Posts Tagged ‘new home’

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

I am so thrilled with everything that’s been going on in my life lately.  I feel like all the puzzle pieces are finally falling into place and it’s all downhill (in a good way) from here.

1200-calorie Meal Plan: I’ve been doing really, really well with keeping my calories low, considering everything else that’s going on right now.  I haven’t actually stayed exactly to 1200, but I’ve been pretty darn close.  Most days my calories are in the 1300 range, which isn’t far off, and my highest day was 1600, which is right around what WW would say that I should eat, at a minimum.  As I mentioned on Twitter, in peeking at the scale, I saw a good loss so far, and I’m hoping it’s still there on Wednesday for my official weigh-in.  LoseIt! has been a lifesaver for keeping track of everything, so if you’re looking for an easy program and you have an iPhone, you should download this (bonus: it’s free!).

Quitting Smoking: I’m proud to report that as of this morning, I’m smoke free for 7 days now!  Or, I will be once today is through.  There have been times that I wished I could light up, but I made it through them with a few deep breaths or some sips of water (a good way of getting the water in).  Nighttime after dinner is still my most difficult, but I know that it will get easier and easier as the days pass.  This is the longest I’ve ever gone without smoking, so I’m in totally uncharted territory here, and I’m so happy!

Exercise: Honestly, this has been sort of hit and miss this past week.  I’ve gone walking, swimming, and played the Wii Fit.  I’ve definitely done more in the last week than I have been, but I didn’t do something each day, as I was hoping to.  I’m not going to be too upset about this, though, because so much was going on for me this past week.  Once my life settles down a bit and becomes more routine once I start working again, I know that I’ll fall into the habit of working out after work on the weekdays.

Water: I’m still not getting in all 64 oz a day, but I’m working toward it.  I always get at least 48 oz, so getting in the rest shouldn’t be that big a deal.  I just have to make it more of a priority.

Housing: This weekend I went to see the place I’m hoping (and praying!) to move into, and Monday I submitted the application to the landlord.  He’s going to look everything over, call my references, and let me know by Wednesday, so I hope to have some great news tomorrow.  Since the situation at my current location is getting worse, this will go a long way toward making my life happier and healthier, and I can’t wait.  Now if only I could figure out how to twitch my nose to get the house packed up, I’d be all set. 😉

I’m really feeling like I’m in a groove!  My mindset is completely positive, and I do feel like nothing can stop me now.   I can’t wait to see my progress.

I hope all of you have a great week!

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Before I explain the butterfly, let me give you a bit of background, because all good stories have background, don’t they?

I live in a cute, 40s-50s style duplex.  It’s got charm, it’s got style, and I absolutely love it – inside.  I’ve lived here almost four years, which is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere.  It’s become my home.

The problem is that it’s located on a very busy street in a not-so-great neighborhood frequented by homeless wanderers, drunks, etc.  Next door  there’s an Ethiopian “restaurant” that is really just a bar/hangout spot for a bunch of very loud, very inconsiderate people.  They’re often outside drinking and partying until 3am on a weekday.  Not cool when you live right next door and the walls of your house aren’t super thick.

On the other side of me are some neighbors that have pushed me to the breaking point.  You might remember my disdain when they first moved in.  Oh, if it were only about them being loud.

In the 10 months that they’ve lived here they have had several violent, screaming-bloody-murder, smashing-things-against-the-wall, sometimes-physically-abusive fights.  It has been escalating, and I just refuse to live next door to that type of dysfunction anymore.  The most recent episode happened last Wednesday.  Who knows what started it, but it lasted from 4pm-6:30pm (at which point it might have continued, but I left to take Lulu to puppy classes) and the entire time my heart was beating out of my chest, my hands were trembling, and I felt scared.  It was a really strange feeling for me because nothing and no one intimidates me.  I feel very comfortable going outside at 3am and shouting at the Ethiopians that it’s a weeknight and it’s time for them to pack it in or I’m calling the cops.  But the next young guy who lives next door is so out of control, so violent, so guttural in his rage that I am literally scared to do anything.  I’ve avoided calling the cops up until now because it would be obvious who called, and I didn’t want them to destroy any of my property (since they obviously have no concern for their own, what would stop them from smashing my car window or something of mine that’s in our shared basement and/or backyard?).  Calls to the property management company that handles these properties are fairly fruitless.  The manager actually was upset with me for not calling the police, because he “needed a paper trail so that we can not renew their lease without any questions about why.”  Which is pure bullshit.  The lease is for one year, at which point they can end it without any reason.  I know it, they know it, and the neighbors know it.  And have I mentioned that they have 3 people and 2 dogs living in a one-bedroom place?  Just to tell you what sort they are. While the property manager led me to believe that they wouldn’t be renewing their lease, there is really no guarantee, and plus who knows who might move in after them. (And don’t worry, I’ve already verbally told these neighbors that if this happens again, in any form, I will be calling the cops – no more warning).

I haven’t wanted to move because I love living in a duplex.  It’s like a little home, and it has a lot of room, and I like it so much better than living in an apartment.  But when I was relaying this story to a friend of mine this weekend, she reminded me that 6 years ago, we lived in a great duplex about 3 miles from my current one.    That place was amazing because it was huge (2 bedrooms/2 baths, 1-car garage, washer/dryer hookup, private yard, huge kitchen, fireplace, open floor plan).  Plus the location was ideal.  It’s in the same great neighborhood that I grew up in, which is affluent and people take pride in caring for their homes. The shared wall was in the garage, so you never heard your neighbors.  I started thinking about how great it would be to live in one of those duplexes again.  (There are 10 units of duplexes along the street, all with the same layout, so there are many to choose from).

The more I fantasized about living in one of those places again, the more I realized that I can make any house a home, and while it is a pain to move, it would be so worth it to live in a better area.  The yard alone would be ideal for Miss Lulu.  She’d absolutely love it.  And I would too.  When I lived in that duplex with my friend I always had my morning coffee outside while reading the paper (as long as it wasn’t raining).  It had great light, and was far back enough from the street that the noise of the traffic didn’t disturb at all.

So yesterday I decided to take a drive to those places, just to see if any were for rent.  And wouldn’t you know that there was!  I called this morning and it turns out that they will have 2 available to move in at the beginning of September.  I made an appointment to go and look at it tomorrow at 5pm! It’s $600 more a month than I’m paying now, but the benefits are totally worth it to me.  I know that many of you would say that I’d be throwing the $600 out the window because I’d only be renting, but you know what?  My piece of mind is worth at least that much.  I can afford it now, and I’ll be making $300 more a month next year, so the increase in rent is really only $300/month.  I’m justifying, I know, but I want it.

This is a huge change for me!  First of all, I hate moving, and this would be a big one.  But the idea of getting away from the madness of my current neighborhood is worth any stress involved in moving.  It’s so exciting.

Nothing is for sure yet, and there are a few questions I have about the new house.  It’s bigger than I need, and I definitely won’t be getting a roommate, because I love living by myself.  (Unless of course that “roommate” is of the romantic variety).  It will be difficult to leave this place because of all I’ve put into it, but the idea of starting fresh and being able to live in a place that I deserve really makes me happy.

Sometimes new opportunities present themselves to you and you just have to take the risk and go for it. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and this seems like everything is just falling into place.

(I’ll definitely keep you guys updated on what I decide to do).

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