Thursday, November 28, 2013

The things I learned from two straight nights of baking Christmas cookies.

  1. When a recipe calls for a cup of dry roasted pistachios, chopped… do your damndest to find pistachios that have already been shelled.  It seriously cuts into your time when you have to shell a whole cup of them, and THEN chop them!!
  2. When the recipe tells you to bake for a certain amount of time, just trust them.  I over-did it with two batches of  cookies last night, just because I didn’t think they looked ready.  I was very wrong.  It’s better to be a lil gooey in the middle than too crispy.
  3. When the recipe calls for you to drop heaping tablespoonfuls on to the cookie sheet, don’t do it.  Roll them into balls, then flatten a bit with your fingertips.  Makes a much prettier, more uniform-looking cookie.
  4. When you make refrigerated dough rolled or shaped into logs, those end bits aren’t meant to be baked – they are meant to be eaten raw.
  5. I don’t care if eating raw cookie dough is bad for me.  Not in the slightest.
  6. If you’re counting cals, make sure to pre-allocate for a few taste-tests.  (I did not pre-allocate.  Which means I went way over my calories for two days in a row.  Whoops.)christmas baking 1
  7. You can TRY to trick your expert-baker-mother into believing your Cran-Pistachio cookies are completely homemade, but it won’t work.  She will definitely still be able to tell if there’s a whole package of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix in there.
  8. I don’t care what Mom thinks, I still 100% feel that the Cran-Pistachio cookies were my favourite out of all four varieties that I baked.  Betty Crocker-based or not.
  9. You can search high and low for new and different kinds of cookies, but none of them – absolutely none of them – will ever trump any of you mom’s tried-and-trues.  Trust me.   I’ve tried.
  10. Parchment paper is your friend.
  11. Don’t worry that the parchment paper will go up in flames in the oven.  It won’t.  (Even though I still don’t understand how it doesn’t.)
  12. Wax paper doesn’t work the same way.
  13. It is really, really hard to “gently swirl” melted chocolate into a chocolate chip cookie dough to give it a marble effect.  In fact, I consider it quite impossible. christmas baking 2
  14. Get those suckers into the freezer pronto or else you might eat them all in one night.  And if you are like me… you might also want to consider then pad-locking the freezer.
  15. Doesn’t matter if it’s the Biebs or Elvis, having a little Christmas music in the background makes the baking so much more enjoyable!

Next week, I will move on to swirling things into melted chocolate (ie, bark and fudge).  And I am sure more lessons will be learned.

Happy Turkey Day, my American pals.  I’m totally jeal!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My apologies, Mr. Weatherman. You were right. And I couldn’t be happier.

Yesterday, I kind of said some not-nice things about the weatherman.  I called him fickle.  And I said he was all about the hype.  All talk, no action, that silly ol’ weatherman is, I tell ya.

And while I do still generally believe those statements are true, I must make an apology to Mr. Weatherman today.

Because in this case… he was right.

So totally, completely, frigging right.

And I honestly could not be happier.

I love snow.  I love wintertime.  And while I’ve discovered a new-found loathing for being cold, it still has not deterred my absolutely adoration for this time of year.

I am that kid.  The one who is anxiously peering out the window at 10:00 PM before going to bed, begging and pleading with the skies to open up with a whirl of beautiful white flakes.  “Snow, you  sonofabitch… SNOW!!” I muttered last night before turning in, but I admit my hopes weren’t high.  When I went to bed, it was, in fact snowing, but nothing was really adding up, and I strongly doubted there would be the forecasted 20 cm on the ground when I opened my peepers this morning.

I was wrong.

snow 1 Looking out my front window at 7:30 AM

It was around 5:00 AM that I was wakened to deafening silence in my bedroom.  I lay there, very still, a little disoriented, wondering why it seemed so quiet.  It wasn’t until the power came back on and the fan in my room started up again that I realized the power had been off.

Mere moments later, I heard the first sounds of a snowplow rumbling by.

I jumped out of bed and cracked the blinds to peer out – and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a good foot of snow on the ground and more flying through the air!

It was pure and utter joy, my friends.  Pure and utter joy.

The morning of “the first snow” is pretty much the equivalent in giddiness for me as Christmas morning.  I’ve always loved that first snow.

And this one?  This one was pretty spectacular.  A real picture, my mom would say.  Like a Christmas card.  It was beautiful.  I was so glad I got to drive through town and into work before too much plowing and shoveling and sanding had taken place, to simply soak up and enjoy that pure, undisturbed, powdery-white magic.

When I put my Facebook and BBM status this morning as “Nothing makes me happier than waking up to the sounds of a snowplow!!! :D”, I quickly received a text from my sister saying, “Really??  You’re NUTS!!”

And I replied, “I don’t have far to drive.  And snow makes my heart sing.”

And that’s the truth, my friends.

I probably won’t love it so much when I have to haul out the shovel this evening.  I probably wouldn’t love it so much if I had any distance to travel to work every morning.  And by the end of March, I’ll probably be wishing it away, just like everyone else.

But this morning?  November 27th, 2013?

snow 2  View from my upstairs hall window

my heart was singing.

Thank you, Mr. Weatherman.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It’s Tuesday. Let’s get random.

  • I may be in a very small minority, but dude, I get so excited when the words “snow” and “storm” show up together in the weather forecast!!  Those fickle ol’ weathermen are calling for our first real winter storm of the season to start tonight, with up to 25 cm of the white stuff on the ground by tomorrow night.  I’m willing to bet it’s not as bad as they’re all predicting, though.  I firmly believe the weathermen are all about the hype.  Get me all excited for nothin’.

winter storm

  • I went to my nephew Caden’s hockey game on Saturday, and I was pleased to discover we have a little superstar in the fam.  I told him on the way to the game that I fully expected him to score 6 goals.  My mother instantly jumped in and said, “No, no, no – forget about scoring goals, just play hard.  That’s what matters most.  Being a good team player and working hard out there is more important than being a goal scorer.”  Then she glared at me, all like, Zip it, darling daughter!!!  And then buddy went out there and lit it up, scoring 4 goals in a big 10-2 win.  It wasn’t 6 like I asked for, but it was pretty close.  Kid made this auntie very proud. :)

caden's hockey game 2013

  • When I got home from Caden’s hockey game, I hauled out the boxes of Christmas decorations and the tree and got crackin’.  There was a light snow falling outside, and it just felt right.  This is the earliest I’ve ever decorated for Christmas, and I know some people would say it’s way too early, but honestly… I don’t care.  I love how my house feels when it’s decorated for Christmas.  I love how it feels to sit on my couch, cozied up in a quilt, with just the glow of the tree and candlelight.  I love the warm feeling it brings to my heart.  So no.  I make no apologies for decorating on November 23rd.

christmas tree 2013

  • I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m so very very excited for Christmas this year.  Yes, I realize that I’m always excited for Christmas – still very much like a 5-year-old at heart when it comes to the magic of the holiday season – but I feel like this year, it’s OK to really embrace it again.  Over the past three years, I’ve finally understood why some people dread the holidays, and can’t wait for the “festive season” to pass.  For many, it’s a glaring reminder of loved ones who are no longer here, an emptiness in their hearts, and the memories can leave an ache and sadness that I didn’t previously understand.  With the losses my family has faced over the past three years, I finally got it.  I still had my love for Christmas, but as the big day approached, I also felt apprehension, worry, and sadness.  These past three Christmases have been bittersweet in many ways.  This one, though?  This one feels exciting again.   Especially because we have three little ones who are right in the middle of that prime “Believing” time in their lives (including one little monkey who has just learned to say “Santa” as clear as a bell!)  It doesn’t mean I won’t still miss the family members who won’t be here.  Of course I’ll still miss them, very much.  But I feel more merry than I have for a few years, and it’s definitely a welcome feeling :)
  • Tonight, I’m starting my baking.  And I.can’t.wait.!!!  I have to make some cookies for the House Tour next Monday, and I’m really hoping I have success with three new recipes – White Chocolate Chip Cranberry cookies, Cran-Pistachio cookies, and Cinnamon French Toast cookies.  All are new for me, so I hope they turn out.  And I’m so looking forward to being in the kitchen with my Bieber Christmas CD blasting tonight!

holiday cookies

  • In the weeks to come, I have several other recipes to try out for different kinds of cookies, as well as the usual bark that I make every year.  I also found a different recipe for a bark that I think I absolutely have to try.  I’ll be buying more melting chocolate this weekend, I guess!!

cookie crunch bark

  • Someone does need to somehow stop me from eating excessive Christmas baking this year, though.  I don’t know how it’s going to be done, but I need to put some kind of restraining order on myself.  Last Friday, our neighbour here at the farm brought over a box of shortbread, and I attacked it like a crazy person.  Couldn’t stay out of it.  Zero willpower.  Had to have it evacuated from the office (after I’d already eaten about 8 cookies).  I’m so totally, completely doomed…
  • I know the obvious solution is to make no more than I intend to give away.  But that’s kind of impossible.  Especially when I love to bake/melt-chocolate-and-swirl-things-in-it at Christmastime.  And especially since I love to eat it.  And especially since I always end up making way too much.  Like I said… zero willpower.
  • I’m so so so ready to start watching Christmas movies and specials.  I actually already watched Elf (one of my faves) this past weekend.  It really never gets old.

elf (1)

  • Oh, I need to get my Christmas lights up outdoors still… maybe I’ll do that tonight before the baking extravaganza begins.   And also, before the first Winter Storm of the season begins.  squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Happy Random Tuesday, friends!

Linking up with Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It’s one of the most wonderful days of the year…



Last week, I heard the news on Hot 89.9 that Adam Levine would be named People’s Sexiest Man Alive.  Today, they made it official.

And may I just say… I concur.  100%.


Oh, and also, found this yummy pic on their website of another favourite of mine, Mr. Chris Pine.


So.  Yeah.  ermmm… what else was I going to talk about today, now?

Oh yes!  I’m writing again. 

I’m finally writing again.

And it feels great.  I don’t remember the last time I wrote anything other than a blog post.  But I was struck by inspiration on the weekend, and finally just started… writing.

It appears it’s just like riding a bicycle.  I was afraid I wouldn’t even remember how, but I finally quit thinking about it, and quit trying to come up with an outline, and just started to write.  I really feel like this time, I’ve found my voice.  In the past, I’d start to write something, and then realized it sounded just like another author I liked, or another story I’d recently read.  This time, I don’t feel like I’m mimicking anyone.  I’m being real – I’m being me.

The hardest part for me is to not write a paragraph and then instantly go back to edit it.  I’m trying to make myself just write and forget about it – we’ll edit later, Jill.  Another hard part?  Naming my characters.  I love naming  characters usually (in the past, I’ve named a whole cast of characters for stories, and then never taken it any further than that), so I’m not sure why I’m struggling this time.  Maybe partly because I’ve decided to tell it from a first-person perspective, and the bare bones of my idea are actually from my own real life?  It’s really kind of difficult to give yourself a new name, and then give names to characters who are loosely based on people you know in real life.

In any case, my goal right now is to not get bogged down by such trivial things.  I can change names later if the spirit so moves me.  I can change places.  I can change anything I want.

I’d forgotten how liberating it is to be creative again.

And I’m loving it.

Almost as much as I’m loving the Sexiest Man Alive. ;)

adam levine 5

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday randomness.

  • This day was an OK day. Riiiight up until the moment the underwire of my bra decided to poke out and stab me in the chest.  This is a problem I seem to have far too often, and is likely a direct result of me buying cheap-ass Giant Tiger bras.
  • A while back, I asked for recommendations on how to fix my insanely dry, chapped lips.  It took me weeks to finally get out and actually buy something other than the lacklustre lip balms I already owned, but once I finally did… ding, ding, ding, I found the winner!  I’ve been using Blistex Lip Medex in a little dark blue pot for two weeks now, and it has finally remedied that situation.  Soft, lovely, kissable lips.  (just an fyi, boy readers.)

lip medex

  • Current favourite song to belt out whilst driving in my car:   “We Were Us” by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert.  It’s kind of like country rapping, and I get the words wrong 94% of the time, but it’s a fun one to sing along to.
  • PS – I may now believe that I am Miranda Lambert’s voice twin.  She joins the elite ranks of Adele and Sheryl Crow, who I have also deemed to be my voice twins in the past.
  • I’m trying really hard in this post to not mention the word “Christmas”, since it is only the middle of November and I think I may have already talked about Christmas excessively in the past few weeks.  But it’s really hard not to talk about Christmas.  I’m so so so excited for it this year.
  • I’ve been getting up early a few days a week for the past month to get my workouts in.  You would think I’d be starting to get used to it, but I am not.  When the alarm goes off at 5:25 (which is actually 5:15 because my clock is set 10 minutes fast), I usually groan or shout something like “Oh, COME ON!!!”  Doesn’t seem to matter if I go to bed at 9:00 PM (way too early for me).  I am just not a morning person and I hate getting up that hour earlier.
  • I continue to do so, though, because I really love having my evenings free to do as I please.  And so far, that has outweighed my deep loathing for getting up an hour earlier.
  • I saw a report this morning that Billy Miller is leaving the Y&R.  Two months ago, I would not have cared because I had fallen off the Y&R train long ago, and didn’t anticipate hopping back on anytime soon.  But I got a PVR, and that coincided with the storyline revolving around Billy’s daughter’s tragic death on the show, and it hooked me.  Well… he hooked me.  And now he’s leaving? bah.  Sorry, Y&R, but I fear you’re losing me again!


  • Have I ever told you guys how much I love yoga?  I really love yoga.  Even when I can’t do the pose the way I’m supposed to.  I used to find that extremely frustrating, but now I find myself just rolling with it.  I’m seriously tossing around the idea of giving up a few of my days of cardio so that I’m doing yoga several days a week instead of just once.  That’s how much I’m loving it.
  • Two movies I’m looking forward to seeing:  Catching Fire & About Time.  I’m hoping for a few trips to “my happy place” in the weeks to come!

catching fire

about time 

I think that’s all she wrote for today, folks.  Have a good one!

Linking up with Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday!


Monday, November 18, 2013

This weekend, I…

… forced myself out of the house past 9 PM.  Both Friday and Saturday nights.  (A bit of a miracle, considering the relationship I’ve established with my couch and my PVR on weekends recently.)

… won “Best Dressed” at Girls Gals G’dolls on Friday night.  It was a fundraising ladies night that our local Lionettes hosted, and the theme was “Dress for your favourite decade”.  I admit, I wasn’t really into the dressing up part – but my friend Kerry had picked up a t-shirt, leg warmers, and shades for me, and then she & Leslie worked some ‘80’s magic on my hair, and BAM.  Best Dressed.  That’s how it’s done, folks.

girls gals g'dolls Photo courtesy of Dolan Art & Photography

(May I just say… yikes.)

… danced until my feet ached at GG&G.  I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun on the dancefloor!!!

… wanted SO BADLY to start decorating for Christmas, but just didn’t have the time.  Next weekend for SURE – I’m dedicating my whole weekend to Christmas!


… had a hair appointment, and did my usual “Fall/Winter” change-up.  Brown lowlights instead of blonde highlights for a few months.  I’m happy to be giving the blonde a break.

… did a little more Christmas shopping, and also picked up most of what I need for my Christmas baking (or, as I like to call it, Christmas chocolate-melting.)  I’m going to try out a few new recipes that I found – cran-pistachio sugar cookies, white chocolate & cranberry cookies, and white cookie fudge – along with my favourite barks.  I’m hoping these are more successful that my dismal attempts at shortbread the past few years.

christmas baking

… went out to Gavan’s for the first time it what feels like forever.  It was a pretty low-key night for me, but I got a few dances in, chatted with some peeps I haven’t seen in a while, and had a few laughs.  It was fun to be out again at “my ol’ stomping grounds”. :)

… stayed at Gavan’s til the lights came on.  Which might’ve been a mistake, because this old lady spent hours Sunday afternoon napping on the couch to make up for it.  Wasn’t even hung over… Just tired.  Apparently not used to those late nights anymore!

… went to church and had a fundraising meeting afterwards.  We’re gearing up for our annual Christmas Tour, which I’m so looking forward to!  We have five places on the Tour this year, and each are so unique.  For me, the Christmas Tour is always the official “kick-off to Christmas” and it’s now only a few weeks away!  Woo hoo!


… managed to stay awake long enough into the Sens’ Sunday matinee game to see my buddy Kane on TV!  Kane is my niece & nephew’s cousin, he was at the game with his dad and he was the lucky recipient of a puck, and also made it onto the Jumbotron at the game, as well as a picture & write-up on the Ottawa Citizen’s website.  I slept through the rest of the game (and quite frankly, didn’t miss anything because it was a real stinker for the Sens), but I was happy that I didn’t miss Kane! :)


… watched my first Christmas movie of the year.  Well, not really a Christmas movie, but I always associate Little Women with Christmas, and I loved sitting down to watch it last night with my mom.  I hadn’t seen it in years, and it brought back fond memories.

… marveled at how easy it must’ve been back in those days to find a husband.  Dress up in a frilly dress, go to a party, dance with a boy, and then BOOM – he says, “Will you have me?”  Oh, so much easier than nowadays!!! *sigh*  (Thank you, Little Women, for making me wish I lived back then. lol)

… might have actually come up with an idea for a novel.  As some of you know, I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I’ve struggled to come up with what I consider to be an interesting & unique idea.  Believe it or not, I think I’ve finally found my inspiration, and I have Little Women to thank.  Specifically, Jo’s beau Friedrich Bhaer.  He kept telling her to “write what you know” – and while this isn’t a new tip to me, it finally did trigger something in my brain.  Stay tuned… ;)

Have a great week, gang!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday. The day to confess.

FRIDAYYYYYYYY!!!  My favourite day of the week!!!

Let’s get some the confessions out of the way before the weekend commences, shall we?

Friday confessional high heeled love 

Linking up with Aubrey @ High-Heeled Love :)

I confess… that I didn’t think they could top Channing Tatum for Sexiest Man Alive this year.  I was so excited when he was given the prestigious title from People last year, and I seriously doubted whoever followed could match up.  But I was wrong.


I confess… that hearing the news on the radio this morning that Adam Levine is the successor to the Sexiest Man Alive throne was pretty much the best possible way to start a Friday.  Couldn’t agree more.  Adam is so so SO sexy.  And also the main reason I’m still watching The Voice.



Adam Levine normal_stripped03

I confess… that I’m fighting an internal struggle this week.  You see, I’ve gotten in the habit of not going out anymore.  A good Friday or Saturday night for me now consists of my pj’s, the couch, and either a movie, a hockey game, or the PVR.  I have zero desire to go out like I used to.  The problem is the fact that my living room does not happen to be filled with eligible handsome bachelors…  which makes the whole “meet a man & have babies” plan rather difficult to achieve.  SO I need to force myself to go out.  Even though I really don’t want to. bah.

I confess… that tonight I’m going to Girls Gals G’Dolls, which is a ladies night that our local Lionettes host.  Um.  Probably not going to help me with my plan up there, either.  But at least I won’t be on my couch, or wearing pajamas.  Baby steps.

I confess… that I felt all accomplished for buying two small Christmas gifts last weekend, and really felt “ahead of the game” this year, especially since I have my list made and know pretty much exactly what I’m getting everyone.  But now, a week later, I’m all like “AHHHHHHHHHH CHRISTMAS IS 40 DAYS AWAY AND I HAVE 2% OF MY SHOPPING DONE AND NO BAKING SUPPLIES AND NO MONEY AND WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO?!?!?!?!??!?!”  Ah, what a difference a week makes.

I confess… that the time is coming when I get jealous of Americans because they get to have Thanksgiving soon.  I really think we should all get two Thanksgivings.  It’s only fair.

I confess… that I’ve made it a personal goal right now to work on not being jealous of others.  I like to think I’m a happy person who doesn’t get bitter when others have or do things that I don’t have or can’t do, but it’s just not true.  The green-eyed monster gets the best of me more often than I’d like to admit.  And I know I can’t make it go away completely, but I’m going to try and focus on recognizing it, and telling it to go away – I have plenty to be thankful for, and that’s all that matters.  It’s on my list of “self-improvement goals” to work on.

*EDIT* I realized after posting this that I unknowingly said I was jealous of Americans, then in the next breath said I’m going to try stop being jealous of people.  Whoops.  bahahahahahaha!!!!

I confess… that I’m stumped with trying to find new/different Christmas baking recipes to try out this year.  For the past few years, I’ve made the same things, and none of it is spectacular.  And there’s no point in trying to make the stuff that my mother already does so well – why attempt to re-invent the wheel?  But every Pinterest recipe or collection I pin either doesn’t live up to my expectations, or it’s something my mom already does.  Totally, completely stumped.


I confess… that I’ll probably just end up making bark again this year.  Melting chocolate and swirling things in it seems to be the only kind of Christmas “baking” I have any success with!

Peppermint Bark

I confess… that I’m already looking ahead to next weekend, because I plan on putting up my Christmas decorations.  This will be the earliest I’ve ever done it.  But I just can’t hold back any longer this year.  I feel like Christmas joy is just flowing through my veins and I.can’t.WAIT!!!!!!

Lance Cardinal Elves 1

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday things to think & smile about.

Yesterday was a good day.

Today?  Not so much.  Again, nothing terribly wrong or bad… just… not walking on sunshine like I was yesterday.

So what do I do to lift my spirits?  I head to Pinterest and take stock.  Here are some of the things I saw that have made me smile, or brought me peace, recently. 

Because life’s too short to walk around feeling cranky, anxious, or burdened, right?  Right.

Enjoy. :)

pooh quoteI’ve kinda been hanging out in my corner of the Forest for a long time now… starting to think about venturing out again.

t-shirt dec 25th

This is SO true!!!!

scott eastwood I did not know until recently that Clint Eastwood had a son.  But boy, am I ever glad I do now… Ladies & gentlemen, this is Scott Eastwood.  And I like.


Um… yes.  Unfortunately.  Please refer to Scott Eastwood up there. ;)

 dexter meme

Only Dexter fans can appreciate this one – I burst out laughing when I saw it!


SO true – I’ve got the exercising thing down pat, now if only I could be stronger with the food!!


An important one to keep in mind with the holidays approaching…

i like to party

Remember up  there, when I said I haven’t been venturing out of my corner of the Forest much?  It’s because of the napping.



his timing

I have to believe this is true…

And last but not least, absolutely my favourite thing that I’ve seen on Pinterest this week:


Look out, lads, here I come!!!!!!


Have a great Thursday, kids. :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Magic Number


I did it.

I. frigging. DID.IT.

I have officially hit The Magic Number.

(!!!!!!!!this is me tooting my own horn!!!!!!!!)

And I have to say, it feels totally, completely… surreal.

Was it really just last week that I declared it “Healthy November” in the hopes that maybe – just maybe – I would be able to hit The Magic Number before the Christmas season began?

I seriously didn’t think it was a goal that I would reach within a week and a half.  But man, does it ever feel good to finally BE here!!

Ten months ago, “being here” was just a dream.  A long-term, far-off, maybe-someday goal.  I stayed focused on smaller, more doable goals first.  And each time I reached one of those smaller goals, I started thinking more and more about the BIG goal.

I remember thinking towards the end of the summer, “Well… it’s only 10 lbs. away now.  Might as well go for it, right?”   At that point, I had already accomplished almost everything I had hoped to when I set out on this weight-loss and self-improvement journey last January, so it seemed foolish not to at least try to dig a little deeper and reach for the stars just one more time.

You would think by this point, I would be confident.  It was only another 10 lbs. But truly, I wasn’t.  I wasn’t confident at all. Any time I mentioned this goal of going for The Magic Number, I would tack on, “…if I ever get there”, or “…if it ever happens”.  I really didn’t know if I could do it or not.

My mom asked me last week, as I inched closer and closer, when I last would have been at this weight.  And I really don’t know that answer.  Early teen years?  Maybe Grade 7 or 8?  I was always a bigger girl, but during my teen years, my weight grew steadily, to the point that stepping on the scales was something I dreaded.  So I never did it.  I rarely weighed myself.

I honestly have no idea when I last might have been at this weight, but safe to say it was a long, long time ago.  About eight or nine years ago, I lost a pile of weight (mostly through dieting), but even then, I never got down to this.

So, as you can imagine, the fact that I am finally here … well, it’s kind of a miracle.  And I just can’t seem to wipe the goofy grin off my face!

It’s been a ride, this past year.  I’ve done things this year that I seriously doubted I’d ever be able to do.  I’ve made myself proud.  I feeling like I’ve really changed, and all for the better.

I’m all kinds of happy right now. :)

And do you know what the best part is?  Despite what this post is about?  The further I’ve come, I’ve realized how the numbers really aren’t so important anymore.

Even though I was giddy to see that Magic Number surpassed this morning, I can honestly say I’m no longer stressing about numbers at all.  It’s not really about that number on the scales or the measurement of my waist/hips/chest/thighs anymore.

It’s about the confidence I’ve gained.  The fact that I can put on a pair of leggings and feel comfortable wearing them in public.  That I no longer walk around a clothing store and fill my cart with extra-larges because I just can’t believe I fit into a size smaller.  The fact that I no longer try to hide my “spare tire” beneath an over-sized sweater.

It’s about the fact that I can now look in a mirror and smile and be happy instead of disappointed and self-conscious.

This is all new to me.  So totally, completely new.

This might sound like bragging, but I really hope it doesn’t, because that’s not what I’m trying to do, nor am I trying to make anyone feel bad about themselves.  I’m far from perfect.  There are still many flaws; still many areas to work on.  I’m not “done”.  The goals may have changed and have been re-focused now, but I don’t think this is something that will ever really be over.

But I am happy right now.  In this moment, I am so happy.

And I know I sound like a broken record here, but… I just can’t wait to see what comes next. :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Tuesday Random

It’s Tuesday.  The perfect day of the week to go random!

  • Things people don’t tell you when you say “hey, I’m going to lose 75 lbs.”:  that after you do, you’re going to FREEZE.  I swear, I’m alwaysalwaysalways cold now.   We used to fight over the thermostat in this office – Sue & Lindsay on the “it’s too cold” side, and the rest of us on the “someone turn on the damn air conditioner” side.  I have officially switched sides.
  • I should really apologize to Lindsay for all the times I told her there was something wrong with her, and that I thought she was part lizard or something.  And I really would apologize to her, except I’m too busy trying to crawl under her desk to huddle by her space heater.

space heater

  • PS – to the family member who has my name for Christmas that might be reading this… I forgot to put down that I need a space heater for under my desk.  Please & thank you.
  • Despite my new-found loathing of the cold… snow still excites me.  I think snowflakes are just about the prettiest things in the whole wide world.


  • There is just something about this time of year – that pre-Christmas “calm before the storm” – that I adore.  It’s this magnetic draw to hunkering down on the couch with my quilt, steaming cup of tea or hot chocolate at my side, and a good book or movie (or both).  No real panic yet, as there’s still plenty of time to get the shopping done and the Christmas cards mailed and the baking in the freezer… it’s just time to soak up the quiet, still moments that the early dark and the first cold bring with them before the madness explodes.

Cozy-Cabin-Posters except that I don’t live in a cabin with a fire place or a dog, and I don’t live on the water, and I don’t have an old rocking chair.  I just like this picture I guess.

  • I admit, though, that I have been in a “book slump” for a few weeks.  I haven’t been doing much reading at all.  It’s been nagging at me that our next Book Club meeting is in early December, and I hadn’t yet flipped the book open. So I finally did it last night.  With the PVR set for The Voice, my dishes and laundry done, and Yoga class over, I finally took one of those precious, sacred hours on the couch with the quilt and the book, and I immersed myself in Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.  And it was much-needed.


  • I’m on a Dexter hiatus.  I know. It’s sad.  But I made a deal with myself.  I just finished Season 5, and I’ve made the difficult decision to hold off on buying the next season until the new year.  I need to save my money for Christmas shopping, and I’m going to be too busy anyways with Christmas festivities – decorating, baking, watching holiday specials, spending time with family and friends – to be with Dexter.  It only makes sense.  Even though I’ll miss him.

Dexter christmas See you after Christmas, Dex.

cowboy quiche

  • The best part about finally hauling my butt out of bed early in the AM to get my workouts done is that I now have time in the evenings to play around in the kitchen!   In the weeks to come, I’m looking forward to making spaghetti sauce, chili, hamburger soup… yum!!
  • Have I mentioned yet how much I love this time of year?  Man, I love this time of year. :)
  • except for the cold.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Linking up with Stacy Uncorked for Random Tuesday!!