I couldn’t be more excited about my featured blog post this month, Mrs. Paula Hawley. Mrs. Hawley has been a family friend and I’ve had the honor of working under her AMAZING leadership. We moved when I was in 4th grade and she was there to ease my families “First Day Jitters.” She’s a mother, grandmother and an all around very caring and family oriented woman. She took the time to get to know our family when we were new to the community and has supported me as a young teacher. I was elated when she agreed to share some of her favorites!!
I recently retired from my hometown school district after being a teacher, assistant principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent over the last 32 years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my years in public education working with students and school staff. Teaching and learning have and will always be my passion! I first met Ashlyn when her family moved to our town when she was a little girl and I got to give them a tour of our school. It’s been fun to watch her grow up!
Over the years I have come across a few treasures that have been staples for my family. I have found that if I like something, I tend to stick with it. I also have a few recently discovered loves that are serving me well and want to share both my treasurers and loves with you this week. Thank you, Ashlyn, for asking me to be your guest!
Chef Boyardee Pizza Maker Kit:
This has been a household staple with my family for years! Simple and tasty. I typically purchase the kit that makes 2 pizzas and use the whole kit to make one really large pizza on my big cookie sheet. You make the dough by simply adding water and then letting rest for about 20 minutes. During the resting time I usually brown the meat I want to put on the pizza (Always hamburger for us!) and chop up the other toppings I like to use. I typically just use what I have on hand; mushrooms, green peppers, black olives, etc… I like to put the crust in my pan and pre-bake it for about 5 minutes before I add anything to
it. After the crust is pre-baked you just add the sauce that comes with the kit, your toppings, and of course, shredded cheese! Bake according to package directions and it’s ready to eat. We have found these quick, easy, inexpensive, and tasty over the years. My grown kids still ask me to make these pizzas when they are home.
Pampered Chef Food Chopper:
Yes, the picture of the chopper looks a little worn because it is! I have had this same chopper from Pampered Chef for over 20 years and use it regularly when I cook. It makes quick work of onions (no tears!), garlic, mushrooms, peppers, herbs, and just about anything you need to chop. It is easy to clean and top rack dishwasher safe. I have seen a similar item for less at Bed Bath and Beyond, too. I highly recommend the food chopper!
Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume:
I’ve worn this scent for quite a few years now as my signature scent. I’ve only ever worn two scents—and this is one of them! Juliette is a neutral scent that smells different on everyone. It is a little pricey in the full size, but they make a travel spray that costs less. Sephora usually carries it if you want to try it before you buy it. It’s a scent I get lots of compliments on as not many people are familiar with it.
Color Street Nails and Generics:
I used to get a gel manicure religiously every two weeks. The drive to the nail salon took me 80 minutes round trip and cost $35.00 plus tip. I loved the results—no smudging and long lasting—but ultimately decided there must be a better (and less expensive) way. My stepdaughter was selling Color Street Nails at the time and convinced me to try them. I did and WOW! They changed my nail routine from that point on. Color Street Nails are like stickers you stick on your nails. No polish, no drying time, easy to apply, and they last for around 10 days or more. They come in lots of colors and designs and cost about $13.00 for a set. I’ve also tried other brands that you can get in places like Ulta Beauty or Wal-Mart and have had good luck with those for about one half of the price. I rarely get a salon manicure anymore.
They are that good!
I am a sucker for boxes of stuff that get delivered to your door regularly! Birchbox, Ipsy, Hello Fresh, Stitch Fix, Fab Fit Fun…. I’ve tried many of them and right now I’m really liking Fab Fit Fun. You can get boxes quarterly and the Lilly Pulitzer mugs in the picture came from their winter box. I feel their boxes have pretty good value to them and I always find several things I can use in my house or beauty products I can try. You get to pick some of the products in your box each season, too. I used several products from their winter box as Christmas gifts with great success. But not the mugs! I kept those!
My husband and I both like Hello Fresh food boxes. We like to cook and have found that the recipes are very tasty! You can pick how often you get a box and what meals you want in them. We typically only get a box about once a month and have saved their recipes to make again on our own. They have recently added meals that are quicker to fix and we are in the process of trying some of those. Both FFF and Hello Fresh have deals you can find online if you want to try them out.
When I moved a few years ago, the house I bought had a little shed that was perfect for raising chickens. My husband and I added and automatic chicken door (Look it up—it’s a thing!) and went to the local Farm and Home to get our first flock. At one point we had 15 chickens and a mean banty rooster! 15 chickens lay way too many eggs for 3 people so we trimmed the flock to 8 and now get 4 or 5 eggs every day. It’s the perfect amount for us and we love the different colored eggs we get. If you haven’t tried fresh eggs, you should! They are delicious and you will never want to eat store bought eggs again! We
collect and save the eggs in our shed until we have 3 or 4 dozen and then clean and put them in cartons in the refrigerator. The chickens themselves are an added bonus! They are fun to watch in the yard and eat bugs, too!
I hope you take some time to think about those things that your family loves. My kids are all adults now and I am having fun sharing the things I love with them. Of course, they always like to check in with mom to see what crazy new thing she is trying, and they have now started sharing their new finds with me.