I believe I live a healthy lifestyle. I am determined to prove it to myself once and for all by not letting the numbers on the scale dictate my happiness.
I am a reformed morbidly obese individual. On my journey to a healthier me, I had gastric bypass surgery in May of 2004.
I made a vow to myself as I sat in the hospital miserable that I would not be one of those stories of people that lose via surgery, learn nothing, and gain it all back.
Now, I log my food faithfully, make sure
I get plenty of exercise, and live!
I also write a weekly column at Nutrimirror. Stop by sometime!
Ben and I decided to go out to dinner after work. You can see Palomino off in the distance. It was a much needed date, and we had a wonderful meal. Flatbread pizza with chicken and a salad to share. Delicious!
I then had to write the NutriMirror column. The whole thing. Normally I get it written a couple of nights before and then do some editing the night before. YIKES!
I just posted that. Now I need to post today's picture and say goodnight!
Here it is! Vote below! And - wow- mixed reviews on the red/black/white dress. Interesting, very interesting!
8:25 pm here. This is the earliest I have sat down all week!
Okay, the week so far :)
Monday: I couldn't wait to wear my new shoes! For as high a heel as they are, they were extremely comfortable. Remember, platforms are actually quite easy to walk in because the "lift" in the front actually reduces the heel height. If the platform is an inch, it reduces the heel height by an inch. That makes these about 4 inches!
I chose a dress that I had gotten last year at J.Crew. When I tell you the dress is cheap, I mean really cheap. I think it was around $20. I am quite fond of the little rosettes on the front. It would be great for an evening out as well.
But, it was work, therefore a cardigan. You all liked it; thanks!
Tuesday: Seems the black and white worked for you!
I got this skirt a year ago at Banana Republic. I love a high waisted skirt. I do not love, however, how this makes me appear "poochy." I am told by someone close to me here, ahem, that I am too hard on myself. Who isn't?
I am not sure I love the skirt. As positive as the votes were, does anyone want a high waisted black and white plaid skirt in size 6?
Now, take note of the hair color yesterday, and the hair color today. Nothing new, but I was finally able to get to my salon for a trim and a color! My goodness you should have seen the grey in my hair!! Seriously, I had about an inch of roots. Scary!
Today: ah, caught up!
This dress was purchased 3 years ago in La Jolla, California at Francesca's. If you recall, I thought they were some trendy downtown boutique. Little did I know it was a chain!
I love the combination of red/black/white so I was immediately drawn to the pattern. It is a shirt dress. The very first time I wore it, I decided it had to be worn with tights or leggings. When I sit down in it, you realize that perhaps too much thigh is exposed to be decent. I did have button issues twice today: thank goodness the only person I flashed was my friend Tricia!
Did I tell you that the Francesca's chain decided to torture me by opening a store at the mall a mere 15 minutes from me? At least before I had to travel 30 minutes either west or east to get to one. Now, they are way too close. They taunt me!
My friend Victoria (Hi Victoria!) was kind enough to refer me to a website she had heard about. Please, go there for me. Buy something amazing! At the very least check out Simply Soles.
Look at these shoes. Pretty enough to make a grown woman cry!
Speaking of pretty shoes, look at these babies. My friend Tricia sent this link to Ben!
Okay, time for me to stop looking at shoes!
If you are a "healthy eater" and are looking for breakfast options, check out this blog won't you?
Really, I have a ton of good excuses. Last night I was chatting via gmail with my son. Tonight I was getting my hair cut and colored, and after getting home needed to wrap my sister's Christmas gifts so I can ship them tomorrow.
Those are valid, right?
I am glad you liked yesterday's ensemble...time to vote for today's!
I can't wait for things to slow down just a little!!
Thanks for checking in!
p.s. How do you food bloggers write about your food every day??
Last August after I saw "Julie and Julia" I decided that I wanted a blog, too.
I thought about putting a blog together of my weekly baking. I love to bake, as you all know. I love to feed even more than I love to bake. Ask my unsuspecting co-workers.
I thought about Kel the Baker. I am so glad I did not do that.
Because there is already Joy the Baker. To even attempt to mimic the magic she creates on her blog would be, well, insulting. Frustrating. Unfulfilling. Kind of like a collapsed souffle.
Thank you Susan for recommending Joy to me!
How appropriate that her name is Joy. Reading her blog makes me joyful. Her baking and cooking makes me joyful. The treats I bring to work are like sharing joy with my co-workers.
Check her out today. Please. I am confident enough to tell you I have a crush on Joy.
Today's baking was her Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. I also made my Chewy Ginger cookies, and was so excited to see that Joy uses the same recipe as I. Yet she found a way to make them better. She rolls them in raw sugar. Pure genius.
Last weekend I made Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich cookies. And the tomato soup...
The week before that it was her apple pie and her sweet potato pie with a no roll crust.
Check them out. Check her out. And you will understand my crush.
So, how do you get the attention of someone like Joy? You make a cupcake just for her.
So, here it is:
The Ode to Joy Cupcake
1/4 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup flour
1/2 tea baking soda
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 tea vanilla extract
1/2 tea almond extract
1 tbl Grand Marnier
1 tbl orange zest
1/4 mini chocolate chips
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine the softened butter and the sugar. Mix the heck out of it. About 3 minutes in the kitchenaid mixer. Add egg yolks, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and the baking soda.
Add the flour in three portions, and the buttermilk in two portions, alternating. End with the flour. I don't know why. I have just seen it in a lot of recipes.
Add the almond extract, the vanilla extract, the Grand Marnier, the orange zest. Taste the batter and have an epiphany. Add mini chocolate chips. Except when you have your epiphany, toss the chips in with a little flour. This will keep the chips from settling to the bottom of the cupcake.
Next, if you are like me and only have one bowl for your kitchenaid, curse. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Wash your mixer bowl, dry it and get ready to beat the egg whites.
Beat egg whites on high speed of mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
Put your batter into your cupcake pan, which you have already lined with baking cups. I love using an ice cream scoop to do this.
Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes. Or so. You know your oven better than I do.
Take them out and leave in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting.
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted, not softened.
1 8 oz package cream cheese, not softened.
1 pound of confectionary sugar.
1 tea vanilla extract
Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Feel free to decorate your Christmas tree while it gets fluffy.
Turn your mixer down to low and gradually add the sugar. Unless, of course, you want to flock your Christmas tree with sugar.
Add the vanilla. Once the sugar is incorporated you can mix the heck out of it.
Once your cupcakes are cooled, frost. Eat. Toast the Joy in your life.
I have always loved Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carole."
My favorite is the musical starring Albert Finney. I remember being a young girl, I would say around 9 or 10, and stumbling across it on TV. We did not have cable. We did not have a remote. Channel surfing was standing at the TV turning the dial.
No one had better ask what it was like to use a dial on the TV.
Anyways, it is the standard story about the spirits of Christmas' past, present and future visiting ol' Ebenezer Scrooge. I look forward to "finding" it every Christmas season. It is a musical, and the music is magical to me in this film. I cannot even describe the feeling I get watching it. There is one scene where Scrooge is watching his "happy self" with his girlfriend from years past. He sings a song that breaks my heart, but is so beautiful. His words are filled with regret and pain of someone who let the really important things get away from him.
Those of you that are going to read my TGIF on Nutrimirror tomorrow - you will hear more of this as I just decided to edit the entire column with the above memories. Yikes!
Anyways - the Spirit of Christmas past is in today's jacket. This was a gift from my friends Erika and Gretchen 2 years ago. Erika and I would frequent Banana Republic on shopping trips. I tried this jacket on every time we went. She surprised me by going back and buying it for me! It works great with jeans, and I decided to pair it with these pants today from J.Crew.
You have seen the same pair in black on me before. They got mixed reviews. Check them out here. I am sure you all will let me know what you think again! I had purchased the black ones in the store, and later got this pair on-line, at a lower sale price. To me they were worth it.
I wore a plain cami under the jacket. The jacket is quite warm!
Simple pumps and a delicate garnet necklace. The jacket says enough I think.
I like these pictures today! I love my art director!
My Dad taught me that in the event of a snow storm:
1. Have enough gas in the car. Check!
2. Have an extra coat in the car. If you get stranded, you may need to keep warm. Check!
3. Wear something that if you have to for any reason leave your car, you have a better chance of "survival". Check? Do khakis give me a better chance of survival?
Well, khaki pants would be better than a skirt, for example.
Yes, it snowed last night. More snow than we got back in October. Enough snow to cause everyone that got on the roads today to panic.
I got up early; you never know how bad the roads are really going to be. To save time, I skipped shaving the legs. You know it is getting back when they are no longer prickly! Note to self - shave legs tomorrow no matter what you are wearing!
I thought about going really easy with red and khaki. But I was not in the mood for red. I wanted pink!
Today's ensemble is all about J.Crew!
I got the khakis 2 years ago online. When you work for Target you can never have too many pairs of khakis! I like that these are not like Dockers. I hate Dockers. They are so, how do I say it, masculine? I also do not like pleated, tapered ankle khakis. They are everywhere! These are a nice straight long leg. I actually ordered these in tall. They must be worn with a heel!
(And, just for the record, I wore my sketchers in, so in the event that I was forced to abandon the car...)
The sweater was purchased last Christmas; 30% off final sale. Love those!
The blouse underneath is a nice 3/4 sleeve button down oxford. I didn't need the sweater to cover the oxford because of gaping buttons. It fits perfectly. J.Crew actually recognizes that women have breasts and that they may actually need the buttons to not gape.
So there you have it. J.Crew on a winter day!
I just had a realization. When I think about my dad's lesson about always being prepared...I know where I get "it" from. What is "it?"
"It" is the ability to think that life is ruled by Murphy's law. Here is how this works.
Ben: Maybe we can go running outside.
Me: If we run outside I may fall and break my leg. If I break my leg that is at least 6 weeks of no exercise. Why chance it just for one run? We can go to the gym?
No, not just an excuse to not run. Really, I was willing to go to the gym.
That above example was only a two step leap. I have a talent of painting a very vivid scenario. My kids are far too familiar with it. It is along the lines of "it is all fun and games until someone loses an eye." I can paint a scenario about how acting wildly playing a video game, for example, could lead to the video console getting knocked over, which will then hit the table, which will cause the magazine to knock over the glass. When you bend over to pick up the fallen glass, you accidentally hit yourself in the eye with the video remote.
It is not a gift, but at least now I know where I got it from!
I had every intention of Ben taking my picture today. Really. We knew we could not meet for lunch, but would fit it in at another time. Or so we thought.
I had every intention of getting my hair cut and colored today. Really. However, Mother Nature had her own plan. Snow. Neither Ben nor I have an issue with driving in the snow; we do have an issue when the other cars decide to be out on the road. Traffic. Lots of it. I knew we would never make it to my appointment on time. My sweet Sheli called me to reschedule for next week.
I had every intention of making a quick healthy dinner. Really. We ended up waiting out some of the traffic by having sushi.
Life is good.
Now we are home, I am enjoying amazing sipping chocolate from Trader Joes. If you don't have a Trader Joes, petition for one. It would be worth a neighborhod campaign for a Trader Joes just for the sipping chocolate. Don't get me started on their other items. 3 words. Fab.U.Lous.!
I am in my favorite spot on the couch, computer in my lap, cup o' chocolate by my side, a man I love by my feet. (He is sitting on the couch, not on the floor by my feet!)
Yes, indeed, Life is good.
The rest of the night will be reading a cooking magazine, checking out my favorite blogs, cruising and torturing myself on Etsy, and looking for new recipes in Foodbuzz.com.
Bailey will get to play in the snow later; it is one of her favorite activities. She is currently enjoying a carrot.
Life is good all the way around.
My outfit was cute today. A red plaid short jacket, a black pencil skirt, black tights and pumps. A reindeer pin. I won't wear it again, I promise.
Taking care of the dog last week, camera issues, and stress took over; I did not have the desire to sit in the corner of my couch as I am doing right now and look at my computer screen.
I did try, but the words would not come. I guess, in reality, the entertaining words would not come. I find my blog to be something I like to do when I am in a good mood. Talking about my clothes does fascinate me; I also know how shallow that makes me sound!
I hope what many of you have come to know that it is not the clothing itself that I like talking about, but the feelings I recall when I think back to the purchase. What was going on in my life at the time, and perhaps in my own mind; I am realizing how different I am inside than I was during the time the purchase was made.
While I may disappear at times, know that I am just working through emotions and keeping you guys out of it. To a certain extent, writing about what I am feeling would probably help. If you can put up with it, I might just have an emotional rant or two :). I promise - I will never talk about finances (hell, you already know I can't buy new clothes), religion or politics. I don't do that with the people sitting next to me, why would I do that to you!
Thanks for your patience!
Today's ensemble is highlighted by a couple of new items!
The beautiful pashmina was brought back from India by my friend Taruna. I needed a little bright in my day today, and this fit the bill! I am not sure if you can see that there is a pattern on it, and the slightest variation in shading throughout.
I kept it wrapped today with a pin that I got as a Christmas gift years ago. Can you see the shiny little Christmas tree on my shoulder?
The pants are part of a suit I got at Ann Taylor 4 years ago. This was one of my "go to" suits in my traveling days. It works with a lower heel, as I wore on my days that I had to scamper through the airport, and it also works with a higher heel. I used to leave home on a Tuesday and get home Friday evening. I would wear a suit and pack a suit; I had 3 changes of shirts, maybe one change of shoes, all my toiletries and accessories in a carry on. If you ever need someone to pack for you, call me! I became an expert!
Speaking of shoes! One of the benefits of having a BFF that has the same shoe size as you? When she buys a pair, and they end up hurting her feet, guess who gets to be the recipient! Yee ha! Thanks Miss E!! A lovely little kitten heeled black faux lizard pump. They were very comfy! I do find, however, that I walk funny when wearing flats or kitten heels. What is up with that? Of course, maybe I walk funny all the time!
So, that is it for today's outfit.
I did my usually cooking and baking yesterday. I made an amazing cookie from Joy the Baker. Check out her blog - they are the chocolate mint "oreos. If you love tomato soup, you need to check out the one for creamy tomato soup on her site too. It was work, not a lot of work mind you, but well worth it! I also made a spicy peanut butter cookie that simply rocked and had no flour in it! You can find that recipe here.
Thanks again for your patince, and as always, thanks for checking in! Voting is below! Btw - I like the pieces, and but not the ensemble, so I am changing up the vote a little!
My dog is sick. I took her to the vet because the symptoms were scary. They are far too graphic to share.
The Vet confirmed that she has internal bleeding. It could be a clotting disorder, which could be caused by a tumor. Poor thing still acts like a puppy. She does not act sick. But I am afraid I will have to make a decision as soon as tomorrow.