Brownie Fail

This week there has only been one workout that I have fit in, well one and a half.

My friend is coming to town for the weekend, she is actually getting to our place this evening while we are both at work.  So the week was spent getting ready for company and getting my list all “done” before the weekend.  The weekend usually holds a lot of my chores like laundry and changing bedding.  Friday’s are my usual stop at the dry cleaner to pick up last week’s items and drop off this weeks.  But who wants to do that stuff when company is in town.

I got all of those items checked off by the time I left for work today.  Including picking up some favorites from the Thai restaurant to be at the house tonight.  I also made some of the keto brownies I first made this Summer.  Luckily I was busy doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom and changing the humming bird feeders before heading to the store.

I was able to cut out the brownies and tasted a corner and I had forgotten the sweetener.  They were so gross.  I mean they are flourless and sugar free so they are not normal brownies anyway, but so so gross.  I tossed them in the garbage and when I was at the store and picking up the Thai I also picked up some more baking chocolate to try again.

I didn’t taste these but I do hope they are better then the first batch.  The photo is the brownies in the garbage and the second batch packaged up for company.

Three day weekend ahead, chores done, friend in town and lots of things planned.


Summer weather means grilling

Our weather has been so hot.  Last week was near 100 every day so we finally cleaned the filters in our window AC units and turned them on.  Opening up the house every morning to get some fresh air through until 10:00 a.m or so when the outside is no longer cooler then the house.

We don’t have central air, but we have a very small 700 square foot house so a unit in the kitchen, one in the office and one in the bedroom means we can have them on for the room we are in or all three at once and they meet in the middle and cool it pretty quickly.

It also means just about everything I cook except breakfast has been on the grill.  Just this weekend was a chicken, sweet potatoes, salmon and spaghetti squash.  Thing is I think this is the absolute best way to cook that squash now.  Luckily LA means I can generally grill every day except the four days in February when it rains.

I’m kidding, it rains more than that…..I’m pretty sure.

Summer also means early morning weeding.  Because really after 10:00 a.m. there is just no use.  Sunday morning I had to be up for work at 6:15 to turn to the next shift.  I had left my work clothes out and went outside and weeded for several hours before it was just too darn hot.  I also had to be back on line for work at 2:30 and that ended up being pretty much a full shift.  I was so glad I got something done in the morning.

Oh and there is yet another kitten.  My brother just took the three ferals to the shelter for us and one we had never seen before shows up.  My theory is that with all four nursing the momma was producing milk, once it was down to just this one she stopped so it had to come for kibble.  It is super skittish.  I can’t even get close.  I tried with treats and a rope toy and went around the shed back and forth it would dash the other way.  I’m sure it was quite comical.  Either way, we now need to catch this one and hope the mysterious 5th kitten never shows up.



One of those days…

or one of THOSE days.

I set my alarm for early.  I needed to be up and bake cupcakes before it got to hot.

I make cupcakes for every co-workers birthday and so this bake was planned.  But then the company I work for decided that every office needed to have a potluck for team building.  You know spend your own time and money and energy when directed to build comrade in the office.  This meant some of us had to be to work an hour early to to this. (I think most in our office were just a bit put off because we already do a potluck at Christmas time, one our own, and are not “told” to do it.)

I made double batch of cupcakes and had the oven turned off by 8:30 a.m.  The day was stacked after that.  I made us breakfast, cleaned up from the bake and breakfast. Made frosting, boxed and frosted the cupcakes. Cleaned up from that.  Made chicken for Lori in the afternoon (who is sick and probably not eating it).  Made myself a salad for dinner.  Also put together a lunch as I knew nothing at the “potluck” I would want to eat.  I went out to get us tea and found my car was broken into.* Got ready for work and left to get to the office an hour early.  Transporting frosted cupcakes in 100 degree weather was challenging but it all worked out well.

I ate my lunch (leftover gazpacho) while everyone had sandwiches,  cupcakes and an ice cream sundae bar in our “you will have a potluck and (I don’t know) like each other” and then started my shift.  Our northern office covered during the event and we will cover for them next week in their forced social event.

*So the car, good news is no broken window, no damage at all.  I went out and found the drivers door not quite closed.  My heart jumped and I looked in to see the glove box open as was the center console.  Since I keep very little if anything in my car there wasn’t much to go through.  The gloves and few maps were in the seat, nothing else removed from the glove box.  The center console had the tray in the seat and the Excedrin bottle in the seat but nothing missing.  The only thing missing was a very expensive pair of Maui Jim sunglasses that I didn’t actually buy, they were a gift from Vicki as she got them as swag from work.  But still a bummer as they were fantastic glasses and retail at about $300 bucks.  (I would never actually spend that on sunglasses.)  As I type this I wonder if they took my phone charger and I didn’t notice.  But luckily its an extra one if they did that and I rarely every use it.

I had gotten home at 12:00 a.m. from work and usually I take my briefcase out of the back and hit the button to close it.  I then hit the lock/alarm button about the time I get to the door and it has finished closing.  I am assuming based on no damage that I left it unlocked and someone was just walking by checking door handles.  Good thing that everything I keep in the car would fit in a sandwich bag.

Oh well, this day is over.  Tomorrow is a rare middle of the week day off to go to a show.  More on that after the fact.



Change, Change, Cancel, Change

and lots of cooking

We had plans on Saturday to go out to the girls house for a visit and the “auntie-do-list” of things like fixing a leaky drain and moving some items and doors around.

Well we changed that to next weekend because a co-worker of Lori’s and his wife were coming over.  I was going to cook everyone lunch and he and Lori were going to discuss the garden and some changes.

Friday I made a lovely gazpacho for the next day as the first course and the second change of the weekend came.  Their dog may have injured her back so co-workers wife would not be coming as she was going to stay with the dog. Guess I didn’t need to make as much salmon as I had purchased.

Saturday morning after I finished with breakfast I prepped the salmon and carrots for later and made a watermelon, lime and mint salad.  As I put it in the fridge Lori got a call and the dog needed emergency surgery and neither would be coming.

Sadly it was 11am and to late to go out to the girls but an empty calendar and a fridge full of food.

Lori has a horrid cold so her having a down day wasn’t a bad thing.  We left a voicemail for Kathi to see if she was available for dinner.  Lori and I ate the soup and watermelon salad for lunch and I trimmed a tree in the back yard and did things like laundry.

In the evening just as I put the carrots on the grill to cook we heard back from Kathi and she came over and we had dinner and someone to help us eat the food I made.  Salmon and carrots on the grill, nearly everything cooked on the grill this week because its too hot to put on the oven.

We sat outside and played with the three kittens that will be going to the shelter at some point this week.

I made the other half of the salmon on Sunday and more salad.  Left overs galore but at least they are yummy and all Whole30 compliant.


Keto Brownies

I make cupcakes for each of my co-workers birthdays.  Well there are two birthdays between this weekend and next Wednesday.  So today instead of making my friend “C” cupcakes I made her Keto Brownies because she has been on Keto for several months now.

This recipe I got off the internet so I have no claims to it and in fact give credit to Elana Amsterdam. 

So zero flour and zero sugar!  Nice and moist.  I think I will mix walnuts mixed in prior to baking next time.


She was thrilled!

Florence Round Up

It has been a packed few days here in Florence. We got in from our crazy day of travel, took a quick nap, showered and met up with the group for dinner. The group totals 14 people total. Ten total that are sketching.

The first full day we had both a 2 which ended up being 3 hour walking tour with a FABULOUS guide, She walked us around and talked about Florence history in an awesome both historical and cultural way. Her voice wasn’t super loud and she also repeated the different points from just about every spot we stopped. But the result from her pointing out how the Medici family both moved through the city and were the banking and political dynasty of Florence. In the ways she pointed back to the spot we just were and repeated herself it really tied everything together. I was struck with at the end and how many times I heard similar stories that they were familiar in that I actually knew these things kind of way.

After the walking tour we were on our own for several hours. Walking around and seeing some sites. Some in the group far more energetic and checking all the things off their list. We ended up with another nap because we were still recouping from the days travel.

That night the group walked to a cooking class. This was when the groups dynamic really came through and this will be a great group too travel with. We all had so much fun and then all sat down to enjoy the four course dinner WE HAD MADE.

Yesterday we started with the sketching class, the hotel has a lovely little courtyard and the perspective I ended up drawing was of our room. I have a photo looking down from the room from the day we got here.

Once we drew for a few hours we had some choices. Before meeting the group at the Galleria dell ‘Accademia where David is on display. Lori and I headed out to get some lunch and site see. Lunch started with Prosecco and some fabulous food. We went from there to the Museum of Natural History and then the botanical Garden of the same. The prosecco, the heat, the quiet garden equaled another quick nap on the lovely bench. One napping while the other sketched or read. It was divine.

Then off to meat the group again. We had reserved tickets and once in we split up and enjoyed the museum on our own.

Today we are leaving for Siena after breakfast and the sketching class. We are already packed and ready for today’s adventure.

Best Weekend.

What constitutes a great weekend?  Fun at the beach with friends.  Walk on the beach alone.  Going to a movie, a play, your childs recital?

What about a weekend at home, with no agenda?  This weekend was the only weekend for months on the calendar that had a completely empty day.  Saturday.  We left the house briefly in the morning and got tea and a quick run to Lowes.  But then it was a day at home.

I. Cleaned. House.  I had a very productive day and one that I loved.  Lori worked and I interrupted her quite a bit.  But I also dusted everything I could find included all four ceiling fans and frames on the wall and door casings.  I also took down the living room curtains and washed all eight panels and hung them back up.  Washing two at a time and no drying needed.  They hang in the very sunny window and dried generally before the next set when up next to them.  I cooked yummy meals.  I vacuumed, changed bedding, sorted and tossed lots of things that “do not spark joy” any longer.

One would think with a day with nothing on the calendar I would curl up with a book or something but by the end of yesterday I felt as though things were nearly back in order.

Today we drove out to Murrieta to sign the final escrow paperwork.  A drive we gave ourselves two and a half hours for and it took barely one.  The drive home we went through the Cleveland national forest and although it took a lot longer it was a beautiful drive.

By the time we got home I was able to make some frosting for cupcakes I’m making tomorrow and get the bathroom scrubbed.  Made a super easy yet yummy dinner and feel quite accomplished.

Now all that is left is finishing the laundry so I can pack for a business trip.  Tomorrow I’ll pack to go to Palo Alto early on Tuesday morning, returning on Friday.  But at least I’m leaving Lori with a clean house and a fridge full of yummy food.