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