Weekend Recap: Happy Hour, Nephews & Sunday Cooking

This weekend was a good one - I was so sad to see it go!

My Friday started off on the right foot with a stop at the library.  The sky looked gorgeous, and I couldn't help but snap a picture from the parking lot.  

The night just got better, because I had a neighborhood happy hour.  Earlier in the week, I had an invite in my mailbox for a neighbor 'get to know you' happy hour.  I thought it was such a great idea!  I have lived here over a year, and really don't know my neighbors at all.  It was really nice to meet some, and get to know them a bit better than just the normal 'hi'.  

I was out early on Saturday morning, heading back home.  I didn't snap a picture because I was driving, but goodness with the sunrise beautiful.  The color were like a rainbow, and it was absolutely stunning.  Mother nature has really been showing off lately!

My parents were watching my nephews this weekend, and I wasn't about the miss out on that!  My grandma also came for a little bit, too, and it was so nice all being together.  We played Pop the Pig, read books, built houses and towers for monster trucks to crash in, and did it all over again, haha.  

Sunday morning came way too soon, and it was time to head on back to St. Louis.  The drive (both ways) was thankfully uneventful, and it was back to reality - laundry and prepping for the week ahead.  I also spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen.  I made applesauce, which funnily enough my grandma had made some for Saturday!  I also tried a new cookie recipe - Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I have never used sea salt on cookies before and it added soooo much!  I started to peter out towards the late afternoon and spent the rest of the evening catching up on my DVR.  It had gotten FULL with all the new shows!

Hope you all had a great weekend!
Linking up with Lindsay. 

Friday Favorites: Cash Pad, Pink & Gold Skies, Mascara Primer, Pullover Thoughts, & Some LittleThings

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Cash Pad.  I can't remember if I have mentioned this show before, but I really like it!  Joelle Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers (from The Bachelorette) renovate properties, turning them into short term rentals (think airbnb).  And they do all this in one week.  I think the premise is really neat.  Most reno shows I have seen are home renovations for people to either live in, sell, or flip, so specifically being focused on short term rentals is something new and different (at least from what I have seen!).  Plus JoJo and Jordan are so darn cute together.  If you can catch reruns, find it On Demand, or online, I highly suggest giving it a watch!   

Pink Light & Golden Skies.  As I walked out the door on Thursday morning, everything was bathed in the prettiest pink light.  Of course, the picture doesn't do it justice, but goodness, was it pretty!  In the time it took me to get to work, the skies had changed into a bit of a golden color.  It just was so darn pretty and made me wish that I could take pictures to capture those types of things!  I know they always say, red skies at night, sailors delight and red skies in the morning, sailors heed warning...just made me wonder if they say anything about pink light or golden skies!

Mascara Primer.  At girls night this week, one of the ladies brought some of the beauty and perfume samples she had accumulated over time.  She had a bunch of mascara primers from Lancome, which made me think of this favorite - the L'Oreal Mascara Primer.  It's a fraction of the cost and having tried both, I think it's better than the Lancome. 

Although I didn't grab a mascara primer, I did come home with a mask and Monsieur Big mascara to try, as well as a little perfume sample of Viva La Juicy.  I loved that perfume back in the day and it smells just as good as I remember!  

LL Bean Pullover.  I got my LL Bean pullover in earlier this week, and I am so happy with my purchase!  I ordered one size up for a looser fit.  It has plenty of room to layer, and even with layer underneath, it'll still be a little bit oversized.  Exactly what I was wanting!  LL Bean is offering 20% off, ending Monday, with the code BEAN20 if you want to get one for yourself!  
Quilted Quarter-Zip Pullover
The weather is full on fall, and I can't wait to wear it this weekend.  

Comfy Clothes.  There are some days when nothing is better than getting home from work and putting on your comfy clothes.  Yesterday was a longer day at work for me, plus it was rainy and dreary and honestly towards the end of the day all I could think about was getting home, in my sweats, and on the couch.  It's the little things!

Rain Gauges.  This is kind of an odd favorite, but a favorite non the less.  Again, it rained yesterday and as I was driving home (thinking about changing into my comfy clothes), I suddenly got excited because this is the first real rain (that I can remember) since purchasing my rain gauge!  Now, when my dad asks how much rain I got, I will actually have an answer!  Assuming I remember to look, haha.  

My parents had one when I was growing up, and I am not sure why memories of going to check it, or talking about it stick out in my mind, but they do, and since having my own place I have been meaning to get one for myself for awhile now.  Every time I was out I would forget until my dad's last visit, and we grabbed one from The Home Depot.  Again, it's the little things!

On that thrilling note, here's a quick look at what was on the blog this week...
Weekend Recap: Fall Weather is Here! 
October 2019 Book Review 
10 of My Favorite Fall Recipes 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Linking up with Erika and Andrea. 

10 of My Favorite Fall Recipes

When I think of fall and food, The Sound of Music comes to mind because, these are a few of my favorite things!

There is something about fall that makes me want to spend time in the kitchen.  I love cooking in general, but when there is a chill in the air, and comfort food being prepared inside, it doesn't get much better.

I have shared some of my favorite fall recipes before, but I always feel like it bears repeating.  Especially because new favorites are being added each year!

Beef & Noodles.  This meal is too darn easy, and so darn good.  Like most of my favorites, it's one that my mom made growing up.  And one I have been making myself, ever since my mom got me my own little crock pot back in college.  It's one you can set before heading off to work, cooking until you get home and are ready to eat.  You can make this a one pot meal by heating the noodles in the crock pot, although I always finish on the stove, because that is what my mom always did.  You could even throw in some frozen peas towards the end of cooking to give you that all in one dish.  It's just so darn good, I can't urge you to make it enough!

Mom's Meatloaf.  Another favorite of my mom's - meatloaf.  I feel like it doesn't get more Midwestern than meatloaf!  This one comes together easily, and can be made ahead to just pop into the oven come dinner time.    

French Oven Beef Stew.  Growing up, this was another one of my favorite meals.  Which was odd, because it has celery and carrots and I did NOT like cooked vegetables.  But the sauce and the beef and the potatoes makes even cooked carrots taste good.  It's delicious.  The recipe makes a massive amount, but it makes for wonderful leftovers and freezes really well.

Sausage & Rice Casserole.  The word casserole just instantly bring to mind comfort food and cooler weather.  I think this one is really delicious, really easy to put together and it's another one that can be made ahead and baked later on.  Not to mention, it's one of my dad's favorites!  

Beef Fasolia.  I actually made this one just last Sunday.  It was chilly and drizzling outside, but inside the house was warm and fragrant with onions and garlic cooking in oil - yum!  It's a tomato based beef and bean stew service over rice.  So delicious, so filling, and so good.

White Chicken Chili.  You can't go wrong with a good chili recipe!  White chicken chili is a great option when you need a break from all the beef and sausage I mentioned above. 

Chicken Spaghetti from The Pioneer Woman.  I have been on a major chicken spaghetti kick.  I made a full recipe, and split it between two disposable 8x8 pans.  I ate the first one right away (ate for dinner one night, then had leftovers for lunches), froze the other pan and actually just ate it last week (again, great dinner and the leftovers are perfect for lunch).  You know how you have meals that you do not waste any leftovers at all?  This is one of those for me. 

Easy Healthier Crockpot Butter Chicken from Half Baked Harvest.  I have only made this once, so it's not an old favorite, but it's one I foresee myself making over and over again.  It's a crockpot meal, which makes me think of fall (even though I do utilize my crockpot year round), and the dish itself is just a good comfort meal.  Plus, it's easy and healthier - both of which is always a good thing!  

Grandma's Applesauce.  This is the applesauce of all applesauces, in my opinion.  I took one bite and never looked back, much to my mother's dismay.  If it wasn't Grandma's applesauce, I was not having it.  It's just so darn good!   

Pumpkin Squares.  Ending this list on a sweet note with pumpkin squares.  I love these so very much.  Growing up my mom would make theses for family get togethers, and it was always such a treat.  I always try to find a reason to make these around this time of year.  They are just too darn good not to!

Linking up with Shay, Erika and Lindsay.

October 2019 Book Review

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at 
no additional cost to you.

Park Avenue Summer by Renee Rosen.  This book was really neat.  I mentioned it in my last review, as that was the book I was currently reading.  It was refreshing to get into something different than my norm.  And while the author took liberties, it was based on a true story/person and the end goes into that a bit.

Black Hills by Nora Roberts.  I really enjoyed this book.  It kept me guessing, and the fact that one of the things it is centered around was an animal sanctuary was really neat.  

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen.  I grabbed this book from the library, looking for a 'fall' book.  This one was just ok.  The story was fine.  It is centered around what happens to a family prior to the first frost.  There is a little magic involved, nothing too much.  

Outfox by Sandra Brown.  I was excited to see this new Sandra Brown book at the library.  She is one of my favorite authors (as you can probably tell by my reviews), so I am always happy to see a new book out by her!  While this book wasn't necessarily my favorite of hers, it still was good.  You have mystery, love, and some twists and turns in there.    

The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts.  I love a good series.  This one is centered around three woman and their hunt to find three keys.  There is love, magic, and of course, ups and downs.  

Smash Cut by Sandra Brown.  I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  A wealthy man is murdered, and for awhile, you don't know who exactly to trust.  You eventually find out who, but they always seem one step ahead, and there are a few twists in there that make you second guess, well maybe it isn't that person.  I thought the book was pretty clever - one of the characters is obsessed with movies and you see things playing out as certain movie did, and things they say come from movies.  I just thought that was a really neat idea to incorporate in a book.  Of course, you get a love story, and then an extra surprise at the end.  Although I feel like you can kind of guess that last surprise throughout.

That's all I have for this month!  I still feel like I have been in a rut with books - so many I start that I end up having zero interest in.  I used to push through, which sometimes would pay off, but I feel like there are so many books and so little time it's better to quit a book then plod through.  So I don't, and end up just reading my old faithfuls (Nora Roberts & Sandra Brown)  But, I am hoping to mix in some 'different' books in my next review, although they really are two of my favorite authors!

Linking up with Steph.

Weekend Recap: Fall Weather Is Here!

Happy Monday!

This weekend started off with some wonderfully cooler weather.  I was in heaven!  To enjoy it, I headed out to lunch and was able to eat out on a patio.  That is the best!  I had big plans to sit out on my deck after I got home from work, but as I was unlocking my door this massive wasp landed on my wrist.  I had a bit of a freak out, and instead of heading outside to enjoy the weather, I locked myself up tight inside.  That was a bit too much nature for me!

I did get out Saturday morning, though, to enjoy a walk.  I had looked up some estate sales to check out on Saturday, and made my way over to one later that afternoon.  However, the prices on some of the things I was interested in were astronomical.  I made my way around to some other stores, and had no luck at all.  I am on the lookout for something to put on my front porch, and nothing was catching my eye.  

Sunday was a bit of an overcast and chilly day so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon in the kitchen.  The day just called for some baking and cooking!  I made a big batch of banana muffin tops, and beef fasolia.

The weekend ended too quickly as it always seems to, but hopefully we all have a great week ahead!

Linking up with Lindsay.  

Friday Favorites: October, Fall Walks & Smells, A Pullover & A New Face Mask

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.

I am having a hard time believing that we are already in October!  Where has the time gone?  And I just know it will move even faster now!

Devotional & Gratitude Journal.  Part of the disbelief I mentioned above hit me when I was doing my morning devotional / gratitude journal.  At the start of each month, both books have a opening page with a verse and quote, respectively.  I absolutely loved both of them this month!  The quote in the gratitude journal I thought was really interesting.  It was written in 1935, and those words are just as applicable today!

Fall Walks.  I have been getting in some good walks after work lately, and the other day the smell of fall just hit me.  It was still blazing hot out during this particular walk, so I am not sure how it actually happened but it just gave me all the fall feels.  Fire burning (why, I have no idea, because again it was in the 90s), a freshness - I don't know how to explain it.  All I know is that it smelled like fall and I had the best feeling of contentment and that all was right in the world, if just for a little bit.

And speaking of fall smells, I have been burning my Bath & Body Works Leaves candle nonstop.  After last year, I think I just forgot how good it is, and the minute I lit it, I was like ahhh.  The best is walking in from work and getting a little bit of the lingering smell.

I don't know what it is about scents, but certain ones make me so very happy!

LL Bean Pullover.  If you stopped by here on Tuesday, I mentioned this polka dot dress from Amazon.  After trying it on a few times, I realized it just wasn't for me.  Although so very cute and such nice quality for the price, it did me no favors, fit-wise.  Back to the store it goes.  But, while I was scrolling through instagram, the ads got me and I made a 'replacement' purchase...which ended up being two times the dress (of course), but I am super excited about it!  I saw this LL Bean pullover in the catalog a month or two ago, and thought it was SO cute.  Just very classic, and again, so cute.  Well, instagram informed me that LL Bean was having a sale, so I figured it was meant to be.  I grabbed the blue color, and I cannot wait to get it in!

Quilted Quarter-Zip Pullover
Kiehl's Turmeric and Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask.  I ran out of my go-to face mask, so I tried one of the others that is sitting my bathroom closet.  This mask is supposed to brighten your skin, and I really think it works!  I love a good face mask.   

On the blog this week...
Weekend Recap: Louie & A Visit From Dad 
Recent Amazon Purchases: September 2019 
What's Up Wednesday: September 2019 
October 2019 Goals & Habits 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Linking up with Erika and Andrea.     

October 2019 Goals & Habits

35+ Ideas For Birthday Quotes October #quotes #birthday

I am a starting October feeling refreshed from a productive September.  While I didn't check off my listed goals, it still was a really productive month overall! 

Here's a look at September.

September Goals

1.  Print pictures (take three).  Third time was NOT a charm.  

2.  Reorganize my gift wrapping supplies.  Check!  I had the idea to use an old chest with drawers to store all my supplies.  It had previously been in my room, then the guest room, and had moved on down to the basement.  I put my wrapping paper, tissue, and ribbon in the top part.  Then each drawer stores bag.  One which has holiday specific bags, and the other has my plain kraft bags and non-holiday specific bags.  What I was previously using to hold all my gift wrapping supplies, I used to store all my empty boxes.  I had been hoping to keep everything in the chest, but it didn't work out like that.  I would say this is definitely an improvement, though.  I know next time I am in need of some wrapping, finding everything will be easy peasy, and so will putting it all away!  

3.  Clean out the cabinet under the kitchen sink.  Check!  This was a quick and easy project, but one I had been putting off.  I would think of it every time I would grab something from under the sink, but it was never really an opportune time to get everything out and put back away nicely.  It did take a little longer than I had expected, simple because one of the cleaning products had spilled / leaked and I needed to clean it up, but other than that it was quick and easy, and looks so much better!  

Monthly Habits

1.  Drink more water.  I really upped my water in take at home (what I was struggling with the most), thanks to my new YETI, and I have to say this definitely has become a habit!  Time to take it off the list!  

2.  Make my lunch the night before.  Still a little hit or miss on this - continuing to work on it!      

3.  Wash up earlier in the evening.  Again, this is hit or miss.  It's already starting to get darker earlier, so I can imagine I am going to go back to setting an alarm to remind me to go wash up in the evenings.  I find setting an alarm really helpful.  Not only does it remind me to go wash up, but it also serves as a heads up, like hey, you will probably want to go to bed in the next hour, hour and a half, so anything you want to get done before then, now is it the time to do it.  Kind of eases you into that, rather than trying to do all the things right when you want to go to bed, if that makes sense.    

4.  End the night with a clean kitchen.  I have been pretty good about this, but it's staying on the list to make sure I keep it up!  

5.  Wash my make up brushes twice a month.  This month was a win for this one.  Of course it helped that I didn't travel at all in September, so I was able to get into a routine of sorts.  Let's see if i can keep it up!

6.  Meal plan & make the grocery list for the week by Saturday afternoons.  I think I only did this by one Saturday afternoon, maybe two, which isn't too bad, but it's something I still need to work on.  The days I missed Saturday, I did it on Sunday morning, which is better than Sunday afternoon, so I will take that improvement.  One thing I have found super helpful is to use this free printable.  I love having both the days of the week, and the list in one spot.

Overall, I would say it was a successful month!  

Now for what I hope to accomplish this month...

October Goals

1.  Start on Christmas lists.  This includes both my personal wish list, and gift ideas for those I buy for. 

2.  Clean out misc. kitchen cabinet.  I have a cabinet in my kitchen that is ridiculously odd shaped.  The door is teeny tiny, but the cabinet itself is really large.  I put vases, my toaster, and some of the items I don't use very often in there.  It could use a good cleaning out.        

3.  Gather addresses & pick out Christmas cards.  All my addresses are on my old computer, and I have a few ones to add to my Christmas card list, so I need to get them all together.  As for the cards, while it may seem early I would like to get them picked out and ordered by the end of the month.  Just one less thing to do when November hits, and they will be all set to go out right after Thanksgiving!     

Monthly Habits

1.  Make my lunch the night before.    

2.  Wash up earlier in the evening.    

3.  End the night with a clean kitchen.  

4.  Wash my make up brushes twice a month.  

5.  Meal plan & make the grocery list for the week by Saturday afternoons.  

Five seems like a good number to stop on for these...I am sure in the next few weeks I will think of a new one to add to replace drinking more water!

Linking up with Kristen & Penny.