April is a busy month for us. We’re up to our eyeballs in kid activities and busy weekends away. I have a lot going on…what about you?
First things first though:
I wrote an original piece for Red Tricycle about why we discuss our finances with our kids. You can read it HERE. It’s a topic that I feel passionate about because I’ve seen how my kids have embraced being a part of these discussions and how it’s changed their view of money. I’m hopeful that by raising them with an understanding of how money really works, they’ll grow into adults who are good money managers.
I would really love it if you passed the article along if you think it’s relevant to your life.
Jack is playing soccer. This is the first time he’s participated in a team sport and it’s really fun to see him out there, doing his best and playing as a team.
And Anna’s art was featured at a district-wide art show. Her piece is entitled: “Jane Goodall–The Nutcracker.” Originality is her strong suit.
And the birds have decided to call our yard home again this spring, which I love. Because, let’s face it–I need more creatures who are depending on me to feed them in my life.
Speaking of creatures who depend on me…this one has been loving the spring weather here and lounging outside with me. This photo is noteworthy because I took it the day that I eschewed all of my responsibilities for the day to sit outside, read books, listen to podcasts and enjoy my birds. You can see the laundry baskets and laundry piled on the bed in the room behind Angie. It was a rare day of no responsibility for me and I loved every second of it. I highly recommend trying to find a day like that for yourself every now and then if you can.
I’m not going to lie. I feel like I’m “phoning it in” a bit on this week’s Friday Favorites. The truth is that I don’t have many things that are rocking my world this week–don’t get me wrong. Everything is GREAT. Life is good. But I’m not feeling passionate about much in this very moment. Well, except for these things:
You know how much I enjoy a good podcast. I have to say, while Missing Richard Simmons sucked me in immediately, by about the 4th episode, (right after I posted about it, of course) I felt like it lost steam–big time. As a friend said, “it would have been riveting as an hour-long Radiolab episode”. I agree. I feel like it was drawn out and then kind of fell with a thud. So, I was cautious to dive head-first into S-Town, since, much like Missing Richard Simmons, S-Town shot to the top of the charts and started a wildfire of buzz.
Well, friends. S-Town is not disappointing me (yet).
I can’t even begin to explain the premise of this podcast. All I can tell you is to listen to the first episode and see how you feel. I’m officially obsessed though and Chapter 3 made me gasp out loud a few times. I’m having to ration it right now so that I don’t finish it and then get depressed that it’s over. That’s the sign of a good series.
Next up: A favorite purse for “going-out” (whatever that means these days):
I’ve talked before about how I like to take a clutch to parties or get togethers where there’s drinking involved (which, let’s face it…is every party and get together). Having something to do with my hands–like hold a clutch–makes me feel less conspicuous about not having a drink in my hand.
This is my favorite clutch lately. I bought this clutch at DSW last fall off of the clearance rack. I feel certain that I only paid about $20 for it–probably because the color that I got is bright, neon, highlighter yellow! I was immediately drawn to the color and and the style. I hoped that I could make the yellow work with all sorts of outfits and indeed it has. I used the clutch last weekend during our reunion weekend with friends.
DSW doesn’t carry it in my crazy yellow color online, but the camel color is fabulous. And, if you have a DSW coupon floating around in your purse, like I often do, the price can’t be beat on this.
Then the thing that no one wants to talk about…
Megan and Wendy talked about it in their March Favorites video and I’ve been doing it for about a year. Since they “broke the seal” on talking about it, I’ll talk about it today too…
Do you have peach-fuzz on your face? Does it seem to make your foundation go on wonky and strange? Use these to gently remove the dead skin (and fuzz) from your face and see how good your skin will look. Trust me.
Initially, I was nervous about cutting myself and looking like an adolescent boy who’s just learning to shave with little bloody bits of toilet paper all over his top lip. Not so. For some reason, I don’t even feel like it’s possible to cut yourself with these razors–at least not if you do it gently and proceed carefully. And no, you won’t end up with a full beard after shaving your face. The peach fuzz grows back, but no darker or thicker than before. Fear not! And thank me later…
Alrighty. Your turn…share your Friday Favorites with us!
It’s good to be back with some Friday Favorites for you all today! This week, I have a podcast that I look forward to every week, a fashion item that pulls together an outfit like none other and a recipe that blew my skirt up indeed.
Watch What Crappens Podcast:
I’m proud to admit that I’m only watching a bit of trashy Bravo television these days. Real Housewives (of Beverly Hills) is a perennial favorite and I’m anticipating the return of Real Housewives of New York next month. Oh, and I’m also looking forward to the return of Southern Charm. But, aside from those shows, I’ve cut back significantly on “junk food” tv.
That said: I LURVE the “junk food” tv that I do still watch. The bad news is that no one else in my real life watches the same junk as me. What’s more fun than watching “junk food” tv? Talking about it with your friends! Enter: Watch What Crappens.
I don’t remember how I found this podcast, but it’s two guys who completely rehash each episode of most every Bravo tv show a few days after it’s aired. The guys are hilarious and spot-on on their assessments of what’s going on on these shows. It’s just like having these wonderful gay friends who share your passion for Real Housewives to chat with every week.
I treat myself to this podcast when I’m walking the dog and I often have to stop, mid-walk, to double over and discretely grab my lady-bits so as not to wet myself from laughing so hard at an impersonation of a Housewife or other snarky comment from the episode. Watch What Crappens is often the highlight of my day. And this is everything that’s wrong with my life.
Kendra Scott “Elle” Earrings:
I can hear a collective groan across the internet right now. “Is she REALLY talking about earrings that were popular, like 7 years ago?” Yes, yes I am.
I bought my Kendra Scott Earrings about 4 years ago and have worn them so much. They go with everything and they make an outfit “pop” like none other. Now that my hair is short, I wear them even more because they’re easily seen. And, say what you want about my out-of-style earrings, but I get complimented on them almost every time I wear them. So there!
I like the “Elle” style because they’re a bit smaller, but I know lots of people who prefer the Danielle because they’re bigger and look better with long hair. I will tell you this: I rented the Danielle earrings in cobalt blue from Rent The Runway one time and thought that my ear holes would tear, they were so heavy! I know that you can buy special support earring backs from Kendra Scott, so that might’ve helped but the Elle style is much more comfortable for me and appropriate for my hair length and face shape.
These earrings come in every color under the sun. I’ve rented the magenta Kendra Scott earrings from Rent The Runway a couple of times and I really love them too. In fact, I wore them to a wedding in the fall and a woman came from across the other side of the church to comment on them. It was flattering and very sweet, however, I was certain that everybody and their dog knew about Kendra Scott by now?
My Jack and I are obsessed with the Old Fashioned Donuts from Starbucks. Before he started school, we’d often drop Anna off at school and then go to Starbucks for a treat. The Old Fashioned Donuts were always our favorite. Now that we’ve tightened our purse strings a bit, we haven’t been to Starbucks for a treat in probably a year, so when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I had high hopes that it would offer a bit of a treat for us.
It did not fail to please. It was easy to make and tasted so dang good. I’m not going to lie and tell you that, because these have the word “muffin” in the title that they’re healthy, but I will tell you this: They’re delicious and use ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
I would make these for a brunch spread or even as a treat to take to a neighbor after an illness. They’re portion-controlled (assuming that you can eat just one) and great with coffee or after dinner. Make these and you won’t be disappointed! Promise!
I haven’t been this excited to share something with you in weeks…WEEKS, I tell you! I hope you’ll share my enthusiasm.
I have found a podcast that I’m obsessed with.
Unfortunately, there are currently only 3 episodes available and I blew through the first two, back to back, then waited (with baited breath) for the release of the 3rd this past week, then listened to it early in the morning, on my daily dog walk.
It’s currently the number 1 podcast on iTunes and, no matter how you feel about Richard Simmons (I honestly hadn’t considered his existence in years) it’s captivating and engaging.
You see, I wasn’t aware of this, but Simmons hasn’t been seen since February of 2014. An active part of his community and a regular on talk shows, Simmons simply disappeared into thin air and no one has heard from him since. It’s bizarre and (apparently) completely out of character for him. This podcast will leave you hanging on every word and theory about his whereabouts. Listen to it and then let’s talk!
A laundry item that gets my heart rate up:
The next item isn’t nearly as exciting as a missing flamboyant fitness guru, but it did get my heart pounding and my knees shaking when I saw it at Wal Mart:
It’s a laundry basket on wheels. I declared it “treat yo’self” day when I saw this for $9 at Wal Mart. (Link HERE–although, online, they’re sold in packs of 4 only–but check your local store to purchase a single).
One of the worst parts of doing laundry for me is transferring our overflowing laundry basket to the laundry room (first world problems for the win). When I saw this laundry basket with wheels, I visualized how much easier it would be to get from one side of the house to the other with a full basket. Also, for $9, I figured that there was room in the “Jenny’s Mental Health and Wellness” budget to justify this purchase.
If my laundry hamper was only halfway full, like in this picture, then it’s not time to do the laundry. My hamper always looks like this:
Also, Stewart likes to help on laundry day…
(By the way…did you know that Stewart has his own Instagram now? Follow him HERE for daily photos of his goings-on. It hasn’t been easy, going from a privileged life of private jets, visits to Uncle Elton John’s Feline Day Spa and trips to Tahiti to…well, sitting in a laundry basket).
And, lastly, I made a homemade “Febreeze” kind-of-stuff that worked nicely for me this week.
A quick backstory: My house has been stinky lately. Generally speaking, I’m a clean person, so I don’t let our house get too far out of control, but something has occurred in this house in the past couple of weeks that has resulted in a stinky house situation. Now, this is not a fly-infested, Hoarders-type of thing–it’s just a subtle ick that I’ve noticed.
It smells like someone fried a lot of bacon, deposited a few pairs of dirty socks under the couch and then brought in a few really dusty old rugs to scatter about the living room. I’ve been washing all of the bedding, washing the dog’s bedding (which, let’s be clear–the “dog’s bedding” is actually also “our” bedding because she considers our bed to be hers) and opening the windows for fresh air whenever possible, to no avail.
This week, I tackled the kids’ bedrooms. I cleaned and purged and rearranged dresser drawers (partially inspired by Wendy’s “Clean With Me” video…link HERE). While I was up there, I decided to fumigate, in case the mystery smell was coming from their rooms. I didn’t have any Febreeze, so I decided to make my own. Here’s what I found on Pinterest:
I don’t know about you, but we’re in a major “budget triage mode” around here, trying to contain the financial hemorrhaging that the Holidays caused.
I was working on a thrilling Friday Favorites post about my favorite underwear, which happen to be $17 a pop, when I realized that encouraging you to buy those undies right now didn’t jibe with my own, personal seasonal spending freeze–and maybe you’re experiencing the same thing.
Alas, don’t fret, Grasshopper, I’ll likely tell you all about these magical $17 underwear next Friday–but this Friday, I decided to highlight a few of my current favorite indulgences that cost very little (a Netflix membership) or nothing at all.
Maybe it’s because I’m born and raised in the South, but listening to these two Southern ladies talk makes me feel like I’m having a long phone conversation with my aunts, my old middle school friends and my favorite adult friends, all at the same time, while also eating a giant vat of banana pudding. Their humor tickles me and they talk about the stuff that I’m interested in (spoiler: it’s not heavy stuff) and, honestly, it just feels like home.
I often save their new podcasts for my daily dog walks and find myself giggling while traversing the hiking trails in my neighborhood–looking like a bonafide loon, I’m sure. “Oh, you know Jenny?..The one who laughs to herself while walking the Weimaraner?”
I put on a Rest and Relax-type of station on Spotify one day and I kept finding myself running to my phone to find out who this one particular artist was whose music kept playing on the playlist. It was Jose Gonzalez. His songs also appear on the The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty soundtrack.
Gonzalez’ music is great, ambient music that I can put on and just largely ignore while I’m cooking or working around the house. The rhythms and guitar playing are fabulous and it appeals to me in a very “Iron and Wine” way. Here’s the video for one of the songs from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that I really like:
I’m surely the last person on the planet to finally watch The Crown on Netflix, but my husband and I have finally delved into it. Sadly, we’re only halfway through because we watch it at bedtime and, well, there’s something about staying up past 9:30 pm on a school night; dark and gloomy scenes from 1950’s England and mid-life that cause us to not be able to stay awake for a full hour of a show. BUT, don’t let this paint the series as boring–it’s not. I find it fascinating. And, now that I’m watching it, I feel like I know The Queen and her family in an intimate way–just like when I read The Royal We and felt like I was a close, personal friend of William and Kate’s from University (spoiler alert: I am, in fact, NOT).
Are you trying to reign in your post-Holiday spending? What frugal favorites do you have to share?
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Since I’m (typically) nothing if not behind the times, technologically-speaking, I’ve just recently discovered a podcast that I’m obsessed with. Have you heard of Radiolab?
Produced and aired via NPR, Radiolab is (according to their website) “a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.”
Simply put, each podcasts focuses on a snippet of life. Some of the podcasts delve into a specific news story (past or present) that always has an interesting twist. A recent Radiolab podcast that I listened to discussed the evolution of humans on a cellular level (I listened to this one, entitled, “Cellmates,” expecting an Orange Is The New Black-type of topic but ended up learning a lot about our cells–which kind of blew my mind).
Radiolab never fails to disappoint. I often listen when I’m walking the dog or have a long car trip ahead of me. Most often, the podcasts are family-friendly and I always learn something. The recent podcast, “Playing God” was like a punch to the gut. So heart-wrenching and left me with so many questions.
Give Radiolab a listen. Consider it an opportunity to think outside of your box every now and then.