Monday, September 21, 2020

Our Week - The One with Quarantine, Week 27 (Hurricane and My new SUV)

This past week and weekend were probably one of the best we’ve had the past six months, and I’m just so glad that my funk is finally starting to lift.  I knew fall would have the magic touch!  It always does.  :o)

Monday, September 14 (Day 185 of Quarantine)

This past week was homecoming week at the kids’ school, so they had themed dress-up days every day of the week.  Monday was Pajama Day, which is their absolute favorite, so they both got to stay comfy cozy all day long. 

After I dropped them at school, I decided to punish myself by running 2.5 miles.  Every time I do it, I regret it for the next 2-3 days, but I just can’t quit it.

After I’d showered and gotten ready, I spent the rest of the day working while watching The Wedding Planner and My Best Friend’s Wedding.  I just can’t quit them either, y’all.  They’re both just so familiar and comfortable since I’ve been watching them since my teenage years, and they just make me feel cozy and wonderful. 

Plus, I’ve seen them so many times that I know every single detail, which means I’m able to let them fade into the background while I focus on my work.  Sometimes when I watch or listen to something new, I find that I can’t concentrate on my work because I’m paying too much attention to the movie.  These old faves are perfect for cozy background noise while I work and they’ll be on repeat all fall long… along with Father of the Bride 2, What Women Want, and a few other movies that I’ve seen a million times that make me happy.  Pretty much any 90’s romantic comedy or anything with Diane Keaton is a winner in my book.

After I picked up the kids from school, we stopped to pick up more leftovers from my mom and dad’s house and we chatted with my dad for a bit before heading home for our afternoon and evening routine.

That evening after dinner, I got a bee in my bonnet, and I just had to repaint that wall in my office that I told y’all about in last week’s Five on Friday post… the one where the paint had faded behind my frames?  It felt wonderful to get it done, and I was thankful everything turned out the way it did.  I’m also glad to have my house project/get things done mojo back after all these months.  I was starting to worry that it was gone forever.  I should have known better than that.  Haha.

Tuesday, September 15 (Day 186 of Quarantine)

Tuesday was Team Tuesday at school, so the kids wore their Georgia gear… we are counting down the days until Georgia football is back!

After I dropped them at school, I did a yoga workout and then worked all morning.  It was dreary outside all day because of impending Hurricane Sally, so I got all cozied up in my office.  After lunch, I turned on Sleepless in Seattle and I spent the rest of the afternoon watching that while I painted.  Since I moved the travel frames from my office to our bedroom, I needed something to hang on my wall, and since I couldn’t find anything that really spoke to me, I decided to paint something myself.  I’ll be sharing it soon. 

After dinner that evening, all four of us went for a walk, and the weather was amazing – cloudy, cool, and windy… I always say that pre-hurricane weather is the best weather.  It’s true.

The kids have been making How to Train Your Dragon Character Bookmarks all week, and Jacob asked me to snap a picture of his Tuesday night.  They did these totally on their own and I just love how creative and talented they are! 

Wednesday, September 16 (Day 187 of Quarantine)

Wednesday was When I Grow Up Wednesday at school, so the kids had to dress up like what they wanted to be when they grow up.  Jacob wanted to be a scientist, and when I asked him what kind of scientist, he said a herpetologist.  I had never even heard of that, so I googled it, and sure enough, it’s a zoologist who studies reptiles and amphibians.  That kid never ceases to amaze me. 

Olivia, on the other hand, had all kinds of crazy ideas for her future career, but we had dress-up stuff for none of them, so when Brian suggested a ballerina, she jumped at the chance to do that one.  She loves ballet and already has an entire ballet ensemble, so it was perfect.

After dropping them off, I went home to work for an hour or so, and then I had tons of errands to run.  Unfortunately, that was the same time that the outer bands of the hurricane started blowing in, so it rained nonstop the entire time I was out and about. 

After a trip to the gas station, Hobby Lobby, Kohl’s, Michael’s, Target, the dermatologist for my annual skin check, and Chipotle to pick up food for B and me for lunch, I was finally able to settle back in at home and dry off.  The rest of the afternoon was spent working on my painting while watching My Best Friend’s Wedding, and then it was time to pick up the kids.

We’d barely gotten back home from school when all of the schools announced they were closing Thursday for Hurricane Sally.  It ended up being stronger than they’d anticipated when it hit land, and since our city was expected to take a direct hit in the overnight hours, they thought it was better not to risk having everyone on the roads in the morning in case there was any significant damage.

In addition to canceling in-person classes, they also decided to proceed with virtual learning for Thursday which made me want to bang my head against a wall, so needless to say, I immediately put on my PJs and grabbed a glass of wine when I got that news.

Wednesday was the first day of the new year of dance classes for Olivia (they started late this year because of Covid), but her school has decided to start the year virtually, and not in-person.  Olivia loves dance class, but she is not a fan of doing it virtually, so she wasn’t super excited about it.  She powered through and did a great job, though, and she ended up enjoying it.  This year she’s not only taking ballet and tap like she has the past two years, but she’s also taking jazz.  She wanted to take jazz this past year, but it was an entirely separate class, so I was happy to see they had rolled ballet, tap, and jazz all into one slightly longer class this year... much easier to manage that way!

After dinner, I sat out on the back porch for a bit to watch the rain and the wind from the hurricane, and then after the kids went to bed, the harder winds started blowing through.  B and I were watching TV and we heard a loud noise out front, and our big urns holding our ferns had fallen over.  Thankfully, they didn’t break, so we moved them into the corner of the porch where they’d be more stable.  The main portion of the hurricane rolled through our area around 2 AM, and the wind and rain did wake me once, but we slept through the whole thing. 

Thursday, September 17 (Day 188 of Quarantine)

The one good thing about virtual leaning was that we were able to sleep in on Thursday!  As someone who is not remotely a morning person, sleeping in is always a huge treat.  Thankfully, our school didn’t do any live lessons, so we didn’t have to check in with the teacher and any time during the day and we were free to go at our own pace.

I got up around 7:30, got ready, and then we all headed down for a quick breakfast before starting schoolwork a little before 9.  Their work only took about 2.5 hours, so they were done before lunch, and then they were free to play for the rest of the day.

We had zero damage at our house from the hurricane, but we did get a TON of rain.  Olivia had put her rain gauge out the night before, and it ended up filling up totally and spilling over.  One of our neighbors said that their rain gauge showed that we’d gotten 9.5 inches of rain in our neighborhood… all in about 24 hours.  Is that not crazy?!  There was some flooding in certain parts of town, and there were some trees down, but other than that, I think our area fared well.

While the kids were doing their schoolwork, my phone rang, and it was the phone call I’d been anticipating for weeks – my new SUV had finally arrived at the dealership… four days early!!!!  The salesman told me that we could pick it up that afternoon, but since the kids were out of school we decided to wait until Friday morning to get it.  I had no desire to drag them to the dealership and make them sit there while we went through all of the paperwork. 

The rest of the day was spent contacting our insurance company, cleaning out my old SUV, and working on a few more house projects. 

Friday, September 18 (Day 189 of Quarantine)

Friday morning, I dropped the kids at 7:30 and then ran back home to grab a cup of hot tea before getting to the Kia dealership at 9 AM.  Our salesman pulled my new Telluride up and we got our first look at the exact one I’ve been dreaming up in my head all this time!  That’s the thing about the Telluride… they’re so popular right now that the dealership can’t keep them in stock, so we were never actually able to see some of the exact options that I wanted in person.

My main concern was the interior… there were so many color options, and it was so hard to decide which one would look the best in person.  I wanted a grey interior since I loved it so much in my old Saturn (the car I drove pre-kids), but the salesman warned me that the grey is much lighter in person than it looks on the website, so light, in fact, that it’s almost white. 

That had me majorly worried, but I really wanted grey interior, so I decided to risk it.  Fortunately, it ended up being the absolute perfect shade of grey, and it’s nowhere near white in my opinion.  The whole entire vehicle is even more beautiful than I could have imagined and I am head over heels in love and completely smitten with it!!   It’s perfect.

Just as we were about halfway done signing all of the paperwork, the power went out at the dealership and it didn’t come back on.  Since the hurricane blew through, the power has been spotty around town, because the electric company has been working on it.  I was so sad because I thought that meant I’d have to wait another day to take my new baby home, but, fortunately, they let us go ahead and take it home anyway.  We will be going back first thing this morning to finish it up and then it’ll (technically) be mine!  They got me to ring the bell and we were on our way!

On another note, it was a little bittersweet saying goodbye to my Honda CRV.  We bought the CRV when I was two months pregnant with Jacob, and it brought both of our babies home from the hospital after they were born.  I drove it for nearly 10 years!!  I would say I’ll miss it, but I’m really just excited to finally have Bluetooth and a display.  ;o)

I spent the rest of the day transferring all of my stuff to the Telluride and familiarizing myself with all of the controls.  Since I went from a very basic vehicle to a vehicle that’s full of high-tech electronics, I had to learn how to operate everything.  Haha.  My Telluride also has Apple CarPlay, so I paired my phone with it and learned how to use that as well.  My gosh, I can already tell that I’m going to love it.  It’s so dang convenient.

By the time I had everything set up in the Telluride, it was time to get the kids from school.  They knew I was going to likely be picking them up in the new car, so they were excited about it.  Both of them are still in booster seats, though, and no vehicle is ever good at accommodating boosters with seatbelts, so they both struggled a little to get their belts buckled.  I ended up having to pull over to help Jacob with his.  I guess I need to make both of them sit in it and practice.  Lol.

Friday evening, B and Jacob went for their second hair cuts since Covid started.  And let me tell you, this is the longest Brian's hair has ever been since I've known him.  Check out his before and after.  Lol.

Later that evening, B picked up dinner from our favorite pub and then we watched Hocus Pocus with the kids… the first time this season!  And surely not the last.  After the kids went to bed, B and I watched The Story of Us, that old Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer movie from 1999, since it has been added to Netflix.  I sure do love me some Bruce Willis, but I was not a fan of that movie at all.

Saturday, September 19 (Day 190 of Quarantine)

Saturday morning, we had homemade waffles for breakfast, I got in a quick cardio workout, and then we spent the whole morning watching GameDay, working on house stuff, and cleaning out the garage. 

We’ve always parked both vehicles in our garage, but we’ve never had two vehicles this large, so we had to clear a few things out of the garage that no longer fit.  My CRV didn’t have a third row, so it was much shorter than the Telluride, so we had a bench, a hand truck, and the kids’ bikes sitting at the front of my side of the garage.  Those no longer fit with the Telluride parked in there, so we had to scramble to find a place for them.  The kids’ bikes and the hand truck are going to be hung on the garage wall, and the bench is going to be painted with a protectant and placed out in our back yard under our two big oak trees.

Jacob rode around on his scooter and Olivia did sidewalk chalk while B and I cleaned, and the weather was just perfection – cloudy and cool and breezy… just perfect, I tell ya.  Olivia eventually made her way to the front yard to play in the leaves and at one point I heard her tell Jacob as she was throwing leaves in the air, “This is what I always dreamed of!!!!”  A girl after my own heart.  These girls love fall.  There is just nothing better.  Well, except for Christmas, of course.  ;o)

We had a late lunch at home, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out and playing video games (the kids), watching football (B), and working on some other small house projects and working on the blog (me).  

We picked up pizza from a new-to-us place for dinner, and afterward, we all decided to pile in the car to go grab pumpkin pie Blizzards from Dairy Queen.  DQ was struggling, and we ended up waiting 45 minutes for them to make ours (the kids and I waited in the car), but I suppose in the long run it wasn’t really a big deal since we had nowhere else to be anyway.

We ate our goodies when we got back home (our first pumpkin pie ones of the season!) and then we watched some of the America’s Got Talent we had recorded from earlier in the week. After the kiddos went to bed, B and I watched some football and that was our Saturday.

Sunday, September 20 (Day 191 of Quarantine)

Yesterday was homework in the morning...

And then we had our first Sunday Funday that we’ve gotten to have in six whole months, and we enjoyed every single second of it.  We hadn’t been out to eat since March 13 (aside from the few times we ate outside when we were at the beach back in June), but we decided to go out for lunch on Sunday.  We chose a place that one of our friends owns because we knew that they are requiring masks and doing everything else to keep everyone as safe as possible, and we went at 11:15 AM to beat the crowd.  One entire side of the restaurant is completely open to the outside because they have huge garage doors that open and close, so we opted to sit right by one of the garage doors to be, basically, outside.  We would have chosen one of the tables on the patio, but it was super windy, and that doesn’t usually bode well for outdoor dining. 

There were only two other tables of people there when we arrived and everyone working was masked up, so we felt comfortable the whole time.  That said, it was a bit unsettling being out, knowing that all of this Covid stuff isn’t over yet.  B and I aren’t one to let our guards down, so trust me, we haven’t.  We probably won’t eat out again for a very long time, but it was a really nice treat to do it this one time since a half a year has passed since we last did.

We went to one of our favorite local restaurants that we frequented before the pandemic because we hadn’t had it in over six months.  We’ve been doing carryout from a lot of local places, but we never did carryout from this place as it’s clear across town from our house, so I was excited to have my beloved hot dog with avocado, sambal aioli, cilantro, and goat cheese.  Y’all, it is so dang good, and I’ve missed it all these months.

After that, we stopped by my favorite mural in town to get a couple of pictures, and then we headed downtown to the river walk to walk off our lunch.  The weather was absolute perfection on Sunday, maxing out in the low-seventies, and Saturday night was our first night in the fifties since winter.  And did I mention the humidity was low, too?  It was just wonderful. 

After a nice, long walk downtown, we went to Spirit Halloween to let the kids pick out their Halloween costumes.  I don’t know what Halloween will look like this year, but our kids will have Halloween costumes, and we will celebrate it in some way... even if we just have to do a candy hunt in the back yard, Easter egg hunt style.  I’m not letting Covid take that from them!

We all masked up for our trip to the store, and fortunately, there was hardly anyone there when we went so we were able to avoid everyone easily.  Jacob and Olivia walked around to see all of the scary stuff, and then they both picked out their costumes and we were on our way!

At 3, we met my parents at my Mama Cass’s house to do another socially distanced yard party, and while we were there, my aunt, uncle, and cousin randomly showed up, too.  We all sat around for a good hour and a half chatting and catching up and it was really nice to be able to see everyone.  The weather has been awful here for the last few months, so it’s nice that it’s finally cooling off so we can start doing these yard parties more often.

We got back home a little before 5 after a long, fun day and we spent the rest of the afternoon working, eating a light dinner (Sunday charcuterie!), and preparing for the week ahead. 

I’m stepping into the new week with a full heart and it feels so good!

Happy Monday, y’all!

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Five on Friday – Fall Graphic Tees, a New Book, and My Favorite Snack

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What a week, y’all!  A hurricane, virtual learning for a day, lots of fun house projects, and today I’M PICKING UP MY NEW SUV!!!!  Whew!  It’s definitely been a crazy week, but despite the not-so-fun parts, it was a pretty great one.  Today I’m sharing a few things that I’m loving this week, so here we go!

O N E – Fall Graphic Tees

Now that it’s September, my fall graphic tees are officially back in the rotation!!  I have four different ones and I’ll be wearing them on repeat for the next few months… just a little something that’s making me happy this week.  ;o)  The one I'm wearing below is here.

T W O – My Wall is Fixed

Okay, so I think I mentioned on the blog that I decided to move my travel gallery wall out of my office and into our master bedroom… the nine square frames that hung next to my door?  Those nine frames were way too big for that space, so I wanted to find something smaller to go in its place.   

Well, those frames were moved to our bedroom a couple of months ago, but when I took the frames down from my office wall, I noticed that the paint had faded underneath each of the frames, so you could still see the outline of the nine squares on the wall.  And it was extremely noticeable.  Face palm. 

I have no clue how or why that happened, and I wasn’t really sure how to fix it.  I’ve heard of paint fading in the sunlight, but the portion that faded was the portion that was behind the frames.  Makes no sense whatsoever.  My only theory was that the sunlight had somehow darkened the paint on the parts of the wall that were exposed, so I was afraid to try to paint over the section of the wall for fear that the new layer of paint wouldn’t match the rest of the walls that had been exposed to the natural light. 

I decided to wait around for a few months and let the wall breathe in hopes that eventually the faded squares would darken to match the rest of the paint (sounds so dumb, I know), but, unfortunately, they never did. 

Earlier this week, I finally bit the bullet and I decided to get out my leftover paint and roll over that section of the wall in hopes that it would match.  I’m happy to report that the new layer of paint matches the rest of the walls seamlessly, and the nine faded squares are no longer there.  I cannot for the life for me figure out why the paint faded behind those frames, but I’m relieved that it was an easy fix to get the wall back to the way it needed to be. 

It felt good to cross that one off of the master to do list since it had been bothering me for so long, and now I just need something else to go on that wall… I may already have something up my sleeve!  Stay tuned!

Also, I forgot to take a picture of the faded squares, but you can see them a little bit in the middle picture.  I'm telling you, it was bad.


See the squares?  So bad.

After the fresh paint.  Whew.

T H R E E – Majesty

If you loved American Royals, you need to get your hands on the sequel, Majesty.  I’ve been working my way through it for the last week and it’s really very good so far.  However, we’ve reached the busiest four months of the year, so I’m finding less and less time to read which likely means it’ll take me a while to get through it.  I’ll be sure to report back once I finish, but so far it’s great!  If it was still summertime, I’m sure I would have devoured this one in just a couple of days.

F O U R – Current Fave Afternoon Snack

Lately I’ve been eating cheese and crackers for a snack every afternoon, and I cannot get enough of this combination – Market Pantry (Target brand) Rosemary Crackers and the Publix brand extra sharp cheddar cheese.  Oh my word.  Do yourself a favor and try this combo.  It is so delicious.  Those rosemary crackers are everything.  And if you don’t have a Target or prefer to go to Walmart, Walmart has their Great Value brand of the rosemary crackers and they are identical to Target’s.  :o)

F I V E – Timehop Picture of the Week

This sweet little picture of Olivia in her Georgia cheerleading uniform showed up in my Timehop earlier this week, and it just gave me all the feels.  I waited 31 years to have a little baby girl of my very own just so I could put her in one of these.  Look how stinking cute!  Go Dawgs!

Friday Funnies


This cracked me up so hard.  Good ol' football rivalries!!  

Pretty much.

It's TRUE!  He's so dang cute, y'all!

On the Blog This Week

Our Week – The One with Quarantine, Week26 (Labor Day and House Things)

What I Wore – August 2020

 Fall Home Tour 2020

Also, if my blog ends up looking different today, I apologize.  Stupid Blogger finally eliminated the option to use the Legacy (OG) Blogger interface, so this is the first post that I've done using the new interface and I HATE IT.  It's been the same for my entire blogging career, but now everything is different and it keeps changing my fonts and paragraph spacing and it's just being stupid.  Haha.

Happy Friday, y’all! 

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fall Home Tour 2020

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

It’s that time of year again… time for my fall home tour!  Woo hoooo!!  Last year, our kids begged me to incorporate Halloween decorations with the fall decorations, and they loved them so much that we decided to do it again.  While it’s not weird in the least having my fall décor up before the technical start of fall, it is probably a bit weird to have the bats and ghosts up, but hey, we do what we want!  Especially in this crazy, wild year!

It’s still blazing hot here in the south, so I haven’t bothered to decorate the front porch yet, so we’ll be skipping that and heading straight inside instead.  Nobody wants to see a bunch of dead mums and rotten pumpkins.  Haha.

Come on in, y’all!

The living room and kitchen is where we spend the majority of our time, so I decked it out again as usual.  The DVD dresser is adorned with some fall flowers and a pumpkin, and the entertainment center is sprinkled with a handful of pumpkins.

This year, the mantle was a bit of a challenge because we changed the artwork this summer from our wedding picture to a floral print.  I knew the orange of the pumpkins would clash with the colors in the painting, so I stuck with a black and white theme instead.  And then we added the bats… we’ll probably have the bats from now on since it’s the kids’ favorite part.  This year, I opted to place the bats in a swooping motion, so they’re a little more exciting than last year.

My favorite cozy blanket sits in a basket in front of the fireplace along with another cream pumpkin and our football pumpkin. 

Halloween candy, a pumpkin, and our Georgia football helmet sit on the coffee table, and there is a buffalo plaid blanket draped over the couch for the cooler nights. 

I changed the bar cart up a good bit this year, and the fall leaves are one of my favorite additions to the décor this year.  I used to decorate with leafy fall garlands every year, but mine were all a decade old and falling apart, so I tossed them a few years ago.  I’ve missed them tremendously, so I thought it was time to bring some fall foliage back.  I’m thinking of getting some for my office, too, since I love the colors so much.

I changed up the table centerpiece this year with this new tray from Hobby Lobby.  I love it so much that I’ll probably find a permanent place for it somewhere so we can enjoy it all year-round. 

The tiered tray is similar to last year’s, but this year I added some copper elements and I could not love it more!  Just look at those teeny Moscow Mule mugs!!!!  I found those at Hobby Lobby this year and I just couldn’t resist them.  They go perfectly with my copper pumpkin cheese spreaders as well… we’ll be using those a lot for our Sunday charcuterie dinners.  ;o)  Also, that Target sign… it’s been on the “Let’s Stay In” side since March 13, 2020.  Sigh.

The tray in the middle of our kitchen island is there year-round, and it holds my diffuser, some oil accessories, and my candles.  I moved our ghosts and a spooky tree there this year to add some Halloween elements to the kitchen, and I think this might be my favorite way I’ve styled this tray for fall/Halloween.

The coffee bar now holds all of the fall and Halloween mugs, including my new insulated mugs that I’m loving because they keep my coffee hot forever!!  I love having my mugs, k-cups, and tea all right there next to the Keurig… it’s so convenient.

The tray in the corner of our kitchen counter holds some of our charcuterie board supplies including the board, the tiny cups that I use on the boards to hold jams and dips, some more cheese spreaders, and that gorgeous Platters and Boards book for inspiration. 

I changed out the dish towel by the sink to incorporate some more black and white, and all of the soaps in my tray were updated to our favorite fall scents.  I also traded in the pink tulips for some fall flowers instead.

I added a fall soap and some pumpkins to our guest bath, and I realized when photographing this room, that I never shared the changes I made in there earlier in the summer.  We took down the towel rack over the cabinet and hung some artwork there instead, and that little area looks so much better now.  Please excuse the terrible lighting in there, though… I still haven’t figured out how to get good pictures in rooms with no natural light. 

And now, for my favorite part of the tour… this festive little rainbow pop in my office!  Last year, I stuck a couple of buffalo plaid pumpkins on my desk and called it a day, but I ended up using those on the mantle this year, so I knew I had to find something else for my office.

Emily texted this picture to me that she’d found on Pinterest and it was love at first sight!  She knows me and my rainbow loving self so well!  While I always stick to more traditional fall colors in the rest of the house, I love to do creative décor in my office (remember my rainbow Christmas tree last year?) so this was perfect.

While I would love to do something as elaborate as the Pinterest picture, instead, I just opted for seven small pumpkins, one for each color of the rainbow.  And yes, I have deemed pink a color of the rainbow.  Instead of ROYGBIV I’ve always preferred PROYGBIV… although usually I just leave the “I” out to make it PROYGBV.  Lol. 

I already had some pumpkins on hand, and I just spray painted the pink, red, yellow, and blue ones since I already had those spray paints on hand.  Then I hand painted the green and purple ones with acrylic paint that I had on hand.  The orange one was already orange.  :o) 

And that wraps up the tour, y’all!  I’ll link as many items as I can below.


Books in Seasonal Book Crate (Not Pictured)
And if you missed any of my previous fall home tours, you can find them below. 

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