Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Watson Wednesday

I have several sweet pictures to share this week of my Watson - mostly because he's just been so sweet and I couldn't resist snapping these pictures of him!  





The bottom two are him attempting to guilt me into giving him some veggies from my supper on Tuesday night. And while I didn't feed him directly from my plate, he did get a small plate of his own filled with carrots and broccoli! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Oh Boo.

 It's Tuesday afternoon and man - this week has been a bit hectic so far! That's saying something since it's only Tuesday. *sigh* I also looked at my phone this morning and thought momentarily that it was Wednesday... but it wasn't and that was a bit of a disappointment, ha-ha!

All in all it hasn't been quite so terrible but this week does seem to be getting off to a more "active" start than I'd imagined it would. That's in direct contrast to the weekend because I had plans for most of the weekend and somehow they all fell through and I ended up doing a whole lot of nothing all weekend.


Our house got "Booo'd" and so after dinner on Friday we chose goodies for two additional houses in the neighborhood and snuck them on to the porches of the neighbors. The sad portion of this is that since I had no plans all weekend, I spent my time staring down the porches and I'm disappointed to say that the kindness stopped with them - I still haven't seen that they've joined the "Boo" Brigade and I'm probably a little too bothered by it. *sigh*

We have the most perfect tree in our yard that is turning a perfect shade of orange-red with some hints of yellow and it's just the best. Knowing that rain was coming on Sunday, I tried to get my pup to enjoy time on the deck reading, having lunch and just enjoying the day and admiring that gorgeous tree - he was less excited about it though!



I did some laundry on Saturday and I'm ashamed to say I binge-watched all ten episodes of Emily in Paris on Netflix (hides face) - but in my defense, the episodes were only about 26 minutes each! I also went to a House Party at my church on Saturday night for worship, baby dedication and baptism - and that was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening!

Sunday started out overcast and I knew it was only a matter of time before the rain showed up - so after church I had my own Panera You Pick Two on the deck and read before the rain arrived about 1:00. The rest of the afternoon was spent inside reading and watching TV since the rain stuck around until this (Tuesday) morning... I ended up doing things around the house on both Saturday and Sunday too, so I wasn't a complete bum.



Like I said - it was a very chill weekend. I ended up getting back into the Great British Baking Show on Netflix as Sunday evening rolled on and even though I didn't do much all weekend, it seemed to pass very quickly! I'm already looking forward to next weekend... but then, isn't that always what we do?

Friday, October 9, 2020

Five on Friday

 I don't know about you - but I'm glad it's Friday. And I only had to work three days this week but it is what it is, you know? I'm looking forward to the weekend... even if at this point I have zero plans.



One. October - I do love the month of October and this is the first edition of Five on Friday for the month of October because I was off in another world last Friday, ha-ha! Honestly I was so busy with work last Friday and then as soon as I got off, I was rushing over to my doctor to get a flu shot and then I just didn't feel like looking at a computer again - I'm sure we've all been there, right?


This is one of my very favorite quotes and I was tempted to buy a version of it in multiple places last weekend. I mean - I was born in October and I have always adored everything L.M. Montgomery wrote - so I feel like I'll eventually need this quote hanging somewhere in my home.

Two. Traveling - I have the most happy news this week because in just twenty-six short days I'll be bound for the United Kingdom to see my younger sister! I have an abundance of vacation days this year since traveling hasn't really been much of an option... and happily my boss and office manager approved that I could use 12 of the 15 days I have left to go to the United Kingdom!


The tickets have been purchased and I'll be in the UK for what is essentially half of the month of November - you currently have to quarantine for 14 days after entering the country. So while a large chunk of my visit will be spent hunkering down in my sister's home - I'm thrilled all the same. I'm also pretty tickled because my Mom and her younger sister are also going on this trip, so it will be sister trip for the books! 

Three. All the Chocolates - I mentioned in my post yesterday that we popped into a little shop in Culpeper called The Frenchman's Corner and I could not be more honest when I tell you that it is filled with the most beautiful chocolates I've ever seen in my life! Since we were celebrating my birthday, I went a wee bit overboard and selected fifteen different pieces for myself! 


I've been slowly eating them over the last week and I just don't know if you can find better chocolate than what they have at Frenchman's Corner! I especially loved the Jack O'Lantern that was actually a Cherry Cordial, the red and yellow square that was a S'mores Truffle and the truffle in the very center, topped with glittering sprinkles - I don't know what it was, but I know it was divine!

Four. Important Meeting(s) - I couldn't resist sharing this hilarious picture of my pup! I'm in a Bible study that meets via Zoom every two weeks and during last night's meeting, Watson hopped on to the end of the couch and from the angle I snapped the picture, he looked to be very involved in the discussion!


I'm sure we all know that it would be more fun to see people face to face - but I am thankful Zoom exists so we can at least still see people and interact from time to time. It makes life in this crazy weird year just a little less lonesome! 

Five. Fifty Pounds - Well... what can I say? I started Weight Watchers way back in January and here I am, ten months and fifty pounds less. It's been a journey and it's not over yet but I am a little bit amazed at how far I've come.


Sometimes I hesitate to "toot my own horn" as it were but then again - I have worked hard for this accomplishment and it feels pretty fabulous. When I see myself now, I see someone I recognize and that I'm happy with and that's an incredible feeling. I still have further progress to make but fifty pounds less - that feels pretty good.

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That's all I've got for this fabulous Friday in October! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and enjoys the Autumn days ahead.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Birthday Things

Oh hello - I didn't fall off the face of the Earth or anything - I've just been busy celebrating my birthday and since I was off work for a couple days, I decided to take a couple days away from blogging! I spent a four day weekend exploring all around my "neighborhood" if you will - for my birthday. I snapped pictures all over the place and I decided to consolidate my pictures together to share them with you!


Saturday the family and I drove over to nearby Culpeper - a small town with so much personality and plenty of wonderfully quirky and colorful shops and restaurants! We had lunch at Grill 309 and it was delicious! Excellent food, great service and a perfect location in the Main Street area, adjacent to all the shops. We made our way down Davis Street popping into all the shops - I picked up a bowtie for Watson, plenty of chocolates from The Frenchman's Corner, clothes at a boutique called Green Roost and trinkets at Pepperberries!

We grabbed some drinks at Chick Fil A - this was my first time having Frosted Coffee - and then headed for nearby Sperryville. Sperryville is an especially small town but it has two place I very much enjoy: The Copper Fox and The Copper Fox Distillery! The Copper Fox is a gigantic warehouse filled with antiques and while that's normally not my thing... I love this spot for some reason! After a quick exploration, we popped over to the Copper Fox Distillery and promptly decided to take a seat by the stream, sip some cocktails and watch the world go by - it was wonderful! 


I chose to get a Pirate's Lemonade that was made with the Copper Fox Distillery's bourbon and we all split a package of crackers with cheese. The weather was absolutely stunning and it was absolutely wonderful to sit by the stream, the sound of the water trickling by and feel the breeze in the trees. A stop off at The Melting Pot to pick up some pizzas that were eaten out on the deck as the sun set capped off a pretty fabulous Saturday.

Sunday morning it was off to DC - for the first time since late March when the cherry blossoms bloomed. I've missed going into DC (for baseball especially) in general and so I wanted to just poke around my favorite city a little bit and see some of my favorite highlights! We started with brunch at Old Ebbitt Grill - a DC staple that has been open since 1856 - the little bear on the bar says that very thing: "Bear in Mind this is Old Ebbitt, older than the Civil War..." I had Pumpkin French Toast with a Mimosa and followed it all up with a slice of Peanut Butter Pie - can you say sugar rush?



We wandered around DC just a wee bit - there was a memorial to the 200,000+ plus people who have died from COVID-19 and the city seemed changed; what with the recent almost constant protests, it was interesting to say the least. We made our way over to the US National Arboretum to check out the original Capital Columns - no longer being renovated! The US National Arboretum is one of my favorite spots in DC because you can almost forget that you're n the middle of a big city... and if you're in DC in the Spring, the Azalea Collection is not to be missed.

The next spot on my list was Yards Park - specifically to get ice cream from Ice Cream Jubilee and wander over to Nationals Park even though I couldn't go inside, ha-ha! I got a scoop of Go-Go Vote and a scoop of Maple Rye Pecan and merrily wandered over to enjoy it at a table overlooking the Anacostia River with the bridge and Nationals Park in the distance. We also walked along the river walk to Nationals Park where I essentially hugged the gates and stared into the park at the World Series Champions sign... *sigh* Baseball, I have missed you the most.



The final stop was Roosevelt Island - a spot in DC that not a single member of the family had been to before - so it was new for us all! The memorial to Teddy Roosevelt is lovely, especially because it's secluded in the midst of walking trails and yet again is another spot where the city almost melts away completely. I'm so glad we were able to find parking because it was such a treat to a place that was completely new to me! 

Monday was a very chill day - I slept in and then after coffee I went shopping with my Mom! I grabbed some new clothes from Loft, Old Navy and my own closet, ha-ha! We met my Dad for lunch at Firehouse Subs and afterward I ended up cleaning out my closet... I discovered clothes that I hadn't worn in about 50 pounds or so and ended up removing about 65 pieces from my closet that were much too large! It was definitely a confidence booster! I did 2+ miles around the neighborhood and my Mom made Red Beans and Rice for dinner - at my request!


Tuesday was my actual birthday and after coffee and breakfast, my Mom and I set off for Capon Springs and Farm to visit the Hygeia Spa, soak in the thermal baths and get massages! We discovered this spot is literally only about 30 minutes from our house and almost appears out of nowhere - we were riding down a dirt road through the mountains, rounded a corner and there was an entire resort nestled in the valley! The Hygeia Spa is spectacular - named for the goddess of the prevention of sickness and continuation of good health - and if I could soak in those baths and get a massage every day, I'd probably be in perfect health!



After relaxing in a citrus-scented thermal bath and having a wonderful massage, we made our way back through the changing leaves to the house where we had ice cream cake for lunch and I opened my gifts while my sister watched via face time! I absolutely love an ice cream cake and the unicorn cake for thirty-six was delicious: chocolate cake with Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup ice cream - yes please! We chatted with my sister a bit and then I went downstairs to get ready to go out to dinner at Hunter's Head Tavern - one of my favorite spots in the area!


Hunter's Head Tavern has been in business in one form or the other since late in the 1700's and the food is all farm to table and so very tasty! I had a Melon Spritz and Shepherd's Pie and every bite was divine! It was a wonderful way to cap off my birthday celebrations and the sunset on the way home was pretty spectacular too! I had a second piece of cake once I got home - because it was my birthday, so why not? 

Here's to 36 being the best year yet!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020

September - The Month in Review

I know - I know... it's the first of October! I am a lover of all things October (even if this particular year it started a little on the blah side)... but first, a look back at the month of September.

I thought I'd change things up and shift my end of the month format a bit. It seemed like it was time for a little bit of change and this seemed like as good a change as any! 

Boost Engagement in September with this Simple Religious Calendar

September feels like the first month since the beginning of the year (hello COVID) that I actually had places to go, things to do and people to see... even if there were face masks involved! If you want amusement in the world we live in today - you must have your face mask!


My face mask (a literal must have Fall accessory) and I went all over the place in September. We explored Pittsburgh, went to the women's conference at my church, popped into the movies to see Tenet, got my hair done and chose pumpkins from the patch. It was wonderful to finally have things to do again....

I have plenty of amusements and anticipations in store for October too! Celebrating my birthday during the first weekend of the month, going to a Hocus Pocus movie night at a local winery, dinner out with friends and multiple Bible studies. I'm sure my handy dandy face mask will be with me through it all.

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 I have continued to read like a fiend; I think signing up for Book of the Month really kick-started my reading and I'm so glad about that. I generally think I have a better frame of mind when I a reading books! I started the month with a Cold War spy thriller/love triangle story called Atomic Love by Jennie Fields; it was my August Book of the Month and while it took me a bit to get into, I ended up loving it!

Then I completely went in a different direction and read Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer... this book is gigantic (949 pages) and is the tale of Twilight but told from Edward Cullen's perspective. This book felt like a complete blast from the past for me! I finished up the month reading The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim; which was my September Book of the Month and was a tale about mothers and daughters. It was touching and entertaining and I really enjoyed it.

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I watched a couple movies this month and one of them was actually in a theater - who'd have thought? I went to see Christopher Nolan's new movie Tenet in the theaters; I'm a big fan of a lot of Nolan's films, but I figured this one would be mind-bender like Inception. I wasn't wrong. The movie was action-packed and entertaining...even if I wasn't 100% sure what was going on!


The other movie - I wished I'd gotten to watch in a theater - because the live action version of Mulan was beautiful and I absolutely enjoyed it! I would have so loved to see all the color, pageantry and action play out on the big screen but regardless of where I watched it, it was a great movie!

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The Must See TV list this month is a little bit longer than usual as I've finally stumbled on to some things I enjoy watching! I feel like I've been in a bit of a good TV void since the fifth season of Outlander ended back in the late Spring/early Summer. This month I did stumble onto Criminal: UK and The Home Edit - both on Netflix and I've watched them both quite a bit. I also started His Dark Materials on HBO and it might be the most interesting of the bunch!

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So many delicious things to eat this month - I think it's been established that I'll always find the good food, wherever I go. I started the month in Pittsburgh and there was plenty there that was good to eat: a Birthday Cake shake at Milkshake Factory, breakfast hotcakes at Pamela's Diner, burgers at Burgatory, a sandwich loaded with fries from Primanti Bros., macarons & an almond pastry from La Gourmadine, pierogis and finally... Lemon Ricotta pancakes! I feel full just typing all that!


I made a sausage, green bean and potato bake that turned out to be a Pinterest win and another Pinterest win was the Caramel Apple Trifle I made for dinner with some friends! I also chowed down on some sweet treats from Firefly Cafe and Bakery for the last time since they closed on September 30th! 

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I have continued to listen to some of my favorite podcasts: The Popcast with Knox & Jamie, The Big Boo Cast and Lore and I've also rotated in some episodes of Haunted Places and Very Presidential because they seem like they're perfect for this season! I've also been listening to worship music a lot this month too! 

And... that's all I've got for this first day of October. There are only three months left in 2020 and it's been a wild ride so far. Who knows what the final three months will have in store?