Friday Faves

Friday, February 3, 2023

I had a good week! It’s time to link up with Erika and Andrea to hear all about our weekly faves.

Let’s go back to Sunday afternoon. I usually do my Hello Monday post around lunchtime and then save whatever else I do on Sunday for my Friday Favorites – if it was in fact, a favorite.

Tom and I are trying to be home as much as possible for Ernie. So, I had a Sunday Funday plan with Elizabeth. She used to teach French next door to me but she moved on and is now in another field. I hadn’t seen her or talked to her for awhile so we were able to coordinate a time on Sunday afternoon. We met at The Reservoir and walked. It was super cold and it started raining and we were out.

We headed to a little hole in the wall The Dark Horse while is also a new restaurant called The Smokery. I want to take Tom back there for barbecue.

Then, we headed to Parlour and shared a beer flight.

We also got their breadsticks.

We had a great time and then I headed home to eat my Soup Sunday soup with Tom and watch Bad Sisters on Apple TV. We just finished it and really liked it!

Sweet boy!

Monday was food day in two of my classes. They voted for a Monday so they could cook on Sunday and it worked out great.

Ernie and I have walked each day after school and multiple times on the weekends.

After our Monday after school walk, Victoria came to see Ernie. She is a huge dog lover. We caught up over a Trader Joe’s baguette and red wine.

For dinner, I made a Thai peanut sauce bowl. I am really trying to perfect a peanut sauce. I love this flavor so much.

I filed my nails more rounded and did a normal polish mani using my Kur polish.

I got up Tuesday morning and was on my second cup of coffee before I realized it was a snow day! It was an old fashioned one with no digital work! It was due to ice on the road. I didn’t think it looked that bad when I looked out the window. So, I was up at the normal time and after Tom left for work I did a happy dance to be an adult with a free weekday!

I watched The Wedding Year in the morning (Jennifer loves a morning movie so I did like she said to do!)

I watched part of another movie, I caught up on lots of tv shows, I cooked myself breakfast and lunch, I made a Crumbl sugar cookie for one with a recipe I found. It was soooo good! I walked Ernie even though it was soooo cold. I finally left the house at 4:00 to go to Dollar Tree for a few things I had been needing.

We returned to school Wednesday and after Wednesday, the rest of the week is downhill in a good way!

Last weekend when I went to the library, I saw this book on the shelf again:

Along with this:

Is this a genre of books I don’t know about? We want to read about love stories involving bosses?!

One of the things I made on my snow day was buffalo chicken squares.

I love my new scarf that arrived this week and wore it right away!

Erica made blackened chicken tacos with mango salsa for our lunch at school on Wednesday:

I finally got a coffee cup warmer and I love it!

A little nap after a walk:

Ernie is doing great! He is acting totally normal now. I am so grateful and happy. I don’t know exactly what to make of it. I am wondering if the vet is wrong and what they saw was something else like a puncture from a bone or a stick. Or, is this just that the tumor is now stable and slow growing? I am debating calling the vet, but I also am scared to call the vet. We have been loving on this guy so much. He has just brought us so much fun and happiness in his 10 years.

Move over, Sharpie S Gel. I think I have a new favorite in these Tul pens. I got them on Amazon and they make me very happy. I like a clickable gel pen that is a fine to medium point.

I had a Wednesday afternoon outing with my friend Beth. We hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks and met at Napa for half price wine on Wednesday and their 4-6 happy hour.

They had a burger on their happy hour menu and it was incredible.

We sat by the window and the sun was so bright. We took silly sunglasses pictures.

It was a nice mid-week outing and I was home by 6:30 to hang with Tom and Ernie.

Yesterday I broke out the Carebear sweater:

We still have ice on our rain chain!

Ernie found a tennis ball behind the tennis center on our cold walk yesterday!

What were your favorites this week?

I hope you had many!


Fashion Files

Thursday, February 2, 2023

It’s already Thursday and that means it’s time to see what we’ve been wearing. I am linking up with Kellyann and Jill so click on their names and go see these gals!

Last Friday we were supposed to wear black to show that we were going to beat another school in the basketball game and we were in mourning for them, I guess. I wore my Target Universal Thread black jeans and my Amazon black top with some flats. I think black shoes would have looked better.

Saturday I tried out some denim on denim. These are the same jeans as the black. They are slim straight high waist. I feel weird in skinny jeans now. These are so comfortable on the legs and they feel great on. My chambray top is from Old Navy for the price of about two lattes ($12) and my clogs are old – I ordered them from a Swedish brand or Etsy. They are bright. Solid gold, baby.

Monday I wore Matilda Jane flares and a consignment Loft top. Did you know that Matilda Jane has more than just the ruffle pants? I have several flares by this brand. It’s extremely awkward to hold your phone so that your face can show, lift your face so it looks like you are not looking at your phone while trying to take a picture, and be annoyed by your husband’s blue cup in the background and his heckling while I am doing this.

Tuesday I tried a new lewk with jeans, my black silk Chico’s blouse, a new small silk scarf, and my hot pink blazer. See, I didn’t get the eyes right. I got some comments from students on my “drip”. If your teenager tells you, “nice drip” that means they like your clothing.

I ordered this scarf from Amazon and it came in the nicest packaging. I didn’t order this print, but I loved it, so I kept it. Hey, if the universe says it wants me to have this print, who am I to say no? If you click on the red type, you will see the scarf design I tried to order. I think it’s more spring like anyway. You can also see all the other options. I specifically wanted to fold it like a bib/bandana and wear it with a button down or a sweater.

And, here is my new Loft blouse. I think I talked about it in my Hello Monday post. I don’t think I included it in my January purchases, so we will call it a February purchase, mkay?

My nails weren’t quite long enough, but I filed them in the current rounder shape and used my Kur polish. I consider this part of my fashion.

I kinda like it.

What have you been putting on your bod?

Let’s pretend like 23 in 2023 was never spoken about. If you are my true friends, you won’t call me out. My sister Kate was right. I just like fashion too darn much. We shall see. I think I will continue recording my monthly purchases.

Talk to me in the comments,


January Spending Diary

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

I decided not to include bills, but just to do a diary for a month about the things that I buy. I am doing my gas, but not Tom’s. I love reading Money Diaries on Refinery 59 and so I thought I would do one. Also, this month I have been participating in Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month. In addition, you know that I am starting my 23 in 2023 – I can only buy 23 new items this year. And, I didn’t stick to just two new items this month, but I could still succeed for the year.

I have quite a few gift cards I am going to use this month. That will be fun. I also have some restaurant coupons and when I want to go out, I plan to look at those first.

This may be really interesting for some readers and really boring for other, by the way!

Sunday, January 1-Whole Foods $50, Texas Roadhouse Take Out $0 with Tom’s gift card from a co-worker, $5 tip

Monday, January 2 – Kroger Pick Up $124, Dollar Tree stuff for school $30, Target book for me and razors for Mason $30

Tuesday, January 3- Back to School for Teachers – $0 Spend Day

January 4 – Back to School with Students – $0 Spend Day

January 5 – $0 Spend Day

Friday, January 6 – Amazon $7 green school laces to spruce up my white leather sneaks; $50 Door Dash (Eek!) reiumbursement to my kids who came home and wanted to order. They do this very rarely and we didn’t have any food in the house. I had Erica and Elizabeth over for happy hour instead of me spending around $50 at a restaurant. I made them a wonderful bourbon cocktail (or two), we tried the holiday pack Truly seltzers, I made them Trader Joe’s frozen fries with truffle oil and sea salt and a garlic aioli, truffle popcorn, and Trader Joe’s mini croissants. I think they were really happy to save a nice chunk of change, too. J and M had already had a late lunch/early dinner from Door Dash and Tom and I had baked potato, bean soup, and a few leftover odds and ends.

Saturday, January 7 – $154 Kroger, $15 coffee/donut shop, $18 Domino’s Pizza for J and M, $72 including tip for Tom and Amy Dinner at Varanese with three other couples

Sunday, January 8 – $12 Michael’s, $18 movie tickets, $0 Amy movie snacks, $12 Tom movie snacks

Monday, January 9- Old Navy online order of $44 with $100 Christmas money

Tuesday, January 10 – $0 Spend Day

Wednesday, January 11 – $0 Spend Day

Thursday, January 12 – $0 Starbucks (used a gift card), $1 barista tip, $119 Kroger pick up, $64 Gas at Kroger gas station, $3 ELF foundation from Amazon (very impressed), $30 Tully’s Hawaiian coffee from Amazon (new fave)

I do feel that I am deferring spending for a few days and then having larger spend days? This diary is really making me think about my spending, though!

Friday, January 13 – $38 Old Navy order (re-ordering two of the three items to see if sizing is better; I am trying to be a better shopper and get the right size and not just “settle”, $30 after school happy hour, $76 Mediterranean take out (cringe – why is this so expensive? Our kids were home for the night and wanted it. We never got it over Winter Break – it’s soooooo good and it provides leftovers, too)

Saturday, January 14 -$75 Trader Joe’s, $0 Library, $14 Liquor Barn, $ 20 TJ Maxx, $11 Mexican to go – I ate with my friends and they treated me and I took home an arroz con pollo for J and M. They went to a friend’s house to play Dungeons and Dragons and had pizza but were still hungry.

Sunday, January 15 – Coffee Shop $1 – had gift cards. Mason and I read for a bit, $15 car wash

Monday, January 16 – $109 Vaugu order (2 dresses and 1 top – I can also say this is my $100 Christmas money purchase) , $58 Fresh Market – went in for chicken and got a bit crazy

Tuesday, January 17 – $58 Old Navy order, $4 Amazon powdered Tide for my floor mopping – lol

Wednesday, January 18 – $68 Amazon Shark cordless vac

+earned $29 Rewards from my credit card (We have a Kroger credit card and save on gas and groceries with this. We also get rewards based on spending that are credited like cash to the card)

Thursday, January 19 -$152 Kroger pick up (Trying to make this the last big shop of January, but it may not be possible – If it is, my Kroger bill for January will only be $440! Note: It was not possible!)I have gone to Trader Joe’s once for $78 and Fresh Market once for $58, too, and then we have gone to Costco a couple of times mainly for Tom’s protein shakes of which he goes through very quickly. This is still a great reduction from groceries for December.)

Friday, January 20 – $26 Happy Hour margaritas, chips, salsa, queso, then ate dinner at home for $0 – Tom had a Totino’s frozen pizza and oranges and I had an egg sandwich and oranges

Saturday, January 21 -+$70 ish for Old Navy returns, $0 Library, $14 Trader Joe’s wine shop, $36 Trader Joe’s, $97 Walmart Neighborhood Market (just a grocery and not the big Walmart) – spent too much but bought toiletries along with some items can only get there – I went a little crazy because the prices were so much better than Kroger and Target on a few things), $28 Mojito en Havana for dinner – I had a $25 gift card so this is why it was so low for a nice dinner

Sunday, January 22 – $30 Sunday Funday margaritas and appetizer along with tip at Boombozz

Monday, January 23 – $0 Spend Day

Tuesday, January 24 – $0 Spend Day

Wednesday, January 25 – $0 Spend Day

Thursday, January 26 – $13 Chinese herbs for Ernie, $8 McDonald’s for Ernie and Amy

Friday, January 27 – $149 Kroger grocery pick up (was not able to make January 19’s haul last but this order will take me into the first few days of February, too) , $59 Target order of two pairs of jeans

Saturday, January 28 – $42 Walmart grocery, $58 Target, $0 Library, $35 Blaze, $37 Loft

Sunday, January 29 – $32 Coffee Shop/breakfast with Mason, $30 Sunday Funday with Elizabeth

Monday, January 30 – $14 Amazon purchase of small silk scarf

Tuesday, January 31 – $0 Spend Day


I could have forgotten a couple of things, but I was pretty diligent about recording this month.

No Spend Days: 9! Wow! I am pretty impressed with this. This means no online orders, either. Some is definitely deferred spending, but it made me realize that normally hardly a day goes by without me at least placing a small Amazon order.

Gas: $64 – Wow! That is really low. I may have forgotten to record a second fill up. My work is really close to home and I probably filled up right before January started.

Groceries: Kroger: $698 Wow! That is a lot for two people except some weekend days when we have four of us. Whole Foods: $50, Trader Joe’s: $115, Fresh Market: $58,Walmart Grocery: $97 and $42

Grand Total for Groceries: $963 – Again that seems really high, but we really do eat most meals at home I guess. I almost never get breakfast or lunch out and I think we only had three meals out this month, not including my happy hours. Look how low my take out and meals out are. I would say this is pretty low for the average couple. Also, the groceries include all toiletries and cleaning products, too, for the most part.

Take Out: $200

Meals Out for Amy and Tom: $100 (had a gift card)

Amy Happy Hours/SundayFunday: $116

Coffee Shops for Amy and Mason: $47

Entertainment: $18 movie tickets – this is kinda sad. I think we need to do more things for pure entertainment that don’t involve food.

Clothing for Amy: $237 – What even is 23 for 23? Lol!

Other – Amazon: $115 – pretty pleased with this much reduced number

My Thoughts:

I am really glad I did this. I think it was a good re-set for me. My birthday is November 2 and from then until the end of the year I traditionally just go kinda off the rails.

Have you ever done this? Are you scared to do it like I was? Ha!


January Purchases

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I told you at the beginning of January that I was going to try to only buy 23 new items in 2023. But, I could buy unlimited second hand items. I also had $100 to spend from Christmas. Well, it’s time to find out how I did. I bought zero second hand items but I bought several (hangs head) new purchases! Ay!

My first January purchase and I have zero regrets! I got these from a cute little boutique.

I have stayed away from Old Navy for the most part over the last year in an attempt to avoid fast fashion. I really think they have upped their quality game, though, based on the few purchases I did make. I was targeted by an IG ad and it led to not just one purchase, but a few more after that. Again, I hang my head in shame. Lol!

First up is this ecru blouse made of a very thick canvas like material. It arrived very wrinkled, but my steamer worked like a charm on it. It looks too big here before I washed it, but I ordered two sizes and the larger looked better. I washed and dried it after this wearing and steamed it again and then it fit better. I intentionally dried it to get it to the better fit.

I ran into a long time sub at my school who has great clothing and used to work at Ann Taylor. She was wearing the chambray version of the blouse above and I didn’t even know there was a chambray version. So, guess what? I ordered that one, too! By the way, these tops were under $12 each!

These tops feel very me and I think with them being neutrals that I will get a lot of wear out of them. I hope they are flattering because I plan to wear them!

And, this is my new cropped polo pullover. It is lined in a light fleecey material and I was so cozy but not too hot wearing this to school. I think this will work great going into spring. It comes in black and tan, too. I really want the black! This was about $28, though, so a bit pricey for ON.

This was just a nice material white top for spring and summer. It was only $10.

This is a linen blouse with some nice detail on the sleeves. It was also only $10.

I popped into our new J.Crew Factory and got these hoops. I had been wanting a more delicate hoop.

And, finally…I wore my Target Universal Thread high rise slim straight black jeans to school Friday and got to thinking how good they feel on and how I think the fit is just right for my current bod. Why hadn’t I thought to get the same pair in regular denim? So, I did just that. I got a light wash and a medium wash. Now, I will say that the black is a stiffer and thicker material than the blue denim. All three look like much more expensive jeans. I bought mine for $28 a pair.

If you haven’t tried a straight or a high rise, please try these. I am 5’4 and the length is perfect for any type of shoe I would wear with them.

I actually am not mad at all about my purchases. I was thoughtful and intentional. Everything will work into spring.

I am not including my Vaugu purchases because they haven’t come in yet and they all might be a heck no. I will include those in February since they are taking so long to get here. I noticed on the website it said allow 35 days to arrive. I probably wouldn’t have ordered if I had read that sooner!

How do you think I did this month? Remember that I had $100 to spend from Christmas money, too. This wasn’t about the money, really, but it was about contentment and using what I already have.


Hello Monday and Prime Purchases

Monday, January 30, 2023

I am linking up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday AND Tanya today for Prime Purchases which is now on Mondays.

So, I don’t have many pictures from the weekend and you will find out why in a minute. But, first, a little back story. When I started getting serious with Tom he sat me down and said, “Amy, I plan to have a chocolate lab named Archie.” We both came from dog families and I couldn’t wait to get married to have my own dog! I was fine with a chocolate lab because I didn’t really have a preference. Of course I could have had my own dog, but I was waiting until I had someone to share this responsbility with.

So, we had a wonderful dog named Archie for 12 years. He died with our twins were 9. We waited about 8 months and I finally convinced Tom it was time to look for our next baby. Tom was very emotional about losing Archie and wasn’t sure he could do it again. But, we found our Ernie! And, obviously, Tom fell in love with him.

Look at that joy rolling in the grass this weekend!

Ernie turned 10 this week and also was acting off. He didn’t come to bed with us two nights and he just seemed lethargic. Wednesday when he hadn’t eaten his breakfast Tom said he would come home for lunch and check on him. He made the decision to take him to the vet where the vet (not our preferred vet) did blood work and said she thought he had an internal bleed in his abdomen most likely caused by a tumor on his spleen which is common in big dogs, I think. The news was dire and the surgery would be risky and didn’t always result in a good outcome. Tom had dropped him at the vet and had to go back to work and I had left work during my planning period (last period) to go get him from the vet and hear the prognosis. I took him home and loved on him the rest of the day. He was acting slightly better, I thought.

The plan was to go back the following morning to have an ultrasound of his abdomen done by our preferred vet. I took off because the vet of the day before made us think we would have to make a decision on Thursday and possibly not bring him back home with us! Tom and I both took him in. At this point, we hadn’t told our kids because we wanted to wait until this appointment. I waffled back and forth Wednesday evening about telling them at that point.

Thursday morning Ernie was acting pretty normal. He socialized with all the ladies at the desk at the vet and all the dogs and people who came in. He worked the room. When we went into the examining room, Ernie went and sat in the corner by the dog treat jar until our wonderful vet gave him a treat. Our vet did an ulttrasound and said he saw something on his spleen but that the bleeding had stopped and clotted. He did still see fluid/blood in his abdomen. He basically advised us to do nothing, but that we would have to make a decision as he went downhill.

He did tell us that there is a Chinese herb you can put on the dog’s food to help thicken the blood and promote clotting so you can surely bet I went and bought some of that at the Chinese Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine store. Tom went back to work and I took Ernie to the McD’s drive through and put that powder on his hamburger.

I called and told both kids and they made plans to come home Friday and spend time with him this weekend.

So, it’s been a lot of time at home and a lot of walks and cuddles. The thing is – he is acting almost normal again. The only thing not normal is we don’t think he is eating as much. The vet said that the bleeding had made him weak and that is why he was acting off and the clotting made him more like himself so I guess that would explain his improved behavior.

I am in denial to some degree, but I am holding out hope that they are wrong. Since we had Archie for 12 years and Ernie has been more active and at really good weight I had hoped for a nice 14 years. Ever the optimist, I guess.

I made sweet potatoes for Ernie and made a hash for me for breakfast:

We can’t be with Ernie constantly as will still have to go to work, but I did a few errands Saturday morning when J and M could be with him. Tom had committed to working a boat show for his sister and brother in law’s business, so it was just J, M, and I on Ernie duty Saturday.

I went to the library, to Target for a drive up, and to the Walmart grocery for things I can’t find at Kroger. A WW Instagram follow of mine has posted some fun mocktails/drink recipes. Sonic cherry limeade powder with a La Croix cherry lime that I couldn’t find so I picked this Polar Cherry Limeade and it is great by itself. Adding the powder takes it to the next level. And, another drink is pineapple Crush powder with a Coconut LaCroix. OMG! I am super happy with these new drinks. They will also help me get my water intake where it needs to be. You can add some fresh lime and lemon juice or the bottled kind like I keep on hand.

Our Saturday weather was a gift. I took a long walk with Ernie – he seemed up to it. I think he had four walks on Saturday! I just kinda let him dictate which way and how long we went. I let him off lease by the tennis center near our house and he had fun sniffing and looking for balls. I sat outside and read while Ernie napped in the sun. I ate my lunch outside, too. Like I said in many posts, I have tried to jump every time it has been mild enough in January to do this and I really think it has helped.

Ourside on the patio with my pineapple coconut drink:

I need to try more flavors of this:

Late afternoon as Tom was getting home, J, M, and I went to the shopping center that has Barnes and Noble bookstore and Loft. I had a 40% off coupon to use at Loft and they love a bookstore.

I tried the denim on denim look. I think I need more contrast but I didn’t hate it.

I got a bit sad looking at all of the empty shelves as the bookstore is moving to a smaller space in the shopping center. We have been going to this bookstore for 18-19 years and played on the Thomas the Train table there many a time. My kids have always loved libraries and bookstores, which was a wonderful thing for me.

They thought Blaze sounded good and it is very close to the bookstore so we got it to go. I wasn’t that excited about it, but I got one for me, too.

I opened a new bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s. Recommend! It is a nice smooth red!

Ok, this pizza was really, really good. I hadn’t had one in probably two years.

Sunday morning I did a southwest breakfast bowl for Erica and I for Monday’s lunch:

I made myself another sweet potato breakfast:

My Soup Sunday was Drizzle Me Skinny’s potato chicken corn chowder:

Mason and I went out for coffee and I got this beautiful concoction:

Mason got a Cuban coffee and tres leches pancakes:

I had already eaten so I just had coffee. This is our third weekend coffee shop that we are doing as much as we can! Everytime I left the house this weekend it was just in short increments because I didn’t want to be away from Ernie too much.

I went to bed early both Friday and Saturday nights because not only was I physically tired, but I think I was also emtionally tired. I couldn’t keep my eyes open while watching tv.

Please send some healing thoughts, vibes, or prayers if you are so inclinced for Ernie’s comfort and quality of life and for us to make the right decision at the right time.

Let’s talk about Amazon now…

I tried to be really frugal this month so I feel that most of my purchases are needs more than wants.

I love my new Shark! I got a refurbished machine and I picked the cheapest color – blue. It was $68. Cordless is a game changer. I want to use it! I have found it works great on my kitchen floor and is much easier than getting out the broom and dustpan. Ernie is scared of it, though, so I have been trying to use it when he is outside.

I bought the smallest box of Tide ever created to try the hot water/Tide floor cleaner thing. I used it with my Swiffer and dry mopping pads and I loved it.

You can tell cleaning has really been on my mind this month.

I really like this! It seems much more expensive and better quality than you would think for a $3 foundation. I got this for days I didn’t feel like doing my Seint makeup system.

It’s a little light and I am thinking about getting a darker one and blending to get the best color for me.

See, this is a need. You don’t want to see me without coffee! I love this!

I put these green laces in my white leather sneakers. Love! I am seeing this color green for spring everywhere! Loft had a ton of this color.

I lost my Stanley cup straw and choose these to replace it. They are thinner, but they do the job. They came with a cleaning brush, too.

I finally bought the cuticle oil everyone raves about. I have nothing to compare it to but I like it!

I bought the good stuff. Apparently all cinnamon is not created equally.

I needed more vitamins:

And, that’s it. I did pretty well this month and really resisted the more frivolous items that I might have normally clicked “buy” on.

What about you?


Share Four Somethings

Saturday, January 28, 2023

This will be my first Saturday post ever – I think! I am linking up with Jennifer and others for this special linky party.

So…Happy Saturday!

I know this will be somewhat redundant if you are a regular reader so I apologize in advance. Since we are almost to the end of the month, I am going to share my four somethings from the month of January.


I have loved the milder January and the fact that I have margin and space in my schedule. Most days I come directly home from school and take Ernie for a walk. I run to my patio anytime the weather cooperates. It has been so good for my mental health.

One reason why I have had more time in my schedule is because I have done a Frugal January. I have tried to have several no spend days. I get time and money this way! I’m not running around spending money. I have usually had Monday-Wednesday as no spend days. Sometimes I have to order something online on one of these days, but most of the time it isn’t urgent and I just put it in my next Kroger or Amazon order and don’t click buy right away. Usually I do a grocery pick up on Thursday and that way I am set for the weekend. My biggest spend day is Saturday.

I know, Ernie! We need time to just roll in the grass!

I am at a stage in my life where my time after school is my own most days. I think there is so much to say for not over-scheduling no matter what stage of life you are in, though. I have a couple of hours most days before I start dinner.


The only book I have been able to read and finish is this:

It may very well be my favorite book this year or one of my favorites.


I learned that my oven died this month! I guess it has given me about 20 years of service?

While we wait on its replacement, my air fryer does more than air fry and it’s been a lifesaver. I have even baked cake and cornbread in this puppy. So glad Tom convinced me to get this rather than a small air fryer.


I ate much healthier in January and I didn’t suffer at all. Most of my meals have come from Slender Kitchen website. I have enjoyed dabbling in Thai and Asian foods!

Here is a recent buffalo turkey meatball meal that I ate:

A recent Thai chicken with peanut sauce meal that I made for hub and I:

a vegetable soup meal that I ate for school lunch:

A Big Mac bowl meal that I made for school lunch:

and a whole wheat pasta with bacon and tomatoes meal that I made for dinner and lunch:

See what I mean? It does not look like I am sacrificing flavor. I have still had my sweet tooth, so that is something I need to work on.

This week I made breakfast burritos during my Sunday prep and I think I will do that again, but make some more southwestern with Morningstar Farms chorizo crumbles.

What are four somethings you would share today? Or, just one something?


Friday Favorites

Friday, January 27, 2023

It’s Friday, so I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites!

Here are some favorites from the week as I look through my camera roll!

Is all Hawaiian coffee wonderful? I found this in a Costco variety box and ordered it on its own from Amazon. So good! I’m open to other coffee recommendations. Yes, I am still using k cups but I do recycle.

These are so good! Artichoke Timbales from Trader Joe’s – I had to look up “timbal” but it’s like a little pie or quiche basically. I think they are 3 WW points each. I will definitely buy these again. They are in the frozen section.

Please make Shay’s bacon and tomato pasta. It was so easy! I cannot wait to make this again!

And, I can’t wait to make another Big Mac bowl. I have never ordered an actual Big Mac! This is just really good and satisfying. I don’t have a recipe but I did google Big Mac sauce and I used Greek non fat plain yogurt with a little bit of mayo to keep the calories down.

I usually talk Tom into a Sunday Funday. In the warm weather we usually boat for a few hours. In the winter, it’s a little bit harder, but we usually find something to just cap off our weekend. Last weekend my friend and I shopped and had some nachos and margaritas. It was just what I needed to be ready for Monday.

My pink lasted longer than my…

burgundy. The burgundy started peeling on one hand after about 3 days. I’m sure there is something I can be doing better. Still learning, but still happy to be learning how to do gel at home. The biggest thing is that my nails are not getting destroyed at the salon by the removal process.

My natural nails are pretty long and strong right now:

This is cute so far and it’s just what I need right now:

This was my old Cerave cleanser, but…

this is even better!

This is the dry shampoo I am using now. Love it!

This is the comb I use to tease/get more volume out of my hair. I only use the black side and don’t use the metal side.

What were your faves this week?


Fashion Files

Thursday, January 26, 2023

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time for Fashion Files with Kellyann and Jill!

What have you been wearing lately? I am trying to circulate through all of my winter clothes to make sure everything gets worn. I have done numerous edits so most things are staying.

But first, some updates…

Jeans January – I started the month doing Jeans January and wearing jeans each day. I have now worn each pair at least once and some twice. I do think it served the purpose of getting me to eat more healthy foods to feel better in my jeans. Once I started making TikTok videos I didn’t want to always be in jeans, so I have pretty much let that go.

23 in 2023 – I have already bought more than two new things this month that I will show you soon. But, I also had Christmas money to spend. I have not gone off the rails yet, but I could with an order I am waiting on. Oh well!

Old Navy – I had not bought much from here in maybe the last two years, but I am having a moment. Their stuff seems of higher quality now. Anyone else think that?

Vaugu London – Still waiting on my order of two dresses and a top. I saw an IG ad for the cutest dress and they advertise as “being made for women’s bodies”. I absolutely hate to mail returns back so that’s a big dread if the things don’t work. I placed my order about 10 days ago, so we will see.

Monday I started the week off with black hearts:

Tuesday was more black and an old Norstrom bat wing sweater:

Wednesday was more black:

Meh – nothing to write home about.

What have you been wearing lately?


What’s Up Wednesday

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

It’s time for the last Wednesday of the month’s What’s Up Wednesday with Sheaffer and Shay!

So what’s up with you? Here’s what’s up with me!

What We’re Eating

I made a Big Mac bowl for Erica and I to have for lunch on one of my days this week. Yum!

I made Shay’s bacon and tomato pasta and you have got to make this! This was dinner for Tom and I and a lunch for Erica and I at school. It was also very easy. I can’t wait to make this again. I made it with whole wheat pasta and I made Tom’s with angel hair.

We also ate chili and tacos that I had made over the weekend.

What I’m Reminiscing About

I am kinda nostalgic for the 6 of us – my two sisters and the three guys. We all loved Kate’s first ex-husband (sorry again, Kate!) Kate is the blonde and is the middle child, and Molly is the one on the right and the baby.

I did the photo of the six of us out to tell about my plane ride story yesterday.

I also found this picture. Tom wishes he still had that hair and I wish I still had that body. We can’t all have what we want, though, can we now?

Alexa announced that Tom’s hair products had arrived yesterday and I said, “Alexa, does Tom have hair?” She responded with…

“Hmmmm, I’m not sure.”

Exactly, Alexa!

What I’m Loving

I discovered this Hawaiian coffee in a variety box from Costco and I love it! I ordered more from Amazon.

I changed out my pale pink home gel mani to…


What We’ve Been Up To

Tom and I went to eat Cuban Saturday night and each had a salad with grilled chicken.

It’s hard to say no to plantain chips and guacamole.

Then, on Sunday afternoon I asked my friend to have a bit of a Sunday Funday and we shopped in a few boutiques and then had $5 margaritas (as good or better than mine) and…

homemade potato chip nachos!

Apparently this place offers $5 Bloody Marys and $5 margaritas all day Saturday and Sunday. It is a locally owned pizza place with more than just pizza called Boombozz. They have really unique pizzas, too, and have won lots of awards.

What I’m Dreading

A few stressful things happening this spring at school. Some testing I am involved with is one of them and another one is a relatively new club that I am in charge of.

What I’m Working On

All of my classes are having food days. I bought a plantain to fry up just for fun. Fried food doesn’ t reheat well so I try to steer them away from that.

What I’m Excited About

When am I not excited about this? My happy place! I love being able to sit on my patio. I had a lovely afternoon this weekend with a jam jar of wine, a candle, and a book.

A few little Valentine’s touches…

What I’m Watching/Reading

I started this on Netflix and I’m really liking it!

Tom and I are watching Bad Sisters on Apple TV.

I started reading this book:

What I’m Listening to

My students! A few podcasts!

What I’m Wearing

This Old Navy pullover as much as I can!

Black and jeans as much as I can!

What I’m Doing this Weekend

Not quite sure yet!

What I’m Looking forward to next month

My January frugal challenge being over! No, I do plan to continue to be frugal, but I have been recording expenditures and I am kinda over it.


Story Time – The Plane Ride

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

You all were so sweet and complimentary about my last story time that I thought I would do it again. Did I ever tell you that I got the Teacher Superlative last year for “Most Likely to Have a Talk Show”? Ha!

So, this story is a little different than last week’s that highlighted my sister’s thoughtful and touching gesture to me.

And, I can’t believe I found photos from this very day!

My Dad, the pilot
Tom was co-pilot for part of the time, at least
I guess Tom got fired from co-pilot and didn’t want his picture taken

My Dad was a pilot in the Air Force and then flew for a private chemical company in my hometown. The owner of the company was also a pilot and liked to fly his salespeople and engineers to different places where they did business. My Dad had so much fun with this job after retiring from the military and everyone felt so confident with him at the helm as a former fighter pilot.

One of the perks of the job was that my Dad got to use the plane for personal use sometimes. On this occasion my mom was teaching in China for a semester with a special program, but the rest of my family at the time was heading to a family gathering about 45 minutes away by plane.

Tom was co-pilot for most of the flight because he had dreams of flying, too. My sister Molly and her boyfriend (now husband) Jason were in the plane, Kate and her first ex-husband (sorry, Kate!) were in the plane, and I think I brought up the rear. I think the plane was a 6 or 8 seater, so it wasn’t very big.

We had packed food for the family gathering that consisted of cookies, dips, and several bags of chips. The food was all behind the seats of the plane.

It was a very turbulent flight and I was white knuckling it. I think it was winter and it was very windy. I’m a nervous flyer. There was no flight attendant to bring me alcohol and I hadn’t provided my own.

I guess I was chatting with my sisters and suddenly we heard a loud pop. I thought for sure a wing had been hit by something or the engine had blown. It was that loud. I looked up toward the cockpit and my Dad and Tom looked normal and were not panicking. My sisters and I looked at each other wide-eyed but nothing seemed amiss.

I happened to turn around and could see that all the bags of chips were open at the top. That was what the loud pop was! The air pressure opened them all at the same time! Whew! It was a bit embarrassing arriving with opened bags of chips swearing that we didn’t eat out of them on the plane. But, luckily there was no aircraft emergency.

The crazy crew from the plane ride
We look so young!

And I will leave you with a dip recipe. I know I had a dip to take to this gathering because I’m a dip girl!

Easy Taco Dip:

2 packages of cream cheese (can use light)

16 oz sour cream (can use light)

I pkg./envelope taco seasoning

Blend together and top with chopped tomatoes, shredded Mexican cheese, and bell pepper, olives, and jalapeños if desired. You can really top with anything you like.

Serve with tortilla chips.

I think you will be surprised by how yummy this combo is!

If you are still here, thanks for listening to my story time!