Hello Monday

Monday, December 21, 2020

Linking up with Heather, Tanya, etc. here if they do the Hello Monday link up today! I decided to go on with the show today. I hope someone is out there! Ha!

Happy first day of winter! I am going to note the time of sunset and then keep track of it each day going forward – because what else do I have to do? The good news is that each day will have a little more light after today. I am dreading January and February. I need to find the good in those months.

Let us go back to Friday – I went to school to take a photo for my students at my classroom door (not a soul was around my classroom) and to pick up my gift. Our school gave the teachers a giant golf umbrella with our school logo and a…

mug with our logo and on the other side it said…

I used it during class when someone forgot to turn their microphone on. It was a nice gift. I finished teaching and did a little cleaning. Gratuitous photo for proof of mopping the mudroom floor. I use the Swiffer with the velcro and attach a disposable mop pad. I use a bit of Pine Sol and it makes it really quick. I am really into mopping my mudroom floor. I should look into the kind of mop pads that you wash and re-use. There is a January goal for me.

The time is flying by with our boys at home and I really am dreading that adjustment again. We found out they have to take a Covid test before moving back on campus. It is administered at the college so that makes it easier for us since we are close. I guess the kids that are further away can do their testing at home. I am so over Covid. It just really stinks.

Mason has really gotten into thrifting. He goes to Vintage Vibe and Vintage Banana with some new college friends. Jack likes thrifting, too, but not as much. The whole family set out to go to Fleur de Flea around 3:00.

Looking at records and not realizing someone was taking their photo…

Some of the booths are boutiques that have gone out of business, sadly. It is a really huge space. I could’ve seen everything in about 30 minutes but Jack and Mason looked through lots of records and old books, and I think we were there for almost 2 hours. It made me happy to see them enjoying this. They both picked out a few gifts for friends.

When we got home I decided to cook some easy stuff. I made fried rice – guys, seriously, this is so much better than a restaurant in my opinion. Use my search bar to find my post on this if you are interested.

And, I made grilled ham and provolone on a fancier type of bread. I also made a slaw type salad from a mix but forgot a photo.

We watched some t.v. together and then I think I tried to watch some Christmas movies on Netflix but I was tired.

Saturday morning I read with my coffee.

And, then it was hair day. I always take the first appointment on Saturday and I go about every 2-3 months. You have to stand at the door and get your temp taken. I was the only person in the whole salon for quite some time!

Two sweet senior girls dropped off gifts on my porch this weekend. Brownies and a Target gift card and…

cookies and a candle. So sweet. I live really close to school and my next door neighbor is a senior so lots of my students know where I live. I am o.k. with that.

Saturday we had a plumber at our house most of the day. I think it was 3:00 by the time he left and Tom helped him most of the time.

I made a simple dinner of pasta with turkey sausage and corn and a salad and crescent rolls. I put a mixture of butter and seasonings on the inside and they were really good.

And, after dinner I started wrapping in my bedroom. I like wrapping but I am not that great at it. Also, I do wrap everything or almost everything in the stockings. Is that weird? I also wrap everything for the boys. We open one thing on Eve – pajamas and a game for the family – and everything else in the morning. The kids love seeing Ernie get his stocking. We need to get him a few more things.

Sunday morning I was lazy but did my coffee, some reading, showered, and then went to this cute little boutique owned by my friend. It is called The Prickly Pear and I have mentioned it before.

She has purse straps! And, the purse below comes without any strap on it. I think it is a great concept!

I made the pink meringue cookies! Mason wanted to take them to his friend’s house later in the day. They turned out kind of flat – meringue doesn’t like humidity and it had rained in the morning.

I am excited about Bridgerton coming to Netlflix! It comes out on Christmas Day!

My sisters and I decided over Zoom a few weeks ago that the smartest way to do Christmas was for each family to celebrate separately with my mom. So, one sister went there this weekend but wore masks. It stinks that we aren’t all going to get together, but we plan to do a re-do in the spring with maybe White Elephant gifts?

It is really hard not to get down about it, but things got real for us last week when one of our good friends tested positive. We also had a neighbor in the ICU – he is only in his early 50s. Thankfully he did come home yesterday!

I want to say thank you for filling out my survey. I will share the responses in a post because I am always curious to see results of the ones I fill out! There were some really good suggestions – a rating system for books that I read is one of those. Love that! I would also like to do a dedicated monthly book post. I am working to improve my photos. Anyway, you all are the best.

Happy Winter Solstice! Leave me a comment about your plans for the day or what you did this weekend!

Amy

Falalalala Friday!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Happy Friday! I am linking up with Andrea, etc. right here!

Are you ready? I am waiting on a couple more things to come in this weekend.

Here are some things that made me happy this week! I would love to know your favorites, too! Leave me a comment! We can all use more happy.

In addition to virtual teaching this week, I had a bit of down time to start watching The Crown. I had watched a couple episodes of season one a long time ago so I jumped right back in and now I am on season two. I am watching this by myself usually in the afternoons. I find myself Googling information about the royal family. I cannot wait to get to season four but it will be a while. Anyone else watching?

Also, one of my sons wanted to try Gilmore Girls with me. We started it together and for some crazy reason watched the first episode in Spanish. Did you know you can go to settings in Netflix and do captions and change the audio? We are watching it with English captions and Spanish audio. Hilarious! By the way, I turned on the captions for The Crown just in case I need them for the accent.

I also abandoned my Christmas books for now for Sophie Kinsella! I could not believe how quickly the library came through on her newest book. Anyone else a Sophie Kinsella fan?

I got a local coffee this week – actually two – one morning I had to be out before classes started and I got a caramel latte at Sunergos. Another day I was out around lunch and got a toffee latte from The Coffee Zone.

I finally wore my Scotch tape leggings to teach in. Photographer son was up and able to take my photo. I love this pullover so much and reach for it more than my Aerie leopard one. It has pockets! I was so comfy in this outfit.

I meant to do a full house decor tour but I decorated on Thanksgiving night and then never really did anything else. I added the small bottle brush trees to the mantel but the other decor is old. I love our stockings from Pottery Barn – they are 18 years old. Ernie has our old dog Archie written on his stocking. He told me he is o.k. with it as long as he gets the contents now. I tried to find these stockings again but no luck.

And, here is our hall table with all of my Christmas cards. When your kids turn 18 and you have had a card for almost that many years, you run out of space. No card for us this year.

Tom turns the patio lights on in the morning and I think it looks so pretty. We had rain/frost this morning so I snapped a picture.

Today is the two year anniversary of the death of my Dad. We all miss him so much and it is crazy that it has been that long. Holidays make it harder, of course. I feel like now I remember the funny or good things more. Have I ever told you about my pennies from Heaven theory? My friend Victoria told me about it a long time ago. Your loved one sends you pennies or coins. I have found so many! Recently I have found several. And, there is a coin shortage! I usually find them in parking lots when I am getting out of my car. Now, do not try to tell me that people drop them. I want to believe these are messages and I save most of the ones I find.

These two peace lilies from the funeral are living in my mudroom and I swear they like the agitation/noise of the washer and dryer. This one is from our good friends and it has some new blooms.

And, this one is from one of my assistant principals. I am going to send both of them a picture and just say how much I love these plants and the daily reminder of their generosity warms my heart.

I really want more plants! I am going to work on that in January.

Other favorites this week were just getting to talk one on one with a couple of students. I had a couple of kids stay after virtual clases and it was so nice to feel like I am helping them. One boy confessed that he is struggling with this format and I gave some suggestions and I hope I boosted his morale. I miss the connection with my students. Our district is talking about being able to go back around Spring Break? I have my doubts but I hope that is true. It will be very hard to adjust after so much time away – for both the teachers and the students.

I signed up for the vaccine this week. Our governor is making teachers a priority and we are in phase two which should be around end of January. We get to choose if we want to take the vaccine but we had to express our wishes so they can have enough. I said I would take it but I am a bit nervous, I must admit.

I am not sure how much I will post over the break. This is my favorite hobby so I may post semi-regularly or even regularly.

I really enjoyed doing the faux leather leggings review on Wednesday and loved all the comments. Also, check out my potato soup recipe from yesterday.

Now, I have a favor to ask…

Would you mind filling out a very quick 3 question survey to help me plan for future posts?

Here it is! Thank you in advance!

Amy

Potato Soup

Thursday, December 7, 2020

Are you ready for a really easy recipe without a cream of chemicals soup? Just kidding. I do use canned cream of soups for our family potato casserole recipe.

This recipe is to die for – and I wanted to have it on my blog for both you and me! This would be great for lunch during winter break. Are you doing Soup Sunday? If so, definitely add this to your rotation. It is from Gimme Some Oven but I made it my own with a few adaptations.

Get in ma belly!

You will need:

5 slices of raw bacon – cut up with kitchen scissors. I think you could do more bacon than this if you want. Some can be saved for your garnish.

1 cup diced yellow onion

4 cloves of garlic (I just use the jarred already diced stuff)

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups milk, warmed (I did not warm my second cup and it was fine)

1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced. I only had russets so I used about 4 of them and peeled them and diced them.

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

salt, pepper

Toppings: sour cream, green onions (do not skip buying these. I have become a big fan of these on my soups, baked potatoes, Mexican layered dip.)

First:

Cook your bacon in your big soup/stock pot. This will be a one pan meal, too! When crispy, remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

reserve about 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease – keep that in the pan. I basically used a ladle to take out the excess that equalled more than 3 tablespoons.

Now, add onion and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and do another 2 minutes.

Keep stirring.

Stir flour into the onion and garlic and stir for about 1 minute to fully incorporate flour (this is what creates your cream of texture)

Add chicken stock

Add milk

Add diced potatoes. I diced mine pretty small.

Add some salt and pepper to taste. I also added Tony Cachereś cajun seasoning.

Continue cooking until the mixture just reaches a simmer before it begins to boil.

It will look like this:

Now, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Do not burn the bottom.

Once potatoes are fully cooked, add in the cheddar cheese and some of the bacon.

Serve with a garnish of bacon, cheese, sour cream, and green onion.

Yum!

Amy

Faux Sho’

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Today we are going to discuss faux leather leggings. Do you need some in your closet? The answer is – faux sho’! I am linking up with The Style Six here. I appreciate them letting me link up with my super amateur photos! Check them out; they have some great style and you may be able to shop your closet with their ideas!

In the fall of 2019, I wanted to jump into the faux leather leggings trend, but I really was not very sure if I could pull it off or if I would even reach for them when getting dressed. I purchased the Target Wild Fable leggings in a size up (I was told to do this by someone) and I wore them every time I went out in fall of 2019/winter 2020. I more than got my $12 worth. Now they are $16, but I think if you have been curious about this trend,they are great quality for the price. You may want to try your normal size and a size up and see what you think. Here are those leggings.

Have you ever tried a starter pair of something? When I want to try a trend, I sometimes get a cheaper version just to see if I like that trend. I think I first did this will tall boots a long time ago.

Now I own three pairs of faux leather leggings and today I am going to review them for you.

Left: Target Wild Fable, Middle: Aerie Crackle, Right: Spanx.

I thought some might appreciate this post because I am not young and I am not a size 2. Everything – every trend, even Mom jeans – looks good on you when you are 22 and a size 2!

First let us talk about Target Wild Fable:

They are more of a matte black. They almost can pass for regular pants when I pair them with a poncho and booties. Maybe this is because I went up a size. Honestly, I am reaching for these the least now since I purchased the Crackles this season. But, I have been so impressed with how they have washed. I lay flat to dry but I have probably washed them 30 times.

Pros: Price, quality, super comfortable, no rolling down at the waist

Con: I do not think they look right with tennies and dressed down outfits. I only wear these when I dress up a bit. The best shoes seem to be my black booties.

Aerie Crackles can be found here. I hope these are the same – the Aerie/American Eagle website makes them look a little bit more snakeskin-ish. Mine do not look snakeskin-ish in the least.

I personally love the crackle look. I think these look great dressed up or down and I will tell you, they are super warm. I wore them to eat in a tent on a really cold day and my legs were pretty warm. That could be a con for those of you in warmer climates, but I am not sure; you warm blooded gals seem to not tolerate the cold so these could be good. These are so comfortable and the waist stays put. I did size up one, but I feel like maybe I could have gone with my normal size. I think AE runs a bit big.

Pros: The price – under $30, the quality, the warmth, the unique crackle look, the waist band, the versatility, wash perfectly (Again, I wash in cold and lay flat to dry).

Cons: None. I love these leggings so much! And, I just noticed this week that they have them in other colors. I think burgundy/wine could be really cool! I really think Aerie quality is amazing for the price. I am all about good deals and I will pay for high quality. I would pay much, much more for these.

Spanx can be found here, or that is where mine came from. I decided to order directly from the website so I could get the short/petite length. I have only had these for a while, so I may not be as informed as I am about the first two. I think this photo does a good job of showing you the texture of the Spanx. They are like a baby Crackle.

I ordered a size up again (so all three are one size up) and the petite length. When I first tried to put them on I had to do some major body contortions. I was wondering if maybe I should have gone up by two sizes? Maybe by buying the petite length they are smaller all around? I found I had to get the ankles in the right place and then pull the leggings up more and more. My dog came into my closet and he was really judging me – I could tell. So, they are very hard to get on. My other two go on perfectly. Once on, though, they feel like a second skin. The material feels great on your legs and I think it flatters your legs the most of all three pairs. These can be dressed up or down.

Now, here is the problem that I am struggling with. These have the highest waistband and it rolls over when I sit. The other two do not do this. I find this to be very annoying and uncomfortable. Yes, I know my tummy is my problem area. My leggings do not need to betray me like that. I know what they are thinking – We must roll down because we cannot tolerate this spare tire. It is just rude!

Ultimately, I did decide to keep them because I am hoping to lose weight and because the texture, feel, and leg look is so good in my opinion.

Pros: look, quality, texture, dressed up or down, cannot speak about multiple washings yet

Cons: price $$$$, waistband situation, hard to put on

So, if I had to recommend only one pair I would go with the Aerie Crackles! I would order your normal size and one size up if you have a local store where you can easily return. If you do not, I would still say it might be worth it to try two sizes.

Do you own any of these? What do you like and dislike? If you own the Spanx, talk to me about how they have worn over time and the waistband issue.

Now, run, do not walk, to get these Aerie velvet leggings. I went with normal size because the size up was not in stock and they are perfection. They were $23 and I thought they would be so cute with a plaid shirt and more. They are so comfy and cozy and I love velvet, and

look at the adorable zippers at the ankles.

These can be found here. They come in short! I am 5 foot 4 and the short is perfect on me. I really appreciate that about American Eagle and Aerie – many of their bottoms come in short length. This is the perfect year for velvet leggings for the holidays!

Now, you may be thinking, why does one need 3 pairs of faux leather leggings in a pandemic. I definitely do not! But, the Target Wild Fable are from 2019 before the pandemic, so we will take those out of the equation. So, technically I only bought two pairs in 2020.

I am in a weird stage where I only want to wear black leggings. I have burgundy and grey leggings, too, and of course I have other cruel, hard pants – like jeans. If I am getting dressed 7 days a week then I will wear the above some days and normal black leggings other days.

I hope you found this post informative!

Do you own any of these? Thoughts? I will read all of your comments faux sho’!

Amy

Pink Merengues

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Posting my family “cookie” recipe again! It isn’t Christmas without these!

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How was your weekend?  We are only two days away now!  I took a break from documenting my weekend but I did get almost all of my shopping finished.  I only have one more thing to purchase.  

This recipe may not seem very Christmasy, but to my sisters and cousins and I they sure do! Christmas was the only time we got to enjoy these.  The story goes that this was a recipe of my mom’s mom’s friend in Chicago.  We traveled to Chicago every Christmas and my aunt had these for us.  Now,  I make 3 or 4 batches a season.  My son wanted to bring these to a class party on Friday so that was my first batch.  Disclaimer:  I have found these don’t turn out if it is raining!  They are a little bit temperamental.

Leave 3 eggs out on the counter for awhile to come to room temperature.  

Preheat oven to 250 after they come to room temperature.  

You need:  

the 3 eggs

3 and 1/2 tablespoons of raspberry jello

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. white vinegar

1 cup of chocolate chips

Once the eggs come to room temp, separate out the whites.  You only need the whites.  Add the vinegar and the salt and beat until they become stiff.  I use a hand held mixer and it takes a good 2-3 minutes.  Once stiff, add in the sugar and the jello gradually.  (I prepare a mix of those two ingredients in a bowl so that I am ready).  Then just mix a bit more to combine.  Turn off mixer and add in chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookies sheet or a buttered cookie sheet.  This will makes two sheets worth.  

Very Important:  Bake for 25 minutes at 250.  Then, turn off oven and leave in for another 20 minutes.  If you open oven they will fall, so I always turn my oven light on.  

If you live near a Grater’s Ice Cream, they have a bit of a raspberry chocolate chip ice cream flavor.  They are great kept in the freezer and eaten cold, too.  

Aren’t they pretty?  I have also made them for Valentine’s Day!
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Would you ever try these?  What cookies do you like to make?  I am hoping to make buckeyes and more Rice Krispies treats with the Christmas cereal.  

Thanks for reading!

Amy 

Hello Monday

Monday, December 14, 2020

Happy Monday and happy last week before the winter break! Who is excited? It has been a rough semester. Some of you have gone in person, virtual and back and forth several times. When I think back to August and how little I knew it blows my mind. I seriously thought we would only be virtual for 6 weeks – wow!

After teaching on Friday, I enjoyed the sun and my book – Beach Read by Emily Henry. I finished it this weekend and I highly recommend. It was a cute story.

Friday night we decided to get Chicago deep dish pizza. We could only eat one piece each! The four of us watched some t.v. together and it was nice.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early with a plan. I wanted to get to Trader Joes when it opened. There are only two days a week reserved for senior citizens now so I can go at 8:00 a.m. again.

This is one of my favorite purses. It is Fossil and I think it is rubber. I like the black and brown combo. Fossil is a really good brand with great quality and a good price point. I do not work for Fossil, but I am not sure I have ever talked about this bag.

Ahhh, grocery shopping bliss… it was nice and uncrowded.

I picked up Gingerbread liquer. I put it in my coffee when I got home and I plan to make a cocktail with it.

All the snack foods. Tom and the boys are big snackers and Tom likes spicy stuff.

This Wassail is yummy! I like to have the Blanc de Blanc champagne on hand at the holidays for a cider or regular mimosa and this is a red blend wine. I thought the bottle was so interesting! I will let you know when I try it.

And, then I got a Ceasar salad mix, a buffalo salad mix, brussels sprouts, cilantro, carrots, hot dogs, onion, brioche to keep in freezer for French toast and FT casserole, brioche hot dog buns (fancy!), and the everything bagels that I keep in the freezer. I also got my favorite jasmine rice for the freezer.

I started this and it seems cute so far.

Saturday night we went to eat in a heated tent at a new southern style restaurant with our friends. We got deviled eggs and grit fritters to start and they brought us pimento cheese cornbread.

fancy bourbon drink called an Aloha Felicia.

I got a BLT with a fried green tomato and pimento cheese.

It was fun to get out and we had lots of laughs.

Our restaurants open to indoor dining again today but I am not interested in that yet. I am happy for the restaurants, though! If I go out, it will be to a patio or tent most likely, and as it gets colder we will probably just do takeout. This is what we do most winters. January tends to be a month where we do not go out much. Hub, on the other hand, goes out to lunch. He has been mad about not having inside places; he goes at 11:30 and usually has the whole place to himself and one or two of his co-workers that go with him. It makes me nervous that he does this because what one family member does the whole family does, you know?

One of our friends is a dentist and he got an email saying that he would be in phase one of the vaccines and might be getting it next week! I am in phase two as a teacher. How do you feel about the vaccine? Will you get it when you are able? I think I will be willing to get it. I heard you get one dose and then a second three weeks later and then after another week you are protected. That is pretty amazing and how cool is it that a vaccine was developed so quickly?

I hope you have an awesome week!

Amy

Friday Favorites

Friday, December 11, 2020

How is it already December 11? OMG! I am so ready for a break from virtual teaching but I am not nearly ready for the holiday! Plans are not set, presents are not wrapped, menus are not planned, but it will all come together. This is a year to give yourself grace and just not do it all, but if you want to do it all because 2020, then do so! Do what makes you happy!

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

My first favorite is the weather! Wednesday it reached 50, yesterday 60 and today it will be 60 again. We have rain expected tomorrow but I am o.k. with that. I like a little respite from the cold before it stays cold for months on end!

You guys, I love this book. I am about 3/4 of the way through and the title is not great but I love the story. Also, it involved Lake Michigan and I love LM. I have not started any Christmasey books yet – oops! I do not want this one to end and I am savoring it.

Also, I am dragging out Virgin River Season 2 because I do not want it to end. I am going to do The Crown after VR.

This sweet niece turned 15 this week! I ordered her this sherpa from Amazon. I want one, too! I miss all of my nieces and nephews and sadly, we are most likely not gathering at Christmas, etiher.

Did you read my post yesterday with meal ideas? Here is another super simple one. Ham, green beans from a can, Sister Schubert rolls, and I did make the mashed potatoes homemade but I do not think they are that hard. I have a Cutco peeler and it makes peeling so easy!

I had two patio happy hours this week! This is not the norm but I was really needing it after not doing much last weekend. The cold weather, coupled with not much social interaction had me a bit down and this helped so much!

This little patio had 3 tables; I met my teacher friend Elizabeth who is 21 years younger than me! Do you have friends of different ages? I love it. One man was at one table when we first got there and then a couple sat at one after a while and then left. We felt very safe. I forgot to take photos because we were talking so much but we shared some fried pickles and some truffle fries and had a bourbon cocktail.

And, the other was for my friend Victoria who had a birthday this week! I got a bourbon champagne drink and we shared some of their local bakery bread and some smoked salmon dip. The salmon was too smoky for me so I took my portion home to Tom!

They had heaters on the patio and there was only one other table occupied.

O.k., you guys, I did it. I ordered the Spanx leggings for blog research. I ordered directly from the website so I could order the short – did you know they come in short? I am 5 foot 4.

I am going to wear them around the house and give you my thoughts on Wednesday. I plan to do a side by side with my Aerie crackles, my Target Wild Fables, and these. Also, you must order the Aerie high-waisted velvet leggings with zippers at the ankles for $23! They are amazing. You guys, honestly, I think the Aerie crackles might win. They were also around $25. I am telling you – American Eagle and Aerie are the bomb. I should not speak too soon because I have not done all the research. Ladies, just tell your husbands your purchases are research.

My gifts I ordered are starting to roll in, thankfully. I joined the bandwagon – I had seen a couple of these on Facebook – and made a treat box for the delivery drivers.

I have heard that the USPS has like triple the number of packages to deliver this year.

My boys finished their online finals Wednesday! They had some that took the full three hours allotted. I am so enjoying having them home. They are sweet and funny. I am really lucky.

What were your favorites this week?

Amy

In the kitchen…

Thursday, December 10. 2020

Hello and welcome to the slowest day in blog land! Why do people not blog on Thursdays?

Here are some snapshots of what we have been eating around here lately/what I have been cooking.

My college kids came home November 20 and 21 and the grocery runs have sure looked different! I have been cooking more, too. I am not sure why but I feel like we need more sides when the boys are here. When it was Tom and I we were having lots of one dish meals and lots of easier meals, I think. Also, there are so many more dishes! Where do all the dishes come from?

I put the turkey in the freezer and brought it out one night to make Hot Browns. This dish is from here – Louisville, Kentucky. You start with toasted thick cut bread (I used Trader Joes brioche) and then you top it with turkey and mornay sauce then you broil and top with tomato, bacon, and parmesan. They turned out pretty good!

The boys love chocolate chip pancakes so sometimes I make those as a treat for them. I have an electric non-stick griddle that I really like. It is great for pancakes, French toast, grilled cheese, and quesadillas. They are super cheap, too. I think I got mine for $19.99.

My boys (and Tom and I) love this basic salad akin to the Outback salad. I use iceberg clean from my salad spinner (another gadget I really like that dries your lettuce – I prefer to chop my own lettuces due to all the problems with E.Coli.), carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, big croutons, and hard boiled eggs.

And, I make my own honey mustard. It is so easy – EVOO, mustard, honey, little salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can also add a bit of mayo to make it creamier. Once you make your own salad dressings, you will never go back.

I have finally figured out how to make my hard boiled eggs peelable. You simply add a dash of baking soda to your boiling water. It is amazing! Why did you not tell me this? Anyone? Buelller?

I did an experiment that worked quite well. I dipped coated chicken tenders in pretzel pieces and then sauteed/fried them. Sorry for raw chicken photo – I forgot to take picture of finished product.

Mason really loves my homemade potato wedges. Just cut in half and keep cutting in half. I add a bit of EVOO and s and p. I bake at 400 for 20 minutes or so and then broil for a couple of minutes at the end.

All meals have been eaten upon my fun Target plastic plates. I have Santa, reindeer, and Christmas trees and I have 8 of them. They are a funky shape and they just make me happy. They are left out next to the stove.

I did something crazy to surprise my boys – Tom included. Did you know you can go in the movie theater and buy the hot buttered popcorn? You can!

One night we had breakfast for dinner and it was not a well balanced meal – tator tots,

biscuits with gravy or jam,

and pancakes! Everyone loved it because we almost never do this.

And, the southwest bowl which is always popular. The cilantro lime aioli makes it but you can use up leftovers and use whatever you like – rice, beans, corn, guac, salsa, sour cream, cheese, chicken or beef.

We have also had spahetti and chili recently.

I am going to pull out more turkey for turkey and noodles (I bought the frozen Reames brand noodles). We have tacos on deck. We have ham, green beans, and mashed potatoes on deck, too.

What have you been cooking lately?

I hope maybe I have given you an idea or two. I love getting meal ideas from my favorite blogs!

Amy

What I Wore Wednesday – Mad for Plaid

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Linking up with The Style Six here today!

Last Wednesday I wore this to my department lunch/baby shower. It was super cold and we had to eat outside in a tent, so white long sleeves under my poncho, black warm crackle leggings, and black booties.

This is the white A New Day long sleeve t-shirt from Target.

Each day last week I wore black leggings with something plaid on top! All of my plaid I already had in my closet and I think all of it is from Old Navy! They do plaid well! Tip: Order in a tall size for a longer length with leggings. I did not do this, but this may help someone!

This one from Old Navy is so soft. After Thanksgiving I stop wearing all of the browns and oranges and switch to more Christmas colors. Do you do that, too?

This is not really plaid but I like the small check print from Old Navy.

In addition to wearing it to teach virtually (they can really only see me from the shoulders up!), I wore it with my black faux fur vest on Saturday to run a few errands.

I am new to the black watch plaid game but I really like it. This is another Old Navy but it is short sleeve so I wore it with this black sweater. I think it was mild enough a few days last year to wear it without anything on top.

I love this Old Navy slightly dressier/more feminine plaid.

And, these leggings remind me of Scotch tape – the perfect present wrapping outfit? I got these a few years ago from a local boutique for only $11. I am going to pair them with my mustard A New Day cardigan and a black top. What do we think about that combo? By the way, I am not sure I have shown you this. I really wanted a mustard sweater and found this great lighter weight/ great length sweater. It has sadly already started pilling, but I do have a new sweater shaver I need to learn how to use.

I walked in Old Navy over the weekend and promptly left because the line was too long. But, I did see this adorable top! Buffalo plaid and ruffles? Order it online!

Sorry for the blurry photo but I found this Target A New Day pearl earring set for only $5. I am into simple studs some days and of course, these work well with your mask.

And, in other news, I have been using this Revlon Sheer Pink.

Here are a couple more blurry photos for you! Am I drunk? Am I busy? Am I impatient? Who knows? Maybe I am all three.

Guess what? We are getting high 50s and low 60s temps here the rest of the week! I am so excited! I am going to get outside.

What have you been wearing lately? Are you mad for plaid?

Amy

Amy’s Favorite Things

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Today my post is just like the old Oprah’s Favorite Things except I don’t buy any of these for you.

In fact, I may be late with my list but maybe you still need a few gifts or maybe you have people asking what you want? Maybe you will have some money to spend after Christmas and can save my list?

Basically, I went through my house and thought about what really adds value and that I really love.

Here we go…

If you like self-tanner, I really recommend this giant pump bottle. Wait for it to go on sale for $39 and it will last for a long, long time. It is really natural with a tiny little sparkle. It also does not smell as bad as many.

I do not know if this is still available on Amazon, but I have worn earrings from this set almost every day. They are so comfortable and I can find a color to match anything I wear. You forget you have earrings on and they have worked with my masks, too.

My Madewell white sneaks. I really love these. Madewell is a great brand and I love their totes, too. Really you cannot go wrong with this brand!

Target is killing it this season and Target, I am so sorry for trying to swear off your clothes. This GoodfellowandCo. pullover would be so cute monogrammed – or not – and it is great for men and women. Universal Thread, A New Day, and Knox Rose are my favorite brands found at Target.

Aerie! The sweatshirts, sweaters, pullovers, and leggings I have from American Eagle and Aerie (same company) are great quality at reasonable prices. This leopard pullover, the side slit sweatshirts, the crackle leggings would all be great gifts for others or for you.

This bag strap or a purse with this kind of strap would be great! I have loved clipping this on my white or brown bags and have received lots of compliments.

The Target Stars Above robe! I love this! I have also heard others rave about everything Stars Above from Target.

I found out the hard way I cannot drive without my popsocket holder for my phone. I love this doo-dad.

And, of course, I love my pop socket. It lets you stand your phone up vertically or horizontally and is a way for you to securely hold your phone in your hand. Also, the pop socket is a necessity for the best phone holder I have ever had. You need both of these in your life. You do have to be able to stick (with a sticker) the holder on your car console. My husband has nowhere to stick one, unfortunately.

A Woodwick Candle! The crackle is so pleasing.

I love this shower cap! Actually, a shower cap period will change your life and protect your hairstyle.

Blue blocker glasses!

I finally listened to so many and changed out all of my undergarments to Soma brand. These are the best! I got half black and half nude.

A pricier gift – but AirPod Pros! Tom bought these for himself but does not like them as much as his originals so Merry Christmas to me! He says this shape does not stay in his ears but this shape is better for mine. I do not like the shape of the originals. Win-win!

And, I love my Seint makeup system (used to be called Maskcara). I feel like my skin looks so much better and I have really pared down my makeup. Let me know if you are interested in hearing more about Seint and I can send you to my college gal pal.

What are your favorite things? I would love to know!

Amy