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,

Friday Five: Faux Vacation

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Hi friends!  Happy Friday!  I know y’all are all dying for a tower garden update. 😉 I’m happy to report that it is doing so well!  My squash, zucchini, strawberries, mint, & lettuces are doing especially great. IMG_1808

What do y’all think I should do with all the extra lettuces?  Should I plant them in a pot?  In the ground?

One: Carnitas

On Monday, I tried my hand at making carnitas for the first time.  I was super impressed! BF69DA2E-5755-4AE1-A5BD-DF4A701D7E75_1_201_a

So, I used The Defined Dish’s recipe from her cookbook.  I checked her blog & didn’t see the recipe there, but she had a lot of similar recipes.  What I loved about this recipe is that the carnitas kind of had a neutral roast flavor, which for me means that I can add many different flavors to it depending on my meal.

The other night I had a baked potato for dinner & added a little BBQ sauce to the carnitas & topped my potato.  I also added a little salsa verde to it for tacos one night.  You could make a little gravy, add some potatoes & carrots for a pot roast, or make a modified shepherd’s pie or stew. So many options!  As someone who doesn’t love leftovers, this is perfect for me.

Two: Baby Foot Peel

I LOVE to do foot peels.  Any brand will do.  You basically wear booties around for about 1 – 1.5 hours (or like me take a nap with them on).  Rinse your feet, and in about a week your feet will peel like a sunburn (it doesn’t hurt) or a snake skin.  It is gross, but so satisfying.  You can’t get pedicures at the moment, so get one from Amazon. FF282E85-C7CA-4AFB-A487-D995E58A74C4

Three: Jewelry Cleaner

I was influenced by @things.i.bought.and.liked for this jewelry cleaner.  She was right, it is the best cleaner I have found in a long, long time.  It’s the next best thing to a polishing machine.

I cleaned a necklace that I wear every single day & rarely take off.

Before (left) & After (right):

Cost: $18.00 – this would make a fantastic Mother’s Day gift!

Four: Nail Polish Organizer

My life has been changed!  I got this amazing organizer for my nail polish.  It holds 48 polishes, which sadly is still not enough for my collection, but it is now much more manageable.

Believe it or not, none of these are duplicates!  I have about 10 more polishes & all my nail care stuff in an additional tub.

Five: Vacation in a Diffuser

I think many of you probably know that I am a huge fan of essential oils.  This week I have really been diffusing oil blends that smell like a vacation, at least to me.

My favorite blend at the moment is: 8 drops of Lime, 5 drops of Jade Lemon, 5 drops of Bergamot, 3 drops of Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, & 3 drops of Spearmint.  Smells like a tropical destination.

What are y’all loving this week?

Kiss Hug,

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