Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just ate my first cookie

Well my first "Smart for Life" cookie anyway... that thing was yummy!  So as you can guess,  I'm starting the "Smart for Life" diet.  You just eat COOKIES.. I can totally do this diet.   LOL!  Anyway about a month ago I was looking at & saw this special offer from Smart for life...It was a 15 lb weight loss plan for around $90 (which is a lot less than the regular price, like 50 to 60 % less I  believe) Brian & I have been talking about doing something like this so I decided to talk to Brian about it.  I know that if we wanted to do it, we would have to make a decision.... Zulily things go fast!  SIDE NOTE: I love!!! IF you don't shop there, YOU SHOULD!!! :) Anyway... we talked & decided for that price to give it a try.  We ordered two of them. *one for him & one for me.    The boxes came quickly *I mention this cause that is the only thing with Zulily.  The prices are great BUT you do have to wait awhile for your things to be shipped.  Longer than normal sometimes 3 weeks or a month.   Which I really don't mind all that much.  It's like a "surprise" when you finally get it.  You almost forgot what you ordered. LOL! But anyway... back to the story at hand.   We got the boxes & since we wanted to do it together, decided to wait until Brian got back.  HOWEVER.... I couldn't resist &  decided to start a few days early.  Plus... Em & I are going to go back to NM & I wanted to make sure that I got the full month in before I left.  SO I ate the first one today... a choc cookie at around 8am.  How this diet works is you eat a cookie within an hr of waking up. with a glass of water.  & then every 2 to 3 hours after that,  eat another w/ water (6 a day) & then you have a "healthy" dinner.  SO far so good.  I actually just ate my 2nd cookie not that long ago.  It was a peanut butter one & was good too. :) I'll keep my blog up to date on how I'm doing so everyone can see my progress.  Anyway just wanted to write a quick blog on what I'm up to. We shall see... fingers crossed for me please.  :) xo Missy

There will never be another like Maya Angelou. RIP

 Her Poem: Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Emily's "Math Poster" project.

I love Emily's math poster she made for her Pre-Algebra class.  I love her slogan & how she put the "fraction" line. :) SO Clever. #Smartygirl

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Coupon people can relate... I hope, cause otherwise I'm just crazy!

 I subscript to the newspaper-the Philadelphia Inquirer on weekends for one reason, the store ads & the coupons.  I'm a bit of a crazy coupon lady BUT I'm not extreme about it- What I mean is well I take what I think is a very common sense approach to shopping.  For normal dinners/pantry/freezer items I only buy things when they are on sale & I have a coupon. (for some things I just wait til they have super deals on them.. like meat) I will make my meals around what's on sale & what I have in my house.  So if chickens on sale for like 40% or 50% off a certain week .. I buy several packages, freeze it, use it & don't buy it again until it's on a good sale like that again, usually that happens about once a month in most stores.  Here's another example: The last time I got shampoo I bought Garnier Fructis on sale for 1.99 & I had a $1.00 off coupon on 1.  So the final cost was .99 & for a decent brand that's a pretty good deal.  Same with Pantene... there are usually always coupons for Pantene. So I wait til Pantene is on sale & then I use a coupon with it.  When I need shampoo again I will wait til it's on sale & I have another coupon.... what if that doesn't happen before I need it.  Well that's where all those handy "free" shampoo/ and conditioners that Brian gets from the hotels he stays at come in handy- I use them to tie us over.  Usually I don't have to worry about it.  Cause usually a coupon/sale happens every few weeks. If you are patient & mindful you will always be able to buy them on sale/& with coupon. I actually usually still have some when I buy another.  What I don't do is have a crazy stock pile of anything, I don't have 50 shampoos or toothpaste stocked somewhere in my house.  Like the really real crazy couponers.  Doing that is just not my cup of tea. To me,  It seems pretty gross to be using a toothpaste that is 5 years old-that's been sitting in ur "stock pile" plus why keep buying them when you have enough for a long long time.  I know it's a really awesome feeling when you are able to get something for almost free but IF it's not practical I don't really see the point.   There will never come a time when I can justify the logic of doing that kind of thing. But that's just me. Anyway, yesterday when I got the Target ad & started looking at it.  I got kind of excited.  They had a $10 off $50 grocery coupon in the ad.  Looking at the ad- there was also a lot of good sales on food too. So I was hoping that I could get over to Target this week to put that sucker to good use.  That's a really good deal! Especially if you use manufacturer coupons on top of it.  You can get a a lot of bang for your buck!  Now it was only on "grocery" items but I knew that wouldn't be a problem since I had a few coupons for things that were on sale there as well & I needed about 10 gallons of spring water.  (drinking one a day, every day... you really go through them) Eventually I want to get a really good "filter" system.  But until that day when I can afford a really good one, I'm stuck buying water.  This is what happens when one gets a letter from the county they live in; saying that the water tested slightly contaminated & lab rats have developed cancer from drinking it. To me there's no such thing as a "little" contaminated. SO you get a little afraid to drink the tap water.... so that means for me at least buying spring water.  Anyway, my aunt & I went out on Sunday, so I was able to get to Target on day one of their sale... Remember I don't drive *much.  Anyway my aunt wanted to go to Walmart & I wanted to go to Target so we split up. Emily & I going to Target while my aunt went to Walmart. So after finding about $40 in groceries *the way Target's grocery section is the water section is at the end of it SO I went to get the 10 gallons of SPRING water which would add up to my needed $50... only to turn the corner & discover there was only two gallons of Poland Spring water on the shelf & that was all.  NO other brands Nothing else... you have got to be kidding me. UGH!!! Can you say frustrating!!! OH NO!  SO I find a sales person & ask her nicely if she can check the stock in the back to see if they have more?  How can they not have water?  I didn't care what brand it was, as long as it was gallon "SPRING" water.   Not purified or distilled... but spring water.  She came back a few minutes later saying no they didn't have any.  She offered a few suggestions, one of which was going to Walmart.  (as an ex-retail manager I cringed when ever a sales person says something like this!!) & I was a little more frustrated about the whole situation then maybe someone should be but it was just one of those things, that really ticked me off- 1) I came in specifically needing spring water and knowing it would be a big chunk of the $50 I needed to spend in order to use the coupon  2) I had just spent a while browsing the shelves looking for deals (& going thru my over-stuffed coupon organizer full of coupons-anyone who does this, knows how frustrating that whole thing can be-it's a job in & of itself ) checking out not only what was on sale but also what I had coupons for of those things 3) I didn't want to come back or go to another store. *not driving- it's not such a simple thing to do for me. 4) I have their red card so I get 5% off AND 5) this water is a big deal to me, since I started my whole I only drink water thing & I'm trying so hard to stop drinking anything else but water for health reasons- I really needed this water, & since Brian's away it's not so easy walking to the store to get  "gallons" of spring water. Can you imagine? SO I did something I rarely do, I asked to speak to the manager.  I don't know what I expected.... I just wanted to vent.  I knew nothing I could say would magically make the water appear BUT still I wanted to voice my frustrations to some one.  I was approached by this very nice female manager named Dora who asked, how she could help? I explained to her that I really just wanted to "vent" because I didn't understand how they could be out of spring water the first day of the sale & that I needed 10 bottles of it to reach my $50 to use the coupon.  I went on... and on.. I'm sure a bit too far considering it was only water but for all the reasons I already mentioned it was really ticking me off.   Especially cause I'm a Target girl.  I enjoy shopping at Target... I love seeing the "red" clearance stickers all over the store & their stores are always neat & attractive looking.   My aunt likes Walmart cause she feels that in general their prices are better.  So I could have went there but I chose to shop at Target for all the reasons I just mentioned-NOT to mention the COUPON! LOL!. I know that while perhaps Targets prices may be a little higher in general that with the way I shop for things I can still make it work. I simply only buy things that are good deals no matter what store I'm in.   I have a good sense of how much things cost & I only buy those things,  but this whole no water thing was putting a "wrench" in the whole plan.  Anyway... I must hand it to this manager, she did a really great job of "defusing" my pissed off-ness & again reminding me why I shop at Target.  She told me she was very sorry & that she appreciated the feed back- they needed to hear from customers to be better able to stock their stores, etc.   She spoke in a manner that made me feel like I wasn't silly for my frustration even if a part of me felt like I was being. I now think she got a little residual annoyance at having just spent $52 on lunch at Friendly's, how does that happen? I even (of course) had a $5 off coupon for Friendly's & didn't pay for a drink cause I drank WATER... but that's a "rant" for another day... lol. ;)  I needed this bargain to make up for that expensive lunch.  lol. I probably wasn't in the best mood already.  I wasn't being fair but I was being human, I know from working retail-That today I was being like a lot of customers tend to be, I was taking my feelings out unfairly at someone who didn't deserve it- while I didn't yell or anything my tone let her know (especially in the beginning) how annoyed I was but bless this woman she was really good at her job & even offered me a few "coupons" so that if I didn't reach the $50 needed I could still get money off my bill.  Since I expressed to her I really didn't need anything more to make up the $50 in groceries- & so she gave me a few $3 off "apology" coupons to use.  She was really nice & I honestly appreciated it-- even though I still didn't have enough water.  I ended up texting my aunt & having her get me 5 more gallons of water at Walmart & so I ended up paying for my stuff & walking out even without my water still HAPPY!  I wouldn't have stopped shopping at Target over this either way but this manager certainly helped me add another reason to why I shop there.  She made me feel like they really cared about making me (their customer) happy.  So Thank you... Dora & Target!   :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

The personal benefits I've seen from drinking water w/ lemon

I started drinking water w/ lemon.  I mean... I really started drinking water with lemon! What does that mean?  Well for the last month & 1/2 I have only drank water with lemon! It's pretty amazing since prior to doing this, I was completely addicted to soda.  My addiction to soda was becoming too much & so I made a decision to finally stop drinking it.  The problem is I don't like to drink "plain" water & was having a hard time whenever I tried to drink the recommended daily intake of 8 glasses, I never could. NO where near it. So I decided to try drinking water w/ lemon.  I LOVE IT!! I make a gallon pitcher in the morning & between my husband & I, we drink the whole gallon, sometimes with a need to make another in the evening.  Well what have I noticed from doing this?  Well the one thing, the most important thing is my blood pressure is so much better.  I bought a blood pressure cuff a few months ago, & was really scared when I started routinely checking it & it was pretty consistently high, way above the recommended numbers!! SO I decided that I needed to STOP drinking soda altogether.  I've known I shouldn't be drinking it anyway.  It's not like I don't know how bad it is for me.  I guess I've just always thought well if that's my only vice, I guess I can live with it.  BUT it started getting out of hand.  I was drinking so many calories that I was gaining so much weight, not to mention the blood pressure thing.  I didn't however expect that from drinking water with lemon, I would see so many positive things start to happen to my body.  Now like I said I drink a lot of it & everyone is different but for me personally I've noticed that my blood pressure is finally almost "regular".  This afternoon when I checked it, it was 125/75!!!! WOW!  That was even after eating salty potato chips. I mean... it hasn't been that good in a long while. Also my skin is smoother & I've had less break outs! Anyway I'm OBVIOUSLY not a doctor & I don't know if it's just a fluke.  Or what.  But I'm feeling pretty great since starting this water with lemon thing.  Honestly,  I didn't want to say anything until I really had convinced myself I was done with soda!! It's been well over a month & 1/2.  Infact this is the first time since I can remember that we haven't had soda in our house. NONE!!!  I mean you can't give in to something that isn't around? right? So if you come to our house we will offer you water with lemon or APPLE JUICE (Emily's drink of juice).  Anyway just wanted to write a quick note on here about this.  If you've been not feeling good or just need a boost why not give "water w/ lemon" a try.  I feel so much better now!! REALLY! :) Now if I could just start eating better consistently that would be awesome- & maybe allow me to lose some weight too.  I didn't weigh myself the first 2 or 3 weeks I was doing the water with lemon thing so I'm not sure if I initially lost any weight or not.  But since I've been weighing myself I haven't. Which is annoying especially since I've been walking a lot lately, in the past two weeks I've taken probably 10 long walks- atleast a mile or two each! But like they say I guess....    All in good time.  My (&my husband's) problem is we are both late night "snackers".  I also eat when ever I'm bored or stressed.  NOT a good recipe for losing weight.  I guess I have to start doing more hobbies, or maybe just writing more on this blog . ;) Anyway, Thx for reading! Have a great week!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

A "life cleansing"- Is there a pill for that?

Usually it takes something "dramatic" to happen in order to move past a place you feel stuck in.  I feel in many parts of my life I've been just that.  Stuck. I won't go into too much details on here but I feel like I hit almost rock bottom in a few areas of my life.  I've been not unhappy but not as happy as I should be about several areas of my life.  Between my weight, my health, & my relationship all needing major "improving upon". I was at that cross road where change HAD to come.   I just wish that some didn't come with an assault the equivalent of a ton of bricks being thrown at me.  As that expression goes.. sometimes you don't get what you want but you get what you need.  It takes sometimes a kick in the gut to make a move in any direction.  Because it's simply impossible any longer to stay where you are.  I've never been good at making changes either, I'm not good at it at all, I tend to be the kind of person who needs a very strong push in order to make the smallest of change, well let it be known I got one.  Time will tell if things get better.  But hopefully with "work" it will.  I've only ever wanted it too- I know life will throw curves at me from time to time no matter but I'd like to see a future where the hits from those bricks were not just a terribly painful reminder but a catalyst for a better life.  That in time, the path I'm on becomes the path I am happily skipping down & not a path that feels like I'm lost on with no GPS.

March for Babies 2014 4/27/2014

Well life tends to get in the way of things.. I've been meaning to post about our walk for almost a week now & life's UNEXPECTED drama kept getting in the way of doing just that.  But alas here it is...   This year's March for Babies walk was on Sunday & it was really great.  I had an absolutely awesome time.   Our small 6 person family team raised $4,015.00 for the March of Dimes. Being the "Team Captain" of our group, I'm allowed to say this, I was really proud of us! We did so good this year.  OUR ABSOLUTE BEST AMT EVER!!  I said it on facebook & I'll say it again though, I'm happy that this "fundraising" season is behind us (so to speak) because I'm really tired. We did a lot this year, between all the posting about it on all kinds of Social media to the bake sale,  I for one am really wiped out. But back to the day at hand,  the weather on Sunday was absolutely gorgeous to walk in, comfortably in the 60's  Even though I hadn't done a lot of  preparing for the walk this year I felt awesome when I was finished.  Honestly I was so afraid I would be too out of shape to complete it this year, but I felt really great at the end.  Brian was the "Family Team" speaker & moved everyone to tears with his terrific speech.  Brian took Emily up there with him when he gave the speech.  He even managed to include that he wrote a book about Emily into his speech.  Hey, a little free publicity never hurt. He was even "interviewed" by Rowan Radio!!! :) YAY!  After the walk... we took our nephew Patrick with us out to lunch- it's a tradition. He ended up being the only other "family" member to walk with Brian, Emily & I.  We went to lunch at Outback. It was yummy & we even splurged & got desserts.  MY brother was also part of the team but ended up being sick that day so couldn't walk.  Dawn a girlfriend of mine from High school was also on the team,  we had a great time chit chatting,  it really made the walk go fast.  I think having a walking-talking buddy is best! :) Anyway... like I said, it was a great day!!!! Thanks to everyone who helped us raise so much money for the March of Dimes... you guys are all awesome, next year join our team & walk with us too! :) xo