Posts Tagged ‘spring’

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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{I’m going to save my weigh-in update for later in the week. As you guys know, I was one pound away from the goal that will get my file on the surgeon’s desk. I’ve been working hard all week to get that pound (plus more) off, and I’m going in to my local Kaiser to get my weight officially documented. So, I’ll write my weigh-in post after I have those results}.

bilbl_mainI know I’ve been pretty absent on this blog, and on commenting on everyone else’s blogs. I’m so sorry for that. It’s been really busy for me at work, and when I’m off, I’ve been concentrating on getting these pounds off. Ever since the time change, I’ve been feeling so tired and drained and have been heading to bed earlier than normal. Still, I need to be better about writing and commenting, because blogging is one of my great loves, and I don’t want to slack on it right as I’m achieving everything that I’ve been working so hard for.

For today’s post, I figured I’d share some of the things that have been making me smile.


I took this one on a walk with Sofi last week. So many of my neighbors have beautiful flowers in bloom in their front yards, which really makes me love this time of year.


Sofi loves her indoor/outdoor doggie bed, but after a long, hot walk, she loves the cool grass even more. If given the choice, Sofi will choose to be outside every single time.

These next two photos were taken during last week’s Spring Fling dress up days.  I was one of the few teachers who actually dressed up, which I don’t understand, since the students love to see us looking goofy.  I had fun with it, as you can tell.


Monday was Crazy Day, and I think I aced that assignment. I definitely brought hte crazy!


Tuesday was Western Day. This was the first time I’ve ever worn a cowboy hat! It’s also the first time in years that I’ve braided my hair. I can’t believe how long it’s gotten!


This is Sofi’s favorite position on any given morning – tummy up, soaking up the sun. What a life!


Sofi’s 2nd birthday is on Tuesday, and my mom being the great Nonni that she is, had to celebrate it early by giving Sofi this fun toy. She wasn’t so sure at first, but she hasn’t been without it since yesterday afternoon when she got it.


My sister and I have tons of gorgeous lilies in our front yard, and I just had to make a quick spring arrangement for my dining table. I love bringing the spring inside!


Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, and I couldn’t help but snap this quick pic while Sofi and I took our early afternoon walk today.


I’ve been participating in #fmsphotoaday on Instagram, and today’s assignment was “Up.” Can you believe that bright blue sky, without a cloud to be seen? I’m so lucky to live here.

There you have it.  A bunch of reasons to smile today.  I hope your Sunday was just as happy.  Look for my weigh-in update tomorrow, and please cross your fingers & toes that the official weigh-in puts me well under the goal.

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1. This weekend is another long one for me – I have a furlough day on Monday. Even though I hate the fact that we had to have budget cuts this year, I have to admit, having another day off of school so soon is nice. I’m going to use the extra day to get in a great workout at the gym and get some home organization and cleaning done.

2. Yesterday I put together what I think was an adorable outfit for work, featuring a “new” blazer that I found in my closet. I got several compliments from students, which is always a good sign. Better yet, I felt great in the outfit, which is really the most important thing, don’t you think?


Since the weather has been in the high 60s, I thought it was high time for a flower in my hair to add a touch of spring to the last day of February.


3. I’m way overdue for a pedi (I never ended up getting one a few weekends ago), and I think I’m in the mood for green toes, in honor of St. Patty’s Day and the beginning of spring. Plus, I’m teaching The Great Gatsby right now in class, and green is a very symbolic color in that novel, so it works on a lot of levels:

Essie's Mojito Madness

Essie’s Mojito Madness

4. My weekend plans include going for a bike ride with my sister, shopping for my niece’s Easter baskets with my mom and sister (we do things EARLY in my family), and going to the movies. I’m not sure which movie we’ll end up seeing – any suggestions? What’s the last movie you saw that you enjoyed?

5. I saw this a few weeks ago, and loved it:


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

The month of March is flying right by!  I can’t believe today is already March 15th, but I’m looking forward to spring and all of the lovely days that come along with it.  Days spent enjoying the colorful flowers I’ll plant in my garden.  Days spent outside on a walk with Lulu or talking to my sister about life.  Days spent riding my bike around my amazing neighborhood, getting in some exercise and feeding my soul, all at the same time.  Spring!

I’m feeling great about all that’s going on in my life right now, especially in terms of weight loss.  I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating – I’m in a groove and I know success is only a matter of time. It seems as though everything that I’ve gone through up to this point – all the disappointment, all the stops and stars, all the frustration – has all been eliminated completely.  My mind is so determined on my goal that I have absolutely no doubt that I will be on the waiting list for the surgery by the time school gets out in June. And I plan on enjoying all the small moments of accomplishment in between.

I will say that I’ve been having a tough time with the time change.  I can’t seem to get to sleep at night, but then I oversleep in the morning.  Or else I’m sort of dragging throughout the day.  I know that by next week, I’ll be all set, but this DST coupled with the remnants of this never-ending cold is really zapping some of my energy.  Luckily, I don’t have as much going on this week at work, so I can ease into the change.  Have you guys noticed a difference?

I’m also happy to say that I’ve kept up with the two challenges I have going on right now.

#1 – TheDailyChallenge from MeYouHealth. This week I’ve:

#2 – I’ve kept up with the #7daychip /#30daychip.  Today is Day 15!

And looking ahead to next week, I’m confident that I’ll have a new badge (5 more lbs gone) by the time I write next week’s post.  Woot!!

How’s your week going?

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As you’ll remember, last Sunday I purchased a few items for my living room to spruce it up.  The colors of the pillows were inspired by this great calendar that I had bought.  I loved it so much that I bought a second one, and framed some of my favorite prints to put up.

I asked my mom and dad to come over for some wine and apps, because the three of us have a knack for placement and hanging of pictures.  My dad is great with the nailing and hanging, and my mom and I are pros at placement.

The result is a warm, inviting living room that I’m so proud of.  I love the way it turned out, and since I spend the majority of my time at home in this room, I wanted to make sure it reflected my personal style.  I think the look was finally achieved, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

The entire wall:

I really enjoy the sentiment and artwork on each of these prints.  They really work to tie all the other colors in together, which make sense, since they were what inspired the change all together.

Lastly, how delightful is this new vase?  It’s so pretty that it doesn’t even need flowers in it:

Sometimes all it takes is a small change to complete transform a room.  Thanks to this new change, I feel so happy whenever I walk into the room, and really, what more can you ask from your home?

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I was determined to make the most of this, my final day of . This week off went by so quickly, but I enjoyed the rest and relaxation that it allowed me to experience.  Now I’m looking forward to summer, which is only 9 weeks away, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Ahhh, what an absolutely perfect Sunday I had today!  It started with brunch with my mom, Ish, and her mom.  We caught up on our lives, shared laughs, and then headed to one of the best farmers’ markets in my local area.  The thing is HUGE – 6 blocks long – and filled with produce, flowers, and crafts from local farmers, florists, artisans, and artists.  It was a beautiful, sunny day (mid to high 70s), and hitting this farmers’ markets with these ladies is one of my favorite ways to spend any Sunday, but was especially nice on this, the last day of my spring break.

These flowers are the gorgeous palette of spring at the Campbell Farmers’ Market. Looking at all the beautiful colors just puts me in a great mood. There were so many different florists to choose from, offering all sorts of flowers.  Everything from old favorites to the very unexpected.

Very quirky hanging plants.  I really liked the ones on the far left (click the picture to make it larger so you can really see them).  I almost got them, but then I found these for $5:

Aren’t they spectacular?  They’re called protea, and I’ve never seen anything so unique in my life.  I was so happy to find flowers like these that you definitely can’t find at the local supermarket.  Plus, the price was ridiculously inexpensive, so I just couldn’t pass them up.

I was really attracted to the painting of the woman in the red dress and got into a completely entertaining conversation with the eccentric artist who painted them.  He told me that a few months ago he was painting on cardboard on the streets of Carmel.  One afternoon someone saw him and offered him $10,000 to paint as many as he could on canvas.  From there he said, “my work has been at galleries from here to New York, and I sell the paintings for $1500 apiece.  But I don’t like to be tied to any galleries, so I will sell that one to you, out of the joy it will bring my heart to know that you’ll love it, for $150, but don’t tell anyone”.  He was so funny.  I told him I had to think about it, to which he responded, “well do be expedient in your decision, dear, because I have to start packing up soon.”  LOL.  I didn’t end up getting it, but it was fun to hear his story and talk to him.

I bought lots of beautiful produce, including a mix of baby kale and swiss chard, the sweetest, most flavorful, crisp Asian pears I’ve ever tasted, some Persian cucumbers, and Iranian bolani, which is a naan-like bread with spinach that is only 1 point.  I’m looking forward to trying that tonight.  The sights and sounds of the farmers’ market are always so invigorating to me because all the food brings to mind so many cooking possibilities. There really isn’t anything better than farm fresh produce, locally produced, and waiting for a little inspiration.

(Side note: I was pretty hungry by the time I got home much later this afternoon, so I decided to try the bolani.  I was intrigued that they were so low in calories, fat, and high in fiber.  As directed, I heated them in a skillet over medium heat, with just a bit of Pam.  One whole bolani, pictured, is only 3 points!):

If you think this trip to the farmers’ market was where the afternoon ended, you obviously don’t know my mom.  😉  After we said our goodbyes to Ish and her mom, we headed to not one, not two, but three different stores in search of the perfect vase for her to put her protea in.  (Mine are in beautiful vases from Pottery Barn that I already had). But with these strange beauties as our motivation, we knew the quest had to be met with the iron shoppers’ will that only my mom possesses.

We headed first to Michael’s, but found nothing but a long line of disgruntled women who were upset to be waiting to purchase their goods, rather than being outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Undaunted, we went to Cost Plus World Market, where we didn’t find any vases, but where I found some inspiration to redo my living room.  Prior to seeing these, my living room was a mixture of gold and burgundy, which is rich and luxurious in winter, but feels quite heavy at this time of year.  I have a plan to change the artwork on my walls (a post and photos about this next week, after it’s completed), and I’ve been wanting to change the colors to something more that echo the freshness of spring and summer.  When I found these, I knew that I couldn’t leave the store without them:

I absolutely love these pillows. The colors just make me happy. They’re so whimsical and vibrant. They totally fit the mood and personality I want to create within the room.

(I also got some silk flowers to put in my vases, but since I have the protea in them right now, I’ll snap another photo of those once they expire in a few weeks).

We left Cost Plus without finding my mom’s vase, so we headed to Pier 1 next.  I adore this store more than I can say, and if I had endless amounts of money, I could’ve left with so much more. As it was, I found a couple of things that I knew would really help put the living room together well:

I love the stripes in this pillow, and how the colors tie in well with the other two pillows I found at Cost Plus.

I also found a great candle holder that has those same colors:

I wish the photo show how beautiful it looks with the candles illuminating it.

I cannot tell you how invigorated I felt knowing that for a small amount of money I had the things I needed to help transform my living room.  Since it’s the room I spend the majority of my time in, I want to make sure it has an atmosphere that I find soothing.  As I mentioned before, there are still a few more touches that I need to make before the “makeover” is complete, but it’s definitely well on its way.

Oh, and before you think that we forgot about our original purpose, the quest for the perfect vase for my mom’s protea, here’s the vase we found.  It’s blown glass, made in Italy, and it’s gorgeous.  It’s a gold-colored vase with veins of rust running through it.  Our afternoon’s quest was complete!

When I got home I was seriously so tired that I felt like I had walked a 5K.  We were out and about and either standing or walking for over 4 hours straight.  I counted it as an hour of slow walking, which earned 4 APs.  🙂

Today, and this entire weekend, I was really active and social, and it felt so good.  It really reinforced to me that I need to try to be this way more often.  During these long winter months I’ve been hibernating, and it feels great to be out and about and enjoying this gorgeous weather.  Again, it makes me long for summer, but for now I’ll have to make each weekend count.

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

This week I have some big announcements that I’m feeling really good about.  Before I share them with you, let me give you some background.

I had a bad weigh-in last week, due in large part to TOM.  But that alone wasn’t the cause of a 4 pound gain.  I haven’t been giving the food my all, and I definitely hadn’t been getting all the water in.  Before you give me any tips about how to drink more water, let me say it’s not the drinking it that’s the problem as much as being free to take bathroom breaks during the workday.  I only have two opportunities to “go” from 8am-2:25pm, so it makes drinking a decent amount of water a challenge, but I have a workaround that’s working, which I’ll share in the minute.  To top it off, I heard some bad news regarding my job on Friday (don’t worry, I still have one), and let’s just say that I didn’t take it that well.  I tried to stay positive, but I think it upset me more than I realized, and I took it out on myself by making some poor food choices over the weekend.  Self-sabotage is a bitch.

The thing is, this past week wasn’t really any different than any other week so far in 2010.  My starting weight on Dec. 30 was lower than my first weigh-in, and ever since then I’ve been feeling as if I’m playing (and losing) at a game of catch up.  So, I decided that I’m not going to do that to myself.  I’m not going to keep seeing a loss, only to record an overall gain for 2010.  It affects me too deeply emotionally when I see that overall gain.  So, I’ve decided to reset my starting weight to whatever the scale shows tomorrow. That way spring brings with it a truly fresh start.  I’ve recently made some changes that are helping my weight loss (last week not withstanding), and I want a chance to show myself that I CAN do this.  Some of you may think of this as a cop out, but I consider it TAKING ACTION.  And really, I’m the only one that I have to satisfy with this decision.  I’m the only one that can make it happen.

This will be a four-pronged approach:

  1. Food. I changed the number of points that I use as my target from 33 (WW recommendation) to 28, which feels like a much more realistic number.  I don’t waste my points on filler foods, and just stick to eating 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks throughout the day.
  2. Water. Getting enough water to stay hydrated is almost as important as making sure to eat the right foods.  As I mentioned above, it’s a struggle to drink the water between the hours of 8-2:30 because of my regimented bell schedule at work.  I can drink the water, but if I’m bursting at the seams because I can’t use the restroom, that does no good.  So, I will drink 2 glasses of water before I leave the house in the morning, 2-3 glasses at work, and the rest when I get home from work.
  3. Activity. My goal in the past was a bit too high, I think.  I’d always say I want to get 6 days in, but I wouldn’t be able to make it, because life does get in the way, especially with my busy schedule.  So my new goal is to get in at least 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. I’ve really been enjoying doing lots of different activities and exercises, so as long as I make time 3 weekdays and both weekends, this shouldn’t be too hard to reach.
  4. Mind. I always try to keep a positive attitude. In fact one recent commenter told me that she found my blog when she did a Google search on the words “positive attitude.”  How cool is that?  But even the most positive person gets down on herself from time to time, and I am no exception. Going into this new spring season, I’m going to keep yesterday’s post in mindI will not be the brick wall that impedes my own progress.  I have to take to heart that if I believe in myself enough, and keep my ultimate goal in mind, I will eventually succeed. Even more that the goal, I have to keep the REASONS for the goal in mind.  To be healthy, to live life to the fullest, and to look as beautiful as I feel.

Spring, a time of renewal and rebirth.  And that’s just what I’m going to do.

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

I am loving spring!  The weather is warmer (although we’re expecting a bit of a cold front to come in tomorrow and the next day 😦 ), the days are longer, and people just seem to be in a better mood, don’t they?  It was a long winter for everyone, and even though I didn’t have to live through “snomageddon 2010,” for a while I thought I had somehow moved to Seattle, with all the rain we were getting.  (Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the city of Seattle, but I don’t think I could handle all of the precipitation).

Spring also makes me want to dress nicer.  I mentioned a few weeks ago that my business trip required me to dress up a lot more than I normally do, which meant buying a few new dresses and things.  I really loved the way I looked and felt in the dresses, and I vowed that I was going to start taking a bit more time and attention to detail in my daily wardrobe.  I have been doing it for two weeks now, and I love it.  I’ve always been the type of person to take great pride in my appearance, but somehow this winter, I sort of let that go.  It was just so much easier to grab jeans and a sweater or sweatshirt when the weather outside was lousy.  I was totally uninspired to dress nicely.  Now that the weather is warmer, I want to shed those layers and show my style.  The other plus is that the more form fitting clothes keep me motivated to keep up with my workouts and food plan!

I mentioned yesterday that I spent quite a bit of time this weekend cleaning, and it feels so great to come home to a spotless, organized house.  The next spring project that I want to take on is planting flowers in my front yard.  I have a window box, as well as two pots that I put on my front stoop.

One of last year's pots, right after planting.

I have to choose flowers that will deal with shade, because I only get morning sun.  I usually end up choosing impatiens, because they do so well, but I think I’m a bit bored with them after three years.  Any ideas of other shade-loving flowers I could try?

This spring I also want to bring back a weekly treat that I used to give to myself some time ago – a new bouquet of flowers each week.  I used to buy them on Fridays after work, to enjoy all weekend.  I think I’m going to change it to stopping at the store on Wednesdays after work, as a reward to myself for another good week on plan.  This works perfectly because I weigh myself each Wednesday, and Tuesdays/Wednesdays are the days when my local grocery store gets their new floral deliveries.  So, my Wednesday afternoon flowers will be a great way to inspire myself to remember that I’m a work in progress, a flower that’s still blossoming (ok, was that too cheesey?).  Plus, I just love flowers, so having a fresh floral bouquet always puts me in a great mood.

Spring also inspires me to get outside for my activity, and I’ve been enjoying the longer, sunny days by walking outside or biking around the neighborhood after I get home from work.  Even a few minutes helps me clear my mind and be thankful that I get to live in such a beautiful climate.

I’m also looking forward to Spring Break, which will be here in about 3 weeks – 19 more days, to be exact.  The rest of the school year flies by after Spring Break, and then summer is here.  Ah, glorious summer.  But I won’t get to far ahead of myself.  For now, I’ll just enjoy these beautiful spring days…

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relaxing-by-beach-with-tree-at-top-300-dpi-pict32511 I have this week off for spring break, and I told myself that this was going to be a preview of what my summer was going to be like.  Although it hasn’t been what a typical week in summer will be like (I hope), because I’ve also scheduled a ton of appointments this week – dentist, dr. follow-up, brows, hair, nails (wow, I sound kinda high maintenance!).  Oh, and I do have lots of papers to grade, unlike summer.  One aspect of this week that I hope is like summer is that I’ve been getting up fairly early (between 7 and 7:30) and getting started on my day.

Yesterday I had the time to cook two delicious meals for myself.  I made a fabulous salad for lunch and then for dinner, I made a mouthwatering, yet healthy recipe that I got from WWM.  I love cooking and preparing meals for myself (and others) – it makes me feel calm, organized, and very accomplished.  Lately I haven’t had as much time to cook as often as I’d like because of that SSAS class I’m teaching, but I do try to cook a “big batch” on the weekend or on Monday nights so I have home-cooked meals for the week.  Still, there’s nothing like going to the store and being inspired to make something.  Or finding an interesting recipe and deciding to cook it that night.  I love the spontaneity of cooking that way.  This summer I’m hoping lots of my inspiration will come from the foods I find at the farmers’ market.

This week I am really looking forward to working out.  Last week I didn’t really go because I was feeling tired and sick most of the week.  I love being able to to go “all clubs” with 24 Hour Fitness, because if I don’t like the classes offered at a certain time at one location, I can usually find a class I’d like to take at another one.  Here’s the workout plan for the week:

  • Tuesday – Aqua Class: 6:30pm-7:30pm
  • Wednesday – Aqua Class: 6:30pm-7:30pm
  • Thursday – Zumba: 9:30am-10:15am (I cannot wait to take this class.  I’ve been wanting to take a Zumba class for so long).
  • Friday – Aqua Class: 9:15am-10:15am
  • Sunday – bike ride around the neighborhood for at least 1 1/2 hours

I still haven’t made it to a WW meeting.  I was sick with a really killer cold starting Thursday (still recovering, actually) and I actually overslept on Saturday and missed all three meetings offered (7am, 8:30am, and 10:00am).  I ended up staying in bed the entire day; something I never, ever do.  I guess I needed it, though, because I felt so much better on Sunday. I also didn’t weight myself, but I’m feeling really good.  Clothes are fitting and I’m feeling lighter.

This is getting a bit ridiculous – my not attending meetings.  I have been doing well about following the program, though.  Measuring, counting, and journaling.  The missing step is attending the meetings.  I’m going this Saturday at 8:30, hopefully, but 10:00 if I wake up late.  Enough is enough with missed meetings!  I am boring myself by continuing to write “I didn’t make it to a meeting” every week.  This Saturday I look forward to writing, “I enjoyed my meeting immensely.”

Plus, it’s spring time, the time of renewal and hope.  What better time to get my butt back to a meeting?

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