Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Rocco and Chuck (the shoe)


I like food. I like rich foods that are full of flavor. I love to eat. This is probably why I got into trouble with my weight in the first place, that and I stopped walking everywhere once I got my license. I like decedent desserts, I like savory sauces, I love food. I also enjoy cooking, I have been told I have a knack for it. All this said, when I decided to change my lifestyle I didn't want to have to give up flavor. I still wanted to have tasty food. Being healthy shouldn't hinder my enjoyment. If I was going to make a change and stick to it I still had to enjoy life, and a big part of enjoying life is being able to eat. It is human nature to eat and not only to live but it has become a staple in human socialization. 

So, I had to find substitutes to my unhealthy staples. Chips where thrown away and popcorn was put in it's place. (yes, popcorn is better for you than chips) I had to clear out the crap and start finding yummy alternatives that satisfied both my stomach and my taste-buds. I started using fat-free yogurt in sauces and cutting out a large portion of the butter. I look for cheeses that are healthier and have less fat. I get whole wheat bread. A bunch of little changes make a big difference. On top of all the changes I had to change my attitude towards eating. I had to eat slower and allow myself to feel full. I had to realize that I didn't always have to eat everything on my plate and I could put left-overs in the fridge. 

So on the lovely topic of food and healthy alternatives I thought I would share one. This is a great alternative to cookies and is very much like a cookie but it has more nutritional value and will keep you filled for a longer time. 

No-Bake Energy Bites
This recipe is super easy and very taste. It yields approx. 24 servings and each one is approx. 120 calories.

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes (I use unsweetened)
1/2 cup ground flax-seed
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp Vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well incorporated.

2. Let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

3. Roll into balls.

Can be stored in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge for up to a week. If it is quite crumbly just add a wee-bit more of one of the wet ingredients until you can roll it into a ball without it falling apart.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh, Monday.

Today...well okay not all day, this evening I have a bad case of the Mondays. Things just aren't going right. Most of the day I was happy. I was working and things went smoothly and I was enjoying my job. This evening though, not so good. I picked up a form I need to fill out, the filling out was not so easy. I needed to find another form and use the information from it to complete original said form. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the form with the information that I needed. I then decided to turn to the government websites. I am never doing that again. They are the worst. I got rather grumpy.

My lovely little feline friend was leisurely reading her mad-libs, I had spent almost three hours searching for a stupid form.

I retired for a short time to went to pick up my hubby. I was still grumpy. It was not a positive drive home. He was not pleased that I was messing with the files. I was only messing with one, and actually I had made it more organized. We got home. He looked around and things I had taken out and scattered on the floor in piles, in about 2 minutes was able to find what I had spent three hours trying to find. I am still grumpy about that, and I still need to find yet another form to complete the original form.

Tomorrow, I promise I'll be less grumpy and perhaps I'll spend my time at the gym instead of looking for stupid forms. Hopefully next Monday will be more happy for me.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Come Shop With Me: baby it's cold outside edition

Baby it's cold outside

Typically when you think winter you think a big warm puffy jacket, fortunately with me it never really gets that cold here. I still wear my winter jacket sometimes but, for the most part, I am able to get away with a nice down vest. I have a lovely MEC black vest that I live in for the most part during the fall and winter and it does me great but, this vest is to die for. Isn't it cute?! To be honest, this whole outfit is so completely me, I have pants almost identical just without the rips. I could probably manage to pull something like this together with what I own, except for the shoes. I don't own any sneakers like that.

What is your go to clothing item when winter comes around? are you a mitten person? Do you prefer toques? What is your winter necessity?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Few of my Necessities....

Last week I shared about my journey to a healthier lifestyle. It is strange how we all have our little things, and routines, and habits, and occasionally things we do become a necessity. I have developed some new little quirks these past few months, not ticks, and not something people would really pick up if they saw me. Just things I've noticed about myself. I am not sure if they are habits or not but if they are I have no objections.

I like my apples sliced. I will take the time to cut my apple just so because I do not like eating an apple just as, yes I am that stubborn. I need it sliced. I will eat two or three apples in a sitting, as long as they are sliced.

Ben will no longer cut me apples because of this. I have to say though, my love for apples has grown remarkably. I really do enjoy eating them. Actually I am eating one right now. 

I have become a lover of Tomato Soup. I used to hate the meals where I'd sit down at the table and have to drudge myself through a meal of soup. I mean really I am not a baby, I don't need to be on a liquid diet. At least that was my thinking. These last few months though, I live on Tomato Soup, not just any Tomato Soup though, Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup. It is so good. I tell you, I have it most days as a lunch. My soup, my toast, and an apple. Perfection I tell you. There you go, two servings of Fruits already, in one meal.

My Calender, and my notebook. Everything has to be written down just so. On the calender Ben's things are Highlighted in Blue, Mine in Orange, things we do together (ie date nights) in yellow, and everything Young Life related in purple. It has to be that way. If it isn't I will get rather worried. Also, my notebook has to be written in such a way, I can't really tell you how, it would take to long, so here is a picture.

If it is not spaced out properly, I get rather peeved. I have tore pages out because I don't like how they look. Everything is written in capitols, spaced out just so, each page has the date and the day, the number of calories total that day at the top. I am not sure if this is obsessive but, either way I have found it to be positive.

I think most of these new little habits I've picked up are results of changing my lifestyle. I think because I am dealing with changes I've picked up a few necessities in a way to control something. I mean yes, I am in control of myself, and I am in control of what I eat but, it is still a change in my life. So to keep myself sane while I deal with these changes I've adapted and started taking control of new things in my life.

Here's to those new changes and new necessities created through those changes.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Monday

Most people dread Mondays. Waking up earlier, getting ready for work, slowly shuffling from the bedroom to the bathroom to start the morning routine. Typically I am that way too. The weekends are great, we count down to them. Monday, well Monday is the least favorite day to many.

This Monday, however, is great. Why, you might ask? Well because this Monday was the beginning of something new and well, sometimes starting fresh is good. Today was my first day at a new job. It is only a temp position and wont last me long but to even have a position is very good. It really lifts a weight of my shoulders. I am a photographers assistant for the Santa photos in the mall. I get to spend my day talking to children who are eagerly anticipating and patiently, and not so patiently, waiting to sit on his lap and tell him exactly what they wont for Christmas...all while their parents are taking notes in the corner. I get to bring joy during this most joyous time of the year. It was my first day, and I am loving it.

This Monday, I heard some most exciting news. My mom was able to get plane tickets for Ben and I and we will be able to join my family on Christmas day. My mom said that it is a Christmas present for the family, and I tend to agree. I have been moping around about this for a while. I would cry occasionally about how I wouldn't be able to join my family, I was truly ecstatic to find out what my parents did for us, we really wouldn't have been able to do this without them.
So to celebrate this fabulous, amazing, delightful, fantastic, all around lovely Monday, I decided to make some cookie dough fruit dip and enjoy it with my apples.  

Here is the recipe:
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined.
  3. Serve with graham crackers or apple wedges.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Come Shop with me

If I had the money, I would own this exact outfit. I absolutely love the hat, it was kind of the starting point for the whole outfit. Sadly, I don't have much for right now I will just long. Maybe someday I will find some similar pieces on the cheap and buy them. Well okay, not all of these items are completely unreasonably priced just the jacket, and earrings, okay well and maybe I wouldn't pay that kind of money for the sneakers. So, maybe, I will buy the hat....someday.

Nov. 17 '2011

249 SEK -

Rick owens jacket
£1,410 -

Hollister Co. destructed jeans
$50 -

Ash distressed shoes
$188 -

MbyM extra long scarve
€50 -

Vintage retro sunglasses
£9.50 -

Khaki hat

Hope you enjoyed shopping with me,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Healthy Changes

I've mentioned in previous posts how I've been working to establish a healthy lifestyle and lose some weight. I've mentioned my struggle with my weight. I've mentioned how my childhood affected my view on weight and health. I am in no way an expert, and I will not pretend to be. I do, however, have experience when it comes to changing ones lifestyle to establish something healthier.

Just over a year ago, maybe a bit more, I was at my peak weight. I was unhealthy, and more self-conscious then ever. I will be open with you, I was over 170 pounds....which just didn't hang well on my 5'6" frame. I was in the midst of a life-changing move, stressed as can be, and just not taking care of myself. I wont say I had a moment, I didn't really, where I decided I needed to change, it just happened and I decided. It was VERY slow going at first, just started to be more conscious about what I was eating and how much of it I was eating. It wasn't until after Christmas that I really decided to make a change, it may have had something to do with my Uncle calling me a pig and onking at me when I went up for seconds. (I am sure he meant nothing by it and didn't realize how it was inappropriate.)

Finally in February I decided to get a gym membership. I decided to do a full year, because if I was going to commit to change I was really going to do! It was slow going. I started on the treadmill running for 2 minutes and walking for 8, doing intervals of this for a full hour. Slowly, slowly, slowly, I started upping the running time, pushing myself to run harder. I started adding weights to my gym-time routine. I finally started to see some change. I remember climbing onto the scale and seeing the numbers slowly tick down. I was thrilled.

I am not one to toot my own whistle but, I have since lost about 40 pounds. I am only a few pounds away from my goal but, at this point it isn't as much about my weight but about how I feel. Yes, I'd like to take a few pounds away, I'd like to tone up, but I know I can do it so I am not worried. Like I said earlier, I am no expert, but for those wondering how I did it here is a little run down. Like anything, I can't guarantee this will work for you. We all have a different way of doing things, and you will have to find what will work for you but, these are things that worked for me.

(left: Aug 2010, right: May 2011. I have since lost some more weight but, at least this will give you an idea.)

1.) Buying a gym pass. I no longer had a reason not to work out. I committed to pay for a full year at the gym and I wasn't going to throw my money away. I was going to use the equipment and get my moneys worth.

2.) Only go on the scale once a month. I wasn't going to get caught up on numbers. Yes, I had a goal, a number in mind but, I wasn't going to reach it in a day or week. As long as I was working hard I knew the weight was coming off, I didn't need to stress about a number.

3.) Write down everything. Well okay not everything. This is a newer part of my healthy changes but, it is one I wish I started to do earlier and has definitely helped. Writing down everything I eat and it's caloric value, it has helped me be aware of what I am eating and it has help me decide to eat healthier. I'd rather write down that I had an apple than a chocolate bar. I also write down how many calories I've burned at the gym, if I am sick I write down what medication I am taking, and I write down whether or not I've taken my vitamins. (You need your vitamin D when you live in a place that is gray most of the time.) I write it all down and it is a constant reminder to be healthy.

There you go, that is pretty much it. I still have a ways to go till I feel like my lifestyle is where I want it to be but, I am getting closer. Any positive change is just that, positive.

I'd love to hear some of your stories and how you are doing it. If you have any tips for me, idea's, healthy recipes, I am always eager to hear what other people are doing to get healthy.

Hope you have a lovely day,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Umbrella Days.

I am one of the people out there who loves it when clouds blanket the sky and with little effort open up painting the pavement in water drops and puddles. I love umbrella weather.

I love the easy comfort that comes when it rains. The slow pace of curling up on the couch, sipping tea, all while the gentle pitter-patter drum against my windows and roof. Completely enjoying the warmth of being inside. Blanketing myself in warm wool sweaters and socks.
This weekend was filled with umbrella weather. I enjoyed watching some Downton Abbey with my lovely mother and sister-in-law and not for one moment did I feel guilty about not being outside. Such is the life of umbrella weather.
Hope this weekend was as lovely for you as it was for me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2nd 2011

Dear Husband,

I haven't written you a letter in quite sometime, I apologize. We've been rather busy the last while. You with school work, papers, presentations, readings; Me with work, looking for work, preparing to be done work. Life has been busy.

Yet, we are able to find moments. Oh how I love moments. Time where we sit snuggled up to one another eating mini candy bars and watching Doctor Who. I love those moments.

You are the sweetest. This morning when I woke up you were sleeping so soundly. Your bedhead might just be the cutest thing out there. I couldn't help but stare, and so I did. I slowly woke up, got up, and stretched out, all while you still slept soundly.

I always wish you ate a better breakfast, so I proceeded to making you one. I walked to our neighborhoods Serious Coffee and got you a Peanut Buster Bar, came home made you some hot chocolate. I slowly woke you up and gave you your breakfast....which you still haven't eaten. Actually, it has been an hour and you are still curled up in bed my love.

I just want you to know I that I love you and I am so glad that you are mine and I am yours.