My Weight Loss Journey – Weeks 65 – 72

Wow! It’s been almost two months since I last posted my weight loss progress. Honestly, you all haven’t missed much. As I expected, since passing the 100 pounds lost mark, my weight loss has slowed considerably, and it seems to fluctuate more now with stress, and hormones, but I’m still gradually heading towards my ultimate goal.

The last time I posted, I was at 179.9 pounds. I won’t bore you with the details of the past couple of months, except to say that I’m still on track. I do find that I have a few more fluctuations from week to week now than I did, but I’m still moving (albeit slowly) in the right direction, so I’m very happy with my progress. I’m now at 172.5 pounds, and I’ve lost a grand total of 113.5 pounds!

This past week has been a bit of a struggle, because after the heatwave we had a couple of weeks ago, my refrigerator decided it was time to give up. It’s working for the time being, but I’m waiting for my landlord to order a replacement. They say it should be here sometime this week, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t completely die before then. In the meantime, I’m trying to keep groceries to a minimum so that if it does quit again, I don’t lose a lot of perishable food.

I haven’t been experimenting much with recipes lately due to the heat, however yesterday I did make some delicious grilled chicken breast. The recipe for the marinade I made up is below.

Maple Marinade
1 tbsp avocado (or other) oil
1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp Clubhouse La Grille – Maple Bacon seasoning

Mix all together and pour over 2 chicken breasts (I used boneless, skinless breasts). Refrigerate the chicken breasts over the course of the day, turning every couple of hours.

I grilled my chicken breasts for about 15 minutes on my George Foreman grill because I live in an apartment, and can’t have a barbecue on my balcony. Otherwise, I think these would have been delicious on the barbecue!

Maple Grilled Chicken

I served my chicken breast with some baked asparagus for a nice light dinner.

Ocean Waves Afghan

Way, way back in February, while I was on my crochet cruise my friend (and coworker), Brigitte, and her family, looked after Truffles for me. Now, this was a big deal, because although her family had cats in the past, they had never had a dog in the house and weren’t sure what to expect. Add to that the fact that he has the Yorkie stubbornness against being completely house trained, and I wasn’t sure how things would go. Happily, he did just fine, and minded his manners while I was gone.

Before I left, I was trying to think of something I could give the family to thank them for taking him in and looking after him. After taking him for a visit to meet them for a few hours a few weeks prior to my trip, I decided to make an afghan, and since their living room was painted in a lovely grey, I decided to go with an afghan in shades of grey.

It took me a while to get it finished, but I thought it turned out great. I gifted it to Brigitte a few weeks ago, and she tells me it suits their living room very well. This is the Ocean Waves afghan made with Caron Big Cakes, in Salt and Pepper

2018.07.15.OceanWavesAfghan (1 of 1)

I even made a little tie for it and tied it up in a neat little package for gifting.

Ocean Waves Afghan

Now I’m off to do a little more crochet!

I Finally Hung My Tea Shelf!

As some of you may know (if you were around at Christmas for the 24 days of tea posts that I did), I love tea. So much that my blog has tea in its name, even though my tea posts are fairly few and far between.

About a year ago, a lady from near my old hometown posted a photo on her Facebook business page, Dragonfly Handmade, showing a shelf she had made for her daughter’s David’s Tea collection. Now, my collection of David’s Tea looked to be about the same size, so I contacted her and commissioned a shelf.

I picked the shelf up last July, and it has been sitting in my apartment, gathering dust (seriously….it had a couple of cobwebs on it) until last weekend. My kitchen has gradually been getting more and more cluttered, and last weekend I finally decided that enough was enough. I spent the entire weekend cleaning, reorganizing, and moving furniture around.

I’ve been wanting to get rid of my old portable dishwasher for quite a while now as it no longer works and was just taking up a ton of space in my kitchen, so I finally dragged it down to the recycling/large garbage item area in the parking garage. I moved my bakers racks out of the kitchen, moved a cabinet out of my spare bedroom to the front hallway to store all of my small appliances (there isn’t room in the kitchen), and moved the cabinet I made when I had space to do woodworking to my kitchen so that I had a bit more counter space. And I finally, finally hung my tea shelf!

My Kitchen

My kitchen has probably never been so organized, and it feels larger without the bakers racks, and dishwasher taking up space. I still have a few things sitting on the counter tops, apartments just never have enough kitchen cabinets in my opinion. Still, it looks 100% better than it did, and I’m loving my shelf and the fact that I can actually see all of my teas! No more searching for the tea I want, or refilling types I don’t need because I can’t easily see what’s in stock. I’m so happy.

Next, my plan is to organize my entertainment armoire. How in the world do all those wires get so tangled when they never move?

Fantastic Bake Along – Maple Nut Scones

Hello everyone! I’m back for another Fantastic Bake Along post! I’ve really been missing blogging over the past month, but I have been so busy with work that when I have had down time, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on my computer and write. I hope things slow down a bit soon…at least to the point that I’m not working after hours, and on weekends to stay caught up. But that’s enough of that, on to the real purpose for this post!

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see this week’s bake along recipe. I love, love, love scones. (There really aren’t enough loves in there, I could live on them if they weren’t so bad for me.) And with maple syrup? Yum! Thank you Tracy at It’s a T-Sweets Day! for choosing this recipe, and hosting the Fantastic Bake Along. You can find the full, unaltered recipe here at Deliciously Yum!

This is me all excited to make my scones, and also excited because, since losing weight my apron fits! I have a love of aprons, and for the longest time I couldn’t tie them in the back because I had gained so much weight. This is one of my more recent finds, and I’m so happy that I can use it!

Ready to bake

 

As usual I made a few alterations to the recipe, so I will list my ingredients below. I followed the rest of the directions from the original recipe, so you can check them out at the link.

Maple Nut Scones

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • skim milk added to the yogurt to make 3/4 cup total (whisk together until smooth)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or maple extract
  • 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into pieces

Note that I replaced the heavy cream with yogurt and skim milk, and I omitted the salt from the original recipe because I used salted butter.

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp skim milk
  • 25 grams icing sugar

I mixed a very small amount of glaze because I did not want a lot added to each of the scones (after all I am doing the Weight Watchers thing), plus I knew I would probably freeze most of the scones, and didn’t want to add the glaze before freezing them. My glaze was on the thin side, but still very good.

I was very careful, as the recipe warned, and made sure not to overmix the dough before shaping it. I put it into the oven, and waited for the yummy smell to permeate my apartment. It wasn’t long before I was practically drooling, and when they came out of the oven I could hardly wait for them to cool!

Fresh from the Oven

While the scones cooled, I cooked some eggs in my Instant Pot, mixed up my glaze, and steeped a pot of tea. By the time I was done that, and the clean up in my kitchen, the scones had cooled, and I topped one with a thin drizzle of glaze, and topped it with 3 grams of chopped walnuts (because I was out of pecans).

The perfect breakfast

I am glad that I made the glaze a little thinner, because I found it extremely sweet. In this case, a little goes a very long way.  I have made quite a few scone recipes over the years, but these were the lightest, flakiest scones I’ve ever had! They were amazing! So amazing I had to freeze the rest immediately so that I wouldn’t be tempted to gobble them up! Served with a pot of tea, they were the perfect with breakfast, but so sweet with the glaze, that they would easily make a nice dessert (maybe with a few berries on the side).

Be sure to check out the baking results of this month’s other participants below!

If you’re a scone lover, I highly recommend giving these a try!

 

 

WIP Wednesday – Winged Columns Shawl

I finally have a work in progress entry to share with you all. I actually started this shawl way back just before I left for my cruise in February. This was the project I took along to work on while on the plane, and at the hotel while we were gathering with the other people from the Crochet Crowd group.

Winter Warmers, Crochet! Magazine

The pattern is from a magazine, Winter Warmers by Crochet! magazine, which I picked up last fall sometime. It has quite a few patterns that I loved, but I’m a sucker for shawls, and this one seemed perfect for what I wanted.

The original pattern is done in a worsted weight, in a solid colour, but I chose to make mine using Mary Maxim Prism in the colourway Island Breeze (which is a discontinued, at least here in Canada). Prism is a self-striping, acrylic, and if you haven’t used it, it is very similar to Red Heart Unforgettable. It is a roving yarn, so there are thin and thick spots, and it can be difficult to work with (more on that below), but I have never been disappointed in a project I’ve completed with either Prism or Unforgettable.

Winged Columns Shawl

Both Prism, and Unforgettable can be difficult to work with, because the yarn is a bit fuzzy, so frogging can be painful if you aren’t careful. I say frogging is painful, but not impossible, as I proved with this particular project after having to rip out almost half of the first half of the shawl when I realized that after packing it up to return home, I picked up the wrong hook to continue with once I was home. I just took my time, and slowly pulled my stitches out, and wound the yarn into a ball, to prevent a massive headache afterward.

Winged Columns Shawl

This shawl is worked from a center chain, completing one side, then joining to the original chain and stitching the other side. Just this weekend I finally finished re-doing the portion of the shawl that I ripped out, and started on the second half.  You can see that center chain of green starting near the top right of the photo above.

I’m not sure why this colourway was named Island Breeze. It really does not remind me of an island…I’m not really sure what it reminds me of to be truthful. When I first started this project with it, I wasn’t sure about the colour combination, but it has grown on me as the project got larger. Now I love it, although I think I may have a hard time finding something to wear it with…maybe the purple dress I bought while I was on my cruise.

What do you think? And what have you been working on this week?