Hi friends! I’ve been a little MIA. The last two weeks have been so busy that I didn’t have time to suss out my favorite things, so here we are today! Better late than never.
One: Pumpkin Muffins
If you’re into all things Fall, you must try these muffins. They are so simple to make & super delicious. These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are incredibly easy to make, & only require four ingredients; they are what I call semi-homemade. It’s the perfect thing to eat for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.
Two: Trader Joe’s Coffee
I am a devout consumer, of Barrie House Kona coffee; however, get thyself to Trader Joe’s & try the pumpkin spice coffee and maple coffee. Both are delicious – the maple smells more like maple than it tastes like maple. The pumpkin spice is heavy on the spice for me, it has a rather strong cinnamon taste & took me a couple cups to really like it. It is not at all fake tasting like other PSLs.
Three: Entryway Revamp
My friend Maureen recently moved to Park City, & she gave me a few pieces of furniture including a really nice wine cabinet. So, I replaced my tiny little entry table, that I bought in college from Bed Bath & Beyond, with my new wine cabinet! Of course, I totally forgot to take before pictures.
Four: Emily in Paris
Okay, so I know a lot of people are criticizing Emily in Paris, but they are wrong. Ha! If you want to watch a fun little romp, then Emily in Paris is for you.
Is is cheesy? Yes, but I also love Hallmark movies. Much of the criticism is that there is no way Emily could afford her Paris lifestyle, but you could easily say the same for most tv shows – FRIENDS, Sex & the City, etc. If you like Younger, then you will like Emily. It’s 10 episodes, about 25 minutes each. I watched it in one sitting.
Now, if you want to watch something French, with subtitles, beautiful scenery, & a really great love story – watch Amelie. I saw this move countless times in high school; it is still one of my all time favorite movies.
Tuesday was the first day of early voting in Texas, & I happily waited an hour in line to cast my vote. Texas has often been called a non-voting state, not red nor blue. It was great to see so many people out and doing their civic duty. Please make your own plan to vote!
I hope you all had a great weekend! I just got done with a Zoom baby shower. Aww! Now I’m off to check on my chili in the crockpot.
Hi friends! Y’all, the weather in Houston has been so good this last week! I’m a total cliche, but the weather has dropped to the low 80s & my sweaters are out! Haha! I will never complain about cooler weather; September through December is my favorite time of year!
Shall we get to my favorite things from the week?
One: Ombre Manicure
Okay, by now y’all know how much I love Olive & June nail polish. Well, I have given myself a Fall inspired ombre manicure to celebrate the first day of Fall. I call this my berry crisp manicure (formerly known as my apple picking mani). 🙂
The O&J colors I used (from pinky to thumb) were: CN, SC, JG, LD, HZ.
Two: New Art Piece
I did it. I finally ordered a piece from Maren Devine Art on Etsy. I had a really hard time choosing which pice to get, but ultimately chose “Sara.” I’m so in love with it!
Three: It’s Soup Time!
I love, love, love soup! It is my favorite food group. This week I made a big pot of minestrone soup, & put store bought broccoli cheese soup atop a bake potato. Don’t mind if I do.
In a large pot, brown 1 pound of Italian sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 5-8 minutes. (I buy the kind already out of the casings).
Add celery, carrots, & onions (I buy this pre-chopped from my grocery store) & sauté for 15 minutes until translucent.
Add 3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, & 1 tablespoon of tomato paste – cook for 1 minute.
Stir in 8 cups of chicken or veggie stock, 1 28oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 15.5oz. can of cannelloni beans (drained & rinsed), & 1 bay leaf.
Simmer for 40 minutes.
While that simmers, dice & peel your sweet potatoes equaling 2 cups. I like to buy cubed sweet potato from the grocery store. Also, dice 2 zucchini. I use this time to also cook my pasta.
After 40 minutes, add the sweet potato & zucchini & cook for about 10 minutes.
I put pasta in the bottom of my bowl & serve the soup on top, then sprinkle parmesan cheese liberally over the top.
I like to use either mild or spicy sausage, the recipe calls for sweet Italian sausage.
I also like to use butternut squash in place of the sweet potato sometimes.
I salt & pepper just about ever layer of soup, – S&P the meat, S&P the mirepoix, S&P the broth.
I specifically like small pasta shapes that will hold the broth.
Jeff Mauro used spinach instead of pasta, so if you are low carb do that.
Store the leftover pasta & soup separately, as the pasta will absorb all the broth.
This is my most requested dish that I make. 🙂
Four: Are you registered?
Last Tuesday, Sept. 22nd was National Register to Vote day. It’s not too late to make sure you’re registered to VOTE. Deadlines for registering start as early as next weekend, so double & triple check! Especially after this past week…
Hi friends! Sorry I didn’t post last week, but I only had 2 favorite things. This week I have six, so let’s get right to it.
So, I sold my my coffee table & finally got the leather ottoman of my dreams! I ordered this during a Memorial Day sale & it came last week!
This ottoman is from Pottery Barn, & I got the larger size; the color is Statesville Molasses.
Two: Knives Out
As per ushe, I’m late to the party on this but I finally saw Knives Out. If you loved the game Clue, or love a who-done-it kind of thing this movie is for you. It is cheeky & so fun!
Three: Fall Decor
I am slowly putting out my Fall decor, as I believe the first day of autumn isn’t actually until Tuesday, the 22nd. I had to basically clean & reorganize my garage to find my Fall decor, but that was a good thing to do anyway. I will be tackling my outdoor decor this weekend. This time of year makes me so happy! I love September through January the most.
This is my dining table.
My friend Amy introduced me to some new tortilla/pita/wrap things. Y’all, they are so good! We haven’t quite mastered actually wrapping up the insides so that it all stays nice & snug, but for healthy wraps these are really great! They have a really good flavor to them & are very pliable.
I ordered a new shirt last night on the recommendation from Ailsa (IG: @_happygocurly_).
How cute is this shirt? It’s from Alice & Wonder, & 10% of the proceeds from this shirt will be donated to Vote Save America’s Every Last Vote fund to support on-the-ground efforts to mobilize Black, brown, indigenous, and other marginalized communities that are routinely victims of targeted voter disenfranchisement efforts.
I don’t even have the shirt yet, but I could not love it more! I think I’ll wear it when I do a shift as a poll worker.
Y’all, Target is doing something so cool. They are now indicating which brands are Black-owned on their website with the icon below. I could not love this more!!!
Well, that’s all for this week. I hope you all have a great weekend! You can find me putting out my outdoor Fall Decor & meeting Mama J for lunch tomorrow.
Hi friends! How has your week been? I started a new job this week, still working from home, so needless to say it has been a busy week. I’m so glad it’s September…it means cooler weather is hopefully on its way! Tuesday morning I thought I felt a little nip in the air while I was turning on the sprinkler…by the time I got back in my house I was sweating. I digress.
My five favorite things from this week are pretty good…if I do say so myself.
One: Melissa Wood Health
So, as of September 1st I started eating meat again. I’m keeping meat to 1 or less meals a day. For my first meal, I went to Whataburger for lunch & got a cheeseburger (the one thing I craved in August).
I think I mentioned last week that my September Challenge was going to be to do a Melissa Wood Health workout everyday for the month. I’m only a few days in & really enjoying it so far. I’ve been sticking to beginner classes just to ease into things.
Two: Essential Oil Face Mask
As most of you know I love my essential oils. One of my favorite oils is Blue Tansy – it smells like fruit roll-ups. Blue Tansy is anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal; it’s also fantastic for your skin. I use it in my glow serum that I make.
Well, I recently found out that straight, undiluted Blue Tansy makes an amazing overnight face mask. Yes, you will look like a smurf and I covered my pillows with a towel just to make sure I didn’t stain my pillow cases. The premise is that the oil will soak into your skin & you will wake up glowing the next morning.
I’d say it works!
Three: Meal Planning
Y’all, I just got a meal planning magnet for my fridge. I got this one and I’m loving it already. Isn’t it cute?
Remember my gigantic food inventory from the beginning the pandemic? I feel like this could kinda replace my inventory list because this is magnetized to my fridge, so I can open it to meal plan.
Four: Work the Polls
Did you know Tuesday was National Poll Worker Recruitment Day? Now, I signed up a few weeks ago to work the polls on Election Day, and I have to tell you – I. Am. So. Excited. I signed up specifically so someone in our vulnerable age groups or someone with a compromised immune system could stay home. I signed up thinking it was a volunteer position, but it’s actually paid.
Something you may not know about me, is that I love seasonal wreaths. Especially as we move into Fall & Winter. I bought this double sided wreath hanger, so I can enjoy all the season has to offer! It’s under $10!
That’s it for this week! Hope y’all have a great weekend and end to the summer.
Hi friends! Whew! What a week it has been. Since last week I have stocked up on bottled water & groceries in prep for Hurricane Laura. Monday & Tuesday I was at my mom’s house about 3.5 hours away to trade vehicles. She is having knee replacement surgery at the end of October, & has to layoff all pain management injections (aka bandaids) until the surgery. Needless to say, she is in a LOT of pain. So, I traded my Ford Escape with her Expedition so she wouldn’t have to climb in & out of a vehicle. On Wednesday, I accepted a new job which starts on Monday. Yesterday my power was out for 7.5 hours due to Hurricane Laura. Luckily it didn’t hit near me…we didn’t even get rain. My thoughts are with all the people in Orange, TX & Lake Charles, LA & everyone who has been impacted by the storm.
So, shall we get into my favorite things from the week?
One: Productive Conversations
I want to tell y’all about a very productive conversation I had with my mom about racism. Mama J lives in a large neighborhood with lots of military families (her husband is a Vietnam Vet). So, as you can imagine many of the houses are very patriotic, lots of flags, etc. There is also a lot of racial diversity.
Mama J told me that the neighborhood’s FB page had started a thread encouraging residents to change their outside lights to blue lightbulbs to show support for police, aka Blue Lives. I asked my mom if she had any Black neighbors, & she listed off half a dozen or so that she personally knows & regularly chats with.
I asked her what her Black neighbors thought of the blue lightbulbs. She gave me an odd look & said she had no idea. About 20 minutes later Mama J brought the subject back up very perplexed.
Nicely, I explained that I thought the blue lights were offensive & racist, & that perhaps she should check if it is offensive to her Black & Brown neighbors. Rightfully, Mama J was appalled that she had done anything that might be considered racist. I want to clarify – my mom is not racist.
I politely pointed out that by outwardly supporting Blue Lives, & not Black Lives it implied that 1) she didn’t think Black Lives Matter, or 2) that Black Lives didn’t as much as Blue Lives. She was horrified by the thought of offending her lovely neighbors.
I also explained that a person can choose to be a “Blue Life,” but that Black & Brown folks cannot choose nor change their skin color. I also pointed out that Black people are killed by the police at least twice the rate as white people.
Mama J texted my on Wednesday to let me know that they had taken out their blue lights. She even went a step further to message the original poster on FB to share our conversation with her. That person was equally horrified & shared it with the FB group.
Now, I don’t know if all her neighbors have switched their lights back – I’m sure some have not, but this is how you affect real change. I spoke to my mom from a place of calm, kindness, knowledge, & perspective…and it worked! I’m so proud of Mama J! You can support the police, and support Black Lives, but you cannot ignore that we have a real problem and we all play a part making change happen.
Have you seen the new USPS stamps? They are gorgeous! @grossypelosi shared these on IG, & I was influenced to buy my own stamps.
Three: Fall Blends
Okay, if you are an essential oiler, like me, then you are probably ready for Fall diffuser blends. I couldn’t wait and I’m already enjoying a few new blends.
I’m loving Cozy Sweater: 4 drops of Nutmeg, 4 drops of Clove, 4 drops of Bergamot, & 3 drops of Cinnamon Bark
Also, Into The Woods: 2 drops of Nutmeg, 6 drops of Northern Lights Black Spruce, & 2 drops of Orange
Four: New Girl
I don’t know about you, but lately I have needed a laugh. So, I decided to rewatch New Girl on Netflix. Y’all, I belly laugh in every episode…some of it is secondhand embarrassment laughing. Haha!
Five: New Cookbook
As you know, I challenged myself in August to go Vegetarian. I have not cheated once, & for the most part I haven’t missed meat. The only change I really noticed is that my skin seems better, definitely less hormonal acne! I call that a win for sure!
For September, I think my new challenge will be to do a Melissa Wood Health workout every day. However, I also plan to make a ton of recipes from Charlotte’s new cookbook!
As you can see I already have some recipes flagged to try. I’m very excited to try the sheet pan jambalaya & the skillet enchiladas.
Okay, that’s all for this week! I hope you all have a great weekend!
Hi friends! Clearly I didn’t post last week; once again I didn’t have five things to tell you about. But, I’m back! I don’t know about where you live, but the sun has been very intense in Texas the last few weeks, and it basically feels like I live on the surface of the sun. Yea…
Anyway, enough about that. Let’s get to my favorite things from the week.
One: Beautiful Lilac Nail Polish
I found this Olive & June nail polish, TT, on clearance at Target, & y’all it is such a pretty lilac color. It is basically white with a pin drop of purple in it.
I’ve had this polish on for a solid 12 days & it is just now starting to chip. I like to challenge myself and see how long I can keep a manicure looking nice. This particular color has probably lasted the longest.
Two: New Recipe
Okay, I have a new side dish you must try! Katie Lee from The Kitchen first made this corn on Instagram, and then made it on an episode of The Kitchen.
This recipe includes fresh corn, basil, toasted sesame seeds, & butter. How can this be bad? Trust me, this is a crowd pleaser!
Three: Nicholas Palmquist
Y’all, I’m a little embarrassed to admit how obsessed I am with Nicholas Palmquist, a dancer & choreographer that I found on Instagram thanks to Erin Moon. Now, I have zero rhythm unless the instructions are explicitly in the song – think the Hokey Pokey, the Macarena, & Cupid Shuffle. HA!
Nicholas Palmquist makes me wish I could dance. I have gone on a deep dive watching his dances on Instagram & YouTube. Hey, what can I say? Jennifer Garner is a fan too! My favorite thing is how he interprets the music – he celebrates the most subtle nuances of the music, which makes each dance for me. Watch the video below & pay close attention to the hands and how they relate to the music, not the words.
Four: Virgin River
My friend Maureen kept telling me to watch this show, & I’m so glad I finally did. If you like Hart of Dixie, Gilmore Girls, or even Men in Trees then you will like Virgin River. The show has a lot of similarities to Hart of Dixie, but is not cutesy at all. The town of Virgin River is place where most of the characters have gone to start over & start a new life. The characters all have a dark past or tragedy they are trying to move on from.
There are 10 episodes in Season 1, & it has been renewed for Season 2. You can watch on Netflix.
Five: Olive & June’s Fall Line
Two Olive & June things this week! They just released their fall colors & I am so excited because two of the colors are inspired by my “Instagram friends” @WhatKateFinds & @_happygocurly_! The mossy green if for Katie, & the toasted coconut color is for Ailsa. The terracotta color is also for @maddy_gutierrez_.
Okay, that’s it for this week. I’ll be dog sitting this weekend & snuggling with 3 cute pups! I hope y’all have fun plans this weekend too. See you back here next Friday!
Hi friends! I’ve missed you! Sorry that I’ve been MIA the last two weeks…I have no good reason. I was lazy, this platform changed everything (so I’m re-learning how to use it), & I didn’t have five things to tell you about until this week. Now I have 10 things! Haha!
Okay, let’s chat about my new favorite online store, Down East. It’s women’s clothing, shoes, & accessories. They also have home furnishings. So, what I really love about Down East is that it is family owned, size inclusive, & sustainable. I’ve ordered a couple of interview ready tops, & a pair of mules (I love a good mule).
Two: Panzanella Salad
I have recently reacquainted myself with panzanella salads (aka bread salad). You can make this a million different ways, and Mix & Match Mama has quite a few recipes to try. I fell in love with one from a local Italian restaurant (Avanti), it is so simple but so delicious. Avanti’s has heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled red onions, arugula, & croutons with a lemon basil vinegarette. I crave this on the daily.
At the end of July, I made Half Baked Harvest’s Sheet Pan Chipotle Cheddar Corn Chicken Enchiladas – what a mouthful. I really need Tieghan to work on shortening her recipe titles, but I digress. These enchiladas were delicious, & so EASY (recipe linked)!
I think they’d be equally delicious minus the chicken, which leads me to…
Four: Going Vegetarian
I have decided to go vegetarian for the month of August (maybe longer). I’m on Day 7 and I don’t miss the meat. My favorite foods are veggies & carbs, and I naturally ate meatless meals about 40% of the time anyway. So, I decided to challenge myself to go completely vegetarian for August. I want to see if I notice a difference in my health, my body, etc. Will I feel worse, better, & what not?
Questions I get asked:
Will you eat fish? No, that would be pescatarian (can you feel me rolling my eyes?).
Are you going vegan? No, at least not yet, I’m not ready to give up cheese & yogurt. I’m very particular about yogurt textures.
What are you doing for protein? I’m getting creative, but also I’m probably not getting enough…not that I did before either. I made some power protein balls (I can share this recipe), & I eat a couple a day. Also, yogurt, beans, lentil pasta, etc.
Five: One to Watch
Y’all, this book is a must read ASAP! I completely ruined my sleep schedule this week to finish this book.
One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London is about a plus size blogger, Bea, who is a vocal critic of Main Squeeze (a Bachelor type show). She writes a post about lack of diversity that goes viral, so they make Bea the next lead on Main Squeeze. It follows her journey through the process.
If you like The Bachelor or UnREAL, then you will love this book. Ashley Spivey did it again, by recommending another great read!
Okay, I know everyone is talking about Taylor Swift’s new album, but they are talking about it with good reason! Folklore is such a departure for Taylor, and clearly she has been the most productive of us all during Quarantine.
This album is the kind of album that you can (and should) listen to all the way through with no skips. My favorite tracks are: “The 1,” “Seven,” “This is Me Trying,” & “Invisible String.” I highly recommend watching the lyric videos on YouTube. So good!
Taylor’s voice gets better with each album she puts out, & her song writing is unparalleled. For me, this is the 2020 version of Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour album from 2018.
One caveat: I still don’t like the Reputation album.
I discovered this awhile ago, but Trader Joe’s has the BEST chapstick. It is called Trader Johann’s Lip Balm Virtuoso. It comes in a 3-pack & is found near the bath products. It’s a spearmint chapstick, which is probably why I love it so much – I much prefer spearmint to peppermint. If you like a tingly lip balm, this is your new best friend.
Eight: New Snack
Mix & Match Mama influenced me to buy these cashews from Amazon, and they do not disappoint!
Okay, I realize I may be the only one, but I like wearing masks. Are they annoying? Sometimes. Are they hot? In Texas, absolutely. Do they give me maskne? Occasionally. Most of this can be applied to seatbelts too, & I wear those with no qualms.
Old Navy has some super cute masks that come in a 5-pack for $12.50 or a 10-pack for $25.00. The colors & patterns are fantastic. Some have adjustable ear straps, & they come in adult & kids sizes.
I also bought 2 masks from Reuse Masks at the recommendation of The Defined Dish. They are the SOFTEST fabric I’ve ever felt…I wish they also made pajamas.
Hi friends! I’m sorry I didn’t post last week; I started the post, but couldn’t come up with five things I liked from the week. Full disclosure, I spent all week applying for jobs – I got laid-off the week before last. So, needless to say I wasn’t in a great head space…but I’m better now…ish.
One: New Shoes
I ordered these handmade Margarita Huarache shoes back in May, & just got them in! They are so beautiful & so comfortable. They have a pretty strong smell (leather) when you first take them out of the box, so I suggest letting them air out a bit.
Two: Patio Chips
Y’all, I’m so excited that Trader Joe’s finally brought back my favorite summer seasonal chips – Patio Chips! At first glance they sound terrible, especially ketchup flavored chips, but I promise I have yet to eat a chip that tastes like ketchup.
The Babysitters Club: oh, so nostalgic. I LOVED the original BSC tv show in the 90s. I watched this show with a 13 year old & she approved. Although, she did say, “they are so dramatic. No one my age has this much drama.” Hahaha. The only thing I couldn’t get over was that Dawn wasn’t a blonde. Otherwise, beautifully done.
The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia: watch this if you are missing Girl Meets World or Baby Daddy. Fun fact: it is totally the same house as the one in 2 1/2 Men. I also watched this show while babysitting a 13yo.
Never Have I Ever: This has been on my list since it came out; y’all know how I love Mindy Kaling (she created the show). This show is so, so, so good & has already been renewed for Season 2! The soundtrack is also amazing.
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich: whew! This one was a doozy. Let’s just say Jeffrey Epstein is a disgusting pedophile & I’m glad he’s dead. If Ghislaine Maxwell dies in jail too, then it is definitely a cover up.
Taste The Nation: Padma Lakshmi visits different cities all over the US learning about the food that makes that city special. She dives deeper by delving into race, culture, etc. This show is so beautifully done.
The Great: this is a satirical dramedy about Catherine the Great, the longest running female ruler of Russia. Elle Fanning is perfect. This show is a little more gross than I’d like in terms of blood, but is so fun. This show highlights a theory that I’ve been working on – Egos ruin the world.
Five: Amazon Prime
Modern Love: I loved this show! There is 8 episodes, & each episode focuses on a different person or couple & their journey with romance. The last episode ties them all together. It was just so well done, I cannot recommend it enough.
Hi friends. If I’m being honest, and I am, this week sucked. A lot. I’m not ready to share the nitty gritty of it all on here just yet, but it sucked.
So, I only have two things this week to share & as per usual I am probably last to the party on both of these.
One: Brittany Runs a Marathon
I finally watched this movie on Amazon Prime, & it was so heart warming. I laughed. I cried. I had a hard time with the love interest because it’s Mindy’s little brother Rishi from The Mindy Project. The movie chronicle’s Brittany’s life for a year or so, while she tries to get her sh*t together. This movie is so, so worth the watch.
After seeing 87,000 ads for this show while finishing The Mindy Project, I finally caved & watched. Season 1 has about 10 quick 30-ish minute episodes. Guys, we are screwed if this is what 2033 will look like.
Okay, so it’s the year 2033 & we live in a Jetson’s like society. Basically, you can decide to go to Heaven or you can upload to Lakeview when you are on the brink of death. If you choose to upload they freeze your body & you live in an in-between kind of state in Lakeview until your loved ones either pass or upload as well. I’m not describing this well, so you just need to watch it. But, there is intrigue, love, murder (maybe?), & the people are HOT.
Now, who has a Disney+ login I can borrow to watch Hamilton this weekend?
Hi friends! So, I initially planned to post my #OOTD everyday, or at least every week, but that clearly didn’t happen. Whomp, whomp. When I did my first #OOTD post, I worked in a corporate environment; now I work from home. I’m one of those people, you know the kind, that dresses in jeans & makeup M-F, to differentiate from the weekends. Today, I’m kinda feeling myself, so here we are. Ha!