Weekend Edition: Wet walks, school dances, and La La Land

Happy Monday!  We had another weekend filled with lots of little things.  You know, picking up, playing with Scout, installing new door hardware, playing with Scout, Target run, playing with Scout, etc. etc.

Saturday night was Megan’s last Snow Days dance.  Cathy and Hunter came here first to get ready.  I can’t believe these girls are Seniors!  They have been friends since First Grade at St. Peters.

Scout got his last shots on Thursday, five of them, and he had a couple of accidents Thursday night and Friday night.  I had to dig deep for another blanket for the kennel.  I had the pink sueded side out but he quickly turned it over to the plush zebra print.

We took Scout to the Oakdale Nature Center Saturday morning for a long walk.  It was raining and most of the trail was covered in slick ice.  I think the walk was harder on Gary than Scout.

Scout has become more aggressive with his toys so it was time for a new teddy bear.  We went up a size this time.  He was so excited about his new friend.

I’m staying diligent with my eating habits but the weekends are hard.  Especially when Gary eats cereal, toast and donuts for breakfast.  This was my snack on Saturday and it totally hit the spot. (Does anyone say that anymore?)

I stopped at the wine store on my way home from work on Friday and picked up a couple of bottles.  This one is tasty but really packs a punch!  And the bottle is kinda cool too.

Not sure if I mentioned that we have a fish now.  Actually, Amy bought a fish, brought him home for Thanksgiving break, and then left him here.  His name is Marble and we have totally bonded.  He likes to visit with me while I do the dishes.

I saw La La Land with Amanda on Sunday and I have lots of thoughts.

via You should follow this link and read her review too – she loved the movie.

Throughout the entire movie I kept waiting to love it.  I mean, it’s a musical!  And it’s Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.  But I never really loved it.  However, I did love that it was a tribute to old Hollywood musicals even though it wasn’t a great musical itself.  And I did love that it was a tribute to jazz music, and had some pretty good jazz music in it.  And I definitely loved Emma Stone’s entire wardrobe (I can’t let go of the baby blue sweater she wore for her final audition).  If you’re looking for a fun movie with a cute story, some singing and dancing, and maybe a little inspiration to follow your dreams, this fits the bill.  Just don’t expect great singing and dancing, and the ending may stick with you for awhile.

Hope you had a great weekend too!  See you back here on Wednesday for a little What’s Up.

Friday Favorites: Mini Version

Oh my word this week has done me in.  Busy at work, plus problems at work, plus physical therapy, a Wild game, Puppy Kindergarten, and a vet appointment.  I am sooooo glad it’s Friday!  Here are just a few favorites from this week:

My new food plan.  I only slipped up once this week and had a Cherry Coke with my breakfast on Thursday.  It hasn’t been easy, but logging my meals and snacks helps keep me on track.  Seeing that I hadn’t eaten one single item with more than 18 grams of carbs (breakfast, lunch and snacks) in a week and that one Coke was 70 grams was a little painful!

This has made breakfast and snacks more enjoyable.

Barb, you were right again!  I have tried the vanilla with fresh blueberries, and the strawberry rhubarb.  I add a little granola for crunch, and am loving this one…

… and the toasted coconut almond but I can’t even find that on the Bear Naked website so now I’m a little worried I’m eating a product that doesn’t really exist.

I picked up this “dress” at Target sometime in November to wear to my company holiday party.

I wore it to work with black leggings and my tall brown boots and got more compliments than any other outfit I have ever worn.  It’s much longer on me, and everyone referred to it as a dress, but I consider it more of a tunic.  Even though it basically reaches my knees.  Conservative much?  But it’s super comfortable and apparently flattering so it’s now officially on rotation.

That’s pretty much it for this week.  We don’t have any plans for the weekend, but need to get started on our taxes so that’s a total buzz kill.  I need to do some annual financial reporting for work too, so I think I will try to power through and just get ‘er done.  And the layer of dust on every flat surface in my house is epic so some cleaning is in order.  It may be a good weekend to wash all of the bedding and hang the comforters outside to air out.   Oh, and I want to try to see La La Land with Amanda on Sunday so I’m hoping that works out.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Weekend Edition: A day late and another five degrees warmer

**Special Note:  this was supposed to publish on Monday, but due to user error it did not.  So I’m just going to go ahead and publish it today.  Thank you for understanding.**

Happy Spring y’all!  Ok, maybe a bit premature, but when the temperature hits 30 and the sun comes out after a week of below zero temperatures and clouds, it feels like Spring.

Last weekend consisted of errands and television.  In equal measure.  Gary came down with an awful virus on Thursday, so he was pretty much out of commission through yesterday.  We got up early Saturday morning to bring the car in for an oil change and ran to Lowe’s to get some new door knobs while we were waiting.  We brought Scout along for the ride.  He was in his kennel and did great – no whining at all.   We were back home by 8:30 and Gary never left the couch house again until this morning. I will give you a moment here to catch your breath from all of this excitement.

I went back out for a second round of errands Saturday afternoon and took Scout for a walk around the neighborhood, but other than that, I just enjoyed a good amount of tv time.  I had intended to put in several solid hours on the family cookbook, but my laptop hadn’t shut down properly Friday afternoon and it was frozen.  I swear I am going to finish that cookbook this month, even though all forces of the universe seem to be trying to prevent it.

Sunday morning was one more round of errands including the return of a sweater to Gap that netted a different new sweater and ten dollars back (I love when stores pay you to buy things!) and groceries.  The groceries were from Hy Vee not Gap in case that last sentence was confusing.  After lunch I took Scout for a walk at the Oakdale Nature Center.  It was his first big excursion outside of our neighborhood and he did great.  He was very nervous when other walkers approached, but he was doing better by the end.  It’s a lovely one mile trail and I seriously considered doing it a second time it was so nice out.

Remember on Friday I mentioned that I was going to make some changes to my eating to incorporate more protein and seriously reduce the carbs?  Well, I started on Friday and it’s been going really well.  I avoid processed carbs for breakfast and lunch (and any snacking I may do during the day), but then I eat a normal dinner.  I brought lunch home from Hy Vee when I went grocery shopping on Sunday.  Megan got orange chicken with fried rice and an eggroll, Gary got a 2-piece chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, corn and a dinner roll.  I bought a packaged chopped Chinese salad.  I only ate half of it, and I did use half of the wanton strips (because I couldn’t separate them from the slivered almonds), and felt so good about it.  And yes, I did have one Mt Dew each day Saturday and Sunday but that is in my plan.  Honestly, I know its only been a few days but I really am feeling so much better.  I either have yogurt with fruit and granola (I know that is a processed carb but I only use about 1 tablespoon) or scrambled eggs with a small sugar free latte (again, I know this is technically a processed carb but I can’t quit my Caribou addiction cold turkey.  BTW, 57g of carbs in a medium caramel highrise vs 18 in a small Northern Lite latte is a win in my book).  I have had a salad, chicken breast with roasted vegetables, and ham with roasted vegetables for my lunches at work.  I only drink water throughout the day, and have brought celery with peanut butter, blueberries, clementines and almonds for afternoon snacks.

The bread is calling loudly, but I’m trying to resist.  I think this is something I can do long term so I’m not letting myself slip at all during the day.  AND, my PT exercises really seem to be helping my knee.  I still have aching and random pain when I sit too long, but I have been able to sit cross-legged on the floor these past couple of days.  I don’t do it for any length of time, but it’s an improvement.

Hope you have a great week!


Friday Favorites: That time the young physical therapist said “at your age” to me

Man, am I glad it’s Friday!  This has been a BUSY week and I am so ready for the weekend.  I’m linking up with Andrea to share a few favorites from the week.

I got to do Puppy Kindergarten with Scout this week.  He was WHIPPED UP and not paying attention to Gary at all, so we decided to switch it up.  He was still whipped up with me, but I happened to have some patience that night so we were able to work together.  And there are a couple of women in the class around my age and we enjoyed visiting together, so our dogs had a good time playing together too.  This was the first week Scout was really interested in the other puppies, so that was fun.

We had a DGT Event Committee meeting Wednesday night and came up with some fun new ideas for this year’s event.  I have to admit, I haven’t been feeling very engaged lately and it has felt like a bit of a burden.  I have been worried that I’m not contributing to the Board like I should, and the details of the event have been stressing me out.  But after this meeting and seeing how committed and excited each of the committee members is, I am feeling much better about it.  I also had a really good conversation with someone at Securian about doing some work with DGT so that could be exciting too.

Securian offers Noontime Seminars several times a month.  They range in topic from health, parenting, gardening, and car care to insurance and financial planning benefits.  This month they are holding a two-part session on jumpstarting your metabolism.  There wasn’t anything groundbreaking – which is good because I don’t subscribe to wild diet trends – but it was a timely reminder of carbs -> bad, protein -> good.  My friend Shannon and I are going to help each other make some changes to our breakfast and lunch habits starting today.  I will not be giving up my Saturday and Sunday Mt Dew.  Just putting that out there.

So about that physical therapist.  I have been having some pain in my right knee.  I figured it was a combination of a lack of exercise and a measurable weight gain over the last year.  I wasn’t going to do anything about it until I got myself more active and dropped a few pounds to see if it cleared itself up.  The problem was, as I became more active, the pain got worse.  I finally went into the doctor and he twisted and bent my leg – I have excellent flexibility!, and took an x ray – no arthritis!, so he suggested some PT.  I started on Tuesday, and the therapist (is that what you call them?? I will just call him Greg) believes it is due to hip weakness.  Apparently my right hip is significantly weaker than my left, and both are weaker than they should be.  Of course, “at my age” it’s likely that I also have a torn meniscus, but Greg (and my doctor) said that lots of people have that and it shouldn’t require surgery, just some strengthening around the knee.  SO, between six weeks of hip/core/quad/glute exercises and my new eating habits, I’m hoping to see some results!  Oh, and Barb, YOU WERE RIGHT as usual!

And to round things out, I have to say how much I love all of this new snow!  I’m over the cold and it needs to warm up NOW, but the snow is so fluffy and clean.  If only my snowshoe wasn’t broken!

We have a busy Saturday and a quiet Sunday so I’m looking forward to the weekend.   I may get to visit Daytons Macy’s downtown Minneapolis to indulge in one last popover before they close their doors too.  So sad but I won’t get into that.  Hope you have a great weekend too!

Workin’ It Wednesday: New Year’s Goals

Hey, it’s a new link up!  I’m going to join Shay this month to talk about goals.  I’m excited about my goals for 2017.  But before I get started, I feel I should take a look at how I did with my 2016 goals.  You can see the details here, but this is it in a nutshell:

My personal goals for 2016 include maintaining PEACE in the chaos, LISTENING to really hear, and reflecting God’s LIGHT in my words and actions.  And my co-goals with Gary include continuing to lead a more healthy, active lifestyle and working on our financial goals for retirement.

I feel like I really focused on PEACE, LISTENING, and LIGHT last year.  I was nowhere near perfect, but it was always the little voice on my shoulder reminding me to take care with how I act and how I treat people.

The co-goals were not so successful.  At all.  We actually went backwards on the healthy, active lifestyle.  I can come up with a million excuses, and they are all just excuses, but I do attribute the loss of Niika and our two surgeries as legitimate reasons that we were less active last year.  I have seen a noticeable improvement just since November when we got Scout, and I have high hopes that we will continue with this trend.  As far as our financial goals, we have made some good progress, and we haven’t had any slips backwards, but there is much more to do.

So this is 2017:

My word is TREASURES.  I can tell when I am putting too much focus on things and not enough focus on relationships.  I just start to feel tired and down.  It’s exhausting trying to keep up with the Jones’, even (or especially) when you don’t even realize that’s what you are doing.  “Oh, look at those cute booties that blogger is featuring!”, or “That sweater is just what I need!” turn into constant spending and no real satisfaction.  TREASURES will have two meanings for me in 2017; stop coveting things, and treasure my family and friends.

I remember sitting in a pew at St Matthew’s Lutheran Church when I was somewhere around eight or ten years old and hearing this verse:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  -Matthew 6:  19-21

I don’t know exactly what struck me about this verse, but I directly connected it to my dad.  Maybe in my very young mind this explained why he never bought anything (besides groceries, because he bought groceries like it was his job).  Or maybe he was just sitting next to me in church that day, who knows.  But I do know that I get a warm feeling every time I see or hear this verse.

As far as those co-goals, they will continue into 2017.  Scout is crazy energetic, so we will need to get him outside as much as possible.  Eventually, I hope to add yoga back into my daily (or at least several times a week) routine.  And I am going to try to ramp up the financial goals.  It’s moving too slow and I think I can build off of this goal to help with my treasures goal.  Less random spending and a more focused payment toward debt so that I can hit my retirement goal and spend more time with my family and friends, and giving back through volunteering.

I am going to set mini goals each month as I work toward these bigger goals to try to keep on track.  And I’m using my planner to keep me excited about my mini goals.  It’s all about the colored pens people!

Thanks to Shay for another year of monthly blog prompts.  Hope everyone is having a great week!