Coffee Talk

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels.com

Cicadas – They really weren’t bad in my neck of the woods. I did hear how loud they were on the drive from my house to the river where we keep our boat. Wow! They sounded like a million weed eaters going all at once. Our neighbor uses their weed eater or leaf blower every time I sit outside so I was kind of hoping they would respond to the mating call and swarm said neighbor. Was that mean? Trust me, you have never heard such loud power equipment. I think this person goes to Home Depot and says, “Give me the loudest you’ve got”. What about in your area? Are they bad?

College Kids Home -I will sum it up in one sentence: I have zero iphone chargers. What do they do with their chargers? Don’t worry; I have just placed an order for 5 more. I will be threatening anyone who touches mine and I will be labeling it to death. Is that a problem in your home? By the way, sorry I talked about cicadas before I talked about my children. But, seriously, I LOVE having them home. I am so happy. August will be hard again. I guess there will always be a period of adjustment as they leave and come back.

TV – How many streaming services do we really need? It’s getting crazy. We have YouTube TV, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video – I think that’s it. I bet some people have way more than that. I can’t find much I want to watch, though. I feel like they (tv people) are churning out shows and movies as fast as they can, but let’s just say maybe they should slow down a bit and focus on quality and not quantity? What are you watching? How many services do you have?

Movie Theater – I may be the only one here, but I will gladly pay to go see a movie at the theater for the experience. I am not interested in paying $15-20 to stream a movie and sit in my house. I don’t have that buttery popcorn, you know? Anyone else? My family loves the theater. We even love the previews. Tom and I missed the movies so much over the pandemic.

House Cleaning – As much as I would love to have someone come clean, it feels super awkward to me. I have had someone come three times in my whole life and it was uncomfortable and the house was not clean for long. I should say we are tidy and keep things straightened, but the deep cleaning is what I find harder. I found myself thinking: What do I do? Do I watch? Do I sit on the couch and eat bonbons? Do I help? Plus, you have to do all of the pre-cleaning, right? So, for now I am my cleaner. And, believe me, my cleaner(me) should be fired! I am asking the boys to help and Mason actually likes cleaning. I think it’s important to teach them how to care for a home. Plus, over a year, that is a lot of money. I need a system or a cleaning plan. Anyone have one? I actually like to watch cleaning videos on YouTube!

Well, my coffee’s gone now. Thanks for listening! Leave me a comment and it’s ok if you disagree!

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Hello all! I am linking up with The Style Six here today. What have you been wearing lately? My photos will not be in order this week, but here we go…

This is what I wore to the zoo on Father’s Day. I have two pairs of cut offs and both are from Target and both are Universal Thread! These below are about 3 years old and don’t have any stretch – and are a bit lighter. The top is old from Old Navy. I have been wearing these white faux Birks so much, as you know. I will show you an up close of my earrings later on in the post.

Maybe you have seen this $13.88 dress among the bloggers and influencers? I wanted some knit dresses with sleeves (or a bit of a sleeve) to throw on. I just wore this to run an errand.

I wore this on a chillier morning to do a return. This top is super old from Kohl’s and these are the newer Target cut offs. These are perfection and have just the right amount of stretch. They are much talked about in the blogging community, too. I will talk about the sandals (above and below) later in the post.

These are the same cut offs from the first photo and blouse from last summer with the white faux Birks. I can’t remember where I went.

If you don’t have denim cut offs, you need them! I wear mine so much!

These are Marc Fisher and were on sale for $60. I ordered them directly from the Marc Fisher website. I bought them on a bit of a whim, but I am in love. Metallics are so great to have in your shoe wardrobe.

An up close of the white faux Birks I’m wearing so much:

These are the earrings I wore to the zoo. I think they look good with a white top!

Here is the dress! I am as surprised as you are. I am not a Walmart shopper. I don’t have a nice one nearby and I just don’t go. I am not opposed to it really, but I will say that almost every time I have been there something has made me mad. I ordered online and got next day delivery; I got blue, black, and yellow. I have already worn all three. I actually ordered two different sizes and they were all a touch big. I washed and dried and now they are all fine! Go figure!

So, basically the metallic lace up sandals, a dress, and a long necklace and an outfit is made.

One more thing before I go…. this bra is amazing! A couple of different blogs recommended it – sorry that I can’t remember who they were! I am ordering more as we speak!

Thanks for reading,

Amy

Summer Hospitality

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Photo by Askar Abayev on Pexels.com

“Hospitality – the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” – Google

This podcast episode was the inspiration for this post. Well, current life is the inspiration for this post, too! People are ready to see other people!

I am pretty new to The Lazy Genius and her podcast. I have read her book and now I listen to some of her episodes. What she says makes a lot of sense. I am a huge fan of simplifying your life where and when you can!

But, today let’s talk about hospitality. What a difference a year makes, right? We are gathering again! We aren’t questioning every.little.decision anymore. Last year caused us to be creative, though, and that can’t be all bad. Let’s not forget what we learned last summer!

We desperately need human connection. That is what hospitality is about to me. Even my introverted husband enjoys being around people, even if he won’t always admit it.

Here are a few reminders:

-It’s o.k. to just have people in your outdoor spaces.

-It’s o.k. to just have one or two people over at a time.

-It’s o.k. to not cook. You can do pitch-ins or potlucks, “bring your favorite summer side dish”, etc. You can simply order pizza, bbq, Mexican, Chinese, and the list goes on. Make sure to ask dietary restrictions.

-It’s o.k. to NOT serve a meal. Have people over for coffee, a cocktail, a charcuterie board, donuts, the list goes on.

-It’s o.k. to put an end time on your “hang”. “Want to come over from 4-6 before I have to make dinner?”

-It’s o.k. to not entertain at your home. Here are a few ideas:

have someone meet you at your swim club

have someone meet you at a park, splash pad, zoo

have someone with kids the same age come over for sprinkler, water gun play in the yard while the moms chat

have someone meet you at a coffee shop

meet up for a walk

Once you start thinking about places you could meet, you will come up with a long list, I think.

My friend has a book club that works a bit differently. They all talk about whatever they happen to be reading at the moment; they don’t read the same book and discuss like a traditional book club would. This summer they are meeting at a pool at 9:00 a.m. on Sundays. I thought that was creative!

How can you show hospitality if you aren’t in your own home? Simply pay for their coffee, pay the guest fee for the pool (or offer), or if you are on a tight budget, choose one of the free options in your town.

Also, here is the blog post I wrote in 2018 about entertaining; I’m going to take some notes myself!

What ideas do you have to add to this? I have had readers tell me they are intimidated by showing hospitality in their home. I say start small and don’t stress out. Start with just one person for a small amount of time. Coffee and muffins or lemonade and cookies would be a great first attempt.

Amy

Hello Monday

Monday, June 21, 2021

How was your weekend? It is officially summer! Yesterday was the longest day of the year and each day now it will get dark a little earlier – NO!!!!

I am happy to link up today with Heather, Tanya, and more here.

Friday I went to a pool for the first time this summer (not including the rooftop hotel pool)! Pools are funny here. We have neighborhood pools, country club pools, swim club pools, and just a few public pools. We don’t have a neighborhood pool in our neighborhood, so for many years we belonged to a tennis and swim club. I thought about joining this year for just me, but it is still a lot of money, and I didn’t know if I would go more than once a week. So, I realized the best option is a pool I used to take the boys to when they were very little – maybe 3 years old? They have an 18 and over pool that I had never used. It was so nice! It was $10 for the day and is is situated behind a historic home that can be rented out for weddings and parties. My friend Elizabeth joined me and we stayed from 11:00 to almost 3:00.

Look how crowded it got! Another benefit is that you can bring in your own food and alcohol. Many of our pools have strict rules against this. The country club pools only let you buy their food and drink. So, this is a good pool option for me! I brought a sandwich for lunch on a bagel slim and a pre-made ranch water – tequila, lime juice, Topo Chico, and a tiny bit of Crystal Light lemonade powder. Yum!

This weekend I finished Summer Darlings. It was really good. I enjoyed hearing about life on Martha’s Vineyard in the 60’s!

Friday night we ordered pizza and had some charcuterie. All of that sun and pool made me sleepy!

Saturday morning Tom left bright and early for a fishing trip with his Dad. I got up leisurely to a gray and rainy morning. I read and had my coffee outside anyway.

Mason and I went to a flea market that happens once a month. It was the first time we had gone and it was so nice!

It is located near Louisville Stoneware and a really good restaurant and we went in and checked it out.

Mason found a record and some books and I got Tom kettle corn and I bought some earrings. I spent the afternoon reading and cleaning and when Tom got home around 7:00 we had fried rice, leftover pizza, and some broccoli and cauliflower. It was a random dinner night!

Sunday we got bagels for Tom (and us) for breakfast and…

sat at a table watching small planes take off and land…

on our way to the zoo. This was Tom’s pick for how he wanted to spend the day and he was so happy. Jack and Mason were not interested in a posed photo, unfortunately.

It had been years since we had been. They have a new butterfly exhibit I really liked.

We have an albino alligator.

Old zoo photo that I dug up:

We got there right as it opened and left as it was getting super hot. We came home and I made nachos and we rested in the AC. A couple of hours later, Tom and I went to do an exchange at this men’s boutique. I had gotten him a shirt for his birthday that he didn’t love. I got him pants that he did like, so I did o.k.

We stopped at our favorite local market, Paul’s, to get a few things; I made BLTS, corn on the cob, and fries for dinner.

We are watching Bless This Mess on HULU as a family right now and all four of us are really enjoying it. We all like Dax Shepherd. Check it out!

It was a good and full weekend! I hope yours was good, too!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, June 18, 2021

How was your week? Happy Friday! I am linking up today with Andrea and many more here!

I had a really good and a really relaxing week. It felt like summer! I didn’t have much on the calendar and I enjoyed lazy mornings and just seeing where the day took me!

Here are a few things that were my favorites this week…

So, I started and finished this book in maybe three days. Elin’s books are quintessential summer and they suck you in. I read a bit in the morning on the deck and then I read a bit in the afternoon on the covered patio with the fan going. Many times, I will also go out and read after dinner for a bit. I am always curious about when other people find time to read.

We have had amazing weather this week – cool in the mornings and comfortable throughout the day and in the evenings. I am not ready for the 90s and humidity. We have been in the 70-80 degree range and it is my favorite!

I started this immediately after. I can’t remember who recommended it, but it is set on Martha’s Vineyard, so I went from Elin’s Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard.

I cut some hydrangeas to enjoy inside. They are just so pretty. This periwinkle color is my favorite of the hydrangea colors.

One day I had a brunch date with my friend Victoria. We taught next door to each other for many years. My favorite breakfast place is called Wild Eggs and it is located in a cute little shopping center near my house.

I ordered the Farmer’s Market Skillet and I cannot wait to have it again. It had tons of vegetables with your choice of eggs on top. Victoria had amazing looking avocado toast but I didn’t snap a photo.

I always enjoy spending time with Victoria. We have similar shopping styles and we hit up one of my favorite boutiques after brunch that happens to be in the same shopping center. It was new to her and she fell in love! I purchased a couple of things and she found an adorable dress. I will show you mine on Wednesday!

I had a much needed hair appointment and look….

It was my first one without a mask! I get a partial highlight about every 8-10 weeks. I love talking to my talented stylist Laura.

A big improvement…

We have had internet problems for about a month, which is obviously not a favorite. We had changed the modem twice which required going to the Spectrum store twice, but were still having the internet go out up to 5 times a day. I finally called them (putting it off!) and they sent a tech out the very next day and he was even early! They had given me a window of one hour, so it was not like the days of waiting around an entire business day. The tech found out our line was corroded and he fixed it up in no time at all. So, a favorite was the customer service we received. It seems so rare these days… And, it is so nice to have working internet!

My library, you guys! Look at this stack waiting for me to pick up…

I have read 4 books in the first couple of weeks of summer and it has made me so happy. Summer reading is the best.

I ventured into Aldi one day and I was pleasantly surprised. The one nearest me has never really impressed me at all. Did you know that Aldi and Trader Joe’s are owned by the same company and are German-owned? I think? There are some similarities in products. Anyway, they had re-vamped the store and I will be back! I don’t have time to go to Kroger, Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Aldi during the school year, but in the summer I can see the appeal of purchasing certain things from each store.

Are you an Aldi devotee?

Now back to Kroger…

All I do in the summer is buy food I think! I found this faux paper plates in the salad size about a week ago. I went back to get more because I think they are so cute. I found only one more 4 pack but I also found a 4 pack of dinner plate size plates. They are plastic/melamine but look just like the old school white paper plates. So, now I have 8 salad size and 4 dinner size. I would love to find at least 4 more dinner size. I love that I can do fun placemats and napkins with these and these will work with any other type of decor.

I love to buy these thicker straws to use for my iced coffee or cocktails.

And, finally I talked about this earlier, but I love to start my day outside, oftentimes with my book. I think it has a “vacation” feel to it, you know? I have also been trying to walk before I get my day started because I think it is less likely to happen later in the day. I did enjoy an evening walk after dinner one night this week and that was nice, too!

What were your favorites this week? I would love to know!

Amy

P.S. – I posted about college dorm packing yesterday here if you missed it! Wednesday I did What I Wore here and Tuesday I did a consignment haul here. Please share if you know someone who would benefit. I love your comments! Thank you!

College Dorm Packing List

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Do you have a kid heading off to college in August? I told a couple of friends that I would put a list together and then I thought – why not a blog post?

I am no expert, but I did just go through this process last summer and I helped to bring it all home this spring! Lol!

If you are new here, I have twins that ended up at the same college – in two different dorm rooms.

Disclaimer: My kids are really low maintenance!

Here are my tips/advice:

Before you do anything, look at college website for room content! The websites offer a wealth of information and often include a video tour. Also, check the websites for rules about what students can and cannot have in their rooms.

My kids’ college room provided:

2 beds, 2 desks, 2 wardrobes/armoires (you do need to bring own hangers), microwave, refrigerator, trashcan

If you have a spare room or a basement area, it is great to have a “holding area” as you acquire stuff over the summer. We were lucky that we have our old bedroom waiting to be demolished to turn into our Master bath.

We purchased things from Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Amazon. We gradually accumulated everything over the summer.

I would say there is a Walmart in spitting distance of most college campuses, so you might consider unpacking the big stuff and then taking a trip there for toiletries.

Amazon delivers to college campuses! You might consider having some things sent directly. Check college policies.

What we took: (Move-in day was really smooth. The college had volunteer older students unload our cars, put stuff in rolling bins, and then we could use the bins on the elevator.)

clip on bed light

sticky stuff to hang posters

long charging cord for phone

extension cord

power strip

towels (4) and washcloths (maybe 8 or 10)

sheets (no more than 2 sets)

eggshell mattress cover

bedskirt ?

comforter

collapsible laundry hamper/basket with pockets for detergent pods and dryer sheets

backrest pillow

first aid kit

toiletries to get them through first couple of month

snacks (don’t go crazy)

reusable water bottle

rain gear- jacket, boots, umbrella, backpack cover

backpack

laptop

one swimsuit

one beach towel

sunscreen

hammock (if they have a hammock friendly campus and want this!)

decor (go easy on this and this also depends on boy/girl) – string lights are really popular.

large IKEA bags or similar Amazon bags that have backpack straps: These are ours. They hold so much!

a smaller duffle for weekend trips home or to friends’ parents’ homes

Do not go crazy on the winter clothes at first. You can get those on a first trip home.

What have I forgotten? I hope something helped you! Share this with a friend if you think it would help them!

Amy

P.S. – Manage your expectations on move-in day. I thought we would unpack and arrange things in our kids’ rooms and make a whole day of it, with a meal with all four of us before we left. Nope! Jack was o.k. with more help, but Mason wanted us gone and didn’t want any help. Maybe talk to your college kid beforehand but be prepared for them to be ready for you to leave.

Also, we moved to college during the times of Covid, so there were lots of things that were probably different!

What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Happy Wednesday! I am linking up with The Style Six here!

I have really been wearing these Amazon faux Birks a lot. They are super comfy! I am just really all about white this summer! I have on an old majorly on sale kimono from Versona, my new to me white consignment top(from yesterday’s post here), and the best cut offs for women of a certain age – maybe? I can’t stop wearing them. They are so comfortable! They have the perfect amount of stretch. Target is really my go-to for shorts this summer. Target, I can’t quit you!

This is a super easy outfit formula – cut offs, t-shirt, kimono. You know how I feel about kimonos!

I had told you last week how much I have been loving my bright pink Aerie tank and my Target cover up. This is last week from my hotel stay. I have been wearing this “outfit” quite a bit!

Here are the Target cut offs again! I wore this to meet my buddy Sheila for breakfast last Friday. Sheila and I started teaching at my current school together 21 years ago. She is now at a different school in our city.

This time I paired them with a feminine blouse (old from Old Navy) and the Birks again.

Remember the Target Stars Above robe that I love and talked a lot about? Their line of pajamas is super popular among the blogging/influencer world. I was listening to a podcast where they talked about these pajama shorts. I wear shorts and a black tank top to sleep in and lounge around in at home. I ordered both the black and grey on my Target app and did the drive up pick up. They are light and super soft. And, they have pockets! I have been wearing them non-stop!

And, I wore this outfit for my hair appointment and brunch afterwards. I think the humidity messed with my camera so I apologize for the hazy photo. I wore my Coconuts by Matisse woven wedges, white Target Universal Thread shorts, white v-neck tank from Chico’s in late winter, and kimono from Chico’s in late winter. You may remember that I scored on the Chico’s Clearance rack – finding 5 items for $50. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I have worn most of the 5 pieces!

And, I am back to doing my own nails; this is OPI Strawberry Margarita that I have had for a long time. It bugs me when I don’t do them perfectly, but I guess it’s ok!

What have you been wearing lately?

Amy

Shop with Me

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

I thought I would take you along on my last consignment store trip! If you are new here, I am a big believer in shopping second hand. I have found so many good things through the years. But, I will warn you that I walk out empty handed quite often. It is tempting to buy things because of the good prices, but you really need to know what you need and what will work for your lifestyle. You need perseverance, too! You won’t always find what you need.

My two favorite consignment stores are super organized and picky about what they take. My sons love Goodwill but I rarely find anything worth my time there.

Last week I stayed in a hotel with my two friends. I only have a carry on suitcase and a big green duffle bag. I was thrilled to find this Vera Bradley for $25. It looks brand new. This was perfect for a one night stay.

It helps to know your brands. This blouse is by Andre and it is sold in one of my favorite local boutiques. Their blouses run around $50-70 I would say. I found this hot pink top for $14. Another tip I would give you is to see if a piece has been washed. This clearly had been washed so I could already see that it maybe shrank a bit. This leads me to my next tip – look in one size up as well as in your normal size. I wore this with white jeans and wedges and a long necklace to go to lunch on the way to the hotel.

This is American Eagle and still had original tag on it which said $28. I bought it for $7. I thought this would be cute under a kimono and already wore it that way. I had been wanting to try a ruffle at the bottom but wasn’t sure if I could pull it off with my mid-section area.

And finally, for $7 also, was this basic white tank I thought could also be handy under a kimono. I have worn it to take walks in but haven’t styled it yet.

So, a sure sign for me that I had a successful shopping trip is that I already used or wore all four things within days of purchasing! Woohoo!

One of my friends from my hotel stay also went in to our two favorite consignment stores and majorly scored last week.

You really do have to check back frequently because the inventory is constantly changing!

Happy shopping,

Amy

Hello Monday and Quick Family Dinner Link Up!

Monday, June 14, 2021

I am linking up with both Hello Monday here to recap the weekend and Not Just a Mom here – with the topic of Quick Family Dinners!

Friday morning I met my friend Sheila at the cutest little bakery cafe on my favorite street – Blue Dog Bakery. Sheila and I met 21 years ago when she taught Latin at my current school. She left to move out west, then to Asheville, then back here, and now she teaches at a different school in my district, sadly. I always enjoy catching up with Sheila!

These people are not Sheila – just showing you the sidewalk tables.

We had their breakfast sandwiches, and…

I had my second cup of coffee (I already had my first at home).

We toasted with waters to be silly.

After that, I had a lazy day. After being gone for a couple of days I was just ready to do not much at home. Even though I have now been on break for a couple of weeks, I have not spent much time just being lazy at home. I need to do that!

For dinner, we had burrito bowls that I made and then I ran to Target to pick up my Stars Above pajama shorts below. More information on these will come on Wednesday.

I read outside on the patio after my Target run and I fell asleep! I think I am still getting caught up on sleep.

Saturday morning I had an early Kroger pick up, walked, did laundry, cleaned, and baked two cakes.

This is what Tom requested for his birthday. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Mason was going to a friend’s house and I offered to make his friend a cake for his birthday, too. His name is Xavier but they call him X. Can you see the X I tried to make?

I used this mix. I almost always use a mix but add an extra egg. I learned this years ago on Pinterest. An extra egg makes it taste more bakery-style. I almost always make homemade icing because that’s where it’s at, you know?

Tom’s birthday wasn’t til Sunday/yesterday but he wanted to go ahead and have some cake early!

Saturday afternoon the whole fam headed to the theater for In The Heights. It was so good and Jack and Mason and I loved all of the Spanish in it.

We went home and had one of Tom’s favorite meals – fish sticks, canned peas, and Kraft macaroni. So, that would definitely count as a quick family meal! This is not a fave of mine, so I had a veggie burger.

Tom wanted to get up early and paddleboard on his birthday!

Then, he wanted to boat.

We found a nice little spot in the cove and hung out for a few hours.

I finished this while we were hanging out. It was my third really good yellow covered book. It was a great summer read, but with depth. I don’t want to give anything away.

It was really hot and felt like summer so we stayed in the water a lot.

A surprise rain shower popped up!

It didn’t last long, but we did decide to pack up and cruise around a bit.

We noticed a new hot dog stand!

There are some really nice houses that back up to this creek off of the river.

We ended the day with a meal of Tom’s request, which I would not call a quick family meal. I did a salad with honey mustard dressing, twice baked potatoes, and copycat Outback Alice Springs chicken.

Quick Family Meals:

Your freezer is your best friend! Sometimes I make a meal that comes entirely out of the freezer.

-Trader Joe’s frozen jasmine rice, frozen orange chicken, frozen broccoli (or fresh)

-sandwiches (hot subs) I have been making easy meatball subs lately – frozen meatballs, marinara, mozzarella

-BLTs

-ham, instant mashed potatoes(or the Bob Evans package) canned green beans, rolls

-breakfast for dinner

-hot dogs, baked beans, chips

-baked potato bar (do the potatoes in the crockpot – so easy!) and provide various toppings that could involve chili

-grilled cheese – get fancy and add green apple and some type of jam

-salad bag mix from grocery – add a protein for a meal

-sandwich bar – make your own sandwich

-Mexican – quesadillas, tacos

-Italian – spaghetti, baked ziti

-tub of bbq – serve on Texas Toast with a couple of vegetables

Tip: I often make the meat for both spaghetti and tacos at the same time and put one or the other in the freezer or fridge. Such a time saver

Tip: Prep your dinner in the morning so that you can’t get lazy come 5:00!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

What is your favorite quick family meal?

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, June 11, 2021

How was your week? It is time for another edition of Friday Favorites! Linking up here with Andrea, etc.

We have had so much rain lately! We are supposed to dry up and have a stretch of several nice days. I know the upside of that is that everything will be so green, and that will be a favorite!

I finished this book early in the week and I just loved it! I have had two great summer reads in a row. I want chick lit, rom com, and light books in the summer, you know? I really love all of the Christina Lauren books – the author is actually two people; they are best friends/writing partners.

Next I am on to this:

Anyone think it’s weird that I am reading all yellow books lately? I really enjoyed The Happy Ever Playlist last summer by the same author.

So, summer reading is definitely a favorite. I get an email almost every day from my library saying they have another book for me – oops! So many books – so little time until the due dates!

This next favorite is very, very special to me. My hydrangeas didn’t bloom last year. I was so sad, but maybe they didn’t want to come out because of 2020/Covid? I don’t blame them. I was worried that I had done something wrong. I consulted with gardener friends and family and trimmed back some of the stalks in the early fall when I realized they weren’t going to bloom.

Well, they are blooming this year! They normally bloom in May but took their time a bit and didn’t bloom until June, which is totally fine because May was busier and I had less time to enjoy them.

This hydrangea bush was transplanted by my Dad from my childhood home about 15 years ago if I am remembering correctly. My parents moved to another house at that time and my Dad thoughtfully brought this to me. He wasn’t a big gardener so it still kind of surprises me. (To be honest, I don’t think I appreciated plants that much at the time and I had twin toddlers.) That was my Dad, though. He was very thoughtful about gifts. Neither of my sisters still live in the same homes from 15 years ago, so I think I am the only one who has one. I have been so happy watching these bloom and thinking of my Dad.

I heard about the Voila app from Andrea early in the week. It makes your photo into a cartoon version of you and I had fun with mine

and Tom’s. I can’t stop laughing at Tom’s. This picture of him was from a few years ago when he didn’t have as much grey in is hair.

I also did some of my nieces’ and nephews’. I just got the free version of the app, by the way. It plays tons of ads so patience is required.

My biggest favorite from the week came on Wednesday when my two best friends picked me up and we headed to our downtown. We decided to eat lunch at Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen and shared nachos

and each had a taco and a cocktail. I forgot pictures of the tacos but they weren’t as good as the nachos.

then we checked into the Omni Hotel. This was my first hotel stay since the pandemic.

We immediately got changed and headed to their rooftop pool. The rain finally stopped and we felt like we needed to hurry before our window closed. We tried to get massages booked about a week ago, but we were too late. No big deal to me. I was fine to just lounge.

Well, the weather kept improving as the afternoon went on and we enjoyed some majorly overpriced cocktails while chatting and enjoying the hot tub and pool.

This was called a “Kentucky Summer” and had bourbon and orange flavors. It was so good!

And, this was called a lavender lemon spritz.

We got ready for dinner and I took my first Uber ride.

We had reservations at Jeff Ruby’s, which is an upscale steakhouse. My one friend loves it even though she is a vegetarian! She gets their sushi and loves their bread and truffle butter.

One of my friends and I split a salad and

we both got a crab cake and I got a baked potato (could not eat much of that monster!) and she got fries.

We walked back instead of Ubering and hurried back to the rooftop to see it lit up before it closed.

The view from our room the next morning:

We were on the 11th floor so the rooftop pool is really on the 3rd flloor. It is on a roof but not on the highest roof!

The little market in the lobby has local coffee and a local breakfast place called Con Huevos. It is like a Mexican/Cuban breakfast place and there is another one by my house.

It was a fun 24 hours in our own city. I am so grateful that we all live within minutes of each other, but it had been so long since we had had uninterrupted time to chat like this.

Day drinking is not for the weak. I was tired! Lol!

What were your favorites this week?

Amy