Friday Favorites

Friday favorites featuring two of my favorite people in the whole world, A and my Mom. My Mom is just awesome, plain and simple. She works full time, has kept the boys two afternoons a week since they were babies, taught me how to study, how to shop, and most importantly taught me how to be a good person, teacher, and Mama.

So along with two of my favorite people here are some of my favorites of the week:

A city guide to one of our favorite quick trips: Nashville.

The most colorful book of colorful paper projects, J would love this!

The best way to sculpt and tone.

A better bedtime routine.

The best investments for your home.

Spring date night details.

The best way to get hydrated skin, helpful for my seriously dry skin…apparently even in summer.

Two things to make you laugh, balance is a four letter word and the best dance-off of the week.

Finally, feels like summer.

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Spring reading review

It’s time for our Spring reading round-up! For as long as I can remember, reading has been our family wind-down every evening. Now that J is reading as well, it’s fun to listen to him read his books out loud to us every night.

A’s absolute favorite book right now is The Wild Robot. He’s read it at least three times since he got it for Christmas. He also read The Wild Robot Escapes and said it was good, but not as good as the original. He is also steadily working through every series of the 39 clues books, right now he’s on the Unstoppable series.

 

J is loving all Elephant and Piggie books, and two of his recent library loves are Petra and a Baseball Poems book.

 

Petra always makes J giggle, who knew a rock could be so silly?

 

I recently finished Teach Students How to Learn (work related). This is an excellent book if you are a teacher or parent and want to equip your kids with study skills that will help them from now through college (and help prevent the burnout that leads to drop-out):

And I read the Agatha Christie book Toward Zero, a quick little mystery read with a surprise twist:

 

And I also read Destination Unknown, a departure, in my opinion, from many of Christie’s other books:

 

And…Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, which is more of a classic Christie read:

 

And my most likely trendiest book was The Lying Game, that left me feeling unsettled, so if that’s the point of the book, mission accomplished:

 

My highest recommendation is News of the World. This book takes place right after the civil war in Texas, and it’s the journey of an older man who has been tasked with reuniting a young girl with her family. It is fiction, but it is inspired by true events and people of the time. It is incredibly fascinating and you won’t be able to put it down!

Currently I’m about 3/4 through Grape, Olive, Pig the second book in Matt Goulding’s food series. These books are a virtual tour through the food of a particular country, and I love them! Although it may not be helpful that I keep adding more countries to my travel bucket list.

Happy Reading!!

 

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Pineapple slushies

One of my favorite summer drinks, and it’s best introduced with a stack of fajitas (I used this marinade minus the tequila) corn salad, and homemade salsa.

Blend together 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, 3 small pineapple juice cans, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and just a touch of sugar to taste (about 1/2-1 tsp). Chill until ready to serve. If you want to make it adults only, add three shots of blanco tequila!

Then bring out your fajitas:

And enjoy!

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Friday Favorites

This week I helped host an alumni event…

Had my last class in our building before it gets renovated…

Picked up this bag for our summer travels…

And some decorations for Cinco de Mayo…

I also stopped at Whole Foods and stocked up the fridge:

And chaperoned J’s field day:

And finally finished all of my grading and exams for the semester, so I started out today by making a long list of what I need to accomplish to get my summer course completed, and start prepping another course for next Spring. In addition to all of that here are a few more favorites of the week:

Coffee cake to make with the boys this summer.

A fancier ponytail.

Summer slow cooker meals.

An otter shames a Jaguar.

Triple coconut pie.

White top + jeans.

Transforming a patio chair.

A light filled home.

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Chicken spinach flatbread

Naan + rotisserie chicken mixed with bbq sauce + sliced red peppers + fresh mozzarella + spinach + Trader Joe’s balsamic glaze = dinner. Add first three toppings to naan and then bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. After removing from oven add spinach and balsamic glaze. Enjoy!

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Cathedral Caverns

Our last cub scout camp-out of the season was at Cathedral Caverns in Alabama. The boys camped and I stayed most of the afternoon and evening and then left before I got over allergified. It’s hard to imagine if you don’t live in an area that has this, but the fields literally turn yellow with pollen in spring. Which makes for some crazy allergies.

Moving on…Cathedral Caverns is a 1.3 mile hike round trip, and it’s one of the biggest caves in the state. It was one of the coolest hikes we’ve ever done! The boys were definitely excited:

 

They especially liked the stalactites and stalagmites:

The prehistoric megladon shark tooth in the ceiling:

It includes spaces that can fit a 120 foot building:

And I believe the largest cave opening in the state:

The hike is fairly straightforward, all paved, and because it’s a tour, you don’t really notice that you’re walking the distance. Then when you camp at one of the sites down the road from the cave, you’ve got this spectacular view:

 

J was thrilled because it’s the very first time he got to camp with just the guys:

But he still ran in the door with big hugs for me when they got home!

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Friday Favorites

What a week! We’re headed for a spring camp-out this weekend, and I’m hoping all the rain we’ve had will pull down the massive amount of pollen that’s been floating through the air. And no, I’m not staying to camp. I learned my lesson, and I only camp in the winter, or at the beach. Or in a condo. Oh, and that little tree behind A is our new maple. After a few short hours of digging on Saturday last week, we planted it! I’m excited for its little leafy bits of shade for the boys to relax under this summer. With the amount of rain we’ve had, the tree will be full grown by fall! Not really. But it’s a lovely addition to our backyard!

I’m currently working on our road trip items for the summer, sticker books, this kit, and some of these books are on my list.

I’ve started doing a daily yoga routine to deal with my restless leg syndrome, that seems to be getting worse as I get older.

These heels are everything! Thinking about adding them to my birthday list.

Last year, the baby tigers at Animal Kingdom were not out yet, so they boys are so excited to see them this year!

An apple streusel bread to make for breakfast.

The proper order to put on skincare. I honestly have never done this, and it does make a huge difference!

And finally, B and I both realized that we are definitely at this age (and have been there awhile):

 

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Pineapple buns

We celebrated one year with my sweet niece this past weekend, and my sister made a ton of amazing Chinese food. One of my absolute favorites were these awesome pineapple buns:

They don’t actually contain any pineapple, but are called that for the design on top. They are sweet, fluffy, and delicious. They’re quite a bit of work to make, but are well worth it!

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Field trip with A

This past week, I went with A and his class on their field trip to one of our city’s historic cemeteries. I know what you maybe thinking…a cemetery, really? However, it’s one of the coolest tours the kid’s get to take in elementary school, and they learn so much about the history of our city. In addition to that the cemetery is beautiful a features some massive and enchanting magnolia trees.

 

A loves to learn about pretty much everything, so he enjoyed all the historical information about the settlers of our city, and how they played a part in what our city was and is. And I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful Spring trees.

We did a tour of one of the historical homes and then decided to not go on the bus tour, but instead A and I had popsicles in downtown Huntsville. It’s rare that I have off work on days when the boys have field trips during the school years, so this was very special.

Oh and I wore this backpack and these shoes. The backpack can also be carried like a purse and I love it because it’s comfortable, but also stylish. And the shoes are more comfortable than my Converse. Seriously. They have arch support and a bit of stretchiness in the toe that means I wore them all day and my feet didn’t hurt, nor did they slip off my ankle. Amazing!

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Sephora’s VIB Event

If you’re planning to shop the Sephora beauty insider sale, you’ve got about one day left! It’s rare that the items I buy from Sephora are on sale, so when they are I stock up! Here are some of my favorites:

Living proof full volume blast. It keeps my hair full from 8-5, and beyond.

NARS lip pencils. My go to for when I want more color.

Clinique chubby stick in graped up, my go to neutral (and it wears without effect, so I don’t have to remember to reapply).

Laura Mercier flawless fusion foundation that I had color matched to my exact skin tone.

Laura Mercier blemish-less primer for summer, hydrating primer for winter.

Kiehls lip balm, which is stashed in most of my bags.

Watermelon glow mask. My only mask, and my favorite. I use it once or twice a week, because it can be a little drying, but it also makes pimples disappear overnight. So there’s that.

NARS eye shadow primer. Double stick eyeshadow tape, essentially.

First aid facial radiance pads. Best tip I ever got was to cut these in half and they last twice as long.

Urban Decay Naked basics 1 & 2.

Sephora instant moisturizer, one of the few moisturizers that I can use, that doesn’t make my face break-out, but is also hydrating.

 

 

 

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