A few things

A few things

Summer weeks are a blur.  They fly by so fast and I have a hard time fitting in everything I want to accomplish.  Yesterday I finally was able to clean my garage out.  It wasn’t terrible – but it definitely was in need of some major organizing.  This weekend we have a fun trip to Boston to visit recently engaged friends.  I’m so excited to see the city again and have a girls afternoon, complete with a massage, while the guys golf.

Here are a few things I’m loving and coveting lately…

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Favorite New Purchase. I received my Kindle Paperwhite e-Reader yesterday which I bought on a killer Prime Day sale.  I can’t wait to download a few books just in time for our upcoming beach trip!  I ordered this case too, which was also on sale.

 

What I’m Reading. These two books are pure beach reads.  I zoomed through Lauren Weisberger’s When Life Gives You Lululemons, and I am about half way through The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand.  Fun fact: Hildebrand mentions my area (streets, landmarks, cities) throughout the book and it’s so fun when they pop up.  She definitely did her research!

 

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Basil Pesto. The other night I made a fresh pesto using the huge basil on our deck.  This year, the leaves seem to be massive!  I tell J that they really must love the spot they are in and he just shakes his head.  The pesto contained only a few ingredients blended together in my food processor: basil, salt, pepper, garlic, toasted (slivered) almonds, parmesan cheese and olive oil.  Pretty basic.  I used brown rice pasta as the base rather than white pasta.  I also added chicken for protein and corn off the cob for a little sweetness and crunch.  It was delish!  Tip:  Reserve some pasta water to thin out the pesto.  Sometimes it gets too thick to mix in with the pasta.

 

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Air Plant and Cute Pot.  During one of my many trips to Lowe’s I spotted her.  It was love at first sight and I just knew she needed to come home with me.  My daughter thinks she’s totally creepy, but I think she’s fun.  She goes perfectly with my decor.  Plus, she’s a discussion piece to boot.  Best part – so easy to care for!

 

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Julie Vos Jewelry.  J gave me this bangle for Christmas and this pendant for my birthday.  At first I wasn’t sure about the pendant since I had my heart set on a lariat, but when I visited the store, I was so blown away by all of her designs.  Needless to say, I kept the pendant and have already worn it several times.  I also now have a wishlist of other items that are totally necessary for me to have! 😉

Enjoy your weekend!

A few things

A few things

Did I ever mention that weekends are my favorite?  Well it’s here and I’m ready to celebrate a long one.  We are heading to Philly for the HoagieNation Tour presented by Daryl Hall and John Oates, featuring TRAIN!!  We went last year and it was fun, but this year’s line up is even better!  I’ve also never done the cheesesteak thing, so we are heading to Pat’s and Geno’s for lunch to compare.  I’ll let you know how that goes…

On to things I am loving and coveting lately…

 

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Remember I said on my bucket list for J’s house that I was painting his front doors and shutters?  The other day at Target I stumbled upon a seriously thick mat that will lay nicely across both doors.  It’s super thick (maybe 2 inches) and will look nice for visitors. Most importantly, you can’t beat the price of under $35.  I saw ones that were similar for way over $100!  The dimensions are 48″ x 22″ and the quality is superb.

 

 

This weekend I am hoping to plant some flowers in my front planter, as well as purchase and plant two for J’s porch.  These two images by Eat at Jack N Jill’s provide some serious inspiration for both of our houses!

 

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For our Memorial Day BBQ, I’m thinking of making this Summer Corn Salad.  I’ve made many versions of this salad in the past and nothing beats the freshness of corn off the cob and ripe tomatoes, mixed with a little feta and lime.

 

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Is anyone else obsessed with Meghan Markle these days?  I love her cool approach to style.  Everything she does looks effortless and chic, including her wardrobe.  And can we talk about her wedding dresses while we are on the subject?  Especially the high necked stunner she wore to the reception!?  If she’s your girl crush too, check out this article from The Everygirl on How to Get Her Chicest Looks for Less.

 

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If you’re in the process of curating your reading list for the beach, look no further.  Here’s a complete list of must-reads for this summer by PopSugar, courtesy of my cousin.  Some novels haven’t even been released yet!

Happy Memorial Day and have a restful long weekend!

A few things

A few things

Friday!  Woo hoo!  Two more Mondays of school after this weekend (not including Memorial Day)!  I’m not happy at all…. 😉

This weekend will be a little more restful than the last few.  Tonight we are just hanging and tomorrow we are having friends over.  Some of my girlfriends haven’t gotten the opportunity to really get to know J, so tomorrow will be the night.  I’m planning on keeping it rather simple by making a recipe I featured a while back on the blog.  It’s the perfect meal for a crowd and easy to prepare ahead.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, Mimi’s Chicken and White Wine Casserole is a winner every time.

On to things I am loving and coveting lately…

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This was a good blog post from Cupcakes and Cashmere about dealing with anxiety, written exclusively from a psychologist’s point of view.  The blog’s author has openly expressed her dealings with anxiety and I find it comforting to know that I’m not alone.  Not that I want others to suffer, but anxiety is something that many can relate to and I’m finding it more and more common for people, particularly women, to open up about their struggles.  Mental health is becoming more and more transparent in today’s society and it’s a real thing.  If you’ve read my posts, I’ve mentioned my anxiety dealings a few times on the blog and it’s an ongoing battle.  You can catch them here:

Less Anxiety | More Kindness

How I Learned to Deal with Imperfection By Asking One Simple Question

Living Intentionally

 

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I recently read a novel with my class and they were sad when it ended.  But rest assured, we started a new one and they are equally excited.  The two are nothing alike, the first one was based during WWII and this one during the 1800’s, but their differences are what makes each one special.  Tuck Everlasting, our current read, is about a young girl who accidentally meets a family that is immortal from drinking water from a magical spring.  This family does everything in their power to make her understand that their immortality is a curse rather than a blessing.  She ultimately has to make the decision whether to drink the water and live forever, or choose a life of growing older and eventually dying.  The kids have many questions and the discussions have been awesome.  This book is more advanced for a 4th grader, but we are reading it together and discussing as we go along.

 

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The other day a few colleagues and I were talking about the dreaded fanny pack.  Some love them and some hate them.  Their debate was escalated when I told them of their recent comeback and they hardly believed it.  So here you are girls, the new and improved fanny pack complete in a multitude of colors, shapes and designers.  Don’t believe me?  Read more about this controversial trend in this article from Harper’s Bazaar.

 

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I can’t believe I didn’t share this, but a few weeks ago we celebrated Cinco de Mayo at school.  I made this version of a Tres Leches cake for the luncheon.  Of all the recipes I’ve tried in the past, this one is by far my favorite.

 

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The other week I mentioned about needing a dress for a Bat Mitzvah in NYC so my daughter and I headed over to White House|Black Market to check out their selection.  The salesperson was extremely helpful by recommending a few styles to try.  While perusing, my daughter specifically made me try on this one, and she was right!  At first, I was unsure of the heavy fabric weight and the full skirt, but the two piece ensemble was perfect for my event.  I received many compliments on it all night and I was comfortable.  It even left plenty of room for dessert!

My few things were random, but my love of Fridays is full.  Have a wonderful weekend! xo

A few things

A few things

Sometimes the craziest weeks go quickly and sometimes they drag on and on.  This one seemed to go relatively fast and I’m not complaining.  This weekend, J and I are heading down to DC to visit friends.  I am going to run the National Women’s 8K with our friend Alycia, and I’m a little nervous.  Let’s be honest…I’ve been running, but not “training,” so run is the key word.  There’s quite a difference.  So my plan is to run a decent pace over the 4.9-ish mile race and finish respectively.  No PR’s or crazy times for me.

Besides that, here are a few things I’ve been loving and coveting lately…

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J recently was in Amsterdam for a work trip and brought me back these amazing chocolate bars.  So far, the middle one was my favorite!

 

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I love to find obscure indie films on Netflix that have in depth plots and complex characters.  Last week I talked about the movie “Locked Up,” and this week it’s “Kodachrome.”  Starring Ed Harris and Jason Sudeikis, Kodachrome is semi-based off of a true story where people were flocking to a small camera shop in Kansas to have their remaining roles of Kodachrome film developed before expiring completely.  Harris plays the dying, infamous photographer and absent father of Sudeikis.  Sudeikis was contacted by Harris’s nurse to deliver the news of his father’s ailing health.  Harris’s last wish was to take the trek to Kansas to have these special roles of film developed before his death.  This film did not have the action of Locked Up, but Sudeikis showed me a different side of his acting abilities and Harris, well, he is always good.  It’s a bittersweet journey of lost time and memories made.

 

The other night I was at Barnes and Noble for my daughter’s school choir night.  Before the performance I found two interesting books for my summer reading list.  “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” looked like an interesting read.  It was all about decluttering your home and life.  “This Is Me” by Chrissy Metz caught my attention.  For being in the business a long time and finally breaking through with a huge role, Metz tells her story and how she got to where she is now.  I love her show, so I’m pretty sure that I will like this book.

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!  xo

A few things (a day early)

A short week and an Easter break…what could be better!?  After tomorrow’s in-serivce I’m heading to the mountains for my school team’s annual cabin trip.  We started this tradition four years ago and it’s something we look forward to all year long.  This year, especially, it’s much needed!

In addition, I have a friend’s baby shower on Saturday, Sunday’s Easter festivities, and a day off on Monday.  Here are a few things that I have been loving and coveting lately, including a recipe that I plan on making for Easter dinner.

I am on the fence about these Free People leopard clogs.  I’m thinking they will be comfortable to wear to school as the temps rise.  Thoughts?

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I plan on making a version of this Pineapple Bread Casserole for Easter.  My older than dirt recipe is slightly different and will be featured next week, but you get the picture.

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I’ve been hearing so much about Kristin Hannah’s new book The Great Alone: A Novel and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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A parent of one of my students makes these amazing cookies for every holiday.  Each one gets better and better.  Just look at the detail!

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I am loving this culotte trend for spring and just found the perfect pair at Marshall’s for a steal.

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This has to be one of my favorite fireplaces of all time.  It’s done by designer Shannon Claire and the room it’s in is superb.

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Have a wonderful Easter with friends and family! xo

A few things

A few things

Two snow days make a week go by rather quickly, and the time at home allowed me to get things done around my house and write some blog posts.  This weekend will be a good one starting with two parties tonight.  I’m normally not that social (lol), but they just so happen to be on the same night.  Tomorrow we are going to see another middle school’s version of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. to support our friend’s daughter, and Sunday there will be a crowd of fans to support J’s daughter at her first home gymnastics meet.  Fun, mixed with a little relaxation is what it’s all about!

Color Me Floral by Kiana Underwood is simply gorgeous.  Not only do the floral arrangements inside provide inspiring images, she also goes into detail on how to make your own arrangements at home.  Bonus – it’s a beautiful addition to my coffee table book collection.

Choosing a movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime is always a huge decision for J and me.  It usually takes us way longer than it should to make a selection and often times the movies we choose end up being lackluster or complete duds.  This was definitely not the case last weekend.  We stumbled across “The Gift” staring Jason Bateman and it was SO GOOD.  I know this isn’t a new movie, but it was new to us.  Initially we thought it was a romance, but it definitely wasn’t!  I don’t want to give anything away, but this one’s a good watch.  The suspense didn’t begin until about a third of the way through, but the ending will leave you speechless.

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I just started reading The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg for a “strong woman” pep talk.  I find it interesting to learn about women who started small and built enterprises from the ground up.  This book was recommended to me by a friend, and  although I am not too far in, DVF is inspiring and motivating all at once.

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I am addicted to this popcorn.  When I can’t air pop my own, this is a close second as a healthy and all natural snack.  There are only three ingredients in the bag: popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt.  That’s it!  Did you also know that popcorn contains antioxidants?

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A friend of mine is an extremely talented artist and she recently rendered this black and white piece just for me.  I chose to house it in a clear acrylic frame so it wouldn’t interfere with her work.

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I am all about bringing back personalized notes and thank-you’s through snail mail.  There’s just something about receiving a hand-written note, postal style.  In my opinion, a personalized note says that the sender took the time to sit down, think about their thoughts, and scribed them on paper for you!  Texting sentiments is great, but there’s a time and a place for those short and sweet messages.  I especially love this set from a shop on Etsy.

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Make it a great Friday and have an amazing weekend! xo

 

a few things

Weeks like this one can’t end soon enough.  From start to finish, it was one where I wasn’t prepared for the start of Monday and I had something on the calendar each evening.  It was also one of those weeks where little things constantly went wrong.  I forgot my phone in my car on three separate occasions, my locker at the gym wouldn’t open, I left my running bag in the faculty room and didn’t realize it until the end of the school day, and I forgot my coffee and protein shake on my counter and had to go back home for it.  I swear, if my head wasn’t attached I would have lost that too.

On a positive note, Friday is finally here and I am really looking forward to the weekend.  Tonight we are going out with some friends, tomorrow I am planning a special birthday dinner party for my dad (more on that next week), and Sunday will be my total relaxation day.

So to wrap up the week on a high note, I rounded up a few things that I am either loving or coveting lately.

These mules, or something similar, are on my list for spring.  I remember having several pairs just like this one back in college.  It’s so funny how styles usually come back around.  I think they are the perfect transition shoe because winter toes are still covered, but the foot is exposed just a little bit.  Who is tired of boots yet?  I am!  Besides, Madewell craftsmanship is second to none and I am sure these are no different.

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I’ve been a longtime fan of Emily A. Clark’s work and the room she is designing for her teenage daughter is on point.  Her incorporation of old and new is perfect and I’m loving the pink walls and statement art she chose for the space.  Check out her entire post here.  PS – she also found a great ceiling fan that is nowhere near hideous!

 

You can’t go wrong with velvet pillows with Greek key trim.  This little store on Easy has some really pretty ones and comes with stellar reviews.  I’m partial to the green!

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I made a salad of mixed greens with green goddess dressing for our St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at school yesterday and a few people asked for the recipe.  I used this one by Simply Sated and it didn’t disappoint.  This dressing is light and refreshing.  Because the base is non-fat Greek yogurt and fresh herbs, it’s not your typical calorie-filled creamy dressing.  I decided to make a double batch since I’m serving a salad with my dad’s birthday meal this weekend.  Doubling the recipe yielded me two, medium sized mason jars filled to the top.   I also drizzled it over my chicken and roasted broccoli last night and it elevated my dinner to the next level.  So good!

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Has anyone seen the movie “Call Me By Your Name?”  I’ve been dying to see if for a while now but over that time it’s gotten some mixed reviews.  Despite the lackluster comments from friends, I still want to check it out and now it’s on Netflix.  So why not?

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All I have to say is thank goodness it’s Friday! xo