Friday, February 28, 2014

Life is Good!

Life is good and that's exactly what I was thinking last Friday night.
Hubby and I decided to try out a new-to-us place, The Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery.
What a find!  This place was great all the way around!  

The atmosphere was awesome.  The people were happy and friendly and the service was great.
The food was amazing.  I had Guinness beef stew and every single bite...from the first to the last...was out of this world delicious!  Hubby had fish and chips like no other...the fish was huge and delicious.  And, of course, the beer...a Guinness and a Smithwick's (one of my new faves) were good too.
We even tried a whiskey and fell in love! It was Jameson Irish Whiskey 
and I wonder why we never had it before.  The flavors and texture are incredible!

There was a bachelorette party going on at the table next to us.  The owner took their picture and posted it on Facebook.  I heard that and thought it would be fun to comment on it and send good wishes.  A few minutes later, the restaurant Facebook page was up on the screen above the stage.
I noticed all the girls looking at their phones and looking around the restaurant trying to figure out who commented.  I gave them a little wave and they all started toasting with us.  Fun!

The night just kept getting better!  The McKintree Boys performed that night.
They were great!  They played Irish rock and folk songs.  It was a foot tappin', 
table slappin' good time!  We'll definitely be going back there!

We enjoyed ourselves so much that night and I thought about how glad I was that we go out and do stuff like this.  I can't imagine just sitting around at home all the time.  Life is so full of
great things to see and do.  It's a thrill to be out there experiencing it!  Life is good!

It's been another very busy week!  I started filling in again at that little antique store that I worked at last year.  I'll be doing that twice a week.  And, I'm still working on a big project that's I started about a month ago.  I'll be able to post about it in a few weeks (shhh!'s a secret until then).

Have a great weekend everyone!  :-)

I'll be drawing a winner for the Grow Your Blog Party Give-Away this weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Busy, Happy Life!

Life has been full and busy and wonderful around here!  I'd love to blog more about it but much of what's been going on has been busy-ness and preparations.  That's not always blog worthy.
However, some of the things we've been working on are definitely blog worthy.

One of those things occurred last daughter's junior harp recital.
She's been working for over a year on some of the pieces she performed.
And, we've been working for months on the details.

It took place on Saturday evening in a recital hall of the university she attends.
She did a spectacular job!  Her many, many hours of hard work and practice made her shine.

I was so happy for her about how it turned out and so proud of her.
She's never performed better or looked more beautiful!

The event was recorded and she's hoping to post it on YouTube
for everyone to see who wasn't able to attend.  I'll be sure to post a link when it's up.

I've been keeping up on my minimum five days per week workouts of running.
It gets tough sometimes and I've thought about figuring out another short term incentive
but my pace time improved this week and that feels really good.
I'm trying to keep with regular weight workouts too of at least once or twice a week.
And, whenever possible, I like to break it up with something different and extra fun like a hike or
bike ride.  Hubby and I went mountain biking on Valentine's Day morning.  :-)

Speaking of Valentine's Day....look what my sweet hubby gave me....

I was so excited when I opened the box!  I fell in love with this belt at Boot Barn last November.
Hubby and I were doing some boot shopping there a few weeks ago and I showed it to him and oogled over it.  He went back a couple days later and got the very last one...
which happened to be my size.  I'm normally not a glitzy type of person but I love this!
I think it's so pretty!  Hubby and I go line dancing sometimes and I think it'll be perfect for that.
I can't wait to wear it out on the town!  :-D

For those of you who've been following my blog and wondering how my husband's grandparents are doing....they're doing great!  Grandpa was moved to a place that could assist in his care around the clock.  He celebrated his 94th birthday while he was there.  He told us that he had a gift for all of us...that he was going to walk.  And, he did!  Here he is walking down the hall to his party...

He had lost so much weight that his pants weren't staying up.
So, my father-in-law held them up for him and stayed close by in case he needed assistance.
Amazing!  He hadn't walked in at least a month and we almost lost him weeks earlier.

He hadn't been eating much for weeks and weeks.  It was amazing that he survived that!
He literally lived off very little bits of juice and "Muscle Milk".  He had refused to eat.
But, just before his party, he had started eating a little bit of real food.
Some of his favorite foods were brought to the party and he couldn't wait to dig in.
He had a piece of shrimp cocktail in his hand before he was completely scooted up to the table!
He had some of my mother-in-law/his daughter's famous marinated mushrooms too.
And, of course, he had to have a beer!  He was one happy Grandpa!

Here's Grandpa and Grandma together that day.
Such an inspiring couple.  Married about 72 years and still very much in love.

They decided they needed to move closer to the family and bought a house here.
We got grandma moved in and that inspired grandpa so much that within a week he improved enough to go home!  Since then, he's gained over 20 pounds back and is feeling better and better.

I accomplished something this week that's been on my to-do list for a while.
I studied the California handgun safety booklet on Monday and took the test.
I got every single answer right...100%...and now have my handgun safety certificate!  Woot!
I've shot rifles before...even did some biathlons years ago.  That was SO much fun!
They weren't the cross country skiing type...they were run, shoot, run shoot, run.
We live in Southern California and there's not a lot of snow around here.
I wish they still had those races!  Anyway, I've been thinking it's time to get a handgun.
So, now I'm legal to buy one.  I plan to learn a lot about it and start going to a local shooting range.

I've been doing more knitting and crocheting lately.  Yay!  I finally found some patterns that I like.
I posted the mohair shawl last week.  I started knitting a hat too.  I'll post more about it when it's big enough to get a good look at it (it's made with sock yarn and size 2, it takes a while).

I've been working on some other exciting stuff and I'll post about it when I can.

Just one more week to enter my Grow Your Blog Party give-away.  How's the party been going for you?  My blog following grew a lot last year from the party but has hardly grown at all this year.
But, it's been fun to visit lots of blogs and hear from lots of new people.  :-)  The give-away is still on...every comment posted on my blog (comments left on Facebook don't count) for the month of February and every follower will be entered to win.  There's about a week left.
I'll pick a winner on March first!  :-)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pretty Pink Cloud

I've been eager to start a new crochet project.  I've been going through my stash and patterns, trying to find a perfect match that I'm excited about making.  I've tried a few different yarns and patterns but haven't been happy with any of them.  During another sleepless night last night, I got up and searched Ravelry again.  I decided to look through some of the projects of another Raveler who's talent and projects I admire.  It paid off!  She'd made a South Bay Shawlette with a fine and fuzzy yarn and the results were gorgeous.  Turns out I have some beautiful pink mohair just waiting to be used.  I pulled it out this morning and got started.  It was love at first sight!
Check out this pink, fuzzy, angelic, lacy cloud of wonderfulness...

I'm using a "G" size crochet hook and Crystal Palace Kid Merino yarn.
I've made a LOT of shawls with this pattern but with this yarn it has a totally new look.
I'm having so much fun with this!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ruffly Workout Reward

Remember the incentives I gave myself a few weeks ago to get back into a regular exercise routine?
The first reward was an exercise top for meeting my first week challenge.
For meeting my challenge the second week, I bought this pullover...

I couldn't resist the adorable ruffles on the front sides and on the back...

The sleeves are nice and long...just the way I like.  The back is a bit longer than the front.
That's really nice too.  And, it goes with my new exercise top!
Those challenges and rewards were a great way to get me going!

I didn't reward myself with anything this past week.  It felt so great just to meet my
challenges for three weeks in a row!  I ran/walked over 35 miles in those first three weeks.
My daughter came home from college over the weekend to teach music lessons and we went
for a trail run on Sunday to add a little extra fun to our workout routine.  It was great!

I'm on week four now and have two of my five day minimum workouts done!
I'm running more and more and walking less.  I give myself at least one longer distance day each week.  And, I'm hoping to bring my average pace time down.  My incentive now is a 5K in March!
Oh, yeah.....and, I still try to go to the gym at least twice a week with my hubby to lift weights.
Trying hard to keep it up!    Yeeeha!  :-D

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cozy Red Cowl

I finished up a cowl this last week with some cozy, squishy, soft, red yarn.
Just in time for Valentine's Day!

It's made with two skeins of Lion Brand Tweed Stripes yarn and size 13 needles.
The pattern was a freebie from the yarn shop I got the yarn from.
I cast on 145 stitches in the round and it's basically random width sections of purl or knit.
Simple and fun!

I absolutely love it doubled up.

And, oh so soft and warm!

The colors are close to accurate in the photos...reds, pinks, oranges.  Pretty!

I'll definitely be wearing it on Valentine's Day, if it's chilly enough.
It'll work great for chilly Fridays for R.E.D. (Remember Everyone Deployed).
And, any other chilly days that I want a pop of red and squishy softness around my neck.