Coping


Wow. Words cannot express what this year has been. It is a year in which we have learned to live through stress and despite continual stress weighing down upon us we can still keep walking through it. After barely a day, maybe only two hours, of the boys returning to school our school system was the victim of a huge cyber ware attack that essentially took away all internet capabilities for every school. The kids all had to go home, and we are finishing out the week with no school, while all of the teachers have to rally to figure it out without the devices that they have been required to put everything on over the last eight months. It is completely unimaginable and also, COVID. I honestly, just cannot figure out where or how to bring light to this situation with the boys, because they are just tapped out, as we all are. However, with it all we are playing monopoly, practicing chess skills, taking notes on real paper for a science project and sending huge prayers, thoughts, and hope to all of our city school teachers. This year is definitely one for the history books, friends.

 

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Life lately

It’s hot. I always forget about this time of year and then we get here and I’m like “oh yes, this is winter/summer”, which means instead of being so cold you can’t go outside, it’s so hot you can’t go outside. That being said A and his cousin J have still had some golf matches:


And J has been helping me water the plants:


We made Thanksgiving in July with a smoked turkey and grilled peaches topped with vanilla ice cream. Honestly I’d like to make this a new tradition:

And Chloe has taken to snuggling in J’s weighted blanket if he leaves it lying around:

And finally this grasshopper looking like it dropped from the sky onto the planet is very 2020:

 

 

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What’s Up Wednesday


Here is a bit of what we’ve been up to lately!

 

1. What we’re eating this week…

Leftovers. And cleaning out the freezer and fridge before we move. Texas chicken chowder was one of our favorites this past week when we had a cold snap (again).

2. What I’m reminiscing about:

Baseball season. J is missing it a lot right now, and we are missing watching him play!

3. What I’m loving:

These two palettes are my favorite right now. Pick them up before the Sephora sale ends!

4. What we’ve been up to:

Schoolwork at home. And long walks on the sidewalk around the neighborhood.

5. What I’m dreading:

Probably the final pack out of our house. We’ve got most things done, but all those little things you have to do right at the end is stressful to me because I like to have it all done in advance.

 

6. What I’m working on:

Converting a face to face course to online only for the Fall. It’s about a 60-100 hour process so that’ll be most of my summer work. I’m also trying to create a schedule for it, so it’s not completely overwhelming. I took a tip from Mo Willems and am working on a color coded spreadsheet. The screenshot above is just the first page.

7. What I’m excited about:

Sitting out on my back porch this fall with this backdrop.

8. What I’m watching/reading:

The Last Dance. We are watching this with the boys on ESPN2 (the ESPN version leaves in all language, etc, just FYI). If you loved basketball as a kid, or have kids who love sports or basketball right now, it’s a great documentary to watch.

Seinfeld Episodes. We are going through all the episodes of Seinfeld at night, because there is hardly anything else on. And I cannot watch another episode of House Hunters.

I’m reading The Tatooist of Aushwitz during the day. I tried to read this before bed, but then I couldn’t sleep, so I’m reading it during our quiet reading times in the afternoon.

I’m reading Living Forever Chic at night. Just a fun escape from our everyday reality.

9. What I’m listening to:

Samin Nosrat’s podcast Home Cooking.

 

10. What I’m wearing:

Shorts and T-Shirts or exercise clothes.

 

11. What I’m doing this weekend:

Packing.

 

12. What I’m looking forward to next month:

The pool at my parents, and maybe getting my hair done if things open back up.

13. What else is new:

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Exercise for sleep


I was trying to think of a catchy title for this post, and literally that was the best I had. I’m used to in a typical week, standing for about three hours straight several days of the week, and then walking about 1-2 miles with that. I get really antsy when I have to sit for long periods of time and if I don’t get enough activity in, I just lay awake at night thinking about ALL THE THINGS. With our state stay at home order, I am obviously not going to exercise classes either. However, my small group exercise coach is amazing and has set-up all of our workouts virtually! This is a breakdown of what I do every single week right now to stay active.

First, I work out seven days a week. Yup, seven. See above. Work-out = sleep.

Monday, I do a circuit force class which is a combination of cardio and strength training.

Tuesday is an intensity class that is thirty minutes of high intense cardio.

Wednesday is all strength training.

Thursday is intensity again.

Friday is Pilates.

Saturday, we do a round robin of different styles depending on the week.


My Monday through Saturday classes are all taught (virtually) with Stronghold Fitness, which if you’re local you can find here.

Sunday, I do at least thirty minutes of yoga and I’ve been doing a runners work-out with B.

In addition to that, I walk with the boys at least three-four times a week for at least a mile. On Sunday we take an extra long walk, at least two miles. We just go around our neighborhood as that’s the best way to keep the social distancing requirement.

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Let’s Look: Inside Your Purse


Today I’m linking up with Mix and Match Mama blog to discuss my favorite bags, including the one I got from Target that gets endless compliments! And I decided to feature a throwback of me carrying my favorite travel backpack in Disney with the boys last summer (sigh, sad).

First, up is my everyday purse:

This Dooney and Burke was a gift from my parents and I carry it pretty much all the time. I don’t like a huge purse, but I like to have enough room for my carry-all bag, my wallet, keys, and phone. This one is perfect for that without having to cram everything in it.

Second up is what I use when I need a slightly larger bag, I use it when I’m going to meetings where I need my iPad, or notebook, but don’t want to carry my work bag,

This Fossil bag is sturdy material and features a shorter strap, and also comes with a longer canvas strap, so you can convert it to a crossbody if you want.

Third, is my work bag:

This is the bag I always get compliments on and “where did you get that?” It’s Mossimo from Target online from five years ago. It’s held up really well, and fits my laptop, notebook, all the items from my purse I toss in, and my lunch box. The handles are starting to fray a bit, but that’s my fault from hanging it on a hook in the laundry room.

Finally, is my travel backpack:

Obviously we aren’t going anywhere right now, but this is my backpack I take when we go on trips or to Disney, because it’s lightweight, lined, and has a covered zipper to prevent rain from seeping in.

And these are my two carryall items:


My Kate Spade wallet and then my Lily Pulitzer zip top bag.And here’s a peek inside that bag:


I always have a couple of lip glosses, a small mascara, Cover FX setting powder, Dramamine and Benadryl. And band-aids and neosporin because I have boys that live a “watch this!” life. My dream bag would be Louis Vuitton medium Neverfull, so I’m saving my pennies for that one!

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Life Lately

We are in the midst of week three of social distancing, which is actually physical distancing. B has done the majority of our grocery shopping and we have spent a lot of time hanging out in our front yard, backyard, and taken the occasional drive by our house under construction. This is technically the boys’ Spring Break, but we are still trying to keep a semblance of a schedule because we are going to be doing this thing for the foreseeable future. I thought I’d share a bit of our life lately around here:

This is my view in the late afternoons when the boys have their time to play electronics. And when I do the majority of my online work and Zoom meetings:

We have been trying to walk on any day we can as well:

I love this picture because it’s so deceiving. They were arguing here about I don’t know what. Anything. Everything. They spend a lot of time together right now.

J has loved his teachers at school posting story time on YouTube and we sit and watch those quite a bit:

Some of the story times have also had activities and one day we made butterflies:

I’ve been virtually working out at least five days a week, and sometimes I have extra help:

And we are still loving Mo Willems lunch doodles and it’s something the boys look forward to every weekday:

And A has been helping with dinner quite a bit:

The boys have done really well so far with this crazy time that is at times difficult to understand or explain. However, it’s not perfect and there’s a lot of times we all feel like this:

And that’s a bit of our life lately!

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This and that

In Alabama some winters we have super cold temps and then some winters it’s all:

And we’re all:

Now I know some of you may be in drought conditions and I hear you that rain is good, however, this is like “I don’t live in Seattle and my umbrella is broken from overuse” rain. And it’s hardly ever that sprinkle rain either. It’s the knock you over in the wind rain, take your umbrella and throw it across the street rain. So the rain stopped for a minute…and they were able to start framing our house! So exciting!

 

 

 

This is looking out towards the backyard. Today is our last full day of no rain before it starts up again, so hopefully they’ll get a lot accomplished. In addition to that excitement, I made a trip to Target and found golf polos for A:

These are good weight and quality, perfect considering he now has golf every week and a match once a month. I also found new snack mix for me:

This is free of a lot of common allergens and is really tasty (a difficult combination to find). I also stopped by my Mom’s class this week to see her little flock of ducks and chicks. This little one was so sweet:

I threw together thirty minutes of work-out one night by doing five minutes of warm-up:

And then of my fitness instructor’s fifteen minute challenges:

And another fifteen of yoga tone. Which was definitely a compliment to this tasty lunch I picked up on my way to work the other day:

The episode about Chicken Salad Chick has long been one of my favorite How I Built This podcast episodes, but amazingly I’ve never actually made it to the restaurant. I got the pimento cheese and original chicken salad scoop and it was honestly enough for two lunches, but so good! And it comes with a cookie, which was an awesome surprise.

And finally, I took advantage of a GAP/Old Navy sale to buy J new pants because:

He has worn a hole in almost all of his track pants.

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The sweet spot

Oh, how I love Valentine’s Day! The boys love it too. I wasn’t going to get out decorations this year because we are prepping to put the house on the market, but I decided to put out just a few. They are so excited! It also reminded me that even though we are moving, it’s good to stay positioned in the now. I have always been a future thinker, what’s next, when are we going to get there. However, really in the past few years I have been working to think about future steps, while also remaining present in the now. Now that I’ve gone completely philosophical, let’s take a step back into reality with a few items that would be high on my Valentine gift list!

First, a set of fun barrettes, I like finding items that are more trend oriented at a reasonable price.

A sweet sweater that has a gorgeous bow detailing in the back.

I llama love this pouch, and I do!

A re-stock of my favorite everyday perfume.

Fun cozy slides.

Heart hoop earrings.

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My favorite tea

My work afternoons at home consist of quite a bit of grading, lesson planning, interspersed with laundry, housework, catching up on volunteer things, etc. One of the things that I frequently do to break up the day (because your eyes do start to glaze over, after reading fifty papers), is make tea and have one of my Milk Bar cookies that I got for Christmas. My tea making has become a bit elaborate, but it’s so good, I had to share:

First, make 12 oz of almost boiling water (right before the tea kettle starts to whistle). Then, steep 2 tsp of Old Fashioned Birthday Cake Piper and Leaf tea for seven minutes in the water. Then add 1-2 tsp of local honey, 1 packet of collagen and stir. Finally, add 1-2 TBS original nutpod creamer. It’s so delicious! Enjoy it with any cookie, but a Milk Bar cookie is especially sweet:

 

If I really need a break, I also throw in an episode of The Crown and flip through my Magnolia Journal or InStyle magazine, and then back to grading!

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Puzzle of the month

Putting together puzzles has become one of our favorite wind down activities during the week. I purchase one every month or so, and we slowly put it together, doing just a few pieces (or more) at a time. I’ve found that it keeps me from sitting down and immediately checking social media. I’ve collected up some of our favorites to share!

Popsicles

New York City Subway

Summer at the Amusement Park

World Map

Winter Wonderland

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