Welcome to my little place!
My blog was started to help me come to terms with turning 50, to find myself as I become an empty nester, and to help me with my weight loss journey. (Update Here)
I am in an amazing place in my life so now follow me as I move forward with the good and the bad, my continued wieght loss journey and just my life!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Few Christmas Thoughts :)

Christmas has come and gone.  I wont go on and on about how terrible I was eating all that Christmas Fun.  I am not proud of some of the days that I went overboard, and I'm not proud that I will not make my January 2nd goal of being 199 pounds, but I am proud of one thing.....I am proud of the fact that I jumped back on track on Monday.  Usually I let my eating continue until after the New Year begins, thinking, in my own twisted way, that I will never eat chocolate again, so I'm going to eat as much as I can right now and "start January 1st".  I didn't do that.  This is a first.  I broke the chain, and I am damn proud!  Now, please let me get through New Years!!  :)

Here are a few moments of our Christmas Season....

This first one is from my Sister Connie's birthday celebration :)  

My Mom, my SIL Julie, 
Connie, Me, my SIL Steph, 
and my daughter Blayne :)

One of our traditions is to go on a Santa Walk on Christmas Eve.  Usually we gather all the kids and go walk around the neighborhood on a search for Santa.  Ringing bells and singing.  Now....it's just an adult walk.  They boys opted to stay home this year.......Sigh..... But as you can see, we still had huge fun!  Beer, wine, and Buddy :)  That is my SIL Julie.  She is in love with Buddy!  

I didn't realize that Laker was so attentive in this picture until I was editing them :) She just loves presents!!

Ava with one of her presents :) 

Me and Mom :) 

Connie and Blayne

A few days ago, I sat in the quiet of my room, with the light from my Christmas Tree, and thanked God for my family.  I began to think about all those out there that have no one to celebrate Christmas with.  Sometimes, you hear about all the sadness that goes along with Christmas, and when I was younger, I used to wonder why.  Now I know why.  I am lucky enough to still have my parents with me.  My whole family is healthy and around me.  Others are not as lucky.  Dealing with illness, dealing with suffering, and even missing those who have passed, can make the holidays very hard.    Christmas is the time that we remember our childhood, our Mom and Dad, our brothers and sisters all growing up together.  It is hard to relive happy memories when family members are no longer around.  I said a prayer for all of my friends who have family members suffering, and for those who have lost someone.  I hope everyone out there found some kind of peace over the holidays, and can look back on their memories and let them shine through.  Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 21, 2015

I'm Still Here

I really am still here!  So sorry I have been missing for a while.  Things are not really hectic here, I've just been busy with work and family stuff, so finding "me time" to blog his just been put on the back burner.

Anyway, not much has been going on really.  Like I said, we've been working a lot.  Our customers like getting their "babies" pretty for Santa, so we like to get as many of them in as possible!!

I'm finally finished with my shopping and wrapping.  I still have a few cookies to make, but the ingredients are bought so that's half the battle!

This past Friday I went to my WW meeting.

I am down 3.6 pounds.  But don't forget, I had that big gain last week, so I am still off track from my plan for December, but at least this week I lost some, so I will take it :)    WW has made some changes to their plan.  These are pretty big changes.  Some of my WW friends are pretty negative about it.  Honestly, I was super mad and hesitant about the change at first too.  It kind of makes it hard to treat yourself.  I mean you can, but the points for the "good stuff" are much higher now.  I realize that that is they way it should be, but when you are used to eating those darn M&M's for 5 points, and now having to give up 12 points for them, it is just frustrating.  After I made peace with the fact that this is much better for me in the long run, I realized that I could still have M&M's if I wanted them, I just can't have as much as I used to have.  Like I said, this is the way it's supposed to be, it's a no brainer that you shouldn't eat as much junk if you are trying to lose weight.  WW now is focusing on higher protein, lower sugar foods, which is really wonderful for me since I am a sugar addict.  I just have to learn how to swap out my points and juggle them around if I want to treat myself.  Right now it takes up a lot of my time, just trying to figure out what I can eat for how many points, since the WW App is not in perfect working order yet, and the WW points for my favorite things are different now.  Anyway, I am excited about the new program and am looking forward to seeing how my body reacts to a newer way of eating.  For now, with Christmas and everything around the corner, I am going to be working the plan as much as I can, but still allowing myself to enjoy some Christmas treats and such :)   I realize that I am not going to be 100 percent good this Christmas.  No matter how many times I tell myself I will, I just wont be.  I already have been eating things that I haven't been eating on WW.  Our wonderful customers have been giving us candy, and cookies and it would be a shame to waste them :)  What I wont do, is go all out eating, all day every day of my vacation.  (We are off until January 5th) That is what I normally do every year and I ruin my weight loss progress in just a few weeks.  I will not do that this year.  I will take a few days to treat myself, then jump right back on track!!  I have weigh in's now that I have to be good for :) 

I will leave you with some new pictures of my sweet little Ava :) 

Isn't she the cutest!? 


Don't forget to enjoy life during this wonderful Christmas season, whatever that means for you.  If it means eating a few Christmas Cookies, then do it.  Remember................

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Moving On

Friday was my weigh in day.  I am up for the first time since I began WW.  Up almost 6 pounds.

 I know what happened.  I was off with my tracking, so I know I went over my points some days.  Well, that and the fact that I have been "flying to close to the sun" with some yummy Christmas chocolates and that darn Holiday Creamer.   I just love how my body relates to food.  I'm not going to let this get to me.  After my meeting, I so badly wanted to wallow in my gain, feel bad for myself, and head on over to Taco Bell and get something cheesy and oh so bad for me, but I stopped.  I told myself, "you're up 5 plus pounds....you did it, so own it, and move on."   So, I am.  I'm owning it by tell you all about it.   Putting it out there gives me the strength I need to get back on track instead of turning to the self sabotage actions that I usually turn to.  Our weight loss journeys are full of ups and downs.  It's the downs that we don't like to talk about. I tend to sweep them under the rug, feel sorry for myself, only to indulge over and over again.  It's when I talk about them that I can really move on from them.  Move on and move forward.  I need to stop, regroup, and not continue to make the same mistakes.  My January 2nd weight goal is in my sights.  That is enough for me to own it, make changes and just move on.


"When things go wrong,
don't go with them."

~Elvis Presley

Monday, December 7, 2015

Camping Memories

My daughter Blayne and I recently took a trip to an old campground which we used to camp at.  It sadly is closed now due to lack of funding from the State.  My sister and I, every year used to take all of the kids camping.  We started this when her son was 2 and my youngest Dominic was 3.  My two older kids would always bring a friend.  No husbands.  One week.  Fun memories!  First we started with tent camping.  In the beginning it was hard with they boys being so little.  Diapers, pull-up, juice, treats, food, binky's, toys!   After a few years of this, we moved to a campground that had better bike paths, because, by then the younger boys were riding bike a lot more.  That's when Greg bought me a pop-up camper!   Oh the luxury!   We stayed here for many years.  My daughter even made friends with a lot of kids there, and would coordinate it so they would all be there at the same time.  They kept these friendships for years after we stopped.  After my older kids were to busy with sports and work during the summers, we moved to a campground that had cabins.  They were the best!  Showers!  Refrigerators!  Yay!  We started inviting our friends and their kids along since it was just our boys and our nephews.  This camping usually consisted of us girls reading all day, while the boys ran wild with their friends.  This was wonderful, especially since were older now :)   We continued camping there until just a few years ago when Dominic was 18.  We had so many found memories of those summer weeks that we spent camping!

Some older pictures I found.....You can tell the ageing best by my nephew Josh who is in the front...

My Dominic in the blue

Josh in the grey shirt
Dominic on the end in red

Josh in the green shirt
Dominic in red 
looks like the same shirt lol

Josh in the front in the black shirt
Dominic in the back in black

And Josh in the front in the black shirt
Dominic in the back in white

When I heard that our very first campground had been closed,  I decided I wanted to take a drive out there to see it.  Once we were there, I realized how amazing it was so I took some pictures :)

This first picture is of the little diner that was used to eat at, in the small town that the campground is in.  We were planning on eating there, but it was closed.  We asked around about it, and were told that the owner financially had to close it.  It has been closed for about 2 years.  So sad!

After asking around, the locals told us about a new little diner that was close by.  It was called, The Lil' Bit.  The food was delicious!   Instead of rolls before our lunch came, this is what they brought to our table.  Banana bread and whipped butter!  Yummy!!

Here are some pictures of the campground

This used to be a pavilion.

The playground

Just a creepy "Blair Witch" type of drawing.

An old campsite marker

It was a bit sad seeing how deserted and over-grown this once beautiful state part is now.  Looking around brought back so many memories and it made me realize how glad I am that my kids had the chance to take advantage of such a wonderful thing as camping with their family and friends.  They will have those adventures and memories forever!


Friday, December 4, 2015

Still Learning!

Today was my weigh in day at WW.  Remember, last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I took advantage of the Free No Weigh In Pass at my meeting, so as per their scale, I didn't know how much I had gained over the holiday's and beyond, (Remember that I continued my holiday eating until Sunday?  Yeah!).  Anyway, I had stepped on my scale at home, which I hadn't used since for about 6 weeks, since I started WW, and I was up close to 8 lbs.  I stuck to my point the rest of the week and at my meeting today I was super happy because I only showed a gain of .6 pounds!

Even tho it look me a few extra days I am proud of myself for getting back on track after Thanksgiving.  I used to extend my eating frenzy  a week or more. So that is one thing that is changing!

So...a few thing about this past week....I get that if I would have gone back on track the Friday of my meeting, I would have done so much better.  I wouldn't have wasted one week.  I mean, I went to the meeting.  I made the drive all the way there on Black Friday...my WW Center is right in the middle of the busiest shopping area.  I sat there and and got a lot out of the meeting, yet still it took me a few days after to snap out of it.  This is a learning thing for me.  Instead of being behind in my losing, I could have been ahead.  I guess that's how it is with anything you do.  It is all a learning experience, and I am definitely still learning!!!

Have a great weekend and don't forget to enjoy all the beautiful Christmas decorations all around you!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Family Tradition!!

Happy December 1st!!  We have a little tradition in our family that my mom started a long time ago. We celebrate December 1st.  We usually buy little gifts for each other, go shopping and or go out to lunch to celebrate!  Since we don't work on Mondays, we decided to celebrate yesterday, so Blayne took the day off work for all the fun!  We went shopping and out to lunch!  We  had a fun day celebrating December 1st.  I guess we just do this to acknowledge that it is finally December and that it's the beginning of all the fun and love that December brings :)

My first Peppermint Mocha of the season!!
Non Fat, No Whip....
8 points?!  Is that right??
This may be my last ;)

A fun early Christmas present to myself!!
Everyone needs a new fun Christmas tumbler!!

Yes, I have an obsession with cups and mugs, 
but isn't this super pretty!?

This is a cute lantern that Blayne made me for a December 1st present!!  I'll show all 4 sides because she is so talented and I love showing her off! :)

Just adorable!!!


Oh!  I forgot to tell you that Greg bought me a laptop!!  It's my very first one!  Of course my kids have them, but this is my first!  I  never really wanted one before I started my blog, but I got to thinking that it would be nice to be portable while I post and it might be easier for me to get more posts written each week.  I don't like being all the way up stairs in my computer room when Greg is downstairs getting extra bonding time with Laker and Ava :)  

See??  This is me, downstairs, posting and watching Vampire Diaries!!  I can multi task now too!!   I've been talking about buying one for a few weeks and Greg said he wanted to get it for me!!  Yay!! Thanks Honey!!


So, happy first day of December!!  Remember to welcome it with a positive attitude, a relaxed mind, and a child like belief in all the love and wonders of the Christmas season!!


"The most treasured heirlooms, 
are the traditions and sweet memories of our family
 that we pass down to our children."


Monday, November 30, 2015

Goals Equal Success

Hi Friends!

Just a little update after my few days of failure.  I stayed on track all day Sunday and all day today! I didn't go over my points at all!!  I am pretty proud that I was able to get back in line.  Sunday I was busy most of the day and that helped.   This morning my sister and I hit the gym early and that always helps me eat healthy the rest of the day!  Thanks to everyone for all the positive thoughts and for giving me the encouragement I needed to get back in control!!

 I have a few December goals that I need to share.  It helps me stay accountable when someone else knows my goals :) 

#1.  Track every thing, every day.
       This is the most important thing
 for me right now!

#2.  Only three junk type foods per week.
        I need to limit these foods or I go overboard!

#3.  Stay within my points each day.
       Even with my junk foods,
I will not go over my points!

#4.  Gym at least twice a week.
        I really need this to feel strong,
 to help me stay on track with my food, 
and to make sure
that I have this time to just unwind! 

My WW leader gave us a little Christmas bell to remind us of  where we wanted to be on January 2nd, which she had us write down.  I wrote that I wanted to be under 199 pounds and still in control.  My December goals will help me see this when January comes around.  I put the little bell on my key ring, so I can see it daily and remember what I have to do!!  I need goals and reminders to help me stay focused, keep me motivated and to help me get where I want to be!!

Let's start December off on the right track!  Stay motivated, stay positive and stay focused on whatever you are working on in your life :)


"The victory of success is half won
when one gains the habit of setting
and achieving goals."

~Og Mandino

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Wonderful Weekend But....HELP!!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!  Yes, I am still in Holiday mode, we have been off work since Wednesday, so I've just been shopping, and eating.  The shopping part has been wonderful....The eating part, well, fun at the time, but I'm paying for it now.

Now, just a few fun tidbits from the past few days ;)

Thursday, I as tradition dictates, I watched the Macy's Parade.  I was a bit disappointed.  Any more, it seems they are now constantly plugging new TV shows and Broadway plays.  I remember noticing that last year as well and remember being irritated by it.  Never the less, I watched it while preparing my Thanksgiving meal.  This year my sister had my family, and our parents over for dinner. We each made a turkey with stuffing and gravy and then spit up the sides.  Last year I made dinner for just my family and we all went over to my sister's for dessert, so it was wonderful for us all to eat together again. Our brothers family had dinner at their house, and then later, all joined us for desert :)  We are just to big anymore for all of us to be at one table so this works really well.

This is me, Connie, and our Mom.  Our friend went to Italy on a food tour and bottled this delicious wine and brought it home for us!  Here we are toasting our thanks and love to Jeanie :)

 Dominic and my nephew Paul, playing games with my great nephews :)  

Connie, Julie, my SIL and I 
Love her turkey hat!! 

I am disappointed that I didn't get any picture of Blayne or Greg, but the day went by so fast!!

Saturday, Connie, my sister, daughter Blayne and I went to a craft show.  It was in a beautiful old theater, in the "big city" near us :)  I bought a few fun things, just for me, and we had a wonderful time!!

This is the venue.  
The Erie Warner Theater.  Just beautiful!!

Some of my purchases!
This, Blayne bought for me
for when I redo my bathroom Victorian!

Also for my bathroom :)

A cute little mitten ornament 
for an ornament exchange later this week :)

And now....The not so fun stuff........

First off, I made a pact with myself that I would keep going to the gym throught this little vacaction from work.  Every year it's the same thing.  I think I can just stop all life stuff when I'm on vacation, but when that includes the gym, it's just that much more harder to go back.  So, did I go?   Nope!  I feel terrible for it and so out of my routine, which doesn't help my eating at all!  Grrr!!

On Friday, I had my WW meeting.  I was so excited to go and get back on track after Wednesday and taste testing all my deserts that I made, and then Thursday just plain old over eating everything.  My meeting was inspiring and motivating, and we had a free no weigh in pass which I opted for.  I was determined to get back on track after leaving.  I don't know what happened, or where it took a turn, but needless to say, as of last night, Saturday, I am still not back on track. Now, I know the old saying about not letting a few mistakes ruin your progress or whatever, but it does make me feel like a failure.  I hate feeling like I've lost control and I wont ever get it back.  I am afraid to step on the scale because of the damage I've done, and because I am afraid that it will just make me want to continue eating, because what the heck......Then, I think of my WW leader and all of my new friends there and it reminds me of all that I have accomplished and that I am not the only one who falls.  I am hoping it will be enough to get me back on track today!!!  Sigh!  The struggles of a binge-er!!

As for today?  I feel horrible for saying this, but I am not go to Mass this morning.  I  feel so gross.  My fingers are swollen, and my stomach is crampy and touchy and I just don't feel like going.  Is that bad?  I know it is.  I know it shouldn't matter, but when I am in this food fog, I don't really feel like doing anything. I know what I need to do!  Get off the couch and go to the gym....Or at least a walk.  I still need to do Alissa's Thankful Journey 5K!!! Geesh!!  Later Blayne, my sister and I are going over to the salon to decorate for Christmas.  I am hoping to be feeling more like Lori by then ;)

Send my your strength to get back on track today ;)  I need it :)


Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Goodbye

Before I begin........My weigh in on Friday went well.  I was so nervous all week, because I have been seeing success and I know my body and it puts on the breaks once in a while, but I was happy with my loss.  

I lost 1.8 pounds!  That makes 18 pounds total!  I am so happy with my process so far!!
More on that later...... 

Switching gears.....

I have a child who lives more than 30 minutes away from me.  Except for Blayne and staying at school, I've never had to say this before.  My middle, my son Connor, 26,  has moved away.  He is about 5 1/2 hours away from us now.   His girlfriend is ill.  She has kidney failure.  This is from something she was born with, and needs to be near her Mom. So, they packed up and moved.  It was a spur of the moment thing.  Their apartment lease was up and his summer job, cooking at the lake side resort, had ended.  His winter job was just beginning and he was OK with letting it go and his girlfriend needed her Mother, so they just moved.  That is how it is with my Connor.  He has a gypsy soul!  He called me and said, I know this is quick and  please don't be mad, but we need to do this.  I told him I wasn't mad, maybe a little sad (honestly a lot sad, but I didn't want him to know that).  I told him his father and I supported anything he wanted to do.  He said he was nervous because he never lived more than 20 minutes from us and his home.  I told him I was proud of him and his decision, and that he would be fine.  Then, I hung up and I cried.   Connor is a small town boy, and has moved 15 minutes from Philadelphia, Pa which is a huge city.  What will he do?  He will thrive!  He needed this move.   A little back story.....Connor is my wild child.  My, take the risk and worry about the consequences later, child.  We always said Connor is living the fraternity life and isn't even in college.  He's not bad.  He just makes poor choices and is the one most likely to get caught, and has gotten caught.  He spent some time in trouble for DUI's...yes, more than one.  Then spent some time confined to the house with an ankle monitor.  Then when he was free to go, he met Emily.  She more or less saved him.  He now has a purpose.  A reason to work, stay on track, and she keeps him away from his old friends he used to hang around with.  This move is good for him.  He needs to get away to find himself even more.  Maybe being away from us will be good for him too.  Not that he every relied on us for help.  Both our older kids are super independent, but just knowing that we aren't just a few minutes away will make him into an even stronger man.   Yes, this is a good move for him.....really it is :)    The hardest thing is we will not see him at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  His girlfriend, with her illness, is on dialysis, and can not be away over night.  This will be tough.  Being a boy, we didn't see him as much as we see our daughter Blayne, but we always spent the holidays together.  Sigh!  I know many parents have children that live far away, and I know that really 5 1/2 hours really isn't THAT far away, but it is when for 26 years of his life, he's lived close.  I don't know how others do it, not seeing their kids.  My friends who have kids in the military, hardly ever see them, and have the added worry about their safety.  I guess it's something that just you have to get used to.....you have no choice.  It's all part of life.  Do we want them with us forever?  No.  Like I said before, God didn't give us our children to have them forever.  He gave them to us to raise, and let go of, so they can make their own lives, make their own choices, make their own families.  But why does it have to be so hard?  :)  


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Folklore and Friends

Thursday night, my sister Connie, my daughter Blayne and I went to a fun event at our nearby Peninsula.  The Erie Peninsula is a beautiful area about 30 minutes from our house, with 11 miles of beaches, concert spaces, a lighthouse, lagoons, pavilions, and an environmental center.  Of course any place like this would have tons of history and folk lore.  So, on Thursday night, we went to The Evening Fireside Talk.  Equipped with our favorite mug for coco and a nice warm blanket, we arrived to find it in an indoor pavilion with a huge roaring fire!

We had such a nice time listening to the history of the park, and some creepy folk lore and stories that have been passed along for years!


On Friday, after my WW meeting, Connie and I met our friend Angie for coffee!!  It was Angie's birthday earlier in the week so we brought her some fun gifts and we sat and talking for hours :)

Angie on the left, my sister Connie on the right!!

Everyone always thinks that they are sisters!  Connie and Angie have been friends since Jr. High (That's what we used to call Middle School), so of course we've all grown up together.  They have kept their friendship strong and I am a bit jealous of that :)   There is nothing better than good friends, and friends with that much history are even better :)


This reminded me of Connie and Angie :)