Posted in Day in the Life, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello and happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Ours was pretty good…and not too busy which is just what we needed.

It’s our monthly Not Just a Mom link up with some of my favorite bloggers:

Before I get going with today’s post, I wanted to ask that you all please keep Lauren and her family in your thoughts prayers. She has shared a couple of updates on her health recently. Her positive outlook and strength are inspiring. The blogging community is an amazing one, and I want her to feel the love (and the prayers)!

NJAM:

So…

  • In January, we covered Introductions.
  • In February, we talked about house rules.

This month, we are sharing about a “Day in the Life” weekend edition. Since I knew this topic was coming up, I was going to double down on weekend day in the life and document last Saturday which was supposed to be busy with a dance competition and other activities. Then, I was also going to document this weekend which had less going on.

Well, as I’ve shared, last weekend took a turn due to us not having electricity, so I’m just focusing on this past Saturday since last Saturday had even less activity than this one.

Anyway, here we go:

On Saturday morning, I woke up around 7:30, but I did decide to go back to bed. I usually have a hard time falling back to sleep if I wake up, but I did doze back off until 8:20.

I made some coffee, started some laundry and did my normal Saturday morning stuff like catching up on blogs, scrolling social media and chatting with Travis.

Since we finally got our internet back on Friday evening, I had some catching up on tv to do. We watched two episodes of the Murdaugh documentary on Netflix.

Around 10:30, I woke up the kids, made my bed, and did my morning skincare.

When I opened my closet, I remembered that I’d received a couple of packages this week, and needed to try some things on…including my new dress from Shop Style Your Senses. I love it. I can’t wait to be tan! haha

Then, I took a few minutes to purge my closet with my dresses. I love dresses, and since I was adding in a new one, I figured I could get rid of a few I didn’t wear this fall or winter.

Then, I headed to the basement to do a workout. I’ve missed working out. Honestly, I’ve been kind of in a rut which is so frustrating. I was soooo good March-November last year, and then just haven’t felt super motivated. Then, since we didn’t have power, I couldn’t do my workouts on the tv. I could have used the app on my phone I guess, but it’s not the same. I did go to the gym one day last week which got me moving in the right direction.

Anyway, I was happy to get back to my workout routine. There’s a lull in my kids’ sports right now…so I’m hoping to have more time after school and in the evening to get back into a solid workout routine until after spring break.

Then, I headed to Kroger for my Clicklist order. Y’all, since we lost everything in our fridge and freezer, I really thought I’d take my time replenishing things. But…since Wednesday morning, I’ve been to Kroger three times and Trader Joe’s once…and my kids still say we don’t have any food. Well, 80% of the food they eat comes from the pantry, and that food wasn’t lost…so they need to hush. haha

I went to Kroger Wednesday morning, for coffee creamer, lunch for me, donuts for the kids and a few other things. Then, Wednesday afternoon, I picked up a $100 Clicklist order that included stuff for dinner and other things I knew we’d need ASAP. Then, Thursday evening, I went to Trader Joe’s for apples (I love the bag of honey crisp apples because they are small apples and affordable)…but of course, I picked up other things that are my TJ “staples” that we’d lost. Then, I picked up my Saturday Clicklist that included dinner items for this week and other regular things I buy. By that time, I needed to also go inside Kroger because the app said they didn’t have milk, and I wanted to pick out grapes and blueberries. Also, Hayden requested a frozen pizza. haha

The silver lining was on my way out of Kroger a sweet little Girl Scout troop was selling cookies, so I stocked upon some faves.

My Kroger woes continued because I didn’t time this pick up right…Travis and the kids were all at track practice, so it was just me at home to unload everything. *sigh*

I was excited to make avocado toast with egg for lunch (+ a side of apples). I hadn’t made it in a while, and it hit the spot.

Then, I spent a few hours in the basement. I watched the MU game. They lost, but this has been such a fun team to watch. They hung in there. Then took a brief nap. You know I love a Saturday afternoon nap.

Then it was time to be productive. Hadley had pulled some things from her closet, and I told her there had to be more that she could get rid of. I helped her with that and reorganized her clothes. When her closet it in peak condition (which is never), she has her hanging clothes in order of dresses, tanks, t-shirts, lightweight sweatshirts, sweaters and sweatshirts. I helped her get everything back in order. I also told her she doesn’t need to buy another hooded sweatshirt for the next five years. #Iswear

Then, I put away my winter dishes, and changed out my seasonal garden flag and door hanger for something more “spring like.” (Even though it feels like winter again.)

Then, I went ahead and showered. On the weekends, when I can, I love being clean before the evening. (weird fact about me. haha)

Then, I read on my Kindle for a bit…

…before taking Hadley to Chipotle before she went to a friend’s house for the night.

I also took Hayden some dinner. He was out playing with friends, and since I didn’t know when he’d be home, I figured he’d probably want to eat.

With the kids at friends’ houses, Travis suggested we go out to dinner. It’s still so weird to me that he and I end up with unplanned free time without the kids.

Anyway, we tried new (to us) place called East End Tap and Table. When Travis suggested it, I joked that it sounded like a place I’d leave and still be hungry…since tapas are small portions.

Once we got there, we waited a bit for a table, but it was worth it, and we will definitely go back. We shared the spring rolls for an app, and then Travis had the salmon, and I got the Asian bowl that had rice, chicken, edamame, cucumbers, Thai peanut and Asian dressings. I only ate half, and saved the rest for lunch today. It was SO good.

We got home around 9:00, and Hayden was home too. I went ahead and changed our clocks forward an hour.

I put on my pjs and washed my face.

Travis and I watched a bit of tv – just a basketball game. I went to bed around 10:30…already annoyed at the loss of an hour of sleep.

So…that was my Saturday on a pretty lowkey weekend. It was nice to be home, be productive, but also have some downtime too.

Next month’s topic is cleaning hacks. I may need your all’s tips! I’m a great tidier, but I’m not a great cleaner…just ask my husband!

I hope you have a great start to your week.

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Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello and Happy Monday!

We had a busy weekend that included the kids going to the 7th grade school dance, volleyball for Hadley, and cheering on the Chiefs last night.

It’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m teaming up with some of my favorite bloggers for Not Just a Mom.

In January, we did Introductions

This month’s topic is house rules. For some reason, some of my favorite “mom memes” popped in my head:

I joke with my kids and say that they are a “full time job.” 😂but I guess that’s what parenting is…an around the clock, non-stop job. Of course, that sounds kind of negative…I guess I could say we are on a journey.

Anyway, of course we have rules. Well, I call them “rules,” and my kids seem to think they are suggestions. 😂

I’m a structured, type A person. There’s very little “go with the flow” for me. Even if I wanted to, it feels like we are so busy that it’s best to have some structure, so we can stay on top of things.

Here are some of our rules:

*It goes without saying that these rules are a *constant* work in progress. #teens #iykyk

  • Be respectful.
  • Make your bed. Have you seen this video? I show it to my students every year, and I always start my day by making the bed. Even if everything else seems to need picked up, at least our beds are made. Also, on the weekends, I usually make the kids’ beds. It’s kind of my compromise with them, and since we are home on the weekends, I like the bed to be tidied up and made correctly since I’m here to see it.
  • Pick up after yourself. When that doesn’t happen, I end up making piles and telling them to come get their stuff.
  • On Sunday, tidy up your room. I wish their rooms were always clean, but that’s probably not ever going to happen, so a Sunday “reset” seems to work (AKA appease me)
  • Put away your laundry. We do one load of laundry per person every week. I end up laying and folding their clean clothes on their bed, and then they hang and put them away.
  • Help unpack the groceries. Since they eat 80% of the foods, they definitely need to help put it away!
  • On that note, throw away empty food packages. There’s nothing worse than when I think I’m going to enjoy a cookie only to find that the package in the pantry is empty. haha
  • Keep up with your schoolwork. School is the priority.
  • Plug phones up in the kitchen…by 9:00 on a school night and 11:00 on the weekends (if not sooner).
  • Be honest. I’m always going to find out, so let’s save us all a bit of time and just be truthful.

I’m sure I’m missing a few, but really it’s best to keep it simple with: be kind, be honest, be respectful.

When all else fails, there’s this…right?

Next month:

Next month, we’re sharing a day in the life on the weekend!

We sure hope you will join our link up. We always look forward to it.

I’m hoping for a better week this week, but I’m starting the week battling a sinus infection. Hopefully, I will turn the corner soon!

Thanks so much for reading.

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Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? While we were still busy, it was definitely less busy than the past couple of months. We didn’t have to wake up early either morning, and we were able to get some things accomplished around the house, run some errands, do some schoolwork, and still have some fun.

Did you catch my two Bloganuary posts this weekend?

Today is our first Not Just a Mom post of 2023. I’m excited to be back co-hosting with these ladies:

This month’s topic is Introduction.

I’m not sure why, but the first thing that popped into my mind was, “It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem…it’s me!” I guess not the “problem” part…just the “It’s me. Hi.” Anyway….#iykyk

…January seems like a great time for re-introduction.

I’ve shared a few posts about myself through the years…

Most recently, I shared an updated Intro with links to some previous posts…

so…those are good places to find out a bit about me, but…

Hi! I’m Jen.

I…

  • am a wife (18th anniversary this June)
  • am a mom (to 13 year old boy/girl twins)
  • am a high school English teacher (this is my 21st year)
  • am an introvert (who is forced to be an extrovert during the school day)
  • am an avid reader
  • am a homebody (but I do love an ocean or mountain view)
  • am a dog lover
  • am left handed (as are quite a few in my family including my kids)
  • am an Enneagram 5w6 (I don’t hold tons of stock in this, but I find it interesting)
  • grew up in Missouri, but have lived in Kentucky for 19 years
  • love to watch Wheel of Fortune
  • am a Chiefs/Royals fan (Go KC!), Tigers fan (MIZ!), and CATS fan (because everyone around here bleeds blue)
  • am a blogger (since 2019)

Next month’s topic is: house rules. This should be interesting. I have rules…it just seems like they don’t get followed very often! haha

Here are our topics this year. If you have a blog, we’d love for you to save the NJAM graphics and link up with us on the second Monday of the month. We love reading other bloggers’ posts!

Tell me a fun fact about yourself!

Thanks so much for reading.

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Posted in Currently, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello and happy Monday!

I can’t believe it, but it’s our last Not Just a Mom link up of 2022!

This year we covered …

This month’s topic is: loving lately

For this post, I’m sharing the first 5 things that popped in my mind that I’m loving.

You can’t beat Antique Candle Co candles, and during this season, I’m loving the ones I bought on Black Friday.

  • Spiced Cranberry
  • Winter Woods
  • Christmas Day
  • I also have Tree Farm that I bought during a previous sale.

I think Christmas Day is my fave.

I often have the Food Network channel on but especially during the Christmas season. I love Christmas Cookie Challenge. A Lexington cookie decorator was on last night, and I can’t wait to watch that episode.

You know I love the Royal family, so of course I’m watching the Harry and Meghan special on Netflix. I’ve always loved Will and Kate, but I like Harry too! Travis even wanted to watch this with me, and we watched two episodes this weekend. We just need to watch the third one soon.

I have two new social media influencers that I follow on Instagram, and they both make me laugh out loud.

@educator_Andrea and @hayderz have some of my favorite stories to watch. Andrea is a high school English teacher in California, and she is so funny. She makes a lot of reels talking about the differences between teachers/students in elementary, middle, and high. So much of what she shares and creates is spot on with education in America.

Hayden has some hilarious reels too, and many of them are satirical and sarcastic. He always says, “Good night” or “Good morning to…” and it’s always something/someone funny.

Anyway, they are both bright spots on the ‘gram.

I’ve been loving the glow of the Christmas tree in the morning, evening, and dreary days we’ve been having lately. The sun finally came out yesterday afternoon, and I think that was the first time in a week I’ve seen the sun. I love the coziness of the Christmas lights…especially in the morning when the house is quiet, and I’m enjoying my coffee.

My dress arrived from Shop Style Your Senses, and I love it. I wore it to Trav’s work Christmas party on Saturday night with my favorite dressy wedges. (I got them years ago from Nordstrom Rack.) I believe that it’s sold out in black, but I’m kicking myself that I didn’t order it in the wine color. I got it in size large, and it fits just right.

I wore it to church yesterday with my leopard flats.

So those are a few things that I’m currently loving. What about you? What’s on your currently loving list?

One more things to love! I love that I’ll be back each month in 2023 with these ladies again.

If you have blog, we’d love for you to join us on the second Monday of each month starting with January’s topic: an introduction of yourself and your blog. I usually start the year off saying “hi” and getting reacquainted with reader, and I love (and appreciate) that I have new readers throughout the year.

Please save our graphics and join us!

Well, we have five days this week, and then it will officially be break! Can’t wait.

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Posted in Gift Ideas, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello and Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? We had a busy one, of course! My mom and Gma were visiting, we celebrated the kids’ birthday with their friends, and the kids ran a race and had other activities as well. I hope you had a great one.

It’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting our monthly link up with some of my favorite bloggers:

So far this year we’ve discussed:

This month’s topic is: the internet made me buy it.

For this post, I’m sharing a few of my more random purchases from various sites. Now, just because they are “random,” doesn’t mean that I regret buying them! I also thought this would be a good way to share some possible gift ideas from sites besides Amazon.

Amazon:

…but first…Amazon! 😆

When I started this post, I thought I’d look back at some purchases, and as I was scrolling, I remembered that I bought this facial exfoliator a few months ago. I’ve previously shared that I go for monthly facials, and one of my favorite treatments is dermaplane. Honestly, once a month with my esthetician does the trick, but I do like doing a touch up myself in the middle of the month. This has come in so handy.

{affiliate link 20,000 ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️reviews}

Etsy

I love to shop Etsy for gifts, and I get on the app occasionally and scroll and “favorite” ideas. Well, look at what I found for the kids! I can’t wait for them to open these socks on their birthday. I just wanted something small for them, and they love Homer. Fun socks to keep their feet warm at night will make them laugh, I’m sure!

Daily Gold Bracelets

My sister-in-law told me about Daily Gold bracelets and then I saw them on Instagram. I felt that was a sign to order two 😉 I’ve shared about them previously and I have one Ashley and one Randy bracelet. Let me just say that since they arrived in September, I haven’t taken them off once. I’ve slept, showered, sweated, and swam (in the ocean!), and they’ve stayed perfect. I plan on sharing this as a gift idea to Travis and the kids, because I’d for sure love one or two more to add to my stack.

Homage

This site was also in my Instagram feed, and I ordered this “throwback” Chiefs shirt. It’s perfect…cute, soft, and great quality.

Personalization Mall

I’ve shopped from Personalization Mall for years. It’s a great site to find coffee mugs, flags, tote bags, blankets, and more. This summer, I purchased a garden flag for my Gma with the grand kids and great grand kids’ names.

Next month’s topic is…loving lately.

I can’t believe it will be our last topic of 2022!

If you have a blog, we sure hope you’ll link up with us today and next month!

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too! I hope you have a great Monday.

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Not Just a Mom: Hosting Tips

Hello! How was your weekend? After arriving back late Friday night, we spent the rest of the weekend unpacking and doing laundry. I also went and got my car washed and went to the grocery store because we were out of everything. The kids and Trav did go to the UK game on Saturday night. We went from 80 degree beach temps to much cooler weather, and while I miss the beach, I’m ready for full on fall mode.

It’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting our monthly link up with some of my favorite bloggers:

So far this year we’ve discussed:

  • Favorite bloggers in January
  • Day in the life in February
  • Reading habits in March
  • What’s for lunch in April
  • Go to gift ideas in May
  • Dream travel locations in June
  • Family food traditions in July
  • Binge watching shows in August
  • Favorite workout places in September

This month’s topic is: hosting tips.

Well, I don’t think I’ve really hosted guests (besides family who come to visit) since before Covid.

If we host, it’s usually very casual and typically in fall or summer. Our house is on the smaller side, so I prefer hosting when I know the weather is nice enough for kids to play outside and for adults to sit on the patio as much as possible. In the fall, it’s easy to make a pot of chili which was my “go to” for all the years we hosted Halloween. In the summer, it’s so nice to grill out and let the kids make s’mores in the fire pit.

Here are a few of my tips:

  • Make lists: I try and stay organized and plan ahead before hosting. I may run errands or prepare what I can in the days leading up to having people over.
  • Let people help: This is still a weakness of mine. I’m not good at asking for help, but I’ve learned to let others bring side dishes, desserts, and drinks.
  • Light candles: No matter the time of the year, I always have a few candles lit. That provides a cozy atmosphere during the cooler times of the year and keeps the bugs away in the summer.
  • Prep beforehand: Travis is big help with this. He’ll clean the house or sweep the patio in the days before people come over. If I need extra tables or seating, I get those items out the day before. Of course, if I can cook or bake in the days leading up to hosting friends, I do that as well.
  • Buy paper products for easy clean up: As much as I’d love to host with dinnerware, it’s easier for clean up with the kids to use paper plates, bowls, silverware, and napkins. Also, I always make sure to have a marker for kids to write their names on their cups. Now, when I’ve hosted small Thanksgiving or Christmas meals, I definitely use nice plates and glasses.
  • Buy what you can: Sometimes store bought desserts are the answer to a time crunch. Also, everyone loves a Fazoli’s bread stick to go with home made spaghetti.
  • Have a drop zone for purses, coats, and shoes: When people arrive, I want them to know where they can put their coats and purses if needed…which is usually Hadley’s bed. Also, if kids take their shoes off, I show them which closet to put them in, so Homer doesn’t run off with one.

I do feel like my kids (and therefore, their parents) are so busy that we don’t get together in large groups as much as we used to. That being said, sometimes, we spend an evening at the pool with friends in the summer or the moms have a glass of wine after a school event. Also, my neighbors are good about casually getting together when we can.

Anyway, I certainly hope for more opportunities to host in the near future.

What about you? What are some of your best hosting tips?

If you have a blog, we hope you’ll link up! Also, next month’s topic is: the internet made me buy it…

After a week off, re-entry is going to be rough. I’m sure it will take us a couple of days to get back in the groove of school and activities. I hope you have a great week!

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Not Just a Mom: Workout Places

Hello!

How was your weekend? Ours was a good one. From Oktoberfest to cross country to a big Kentucky win to some family time, it was action packed.

Saturday sure felt like summer, and Sunday sure felt like fall. I guess we are in that time of the year.

Today, I’m co-hosting our monthly link up with these fabulous bloggers:

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

  • Favorite bloggers in January
  • Day in the life in February
  • Reading habits in March
  • What’s for lunch in April
  • Go to gift ideas in May
  • Dream travel locations in June
  • Family food traditions in July
  • Binge watching shows in August

This month’s topic is: favorite workout places

My initial answer is short and sweet: my basement.

My longer response…

Years ago (five, maybe?), when I started doing Faster Way to Fat Loss and then the Lean program, I realized how convenient it is to workout at home. Both of those programs provide gym and at home workouts, and home became my preference.

Back to Beachbody…Years ago, I ordered the 21 Day Fix DVDs and still used them off and on through the years.

I’ve shared before, but for about a year and a half, I’ve gotten back on the Beachbody On Demand workout train. I have the app on the tv in the basement, and that’s where my yoga mat, weights, and bands are.

Over the past year, I’ve completed:

  • 21 Day Fix
  • 21 Day Fix Real Time
  • 21 Day Fix Extreme
  • Muscle Burns Fat
  • Muscle Burns Fat Advanced
  • 9 Week Control Freak Off the Wall
  • Morning Meltdown 100

I’m currently doing Job One and LIIFT 4. Job One has 20 minute workouts, and I typically do those Monday evening and Friday mornings. My goal right now is to not miss a Friday morning. I’m trying to go into the weekend on the right foot and a workout helps with that. So far, I’m 5/5 on Fridays this school year. I can wake up at 5:35 and be finished with the workout by 6:05 and sipping my coffee like a typical morning. Also, most school years I take the month of August off because back to school can take it’s toll. This year, I didn’t do that. Again, I told myself that I should be able to at least do a 20 minute workout in my basement three days a week to get through the first hectic weeks back.

I’ve been doing LIIFT 4, which are longer workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. On Thursdays, I’ve been going to the gym to do the elliptical. If I can’t make it to the gym, I take a rest day or walk or do one of the 20 minute workouts.

I usually complete an entire program before starting a new one, but mixing Job One and LIIFT 4 has really been working well for me right now. After I complete a program, I usually take a week or two and just choose random workouts to go back to just to mix things up a bit.

Lastly, the app is so convenient. I don’t use it often, but it has come in handy when we are out of town. For example, I took my bands to KC this summer, and chose Beachbody workouts that didn’t use weights and did those. I was easily able to do HIIT or cardio in my dad’s basement while streaming the workout on my phone.

We do live in a big neighborhood, and I like to walk around it or in parks just when I want a different view than the basement tv.

Like I mentioned above, I try to go to the gym once a week and use the elliptical. The fee we pay our club for the pool includes gym access. My walks or elliptical workouts are when I listen to podcasts, so I do like changing things up from time to time.

I’ve taken workout classes, boot camps, and circuit training in other fitness centers, but it’s usually too hard for me to commit. It’s hard for me join those places because they typically cost so much, and I can’t make the time commitment. Even a 6am sixty minute class that might be ten minutes away from home, doesn’t easily work. I still can’t cool off, get showered and be ready to leave by 7:45 (absolute latest) for school. Evening classes are challenging for me because of all the things the kids have going on after school.

The basement and Beachbody work for me right now because it’s hard for me to tell myself I can’t do a 30 minute work out five days a week if I just have to go to my basement. For example, some evenings, I put dinner in the oven, and then do my workout during that time. I also love that Beachbody introduces new workout programs pretty regularly.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve lost focus many times and just had to take a break from working out, but I do know that I feel better after a workout or even just going for a walk. I also work better when I have a plan, so that’s why I try to structure my workouts and follow a plan. I’ve been very consistent since April, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with my plan. “Failing to plan is planning to fail…” #iykyk

I didn’t intend for this to be such a Beachbody heavy post, but it really has been working for me especially lately…and you can’t beat $120 a year for all the programs you can use so easily.

What about you? Where do you like to workout? Do you have a consistent routine?

I hope your week is off to a good start.

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Not Just a Mom: TV Shows

Hello and Happy Monday!

Well, it’s back to school for me today, so that alarm clock is going to be a shock to the system.

Today, I’m co-hosting out monthly link up with some of my favorite bloggers.

Before I get to today’s post, the winner of my blogiversary gift card is…Janice. I messaged her last night, and she chose a Target gift card. Thanks again, to all who read my posts. I appreciate it.

Now, on to Not Just a Mom…

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

  • Favorite bloggers in January
  • Day in the life in February
  • Reading habits in March
  • What’s for lunch in April
  • Go to gift ideas in May
  • Dream Travel locations in June
  • Family food traditions in July

This month’s topic is: binge watching tv shows

Well…I don’t really binge watch tv shows. Instead, I always feel like I’m behind on my show watching! I hardly watch anything in “real time,” and then seem to have very little time for TV these days. I will say that I look forward to summer because I have more time to read, and I can usually get caught upon some of my shows.

Recently, per my dad’s recommendation, I watched Schitt’s Creek. It took me a couple of months, but I finished all six seasons. I really enjoyed it, and was sad when I got to the final episode.

IMDb

In March, April, and May of 2020, when we were home more, I watched two or three seasons of the The Crown. For years, many people had told me that I would like it, but I didn’t think I would. Well, I was hooked after the first few episodes.

I also watched three seasons of Selling Sunset during that time. Now, I’m not as in to that show.

Also during that time, we got Apple TV for a few months, and I watched The Morning Show and Defending Jacob (and then I read the book).

We also got HBO for a month, and Travis and I watched Mare of Eastown pretty quickly.

Of course, I always wish there were more episodes in a season, but I do crush The Home Edit and Dream Home Makeover when those new episodes are released.

I just watched the latest season of Dream Home Makeover last week.

Travis and I watched each season of Ozark pretty quickly, because we both loved that series so much. We really did binge the second half of season 4 because we wanted to see how the series ended.

Last month, I got caught up on The Rookie. I love that show, but had fallen behind in watching it during the school year…

…and then same with The Goldbergs.

Hayden and I love that show, but it’s hard to find time when we are both home to watch it. We still have a few more episodes left of last season, but I want to get caught up before the new season airs in September.

Well, maybe I’m not giving myself enough binge watching credit. Clearly, there are a few shows that I will watch. That being said, it’s very rare for me to watch more than an episode of something in a sitting.

What shows do you binge watch?

If you are a blogger, we hope you’ll join us next month (the 2nd Monday of the month) when our topic is favorite workout places.

I hope you have a great Monday. I have a feeling my day may end with a nap!

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Posted in Meals and Recipes, Not Just a Mom, Traditions

Not Just a Mom: Family Food Traditions

Hello! How was your weekend? We got back late Saturday night, and I’m still up to my eyeballs in laundry, suitcases, and errands. I’m going to continue to chip away at that stuff today too.

I swear…after the 4th of July, the summer just really starts to slip away. It’s already the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting this fun link up with some of my favorite bloggers.

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

This month’s topic is: family food traditions.

Today, I’m sharing the first few food traditions of ours that immediately came to mind.

Corned beef and cabbage:

My entire family looks forward to March 17th! They know this means we get to have corned beef and cabbage as well as Irish soda bread for dinner. I’ve shared those recipes before, and here they are again!

I grew up on these dishes around the holidays, and I’m glad to have carried the tradition on for my family.

Cookie cake:

We are big cookie cake people. Honestly, I think we started having cookie cakes around the time the kids were born. I remember picking a double stuffed one up at Sam’s Club for my brother’s birthday in 2010. Then, it just became a thing we do for birthdays, anniversaries (sometimes), Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

We always look forward to this sweet treat!

Christmas cookies:

Like many families, we make Christmas cookies every year. Again, I grew up baking cookies, and started doing that with my kids when they were little.

The kids always loved making the Hershey kiss peanut butter cookies, and when they were little, the best help they could be was peeling off the silver wrapper on the kisses. Now, they can make the cookies without any help from me!

Years ago, I added in the chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies I found on Pinterest, and those are our two main cookies. Sometimes, the kids will use cookie cutters on sugar cookies and then ice them, but we don’t do that every year like we do the other cookies.

My mom always sends us Christmas cookies, and then when we visit KC at Christmas, we make cookies as well. We make Spritz, Pfeffernusse, and Lebkuchen cookies as well as waffle cookies using the waffle iron that’s been in our family for well over 100 years.

Back to school:

Another tradition we have is our Back to School Breakfast. I started doing this when the kids were in kindergarten. I keep most of the supplies in a box and just bring them out the night before school starts. This is a fun tradition….

…that I tweaked last year. With the start of middle school, I decided to have a Back to School Brinner the night before the first day of school.

It was a success, and I think that will be the plan this year too. Honestly, it felt weird waking up on the first day already having that traditional meal over with, but it also was the perfect time for that transition.

Red plate:

Growing up we had the “You are Special” red plate. My mom served us dinner on it for anything from getting a good grade on a test to passing our driver’s test!

She gave one to us maybe four or five years ago for me to carry on the tradition with the kids.

The kids get it after report card time, after a game/performance/sports season, for being extra helpful and more.

So…those are some of our traditions. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but those were the first to pop up in my mind!

What food traditions do you have in your family? I’d love to hear!

Next month, our topic is binge watching tv shows. Considering in binged all six seasons on Schitt’s Creek in the past month, I know that will be the first on my list!

If you have a blog, we hope you’ll link up with us. There are always so many great posts to read too!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

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Posted in Not Just a Mom, Travel

Not Just a Mom: Dream Travel Locations

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a great one that was mostly centered around Hadley’s dance recitals. Hayden also had a basketball game, and we enjoyed some family time too. The weather was great, and we savored our time outside because this week the temps are definitely cranking up a notch into the upper 90’s!

It’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m co-hosting our Not Just a Mom link-up with these fun bloggers:

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

This month, we are sharing dream travel locations.

I wrote this post in March because I think I was getting excited about Spring Break and summer being right around the corner!

My “bucket list” is on there, but my top five dream travel locations include:

  • Hawaii
  • Nantucket
  • Europe, especially London and Paris. I’d love to get to Italy and Ireland too. (I went on a 10-day tour of Europe when I was in high school, but obviously that was a long time ago, and I’d love to take my kids)
  • Virgin Islands
  • Pacific NW
  • ….and one more: Mexico. We haven’t been since 2005 (on our honeymoon)…and we are crossing that one off the list this summer!

Where is somewhere you’ve been that I need to go? I’d love to add it to my list.

If you are a blogger, mark your calendar for next month when we share family food traditions.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll link up and/or read the other posts about dream travel locations.

I hope your week is off to a great start!

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