Posts Tagged ‘refresh’

After more than two months of planning, anticipating, and preparing, yesterday was finally the day I left for Hawaii.  All week I had the same feeling I had when I was 6 years old and my family was about to go to Disneyland for the first time. I had a lot of last minute errands, meeting, and grading to do to keep me occupied, but if I’m honest, my mind was really concentrating on the beaches of Oahu, and rightly so, I haven’t been on a true vacation since 2008, and I haven’t been anywhere tropical since my trip to Jamaica in 2001.

Back to Saturday morning. My flight was leaving at 8:55am, so my dad was set to pick me up at 7am to get there with time to spare. I woke up around 5am to make sure I had everything ready and I’m glad that it gave me time for a snuggle session with Sofi. Leaving her behind is the only downside to this trip. But she’s going to have a ton of fun with my sister, my nieces, and their dog, Minnie.


Getting through the airport security was a breeze, even though that imaging machine is so strange. I even met a guy who was flirting relentlessly with me. Granted, he was 7 years old, but still. Lol. He was the cutest thing ever! He noticed that I had on an SF Giants tee and asked me to high five because he had on a 49ers sweatshirt. He said, “I’m going to Hawaii, where are you going?” And when I told him I was going there too, his face lit up. He asked me my name, and said, “bye, Bella” as I headed to get my Starbucks fix. We were seated a row apart on the plane, and every now and then he’s smile and wave. When the flight landed, he was right next to me at baggage claim, asking which bag was mine and then whether or not I was married. The scamp! His parents just smiled at me when I looked over at them. Finally, while I was waiting to be picked up outside the airport, he and his family passed me, and he said, “bye, Bella!!! I hope we see you in Hawaii!” Too cute! Now if only he was about 30 years older.

I had a major NSV as I took my window seat on the plane. Not only was I not spilling over into my neighbor’s seat, but I had lots of room with the seatbelt! On my last flight in 2008, when I was nowhere near my heaviest weight (in fact I’d just lost about 50 pounds because of that medically supervised fasting diet), I needed an extender. And when I went to put the tray table down, I was so scrunched that it wouldn’t sit flat. Not this time!!! This time, I had tons of room, and was like any other normal person. I could even move up & down the aisle of the plane, passing other people, with ease. Only someone who has been obese can understand the silent triumph I felt as each of these realizations hit me.


The flight itself was amazing! I’d never flown Alaskan Airlines before, but definitely will again. The staff was friendly, the service was quick, and we we’re ahead of schedule the entire time. Not to mention the complimentary Mai Tai! I was seated next to a really friendly woman who was just chatty enough, but also respected my desire to read. At baggage claim my bag was among the first ten off the conveyer. And from there, I walked outside and within 15 minutes, my friend was picking me up to take me back to the house.

The house itself is awesome! It’s a little, hidden bungalow with this amazing view backyard view. First, let’s take a look at the inside: the living room, the kitchen, and the wall of windows…

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As nice and comfortable as the house is, the backyard and dock is by far the best feature of this place. Every time I see that dock, I’m reminded of the dock that Gatsby looks at in the distance, towards the green light at Daisy’s house.


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The view of the house from the private dock

The view of the house from the private dock

It rained a bit in the afternoon, but even that was so refreshing.  Hawaii is so humid, and the rain brings relief from that.  Plus, I love hearing the way it sounds against the dock.  I sat on the back porch and read as it rained, and it was so soothing, especially after a long flight.

One other “feature” of this place is ALL the stairs that lead to the street level.  There are three full sets of stairs that are fairly steep.  Yesterday I used them to get a workout in. No matter how much I may indulge on this vacation, I think I’m going to leave with my booty in better shape than it was when I got here.




I went to Safeway to get some food for the week, and I can definitely see what they mean about how expensive things are.  I bought yogurt, salads, Flat Out wraps, salami, deli turkey, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, cottage cheese, strawberries, granola, coffee creamer, and some Boom Chicka Pop popcorn and the bill totaled $101! Needless to say, I’m going to eat as many meals at home/pack my lunch as often as I can.  I do plan to go out for sushi and maybe one other meal.

Once I got back from grocery shopping, I spent the afternoon lazing around – napping, reading, and feeling amazingly lucky that I’m able to spend this week here in what is truly paradise.  I stayed home last night, took a shower that let me wash off the day and made me feel like a new person, and just enjoyed a quiet night.

10154938_10151946586235426_644419868_n If yesterday is any indication, this is going to be an amazing vacation!


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Happy Easter! I love this season because of the inspiration I get from the sense of rebirth and renewal that’s all around – it’s refreshing! I hope you spent the day, as I did, enjoying the day with friends & family!!!


Yesterday my sister and I spent time planting spring flowers in my front yard.  Here is my front porch container;  I love the mix of colors.


Ranunculus are so beautiful, and since they’re one of my favorite flowers, I knew I wanted to plant them this year. I added asters and a cool variety of daisy to their containers. I can’t wait for them to settle in a bit really start thriving.


I know I had a shot like this last week, but since these are a fresh bouquet of flowers, straight from the front yard, I figured I’d share them again.

My contribution to our Easter brunch – a beautiful berry salad – strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

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My mantra for 2013 is REFRESH.


Refresh has so many connotations:

change in outlook






In 2013 I am going to REFRESH my life.

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Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb12: celebrating the successes of 2012, honoring the challenges of 2012, and planting the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013. December is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has passed and start to manifest dreams for the new year.

Day 29 – What word did you select to be your traveling companion in 2012? What gifts did this word bring? What word will you choose to guide you through 2013? What do you hope it will bring into your life?

Every year I choose a mantra – a word or phrase that I use to motivate me through the tough times and helps me remember what I’m striving for.

89509111313504295_AmMr1hEJ_c In 2012 that word was RELEASE.  I wanted to release









and I did a great job of all of it, especially control, stress, and frustration.

This year I’ve been spending quite a bit of time thinking about what my new mantra was going to be, and after careful consideration, I’ve decided on REFRESH.


REFRESH means so many things: recreate, rejuvenate, exhilarate, change.  Each of these will take on a special meaning in my life in 2013.

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When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.” ~~ David Orr

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and I thought I’d “celebrate” by talking about my thoughts on trying to living a greener life. 

Being green has become popular, especially where I live – everyone seems to try to outdo each other with how much they recycle, compost, hug trees, etc.  But all it takes is a short trip outside of the area to realize that it’s not like this everywhere. 

When I went down to central California for that school evaluation I was shocked to find out that they didn’t have a recycling program at all.  My school has been recycling cans, bottles, and paper for at least 5 years.  We also hold yearly electronics and ink cartridge recycling drives for the community to dispose of their waste. To be fair, that school I visited has a lot of other things to work on, so I can see why recycling wouldn’t be the top on their list, but I think that teaching students that we need to recycle is something that should be a priority.  And really, how difficult is it to put the cans and bottles in a different bin than the rest of the trash? 

Then again, when I visited my uncle in Michigan in November, I was really surprised to hear that they don’t have a town-wide recycling pick up program.  He said he couldn’t believe it either, and he’d sought out places that he could recycle on his own, but there was only one a few towns over, and that was too much trouble, especially once the winter snow really set in.  I don’t blame him.  If recycling is that difficult, who would do it?

Both of those examples are just my way of saying that I feel lucky to live in an area where being green is the norm.  I have a larger recycling bin than trash bin, and it’s picked up weekly, alongside my trash.  All I have to do is drop recyclables into the container and push the cart to the curb.  It really doesn’t get any easier than that.  In my area, there are entire cities that have banned the use of paper and plastic bags at grocery stores – patrons have to bring in their own reusable bags, and I think that’s great.  Some time ago I purchased 5 reusable bags from Trader Joe’s and I keep them in my trunk to use at any store I happen to go into.  Another small change I made is with water.  I was buying bulk 16-oz water bottles in flats from the grocery store.  They were fairly expensive, but it was an easy way to bring water with me.  Then I heard a spot on Biggest Loser a few years ago about how it’s much better for the earth to use your own reusable water bottle and fill it with filtered water from a Brita.  It made sense to me, and it was so much more economical.   Plus there are tons of cute Nalgene-style water bottles that help show some personality.  I have saved so much money by doing this, and it’s also more convenient – now I don’t have to lug in a heavy flat of water every week or two.  All I have to keep stocked up is the small Brita filters.  It’s all of the small things that add up to make a huge difference.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, is it the only thing that ever has.” ~~ Margaret Mead

Weight Watchers has even joined in on this Earth Day celebration.  They sent out this article, which talks about ways you can get outdoors and enjoy the earth today. 

I see the sun peeking out through the clouds as I  type this, so as long as I get home before dark (we have a deadline in my Journalism class, so it may be a late one), I am committing to go on a nice, long walk tonight and just enjoy the scenery.

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