Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Hump Day Poll: Halloween Candy

Tonight's the night lil ghosts and goblins show up on your doorstep!  (Well, your doorsteps, not ours.  We NEVER get trick or treaters ever.)  It didn't stop me from buying a backup bag of non-tempting sour Trolli's that'll get taken into the Mr's work next week.

Now that we know what some of us went as for Halloween, let's talk about our faves and the bombs.

As a kid, my top five favorites were:

Reese Cups
Milky Way
Candy Corn
Candy Cigarettes  (Those things are so gross now)

My five least favorites (meaning they went straight in the trash) were:

Dots (I saw those things at Target and couldn't believe they still made them)
Necco Wafers (retch!)
Good n Plenty
Nick'l Nips

Bottom of the Bag come mid-November (aka- desperation candy)

Bit O' Honeys (love now)
Peanut Butter Kisses (love now)
Tootsie Rolls
Tootsie Pops
Dum Dums

What were your faves, least faves and bottom of the bags as a kid?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Men Feel It Too and It's Not Okay

(Nope, pretty sure they remember what you said most of the time too.)

As women, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see how much we as a gender are scrutinized, judged, picked apart, compared, torn down but told to build ourselves up, be sexy but not too sexy to "invite" attention, be successful but not more successful than your partner, keep a clean house, be a great cook and the list goes on and on.  That's if you're deemed "normal" by society's standards.  Add some weight into the equation and it's a whole different, worse ball game.   Fat gals have a whole other standard in the majority of society's eyes.  Because of weight, you are not allowed to be upset if you are scrutinized, picked apart, compared to your skinnier/prettier counterparts, torn down (and don't even think about building yourself up), you're not sexy and if you think you are you're somehow deluding yourself or promoting bad body image, there's no way you can be successful, your house is assumed to be a pig sty, it's also assumed you eat out all of the time and couldn't care about cooking much less healthy cooking,  And that's all just from perfect strangers and sadly, mostly women are the ones who say it.  Never mind the "well-intentioned" family, friends, co-workers that may tell you what a pretty face you have if you just lost the weight.  (It's not about the face!)  Or some that are just flat out mean to you and compare you to your perfect (read: skinny) sibling or take any chance they can to mortify and shame you for your appearance thinking that will lead to lighting a fire under your butt to lose weight.  Plenty of studies have shown that fat shaming does not work and actually has the opposite effect.

Women are not the only ones who have to put up with this issue.  Last week, when we watched This Is Us, Randall was in a meeting with his father's community and walked up to a bigger guy and said "what's up, big man?"  I don't know what he said after that because those words now trigger something in me because they trigger something in my husband.  I looked over at him and he shook his head.  He said "I would've said "f**k you" and walked out because, at that point, nothing you said was relevant anymore."   The Mr endured incessant torture from his oldest brother his entire childhood about his size.  He was mocked and the term "big guy" was thrown around because it was the only words that a gangly, rail thin, inadequate kid could think of to exert power over someone seven years his junior.  It continued into his high school years when he'd come home for holidays and visits.  His middle brother took care of the older bully by beating the crap out of him though he got two trips to the hospital out of it when the older brothers squirrely moves caused him to go through a glass door twice.  His uncles were of no help on the matter either as they were all very large men and were almost proud of their gluttony rubbing their big bellies, slapping them in public and more than anxious to induct the Mr into their "club" thinking it was all in good fun.  The Mr instead internalized all of this and just hearing the term "big guy" could send a wave of shame over him and all of those feelings as a kid where he was made to feel less than because of his size were right at the surface again.

The tables turned when visiting with my infant nieces and nephews of bully brother and one had gone through a growth spurt and without thinking I hugged him and said: "Aww, look at you big guy!"  (Meaning tall, not fat, I would never do that.)  The bully groaned audibly and said "aww, man!  Not big guy!"   Oh, I'm sorry?  Do you see "big guy" as an insult?  Obviously and obviously you knew exactly how that hurt because the prospect of your own son being called that turned your guts.  Do you think he apologized to his brother for the years of torture in that moment?  Nope.  When we left, I apologized to the Mr and said "I meant he was tall, I didn't mean fat.  I hope I didn't offend you when I said that!"  He assured me I didn't and he didn't even think of that until his brother made such a stink over it but then noted it didn't prompt him to apologize either which was typical.  After the Mr was at his thinnest in our journey, we saw his brother who has put on a considerable amount of weight and he said "oh, I guess I'm the big guy now" and the Mr said "yeah, I guess so" and left it at that.  He didn't need to say "yeah, how does it feel asshat!?!?" because he knows how that feels.  You can bet he finally felt some justice though.

Even if you finally get sweet revenge on your bully, it doesn't erase the damage they did.  It doesn't stop that tape playing in your head of what they said and how it made you feel.  For some reason, society thinks it's okay to acknowledge a man's size when dealing with him.  "Hey, big man!"  "What can I do ya for, big guy?"  So, is it acceptable to walk up to a Chinese man and say "what's up Chinese man?" or to someone with a birthmark on their face and say "hey, birthmark dude!"   No!  The thought should make you recoil in your skin if you have a shred of decency in you as a human being.  So why is it acceptable to point out something obvious about someone's appearance when we're dealing with their size??  It's not yet we're expected to roll over because we've done this to ourselves and are somehow stripped of rights of a human being.

Words matter whether you're a man or a woman.  Men are raised that they need to be tough and if they get their feelings hurt, they need to bury it.  All that does is lead to years of repressing not only those feelings but any feelings they feel others would deem not "manly."  Bullsh*t.  Men have feelings too and they need to express them just as much as women do.  They need to be lifted up and told they're worthy, loved and accepted just as they are.  They need to feel confident enough to stand up for themselves no matter what their size and if they're bigger, their opinion still matters.  Size does not make you any less of a person.  It does not mean you are any less talented of a worker, musician, artist or chosen profession.  It just means you're bigger but like anything that sets you apart from "the norm", it doesn't need to be pointed out just so others can somehow feel better about themselves and it doesn't need to be written into popular TV shows to continue to normalize it.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Exhausting but Productive Weekend Recap

Happy Monday all.

It was a pretty low key weekend.  It was grocery weekend so we went out Friday night after our workout and dinner and got down to business.  While it sucks to spend Friday night doing that, it's MUCH less crowded than Saturdays and downright empty by the time we get to the last one.  It makes it so much less stressful getting produce when you're not dodging people in their own world, texters (really?), little kids running amok and our new "favorite" people leaving their carts to go shop the whole department while blocking others.  "Here, no one should need strawberries."  I swear the next time I see that I'm moving the cart over two rows.  Animals.  Trader Joe's said they had "production issues" with our favorite dish of all time, the sweet potato gnocchi.

If you're a TJ's shopper, you know this is code for "kiss your favorite goodbye because we suck."  This truly may be the nail in the coffin for that place for us.  We'll look for the things we used to consider "staples" from there and see if we can get them elsewhere and if so, eat my dust.  Between how often they do that and the attitudes of the employees lately, it's just not worth it.  The employees seem to think that this is the place for them to hang out, gab, sit on the floor in the middle of the aisle refilling things that are nowhere near empty just so they can stop the flow of heavy traffic and God forbid you try to get around them when they're in the middle of a scintillating convo about their weekend plans.  *hard eye roll*

We're both still sick so it's not like we had grand plans.  It was a rainy day and my thoughts were with a friend who had to send her dear sweet pup to the Rainbow Bridge.  It was because of this dog that we even met.   There was a social media site for pets and when I was in the last months of our pup's time here and she had a dog of the same breed and was such a help to me when our girl passed.  We got to emailing and eventually got together several times.  She and her husband (and daughter) are lovely people and I'd so hoped to meet the pup that brought us together one day.  Sunday morning, I had a dream about our dog burrowing through the snow up to a barn where I was walking and she popped her head up and I started laughing.  Then she looked back and I saw more snow moving behind her and up popped my friend's dog with a huge smile on her face and they raced into the barn together.  I woke up feeling like that was my baby's way of telling me she was showing her new friend around.  Any of you who have been through it knows it's the final act of love you can give your furbaby and the range of emotions you feel in the following days.  I so wished we lived in the same town so I could give her a big hug.  Please keep her in your prayers for a healing heart.

Saturday night, the Mr wanted a date night to watch Hallmark's first new Christmas movie of the season, Christmas at Pemberly Manor, I think.  It was cute and it was nice to be dressed in our Christmas jammies with pine incense burning.  (That implies I don't also do this in July.)   We played the Hallmark drinking game but with candy corn.  We had to pop one for the following reasons:

Big city/small town
New England town
A man who looks like Santa named Chris
Town treasure threatened
Baking Christmas cookies
Love related misunderstanding
CG magical snowfall

Sunday the Mr brought up Mount Laundry from the basement and I saw him eyeing his closet.  It's full of clothes that haven't been touched in ages.  So I pulled up a chair and told him to try it all on.  ALL of it.  There are clothes that fit, some that are 10 lbs away and some that are just too short and by the time he loses weight where it counts, the upper torso will be too big.  There are ones that he was having problems letting go of so my giving the yay or nay helped him.  I did the same with mine.  I thought I already pulled out the ones I was going to donate but I went through a few more and into a drawer and let go of some I'd hoped to get back into or just bought to buy a souvenir shirt.  I had to ask how often I wear them and if it wasn't often and I was holding onto them because I love X but not enough to wear it, off it went.  We donated a full bag of clothes so that felt good but it also took two hours out of our day that I wasn't planning on.  I was feeling stir crazy so we went for a drive in the country but there were a lot of detours so it wasn't as relaxing as I'd hoped and then we hit a storm on the way back.  Arg. 

Then back home and did the butt kicker BFF workout and wanted to drop into a heap.  I'm so grateful I found that workout, it's one of our go to's and definitely gives a great cardio workout too.  I made homemade Chinese with cauliflower rice for dinner.

Then we hit the rest of our Halloween movies.  We got in Fright Night (the good one) and Scream(Affiliate links)  I remember seeing Scream in theaters multiple times the year we were married.  We were so proud of Wes for directing such a great comeback movie and it still holds up over 20 years later. 

What did you guys get into this weekend?

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Friday, October 26, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #43

Happy Friday everyone!  Can you believe it's the last weekend of October?  Wasn't it just yesterday I was saying "can you believe it's the first full weekend of October?"  Time is marchin' y'all whether we're ready or not.  To my fellow sickies out there suffering with me, pop a lozenge and let's get to...

Ease Tension in Your Hips and Back in Just 4 Minutes   (Yes, please!)

Trying to lose weight? Don't underestimate the power of distraction (Oh please that'll never work, I mean...

Fixing And Preventing IT Band Syndrome  (Mine can take a flying leap)

12 Major Benefits of Ginger for Body & Brain  (So far my experience has been pretty good)

Deconstructing the Deload  (Something I rarely do)

Need To Calm Down Now? Here's A Road Map  (Mine are named Ralph and Eduardo)

7 Things That Could Happen If You Keep Rubbing Your Eyes  (Well, I'm screwed.)

The Magnesium-Blood Sugar Connection You Need To Know About  (Good info to know!)

I Was Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s—Here’s How My Life Has Already Changed  (I would be devastated)

What 15 Classic Movie Villains Look Like in Real Life  (Wow!)

Real-life Ariel from 'Little Mermaid' surprises superfan bride at wedding  (I'm not crying!  Video starts on landing)

We should be close to peak this weekend or next and I want to get out there and see some color.  It's been really lax so far this season but maybe with all the wind we've been having this week, that's a good thing the leaves weren't ready yet.  We've got a lot of horror movies to watch at night so we'll probably get a lot knocked out and leave Halloweentown and another watch of the Great Pumpkin for the 30th and 31st.

Whatchu got stirring in the cauldron this weekend?

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Hostess with the Mostest

I took some time this week to get my Christmas cards addressed so that's out of the way other than like two or three I need to verify addresses on.  It was a little hard when I got to Grandma's on the spreadsheet and not writing her name down for the first time.  I didn't cry but I guess I just wasn't prepared either until it was upon me.  When we were antiquing last weekend even though my sense of smell was on the way out, I could still smell the faint smell of Christmas at my Grandma's sisters house which is weird because we only did that once or twice, I think.  None of us really wanted to be there because some of the distant cousins are, well, an acquired taste in one form or another.  I want to say I was maybe 10 or 11 so it was just me and one other of my closest cousins at that time so I was hanging with the adults.  I have no idea why that smell stuck with me or why the heck I was smelling it in an antique mall but it got to me in a back booth when I smelled it again and had a bit of a moment. 

It got me thinking about the holidays and how much Grandma loved hosting.  She loved having her house full even if she was a little stressed getting there.  I remember sometimes she could be a little snappy so I get it honestly.  (I think most women who host get a little frazzled.  My MIL is famous for it, so much so, that the Mr spent the night before our wedding with me on an air mattress on the empty floor of my old bedroom.  His mother was horrified "you can't spend the night before your wedding together!"  "Mom, you know how you get and I'm not starting my wedding day with you being like that."  It was the first real time he took a stand.) 

It's so strange someone that's the glue of your family really does hold together so much more than you think.  You kind of take for granted that they dictate the flow of family events until they are unable to do so because of disease or have passed.  What is also strange is how the next generation doesn't seem to be willing or able to step into that role.  I could and do in some ways because I make sure the Easter platter is there that she used to do.  I make sure the brown and serve rolls that she's done for ages are the ones people buy and if they don't, we have been known to have backups because it isn't the same when people try to go rogue with the rolls and everyone says it after the fact.  (They're $1 per package and available everywhere, how hard is this, people?)   These things I do to make sure her touches are still there are appreciated and mentioned so why am I the one that has to do most of them?  I'm grateful that my aunt still does her noodles but she doesn't have confidence in her ability so sometimes they are burnt from trying to rush it, sometimes they're slightly underdone from not having the broth boiling and other times, they're thankfully as close as they're going to get.  I can't even make them right but I suspect if they're that important to me (and they are to others as well), I'm going to have to learn.  Mom has suggested crappy egg noodles like pasta and we did that one year and EVERYONE complained.  Grandma had over 60 years experience with that noodle recipe which is literally no more than flour, egg, and salt made into a dough then cut into noodles with a knife, let 'em dry a little then pour them into boiling drippings.  There is no doubt in my mind her love was a big ingredient and is the missing component to why none of ours turn out quite the same but practice makes perfect.

I asked the Mr last weekend since we had our choice of what we could have for Christmas dinner, what did he want if he could have anything.  I didn't want to push my family's traditions on him if there was something he was missing from his own.  Or if he wanted a fancy pants dinner like, I don't know, Cornish Game Hens, Hasselback potatoes, Brussels sprouts with candied bacon and wine poached pears, I'm down to make that instead.  He said it would be sacrilege to not have a beef roast and mashed potatoes because that's what his family always had growing up too.  The noodles were introduced to him when he was 20 by my family and he said it's not the holidays without them as well as the brown and serve rolls.  He said the only thing he'd like are these little pecan rolls his grandma "used to make."  I suspected they might be pinwheels like we used to buy in the grocery store but he swore they were homemade.  I told him to email his mom and ask for the recipe and I would add them to the bread bowl this year.  Welp turns out grandma got them at a store but just doctored them a bit so they seemed more homemade.  ;-)  Just like my grandma used to say "you never know about us!"  Grandma's all have their secrets for making family holiday meals special and I do feel its important to honor those things especially when they're not there anymore.  It's those small touches that make them feel like they are still a part of the festivities.  It doesn't have to be a time-consuming dish but just getting the same rolls brings that comfort without breaking the bank.  God love her, my grandma's turkey was dry.  So. Dry.  For years I tried to tell her she only needed to follow the directions on the bag and it'd come out fine but her tradition from her mother was getting up at 4:30am to get the bird in.  We eat at 1pm...or used to.  (Don't get me started there.)

One year I offered to make a "leftovers" turkey because one branch of the family tree was multiplying like rabbits and one turkey was just enough for the dinner and no leftovers anymore.  When I brought it in, my uncle tasted it and switched out my bird for the main one.  I told him to just put the bastings over Grandma's and she was never the wiser.  I didn't get into that habit though because it was a lot to transport between that, mashed potatoes and pies.  I told them to just make sure to baste hers with some drippings on the platter before using the rest for the noodles and that worked pretty well.  I still smile when I think about having to take a drink of water after each bite if I didn't dunk her turkey in noodle broth.  Then after a while, to my family's horror, I would take everything on my plate and mix it all together so it looked like it'd already been eaten and add ketchup to the top.  I did it from maybe 13 to 23.  It was always funny to watch people look at me sideways, stop cutting their food to watch the Thanksgiving plate horror show and me take the first bite and laugh or shake their heads.  Sigh...I miss those days so much. 

Sorry, I went down memory lane a bit but with writing that Christmas card without her name on it for the first time, it obviously got me nostalgic.  I'll send them out Thanksgiving Eve as I've done for 22 years and I think I may take one to Grandma's "new condo" on Thanksgiving Day since we don't eat until 4pm now.  I'll have to laminate it or something to keep it weatherproof but I want to make sure she still gets her Christmas card right on time.

What traditions/food does your family do from your parents/grandparents days to keep the generations connected?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Hump Day Fun Poll: Old School Costumes

With Halloween a week away, that got me thinking about the good ol' days.  Remember those hard plastic masks and when some years it would get cold enough you'd have to put a coat or snowsuit on because we got a cold snap?  

Costume ruined. 

(Me at about 3 years old or so waving at Grandma before trick or treating.)

Here, I was Bugs Bunny.  I was also Witchie Poo from HR Pufnstuf for a few years which I don't even remember watching and seeing pics of Witchie Poo now is effin' terrifying!  (affiliate link)  

(via Retroist)

Then I started doing homemade costumes because when you're tall they don't make costumes your size.  I was still usually a witch because hat, black skirt, done.  I had to stop trick or treating probably two years early because of my height.  Bitter, party of one.

What were you for Halloween as a kid?  What was your favorite costume?

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Seeing double, lethargy and slashers

Happy Tuesday all!

Well, the Mr got home at 1:30am the night before last and decided since he was sick and got home late, he'd take a sick day when he's actually sick and not just sick of his job.  I didn't sleep well after we went to bed and even with going back to sleep after my pill alarm, I still probably totaled four hours if I'm lucky.  We got up and had breakfast, watched a little bit of DVR and both fell asleep on the couches for a few hours.  I knew I was jinxing myself writing about how mild the cold was sans laryngitis, which is ongoing.  Yesterday, we both felt pretty run down.

To make sure we did start growing roots into the couch, the Mr suggest we take our 2 miler we skipped in the morning around 3pm.  It was quite windy so I listened to stories of his evening and grunted when applicable since that's about the extent of my communication right now.  We grabbed the mail and I had to laugh.

When your bestie has the same sense of humor as you do and sends you the same card you bought your husband.  (I forgot I bought that for him until I gave it to him later and we cracked up.) 

The Mr was starting to fall asleep again so I suggested we go down and do our workout, Chalean Extreme Burn 1 Circuit.  Lots of posterior flies and squatting and damn if I didn't feel every rep.  I didn't lift heavy or anything but definitely could feel my energy drain from how "energized" I felt the day before.  We had our dinner to help replenish our strength...

Turkey taco night and I could feel my body pulling energy from it.  The Mr, however, was not so lucky.  We continued our horror movie spree with Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and there was head bobbing going on.  (affiliate link)  We tried going for Dream Warriors but he barely made it to 20 minutes in before I sent him to bed.  That's why if there are typos it's because my editor is in bed.  Let's see, we've still got Candyman, Halloweentown 1 and 2, Hotel Transylvania, Fright Night, The Crow, Elm Street Dream Warriors, Pet Sematary and Scream 1 and maybe 2.  So yeah, 10 more to go so we'd better get cracka-lackin'.

As you can see it was quite an exciting day in our neck of the woods! 

Do you watch scary movies this time of year?  What were the horror movies of your youth?

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Silenced and sweet weekend roundup

Good Monday morning everyone!

Well, it was quite the sickie weekend in our abode.  I felt good enough to be out and about and didn't have much of a cough or anything so didn't feel like I'd be spreading it to others.  We went antiquing a little both in town and about an hour away.  I was looking for vintage large picture frames and just like always when I decide I want something that I've seen 1000x before, I then can't find it.  I almost got some from this one place but I wasn't crazy about the pattern on the frame and figured even kinds of honeywouldn't make me love it.  I found one at Hobby Lobby online so I'll probably throw some paint on it when I get it.  About halfway through the day, I could feel my voice getting kind of squeaky.  We were talking a lot but no more than we normally do.  As I went on my quest for old people candy (peanut butter kisses) for when I can taste again, we found ourselves in a grocery store and decided to get our flu shots.  I checked with a nurse friend who said it was fine to do it with a cold.  The pharmacist tried to give us flack but then said as long as we didn't have a fever we'd be fine.  The woman who told us to fill out our paperwork was whispering and obviously had laryngitis.  You literally couldn't hear her and FYI- whispering is the worst thing you can do with laryngitis because it actually puts more strain on your vocal chords than just trying to talk normally does.  I wasn't prepared to get a flu shot and was wearing a long-sleeved shirt with a tight wrist band so when I rolled it over my arm fat, it was pretty tight.  When she stabbed me, she yelled "ahh, you're a bleeder!" and grabs a cotton ball.  I guess it ran pretty quickly down my arm.  I'm assuming because of the pressure from my Life is Good tourniquet.  Well, about 10 minutes after leaving, my voice got worse and continued to get worse.  Yep, I've got laryngitis now.  I blame the woman at the pharmacy.  (I'm kidding, I know the virus isn't very contagious unless you have a fever.)   So, basically, I have every husband's dream right now.  STFU syndrome.

The Mr and I have been doing this technique to help drain our sinuses and keep the white blood cells pumping.  I do it about 5x a day and if I'm up in the middle of the night to wee.  For almost two weeks prior, I've been drinking shredded ginger root tea daily for digestion purposes, so I feel like that's given me a bit of an advantage since I definitely have the crappier immune system of the two of us.  Despite the laryngitis, I feel like these things have helped overall because usually my colds will knock me off my butt and that hasn't happened yet.  *knocks on all of the wood*  It's more annoying than anything but not painful like usual, and the Mr has been more miserable than usual with his.  I usually have a horrible sore throat for 2-3 days that feels like I've swallowed a cheese grater and can't sleep much.  Nothing yet and sleep has been average for me, so I'm pretty thankful.  I did make some homemade soup for us so we could get the specific nutrition we needed.

The top is cilantro chicken wonton soup with spinach, carrots, garlic, broccoli, and made with bone broth for more protein.  The bottom is just some Mexican-ish dump soup I made with bone broth, a can of creamed corn, a can of Rotel tomatoes and chiles, scallions, brown rice, chicken, spinach and various spices like ghost pepper flakes (in mine), chipotle powder, and berbere.

Sunday the Mr had plans, and the friends he was going with said they didn't mind being exposed.  (They won't say that if they catch it but I've got no dog in that fight.)  The Mr was kind enough to go to the grocery store to get our produce refuel for the week since he was going to be gone from late afternoon until probably midnight.  (Or after midnight as it turns out.)  I'm glad I wasn't going anyway because obviously, I'd have to cancel.  I admit I was a little nervous because if something happened and I needed help, I couldn't call anyone because they couldn't hear me.  I can't text to save my life.  The only way I can text the Mr is because he texted my phone once and I just kept it.  He did text me through the night to let me know where he was at each destination just so I knew when to expect him home and I didn't play with scissors or fire so I was okay.  (That's actually not accurate, I did light half a pine needle incense to set the mood.  affiliate link)

Before he left, we did Powerstrike.  (affiliate link)  I felt oddly energized doing it.  I always feel better when I work out when I'm sick for some reason.  After he left, I watched a crappy Hallmark movie while I worked and watched the Trapp Lodge cam in Vermont where flurries were coming down (squee!)   I watched the snow clouds hang low and threat'nin.  Maybe it won't, praying it may!  (Sorry, lapsed into my favorite Christmas song, Pine Cones and Holly Berries.)  Okay, now I'm listening to it from that link and tearing up.  I could actually make out a few of the actual shapes of the snowflakes as they flew by and my heart fluttered, and I had a smile plastered on my face.  There is no faster transportation to the magic of Christmas and my childhood than watching the snow fall.

It's quite hard being a snow lover in this world with so many people acting like you are some kind of freak for loving it as much as they love the first warm day of the year after a long winter.  It takes all I have not to flick them in the forehead.

I did get a nice distraction, my order from Beekman 1802 arrived.

I've been craving glazed veggies lately and I've been out of their chipotle honey.  I also like carrots glazed in their rosemary honey.  SO yummy.  I've tried so many different honeys, and theirs are by far the best quality.  A sweet treat for sure AND there is no better cough drop that 1/2 tsp of this raw honey.  I took some just before bed last night, and it lasted me until morning, way longer than the cough drop I took earlier.  I was pleasantly surprised to get a free "hi Neighbor" sticker in my order.  We've supported them from the very beginning and so happy they are getting so big and more people are discovering them after their debut on HSN.  I won't lie, I hope they don't get TOO big though because you know how quality always tends to drop when it gets too big to keep up with.  Fingers crossed they are successful in a way that allows them to stick to their original vision.

That's about it on our end.  How about you?

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, October 19, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #42

Happy Friday y'all!

What's shakin' party people?  All four cheeks and a couple of chins here.  (Points if anyone knows what that's from without Googling it!)  It has been a glorious full week of Fall weather with temps in the mid 30's some mornings which makes dawdling on our morning walks not an option.  I would much rather have to slip on my thermals and have cold cheeks than be a sweaty, hot beast.  I know when it gets really cold, we're likely going to have to flip some stuff around and walk in the evenings when it's above freezing.  But I'll take it for now.  My morning walks allow my mental hamster to get a workout but it might have to switch to morning yoga when the snow is flying.

But enough of that, let's fly into...

7 Ways to Have Better Poops Every Day  (Poo-rrific!)

3 Drills for Better Hip Mobility  (My jacked hips feel better just watching these!)

I Joyfully Decluttered These 5 Things to Boost Happiness  (I want to declutter all of the things.  Sometimes I look at the basement and want to burn it*.  *-Should my basement burn, I didn't start the was always burning since the world's been turning.)

9 Ways to Stop a Cold Before It Even Starts  (I don't see hold up a crucifix and throw holy water on the carrier.  Am I missing something?)

Jenna Dewan's Hotel Workout Will Make You Tired Just Watching It  (Good bodyweight workout.  The slow version is toward the bottom.)

3 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship This October  (Sorry, then come November it's back to Crapsville for you two!  😆)

Kevin Smith Just Hit a Major Weight Loss Milestone  (Good for him!)

The Chilling History of 15 Halloween Traditions  (I don't know about "chilling" but interesting none the less.)

9 Things You Can Do Right Now for a Frugal Holiday Season  (Some good tips!)

Putting Your Holiday Decorations Up Early Could Make You Happier, According to Experts  (Not yet obviously, let's get through Halloween at least!)

Uptown Spot (Courtesy of The Mr- short, watch til the end)

We don't have much planned Saturday that I'm aware of and now that it looks like his crud is trying to settle into my chest, we may just be watching movies all day Saturday.  (Oh Lord, we just finished The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix.  Not fans...hours of our lives we can't get back.)   I'd like to go leaf peeping somewhere before that windstorm that comes every year blows the color off the trees.  I'd also like to carve a pumpkin this year but time is winding down since next weekend is the last one in October.  Sigh.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Treat yo'self! Prince of Wales Hotel

Like most things, I forget to blog things I take pictures of when we're traveling and then find them months later.  Whoops!  Well, this one is too good to get too much virtual dust pile on.  If you're looking for a perfect romantic getaway or girls weekend, the best place to stay in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, is the Prince of Wales hotel.

It's tucked away across from a park at one end of town at King and Picton Streets, so you don't get much foot traffic at all.  There's also free parking which, if you've been to the area, you know is a huge plus.  Let's go inside, shall we?

You're greeted with an amazing lobby.  From ornate statues and woodwork and stained glass, you feel like royalty the moment you step into this gorgeous hotel.

There is so much attention to detail from the insanely stunning floors to the door handles.

If you're celebrating an event, remember to mention it in your reservation.  We were there for an anniversary, and they left us some chocolates and a nice card. 

I think we were in a superior level room which got us a nice big bed, fireplace, sitting area, big bathroom and a balcony overlooking the park.

I cannot tell you how oddly refreshing having navel oranges and water is after a day-long journey on the road.  It was weird, but it was like the vitamin and hydration boost we'd denied ourselves was replenished and we suddenly had a ton of energy after taking a load off to enjoy them.

Because you're in wine country, they have a thoughtfully stocked armoire with your ice bucket and wine glasses (real glass) and a corkscrew with the nearest location of the ice.  We grabbed a bottle of icewine (the best price is at the liquor store down the street) and enjoyed some that evening.  Heaven!

They also have nice amenities like a Bose sound system/alarm and an in-room safe.  They also have an iron and ironing board which immediately puts me at ease.

The bathroom is a nice size with good toiletries and has a hand-held shower head which is nice to be able to blast all the bits after a long road trip.

The extras are plentiful and make you feel truly pampered.  They have a little card where you can request different types of pillows.  I got a super squishy one and was SO bummed they didn't sell it in their gift shop like the other pillows.  You can also get a free "sleep well" kit with an eye mask and earplugs if you need them.  I'd say get them just in case you have rowdy neighbors.

Every night they have a turndown service and leave you a rose on the bed with a breakfast menu.  All of those little things added to up to feeling super pampered and very squee-worthy!

Don't forget to make a reservation for an afternoon tea in the Drawing Room.  They sell some teas there, and when you're making your selection, they bring you samples to smell to help you decide.

Everything is lovely from the sugar cubes that make you feel fancy pants to the scones with traditional fixings and their beautiful desserts.  It is well worth the splurge, and we added on all of the things so we had the biggest spread they could do.

Next to the hotel, the Sentineal Carriages offer horse and carriage rides.  They are not affiliated with the hotel so you will need to contact them directly but they do walk ups like they did for ours.  The drivers are very knowledgeable, funny and truly love their horses and it shows.  It was $85 for 30 minutes and goes up from there.  Check their website for current info.

Horse and carriages are our thing so it was a must do for us.

I highly recommend the Prince of Wales hotel if you're planning a stay in Niagara on the Lake.  Honestly, this cute little town alone is worth getting a passport for.  This hotel and their amenities would make it hard to stay elsewhere.

Our only con is we did not have a good experience at their main restaurant but everything else was lovely.

Prince of Wales Hotel
6 Picton St.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada
1 905-468-3246

Have you been to Niagara on the Lake?

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hump Day Fun Poll: Creepin' Crud edition

(The Mr does not drink tea this way, it looks more like this...)

(via giphy)

So the Mr was unable to fight off whatever creeping crud was floating around last week.  He's on a solid day two of sounding like Barry White and not in a good way.  I've been pumping him full of the Throat Coat tea we already had on hand and chugging down the Emergen C at night.  (affiliate links)
He was a pooped pup the night before and didn't even make it to 9:30pm.  He's got a chest cold it seems so I'm hoping he'll eject some Flubber before long since he has plans Sunday. 

(via giphy)

How do you help a chest cold along?  Any home remedies work for you?

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Note to Christmas Self: Edited

I've posted this the past two years and I'm going to post it again but edited slightly as things have changed.

1.  Freeze your doughs at the end of October or November.  Trying to do that in December is a lot to do even though it only took 2 days.  They're going in the FoodSaver (affiliate link)  so the taste won't be affected.  However, remember anything with brown butter does NOT freeze well and loses the flavor you worked so hard for so make those brown butter chocolate chip cookies within a day or two of baking.  Not only will those lose the brown butter flavor, they flatten out once frozen.  Remember you can also pre-make icing and run them through the FoodSaver so you don't have to do 4 different kinds for different things.

This absolutely works.  Keep this up, especially this year.  Actually pre-ball them too so you can break and bake.

2.  Freeze 2-3 meals that you can have the Mr warm up.  You tapped out on dinner a few times and it resulted in some ugliness.  So to make sure everyone is happy, a few frozen meals could go a long way in not killing each other and not resulting in a fast food run or eating cookies for dinner in a moment of "eff it."

This was a lifesaver last year, keep this up for sure!

3.  Sleep on it.  There will be times in the middle of the chaos you want to tap out and make extreme decisions about people and what you have planned the next day.  80% of the time your spirit was renewed the following day.  For the other 20%, tread lightly, think ahead and if it still sticks then go with your gut.

Use your words.   Whether you journal it and come back to it in an hour or so once the adrenaline has died down if you feel the same, discuss with the Mr and then sleep on it if you need to.

4.  When people say and do stupid sh*t, step away from the situation.  Depending on what your stress meter is at when said stupidity rears its head, you will either grin and bear it, give fair warning they need to back off or tear the hell out of someone.  Remember when your heart rate went to about 177/120?  You took a walk and felt better.  Do that even if you have to walk out in the middle of a conversation with an offender.  Your sanity and staying out of jail are more important.

Still applies.  Do not let your heart rate get that high.  You know you and the Mr should know how to work through this but when it comes to others if you need to walk away just say you have diarrhea and go to the bathroom for a break.  Then avoid the person when you come back out.

5.  Stop trying to make holiday memories with people who could care less.  It's their loss, spend precious December days with people who appreciate your efforts and time.  If they don't make merry themselves, they don't have time to make idle people merry.  (Sorry, I lapsed into A Christmas Carol ...Patrick Stewart version (affiliate link))  Take a hint and save your money.

Also still applies and you've done a good job prioritizing the past two years...keep it up!

6.  Pre-bag cookies for delivery people.  Every time you saw a mail or delivery person, it was too late to throw together a bag for them because they're on a schedule.  Pre-bag, press and seal them and have 'em by the front door in the little reindeer bag.  Then maybe the mail lady won't try to steal your printer next year.

You still don't do this.  It's optional.  Your mail person is consistently late and your UPS/FedEx people leave your crap in the rain so yeah, if you're not feeling going out of my way on this one, don't.  (But you know darn well when the season hits, you'll wish you had them available because you're a sap.)

8.  Don't feel guilty for taking Christmas back.  I know you are going to feel weird initially about not being with your family Christmas Day and you're probably going to get a lot of crap for it from family. (Which at that point will be easy to say "see! This is what I'd be missing!  No thanks!")  Try to remember what the last few years have been like that day.  The hosts are visibly tired, stressed and just want the house back to themselves.  The rest of the visit is seeing who gets the "short straw" on tending to Grandma the whole time while her husband ignores her or complains to anyone who will listen about what a task he is choosing to take on.  Top that off with people who may or may not be under the influence of substances and will corner you no matter how far you try to run.  This is not how anyone should spend Christmas.  You will still see them a few days prior, you will still make merry with your mother.  Get back to the reason for the season and enjoy new traditions next year.  You're losing your Christmas were not put on this Earth to be a Grinch.  There are too many people already in line for that job.

Zero guilt.  The holidays aren't the only time you can get together.  Post holiday gatherings are still just as nice.

9.  Stop trying to make cinnamon rolls from scratch for Christmas morning.  Look, I know the bakeries around you suck for cinnamon rolls but what's worse is when you put that pressure on yourself to make them and fail to get the taste you wanted.  You and yeast don't mix.  Get the memo.  Buy them elsewhere and doctor if necessary.

Just buy them unless you get some kind of sadistic streak to make them Christmas Eve this year.  No, buy them.  Stop the insanity.

10.  You were so frazzled from this holiday, you forgot to list a #7.  This illustrates why things need to change.

11.  Don't buy EVERY bag of Christmas candy out there, your stocking was ridiculous and you ate it ALL!  You threw away the Crunch bells when you realized the chocolate tasted off but yeah, you went WAY overboard and you both felt like you were going to barf for 5 days between the stockings and cookies.  Remember the Mr's sugar migraine?  Remember doing a workout and you sweat sugar cubes?

Truth.  You probably will still get too much.

12.  Don't EVER be too lazy to change the channel on the Music Choice Sounds of the Season channel.  You actually hated Do They Know It's Christmas by the third week of December.  This especially applies when Justin Bieber or Clay Aiken comes on.  You need to exercise.  Stop what you're doing and change that crap!  It filled you with hate.

You couldn't even take Christmas in July this year and you found it on July 29th.  It might be time to put a fork in that channel.

13.  Water is CRUCIAL!  For whatever reason, you stop drinking it almost altogether every year and you pay dearly for it.  Remember those gross chapped, dehydrated lips?  Remember your uh...'issues' in the lavatory?  Don't be an dork...hydrate!

THIS.  100x over.

14.  Take your probiotics!  Another thing you skip out on is taking these and your immune system takes a hit every time and you spend the holiday or New Years Eve sick and unable to celebrate.  BE SMART!  This and water should help keep you healthy even if your eating schedule is off.

Nope.  It doesn't matter what brand you try, they never help and after reading some scary crap about how they screw with your already screwed gut microbe, just eat a friggin' pickle.

15.  Don't forget to re-read this about October 15th next year.  Seriously, go set the mail reminder and link to this.  You will thank yourself.


What would you tell your 2018 holiday self that you learned from last year?

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Friday, October 12, 2018

What I'm Reading This Week #41

Happy Friday!  I don't want to jinx anything, but it looks like some actual seasonal weather is heading our way.  This 90 degrees crap of the last week can kiss my dimpled butt.  I do not live in the South on purpose therefore 90 in October is wrong, and the Mr strongly agrees.  Fall is here, time to break out the long sleeves dammit!

Now, let's fall into...

How much you should walk in a week to see a major improvement to your health  (Do it, see no major improvements at all after 4 months.  Next.)

10 surprising ways your body is telling you to drink more water  (Read in Jeff Foxworthy accent:  "If your pee looks like you whizzed the contents of an apple cider mill, you might be a redneck need more water.")

40 Ways to Get Your Best Body in Your 40s  (Where's the trade in option?  Mine's a lemon.)

5 Unexpected Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes  (Gimme all the sweet potatoes.)

30 Alzheimer’s Red Flags You Should Never Ignore  (If wording some of the same symptoms in different ways is one of them, this author needs to be tested.)

Jameela Jamil Slammed a Troll Who Body-Shamed Her at the Gym  (First off, if I said "yas queen!" on the regular, it would apply to her response (NSFW -language), and second, if some douche nozzle is trolling HER, there is no hope for anyone else.)

30 Things Every Couple Should Do Together At Least Once   (Some fun things in there that aren't over the top.)

70 Stores That Will Be Closed on Thanksgiving Day  (Sooo hoping more stores follow suit.  There is nothing more irritating than when the cousins use shopping as an excuse to leave early, and I'll ask what they're shopping for..."eh, nothin'."  I want to yell "SITCHO @SS DOWN AND BOND, JERKS!")

This Video of a Mom Unable to Get in — or Out! — of Her Spanx Is as Real as It Gets   (FYI- language but so friggin' hilarious especially when she calls her kids for help.)

Mark Your Calendars! 'It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' Will Air on October 18  ("It won't be long nowwww!"

It's someone's birthday weekend (hint: not mine), so we're going to be getting into mischief, "and ma'am, sometimes I do get into mischief..."

Sorry, I lapsed into Home Alone 2.

What mischief are you getting into this weekend?

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Food Review: Dr Praeger's All American Veggie Burger

Since we've basically given up hope that the Beyond Meat Beast Burgers will ever be back in stock, we thought we'd try our hand at a few other ones we had our eye on.  (Okay, me because I'm sure the Mr doesn't spend any time thinking "gee, we should try new brands of veggie burgers.")  I've had my eye on these for a while so I grabbed 'em a few weeks ago.

(No idea why these pics were so blurry, I can only imagine cooking spray got on the lens.  I'm very professional)

Here's a peek at the nutritional info:

I really wish veggie burgers didn't have to have so much sodium in them but it's not too bad.

Here's what they looked like fresh outta da box.

I used the oven method which was listed as the preferred method and as you can see, they changed quite a bit while cooking.

(That was called sarcasm)

They looked pretty much the same except they were now cracked to show they were cooked.  This is going to be interesting.

So, how did they taste?

We both got through dinner without saying a word which usually doesn't bode well for whatever we're trying for the first time.  He asked what I thought and I said I thought they were dry and he agreed and said he thought that was weird.  So yeah, the cracks were dryness and I followed the directions.  I suppose it could be that we're now used to all of the oil Beyond Meat uses but on the plus side, there was no weird smell that made me want to retch like the other ones.  They were a pretty generous sized patty though.  We agreed they tasted like soy-free veggie burgers but just drier.  Given that textural turn off, I don't know if we'd have to get them again, I'd probably just get Boca.  But if I'm feeling adventurous, I might try the skillet method with a little oil and see if that yields better results.

Have you tried this brand before and if so, did you have the same experience?  Any cooking tips?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Get on your camel y'all...

When 7am rolled around for our walk yesterday morning, I so wanted to skip it.  (We skipped the day before so we could sleep in.)  But we got out there and the few people we passed commented on the hot weather already or waiting for cooler weather to which we all agreed, we're ready.  There is just nothing worse than leaving your air-conditioned house to walk out into a wall of humidity.  On the upside, we've seen some gorgeous sunrises since we're up before them now when we start walking.   We also saw a nice domestic dispute going on as a woman kicked her cheating man out with his crap in a garbage bag.  As the f-bombs and "b*tch's" started to fly almost as we were ready to walk by, I pointed the Mr down a side street because I had no desire to be a casualty if someone pulled a gun.  We passed a lady walking her dog and I told her if she was turning right there was a domestic issue going on so please be careful and she thanked me for the heads up.  We kept our ears perked and when we walked back, he was gone.  If it was still going on, I would've probably called the cops to be safe. 

We were watching Manifest while the Mr ate lunch, and a character who lost someone greeted another character in a way that immediately told me she had dementia.  Within a minute, it was confirmed.  When the spouse told them the person went to the market they said: "I stopped telling them because I couldn't watch their world collapse every 15 minutes."  I teared up because it brought me right back to that stage with Grandma and everything that went with it.  I pray there is a day where seeing someone with dementia on TV doesn't take me straight back to all of that pain and loss.  Thankfully, it doesn't last too long but still.

As the day wore on, some soreness kicked in from the previous night's workout, Mike Donavanik's Extreme Burn which we haven't done in a few years.  Holy poo balls, my abs were so sore!  It was good to do something different because I feel like we're in a pretty big exercise rut and I have no clue what else is out there so if anyone has any suggestions of their favorite workouts these days, I'd love to hear them in the comments!  I've been doing glute stretches this week where I lay flat and keep my right leg straight then pull my knee up to my chest with my calf laying across my top gut and it gets a nice, deep stretch and then switch legs plus the happy baby pose.  I hope those are enough to help keep the really bad hip pain at bay.  Speaking of which, I'm going tomorrow for a Thai massage.  My chiro had one done as a guinea pig once one of their LMT's got certified and he said he thought about me the whole time.  "Oh yeah, that move would help her" "yep, that would help her too."  You're fully clothed and they basically stretch you in all kinds of ways and the goal is to "open you up."  After seeing him giggle a little when I asked how it was, I'd say I'm probably in for an adventure. 

We went down and did old school Power 90.  Of course, it was muted because ain't nobody gonna choose cheesy jokes over your own playlist.   Dinner was BBQ chicken breast over harvest quinoa before settling in for This is Us. 

Anyone ever had a Thai massage?  Am I in for it?  😂

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