Good afternoon my darlings. While this morning was cold and gloomy, this afternoon has been warm and glorious. I managed to get my afternoon walk in. Sadly I don’t have the time to extend it today as I am close to having my final edits done on a new manuscript. It needs the bulk of my attention.
Manuscripts get needy like that towards the end.
So only the one walk. I’m hoping that tomorrow I will reach a point where more of a break is possible. I’m also hoping the weather holds. I may have to still work this weekend, but having good weather to walk in when I take breaks would be nice. I’ll have to look at the mornings forecast to see what the weekend weather holds. But I have my fingers crossed.
I have to admit, after realizing The Candy Club was having a 50% off sale on their monthly boxes, I ended up signing up for one. I got the Fun sized box which is normally $29.99 for $15. No tax, no shipping. The trick is that it ships 30 days after ordering. While waiting is such sweet sorrow, I was hoping I would somehow get the box before the sale ended so I could review it for you so there would be a better chance of knowing what you would get before you ordered. I don’t think the sale will last that long though. So I’m just letting you know in case you were interested in trying it out.
Oh also something with a time limit. Huda Beauty has Mystery boxes available. The large costs$89 and has 8 items with a retail value of $269 and the small is $49 with 4 items and a retail value of $119. Each comes with a cute little makeup bag. They are only on sale for two days. I think today is day one of the two days. If you are interested, you might want to snag one before they disappear.
Those ae the two really time limited sales I know about. Hopefully if you are interested you can take advantage of the discounts.
As for me, I have a boatload of editing before I can call it a day. I took a little extra time today to put together a marinade. We are having Tikka masala tofu tonight for dinner and the longer the tofu sits in the marinade the better it will be. Just remember if you use tofu for this get the extra firm and press as much water out of it as you can so it soaks up more of the flavor. Personally I really like it, especially as I crisp it up a bit in the pan. With me the only issue I had with tofu was with texture. Browning it with that marinade takes the texture away. I am not fooled into thinking it is meat, but it eliminates the smooth and slightly rubbery exterior my tongue doesn’t approve of. With that gone, I’m happy with it. So dinner is partially prepped, my walk is done and I am getting back to work and dreaming of sour candies. Not a bad thursday all in all.
I’ll admit, I may have been a bit of a slug today. I got up a little late and sort of dragged through my morning. I sort did my morning work out, but I put so little effort into I that I don’t really think it actually counts. Most of my efforts have gone into writing and clearing the desk for writing today. I am reaching the end of a manuscript and am fine tuning my edits. So I’m trying to get everything else squared away so I can focus and make certain every last comma is exactly where I want it to me.
Generally when I reach this stage, I tend to let everything else slide until the final draft is complete. Tonight’s dinner is going to be baked potatoes, mostly because it takes so little time to just put them in the oven. And then they can be doctored to individual tastes. As Potatoes are always welcome around here, it isn’t a hardship and I personally appreciate at least one dinner during the week that I just don’t have to think about. For me baked potatoes are an easy out.
I will admit I was tempted away from my editing by the Wine of the Month Club’s sale listing for longer than I planned.
So I did spend a little time perusing their selections. Spending so much time in the house this past year depleted out reserve of ordered wines, which was quite a feat. We had quite a bit stashed for family holiday events as well as our weekly happy hour, but prior to last year we had only about one Happy Hour at home a month and the rest were out at various restaurants. Now they are almost exclusively at home. Hence the depletion of the reserve.
At the moment there is no reserve wine in the cabinet. Which sort of explains last week’s unplanned selection. Although I do personally like the ‘Hey I’ve never tried this one before’ approach to local wine purchasing.
If nothing else it is quite an experience. There have been some unexpectedly good finds, plenty of mediocre ones, a few that were better off used as salad dressing components, and the occasional surprising stunner. Our local liquor store is known for their array of hard liquors and the extremely wide variety of beers – they are not known for their wines. So it is always surprising to find the items they stock. I have no idea how they stock because their wine selection is really all over the place. Truthfully even with the occasional off bottle, shopping for wines there is like a bizarre treasure hunt. The hunt is as amusing as the wine, often more so.
Although finding reputable wines in general is a good idea. House guests don’t always appreciate my personal adventure quests which is why they are often kept for Happy Hour. So looking for good wines I spent some time on the Wine of the Moth Club’s site. Several selections looked really nice and like ones I’d enjoy trying. And yes I am calling it work related searching as I might end up reviewing them for my Happy Hour post, but mostly it was making a list for personal wine cabinet purposes.
Just don’t tell anyone.
And I’ll keep mum about how long you spent scrolling through Instagram this afternoon.
But now it is back to editing for me. I put the Wine of the Month Club info above in case you are interested in stocking your own cellar. I’m actually thinking of adding one of the monthly subscriptions to my list, but i haven’t figured out which one I want to go with yet. And of course as soon as I pull up the site, my baby doll points out they also have a Chocolate of the Month Club. While he likes wine, he ADORES chocolate. I suspect if I get one subscription, I’ll end up needing to get both. That is the way things go around here. Admittedly, he is still drooling over The Candy Club (incidentally they have a 50% off your first box deal going at the moment as well which you might want to check out) so I might be able to get one month of the Wine Club in before he notices there is no chocolate. I have no illusions about that lasting though. Birthdays and anniversaries my baby may sometimes forget, but he never forgets the possibility of chocolate.
Good afternoon my darlings. Today has just been chugging right along. Calories are on point, exercises complete. All is well on the fitness front.
I am however quite sad to find out that the cosmetics brand Becca is soon to be no more.Several years ago they were purchased by the Estee Lauder company and now as the company is rearranging themselves they have decided to close down the brand. They are closing officially in September. This article from Allure goes into the details should you be interested in learning more. I love the Pink Haze setting powder and their Aqua Luminous foundation is a great affordable full coverage foundation.
Almost every other foundation I use is lighter in coverage. The other full coverage foundation I adore is the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation which, while utterly fabulous (and if I am being honest, better than the Becca), at $77 tends to fall more into the luxury cosmetics rather than the more affordable ones like Becca. Don’t get me wrong the Koh Gen Doh is very much worth the price and one of the best foundations I’ve ever tried, I just like having foundations in different price ranges available in my dressing table.
Plus the last time I picked one foundation and just continuously used it, the product was discontinued and I began my grand foundation quest, so having several products I like as well as my absolute favorites on hand isn’t a bad thing.
I suppose I will just have to try more foundations to find one to replace it. Not exactly a hardship, I know. I just need to resist the urge to stock up before September. Well, maybe one bottle. The harder thing is going to be finding a replacement for the Pink Haze setting powder. It is just really good at bringing a healthy glow to winter pallid skin. and in making me look healthy when I’ve spent too long at the computer in an effort to finish a project. I suppose that may be a new quest as well as I don’t actually have anything really comparable to it. It is in a category all it’s own.
However as disappointed as I am to hear of Becca Cosmetics closing, there was a nice announcement today as well. The brand NUXE is having a sale for the entire month of March. It is a buy two get 25% off sale now through March 31st. There is no code needed and the discount is applied at checkout. Which I like because I am always forgetting to put in the codes. I love when the discount is automatic. I adore the Insta Masques from Nuxe. They are two minute masks that are amazing. I love putting them on and then letting them sit while brushing my teeth. Then I just rinse them off, easy peasy. The exfoliating one leaves my skin silky smooth and doesn’t strip it at all. It is very gentle I think that now might be the time for me to stock up. You too of course if you are interested in them. (the other Insta masques are good too, but you know I can not resist a good exfoliator).
So a brand I like is departing and a different brand I love is having a sale. It isn’t quite equilibrium in my personal beauty world, but it is close. And some days close is all you can really hope for.
I have to admit, I am feeling pretty smug today. I got up on time, despite tossing and turning for much of the night (I ran out of my Hum Sleep Gummies (officially called Mighty Zzzz)and forgot to reorder. (okay so I don’t feel very smug about that.I knew I was getting low and ignored my post-it note reminder. The container was empty last night and I put in a new order this morning)
So I got up and did my short list of morning exercises. I think the short list is really starting to become habit. Soon enough it will be routine and feel easy, then I will increase it, I can feel the habit building. I started for my coffee pot first thing and then stopped myself half way there and went into the sun room to do my exercises first. I’m actually quite proud of that.
The smugness however comes from the fact that it is pouring down buckets of rain today. It was raining when i got up and it is still raining now. It is also likely to continue raining throughout the week. The park and walking trail are already flooded so walking is out, but I have new batteries in my Wii board and managed to do 30 minutes of Wii Fit in place of my walk. The last time I tried to use the Wii fit in place of walking, the batteries were dead and I spent my workout time scrambling to find replacements and finally going to the store.
But not today. Today the batteries were fresh so I just had to turn it on and go. Victory was mine!
Or at least an actual workout in the time I had allotted for it. And yes I know I got the batteries because it was supposed to rain last week. But I am still standing by my smug feeling.
So I got my work out in and thus far my calories are on point.
Also because my latest eye cream has been giving me some clogged pores (at least I’m pretty sure that is the culprit as it is just under my eyes where I normally put the eye cream that is currently clogged) I have two stripes of the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Cacao and Chamomile Clearing Mask on under my eyes. It looks kind of like I used mud in place of eye gel masks. However I know it will bring those pesky clogged pores to the surface so they can be cleared away. And it is super easy to wear at the desk while I work. I had to set a timer so I didn’t forget.
The rest of my face is doing pretty well skin wise actually, which is why I only used the mask under the eyes. It is also why I think the eye cream might be to blame. I think I might leave it off for a few days and see if the bumps return or if they stay gone. I’m actually three and a half weeks into the trial for this eye cream and thus far the only change I’ve noticed has been the increased clogged pores, so it might be time to call the trial anyway. But that is for another post. For now, my Herbal Dynamics Beauty is taking care of it. Tonight I’ll think about the eye cream.
Welcome once again to Happy Hour. This week was long and there was much grease filled carnage earlier in the week so we decided to tone down happy hour to wine and cheese. In this my babydoll decided to help me out.
In his way.
My plan was to do a goat cheese and honey melt. To put it quite simply you put goat cheese in an oven proof ramekin, drape honey over it and put it under the broiler just long enough for the honey to bubble a little and the goat cheese to soften. Then you take it out and try not to burn your fingers as you greedily spoon it over crackers. It is delicious. I usually pair it with a chardonnay (or any wine with citrusy notes) it is one of those dishes perfect for that evening that has a bit of a chill but followed a warm day.
However before I could go out, my babydoll stopped at the store and picked up a honey goat cheese and a bottle of Pinot Noir. (I mentioned I needed to pick up wine and cheese for the Friday Happy Hour so he helped me out by picking them up for me.) The goat cheese has honey in it so there was no need to add anything. This particular one is from the Public’s Deli. I’m guessing that is the brand.
Because the honey was already added and I hadn’t tried this before, we went with the standard unwrap and serve method rather than actually heating anything up. As a bonus it let me use my Boska Cheese knife. We picked up a set a while back and I have to say they are really nice cheese knives. The handle and blade are all one piece so you don’t have to worry about the blade coming loose and they are just so elegantly shaped.
The cheese itself was interesting. The honey made it lightly sweet but was mixed well enough that the honey did not become cloying. The sweet tamed the kind of goat-y funk that goat cheese can have but it was still in that tangy goat cheese realm.
Over all it was actually a really good cheese, even if if wasn’t what I was expecting (or what i would serve with this wine). To be honest if I were to get this cheese again (which I would ) I think I would crumble it into a small oven proof dish and sprinkle finely diced jalapenos on it and then heat it up until the jalapenos were fragrant and sinking into the softened goat cheese. I think a little vegetal heat would go well with this cheese and I think heating it slightly would prove to be beneficial to the melding process flavor-wise even though goat cheese isn’t a great melting cheese.
But that is for another time.
To go with this cheese was the wine my baby doll picked up. He picked up a Chateau Souverain Pinot Noir 2018. When I asked him why he chose this wine, he said…
“There was a couple doing the polite public arguing over by the Chardonnay and a couple of people without masks breathing on the bottles in the area so I picked one I didn’t think we tried before and hadn’t been breathed on.”
Not exactly how I usually pick wines, but somedays that is just what happens.
So this is tonight’s wine.
According to the Chateau Souverain website…
Chateau Souverain Pinot Noir 2018 opens with dark red fruit aromas reminiscent of cherry and raspberry. Notes of fresh blueberries are complemented by hints of clove and vanilla. The wine finishes with cleansing acidity and a fruit-driven balance that gives the wine a polished sense of elegance.
I love how wine descriptions and perfume descriptions share so many similarities. All of the notes mentioned are ones I like, so lets see what actually comes out in the bottle.
First off, this is a screw top bottle rather than a corked one. While I generally go for corked I know there is nothing wrong with the screw tops. I just really like the act of using the corkscrew to open the wine before pouring. I have had several screw top bottle wines that I did enjoy. I’ve also had several that I didn’t, although truthfully I could say the same about wines with corks. I only mention it because of the scent.
One thing that I notice happens with a lot of screw top wines is they get a scent. When you first open them, the scent tends to be bitter and highly acidic and slightly sour. The first sniff makes you think the wine has gone off. I don’t know why, but it seems to happen to red wines with screw tops often enough to be noticeable. I have also noticed that the initial scent doesn’t have a lot to do with the wine. Usually the wine hasn’t gone off and it is just that initial scent so you have to actually taste it to find out about the wine. It is best to pour it into the glass and sniff then. The bitter acidity of that first scent dissipates and then you get the scent of the wine. Perhaps it has something to do with the wine splashing against the metal cap. I don’t know. But this wine had it when opened and lost it once poured.
There is still a slightly acidic scent to the wine in the glass, but it is mellowed with fruit and spice notes. In drinking it, I noticed the clove and vanilla mentioned. The vanilla is a very light hint hiding behind the clove. There was a deeper hint of cherry, but it was more bitter cherry than sweet cherry. It was cherry with a bite.
In a five star rating system I would probably give it a three. It is nice to drink, but not spectacular. I would also use it in a beef stew. I think the fat and heaviness of the beef would actually work well with the flavors of the wine when cooked down. And as it is nice to drink a glass with a portion of the stew would not be amiss. I think that it would actually do really well in a beef stew, especially one that leaned into the sort of warm spices you find in Moroccan type flavors. There the wine would be a distinct asset to the flavor of the stew.
In a happy hour setting, I probably wouldn’t serve this wine with goat’s cheese again, honeyed or otherwise. The goat’s cheese was a little too tangy to suit this wine, even with the sweetness the honey brings. I would also not go with too pungent a cheese.
I would probably serve this with a triple cream brie served on baguette rounds and topped with a cherry compote. The cheese is mild and the bread unspiced so it wouldn’t compete with the flavors of the wine. The cherry compote would bring out the fruity flavors and dim down the acidity.
I would pick up this wine again to drink although I usually prefer something more rounded and less acidic (which is why it only receives a three on my rating system). I think pairing it with the brie and cherry compote would work to bring out the fruiter aspects of the wine and not make it so spice forward. As the store near us carries the wine it is easy to pick up and as it costs $9.99 it is not a break the bank price, so I am fairly certain it will make a return trip to our house sometime in the future. It may not be a special occasion wine, but it is a good solid affordable wine.
Good afternoon my darlings. The sun is shining, the weather is warm and I had a fantastic walk. I am still hoping to make up for the pizza and wings of earlier this week, but over all I feel pretty good about it. My life is never going to be about restrictive dieting. While I am losing weight to reach and maintain a healthy weight loss and I want exercise to be a daily part of my life, I am not going to make it the center of my life.
Life happens around fitness.
My goal is moderation in my enjoyment of things. I’ll admit, I went a little overboard on the pizza and wings this week, and my belly made me pay the price as even when I have indulged in heavy food lately it has all been homemade heavy food. I think it was the level of salt and grease from the takeout that really did me in. As most of the indulgences I’ve had in the near past have all been ones I baked or cooked myself it really does make a difference. I didn’t think it would but apparently my belly thinks otherwise.
I think that treats for a while will either be home made or something in small moderation. Especially as moderation is my goal. My babydoll who is also losing weight to get healthy along side me (and because his doctor informed him it was a good idea) suggested candy as it generally comes in smaller containers that can be more easily meted out. He suggested that I might want to add that to my subscription box list as he thinks it is way better than skincare. While I will agree that candy is nice (I do have a weakness for sour versions while I live with Mr. Sweet Tooth Chocoholic) my love of skin care will not be dimmed.
I actually went looking and while there are several chocolate based subscriptions, some of which look really nice in my search I came across a company called the Candy Club. I actually started drooling when I saw the Blue Raspberry Sour Belts. That is actually one of my weakness candies and the container is right there on the front page. That and oddly the Haribo Peach circles. I have a hard time resisting those as well. I like the fact though that the Candy Club has to be ordered, therefore I can crave it and order it but then I have to wait for it to come in and when it does I can eat it in moderation. If I can pick it up at the store then generally I am craving it and will go through the entire bag quickly. Sometimes the delay is my friend. I think more information needs to be found about the Candy Club. Research needs to be done.
In moderation of course.
For now, lunch was soup with a side salad and tonight’s dinner is going to be asparagus. For the first time this season it was at the store and while the plant is only little nubbins in the back of my garden the bundle at the grocery store was too hard to ignore. So dinner tonight is asparagus.
I haven’t had it since last spring and am already making the nom nom noises at my desk thinking about it. I know in most stores it is there year round, but even though I am willing to sneak in a bunch early, I generally only eat what grows here, when it grows here, so there is a limited window and this is a seasonal treat. There will also be a piece of salmon with it, but tonight it is all about the asparagus.
And yes I realize how silly it is hat the two treats mentioned are in season asparagus and blue raspberry sour candies. What can I say, i like what I like. As long as I remember to like it in moderation, everything will be fine.
Oh my darlings, it is confession time. Yesterday I was doing fairly well keeping on track. I had my exercises done and my walking in. I had a nice salad for lunch and I was doing good.
And then my baby doll came home with pizza and wings.
They are my kryptonite.
He apparently had a bad day and wanted comfort food.
It was delicious. So bad for me, but so delicious.
There are a lot of foods that once I stopped eating them regularly my taste buds adjusted and I realized the crap food was actually not as good a I thought. Those then become easy to avoid because they don’t taste as good.
Pizza and wings are not in that category. At least not for me. They are now a rare treat that just tastes more delicious since I don’t have them that often.
The same does not hold true for the following day. My belly has what I should best describe as a food hangover. My taste buds and brain may still be relishing the memory but my belly feels the effects. It is not happy with me. I felt like a bloated wale on the beach this morning. And I did skip my morning exercises. I did get my walk in because it is gloriously sunny right now, but I kind of felt sweaty and gross. And not in the normal workout kind of sweaty. More of the my body is trying to purce last night’s grease kind of way. Not pleasant. It is a good reminder to take things in moderation though. And apparently I still need that reminder pounded into my brain.
So there is my confession. Tomorrow I will be back to normal and not a roly poly grease filled mess. Today, I will suffer for my culinary sins.
Do you know what I love about February? As soon as you start planning around the weather, it changes. On Sunday the weekly weather report announced that we had 90-100% chance of rain every day this week. Monday, we had off and on rain and the morning when I woke up it was bright and sunny and the weather report said that there is no chance of rain until Friday.
I’m not entirely certain I believe him.
But it does give me a bit of a walking window. And since i already have the new batteries in the Wii (both board and remote) I played Mario Kart with my baby doll last night. The hardest part was resisting the urge to load up on snacks. It is a game that tends to be sponsored by both Funyuns and THC in equal parts.With an occasional side nod to Twizzlers. Going for snacks once the music starts playing feels automatic.
I might stick to the Wii Bowling in the future. It’s an arm workout and better for my waistline.
But today, I stuck to my calories, did my morning exercises and went on a walk so I feel pretty good. I really am liking the shorter workouts daily rather than the longer ones. I’d like to gradually increase the daily workouts, but i think the daily ones are easier for me to make a habit than the every other day ones. Get up do my exercises and then move on with my day seems like a habit i can maintain. Once the habit is there, I’ll start lengthening them a little at a time and then maybe change some of my work outs with the ones put together by professionals. Although I have to say, I really like just having a list of exercises to get through rather than an instructor. I just don’t deal well with bright and shiny people in the morning.
I need a surly irate fitness instructor with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth, a voice heavy with mockery when they say such motivational things like – “It’s ten more crunches, you big baby, just finish them up so we can all move on with our day.”
Now that is a work out video I’d pay good money for. Where does that work out stream? I’ll sign up. Surely not all fitness instructors are super perky. I’m willing to compromise on the cigarette. They don’t have to be a smoker, they just have to mock. That’s the kind of work out video I’d make if i was going to make one. It’d call it – Just get your butt moving.
In case you are wondering, this is also why I stick to just listening exercises in my workout posts.
But I digress. Thus far I’ve managed to stick to my walks and if the weather holds I might be able to keep it aup all week. If the rains come I have a back up plan. I like having a back up plan.
Good afternoon my darlings. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. After everything from room painting to car troubles, my baby doll and I just sort of collapsed. Well I collapsed, he took a bunch of sinus medicine and slept a whole lot.It was fantastic. I did get my first round of seeds planted in the greenhouse this weekend too which was nice. Here’s hoping they’ll be large enough to plant outside after the danger of frost.
This morning I got my short list of exercises done and I was happy that it didn’t take long as I was not feeling like getting up early this morning. I really like the shorter list at the moment. I’m hoping I can stick with them daily this week and see a good outcome.
while it was raining this morning, the sky did clear and the walking trail was passable so I managed to get my walk in. I think I still may play around with the Wii Fit tonight though, mostly because i don’t remember what exercises are on there. Plus once I’m done i can play a round of Mario Kart.
When I came back from my walk I found my second February Look Fantastic came in. I switched from a month to month subscription to an annual one and because I did it so early in the month I ended up with two february boxes. My mom has already laid claim to some of the duplicates.
Actually I received the exact same box as before. The only thing that was different was the Eyeko Galactic Lid Gloss. Before, I received the shade Zodiac and this time I got the shade stardust. It is a gorgeous metallic silver. I am so going to have fun with this. I still prefer the copper shade of Zodiac, but I really like this one to. I am also definitely going to have to get some smaller brushes to play around with it.
I may have to pay a visit to the Luxie site later today. Or maybe aDesign Beauty or possibly Bdellium.I’m not sure which will have the finer point brushes but I like all three brands so it’s no hardship tp look. think Bdellium might be having a sale at the moment too. I know Luxie has up to 60% off certain sets at the moment but I’m not sure about single brushes. Yeah I’m just going to check them all out. I’m sure at least one of them will have a fine tip brush that I can use to play around with the Eyeko Galactic Lid Gloss.
And oh look, the rains have started again. I feel kind of virtuous for having gotten my walk in between the rains now. Go me!And as long as I can keep my calories in check for the rest of the day, I’ll be doing pretty good. I hope your Monday is going well for you, whatever it holds.
Wow, I would not have thought taking most of a single day away from the computer would affect so much. It’s kind of bizarre actually. While I take a few calls and have scheduled conference calls, I generally kind of work on my own, so I mostly think of my schedule in terms of deadlines and arranged meetings, with everything else being flexible, but apparently several people are used to me answering e-mails fairly quickly and sort of flipped out when I didn’t.
My babydoll’s car troubles inadvertently caused a panic.
I think I spent half of my morning today convincing people the sky was not in fact falling. They didn’t actually need anything from me, but apparently the fact that I didn’t respond as quickly as usual was cause for alarm. Although one person sent me something they thought I might find funny and then when i didn’t respond right away, they mentally re-evaluated what they sent me and thought I might be offended.
It was a cat meme involving a grumpy cat missing coffee. Not the most unique thing, but not offensive.
He then sent three e-mail apologies. Three. One because he thought I might be insulted by his mocking of my love of morning coffee (which he apparently shares), two because he thought I might not like cats in general, and three because he thought that I might either think he was some sort of sexist for thinking all women might like cats or because I might somehow think it was some sort of innuendo.
The third apology e-mail was sort of odd and more proof that he spent way too much time thinking about it.
So note to self, next time I am going to be away from my e-mail for a significant amount of time I need to put an away from my desk e-mail together so that no one feels abandoned. Or tries to wrack their brains for reasons I might possibly be offended. All is well now. Assurances have been given.The world has once again righted itself.
And I am even more behind on my to do list than I was when i started the day. I think it actually grew when i wasn’t looking. So even though i had planned to start in on my Wii Fit program today, that plan has been set aside to begin tomorrow afternoon, assuming I am actually caught up before the weekend hits.If not, then Saturday morning it is. For now, it is a fresh tank of air in the Soda Stream to make certain my water is fresh and bubbly and an eagle eye on my calories as i jump back into my to do list. Happy Thursday!