The best laid plans ...

Normally, I've posted by now - usually at 2 or 3 am, when the day is done and I'm about ready for bed.  Last night I was cold (see yesterday's post), so I thought I'd just curl up under the covers for a minute … a minute! -- and that was all she wrote.  Awoke this morning on the couch, bundled in a comforter, with the computer open to where I left it.

Yesterday, we also had another plan.  The plan was to leave work early and get up to the movie theater for a 9:20PM showing of "Hail, Ceasar!" the new Coen brothers film (his choice and mine a little bit), or Zoolander 2 (my choice, and his a little bit).  We did leave work early - by pretty much a full 45 minutes, (which is a feat in itself) - which meant we should have had time to get to the movie with plenty of time to spare.  But as fate would have it, 3 accident delays on I-95 later, it took us almost an hour and a half longer than usual to get where we were going.  By that point, we had missed the last showing of "Hail, Ceasar!" and just went straight home.

Do you plan ?  Do you believe "Fail to plan, plan to fail" ?

These days, I'm not that big on having my day all planned out - oh yeah, I do have a "to do" list, but it's not a hard and fast list I must follow - no ABC or 123 prioritization, but more of an outline of what's coming up that needs to be done.  I'm not a last minute person, so I can just go with the flow- which works well since hard as you might try, obstacles will get in the way.  You've got to be able to just roll with it.  

I've always used a planner, and have one now,  but my planner is mostly birthdays and when the next scrapbooking retreat is - rather than a hour by hour, minute by minute planner.  This year, since it's become popular in the scrapbooking world, I've ditched my regular one for a creative one that I can embellish and doodle to my hearts content.

Today, the only thing I HAVE to do is get to the post office and buy Powerball tickets.  I think I can get that accomplished.

As far as the movies go … the new plan is to see Zoolander 2 on Sunday - it may or may not happen since it's Valentines day, and  I don't particularly like crowds, so if it's crazy, we may postpone again, but I'm hoping we end up going.


Florida Cold

I'm Cold.

I know some of you live where it's really cold, but for this Florida girl, it's too cold right now - mostly because it's been overcast and Mr Sun hasn't been out to warm things up.  Usually, during the day, even if it's cold, you can stand in the sun and feel some warmth, but these last couple of days the sun hasn't been out as much.  At home, I'm OK - I can walk around with slippers on, and lay on the couch with a thick blanket -- but at work, it's too cold inside as well as outside.  I have a little blankie, that I'm using across my lap, but it's a pain with a rolling desk chair.   

It's supposed to be an early spring as I truly believe the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil - well all the groundhogs (Shubenacadie Sam, Staten Island Chuck, and General Beau Lee) actually agreed.  This season has been average cold -- not as cold as some winters and not as warm either.  It's cold, but I like it - it's nice for a change and doesn't last too long.  We'll have a couple of days of cold, and then back up to the 70s, then it will drop down again for a few days, then back up to the 70s.  That's how south Florida winters usually are.

Once today is over, I'll have the weekend to hang by the fireplace, and all next week we're supposed to have weather in the mid 70s.  

Kitty Update

Finally, our kitty is starting to feel better -- we know this because it is no longer an easy task to give her the medicine.  It's become a chase to catch her and then a fight with her squirming.  Yesterday, we got the medication in her mouth, but neglected to make sure it went down, so she took 4 steps and spat it out.  Cracked me up, but not hubby.

Yesterday, was the first signs that the weakness in the legs was almost completely gone.  It was the first time in over a week that she made a leap from the bed to the dresser on her own accord.  She's been jumping from the dresser to the bed but the hind legs couldn't support her so she'd just flop down - I think she was OK with this since the bed was a soft landing.  From the bed to the dresser was a new thing.

There are still many unknowns … we don't know why she had the weakness - but the other cats didn't have a problem, so not something contagious. She never had a fever, never quit eating, labs were for the most part normal except she was a little anemic.  

We may never know the full reason, but I'm glad she's on the mend.

Birthday Pocket Letters

Along with the pocket pal pages we're swapping, we have the option to also send birthday pages when it's the birthday of someone in the group.  I'm having fun making these pocket letters, so I've been sending out ones for birthdays as well.  Here are a few that I've done recently.

This one the design is mostly the paper itself, so there wasn't too much in the way of added embellishments for the design. 


Similar concept - using the paper itself as the base of the design. I added some stickers to dress it up a bit.


and one last one for the birthdays ...



Can you tell I'm enjoying making these things.

Now we're all caught up.  In our swap we skipped January, and are picking up again with February and March.  Mine are already completed, but I don't want to post until my pal receives them.

More Pocket Letters

Continuing with the Pocket Letters, here is the one I did for November.  The theme for November was Thanksgiving/Fall.



I did forget to take a picture of the December one, so I thought I'd share one that I received in December.  My pal for November and December was Laura.  In this one, you can see some of the items in the pockets. There is more that you can't see because they're behind the decorated pockets.  This one was very cute.  The little woodland animals are actually 3 dimensional.


Now, you might be thinking … OK … what would I do with these.  For me, they're inspiration.  The size is similar to an ATC (artist trading card), so it's like little bits of art.  The trinkets in the pouches can be used for card making and for scrapbooking.  If the embellishments are part of the design, you have a choice to make … you can either leave it as is and enjoy the design, or you can take the pieces off to use in your own projects.  For right now, I've been saving all the pages in a binder.  I really love these woodland animals, so some time in the future, I might take one or two off the pages.

and one more to show, which is super creative.  This one is from Diana.  This was part of the regular swap and she new I loved Diet Coke and Coke Zero, so the page was all Coke Zero - it is amazing.  I love it. 


The Pocket Letter Pal Craze

If you haven't heard, there's a new way to write to your pen pal.  It's called Pocket Letters. 

The concept was started by Janette Lane, and you can read more about it on her blog here.

Being a scrapbooker, card-maker, paper-crafter, it was an easy transition to joining in on the craze, and so with a few scrapbooking friends from the Hilltop Memories group, we started a swap.  We have a pal for a two month period, so we send a pocket letter page each month.  Natasha heads up the swap and gives us a theme to follow for the month.  I'm going to go back in time and share some of my pages, since it's been what I've been working on for the last few months.

The first month was September and it was to be an "about me" page

Sept pocket page

Then we did October in which the theme was Halloween/Fall.

October pocket page

The idea of the pocket page, is that you fill the little pockets with things for your pen pal, or in our case swap partner.  The original pocket pal pages that Janette Lane does, had a template where you would send washi tape, and stickers, tea, a letter for your pal, and a mail tag where you can ask your pal questions that they answer when they send back to you. 

For our group, it's more of a swap rather than letter writing.  You'd be surprised what you can fit in the pockets (which are only 2.5 x 3.5), but we make it work.  There's lots of scrapbooking stuff that fits, from stickers, to die cuts, plus embellishments like buttons, sequins, ribbon, washi tape, and then gift certificates fit pretty well.  Truth be told, I've been know to cheat (just a little), so some of the items I've sent didn't quite fit in the little pockets, but still when you folded the whole think in thirds it sort of fit ( wink wink).

29 years ago ….

I went on a blind date, and as they say the rest is history.

Way back when we bought our first home in Miami, we were not married. The sellers didn't really want to sell to an unmarried couple, so we ended up saying we were engaged to be married on February 7th (we were buying the house in May) which was actually the day we first met on a blind date. From that point on, we've celebrated that as our anniversary. It took a full 5 years before we actually did get married.

In Miami, it's difficult to get in for dinner on Valentines day like next week, so we just celebrate both our anniversary and Valentines Day on the 7th - that way we can have a no stress enjoyable dinner.

It's been awhile since we've had the Buick out.  By awhile, I mean at least 10 years.  We trailered it up to Central Florida about 4 years ago, and there it sat in the garage.  Last weekend after a little bit of work to get it running, we took it out to the Saturday night cruise-in in downtown Sanford.  The tires were squared but she got us there and back without issue.

Tonight we'll go out somewhere to celebrate.  Don't know where yet, but looking forward to it.



This is what we refer to as the "first date" car, and since the anniversary of our first date is February 7th, we wanted to take it out.  It is pretty much original.  The plating is original, and the paint was probably re-done sometime in the 60's.  That being said, it needs to be freshened up - but it did get a lot of people looking at it and asking questions.

It was a great night …  It was great to get the Buick back on the road - it is one of my favorites.

Quick Chili

It was on the cool side in Central Florida this past weekend, so I figured the cooler weather warranted some Chili.  I've made chili many times in the past, and my usual Chili is a turkey/black bean chili.  But this weekend, I wanted something that I could put together quickly, but still tasted pretty good.

This one I make uses seasoned canned beans - it's quick to fix and has the right amount of kick.


about 2 - 2.5 pounds ground chuck

2 cans Bush's Black Bean Fiesta Beans

2 cans Bush's Pinto's a  la Diabla

1 can Black Beans (I used Goya, but I prefer Kirby, but it's not readily available up here)

1 can Diced tomatoes

Chipotle Garlic McCormick Seasoning


Brown the ground beef, you can put some of the chipotle seasoning in now as well - drain and transfer to a 6 qt crock pot.

Add the canned beans - after draining off the obvious liquid - it doesn't have to be strained, but just pour off the liquid in the top of the can - otherwise the chili will be too liquidy.  Add the diced can of diced tomatoes (not drained), and some of the McCormick seasoning - how much is up to you - I'd start with a tablespoon and add from there.  Stir and cook on low for several hours so the flavors meld.

Below is a picture of the ingredients and the finished product.  The fiesta beans have some corn in it, and you end up with a mix of pinto and black beans.  The a la diabla beans have serrano peppers in it so it's pretty well spiced.  You can see that there is a pretty good proportion of beef to beans.  Makes about 8 good size portions.



{P}Inspired - Lobster Chowder

I've actually taken a little hiatus from Pinterest lately - mostly because once Halloween hits, life gets busy with Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I'm back pinning again - I love finding new recipes and crafts to try.

I've been noticing that one of my pins (click here for the pin) has been getting a lot of action lately.  It's a lobster chowder that is low carb, gluten free, and with some minor modifications dairy free. 

It was cold this past weekend, and I had lobster already on hand -- not a live lobster, but a frozen variety - wild caught, all natural, sustainable, from Maine.


so when it kept getting pinned, I figured I'd better try it.  

I did have to go to the liquor store and buy the Cointreau,  so I just bought one of those mini bottles that you get on an airplane.  The liquor store had a billion different mini bottles of alcohol, so I also bought a mini bottle of Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey. No … I'm not a bourbon drinker, but I have read the Stone Barrington novels by Stuart Woods, and it's one of the drinks Stone always orders - so bought it to try.  Haven't tried it yet, but will let you know when I do.  


About the chowder … since I didn't have live lobster, I substituted vegetable broth for the lobster broth.  For the almond milk, I only had 2 cups in stock, so used heavy cream for 1 of the cups.  Cauliflower is used instead of potatoes so that keeps it low carb.  One of those bags of precut raw cauliflower you find in the produce section is just about 2 cups.


My picture of it is not very pretty, but you get the idea.  It was pretty creamy and with the vanilla almond milk, and cointreau it had a very mild sweet taste - lobster has a sweet taste to it as well, so I expected that.  It was very tasty as is, but I think that next time, I will use a Chipotle Garlic Spice instead of just plain garlic powder.  I shook some on my bowl of chowder and it complemented it very well, and I do like spicy.

Now I need to go back to BJ's Warehouse Club to get some more of the lobster, so I can have a lobster roll (which is what I bought it for in the first place.

Sick Kitty

Our little girly kitty Mattie is sick.


We came home on Monday and she couldn't bear weight on her hind legs.  It's so sad to see her flopping as she tries to walk.  We called the vet immediately Monday night and since she had feeling, he said we could bring her in Tuesday, which we did first thing.  They did X-rays and labs, and so far haven't figured out what is going on - all they could say is that she was a little anemic, and had some signs of arthritis, but not significant to cause the problem - they also found she has a heart murmur.   We've got her on antibiotics as a precaution in case it is an infection, but still no real improvement.

Today, I've got to talk with the vet to see what our next course of action is.  Of course, I've been checking out the internet and will be asking some very specific questions to make sure they've checked all possibilities.   She's 12 years old, and even though she doesn't seem to be in pain, it's heartbreaking to watch her struggle.