Thursday Thoughts – the Evolution of my Blog

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Hello and happy Thursday!  You may want to get a cup of coffee for this marathon blog post!  

I started reading blogs maybe 8 years ago?  I used to love magazines and I think the blog kind of replaced magazines as my guilty pleasure.  But, is it so guilty?  I have derived so much joy from my blog reading – I have gained friendships, learned new recipes, gotten amazing product recommendations that have made me happier, and the list goes on

One of my first blogs to read was called Everyday Fashion (I think) and the blogger wore very normal things I would wear but cut her head off for anonymity.  She sadly no longer blogs.  Then I found Jill GG’s Everyday Style and really liked her outfits. 

Soon after, Pinterest Told Me To which is now Sheaffer Told Me To became a staple.  I first turned to blogs because of my love of fashion.  I also really liked trying to put together non-frumpy teacher outfits and outfits on the cheap so I was drawn to some teacher fashion blogs and some penny pincher fashion blogs.  As I was reading and looking at photos I thought I could never do what they were doing.  But, it continued nagging at me to start a blog and finally in 2018 I decided just to jump on in!  Here is my first blog post!  I didn’t even have very many of my own photos.  

I kind of want my blog to stay the way it is – very simple, without social media buttons, without tabs and indices – just very simple.  Because, I want this to continue to be a fun hobby.  If I get too complicated I think it will feel like work. But, on the other hand, it would be nice to have a search bar, categories, a recipe tab, etc.  Maybe this summer I will add that.  I also don’t know how I feel about representing products.  I want to stay real and transparent and I have seen the evolution of some of the blogs I read become only about paid promotions. They are about to be marked off of my favorite blogs to read list.  I respect their right to go that route, but I also hope they respect my right to not read them anymore.  

Some of the bloggers I read take hours to put together one blog post.  I don’t think I want that and I definitely can’t spend the time right now to do that.  Also, my favorite blogs to read are also very simple blogs like my own.  I’m hoping to put together a list of my favorites very soon!

The title of my blog – Coffee and Cocktails at the Casa – came from my love of coffee – especially enjoyed on my patio, and my love of creating fun cocktails for my friends and family.  I’m not a big drinker, but I like to have something special a couple of times a month.  And, finally the word “casa” came from my profession of Spanish teacher and my love of staying home and feeling comfortable in your home.  

I realize my title can’t and doesn’t encompass everything I talk about. 

My topics include:

fashion finds, outfits, recipes, product recommendations, restaurants, activities that I participate in and more.  

I try to follow a routine/schedule and my blog is up at 4:00 a.m. everyday for those early birds out there.  I complete each blog post the day before and I’m not actually up at 4:00 a.m. FYI!  

Monday – Hello Monday which is a weekend recap and I link up with other bloggers

Tuesday – Tuesday Tips – a tip of some sort 

Wednesday – What I Wore Wednesday 

Thursday – Thursday Thoughts – sometimes I get deep and sometimes I am shallow like my “Shop with Me” posts 

Friday – Friday Favorites and I link up with other bloggers 

I think by having this “schedule” it helps me come up with ideas.  I do wonder when I will run out of things to say – people that know me IRL may be laughing at this.

In my non-blogging life: 

I have been married for almost 19 years – to the same man 🙂 –  with 16 year old identical twin boys who are juniors.  I don’t talk much about them here because I want to respect their privacy and that’s also why I don’t use their names.  The three of them are not much on being on the internet or social media.  So, if you wonder why I don’t include many photos of them, that is why.  I have a sweet 6 year old chocolate lab named Ernie.  I do use his name because he likes the attention!  Lol!

I teach high school Spanish at the same school where my boys go.  I have been a teacher there for 19 years but with my two schools before this one, this is my 25th year teaching high school Spanish.  I currently teach Advanced Spanish III, IV, and AP.  I also don’t talk a lot about school because I didn’t want this to be a teacher blog – not that there is anything wrong with that.  If I were going to do a teacher blog, I would start a separate one.  I absolutely love my job but I have learned to have a work/home life balance. If you want to read about my typical day teaching I recently did a post here.  

I love fashion and bargain hunting, consignment shopping, reality t.v., Bravo, Netflix, reading, cooking, decorating, entertaining, walking in nature, being on and around water, laughing with family and friends, going to events and festivals, trying new restaurants, and much more.  

Back to the blog:  

I am in no way an expert on anything I write about and that was my biggest fear – that people would think I thought I was special and that I had all of the answers.  I most definitely do not, but I have learned a few things that work for me and my life.  I am a big believer in “you do you”.  I hope that I don’t come off as preachy through my Tuesday Tips posts.  Some people say that the blog is obsolete and that the vlog or the podcast is the new blog.  I don’t think that the blog is obsolete, though.    

If you have stuck with me this long – thank you!  I am having so much fun interacting with readers and you make this fun for me!  I only told my family and a few friends about my blog until recently.  Now, I have announced it on my personal social media, so it’s out there.  Some of my family and closest friends don’t read my blog and aren’t very supportive and that’s o.k.(but some are) and I have gotten support from wonderful ladies I have met through the blogging community and readers from all over the world.  The internet is a funny thing – it has the power to connect us to people we would have never known before.  It definitely makes it feel like a smaller world.  I have not gotten a single negative comment yet, either, so I think the people who read my blog must be very kind.  

What would you like me to talk about?  What would you like to see more of on the blog?  Would you ever start a blog?  

Thank you for helping me to enjoy this hobby so much!  You’re the best!  

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

What I wore Wednesday

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Happy hump day!  Here are my outfits from the last week!  

This was last Wednesday – Tieks consignment flats, J.Jill capri leggings (these are great quality and I have them in black and navy, too), and consignment QVC Logo brand tunic.

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This is last Thursday.  Consignment sweater, consignment pants, new MIA clogs, and new Old Navy insect blouse.

Easter Sunday – Steinmart sweater, Old Navy flutter sleeve, consignment LulaRoe skirt, consignment pumps,

Monday I wore Costco top, Versona clearance pants from the fall, new clogs by MIA

Yesterday I wore Matilda Jane consignment pants, MIA clogs, blue Lucky consignment top, and consignment LulaRoe kimono – all consignment this day!

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What was your favorite outfit?  Or, maybe you don’t like any of them!  

Also, do you prefer my hair straight or curled?  I’m getting the itch to do something different!  

Thanks for reading!

Amy

Easter and Stuff

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

I try not to use paper products too much and do a pretty good job, but I like to buy some for the holidays. These were a Kroger find and I thought they were so cute!  Our meal was at dinnertime and just the four of us this year.  

 

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Once we discovered Sister Schubert’s rolls, there was no turning back.  We have these for every holiday on both sides of the family. They are in the grocery freezer section and there are also ones for breakfast with sausage inside and cinnamon rolls.  I have only tried the cinnamon rolls and they are to die for!  

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The asparagus was perfectly in season and just the right size to turn out perfect in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400.  I turned on the broiler on low for a couple minutes at the end.   It has a bit of EVOO, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  

I bought a medley of potatoes and boiled them for 20 minutes and then put them under the broiler for 5 minutes. 

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And, I bought a small Private Selection Kroger brand honey ham and it was really good. 

It made me think – why do lots of people only eat this meal on Easter?  This is a super easy weeknight meal – ham is already cooked, green beans or any green veg, and any type of tater. Done and done.  You can have this once a week.  There are so many easy meals like this but it’s important to keep a list or you will forget!  

I also decided to make a bundt cake. I ate pretty well Friday and Saturday but decided to not count on Sunday and just enjoy.  I only ate one piece of Easter candy but I did have cake, of course!  

Sunday night I used my yellow polish the Easter bunny gave me.  

And, who am I?  Yesterday (Monday) morning I went to the gym at 5:00.  I told myself that I only had to do 20 minutes on the elliptical, but I made it 30 minutes.   Eventually I want to do weights,too, but for now I will try to do cardio.  I was home by 5:45 and still had one cup of coffee and my blogs.  My Dad was an avid exerciser and always said the hardest part of an exercise routine was the first step out the door.  

Well, this has been random! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Amy

 

 

Hello Monday!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Hello Monday

How was your weekend?  Mine was busy, but with all good things!  Annie the Musical (Yes, I will stop talking about it after today! ) started Thursday night, continued Friday night and ended with a noon and 6:00 show on Saturday night.  

Friday night our son and his girlfriend were going together to watch it (we had all seen it together as a family Thursday night) so after dropping him off, hub and I went to Mojito Tapas nearby and had a dinner together before I went to the second half (which is mostly when my son appears).  It was a nice quiet time to catch up.  

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house red

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queso dip

I got home around 10:00 Friday night but was up and at ’em early Saturday morning – I had let myself run out of coffee at home so what’s a gal to do?  Skinny Blonde Latte – yum!  I had to get groceries and Easter basket stuff for hub, the boys, and my mom.  I ran to Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and CVS.  

I resisted the urge at TJ’s, but they are gorgeous!  This is my favorite flower.  

After dropping son off at the theater for call time and the other son left for his flea market and a movie with his girlfriend and her mom, hub and I went to support our sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s business.  They were having their start of the boating season open house!  Go to Marine Sales and Service for all of your boating needs if you are local!  (This is not a paid advertisement!)

L’Boatique was back – I showed this cute little shop on wheels to you last spring – it has swimwear, accessories, towels, sunglasses.  It’s a really cute concept!  

How cute is this?  

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I left the open house and went to the second half of the play and got lunch for my son before he had to be ready for the next and final show.  

Then, my mom and sister arrived and hub’s dad arrived.  The two men hung out and my mom and sister and I went back to Mojito for some light bites before the show.

We got ham and chicken croquets below, 

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and meatballs but I forgot the photo.  

All of our family in attendance just loved seeing our boy in the show!  His brother attended 3 out of 4 shows and I went to part or all of all 4.  This was our first experience with a musical and I am just in awe of the adults who run it and all of the 110 kids who were a part of it.  It was an unforgettable experience and I’m a little sad it’s over.  img_6513

Easter morning was breakfast casserole, Easter baskets, church, laundry, sitting outside in the beautiful sun, and a nice dinner to end the day.  

I also got to see three former students – two at the musical and one at church.  This is one of the best things about teaching; I love getting to see them again!  

Even though this weekend made me so happy, it was bittersweet.  My Dad would’ve just been overjoyed to see his grandson act and sing.  He would’ve loved the jokes and he would’ve been singing the songs and driving my mom crazy!  He loved Easter, too.  

On that note, have a productive Monday!  

Amy 

Friday Favorites!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Copy of Thursday Thoughts

Happy Friday!  Happy Good Friday and Easter weekend, too – if you celebrate! 

We are in school today and don’t have Good Friday off.  We have Annie the musical tonight and twice on Saturday.  Our first show was last night!  Whew – this week has been intense, but in a good way. 

My favorites this past week have been seeing my kids do things they love and just becoming great young adults.  The one son has loved being part of the all school musical – Annie and the other son has been staying after school for his after school humanities class and he also stayed after one day to simply help a friend with a research paper.  

My other favorites from the week are new spring (and summer) clothing.  I added a couple of blouses to my spring collection from Old Navy over the weekend and I think I wore one most days this week – a true sign for me that I should keep an item is when I wear it right away!  

This black flutter sleeve blouse will be a good lightweight basic.  I have a lot of printed pants and skirts and can never have enough solids.  

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Give me all the florals!  I wore this with a purple sweater this week in my What I Wore post here. img_6460.jpg

I absolutely fell in love with this butterfly/insect print! img_6459

I bought some cool shirts for my teenage boys, too!  One of them asked me if Old Navy has an “aquatics collection” – it does kind of look like that.  This mom is happy that they are wanting to have more fun with their wardrobes.  For a few years since middle school uniforms they have wanted only plain, solid color items.  BORING!  

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The top two are for one son and the bottom one is for the other.  I also got a plain red t-shirt for the son who only got the flamingo shirt – he surprised me that he wanted to branch out!  So fun!  

So, I’m pretty impressed with Old Navy’s men’s offerings this season and I really like the women’s blouses.  I mentioned that I don’t love ON pants for me.  I am going to line dry the blouses and not put them in the dryer.  

Teen Boy Easter basket items if you are last minute like me:  crazy socks, restaurant gift cards, swim trunks, books, new earbuds, gum, candy, favorite snack foods, new school supplies – yes!  It seems like my students are running out at this time of year.  Also, my boys are super particular about pens and pencils like their mama!  

What were your favorites this week?  Any other good teen boy Easter basket items?

Amy 

 

Thursday Thoughts – A Day in my Life – Last Tuesday!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Here’s how my day went last Tuesday if you are interested!  I’m always curious about others’ daily routines, so maybe you are, too!  

I get up during the week around 5:15.  I am usually awake before my alarm, to be honest!  

Here’s what motivates me!  I enjoy 1-2 cups.  I wish I could say the gym motivated me, but I’m not there yet.  Hub leaves for the gym around this time, though.  I’m so proud of him for making this early gym a habit.  

I read a devotional and my favorite blogs!  

One son showers at 5:45 and one at 6:00.  I don’t have to wake them up most days.  Around 6:00,  I heat up my pre-prepped breakfast.  

Here’s what it looks like!  Yum!  

On this particular day, I had to type up a hand out for school.  

The boys and I ride together to school – it is about a one minute drive!  We arrive around 7:05 and I have until 8:32 to plan, make copies, grade, etc.  

School starts at 7:40 and I greet my department and chat for a bit in the hall.  

I start teaching at 8:32 and have three 50 minute classes in a row.  

Then, I have a 20 minute lunch and teach three more 50 minute classes.  

5th period wanted to be “on the blog” and some of their moms read it!  Hi, moms!  

6th period was fun on this day as we had a “promposal”in Spanish!  She said yes!  

School gets out at 2:20!  I had to help interview 4 candidates to become teachers at our school from 3:00-5:00 on this day!  I’m helping on a interview committee.  

I went home and packed a dinner for my theater son and watched the end of Annie practice from 5:30-6 and then drove him to his community theater practice.  

I finally got home and other son and hub had eaten Chick Fil A, so I took my shower and ate my Chick Fil A grilled nuggets with avocado toast and a fried egg.  

I watched a recorded show alone because hub went to pick up son at theater.  

I went up to bed at 8:37 y’all!  This day kicked my butt!  I would say this was a busier day than normal, but other than that, the day itself was pretty typical!  

Amy 

What I Wore Wednesday and Pin It Spin It

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

What I wore Wednesday

Today is my typical What I Wore but I’m also linking up with Heather for Pin It Spin It where you take an outfit from Pinterest – I love to do this! – and put your own spin on it.  This is a great way to decide what to wear in my opinion.  Simply put “white jeans” (or another item of clothing) in the search bar and see how others have styled them.  Genius!  

This is last Thursday – super comfortable!  Steinmart petite palazzo pants – didn’t have to hem them, Target Universal Thread shirt, thrifted cardigan, Tieks flats (consignment), and Kendra Scott necklace 

Monday I wore black MJ pants, Rothy’s flats, yellow old Steinmart cardigan, new Old Navy black flutter sleeve blouse, consignment necklace 

Yesterday I wore blue MJ pants (consignment over spring break here), new Old Navy sleeveless blouse, consignment cardigan from Banana Republic, clogs 

Since I love my kimonos and they are perfect for spring, I searched “kimono outfits” on Pinterest.  Aren’t these the cutest?  These are both pretty casual and most of my outfits are for school, so here is how I “spin” them.  

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What do you think about kimonos?  Do you have any?  They are the perfect layering piece and make it easy to abide by the fashion “rule of three” – by adding a third piece – in this case the kimono – it adds interest and can spruce up your basics.  Boy, if they ever go out of style I will be upset!  Lol!  You know what… I’m seeing many of these this season in the swim cover up section – talk about versatile!  

Thanks for reading!

Amy 

Tuesday Tips – What’s in my bag?

Tuesday Tips

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

I don’t know if this is a “tip” per se, but we all have a little bit of voyeur in us and it’s fun to see what each of us carries in their tote or purse!  And, maybe you will like something that I carry and decide to carry it, too! 

Also, I’m convinced that men want to know what we carry!  They always seem a little intrigued by our “bag of tricks”.   If you are a man and want to carry a bag, then I say go for it!  There are lots of options now – the fanny pack, the messenger bag, the backpack, etc.!  

Right now, I’m carrying a pretty big tote from Thirty-One – the direct sales company.  My college friend sold this to me a couple of years ago and it was half off including a monogram making it only about $30.  It is really well made and I really like it.  Teachers like tote bags and this holds my purse contents and my laptop, ipad, lunch, etc.  

I empty the contents pretty much daily because I don’t like a messy bag.  Right now I have:

regular glasses in case I need to take contacts out

2 pairs of sunglasses – one black and one brown

readers

sunglass readers

keys 

2 packs of gum – one fruity and one minty 🙂

the sequin pouch is my wallet right now – money and cards

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face powder and the blue pouch with pink and yellow stripes

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Inside the blue pouch is:  

ibuprofen

4 lipsticks or glosses (3 are Lipsense my fave and 1 is Seductress Maybelline Matte 

essential oil roller

blister balm for shoes

extra contacts

drops for dry eyes because of contacts 

I really like the pouch approach so you don’t have many loose items floating around.  

That’s about it!  

What’s in your bag?  What should I carry?  Haha – I’m opening myself up for all kinds of crazy suggestions!

Amy 

Hello Monday!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Hello Monday

How was your weekend?  Boy, mine went by quickly it seemed, but it’s really feeling like spring around here.  My friend H surprised me with a quick visit after school Friday and we sat on my patio.  I cleaned off the table but didn’t have my decor out yet.  Son had practice until 7 and we got our favorite Mediterranean takeout – Shiraz.  I need to spruce up the patio because I treat it like another room in my house as the weather permits.  (The grass did get mowed later on in the weekend!)

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Saturday morning was exciting – I tried Instacart grocery delivery for the first time.  I had a coupon to try it for free and I chose Kroger as my store.  It was a great experience!  Normally it costs $12 so I probably won’t make it a regular thing, but now I know how it works and I’m sure I spend more than $12 on impulse purchases.  What a great thing for the new mom or anyone that has trouble getting out to grocery shop!  Sometimes I’m amazed at how cool it is to live in this day and age!  

I finally found caramel Premier Protein!  I tried Kroger and CVS, and finally found it at Walgreen’s.  It is soooooo good!  I think this will be my Saturday treat.  I only got one shot of espresso in a grande cup and only used half of a carton of protein.  During the week, I’m making my own iced coffee.  Most people who are talking about it get a “doppio” in a venti cup with ice and use the whole carton.  “Doppio” means two shots of espresso.  Since I had already had two cups of hot coffee upon waking I didn’t want to go too crazy.  

I picked up some promising books at the library.  I started the one on top and I’m enjoying it.  I haven’t had a good book in a while.  I haven’t finished the last couple that I started.  

I made a greek salad with leftover Mediterranean chicken for lunch on Saturday along with a piece of avocado toast.  

Son had practice until 2 and then we went down to sit on a boat at the river for our Derby festivities opener – Thunder over Louisville.  It is an all day air show followed by fireworks.  We have lots of events as part of the Kentucky Derby over the next few weeks.  The weather was perfect and I enjoyed spending some time with my sister in law, her husband, my husband, and some of their friends that stopped by the boat.  The weather was a bit overcast but it felt great after what seemed like a long, cold winter.  

Their dog’s name is “River” and she got a new hat for the occasion.  I call my husband the dog whisperer because dogs love him.  Don’t they look like they’re on a date?  She’s looking at me like she’s pretty smug about being with my man.  

We stayed until dinner time and then left to eat with our boys.  We start getting a little antsy with all of the traffic and crowds that the event brings out and don’t want to get trapped downtown!  

Sunday was meal prep, laundry, errands, a boy’s video project, Annie rehearsal, and homework.  

We mowed for the first time of the season and it looks so good!  It’s so green from all of the rain we had.   

How was your weekend?  I hope it was a good one!  Are you ready for the week ahead?  I’m not sure I am!  This is the week Annie opens and I have some meetings on top of busy work days ahead.  I have to sell Annie tickets and bake for the intermission bake sale, too.  Oh, and I have to help the Easter Bunny fill some teenage boys baskets!  

Come back this week for:

A Typical Day for me 

What I Wore Wednesday

What’s in my purse?

Friday Favorites 

Thanks for reading!

Amy 

 

 

Friday Favorites – Shoes and Food!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Copy of Thursday Thoughts

Friday is always a fun blog post to write – I take photos of things that made me happy during the week – sometimes serious, sometimes materialistic.  I hope to link up with Andrea, etc. so go here to see other bloggers’ Friday Favorites!  

So my favorites today are also some of my favorite things in life – shoes and food!  This week was really just about working, sleeping, cooking, and eating – so there you go!  

I was in search of the perfect tan summer sandal – comfortable, perfect heel height, wearable at school and out and I ordered the MIA Bety.  It’s not as comfortable as the MIA Sofia, but I’m working on breaking them in.  

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Lots of angles for you to see!  They definitely have a 70s vibe.  They were about $90 on Amazon.  

So, I’m plugging along with my WW plan and actually yesterday was one calendar month since I began.  

I have been having avocado toast pretty much every day for an afternoon snack.  My bread is one WW point, eggs are zero, my Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning is zero, and my avocado is spread thinly and only about 1/4 of an avocado or less so I count it as 2 points.  It’s a nice filling 3 point snack.  I also tell myself it’s the healthy fat from an avocado!  Are you a fan of avocado toast?  I feel like such a hipster!  

I love buffalo chicken!  Do you like it?  I have been having grilled chicken with Frank’s hot sauce, blue cheese dressing that is light – love Bolthouse Farms, and celery.  I have also made salads and below you will see the buffalo chicken quesadilla I made on a low carb tortilla that is only 1 WW point.  

O.k., I found out I don’t like the chocolate flavor, but this vanilla is the bomb.com!  I’m continuing to use it daily to make an iced coffee with just half of a carton for 1 point.  It saves a point and it saves money by only using half of a carton a day.  

This is an old recipe below, but it is zero points!  You take a can of fat free refried beans, about a cup of salsa, and about a half packet of taco seasoning.  Heat it up on the stove or in the microwave and it makes a delicious bean dip or a burrito filling.  I’m having it here with Good Thins sea salt flavor which taste like a corn tortilla chip.  

Here is a very low point southwest salad below that is delicious!  

And, lastly a favorite was this Facebook memory of our favorite bagel place by our house that went out of business.  The boys loved it so much and we went there at least once a week.  This was after singing in church on a Sunday.  My boys were blondies until late elementary school!  

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Happy Friday to all!  What were your favorites this week?  The first week back after break is always rough on the system!  

Amy