Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sleep...........

This article arrived in my inbox the other day all about sleep.

One of my favourite things about my FitBit is the sleep app part of it.  I love how it shows you not only how long you slept for, but what different types of sleep cycles you went through each given night.

You usually move from light sleep to deep sleep, back to light then onto REM.  

You can be awake between 10 - 30 times per night, but most are so short you will not remember them.  

REM typically occurs later at night and has been shown to improve your mood and memory. During this stage your dreams are more vivid, your heartbeat is elevated and your breathing faster.

Light sleep is very important, it makes up most of your night and promotes mental and physical restoration.

Deep sleep helps with physical recovery and helps with memory and learning.  If you wake up feeling refreshed you probably had a good deep sleep.

On an average night I should be awake 12% to 24% of the time.  In REM 15% to 25% of the time. Light sleep 40% to 60% of the time and deep sleep 8% to 16% of the time.

Everyone is different.  Me personally, I do best if I can sleep 9 hours per night.  If I could sleep longer I could and I would!!  I need my sleep.  I average around 8 hours sleep per night.

The other night for instance these were my numbers:

Awake: 9%
REM : 18%
Light Sleep: 56%
Deep Sleep: 17%

I also tend to fall into a deep sleep right away as per my FitBit.

Are you a good sleeper?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Oldies Exercise Class............


Add gallons of sweat pouring off me and that image above would be correct.  I swear I ache in places I didn't know existed.  Yesterday was the first time I had been since the end of August so to say I was out of shape wouldn't be an exaggeration.  

I was shocked though when I walked into the place as it was packed.  Did a sneaky count while I was stretching and there were over 50 of us there.  There were only 4 lb hand weights left, so I took a couple of them, but they were way too heavy for me.  So I need to pick up some hand weights of my own.  Not sure if it's because golfing season is over with; so that's why people start to come to the classes?

Regardless I had a good time, though I was disappointed only one of  the steroid ladies was there and I was behind her, so couldn't really see what she was up too.  There was a couple of older gentlemen there whom I had never seen before; both probably in their late 70's to early 80's and one in particular when I saw him I said, "Oh Bless Him," to myself.  He obviously didn't own any clothes to exercise in as he was wearing a pair of regular shoes, a pair of regular slacks/trousers and a very nice sweater/jumper.  I couldn't see from where I was if he had a shirt and tie on underneath it, but that wouldn't of surprised me.

He actually sat down for nearly all the class, but I would have given him 10 out of 10 for effort, he really did well.  I too sat down for bits of the class, and I am at least 20 + years younger than him!!

The good news was, what with my early morning walk and walking back and forward to the exercise class and doing the exercise class, I had logged in over 11,000 steps and over 90 minutes of exercise all by 10:30 am on Tuesday morning.

I am getting back into the swing of walking and exercising!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vegetarian and recipe...........

I am not a vegetarian and probably never will be but, I am eating less and less meat as the years pass by.  Last week I did have some bacon on a Caesar salad, but that was it.  I am trying to incorporate more fibre and vegetables in my diet as the older I am getting my digestive system seems to be changing.

After making my veggie and lentil curry for the past couple of weeks, I decided to make a chickpea and vegetable curry.  I mean who does not love cooking a meal where all you do is cut up veggies, throw them in a pan, add some spices and other ingredients and let it all bubble away for half an hour?  And the best thing of all is you can use up what you have.

So here is a photo of what I used in my chickpea and vegetable curry:


As you can see, I used carrots, onions, half a package of frozen spinach sort of defrosted, an orange bell pepper, a big can of chickpeas (got it on clearance for 50 cents), 1/2 can coconut milk, large can diced tomatoes, dash of olive oil and two heaped teaspoons of Patak mild curry paste, salt and pepper and the garlic from the hummus.

For some strange reason, our local Walmart has trouble keeping the regular Sabra Hummus in stock, and for my lunch I love hummus and rice crackers.  I had to pick up the garlic hummus which I find too garlicky for me.  So I decided to use the garlic in the hummus in my curry, see all that garlic in the middle of the tub:
To a lot of people this type of recipe is something they make all the time, for me it's something new and I am loving it.


I made some brown basmati rice as a side just because if I give dh the curry he'll need more carbs.  I will have a little rice but fill up on the curry itself.  This big pan will be enough for dh and I for one nights supper and me for another three or four nights supper.  I'll just cook something else for dh the other nights I am eating this; he likes his meat!!!

Also with the cooler nights, this is both filling and warming for the body.


Monday, October 16, 2017

10,604

That's how many steps I have done so far today at around 2 pm EST  The last time I hit over 10,000 steps was back on September 11th.  I have been sick or not been able to exercise much since the beginning of September.  I am hoping that health wise I will be back into the swing of things soon and those 10,000 steps per day will soon become a daily thing again.

Tomorrow I will be going to the "Old Folk's Exercise Class," again.  I haven't been since the end of August.  I wonder if the "steroid girls" will be there?  I know I won't be able to keep up with them but do know I will just do my best!!!

Meanwhile I'll just keep on walking......



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bat Out Of Hell

So excited, just bought tickets to see the show:


Haven't been to the theatre in a few years.  We're not going until December, can't wait........

Along with snow tires for the car, this is our Christmas present to one another!!

Anyone else seen this show?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Yummy.........

Our daughter made these for a fundraiser at work.  Wish I worked there!!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Meet the Halloween Quints.......

So here they are all done, with their name tags on.
 The kids are going to be amazed, as each one was born on the recipient's birth date!!

Below on the left is Witchy-Way who is for Nora.  On the left is Goblin who is for Paige.
 To the left is Spell who is for Nitara, in the middle is Boo for Samvith, and to the right is Bones who is for Jeina.
 All were made with material I had laying around the house.
Went to the dollar store and picked up some books and other things for Halloween for them, and not a chocolate or candy in sight, so the parents should be happy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Slow Knitting.........

Slow Knitting: A Journey from Sheep to Skein to Stitch by Hannah Thiessen
"Like the “slow food” movement, Slow Knitting encourages knitters to step back, pare down, and celebrate the craftsmanship of their work. In five chapters centered around the tenets of slow knit­ting—sourcing carefully, making thoughtfully, thinking environmentally, experimenting fearlessly, and exploring openly—Hannah Thiessen challenges knitters of all skill levels to view their practice in a new way. Each chapter contains explorations of fiber types; profiles of well-known yarn types, makers, and yarn suppliers; and garment patterns inspired by the featured fibers. With contributions from knitting superstars Norah Gaughan, Bristol Ivy, and many others, Slow Knitting proposes an approach to knitting that is both minimalist and all-encompassing, and emphasizes what makes knitting a meditation, a passion, and a unique necessity."

(book blurb directly from here)

I got an email from Knitcrate advertising this book.  I am a slow knitter; not through choice, but because "I am a slow knitter."  When I was reading the "blurb" about the book, it actually makes sense.  When making things by hand it's not about how fast you can finish it but how much love and thought you put into each project.

We live in such a fast paced environment that I think you lose track of how to do things slow and simple.  As with everything in life I think it does help if you stop and think about where things come from; how it came to be and what processes it had to go through to be a product you would use.

I think the quote:

"Slow down and smell the roses,"

comes to mind.  Maybe we should all try to do this?

Will I buy the book, not sure, but it does sound interesting.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Had a quiet but busy weekend.

It was Thanksgiving here in Canada this past weekend.  Not that we generally do much for Thanksgiving and this one was no different as the kids rented a "cottage" for the weekend and they all went there.  No, we were not invited, but as neither dh or I are 100% well, we were not overly bothered.

One thing I did do this weekend was catch up with some sewing.  I finally got Paige's quilt top finished, the one that uses all the fabrics from her first year photos.

It is hard to see and the light was shining behind the quilt, so you see the seams.  I have a call into a lady to see about her doing the quilting for me.  It's around a double bed size of 60 inches wide and 77 inches long.  Paige is climbing out of her crib now, so she will be moving into a big bed soon.  She will be 16 months old on the 15th of this month.  The fabric for her birthday shot will be the binding on the outside of the quilt.
I am not a huge fan of Halloween and I do know the mother's of the grands are not that fussy about the children getting a lot of chocolate.  So I decided to make a dog called George all dressed up for Halloween.  These two are for Jeina and Paige.  The material is what I had laying around the house.


Three more to go and then to pick up a Halloween book for each of them!  Not a speck of chocolate in sight from us!

Friday, October 6, 2017

My first time making curry and basmati rice.



I didn't do the pre-soak and I made brown basmati rice.  Found it a little chewy but overall very good.


The recipe for the Red Lentil Vegetable Curry can be found here.  I found it quite bland, which is very funny as I don't like anything too spicy or hot; this was neither.  I will make this again and will add black pepper and garlic to the recipe.

I had it for the following two nights supper and a lunch.  I mixed in the leftover rice and enjoyed the rice much more.  I found the flavours developed more over the days and it tasted very good.  This recipe will be added into our meal plans now.  I gave dh garlic bread with his as I had no naan bread.

Well worth trying if you want a hearty vegetarian meal.  Actually I think it is also a Vegan recipe.......

Do you have a favourite mild curry recipe you would like to share?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tea that's good for you......

I have been drinking Tetley Care Herbal Tea while I have had this bronchitis:


"A comforting blend of lemon, ginger and rosehip to provide you with some tender loving care when you need it most.

Available in 20s

Ingredients: Rosehip Seeds, Apple Pomace, Ginger, Lime Flowers, Citric Acid, Natural Lemon-Lime, Flavour, Sweet Blackberry Leaves, Chicory Root, Lemongrass, Lemon Peel, Ginger Extract"

I have to say I love it and it's perfect in a morning to get me going.  Tetleys have many other Herbal Tea's that are all caffeine free, you can read about them here.

Do you have a go too drink when you are not feeling 100%?

I also posted four new book reviews over on my Book Review blog if you are interested?  You can take a look here.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How Wallpaper is made at Farrow and Ball

This was an interesting video to watch I thought.




I haven't wallpapered in years, it went out of fashion, but looking at some of the lovely wallpaper out there I am tempted to start putting a feature wall in each room that is wallpapered.

I do like their Helleborous line, especially that green colour.

You can get some free samples of their wallpaper here.  I may have to order some.

Do you use wallpaper in your home?

Monday, October 2, 2017

A re-potting type of day

Must say I am loving these cooler days, this is my perfect time of year, at least for me.

I was given a money plant for my birthday and quite by surprise I haven't killed it, in fact it is growing like crazy; unlike our bank account๐Ÿ˜‹ It was getting root bound so I decided to re-pot it.

Before: 

During:
After:

I then re-potted a Gerber daisy that I had outside to over winter in the house:
I just hope everything continues to grow after disturbing their roots...........

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sometimes miracles do happen.......

In my case, I actually wrote up a menu plan for this coming week:


Notice however there are no days of the week before each entry, but there are seven days dinner's/supper's there.

Went shopping on Friday morning at our local Zehrs and made out like a bandit with the 50% off selection.

Got a chicken pot pie for $3 and that will give us two meals for dh and I.  Got a cauliflower for $1, so while I cooked the pie on Friday night, I also roasted the cauliflower at the same time.

I got some stewing beef for just over $3, that is why the beef bourguignan is on the menu.  The beef sauce/pasta sauce was on for $1.99 which along with half price stuffed pasta will make another yummy meal.

I am itching to try this Red Lentil and Kale Curry recipe and this Curried Butternut Squash Soup.  I lucked out as our local Zehrs had the PC Brand of frozen veggies on sale for $1.77 a bag, so will be using the frozen veg in both these recipes.  I personally don't have a problem using frozen veggies in recipes.  I bought this package to use in the Lentil and Kale Curry:


Dh loves Omelette's and they are so easy to whip up with a salad.  So all in all I am happy with what is planned for meals.

For dessert we generally have a quarter of a sugar free jello/jelly package (made up obviously๐Ÿ˜) with fruit added in it.  Sometimes with yogurt, sometimes just on its own.

I may make cheese scones using this recipe over the weekend, as they look so good and simple to make.

Do you use frozen veggies, or do you prefer fresh?

Friday, September 29, 2017

The verdict is in............

It's Bronchitis, no wonder I can't flipping breathe.  The good news is that the weather has turned cooler and the humidity has gone, so that does help with the breathing.  Always helps to have a visual, don't you think!!

I have now been prescribed "horse pills" for a week.  The first lot he prescribed as per the pharmacist could react with my heart not in a positive way, so this is the second lot.  Tomorrow (30th) is the one year anniversary of when I ended up in hospital with blood clots on my lungs, so really don't want to go down that path again.

The one and only good thing about this whole being sick thing is it is keeping my weight down as I can't do any walking at the moment.  The whole walking and breathing thing is a bit tricky at the moment๐Ÿ˜Ž I am down 23 1/2 lbs now since the end of June and can see a difference in my clothes now which is good.

Hoping I feel a lot better by Monday and can start walking again, fingers crossed!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Latte........

McDonald's has introduced it's Pumpkin Spice Latte for the Fall:

Enjoy a fall drink perfect for warming up to the crisp autumn air. Our pumpkin spice latte is freshly brewed and spiced to perfection with hints of pumpkin and cinnamon flavors. Espresso made from Rainforest Alliance Certified Beans™ blends with steamed whole or nonfat milk for a delicious latte treat that’s cozy and relaxing.  



I decided to have one as a small is on for $1.00 at the moment.  Total fail for me, too sweet and icky.  I'll stick to my plain skim milk latte's in future.

Bought a box of these the other day:



Special K Nourish* Dark Chocolate Chunks & Almond bars are made with real visible ingredients and big pieces of nuts, fruits and grains which can be seen vividly through the clear wrapper. No artificial colours or flavours, gluten free and all for an affordable price.

I like nuts, I like chocolate, but generally don't like them together.  However in this case this is so good and tasty and well worth a try.

So a hit and a miss on new things I have tried.  How about you have you tried anything new recently that you loved or hated?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Really Pi**ed off!!

Had a guy at the house on Monday to repair my Dell Laptop, as this time the on/off power button wasn't working right.....thank goodness for in house warranty repair.  Nice enough guy got the job done and off he went.

Dh comes home and says what happened to the driveway?  I hadn't been outside all day (not well remember ๐Ÿ˜ท), so I pop outside to have a look and this is what I see:



That guy's car wasn't just dripping oil, it was leaking oil.  By the amount of oil it leaked on our driveway (he was here 90 minutes) that is a major leak and one which I suspect he knew about.

To my mind that is an inconsiderate, selfish and bloody annoying thing to do; parking your car in someone's driveway knowing your car is leaking oil.  Not only that, but parking on a driveway with interlocking stones.  To say I am peed off is an under statement.  Dh is going to try and burn it off, but you have to be careful and not crack the bricks.

I did talk with the company who sent out the technician and we agreed that although he shouldn't have parked in the driveway, he didn't intend on making a mess of the driveway.  I said they should send an email out to all employees about this as a reminder about parking in customers driveways.

Meanwhile, we just have to get on with it and repair the driveway. {{{SIGH}}}

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Shopping for baby

Another new baby to shop for, no relative though, just a friend of a friend.  Regardless love looking through the baby clothes.  This time it is for a little girl, Kaira (pronounced Kira) and she's a tiny one at just over 4lbs.  So I went to our local Wal-Mart and picked up three outfits in various sizes and a little something else.

Newborn outfit:
 0 - 3 month outfit:
 3 - 6 month outfit:

Then a couple of little rattles that attach to baby's wrists. 
Just enough to say hello little one and to tell the parents we are thinking of them all.  I enjoy buying for babies, do you?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Senior moments.......


I would love to say it only happens now and then, but recently they have been arriving fast and furious.  Now I am putting it down to being so tired, but even dh is a tad concerned..........what was I saying?๐Ÿ˜‰

So I guess it will be one more thing too ask the doctor this week, when I see him.  I suppose the wise thing to do is write a list of things I need to ask him!!  Am I a wise one though???

Do you write down a list of things you need to ask when you visit the doctor, or just wing it?  Are you having senior moments?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Missing Molly.....

Would you believe it is coming up to five years on October 13th that we lost our dear Molly?  There she is with that hedgehog of hers..........
Where we live is not particularly dog friendly.  We have new neighbours and they have a 12 year old lab called Hudson, he is the perfect gentleman and makes me miss Molly even more.

When we were on vacation in Williamsburg, we saw so many dogs and the majority were so well behaved.  Including this one called Nora, who was sitting on the "naughty bench," like our grand daughter has to do!!
This Nora was only a year or two old, I can't remember exactly.

When we were walking one morning we met a couple who were walking four Bernese Mountain Dogs, ages 4, 3, 2 and 4 months.  I wish I had taken a photo, as they were the cutest bunch albeit a big bunch!!

Is there going to be another dog in our future?  I do hope so, just not while we are living in this house.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

My new best friends..........

Yes they taste awful but they are good for you.  The Buckley's not the McCafe coffee.

I am at the "I want to die," stage now.  My throat is so itchy and scratchy and I feel like death warmed over.

What is your go too remedy when you have a head cold?

I'm now off to feel sorry for myself๐Ÿ˜ท

Friday, September 22, 2017

Mixed bag of things for the week......

This has been dh's last week of vacation.  He will be back to work on Monday and I know I will miss him.  However it's been a miserable three weeks of vacation as I have been sick the WHOLE time.  Seriously I have no idea how this happened.  On Wednesday I came down with a head cold and stomach flu to add to everything.  I think I am that run down that I am catching everything going.

Although I take an iron pill everyday I decided to start taking a multi-vitamin to see if that helps.  I asked the pharmacist and he recommended this one:

We will see how it goes.  I am back at the doctor's next week for a follow up, so hopefully will feel a lot better by then.

It was dh's birthday this week.  I took him to Ikea for the $1 breakfast only to discover it has gone up to $2.99!!๐Ÿ˜‹  Haven't been to Ikea in ages, so it was nice to have a look around.  By the time we had done that I was exhausted, so had to come home, so a rip-roaring exciting time dh had on his birthday.

The weather is stinking hot and humid at the moment, which I am hating it just tires me out more.  Tomorrow will be 39 oC with the humidity, so I will be hibernating again.

Dh signed up for Sports Net World again so Saturday morning we will binge watch the British Soccer games.  I will read the Toronto Star newspaper and continue knitting my hat.  It's for a prize for a United Way fundraiser that dd is organizing at work:




Loving the yarn I am using, it's Sidar Freya, which is 55% Cotton, 31% Acrylic and 14% Polyester and so, so soft.  I got it from The Knitting Basket.  I used this pattern, it's free from Raverly.

I think dh will be glad to go back to work as I haven't been the best company these past three weeks.......

I hope you had a better week than we did?




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bits and Bobs

When we were away I picked up a couple of business cards of places/sites I wanted to visit online when we got back home.

Saw this woman at a Sunday market; P.Carter Carpin

It was the bright colours that first caught my eye, but I loved the name banners.  They are made with felted wool, which is something I would like to try.  The link to this lady's Etsy store is above.

King William Alpacas was also at this same market.  Not the Alpacas but their human owners!!!  I hummed and haa-ed over their yarn as it was to die for but ultimately I didn't buy any, which was a mistake on my part, and I am sad that I didn't.   They did say if you call first to make arrangements they will show you the alpacas, which I thought was nice.  Here is one of their Alpacas Flash:

You can buy yarn from Flash's coat here:

One store I sought out while in Williamsburg was The Spice and Tea Exchange.  That was a store for all your senses to drink in.  It was a delight and the lady that was working that day was a joy to deal with.  We picked up some spices as a gift for someone and it included their own Signature Spice Blend.


Everywhere you turned though there was something new to see and look at.  If you are in the area you should check out these places.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Reading and reviewing books.............

I have been catching up on my reading since we got back.  I had three books to read and review.  All were good in very different ways.

The first All Saints was about the Karen people from Burma who came to live in Tennessee and how they helped revive The All Saints church in a small community.  Very interesting and I learned something new.  You can read my review here.
The second book I reviewed was Gracelaced and you can read my review here.  What attracted me to this book was the artwork and photography, as it is gorgeous.  However once you start reading the book it's words make you think and reflect and that in itself is just as lovely.  Ruth Chou Simmons, has a lovely website and blog with many other things on it and it is well worth a look: Gracelaced  I would love to have some of her art work hanging on our home walls.
The last book I read was a Lauraine Snelling book.  I enjoy her books and did enjoy the detail of day to day life in this book.  This was a book about Norwegians emigrating to America and the hardships they endured.  You can read my review here.

I do try to read at least two books a month.  I don't review them all; although I know I should.  Not sure about you but I tend to go through phases of reading about one particular subject all the time, then never pick up that subject for ages?

All the books I reviewed here are from a company called Graff Martin and I have been reviewing for them for a number of years now.

Are you a reader?  I have another blog specifically for reviewing books: That British Woman's Book Review Blog; please feel free to check it out. Thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

Monday, September 18, 2017

Grayhaven Winery

On our way down to Williamsburg, Virginia, we took a side trip to visit Grayhaven Winery in Gum Spring, Virginia.  We bought a Groupon for a Winery Cellar Tour, Artisan Cheese Board, And Souvenir Wine Glasses For Two.

First let me say this place is in the middle of nowhere ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, this isn't that strange for us to go to somewhere using the GPS and it taking us along the minor roads to a far away place!!  I will say we were relieved to discover that Grayhaven Winery did exist and what a lovely place it was, run by a very lovely couple.

As many of you know I don't drink alcohol, or at least very little alcohol, but wanted to treat dh  to a tour and as we were only 90 minutes from our destination, I knew I would have no trouble driving the rest of the way.  We got there just before 1 pm I think and we were joined by another couple shortly after who had also bought a Groupon for the same thing.  We got to taste a number of their wines; though I declined most of them, as it turns out I only liked the super sweet wine, that was called Jam Jar and their Port/Desert Wine.  I could have drunk those by the gallon............but remember I was driving!!

The owners of the winery were super friendly; I forgot their names, sorry!  The husband guided us through the wine tasting and the wife gave us a tour of the winery and explained how everything worked.  They are a small winery who make under 5,000 cases of wine per year.  They only sell through the winery, not in any retail stores and everyone is hands on in the growing, processing and distribution of their wines.  Making it a small boutique/indie type of winery.  After the tour we were treated to a cheese and cracker board that was just lovely.  Dh enjoyed his with a glass of wine.

Here are some photos from the day:

The selection of wines we tasted.

 The owner of the Winery, again sorry I forgot his name, but he is originally from South Africa.  
The lovely Jam Jar wine, which was infact the cheapest wine they sold!!! 
 A view from the patio where we sat and ate our cheese and crackers.
Another view from the patio. 
 Our yummy cheese and cracker plate, there was olives also, but neither of us like them.  See the napkin on top of dh's wine glass, the wasps were out in force as they had just harvested the grapes.
 The koi in the pond were huge.
Dh's favourite wine was the Rendezvous Cabernet Sauvignon 

" Flavors of black currant and tobacco flow smoothly over the palate in Grayhaven's Cabernet Sauvignon. While delightful on release, this medium bodied wine is supported by a healthy tannin structure, making it a great choice for home cellar aging. Serve Grayhaven Cabernet Sauvignon with zesty Italian dishes, veal with porcini cream sauce or prime rib with red wine demi-glaze. "

If you happen to be in the area, it is a worthwhile place to visit and you will be made very welcome; I know we were, and do have their cheese plate it was so, so good.