Friday Faves

Friday, June 2, 2023

It’s here! It’s Friday and it’s our last work day! Students finished yesterday! I am linking up with Andrea and Erika to share some favorites. How was your week? I hope you also had many favorites. I feel happy, tired, and grateful. I had a really good year. The world of education is crazy and it seems to keep getting crazier, but I think it’s where I am meant to be. I will be doing a full reflection next week so I don’t want to go too deep today.

Some of my favorites included:

Boating on Monday with Heather and Eric:

We ate at Captain’s Quarters and 3 of us got the spinach salad with salmon.

We headed to “party cove” and it was pretty packed. The water is very cold. I dipped my toe in.

I wore my new Target sandals to run some morning errands. A summer white pedi is a favorite.

I loved this scene that you can barely see. I was driving by an oil change place and two guys were throwing a baseball in the grass to pass the time. I thought how wholesome and lovely it was to see them doing this instead of hunched over like The Hunchback of Notre Dame on their phones. I have had two students this year that want to toss my “reading ball” – I like to toss a ball to read aloud in class – at the end of the class when we are done for the period and I think it’s nice for them to do this and get a little energy out. I think maybe keeping some items in the car for waiting is a great idea! Some people keep folding chairs and a picnic blanket for impromptu summer fun.

I did not want to prep this week, but I ended up very glad that I put together three breakfasts.

I finally tried the Bare chicken patties from Costco and they are amazing. They taste and look like Chick Fil A and they are really good in the air fryer. If you don’t have one, try the convection feature on your actual oven. I made fries and turned these into faux Chick Fil A sandwiches but I added a slice of provolone on top.

I got my Pioneer Woman mag in the mail this week!

A former student came to visit Friday. This sweet girl was one of our Spanish superstars. She is studying elementary ed and English as a second language. I have actually known her since kindergarten as she was in the same school as my kids and in the same grade.

This week was our “Senior Walk”. It was a bit weird this year. It happened in a flash and the seniors were super casual. The tradition was that they dressed up for their senior breakfast and then walked the halls one last time. They give teachers and underclassmen flowers and cards and candy.

They were led by an assitant principal and our drum line:

My two juniors were handed down the spirit drum for all the football and basketball games:

My loot:

A couple more wedding photos have trickled in:

The bride and groom:

The flower man who had multiple fanny packs of petals:

I guess it’s time to think about this!

I officially deleted my 4:45 alarm yesterday. Since today is a teacher day I could sleep in a bit more and we didn’t have to meet until 8:00.

And, the traditional last day foto is not just for the kids.

Ahhhh…..ending a school year feels like completing a really long race where you have things thrown at you constantly and they keep changing the length of the race and the route! Hey – I just came up with that!

Also, I think I met my goal of not repeating any dresses or outfits for the last 6 weeks of school or so!

So, what were your favorites this week?


Fashion Files

Thursday, June 1, 2023

It’s time to link up with Kellyann and Jill for Fashion Files and it is my last day of school with students! I had them do a reflection on Tuesday of their school year and I did one, as well. I think I will share it here in a few days.

Last Thursday it was a bit chilly and I wore this to school. This is an old Umgee dress? but I don’t feel comfortable wearing it to school or maybe anywhere without these J.Jill capri leggings that I have in black, navy, grey, and white. I have had them for at least 8 years. The quality and the feel of the fabric is amazing. They somehow keep you warm but cool.

Friday I wore my third Walmart dress (and favorite). It is supposed to fit oversized-ish, but I think once I wash it and dry it it will fit better. I loved it and I was super comfortable.

I wore this Walmart dress Saturday night to Elizabeth’s welcome reception. Tom was primping in the mirror behind me so I cropped him out.

I did my own pedicure in an Essie white that I had and I did my own manicure with my Kur polish.

Sunday was wedding day and I threw this Walmart dress on to wear down to the hotel to snack and get ready. I have on my eye patches!

My bridesmaid dress. Each girl had a different floor length sleeveless black maxi. We were given examples but could pick our own and we were told to wear nude heels. I found mine on from a third party seller – I think. I googled “black formal max” and it popped up. Get this – it was only $17.66! Here it is if you want to see. It’s not the best quality, but it was super comfortable and I could wear a regular bra. And, another thing, I did not have to hem it! I wore my nude braided heels I got from a consignment store new with tags. Elizabeth gave us a bracelet, earrings, and necklace to wear. I also did my own hair and makeup.

Ok, so I gasped when I saw the upcoming Old Navy dress. The fabric is super soft, too. Well, my phone showed me that the dress has a top version!


I actually wore the blue on Monday with these Target sandals:


Gasp – pink and orange:

I ordered a couple of sizes but I am keeping all 3 colors you guys! This will also work into the fall and I just love the pattern. My friend Heather agreed with me that it very much looks like a boutique blouse that would cost upwards of $60. Guess what – by ordering online and using whatever code they had going on my tops were $11.97 each!

I wore the dress to start this week on Tuesday. It has pockets!

If you are interested in anything, I would say the Walmart stuff runs one to two sizes big so size down one to two sizes. The Old Navy tops and dress run true to size, I think. You might need to size down depending on your chest region. I’ve been ordering two sizes to try on both at home and to get the free shipping and then I just return the one that doesn’t fit in store. Old Navy makes returns very easy.

So, do you have a favorite?

What have you been wearing lately?


What do you eat when you’re alone?

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Do you have anything weird that you eat when you are just cooking for yourself? My mom used to make macaroni noodles with tomato sauce, and I still sometimes make it. It’s really good!

All you do is boil your macaroni and then pour your tomato sauce over it. You might need to microwave it a bit but sometimes the noodles are hot enough.

Now, to make it a little less caloric, I use these noodles:

6 packets that look like this come in the box. I got mine at Costco.

It’s faster, too. You just drain and rinse them in a strainer.

Have you ever tried this? Would you?

Tell me something you make for yourself!


Hello Tuesday

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Well, it would have been nice to end the school year on Friday and get to have that mental monkey off my back, but alas, I have three days with students and one day with just teachers so I will be working this entire week. Teachers start back August 7th next school year and we started August 8th this year, so I am not sure what exactly is happening to keep us in school so long. Oh well – I am sure you are not feeling too sorry for me!

I am starting my non-school days on the patio and I love it. This was Saturday:

By the way, I finished this book and it was cute. Also, I posted on Saturday here for Share 4 Somethings if you missed it!

So Saturday was a day of a few errands and house cleaning. Teachers put so much off until summer, but I really needed to clean.

Saturday night was a little welcome reception at a downtown hotel for my friend Elizabeth’s wedding.

Sunday morning, I arrived at the hotel suite where all the bridesmaids were gathered along with some of Elizabeth’s family. I had offered to bring lunch and this is what I ended up with:

I found ABC cookies and spelled out their names, I had a sun dried tomato cheeseball, I made our easy little cream cheese and beef roll ups, I made my own sandwiches on Jimmy John’s bread (they gave it to me for free!), and then little bagel with vegetable cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. I also had more grapes and blueberres than you see here!

I’m so glad I did this because no one ate breakfast and they were going to pass out if they didn’t eat before 6:00!

Dry Bar came to do hair and the set up was in the window from the 6th floor so it was a cool view of downtown.

After everyone was ready, we loaded up on the shuttle to the venue for the ceremony and the reception. It was really nice having both in the same place.

The bar area set up:

One of the groomsmen needed a drink. This is Bruno:

The bride hiding in the closet with her pinot grigio before the ceremony. I got to go dress shopping with her last summer and I absolutely loved this on her. It is very “her”!

I was a bridesmaid so Tom sat with Erica and her husband. I’m sure they are happy that his fingers are in the background!

I don’t have many photos yet, but I will post more when I have them!

I am exhausted! My feet hurt! Bridesmaiding is for the young!

I am not sure how much I will post this week; I will give myself grace and see how it goes!


Share 4 Somethings

Saturday, May 27, 2023

I am joining Jennifer in her Saturday link up!


I’ve been walking to work this week and I will be walking again next week! Tom’s car has issues and he has been driving my car – we were debating buying a new to us car or getting a very expensive repair done. We made our decision slowly because I can walk! It’s about an 8 minute walk for me and with it being so light out now, it’s been really lovely. I am going to continue next week. I have walked before, but usually all the stuff teachers carry to work is the issue. I will drive on the last teacher day when I will have to haul some stuff home.

I walk down my street and then I cross into this middle school parking lot (our feeder middle and where my kids went):

Then, I have to go in the grass for a short time:

I pass between my baseball and football fields:

then I arrive in my parking lot and this is where I park anyway:

I had Erica take a photo of my in my backpack. This was our diaper bag! I can attest that North Face backpacks hold up. It is 21 years old.


Should I try Walmart +? I’m really considering it. My only hold out would be the Kroger brand products I get, but even Tom said he is not married to that many Kroger brand products. The thought of having the groceries appear on my doorstep sounds really appealing. Anyone do it? Advice? Do you think it’s cheaper than your local supermarket?

Not married to this macaroni – I just get the cheapest!


I’m a bridesmaid this weekend! I feel way too old to be a bridesmaid, but I said yes when my 20 year younger friend Elizabeth asked me. Remember her cabin bachlerette party? I am not wearing this in the wedding, by the way! I volunteered to provide “bridal party getting ready snacks” as my gift to her. What would you do? I am thinking non-messy and non-stinky breath snacks. I am thinking cheese, pretzels, grapes, little sandwiches…but I am open to your suggestions!


I am not really a donut person. I can usually resist because they just aren’t my favorite splurge food. But, if you put a chocolate iced Long John (that’s what I call them) in front of my with the white icing (not custard!) in the middle – I cannot say no! Someone treated us to these the other day and it was so good! The other donut that would be hard is the round yeast donut with no hole, covered in white icing, with teeny tiny chocolate chips. The only one I have seen like that is my old hometown Dieken’s Bakery. What about you? Are you a donut person?

Now, you share 4 somethings with me or just share 1 something!

Happy Saturday!


Friday Favorites

May 26, 2023

Oh Friday, I am so happy to see you! It’s time to link up with Andrea and Erika to share our Friday Favorites!

I write my blog posts in the morning most of the time because my energy fades as the day goes on. I usually do my Hello Monday posts before noon on Sundays so if I do anything after that, I add it to my Friday Favorites – if it was indeed a favorite – ha!

Well, last Sunday afternoon was a favorite! I knew I had a 5 day school week ahead of me, but I spent a couple of hours prepping so I could have some fun.

My friend Heather:

Her husband Eric with Tom:

We took the boat to lunch and it was the prettiest day:

Heather picked a Breeze cocktail so I did the same:

We both had grilled whitefish:

We ate a place called Cunningham’s and got to sit outside on their porch.

Boat hair don’t care:

I wore my Mrs. Roper muu muu which isn’t very practical for boating but there was a bit of chill in the air when we were moving and the long length kept me warm. My first mate duties of throwing ropes and tying ropes do necessitate a more movement friendly ‘fit, so I probably will not be Mrs. Roper on the boat again, sadly.

I marinated some chicken in teriyaki sauce before leaving for the boat (again, I know I have very little energy later in the day and especially after being in the sun) and then when it was dinner time (we boated from 12-4), I cooked the chicken and tossed with some really good Trader Joe’s Thai style noodles (I will buy these again!) and added roasted broccoli, green onion, and sesame seeds. I loved this meal!

One night this week I did the burger bowls:

One night I did Shay’s tomato bacon pasta:

And, the pasta had a honey mustard salad to go with it:

And, I made the Peruvian chicken again at my family’s request:

And, now I am tired and ready for someone else to cook this weekend!


I plan to do this! It sounds like a good low level summer goal! It goes quite well with another goal of trying and enjoying more white wines this summer. I am doing well so far!

This is a super thoughtful, easy, and inexpensive way to celebrate a teacher before the end of the year or for next year:

All you need is around $10 and you can also write the message of “enjoy lunch on us”. I really do appreciate using these over the summer!

This may be a separate post, too, but new dresses are a favorite!

I ordered 3 Walmart dresses and I was shocked by the quality and nice fabric. They run really big. I had to re-order smaller sizes and then return the bigger, but it wasn’t that bad. I also have not washed them yet – I wash in cold and hang dry usually.

I got this one:

And, this one – sorry for the bad foto, but I changed into my cognac sandals after I got to work. I took off the sweater for most of the day and got lots of compliments from students and one even said I needed to be “laying in a field”.

It looks much better with sandals with a heel but it still does give off a bit of a “granny’s nightgown vibe” that I am ok with. It is a really light chambray with a wonderful feeling fabric.

This one and I am still debating if I need to go down another size or just wash and dry it? Sometimes drying does the trick for me if I’m in between sizes and I need a bit of shrinkage.

And, I swear I purchased this two weeks before Sheaffer featured it!

The last one is my favorite of my Walmart order so I really want to make sure I get the fit right so that it is the most flattering it can be.

And, then I placed an order for this dress in two sizes from Old Navy because I literally gasped at the print. And, I haven’t decided which size to keep yet, but the material is amazing quality and super soft.

This model must be super tall, because it is knee length on me and I would say it runs true to size, but maybe it’s me that is kind of in between sizes at the moment. The dress very much looks and feels like something from one of my local boutiques. You will be shocked!

And, finally, I ordered these Target sandals because I loved them so much. I do have a rule-ish to not buy Target shoes, but I made an exception. The buckles do make a bit of noise when you walk, just so you know.

I am really loving throwing on a dress and I only had a handful in my closet, so that is why I did a bit of a dress shopping spree.

What have been your favorites this week? I hope that you had many!


Fashion Files

Thursday, May 25, 2023

It’s Thursday and time to link up with Kellyann and Jill. I don’t think you are going to see anything super stylish here today, but this is real life and I’m getting dressed for it!

Today is our last day with seniors in class. They have activities tomorrow and then next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I will miss them but they are so ready. Many of them have had one foot out the door for quite some time. This group of seniors had to leave school on March 13, 2020 during their freshman year, do school virtually from August through April of their sophomore year and then come back for 8 weeks but only two days a week to round out their sophomore year, come to school in masks for most of their junior year (until March), and then finally have an almost normal senior year (we were in masks until September and some kept them on!) – whew…if that doesn’t put some perspective on it, right? They are resilient and I have so much respect for them. I do think they struggled with being in school five days a week and arriving on time and staying the whole day. All of that freedom was not good in that respect maybe? I saw a big change in socialization this year and they are talking and laughing with each other in class again! It’s wonderful!

Anyhow, back to the clothing…

I wore another pair of palazzo pants, my black patent Birks, and an Old Navy linen blouse that is new this season. I think I got it back in February. It comes in white, too, but I only got the black. I thought it would work with my printed pants and skirts. I wore this at the end of the week before last and forgot to show you. Remember that I like to have a few white and black tops to go with my many printed bottoms.

This weekend, I wore my Old Navy consignment (new with tags) gauzy blouse with cut offs and my Hokas to attend the art fair.

Later, to go on the boat, I put my hot pink Aerie tank suit on with the same cut offs and wore my Loft green and white striped button up. These are my Target rubber sandals from last season. I love them!

Sunday to go on the boat I wore my new World Market muu muu. Did you know that World Market has clothes? They don’t have much, but there are some super cute things!

So, a maxi is not practical for being a first mate on a boat, but I made it work and I also got this text from Tom while we were sitting there together.

Monday for school I wore my Target Little House on the Prairie dress with Hokas just for the walk to school (yes, I walked) and then changed into my little Amazon Essentials sandals.

Tuesday for school, I wore my final pair of printed palazzo-ish pants with a t-shirt that says “Fiesta like there’s no mañana” and my Walmart Scoop blazer. I cycled through all of my spring printed pants without repeating – I think.

What have you been wearing this week?

What is on your wish list?

I will be showing you my May fashion purchases soon – I think it will end up being four dresses and one pair of sandals so not too bad! I also made $46 by selling my clothing I didn’t want. If you haven’t already done that, hurry because they won’t be taking summer stuff for too much longer believe it or not. That $46 gets to go back into my wardrobe with new stuff! Well, it could also be consignment stuff. Be very picky, but there is so much good stuff to be found. I can’t wait to have more time to make my two consignment stores a part of my errands rotation. I check in at least once a month and oftentimes walk out empty handed. I have learned to be very picky but some of my most worn items are consignment! Yay!

Thanks for reading!


Peruvian Chicken

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Do you have a Carali’s Chicken? Maybe it’s just a local chain to us? They advertise as a rotisserie chicken place, but if you look on the menu it says their chicken is marinated in Peruvian spice and they have things like yuca fries on the menu!

So, I looked for a copycat recipe and took the time to marinate the chicken for several hours. I came up with this above and a request to make this again. I simply opened a can of black beans, added onion and made some jasmine rice to go with it and used the avocado crema sauce I just bought at Costco (it is the green sauce you see). I also cooked up some Peruvian style potatoes and will give you that recipe as well!

Peruvian Chicken:

3 T. olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

4 large garlic cloves chopped

1 T. kosher salt

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. black pepper

1 T. cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. sugar

Combine all of this and put 4 chicken breasts in a bag. I also like to salt the chicken breasts generously before putting the chicken in the bag. This is a trick that Lazy Genius taught me.

Marinate for 6 hours and then dump on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Check because the timing will depend on the thickness of your chicken breast. Let rest on a cutting board before slicing it.

Peruvian Potatoes:

I used small yellow potatoes, but purple Peruvian potatoes would be better if I had had them!

2 lb. potatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1 T. Mexican oregano (I happened to have this)

1 T. minced garlic

salt and pepper

1 T. cilantro

Preheat oven to 400.

Halve the potatoes and place them in a bowl. After mixing all the above, pour over the potatoes and mix well. Spread the potatoes on another cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Add cilantro after they have been roasted. I left it off because I didn’t have fresh cilantro and I didn’t really think it was needed. These potatoes were also really good with the avocado crema sauce from Costco!

I know you don’t really need potatoes with rice, but I wanted to try these and I was not disappointed!

Let me know if you try this meal!


Easy Fajitas

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Are you in a cooking rut? I found a super easy and delicious recipe from Kate on the Daily on IG.

You can eat these like fajitas or turn them into a bowl – or both! My kids both really complimented this meal and they wrapped theirs in a flour tortilla with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

So, you want to marinade your chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Mix together 1/4 cup of any oil (I used avocado), 1/4 cup cooking sherry, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 2 T. brown sugar. Next time I will salt my chicken before putting it in the marinade because it lacked a bit of spice. I have also thought about putting a few things like garlic powder and paprika on the chicken before marinating.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. I had small chicken strips so it really didn’t take that long. And, yes, I cut the raw chicken myself.

We really enjoyed this meal and I hope you do, too!

The bonus is that I put everything on the sheet pan and it was easy clean up!


Hello Monday

Monday, May 22, 2023

Ok – this is my last 5 day week of the year! I have senior presentations and finals, a farewell to seniors party, and 3 meal prep lunches to bring. Let’s go! I am linking up with Holly and Sarah to share my weekend. Spoiler – after some yucky Saturday morning rain, the weather is what May dreams are made of.

Let’s go back to Thursday night! The weather was amazing and I wanted to sit on a patio for dinner but Tom wanted to mow. Erica was on her own because her hub had an event, so we picked Chuy’s. Well – the patio was not really the greatest and the mosquitoes started attacking me. Note to self: start preventing mosquitoes from eating you alive, Amy. They love me.

I had not been to Chuy’s in probably 10 years. The margarita (skinny) was extremely meh and mostly ice.

The only reason for me to go back is the pico de gallo and the ranch dip.

I got a side salad and

something boom boom that was too spicy to even enjoy and I do like a bit of spice.

I don’t think I have any photos from Friday day but I took the day off – it was a good day to do so as most of my students were testing. I had an appointment and got all the “beep”. I did an oil change, Costco run, Kroger pick up, library pick up, Walmart return, Feeder’s Supply run, and all the things. I seriously ran errands from 8:30 a.m. until about 2:00 with only a lunch break at home to unload things and eat.

After all of that, I treated myself to a patio wine:

I also had marinated Peruvian chicken for dinner and used the Avocado Crema sauce I had found at Costco and let’s just say that everyone wants this “Peruvian dinner” again! Recipe coming – don’t worry!

We are really enjoying just eating at home on Friday nights. I guess I am getting older because the last few restaurant/happy hour experiences I have had have been so noisy and overpriced. I’m talking so noisy you can’t have a conversation with the people at your table!

Saturday morning I woke up to my favorite – rain – as long as it doesn’t mess with my plans.

It rained until about 9 I think, but because I had gotten all my chores done Friday, I was ready to do Tom’s Saturday rounds. We stopped at a new really cool concept called Haymarket that is a part of a farm where they will have coffee, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and like farmer’s market offerings. Only their drive through is open now so I just got a coffee.

It is really close to where we keep our boat on River Road. We then headed to Marine Sales and Service for a boat swap meet and to walk Ernie and let him swim.

Then, we dropped Ernie off and changed because the day was warming up. We went to an art fair and walked around.

I only came home with a specialty sweet mustard!

I finished this:

Cute, but cheesy at the end. I would recommend it, though!

I started this and I am pretty sure I already read it, but it has been a long time. Also, this is the gift from my students so I wanted to read it again.

After reading for a bit, I got to drive with my sun roof open! I also had one of Spotify’s yacht rock stations on and boy can I sing some Africa by Toto when I am alone. I think I sound pretty good. Just kidding – I need some work.

And, we pulled up to eat dinner at Captain’s Quarters and I see a former and current student who are cousins. I can’t go anywhere and be anonymous. They included me in their IG story.

It was funny!

I ordered an amazing meal – a spinach salad with salmon. I ate every last leaf.

Tom ordered a turkey sandwich and fries. Have I ever told you that Tom is really bad at ordering? He takes forever to read the menu and then he picks something that really isn’t the right thing to get at that place. Like – he went to a chicken restaurant and got a Sloppy Joe and then said he didn’t like the restaurant. I’m a pro and he is bad. I often ask him if I can order for him. Oh well.

It was so pretty out and we had a nice time just the two of us. We spent the whole day together almost.

Sunday morning was meal prep time. I had enough Amy McMuffins for the week but I wanted to get ahead on two lunches for the week and two dinners for the fam. I think I cooked for about 2 hours. It seems like a lot but it really helps me during the week and it helps me to cut down on food waste by using what needs to be used up.

I worked on this blog post – Oh no – I broke the 4th wall of blogging by acknowledging that I worked on a blog post.

And, that’s a wrap on a really nice weekend. You guys, as you are reading this, it is my last Monday of the school year! It’s so surreal.

Tell me something about your weekend!