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Posts Tagged ‘photo blog’

This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today I am thankful that the rain let up and Sofi and I were able to take a nice, long afternoon walk. I’m also thankful that the steroid shot that I got last week helped to keep the plantar fasciitis pain at bay.  On the walk this afternoon, it felt like it had been a really long time since we’d taken a good walk together. With the time change, working late, and Sofi going to doggy daycare twice last week (where they walk her 1-2 times per session), it had been a little while since we’d gone.

I love taking walks with Sofi because nothing helps me clear my head or manage feelings of stress like taking a walk with her.  It gives me time to slow down life’s hectic pace and just enjoy the surroundings.  Appreciate the everyday.  With that spirit in mind, I decided to take some photos along our 35-minute walk.

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Even an everyday path becomes something worth exploring after the rain.

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Sofi saw another dog and his owner taking advantage of the break in the weather.

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I have a special affinity for vintage/old cars.  This one caught my eye.

20121117-163515.jpg Beautiful roses.

20121117-163553.jpg This tree was alive with fall colors.

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I love the cast of our shadows in this picture.

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Sofi got a bit tangled in the leash.  Silly girl!

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I love this shot, both for the leaves, and for the “action” shown.

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Another great shot showing our movement, along with the fall leaves.

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Sofi’s favorite places to sniff out the “news” – bushes.

20121117-163647.jpg Sofi didn’t want the walk to end.

20121117-163654.jpg I had to show my fall decorations.

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I love that face and I’m so thankful for it, every single day.

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Welcome home!
(I also wanted to show off the new entry rug I bought for fall. I like it so much that I may keep it out longer).

It was so nice to get out of the house, get the blood pumping, and breathe in the fresh air.  I’m thankful for today’s walk with Sofi.

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Today was one of those days when I’m just happy to be alive!  I haven’t felt this content and “smiley” in about a month, so it’s a welcome change.  Sometimes it’s important to just appreciate the simple pleasures life brings us, which is exactly what this post is all about.

One of my recent goals was to spend more time with my friends and today I met one of my best friends, Di, for coffee and to catch up on the past month or so of our lives.  Di and I talked about everything – Lulu’s death, her ex, my sister/nieces, her kids, taxes, my weight loss, her work, my work, lap and surgery, being (almost) 40, and how excited I am about Sofi (whichever puppy she may be). It was so good to catch up, and we both said we wanted to make sure that we got together again soon.

Now, normally I wouldn’t celebrate potential sun damage, but I was just happy it was sunny enough today for me to get a bit of a color.  I NEVER burn, but I guess the sun was just intense where Di and I were sitting.  The day started out overcast, but as we sat there for 3 1/2 hours, the sun came out in full force.  The nice thing is that this mark will be gone by tomorrow morning. The sad thing is, so will the sun: the weather forecast is calling for morning showers.  Ugh.  But “April showers bring May flowers, right?”

Pandora!  I absolutely love this new Lenka radio station I made about a month ago.  Lots of A Fine Frenzy, Kate Nash, Adele, and even some Jason Mraz.  Having music in the background just makes any other task more manageable, to me.  This afternoon I’ve been grooving to this music and making dinners, doing laundry, changing sheets, and blogging.  I’ve been using Pandora for the last 3 years or so, but I’ve noticed that it’s becoming more popular lately. Do you use Pandora?  What station do you love?  I’m always on the lookout for new music.

My sister picked my nieces up from their old house today (they spent their week off with their dad) and she brought home a bunch of lemons from her old Meyer lemon tree in the back.  Thankfully, my sister shares!  I love the way that lemons brighten up everything from fish, to salad dressing, to water.  I can’t wait to use these all week.

In keeping with my Scrumptious Sunday, I did a little bit of make-ahead cooking today.  I was starving after my coffee chat with Di (it was 2pm!) so I decided my Lean & Green was going to be a late lunch.  I’m so glad I did that because now I have 4 other meal replacements to enjoy throughout the course of my reality-tv-watching Sunday evening.  I made ground turkey taco salad today, and have enough seasoned turkey for two more salads.  I also baked a piece of salmon that I’m planning to have with asparagus tomorrow night.  So, 3 other meals ready and waiting for me.  Friday the rain is finally supposed to end and I’m hoping I’ll be able to bbq some chicken.

I’ve been reading A Dog’s Purpose for the last 3 weeks, but today I got some solid time to read quite a bit of it, and I love it.  I started it right after Lulu died, and I have to say that reading it has really helped me get through her death and the loss and emptiness that has come with it.  The book is told from a dog’s perspective, and it actually gave me a lot of insight (even though I know it’s fiction).  The author consulted with lots of dog behavior experts, including Cesar Milan, and so I think he was able to capture life from a dog’s perspective perfectly.  This book is for anyone who loves dogs, and it has truly offered me a huge amount of comfort.

While my official weigh-in isn’t until Wednesday, I am confident to report that since Wednesday I have already lost the 3.6 lbs that I gained last week.  I have been following Medifast strictly since then and it is definitely paying off on the scale.  I’m thrilled that a bit more effort on my part is going to pay off.  I should hit my mini goal in no time at this rate.

And, finally, I’ll end my Sunday Smiles with new photos of flowers that I’ve put all around the house.  I’ve never considered myself a great floral arranger, but lately I’ve been impressed with the way I’ve been able to display all the flowers we have in our garden.  I wanted to make sure to cut lots of flowers today because of the rain in the forecast for this week.  The flowers make me feel like I’ve brought a bit of springtime into the house and that definitely makes me smile.  Enjoy!

Cala Lillies are my favorites, and I love the way this looks in my living room.

Basically the same bouquet as last week, but the lighting was different and made the roses look almost florescent.

My favorite bouquet of the week. The vase matches the bathroom perfectly, the freesia smell heavenly, and the colors - gorgeous!!

How was your weekend?  What did you do that brought a smile to your face? 

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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.”

Kitchen:

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.

Backyard:

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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