Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday Favorites ~ January 15, 2021


Happy Friday, Friends!

Today has been the first day that I've actually felt like blogging. Well, that and the fact that I actually have some fun things to share! It's been a busy week for us, but also a good week. Consider this a scrapbook post.

First and foremost, the Christmas tree is officially gone. This year was the longest I have ever left my tree up, but I just couldn't part with the lights, even if a new section of the tree seemed to be going out every day. There was just something about the holidays that I wanted to cling to this year. I have such a peace right now for 2021. I'm sure turning off the TV and taking a step back from social media have helped. In leiu of those things, I've been cleaning and organizing a few drawers and cabinets. I purged my Christmas decorations and one afternoon, the urge to clean out my closet resulted in bags and bags of clothes for Goodwill.  It feels good to be productive. I decided to forego a word of the year, and ya know what? That's okay.

Winter Wonderland// We woke up Monday morning to a beautiful display of white. And I think for the first time in years here in Louisiana, it was pure snow and not mixed with sleet and ice. "Powder" as I like to call it, from our days of skiing in Tahoe and Colorado. Unfortunately, I needed to be in the office that day and Wayne had to go to work, too, so that left Baby Girl with a "sneaux day" to pal around with a friend. Our community needed a little joy and I think the beauty uplifted everyone's spirits.  I know it did mine. 

Alise had a little fun with her tri-pod while we were at work. 

National Champs// Roll Tide! Our favorite team has once again claimed the title of National Champs! Honestly, I went to bed at the beginning of the 4th quarter. AND I totally let the game slip up on me and I didn't get to decorate and go all out like I normally do for things like that, but we had sliders with bacon and sweet potato fries at game time, so it was fine. 

LuLu the Heron//  Right before Christmas, we received news that Alise's art design was selected to be painted on a heron. Herons on the Bayou is a community art project that places six foot herons around our city at local businesses. Well, "LuLu" arrived this week, but unfortunately Alise's art class has ended for the semester and she is now in another elective. However, her art teacher is amazing and so is her marketing teacher, so they're going to try and work things out so that Alise can paint her design on LuLu. I am so thankful for this opportunity for her and our school. 

More basketball// We are mid season and the games continue. Sometimes three a week! I don't see how Alise does it because this Mama is tired by the time the end of the week is here. Her team has had some better competition lately so there haven't been as many W's, but the team still continues to improve. Alise got a migraine right before game time this past Tuesday night and was on the side-lines throwing up in a garbage can. Definitely not her finest moment, but she managed to pull herself together at half time and went back out for the last two quarters and played so well. We have another game tonight. Oh, how I love to watch her play!!

This Week's Bust// I've tried for the last time to read the book, American Dirt. I got a little further along this time, but I just don't see what the fascination is with this best seller. Please enlighten me. I returned it to the library forever grateful that I did not buy the book.

Since Mardi Gras is canceled this year, I think I've decided to decorate for Valentine's Day instead so I'm gradually pulling out some red and pink things. Just a little hint: check out your Everything's A Dollar store for some great finds! 

Have a great weekend! 

Monday, January 11, 2021

My Favorite Christmas Present

 Happy New Year!

Our ringing in to 2021 was very low key. I actually had no plans of even being up at midnight, but Alise got invited to spend the evening with friends, and I cannot sleep until my Baby is safely home. While she was out, Wayne and I had a nice take out meal that I transferred to a NYE tablescape that I threw together at the last minute because even on the last day of a rotten year, I'm extra like that. 

When I was younger, there was just something about crawling into bed at my grandmother's house in the winter time. There was something so comforting about all those warm quilts, snuggling up underneath them, and drifting off to blissful sleep. 

Fast forward forty years when one of my favorite podcasters, Lisa Whittle, mentioned getting a weighted blanket for Christmas and how much she loved it. I had no idea what a weighted blanket was so I googled it and discovered that there are so many amazing benefits! And I'll be honest, I was a little skeptical, too. But I kept going back to that tucked-in feeling underneath Mamaw's quilts, so I thought about getting a weighted blanket pretty much off and on all year. 

Right before Christmas Wayne and I happened to be in our awful mall when he suggested going into the Sleep Number store. We have a Sleep Number bed and it is absolutely the BEST bed I've ever slept on. Wayne wanted to stop in and see what was "new" in their technology. We left with Sleep Number's version of a weighted blanket. I opted for the twelve pound blanket. 

Before you think I have lost my mind, y'all, I can not BEGIN to tell you how much I love this blanket! It has made SUCH the difference to my sleep life! I haven't had to take a sleeping pill a single night since I've been using it. My night sweats have stopped. If I happen to wake up during the night, I can easily go back to sleep. The effects are calming and soothing and remind me so much of all those quilts from years ago. If you have some of the symptoms I've mentioned or have anxiety or restless leg syndrome, do your research and consider investing in a weighted blanket. You don't have to spend a fortune; they're available on Amazon, but I really think this thing has changed my life! They are available in different weights and depending on how tall or heavy you are should determine the pounds you need. I've already gotten so use to mine that it doesn't even seem as "heavy" as it was when I first got it. Is that weird?  

Thanks, Santa Baby, for my new blanket! 

P.S. Wayne likes to call me Linus now because I carry my blanket from the bedroom to the living room while we're watching TV or if I'm reading a book. I cover it up with a soft chenille throw my friend gave me for Christmas and it feels so warm and cozy in front of the fire. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

December 2020 Favorites

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas holiday! Ours was different this year, but what hasn't been different in 2020? Two days before Christmas, Wayne came down with a sinus infection and my parents thought it was best to not take any chances, so we spent Christmas day separately. My heart was broken. In all my forty-seven years, I've never not spent Christmas with my mom and dad. I did see them, though, for a few minutes that day to "trade food" and leave gifts. It was the worst feeling in the world. 

A dear friend of mine texted me, "Maybe think that skipping this year is a guarantee of years to come. Trying to keep everyone safe." Of course she was right, but it was still so hard and depressing. Another friend of mine ended up having to do the same thing with her family because her parents actually had Covid. She texted me, "We're eating &$#@*? chili on Christmas Day! I told myself, at least I had ham, right? And it was the worst ham EVERRRR! I'm not lying.  I need to stay in charge of the pecan pie and leave the ham buying to my mom!

Luckily, it was only a sinus infection and whoever said sinus infections aren't contagious is lying. Because just when Wayne finished his z-pak, I came down with it, but I'm high on Sudafed, so there's no telling if this post will make sense or not. Ha!

My last post for 2020. So many people feel differently about this year. Some of us think it has totally sucked and then there are others of us who have had children get married or had babies or lost loved ones. I don't think it matters how  you look at this year, it will definitely be one that we all remember. 

Here are a few of my December favorites!

The Queen's Gimlet// I began watching this series right after season 4 of The Crown and although it is on a total different end of the spectrum, I found it surprisingly fun and interesting. All the chess and "strategy" aside, I fell in love with the main character and her sense of style, even if she did try to self destruct a time or two. Great ending. A little slow in parts, but only seven episodes and worth the watch. 

A Time For Mercy// If you're a fan of John Grisham or his number one best seller, A Time To Kill, then you will enjoy the third book in this series. I liked this one so much better than the second book and if you're a fan like me, then you can't read these books without picturing Matthew McConaughey as the main character (thanks to the 90's movie). 

Rudolph Cheese Ball// Pinterest for the win! I made this cute cheese ball for a small dinner party earlier in the month and it was a huge hit! So cute and festive and very easy to make. No one wanted to eat Rudolph's face. Ha! 

Alise Made The News// Baby Girl made a small town newspaper a few days after we played their small private school in basketball. Wayne happened to be in the town on his UPS route the day the paper came out and picked up some extra copies. 

Nativity Bracelet// I love nativity scenes and have quite a few sets that I display at Christmas time, so of course when I saw this bracelet, I fell IN LOVE!! Unfortunately my new Kitchen Aide dishwasher took up most of my jewelry budget this year, so... needless to say, Santa didn't bring the bracelet.  However, I AM enjoying my new dishwasher! It is ever so quiet, but I haven't taught myself how to load it like a pro yet since the setup and racks are different from my old one, but soon! 

Amazon Sweater// I am such the fan of turtle necks and this sweater kept popping up in my social media feeds. Well, it popped up in a moment of weakness and I decided to order it and I am SO glad that I did because it has been on constant repeat with my faux leather leggings! It comes in a bagillion colors and is so soft and cozy. Totally love it!

Well, now the Sudafed must really be talking because I've decided to take a shopping freeze in January. No new clothes, shoes, or accessories in my near future. I simply don't need another thing. I've spent the last few days cleaning out my closet and giving clothes away and it is just ridiculous. 

All the Christmas decorations are up and stored with the exception of my tree. Even though it is now only half lit (the bottom half of the tree decided to go out five days before Christmas!), it still brings me joy and so it's staying up for now. Along with some snowmen and other winter themed decor. 

Happy New Year!  See you in 2021!

Monday, November 30, 2020

November 2020 Favorites

Guess what I'm getting for Christmas! Sheets and a new dishwasher!! A few weeks ago, the maid told me that we had a small hole in our sheets. Two weeks later, they were shredding. Literally. I'm a sheets snob, so high dollar sheets will do and as to the dishwasher? Well, we knew that it was on it's last leg for a while, but it seems to be eating our wire racks because each time we unload the dishwasher, another prong has fallen off and the dishes don't seem to be as clean as they use to be. What can I say? It's ten years old. I actually googled the average life of a dishwasher and it's 6-10 years. Just some appliance trivia for you.

Last month I shared with y'all that I was back in the office and enjoying the fact that I was back in a professional setting. Whelp! The fun only lasted about a month. My team and I are officially back home again due to rising Covid numbers. I still go in the office one or two times a week, but our meetings are virtual and I still have to wear a mask to the bathroom. 

Here are some of my favorites this month! 

Food and Wine Festival// We celebrated the birthday of the baby of our group in St. Francisville one Sunday afternoon. The weather was absolutely AH-mazing for an outside soiree. There were tons of fancy-shmancy vendors serving tasting plates of everything from lamb and cheese grits to stuffed oysters to the most delightful bread pudding I've ever tasted, and I don't always like bread pudding. There were tables set up for wine tastings, a charcuterie style grazing table, and a Bloody Mary Bar. Just everything that you can think of actually. Country Living Magazine was there, too. The setting was a renown haunted plantation and one of us in the group is SUCH the scaredy cat and kept looking in the upstairs windows for ghosts! But I'll never tell!!

Lip Liner Pencils// LA Girl lip liner pencils are my favorite cosmetic this month and the only place I can find them is at CVS. I've recently began lining my lips again (even though no one sees them behind the mask!) and discovered these pencils, which really aren't even pencils. They glide on so easily and they would make a great stocking stuffer! The plumping lipglosses are perfect, too! Just a little tingle and my lips look fuller. 

New Recipes//Alise loves alfredo, so I decided to try this new recipe from Pinterest and she and I loved it. Unfortunately, Wayne doesn't like to branch out to far away from the traditional red sauce, so he wouldn't try it. Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Bacon is the perfect comfort food. #carbqueen

Basketball Season// Love, love, LOVE watching Baby Girl play and it is especially bringing me much joy right now even though we are in the throws of a pandemic. Let's just say that there is not much social distancing when it comes to  basketball and I don't think anyone sees us finishing our season. I can't get over the improvement Alise has made this year! Her own scoring is not where it needs to be right now, but her play calling, ball handling and passing skills have definitely improved. She is a team leader and controls the momentum of the game. She played the entire first game of the season without coming out once, and for the first time ever, we're 2-0 in a totally new district (better competition). So proud of our girl and all her teammates! I get so caught up in watching them play that I forget to video or take pictures. 

The Crown// If you are not watching The Crown, you are missing out on a fabulous series on Netflix! Season 4 released around the middle of the month and I binged it one weekend while Alise and Wayne were in Texas hunting. It's my favorite season yet with the introduction of Diana and Margaret Thatcher. The acting and Diana's look-alike fashion style are top notch! 

Mr. Edwards' Pecan Pie// So my mother was not as mad at me as I thought she would be when I shared in my stories that even though I was in charge of the pecan pie this year for Thanksgiving, I decided to go the frozen route.  And let me just say, that I think it was better than my mom's recipe.  Not sure she or Wayne would agree with that statement, but if you're looking for a quick dessert this holiday season, I always say you can never go wrong with Mr. Edwards! 

Christmas tees// I found this cute tee at Target for $8 and I've worn it with jeans (see below), red ballet flats, and a long leopard cardi. It's my favorite on-the-go outfit this season so far. I also ordered this Covid tee when my best girl, Andrea, recently spotlighted them on her IG story. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it! 

Straight Leg Cropped Jeans// Do y'all know how long it's been since I've worn a pair of Levi's? I honestly don't wear jeans that much, but decided to try a pair of straight leg jeans from Target that just happened to be Levi's and I love them! I ordered them in the Lapis Sun wash and mine are more distressed at the bottom hem and not nearly as cropped on me as they are in the picture - more ankle length. It's the first pair of high waisted jeans I've worn in a while, so I feel like I'm re-living my 80's glory days! They are so soft and the stretch is nice. I'm seriously considering another pair! 

I hope you are off to a wonderful Christmas season! All my decor is up and I am basking in all the lights. Just about all my gifts are wrapped. I have a few gift cards and the hubs to finish up! I feel like I am on a roll this year and it feels so nice to have something to feel joyful about! I hope you catch some joy soon, too! 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Covid Homecoming 2020

It has taken me a while to get this post up simply because I felt that HOCO20 was such a bust this year. But I certainly wanted to have these memories for our scrapbook, and that's why I've decided to share them after all.  

As I mentioned before, Alise did not throw her name in the hat to be voted on for homecoming court. The "Covid Cloud" was hanging pretty low and dampening the usual HOCO excitement, so we agreed to buy Alise the new iphone 12 since she truly needed a new phone. She was happy and mom and dad were happy. No homecoming festivity hoops to jump. Or so this mom thought. 

Alise and one of her besties had agreed to go to the dance as single ladies.  They did not need or want a date. Two weeks before the dance, a friend that Alise has known since kindergarten decided to pop the question and after much consideration, she decided to go with him as friends. Oh, and her bestie decided to go with an upperclassman, too, so so much for being the single ladies! 

Homecoming prep was a total disaster. Nothing I did could make my kid happy. Call it hormones, call it pure sassiness, call it being a spoiled %$*@!#, call it what  you will, but by 3:00 that day, Mama was DONE! The nails, the hair, the pumpkin spiced coffee, NOTHING made her happy or even want to smile. However, I did have one saving  grace when we picked up the boutineer and coursage (because she wanted them to match - white roses, baby's breath and blue and silver ribbon), she was actually very pleased with them.  I used a new florist this year and thought they were beautiful.

This picture was taken a few days after the dance. The coursage stayed in our fridge for nearly a month. I was surprised that Alise wanted to keep it because she's not usually that sentimental. 

Alise's coursage accidently fell off and D helped her put it back on. It was such a sweet moment. 

Make that TWO saving graces. The fact that she could still fit in to the $36 sale rack dress was a miracle. Alise had been eating everything in sight (basketball practice) for two weeks and I was worried the dress would be snug, but of course, it was fine. I think I mentioned earlier that Alise had originally found a dress on the internet, but before ordering it, I convinced her to try our local Dillard's never imagining that she would choose a dress from the sale rack. When she tried it on in the store, ithe dress was just her and I absolutely loved the color and design on her. 

Alise and her favorite post player and team mate. They've played basketball together since PeeWee ball. R may make most of the points, but Alise certainly has the most assists. When these two girls are "on," they're pretty unstoppable. 

The weather ended up being rainy, gray, and cold. Alise was upset that I didn't have a nice wrap for her to wear with her dress (she didn't like my leather jacket or my favorite leopard coat. What can I say?). And for a mom that always seems to have the answers, I was left disappointed and also at my wits end. I've learned through the years that it's not a good mix for us when we're both stressed or anxious. Wayne knew I needed those two glasses of wine at dinner later that evening.
Alise with her best couple friends. I thought they looked fabulous. 

One of my favorite pictures of the night. Someone noticed their dresses and they became known for the rest of the evening as the "Patriotic Girls."

Once Alise was around her friends, I think her nerves began to subside. She finally began to smile and act more like the fun loving daughter that I knew and love. 
Such a sweet shot that D's mom got of the two. We had just finished taking some pictures when D surprised Alise by grabbing her hand. It was kinda an awkward moment for the two of them, but they both laughed and blew it off. This is the moment when I knew the night would be fine. 

In her own special way as an apology at the end of the photo meet up, Alise called me over to the car where D's parents were whisking them to dinner, and said, "Bye, Mom! Love you! Thank you for everything!"

Day made.