Seven for Saturday

Seven for Saturday

Happy weekend! I hope you’ve had a great week. I am pleased to report I’ve been feeling a little more like myself the last several days –  so much so I thought I would put up a new Seven for Saturday post. Here’s what’s been happening around here lately.

1 ~ I am 50!

This is my first real blog post since turning the big 5-o. While I didn’t spend it in Paris as planned, I did enjoy several days of being spoiled right here in wine country, thanks to my sweet husband. I will be telling you all about that in a future post.

A fun birthday gift from a dear friend…love the “only” part!

Turning 50 right after/during a disaster was interesting. On one hand, I barely noticed the end of my 40s but on the other, as my husband pointed out, turning 50 added to the many changes that have occurred since October 8th.

All these recent changes are sure to lead to lasting shifts within me. Anticipating the changes initially scared me but now I am embracing them. I’ve noticed my interests are veering toward health and fitness, cooking, home decor and organization and that’s okay with me! I haven’t felt like being social lately, which is probably normal. I am sure that will change eventually so I will just keep rolling with it and force things. I guess you could say I am in a nesting phase. I am perfectly happy being at home.

2 ~ Exciting Family News

I mentioned in a previous post that my eldest stepdaughter and her boyfriend lost the home they were renting to the fires. They were able to save their pets and a few personal items but everything else was destroyed. They got right to work looking for a new house to rent. Sonoma County already had a housing shortage, and with thousands of additional people now without a home, the situation has only gotten worse.

Luckily they found a lovely home to rent and have already moved in. Right before the move, Kayla’s boyfriend proposed to her! 💍It’s been an exciting last several weeks to be sure, filled with highs and lows. We are so happy for Kayla and her fiancé, Forest.

3 ~ Office Re-do Back on Track

Before the fires, I was working on redoing our office. Bill painted the room all white, I bought a new desk, a matching cabinet and a new ceiling light. I picked out artwork to hang on the walls and was planning on searching for a rug. Then the fires happened and all that went by the wayside.

Rather than looking for a rug, I ended up on a reading chair search. I found so many I liked it was hard to choose the right one for me. I finally decided on this one and it arrived a couple of days ago.

Coco thinks it’s for her, of course!

I am keeping with the gray and white theme in the office and let the artwork I will hang add the color. Still on my list is the rug so I can cover most of that beige carpet. I also want to find a short side table to go next to the chair and either a floor lamp or a small table lamp for reading.

4 ~ North Bay Woman Magazine

The latest issue of North Bay Woman magazine came out in late October. I wrote two articles this time. One about procedures you can do now that will have you looking your best by the holidays and another that included several things to do around the North Bay for the holidays.

You can purchase your copy at select markets in Marin County or ready the digital issue here. My articles are on pages 11-12 and 44-45.

5 ~ Instant Pot 

I was seeing posts online about the Instant Pot and didn’t know what it was beyond something you cook with. Was this an infomercial product? Just another slow cooker? What is all the fuss about?

I became curious enough to do some research. It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker and a slow cooker that you can program. Plus it sautés, warms, sterilizes, makes yogurt and hard boiled eggs, steams, and bakes cakes.

I read lots of reviews and decided an Instant Pot was something I wanted to try. My Instant Pot Ultra arrived last Sunday then it sat there for 5 days until Tori prodded me to make something with it. I admit I was a bit intimidated at first. The whole pressurized cooking thing – what if I did it wrong and the thing exploded?I read that this pressure cooker is not like the stove top version and I didn’t need to worry about explosions.

Tori and I paged through an Instant Pot cookbook and picked out a recipe for Carrot Parsnip soup. We had all the ingredients except for parsnips so we skipped the little buggers and just added a few more carrots instead. We’re not fans of the old parsnip anyway.

In about 30 minutes, including prep time, we had hot, delicious soup! It is incredibly fast. It only took 7 minutes of pressure cooking.

Clean up was a cinch – just the pot, my immersion blender, a cutting board and knife. Feeling confident, I decided to try cooking two chicken breasts on the pressure cooking setting. I dropped them in the pot, added enough water to cover them, threw in a teaspoon of salt, secured the lid and set the pressure cooker on high for 12 minutes. That’s it! Now I have cooked chicken I can use in a main dish tonight.

I have about 50 other things I want to try in the Instant Pot including pulled pork, pot roast, hummus from dried chickpeas, and even ginger ale!

Do you have an Instant Pot? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it and find out what your favorite things to make in it are.

6 ~ New Dishwasher

Shortly before the fires, our dishwasher started acting strangely. Sometimes it would start and sometimes it wouldn’t. By the time we returned to our home after our 11 day evacuation, it was dead as a doornail. Not only was it 11 years old but it was made by Jade, a line of high-end large appliances that had since changed from residential machines to only commercial. This meant that we could not get parts for it unless we scoured eBay and got lucky. We decided to buy a new one instead as we anticipated future problems and getting parts.

Several friends recommended Bosch to us so we went with that brand.

I love the way it looks! It’s so sleek and modern. And it’s whisper quiet – we can barely hear it when it’s running. A red light shines on the floor when it’s in operation, which is helpful.

It says it can wash wine glasses so I am going to give that a try. I never put anything delicate in our old dishwasher.

7 ~ Exercise as Medicine

I can’t tell you how many times post-evacuation I spent trying to drag myself onto the treadmill. I just didn’t have the energy or motivation. Thankfully, two weeks ago I found a little spark and decided to get back to it. It has helped me feel so much better. I am happy to say I have been exercising consistently ever since.

I also started private Pilates lessons in Santa Rosa. I need to strengthen my core and work on my left shoulder which has been “frozen” for over a year. Because of the shoulder pain, my upper body strength has really diminished so I want to work on increasing that as well.

After several private lessons, I will switch to a group class. It’s important to me that I get the basics down properly before jumping into a class setting.



  1. Mary
    November 12, 2017 / 4:40 am

    Sounds like you are taking all the right steps to get yourself into a good place after weeks of turmoil. Best of luck. And congratulations to Kayla and Forest.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      November 12, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Hi Mary,

      Yes, every day is different – some days I am energetic and positive and ready to help others and get back to the things that once gave me satisfaction and other days I want to stay in bed with my dogs and watch Netflix and eat popcorn. I guess this is normal so I am just rolling with it. I have a social week ahead so we will see how that goes!
      Hope you are well and thank you so much for stopping by! A

  2. KSL
    November 12, 2017 / 5:16 am

    Love your Saturday posts – so fun and chatty. I haven’t tried an Insta Pot – not sure why as I’ve heard they’re great. Congratulations to Kayla and Forest and love your office chair.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      November 12, 2017 / 8:26 am

      Hi K – love my Instant Pot. It such a great kitchen appliance and would be great to take RVing if we ever decide to do that again.
      It sounds like Kayla and Forest are getting hitched next summer! Then Ryan and Hayley are right behind them. It will be a busy (and expensive) 2018! xo

  3. November 12, 2017 / 6:21 am

    Glad to hear you are feeling better and wanting to nest makes so much sense after all you have had happen. Having had 2 frozen shoulders (both sides) I want to mention that the only thing that helped me was physical therapy and being extremely diligent with the prescribed exercises. I was able to get full range of motion back although it took some time. Love Pilates though and I bet they could recommend a great PT.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      November 12, 2017 / 8:24 am

      Hi Juhli,

      So lovely to hear from you! I hope you are well.
      Frozen shoulders are the worst! A few months ago, I was in the thick of it pain-wise. I was really miserable and did go to PT regularly but it didn’t help. I saw a surgeon who scheduled an MRI to see if I had a tear but by the time it was scheduled, I started feeling better. So it’s not radiating down to my fingertips anymore and I can dress myself, thank goodness (that was getting really old) but I still have pain. I have sort of plateaued so maybe this is a good time to go back to PT.
      What do you do about sleeping on your affected shoulder or shoulders in your case? I cannot stop myself from sleeping on my frozen shoulder and I think that is what’s keeping me from a full recovery. I can’t sleep on my back and stomach sleeping is so bad for the back. Any advice is welcomed! Thanks for the PT advice. I think I will restart that.

      • November 13, 2017 / 10:01 am

        Have you tried a full body pillow to help you stay sleeping on the other side? I recall that it was so painful that I didn’t lay on it but it has been a long time since the last one healed. The problem with frozen shoulders is that the trajectory is the same with or without PT. It will get worse and then better. However you may not get the full range of motion back or get it as quickly without the correct exercises. You can find them online too but I found the PT massage and motion therapy really helped me.

        I am well and now living in Camarillo, CA! We have family all over in S. Cal including a 90 year old FIL as well as son and DIL and also a son, DIL and granddaughter in Berkeley so we fulfilled our plan of retiring back to California about 6 months ago.

        • Adrienne Shubin
          November 13, 2017 / 11:45 am

          Hi Juhli,

          That is such great news about you living in California! People say it’s hard to return once you leave (financially) so I happy to hear you were able to do it.
          My Pilates instructor also suggested a body pillow (I forgot until I read your comment). I will look for one and try that. I was taping a marble to my left upper arm with surgical tape but that was just giving me a rash so I stopped.
          My range of motion is still not great. I am probably about 70% there. And it aches 100% of the time – I never don’t feel it.
          Emailing my doctor right now to get some PT appointments, Thank you so much for the advice! Adrienne

        • Adrienne Shubin
          November 18, 2017 / 10:57 am

          Hi Juhli!
          Just wanted to let you know I made an appointment to return to shoulder PT on Tuesday next. Thank you again for the advice and information!

  4. Janie
    November 12, 2017 / 7:28 am

    Love my Bosch dishwasher…..and, yes, very quiet! Please keep posting on your instant pot experiences…..I’m intrigued! Love your blog. Janie

    • Adrienne Shubin
      November 12, 2017 / 8:20 am

      Hi Janie –

      We are still getting used to the new dishwasher. It is so much lighter – weight-wise – than our Jade. I keep yanking on the door thinking it’s heavy!
      I am really loving the Instant Pot. I made a broccoli chicken casserole last night that usually takes me forever in about 30 minutes. The chicken cooks so fast and it was great to not have to wash a ton of pots.
      I am going to buy a steamer insert today so I can start steaming veggies and I really want to try making my own yogurt.
      Thank you for stopping by! Adrienne

  5. Nancy
    December 11, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I love my Bosch too! I have two of these dishwashers. One I bought a few years ago that is in our bar. We just replaced the one in our kitchen with the same one because I love the bar one so much. I didn’t realize that it came shipped with a giant piece of plastic stuck to the front. The delivery man removed it and I thought “so that’s why I thought the one in my bar was made of plastic and not stainless steel” It has an entire piece of plastic stuck to the front to protect it. I saw yours has that too in the picture, maybe you removed it already, but in case you didn’t!!!! There is plastic on the front!!! haha

    • Adrienne Shubin
      December 14, 2017 / 10:08 am

      Hi Nancy – I will have to check on the plastic piece. Is it like a plastic film you peel off?
      I love how quiet our Bosch is and it does a good job of cleaning dishes. It does seem to fill up much faster than our old machine. Or maybe it’s just because I cook so much more at home since the fires.
      Ok, off to inspect for plastic!
      Thank you for stopping by Nancy!!

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