Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Hello and happy Wednesday…also known as our last day of school! We are ready for summer, for sure! Since it’s the last Wednesday of the month, it also means that Shay and Sheaffer host this fun link up. As always, I thought I’d join them.

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

  • Sunday – Travis picked up steaks to grill and twice baked potatoes from a local place. Both were so delicious!
  • Monday- We grilled out with a few neighbors. Everyone brought their own food. We had brats and hot dogs, watermelon, and I made this delicious Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. It was so good!
  • Tuesday- I kept it easy with a frozen pasta meal and side salad.
  • Wednesday – Tonight, I’m going to tryout this new taquito recipe with Trader Joe’s Mexican Street corn (my fave!)
  • Thursday – Most likely taquito leftovers with chips and guac!
  • Friday and Saturday – We’ll carry out food to continue to support local restaurants.
This chicken Caesar pasta salad was so good!

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

With today being the last day for 4th grade…how is that even possible?!? I’m definitely reminiscing about how quickly these elementary years are flying by! Hayden and Hadley only have one more year at our beloved elementary school. We’ve been so blessed with our elementary experience.

First Day of K – Fall 2015

WHAT I’M LOVING:

I’m loving slowly getting back into the swing of things. I’m ready to proceed with caution. Hadley requested the “pink drink” from Starbucks, but then got nervous she wouldn’t like coconut milk so they made it with lemonade 😂 It was so hot out that I got myself a vanilla frappuccino. I hadn’t had a Starbucks since early March.

I put the finishing touches on the sunroom with a new table from Ikea and these two lamps from Walmart. Walmart really has upped their game in the past couple of years! I’ve had the white Ikea side table on the right for five years. We don’t have any lighting in the sunroom, so I purchased another table and matching lamps to give us more light in the evening.

Close up of the lamp

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

We enjoyed the three day weekend while of course remembering and honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Homer was a good boy and let us take his photo wearing his festive bandana on Monday.

Sparkler fun on Monday night…

And, of course, we’ve been finishing up distance learning with a virtual field trip and today the kids have a virtual field day!

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Nothing at the moment! But the last week of school always takes a lot out of me , so I’m ready to check the end of the school year off my list 😃

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I made it a goal to walk every week day morning for the past couple of weeks, and have done a pretty good job getting my steps in! Then, I’ve also tried to make time for an additional workout ….I always feel better after a good sweat sesh.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I’m excited that it’s officially summer! Y’all, I think I’m even more excited that I have a hair appointment today! #praisehands

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

After watching The Morning Show on Apple TV, a friend recommended Defending Jacob. I watched many episodes in a matter of days and then another friend told me it was a book! The Kindle version was available at my library, so I downloaded it. I read the book in a couple of days…and whoa! whoa! whoa! was it a good read with some twists and turns at the end that I wasn’t expecting. Right now, there are only seven episodes out on Apple TV, so I haven’t finished the series only the book. That being said, the series does follow the book very closely!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

Landyn officially has her podcast out, and I’m loving it. I’ve listened to all the episodes so far, and they are perfect for my morning walks!

Also, I’m loving season 2 of Even the Rich. Season 2 focuses on the Murdoch family, and it very interesting.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

I ordered this dress from Amazon thinking it would be perfect for the summer. I ordered the blue marl color and really love it! I wore it on Monday to our cookout. I’ve now ordered it in the olive color too.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Honestly, I’m not sure! It’s such a bummer with the pools being closed, and that’s what we would be doing!

Our niece is turning 3 and having a little drive by birthday party, so of course we’ll wish her a happy birthday.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

I’m looking forward to the ease of a summer schedule and the possible return of baseball for Hayden. Youth sports can start back up middle to end of June…I still keep thinking I will believe it when I see it…but I know he’s ready to get out on the field with his friends.

Backyard ball with Travis and Hayden

Thanks so much for reading my What’s Up Wednesday post. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Now, I’m off to surprise the kids with a silly string end of the year celebration with a few friends.

I hope you have a great day.

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Hello and Happy Wednesday. I can’t believe we are in the last few days of April. This month has both flown by and moved at a snail’s pace! As always, I’m linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday.

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

Sunday: It was a cold and rainy Sunday, so I made Shay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup. It’s definitely a family favorite.

Monday: I love this burrito baked recipe, but I hadn’t made it in forever! I’m definitely going to put it back in our dinner rotation. I made Trader Joe’s street corn as an easy side dish!

Tuesday: Leftovers from Sunday and Monday.

Wed: Pork loin, Bob Evans microwave mashed potatoes, and bagged Ceasar salad

Thursday: King Ranch Joes and roasted broccoli

Friday and Saturday: We’ll continue to eat out to support local restaurants

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Hadley’s class played Guess the Toddler during their class meeting on Monday. Hadley’s teacher asked the parents to submit a toddler pic! This is the first pic that popped in my mind. Hadley’s mastered the death stare! 😉

Whoever would have thought when we started the school year back in August, that we’d be ending the year on lockdown with distance learning to wrap up the 4th grade? So, I guess I’m reminiscing about the beginning of the year, and, as always, how quickly this school year has flown by! My kids only have one more year of elementary school left. How is that even possible?!

WHAT I AM LOVING:

I shared some things I’ve been loving in last Friday’s post!

Also, the flowers continue to bloom, and they are such a beautiful sight to see.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Hadley and I made our first ever cookie cake. We are cookie cake people. It’s usually our “go to” for birthdays and other special events….but we’d never made one before! It was pretty delicious and Hadley had fun decorating it.

We’ve been trying to keep Homer out of trouble. He’s a full time job!! The other day, he ate at least six donuts from the box of donuts Travis bought at a local place. He also joined me on a Zoom meeting last week.

Also, we are in a pretty good groove with distance learning and working from home at this point. The kids are usually able to have most of the afternoon for whatever they’d like to do while Travis and I finish up work. I can’t believe this is our new normal, but at least we are hanging in there.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

I’m not really dreading anything at the moment…trying to stay positive over here! 😉 My one “constant” is thinking about the groceries. It’s difficult to plan what we may need a few days out or thinking about dinners for the next week. I did get lucky last week and was able to place a Clicklist order for the next day! It was a miracle.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

Besides helping with 4th grade math? I’m working on some posts with Mother’s Day gift ideas and about the three books I read in April.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I have a few Amazon items arriving soon…mostly comfy pjs and a new books…but a few other odds and ends. I like that kind of mail! Also, it’s almost time to plant flowers. Travis loves doing yard work and planting, so it’s always fun to see the yard spruced up when he’s finished.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

I’m continuing to get caught up on The Crown. Since mid-March, I’ve watched all of season 2 and only have a few more episodes of season 3. I do like the new cast better than I thought I would. Travis and I watched The Tiger King and I was left speechless. haha Dead to Me is coming back to Netflix in May, I believe. I binged season 1 last year in about a week. I’m excited for season 2.

I’ve also been keeping up with American Idol; I’ve really enjoyed this season.

Travis wanted to watch a Beastie Boys documentary, so he went ahead and got the free week of Apple TV. I’m taking advantage of the free week to watch The Morning Show. I just finished episode 5, and it’s a very good series!

I will share my April books tomorrow or Friday, but I’m currently reading Two Girls Down and Southern Side of Paradise (The third book in the Peachtree Bluff series by Kristy Woodson Harvey.)

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I’m still loving the Even the Rich podcast; I just finished season 1 and am ready to start season 2. I also love The Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist, and am listening to the episode with Chip and Joanna Gaines. Also, last week, I listened to the latest episode of Shay and Erika’s The Bestie Breakdown. I enjoy that new series too!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Well, I’m currently wearing the heck out of this Kentucky sweatshirt. Travis went to the basement on Sunday to look for something. He came upstairs and said, “Good news and great news!” The great news was he found this sweatshirt which was a Christmas gift he’d forgotten to give me! Y’all, practical me told him it could count as a Mother’s Day gift 😉

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Well, this weekend should have been Oaks and Derby. Travis is usually in Louisville most of this week for work, and I usually join him for Oaks on Friday. Most years, Hayden ends up having a baseball game on Derby Day, so in recent years, we’ve always just gone to a Derby party or hung out with neighbors and friends. The past few years, we’ve had to worry about soggy weather on Oaks or Derby or both! Of course, this Friday and Saturday look to have picture perfect weather, but with no horses to run! Both events have been moved to September 4th and 5th…but I will believe that when I see it.

I went ahead and hung my jockey silk door hanger and garden flag. It just didn’t feel right not to…during these first few days of May.

Obviously, no big plans for the weekend, but hopefully we can take advantage of the nice weather.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

I’m looking forward to Mother’s Day and wrapping up the school year. We don’t get out of school until May 27 which is actually one day earlier than we were scheduled. I know our summer will look different, but it’s nice when the year is all wrapped up…even if that looks differently this year.

Well, that’s it for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too. This is such a fun link up!

Thanks for reading,

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

It’s the last Wednesday of the month, so it’s time to link up with Sheaffer and Shay for March’s What’s Up Wednesday.

To say the month of March has been crazy would be an understatement, of course! In these times of uncertainty, I continue to look for what I know to be normal with a daily routine…which includes reading blogs and writing my own. I look forward to this light-hearted corner of the internet now more than ever!

I hope this post finds you happy and healthy.

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

Sunday – I made this Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna recipe. I’ve made it before, and my whole family loves it. I served it with rolls and roasted broccoli (I just drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the broccoli and sprinkle salt, pepper, and Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning on it and roast for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees–since that’s what the rolls were baking on)

**also, I can never find the small lasagna noodles, so I just use rotini.

**and–I’m sure you can make this recipe without an Instant Pot. You’d just have a few more dishes with one pot to cook pasta and another to brown the ground beef, etc.

Monday – leftovers with bagged side salad.

Tuesday – Breakfast for dinner! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and hash browns.

Wednesday- Baked chicken, Bob Evans mashed potatoes, and fruit.

Thursday – leftover chicken with cheesy broccoli and fruit.

Friday and Saturday- We’ll support local restaurants and order carry out dinner.

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Easter. I’m afraid Easter will look very different for us this year. Worse case, we can still dye eggs and do an egg hunt…even if it’s not with extended family.

Easter 2019

WHAT I’M LOVING:

Trying to look on the bright side…I’m loving not setting an alarm lately! 🙂

Also, Nordstrom was having a huge site wide sale last week with 25% off. I had a gift card to use, and I had a few things on my “wish” list. I was happy to purchase them with the 25% off offer!

I love Nordstrom’s Zella leggings. I purchased the hat and flip flops while dreaming of summer. Landyn shared the hat recently. Also, last year, I ordered same flip flops in tan. I wore them a ton, so I thought I’d get another pair. Also, I rarely buy kids clothes from Nordstrom, but I knew Hayden would love these Nike shorts. I purchased two pairs: one for now and one for his Easter basket.

Last year, I purchased this sunless tanner from one of my friends who sells Rodan + Fields. I love it. It provides a subtle tan and is easy to apply.

I received this steamer for Christmas from my mom (I gave her the idea :), but I haven’t had time to use it until now.

Yesterday, I took the time for some self-care, and use the tanner and gave myself a ten minute facial!

I’m not trying to be on the other side of this pandemic pale with wrinkly skin!! 😉

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Well, we are definitely spending a lot of time together! Also, the downtime means more time for reading, movie watching, and walking around the neighborhood.

And, like most parents, we are working on a home “school” routine!

We even had time to decorate cookies thanks to Maddie at Maddie’s Cookie Co.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Honestly, just the uncertainty of not knowing how long the social distancing will go on…(and on, and on)

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

You mean besides keeping my kids busy and keeping my sanity? haha

Well, I’m working on future blog posts. I’m also making an effort to give myself grace during these days at home. While I’m a home body and don’t mind being at home, we all may need a little space from time to time. Or there may be a day where my kids are on electronics more than they should be…and I’m reminding myself that it’s all going to be ok!

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

Have you heard of Wall Pops? I follow Michelle (@ellerydesigns) on Instagram. She’s made drastic changes to her laundry room, bathroom, and mantle using Wallpops wallpaper and floor tiles.

I’ve ordered the Shiplap Peel and Stick Wallpaper to do an accent wall in our master bedroom. We haven’t even updated the wall paint in our master, so I hope to do both over our extended time off.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

I’m currently reading The Secret to Southern Charm which is the second book in the Peachtree Bluff series. I will share about my other three books I’ve recently read in this Friday’s What I’ve been Reading post.

We’ve had more time for movie watching lately. We’ve watched My Girl, Stand by Me, and The Little Giants in the past week.

I’ve also started watching The Crown again on Netflix. I’m a few episodes into Season 2. I also love The Rookie on ABC, and I’ve been getting caught up on that.

I’ve been watching American Idol this season. I’d been wanting to find a show the whole family can watch, and I love the judging trio of Luke, Katy, and Lionel!

Lastly, I tune in every day at 5:00 for Governor Beshear’s daily COVID-19 news conference. Honestly, the updates have become a part of my routine and a candid way to receive information without feeling overwhelmed. It’s a time to be together with #TeamKentucky

If you are in Kentucky, then you’ll understand the meme below. 😉

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

At the moment, the sound of our grass being mowed! The first cut of the season was long overdue!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Well, you know what they say…”Dress for the job you want, not the job you have…” Well, I’d say I’m currently trying to dress for both. So…I ordered these pjs from Target. They should be here early next week!

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

I’m sure more quality time with my fam! If the weather cooperates, maybe we can drive somewhere to go on a hike. We definitely need a change of scenery!

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Hopefully some sense of normalcy? Or at least maybe we will feel more at ease with this at home routine by then? Also, maybe we will know what the end of the school future holds? Although, I suspect I already know that answer…#sigh

AND…

I feel like this post is a lot of life should have been ….but instead it’s…So, I hope the post isn’t taken in a negative light. It’s just such an adjustment to this new (hopefully short-lived) normal. Taking the stricter steps to curtail this virus are certainly necessary, and I continue to count my blessings while engaging in social distancing!

I’m also taking this time to try to blog a bit more often. Tomorrow, I have my FIRST EVER “Day in the Life” post and Friday I will have my “What I’ve been Reading” post for March. This means another “first….” for me… F I V E days of blogging in a week. I don’t think this will be the new normal, but while I have the time (and can think of content), I may try to post more than my normal three days a week.

Here are Monday and Tuesday’s posts:

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts! What’s Up Wednesday posts are always some of my favorites to read.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Hello! It’s the last Wednesday of the month which means I’m linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday.

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

We were spoiled by the sunshine this weekend, and now we are back to overcast and rainy skies…so I thought soup sounded good. Also, I always try to make something on Sunday that we can have leftovers on Monday. Mondays just always seem so difficult getting in the swing of the week, so not having to think about dinner on Monday evening is always a bonus.

Sunday/Monday: Taco Soup

Tuesday: Trader Joe’s Fried Rice with Honey Walnut Shrimp and Mandarin Orange Chicken. I love Trader Joe’s. What I love most about Trader Joe’s is that I usually just wander the aisles to plan a meal or two. Whereas, when I go to Kroger (or place my online Kroger order), I always feel like I need a list! This was a quick and easy meal last night that we enjoyed overall…but I didn’t love the sauce that came with the shrimp. I wish I had left it off. The chicken (& sauce) was delish!

Wednesday: Baked chicken thighs, bagged salad, and Bob Evans mashed potatoes.

Thursday: We now have a basketball game tomorrow night #tourneytime , so we’ll probably have leftover baked chicken with Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes. We’ve never tried these before, so hopefully everyone likes them. Every time I go to TJ’s, I pick up one or two new things to try!

Friday/Saturday night: I’m sure we’ll eat out.

Did you see my Monday Meals post with two quick (and easy!) pasta recipes? Both are delish!

WHAT I AM REMINISCING ABOUT:

I can’t believe we’ve had Homer for almost 9 months. He was about 12 weeks old when we adopted him. So….Homer is almost one! Whew! Homer is a handful…and I tell him every day that he’s lucky he is cute! This week alone, I’ve found him licking my facial cleansing brush, he snatched a glazed donut out of the box on the counter, and he ran around the house with the kitchen towel in his mouth. Also, my hairbrush is missing. He swears he’s innocent and Hadley denies borrowing it…so I’m still on the lookout for it! I swear he’s like having ten toddlers!

June 8, 2019. Little Biscuit!
February 2020. Sweet (and ornery!) Biscuit

WHAT I AM LOVING:

At the end of the summer, I started buying the single wick candles at Bath and Body Works. I love that the three wick ones are more aromatic but sometimes they were almost too strong of a scent…and the three wick ones take up more space. So, for fall, I bought three single wick fall fragrances and did the same for the holidays. This way, I can place the candles around the house easier since the single wick ones take up less space and provide just enough of a refreshing scent. Of course, I always use a coupon (or hit up a sale) when buying the candles whether it’s the single or three wick ones. (I feel like I just used the work wick more than I should have. Sorry!) These three scents are my newest purchase for spring.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

It’s basketball tournament time, so that sports season is wrapping up. Hayden is prepping for baseball season while Hadley continues to dance two days a week. Both kids went to birthday parties last weekend which kept us busy on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, Hadley attended the Mardi Gras party at our church while Hayden had basketball practice. Next month, Hadley has Academic Team competition, so she’s been prepping for that as well.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Honestly, I wasn’t dreading it but I was overwhelmed getting Hadley’s Girl Scout cookie orders out. She surpassed her goal of selling 350 cookies by selling 441 boxes of cookies! I just never want to mess up an order, and it’s a lot of money to collect and sort! I’m glad the bulk of the ordering is past us!

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m working on getting back on track with my eating and exercising. I was off to a good start in 2020 and then I got the flu. After that, my eating was ok but I wasn’t really working out. So, I’m back on my Lean intermittent fasting program combined with carb cycling, tracking my macros, and working out. This program works for me…when I do it! So, getting a handle on my eating window and exercise before spring break is a good goal for me right now.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I’m excited about spring break! It will be here before we know it. We decided to go to NYC…but all we’ve done so far is purchase plane tickets. We are waiting to tell the kids once we firm up our plans/itinerary. What are some “musts” for us while there?? Give me all the ideas, please! I’ve always wanted to visit NYC in the fall, but we didn’t have our act together at that point to plan a trip. I’m excited to take the kids as I think they will enjoy it and appreciate it…and are able to walk/keep up with whatever we do.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

Y’all, I’m in a slump. Or a February Funk…I started two books this month and haven’t finished either. I like them…I just have been so tired at night, I go straight to bed. Plus, our weekends have been a bit busy, so I don’t know…I’m not off to a solid start with reading in 2020. The two books I’m reading are The Broken Girls (on my Kindle) and American Royals (hardback). Again, I’m really liking them and hope to finish them this week…and start fresh in March. Do you have any good book recommendations?

I’m excited for Good Girls Season 3. The show just started back, and I hope to get caught up on it this weekend. There aren’t many shows Travis and I watch together, but that’s one of them!

Also, I found a show Up and Vanished on the Oxygen Channel on Hulu and have watched a few episodes.

And…we watched about half of Jurassic Park earlier this week…It’s one of those I remember watching as a kid and thought Hayden and Hadley would like it…but when I looked over to see Hadley crying as the dinosaur tried to eat the kids, I started to think I must have been over ten-years-old when I saw it. 😂 Hayden wants to finish it, but Hadley will probably pass. We may not have time to finish it until the weekend anyway…maybe Hadley’s trauma will subside by then!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I still listen to a few podcasts when I can. I regularly listen to include Willie Geist’s Sunday Sitdown and then usually add other podcasts of interest based on who is being interviewed. I’m excited because Landyn has a podcast in the works. I’m excited to listen to it when it become available.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

I bought these slippers at Target right after Christmas, and I love them. I had thought about buying the Ugg version as I’ve heard great reviews, but didn’t feel like spending that kind of money on slippers. These have been the perfect thing to put on my feet when I get home! Nice and cozy. (One of my slippers has even survived almost being #homered!…so I guess you could say that they are good quality!) 😉

Also, I recently had to wear this pink gown…twice. Since I turned 40, it was time for me to have my first ever mammogram. While it wasn’t the best thing I’ve every experienced, it certainly wasn’t as painful as I expected it to be. As I left my appointment, the mammographer mentioned that it’s very common to get called back for an ultrasound especially to establish a baseline since it was my first mammogram.

A week later, I did receive a call to come in that week for an ultrasound. Thankfully, I was somewhat prepared for the call, so I didn’t panic. (Although, I am a worrier by nature!) As soon as the sonographer called me back to the room, she immediately told me she thought everything was fine, but they just wanted to confirm all was good. Her reassurance combined with the dimly lit room and the warm blanket she gave me, put me at ease. I had a couple of cysts as well as a fibroadenoma, which I learned is very common in women and benign.

I was actually relieved to have the mammogram scheduled. I’ve known women who have had breast cancer even in their early thirties. That being said, it was almost scary for me to be in the 35-39 years of age…where doctors say, “You are too young to worry about _____” when I know people who have had their lives changed in an instant at a younger age.

I’m thankful for a healthy report, and I’ll also be very grateful for that yearly appointment and peace of mind.

mammogram day & ultrasound day

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Hadley has a tournament game on Saturday (and both could still be playing if they win), but other than that we don’t have too much planned. It may actually be a lowkey weekend which we haven’t had in awhile.

I think Travis is going to take Hayden to the UK basketball game on Saturday. I hope to read, get caught up on house stuff, groceries, etc.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

March means that the Homster is turning 1! We’ve always gotten our dogs a vanilla ice cream cup from Dairy Queen, so he has that to look forward to. Since we don’t know his actual birthday, in the future, we’ll probably celebrate him (w/ the ice cream) on June 8. His gotcha day!

Also, March means St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve got a little bit of Irish in me, and grew up having corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread to celebrate March 17th. I make those recipes now for my family, and we always look forward to the tradition.

That’s it for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday. Make sure to check out Sheaffer and Shay’s posts too!

Take care,

Jen

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! It’s the first What’s Up Wednesday of 2020! Shay and Sheaffer are still hosting this monthly link up, so make sure to read their posts too!

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

I’m trying to keep it simple this week. Sunday was rather hectic, so I made Shay’s King Ranch Casserole. We love the King Ranch Joe recipe, so when I saw her post this casserole version, I made it. We had leftovers with salad on Monday night.

Tuesday, I made her Chipolte Turkey Chili recipe from the Simmers cookbook, but then I found it on her website to share with you. Wednesday nights are pretty busy, so we are having leftover chili tonight.

Thursday night’s dinner is kind of up in the air because Hadley has a chorus concert. We’ll either grab some dinner afterwards, or I will make simple pasta and red sauce for dinner.

Friday and Saturday nights we always get carry out or go out to eat. #mamadoesntcookontheweekend

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Honestly, just time flying by. I’ve blinked and my kids are halfway through with 4th grade. Next year is their last year of elementary school. How is that even possible?

It was the 100th day of school this week. This memory popped up in my Facebook memories. I’ve actually referenced this memory many times while explaining the difference in my kids. In kindergarten, the kids had to make something out of 100 pieces. Hayden spent hours (with a little help from Travis) constructing the football stadium out of 100 Lego pieces. Hadley layered 100 Skittles in a jar and called it a day! haha (To be honest, now that they are older, it seems like they’ve reversed these personality traits a bit. Hadley tends to take longer to finish, well, almost anything…and Hayden, unfortunately, tends to rush through some things that he should probably take more time on.) Side note: Where did my toothless littles go??

WHAT I’M LOVING:

I’ve seen some people share on their Instagram stories and blog posts about the Trader Joe’s Buffalo Style Chicken Dip, so I decided to pick some up earlier this week. It’s living up to the hype…it’s so good! I picked up the pita crackers as well as celery to eat with the dip. I figured celery could make it a good low carb option on the days I try to cut the carbs.

I meant to share this awhile back (hence the Christmas tree in the photo), but my kids (especially Hayden) have been loving this oatmeal. They had it at my mom’s house over Thanksgiving, and I found it at Kroger. Hayden eats it most morning from breakfast.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

We’ve kept our sports rotation going with basketball for both kids, Hadley just started volleyball and is still doing dance, and Hayden has been prepping for the upcoming baseball season.

We’ve been fine tuning Hadley’s Science Fair project for the district competition this weekend. She’s so excited!

Also, we are looking forward to Hadley’s first chorus concert of the year which is tomorrow night.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

I’m not really dreading anything at the moment.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m working on Friday’s post about the books I read in January. I was able to read three books; I’m almost finished with a 4th book, but I don’t know that I will get it read before posting on Friday. Make sure to come back and check out that post!

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

ALL of us are excited about our Kansas City CHIEFS being in the Super Bowl! We are ready to cheer them on this Sunday!

Mahomes and the Chiefs —#1 in our hearts

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

Reading:

Like I said above, I plan on posting my January Book Review on Friday. I’m currently reading The Broken Girls, but I don’t know that I will finish it in time for Friday’s post. I’ve been enjoying it!

Speaking of reading, Hayden and Hadley are to read at least four books a month and do a book talk about their book to their class. I received a sweet text with a pic of Hayden giving his book talk. When I told him about the the photo, he said, “Was my face red?” Kid hates speaking in front of others…and he sure gets it honestly (from me!) Apparently, “he knocked it out of the park” with his book talk on The Hatchet.

Watching:

Travis and I watched the Aaron Hernandez documentary over the past week or so. Very interesting.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been binge watching 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray. Honestly, I remember living in my first apartment in 2003 (ish) and watching her on the Food Network. Her recipes from her show were some of the first meals I ever made. I like the updated version of the show. I feel like what she makes can actually be made in 30 minutes, whereas, in the original show, I remember only making one of a few recipes she’d make in the episodes.

Over break, I started watching some of the episodes of Reese Witherspoon’s Nexflix series Shine On. Reese visits/interviews (famous) women as they discuss their journeys. The first episode was Dolly Parton…and I was hooked.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I haven’t been listening to as many podcasts lately but I’m halfway through two podcasts. Jayme Closs 88 Days is so interesting. It’s about 13-year-old Jayme Closs who goes missing after her parents were murdered. She’s gone for 88 days and the podcast includes interviews and analysis from family, friends, law enforcement, etc.

Also, I’ve been listening to Dolly Parton’s America podcast. There are personal interviews with Dolly as well as interviews from people in Dolly’s life.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Right after Christmas, I ordered this pullover from Nordstrom (before my dry January began with no Nordstrom or Amazon purchases). I’d had my eye on it, and when I saw it was on sale, I ordered the beige rainy day color. I’ve worn it to school with my Matilda Jane ruffle pants, and I often where it to and from working out with workout leggings.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

This weekend, we have two basketball games and the District Science Fair on Saturday. On Sunday, Hadley’s selling Girl Scout cookies with her troop at the grocery store cookie booth as well as going to a volleyball clinic. Then, of course, all eyes in our house will be on the Chiefs as they play in the Super Bowl.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Some snow?! For the love of Pete, I hope we get some snow at some point this winter! I love a pretty snow that cancels school for a couple of days 😉

That’s it for the first What’s Up Wednesday of 2020. I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

I can’t believe it’s the end of October already (and that Halloween is tomorrow!) I’m linking up again with Sheaffer and Shay for What’s Up Wednesday.

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

This has been kind of a random week. We hosted our neighborhood’s family pumpkin carving, so I made chili on Sunday afternoon. We had those leftovers for Monday’s dinner. Tuesday, I made a random recipe that popped up on Facebook: Creamy Parm Tomato Soup (with tortellini) from delish.com. We will have those leftovers tonight.

For Halloween, I always host a few friends as well as my brother, sister-in-law, and their kids. Every year I make chili as well as Mix and Match Mama’s Chicken Tortilla Soup from her Simmers cookbook. That recipe is one of my faves to make…one of the key ingredients is Ranch Style Beans which I’ve always easily found at Kroger …until last year…I was so bummed when Kroger didn’t have them. (I even looked on Amazon because Amazon has everything but I refused to pay $20 for six cans of beans haha) I usually make that recipe at least ten times between fall and winter, but last year only made it a few times and tried to make it work with other beans. PLOT TWIST: My Kroger now brought the beans back, and I am legit buying five cans at a time! (I’d buy more, but I don’t have a pantry!)

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

The kids’ Halloween costumes through the years…Did you see last Friday’s Flashback Friday post??

WHAT I’M LOVING:

As I mentioned in last week’s Three Things post, I started a new position at my school as a reading interventionist. I won’t have big classes, so this is a luxury to have a classroom. While it was a pain to move all of my stuff #Imapackrat (and shout out to Travis for helping me move everything), it’s nice to have a fresh start.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

I don’t get to see my Tigers play very often since we live in CATS country, but every other year the Tigers make the trek to Lex, and we usually go. After a long week and a soggy forecast, I stayed home while Trav and the kids went (they cheer for the CATS) for a soggy first half. I think I made a good call by staying home…as my Tigers appear to be on the struggle bus.

We hosted our neighborhood family pumpkin carving on Sunday. It’s a neighborhood tradition that a neighbor of ours started a few years ago. She moved, so I did my best to carry on the tradition. We live in a great neighborhood filled with kids and awesome neighbors.

We are KC Chiefs fans, so Hayden wanted #15 for QB Patrick Mahomes. Hadley wanted her initials carved in the pumpkin because …well, she’s a southern girl!

What was supposed to be a quick trip to Target to buy a friend’s birthday gift and to return some leggings, turned into a Hadley fashion show. She didn’t let me look while she chose an outfit and surprised me. She’s a hoot.

We are between some of our sports and cross country and soccer wrapped up last week. We have a week off (or so) before basketball starts up soon.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

I don’t know if dread is the word, but October-December about take me under. I know it shouldn’t be that way and even when I simplify things, it’s just still hectic. Halloween, kids’ birthdays, holidays + travelling for holidays, and Travis very busy with work…not to mention just normal daily life with a full time job and two busy kids, October-December time frame just maxes me out.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m still working on getting settled in my new job. I had to help the new teacher transition into my (former) classes, grade 120+ essays my students turned in the last week I was with them, a couple of school visits (which I thoroughly enjoyed), and just getting the logistics figured out for this new position. I do best with a routine, so it’s difficult for me to not have that structure set just yet, but I’m working on it.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I’m exciting about trick-or-treating with friends tomorrow. We have two families we’ve trick-or-treated with for almost ten years. Then, we’ve added in a few more families as well as my brother’s family. It’s always a fun evening trick-or-treating, eating chili and catching up with everyone.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

October book review will be out tomorrow. I read four books this month.

I’m not currently watching much. I’m not really back in a routine with tv watching. Per tradition, we watched It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as a family the other night.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

In the past month, I’ve started listening to two new podcasts. Three local Lexington news anchors/reporters have started a new podcast called The A Block and I love it. It’s a bunch of girl talk but also light and heavy topics. You can tell the three ladies are friends who have a lot of fun together.

I had to take a quick road trip recently, and I listened to the Bardstown podcast on my drive to and from (and then I had one more episode left, so I drove the long way home on Friday to finish it!). The topic had me hooked. Within a matter of a couple of years, Bardstown had five different murders take place. A Louisville reporter tackles the topics with interviews that are interesting and heartbreaking. The episodes are pretty short (and so interesting) and they fly by!

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Star sweater from Amazon

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

in between sports, birthday party planning, Girl Scout field trip

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

The kids turn 10! How is that even possible?

January 2010 – 2 months old
The beginning of the birthday outfit tradition.

I will save the tears for when they actually turn 10. They are growing up right before my very eyes…but what a blessing that is, right?

I hope you are having a great week. See you back here tomorrow for this month’s book review.

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

Sunday: Instant Pot chicken parm and green beans

Monday: beef sirloin and risotto from Trader Joe’s

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: crockpot carnitas and salad (tacos for the kids)

Thursday: either leftovers or Roasted Red Pepper soup from Trader Joe’s and grilled cheese

Friday and Saturday: mama ain’t cookin’

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

This sweet picture from my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. Their 7th anniversary is coming up soon. Hayden and Hadley were ring bearer and flower girl. One of them loved the spot light and one of them didn’t 😂 #Iwillletyouguess Travis snapped this pic on his phone, and it will forever be my favorite.

WHAT I’M LOVING:

Trader Joe’s pumpkin bagel and cream cheese. #onrepeat

Also, these lunchbox notes have been a cute addition to lunches. My kids take their lunches a few days a week, and I usually write a note on a napkin. While shopping for school supplies at the end of summer, I saw these Lunchbox Notes by Lena + Liam in the school section at Target, and picked them up. I usually put one in a week to spice up the lunch. Hayden gets the biggest kick out of some of the sayings like, “Happy Fry Day” and “I think you’re egg-cellent!”

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

We are in our activity routine of Girl Scouts, dance, soccer, and cross country.

We’ve also been continuing the 4th grade school routine of homework, reading, studying, and Travis helping me brush up on the distributive property, so I can help with 4th grade math.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Nothing at the moment…besides the distributive property.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I saw someone post this on Facebook, and it certainly hit home…especially last week. Hayden had a couple days where he was struggling…tired, overwhelmed by school, etc. I’m so used to trying to find more minutes in my day to get it all done, that I almost didn’t realize that his acting out meant he may have some things on his heart. I took the time to snuggle with him, chat, talk about the book he was reading, and just listen to him. He clearly needed some time with me (or Travis) to get his mind and heart right. We are all doing our best, aren’t we? Kids and adults, alike.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I’m excited about our front porch update. Besides decorating the porch for fall, we also got a new front door, porch lights (to be installed next week #Travknowshislimits), and mailbox. We bought this house almost five years ago, and it’s forever a work in progress. I’m excited that we are basically to the point of doing a few things on the exterior that are more cosmetic, but will help update the look and tie into the inside of our home.

“The Mum Man” comes to my husband’s work, and has the best mums for the best price, so I always have Travis buy 3, or 4, or 10. On Sunday, we ran into Home Depot to pick out a new mailbox, and I snagged these two corn stalks (is that what they are called?!). Usually, I get them from the place where I buy the pumpkins, but they didn’t have any last Friday. Now, I’m just ready for the mums to bloom a bit.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

Over the weekend, I finished two books (one hardback and one on my kindle), and I hope to have my September Book Review posted tomorrow. I started Ask Again Yes and Summer of 69 this past weekend.

As a family, (well, at least the kids and myself) we are excited for the return of Dancing with the Stars, The Goldbergs, and Young Sheldon.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I’ve gotten back into my podcast groove. I still enjoy listening to Willie Geist’s Sunday Sitdown, and have also listened to a few other podcasts recently. I listened to Landyn Hutchinson’s interview (if you don’t follow Living with Landyn on Insta, you are missing out) on Living Fully with Mallory Ervin and Caroline Bryan’s (Luke Bryan’s wife) interview on Velvet‘s Edge with Kelly Henderson. The Bryans have had such tragedy in their lives with losing so many loved ones that Caroline’s interview was both heartbreaking and inspiring.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

I usually don’t buy much during the summer Nordstrom sale, but I did snag this jacket on sale ($55) at the end of the summer, and I can’t wait to wear it #comeonmothernature Maybe by October, I will be able to pull it out of the closet.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Sit down for this. Very shocking news. I will most likely be at a cross country meet and a soccer game this weekend. #likemostweekends I’m sure I will also be doing laundry, meal planning and prepping and getting in a Homer snuggle or two.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Fall activities like fall break (amen!) and hopefully our annual trip to the pumpkin patch for the kids to each get their pumpkins to carve, run around and play, as well as that time of the year when I buy one dozen apple cider donuts and only share six of them with the rest of my people.

The kids with cousins Layla and Wyatt last year.

I hope you are having a great week and make sure to check out Shay and Sheaffer’s posts today.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Once a month Sheaffer & Shay share a What’s Up Wednesday. I’m excited to link up with them to share what’s been going on with myself and my family.

1. WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

I typically cook Monday-Thursday (but try to at least have one meal that will last two nights). This week was a little different because I didn’t have to cook Sunday night since we were celebrating our nephew, Wyatt’s birthday.

Monday night I made Instant Pot Crack Chicken Casserole. It’s always a family favorite, and it’s what we ate Tuesday evening as well with a salad or fruit as a side. The recipe is from Pinterest 🙂

I try to eat low carb at least two days a week, and one of my favorite low carb recipes that even my family loves is Crustless Taco Pie which I will make tonight for dinner. I will even have some left over for Thursday’s lunch. I hope to share that recipe next week.

Thursday evening, everyone may kind of be on their own for dinner. Between cross country practice and Curriculum Night at school (and I have dinner plans with friends afterwards (This may be news to Travis! ;)) , dinner may just have to be pieced together. I have discovered Hormel’s already cooked taco meat recently, so that’s something I usually have on hand if anyone needs to throw tacos together for dinner in a pinch.

The chicken option is great as well!

Friday and Saturday night, mom is off duty from cooking! We usually get carry out one night and eat out another evening…then it’s time to plan groceries all over again for the next week. 🙂

2. WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Hadley back at the ballet barre. When she was in kindergarten, she took a combo ballet/tap class. Then, took a few years off, but started back with a hip hop class last year. This year, along with hip hop, she’s added a ballet/tap/jazz combo class and is loving it. She’s growing up right before my very eyes. Side note: we have NO clue where she got her grace and rhythm…but dang, she’s got it…and loves dancing so much…which makes me so happy #dancemomtipsplease

2019
2015

3. WHAT I’M LOVING:

Homer’s new bow tie collar from Amazon. I told him it’s time for him to dress for success…and by success, I mean quit chewing on flip flops, hopping on the couch with muddy paws, and bringing dead birds into the house. #hecutetho #Amazonforthewin

4. WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

All the activities and school work on repeat. News flash: fourth grade is no joke. Multiplication, reading, homework + cross country, soccer, dance. Repeat.

Also, we celebrated cousin Wyatt’s 5th birthday at his party this past weekend. It’s hard to believe he’s already five…next year, he’ll be at the same elementary school as my kids…

Meeting Wyatt, Wyatt’s first birthday party, and celebrating #5
Birthday boy!
Wyatt’s a big fan of Spongebob!

We also had family visit this past weekend. GG & Gma came to town for Wyatt’s party!

5. WHAT I’M DREADING:

These days, setting an alarm! Sleeping in during the summer (even until 7:00!) was such a luxury. I always give myself grace for the first few weeks of school, but hope to get back to my early morning workouts next week. It’s always difficult getting out of bed, but always worth it to have the workout over for the day by 7:00 AM.

6. WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

Learning my students’ names! We’ve been in school for two full weeks. I always tell my students to give me until Labor Day to learn all of their names. I think I’m to the point where I know the names…as long as they stay in their seats in alphabetical order 🙂 My memory for 150 names isn’t what it used to be.

7. WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I’m sooooo excited to cheer on Hayden and Hadley when they run for their school’s cross country team. Cross country (and track) has been a HUGE part of Trav’s family for most of their lives. Trav was (still is) a runner; all Hayden and Hadley’s older cousins started running when they were in the third grade and some continued on through high school, college, and even at the professional level. XC is such a great mix of being both an individual and a team sport. Travis worked with one of the teachers at the kids’ school to create the first ever XC team. The number of kids who signed up was completely overwhelming. Travis was hoping for twenty runners and at last count, they had over NINETY third, fourth, and fifth graders sign up. I hope Hayden and Hadley always remember what their dad has done for them, and I can’t wait to see what they (all three!) accomplish. #CoachWhitehasawhistle #powerplay

Ready for the first practice

8. WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

I’m in the back to school reading slump, so I just finished reading The Art of Racing in the Rain this past weekend. I started reading it right before heading back to school, and took the time to finish it Saturday morning. I really enjoyed it. Of course, anything with a dog as the main character, will most likely be a fave of mine to read. Now, I’d like to find the time to go see the movie. I hope to get back to my normal reading routine soon…but first I need to get back to staying up past 9:00 #backtoschoolteacherlife

9. WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I started listening to podcasts about a year and a half ago, and I usually only listen to them when I work out. The first podcast I ever listened to was Finding Richard Simmons. Yes, you read that correctly. 😂 I loved it. Anyway, now some of my faves are Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist, Distracted & Aggressive, and Living and Dying in LA. I hope to get back in my podcast routine when I get back to my morning workouts next week.

10. WHAT I’M WEARING:

This peplum high low sleeveless top from Amazon on repeat. I also have the short sleeve version in light blue and light pink. I heart shopping on Amazon. All of these tops are easy to dress up or down which I love.

I’ve been subscribing to Stitch Fix for about three years. I receive an order once every three months, and usually end up keeping a couple of pieces. I love the fact that I receive items that I probably wouldn’t have necessarily chosen for myself , like this floral top, but end up loving. This top is perfect for school or church or anywhere in between.

It’s sooo awkward taking photos of myself. Is it weird that I’m always headless?

Also, I’m back wearing pants that button . Because school. And I’m professional like that 😂 Since summer clothes mostly include swimwear and athletic wear, it’s always an adjustment to wear real pants and shoes that aren’t flip flops!

11. WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Well, it’s football time in the bluuuuegrasssss…which means tailgating most weekends. The first game of the season is this Saturday. While I don’t necessarily bleed blue and always keep an eye on my (MU) Tigers, the city of Lexington comes alive when the CATS take to the turf for the first game of the season.

This pic is from the 2018 football season. Fun fact: their Uncle Chet took the pic of the wildcat for the backdrop!

12. WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

All things pumpkin. I love decorating our front porch for the fall.

This is what’s happening in our part of the world. Once we get into a groove after starting back to school, this is my favorite time of the year. Routines, cool(ish) air temperatures headed our way soon, fall sports, apple cider, and cozy sweaters! The best time of the year is right around the corner.

I hope you have a great day,

Jen

Instagram: @showmesweettea.com