Seven for Saturday

Seven for Saturday

Welcome to this week’s Seven for Saturday!

1 – Southern California Fires 

I am sure you’ve heard about the horrible wind-driven and drought-fueled fires happening this week in Southern California. My husband, Bill, left with a crew of 20 firefighters and 5 fire engines late Tuesday night. He has been there ever since, along with estimates of 8700 other emergency responders.

The last two months have been traumatic, nerve-wracking, frightening and emotional for me, my friends and family and, I would guess, most Californians. I worry almost non-stop about Bill and my friends who live in the affected areas. I am trying to manage my worry with exercise, cooking, photography and getting ready for the holidays. To say I am excited and eager for him to come home is an understatement!

The other evening, a friend came across this photo of Bill and sent it to me. A reporter for an ABC affiliate, Jason Nathanson, interviewed Bill while he was at the Creek Fire. He asked to take a photo of the back of his uniform since Santa Rosa was so greatly damaged by the October fires.

2 – French Fry Candy Night

Last Saturday, we had our annual family tradition, French Fry Candy night. Bill’s son, Ryan, and his fiancee came up from San Luis Obispo so all his kids were with us this year.

We always go to Sonoma but this year we changed up our usual destinations in Sonoma. Instead of the Mexican place where we usually being the night, we went to the candy store first. Then we did a bit of sock shopping followed by a cocktail at the Town Square Bar and, as a first ever, we had a sit down dinner at Swiss Hotel rather than eating baskets of fries and lots of candy at a local pub.

It was a fun evening, and with the Sonoma Plaza all lit up for the holidays, so festive too. I am so glad we fit that in before the fires started. It would have been a shame to miss it this year.

From L to R: Tori, Bill, Forest, Kayla, Hayley and Ryan

From L to R: Ryan, Bill, Kayla and Tori

3 – The Graduate

Bill’s eldest daughter and my stepdaughter, Kayla, can add “graduated from the Santa Rosa Junior College paramedic program” to her list of memorable events in 2017. Along with this remarkable achievement she also lost her home in the fires and got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Forest. What a year it’s been.

Friday morning, Tori and I attended her graduation in Santa Rosa. Since her dad is on the fires down south he couldn’t attend in person, but we found a way for him to see the entire ceremony nonetheless, via FaceTime.

Her dad and I are so proud of her! It’s not easy to become a paramedic and it’s certainly not a career for everyone.  She loves it and is a dedicated employee. We are thrilled she has found a career she loves!


4- Office Progress 

I have been mentioning my office redo for what seems like years. It’s still in progress but the walls are painted, I have a new desk and reading chair and I got rid of all the clutter.

A major improvement happened about a week ago when we hung paintings by my dear friend and talented artist Kathy Leeds. They had added such beauty, softness and personality to my special room. I adore them! It makes me relaxed and happy to be in there now that the paintings are up.

I finally found an area rug I think will work and ordered it this morning. I’m hoping it will make the hue of the room less warm by covering up a lot of that dreaded beige carpet.

I took these photos of the paintings and unfortunately my camera is not able to capture the full effect since it’s a rather small room. I’ll try again once it’s completely done. Hopefully by the end of 2017!

My new rug – on its way to me now!

5 – Carpet Shampooer 

Gone are the days of me getting excited about shopping for clothes, shoes and makeup online. Apparently, shopping for carpet cleaners gives me much more of a thrill. Who knew?

I saw this carpet shampooer on Amazon during their Black Friday sale and decided to buy one. I watched the front window for a couple of days waiting for its arrival. I was that excited! With four dogs – one particularly naughty one – pet messes are a regular occurrence around here and I have grown tired of battling them by hand with little or no results.

When it arrived, Bill read the directions (people really do that!) and set it up. He spot cleaned every room and we were both impressed. This thing worked wonders! It’s been 8 days since then and none of the spots have reappeared.

No more dropping $250 every couple of months having our carpets cleaned professionally. This thing paid for itself and then some in one use!

Now we can have people over and not be embarrassed of our carpets. Yay!!

6 – Homemade Greek Yogurt

It wouldn’t be a Seven for Saturday without mentioning my Instant Pot – my new best friend in the kitchen. I made Greek yogurt recently using a yogurt starter and a recipe in this cookbook and now I’ll never buy it in the store again!

It is the most creamy, delicious yogurt I have ever eaten with the perfect (for me) amount of tang. I can add fruit and stevia to it if I want to but most recently, I just eat it plain. I also smear a little on my face and leave it on for about 15 minutes to make my skin soft and supple.

It’s time consuming – about 15 hours from start to finish – but if you start in the early evening, it will be ready by morning. Then you can choose to either leave its texture loose or thicken it by draining off the acid whey slowly, which takes about 2 to 3 hours.

My stepdaughter Tori wants to try making a dairy-free version with almond-coconut milk. We are going to try that this weekend. I’ll let you know how that turns out!

7 – Lovely Lashes

I won a set of lash extensions in an Instagram raffle recently and had them put on a few days ago. LasheyLady Studio is located in Sebastopol. Owner, Karli Allen has 17 years experience as an esthetician and specializes in lashes and brows. Her studio is absolutley darling! It’s shabby chic and girlie. I just love it! There is a flower wall that Karli created that is so pretty and fun.

Everyone I came into contact with at LasheyLady was welcoming, friendly and professional. Karli herself added my extensions. It was such a pleasant and relaxing experience and Karli made sure I was comfortable and happy at all times. She gave me a beautiful look, perfect for the holidays and beyond.

Before I left, Karli gave me a cute bag to take home with me filled with instructions for care, eyelash washes and tools I can use to make the most of my lash extensions. I was even given a pink satin pillow case to sleep on. 

It was a fantastic experience from start to finish. I highly recommend LasheyLady and have already booked my next appointment for a fill.

I love that I can completely skip eye makeup when getting ready to go somewhere. Just a light foundation, gloss and blush and I am good to go!

I hope you’re having a great week and a wonderful holiday season, if celebrating!

Disclosure: Affiliate links were used in this post and clicking on them may result in commissions for me. All opinions expressed here are my own.  









  1. Violet
    December 9, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Wonderful, moving family photos that touched my heart. British Columbia burned this year as well, but fires in California have been and continue to be devastating. So many sorrowful stories have reached us here in southern BC via local media. I can hardly stand it, and cannot express how sad I am… It is reaffirming to see how strong and resilient you and your family, and many like you, are. Sending love and best wishes this holiday season. And prayers that this terrible devastation comes to an end and that your husband remains safe and returns home soon. I have followed your blog for a few years, but rarely comment on any. You are an inspiration. Warm regards, Violet.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      December 10, 2017 / 9:06 am

      Hi Violet,

      Thank you ever so much for your kind comment.
      I did hear a little about the fires in BC but we get such minimal news about things in other countries here (seems like it’s all politics, all the time!). These tragedies have been extraordinarily devastating to our state but I know, as a state, we will recover. I don’t know about every individual recovering – I would imagine quite a few will move out of the state to start over. And then there is the emotional toll it will take on those who have lost so much on top of financial losses. It really is so very sad and it puts things in perspective.
      Thank you again for your comment. It truly means so much to me.
      Kindly, Adrienne

  2. December 9, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    Thanks to your husband and his crew for coming down here to help fight these horrible fires! We are only experiencing a bit of smoke personally but live not that far from the Thomas fire.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      December 10, 2017 / 8:49 am

      Hi Juhli – I read some statistics on the Thomas Fire and it’s 4 times the size of the Tubb’s fire which was the largest in California history! That is so hard to wrap your mind around.
      I also saw a Cal Fire update that there are new Thomas Fire evacuations this morning. I certainly hope that does not include you and your community. Stay safe! I hope the winds come to an end. Please keep in touch if you can and feel inclined.
      Hugs to you, Adrienne

  3. Monica Hesselbach
    December 10, 2017 / 7:08 am

    I am so grateful that your husband was here in San Diego helping with the Lilac Fire. It is about 20 minutes north of my home, but my experiences with our fires in 2003 and 2007 remind me that embers fly faster and further than we can imagine and things can change in an instant. You and your family make a lot of sacrifices sharing your public servant with us and I want you to know just how appreciative we are. I hope he will be home soon and barring any more fire tragedies that you have a wonderful Christmas!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      December 10, 2017 / 8:42 am

      Hi Monica,

      I hope your home has not been directly affected by the fires. You are so right – 20 minutes is not far for fire to travel in these dry and windy conditions. After our fires were out, we had an insurance person come out to look at our fences, which blew down during the wind storms. He wanted to inspect our roof and found several very big embers that were just sitting there! I was shocked and so thankful my husband and I put a new 40 year roof on the house when we moved in.
      Thank you for your very kind words. Bill told me it was important to him that he returns the favors Southern California firefighters gave our community in October. Though I miss him terribly and worry for his safety and the safety of all the other emergency personnel, I believe he needed to be there not just to help but for the camaraderie, support and community.
      I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too! Bill and I already decided we’re extending ours a bit to make up for this “holidays on hold” period we’re in! Thank you for stopping by and leaving your message – Adrienne

  4. Alison
    December 12, 2017 / 3:20 am

    It makes me so sad to hear about the fires in California. I have a lot of family in California, which is where I’m from originally, although I grew up in Texas and now live in Austria. There has been so much devastation in both of my favorite states this year. Congratulations to your stepdaughter – I truly admire people who go into such lines of work. And finally, that last photograph of you in this post is just beautiful. You look like you’re about 30 here, so I can’t believe you just celebrated a somewhat-higher-numbered birthday! 🙂

    • Adrienne Shubin
      December 14, 2017 / 10:07 am

      Hi Alison,

      It’s awful, the fires. I really can’t wrap my head around not only what happened up here but the Southern California fires too. The Thomas Fires is a massive fire – last I checked, it was nearing 250,000 acres. Unreal!
      Terrible that both of your former home states have suffered so much devastation this year.
      Thank you for the kind words! That is a good photo of me – I agree – and maybe not so accurate 😉 Filters, angles and lighting go a long way to making one look fab!
      I bet it’s a winter wonderland in Austria right now, yes? I would love to see that part of Europe in the wintertime – on my list!
      Thank you for stopping by, Alison!

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