Friday Favorites

Friday, May 28, 2021

Well, my first favorite is that I will be finished with my responsibilities for this school year at 2:30 today! What a year! I am linking up with Andrea, etc. right here!

When I got home from school yesterday (the last day of school for students), Jack and Mason had bought cake to celebrate me. I was so touched!

These two sweet girls gave me a mug with their photo and Spanish names on it!

You’ve just got to laugh – at 8:30 on the last day of school the fire alarm went off and we had to go outside for 20 minutes.

I got a new Pioneer Woman! Love this magazine and reading magazines out in the sun feels very summer to me.

On Monday, our seniors did their senior walk and a sweet girl gave me this cup that says “I am a Spanish teacher. What is your superpower?”

If you are low carb or watching your carbs, these tortillas are delicious. I also bought the larger size.

I bought the Truly Punch and they may give my black Trulys a run for their money.

My little pot of flowers seem to be doing well and now I want more.

What were your favorites this week? I hope you had many! Does it feel like summer in your neck of the woods?

There is no Hello Monday due to Memorial Day. See you back here Tuesday – I hope!

Happy Weekend,

Amy

TJ Maxx Haul

Thursday, May 27, 2021

I am not sure I can call this a “haul” because I didn’t get that much, but here we go!

I think I like TJ Maxx more than Homegoods. I go to a really small TJ Maxx, but it has lots of good stuff.

The candy is too tempting, right? I got these for my son’s friends who were coming over that day.

Remember that I am doing my deck in lemons? I specifically went to TJ Maxx to look for a faux lemon tree. I had seen some months ago. I found this on clearance!

I haven’t developed any new cocktails in a quite some time and I am sad. Actually, I have been drinking less, too. But, this intrigued me. I have seen elderberry on lots of cocktail menus. Stay tuned…there may be a new recipe soon.

The Michel brand of soaps are just gorgeous. I may keep this or I may give it in a gift for someone. This was in the check out line. Don’t you just love how you get to keep shopping while waiting in line?

Look how beautiful this sea salt soap is! I needed a new kitchen hand soap.

And, here is where I placed my lemon pot.

And, you know I couldn’t not check the shoe section! I got these because I am attracted to the studs and they match my bright pink swimsuit. Total impulse purchase, but I am happy!

Are you a TJ Maxx shopper?

I love to see what other people buy!

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Happy Hump Day! I am linking up with The Style Six right here! Check them out!

Here is what I have worn over the last week. I am trudging along with my 32 outfits for my 32 days of in-person learning if you are new here!

This is a Savanna Jane blouse from a local boutique, an old LulaRoe Cassie skirt, and my Reef sandals. Extra credit if you can spot my self-tanner mistake!

Next up is a go-to outfit for me that you may have seen in the past – not this year, though! My Chico consignment pants that I have more than gotten my $10 worth from, an old Loft tassel blouse, and a black and white TJ Maxx kimono made up this outfit. I wore my red Saltwaters for comfort. Yes, yes, yes – I highly recommend Saltwater sandals. The flat does nothing for my leg line, but they are such good quality and, legend has it that you can get them wet. If you have a little girl, they are a classic.

I wore these pants after school for a happy hour one day, but I never wore them to school this year. These were a major Versona clearance rack find years ago. I think I paid $8 for them at the end of the summer season. My top is from Costco a few years ago; it was maybe $12. And, for comfort I am wearing my faux Birkenstocks from Amazon. Again, a bit of a heel would help the leg line, but I am dressing for comfort right now.

Here I have on a Savanna Jane clearance blouse from last year, Matilda Jane consignment pants, and consignment Birks (the real deal).

And, finally, I have a bonus weekend outfit for you! I have on my new Target Universal Thread pink shorts ($15) with a favorite long sleeve blouse. I love long sleeves with shorts for some reason. My sandals are Soda from Amazon. The shorts have a matching top that is on its way to me. I ordered one size and it was too small so I re-ordered. I am not sure I can pull off the matching set look. Stay tuned… But, I liked the shorts enough that I kept them even if their sister top is a fail. I was happy to also find that the shorts match my cactus top that I love. It is the best when you keep finding items in your closet that work with a new item, no? The pink and black feels very early 2000s to me. Is this combo back?

What have you worn this week? Are there any summer styles you are trying?

Amy

Strawberry Bread

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

I think I got this recipe from Facebook? Someone shared it and I took a screen shot. Two days later I got a bag of the juiciest, ripest strawberries from cousin Hollis (Thank you, Hollis!). It was fate.

Look at that!

It isn’t a super sweet bread. It is big on the strawberry flavor.

And, the glaze is amazing. I think you could double the glaze.

Alright…here we go!

For the Bread:

MIx:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

In another bowl mix:

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Now add those two bowls together and mix, but don’t over mix.

Cut up 2 cups of strawberries and coat in 2 T. of flour and add that to the batter.

Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 5 bread loaf pan.

Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let bread cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.

Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

2 T. butter

1/3 cup finely diced strawberries

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1-2 T. heavy cream or milk (depends on the consistency you prefer)

Spread the glaze on top of the loaf and slice.

Let me know if you try it!

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, May 24, 2021

Hello Monday and hello dear readers! How are you this morning? I am happy to link up with Heather, Tanya, and others right here for Hello Monday!

Let’s go back to Friday! I came home from school, rested a bit, and then got motivated to cook dinner. Our restaurants are getting crazy on Friday and Saturday nights! You can tell that people are just done and want to go out! So, I didn’t want to fight any crowds. We had angel hair with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, and mushrooms. I heated up Trader Joe’s fried ravioli in the oven with some marinara (this was a new to me product – I do recommend; broil for a couple of minutes at the end or, if you have an air fryer, that would be perfect for this).

After dinner, Tom, Ernie, and I went to the river to put the battery charger on the boat and let Ernie swim. It was a beautiful night and it has felt like summer all weekend long; in fact, it is like we skipped to July. I am hoping for the nice 80s of June before we get to these temps again.

Saturday morning I made myself a simple omelet after my hot coffee and had my Premier Protein vanilla iced coffee alongside of it.

I read a bit before doing some chores. I almost finished this this weekend and I do recommend. It is a bit cheesy and unrealistic, but it is cute.

Next up is one of these summer reads!

In the afternoon, we invited my mom’s cousin’s daughter and her husband to go on a boat ride. We only met at the end of March! You may remember my photos from the beautiful lunch we had. We had a really nice day cruising around and stopping at Captain’s Quarters.

Hollis gave me this marine candle and I love it! She and her husband Greg are lovely people and this was the first time Tom had met them. We both have two boys and have lots in common which is so funny.

We hopped off the boat and hustled to our evening plans. Who am I? It was the first concert of the season. They didn’t have any last year and this year they have a reduced number. Our friends met us and we had food truck food and snacks I brought.

We just barely lasted until sunset. Tom and I were wiped out! I took a shower and watched Veronica Mars with my kids and then went to bed later than normal.

Sunday morning I slept in until almost 8:00!

Then, after my coffee, I made strawberry bread! Hollis had gone to a strawberry patch and gave us a big bag of strawberries. I coincidentally had just saved this recipe on my phone.

Recipe coming this week!

Then, I did lots of cleaning, Home Depot for plants, TJ Maxx (haul post coming this week), and Kroger for just a few things. Mason had friends over on the patio and I made them some snacks.

It was a nice and full weekend! I have one more week. We have 2 days with Group A, 2 days with Group B, and Friday is teacher closing day and graduation. It is surreal, y’all. One one hand I can’t believe I’ve almost made it – we had to pivot so many times. But, on the other hand, it seems like we only just came back to school because we did! I think I have gotten the closure I needed. I think the kids that returned to in-person got some nice closure and will end with happy memories. I do think I will be processing this year for a bit. I have changed. I have learned so much. I apologize if I’m talking too much about school!

And, let’s talk about masks for a moment. Over the last week and a half I have gone maskless in Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, and Fresh Market. I still had to wear one in TJ Maxx and Kroger. It feels so good to be maskless; so tired of my glasses fogging up especially! Now, my family of four are all vaccinated so we may be a different story. I know there are families with kids that aren’t old enough to be vaccinated and if they want to still wear masks that is totally fine. I wish I didn’t have to wear a mask this week to school; it is not ideal in a language class – for me or them. Also, I have lots of fully vaccinated students, but not all, of course.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, May 21, 2021

Happy Friday! I am happy to link up today with Andrea, etc. right here!

How was your week? MIne was pretty good, but man, am I ready for next Friday afternoon! Freedom!

My oldest/first niece graduated from University of Kentucky nursing program last weekend. She has had her first job lined up for a few months and I am so proud of her!

I can now show you my mother’s day gift for my mom because I gave it to her last weekend. This set of bracelets and…

this personalized pillow from Etsy. These are my mom’s grandchildren in birth order. I did the same for Tom’s mom, but with a candle instead of the bracelets.

My mom’s best friend got this succulent for a thank you gift for coming to Jack’s play.

Sunday afternoon after I had already done my Hello Monday post, Tom and I went to an art fair! It felt so good and so normal!

The tap on the right says “mimosa”!

I think it is a mimosa style beer or flavor of beer and it was yummy! We also bought gourmet popcorn but left without any art.

I have been reading this when I have a chance and I really like it.

This Facebook memory of baby Ernie popped up. We brought him home in March and I so enjoyed my first summer with my boy!

I took a mask-less trip to Trader Joe’s this week!

And my final favorite for the week was this sweet message from a kid!

What were your favorites this week?

Hope you had many!

Amy

Instant Style – Black + Olive

Thursday, May 20, 2021

I love black and olive green together! I threw this on for Saturday errands recently.

These are my Target shorts I have talked about. They have pockets and I love the material. I “collect” black tops with interesting details. They work with other solids and they work with my patterned pants and skirts. This is a knit boho top from Old Navy from last year. My camo purse strap works well with this color combo, I think.

I have another pair of drawstring olive shorts. I love this style. They can be dressed up slightly or dressed down.

I wear this color combo in the fall, too. I have these olive Matilda Janes from consignment that are easy to throw on with a black top.

I have my black patent Birks on in the photos, but I also think cognac makes this combo look more modern.

These easy combos make dressing effortless.

Do you like black and olive green?

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, May 18, 2021

Happy Wednesday, all! I am linking up today with The Style Six here to show you my outfits since last Wednesday.

Last Thursday I wore this blush t-shirt tank dress, this Chico’s kimono (super sale of $5.99 at the end of winter), and my faux Birkenstocks from Amazon.

Thursday night I wore this to Senior Awards night.

Friday I wore my new Amazon skirt – you have probably seen it making the rounds for the last couple of years. I chose the palm print edition. It was so staticky! I did the lotion trick and a science teacher had spray starch (the science teachers have everything and some really weird things – just ask!) and those both helped! What is going on with my shirt and sweater? I will not wear that with it again!

Monday I wore this which felt very spring of 2019. This is my Old Navy butterfly blouse from that spring, my consignment Matilda Jane’s, consignment real Birkenstocks, and a consignment sweater from Banana Republic. That spring I had four blouses I loved from Old Navy – butterflies and florals and I loved them and wore them out!

I kind of cheated on Tuesday with this dress again from a couple of weeks ago. When I wore this before, it was ripped so I had to get it fixed at my tailor. So, it is kinda new and improved now! Lol!

And, that is it for the week. By the way, the shoes above are Soda from Amazon. I had never worn them to school even though I have had them for at least two years. They were comfortable for all day on my feet, so I was very happy.

What have you been wearing?

Do we still have energy to get dressed?

Thanks for reading!

Amy

A Day in the Life –

Teaching In Person and Virtually During a Pandemic Edition

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

I chose last Thursday to document; I figured I had better hurry before school ends. I find these interesting, plus I thought it might be something I would want to remember.

The last time I did this was early 2021 when I was still teaching virtually from home.

You may find my day more boring than watching paint dry!

I am getting up later and later and leaving later and later. I get up between 5:00 and 5:45, depending on how tired I am. I start my day with two cups of coffee at home and some quiet time/blog reading time. It only ends up being 1.5 cups of coffee because I dump the mug out when it starts to get cold!

I only breakfast prepped for two days so I had to make my to-go breakfast burrito on a low carb wrap. I still had a bit of baked potato, which I added to one egg and some light Trader Joe’s shredded Mexican blend.

I shower at night but also take a super quick shower in the morning most days. Then I have a very basic makeup routine because of the mask and curl my hair.

Hair and makeup done.

Then, I go to my closet and get dressed from my outfit staging area. I have pre-planned outfits and just choose one most days.

I was leaving for school at 6:45 but as you can see I was leaving at 7:01.

Happy signs of life in a school bus in the distance. My kids never got to ride one but I rode one and have so many memories! Jack and Mason were in walking distance (spitting distance, really) of their elementary, middle, and high school!

I enter the designated door and scan my badge in. This door is super far from my classroom and a new Covid thing. I finally arrive in my room and take my outfit photo first thing before I forget.

Then, I have to do my attendance and my health screener. I have about 30 minutes to make sure everything is ready for my virtual class that starts at 7:40.

I eat my breakfast burrito after heating it up in my classroom microwave.

After I make sure everything is ready I put my mask back on and go in the hall to say hi to my department colleagues. We have six Spanish teachers, one French, and one Japanese. We all have first period planning and all teach virtually that period. No kids are in our hallway to speak of because none of us have live students until second period. We are lucky to have our own little language wing.

I finish virtual class and run to the restroom. I am trying to drink more water and you know what that means!

My first in person class. I took a picture when heads were down for privacy. There is another student by the window and more on the other side. This is on a Group B day. Group A comes Monday and Tuesday and Group B comes Thursday and Friday.

Each period I have to take attendance for in person students for that day and for the students who are at home because they go different days and for virtual students. Yeah, it’s not hard at all to keep track of all that!

I always start with the day and the date and then I do announcements and plans on the next slides. This slide looks kinda boring.

I teach second, third, fourth, and half of fifth period and then have lunch. My lunch on this day and the whole week was vegetable soup. Erica and Elizabeth and I have the same lunch and they come in and use my microwave and we chat and eat for our twenty minute lunch. The other department members have different lunches this year.

I teach the second half of fifth, sixth, and seventh and then the bell rings! Erica, Elizabeth and I have started walking after school on Mondays and Thursdays. This is when I got home from school with my walking clothes on. I have been loving my two pocket biker shorts for this.

I had about two hours at home to sit for a bit, make dinner, eat a quick dinner, and then I left for the junior and senior awards ceremony. I am the World Language Department chair and had to present the departmental award to the best senior language student. It was easy this year – we have a senior taking Spanish 3, French 3, and Japanese 3. I don’t think we have ever had that happen before!

It was super weird because of how spaced out we were. Also, the students were spaced out and everyone was masked up. It was good that we got to do this, though!

It ended at 7:45 and I got to see some old students and chat with some in the parking lot. I got home around 8:00, took my shower, and watched a bit of telly.

The day was pretty typical, but I haven’t had any evening school events for a long, long time!

I didn’t do a great job with taking photos, but it will do, and this will be a good reminder of how the last eight weeks of the 2020-2021 school year played out!

If you are still awake, thanks for reading!

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, May 17, 2021

Hello all and hello Monday! I am happy today to link up with Heather, Tanya, and more right here!

I have two more weeks of school and 8 more unique outfits to create. I am at the point where I would like to repeat pieces! Lol!

I am so ready to be done, but you guys, I may cry on the last day I see each group of students. I see Group A on Mondays and Tuesday and Group B on Thursday and Friday, except our last week we only go Monday through Thursday, so it will be Monday and Tuesday and then Wednesday and Thursday with no Wednesday asynchronous day. That was a run-on sentence and I’m too tired to fix it! I teach my virtual kids during my planning periods., but I am so tired of teaching on a screen!

I have had so much fun getting to know these kids! We have had some great discussions. Teenagers are really great people, you know? We found that we have basically zero behavior problems from the kids that chose to come back in person.

Friday after school I finished this…

I really liked it and couldn’t put it down as evidenced by the fact that I read it from Wednesday to Friday in pieces after school and in the evenings on a very busy week.

Tom and I had a date night because the kids went to see one of the three Shakespeare in the Parking Lot plays – Much Ado about Nothing.

We tried a new place that has this mural on the outside.

I tried this and it was good.

We shared their pulled pork nachos as our dinner and also got vegetable skewers because they were out of salad!

We got ice cream after because Tom loves getting ice cream and we rarely do it. I am happy with a kid size scoop and always do that. We went to Graeter’s – if you know you know. It is really good ice cream from Cincinnati, Ohio, I think.

Saturday morning I started this book.

Ernie’s spot.

I ran to Kroger to get just a few items and I made portable snack/charcuterie boxes. I did Babybel cheese, spicy pickles, grapes, Club minis – so cute!, and 3 types of cheese cubes.

It was time for the family to see Jack in Comedy of Errors at the Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Festival. He had one of the principal roles and was so good. I know I am biased, but this kid can act. He has great stage presence, great enunciation, great voice projection, and comedic timing.

They set the play in modern times at a music festival but still used the Shakespeare dialogue with a few changes to some lines. And now, Mason has been bitten by the acting bug and did two plays in college. We will see where this takes them but it scares Tom and I because we are pretty practical people!

Jack is sad because he has been part of this youth community theatre for 3 years and this was his final play.

Jack’s fans – back, my mom, front left, my mom’s best friend, and front right, Tom’s mom.

Tom’s mom and Dad with both kids.

After the play we crossed the street to an italian restaurant and had a nice meal with lots of leftovers.

So, the play was outside and it was really hot. They asked that people still wear masks. I have been talking a lot about this with my friends and students. When and how will fully vaccinated people get to stop wearing masks?

Love this, Tanya! I will know start shopping at Walmart.

I was super careful for a year! I was one of the most careful of people I know, but it is time. If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need the mask. If someone wants to wear one, that is totally fine! You choose to not get vaccinated, you wear a mask.

Jack and Mason stayed to watch the last of the Shakespeare plays, Hamlet. Tom and I got home around 6:30 after saying bye to our family that came.

It was such a nice night so we put the bedroom tv on the patio again. I read my book mostly while Tom watched Alias.

Ernie was our only kid at home!

Enjoying the lights – we were both so tired!

Sunday morning meal prep for the week – I made homemade light egg mcmuffins and cauliflower fried rice with ground turkey for my breakfasts and lunches this week.

Then, I did school work, walked, and read!

How was your weekend?

What was the highlight?

Amy