Posts Tagged ‘Cost Plus World Market’

Yesterday my mom and I went shopping.  And by shopping I mean that we were at it from 12:30-5pm.  Yes, 4 1/2 hours of shopping craziness.  We hit Michael’s, Cost Plus, Macy’s (for clothes), Pier 1, and finally the grocery store, because my mom needed a few things.  We had the best time together, and found some amazing things.

My main shopping list included things for the new house, which I got, and then some.  I also found 6 new tops at Macy’s.  That aspect of the day was really eye-opening, because so many of the tops I  tried on didn’t fit or didn’t look good.  Even the 3x’s were small in some cases.  It was semi-depressing, but I just kept reminding myself that this won’t be forever, that soon I’ll be fitting anything I want to wear.  At one point we were in the “normal” sizes to find things for my mom and I told her, “I wish they had cute stuff like this for me.”  And she said, “Bella, these will be for you before you know it.  Don’t get discouraged about the fact that some of those tops were tight or weren’t flattering.  Before you know it, you’ll be shopping in this section and everything will look great on you.”  Which was really nice of her to say. And it just gives me that much more impetus to keep on track.

The rest of this post is going to be photo-heavy, because I’m really excited to share my new house with you.  Enjoy.

The front door/porch – decorated for Halloween:

I love this sign!  Purchased it at Michael’s.

I saw this doormat online at WorldMarket.com and knew I had to have it.  I built the rest of the decorations around it.

Even the pumpkin is “be-witched.”


I love all the light in the kitchen, and that I was able to make a little “coffee nook.”

I’m re-learning how to cook on an electric stove, and so far, it’s going pretty well.  This photo also lets you see the beautiful tile on the floor.

I’m spoiled by all the counterspace I have in this kitchen!  This doesn’t even show it all; some of it got cut off in the photo.

Dining Room:

The dining room is still a work in progress.  I’m going to buy a “real” dining set in the next couple of weeks.  I know the one I want, so now it’s just a matter of paying for it.  😉

I’m beginning to develop the wine theme in the room.

I love these two framed art prints, purchased at Cost Plus.


This is a view of the backyard from the living room.  It is still very much a work in progress, as well, but I love how lush and green it looks here.  The backyard is a bit larger than this photo shows, and Lulu loves every square inch of it!

Living Room:

Close-up of the leaf pumpkin that I bought yesterday at Pier 1.  It’s a nice, easy way to add fall decor to the room.

The fireplace and the mantle.

I bought the Mexican spice candles yesterday at Cost Plus.  I love the way they smell, and they add great height to the mantle, as well as adding more color of the season into the room.

I found these fall harvest veggies at Michael’s yesterday, and I love how the add seasonal decoration to the room.

Master Bedroom:

Looking into the bathroom.

As soon as I saw this framed corset, I knew I had to have it for the top of my dresser.  I found it at Pier 1, and originally it was on a tall stand that would have never worked where I wanted it.  My mom suggested that my dad could cut the metal, and she was right – he did!  (What can’t that man do?).  I absolutely adore that the colored ornaments are the exact tangerine color of my duvet cover.

So that’s my home, for now.  I still have to decorate the other bedroom and the guest bathroom, as well as finish the dining room.  Still, I’m really happy with my progress so far, and I feel like this duplex has definitely become a home.  I’m thrilled with the way I’ve decorated it, and even prouder to call it my home.


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After last week’s scary weigh-in, I knew that this week was going to be better. No matter what the scale showed, I knew that I was going to be down, because I’ve been doing well with water, tracking, and generally feeling a lot more positive about the whole process. Besides that, I went to an aqua aerobics class last night (for the first time in over a year!) and I was feeling really good about myself and the choices I’ve made this week.

Let’s get to that scale shot:

Which means I’m down 4.2 lbs from last week (yay!), but I’m showing an overall gain of 1.9 lbs since first weighing in on this Lap Band journey. Even though I’m showing a gain since August, I’m not upset, because I’m moving in the right direction now. I lost 4 pounds since last week! And I know that I’m in the right mindset to continue this progress and drop those pounds (plus more) in the coming weeks.

The thing I hadn’t faced since last week was the fact that in 3 weeks I’d gained over 10 lbs. That’s scary (hence the name of last week’s post). It shows how easily I can slip into bad habits when I’m not being mindful of what I’m eating and when I’m not formally working out. I thought that all of my walks with Lulu and the packing would have circumvented the fast food and quick meals I was eating, but obviously not. It’s a good reminder for myself that I staying on track is essential to getting to my goal.

Now that life is back to normal, there are no reasons not to succeed, and I’m excited about all that I know I’m going to achieve in the coming months.

And You Thought Gym Drama Only Happened on The Biggest Loser!
Last night I went to the gym (after having avoided it for literally months), and it felt so good. Now that I’ve moved, I’m really close to my favorite 24 Hr Fitness location, which is great. It’s a busy club, but it’s big, has lots of machines, tons of fitness classes, and a pool. They’ve also instituted this new way to check in that moves away from the membership card (which I was always misplacing) and uses your phone number and your index fingerprint to verify your membership instead. Not only is this cyber-cool, it’s great not having to worry about whether I have my membership card with me.

The parking lot can be a nightmare, so I got there early and parked far away. I got to the pool about 30 minutes before the aqua aerobics class, and used the time to warm up: slow swimming, treading water, etc. Those minutes added up to 171 calories, which just goes to show that mindful exercise makes a difference.

Yesterday it was hot here: over 100 degrees, so I thought the class would be packed, but it only had about 15 people in it. The instructor was new to me, but she was awesome! And she announced that in addition to Tuesdays, she’s also going to be teaching the Wednesday evening class, as well. I’m definitely going back again tonight. The thing I loved about her teaching style was that she got in the water with us. She did all of the moves along with us, and showed us how it should look in the water. She also got out of the pool a few times to demonstrate some of the more difficult moves for the newbies, so it was a good combination of in and out of the pool instruction. (In the past all of the other instructors stayed on the pool deck, making the class feel a bit formal). Having her in the pool with us made it feel a lot more intimate and tight-knit, which was nice.

I was having a great time in the class, feeling like a star student. Even though it had been so long since I’d taken it, the moves came naturally to me, and I was able to put forth really strong effort, which didn’t go unnoticed by the teacher or some of the other students. It’s always nice to feel like I am excelling in an exercise class, because so often I feel like I’m not able to do the moves like everyone else. I was feeling so proud of myself.

Then all of a sudden there was this enormous splash in the water at the other end of the pool. Two knuckleheads decided to do cannonballs into the pool in the middle of our class! (If you’re sensitive to foul language, stop reading).

The teacher chased them out of the pool, but they were arguing with her. These meatheads weren’t young teenagers; they were in their late 20s, at least. One was near me and I looked up (from the pool) and said, “Really? You felt like you had to interrupt our class like that? Does that make you feel good?” To which he responded, “Fuck you, you fat bitch.” And then it was on.

I said, “Oh, you’re a big man for making fun of the fat girl in the pool, right, asshole. You’re no “Situation” yourself. Fuck you.” The funny thing is, in all these years of being fat, I can count on both hands the times when someone has said something like that to me. I wasn’t really riled up afterward, either, because they guy was such a dick.

I basically shrugged the whole episode off so that I could enjoy the rest of the class, and I’m glad I did, because I got in a really hard workout and left feeling really empowered, in spite of the antics. The cardio workout I get from aqua aerobics is great, and I could really tell how much better my lung capacity is now that I’ve quit smoking. It’s so wonderful to me that I am so much healthier in a relatively short amount of time (49 days, or 7 weeks!).

After the class I got changed and then went to the front desk and told them about the incident (which they knew about, somewhat), and they said that they were going to review the tape (they have cameras in the pool area) and that once they figured out who the member was, they were going to revoke his membership for what he said to me and the way that he disrupted the class. Justice!

They also said they were going to review their policy in terms of who is allowed into the pool area during an aqua class. Right now anyone can be in there, and there’s often an “audience” which is somewhat disconcerting because we’re not in the most attractive poses for most of the class. It would be nice if they’d post a sign saying that for the hour the class is taking place only class participants are allowed in the area. The only problem with that is that this is also where the hot tub, steam room, and sauna is, so I’m not sure how other members would feel about not being able to use those services for that hour. I guess we’ll see how it all shakes out.

The main point is – I went to the gym!! I enjoyed the aqua class! And I didn’t let some asshole disrupt me in the least. I’m going again tonight to the aqua class and I’m planning to go to this new bellydancing class on Sunday morning. I’ll have gone to the gym more this week than I have in over 6 months, and that feels great. I’m definitely on a roll, which is why those 1.9 pounds aren’t looming too heavily over my head. I know that as long as I stay consistent with my efforts, they’ll come off quickly.

Bella’s back, baby!

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I was determined to make the most of this, my final day of . This week off went by so quickly, but I enjoyed the rest and relaxation that it allowed me to experience.  Now I’m looking forward to summer, which is only 9 weeks away, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Ahhh, what an absolutely perfect Sunday I had today!  It started with brunch with my mom, Ish, and her mom.  We caught up on our lives, shared laughs, and then headed to one of the best farmers’ markets in my local area.  The thing is HUGE – 6 blocks long – and filled with produce, flowers, and crafts from local farmers, florists, artisans, and artists.  It was a beautiful, sunny day (mid to high 70s), and hitting this farmers’ markets with these ladies is one of my favorite ways to spend any Sunday, but was especially nice on this, the last day of my spring break.

These flowers are the gorgeous palette of spring at the Campbell Farmers’ Market. Looking at all the beautiful colors just puts me in a great mood. There were so many different florists to choose from, offering all sorts of flowers.  Everything from old favorites to the very unexpected.

Very quirky hanging plants.  I really liked the ones on the far left (click the picture to make it larger so you can really see them).  I almost got them, but then I found these for $5:

Aren’t they spectacular?  They’re called protea, and I’ve never seen anything so unique in my life.  I was so happy to find flowers like these that you definitely can’t find at the local supermarket.  Plus, the price was ridiculously inexpensive, so I just couldn’t pass them up.

I was really attracted to the painting of the woman in the red dress and got into a completely entertaining conversation with the eccentric artist who painted them.  He told me that a few months ago he was painting on cardboard on the streets of Carmel.  One afternoon someone saw him and offered him $10,000 to paint as many as he could on canvas.  From there he said, “my work has been at galleries from here to New York, and I sell the paintings for $1500 apiece.  But I don’t like to be tied to any galleries, so I will sell that one to you, out of the joy it will bring my heart to know that you’ll love it, for $150, but don’t tell anyone”.  He was so funny.  I told him I had to think about it, to which he responded, “well do be expedient in your decision, dear, because I have to start packing up soon.”  LOL.  I didn’t end up getting it, but it was fun to hear his story and talk to him.

I bought lots of beautiful produce, including a mix of baby kale and swiss chard, the sweetest, most flavorful, crisp Asian pears I’ve ever tasted, some Persian cucumbers, and Iranian bolani, which is a naan-like bread with spinach that is only 1 point.  I’m looking forward to trying that tonight.  The sights and sounds of the farmers’ market are always so invigorating to me because all the food brings to mind so many cooking possibilities. There really isn’t anything better than farm fresh produce, locally produced, and waiting for a little inspiration.

(Side note: I was pretty hungry by the time I got home much later this afternoon, so I decided to try the bolani.  I was intrigued that they were so low in calories, fat, and high in fiber.  As directed, I heated them in a skillet over medium heat, with just a bit of Pam.  One whole bolani, pictured, is only 3 points!):

If you think this trip to the farmers’ market was where the afternoon ended, you obviously don’t know my mom.  😉  After we said our goodbyes to Ish and her mom, we headed to not one, not two, but three different stores in search of the perfect vase for her to put her protea in.  (Mine are in beautiful vases from Pottery Barn that I already had). But with these strange beauties as our motivation, we knew the quest had to be met with the iron shoppers’ will that only my mom possesses.

We headed first to Michael’s, but found nothing but a long line of disgruntled women who were upset to be waiting to purchase their goods, rather than being outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Undaunted, we went to Cost Plus World Market, where we didn’t find any vases, but where I found some inspiration to redo my living room.  Prior to seeing these, my living room was a mixture of gold and burgundy, which is rich and luxurious in winter, but feels quite heavy at this time of year.  I have a plan to change the artwork on my walls (a post and photos about this next week, after it’s completed), and I’ve been wanting to change the colors to something more that echo the freshness of spring and summer.  When I found these, I knew that I couldn’t leave the store without them:

I absolutely love these pillows. The colors just make me happy. They’re so whimsical and vibrant. They totally fit the mood and personality I want to create within the room.

(I also got some silk flowers to put in my vases, but since I have the protea in them right now, I’ll snap another photo of those once they expire in a few weeks).

We left Cost Plus without finding my mom’s vase, so we headed to Pier 1 next.  I adore this store more than I can say, and if I had endless amounts of money, I could’ve left with so much more. As it was, I found a couple of things that I knew would really help put the living room together well:

I love the stripes in this pillow, and how the colors tie in well with the other two pillows I found at Cost Plus.

I also found a great candle holder that has those same colors:

I wish the photo show how beautiful it looks with the candles illuminating it.

I cannot tell you how invigorated I felt knowing that for a small amount of money I had the things I needed to help transform my living room.  Since it’s the room I spend the majority of my time in, I want to make sure it has an atmosphere that I find soothing.  As I mentioned before, there are still a few more touches that I need to make before the “makeover” is complete, but it’s definitely well on its way.

Oh, and before you think that we forgot about our original purpose, the quest for the perfect vase for my mom’s protea, here’s the vase we found.  It’s blown glass, made in Italy, and it’s gorgeous.  It’s a gold-colored vase with veins of rust running through it.  Our afternoon’s quest was complete!

When I got home I was seriously so tired that I felt like I had walked a 5K.  We were out and about and either standing or walking for over 4 hours straight.  I counted it as an hour of slow walking, which earned 4 APs.  🙂

Today, and this entire weekend, I was really active and social, and it felt so good.  It really reinforced to me that I need to try to be this way more often.  During these long winter months I’ve been hibernating, and it feels great to be out and about and enjoying this gorgeous weather.  Again, it makes me long for summer, but for now I’ll have to make each weekend count.

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My first week off of school has been absolutely fantastic! Have I done my “summer workout plan” perfectly? No. But have I been getting in a lot more activity than I was the last month of school. Definitely!

For example, I had some library books to pick up on Thursday, and instead of driving, I decided to ride my bike the 2.3 miles round trip. The weather was beautiful and I was feeling so good after planting a bunch of flowers in my garden. I was nearly killed along the way by a stupid truck driver (not all truck drivers are stupid, but believe me, this guy was. Dude, I was in the bike lane, could you have waited to make the turn for two more seconds instead of forcing me to a stop because I thought you were going to mow me down?) Other than the near-death experience, I really enjoyed the ride, and I hope to complete more “short distance” errands this summer via the bike. The one thing that I didn’t take into consideration was that I had 9 hardback library books waiting for me. Nine. That’s a lot of books. Thank goodness my basket is big, but still, they barely fit.

I was going to go to the farmers market on Friday, but a few other errands got in the way, and before I knew it, it was past 2pm. Determined to go to a farmers market on a weekly basis, I hit another one on Sunday. This one was too far for me to ride my bike to, so I drove, and I’m glad. I found lots of beautiful produce and flowers – much too much to fit in aforementioned bike basket. Here, see for yourself:

Sunday, 6/21

Sunday, 6/21

I just love dahlias, and these were gorgeous bunches – two for $8. I just couldn’t resist. I’m having my parents and my uncle over for appetizers and cocktails tonight, so I thought the fresh flowers would be a nice touch to the living room.

My arranging skills could use a little work (maybe a bigger vase?), but they're still gorgeous.

My arranging skills could use a little work (maybe a bigger vase?), but they're still gorgeous.

Yesterday after the farmers market, I headed to Cost Plus World Market to look for some interesting wines. I found a really fun label that I knew I just had to buy. Who knows if the wine is any good, but with a label like this, how could I resist?

The Real Housewives series must be influencing me!

The Real Housewives series must be influencing me!

A couple of the other wine finds are in the background – a grenache from Spain, as well as a wine called “Gypsy Red.” (I bought a few white wines, too).

I also found this amazing (and semi-addictive) snack: download-6 That’s smoked cheddar kettle corn, folks. Yum! It is relatively high in fat, but 2 1/2 cups is about 3.5 points, and it’s so good that it’s worth the splurge. Soooooo good!

For Father’s Day, we decided to go fairly healthy and grill up some turkey burger sliders:

download-7 My mom said she actually found the grill pan (or whatever you’d call it) at World Market as well. Unfortunately, this was one purchase that didn’t work out so well. We had high hopes, because the form used to make the proper sized patties was so adorable and they fit so well into the tool, yet the cooked burgers didn’t release easily from it, no matter how much Pam my dad sprayed on beforehand. He was so frustrated, in fact, that he threw it away at the end of the night. (My dad is an incredibly patient man, so if he gets frustrated, you know it’s bad). Still, the sliders were delish. My mom adds green onions, olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper – they’re the best-tasting turkey burgers around. We ate them without buns and accompanied by farmers market-fresh, white corn, homemade chili, and a salad of red and yellow tomatoes (farmers market again), cucumbers from my dad’s garden, purple onions, and a chiffanade of basil (from the garden) mixed with just a bit of Good Seasons dressing – so summery and so good!

Today I finally went out and bought the velcro for the EA Sports Active, although I do have to admit I didn’t play it today. I did take a walk, as well as my morning Wii Fit, so I’m happy with that. I had a lot of errands again today, so not as much time for working out. Still, I did get a workout in, which is awesome.

My main goal for the rest of this week is to go swimming (the weather is finally warming up!), and continue to bike ride, walk, Wii Fit, and EA Sports Active.

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Sundays are usually my days to go grocery shopping.  I like doing it before the work week begins, and it always makes me feel organized to have the house fully stocked and ready for the week ahead.

Today I went to Cost Plus in addition to my normal Trader Joe’s and Safeway stops, and boy, am I glad I did.  I orginally went to get a few goodies for my nieces’ Easter baskets, but as I was browsing the aisles, I came across some new teas that I knew I had to try.

download-1 Do you love the name, or what?  It’s from the Republic of Tea, and it’s called Get Lost.  It’s supposed to support weight “control” and the directions say you should drink it before or during a meal.  It’s caffeine free and contains carob and gymnema leaves, which are supposed to control appetite and curb cravings for sweets.  I think this sounds like a great tea to have after dinner when I do sometimes get the craving for something sweet.

download This one is called Get Gorgeous, and it’s supposed to help with clear skin.  It contains tons of antioxidants, and has orange peel and pomegranate.  My skin has been breaking out quite a bit lately (falling asleep without taking your makeup off will do that), and I feel like I can use all the help I can get.  This tea is also caffeine free, so it’s another great way to get my water in.

This entire line is called Be Well Red Teas, and I love the different flavors they come in.  With names like Get a Grip, Get Some ZZZs, Get Relaxed, Get Soothed, and Get Happy (to name a few), I think they’re adorable.  They would make the perfect little hostess or care package gift.  The package comes with 36 tea bags, and for $10.99, I don’t think that’s too bad.  The package also says you can make iced tea with them, so I may have to try that out and bring some with me to have throughout the day.  I’ll let you know what I think of them after I try each one.  I’m definitely having the Get Gorgeous tonight, because my skin really needs some help.

download-3 The other find came from Safeway.  I usually drink water and coffee.  I’m not a huge soda drinker, and I like taste of plain water, so I’m not a big one on flavored water, most of the time.  I happened to see a new product on an end cap that intrigued me.  It’s called Fuze Slenderize and contains Chromium, Vitamin C, SuperCitrimax, and L-Carnitine.  The flavor I bought is Cranberry Raspberry, and it’s only 5 calories per serving, so the entire bottle is only 10 calories.  I’m not sure if all of these amino acids and micronutrients really work, but I enjoy the flavor, and it’s a nice afternoon treat when you need a bit of a boost.  Since I’m teaching the extra class after school until May 14th, this will become a nice treat in the afternoon.  They were on sale for $1 each, so I thought I’d indulge in a few.

So there you have it.  A few new (to me at least) drinks that will help keep me hydrated, feeling (and looking?) good, and add a bit of spice to my daily fluid intake.  Do you have any new grocery finds that you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear about them.

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