Monday Miscellany: Welcome, Gigi 🐕 And A New Favorite Kitchen Gadget

Susan B. and Gigi, her newly adopted dog. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Introducing Gigi…

She’s here and she’s wonderful! I think we may have really hit the jackpot. We’d been looking for just the right rescue dog. So when I saw her adorable little face pop up in the L.A. Love & Leashes instagram feed on Friday, I immediately requested an appointment to meet her. I lucked out and was able to get one that afternoon.

Shirt (similar-ish) (similar style) | Necklace | Bracelet

It was love at first sight, and I filled out the adoption papers on the spot, though we weren’t able to bring her home that day. She was scheduled for spay surgery the next morning at the shelter, so we were given the OK to pick her up Saturday afternoon.

Gigi was a bit groggy at first from the anesthesia, and not liking her cone. But we quickly discovered that she seems to have had some training. She walks beautifully on the leash, and will sit on command. And she seems to be housebroken and crate-trained too!

She’s also quite affectionate. And seems to be particularly smitten with le Monsieur. I don’t know her history prior to being found as a stray and turned in to the shelter, but she seems to have been cared for. She has the cutest little underbite…

Gigi has the cutest underbite! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

She’s a mixed breed: some terrier, and I’m not sure what else. (“Terrier” reminds me of a funny story about my friend Greetje…once when we were in Paris together, she stepped over to ask a French woman about the breed of dog she was walking, and came back to where I was sitting with a puzzled expression. “She said something about a derrière, I think.” It took a moment before we realized she’d said “terrier” and oh, did we howl with laughter!)

We’re trying to keep things simple and establish routines at home until she gets settled in. We’re following (as best we can) the recommendations from the shelter for getting a new pet acclimated. But I think she’s doing brilliantly! 😉 🐾

About those little mermaids…

For those of you asking about the mermaid shirt, it’s from a prior collection Chinti & Parker. It’s no longer available, but I’m keeping an eye out for something similar.

As Seen On TV! 😆

Magic Bullet blender basic set. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I tend to dismiss out of hand any products that are frequently featured on infomercials. It’s a bit of a conditioned reflex. During the early years of my career in TV, I had to schedule these and review content for certain requirements. So I quickly tired of the formula and fake enthusiasm. (“Wow, that’s amazing!!!”)

But so many people (people I really know who are NOT on TV) have recommended the Magic Bullet, that I finally decided to try it out. What prompted the purchase was that le Monsieur decided he wanted to make homemade pesto. He was looking at blenders and food processors, but we don’t have a lot of room on our counters (and none in our cupboards) for more big, bulky appliances that only see occasional use.

So I talked him into trying out this gadget. I figured it wasn’t a huge investment and wouldn’t take up much space. Not only is it great for making small batches of fresh pesto, but I’ve been using it daily for my protein smoothies. It’s also perfect for fine chopping (onions, especially). Everything except the motor goes in the dishwasher, too.

Now that the summer heat has finally arrived, I’ve also been using my Instant Pot several times per week. It cooks food fast and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. I use it to make rice, lentils, steamed chicken breasts for salads and tacos, oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs. (Mine’s an older model, but most similar to this one.)

What kitchen gadgets or cooking tools do you most rely on?

Stay in touch.

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60 Comments

  1. Phyllis
    August 17, 2020 / 3:11 am

    A Magic Bullet is also a great spice grinder too if the flat blade accessory still comes with it. Much better than a coffee grinder for that task and waaay easier to clean!

  2. August 17, 2020 / 4:27 am

    Love your blog. Any information about your cute blouse? Love that too.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 17, 2020 / 8:53 am

      Hi Ellen, since so many people are asking, I’ve updated the post with details.

  3. Beverly
    August 17, 2020 / 4:44 am

    I love your new baby! I can’t wait to follow her new life with you! I’m still “terrified” of instapots…I can’t seem to get over it!!! Best wishes for a good week ahead.

  4. Susan Storrs
    August 17, 2020 / 4:48 am

    Your blouse is adorable! Where did you find it?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 17, 2020 / 8:52 am

      Thanks! I found it online last year. I’ve updated the post with additional details.

  5. August 17, 2020 / 4:48 am

    Gig is so adorable! you are very lucky to be able to have a dog! my husband is allergic to both cats and dogs Bummer! Oh, I love the jewelry you are wearing in the first picture above. what designer did that jewelry???

  6. Michelle Hamric
    August 17, 2020 / 5:15 am

    Your new family addition is ADORABLE! So pleased that you found the perfect sweet pet for you and experienced love at first sight. Nothing much better than that!

    Thank you for informing your readers of Brenda Kinsel’s passing. I didn’t know her personally, but knew her through her books. I’m sure that her special brand of style, chic, and class will be deeply missed by her close friends and family.

    I really love the blouse you’re wearing in this photo. It looks like it’s a light yellow with a fish pattern. VERY CUTE!! Would you mind sharing where you purchased this blouse?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 17, 2020 / 8:52 am

      Hi Michelle, thanks! I purchased the blouse last year and have updated the post with some additional details.

  7. darby callahan
    August 17, 2020 / 5:23 am

    she is adorable and bravo that you chose a rescue dog ! may you have many happy years together!

  8. Dudley’sMom
    August 17, 2020 / 5:24 am

    Awww, love your new furry friend! They bring so much to our lives 🙂

  9. Jan
    August 17, 2020 / 5:33 am

    So happy you found Gigi! Our fur babies bring us joy and structure to our days, especially in these times!
    She is so cute!! Congratulations!

  10. Susan
    August 17, 2020 / 5:35 am

    I love your mermaid shirt. Is it a recent purchase? And if so, will you share where you purchased it? Your new Gigi, is adorable too!

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 17, 2020 / 8:51 am

      Hi Susan, thanks! It was purchased last year. I’ve updated the post to include additional details.

  11. Francesca B.
    August 17, 2020 / 5:43 am

    Gigi is so cute ! I love how alert she is! Enjoy you new family 🙂

  12. patricia valentic
    August 17, 2020 / 5:44 am

    Love your new dog. You look so happy. It is nice to see a happy event during such challenging times. Thanks Susan for sharing your joy. paval

  13. Dee1Dee
    August 17, 2020 / 5:47 am

    Gigi is a lucky girl to have found such a good family. Everyone benefits when you adopt! Congrats.

  14. Kellie
    August 17, 2020 / 6:01 am

    Awww, congratulations! She’s adorable, and the name fits. She looks like a Gigi! Dogs bring so much to our lives. I’m on a three hour drive as I write (husband’s driving), and our Goldendoodle pup is positionEd so that her front paws are in the console between us. She likes to put one paw on my arm, while resting her head against me. She has to be touching someone! As our nest empty’s (again), it’s comforting to know we’ll still have our fur baby at home with us!

  15. Julie
    August 17, 2020 / 6:04 am

    Im really really happy for you and your family.
    There is nothing more adorable than a floofy mixed breed rescue.
    Thanks again for setting a good example and giving this girl a forever home.

  16. Diane B
    August 17, 2020 / 6:11 am

    Congrats on getting your girl home. She is so adorable, and those white feet are so cute.I’m sure you will have alot of happiness with her. I too think that fun shirt is great on you. By the way, are you able to visit your son again? It was good that he had no symptoms.

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 17, 2020 / 8:50 am

      Hi Diane, thanks! We’re still waiting on the results of last week’s test. Fingers crossed…

  17. Julia Gilbert
    August 17, 2020 / 6:17 am

    Love your Gigi. Also love the shirt and jewelry. Information on where from?

    • Susan Blakey
      Author
      August 17, 2020 / 8:49 am

      Hi Julia, I’ve added details in the post. Thanks!

  18. August 17, 2020 / 6:22 am

    Your little Gigi is so adorable, no wonder you were smitten by her! Too funny with you and Greetje-haha! I’m glad you like your magic bullet. I got a ninja blender awhile back and have used it to death! Sue, have you given details about the top you are wearing in these photos? Have a great day!

  19. Deb Wostmann
    August 17, 2020 / 6:24 am

    Ahhh, welcome Gigi. Looking forward to seeing her become a cherished family member.

  20. Cheryl
    August 17, 2020 / 6:28 am

    Yesterday out digital thermometer registered 105 degrees! We help keep our house cool by using an airfryer. Since it is really a small convection oven, we cook everything in it. From cakes to casseroles to steaks. It is in use everyday. Bought it over a year ago and it has been so handy, especially now!

    Love seeing Gigi! My family dog, Snoopy, was also a rescue. Best dog ever!!

  21. Vicki
    August 17, 2020 / 6:32 am

    Gigi is adorable. I thought she might have a bit of Cairn Terrier, but I also think she may be part long haired Jack Russell. I have a rescued Cairn, and she is smart and very funny.
    Enjoy your new little family member.

  22. stephanie
    August 17, 2020 / 7:10 am

    Aww so nice to see Gigi and to know she is going to live a very charmed life with you. Thank you for taking her in!

  23. Linda Mitchell
    August 17, 2020 / 7:19 am

    Reading about Gigi brings such a wistful smile to my face. We lost our beloved 15 yo mini schnauzer last November and have especially missed her presence during the pandemic. While we’re not quite yet ready to bring another dog into our home, still, without a doubt, dogs add so much to our lives. How wonderful to have found Gigi.

  24. Eva
    August 17, 2020 / 7:28 am

    Gigi is precious! She has no idea that she will be loved by many in the virtual world! I use my crockpot a lot during the summer; it’s way to hot to grill outside & it’s way to hot to for the stove. I do have to use the stove some but I’m trying not to. You will have such a good time getting to know your new fur baby!! Congrats!!

  25. Sharon Payne
    August 17, 2020 / 7:34 am

    Welcome Gigi! She is adorable and she matches your spring coloring!!

  26. Jean
    August 17, 2020 / 7:41 am

    Gigi has an infectious grin…and I like how she fits nicely into your color palette :-). All of our dogs have been “pound puppies” of one sort or another (two abandoned, one Humane Society, one Animal Shelter, Lab rescue and one family giveaway)…and all have been great. Our current is a now 10-year old “derriere” – George. haha.

  27. August 17, 2020 / 7:42 am

    You should have seen that grin on my face when I read the “terrier” story. It was actually something like a “Tibetan derrière” haha. Gosh that was a good laugh. Love to have a similar experience with you again in Paris.
    It is such good luck that Gigi is so easy to handle. Makes the fun and joy even better. And I am sure Le Monsieur is smitten by her affection.
    Greetje
    PS the mermaid blouse is indeed adorable.

  28. Cher
    August 17, 2020 / 7:46 am

    Bless you for adopting from a rescue group!!!! We can’t save them all, but you saved Gigi ! Congrats to all!

  29. Jane2
    August 17, 2020 / 7:58 am

    My go-to appliances are the Instant Pot (which replaced a pressure cooker and slow cooker), the Air Fryer (best rotisserie chicken outside of a deli), the smallest KitchenAid chopper (40 bucks), a stick blender for soups, and the Magic Bullet (no more big bulky blender!) for the reasons you said. I got rid of everything else except for a stand mixer – I just don’t need all that clutter. The Instant Pot stays on the counter, and everything else tucks away.

  30. Mary Alice
    August 17, 2020 / 8:15 am

    Congratulations on your new family member! We have two rescue dogs of equally mysterious origin…I highly recommend doing a DNA test! It’s really fun to learn your dog’s origins. We made it a family game and placed bets on the dog’s ancestry….none of us even came close! We used Wisdom Panel but there’s lots of good ones out there.

  31. August 17, 2020 / 8:35 am

    What a cute addition to your family — Gigi looks very happy to have landed so well! (and I’ll admit to more than a touch of dog envy. . . this would be the perfect time to spend training and enjoying a new canine friend, but we’re still hoping to do some longer trips again, and it wouldn’t be fair. . . sigh.. . )

  32. Marybeth
    August 17, 2020 / 8:36 am

    Awwww, sweet Gigi! Great that she has had training! Lucky you! Looking forward to all your new adventures with her & Monsieur! Love my Bullett (original) bc I also have a small kitchen & little counter space!

  33. Willette
    August 17, 2020 / 8:38 am

    Hi Susan,
    I was so mad when my husband bought the intro pot. I can’t begin to tell you how much we both use it. It is much better than my old slow cooker.
    You new family member is so cute!!!

    The colors on the blouse really brightens your face!

  34. Willette
    August 17, 2020 / 8:39 am

    * insta pot.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      August 25, 2020 / 6:51 pm

      Instant Pot. Invented in Ottawa. (quote) “In 2009, Robert Wang, Yi Qin, Dongjun Wang, and one other friend, all former employees of Nortel in Ottawa, Canada, started working on designs for the Instant Pot.[3] Robert Wang is credited as the inventor of the Instant Pot. This beginning model operated as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice or porridge cooker, yogurt maker, sauté/searing pan, steamer, and food warmer.[4] This model was under development for 18 months”. They were all Chinese-Canadians, think most graduated from Carlton University in Ottawa.

  35. Sarah
    August 17, 2020 / 9:50 am

    I saw many infomercials for the Magic Bullet when I was recovering from jaw surgery 16 years ago. I was high as a kite on painkillers and remember thinking how amazing it looked (at 3 am). I saw the same infomercial months later and was astonished to see a crazy character in a house dress with her hair piled in a beehive, wearing cat-eye glasses and doing a whole jaded housewife shtick! It was so over-the-top and ridiculous, but I was so medicated that I hadn’t noticed a thing beyond the ability to chop anything I wanted. Anyway, that’s my full experience with the Magic Bullet.

    I’d still like to get one XD

  36. Cindylou
    August 17, 2020 / 9:59 am

    Your Gigi is so cute. She looks so alert. I agree with you on the Magic Bullet. A friend gave it to me me several years ago and I use it almost every day, especially now that it’s just my husband and I at home. It makes great gazpacho. I rarely break out my Vitamix now except when I’m cooking for a crowd. I’ve been considering getting a 3 qt instapot to replace my pressure cooker and slow cooker which I rarely use now.

  37. Nancy Karpen
    August 17, 2020 / 10:31 am

    Adorable! Congratulations.

  38. Sondra Seeger
    August 17, 2020 / 11:20 am

    I love my Magic Bullet! It came as a package deal with my purchase of a stick blender by the same company, Koios.

  39. Daniella
    August 17, 2020 / 12:17 pm

    Fab picture with the new baby!! Great shirt, great smile!!

  40. Renée
    August 17, 2020 / 12:27 pm

    This is off topic, but I just want to take the opportunity to say how well you have revised your colors and style. Since I had always thought you looked nicely put together, I wondered if you might have made a costly mistake, but, no, you’ve settle into your new look and it’s very, very nice. I especially love the copper top and easy linen pants, which is such a good look on you both for color and style–easy, unfussy, and somewhat country elegant.

    Also, I suspect your example has led a lot of your readers to rethink their (our) own adherence to black. It’s certainly true of me. So, thank you!

  41. Rondi
    August 17, 2020 / 12:31 pm

    I adore your mermaid blouse! They obviously could sell a lot of them. Gigi looks quite happy. When we adopted our little Chihuahua mix it was almost the same experience as yours. We made an appointment to meet her and had to wait for her to be spade. She was one year old. She fit in immediately. She was already housebroken and leash trained. It just felt like it was meant to be. I use my slow cooker a lot. On days where you actually go out it’s so nice to come home to the delicious smells of food ready to eat.

  42. Rosie
    August 17, 2020 / 1:46 pm

    AWWWW.
    She’s wonderful! <3

  43. Ann
    August 17, 2020 / 2:23 pm

    Congratulations to little Gigi. She looks very happy, as do you. And your hair color and hers are similar! A match made in heaven!

  44. Lisa B
    August 17, 2020 / 2:33 pm

    So happy you went the adoption route! Quick note: For some reason ALL my female dogs have ADORED my husband. My old cocker Daisy would sit by the window waiting for my husband to pull in the driveway and follow him upstairs while he changed. If he was in his him office she’d sit by his feet until we finally got the hint and left a bed under his desk. When she was too old to make it up the stairs he’d carry her up!
    Best of luck with Gigi. Love her name!

  45. LouAnn
    August 17, 2020 / 3:43 pm

    Gigi is simply adorable! Rescue is the way to go! Wishing all of you much happiness together.

  46. Aoibheann
    August 17, 2020 / 4:21 pm

    I also love your new colours. They really suit you. I’m sure it lifts your spirits a little to see your happy, bright clothes when you open your wardrobe in these strange times we live in.
    I’m curious about the Instant Pot – is the 6 quart pot suitable for a 2 person household or would the 3 quart one be better? Love the idea of one pot cooking..

  47. MaryinMaryland
    August 17, 2020 / 7:35 pm

    Two thoughts, not to be mixed. Welcome, Gigi! And air fryer—I use mine literally every day.

  48. Sarah R Fulkes
    August 17, 2020 / 7:57 pm

    I have a Breville programmable tea-maker. It has fresh tea ready for me every morning IF I remember to set it the night before. Since I put it on my daily to-do list, it’s been wonderful!

    My other go-to is a VitaMix S-series blender. A little smaller than their industrial models, it fits perfectly in my tiny kitchen and does a fantastic job blending everything from salsa to smoothies to cheesecake filling.

    Gigi is adorable. I am renewed in my need to have a dog in my life soon!

  49. Francoise
    August 18, 2020 / 1:05 pm

    Your sweet little Gigi made me smile on a dreary day. What a precious little pooch. Reminds me of our little rescue terrier who also had an underbite. We lost her last summer suddenly and I still miss her.

  50. August 19, 2020 / 7:07 pm

    Welcome, Gigi! You are about to be spoiled. Enjoy it! Congratulations on your new fur baby. Adorable!

  51. Juti
    August 22, 2020 / 9:15 am

    Oh, Gigi! What a sweet little face.

    I love my “instant pot” (mine is a Revereware digital pressure cooker, but it’s mostly the same). Once you learn its ways you can make some lovely things in it. I’ve also come to appreciate my stand mixer; it was a gift despite my protesting that I didn’t have room for it. I don’t use it all the time, but when I do I’m mighty glad I have it. But possibly my most loved thing is the rice cooker my sister gave me when I was in graduate school. You pour water in one part, put the rice (with water) in the other, plug it in, and set the timer. It’s also fantastic for hard-cooking eggs perfectly. I’ve been using it for about twenty-five years, and even though it’s in great shape I dread trying to replace it if it ever goes.

  52. Cindy
    August 25, 2020 / 5:36 pm

    She is adorable! So happy for all of you. Just precious.

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