Posts Tagged ‘beach’

2014-07-25 10.02.15

(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my trip to Oahu in April.  This is Waikiki Beach, and I loved the color of those umbrellas).

1.  As soon as I finish writing this post, Sofi and I are hitting the road and going to the beach for the first time this summer.  I can’t believe I haven’t been to the beach at all yet this summer. I’m excited to beat the heat (it’s supposed to hit the mid-high 90s here today), walk along the beach with Sofi, and just enjoy the crashing waves. Look for pictures on my Instagram later.

2.curly-curling-creme_0For those of you with curly hair, you know how important it is to find the right products.  It’s only recently that my hair has returned to it’s normal curls. After getting my hair smoothed with the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment last December, my curl pattern was completely changed; it wasn’t curly anymore, it was barely wavy.  I’m glad that I got the keratin treatment, because my massive weight loss affected my hair terribly, making it thin, frizzy, and really difficult to manage.  But I’ve realized that I’m just not great at blow drying my own hair on a regular basis (I just don’t have the technique), so I’ve decided not to get the keratin treatment again (which costs $300), and instead treat myself to Dry Bar appointments now and then. But let’s get back to the products.  Now that my hair is back to it’s normal curls, I wanted to find a product that would keep them defined, control the frizz, but and not build up. After trying lots of different things, I found Curly Sexy Hair. I’ve been using the shampoo, conditioner, Full-On Curls, and the Curling Creme.  I like that these products are really affordable, and that they work. I’ve been enjoying lots of compliments on my hair lately, which I haven’t had in about a year.

3. I’ve had a few clothing NSVs this week.  On Sunday, I found the cutest top, but it as in the petite section.  I liked it so much that I decided to try on the petite Medium anyway, and it FIT! Then on Monday, I was shopping around Target and found a cute 49er tee that was a juniors Large (see Instagram photo). The week before last, I went online to Venus and found a bunch of cute tops, all of which were size Mediums; they came on Tuesday, and every single one fits great (see the turquoise, floral peplum top in my Instagram). Yesterday I was thrilled to finally fit into the Chase Infinite tank that I’d bought a couple of months ago (again, see yesterday’s Instagram workout post). Every time I buy clothes in these small sizes, I am amazed at the fact that they fit. Not only fit, but that they look good.  Shopping is such a pleasure now.  I’ve always loved getting new clothes, but now that I can walk into any store and find something adorable, I am loving it!

4. I usually love watching movies in the summer, but I have to say that I’ve been very underwhelmed at the offerings.  The last movie I went to was The Fault in Our Stars, which was very good.  In the many weeks since, there really hasn’t been much I’d be willing to see.  But suddenly there are a few that I’m looking forward to:

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5. 2014-07-13 00.05.37 I found this photo on Instagram awhile ago, and I love it.  Not only is “choose happy” the way that I try to live my life on a daily basis, but I also love the beach and the image of the sun.  Seeing this just makes me smile, and I’m going to put it up on my white board at school as a daily reminder.  Because no matter how stressful the situation, how disappointing the news, or how unfortunate the event – I choose my reaction and I choose HAPPY.

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Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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Happy Friday!  Today is my last Friday of summer vacation!  I wish I could tell you I was typing this from some amazing location, like  the beach, but alas, I’m sitting on my couch in the living room.  I did want to make sure to make today really count, since it’s the last Friday I’ll have off in quite some time.


1.  I started out today with a Zumba class. My first time taking Zumba since surgery, and it was fantastic! The teacher was super energetic, and really fun.  I noticed that I was able to really increase my intensity with the moves like never before.  For example, in the past when the class was doing jumping kicks, I’d just keep my feet on the ground and kick.  Not today!  I was jumping and kicking right along with them.  My cha-cha-cha and my meringue probably looked a bit rusty, but I was keeping pace with the rest of the class, which just shows me another NSV – my fitness level is so much stronger than I was before surgery, and it’s only going to get better from here.  I decided today in class that once I’m able to fit into the sizes, I’m buying myself some Zumba pants to wear.


2. Speaking of buying clothes, this week I hit another fun milestone – I’ve lost enough weight that I’m able to justify buying bras from Victoria’s Secret. For so long my band size was too large to find anything nice at VS, but now that I’m measuring a 38, there’s so much more within reach.  I treated myself to a couple of fun, sexy bras, and I can’t wait for them to arrive.

3. Wednesday evening headed to Italian Heritage Night at the SF Giants, and had a great time.  But what is sort of amazing to me is that when my friend snapped this photo of me while we were waiting for the train, I didn’t immediately feel the need to crop the photo so that it only showed my body from the waist up.  In fact, when I looked at it again yesterday, I realized just how much smaller my hips/thighs are now. Those are still (and always will be) my biggest problem area, but my body is really transforming.  It was really cool to notice it from this photo.


4. School is about to begin, and next week I have two teacher professional development days that I’m attending, which isn’t something worth writing about, except for the fact that this year, the district bought every teacher an iPad!  I’m so excited to get mine and try it out.  I’m a huge Mac fanatic, but couldn’t see spending that much money on an iPad, when I have a  MacBookPro and an iPhone.   But since the district is giving us one, hey, I’m all for it.  The PD day is supposed to show us some interesting uses of the iPad in the classroom.  Yay for free Apple gadgets!

5. Since today is my last Friday, I want to do something fun, so I think I’m going to head to the beach with Sofi so we can both enjoy this beautiful day.

I hope you have a great day!

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I have about a month of summer vacation left, and I plan to eek all the excitement out of these last weeks as possible. I haven’t been to the pool in over a week, and I miss it, so I plan on doing much more swimming while I still have the time.  In fact, I really want to focus on trying one new fitness activity per week: using a spinning app I bought to get on a spin bike at the gym and give it a whirl, going to a Zumba class for the first time since surgery, getting back into Hot Hula in August, trying one of the weight training classes (like BodyPump), and maybe even Body Combat, if I’m feeling really adventurous.

I know this is supposed to be about summer, but today I had a meeting with some of the administrators from school, and I was able to see my schedule for next year.  I’m happy to report that I once again have a 3rd period prep, which means that I have the last period of my “A” day off.  Just like last year, I plan on leaving early enough so that I can get to the gym before the masses.

528403_10151320359910426_1422342242_n Tomorrow my sister and I are headed to SeaScape Resort with the doggies.  I love going there, because it’s a semi-private beach that allows dogs to go off leash.  Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous there.  I’m looking forward to a long walk in the sand with the waves lapping my feet.  I also love watching the dogs run far ahead and then come back; they get so tired by the time we’re through.  It should be a fun day.

Friday Night Lights tv show image I just started watching Friday Night Lights, and I’m in the middle of quite a marathon.  I love this show!  I’ve always loved football, and of course I enjoy the whole high school aspect, plus I love the sense of school pride the show displays.  I’m just beginning Season 2, and I’m enjoying the character development.

10644930 I recently started reading the behemoth 11/23/63 by Stephen King.  It’s 849 pages, which is really daunting because I have it in it’s full, heavy hardcover glory.  I’ve never been a huge fan of Stephen King’s horror, but I love his other fiction, like Shawshank Redemption and The Body, which is the novella that Stand By Me is based on.  I’m enjoying the writing, and I’m really intrigued by the topic.  I’ll keep you posted.

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I’ve been enjoying this week off to the fullest! It’s been a nice combination of getting in workouts, seeing friends, getting just a bit of grading done, and going here and there. Fun stuff!

20130412-093449.jpg1. Yesterday Ani, my sis, and I took our pups to the beach and had the most amazing day. If you’d like to see more gorgeous pics, and read a bit more about it, you can check out the post I wrote on Sofi’s blog.

2. TinkerBell made a good point the other day, when she said that she bought a cotton maxi dress to come home from the hospital in after WLS. Because we’ll be feeling sore and bloated, and the 5 laproscopic incisions will be sensitive, a lightweight and easy-to-wear maxi is ideal. Only I don’t have one. After checking on LaneBryant.com and being appalled that they were charging $59.99-$89.99, I went on Target.com and found these dresses for $21.99 each:

20130412-094409.jpgWhy spend a lot of money on something that won’t fit me for long anyway?

3.Have you seen the great giveaway Kenlie has going on over at AlltheWeigh? I entered, and if you workout at a gym and need a small solution for your essentials, you should, too.

Kenlie's photo

Kenlie’s photo

images4.  I’m excited for a much-need pedi that I have scheduled for later today.  I think I’m going with a fun turquoise, like For Audrey by China Glaze.

5. And finally, I’ll close with a great quote that I saw on FitApproach’s FB page:


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All images found via Pinterest search: Beach

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Goal Style. Each week I use Polyvore to put together looks that I hope to wear when I get to goal. They serve as inspiration and motivation, and they help me develop my own sense of style along the way. I enjoying working with thematic groupings, so if you have ideas of style themes for future fashion posts, please put them in the comments.

I haven’t done a Goal Style post in weeks, so I thought it was high time I did one.  Since I’m reporting my weigh-in progress on Fridays, I’m moving these fashion posts to any other day of the week, because fashion happens everyday, right?

This week’s Goal Style was inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest of a beautiful sunset on the beach, with a beach cruiser parked near at a dock. The nice thing about this pin is that it’s easy enough for me to re-create it, since I have beaches just 45 minutes away in either direction.  I love riding my beach cruiser, and this picture helps remind me of the laid back feeling I get when I’m on it.  It’s a great reminder that  I need to hop on the bike a bit more often.

The clothes themselves are easy, breezy.  I was just telling my sister yesterday that I wanted to get a straw hat to have when my summer curls aren’t at their best. In fact, I just bought a hat straw hat online this morning.  Mine is a little less floppy (more wearable everyday) than this one is, but I do like the way the whole out fit came together.  It’s definitely something I could see myself wearing.  In fact, I own those Reef flip flops and LOVE them – very supportive and comfy, even when walking all around.  The shorts are Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, a brand I’ve put on a previous Goal Style because I hear they’re made for curvy women.  The Tory Burch top is a fantasy, but it definitely looks nice with the outfit, right?  And while I don’t any bracelets like those, I would love some.  I really like the trend of stacking lots of bracelets because it reminds me of Madonna in the 80s. Maybe I’ll get some for myself for my birthday.

Where’s the last place you’ve taken a bike ride?

Summer Sunset Beach Bike Ride

Tory Burch scoop neck top
£81 – farfetch.com

NYDJ shorts
$55 – zappos.com

Reef shoes
$28 – endless.com

Chan Luu wrap bracelet
$190 – endless.com

Floppy straw hat
£20 – houseoffraser.co.uk

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Goal Style. Each week I use Polyvore to put together looks that I hope to wear when I get to goal. They serve as inspiration and motivation, and they help me develop my own sense of style along the way. I enjoying working with thematic groupings, so if you have ideas of style themes for future fashion Friday posts, please put them in the comments.

I have one more week before Spring Break, and while I’m not going anywhere this year, a girl can dream, can’t she?  If I could go anywhere, I’d hit a beach somewhere tropical.  Let’s say Hawaii.  Or maybe the Bahamas.  I wouldn’t say no to Turks and Caicos either.  As long as I can see miles and miles of ocean and sand, and work is the last thing on my mind, the WHERE doesn’t matter.

The WHAT inspired my Goal Style this week.  This set is absolutely an inspiration outfit, yet it’s so me right now.  I have this same exact fabric on my current, plus-size swimdress that I wear to aqua aerobics and to swim in, so you know I love the pattern.  And I see no reason not to keep my retro esthetic when I’m at my goal weight.  I love the red beach cruiser, and plan to buy one for myself once I get to goal.  (I currently have a great beach cruiser that I bought a few years ago, but the peach color is so not me).  And that fun wicker and pink retro convertible?  To.Die.For.  Want!!  If for nothing else but to just drive to and from the beach.  I always like cat’s eye sunglasses, so that was a no-brainer for me.  And I went fairly simple with the tote and the flip flops.

So, when does the vacay flight leave?

Spring Break Beach Style
Spring Break Beach Style by bellaonthebeach featuring flower hair accessories

Retro swimwear
$90 – modcloth.com

Crystal shoes
$40 – jildorshoes.com

Sensi Studio straw handbag
£165 – matchesfashion.com

Tom Ford cat eye sunglasses
390 CAD – dealuxe.ca

ASOS flower hair accessory
$11 – asos.com

Cartwheel Galaxy

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in #WEverb11. Each day gives a new prompt, each of which is a chance to reflect and look forward.

December 26: Revive

Share a favorite photo from the past year. What was happening behind the scenes? What were you thinking or feeling? What could you smell, taste, see, hear at that moment? Contributed by Tara.


This was taken on the beach in Carmel this summer.  It was the first time that Sofi had ever been on the beach, and the first time I’d gone with my sister and my nieces and their dog this summer.  In fact, I think it was the only time all of us were able to go.

I love how Sofi’s hair is so wind-blown and her eyes are all squinty, because of the wind.  She was in awe of all of the sand around us. It was so much fun just being out there with her and watching her observe everything.

It was good for me because I got out of my own comfort zone and let Sofi go off leash.  I had to put a lot of faith in the fact that she wouldn’t go off too far and that she’d come back to me when I called her.  I remember just how nervous I was that day as she walked just a few feet from me.  And when she went a bit farther, I got even more nervous, but I just let her go, with my sister’s coaching and encouragement.  And then I called to her and she came, and it was the best feeling ever.

It was the only time I’ve ever taken Sofi to the beach, and I’d had such a good time, I think I might just take her again this week.  So what if it’s December and it’s cold outside?  We’re not going to go swimming – Sofi is scared of the ocean (or she was, last time, anyway) and I’m not going to take a swim.  The weather at the beach is usually warmer than inland (where I live) this time of year, and our weather has been gorgeous around here lately – 60s and sunny.  I don’t have any plans on Wednesday, so I think I’m going to head to Santa Cruz (or maybe Half Moon Bay) with Sofi and make a day of it.

This photo also reminds me to take more photos of everyday life.  Because you never know when you’re capturing a memory.


If you’d like to join in on the daily writing prompts, go to WEverb11, sign up for the email notifications, and join us! Or follow along on Twitter using the #WEverb11 hashtag!

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Phew, I’m finally coming up for air.  And YES, I do realize that today is Tuesday, and not Monday, but it’s been so crazy that I am barely catching up on some of the blogs.  I was super-busy this weekend grading and now that it’s done and I have a brief respite until the next sets of essays come in, I thought that letting my mind wonder on today’s topic would be the perfect getaway.  Even if it’s only pretend!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Dream Vacation(s)

If you were given two tickets that you (and someone you chose) could use to fly anywhere in the world, where would you go? And why?

I have two vacations in mind – one is a completely relaxing, lay-on-the-beach-and-veg-out kind of trip and the other one would take me to the hustle and bustle of NYC/East Coast.  You know what?  Since this is my blog, I think I’ll write about both.

Dream Vacation #1  – The Beach  – Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento, Italy

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by work (and life) the last few weeks – nothing too stressful if I’m honest with myself – just really busy.  Nonetheless, I have been feeling a bit wound up and stressed out.  At times like that, nothing calms me down like being near the ocean.  I’m lucky enough to live 45 minutes in either direction from the Pacific Ocean, but since we’re talking about a Dream Vacation, I figured I had to make it a bit exotic.  Right?

I’ve been to Sorrento, Italy before, in 1995 when my sister and I took a month-long, single-sisters-see-the-old-country trip through Italy.  It was fantastic.  It has all the coastal beauty of the much more well known Capri, without all the hype.  There are definitely lots of tourists all about, but the people of Sorrento seemed nicer and more down to earth than the ones we met on the isle of Capri.

On my this dream vacation, I’d wake up early and walk through the town square, stopping at my favorite torrefazione and order a Cappuccino and some sort of breakfast bread.  My days will be spent on the beach, lounging with Salvatore and/or Giuseppe, reading, laughing, and enjoying the turquoise water.  Evenings will be spent enjoying the locals – soaking up my southern Italian culture, learning a bit of the language, and just having fun.  Maybe a ride on the back of a cute guy’s Vespa.  Nothing too planned out.  Just pure hedonistic enjoyment of the time, place, and people.

Dream Vacation #2  – The East Coast

I’ve never been to NYC before; a fact that most find shocking.  I know I’d love the busyness of the streets, the energy of the people, and the amazing sites and sounds.  NYC just seems to be alive to me.  I want to see plays on Broadway and food from around the world at 3am (it IS the city that never sleeps, after all).  I also want to take a spin class at Soul Cycle.

I want to go running or biking through Central Park and take in all of the natural beauty hidden in the middle of that giant metropolis. I want to have a sweet treat at Serendipity (after burning off the calories at Soul Cycle, I think my food log will allow it).

From NYC, I’d like to travel to New Jersey.

  No, not because I’m obsessed with all the t.v. shows featuring Jersey (although I do love RHONJ), but because it just seems like my kind of state.  Lots of down-to-earth, loud, hard-working, loyal Italian-Americans.  In the Bay Area, there are some Italians, but nothing like the numbers I know live in Jersey.  Growing up, I was always mistaken for another ethnicity – Mexican, Persian, Colombian – you name it, but never Italian.  In New Jersey, I know that I’d be recognized without a doubt.  One of my friends kids that “Jersey is the armpit of America,” and I’m sure that some parts of New Jersey are that way, but I know that others are just as gorgeous as anywhere else.  I’ve always secretly thought the future love of my life would come from the East Coast, and Jersey is as good as anywhere to find “the one.”  And if all else fails, I’ll go “down the shore” and just enjoy the beach (and the fist-pumping music).

What trip to New England would be complete without a stop in Boston?

Beautiful fall foliage in Boston Common.

I’ve been to Boston, MA in the summer, and it was nice, but I really want to go at this time of year and see the beautiful fall foliage that can’t be found anywhere else.  Plus, Boston is one of the only other cities I could ever see myself living (if I ever had to leave the SF Bay Area). The people are so warm and friendly, and they definitely know how to have a good time.  There’s so much history, too, which I love learning more about.  Whether I could withstand the winters is a whole other story.


Now it’s your turn! Where would your dream vacation take you?  Don’t forget to go to Kenlie’s blog and link up in the comments!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, Everyone! (I almost forgot it was Tuesday, which is why this post is so late).

Look up.  Notice anything different?  Look a little closer…

Yes, I gave the blog a new and improved look to go with the new name.  Bella in LapBandLand didn’t fit anymore because I’ve decided to go with VSG.  And beyond that, I didn’t want this blog tied to WLS, because it’s about so much more than that.  It’s really about a healthy lifestyle, which includes making smart food choices and exercising on an almost daily basis.  It’s about my LIFE.

And since one of my major goals in life is to be able to go to the beach wearing a bathing suit and feeling comfortable (looking good), I figured I’d incorporate that goal in the header picture.  Bathing Suit Bella is pretty cute, don’t you think?  She’s still got curves, but they’re more in proportion.  Love it!

(There are a few other looks, but I’m going to save that one for a later date, so keep your eyes peeled for that).

Once again Meghan Murphy did a phenomenal job with my directions.  Thank you Meghan, for your quick & creative work!  🙂

Now on to today’s workout.  It’s over 100 degrees here today, and since I had to clean up from last night’s 4th of July BBQ and couldn’t get to the gym in the morning, I knew it was going to be a swimming day.

I swam for about 30 minutes, but I definitely noticed a bit of a drag in the pool.  Too much alcohol running through my veins from the weekend’s festivities, perhaps?  No worries, I’m sure I’ll be back to the swing of things in no time now that I’m back on track.

My Workout Plan for this Week:
Tuesday: swimming (done)
Wednesday: Zumba
Thursday: swimming
Friday: Zumba
Saturday: Body Pump (finally incorporating some strength training)

Tomorrow’s not going to be pretty on the scale if today is any indication, but I know that once I get all of the “fun” out of my system, I’ll be back and better than ever.

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