Friday, December 31, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #52

The last day of 2021.  I can't help but think about where we were a year ago today...Woodstock, VT.  We were in a nice little cabin on the outskirts of town and that evening when a drive to look at Christmas lights showed no one was on the streets, we decided to walk the deserted sidewalks.  It was quite possibly the best night of the year.  Sadly, the next day the Mr had a migraine so bad we had to cut some things short and he rested most of the day while we had a fire going, I read cozied under a blanket and we started watching The Affair for a mindless binge.  Not quite the kick off to 2021 we hoped for but it was a decent predictor of how the year would go for us.  😕

Remember when people (including myself) thought the cute meme to share was "what if 2020 was just a trailer for 2021?"  Laughter ensued because surely it wouldn't be worse than the year before.  


Now it seems 2022 is rolling up it's sleeves about to say 'hold my beer' so the Mr and I will just keep doing what we've been doing all along precaution wise and finding new ways to safely not lose our marbles.  😆

Enough of the introspection, let's get to...

How to Start Losing Weight When You Feel Completely Overwhelmed (Really good starter tips or 'getting back on track' tips!)

How Exercise Makes You Better at Life  (Pretty interesting study!)

13 Scientific (and Not So Scientific) Ways to Beat the Winter Blues  (For those who aren't winter lovers like me)

Just Say Yes  (Be like the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey which was pretty hilarious and some interesting stories to tell.)

We're spending tonight as we do every New Years Eve, which is re-reading December of our One Happy Year journals and some of the highlight reels from previous months in the year.  I think that project is especially important the past two years when every day seems the same and you can see there was joy even if it was small.  The Mr found some 1980's Dick Clark's so we'll watch that and celebrate ringing in 1981 or whatever year.  I am more than happy to be done with this year and I can only pray that personally it will be leaps and bounds better even if collectively it doesn't look much different.  Tomorrow we'll welcome the year Hawaiian style with kalua pork and cabbage (Brussels) and who knows what.

I thank you for sticking around when there isn't much to report about and I understand if you're starting a new year with knocking me off your to read list if you're doing a digital detox.  I've had to do it myself here and there and I understand its important to surround yourself with things that inspire you.  I've felt like I don't have much to offer the last few years with adventures a little more on hold and weight being fairly stable- which I hope to change this year.  I feel worse because I've had to switch from one ad company that put small potato bloggers like me at the bottom of their priority list and the very crappy income of $20/mo I could once rely on when first signing with them became $20 a year if I was lucky for several years now.  (That's what happens when you get bought out, apparently.)  So I apologize for the annoying ads that are more invasive now.  I CRINGE when I see them but I'm in the red and am hoping to be able to at least break even for costs.  I try to review the ads so that the skeeviest of them aren't here.   I won't know how it's going to pan out for a few months.  Should you choose to stick around, I hope we're able to do some things that'll be worth writing about and know that I appreciate it more than I could ever convey!  

The Mr and I wish all of you a safe, healthy, happy new year!

(both gifs-

Are you doing anything for NYE?  Any plans for the weekend?

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Impromptu Date Night

Workshop Wednesday is a weekly thing we do to work on our marriage.  We typically stick to questions, worksheets, YouTube videos, etc but sometimes you forget you just need to have a date.  So I planned to whisk the Mr away after our workout for a snuggly dinner at the state park up the road.

At home, I broke out the Boudin bread bowls I had frozen earlier in the day to thaw then after our workout, I browned them up in the oven.  I warmed up the clam chowder and put it in my bedside double insulated thermos after nuking it in the microwave.  I boiled up some water in the kettle and filled the big thermos with hot chocolate.  

I grabbed our ready made s'more bag in the basement and it was time to put our new extra long roasters to the test.

We also put my new little foldable grill through its paces.  Whenever we do s'mores we always have rock hard Hershey bars which is okay but we want it a little on the melty side and this was perfect to get a little gooey without being too messy while roasting our mallows.

Then it was time to kick back and warm our tootsies.

You might notice what looks like log tongs and that's because it is!  The best $14 I've ever spent!  As a granddaughter of a firefighter, I was taught all about how to tend a fire when I was 4 years old and using this is much easier than trying to find a strong enough stick.  It folds away small to be stored and I LOVE it because I'm a total nerd.

We had such a nice relaxing time out warming up with our activities while blowing breath smoke as the temps dropped a little.  

It was a wonderful way to spend a random Wednesday night!

What was your last impromptu date?

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Hump Day Poll: The Last of 2021

What were your best and worst times of 2021?

My best was our 25th wedding anniversary in May.  While it wasn't what I always envisioned because of Covid, it still turned out to be an amazing day and celebration of love which is all we could ask for anyway.  The worst being all of the health issues I had all year, some of them with no definitive answer.  I didn't think this year had the capacity to make 2020 look like a cakewalk yet it did.  In the end, I am grateful and happy to still be standing and looking forward to focusing inward as we try to make this year as good as we can given the state of everything else.


Second question after you answer the other, do you even like/pay attention to hump day polls?  I don't mind doing them but not if people are going to scroll past them in annoyance.

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Monday, December 27, 2021

A Happy Holiday Weekend Recap

Good Monday to you...and you and you and you and yoooou!


Can you believe we hadn't seen The Sound of Music until we were heading to Vermont for our first Christmas back in 2016?  We were staying at the Giacomo in Niagara Falls and saw it was on TV and knew we were heading to Trapp Lodge for a sleigh ride since the family the movie was based on runs it, we thought we should watch.  Quite a different Christmas from walking in the park Christmas day in our PJ's SWEATING this year.

The festivities kicked off on the 23rd with our 30 year "I love you"/officially a couple anniversary.  Three days after our first date and homeboy knew he wanted to say those three words.  I remember the days when we'd celebrate it monthly!  Nothing big but just acknowledging it in some way.  I used to have the number written on my calendar the 23rd of every month and people at work that might see it would ask and then think it was either adorable or barfworthy.  I think we were 10 years in before switching to yearly and the 23rd just became another day.  Anyhoo...I'm off track.  I knew I wanted to do afternoon tea because 1) they're my absolute FAVORITE and 2) well, there is no two.  I'd already had our black currant scones frozen from a place we went in Chester, VT called Rose Arbour.  It slipped my mind that I wanted petit fours and by the time I remembered about ordering, they weren't going to arrive in time.  Given the myriad of problems I've had with USPS this month, there was no way I would've relied on it anyway so that meant I had to make them myself.  (You might be saying "no, you just skip them" to which I would ask...are you new here?)  I couldn't find a whole poundcake, only slices so I worked with that and had fun making up different flavor combos.  Cookie butter, maple, raspberry jam, hot fudge, etc which were then coated with melted chips of the white or chocolate variety.  It was when trying to coat them properly that I created new curse words but it was better than none.  

The morning of our anniversary we had to go grab our Christmas morning cinnamon rolls from a bakery, the Mr bought me flowers and I started putting the lunch together.  

Due to what I thought was a lost serving plate situation, we used the tiered trays I still had from our anniversary in May.

We each got each other a gift.  He got me a Life is Good winter shirt I had my eye on that I didn't tell him about and I got him a Missing Link puzzle original in package that we both had as kids.

We went downtown and walked the historic district like we did for so many cheap date nights as kids then later got Longhorn to go for dinner so I wouldn't have to cook.  We watched 8 Bit Christmas on HBO Max since the Mr got it earlier in the week to watch the new Matrix and we watched The Santa Clause 2.  It was a nice, cozy day of celebration.

Christmas Eve was much less cozy.  I worked my ass off all day baking up our Christmas cookies and frosting the cut outs and deciding to go ahead with the noodles because I didn't want to spend Christmas day doing them.  The Mr was kind enough to massage my legs when I limped in from the kitchen.  We had the appetizer dinner we would've had if mom was here and opened our presents from her.  

Lots of good stuff especially for the kitchen which I can't wait to put to use.  I only wish I hadn't exhausted myself given it's usually my favorite day of the year.

Christmas Day was nice.  The Mr massaged my legs first thing so I could actually walk.  We already said we wanted to stretch the day out as long as possible because once you open the presents that feeling of post holiday letdown sets in, especially since it was just the two of us.  We got up and got showers and baked up our cinnamon rolls.  Meh.  The goo inside was decent but hardly any cinnamon flavor so we threw two of them out later.  We listened to the Charlie Brown soundtrack then headed to the park in our PJ's to do a few loops and we both ended up sweating from the humidity and that it was 65 degrees.  Stupid weather but I think we were in the same boat with most of the country.  We got back home and watched an online Christmas service and then we opened our presents around 2pm.  We ate some Christmas cookies while watching Charlie Brown Christmas which was our final unwatched Christmas special.  

Then time for a nap with the yule log on because the actual fireplace would've been far too hot.  We watched the Russian Ballet's Nutcracker on YouTube.  Later it was time for Christmas dinner and I'm happy to report Grandma's noodles turned out on point.

She was with me as I rolled them out to the right thinness this time.  I also didn't strain the fat from the roast juices which is why it tasted more like hers.  Grandma's noodles do not equal fat free and that's just going to have to be okay.  LOL

It was a steady diet of Rolaids since we're not used to eating this way a few days in a row but as usual, I'll worry about it soon enough.  We kept up exercise as that's about all that can be expected right now.  

How was your holiday weekend?

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Friday, December 24, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #51

Happy Christmas Eve!  It's my favorite day of the year.  I'm sure many of you aren't swinging by here but in case you are, wishing you a very Merry Christmas regardless of how and who you're spending it with!  Yesterday was our 30 year "I love you" anniversary.  (He said it first...yeah, girl!)  Funny how that feels like a different life.  We've often discussed after 20, it's like every 10 years is a new life or at least feels like it.  

Let's hop right into...

How Tea & Coffee Affect Iron Absorption, From A Nutritionist  (Very interesting stuff for those of us who need a little liquid octane!)

4 Growing Pains All Men Should Know About (A little disappointed it didn't mention at what age should I expect the yelp when the Mr's berries hit the toilet water?)

5 Sweet Gestures That Make Your Partner Feel Exceptionally Loved  (Great suggestions!  I'm especially wooed by the picnic)

25 Things You Need to Do When You Move Into Your New Home  (Uhh, change the locks should be the first thing.  Like you should have a locksmith doing that while you're closing and hand you your new new keys when you show up!)

The Dark Side of Nostalgia (Sorry but especially right now, I'll live in my rose colored past of days that brought me joy than this sh*tshow we're living through right now.  Bring on the nostalgia.  The TRULY sad part is when this time will be looked at as 'the good ol' days' from some people.)

How A Christmas Carol Became a Classic  (Glad to see they included Scrooged)

Tonight we'll make some appetizers and open presents from my mom.  We plan on trying to stretch out Christmas Day as long as possible and I'm hoping we can do that.  I also hope the tradition of cinnamon rolls for breakfast isn't ruined by getting them from a new bakery.  Fingers crossed!  We'll have Grandma's beef and noodles for dinner...I hope I remember to make the noodles!  One last go before I throw in the towel.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and enjoy time with those you choose to be around and keep each other safe.  Big hugs to you all and hoping Santa brings you all you want and more even if that's just a day in your PJ's with a cup of cocoa and a good book or binging a mindless series.

How are you celebrating this weekend?

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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

It's My Favorite! Hump Day Poll

What is your favorite family holiday recipe?

Obviously, you've all heard me talk about 'em...Grandma's noodles.  My mom has tried to push the nasty frozen kinds and all of us grandkids have expressed our displeasure with that.  (The great noodle boycott.)  I'll be honest, I SUCK at making them.  Mine look horrible and are thick and gross...but I'm going to keep on trying.  I use Grandma's rolling pin and every time I make them, she's there with me.  (Even if she's laughing and saying "that's not how I did it.")  I'll give it one more go this Christmas before cheating and using a pasta machine.   The one my family always says no one else can make as good as I can is my cheeseball.  What can I say...we like vintage recipes and the holidays wouldn't be the same without them.

What is your favorite family holiday recipe?  (And feel free to share the recipe in the comments if you like!)

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Monday, December 20, 2021

We're Adults Weekend Recap

Well howdy do there, Monday!  (And a howdy do to you too.)  Weekend shenanigans were on the down low because we got our boosters Saturday morning since we were FINALLY eligible.  (We're a month behind everyone else because of anniversary vacation.)  We purposely didn't plan anything major since we weren't sure if the ol' mix and match was going to knock us out or not.  The nurse was very friendly and informative so I kept hydrating all day per her suggestion.  

We grabbed some lunch to go and headed home and generally lazed around.  It was a very foggy day which I loved.  Nothing like having the perfect weather to cuddle under a blankie!  

I ordered some Lunchables and Uncrustables for the delivery folks since I'm sure they're not going to have much chance for lunch this week along with some cookies.  I wish the people behind the scenes would get their crap together though as I have one lost package that I ordered on December 4th and should've had more than enough time to receive.  That whole "hey we'll start out with UPS then hand it off to USPS" is a steaming load of shite.  Then neither company takes responsibility for it and claims they don't have it.  Lies.  


(Update:  Of course, after I opened a claim, it magically showed up Sunday morning after sitting God knows where.)

As the day went on, the injection site got sore to the touch which happens with any shots I get so no biggie.  I baked up some Christmas cookies and we watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas which felt super festive.  (Except for the bleh cookie butter hot cocoa we had with it.  World Market can keep it)  We watched the sad SNL that was skimpy due to Covid and the only good parts were the classics they showed.  Then we watched Dexter at 1:30am.  It was a decent episode but they have a lot to cram into three more episodes.  We each took Tylenol as instructed in case any fever or side effect tried to Pop up overnight but the only thing either of us had was the arm soreness so we'll just be laying off any strength training for a day or two.  Felt totally fine Sunday morning, no additional issues.

We made our inner 8 year old's ecstatic by eating some candy in bed while watching Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time.  Checked off the list... never have to watch that atrocity again and it's exactly as I thought it would be.  We ended up not getting out of bed until noon because we're adults.  (Our favorite saying when we do something others would crinkle their noses or roll their eyes at.)

Later on we walked at the cemetery amidst the goose poop and mud which are irritating departures from the cleaner walking at the park.

We settled in after having cauliflower soft tacos and watched Home Alone 2 since our Christmas movie watch time is swirling down the tubes.  We still have three left and that'll do us.  We may save the best...Charlie Brown Christmas for Christmas Day.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, December 17, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #50

Number 50.  You  know you're near the end of it all when you see that!  The last weekend before THE weekend.  I won't lie, I'm a little bummed about that.  I feel like this whole season has swirled down the commode.  I couldn't really get into the holidays initially because of the whole 'testing positive' for the poo test then the impending slip and slide for a month so when I finally got the all clear it was like "here!  It's Thanksgiving!  Cook!" I feel like I've been in a weird constant state of panic, catch up and boredom.  Like I said, a weird combo of emotions on top of everything else so if anyone has any suggestions for ideas, I feel like I can't come up with more than drive around to look at Christmas lights and watch Christmas movies.  

Anyhoo...let's get to...

Going to bed after this specific time damages metabolic health — study says (Welp, I guess I'd better tame my lifelong night owl.)

8 research-backed benefits of acupuncture from pain relief to stress reduction  (When it's less Covidy out there, I want to start some treatment for sure.  After having had 3" dry needling needles jammed into my calves several years ago, teeny little acupuncture needles are nothing.)

Psychological Resilience Is Linked to How Much Stress Messes With Your Body (This study is kind of scary for a stress bundle like myself but I definitely need to work on things because the pandemic has just amplified it all to 11.)

Smart Uses for 12 Things You Already Have Around the House  (I already do 8 & 9 but you can bet I'm going to do 3.  Four is super useful for those with kids or grandkids!)

30 Overrated Places That Aren’t Worth A Visit, As Pointed Out By Folks Online (Soooo everywhere according to this?  😆  I have to agree with Vegas though.  Zero desire to ever go again.)

How the Holidays Leave the Estranged Out in the Cold (If you know of anyone who casually says "I'm not close with my family" or talk about not going home for the holidays.  Consider asking them for an outdoor walk or doing something holiday-ish like looking at Christmas lights, etc  Then they have the option to say no if they're not feeling it but if they're longing for holiday celebrating, they know someone cares and can have happy memories of the season.)

The low level vibrations of construction literally all around me had me desperately looking for last minute Christmas getaways but no go.  Otherwise we'd be anywhere but here.  Literally, my feet are vibrating as I type this.  **twitch**   We certainly have not done a majority of the things we said we hoped to do this holiday season- some of which are out of our control.  Just hoping we can inch in some kind of holiday cheer that doesn't involve being in the house.  

Anything fun going on in your world this weekend?

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Hump Day Poll: I Don't Think So


What is a Christmas/holiday movie you absolutely loathe?  

It's a Wonderful Life.  It has nothing to do with how old it is.  I like White Christmas and other black and white movies.  I cannot stand Jimmy Stewart's bumbling ways and I've tried to watch him in other things and he just makes me want to rage.  So that does NOT play in our house and the Mr has no desire to watch it either which is fine with me.

What is a Christmas/holiday movie you absolutely loathe?  

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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

How I Get My Day Off on the Right Foot


The new year is coming and that's when you're going to get bombarded with all of the turning over a new leaf kind of crap that gets overwhelming.  You could pick up a new habit or two now to go into the new year with and wouldn't that be nice to feel like you have a jump on things?  I get on and off the habit train more than I should.  I have my periods of doing really well with something and then life gets in the way and a few days off becomes a few weeks.  I remember one year, I thought I had the whole water thing nailed finally...I didn't.  I wish I were one of those people who leaps out of bed ready to tackle the day and be productive but I haven't leapt out of bed in probably 10 years.  However, there are habits that I do now or have done in the past that always ensure I start my day off in a better mindset.  This list is somewhat to serve as a reminder to myself but since you're here, you might as well read along too.  😉


Apparently you lose about a pound of water every night through sweat, breathing, etc and you've likely gone 6-8 hours without drinking anything.  The first thing on your list should be hydrating and you can do that before you even get out of bed.  I have this water bottle on the nightstand that I refill every night so I can take my morning pill.  But if I chug 10x I can have a third of it down, wait 10 minutes and do it again then be done after a few chugs the third time.  It wakes up the digestive tract and gets you rehydrated for the day.  I always feel better when I do it and I have a head start on my water intake for the day.

Dry brushing

Something about whipping off some old cells and stimulating the lymph system says 'get up, fool!'  You should always use a natural bristle brush and there are a bazillion YouTube videos but this one is for medical and not vanity's sake and has the most information.

File dem feets!

I don't know about y'all but with all of the walking we've been doing and just exercise in general, my feet look like caveman feet.  Like I swear I look like I've crossed lava fields in Hawaii and sometimes they feel that way too.  A quick foot file on the bottom followed up by some urea cream will keep your feet feeling like a human being again.  (Plus using the cream every morning or night will mean you have to file less!  Bonus!)

(I hope you have a vacuum handy after dry brushing off and filing off your dead skin!)


Whether it's cold weather season when your skin is naturally drier or warmer months, moisturizing your skin is important.   If I want a light scent that isn't too overwhelming, this is my go to or if I need to keep it fragrance free, you can't go wrong here.  For those times when hand washing is making your knuckles red and cracked, I've always counted on Eucerin to help bring me back from the brink though it does take a bit to soak in so don't go typing or trying to use your phone anytime soon after applying.  (It's also a good one to apply to your feet before bed too and put on a pair of socks.)  Don't forget to apply a good moisturizer to your face after you splash some water on it.  This is one of my faves.

Listen to a fun, dancey song

I always forget just how much of a good mood this puts me in and I'll usually listen while doing the above.  Cloudspotter or You Should Be Dancin' by Foo Fighters?  Don't mind if I do!  If I'm feeling particularly crappy about myself, this cheesefest does the trick.  If I want something that'll make me move like I'm 20 years younger and regret it in several hours, this number makes me want to jump around.  Make a playlist of 31 of your favorites then you won't repeat for a month.

Get the blood pumping

I don't mean do your workout if morning workouts aren't your thing (raising hand) but do a compound movement for at least a minute.  For example, do speedbags or overhead reaches while marching in place or front kicks.  When your minute is up, do a few twists side to side so you can loosen up your back and hips for 30 seconds then spend 30 seconds touching your toes.  Don't force the move just let your body hang and you'll feel your muscles elongating under their own weight.  If you prefer, break out the yoga mat and get your sun salutations on.

Eat breakfast without screens

I try to make a point to eat breakfast without computer screens on and maybe put on some kind of jazz or soft music to just keep myself on an even keel.  Everything is so rushed and breakfast seems to be that one meal that I don't have much pressure on and I like to enjoy it with a nice cup of tea.  I know everything after that point will be more frazzled so I try to give myself that time before the day gets underway.   (I admit, if a new episode of House Hunters International (which should just be renamed to House Hunters Australia) is on, I might have it on in the background once or twice a week.  But I tend to find 83% of the people too annoying to listen to and fast forward to the recap at the end.)

How do you make sure your day gets off on the right foot?  Any morning rituals?

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Monday, December 13, 2021

Knick Knack Paddywhack Weekend Recap

No idea why I titled it that.  Happy happy Monday!  Did you whoop it up, get crazy, shake your groove thang or otherwise participate in some hijinks?  If not, I suspect you should schedule it in and you don't need a weekend to do that. 


While I admit I had my moments of super twitches and boredom, we also had some good times.  We spent Friday night playing a game of Scrabble.  I wanted the board to look like it did when we were younger so I got this retro addition.  

While the board looks good, the tiles are weird and not the ones from the 70's/80's.  This is like the geriatric large print version which is fine because our vision is getting worse from eye strain anyway but I had to order new letters to get the retro squishies for our era.  In case any of the word police out there are tempted to yell "YOU USED A NAME!"  Yes...yes we did.  Our house, our rules.  We allow names and abbreviations because we're adults.  😁  (And because the Mr has PTSD from playing with his oldest brother and great aunt who did nothing but suck joy out of the game for him so fast and loose rules for our household.)

I love making words on my rack and am always bummed that I can't use them.

We had some yummy annual eats too.  A restaurant around here makes sticky toffee pudding this time of year and we have to get it.

It's so yummy and since they insist on putting the ice cream in with the warm cake, we have to eat it in the parking lot.  So we go find a spot where we think no one will pull up next to us and inevitably someone always does.  I have to flip my visor down so I can shame eat in privacy.  😜

We also got happy mail of Boudin's sourdough clam chowder bowls from San Francisco.  It's usually our meal when we arrive in Stowe, VT for the holidays so it was a bummer that's not where we were enjoying it.  But it was still a yummy dinner none the less.

12:01am Sunday we watched Dexter.  It looked like it was supposed to be a good episode but was kind of meh.   Now there's only 4 episodes left and they have a lot to cram in there.  I hate when they have the opportunity to right a wrong and squander it.  It'll be interesting to see if it goes where we think it will.

I had a pretty bad headache that brunch didn't cure.  I did the trick of putting 1/8 tsp of baking powder in with our 4 scrambled eggs and whirled it in the Magic Bullet (boo-lay) and it did give some nice fluffy eggs.  

Late Sunday afternoon we walked at my co-workers cemetery since the day seemed to suck down the tubes.  We met a skittish friend.

It's name is Nipsy.  Man, it wanted to come all the way up to us so bad.  Maybe next time.  We did have quite a nice sunset view to enjoy.

We swung by a nursery that was about to close and grabbed a couple of poinsettias which we haven't had for a few years.  Then had a salmon burger, baked sweet potato "tots" (which looked more like cat turds) and Brussels sprouts for dinner.  Then we settled in for some Chateau DIY and some hot cocoa.

What did you get into this weekend?

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Friday, December 10, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #49a

Y'all...somewhere in here, I messed up the numbers and despite having poured back through them, I don't see where the mistake was made.  So you get an addendum version of WIRTW and I'm just chalking it up to the joy that has been 2021. 

The weather here has been less than holiday-ish which seems to be par for the course the past 10 years.  We longingly look at the bursts of snow that Stowe VT gets and our hearts ache a little.  Unfortunately, they're going through a rough time on the Covid trail despite high vax rates so it wouldn't be super fun if we went there right now anyway.  *kicks pebble*  (Though I admit, Tuesday night we did get an expected dusting which warmed the cockles but that was a short lived treat.)

I got all of my gift baking done.  Cookies sent to my bestie last week.  Baked up cookies last Saturday and drop off on Sunday to my second boo then Monday I baked MIL's shortbread and snowballs and wrapped her turtles from the old hometown candy shop and mailed them out.  I also placed the order for my grandpa's wife's sugar free chocolates since so much has been getting screwed up with USPS on things I'm waiting for so I'm done.

Fun update:  In addition to the road construction that we still have 18 months of directly in front of our home, now in the back of it, the final field has been sold and bulldozing has begun for a multiuse retail building which we DON'T need and I don't see how they're going to fit four stores there. So a minimum of 18 months of just building the shell.  The incessant beeping, low level hum and now all of the trees they tore down leaving us completely exposed has wiped me out and it's only been four days at this point.  I can't even have peace in my own home.  So now I'm starting to look for long term rentals because I won't be able to take this continuously and I'm pretty sure the Mr can't either.  As a visual solution, we ordered a slider length custom cellular blind so that we can pull it down halfway to block out visions of dozers in my peripheral.  I considered fence extenders but we'd have to go through a big thing with the HOA and no thanks.  I was glad to grab the sale while it was going on.  I will hopefully help what's left of my sanity.


 But enough of our rapid descent into insanity, let's get to...

8 Toxic Patterns in Mother-Daughter Relationships  (Can definitely relate to some of these.  If you can too, I highly suggest this book which can be a wealth of great information in helping to get some answers.)

“I feel like a survivor”: Inside the funeral industry’s 2021 national convention  (I swear I expected to see pics of David, Nate and Bobo in this.  Six Feet Under fans might get a kick out of this but there's actually some insane stuff in the funeral industry coming!)

55 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas Anyone Can Pull Off  (I WANT to wrap like this but I know I never will.  I might save this for next year though because I've been wrapped for over 2 months.) 

“No, I Have Not Been Fired From ‘The Goldbergs’”: Jeff Garlin Responds to Talk of Misbehavior on Set (I was struck by this being the first REAL interview I've read in a long time.  The interviewer has a specific agenda and a celebrity is FINALLY standing up to say the parts they do and don't agree with and not going on some big apology tour.  It was nice to see for once regardless of my feelings on the subject. I hope what he said about this being the last season is true.  That show has been in the crapper more years than it's been good.  Sadly, it stopped being relevant after about 3 seasons.)

Holy crap, two weeks until Christmas Eve.  That's...sobering.  I suppose we've got some movies to watch, more lights to peep on a neighborhood run eventually when it's not 65 AND RAINING in December.  Not sure what else we might get into but I'm sure we'll think of something.  I guess we should start planning any kind of celebration for our 30 years together anniversary and if we want to do the same old for Christmas Eve or not food wise.  Not much time to put it off now.

Any merriment on tap for you this weekend?  

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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Hump Day Poll: Santa Paws

Do you buy gifts for your pet at the holidays?

We always did.  We put our girl's toys in her stocking that hung on the mantle.  Every year she got a new hoggie and would be so excited.  She also loved these treats and she would stick her head in the box and grab one of these which was hilarious.  We would buy my mom's dog treats for Christmas too.  She liked to "bury" her bones in a corner by nudging fake dirt over it.  It only took her twice to realize our dog could still see it and wait for her attention to be averted to go in for the sneak snatch. 

Man, I miss those two.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Thoughtful Self Care Gift Bundle Ideas

Although we know the holidays are coming, time can get away from us and before you know it, you're scrambling for ideas.  It's especially hard if someone is notoriously hard to shop for and gives you the ol' "surprise me!"  I like a good, practical gift if I know someone's habits, gripes or general taste.  I've put together some thoughtful bundle ideas that I hope you'll find useful!

Do you know someone who always has a stress or tension headache?  If you're like we are, we try to avoid popping pills at all costs and this batch of goodies are our go to and would be perfect for the person who needs some pain relief.  Peppermint oil is a natural remedy that can help when rubbed on the temples.  Eye masks that can be used as both heating or cooling are great because some people respond better to one or the other with headaches.  We have this two pack so that we keep one in the freezer and one in the suitcase for travel so we're never without one.  Tension headaches are the most common and haven't we all had enough tension over the past few years?  This device can help to relieve pressure points in the neck and top of the shoulders where we tend to hold most of our stress.  This acupressure point device has been a life saver for specific types of headaches in the past.  Allows you to continue typing and doing your job while trying to slay the headache dragon.  For not much more, you can get a two pack to keep one on the nightstand and one in the car/purse.

If you know someone who wants to get their cozy on this winter, give them a head start in self care.  (Because we all need it after the holidays regardless of how you're spending them!)  A nice neutral scented candle is the center of all things hygge.  Don't believe me?  Consult one of the manuals on hygge with this book which relaxes you just reading it!  A good pair of fuzzy socks to keep the tootsies warm are always welcome.  I like to buy this no show version because if someone's got cankles like I do, they're going to appreciate they can actually wear them!  Finish it off with the ultimate warm up from the inside out with a tea sampler.  Whether they need full octane to start the day or a nice herbal to wind it down, this sampler is always appreciated!  (Skip the mug- you know they have more than enough!)

Hustle and bustle is unfortunately part of our lives or honestly, even if we have the time, most people don't take it to pamper themselves a little.  This bundle is perfect for the person who *wants* a spa day but wants to do it in the time they are willing to devote to it.  The perfect start are shower steamers.  Many won't take time for a bath but these babies deliver on aromatherapy to get the day started or ended on the right note.  Applying a luxurious hair mask at the beginning of their shower while they wash the bod and bits will give it a nice amount of time to soak in.  (Did you know if you condition before you shampoo, your hair will actually be softer?  I can vouch.  Just started doing it less than a month ago for my hay pile!)  No time for a proper lavish body scrub?  These exfoliating gloves turn their regular soap into the quick version to still get the job done and the skin feeling rejuvenated!  Finally, after their shower, there's no better way to lock in the moisture on drying winter skin than this whipped lotion.  I suggest fragrance free just because you don't know if they have sensitive skin and they'll be able to layer their signature scent over it without worrying about it clashing.

If you know someone who is still or making the permanent work from home transition, this is the bundle for them.  The novelty has worn off and these upgrades will make the office feel brand new.  A good, supportive cushion will be much appreciated.  All of that sitting puts pressure in the last place you want it so that will help.  We've all been there and gotten pulled onto a call and your mug of coffee/tea has gotten cold.  This mug warmer will make sure they have a nice, warm cuppa regardless of their co-workers gripe sessions.  Anyone who works from home knows after a while, the air starts to smell stale.  This diffuser will give their office a nice scent boost of their choice without harmful chemicals of mass produced air freshener.  All of that time staring at screens from computers to laptops exposes you to a lot of blue light.  These glasses will help diminish eye strain and save their peepers from the bombardment.

Let me tell you about my new favorite thing- this popcorn popper for the microwave!  If you're looking to get away from the chemicals in microwave popcorn and don't want to stand over the stove shaking your pan, this baby delivers!  I bought it as an impulse buy and I was floored at how much bigger the kernels popped (1/3 larger than in the dutch oven!) and no oil needed!  The catch is you need to put any butter/seasonings on after it's popped or reviews say you'll live to regret it but that's fine with me.  The biggest bonus is it's collapsible so it hardly takes up any space at all!  (I just store mine in my mixing bowls.)  You pair that up with some popcorn seasoning like this pack,  some fancy popcorn kernels to make them feel all fancy pants and finally a Redbox (or similar) gift card.  Perfect for college kids, families or who are we kidding...anyone who likes movies.

I hope these gave you some good ideas for others (or yourself!) or maybe sparked an idea of how to build your own thoughtful gift bundle!

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Monday, December 6, 2021

Oopsie Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, everyone!  Did you get into some holiday mischief this weekend?  I had a rough start to my Friday afternoon but as usual, I am always thankful for my two rocks to lean on.  Sadly, Saturday I was still in my head and I admit I was not full of the Christmas spirit.  That night I baked up some cookies for my friend that is his present.  

Sunday was time to make the cookie drop.  It was just going to be a pick up from our trunk while he made the swap of them for the Dee Gee's vinyl he got me back on Record Store Day.  He is super high risk so no hugs for us yet but you can bet when it's safe, I'm crackin' a rib on my homeboy!

Since we were about halfway there, we decided to go to my grandpa's cemetery and I put a little tree I got from Target in his vase.

It certainly wasn't worth $5 since it looked nothing like the picture but it'll work.  If I had it to do over again, I'd probably get this 3 pack that would come out to about the same price.  It looks like the base would fit in a grave vase. 

We got in almost 3 miles at the cemetery while I visited other family members.

It was certainly busier than usual but I assume others were doing what I did and getting their loved ones all gussied up for the holidays.  

We went for a drive in the country and enjoyed being out of the house for a little bit.  Then it was time to watch some Christmas movies like Scrooged and Home Alone.

I was obviously out of my head because I baked some of our Christmas cookies for Saturday (which happened to be National Cookie Day) and I was positive I sat out some snickerdoodle balls.  Nope, looked like only peanut butter balls that I still had to dip.  I decided to wait on those until Sunday with the movies.  I took a bite of the peanut butter ball and was like "why the hell does this taste like cinnamon??"  Yep...I dipped the unlabeled snickerdoodles in chocolate!  Oopsie!!  Oh well.  We grew up sneaking cookie dough and we're still alive to tell the tale.  

What did you do this weekend?

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