Skinny Scrapbooking

Honey, I’m ho-ome.  Did you miss me?  First, let me start by saying that I appreciate your patience and your loyalty.  Second, I know I said I was going to post a picture of myself each week of my weight loss but I’m not going to now.  You can’t really tell I’ve lost weight, actually you can’t tell at all.  So you will have to wait until there is a noticeable difference.  It could be a while.  I will keep you updated on my progress though.  Lucky you.

The last 2 weeks have been a bit difficult.  It didn’t go by without a struggle.  As you know, I went to a scrapbooking retreat for 3 days.  Let me tell you, that really put me to the test.  Let me also tell you that there was enough food to choke a horse.  And alcohol.  And….food.

There was this.  It was pretty much on this table the entire time:

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I took 2 cookies in a three day span.  And if you know me, that is really, really good.  But damn, I wanted that thing on the right so bad.  With it’s yummy cream cheese filling and Lord knows what else.

So, instead I snacked on this:

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Ok, so I ate a LOT of hummus, but it was definitely the better choice over potato chips and brownies.  I also ate a lot of veggies.  I have never been so “regular” in my life.

Friday night was pizza night, with salad.  I had a crapload of salad and a piece of pizza.  Ok, 2 pieces of pizza.  I know.  Not good.  But I am a 3-4 slice girl so in reality that is pretty good for me.  I just love to eat so much.  Generally, I eat more than DH.  That is why his stomach is a flat as a washboard and mine, well, isn’t.

Then there was the free breakfast buffet at the hotel.  I’m not talking danish and bagels either.  There was the whole kit and caboodle.  Three of my favorite breakfast foods were present: sausage, bacon and home fries.  There was even an omelet station.  I took not one single item from the “Food with Actual Taste” section. This is what I had both days with a side of fruit:

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As for alcohol?  Not one drop of wine.  But lots of drops of this:

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I had a free ticket to drink up because it said “Light” on the label, so I  had 2 glasses.  Ok,  I lie.  It was more like 4 glasses.  Each night.  4 BIG glasses.  As well as calories, it also must be light on the alcohol because after 4 glasses I didn’t even catch so much as a buzz so it was a complete waste.  I should have stuck to water.

Saturday morning I spent 45 minutes in the hotel gym.  All the while missing some really great scrapbooking demonstrations that the hostess was giving.  But I worked out.  Here I am on the incumbent bike.  I also did the treadmill and the elliptical.  I burned off 2 glasses of margaritas.  I know.  It’s a load of crap.  But I guess it’s better than nothing.

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So to recap.  I ate more than I wanted but less than I would have.  The same thing goes for alcohol. I worked out once.  Should have been twice.  But that’s ok.  I was there to scrapbook and be with friends.  As my girlfriends not so nicely put it.

When I returned home, I worked out every day (ok, I skipped Friday — big mistake), didn’t drink (oops, except Monday night — thank God for Bethany Frankel), ate enough vegetables to keep the farming industry in business for another 10 years and kept all bad, fattening and basically any food with flavor away from my mouth.  I am reading labels like a novel and giving the kid a hard time about all the crap that goes into HER mouth.  Let’s face it, she hasn’t taken after her dad in the eating department.

Oh, and I drank so much water, I felt like a fish.  Do fish actually drink water?

Oh, and I’ve lost 3.8 pounds.  I think that’s pretty good if I do say so myself.  I deserve a glass of wine.  Oh, oops.  I can’t.  Not for another 4 weeks.  It’s going to be a long month.

Pardon the Interruption


Ok, I said I was going to start doing “Interactive Friday” but after thinking about it, it’s really a stupid idea so never mind.  I’m still finding my way in the blog world so bear with me.

What I am going to tell you is that today will be my last post for a week or so.  I am leaving for a 3 day fun-filled girls scrapbooking retreat and will not be posting because I’ll be busy being creative, drinking Skinny Girl Margaritas (no wine, I promise) and laughing so hard I may pee my pants.  Oh, and trying to cope with all the food and liquor that flows at this thing and being really, really strong and not eat or drink any of it.   (Note:  There is this one chick who works for a liquor company and she sets up a bar in the corner of the room for all to share.  Pray for me).

I have packed my bag with carrots, low fat pretzel sticks, hummus and clementines if I feel the need to nosh on something.  I also have packed sneakers and workout clothes to actually use the gym they have at the hotel.  This is my 3rd year doing this and I’ve always walked by the gym, laughed and said, “yeah, right.”  Well, this year I will be the one being laughed at.  (Sorry roomies, it’s true.  Suck it up.)

So getting back to why I am taking a week’s break.  I can hear you say, “but you are only leaving for 3 days.”  Well, just so you know, when you have a blog, you get really annoying spam.  But one certain piece of spam was actually really helpful and talked about SEO and keyword rich content, blah, blah, blah. I used to be part owner of an online scrapbooking store.  I pretty much created the entire website so I should know better.  I know about SEO and keywords.

So, I am taking this opportunity to make my site better.  For me.  For you.  For everyone.  I would like more people to see me and I know what I need to do to achieve that goal.  The problem I have right now is that I am constantly thinking of things to write about.  And I am forever jotting notes, talking into my recorder or typing on my laptop.  Real honest-to-God writers must go absolutely mad.  I never get the time to do any real constructive work on my site.  Or clean my house.  But that’s another story.  In a nutshell, I’m really bad at managing my time.

I know you didn’t really need to hear all this boring crap, but to make a long story short (or is it too late?) I’m taking a break to better my writing skills, be funnier and make my blog more appealing and searchable.  Make sense?

I’ll miss you.  Try not to miss me too much.  I’ll be back.  Thank you for your patience while we are under construction.  Have a nice week.

The Death of a Habit?

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I was on Facebook today and I saw that a friend posted this article about the dangers of drinking. Here is the headline:

Even Moderate Drinking Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

Oh dear God.  If this is true, then I am a dead woman.  Basically, the article talks some shit about how even having a glass of wine a day can increase your risk of getting cancer by, well, a lot.

I am one of those people who has a glass of wine every night.  Ok, maybe not EVERY night.  Let’s say the average month consists of 30 days.  I drink wine about 28 days a month.  And about 22 of those days I have more than just one glass.  The odds are not in my favor.

So here I was using the excuse to drink red wine because it was really good for your heart and since I have high cholesterol I thought it was great because I would just have a glass of wine with my steak (total run-on sentence — sorry).  Except now the cancer risk outweighs the heart healthy part.

It’s funny because my mom has been telling me for years about this cancer/alcohol link.  I pretty much just roll my eyes and open a bottle of my favorite Cabernet.  You have to understand something about my mom.  She reads everything and watches CNN like it’s the only show on TV. So, every “new” development that comes up, which is pretty much every day, I’m sure to know about it.  The most ridiculous thing like breathing can cause lung cancer.  Ok, I’m kidding.  But shit, everything gives us cancer these days.

If I listened to everything my mom told me, here are the things I would have to give up:

  • Cooked meat  – Have you ever had an uncooked hamburger?  Yum.  Watch out for those tape worms though.
  • Sun  – An oldie but a goodie.  Slather on that lotion.  Or be pale and cold.  Your choice.
  • Mouthwash – In lieu of the recent study, this one should be a no brainer.
  • Vitamins  – Yup.  This is a new one.  Those antioxidants are serious bad boys.
  • Body lotion – Yes, even body lotion.  It can cause breast cancer believe it or not.  So, do we slather on lotion to avoid skin cancer, or go out in the sun without it to avoid breast cancer?
  • Alcoholic beverages – I have nothing to say except it just sucks.

So anyway, now that I’ve actually seen it in words, I’m suddenly freaked out.  Like, really freaked out.  I even went out to lunch with the family today and didn’t order a glass of wine.  That’s unheard of.  For some reason, I think any time I sit in a restaurant there is this rule that I have to drink wine.  So, I ordered water and I didn’t actually die.

Ok, so I can give up body lotion and mouthwash.  But wine?  There are no words.  I think I’m in mourning.  I’ll start my mourning on Monday, with my New Year’s Resolutions.

Won’t You Be My Friend?

10 things you need to know about me before you become my friend:

  1. I pee when I laugh too hard.  I’ve been known to run to the toilet and pee through my pants to save a carpet.  Just ask my best girlfriend P (“P”.  Haha).
  2. I love to eat.  I am capable of breaking the diets of close friends because I am a really bad influence.  Even if you think you are focused.  I’m not kidding.  Let that be your warning.
  3. I can be a bit of a hypochondriac.  Remember my eye dotty thing?  I really thought I would die and started planning my funeral in my head.  It was beautiful.
  4. I am laid back but prone to anxiety attacks (isn’t that an oxymoron?).  Mainly because I’ve eaten a pound of nachos with a shitload of sour cream for dinner and I’m afraid I will keel over of a heart attack in my sleep.
  5. Don’t tell my mother but I would prefer to watch The Housewives of NYC than the State of the Union speech.
  6. I am peri-menopausal and will wake up in a pool of sweat deeper than the pool at the “Y”.
  7. I have the memory of a goldfish.  You will find that out if you make plans with me and I forget.
  8. I suffer from FIMD — Foot in Mouth Disease.  I am extremely inappropriate, loud mouthed and obnoxious.  You never know what will come out of my mouth so beware.
  9. I snore.   Bring a pair of earplugs if you stay over because otherwise you will think someone is cutting wood with a jackhammer.  DH hasn’t slept since 1992.
  10. I think Robert Redford is hot even though he is so old he is moldy.  Oh, Hubbell.

Even after knowing all that, I hope you still will be my friend.  I’m really putting myself out there.  What do I need to know to be your friend?

I Am An Addict

Holy crap, I’m obsessed.  I can’t stop.  And I don’t know what to do about it.

The game is called “Scramble.”  Not Scrabble.  Scramble.  The little word game that comes in the form of an app that you can download to your smartphone.  The object is to make as many words as possible in 2 minutes and try to beat your opponent.

I know I have a problem.  Here is a small list of why I think so:

  1. When I should be cleaning the house, but I’m not.  I’m playing Scramble.
  2. Dinner needs to be put on the table.  But it’s not.  I’m playing Scramble.
  3. I should be asleep but I’m not.  Until 1am, I’m playing Scramble.
  4. The kid is speaking to me.  Do I hear her?  No, because I’m playing Scramble.
  5. I should be spending quality time with DH.  The kid is in bed.  We are sharing a bottle of wine.  But I don’t pay attention to him.  Because I’m playing Scramble.
  6. In the car.  Actually, no.  I don’t play in the car because it makes me dizzy.

The really fun part is I can spell bad words.  Like Ass, Shit, Shat and Damn.  It’s so much fun when I can spell out a bad word.  It’s like that thrill you get when you spell a word out with the numbers on a calculator.  hELL.  Ooh, what a rush.

There is a downside though.  This is what I see when I close my eyes:

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I lie there imagining words that I can make.  Sometimes I can’t turn it off.  Sometimes it drives me so crazy I could just about jump off the nearest bridge.  It’s like hearing Roseanne Barr singing one verse of the National Anthem over and over again in your head.

There are a couple of die hards that I play with.  I sit and play and wait for my opponents to take their turn.  Sometimes it can take hours.  What happened?  Are they sick?  Did they get hit by a bus?  Where are they???  Come on people, you’re killing me…..

The kid keeps asking me when I’m going to get sick of it.  Like Facebook, it’s so “yesterday.”  I’m like a crack whore.  I won’t get sick of it.  I can’t get enough.  Ooh, wait.  What’s this “Ruzzle” game all about?  Hmmm.  Maybe I should check it out.

reNOVAtion

The kid was talking the other day about how she can’t wait to get her license.  She’s wondering what car she will get to drive.  I have terrible news for her.  It will most likely be nothing short of falling into the category of a soccer-mom vehicle.

I base part of that decision on my own teen experience.  It was a circa 1970’s Nova and it had an 8-cylinder 350 engine.  No seventeen year old should be driving a car of that magnitude.  Especially not me.  Let’s just say, I went through a period where I thought I wanted to be a race car driver.  Not a good combination.  Like the elastic neckline, I think my mom was trying to kill me.

But this car was the bomb.  It didn’t have reverse, the seats weren’t bolted down to the floor board and the windshield was loose.  Every time I went over a bump when it was raining, I would get splashed in the face and my seat would lift up in the air like a ride at Disney.  It didn’t have a paint job, but it did have a Budweiser gear shifter.  I was the shit.

This Nova is similar to mine.  This one is on E-bay if you're interested.
This Nova is similar to mine. This one is on E-bay if you’re interested.

The only time I could get it to go into reverse was when the engine was cold.  And I mean ice cold.  Like the middle of February cold.  Any other time of the year, if I didn’t park where I could just pull straight out, I was pretty much screwed.  Unless there was a strong male walking by, I was stranded there until the following Winter.

I was really good at pulling donuts and burning rubber.  The engine was so loud, my friends could hear me coming a mile away.  I adored that car.  One night a friend of mine who was going to BOCES for auto mechanics told me he could fix my transmission.  Just like that.  I was all too eager to hand him the keys.  Without consulting my parents.

My good friend wrapped her around a tree that night.  He was ok, the tree was not.  And neither was my Nova.  As for me, I was grounded for a month.  And my baby spent the rest of her life in a junk yard being raped of her good lady parts.  Sniff-sniff.

And that is precisely why the kid will be driving a mom-mobile.  That’s a good enough reason for me.  What memories does your favorite car stir up?

Smile, You’re On Candid Camera

DH has this fixation with wildlife. He gets overly excited whenever he sees anything, including deer, walk through our yard.

For Christmas, my parents gave him a camera to capture this wildlife. He has it hung out in the back woods on a tree.  It’s motion detected so whenever something walks by, it snaps a picture. He is hoping to capture photos of coyote, red fox and even better…a big bad wolf.

Every few days he puts on his boots and coat and runs out there like a little boy on Christmas morning to pluck out the memory card.  He anxiously awaits while the pictures upload to his laptop.

It’s been about 6 weeks, and so far this is pretty much all he’s gotten.

SUNP0012

Poor guy. I mean the deer.  His curiosity must have momentarily blinded him and totally freaked him out.

As for DH, keep on trekkin’.  I’m sure you’ll hit pay dirt sooner or later.

In the meantime, I probably should buy stock in Duracell.

Broken Promises

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Happy New Year!  Or should I say Happy First Month of the New Year!  Like many, I wrote a list of new year’s resolutions for myself.  It looks like this:

  1. Start a blog
  2. Get a real job
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  4. Eat less
  5. Exercise more
  6. Lose weight

Honestly, I don’t think that’s too much to ask of myself.  So, it has been exactly one month and this is what I have accomplished:

  1. Start a Blog – Well, yes. I did.  Yay for me.
  2. Get a real job – Um, I’ve sent in my resume to 2 places and tried to teach myself PowerPoint.  Does that count?
  3. Eat more fruits and veggies – If you count wine as a fruit, then resolution partially achieved.  If not, then….no.
  4. Eat less – Actually I’ve stopped grazing like a damn cow all day.  Ok, maybe I haven’t stopped exactly.  Let’s just say I’ve decreased the grazing a bit.  That is less, right?
  5. Exercise more – I should rephrase that to say “exercise.”  I went for a walk on January 30th.  Unless I continue to do so, that would be a big fat N-O.
  6. Lose weight – Since I basically failed at 3, 4 and 5, I guess it’s obvious what the answer is to #6.

About 3 years ago, I stopped making new year’s resolutions.  Because this is what inevitably happens.  I barely make it past day #1.  I guess because my list looks about the same every year and let’s face it, this girl likes her food.  And more than 1/2 of my resolutions pretty much involve food or the act of reducing food.

But this year was going to be different.  I was so sick of walking by those damn store mirrors and catching a glimpse of myself and being startled because that woman looks like me but couldn’t possibly be.  What I really should have as a resolution is to stop looking at myself in store mirrors.  Stupid store mirrors.  Those suckers ought to make us look like we lost 10 pounds, not gained 10 pounds.

So, instead of tossing the entire list out the window, I am going to start again today.  I’ll let you know how I’m doing in a month.  Do Bloody Mary’s count as a veggie?

Pass the Soap

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I’ve got a bone to pick with the manufacturers of all automatic public restroom appliances.  Whether it be the soap and paper towel dispenser, the sink and even the toilet—they all suck.  For the record, they are not supposed to suck.  They are supposed to wash, rinse and dry your hands.

Let’s start with the soap dispenser.  Holy hell.  Spit some damn soap out, will you?   We stand there waving and waving.  If we are lucky, we may be rewarded with a teeny squirt enough to wash the tip of your finger.  3 minutes go by and you may have enough to actually wash an entire hand.  Forget about trying to add some water, that’s another 3 minutes.  I feel like I’m playing musical sinks running from one to another to get one that actually works.

And the automatic paper towel dispenser?  Again, they give you enough to dry half a hand, so we stand there and listen to the motor pump out an inch of paper at a time begging for more, only to feel like a total loser.  Nothing like INCREASING our carbon footprint.

One more thing.  Who likes to get sprayed in the nether regions when we least expect it?  I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of bacteria was just splashed at my hoo-hoo.  I find myself in a race against time to step away before it’s done its thing.  Too often I lose.

So, hear hear to the old fashioned pumps, faucets, flushers and manual handle turning of yesteryear.  Screw it if we contract flu or malaria.  It’s totally worth it.

That Sink-ing Feeling

I spent 5 hours cleaning the first floor of my house this past Monday.  No, I don’t clean my house like this every week.  It’s just that I hadn’t cleaned my house since before Christmas.  As you all know from this post — Manual Labor Was Invented by the Devil — I am not a fan.  But it was getting pretty nasty in here so if I didn’t want a divorce, I figured I should probably do something about the dust monsters under the couch and the Christmas tree needles, well….everywhere.

You know that feeling when you have completed the task of scrubbing down your house?  It feels really good.  But if anyone comes in here and walks around on the floor or messes up the soap dish, you want to kill them.

Every Monday night I get together with some friends.  I know.  It’s great.  I highly recommend it.  I left at 7:30 and got home at around midnight.  It was pretty late, so I went straight to bed.  When I came downstairs to help the kid with breakfast the next morning, this is what greets me:

photoLet’s see…I was gone 4.5 hours.  When I left, there were 2 people in this house and 0 items in the sink.  There are now 2 plates, 2 bowls, 6 glasses/cups, 1 pot, 1 spoon, 2 forks, 2 knives, 1 measuring cup, 1 wooden spoon, 1 rubber spatula, 1 serving spoon, 1 strainer, 1 pan from the toaster oven and 1 sink strainer basket that has mac & cheese, tomato pieces and strawberries in it.

There is actually an allergy to dishwashing machines.  Yup.  I looked it up.   Apparently it has struck 2 of the 3 people living here.  Hmmm.  I guess I shouldn’t complain.  These DID make it into the sink.  And that counts for something, right?  RIGHT?