Do it with Passion.

Gloom and gray. Candles and hot tea. This has been the past couple days. I loved waking up to a thick blanket of fog, although I didn’t like driving in it.

Yesterday was such a busy day! Most of the preschool day was spent reading (I probably read about 24 books with kiddos on my lap), played a wedding at the Cathedral downtown, and fought my way home through over an hour of traffic and a storm. I ended the day with a Costco trip with my mom, and a pink bubble bath. Highlights of our Costco trip were the massage chair (which we didn’t buy), fuzzy slipper socks, a new stainless steel measuring cup and spoon set, and a new brand of unsweetened almond milk to try!

Today I started Bellydance classes as a reward to myself for my Egyptian hip scarf finally fitting (you can see me pictured above in full Bellydance garb). This was so exciting for me, and even though I obviously have no abs (working on that), I am really thankful for how far I’ve come. I am so amazed that 6 months ago I could barely tie this hip scarf around my waist, and  I’m curious to see what changes are in store as I tackle these last 13 lbs. Sticking with my program has definitely been less of a struggle this past week and a half, but this onset of wintry weather makes my walks more uncomfortable, and it also makes me feel more lazy…..So today, I would like your input. What are some good home exercises to get in shape during these cold months?

Also, in this busy season of life, I am constantly reminded to live life passionately. To do my best in everything I do, to live with purpose, and to not always take the easy road, but the one which will teach me to grow. I fail so often, but I am learning!

Stay warm 🙂

Stop and Smell the Roses.

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Stop and Smell the Roses. Such a pretty little statement, and one I think we could all benefit from once in awhile. Life is so fast-paced and stress-packed that we forget to enjoy life and the things and people we love!

Yesterday evening I enjoyed baking. Not to eat, but as a gift, and for my own pleasure. I didn’t lick a finger, or eat a cupcake, and I’m proud of myself for that! And guess what? I really didn’t miss out on anything! I enjoyed the whole process with its tactile and creative aspects. I enjoyed how the house smelled warm and of lemon cake. I blasted my favorite music – Bon Iver, Hozier, and Alasdair Frasier, with a little Rihanna and DNCE (“Cake by the Ocean” of course) thrown in there. Pictured above are lemon cupcakes with Bonne Maman Blackberry Preserves filling, frosted with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and gilded with a little edible gold. I also have a BUNCH of these, so if you want to come eat some, let me know!

It astonishes me almost daily that I am not a slave to my desires or my cravings, and I am being rewarded in the best ways possible – energy, enthusiasm for life, no colds or flus, no seasonal asthma or allergies, and structure I previously lacked. In life I am learning to let go of expectation and just enjoy the ride, and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Even though switching to a ketosis phase hasn’t been easy, I have finally started losing weight again, and I am having fun crossing numbers off the weight loss wall I made in my closet. But a reminder to myself and those of you out there who also have or are struggling with your weight; it’s not about the numbers! It’s about being the healthiest you you can be. I am still about 16 lbs. away from my goal, but I feel better than I ever have, and that’s what counts.

Anyway, that’s not really what I wanted to write about today, but since I started this blog with the purpose of talking about my weight loss, I figured I had to put that in there somewhere. Today I want to share some of the things I love best:

Fresh cut Peonies.

Friendship.

The way curtains dance in a soft breeze.

Hot tea on a rainy day.

Fuzzy blankets.

People who live life passionately.

Laughter.

Farm fresh eggs and milk.

Music made from the heart.

Dancing.

Exploration. Creativity. Imagination.

The feel of cool silk against the skin.

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter (where have you been all my life?!)

The smell of a campfire in the woods.

…………Enjoy the things you love, friends. And happy Sunday!

The Little Things

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I love this time of year. I love the crispness in the air, the cool and calm mornings, the start of holiday festivities. I look forward to foggy mornings, and misty, deer-speckled hills. I look forward to twinkling lights, the day before Thanksgiving we spend in the kitchen, the crackle and warmth of a fire on a cold night, and the way the house smells like Christmas in December. And I am SO thankful. My life may not be exactly what I always hoped it would be, but I have so much to be thankful for.

The corn pictured above is such a sweet reminder to me to treasure others, to give with all that I am, and to truly appreciate the little things in life.

“Corn?” You might ask! Yes! The corn pictured above is significant to me because it was hand-gathered by a tiny girl who, amidst her fun time at the pumpkin patch, saw the corn, and thought to gather up as much as she could, stuff it in her pockets, and bring it to me at preschool for our Chickens.

It is such a sweet reminder to me to put others first, and consider their needs. We live in such a fast-paced, angry, anxiety-stricken, “me”-centered world, that we forget to think about others. I am incredibly selfish. But I’m working on it.

So, with that being said, I’m going to take a minute to share what I’m thankful for….

My parents. We are our own version of the Three Musketeers. The Three Stooges. I love how we have grown together over the years.

My incredibly wonderful, large, supportive family.

Real friends.

My work families.

All of the children in my life. They inspire me.

Health.

Amazing opportunities to work and expand my horizons.

The list could go on, but I’ll stop here.

Have a lovely day, my friends 🙂

 

 

 

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

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That’s the title, because that’s what I could eat right now……

Cookie butter or peanut butter fudge brownies, hot out of the oven with drizzly chocolate.

Cake.

A mountain of spaghetti with red sauce.

Waffles. Soooooo many waffles.

Amaretto Lava Cakes!!!

Mac and Cheese. Preferably from that brewery in Winters (Mamma, you know what I’m talking about).

A burger with truffle fries.

Hot Cocoa.

Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Watermelon?! What?!

I think you get the picture….wanting to eat everything is the result of working an intense 8 hour shift, hosting a pop-up boutique, and dancing the night away yesterday.

But I’ll be strong.  Instead, I will let my body work its magic and eat its own fat. I’ll sip my unsweetened coconut milk latte with cinnamon, and spend my time cleaning and getting my life in order for this next week. Because I’ve lost the weight equivalent of a tire, a bowling ball, and 12 sticks of butter, and that’s an achievement I’m not going to compromise for a moment of gratification which I’ll regret tomorrow.

That’s it for today. I’m still mulling over a couple deeper topics, but I’ll post those when I’m in a deeper mood. For now, what are some strategies you have found to help you be successful in avoiding snacking or eating just to satisfy your cravings? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Have a rejuvenating and joyful Sunday!!!