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Friday, July 31, 2015

When Life Hands You Lemons

There are times when my hubby has decided it would be a wonderful idea to accept a huge bag of lemons from his co-workers. It was a good thing when he used to make lemoncello and then of course you can always make lemonade...and I do love a good glass of lemonade on a hot day! However after pitcher after pitcher, at times you are still left with lemons, so what do you do?? You clean with them! 


Who doesn't like a nice cool glass of lemonade
on a hot day?

There is so many things in the household that can be cleaned by using a lemon. Just the other day, after my family forgot to put the plate dome over some food, creating splatters,  I used half of a lemon cut up in a bowl of water to clean my microwave. It's very simple and it works! Plus the whole house smells of lemons! But there is even more purposes for lemons...keep scrolling!!

remember the water in the bowl, microwave on high 3 minutes
then leave in for 5

Shiny and spotless and the fresh smell of lemons!

So what do you do with the leftovers??
Lemons are great for making the
garbage disposal smell fresh again,
so either with a fresh lemon or with the leftovers from
cleaning the microwave just dump them
in and run with a light stream of water. 
Lemon peels in the refrigerator
work better than baking soda for
soaking up bad smells! Then you
can juice the lemon sections for
that lemonade ! 

Other Tips....
(Gathered from the book Classic Household Hints by Susan Waggoner)

* Keep fresh lemons in a jar filled with water, stored in the fridge 
to keep them fresh for longer and great side effect, they will be juicier.

*Scrape peels completely clean, let fully dry and into your next fire for 
a sweet tangy scent.

*Lemon juice is great for cleaning glass

*Rubbing stains on a sink or tub with cut surface of lemon
will help bleach them out.

*Keep cutting boards smelling fresh by using a half of a lemon
rubbing over surface time to time.

* Shine up brass with lemon rinds dipped in salt and rubbing the object down

*Copper can be cleaned with a mix of lemon juice and salt.

*Need just a few drops for a recipe? Poke the unpeeled lemon with a toothpick,
pierce and squeeze out the juice that you need then plug the hole with the toothpick to store. 

If you love lemons and not just for cleaning there is quite a few fun clothing and accessories out there that can make it so you can dress yourself covered in them. I know I have all of these on my wish list currently! 

Cute little lemon earrings from CMYKlays, from Etsy
(find them on the link banners to your right),
she even have a slice of lemon meringue pie you
can wear on your finger!

This cute lemon cupcake is from the company  a company out of Australia 
This skirt from
would be lovely in anyones wardrobe!
How about a purse? This was an image from
pinterest, but there is a lot of them out there.

So I hope that I have given you some solutions as well as inspirations on how to use lemons to clean as well as make them a part of your wardrobe. I am going to do my best to share tips now and again here on Ruby's Musings , both ones I use on a regular basis here at Muse Cottage, but also new ones that I am trying out from the wonderful and fun book mentioned above. Before I sign off for this week I urge you to hop over to my friend Jessica's blog "Pinup Persuasion" I was a guest blogger there this week where I discuss my life as a modern day 50's housewife and what it means to me, but also share a retro recipe re-worked to make it healthier, but still just as tasty. Next week, a few reviews of recent products that I have purchased and which were gifted to me to try out and review for you!! See you next Friday! 

Click HERE for my guest post

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Fun Day Out

Sometimes you just need a fun day out!

Being at home and being a homemaker/housewife, even with kids having flown the nest ( well sort of *wink*) is not all just sitting around eating bon-bons .... even if there are those moments. It may well seem at times as if I am a little birdy in a gilded cage as my hubby dotes on me and does a lot to help out (due to my health issues) , and I should be content; most days I am, there are just those days I need to spread my wings and have a little good old fashioned fun! Yesterday was one of those very days. It had been awhile since we had done much past go grocery shopping and I have not even been taking my walks as it has been far too hot for me and well not to go into details, but I did not feel well enough to stray far from Muse Cottage. Like I said I am normally very content and happy to have my normal routine of doing my chores, cooking cleaning and the like, it's just ourselves living in the cottage and we are not too messy, but life has been stressful and I do not handle it well at times, hubby knows this so he suggested we go out for a nice long drive, and that is how the day started. 

We began just by running a few errands. I had a petticoat to return... too big, one of the pitfalls of mail ordering most of your wardrobe. Then it was off to ULTA for my free birthday month gift and to pick up a couple of my make up staples. It was then decided to head down to Clarksburg, a small town along the Delta here in the Sacramento Valley. We had been wanting to try this little diner on the side of the highway by the name of "Dinky Diner" , but had never been past when it was open, it was our lucky day. We also decided that we would break our mostly healthy diets to have a burger had been over three months since we had allowed ourselves red meat and I was really jonesing for it! Let me tell you there is nothing like sitting on a stool, outside, with the river gently gliding past you, a cool breeze taking away the summertime heat and making it bearable to make you hungry, this girl woofed down the delicious cheese burger with all the toppings and my half of the onion rings and double dipped ( just the way I used to make them when I myself worked at a tiny diner called The Rusty Pig) french fries! I am a fast eater, as anyone could tell you, but I think I broke my record..but it was oooh so good and I enjoyed every bite. I may love my fancy French food, , but deep down I am just a burger and fries girl! 

Pointing out the obvious

The view

Yes, it really is dinky!

Fantastic basic food! 

Once we had finished our food, took a few minutes to shoot some fashion photos, as I am never one to pass up a photo up and the scenery was so pretty!! 


Being that we were already in Clarksburg, it was decided to of course go do some wine tasting. So off to The Old Sugar Mill it was. It is a great ( and I have shared about it often here on the blog) a great one stop destination to try many wines from the Delta region. We only went to two, but there is I believe eleven now and with more to come! We popped into one fav, Merlot, yes that is the name of the winery, and then Rendez-vous. I just adore the wine bar back at Merlot, he is a really cool "dude" and so knowledgeable as well as fun to chat with. We ended up with the wine they call Blackbird is one of my favorites. At Rendez-vous , we went in so I could try out their bubbly, always a favorite and while there we saw that they now serve a little mimosa that you can enjoy out on their private of course I had to have one. They have a pretty nifty set up there, you can get meats, cheese and other snacks as well as coffee now, and they also have food gifts...they even have a white sangria slushy you can get! Might have to have one sometime! 

Waiting on hubby so that we could go in...he had a business call to answer.

Not the Blackbird, but equally good!
A little bit of the tropics right here in the Sacramento Valley

Could not wait to try a sip!

Enjoying the odd for July comfy Summer afternoon!

 We had such an enjoyable afternoon, I did not wish for it to end! I had heard that at the zoo they were having a rockabilly and jazz band playing, so we on the spur of it all decided to glad we did! There were not too many of the animals still awake once we got there, but the band was on their second set, and they were pretty darn good, ( The Nickle Slots), also spotted a couple retro/rockabilly girls that told me to go check out their booth ( The Atomic Angels... find them on FB) , and we did just that and learned that they are a group about friendship, hope and charity. They help out small businesses, foundations and other charities just by being who they are and offering good deeds/help, sponsoring fundraisers etc...that is putting it in far less detail that what they actually stand for and do, but you get the idea.anyway it was fun to chat with the lovelies sitting at the booth, and being made feel completely at ease in my fashion and lifestyle choices that I have returned to recently ( which by the way I finally feel like myself again after a long absence). We stood and listened to the band, watched the crowd, and then took a stroll around the zoo and watched what few animals were still out before walking back to the car.

The Nickle Slots

I always stop at the Flamingos... had a little fun with my phones
camera editing program with this one *wink*

Had to snap a photo of this really cool hot rod on our way back to our car.

So you would think this was the end of the day... and normally it would be....however the weather was so beautiful and I still had a little left in me, so it was decided spur of the moment once again to go to the State is only just over two miles from home. I wanted to see the pretty lights, listen to the music, see the animals and just experience the sights and sounds. My body does not do the ride thing...just too jaring, and I have no use for an over sized stuffed animal, but it was fun to just walk around, got my walk in, and enjoy this time with my husband, holding hands and just being together and not watching tv. Unfortunately I do not have any photos on my phone of this happening since my phone died at the zoo, BUT if you go to my FB page you can see a couple photos my hubby took and a quicky hope you check it out!  Till next time...

Plum tuckered out after a 12 hour day out,
but hey my make up still looks great! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

French Girl Friday ~ Food and Fitness

A recent "caught in the act moment" ,
giving into temptation....

We have established I LOVE food. The photo above shows me caught in the act of eating a cupcake ( a freebie for my birthday... how could I pass it up??); sweets are a major down fall above all other types of food. If you have followed my blog over the last 5 years you have seen recipes for cookies, cakes, candy and if you follow my FB page and now Instagram you will see photos of such things as well; heck I am a card holding member of doughnut eaters anonymous. Guilty as charged.... but not alone. So many of us American women love and often turn to sweets. Be it for a quick energy boost, a craving we can not deny or hormones. We are not alone, believe it or not French women often are the same... after all they are just women. Despite what we have been lead to believe about French women and not getting fat etc. etc. ; Ok, they may not let themselves get truly fat, or most don't, but they will have their battles with the scale. Part of this is how they are raised, the family meals and daily life not being filled with sweets. But what about all those wonderful things like French Macarons and fancy chocolates??!! Well those are eaten at special occasions and in moderation. That is key. Recently I have been very lax with my control over how much I eat in general, not just sweets. So reading the most recent chapters in Forever Chic by Tish Jett has been such a great reminder to RE employ the French womans way to keeping her eating habits and in turn weight in check. 

In the chapter titled LE REGIME , THE ART OF EATING WELL, the author goes over the basics of how the French eat on a daily basis and how it factors into them staying slim and having resolve. Things such as the sweets not being a daily thing, or having water at each meal, not soda or big glasses of milk, to finishing out the meal with yogurt or a sugar free fruit compote...did you know applesauce can help you sleep when eaten in the evening ? If they desire sweets and it is not a true special occasion it is about moderation. I know, I know, each book I profile here on French Girl Friday's I share all this information, it is bound to get old, truly that is why I am going to be ending this series with this book, but it is good and simple advice. Eat a well balanced diet, portion control and everything in moderation NOT diet... diets simply do not work.. at least not long term. I have been on nearly every diet there is INCLUDING the one from the book FAT WOMEN DO NOT GET FAT. I have found that if I find myself starting to forget all these really basic rules, and the scale starting to creep up in numbers or my waist band feeling tight, I simply just start to cut back on the amount of food I eat and the type of foods I eat. YES! it is that simple and soon my weight comes back down and my clothing begins to fit again. Sometimes I will start recording either in a cute notebook or on my handy dandy phone app, and I am always shocked at how bad I had actually been. I do not think I could ever give up all my sweets, or other foods I love eating that may not be 100 percent good for me or my waistline, but I can cut back and know that will help. So what are the main tips we can take from the French and that maybe by channeling our inner French girl can help us stay on track and be at a healthy weight and have healthy eating habits??? In Forever Chic they are listed
( with more detail than I shall include.. so I urge you to buy the book) as follows.....

Add a soup or salad 
"Vegetable soup is a marvel"
"...can save 20 percent of total calories eaten"
Sit down when you eat
"..never stand at their kitchen counter to eat..."
Eat with pleasure at every meal 
"enjoy your food"
Have chocolate without remorse
"...when you small amounts"  
Read Labels
Rush right out and buy a steamer 
"..flavorful way to cook"
Own a blender and use it
"soups and smoothies"
Listen to your body
"...stop at or before the point of feeling full during a meal..."

I am just as satisfied with a nice cup of coffee
with skim milk and two pastry twists (half a serving)
Including fruit with my whole grain toast helps me
start my day in a healthy way
I do whatever it takes to make drinking water fun..
it helps fill me up without food.
Choosing healthy ingredients like ground turkey,
low sodium salsa and avocado sauce that is a healthy fat
helps me still be able to have foods I love like enchiladas..
Not French I know.... but tasty!  

In the title I mention fitness. You may have read in other books that French women do not exercise. That is not true. Of course you know they walk, and normal day to day activities are also used as a way to get fitness in, but would you be surprised that yoga, pilates , stretching classes...even things such as aquagym! There are of course dance classes of all types; all these activities help the French woman stay fit, slender and fitting into their clothing. If you follow me on FB, each week I post a weekly greetings video and I usually film it while I am out on a nice walk. When I am at home I make my housework work for me, and I am not opposed to jumping on my mini trampoline or working out with weights or being on my glider to get my exercise in. I do not do it if I do not enjoy it, so I skip dvds and such as it really bores me. My walks are my favorite, I can walk miles and miles and do ... I rarely drive if I can help it. It really is a very easy way to stay fit. It is important to keep moving... diet alone is not what helps myself or even the French stay slender. What ever you choose to do, make it fun and enjoyable and you are more than likely to keep at it!! 


Till next time.....