Blogging For Books, Melting Pot

Book Review

Zen Camera by David Ulrich

I found the premise of this book interesting. It is meant to help guide you to develop your unique style and self expression through photography.

I love photography, but with big life changes and challenges, it’s fallen to the back burner and I haven’t been able to devote nearly as much time to it as I used to, and frankly I just don’t enjoy it like I once did. I had hoped this book might help get me back into the swing of things. I wanted to love it, but it fell short of my expectations.

There are some good nuggets of wisdom hidden throughout the chapters and some of the exercises suggested are compelling enough, but as a whole the book is much too verbose. I expected it to be more of a guided journal type of book, with more exercises and actual tasks to complete, but it’s essentially a very wordy sharing of the author’s opinions and a few ideas for you to try out thrown in for good measure.

I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.

Melting Pot, No Filter Friday

No Filter Friday

The one thing that bothers me is the handle on the smallest fry pan doesn’t match the rest of the set. WHY? I’m OCD about things matching, so this drives me bonkers!

Well I finally got myself a new set of cookware! It’s not the set I had been eyeing back in Pittsburgh before I moved – that set seems to have been a unicorn as I’ve never found that exact set in any other stores or online, not even on the manufacturer’s web site. Very odd indeed. But anyway the set I did end up getting is from that same brand, and is a turquoise color that coordinates nicely with my KitchenAid mixer which is the appliance I’m building the colors in my kitchen around. Having items from numerous brands means nothing actually matches – even within the KitchenAid brand the items with the same color don’t match exactly – but as long as I can stick with the general light turquoise/aqua color theme, I’m good.

Anyway I really shouldn’t have spent the money, this I know… but I really really wanted some good cookware. I have a small mish-mash of things I’ve been using but with literally only a handful of pots and pans I’ve often found myself feeling frustrated with the limited options I have had to work with. The set I picked up this week is an 18 piece set that includes a decent variety of sizes of pots and fry pans with lids, all of which will work very nicely for my needs; a steamer basket, two baking pans, and four heat-resistant plastic utensils. The sets were $60 (+ tax) and they had initially had about 20 in this color available but when I was last at the store there were just 3 sets left. I stood there for a solid five minutes debating, trying hard to talk myself OUT of spending the money. But I ended up talking myself IN to the purchase instead. I justified it by considering the baking pans which as y’all may recall I mentioned not all that long ago I still use my grandma’s bakeware and it’s so old and worn at this point it truly needs replaced, the inclusion of the steamer basket to help me make cooking fresh veggies a bit easier, and I had $10 saved up on Savings Catcher which no isn’t a lot (I’ve redeemed small amounts numerous times and larger amounts a couple times so had been working on trying to save up again) but I figured if I used thatย  I could consider that $10 “off” the price of the set and $50 for 18 pieces of pretty new cookware, bakeware, and a couple utensils to use with them… *shrug* I can find a way to justify damn near anything, a skill that’s sometimes good but usually bad… ^^’

I have only cooked with the new pans a couple times as of now, but so far I am super pleased with my purchase! I made some pancakes for breakfast this morning and without putting any butter or oil in the pan, none of them stuck to the pan at all. This is fascinating to me as my past experiences with other non-stick pans has been that especially for something like pancakes you still need to use a bit of butter or oil and even then stuff would still sometimes stick. To not use any butter or oil at all, and not have problems with the pancakes sticking, is amazing to me.

Anyway I’m off, I’ve got some cleaning up to tackle. I hope y’all have a great weekend!

Until next time. xoxo

Whatever Wednesday

Whatever Wednesday

Had a customer yesterday who I would be thrilled to NEVER see again. Long story short, without getting into the details, we will leave it at he felt it was ok to make inaropriate comments and gestures. Yuck.

I see the latest WordPress app update had some decent changes to adjusting formatting in a post, though they STILL haven’t made an easy way to change the text justification. That’s such a simple thing, and something essential for a blogger to be able to change easily… why they can’t seem to add that functionality to the app I don’t think I will ever understand. It seems that using the html editor (or is it CSS? I honestly don’t know. For all intents and purposes I am going to call it html.) to adjust the text justification is not working – once I click to exit html mode the text is all still left justified rather than centered which I prefer. Maybe the change still applies even if it doesn’t show uo correctly in the editor. Maybe just a bug they’ll have to address in the next update.

I know I missed last week’s NFF. I have had a lot going on and have been super stressed out and just not in the mood to do NFF, honestly. I will still try to get those posts up each week but I don’t know if I’ll be sticking with it as well as I did last year.

I’d like to get an elliptical machine but so far have not had any luck finding a good one that I could even ever hope to afford some day. Amazon has some with good prices however they only have 12″-14″ stride lengths. The recommended stride length for my height is 16″-18″. I looked on Craigslist but folks on there don’t mention or know the stride length of their machines. Not to mention they all seem to want way too much money for USED machines. Especially the ones that are very clearly from the late 80s/early 90s. (Like clothing you can just tell by the styles lol) Hopefully at some point I can get one. I need to lose weight and elliptical machines are a way to exercise that I actually don’t hate. Treadmills are not awful except that they are so loud. So my preference lies with elliptical machines.

I’m off to tackle some housework. I hope y’all are having a good week thus far.

Until next time. xoxo

Sunday Somethings

Sunday Somethings

Not much going on here lately out of the ordinary. 

My plumbing once again hates me and is backed up to the point I have to go to J’s to shower and do laundry. I bought two plastic basins to put in the kitchen sink to hand wash my dishes, and I just dump the used water outside when I am done. I get nervous every time I have to flush the toilet because inevitably one flush will be the one that results in me having a nasty mess to clean up. So I’m trying hard to minimize that too but one can only control their bodily functions so much ya know? I have tried and tried to snake the line out where the problem is but I just can’t get through it this time. I don’t know when J can make it over to help/deal with it. 

I’m out of my mixed media paper, so haven’t been able to do any drawing or painting. 

I’ve been trying to work on some knit and crochet projects that I’ve had lying around waiting to be finished up. Easier said than done, with achy wrists and hands, and with some projects that have not been worked on in years. I’m giving serious thought to just frogging a couple of them and using the yarn for other things. It’s also not easy to finish old projects when there are so many new ones tempting you. Case in point: rather than working on one of the old projects yesterday, I started yet another new one. ๐Ÿ™„ 

It doesn’t look like much now, all scrunched up on the needles. It’s acrylic yarn so I won’t be able to block it when it’s done so it will not open up like a nice wool, alpaca, cashmere etc would but it’s surprisingly nice yarn for acrylic. For this particular project I personally don’t feel blocking is totally necessary – thus being ok with using acrylic for it. I admit I am a bit of a yarn snob, but I’m definitely not totally against acrylic… I’m just very picky about what acrylic I will use. The specific one I am using for this project is discontinued which is a pity because it is gorgeous and again, surprisingly nice for acrylic. The biggest drawback to acrylic is not being able to block it. Some folks claim you can block acrylic (some refer to it as “killing the acrylic”) but I have tried it more than once and it does NOT work out. You’ve gotta be choosy when it comes to acrylic, and use it for projects that won’t need blocked. Just my experience and opinion of course. 

I made a trip to a neighboring town to do some shopping a couple days ago. Given my dislike of driving, particularly on major highways, this was no small event. I very much dislike merging into then traveling with traffic that is zipping along at 70-80+ mph. It had to be done though; I needed new jeans.

I looked at the local Wal-Mart first but they didn’t have a single thing that was appropriate for my work uniform or my preferences. The whole “distressed” look is “in” again and I am sorry but same as the last time it surfaced, I hate it. I refuse to pay for new jeans that look old and are already full of rips and holes, and I would never wear such jeans for anything other than being “work jeans” for chores around the house/yard work. I decided to just go to my favorite place for jeans, Dressbarn. Their jeans fit me better than any other jeans I have tried, over the years. (There’s a couple brands sold at Kohls that are nice too, but Dressbarn remains my preference.) They are nice, high quality jeans too and, depending on how much you wear and wash them of course, they ought to last you at least a solid handful of years. I needed new ones as I have been losing weight. I’ve gone down a couple sizes but since money is tight I have just been continuing to wear the old ones I have, cinching them up with a belt. My belt has had the end trimmed off and additional holes drilled into it to keep it fitting as well. I finally got to the point where even with the belt the old jeans fit poorly enough it was time to at least get a new pair for work. So I braved the trip to the closest Dressbarn. It wasn’t easy to find something there either as I prefer bootcut jeans and right now straight leg and skinny jeans are the style, so they only had two bootcut options. One of those options they didn’t have my size. Thankfully they had one pair in the other style that was my size. I tried them on to be sure and was thrilled they fit perfectly since they’re two sizes smaller than the last time I bought new jeans. I’m hoping to continue losing weight but regardless of how that goes, for the time being I’ll have some good work jeans that fit better than what I have been wearing. 

I can’t believe January is almost over, already. If this keeps up 2018 is going to be over in a blink, and it only just started! 

Until next time. xoxo 

No Filter Friday

No Filter Friday

I pulled over to take a picture of these beautiful horses while I was out and about the other day. It isn’t the best picture, a bit out of focus, but I was using my phone and it was sunny and even with the screen brightness as high as possible I couldn’t see my screen very well to know if they were in focus or not. All not helped by them being far in the field, zooming on cell phones is rarely a good idea lol. But it’s still a nice picture I think, even if not frameworthy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Until next time. xoxo

Melting Pot

Snow Day

I was scheduled to work till 7 tonight. When I got to work this morning however, my manger had already sent the couple other girls that had been working home and told the one supposed to come in later in the afternoon to stay home. She had me help with closing tasks, with a goal of leaving no later than 2. We clocked out at 1:30. She followed me most of the way home to make sure I was making it home ok. I slid a few times but mostly the drive went ok. Then I made it to the street my driveway is on, mere yards from turning into my driveway… and I couldn’t get any further. I was stuck. 

Thankfully J was home and able to come to my rescue. It took a while and a tow chain, but he got my car into my driveway for me. Then I waited anxiously till he let me know he had made it back home safely. Now we are both home and I can relax, knowing I am not going out anywhere for the next couple days! I don’t HAVE to be anywhere till Monday. My manager said I can come in Friday to make up the missed hours from today if I want to – she is leaving it totally up to me if I come in or not and if so what time I come in. I will be waiting to see how the roads are. I very very much need the hours yes, but if the roads are still a disaster I will be staying home. 

Leaving work


Stuck; so close yet so far…

A new hand knit hat I finished yesterday. My sister’s pattern and yarn (Little Cabled Hat and Rustic Worsted yarn in Violetta. Pattern and yarn (though not this color, I bought all she had lol) available on her site,

Until next time. xoxo