Shake It Up by Playing the Accordion

I haven’t posted in awhile. Turns out I have more followers, which I find a bit intimidating, but so be it. As they say, Just do it. Oh wait, that is probably a different blog……

So if you really want to Shake It Up, go for the gusto! I started accordion lessons, and I purchased a beautiful black Titano accordion. This has become more than just a Thursday thing, since I am practicing about an hour everyday.

So why the accordion? I have always been drawn to accordion music. My grandfather had one in his basement — my brother and I are not sure why he had one. I think someone left it in the taxi he drove back in the 60’s. Nobody really played it, but it was there. As an adult I have managed to find accordion players wherever I travel. My not-very-musical ear is somehow drawn to the sound of the instrument.

My midlife crisis purchase was a sewing machine, and now for my this landmark birthday it is an accordion. At any rate, it is cheaper than a Porsche!

So what did I do this past Thursday? I tried to keep things light at work. I told a few jokes that at least I thought were funny. Just generally had a nice pleasant day. And of course, at the end of the day I practiced my accordion!!!




My beautiful accordion!



Shake It Up Thursday for all 3 meals

In case in is a surprise to anyone, I do not do a lot of cooking. I think about food all day long at work, since that is my job. I help make menus, I talk to other people about what they eat, and my day basically revolves around food. So when it comes to cooking dinner, I have already fulfilled my quota of thinking about food for the day!
I like to think that when my kids were still living at home that I was a relatively good cook. They might not really agree with that, but I did make a pretty good spaghetti with meat sauce. ¬†It is not that I don’t know how to cook, I just choose to do other things with my time.

So it came as a surprise to me that I decided to make my own meals for a full day. For lunch I usually stop at a grocery store on my way to work to make a salad from the salad bar. I had recently decided to bring my salads instead of buying them. But at any rate, since I had made breakfast at home and made my own lunch, I decided to also make dinner. I cooked up some frozen fish and whipped up some veggies, and voila, there was dinner!

So there you have it — 3 meals a day during the week — outside of my usual.

Have a great week, and remember to Shake It Up Thursday!


This is ¬†what my salad should have looked like. ¬† ūüôā








Shaking Up the Holidays

Happy New Year to All! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

I decided that I would make a different potato pancake this year for Chanukah, so I found a recipe (perhaps on a Thursday?) for Sweet Potato Latkes made with chickpea flour. Guess what? They were delicious! I’m not sure if it was because of the sweet potatoes or the chickpea flour or a combination of the two which made them so tasty, but we certainly enjoyed them.



An actual picture of the pancakes, instead of a random pic from the internet



So what I do for Christmas this year? Nothing different. I could go with the line that it was not a Thursday, so I didn’t need to do anything differently. The truth is that I really enjoy the same cranberry bread that I make every year. After all, sometimes traditions are best left unchanged. ¬† ¬† ūüôā


Wishing everyone a happy New Year, and remember to Shake It Up!!




Shaking Up Food Waste

I have done lots of things to shake things up since I started with my blog. I have been writing the blog for almost a year and actually started the idea of Shake It Up Thursday almost 2 years ago.

But my question has become how can have this blog have a positive impact for others as well. My dear friend Karla and I did use this blog to collect winter coats to donate, and that was a good thing. ¬†And here is my new topic — cutting down on food waste.

There is a lot of food wasted on the food production side, but there is also an incredible amount of food wasted in individual homes. So I decided I am going to start doing my small part to cut down on food waste. After all, our grandparents didn’t waste food. Everything got eaten. Vegetables went into soups and leftovers went into casseroles. When my dad would eat an apple he would eat everything except the seeds and the stem!

So even though it was not on a Thursday, here is what I did to cut down on food waste.

I was making a nice root vegetable dish that used fresh thyme and parsley. I looked at the leftover ¬†thyme and parsley stems and thought to myself, “gee, I should not just throw this out!” I decided to make a vegetable stock, and tossed in the thyme and parsley stems and some sad looking celery that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill, and some onion and carrots.

I am also trying to eat more/waste less when I have an apple. I am not down to leaving just the seeds and stem though!

it will be interesting to get ideas from others. Please share what you do to Shake It Up by cutting down on food waste.



Getting ready to Shake It Up

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away. I was just reading the post from last Thanksgiving, where I talked about the traditional cranberry sauce that I always make, and the Shake It Up one — the one that my aunt used to make. My cousin had given me the recipe last year,¬†and it was a success. So then the question is what to do for this year — and I decided to stick with the tried and true recipe, because real cranberry sauce lovers can’t possibly imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without it. (Of course there are really only 2 cranberry sauce aficionados in the family, but who’s counting…..)

The other recipe will be a different cranberry relish — made with dates instead of sugar. The only catch is that the last time I made a funky recipe from this website it did not come over very well, so I should probably keep some extra cranberries on hand in case it doesn’t turn out!

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!





Continuation of Shaking things up

I did a few¬†things this past Thursday to shake things up —

First of all, a few weeks ago I had posted that Karla and I were going to try to gather men’s coats to donate to the homeless shelter, and I am pleased to report that we collected about a dozen coats to donate. ¬†I consider that an accomplishment, and a good use of this blog.

Next, I am continuing to use the non-dominant side of my body, and I am getting better at the salad bar. I was even able to dish some oatmeal into a container without making a mess at the breakfast bar!

Next, I did wear a different top that I had sewn. On Thursdays I am going to try to wear things that I have sewn in order to shake things up. Below is a picture of one of my favorite tops that I wore this week.


And finally, I am really concentrating on improving my memory for names. One of the biggest challenges for me is to remember names, so I am trying really hard at this. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them!





Shaking It Up with the non-dominant side of the body

I know I missed a few weeks of posting — my shaking it up the prior 2 weeks did not seem worthy of a blog post, so I decided to combine them, since they are all related.

I decide the past couple of weeks to work on the non-dominant side of my body. I am left handed, so I have been trying to use my right hand more. So here is an example for you to try: take a few sheets of paper, pick up a stapler, and staple the papers. Pick up some other papers, pick up the stapler, and staple those papers. I bet you do it the same way. My hunch is that you always use the same hand to staple papers. Now try switching it — staple using the other hand. Not as easy. This is what I did 2 Thursdays ago, and it didn’t really¬† seem to be worthy of entire blog. ūüôā

So this week I did more of the sameРI am actually getting into the habit of using my right hand now to staple, so I decided on Thursday to do more things with my non-dominant side. Almost every morning before work I go to the grocery store to make my salad at the salad bar.  I always hold the shopping basket in my right hand and use my left hand to hold the utensils to put the items in the salad container. I decided to shake that up, and used my right hand to hold utensils etc. It was a little awkward, but not too bad. However, when I was putting oatmeal into a breakfast container, I was definitely making a mess. I realized that I needed to switch back to my usual side, since it was not fair to the staff who would have to clean up after me! This will be a work in progress.

I also decided to shake things up by wearing a new top that I had sewn. I like the idea of wearing clothes that I make on Thursdays to shake things up. I haven’t really made that many items, so it may become a little repetitious!


The new top that I made.



I also am liking telling a food related joke at work on Thursdays, so here is the latest one -How much cheese is in a hamburger? The answer is “None”– it is a hamburger…..

Have a great week, and see if you can do something to Shake It Up this coming Thursday!



This week’s Shake It Up, and read last week’s also (BTW, it is funny.)

It turns out that I didn’t post last week, for a host of reasons. I actually decided recently to purchase the website name of — this means you do not have to type in The reason I did this is because it would make me sad if someone else got ‘my’ website. It was also mentioned to me that I could use a hashtag in front of the shakeitupthursday, and it turns out there are a lot of posts of shakes, as in beverages already on the hashtag site. I tried to add my blog post tp the hashtag shakeitupthursday, and it turned out that every post in my blog went on that hashtag site — not something that I wanted to have happen. So instead I ended up not posting anything, since I didn’t quite know what to do. At any rate, you can¬†read the blog post from last week and decide for yourself if it is funny…….

So on to this week –I didn’t do a whole lot to shake things up today. I did try to use my non-dominant arm for a few things, such as jotting a few notes with my right hand instead of left (they turned out a bit messy but sort of legible), and did some stapling with my off hand, which felt a bit awkward. We did go out for dinner, and¬†instead of my usual salmon I had beef (GASP!) and cheese curds, which were delicious. I guess after being in Wisconsin all of these years, there are some Wisconsin traditions that have been incorporated into my life…..

I think I will try to figure out the hashtag thing. Maybe I can get something going with this — take the emphasis off of shakes and onto the concept of shaking things up. I will keep you posted.

Remember to get out of your routine, and Shake It Up!!



The few remaining yummy cheese curds.



Shake It Up with a joke….

My¬†daughter was home for the Labor Day holiday, and she said to me this past¬†Thursday morning, “so Mom, what are you going to do to shake it up today?”

I decided I was going to tell jokes at work, and I picked out a good one that she provided:

A grasshopper walks into a bar, and the bartender says to him, ¬†“Hey, you are famous around here — they even named a drink after you!

“A drink!” the grasshopper replied. “You mean they named a drink Robert?”


Robert the Grasshopper

So I know that there are others who are hugely better at telling jokes than I am, but it was a fun and lighthearted way to Shake It Up.

Let me know if you have a good (clean) joke to share!



I am a morning exerciser…well let’s Shake It Up!

So you know the experts always say that the best time to exercise is whenever it works best for you. I have always, always been a morning exerciser. That is not to say that I always exercise, but when I do it is 99.99% of the time in the morning. I needed to be at work super early on Thursday, and I figured I would get up even earlier than my early exercise-in-the morning time. So I woke up extra extra early, and what did I decide? To go back to sleep! I decided to exercise after work instead. Generally when I decide to exercise after work it never really happens, but this particular Thursday it did.

So my Shaking It Up may have been due to a bit of laziness, but I pulled it off anyway.

Just another example of how we get in a routine which really should have some flexibility.

I did also have yellow instead of red cherry tomatoes and gala instead of pink lady apples, but some people (my children for example) might say that doesn’t really count for shaking things up.