February 28, 2022

A Few Recent Books I've Read (no spoilers)

I've been reading a lot lately, ever since I decided to quit trying to get through a book I wasn't interested in. It's a popular book ('Such a Quiet Place' by Megan Miranda), so I kept hoping it would get good. I made it through half of the book, but I just couldn't get interested in it and I basically quit reading because I just didn't feel like reading that book. I decided it's stupid to waste my time reading something that I'm not even enjoying--there are millions of books out there to read--so I just didn't finish.

I like to read on the treadmill; I just increase the font size on my Kindle a little and I can read it easily. I wish I had a tiny remote to turn the pages rather than tapping the screen, but it works just fine. And when I'm reading something really good, I have a much easier time talking myself into getting on the treadmill!

Anyway, I usually forget about books almost as soon as I'm done with them. I recently finished three, so I wanted to write down my (brief) thoughts about them before I forget.

'The Woman in Cabin 10' by Ruth Ware

This one is about a woman who goes on a business cruise ('cruise' is a loose term here; it's a very small ship that has about a dozen cabins). Her first night there, she thinks she hears a scream from the cabin next door and then something being dumped overboard; when she looks over the side, she believes it's a woman's body.

Naturally, she reports what she heard/saw, but nobody believes her because there wasn't anybody assigned to that cabin and nobody appears to be missing from the ship. She tries to piece together everything that happened that night so she can find the woman who was murdered.

I gave this book four stars. It definitely kept me guessing and each time I thought I was right, I discovered that it wasn't the answer. I didn't end up predicting the big twist, which is a good thing--I like it when I'm actually surprised. This one kept me turning pages quickly.

'My Darling Husband' by Kimberly Belle (mystery/suspense/thriller)

In late 2020 when I was walking five miles a day, I listened to a LOT of audiobooks. And I really liked Kimberly Belle--I listened to three of her books in a row: Stranger in the Lake, The Marriage Lie, and Dear Wife. So, I chose to read 'My Darling Husband' when I saw it was available in my library system.

It's about a well-known restaurant owner/celebrity chef that is in a ton of financial trouble. His wife doesn't know they are in debt or anything about all the people to which he owes money. His wife, 6-year old son, and 9-year old daughter are taken hostage inside of their home by a masked intruder. He is given instructions and does his best to carry them out. Meanwhile, his family is being held at gunpoint.

I actually started it yesterday and finished it today--I couldn't stop reading! I only gave it three stars, however, because I did predict the ending much earlier than I would have liked. And it was driving me crazy that the wife took so long to figure it out! It was written from the viewpoints of the husband, the wife, and the intruder; I love when books are written from multiple points of view.

'Final Girls' by Riley Sager (mystery/suspense/thriller)

I LOVED this book. I actually gave it five stars--which is extremely rare for me, especially for a suspense novel. I usually reserve five stars for books that are powerful enough to stick with me for a very long time. While this one wasn't "powerful" in that sense, I couldn't think of anything about it to criticize--I thought it was really good!

A "final girl" is basically a girl who avoids getting killed in the case of a mass murder--the only survivor when everyone around her is killed. The protagonist in 'Final Girls' is a "final girl"--ten years prior, she went to a cabin with her friends and everyone was killed, except for her. She was injured, but made it out alive, making her a "final girl". (As you may or may not know, I love slasher films/books, so this one sounded really good to me)

She connects with a couple of other final girls and is surprised when one of them shows up at her apartment, unannounced. They'd never met in person, but the timing wasn't coincidental; the third final girl in their trio recently took her own life. The protagonist invites the other girl to stay at her house so they can get to know each other, and as they learn more about what happened to their friend, things aren't adding up.

I'm not making this sound very interesting, but if I write too much, I'll give away possible spoilers. I put bits and pieces together throughout the book, but I couldn't figure out how everything worked until the "big twist" moment--and then all the pieces fit together so well. When I added it to Goodreads, I couldn't think of anything I'd change about the book, so I gave it five stars.

I just downloaded two books from the library that I'd had on hold: 'His & Hers' by Alice Feeney and 'Have You Seen Me?' by Kate White. 'His & Hers' was on hold for a while, so I'm going to start with that one.

First, though, I have to catch up on responsibilities since I spent half of yesterday and half of today reading! ;)

I keep forgetting to post the "random fact of the day"... here are the last two days'. I found both of these interesting!

February 27, 2022

The One Where Jerry and I Had 'The Giggles'

I was going to put this on Friday Night Photos, but it was too long to explain the story there. The funniest thing happened recently and Jerry and I were cracking up as we talked about it.

We've had Amazon Prime forever, and when you go into the app on the TV to watch something, it asks who is watching. Each family member has their own account so you can keep tabs with your own shows or whatever.

There are little icons for each person and on our other channels (Netflix, etc.) we were able to personalize them to be cute little pictures or characters from shows or something like that. Last week, I went into the Amazon Prime app and our account icons were all at the default (just the outline of a head and shoulders). I decided to see if I could change them.

It only took a second to realize that we could personalize them, so I set new ones for each of us. For mine, I chose a cartoon hippo because it had a lot of rolls and I just thought it would be funny. The perfect one for me.

I set some for the rest of the family that I thought they'd like and I didn't think about it again until a couple of days later when I went into the app.

My icon was a cat--a super cute icon, but I was confused. I was SURE I had picked the hippo! I couldn't remember what I picked for the rest of the family but it looked theirs were different than what I would have chosen, so I just assumed that Amazon must rotate them or something. Or maybe I changed mine to a cat; but I was absolutely positive that I had chosen the hippo. So, I changed it back to the hippo.

The next night, Jerry and I sat down to watch a movie together and when he opened the app, I mentioned that I gave us all new icons instead of the old default ones. He looked really confused.

Jerry: "Why is yours a hippo--you chose the hippo?!"

Me: "Yeah, I thought it was funny. And perfect for me!"

Jerry: "I saw that on there and I changed it to a cat."

Me: "I was wondering why it was different! I knew I didn't pick the cat. Why did you change it? I liked the hippo; that's why I picked it."

Jerry: "I thought Amazon picked out icons for all of us and when I saw that they gave you a hippo, I felt bad for you. Of all the people to get a hippo, why you?! So I changed it to a cat."

When we realized what happened, we both started laughing so hard until we wheezed. I was really surprised he thought I'd be offended if Amazon gave me a hippo icon (that would have been awesome, too). But I thought it was cute that he changed it "before I saw it" so that I wouldn't feel bad. 

When we were watching the movie, I was on one end of the couch and Jerry on the other. I was kind of slouched on my back and had my legs straight out across the couch, with my calves going across his lap and my feet sticking up on the armrest next to him. (That's hard to describe.)

After we were cracking up, Jerry totally had the giggles. We'd be quiet for a second and then he'd start laughing again. I was looking at the movie, but I noticed that Jerry was laughing so hard that you couldn't even hear it (you know how when you laugh really hard, you kind of lose your breath?). I could just see his belly and shoulders shaking and I realized he was still laughing.

He looked over at me, and his laughter turned to confusion. He looked from my feet back to my face and then a realization hit him.

Jerry (wiping the laughter tears from his face): "I've been dying laughing and each time I try to stop, I see your feet bouncing up and down and I think it's you laughing again, so it gets me going again. I just realized it's because your legs are across my stomach and when I laugh, it makes your feet bounce up and down."

This got both of us cracking up again.

I'm sure that the description of this isn't nearly as funny as it was in our minds when it was happening--but it was hilarious at the time. I love that after being together for 23 years, we can still laugh until we can't breathe!

February 26, 2022

Vegan Recipe Taste Test : Cauliflower Tacos

I have no idea what to call these posts--calling this a "vegan recipe experiment" didn't seem right last week. I'm not declaring myself vegan, but I am eating a vegan diet right now (and have been for the last five weeks), so I wanted to try out some new-to-me vegan recipes.

I'd prefer to make recipes that use everyday ingredients that I'm used to (if I have to google what it is, then I'm probably never going to buy it). So far, I've been using the same recipes I always use (like the ones I have on my Recipes page) but I alter a couple of ingredients to make it vegan. It's been really easy so far! And doing it this way makes it easy to cook for my family at the same time--I take out my portion before adding meat/dairy/etc for them.

I have literally never eaten so healthy in my life; and I didn't even intend for it to be that way! I have found that I don't really crave anything at all anymore, especially sweets. Out of the few times I did have a craving, it was gone within a few minutes. I think the only sweets-type thing I've had in the at least the last couple of weeks is a few Sour Patch Kids--I ate them and they weren't as good as I  remembered, so I didn't even eat a whole portion.

Anyway, Bronwyn (a blog reader) sent me a link to a vegan recipe she really likes: Cauliflower Tacos from Brand New Vegan. I LOVE cauliflower, so this interested me right away. I also liked that there weren't any "weird" ingredients.

I chose to top mine with homemade pico de gallo in lieu of cheese and sour cream (what I normally would have used). I LOVE this pico de gallo.

Here is how I make it:

1/2 cup chopped red onion
1-1/2 cups diced roma tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeƱo, minced
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

Just mix it all up in a bowl just before serving (if you do it too far in advance, it gets very wilted-looking and liquidy). Roma tomatoes work best because it's easy to get rid of the seeds; I had some small sweet tomatoes at home already, so I just used those this time.

For the cauliflower tacos, you basically use very finely chopped cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts for the texture; then add the spices for taco flavor. (You can find the whole recipe on Brand New Vegan.)

I put the cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts in the food processor separately, although I probably could have put them all together. I prepped this in the morning to make it easier when I was cooking taco meat for the family, so I didn't combine the ingredients until later.

I love taco seasoning and I always make my own--here is the recipe for that--but I wanted to try this recipe with the spices as-listed. So I followed the recipe as it's written. I stirred all of the ingredients together until everything was coated with the spices. 

Then spread it all out on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and put it in the oven. I set the timer and when it was time to pull it out, I immediately thought that I'd burned it. It looked really dark and and basically liked I'd cooked it until it was hard and crusty. Here is the before oven/after oven comparison:

When I moved it with a spoon, though, I was really surprised to find that it was soft and not at all burned. It was perfect! After stirring it together and putting it in a bowl, this is what it looked like:

(It wasn't nearly as dry as it looks!)

When I tasted it, I really liked it. The texture was great and the seasoning would have been great if there wasn't quite so much of it. I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of chili powder (and like I said, I love taco seasoning). I couldn't taste the individual ingredients, though--and I certainly wouldn't have guessed that it was cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts. It tasted like taco filling!

Jerry tried a spoonful of the filling and liked it (he agreed that the chili powder was a bit overwhelming, though). He said it wouldn't make any difference to him if I made that instead of meat (I'm not pushing him or the kids to eat vegan along with me; I just wanted them to taste it so they could see that vegan food doesn't have to be really "out there" weird food.

I made three hard tacos which used about half of the filling. For my tacos, I kept them simple: shell, filling, lettuce, and pico de gallo.

I know I'm probably the only person on the planet to say this, but I am NOT a fan of tacos. *gasp* By this, I just mean that I love the taste and texture of them, but they're impossible to eat without getting stuff everywhere. I prefer to make nachos or tostadas (or a taco bowl using rice instead of a shell) because you can get a bite of everything together without it falling in pieces. These were the first actual "tacos" I've had in probably a decade.

Before I announced that dinner was ready, I took two pieces of broken taco shells about the size of nachos and topped them with the cauliflower filling and then the ingredients that my kids like: lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and salsa. I gave one to each of the kids to try and tell me what they think (I didn't tell them the ingredients). Eli asked what it was, and I said it was a vegan taco filling. He made a face, but tried it anyway. His face relaxed as he chewed and he said, "Oh, it's actually not bad!" Noah said that he liked it, too.

Of course, they wanted to know what was in it. They were SHOCKED when I told them cauliflower, mushrooms, and walnuts. One food that my kids hate--and I mean absolutely *despise*--is mushrooms. They also don't like cauliflower. And I think the only time I've seen them eat walnuts is in cookies my dad makes. So I was very interested in their thoughts on this!

The looks on their faces were priceless when I told them the ingredients. They couldn't believe they just ate mushrooms, haha. I would never lie about what's in it in order to get them to eat it (it bothers me when people do that)--but I asked them to trust me. I told them that it's not meant to be a vegan "taco meat" but rather a taco filling.

I think that when meat eaters try something that is supposed to be a meat replica, they'll be disappointed. It's not meat, so it's not going to look, feel, or taste exactly like meat. It shouldn't be a direct comparison. If you think of it as a filling, it's just a different type of taco. There are beef tacos, chicken tacos, fish tacos... and this is just a vegan taco (or cauliflower taco, but you can't taste the cauliflower).

That said, I do think this is a good recipe for meat eaters to try. It doesn't have anything unusual in it and it tastes really good--like a taco! Even my mushroom- and cauliflower-hating boys liked it ;)

The only thing I'd do differently next time is to use less seasoning. I'll use my homemade seasoning and probably start with 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons. I'll also use nachos or tostadas instead of taco shells, but the main thing I was looking to try here was the filling. I'm really glad I made this!

February 25, 2022

Friday Night Photos

As promised, we got snow yesterday and through this morning. It wasn't a ton of snow but it was really icy and Jerry said the roads were bad on his way home from work. I got a call from the school at 5:30 saying that there was a two-hour delay, so I planned to drive Eli there late. Then at 8:00, I got another call that school was canceled due to road conditions. So, the kids had a snow day today--after having Monday and Tuesday off, they only had class twice this week!

I don't have a ton of pictures this week, despite it feeling like the longest week ever...

I had a horrible "PMS headache" for two and a half days straight--the whole area behind my eyes and into my temples was throbbing with the occasional stabbing pain. At times, I could barely lift my head; but it was only mild at other times because I was still able to get in my runs. (I've finally noticed that my headaches have a pattern, and there is such a thing as a PMS headache/migraine. I've been getting them for a couple of years now--really bad headaches--but I never realized the pattern until recently.)

Anyway, I had to go babysit Luke and Riley and I didn't want to cancel because Brian and Becky had an appointment. I laid on the couch for a little while before going over there. I was lying on my stomach when I felt a cat (Estelle) climb on me and settle down to sleep on my thighs. I carefully reached for my phone and then managed to get this picture--it was hard to position my phone so you could see where she was, but she was so content I felt bad to move her when it was time to go.

I headed over to Brian and Becky's and despite the headache, I really did have fun with the kids. Luke loves that I love his bedroom--when I was over there before, I laid on his bed to read him a book and his mattress was SO comfy. Combined with the stars (lights) on his ceiling and his essential oils diffuser, I could've stayed there all night. (I actually bought the same stars and a diffuser after babysitting that day! Here is the post.)

Now, whenever I see him, Luke likes to ask me "Do you love my bedroom? Do you think my bed is so comfortable? Did you get the stars on your ceiling because you love mine so much?" So cute!

The kids were jumping around way too fast for me to get a good picture...

Riley hates having her hair brushed (it's really long) but Becky always manages to make it look super cute with French braids or cute pigtails. Riley let me wash it (after much convincing I would be very gentle), but she didn't want me to brush it after her bath. It was tangled and it would have been a knotted mess if I didn't brush it. I didn't even want to attempt a French braid, so I VERY carefully pulled it back into a regular braid down her back--she didn't protest even once. It didn't look exceptionally cute, but it was comfortable for her.

The part that I thought was so funny, though, was when she saw it in the mirror. Her face lit up and she said it looks like she got a haircut and her has looks so short and she LOVES it! When I pulled her pajamas on over her head, she was really worried it messed up her "short hair". She wanted me to take a picture of the back to show her what it looked like.

My head was still throbbing when I left. I just wanted to get home and lie down and relax. Jerry had left for work shortly before I got home, and when I walked in, the house was super clean (thanks to him). I went in the bedroom to change clothes and I saw this on the little table next to the couch...

Jerry had stacked my computer, my Kindle Paperwhite, a tumbler of chewing ice, a little bowl of Sour Patch Kids, the TV remote and a little bowl of paper balls for Duck. I could lie down and not have to move all evening. It was super thoughtful! 

(I love that he included the balls for Duck. Duck always plays fetch in the mornings and the evenings--but he'll only fetch a balled up piece of paper. Occasionally, the balls will go under the couch or the stove or other places he can't get to, so I go through several of them each time we play.)

Speaking of Duck and his paper balls, my bed sometimes looks like this in the morning:

He goes around and finds them where he can and then brings them all up on my bed, haha. (The weird lighting is because of the "stars" on my ceiling.)

Jerry knows I love memes and occasionally he'll send me one that reminds him of me...

This one is so true and I hate that my kids don't love the things that I did! I get so excited to show them a movie that I used to love and I'm so sure they will love it, too. Nope! Haha. 

And this one... "What's for dinner?" is a question I get asked probably 17 times a day. My kids have even learned to try to rephrase it because they know how much I hate those three words. They'll ask, "Do you know what we're doing for dinner?" or "Do we have dinner plans?" Even when I tell them what's for dinner, it's like they don't actually hear what I tell them because they'll ask me again an hour later. And again when I'm actually cooking.

I have been forgetting to post the random fact of the day all week. None of them were super interesting to me, though, so that's probably why. But here are the last couple of days' random facts...

I was totally confused by this at first, because I couldn't imagine how you would turn on the heater and the A/C at the same time. I actually had to google it and then I learned what that A/C button in my car is for. I always wondered why it would be on sometimes, even in the winter. I had to scrape ice off my car this morning because I always forget to start my car early and let it defrost. It might be interesting to try doing this next time.

I actually found yesterday's Someecard pretty funny, because I can never find my phone. I miss a lot of my calls and texts because my phone is usually on silent and I never know where it is!

Have a great weekend! xo

February 24, 2022

Return to Running : Week 39

Like I said last week, I'm going to TRY to keep these posts relatively short. Since I'm following my 10K Training Plan for Beginners, which is extremely low-key, there is no reason to get into details analyzing all the numbers stuff I usually nerd out on.

WEEK 1, RUN 3 : Run 2 miles at an easy pace

I chose the treadmill (for all of my recent runs); maybe I'll start running outside soon, but for now I'm going through a treadmill phase. I like reading my book while running.

I switched to a new book and gave up on the previous; having a new (MUCH more interesting) book made the time go by a lot faster. (It was 'The Woman in Cabin 10', which I finished yesterday. Last night, I started Final Girls by Riley Sager.) I felt a lot better than the previous run. After taking a shower, I felt SO good--just happy to be running again.

Summary: 2.0 miles at a 12:00/mi average pace. Average heart rate: 147 bpm.

WEEK 1, RUN 4 : Long run (2.5 miles).

While 2.5 miles isn't exactly "long", these Sunday runs will be the ones that gradually increase in distance until I'm running 6 miles. I chose to run at 5.0 mph on the treadmill (my "easy pace") so this was just 30 minutes total. I feel good--nothing really to note, which is usually a good thing ;)

Summary: 2.5 miles at 12:00/mi average pace. Average heart rate: 147 bpm.

WEEK 2, RUN 1 : Tempo (10 min easy, 7 min at tempo, 10 min easy)

I was kind of nervous about this one for some reason. I had planned to run at 6.0 for the tempo portion, and it just seemed kind of miserable. Jerry said he was planning to run at 5.5 mph for that part because it's supposed to be "comfortably" hard. Not miserable. I realized he was right and I decided to do the 5.5 mph.

It didn't end up mattering. I felt AWFUL and I really should have just done an easy run instead, and saving the tempo for later. My anxiety has been terrible lately and on this particular day, my throat felt like it was closed and it was hard to breathe; my heart rate was at 130 bpm (this was before I even got on the treadmill!). My usual resting heart rate is about 60 bpm.

I knew right away I wasn't going to be able to do 6.0 and I wasn't even sure if I could manage 5.5. I pushed along, but the time was moving so slowly. It was a miserable run, and I know it's because of the anxiety.

(Interestingly--or probably not--the date was 2/22/22 and the amount of time I spent in heart rate zone 4 was 22:22. I haven't really been paying attention to heart rate zones recently, but that number caught my eye!)

Summary: 2.31 miles in 27:00 minutes. (10 min at 12:00/mi, 7 min at 11:00/mi, and 10 min at 12:00/mi. Average heart rate: 154 bpm.

WEEK 2, RUN 2 : Run 2 miles at an easy pace

Thankfully, this run was MUCH better! I started at 5.0 mph and I wondered if I accidentally pressed the 4.0 because it felt really easy. But no, it was at 5.0. Time never really passes quickly on the treadmill--there is only "slow" and "slower" and "total torture". But I am enjoying the 'Final Girls' book, so I was able to focus on that which helps to keep my heart rate down. (If I start thinking about my heart rate being high it usually climbs, so I try not to think about it.)

Summary: 2.0 miles at average pace of 12:00/mi. Average heart rate: 145 bpm.

So that was my week of running; three out of four good runs isn't bad! I did all of them in the morning, too, which is great. Usually I procrastinate until evening, and then I regret putting it off all day. The low-key, not-too-hard training plan is helpful in keeping me from procrastinating!

February 23, 2022

Wednesday Weigh-In : Week 39

What a week! (If you wonder why I always look like I'm laughing in my Wednesday Weigh-In photo, it's because the cats are all over the place trying to get my attention.)

After the "two steps forward, one step back" dance on the scale I've been doing for months now, I was hoping for a good weigh-in this week. Last week, I gained a couple of pounds. I've been starting to think a little bit about maintenance, since I'm getting fairly close to my goal weight. I never go into maintenance with a good plan, and this time I want to be prepared.

I'd like to get down to 133 pounds (my goal weight) but I'd be happy with under 144. The number 144 is the top of my BMI range; I know that the BMI chart is becoming obsolete because it doesn't factor in body fat, muscle mass, bone structure, etc., but I think the high of 144 is pretty accurate for my body. I think I look and feel my best in the low-130s, but when I get to the mid-140s is when I start to get uncomfortable in my own skin.

Anyway, I've been so close to the 140s milestone for weeks, but it's been very slow going. This week, I was thrilled when I stepped on the scale...

I was at 148.6! Last week, I was at 153.8; so I'm down 5 pounds this week (for a total of 48.4 in 39 weeks). Today's weight is the lowest I've seen since early 2018.

Once I saw my weight, I started thinking about clothes that I used to wear at that size, and I really couldn't remember. I saved a handful of my favorite jeans and shirts, but a couple of years ago I got rid of almost all of my "thin" clothes because I was just convinced I'd never be able to wear them again. (Including a lot of my running clothes and now I'm bummed about that!)

Since I've basically been living in nothing but black stretchy pants and hoodies ever since COVID came along, I haven't noticed much of a difference in my clothing as I've lost weight. When I was wearing jeans and more fitted tops every day, I noticed when I gained or lost weight.

Anyway, the last time I tried on the jeans I saved (probably about six pairs) was probably about 7-8 pounds ago, and I couldn't wear them. I said I would take them back out when I was in the 140s and try them on again. So, I took them out today and tried them on; I was shocked (in a good way) that I can fit into (and actually wear in public, haha) all but one pair.

In the "Wednesday Weigh-In" photo above, I was wearing one of my favorite pairs of jeans (that I haven't worn probably since we went to Boston in spring of 2018). Same with the shirt; I really liked that shirt for some reason, so I held onto it.

Remember these jeans that I "transformed" in November 2017? I couldn't bear to get rid of them; not only because I made them, but because they are super comfy. I was so excited when I could button and zip them easily today. (They aren't speckled with white--I just need to clean the mirror! Haha)

So, today was exciting for me on the weight loss front :)  Hoping for another good week!

February 22, 2022

Transformation Tuesday #60

Happy Transformation Tuesday! I've had a very long weekend--the kids were on "winter break" starting midday on Friday and they go back tomorrow. The weather was in the 50s today! Unfortunately, we're supposed to get snow again this week. That's Michigan for you!

Anyway, I have a couple of fun transformations from readers to share today... 

I've been making doll clothes for American Girl dolls for my granddaughters. I started out by buying fabric, but then realized I could get more fabric for my money by buying clothes at thrift stores. I'm really enjoying this because I had two boys and never got to have dolls around. Here are a few examples...

- Kim

Kim, these are AMAZING. At first glance, it looks like you bought doll clothes and dressed the dolls in them, but when you look at the size of the print on the clothes, you can see they are tiny little replicas. This is such a cute idea! I learned a long time ago how useful thrift stores can be for things like fabric (using clothes or bed sheets or even curtains) and zippers, buttons, buckles, etc. Your granddaughters are so lucky to have one-of-a-kind clothes for their dolls!  - Katie

I sent in my office transformation in August, so I wanted to send an update with the last piece of the "puzzle". I love jigsaw puzzles and though I’d combine that hobby with the need to decorate this office wall, so here it is! I’ve got a couple of spaces for new ones, and these just make me smile. It’s cheap, easy to hang and change, and makes me smile every time I walk in the office.

- Traci, Texas

Traci, what a fun idea! I LOVE jigsaw puzzles and I miss putting them together (my chronic pain issue makes it very difficult). I hope I'll be able to get back at it one day. I love the Texas puzzle! Using your puzzles to decorate was a great idea to liven up the wall.  - Katie

Thank you, Traci and Kim, for sending in your transformations! As always, I love seeing the transformation pics--there are so many different ways to transform all sorts of things. If you have a transformation to share, please do! Send a before photo and an after photo to me at: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. Make sure you include your name and a description of the transformation to share!

February 21, 2022

Teens Say the Darndest Things

This was a very fun post to put together! I didn't plan on turning this into a blog post, but it was so fun that I just had to share it. For those of you that are around my age or maybe a little older (I was born in 1982), you will find this nostalgic and probably hilarious.

Do you remember that show "Kids Say the Darndest Things" with Art Linkletter? Well, this is kind of like a version for today's teens. (Now I REALLY want to watch that show--I'm going to see if I can find it on YouTube when I'm done with this post!)

I saw these questions posted on Facebook and then I found myself asking my kids the questions and then I decided I had to write it all down. 

This is a list of questions that people who grew up in my generation would know the answers to right away. However, the fun in this is asking today's teenagers these questions! I asked Noah, Eli, and Eli's girlfriend "M". Noah was born in 2004, Eli in 2006, and I believe M was born in 2005.

I asked them each these questions and gave no hints or anything; I just wrote down exactly what they said. I told them they can't say, "I don't know"--they had to take a guess. And they did not hear each others' answers; I questioned them one at a time. So, I'll write out the questions and each of their answers afterward...

1. What is a Rolodex?
-Something like a watch
-A watch
-A watch

2. What is a Walkman?
-An MP3 player
-A thing to listen to music on; a portable music player
-A walkie-talkie

3. What are the yellow pages?
-Collections of phone numbers and businesses
-A phone book
-A phone book

4. What is a phone jack?
-Somewhere you plug a landline into
-The mount to a phone that you put on a wall?
-A phone on the wall

5. What’s a Trapper Keeper?
-Somewhere you can store notebooks and folders
-A binder for paper
-A binder

6. What is a crimper?
-Something for your hair
-To keep things together; like clamps.
-Something for your hair

7. What is a Hacky Sack?
-A sack that you kick around; a toy.
-A hobby kick-around thing; a round yarn ball
-A bean bag thing. Or is it one of those little tiny stuffed animals?

8. What is a boom box?
-An old school speaker
-A radio
-A radio thing that you take with you

9. What is an Atari?
-A game console
-A game device
-A video game thing

10. What is Tang?
-Either a shortened version of WuTang; or a sense of taste. Like tangy.
-A game
-Some type of make-up

11. What is a TV Guide?
-A scheduling for TV programs
-A TV manual for different channels
-A screen that shows you all the channels

12. What is a View Master?
-Something for TV
-You hold it to your face and click and it shows a picture
-A movie player

13. What is The Oregon Trail?
-A video game
-A video game
-A trade route

14. What was the minimum wage in 1980?

(I had to Google the answer to this, because I had no idea--it was $3.10)

15. What is a BonBon?
-A snack or treat
-Things that cheerleaders use in their hands
-Food; a pastry

16. What is a card catalog?
-A magazine
-A catalog for playing cards
-A card box

17. What is a Lite Brite?
-It sounds like a TV product
-You snap your fingers and turn on a light
-A night light

18. What is Teddy Ruxpin?
-A child's toy--a bear
-A person
-A famous person

19. What is Aqua Net?
-A net that goes in water
-A movie
-A net that goes in water

Isn't this so fun? I think my favorite answer was Eli's regarding BonBons: "Things that cheerleaders use in their hands" (obviously thinking of pom poms). Or the fact that none of them knew what Tang was.

Anyway, I thought some of you may want to ask your own kids the questions, so I typed out an easy copy + paste word document here. It never occurred to me that kids today might not know what a Rolodex is, or a phone jack, or even a card catalog!

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