Friday, October 31, 2008

Off to the races



This precious guy is off to race in the finals this Sunday. Amos and 5 other dachshunds will be featured in the half time event at the Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles game. I believe it is being televised on Fox starting at 1:00 PT. I don't think that the half time event will be televised but it is a sold out game! :)

It is funny how Kirk and I have been able to experience some pretty cool and fun moments in our lives through our dogs. You would have never thought a pet could bring so much into your life.

Feliz Halloween

Or maybe feliz dia de los muertos!



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weight Watchers Wednesday Weigh In

Another good week - maintained! whew - it was a tough week with birthday parties and getting together with friends. How I maintained this week: portion control. Which is VERY hard for me!

My friend Gail posted last week, and asked me a great question: "I need to get back at WW - any hints on how to get going again?"
  • Do this before the holidays start. Would it really be easier if you started in January after you gained an additional 10 pounds? Maybe by starting now you only gain 5 or less - something to think about.
  • Go to the Weight Watcher website and find a meeting that you can commit to once a week. It's also important to find a meeting that has a great group leader. STAY for the meeting, it's important to know that you are not alone.
  • While you are waiting to go to your meeting next week - clean out your pantry/fridge. Get rid of food that gets you into trouble. Plus it's the perfect time of year to donate to your local food bank!
  • Then go to the grocery store and buy fruits and vegetables. Cut them up for snacking. This is where the planning is key. I would do much better if I would stick to a plan when snacking.
So how do you handle portion control now? Or what will you change this week to help you with portion control?

We are going to be using smaller plates when eating at home. I just inherited a full set of Kirk's grandmother's china. The dinner plate is 10" across with an eating area of 7". My dishes now are 11" across with a 10" eating area. Plus I am excited to be using something that would normally be in storage.



I am on the hunt for some more everyday plates in this size. The set I inherited above is definitely winter months only - especially with the snow scenes. This is the Friendly Village set by Johnson Brothers in England.

I have been drooling over Heath Ceramics Coupe line and the Denby Linen line. Should probably buy a lottery ticket this week.

Friday, October 24, 2008

True Blood


I am hooked and consumed with True Blood, the new mini series on HBO. So much so, I have all the books that the mini series is based on and I am plowing through them! The books are by Charlaine Harris called the Southern Vampire series. There are a total of eight books, I am currently on book seven, All Together Dead. These books are pure entertainment - if the Twillight series left you wanting a little more adult content, then you are going to LOVE reading them. Lust/love, violence, dry humor, southern living, twists and turns.

The actual show is pretty racy, but if you are familiar with Alan Balls work (American Beauty and Six Feet Under) he really does this series justice. Of course having this eye candy in the cast helps!



If you don't have HBO, start reading the books while you are waiting for the DVDs to come out!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Weigh In

I was thinking that maybe I should do a Thursday weigh in post instead of a Wednesday post. For some reason I just can't get to it after my morning meetings! The good news is that I am 1.4 pounds DOWN. This comes as a total surprise since I had a birthday party, being sick and a four day wine tasting trip. I was sweating this weigh in. Here are some things that I may have done right:
  • Had breakfast
  • Light lunch
  • When dinner came around I ate what I wanted, but the portions were controlled
  • lots of water
Notice there is nothing about exercise? Well I just haven't made time for it. My yoga is down to twice a week and the poor dogs have not been on a walk in over a week. The weather has been cool but absolutely gorgeous - so no excuse there. I need to start scheduling it in my calendar and having it 'ding' at me. Maybe because my desk looks like this


It could be part of the problem! I really don't work well when my desk looks like this.

Fall is definitely here in the Pacific NW - it is my favorite time of year. Changing colors of the leaves cool temperatures and bright blue skies.


Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Present

Update: I have enough for everyone that posted! So I will be contacting you all for addresses -

Discover your unique self through mindfulness - the state of being present in the moment. Experience new perspectives of yourself and how you view the world. Realize that your true self is perfect as it is. From Miraval Resort

So I am horribly LATE on this blog blitz, but better late than never! As you have probably already heard the wonderful Stacy Julian orchestrated this amazing blog blitz on October 1st. Her goal is to infuse the scrapbooking world and make us more aware of the here and now.

As Scrapbookers we spend so much time creating in the past and anticipating the future that we sometimes forget to live in the present. Your life is unfolding everyday, hour-by-hour and you have the opportunity to live and be happy. Let's bring the scrapbooking world together in a fun and potentially perspective-shifting challenge to be more aware, more grateful and more engaged with this thing we call life. Stacy Julian

If you already haven't - join Stacy and many other scrapbookers and 'give yourself a present'!
  • Snap ten photos of your life right now.
  • Compile these photos in a really small mini album (3x3 or smaller)
  • Keep or carry this album with you (desk drawer, car, purse) for ONE YEAR.
  • Promise to glance through the album every time you stumble upon it or pull it out.
  • On October 1, 2009 - create a scrapbook page, blog post or journal about your experience. 

Your vision will become clear when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dream. Who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung

Doing this project has helped me realize the important things in my every day life - they are really the small things that help keep me centered.

I have some Bazzill mono mini albums to give away and get you started! Leave a comment below (make sure we can contact you!) and I will draw 10 winners on Tuesday 21st. Are you ready to give yourself a present?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Weigh In

Well since I have been out of town and now sick I haven't had a chance to weigh in for two weeks. I have had no idea if I have maintained or gained. I am going to weigh in tonight and will post an update.

Update: Gain for two weeks 1 lb.


This leads me to tell you about the amazing time I had a couple of weeks ago with some very good friends. We have been planning this vacation for almost nine months - which was perfect since it took me that long to save up my money to go! We had talked about finding a place that was much more than just a spa. All three of us have been to several spas through out the world and besides the decor/location they are pretty much the same. We wanted more - something that could give us an experience. With some research we found Miraval Health Spa Resort. And a little more digging we found a great rate during their off season - which btw is not to bad in September, 90's were the highest temps with it cooling down in the evenings.

So what lured us to this resort? Well it did help that Oprah herself had gone to Miraval and raved about it. But really it was Miraval mantra: Life in Balance. Who wouldn't like a little more balance in their lives?? Plus they had pre-planned experiences to help you find this balance. Some of it was a little 'new-agey' for me but there were other activities that suited me just fine.


We arrived on Thursday and picked up by the resort at the Tucson airport - it was about a 40 minute drive to Miraval. We were given some water and a canvas tote bag that had the weeks schedule in it and details of our stay. Once at the resort we had individual customer service reps that greeted us checked us in and gave us a tour of the facilities. After I unpacked and did a little decompressing in my room, I read the resort literature: The "i" in Miraval is me, the spa's goal is to relax me, make me feel cared for and thus able to see things more clearly and be better prepared for life's challenges. I couldn't be more ready for the this weekend.

First on the order of business is getting something to eat - of course! This is what I was most nervous about. Were they going to feed us enough?? LOL! For lunch you can order specials off the menu or you can go to the buffet. Now I am not one for buffets, but I also didn't want to starve. This was probably the best buffet I have ever seen. Healthy but OH so good...fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, salads, homemade tortillas, freshly made soup, vegetarian chili and more! There was something for everyone, even if you are diabetic, celiac, vegetarian, vegan, it was all there. So relieved that I wasn't going to starve.

Dinner is off the menu - there is a first course and second course. Each entree on the menu has the nutrional facts listed below the description and you can order as many as you like. The best part is that they are serving you a TRUE serving size. My steak could fit easily in the palm of my hand. And because it was prepared so well and the quality was so good - it was really all you needed. If only we could all employ a full time chef to cook this way...


I am going to tell you about some of my favorite classes:

Changing Your Metabolism. This was an eye opener class - some of it is repetitive but it is always good to hear over and over again. It was good to jump start me on the weekend to eat better and excercise OR at least make a mental note about it. The alarming number is if you wear a peodometer and do up to 10,000 steps (which is recommended minimum) you burn ONLY 500 calories! Here are some other tips that she mentioned:

    * eat something before exercise and after
    * VERY important to eat breakfast, then a snack, Lunch, snack, the dinner (but not late)
    * Regular exercise - Five mile run in under an one hour
    * Healthy eating plan - develop one now, do not wait until after menopause

After this class I made an appointment to have my Optimal Fitness Diagnostic taken. Let's really find out how bad it is!

Mindful Stress Mastery. Mindful and Mindfullness is something that you hear and see a great deal of at Miraval. Stress reduction - our teacher started out how most of us react mindlessly instead of responding consciously to challenging situations. Angry, worry, tense, BLAME (this is a big one nowadays) is MINDLESS. Does not accomplish anything - we need to really understand how we react to our stress in order to reduce it. Mindfullness is being aware, but not reacting and accepting our moment to moment experience. The two practices that she taught us were Mindful Breathing, something that we should all do five to 20 minutes daily. The second practice was Mindful Relaxation, three to five times per week for 15 to 30 minutes. In a separate post I will talk about ways I try to stay centered in the midst of everyday life.

Sunset Photography Walk. This was a fun class and I was able to play around with the new Canon Rebel XSI. One notable difference is the menu screen - much larger and easier to navigate. Most of my shots were taken in this three hour class.

Every morning my day started out with morning meditation followed by yoga. I also took an abs & glutes class and Body Conditioning. Both of these classes inspired me to buy some resistance bands that can easily travel with me. I was also able to sneak a little poolside time to take a short nap or read. I ended up finishing three books Friday Night Knitting Club, Nanny Diaries and Water For Elephants.

One class that I didn't have a chance to do was the Equine Experience. I found out towards the end of my visit that it really doesn't have anything to do with learning to ride horses! From other guests I had heard this was an amazing experience.

As for my favorite spa treatments:
Ayurveda Abhyanga 50 minutes
Hammam for 80 minutes

Serenity now.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just VOTE




Please register to vote! click here to find out the deadline to register in your state.  If you are already registered and you want to do the right thing, go here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Under the weather


On of the perils of traveling is always the chance that you will come home sick. Well after being on my first cruise (and my last) I had a feeling being around 2500 fellow cruisers that I was bound to catch something. Since Sunday I have been taking Advil Cold & Sinus, Airborne, Thera Flu (at night), using my neti pot and drinking LOTS of tea. As you can see - my desk is in shambles and I have had a hard time concentrating on some important business stuff. Since I was lacking concentration and somewhat 'hopped' up on cold medicence last night I thought I should complete my one week assignment from Cathy Zielske's class Design Your Life.

This is one of my balance layouts - I am so thrilled that 1) I have two finished layouts and 2) that I am using some VERY old product out of my stash! If you are not signed up yet be sure to do so before Wednesday, 8th 10:00 pm PDT!