Monday, October 3, 2022

What I'm Priming: September

Hello there! Sorry I was MIA on Friday, my computer needed some repairs at the Apple Store and they took longer than expected to repair it. I was not about to type a full blog post on my phone! Today I am sharing my Prime Purchases and tomorrow I will be linking up with Tanya. Let's have a look:

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What's Up Wednesday!

Hello hello! Here we are at the end of September, can you believe it? The whirlwind of starting back to school made the month fly by especially fast for us. It was a crazy month, but a good one!

What We're Eating This Week: This week we are having all the yummy fall comfort foods! 
On Monday I made spaghetti squash and tossed it in this fall sauce from Trader Joe's. This sauce is the BEST!! I usually stock up this time of year and then enjoy it for months to come once they've stopped selling it. 

On Tuesday we had shrimp tacos (not very "fall" but whatever!)

Tonight we are having "brinner" with some pumpkin waffles, fresh fruit, and some fried eggs over toast. 
Thursday we are having stuffed acorn squash.
The weather is supposed to turn crummy on Friday so we will probably have my crockpot butternut squash soup with a baguette & goat cheese. That just sounds good on a dreary night, doesn't it?
Monday, September 26, 2022

Road Trip Tips and Tricks

Hello friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend! The kids had Friday off school so on Thursday afternoon we all picked up Lily Grace at carpool and headed to the mountains for the weekend. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Liam's Lightning McQueen Birthday Party

 Hi there friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend! Over the weekend we celebrated our big guy turning 3. Come and have a look at what we did!
Friday, September 16, 2022

Liam is 3!

 Hello and happy Friday!! Today our sweet boy is 3 years old. I can't believe it! I know every mom feels like this but I swear he was just my little baby! This weekend we are celebrating with a Lightning McQueen themed party and I know our little guy is pumped. Here are some fun updates about Liam at the moment:

Monday, September 12, 2022

Not Just a Mom: Favorite Workout Places

 Hello there! I hope you all had a nice weekend! Today the Not Just a Mom crew is linking up to share our favorite workout places. 

I split this up into two categories: my ideal workout locations and my typical workout locations. My ideal ones are the places where I have worked out in the past and would love to workout again, but due to the location are not realistic options for me to workout regularly. Let's be honest though, they make for a much prettier picture than the track at the gym. 😆. Let's have a look:

Ideal Workout Places

As many of you probably already know, I love running, yoga, paddle boarding, kayaking and hiking. Even when we travel, I still love to try to do these things if possible. When I first sat down to write this post, I thought about my favorite places I've ever worked out, and immediately this hike popped into my mind:

Friday, September 9, 2022

Preschool Classroom Tour

 Hi there! I hope you've had a nice week so far. So, if you are new around here I have a fun fact for you. Prior to being a stay at home mom, I was a teacher for 11 years. Then, Liam was born and COVID happened and I decided it was a good idea for me to stay home for a few years. Fast forward and now I am back in the classroom, teaching pre-k at Liam's preschool. These past few weeks have been BUSY as I figure out our new routine (I need to do a Day in the Life post... our days have changed quite a bit!). We finally have our first week of "normal" behind us and it feels good to have some semblance of structure again. 

The "Back to School" time of year is always crazy busy as a teacher, but also one of the most fun. Everyone is buzzing with an excited energy about starting a new year. I wanted to share a little "classroom tour" with you so you can see what I've been so busy setting up these past few weeks!

So without further ado, welcome to Pre-KA:

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

What I've Been Priming: August

Hello friends! I hope you had a nice long weekend. My sister and her family came into town and we were lucky enough to get to spend a lot of good quality family time together. The weekend went by way too quickly!

Today I am linking up with Tanya to share my Prime Purchases for the month of August. Let's have a look:

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

What's Up Wednesday

 Hi there!!! How have you all been the past few weeks? I have missed you but oh man, did I make the right choice to take a little time off! Life has been wonderful around here, absolutely wonderful... but insanely busy. It feels FANTASTIC to be back at work. Teaching brings me an immense amount of joy, and I am thrilled to be back in the classroom. Don't get me wrong, I loved being a SAHM for the past two years, but I kept feeling like something was missing. This new job (working at Lily Grace's old preschool and now Liam's new preschool) gives me the opportunity to teach but also fits our family's time schedule. It couldn't have worked out better.

Anyway, let's have a look at what we've been up to!  

Monday, August 15, 2022

I'm Taking A Few Weeks Off-- See You Soon!

Hello friends, I hope you had a nice weekend. This week the craziness of back-to-school begins. Lily Grace has her first day of Kindergarten on Wednesday! We are very lucky that she does not have a single bit of anxiety about starting. She is counting down the days-- literally. She wakes up every morning and tells me how many more days until Wednesday. 😂

After dropping off Lily Grace at school, I will then go drop Liam off with my parents because Wednesday is also my official first day back to the classroom. My preschool students won't start until after Labor Day, but I begin my back to school meetings and start setting up the classroom. 

All that to say, this little blog is getting shoved to the bottom of the priority list for a little while. I need to make sure 100% of my focus is on getting the 2022-2023 school year off on the right foot-- for everybody! The next time you hear from me, hopefully I'll have some pictures to show you my room all ready and set for the year. In the meantime, here's another look at what I'm starting with:

Friday, August 12, 2022

Back to Work Wardrobe Update Part 2

Hello there and happy Friday! It's crazy to think that we are in mid-August. Where did the end of summer go?? I swear it was just July 4th! I was able to get into my preschool classroom this week to go through supplies and try to start organizing everything. Isn't it such a cute room? 
Monday, August 8, 2022

Not Just a Mom: Binge Watching

 Hello hello friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend. We had our first weekend in forever at home, and we used it to get a million things accomplished. It feels good to be able to check a bunch of things off our to do list!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Life Lately

Well hello there! Gosh it feels like it's been forever since I've done a Life Lately post and we have been BUSY! I saw somebody share this on Instagram and thought "oh my gosh, that perfectly sums up our year so far"

Has your summer been crazy too? Here's a little look at what we've been up to lately:

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Plant Based Everything But the Elote Queso Dip

 Hello friends! Before I start on this recipe today I have to say that I cannot take credit for this one! I really just mashed up two recipes I liked, then tweaked them a bit in order to make my usual plant based queso a little bit tastier. The original queso recipe comes from Earthy Andy, and the Everything But the Elote comes from the Cooking Through Trader Joe's cookbook. Another caveat: while the Earthy Andy's recipe is 100% plant based, apparently the Mexican Style Roasted Corn sauce has a little bit of dairy, and you sprinkle cotija cheese at the end, so this is mostly plant based, but not 100%. Regardless, it's a "queso" that you can feel good about eating because it is loaded with vegetables but you feel like you're eating cheese. Not bad if you ask me!

Monday, August 1, 2022

Books I Read in June and July

Hello and happy Monday! Apparently this summer was the summer I went on a Taylor Jenkins Reid kick. I read 3 of her books back to back in June, and really liked them all! Between her books, a thriller, a nonfiction book, and a good heartwarming novel, I’ve had a pretty well-rounded summer so far for reading.  Let’s have a look:

Friday, July 29, 2022

What I Primed in July

 Hello hello! Happy Friday and happy end of July. This can be a bittersweet time of year for teachers-- they're either getting really excited about the upcoming school year or are wishing for a little bit more family time. School is going to be starting over here in less than three weeks. What about where you live? How much longer do you have before school starts?

Today I am sharing my purchases for the month of July. Let's have a look:

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

What's Up Wednesday

 Hello there! I hope you are all having a good week and are staying well. I was lucky enough to get away with some other mom friends over the weekend at Lake Keowee in SC. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Back to Work Wardrobe Update Part 1

 Hello friends and happy Friday! If you've been reading here for awhile then you know that after a couple years of being a Stay-at-Home-Mom, I am returning to the working world this fall. I will be teaching preschool at the same preschool Lily Grace attended for years, and now Liam will be there with me. I love that Liam and I will get to walk to school together, spend our days right down the hall from one another, and then we can walk home together afterwards. 

Well it was on my summer to-do list to pull out all my old work clothes, see what fits, and then donate what I don't think I will wear. Donating is by far the hardest part for me. I am really bad about holding onto clothes I haven't worn for years thinking "but maybe I will wear it again one day!" Anyone else that way? Odds are, if I haven't worn it the past 3-4 years, I'm not going to wear it again. I need to just donate!!

Anyway.. after going through everything, these are a few outfits I was able to pull together that will still work for this fall. Fair warning, about 90% of these clothes are old and so I won't be able to find an exact match to link to. That being said, sometimes I just like to look at other people's outfits because it sparks an idea for me of something I already own. So I will try to link what I can, but just know that not everything will be link-able! Also, the typical work-wear of a preschool teacher is more casual than that of someone who works in an office. So these may not work for you if you work in a more formal setting-- sorry!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Summer Organization Checklist

 Hello friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend. We spent the weekend in Wilmington with Devin's parents and then came back pretty early on Sunday in order to get our big girl ready for camp. I am really looking forward to her going this week-- she is going to have a BLAST! Not to mention I will have a few hours each afternoon to knock out some projects while Liam naps. 😉

At the beginning of the summer I had all these big plans to get organized and prepped for the upcoming school year. Well, here we are, roughly halfway through the summer and I have hardly made a dent in that to-do list. Anyone else?? This summer is flying by! This week I am hoping to power through as many of the projects left on my list as possible. Here's a look at what I'm hoping to have accomplished by the end of summer:

Not too much, right? I think it'll help us start the school year off on the right foot. So far I have already done the following:

Most of those are pretty self explanatory, right? Basically go from room to room and donate things we no longer use. I feel like I do this several times a year, yet we still accumulate so. much. stuff. As for the pictures, surely I'm not the only one with thousands of pictures on my camera roll. Anyone else out there? I have been getting notifications on my phone that I am running low on storage for the past 91 days.. time to remedy that! Here's hoping I can get a big chunk of this list accomplished this week. 

What about you? Do you make a "to-do" list or something similar over the summer? Anything else you think I should add on here? I always love your suggestions!

Today I am linking up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday. Have a great day!

Friday, July 15, 2022

Friday Favorites

 Hello there friends and happy Friday! Today I have a random assortment of favorites things we've been up to lately.

Our Anniversary!

Monday, July 11, 2022

NJAM July: Family Food Traditions

Well hello there my friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Devin came home from an 8 day work trip to Europe and the kids and I were thrilled to have him back. He landed Saturday night after the kids were in bed, but their sweet little faces lit up when they saw their daddy first thing in the morning. We had rainy weather all day Sunday so the kids played outside in their rain boots for a bit, then we spent the rest of the day cozied up in a pillow fort. Not a bad way to spend a weekend!

Friday, July 8, 2022

Prime Day Prep: Back to School Things I'll Be Shopping For

 Hello friends! Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend and a nice week to follow. We had a very exciting week around here. Our sweet girl set a goal for herself to earn a green swim band at our pool by the end of this summer, and on July 5th she earned it!! The green swim test is HARD, but she nailed it!

Friday, July 1, 2022

What I'm Priming: June

 Hello friends and hellooooooo long weekend! Do you have big plans for the 4th? We have plans to celebrate with friends and also spend some time at the Whitewater Center and I could not be more excited about it. We haven't been since Mother's Day and it is one of our all time favorite places. 

 Today I am sharing my Amazon purchases for the month of June. I think you'll notice a theme here. Think summer, road trips, and being outside. 😊

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Air Fryer Lemony Roasted Carrots

 Hello there friends! It's been awhile since I've added a recipe to the blog, and I figured I needed to get back into it. It's not like I've stopped cooking-- I've just stopped taking pictures of the food. Time to remedy that. 😉 Today I am getting back into the swing of things with a recipe the kids loved so much they asked me to make it again the following night. You'll see no complaints from me! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

What's Up Wednesday

 Well hello there! I am sad to see that June has come to a close. I love summer and it seems to be flying by-- time needs to slow down! Anyway, here's a look at what we've been up to:

What We're Eating This Week: Are ya'll familiar with Half Baked Harvest? I kept hearing about Teighan over and over from several people and then my sister brought her cookbook to the beach. After looking through every single recipe in her book-- I am obsessed! This week we are having her Charred Peppers with Marinated Feta and Tzatziki and her Chicken Fajita Tortilla Bowls (sans the chicken):
Doesn't that look delicious? The girl certainly knows how to take pictures of food!
What I'm Reminiscing About: The kids keep mentioning Disney World lately and it is bringing back memories from our trip there last December. 
We typically go every other year, but now I am trying to convince Devin we should go for just 1-2 days when we visit his grandmother over the holidays. My logic is: grandma lives in Florida, Disney is in Florida--- it makes sense, right? 😉
What I'm Loving: Did you read my post on our goal to spend 1,000 hours outside? We have been actively making it a goal to get outside as much as possible and it has been wonderful. I am amazed (but not surprised) how just a little bit of time outside can make such a big impact in several areas. One of the kids is in a bit of a funk? Lets bike down to the creek and go skip rocks. I'm feeling a little tired/sluggish? Get outside and get some sunshine. 
Our time outside has made for overall happier and healthier family, and I am LOVING it! I'll update you at the bottom of this post about how many hours we have clocked so far.
What We've Been Up To: We spent the first two weeks of June in Hilton Head, SC. After that we have been spending our mornings at camp (or playing outside), and then our afternoons at the pool. Most of the time I will pack our dinner in a cooler and we will swim until dinner time, eat at the pool, and then head home. 

One day at the pool I saw a mom pull her beach cart out of the back of her car, with all her pool stuff in it, and bring it into the pool with her. I thought that was the most genius thing I'd seen in a long time. Why do we reserve those beach carts just for the beach?? When we go to the pool I have to bring at least 3 bags (our cooler, the bag with the towels, the bag with the sunscreen/toys/swim diapers/etc.) and it is a lot to carry!! Now I just load everything into our cart and it has made my life so much easier. This was our cart yesterday on our way to the pool:
Look at all that stuff I used to be carrying in! There is one extra bag in there since we were coming from a playdate in our dry clothes, I had to pack our swimsuits. But the rest of that is all stuff we normally bring. MUCH easier with the cart! 

We got our cart at Costco a couple years ago, but this one on Amazon looks similar. If you are sick of carrying what feels like a hundred bags to the pool, I suggest bringing the cart.

What I'm Working On: My teaching license was up for renewal this year and while normally that is not a problem, since I haven't been working full time for a district anymore I was on my own to find professional development... which means I totally forgot about it and then had to find some at the 11th hour. But I did it, they're done, and my license application has been submitted for renewal. 😅 
What I'm Excited About: My two best friends and I are planning a girls weekend getaway to the mountains this fall. Our plan is to get massages and pedicures at a nearby spa, maybe go for a hike or two, eat some delicious food and catch up on sleep. It sounds like a dream! The picture above is the sunrise view from one of my favorite hiking spots in Blowing Rock, NC.

What I'm Watching/Reading: Well, since I was taking 3 online classes at lightning speed over the past 2 months, my reading for pleasure fell by the wayside. That being said I was able to squeeze in a couple books, one of them being Malibu Rising, which I loved! 
I tried to check this out at the library last summer and the waitlist was 100+ long. This summer when I went to check it out I was the only person waiting. 
As for watching, we recently watched Operation Mincemeat and Munich: The Edge of War on Netflix and both were fantastic. 
We've also started watching Keep Sweet Pray and Obey and it is both fascinating and hard to watch.

What I'm Listening To: We are on a bit of a Beach Boys kick, but otherwise its all country music!

What I'm Wearing: Oh this is fun! One of my best friends and I have started playing tennis together and while we definitely have room for growth in the tennis skills area, we are having fun getting our tennis outfits together haha!
I have a few Lulu running skirts I've been wearing, then this top (mine is old, but this is similar) and a visor
I've also been wearing this romper on repeat.

I shared both of these outfits a few weeks ago, but I've been wearing them a lot lately too:

shorts (mine are old but these are similar)/shirt
I wore this purple dress to dinner with friends a couple weeks ago and it got quite a lot of compliments! Apparently this dress plus a good fake tan just scream summer.

What I'm Doing This Weekend: We are celebrating a friend's birthday, celebrating the 4th with friends, and then I am hoping our Saturday looks a lot like this:
We are hoping to spend the day at our favorite place, the US National Whitewater Center.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month: Continuing to enjoy some more of our summer. 😊

1,000 Hours Outside Count: As I type this we are at 125 hours and counting! We didn't quite get as many hours in as I thought we would at the beach due to several afternoons with thunderstorms, but overall we did pretty well. Like I said, it is very eye opening how just a little bit of time in the sunshine can seem to make most things better. I know you all already know it, but nature really is so good for the soul. If you're interested but 1,000 hours seems too daunting of a task, maybe try setting a smaller goal? 50 a month? 500 a year? You might be surprised by how much you start to crave the outdoors after being cooped up for even just a few hours. 

Today I am linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday. I'll see you back here tomorrow for a tasty and healthy surprise!