October 24, 2011

Reducing Myself Monday and Resolution Review

Well, I haven't done a 'Reducing Myself Monday' feature for something like six months.  And considering that there are only about two months left until I have to make new New Year's Resolutions(!) I thought I should assess some of the goals I shared with you earlier this year.  So I will do both in this post.

One of my resolutions was to clean up my work office.  I did in August!  Actually, I moved into a more spacious office, so I went through almost every scrap of paper in my office and completely de-cluttered.  Knowing how easy it is for paperwork to get out of control is keeping me motivated to keep my new office clean.  As for finding and cooking more vegan recipes, this was something I sort of forgot about.  I guess I still have two months to progress on this resolution!

On the weight front, I have been doing quite well.  The last time I wrote about my weight I was at goal - 130 lbs.  Since then I have been between 132 and 135.  Sometimes in the same week!  I need to start tracking WW points more consistently;  135 is a fine weight for me, but I know from experience that it slowly creeps up until I am making justifications to myself (i.e. 139 is still in the 130s! or 144 and I can still fit into my pants!)  So I would like to be at my lower ideal weight.  Losing weight, when you are motivated, is easy.  Keeping it off is hard. 
As for fitness, I have been seeing this view a lot....
No, I didn't have my left leg amputated.  I have been running more than I ever have before!  Yesterday, I ran 18 kilometers.  A record distance for me.  I am in sight of my next running resolution, which is to run a half-marathon.  I will see where I am at in two weeks, and may sign up for one at the end of November.  I never would have thought that I could run for almost 2 1/2 hours straight!  It is just like everything else - getting into a habit and incrementally building up leads to great progress.  I will leave you with a few picturesque autumn views from my run.


October 16, 2011

Bling and Books

Over the last two weeks I was able to visit a few garage sales, the thrift stores, and a used book sale.  The 'finds' were not particularly plentiful, but that is OK. I go more to get out, browse, reminisce and wonder at the plethora of people's cast-offs, rather than to buy.  I did find this older fake pearl necklace for $1.
You can tell the older ones by their clasps, and I thought this one had a nice patina.  Funny, I bought another pearl necklace at a garage sale in August.  I am obviously attracted to them, so I guess I'd better wear them more often.

At another garage sale, I bought this silver plated 'made in England' egg cup.
$2.  It seems too fancy to eat a boiled egg from.  Especially when the yolk runs over the edge!

Otherwise, I purchased books.  Lots and lots of books!  
Another lover of British Mysteries must have cleared off their bookshelves and donated it all in one fell swoop to the Salvation Army.  I found the first four books there for .25 cents.  I bought Voices, an Icelandic mystery, at a garage sale for .25 cents, and the rest at a fundraising book sale for between $1 and $3.  I was considering buying the Kate Morton books new, as I really enjoyed The House at Riverton, so I am happy I found them used!  Now I have all my winter reading stacked and ready to go!

I am linking this post to Her Library Adventure's Flea Market Finds.  Visit it for other blogger's thrifty finds.

October 14, 2011

Friday's Freebies: Mushroom and Pears

Autumn is a great time of year for food.  Since we had such a wet summer in coastal BC the wild mushrooms are abundant.  One of our friends who loves to search for wild edibles found a humongous Cauliflower mushroom for us in the woods behind our house!
I had no idea what to do with it, so made up my own recipe called "Oven-fried Panko Mushroom."  I ripped the mushroom up into bite-sized pieces, dredged the pieces in egg, salt, pepper and sage, rolled them in Panko crumbs and baked them on high heat for about 20 minutes.  I served it with a garlic dipping sauce.  Yum!  Sorry there is no 'after' picture.

We also received a bag of pears from a friend's tree.  They were already soft in the middle, so I needed to slice off the good, outside, bits.  I wanted to make a pear and blue cheese tart, so I modelled it loosely on this one from myrecipes.com.  I had never worked with puff pastry before, so it was a fun experience, and I thought the end result looked (and tasted) delicious.
The original recipe called for onions, but I'm not a real onion fan.  So I added pecan pieces and a balsamic-maple syrup drizzle half-way through cooking instead.  Free produce is great!

October 11, 2011

Double Duty Products

A few things happened this week that made me think about using household products in ways in which they were not originally intended.  

The classic example in my childhood home was using Avon's 'Skin So Soft' bath oil to lift stubborn price stickers off of things (I can still smell it!).  In Hus's grandma's farmhouse, she always kept a bottle of Coca Cola in the laundry room to add to the wash of 'cow patty'-stained jeans.

Last week I felt chilled one afternoon, so I decided to take a rare bubble bath.  I haven't had purposely-made bubble bath for quite some time, but in the bathroom cupboard I have a backup....
Some old shampoo that I don't care to use on my hair anymore.  I found the Life brand orange shampoo too drying, and the Burt's Bees Grapefruit doesn't foam enough.  I mix them together and presto! Citrus Bubble Bath.  And I get to reuse the shampoo that otherwise might go to waste. We don't use the dog shampoo for anything but washing the dog.  

But....I have also recently heard of an alternative use for dog ointment.  Rufus had to go to the Veterinarian for his regular check up this week.  He had a slight wound on his tail so the Dr. gave us a free tube of topical ointment.
As Rufus and I were leaving, we started to talk about running.  The Dr. was very excited that he had serendipitously just given me one of his favourite running aids.  He uses the Panalog dog ointment to treat the rashes he gets from running long distances!  Since Rufus only needed a few treatments, he was happy that I could get use out of the rest of the tube!!  I guess I'll keep it in mind, but luckily I've been rash-free so far! 

What unconventional uses do you get out of household products?