Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Day at our House

We're not big on Valentine's Day around here.  We usually exchange a box of See's chocolates and a card and call it a day.  And I usually get roses or flowers of some sort (but no chocolate for me this year because of the KETO thing--down 15.6 so far!).  A few times over the years we have managed to go out for a nice dinner but most of the time we don't want to bother to try and find a sitter.  Luckily starting next year that won't really be an issue anymore (the girls can be left alone now but don't like to be late at night).  And then I usually get the girls a little something small, like a small heart-shaped box of cheap chocolates and in years past a Valentine's themed Beanie Boo or something.  But they are done with Beanie Boos and Olivia doesn't really like chocolate, so this year I gave her Hi-chews and Kayley did get a heart-shaped box of Russell Stover chocolates (not as good as See's but WAY better than that cheap Palmer's crap that's not even real chocolate).

I worked from home today as I do most Fridays, and used my lunch break to run to See's for Paul's annual V-day box.  Kayley had stayed home sick, but was feeling better (she was mostly sick yesterday and on the mend today but still not quite good enough for school) so she came with me and I bought her a few pieces too as part of her gift (as I said, Olivia doesn't really like chocolate.  (WTF??!!??)).  After work, Paul and I had an appointment with the tax preparer.  Very romantic.  Then we picked up Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner.  Olivia went to a dance at school and normally Kayley would have gone but didn't because she's still a little sick, so the romantic evening I had planned didn't really happen, but I still cheated on my diet and had a glass of wine and some chocolate (in addition to the box of See's I had bought a strawberry and champagne flavored chocolate bar for us to share.  I just had one little square, but then I also had a chocolate caramel flavored macaron left over from my birthday dinner).  All in all, just an average Valentine's Day for the Nelson family.

Olivia and friends before the Valentine's Dance

I love this cute little owl I got from Pier 1 3 or 4 years ago


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

We FInally Have Curtains

I have 29 drafts in my drafts folder.  I'm going through it tonight and decided to go ahead and post some of these already, for no other reason than I've been slacking in my blogging lately and want to post something, plus I spent good time writing those.  So here is one I wrote about a year and a half ago.  We have now been in our house 12 years and still haven't painted (other than the bedrooms, one bathroom and the wall that spans the living and dining rooms.  Sigh.

We've been in our house for 10 1/2 years and other than the main living room, have never hung curtains.  I've bought several over the years but never put them up because they ended up being not quite the right color or whatever.

I was almost ready to finally take them all to Value Village or attempt to sell them on the neighborhood buy/sell Facebook page, but then I decided that the light blue ones that I intended for the living room (the one room that already has curtains, but I'm changing the whole color scheme in that room as soon as we get around to painting) don't go well with the current wall color nor will they work with the future wall color I have in mind, but they will work in the upstairs loft (at least for now).  Then I decided that the dark red ones I had originally intended for the upstairs loft would go just fine in the master bedroom for now, until we eventually repaint our red accent wall.  Done and done.

I also finally got around to buying curtains for each of the girls rooms, so we hung those too and now the only room that doesn't yet have curtains is the dining room.

Sheer white for Kayley's room.  Love that with the purple walls.
Maisy approves

White with purple pom-poms for Olivia

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Keto Update

I started Keto on the 1st.  As of the 9th, I had lost 6 pounds.  Then I had to travel for work.  I left on the afternoon of the 9th, so 2 meals were still at home (or brought from home to work) and I only had dinner to worry about.  Luckily, the restaurant we ate at had some low-carb options.  I had a blackened chicken zucchini noodle thing, but I also had a “skinny” margarita (and not necessarily low-carb).

The hotel offered a free breakfast, but I was worried that it would only include bagels, doughnuts, etc.  So I ventured down Friday morning and luckily, there were scrambled eggs and sausage.  So far, so good.

Then it was time for the complimentary lunch.  Sandwiches, chips, cookies and an apple.  I ate the sandwich, bread and all, because it would have been hard and messy to try and eat only the meat and veggies.  I did remove the processed “cheese” slice, though.  I ate the chips (Sun Chips), because I wanted to, and I tossed the apple, which I would have anyway because it was Red Delicious which are anything but, all mealy and gross.  Hate those.  The cookies I took back to the hotel for later because they were a kind I’ve never seen before and I just wanted to try them (bite size vanilla blueberry something or other).  I did try a few later and threw the rest away.  Dinner was out at a bar and grill type place and I ended up getting some sort of wrap (it was supposed to be chicken Caesar but there was no chicken and the salad part wasn’t really Caesar, but whatever it was it was good) and fries.  I was hungry because it was like 8:00 by now and those fries tasted SO good!  I also had a glass of wine.  I only ate half of the wrap, though.

Saturday was eggs and bacon at the hotel, and then would have been the same sandwich/chips/apple for lunch but we cut out early and drove to Huntington Beach where we had delicious margaritas, street tacos (me) and chips and salsa at an open air Mexican restaurant.  Chips and salsa was the one thing I had been craving (normally I crave sweets and chocolate) so it was SO good!

So after all that, I weighed in Sunday morning (got home late Saturday night) and was up 1.6.  But I got right back on track, and the next day I was down 2, so there.  And as of yesterday, my total loss so far is 11.6!  Whoo-hoo!  This is the first time in about 11 years that I have lost more than 9 pounds, and I did it in 23 days!  I know I won't keep losing at that rate but that's ok.

The one thing that really surprises me about this lifestyle is that I’m never hungry.  I eat breakfast in the morning because I know I should and then most days I’m still not hungry well into the afternoon.  Sometimes all I have for lunch is a piece of cheese because I’m just not hungry.  And I don’t really have cravings, which is HUGE for me.  I did that one time for chips and salsa, but that’s it!

Yesterday was my birthday and we all went out to dinner.  I had salmon that came with green beans and mashed potatoes.  I ate the salmon and green beans but not the potatoes.  Tonight Paul and I have a birthday date night and we are going to a high end steak house.  I will have steak and veggies, no potato or bread, but I AM going to have a glass or two of wine, screw it!

A Keto lunch: turkey, cheese, parmesan cheese Whisps and guacamole

Things like this are why this lifestyle is fairly easy to stick to.  Made with peanut butter, almond flour, natural sugar-free sweetener (would have used Monk fruit but didn't have any, so it's Swerve, I think) and Lily's milk chocolate (and butter and I forget what else)

Keto pancakes, surprisingly ok

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Keto Day 1

Every year I make a New Year's Resolution to lose weight.  This year, I'm going to give Keto a try.  I'm not normally one to jump on the latest fad diet bandwagon--I usually prefer to just eat healthy, eat less and exercise, and that has worked for me in the past--but I am just such a huge carb and sugar addict and I need to do something to get that under control.  I will admit right up front though, that I am probably going to half-ass it and not follow it super strictly, but I'm ok with that.  If I only lose 5 or 6 pounds in a month instead of 25 or 30, I don't really care!  I'll take it!  So really, I'm shooting for a low-carb "Keto-ish" plan, and will just try to do the best I can.

So here is what I ate today:

Breakfast:  2 scrambled eggs, 3 strips of bacon, coffee with heavy cream (we were out of half and half)

Lunch :  Nothing.  Breakfast was at 11:30ish so didn't need lunch

Snack 1:  1 or 2 ounces (not sure) of cheddar cheese

Snack 2:  about 10 smokehouse almonds

Dinner:  Italian-style meatballs from Costco, riced cauliflower and broccoli

Snack 3:  barely counts--a tiny little bite of Lily's sugar-free chocolate

I'm a little worried, because that all added up to about 20 net grams of carbs, and I didn't even eat lunch!  But it's my first day.  It will take a little while to get in a groove and figure out good menus and what all works.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Decade in Review

Most years I do a “year in review” post around this time but since it’s the end of a decade I thought it would be fitting to do highlights of the decade instead.  So here it is, my decade in review:

2010 – The girls turn 2, family vacation to Long Beach, WA

2011 – 5th anniversary trip to Hawaii, but the girls and Paul’s parents come with because there is no one to watch them for us (maybe his parents would have, I don’t know, I don't really think so), we adopt our cats, Cleo and Maisy.

2012 – My mom, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, has a stroke and ends up in a Alzheimer’s care facility (not really a highlight).  Family trip to Leavenworth, WA

2013 – The girls start kindergarten.  Family trip to Coeur d’Alene, ID

2014 – Seahawks win the Super Bowl, I return to work part-time, girls’ first trip to Disneyland

2015 – After working at my job as a contractor, I get hired as a full-time employee (a few weeks earlier on 12-15-14).  Family trip to Colorado to visit Paul’s sister.

2016 – 10th anniversary trip to Victoria, BC, without the girls!  Family trip to Cabo San Lucas

2017 – Paul turns the big 5-0, family trip on a Caribbean Cruise, we get a dog, Kona, I find out I have a half-sister I never knew about

2018 – Family trip to San Antonio/Austin, TX to visit friends

2019 – I turn 50, celebrate with a trip to Vegas (without the girls), meet my new-found half-sister, family trip to Disneyland, we are gifted the Crescent Bar condo from the in-laws, the girls start middle school, my mom passes away (again, not really a highlight).

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Eve Eve

This is one of those rare mornings that despite not having to work (I took today and tomorrow off and go back to work on Thursday) I was ready to get up way earlier than normal and now I'm sitting at the computer with a cup of coffee and the house is really quiet because the girls are still asleep and Paul just left to go the gym and run errands.  It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a morning like this.

So tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  Wow.  We shook things up this year and are having Paul's parents come here and then on Christmas Day we are going to my brother and sister-in-law's.  My side of the family alternates Christmas Eve/Christmas Day every year, and since we go up there every other year, it was always on Christmas Eve.  Normally we would have gone up there last year on Christmas Eve and this would be our year to go to Paul's parents', but last year we decided we wanted to start going up there on the years they do Christmas Day, because it was hard to get up there on Christmas Eve because one or both of us sometimes are working that day, but now Paul has a different position and more seniority so he is able to always take Christmas Eve off so it is no longer an issue, so starting next year we are going back to our old routine.

Anyway, it's been a pretty good December/Christmas season so far.  We had my work party last weekend on Friday, and then a friend's party the next night.  This last Saturday night we went out to dinner and then did our annual drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.  Last night we met friends in Bellevue for Snowflake Lane (they close down a section of street and do a parade with fake snow and music and everything every night between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve).  I baked a bunch of cookies this year for the first time in several years, and I had my first and last Eggnog latte of the season (I love them but one is enough).

And a random picture of gorgeous Mount Si rising above the clouds taken from my car while stopped at a stop light.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Engagement Anniversary

I'm trying to post as many days as possible in December.  I think this is the 3rd year in a row I've tried that.  The previous years I've petered out about now.

Anyway, just a super short post today to commemorate the 14th anniversary of our engagement day!  You can read about it here.  Again, I wish I had pictures but I don't.