What's Up Wednesday {August}

Hey y'all,

I am in disbelief that it is almost September! I am ready for the routine that happens as we transition to Fall and my bible studies are back on the calendar. However, I know I have a very hectic September ahead so I am trying to savor my slow weekend this weekend before all the events. I am linking up with Shay and Sheaffer to share What's Up Wednesday:

, What̢۪s Up Wednesday {08.28.19}

What I'm Eating This Week:

M- hot dogs and macaroni
T- leftovers before a birthday party
W-ChickFilA
T-Lasagna from the freezer
F-Out with friends

What I'm Reminiscing About:

Back to School. It's crazy to think I started at UNC 11 years ago and I haven't been in school for 7 years!
Image may contain: 3 people
My last Bid Day with my littles.

What I'm Loving:

The temperatures this week have been fantastic. Sunday morning I enjoyed some hot tea and reading on my porch and I can't wait for the Fall weather to happen so this can be a regular thing.

What I've Been Up To:

This week I went to Rachel G's last class as an instructor at B3CH.
Last night I went to my friend's birthday gathering at Hi-Wire in Durham.

What I'm Dreading:

Hurricane Season. Although Hurricane season starts in July, in NC we always prepare for hurricanes through October.

What I'm Working On:

My Poshmark closet since I am in the mood to sell anything I haven't worn recently like my more business casual pieces or pieces that I love but do not fit currently.

I'm also working on a consistent morning and evening routine.

What I'm Excited About:

A busy September with lots of friend and family time.

What I'm Watching/Reading:

Watching:
Poldark
Image result for poldark
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
Image result for leah remini scientology
Hollywood Game Night
Image result for hollywood game night
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Image result for dcc making the team
Reading:
Image result for becoming

What I'm Listening To:

I haven't been listening to my usual podcasts but I have listened to Work and Play with Nancy Ray and Kendra Hennessy's Mother Like a Boss.

What I'm Wearing:

I have been keeping it easy recently with jeans and tops for work.

What I'm Doing This Weekend:

Watching the Great British Baking Show's new season on Netflix.
Book Club.
Teaching my Pre-K class at Church.
Barre3 classes.
Laundry.
Meal Prep.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month:

My high school best friend is in town for 4.5 days.
My little sister is in town for 10 days.
Fall temperatures
Carolina Football

What Else is New:

I think that is about it for August! I can't believe we only have four more months until 2020!

Best,

Ten on Tuesday {10 Non-Fiction Books On My To Read List this Fall}

Hey y'all,

Now that school is back in session here I am craving some routine. I actually wrote out a morning an evening routine last week and while it has not been perfect, I am working towards that routine as a form of preparing well for the day.

One thing in my evening routine is at least 30 minutes of reading without any distractions - TV off, phone plugged in across the room, etc. So since I always had reading lists in school here are 10 non-fiction books on my to read list before 2020.

Cozy Minimalist Home

In His Image

Chasing Slow

Looking for Lovely

Come Matter Here

When Less Becomes More

The Nesting Place

Rhythms of Renewal

Becoming

Educated

If you notice, most of these books are about thinking about rhythms, less stuff, simplicity and making time to reflect on my purpose. 

I would love to hear more suggestions of non-fiction reads to add to my list.

Best,


Five on Friday {August 16}

Hey y'all,

It's the weekend! While a pretty quiet week over here, we are only four weeks away from my calendar changing to be filled with events after school. As always, I am sharing five things this Friday that have made my week.

one. Chick-Fil-A macaroni and cheese.

On Wednesday night I tried the new menu item at CFA of macaroni and cheese. I was pleasantly surprised. It's a great macaroni and cheese. That said, I love CFA waffle fries so I will probably stick to fries when grabbing my grilled chicken sandwhich but it's a great option for kids who love macaroni and chicken nuggets.
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two. McQueen.

Last night I watched the documentary, McQueen, about Alexander McQueen's life. I love a documentary especially about the fashion industry. It is on the darker side as it captures McQueen's shows, life, and interviews with friends and family. Other great fasion documentaries include The September Issue, The First Monday in May, The True Cost, and Dior & I.
Image result for mcqueen documentary
via

three. Intuitive Eating.

I am currently reading Intuitive Eating which I picked up at the library. I am working with my dietitian to help resolve my relationship with food without any dieting and journaling through the book. It has been really helpful in honing in on some of my food issues and I am really seeing a difference in how I view food as that food - no assigning value as "good food," "bad food," "cheat foods," etc.
via

four. Closet Purge.

This weekend I decided to really look at my closet and identify only pieces that I love and use currently. While I love some of my skirts, I never reach for them especially since I now work in a casual environment. I sorted everything out and I feel really good about the pieces that I have approved to stay. Everything else is either going on Poshmark or being donated depending on it's condition. #capsulewardrobe

five. Saranoni blanket.

I first heard about Saranoni blankets from Andrea and thought they were very expensive for a blanket, however, during Prime day, I picked up one on sale and fell in love. It also worked out that a few days later, they had a mystery bundle sale where you could grab two blankets for a steal of a price. Max and I have been enjoying lots of snuggles with these blankets.



I'm linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea

Also linking up with Tif, Becky, Della, Whitney, and Whitney.


Best,

Favorite Binge Worthy Shows

Hey y'all,

I love a good writing prompt -- can you tell English was my favorite subject in school -- so I am joining Shay and Erika a day late with sharing some of my favorite shows to binge. I love a good variety of shows, from detective/solve the mystery, baking, feel good, and British dramas so these are a little all over the map. Feel free to share show recommendations in the comments!

Gilmore Girls
A classic that I have the DVDs to and watch whenever I need some feel-good background show. You can catch up on all the family drama of Lorelei and Rory on Netflix.

Queer Eye
Take out your tissues and watch how five men enter into the hero's lives for a week and transform not just their appearance and homes but outlook. This reboot is a Netflix original and has four seasons out already in the last two years.

The Great British Baking Show
If you are not a GBBO fan, I am not sure we can be friends. I love this feel good competition and I have even watched the American holiday spin off and some of the Canadian episodes as well. It originally aired in the states on PBS but you can catch up on Netflix.

Rizzoli and Isles
One of my favorite detective shows, set in Boston, Rizzoli is a detective and Isles is the medical examiner. They are best friends, solve crimes, and have hysterical personal lives. Originally on TNT but all seven seasons are on Hulu.

Lucifer
The Devil has decided to come to earth permanently and is living life in LA. He meets with a detective and begins assisting in her cases. It was originally on Fox but has been picked up by Netflix and just aired a new season.

Downton Abbey
British drama - count me in. The Crawley family are transitioning to life after the tragedy of the Titanic. It's a family drama that spans many years and historical events and shows how an aristocratic family deals with the change in British society. I love both the "upstairs" and "downstairs" characters. Originally ITV/PBS now on Amazon Prime and the movie will release later this year!

Schitt's Creek
A rich family loses everything due to a terrible financial advisor but are able to keep the town they bought as a joke. Moving into the town's motel, Moira, Johnny, and their two kids, David and Alexis, learn to be a real family with their newfound poverty. Its a wonderful comedy and Moira's wigs are the best. I am patiently waiting for Netflix to have season 5 as season 6 is the final season.

Poldark
A British drama based off the book series, the show follows Captain Ross Poldark as he returns to Cronwall after the American Revolutionary War to find his father is dead and his love married someone else. It's final 5th season is currently airing in Britain but you can catch up on the first 4 seasons on Amazon Prime and season 5 will air on PBS beginning September 29th!

Other shows to watch: Elementary, The In-Between, The Royals, Leah Remini Scientology and the Aftermanth, Eureka, and Hart of Dixie.

Link up with Shay and Erika.

, Let̢۪s look at your favorite BINGE SHOWS!

Best,

Work Wear Wednesday {August 14}

Hey y'all,

Is anyone else ready for sweaters, jeans, and flats and Fall weather? It is still warm here in NC and will be until October but my office A/C has been blasting this week and I forgot a cardigan one day so I had to wrap up in my office blanket. 

As always, I am sharing what I wore to work this Wednesday. While I currently work in a very casual office I did work in a business casual setting for over five years. For most of my outfits, swap the jeans for a pixie pant, sandals for flats, and you are all set for a stricter office environment.You can check out my other work wear posts here and I added a tab at the top of my blog as well.

top: LOFT (old, exactexact on Poshmarksimilar)/ jeans: Old Navy/ earrings: N&S

Top: BP from Nordstrom (old, similar)/ kimono: LOFT/ necklace: BP from Nordstrom (old, similar)/ jeans: Old Navy
dress: LOFT (old, similarsimilar tank style)/ cardigan: Barefoot Dreams/ earrings: pearls/ shoes: Sam Edelman. I ended up adding a necklace to this look - J.Crew (exact, similar)
top: LOFT (old, similar)/ cardigan: LOFT (old, similar)/ jeans: Old Navy/ sanadals: Sam Edelman/ earrings: Laura Cox Collection
top: LuLaRoe (old, similar)/ jeans: Old Navy/ sandals: Sam Edelman/ earrings: Kendra Scott/ necklace: J.Crew (old, similar)

Best,

Show Us Your Books {July Reads}

Hey y'all,

It's another month down and more books have been read. Even though I tend to read a lot of romance in the summer, this month included a mix of all sorts of genres.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing


This was my book club's selection for June but I didn't technically finish it until July 1st. This science fiction novel begins with April May returning to work at 3am since she forgot something and on the way back from the train discovers a giant ten-foot sculpture. She quickly calls her friend Andy and they make a video calling it a Carl and attempting to interview it. The next day, the video is viral and April discovers there are Carls throughout the world that all appeared at the same time. The book discusses fame and social media spotlight all while we discover are the Carls good or here for menacing purposes. While it is in the genre of SciFi, this book is very focused on relationships and how societal pressures affect them. 4/5 stars.

Watching You - audiobook

Watching You
I really enjoyed Lisa Jewell's Then She Was Gone, so I was excited to pick up this audiobook. The novel takes place in Melville Heights, one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England. Joey Mullen, a young woman, recently married is living with her brother and sister-in-law in one of the painted houses. Her new neighbor includes Tom Fitzwilliam, the acclaimed headmaster of the local school, his wife, and young son, Freddie. While Joey develops a crush on top at first sight, the novel also includes interviews with the local police following a crime. Told in various perspectives of those living in the town, the novel is filled with twists and turns as you try to discover the crime, the criminal, and who is watching whom in the small town. 4/5 stars.

Waiting for Tom Hanks

If you are me and enjoy romantic comedy movies, I would recommend you pick up Waiting For Tom Hanks. There are a lot of rom-com references as Annie, a twenty-seven year old writer and hopeful screen play writer is given the opportunity to work on the set of a film in her Ohio hometown. I don't want to give too much away from this sweet and predictable rom-com except that I am already looking forward to the next Kerry Winfrey novel since it will involve Annie's best friend, Chloe. 4/5 stars.

A Princess in Theory

I was excited to read A Princess in Theory after seeing the series through Bookstagram posts. The romance book genre does not have a lot of POC writers or main characters that are POC. The book involves Naledi, a graduate student working on her epidemiology degree who receives multiple emails that she is the betrothed to an African Prince. Naledi believes these emails are spam and she does not have time between her lab work, job, and studying. However, Prince Thabiso is real and is the sole heir to Thesolo. He flies to New York to meet Naledi who he believes is the same little girl he was betrothed to before her parents disappeared from the country more than 20 year ago. A bit of royalty, smart fun leads, and a bit of a mystery make for a great start to a trilogy.

The Night Circus - audiobook/eBook


This was the July book club selection and I was excited since the Night Circus has been on my list for years. The circus of dreams arrives without warning and is mysteriously without color - just black and white only open at night. Behind the circus though, unbeknownst to most, Marco and Celia are dueling young magicians who have been selected for this battle since they were young. Their battle involves talent versus those that have studied the craft. However, the game on the ground of the circus involves more than just the two of them and you become involved in knowing the other character's lives and how they will be affected by the game. I started the book as an audiobook but was not captivated, however, once I moved to an eBook I finished the book within a few days. It was easier to keep up with the different time periods with the eBook rather than the audio. 3.5/4

None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different Than Us

My small group read None Like Him over the month of July, and I technically read the final chapter last night. Whoops, I got a bit behind! The book discusses ten attributes that only God possess like unlimited knowledge, authority, etc. Sin comes from our desire to be like God in these ways. Each chapter is a different attribute that delves into the attribute, how we rebel and attempt to have that attribute, and why it's a good thing that only God exhibits these things. Each chapter includes some verses to read and 4-5 questions to journal or discuss with a group. I am excited to read the companion book, In His Image which includes ten attributes that we are like God since we are made in His image. 

A Duke By Default

The second book in the Reluctant Royals series, this book follows Portia to Scotland. She has decided to turn over a new leaf and really focus on her internship in marketing at a swordsmith's. However, while researching Portia to help add the history of the armory to the website, she discovers that Tavish, the cute Scotish owner she has been avoiding is a Duke! Portia quickly uses her socialite skills to help Tavish learn the ropes of being a Duke and might fall in love with the divorcee in the process.

What did you read in July?

Life According to Steph

Best,

Four on Friday {August 9}

Hey y'all,

We made it to Friday! I am ready for a quiet weekend of reading, walking, and getting boba tea with a friend. I also will be making a Goodwill trip and hopefully adding to my Poshmark closet since I am in the middle of a closet purge.

one. Emily Ley's When Less Becomes More.

I was lucky enough to make it into the Launch team for Emily Ley's new book, When Less Becomes More. I loved both Grace Not Perfection and A Simplified Life, her previous two books. This book is about overwhelm and feeling burned out. It also talks about what we turn to when we feel overwhelmed. Emily shares more about her book in a Facebook live here. While the book does not come out until November, you can pre-order the book already!

two. Amazonian Clay Mask.

I have been recommended this clay mask for over a year. However, I was told to hold off on face masks from my dermatologist while we were helping heal my skin. I took about a 10 month break from masks but I decided to pick this one out while at Whole Foods on Tuesday with a friend. It is just clay that you mix with vinegar. I used about 1/2 a tablespoon of each (clay and vinegar) and applied with a paint brush and I loved how my skin felt after. For under $10 I would recommend you try this out as it will last for awhile.
Aztec Secrets: Indian Healing Bentonite Clay, 1 lb (3 pack)

three. Speechless.

If you have seen the new Aladdin movie in theaters, I recommend you watching this video of the woman who is in the role of Jasmine in Aladdin on Broadway sing Speechless.

four. Happy Anniversary!

This weekend is my parent's 40th wedding anniversary! I was talking to my Mom yesterday and they don't have any major plans. It's crazy to think my Mom and Dad met when my Mom was only 19. Four kids later, now retired, and they still want to be together. Thanks for being the best role models!


In case you missed a post, Monday I shared my goals for August. Wednesday, I shared a work wear post. Yesterday, I shared things I am currently watching, wondering, and ordering


I'm linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea

Also linking up with Tif, Becky, Della, Whitney, and Whitney.


Best,

Currently {August 8}

Hey y'all,

This week has seemed off and I could have sworn that today was Friday when I woke up. Oh well, we are still one day closer to the weekend. It has been a while since I shared a currently post so I thought I would link-up with Anne and share what I am currently ordering, watching, cooking, wondering, and savoring.
Image result for currently
ordering. This week I received a few orders:

Etsy. I ordered some stickers for my new Simplified planner. This year I am going with all black pen so stickers will help bring some color to the weekly pages. I grabbed workout, walking, and meal stickers.
Amazon. My old cross shredder bit the dust before I began my deep clean and I had no idea. I then made a bag of files to shred and looked around for an affordable cross shredder since I really only use it a few times I year. It did scare poor Max Cat when I began shredding and catching up on my DVR the other night so be cautious if you have a curious kitty.
Target. I am slowly switching out items for less toxic replacements. I decided to pick up this laundry detergent and stain remover. They both ranked well using the Think Dirty App. I also grabbed these highlighters for my quiet time and my planner. I also grabbed this bin for my laundry room shelves.

watching. This weekend I caught the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team season premiere along with the Racing Wives series pilot.

I also watched Descendants 3 since I have watched the first two before I thought I should watch the final movie. If you have never watched the series, the first one begins with four Villian kids (descendants of Jafar, Cruella de Vil, etc) are granted a trip off the Island of the Lost to go to school with descendants of the "good" fairy tale kids (Cinderella, Belle, Fairy Godmother, etc). They all have wonderful messages and lots of songs and dancing (directed by the same man as High School Musical). It is tragic that Cameron Boyce died this summer before the release since he was such a light in the films. I loved the message of the third movie being about how everyone could be good or bad and we shouldn't keep up walls between people.
Image result for descendants 3

cooking. This week I tried a few new recipes. I made Andrea's Meatloaf balls on Monday. I ended up making them with ground chicken I already had in the freezer. I was not the biggest fan on Monday night but I am also not a huge meatloaf lover. I served them with mashed potatoes, and carrots with ranch. I do think these are better the next day as I loved them in my lunch today.
Kate's whole wheat pancakes Tuesday night for breakfast for dinner. You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry.

My last meal of the week will be Italian sausage and onions on rolls for tonight's meal. I don't love peppers but you could always add those to the onions.

I kept lunches super simple this week. I made pasta-roni with cherry tomatoes and rotisserie chicken for Monday. Tuesday lunch was catered for our company meeting and Wednesday's lunch was an acai bowl from the food trucks (we have local food trucks on Wednesdays and Fridays in my office park). Thursday and Friday will be leftovers.

wondering. What kinds of posts do you want to see in the future? Will our government make any legislation after the mass shootings this weekend? What am I going to make for meals next week? Will it ever cool off so I can paint my desk? What's your favorite protein powder since I ran out of my Vega Chocolate and Greens?
What is this Pikachu doing buckled into the front seat of a car?
How do I care for the orchid I got at my office this week?

savoring. quiet mornings. While I am not usually a morning person, I have been setting things out the night before to make it easier. From an already packed lunch, planned outfit, and showering at 9:45pm, I am able to get up and spend time in the word.

I'm linking up with Anne from in residence.

Best,