Friday, March 31, 2017

New Things

A couple weeks ago I embarked on a 2 week clean eating plan.  The plan's purpose is to give your body a rest for when you've over indulged during the holidays.  The focus is on eating whole/ancient grains, lean proteins, and plenty of vegetables, very little daily and refined flour/sugar, plenty of fiber, and no processed foods.  The plan also stipulates no alcohol, but I opted for just significant limits.  The plan is well laid out with menus and shopping lists, and most meals have leftovers that are used either in another dish or serve as another meal.  I ended up not needing the 2-week of meals as I had plenty leftover to accommodate the next week, and for dinners I opted for smart meals as I didn't want to fix 2 meals, and so Steve and I could eat the same thing.  Also, Andrew was home a few days last week, so I guess I was a little outvoted!  Overall I don't think I actually feeling any better, but I'm glad I did this plan as it allowed me to put more thought into what I'm eating and try some new things and new combinations.  Some of the hits included the banana smoothie muffins.  These were breakfast for about 8 days, 2 muffins + 1 cup of warmed almond milk served as a breakfast, and 1 muffin could serve as a snack.  These were really good, and even Steve liked them, but didn't want to know what went into them.  Aside from the baking ingredients that made them muffins [flour, sugar, baking powder], the had bananas, spinach and strawberries.  All you really tasted was the bananas-so good.

Also, I had for several lunches and dinner the spicy chicken chili made with ground chicken, red kidney beans and lots of spices.  However, this was not a spicy dish and I added hot sauce cause I like things spicy.  I added kale and spinach to get the extra vegetable in there too.  I will be making this receipt again.  2 days the plan called for a tofu scramble, now I've had tofu before, and find it a pretty good protein substitute, the recipe for this plan called for a sweet potato, kale, tofu and a variety of spices.  I found this dish surprisingly good, the turmeric give the tofu the egg-y color, and the kale and potatoes, while not typical for breakfast, worked in this dish.  This has piqued my interest in trying more tofu dishes.
One of the snack options was Matcha Latte-Matcha Green tea is the highest quality powdered green tea and has a long tradition in Japanese culture.  I found this at our Kroger in the health food/organic section.  It's pretty pricey, but it has an interesting taste and when combined with hot almond milk really did make for a nice treat.  There are even special utensils to make the tea in the traditional manner-not sure I'll delve fully into this, but I enjoyed trying this as I don't normally drink green tea.

Other things I tried was a pecan pie smoothie which was blended tofu-sweet potato-and spices.  It was okay, but don't know if I'd go to the trouble to make it again.  Also, there was a cauliflower curry that was good, but not as good as other Indian dishes I've had.  Overall I have to say it was an interesting experience, and I will certainly take what I've learned about ingredients and portion control, and continue to apply it to my eating habits.  I also got clued into the Yoga Studio App which I am loving.  I've done a few sessions, and the time really goes by fast.  I've ordered a new yoga mat that I hope will be here soon.

I'm always up to something new that's good for me, so we'll see how long the good eating habits last.  What's new with you?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Saturday sorta started in reverse due in part to the rain when it was time to take Sophie out for her pee break.  Normally I get on the bike to get my exercise time in-instead I opted for coffee-knitting-and blog reading.  Such a nice change.  Once the rain stopped- thank you Dark Sky app it was time for a dry morning walk with Sophie then my bike ride [on a trainer going no where with my ipad].  By 11:30 I was showered and ready to do my short list of errands.  I had hoped that weather would permit a top down morning, but it was just a bit blah.
First stop was to Cast on Cottage.  I had  gift certificate, saved up lunch money, and a plan.  Well a plan for 2 sweaters, but I couldn't resist a fabulous sale on fabulous yarn.  I ended up with 3 lots of yarn with no pattern in mind, but I'm sure after bit of time on Ravelry I'll find plenty of options.  Maybe I'll be a good blogger and actually talk about my plans.  I do have my eye on some hot pink Rowan Finest if it's still there in a couple weeks!  Alas, upon my departure the skies turned blue and the top went down!
My next stop was to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market.  I had planned to take a photo of this wonderful place, but forgot.  Next time I will do better.  I am embarking on a two-week clean eating plan, and the BHFM was the right place to get all the ingredients necessary.  I had to get the final few things at Sprouts and I made it home in time for the start of the 2nd Atlanta United home game.  We thought it would be on Fox South, but noooooo-UniMas was the channel showing the match, and the entire commentary was in Spanish.  It was a bit hilarious, and the AU won-and we're leading the MLS right now.  So much fun to watch, and no TV time outs so the game really does go by quickly.
As tempted as I was to start Sunday as I did Saturday I decided to get back to my normal routine and there was a very pleasant walk after my workout with Sophie.  It was chilly, but still a lovely morning.
Once back I spent a good 3 hours washing, chopping, prepping and cooking for the next week.  I think Steve was a bit worried I'd run out of work space, but it was set to right well before bedtime.
In between KP I managed to get a baby hat and leg warmers washed and blocked.  These are for one of the staff members where my Mom's been doing physical therapy.  She has a baby due in August and the ladies have been so wonderful and kind during the last 12 weeks.  I was tempted to knit hats for everyone, but not knowing their taste I got them Turkish delight and some Polish candy from the BHFM instead.  They were delighted with the candy and the wee things for the baby.
I also managed to get my Shibui Rain re-hanked and washed in between dinner and old episodes of Breaking Bad.  I should have taken a photo of how I used the legs of our dining room chairs to make the hanks all tidy.  I was very tempted to skip this step, but since I want my project to look it's best I took the time necessary to bring the yarn back to life.  Very glad I did too.
By the end of the day I was quite exhausted, but also quite pleased for getting everything I needed/wanted to accomplished.  I also managed to watch an episode of Mrs. Fishers Murder Mysteries on Netflix- soooo delightful.  Imagine a very unconventional and glamorous woman in 1920s Australia.  Another wonderful suggestion from my boss-I HIGHLY recommend.  How was your weekend-was it what you'd hoped for?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Just do it already

Carole and Kat's prompt is so timely.  There have been lots of things I've been putting off, and just need to hunker down and do them.

I'm great about making the list, figure out the steps and the timing for each task, but it seems lately I don't get as much accomplished as I used to-could be the temptation to binge watch TV with Steve, or maybe it's because I don't have any energy when I get home from work.  I'm staying much busier at the office than I have in the past which is great, but it's certainly infringing on my personal time. Also, since I am taking my mother to physical therapy 2 days a week I'm missing almost a full day of work each week, and am trying to make up that time by bringing work home.

Some of the things I need to do include: re-writing my will [it's woefully outdated and has been amended numerous times].  Get my knitting in order, finish my Kaffe Fassett afghan [ugh, I am so out of love with this project], finish my hexagon on the gro [another project I'd like to divorce], clean out the guest closet [so much needs to go to storage], on-line research for my mom, and figure out how to use some of the technology in my new car.  That's really not all, but it's some things that need to be done sooner rather than later.

I have a 3 day weekend coming up, and my plan is to not leave the apartment except to walk Sophie, so I truly hope to tackle some of these things.  It's going to mean sitting at my computer for a while, visiting website, printing stuff out, and making notes.

I'm feeling very motivated right now- so we'll see.  Play along with Carole and Kat:are there some unfinished monster projects you've been avoiding?!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


I love a weekend where there seems to be enough time to get caught up on stuff, like blog reading [fun], knitting [fun], laundry [not fun], grocery shopping [sometimes fun], etc.
As well as real fun stuff.  We picked my Mom up on Sunday for lunch at the King George Tavern, a local pub we've been to several times.  After a leisurely lunch headed off to enjoy a matinee performance of Death by Design put on by the Stage Door Players, our local community theatre.  We've enjoyed several plays put on by this group and this year we got season tickets.  The play was  so much fun, and Mom had a really good time.
It worked out that she was able to stayed over night with us, her first time to our apartment, and spending time with Sophie who was thrilled to see her Nana.  We ordered Italian for dinner, and settled in to watch the first episode of the season of The Walking Dead. Monday morning we were up early and headed back to Acworth for physical therapy and then me to work.  I managed to finish my Superbowl LI shawl this weekend, I was working on the last bit of cast-off while Mom was in PT, and I hope to have it blocked by the end of the week.   Next up is a 3 day weekend, and I'm hoping to not go far from home, and get LOTS done.  We'll see . . .

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Think Write Thursday| You are invited . . .

Carole and Kat's prompt for today was to invite 3 people to a dinner party either alive or dead.  I agree with Carole that the topic itself is not tough, but narrowing it down might be the hard part.  I loved Mary's posted about past family dinners, and I totally cringed at seeing my big hair and glasses.- I did love the 80s!   I have to say my food palette, hair and style of dress have certainly matured since that photo was taken.  Anyway, it didn't really take me long to come up with my 3 people.  I'd invite PJ, cause I'd want to be able to talk to him one more time [I miss him terribly], Elizabeth I, and the apostle Paul.  All three of these individuals were very passionate --PJ [music], Elizabeth I [her country and who she was], and Paul [his faith].  I've seen and studied a lot of paintings about the road to Damascus and I'd love to hear about that experience.  Elizabeth I was one of my favorite monarchs to study in college, and I think she's just so cool.  Of course, I'd let Andrew decide the menu and cook the meal.  I'd be happy to help, and hopefully it would be cooked in a kitchen like the one we had in our last house [in the photo] where we could be together and enjoy a nice red wine while Andrew cooks.  This prompt also reminds me that I need to plan a family meal soon!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekend Rewind| ice and an excursion

In anticipation of a 4 day weekend [Monday being the day my Mom is having hand/finger surgery] I brought home a bunch of work in order to get caught up and not get behind.  I'm glad I did as my plans for Friday to visit the High Museum's exhibit of Eric Carle's work didn't play out.  I was going to do the museum on my own, but with the changing weather predictions I decided it was best to stay where I was to avoid being "stuck" in Atlanta.  I'm glad I did too!  I ventured out Friday morning only to buy propane for our camp stove in the event we lost power.  We didn't thank goodness as that would have also meant a loss of heat.  I got Sophie out for a good long walk knowing whatever the weather brought it would definitely bring ice, and I didn't want to deal with that and a very strong dog who doesn't mind wintery weather at all!  Sure enough around 1:30 the rain started.

This was my view for about 4.5 hours, and I got soooo much accomplished.  Several things required reading and editing and that's hard to do at work when you are constantly interrupted.

Steve made it home from the city Friday evening with no problems, but had to be out the door at 5 am on Saturday to get to headquarters where the JOC was set up [Joint Operations Center-gotta love government acronyms, right].  Thankfully there were no issues with his drive, and Sophie and I went back to bed until 7:30!  I never sleep that late unless I don't get to bed before 1am.  The weather I woke up to was ice and a smattering of snow.  Since there was no snow to photograph I took pictures of some of the shrubbery with ice, so pretty, but not fun at all.  Sophie got a short walk and I went to the fitness center.  I used the morning to clean the apartment and do laundry.  It felt good to have everything in order.  Much later in the day Sophie and I ventured out for a longer walk to check out the roads and sidewalks which seemed pretty clear except in a few places where the sun didn't melt anything.

Sunday morning included another trip to the fitness center, and a long walk for the d-o-g.  I decided that to venture to the High since it was at least sunny, but still  very cold, and I'm glad I did.  It's a wonderful albeit a small exhibit, but I learned so much about Eric Carle.  I really need to dig out the boy's copy and the little stuffed caterpillar that came with the book.  I took our rather pitiful, but sometimes useful, train into Atlanta.  While exiting the station I looked up to see this-it was hanging down a good 7-8 inches.

I was so nice being able to drive 15 minutes from our apartment and let someone else drive the rest of the way!  I only had to wait a couple minutes for the train on both ends of my travels which is great because the station at the beginning is an open air train stop!

Everyone needs a random photo on their blog right!  Here's my new ride [2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet Quattro which give me all wheel drive!] -and if the weather predictions are correct I might actually be able to put the top down later in the week-gotta love living in the south!  This is the first time I could get a photo of the whole car.  I am loving it too.

Afterwards there was a required stop at the grocery store and then home for football.  While I'm thrilled that the Falcons have done so well, and are going to the playoffs I'm a bit apprehensive of the teams we will/could be facing in order to go all the way.  It can get pretty dirty at this point in the season.  I don't know if I can watch or not!  Next weekend will include the Falcons-Seattle game on Saturday and then hopefully [weather not being an issue] we'll make a trip to Clemson to see Andrew on Sunday.  It was so hot in August when he moved up there we really couldn't walk around campus, so we're hoping to see a bit more this time.  It'll be another long weekend that I hope will be filled with more knitting and sewing-we'll see.  Hope everyone that got tons of snow are able to return to normal and at least got to throw a snow ball or two!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017-Hello and Welcome

2017 is here-ready or not!  The decorations are packed away, but I'm not sure what we'll do with the tree.  Our complex has posted a notice to NOT put them in the compactor.  I'm glad I was able to get this done today, and I'll have all day Monday to get some knitting and other projects completed.

Edited to add a link Carole and Kat's prompt since I just posted on the topic! I'm not sure what is in store for this new year, but I know there are things I'd like to accomplish.  I'm not going to call them resolutions, but simply goals and objectives [gives me something to focus on].

I hope to . . .
   eat better-I've let my eating habits slip so clean eating will be my mantra this year [less white carbs, more veggies, and leaner protein.  Along with this I want to amp up my work out.  I feel like I'm sorta spinning my wheels and not really improving my strength or muscle tone.  I plan to incorporate more resistance and a higher level of cardio training.

   knit down my stash- I know I've said this before, but I really need to do this, so I'll probably be absent from Ravelry as I don't really need anymore inspiration between my current yarn stash and pattern library.

  de-stash my fabric.  I need to get rid of the fabric I've just collected, and only focus on one project at a time.  I have several cuts that are fabrics I like, but would require me to buy more fabric in order to complete a project.  I hope to sell a "bundle" of fabric on Craig's list or on Let-go.  Going forward I need to be more selective with my purchases.  I don't have the space or time to "save" fabric for that special future project.

  de-clutter in general.  Despite the moves we still have stuff we need to consider letting go, and I hope to have this accomplished early in 2017.

 find a church-it is still difficult for me to attend services-I don't want to go to church and be sad but that's where I'm at right now, so I will be working and praying on this one.

 journaling-I've never been much of a journal writer, as  I found I was just writing the same thing over and over, so maybe if I only commit to once or twice a week I'll have "more" to say.  What got me to thinking about this was that I almost tossed my Get to Work Book for 2016, but realized that it really told the story of my year.  3 moves- my Mom's, my office, myself and Steve, along with family trips, get togethers, birthdays, gradations, etc.  I think I'll hang onto it for a while, and maybe even compare it to 2017 this time next year.  Above all else,  I hope for peace and good health to all my family and friends.  It's a new year let's make the most of it