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Thursday, November 30, 2017

When VR and reality collide...literally

It's Thursday Y'all...sliding ever so much closer to the weekend!  Also, it's the last day of November which means tomorrow we're sliding into December.

Yesterday was D-Day part two as I got ginger molasses, cut-outs and cookie butter oatmeal cookies all swaddled and in their freezer beds for a little while.  If I thought passing up licking the spatula on chocolate dough was hard, the cookie butter oatmeal was 20x harder.



I almost had myself talked into a little bit about five different times but I somehow relented.

I wanted to get more done but I ran out of butter and I pulled a muscle in my back the night before so going to the store wasn't in the cards for me.  The Mr was kind enough to get a few boxes and some other things I needed on the way home.  Nothing like being in the middle of making eggnog cookies to find ya gots no nutmeg!  I've got to wrap that stuff up today then we can get the house cleaned back up for company Monday.

While I made doughs, I got together the ground turkey with spices and enchilada sauce for turkey tacos then all I had to do was heat it up after our workout.


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The Mr has been working on getting my stuff to transfer over to the new laptop.   (affiliate link) It's some big gaming monster which doesn't apply to me but I do so much editing and have 124 tabs open at all times on three browsers.  It was on sale for $650 and with all of the birthday and Christmas money I've been hoarding for four years, I was able to buy it outright which was nice.  (Plus I got $69 back from Ebates shopping through Dell's site.  I'm telling y'all, get on that Ebates train if you haven't already.  I've already gotten $110 back this holiday season!  If you sign up through my link  (affiliate link) and shop by 12/31 then I'll get $25 and you'll get $10 back.  I'm at over $500 cash back since I signed up a few years ago.)   Sorry, back to the laptop.  The one I have just was not able to handle what I do on it and the Mr will be able to edit videos on it if the desktop is rendering stuff during the busy season.  He's envious of mine but you got your VR crap with your birthday/Christmas hoarding money, sir.  Did I ever tell you guys he broke one of my food photography dishes like 3 days after purchasing it, flailing around like a madman in the office?


via GIPHY (probably watching that IT Pennywise experience in there)

Yeah.  Mama was NOT happy and lucky for him it was a dish that could be replaced then I punished him with an extra long trip to Hobby Lobby and other craft stores.  HA!  So if VR is on your radar, just make sure there's nothing breakable within a few feet and at arm level.  No...that box isn't actually there but the plate is.  I guess it's a good thing he didn't pick it up like a ninja star and hurl it through the window.

Have you made any new technology purchases in any form lately?

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

D-Day

This time of year around these parts, that stands for Dough Day.

(Takin' my new toy for its first spin!  Affiliate link)

I'll be honest, I was dreading getting my doughs together.  I'm in a time crunch as we're going away this weekend and then Monday we get together with his mom for her birthday and Christmas.  I always bake her a few of her favorite Christmas cookies since she doesn't bake anymore and it's just a matter of having a deadline that had me grinding my teeth the night before.  I hate it when I already feel like there isn't enough time to get done what you need to do to fit in the things you want to do.  The trip is a want to do but I haven't been able to plan it because of what I need to do.  Does that make sense?  A dear friend sent me a funny on the 25th saying only a month until Christmas and I thought I was going to faint from stress.  I hadn't even thought of it that way and now, well, we've only got 3 1/2 weeks so yeah.



I've got basically 4 people to bake for this year...two as gifts and two (the mothers) as little extras so it's not the whole mess of doughs but close enough.  I always have a little extra for the chiro and others that pop up.  I've got a co-worker at the Mr's work who is basically just waiting for her father to pass so I'll need to have a dinner or two in mind to freeze and have the Mr give to her because especially if it happens soon, no one wants to deal with making themselves dinner.  So I'm thinking maybe lasagna or something that can be stretched for a few nights.  Sorry...thinking out loud.

Back to the dough.

So I always try to make sure I take a day where I'm making dough after dough so I can freeze them for baking day.  There is nothing like being able to yank like 10 doughs out of the freezer the day before to put into the fridge and have them ready to bake the next day.  Scoop...bake...scoop...bake.  Yes, I said 10.

(Halfway there!)


I make extra of the doughs for cookies I would bake anyway for us and then there are some that I don't care for but others love like snowballs.  I can take them or leave them but for my dude friend and both moms are a requirement.  Then comes the packaging and stuff which is a whole other deal but there is something weirdly calming to me about taking the time to put the wax paper between them so they don't stick, wrap them in plastic wrap and then their pretty bags with my homemade tags on each one that makes me feel good.  It might not at the time but when it's all done and boxed up and ready to go, there's a sense of giving that ultimate gift of love.  I've also done it for friends who had cancer that couldn't bake or people who had just lost a relative that couldn't bring themselves to do it that year.  Sometimes just that gesture of still being able to enjoy an integral part of the season without all of the work that takes a load off of their plate.  The "dude friend's" partner just lost his mother recently so I asked what his favorite cookie was that she made and he said pizzelles.  I don't have a pizzelle maker but I called around and there are several Italian bakeries that do them so I'll get him a box of his own to bring him a little piece of home.  I know it's not the same as baking them myself but mama's got no storage room for another machine!  LOL  So if you know someone who is going through a hard time or even just has an emotionally hard time around the holidays, consider making and freezing 2-3 doughs and bake some love as the holidays approach.  It might add 30-40 minutes to your own baking day but the feeling of giving far outweighs the extra time.

I did have a big victory.  I was making my chocolate dough and my Lord did I want to lick the spatula.  I didn't.  Then I had to scrape it off into the dough log so I had it on my finger.  It wouldn't be that many calories and no one would know...


I'D know and I quickly ran it under hot water before my resolve failed me.  Six doughs and not a single finger lick.  As if that wasn't enough, right after I typed that, I remembered I forgot to add chocolate chips to the dough so I grabbed it out of the freezer and my hands were covered in the chocolate dough.  The only thing that saved me was my pride from not licking anything earlier in the day.  Under the water, they went again.

I can't guarantee I'll do it another day but for today (well, yesterday) I'll take it!

Do you bake holiday cookies?  What are your 3 must-haves for the season?

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Trimmin' the tree

Happy Tuesday all!

I did a little finishing work on some Christmas stuff like wrapping a present, setting up Grandma's gumdrop tree and putting out the greens and wreath.  We didn't get a chance to get out to the pet cemetery this weekend so we went when the Mr got home from work.  It was time to put the girl's trees on their graves.  We've been bad about visiting this year but I was not going to miss the Christmas trees. 


Her favorite was standing under the tree and let the tinsel hang in her face and bat her eyes when it hit her.  It never bothered her enough to move though.  We think it's no coincidence the year she died we were missing our smallest glass icicle ornament so she could have it for her doghouse in heaven which undoubtedly has a fantastic tree that she's curled under right now with an empty box of Snausages at her side.

When we were done with the trees, we stopped by a nursery to grab some extra greens I forgot to get for a spot on our armoire.  They had some gorgeous displays set up.


Mother Nature was putting on a nice display herself.


As is required by law, there was a cat on premises.  This was the only shot I could get of it not blatantly licking its genitals.


Then we came home and did some Turbo Fire and I did PT, rolling and stretching while the Mr cut up my veggies for the week.  I made dinner and we settled in and watched Dog and Beth: The Fight of Their Lives.  I know a lot of people don't like them but we got hooked on the show back in the day and are hoping for the best with Beth's cancer journey.  It's so nice to have the tree lit every night.  Donna- I read that review about the Balsam Hill you talked about and I just keep reading so many people talking about returning them because they're so gappy, I may have to find what we can see in person  I don't even want to think about that right now.  Oy.

That reminds me though...if you want your Christmas decorations to be shared in a post in mid-December, I'll probably need them by December 10th.  I love seeing how you all decorate and even if you've shared in the past and your decor hasn't changed much.  So keep that in the back of your mind.  You Facebookers can message me if ya like or email me at mrs {at} succesalongtheweigh {dot}com.

When do you start decorating for Christmas?

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Holiday weekend round up

Hey Y'all...I'm posting which means no bail money required after this holiday weekend!  Woot!

Thanksgiving was actually pleasant! There were occasional minor irritations by the expected ones but certainly nothing that was worth giving a second thought to and it was the first time I felt like I was almost walking into holidays past.  Obviously, sans Grandma's wonderful hugs and smiles to greet us but there was no air of stress when we walked in, no one arguing or visibly wound up.  All of the food was good and while the noodles were appreciated, they probably needed another five minutes of boil time to be like Grandma's.  I had to laugh because my aunt asked how did I know they were done and I said "taste one!"  LOL  She said she can't tell the difference.  They were a little al dente but still good.  I was glad we got some leftover noodles, we haven't gotten any the past few years.  The Mr headed to bed around 11pm and I was waiting for midnight to see if any carted items would magically discount and fell asleep for 30 minutes.  I awoke at 12:15am to a nice inner thigh cramp, so that was a sucky alarm.  No discounts for my stuff so I started on this post, did a few other work things and decided I needed some freezer room so I threw two roasts in the freshly cleaned crock pot and then looked at the dutch oven bombs all over the kitchen and decided I didn't want to start my Friday looking at that crap.  So I soaked 4 pots while I loaded the dishwasher then washed all of the pots and let them dry and finally headed to bed around 2:15am but didn't stop clock watching until 3am.

Friday was spent trying to de-bloat from my food coma.  I made some dandelion root tea and added some fresh peeled ginger and turmeric.  Boy, that was sludgy toward the end.  I skipped seconds on food for seconds on pie on Thursday.  Damn, my apple crumb pie is good.  HA!  I got to Food Saving a lot of stuff including beef roasts that I made and divided up for us to have on nights I was not feeling it over the upcoming holidays.  My bestie is coming in from out of town the day after Christmas so it will be nice to have beef roast, and mashed potatoes already done and just need to be thawed and reheated.  The only thing I'll probably make from scratch that day is pumpkin ginger beer bread unless I decide to totally tank a big dinner and just order pizza.  Who knows how I'll feel the day after Christmas but that's at least the plan.  We got the tree up and lights on.  We both think it may be time to replace it.  She was purchased back in 1995 at Kmart for $80 at an after Christmas sale so we'd have it when we got married the next year.  Same with our ornaments but they're holding up well.  We've got about 6 branches that are getting ready to unravel from the back.  We'll see how they hold up when being boxed back up in January.  We were looking at Balsam Hill (unlit- we're particular about our lights) but we've read both good and bad so if anyone has one, let me know what you think.

Saturday I got "rewarded" with a 3 lb gain but I wasn't surprised because croissant class was a week ago and then Thanksgiving so the debloat tea was for nothing.  Pffft.  We watched some ball, I fell asleep the entire second half and we waited around for my new laptop to be delivered. I'm thinking if they're shipping out your computer that it'd be nice if they could, I don't know, send you a notice that you're going to have to be trapped at the house all day waiting for it.  I mean it was 5pm and it wasn't even here so I finished decorating the tree to kill some time.  The thought of moving all of my crap from this laptop to the other makes me cringey.   Well turns out we were hostages for nothing, it's not actually arriving here until Tuesday despite saying Saturday.  Oh... well thanks.  I went ahead and put up a small tree we bought off of a friend of ours who closed their business earlier this year.  It was the perfect size to display all of our travel ornaments. 



Sunday, we had our Thanksgiving leftovers and chilled a little.  I suppose we should've gotten going earlier because we started doing the cleaning we've been putting off and I decorated the rest of the house.  Before we knew it, it was 5pm and we decided to go ahead and do our workout and eat dinner.  Then it was off to TJ's, Target and two grocery stores.  We didn't get home until 9:45pm which meant the weekend was over. 

How was your weekend?  Anyone have a Balsam Hill tree that wants to weigh in on it?

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Friday, November 24, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #47

Boy, those numbers are creeping up in the title, aren't they?  52 weeks in a year so you do the math.  November is FLYING by and I'm getting panicky!  Isn't it like November 4th or something?  Oy.

But enough of my holiday stress gene kicking in, let's jingle right into...


Foods that Make You Poop: What to Eat When You're Constipated  (In case anyone else is plugged up from a carb coma)

Why You Should Stop Trying to Negate or Earn Food with Exercise  (Yeah but that would be like Thanksgiving without turkey...it's tradition.)

Gluteus Medius: 21 Exercises to Train This Forgotten Butt Muscle  (Thankful for #2 (which is also #7...WTF) because my soleus is locking up due to overuse with the clamshells and bridges every single day.  I'm going to do these at least twice a week in place of clamshells or else mama's gonna be in a lot of pain for the foreseeable future!)

Potatoes Are Not the Enemy; Here Are 9 Healthy Ways to Eat Them  (Yes please!)

3 Ways to Manage Your Family When You Want to Kill Them All  (ROFL, the title alone is intriguing.  Since I'm writing this Wednesday, I'm hoping my plan of saying "we don't get to see each other often, it's the holidays, let's talk about happier stuff" works.  If I don't post Monday, you'll know the Mr didn't have bail money.)

10 Clever Baking Hacks Everyone Needs to Know  (A few good tips in there.  Tis the season!)

5 Healthy Ways to Prevent End of Year Burn Out  (Some good tips but I know if I tried to meditate in the throes of it, I'd be hamster wheeling my to-do list.)

Why Lying to Spare Others' Feelings Isn't Worth It  (I could not stop laughing at this.  Do you have any idea the eye rolls and sighs I would get if I told people I had to "work on my blog!?"  I'll stick with "I'm donating a kidney that day.")

This Man and His Sheep Dogs Take The Most Amazing Selfies  (OMG, that dog's face is proof some dogs are head over heels for their human!  Sweet, sweet nugget!)

Well, we've got one holiday under our belts, you know what that means.  Christmas Hell, man!  You deniers out there...it's here. Your buffer holidays are gone!  LOL

It's the last ball game of the season (thank God) and we'll actually be cleaning the house because now we're cutting into Christmas tree time by not having it ready to go.

How was your holiday and any plans for the weekend?  Any Black Friday shoppers out there?

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!



May your day be less ominous than this old school postcard!

So thankful for all of you!  Those who comment, those who don't.  Those who read regularly and those who check in from time to time. I know that you are here because you choose to be and I don't take that for granted.  Even thankful for those who have left to continue their own journies being inspired by others in theirs.

For those going out in the masses today to shop, I beg of you to not skirt time with family for the sake of deals you can get online Monday.  (Just put them in your cart, refresh it at 12:01am and hit Place Order)  No matter how young or old, the same people may not be there next year and deals are not limited to today and tomorrow anymore.  Absorb all of the love, laughs and even occasional irritations...some of us would give anything to have them with those we loved.

Thank you for your support, friendship and wishing you all the blessings you deserve!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Always learning

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to take a cooking class.  But me being me, I was too cheap to take one.  Sur La Table has cooking classes and depending on what you're taking it can be anywhere from $65-85 per person.  Last month, I was perusing their latest offerings and saw my holy grail class was on sale for $49 so I asked the Mr if he wanted to take a hooky day and learn to make croissants with me.  He seemed enthusiastic and agreed but anything disguised as a hooky day always sounds good, right?

We arrived for our class and waited for everyone to show up so we could get started.  The teacher told us we could divide up into teams of four and when the lady in the row ahead of us tagged the people in her row, we both suddenly felt like we were in elementary school dreading being the last ones picked.  Everyone stood up and I told the Mr we were going up front where two women close to our age were already standing.  We asked if they were with anyone and they said no so our little team was formed! 

Because of time constraints, we had to kind of work backward.  They had croissant dough already made so we rolled it out and she taught us how to cut it and roll them.  We made the pain au chocolats...



 ...and our teammates made the ham and cheese. 


Then it was time to slap on the egg wash which was two eggs and 2 tbsp of heavy cream because croissants aren't rich enough.



We put them by the window to proof in the sun while we learned to make the dough. 

(Not ours, but you get the idea)

Yeast dough has always been my nemesis so I was glad to have guidance on how to let it proof and what it should look like.


We had a lot of fun and not to toot our own horns but our team's croissants turned out the best.  The instructor couldn't stop taking pics and telling us all how good we did especially the rolls on their ham and cheese but ours were the best pain au chocolats.



I felt the sting of irritation from one of the regulars who has taken quite a few classes there as the instructor praised us.  Twas elementary school in another way...yeesh.  We each split up our croissants and dug in to taste our end results.  SOOOO good!!  The butter kind of cooked out a little early on everyone's because the room was sunny but the instructor said it turned out better than she thought given the butter should've been colder. 

We did a little shopping afterward but before we got too into it, we ate our last two croissants because we were starving.  Need that fuel, you know?  ;-)  I would do another class if it was on sale like this one was.  I don't think a $150 day date is something I can justify often but it was super fun and I can't wait to try making them again at home!

Have you ever taken a cooking class?  What did you make/would you want to make?

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Food Review: Halo Top Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

I have been hearing about this pumpkin pie flavor from Halo Top since September.  We looked in every single big box grocery and department store with a grocery section for MONTHS trying to find it.  Tasters were swearing it was the best thing they ever put in their pie holes and they were going to start hoarding it.  Well, I believe it because we couldn't find that stuff to save our lives.  

It wasn't until stopping by a random health food store that we saw the last pint to which I grabbed it and hissed at anyone who looked to see what the fat girl had in her cart.  It wasn't a high cal day so we had to squirrel it away for another day.  But then came the day to see if it lived up to the hype.

Here's what it looks like and good luck ever finding it:


Here's the nutritional information which means that if you split it with your sweetie, you're only in the calorie bank for 180 calories but you'll get 10g of protein so, score.


I'll admit, I opened it up and thought it looked a little bland.  No flashy orangey color and no evidence of crust which is why I assume they called it pumpkin pie in lieu of pumpkin ice cream.


But everything looks better in a ramekin so I stopped overthinking it and the Mr and I got down to it.


So how did it taste?


If you tried to take that spoonful for yourself, you'd have come back with a stump.  It's as good as they claim.  There are pieces of crust like bits in there but I don't think it's actually crust.  (At least it didn't look like it when I let the rest of the ice cream melt around them on the spoon.  I wasn't gonna take a pic of that.)  But I don't care what wizardry makes the crusty stuff, just that it tastes like pumpkin pie on a spoon without the texture of pumpkin pie weirding you out.  Hey, I didn't like pumpkin pie for a long time because the texture made me gag.  Then I made gingersnap pumpkin pie and that all changed for me but I digress.  If you can find this, buy it.  Don't even think about it.  Don't ponder it.  Just throw it in the cart on the way out and thank me later.

Now to find the new Gingerbread House flavor and buy a freezer for the garage.

Have you tried the pumpkin pie flavor?  What's your favorite Halo Top flavor?

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekend roundup

Happy Monday all!  Anyone else freaking out that Thanksgiving is Thursday?

Dang, it was a weekend!  I finally got some work stuff situated Friday night and I wanted to celebrate by getting the hell outta the house Saturday.  My ankle felt like it was healing up a bit and I still had some stuff I needed to get.  We went to this one restaurant that we'll frequent on occasion but you ever go in somewhere and the vibe is off and you know if you stay it's going to be a mistake?  Neither of us was really in the mood for it, the server wasn't coming and we were surrounded by 3 parties with parents not parenting so I stood up and said: "I'm out."  We went next door to a chicken place that always leaves my guts torn up but I know the Mr likes it so we waited in line and I told him I was going to get KFC because I'd been craving it out of nowhere so he got his meal, then we got mine and came home to eat.  Then it was off to several different stores including the final Home Goods in our town and they finally had the mini pie plates I'd been looking for.  Of course, I had to pick up some wrapping paper too and I'm sure a ton of other crap I don't need.  My ankle was starting to hurt but I'd say at about half the pain as the previous two weeks.  We came back home to get in some ball then I had one other store I wanted to go to and we ended up going to four other stores including the grocery.  Yeah, that did me in.  I was crippled by the end of the night.  Grrr.

Sunday morning the Mr was kind enough to massage my legs so I could stand.  We got a late start.  The Mr threw in the laundry and put up Christmas lights while I made brunch.


I was in the mood for apple pie pancakes and I thought the Mr deserved something yummy for all of the trouble he was going to re-hanging the gutter lights.  (We bought new LED C7's that we couldn't resist.)

Then he took in his VR for a price adjustment (it's $50 back through the Microsoft Store if anyone bought one there) and I started cleaning the house.  I made a decent dent though not nearly as much as I wanted to get done.  Twas not a fun chore with the bottom of my foot shooting pain into the front of my ankle from time to time.  I can't wait until my butt starts working correctly and takes over the load like it's supposed to.  Physical therapy for life, yo!

We did a strength session and I made pork chops and sweet potato gnocchi for dinner.  Then I had to put away my mountain of clothes and sit to chat with y'all before settling in for our hot chocolate for the evening.  It was COLD out!

Oh, I've got a reader with a sick furbaby...if you feel so inclined to send out good vibes, it'd be appreciated!

What did you get into this weekend?

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Friday, November 17, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #46

Finally Friday!!  

It's been a busy week and probably a busy weekend ahead so let's just skip to my lou into...


Is Metabolic Damage A Real Thing?  (Interesting stuff)

A Pill to Make Exercise Obsolete  (Courtesy of the Mr...a bit long but still.)

Why I’m Digging Deep Into Alzheimer’s  (God bless this man!  This kind of massive funding could actually do some good toward a cure!)

3 Ways to Get Through the Holidays When You've Lost Someone Who Meant the World to You  (Good tips for those struggling.)

This Is What the Ultimate Recovery Day Should Look Like  (In case you need a timeline.)

Why the Potential Intermittent Fasting Benefits Might Not Be Worth the Risks  (A little dramatic with the title but worth the read.)

Otter babies are the cutest thing ever  (Squeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

This Grandma Accidentally Made an Inappropriate Shark Blanket for Her Grandson  (Almost wee'd myself laughing!)

Gwen Stefani's Sons Helped Blake Shelton Discover His Dad Instincts: 'It's Easy to Fall in Love with Those Kids'  (Aww, this is so sweet...and funny.)

I see a buttload of cleaning in our future.  Sigh.  So no real plans that I know of yet somehow I'm still glad it's the weekend.  What magical powers you possess, Saturday and Sunday.

You have anything magical planned for the weekend?

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Progress and backing off

Guess what I started doing yesterday?



That's right, baby!  Finally, I can get some stuff off of my to-do list.  I only have two more people to wrap for and I'm done which feels like a hurdle even if I had to walk up, lay on my gut and slowly whip my legs over the top to get over it.   Kinda like this...


via GIPHY

In looking around the house though, I have a ton more to do in addition to a poo-ton of work.  I would really like to make some headway today and tomorrow because I just don't want to take it into Thanksgiving week especially since we've got plans Monday so that day is out for getting anything done.

We did Walk Away the Pounds and I did my stretching, rolling and PT.  I've had to pull back on my weighted clamshells and go to banded ones.  I have this habit of when the next leg issue comes up, I go into rehab with both barrels and then try to weld an extra one on top of said barrels to try to speed up the recovery process.  Every single time I end up regretting it because I do more damage the first two weeks until my body yells at me so hard it says "back off, idiot...there's a process and it's called my time, not yours...even though I'm you so it's still your time but not really.  Never mind."

Then I made dinner of passion fruit glazed orange roughy and spinach carrot polenta.



We caught up on the DVR and watched This is Us, Bull, The Goldbergs and Kevin Probably Saves the World.  Damn, when I write it out like that, how did we have time to fit it in??  Oh yeah, fast forward.

Anyone started Christmas shopping/wrapping yet?


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New England Dreamin'

Howdy all!

I think I might have OD'd on Hallmark Christmas movies yesterday.  I didn't watch most of them more than I had them on in the background but still had to know how they ended.  One was about some cookie competition between former friends, one about an engagement gone awry but saved by Santa and one about some chick who was going to Vermont for Christmas.

The last one, of course, made me think of our Christmas in Vermont.  My heart just aches for that place.  We both agree it was the most perfect Christmas ever and I know replicating it will likely never measure up but it will be fun to try especially now that we know what we're getting into with that place.  (No cabin in the woods is ever without its quirks.)  This also got me looking at Realtor.com so I could find a cabin in the woods of our own but I found this Gingerbread wonder instead...

(Source)
I plan to put four rocking chairs out on the porch...two for us and two for you guys.  You'll have to rotate visits for adequate rocking time for everyone.  I'll make maple scones and tea.

Now I know the room color needs to be changed, but we'll chit chat here and that's not art in the middle people...

(Source)

That is an honest to God view, y'all and I want it.

I want to cook in the homey little kitchen with the wood stove where I can make our nightly tea.

(Source)

I want to order a couple zillion cords of wood for the winter while we drive into town in our Subaru when the roads are clear-ish. 

Yeah, I know that's a lot of wallpaper to take down in the foyer but I'm up for it. 

(Source)

I've already begun looking for jobs for the Mr in the area.  Hey, he said to find him a job there...don't dare me, sir! 

Where is your dream house and did it change from 10-20 years ago?

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Food Review: Chef's Cut Chipotle Cracked Pepper Beef Jerky

On occasion, our grocery store does freebies.  Sometimes there are healthier options, sometimes not so much.  We always make sure to jump on the ones that are items that we've always wondered about but weren't ready to plunk down our own dough for it.  When we saw this Chef's Cut Beef Jerky, we thought we'd give it a try.  We are strictly Slim Jim folks.  Tabasco Slim Jim's  (affiliate link) to be exact.

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Yes, I know, they're not the "real" thing but it's what we both grew up on so we'll always have a place in our heart for them.  Now on to the real stuff.  We got the Chipotle Cracker Pepper Beef Jerky.



Pardon...steak jerky.

Here's the nutritional information.


About on par with most sodium wise and we did appreciate that the ingredients were at least things we could pronounce.  (Sorry, I cut them off on the side.  Derp!)  Given we both do strength sessions, we thought it might be nice to have another option if our protein was a little low on those days.  Granted, it would likely be more for the Mr because my body instantly balloons on the sodium.  So here it is outta the bag.


Hmm.

Well, I'm going to be honest.  I took a bite and spit it out and then literally washed out my mouth with water as the Mr was readying himself to try it.  This did not give him confidence.  I laughed and told him to forget what he just saw and that just because I didn't like it didn't mean he wouldn't.  He sniffed it and wrinkled his nose and then took a small bite and I wish I would've taken a picture of his face before he ran to chuck the bag.  It was comical.  If anyone remembers the 80's dog food Tender Chunks or Canine Carry Outs, that is what the texture reminded me of.  To be clear, I am not saying this tastes like dog food!  I'm saying the texture reminds me of it because I am not accustomed to eating jerky prepared this way.  I want to be up to date on my jerky game like the cool kids.  As much as I would like to be down with hipster jerky, I couldn't.  We're sticking with the super processed once a year in our stocking Slim Jim's.

Now I know it's going to be hard to read that and see me write "but maybe YOU will like it."  It's true though, you just might.  I'm a texture person and when the texture isn't familiar to me, I'm usually out.  Hell, it took me a lifetime to finally like strawberries due to texture or 25 years to finally like pumpkin pie so my view on new-to-me ways to eat old classics is likely skewed.  If you like natural jerky, I'd be willing to bet you're used to this texture and might just like it.  It does give a good bit of protein to make a good pre or post workout snack.  Matter of fact per serving, it's twice the amount of protein, 40 calories less and 100mg less sodium than Jimbo so take that into consideration.

But for me and mine, we shall continue to snap into it.

What kind of jerky do you like?  

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Hobbly McHobbleson Does the Weekend

Happy Monday!

It was a cold but sunny weekend.  We went out to lunch Saturday then did some shopping.  I started the day with a slight limp but after hitting up World Market, Home Goods, Michaels, and Hallmark, I ended up practically needing crutches.  I could feel my foot shuffling to protect itself and I had to force a heel strike so that I don't need to retrain my gait on top of everything.  In doing so, it just made everything worse so I had a nice heinous throb all night long.  We stayed in and watched some ball then the Mr wanted Italian so we went to a little local joint.  It was good but it's one of those places that is so squished together it's almost like community tables over having your own.  The people beside you are in your lap and can hear everything you say.  We both agreed we probably wouldn't go back for that reason alone. 

All night I was pretty much stockpiling in the bladder because I could feel that standing wasn't going to happen and crawling to the bathroom didn't sound fun either.  About 8am, I finally hopped on one leg to the bathroom and tried everything to dig out the fascia and shins until the Mr got up.  He was nice enough to dig into my calves so I could attempt to walk.  We had grocery shopping to do and after 3 hours, my legs were waving the white flag again.  Sigh.  We went straight down and did our workout, the Mr cut my produce for the week and we had grilled cheese and soup for dinner.

Oh yeah, we did binge watch Ozark on Netflix.  We think Netflix is a waste to have a monthly subscription so twice a year, we get a month or two on a gift card and watch the shows we like.  Grace and Frankie for me, Stranger Things for him (nope, I don't like it...at all) and we both wanted to see Ozark.  We love Jason Bateman and it was a good show, if not a little draggy in parts but he makes it worth waiting out.  We really liked it but it was a show over the summer so you've probably seen it or had the opportunity to. 

No surprise that I did not get Christmas gifts wrapped.  Sigh. 


I've got a buttload of work to get done this week.  Let the good times roll.

What did y'all do this weekend?

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Friday, November 10, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #45

Happy Friday all!  Finally! 

It's been a long week so let's bungee jump into...





15 ways to get 10,000 steps a day without exercising more  (Sounds good to me!)

The 7 Foam-Rolling Exercises Your Lower Body Needs  (This is my exact nightly rolling routine to the tee.)

10 Health Mistakes Women Make  (All good reminders!)

8 Ways to Make the Most of Daylight Hours  (Anyone having problems adjusting?)

7 Surprising Foods to Combat Colds  (There are a couple of surprises but the ginger I peeled and used with every cup of tea.  Hmm, that sounds good.  *runs to kitchen*)

5 Ways to Train Your Brain to Be Optimistic  (Not ways I would've necessarily thought of)

10 Foods That Can Lower Your Cholesterol  (A couple of surprises in there)

A to Z Guide to Home Remedies Proven to Work  (From Arthritis to Zits!)

This Festive Midwestern Farmhouse Is Packed with Cute Christmas Decorating Ideas  (Oh. My. God.  This place is my spirit home!)

32 DIY Christmas Gifts for an Extra-Special Holiday  (Some cute stuff for you crafters!)

Here's Every Single Christmas Movie That Will Air on TV This Year  (*we regret to inform you the blog author has exploded red and green confetti*)

We're doing a little tomfoolery today mixed in with some work later.  Since this is the first weekend we can both taste I'm sure a good meal out tomorrow is in order.  I WILL start wrapping Christmas gifts, dammit!  I can't keep putting it off.  The tree goes up soon and I like to put presents under it when it goes up.

Anything on the schedule (UK pronunciation -"shedj-yule" which sounds way classier) this weekend?


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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Decluttering, bribery and cave dwelling

Is it Friday yet? 

You ever look around at the house and just think...

(source)

I love my house but every single room needs to be decluttered, deep cleaned and with the holidays spitting distance and some serious work I need to get done in the next 10 days, I'm feeling the rock of Gibraltar on my shoulders.  Obviously, I would never set fire to our house but damn, some days for a split second it seems way easier than all of the crap that needs to get done. 

I got some work done that took way longer than I wanted it to so the stuff I had planned didn't get done and is now moved to today.  I feel a twitch setting in...sigh and I hear the Mr going into the office which means he's strapping on that headset again.  Did I tell you he hit some breakables up there whilst swinging wildly?  He got a stern warning on that one.  Then he likes to bribe me by showing me things that will soften the irritation of listening to him sound like a loud, douchey neighbor in an overhead apartment.  "I know I just rolled on your head for an hour sounding like the house was going to implode, would you like to play fetch with a robot puppy and scratch his belly?"  Give me the controllers Wreck-it Ralph. 

Random thought:  We bought this place when we were 21 and 23 years old and money was super tight.  At the time, we couldn't afford the $45 rough-in in our living room and it's a mistake I regret every day.  What can I say, we were saving for a wedding in addition to our first home including furnishing it so every penny was accounted for.  I should've just asked someone if we could borrow the money and pay them back or I'm sure if I'd asked my Grandma, she would've said it could be a shower gift or something.  We have lights everywhere except overhead and getting a rough in now would be a major pain in the butt.  So if you're ever dirt poor and having a home built, beg someone for the rough in as a present or that you'll pay them back.  You will be sorry to skip it and you don't want to have to swag a light or run one of those lines from a wall to the middle of the ceiling.  I feel like I live in a cave especially since our windows face north and south.  *facepalm* 

It was cardio night and I was in the mood for a little Tae Bo.  I'm sure my ankle doesn't appreciate it but kiss my fat arse, ankle.  I know I probably have another month of pain before my butt muscles kick in and start doing their job.  I found my ribbed (for her pleasure) roller (affiliate link) in my nightstand drawer that my chiro recommended and it's been getting my shins pretty good.  I need to remember it for travel because the handles retract and it can serve the purpose of rolling the shins, foot and probably the calves too.  I'm going to make it a habit of rolling the shins when I get up and before bed even though I roll for 45 freaking minutes every night.  The muscles go through calf spasms sometimes too.  The other night, I just rolled my calves and flipped over to do the hip flexors and I'll be damned if that right calf didn't seize up on me.  For real, yo? 

I made dinner and since I need to start clearing out the freezer drawer to get ready for cookie dough, I got the salmon burgers out of there and some Brussels sprouts.  Ooh, Hall and Oates version of Jingle Bell Rock!!!  Sorry.  I'm like a dog with a squirrel. 

What is an investment you regret not making in your first home that laughed at you every day you lived there?

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hump Day Rambles

Happy Hump Day everyone!

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I had on The China Syndrome (affiliate link) while I was doing some work.  It's so weird to see celebs at ages you don't know them from.  Like Michael Douglas had a beard and long hair and Jane Fonda still looked straight out of Barbarella but was only a year away from doing one of my favorite movies, 9 to 5. (affiliate link)   I remember when I was a kid (I was 6 when it came out) and the three ladies were back at Dorlee's place laughing and partying.  Then Judy (Jane) is laughing hysterically slapping the floor with her arm and leg and Dorlee (Dolly) is like "she's stoned!" and Judy says "Am I stoned!?"  I had no friggin clue what they were talking about but all I knew is when I got to work in an office one day, I would make good girlfriends like Dorlee and Violet (Lily Tomlin) and we would make ribs and get stoned.  #GoalsofAnOblivious6YearOld

I'm a little miffed that The Swiss Colony seems to have lost my address because usually mid-October I get a catalog.  It's one of those Christmas traditions and most years I don't order something so maybe they gave up on me because I haven't ordered a bacon cheddar tub o' cheese or English toffee.  (I think it's because the toffee wasn't as good last time.)  I actually put myself on their mailing list because for me there's just nothing like telling myself I'm going to treat myself to a Chris Mouse this year and then talk myself out of it once I see the price with shipping for chocolate I've never tasted. 

We did our strength workout and I made BBQ chicken, tater wedges and green beans for dinner.  I finished watching the damn Hallmark Christmas movie that roped me in, the rest of My Haunted House and then we settled in for This Is Us.  I think it's hilarious it's the only show the Mr will turn off the computer for.  I was happy to see the little life twist in there with the judges at the end because we haven't seen something like that since season one.  Remember when every episode had a twist or a twist of fate?  Those were the days.

I don't want to jinx myself but I think the old-cay is almost on-gay?  (Is that how pig latin works?!)  Fingers crossed!

What's a movie reference you didn't get as a kid that made you laugh at your naivety as an adult?

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

First Impressions: Samsung Odyssey HMD


If you've got a gamer in your life and have heard them talking about eventually wanting to dive into VR (virtual reality), this post is written by the Mr to give you his thoughts on his latest purchase.

(Not the headset but this is what you're gonna look like with this thing on!)

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For a couple of years now, I’ve been researching virtual reality headsets and saving up my money. When these things were first released, they were expensive. And, while they still aren’t necessarily “cheap” they have not only come down a lot in price, but there are also more choices now than ever before. You see, Microsoft recently introduced what they are referring to as Windows Mixed Reality and, with it, have introduced virtual reality headsets from several partners including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Samsung that are more affordable than what has previously been available on the market. They also provide controllers that represent your hands in the virtual environment. This kind of setup used to cost as much as $800 just a year ago, but now you can get into VR for the starting price of $399 for the Acer (affiliate link) (with the controllers included, $299 without) or you can spend a bit more and get the Lamborghini of Virtual Reality headsets – the Samsung Odyssey HMD, at $499. Since I’d been waiting and saving, I decided to go for the Samsung as it has several features that make it stand out above the rest. Such as a higher resolution, built-in spatial audio headphones, built-in microphone, AMOLED screens, as opposed to LCD, which are easier on the eyes and offer better color range, and the ability to adjust the lenses with a mechanical selector instead of via software which is actually very helpful in making the experience that much better. The Samsung headset released November 6th (yesterday).   However, it’s been on pre-order for a little over a month now. I had pre-ordered mine on October 3rd from Samsung and was all set to get one – until Friday when I received an email from Samsung saying it was on backorder. Don’t you hate when that happens? After reading some comments online I learned that this is something Samsung does a lot, apparently. Needless to say, I was bummed. So on Monday, I decided to make some phone calls and I found out that the Microsoft Store actually has them in stock. I did one of those “pick up in store” purchases online and next thing I knew I was going home with it!

It was very easy to set up and within minutes I was immersed in virtual reality. I only have a couple of games so far but one of them is called Space Pirate Trainer and it’s about as close as I’ve ever been to playing the old arcade game “Galaga” but with the entire world surrounding you and everywhere you look there are things attacking. You also use the controllers to shoot at the enemies coming at you and they have vibration feedback that really sells the effect. You also have to dodge their lasers and it gets really fun and interesting really fast when they start coming at you from all directions. The other game I have is a game where you build a snow fort and find yourself in a snowball fight with a snowman who, I have to say, is relentless. When you look down at your “hands” in the game, all you see is two little mittens and it’s such an odd feeling, but it’s so funny to see these little mittens floating where your hands are and “picking up” snowballs to throw at the snowman who is attacking you (Or in my case, the little helpful fox that is teaching you how to play, it’s too fun to throw snowballs at him and have him say, hey stop that!). Games are not the only thing on offer here though. When you first plug in your headset and jump into VR, you find yourself in what is called The Cliff House. This is basically a virtual representation of your Windows 10 interface. You can walk around using the controllers and as you enter certain areas you might hear the sounds of birds or waves in the distance. You can even walk over to the edge of the cliff and look down at the ocean. But the coolest feature so far was something that I didn’t actually get to do. The Mrs. got the chance to walk with Penguins and visit Macchu Picchu using a VR video experience and we both did a stroll in the sewers with Pennywise.

I am really happy with my purchase and am excited to get even more experiences. I think one of the things I am looking forward to most is the idea of being able to watch a rock concert and be on stage with the band and just kind of look around and enjoy the show from any angle. But of course I am a gamer first and there are some great games coming soon that I will be waiting to get my hands on. So if you don’t know what to get your family, spouse or even yourself this holiday season, consider getting something that can take you to new worlds. It’s not just for games and you might be surprised at just how amazing the experience can be. One small word of caution though, it can require a higher end PC if you plan to do the full gaming experiences. So keep that in mind. If you do have questions, feel free to comment and I’ll try to answer them as much as I can.

Edit:  He took it back because the earpiece dislodged and he had to Gerry rig it back on and the cable kinks up with little resolution.  After an online search, others reported the same problem.  On to the next headset.  Though after him breaking one of my work items, I'm not sure VR is gonna work in our shoebox.  Doing it in a somewhat confined space is NOT advised...especially if you're looking to keep the "happy wife, happy life" thing down.

Are you or someone you know into virtual reality?

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Tis the Season

Happy Monday Y'all! 

Despite having a serious flare with the ankle and our colds still hanging on like we're paying it to for both of us, we made it out Saturday for a road trip.  I had some Christmas crap I wanted to stock up on (with no friggin clue where it's going to go) so we spent a good part of the day doing that.   We went to a restaurant that was supposed to have the "best burgers in the city"...well, that is debatable.  The Mr's burger was decent for him but mine was pure crap.  Not like I could taste a whole lot of it anyway but what I could taste was ca-ca.  In the middle of it, he looks at me and says "how does it feel to know you make the best burger ever?  If these people could taste your burgers, this place would go out of business."  I laughed but said, "yeah, I know but thank you."  My burgers are pretty dang good.  That's the problem when you cook and bake well, so many restaurants just fall flat and you think "Damn, I could've made that better." 

I have to warn you though, the jackals are out already.  I'm talking those stores were PACKED and Christmas stuff was totally picked over in the Target dollar spot.  If you've got Christmas shopping to do, try to fit it in on weeknights because the weekends are going to be crazy cakes and will get worse with each passing weekend. 



We came home and watched some college ball and had nose blowing contests.  (It was a draw.)

I went to bed with a bit of a migraine and didn't sleep well.  The whole crap about "gaining an extra hour of sleep" is BS.  Good luck trying to sleep with the room illuminated by the sun even on a rainy day.  I have eye shades but can never seem to stand to have them on my eyes so I just sit with the hamster wheel rolling.  Sigh.  So we were both up by 8-8:30am.  I still had a bit of a headache and we were both congested.  I think our bodies were trying to fight off all the creeping crud hacked our way while shopping the day before.  Seriously, how hard is it to cover your mouth when you cough!?  And if you're coughing so much that I know where you are in the store every second over the course of 45 minutes, you have no business being out leisure shopping and infecting everyone else.  Jerks.  Now I just have to pray we both don't get some other strain of hell floating around out there.  Jerks.  (For good measure.)  I made brunch, tasted about 50% of it and kicked a pebble in sadness.  I do notice that the days I don't chew a garlic clove before every meal, I backslide symptom wise.  I forgot on Friday (and thought I was almost over it in record time.)  Then Saturday, I felt a slight relapse and didn't want to do it that day since we were going to be out and about and the breath is pretty strong doing that.  But by Sunday, I felt like I had taken a huge leap backward so back to the garlic again.  I just chew it on the side of my mouth and swallow with cold water.  (Heat deactivates the allicin which is what works the magic and only appears when you crush or chew it.  I know hot water or tea probably isn't enough to do anything but if you're going to the trouble of chewing it, why risk it?)   So I know for sure around Christmas I will buy 2 sleeves of garlic, one for each of us...just in case.  I will say, if you have a sensitive stomach, make sure you take it with food.  Every time I've taken it on an empty stomach, I've felt like I was going to yarf immediately.  Food just made me feel nauseous and that's usually with the bigger pieces.

I was thinking about a great aunt and uncle that were my favorites as a kid the other day and I got word over the weekend, my uncle had passed away.  I think the last time I saw him was 1995 when I went on my last vacation with my mom before I got married.  I always smile when I think of him because he was such a sweet man and just so up for anything to make me smile when I was a kid.  Thanks, Uncle...I will miss you!

Ooh!  We rented Kidnap (affiliate link) with Halle Berry.  OMG, you guys!  Seriously, we had goosebumps and adrenaline from 4 minutes in until the end of the movie.  Holy poo cakes!  It was an amazing roller coaster of emotions and we recommend it 1000x over. 

I've got some work I need to get done this week and this cold needs to get a move on because I can't do voice work with it.  There's just enough left to be noticeable and clearing my throat on the regular is not appetizing.  I meant to get more done on the Christmas front but I didn't so I need to sit down and address Christmas cards and get to wrapping.  That will take a huge load off of my mind.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, November 3, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #44

Happy Friday all!  I hope you had a good week.  

Let's grab some tissues and blow right through...


How to Beat the Office Cold… Because You Know It’s Coming  (A hazmat suit probably wouldn't hurt either.)

10 Foods That Can Lower Your Cholesterol  (Yum...a pretty good list!)

11 Home Remedies to Try When You Can’t Stop Coughing  (For my hacky hubby)

A Weight-Loss Expert Explains Why We Sabotage Our Goals and How to Stop  (Interesting thoughts)

5 Signs You're Losing Muscle Instead Of Fat   (Wow, wouldn't have guessed a few of these.)

An Expert Says You Should Be Lifting Weight This Many Times a Week  (Dispels a pretty common weightlifting myth in there.)

Saving His Music: A Story of Memory and Meaning  (So heartbreaking)

What It's Like to be Married to a Celebrity (Interesting perspective)

Dave Grohl host Jimmy Kimmel as David Letterman  (SOOO funny and the mashup with Kristen Bell is hilarious.)

I won't know our plans until we see how we feel.  I'd like to get some Christmas shopping wrapped up and then wrap the gifts.  The Mr beat me to it and wrapped my stuff yesterday.  Pffft.

What are you into this weekend?

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday Ramblings

So remember when I said it was okay to play hooky?  Well, that was yesterday.  (I won't tell you the truth which was the night got away from me getting some stuff done and then watching Hallmark Christmas movies.)

I came downstairs and when I flipped on the tube, the Mr left it on the Sounds of the Season channel for me:


Yep, like it or not, when the Sounds of the Season channel declares it the holiday season...this house goes with it.  I was more than happy to dance around in my PJ's to that classic.

I'll be honest, not much to report since we've both been down for the count with colds.  Oh I know!

My car battery died and it's not even 6 months old.  We've had a cold snap so we weren't surprised it didn't start but then it didn't start an hour after being driven 8 miles so yeah.  We also discovered my car jump starter is a huge POS and couldn't jump a bean so into the trash it goes and we've got another one on order.  The Mr took it to the place we bought the battery and they replaced it.  He also noticed last week that my car had been scratched pretty extensively on the bottom of my drivers side door.  No friggin' clue how that happened especially since it stays put for 80% of the time.  He bought a polish and repair kit after the car parts dude looked at it.  He'll probably have to bring it into the garage and contort himself because it supposed to rain for the foreseeable future.  Maybe I'll just trade the car in for an Ark.

I did my first Turbo Fire in about 3 weeks.  It felt good to do and I kept it on the low impact version.  I've been diligent with my PT, rolling and stretching almost daily.  The chiro told me to make sure I do banded bridges with a 30 degree split when I come up to fire the medius.  So between those and weighted clam shells, I'm trying to get dat booty back in working order.  In doing so, my hamstrings are getting a little tight as my legs attempt to balance and I had a few light yanks in the heel.  I'm just trying to keep everything rolled and unbunged so it all gels evenly.  Good God man!

Last night was the first dinner I could kinda sorta taste so I made chicken quesadillas and Brussels.


I put some of those smoked ghost pepper flakes on mine and it helped the sinuses a bit.

It's about time for me to start wrapping Christmas presents.  Several people have started asking for our wish lists so I know I'm not the only one.  I always feel like I can breathe a little better once I have my gifts wrapped and Christmas cards addressed.

Anyone started their Christmas/holiday shopping yet?

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