Shop Amazon

Categories

Bring on April!

A new month begins. I was wearing serious cranky pants the last couple of days, but now we have a fresh start. Let’s hope that spring actually decides to show up this month.  Glens Falls had a March that was in the top 10 of cold Marches on record. I think it came in 6th, if I remember. :roll: On a good note, the main is unfrozen at the old house and it has water again as of today,  hooray!  No more worries about that. 

I have been trying to make it feel more springy.  My new stress busting coloring book is really fun, I have to say.  It’s called Enchanted Forest, so coloring that lets me pretend I am working the garden bed.  Right?

coloring book

 

I also just got some colored pencils to go with the gel pens for more variety.

WP_20150329_011

The artist who did this book is incredibly talented.

I also got some 16 x 20 enlargements done on Snap Fish to fill a couple large frames we had.  These were shots I took when we went to Portsmouth last year.

WP_20150401_001

The floral one will go in my pink music room, but I may keep the house picture in the dining room because it actually matches well. It was supposed to go up in that room as well. There is nothing on any of the walls upstairs in any room. Dewallpapering and painting is almost easier compared to trying to do art work. :D

How about a peek at the almost finished bathroom?  Here is the before:

WP_20150319_008

Here is the after:

WP_20150401_004

There is countertop paint on the counters. I stripped off the finish on the on the doors with its fake glazing attempt and just left it natural with some satin poly.  Then I spray painted the hardware gold.  We have a lot of mixed finishes in here , but at least these kind of match the faucet now.

All that is left is touch up stuff, finishing the ceiling vent, and decorating.

More veggie front today.  Asparagus were on sale, so I got some.  Roasted in the oven:

WP_20150401_002

 

I have to say, not a huge fan of the asparagus, but I am eating my veggies :D

Capital District Flower Show!

Get ready for lots of pictures! I loved the flower show!  Of course, it was snowing on the way down there  :roll:  There were a ton of different displays and entries into themed designs. There was a large room that was set up with landscaping by professionals.  

WP_20150328_042

 

It smelled like fresh mulch in the room and it was heaven :D  All of these displays were set up in an ice rink. It’s amazing that in 4 days they can transform an ice rink into an outdoor oasis.

WP_20150328_024.

WP_20150328_026

Of course, this display won best in show.

WP_20150328_030.

WP_20150328_036

.WP_20150328_041

.

WP_20150328_054

.

WP_20150328_047

The orchid society was there as well with tons of different kinds of orchids.

WP_20150328_069

.

WP_20150328_019

.

WP_20150328_022

There was a huge marketplace as well and I could have spent a billion dollars in there, but I managed to only spend $4 LOL. I bought 2 Astilibes for $2 each as a show special.  I just really enjoyed looked at all the blooms.

WP_20150328_032

.

WP_20150328_011

.

WP_20150328_078

.

WP_20150328_068

 

Okay, I better stop. I have something like 100 pictures :D  

WP_20150328_064

Now I really can’t wait to get out there in the garden!!

 

 

 

What’s Blooming – sort of

It still feels like we are in the grip of late winter.  Well, I guess we are, but who’s counting anymore.  I am taking gardening into my own hands if Mother nature isn’t cooperating!   This weekend we are going down to the Capital District Flower Show outside of Albany. YAY!!!!  I can’t believe how excited I am to see flowers and greenery.flowershow

 

The last indoor flower show I went to was when we lived in IL and went to the big one in Chicago, which was very cool.  This will be much needed while we wait for everything to warm up around here and to settle down from a bit of a hectic week.

I also received a coloring book for adults today.  I read an article online about how coloring was supposed to be really a good way for adults to destress and I thought it would be fun, so I ordered a book online. Apparently everyone else read the same article because the book I wanted was on backorder.  But now it is in my grabby hands since it arrived today and it is gorgeous!

WP_20150327_001

 

Linkie: Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book

 

It has a cover over the art paper pad, and you probably could even color the cover if you want :D

I bought a big set of  some gel pens to use for this book and they arrived a while ago waiting to be used:

WP_20150327_003

 

Don’t these look like fun?

WP_20150327_002

 

There are hidden pictures and puzzles in the book, too – so this should keep me occupied for a while when I get stressed out :D

 

Have a great weekend and I will be reporting back with flower pictures! I can’t wait!!

 

The effects of winter

One more sleep until John comes home!!  Interestingly enough, last night was the first night that I slept well since he has been gone.  Normally on his weekend trips I sleep okay, but this longer one I haven’t been.

I did Bagel Wednesday anyway. Nothing stops that :D  No company this time, though.

bagel

That frozen main at the old place is annoying. I called the water department and they can’t clear it from outside because the ground is frozen and they can’t dig. So, they had to come to the house and look at the main valve inside to see if they could use their equipment and drill out from the inside. The guy said “What time can you come out today?” since someone obviously had to be there. Nothing like having all the stuff go down when only one of us is at home. Anyway, I get there and then they tell me they can’t clear it from inside the house unless we have a plumber come in and change the shut off valve to a type that accepts their tools.  Sigh.  Or, they said we could wait until it thaws on its own, which is what we would like to do. Would be nice if temps could actually get above freezing and stay there.  I guess all the houses in the couple of blocks had the same problem and we were house #28 to have the main frozen.

The effects of winter.  At our old place, the house next door has not been well taken care of. The garage has looked like a death trap with a bowed roof for years. Funny thing – the neighbors put a new side door on it and started painting the sides, but totally ignored the roof other than covering it with a blue tarp. Well, this year’s heavy snowfall took its toll:

WP_20150321_006

We see this from the driveway. The front of the garage at the street looks terrible because with the roof broken in, the garage door fell off the track and is dangling down.  So unsafe. Of course, a bank owns that house now and they won’t do anything about it. It’s a good thing for potential buyers to see, don’t  you think?  :roll:

 Anyway enough house stuff.

I am still enjoying the Spiralizer.  Potatoes are awesome with this tool.  I used the angel hair shredder on a 5 oz potato:

WP_20150314_005

 

Then I sprayed the waffle iron with cooking spray and put the potatoes in there, using a spatula to even them out and get them all in there.  Added some salt and peppah

WP_20150314_006

Then cooked for about 5 minutes. If you use a blade bigger than the angel hair, it would probably take longer:

WP_20150314_007

The lighting is a little weird because there were a bit darker than this. Anyway, this was a fun side dish and very quick.

WP_20150314_008

 

It makes a serving of potato look huge, too. My eyes like that.  Looks like I waffled spaghetti, doesn’t it?  Hmmmm…. I wonder how that would be?

Is it spring?

Seems like I am seeing spring flower posts everywhere but around here!  It’s been colder than usual, and it is supposed to be that way through April according to the weather channel.  It will be a while before I am working the garden bed, but I do see stuff starting to appear!

WP_20150322_014

I realized that I finished my chair and never showed the pictures, so here they are!  Here is the before picture from my Habitat Restore chair:

WP_20150221_021

 

All finished:

chair

 

This took a while because there is a channel that the fabric goes in and my staple gun is flat. I needed a special narrow nose staple gun, but I wasn’t about to spend $50 on a staple gun to use once, so I used a small upholstery hammer and tacked the fabric in. That took a long time and if I ever redo this chair again, I will get that special staple gun :D  It’s not perfect, but that means it fits in pretty well around Radiance Manor.

WP_20150322_005

Ms. Pixie loves the chair, as predicted, and I had to wipe hair off of it for the picture.  Now this chair is in the nook and my other chair is downstairs to get the same treatment. Hopefully that one won’t be so tedious, but I do have to retie springs on that chair, which scares me.

I also worked on the bathroom again this weekend.  I painted the countertops with the Rustoleum countertop paint. The old green ready to be painted.

WP_20150319_007

I won’t show the after yet as John wants to be surprised (and will he) when he gets home and he reads my blog. I chose a cobblestone color.  I have this love/hate relationship with Rustoleum stuff because their color matches are terrible with their samples, but the products are good. The color is a little more gray than I was expecting, but it looks pretty good.  I wouldn’t use this stuff in a kitchen, but it’s good enough for a temporary color change before our major overhaul.

I had a lucky breakfast today. My mother and I were planning on going out for breakfast. My sister was supposed to be going out of town, but there were issues with her flight, so she is leaving tomorrow instead and I told her about brekkie, so she came with the youngest niece and we all got caught up.

WP_20150322_002

 

Happy find at grocery shopping today, too:

WP_20150322_004

 

My favorite apple is the Pink Lady and that is what I have with my daily yogurt.  John likes lots of different apples, but I really only want the Pink Lady, so I pay the normal $1.79 a pound for them every week.  I stocked up today!

This post is all over the place. I feel like I am going in 20 directions, which I guess I am.  But back to spring again – it was so cold today.  I went out for a walk this afternoon and it was 25 degrees. It was windy, too, so I don’t even know what the wind chill was – other than freaking cold!

WP_20150322_013

I should not be dressed like this in late March. At least I got a walk in.  We are supposed to have record lows tonight as well.  On top of all this cold, the water main to the street is frozen to our other house.  It went all winter without issue, but now it is frozen. The pipes in the house are fine (thank goodness) because we have the heat set at 55, so now we need to talk to the city about getting that street blockage cleared out. No hurry since we aren’t living there, but a stress we really don’t need.  On the good side, there were 2 showings on the house this week, which is double the number that we had all winter.  Fingers crossed that the market picks up.

 

Bachelorette time

Today I took John to the airport.  He will be gone for a week.  He is spending part of the time with his family and part with a friend of his who lives in Vegas.  With owning 2 houses right now, vacation for both of us together is off the table, but John hasn’t seen his folks in about a year, so I told him to look for good flights and go visit them by himself.

WP_20150319_003

 

After we sell our house if that ever happens… then I will take a mini vacation :D  So, it’s going to be a busy week for me keeping an eye on John’s business and my own job. But, I am glad to do it so he can visit his family, even though I wish I could see them as well.  I will miss him terribly, though.

Hopefully I will have enough things to keep me busy and out of trouble, but who knows? John might come back to 4 more antique trunks, 3 chairs to upholster and 6 stray cats.  :mrgreen: 

I stopped for a consolation latte on the way back from the airport:

WP_20150319_004

 

My new shower curtain arrived today.  Since we are redoing the whole bath in a few years, I didn’t want to spend a ton on a shower curtain – and really, why are they so expensive??  Finding one I like and at a good price is like that old needle in the haystack thing.  However, Amazon usually comes to the rescue, and it did in this case. Birds & Butterflies Heavy Duty Fabric Shower Curtain  (my link)

WP_20150319_002

 

$15 and free shipping for a fabric shower curtain.  Marked down from $50 – score!  I really love how pretty it is. If I can’t get my gardening fix outside, may as well have it in the bath.

WP_20150319_001

 

I am going to have to figure out some way to use this in the future when we have a glass door shower and won’t need it. Maybe I could fashion a duvet cover out of it or something.  

I have to say that I am getting tired of this cold weather. We barely got above freezing today and were below that yesterday.  The snow is melting ever so slowly.  At least the walks are now mostly clear and just wet in spots.  I took a nice walk after dinner.

WP_20150319_005

 

It’s forecast to be below normal for a while, too.  I am putting out my tulip spring flag tomorrow regardless, dammit.

Now to keep myself busy – and get back to work to make up for the time I missed taking John to the airport.

 

Happy St. Patty’s Day with Shepherd’s Pie!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St-Patricks-Day-2013
Cuteness!

I really wanted Shepherd’s pie today, and since John isn’t eating meat, we thought we would try the Morningstar crumbles in place of the ground beef.  John found this recipe on All Recipes for Zippy Shepherd’s pie. We converted it to a veggie recipe and made the changes below:

1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 pound Morningstar Crumbles
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14 ounce) can veggie broth
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 can of petite diced tomatoes (15 oz)
7 ounces of diced carrots
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut the potatoes. Place into a pot with water and boil for about 10 minutes until fork tender.

Now we used raw carrots instead of the frozen peas and carrots the recipe called for, so we cooked the carrots in the microwave for about 10 minutes with some water to cook them since the stove time is really short on this.

In a large pan, add the oil, the veggie crumbles, the onions and peppers and the garlic. Cook for several minutes until heated through. Then add the broth, curry powder, ketchup, worchestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Mix 1 tablespoon of corn starch with about 1 tablespoon of cold water and add to the pan. Stir well until the mixture starts to thicken.  Then add in the tomatoes and cooked carrots and simmer.  We cooked this for probably 10 minutes or so while we got the potatoes mashed.  This thickened up the sauce nicely. If you don’t do this, you might want to do another round of  cornstarch/water.

After draining the potatoes, mash together with the butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Turn on the oven broiler. Take a large casserole dish and pour in the ‘meat’ filling.  Spread the mashed potatoes on top.  There really aren’t a lot of potatoes in this version, so the top layer is a little thin.  Then top with the cheddar cheese and broil for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted.  We almost burned ours LOL!  I had to take off the really dark part of the cheese.

Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Verdict? This was quite tasty!  I would definitely make it again. It’s pretty filling, too.

Veggie Shepherd's Pie

 

Nutritional information:  This is calculated with our changes above. Obviously if you use real meat, it will be different.

This makes 6 servings. Each serving has 293 calories, 32 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fat, 18 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

 

Office and bathroom projects

Another post from the renovation files. We are pushing hard on some projects now. Biking season is approaching and we won’t be wanting to work on projects so much, so gotta finish some up.

John was like a demon and started and pretty much finished the office from Saturday to Sunday.  This is the room off the living room. We think it was more of a 3 season room and it used to have French doors on it.  Those same doors the former owner tried to sell back us  :roll:   John has spent time sealing up the room so that it is warmer and we haven’t replaced the doors.  Then this weekend he took out the rug to lay cork flooring.

john

You know, he says that I am the ham around here.

It’s a small room and quite square, so he was already laying the flooring by the afternoon.

WP_20150315_001

Saturday was Pi day, of course!  Uber Pi day as well 3/14/15.  After working hard, we stopped at a bakery to get a couple slices of pie shaped items to take home.  

WP_20150314_004

This was a raspberry cheesecake and it tasted kind of old, unfortunately. I was kind of bummed and didn’t eat much of it.  Lesson learned about where not to go. Boo.

John finished up the floor Sunday afternoon.  The only think left is some shoe molding, which we have to go get.

WP_20150315_011

This is the same flooring we have in the kitchen and nook area.   We really like it.  His office area is now set up:

WP_20150315_013

 

I put my bench on the other end and of course, Ms. Pixie was all kinds of nosey.

WP_20150315_015

 

So what was I doing while he was doing flooring?  Getting rid of the rest of Jar Jar.

I finally got all the wallpaper down in this room.

WP_20150315_002

 

This is actually a good shot that shows where the shower is right now.

 

 

 

WP_20150315_004

 

The funky corner:

WP_20150315_003

 

Let me tell you that getting the wallpaper off the wall from under that corner was really annoying. If i was 5 pounds heavier, I probably woudn’t have fit LOL!

 

I have kind of a crazy idea for this corner for now, but I have to think on it a bit.

It’s funny, as ugly as the walls look now, it seems so much bigger without all that busy wallpaper.

Now time to patch the walls and prepare them for paint. I hope to get the room done by the end of the month.

 

 

Home gym

It’s almost time to get the bikes outside, but not quite yet. John has been wanting a recumbent bike because they are more comfortable for him than the trainer and then we can have it inside for rainy days when the bikes are officially off the trainers.  Yesterday, he picked one up which was barely used that someone was selling  and now it is in the exercise room.  Or what we call the “jungle room” due to the wallpaper. 

WP_20150312_005

This is actually a big room. This stuff takes up a little more than half the room.  The bowflex is on the far right – with the leg extension attached. My bike is still on the trainer, but John took his off and put the recumbent in its place.

It’s super, super quiet. It really makes no noise at all:

WP_20150312_007

 

It’s not totally organized in this room still. We have the free weights and mats. Plus a random mirror that hasn’t found a home in the house yet.  I don’t know if this TV is hooked up to cable or anything as I haven’t tried to turn it on.  I usually read on the bike.  I am sort of thinking about getting a treadmill, but I am not sure. It will save money on a gym membership over time.

So, we are set up inside and itching to get set up outside! 

I finished up a project this week.  My mother has been looking for a nightstand, but she wanted a particular look, which was a dark top and antique white bottom.  I told her that I could make anything look like that, so we just had to find the table in a budget.  A low budget – gotta protect my inheritance, right? ;-)

 

I found this table at an auction and won the bidding:

WP_20150307_005

It was sort of shabbily painted (not really well, I might add). They used chalk paint, so it was really easy to brush on some odorless mineral spirits and scrape the paint off the top.  Then I sanded the top and applied a dark stain and made my own chalk paint for the botton.  Satin poly on the parts that will have stuff set on them and it is ready to go.

WP_20150312_004

This was actually a super easy and quick project.  It’s taking longer to do my chair LOL!  I think this table is very cute and stylish now.  Kinda looks nice in my house, though, I have to say.

On the food front – I have been on a chicken kick this week.  I bought a rotisserie chicken and have been noshing on that all week.

WP_20150309_001

 

Served with spiralized skillet potatoes:

WP_20150308_004

 

Looks like spaghetti, doesn’t it? 

I also did a faux chicken meal. Morningstar Chick’n nuggets:

WP_20150312_010

 

These are actually pretty good and John likes them.

I changed up my breakfasts this week.  Normally I have some form of oats, but I decided to do savory this week and got some breakfast sausage made by a company in Saratoga. Served in an omelet:

WP_20150312_001

 

This was a nice change and it actually lasts me until lunch.  My kick in the pants has been going pretty well.  Still room for the bagel, though.

WP_20150311_001

I’ll end with a random shot of Pixie. 

WP_20150312_009

Awake, actually for a change!

Sliding snow

Temps are starting to warm up a smidge!  The overnights have been below freezing still, but it has warmed up into the low 40s during the day so we have been getting some snow melt.  We have been taking walks outside the last couple of days because the temps were nice enough to.  The walk itself is still pretty difficult at times, though.

Some walks are nice and clear for short sections:

WP_20150310_002

Others not so much:

WP_20150310_001

That is really annoying.  Not to mention you can get splashed with water from cars driving through the water in the road. Then there are those sections which are just overrun with water from melting snow.  But, it is getting better.  It was nice just to be outside without wincing, too!

Our neighbor had snow cleared from the back end of her driveway today with a front loader into the side yard, which we now get to look at until it melts.  

WP_20150310_003

She has a slate roof like we do and snow doesn’t sit on a slate roof for too long before it slides off in a big avalanche after it gets heavy enough. Every snow storm we will get sliding snow. It sounds a little bizarre from inside of the house and even though we lived for 8 years in a house with slate before this, I never quite got used to the avalanche sound coming from overhead.  Kind of nice, though, because you don’t have to worry about the roof caving in from snow.

We had a section of snow that just slid today, which was a huge pile from on top of the roof and the back porch roof.

WP_20150210_010

 

That didn’t get much sun and so the snow didn’t slide off until today with a huge whoosh!

WP_20150310_004

You definitely do not wanting to be standing below that.  It’s super dense and heavy. The sad thing? I had some garden ornaments in the path of that and I think they probably got totally smooshed, particularly the metal planters. Now I know for next year.