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Furnaces and furniture

Busy week house wise. We have had so many people in and out of the house this week!  The furnace people were in for 3 days. First was getting rid of what I called the behemoth:

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While it would have been nice to put off getting a new boiler for a year, this one was smelly and I was a little concerned about its safety, even though it checked out okay with the heating people. It seemed to work really hard, too.  It’s probably over 50 years old. The guys said it weighed 1200 pounds and it took 4 of them taking it out in pieces to remove it. 

Then the new one arrived and it took them a lot of time to set it up because they put in new water and electrical lines and made everything all new.  We were without heat for a couple days, but luckily the cement walls held in enough heat so that we weren’t freezing.

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We used 1-Hour Heating and I was really impressed with how professional and personable they were. Not to mention all the time they took. 

The chimney people also came this week as well to get a look at what the furnace people were doing so they could get ready to put in our chimney liner next week.  At least the house will be buttoned up and ready for winter and we will be safe.  I just wish the money could be spent on more ‘fun’ things...

 

There were fun things, though – our new furniture finally arrived!  We ordered from a small local shop and got a great price on these pieces, but the tradeoff was having to wait a month to get them in.

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I got my fainting couch!

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I was going to wait until November to do the wallpaper, but I am disliking it so much with our new furniture LOL!

Pixie approves of both pieces:

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We need to do a scale model of things and play around with the layout in the living room. It feels unorganized and we can’t agree where stuff should go.  I’ll have to post full pictures for some advice on placement.

Now for the pink item of the day:

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The Breast Cancer Site

After a super busy week with work and all this stuff, I want to spend some time doing fun fall things. We are hoping to get to an apple orchard or something festival-ish this weekend :D

Dining Room reveal and CocoVia winners!

First off, the winners of the CocoVia coconut water are:

 Carla!

you had me at ICY COLD since we are mooooving back to TEXAS.

And

Kim!

I’ve never tried coconut water, but I needed something to kick my ridiculous diet soda addiction.

Please email me at javaqueen01@yahoo.com with your address by Sunday  (10/26).

I know that I owe you kitchen pictures, but I have to get them organized as there are a lot more than for the dining room.  Finally finished the dining room and got it cleaned up.  It’s amazing how messy removing wallpaper and painting is. Ugh. More the wallpaper than anything else.  Anyway, this room had 4 loverly layers of wallpaper on the bottom half and there was so much wall prep to be done. After removing the paper, then I had to get the glue backer off, patch holes and then sand all the walls (talk about working up a sweat!).  This is what we were working with:

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This doesn’t look too bad in pictures, but there was a lot of damaged wallpaper. It’s just was a little stodgy looking and dated as well. (The last picture I had sanded and polyed the floor, so that looks nice).

I left the chair rail up. I like chair rails, particularly in the dining room.  It gives you options for paint colors!

Lots and lots of work on the walls. Wall prep is really the most time consuming thing, but good prep means better finished product.  I have been wanting to use a cranberry color for a long time and this room seemed perfect because with the chair rail – it wouldn’t be too overwhelming or make the room seem smaller.  The upper half of the room is done in Olympus Golden Mushroom.  It’s cream colored and not what I would call mushroom at all, but whatever.

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The bottom half is Olympus Merlot, which I looooove!

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My bargain china cabinet that I couldn’t wait to get into this house many months ago when I found it!

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I wish it was sunny out for this picture because it is such a bright room, but we have had rain for the last few days:

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We need to either thrift or build a buffet for in here. It’s sparse on furniture LOL!  The walls are cement, so it is going to take time for us to hang the art work. Our light frames we can use Command picture hangers, but the heavier items I don’t trust with that and we need to drill anchors. That means careful planning of where we want the photos since they won’t move for a while :D

Each room that we do in this house erases the neglect this house suffered for a while and makes it more ours.  I am going to take a break from wallpaper removal for the rest of October as we still have a ton of boxes to unpack and organize.  November will start the living room.

CocoZia review and giveaway!

You all know I have love for coconut water, so this was definitely a product I agreed to review.  Cocozia provided me with Organic Coconut Water for my opinion.

CocoZia

I don’t like sports gels or drinks. I don’t drink sweet anything. My coffee and lattes are unsweetened, my seltzer water is unsweetened and I don’t do diet drinks, and I rarely drink juice, so I am not used to having beverages be sweet.  I think that is part of the reason why I have trouble with sports drinks for rehydration.  Coconut water fits that bill perfectly instead. It has only the barest hint of sweet and a very mild flavor.

From the CocoZia website:

COCOZIA 100% Organic Coconut Water is fat-free and contains no processed ingredients of any kind. It’s 100% organic and it’s so good for you! COCOZIA contains fresh, pure water from inside a young green coconut. It’s a clear, naturally sweet liquid that has just 70 calories Make COCOZIA your go-to answer when you want easy-to-drink hydration, coupled with a natural abundance of potassium and magnesium, as well as other electrolytes.

This is the nutrition label:

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They point out on the website there are 70 calories in the coconut water and it looks (by my math) that is are 80 for the whole 16.9 ounce container.  Coconut water also has lots of potassium. The only thing missing is salt when replacing a lot of sweat. So, having a few pretzels or crackers with the coconut water is a good solution. This is organic coconut water, and truth be told it tastes the same as regular coconut water big grin

Cocozia offers 5 flavors: Original, Chocolate, Coffee (WHAT???? Gimmee), Pineapple and Mango. If you want something a little sweeter, the flavored coconut waters do seem to offer that, but still not super sweet.

Coconut water is best served icy cold, in my opinion. I like to pop a bottle in the freezer the night before a ride and that way you can have a slushy cold drink later in the ride when you need it. Some people find coconut water to be an acquired taste, and I understand that – especially if you are used to sports drinks, but it can grow on you – sort of like when you switch from sweetened yogurt to plain.  

Anyhoo – now for the good stuff. This came as a case of 12 to me, so I thought I would share the bounty with 2 people.  I will randomly choose 2 people to receive two  16 oz bottles of Cocozia to try!

 

Anyone can enter this – you don’t have to be in the US, since I will be sending them out!  Yay for all inclusive!! :D

All you have to do is comment below telling me if you have tried cocout water to be entered.  I will chose 2 winners on Thursday evening, so this will be a quick one.

 

**I was provided a case of CocoZia for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Baked chocolate Bisquick donuts

I feel like we hae finally turned a corner as far as the craziness goes… I hope!  Getting back into routines and not shuttling back and forth between houses is nice.  

Work is just about complete on the dining room – we even got a picture up!:

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We will be getting our living room couch and chaise this week, finally!  We have had a trundle bed set up as a couch in the living room for now. Shades of dorm rooms LOL!  It’s beginning to feel more like our house now, little by little. 

Anyway, back to donuts – or getting to the donuts… I had bought a box of Bisquick for a recipe that I can’t recall now, but we needed to use of the rest before we moved and I found recipes for Bisquick donuts to use it up. We liked them so much and they were so easy that we bought another box after we moved LOL!

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Here is one of the recipes from the Betty Crocker website

This is a half recipe and it makes 6 or 7 small donuts.

Baked Chocolate Donuts

Makes 6 mini donuts.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (120 grams) of Bisquick Heart Smart
  • 1.5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, mix the Bisquick, sugar and cocoa powder to blend. In another small dish, beat the egg, add the milk and vanilla.  

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Then add this to the dry mix.  Mix until just moistened. Overmixing can make tough donuts, and you don’t want tough donuts :D

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Spray the donut pan with cooking spray and spoon into the pan.

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This is a little full, actually – so keep that in mind. I just didn’t feel like doing another pan for 1 donut (lazy).

Bake for 6-7 minutes.  Check with a toothpick if you want, but they will spring back to the touch.

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See how I got this pan just a little full? Turn over to the pretty side on a cooling rack :)

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Here are the stats for just the donuts:

Calories (per donut): 106, 2.7 grams of fat, 18.2 grams of carbs, 3.3 grams of protein, 0.4 grams of fiber.

Top with any glaze that you want.  This glaze is 1/3 cup of powdered sugar with a tablespoon of milk and 1/2 tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter.

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The donuts are not too sweet, which is nice and so easy and fast to make. You can have donuts in about 20 minutes from start to finish.

It’s funny how I bought a donut pan kind of on a whim and we actually use it fairly often.  John loves the baked donuts, as do I.

New boiler for our furnace tomorrow and the new furniture!  I also have a product review and giveaway for this week, so stay tuned!

Fall foliage

Fall is in the air! Other than being warm, of course.  The leaves have hit their peak now.

 

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So love the colors of fall.

Here are some photos on our walk today:

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Not exactly sure what is up with this squirrel. It’s not really a fall decoration and he is tied into the tree.  Weird.

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Here is one of my potted plants that rebloomed!

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A lot of our fall decorations are in a box somewhere, but I did manage to find my sign welcoming the trick-or-treaters:

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We need to check with the neighbors and see how many kids come for Halloween. We are a few blocks from the school, so it could be a lot.

I sure am glad it is Friday.  Gotta work some, though.  We got a tax bill for the new house already – eek!

 

Today’s pink picture:

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Click, click!

The Breast Cancer Site

As if I weren’t busy enough!

This has been some weather this week!  We hit 78 yesterday and the overnight low was around 60, so that meant biking for breakfast! 

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Happy bike face!! We haven’t been on the bikes in 2 weeks and it felt good.  Of course, we now live 1 mile from the coffee shop instead of 6, so we took a circuitous route there to add some miles.

 Fall plantings downtown:

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It’s so warm that it feels like summer around here.  Looks like fall, though:

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Work has been really busy, which is a good thing. For a while there, I was concerned about not enough work after losing my main account, but they gave me some more work and I think maybe a couple MTs left or something because there has been plenty of work lately. Feast or famine and I will have to feast as much as I can :D

My snack with my afternoon latte – Newman Ginger O’s:

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I have a good relationship with food now, but I still have those foods I don’t let in the house for fear of bingeing on them. Newman Ginger O’s are one of those foods. I have decided to bring those foods into the house and learn that I don’t have to eat them all at once.  Of course, I won’t be having them all here at the same time :D  I have been doing okay with these cookies.

Work is progressing on the dining room. Painting has begun (YAY!!!) and I finally chose a light fixture.

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I really struggled with this one as we wanted something Tiffany, but I was afraid the diffusion of the light wouldn’t be enough.  I had looked at this fixture and really liked it, but I thought it was too small for the room at 13 inches.  You are supposed to take the length of the room on the diagonal and that should be the size of your ceiling fixture in inches (according to experts). This room is 17.5 feet in diagonal, which means a 17 inch fixture. I finally decided to go ahead and get the light I liked since I kept coming back to it.  And you know – it fits just fine! Not too small and I love it.  Goes to show that the experts aren’t always right.

On top of all this, I got an email from my old soap client last week asking for more soap.  It’s always an ‘emergency’ for her (not sure why she cannot plan it better, but whatever).  I told her we had just moved and it would take some time to get them to her, but I just can’t turn the order down. It’s several hundred dollars and with the rehab and owning 2 houses, it is much needed $$$  :D

So, I had to find my molds and all the stuff in the pile of boxes and set myself up in the basement main room as I am *not* making soap in my brand new kitchen.

My alchemy station by the giant fireplace in the basement.

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Finished soap:

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I am about 3/4 done with the order. Just another couple days.  Then I am sure something else will crop up…

Today’s pink item?

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Random floral vase. This normally isn’t out – or wasn’t at our old place. Still finding homes for a ton of stuff :D

Click, click!
The Breast Cancer Site

 

Fall weekend

I had a nice mostly unplugged weekend.  I worked a little on Saturday morning and then just spent the weekend doing other things. With the move done, it now feels like we are starting to build our routines back. I was on the hunt for a small table for out nook and I hit up a couple resale/antique stores. Here are some nice shots of some businesses getting decked out for fall and Halloween:

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I did find an interesting table, but it might be a little too big.

I also finally got out into my own garden.  This is the mess (one of) I am trying to sort out:

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Yeah, it’s a big mess!  If I can get anything cleared out, I might just get a chance to put some bulbs in just to have something come up in the spring.

House progress.  I got all the wallpaper off the dining room wall!  Each room seems to have a different level of wallpaper hell going on. This one seemed easy at first because the top wallpaper came right off except for right at the ceiling where it was glued in a strip (which took forever to get off), but the bottom was 4 layers. With paint in between. That took forever and a day.  But now it is done!

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All that is left is wall patching,  quick sanding and then paint.  That red color is what is going on the bottom half. It’s called Merlot.  Top will be cream.  It will be good to get this room done.

I found strange stuff, too.  It looks like someone took a knife and stabbed the wall.  

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Is that not bizarre? This was up high above the window, too.  All the neighbors we have met so far do not have a high opinion of the guy that had this house before. He sounds like a real peach.

We finished the doors for the radiator cabinet after my mismeasurement..oopsie… Or should I say John resized them :D  Here is the old kitchen and what we were trying to solve:

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Here is this area now:

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The doors came out just like I wanted!  The cabinets were moved a smidge to the left. We bought the radiator screen online and cut it to fit the middle of the doors. Then painted and voila. Now the heat can come out from behind there and we don’t have to look at it :D The drawers fronts look a little small above, but for now they will do. Plus we need a little trim on the bottom to match the other door, but those are small details.  I know I owe you a full kitchen reveal as well.

Today’s pink picture! This is a magnet my sister brought us back on a trip she took to California earlier this year. Bling!

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Don’t forget to click!

The Breast Cancer Site

Cleaning out the old

This moving thing is getting old already.  We have been going to the old house and finishing up clearing out old stuff.  You know, you just don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it.  Not to mention that I was feeling good that we had pared down – and we still have too much stuff.  Ugh.  It’s funny how you have so much stuff that means nothing – like how many mini blind brackets does one really need?? And you have the other things that mean a lot, like my great grandmother’s hand-painted plates:

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Then is the task of scrubbing down the old house. Dust bunnies galore!  When looking at the house, it seems so generic inside without all our stuff and I don’t feel sad about it.  All the character of the old house was on the outside and the garden and that does hurt some to look at.  

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I still need to move over most of my garden ornaments.  With no sale pending on the house, there really isn’t a hurry to do that stuff, but it would be nice to be finished.

We are slowly getting used to the new place. I do have to say that I have been sleeping really well.  I am totally shocked.  I normally suffer from insomnia and I will say that after the first week we closed on the new house, I started taking melatonin and that combined with all the physical work and I began sleeping a lot better.  The first night in the new house I slept surprisingly well and have all week.  I don’t know if it is just the melatonin, but a big part is the largeness of the master bedroom. I feel tucked away inside the room and not near a window or wall on the side and it just feels very safe. I just hope it lasts.

One of my favorite things is our new sink!  

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I was a little worried about the granite composite staining as some people reviewed it as having an issue with that, but we have not found that so far.  There has been tomato sauce, chili, coffee, blueberries and strawberries in the sink and no stains, so I am really pleased about that.  

Pixie also has been settling in like she owns the place.  She has been finding some strange places to hang out that she never did before:

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She just likes being with us, though.  I am happy that she has settled in and seems really content.  This was her in between John and I last night:

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I am glad for the weekend, although it just feels like we don’t have enough time to get everything done that we need!  Every time we cross one thing off, we find 2 more things to do :D

Let’s talk candy corn

Okay, it’s time to talk candy corn. I know there are a lot of you who don’t like it. I love it! Funny thing is that a lot of people associate candy corn with me. Sad and funny at the same time, don’t you think?

candy corn

Anyway, as a candy corn connoisseur, there are certain rules about candy corn.  The first is freshness.  Stale candy corn is terrible.  This is why I only eat candy corn in the fall when most is consumed and what you get is fresh.  Don’t be buying any convenience store snack bag of candy corn in July and expect it to be good.  

The other is brand. I am very particular about the brands of candy corn I like.  You can’t just go and buy any old candy corn.  Best brand?  Zachary’s.

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It has the best flavor in my opinion.

 

The other thing about candy corn?  You cannot mimic the flavor in other things.  It’s like fresh strawberries. Any kind of strawberry candy or muffin or whatever just doesn’t taste like strawberries.  So just say no to this:ccoreoMost definitely say no to this:

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It’s just white chocolate colored like candy corn. Imposter!!!

The other thing is to stay away from candy corn that has been adulterated.   This means none of this:

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No, no, no.  JUST STOP IT!!

 

Candy corn is a simple candy. Not sure why I like it so much, but I do!  We should take a poll and see how many candy corn lovers also love eggnog (I do!), which is another polarizing holiday treat. 

Settling in

We made it to the other side of the weekend’s move!  We did have some help packing and unpacking, but the moving part was by ourselves.  Thank goodness for being more fit than the last time we moved 8 years ago!  John also made a point that he is never moving again and I am to remind him weekly of that.   :lol: 

Too much stuff.

Pixie came over Sunday afternoon for good.  She was not liking all of the stuff being emptied out of the house.  

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Are we there yet?

Do you like the piano?

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I can now say I have moved a piano LOL!  Of course, it is missing the metal string compartment as John converted this to hold his keyboard. That got rid of a ton of weight in the piano since we were just moving the outer casing.

It’s going to take a while to get settled here, and we still have to clean up the old house and move a few leftover things.  It’s overwhelming to find new homes for everything:

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Of course, it would be really nice if we could actually take a few days off to get things in order, but being self-employed, we just don’t have that luxury and were right back at work this morning.  Gotta pay for this rehab!  At least no commute :)

It seems we have had a thousand plumbing issues in this house, but something actually worked like it was supposed to – this dishwasher!

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First load and no leaks. Whew…

We also did our first grocery shopping trip for the new house.  I am so tired of seeing pumpkin spice everything and I think this is just ridiculous:

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It’s time to stop pumpkin spicing everything.