Monday, June 29, 2015

In a Fog

This morning I took my car in for maintenance. So while I waited for it to be done, I used a loaner car to run errands. Don asked me to pick up some "reducers" at the Mentor Lumber Liquidators store, so I obliged. In case you didn't know, reducers have to do with laying a wood floor. They are about 8 feet long and are very difficult to fit in your car.

I had been to the Lumber Liquidators store last summer to pick up reducers for Don. I was familiar with the store. When I walked in, I noticed that since last summer, they moved the counter to the other side of the showroom.

At the counter, I told the man I was there to pick up some reducers. He gave me a strange look, then asked me if someone called to let me know they were in. I said yes... this morning... it should be under the name Don Richards. After two men looked through all the orders behind the desk, they asked to see my receipt. It was then that they let me know my order was in the building next door.

 I looked around and realized I was surrounded by outdoor gas grills and fireplaces. I was not in Lumber Liquidators. I was in a store called Embers Custom Fireplace.

When I went next door, the counter was on the same side of the showroom as it was last summer.

This isn't the first time the fog phenomenon has happened to me. In 2009, I was meeting Daniel and Peter at the Macedonia Chick-fil-A after school for dinner. When I arrived, I could not find them. I called Daniel's cell phone. He said they were there. I looked around and realized I was in the Golden Corral restaurant next door.

Then there was the time I arrived at what I thought was a baby shower for Nancy's daughter-in-law Lindsey, and after putting my gift down on the gift table, the hostess informed me I was really at a bridal shower for a girl named Megan.

I worry about myself sometimes.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Taupe Less Beach

Don jokes that my favorite color is taupe. I'm always picking out taupe shades for paint colors. Just what is taupe, anyway? According to, taupe is "a moderate to dark brownish gray, sometimes slightly tinged with purple, yellow or green." It doesn't sound very appealing when described that way.

So my new favorite nail polish color happens to be a taupe tinged with purple. It's an OPI brand called Taupe Less Beach. It's from their Brazil collection. I hear there are lots of taupe less beaches there.

Kendall got me started on this color when we were getting our manicures in Colorado. We had to go single file since there was only one manicurist on duty that day. I had my usual darker taupe tinged with brown color picked out when I saw the color being painted on Kendall's nails. It was this beautiful taupe tinged with purple color. I switched immediately.

I think this is my favorite color yet. It makes me want to vacation in Brazil.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Why Mess with a Good Thing?

On Tuesday, I spent the afternoon in Middlefield with my friend Cheryl. We went to Mary Yoder's Amish Kitchen for lunch, stopped at Middlefield Cheese, and rummaged through a new consignment thrift shop called Picker's Heaven.

Inside Picker's Heaven, I found a treasure I could not pass up. It was a lively orange bowl just right for crab dip. If only Heinen's hadn't changed its crab dip recipe, I would be in heaven.  I bought the bowl anyway.

About Heinen's crab dip...I'd been buying this dip for 25 years. It was my go to appetizer on the fly. It was the best. Then they had to go and change the recipe. It is now so terrible tasting that Don thought it had spoiled.

I've complained to three different Heinen's stores, but nothing seems to be happening to get the old crab dip back.

Now I've just decided to make my own crab dip, especially since I found this bowl and a recipe that looks promising.

From ThePinterTestKitchen:

Cold Crab Dip

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
3 T. minced fresh chives or green onions
2 T. parsley
1 T. prepared horseradish
4 t. fresh lemon juice
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 pound fresh lump crab meat, picked free of shells

Mix all ingredients together, adding the crab meat last and stirring gently.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dashing Dish

Today is Weigh In Wednesday. That week went fast!

I'm still trying to find healthy breakfast meals that keep me full all morning long. So far oatmeal has been my favorite.

Becky reminded me today of a website I found several months ago. It is written by Katie Farrell. The name of her blog is Dashing Dish. I have her book Devotions for a Healthier You. Katie also has a recipe book called Dashing Dish.

The Dashing Dish website contains many breakfast ideas that look delicious.

This week I lost one pound. Total pounds lost: 1

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Protector

Sometimes I feel for Riley. His job is not an easy one. He spends every hour of the day protecting me. He will not let anyone near the house without alerting me to the danger. He must know where I am at every moment or he is frantic.

And when I go into the bathroom and close the door, he plops down with his back against it until I turn the knob to come out. I know he is there because his hair splays out under the door.

Even though at times his presence is annoying, I don't know what I'd do without him.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to a dad who never says no 
to adventure!

Daniel and his dad

Peter and and his dad

Katherine and her dad

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Weigh in Wednesday

I need to get serious folks. No more messing around. There's too much to lose, especially around my middle.

Every Wednesday, I'm going to weigh in. I won't tell you how much I weigh, but I will tell you how much the scale budged. It needs to budge downward - never upward. You are my accountability partners.

Also, each Wednesday, I will post a tip on how to work toward downward budging scales. Here is my first tip:

A couple of months ago, I purchased two small, plastic relish tray dishes at the Dollar Store. Today, I cut up vegetables and fruits I had on hand and put them on the pretty trays. These will be my go-to snacks for the next several days. They look so appetizing I won't be able to resist them.

This is the vegetable tray.

This is the fruit tray.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How Do I Smell?

Every time I change my clothes, Riley comes up to me and takes a sniff. Then he knows what I'm going to do. Don't ask what this says about me.

For example, if I put on my workout clothes, he knows we are either going for a walk or I am going to leave the house and go to the gym. After his initial sniff, he looks at me with hopeful eyes and waits for me to ask him the question, "do you want to go for a walk?" If I don't say those words, he knows I am going to leave him at home and workout.

If I put my bike shorts on, he takes a sniff and he knows I am not going to take him for a walk. He turns away and sulks. He knows I'm going to get on my bike.

If I put dress clothes on, he sniffs and immediately curls up in a ball. He doesn't even look at me with hopeful eyes.

How does he know? I guess I smell...or better yet, my clothes do.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Andrew Got Married

Ten years ago, Andrew was just a boy hanging out in my kitchen, goofing off with Daniel.

Last summer, he got engaged to a beautiful young lady named Carolyn.

 Last night, they were married!

His parents (Becky and Dirk) holding in the tears.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Good For You Breakfast

Here is an excellent breakfast bowl that keeps me full for four hours. I could eat this for lunch or dinner too. It tastes so good and has lots of fiber.

Start by measuring 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats into a microwave-safe bowl.

Cover the oats with water from the sink and microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes.

Scoop out about 1 T. almond or peanut butter.

Plop that right on top of the cooked oats.

Measure out 1/4 cup of your favorite granola (make sure it doesn't have much sugar in it).

Sprinkle the granola on top to give it some crunch.

Finally, top it with some blueberries (or any fruit you like) and dig in! So good!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CAVS in the Championship

I don't watch sports on TV...usually. But when it gets this exiting, I'm all in (at least until 11:00). On Sunday, I went to bed just when the game went into overtime. It was partly because I was tired and partly because it was too stressful for me. I found out the next day on Facebook who the winner was.

On Tuesday, I went to bed at 11:00 when the Cavs went from a 20 point lead to about a 2 point lead. When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I asked Don was - who won? Then I looked at Facebook and saw everyone's posts about the game.

My friend Lisa Johnson was hysterical. Here are her posts from throughout the night:

I'm All In!












I think that about sums up the game.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Five Years

Guess what today is!

Life with Riley is five years old.

On June 9, 2010 I wrote my first blog post. It was the story of how Peter and I made corn hole bags for his corn hole game and how I made my prom dress and the suit my prom date wore my senior year in high school.

That was the start of it all. From there I just kept writing and writing and writing.

Now I have 1,275 blog posts under my belt. How can someone write that many posts? The crazy thing is that I have rarely planned ahead for my posts. I keep telling myself I need to set up a blog editorial calendar so I know ahead of time what I'm going to write about, but it never happens.

Each day, I try to think of something to write. Sometimes my brain is empty and I don't write anything. It gets harder and harder to come up with ideas. I think I've written about everything.

The Google statistics for my blog say that I've had 53,440 page views on my blog. I don't know how accurate that is. The most popular blog post so far has been Pam's Fashion Show which had 72 page views alone. I think she drummed up business for me.

I want to thank all of my faithful followers for reading Life with Riley. It keeps me thinking and writing. I don't want to disappoint anyone. I try not to go more than three days without a post or Pam gets after me.

We will see if I can write for five more years. With Riley by my side, I guess I'll never run out of material.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Dumping My Brain

I feel so much better since I dumped the contents of my brain onto a lined pad of paper. Now I don't have to try to remember it any more. It is all here in black and white.

I made a list of every errand I need to run, every project I need to complete, every loose idea I have, and everything I need to do on my computer. I guess it is sort of a master to do list. It is many pages long.

Now all I have to do is enter my brain dump into Wunderlist. I'll prioritize the list and sort it into errands, projects, computer work, etc.

Having all these things out of my brain is going to help me sleep better tonight!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Easy Fajitas

This is a very quick, easy dinner that you can have on hand in your freezer and pantry all year long. With three ingredients, you can have fajitas in 10 minutes:

Trader Joe's Just Grilled Chicken Strips

Trader Joes Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions

Fajita style tortillas

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil. 

Pour the bag of chicken in, cover and cook on medium heat until warmed through. 

Add bag of peppers & onions. Continue cooking until everything is heated. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Warm tortillas in microwave.

If you like additional ingredients, go ahead and add them: rice, black beans, chopped tomato, cheese.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Boot Covers

Are you always struggling to find the perfect gift for the germaphobe in your life? Well look no further.

Carolyn has a stress fracture and has to have her foot in a boot for six weeks. I asked her if I could help in any way (make food? clean house? run errands?). She had all that covered.

What she really needed was something to put over her boot to keep germs from being tracked throughout the house. You can't take your boot off at the door.

Germs really bother Carolyn, so I said I would try to come up with something. She suggested using a pillowcase as a start.

I thought the pillowcase was too big, so I just made my own boot covers from scrap fabric I had on hand.

These boot covers are just like the shoe covers one wears in the operating room or when the service man comes to your door and slips them on over his shoes so as not to track dirt on the carpet -- only they are much larger to accommodate the boot.

I'm taking orders.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cleveland Crisp

The other day I picked up some lettuce from Marc's (2 for $3.00). I just needed some lettuce and this container looked fresh and it said it was crisp.

I don't think I'll ever buy a different lettuce ever again. Will you believe me if I tell you I've been having dreams about this lettuce? I could eat this lettuce all day long.

What is unusual about this lettuce is that it is really crisp and crunchy. I hate floppy lettuce.

The best thing about it besides the fact that it is crisp is it is grown right here in Cleveland without pesticides by Green City Growers.
My container said it was grown for Marc's, but the website says you can also get it at Miles Farmers Market.

They have other varieties of lettuce which I haven't tried (butter lettuce, leaf lettuce, mixed greens).

Next time you are at Marc's, give it a try!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Social Print Studio

I found a great website for creating photo collages. It's called Social Print Studio.  I needed something for one of the walls in my living room, and since we have sort of a bike trip theme going in there, I made a 20 x 30 photo collage from our first four bike trips. The cost of the print was $25, then I purchased a half-off frame from Michael's. Don is about to hang it. I think it will look very nice in there.

Social Print Studio does all kinds of photo printing. You can get square prints, photo strips, photo books, cards, t-shirts, magnets, collages, giant photo strips and much more.

I think their prices are pretty reasonable, and my poster came within a couple of days.

Highly recommend them!