Friday Favorites

Another week down! I’m officially done with the Spring semester of my classes, and I’m busy working on making edits to online courses for the summer and fall. I introduced J to Operation Neptune which I found on a DOS game site. He loved it and it’s been great for identifying different math skills he’s mastered, and ones he needs to work on. We also made rainbows this week to put in the windows, and learned about maps, cause and effect, and a particularly exciting lesson on squirrels.

Drawing videos by J’s current favorite author.

My favorite Sunday work-out is a five minute warm-up (10 each of inchworms, plank lunges, reverse snow angels, and hand release push ups, cycle through until timer is done), then I do a burpee challenge, and then end with a ten minute yoga cool down.

Mickey Mouse beignets.

Baby otters!

Double chocolate chip cookie in a skillet.

Selecting the perfect window treatments.

Sparkling sassyfras strawberry tea.

And finally, picking the perfect couch.

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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:



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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Pantry organization essentials

I’m about to get a walk in pantry!! One of the things I’m most excited about for our new house is a pantry with more space. We were in need of more space overall, but especially when it came to food storage. I’ve maxed out our current pantry on organization, so I’m looking forward to having more room for items, and also having more space that the boys can easily access to get their own meals. The following is both what I currently use and what I will be buying new and more of:

The two things I keep in mind with any pantry storage are:

  1. How well does it seal?
  2. How easy is it to clean?

Living in our area with mild winters, hot summers, and quite a bit of rain, ants can be a big issue, so we work hard to avoid them finding their way in to our food.

The big and small wire baskets are for storage of non food items like paper plates, napkins, cupcake liners, lunchboxes, etc.

All of my flour and sugar are stored in tightly sealed rectangle containers.

A big investment I’m making is cereal containers. This is to help prevent spills when the boys pour their own cereal, and also to prevent food from getting outside the bag and into just the cardboard container.

A lazy Susan for unopened ketchup, barbecue, and other sauces.

Labels! These are helpful to not only keep things organized, but also direct the boys towards items.

These three drawer containers are my favorite for storing snacks, breads, and tortillas.

Plastic wicker bins from Target for sorting foods into groups. We use them for separating pasta, rice, oats, and crackers. I read this blog post on having a dinner prep basket, which I think is a genius idea, so I’m definitely going to create that as well.

A handheld vacuum.  One of the things I added was an electrical outlet in the pantry, specifically to plug in our handheld vacuum. This is great for cleaning up quick messes and we have the boys use it on their table chairs to prevent tons of crumbs from building up.

I like the old school soda holders for storing cans and I separate them out by tomato products, veggies, beans, and fruits.

A container or two for granola mixes that the boys can easily access.

A small folding step stool to reach items.

My two main things that I’m excited about is the boys being able to more easily find and access items because it gives them more independence, and I’m also glad to be able to store more items at once.

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Friday Favorites

Another week down…now we’ve been home for six weeks. The boys have hit a pretty steady stride with schoolwork at home, Thursday is usually our toughest day. J typically gets pretty done at that point and so it takes a lot of effort to move through the work with him. We are still going through the Disney Behind the Scenes videos, and the boys did a drawing of Llama Llama Red Pajama online with their art teacher. My classes are in finals and so I’m monitoring those, and steadily overhauling multiple courses to go online only for the Fall. It’s a weird world. Here are some of our favorites of the week (plus two things I purchased from the Sephora sale after my last post):

Frozen s’mores.

Week of outfits.

Sweatpants, but make it fashion.

Banh mi lettuce wraps.

Bible study of the next two weeks.

Hey Brad, how’s the weather?

I added Bumble and Bumble Thermal Protection Mist and It Cosmetics CC cream to my Sephora sale purchases.

Reading Living Forever Chic at night and the Tattooist of Auschwitz during the day.

Finally, tips for decorating your house like a pro.

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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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Sephora Spring Sale

It’s the time of year at Sephora when I stock up, and I was so glad the sale came when it did because I had just ran out of several items. Here’s a breakdown of what I had read recommendations to try, had to get to match tutorials, and what I needed to replenish…

Two things I probably collect way too many of are mascaras and lipglosses. The Benefit Rollerlash could easily be my favorite one. I even like it more than my Dior one, so….high praise.

After watching a Lindsey Reagan Thorne’s five minute face tutorial, I decided to invest in the Cali palette to speed up my morning routine.

Every once in awhile I like a pop of color and Sephora’s contour pencils are my favorite. They go on really easily, and stay put.

I finally gave in to the hype and decided I needed to get Charlotte Tilbury’s lipstick and lip pencil in pillow talk.

I needed a refill of my Anastasia brow gel and Fresh lip balm, so I picked up both of those.

I also gave into the hype and bought the mini size of Olaplex shampoo and conditioner to try out. My hair is super dry right now, so I’m hoping this helps until I can get in to get my hair done (my stylist always does a gloss on my hair when I get it colored to help with the dryness).

I’ve tried other B-serums, but the Drunk Elephant is the best.

I selected a Peter Thomas Roth reward awhile back and it came with the cucumber gel mask. I have recently become obsessed with morning masks, and this one is my favorite. It’s cooling and helps kind of wake up my face in the morning if that makes sense.

Unseen sunscreen. I wear this all day, everyday.

Rose face setting mist. Another Lindsey Reagan Thorne pick, I like the idea of this holding my makeup in place after I’ve put in the effort to do it, ha!

Refill of my Living Proof texture spray, that I use when I do my hair full out.

Bumble and Bumble hairdressers oil for pool time this summer.

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Friday Favorites

We have now been home with the boys for over a month, some days it feels much longer than that, other times it feels hard to believe we are in the middle of April. The boys hit a stride with their online learning this week, and so we are keeping the same schedule as last week with just a few additions. They are still working their way through Disney Imagineering YouTube videos during breakfast time, and we signed up for a free Mystery Science membership. And besides busily adding to cart for The Sephora sale, here are some of our favorites of the week!

Bookmarking rug ideas because I’ve got to buy at least three-four new rugs when we move.

An egg dish to make for breakfast one weekend.

Self care planner to write down work our routines and other notes.

Halal style chicken and rice.

Beverly Cleary was one of my most beloved authors growing-up and I love seeing J read all her books (especially Henry Huggins) with the excitement I did.

The blanket I just ordered for J to hopefully help with his sleep at night.

If you’re going to make a grilled cheese, make a Disney grilled cheese.

A new draw together for us to watch.

And finally, this is the sports broadcasting we need right now.

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Make a Zentangle: Art Project for Kids

The boys’ art teacher has been uploading art videos on YouTube and they have been working their way through them. This week they did Make a Zentagle which was a great project that they were able to follow and complete all on their own while watching the video.

A zentagle uses different patterns to teach line, form, and strokes to create a series of connected images. You can see their in progress here:

Here is more information about the method if you want to discuss it further with your kiddos. And if they are really excited, check out this excerpt from Khan Academy that discusses Shape and form in Pixar in a Box.

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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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Spring Reads


Save Me the Plums

Written by one of my favorite food writers, Ruth Reichl, this book chronicles her time at Gourmet. True to her writing style it was intriguing, heartfelt, and included recipes I can’t wait to try.

On The Bright Side

Written by Melanie Shankle, this book intertwines scripture and everyday occurrences that will make you laugh, think, and find endless things to take note of and remember. There’s always moments when I read Melanie’s books that I think, “woah I needed that”.

The Scent Keeper

Every moment of reading this book, I kept thinking, “can I assign this to my nonverbal class?”, “how can I use this in my nonverbal class?” It is such a great dive into the world of olfactics in a way that I don’t really think has ever been discussed in fiction writing.

Daisy Jones and the Six

I picked this one because of all the hype behind it. Everywhere I read I kept seeing rave reviews. My consensus? It was okay. I did finish it because I wanted to see how it ended, but it’s not one I would read again.

Nothing to See Here

Even though this was fiction, I found some of the plot a little unbelievable (and I’m not talking about the fire starter children). However, I liked the persistence of spirit in the children who, to me, really made the book.

Forever Chic

This is what I call a perfect wind down read. It is fanciful, filled with fun tips, and captures the essence of classy French style.

Among the Mad

My Maisie Dobbs read of the quarter. I’ve said it before, but I’m always amazed at how she interweaves the story with not only a mystery, but also a perspective on Britain after World War I.

And for a quick update on what the boys are reading…

J just finished all of Stuart Gibbs’ Spy School series and loved it. He is currently reading the nonfiction spy book he got for Easter, and the Henry Huggins series. He also is going back through Mo Willems’ books after we watched Mo’s Lunchtime Doodles and my Mom is reading The Phantom Tollbooth to her class online, so he’s watching those.

And A is reading the Rangers Apprentice series and Stuart Gibbs’ Tyrannosaurus Wrecks.

My Mom, sister, and I rotate books, so here is what I have stacked up to read next:

Happy Reading!

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