What’s Up Wednesday: February 2017


It’s been a quick month!  I’m linking up with Shay to share what I’ve been up to during February.


I threw in a couple of weeks because I feel like I have been on top of my menu planning game…


Valentine’s Days of yore.  Heart-shaped pancakes, confetti on the table, drinking orange juice in champagne glasses, Angelina Ballerina valentines, etc, etc.  Sweet memories.


Gary and I bit the bullet and traded in our old Samsung Galaxy phones for iPhone 7’s.  I went all out and got the 7 Plus.  Oh. my. word.  It’s only been a few days but I am IN DEEP.  It’s all about the camera.

Exhibit A:  A deer on the side of the driveway as I was backing out for work Monday morning.  See how I captured it looking at me because it didn’t take five minutes for my camera to open?  And the clarity?

And then there’s the TWO separate cameras with three photo options.

Normal shot:

Instant telephoto from exact same spot:

And portrait with depth effect:



Watching a lot of hockey at night and working on obedience with Scout.  We have been going to various parks for walks on the weekend, and have started running him on the 30′ leash in the preserve.  I have been working out regularly for my physical therapy, and Gary has started doing a little walking on the treadmill and lifting weights.


So this is minor, but I am on my last few pages of my meal planning book and that is something that will fall on my “want” list rather than my “need” list.  I have plenty of plain scratch pads that I can use instead, but love that little book Amanda got for me.  Sticking to a budget is HARD!


Mostly taxes and finances.  We have completed Amy’s tax return and are one click away from filing Megan’s.  FAFSA is done!  I have been analyzing my spending for the last four months (Let me just say that the months of November and December are tough to look at because of the holidays.  I would recommend starting a financial review sometime around May instead.) and am honing in on areas I need to make cuts (I’m looking at you Caribou).


We just found out this week that our company is allowing jeans every Friday.  That black pair I have been holding on my “want” list quickly moved to the “need” list and I got them 50% off in a President’s Day sale.  Score!


Mostly watching Fixer Upper and hockey these days.  And old western shows like Bonanza and The Rifleman.  Oh, and M*A*S*H and The Andy Griffith Show too.  Those are about the only shows Gary and I can watch together, but at least we found that many!  I’m also all caught up on my magazines so I’m anxiously awaiting next month’s.


I’m on a bit of a pop music kick right now.  My most recent iTunes purchases include Bruno Mars –  24K Magic, Adele – Hello, George Michael – Faith, and George Michael – Freedom 90.


Same old winter wardrobe.  I have found that I wear my new short black booties far more than my tall black boots.  I had new tall black boots on my “need” list because the pair I have are in such bad shape, but I don’t think I am even going to replace them.  The short pair are soooo comfortable and just look better on my short legs.


It’s a busy weekend for us.  I have to drive Scout to Prairie Peak Kennels for his three weeks of training Saturday morning and that’s about a five hour round trip.  Maybe five and a half if I stop at Carlos Creek Winery 😉  And then we have sibling dinner Saturday night.  Sunday will be a day of catching up on all things house work since we won’t have Scout interfering.


Spring Break vacation!!


I would have to say face lotion.  When I think about the very minimum I do on the weekends, it’s either face serum plus a lotion with sunscreen or just the lotion with sunscreen.  I’m currently using these two products…

And let’s just pause for another moment to admire the clarity of that picture.

And now I’m off to a very busy Wednesday of work, hair cut and color, and DGT Event Committee meeting.  It’s gonna be a long one!  But I will leave you with this sunset from last night…aaaaaah!

Weekend Edition: Starting Over

We hit the weekend running with our first trip to a dog park Friday after work.  We checked out Battle Creek park, and once everything dries out, it’s going to be great.  There’s a lot of ice and mud right now, but plenty of room for us to get away from everyone else and let Scout run.

We had a quick dinner and then went to Neumans with Doug to see their friend Jeff Loven play.  We were only going to stay for a little while, but ended up being some of the last ones there.  It was such a fun night.

Of course you play, you pay.  Scout didn’t care that we came home at 12:30 in the morning, and wanted to be up and out at 6:00.  Saturday was a bit of a blur with a trip to Target, where we ran into another friend we haven’t seen in a while, and a stop at Kohl’s for some shoes for Gary.  We did get a nice nap in the afternoon, and then after a quick walk, settled in for the evening and watched the Wild game.

I was up early again on Sunday and had a nice, peaceful sunrise walk with Scout.  Then I went grocery shopping super early, which was fabulous because there were barely any other people at the store.  It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed a little time at the Nature Center with Scout in the afternoon.

But the big news is…we have joined the i side.  Gary and I have been having a terrible time with our phones for the past six months or so.  We decided it was time to make the big switch from Android to the iPhone.  We were going to be practical and get the cheapest phones they had, but when I saw the new camera on the 7S I was hooked.  I ended up with the 7S Plus and Gary got the 7S.  So we are starting over with all of our apps and content.  I am completely smitten, even though I haven’t even started playing with the phone.  I wish it wouldn’t have taken an hour and a half out of a beautiful day, but I guess buying a phone has moved right up there with buying a car.

Oh, and the cookbooks came!  I will do a full review soon.  Spoiler alert – they are awesome.  Have a great week!

Friday Favorites: Just enjoying February

It’s Friday!  And it’s going to be 60 degrees!  What a crazy winter we are having.  My yard is as close to an ice rink as we have ever gotten and I’m not sure what the grass is going to look like once it all melts.  Good thing we don’t have any big plans for a party this summer.  Oh, wait…
I have a few favorites from the week to share.
Lots of snuggles on the couch with this guy this week.  We decided to bring him back to the breeder while we are on vacation.  He will actually be gone three weeks; two weeks of obedience training and one week of field work.  He leaves next weekend so I’m spending as much time with him as I can (which honestly, isn’t anything new!).  I may sneak one of my socks into his kennel so he doesn’t forget me.
I mentioned last week that I had ordered some things from Sephora, and this was one.
It may be my favorite BB or CC cream yet.  It’s very light and sheer, adds a little glow without looking greasy, and it has 50 SFP sunscreen.  Only downside?  It’s $38 for 1.08 oz.  And I think they throw that .08 in there as a marketing gimmick.  “It’s more than 1 oz!!”.  But I only use about the size of a pea so it should last awhile.  And I don’t have to wear powder over it to cut the shine.  And it’s small enough to pack in my carryon.  AND, I have never completely used any of my larger bottles because they seem to thicken up over time.  So maybe there really isn’t a downside!
It’s Shamrock Shake time!!!
So McDonald’s has upped their shamrock game this year with new drinks including Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe, Chocolate Shamrock Shake, Shamrock Hot Chocolate, and Shamrock Mocha.  But, they jumped the shark with a special straw for the Chocolate Shamrock Shake:
McDonald’s USA today changed the world (of shake-drinking) with a limited-edition straw designed by a team of aerospace and robotic engineers.
The Chocolate Shamrock Shake, one of four new seasonal McCafé beverages, has dual layers of delicious chocolate shake below Shamrock Shake. The new recipe presented McDonald’s a unique challenge to reinvent the shake experience. To deliver the ideal flavor ratio of 50% chocolate and 50% mint in each sip, versus enjoying each flavor separately with a traditional straw, McDonald’s turned to highly-qualified engineering firms. JACE and NK Labs created the probably-more-revolutionary-than-actually-needed Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal (the STRAW). The STRAW’s j-shape provides optimal flavor flow dynamics.
You can read the full story here.  Oh, and they added sprinkles to the original Shamrock Shake so it wouldn’t feel left out.  I hate to say it, but it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for.  Too much mint (I never thought that was possible), and they have become too creamy.  I like my shakes to have a little of that crystal ice cream texture.  I will always get one each season, but I probably won’t get another.  Or, if it ever gets cold here again, I may try the Shamrock Hot Chocolate.
Still going strong with my PT.  I had my last regular sessions this week, and topped it off with leg presses at 100 pounds!  I don’t know if that’s really all that much, but for me, it felt like a total victory.  I believe I started at 60 pounds six weeks ago.  I have one final consultation in a couple of weeks.  The pain is about 85% better than when I started, but not 100% yet.

This isn’t new, but as I was going through my photos for this post this one came up and it made me smile.


“You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around!”

My sisters and Ladies Weekend are definitely favorites.  So many good times!

We don’t really have any plans for the weekend so with the warm weather, I hope to get outside with Scout a lot.  Gary and I may even try a hike after work tonight.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Weekend Edition: RV There Yet?

Ok, I can’t take credit for that, I saw it on a t-shirt at the RV show on Saturday and it made me LOL.  Which was just one highlight of our weekend.

We went to the show this year knowing we were only looking at Fifth Wheels, trying to narrow down the layout and features we really want.  I have been drawn to the open living/dining/kitchen floor plan, but Gary really likes the separate living room.  I was afraid that would separate us too much (leaving me along to do all of the meal prep and clean up), but he pointed out that we will be living in a very small space and will, most likely, want some separation (he’s a wise one).  And then he pointed out that it would give us more room when our grandkids come stay with us and I was completely sold!

We also have moved the Keystone Montana to the top of the list for both features and quality.

After the RV show we came home and did some cleaning and I FINISHED FAFSA!!!


(Barb, I didn’t order tomato seeds this year, but I plan to get an earlier start next year and will add them back in.)

And then, Kathy, Pat and I went to the Landscape Arboretum for the Bruce Munro “Winter Light” exhibit.  It was so much better than I was expecting.  There are seven light exhibits, both inside and out, and they were fascinating.

This was a light show projected down onto round tables.

The images moved like a kaleidoscope.

This was a huge field of fiber optic lights on stakes.

And then my camera died.  These next photos were taken by Pat:  fiber optic lights in stacks of water bottles (filled with water), “owl eyes” – light projected onto bales of hay (they blinked), and “Minnesota Gathering” – iridescent plastic clothes pins on lines strung between the trees with black lights shining on them.  Several exhibits were accompanied by music or, in the case of Minnesota Gathering, the sound of birds.

It was such a fun evening and the weather was perfect.  It started to rain on the way home.  (Amanda, you should really go see this.)

Sunday was my ideal version of a Sunday.  We ran to pick up a few things at Target and Menards, got Gary a new pair of shoes for vacation, did our laundry, I painted my nails, and we watch hockey and the Grammy’s.  And I was back in my pajamas by noon.

We only watched the Grammy’s until about 9:30, and I haven’t been on social media yet to see what the trending highlights were, but I would have to say the Carpool Karaoke with Neil Diamond was my favorite.  The only performance I didn’t really like was Metallica and Lady Gaga, and I actually like both of them, but I thought it was a little over-the-top with the head banging.  IMO.

So pretty much a great weekend!  I have a board meeting tonight, but then the rest of the week looks wide open, and it’s looking like another warm week so I hope to get some evening walks in with Gary and Scout.  Friday’s high is forecasted to be 54° and sunny, so we may head to a park after work for a hike.  And for those of you who celebrate, Happy Valentines Day!


Friday Favorites: I have a muscle!

I hate to jinx myself, but this week felt almost normal.  I still have a million things on my plate, but I at least kept my head above water, and may have even spied a buoy within reach.

Here are a few favorites from this week.  Be sure to hop over to see what Andrea has been up to.  She posted some great free Valentine printables recently if you are looking for something easy to DIY.

Doggie Daycare.  Amen and halleluia!  Scout loves going, loves all the people who work there, and crashes on the couch at 6:00.  It’s good for him and it’s good for us.

Sephora.  I have started ordering online because I discovered that I get three free sample products, and I’m all about the free.  It’s a limited selection, so I usually get fragrance samples but this time I got a firming skin cream that may be a miracle product.  I have only used it once so I am going to monitor the results before I shout it from the mountain tops, but early tests are very positive.  Also, it’s $76.00 for 1.7 oz so it will need to be extraordinary before I would buy it.  More to come.

I have mentioned my new-found love of Noosa yogurt, and this week I tried the lemon.  Oh my word it was good.  I added the toasted coconut granola and fresh raspberries and it was a definite favorite.

I have been really focused on my physical therapy and I am happy to report that I have an actual muscle.  Well, probably more than just one, and I do all of the exercises on both legs so it’s not just one muscle in one leg.  But my point is, I can see results beyond just reduced pain.  Greg pushed me HARD this week, and I left both of my 30 minute sessions in a full on sweat, but there are definite results!  I feel like I may need to remind him that I am the sedentary old lady, not one of his young high school athletes.  His parting comment on Thursday was that we were going to “start to step it up”.  WHAT?!

Seeds!  It’s time!  Since I didn’t have any vegetables last year, I’m going to order all new seeds this year.  I’m a little late getting them started, but I hope to get them going before we leave on vacation.  We are scaling back on variety this year, and we’re going to try to grow corn, so that will be a new experience.  Time to clean the utility room!

After a couple of cold days we are expecting to hit 43° today, and the high 30’s all weekend.  That means lots of outdoors time with Scout, and I have a little Girl’s Night planned for Saturday that is going to be so much fun.  Have a great weekend!