear with a wide leg! I like this, though. The wide leg jeans look so cute on lots of people!

Sheer Layers – No, thank you! I guess I would have to see this but it scares me.

What is on my wish list:

red clogs – I know, I know. I had a red sandal obsession this summer.

yellow shoes – not sure what type yet or if I need these!

rain clogs – Hunters!

more Savanna Jane tops

Birkenstocks – not sure what type/color

the yellow purse from above or something similar

something cornflower blue

What trends are you trying?

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

If you participated in my wardrobe challenge last week from January 11-15, thank you! I am linking up today with The Style Six here.

Monday was blouse and long necklace day and this is what I wore. The blouse is a great material with cute sleeves with buttons and a little flounce. It came from TJ Maxx a few years ago. The necklace is my first Rayne from Kendra Scott.

Tuesday was jeans day. I put on these Wit and Wisdom from Nordstrom this summer. I wore my new teddy bear vest and was so cozy I even mentioned it to my classes that day. I am sure they think I’m weird.

The next day was scarf day but I wanted to be a teddy bear again for my patio lunch with Elizabeth. This is the tunic it came with. It is really long and has pockets which I think add bulk under the vest that also has pockets. I like the black better, I think.

I added the super soft scarf that Mason got me for Christmas to follow my own rules and because it matched my Target Universal Thread boots exactly. Also, the patio heaters were out of propane so we were cold.

Thursday was t-shirt and cardigan day but I wanted to add a scarf for my patio coffee dates.

My reader and friend Kim looked so cute for t-shirt and cardigan day! She has recently become a Vuori jogger convert. She is wearing a Cheers t-shirt (J.Crew Factory) with a Walmart cardigan (old) and Allbirds sneakers.

And, Friday I broke my rule. I didn’t feel like wearing plaid because my sized down Amazon sweater had arrived the day before! I think you need to size down one and my color is apricot which is more of a cream.

I enjoyed wearing it so much for school that day that I also wore it for dinner at my friend’s house that night.

I don’t even wear sweaters or sweatshirts to teach in normally, you all. My building gets so over-heated in the winter. But, now, that is all I want to wear to teach in. I just want to put on a simple one layer outfit.

Thus, I ordered this! I will let you know what I think. I want it to fit really big!

I also found out a former student is making cute grapic tees and sweatshirts and I have ordered a pink sweatshirt with a giant metallic red heart.

And, one more thing. I have several pairs of booties that are hard to get on. These include my short yellow Hunters, my Sanita clog booties, and my new Target Universal Threads are a bit hard. I bought me a shoe horn. It works like magic and has me wearing those boots again!

I guess the moral of that story is to ask yourself why you aren’t wearing something in your closet and it might just need a quick fix.

What have you been wearing lately?

Are you tired of winter clothes yet?

Amy

A Day in the Life

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Why do we like these posts so much? Are we a bunch of voyeurs? I think so, yes! It is surprisingly hard to remember to take photos about every hour and I failed at a few points during the day.

I chose to do a Monday and it was Monday, January 11 if anyone wants to know.

This post may be as exciting as watching paint dry. I am warning you!

Some of my readers requested this during my survey; some also requested some teacher stuff. So, this post will give you a bit of both.

In case you are new around here, I am a high school Spanish teacher and I teach levels 3 and AP (5). I am a new empty nester with twin boys who are living on campus about 30 minutes away from home.

I do not set an alarm anymore. My bladder wakes me up. Thanks, bladder. I sometimes go lay down again but I like to be up by 6:00.

6:00 – make coffee with my new contraption. The boiling of the water and waiting a bit for it to come off the boil, then slowly pouring into the filter takes a bit but I like it. I feel better about no K cup waste. I have figured out my amounts – 12 oz. water in my Starbucks mug and 3 T. of coffee grounds.

Then, I sit in everyone’s favorite chair – including Ernie. I sometimes have to tell him to go find Daddy, which always gets him out of the chair. I enjoy my lights and sometimes light a candle. I still love my slippers!

6:30

I go make another cup of coffee. I talk to Tom who goes to the gym at 5:00, walks Ernie, and then one of us feeds the beast. During the pandemic we started giving him a cup of his Costco grain free dog food (he has always have a sensitive tummy) and a cup of my boiled chicken, canned green beans and canned carrots that I started making for him. He loves it and is so happy to eat his food now. Before he would sometimes not eat any or all of his food and his schedule would be off.

Tom goes and takes a shower and listens to really loud talk radio. No, it doesn’t bother me at all.

Meanwhile as I am finishing my quiet time and blog reading, my alarm goes off to remind me of my wardrobe challenge for the week. Today is blouse and long necklace day.

7:10

I go get ready. I showered the night before so I have a pretty quick 20 minute routine. I sometimes jump in the shower again with my shower cap and I wash my face, brush my teeth, do minimal makeup, and style my hair. Tip: leave your curls alone for a bit and they will hold better.

I prepare my plate to take down to my “office” in the basement.

I talked about this is my Friday Favorites but I love having my meals prepped even when I am at home. I have mentioned this before, but my district gives us the option of working from home or in the building. I feel like our days for this are numbered so I am continuing to enjoy this.

7:30

Tom leaves

Before I go downstairs, I like to set the house by opening blinds, picking up Ernie’s toys, giving my plant some light.

Then, I go in my closet and reluctantly take off my Target Stars Above robe.

This day was the blouse and long necklace. I wore leggings and my New Balance on the bottom half. My blouse is TJ Maxx and my necklace is Kendra Scott.

Now, I go finger comb or use my pick to style and spray with my hairspray.

Start a load. I like to do my clothes on Mondays lately.

Start checking emails and eating my breakfast.

I have to do my attendance in 2 places – a school spreadsheet, a district telecommuting form, and I also have to do a health screening online, then I have to take attendance for the 3 classes I don’t see on Mondays. Their attendance is based on work turned in so it can be kind of a burden to figure out.

Then, I make sure my Google Slides are ready for my 3 live classes. I add in funny memes and I practice going through them and make sure I have other tabs open that I will need. I have to have Google Docs open for vocabulary and the commands note taking sheet.

Monday and Thursday I have planning from 8:30-9:30 and I teach from 10-11, 12;30-1:30, and 2:00-3:00.

I check assignments on Google Classroom and then transfer them to our grading platform called Infinite Campus. I answer emails. I schedule new assignments to post.

I had to watch a boy band from Spain and make sure I had all of the lyrics. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

Filling in the lyrics:

The kids had to do the same for homework.

I am naturally a morning person and I get stuff done from 7:30-9:00. I really don’t want to stop and get up to do anything else. But, after lunch, I start fading and I am not nearly as productive.

9:00

Ready to fill my water cup for the second time. I get up and stretch every hour at least and fun upstairs to do tasks so I don’t get too stiff. I also put the washer clothes into the dryer.

I prepped my cd. I have a cd that I recorded in my friend’s basement studio. Most of the songs/chants are originals that I made up to teach different verb tenses or grammatical things. I had it loaded on my old laptop but just haven’t done it on my new one yet.

I also had to prep a listening activity on a flashdrive.

I go into my Google Classroom and make sure everything is ready. Look at all the tabs. Being a virtual teacher is kind of like being a DJ, but way less cool.

I open up my Google Meets 10 minutes early so kids can start joining and we can start on time. I taught from 10-10:40 and then I hung out on Google Meet for 20 more minutes to do one on one help.

11:00

Lunch break! I went up to fold clothes.

I let my Amazon leopard air dry.

My lunch was some macaroni noodles and tomato sauce.

I took Ernie out but we didn’t go on a full walk.

I taught two more classes 12:30-1:30 and 2:00-3:00 and then I sat down for a bit and played on my phone and watched some shows.

5:30

Tom gets home and Ernie is sooo happy to see his best friend. Tom and Ernie do a quick walk.

6:00

Ernie eats his dinner.

The human dinner was leftover chicken from Saturday night on a salad and a tiny baked potato.

After dinner I got a cool friend request and message on Facebook. The little girl who lived in our house before us found me on Facebook. We had last visited her family in their new house maybe 19 years ago! Backstory: Tom used to live next door as a renter and when this house came on the market he knew he loved the neighborhood and watned to buy. The little girl loved Tom. She drew a picture for us of us getting married. I can imagine that it was so exciting for an 8 year old girl!

I did not remember that I put it in a frame. I have the picture in our wedding scrapbook. This memory stuck with the little girl for 20 years. I guess the lesson from this is to never underestimate the power you have. And, to let someone know that they made you feel special is priceless, too. It made my whole day!

We watched some t.v.

7:00

I took my shower. I scared myself in the mirror. If you aren’t taking night showers I need you to tell me why.

Then, I went down and watched some trash t.v. of my own until it was time for bed.

9:30

I brushed my teeth and got in bed.

That is a pretty typical day for me right now. Some days I will go out and do a library or a grocery pick up around 3:00. Some days I meet a friend around 3:00. I kind of like Mondays being my stay at home day.

Have you ever documented a day? It is kind of interesting. I have heard of people doing a time audit. I think that sounds interesting, too.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Hello Monday!

Monday, January 18, 2021

I am still weekending, but I thought I would keep to my regular posting schedule. I am linking up here with the gals at Hello Monday if they are here today.

Let’s go back to Friday night. We were invited to get takeout and eat at my friend’s house with our little group – my two college besties and their husbands. I had not seen them since mid-November in person. Two of them have had the virus and two of them had the first dose of the vaccine a week ago. But, I was still careful. My friend spread us out by couple and I wore my mask when not eating.

I ordered a cheeseburger salad and it was so good! I forgot to take a photo of the dressing. It tasted like Big Mac special sauce.

Saturday morning I went to Fresh Market and found my green chilies!

And, I ran to Kroger to do a return (Clicklist gave me something that was totally wrong) and to get a few more things I needed. I had done my Clicklist on Wednesday.

I found this street taco kit marked down to $5!

I started this book. I did not finish my last book; it was really dragging.

And, then my kids were home for the long weekend! We ate lunch and we watched some Gilmore Girls. They enjoyed spending time together. Then, we streamed Mason’s play. They had to record it and wear masks while recording. During the introduction I started crying because a senior girl was saying she wished they had an audience and it just made me so sad. I miss live theatre, live music, movies in the theater, not having to be so careful around people, and more… I am usually really positive, but there are times when it just hits me.

We got this picture of cousins watching it, too.

Mason did such a good job and this was his first play ever! He is in another one in February.

We had off and on snow both days. Sunday morning the boys slept in and I enjoyed the snow,

watched Sex and the City while

doing some meal prep. Here are my breakfasts.

Then, Tom and I went out in the snow to check out a new to us store, @home.

I wore my yellow Hunters and brought some coffee.

I was underwhelmed. It is a huge store. We left empty handed.

For Soup Sunday, I did the famous tortellini soup that you may have heard of. I have made it a few times, but this time changed it up a bit. I used a carton of chicken broth, two cans of tomatoes – one had basil, garlic, and italian seasonings, sausage (about half of the amount), one block of cream cheese (the recipe I had called for 3!), and a big container of spinach.

It calls for the cheese filled tortellini, but I decided to do this fun noodle and keep the noodles on the side.

Yum! It is so good! I put it in containers for lunches this week.

The boys and I watched some more Gilmore Girls, we ate dinner as a family with Tom (he won’t watch GG, but he will watch football!), and the boys hung out and did some homework. We also got Blizzards from Dairy Queen.

The boys head back to campus this afternoon and I will be sad again. I think the winter is just hard. There is not much to do! I need to work on a list, I think. Are you having the same troubles with winter?

Also, I have not been very motivated to do my 30 Bags in 30 Days, but I hope to tackle some areas today.

I enjoyed having my Valentine’s decor up this weekend. I’m glad I put it up last week.

Hope you are still weekending, too!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, January 15, 2021

January is simply flying! How was your week? I am happy to link up here today for the most fun post of the week!

I have learned so much about how to work from home. One of those things is that meal prep is still important. The tendency to grab whatever and do more snacking could be the case with WFH (Work From Home). I am an egg in the morning person. I love my low carb egg casserole recipe. It should have green chilies but there is still a shortage, apparently. I have it with sauteed zucchini. I added back my turkey sausage this week because I need more protein. I had not had the turkey sausage since last spring.

I seriously love this breakfast. It is 4 WW points if you follow WW. The serving size is 3 links but two is fine for me. I put this on a plate and microwave it and this week I have been taking it down to my desk to enjoy as I start my day. I know it is not good to eat at your desk, but it is working for me right now.

I also purchased these again. I only eat one at a time (they come in a pack of 2 within this package); they taste so much like the cereal Sugar Smacks that you may have enjoyed as a child. Anyone tried these?

I did not buy a single article of clothing over winter break. Normally I would be out in the stores looking at the deals and scooping some up. I also did not buy anything the first week of January. But, I am now in two different Facebook groups that sell clothing. They are like a small business, women owned, and I think it is kind of a great way to shop. I ordered this teddy bear soft hooded vest with a cream tunic. Both pieces together were $40. I liked it with black and wore it this week with my jeans for the jeans day of my wardrobe challenge.

I was so cozy! I wore it again on Wednesday with the cream tunic it came with. It was scarf day so I also added a scarf.

Remember I went to The Dollar Tree last weekend? Why would you? These glasses are super cute if you are in the market.

And, they had their St. Patrick’s Day stuff out. I decorate for Valentine’s Day, then St. Paddy’s, then Easter, then spring in general, then Derby, then summer, then 4th of July. Mainly my mantel gets the decor. I think it’s fun and I like changing stuff up almost monthly.

This spider plant is doing really well. I think she likes this corner of my bedroom and I open a blind for her every day.

I have loved, loved, loved my set of 9 leather earrings like the ones in the last row below. Unfortunately it is no longer available, but I thought this set looked promising. It is $16 and could easily be split up for gifts. They even work ok with my masks.

I love this furniture polish! It smells so good!

My tub has arrived. No, it is not supposed to be on the driveway in a box, covered with snow.

It had been a long time since I had socialized, but I am back, baby!

Look at this patio! We had it all to ourselves. What a cool thing to get to be on a patio in January, right? The beginning of this week was super cold but we got up to 50 yesterday.

I got to meet my school neighbor Elizabeth to eat mediterranean food.

What? I am on a patio in January?

I got this vegetable plate; it is like a thick stew.

Elizabeth got a chicken schwarma wrap.

The next day I did my January snowman decor (that I had neglected this year) on my patio because I had not one, but two, social engagements. At 11:00 which is my lunch a former colleague came over and brought Cuban coffee. I forgot to get a photo, sadly!

I picked these up at Kroger a couple of weeks ago.

And, after school at 3:00, another former co-worker came over for a chat, a giant cookie I made and a bourbon dark hot chocolate I made. I also gave each gal a bag of my homemade Chex Mix.

My boys move back to campus and I par-tay! Right?

I am trying to eat better (disregard giant cookie, bourbon dark hot chocolate, Chex Mix, …) and one thing that I love is popcorn. Katie from Preppy Empty Nester first told me about this popcorn and it was on a special deal on Amazon this time. I got this box for $10! It is so good. Do you like Boom Chick a Pop? Do you like Skinny Pop? This is way better, at least in my opinion.

I also bought a shoe horn! How old am I? Well, I have some boots that are very hard to put on (my duck boots, my short Hunters, my Sanita clog booties) and it keeps me from wearing them. How does this work? I don’t know but it seems like some sort of dark shoe magic. Getcha a shoe horn!

I pulled out my Valentine’s decor. I did this minimal tiered tray.

This hall table decor with the fairy lights,

I put fairy lights and cookie cutters in a glass vase,

and I did my mantel. Look at those babies!

I only spent $5 to do this year’s decor and it was two of these glass vases, two white pillar candles, and conversations hearts from The Dollar Tree. My friend Kara did this several years ago. I need more to fill it up higher, I think. How cute and simple, right?

So, my new Valentine’s decor is making me happy. I can’t believe today is less than a calendar month from Valentine’s Day!

I have a three day weekend as we are observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday. My boys also have no classes on Monday so I will get to have them home this weekend for at least part of the weekend!

We have plans to watch Mason’s play! Jack is my actor son, but Mason enrolled in a theatre requirement first semester and then proceeded to try out for this play and another and made it for both! This had to be recorded and streamed, unfortunately.

How was your week? Any weekend plans?

Thanks for reading! Today is the final day of my wardrobe challenge and we are doing plaid. I will show you my outfits next week. It was fun and it made getting dressed easier.

Happy Friday,

Amy

Thursday Thoughts on College Kids – First Time Back in the Nest

Thursday, January 14, 2021

This may not appeal to all of my readers, but I think I will enjoy having this to look back on. I understand if you click away today.

If you are interested, grab your cup of coffee!

You may be in a different stage of parenting. You may be past this stage or you may be very far from this stage. This stage came too quickly for me! I found it helpful to read perspectives from moms with older kids.

Also, with twins and no other children, I have always felt the pressure that I only get to do each stage once. One thing I know for sure is that every kid is different (even with identical twins) and every parent is different. There really is no one size fits all when it comes to our experiences with our kids. The older I get and the more I learn the more I realize that I do not have all of the answers. I used to be Mrs. Judgey McJudgerton about parenting. Um, I got knocked down a peg or two and really try not to do this anymore. In addition, I have been working with teenagers for more than 27 years, but that still does not make me an expert.

Last spring, we were thrilled when both of our kids decided on the same college because of their close bond and because it would just be nice for us -never having done this before. Also, have you ever sent a kid to college during a pandemic? Now, I can say I have! Mason chose to get a random roommate and Jack did, too. They were assigned to two different dorms. Jack’s random roommate bailed on him, so he ended up solo.

They moved on campus in August and came back home for the end of the semester on November 20. I am not going to lie and say it was easy for them; the Covid stuff sucked. Even the in person classes were hard because they had to wear masks and had to be seated 6 feet apart, but that is the same for all the kids who got to do in-person learning. Mason only had one in-person class. The rest were online. Jack had more in-person because of his music classes. Basically, everything was different and not how college should be. The college went above and beyond; they really impressed us.

Despite the Covid stuff, they did great and were very self-sufficient. In fact, I felt like I hardly got to talk to them. I knew this was a good thing. We both needed to acclimate. One never once came home to spend the night from August – November and the other only came home one time. I think they were told not to leave campus much due to Covid. We did see them for meals sometimes, but we spent very little time with them for those months.

Tom and I got used to the empty nest; we actually had a lot of fun from August until November. We used our boat, we ate on patios, and spent more time talking to each other (ha!), I think. I was also really busy with school and learning a new job, basically, with being a virtual teacher to start the year. It also took lots of time for me to learn my new schedule.

In mid-November, I was very nervous about their homecoming. I was giddy; I was just a bit anxious about our re-adjustment. They would be home from November 20-January 6. I wanted to respect the young adults they are becoming. I wanted to give them space to do the rest of their classes and their final exams. I prayed about it. I told Tom my plan. I also talked to them right away and told them my plans to let them continue being the young adults they are.

Mason was so happy to eat my cooking and it made me happy!

Jack was being silly and telling Mason and I a story.

Mason and I enjoyed reading by the fire a couple of times.

We got Thanksgiving food from a bbq place and I missed the homemade sides, especially, but it was a nice day. We had a fire and Smores for Thanksgiving dessert! The kids were pretty busy after Thanksgiving with finishing up their classes. And, I was still teaching for 3 more weeks after Thanksgiving. I offered to go teach from school if I was bothering them and Mason told me that I was top priority and they would adjust to my needs and not the other way around. Awwww.

We did not do many activities outside of our house. I knew they were really happy to be back with the comforts of home. Jack, especially, was very worried about the virus and I would rather have him that way than being reckless. We did enjoy our art walk – the light show in the woods that we went on after Thanksgiving.

We went to the large flea market.

They are wearing the same jackets but those were weeks apart!

We celebrated with my mom.

We had a lovely Christmas Eve together and Christmas Day – just the four of us. We played games and watched shows and a movie. They picked out really thoughtful gifts for each other and Tom and I.

Opening stockings:

We had a nice surprise and got to see my high school friend and show his son around campus.

And, they had their first week of classes online at home and I left them a note. It was kind of nice to get to see what their second semester schedule would look like!

I did not ask them to jump back in to chores, but after the first week or so I noticed that they did what needed to be done – dog stuff, taking out trash, cleaning up, asking me if I needed help. It was heartwarming. So, moms of little ones, keep on teaching the chores and it will pay off!

We got all of their favorite take out – Shiraz Mediterranean, Mi Tierra mexican, pizza, and more. But, I mostly cooked and I cooked up a storm; I made all of their favorite meals.

The best bags – Ikea from Amazon:

Well, now they are both back on campus after two negative Covid tests! Jack was able to change to Mason’s dorm because his dorm was not as nice. Now, he is below Mason in a private room(he still preferred that and he can practice his music) and they can visit each other. You are not allowed to visit beyond the lobby of another dorm. It’s a small thing but it’s a big thing for our family.

Our winter break with them was better than I could have imagined. I saw so much maturity and growth. We had some great conversations. I got so many hugs! I got so many “thank yous”. My heart is full. I miss them, but I am so excited for what they will accomplish this semester. The college hours are already piling up – Mason now has 45 hours at the end of semester one and Jack has 32 hours at the end of semester one. They both had good GPAS – good enough to keep their scholarships – ha! I am sure I have forgotten some things but that is enough for now!

If you are still here, thank you for reading!

If I can answer any questions, let me know!

What stage are you in with your children?

Amy