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, April 24, 2017

Love Is In The Air


What a wonderful weekend!  Saturday I attended a bridal shower for the fiance of a close family friend's son.  The couple have been together for 9 years, dating all through school.  Living in a small town, everyone knows everyone, so many of my friends were there to celebrate this soon to be wedding that has been in the making a while.   The shower started at 7 pm and was held at a nearby restaurant "The Millcreek Brewing Company".  I am old school and used to showers being held at someones house, or at the most, at a rented social hall.  They are totally different now.  The Bride To Be, opened our gifts as we entered the building, which was so different, but a great way to do it.  That way, we were up close and personal with her while she opened our gift and we got to talk to her about it.  I loved it.  It didn't even back up the line coming in to much either like you think it would.  They served appetizers and it was open bar!  I am not that big of a drinker, so I opted to be the DD for my sister and I.  Here is a picture from the night.....

My sister Connie is on the right,
our friend Angie in the back.


Angie and my sister Connie have been best friend since 4th grade.  Angie's daughter is best friends with the Bride To Be, and is also getting married this summer!  So much love in the air!   It's a strange feeling when your friends children start to marry.  It doesn't seem possible that they are old enough.  Aren't they still little?  To young to marry?  I forget that life has been moving and the kids aren't kids anymore.  They are adults, planning and making their own lives.  We've taught them what love is.  Now it's their turn to share their love forever.

xoxo

Image result for quotes on upcoming wedding







Monday, April 17, 2017

My Easter

Happy Easter Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday!  I love the Easter season, because I feel the most closest to Jesus.  In church we read over and over again of the struggles He went though, and the pain Mary, His mother went through.  It just helps me to gain strength, and realize that I can get through anything as long as I rely on Him!

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Yes, two posts in a row.  I am hoping I can substitute some of my bad habits for posting more on my blog.  Sometimes I have too much time on my hands and I tend to eat more, and just veg in front of the TV.  It is helpful when I share, no matter what it is, because I either feel stronger getting it out there, or just happier because I am actually doing something constructive.  Either way, it's good!

Yesterday began with a beautiful morning sitting outside on The Sanctuary.  (My name for my porch)  I know I've posted pictures of it before, but I can not find the post.  Anyway, when I get it all ready for Summer, I will post some pictures.....It's still in Winter mode right now :)


Greg and I sat out there all morning into the afternoon, relaxing and playing with our pups, Ava and Laker.  I went to Easter Mass last night so I didn't have to get up and out this morning :)   It was beautiful out today!  75 degrees and sunny for the most part, with a nice breeze!  I'll take it for early April in NW Pennsylvania! 

I still do Easter Baskets for the kids.  I can't stop :)  My middle, Connor lives out of town and wasn't able to come home, so I didn't make one up for him, (he will get his goodies in the mail)  but I made one up for Blayne and Dominic and for Blayne's boyfriend and her 2 pups!  You're never to old for an Easter Basket :) 



We went over to my Sister's house around 3:00 for dinner.  It was a wonderful dinner as she is the most perfect hostess.  Her home is so warm and welcoming and she is a wonderful cook so the food is always delish!  Here I am with my sister Connie and our mother, Judy :) 



Here I am 
with my daughter Blayne :) 


Afterwards, the kids took all their goodies and headed to their own homes.  Greg and I were left with the dogs who were beat, after a day of playing with their City Cousins and eating goodies :) 





It is still different when holidays come.  We were so used to being in kid mode for so many years.  Egg hunts, buying prizes, finding that perfect hiding spot for the baskets....hectic but fun and so nice!  Our holidays now are so laid back and calm.  So nice! :) 

I ate what chocolate I wanted last night and sent the remainder to work this morning with Greg to set out in the break room.  Today begins my refresh and re-commitment so I needed it out of the house :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and were able to spend time with family and or friends.  I hope you have no regrets in the Easter Basket area.  Remember.............

Image result for eat chocolate quotes


xoxo




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hello "M"



It's been over a month since my last post.  There is a perfectly good reason and hopefully some of you can relate so I don't sound like a complete lunatic.

SPOILER ALLERT.......Any of you men out there, this is totally going to be a woman's topic filled with woman-type words and just woman-type feelings. You are forewarned 😊

Menopause has struck my house.  Fist of all, don't you hate that word?  Couldn't they have come up with a super cute word for what we woman have to go through?  I'm sure a man made that one up!  Let's just call it "M".  Ok, so it's been a year since my "P", so I am pretty sure that I am in "M".  Up until now, it's been smooth sailing.  A few hot flashes here and there, but I am kind of  a sweaty person to begin with so I am used to dealing with that.  Very little mood swings, very little anything.   I thought wow!  What's all the hype about?  Oh how could I have been so wrong!  It began about 3 weeks ago with the overwhelming feeling of "prickliness" as my sister and I call it.  That feeling when everyone and everything is irritating you,  everything you do is not good enough for you, everything you think is all jumbled in your brain at once.  You just feel prickly.  I don't know about you all, but when I am feeling "off", I always think I need chocolate....well and other junk food too.  But it's real medicine isn't it???  So the more prickly I feel, the more I've been self medicating with junk food.   Enter self pity, self loathing, self everything else.  It's been a vicious cycle.  My life is totally out of control, and you all know how much I hate that!   My body is so out of wack because of my hormones, combined with me not eating right that I've been crying at anything and everything one minute and the next I want to actually stab someone with a knife 😇  I have never experienced this before.  I dealt with postpartum depressing a bit, but this seems to be lasting longer and it is just taking everything out of me emotionally and physically....I am tired all the time, which could be the junk food too, now that I think about it. The good news is, I can tell it's getting better.  I can see the light at the end.  I consider myself very lucky, because I know this will end for me.  Many people suffer from depression and they never see the end in sight.  The struggle is constant.  They are very strong people.

My remedy?  I promised myself that I would get my life back in order after Easter.  Beginning Monday I am hitting the gym and going back to my Ab Class.  I have been really slacking in that area too. "I just don't feel like I am good enough to be there.  Everyone else is thinner, and more fit that I am, I can't do anything they are all doing."  That was my mind set for the past 3 weeks, so I just gave into the negativity  and gave up.   Monday I will push myself to be there.  I will push myself to think positive.  I will try and not give up!  Also beginning Monday, I  am getting my eating back on track.  I have been going up and down on the scale and that needs to end.  No more self medicating with Country Fair stops for Hostess products and Mallo Cups.  No more waiting for Greg to go to sleep so I can raid the Easter Candy that I bought way to early.  The insanity has to stop!   I want my emotions back!  I want my control back!  I want my life back!

I'll keep you posted 😉

xoxo

Image result for quotes on menopause

Monday, March 6, 2017

Just Begin

Happy Monday!

I wanted to share my goals for March................



The first one is going to be tough!   The second is a WW thing.  Every day you stay within 3 points of your total WW points you receive a blue dot on your calendar on the WW App.  I am shooting for 26 for the month!  The last, well, 7 pounds should be doable if I am getting 26 blue dots :)  I will keep you updated on my progress :) 

My weigh in on Friday went really well.  I was down 3 pounds!  I am on a 2 week losing streak right now and pushing to keep it going!  Wish me luck!

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Last week I was going through some of my old posts.  I kept going further and further back, just skimming them. It was fun to re-live things that I've done, but then  I started feeling a little depressed, and disheartened.  I've been struggling with my weight for almost 30 years now, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I am still working on it.  Still working!  But seeing it in print really hit me how much time and energy I put into this one area of my life with very little change.  Goals, weigh ins, shoulds, shouldn'ts, promises, successes, failures..... Sigh!  It really was exhausting to read.  The next day at out work, I talked it over with my sister.  It was then that I realized that there has been changes. Here and there, I've made changes.  This is a journey.  Changes come little by little.  Small changes that you don't even realize are happening.

~I Am More Educated About My Food~

I have learned about portion sizes, sugar content, saturated fats.....I could go on and on!

~I Truly Like  Myself So Much More~

I like what I see in the mirror.  I many not be the size I want to be yet, but I am loving the body I have right now.  It is working for me.  Pushing me.  Not letting me give up.  I like it!

~I Am More Confident~

Being on any journey is a boost for your self-esteem.  It is empowering to be working towards something, feeling success and learning to deal with failures.

~My Weight Is At An All Time Low~

Well, not really ALL TIME, but it is the lowest it's been since before I became pregnant with my first baby,  who will be 30 this year!

These are all changes that I have made.  If I hadn't began this journey, who know what kind of person I'd be right now.  Unhealthy, lazy, depressed........  Instead, I am working towards something, and along the way I am making myself a better person, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  

Anyone who is on a journey of any kind, is already succeeding, just starting it.  It is always good to be searching.  To learn new things, or ways to do something.  To change your attitude, your thought process.  To remove negative people or things from your life, and to find positive and add it back in.  There are so many wonderful things that happen on any journey.  You grow, you evolve, you learn.  All you have to do is take the first step and just begin.

xoxo


Image result for begin a journey quote


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Quick Check In

What a crazy week!  Our internet has been down, including our phone and TV!  Not totally down, but on and off, in and out.  We got it all fixed up last night, the poor cable boy was here from 4ish to 8 working on our problem.  He ended up laying new cable and setting up a new system inside and out!  Hopefully we wont have anymore problems any time soon! :)

I just wanted to check in really quick on my goals and my weigh in from last Friday.

My goals for last week, were to stay within my WW points, and lose 1 pound.  Well, I am super proud to say that I did both!  I stayed strong, even over the weekend, and I weighed in last Friday and lost 4.4 pounds!  That just goes to show you 2 things.  If you track your food and don't go over, it works.  And 2, I am stronger than I think :)



I think really concentrating on why I wanted to succeed in my goals really helped me this week.  If you put a mental why to what you are doing, it makes you push that much harder.

Short and sweet tonight, because I have another weigh in tomorrow and I need to get things organized on here since I've been MIA for awhile.

Have a wonderful night!

xoxo


Monday, February 20, 2017

Goals and Friendship

My friend Pam and I have so much history.  We met when I was still in high school, through our husbands, who were our boyfriends at the time.  She and I were inseparable for so long.  Then life got in the way, and so on and so forth, time flew by and miles separated us.  Throughout the years I have thought about her and missed her and what we had.   A few months ago, we reconnected, and it feels like a part of me is restored.  We picked up without skipping a beat.  That is true friendship.  We are still separated by miles, but it never fails that she emails me at the moment I need her.  Here is a recent quote she sent me, which is right on track with what I have been doing.........

"The more reasons you have for achieving your goal, 
the more determined you will become."
-- Brian Tracy

It goes on to say.............

We set a goal for ourselves and we are filled with determination -- this will be done!
 
Then the alarm goes off in the morning and we think -- it can wait. I can start tomorrow. I don’t really have to do it today. It’s not that important. And on and on.
 
Research shows that writing down your goals will make you more likely to achieve them. That we know.
 
But what if in addition to writing down the goal you also wrote down the reasons the goal is important for you? What if you captured on paper that energy and determination you have when you first set the goal?
 
Then when the alarm goes off in the morning, or when the task you need to do to accomplish your goal is in front of you and you feel tempted to put it off, you can look at your list of reasons, or motivations and remember why it’s important to you.

I personally think this is a wonderful idea!  Not only set a goal, but note why you want to succeed in the goal.  What is the reason?  Goals are so important to me right now.  Even if I fail and do not hit my goals for the week, at least mentally I am thinking of them, making an attempt to change, and trying.  Even this is enough to feel some sort of success.  

With that said, here are my goals for the week......



I want to stay within my points because this will help me feel better, help me feel more in control and help me on the scale.  I need to lose 1 pound to turn this month around.  I have consistently been eating poorly and it is really showing on the scale.  Like I said before, I am tired of it and it needs to change.  I tried hard this past week, but I've been sick and all I want is comfort food and chocolate.  That is totally an excuse, but I tend to do that.  Anyway, these are my goals for this week.  The weekend was super!  I stayed within my points on Saturday and Sunday, and I went to the gym today and have been on track all day, so at least I am starting out in a good place :)  

So, that is all I have.  Thank you for putting up with all of my downer posts lately.  I am trying to turn this around.  I know it's depressing to continually ready GAINS on my posts, but it is what it is and I am determined to turn this around. It's just taking me a little longer than I thought :) 

Thank you Pam, for motivating me, for making me think, and for being back in my life!  I value your advice and truly value our friendship!

xoxo


Image result for quotes on rekindling friendship

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentines Fun and A New Day

Happy Valentines Day Eve!

This weekend I made a fun new cookie for my family.  My sister found this recipe in her Better Homes and Gardens magazine and we thought they looked so cute and fun to make.

Here is the recipe for Chocolate Cherry Dips

Ingredients

1/2 of an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped, drained maraschino cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
60 vanilla wafers
12 ounces chocolate-flavor candy coating, coarsely chopped


Directions

For filling, in a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in cherries and almond extract. Spread filling on bottoms of half of the vanilla wafers. Top with the remaining wafers, bottom sides down. Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until filling is firm.

In a medium saucepan cook and stir chocolate candy coating and the 2 teaspoons shortening over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Using a fork, dip each sandwich cookie in melted chocolate coating, turning to coat completely and letting excess coating drip back into pan. Place dipped cookies on a sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with jimmies. Let stand about 30 minutes or until chocolate coating is set.


The filling......



Before dipping.......



All dipped and sprinkled!



I thought they turned out so cute and they were so fun to make.  I didn't like they way to cookie got a little bit soft, and I probably would add cherry flavoring to the filling, because the Marciano Cherries weren't very strong.  Other than that I liked them :)

Tomorrow is not only Valentines Day, but also my hubby's birthday!  We decided to celebrate early to beat the crowds.  Saturday we went to the Casino to spend a little money :)  We don't go much, neither of us like to waste the money, but once in a while it's fun to sit and play!

We ate upstairs at the Casio, and this was our view....


This is the Race Track.  It is so sad in the winter when there are not races going on.  We went to the races twice last year, and plan to go more this year.  It is so much fun!

We had a great meal and didn't spend too much gambling :)  We didn't win, but had so much fun playing Jacks Are Better :)

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Last Friday was my weigh in.  I've been struggling and haven't been doing very well, and gained 4 lbs.  So there it is.  I am always honest here, no matter how embarrassing.  It allows me to see it for what it is and then enables me to refocus honestly.  I almost didn't go to my meeting.  I knew I was up, I didn't want to see it in print, in my booklet, but I decided to bite the bullet and go.  I am glad that I went.  I never regret weighing in when I have gained.  It is a starting point for me, and I need that.  I am not dwelling on it.  I know what needs to be done.  I know what I am not supposed to eat. Today is a new day.....Day One....I need about 3 good days to get myself back in the mind set that I need to be in.  Send me your positive vibes.  Three days is nothing!  I can do it! :)  

xoxo






Monday, February 6, 2017

Organized House, Organized Life

First I wanted to check in on my goals for this past week.  My first goal for the week was to add extras on my gym days.  I am happy to say that I accomplished this!  On my usual, Monday, Wednesday and Friday Ab Class days, I added lifting in each day!  It felt good to get back to lifting again.  I do love it so I hope I can keep it up!  My other goal was to lose 1 pound.  That didn't happen due to some slips during the week.  I ended up gaining .06.  My mind is in the game, I just need it to be ALL in instead of PARTIALLY in.  Know what I mean?  I was doing so well, and have been allowing myself little treats here and there, acting like I am in maintenance, instead of on the losing track.  I just need to tweak my diet a bit.  I know what I am doing wrong.....I just need to stop :)  Hopefully this week will be different.  Being it was Super Bowl yesterday, I got off to a slow start, but today is a new day and I can do it! :)   I am not setting any new goals this week.  I am just working on the ones I 've set the past few weeks and trying to continue them!  They will all help me on my weigh in on Friday!

In our Weight Loss Support Group today, we talked about the correlation between keeping your weight down and keeping a tidy organized house.  I can relate to this.  If my house is in disarray, I tend to let other areas in my life get crazy too, including my diet.  Who likes to come home after a long day and prepare something nutritious if the counters are cluttered and there are stacks of papers on your table?  I find the more organized my house is, the more organized my total life is.  The opposite goes for me as well.  Sometimes, when I am totally off track with my food choices, the more I tend to let my house work suffer.  Why is that?  Is it because I have the "all or nothing" mentality?  Am I creepy crazy?  These are things that wake me up in the middle of this night terrified!  Ok, not really, but you get the severity of it right?  If  I could fix this control freak character flaw in myself, could I actually become a thinner woman?  Hmmmm.......I really need to read more about this and possibly make changes in my life to stop this weird pattern.  That, or hire a cleaning service so my house is always organized and clean so I will always feel in control.   I like that idea better :)

xoxo



Image result for Quotes On Organizing Your Life

Monday, January 30, 2017

Surrounding Myself More

I am lucky enough to belong to a gym that allows outside sources to come in and hold classes.  I belong to Snap Fitness and there is a Weight Loss Support Group every Monday morning at 8:30.    This works out perfectly because it is right after my Ab Class.  The local hospital has an Community Outreach Program which allows for a liaison to come in and lead us in discussions on health and weight loss.  You don't even have to belong to the gym to take advantage of this!  We have had blood screenings, we have had a dietician come in to speak with us, and as many of us are over 50, so there have been topics on menopause and our changing hormones and metabolism.  There is always something I learn while I am there.  In my personal life, I have so many people who support me.  My family, my Facebook and Blogger friends, my one friend who lives far away who sends me support and motivational quotes all the time.  I am surrounded by support.  Now, I am getting even more.  It is such an amazing feeling to be in a room full of like minded women who motivate you and lift you up.  We feed off of each other and help each other.  I am motivated and refocused each time I leave, and that is a great feeling.  If you don't have a support group in your life, I urge you to either start one, or find one.  (Local people, mine is open to anyone 😊.)  It does wonders for your self esteem.  Plus you make new friends and there is always more than enough coffee :)

Have a wonderful day!

xoxo



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pushing

I am starting right off with my goal check in from last week.....My first goal was "No Scale".  I am happy to report that I didn't weigh myself one time!  It was so hard not to search for that scale, but I am glad that I didn't.  I think it helped me during the day not to go off track.  Success!  My second goal was "Junk Food 1x A Day".  This was a success as well.  I saved my treat for after dinner and only had one.  I wasn't even tempted to continue!  Success! 

Here are this weeks goals............


As you may or may not know, I have been going to the gym 3 times a week to do an Ab Class.  I love this class, and am seeing progress in my abilities.  Starting tomorrow, I am going to try to push myself to stay after my class and walk on the treadmill, and start lifting again.  I love to lift.  I love feeling strong and love knowing that I am continuing to burn calories after I leave the gym.  I just don't love carving out the time to do it.  Stupid!  I am starting the treadmill because well, we all know I've been trying to walk forever and keep putting it off.  Also, I need to get some cardio in my routine.  Now that I am over 50, I need that extra something because my metabolism is slower than ever and cardio will help that.  That is what the nutritionist who came to speak with our class told us anyway.  I've always know this, but....well, you know how that goes.  I am tired of using my bad knee as an excuse to walk.  The other day I was in our Mall, and there was an elderly gentleman in from of me "mall walking" and he was really trucking along with a very pronounced limp.  I thought "Oh my gosh, if he can do this so can I!!"  On the advice of my sister, I downloaded a book on my iPod so I can listen to it while I walk.  I am hoping this will help me stay motivated for 30 minutes :)  I am actually excited to get started in hopes that it will help me with my high blood pressure as well as my weight.  Anyway, these are my "gym extras".

My next goal is to lose 1 pound this week.  I already did one thing to help me with this goal.  I stayed within my points on Saturday and Sunday.  This is huge.  Lately, I have been letting my weekends take over my life and it has been showing at my weigh ins.  This past weigh in I only lost .02.  I am tired of these little gains and loses.  Time to get down to business.  I don't know why I play around.  I am paying good money at WW, so you think that would help me, but nope.  It's just sad.....

Oh, I almost forgot!  I have a new Great Nephew!  Little Rowan Mitchell was born to my nephew and his girlfriend!  My baby brother is the Granda Pa! 



Babies are such a blessing and bring families closer together! 

This week I am pushing myself.  I can do it!  I will do it!  My goals are toast!  How about yours??

xoxo







Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Late, But Just a Few Things

Hello Friends!

I meant to get this post out on Monday, but the week got ahead of me, so here I am :) 

I fell short on my goals from last week.  They were.....No Sweets, and 10,000 Steps A Day.  My steps averaged around 8,000 a day, and for whatever reason I didn't attempt to get any more in.  I was discouraged, and well, just plain lazy.  Avoiding sweets was a big struggle for me this week.  I don't know what happened, but I failed big time with this one and my weight suffered at my weigh in on Friday.  I was up 1.4 pounds.  I don't know what is wrong with me.  I know what I should do.  I know what I should and should not eat.  Cravings get the better of me and I give in.  The bad thing is, when I give in, I totally over do it because I swear "this is the last time", therefore, I take advantage of the fact that "I will never eat this again".  This hasn't happened in awhile, but feel myself falling back into those bad habits.  This needs to stop.  I need to get a hold of it before it really gets out of control. 

 My goals for this week are



I have been finding myself stepping on the scale way to often throughout the day.  That number has been dictating my mood and most of the time it has been the reason that I've been eating what I shouldn't.  I don't want this to continue, so I told Greg to take the scale and hide it.  I will only weigh in on Fridays at my weigh in.  I will be flying blind all week, but I think it will help me stay on track.  It's going well so far :)

Enough food talk :) 

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I've been wanting to let you all know that I won a drawing!!  Leah, over at My New Ending hosted a 100 day Healthy Holidays Challenge.  We posted our goals, and checked in once a week.  This really helped my stay accountable over the holidays.  Anyway, all of us that participated had our names thrown in and there was a drawing, and I won!  I was so excited!  I just love Leah, and all she stands for and was so happy to be the one chosen!  She sent me an adorable package that looked way to pretty to even open.  Inside was a gift card to Subway, a gift card to Starbucks, a cute polka-dot tote bag, a book titled, "The Best Yes", which by the way, my weight loss group is thinking about doing a book club on, and one of her Fabric Travelers Notebooks that she makes in her Etsy Shop!  I have been wanting one of these for a while now, but just never purchased one so I was extremely happy to receive this beautiful one in my package!  It is so pretty and of amazing quality so go check out her Etsy Shop .  Thank you again Leah! 


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I am off Instagram.  I know, I know, I was supposed to have been off since a few posts back when I talked about it, and I was, but I found myself casually scrolling through the posts, and before I knew it I was totally back in.  Again, everything was being put on the back burner because I was spending so much time there.....Blogging, Reading, Cleaning.....  You get the picture.  I decided to quit cold turkey, so the other day at work, with my sisters support and guidance, I deleted my account.  DELETE.  There is no going back now!  I miss it, but feel a little more free if that makes since.  :)

Today, share a smile with someone who needs it. :)

xoxo

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Monday, January 16, 2017

How To......

Happy Monday Everyone!

First of all, I wanted to share my goals for this week.



So, the steps are self explanatory.  You all know how much I dislike walking.  Well, I keep saying that I am going to put forth more effort, so here I am, yet again, making proclamations.  We shall see :) 

No sweets?  Sounds drastic doesn't it?  Well, it needs to be.  I've been taking to many liberties with goodies lately and it's not good.  Oh they still have been fitting into my WW plan, some of them being sugar free, but they have been upping my sugar cravings and the scale isn't moving down, as per my weigh in on Friday.....I was up 0.6 pounds.  So, they have to go!   We'll see how that goes as well!

Speaking of.....My weight has been teetering up and down a few pounds since just before Christmas.  I am happy with how I handled the holidays.  I enjoyed myself and my chocolate and was able to get right back on track as soon as I felt like I needed to.  This is a HUGE change for me and I am super proud of myself!  Progress!

My goal for last week was "At least 72 oz of water a day".   I hit this goal every day except Friday.  Friday I was shopping all day and "forgot" to drink as much as I should.  I am happy with my 6 days tho!  Yay! 

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So lately, I have been thinking about finding something to occupy my time and help me with my healthy journey as well.  I have been thinking a lot about cooking.  I've made dinner just about every night, for almost 32 years.  It's always been quick, thrown together, and kid friendly.  It's time that I started venturing out of my comfort zone and try new recipes.  New, healthy recipes that take time, recipes that take effort, and that take more than 3 ingredients.  Now that the kids are gone, I have a lot more time to spend on making more elaborate dishes.  More importantly, now that I am older, my palate is a bit more refined, so I am more interested in trying new foods.  I need to begin by researching some "How To" cookbooks.  "How To Cook For Two".  Better yet, "How To Cook For The Menopause Woman", because I know it is totally different now.  I seriously would like to get input on what I should and shouldn't be eating now that my metabolism is changing.  The foods I used to eat, I know I shouldn't even look at now.  High School Lori used to eat Suzy Q's and Ice Cream Sandwiches for lunch with no problem.  That definitely can't happen now.   Not to mention learning what vitamin enriched foods my body needs to support my changing system.  Getting older is an adjustment in so many ways :) 

Until I can find some recipes that I'd like to try, I thought I would at least prep some meals for myself for this week.  This is new for me and I think I am really going to like it.  I decided on Mixed Veggies, Italian Turkey Sausage and Stuffed Chicken Breasts.  I also cooked up 2 servings of Brown Rice to use.  I decided to keep 2 of each in the fridge, and I froze the rest for next week.  I only need 4 because I also have Soup and Chicken Salad to use up too.

Here is my prep :)  The three containers in the back are still waiting for their chicken to cool :) 


I need to get more containers so I can prep my lunch too.  This will really help me make good choices when I am in a hurry. :) 

So, if anyone out there knows of a good "How To" book for the amateur chef who is menopausal and learning how to cook adult and healthy let me know :) 

xoxo


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Goal Setting

I've decided that I am going to start setting some goals for myself.  In the past, I have set unrealistic goals regarding my weight loss journey.  Some of the goals were hard to achieve, so I was unable to reach them.  Some goals took to long to achieve, like Monthly Goals, and I gave up on them to quickly.  Either way, when you don't reach your goal, you feel like a failure.

I have been reading and hearing a lot about goals lately.  I've read that you should set specific, clearly defined goals that you can actually measure.  I've heard that it is best to set small goals, so you can achieve them.  Reaching your goals helps to building your self confidence, it helps you feel stronger and more in control.  Also, the next time you make a goal, your doubt about reaching it is less.

I found this information on MindTools.com.

The Five Golden Rules of Goal Setting

1)  Set Goals that Motivate You. 

      When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they 
      motivate you. This means making sure that they are important to 
      you, and that there is value in achieving them.

2)  Set SMART Goals.

     -Specific.
     -Measurable.
     -Attainable.
     -Relevant.
     -Time Bound.

     
3)  Set Goals in Writing.

      The physical act of writing down a goal make it real and tangible.
      You have no excuse for forgetting about it.  


4)  Make an Action Plan. 

     Sometimes, get so focused on the outcome that you forget 
     to plan out steps that are needed along the way.  
     What steps can you take to reach your goal?

5)  Stick With It!


I will be making weekly goals and posting them here and on my IG account HERE to help me stay accountable.  The more success I have in reaching my goals, the more stronger I think I will feel.  

I posted this weeks goal on my IG account today.  I was going to wait until Monday, but my sister, who is so wise, said I always have that "wait until Monday" mentality,  so don't wait!  Do it now!  So I did!  It felt good too :) 

Here is this weeks goal.........


I've got this!

xoxo


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Phrase.......

I know, right?  Three posts in a week?  What is going on?  :)

Happy New Year!  It's time to reflect on the past year, and think about making changes where needed.
This past year has been wonderful to me.  My family is healthy, my children are happy, I reconnected with an old friend :), and although I don't equate my weight with being happy,  my weight is the lowest it has been since my 29 year old was born. :)

The big thing this year is to pick a phrase or a word to focus on for 2017.  I found my phrase a few days ago, while I was at the gym at my Ab Class.  Here is how it happened......

So, this class is an all over strengthening class with abdominal and core work using some Pilates techniques.  There are some moves that I am unable to do, either because my abs are not strong enough, or my weight is hindering movements.  Some exercises are getting easier, and there are a few that I just never even try because, well, I don't think I could do it, so I don't try.  The other day, we were working on lower abs where you are on your back and your legs are out about 6 inches from the floor and you do frog legs in and out.  Well, normally I raise my legs up really high because I just don't think I can do it in the lower position.  This particular day, I decided to keep them low and guess what?  I could do it.  Not all 20, but I did at least 5 before I had to stop.  The point is, I did it!  I could do it!  This made me think of all of the times that I just tell myself, I can't do certain things so I don't even try, both physically and mentally.  We are redoing our kitchen and Greg asked me if I could help him bring the new counter in.  Immediately, I thought "I can't!"  "It's to heavy, to long to awkward.  I can't do that."  I didn't say it out loud, but I almost did.  I ended up helping him carry it in and set it on and it was fine.  I didn't give my self enough credit.  I just thought, I can't.

The older I get the more I tend to rely on Greg or my kids to figure things out for me mentally.  Things like, my phone, the TV......little things that would only take a minute to figure out but I ask for help instead.  I don't want to be that older person who needs to rely on others....

I've decided that my phrase for this year is "I CAN".  I can.  No more giving up before I even try.  No more asking for help instead of trying to figure thinks out first.  No more negative thoughts anymore.
I can!  I can!  I can!

Let make 2017 a year to remember!

xoxo


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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Season....Part Two.....Birthdays, Friends, and Fun

Before my New Years post,  I wanted to get in my part two of my Christmas Season update.  This is just a few miscellaneous pictures that I wanted to share with you all.

Here is my nephew Paul (on the left) and my youngest Dominic, nicknamed Encino Man by his work family.  We celebrated Paul's 20th birthday this month at a local Chinese restaurant.  I can't believe this amazing young man is 20 years old!  They have been friends since birth and still are as close as brothers, living together while going to college.  Sigh!




Paul with his parents, my sister and brother-in-law 


 My sister also celebrated a birthday this month.  It was during a nasty snowstorm that ended in a 72 car pile up on the interstate right near our house.  Many people stranded for hours and everyone else had to be re-routed right past our road.  That combined with the weather, didn't allow for any of the kids to come home for the party, so we just had a small gathering with my sister-in-laws and my parents, since we all live next door to each other :)


My friend Michele hosted a cookie exchange!  We had so much fun!  It was nice to get together during the holidays.

From the front, left to right....
Gideon, Julie (my sil) and Lori
Back, left to right.....
Connie (my sister), Me, Angie, and Michele (our hostess)



I got a manicure!  Being a dog groomer, it is not worth getting my nails done....ever.  Every year at Christmas time, I always say I am going to get my nails done, but never want to spend money on somehting I can do myself.  This year, I thought dammit, I'm gunna do it......And I did!  It was nice to be pampered and I loved it!




Lastly, there has been a lot of snuggle times with Ava and our coffee :)




This season has been a wonderful time for me to relax with family and friends.  I remember times in the past, when the kids where little, that I barely remember December.  Now a days I look forward to the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Look forward to the warmth and love that it brings, and also the yummy goodies that come with it :)

xoxo

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