Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spring Flower Show!!

So this is what spring looks like around here right now:

Yuck! The best way to counter all that is the flower show. Had another sister day as Colleen was the person I dragged along with me this year 😀  She really enjoyed it, though. I thought I was going to explode from happiness when we arrived at the show.

This year’s theme was Diamonds and Pearls.  One landscaping company decided to do a theme from Pirates of the Caribbean and the Black Pearl.

Complete with pirate’s booty!

You guys know I was all over these trunks! There were a lot of different trunks used in other displays, too. Happy girl, right here.

Port Royal:

Not sure if you can see on the right side the dog with the keys in his mouth and the hand reaching out.

It’s so amazing to me that they can turn a hockey rink into this in 5 days.

Another section was a woodland trail complete with fallen leaves.

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I love how they use birch bark to write the signs.

I was so excited to see Dutchman’s breeches!

They are related to bleeding hearts. Don’t they look like upside down pantaloons?  I actually planted some of these bulbs last fall. I really hope they bloom as they can be difficult to grow. We shall see what happens in my garden!

This display was all vintage and wood. Those lanterns are pretty neat, even though they aren’t my style.

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These birdhouses are cool. Not sure if you can see it, but the roofs are made of old tin ceiling tiles.

Garden party:

This was just so charming!

There was a beautiful water feature installed.

One of the stones around this weighed in at 1500 pounds!

The sand sculptor was there as usual.

He chose to follow the Black Pearl theme. He continually works on the display all weekend. Here he is working on the trunk with jewels.

The detail and shading is just amazing. The eyes were painted, which really is a neat effect.

It was so nice to smell all the dirt and flowers.

Spring has to come soon, right?

Here is my favorite shot of the weekend:

Every once in a while I get a picture that hits that sweet spot. If only I could figure out how to do that on the regular LOL! I’m pretty sure this will be made into an enlargement for our wall.

Going to this show helps me get through that last hump before the flowers emerge around here. Now I can’t wait for my garden to bloom!

World Water Day

Did you know today (March 22) is World Water Day?  Here is my water inspiration:

Our water feature we built last year, or as we call it – Radiance Falls. It’s mostly uncovered from snow now, but it will be a while before we can get the pump back in it and running again.  We are so, so fortunate to have clean water. Unfortunately, not everyone does. Still.

You can read more about problems for people without clean water at the CDC website.  And let’s work to keep our water clean. Speak up and let your representatives know that you want clean water.


I’ve been up to my eyeballs in stuff. I know I keep saying I’m busy like I am the only one in the world who is, but that’s why my posting is so sporadic and it is kind of an apology. It’s probably going to stay that way for a while, too.

We did get a chance to see a concert last night. The Boston Brass (quintet) were in town to do a master class for high school students and they put on a free concert in the evening. What a treat! They were fantastic and kind of makes me long for the days when John and I were in a quintet together.  The Boston Brass tour a lot, so check out their schedule and catch them if you can.

John has been doing meal cooking since I’ve gotten so busy. Tonight he made a potato crusted quiche. I’ll have to get him to post the recipe in the comments.  He used the spiralizer to make the potato rounds.

I should have mentioned to him to slice the potato part way down so that he would end up with chips instead of a spiral. He then had to cut them apart.

Delicious quiche!

The potatoes kind of rise up some, which I’m not sure is supposed to happen, but it’s delicious!  On the side is another of those Green Giant riced vegetables. Cauliflower, peas, carrot, green pepper.  This was also good, although I liked the sweet potato one better.

It’s back to work for a bit for me!


As I was getting ready to post,  yet again, more violence in the world. Hate breeds hate. Are we ever going to learn that?

Ditching cable

Spring is this week, but it’s still looking wintery around here.

It’s sunny, though!  The nice thing is the ground was warm from before, so walkways and driveways are nice and clear without being icy.

I spent a lot of time walking this weekend. Downtown and back quite a bit, about 10 miles worth. We were out for St. Patrick’s Day at our summer place, Mean Max Brewery.

Out with family. The group was okay, but way too loud. Or maybe I’m getting old, I don’t know LOL!

I spent a good portion of time taking pictures of product with John being my lighting assistant! Plus styling the little suitcase I painted last weekend.

Shelley has the design eye, so I sent her the picture to critique and she gave me some pointers to do. I’ll keep working on it. The wholesale show is a week from Monday, so I have time to play with it.

We did take time out for some coffee, though!

I think I am more busy now than when i was working my other job plus this stuff. At least I enjoy it.

We finally decided to cut the cable cord. The only thing that we really used of the cable was the DVR for Jeopardy and a few shows. We have Amazon Prime and a fire TV stick, so ditching cable is not a big deal since the main show we watch is on Amazon (Man in the High Castle). The only thing is getting as many football games as we did before, but I guess we will live. And Tour de France. That we can buy an internet package for if we want. We also signed up for Netflix again to stream some shows. We started watching Making of a Murderer and gosh that whole thing is so frustrating! We don’t know how the season ends or where he is now, so no spoilers please!  Overall I haven’t missed cable at all except we don’t get to see Jeopardy hardly ever.

— Another new food find! These are Nasoya vegetable dumplings with tofu:

These are quite good! John cooked them up by pan sauteing them and we had ginger dipping sauce on the side.  I tend to eat a lot more vegetarian at home with John going veggie.  This makes a nice alternative to omelets 😀

Any of you get rid of cable?

Snow and more snow!

That certainly was quite a storm yesterday.  Sometimes you get what’s forecasted and sometimes not. This time we got the Nor’easter. There was a state of emergency called, so the roads were very lightly traveled since a lot of people seemed to listen to the advice.

John shoveled once early and then we went out again after lunch to try to keep ahead of the snow since we don’t have a snowblower.  The snow was falling pretty hard during this.

Yuck! LOL.  That was the last time we went out because the wind began to really pick up and no way would there be any point to shoveling until it was done. Still snowing when we went to bed, too.

Normally Wednesday is Bagel Day, but I knew even if the roads were clear, we would still have to dig ourselves out, so we ate at home. I was so not looking forward to moving snow. Wouldn’t you know that some kind soul took a snowblower up the block this morning!

I don’t know who did it, but thank you!!! That is the really heavy packed stuff from the plows, which is just so hard to shovel.  That meant we only had to do the driveway and front walk.

Not exactly straight, but the mail carrier can get in.

I thought it was funny to see my flag signaling spring.

Oops.  I give a lot of kudos to the road crews. They worked all night and look how clear the roads are after around 20 inches of snow. Bravo!

Bagel Wednesday will have to be Bagel Thursday this week. 😀

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On to the next thing – another food find. Green Giant has come out with riced vegetables. They sounded appealing to me, so I picked up a couple different packages. This was one of them:

Microwave for 6 minutes and done. That’s easy!  I also like that there is no sauce or anything on these. I tend to not like pre-sauced veggies. Something about them tastes funny.

Mine was simple with a little butter and S&P. These were good! It almost was like eating rice. Served alongside a turkey burger. I’m not like Biz with the styling of the plate LOL!

Now it feels like winter all over again.  There were some tulip greens just pushing out of the ground and now they are covered. It will be a while before this all melts because temps going to be in the upper 30s and low 40s for the next few days.  At least it’s light later!

Mini suitcase project

Is anyone else really tired of these cold and windy weekends? Yuck! We won’t be biking for a while yet, especially as snow is heading in this week to give us a good dumping. Biking in February? Sure! Biking in March? Hmmmmm….

Anyway, I did get a chance to work on a little project that I’ve been wanting to do since last summer when I picked this up. Old vintage suitcase:

It’s not big, only about 15 inches across.  It didn’t smell at all inside, which was a bonus LOL! The fabric was good on the bottom, but the top was all ripped up and I removed it before this picture:

I thought this would be a nice prop for displaying my soaps and stuff. So, after cleaning it up a bit, I made a chalk paint to use all over it, including the fabric (makes it feel leathery). The color is Moonlight White, which is the paint color of our kitchen cabinets – guess where I got the paint?? 😀  It’s an off white. No quite cream, but not really bright white.


Looks much better now. I also painted the hardware flat black.  For the inside, I did a transfer of my logo on the inside lid.  I’ve done this before on a dresser, but the method was a little different since this is a smaller piece.  You need a shiny paper, like wax paper or something coated. My sheet happened to be an empty peel and stick label sheet, which has the perfect sheen and bonus that it fits in the printer.

I used Open Office to reverse my logo and print it out (inkjet) onto the shiny side:

Since the chalk paint is a matte finish, this works really well as a technique. I used a damp sponge to moisten the suitcase lid and then pressed the paper on:

I just rubbed it a bit. It’s sort of like a temporary tattoo.  Voila!

Now the surface of the inner lid was rough, which is why the print came out like that. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but it has that bit of vintage vibe to it.

After I got done, John said “It’s so you!” 😀 Now to style the inside with product.

Sunday was sister time!  I met up with my sis for some coffee. Multiple attempts at a selfie with not a ton of success.


My head is giant LOL!

Latte:

I don’t know if any of you remember the Super Bowl ad from last year where a small business won a free 30 second commercial? It was for Death Wish Coffee, a local company, and this is their retail store in Saratoga.

Good stuff.  It was good catching up, too.

Who else loves the evening being lighter as of today? Meeee!! Although I do hate thinking it’s one time and it’s another.  Now to get ready for snow…

Cat grass

It sure went from really warm to really cold, literally overnight on Friday!  We woke up to this:

What you can’t see is how windy it was. We went out and it was bitter, bitter cold. Yuck!  Indoor exercising, that’s for sure!

We went to the Troy farmers market for something different and when the wind gusted while we were walking, it took your breath away.

The market was nice. There were a lot of artisans there as well. In fact, one of our business customers sells there, so it was nice to get to talk to them a bit. I would have loved to stroll around Troy a little more, but the cold and wind. Nope. I do have to show you a picture of one store we stopped in. It’s a bookstore and they have the best couch there:

I love it! New upholstery and it would shine. Our sofa actually kind of looks like this, which is why we chose that one since I love that style.

At the market, I bought a bowl. I just can’t resist pottery!

I really, really need to stop buying bowls. Need plates now 😀  It would be nice to have our dinnerware all handmade pottery.

I also picked up something for Pixie – cat grass. When we take her outside, she will eat some — and not to mention she will eat any seedlings I try to grow. So, I figured she would probably like it.

Oooo – What’s this??

….

Nom, nom, nom! I was a little afraid she was going to gorge and barf, but she just gorged LOL. I don’t know how long this will live for. I guess it depends on how much she eats of it.

It was a nice day. It seems both of us are working 6 days a week right now, so we are trying to take advantage of Saturdays.  I’m a bit behind in my social media reading, so sorry about that!

Insomnia and camera playing

Let’s see… where was I?  Just busy.  I’m pretty immersed in business stuff right now, which isn’t really of interest.  We’ve been eating easy meals like the tomato soup with added pasta and I also had some frozen turkey burgers. I haven’t had those in so long and decided I don’t really like them that much. It’s way better to get ground turkey and make my own. Sometimes convenience pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.

My insomnia seems to have gotten a little worse lately. Waking earlier. Today I was up at 3:30 and when you don’t go to bed until 11:00, that’s just not enough sleep.  I need lots of coffee.

Maybe I should triple up on melatonin. My PCP had told me to double my dose and that seemed to help for a while. I’m getting in exercise every day as well. Sigh.

I have had my uber camera out working on product photos. I took some editorial shots and was pretty happy with how they came out.  Here is my set up – don’t laugh!

I didn’t use my light box because I wanted a background. The base is also extra cork floor boards from our kitchen remodel 😀

Out of many, many shots, I got one that I liked and it was just the soaps.

Here is the finished picture:

The colors really pop. I was holding a light over my shoulder in one hand and clicking the shutter with the other. I couldn’t find my remote shutter control, of course. It sure would be nice to hire someone for these. And I will never complain about photographer fees – they earn every penny. This stuff is hard to do, especially when you don’t really know what you’re doing!

Here’s hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight. I’m due for a crash and burn 🙂

Biking and burgers

February is almost over and winter seems to be making another appearance. However, the temperatures on Saturday were quite warm. There was rain forecast for the afternoon, so John and I suited up for a ride after breakfast.

Ah yes, washing my fleece tights with other clothing items and It’s lint city. Oh well 😀

The roads were a little drier than the other day and we decided to check out the path and see how it looked.  Oops

Started okay, but then got too sloppy to keep going. So, road riding it was. After about 9 miles or so, it seemed the wind was really starting to pick up. It was quite a head wind for a bit. That was the start of the cold front moving through and the rest of the day was soooo windy. Good thing we went out early or I would not have been a happy camper.  We ended up with about an hour of riding, which was pretty awesome!

Having a weekend day with no work and no projects meant getting out for the day. We went down to Saratoga and had lunch out. I don’t remember what restaurant closed, either TGI Fridays or Pizzeria Uno – some chain restaurant, whatever, but in it’s place went a Red Robin.

We haven’t been to one in years. We used to go somewhat regularly when we lived in Colorado and Illinois (I think?) It’s funny, I remember either the evening of our wedding or the day after, we had dinner at Red Robin. 20 years ago LOL! I seem to remember my hair being done up, but wearing regular clothes. Anyway, it hasn’t changed all that much. My favorite burger was still on the menu, the bleu burger:

This has steak sauce, blue cheese and little crispy onion strips on it. It was really good. John got a burger, but substituted a veggie patty and he was a happy camper with that.

The fries there are bottomless, but honestly they are just kind of meh. Certainly not on par with 5 Guys or BurgerFi, so no point in having more brought out. Not worth the calories. Also, the burger was really filling. It ended up being the only meal I ate the rest of the day!

We did stop for a treat later, though. A ginger cookie with lemon buttercream.

I guess this was dinner LOL. Seriously – I think this is my favorite cookie. It’s usually devoured on a long ride day. Of course, we only did an hour of biking and a few miles of walking. Not really enough to balance out the burger and the cookie, but the food was good.

We walked around downtown Saratoga and into some of the nearby neighborhoods. I love the architecture there. Actually, I love it all over our area. This is a group of buildings called Franklin Square. They are mid 19th century and Greek revival style.

Some of the buildings house offices and retail and others are just apartments.

They are quite impressive.  I just love looking at old buildings. Makes you wonder what stories they could tell.

Thinking about that burger I ate and how full it made me, portion sizes just are too big most of the time.  I have to share this ridiculous item I saw while grocery shopping this morning. These are muffin tins.

Jumbo muffin tins and they aren’t kidding. Look at how deep they are:

That’s a good 4 inches deep. That’s not a muffin. It’s pretty much mini cake size. A muffin that big would probably run 700-800 calories easy. Who needs one that big? I guess you could share, but if I want a muffin, I don’t want to share it LOL! I’d rather just have a smaller one.  Just when you think maybe people will be more conscious of portion sizes and this product comes out.

February biking!

It sure doesn’t feel like February lately. We got all that snow around Valentine’s Day and now it has been very warm. Temps got into the 60s!

I’ve been working at paying more attention to my eating again after our Mardi Gras party. I just love food. That’s what makes it hard. Yes, I stress eat, but I also just really like food LOL!

Breakfast of cream of wheat with a mashed banana and eggs whites cooked in topped with PB&J.

450 calorie breakfast.

There are still some leftovers, particularly the red beans and rice.

This is one of those dishes where the leftovers are better than the original day.

On Thursday, it was just so nice that we had to get the bikes out. That meant uncoupling mine from the trainer and dragging it down the stairs. Of course, I am not going to put it back up there now, so it’s out to stay.

Normally the first ride of the year has a lot of starts and stops as you get the equipment (and yourself) going, but this ride was super smooth in that department.

The good thing about riding the trainer is that it keeps my sit bones conditioned for riding. It doesn’t help my hill and endurance legs, but at least there’s that.

The roads are pretty clear now. The shoulders are another story.

Some places there was snow in the shoulder or standing water. This road was dry, but the shoulder is covered in sandy grit, which can lead to flat tires as it works its way under the rims.

There were a lot of spots where the roads were quite wet with melting snow and we ended up getting a lot of spray. My bike (and my legs) were filthy after the ride.

That was on the front of my legs, too. Ick.  It was a great first ride, though. 12 miles. Woo Hoo! Not sure when the next ride will be, but can’t complain about getting out in February!

My garden has something peeping through the snow:

This area gets snow slide off the roof so this was really buried for a while. Can you feel spring coming?

The other thing with warmer weather is the bugs start waking up. I posted this on FB, but Pixie was having fun chasing a stink bug around.

Seriously – where do these things come from?

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?