It is at this time of year that want is most keenly felt…

12 Dec

I’ve really let blogging slide on my to-do list, but I’m asking that everyone who happens to see this please consider donating even just a couple of dollars to this family that is trying to save their grandmother’s house from foreclosure in Philadelphia. They need $32,000 USD by February 2nd to make this happen. Please remember the importance of community, family, and helping fellow humans and have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Solstice, or just a Fantastic Winter :D

http://lolashouse.chipin.com/preventingforeclosure

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Ch-ch-ch-changes

1 Sep

There are times when I feel like an organized person stuck in a disorganized state. I hate the mess that my craft closet is, I cringe at the messy kitchen, and my bedroom floor…let’s not go there.

With the help of my husband and brother, our bedroom is now clean, organized, and spacious. The living room is workable. The kitchen…getting there. The dining room is on its way to becoming a great party/common room.

Now for this blog. I don’t post often, because it’s a mess. I like categories to prompt my posts. I like an attractive layout and right now this place just isn’t working out.

*rolls up sleeves*

This is the fun part. With the help of Mike, friends, family, and you I am going to reinvent my blog, like Madonna, but with less make-up. I’m not going to pin down a date to re-launch, because we all know I’m terrible at deadlines. I plan on talking to other bloggers, people who love to read the blogs that I admire, and anyone else that might be able to give me some ideas.

Now, I need your help. I could write about a million things, but I want to stay organized. In the poll below choose what you would most like to see to help guide my choices.

Fitness: Weigh In: A Surprise

28 Jul

I ate a good amount of bread last night, a peppermint patty, and the last few days I’ve eaten more than usual. I was hoping for 189 at best. I weighed myself this morning to see a 186.6 looking up at me.

I am awesome.

Yearning for Autumn

28 Jul

I can’t wait for fall. These hot, humid days – I’m done with them. I can’t wait to smell and see the leaves changing and falling, coating the ground. It’s one of the true joys of living in Pennsylvania. The foliage, right? I’ll go one further and say that it’s the entire spirit that surrounds the foliage. The whole season is full of good feelings. Everything dying, or going to sleep, but people become more alive. I was reading Ryan Marshall’s blog a couple days ago and he was talking about Kinfolk Magazine, their manifesto being,

Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love.

Every element of Kinfolk – the features, photography, and general aesthetics – are consistent with the way we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends.”

I immediately thought of autumn. Of making boeuf bournignon for my birthday with my mom, of piling into a car to the orchard, of taking refuge with friends over coffee, of hiking in Valley Forge…

There is nothing like entering Valley Forge park with family and friends on a chilly fall day, full of conversation and then losing the need for conversation by the time we reach the top of Mount Joy. Everyone’s faces are cherry red, we’re all breathing a little heavier, and the crunch of leaves fills the void. It’s a beautiful place. We’re all silent, we’re all connected. Like Kinfolk’s manifesto says, these small gatherings are energizing. It’s unlike any other gathering. There are no words.

Fitness: Weigh- In: I’m awesome

21 Jul

If you look at my little widget to the right you’ll see that I have lost a total of 5 pounds (5.2 to be exact) since I began my journey. Boo yah! Do people even say “booyah” anymore? Whatever, I’m 2 pounds down from last week. Seeing the numbers move makes this all worthwhile.

One downside is that my face is breaking out. You can’t see it, but I can feel lots of little bumps. I’m guessing it’s a result of this obnoxious heat and humidity we’re enduring in PA. I never spent this much time running around outside, so this has never been an issue, but I nearly lost my cool when I realized I was breaking out. This didn’t even happen when I was a teenager! I quickly scrubbed my face with some oatmeal, so hopefully this doesn’t turn into something worse. I’m going to be washing my face much more often now. Has anyone ever had this happen before? Any tips you can offer?

Fitness: Tools

18 Jul

Tools I Can’t Do Without: Sports bra, Racer back tank top with built in sports bra “active wear”, mesh shorts, good socks, running shoes, broken in Etnies for cycling, MyFitnessPal.com, scale, blender, reusable water bottle, lemons and limes, fresh produce, instant streaming tv/movies

Mike and I have started running. Voluntarily. As in, without being chased with a sharp object. I know, who would’ve thought, right? We’re logging all of our food intake and workouts on myfitnesspal.com now. It’s awesome. It has become my new favorite website. If you’re struggling with weight loss and/or want to get healthy then I can’t recommend it enough. If you join up please friend me so we can encourage one another! You’ll see on my sidebar that I have a widget from the site that tracks my weight loss. I’ll be weighing in on Thursday mornings, so keep an eye on my progress! Now back to our usual programming…

Fitness: Photos from a small adventure

2 Jul

Happy Saturday! I have to work later, but I’m fully enjoying the day. My cat woke me up around 7:30 or 8 because he wanted food, and after that I didn’t feel like going back to sleep. What to do…I ate a whole grapefruit and drained the residual juice into my orange juice then went on a bike ride.

Lesson: Grapefruit is on the list of “negative calorie” foods for a reason- it’s not filling. I was hungry halfway through my ride, but it was so nice out I kept on riding. I took a few photos along the way. This is my standard ride. Not as long as what I’ve been doing the rest of this week, but enjoyable and a good workout. By the time I got back on my street I felt the sun beating down on me. Then just when I got into the nice cool apartment my brother dragged me back out for a short walk. All is forgiven though because he bought me a turkey sandwich. Hunger satisfied.

In other news, I have a scale! I’m going to guesstimate that my starting weight in this endeavor was 197. After I’ve made, what I think, is a difference then I will disclose where I’m at.

Fitness: Healthy Habits

29 Jun

I’ve successfully been keeping a notebook with my food intake, activities, and helpful notes for 8 days now. I couldn’t even keep a diary for 3 days when I was a kid, so this is earth shattering to me. Are you excited? Perhaps no.

The first hurdle to be jumped for my big fitness plan was interest. Staying interested in getting fit has always been a problem for me. Of course the desire to lose weight and gain strength is always there, but staying motivated and mindful has proven difficult.

1. Mindset. This is battle. Absolute confidence is necessary.

2. Immersion. Surround yourself with images or words of motivation. Bookmark good exercises or recipes. Do this everyday.

3. Find a fun activity that you could do everyday. Cycling, hackysack, running, spoiling the dog with a loooooong walk.

4. Pride. When you walk through Wawa or the grocery be proud when you don’t look twice at the chips or candy.

5. Don’t kill yourself over it. I have a couple of good bars of chocolate from Whole Foods in my fridge, because sometimes it’s okay to have a treat.

6. Food! Things I’ve been eating:

Salad with Garlic Expressions dressing

Homemade granola bars – with variations on ingredients

Smoothies

That’s all for now. I still haven’t bought a scale, but I hope to get one this weekend!

Gone but Never Dunn

26 Jun

Regardless of your opinion on Ryan Dunn, his death (and Zachary Hartwell’s) has affected many people, especially out here. Out here meaning Chester County, PA.

Mike and I first learned of his death through a family member of a friend of Ryan, then the following media onslaught followed.

Did he do dumb things? Yes. Do we all? Yes. Are some dumb things bigger than others, well of course. Drinking and driving is obviously dangerous. There’s been alot of criticism of Dunn doing so (rightfully), but I don’t think it’s reason to say his death was a good or dismissible event, which I’ve been hearing from some people.

Seeing photos of the charred remains of plants and the heavily injured trees immediately reminded me of my friend Mike Ski who passed away a few years ago in an accident on the Girard Point Bridge in Philly. Sober and smart, he was driving home late at night when his car stalled and a large truck hit him, whereupon his car went up in flames, and he passed away on his way to the hospital. Different circumstances, but dying in a fiery wreck is not funny, regardless of who is in the car and what they did in their life. This is not a time for derision, this is a time to speak about drinking responsibly to avoid the loss of a child, a sibling, a friend, a parent, whoever.

Ahem. On the way to the orchard to pick raspberries yesterday (aren’t we all fancy with our farmy ways) my mom and I passed the accident spot. How did I know? There were orange cones cordoning off the shoulder and there were cars and people all over, paying their respects to the two victims (remember, Zachary?). Flowers, candles, drawings, balloons, and graffiti everywhere. At least 20 feet of guardrail is coated in Sharpied messages and sketches. The largest roadside shrine I’ve ever seen.

Congratulations, NY!

25 Jun

I just want to say real quick that I am so happy for New York state. Gay marriage has been legalized there! It’s been a long road, but I’m so thrilled that more people can have access to the rights that Mike, myself, and many others enjoy. It’s all about love!

wedding rings, photo by Amber Zagorski (from our wedding)

Rock on.