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!!


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Season........Part One.........Traditions

Hello Friends!

It's been a nice relaxing Christmas Season for me here.  I am currently on vacation and enjoying my time off with coffee, reading, and tidying up my home.  Since it's been awhile, I have to back track just a bit so I can share with you what I've been up to.

Every year for the holidays, my mom makes Kolachis.  My grama used to make them, and then my mom carried on the tradition after she passed.  Ok, so I should clarify that my grama called them Kalachis, but after researching, most people call them Nut Horns or  Kifles.  For tradition sake, we decided to keep with Kolachi in honor of our grama.  So, a few weeks ago, my sister Connie and I decided that it was time we learned how to make the Kolachis and that my daughter Blayne should learn right along side us.  So we set aside a day to bake.  Here is our day...........


First things first......
We can't do anything without coffee :) 




Connie preparing the nuts.





Me getting the dough ready.





Connie and Blayne rolling out the dough




Blayne placing the filling and cutting.






This apron that Blayne is wearing was my Gramas :) 





Close up of the preparation.





Sprinkling with powdered sugar.




The finished product!




My "niece" Greta giving her approval.


It was really nice that Connie and I finally learned how to make these delicious cookies, and it was wonderful to be able to share the experience with Blayne.  Now she can carry on the tradition!!

We had a wonderful day full of love, laughs and memories of our Grama.

xoxo




Monday, December 12, 2016

Making Memories, A New Tradition

Happy Monday!  Only 12 days until Christmas!  Who else is loving all of the wonderful festivities that come with this Season?

My daughter Blayne and I have a new little tradition that we started last year.  In a little town about 45 minutes away, there is an old historic mansion called The Baldwin-Reynolds House.  Every year they open up this beautiful old home for an event called The Trees of Christmas.  Each room of the house is decorated and there is a Christmas tree in each room.  The theme last year was A Storybook Christmas.  This years theme was Christmas Around the World.  Here are a few pictures of our day :)

This picture is from their website.  I "borrowed" it to show you how beautiful it is in the snow with  a professional photographer taking the picture.....




This is my picture on the day that we visited.



This is a Gnome Tree from Norway
The top of the tree had a big red Hat on it
and moss bunched up under neath for his beard.



This is a Cherry Blossom Tree from Japan.
There were cherry blossom petals all over
and little origami birds hanging all around.




This tree is decorated for the Black Forest in Germany.




This is at the top of the staircase.
So cute!






This room is from Under the Sea!



Still the Under the Sea Room....




This Under the Sea Room was just so pretty!




I don't remember where this room was for,
but I remember it had note and post cards
all around the room.



Just a picture of one of the rooms.
The beds were sooo small!




This is a cute wreath that was decorating a door.
It is made with little clothespin people.




My Blayne :) 



We had such a wonderful day!

  I love celebrating the Christmas Season any way I can.  We have so many traditions and found memories associated with Christmas, but it's never to late to make new ones :) 

xoxo



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Monday, December 5, 2016

Facing A Change

Happy Monday!

I wanted give an update on my weight loss journey.  I have been watching my carbs since June.  Actually, I have been really really watching my carbs.  I've been trying to stay under 20 grams of carbs a day following the Atkins Diet.  I know, I know, these types of diets don't last.  I knew this going into it, but needed something to jump start me.  Atkins always puts me in control and gives me motivation to keep going.  I lose quickly.  I have no cravings and no binges.  It works for me.  I felt great and lost 34 pounds.   Unfortunately, it is very addicting for me and I tend to get obsessive about not eating any sugar at all.  I wouldn't even taste anything unless I was sure it was Atkins, Stage 1 friendly.  I was annoying myself and I'm sure those around me.  I didn't care tho, because I felt so good.....so in control!  That has changed.  My turning point was getting the results of my blood work.

My Cholesterol was 301......Under 200 is preferred. 
My LDL (The bad one) was 202.....Under 100 is preferred.  
My blood pressure at that visit was 200/120.  

I was put on blood pressure and cholesterol medicine, and told to stop the phase 1 Atkins.  My Dr. told me phase one should only be followed for 2 weeks.  Phase 1 is under 20 grams of carbs a day with a little protein and mostly fat.   I cried.  I cried at home when I got my results, and again in the office with the Dr.   Not because I was scared for my health.  Not because stroke and heart disease is very prevalent in my family.  No, I cried because I was afraid of going off Atkins.  I was afraid of  changing my life. changing my way of eating.  Afraid of gaining weight, and mostly afraid of going back to binging and feeling that "being out of control" feeling.   How stupid.  After it set in, I realized, how stupid.  Do I want a heart attack?  Do I want a stroke?  Is being thinner worth that?  Of course not.  I immediately went to something I knew would keep me on track while transitioning from Atkins to low fat.  I joined  Weight Watchers.  I did WW before and loved it.  I struggled before, only because I wasn't working the plan.  I decided I need something structured to keep me focused.  I need the meetings to keep me motivated.  I don't want to put the weight back on.  My first weigh in was 2 weeks after stopping Atkins.  I was up 5 pounds.  That's all!  Tears for 5 pounds.  My second weigh in I was down 5 pounds.  Thanksgiving came and went and I enjoyed eating my favorites with my family and was up 1.8 pounds from that.  I was able to get right back on plan, tracking my points, quicker than I normally would have, and I am proud of that!  So as of now, I am at 186.8.....Eating a low carb, low fat, high protein diet.  I feel more like a person now, not handcuffed to the NO SUGAR thought process.  I still watch my sugar, but if I have a mint that isn't sugar free I don't panic.  I am eating fruits and vegetables, yogurt and milk.....all the things I have missed, and feeling great about it!  

My sister came to me right after all of this happened, and encouraged me to go to an Ab Class with her.  I went.  I got up and out of the house at 7:30 on my day off and went.  It was just the thing I needed!  Now we go 3 mornings a week to a half hour class focusing on Core and Abs.  This has been a huge help for me.  Once you exercise, you don't want to ruin it by eating crappy, right?  Right!

So, here I am. Feeling healthy, stronger, still in control and hoping I can keep it up!

xoxo



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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Confessions Of An Instagram Addict

Hi friends!  It's been awhile hasn't it?   There is a reason for my absence.  It's called....Instagram.  Yes, sad to say....I am an Instagram addict.  It all started innocently enough when my daughter introduced me to it.  She told me about the weight loss accounts that are on there.  We thought it would be a great way to stay motivated and such.  I was hesitant.  I'm old.  I have always thought of  IG  (See what I did there?) as a young persons social media outlet.  I joined thinking there is no way I would ever post.  I would just lurk around and get inspired by those trying to get healthy.  It was a trap.  First time I posted, I was hooked.  Since then, I have been posting like a mad woman.  Reading accounts, making friends, and if that wasn't enough, they added "Insta Stories".  Oh my goodness is that addicting.  Those who have never watched videos of others talking, cooking, decorating, probably think I am crazy, but trust me....I NEVER thought I would be this way!  Now, don't get me wrong, Instagram is all and good, unless you are like me, and let it take over your life.  Every available minute, I was spending on IG.  Checking in on my friends, watching their lives, posting about my day and yes, taking a lot of selfies!!  What I started realizing is that I was neglecting my life.  Since September, I have only read 2 books on my Kindle, and just 1/2 of each one so neither count!   My housework has suffered.  My blog is non existent, and I miss my friends whos blogs I follow.  This is all due to my lack of control on IG.  With the Christmas Season and Advent upon us, I decided to take some time away from IG.  I need to decorate my house.  I need to relax and watch Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas Movies without keeping one eye on my phone.  I need to read some sappy Christmas Books and some spiritual readings too!  I need to step away from Instagram.  I will miss it surely, but for now, it's the right move.  So, I made a pact with my sister Connie, that I would stay off for the month of December and she would stay away from one of her favorite TV Series, Investigative Discovery.  Both take time away from our lives.  It's been 2 days and except for checking in on my blogger and IG friend Leah (check out her blog here) I haven't been on my account yet!  Withdrawals?  Little bit. but it's all good!  I got my house partially decorated and I am here blogging!  Success!

So, if I disappear again for some time, you'll know I fell off the wagon!   Hit me up with an email because don't forget, Friends Don't Let Friends Get Addicted To Social Media :)

xoxo





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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Thank You!




Just a quick post to say "Thank You" to everyone who reached out to me via comments and or email, after my last post.  If you are a long time dieter, you know how it is when you are doing so well, and then you fall off the wagon.  Some times, when you are in that "I am so weak" frame of mind, it just feels like the biggest thing in the world.  Talking about it helps me realize it really isn't that big.  It actually really isn't much at all.  I went back a few days later and re read my post and was like, Ok...So?   In the heat of the moment, It was a fail, it was huge, and I felt horrible.  This is why I blog.  So I can remember how I felt and how it really doesn't matter in the scheme of things.  I also love that I can put it out there and I get so much support, and advice back.   You all help me more than you know.  Thank you for being a part of my journey! 

xoxo
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Today Is My Day!!

Hello Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

I had a cheat weekend.  I haven't felt this lost in months.  Although I don't regret my weekend, I still feel like I've failed......

This is how my weekend went down.

Every year, my daughter Blayne and I go on a little road trip sometime in the fall.  We call it our Fall Fun Day.  Usually we go a sweet little Amish town in Ohio, a little over an hour away, and visit a little Amish store.  We do a little shopping and then sit in the town square in the gazebo and eat our treats and just enjoy the scenery.  This year we decided to do something different, and took the back way to to Hermitage, a town about an hour away, to do some craft shopping and lunch.  As per our Fall Fun Day Rules, we stopped at the usual store to fuel up on drinks, then we were off on our road trip.  I had already planned on making this a cheat day because, well, because I wanted to.  I wanted the Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn, the Candy Corn Autumn Mix, and the Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Covered Pretzels, not to mention the chocolate that usually rides along with us on any road trip.  I wanted to go out to lunch and order what I really wanted.  It's tradition you know :) 

This is on our way to Hermitage.  It started out a little rainy, but it didn't last and it was still beautiful.




This is a cute little house that is at the end of a square in Ohio, that I've always loved.




This is the craft store we traveled to go to.  We do not that these near us.  We have a Hobby Lobby, and a Michaels.  They are similar to this Pat Catan's.




Part of their sticker, washi tape isle.....Sigh :)





Hermitage also has a TJ Maxx, so of course we had to go there :)   Blayne found these little Christmas figures.  We kind of were afraid of their faces.............




Just some fun pictures of our drive home....





Sometime, I want to go traveling just to find old run down barns to photograph. I just love them!!   I need a descent camera first.  These are with my phone :)

When I got home from our road trip.  Greg  decided that he wanted Chinese for dinner.  Of course, I couldn't turn that down could I?  I mean, I already ate badly and I really did want Chinese.

Sunday I woke up with thoughts of starting over.  One day couldn't have hurt to bad.  I stepped on the scale.......Big mistake I know.  I was up 5 pounds.  I know it was water weight blah blah blah, but it still hurt.  My mind started to do some bad talking.   After church, my sister and I took our 4 great nephews and our youngest niece and nephew on a picnic, nature hike/scavenger hunt.  We had a blast with them.


Aren't they all just super cute??  Anyway, the picnic food, and snacks were just too good for me to pass by.  My old mind tricks started up again.  "Oh you blew it yesterday, so why don't you just START MONDAY".   That dreaded Start Monday, we all know and love.  I caved.  I am so ashamed.  I could be on day two of being on plan, but instead, I am starting over after a 2 day crash.  UGG!  Why does it matter so much?  It shouldn't.  Isn't enough that I've been doing great since the end of June?  Will it ever be enough?  I am beginning to wonder.  I don't want to be so consumed with my weight loss that I am upset about cheating a few days.  I think it's still new.  I am still so close to my old thoughts and my old ways, that I am scared of falling back into that some old routine of sliding for days eating anything and everything.  I have been so good and have been able to get right back on track after going off for a day.  This is 2 days, and I think that's why I am in a panic.

Today is my day.  Today I get back on plan.  Today I turn it around.  Today I will not be with same old Lori that I used to be.  I am determined to put her to rest once and for all.  If I can survive today, and stay on plan, then I will be stronger than I ever have been.  Today is my day!

xoxo


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Monday, October 17, 2016

Shopping With A Best Friend

Today was beautiful!  75 degrees and sunny.  A perfect day to do a little shopping!

Ava begged me to take her with me :)

Here is our day in pictures..............


Our 30 minute ride into the big city :)




First stop....Starbucks of course :)
Sorry for the windshield!
So many tiny bugs this time of year!




Next to Pet Smart 
for some new accessories! 




New pretty collar! 




Next stop Michaels.
Ava is so excited!! 




In her bag,
shopping for stickers and fun stuff!




Jimmy Johns for lunch!!




Checking out the Unwich




Giving the OK on the bacon.




Stopped at Wegmans
 for a few groceries




Trying not to fall asleep
on the way home......




That was our day!  Hope you all had as much fun today as we did :)

xoxo



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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Find Your Xanadu

As you may know, I have been struggling with losing weight for sometime now.  Watching the scale go up and down.  Feeling on top of the world when I lose, then disappointed when I gain it back the next week.  I struggle with overeating, and binging,  I could never get a grasp on falling off and getting right back on track.  Once I was off....I was off a good couple days, or even a week.  Now, what I am realizing is, that the ability to regain control quicker, and lose weight is so much easier when your head is in the game.  We all know this I know, but it has really been hitting home lately, now that I am losing. I find that the more weight I lose, the better I feel about myself, and the better I want to do.  I am at a weight right now, that I haven't been at since before I became pregnant with my oldest, who just turned 29.  It's like I have ventured into a magical, beautiful place, where I haven't been before.....my Xanadu, and it is given me the strength I need to regain control, to not overeat, to keep going.   My mind is finally not playing games with me.  After a "Treat Day", I jump right back on track the next day....this has never happened before so this is huge for me!  I think it is because I have gotten past a point in my weight loss that I have never been to and it has helped me feel powerful, in control and extremely motivated.  I am mentally evolving as my body changes.  I keep thinking about how I don't want to start all over again.  I don't want to go through the pain of gaining the weight back and giving up all I have gained with my weight loss so far...the way I feel, the way I carry myself and yes, the new clothes I am acquiring :)  The more positive you are and the more you love yourself, the more you want to continue to make changes.

Whatever your journey is, just keep pushing.  Keep working at it.  Don't give up to quickly.  Get past that point where you haven't been in awhile, if ever, and you will feel empowered and motivated to keep going.  Find your Xanadu :)

xoxo


 Xanadu
[zan-uh-doo, -dyoo] 
noun
1. a place of great beauty, 
luxury, and contentment.



Monday, September 19, 2016

Do It For Pete's Sake

Happy Monday Y'all!  Really I don't ever say "Y'all".  Sometimes I wish I lived down south so I could use it!  I keep seeing that little fall quote in the stores...Happy Fall Y'all!  I just love it!

Anyway, I am just sitting outside on my Sanctuary drinking my coffee and just letting the morning get away from me.  I should be at the gym with my sister, but I just can't get motivated and make the decision to leave my happy place here and spend time there.



Can you feel my struggle?

I know I need to get back to the gym.  I miss lifting.  I always just felt better about myself, knowing I did something good for my body.  I miss feeling strong and miss the way my core was feeling tighter.  I have been trying to do little bits at home.  Planks, Pilates, free weights, but I slack off because well, it's just me here, no one is watching.  You know what I mean.  

Being in my 50's now, I feel the need to be more active.  I am the least active person I know.  I mean at times, I fake it, but I'd rather be at home on the couch.  I want to be that spry older lady who walks briskly, not shuffles.  Who can do stairs without struggling.  Who can walk with a grocery cart without leaning on the handle.  I have to start now.  Can you really change your love or hate for being active?  I think you either are or are not an active person.  My mother and sister are humming birds.  Constantly in motion from sun up to sun down.  They know how to relax and do, but for the most part they are a movin!  

I found this on the Mayo Clinic's Web Site.  I know this, so why don't I just do it?  

No. 1: Exercise controls weight
No. 2: Exercise combats health conditions and disease
No. 3: Exercise improves mood
No. 4: Exercise boosts energy
No. 5: Exercise promotes better sleep

Maybe if I print this out and pin it all over the house it will sink in how important being active is. Maybe that will help push me to get to the gym?  Maybe??

The bottom line is I need to stop making excuses and take Nike's advice and..... 

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Do something good for yourself today.  
Have a wonderful Monday!

xoxo