Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Musings

I missed High Five for Friday last week since I was at my parents' house so I thought I would do a Monday Musings post instead. Same concept!

1. This morning when I finally looked at the outside temperature, it said 8 degrees. 8. Brrrr. That doesn't include the windchill. I don't want to know what it was with that included! I hate winter. My Prince Charming better live somewhere warm!

2. If you're looking for a gift idea for me, I would really like a heated blanket. A nice big one, not just a little throw. Something Mercedes and I can curl up under and stay nice and toasty this winter. I was told Target had some on sale for Black Friday weekend, but they were all sold out by the time I made it there.

3. After Thanksgiving I left Lucky with my parents for awhile so it's just the girls at home these next couple of weeks. Mercedes is in heaven ... she loves being the only dog!

4. I ordered my own Christmas present from my parents this year and it can't come soon enough! They are kind enough to buy me a new winter jacket since my current one can be wrapped around me twice and isn't keeping me very warm. I decided to go with a winter white coat. I'm hoping I can keep it clean! I'm also hoping that it warms up a little bit for the next month since I can't unwrap my present until Christmas!

5. I made these brownies for Thanksgiving this year for those of us who do not like pumpkin pie. They are incredibly decadent, delicious and gooey!

6. I have a problem. I am completely addicted to Scentsy. My friend Amber started selling it and sent me an email with all the Black Friday deals. And I really want to order a new warmer. Even though I don't need another one!! But  I think these wrap warmers are so pretty! And so is this one!!

7. Last, but not least ... it's my birthday on Friday! And if anyone asks, I'm going to be 25! :D

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! 
Until next time~

Monday, November 19, 2012

Surviving the {Food} Holidays

At the gym, I tend to "borrow" magazines that people leave there after they're done reading them. I'm not one to read a magazine while on the elliptical (I get too distracted) so I take the magazine home and return it the next day. (Is this wrong??) 

In every December issues I've read of Cosmo, Glamour and InStyle, I've noticed "How to Survive the Holidays" guides. Some are funny (such as how to survive the holidays without a boyfriend; yes, seriously this is an article) and some are informative (like how to survive the holidays on a strict budget). In many of the guides, there are pointers on how to survive the issue of food during the holidays. Being that these are fashion magazines, they assume everyone watches their weight and freaks out about food during this time that we're surrounded by more food and goodies than normal. Yes, those articles are written for people like me!

I hadn't really started to freak about food and weight until my mom asked me to bake the desserts for Thanksgiving. I hadn't really thought about it before then. But being "forced" to look at high calorie, sugar filled dessert recipes made me think about how I'm going to survive these next couple of months without gaining weight. I figure I better have an action plan set in place before going to my parents' house ... a place where people don't eat just salads for lunch and where meat and potatoes are a necessity at dinnertime. I haven't experienced a weight gain since I started losing weight, and I don't want to start now that I've hit my goal weight!

Here is how I'm planning on surviving the holidays food-wise ...

{Food} Holidays Survival Tips
1. Portion Control. 
Try a little bit of everything without overindulging. 
2. Enjoy Dessert. 
Without overindulging during the meal, you can enjoy a small piece of pie or some ice cream without guilt. (I will never advocate skipping dessert. Don't deprive yourself or you'll be more likely to overeat later. Plus, dessert is good for you (in moderation)!)
3. Get Moving. 
After dinner, don't just sit on the couch in a turkey coma, get out for a walk, play the Wii ... do something to move.
4. Don't Drink Your Calories. 
Enjoy a glass of wine or beer if you wish, but skip the ice cream drinks or sugary punch.
5. Change the Focus. 
The holidays don't have to be centered around food and the kitchen. Plan some games or other activities to do as well as cooking and eating; things that will be a good distraction from wanting to constantly eat. 
6. Enjoy Time with Your Family or Friends. 
That's what the holidays are really about, not about how many cookies you can fit on your plate. 

When you eat healthy the majority of the time, you can afford a couple of days off and just enjoy food rather than worrying about the calorie count and possible weight gain. So, my biggest tip (and the one I have to repeat to myself!) is to relax, and not worry about it so much!

Until next time~

Friday, November 16, 2012

High Five for Friday

It's Friday, finally! All week long I look forward to these posts. I jot down the happy, little things that could make the blog so I don't forget them. So, let's get to my favorite things of this week and link up with Lauren for High Five for Friday ...

I'm having a tough time getting into the holiday spirit this year including acceptance of the fact that it's Thanksgiving in less than a week. To help, I've been warming holiday Scentsy scents. I figured it would at least smell like the holidays in my house! My favorite that I've tried so far is Pumpkin Roll. Yum!! It makes me crave pumpkin bread and pumpkin spice lattes.

I bought my birthday dress! Thanks to the sweet gesture of my friend Sarah and a 25% off coupon, I could actually afford it with my tiny budget. I went to White House Black Market last weekend and snatched up the last one they had in my size. I'm so excited to wear it in two weeks!!

I'm obsessed with Taylor Swift. I don't know how it happened, but I cannot stop listening to her Red album. There are so many amazing songs on there including "Begin Again" and "State of Grace." Last Sunday, I saw she had a Storytellers episode on VH1 so I had to record it. I found another song that I somehow had never heard before that I loved called "Ours." How does she write so well?? Amazing.
Seems like there's always someone who disapproves
They'll judge it like they know about me and you
And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do
The jury's out, but my choice is you

So don't you worry your pretty little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard
The stakes are high, the waters rough
But this love is ours

With the weather turning cooler, I'm having to start picking up some warmer clothes when I can afford to and find something on sale or have a coupon. Last weekend I found this super cute sweatshirt from the Victoria's Secret Pink line. It's so soft and cozy!

The Big Bang Theory is one of my favorite shows. It never fails to make me laugh! This video has been making its rounds on social media these last couple of days and I thought I would share it in case you missed it ... The Big Bang Theory Flash Mob. Hilarious!! 

I hope you all had a great week! Until next time~ 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where Is My Christmas Spirit?

It's mid-November and I have yet to get in the Christmas spirit. It seems as if everyone I know or interact with on Facebook and Twitter, and even Pinterest is full of Christmas spirit already. All the stores are decorated and Christmas music is already playing... and I cringe. I think it's too early; that I'm just not ready for Christmas. I haven't felt the excitement yet this year. I haven't picked up a new Christmas stocking to replace the matching ones Rod and I have used the past few years. I haven't felt the need to make any fun Christmas crafts. I haven't looked up any new cookie recipes or even browsed a Target Christmas aisle. I usually love doing those things now to get ready for decorating!

Where is my Christmas spirit??

I'm hoping that it's just too early for my Christmas spirit to be in full force. Hopefully after Thanksgiving or my birthday I will find some Christmas cheer. I'll be ready to put up my tree and listen to some holiday music on Pandora.

However, I do know this Christmas will be drastically different. Maybe that's playing a part in my lack of cheer. This will be my first Christmas completely alone. No husband, no boyfriend, no partner to help me put up the tree, decorate the house, pick out Christmas gifts, watch Elf with ... it'll be just me and the puppies. I'm not afraid of being alone, but I am afraid of being lonely. 

I'm afraid of looking at the tree with barely any gifts under it, and nothing special from my loved one to me. Or to my loved one from me. I don't even know if I'll put Christmas stockings up this year because who would I fill them up for other than the puppies? 

I just don't know what to expect to feel this year for the holidays. I'm approaching them very cautiously. Hoping that I won't feel nearly as lonely as I expect. Hoping that one day I'll wake up and be ready to embrace the holiday cheer. I usually love Christmas so I hope the holiday spirit finds its way into my heart soon.

Until next time~

Friday, November 9, 2012

High Five for Friday

I haven't posted a new blog all week - boo on me. :-( I feel bad! But, it's Friday now and time to link up with Lauren and many other great bloggers for High Five for Friday. Let's see what the highlights of my week were ...

A cute new sweater. I actually picked this sweater up about three weeks ago from the Gap, but after I got it home and tried wearing it, I realized that I needed a smaller size. This past weekend I made it back to the Gap finally and exchanged it for the correct size. All they had were extra smalls in stock so good thing that's what I needed!

New Scentsy scents. Yes, I'm addicted to buying Scentsy. I love it so much! I have three warmers going in my house (not all at the same time!) and I love trying out new scents. My neighbor Amber just started selling it ... I think that will just help feed my addiction!

The kindness of friends. A couple of weeks ago I posted a dress I wanted to get for my birthday from White House Black Market, but it was way out of my price range. It was a great dress and fit perfectly. When I got the mail on Saturday, I found a card and a sweet surprise from my friend Sarah who contributed to my dress fund. The sweetest thing ever!!

Voting. In case you missed it (you know, if you're living in a cave!), Tuesday was election day. I'm not going to get all political here, but I did vote. And the thing I cared most about - the marriage amendment - was defeated! Way to go Minnesota!!

Fro-yo! Yesterday the temperature reached about 50 degrees and to celebrate I decided to treat myself to some fro-yo. This is only the second time I've had it and I really like it. Not sure it will ever take the place of my beloved Cold Stone, but at least it's better for me!

I hope you all had a good week! Until next time~

Friday, November 2, 2012

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! This week has been rather uneventful so I'm thinking this week's High Five for Friday link up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk might be a bit of a struggle. I seriously can't think of anything super fun I did this week! I know good things happened though so let me dig deep to find them!

I have officially reached my goal weight! I never thought I would see those numbers on my scale. Even when I started my weight loss journey, that number wasn't my original goal. However, as the weight started to come off, I thought I could do it ... I could get down to a number that I dreamed about and would make me proud. I'm so happy! 

How cute is this chevron mug I found? I went into Caribou yesterday to treat myself to a hot apple blast to warm up after taking the dogs on a walk and I spied this on the shelf. I had to have it!!

Speaking of cute things, here are some recent pictures of my puppies ....

Yesterday I actually baked again. Whoo-hoo! It's strange going from baking weekly to baking once every few months, but I thoroughly enjoy it when I can get in the kitchen. I have a good friend who is fighting cancer and I'm going to visit her today so I wanted to bake something special for her and her family. So I made pumpkin cupcake bites. 

This is my ultimate favorite quote. I wrote it down and put it up on my inspiration board as well. Good daily reminder!

                                                                            Source: via Kristine on Pinterest

I hope you all had a good week and remember to be thankful for the good things in life ... even the smallest, most simple ones!

Until next time~