Monthly Favorites

August Favorites.

Hello, my friends! Happy Friday to you all! I hope that your weekend is off to a wonderful start and that you have some exciting plans for these next few days, or perhaps a restful couple if that is what you need! For today’s blog I wanted to share a quick list of my August favorites.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

These mashed potatoes are SO delicious and make for a perfect side dish. I’ve made them twice now and have thoroughly enjoyed them both times. So has Bobby! I also love love love how cheap potatoes are and how far they go. We buy four small/medium potatoes and they last for quite a few meals! So good! Definitely worth a try!

Triple Treat Cookies.

I found this recipe in one of my family’s cook books. I had to modify a couple of items, as they weren’t available at my grocery store, but oh my goodness these were good. The recipe makes quite a few cookies, which came in handy, because we were able to serve them for dessert when we had our friends over for supper! They were quite a hit!

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Drink.

Oh my gosh, this has been my go-to drink for a couple of weeks now. Whilst at TJ Maxx, I stumbled upon a trio of pumpkin syrups for coffee. Now… here’s the thing. I went on Amazon to see if I could find them to link here, and boy did I… and I’ll tell you what, I hadn’t realized this this coffee was giving people problems… eh, bathroom problems, that is. I won’t go into detail, and I will note that I have not experienced these things, but I just wanted to give a warning so I’m not steering you wrong. I bought these not because they were “skinny syrups”, but because the flavors interested me. I think if I finish all three and am still in the mood for some pumpkin spice beverages, I’ll probably try out another brand, BUT, I will say that this drink is delicious. Although, I don’t know how much I’ve sold it at this point… Any who! I make one cup of coffee with my Keurig, which for me, is the ten ounce option. Then, I add a cup of sweetened vanilla almond milk. I suppose there are many other things you could add in place of that, but I just really enjoy it! I also add about a teaspoon of the pumpkin spice caramel syrup. Then, I add some ice cubes to the cup, and to top it all off… I take a teaspoon or so of pumpkin pie spice and swirl it all around! And oh my goodness, is it delicious.

Lemon/Blueberry Bread.

This was a recipe that I found on Pinterest. And boy, was it delicious! And so beautiful, too! I will definitely be making this again. I think this is probably the best food picture that I’ve ever taken… And has given me such a hankering for all the lemon desserts! SO good!

Table cloth.

My aunt visited me in Traverse City the other week, and we had such a wonderful girl’s day! We went to Wilson’s, which is the biggest antique store that I have EVER been to. I could spend all day in there. It has FOUR floors, and some of the most beautiful items that I have ever seen. They also have racks and racks of clothing that are all so precious. There were so many pink flouncy dresses that I wanted. I did not end up buying them, HOWEVER, my aunt bought me the prettiest table cloth from there. It is white and has yellow tulips all over it. So cute, and matches my kitchen perfectly.

And that’s my short, but sweet, list of my August favorites! A month filled with delicious food! It looks like cooking and baking was a favorite this month as well, ha! Quite a bit late, but it’s up all the same! ❤

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Monthly Favorites

Ten of My Favorite Apps!

Hello, my dearest friends! Today I wanted to share with you some of the most used apps on my phone. One day, I would love to be living my life in a simple cabin, owning no cell phone, and instead having a home phone. Oh, to dream… However, as of right now, I find my cell phone to be VERY helpful, and dare I say, necessary. I don’t think cell phones are inherently evil, no, not at all. I think it’s all about how we choose to use them. If we think of them as a tool, we’re more likely to use them in a way that will serve us best. If we try to use them with PURPOSE instead of HABIT, we’ll find ourselves with a lot of extra time in the day.

I wanted to add a quick little note saying that I am NOT sponsored by any of these apps. I just find them to be genuinely helpful!

  1. Afterlight. This app is amazing for editing photos. It’s what I use for all of my photos, actually! It’s completely free and enables you to create photos that are very professional looking. I generally take photos on my camera, but this app allows even Iphone photos to look crisp and Insta-worthy!
  2. #Bible. This app is so wonderful because it gives you a new bible verse every single day. It also gives you the option to choose what time of day you’d like to be notified for your verse of the day. I always forget about this app until I get a notification on my screen, and it brightens my day, every single time! Not to mention it’s a great way to begin to know the bible a little bit better!
  3. Letterboxd. In this app, you’re able to keep a log of all the movies that you’ve watched each month. I really like it because you’re able to see what movies are popular at the moment, and you’re able to create a list of all the movies that you’re wanting to watch! I love perusing other people’s lists and seeing what I should add to mine!
  4. Ibotta. This app allows you to earn cash back on purchases you make. I like to use it for grocery shopping, as that’s something I do anyway, and if one of my items qualifies, I get cash back! Yay! You can also use it for online purchases, but I don’t make too many of those, so I cannot give a review on that area of the app, but I would definitely check Ibotta out! Who doesn’t want cash back???
  5. Fetch Rewards. This app is very similar to Ibotta, they just have deals on different items. I love that I can use the same receipt for BOTH of these places to get rewards. The main difference I’ve found between Ibotta and Fetch is that Fetch gives you money back in the form of a gift card. I haven’t chosen to cash in my points yet, but I am looking forward to receiving my gift card!
  6. Depop. I love secondhand shopping, and this app is perfect because you can buy AND sell. If you want to follow my account… it’s @retroandcatsandstuff! I think this app is so fabulous, especially since it’s currently second-hand September! Yay! The perfect time to snag some second-hand goodies!!!
  7. Swagbucks. This app certainly sounds like it would be a scam, but I can tell you that it is NOT. Essentially, it’s an app where you take surveys, and get points, called Swagbucks, and you’re able to redeem them for a giftcard. I’ve used it to get giftcards for Sephora and Walmart. There are, of course, many other places you could choose. It’s certainly not a get-rich-quick scheme, but I think it’s worth it! I like to do them whenever I have a spare moment!
  8. Venmo. Long gone are the days where you need cash to pay a friend back. I’m sure that most people know about Venmo, but I was definitely late to the Venmo game! It’s great to use when grabbing food with your friends, you can reimburse them without having to go to an ATM!
  9. Banking app. I think that everyone should have a banking app on their phone. I like to keep a very close eye on my account, and a banking app allows me to do that with ease. You never know when you might need it, so definitely save some space on your phone for your bank’s app!
  10. Cozi. This app is AMAZING for families, couples, or even roommates. Bobby and I have been using this since last winter. Essentially, it’s a calendar app. You’re able to put in your work schedule, different events, and you’re able to color code it by whose event it is. You’re even able to color code it if it’s an event for multiple people! This app also allows you to create lists that everyone in your group can see, I love using it for grocery lists, because we’re both able to add the items we need onto it!

And that’s all, my friends! A list of my favorite apps! I hope that it was helpful, and that you were able to find one or two that serve you!

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Monthly Favorites · Uncategorized

My July Favorites.

Hello, friends! A happy Friday to you all! Can you believe it’s August already? My wedding is in two months! What!!! I’m so excited!!!

I thought that I would do a July favorites for this month, as it has been quite some time since I’ve done one! Here we go!

  1. Eyeliner! I’ve gone through many a phase with eyeliner. Middle school I was very addicted to black pencil eyeliner, messily applied to the top lid and bottom waterline. Then I moved onto black liquid liner in high school, and I went a little crazy with the winged liner there. And then, at the beginning of college, I did a little bit of brown pencil liner. And after that, I didn’t really do much with eyeliner. But for the past week or two, I’ve been getting back into liquid liner. I’ve had an Elf liquid liner in a navy blue shade for longer than I’d care to admit… but I’ve been putting a thin little line of it on my lash line. I thought it would look a little strange with my black mascara, but it really doesn’t!
  2. My kitchen table! I ordered this table a couple months back, but we finally had it delivered! I love this table so much, and I think it’s a very classic piece that we will have for many, many years. It seats six and has an insert that makes it quite a bit longer. We keep the insert in it at all times, so we don’t have to worry about storing it somewhere. (Ha!) I love how neutral it is, and that it will match whatever decor our hearts desire.IMG_3567.JPG
  3. L.L Bean Dress. This dress!!! I am so in love. It is so cozy, and even though I bought it only a little bit ago, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a favorite for a very long time. Which is what I consider before making a purchase! And blue is one of my favorite colors, and one of the colors I think flatters me the most.IMG_3772
  4. Journaling. Although journaling is nothing new for me, I’ve been making an extra effort to make time to journal EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s such a wonderful way to work through problems you may have, or even to document the small joys in life. As much as we’d like to hope we’d remember all these wonderful memories, we can’t possibly remember every single day of our lives. And that’s where journaling comes in!
  5. Bar soap. I remember being a kid, HATING using bar soap. To be fair, the ones that foam and bubble are far more whimsical, but not as good for the environment, as I’ve learned. Bar soap requires little to no packaging, and can last you for such a long time! I love it!IMG_3767
  6. Brown Boots. I’m a fan of all things fall, and these boots just scream fall to me. And what’s even better is that they were less than ten dollars! Just like the dress I’ve listed, I foresee these being a favorite for many a year.IMG_3742
  7. Trip to Frankfort . This was such a wonderful day! I had such a lovely time going to Frankfort with Bobby’s family for the fourth. It’s such a cute little town, and being on the beach all day… pure bliss. I can’t wait to take another trip to the beach.IMG_3411
  8. Wedding bands. I was SO happy to find our wedding bands. And they are so beautiful, and so us. The fact that after the wedding, we’ll be able to wear them for the whole rest of our lives is so amazing! How blessed are we???IMG_3325
  9. Banana bread. Perhaps banana bread will be my claim to fame… although I cannot take credit for the recipe. Bobby LOVES when I make this, and I even made some for his boss the other week! And the smell of banana bread… is there a banana bread perfume? If so, I desperately need it.
  10. Anne of Green Gables! This book has been a favorite of mine since childhood, and I reread it for the first time in such a long time, this month. And no surprise here, I loved it just as much, if not more. A classic book that I think everyone should read. It’s such a lovely book to read when you want to fall back deeply in love with life.IMG_3604

Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

Monthly Favorites

My Game Night Favorites.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! I thought today I’d write about some of my favorite games to play. I have a previous blog post that details the importance of not only community, but game night as well. I really enjoyed writing that post, but I failed to mention my favorite games to play on game night! I feel like people don’t often make posts about board games, so I thought I would fill that void! (Although I’m sure that many lovely people have written posts about games, I just haven’t seen them!)

  1. Scrabble. Ah, a classic. I am TERRIBLE at this game, and I mean TERRIBLE. Regardless, I really enjoy playing it. I am a horrendous strategist, and the second I see a word that can be played, I play it. I think that this game is also really wonderful for younger children because it teaches them new words and helps them work on their spelling. I remember playing various word games with my mom and being blown away with how many words she knew. And by the end of the game, I knew the words, too! It’s a great and sneaky way to learn, even for adults!
  2. Cover Your Assets.This is a game that is fairly new, as far as I know. And oh my goodness, is it fun. It’s a quick-paced card game that is sure to bring out the competitive nature of everyone, but in a fun way. (Notice that Monopoly failed to make this list… I get very competitive.) And it’s super easy to pick up on, which I like. There are plenty of games out there that I can’t play because I can’t figure them out. (I’m ashamed to admit that I still don’t understand how to play euchre… I know, I know… How dare I call myself Midwest Mattie, right? Maybe one day…)
  3. Chameleon.As of right now, this game is probably my favorite. I’ve tried to explain this game to many a person, but my words fail me. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. Or you can read the instructions and reviews for it. That works as well. Another fun and silly game that is sure to be a favorite at any game night.
  4. Scattergories. This is probably the game that I played the most as a kid. My mom, brother, and I played this one all the time. It’s also wonderful because it really stretches your brain muscles. Which I think is really important. I remember trying to argue to my mom and brother that Kim Kardashian could be considered a historical figure, but they shut me down on that one. Fair enough.
  5. Uno. I don’t think that this one needs too much of an explanation. I think that most people have probably played this. I know there’s a bunch of different versions, but I just have the classic one. I think this game is so great because it just brings out the silliness in everyone. Especially when a Draw Four is played. And the most tragic — when one fails to say uno and they’re required to pick up the stack. Ugh!

Thank you so much for reading, friends! I hope that you enjoyed this post, even if it’s much shorter than usual. I’d also like to hear your game night favorites!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Monthly Favorites

February 2019 Favorites

Hi, friends! Hope your week has been wonderful! Can you believe that it’s already March? I sure can’t! I wanted to start a new segment on my blog about my monthly favorites! I was thinking about doing ten per month and seeing how that goes! Please share your favorites of the month, too!

1.My first February favorite was going to see Legally Blonde: The Musical! I won’t go into too much detail about it, since I already have a blog post up about it, but it definitely is still worthy of a mention

(Pictured is me after the show with my new Legally Blonde shirt!)

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2. Another favorite of mine is this dress that I bought! I really wish that I could remember the name of the boutique it was from. I think it is just such a cute piece that is really versatile. It’s a great option for the transition between winter and spring because you can easily throw some leggings or tights on underneath and pair it with a jean jacket or a vest. You can also dress it down with a pair of hightops or dress it up with a cute pair of boots.

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3. Now this one may seem a little bit silly, but when I was so dang sick earlier this month, this helped me tons: Elderberry flavored Kevita. Elderberry is known to help with sickness and I find that it helps me when I have a sore throat. I was drinking at least one a day for a whole week. If you’ve never tried it, I definitely recommend it! It’s super tasty, too!

4. My next favorite is Blaze pizza! We got one in town a couple of months ago and Bobby and I went for the first time last month. And as someone who grows more and more lactose-intolerant day by day…. pizza can be a tricky thing. This place has some awesome substitutions for various dietary needs. INCLUDING VEGAN CHEESE! And oh my gosh, is that cheese delicious. A lot of vegan cheeses aren’t able to melt very well, but this one melted wonderfully and honestly tasted like real cheese. Definitely recommend if you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan!

5. This favorite may seem super basic, but it’s still a favorite! I found the cutest jean jacket at, where else, T.J Maxx! I am a huge fan of jean jackets and arguably own too many, but I didn’t have one that wasn’t too large on me. For the most part, I like my jackets to be a little bit baggy, but I wanted to purchase a jean jacket that was a little bit tighter so that I could wear it with a slightly baggier dress. It’s not a steadfast rule per say, but generally, when I wear a piece that’s tight, I like to offset it with a looser piece. If I were to wear a tight pair of jeans, generally I’d wear a top that was a bit more flowy and vice versa. And this jacket is perfect for that! It looks so cute with the dress that I mentioned in #2!

6. Now if my Elderberry Kevita favorite seemed a little silly, this one may seem VERY silly, but… Garlic powder! I’ve always been a big fan of avocado toast, but holy cow, putting garlic powder on it changes EVERYTHING! It adds just a little something extra to it, adding so much flavor to it. Basically, I’ve been adding garlic powder to everything I cook, it just makes everything better!

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7. Now, a lot of people on the internet get sponsored by this company, however, I am not. I just find it to be wonderful! It’s the browser extension, “Honey”. You basically download it and then it searches the internet for coupon deals! I’ve sort of (yikes) gotten back into online shopping, so this extension has been super awesome for me.

8. As I said, I’ve been loving online shopping, and I wanted to share two of my purchases from the month of February. The first item that I bought was a pair of blue-light glasses. I’m sure y’all know, but if you don’t, they’re glasses that are designed to protect your eyes while you’re using the computer. As a college student who also blogs, these have so far proved to be a life-saver, as I seem to find myself on the computer a whole lot. Not to mention that they are so dang cute!

9. Another J.Crew purchase was an adorable scarf with the cutest little pom-poms on it. I love fashion scarves so much, but I always have the absolute hardest time finding some that I think are cute and/or practical enough for day-to-day wear. I think this one checks both of those boxes. It’s a beautiful light green/grey color that serves as a great neutral. I envision pairing it with my new jean jacket, a black t-shirt dress and some white high tops! I think it will be the perfect spring outfit. I’m wishing and waiting for springtime, can ya tell?

10. Last but not least, Hulu! I’ve had Netflix for years and years, but couldn’t seem to justify having a membership to two streaming services. But Bobby somehow convinced me, and I gotta say, I think Hulu may be even better than Netflix! What do y’all think is the better service? All I can say is that they have some of my favorite tv shows, Pioneer Woman included! Should I say goodbye to Netflix? Hmm….

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope that you’re having a wonderful day! What are some of your monthly favorites??

XOXO,

Mattie Mae