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Turkey Day feast!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving – or regular Thursday :D

We had all that snow on Wednesday night and it sure was pretty in the morning.  We had to shovel 2 driveways, though.  We haven’t hired a service to do the old house yet.

I did my Turkey Trot at the gym.


I did about 3.5 miles after cooling down. I actually did some slow jogging intervals (4.3 mph) to mix things up and my leg was okay with it. Maybe I will try just that pace and see if I can build up any jogging distance. There is that point when brisk walking where it is just easier to start jogging, you know?


Anyhoo, we headed on down to my sister’s for the family shindig through the snowy landscape:


Table for 9, please!




This hard cider is really good.  I think I drank the most out of the bottle, too. Pretty unusual for me, but it went down easy  8-O 


Nom, nom, nom!


Some of us bundled up and took our usual postprandial walk around the tree nursery property (my BIL is the caretaker of it and they live on the property). It was starting to snow again, too. 


We took the doggies.  Gryffon is the Clumber and Lizzie is the lab.










We then had dessert and games.  New one this year was Mexican Train:



This is a good game for all ages, although youngest niece didn’t like it too much.  

I had a slow day at work today. Lot of doctors were out on holiday, so it made for a slow day, but that meant I could get a lot of painting done!  We were out for lunch and stopped at a thrift store to check furniture. You know I am still on the lookout for a couple chairs for the nook. Anyway, I found something else:



One of the back legs is partially missing, so this was $4.  It still stands fine and I want it for looks, not for serving tea.  It was totally tarnished, but I love the shape.  I should have taken a picture of how it looked before I cleaned it up. I used some Barkeeper’s Friend to take off most of the tarnish, but left it in the crevices.  This will have a home on the mantle.

John was busy outside hanging lights today – and a wreath on our door:



It’s hard to believe December is almost here.  This weekend is Shop Local!  We will be going to an arts open house shopping this weekend (girls’ day out!)

Let it snow!

Our first big snow of the year.  We had a dusting a couple weeks ago, but this was the real deal.

By early afternoon, it looked like this:



Fluffy wet snow.  I don’t mind the snow so much right now because it is early in the season LOL!  In fact, it is quite beautiful, especially at night:



We shoveled some so that tomorrow morning won’t be so bad.  John did the neighbor’s walk, too.



First snowfall in Radiance Manor.



It looks so cozy in there :D

I got my cranberry sauce started:




1 bag of cranberries (16 oz)

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup of water

3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

cinnamon stick

splash of vanilla at the end.



Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone.  It’s time for the 3 F’s tomorrow:  Family, Food and Football!



Old timey lifting

 It’s lifting day!  I don’t understand why my gym doesn’t have some of this equipment:

And if only rolling over my hips and thighs on a machine would shape them. I would be all over that. Heck – I would sleep on it!  Or maybe I should try working out in heels…

Oh well, I had to make due with a leg press machine instead. :D


Exercise Set/rep
Lying Leg press 3 sets of 10
Seated hamstring curl 3 sets of 10
Seated leg extension 3 sets of 10
Good mornings 3 sets of 10
Alternating side lunges 3 sets of 10
Kneeling leg press 3 sets of 10
Seated calf raises 3 sets of 10

FYI – it takes me 30-35 minutes to run through these routines I have been doing.

My gym is open on Thanksgiving for a while and part of me wants to go, but then there is that no shopping on Thanksgiving and does the gym count? The owner is normally the one who works on Turkey day, so it’s not like he is sitting at home while his employees work.  So, I don’t know what I will do.


Not to mention there is snow coming. Might be shoveling for exercise on Thursday morning.  4 to 6 inches is the forecast right now.  Yuck.  Bad timing with most of it falling between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. Stay safe travelers!

We will be doing some prep work tomorrow for our dishes to take to Thanksgiving dinner.  We are bringing Alton Brown’s cornbread pudding and a brussel sprout dish – this one:  Pan seared brussel sprouts with cranberries and pecans, only leaving out the barley.

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, de-stemmed and halved
  • ? cup fresh cranberries
  • ? cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • ? cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Oil
  • Salt & pepper

Basically you saute everything except the cheese and maple syrup for 6 to 8 minutes. The add in the maple syrup, stir to coat.  Then toss in the gorgonzola cheese.  

I hope it comes out good!

Holiday season begins

I was in the mood to shop this weekend. Not that I bought much, but window shopping was fun. I did some work in the morning and then we headed down to Saratoga for lunch and shopping! The city is getting decked out for Christmas now.


We went to lunch at Comfort Kitchen.  We love this place and the mac and cheese.  They have a couple different kinds, one is the butternut squash mac and cheese with smoked mozzarella (which John got) and then there is the pulled pork mac and cheese, which I got!


This place is worth the drive, I must say.  Not to mention that I have half saved for another meal!  

I fell in love with these paper lanterns:


Aren’t they pretty?  They were $40, though.  I think I might poke around online and see what I can find.  I did manage to get some Christmas gifts in this store, though.

It’s feeling more and more festive – especially with holiday week coming up!


Our weather is turning unusually warm the next day or so. We had icy rain on Saturday night and I thought Sunday was going to be icky. It started cloudy with breakfast:


Then the sun came out and it got into the 50s! We had a lot of errands to run like groceries and cleaning up the lawn at the old house. On the list of things to knock out Sunday was lifting. Not too crowded at the gym for a Sunday, which was nice. Today was chest/back/abs with drop sets:

Exercise Set/rep
Lying flat chest press 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Single arm row 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Flat chest fly 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Incline chest press 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Seated lat pull down 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Reverse chest fly 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
 Crunches  3 sets of 10
 Standing toe touches  3 sets of 15

It really feels good to get back to a routine.  Not just lifting, but life in general. I was saying to John that I felt much happier now that a routine has formed in general with work, lifting, guitar playing, etc. Not to mention just going out and doing fun stuff!

On the happy, happy dance front – the wallpaper is all gone in the living room!  WOO HOO!  I did some wall patching. Now it is ready for paint:


That’s a new TV, too. We got that on Saturday.  John just couldn’t live without his big screen TV  :lol: 

We met another neighbor from down the street today. He has been living in the neighborhood for 27 years, I think?  Anyway, he answered a question about the fireplace for us.  He said there used to be black marble around the fireplace – so this isn’t original and I don’t feel so bad about changing it.  I am really annoyed that black marble is gone. There was one company that mined black marble in the US and they were in Glens Falls, so older homes in GF often had black marble mantles. It’s pretty rare to see.


Enjoy my messy living room, too.  That’s life right now in a rehab.  I am not even embarrassed about people seeing it anymore.  No more pictures until it is done and artwork is hanging.  Who knows how long that will be  :wink: 

Holiday week officially starting now!



Our downtown is getting into the spirit as well.

Leg day and surprise visitor

We have such cold and blustery weather now, but I am not complaining after seeing what poor Western NY is going through.  It’s sad to hear about people having heart attacks shoveling snow, but why are people trying so hard to shovel 7 feet of snow out of the driveway when the roads are impassable anyway? No one is going anywhere for a while. Stay safe, people.

I bundled up to head out to the gym. Thursday is standard lower body around here lately.

Exercise Set/rep
Leg extensions 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Seated hamstrings curl 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Step-ups 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Stiff-legged deadlifts 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Standing hip abduction 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Standing calf raise 3 sets of 10, plus drop set

I have some trouble with drop sets on my legs because once I drop to the lightest weight, I can go forever because my legs are pretty strong and recover fast, so I just stopped on some of these after 2 extra sets. I did 35 minutes of walking on the treadmill as well to complete an hour workout.

I was mentioning the other day about the 3 sections of my gym. Here is the weight machine/cardio area.


The cardio machines are in a raised area to the right so that you may look down upon all people using weights ;)

So, we had an interesting visitor yesterday. Those of you on FB saw this already.  There was a knock on the door and it was the former owner of the house that got foreclosed on. He was offering to sell back to us some of the items that he took out of the house – one of which was the French doors that were missing from the North room.  I actually did let him in the front door because part of me wanted to show what  a little care given to the house did for it and he was fairly jaw dropped at the change in the kitchen.  I kept stressing what poor shape the house was in when we got it.  Anyway, we won’t be buying anything from him – original pieces or not.  He should be giving us those items rather than trying to sell them to us.  Not to mention that all the things he was saying about the situation were the opposite of what everyone else has said.  He seems like someone who can never accept responsibility.  Guess that is why he got foreclosed on and the other trouble that he has had.  Loser.  

Anyway, the foreclosed owner has stopped by and the owner before that stopped by.  I really, really hope the original owners don’t come visit because it will be from the grave!  8-O 

We had dinner out tonight. John’s football meal again.  He is on quite the roll and my picks suck!  I must change that.  Anyway, we tried a new place for some pizza.  I got a calzone:


This was pretty good. Not as good as East End Eatery, but a smaller size, which is always good :D

Now home to practice some guitar and then do the wallpaper removal dance while Thursday Night Football is on!

Drop sets and virtual Turkey Trot

Yesterday was the first snow of the season.  It wasn’t too bad, actually.  At least we didn’t have to commute in it.  Again, thankful for my job.


It turned to rain later on and most of it was melted, although I had to really scrape off the car this morning to get to the gym.  Our house has a small 1 car garage and right now the Saturn is in it because we drive the Prius a lot more and don’t want to have to swap cars out all the time.  We are thinking of going back to a 1 car family again.

Anyway, this week is about the drop sets.


For those that don’t know, a drop set is after your last set of an exercise, immediately drop to a lower weight and do as many reps as you can, then drop the weight again and do as many reps as you can. Since you are already pretty tired (or should be) on the last set, this pushes you really hard to fatigue.

Exercise Set/rep
Overhead shoulder press 4 sets of 10, plus drop set
Lateral Raise 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Bent lateral raise 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Biceps curls 3 sets of 8, plus drop set
Hammercurls 2 sets of 10, plus drop set
Lying triceps extension 3 sets of 10, plus drop set
Triceps kickback 3 sets of 10, plus drop set

Talk about noodle arms. Indeed.  It was one of those days at the gym, too.  I had some trouble with trying not to compare myself to other women there. Most times I am fine, but then sometimes it sneaks in there. 

Also on the workout front, Alissa over at A Journey to Thin is hosting her usual Thanksgiving Virtual 5K (run,walk,bike, swim, whatever).



She also is offering some prizes of gift cards, so hop on over here to sign up!  Alissa and her husband also recently welcomed a new baby into their lives!  I will be participating with a 5K walk.

The sun came out today, but the winds have been fierce!  Good thing I walked on the treadmill at the gym this morning because I did not want to go out in this. Can yo usee my flag blowing straight out here?


Stepping back into this room farther for perspective, I am getting closer with the wallpaper.  I have 3/4 of one wall left to do. The end is in sight! We joke now that it looks like a trash house inside with bits of wallpaper everywhere, paint swatches on the wall and holes in the wall that need repair. Not to mention the unkempt living room.  Just keeping it real…


And doesn’t everyone hold up nonfitting curtains with tacks?  This is just for a little privacy since this window overlooks the street and now that it gets dark early, I guess I don’t need people seeing me remove wallpaper :D

Notice how I say “I” all the time in reference to wallpaper removal. John avoids that LOL! There are so many projects to do in the house and somehow I end up on wallpaper removal. John has been removing the gross carpeting on the stairs. He has to do one stair at a time because after taking off the carpet, then the all tack strips have to be removed with a hammer and chisel – and each stair has a bunch. We can’t have a bare stair with any tack strips on it since we go up and down the stairs a lot and I could see me stepping on a tack strip in the morning before coffee.  So, it is painstaking work.

Yes, you did spy the laziest cat in the world up there, too. I took this picture early on in the day.


She was laying there pretty much since this morning, except when she got up to eat and then barfed it up. Pets…

Living room update and lifting

It was one of those mish mash weekends. Those always go by fast, don’t they?  John had his football meal.  He has won several weeks in a row because my picks stink this year. I lost my mojo. Broncos!!! What is wrong with youuuuuu??

He chose the Silo.  This is an old place made out of 2 barns that were transported to this spot and formed into a restaurant and a large shopping area.


Breakfast all day!


Of course, we window shopped afterwards.  I really wanted this old trunk, but it was a display item and not for sale:


They also had cider donuts freshly made, which smelled amazing, but we didn’t get any.


Lots of work done on the Manor this weekend.  Still concentrating in the living room.  There is little room off the living room which we call the North room for lack of a better term.   These apparently used to be French doors, but are now cheapie hollow core doors, which don’t even fit properly, and one was nailed shut.

Doors gone!


We aren’t totally sure how well this room holds heat, so we may have to put the doors back up if it gets too cold in there or the heating bills go crazy. It is directly over the furnace room, though, which puts out a lot of heat. We shall see. I will say I am looking forward to have our art work on the walls and not strewn about the room.

I am a little over 2/3 done with wallpaper removal.  If I put my mind to it, I can have it done this week and then repair the wall and hopefully paint Thanksgiving weekend. We usually put our tree up that weekend, so it would be nice to have it ready to go.

Still swatching paint:


I am actually leaning more and more towards the gray. I keep trying to talk myself out of that color, but then I like it the best.  It actually looks good up against the couch. The purplish gray I tried looked nice during the day, but it was really muddy looking at night.

Last but not least was the lifting. Workout this weekend was chest,back and abs with supersets.



Exercise Set/rep
Super Set:

Lying Dumbbell Pull Over/Pushups

3 sets of 15/3 sets of 10

Dumbbell Chest Press/Seated Lat Row

3 sets of 15

Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly/Bent Over Row

3 sets of 15
Crunches/Reverse Crunches 3 sets of 15

John accompanied me to the gym with a guest pass, too. :D  I worked out mostly in the area nicknamed the Iron Den – and they made a sign for it.



It’s funny how there are 3 sections to the gym and almost never the twain shall meet – or however that saying goes. There is the Iron Den, the middle cardio and weight machine room and the open gym, which is where they hold crossfit workouts, but anyone can use that section when there are no classes.  It’s funny how certain ‘types’ of people only stay in certain sections.  I go around to all 3 depending on what I need. It’s amusing to hear some of the different conversations that go on in these areas.

Anyway, winter is slowly marching in. We will be getting some snow tonight and tomorrow and I just am not ready.  We still have leaves on the ground!

Leg day

Ever have those times when you wake up really early and go “Oh crap! Garbage day!!”.  Yea, that was me really early this morning. Sometimes they come super early and sometimes later, so we are supposed to put the garbage out the night before.  Oopsie!  Well, at least I got a nice early start at the gym this morning.

Thursday is currently leg day!  Treadmill warmup and then this:

Exercise Set/rep
Super Set:

Alternating lunges/Good Mornings

3 sets of 15

Lying hamstrings curl/Dumbell squats

3 sets of 15

Standing cable leg abduction/Standing cable adduction

3 sets of 15
Standing calf raise 3 sets of 15

I got on the treadmill and walked for 15 minutes to shake the legs out after that. They were a bit wobbly from this workout :D

When I got home, the garbage can was empty, so we didn’t miss the  pickup. Yay!!  It’s the small things that make you happy, right?

John already had the waffle maker out – like he read my mind!  I made protein waffles!



Note John playing words with friends.  That’s one thing I don’t do is the games like that on my phone or computer. FB is bad enough of a time suck LOL!

Colder weather defintely creeping in. Our new furnace seems to be doing good.  It actually doesn’t work as hard as the other one did and so the radiators don’t get quite so hot, which is good because you don’t want to get burned on them.  8-O The house isn’t drafty, either – can I tell you how nice that is?  Cement walls are good for something, even if it isn’t for hanging pictures.

Yogurt (Fage 2%) and apple topping for lunch today.



I am almost done with yogurt for a while.  Cold weather comes and it is like a switch for me and yogurt.

It’s good weather for lattes, though!



I like how appropriate this table is for this mug! Also note I obviously have not finished removing wallpaper in this room yet.

 Those are 2 mini PB cups by my latte.  I think I mentioned a while ago that I was deliberately bringing in red light foods.  Well, these are a red light food.  I had quite a few the first day, but then I have been a lot better and the bag is still here :D  I think with these, the issue is I would have them at Christmas only and so would really overeat them.  I can have them any time of year, which means I don’t need to associate them with eating a lot of them all at once.

Quick dinner tonight. Chicken with laughing cow and hot sauce.


I was going to have some rice with it, but then I had some chips while I was cooking and so I didn’t need the starch on my plate as well. Should have just been patient.

Have you all seen this stuff?



I loves me some coconut oil and I was excited for this.  Seems to work pretty well, although the nozzle can get clogged up.

I actually did a little Christmas shopping tonight.  Go me!  You might also want to buy some stock in 3M – the brand that makes Command hooks – with cement walls, I am stocking up to hang pictures!

Evening snack was some chocolate.


I seem to have that sweet tooth hanging around. Lassooing in the eating can take a few days for me to get it all the way back :D

Biking and tightening up

It was an active day today. First off was an early morning workout. I had to scrap frost off the car window since it was 28 degrees!  :-x   Back to arms again.

Exercise Set/rep
Arnold Press 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Upright Row 3 sets of 10
Lateral Raise 3 sets of 10
Super set:

Dumbell Incline Curl/Overhead Triceps Extension

3 sets of 15
Super Set:

Dumbbell Hammer Curl/ Bench Dips

3 sets of 10
Super Set:

Seated bicep curl/ Lying Triceps extension

3 sets of 15


Noodle arms! I actually don’t care to work my arms this much, but I am following a month long program.

It’s really good to get into a strength routine again.  Now that things are feeling more or less back to normal – or my new normal, I suppose –  it is time to tighten up my eating. I want to get off the weight I put on this year with all that freaking stress I was under with the job and the house.  No better time to start than right now. No need to wait until after the holidays, right?

Interestingly, I  was offered a month of frozen food to try from a paleo/low carb type of food service.  I thought about it, but then realized that it was too restrictive for me and that was not a road I wanted to go down. 

I also realize that if I am not willing to eat less then I really need to move more.  Ideally I will eat a little less and move a little more :D

Today I happened to move a lot more.  The weather was amazing today. After starting out at 28 degrees, it warmed up to 60 degrees and I knew I had to play hooky and get a ride in!



Again, I am lucky with my job that I can move my work hours around to take advantage of this weather.

The bike path had other bikers on it with the same idea today. 



It was a little breezy, but  great to be out. Each time we ride now, we wonder if it is the last ride of the season. There is some cold weather coming up.  We got in 9 miles.

John got dinner going this morning. He made crockpot red beans and rice.  He has moved to mostly vegetarian eating, so he used a vegetarian andouille sausage in this.  It’s not quite real sausage, but tastes pretty good.



Even better when someone else cooks, too :D

For more activity, we walked downtown tonight.  I got in an hour and 45 minutes of activity today.  Not quite enough to erase 7 hours of sitting for my job, but not too shabby!

Lifting and paint colors

Another fall weekend in the books.  It turned out to be really good weather, although a little brisk and windy for riding… boo.  I will not admit the season is over until December gets here, though, so the bikes are not brought in onto the trainers yet. :D

There was just a lot of things done over the weekend. We got some Christmas shopping done at a craft show, did a bunch of other browsing and lots of home stuff.  Plus my weekend lifting workout:


Not that I was lifting those dumbbells…

This workout was chest, back and abs.

Exercise Set/rep/
Dumbbell incline chest press 3 sets of 10
Side bends 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell flat chest press 3 sets of 10
Single-arm dumbbell row 3 sets of 10
Incline dumbbell chest fly 3 sets of 10
Seated lat row 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell flat chest fly 3 sets of 10
 Reverse crunches  3 sets of 10

Company for bagels on Sunday!



One thing I love about our new home is being able to walk downtown.  It’s a mile walk to get there, so we can walk through most of the winter, as well.   As long is it is about about 25 degrees that is :D  

When we walk back home, it still seems so weird that we own this house.



It doesn’t quite feel like home all the way yet.  That is one reason why we are working hard at getting the inside going. Once we put our stamp on stuff, it will seem more like all of it is ours.

I got a bunch of paint sample pots to try out for the living room.  Thank goodness for the sample pots!


We kind of narrowed it down to the 2 colors on the right.  While I like the boldness of the dark colors, I think it is too much, especially when you view the dining through the living room.  Plus, here is some of our art work and decor that will be going in this room:


We kind of have a purple theme going. That photo on the floor is one I took in New Orleans earlier this year and I got an enlargement of it.

And honestly, I cannot move anything around without Pixie running over to see what I am doing.  

Here is the picture that will be going over the couch:


I think the gray will  help the colors come out, but we are going to paint bigger  swatches after I get the wall prepped and see.  I could also get some beige/tan samples, but I don’t think we want to go that route.  Paint colors can be really hard!

I also scored a table for the nook!  I love to thrift shop, but so many times you leave empty handed. You just never know when you might find something.  Well, I  found this table!



It’s nice because we can open it for eating and drop the leaves after breakfast.  The best part?  This table was only $15!!!  I loves me a bargain!  Now I really need to find a couple of smaller chairs for this room.  That’s the next project -sourcing 2 smaller chairs for this r oom. I just need to be patient and keep my eyes open.