Thursday, September 12, 2019

Things I Love Thursday // 9.12.19

  • Cotton Swabs - Ladies, if you are 45+, you need to hear this: You are likely walking around all day with residue mascara smudged on your eyelids (near the lash line) that you inadvertently placed there while applying your mascara the same way you have been doing since you were twelve years old (or if your parents were paying too close attention, 15 years old). The reason it is a problem now is because our eyelids are a little different than they used to be (just saying). And it's not been a problem before so you're not on the lookout. And you probably can't see the little smudges behind your lashes without taking a careful look up close to the mirror (which you're not doing because you've never had to before). SO... before you snap the lid shut on that last cosmetic and head out for your day, please grab a little cotton swab and take a close peek at your eyelid situation. We may have to lean in close to the mirror these days for a clear view --but we don't have to encourage people to attribute more years to our age than we have earned. 
  • Toddlers in Goggles - *giggling*
  • Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce - I'm posting about a Trader Joe's item nearly every week. (If you don't have a TJ's near you, I'm so sad for you.) I bumped into a friend while shopping and she was enthusiastically in favor of me trying it. Holy cow. It's not just hot, it's tasty. Maybe the fermentation has something to do with it? It's seriously spicy so proceed with caution. We've added it to pasta, scrambled eggs, and sandwiches. It's great with cheese and crackers --or just crackers. You could mix a bit in with macaroni and cheese, add some to mayo or spice up your ketchup for a dipping sauce, punch up your marinade, or just enjoy it by the spoonful. KIDDING. Don't do that. It's very spicy and you may even think it's not for you after the first taste --but you'll soon realize you have to have more.   
  • Target Dress - If you're a regular reader here, you might think that Target and Trader Joe's (and plants) are my whole life. I promise, I have other interests and activities. Anyhoo... this dress from Target is comfortable, easy, and flattering. When you put it on with a pair of earrings and some sandals --you look like you really made an effort. So easy. I love the brown color --but don't think I can quite pull it off (near my face). The pink is a lovely, soft shade. I went with "Dog Bone" (ivory) and definitely need a slip with it. Also, it's longer on me than it appears on the model in the ad (not shocking --since only I'm 5'6" (don't let my family try to convince you that I'm only 5'5.5" --you're supposed to ROUND UP, people). 
  • Frozen Avocados - Have you tried these? They're great! Let's be clear, I haven't actually defrosted any to make guacamole --but I love adding some avocado to a smoothie and a few of these frozen wedges are perfect for that. Fresh avocados are a staple around here but they can be so finicky --like, "Sorry, Tammy. I know I was perfectly ripe about an hour ago but..." 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Things I Love Thursday // 9.5.19

  • A Surprise - Especially when the surprise is my little brother on the back porch! Greg went to the gym, per usual, at the crack of dawn on Friday morning. But when he wasn't home at his regular time and then 20 minutes past his regular time, I started to get a little worried. Before I could get too concerned, he zoomed up the driveway and out of the passenger seat popped this cutie! As we live on opposite coasts, I don't get to see my brother all that often. (To be honest, I don't see my "this coast" brother very often either. *sigh*) We were due for a visit in August, but as you might remember, we had to cancel our trip at the last minute due to chickenpox. Anyhoo... THIS GUY coordinated a surprise with my husband and we enjoyed a very lazy weekend of golf, shopping, eating, and catching up. Love.
  • Quick Lunch Ideas - And this week's new winner is Trader Joe's Chicken Fried Rice from the frozen Asian food section. It takes 6 minutes for the girls to heat this bag in a skillet on the stovetop and another minute to transfer the deliciousness to their thermoses. It's the perfect amount to share between the two of them. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Keep your fingers crossed that they don't fall out of love with this too soon, as I plan to stock up for 1-2/week offerings.
  • Little Big Meals - Speaking of easy food prep... The Fresh Market's weekly offering of their "Little Big Meal" is the best deal in town! Any day of the week you can swing by your local Fresh Market and pick up this meal "package." It's usually a main and 2-3 sides portioned to feed 4 people and it is always $20 or $25, total. Everything is prepped (chicken breaded, burgers formed, veggies chopped, salads made, etc.) and it typically takes about 10-15 minutes to put dinner together. Ta-da! (They do offer pot roast and lasagna sometimes and those take longer to cook but are still totally simple to put together.) Every Wednesday they swap out the meal. You can look ahead to see what's coming by visiting the Little Big Meal link
  • THIS PLANT - So my friend, Fran, is totally ridiculous (in only the best way) and she hired City Stems (who I mentioned last week) to create this "thank you" for me (which was very NOT necessary) for some neighborly favors the girls and I took care of for her during a very hectic time recently. And... because Laura (of City Stems) and I are friends and both crazy plant ladies, she knows that I have been fostering an unhealthy obsession with finding a variegated plant. I haven't had any luck on my own but she had this little baby up her sleeve and BOOM: Now it's mine and I'm so in love. She definitely needs a name... Any suggestions?
  • Getting Tucked In - Now that they are getting older and we are getting old, Greg and I want to climb in bed well before the girls are ready to "shut their show down." It took us a little time to figure out a new goodnight routine that seemed to still work for everyone and it is this: They tuck US in. Goodness how times have changed! (Please enjoy the photo below of P's first "big girl" bedroom setup. She was such a stinker at bedtime --having to be RE-"sleep trained" about every 8-12 months. This was the phase were we had to go over her Sleep Rules before bedtime every night.)
  • Listening to Books - I love a good audible book. I usually have two books going at all times: One to read at home (especially in bed while I'm waiting to be tucked in) and another in the car that I listen to whenever I'm alone --even if it's a 4 minute drive to the grocery store. My family thinks I'm so funny *not* when I never tire of asking them on group outings, "Are you all dying to find out what's happening in my book? Would you like me to turn it on for us?" Kidding aside, listening to someone else read to me always adds more texture to the story. Professional readers add tone, humor, and timing that enhance the characters as well as the plot. I recognize in myself the tendency to rate a book higher if I've listened to it --rather than read it. (Yes. I rate all the books I read on a scale of 1-5 on Goodreads or 1-10 in my book club.) I've lately begun deliberately selecting audible books in which the narrator has an accent. Delicious. My recent favs include: The Song of Achilles, Circe, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and The Paying Guests. Who doesn't love an accent??