Friday Faves Edition 52



Whether Friday comes fast or Friday comes slowly, it always manages to make its way here.

I’ll be honest, I’ve had a very mentally taxing week. I’m not convinced that Friday is going to reduce any of my mental drain, but it’s likely that my support system will be more readily available over the weekend.

A few bouts of insomnia did not help the matter. To give you a glimpse into the mind of a person who deals with anxiety…. one night this week, I awoke and began to think about a situation with which I was currently dealing…and after spinning that round…then my mind decided “hey, you’re awake. let’s think about that flight you have in Scotland. you know…the one where you have to be there by 6 am and it’s likely a 20 or 30 minute ride from your hotel. you’ll need to line up a taxi. you should probably have them come at 5, that way if anything goes wrong, you’ll still have time to try to find a remedy. it’s a small town, what if taxis don’t run at 5 am?…what will you do then, Amy? huh? can you fix THAT problem…can you?”

I have learned through my time of practicing meditation ways in which to counteract my mind running off on these anxiety inducing commentaries. In those times when I awaken at night, I go back to repeating a mantra that I learned during those initial 30 days: “I am as dynamic as my rest.” Sometimes my mind tries to wander off some more and when I find it doing that, I bring myself back to this mantra and eventually do fall back to sleep.


Friday Faves.

Even in the midst of stress, I’m still able to bring a roundup of Friday Faves. Because there are still moments of beauty in the chaos. You just have to be willing to look. This is where practicing gratitude has definitely helped to change my perspectives.


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If you wanted to send a thank-you note to someone in your life, who would it be, and what is one of your best memories of that person? “My mom is like a person who always protects, advises, and provides, no matter what. She is the person to whom I can tell each and every one of my secrets, everything. I feel like there is nothing she wouldn’t do for us, and we could depend on her no matter what. “I want to thank my mom for raising me.. Thanks for everything that you do, for everything you give, and for always putting us first. My mom would never hold back; I know there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for us. I really feel like she deserves a thank you for that. “I remember a time when she helped me with my school, and I helped her with her business. It’s how we grew up: my mom always taught us to help. I remember when I was in high school, we couldn’t afford the school tuition. I was afraid that I would have to leave school, but she said, ‘Don’t worry Ali; we’ll make a plan.’ She did whatever she had to do. She got the money for the transport, the stationery, everything. I know she sold some things, and I know it was very hard for her business; but she sent me to school, and I got my diploma. That’s who my mom is. No matter how bad things look or how impossible they seem, she would never give up; she would always fight for us. So all I want to do is to help to take care of my family, to try to be like my mother and give as much as she did." (Pretoria, South Africa ) . . . Additional information  Owns a boutique where he designs and makes clothing. He is originally from Malawi, but came all the way to South Africa to get his business started. . . . #happiness  #love #digithanks #travelstagram #photography #StayQueeky #visualsoflife #beautiful #neverstopexploring #awesome #loveislove #happy #fun #trip #exploreeverything #real #photos  #wonderful #traveling #feelfreefeed #support #travelawesome #dream #theadventureproject #travel #truth #adventure #liveauthentic #feelfreefeed

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Speaking of gratitude, a fellow blogger, Sedi, reached out to me about checking out her Instagram page. She is the founder of DigiThanks, which is a gratitude project in which people share something or someone for which they express their gratitude. She also shares quotes and scientific facts about gratitude. I think this a wonderful project and wanted to share its existence with all of you. She has gratitude stories from more than forty countries. I think you’d enjoy checking them out. To place her Instagram on my blog, I could only choose one story. I’m a little biased towards somebody being grateful towards their mother seeing how I’m in the process of raising three teenagers and hopeful that someday they will see the reasoning behind my advice. But all the stories are wonderful.


Bar Soap.

I haven’t actually tried these specific bars of soap, but I have moved over to bar soap. I shared my recycling journey thus far. While I do enjoy that I’m putting out fewer bags into the regular trash can, I also noticed that my recycling bin is quite full each week. I began to pay attention to the number of recyclable things where there were other choices that could just as easily be made.

One of those was soap. I have sensitive skin and have used body wash (I was told it was gentler on the skin, many, many years ago) and a loofah. Hmmm…plastic container….plastic washing thingie…OR I could use a bar of soap and recycle its cardboard container. So that’s a switch that I’ve made!

Do you have items that you’ve exchanged for something that has less impact on the environment?



If you’ve read my blog for some time then you know that we’ve had a set of Peace Lilies for quite a while that were originally purchased because of their purported ability to clean the air. I have seen some arguments that assert that there is some myth to the way that it is circulated. Here is the NASA article. You can judge for yourself.

However, while I did choose plants that may clean indoor air pollution, I also added them because greenery and nature uplift my spirits. I have been admiring photos of houses filled with plants because they make the room look so cozy. After starting my indoor plant journey, I read this article about how Amazon’s new office building is filled with 40,000 plants!

I should also note that most of you know that I don’t have a green thumb and kill all plants. My husband keeps the Peace Lilies alive and has agreed to care for any indoor plants I add to our home.

Corn Plant.

I wanted a plant in the living room that was taller than my Peace Lilies. We opted for a Mass Cane, also known as a Corn Plant.


Majesty Palm.

Miss Sunshine liked the look of a palm (we are originally Floridians, you know) and wanted to add one to brighten up the corner of her bedroom. Winter isn’t the best time to find plants here in Virginia, but winter is also when I most need to see some green. We were looking for an Areca Palm, but this Majesty Palm was just as pretty.



I wanted to add some plants to the raised counter between sides of my kitchen. We chose Pothos because it doesn’t require bright light. There are windows and doors in the kitchen, however, they aren’t beside this space. I loved the planter so much that I’ve gone back to purchase a second Pothos plant and the same rectangular planter. Those little clay pieces were made by each of my children in an art class over the years. They make me smile each time I look at them.


Spider Plant.

When I started adding houseplants over the weekend, I really wanted a spider plant for Big Mr.’s room. I don’t know if it really helps with allergies as is credited to it, but I’m willing to try. Big Mr. has a room in the basement. In our last house, his room didn’t have carpet and I was relieved since it always retains so much dirtiness. However, this room has carpet and it was new carpet when we bought the house so we couldn’t justify replacing it.

The places where I went looking for Spider Plants did not have any. As luck would have it, after Miss Sunshine’s hair appointment this week, we popped into Earth Fare to pick up some dinner. Lo, and behold, at the entrance were two enormous Spider Plants for sale. Miss Sunshine quickly claimed one for herself. I’m sorely tempted to keep this one for myself because I love its “extras” hanging down which remind me of the air plants that grow in Florida.



Since I’m on the topic of Big Mr, one of the things that has been hanging over my head are finalizing the graduation announcements for Big Mr. I opted for the less classic version…because I don’t think anyone will really save those and it would be a waste of my money and time. We opted for ones that have photos which I knew my family would appreciate because they see my children less often now that we don’t live in Florida.

My teenagers rarely pose for photos. I mostly shoot landscapes and buildings, so most of my portrait photography doesn’t turn out how I’d like. I was planning to take some photos of Big Mr. for the announcements. However, they never turned out or he was busy and so I kept putting off finalizing the announcements. Originally, my shoot for the announcements would have shown off his beautiful green eyes, but in the end, I used a set of photos I had taken on a day when he had asked me for a mini-session.

The announcements were set up for 4×6 landscape-style photos, and the other three photos were taken in that way. This one I had to crop. It looks great on the announcement, but I do love the entire photo. It was such a relief to finally check that box off of my to-do list.


Instead of a song this week, I’m offering a bit of humor. I could use some humor. How about you?

How many of you watched the Super Bowl? I would show you my favorite Super Bowl commercial (it was the Tide ad with David Harbour from Stranger Things that starts out making you think it’s an Old Spice ad…I love the Old Spice ads), but I think Bad Lip Reading will make you laugh even harder.

If you missed a mini tour of my current city, you can find that here. This week, I also shared the lessons I learned during my month of being a vegetarian and some photos that I let speak for themselves.

I hope that you all have a stress free weekend and many days of happiness in the coming week.


Let your light shine!




26 thoughts on “Friday Faves Edition 52

  1. Amy Thanks so much for writing this amazing review. 🙂 Expressing gratitude is not only a great feeling but also, benefit us mentally and physically. I think gratitude is a powerful medicine without any side effect, as Zig Ziglar says, gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. Thanks again Amy for taking your precious time to write this beautiful review. you are the best !!! : <3 <3<3

    1. It was my pleasure Sedi! 🙂 Gratitude is such a wonderful thing in which to place our focus!! <3

  2. Beautiful plants! Haha I totally kill plants too… I have tried over the years and failed many times. Not proud of it but not my strength at all. This is my excuse for not gardening. The kids and husband are in charge of the veggie garden. It is growing beautifully as a result 🙂

    1. My husband asked me to not touch them and I happily comply!! lol. I’d love to grow a veggie garden, but we don’t get a lot of lengthy sunlight in one area. I’m considering a container garden so that I can move it around to sunny locations.

  3. I have struggled with insomnia this week as well. I am impressed at your meditation practices to calm your mind. Unfortunately I have not figured out how to do that! I will have to try to channel my inner Amy next time 🙂

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve struggled with insomnia as well. It is NO fun!! It still takes a while with meditation, but I’m pretty sure it would take even longer if I didn’t. I’ve heard you should just get up and go read or something, but I feel like that tends to wake up my body as well as my mind.

  4. The plants look beautiful and lush. I used to have two spider plants that were starters from the little spiders. They lasted for years then just died. I am trying to keep a potted mix of greens alive in the living room. I’ve had it since November 2017. It’s touch and go at the moment. I think it needs more water than I’ve been giving it. 🙁

    I hope you have a lovely week-end with a good nights sleep.

    1. Thanks Deborah. It’s been a rainy weekend, but sleeping has been better because I can make up for those lost moments in the night by sleeping in a little later.
      I’m hoping that all the plants thrive. The hubby is good at keeping them well. Me…not so much!! I did manage to keep a cactus alive for years, but I can’t remember what happened to it. I may have been worried about the kids when they were toddlers and passed it on to someone.

  5. Another fab Friday Favorites. I have pathos and spider plant, too 🙂 They’re doing well, as are all my plants EXCEPT Max — he’s a fancy frilled something, I never can remember, AND my money tree (Which messes with my head, lol!) I have decided to baby money tree and add a friend to Max. I don’t know what’s gone wrong and feel guilty. Like they’re mad at me for going to work. :/ It’s terrible.

    1. Thanks Joey. I’m glad that most of your plants are doing well. I hope mine continue to thrive. Miss Sunshine admired one of the money plants where they wind the stalks together, but ending up wanted a more beachy vibe in her room. I hope Max and your money tree get over their sadness at your going to work!

  6. Seems you really have a green thumb, Amy! Love the portrait of your big boy! Glad you have the same issues making them pose for you as I do. Aren’t they all drama kings/queens 😉 ? Have a fab Sunday! Marcus

    1. I hope that all the plants do well. The hubby appears to have the green thumb. I just get to reap the benefits ;). Thanks for the compliment on the portrait, Marcus. That means a lot, especially because you are phenomenal at portraiture. It’s hilarious how hard it is to get them to pose. In my first shoot, you can see him progressively lose interest (after about the 2nd photo). This shoot he wanted because he had just cleaned his car. I convinced him a few on the porch before we moved to the car. lol. I hope you have fab Sunday as well! – Amy

    1. PS. Coincidently, I watched Bad Lip Reading NFL ‘18 and could not agree with you more. A couple of coworkers and I could not stop laughing, one of their best episodes.

      1. It was so hilarious that I watched in with my husband two more times!! Then we checked out some of their other Bad Lip Readings. The Yoda Seagulls was hilarious too.

  7. Having lots of green in the house relieves stress, I believe, and even reading your post did that to me! Made me feel homey 🙂 You have a very handsome boy and the shot is great! As for changing something to have less impact on the environment, I’m trying to not use plastic bags when I buy my groceries. Sometimes I do though, but it’s constantly on my mind!

    1. I do think the green helps to relieve stress. I’ve been surprised by how much. Thank you for the compliment on my son and photo. He’s grown up much too fast. But they always do. I’ve become more consistent at having my reusable bags, but I just realized the other day as I left the dentist that they gave me my goodies (toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste) in a plastic bag. I was out the door before I realized it or I would have said “oh, that’ll fit in my purse”. lol.

  8. Aha! So those are the names (at least here in the US) of the plants I grew up with. We called the corn plant Fortune plant back home, at least if I remember correctly. 😊
    Congratulations to your ssfamilyon and family for the graduation.

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