Friday, February 27, 2015

Tackling the black hole and what I'm reading this week

It's the weekend, yo!

I'm so ready for it.  I finally started tackling the office.  The desk was so covered, absolutely no work could be done.  It was just bags and bags of crap in there so I started going through those and then kicked up so much damn dust I had to leave.  The nasal steroid is doing it's job but then I got a huge allergy attack.  Up to this point I've always considered my allergies pretty minor but I think they've kicked up a notch.  But I'll cover all of that next week.

Right now, let's get to...

19 Brilliant Car Hacks to Ride In Style (and Save Money!)  (We can vouch for #9.  Nothing like the looks you get when you're plunging your car outside a Maui supermarket after a hit and run.  Incidentally, this is why you always get the LDW for rental cars, we've been hit twice.)

10 Unexpected Stressors That Are Wrecking Your Health  (Good stuff in here)

16 Stunning Portraits From The Vanity Fair Oscar Party  (Some seriously stunning pics.  I love the one of Jennifer and Justin)

35 Body-Positive Mantras to Say in Your Mirror Every Morning   (Some very good ones in here sprinkled with the cheesy ones)

This Friendship Between a Toddler And Her Piglet is Almost Too Adorable to Handle  (Make sure you watch the video.  Cute overload)

Deleted SLEEPY HOLLOW Selfie Scene (For those who want to see the whole "selfie" video from the finale.  It doesn't have spoilers, just a super fun video to watch.  The Sleepycast may have spoilers but I haven't listened to it)

Lemon Water For Digestion: Legit Or Quit?  (Good info for those who imbibe)

Signs That You Might Be Dorothy From The Golden Girls  (Um, holy crap.  Every line of it is me!)

The Best and Worst Foods to Eat Before Bed  (I've been thinking about adding tart cherry juice.  Anyone try it?)

Are These the 21 Best Fried Chicken Spots in America?  (I can vouch for Gus' and about blew a gasket when I saw they're coming to Chicago!)

3 Things You Didn’t Know Dry Shampoo Can Do   (Pretty cool tricks!)

Real-Life 'Notebook' Couple Dies Hand-in-Hand  (Good Lord, grab the tissues.  I so related when the man said to "fix her."  Grandpa was two years in thinking Grandma was somehow going to be "fixed" as well.  It's like the older generation doesn't get that dementia patients don't get better)

6 'Unhealthy' Foods That Blast Fat (I always lost weight when I ate baked potatoes.  I'll never cut those babies)

Nutella Jar Sparks Tragic House Fire  (Good info to know if you have glass on your window sills)

Here's What Really Happened To The Cars From 'Pimp My Ride'  (Wow)

Badass sea lion crashes family kayaking day  (My dream come true!  As long as it doesn't bite me!)

We don't really have anything planned for this weekend that I'm aware of.

How about you?  Anything fun planned?

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Forcing my hand


Well y'all, I feel I may be forced into a cataclysmic decision.

I have been noticing steadily over the past 12 months that my Facebook reach numbers are plummeting.  This is partly due to the fact that they make you pay to reach the people who have taken the time to like your page.  As of the past month, my reach is two thirds of what it was a year ago.  Well, I'm no big time blogger, I cannot afford to put an ad budget into place just so Facebook will push out the posts it promised originally to promote.  I have seen this not just with bloggers but businesses of all kinds like mom and pop shops that reach many of their customers this way.  We are all being forced to beg people to like or comment on posts to continue to see our posts on Facebook and when they don't, we disappear from their feeds.  Now liking and commenting are not enough, they want what little money we have...or else.

Well the last straw came the night before last when I got some weird page trying to force me to sign up for some 'business manager' and I would be forced to do things I'm not comfortable with just to keep my business page up.  You know, the one they would still make me basically pay for on occasion just to get the word out to you that a post is up?

I'm telling you that to tell you this.  I'm not one to submit to "the man" so any day now, they may yank my Facebook page because I don't want to hand over my lunch money to the school bully.  I won't lie, I will miss it but I just can't play by their rules.  I'm in tears thinking of losing that outlet to communicate with you guys but I feel like I'm not being given a choice.  This feels like a form of cyber bullying and I'm not alone in feeling this way.  But know that if suddenly my Facebook page comes down, it was NOT me that took it down.  I want to make that clear.

So now I turn to you.

I only have Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to communicate outside this blog with you guys.

Should they take away Facebook tomorrow, which of those three programs would you use to stay up with the blog?  If you can't comment here, feel free to post on Facebook...if it's still there.  I'm thinking a decision needs to be made soon.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Romantic Coastal Mantel Refresh

Just before Valentines Day, I decided it was time to give the mantel a refresh.  I thought it would look nice in a spring motif that I could keep up for a bit.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to have a coastal feel or a romantic feel and then I decided what the heck, go for both!

I've decided to keep the window there for now so I needed something with a little height so I grabbed these upcycled candlesticks I made from old spools that didn't sell in my shop.  I told myself if they didn't sell after two renewals those bad boys were mine.


The shell candle is a rogue gift my mom got me for Christmas that ended up looking nice there so I scattered some of the shells we got from Bar Harbor around it.  The light pink vase and flower were a clearance item I picked up from a vintage shop I loved that closed its doors.

On the other side is something I picked up specifically for that space for a little height and interest.  I was at a vintage store in the city and came across this beautiful stack of books (obviously de-spined) wrapped with antique crocheted lace and secured with a brooch.  For $24, I couldn't pass it up!  I needed something to bring a tad more height and I seem to be in love with tureens when I shop at antique stores so I couldn't resist this pretty tea rose tureen for $8.  They had a really bad faux plant in it that they were just going to give to me but I told them to keep it because I had a plant that would fit.  I didn't have a plant at the time but when we went to Trader Joe's later that night, I saw this white hyacinth for $2.50.  They had a brown crappy wrapper around the plant so I just used a piece of antique sheet music to wrap around it.  The Waltz in G never looked so good.

I can reuse the books over and over by just adding some new piece to the top of them or tuck some greens under the lace with an ornament or two at the holidays.  I love the romantic look of it all so I'm happy with my romantic coastal mantel to get me thinking spring even in the dead of winter.

Have you started putting any spring touches around your home?

Linked up with Bless'r House, French Country Cottage, Tater Tots and Jello

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Challenging your body vs. breaking it

Exercise has been a consistent part of our lives since 2009.  Like I'm talking not missing any days unless we were on vacation and were just more active in lieu of "formal" workouts or we were severely sick and even that probably adds up to a week over that time.  It's a habit for us.  It's like brushing our teeth.  I'm not saying we always love doing it.  There are nights where we go down and ask "what do you want to do?" and the other answers "honestly, nothing" and the other agrees and then we pick something and do it.  Those are the times when you need to do it the most...when you're both on the same page in your lack of want and motivation.

After a while, the workouts that used to challenge you are now easier and burn less calories.  You begin searching out newer, harder workouts to get the calorie burn up and give you that soreness that you both love and loathe.  We went from doing things we thought were hard back in the day like Tae Bo, Powerstrike, Turbo Jam and even a few of the higher impact Gilad videos to upgrading to higher impact.  HIIT and tabata workouts became the goal.  They put your body through the paces with high impact for a shorter amount of time.  We added things like Turbo Fire (which have workouts varying from longer medium impact workouts to HIIT workouts up to 30 minutes), Supreme 90 Day, Power 90, Amy Dixon and others. For a while, it seemed to be working but instead of losing weight, we were leaning out.  That's fine when you're closer to your goal but when you're still close to 300 lbs, a lean 300 lbs isn't gonna get you on a zipline with a weight limit of 240 lbs.  The Mr and I would throw ourselves into these workouts and give it our all.  If we weren't soaked in sweat and feeling like a rag doll afterward, it didn't feel successful.  The problem was then we'd spend the rest of the week feeling broken...literally broken.  Hobbling around, sore every day to the point we uttered the phrase "I feel like I've been hit by/dragged behind a truck" more often than I care to recall.  Even a full rest day wouldn't give us the relief we hoped for.

Everything in the media was telling us that unless you were breaking your body down to build it back up and make it harder, faster and stronger, then you weren't doing exercise right.  Well that was fine...until it wasn't.  I finally broke my body when I got Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and muscle issues.  I was forced into non-weight bearing exercise for a time and then a slow build up with low impact.  When I wasn't blowing it on the weekends, I was actually losing weight.  Could this crap we're being fed about exercise needing to be extreme and all pain for gain not actually be right for the average person?

That mentality seems to dominate our exercise culture these days.  I see stuff like this pop up in my feed all the time...


I might've believed that even as recently as a year ago but I'm sorry that mentality does not fly with me anymore.  While I get why some people respond to that kind of message, I feel it's actually a little irresponsible to promote it.  I mean look at her.  How many people do you know that look like that??  How many extreme athletes do you know?  I'm pretty sure the majority of us are just looking for workouts we can easily fit into our busy schedules and if they can be fun over feeling like exercise, then bonus for us.  But instead we're spoon fed this mentality that we're not exercising with some extreme attitude then why bother?  That mentality may be how true athletes train but not the average person.  I'm not saying do something so light that you're not out of your comfort zone and sweating but I don't need to "put my body through the pain", thank you.

I'm finally over that injury I gave myself from our New England vacation and know how to keep it at bay.  I'm not going to go back to some batshit mentality of 'break it down to build it up' again.  Frankly, I'm too old for that crap.  Maybe if I had the joints of a 20 year old it would be okay for a time and if I gave a crap about being 10% body fat.  But I don't.

If I put intensity in my workout without doing box jumps, slamming down on my knees like a jackhammer and trying to see how far I can push my body before I end up back at the chiro...I can still lose weight.  I have been doing low to medium impact and three strength sessions with focus on legs and upper body without feeling like being dragged by a truck and seeing results.  Adding speedbags or punches in places where an instructor is babbling or there is a lull does a lot to keep my heart rate up and burn more calories.  It also helps that I've cut 100-200 calories daily in places I didn't need extras.

I still do Turbo Fire (not the HIITs), Walk Away the Pounds, Power 90 (modified if need be), Tae Bo, Gilad, Powerstrike and Fitness Blender workouts and while we do feel a little burnt out since we can recite dialogue...they get the job done.  Over the summer, we plan to add more outdoor activities to shake things up but when it's zero outside, we can't even think about that right now but it's something to look forward to.  No...they won't be high impact but I can assume we'll be sore and work our bodies in new ways.

It's fine to try out fitness trends to see what may and may not breathe new life into your fitness routine but it's not worth breaking your body over.

Have you ever tried a more extreme workout or fitness fad that was detrimental instead of helpful?

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Snowy Winter Fun

Happy Happy Monday y'all!!!

Our weekend got thrown off kilter because our company we were supposed to have cancelled on us.  We had a nice little downpour of snow and we knew the likelihood of them showing up was next to nothing even though the snow stopped by the time they would've been due to arrive.  So then that left us up to our own devices.

We got a burger for lunch and when the Mr got back, I informed him my battery was dying as my remote starter was putzing on the turnover.  We replaced our old clunky car battery charger with a newer car jump starter and this would be our first chance to use it.  It was on there for as long it took him to hook it up, walk to the drivers seat and turn it over.  BOOM!  This will come in handy for sure on road trips for that added peace of mind especially if we go somewhere in colder weather.  I think it also charges electronics and stuff too.  It's so much smaller than our other one that took forever to charge and rarely held its charge for long periods of time.  Thumbs up!

Then watched an ungodly amount of HGTV and the Mr said he was getting cabin fever after he shoveled the driveway and our sidewalk and both neighbors sidewalks.  I checked sunset for our area and told him to grab the thermals and skis.  After we WAY overdressed, we headed off to the state park and got in our first (hopefully not only) round of snow shoeing and skiing!

I may have gotten mah jeans a little wet!

Thankfully I was wearing my calf compression sleeves and thermals underneath so the wetness never even got to the sleeves!  Oh and for any Beekman Boys fans out there, I got their alpaca shoe inserts for such adventures in the snow and they kept both of our feet toasty warm!   Woot for warmth!

The Mr was quite pleased with our burn.  (I burned the same.  I wore my HRM)

Sunday was a pretty laid back day.  We didn't get to bed until about 3:00am so we stayed in bed until about 11am.  Luckily we did most of our grocery shopping Friday night so we just had to grab produce from the last store so we did that after our strength workout.  I don't know why but we just weren't into it.  I do so much better when I have someone telling me what to do so no more freestylin' free weights.

We tuned into the Oscars later just because no other shows wanted to go up against it.  Tonight is the Sleepy Hollow finale and it's supposed to be epic and is directed by the same person who did the pilot.  We are praying that it gets picked up for season three because the twist in last week's episode would make for an AMAZING season.  So you know, if any of you want to turn on one of the TV's in your house tonight to Sleepy Hollow to help up the ratings, I wouldn't be mad at ya!  ;-)

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, February 20, 2015

No decor and what I'm reading this week

Well howdy do, Friday.  Nice to see ya.

As usual, we have company coming tomorrow and a house to clean today.  Oy.  What's worse is since I finished up the remodel last year just in time for fall decorating, I realize that I don't have much in the way of every day decor for the armoire.  So I have to find some stuff to throw together to make things look presentable instead of stark.

But enough of my lack of accessories, lets get to...

10 Secrets the Airlines Don't Want You to Know  (Don't fly without a copy of this with you!)

Being Thin Didn't Make Me Happy, But Being 'Fat' Does  (A great point of view)

Feeling Frozen? These are the Best Beaches in the World According to TripAdvisor  (I've been to a few of those!)

Here's How To Avoid One Of The Most Common Life Regrets  (That's why we do it now in case we can't later)

9 Jaw-Dropping Home Exterior Makeovers  (Some in not so good of a way but most are beautiful!)

Want To Work Out More? Think Of Yourself Like This  (I am a fit person who ziplines regularly after doing low impact workouts and watching my diet 6 days a week.  *poof*)

Phil Hartman's Daughter Attends 'Saturday Night Live' 40th Anniversary in Her Father's Honor  (Wow, she is a STUNNER!  Her papa would be so proud)

The Bright Side of Negative Thinking  (I knew my way was right!  HA!  Actually a lot of this makes sense especially the part about visualization vs. effort)

The Real's Loni Love Breaks Down While Discussing Her Body: "I Don't Feel Good About Myself Sometimes"   (Never heard of this show but I love Loni and wanted to give her a big 'ol hug after I stopped blubbering in empathy)

This Happy Hour Fave Could Shrink Fat Cells  (I added this this week.  We'll see if it does anything)

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer  (Courtesy of the Mr)

Why "Eat Less, Move More" Is the Least Helpful Diet Advice Ever  (A to the MEN brother!  I want to punch people in the teeth when I hear that.  It's usually uttered by a-holes who have never been on a significant weight loss escapade)

5-Ingredient, 25-minute chocolate chip cookies are insanely easy   (I want to try these!)

27 Awesome Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 22 Years On “SNL”  (Lucky bastard)

We're supposed to have more snow.  I hope to get out and play in it before the temps drop back down to zero Monday.  Yeah.  Kinda over it.

Whatcha'll doing this weekend?

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

When goals change

The first thing people typically do when they decide to lose weight is they set a goal weight.  Various factors usually go into determining this number.  It can be a number you remember feeling and looking your best.  It can be what the doctors deem a healthy weight for your height.  It could be throwing a dart at a number and leaving it up to chance, see if you get there and go from there.

When I started, I was 494 lbs.  (Damn it still feels weird to type that.)  What's also weird to type is at 283 lbs, I'm also at a weight that are many people's "before" or that number that makes them smack themselves in the forehead and say "damn...I've gotta do something."  That kind of sucks.  It kind of makes it feel like that 211 lbs off doesn't mean much when people don't know your back story.  But I can't compare myself to someone else's expectation of what I should weigh.  I know how hard I've worked up to this point and the maintenance that's happened to keep most of it off.

When I began, I chose my "goal weight" as 170 lbs.  It was the high end of normal for someone my height and I would probably teeter between normal and overweight on the doctors scale for the rest of my life and that was something I was totally fine with.  As things have slowed to a crawl over the past few years, I've had to reassess whether or not that elusive number was something that was something I wanted hanging over me.  In the past getting into the 100's was something that I felt like I had to do just once in my married life.  Like somehow hitting that set of numbers was going to make unicorns fly out of my butt.

When I think to a time when I was happy with my body, that number was 220 lbs.  That's what I weighed when I went to prom and when I look at prom pics, I would love that body again.  Yes, I know it will be older, more wrinkled and baggy and such and that's okay with me.  When I was in high school, I dieted and lost 35 lbs before prom and felt good.  The Mr has always liked a girl with more meat on her bones (I bet he didn't count on having the whole butcher shop at my heaviest but God love him, he stuck with me) but he's always said he's not sure he would like me at 170 pounds.  Boy wouldn't that be a kick in the butt to get to that elusive "goal weight" only to have your hubby wish you had another 20-30 pounds on ya?  HA!

I've still got that prom dress and my goal is to get back into it.  At 220 lbs, a LOT more options will open up for me as far as activities we want to do that have a weight limit.  Ziplining on Maui is something we've always wanted to do and the weight limit is 240 lbs.  I can't zip nekkid so I need to give myself some cushion between wearing clothes and salt intake of Hawaiian food.  Parasailing would be nice and the weight limit is similar.  If we want to do tandem we both couldn't be over 225 lbs each.  I'd like to be able to rent any kind of kayak I want on vacation and those usually have a 250 lb limit.  Indoor skydiving, horseback riding...all of these things have similar weight limits and I'm tired of my weight limiting me.

I may never see the 100's and in order to live a fulfilling life, I don't need to.  But to live the kind of life I want to live without limits, I will need to get 63 more pounds off and trust me that sounds way better and more doable than 113 more pounds.  Once I get to 220 lbs, if I lose more, I lose more but I'm not going to feel bad about myself for never getting to Hundie Town.  (I refuse to call it "Onderland"...that phrase makes me want to puke)  I just want to break through that last barrier that is holding me, no, us back.  When I was dreaming about being that person kayaking the Hanalei one day and then that dream came true, I should've used that inspiration to kick myself in the ass two years ago.  But I need to remember how that feels and how wonderful it would feel to do all of those awesome things I'm still dreaming of doing in Hawaii.

Do you have a goal weight?  Has it changed as your journey has changed?

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