Category Archives: christmas ornament

Cookies and closets!

Another busy weekend.  I worked Saturday morning until lunch time.  I won’t be working on Tuesday and I don’t know if there will be any clinics open tomorrow, so I grabbed some work on Saturday.  Then John requested his football meal out at a new place that opened up called Ambrosia Diner.
This is right off the Northway and they did it up right!  It was super busy, too.  I snuck a picture when the table opened up next to us so I wouldn’t get anybody in my photo.

You all know my favorite diner food – the omelet (breakfast all day)!  This was a feta cheese omelet.

It was very good, although I have to say the toast was anemic.  The meal was piping hot, which surprised me considering how busy they were.  They are open 24 hours, too!  I noted there was an espresso machine, so we might have to give that a try some time.

We also did cookie baking.  I did my every popular nutmeg logs and pistachio buttons.
John made cranberry bliss bars that are even better than those at Starbucks! I will have to have him give me the link to the recipe he used.
I know, right??? Amazing!

Then my favorite thing we did this weekend.  Installing closet doors!  When we moved into our house 6 years ago, there were no closet doors in any of the bedrooms.  We put some in our bedroom, but the guest bedroom as been just open for display to any of our guests LOL.

This was one of the niggling things that drove me nuts, but it was just a project we kept putting aside. Not sure why because it is a very easy project. I know we all have one of those projects.

I practice guitar in this room every day, so I think it bothered me more than John.  It was a lovely view.

Not even an hour later and we had this:

Our house is horribly unsquare, so we can only adjust the doors so much, but I am so, so happy!  And for $130 for wooden doors, that’s a good bargain.

Now to choose paint colors for this room.  These are taped to the wall right now to decide, but I think we are leaning to one of the 2 with the arrows.

I gathered up the family presents to take downstairs and put under the tree in preparation for Monday. Came back with more and found this.  Pixie decided she wants to be wrapped up under the tree:

She’s so cute that it is hard to get mad at her.

Not sure what work will be done tomorrow, but the family comes over for dinner which John and I host, so lots of cooking (and eating) Monday!

Today’s ornament?

Another rare tuba find for John 😀

Merry Christmas and Happy Festivus to everyone!

Preholiday weekend!

We made it!

Don’t you just want to cover this kitty with kisses? I do.

Where has this week gone? It has been a blur.  My eating hasn’t been real great.

Some good meals, like this one:

Crockpot beer chicken.  John calls it a keeper!  We just happened to have 1 bottle of beer in the fridge from the fall, so that was its use!

There was also lunch today:

GF pasta and meat sauce.

Then there were the other things.  Like some pralines earlier this week:

Or the big cookie when John and I played hooky this afternoon for some coffee:

My good discipline has kind of gotten a little lost.  Not sure why, but I need to find it again.

The weather has been so yucky here.  We had some rain snow mix and then it turned to all rain and a lot of wind.  It feels more like early spring than the first day of winter!  I had to make a trip to the smokehouse to pick up the ham for the big dinner.

Blah!  There is forecast likely for a white Christmas, though. We will have to see.

Pixie was messing with some presents under the tree.

She is saying “La, la, la, nothing to see here.  Just me being innocent.”


John and I host the family dinner on Christmas eve, so the weekend will be cleaning the house and prepping for cooking.  I do have to work some on Saturday, too.  Already busy and we haven’t even gotten to the weekend yet LOL!

Today’s ornament:

Nutcracker  – no!!!!!  Actually, this ornament was given to me because of the horn on it, well before I OD’ed on the Nutcracker playing in the pit.  :mrgreen:


Have a great weekend!

Being productive

Saturday John and I brought Billy to the mall for an adoption event.  It was very crowded.  It felt really weird seeing business as usual  and how life continues to go on knowing how the people in CT had their lives turned upside down.

There were 5 kitties at the adoption event sponsored by the group that is helping me to rehome Billy.  This event is to get the kitties out in view for people to see and to help raise money for the group.  No kitties actually go to new homes at the event because they have to fill out applications and such.  There was interest in Billy, so we will see if anyone calls to start the adoption process.  He deserves a good home.

He handled it pretty well, although he was not the big purr machine that he is at home.  I wish he had been his super friendly self, but at least he wasn’t hissing and freaking out.  He was just quiet.  As soon as we got home with him, he came right out of the carrier and was rolling around and purring  🙄

John took me out for lunch for my football meal (finally!) while Billy was doing his thing.  I chose Rockhill Bakehouse.  Beverage of sparkling water by a pretty Christmas flower.

I had the grown up grilled cheese, which is one of my favorite sandwiches there.  Grilled cheese with pesto on semolina bread.

I chose an apple as my side instead of chips – go me!

I bought something fun at the mall.  I finished up the last bit of Christmas shopping, too.  May as well finish it there when I had to pick Billy up to make dealing with all those crowds worthwhile, seeing as you all know how much I love crowds.  Anyway, I bought nail polish!  Look how festive!

Now I can sing Goldfinger and mean it  :mrgreen:

I also found something at Target I thought was just an internet rumor:

I’ve been trying to find these for a couple years and lo and behold – there they were!  So I got them.  I kind of like them, too.  For a poptart anyway.

I had to show you a picture of one of our favorite places to go.  This is Coffee Planet, which opened about a year ago.  They have another location in Ballston Spa, which is 20 miles from us, so we don’t go there too often.  It felt so homey in there this weekend.  I would love a living room like this.

Sitting in here is so cozy and wonderful.

This was  a weekend where I got so much done.  Don’t you love times like that?  I did deep cleaning (monthly goal), finished Christmas shopping *and* got all the presents wrapped, freed up a slow moving drain, lots of laundry and some good relaxing in (Go Broncos!!).

Today’s ornament:

This is another one that I made.  I need to do these again.

Tomorrow is a busy day and some snow coming, too.

Curbing the snacking

How about a little something different for breakfast today?  I haven’t had this in a while!

This is half a batch of protein waffles topped with a sauteed banana and coconut butter.  Yummy!  I got the most awesome Circulon pan to replace one that I used to death.  Nothing sticks to it and I don’t even have to use use spray. I found a new favorite brand!

Anyway, this kept me pretty full for the morning.

Today’s lifting routine:

Exercise Set/rep/
Upright Row 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell squats 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Pullover 3 sets of 10
Pushups 3 sets of 10
Single-leg straigh leg deadlift 3 sets of 10
Crunches 3 sets of 15
Triceps Kickback 3 sets of 10
Hammer curls 3 sets of 10

I actually did this in bits and pieces throughout the day.  Trying to remember to take little breaks with work as I go and get some movement in.  I get so focused with work that I will sit for several hours without moving.  Not only is taking a break good for my body, but good for my brain as well.

Lunch was also something different.

Upscale Steak’ums.   😉 We try to either eat local meat or meat that is raised conscientiously.  Not that I always stick to those rules, but I try to avoid “corporate” land meat most times, which is why you see us eat a lot of seafood when we eat out.

I wish we could afford to buy fresh from the farm grass fed stuff, but budget prevails most times and that is why you don’t see a ton of red meat on the blog.

Anyway, I cooked up this and served it on a potato with laughing cow and a little A1.  Almost a Philly cheese steak 😀

After lunch, John and I walked to the bank.  I was saying to him that I love functional fitness. Putting a deposit in my checking account while removing deposits from my thighs! 😀

I really tried to stay away from bits and nibble of snacks today.  That has been happening too much lately and seems to be even more with the colder weather and some is stress related.  It’s hard because I tend to snack on stuff that John likes to eat such as cereal and chocolate chips, which are things that if I were alone, I wouldn’t buy very often.  We put those up high on the cupboards, but I still do get them down and eat them.  John offered to actually hide that stuff, but I really don’t want to give him a complex about food. That would kind of make him do secret eating and that is not something I want to foster at all.  And it’s not always a problem either. I can go forever not eating it and then *bam* and I face plant.

But not today.  John did the lattes and I added in a new-to-me protein snack.

It was pretty good. 140 calories, although it does have soy protein it it.   You can see Pixie’s lazy butt back there.  She actually is still in that same spot as I am finishing up this post.   That cat knows how to nap.

I couldn’t stray too far from my usual eats and so had chicken for dinner (for a change…  ). Actually, these are chicken thighs that I baked up.  Yums!


I have about 150 calories so ‘spend’ on a snack for tonight’s football game.  Yay!   In honor of the game, even though they aren’t playing, here is today’s ornament.  Broncos are playoff bound this year, baby!  Wooooot!

I bought this for John  one year.  I almost wrote a couple of years ago, but then I see the date on this is 2003  – 9 years ago!   😯 😯 😯

Just another Tuesday

I had the slower cooker out again last night.  This time it was to make breakfast for the morning.  Eggnog steel cut oats!  I tried the recipe from The Yummy Life.  It’s pretty easy.  I made 2 servings.  I don’t have a timer on this cooker and I didn’t want to get to get up at 3 am to start the slow cooker, so I used the water bath method.  This means putting a smaller bowl in the slow cooker and filling the cooker with water to come up the sides of the bowl.  I set a tiny dish underneath this to raise it up from the bottom of the slow cooker. Then you can cook the oatmeal while you sleep.

This was 1 cup of water, 1 cup of eggnog, 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup steel cut oats, 2 teaspoons ground flax,  pinch of salt and fresh grated nutmeg.  Cover and cook on low overnight.  Ready to put to sleep last night.

You must use steel cut oats. Any other kind will get too mushy.  These oats came out creamy and delicious!

I liked the water bath method for these.  It didn’t get all burned in the crock pot and stayed nice and moist.  Calories for this bowl is about 370 (we divided the whole  amount into 2 bowls) and super filling!

Work was really productive today.  I have not run out of work so far since not having the one account any more.  That was my biggest worry and it has not come to fruition yet.  I hope it stays that way.  I also worked really fast.  Normally in a day I type 1350 lines on average.  That is my daily goal I try to hit with 6.5 hours of typing time.  There are other factors in there that can mess that up, but that is my goal since I am paid by the line.  Today in that same 6.5 hours, I did 1583 lines – nothing like earning more money in the same amount of time!  Yay!

Lunch was more leftover honey seseame chicken.

Still very good, but now I don’t want any more LOL!

I was ready for my break today.  I did the lattes today.  One of my deep cleaning tasks this month was descaling the espresso machine.  Maintenance – it’s a good thing.

Drizzle of honey and nutmeg on that.

John had a super busy day as well.  When I was done with work, he asked if he could buy me dinner out.  Of course – although it doesn’t count as my football winning meal!!!!  I’ll make him pay for that another day.  😈

I didn’t feel like cooking, not to mention my brain is a waste when I  get done working.  It’s an exhausting job.

We decided to go to Panera Bread.

Buzz! Waiting for the dinner bell.

I decided to get the chicken stew with biscuits on it.  This bowl was 630 calories (per their website).  Actually ended up with a bit fewer calories than if I had gotten soup and half a sandwich.  Go figure.   It was pretty good, too.  My day was a bit void on veggies, though.

We walked across the plaza to Home Depot as we are thinking about our next big project, which is the upstairs bathroom.

We are thinking of the black and white hexagon tiles to go with wainscoting.  I will have to post a picture of the bathroom as we have a design issue that I don’t know how to solve and I need some opinions.

Today’s ornament:

Biz – this is for you!  This is one of the ornaments we sold when we had the retail shop years ago.  I liked them enough to keep for myself.

That Tuesday sure flew by!

Festive window – Pinterest find

We had a nice relaxing weekend around here.  I got my window decorating done.  I  got my Pinterest project done.  This was the inspiration photo, although I was looking to go a little more subtle.

Of course, the link no longer works to the actual site that had the directions for this 🙄  , so I was winging it a little from what I remembered.  Not that it really is that complicated.   Our window is twice as wide as this and tension rod called for  is not long enough to go across the window.  The only one big enough would be a shower curtain rod (too bulky). You can’t just use the regular curtain rod because it is too close to the window and the ornaments will bang on it.  So, John cut a couple pieces of wood that I could set a longer curtain rod into.

I painted them white and John screwed them into the sides of the window well.

Now, this was just a cheap telescoping curtain rod and I popped the finials off the end to fit in the wood pieces.  Buying cheap sometimes pays off dividends 😀

Next, I just used fishing line at 3 different lengths and knotted it through the ornaments and hung on the rod.

I think the picture above used ribbon, but I didn’t want to see ribbon.  This is 4 pound line, which is really thin.

If I were using heavier ornaments, I think a higher pound test line would be better.

I chose to go with different lengths because I was afraid I would go OCD if they weren’t perfectly the same.  I also didn’t make them too long because we have this:

Big feet and glass ornaments at paw level – not a good combination.  After I hung the ornaments on the rod, I wound some garland around the rod and fastened it with some twist ties and added a bow to the middle.

I love how it came out!  I can leave that bar up and do a floral garland in the spring and fall leaves for the fall.  Might hang some suncatchers or something on the bar once the ornaments come down.  This made me smile all day looking at it.  Even sitting on the couch last night I kept looking up and admiring LOL!

(I do need to tuck in the droopy part.) It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  This project was about $10.  I had to buy a box of 12 ornaments, the fishing line and the curtain rod.  I had the garland and bow already.

Most of my Christmas shopping is done and decorating done.  Bring on the holidays!

Ornament of the day:

I love the Grinch.  My favorite Christmas special (and not that Jim Carey live action junk, either).

Lifting and work changes

We had a good time at the play last night. It was a good production, although sometimes a bit hard to hear the dialogue.  The Christmas carol singing was very good and I loved the staging!  Good stuff.   This was at Proctor’s Theater down in Schenectady.  We had never been there before.  Tons of stuff happens at Proctor’s, but we are an hour away, so it’s a lot to get down there and back, especially on a weeknight.  This show was at 7 pm, so not too late of night after we got home.  Thanks to my BIL for the tickets!  Here is a shot of how beautiful Proctor’s is:

It’s decorated for Christmas, too, and very pretty.

And hooray for a stranger’s head in my photo!  😀  My little camera actually did really well.  No flash used for these pictures. I just set the ISO to 1600 and tried to hold really still.

It’s funny, I have been in so many Christmas performance that it is still weird to sit on the audience side.  I can’t tell you how many performance and reheasals of the Nutcracker I was in (the pit orchestra) – to the point where it made me want to stab my eye out when I would hear the music.  It’s a little better now.

On to today!

I had oat bran for breakfast.  Funny, oat bran is less calories than regular oats, and pretty much the same stat wise, but it keeps me fuller.  Not sure why.

Normally I have a banana mashed into this with the egg whites, but the bananas were still too green.  So just the egg whites cooked in today and topped with PB and jam.   Dark and dreary this morning, too.

It was warm enough today to take a walk, though.  In the 50s! Crazy.  Wish I could have gotten my bike out, but I had to work.

I also did my strength workout. My lifting routine was as follows today:

Exercise Set/rep/
Overhead Shoulder Press 3 sets of 10
Pliet squats 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Pullover 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Chest Fly 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Good Morning 3 sets of 10
Russian Twist 3 sets of 10 (each side)
Triceps Kickback 3 sets 10

I kind of miss the gym when I do the strength stuff at home.  It’s just not quite the same.

Protein lunch today, and a quick one.  This was unflavored whey protein, cinnamon, applesauce and almond milk.

These berries were good, too.  Just like they look!

Work was busy today, although I am no longer working one of my accounts.  My company renegotiated a contract with this particular clinic and in order to keep the account, they had to offer less.  That meant that they couldn’t afford to keep me on that account and now I have to train on a new one.  It was my favorite, too.  Booo!  This happened to 3 of us working that account.  Do good work, get a raise and it comes back to bite you in the butt.   👿  Sigh.  I will have to work my secondary accounts while they set me up with a new one – and hope there is enough work.  This is why my industry always feels very tenuous. You just never know what  will happen.

John made up lattes today.  It’s all festive.

It’s now that time of year when John’s business starts to slow down after being super busy.  Today was one of those days and he was Mr. Productive at home.  Cleaning and cooking!  He made up dinner in the crockpot today.  Chicken and barley soup.  All I did was cook some broccoli.

Relaxing tonight for sure.  I have some room for chocolate tonight in my calories, which is well deserved.

Today’s ornament:

We have very few tubas on the tree. John played tuba and trombone in college.  I played horn – and of course there are billions of horn ornaments out there (and we have a bunch).  Poor John complains that there is no tuba love, so we try to find him tuba ornaments so he doesn’t feel left out  :mrgreen:

Merry Christmas Eve!

It’s Christmas Eve!  This is really my favorite day of the year.  It’s the anticipation at its peak 😀

I was up wayyyyy early today at 5:30 so I got up and worked for a while before heading to the gym.  I had a Zone bar before and hit the treadmill for 5.5 miles!  It felt great!  There are those days where it is just easy and flowing and today was one of them.  John walked to the gym to meet me (brrr….) as it’s only 1.7 miles from home and took me out to breakfast afterwards.  I won the football picks last week (finally), and I chose brekkie!

This was at Cafe on The Park and just a few doors down from the gym.  I was so ready for breakfast.  I actually brought a change of clothes with me so I would having something dry to eat in.  Couldn’t do anything about that hair, though! Can’t believe I am in public looking like this

I had an eggbeater omelet with wheat toast and home fries.

When you have worked up an appetite, food just tastes sooooo good!  I ate it all.

John had eggs and toast and a grilled blueberry muffin!  It was good.

Need to try this technique at home.

Work is slow today, so I am posting this early.  We are going to my folks house for dinner and then preparing for everyone coming over tomorrow for the Christmas feast!

I thought I would show the oldest ornament on my tree for the last feature.

This was done for me by our “Aunt Betty” when I was 13.  Everyone calls her that even though I think she would be my great aunt?  Look at the year on the other side!

Have a most wonderful holiday!  I appreciate so much all of my readers, whether you ever comment or not, and I love reading all of your blogs as well!  Stay safe and have a super day!

Family day!

Whew – what a busy, busy day!  Hence the reason for the late post.  I also was going to do a post on the naming of this blog, but I think I will wait on that and post next week, as it deserves its own post 😉

I woke up early for the gym today.   Da muscle:

  • Chin up:  2
  • Barbell squats:  3 sets of 8 at 85 pounds
  • Widegrip lat pull down:  3 sets of 8 at 60 pounds
  • Pushups:  3 sets of 10
  • Static lunge:  3 sets of 10 with 25 pound plate
  • Prone Cuban snatch:  3 sets of 10 with 10 pound dumbbells.
  • Incline reverse crunch: 3 sets of 10.

I challenged myself today by doing 30 second rests between exercises instead of 60.  Then hopped on the treadmill and walked for 40 minutes.

In the spirit of the Hot 100 challenge to myself of spending time with family – I invited my parents out to bagel day today!  Even my dad came, which was nice – although he doesn’t eat breakfast and just had coffee.  Bad blogger that I am, I did not get their picture…. I had a nice bagel,though:

Still with lots of work to do this week.  I am thankful for that.  Some doctors are trying to play catch up with all of their old files before the holiday and we are getting dumped on with work!

Lunch break was a quesadilla – Smart carb wrap spread with laughing cow cheese, BBQ sauce and cooked chicken pressed between 2 fry pans:

It was yum!  Plus a side of carrot sticks.

Snack of champions:

I ate too many snacks today.  I just could not get satisfied for some reason.

More family time tonight included meeting my sister and niece at the dog obedience training tonight.  Here is my sister with Storm:

And then my niece Logan with Annie.  Annie is the old lady at 10?  She’s also deaf, so training can be difficult, although she is still quite good at it 😀

Logan is going to a junior handlers show next month.  None of us had had dinner (I was working right up until I left), so we stopped at Subway afterwards.  I broke my corporate meat rule and had a turkey sandwich:

It was kind of m’eh.  It’s been so long since I have eaten Subway.  We used to eat their quite a bit.  I still am surprised sometimes at how my tastes have changed over the last couple of years.

I somehow agreed to do weekly training classes with one of my sister’s dogs starting in February.  How did that happen?  😯

Ornament of the day:

This was the 2nd ornament I did this year.  It’s a little loose, but I like the colors.

Sorry for the disjointed post tonight.  Still have things to do and I have not opened up my google reader yet today!

Treadmillin’ and fudge

I have to say, this weather has been really cold!  It has not been above freezing for a couple weeks now, I think.  😯  No precip, so the air has been very dry.  It’s so hard to get out to go to the gym and get in a cold car (but better than biking in this cold 😀  ).

I had a Luna bar as a preworkout snack while waiting for the car to warm up a little.  It actually was slow to start.  Guess 0 degrees will do that….

Hit the treadmill for what was supposed to be 5 miles, but I was feeling good, so did another 1/2 mile extra!  I used pace music and averaged 5.8 mph.  I did a almost 3 miles at 5.5, then 1.5 miles at 6.0 and 1/2 a mile at 6.8 mph.  It’s funny how running a 10-minute mile seems much harder on the treadmill than running outside.  I can do a 5K in 29:30, which is less than a 10 minute mile.  Go figure.

So hungry when I got home and really chilled from being sweaty in the cold.  Made a fabulous bowl of steel cut oats:

Cooked with banana and topped with almond butter and blackberry jam.  I about snorted this bowl down.  I don’t know which was more awesome today, the breakfast or the shower after breakfast!

While I was hard at work today, John was busy in the kitchen.  He was making some of his fabulous fudge!  He pretty much uses the recipe on the marshmallow fluff jar, although he added coffee powder to it and topped half with pecans.

This is still uncut, so I don’t have to worry about snacking on it.  It’s funny how if a bag is not opened, or something is in it’s ‘whole’ state, I have no problem not eating it.  The minute it is breached, however, all bets are off!

I’m feeling pretty good about this last stretch into Christmas.   If I can just keep it up for a couple more days 😀

Finished up work early today (go me!!) and felt like another BBQ chicken salad for dinner.  I was craving the salty feta and BBQ sauce.  When I run longer distances (for me) I crave salty stuff.  I am not only a profuse sweater, but a salty sweater.  I think my body is trying to tell me something about electrolyte balance.

Ornament of the day:

Another horn!  This one is pewter, I think.

Have to clean tonight and get the house ready for company on Christmas!  Also need to resist the siren song of the nutmeg logs :mrgreen:

Look for a post tomorrow about the origin of the name of my blog!

Question:  For those that run, do you find it really different on a treadmill versus outside?