Category Archives: Uncategorized

Feeling like spring!

That warmup finally got over to us this weekend. Now the snow is starting to melt, although there is a lot still.  One thing when a lot of snow comes at once, people actually get out and clear their walks. When snow comes in dribs and drabs, walks don’t get shoveled. Then they melt and get icy and just are difficult to walk on.  After the last bunch of snow, people were out and clearing.  Much of our walks were like this:

Amazingly clear – unlike last winter. It was great to get out and do a lot of outdoor walking. I was so tempted to get my bike off the trainer and ride on Sunday, but there was a lot standing water in the shoulder from melt and the bike paths, of course, were not clear at all.  So walking it was. It feels so much like spring. It’s hard to believe we are still in February!

Both John and I  worked on Saturday and we punched out the last bit of things in my parents’ kitchen on Sunday. It was then our time to relax, have some coffee and do a little shopping! There was a warehouse sale at Peter Harris (one of my favorite shops for clothes). I got a pair of slacks for $2 and this coat for $20!

It’s dry clean only, which made me put the coat back at first, but then I decided I wanted it. Plus John liked it.  I don’t know how people take mirror selfies and show most of a whole outfit without looking like a dork.  

I think I was impulse shopping a bit. We stopped at Target so I could get some hangers and I came home with a lamp! I needed a lamp for my new desk since it’s in the corner. I’ve been poking around in a lot of places lately and not finding anything. Then stumbled on this lamp, which has 2 of my favorite elements – copper and marble!

Plus it has the pull cord, which is fun.  Don’t you love the top of this desk? I’m hoping I can restore the luster of it when I get to work on it…

It’s nice and bright. Now I can see to color in the evenings:

This is why a desk was needed. I sprawl and take up too much space with this stuff for it not have its own home. It can be left just like this, too, without getting in the way.

Monday we are having our Mardi Gras party. A little earlier than usual, but coordinating schedules and all that. So a little meal prep is in order for tonight.

Did you get out and enjoy any good weather this weekend?

Friday this and that

Thank you for all the comments on my parents’ kitchen!  It was not a hard project. The hardest part was having to do it spaced out with a few hours here and a few hours there.

John and I were both up early this morning. I seem to have a 5:30 alarm in my head, no matter what time I go to bed. John also seems to have caught the insomnia bug, which I am sorry about. Insomnia sucks.

Getting up early does allow for making breakfasts that take longer.  John made up some protein muffins for us:

These were banana/chocolate chip. Super hot, too. We both burned our mouths!

I feel like I am slowly getting my footing taking over the scent business. It’s been so many years since I’ve really been involved and stuff has changed. It’s good to inject some fresh ideas, though.  I’ve also been really working at growing my soap business. I’m now working with a wholesale consultant group that has experience in my industry. That will be interesting. Go big or go home, right?  I’ll have to think about future employees and all that.

I have a wholesale trade show next month so production is in higher gear now. I sliced into some lavender soap and thought the pattern was quite fun:

I love flipping the mirror images next to each other. This looks like eyes or something, don’t you think?

John and I have a running joke about pink flamingos. I really want one, but John basically says divorce if I get one LOL!  So I saw these the other day and had to text him a picture.

These things were probably 4 feet tall. I want one 😀

Lastly, a picture of Ms Pixie.  She was sitting so very patiently waiting for me to clear my lap so she could be there.

Or maybe that isn’t a look of patience…  She is going to turn 10 next month, can you believe it?

Here’s hoping for a little warm up this weekend!

New computer and stress eating

As you know, I have been really struggling with my computer.  It finally got to the point where I was unable to take a phone order since it wasn’t working properly. Can’t have that, so I broke down and got a new one. Well, it is a refurbished computer. I wasn’t really wanting to get a refurbished, but there is that whole budget thing. It was done by a Microsoft official refurbisher, which is a good thing. It’s a Dell Latitude and is quite the upgrade from my Lenovo.

Of course, I had problems setting it up from the get-go.  We couldn’t get it connected to the wi-fi in the house and we thought for sure it was defective, but it turns out the wi-fi switch on the side was turned off (derp). Now it works and tonight is going to be spent transferring my programs and files over.  The old computer was causing me too much stress, so this should be good. It’s got a lot of memory and platoons of storage space.

I have to say that my eating has been a bit all over the place lately. I’ve gained 2 pounds, so I have to get myself motivated to get back to basics. I have at least logged food every day, but sometimes not the whole day because I just get sidetracked.

Back to my usual breakfast blintzes

This time with applies instead of blueberries.

I need to sit and plan out the next day’s food. It’s a lot easier to eat when you can look up and see what is planned. Snacking is really the problem, and that has been a problem in the past as well, so it isn’t anything new. I tend to eat when I get stressed about stuff. It’s been my coping mechanism and I really don’t mind that it still is that way because now I am able to shut it off before it gets out of hand. Honestly, I doubt that stress eating is something I will ever be free of. Acknowledging that allows me to not feel bad about stress eating, which in turn makes it easier to stop.

Now it’s time to work on that new computer!

Super bowl sunday!

I have to be honest. This year I don’t care much about the Super Bowl. My Broncos aren’t in it and I am really tired of the Patriots.  Of course, that doesn’t stop us from having a get together 😀


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Too much food, as usual ?

The game unfortunately ended poorly for the Falcons. Gahh!

—–

We are pretty close to wrapping up my parents’ kitchen. Just the last few details. I’m looking forward to having some down time. 

I finally broke out my coloring books again:


Coloring is very soothing to me. I need to buy a lamp so I can color at my new (old) desk at night.

This guy has come back around. We haven’t seen him in a while, so it was good to see.

He was really close to the house. I’ll be continuing to make our property a haven for birds and pollinators this year. Spring is coming soon, right?

Quorn chili

Welcome February! January was certainly a learning curve for me in terms of the business and getting used to all that.  I have to share a funny (sort of) story about my old job. A week or so ago, I got a call from one of the account managers. I guess he missed the memo that I was gone.

Them: “Hi Lori, are you typing today?”  That was always the opening to having a specific job for me. 

Me: “I haven’t worked there since the end of last year.”

Them: “Really?  Well, do you want to type anyway?”

For real. LOL. Uhm… No, I do not want to type for you.

My computer actually seems to be getting better. It’s almost like it had a stroke and is slowly recovering. Not to make light of strokes, but it is coming back online bit by bit. So, I’m not going to get a new one for now. It still has some problems, but I can work with it and save money in the budget for a future computer.

Anyway, here are a couple of food finds.  As you probably know, John is a vegetarian. I don’t like to eat a ton of soy products and I don’t really want John eating a ton of them, but finding non-soy meat analogs for protein can be difficult. We tried some Quorn:

It’s made from a mycoprotein, which I don’t want to think about too hard. This version is the crumbles. I used it in the crockpot to make my favorite chili recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground meat of choice, browned in a pan – or in our case the veggie crumbles
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 (15) oz can petite diced tomatoes  (undrained)
  • 1 (2 oz) can of diced green chilies (or just buy a can of rotel for these 2 ingredients)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of plain tomato sauce
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can beans drained and rinsed – I like the little white beans, personally

Put all of this in the crockpot and cook on low for 4-1/2 to 5 hours and you get a very nice, flavorful chili:

Which brings me to the other item, the itty bitty pretzels!

Long-time readers know that I like big serving sizes and getting the most surface area for the calorie buck. Over the summer, we like to do our Friday night beer walk. The craft brewer we go to has BYO snacks and I love pretzels with my beer.  We found this one day and I was a happy camper. There is a bit over 50 little pretzels in a serving!

That’s Snyder’s of Hanover if you can’t get the whole brand name there.

Lastly, not a food find, but here is something that people might want to be using. The environment shouldn’t be a political issue. Period.  We all should be doing our part and it’s going to continue to need a lot of help. I’ve been doing the #FollowtheFrog campaign with the Rainforest Alliance. Every few days they send you tips on what you can do to be more eco-friendly. One of the tips was to use Ecosia.  Ecosia is a browser extension that you can install as a search engine. They use 80% of the ad revenue generated to  plant trees.  You can bookmark the search engine or install the extension (which you don’t have to use, you can always switch back to Google). Every little bit counts.

Tiling!

I am still having computer issues. I  was able to get it up and running again after many hours, but there is obviously something wrong with it. The USB ports only work sometimes and when I try to transfer photos, it crashes. It also just randomly locks up and is really slow, even in safe mode. Not sure if it is worth trying to fix this computer or get a new one.

I’m doing this post on my phone again. Excuse the choppiness, but at least it’s something!

I had all these plans to do meal planning and getting other stuff done, but working, the computer issues and being at my parents’ house kind of put the kibosh on that. (Did I spell that right?)

I did get a project done earlier this week. I really wanted a chalkboard for my work area, so I picked up some of this:

I taped off a section of wall and painted:

2 coats. Next day I had a working chalkboard!

Fun stuff!

Later in the week, John left for a 4-day trip, so I spent the weekend tiling at my parents’ house. All the tile is up and it just needs grouting.

It’s turning out quite nice. My mom is happy with her choices, which is all that matters 😀

I’ll keep this short because typing on the phone is really annoying LOL!

Computer issues

Seems my computer is taking a break. It boots up, but I can’t do anything with it. I’m typing this post on my phone, which takes forever Lol. I don’t have any pictures to share since most of them are on the computer.

It’s a good opportunity for doing this again 


That’s the only photo on my phone that’s new ?

Hopefully it won’t take long to fix.

Marching

 

 

On Saturday, I will be joining women all over the country in marching. Not just for women’s rights, but for kindness, understanding, unity, for those who feel marginalized, and for our planet. I will be doing this locally.  If you can’t go to a march, I would be happy to take your name with me so that you can join in. It doesn’t matter who you voted for.  You can email me at javaqueen01@yahoo.com  with your name and who/what you are marching for and I will bring it with me.

Roosevelt Baths

Monday was a treat day! My sister, mother and I went to the Roosevelt Baths in Saratoga. My sister had given us gift certificates last Christmas and we just got around to using them.

Saratoga Springs has a long history of natural mineral springs and was a hot spot for health. There were a lot of bath houses built and the Roosevelt Baths are one of the original ones. It was built in 1930. It was eventually bought by the state and became part of  Saratoga Spa State Park.  It is kind of referred to as a campus, I guess. Lots of buildings that look like this:

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It is almost like an old university campus:

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We have been to another spa in Saratoga and that one was very posh and more modern. The Roosevelt baths are original, which is pretty neat! Obviously some of it was modernized, like the locker area:

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My sister took a picture of me in my robe. It almost looks like I am ready to go to a karate lession!

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The three of us had different services. I had an aromatherapy bath and then a massage.  Once you get changed, you go into the relaxation room while you are waiting for your treatment.

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This is an area with tables and chairs. There is a section with teas and fruit as well.

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There are also these nice lounge-y things:

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This room was empty when I came in. I think I had one of the first appointments of the day. You can go back and forth to the steam room from here while waiting for your treatments.

Here is an original cast iron 1930s bath:

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The mineral water is that brownish color. It’s also effervescent and you float like crazy!  These tubs are super deep, too. It goes below floor level. When I sat upright, the water came up almost to my shoulders. I want a deep tub like that.  For the aromatherapy part, you are given a teeny little bottle of an essential oil of your choice (eucalyptus, clary sage, pine or peppermint). I chose peppermint and you just sprinkle it in the bath.

After my bath, I moved over to the table in my room for a massage.

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It’s funny how these pictures look a little like a prison LOL! It didn’t feel like that, let me tell you.  I’ve never had a massage before, mostly because I have personal space issues and don’t like strangers touching me. But I thought I would give it a try. Orginally I was scheduled for a sugar scrub, but the person who does them broke her leg, so they gave me another service choice.

I liked the massage. It was a little hard for me to relax, but eventually I did.  Once the massage was finished, it was into the steam room (no pictures there!) and then back to the relaxation room for a while.

My mom and sister popped out at different times. I was done before they were and enjoyed a nice shower and relaxing.

It was pretty late after we finished, so we headed out to lunch in Ballston Spa. Our first choice had a big wait list, so we tried a new restaurant. Henry’s Pub.  It was good!  I decided on an appetizer for a meal, which was the poutine with corned beef on top. I asked for a half portion, but they made a mistake and gave me a full portion:

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They only charged me for a half portion, too. There was plenty to share.

We decided against dessert, but I got a kick out of the selections:

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😀

We had a great day! It was definitely needed and long overdue.  I definitely will be back to these baths again.

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Gnocchi and women teachers

Sorry I haven’t been posting too much lately. I just haven’t been doing anything terribly interesting to talk about here.  Just some tidbits of things.

I shared this on FB so some of you will see this twice, but I had a really good dinner the other night. I lost the football picks for the first week of the playoffs (fantasy) and John wanted to go to Comfort Kitchen in Saratoga. Their food is so good, especially the macaroni and cheese, but I saw a new item on the menu, which was sweet potato gnocchi!

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It was in a brown butter sauce with swiss chard, ricotta cheese and some sort of walnut chunks. Breaded, maybe? So good!  It rivals their mac and cheese now.  Any locals that haven’t been there need to go.  I’d like to try making gnocchi from scratch some time, but I’m afraid it would turn out gummy.

More work in my parents’ kitchen.  It is a little slow going just because I have to go over there to work and there are limited hours in which to do it. I guess that’s what happens when you have free labor 😀

The paint is on the walls and the upper cabinet doors are in place.

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Color is a little funny because of the time of day, but you get the idea. Below the cabinets will be tile. Hopefully next weekend John and I will do the laminate countertop.

I got a new soap stamp made to stamp my soaps. I was using a fleur-de-lis, but I wanted my logo made. I went to Etsy and found someone to do a stamp for me and I tried it out this weekend:

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I like it! I need to get consistent with how much pressure is needed to imprint.

During my volunteer hours at the Chapman Museum, I was organizing files for the suffragist events going on this year. Even though the US ratified the 19th ammendment in 1920, New York allowed women to vote in 1917, so there are centennial events happening this year.

I came across this nugget of information:

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I you can’t read it, here is the text:  “No married woman shall be appointed to any teaching or supervising position in the New York public schools unless her husband is mentally or physically incapacitated to earn a living or has deserted her for a period of not less than one year”.

Gotta love it.  You could only teach if you were single. Now think of how many women — single or married — are a huge part of the teaching workforce.  Progress can happen.  I always wonder if I was born during that time period, would I be on the front lines for womens’ rights?  I like to think so, but I guess you never know.