Friday Five: Super Sized!

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!

One: Down East

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.

Three: Enchiladas

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:

  1. Will you eat fish? No, that would be pescatarian (can you feel me rolling my eyes?).
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Six: Folklore

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.

Seven: Chapstick

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!

Nine: Masks

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.

Y’all also know how much I love Sea Marie Designs, & they have really pretty masks.

Ten: To All the Boys

Last but not least, Part 2 of the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy is out on Netflix. Might I suggest a double feature this weekend of Part 1 & 2?

Okay, that will do it for this week! I hope you all have a great weekend.

Kiss Hug,

Friday Five: Important PSA


Hi friends.  This is probably the most important blog post I’ve ever written.  If you don’t read all the way to the end, please at least read my first two favorites below.

One: Kids & Emergencies

Tuesday evening, my friend Jessica called me & told me that her SIL passed away unexpectedly.  Jessica has okayed me making this post, but I don’t feel comfortable going into their personal tragedy.  Through our conversation we realized two glaring facts.

  1. Parents please make sure your children know when, why, & how to dial 911 & know your home address.  If your kids can play apps on your phone, then they need to know how to call for help.
    • The general rule: Dial 911 any time there’s a threat to life or property — such as an accident, a crime, a fire or a medical emergency, says Ty Wooten, education director for the National Emergency Number Association, also known as the 911 Association.
  2. Now that most people no longer have a home phone or land line, please make sure you & anyone who uses your phone knows how to dial 911 from a locked cell phone.
    • I personally have an iPhone 11, with facial recognition & no home button.  If someone other than me picks up my phone, it will prompt them for a passcode.  In the bottom left corner you can click “Emergency” to dial for help. I believe this is similar for all iPhones. 6F396BF7-FE68-4448-97BE-90AD5252FE39_1_201_a
    • Like iPhones, Androids also have an “Emergency Call” button on a locked screen.

Please note that I am not a parent, but I needed to know this for myself.   Making emergency calls was something I never really thought about, but what happened to my friends family has brought this to the forefront of my mind.

If you are so inclined, please pray for my friend & her family.

Two: Code Word

While we’re on the subject of safety, I have seen a few posts recently on the Nextdoor app, for my neighborhood, regarding strange cars driving slowly specifically when children are around.  Obviously this is creepy as hell.

When I was a child, my parents & I had a code word for strangers.  If someone asked me to get in their car or go somewhere with them, I was to ask them for the code word.  If they didn’t know it I was supposed to run to the nearest trusted adult &/or start screaming for help.

This is still a good idea even in today’s times.  My word when I was young was Rumplestiltskin.  Make sure it is not a common word, but one that your kiddos can remember.

Three: Feel Good TV Shows

Okay, so my first two favorites are very serious, but this next one will definitely lighten the mood.  Last weekend I started rewatching The Mindy Project & it has been the delight of my week.  I laugh out loud at each episode.  Mindy Kaling can do no wrong in my book. E1DE68B0-0924-4F20-92DB-0C36ED6557AB_4_5005_c

Like FRIENDS & How I Met Your Mother, there are tons of celebrity guest spots which I had totally forgotten about.  Some of the guests were on this show before they were well known.

Four: Face Masks

I got some fun new face masks this week from Crooked Media.  They are currently sold-out, but you can get on the email list for restock notifications. A6D6ECE0-1377-4A48-B886-5CC562D2D83F

If your not looking to make such a statement, might I suggest supporting my favorite local small business, Sea Marie Designs. 0666A9E8-7DC6-40BC-926B-54E3BB543D95_4_5005_c

Five: Baked Spaghetti & Meatballs

Baking spaghetti is now my favorite way to eat pasta.

I buy frozen meatballs & cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, get a big pot of water boiling for the pasta.  You can use any pasta you like.  Last night I used a short, fun-shaped pasta that sauce would cling to.

While the meatballs are baking & the water is coming to a boil, sauté an onion & some garlic (to your taste).  Once softened, add jarred marinara sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, & a tablespoon of tomato paste.  I also add Italian seasoning & red pepper flakes.  Let that simmer until the meatballs are done baking.

Cook the pasta & once done add to the sauce & toss together.  Nestle the meatballs into the pasta, cover with mozzarella, & bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  The cheese creates a nice toasty “crust” on top & the flavors really meld together.  You will not be disappointed.  Side note, if your pots can’t go in the oven transfer to a baking dish.

I hope this particular post was enlightening & feel free to share if you know someone who would benefit from my PSAs.

I hope you all have a lovely Mother’s Day weekend.

Kiss Hug,

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Friday Five: Watermelon Sugar High

Hi friends!  I’ve set a new goal for myself…  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have posted three new posts in the last 3 weeks.  Yea me!  So, to keep that momentum going I have decided to do a new post every Friday of my five favorite things from the week.  They can range from products, clothing, podcasts, recipes, etc.

So without further ado, here are my favorite things from February 22 – 28.

One: Cuticle Serum

I was introduced to Olive & June a few months ago by Katie from @WhateKateFinds (a must follow on IG).  Y’all, I am in LOVE with the Cuticle Serum!7DC442A4-2863-4D8E-B1A6-A6AC38BA026D_1_201_aI use it at least twice a day (morning & night); my hang nails are virtually gone & my manicures seem to last so much longer.2C6299A0-0CE9-4955-B058-96A09602F726This Manicure is going strong on day 11, and I am hard on my nails.  I pretty much keep a serum on my nightstand, one on my desk, & one in my purse.  I’ve lost one, so I plan to buy a new one today & a couple of the new Spring nail polishes, which I also love.

Cost: $30 – I know it is a little pricey, but totally worth it.

Two: Sea Marie Designs

I recently discovered a new accessories online boutique, Sea Marie Designs.  Casey (great name!) from @Case.Rutherford on IG posted one of Chelsea’s headbands and I was hooked.  It took me a while to get on board with this trend, but I’m here!  Chelsea has been a dream to work with, her customer service & timeliness is amazing.  The price point for everything I’ve purchased has been under $20 each – 3 headbands, a pair of earrings, a bracelet, & a necklace…so far. :).

She came out with Spring headbands this week…looks like I’ll be placing another order soon. 

Three: HBH Pasta Recipe

So, my New Year’s resolution for 2020 is to make recipes out of my cookbooks instead of printing them from Pinterest, blogs, etc.  I’ve been making two recipes a week out of a cookbook.  That said, I did cheat & make one recipe I got in an email from Half Baked Harvest, but I have both of Tieghan’s cookbooks so I don’t feel too bad about it.

On Monday I made her Roaster Red Pepper Alla Vodka Pasta with Cheesy Oregano Breadcrumbs.  Y’all, do not sleep on this recipe!9C95A46B-CA30-4316-AF57-7E6512031865  It was so good & can feed a small crowd; I froze some of the leftovers.  If you do “Meatless Mondays” or are trying to cut down on your meat in take, this could be a great option for you.  VanderPump Rules lied to us, it is about the pasta. 😉355F86DE-EE26-42DF-8C77-599A13E9BA8E

Four: Harry Styles

Y’all, I’m unexpectedly in love with Harry Styles’ newest album, Fine Line.  I bought the album after I saw Harry on SNL.  The first time I listened to it I thought that he was hungry because Harry mentions food in just about every song.  My favorite song on the album is “Adore You” but “Watermelon Sugar” is an instant dance party for me.

Five: Schitt’s Creek ADA5364D-8418-4363-BB7B-0317665420D0

Ew, David.  Y’all, I realize that I may be the last one on the Schitt’s Creek train, but I am OBSESSED.  I have perfected my Alexis impression, ummm you’re welcome.  When I tried to explain this show to Mama J, I told her that it is the opposite of the Beverly Hillbillies.  Instead of poor folks becoming rich, it is rich people becoming poor & the chaos that ensues is this magical show. She started the season this week!  I’m currently on Season 5, and still have Season 6 to go but I think I’m trying to prolong my love affair.

On a totally different note, Real Housewives of NY is coming back April 2.  Should I start recapping episodes again?

Until next Friday…

Kiss Hug,

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