Wednesday, March 31, 2021

What's Up Wednesday ~ March 2021

Happy Wednesday friends!  I am back from my recent trip and hopping back on to blogging with a favorite monthly link-up.
What we're eating this week.......
Well, I am just coming in from a trip & Easter weekend is ahead, so not much cooking going on at home this week!

Monday - take out on vacation
Tuesday - We went to a pizza restaurant when we arrived back in town.
Wednesday - quick date night
Thursday - Pork tenderloin with sides...TBD
Friday - family dinner out

What I'm reminiscing about.........
Oh goodness....just what seemed like some simpler times than this.  

What I'm loving.......
I am loving this spring weather!  I love being able to go outside in the middle of the day and not break out into a sweat.  Those days are coming soon though. 

What we've been up to............
My youngest daughter and I just returned from a trip to Richmond to visit my brother and his family.   It was a  great trip and lots more pictures to come!

What I'm dreading........
It is tax time again, so I am beginning to work on that again, which takes on a new level with now a new business for my husband.  Wishing that was done.

What I'm working on............
The same things it seems....keeping the house in order and a little bookeeping for my husband's business.

What I'm excited about..........
It was such a thrill to see my daughter's artwork on display at our local airport.  I will do a post soon on highlighting her artwork.  

What I'm watching/reading..........
I am watching the new season of When Calls the Heart #teamnathan.  We recently finished Ted Lasso (seen on Apple TV) and we also watch All Rise on CBS.  A new HGTV favorite is Rock the Block.  I love the concept of designing 4 identical houses in 4 different ways.  I also watch Pioneer Woman every Saturday and Hoda and Jenna most mornings, or at least their opening segment.

What I'm listening to.........
Whenever I am in the car alone, I am listening to all the podcasts.  Most of the ones I listen to release on Tuesdays and it seems it takes me at least until the weekend to catch up on those.  

What I'm wearing...........
Still wearing jeans and lightweight long sleeves here, with cardigans and a military jacket if I am out  in the morning and evenings. I haven't quite traded in my winter wardrobe yet for summer, but am wearing a few more cooler choices.  I also haven't transitioned to open toe shoes yet because I need a pedicure first.  That's on my spring to-do list!

What I'm doing this weekend..........
My college daughter is coming home and we will celebrate Easter as a family.  I am looking forward to having some family time together.

What I'm looking forward to next month..........
Next month, I have two weekend trips planned!  One with my husband and one with my sister and daughter, so they should both be fun, quick get-a-ways!

What else is new...........
It seems like lots of rain around here!  I guess these spring showers are coming in strong, so hopefully we will have beautiful spring flowers.

Now I need to go unpack and re-stock on some groceries around here.
Have a happy Wednesday!


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Monthly Musings ~March 2021

Happy Thursday!  Linking up today for the Monthly Musings about Spring!
1. Our family celebrates Easter and the resurrection of Jesus.  Our Easter tradition is to go to church and we usually have lunch with our extended family.  Last year, it was just the 4 of us, but it was still a good day.  We usually have ham, asparagus, mac-n-cheese, and a few other items.  

2.  A favorite Spring tradition when our girls were younger was going camping Easter weekend with several other families.  It was always so fun and full of sweet memories.  Now that the girls are older, we sometimes dye Easter eggs and I still give my girls a small Easter basket.  It is just harder to get creative these days with their ages (20 and 16), but I have a few ideas for this year.

3.  Our Spring activities are honestly not too much at this stage of life.  We do take more walks in the spring and work in the yard.  

4.  I am most looking forward to taking a few trips.  I have my first flight in over a year coming up and a few weekend trips as well.

5.  I do like to plant flowers, however, we don't plant a garden.  There was a time we planted tomatoes, and I would like to do that again at a future home.  I started planting some flowers last weekend.

6.  I do like to decorate for Spring and brought out some touches last weekend.

7.  A favorite Spring meal is chicken salad.  I have started substituting greek yogurt for mayonaise, and it makes it so much healthier and still tastes good too.  I also love anything with strawberries and cool treats, like frozen yogurt.

8.  The past week has felt like perfect Spring weather and we have all enjoyed it.  I enjoy dressing in layers during this Spring season.

9.  Our Spring will definitely look different from last year.   This year, we are still wearing masks in public, indoor spaces, however, it is so nice to have more freedoms going to stores, restaurants, church and friends and family gatherings. 

10.  I dined outside Monday at lunch with a friend!  I hope to see a few more friends I haven't seen in a while for some outdoor meals soon too.

Have a great day and weekend ahead!  I'm headed out for trip number one, so I'll be out of blogging for a little bit.  


Monday, March 22, 2021

Weekend Wrap Up ~ March 22, 2021

 Happy Monday to you!  In our neck of the woods, we had beautiful weather this past weekend to usher in spring.  The mornings and evenings were a little cool with lovely daytime temperatures where the sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot either.  

This post is short and sweet, because most of our Saturday and Sunday were spent outdoors in our yard. I spent time cleaning up our yard, picking up lots of sticks, cleaning out flower beds, and planting a few things in pots.  

We also had a new side fence put up last week and my husband added a gate and working on some other places in our backyard to try to keep our dog in our yard.  The dog has been getting out a lot lately and has been quite the hassle for us and to our neighbors.  We will see if this helps...this picture is the below.   As you can see, the side fence was literally falling down and the end of it was just propped up with random things.  And apparently I forgot to take a picture of the after, but will do that soon!

Sunday, we went to church, went out to lunch and ate outside, and then my daughter and I went to a friend's house.  They had invited some ladies and their kids to come decorate spring cookies.  It was fun and then I came home to do some more outside yard work.  

Hope you all have a great start to your week!  Thanks Tanya for the link-up!  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Let's Look ~ Perfect Night In

 Top of the morning to you on this St. Patrick's Day!  Hope you are all wearing your green and if you're in the south, stay safe with these storms approaching us today.  

I am linking up today for the monthly Let's Look feature with this month's topic being "Perfect Night In".

So many thoughts on this one, but just going with reality here on a perfect night in at our home.

A perfect night consists of the little things that make life important and special.  First, I would want all my people here.  That would be my husband and two daughters.  We would have dinner, prepared probably in the slow cooker or a sheet pan dinner, to make things easy.  This would be followed by a simple dessert of brownies or cookies.

With a candle burning, we would play a game, share some laughs, then watch old episodes of either The Office or Parks and Rec (while snuggled in a cozy blanket) and share some more laughs.  

This sounds like a lovely, simple evening for us.

Since my older daughter lives away at college, a current perfect night in still consists of a fairly easy, but delicious dinner prepared in advance, good tv with a candle burning and twinkling lights on, and sitting in the hot tub to catch up on the day.

I feel like for most of us, especially after the past 12 months, we have learned to appreciate the little things even more than we ever did.

Irish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuesday Talk ~ Fun Foods Lately

I hope you all are off to a good start to your week with Monday behind us.  

Today, I am sharing just some fun foods I have had lately.

I think I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but it bears repeating.  Y'all, this is the Godiva Chocolate Cheese cake from McAlisters Deli.  I normally would not think of dessert from McAlisters, except they do have awesome chocolate chip cookies to share at your table while waiting on your meal :).  Just a few months ago, they introduced this cheesecake.  All the textures sounded like my favorites and my goodness, it lives up to the description.  It is delicious!  Try some next time you are there. Yum.  Lord, please help me not to suggest McAlisters so I don't fall into this temptation too often.  Amen.
Last week, my husband and I had a date night to Cheesecake Factory due to a gift card (thanks Mom!).  I tried to be healthy and got the low sugar one, which did taste good.  But confession, I ordered the Oreo cheesecake to-go (not pictured) for my daughter, and it tasted better :).  We split it the next day.
When I'm not falling into cheesecake temptation, this is my new favorite brownie mix.  I find this at Costco, but it can also be purchased from Thrive Market.  It is super healthy and taste good too.
A quick, at home snack is strawberries with some sugar-free syrup drizzled over the top.  If I have it on hand, sometimes I will add cool whip and some plain greek yogurt too.
I recently ordered this pizza crust from Zero Carb Lyfe.  Look at the ingredients below!
It is made from chicken breast!
This was a first for me.
I made some marinara sauce, added cheese and turkey pepperoni and had myself dinner Thursday night.  It actually tasted pretty good.  Granted, mentally, it was weird to think about eating a chicken crust pizza.  But, it wasn't bad.  I will finish off the package of them, but may not buy these again.  They were a little pricey for my regular budget.  I had a regular frozen pizza for my husband and daughter to eat. 
Lastly, these are some delicious chicken taquitos.  If you need a quick, healthy meal, here is an easy recipe for you:

Flour or corn tortillas ( I used the low carb Ole brand)
Cooked shredded chicken (I used 2 chicken breast for 4 taquitos)
Shredded cheese
2 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2. Tbsp. salsa 

I actually put my chicken in my small processor, which ground it up instead of shredded, but it can be done either way.  Mix the chicken, cheese, cream cheese, and salsa with a spoon in a bowl until combined.  Spread mixture on tortilla.  Spray with cooking spray and cook in air fryer on 375 for 15 minutes.   Serve with chips and salad.

Thanks for reading my random, recent food items!  This inspires me to share more good recipes in the future.  I love getting creative food ideas from your blog posts as well & it is fun to see what others are making.

Have a great day!


Monday, March 15, 2021

Weekend Wrap-Up/Pandemic Thoughts ~ March 15, 2021

 Hope you all had a good weekend and are well rested after losing that hour of sleep this past weekend.

Today, I am linking with Tanya and catching up on our weekend and 1 year pandemic thoughts.

We took off Friday for a quick trip to Nashville for a college information session for our daughter.  

View of the Parthenon from our hotel room.
It is always busy on Broadway in Nashville.
I can hardly believe she is going to be a senior this fall.
We learned a little more about a school potential, ate good food, and visited an art museum.

Now for some reflecting thoughts on the pandemic:
1. What was life like in early 2020?

 Life in early 2020 was full of so many unknowns.  This picture was taken March 12, 2020.  This was when I knew something big was happening.  Grocery store lines were backed up into the aisles.  There were text threads among family members asking if anyone had found toilet paper (any brand!), Lysol wipes, and for a while, meat, bread, eggs, and milk.  

2. What was the biggest change?

For me, I lost my job.  Most of you know I was a travel agent and specialized in corporate travel.  When the airlines shut down and no one traveled, business travelers were the first to stop traveling and will be the last to return to travel.  

3.  What were your coping mechanisms?

Being outdoors, baking/eating, and memes!  I feel like memes really took off during this time.

4.  What did connection in your relationships look like?

We moved our college girl out of her dorm, so it was good to have her home, although it was quite the adjustment for her :).  We definitely spent a lot of family time together!  I do feel like a lot of my female friendships changed though.  A lot of these friends I saw weekly at Sunday School through our church, and when that didn't happen, we fell out of touch.  I would still consider these good friends, but I do miss the weekly connection we had.  It is slowly regaining.

5.  What will you remember most?

I think I will remember the simple times together as a family.  I will treasure the time at home with my family this past year that I would have not had otherwise if I were working.  

6.  What was the biggest challenge? 

I think it was dealing with disappointments on so many levels.  Disappointment of a change in income, change in insurance, change in job for my husband, school calendars changed, unknowns of contracting the virus, do we have enough...fill in the blank, canceled church and social events, people handling it all so differently and so much more.

7.  What was a beautiful memory?

Truly, it was the little things for me.  I so appreciated being home and available to drive my younger daughter to some things when her youth group was able to meet outside last fall.  I loved being home able to do some things and be a homemaker.  I began to wonder how I had been working full time and still cook and clean at home!

One other sweet memory is that we started attending a new church plant a few months before this happened.  Because we are small, we were able to meet (outside of a month or two) in person during most of the past year.  It provided a new source of community for me.

8.  What do you believe now that you didn't a year ago?

I am much more flexible now than I was a year ago, because I believe that nothing is in my control!

9.  What would you do differently?

I would have tried to really learn a new skill.  Other than that, through the ups and downs, even things I didn't handle well taught me some lessons that I wouldn't change.

10.  What will you carry forward?

Jesus doesn't disappoint.  He is in control.  He has been before this past year and will continue to be.  He never changes.  

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

10 on the 10th ~ March 2021

Happy Wednesday!  Linking up today with onceuponatimehappilyeverafter for the 10 on the 10th blog post all about Spring.
The theme is 10 things you Love about Spring.

1.  The weather - I love this current phase of weather where it is a little chilly in the mornings and evenings, but most of the day is temperature in the 60's.  When we lived in South America for 3 years, we didn't have seasons, but it was always spring/fall weather year round.  The temperature never dropped below 60 or was above 70, even though the sun would get intense being closer to the equator. This picture was taken in July 2015 and we were wearing sweaters and boots in Bogota'. 

2.  Clothing - The change in weather brings out a change in clothes.  There is always something exciting about changing the wardrobe a little bit.  It is time to bring out the lightweight cardigans, floral tops, white jeans, and some cute wedges.  With that being said, I would wear my boots year round if I could. Y'all know I also mourn for a quick bit each year when I put away my boots though.

3.  Outdoors - It is nice to be able to go outdoors for a walk, eat outside on the back porch, & spring planting.  Also, having people gather for an outdoor event gets me excited!

4.  Plants - Speaking of spring planting, I love seeing the crocus and daffodils pop up in yards.  I just cut a few flowers yesterday.  I have some other flowers I want to plant, but am waiting until at least April.  I am spending some time this month just to prep my yard with turning over the soil and getting rid of weeds and all the sticks that have fallen to the ground.

5.  Decor - It is fun to decorate with flowers and all the spring/Easter things.  It just brings a bit of joy and happiness in homes.  I do keep my lights above the mantle on a time for every night, so I feel that coziness in the midst of spring decor.  

6.  St. Patrick's Day - It is a fun little holiday to show how lucky we are to have people in our lives.  I decorate for this, then will transition into Easter.  It is always good to hear the story of St. Patrick too. Here is my St. Patrick's decor:

7.  Easter - This is a fun holiday to decorate for, but much more than that.  This holiday is the hope of our Christian faith.  This is what sets us apart.  Jesus was resurrected.  He lives today.  It is always a fun day with family, however that may look.  Last year, it was just the 4 of us with no extended family due to everyone being so careful in our then new covid environment.

8.  Spring cleaning - If we haven't all cleaned out all our drawers and closets by now after the past year, seems like spring is the time to do it.  With the change of wardrobes and weather, it is a little more motivating to go through things and toss them or donate them.  I am trying to do some organizing in our attic while the weather is not too cold or too hot.

9. Travel - Spring makes me think of travel and here's hoping we all get to do a little more of it this year.  Even just little weekend trips are good for the soul. I have a few scheduled and am looking forward to them.  

10.  Inspiration - I feel like after winter, we are inspired and excited for just a new season.  We have made it through winter & feel a sense of motivation and empowerment to tackle new projects, while also relaxing in the new season.

I am thankful for Spring more than ever this 2021!


Monday, March 8, 2021

Weekend/Life Lately ~ March 8, 2021

 Good Monday morning!  Somehow, last week went by so fast.  Today, I am linking up with Tanya and catching up on the weekend and a little of last week.

 As I have mentioned before, I help my husband with his business some.  Part of that is helping with ordering, which included an afternoon trip to pick up some tile (he does construction remodeling & additions).  We drove a little over an hour in his truck and had lunch together.  It was a good afternoon. 

If life ever takes you to Batesville, MS, go eat at Bread and Butter on the square.  They are only open Monday-Friday until 2pm, but the food is so good.  This was the crab cake BLT with sweet potato fries.

Saturday, we went to visit an old friend who has private land.  We practiced shooting guns, fed cows & a 2 week old calf,  grilled out and ate too much!

Also, last week, my parents celebrated 55 years of marriage.  We had a family celebration Sunday afternoon.  My brother and his family lives out of town, so we always miss them at family events.
A family celebration means I get to see my greats!  (Two weren't able to be there).
This is a treasure because it was my first time holding this little great born in December.

Sunday afternoon, we took a walk in the same woods that were beautiful and snowy just a few weeks ago,  enjoyed the nice weather on the back porch & I watched When Calls the Heart.  

It was a great weekend and hoping now I can be motivated to get some projects done I need to do this week!

Weekend Wrap-Up / Fall Decor ~ September 20, 2021

 Good Monday morning.  Life has been tough lately and is winning over my blogging time these days.  But, today, I am sharing some highlights...