Hello and happy weekend!
It’s time for this week’s Seven for Saturday so let’s get started!
1 ~ Blogging Balance
My mind has been on our recent trip this week and I’ve been engrossed in sorting through our thousands of travel photos and planning future blog posts. After a solid year of little activity here on the blog after our Wine Country wild fires, it feels awesome to be excited and inspired to blog regularly again.
However, I am also back to lots of sitting which is not something I missed during my absence from blogging. I want and need to make sure I create and maintain balance of being productive on the blog and moving my body. So when I sit down to write or edit photos, I set my phone’s timer for 20 minutes.
When the timer goes off, I get up and go do something for 10 or so minutes, usually some sort of housework and sometimes a good stretch on the Pilates reformer.
My hope is this becomes a habit. Right now, I often resist standing up when I get on a roll – 5 more minutes turns into 45 more minutes. Not good! Do you try to avoid sitting too long as well?
2 ~ Working on My Waistline
The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of travel which means lots of wonderful foods and drinks. After all, isn’t one of the joys of traveling trying the local cuisine? I admit I do more than just “try” foods and that, along with being middle aged, has caused weight gain.
Since returning home from our dream trip, I have been eating more veggies, drinking homemade green juices daily, banning sugar, starches and grains. I also workout at least 4 times per week in our home gym. My efforts are working but at an annoyingly slooooow pace. I think my metabolism packed her bags one day a few years ago and decided to never return.
Cooking at home helps me have more control over what I eat. One of my favorite easy dishes is Broccoli Rabe, Garlic and Sausage One Pot Meal. I’ve been making it for years and can’t recall if I made this up myself or I saw it somewhere on a blog or a cooking show.
It’s so simple and delicious I just had to share it with you. It’s ideal for this time of year when most of us want comfort foods. And broccoli rabe is in season so it’s not $6 a bunch for a change!
Here’s what you do: fry up some good quality sausage in a dutch oven. I used a local Sonoma County brand, Panizzera Meat Co.. Their Italian Sausage with White Wine is so flavorful! I used one package of 4 links.
Once the sausage was almost done browning, I added 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. Add more if you love garlic or leave it out if you don’t.
Turn down the heat right before you stir in the garlic so it doesn’t burn. While the garlic and sausage continue cooking on low, wash and trim the bottoms of 1 big or 2 small bunches of broccoli rabe, then cut the stalks into thirds. Put all the rabe into the dutch oven with the garlic and sausage and give it a stir.
Increase the temperature a bit – to medium – and cover almost all the way to let the rabe cook. Leave an opening to let air in, otherwise your sausage will get mushy.
Wait for the rabe to cook – stirring a couple more times – then when it’s done, serve it in a bowl. That is it! No seasonings, not even salt, is needed. If you like spicy, add some red pepper flakes.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can use a meatless sausage.
3 ~ Daisy
Thank you to the commenters who left such useful information about kidney disease in dogs. It’s given me hope for sure! Daisy is now on medication and prescription dog food made for dog’s with kidney disease, which she loves. We chose to give her wet food rather than kibble so she gets a little extra hydration.
Her energy is high, in between her many naps – and she seems to be feeling good. Her appetite is great and she’s sometimes playful. Not bad for a 14-year-old!
4 ~ Favorite New Pants
When shopping for clothes for our recent trip to Europe, I came across these pants at Ann Taylor. I am very tall – 6’2″ – and only shop for pants at retailers who carry “talls” in their collections. Thankfully, Ann Taylor is one of those retailers.
These ponte pants were my go-to on the ship. I wore them multiple times, usually with some kind of tunic and a pair of flats. I love that they pull on (lots of give for all that eating I did on the ship!), they don’t wrinkle and they’re so soft and comfortable.
I like them so much, I bought another pair in black plus one in dark navy. Last time I checked they were on sale!
5 ~ Chic Cork Jewelry
When wine tasting in Sonoma and Napa Valleys, you will often see cork accessories – jewelry, belts, bags – for sale at winery gift shops. I’ve never seen any cork fashions that I would wear until Sonoma Wine Life started making the prettiest earrings out of cork!
Sheila Jane is a wine country influencer and blogger, wine lover, talented writer and photographer. She can add stylish jewelry designer to her list of skills!
When I saw her products on Facebook, I quickly clicked over to see her collection. Soon, I selected 4 pairs of earrings to purchase. Sheila Jane was so sweet to deliver them to me when I told her I wanted to show them to you today. They make great gifts for your stylish wine loving friends or for you!
I appreciate how lightweight they are, having given up heavy earrings many years ago, and the neutral tone of the cork means they go with pretty much any outfit.
I adore all 5 pairs – Sheila gifted me an additional pair – but the big rose gold toned hoops with fringed cork are my favorite. I just love them! 😍
Visit Shelia Jane’s Sonoma Wine Life Shop here. Her prices are reasonable, her products are top quality and handmade, and you’re supporting a small, female-owned business when you purchase from her!
6 ~ Going Green
I started using evanhealy skin care exclusively last March and haven’t had the desire or need to use any other brand since. When they restocked their Green Tea Clay Mask, I quickly hopped online and bought a jar. This mask is exfoliating and cleansing, just what my skin needs right now. It also draws out blackheads and other toxins.
It’s a gradual exfoliation, which I think is better for your skin than a rough scrub or strong peel. Initially, my skin felt so smooth and soft. As the week wears on, I notice a bit of flaking and roughness which means I am shedding old skin cells – yay! I am careful to moisturize frequently and use one of my evanhealy HydroSouls throughout the day during this process.
Evanhealy is offering customers 20% storewide right now, through December 21st. Their prices are increasing after the sale so it’s a great time to stock up!
7 ~ Road Trip
We are headed to California’s Central Coast soon to visit Bill’s son and his wife who live in San Luis Obispo. They won’t be coming here for Christmas this year as they will be traveling over the holidays so we decided to go to them!
We love the Central Coast! I’m looking forward to beach walks, a little holiday shopping and perhaps a visit to Hearst Castle. What do you like to do when visiting the Central Coast?
Have a great weekend!