Sunday Favorites: Falltopia

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.

Five: Voting

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.

Until next time…

Kiss Hug,

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: So Many Shows!


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. IMG_2505

Three: Netflix

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. 1178C0F0-16BF-4A4A-A6FD-A0E44FE1E823_4_5005_c

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. BA1B5FAE-61F3-47FF-90F8-321839B0CFED_4_5005_c

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. 7F351495-6C9C-4A5B-BA2B-C2F4A02D42BD_4_5005_c

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. 9655981E-865C-4718-8D3B-785D02BC637F_4_5005_c

Four: Hulu

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. EA421CC0-AB73-441A-9BF2-35056A59D2B0_4_5005_c

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.D57CB652-8630-46AD-ADC6-2ED2134B6739_4_5005_c

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. C3C6B819-3A5D-46AB-88B5-39A85FEDCE65

What have you been watching?

I hope you all have a good weekend!

Kiss Hug,

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Friday Five: Easy Target

Hi Friends!  I’m back for another Friday Five…my favorite things from the week.

One: Mandy Moore

Have y’all heard Mandy Moore’s new album, Silver Landings?  I am loving it!2B645EF4-E833-4ED2-8484-A3840C7C9293

I have been a fan of hers since she released her album, Coverage in 2003, covering songs that I loved growing up.  She covered James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Blondie, Elton John, etc.

Anyway, Silver Landings is Mandy’s first album since 2009.  2009!  This album has 10 songs, and selfishly I could have used 2 – 5 more songs…it just goes by too fast!  The song “Easy Target” gets stuck in my head & I’m not mad about it.  “If That’s What It Takes” is a beautiful song, gives me all the feels.

Two: Elote Corn Chips

Guys, it’s a love match! IMG_1392

Have you ever had Corn Dip, you know with “Mexi-corn,” mayo, & cheese, that you eat with Frito Scoops?  That is exactly what these Elote chips taste like.  I also bought Everything But the Elote seasoning from Trader Joe’s.  I’m so excited to add that to guacamole.  I think I’m going to crush up some of these chips to use as breadcrumbs for Mac & Cheese or chicken or bacon (say what?).  Hmmm…

Three: Loverly Grey

I started following @loverlygrey on Instagram when I was looking for work wear inspiration about a year ago.  She is a fashion blogger near Atlanta, and can be found here.  Brittany seems like the sweetest person! 0DE51625-9DCB-43E5-97D1-95BBC0BE1CF9She’s expecting baby number 2, so alllllllll the pregnant women I know should check her out.  Brittany also inspired my bob haircut!

Four: Glotion

So, lately I have gotten quite a few comments on how good my skin looks.  I personally don’t think it looks all that special – I have an blemish situation that I am trying to get control of…  The biggest lie teenage girls are ever told by their mothers is that acne will disappear when they become adults.  LIES!!!!

Anyway, I think what people are actually noticing is the glow on my face when wearing makeup.  I owe it all to L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion!  Thank you @whatkatefinds for this coveted recommendation. 0454B29A-49AA-4566-A972-D0EF19CD04B9

I’m so pale, I basically glow in the dark, so I use the lightest shade, but I think it comes in at least three shades.  I like to wear this as a primer for my makeup, but I know some people call pull off wearing it as a tinted moisturizer – lucky them!

Cost: under $12 at any retailer (Target, CVS, my grocery store)

Five: Focaccia Bread

Y’all, you need to replace your garlic bread with Trader Joe’s Raosted Tomato & Parmesan Bread.  First, it looks so fancy.  Second, it is delicious!

Okay, that’s all she wrote folks!  Are y’all liking my Friday Five?  I was thinking every once in awhile of doing a post of five things I don’t like or one thing I don’t like.  Would that be interesting?

Hope you all have a great, germ free weekend!

Kiss Hug,

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Trader Joe’s Haul

Hi friends!  I don’t know about you, but I love when other people post their Trader Joe’s hauls.  All Trader Joe’s are not created equal – mine for example is one of the smaller ones.  Sad face.  With that said, I always still find plenty to fill my cart no matter the season.

This what I bought on a quick sashay through on my way to dog sit for Spring Break. 84929492-3D1E-48B5-B82D-D7A2430DBC8B

Shopping List from the refrigerated section:

  • ready-made lasagna (not pictured because I already cooked it & had it for dinner)
  • carnitas with salsa verde burrito
  • peanut & crispy noodle salad kit (I LOVE an Asian salad)
  • veggies & greens salad kit
  • crunchy slaw ready-made salad
  • lemon chicken & arugula ready-made salad (my favorite)
  • garlic hummus snack packs
  • arugula & parmigiano reggiano ravioli
  • Italian sausage & 4 cheese ravioli (so good!)

Shopping List from the freezer section:

  • orange chicken bowl
  • riced cauliflower stir fry
  • beef & broccoli
  • cheese & tomato pizza

Shopping List from the shelves:

  • chocolate glazed donuts (not pictured as I hid them from the dogs)
  • thumb print cookies
  • pancake bread (breakfast or dessert?)
  • spaghetti squash
  • salsa verde
  • TJ’s marinara sauce
  • corn & poblano chowder
  • white cheddar puffs
  • elote corn chip dippers (run don’t walk for these!)

I went shopping on Friday, it’s now Monday, & I’ve gone through three quarters of the bag of the elote chips.  Y’all, they taste exactly like street corn or Mexi-Corn Dip (if you’re Southern, you know what this dip is).  I ate these with guacamole & pretty much found Mecca.7065EEBB-A1F7-430B-ACC3-C863524A2442For those of you who can’t handle the heat, you will think these chips are kinda spicy as they do have a kick.  I’ll be stock piling these for Corona Virus…that’s the one thing we need right?

Now, for all the sweets…  I don’t typically buy sweets, and when I do they are usually sour straws or something not too sweet like shortbread; however, 2020 has been the year of chocolate craving so far.  Great.  I kinda did a lot of impulse shopping in Trader Joe’s this time…I’m lying, every time.  Every.  Single.  Time.  To be honest, I only had shortbread cookies on my list, but I think it was a Fall/Winter item as they were nowhere to be found.  Oh, the devastation.

What are some of your favorite things from Trader Joe’s?  Leave a comment with your recs.  About 2/3 of my list were things I have never tried.  Anyone else go grocery shopping & then decide you’re too tired to cook after that strenuous hour in the store? Yeah, me neither.

Anyway, I hope y’all have a great week, & make sure to was your hands often!  Until Friday…

Kiss Hug,

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