In my Valentine's Day post, I spoke about how I don't receive flowers on Valentine's Day anymore ~ but that it didn't matter because true love was more than that. Turns out, the joke was on me. Brian came home from work with roses! I was so surprised, I blurted out, "For me?!"
The weather here in northern Illinois has been gloriously and amazingly warm the past few days, with temperatures in the 60's and lots of sunshine. Normal temps this time of year are 30 degrees - and we usually have snow, too. Walking around the yard, I spied tiger lilies already coming out of the ground. A month early. Exciting, yes - but also scary, as this warm weather won't last, of course. I'm afraid the returning cold will kill the emerging plants.
The middle of February usually finds me, my mom and aunt taking our annual winter trek to the antique mall by my house. It's a great place to spend a fun day while escaping the winter doldrums. Instead, we spent the day in another town that we love to frequent in the nice weather. We spent hours outdoors, walking up and down the main street, popping into our favorite shops and then having lunch at our choice Mexican restaurant. Of course, everyone else had the same idea and the sidewalks were crowded with young and old alike - and a lot of friendly dogs, too.
(me and my mom)
(my aunt and my mom ~ sisters)
I bought a couple of inexpensive things while we were shopping ~ found this cute teapot in a resale shop.
And bought this little ceramic heart in another shop (not resale, but only a few dollars).
Today was a full day spent at home. I was going to run a few errands and then I remembered the kids were home from school today as it's President's Day. I knew the stores would be crowded. So, I decided the errands could wait until tomorrow. I don't have many days where I'm home the entire day, so this was actually a treat. I got a lot done in the house today, including washing the living room windows inside and out, and then cleaning the wooden blinds that cover the windows, too. I also vacuumed, dusted, cleaned bathrooms, did laundry, baked mostly-healthy brownies, made a veggie stir-fry, loaded and emptied the dishwasher twice, and brushed all three cats outside. I also did my yoga practice and PT exercises for my knee. (I have a torn meniscus.) Speaking of my knee, I'm finally going through with the arthroscopic surgery on March 1st. I was originally going to have the surgery in November, and decided to wait 'til the end of winter. Only nine more days - yikes! Though I'm at the point where I just want to be past it and on my way to healing.
I had to move the spider plants that were on the ledge in the pass-thru to a safer spot. Mr. Monkey - sleeping on left - decided spider plants were fun to chew on. I replaced the spider plants with two different ones. For whatever reason, Monkey doesn't bother these. I'm probably being too brave with putting glass candle holders in the middle. Crossing my fingers that the cats will be cautious if they jump up there.
While I was rearranging stuff, I changed the decor in the nook above the microwave. Keeping it real with the pans left on the stove.
With spring weather on my mind, I've picked up flowers at Trader Joe's the past two times I've been there.. I know I've said it before, but their flowers are the best. They're inexpensive and they last a long time. This little bunch is leftover from the original bouquet that was 1-1/2 weeks old. Still going strong.
And here's another bunch that's five days old. The Wintry Blend coffee hasn't been used much lately. ;-)
These are the mostly-healthy brownies I made. I tweaked Nigella Lawson's flourless brownie recipe seen here by using 3/4 cup organic pure maple syrup instead of processed sugar. Guess that was a mistake because even though these look good, they don't taste so great. They're very grainy because of the almond meal. I bet the almond meal would've broken down more by using the granulated sugar. However, I don't eat processed sugar (as much as possible)...so I put the brownies in the fridge and will eat one here and there if I have a chocolate or sweet craving.
Wishing you a joy-full week!