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Posts Tagged ‘fall’

bilblcooksI found this recipe in the November issue of Self magazine, and knew I had to give it a try.  I made it tonight for my parents and sister, and they couldn’t stop raving.  The recipe takes a bit of prep, but it’s perfect to make when entertaining, because the actual cooking time is relatively short – less than 20 minutes.  Plus, your guests will be really impressed! It’s a hearty, satisfying meal that is perfect for fall and winter.

Nutrition Info:

portabello nutrition

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(Note: the original recipe called for chicken broth, but I didn’t include it in the dish I made because I didn’t think it needed it).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

First, clean the portabello mushrooms and remove the gills and caps.

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Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Put mushrooms cap up on the cookie sheet. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and brush half of it onto the mushroom caps.

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Bake for 8 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, start sauteeing shallot/garlic/onion mixture with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Add in rosemary.

2013-11-02 18.44.46 The kitchen will start smelling heavenly at this point.

Add cannelini  beans that have been drained and rinsed, cubed prosciutto, and parsley.  Cook for 5 minutes. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.  Add spinach to skillet and wilt, about a minute.

At this point, the mushrooms will be ready.  Flip them over so you can fill them.  Brush with remaining olive oil/balsamic mixture.  Add spinach.  Then fill with bean/prosciutto mixture.

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Combine panko breadcrumbs and cheese, and divide among mushrooms.

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Coat with olive oil spray and bake for 10 minutes.  The panko breadcrumbs will turn golden and the kitchen will fill with such an amazing aroma that your dinner guests will ask if it’s almost ready.  Tell them it will be worth the wait.

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It’s hard to believe that something that tastes this good and has this much flavor is only 265 calories!

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Autumn has arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler and there are no holidays or other social commitments to derail me from strictly adhering to my food and workout plan.  I’m determined that fall 2012 will be when I achieve my pre-surgery weight loss goal.  Since weekday mornings are hectic, I’m moving my weigh-in day to Sunday.  Sundays are the day that I use to get ready for the week ahead by grocery shopping, prepping my food, planing my meals, and organizing my workouts.  Sunday mornings are relaxed, so it’s the perfect day to weigh in.  Plus, Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend.  Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Sunday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

I can’t believe I’m one day late on this update.  The weekend was a blur of bike riding, meeting with friends, and catching up on household to-do’s.  I meant to write this post all day, but only now found the time.

The past week was decent on food and not so great with exercise, which is why I was pleasantly surprised on the scale on Sunday morning.

{Okay, Bella, that’s all good and well, but what we really want to know is how you did on the scale}. Right?!

Today I weighed in at 301.2, which means I lost 2.8 lbs this week. So, I have about 20 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal. To be honest with you, I really have no idea how this loss came about.  Not only is it TOM right now, which usually makes me gain weight, but as I mentioned, my workouts were mediocre at best.  My food was fair, even good most days.  There were just a few evenings that plagued me with sweet cravings.

I’m taking this past week as a gift, but I’m not going to take it for granted.  I know that: 1) weeks like this where I get results without much effort are practically nonexistent and 2) if I was really on my game, I could lose even more than this in a week.  Which means that I’m going to make sure I do much better on both food and workouts this week.

Here’s the plan (because you know I have one):

Food – The normal meals are fine.  I’m good with the nutrition and the portions.  It’s just night time cravings that are killing me.  So I’m going to give myself a nighttime snack of either cinnamon sugar kettle corn (130 cals for 2 cups) or Greek yogurt with honey (as much as I love Chobani for their fruit flavors, I like Oikos better for the honey flavor).  I know the Greek yogurt is the better choice because of the protein, but sometimes you just need something crunchy, right?  Eating this extra snack puts me at about 1350 calories instead of 1200, but as long as I’m getting in a workout each day, I can still lose plenty of weight.  Plus, having the healthier sweet snack will be better in the long run because it will help me avoid binges/overeating.

Workouts – As much as I love walking Sofi (almost) daily, I know that that alone isn’t going to help me drop the pounds.  So it’s time to amp up the intensity.  Bike riding (outdoor or stationary), elliptical machine, Zumba, aqua aerobics, hula, swimming – those are the choices for true calorie burning.  I’m even committing to a “double day” on Wednesday (elliptical 5K right after school and then Zumba in the evening).  Today I had a faculty meeting and didn’t get home until 5:30, after I wrapped up what I needed to at school.  I was tired and a bit worn down, but I took Sofi for a good 30-minute walk and I did the Jill Coleman kickboxing OnDemand, which is a heart-pumping, intense 20 minutes.  I’m proud of myself for putting in a workout  on a day that could’ve easily become “a rest day.”  Tomorrow I’m planning on going to a 45-minute yoga class, but I’m still going to get in either the kickboxing or a BL DVD to make sure I make the calorie burn I want.

Accountability – I’ve set up accountability with two friends and a FB  group.  Scale Warfare and I are sending daily emails/texts, I’m texting/emailing another local friend my workouts after I complete them, and I joined a WLS FB group where I’m posting my workouts there, as well.  Having the check-ins (and people ready to give me a kick in the patoot if I don’t post) is going to be a key.

I’m feeling really confident about my results for next week!!

Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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Autumn has arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler and there are no holidays or other social commitments to derail me from strictly adhering to my food and workout plan.  I’m determined that fall 2012 will be when I achieve my pre-surgery weight loss goal.  Since weekday mornings are hectic, I’m moving my weigh-in day to Sunday.  Sundays are the day that I use to get ready for the week ahead by grocery shopping, prepping my food, planing my meals, and organizing my workouts.  Sunday mornings are relaxed, so it’s the perfect day to weigh in.  Plus, Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend.  Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Sunday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

This week wasn’t one that I’d like to repeat in terms of weight loss.  There were some good things (I have been cooking up a storm), and some bad things (I didn’t workout at all during the week).  And then there was the status quo (I logged all my food each day).  Overall a very “meh” week.  Which, in the grand scheme of things is bound to happen, but when I have a surgery goal that I’m trying to meet, “meh” isn’t going to cut it.

{Okay, Bella, that’s all good and well, but what we really want to know is how you did on the scale}. Right?!

Today I weighed in at 304.0, which means I stayed the same this week. So, I have 23 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal. It could have been a lot worse, especially considering that someone took over my brain on Friday night, but I’ll get to that in a second. The main reason for this stall is that I put no effort into working out M-Th.  I had a lot going on at work, and stayed hours after each day, but that can’t be an excuse.  Staying hours after school puts me at about the same time people with office jobs get home on a regular basis.  And they make time for workouts.  I let being exhausted become an excuse this week, which won’t fly.

I think exhaustion is part of what happened on Friday night, too.  I headed to the drive-thru window at Wendy’s.  What?!  All summer I never once had a slip like this, and then it happens on Friday night, after a really long walk with Sofi, mind you.  I was tired from the week, but proud that we’d gone on a long walk. I knew that I didn’t have anything quick at home to eat for dinner, and I didn’t feel like cooking a meal that would take 30+ minutes.  Instead of heading to Subway or to Safeway to get a Lean Cuisine or something (not great choices, but better than a drive-thru), I drove to Wendy’s, almost on autopilot.  Which is strange, since I wasn’t craving it or anything.  I logged it all, and was sickened by the calories.  It’s a good thing that I did get in a long walk with Sofi, otherwise there would have surely been a gain this morning.

I didn’t let this slip up turn me inside out, though.  Immediately on Saturday I got busy and headed to the 10am Zumba class I love.  It felt good to sweat and move and have an amazing workout done by 11am.  While we were waiting in line for the prior class to get out, a couple of the ladies recommended that I try the Thursday night UJam class.  I’d gone to a UJam class once before at a different club, and found it to be too much “street” dancing for my abilities, but they both said that this Thursday class was very accessible.  As much as Zumba, if not a bit easier to follow.  So, I’m giving that a try sometime soon (I’d go this week, but we have Back to School Night on Thursday).

The other cool thing on the workout front is that one of my colleagues sent an email early in the week to let us know that a yoga studio not 10 minutes from our campus was offering K-12 teachers free yoga throughout September.  They offer classes at 4pm and 4:30, which would be ideal for my later days at school.  I wouldn’t count yoga as a workout on it’s own (as I found out this summer), but it’s a good way to transition from work to home.  I’d like to go to classes at least twice a week.

I said last week that I didn’t want to put pressure on myself by making a strict schedule of workouts, but I think I’m the type of person that needs a bit of pressure.  Plus, I love making plans and sticking to a schedule.  Here’s what I’m thinking:

Sunday: walk w/ Sofi; housecleaning; OnDemand kickboxing
Monday: walk w/ Sofi; bike ride
Tuesday: walk w/ Sofi; UJam Fitness (this wasn’t the instructor they recommended, but I’ll give it a whirl)
Wednesday: walk w/ Sofi; Zumba
Thursday: Elliptical 5K; walk w/ Sofi
Friday: Heated Vinyasa; walk w/ Sofi
Saturday: Zumba; walk w/Sofi

If any of these workouts don’t happen, I will do an OnDemand workout in their place.  With my body, exercise is the key to weight loss.  No matter how tired I am, I have to remind myself of the surgery goal.

I’ve been doing really well with the food, and having fun trying lots of healthy new recipes.  My creative dinners were definitely one of the things I did this week that I’m really proud of.  More of the same this week.  I’m trying:

I’m using ZipList to organize and plan my menus, and I absolutely love it.  I think I may write a whole post about ZipList, because it’s amazing.

Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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Autumn has arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler and there are no holidays or other social commitments to derail me from strictly adhering to my food and workout plan.  I’m determined that fall 2012 will be when I achieve my pre-surgery weight loss goal.  Since weekday mornings are hectic, I’m moving my weigh-in day to Sunday.  Sundays are the day that I use to get ready for the week ahead by grocery shopping, prepping my food, planing my meals, and organizing my workouts.  Sunday mornings are relaxed, so it’s the perfect day to weigh in.  Plus, Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend.  Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Sunday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

As you guys know, this was my first week of school, and I have to admit that even though I was prepared, and made my breakfasts and lunches ahead for each day of the week, I was worried about what this week would be like for me.  I was tired, worn out, and did I say TIRED because I was waking up at 5ish and going to bed around 11:30 (not enough sleep).  Plus, the first week back to school leaves everyone really tired as they adjust to the new daily routine.  From tip to toe I was sore – aching feet from standing for 6+ hours straight, sore throat from 6+ hours talking, and sore mind from, well, everything.  But despite all of that, I am proud to say that overall this week was a huge success.  I only got in a formal workout twice, which leaves lots of room for improvement.  What I did well was staying up and active until dinner time.  I may not have been on the elliptical at the gym, but from the time I came home until it was time to eat, I didn’t sit down once.  I walked Sofi, cleaned up my breakfast/lunch containers,did laundry, straightened the house, watered the garden, set out clothes for the next day, made tomorrow’s breakfast, and got the evening meal going.  Doing that really kept me from snacking unnecessarily and from getting super lazy.  Success!

{Okay, Bella, that’s all good and well, but what we really want to know is how you did on the scale}. Right?!

Today I weighed in at 304.0, which means I lost 3 pounds this week. So, I have 23 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal.  I am thrilled that I lost 3 lbs this week, my first week without Phentermine in over 3 months.  Not only was it a huge transition week because of back to school , but I also had a bit of merriment in the form of: a Friday afternoonTGIF Happy Hour with colleagues (1 Blue Moon beer), a second TGIF with my sis Friday evening (2 glasses of Slo Down Wines SC, which is the best wine I’ve had in ages), and a dinner party (excellent cooking post to follow later tonight) with my parents and sister on Saturday (2 glasses of chardonnay, 1 flute of champagne). For someone who hasn’t imbibed in alcohol most of the summer (the last time was 4th of July), I had quite a few drinks this weekend).  This weight loss shows that I can keep it up with a busier schedule. 

One thing I attribute my success to besides staying on my toes (literally) most of the day, is that I have dramatically cut back on bread and butter.  Almost every day of the summer I’d have a slice of whole wheat toast with a bit of butter along with my green smoothie.  It was fine and moderate, but I do think all that butter (and wheat) added up.  Having the breakfast cookie everyday this week kept me full for hours, but also cut down on the animal fat in my diet.  Eating salads at lunch has been great for upping my veggie count and keeping my grains in check.  More of the same on the food front this week.

Looking at the week ahead in terms of exercise, I’m not going to allow myself to skip workouts just because I’m feeling tired.  This my life for the  next 10 months, and if I want to have the surgery before the year’s end, I need to keep on track.  I’d like to get a workout in daily, even if it’s a 20-minute OnDemand kickboxing routine (I did one last week that kicked my ass in a good way and that I need to repeat this week). I’m not going to pressure myself by saying I’m going to do these types of workouts on these exact days this week.  I would like to make it to the pool at least once or twice while it’s still open and the weather is still warm, but other than that, I’m going to allow myself to play the exact workout by ear.  Here are some possible choices:

  • swimming
  • bike riding
  • elliptical 5k
  • Aqua class
  • Zumba
  • extra long walk (3 miles) with Sofi
  • OnDemand kickboxing, general cardio, Bollywood, etc.
  • Biggest Loser DVDs
  • Wii Fit as a warmup (I haven’t used it in over a year).

The school year is already off to an amazing start, which has me excited about all that I can accomplish in my life outside of school.  I realize that my mood and attitude about what’s going on in my work life dramatically effects how I perform in the rest of my life, especially in terms of my weight loss.  So a successful and happy school year equals a successful time on the scale.

Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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Does that just say, “no matter what kind of day you faced, this will make it all better?!”

The weather here has turned cold overnight.  Literally.  On Wednesday it was warm (77 degrees) and on Thursday the wind blew, the rain sprinkled, and the temperatures dropped.  Same today and for the rest of this weekend, only with even more rain. The perfect weather for making warm, comforting bowls of yummy goodness.

I went to Trader Joe’s today and totally stocked up.  I bought every thing and then some to make some of my favorite cold-weather foods:

Hungry Girl 10-Alarm CrockPot Chili

Italian Single Girl Soup

Michigan Rainstorm-Inspired Soup***

I’m also thinking of making a new soup with a bit of an Asian flare that I’ll post more about after I make it, so look for that new recipe later this weekend.

***Since I’m trying to keep things as low carb as possible, I’m going to make this weekend’s version with kale instead of rice.  I know that sounds like a strange substitute, but I think a “stewoup” of butternut squash soup, turkey kielbasa, and sauteed onions and kale just sounds so good.  I’ll let you know for sure afterward.

The best part of stocking up on all of these ingredients is that I can easily make these “big batch” foods and then freeze them for quick weeknight dinners.  I haven’t done any marathon cooking sessions in a while, so it will be fun to give it a go on Sunday. Especially because the weather outside is supposed to be pretty wet and ugly, so staying in will be perfect.

I love one-pot meals that are hearty, healthy, and easy to heat up and eat.  When I’ve had a long day and all I want to do is sit down and relax, chili, soup, and stewoups are the perfect way for me to take care of myself and make sure I stay on track with my diet.

What are some of your favorite healthy, cold-weather foods?  If you have the recipes, I’d love for you to put the links in the comments.

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Happy Monday!  Today has been the BEST!  Not only did I step on the scale and see that I lost 1.2 lbs, putting me into the next weight “decade,” but when I got to work, I got four separate compliments on my outfit!  Gotta love days that start like that, right?

I missed last week’s Friend Makin’ Monday, so I’m really excited about this one.  I love this week’s topic because I love to cook and try out new recipes.

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, as well so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers, so take a moment to write your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts.  Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Recipe Exchange

Let’s share one or two of our favorite Fall recipes this week!  It’s always fun to mix things up in the kitchen!


The following is a “re-blog” of a recipe I originally posted back in November 2009.

Bella Cooks: Michigan Rainstorm-Inspired Soup

As the title suggests, this soup was inspired by a terrible rainstorm that we got caught in on our way to Michigan to visit my uncle for Thanksgiving in 2009.  When we got to the airport in Chicago, we rented a car and were prepared to drive 2 hours to my uncle’s house in Niles, Michigan.  We didn’t expect the bad weather and terrible holiday traffic.  These factors caused our drive time to increase to 4 hours!  We were in the car as long as we had been in the plane from California!!!  We were so tired, cranky, and hungry by the time we arrived at my uncle’s house that we were willing to eat anything.  My uncle had a great spread for us, which included a soup just like this one.  I enjoyed it so much that I decided to try to replicate it, using lower calorie ingredients.

I actually think I like my version better!

Michigan Rainstorm Inspired Soup


1 container (32 oz) Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Soup
12 oz smoked turkey kielbasa
1 cup (dry) wild rice

(Optional)
garlic powder
salt
hot sauce (I used a fire roasted chili pepper sauce from Trader Joe’s)

This recipe makes 4 huge servings.  

Nutritionals: (per serving) 316 calories, 40g carbs, 8g fat, 21g protein.

Directions:

Cook rice according to package directions.  The brand I used cooks quickly, and was done in 12 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, heat the kielbasa.  I used my George Foreman grill, but you could quickly heat it in a skillet, or even in the mircowave.

Pour butternut squash soup into a medium saucepan and heat on low.  Add cooked rice and heated kielbasa.  Heat through.  Serve.

When I first tasted the warm soup, I felt it was very blah, so I started adding seasonings to it.  Feel free to add whichever flavors you enjoy. I added garlic powder, a bit of  salt, and a large amount of fire-roasted chili sauce.  It really helped to give the soup some kick, which is the way I like it.

I paired the soup with a salad of mixed greens, Persian cucumbers, and crumbled goat cheese, with a poppy seed dressing.

The rice makes the soup thick and hearty, while the kielbasa gives it smokiness (as well as some protein).  I will definitely “cook” this again.  It was super-simple and quick!  I was done in less than 15 minutes!!

Now it’s your turn to share one of your favorites! Don’t forget to go to Kenlie’s blog and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

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This week the weather finally turned a bit cold and chilly. We even had a significant amount of rainfall for a couple of days. I love it! I’ll take a bit of a chill in the air over super-hot temps any day.

Sunday: Just hanging around.  I had a bunch of grading to get through, and my only “come up for air” moment was when I took Sofi on a walk around the neighborhood.

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Hoodie: Avenue; Jeans: LB

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Better lighting/closeup of top

Monday was one of those days when I really didn’t know what to wear. Plus, I was having a bad hair day.  Then I remembered I had a purple flower that would match a purple top I had, and an outfit was made.

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Black shurg: Avenue; Purple top: Avenue; Black cropped pants: Avenue. Wow, this is a first!

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Necklace: Macy's (years ago); Flower: farmers' market find

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I really want to make sure you guys see the flower! 🙂

Tuesday: I’m so sorry the lighting is so bad.  Early morning photos coupled with gray,rainy day = not great photos.

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Top: Avenue; Jeans: Avenue (divine denim); Shoes: Clarks

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Hard to see the side view with this dark lighting. Sorry

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Snapped a closeup/self-portrait so you could see the cool zipper detail on the shirt. The whole reason I bought it.

Wednesday I  decided that even thought it was dark and rainy (and gray) outside, I could add a pop of color to my wardrobe.

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Necklace: gift from a friend, from Spain.

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Cardigan: Avenue; Top: LB outlet; Jeans: Macys Style & Co

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Blurry side view

Friday I wore a top that worked with our blue & gold Friday pride days for work, but also looks fairly fashionable.

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Closeup so you can see the colors. Wearing my Tiffany necklace.

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Hooded cardigan: Macys; Top: Macys; Jeans: Macys. Another all-store day (by accident)

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This side view definitely shows my "junk in the trunk."

Which outfit was your  favorite of the week?  Next week I’m going to do my best to make the photos a bit lighter so you can actually see them.

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Since autumn officially began last Friday, I thought I’d make this post all about my nod at the new season.

Sunday: Getting ready to head to yoga. I love this top because it’s so fun, plus it’s really soft, lightweight, and comfy. Torrid has the best graphic tees! I just wish they were more affordable. The gray pants are more form-fitting than the ones I normally wear. The whole outfit was fairly form-fitting, and I felt comfortable in it.

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Wonder Woman Tee - Torrid; Gray yoga pants - Avenue; Flip flops - Target

Monday: I love this sweater because it means that I’m losing weight! When I first bought it late last summer (2010), it was very tight on me, especially around the stomach. Now it just glides over that area! The sweater is perfect because it’s really thin, so it can be layered as the weather gets cooler. It was nice that today was more of a true autumn day. Sorry for the poor lighting – My bedroom is really dark when I’m taking these shots in the morning.

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Cowl neck short-sleeved sweater - LB; cropped black pants - Avenue; Shoes - Clarks

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My new Clarks (UnMemoir).

Tuesday: And just like that, the weather around here turned hot (damn you, Indian summer!!).  I decided to wear this dress because it’s cute and cool.  I love polka dots because they’re just so classic.  I got a lot of compliments throughout the day, which was fun.

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Dress: LB; Shrug: LB; cami: LB; Shoes: Clark (Un)Notice

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necklace: LB; Ring: Etsy

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Side view, just to show my shape. Sorry for the poor lighting, these are taken before 7am.

Wednesday: It was even hotter on this day than the previous one, so I wanted to stay cool and  comfortable.  And I guess I was in the mood for another day of black & white.

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Top: Dress Barn; Palazzo Pants: Target; Shoes: Macy's

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I bought this bracelet in 1995 in Sorrento, Italy. I thought the filigree when nicely with the top.

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Just like last week, Thursday was college tshirt day and Friday was a casual school pride day.  I do have good news to report, though.  Both pairs of jeans that I wore each of those days fit me well.  The first pair was from Avenue, called Divine Denim, and they were much too small when I first bought them.  There were still rather snug on Thursday, but I could button them, and they looked good with the long tshirt I had on.  Once they’re a tiny bit looser, they will be really “divine” because they are so light and comfy.  Sometimes jeans can be too stiff or binding, but these feel almost like jeggings (although they’re not).  Today I wore my absolute favorite jeans, from Style & Co at Macy’s, and they fit great.  When I bought them the other week, they were fairly tight, but today there was plenty of “breathing room.”

Tonight the weather is turning quite windy and a bit chilly, and there is rain in the forecast in the coming days, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that we’re done with the hot weather.

Happy Fashion Friday!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

There’s nothing quite like feeling all snuggly in the fall and winter time, wearing your favorite pj’s and cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie, or under the  covers to read that book you’ve been dying to dive into.  One of the things I was looking forward to in this new house was that the private yard would mean I could stay in my pj’s as long as I wanted to and wouldn’t have to worry about the neighbors seeing me every time I wanted to go outside with Lulu (in the backyard, of course).  On the weekends that I don’t have plans, I live in my pj’s.  The problem has been that all of my old pj’s were, well, old.  Worn out, faded, threadbare.  And Lane Bryant stopped making warm & cuddly pj’s in favor of sexy ones.  I’m sure some people appreciate that, but I wanted comfy, cozy pj’s.  And Monday I got a catalog from Woman Within that had the cutest pj’s ever!

(Let me say that I don’t normally shop at Woman Within because I find that most of their clothes fit in the “old lady” section, but I was pleasantly surprised by the winter catalog).

Not only did they have pj’s, but they had great prices on cotton undies (aka granny panties, but who cares?), socks, workout/lounge pants, and t-shirts.  I stocked up!  I even found two cute pairs of shoes.  All for much, much less than I expected.  I’m set for weekend comfort, that’s for sure.

Here’s what I got… (click on anything to make it bigger)

I like that the pj sets come with long-sleeved t-shirts instead of heavier tops, because I tend to sleep warm.  Plus, I have plenty of sweatshirts/cardigans I can layer if I get too cold.

Each set of pj’s came with a free pair of slippers, so I got 1 red pair and 1 navy pair.

I got these in black & charcoal gray.  These are perfect for working out, but also for lazing around or going to the dog park/running errands/walks with Lulu on the weekends or after work during the week.

The sneakers I got are actually full size, not mules as this photo shows (kind of like photo with the pants, above).  I have been wanting some easy, knock-around sneakers for the dog park/easy walking.  These are great because they’re a good color and they’re wide width.

And I also got one in a violet color.  I’m always in need to workout t-shirts, and these will be perfect.  They’re a soft, combed cotton, which will be nice.  Plus, they were so cheap – $5.99 each!!

I’ve been needing some casual brown flats that are wide width, so when I saw these, and they were on sale, I knew I had to try them.  They aren’t that pretty to look at, but they’re perfect for standing on my feet all day at school.  (One of the things I’m really looking forward to “some day” is wearing sexier shoes and not feeling like I’d rather cut off my feet than wear them another second).

I also got panties and socks, but you know what those look like.  Not too thrilling, but they had such good prices, I figured, why not save a trip to the mall.

I have plenty of sweaters from last winter, so I’m really all set for now until I start going down in sizes.  Can’t wait for that!!

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The “boy situation”

A few of you who follow me on Twitter might remember that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that an old crush of mine changed his relationship status to single on Facebook.  And I “liked” it.  (So, high school, I know). But it was a fairly big move for me, since I haven’t dated anyone in a long, long time.

To give you some background, this guy dated a former friend of mine (she and I haven’t spoken for over 2 years, so girl code doesn’t apply), and at the time she said that she thought J and I would be better together than she would with him.  She knew he was totally my type (stocky, strong build, olive skin, dark hair), and his larger than life personality was a perfect match for my own.  (I’ve always felt that I needed to date someone who could “match” me in that area.  I don’t want to be with someone who I feel I could “walk all over”).  And while he doesn’t have a formal education (college degree), he owns his own import/export business, as well as his own house.  He’s Portuguese, which is as close to Italian as you can get without actually being Italian.  🙂  Plus, he’s just a fun person to be around and always makes sure that everyone around him is having a good time.  I thought J was cute back then, and I got some vibes from him that he felt the same way about me, but because he was dating my friend, we both put those feelings aside.  And then when they broke up we didn’t see each other because we don’t really run in the same circles.  (The only down side to J, and this is a fairly large one, is that he has two kids by two different baby-mamas.  Not sure how much drama that entails, but it seems like there would be some, right?).

Anyway… Friday evening J wrote on my Facebook page:

J: Nice doggy
B: Thanks, she’s a sweetheart.  Hope you’re doing well
J: Doing very well
J: And u? {I hate that ‘u’ instead of ‘you,’ but I’m going to put that English teacher part of me aside}.
B: Life is good.
J: That’s good.
J: Hit me up sometime xxx-xxxx
B: I will.
{and then I chickened out and wrote today)
B: Maybe it’s easier for you to call me? xxx-xxxx (Most days after 4-5pm ’till 11, or so).

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so to most of you that’s not that big a thing, but to me, who has been dateless for over 2 years (mostly by my choice), this is fairly big.  I mean, I’m not wrong in thinking that he’s flirting here, right?  I am a bit concerned that it’s so soon after he broke up with his last girlfriend, but then again, I’m not getting married.  I’m just looking for someone to have a good time with – in terms of going on dates and hanging out;  I’m not DTF (Jersey Shore fans will know what I mean; others can look it up on Urban Dictionary, if they want to), because we’ll have to be really dating (aka girlfriend/boyfriend defined) before that happens.

I can’t help but go over in my mind that I’m a good 60 pounds heavier than the last time J saw me.  Which makes me feel unattractive, no matter how pretty he might consider my face.  Which sort of puts a downer on this whole thing, and I don’t want to go there right now.  I mean, I have very current pictures of myself (mostly face, but some full-ish body) on Facebook, and J is sure to have a decent idea of what I look like now and he was interested enough to contact me.  So I shouldn’t try to assume what his type is or whether or not he thinks I’m too fat, because he obviously doesn’t. (I love it when I give myself a little kick in the ass like that, don’t you?!)

And my biggest problem has always been getting too far ahead of myself, so for now, I’m just going to hope that he makes the phone call and we even want to go out on a date (for coffee or a drink or something easy).  Plus, there are a few red flags with this guy, although his pluses outweigh his minuses, at this point. No matter what, it’s exciting.  And something to occupy my mind besides weight loss, grading, and t.v.  LOL.

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