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:
- Taking one complete day off from social media each week – an idea taken from Elizabeth Gilbert.
- Setting hours for usage like 7 am to 7 pm only, for example – an idea I got from Danika Brysha.
- Taking social media vacations every month, shutting it off for 2 to 4 days at a time.
- 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.