Friday Favorites

We are officially in full school/work mode! I have one more Sephora sale item to share, which is my NARS bronzer and blush duo. It adds a subtle glow, perfect for work. My lipstick is Laura Mercier Devotion (sadly not at Sephora), with a swipe of NARS gloss. It’s bright and happy, perfect for a busy Thursday.

Already working on my office plan for when we move back into our main building at work next summer.

The most iconic red carpet dresses.

Lunch for next week.

The cutest little Halloween planters.

The controversy is real.

Books to add to my reading list.

Super feminine hair ties, perfect for top knots!

Weekend skin care routine.

Finally, slow cooker mojo pork with Cuban-style black beans.

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Sephora summer save sale

Whether I wear no make-up:

 

Or have fully done my make-up:

I always keep an ongoing list for must purchases when Sephora has a sale. Right now their summersave code gets you 15% off if you are VIB and 20% off if you are Rouge. This time around the big four I was out of was foundation, my Naked 2 eye shadow basics palette (finally back in stock), hydration serum, and styling cream:

As you can see, I’ve used these significantly (I threw the hydration serum away because it was completely gone). NARS is by far my favorite foundation of the year. I like that I can change the coverage if I use a beauty blender or a foundation brush. I love the neutrals of the NAKED 2 palette, I’ve probably had it longer than you should. B and I have used the styling creme for years. I like that it has hold and creates volume without being sticky or stiff. And finally, the hydration serum. This isn’t a moisturizer on its own, but helps to lock in your moisturizer better. I use it with the retinol cream I picked up at the last Sephora sale.

I picked up all four plus I’m testing out Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen. I’m hoping this will be a bit more mattifying than the current sunscreen I’m wearing to work under my make-up. It’s so hot right now here, that you only step outside and feel like your make-up is melting off. In addition, I grabbed two samples, one is a sleeping cream that has a really high rating on Sephora and the other is a sample refill of my Lancôme eyelash primer. I combine the primer with Covergirl exhibitionist mascara and my mascara doesn’t budge.

I’m all stocked up! Until the next sale!

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Lemon pudding cookie cups

J has asked repeatedly for two weeks to please, please make the cookie cups we made awhile ago. And by awhile ago, I mean two years. J tends to think of something then decide he wants to do it, and then ask me about it until we do it. Which is why on the craziest of Monday’s, we made cookie cups. Thankfully, this is a super easy recipe. All you need is a small box of vanilla pudding, lemon pudding, lemon Oreos, whip cream, milk, and a gummy octopus (optional).

First, make the vanilla pudding according to package directions and split amongst four cups (this recipe is super rich, so you could spread it across more glasses for smaller portions).

Then let the cups chill in the fridge for about five minutes. While doing so, crush up your lemon cookies (we used one third of a package).

Then make the lemon pudding. Divide half of crushed cookies on top of the vanilla layer, and then add the lemon pudding divided amongst the cups, then add the rest of the crushed cookies divided on top.

That’s it! You can eat them immediately or cover with foil and when you are ready to serve add whipped cream and your octopus gummy.

That’s it! So simple, and fun!

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Blush & Print for Fall

I have a bit of a confession. I’m super lazy when it comes to accessories. I’ll spend time carefully planning my outfit the night before, and then when I go to put on accessories the next morning, I either a) forget, or b) feel overwhelmed trying to pick them out. In a move to combat that I’ve started stream lining my accessories, creating a capsule collection of them and then switching out outfits that coordinate. I’ve created three different looks to share, all using the same accessories, just switching out the outfits! Here is the line-up of accessories:

A fun essentials clutch for my purse.

An investment purse to wear with everything.

Cute peep-toe booties to transition to fall.

Hoops that add a bit of sparkle but aren’t overwhelming in size (I go with smaller hoops because when I teach larger hoops will swing around when I talk….my students would say I’m pretty animated, ha!).

My favorite lip gloss for when I remember after I get somewhere that I didn’t put on lipstick, which is often.

I invested in several pairs of sunglasses this year and this pair was one of them.

I love stretch bracelets because they tend to not slide up and down my arm and they don’t have to be sized.

And finally, a cute cellphone case that I can switch out easily (I also have this one).

First up, is an outfit for work:

The top is Target and the black jeans are Madewell. If I had a meeting I’d switch out the jeans for these pants (and if you want to take the outfit even further into fall get the wool-blend version).

Second up, is an outfit for work or going out:

The dress I purchased for 60% off this weekend, so if you have a Gap/Banana Republic Card be sure to check it out! The denim jacket is on my fall list from Nordstrom.

And finally, an outfit to wear to go volunteer and then remove accessories and switch shoes for the gym. Or just remove accessories and shoes and do yoga.

These leggings are a thicker weight and the sweatshirt is comfy, but still stylish, layered with this sports bra and this tank.

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Friday Favorites

We made it through the first week of school! And yes, the picture of A is from Kindergarten to Fifth. I’m still in a bit of disbelief that this is his last year of elementary school. As far as schedules go, I’ve been trying to get up at my normal work time, even though I don’t go back for another week and a half. I think we’ve progressively gotten more tired as the week has continued, so we are definitely ready for the weekend!

Home shopping on Amazon.

A flank steak marinade that got rave reviews from all my boys.

Classic fall pieces.

Four letter food words.

A celebration of color.

Styling black leggings for fall.

Home library goals.

Slow cooker chicken burrito bowls.

And finally, the podcast I’ve got on my list for my drive to work next week.

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Capt. Cook’s


The Polynesian was really our second resort on our last Disney trip. We can now say we’ve eaten at every restaurant on property except for the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, which the boys now have on their bucket list for one of our future Disney trips (which they are always, always planning).  Before the Villains After Hours Party on our last night there, we had a quick dinner at a Capt. Cook’s before heading into the park.

One of the things about Capt. Cook’s that makes it unique is that it’s open 24/7. It’s one of the few restaurants on property that does this, which makes it very convenient for those that are arriving to their resort late at night. We were not eating late, but it is nice to have the option, and we considered walking back through and grabbing muffins after the Villains Party, but we were pretty exhausted.

The theming here is in keeping with most of the resort, but I really enjoyed the poster-like vacation wall decor:

There is also a microwave at this station, and there was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We sat indoors because it was raining that afternoon. The boys ordered their standard meals:

 

Macaroni and cheese and a cheeseburger.

I ordered the Hawaiian flatbread:

The topping placement was a little haphazard, but it was very tasty and a significant amount of food. The boys each had a small piece of my flatbread in addition to their meal.

B ordered the turkey sandwich:

It had lettuce, tomato, and bacon on whole grain bread. B said it was good and not dry (which is a good recommendation from him because he doesn’t use mayo or mustard on sandwiches).

After we were done, we headed upstairs, hopped on the monorail, and traveled to Magic Kingdom for the Villains After Hours! While Capt. Cook’s is probably not a “must do” food place, it’s a great choice if you are monorail resort hopping on a whim, staying at The Polynesian, or just looking for a place to that is quick service with unique choices. Our menu choices were pretty standard, but you can check out the more adventurous fare here!

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Packing their own lunch

In a brand new decision this year, A decided that he wanted to make his own lunch. J quickly joined in and also declared that he wanted to make his own lunch. Inspired by Mix and Match Mama’s post on this awhile back, I decided to let the boys give it a try. I say give it a try, because I wanted to make sure they understood that if they made it, they were also going to put away everything they got out to make it, that they cleaned up any messes, and they didn’t turn it into a crazy role playing game that involved yelling (if you’re thinking…how can your kids turn making lunch into a game….oh they can. They Mary Poppins’ stuff to the extreme here. Here’s a little bit more about what I did!

First, I made sure things were easily accessible:

One spot for, yogurt, cheese sticks, apple sauce packs, lunchables, etc. I also cut the grapes into smaller bunches, made small bags of carrot sticks, and then got the celery bags that are individual sticks.

Then, I made a guide list for them:

It’s not fancy. There is no pretty design, or written on special paper, I just made a list. They have to get one thing from each group, and then I check it at the end.  Then they zip it up and put it in the fridge. In the morning I slip in an ice pack, and write on their napkins (they’ve had a note from me everyday on their napkin since preschool. My Mom did that, too!). They were so proud that they made it all by themselves!

 

This is definitely a routine! We are headed back to school this week, I can hardly believe it. And no, the five Fritos were not for J’s lunch, ha! I also set out their back to school surprises:

 

New books for them to read in car line (Magic Tree House for J and The Van Gogh Deception for A), new socks, and Musee bath balm, because who doesn’t need a nice calming bath after a busy first day of school?! Happy back to school, friends!

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Friday Favorites

Soak up that last bit of screen time, kids. School starts next week! And soccer, and Cub Scouts, and golf lessons, and……I’m already tired thinking about it. Kind of wishing we had one more week of summer, but then J and A start singing loudly again and I’m pretty fine with them going back to school. I’ve just about wrapped up my summer class and now I’m going full speed toward completing the starting lesson plans for my fall courses. And in between all of that, here are some of my favorites of the week!

If I trade the soy sauce for coconut aminos and leave out the sesame, I could definitely whip up this chicken and broccoli for dinner this week.

The yoga practice I’ve loved this week.

Pink and sporty for late summer.

Seven decorating tips for the home.

Summer Sunday suppers.

Modern beauty and Manet.

Beach chic decorating.

Natalia Dyer’s make-up routine….pardon me while I go order more Glossier products.

Starting a plan for Fall Break.

And finally, carrot hummus for work day lunches.

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Cooking with kids

As the boys are getting older they have become more interested in learning how to cook and bake different things. While, I love that they are interested and want to help, I’ve been working through the challenge of them “helping” and me keeping my sanity in the process. I have always used cooking as a bit of personal therapy/calm down at the end of the day. It’s where B and I discuss our days, prep stuff together, etc. When the boys were little they would happily help me prep a few items, hand me spices, mix things, but now they want to do it all. So, I’ve worked on a few things as they are older that have made a big difference, and thought I would share.

First, helping clean up as you go. I have found cooking/baking is so necessary for J. He is a go go go kiddo and this has really helped him to learn he has to slow down. You can’t whisk as hard as possible or turn the mixer on high without making a mess. However, who cares about making a mess if you don’t have to clean it up? I’m a clean as you go baker. When we get done with a bowl, a spoon, whatever it is, it gets rinsed and goes in the dishwasher. This has helped immensely in the boys not running in to help and then leaving when they get bored and leaving me with the mess.

Second, follow the steps. Reading a recipe is a method and can be a bit of a learning curve. We will go through the recipe together and I have them help me collect the ingredients we need, so they not only know what we are using but also where it is stored.

Third, walk away when necessary. Obviously you should be standing there when they are doing tasks that need supervision, but I try to let them be independent, so I’m not over instructing and correcting them. For example, when J was scooping cookie dough, I showed him how and then I worked on cleaning up the flour from the sink. I was there if he had a question, but not right there telling him it was too much or too little.

For this particular baking session we made Picky Palate’s Jack Jack Cookie Num Nums. We altered the recipe just a tad, using milk chocolate chips because we couldn’t find chunks, and using a regular muffin tin. We lowered the baking time to between 10-15 minutes to adjust for all this and they turned out excellent!

I also made only half the batter and then refrigerated the other half to make next week (I would say this method would make about 24 total cookies:

You are supposed to eat them warm, so for any leftover cookies, we just popped them one the microwave for about 15-20 seconds to warm it up.

 

These are my new favorite way to make (and eat!) chocolate chip cookies:

 

 

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The Polite Pig

To say Disney Springs has grown since Downtown Disney was first created would be the understatement of the year. Every time we go to Disney there are new shops and restaurants to visit. However, we have some that are our standard favorites, and I’m sharing one of those today along with a few tips for heading to Disney Springs during the warmer months. First up, let’s talk about one of our favorite lunch places, The Polite Pig.

We have visited The Polite Pig before, and there are three things that make it one of our favorites. First, it’s fast casual, but they bring the food to you. I like this because we don’t have to wrangle trays trying to get to our seats like a lot of quick service in the parks. Second, the prices are super reasonable for the amount of food you get. A lot of the meals are shareable, and the boys will usually get a kids’ meal and then eat some of the brisket off of my plate. Third, like one of our favorite restaurants at home, there isn’t a “waiter”, but there are people who will come and refill your drink and check on you during your meal (side note: you can tip these servers when you pay at the front when your order, so if you’re wondering what the tip area is for, this is it).

On this trip I ordered the brisket and cauliflower:

B got the pulled pork sandwich:

A got the kids’ pulled pork sandwich:

 

And J got the chicken fingers and fries:

All of our meals were tasty, flavorful, and I probably could’ve eaten another helping of cauliflower. My only regret was we went too early to get one of the famous Gideon Bakery chocolate chip cookies that they have (you can usually get them after 4:00 p.m.). Oh! You also can pick from a selection of sauces with your meal. And when you’re done, they bus the table, so you can just get up and go.

Now, on to a couple of extra tips! It gets really hot at Disney Springs from May-October, so I always suggest getting there when they open at 10:00 a.m. shopping a bit then having lunch and leaving to go back to the resort pool (our favorite plan). Or set-up a table service reservation for 7:00 p.m. then wait until late afternoon (around 5:00 p.m.) and head there, do some shopping and then go to dinner. It tends to be super crowded at night, so we opt for the earlier option quite a bit more. If you stay at Port Orleans, you can take the boat!

However, if you are driving over to Disney Springs, choose your parking garage wisely. All of the parking garages are free, but because of the size of Disney Springs some are more convenient than others depending on where you are eating/shopping. For example, The Polite Pig is right next to The Lime Garage.

We parked there and did some shopping and then had lunch! After that we headed back to the resort and had a calm afternoon because we were headed to Villains After Hours that night. Disney Springs is definitely a great way to spend some non-park time and The Polite Pig is a great place to eat while you are there! For our previous review of The Polite Pig check here.

My sunnies, shirt, shorts, and shoes.

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