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.
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!
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.