Friday Favorites {May 29}

Hey y'all,

This hot humid day has really reminded me that we are finally at NC summertime. This week even though it has been short for work has been pretty hectic with a few major projects and a training on my plate. I am grateful for a weekend that will be filled with reading, book club, a call with friends, and rest. Here are a few random favorites for this Friday.

Beauty Counter Order.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I placed a Beauty Counter order to use up some expiring credit and take advantage of their free gift with purchase. Everything arrived last night and I am loving everything I grabbed.
I picked up this lipstick in Petal, a bronzer in Dune (I have the Flawless in Five kit but it did not come with a bronzer), the mini set of oils to add them to my cleansing routine, sunscreen for daily use on my face, and I received the after-sun cooling gel as a free gift with purchase. I shop through my sweet sorority sister McKenzie

Max Cat and the Ski Chalet.

Max turns eight next month and this week I keep finding him on his Christmas present taking a nap.

Iced Tea and Strawberry Lemonade.

I have recently been switching up my drinks by making a gallon of sweet tea over the weekend to have as an alternative to water. 
I also make some strawberry lemonade on Saturday to use up some of my last fresh strawberries from the local farm.

Living Room Updates. 

This week I made a few tweaks to my living room. At first I decided to move my cross-stitch projects into a boat tote. It's now next to my extra-large boat tote which currently has some extra blankets. I switch the blankets for pool/beach towels in the summer.
I also rearranged my bookshelves a bit and moved around some knick knacks and books. 
My favorite recent addition to my living room is the wedding portrait of my paternal grandparents. 
I also moved some books from my coffee table/ottoman to my tv stand. I just need to add some floral stems to the vase.

Exercise Sticker Calendar.

I was talking with my small group last week about workout motivation and I shared that I keep a calendar and add stickers whenever I workout as a reward. I also ended up chatting about it in my dietitian appointment yesterday. I grabbed the calendar from Amazon at the start of the year (it's unavailable now) but any wall calendar works. I typically grab themed stickers in the Target dollar spot but you can find stickers anywhere - craft stores, Etsy, etc.

Apple Chips.

I found out about these Apple Chips thanks to Darryl-Ann. They are available in a variety pack on Amazon but I grabbed a six pack on their website. I have only tried the Raspberry Apple and Mango chips. They do have a bit of added sugar if that concerns you (2g of added sugar for a 31g serving). 
I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea

Best,

What's Up Wednesday {May}

Hey y'all,

It feels like summer now that Memorial Day has passed. I am in disbelief that we are already to summer vacations, pool days, and cookouts. While those will all look a little different this year, my community pool opens this week, summer storms are expected here in NC today, and I am looking for a week in the calendar to take a staycation where I stay home read, make delicious food, and go on walks. Since it is the final Wednesday of the month, I am linking up with Shay to share What's Up.

What I'm Eating This Week:

With the holiday weekend and feeling done about meal prep and planning, I am taking it easy this week. 

Tuesday
Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad
Dinner: cheese, turkey, and crackers (I like the Simple Mills sea salt crackers)

Wednesday
Lunch: Turkey and Cheese on homemade bread (I used this mix). Veggie Straws. Mandarin Orange
Dinner: Chicken Tequila Lime Sausage (from Aldi) with veggies and potato salad

Thursday
Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad
Dinner: Chicken Tequila Lime Sausage with veggies and fries

Friday
Lunch: Turkey and Cheese sandwich. Veggie Straws. Mandarin Orange
Dinner: Chicken Tequila Lime Sausage with veggies and potato salad

Saturday
Lunch: Hamburger. Potato Salad. Fruit Salad.
Dinner: Out

Sunday
Lunch: Brunch - eggs, sausage, blueberry waffle
Dinner: Hamburger. Potato Salad. Fruit Salad.

What I'm Reminiscing About

This week marks the three year aniversary of my bestie's wedding. I can't believe it has been that long since I was up in Chicago for her bachelorette and ceremony. She now lives on the West Coast for her residency and I am hoping to see her in November. 
After the ceremony with her little sisters
At the reception with the beautiful bride.

What I'm Loving

I have been trying to focus on rest and contentment during this season when I am spending a lot of time in my home without a packed calendar. I have loved finding different ways to organize what I already have, cleaning out spaces, and using up what I already had in my home.

What I've Been Up To

This weekend was productive as I was able to deep clean my freezer, fridge and pantry to make it more functional. Other than that, I have been working, reading, working out, and calling my friends and family.

What I'm Dreading

I am already working from home all of June according to the co-owners of my company so I am only dreading if this continues on through July. I have been home working since March 15th and would love to see other humans on a regular basis again.

What I'm Working On

I received this recipe binder at Christmas and I have been working on going through my Pinterest boards, recipe cards, and magazines to compile all my recipes in one place. I am also taking inspiration from Kate at Naptime Kitchen and Emily from Em for Marvelous' meal planning tips.

What I'm Excited About

I just started the God of Creation study on Genesis by Jen Wilkin for my personal study last week. I have really enjoyed it. My women's discipleship group from church will begin the Sermon on the Mount study next Thursday.

What I'm Watching/Reading

I've been watching Elementary and Great on Hulu but that is about it. I did record ESPN's docuseries The Last Dance that I might watch this weekend.
The Last Dance had many stars beyond Michael Jordan - Sports ...
For reading, I am currently reading the second book in the Bareknuckle Bastards series called Brazen and the Beast. I will post my May reads next week.

What I'm Listening To

I haven't been listening to much over here. I used to listed to audiobooks in the car on my commute and podcasts all the time. 
I have listened to the I Do Declare podcast for book recommendations and the But Not All At Once royal episode. 
I started Open Book by Jessica Simpson on audible but I have not gotten very far into it yet. 

What I'm Wearing

I have been living in Zella leggings, t-shirts, and sweatshirts over the last few months. I am loving the "Homebody Forever" and Simplified sweatshirts I grabbed last month.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

My weekend plans consist of a few Zoom workouts with Barre3 Chapel Hill, grocery shopping, chatting with friends via FaceTime, a prayer time Zoom with other Kids leaders, church, Book Club Skype on Sunday, and I am sure some laundry.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

I am looking forward to see how NC does in Phase 2 and what that means for getting back to some normalcy. I am not probably sitting in a restaurant for a few more weeks but I am glad to see more businesses are back in action. 

What Else is New

I have been dealing with some stomach issues so next month I will be going completely dairy and gluten free to see if that is the culprit. If not, I will probably have to go on a low FODMAP or other elimination diet to see what is causing the problem. I have made my monthly meal plan and we shall see how it all goes.

Linking up with Shay and Sheaffer.
, What’s Up Wednesday {05.27.20}

Best,

Five Favorites on Friday {May 22}

Hey y'all,

We made it to Friday! I'm excited for a long weekend where my only plans are catching up with friends (via FaceTime), reading, working out, and church. Even as NC is starting to open up and we enter "Phase 2" tonight, I will be continuing to work from home for at least another month. This whole thing has stretched me a lot as I have learned how I handle living alone in isolation. As usual, here are some of my favorite things this week:

Sunny Fitness Stationary Bike + Peloton App.

If you have read my previous few posts you know I ordered and finally received a stationary bike. I had been looking at purchasing a bike since the beginning of the year and even looked into another gym membership to supplement my Barre3 classes. I used to attend B3 4-5 times a week when the studio first opened and I worked in the same town. I now work in RTP and it can be a struggle to drive to Chapel Hill in rush hour for class. Now I mostly just attend B3 on the weekends. I loved cycle classes at my old gym so I looked into other options. The most cost effective option (that gives me 0 excuses) is a stationary bike in my home. I have loved using the bike with the Peloton app ($13/month). So far I have taken 8 cycling classes and plan to do the 30 min Hamilton themed ride tonight after work. 


Six the Musical.

I have been on a big musical soundtrack kick while working especially Six the musical. If you are unaware, the musical follows the six wives of Henry VIII as they start a band together but they decide on a competition for who will be the lead - who put up with the most during their marriage to Henry VIII. The musical just hit the States over the last year so I am sad that the Tony Awards are postponed since I am sure they would have done well. 

Hamilton on Disney+.

In other big musical news we are now just about a month and a half away from watching the original cast of Hamilton's performance. Now, while I personally love the soundtrack and respect the whole musical I was not in love with it after I saw it in Chicago about three years ago. I wish I had gone to the performance with less knowledge and I think I would have enjoyed it more. 
Hamilton (musical) - Wikipedia

Laura Cox Collection.

I have loved Laura Cox Collection's earrings for years and I have multiple pairs from her (I am sad that one of my favorite pairs broke last year). I ordered two pairs of fun earrings even though I have just been rocking them with sweatshirts. Laura launches new items every Friday at 10 am EST. This week's launch is focused on her necklaces.

Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars.

These are part of my last hurrah of dairy as my stomach has been having issues and I am going back completely dairy-free and gluten-free in June to see if I can get it under control. I love the Yasso Greek yogurt ice cream bars and they recently released the new chocolate dipped collection. This one is delicious (but a bit messy) if you enjoy mint and chocolate together. They have a few other flavors as well, I grabbed mine at Target this week.

I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea

Best,

Amazon Lately {April and May}

Hey y'all,

I love Amazon find posts and I have been eyeing a few kitchen items but they are sitting in my cart for now. My orders this month have been a mix of necessities and some fun finds. 


The Skinnytaste Air Fryer
Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook
I love trying recipes in my air fryer so I finally grabbed this cookbook. I have the other Skinnytaste cookbooks so I'm excited to try out some of these recipes. I think the first one I will try might be the Everything-But-The-Bagel Breakfast pouches. They are essentially a breakfast calzone.

In part of quarantine makes you clean and organize everything I grabbed this set of containers for my pantry to help with all my baking supplies. I have a lot of alternative flours and sugars from doing some gluten and dairy free baking. 

Amazon.com gift card design
Amazon Gift Card
I ordered this for a friend who was having surgery. This allowed her to purchase a book for her Kindle to read during recovery. It was really simple to order and have it sent to her via text.


BalanceFrom GoFit High Density Treadmill Exercise Bike Equipment Mat
This item has yet to arrive so I will keep you updated on my review but I grabbed it to put under my stationary bike. I currently just have an old yoga mat under my bike.

OXO Good Grips 8-Piece POP Container Baking Set
This is the baking specific set of containers that also comes with a brown sugar saver attachment and two scoop attachments. I have the scoops in with my oats and my All Purpose Flour containers.

Simple Modern 32oz Slim Cruiser Tumbler with Straw & Closing Lid Travel Mug - Gift Double Wall Vacuum Insulated - 18/8 Stainless Steel Water Bottle -Seaside
Since I am home, I do not have access to the ice machine all day like at work. I actually took out the ice collection tray under my ice maker in my freezer to allow for more room during this time. This cup keeps my water nice and cold from the fridge and holds a ton but fits in my cup holder on the rare occasions I leave my house to go to the grocery store.
I decided to go back to using my Clarisonic Mia which I think I purchased from Sephora back in college so I'm impressed it is still working 8-10 years later. I did not have any brush heads in my cabinet so I grabbed this new style sensitive brush head and have been using it with my Beauty Counter regime at night. I tend to just use my fingers for applying cleanser in the morning.

What has been one of your recent Amazon purchases?

Best,


Currently {May}

Hey y'all,

We are on week nine of social distancing here and my currently hasn't changed in the last two months. I am working at home, working out via Zoom classes with Barre3 CH, calling friends, going on walks, doing all the dishes, and hoping for a routine to return. Here's more of what I am currently up to:
Image result for currently
making - a monthly meal plan. I wrote out a loose meal plan on my monthly spread in my planner at the beginning in early May but I have decided to tweak it a bit since I ordered Hello Fresh for next week. If you have family favorite recipes I am all ears. 

missing - a lot of things - a normal schedule, driving places, wandering Target, hugging friends, going out to dinner, volunteering at church, seeing my parents, and leaving the house for more than just the grocery store.

learning - I am finishing up the Hebrews study by Jen Wilkin tonight with my women's discipleship group via Zoom. I have loved studying the word with this group and we have decided to pick another study and continue throughout the summer.

loving - my stationary bike + Peloton app. I spoke about my bike on Monday's post but I have been enjoying the quick workouts in my home including the 30 min Greatest Showman themed ride I did last night at 9 pm. 

reading - I am currently reading Danger, Sweetheart by MaryJanice Davidson

watching - I have watched a lot during social distancing. I have watched: 
  • McMillions
  • Cults and Extreme Belief
  • Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
  • Prodigal Son
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - Celebrity Edition
  • Elementary
  • The Masked Singer
  • Marrying Millions
  • American Housewife
  • The Kitchen
listening -  I started Jessica Simpson's audiobook, Open Book, but I haven't gone on many walks recently so I am only about an hour into it. I also have been loving the Six the musical soundtrack. 

ordering - my last purchases have been more Native deodorant, an air-fryer cookbook, and containers for my pantry.

Best,

Weekend Recap & Meal Plan Monday

Hey y'all,

We are officially starting week nine of working from home and social distancing. NC began phase one this weekend of opening up but I did not venture to any stores apart from Harris Teeter to grab some fresh veggies. Here is what I did this weekend:

Friday

I talked to my mom over my lunch hour when she received her FarmGirl Flowers arrangement. It was a great time to chat over Facetime and to see her beautiful arrangement. 

After work I hung out and ate dinner and waited for my stationary bike to arrive. I usually have a Friday night Facetime with some of my best friends but we decided to move it to Saturday instead. The bike was set to arrive anytime before 9 pm so I just read a bit of the Thousandth Floor on the porch before it started to rain and hoped the bike wouldn't arrive too late. 

The bike arrived at 8:20 and I spent the rest of the night trying to put it together. I had a lot of difficulty with one of the bolts on the left pedal. After googling, watching videos, and emailing the company, I decided to call it quits and went to bed.

Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning ran over to Panera for a free bagel reward. After more googling, I was able to attach the left pedal! I did a quick 20 minute beginner ride on the Peloton app before taking the 10am Zoom Barre3 class. 

After all that working out, I took a shower, got ready for the day, did my dishes that I had been putting off, and got ready for my friend Facetime. 

Following the refreshing chat with my friends, I ate my lunch and finished my book before a Zoom call with other Kids Ministry leaders for a prayer before the Saturday services. 

I went to the 4 pm services of church as we start a new sermon series on 1 Peter. Then I made a yogurt parfait for a snack, watched some TV and settled in for a quiet night.
For dinner I made a turkey burger, fries, and a copycat Olive Garden salad.

Sunday

I had a lazy Sunday morning. I got up and got ready for another 10am Barre3 Zoom class.

Following class, I ran to the grocery store for some vegetables and a few other items. I also ran to Panera for another free bagel reward (I had a free bagel every day last week). 

I came home, put away my groceries while chatting with my Mom and then hopped on my bike for a 30 min live ride with Ally Love all about Mother's Day.  

I then showered, did my bible study (I am wrapping up this study with a group of women at my church) and quiet time, and took a nap. 
After my long nap, I got up and watched some TV, make dinner, and read some more.

Since I got great feedback from last week's Meal Plan Monday, I thought I would share what's on this week's menu. For breakfast I'll have either yogurt+fruit+granola, a smoothie, waffles with pb, or cereal. Here's my lunch and dinner plans: 

Monday
Turkey burger leftovers
Chicken Cordon Bleu. Rice. Green Beans

Tuesday
Pizza Rolls or English Muffin Pizza. Caesar Salad.
Chicken Cordon Bleu. Rice. Green Beans

Wednesday
Ham and Cheese Roll-Up. Carrots. Pretzels.
Chicken Cordon Bleu. Rice. Green Beans

Thursday
Pizza Rolls or English Muffin Pizza. Caesar Salad.
Greek Chicken Bowl. I use this recipe then place in a bowl with couscous, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, hummus, and tzatziki. I am actually going to grab the Fresh Market's Little Big Meal for the bowls.

Friday
Ham and Cheese Roll-Up. Carrots. Pretzels.
Greek Chicken Bowl. 

Saturday
Pizza Rolls or English Muffin Pizza. Caesar Salad.
Out.

Sunday
Greek Chicken Bowl.
Sloppy Janes. Sides TBD.

I'm linking up for Hello Monday

What are you eating this week?