Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Friday night, as soon as I stepped through the front door, I changed into grubbies and started cleaning my house.  Usually I would like to just sit down and unwind from the work week but with a busy weekend ahead I knew I had to change things up. Generally it takes me about 2 1/2 hours to do a basic cleaning (vs. a major scrub down) but when I asked Mr. Helen to bring the vacuum upstairs, he ended up doing all the vacuuming and then going to the Family Room and vacuuming there too.  Score!   So, an hour and a half later I was 99% done and relaxing.... ahhhh.   At the end of the weekend, I decided I should try to do this more often as I really enjoyed having time free of chores on Saturday and Sunday.

I spent a great deal of Saturday Mr. Helen focused.  He had his last pre-test before testing for his third degree belt in November.  It's a two hour check on skills that one should know for receiving their belt.  They started off with a 2 mile run, which he managed to do in around 17 minutes. I was all way to go! and he informed me that he had decided not to push it because his knee has been bothering him all week.  Alrighty then.  He did a great job performing his weapon and kata.  He's always very picky about his performance so I videoed him so that he could see just how well he did.

After the pretest we went home, he cleaned up then we went out for his football picks meal.  We went to a favorite place On The Waterfront because he wanted a giant burger.  I ended up getting a burger as well, but they really are so big I could not finish mine.  We were glad we went as early as we did because by the time we left - around 6:30 - the entire dining room and bar were completely filled and walk-ins were being turned away.

The obligatory Loser Shot

The new obligatory Winner Shot!
(which will be mine next week because I won the picks!)

On Sunday, because I'd gotten my housework and grocery shopping all done, the day was mine!  It was exciting to wake up knowing that I didn't 'have to' do anything if I didn't want to but that I had free time to do things I love.  Of course, you know I love to cook so I ended up spending the morning making a few things.  To start, I made these Bacon and Cheddar Scones.   If you want the recipe, just click on that link because I made them exactly like that.  Next time I will cut the dough into 10 pieces because these are monster scones -- although Mr. Helen really enjoyed their size.  These will definitely be made again.

Then I made some Chicken Cordon Bleu to eat at some point during the week.  No photo as it's not cooked off yet.

I also made the Pumpkin, Cranberry and Apple Baked Oatmeal that has been going around blogland. The sweetness of this is a switch up for me because I have been eating my oatmeal savoury for a long time.   Even if you don't like oatmeal you might want to give this recipe a try.  I didn't eat any until after it had cooled completely and it actually came out more like a bar.  I did reheat it and splash a little milk on top. 

Lastly, I put together this jambalaya to cook while I went out shopping. I used chicken breasts instead of thighs and smoked chicken sausage as my choice for that meat.  We had that for dinner and it was so delicious!  Again, this one is a keeper. (This is their photo because I forgot to take one.)

I love being productive in the kitchen.  I would say next to the beach, the kitchen is also a happy place for me.

When I went out shopping, I saw something that made me wish I had special power to teleport things.  I would have sent this candle straight to Lori!

I did manage to finally find the autumn scented candle that I've been wanting and believe it or not, I did not buy any shoes.

Once I got back home, the day was winding down and it was almost time for Mr. Helen to get home from work.  Before he did,  I went next door to meet my new neighbor.  I'd like you to meet her too.

My doggy by proxy - Ruby!

Is there any better way to have a pet when you don't really want to have a pet?  I think not.


  1. Oh my gosh: Ruby is so adorable!

    I have a day off every two weeks (I work 36 hours a week) on Friday and that's when I clean my house. I never do this on Saturday and Sunday because it's one of my least favorite things to do.

    Love it that you had time to spend some time in the kitchen yesterday. If I'm correct it's been a while since you've done that (or maybe just didn't mention it). I did it too yesterday and while I was doing it I thought of you, really! I made a quiche and breakfast crackers that fit in my new plan. It was fun to cook on Sunday afternoon.

    Have a great week Helen.

    Oh and ... I wouldn't sent that candle to Lori unless she promises to sent some roasted coffee beans your way (and while you're at it Lori: don't forget to mail mine LOL ) :)

  2. Boy~ You have busy weekends for sure! I love when I get the work out of the 1st thing and then allow myself the weekend to relax and have it all over with.

    Congrats on being a winner of the football picks!

  3. Great idea to get the chores out of the way on Friday! I may do the same thing. :D

    That's why we like each other so much - the kitchen is both of our happy places!

    And glad that you liked the baked oatmeal - my Mom still didn't think it was sweet enough and ended up pouring agave nectar on it - ew!

    Happy Monday!

  4. I am LOLing over here at the expression on the woman's face behind you in the "loser" picture - like "what the hell is going on and why is that man taking my picture?!?" - you guys gave her something to talk about, for sure!!!

    Even though Bobby won last week, it sounds like both of you won with that restaurant! Still, congrats on winning this week's picks - where you gonna go?

    I can't do food-scented candles as all I end up wanting to do is EAT. Same for lotion and body wash, with the exception of coconut. Then, I just want to go to Hawaii. :)

  5. Oh, RUBY! How could I forget Ruby?!? (get me talking about food, that's how!)

    What a sweet sweet pup. She is so cute! I'm so happy that you got a proxy-puppy!

  6. You and me was cooking together Saturday morning! Those scones look and sound delicious!

    And Ruby is a doll. I think that's the closest I'll ever come to a puppy--a proxy puppy! Adult dogs are the way for me to go from now on I think!

  7. You paced in a lot of chores and fun stuff over the weekend. Cooking and baking are so relaxing for me and the time just flies by when I am in the kitchen.

    I am going to check out those scones as they might be something my kids would like to have for their dashboard breakfast picks! I made that oatmeal last week too and we really liked it although my hubby had a piece warmed up and a-la-mode because he thought it was dessert!

    Ruby is adorable - I enjoy my friends pets but don't want the work for myself! Taking care of my family is enough responsibility right now.

  8. Hi Helen. Sounds like a great weekend. OMG, Ruby is SOOOOOO cute!!!! Is she a boxer? Yay on the football picks. Have a GREAT Monday.

  9. Puppies are just so durn cute!! I love to pick them up and cuddle them (even though I don't think I would ever get one).

    I feel like I am now totally identified by candy corn LOL! Not quite sure what that says...

    Bravo on winning the picks again this week :D

  10. late to this but loving the RUBY none the less.

    We stick to one team here (steelers) and we both stick to picking WIN :) so it's pretty mundane when it comes to football season :)

  11. Ruby is adorable.
    I love how busy you were, but it was a good busy, love those good busies.

  12. I love when you fill us in on your weekends. Always an inspiring blend of productivity and relaxation. Someday I will find the right mix of that too. :)