Posts Tagged ‘simple pleasures’


There’s nothing like waking up really early on a Saturday morning and being outside in the backyard with Sofi. Today is going to be HOT, so I enjoyed the simple pleasure of watering my garden. It’s one of the most peaceful things I do: it gives me time to think, time to live in the moment, and time to nurture my green thumb. I love the way it smells in the backyard after everything is watered, when it’s still shady.

Speaking of the heat, in an effort to try to beat it, Sofi and I have been heading out really early (think 7:15am) to get in a good walk. Thursday I needed to mail a letter, so we hit the pavement and walked to the post office. And since my parents live near there, we decided to pay them an early morning visit and get a quick water break. Then we took the long way home. All told, we walked for 65 minutes and about 3 miles. Today we did another winding, early morning walk. This time it was just meandering around the neighborhood, walking for about 40 minutes, taking the long route around. It’s quiet so early in the morning, and I love being with Sofi as we’re exploring our little piece of the world.

Yesterday I had my post-op appointment (more on that later), and it felt good to hear such good news. One of the best parts was that my blood pressure continues to be normal. Yesterday it was 123/77. I know some charts would show this as above normal, but for me, it’s a great number. I love going to the doctor and not being worried about stepping on the scale or having my blood pressure read.

Dexter-final-season-key-artYou guys know what a TV junkie I am, and one of the things I’m most excited about for this weekend is the season premiere of Dexter. This is going to be the final season, and I can’t wait to see what kind of Big Bad they have in store for us this year.

Today my mom and I are hitting the mall to escape the heat, but also to go shopping. Nothing especially glamorous, but after 56+ lbs, I’m in desperate need of some new panties. And I wouldn’t say no to a couple of new sleeveless tops to take me through this part of the summer. Yesterday I bought a few new sports bras at Target, because I have to double up on my current ones just to get a little bit of support. Retail therapy is so much more fun when I’m finding myself with more options.

Finally, the thing that’s making me smile the most lately is that I’m fitting into tons of smaller clothes! As a girl who loves fashion, and always tried to look my best, no matter what my size, it is fantastic that I’m moving on down the rack. At my heaviest, I was wearing pants in size 28 and tops in size 26. Now I’m wearing size 22 pants and tops in size 18/20. The scale might not be moving quite as quickly as I would hope, but I’m thrilled with the way clothes are looking on me. And the inches are just as important. Here’s a sample of some photos I’ve been posting on IG lately:


Top: Size 3 from Torrid. I bought this and could never wear it because it was too tight around my hips. Now it flows over them nicely.
Pants: Size 22 Se7ens from Lane Bryant


I bought this tshirt from SkinnyEmmie.com over a year ago, and it was skin tight. Actually, past that. Now it fits really well, especially after a few alterations. (I had to cut it so it was shorter, I cut the neckline because I don’t really like crew necks, and I cut off the sleeves.


I bought that blinged-out Giants tank from Bling Circus (Etsy), and it was way too tight just a few months ago. Now it’s form-fitting, but nicely hugs my curves.

I hope you have a wonderful day, full of things that put a smile on your face.


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1. What a great week to be off of work!  I’ve spent my week off doing the perfect mix of activities – plenty of hardcore gym sessions, a few new culinary experiments, spending tons of time with friends, and reading.  The only way I could think of to top this week would have been if I’d been laying on a tropical beach somewhere.

20130222-103944.jpg 2. One of my culinary experiments was my cauliflower crust pizza.  Although my first attempt has needs some perfecting, I think I know exactly how to do just that.

3.  Yesterday I spent a fabulous day riding my bike in Half Moon Bay, and I also found this little quote, which just so happens to look strikingly similar to my beach cruiser, Lola.


4.  I finished Gone Girl, and all I can say is if you haven’t read it – READ it!  I can’t say much more because there are lots of twists and turns that keep you shocked all the way to the final page of the novel.  My current read is another one by Gillian Flynn,

5886881 As the title implies, this one is another dark novel, and I am just as engaged by the flawed characters in this one.

5.  Finally, this morning as I was making my coffee, Sofi once again reminded me that sometimes all you need to be content is just a little spot of sun.  I love my pooch so much, and I’m glad she’s here to teach me all of these life lessons.


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Each year when I plant my summer flower garden, it’s the signal that summer is just around the corner.  Some years are so busy that I wait until after school gets out. Other years, my mom and dad have surprised me by planting all the flowers for me.  This year I decided the long Memorial Day weekend was the perfect time to plant my flower garden.

As is our yearly tradition, my dad and I met up in the morning and headed out to a few of our local nurseries to select, purchase, and plant the summer flowers.  This year I wanted to make sure there was plenty of color in both my front and back yards.  I’m so grateful for everything I have in my life – a wonderful family, a fabulous place to live, and soon a new puppy companion – and I wanted that joy to be vividly shown in my garden.

The photos were taken yesterday (and a few this morning) and I think they show just how successful we were in capturing that feeling.  See what you think:

First we’ll start in the front of the house.  My sister has a green thumb, and as I look out my window or front door every morning, I see a beautiful array of roses and lilies.  I wanted to make sure that my sister (and anyone else who might see my front yard) had a view that was just as pretty.  My front yard is mostly shade until around 4pm, when I get a few hours of hot afternoon sun.  I think the combo of flowers we selected will do really well with this light.

This is the view from my sister's house (front yard).

I love how unique these square containers look. Flowers: impatiens, dianthus, fiberous begonias

Flowers: impatiens, dianthus, petunias, begonia

Flowers: impatiens, dianthus, petunias, begonia, fiberous begonia

Flowers - impatiens, dianthus, fiberous begonias

Next, we’ll go to the back yard.  My backyard is very lush and green, thanks to some nice plants and trees that have been there for years, but I have always thought that it lacked color.  Yes, the bird of paradise have color, but they in need of some serious pruning, and I really hate those plants, but since the landlord likes them, they stay.  Also, I enjoy the bottle  brush tree and the holly berry tree, but other than that, my backyard is pretty blah.  That is, until yesterday.  I think the combination of potted flowers really adds a lot of life to the yard.  I get great light all day in the back, but the sun really hits around 1pm and lasts the rest of the afternoon until sunset.

A view of the backyard, taken from my patio. I really am lucky to have such a nice-sized yard.

This is the memorial garden I made for Lulu; the hydrangeas were there (although now they're blooming). I added the sunflower pot.

Close-up of the sunflower pot. Flowers: dianthus, fiberous begonia

I love the firecracker red salvia!

These pots originally held the hydrangeas, but I repurposed them, and I'm very happy with the way they turned out. I get to see these beauties every morning when I look outside from my dining table.

I love the bright-orange zinnia coupled with the colorful petunias.

Whenever I'm on a walk, I'm always drawn to geraniums, so I decided to plant some of my own. They're coupled with petunias here.

This was the plant I had on my patio table, but I thought it would fill in the corner of the yard nicely and add some much-needed color.

This azelea has seen better days on my dining table, but I'm hoping it will come back now that it's roots have room to grow.

I can’t wait until all of my flowers really take root and begin to flourish!  As my dad and I were planting them yesterday, I started to think about how nice it will be to take a few quiet moments to water each of these plants and think about my day.  Right now, while school is still in and things are hectic, it will be a short relief from the stress.  Later, when summer is here, it will be a wonderful way to begin or end my day, reminding myself of the beauty that can be found in the simplest things.

As much as I say that I’m not a gardener, I do think I have the soul of one.  I love everything that goes along with it, even getting my hands dirty.  Maybe with a bit more practice and a dash of confidence, I’ll become a full-fledged green thumb after all.


Because I love to have plants and flowers in the house, too, I thought I’d share the newest additions.

Dalias have to be one of my favorite flowers ever, and this pink./yellow combo is gorgeous.

The thing I love about Pathos plants is that they thrive in low light. This one is going to do really well in my bedroom.

Do you garden?  What have you been planting, lately?

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The other night my friend Cynn came over to catch up, share lots of wild stories, and for us to celebrate the season.  A few pomegranate martinis were sipped, some appetizers were eaten, and  really nice evening was had.

Because money is tight for Cynn right now, she brought me a really unique gift.  She gave me two paperwhite narcissus bulbs, along with instructions on how to “force” them.  I’d heard of forcing bulbs before, but had absolutely no idea what it meant or how to do it.  She explained that I could use a glass bowl filled with rocks, place the bulbs on the top of the rocks and “barely let the water kiss the bottom of the bulbs.”  Within a few weeks, I’ll have gorgeous spring flowers in the midst of winter.

It isn't pretty now, but hopefully in a few weeks, it will be gorgeous.

It’s a great reminder that something beautiful can come out of something so ugly. (A metaphor for weight loss?) That the simplest gifts are sometimes the ones that mean the most.  And that in the end, life is all about the small pleasures.

P.S. – If you know what this is supposed to look like, please let me know if I’m doing this right.

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