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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Solutions for Slow Days

It is with great pride that I announce I met my December goal of eating my weight in baked goods and watching every new Hallmark holiday movie made this season.

However, such accomplishments have made the harsh reality of January a bit difficult to take.

Yesterday my husband returned to work and the boy returned to school.

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As you can see from the photo above it is cold and overcast. This type of weather makes me just want to crawl back in bed. But I have a “to do” list as long as my arm that I must finish before I head back to school myself this next Monday.

Here’s how I get myself motivated on such slow winter days.

I Plug in the Crock Pot

This longtime lifesaver of dinner is key to easy and delicious comfort food.

I needed to use up some leftover homemade cranberry sauce so I decided to make a sort of Sauerbraten.

1 cup homemade cranberry sauce (you could use a can of sauce in a pinch).

1 package of dry onion soup mix

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup chicken broth

2-3 pound pork roast

I first mix the wet ingredients together right in the pot.

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Add the meat and then let it cook about eight hours. It will be wonderfully tender. I served it with store bought spaetzle (a German noodle), Brussel sprouts, and applesauce.


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With dinner taken care of I make myself do one thing on the list that I really don’t want to and just get it over with. Music helps.

On this day I tackled the under the stairs coat closet.

It needed to be completely emptied to create a better storage system. So I cleaned it out and began the process of organizing.

I’ll have the reveal, full of great storage ideas, on Monday.

Here’s the cringe worthy “Before”.

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With dinner and a big chore done I then just allow myself to do things on the list that are enjoyable and do so without feeling guilty.

I cherished my time of creating old fashioned Victorian style Valentines. (Tutorial coming soon.)

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I also began a new sewing project, using antique linen and lace, that I have had in my mind for over two years.

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During the time while I paper crafted and stitched away I still managed to do a bit of multitasking.

I watched the following programs on my laptop:

BBC Victorian Farm

Image result for bbc victorian farm

Victorian Farm is a historical documentary TV series in six parts that was first shown in 2009. You can watch it HERE via Youtube. (Make sure you also watch the Christmas episode.) I have since moved on to Edwardian Farm and can’t wait to view Tudor Monastery Farm and Wartime Farm.

Also, if you’re like me and miss Downton Abbey you might find Manor House (known in the U.K. as Edwardian Country House) entertaining. For some reason the first episode is not available on Youtube. I found episode one via Amazon and Netflix DVD. But you can view episodes 2-6 HERE and it is quite easy to catch on.

Image result for BBC Manor House

So while things have been a little slow here on the blog, rest assured a lot of goodness awaits you in the very near future.

What’s your secret to slow days?



Denise Altman said...

LOVED Manor House and wish they had done more. Started watching one of the "farm" series last year but didn't follow through-I will have to go back. Thanks for the reminder! I am truly missing Downton this year. I love making Valentines so I look forward to your tutorial.

Linda said...

Loved your idea for the crockpot meal which I plan to try as I'm always looking for new ideas in that way. In fact, over our winter break (which continues for our college student through mid-January), I made one of the items that you featured long ago on your blog (which I printed out for the recipe) and it was the chicken with the soup mixture in the crock pot and the rice (formed into a pretty little glass for presentation).

As for me, I just can't let myself indulge too much and therefore - don't. Not after the significant weight loss I achieved 2 years ago, ever since then, I'm very mindful of what I eat - even during the holidays where I didn't indulge "too much". Thankfully, I'm not a huge fan of sweets so baked goods are not that enticing for me. I did eat a few things that I normally don't but have managed to do well, keeping up with my daily outdoor 1 1/2 hour power walk/run even through the nasty cold weather that we have here. It's just become such a part of my routine, that I just do it, no matter how I feel and always feel great after doing it (that's the reward that keeps me going).

So, I guess my secret for slow days is to just push on regardless of my feelings of when I'd rather just stay in bed. I get up and get into my exercise gear which for here in the winter involves 3 layers of various Under Armour attire and by the time I'm all set in that, I can't just ignore it and stay in, so I go out and get things over with, coming back home to always feeling better and keeping in shape - physically and mentally. :)

Kind regards,

Stacey said...

So that's how you fit in the beautiful crafting projects. I always wonder and wish to do those things but don't seem to get around to it. This year I'm daring myself to do so. :)

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

You always accomplish more than most. Great tips.

Simply LKJ said...

Love a good crockpot dish on a dreary day.

GSGreatEscaper said...

Yes, having a list to make you feel both guilty (before you do the task) and accomplished (afterwards) is great. An evening of paper crafting and British TV sounds wonderful. One tip is that I watch real estate/decorating shows during the day. I put them on the upstairs and downstairs TVs so that I can check in from whatever task I am doing - laundry, computer, cooking, cleaning - and I need only watch the first and last 7 - 10 minutes of each hour!

I could not get along without my crockpot. And freezing the leftovers for a future busy or lazy day is a great help too!

Jeanie said...

Thank you, thank you for telling me about Victorian Farm. I have to watch this whole series!

And I applaud your plan -- and envy your "before" closet. Trust me on this. And since I've never had sauerbraten, I think I may have to try this recipe some time this winter. Sounds delish!

Of course, I am going to be sitting watching this for days...

Ginene Nagel said...

I spent the last 58 minutes watching Part I of Victorian Farm. Laura, that has been the most enjoyable part of my week. I don't have television so I usually listen to something fabulous via CD or listen to NPR. I was enthralled with their work and the history of life. All of these things would have been common daily routines for our ancestors. This is really a window into their lives. And, then on top of it, I will make that delectable dinner tomorrow night. You made my life more enjoyable today.

Blondie's Journal said...

I know that you are organized and use your time well, Laura, so thanks for giving me that incentive!

Looking forward to reading your posts this year!

Big hugs and love!

Jane x

martinealison said...

Que cette année soit à la hauteur de vos espérances. Pleine de petits et grands bonheurs à savourer chaque jour de l’année.

Toute mon amitié.

Auntie Em said...

You seem to manage to accomplish more in one day than I would in a week! I am not sure if you are crazy energetic or I am unbelievably slow! lol
Can't wait to see your Valentines and your sewing projects. Your talents are amazing in what ever task you set out to do.
Love all of those series and find them interesting to rewatch even. The War Time farm was especially interesting to me since my parents lived in that era and so many of the things they talk about on the shows I can remember them reminiscing and telling us about. Hard times for sure but it brought the nation together as well.
Thanks for your lovely post! :)

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing the links to these shows.
I clicked on Edwardian Farm and forgot to leave a comment. Got so busy watching it! Heehee