When Summer Is Officially Over

With Summer and Fall officially over, Mr. Tux and I are already suffering from cycling withdraws. The temperatures lately have been in the high twenties, low thirties and we haven’t been venturing out much. Also with the days getting shorter and shorter, weekends are our only chance for any winter cycling. Sadly, even weekends have been so busy lately that we haven’t been able to ride outside.

However, what that does mean is Mr. Tux is getting some wonderful time to work on bicycle maintenance. He has been replacing worn out brake-lights, upgrading all of the bikes to the same headlight mounts, changing out worn-out pedals, and installing racks, fenders, and other miscellaneous gear on his steel bike, Optimus. If you recall, Optimus Prime and Saoirse have dates next spring to venture out to the Farmer’s Market. We will have full racks and panniers on both of the bikes by then. The plan is to be able to haul home our fresh produce and other goodies we find at both the Farmer’s Market and the local Co-Op. To achieve this goal, Mr. Tux has been working steadily on upgrading and installing the necessary items on Optimus and Saoirse.

Optimus is pretty much finished except for still missing a set of front panniers. On the other hand, Saoirse is far behind and going to stay that way until probably March. When we bought her, Saoirse came with a back rack and I have been using it all summer with my set of panniers. However, the fenders and front rack cannot be installed on Saoirse right now. Why? you ask…Well that is because I am currently using Saoirse as my indoor bike on the trainer, and she will not fit on the trainer with front rack or fenders. So I wait. I will have Mr. Tux install the missing rack and fenders sometime in late March/early April when the weather hopefully starts changing and we start being able to ride outside again. Until then Saoirse sits on the trainer looking rather forlorn and Optimus graces our living-room on proud display.

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The white really pops on Optimus and stands out against the forest green of the frame. It has been a real adjustment having a bike with full racks and fenders. The bikes don’t have the clean, sleek lines of the carbon road bikes we are so used to. Instead, the steels look more and more utilitarian every day. Afterall, that is what we got them for…to be our utilitarian beasts of burdens for pulling Tuxley and hauling groceries home from the Farmer’s Market.

I am so looking forward to Spring and the return of cycling weather. Until then, I am sentenced to the trainer downstairs and dreaming of the time 4ish months from now when we can start braving the outside climate again and getting our cycling legs on.

Kiera

Thanksgiving Dinner

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I am looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving Dinner with Mr. Tux and enjoying our first official Thanksgiving together with just the two of us and our three furry children. Usually we spend Thanksgiving with my family, but this year, I wanted to celebrate the holiday just Mr. Tux and myself. So I have been menu planning and dreaming of food for several weeks. Now. Over the weekend we picked up a giant pumpkin pie from Costco. We have also been to Safeway to purchase the necessary items such as stuffing mixes, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. Today we will pick up some dinner rolls and be completely ready for cooking Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

One thing, we are doing a bit differently than traditional Thanksgiving is the Worthington Vegetarian Dinner Roast we will be cooking instead of a Turkey. I am  not a huge fan of turkey, and Mr. Tux doesn’t feel like messing with making a large turkey just for him to eat this year. I can’t wait for tomorrow and the delicious dinner we have planned. What is making it all the more special, is the wonderful chance to experience Thanksgiving with my family – Mr. Tux, Zeus, Tuxley, and Apollo. We don’t have to travel, drive anywhere, or worry about helping cook for tons of people. Instead, we can relax and enjoy a day together as a couple. Happy me!!

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Kiera

{Happy Monday}

‘Tis that season, and I am slowly starting to bring out little signs of Christmas around the house. This weekend we picked up a Holiday wreath for the front door from Costco. Mr. Tux hung it up for me and it just sets off the front of the house perfectly. I am in love with it! It is the first year we have hung up a real wreath on our front door, and I may have to make it a yearly tradition from now on. I love how the greenery looks against the white background of the door. So Christmasy and festive!! The pinecones and berries really pop. I may add a blue or silver bow to the top of the wreath to complete the look, but for now, I am just enjoying having one more Christmas decoration up.

11-25-2013

Kiera

{Right Now} – My Exercise Playlist

With all of the cycling we have been doing lately, I have been listening to a ton of music while riding. My iPod playlist has become a customized list of all songs with interesting or catchy lyrics and a tempo that is easy to set my cadence to. I have rejected some of my favorite songs because I couldn’t get a cadence match to them. Sad day. Below is my current top 10 favorite workout songs. These songs are all in the list because I can effectively cycle to them. Some of them fit great into cool-downs. Others are AMAZING climbing songs, perfect for when I need to buckle down and climb up the hills. The rest, are just great workout songs that I love. Well, except for song number one. Song number one is my motivational song. It is the one I sing to myself when I am hurting, struggling, counting calories, or needing something to work towards. Song number one is IT! The miracle, cure-all song. I LOVE it! Anyway, I digress. Here is the list.

  1. Work B**tch – Britney Spears
  2. Meter Down – Adnan Sami
  3. O…Saya – A.R. Rahman & M.I.A.
  4. Paper Airplanes – M.I.A.
  5. Ringa Ringa – A.R. Rahman Feat. Alka Yagnik & Ila Arun
  6. Gypsy – Shakira
  7. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – Shakira
  8. Just Dance – Lady Gaga
  9. Poker Face – Lady Gaga
  10. Disturbia – Rihanna

Eventually I will need to update my playlist and find some new workout music, but for now I am in love with my current setup. I may have to go listen to Work B**ch and Meter Down right now. I just LOVE those songs!

Kiera

 

 

Randomness Galoure

It is almost Thanksgiving! I am looking forward to the time off from work and relaxing with Mr. Tux. It will be awesome to have some time to ourselves without others. This year, we are not going to my family’s for the day. Instead, Mr. Tux and I are cooking our very own Thanksgiving in our home. It will be the first time that we have celebrated Thanksgiving as a couple. I have been planning the menu for several weeks now and my mouth is watering just thinking of the tasty food that we will enjoy during our guilt-free cheat day of no Calorie counting.

For starters, Mr. Tux is baking my favorite vegetarian meat alternative – a Worthington Dinner Roast. So yummy. Plus we will get some turkey for him and his more traditional Thanksgiving diet. Besides the roast/turkey, we are also going to make stuffing. Lots and lots of stuffing! I just adore stuffing and Mr. Tux loves it nearly as much as I do. Cranberry sauce for  Mr. Tux (I am not a huge fan of cranberry sauce). The vegetable to go with the dinner still has yet to be decided. Dinner rolls will provide us with some delicious carbs. And to wrap up the delicious, mouth-watering meal, we will have pumpkin pie.

In other exciting news, my Christmas decorations will be put up promptly next weekend! I can’t wait! Christmas is already in the air and I am so ready to have my house decorated. Mr. Tux and I will put up our beautiful, pre-lit, 9ft tree in the living room and decorate the top six feet. The bottom three feet are sadly left ornament-less due to the destructive and naughty nature of two Bengal cats and one inquisitive Doxie. One thing I am looking forward to this Christmas season, is an Advent Calendar. Mr. Tux has promised me that we can do an Advent Calendar and I am on the lookout for the perfect one. It will be awesome!

Besides the usual Christmas decorations, wrapped gifts under the tree, and stockings hung up so prettily, I am planning on making Christmas cookies and decorating a gingerbread house. I am looking forward to making and decorating tons of Christmas cookies, including my specialty doxie cookies in Holiday sweaters.

I have been Christmas shopping like crazy. I have successfully found all of Mr. Tux’s stocking stuffers. They are SO COOL! I have also found the perfect Christmas gift for Lobstermom. She will love it. I have also found most of the stocking stuffers for her. Which pretty much means I have completed Christmas shopping for two of the 20+ people on my list. Oh, an I have found a Christmas and birthday gift for Tuxley. Both are awesome and I will post pictures after Christmas and his birthday. Now to find some stocking stuffers for him.

Anyway, there is lots going on around here. However, must of it is centering around the Holidays. I am loving the Season. To me, this is the most wonderful fime of the year!!!!

Kiera

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Traveling with Tuxley

I have been procrastinating on writing this post for several months now. While on our Oregon trip, I spent the whole ride taking photos of Tuxley’s different faces, positions, and activities while we were driving. They turned out rather interesting and what I ended up with is a rather accurate portrayal of what traveling with a Dachshund can entail.

Tuxley is a really good traveler for the most part. He usually curls up in his car seat and sleeps. However, on the Oregon trip he was a pain! Instead of curling up and sleeping for several hours, Tuxley fidgeted, whined, wiggled, and refused to relax for a good chunk of 6 hours. It was NOT fun. When Tuxley did eventually curl up to sleep south of Portland, it was only because he had worn himself out fidgeting and was an overly tired, grumpy dog. On the return trip, Tuxley was so worn out from the excitement and stress of the Oregon coast, that he slept most of the 10+ hour ride home. It was so TOTALLY awesome!

IMG_3618Must we leave

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I am sooo bored mom!

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dozing…IMG_3635

Nope, just kidding, I am still awakeIMG_3636

Are we there yet?IMG_3645

I give up!IMG_3646

trying to sleepIMG_3647

overly tired yet still fighting sleepIMG_3648

still awakeIMG_3649

ARE WE THERE YET!?!IMG_3650

I am SO OVER this trip mom.IMG_3651

this sucksIMG_3655

I want to get out of the carIMG_3656

bored and tiredIMG_3727

grumpy dachshund has now resorted to sulkingIMG_3728

definitely sulkingIMG_3729

grumpy doxie is finally sleepingIMG_3730

tired little boyIMG_3731

Finally asleep!IMG_3732

The morning of the trip home, Tuxley curled up and fell asleep right away.IMG_3733

he sleptIMG_3734

and sleptIMG_3735

and snoozed some more.IMG_3736

opening an eye to see what mommy is up toIMG_3737

no pictures pleaseIMG_3745

exhausted puppyIMG_3747

are we home yet?IMG_3748

more sleepingIMG_3749

So over this road tripIMG_3750

bored and tiredIMG_3751

there is no point in living any moreIMG_3752

one fidgety dog!IMG_3754

enjoying the viewIMG_3755

still boredIMG_3756

no more road trips for awhile mom!IMG_3753one adorable, road-tripping doxie

Even when he is a pain, I love my precious little boy! Life with him is a real adventure.

Kiera

November Cycling

It is hard to believe that it is almost mid-November here on the Palouse. Mr. Tux and I went cycling both Saturday and Sunday this last weekend and it didn’t rain or snow on us. Shocking I know. Saturday’s ride we only did about 12 miles on the road bikes and it was a mild 45 degrees. Sunday we packed up Mr. Tux’s Bachetta, Saoirse, and Tuxley’s trailer into the Pilot and drove out to a different section of our normal trail. It was 51 degrees with partial sun and we actually got hot. Overall, the weather was perfect for a Fall ride. There was no wind and very few people out on the trail. Mr. Tux and I rode about 18.8 miles on wonderful weather. It is so weird to be out cycling in the sunshine with no rain or snow in November. November or not, Mr. Tux and I are loving the late cycling season. Tuxley seems to be enjoying himself too.

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Tuxley is ready to goIMG_4165

the excitement of waiting is stressing himIMG_4175

riding in the car

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all ready to rollIMG_4191

mom, lets go!IMG_4194

donkeys beside the roadIMG_4196

one of them was very interested in us and came over to visitIMG_4202

much to Tuxley’s discomfortIMG_4198

I couldn’t resist and had to pet the donkeyIMG_4203

This worried Tuxley even more. Donkeys are dangerous and mommy was placing herself in extreme danger, even after his warningIMG_4185One concerned Tuxley

I am not sure how much longer the wonderful weather will hold out, but we are sure enjoying the outdoor cycling while it lasts.

Kiera

1

Organized in Blue – Planning for the New Year

I love organizing! My fridge has pull-out trays with labels identifying what goes in each try. My clothes are hung all facing the same way on matching hangers, separated into types of clothing (i.e. shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, sweaters etc.), and arranged by color within each section. My books are categorized alphabetically by genre and author. Yep, I love organizing and arranging things just right. One of the ways I play with organizing is with my calendars. I have always had a day planner since my junior year in high school. I wouldn’t have survived college without my trusty Mead Academic planner. I color coded each of my classes and would list out every single due date, action item, and event. I thrived!

Now that I am out of college and working in the real world, I find myself unable to leave behind the trusty planner. However, an Academic planner is just not cutting it any more. I have so many things that I want or need to track. Mr. Tux’s appointments and schedule. Tuxley appointments and activities. (Isn’t he just like a kid. I joke that he makes me a soccer mom) My work schedule and personal appoints. Blog posts and updates. Family events. Exercise and eating. There is just so much. Basically I was looking for a place to organize and track all of my personal life in one location easily, colorfully, and centrally. So I hunted for a solution.

I watched You-tube videos. I read blog posts. I googled planner set-ups and arrangements. I shopped brands like Filofax, Franklin-Covey, Day Runner, and DayTimer to name a few. I researched and debated. I decided.

About two months ago I found a used Franklin-Covey binder for $25 and bought it. In all of my research and shopping, I found that the Franklin-Covey products matched my needs the best. With the purchase of a used binder, I was given the chance to try out the system without spending full-price on a binder set up. I ordered calender pages in Her Point of View week on two pages, Monticello two pages per day (which came with month on two pages tabs), and the Health & Fitness pages. I also went to the local Staples and supplemented the Franklin-Covey pages with tabbed dividers, a zippered pocket, lined pages, stickers, and labels from the Martha Stewart Organization line. When everything arrived, I was so excited!

It took me several hours that night to set up my initial planner. Over the next few days and weeks, I tweaked the planner set up and slowly figured out what exactly worked for me. The sad thing is, my planner pages don’t officially start until January 1st, so I took the last three months of the year out of my old Mead planner, hole punched them, and inserted them into the planner. After all, I was NOT waiting three months to start using my new planner. I live for instant gratification. About three weeks ago I finally hit upon a perfect solution; or at least one that I am happy sticking with for the potential future. Everything was perfect, except for one thing.

My binder. The binder I bought used is a great starter binder. It works great and is in decent condition. However, it is rather worn and most importantly not a favorite color of mine. The faded red leather binder was just not doing it for me. I went shopping again. Franklin-Covey sent me their Holiday catalog in the mail and I fell in love with Lilly! The Lilly is a beautiful, vibrant blue with a silver buckle strap. I couldn’t resist! Lilly arrived yesterday over lunch and I got it set up right away. I just love how it has turned out! Take a look and check it out for yourself.

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the front cover (Note: the buckle is silver not gold)IMG_4147

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it holds everything I need and closes nicelyIMG_4149

top edge complete with place markersIMG_4150

From left to right: My fine point Sharpie, 4 gel pens for color coding calendar entries, a zip pouch with stickers, labels, and reminder drops, and my uni-ball VisionElite pen.IMG_4151

another viewIMG_4152 IMG_4153

my fold-out yearly calendarIMG_4154

a week on two pagesIMG_4155

a day on two pagesIMG_4156

I am really excited about the whole page of note space, as well as the schedule with hours and all of the rest of the free writing spaceIMG_4157

After the calendar pages come my personal tabs for things like my calorie trackingIMG_4158

food journal with tiny writingIMG_4159

These health and fitness tracker pages are amazing! I am in love with them and have been using them for the last 7 weeks to track calories and exercise.IMG_4160

my recent addition to the planner…contact pagesIMG_4161

the back…I love the fabric accents in this plannerIMG_4162

The back coverIMG_4164Here is a better picture of the true color. It is hard to get an exact representation of the actual color.

Overall, I am absolutely in love with this planner and I can’t wait until January 1st to start using the new planner pages. So what do you use to keep your life organized and your schedule readily available?

Kiera