Seven for Saturday

Seven for Saturday

Hello, weekend! Welcome to this week’s Seven for Saturday.

Here are a few things on my mind this week:

1 ~ Napa Getaway to Archer Hotel 

This week, Bill and I had the pleasure of staying at the new Archer Hotel Napa, located in the heart of Downtown Napa. I have tons of photos to share with you in an upcoming post about this chic and luxurious hotel but I just can’t wait until then to show you the balcony of our suite.

Our guest suite was wonderful on its own but add in an enormous private balcony overlooking First Street – complete with a lounging bed for two and an outdoor fireplace – and well, let’s just say it was over-the-top fabulous. I found it hard to leave the room to go out and explore!

2 ~ Hummingbird Stalker 

Last week I mentioned being thrilled that we finally have quite a number of hummingbirds visiting our backyard on a regular basis. I purchased a cute feeder to hang outside my kitchen window with the hopes I could entice them to come a little closer so I could go full hummingbird stalker mode.

And guess what? The new feeder is a huge hit – even more popular than the larger feeders hanging from our trees.

I even had five hummingbirds feeding from all five feeding stations at once! Of course, by the time I grabbed my phone to snap a photo they had flown away but I am going to keep trying.

They are feeding so much on this new feeder, I have to change the nectar out once a day. I love looking at their tiny little feet and I am so close to them, I can see their long needle-like tongues darting in out when they eat the nectar. Amazing to watch!

3 ~ Basic is Not a Bad Thing

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is sometimes to find basics for your wardrobe? It’s almost as though basic is a bad thing, but I happen to love basic.

Take simple black flat shoes, for example (not ballet flats). You would think it would be easy to find a classic pair of flats without bows, buckles, embroidery, patches, rhinestones, buttons, fur, ribbons, laces or any other doohickies but it’s not.

After a lengthy search, I finally found a pair basic enough to order. Aside from a small brass plate stamped with the brand name on the heel, it’s a lovely plain shoe. They’re not overly pointed and I like that the sole is sturdy not flimsy like some ballet flats. Also, they’re comfortable and I know I will wear them a ton.

4 ~ Frosty in Wine Country 

We have been in cold snap for the last week or so and I couldn’t be happier! It feels so refreshing and I also appreciate getting to finally wear my heavy coats, sweaters and scarves.

Another perk of cold weather is frosty mornings. I love taking my macro lens out into the yard and getting an up close look at frost. I find the rods of crystals so fascinating and beautiful!

5 ~ Almond Pulp Crackers

I made almond milk again this week. I skipped the masticating step this time, which made it quicker and slightly less messy. Then, instead of tossing the almond pulp like I did before, I kept it and made almond crackers with this recipe as inspiration.

To the pulp, I added an egg, some fresh rosemary from our garden, a little shredded cheddar cheese, sea salt and two minced garlic cloves. I rolled the mix out thinly between two sheets of parchment paper, cut into squares then scored each square with a fork. I baked them for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I checked on them every 10 minutes and flipped them as needed.

I have to be honest – they are not great tasting and are rather hard but they also aren’t terrible either. I didn’t feed them to the chicken and ate them all so they can’t be that bad, right?

With some peanut butter or a slice of good cheese, they are palatable. I think I need to add more herbs and spices next time and perhaps more cheese.

6 ~ Social Media Boundary Challenge 

Like so many others, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love being in touch with friends and family, seeing what’s going on in their lives on a regular basis. And I also like meeting new people with similar interests on social media.

I enjoy looking at beautiful photos of nature, cities, people, outfits, food, animals and so on and I like sharing parts of my life – and my photography – with others. As far as my blog goes, I appreciate being able to utilize these platforms to circulate my content to those who might find it useful, interesting, or inspiring.

What I don’t love is the way social media often affects me in negative ways. Here are just a few things that bother me about the way I am currently managing my social media habits:

I let it suck me into time-wasting rabbit holes I had no intention of going down.

Social media engagement frequently leaves me with the feeling that I am either not good enough at what I do as a blogger, influencer and person and/or I’m  not working as hard as I ought to be.

I allow it to mindlessly take me away from the present.

I could go on and on about the reasons why I worry about social media’s influence on me – on the world – but I bet you’ve already heard them and perhaps have your own worries on the subject.

Rather than let this continue to bother me, I want to find ways to manage social media and phone use while still being engaged in the ways I enjoy and the ways that work for blogging.

Here are a few ideas – some are mine, some I got from others:

  1. Taking one complete day off from social media each week – an idea taken from Elizabeth Gilbert.
  2. Setting hours for usage like 7 am to 7 pm only, for example – an idea I got from Danika Brysha.
  3. Taking social media vacations every month, shutting it off for 2 to 4 days at a time.
  4. Allowing myself to engage with social media only a certain number of times per day.

Because I love a good self-improvement challenge, starting tomorrow I am going to take on the second idea. I will only use my phone and laptop – including email, texting, surfing and social media – from 7 am to 7 pm until next Saturday. I will let you know how it goes in next week’s Seven for Saturday post.

Do you have a way you manage your social media/phone time? I would love to hear more ideas!

Would anyone like to join me in my social media boundary challenge starting Sunday?

7 ~ Pruning Party

I’m getting ready to spend the day with friends at nearby Beltane Ranch for their annual Pruning and Pig Roast party. Bill and I attended last year and had such a wonderful time. I wonder if the pruning skills I learned last year will return to me? Is pruning grape vines like riding a bike? We shall see!

It’s going to be cold – it was 25 this morning at 6 am – so I need to make sure I dress warmly. I will probably wear a hat again like last year.

I am looking forward to seeing good friends, enjoying great food and wines and being entertained by Polo and Mariachi Azteca, the best mariachi group I’ve ever encountered!

Have a great weekend!

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Clicking on them may result in my earning small commissions but has no impact on the prices of the products.  My room at Archer Hotel Napa was complimentary in exchange for social media and blog coverage. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 

 

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14 Comments

  1. Elizabeth
    February 24, 2018 / 11:08 am

    Adrienne,
    We (hubs and dog) recently stayed at Sonoma Creek Inn. We wanted to”support” the area after the horrible fires. We loved exploring throughout Sonoma. We especially loved the rural feel, hiking and Sonoma Plaza. (I’ll admit that we were disappointed that many trails are not dog friendly.) I would love to show up at the Beltrane Ranch Pruning party, but it’s a long drive from our home. If they’re dog friendly and not too expensive, we might spend the night there on our next visit north.

    You might consider Wild Birds Unlimited, Santa Rosa, regarding bird feeders/food. We get a safflower mix at WBU that birds love and other animals avoid.
    We also plant several California Fuchsia in pots. Perfect red tubular flowers for Hummers.
    Love your frost photos!
    One of my social media boundaries is that I rarely comment on blogs. Obviously I write too much!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      February 25, 2018 / 10:53 am

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Would you believe I have never heard of Sonoma Creek Inn after living here for 19 years? I just googled it and it looks darling!
      I agree that it’s disappointing about the lack of dog friendly hiking options. I wish that would change.
      I am not sure if Beltane is dog friendly. It’s a gorgeous ranch and inn – I would love to stay there myself someday!

      I have purchased bird feeders from Wild Birds before, long ago. I think one of our feeders came from there.
      I will have to get some fuchsia for the back yard. We have a few bushes in our front yard and they do well – easy to grow.

      You are so funny re: your comment policy 🙂 I love long comments!
      Thank you for stopping by and for coming to support our economy post-fires. It’s much appreciated!
      Adrienne

  2. Felicia
    February 24, 2018 / 2:01 pm

    I love your hummingbird feeder! Do you have a link?

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      February 25, 2018 / 9:25 am

      Hi Felicia – I do have a link! This feeder is on the small side – we have to fill it up every day, sometimes twice a day. So if you have a lot of hummingbirds, you may want to buy a larger one.
      http://amzn.to/2CIv0Me

  3. February 24, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    I got a new computer for CHRISTMAS and have become less interested in sitting here!!!!!!!!
    I try not to look at emails on the weekend!!!!!(IT’s SATURDAY NOW!)
    I never look at emails on my phone!!!!!!
    Time sucker YES!!!!!!That is for INSTAGRAM for me!
    The phone it put on the charger by 7 pm every night I only check it if I am expecting a TEXT from a SON or some important person in my LIFE!The phone stays in the kitchen and I leave it there all night!
    As you know if you donot LOOK at the emails etc for one day you get behind!!!!!!
    So, I am NOT reading those POSTS!!!!!!BUT instead DELETING!
    I have tried for years to stay on TOP of it but I cannot anymore…….maybe because I follow too many people!?
    SO, those are my rules and thoughts!
    ENJOY the wine pruning!!!!!!!!!
    XX

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      February 25, 2018 / 9:22 am

      Hello E!

      I thought about not looking at the phone on weekends. Maybe after my Saturday posts go up? But then I like to get to comments so that means logging on and inevitably I end up on social media. Maybe a Sunday instead?
      I turned my phone off last night and didn’t turn it back on until a little after 7. I am going to do that again tonight but maybe leave it on in case of an emergency.
      So do you delete comments on Instagram? I am terrible about responding to Instagram comments…typing on the phone is not enjoyable to me. I would rather respond on the laptop like I am doing now.
      The vineyard pruning was so much fun! It might just be my favorite winery event of the whole year!
      Happy Sunday and thank you so very much for sharing the way you manage social media. It’s very helpful and inspiring!
      xo, A

  4. February 25, 2018 / 6:26 am

    I read this yesterday, and had to think a lot (as I had been anyway) about #6 and social media/screen time. I still don’t know how to distill all my thoughts into a short enough comment, but I’m getting very bothered my the way we all (me included) curate our lives so that all seems perfect. I think this has really detrimental effects on society in general. I use it too much as well instead of “real” conversations with people and friends. I think if it weren’t that Instagram and Facebook were my main sources of sales for art, I would stop both completely, at least a long hiatus.
    Love your shoes, getting the hummingbird feeders, and the pruning party sounds so fun. I’ll skip the trouble of the almond crackers! xoxo

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      February 25, 2018 / 9:16 am

      Hi Kathy,

      I agree with you – that is yet another reason so much time spent on social media makes me feel uneasy/bad about myself/crappy in general. All these perfect looking, curated feeds we look at and ponder, then put up against our own lives….that cannot be healthy. Here I am 50 being impacted by it negatively – what must it be doing to teens and adolescents?
      I believe there is a way to balance social media in a healthy way – still use it to connect with friends and family and use it for business purposes – and am willing to find out how that is done. The only way to do that is try different methods. If this 7 to 7 proves too challenging or not realistic (I don’t see how that would be, but….) I will try something else. I get the sense that it’s going to take a tapering off rather than an abrupt cold turkey method. I find it so strange to talk about social media the same way I would I would talk about quitting smoking if I smoked. It proves how powerful, at least in my life, social media is. Yikes!
      The pruning party was so much fun! We had a great time and I think I actually learned how to prune this time. xo

      • February 26, 2018 / 5:57 am

        The problem that I’ve had with the (in my case) 6-6 is, that it still doesn’t limit how many times I check it during those 12 hours, and also how it impacts my feelings. If you do find any sources to deal with that, please let us all know. Going to order the hummingbird feeders this morning!

        • Adrienne Shubin
          Author
          February 26, 2018 / 8:34 am

          Yes, that is the problem I am finding too. I am doing well with the 7 to 7 (ish) parameters but during those 12 hours, little has changed. Although I must say I am being much more mindful of my usage and of the feelings I have when using social media.
          I found a book on Amazon yesterday that I ordered. I already read a sample of it on my iPad and so far, I think it’s going to be helpful. http://amzn.to/2FyLSbg
          I also looked around for articles that contained useful ideas for curbing use but came up short. Most articles focus on the problems, teen issues with social media and lots of statistics. I am sure there are some good articles out there though – I just haven’t found them yet.
          I am excited to get my hands on that book though!

  5. Rosemary
    February 27, 2018 / 12:06 am

    Hi Adrianne… such a great post! Love your new black shoes and I know exactly what you mean! I found a black suede pair, about a year ago, quite by accident! Pointy toe, flats, delicate, sort of t bar … very thin straps with a really supportive sole … they’re so comfy and versatile. Consequently they’ve become my “go to” pair …
    As I’ve mentioned before I love your feeders and so enjoy hearing about the antics of the humming birds … what a joy to experience them right outside your kitchen window!!
    Shame about the crackers … they sound as though they should taste amazing! Such a disappointment when a new recipe doesn’t quite live up to expectations! 🙂
    I remember your post about the Pruning Party last year … such a great idea … a perfect combination … being outdoors in a gorgeous environment, working together with good company accompanied by great food and wine!!
    That huge terrace just cries out to hold a party doesn’t it!!! We had a similar one when we stayed in Florence and I wished that all my family were there to enjoy it with me!! One evening the guy who owned an adjoining house held a party on his terrace … including live music … such fun to own a house like that!!
    I totally empathise re social media, computers, phones etc … so important to take some “away or switch off” time …
    Hope you’re having a good week!
    Rosemary

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 8:19 am

      Hi Rosemary,

      They hummingbirds have become a great source of entertainment for me and Bill. I actually ordered another feeder to put in the window today so now we will have two of them…I worry about not being around to fill that small one up everyday. I can’t believe they are polishing off all the nectar in less than 24 hours!
      They are busiest in the late afternoon, early evening. I think they must want to fill up before bedtime?
      I am a bit disappointed about the crackers – I feel bad tossing the almond pulp when I make milk. I may try drying it out in my dehydrator to make an almond flour.
      Can you believe how big that terrace is at Archer? I bet it will see a lot of parties this summer.
      Your place in Florence sounds so fun!
      I hope you’re feeling better and loving every second in Switzerland! I am enjoying your IG photos.
      xo, Adrienne

  6. February 27, 2018 / 6:56 am

    I try to remember that social media is a tool, and as such, ‘I’ use it and do not let ‘it’ use me. It’s the same principle I applied to the home phone ringing, and now my iphone as well–just because it’s ringing, I am not bound to answer it. It’s been a successful method for me.

    When I’m waiting in line somewhere, I make it a point to leave my phone in my bag, and then I just spend time noticing the people and things in my surroundings. I’ve also taken to carrying a book or magazine with me, so that if I have a long wait somewhere, I’m not mindlessly scrolling through my feed.

    Maybe a reward system would work for you 🙂 . Every day you go without checking means you get to buy a splurge bottle of wine or something fun! Or an daily point system (say … points for every hour you don’t check) leading up to some darling shoes !

    Good luck and enjoy the day !

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      February 27, 2018 / 7:45 am

      Hi Lorrie,

      I like all your ideas, especially the first one about not letting it use me. I have been pretty good about not only limiting the hours I allow myself to use my phone from 7:00 to 7:00 but I am more mindful when I do use it. I am careful to just go onto to Facebook and/or Instagram, do what I set out to do, look at a few things friends have posted, then hop off. I am enjoying the book I’m reading right now so I make sure I have that with me when I know I’ll be waiting somewhere.
      I will give an update to how the week has gone this Saturday. I feel hopeful I can manage IT rather than letting it manage ME!
      I appreciate you taking the time to share these great ideas. Adrienne

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