Sunday, January 1, 2023

weekending/Hello Monday & Prime Purchases


Happy Monday, friends and happy new year! I am not sure if Holly and Sarah are hosting the link party this week, but I'll share their blogs (where their names are) just in case. How was your weekend? I am so glad that the holidays are past. I love them so much, but they're exhausting. 🤣 I am ready for the routine of normal life again and a slower pace on my blog. That being said, I have lots to talk about today, so I'll get on with it. 

I had a lovely and unusual Friday at home. You all know my dad comes over every Friday, but he really isn't able to be out much right now, so we skipped that day this week. I am glad I got to see him twice this week, and also on Christmas eve. I'll take any amount of time with him I can get, but since he wasn't here, I had the day to myself. Todd was here, working from home, and while he did some things for work, I did #alltheotherthings. 

I read some books, I had an extended amount of quiet time, I cleaned the house, I did laundry, and I planned the meal I wanted to make myself for dinner that night. 

My husband's friend recently told him about a healthier version of pasta, and because we had an Italian themed Christmas dinner, Todd ordered some of this edamame pasta on Amazon. It's delicious! You just cook it according to the package directions, then pair it with whatever sauce you'd like. I used marinara sauce that I doctored up with garlic powder, red pepper flakes and some fake butter (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!) and heated it all up together on the stove. The pasta is a little sweet, because it's made from beans, so I also had to add some salt. I'll be adding this to the monthly rotation of dinners that I'm starting this week. You should come back tomorrow for more about that! I'm sharing some meal inspiration this week. 

I watched this cute movie while I ate dinner.

Have you seen this? It was on Prime tv. It's rated PG, but even so, there was some mild language. It wasn't too bad, though. I really enjoyed the movie, predictable as it was. Hello, I am a Hallmark movie fan, predictability does NOT bother me one bit, in fact, I prefer it to be that way. 

After that movie, I took Crash and Chip for a car ride to the town square. I wanted to see the Christmas lights one last time before they take them down in January. Everything was fine until Chip started growling at the people walking on the square. I'm rolling my eyes. I will always love these lights on our square. 

I love that they hang lights on these stationary trains. I came home and watched another movie after our ride around town. Have you seen this one from last year? I watched it on Hallmark Movies Now.

I was up so late on this night! I could not fall asleep to save my life, and was awake until after one a.m. I laid in bed and tried to read and watch a show, then finally slept from close to two until six. I've been eating gluten free the past week and I always feel so much better when I eat that way, and I have so much more energy. I don't know if that has anything to do with the fact that I don't seem to need a lot of sleep right now, but...who knows? I'm definitely not complaining!

I went out with my mom and sister for a while on Saturday and scored a couple of pretty things from one of my favorite home décor shops, John Mark's. He was having a half price sale and I scored this basket and greenery. They came separate, but I added the greenery to the basket and hung it in our bedroom. I'm trying to freshen up our bedroom by doing things like this, because on this wall is where some bookshelves used to be that I got rid of. 

The sign and white vase came from Hobby Lobby, on their 75% off sale aisle. I love this little area now! Our treadmill is to the left of this lingerie chest and our bed is in front of this piece of furniture. Later in the afternoon, I returned some library books and went to Mom's and Bill's for dinner. The food was delicious! We had wings, tortilla chips with spinach dip, cheese balls with a green olive inside each one, and twice baked potatoes. I came home around eight, took a shower, and watched a movie, before turning in early. Remember how I said I only slept four hours on Friday night? I was so tired! Sunday meant church as usual, and I did my normal outfit check before heading inside the sanctuary.

It was beautiful here yesterday! It reached almost seventy degrees outside and my sons washed their vehicles in the driveway. I watched a couple of movies that day since everyone was in and out, and since Todd worked—

The older movie Enchanted and then the newer movie and sequel, Disenchanted. Have you seen these? The old one still makes me swoon! I watched them on Disney+. When I taught high school girls in the youth group at church, their favorite thing to do was to come to my house and watch movies. If I've seen Enchanted once, I've seen it a hundred times. My house used to look just like this almost every single weekend.

This is the reason why having grown up sons has been such an adjustment! I stopped volunteering in the youth, my sons grew up, and all of a sudden our house became quiet. I'm okay with all the change now, but it was a major hurdle I had to get over. Now you see and understand why! Anyway, moving on...if you haven't seen those, I highly recommend them both. Who doesn't love a great Disney movie? I texted my niece and begged her to PLEASE introduce her older girls Kinsley and Kylie to these movies. They'll recognize Elsa's voice in both of these, since Idina Menzel is in them.

I had a deconstructed sushi bowl for dinner on Sunday. Have you heard of this or tried one? We love sushi, and while the recipe I pinned called for salmon, I already had albacore tuna on hand, so I used that. I heated up the tuna on the stove with a drizzle of olive oil and with some of that fake butter, and added red pepper flakes and garlic powder. I used riced cauliflower for this one, so over the top of that (after I cooked it), I added the tuna, more red pepper flakes, garlic powder, soy sauce and a drizzle of sriracha. It was DELICIOUS! My awesome stepdad Bill taught me that if you heat up certain spices on the stove as you cook, it brings them alive even more. He does that for his Chex mix as he melts the butter on the stove and I tried it last night as I heated up the tuna. It definitely had some heat to it, but I love that, as long as it tastes good and isn't too spicy. 

I continued on with watching movies on Disney+ and watched another movie before calling it a night and going to bed at an earlier time. I figured I need to get back on a schedule with that, since I've been later to bed over the last week. I've thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas break and having time to spend with my husband. I hope you've enjoyed yours as well! 

As for the Prime Purchases in December, there were several things I bought as gifts for our sons or for myself. I won't share them all, since this is already too long, but here are two favorite things that I've ordered on repeat at least twice now. First up is this amazing comforter that we gave all of our boys. We've had to replace two, thanks to a dog who tore it, but I will keep on ordering this one as long as it's available. Noah picked the one that you see with teal on one side and off white on the other. It's similar to this one that Graham has, but you can click the link to see the one I bought for Noah.

And lastly is this amazing cuticle oil! I first learned of this on one of these posts. I think Tanya is the one who shared it? Also, she is who I'm linking up with for this Prime Purchases post. 

I like the milk & honey scent. I use it on my hands (cuticles), and on my feet. You know how after you get a pedicure, the skin on your feet becomes dry? I rub this all over my feet every morning, and then I put on my socks for the day. Needless to say, since I started doing this in the fall of 2022, the skin on my hands and feet is so much softer! I ordered my second bottle of this yesterday. I can't recommend either of these items enough! 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends! I appreciate you and that you're kind to take the time to comment on each post. A little bit of love goes a LONG way. Before I go, here's a quick reminder about the Currently link party taking place this week:

Just a reminder that the Currently link party is on schedule for this week, Wednesday January 4 of 2023! We'll be talking about what we're currently loving, resolving, organizing, anticipating and eating. I'd love for you to join us, so add it to your calendar! That post will always happen on the first Wednesday of each month. In February we'll be talking about what we're currently loving, feeling, posting, receiving and seeing. That date will be Wednesday, February 1st. 

Linking up with these ladies below:

Love to all! ❤

*Thanks for shopping through my Amazon Affiliate link!*


  1. Ok, I do need that cuticle oil. I have seen so many people recommend it. I watched New in Town with Renee Zellwiger on Netflix. It's one that I guess I missed but it's really cute. I have been relying on recs because with all the streaming services it is overwhelming. We don't have Disney, though.
    I agree about the heating up the spices and starting with a base of onion, garlic, olive oil, etc. It has really upped my cooking. I have learned so many techniques and not just recipes from Slender Kitchen. I really like whole wheat pasta now. I tried an edamame pasta that was truly disgusting. I went to Whole Foods yesterday and they had lots of options but I didn't get any. I will have to look for the brand you showed and yours look really professional. I love restaurant quality meals at home! Can't wait to hear more meal ideas and I need to do a updated meal post, too!

  2. So much good stuff here!! First, I hope that your affiliate linking goes well ;). I will start ordering Amazon items through your link. I forgot all about Enchanted. I don't know if my girls have seen it. That would be a good one to watch with them. That is interesting about gluten free eating having more energy. You have a better attitude than I do about not getting much sleep... Though sometimes I am glad that I wake up early, if I've gone to bed super late, I don't like the fact that I can't sleep in and then feel tired all day. Anyway, I am tempted to try GF just to see if I have more energy. Have a great Monday, friend!

  3. Amy, I love that movie with Renee Z and isn't it Harry Connick Jr.? I am loving movie recs as well right now, so I'll keep this in mind and share what I love each week. I love good quality food at home...and I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this meal was. I ate it two nights in a row!

  4. Maria, thanks for that! I decided to give it a try and see how it goes. 😉 You should watch the Enchanted movies with your girls this week! They (and you) will love them!

    About the less sleep and how I think it's related to eating gluten free- for me, the GF makes me feel better, which I think is what makes me have more energy. I also think that I am resting better at night since I started eating this way again. I have no idea if that's an actual thing or not, but it's what I assume, since I changed how I'm eating. I also eliminated a lot of sugar recently - I am using natural honey to sweeten my coffee and only a drizzle of creamer, whether it's regular or zero sugar.

    I hope to keep it going and to make it a life change, not just something for a reason. I just want to be healthy and feel good. ❤

  5. Those movies sound great. Oh I love a good cuticle oil. I have adult sons and 2 got engaged last month. Things are definitely different as an empty nester but it’s a good different. Happy New Year.

  6. I have that same cuticle oil!! It's amazing! When I saw your picture of the pasta, I said outloud "Oh, yum!" :) Looks so good!

    Your "quiet house" story reminds me that there is a story in my book, titled "Quiet Houses" which is about the quiet of my house after my boys were gone. It's a tear jerker :(

    And, I can't wait to see your meal suggestions when you share them! I need some motivation to eat healthier.

    Have a great week and I'll see you on IG :) I'm glad we can share the little daily things on that platform too.

  7. Love the comforters and I probably really need that cuticle oil. I've seen Enchanted but have not see Disenchanted. I'll have to check it out later. It sounds like you had a really nice weekend. I hope your dad is okay. Take care and have a good day!

  8. Thanks for all the great movie recommendations. I have been watching oldies but goodies and now I want to try some new ones. The cuticle oil sounds perfect because you're right about the skin on your feet getting dry after a pedicure. I just thought that my feet were weird and I hadn't made the connection with the pedicure. Hope you have a great week!

  9. Thank you for sharing all of your delicious and healthy meals- they sound great! I also need to watch that Enchanted series- I think I will love them. Can't wait for your link up on Wednesday- yeah! :)

  10. Wishing you health, wealth, and new blessings to count each day in 2023. Happy New Year! May this one be your best year yet.

  11. Andrea, that is so exciting! I'm a partial empty nester. We have four sons- their ages are 23, 22, and twins that are 19. One of them has been out for a year, our oldest is on the verge of buying his first home, and our twins may live here, but I hardly see them. It's kind of the best of both worlds, honestly. Ha! Congrats to your sons! I can't wait to read about that in the year to come.

  12. Debbie, that does sound like a tearjerker! I need to buy your book and read it...I'm going to check that out right after I finish commenting.

    I'm excited to share! I am also thankful that we get to share on Instagram. I was doing that last night with another friend, whom I met through blogging. She and I were messaging back and forth over skin care products. 🤣

    I love the little daily blessings of each day. Instagram is a big one for me, it's so happy there!

  13. Thank you, Cathy! You should watch the movies...definitely start with Enchanted, though. It's still a favorite for me! I need to call Dad and check on him. The last we spoke was Saturday and he seemed cautiously optimistic that he was feeling a bit better. Thanks for thinking of him, friend!

  14. Ruth, I hope you like some of the movies! You are definitely not alone in that. You should look into the oil, it's made a huge difference for me and it's very inexpensive. I hope you have a great day!

  15. Holly, you have GOT to watch these with your girls! They would love them both. Let me know what you think of them! I am excited about Wednesday too...that's always a fun link party. I hope you're having a great day so far, my friend!

  16. Thank you, Jen! I hope the same for you and your family. ❤

  17. I may need to try that pasta. Does it have a bean taste? I haven't seen that Disenchanted movie, so thanks for the reminder! I was curious about the Something From Tiffany's because that is on my watchlist of movies. Enjoy your Monday!

  18. You should try it, Marilyn! It does not have a bean flavor, but it's a tiny bit sweet, so I will add salt to it the next time. It's so good! I think Todd wants that tonight instead of what I'd originally planned.

  19. I watched Enchanted/Disenchanted back to back a month or so ago and thought it was so cute. I just watched Cruella today after my son suggested it.

  20. I need to watch that one too, Joanne! I'm on a Disney + kick, obviously. Thanks for sharing that!

  21. So much fun stuff in one post! You are the master of fun information! I now need some cuticle oil and want to watch some Disney!! I hope you have a great week ahead. So nice to have life return to some resemblance of normal!!

  22. Thanks, Jennifer. You made me smile. Those Disney movies were excellent! I moved onto Aladdin after Disenchanted. 😂 I hope your week is good as well. I'll be praying for you tomorrow!

  23. I love that cuticle oil, and so glad you like it too. Jack had friends over this weekend, and it made me realize how much I missed having a house full of teens. I'm ready for the routine again, but not ready for my kids to go back to college! Thanks so much for linking up with Prime Purchases! Tanya - The Other Side of the Road

  24. You've watched so many great movies lately! I'm saving that comforter as an idea for Hayden if/when he needs one. It looks comfy. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Tanya, I know you miss that! My heart dropped a little when I read that comment, because I know you'll be sad to see them go back. I am so glad you've enjoyed the break with them home! Thank you for hosing us again this year, my friend. Much love to you.

  26. Jen, I have! I'm glad you're saving it for later. I'm doing the same for when we finally replace our own king size coverlet. I know the day is coming, and this one washes and "wears" so well, even after many months of that. With our dogs in the house and sleeping with them, we wash all of them often.

    Hoping you have a good day today!

  27. I remember seeing the original Enchanted but haven't seen the sequel. I'm not a *giant* Disney movie fan but my husband has been watching the classic Disney movies with our 4 year old lately and they both love that lol.
    Happy New Year!

  28. Kristin, I'm not either, usually! For lots of reasons I won't mention on my blog, but lately I've been watching movies there. I watched of the older Christmas ones there- the Santa Clause movies, the Home Alone movies, etc.

    I bet they do love doing that together!


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