Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weight Watcher Weigh In

Today is a self-care day. It started with a weigh in at the Weight Watchers meeting, a walk with girlfriends, visiting a new yoga studio for a lunch time OM and a workout with the trainer later this afternoon. There are deadlines that are looming, phone calls to return and emails to answer. But if I don't take this time for me today the continuing weeks are going to get worse mentally!

Sometimes I find myself going so fast that I don't stop to do this until it's too late - I fear this is one of those times. Ever experience this? You know when you wake up and wonder how you got where you are RIGHT now and it's 10 years later?

I saw this little sign in the Shanti Yoga Center today - it's an oldie but a goodie:
"God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference."

Dogs and cats know all about self-care. If you have them in your home have you watched them? Play hard,rest, play hard, rest, give some love, play hard, rest...


Weigh in today was finally something to rejoice over! Down -2.6 pounds, I was actually pretty nervous getting on the scale this morning because of the travel I did last weekend.

What really worked last week:
  • Kept track of everything I ate (whether I knew the points or not) on my iTracker app - even if I nibbled!
  • Was able to sneak one morning run while in St Louis
  • Advocare meal replacement shakes for breakfast and watched my carb intake at lunch
  • WATER, WATER, WATER!
What are you doing for a self-care day? Happy Wednesday!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leaving St Louis

Great time at the For Keepsakes event Scrap St. Louis!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fun Friday finds

I came across this site a couple of months ago and have really enjoyed picking up some unusual fun gifts. I used to have a great store in Portland called "Hello, Portland" and it went out of business several months ago. So bummed because they carried great things!
My favorite is the collection of bandages:
Cupcakes
Love this random toast design
And my favorite are the Pickles!
Since I don't work in an office anymore I don't have to worry about people eating my food in the community fridge. These mold baggies would have come in handy! Although I am sure that there were some co-workers of mine that would have taken my sandwich anyway...
Even if you are not in the shopping mood it is a fun humorous site to check out. :)
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10 ways to go GREEN

While I am traveling to St Louis I wanted to share 10 ways to reduce your environmental impact (in honor of earth day!) - without giving up your modern ways! I pulled the ideas that I am going to work on from Ebay GreenTeam and Country Living.

  1. Leave bar soap by the sink. BECAUSE: Most liquid soap comes in nonrenewable plastic packaging. Substituting one bottle with a bar in each US home would keep 2.5 million pounds of plastic out of landfills.
  2. Put cloth napkins on the table. BECAUSE: Eliminating disposable napkins would keep 500,000 tons of paper-based trash out of landfills each year.
  3. Donate your old cell phone to charity, or return it to the manufacturer for recylcling. BECAUSE: Electronic trash amounts to 70 percent of America's toxic waste. Check out: Mygreenelectronics
  4. Read your water meter- check the meter, then wait an hour without using your faucets or toilets. Now check again. If the number rises during that time, call a plumber. BECAUSE: A dripping tap wastes five gallons of water a day. Fixing a leak can save at least $50 a year!
  5. Register to get your name off junk-mail lists. BECAUSE: Printing junk mail wastes 100 million trees a year. Canceling can reduce your intake by 35 pounds a year. Sign up at dmachoice
  6. Keep your freezer's temperature at 0 degrees F and your refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees. BECAUSE: Adjusting a too-cold freezer by five degrees can cut it's energy use by 20 percent.
  7. Scrub down your car at a car wash, not at home. BECAUSE: A drive through uses less than half the water per car than the typical do it yourselfer - and many establishments recycle their soap water.
  8. Use soft-white compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), not traditional incandescents. BECAUSE: If every American household replaced one standard bulb with a CFL, we could save enough energy to power three million homes a year.
  9. Return wire hangers to the dry cleaner. BECAUSE: More than 3.5 billion hangers reach landfills each year, amounting to 200 million tons of steel that could be put to new use.
  10. Consolidate your errands into fewer trips. BECAUSE: Economizing your tasks into just one or two runs each week can conserve as much as 55 gallons of gas over the course of a year.


Weight Watcher Weigh In

Started the day with an early morning work out with the trainer then went to my Weight Watcher weigh in. It is another gain week: +2.6 pounds. I am not as disappointed about this weight gain because I have doubled my exercise over the past couple of weeks and last Friday I found out that while I am not losing weight - I am losing INCHES! I went to put on some dress slacks that fit me perfectly about six months ago - WELL...they are TWO inches to big in the waist! How could I forget that I may be gaining weight but losing inches???!!! Next week my trainer is going to do total body measurements so we can compare from when I first started. I am very excited to see the results.
Things that are working - smoothie in the AM, Advocare shake for lunch, good dinner, and MNS supplements.
Things that are not working - snacking on the M&M jar...we have this jar on the table and I am sure that I am probably using my points allowance up every time I grab a handful, not journaling/tracker...definitely need to start tracking those M&Ms, and water intake...need to drink more water.
What am I going to commit to this week: Track my points using the WW Tracker, make good eating decisions and exercise while traveling.
Heading out tomorrow for the Scrap St Louis event - if you are going please say hi! I will be doing a make n Take all day on Friday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thinking about our dogs

It was a sad day on Sunday for our friends Jack and Becky. They had to put their 12 year old Samoyed - Stasha to sleep. She was a wonderful soul that tolerated my dogs nipping at her backside and Kirk remembers all the fun she brought on their bike rides. From Jack: SHE WAS A TRUE COMPANION AND A REFLECTION OF ALL THAT IS GOOD.I WILL SURLY MISS THOSE LOVING KISSES THAT WAS HER ONE WAY OF SHOWING HOW MUCH SHE LOVED ME.
For many of us, our pets become a part of our family and it is unfortunate that they are only with us for a short time.

I also just heard about this horrible house fire that a fellow scrapbooker, Teddi had a couple of weeks ago. Not only did she and her boyfriend lose all of their belongings they also lost their two dogs. Heartbreaking - and I have always worried about this with our three. They have a dog door that is open 24/7 but I don't know if they would actually get out of the house in case of a fire. We have taken every precaution and also have one of those decals on our front window to inform any fire rescue person that there are dogs inside and how many. I highly recommend one of these free safety packs.

Now turn around and hug your four legged friend if you have one! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

FUN stuff

After yesterdays downer post let's talk about FUN interesting stuff today!
Starting with an article yesterday from USA Today on Twitter. I actually like Twitter - I use it when I have something to share or to keep my blog somewhat up to date. But according to this article we may be losing human link. 'No one's in the moment anymore' I thought that was what we were doing by Twittering??? Documenting that precise moment...
"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence." - Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist master
This is a hard topic for me to debate - I will admit that I rely heavily on technology for all of my communication. Fortunately for my marriage we both work out of the house so I am not texting Kirk on a daily basis. I don't even think he knows how to text back. But I do text my friends and co-workers, I spend hours upon hours answering emails and conference calls. On the other hand technology/social media has opened up my life to new friendships that otherwise wouldn't have been made and has renewed old ones that would have gone forgotten.
One of the authors quoted in the article was Soren Gordhamer. I downloaded his book last week: Wisdom 2.0: Ancient Secrets for the Creative and Constantly Connected on a recommendation from a long time friend. He could tell I was 'crispy', my new word to describe my state of mind right now.
"Gordhamer says technology aimed at bringing people closer through communication also may be creating distance. 'There are cool aspects. The challenge is: When do we use them and when do they use us?' A tool isn't good or bad; it's just a tool. The question often not explored is what are some of the ways in which it's actually reducing quality of life and relationships?"
What I try to do is make a conscious effort to keep my technology turned off or out of sight when I am around family and friends. Who I worry about the most are the young adults that are growing up with this technology and sometimes their online connection is their ONLY connection. I find that they have a hard time communicating with people face to face. I met a young girl (13 years old) last week that could barely introduce herself - she couldn't even look at me, her mom had to tell her to say 'hello' and say her name. Her mom said it was because she was shy. Maybe? But boy, could she turn around and burn up that keyboard on her cell phone! :) Those of you with young people in your house how are you dealing with all the technology?
I leave you with another not so good but funny photo documenting my three year old niece. SHE knows how to work my iPhone - it's the first thing she wants to pull out of my purse, even before the coveted Chanel lipgloss. "Auntie Pawa, where is your iPhone? I need to text."
Conversation goes on: "Wait auntie Pawa, just wait, I am texting. Okay, I am texting some more." Hopefully she doesn't learn how to Twitter! :)
Happy Thursday!

Weight Watcher Weigh In

I will have to admit that it's been a real struggle to get back into the swing of things lately. I don't know if it's the crud going around, the weather, stress, anxiety, no exercise, taxes OR all of the above! This week has been better but over Easter weekend I must have slept at least 36 hours - I think it's my body telling me to get grounded again.
Weigh in today... 136.4 - yikes that is +3.8 up. I knew last week was too good to be true - the vacation and no exercising final caught up with me this week. What went wrong:
  • #1 no exercise or very little
  • looking at my food journal, poor food choices at night - even though I did good morning and afternoon my choices at night after dinner were not good.
Here is my plan this week - thanks to all of your great input!
  • at least 45 minutes to one hour on the exercise bike - I just started watching the Season 1 of The Tudors on DVD so this is helping.
  • Yoga - finally attended two back to back classes on Tuesday: Morning Sadhana and flow. Really needed both of these. Also if you were looking for a great DVD my yoga studio is getting ready to release their first one. You can pre-order here.
  • Vitamin D - for some reason I had backed off my dosage, not sure why but now I am back to 2000 IUs. The weather here has been winter like and this was the boost I needed!
  • Trainer - will meet with him twice this week and three times a week when I am not traveling
  • Planned my food ahead of time! Went to grocery store and bought veggies and fruit - washed everything when I got home, cut it up and packaged it up. Whew -
  • Smoothie or Advocare shake in the morning and afternoon
  • Lots of water
What's your plan for the week?
I posted this picture of my niece and Kirk, to hopefully depict the energy I want back! She LOVES to run and pounce on him, especially when he makes funny noises. She is three, can you tell by the blurry picture (all of her pictures lately are blurry)?? To have that energy again...
Today I am going to work on my Wellness Journey journal - a little behind on the in the first week but there is still time to register if you haven't. Both Stacy and I are in the class determined to get motivated to MOVE! Let me know if you are in the class -
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Books for sale!

I have 65 books for sale over here  at half.com - most of them are BRAND spankin' new! I have priced most at half price or below. Here is a list of the top ten for sale:
  • The Host by Stephanie Meyer $10
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch $8
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert $1 (yes, a $1 - this book was well loved by many of us!)
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson $5
  • Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini $8
  • The Story of Egdar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski $10
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy $5
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella $2
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen $3
  • The Appeal by John Grisham $4
  • and many more here!
I am getting a start on my spring DEcluttering around the house this week. Let me know if you have any questions!

Weight Watcher Weigh In

Since I weighed in at the end of last week I won't be weighing in this week. But I want to hear from all of you since this post. How is it going? What is working and not working? Any tips you want to share?
Exercise has been hard to get back into after vacation. I had good intentions this week but here we are at Wednesday and I have had to cancel with the trainer because of a raging sinus migraine. This always happens when the weather changes drastically. We also have Big Picture meetings this week - so that means MORE sitting. It's funny that Stacy just posted yesterday about how sedentary our jobs are. I haven't been to yoga in over two weeks and I can tell - my shoulders are almost attached to my ears and my back is stiff. I need to make time - it's on my calendar, I just need to get up and do something when it chimes at me. Wish I could change it to say "Get off your lazy butt lady!"
I have done well with my eating. Knowing that I am not exercising I am not allowing myself to overeat. This is where I get into trouble. Cutting my calorie intake is key - I know that when I am sedentary that I burn around 1800 calories a day (this would be on the high end). I had my metabolism tested last September - this is something that I recommend that you do. With exercise and eating right I can burn around 2200+.
Right now I am researching the benefits of coconut oil and plan to add it to my smoothie recipe in the morning. My girlfriend has added it to her diet and has seen a substantial increase in her metabolism without adding anymore exercise. I will keep you posted on this!
Also don't forget to check out Lisa Cohen's class that starts tomorrow (still time to register) called the Wellness Journey. It is a great way to jump start your getting healthy program! Here is a promo code for $5 off the eight week class: bailout99 Hopefully I will see you in class!
Let me know how you are doing - I really want to know and I know other readers can benefit too. I also have two Advocare giveaways for two random comments!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Crazy Monday

I am hoping to get back in the swing of things - the house is a mess, suitcases are still unpacked (I loathe this part of traveling), email inbox is full, taxes need to be paid, mail needs to be read, the office looks like a cyclone went through it and I have yet to shower. BUT the sun is shining and there are blue skies - it's going to be a good productive day!
Few things to mention:
  • Wicked is an amazing musical! The costumes, set and the voice of the main character Elphie blew me away. Put this on your list of must sees!
  • I am working on this knitting project right now and my friend Lynne gave me a link to this site that has been so helpful! If you want to pick up knitting for the first time and don't have time to take a class this will help you along the way.
  • Cathy never ceases to amaze me - check out her new blog series called Design Do-overs. 
Daily Grind...is back! On Friday I weighed in, after coming back from vacation and I maintained! Very happy with this given the fact that the workout clothes never saw any part of the East coast. I attribute most of the maintaining because I took the handy Advocare shakes with me and had those for breakfast and lunch while also taking my MNS supplements. There were a few days that I opted for Chick Fil A at lunch but dinners we splurged on seafood! I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike and exercise routine.

Kindle 2: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)
Today I also want to review the Kindle 2 for you since I had a chance to take it with me on this last vacation. So far I LOVE it and my buyers remorse is gone. See, after I received the Kindle several weeks ago I was still fretting over the price tag of $359. I can justify the price tag of my iPhone because I use it everyday and it is my bloodline to work. The Kindle was strictly a 'pleasure' purchase and in this economy I feel that those need to be few and far between. But after hearing from a few friends and Kirk was tired of me talking about it incessantly he pulled the trigger for me! :) Not sure if that was my plan - but I was talking about it almost everyday...the pros and cons, and if I should be making that kind of purchase at this time, would I miss reading paper books, would I miss the smell of a new book,I also watched every YouTube video out there - my favorite is this one from the Charlie Rose show. (BTW - Charlie Rose is one of my all time favorite journalist/interviewers!) and I loved this review from Seth Godin, of course all met with the rolling of the eyes and comments about how I should buy it since it would pay for itself in 10 months. How would it pay for itself? I usually buy new release books and I support my local book store so we are talking about $20 to $30 for a new book.
Here is my pros list thus far:
  • Portability - hands down #1 feature for me. Like I mention here - I was 3/4 of the way through Gate House, hard back and a pretty heafty book to carry around. I went ahead and downloaded it before I left and finished reading it on the first leg of our trip. If I had the book version I would have had to carry that book around for the next five days in my suitcase!
  • Book collection is at your finger tips - I downloaded about 20 books before we left, when I was finished with Gate House I was able to choose from a list and not the limited selection that would fit into my suitcase. One huge benefit was since I finished a book on the first leg and we still had four hours to go - I had reading available to me. In the past I would have had to carry two books or buy another one during our layover. 
  • Ergonomics - no need to hold a book open! It will be perfect for working out on the treadmill or exercise bike.
  • Visual - I believe that this device is actually easier on my eyes than reading on paper.  I can also read much longer than usual too - I don't wear glasses but sometimes when I am 'marathon' reading I need to rest my eyes. I usually need to do this quite a bit on the plane because of the dry air but didn't experience this as much. 
  • Battery life was pretty good - I had to charge it on our layover but that was because I didn't fully charge it before we left. On the way home I read the whole way and only used 1/4 of the battery.
  • Space in our house - this is going to be a huge undertaking but I am going to be selling and giving away 100s of books. This is a great way to DE-CLUTTER the house!
  • Subscription to USA Today without all the daily paper! We LOVE USA Today.
  • And last I believe that the Kindle has an opprortunity to be a powerful reading tool. It has the potential to encourage more of our youth to read. It seems that they respond to this digital delivery (of anything) more positively.  Hopefully sight impaired people can benefit from the audio feature and the ability to increase the font size. And one of the things that I would love to see is the ability for college students to buy their books in this format - huge cost savings and no need to lug 50 pounds of books around!
Some cons:
  • Of course the $359 price tag - while I think it's worth it, it is a heafty price tag for today. But I am confident that it will come down over the next few years as it gets cheaper for them to manufacture.
  • It is a computer device so on a plane you have to shut it down during take off and landings. With a traditional book you can be reading the whole time.
  • You need to buy the cover the light separately - and yes you need these two items. It is great in bright light (sun) but in low light you need something like the Mighty light.
  • No sharing of books with friends - I always liked to pass on books or share them with others. Gone are those days - my friends are kind of bummed.
  • Interface is a little confusing - but I think that is because I haven't gone through the directions/tutorial. I am definitely fumbling my way through menus.
  • Reference/Business books - At this time I won't be buying any of these on the Kindle. Mainly because I write in them and crease my pages down for reference in the future. It does have the ability to make notes but at this time I am not comfortable with it.
I will keep you updated on my travels with the Kindle. Be sure to watch the development of this reading device - if you are a passionate reader this may be the next tech gadget for you!
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stampin' Up! Occasions Mini Catalog - part two

Here are some more samples from card night - let me know if you have any questions!

Supplies: Stamps (Choo Choo) (Right on Track), Ribbon (Tangerine Tango stripped grosgrain)

Supplies: Stamps (One Smart Cookie) (Forest Friends), Ribbon (kiwi kiss satin) (Pumpkin Pie 1/4" grosgrain) Cardstock (Kiwi Kiss) (Pumpkin Pie)

Sewing kit supplies: Stamps (Sense of Time)

Supplies: Stamps (Sense of Time)

Gift card holder - Supplies: Stamps (Wagon Full of Fun) (Wow Flowers)

Supplies: Stamps (Wagon Full of Fun) Cardstock (Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery) Patterned Paper (Tea Party) Ribbon (Saffron Grosgrain)

Supplies: Stamps (And Many Mower) Cardstock (Always Artichoke, Baja Breeze) Patterned Paper (Manchester)

I am back from a great vacation and have lots to share with all of you! Happy Thursday -