Fun Stuff

Hi all.  Nothing too significant to report.  I’ve done a couple of fun things the past few days–thought I’d share them with you.  Guess what is involved when I have fun?  You only get two guesses.  Yep.  Food and quilting LOL.

So yesterday I had some good cooking adventures in between my quilting.  I had my english muffin french toast for breakfast, and I always save the leftover egg mixture (one egg, 1/4 cup eggbeaters, 1/4 cup almond milk) in case I want some scrambled eggs later. Ha.  I RARELY want scrambled eggs later.  So I had the thought that I could use that to make Lori’s one minute muffin.  It was enough egg stuff for two of the muffins, so I doubled the rest of the recipe and put into two small bowls, and then put them in the toaster oven to see if they tasted better than the microwave version.  Holy yumm!!  The texture was a tiny  bit different, I’m guessing because of the small amount of almond milk.  BTW, I have only been making Lori’s pumpkin version of the muffin because I had a can of pumpkin in the fridge that I needed to use.

Later in the day I tried another newish recipe.  I had some leftover  ground beef in the fridge, and surprisingly, I did not want a burger.  So I got the Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough out of the freezer, raided the veggie drawer, and made up some of that Vegetable Stuffed Bread, only with meat in it.  I have to say,  that dough makes VERY tasty bread.  I got carried away with the vegetable/beef mixture, and have enough to make another loaf of the bread.  I’m going to add a little marinara sauce to this one.  I changed the veggies a bit–left out the zucchini, as I think it makes the mixture a little too moist.  I cooked the red bell pepper and mushrooms first, and drained the excess liquid out of them.  The results were quite yummy, and I know from experience that this stuff freezes extremely well.  I just wrap the individual slices in foil, and then they can go straight into the toaster over to be re-heated.  I only had 1/2 pound of beef, and cut each loaf into 6 servings, so that is not that much meet per serving.  Just the right amount, I think.

I had this sandwich for an early dinner and then headed to the gym for a good workout.  I usually don’t go to the gym this late, but I wanted to attend one of Vickie’s lectures on which diets work.  Vickie has the mind of a scientist, and everything she says is backed up by research.  More about that later.  But I wanted to include this tidbit in my post about ‘Fun Stuff.’  At the end of her lecture we were treated to a buffet of mini-sized portions of some of her great foods.  Whoops.  Dinner number two.  And then she had a drawing (which I did not even know about) and guess who won?  MEEEE!!!  It was for three full days of her meal plan.  I am so excited.  I am going to plan another spa week in the near future, and this will make it even more like a spa experience.  Someone will be doing all the cooking for me for three days!

So I think I mentioned my latest quilting idea, Housetop quilts.  I blogged about them on the other blog here, and here.  After a difficult start (I didn’t like my first attempt at putting words on the quilt) I have continued working on them and am very pleased with the second and third quilts (and now that a little time has gone by, the first little quilt has grown on me.)

Here’s the quilt I was working on when I got the BIG IDEA.  It has the verse that started it all embroidered in the middle.  (Sorry about the bad quality of this picture.  I’ll have to try again sometime.)

And here’s the second one.  All of Psalm 19 is quilted on this one.

Today I completely ran out of dog food, so a trip to the ‘big city’ was a necessity.  As usual, I went over all my options carefully.  I ended up taking my food to eat, which not only saves  calories, but saves a lot of time.  And I mapped out three places I wanted to visit: Costco, Target, and a new quilt store.  I always get a kick out of my basket at Costco now compared to ‘the olden days.’  Now the majority of what is in my basket is fresh fruits and veggies.  I also picked up their economy size of Fage yogurt, and I did make one little ‘impulse’ purchase–their Costco brand of Trail Mix (or Trail Crack, if you know what I mean.)  I’m thinking maybe I have evolved and I can control myself around it now.  I can hear you from here ‘oh yeah, that’s what ALL the crack addicts say.’

I went to Target specifically for one thing.  I haven’t been able to find that brand of Abundance Oatmeal around here, so I googled it, and they were supposed to have it at Target.  Score!  I walked out of Target with nothing but 8 boxes of oatmeal.  What?  A single girl doesn’t need 8 boxes of oatmeal?  Home Goods was right next door, so I made a quick side trip in to see if they had my new favorite coffee.  Sure enough, they did.  I thought it had been just a one time thing, but I asked, and the lady said they carried it all the time.  Its just called Blue Mountain Coffee.

I behaved myself reasonably well at the quilt shop.  They did have a line of thread that I wanted to try out, so I got a few spools of that to try–such pretty colors!

Oh my gosh.  I was going to end with a cheery note about how we were supposed to have some sun for the weekend, but I just checked weather.com,  and it is supposed to rain straight on for the next five days.  Gaaaa.  Its already been raining steadily since Tuesday morning.  I am tired of coaxing little dogs OUT (to go poddy) and coaxing big dogs IN to get out of the rain (I don’t know why I worry about it when obviously he doesn’t.)  Oh well. I dare not complain too loudly.  We need the rain.

Christmas in January?

Oh my goodness, I had more than my fair share of fun today!  The day started out with a doctor’s appointment.  I had to go see a dermatologist just because I mentioned to my PMD that my sister had had melanoma (she’s fine now) and so the doctor referred me to a dermatologist to give me the once over.  YES.  The once over.  And I have to tell you the best thing about the appointment.  As the dermatologist is looking very closely at all the various parts of me, parts that I’d rather no one see, she says, “You have really beautiful skin.”  LOLOLOL. Oh, that one will last me a long time!  Of course, she meant from a professional point of view, in that I didn’t have one suspicious mole in sight, which she thought was remarkable considering my fair skin, and a fair amount of exposure as a kid, as well as the fact that I never wear sunscreen.  But I’ll take  a compliment any which way I can.  (And before you all start yelling at me, I don’t really go out in the sun.  I wear sunscreen when I am in the pool.)

So since I had to go through that traumatic event, I wanted to treat myself to a Pinkberry frozen yogurt.  I also had a very short list of things I wanted to look for.  I wanted some pink towels, I wanted to LOOK at some of those fabulous Newton running shoes that Shelley has, I needed a new bedside lamp, and I needed to get some extra fancy hypo-allergenic dog food for HRH.  Sophie has some mild food allergies, and for convenience sake, I had tried once again to convert all the dogs to the same brand of dog food.  And then eventually Sophie starts licking her feet and legs.  Slurp, slurp, slurp.  Every evening.  Followed by me yelling “STOP LICKING!”  Followed by me feeling bad.  How would you like it if your skin felt itchy/irritated/dry (I don’t actually know what it feels like to her) and someone yelled at you to stop.

Anyway, back to my shopping trip.  I never did find the pink towel.  Weird.  But everywhere I went, I found some fun bargain.  I’m just guessing things were marked down after Christmas.  I found some ‘gourmet food’ items at Home Goods.  I tried to control myself.  Got some cookies and cream coffee, dried apricots, giant cashews, and some chocolate, cherry, and almond granola!

Next stop, Marshalls.  Surely they have some pink towels.  Nope.  But look what I just happened to pass by on the way to the towels!

I swear, I have been looking for the right pair of clogs for three years.  And finally gave up and got those two pair of shoes right before I left for my Christmas trip.  And then I find these Born clogs on sale for $29.  I couldn’t resist.  I love clogs for airplane travel, so you can kind of slip them halfway off your feet.  Oh, plus when you go through the security place, very easy on and off.

I walked around in them for quite a while to make sure the heels were not too high for me.

At this point I was running out of steam, and I almost drove on by the sports store (where I was going to look for the Newtons.)  But there was a 15 minute parking place right in front, so I thought, I’ll just run in to see if they even have them.  Well, they did not.  But look what I found!  Saucony, my favorite brand, and these are a new ‘extra light’ version.  Not quite as colorful as the Newtons, but close enough for me.  Plus the fact that they felt fantastic the minute I put them on my feet.  You’d better look quick, cause they won’t stay this pretty for too long.  I’ll probably reserve them for gym shoes for a little while, and then they’ll get drafted for their real purpose, taking the long walks around here.  Oh yeah, these were on sale $20 off too!

On to Costco to get the Queen’s special formula doggie food–Turkey and Sweet Potato.  I guess we’re more alike than I thought–we even eat the same stuff.  And I scored again!!!  Right inside the door they had a big display of Magic Bullet Blenders with a special $10 off.  I have looked at the Magic Bullet displays for year.  I resisted getting one before Christmas, and I guess it paid off.  My old Oster blender has been trying to give up the ghost, and since I am using it more and more, the timing was just right.  I am now the proud owner of a Magic Bullet 25 piece set!  I have no idea where I’m going to put all those pieces…

And, the last thing I had on my list–a bedside lamp?  I got the very last Ottlight in Costco for only $19.  Yahoo.  No more jumping out of bed to turn the light off just as I’m about to drift off to sleep.  I also got some green beans, giant cherries, blueberries, and a whole box of the Pure Protein bars I’ve been eating lately.

And then it was off to Pinkberry for my froyo and the drive home.  I had brought my food for the day with me, so no need to stop and get lunch.  And I got home just in time to take the doggies for their evening stroll before it got dark.

It was a very good day.  I made myself a turkey taco salad for dinner, and it looked so pretty I had to take a picture of it to share with you.  Dessert was about 10 of the giant cherries and a Russell Stover sugar free mint.  I am quite fond of those right now.

I did a little more work on the spreadsheets for our Haiti project.  We are having a meeting with our pastor and the treasurers tomorrow, and are trying to look like we know what we are doing LOL. Which, BTW, I don’t think I mentioned yet how wonderful it was that two of my bloggy friends, Pubsgal and Cammy, offered to help when I complained about having a problem with Excel.  In emailing with Cammy, she mentioned Google Docs, and that has been a lifesaver.  Just what we needed!  Its really wonderful how people you haven’t even met are so willing to help you.

I am very happy with my activity level for this first week of 2012.  I have been able to get into the free weights room at the gym, and do bench presses with the bar each time I’ve gone.  I’m adding in some core exercises on the days that I walk at home.  Helen, I can do 3 whole 30-second planks.  And then I collapse on the floor huffing and puffing.  And all the dogs come over to see what the heck is wrong with me.

I’ve been hitting up the Redbox lately, and have seen some really good movies.  Midnight in Paris was delightful, Sarah’s Key was really good, and The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson and Jody Foster, was actually a fascinating movie.  One reviewer commented that the Mel Gibson ick factor was one of the reasons it didn’t succeed.  That made me laugh.  I guess since I don’t have tv, I never saw all the horrid stuff he was involved in.  Its interesting to me who we will forgive and who we won’t.  I LOVE Hugh Grant.  I can’t help it.  When he got caught cheating on  his fiance(?) with a prostitute, was there a time period where we didn’t forgive him?  Which reminds me, have you all seen “About a Boy?”  One of my favorite Hugh Grant performances.

Somehow I got into quite a Meryl Streep movie review with Shelley. Have you young’uns seen Sophie’s Choice, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and Out of Africa?  They  are must sees, if you like Meryl Streep, or good movies, or women with accents LOL (Meryl Streep really became known for her ability to do accents in these films.)

And then there is my affinity for movie musicals.  Remember when I said I wanted to start reading some classic books?  Well, I thought I’d start out with an easy one.  I downloaded Oliver Twist to my Kindle Fire.  Which led me to serenade the dogs with ALL the songs from the old (60’s?) musical Oliver.  Whe-eh-eh-eh-ere is love (sung in a high whispery voice)   O-li-veh, O-li-veh, never before has a boy wanted more, (sung in a generic chorus of voices,) and One boy, boy for sale, he’s going cheap... (sung in the deep baritone of Mr. Bumble)… oh, the dogs were sick of me by the end of the day LOL.

I guess maybe I should post a little more frequently.  You can divide this into several days readings if you want.