Friday Five: What a Week

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.

Two: Stamps

Have you seen the new USPS stamps? They are gorgeous! @grossypelosi shared these on IG, & I was influenced to buy my own stamps.

These stamps would be excellent for your mail in ballots.

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!

Kiss Hug,

Take It or Leave It: Post 6

You guys, I have been so horrible about keeping up with my TIoLI posts!  I’m sorry about that; I frequently have weeks where nothing bad, but nothing really exciting happens either, so…

Take It: Recipes, Cookbooks, & Blogs

Y’all I LOVE to cook, especially for other people.  I find it really hard to cook for one, & I’m not a huge fan of leftovers (unless I can turn it into something else).  I’ve always loved your typical Southern & Tex-Mex fare, which gave me my curvy figure with a side of extra curvy.  My goal, as an adult, is to health-ify all of my favorite, Southern, comfort foods without compromising flavor.  From time to time, I post recipes that I love which you can find on the menu up top.  However, below are links to my favorite cookbooks & food blogs.  One of my favorite things to do is buy old Junior League Cookbooks from different cities on Amazon.  They make great gifts too!


Stop and Smell the Rosemary: Recipes and Traditions to Remember – I first came to know this book about 7 or 8 years ago while babysitting.  Sarah, the mom of that family, loved this book & frequently left me recipes to make the kids for dinner.  Not only did the kids eat every bite, but the recipes were delicious & the book itself is beautiful.  This is a Junior League of Houston Cookbook circa 1996.Rosemary

Jack Allen’s Kitchen – This beautiful cookbook is the same name as my FAVORITE restaurant in the Austin, TX area.  Not only do I love their black cherry mojitos, but this restaurant opened my eyes to the wonders of pimento cheese.  This cookbook showcases Farm to Table cuisine, as does the restaurant.  I recently used Jack’s pimento cheese recipe to make deviled eggs for a Kentucky Derby party – I was frequently told that they were the best so-and-so had ever had…the ultimate compliment, right?   JAK

Houston Junior League Cook Book – This is the 1987 edition.  I love this book specifically because my BFF, Melissa, found this book while cleaning out her grandmother’s house after she passed away.  She generously gave this book to me, as she knows I’m a “collector”.  Ms. Georgia’s cookbook had a ton of handwritten recipes that she had stuck in there as well as newspaper clippings of recipes.  Being that this book is older, most of the recipes aren’t exactly healthy, but it has as much sentimental value as yummy recipes.  cookbook


PaleOMG – my friend Heather (checkout her blog here: NewYorkRootstoSouthernBoots) introduced me to this blog.  I don’t really follow a Paleo diet, but you need to check this blog out specifically for her cocktails!  She also has several cookbooks available.

Southern Bite – I’m not sure how I came across this site, probably Pinterest.  I’ve already bought Stacey Little’s cookbook.  His Fajita Chicken Casserole is to die for – being from Texas, I LOVE a good casserole.  Casserole

skinnytaste – I’ve loved this blog for a while now.  All of Gina Homolka’s recipes include the Weight Watchers Point totals.  I especially love her recipe for 3 Bean Turkey Chili, I make it so frequently that coworkers now ask me to bring it for lunch.  I’ve also made her Cream of Zucchini Soup, which was delish, but be CAREFUL when creaming the soup as I learned the hard way & burned my eye…literally when my Vita Mix top exploded off.  Gina has one beautiful cookbook, that is well-loved in my household, & I think she has another on the way!crockpot-three-bean-turkey-chili


Leave it: I could easily go on & on about the craziness I saw at the Trump Rally last Friday in The Woodlands (I was there to peacefully protest…from the bar as it happened), or about our gun control issues, but all I will say is VOTE this November.  I don’t really care who you vote for, as long as you VOTE.  Come December, if you haven’t VOTED for our next president then you do not get to complain.  This election year has already made history a few times, & that is super exciting!  Let’s all be a part of history.  VOTE, VOTE, VOTE.