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!

Kitchen before and after

Happy hump day!  We had a pretty low-key Valentine’s Day. John was away for most of the day, but we met up at about 8 pm for coffee and a sweet 😀

I ended up losing a pound this week, so those pesky couple are almost gone.  Here are more meals I ate:

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (350 calories):

Tomato Soup with Ravioli (300 calories):

I’ll keep plugging away as usual 😀

Remember the table I was doing over the weekend?

I ended up just putting some polyurethane on it. Satin finish.  it shows imperfections, but I think they add to the piece (or maybe I’m kidding myself LOL ).

I don’t really know why they hid this under that black paint.

On another project note, here are the pictures from the pretty much completed kitchen at my folks’ house.  A very old before picture with an old appliance. We should have thought to take better before shots LOL.

Not a great picture, but just to give you an idea of the cabinets.

Mid rehab:

Done.

Just need a little more caulk around the edges and touch ups here and there.

It’s a nice fresh look. It was actually not too expensive as far as materials go. The biggest cost was the tile since we decided to do the whole back wall instead of just a backsplash. I think it really completes it, though. My parents seem happy with it.

Now just small projects for a while.

On a side note, I am looking for a few product testers. I’ve got some new products in development. Shoot me an email at savonology@gmail.com  if you are interested.   I’ve got enough testers – thank you!

Now it’s time to relax a bit!

Snow and more snow

The winter wasn’t seeming so bad this year, but then we got a lot of snow Thursday, another couple inches Friday night and a big snow storm happening currently.  Whew. We’ve shoveled 3 times already to keep up. We don’t have a snowblower, so it helps to go out and shovel before it gets too deep.

Being snowed in means working on projects!  It’s either that or eat, so I got to work 😀  We’ve got the master cleaning list going again and did the kitchen, which takes the longest on the master list because of all the appliances and stuff to clean behind and under.  All sparkly clean now!

The master cleaning list works when you keep up with it. Does anyone else keep a whole bunch of hand towels hanging? I think we have 6 on there LOL!

Next project was working on my sewing machine table.

I had wanted a table with the metal Singer bottom for the longest time, and I found this one a couple years ago for $40. Quite the bargain! However, I don’t like the top. It was painted with flat black paint, which comes off when you wipe it down. It’s just not practical.  I’ve been wanting to redo the top for a long time and this weather provided a perfect opportunity.

The top was attached by 4 screws, so I took it off and dug out the paint stripper:

I could have just painted over this table, but I was curious about the finish underneath and if it would be worth trying to uncover it.  Stripper solution was slathered on and 10 minutes later I was able to start removing it.

Very encouraging.  Note the gloves – safety first! Stripper burns.  Once it was all removed, I scrubbed the top with soapy water. That’s the nice thing about this particular stripper, it’s water soluble so easy clean up.

With how many times I have written stripper in this post, I can only imagine the traffic that will come to my blog .

Anyhoo, the final product. Let’s say the naked top seeing as I’m going for broke here.

I thought it was a solid piece of wood, but it’s 3 strips of veneer. I like it! That upper corner is just shadow. It’s not dark.  Once it’s dry, I’m going to give it a sand and then poly it. Stay tuned for when I finish that.

I’ve also started work on my desk. All the joints were glued back together and I have been using it, but time for its face lift.  On the lower part, the veneer was coming up in spots. That is getting glued down.

Once that is done, I’ll fill in the gaps with wood putty. The lower part will be painted because there is no way I can make this veneer repair match.  I’m hoping to keep the top natural.

Lest you think I worked all weekend, a treat did happen:

Saturday before all the snow came.  I love a good piece of baklava. Totally worthy and I fit it into my calories for the day with some maneuvering (heavy veggie dinner).

Now it’s all snow, snow, snow.  Our piles are getting high for shoveling. You have to throw it quite high now!

It’s still snowing, too. We’ll be digging out again tomorrow!

1500 calorie day

Back to basics. I need to start doing more food logs on the blog again. They do give me that extra boost to be disciplined.

I have to cut back some to take off those couple of stress pounds before they turn into a couple dozen!  That means 1500 calories of food.

Breakfast was Kodiak cakes with protein. I cooked my apple topping in a pan, poured the pancake batter over it and stuck it under the broiler for a couple minutes. Then flipped over onto my plate:

Topped with some maple syrup and butter.  I have my morning coffee with cashew milk. I switched from almond to cashew so that I can be more eco friendly.  Calories: 435

Most days I have a morning snack, but I didn’t need one today for some reason. Probably because I didn’t exercise in the morning.  It was really cold today and I wanted something hot for lunch. We had a banana that really needed to be used up, so I mashed it, cooked it with some oat bran, whisked in egg whites and topped with almond butter:

It’s topped with this:

Have you tried it?  It’s pretty tasty. Normally we don’t buy sweetened nut butter, but I wanted to try it.  It’s very good, although it’s not really no-stir. It doesn’t separate as much as natural nut butter, but it still needed stirring.  Lunch calories: 355

Afternoon snack:

Of course it’s a latte! Drizzled on top with some honey.  Calories: 150

I had a solo dinner tonight, so it wasn’t vegetarian.  I keep some of these in the freezer:

 

Super easy. Just toss in the toaster oven for 30 minutes and it’s done.

Steamed veggies with a bit of butter on top. Calories: 400

I have my evening snack planned out for later. Cafe au lait and Yorks:

I usually have my snack around 8 or 8:30.  Calories:  150

That brings the total to 1490. Give or take rounding. Close enough.  This was a good mix of food, although the breakfast for lunch was unusual.  I did about 40 minutes of walking today.

It always feels good to get back to basics. I wasn’t going totally overboard or anything, but it could head that way pretty easily.

Have a great 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 😀


.

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.