Friday, September 8, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Today I am linking up with Shay, Mel, and Shaeffer for  What's Up Wednesday where we share random things that we've been up to this month.  August flew by for us!  Brock was home for a week and we got Ava ready to go for her year in the Czech Republic.  You can read my past WUW posts below

What we're eating this week....Yesterday I started my fall diet.  I'm tracking everything in my fitness pal and I'm hoping to lose a little weight.  

What I'm reminiscing about....The summer!  We had a great summer but it flew by.  I loved having both of our kids home for a week in August.  It's crazy to me that Brock is all grown up and Ava is almost all grown up.  I am so proud of both of them and I love when we are all together.

What I'm loving...I love everything about fall and I'm excited that it's that time of year.   On Friday I am going to pull out all of my fall decorations and I can't wait!

What we've been up to...The school year started for Graig and I last Monday so we have been busy, busy, busy at work.  I work with fraternity and sorority students and last Friday we had our annual Greek phot shoot. I had to be on the roof with the photographer during the photo shoot and I took some pics with my phone.  I hope we have a great year! 

What I'm dreading...Thankfully nothing at the moment! 

What I'm working on....Fall is my busiest season for work and in my volunteer activities.  My day is busy working with college students, I also work part time for a non profit and in the October we have our annual donor reception so I'm busy preparing for that.  I am also on the committee that plans the annual Pit Run.  This year I am also the race director. The Pit Run is a road race in memory of a state trooper that was killed in Oneonta in '94. The annual event raises money for his foundation.  This year is the 24th annual race!  We plan and prepare all year for the race and I'm really excited for it!  

What I'm excited about...I'm really trying hard to say no to things and slow down and enjoy the fall and quiet time st home with Graig.  I feel this past few years has been SO busy for us and I'm looking forward to slowing down and enjoying time together. 

What I'm watching/reading...I haven't been watching TV but I've been reading a lot of books.  You can see my July/August book review here.  

What I'm wearing...cardigans!  It's been a little cool here so I layer cardigans over my summer dresses. I find the best cardigans at Target! 

What I'm doing this weekend...I'm working a little because it's the end of fraternity and sorority rush and I'm going to dinner Friday and Saturday nights with friends and I'm working on a project for the garden club, and I'm going to learn how to make empanadas. I'm exhausted just typing all of that but I'm looking forward to a fun weekend!  

What I'm looking forward to next month...We are putting a new fireplace in our living room.  I can't wait to get started on that project!  

What else is new...We have a temporary empty nest and though I miss Ava like crazy I am trying to enjoy the time that she is gone and concentrate on things I want to get done this year.  I have a big list and I hope to do a blog post soon about my plans!  She is enjoying the Czech Republic and that makes my heart happy ❤️❤️

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!  We are finally settled into our house and this weekend I'm going to decorate for fall. I also have two birthday parties to go to, some flower arranging to do and my friend is going to teach me to make empanadas.  It's going to be a great weekend!     Today I am linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.

1.  Ava started school this week in the Czech Republic.  Her host Mom sends us pictures almost every day.  I always love getting them.  Ava is settling in to her new routine and she is going to start practicing basketball with a team on Monday.

2.  The first few weeks of the semester are crazy busy for me!   I work with fraternities and sororities and there are a ton of events plus rush week the first few weeks of the semester.  Bid Day is tomorrow and then hopefully things will calm down.  Last week we did a photo shoot with our entire Greek community which is always fun.  This pic is from my phone I can't wait to see the official ones from our photographer. 

3.  I always love canning and freezing stuff in the fall for the winter.  This week I froze some sweet corn.  I will have to post this recipe on my blog soon.  I love having freezer corn all winter!

4-On Fridays we wear red at work to show school spirit.  We are the red dragons.  I have been buying some red things because I don't have a lot of red clothes.  I am more of a black girl.  But I got out of my comfort zone and bought these cute red Toms this week to wear on Fridays.  I have black ones and  they are so comfortable so I'm excited to try these.   I think these will be fun to wear in Friday's.  

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Crafty Wednesday {bathtub tea}

A few weeks ago Rachael and I did a craft class at a 4-H camp for adults.  They asked us to do a simple, inexpensive craft and we thought Bathtub Tea would be perfect!

Bathtub Tea is a cute little name that we came up with for scented bath salts.  We made two kinds lavender and rose hip.  I'll give you the recipe for both in case you want to make them.
Bathtub Tea recipe
1 cup epsom salt or Himalayan sea salt 
1/4 cup dried lavender or rose hips
A few drops lavender or rose hip oil
You can double or triple this recipe depending on how big your container is.  We used small jelly jars so one cup was plenty! 

Lavender is a scent used for relaxation and rose hips are used for detoxification.

We found epsom salt near the beauty and bath products at Walmart. 

We found dried rose hips and lavender in the bulk section of the organic grocery store in our town.  

We also got the essential oils at the organic grocery store.  I have also seen essential oils at TJ Maxx and Amazon. 

We added a round sticker to the top and you can also add ribbon to your jars too.

I have used these salts in my bath and they are wonderful!  Very fragrant and they would make the perfect little gift.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Happy Things {July and August}

Each day I write down one happy thing that happened that day and then at the end of the month I do a post about my Happy Things.

You can see my past Happy Things posts below







and in 2016 I did a whole huge post at the end of the year.  You can read that here.

1-visted Lake Champlain and Troy Farmers Market with Ava, Anne and Sabrina
2-Erica's 4th of July Party-so fun!!
3-quiet dinner at home with the family
4-fun Fourth of July-parade, cookout, fireworks!
5-Anne's going away party
6-Bunco Night!
7-Girls Trip to Ithaca
8-Girls Trip to Ithaca
9-Ran the Boilermaker, Ava in Gus Macker
10-Cooperstown for Amy's Birthday
11-Quiet night at home
12-Watched Ava play summer basketball
13-Monthly craft night-Made monogram wine glasses!
14-Celebrated Sabrina's birthday!
15-camp fire with friends
16-Lake Day!!
17-Cocktail party at Rachael's
18-swimming at Vicki's
19-Mid Summer Night's Dream in Cooperstown
20-Fireworks at the Country Club
21-date night at home with G
22-Pool Day!
23-Saratoga with the girls
24-Saratoga with the girls
25-100 women who care fundraiser
26-Kelly's member/guest party
27-Bookclub and fireworks!
28-walk with Ava in the park
29-craft day at the library
30-Boat Day with friends
31-Walk with friends after work

1-two great fitness classes
2-Fireworks at the Country Club
3-Girls Night
4-Cooperstown with Vicki and Stephanie
5-Brock came home!
6-Family dinner with friends
7-Celebrated Brock's birthday in Saratoga
8-Quiet day at home with Brock and Ava
9-Family photo shoot
10-Fireworks at Country Club
11-Dinner with Inez, Donna and our boys
12-took Brock back to the airport after a great visit!
13- tried Paddleboard yoga
14-Dinner out for Stephanie's birthday
15-prep for Ava's going away party
16-fun lunch with friends
17-drinks on Amy's porch
18-Bon Jovi Concert
19-Quiet day at home
20-Ava's going away party!
21-David Sedaris talk in Cooperstown
22-Swimming with friends
23-Ithaca trip with Sabrina, Ava, and Eliza
24-Bunco night!
25-Moved back to our house!
26-taught craft class for kids at Farmer's Market
27-dinner out with Ava at Mt. Fugi
28-took Ava to the airport in Philadelphia (not happy but definitely a memory!)
29-Book club at Rachael's
30-fun lunch with friends

This summer has been crazy busy and filled with fun!  I am hoping September slows down and we can enjoy

Monday, September 4, 2017

Weekend vibes and Ava update

We had a nice weekend.  A mix of work and fun.  I love weekends like that!   

Graig and I spent all day yesterday organizing and unpacking.  We are almost moved back into our house.  It feels good to be settled!

Saturday my friend T had an end of summer brunch.  It was a beautiful day.   We are and swam in her pool.  It was so fun!

Ava is finally starting to feel at home in the Czech Republic which makes me so happy! The first few days were hard.  She was very homesick and wanted to come home. Now she is feeling better and she started school today.  She lives with a great family and they are showing her a great time in Czech.  She visited a gorgeous castle yesterday. 

 And she loves her host sister Stef.  I'm so happy that she is happy and is finding her way there. 

I hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!  We are still settling into our house and we got Ava off to the Czech a republic.  We have a couple of fun things planned this weekend but nothing too crazy.  I am hoping to get a lot of stuff done at home.   Today I am linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites

1.  Our biggest favorite of the week was getting Ava off  to the Czech Republic. I am so proud of her for being an exchange student this year.  I could have never been away from home for that long when I was in high school (or college honestly­čśČ).   She is getting settled and dealing with some homesickness which is totally normal. We are missing her like crazy and I'm thankful we can FaceTime with her.  She visited her school yesterday and she starts school on Monday.

2-I've been watching the news all week about the Texas flooding.  It is truly so awful and it makes me so sad that so many people have lost everything.  My heart breaks for them. 

3. My friend M's daughter works for a company called Mission Made Jewelry. Mission Made Jewelry (MMJ) is a non-profit organization that is working to break the cycle of poverty for individuals around the world through the sale of handmade products.  This week I bought the BRANDED bracelet.  This bracelet  is handmade by survivors of human trafficking. Many of the victims of human trafficking are physically marked or branded by their captors, this collection of unique bracelets represents the millions of individuals trapped in the nightmare of trafficking. 

4-Last night I went to a play at the Franklin Stage Company with my friend Julia.  I have a friend that sits on the Board and I like to go at least once a summer to see a play.  Franklin Stage Company is a small donation based theater  about 15 minutes from our house.  They have amazing actors that perform in the plays many of them are from NYC.  It's a fantastic little theatre and I'm so glad we went.  We saw Authur Miller's The Price and it was very good!

I hope you have a great weekend!!!


Book review {July and August}

This summer has flown by and I've lots of fun with family and friends.  I also managed to squeeze in some reading time. I love, love, love to read and there are SO many books that I want to read.  I try and read a little every day and can usually get through a book every week.

You can read my past book reviews here

We read My name is Lucy Barton for my book group. This book is about a girl who grew up in extreme poverty in Illinois.  Most of this book takes place when Lucy is an adult, married with two girls, living in Manhattan.  Lucy develops a mystery infection and her mother comes to stay with her during her hospital stay.  During the visit Lucy's mother shares many stories and gossip from their little town.    We never find out the cause of Lucy's mystery illness but that story line is secondary to the one of love and forgiveness shared by mother and daughter.  

I found Radium Girls at the library and it looked interesting so I checked it out. I love historical non-fiction and this book was so good  to read.  This book told the story of young women who worked as dial painters at watch factories 100 years ago.  At the time the women's didn't realize radium was harmful and they quickly got very sick and started dying.  There were so many heartbreaking stories woven throughout the book it was hard to keep them all straight.  The executives and doctors who worked for the radium company knew it was dangerous but they did nothing to help the women because they would lose business.  It was so hard to read at times because the women died horrible,  painful deaths as a result of their work with radium.  
It was their lawsuits that began the process of holding employers liable for injuries sustained in the workplace.

The Monsters of Templeton was a fun book.  This book told the story of Willie a young woman who comes back to her hometown in upstate New York after moving away for graduate school.  She comes back to town because she fears she is pregnant and she wants to figure her life out.   During her stay in her hometown she does research on her ancestors one of which founded the town.  She uncovers many scandalous secrets while researching her family tree.   This book is also part love story because Willie falls for two men while in her hometown.  It's also part science fiction because when she first arrives in town a lake monster is discovered and that storyline is  woven throughout the book.  This book was set in Cooperstown (called Templeton in the book)  and that was so interesting to me because we live so close to there so many of the landmarks she talks about in the book are familiar.  I loved this book so much I'd like to read other books by this author.

Rules of Civility is a book I read for my book group.  This book is about two young working class women women Katey and Eve and their new friend--  a young, rich banker named Tinker.  The story takes place in 1938 in New York City. The book tells the story of the two women after they meet Tinker and are introduced to the upper echelons of society in NYC.

Theft by Finding is a new book by David Sedaris and is actually excerpts from his diary from 1977-2002.  It was an interesting look back at his life before he was a successful writer.  He spent many years poor and living paycheck to paycheck.  In the book  he talks openly about his drug and alcohol use and the death of his beloved mother.  He suggests that readers don't read the book chronologically but instead flip through the book.  

After I saw his reading last week I had him sign the inside cover of my book.

My favorite book this month was Jackie's girl.  This book was written by Jackie Kennedy's personal assistant who was hired right after Jackie moved to NYC after the death of her husband.  I was so fascinated by this book and I couldn't put it down.  Kathy McKeon tells many stories about her 13 years working with Jackie and her children and about their time in New York and also about summers on Cape Cod.  If you love reading about the Kennedy family you will love this book!

In September the author of Hidden Figures is coming to campus to give a talk so that is one of the books I am going to read in September.

Happy reading.  Have a great Thursday!