Sunday, March 1, 2015

For the Love of Eggs!

My sister came into town this week for a few days to help out since my mom has been having some major health issues that required hospitalization and rehab.  Talk about a stressful few weeks!  Agh!  :-/

While my sister was here, we ate breakfast out twice.  Our Thursday morning breakfast was at the always wonderful local Cracker Barrel (hellooooooooooooooo eggs in a basket).  We've had a lot of snow in SW Virginia in February so it was nice to relax by the fire and take our time eating a yummy meal.  The challenge was where to go on Saturday morning.  We decided to check out a restaurant that's only been open for a few months called Scrambled.  For starters, it is located in the heart of downtown, across the street from the Farmer's Market.  Cannot get a better location.  The menu on-line looked good but I wasn't sure if the food would live up to my expectations.  It did!

The restaurant is small but clean and nicely decorated with lots of windows and a mostly white interior.  I ordered a bacon, egg, tomato, and cheese sandwich on Texas Toast.  My husband and sister both had eggs, b'fast potatoes, and bacon.  My sister had a side of vanilla French  (the best thing on the table!) and my husband had one pancake.   Ohhhh, the sweet tea and coffee were good too but the food was delicious and our server was great.  I highly recommend Scrambled!

Aside from eating a lot, I've been trying to make a go of it for the Whole Life Challenge.  Fell off the wagon for a while during the past two weeks just from all of the health emergencies going on but still giving it a try for these final three weeks.  :-)

Saw Harry Connick Jr. this past week when he was touring in Roanoke.  What an amazing show he puts on!  He and his band played Mardi Gras tunes, some romantic classic love songs, jazz, and two gospel songs.  Harry interspersed some dancing, jokes, and stories to make it a really entertaining evening for the more than 1,700 people in the audience.  I'm not a big jazz fan but I do appreciate good live music and he's truly amazing and has a much better voice than most.  Next up is 'Piano Man' at the end of the month.

Friday, January 23, 2015

No Carbs and Strep Throat

Fruit tarts....yum...

Happy Friday!!!!!!!!!!  I'm home sick with strep throat today.  Blah!  What's worse is that I had taken today off as a vacation day not knowing how this infection would knock me over mid-week.  Boo! Thank goodness for nice nurse practitioners and antibiotics.  :-)

Hope you all have a good weekend full of fun things to do.  The weather here is iffy today and will be tomorrow too so that plus my feeling like _____ will probably prevent me from doing much.  It's raining and snowing here but the snow isn't sticking yet.  Worried more about ice.  Hopefully, spring will decide to show up early.  Like in February.

It's Day 7 of The Whole Life Challenge for me and so far so good!  I've pretty much eliminated all their no-no foods from my diet.  I have to say, I don't miss the carbs as much as I thought I would.  I crave them less now.  So, that's a small victory!  I'm also doing my best to go to the gym more (averaging twice a week instead of never) and do a bit of yoga daily.  Haven't managed to get in my 50 oz of water a day but I'm almosttttttttttttttt there.  I'm hopeful I'll get that done soon.  A friend at work introduced me to the My Water app for the iPhone.  I think that'll help me stay on track better and not realize at the end of the day that I'm way behind.  I do miss fruit tarts and dessert.  I still crave a Milano cookie from time to time.  Like during the latest Downton Abbey episode (not sure why).

A good buddy of mine runs a Air BnB place in Pulaski called 132 Guesthouse that my husband and I visited during Christmas break.  It's gorgeous inside!  I wish I had taken pictures of her living room when it was decorated for Christmas because it was so beautifully done.  The giant fir tree made the house smell wonderful and she had a little train set circled around the tree that we could play with.  She has 4 rooms available and a nice multi-story back porch.  She's hosted European tourists, a Washington Post reporter, and people driving through SW VA on their way to Tennessee and West Virginia, among others.  So, if you ever find yourself driving on I-81 and need a place to rest your head, check it out!

Friday, January 9, 2015


I love that during this time of year when you don't feel like doing much outside that you can at least count on there being some good movies to see.  Back in December, a friend and I went to see Into the Woods and I didn't realize that it would be SUCH a musical.  It was fantastic and I'd see it again!  Totally recommend it...  My husband and I had a hard time deciding between seeing Wild or The Imitation Game this past Saturday night but we chose The Imitation Game and we were glad we did.  Another amazing movie.  Looking forward to January 16th when American Sniper and Foxcatcher are on wide release, finally!

Seen any good ones lately?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy 2015, Everyone!

My homemade Black & White cookies (yum)
Helloooooooooooooooooooooo everyone!  I hope you are all doing well and are keeping warm and healthy.  The flu is going around (ack!) so I'm washing my hands like crazy hoping to avoid the germs.  Back in the day, my 11th grade high school history teacher was a germaphobe (is that a real word?) and used to spray all of our tests and homework assignments with Lysol, always wore gloves inside, and made any sick kids sit in the back of the room.  We all used to make fun of her but I don't anymore.  LOL

So, in the past two years I've gained about 25 pounds ~ can you believe that?!  I went from a size 6 to a 12.  *sigh*  Of course, it doesn't help when I bake yummy cookies and snack all year long.  I've been back on Weight Watchers for the past twelve months but have only gained weight.  So, not sticking to my point allowance, obviously.  I'm sick of not fitting into my pants and boots and just, in general, being irritated with my appearance.  So, I signed up for the Whole Life Challenge which will help me kick start my goal of losing 2 pounds per week.  I start January 17th.  A shout out to the blogger from Attempts at Domestication for mentioning this program or else I'd never have heard about it.  I'm excited!  What's even better is a friend of mine joined with me.  I think I'll have more success with a buddy.

Since I last blogged, my husband and I were able to finally paint and decorate our dining room.  Thank goodness!  We painted the ceiling, chair rail, and trim bright white.  The top 2/3 of the wall is Behr Manhattan Mist gray and the bottom third of the wall is Behr Dark Pewter gray.  Looks great with our marble tile floor.  Target had great curtains and J.C. Penney had a faux Mercury glass curtain rod that is perfect.  Here's a photo.  Ignore the beige line above the chair rail.  We touched that up after this photo was taken...

Besides losing weight, my goals for 2015 include painting and renovating the half bath on the main level and our kitchen.  We may wait to do the kitchen next year but a trip to IKEA this spring will help make that decision for us.

I am back in school for a second master's degree.  This time around, I'm working towards a master's in library science.  So far, two classes completed and I'm loving it!  Takes up a lot of my time, though.  Plus, tuition is expensive.  I think in the long run it will be worth the investment.

A good buddy of mine just told me she's going to Iceland on vacation in February.  How exciting!!  She'll go dog sledding, try out the hot springs, go horseback riding, and visit a black sand beach,  glaciers, waterfalls, and geysers!  That's something truly fabulous to look forward to.  Makes me dream of taking a vacation sometime soon!

Hope your week goes well ~

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What To Do This Weekend?

Well, it's Thursday and that means I should start to think about what to do this weekend besides the usual ~ visiting with the parents, cleaning the house, and grocery shopping.  Dinner?  Movie?  Outdoor something or other?

My husband and I have seen some really good movies lately.  This past weekend, in honor of Halloween, we wanted to see either a scary movie or a creepy one so we watched Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo.  So creepy and good!!  A little graphic but the second half of the movie was better than the first half.  Really original and exciting!  A week or so before that we watched Gone Girl.  I had read the book so I knew how the movie would end but they did a fantastic job with it.  I'd recommend the book over the movie but just by a tiny bit.  Also, a bit graphic!  That surprised me...  I'd like to see Interstellar next although I hear it's quite long.

Last Friday were were busy handing out chocolate candy to the trick or treators.  Only half of whom were polite and said 'thank you'.  Lovely.  One little girl dressed up as 'the wind' and we had a couple of 'angels of death' with great costumes!  Those three young ladies all said thank you so they get two thumbs up from me.

I could pass up fun altogether and start painting our dining room gray and white but I think I might put that off until Thanksgiving week.  :-/

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

South Carolina X 3

View of Intracoastal Waterway from our hotel room's balcony
Hi all!  Long time, no post.  Again.  I'm not doing too well and keeping a regular schedule anymore.  Sorry about that!  I mentioned last time that I'd post about my trip to Charleston in April.  Figured since I've been to South Carolina three times this year (and never before that!) that I might as well post about all three trips to the Palmetto State.  Here goes!

The first time I visited South Carolina, my husband and I drove to Charleston.  In early July, we drove to attend a family gathering near Aiken.  A couple of weeks later, we drove to Myrtle Beach to stay at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes resort right on the Intracoastal Waterway (see photo above).  Talk about a lot of driving back and forth from Virginia to SC!

I had a lot of fun on all three trips but had to work remotely during our Charleston journey so that put a damper on the vacation.  We stayed at the historic Francis Marion Hotel downtown for one night and walked around the city a lot.  The location of our hotel was perfect!  We ate a lot of good food and really enjoyed the college town atmosphere.  Savannah Bee Company was a fun store to check out and we lucked out on the weather.  We moved to a hotel in the suburbs to save money after our first night in town and that was a really good decision on our part.  It put us closer to the beaches and we had access to a pool and more space.  I'd recommend the Town and Country Inn and Suites because we enjoyed our stay but I wasn't crazy about their breakfasts (too expensive).

I'd say one highlight of our trip was the horse drawn carriage tour of the historic part of downtown Charleston.  Another would be our ride out to Folly Beach.  Lots to do, the beach was gorgeous, and you can fish!  See photo below ~

We both loved visiting the Aiken area because it has a totally laid back vibe and it was less crowded than the coast.  Apparently, this is horse country!  I wanted to see inside of a Hobby Lobby store because I'm a crafter and it was overwhelming and fabulous.  A must see for anyone who loves craft stores!  We also ate some great barbeque and enjoyed wandering around getting to know the area.

Myrtle Beach was a must-see for me because everyone down South talks about going all of the time.  We stayed at a Hilton property that has its own private beach access and we LOVED the resort.  I'd recommend it to everyone.  The only downside is the traffic.  Eight million people on the roads and not enough traffic lights equaled chaos.  There was a wait everywhere we went (except for the beach) and it was loud, loud, loud.  We're older, quieter folks.  Myrtle Beach is great but not for us.  I'm SO GLAD we went and I can see why it's so popular but next time we are going to pick a less stressful destination spot on the water.  Here's the giant crab in front of one of the many seafood buffet restaurants (expensive but a must see):

Monday, May 19, 2014

We Love Lucy!

Well, so much for my intention to post regularly.  It's late May and I haven't posted in two months!  Yikes!  Sorry about that...  I have a very good excuse as to why, though!  Check out the picture.  How can anyone resist that face?  I now try to spend as much of my free time away from the computer and dedicated to my favorite feline, Lucy.  Playing and giving attention to a cat is the best kind of stress relief I've been able to find.

My husband and I adopted a 7-month old kitten from the local SPCA at the very end of March.  What a wonderful addition to our family!  She's big into purring, running around the house at Mach-3 speed for no good reason, climbing the living room Ballard curtains which are luckily made out of burlap, looking out the window at the birds, and playing with her fake mice.  It's amazing how much more coordinated and athletic she is now that she has the run of the house and isn't in a cage anymore.  She's still a little bow-legged but it just makes her all the more charming.

Lucy requires heart medication and needs to be examined by a cat cardiologist once a year because she has a severe heart murmur but it hasn't slowed her down!  At first, my husband tried giving her her medication the old fashioned way which stressed both of them out.  A co-worker suggested Greenie's pill pockets in salmon flavor.   This is the best invention ever introduced to the pet marketplace.  Lucy runs downstairs every morning excitedly waiting for her pill pocket to be delivered to her.  Pill time is now Lucy's favorite time of day.  Well, kneading my sleeping body with her claws/paws is probably her second favorite. You should see all of my scratch marks.  :-/

My husband and I went to Charleston, SC for a few days in late April and my parents cat-sat Lucy.  It was a fun time for all of them.  Lucy learned new favorite past-times: lunging into a shower by crashing through a shower curtain, playing with her stuffed mice under a table around all sorts of chair legs, and hunting stink bugs.  She brought those hobbies home with her to our house.  I was definitely able to enjoy my vacation more not having to worry about the cat. I was more worried about my parents.  What if Lucy tripped them by accident?  What if she was too rough with her claws?  What if....  Anyway, I was being ridiculous.  They all really enjoyed each others' company and it was a fun time for all of them.  I'm so thankful for my wonderful parents.  They always come to the rescue.  I also love the fact that they know Lucy so well now.  I'm like a proud parent.

I'll try to blog about Charleston next time.  It was a fun vacation.  For now, my life seems to revolve around work, cleaning the house, and playing with Lucy.  I should really be devoting more time to weeding my new herb garden which is doing pretty well.  So far, turnips, Swiss chard, strawberries and the spinach are all doing well.  The scallions and parsley were an epic fail so I'm trying again with them.