It’s a good day

First, it’s our 15th anniversary. That’s a big deal, yeah? Multiple of 5?

George got me a new Apple Watch, which is very exciting since my last one broke in January. And he got Apple Care on it so if it happens again I can get it fixed! 😀

Look how pretty! The only problem is now my steps are being counted again. I mean, there wasn’t any point in doing them if they weren’t being counted, right?

I can’t tell you what I got George but I will tell you tomorrow. And I can guarantee he will like it. Maybe.

The other good thing about today is that the boys went back to school. Of course it’s also a little bit anxiety inducing, but I just hope everyone stays healthy. At least they’ll get to see some friends for a little bit. That’s good for them.

And of course they didn’t even try on their uniforms until yesterday (even though I’ve been asking them to for weeks) and I now have a pile of about 12 pairs of shorts and 12 shirts that no longer fit, some of which I bought in February. Sigh. So I will now be doing laundry every night until the uniforms I ordered last night get here.

PS The Zyia activewear party I’m hosting is still active! You can order here or join it on FB.

Schitt’s Creek and stretchy clothes

For the past few months, my friend Mary Catherine has been selling these workout clothes as a little side gig. I like to support my friends (and I like new leggings for riding my Peloton) so I agreed to host a Zyia party over on Facebook. But my condition was that of course it had to be Schitt’s Creek themed.

There are actually a lot of gifs that work for this, it was fun finding them.

Alexis running…
David doing squats…
Patrick and Stevie dancing…
And some hiking!

So if you’re interested in checking it out, join us over on Facebook!

And if you just want to peruse the catalog and skip all the fun gifs (and Facebook), you can go straight to the source and just shop from the Zyia website.

P.S. I have a pair of the leggings and they really are very soft and high waisted (which I like) and comfy.

Yet another butternut squash recipe

I don’t post a lot of recipes, but you can bet if I do, it’s going to involve butternut squash. (See here, here, and here.)

A few years ago, I went to Meril for lunch with some work people, and I had this amazing salad. I think they called it a salad. I don’t know if I would call it a salad. But I’m not going to get into some weird argument about what makes a salad. Let’s just call it a bowl, okay?

Anyway, it was so delicious that I recreated it at home the very next day, posted about it on Instagram, and them promptly forgot about it.

A couple of days ago I suddenly remembered it, and I decided yesterday it was the perfect comfort food for a distressing, anxiety-filled day. And I wasn’t wrong.

Roasted Veggie and Other Stuff Salad or Bowl

There. That’s a descriptive name. Also catchy.

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash (like, say, a medium one. The one I got was GINORMOUS and I only used about 2/3 of it.)
  • Brussels sprouts (like, a pound, maybe? Or more? I wish I’d had more.)
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper for roasting
  • Chopped walnuts (maybe half a cup?)
  • Blue cheese (just get a small chunk. a little goes a long way.)
  • Green grapes (probably a cup or so would do. get those really nice firm seedless ones.)
  • Steen’s Cane Vinaigrette (recipe here)

I recognize that if you don’t live in Louisiana, perhaps Steen’s Cane Vinegar isn’t as easy to procure as it was for me. I’ll bet if you used balsamic vinegar instead you’d be fine. The recipe makes two cups. I used about half in the salad, so you can make this delicious meal again next week!

Directions:

  1. Look, I’m not going to tell you how to roast butternut squash and brussels sprouts. Cut the squash into 1″ cubes (or better yet, buy them already cut) and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 45 minutes or so. Do the same with the sprouts, but cut them in half after you cut off the bit at the bottom, but I don’t know, maybe that’s optional, but I always cut it off. The sprouts definitely cook faster, I think they came out after 30 minutes? I dunno. Make sure they’re cooked through but not burned. I shouldn’t have to tell you this. (I put them on two cookie sheets but cooked them together.)
  2. Make the dressing while the roasting is happening.
  3. Toast the walnuts in a hot pan (just a few minutes, you don’t want to burn them!)
  4. Put the warm veggies in a big bowl, and top them with the dressing. Cover the bowl and let it all sit together for a while to soak up everything and cool off a bit.
  5. Throw in the walnuts whenever.
  6. Wait til everything is closer to room temp before you crumble the blue cheese over it. You don’t want it melting.
  7. Quarter the grapes and toss ’em in.

The end! I mean, it’s easy, but not quick, really. But soooo worth it. This would be a fabulous side for Thanksgiving.

Here’s the bowl I had for dinner last night. Tastes better than it looks, I promise!

Good stuff.

Good things

My sourdough starter is thriving. I decided it was time to name it. Introducing…

Moira Doughs

Well, you just have to wait for me to bake something. I made popovers last night.

Sleep meditations

I have a hard time falling asleep. Or I did, until I started doing sleep meditations at bedtime. It’s magic, I swear! Instead of my mind racing, I actually fall asleep, usually before the 5 or 10 minute meditation is over. I use the meditations from the Peloton app as well as the Ten Percent app (which my company pays for, which is extremely generous of them.)

Talented friends

My friend Zandy is doing this Inktober thing where she has a prompt every day to draw something. Last week, she drew Ziggy! (The inspiration pic is here.)

Making everyone I know watch Schitt’s Creek

I’ve forced strongly recommended that my coworkers watch it, and at least one was very skeptical and by the end he was, and I quote, “chopping onions.” I am here to spread the joy! Look, I get it. It took me like six months to watch the first season. But then I powered through season 2, and by season 3 I was all in. And now I have these.

If you haven’t watched it yet, and you like to laugh, and you like to have some joy in your life, just do yourself a favor and watch it already. You won’t regret it. It’s exactly what you need in these trying times. All six seasons are on Netflix, you really have no excuse.

Well this won’t do

Over two weeks since my last post. So this will be a random collection of thoughts and whatnot.

I still can’t watch anything but Schitt’s Creek. Well, okay, I watched the Emmys last night, but only the first hour, after SC won everything. That was delightful.

We evacuated to my mom’s for a non-hurricane. I think packing up all our stuff for a few days was enough to throw Sally off course. But on the bright side, we got some Grandee and Larry time! (Or Grandee and Larry got some us time!)

I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of a new dishwasher. Did we need a new dishwasher? I mean, our current one works, but it sucks. I am very excited about a third rack. It is definitely not Samsung.

Ziggy is still really cute.

I splurged on the fabric I really wanted for my coat, so I guess I’m making another one! Well, not the same pattern. And I think I’m really going to make a cape.

This made me giggle,

and then this did too.

Work is good. We’re hiring Happiness Engineers again, which means lots of work for me, but that’s not a bad thing, especially since I have more people to help me now. I am very grateful for my team at work and everyone I work with. But a few more hours in the day wouldn’t hurt.

I have been stress shopping a bit. Got a Vabroom, which is fun but naturally not as useful as one might hope.

I have also been dreaming about remodeling downstairs, but that’s just because a friend of mine is getting a new kitchen. Well. A girl can dream, right?

This might have been the most boring post I have ever written. Officially. My bad.

Sewing project: Chilton Trench

Work has been very busy lately, and it’s only going to get busier for the foreseeable future, so I decided to take this week off to get a bit of a mental break while I can. Of course, after I made the decision, hurricanes started barrelling towards us, which makes for a less than relaxing break, but we have been very fortunate with neither of the storms hitting New Orleans.

Anyway, since I knew I wasn’t going to spend my week off traveling (HA) I decided I needed to tackle a complicated sewing project. (I probably should have tackled cleaning my house, but that’s no fun.) Anyway, I’ve done a bathing suit, so not that. How about a coat? I’ve made the Pona jacket before, but it’s unlined. I mean a real winter(y I mean this is Louisiana after all) coat!

After looking at a million patterns, I decided on the Cashmerette Chilton Trench. I didn’t necessarily want a trench coat, but I couldn’t find any other patterns I like better so, why not? I knew the instructions would be excellent.

I really would have loved to make this out of wool or a wool blend with a luxurious satin lining, but in the end that would have been cost-prohibitive, considering the amount of fabric this coat requires. At least not for my first time out. And I couldn’t find what I really wanted anyway. So I decided to go with a plum herringbone cotton flannel from Joann’s. It’s a lot nicer than you might expect and only $10/yard (before the inevitable coupons.) And then I went with a dark teal matte satin for the inside. (Same price.) Once I bought the fabric, buttons, shoulderpads, and interfacing, I’d already spent $100, and it probably would have been double that for wool. Maybe next time!

I calculated I spent about 20 hours working on this (or four seasons of Schitt’s Creek.) About four hours cutting out pattern pieces and fabric, and then the rest sewing. And at least one of those hours was fretting over putting the sleeves in backwards (put one in upside down somehow at one point) and how to fix the hem/lining situation. (If I’m being honest, I’m still trying to figure that one out.)

Like I said, the instructions are very thorough and well-written, so just by taking it one step at at time, I was able to get through it. I have to thank David, Alexis, Moira, and Johnny for keeping me company throughout this journey.

And now pics!

Some various full length shots. Belted! Unbelted! Open! The back! With ill-advised purple shoes! And lots of loose threads I realize now I should have removed but oh well!

And now some detail shots like the pockets, the epaulettes, the chest shield (what?), the sleeve belts (trench coats are weird), and the beautiful lining. Love the colors here!

So now I just need the temp to drop at least 20 degrees so I can wear it. It won’t be warm enough on its own if the temp drops super low but that doesn’t happen very often anyway. And it’s roomy enough to layer underneath.

Bring on fall!

First day of 7th grade!

I don’t need to tell you, it sure looked different from years past!

Can you guess who wore the new shirt?

And their classrooms:

They’re all in the same class this year to make life a bit easier and safer, if they do end up back in a real classroom. I guess we’ll see.

And for reference, here they are on the first day at their school, 9 years ago.

Random Tuesday post

I took part in a blogging workshop at work today, and now I am feeling inspired to post.

So let’s see, what have we been up to?

Haircuts!

The boys finally got real haircuts (first time since February or so) and now I feel okay about getting one. We went to a salon owned by the mom of one of their classmates, and everyone was masked and spread out, and it felt fine.

But even more exciting is that I am getting a haircut tomorrow! Mine hasn’t been cut since last September. Of course it was supposed to be cut in March for St. Baldrick’s but that didn’t happen, and it’s been rescheduled twice but as of now it won’t happen until next year and I canNOT wait that long.

I wanted to take a picture of my hair looking as long as possible for a Facebook post so I could get feedback on how much to get cut off tomorrow, and well, that backfired. I had to blowdry it and use a hot brush and a flat iron and a curling iron just to get it looking decent enough to share, and the feedback was largely “just a trim!”

I mean, first of all, thanks for the compliments but you know I never wear my hair down, it’s too much work and it’s too hot. And it’s a nightmare to wash. And it’s so heavy it gives me tension headaches. So I will probably go shoulder length.

My hair after making it look nice:

IMG_7735.JPG

If I just let it airdry:

Blog — Pankhurst & Deane

So yeah. Not great. Also I had to wear sunglasses because I forgot I put mascara on yesterday for a school meet and greet and taking it off is more trouble than it’s worth. But also I’m v glam.

In other news, remember how I mentioned that I was making a sourdough starter? Well, it worked! I’m kind of intimidated by it but I used this recipe sorta* to make a loaf of bread yesterday and by golly it worked**!

*This recipe had like forty gajillion steps and I was required to do something like every half hour for an ENTIRE day and I’m sorry, no bread is worth that, so I just like, let my mixer knead it for a while and called that a win. Also I took it out about 20 minutes sooner than the recipe said because it was about to scorch.

**I mean, it was tasty, but it was a very wet dough, maybe because I skipped the half-hourly folding or whattheheckever but it resulted in having to use a lot of flour at the shaping phase so there was a line of flour in the middle.

School starts on Thursday (at home) and I have three desks all set up for the boys. I just got a box of uniforms in the mail that I ordered when there was a sale over the summer in a fit of optimism, so I will definitely make them wear them for a picture. We joked about walking over to the bus stop at 7am but that would just make us all cry.

I took next week off work. Not for any reason except if I don’t do it now, it might be a while before I can. So I’m going to tackle a big sewing project. My motivation to sew has been pretty low lately, but maybe this will help! I’m making a Cashmerette Chilton trench in this plum herringbone flannel with a dark teal satin lining. It’ll definitely keep me busy!

Do I want to make the short or long version? Who knows?

And to close the post, Linus’s snowball before it turned into brown minty-fruity sludge.

IMG_7705