Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A little Fall etspiration

Can you believe it's the last day of August!?

I can't say I'm sad because September starts my favorite time of year.  I've just been biding my time in the A/C and hoping that autumn gets seasonal real quick because I'm so over the heat and humidity!

It got me in the mood to see what Fall decorations are out there so I thought I'd peruse Etsy.  There are some super cute things out there by some talented folks!

Golden Paisley


I just love the metallic gold paint against that rusty orange.  Totally gets me in the mood for Fall!


HandmadeMercantileCo


This cracked me up and sounds like something I'd say!

FabledFelt


I remember seeing felted animals and such at the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival last year and fell in love with the look.  These are super cute!

TightlyWoundDesigns


How cute is this!?  I especially would love one wrapped in all crocheted ribbon like that.  It's so romantical to quote Chi Chi of To Wong Foo.


Cathygiftsandthings


Oh my gosh, this took me back.  My mom and grandma used to have a craft store back in the day and we were always going to bazaars all the time for them to sell their wares.  This reminds me of the tables of stuff people would have as I wandered around looking for trouble to get into.

Well, I've got stuff I should probably be doing other than scanning for stuff I have no room for but it is always nice to see what's out there.

How did your August treat you?  Ready to start decorating for Fall yet?  :-)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Week I Made All the Wrong Decisions



Last Friday morning, I was awake at 5:30am staring at the ceiling.  My legs were throbbing, everything was so tight and I had to pee.

"I'll do better, God...just don't let it pull like it did yesterday when I stand.  Just let me get to the bathroom and I promise I'll stay off of it next week."

I got up...*YANK!*

So off I hobbled to the bathroom.  I came back to bed and laid there for another hour thinking about all I'd done that week.  Two weeks prior, I'd replaced all of my footwear.  New tennis shoes with over-pronation insoles in them, new workout shoes and new slides to replace the shabby slippers that had more than worn out their welcome.  I knew there was going to be an adjustment period but the problem was, I was only wearing the everyday shoes on the weekend.  So we'd be out and then my hips, knees and feet would hurt because they didn't like being forced into the right position to correct my gait.  So I felt like I would benefit by wearing my everyday shoes around the house all day the following week because I knew I was going to be up probably twice as much as normal.  I mentioned this idea to my chiro and he seemed to be okay with it.

Well, when you go from sharing a blood supply with the couch to 7500 steps on 3 days out of that week and then around 4000 the other days (keeping in mind I work from home in a shoebox so there' not a lot of ground to cover), the already slightly miffed body gets a little more cheesed.   Remember when I told you about doing that trail in reverse?  Well, while I was hobbling along on that, I was also doing some damage but we'll get to that.  Every night, the only thing that would relieve my tight hips is this stretch where I would lie down and pull my left foot up to my right knee and try to open my hips.  It felt really good...it was not really good.  Every other day I was stretching and rolling and the pulling in my knees led me to do some voracious rolling with the hard Stick roller and I gave myself a tell tale bruise on my knee.  Come Thursday, my body was wondering if it was going to finally get a rest day...it did not.  It was pissed.  So it decided to swell the side of my knee on my left leg (the problem leg) because I'd inflamed it pretty bad and I had to ice it 4x that day for the swelling to go down.  All of that would be one thing to get used to but then you add in the all new footwear deal with a lot of up and down stairs and I basically toasted my legs.

Like...big time.

Friday was my chiro appointment and when I woke up that morning, I couldn't stand up.  I mean literally, I couldn't put my left foot flat on the ground without it yanking to high hell.  I sat there at 5:30 am silently weeping while I basically hopped to the bathroom.  I laid there for an hour and knew if I was going to make it to my appointment, I would have to take a hot bath and massage my muscles.  I did that and took a clay bath while I massaged the entire time.  It took 25 minutes for the muscles to finally release enough for me to feel like I could walk.  I wasn't looking forward to my appointment anymore.  I went to see him and when he saw my pain number went up one, he asked me about my week and I told him all of that.  He felt my legs and said the right one is still a champ and doing well but the left one was basically screwed.  I hadn't done any new damage to it, no micro tears or anything like that but that I needed a massage and said he knows I was under a work deadline but I could not do anything remotely close to that this week.  He caught my few spots I was rolling front and back and I could hear his frustration but in a way that is like listening to the nicest guy in the world say "shoot nuggets" instead of "shitballs, what did you do?!"

He said he was glad to see there was no more swelling on the side of the knee and that I very likely tweaked both IT bands on my legs during that walk given the pain I was in the following days.  He politely told me if I feel good for a few days and get the urge to walk in the park...*looked up at me and smiled*...don't.  He jacked the ultrasound up as high as it would go at my request and said I needed to get a massage before I saw him this Friday.  He said the muscles need stripped again but unfortunately my girl wasn't available until Thursday so I've been doing light, long strokes with oil so there's no friction or irritation until I can get in to see her.  His tone seemed much more serious but he said I am not allowing myself to heal despite pulling back on the cardio.  He knows the psychological effect it has on me when I am put on no weight bearing exercise or no cardio so he stopped short of saying absolutely no cardio but I could read him well enough to know he wanted to say it.   He also said anything that I would do to "help" is forbidden especially rolling and stretching.  He had me lie flat on my stomach and said my left hip was now rolling inward so he was going to do something about that.  Yay?  He did some kind of magic popping stuff to my hips with his hydraulic table and kept asking if I was okay as he did it and I told him nothing he could do to me in the office would hurt more than I hurt so do it to it.  He casually mentioned I had compartment syndrome which I just bothered to look up Sunday and it scared the sh*t out of me.  I don't think I have a severe form or anything especially since he said he was glad to see there was no swelling or anything like that which as the internet told me, could need immediate surgery to relieve the pressure.

Wanna know what pushed it to that point?  Being crammed in coach unable to move for 7 1/2 hours. I mean other things contributed but early on, he kept bringing that up and how it was probably the straw that broke the camel's back.  From what I read, the "crush injury" that happens in acute cases will cause the affected area to swell severely and given I'd experienced that once or twice before on really long car rides and no regular exercise on vacation, I knew I'd need compression socks.  I did use them but it was only after the symptoms came on because I knew peeling them off at 32,000 feet wasn't going to be an option.  So yeah, basically the airline should be paying for this treatment as far as I'm concerned.  You add on me trying to correct my gait with new inserts and an increased workload of being more active and I was doing myself no favors.  Best way to treat it?  You guessed it.

Rest.

I found it funny this came up in my feed when I was writing this post.  Thanks Chalene!


So I am pulling myself off of cardio this and possibly next week.  I did have to finish my project and Saturday was a bad day but I rested Sunday and did upper body strength.  The Mr will do cardio since he's able to.  I know it might sound crazy to some like "dude, your body is broken, rest it!" but when you've lost a lot of weight, you are constantly worried about gaining it back especially since we're still fighting that last bit of vacation weight.  But my mobility must take precedence so I have planned my meals and adjusted calories down to what I would typically be at after a workout.  I will still do upper body strength because he said that is fine.  He also said "compression, compression, compression" so I wear my compression sleeves basically all day and it does help my legs feel less achy.  I can't even tell you how hard it is not to roll or stretch.  It's like telling a kid with chicken pox not to itch.  I've adjusted my work schedule so that the next two weeks are all things I can do sitting down or not running up and down stairs.  The legs REALLY hate the stairs right now.

At this point, I just am glad that I have a doctor I don't want to disappoint.  I do wish he was a little more forceful when he needs to put his foot down because whatever he tells me to do, I do it.  So I am hoping come Friday, he will give me news that the left leg is feeling much better and my cardio exile will be for good.  Even if he doesn't verbalize it,  I know I can't go back to what I was doing until he tells me I can.  I will tell him that I have decided to drop any cardio until he tells me to ease back in.  I want to make him proud and healing has got to be my top priority or I won't be able to do anything in the future anyway.

Do you have a hard time scaling back on exercise even if your body needs you to? 

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Mondays are AWESOME!

Did I convince you?  :-)

If not, perhaps many of you will be happy to know that this time next week, your Monday will be a holiday.  For those who don't have that, my condolences and I will have to work as well here and there so I'll commiserate with you.

This weekend was all work and a minuscule amount of play...for work.  So yeah, the most we were able to muster was lunch.  We looked at the menu ahead of time and ordered our food with our drinks because chop chop puddin' pop...I got crap to do!

We headed off to World Market to pick up a few supplies and I fell in love a little.


I thought my friend who lives close to the beach now would love these but she probably already has plates.  This isn't even the right color, there's more of a green hue in there but this looks robin egg blue for some reason.  Still pretty though.  Fun fact:  Did you know eating off of a blue plate is supposed to reduce your appetite?  I can say that any time I try to photograph something on a blue plate, I don't find it half as tempting so there may be something to that.  On the flip side, red plates are supposed to stimulate appetite.  There's your useless piece of knowledge for the day.  :-)

I also thought these were adorable!


I really like the "you are my cup of tea" because I only drink sweet tea if I'm in the south and even then, I get my fill after once or twice.  I used to drink it religiously as a kid.  My aunt taught me that a tupperware pitcher full should have like 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  CUPS!  How I've never had cavities is beyond me.  But yeah...in case someone *cough* Mr. *cough* should need a stocking stuffer idea for Christmas, this would be a good one!!

After putting in a back leg breaking day and ending it with dropping off some goodies to our local firefighter station that have helped with grandma on some calls, we grabbed dinner and worked some more.  By midnight, I was done and the Mr played his game past 3am.  No thanks.

The next morning, I had quite a load of dishes to do.  To reward the Mr for all of the stuff he's put up with and help he's giving me, I made him his favorite dish for brunch...


He loves the Huevos Rancheros.  He said he'd drive to Chicago to get a meal that good.  (Eggsperience)  Luckily we can save money and gas and I'll make it right here!

Lots more work and clean up was how we spent Sunday before heading down to do strength.  Unfortunately that will be my only form of exercise this week.   I'll go into that tomorrow.

What did y'all get into this weekend?

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Friday, August 26, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #34

Good Friday morning all!

It has been one helluva week around here and you top it off with the SicroMoft fiasco that I am mostly up and running from and it makes it even more glorious to have the weekend upon us.  Of course there is no rest for the wicked and I am going to have to work at least tomorrow but I'm hoping it'll pay off.  Jazz hands for productivity!  (I don't know why I just did that!)

But enough of my twitching insanity in the form of moves no one should do, let's get to...


What To Do When You Feel Like Your Body Has Betrayed You  (I'm pretty much there.)

7 Poop Questions You've Been Too Embarrassed To Ask, Answered  (As my LMT and I discussed, it all comes back to poop)

15 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy in Your Home  (I can't wait to tackle the clutter after my current project!)

Milk, Not Plastic, Will Protect Food in the Future  (There's an interesting concept)

Is Muscle Confusion a Real Thing?  (Very good point)

45+ Crafty Ideas for Home Decor You Can Make Yourself  (Break out the paints and saws!)

If you want to see what your meal would look like before you make the selection on your next flight, check out this site  (This actually helped us on our flight to Hawaii for breakfast and thanks to the pics, we chose wisely!)

10 Things Pro Landscapers Do to Their Yards Every Fall  (If I had a lawn, I'd do this)

Chip and Joanna Are Not Happy With Past "Fixer Upper" Clients Renting Out Their Homes  (I saw the price of the "Barndominium" and said "no thanks.")

30 Effortlessly Beautiful DIY Fall Centerpieces  (I may or may not be TOTALLY ready.)

The Best Places to Spend Christmas   (Ideas in case this year turns out to be amazingly awesome!)

I want to take a moment to thank the Mr for all of his patience, hard work and general awesomeness this week.  He's put up with a lot on work and home and it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. When you both end a day screaming "eff this day, one hour left of this crap @ss day!" without taking it out on each other, I call that a victory.

I don't know that we have too solid of a plan for the weekend other than sleeping in before obligations take hold.

What are you fine folks into this weekend?

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Meltdown

A bit of saucy language enclosed.

I am so glad when companies push an update that has a TON of bugs in it that is going to screw your life if you try to uninstall said update.

{Dripping with sarcasm}

This company, we'll call them SicroMoft, decided to force their anniversary update to my laptop.  In doing so, they basically rendered my sound useless.  The Mr knows a fair amount about computers and was pretty certain we could back it out until patches were issued and we'd reinstall it.

Nope.

Backing it out basically fried my laptop rendering it a block of plastic and parts.

*insert weeping wife and twitching crazed husband here*

After putting in an already longer than usual workday, the Mr got to come home and deal with the clusterf**k that was this update.  It fought him for every bit of 9 hours.  NINE, people!  He didn't get to bed until 3am with an 8am meeting he had to be on.

Then what does it do overnight?  It reinstalls the same effing update that bent me over to begin with!!
 
(To those saying "this wouldn't happen with Apple"...not even an option on principle.  It's better to not even get me started on that subject.  LOL)

So I basically just have web right now.

I woke up this morning with some issues that I brought on myself (overstretching) so instead of wallowing, I said I was going to just go into the day with a good attitude and ice down and then deal with the computer issues with a level head.  Then he told me about the update re-installing and that kind of shot my mindset.  So I'm trying to get back into it by attempting to install as much as I can without his assistance because the fact that he had to come home and deal with a whole other situation is just not fair and qualifies him for computer sainthood.  I will learn the lesson that I need to stop being an electronic hoarder because I got some serious side eye at the amount of files he had to back up.  This is not the first time this issue has come up so I need to address the amount of stupid chit I keep for no good reason.  Digital detox time, yo!  Silver lining?  (Trying to see it that way!)

A BIIIIIIIIIG thank you to The Mr for his tireless efforts in getting my 'puter back to normal.  I probably owe him stuff out of Fifty Shades of Grey now.  Well, he's not into that kind of thing so just insert any 80's T&A movie and that should cover it.  Sorry for any typos as my proofreader has done enough for me and I'm not asking him to do that too!

Have you had a major computer meltdown?  How did you recover that didn't involve booze and illicit drugs?

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Product Review: Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara Sauce

We don't have Italian often but when we do, I like to pair it with a good marinara.  Pasta sauce is so hard to find in something that doesn't have enough sodium to keel a horse.  When we were in a local health food store, I looked at a new to me pasta sauce and thought it looked really good and decided to give it a try.


I usually get Trader Joe's No Salt Added Marinara which is sodium friendly at 35mg per half cup but on the bland side.  I always have to heavily doctor it with spices before making it palatable to us.  Here's how this stuff stacks up...


While 115mg is more than Trader Joe's version, it's still considerably less than most pasta sauces that can run anywhere from 500mg on the lower end to closer to 900mg on the high end.  For that little bit extra that makes it taste better, I will take it!

We love to use it on our whole wheat chicken parm!



I also love to use 1/4 cup of it split on an English muffin when I'm craving pizza on the caloric cheap.



The verdict?  LOVE. THIS. STUFF!

The olive oil they use gives it a nice, high end mouth feel and the San Marzano tomatoes really do make a difference in taste.  It tastes, to us at least, as close to restaurant quality pasta sauce without the choking salt content.  I rarely have to doctor it up either.  If I do, it's usually just a small hit of fresh ground black pepper.  If I have fresh herbs on hand, I might add those but it's more for visual than adding something flavor wise that I feel is missing.  When it's on sale, it usually runs about $3 with a regular price of $3.50-$4.00, though I did see our local big box store try to sell it for $9.99 and about fainted in the aisle.  I could get three jars at the health food store for that!  But I did see it on sale there for $3.50 last time so someone must've said "y'all are on crack!"

If you should happen to see a jar, give it a go especially if you want to indulge in a little Italian and not feel the sodium bloat later!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Strike that, reverse it

(I can't be the only one to think of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when I hear that, right?)

The reason I say that is because while I had grand plans to paddle on the coolest day of the week, I did too much during the day to be able to be up for it come the evening.  So I suggested we walk at the park.  When we got there, there were a gaggle of high school girls (likely track) that were stretching and I could tell the Mr was like "yeah, I want no part of them running past us on the trail."  Luckily they were stretching post run so we never encountered them.  We took a different way onto the trail to avoid them and instead of taking our usual route, I turned onto the trail so that our usual end was now the beginning.  It is so crazy how different it looked from that small change!


Like that hill is one we're usually coming down and we have to hold hands so I don't tumble head over ass or hit a gravel patch that will send me unwillingly into the splits.  But dang when you're going up it, it's like "please God, don't let me encounter someone else" and He's like "you mean like this lady?"  Then you have to regulate your breath for a moment as you smile when you pass to not look like you're sucking wind.  I wasn't sucking wind, it actually wasn't bad, I was more worried about how hyper-extended my left leg was and was just trying to push up the hill without blowing my Achilles on nature's warped wall.  (I see American Ninja Warrior is taping right now so that came to mind.  LOL)

It was SOOOO nice out.  I think maybe 80ish and the lightest of breezes and in the shade it felt even better.  So even though we took the harder route, it was nice to see the trail from the reverse angle and it felt like a whole different park!  I can't believe in all the years we've been walking there that we never walked it in reverse...DERP!


When we got home, I immediately got ice on the leg and got to work on dinner.


Orange Mahi with sweet potato gnocchi and roasted carrots.

The Mr combined my love of old ladies and his love of his new game and found some elderly lady who games and streams her gaming sessions on YouTube!  She's like 80 years old and she was ranting about how some commenter was trying to tell her how to do something and it didn't work and she got pissy.  It was kind of funny.  But after listening to her be kind of hostile all through dinner and 10 minutes after, I was at my limit.  Still pretty cool that at her age she's a gamer!  The Mr worked on a project for me and I hopped on here to talk to you guys whilst listening to The 1975 and jacking up the heating pad on my back.

Oh and I looked at some Christmas gifts that came in too.  So I've got one person done, my mom is about 40% done, once the Mr gets some more affordable options on his list, I can click away and be done with him in 5 minutes.  In about a month or so, I can ask one of the grandma's what she wants and thankfully she's always very specific and expects I'll get her what she asked for but I always throw in a trip to her favorite candy shop for her sugar free chocolates and then I bake a loaf of whatever she wants.  (That's the problem when you post you're baking banana bread or something like that on social media...you get requests from multiple people!  LOL  But I'm well stocked this year with about 20 mini paper loaf pans so bring it on!)

It's supposed to be low 80's today and sunny.  Quite a welcome change from the past 10 days of doom and rain but I'm not complaining because we needed the rain.  Oh yeah that reminds me, I should water the plants since God isn't going to now.

Have you ever walked a different route in the same place and had it feel totally unfamiliar?  Anyone start their Christmas shopping yet?  :-)

* This post contains affiliate links.
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Copper love, working weekend and mediums

Monday huh?  Wow that weekend went by quickly!

It was a working weekend for me so I didn't see much of the light of day.  Well, I take that back, it was grocery weekend so we had to brave the crowds.  We went to this restaurant and I changed my mind on my order and got chicken and waffles.  The texture of the waffle was probably the best I've ever had but there was no flavor.  The chicken was juicy and well cooked but again, no flavor in the breading so it was kind of a big fail.  I still ate it of course but there's just nothing worse than when you take that chance on a dish you say you're going to get every time and when you finally do, it's a crapper.

We went to Williams Sonoma because I've been heavily crushing on these measuring cups...


They are weighty and high quality but mama's gonna have to wait for a sale.  They're not a need, they're a want and I have things I need to be saving money for right now so yeah.  They are in my future but at $40, a 20% sale is going to need to happen first!  We hit up Pottery Barn too and the associate was saying something about the couch in front of us and I said we already bought it 2 years ago.  She said she was considering buying it and asked our opinion.  I told her the aesthetics are beautiful but there is this slight tilt to it that makes it a little uncomfortable and it's not a great napping couch either.  HA!  I told her we like it but I don't know that we'd recommend it if she's looking for a nice, relaxing couch to kick back on.  I did note though that pretty much all of PB's couches have that tilt so we're definitely going to think long and hard before making that purchase again...but damn it looks good.  I saw Sur La Table had their Fall stuff out and dammit, when that pumpkin loaf pan I've been frothing over for like 2 years goes on clearance for $10 like it does every season, I'm GETTING IT dammit!  I can't pay $30 for it but $10 is right up my alley.  So we did get to have a little shopping fun (for me) before tackling Trader Joe's and Target.

The Mr spent his evenings playing No Man's Sky again.  At one point, he was on some planet and I was up there and there were animals walking around that looked like Donkey from Shrek so I made him name them Eddie Murphy in the database so if other people land there, they'll see him.  I returned my mom's phone call and we talked until the battery died.  That has NEVER happened to me before!  It was good to catch up and just talk about life.  Like so many of us these days, our conversations happen via social media so it's nice to hear people's voices from time to time.  Too bad the call ended at like 2am!  I was dead on my feet and can't believe I didn't fall asleep.  Well past my bedtime.

Sunday I got a lot of business crap knocked out with a lot more to go but felt like there was some progress.  I feel so lucky to have a hubby that is talented and supportive of the stuff I choose to do and can help me out in ways that are foreign to me.  Then come 5pm he reminded me it was time for one more grocery store so we had to go out and finish up the produce run.  The Mr cut my fruits and veggies for the week while I got dinner together.  Because I needed some serious freezer room, I pulled out the Boudin Bakery sourdough bowls I Food Saved and we ate an obscene amount of sodium in the form of this deliciousness...



Their clam chowder in their sourdough bowls are heaven and I wanted to save this for September or October but they were taking up too much real estate in the freezer so they had to go straight in our bellys.

Then it was settling down for the night so I could write y'all and we could catch up on Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry.  Hey, I've gotta record a couple guilty pleasure shows to watch, right?

What did you guys do this weekend?  Do you watch Tyler Henry?  Any experiences with mediums?

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Friday, August 19, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #33

It's been a long, busy week.   I am ready for the weekend, yo!

Let's jump right into...


The Secret to Grilling Flavorful Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts  (Sometimes it feels a little redundant)

What You Need To Know About the New GMO Labeling Law  (Good info)

5 Foods that Slow Your Metabolism  (Well one of those is a big pisser for me...apples.  I've only been able to find organic pink ladies a handful of times)

What’s New at Trader Joe’s This Month  (Hmm, not impressed, they better not have yanked some of my usuals!)

6 Cleaning Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Stuff  (I read this and then proceeded to accidentally knock over about a tablespoon or so of vinegar on my granite.  *face palm*)

The Optimal U.S. National Parks Centennial Road Trip  (Flippin' awesome!  Wish we could take a few months off to do this!)

Kindergarten teacher sends student note nearly 30 years later   (My heart!  Such a cutie!)

How to Prepare for Old Age When You Don’t Have Kids  (Very good info for people like us)

She ‘loved life:’ A grieving father wrote openly about suicide and mental illness in daughter’s obituary  (This is heartbreaking but this message NEEDS to be heard)

Amulets With 'Binding Spells' Found at 2,000-Year-Old Roman Burial Site  (Holy crap, didn't Katrina do this to Ichabod on Sleepy Hollow)

Ina Garten's New Park Avenue Home Has More Than Just A Great Kitchen   (It's faaabulous)

This Is What Happens When A Roomba Meets A Pile Of Dog Poop At 1:30 AM  (This is hilarious!  Well, because it's not me.)

45 Fall-Flavored Things You Need to Get Your Hands On  (The list is finally out!!)

Nothing planned for the weekend, I don't think.  Lots of business stuff to take care of in the coming weeks so I'm sure that'll creep in.  No one likes a working weekend.  Pffft.

What are y'all into this weekend?

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Quick snack: Cocoa Coated Almonds

The Mr used to get these cocoa coated peanuts a few years back.  They were about $2 more than his normal peanuts and I told him I could easily make them for him with a few quick shakes.  He was more than happy to let me shake what my mama gave me.

Since then, I've upgraded a bit in cocoa powder and nuts and these bad boys were born...



Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup (60g) organic raw almonds (or nuts of your choice)
1/4 tsp Valrhona 100% Pure Cocoa Powder
1 packet stevia
Coconut oil cooking spray



Just to show the difference between Valrhona (left) and Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder.  It's a preference thing but we like darker chocolate so we go with the Valrhona.  


Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet.


Give a quick squirt of cooking spray so the almonds are coated and set aside.


In a separate tiny bowl (with lid), add the 1/4 tsp cocoa


Add the stevia packet.  (I use Trader Joe's stevia)


Put on the lid and give it a shake to combine.


Like so


Put the nuts in a container with a lid.


Add the sweetened cocoa powder.


Make sure it's spread out as much as possible then put on the lid and give it a goodly shake.


When you're done, the nuts should be thoroughly coated.


Makes two servings of deliciousness and it's basically the same nutritional info as the nuts but add 5 calories.


A nice little chocolaty, protein kick when you need it!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

DVD Review: Walk On: Six Mile Mix with Jessica Smith

I needed a few new walking workouts when that was basically the only thing I was cleared for cardio wise as the leg healed.  I got a Leslie Sansone one that looked decent in the preview and then Walk On: 6 Mile Mix caught my eye...



I'd never heard of Jessica Smith before but I loved the fact that you could customize your walk up to six miles!  Yep, on the menu just choose the miles you want to mix and match and get moving.  If I was feeling super motivated I could do three miles of walking and three strength oriented miles.  Of course, I've never done this because my body would revolt on me in the worst of ways but we have done two three mile workouts split into strength training and walking only.

I must say, this was a great investment for a few reasons.  Not only is it nice to have new "walking" blood in rotation but the strength session is actually pretty fantastic!  Like I told the Mr "we could TOTALLY do this on vacation and still feel like we're maintaining our muscles!"  When traveling, a band workout is really one that is most likely to stick to and this would really give us no excuses not to do it other than we're just lazy bastards.  I would prefer not to be.  :-)

The miles break down for Walk On: 6 Mile Mix like so:

Warm Up- Probably one of the best warm ups we've done prior to a workout.  Lots of stretches and twists that get your ankles involved which are usually skipped in most walking workouts.

Mile 1- Steady Burn Walk- Good, brisk walking for the 15 minute time limit

Mile 2- Upper Body Sculpting- Using the resistance band, you work your upper body and halfway through you realize this is no joke!

Mile 3- Lower Body Toner- Lots of lower body work on this one with the band.  Make sure you have good, strong bands, the Mr ripped his (mine) when he was doing this side step on the band thing that was actually kind of unnecessary to use the band in the first place.  Grrr.

Mile 4- Cardio Interval Abs- Definitely a great cardio mile infusing some good ab moves.  I'm always sore the next day!

Mile 5- Total Body Tune Up-  Sculpting from head to toe.  Another good toner!

Mile 6- Speed Walk- This one is a little more fast paced so it's about 3 minutes shorter than the other miles but that just means you're done faster.  ;-)

Cool Down- A nice 5 minute cool down rounds you out!

Stretch- I haven't been able to do this yet because my Achilles is still clamped down but will throw it in for sure when I get the all clear.  It utilizes a chair for the whole thing.

The fact you can mix and match these to do a quick mile walking and a quick strength workout if you only have 30 minutes up to 90 minutes (or close to it) is just awesome.

Jessica is a perky lady but not annoyingly so which as we all know is important if you don't want the mute button to come into play.  She exercises with her mom as the modifier and another lady probably close to her mom's age but she modifies up to put a little bounce in it.  So this means you can keep it close to low impact, moderate or advanced which is a plus in our book depending on what state our bodies are in that day.

We have a ton of different exercise videos as you guys know and it's so funny because we see quite a few influences from some of our favorite instructors.  There are a few phrases that get awfully close to ones that Leslie Sansone will utter so it's pretty clear she's influenced her.  There are also a few moves in there that Gilad was doing about 15 years ago so we feel like he's thrown in there too.  In one of the miles, either abs or the speed mile, she says a few things that sound just like Amy Dixon. There's this last song on the speed mile that is a clear knock off of A-Ha's Take On Me and she says "A-ha!" like 3x when she never said it any other time.  The Mr said it's like she wants to hint to you that it's supposed to be Take On Me but it's pretty clear without her verbal reminder.

The customization is really what we love about this one and the fact it amps things up slightly from your regular Leslie walk.  We would definitely recommend it if you like walking workouts or need some variety for when the winter months come and getting outside to walk might get harder.

Four thumbs up from us!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Day the Music Died

via Wikipedia
It's been 39 years since the news came over the airwaves that the King of Rock and Roll was gone at 42 years old.  I was too young to remember him when he was alive but he didn't need to be alive for me to hear that velvety voice, appreciate those sultry eyes and wish that in 1957 I could've whipped my knickers onstage.  Good God that man still gives me the vapors!

In high school, I was obsessed with him and the weird thing is I don't ever remember being exposed to him by anyone in my family.  My mom was born at the height of his popularity so she wasn't into him, same with dad.  I don't think my grandparents cared for him one way or the other.  But when you reach the point where you're not just a singer but an icon, you're just everywhere.

When I think of Elvis, I think of him looking the way he does above.  He'll always be late 50's Elvis in my mind but you know I'll never turn down the leather clad 1968 Comeback Elvis either.  Hominah-hominah-hominah!

I loved so many songs he sang but some of my favorites were I Got Stung, Good Luck Charm, Too Much, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Bossanova Baby, King Creole and Suspicious Minds.  Basically anything gospel sounds like it's sung straight from the mouth of heaven.  Obviously mixing Christmas and Elvis is high on my list of bliss.  Before my in-laws moved away, Dad gave me some of his Elvis albums and my MIL gave me a postcard she'd received as part of his fan club for Christmas.  They obviously knew I'd take care of them being a fan.

Last night, we watched a bit of the vigil from Graceland.  I want to go to Elvis week in January some time because this heat-a-phobe isn't committing to Memphis in August.  But it made me miss it.  We've been to Graceland twice and Elvis fan or not, it's a magical place to be.  It's kept just as he left it so if you are looking to go in a time capsule, this is it.  Definitely pay for the VIP experience, it was worth it.

Thank you Elvis for your talent, your generosity, your Southern manners and a legacy that cannot be matched.

Are you an Elvis fan?  What are your favorite songs?

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Rainy, schweaty weekend

Is there anyone out there who had any kind of relief this weekend from sweltering hot and/or steamy flop sweat inducing humidity??  If so, please direct me to your neck of the woods.  I am OVER summer and more so than normal.

The Mr played No Man's Sky for like 14 hours straight Friday, stopping only for nourishment before going back to collecting zinc oxide to feed magic holes and petting schnaazberrysauruses for companionship.

Saturday, I managed to drag him away to be among actual people.  I have a baby shower to go to next month and it was off to Babies R Us and such.  I never get to get baby stuff for people so I always tend to go a little overboard.  $100+ later.  *slinks in chair*  But it's for a guy who I view as my little brother so I suppose it's worth it.

It was a pretty low key day before heading back to the homestead.  The legs were feeling pretty gross.  After the chiro jacked up that ultrasound to Spinal Tap, I thought I got off scott free but I was wrong.  The following 2-3 days were super tight and weird array of soreness that can only be described as follows...my calves felt like freezer burnt rump roasts that were thawing on the counter.  It's like you can tell the molecular structure has been compromised and I assume that based on how your hands can hurt in room temperature after being outside in freezing temps for a while that it would be this dull, throbby soreness in a way you don't experience with say exercise.  So yeah...party in the pants!  Wait...no.  You know what I meant.

Sunday was refuel day and I happened to pass these...

WHY!?!

When I noticed we'd been stiffed by Babies R Us on a price, actually, dig this.  So when you see a price on BrU registries and there are things on sale, it is NOT the same as in store prices!  The registry you print in the store may have the same things but not the same prices as the online registry. But good news, they will price match themselves.   Whaaaa????  Yeah so moral of the story, buy it online.  So we went back and got adjusted there and got $12 back since their sale item didn't ring up 50% off like it was supposed to either.  Talk to the hand.  Sorry, lapsed into 90's slang.

I made the genius (dripping with sarcasm) suggestion that since it wasn't 90 degrees and was 6pm that maybe we could walk the asphalt at the park.  It sure looked pretty...


...after all that rain we had for two days...meaning it was humid as a sauna.  Derp.

Then I threw together dinner.  BBQ turkey naan pizza and roasted carrots.


November turkey from the FoodSaver and still tasted awesome.  BOO-YA!

I suppose I should get to planning the meals for the week and get some business-y stuff done.

What did you do this weekend?  Root Beer and Orange Crush Pop Tarts...Yum or Lord NO?

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Friday, August 12, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #32

What's shakin' cutie patooties?  In case no one has told you today, you look pretty friggin' amazing in that outfit.  It makes your butt look like you could bounce a quarter off of it!

But enough of my showering you with praise, let's get to...


Our Sedentary Lifestyles Cost About 5 Million Lives A Year  (But there's good news!)

Quotes That Honor and Celebrate Your Weight-Loss Journey  (In case you need some verbal oomph)

The Reason One Woman Is Not Removing the Excess Skin Leftover From Her Weight Loss  (I tend to agree.  I'm not at goal weight and who knows if that thought will change or not but I have two people I love that got that done and both have nerve damage from it.  When you remove excess skin, you're also removing nerves.  If you go that route, be prepared for it.)

20 Fitness Hacks   (Get on it!)

50 Things to Throw Out Now (and How to Dispose of Them)  (Excellent resource!)

10 Charts That Will Make You a Better Cook  (These are awesome!)

This Is What It's Really Like to Be on HGTV's "Fixer Upper"  (If I lived anywhere near there, I'd sign up!)

Federal Officials Seek To Stop Social Media Abuse Of Nursing Home Residents  (It's @SSHOLES like this that keep families like mine from getting necessary care for their loved ones.  If I saw a pic of my Grandma on social media by a care worker, Hell would not have me when I was done with them.  PASS THIS INTO LAW!!!!)

9 Mother of the Groom (And Bride!) Horror Stories  (I had to laugh at the first one because it reminded me of my own wedding.  Sixty seconds after becoming a Mrs, the Mr's mom shot up the aisle and whispered in my ear under the guise of a hug so that no one would hear it..."he will always be my baby!"  It was not cute or said in jest.  If you throw down the gauntlet, be prepared for the consequences!)

"Why haven't you had kids yet?"  (Word!  That's nowhere near my reasons but a nice reminder)

The Vacation Survival Guide: 38 Possible Travel Disasters (and How to Avoid Them)  (Ignore some of the stupid ones and take in the ones that could actually help.)

Tim Curry Endorsed FOX’s THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Remake  (October 20th!  The ONLY reason I'm watching is because he's going to be the narrator.  It's just a jump to the left...)

Winona Ryder Calls Out This Sexist Attitude Toward Mental Health  (Go Winnie!)

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Depression  (I can't believe it's been 2 years)

Here's a Delightful Mash-Up of Dance Scenes From '80s Movies  (I was thrilled to see my favorite dance movie Stayin' Alive was used a few times.  Try not to boogie and smile during this!)

Not real sure what's on tap for the weekend.  I know the weekend nights will be filled with the Mr playing "No Man's Sky."  I may never see him again.  Gamer widow.

What are you into this weekend?

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Current Crushes for Fall

Yeah, you read that right.  The Fall catalogs have started coming out and since y'all know that is my favorite time of year, I am in full froth mode.  I'm SO done with this summer.  It has been too hot to do anything without feeling like I was going to burst into flames so the thought of it being chilly enough for fuzzy socks and pumpkin everything?...I'm on it.  I'm sure there are far too many items for me to list in one post but I'm gonna let you peep some of my current crushes!

Let's go to the mall and hold hands whilst we skip and giggle.  Oh...uh...sorry.

First stop...Sur La Table.

Woodland Creature Glasses, Set of 4

OMG, that fox...that raccoon...I can't take it.  So adorable.  I'd probably give the owl glass to my MIL who is an owl freak (or was at one time but still appreciates them).  How cute would these be to give filled with some Reese's Pieces or candy corn for a back to school gift for a teacher?  (Or you could be her/his best friend and slip a mini bottle or two of booze in there because they're gonna need it!)

Cinnamon-Glazed Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Scones

I have been itching to do another afternoon tea again and Fall would be the perfect time to do it. These cranberry pumpkin spice scones would be a perfect compliment to "pinky's out" time!

Let's trot on over to Pottery Barn!

Pumpkin Foliage Doormat


I'm thinking my old autumn door mat is looking a bit shabby and this could be the perfect thing to replace it.  But as soon as the holiday season is over, it's right back to my usual mat that says "GO AWAY."  People who are invited over think it's funny and people who don't know us are kept on their toes.

Scarlett Dinner Plate, Set Of 4 - Grey


Seriously, I don't know what it is about this pattern that made me lose my ever lovin' mind when I saw it.  I am definitely going to see this in person to see if I love it as much as I do online because we are in the market to replace the set I got 2 years ago.  It's the Cambria plates and as pretty as they are, they are too friggin' big and unwieldy in the dishwasher.  The Mr is constantly cursing them.  The dinner plate is only an inch smaller so I'll have to measure them against the other plates we have that fit fine and see if these could be a go.  I'll be getting birthday money in the next month from both moms and it may just be for this!

*Edit-  I couldn't wait and we went to PB last night to see these in person.  Hmm, in a huge stack of plates, I was not able to find 4 plates that didn't have some kind of glaze issue or scuff.  So I would say if you want them, go to a store because I have a feeling online ordering of this kind of pottery could be a crap shoot.  Just an FYI.  (But I still love it!)

Let's hop on over to Williams-Sonoma!

Figural Pumpkin Bowls, Set of 4


Oh my gravy...this pumpkin bowl is too freakin' cute!  I could totally see a nice bowl of tropical butternut squash soup in there or maybe some butternut squash pasta!  If I had unlimited cupboard space, these babies be mine...mine....MINE!!!  (Maniacal laugh)

Halloween Moon Plates, Set of 4


WHY do I not decorate for Halloween??  Oh yeah, no one ever comes over that time of year for some reason.  But if they did, I would totally make little shortbread witch finger cookies and other spooky treats to serve on these adorable plates!

Adult Glow-in-the-Dark Skeleton Apron


This glows in the dark,  I may need to get this.  (If for no other reason that I can buy glow in the dark tape and...never mind.)

What are you crushing on lately?

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