Sometimes Wants (Winter 2022)

 These are the winter "Sometimes Wants" that have caught my eye lately.

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5. 6. 


7.  8. 


9.  10. 




  1. With anxiety, comes nausea and these gummy bears have been my recent go-to to help with that. They also have helped with bloating and digestion issues, so win-win. I've been trying to use more natural and organic approaches to handling anxiety issues, so if you suffer, too, I will do my best to post what works for me and maybe they can help you, as well. You can also make your own here.
  2. I've been slowly switching my clothing out for more sustainable, organic, and earth-friendly brands and I've also been enjoying jumpers and jumpsuits when at home. They are not only comfortable, but practical if I do need to leave the house for a quick errand.
  3. I feel it's literally impossible to use up a bar of soap until it's totally gone without the help of one of these bags. We've been using them for awhile now and I will be honest, I feel less like I'm completely wasting the last parts of the soap with them and the bag feels nice on your skin and exfoliates in the process.
  4.  This wooden bath mat has been a great addition to our bathroom and I feel like I am not missing washing our cloth floor mats, either. It soaks up water and dries quickly, so there is no water standing on the floor, or hoovering in a cloth mat. Highly recommend switching.
  5. On our quest to switch to less waste and more minimal options in our home, tissue was a huge problem, especially this time of year. Making a simple switch to reusable tissues, we feel we are doing one more thing to keep less waste going to the landfill. This option comes in white, gray, pink, and denim color for the dispenser box.
  6. We are huge The Office fans in our house, I mean, HUGE, and this water bottle is definitely going to end up in someone's stocking, or gift bag this year. I will definitely purchase one for myself, as well. I mean, we have to represent Sabre and Dunder Mifflin, right? "Dunder Mifflin Is A Part Of Sabre"
  7. I've been using reusable, cotton, makeup pads for some time now and I have recently purchased these from Paula's Choice to add to my "collection." They are super soft, absorbent for makeup remover, toner, and even sunscreen, and lotions that I put on my face. I love that they are bamboo and cotton, and sustainable to the environment. Plus, I no longer purchase disposable cotton rounds since making this switch.
  8.  If you haven't tried DAE, you're really missing out. I am absolutely in love with the Deep Conditioner and the Prickly Pear Hair Oil. There really isn't anything I have tried from DAE that I haven't loved. I use the hair wrap, brush, and leave-in conditioner after surfing and it cuts drying time literally in half and makes my hair healthier from being in salt water.
  9. With making the changes to more reusable items, these dry dusting, fleece dusters that fit on the Swiffer duster handle works out great in our favor. I've ordered two of the five packs and when they are dirty, I just throw them in the wash. They pick up dust and work just as well as the disposable dusters, but have less of an environmental impact over time.
  10. For cleaning, changing to more earth-friendly products has been a bit of a struggle, but slowly and surly we are doing it. One of the easiest things was the cleaning cloths, instead of paper towels, and sponges that are biodegradable over disposable. These hemp sponges are incredible, to say the least. They really are a powerhouse with dishes and I've even started using them in the bathroom.
Happy Winter Equinox!

Five Simple Things (November 25)

 Hello.

Here are five things this week.

1. This Fog.

The fog this week was amazing. I was able to get a few great shots for my Fog Pictures Instagram.

2. This View.

Vigo the Carpathian is now standing at the entrance to our house to judge you as you enter.

3. This Box.


Kiwi Eco Box this month had a sweet note from the creators in it. I really appreciate the personalize notes inside each box and the pumpkin spice soap smells amazing!

4. This Lamp.

Found this lamp at a small local store here in the city. The first one I brought home the base was broken, but I was able to grab a replacement with no questions asked. Which is a good thing, because they only had one left. It now has a home in my office and I just love it. I can't find this exact one, but here is one similar.

5. This Massager.

I picked this up recently to use on the back of my calves after running, and when our backs are tight, but honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this thing. We've used all the attachments on the correct areas, but the vibrations are too aggressive. I will continue to use it to see if things improve with it, but as of right now, I'm just not sure. It's a great machine, so I don't want to knock it too much, and it definitely works in certain areas, but using caution is something that should be expressed for people similar to me that have sensitive skin and sensitive muscles. You can get one of these here, if you want to try it out for yourself.

One more thing.

Both of these iconic houses have gone in the market. The one on the left is from "The Goonies" and is located in Astoria, Oregon, and listed for $1,650,000. And, the one on the right is from "A Christmas Story," and it's located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Positive affirmations this week:

Hear, hear!


Have a nice weekend.

Thanksgiving 2022

Our Thanksgiving day was mostly enjoying family and eating, but here's a recap of the days leading up to Thursday, because the whole week was mostly food prep. And, a few extra things from time to time.

My Thanksgiving prep started a few weeks before the week of Thanksgiving by coming up with a plan. The plan was to softly prepare dishes on each day of the week to not have an overload of cooking the day of, so I could spend more family time than in the kitchen. It's a great process that I will definitely be incorporating each year from now on. The prep started with gathering recipes that I wanted to try this year and buying all of the necessary ingredients needed for each dish. Seems easy enough, right? 

Most everything we bring into our home is organic, if not organic, definitely non-gmo. Everything pictured here is within a decent budget and most can be found at a local grocery store now. If your local store doesn't have these brands, brands that are equivalent will work just as well.

(Monday-November 21)
I started the week out with making homemade cranberry sauce, which I've never made before, and pumpkin pie-which again, I've never made before.

Cranberry Sauce:
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. water
-Add everything to a pan and boil, then simmer until you hear the cranberries pop. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

 
Pumpkin Pie:
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1-15 ounce can pumpkin
1-12 ounce can evaporated milk
2 9-inch graham cracker crust
Crush two cups graham crackers in a food processor, add two tbs. sugar and pulse until sand consistency. Pour into a medium bowl and add two tbsp. melted butter and mix together. Press into a pie dish and set aside. 
Using this tip from America's Test Kitchen, I followed the temperature settings here and it worked for pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust, too. Preheat oven to 400. Pour previous mixed ingredients into prepared graham cracker crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until center is set and toothpick comes out clean. Set aside and allow to cool. I placed our pies in a covered pie dish and left out on the counter until Thursday.


And, that wrapped up the prep for Monday.

(Tuesday-November 22)
For Tuesday I prepped mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. I kind of improvised with the sweet potatoes, because we don't like them with maple syrup, or marshmallows. An unpopular opinion is that sweet potatoes don't go with marshmallows and marshmallows don't go with sweet potatoes. ☺

Mashed Potatoes:
6 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and quartered)
8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika (or more to taste)

Boil potatoes about 15-20 minutes until fork tender. Drain and mash in a mixing bowl, or use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Add cream cheese, sour cream, milk, half the stick of butter, salt, and pepper and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Spoon mixture into a baking dish and brush top with remaining butter (melted), and sprinkle with paprika. Cover and place into refrigerator.


Sweet Potatoes:
4 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter (softened)
1/2 tsp. salt

Wash and cut up sweet potatoes into large quarters. Boil until fork tender, drain and place in an electric mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Mix until sweet potatoes are broken up. Add milk, butter, and salt and mix until smooth, or desired consistency is reached. Spoon into baking dish, cover, and place into refrigerator.

And, that wrapped up the prep for Tuesday.

(Wednesday-November 23)
On Wednesday I prepped apple pie and the stuffing we decided on for the meal. We went with a basic apple pie recipe with a graham cracker crust. If you haven't caught on yet, we all prefer graham cracker crusts to traditional pie crusts, because of the flavor. For the stuffing we went with a cornbread and plain bread stuffing.

Apple Pie:
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
5 cups granny smith apples, peeled and sliced into half moon shapes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 tbsp. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1/4 cup flour for topping
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oats
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Crush two cups graham crackers in a food processor, add two tbs. sugar and pulse until sand consistency. Pour into a medium bowl and add two tbsp. melted butter and mix together. Press into a pie dish and set aside. 
Slice apples and place in large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over apple slices and mix. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and 1 1/2 tbsp. flour. Add to apples and coat thoroughly. Dump apple mixture into prepared graham cracker crust and spread out evenly, but mounding a bit in the middle. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tbsp. butter, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup oats, and 2 tbsp. brown sugar. Sprinkle over top of apples and press down just a bit to get it to stick to apple tops. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter and drizzle over top of crumb topping. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until apple filling is bubbly. Temperature times may vary with these recipes, so please take note of that and adjust accordingly.



Stuffing:
1 stick butter
3/4 cup onion (chopped)
1 cup celery (diced)
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs (beaten)
5-6 cups dried bread crumbs
3-4 cups dried cornbread chunks
1-2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Melt better in a skillet and add celery and onion until onion is translucent.
Add seasonings and eggs, stirring constantly until cooked. Transfer everything to a larger bowl and add bread crumbs. Mix to combine and add broth slowly to mixture until desired stuffing texture is reached. Add any extra ingredients that you would like, at this time, raisins, nuts, cooked bacon, or sausage. Transfer to a baking dish, cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to cook.


I ended up placing all items in covered baking pans to make it easier on Thursday to remove from the refrigerator into the oven with ease, and also use them to serve the dish, as well. You can pick up the ones I used here.

(Thursday-November 24)
On Thursday, all we had to do was cook the ham, and heat up the the rest. Once the ham was cooked, we heated up the sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon bits, and the stuffing at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes we removed everything, but the stuffing. The stuffing cooked for an additional 20 minutes. We made the gravy with 5 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup flour, and a few tablespoons of ham drippings (to taste). Added salt and a bit of pepper, and everything was ready to go. For the rolls, we got prepackaged from a company here called Big River Breads, popped those in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes, and everything was ready in under an hour. We have leftovers for a few days, too. 

I definitely recommend this preplanning approach and using my schedule here you can adjust to fit your Thanksgiving, or family needs and on what days you prepare what. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were surrounded by the ones you love, and who love you.

Five Simple Things (November 18)

 Hello.

Here are five things this week.

1. These Cups.

Besides all drinks being in holiday cups this time of year, yesterday was Starbuck's Red Cup Day and we were able to get three of them with our holiday drinks. They have Red Cup Day every year and mostly falls sometime in November when they release their holiday cups for that year.

2. These Box.




 
Lots of great items this week, with Kinder Beauty Box for October and November (I forgot to post last month). From top to bottom and left to right, Kinder Beauty Box-November, Kiwi Eco Box, Kinder Beauty Box-October, and Mighty Nest Mightyfix, and the video of how I used my fruit fly trap instead.

3. These Skies.



Beautiful skies all this week from fog, to sunsets, it was such a lovely week.

4. This Snack.

These have been our go-to snacks lately and we just can't get enough of them. Once we get tired of them, we want them again. These were a hot mess, but oh so delicious. You can follow my own recipe here and make them for yourself.

5. These Products.

New products we've been loving lately. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day seasonal hand soaps in Apple Cider and Acorn Spice. And, FINALLY I found organic multivitamins for us all. These brand is Fruily and we are liking them a lot. Fruily also has other gummies that we are going to give a go, Vitamin C, Apple Cider Vinegar, Elderberry Immune Support, Biotin Support for Hair, Skin, and Nails

One more thing:

We are totally into the new season if Stranger Things. We are trying not to binge-watch the whole thing, but it's hard not to, though. This series is such a nostalgic show for me, and Skylar is loving the 80s vibe it gives. From the mall scenes, to the music, to the clothing, we love it all.

Positive affirmations this week:

Always invest in yourself. This is only one life and it's yours. Don't let others take that away from you. You deserve a life that is happy, content, and fulfilled. You are worthy of it all! You can do this!

Have a nice weekend.