Happy weekend and welcome to Seven for Saturday ☀️
Let’s get right to it!
1 – New Living Room Furniture
Almost two years ago on a whim, Bill and I decided to get rid of the two couches in our living room that our cat shredded. Rather than hold onto them until we got new ones, we figured an empty living room would propel us into a couch search and we’d have new furniture in a matter of weeks. We figured wrong!
While we did look – mostly online – we never found furniture we could agree on. Then it became less and less of a priority. Then one day Bill went to his eldest daughter’s new house. She had just purchased a new couch after losing hers in the fires. She bought it at Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Rohnert Park. He liked her couch and convinced me to go with him to check out the inventory at Ashley the last week of December.
I am so glad we went because we walked out having ordered a new living room set. We bought a sectional in an ecru color. It’s very big! It’s comprised of one sofa, two loveseats, and two wedges for each corner.
Everything arrived yesterday and we couldn’t be more pleased. The couches came with lots of throw pillows that I am still rearranging and fluffing.
We want to add a few things to our living room including a floor lamp (which I ordered this morning), a window treatment, a few cool coffee table books, one or two throws, some candles and perhaps a vase of flowers and a potted plant.
I love the painting by Kathryn Leeds that we proudly own. It adds such beautiful colors to our neutral room.
Bill and I are most excited to have company over to hang out with us in our living room. And I am pretty sure this will be my spot for having tea and catching up on blogging, blog reading and emails.
2 – New Year, New Glasses
I realized during the fires that I needed a new pair of glasses. While staying at my sister-in-law’s, I was embarrassed by my eye glasses. They were badly scratched, one lens was always popping out and they were stretched out. I meant to get new ones in 2017 and it never happened.
So one day, while shopping with my step kids at Macy’s before Christmas, I happened upon a LensCrafters. Who knew LensCrafters had a shop inside Macy’s? Not me.
I started trying on sunglasses, then moved onto eye glasses and well, about an hour later I left with new glasses on order.
I chose a nice pair of Prada glasses and really love them. Thankfully Bill’s job gives us vision insurance which covered about 65% of the cost of my frames and lenses so they were quite reasonable.
I am not committing to wearing eye glasses full-time but I do want to wear these more often when I go out, rather than relegating them to evenings and mornings at home.
Are you a contact lens fan or do you love eye glasses? Or maybe you’re fortunate enough to not have to deal with either!
3 – Guest Room Projects
When my stepdaughter Tori moved to Oregon the day after Christmas, we suddenly found ourselves with an empty room. Passing by Tori’s room – empty but for her furniture – was sad and a regular reminder that we were newly minted empty nesters, our much loved and adored Tori has moved on to her next chapter.
We had already decided we would buy new bedding and wall art for Tori’s room, turning it into a second guest room. But Bill had an even better idea, one that would transform not just her room but the other guest room too. He moved the furniture from the existing guest room into Tori’s room and moved her furniture into that room. He positioned both bedroom sets differently – better, in my opinion – and I think they both look fantastic!
Now we know what we need to fill in the blanks. The list of things we would like to buy is pretty long and includes the previously mentioned bedding. We also need new lamps, a rug, maybe a chair, a throw blanket or two and definitely wall art.
Bill prepped the second guest room (Tori’s old room) for painting yesterday so guess what we’re doing this weekend. We’re going to paint both rooms white, like my office.
I forgot how much I love working on home improvement projects! Now if only we had a bottomless bank account, we could really go to town!
4 – Instant Pot Creations
Has there been a Seven for Saturday post I have written that didn’t include a mention of my Instant Pot? I don’t believe so. This week is no different.
I bought some thick cut, bone in pork chops this week and decided to try cooking them in the IP instead of on the stove or in the oven where they would inevitably get dried out due to me overcooking them. I have never successfully made a tender and moist pork chop that was cooked all the way, especially when they are thick cut. A bit of Pinterest-ing led me to a few tips for using the IP for chops.
First, I rinsed them then patted them dry with a paper towel, then I seasoned them with salt and pepper. I set the IP on sauté, added a tablespoon of oil (I use an organic coconut/safflower blend) and when it was hot, I added the chops. I cooked them until they were browned on both sides then removed them to a plate.
Next I pressure cooked the pork by first adding a cup of water to the bottom of the pot on top of the trivet that comes with the IP. I then resting the chops on the trivet, secured the lid and cooked them on the Meat setting for 6 minutes. They turned out great! Flavorful, juicy but also cooked all the way through. No sawdust consistency for a change!
I have been continuing to make my turmeric ginger tonic, shredded chicken breasts (for chicken salad, Mexican chicken for tacos and salads) and Greek yogurt every week. What a fun and practical kitchen appliance this is!
This weekend I am going to make bone broth in the IP using bones from grass fed beef that I bought from the butcher. I also going to try making carnitas, a favorite of mine and Bill’s.
Do you have an Instant Pot? What are your favorite things to make in it?
5 – Dutch Test
As part of my wellness project (also called my “war on menopause symptoms”) that I am doing for myself this year, I went to a nutritionist and herbalist at farmacopia in Santa Rosa. After going over my intake form and listening to me go on and on about my sleepless, hot nights, tension headaches and weight gain, she suggested I take a Dutch Test.
I sent mine in this morning and will have the results back in two weeks. Will I take bio identical hormones or HRT? I am not sure but I want to find out what my options are and if there is anything more I can do to – aside from taking hormones – to feel better.
6 – Dry January
Bill and I decided to do Dry January, which means no alcohol for the month and in its place, more tea, water and green juice.
We began our booze-free experiment on January 2nd and will continue until at least January 31st. It’s pretty easy to do this time of year – no holiday parties, no trip planned, everyone seems to be on a health kick – and it’s a great way to hit the reset button on your lifestyle habits.
Aside from a challenge, I had another reason for wanting to try a Dry January. The stresses from Bill being on the fires down south, the fires here in Wine Country, Tori moving out of state and a few other things had me reaching way too often for a glass(es) of wine or a vodka soda. It was impacting my sleep, my weight, my hormones and life in general.
I notice when I don’t drink I feel much more positive about everything and my hot flashes and night sweats, which are the menopause symptoms I absolutely loathe, aren’t as bad. So if it takes not drinking to make those stop or even lessen, sign me up for teetotaling! I am hoping for some weight loss too. So far, however, the sleep situation is not improving.
7 – Photography Business
The other day it was raining lightly so I put my rain boots on, grabbed my camera with the macro lens attached and went outside. I dragged a patio chair up to one of our bushes in the front yard and had a seat. People driving by have got to think there is something a little weird going on with me but I don’t care. I am passionate about photography and sometimes a chair is a necessity when trying to capture tiny things like raindrops.
After about 20 minutes of shooting, I downloaded my images and picked out one I quite like.
To my surprise and delight, ABC 7 News Bay Area featured my photo on the 6:00 pm broadcast (I hashtag my photos so they see it and know they have permission to use it). What a thrill it was to hear my name and see my image! It was the motivation and confidence I needed to fulfill a goal and a dream I have had for a couple of years: to create my own photography website.
I chose SmugMug as the service I wanted to use. It is so easy! My new site is up and I am adding images to it often. I was able to create my site in one evening. You can purchase images, share them with the world or keep private, or just use the site as storage and organization. I love it!
You can see my new site, Adrienne Shubin Photography, here. Let me know what you think!
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