Things I Like


Bulletproof coffee

Have you ever heard of bulletproof coffee? It’s a recent craze, particularly among paleo/low carb people to add butter and MCT (coconut) oil to coffee and blend it.  Coffee lover that I am, I was intrigued about this, but never quite had the nerve to try it. However, I am certainly not afraid to try something just for the heck of it!

But first, a little backstory: I like to eat a big breakfast. It’s usually around 400 calories or a little more. I eat around 7 am. You would think that 400+ calories would be enough to last until lunchtime, right? I read blogs and things on line where people eat oatmeal or maybe a piece of toast with an egg or even just coffee with cream and a few slices of bacon and they are so full until lunchtime. How do they do it? I feel like my system is totally effed up. By 10 a.m., I am really hungry. Like blood sugar drop hungry – not mind hungry. So, I usually eat a protein bar or something like that to tide me over. Oddly enough, the only times I am not hungry before lunch are the 2 days we go out for bagels for breakfast – and there is almost always exercise involved with that by either walking or biking to breakfast. So maybe it is just calories.

I have tried a lot of different things. I normally do a carb/fat/protein balanced breakfast (oats with egg whites and nut butter, banana breakfast bread pudding, protein waffles, blintzes, etc). I’ve tried high protein with eggs and sausage. Same thing, hungry at 10 a.m.  Higher carb breakfast, same thing. Like if we maked baked donuts. The only thing I hadn’t tried was a pure fat breakfast which, to be honest, sounds scary and a little gross LOL! I finally decided to try a bulletproof coffee and make it around 400 calories like a normal breakfast for my little n=1 experiment.

Now, I don’t believe any of the hype that it has to be a specific kind of coffee. The guy that ‘invented’ bulletproof coffee sells a special one, but his claims aren’t anything that the coffee industry as a whole isn’t already doing with they way they process the beans. Guru-ism at its best. Anyway, here I am ready to do the coffee.



I dropped 1.5 tablespoons of unsalted butter into a mixer cup. Please use unsalted butter. I can’t imagine how awful salted butter would taste! I do admit to looking at this and thinking am I really going to do this?


Our Magic Bullet is on the fritz, so I used a cup from it and then an immersion blender. Be careful if you do this since hot liquid and skin contact is no bueno, right? Just don’t fill the cup too full.

Then blend until it is emulsified and frothy. It looks sort of like a latte or something, doesn’t it?


For the coconut oil part, I ended up just eating a tablespoon of coconut butter, which I adore and could eat by the spoonful anyway.

Enjoying my breakfast while perusing the flower catalog:


How is the taste? Surprisingly, it’s pretty good! It is creamy, almost like coffee with milk, and the butter does not separate out, which I thought it might do.  It really isn’t greasy, surprisingly. I maybe noticed a bit on my lips, but not enough that it was bothersome.The coffee flavor is more crisp and pronounced – for lack of a better term – than a cup of coffee with cream, but fat  brings out the fat soluble flavors in the coffee anyway (which is why I never drink it black). If you had given me this and not said it was blended with butter, I wouldn’t know what was in it.

I had 2 of these and with the coconut butter and my ‘breakfast’ came in at 400 calories.  The verdict? Fail. I was hungry around 10:30.  LOL. On a side note, I had some concerns about having gastric distress from a fat breakfast, but that didn’t happen either. No issues with that. I know you all wanted to know about that. :D

So, while that was interesting, I doubt I would deliberately make butter coffee again. If someone gave me one, I would drink it. It is good to know that if we were out of milk for some reason and I wanted a cup of coffee, I could still have one without resorting to drinking it black. 

As far as the calorie thing goes, I guess if I want to last until lunch I need to increase my calories at breakfast. It just seems like 400 calories should be enough, you know? Especially when you are decreasing calories and you only get so many in the day, it is easy to eat a lot of them for breakfast. I don’t really know why I feel the need to not eat between breakfast and lunch, but maybe it is because it’s easier to over consume food if I have a snack and breakfast. 

Anyway, that was my little experiment. I’m glad I finally did it so I can stop wondering :D

Go Broncos!

That weekend went by so fast! We did a lot of homebody stuff and stayed home this weekend other than a cafe outing and picking up stuff at the home improvement store :D

The wallpaper is all down from the hallway and stairwell. We can almost taste the end of wallpaper in this house!  The plaster is in really good shape. Just a few holes from some screws, but that’s about it.


The walls got washed and we started putting the paint on. We moved the TV to the doorway so we could watch some football while painting:




It’s so tempting to just rip the paper down in the last room to get it all off the walls, but we can wait. We haven’t decided what color the exercise room will end up being yet anyway.

Pixie was a major fail at her job this weekend, which is to keep the squirrels out of the birdfeeder:


Squirrels aren’t supposed to like safflower seeds, which they haven’t eaten before, but this squirrel seemed happy to eat them.

I was ready for the afternoon game. Supporting my Broncos with my nails:


That was a crazy nail biter of a game. Now the Broncos go on to the divisional championship!  I really, really wish they weren’t playing the Patriots, though. I am not sure the Broncos will win and I am so, so tired of the Patriots in the Superbowl. Anyway, it’s going to be interesting!


Friday sundries

Not a lot going on to blog about really. Same old, same old. Same routines, mostly the same food. Lots of either oat bran or blintzes for breakfast:


Same old exercise of most walking on the treadmill, some biking on the trainer and actually some outside when it feels warm enough.

We have had snow. Most of the walks are clear, which is good, but the ones that aren’t after only a snowfall or two are really frustrating for what that means later on.  My little mushroom is peeking out from the snow here:


I used that for a prompt on my 365 photo group for “misplaced”. :D

With fresh fallen snow and you can see the number of squirrels we have around here. 


I have a squirrel proof birdfeeder and it works really well, actually (Squirrel Buster). The squirrels mostly just come and eat the seed the birds spill out of it as you can see by all the prints centered under the feeder.

Jenny Lind progress taking place. The wood is 150+ years old, so I put wood conditioner on it before staining. It is soaking up the stain, too. This is one coat on the bottom part:


Two coats on the top. The slats are a walnut stain and the body of the trunk is Bombay Mahogany by Minwax. It has a beautiful red undertone.


I actually am using the Minwax polyshades with the polyurethane in it (like I did for the vanity), but I am going to coat the whole thing in satin finish after. I don’t want it shiny. I need to order some handle and get fabric for the inside liner. It’s starting to come together now!  With some crappy weather coming in tomorrow and a weekend of playoff football, I will be working on this in front of the TV :D

Snow, dentist and cleaning!

(FYI, I know my blog layout is all weird. Not sure what is going on with it)

It’s definitely wintery around here now.  This is definitely not biking weather anymore.



It makes me feel a little blah, though. The last couple of days I have felt like doing nothing at night other than vegging. Not typical of me, as you know.  This helps some:


All the pretty catalogs are arriving to look at and plan for the 2016 gardens. Lots of work to do on that front. We hope to put in a water feature and the other half of the front garden beds get shrub removal and new plantings. Gardening is never done, but that is part of the beauty of it.

Adding to the blah stuff is me needing a root canal. Over Christmas, I woke up in the middle of the night with sharp pain in my tooth. I thought maybe I had cracked a tooth since I do grind my teeth. It took a few days for the pain to subside. I knew I had a dental appointment in a couple weeks anyway, so I just waited to talk to him today. He said there isn’t anything else that would make you wake up with tooth pain other that root issues and there is a dark smudge on x-rays showing signs of root problems. While it isn’t urgent, he said the root canal will go much smoother and be pain free (yes, he really said that) if I wasn’t symptomatic when I had it done. He said when people had bad experiences with root canals it was either not good pain control during the procedure, which there was no excuse for, or that it was done while somebody was having swelling and inflammation, which makes pain harder to control.  He did say it was a boring procedure because it takes a while and you have your mouth open for a long time, but it’s not bad. Not sure I totally believe the no pain thing, but I won’t put it off. Our health insurance doesn’t cover dental, so that is a serious annoyance. I guess I had better buy a powerball ticket tomorrow :D

Anyway, on a different note we have made the master cleaning list from the 2016 goal list.


It’s now been a couple weeks using this. One area per week. This doesn’t include just day to day stuff, only things that you don’t think about doing regularly. It will be interesting once we get around all the zones in about 6 weeks and come back to the first one. I will say that the house is really dusty.  :oops: 

Not to mention the hair ejecting machine:


I still love her, though.

Powerball and Vintage hunt

Can you believe no one has won Powerball with all those millions of tickets sold? It’s crazy. Just shows how infinitesimal your odds are for winning. I did buy a ticket though. It’s fun to imagine what you would do with all the money and think about how it would change or what you wouldn’t want to change. One thing for sure if I won would be that I would stay anonymous. I would not let them say my name or have any pictures of me.  

I saw this in my FB feed and it makes me laugh:


It’s kind of sad how many people spend tons of money on tickets. The odds are so small that there is no point in buying more than one. And these are usually people who really can’t afford to drop $50 on lottery tickets.

One of those things I would do with even a fraction of that money would be to spare no expense to restore some of the stuff in Radiance Manor to original parts. We headed down to check out another architectural salvage place in Albany to see what they had.


It’s sort of a mixed blessing these places exist. It’s great to have this as a resource, but sad that some wonderful stuff has been torn out of old homes. Anyway, you know warehouses like this have to have a shop cat, which I made friends with right away, of course.


Right when we walked in, I saw the exact same sewing table that I got for our vanity:


Except it had some missing trim and the top has chunks out of it. Not to mention that it was $100.  I bought mine for $25 and I don’t think  the above one would have turned out as nice as ours :


Not-so-humble brag. :oops:  Usually you find things cheaper after the fact, right? Funny how this time was the opposite. Yay me!

When we gut the master bath next year, my hope is to be able to get a clawfoot tub in there. I am not sure we will be able to get an old one like this or go with a new one. It all depends on size and whether or not we can get a cast iron tub up the stairs (although one came out in the past, so it must be possible). 


A couple of these tubs were in excellent shape and wouldn’t even need refinishing. We’ll have to see in a year what is available.

We do know that we can get replacement radiators here, which is pretty awesome, but hopefully that will never be needed.


Doors and windows galore!


We hunted around looking for the size door we need and I just don’t know if we are going to find a 29.5 inch door. It’s too custom. So, we will have to buy 30 and trim down – kinda scary. Again, that’s further in the future, but this place is a goldmine for that stuff.

Tons of door knobs. 


I kind of like the white enamel, but I have a thing for the crystal knobs, which they only had 1 left. Guess everyone else likes them, too.

This is a pretty awesome stove. If there was some way to modernize it and actually fit it into our kitchen LOL



We also hit up our usual suspects like Restore, but came home empty handed. Shopping salvage or thrift is like that. Many times you end up empty handed, but when you score, it’s usually good!


A few fun projects

I haven’t done any project updating in a while.  Now that life has slowed down some, I have gotten to work on a few things. As you know we started removing wallpaper. This is what is coming down now (and what our niece has helped with).


As far as wallpaper goes, it actually isn’t that bad and was the least damaged in the house, so we left it for near the end. The hardest part will be the stairwell:


It goes up about 1.5 floors high, so we will have to get the ladder in to reach up top.  It’s going well so far and John has been working on it, too. He usually finds other projects to do when wallpaper is on the docket :D

There has been trunk work as well. I have 2 in progress right now. I want to finish the Jenny Lind since that is for me. Then I have another one to hopefully sell. I won’t put too much into the other trunk because the condition isn’t all that great, but it will look decent enough.  I have gotten the Jenny down to the bare bones and sanded down. Now it’s ready to pretty back up.


I even used some deck cleaner on it to try to clean the wood, but unfortunately this trunk must have sat in the elements for a long time without its canvas covering because the wood is a grayish color and stained in spots, no matter how much sanding or cleaning. Of course, it is 150 years old, so we can cut it some slack!


I had wanted to just put polyurethane on it and keep the wood lighter, but since it is stained and discolored, I am going to stain it a darker mahogony and shine up the copper. I think that will look pretty nice. I will line this one with fabric as well and since it is my trunk, I can get whatever strikes my fancy!

I am also taking time for mental recharging with the coloring. John got me a coloring book for Christmas from the same author of Secret Garden.


Now I am coloring my little fishies!


In case you are wondering about the benefits of coloring, here is a good article on it. I highly recommend it!


Slow cooker overnight Apple Cinnamon Oats


Another oatmeal recipe! I really like cooking steel cut oats in the crockpot. It’s nice to wake up to breakfast ready to go and using the water bath method, you don’t have to worry about the oats getting overcooked or burned.  Not to mention it gets you a few breakfasts! This is very similar to the pumpkin slow cooker oats and is a version of the Yummy Life’s oats.



  • 1 cup of steel cut oats (not the rolled oats)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (you could just do water or regular milk for a bit of creaminess)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and chopped. I used Pink Ladies. You want a firmer apple like a good pie apple.
  • 40 grams of dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • pinch of salt

Again this is using the water bath method. This means using a casserole dish that fits inside your slow cooker. I used a wad of tinfoil to raise the casserole dish off of the bottom of the crockpot just a bit.  Spray the casserole dish with cooking spray and add all the ingredients to it. Stir. Then put in the crockpot. Carefully fill the space between the slow cooker and casserole dish with water until it comes up about halfway up the sides of the casserole dish. Not too high or it can bubble and spill into your dish.

water bath for oats

Cover, set on low and let it cook overnight. I have let this go for as long as a bit over 8 hours and it has been fine. The water bath keeps you from having to worry about it.


Now, the apples will have floated to the top. Just give everything a good stir and serve!


I topped mine with a few toasted pecans and some maple cream. Yum!

This makes 4 good sized serving (1 cup+)

Nutrition: Calories:  210; fat 6 grams, carbs 40 grams, fiber 6 grams, protein 6 grams.

I love the slow cooker oats. The steel cut have such a nice texture to them. The oats are easy to reheat. Just add a a couple tablespoons of water to a serving and heat in the microwave for a minute, stir really well to break up lumps and heat again until hot, maybe another minute and a half or two.

Plans for 2016

I hope you all had a great New Year’s!  We actually went out on NYE, which is really, really unusual for us. It was kind of last minute and we decided to walk downtown and hit up one of our favorite spots.


We only stayed until 11:30 or so because it was kind of loud and I am not a crowd lover at all. So, we walked home and got there just before midnight. It was fun to do something different for a change!

Now with a sparkly new year, it’s time to think about what will be going on in 2016. I love setting goals and projects to do. I know some people don’t like them, which is fine, but I don’t put pressure on myself with goals. I know that I tend to work hard just as part of my personality and that if I don’t finish a goal, there is a reason for it.  The only goal I don’t really set for myself is to lose a certain amount of weight in a specific time period. That always backfires, so there’s no point in that.


Here is a list of things I would like to accomplish over the course of 2016.

  1. Take better care of myself. I’m not just talking about eating right and exercising. This is getting all health appointments in and not putting anything off. Making sure my health is what it can be. Both John and I are doing this one.
  2. Better balance between work and play time. It’s no secret that I work really hard. I work very hard for my company and I also picked up another side job of transcription (general, not medical). I don’t really need to work quite so hard and there are days where I am typing for so many hours that I just have no energy at the end of the day. So, I need to set a limit on each day and stick to that. I have been trying unsuccessfully to do this for the last couple months. I just have to figure out a way to make it happen.
  3. Finish the wallpaper removal in the house. We have the hallway, stairwell and the third bedroom left and that’s it. Then no more wallpaper! At least the hallway/stairwell appears to be just one layer. This has to be done by spring since then it’s time for outdoor projects.
  4. Read 30 books.  I do love to read. I didn’t read as much last year and there are plenty of great books out there, classics and new stuff. I did a Good Reads challenge for 30 books.
  5. Build something. I love my trunk and repurposing projects. Love them! But, I also have wanted to build something from scratch for a while. I think it will be a storage cabinet. This will push my skills a little bit.
  6. Create and maintain a master cleaning list for the house. John and I are both working on this one. One day a week will be a super deep clean of a single room. With both of us doing that, it won’t take too long. We tend to do all the normal stuff, but things like cleaning baseboards and dusting ceiling fixtures doesn’t seem to happen since our house is kind of big. That means a room will get deep cleaned probably every 5-6 weeks.
  7. Keep building my soap business. I will be trying to secure more wholesale accounts this year so I don’t have to do a lot of shows. Also working on product development.

We already got a start on the wallpaper. My niece is going to Paris this spring with her French club and to help her earn money for her trip, we hired her to start stripping wallpaper:


Surprisingly, she didn’t think it was that bad and offered to come back and work on it for free LOL!  I should have had her doing this last year…


Onward into 2016!!!

Happy New Year!

I hope all of you have a safe and happy New Year!



 Thanks for reading my blog and joining my little space on the interwebs :D

2015 goal check

Wow. Waaaay back in January I set some goals for 2015. It’s always fun to see how far off you get from those after a longer period of time :D  Sometimes it feels like nothing happened this year and then it seems like it was non-stop with stuff. 


1. Create.  I think I did this one to the max. Between creating new garden beds, restoring the trunks, doing a new bathroom, the headboard project and starting a soap business. Yes. I think that one is checked off. 




2.  Eat a lot more vegetables.  I don’t know about this. I think I ate more, but I can’t quantify it as being a lot more LOL! The spiralizer helped with that – at least with getting me to try different ones. I know I ate more zuchinni and summer squash because of this. 


3. New volunteering.  Did not do this. I could not find something that really called to me. Not to mention the time commitment was tough. We have been so busy with working on this house and my jobs that trying to squeeze in another time committment just didn’t happen. 

4. Hiking.  Finally!  We did it! We went on several hikes like the Sleeping  Beauty Hike, Pilot’s Knob and the Firetower hike. Interestingly enough, John and I never really hiked by ourselves. We always went with others. The great part about the hiking is that we got to see views that are not accessible on the bike. We will be doing more. 


5.  2000 miles on the bike.  Done and done. I hit this before what would be considered the end of the season and then managed to get in a couple hundred more miles with this crazy warm weather! I ended up a shade over 2400 miles.  The bike is officially retired inside as of yesterday, though. Boo. 

6. Sell the old house.  YES!!!  Okay, I didn’t make that happen, but it did. Finally the closing was done in June and we are now like normal people – kind of – with only one house and one mortgage :D That whole buying and selling was almost a 2-year process, although it felt like forever. 


Never leaving this house. Never ever never. 

7. Change up my wardrobe. Hmmm… I’m still no fashion plate. I bought some new clothes this year – and not all of them thrift, either. With my job working at home and doing so much work inside and outside – seems like I changed my clothes a lot to get into grubbies. Or I just wore them to begin with. 


So yeah, and interesting year. How about you?