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Friday Things

Happy Friday, friends! I started this post last week for last Friday, but here we are a week later. Time is a funny thing. Things have just been so busy with work this week, and honestly, I have felt a little uninspired lately.

We finally made a decision about Zoe’s school, and pulled her for now. At the end of the day, I can’t send her knowing I didn’t have to. You know? We are going to see how the next few months go, and maybe enroll her in a 3K program later this year, or beginning of next. Which means I need all the home school activities and ideas, and probably more wine. A lot more wine.

I never did get the chance to recap my last two weekends like I had intended. Honestly, it was more of the same. Hanging out at the house, a car ride Saturday, pool time for Zoe, and lots of delicious food. We ordered from our favorite Mexican place two weekends ago, and burgers from Jim n Nick’s for my birthday weekend.

Jim n Nick’s cheese biscuits. When you know….you know.

Speaking of food!!!! I wanted to share two recipes with you that I made for my birthday weekend that were both amazing in their own ways. I stole both from Family Savvy, a local Alabama blogger. She shares some amazing recipes on her Instagram and blog, and she is just the cutest.

Between the three of us, we polished off this plate of strawberry brownies in less than 48 hours. SO GOOD!

One of my favorite places to grab lunch during the week is Tazikis. They have a Whipped Feta Dip on the menu that is incredible!!! They serve it with pita bread, and I think cucumbers taste really good with it as well.

This makes a huge bowl, and honestly, unless you are having company over…you might want to cut the recipe in half. I want to play with the recipe and see if I can reduce the amount of honey and still get the amazing taste/texture.

We have been enjoying some nice walks in the evenings, now that the sun goes down a little earlier and it isn’t as blazing hot. Zoe is always ready with her finest attire.

Favorite Purchase: Fall/winter is approaching fast. I love to be comfy in the cooler months. Add in staying at home, and well, can you have enough lounge wear??? I found the BEST comfy sweatshirts from Walmart. They are less than $12 and look a lot more high end, very much an Aerie vibe, for a quarter of the price. I purchased the Yellow Dust color in my normal size, and the fit is PERFECT. You could size up if you really want a over-sized fit, but my normal size provided an over-sized fit look without being frumpy.

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I also really love the new pink henley top that Aerie came out with. It is $40 though, and I don’t really want to spend that much for something so casual, you know? I found this waffle peplum top in the same brand from Walmart for less than $15. I got the Tea Rose color, and it has a raw hem around the neck and the bottom. I saw a very similar shirt at a local boutique for almost $50. They are really stepping up their game lately.

Favorite Workout: I did 2 Heather Robertson workouts back to back this week, and I could hardly walk a few hours after finishing the second one. My inner thighs hurt so bad. So clearly, they were a winner! I did this one first…

Followed by this one the next day…

Favorite Funnies:

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Nordstrom Sale Dupes

I love the Nsale. I look forward to it each and every year. It was a sale that I shopped for years, before it was “cool” and over hyped by all the influencers. I am going to be honest though, this year all the fun has been sucked out of it for me. On the day the preview went live, I was so excited to be able to see all the things way in advance. Normally you just get that crappy little catalog and you spend a lot of your time when the sale opens trying to scan everything quickly. This year, I really appreciated the preview. But what I do not love is the tiered entry into the sale. I don’t spend $15,000 annually at Nordstrom, or $10,000 or even $2,000…so I still don’t have access to the sale. Pretty much 80% of my wish list is sold out as of this morning. What the hell??? And the worst thing about it, is I know damn well all these influencers bought a bunch of stuff for their videos, and they will return most of it with no intentions of ever wearing it.

I reminded myself that a lot of things in the sale will actually be on a better sale later in the year. That I live in Alabama where it was 96 degrees yesterday, and won’t start even getting cool enough to wear fall clothes until at least November. If we are lucky. I don’t really need any of it right now. And finally, we are in the middle of a pandemic. Where the fuck do I think I am going to go in anything half way cute?? Most of the items in this sale will end up at Nordstrom Rack for 60% or more off the original price. Also, there are plenty of other stores to find cute dupes at for less and actually in stock.

Don’t get me wrong, I still plan to see if anything on my wish list is left on the 13th. I do want to snag a barefoot dreams circle cardigan if it is still there. (The leopard one I really wanted has been sold out for days.) And some pajamas. Both of those are things I see myself wearing all fall/winter. I also have a few beauty items I would like to get, because it is a true deal. But I wanted to share some dupes I have found at a much better deal for you. Most available in all sizes. Here we go!

Sweaters/Tops

I love Free People, and of course, both tops I want are already sold out. The Breton Stripe Pullover was really cute, and looks so soft. The black and white version is sold out for the Nsale, of course. But you can get the “Neutral” of the exact same shirt at Nordstrom Rack for UNDER $30!!!!

If you were wanting more of the black and white look, I found another black and white Free People top at Nordstrom Rack. (It comes in several striped and plain shades.) And they have the Ottoman Slouchy Tunic at Nordstrom Rack as well!

The Chelsea28 Cowl Neck Sweater seems to be a popular choice this year. At $49.90, it is a little steep for me. It is available at Nordstrom in four shades, I keep seeing the Orange Jam color. You can find the exact same sweater at Nordstrom Rack for under $30 right now!!!

The coatigan seems to be another popular item this year. Honestly, the one at Nordstrom looks a little more sloppy to me than this really cute, and very inexpensive option I found from Kohls.

Moto Jacket

I don’t know about you, but I am not wearing a moto jacket with a ton of outfits. Most of the time, bigger sweaters or longer tops don’t fit or look right under them. I don’t want to invest a ton of money in something I only wear a couple times each year. Nordstrom Rack has an incredible selection of moto jackets in the same brands as the popular Nsale ones for the same as sale price, or even a fraction of the cost. Some are the same exact style. Like this burgundy color one is a duper for a much more expensive one I have seen going around. If you want the staple black, this is a good option. There is even this trendy floral one that was originally over $130 for $19 and a leopard print one for the same price. You can also find real leather ones if you are looking for an investment piece to last you years.

Lounge Wear

Lounge wear is one area that I feel the sale is lacking. Read the room, Nordstrom! We are all staying home. Give us more cozy pieces! I definitely want a pair of their short set pajamas from the sale. I found a great option of a pant set for less at Nordstrom Rack. Looks a lot like the $60 set in the sale!

Image of shimera Tranquility Long Sleeve Shirt & Pants 2-Piece Pajama Set

Honeydew is a very popular pajama brand. Here is a short and tank set for $20 for both pieces! It comes in a few prints.

BP has tons of sleep in lounge pants for under $20.

I truly feel like Z for Zella at Nordstrom Rack isn’t quite the quality that Zella is at Nordstrom, so I recommend getting the real thing from the Nordstrom sale. But something Nordstrom Rack does have is 90 Degrees leggings for $20! I love this brand! I also really love these printed ones!

I also really love this logo printed sweatshirt from Adidas. Such a great deal!

And this Nike crew shirt will go with anything. It comes in lots of colors.

Image of Nike Gym Vintage Crew Pullover

There is even something for all you tie-dye loving fans! And these tie-dye print joggers are a great price.

I love this Caslon shirt. It is a little more elevated of a look than the plain tshirt in the sale. There are a few colors available. I ordered the white, and I wish I would have gotten at least one other color.

This Free People Bralette is only $9.97 and comes in a few different colors!

Shoes

The cheaper version of the Ugg slippers is part of the sale at $59.90. You can get the more expensive pair, that in my opinion are more fun, for $69 at Nordstrom Rack in two different colors. They also have the Brett Wool Lined Slipper there too, if you are looking for more than a slip on.

I really wanted the leopard or plain black Adidas shoes. Both are sold out. Lindsay had shared a leopard dupe from Walmart awhile back that I am ordering for $18. She said they were more comfortable than the Adidas ones anyways!

These Milo 1.State booties were part of the sale last year for $99, regularly $149.95. You can find them at Nordstrom Rack for $39.97.

Snakeskin is definitely in this season. You can find these sexy ones for under $20 in many sizes!!!!

And all those cute mules??? I found so many cute ones!!! These are all a really great price point. Like how cute are these cheetah print ones??? Or these metallic Sam Edelman ones! The perfect neutral to go with everything for under $30? Yes please. Or here is a snake print one for $17, so you don’t have to invest much if the trend fades out for you. Cole Haan is one of my favorite brands that I can count on for quality and comfort. How fun are these???? And this is an amazing deal for Marc Fisher. I love every pair of shoes I own from him.

I think you get where I am going with this. If you see something you like in the sale, look around a little first. I have found so many amazing dupes…or the exact same thing…for a lot less at Nordstrom Rack. Don’t let yourself get too caught up in the FOMO of the sale. Plus, with the pandemic going on, there are going to be a lot better sales to be had later on! What is your favorite dupe?

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Books

It’s book day! Linking up with Steph and Jana. I have read books from some of my favorite authors this month! So much goodness sprinkled in just a few weeks!

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze

So this book is basically Groundhogs Day, Christmas style. While I am not sure I completely loved that part of the plot line in the beginning, the book definitely rallied for me. I really loved the chosen framily and getting together every year in the same place for Christmas. Getting to see the different relationships in the group and the nostalgia of their traditions gave me all the feels. Once we get into Mae and Andrew’s story, it definitely picked up for me. I found myself smiling a lot. I really loved the ending. Christina Lauren is definitely a favorite of mine. I am going to say that this one and their last one are not my absolute favorite reads from them. But they are still enjoyable!!

Bottom Line: Cute read!

**I received a copy of In a Holidaze from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

When No One Is Watching

You guys, this book!!!! So this is a social thriller, with a little romantic subplot thrown in. I loved both Sydney and Theo, and you really get a lot of build up in the beginning about who they are, and their neighborhood. I am going to be honest and say that the pacing of the book is a little off. I feel like not much happened in the beginning, other than you are getting to know the characters, the people of the neighborhood, the neighborhood app where some side stuff is going down. Then stuff starts coming together some, and then everything happens right at the end and you are like OMG OMG! And then it is over.

Like any good thriller, the plot of the story really has you thinking about how this can and does really happen! And that is quite scary. Gentrification of a neighborhood isn’t always a good thing. This book shows you to follow the money to uncover the power. It also talks a lot about injustices that some black communities endure.

Bottom Line: Everyone needs to read this. It was hard to put down and left me thinking a lot.

**I received a copy of When No One Is Watching from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich

Twisted Twenty-Six (Stephanie Plum, #26)

I do love Stephanie Plum! Of course we have all the crazy shenanigans, a good who done it story line to follow, and we get lots of Grandma Mazur in this one. Who is suddenly very wise. Stephanie finally admits that the bond agent life might not be for her. There isn’t as much about the triangle with Morelli and Ranger as there usually is. Overall, another solid, enjoyable read!

Bottom Line: I love this series, the characters are some of my favorite. There are so many books, you have to be committed! Definitely recommend.

The Trouble with Quarterbacks by RS Grey

The Trouble With Quarterbacks

I absolutely loved Candace and Logan! Logan might be one of my new favorite book crushes. Seriously though, this is definitely what I have come to expect from RS Grey. I laughed and had all the warm fuzzies while reading this book. I love the British preschool teacher vs professional football player plot. It sort of reminds me of royal love stories where you have the drama of living in the spot light. I also enjoyed the banter between Candace and her two roommates. Squad goals!!! This was such a fun read and just what I needed.

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received a copy of The Trouble with Quarterbacks from RS Grey in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Currently Reading

Layla by Colleen Hoover

Layla
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Currently

Linking up with Kristen for another currently post. Not a whole lot going on over here. Just working while trying to keep up with house work, fitness, and keep the kid entertained and keep my sanity. You know, the usual. We haven’t been spending quite as much time outside the last week, because it has just been so hot and humid. I am so ready for some fall weather.

I saw that the SEC is keeping their football games in conference this year. Should be interesting. It will be nice to have some football to focus on soon! Though, who knows how the season will play out once it gets started. I feel like everything is up in the air these days, you cant count on much. The holidays are quickly approaching, and who knows what they are going to look like. I had to stop watching the news. It was consuming me.

Reading – I am about to start Layla by Colleen Hoover. (I got an ARC from Netgalley.) I love Colleen Hoover, so I can’t wait! Last night I finished When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. It comes out on September 1st and I highly suggest getting it! It was so good!

Watching – Zoe is obsessed with Tangled lately. So I constantly have the “Mother Knows Best” song stuck in my head. Other than How I Met Your Mother reruns in the evenings that we watch before bed, I really haven’t watched anything. Chris watches a lot of movies on Sundays, I rarely get the chance to sit down and watch any of it. And Zoe likes Sofia the First when she isn’t watching Tangled. Exciting life over here.

People Are Flipping Out About This 'Tangled' Connection To ...

Speaking of Tangled. Zoe asked me where Rapunzel lived and when I googled it, I stumbled upon this article and knowledge. Ummm what???

Purchased – I grabbed these Melissa & Doug re-usable sticker sets for Zoe, since she really loves changing outfits on herself and her dolls. I had gotten her a sticker book a little while ago that she loves, but I have to move the stickers for her because they are harder for her to do without ripping. These are puff stickers which are much easier for her to use. Zoe isn’t careful with them at all, and they are managing to survive. She has had it for a week now, and has seriously played with it for hours. I only gave her one of them, so when it starts to get old to her…I have more I can whip out and be all excited about again. They make them in more boy friendly scenes too.

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Planning – I hate that quarantine happened just as we were settling into this house. We haven’t really decorated any rooms yet, besides Zoe’s. It is hard to shop for home decor online. I need to see things in person. I need a HomeGoods trip bad!!!! One thing I have ordered that I am really excited about is this Thomas Kincade Beauty and the Beast canvas. The hearth room off the kitchen where Zoe spends a lot of time has a blue-ish colored couch, and I just think that the colors in this picture are lovely with it. This room is the “fun” room. We have a tv in there for her, her easel, little white table, a toy basket and some games. Chris and I used to visit the Thomas Kincade gallery every time we went to Gatlinburg and always said we wanted to incorporate a Disney print somewhere in our home. Now we have it! With the size of the wall, and the size of the print, I am trying to decide what I want to do. I feel like we may need one more print to hang up there, and then maybe a sconce or something too. But right now, I love staring at this one!

I really love this Cinderella one too.

Working Out – Loved this strength workout with Heather Robertson this week. I have been taking a walk around the neighborhood each day after I complete my youtube workout to add some more steps in. I don’t hate getting to watch the sun rise too!

Eating -To say I am over meal planning and cooking and doing dishes right now is an understatement. Yet, I keep chugging along. I try to incorporate one new recipe each week, just to change it up. Often times, that new recipe becomes part of the every rotating regulars. It is just so exhausting doing it for 6-7 days a week instead of just 4-5, you know? One of my favorite additions lately has been this spicy thai chicken. It is so easy to come together, and I love to pair it with my thai peanut cauliflower rice. Delicious!

Keto Thai Spicy Peanut Chicken With Asian Slaw Recipe - Carb Manager

Stressing – Still trying to decide the best route for Zoe and school this year. Pull her completely, change her daycare to a half day or a few days a week 3K program…it is all too much. I never thought I would live in a time where I had to decide if sending my child to daycare was safe because of a pandemic. Schools here keep changing their plans just a week or two before start. I cant imagine how some parents are feeling that decided to do in person, and just yesterday some announced they are going to virtual the first 9 weeks and they start soon. What are those parents supposed to do?? It is kind of last minute to change plans again. Strange times we are leaving in friends, strange times. I am more than grateful for my employer and the fact that I have options.

Laughing

35 Funny Posts For People Who Tend To Overthink Every Single Moment Of Their Lives
The funny lockdown-related memes to keep you entertained while in self-isolation | HELLO!
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Birthday Wish List

I do one of these every year. While I wish I could put things like end COVID and unite our country on here for birthday wishes, we know it isn’t that simple…so let’s have some fun!

Victoria Emerson Bracelet – I think that Victoria Emerson has some gorgeous pieces. I really love how she has different stacked looks as one piece. It makes dressing any outfit super easy. This one is so pretty!

This one with the houndstooth is so fun too! It would be great to dress up game day outfits.

Chris and I have watched this live show of Nirvana like 100 times. How cool would it be to have the tshirt??

CANIKAT Women's V Neck Lace Strappy Cami Tank Tops Casual Loose ...

This black lace cami would be perfect alone, or under sweaters/jackets in the winter! You know, when we start going places again.

Some local girls have a jewelry line that I think is absolutely stunning! Love their necklaces, like The Sherri and the layering collection.

the sherri
layering necklaces

I love this Too Faced Nude Naturals lipstick in Birthday Suit. It is my natural lip color, slightly enhanced. And the Lip Injections to go over top!

I have heard great things about Herbivore body oils. My skin is always so dry, I think that a lux body oil would work better than my every day lotions.

Windham Tall Cabinet with Drawer - Threshold™ - image 1 of 8

I have a collection of antique character glasses. Some are from when I was little, many are from my weekends antiquing with my parents when I was in my early 20’s. I love the glasses so much, and I have never really had anywhere to display them. Currently, they are packed away in our attic. I think a curio cabinet like this would be perfect for storing them all!

I have my eye on several things for the Nsale, with insider access that just happens to fall right around my birthday! I don’t plan to go crazy, since we probably wont be out and about much this fall. I have always wanted a barefoot dreams cardigan, and when I saw that they have a leopard print one this year?! I have to have it! I will probably live in it all fall/winter. I also need a new pair of zella leggings (wore the crap out of mine the last two years), some Adidas shoes, a few basic tshirts, and some skin and hair care items. A little happy birthday to me! Are you shopping the sale? What are you looking at?