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First World Problems

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yeah. It's me again.

I have a serious first world problem.

My name is Andrea. I'm 33 years old. And I have no clue how to dress my body.

*the crowd murmurs "hi Andrea"*

Okay so maybe that's not entirely true. What I mean is I have no CONFIDENCE in dressing my body. I hem and haw and spend hours if not days mulling over whether or not a fashion choice I make actually looks good, or if I am secretly making a giant joke out of myself.

This week my problem is my skinny jeans. I like them, a lot, and I think they look cute on me... BUT... it's getting colder... and the flats I've been wearing them are old and tattered and too big. I need replacement shoes. I WANT shoes that are a) cute, b) good for daily wear including walking the dog, and c) cover me up enough for fall.

I found a pair of ankle boots that were cute. I tried them on. They were all of the above except... I'm not sure they GO WITH THE SKINNY JEANS. And what bugs me the most about it is I CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY. There is an itty bitty gap between the top of the boots and the bottom of the jeans. My skinnies are long. I'm not sure if that tiny gap should be there or not! ARGH. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!

I think I'm fine with the actual clothing part... but... shoes? I feel like a lost puppy. Maybe I should just snag another pair of flats not dissimilar to my old ones. *sigh* Maybe I should stop wearing skinny jeans. HOW DID I GET TO MY 30s WITHOUT LEARNING THIS STUFF?! (I mean, I *know* how. My adoptive mom was a tomboy and so is my birth mom. ARGH. No wonder people wear Uggs and flipflops all the time. It helps you avoid making an actual shoe choice. *sigh*) I think it's ridiculous that it's upsetting me. I'm just feeling like there's a fine line between someone my age looking casual cute and someone my age looking like they're trying to be a teenager.

I guess I should have taken a picture and asked you guys. I was just kind of tired and upset and frustrated and it took me five years to convince my husband that you DO NOT WEAR WHITE ATHLETIC SOCKS WITH BLACK MEN'S DRESS SHOES, so he is quite literally NO HELP. "You look good even if you just wear a paper bag, dear." It's a very sweet sentiment but it doesn't help me decide anything.

I am super insecure about shoes.

I'm not really looking for help just need to vent.

A lot of the problem is $$$. If I had unlimited funds I would have a much easier time of it. But with the repairs to my car, and the new car, and Christmas coming... it's just stressing me.

Sorry for the down note post, peeps. It's amazing what will set me off these days. I'm so totally cool, calm and collected about so many things but then it comes to clothes and I'm like OH MAH GAWD WHAT DO I DO. Haha.

Anyway, thanks for letting me get it out. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AHTRAP 10/20/2014 10:55PM

    What if the 'dress' shoes are more like work shoes/loafers? Are white socks okay then? All these silly rules to remember...

hope you've solved your dilemma

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FINCHFEEDER80 10/20/2014 2:39PM

    P.S. Ran into a girl in the kitchen here at work who was wearing ankle length jeans and ankle boots. She was showing a little skin, if that helps you at all.

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UNSWEETMAMA 10/20/2014 11:42AM

    I wear Crocs every day. So, yeah. I'm wouldn't be any help if you were asking for it.

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FINCHFEEDER80 10/20/2014 9:50AM

    I am honestly no help at all. I also have a 29" inseam so it is extrodinarily rare that I have this problem. I enjoy wearing skinny jeans as well but I don't have any ankle length boots. Those seem to never really come in no or low heels. I have several mid calf, and I am always in search of a knee high pair I can actually zip up over my big old man calves. I'm going to go with everyone else, if you like the way it looks, it's comfortable and makes you happy, then roll with it. I think when you exude confidence and you own what you are wearing, then no one gives is a second thought! I would be such a shoe hound if I had unlimited funds!

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ANNABELLISABEL 10/19/2014 8:50PM

    Wear what you like! If you don't love that the boots don't cover your jeans, maybe opt for mid-calf boots, do what you're comfortable in.

My fiance says the same paper-bag line, so sweet but totally not what I'm asking for! lol.

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SGTCUPCAKE 10/18/2014 1:43PM

    I was curious about ankle boots too now that you mentioned it. Here is this blogger's suggestions:


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SGTCUPCAKE 10/18/2014 1:34PM

    Can you take pictures? I'm a bit of a fashionista and I get compliments daily on the clothes that I put together. It may sound like I'm bragging...but if you had seen how i dressed in high school (addidas pants and XXL t shirts...I didn't even own a real bra), I have come a LONG LONG LONG way. I'm a meaty girl, with thick thighs but I have learned how to balance skinny jeans with my top half without looking like a total pear. I personally think that ankle boots can be a little difficult to pull off if you are not rail thin (just my opinion).Would love to see a picture if you can take one.

Also, are you on pinterest? I get a lot of outfit ideas on pinterest. Here is my board:

By the way I have over 40 pairs of shoes so I like choices with skinny jeans :)
I like Knee boots with skinny jeans
Toms look great with skinny jeans too for a more casual look
Heels also work really well with skinny jeans BUT they are not really great for walking the dog

Let me know if you are not able to view the Pinterest board!

I agree with everyone else though, it IS about confidence. If you are unsure if the style you have put together may or may not work, then other people will sense it.

As for the money situation, how much can you afford to spend on a nice pair of LONG LASTING shoes?

Comment edited on: 10/18/2014 1:39:21 PM

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HONEYBEESBLISS 10/18/2014 1:00PM

    P.S. I pinterested it and found out that you ARE supposed to have a gap in some way most of the time with ankle boots...some people say it's wrong to have the jeans go over the boots but then there are others who say that's not wrong either...very subjective but at least I have more ideas for wearing mine!!! HAHAHAHAHA Mostly the secret is to not make your ankles look fat...if you do that you are correct no matter what you do. LOL ;-D

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CATTUTT 10/18/2014 12:56PM

    I fully sympathize with you and not wanting to look like you're trying to be a teenager. I feel so torn between not wanting to look older than I am, but not wanting to look like I"m trying to hard to hang on to lost youth. It IS really frustrating.

Hope today is a better day!

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HONEYBEESBLISS 10/18/2014 12:27PM

    LOL I'm not sure if the gap would be bad or not, but I am going to take a (what I think is) educated guess and say it's probably not an issue since lately there's a trend of rolling up the hem of pants to make a gap between your pants and shoes AND because there are ankle length jeans too that also create that gap on purpose. So I believe that it does work. Also I've seen them pair those shoes with dresses or shorts which to me feels weird but I think it looks cute on others, but on me nah...maybe 'cause I'm short I feel like it cuts me off weirdly.

Also from what I see of fashion watching things like Project Runway it's more about personal style than anything else. Sure there's always gonna be "guru's" who might say this or that is right and this or that is wrong but really for the average person it doesn't really matter. Plus I might have bad "taste" myself since some things I LOVE of PR and the judges won't like!!! HA! So who knows in a way. I think it's more subjective than anything else and things that used to be perfect fashion sense are now no-no's! Like they will roast a designer who is too matchy-matchy with accessories, yet I can't help but match most of the time so does that mean I have bad taste? Maybe if I was trying to be a designer on Project Runway!!! LOL But I'm me, you are you, and basically we all get to wear what we think looks awesome and own it! So if you love it rock it!!! If you hate it ditch it! But I don't think you have to fear looking like a teen, your taste is not teen taste so I don't think you'll accidentally do it, you'd have to go shopping in the juniors section and put on the loud crop tops with bow in the back with a huge opening in the back so that you can't wear a bra and tight loud leggings with those ankle boots to look like you are trying to be a teen!!! HAHA Mostly it's some of the more teen prints that you have to worry about, and also the junior stuff tends to be really revealing too. So don't worry about it so much and just do what feels awesome to you! It's about expressing YOU.

Also I wouldn't mind seeing a photo if you wanted to post one!

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WISHICOULDFLY 10/18/2014 11:12AM

    What a fabulous problem to have. No more "what makes me not look as fat" to "What fashion combo do I like the best on my smokin' hot bod?" emoticon on replacing fat woes with fashion ones! emoticon I want to have these "problems" too!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 10/18/2014 8:20AM

    LOL! I love hearing about such "problems" my dear.

You legs are looking amazing on the photos so you may not want to cover them up, but every consider a pair of long boots? So many cute options for that.

Or, just go with the tried and true flats!

Let us know what happens. The suspense is killing me....


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BUBBLEJ1 10/18/2014 4:03AM

    I wear my skinny jeans with my sketchers. In fact, I wear everything with my sketchers, including a maxi dresses. I almost wore a white pair on my wedding day, but my bridesmaid had a fit and told me not to. I'm on my 3rd pair and I think they are the best shoe in the whole world. I don't know if I'm fashionable or not. My critics are 5 and think that I'm the best thing since sliced bread.

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ICEDEMETER 10/17/2014 11:22PM

    OK, first of all, keep in mind the one thing that makes any outfit look like a great fashion statement: CONFIDENCE. When you put something on and look in the mirror and think "oh yeah - I'm rockin' this", then you're good to go! What is currently in style, or supposedly more suitable for a different generation, or whatever other thing is totally irrelevant - if you love how YOU look in it, then it is YOUR style.

The best way to be confident in an outfit is to feel totally comfortable in it, and to know that it is suitable for where you are. You wouldn't want to be wearing that hot anniversary dress and heels to walk the dog - but a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of comfortable booties? Yup, perfect.

You didn't get that feeling from those particular boots paired with your skinny jeans, so I'd be inclined to keep looking until you get the ones that you instantly love.

Personally, I'm old and chill easily, so wouldn't go for the "gap" between boots and jeans simply from the perspective that I would get cold. A pair of high wool socks would fix that quite nicely. That said - I love boots and have everything from hikers to knee-high stiletto, and wear ankle-boots with my skinny jeans (usually the ones with 1-1/2" heels), but mine go just high enough that there is no gap.

If you're still looking, then try some low-calf height boots, with a 1" riding heel --- comfortable enough to wear all day, even standing on concrete, but can go easily with any leg-width on a pant, or with a skirt or dress. When you find the "right" ones, you'll know it - with no question!

This whole "dressing the new body" thing does have its challenges...

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SCRAPPYGAMBLER 10/17/2014 10:40PM

    If the ankle boots/or skinny jeans were too short add a pair of long (thick) socks! I always wear a pair of Timberlands with a long pair of socks over my skinny jeans. They just look like they belong together also...what about gym shoes?

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LIVEDAILY 10/17/2014 10:07PM

    Breathe. This, too, shall pass.

A wee bit of advice: wear what YOU like wearing.

I love Crocs flip flops. I own a pair in navy, black, turquoise, red, yellow, lime green, pink, and purple. I won't wear them to school, but they're on my feet the minute I get home. I have a pair of dusty red cowboy boots, low. 2 pairs of Minnetonka moccasins, navy and brown. THREE pairs of sneakers/running shoes/athletic shoes. One pair of chucks, low tops. 1 pair of winter hiking/snow boots. What do I wear to school EVERY. SINGLE. Day? The athletic shoes, simply because my school is a 4 story building, and on any given day I can walk up and down the stairs of all 4 floors at least once and I HAVE to have comfortable, supportive shoes on my feet. Personally, I cannot comprehend how women wear heels all day, but that's me. If my feet are happy, then I'm a happy camper.

If you like wearing flats, then go and buy another pair of flats! TJMaxx, Marshalls, Kohls, and HomeGoods often have great shoes for less (that's where I got my Minnetonkas, 'cause there was no way I was going to pay $70 for a pair of leather flats!!) Flats look cute with jeans!

The ankle boots were probably just fine. Have you tried getting jeans in a "tall" size? They'd be a bit longer for you, and you might have enough play with the length that you could tuck them in a bit, inside the boot. But then I've seen women wear ankle boots with skirts - so, again, it's wearing what YOU like.

Yours Hubs is a sweetie.


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I've Become "That Person"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

You know. That person who loves working out. That person who thinks sweat is an accomplishment.

When did this happen?

It must have been slow and over time. Or maybe... just maybe... I really have found the workout that I truly love.

I know you guys have heard me ramble about my kettlebell and how much I love it. More than a month later and it's still true. I've stepped up my workout twice already! I bought my new best friend on September 2nd and have gone from doing an 8 minute workout to doing a 30 minute workout with 30 minutes of abs. I work out for an HOUR now three days a week. WTH?! And I FREAKING LOVE IT.

My weight is up, but my measurements are not up, so it's got to be muscle or water or something. I feel stronger, I am stronger, and it has been mentioned to me that I have more definition, even if I don't see it. My clothes certainly don't feel tighter, so I can't be screwing it up!

I did my first session of my new workout this morning. And I was SWEATY.

Look at my back!

I also had sweat rolling down my neck.

When I was fat, I hated sweating. It was gross. Now it's an achievement, a goal.

This is just more evidence that we all need to find the things we LOVE to do, and then it doesn't feel like work(ing out).

I love hiking, I love kettlebells. I'm going to just keep on doing what I love.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMONEKP 10/17/2014 12:37PM


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LOLATURTLE 10/16/2014 9:47AM

    Yay! I miss doing weights and such. Maybe I'll look for a routine I can do with just my two lame-o dumbbells I have at home. I love the pool, but the weight room at my gym is pretty sad. haha!

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AHTRAP 10/16/2014 9:14AM

    I must admit, I'm a little jealous that you've joined the ranks of those who have found your *thing*.

And while I applaud you becoming one of 'those people' (read in a snooty British accent, for best effect), one question remains - have you named your kettlebell?

I'm pretty sure that's the final step of irrevocable crossing over to the other side.

Hope I can join you and the rest some day :)

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LIVEDAILY 10/16/2014 3:18AM


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WEBEZE 10/16/2014 2:03AM

    That is so awesome that you found what you Love. I am still trying to find mine.

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ECCOVISION1 10/15/2014 9:09PM

    emoticon emoticon
That same passion is happening to me! I just love doing Pilates with resistance bands!

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STEPH-KNEE 10/15/2014 8:43PM

    You are emoticon emoticon

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READYRISA 10/15/2014 7:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MADMANSMAMA87 10/15/2014 6:07PM

    Awesome Job, Doll!!!


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MSBBYTHEBAY 10/15/2014 4:26PM


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FORZACHANDMATT 10/15/2014 3:36PM

    This is so inspiring!! So glad you found kettlebell - do you do your own thing or a class somewhere? And I sweat a TON too - I used to think it was gross too but now feel the way you do :)

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ARRREAGLES 10/15/2014 3:27PM

    I am going to agree with Cattutt and say it's awesome for you to embrace what gets you going. There is something so empowering about finding something you really enjoy doing, and then doing it. I mean, no one can say this is the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do, because you are the one who gets to reap the rewards and look amazing all the while doing it.

Great job, and keep doing what you're doing. It's amazing to be a part of it, just to read and enjoy the enthusiasm and excitement and joy.


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FOR_THE_DUDES 10/15/2014 3:18PM

    You should combine your passions. Do kettlebells in the woods! With Bingley! Seriously, another great, great blog.

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WIFE48 10/15/2014 3:01PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WISHICOULDFLY 10/15/2014 2:43PM

    AH. I want to join this club. I need to clear kettlebells with my physical therapist - maybe after my rotator cuff is better.I am so happy for you and glad that you kept with it. You are an inspiration!

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HONEYBEESBLISS 10/15/2014 2:36PM

    LOL It's weird to join the love it club when you used to be in the hate it club! LOL And it's awesome feeling to love it!

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CATTUTT 10/15/2014 2:34PM

    It's so bad ass that you've found what really gets you going. That's awesome! I'm kind of feeling that way about yoga, even though I have a LONG way to go to get good at it. And a whole half hour of abs blows my mind, so good job!

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MINEA999 10/15/2014 2:14PM

    I know what you mean! For the last 3 months, I've been doing a free weight and body weight exercise routine - a one hour workout designed by a trainer (and changed every 6 weeks for variety) - two to three times a week. And I've been going to kickboxing 3 times a week. And every time, I soak through my clothes. I used to hate it, but now that I've discovered I actually LIKE the weight lifting and kickboxing, it feels great. Like I've really accomplished something after an hour.

I haven't really lost any weight, but my shape is changing, people have mentioned it. And I'm feeling very 'strong' now.

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FINCHFEEDER80 10/15/2014 1:49PM

    Welcome to the club. The "I love to sweat" club! emoticon

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NETGYRL 10/15/2014 1:47PM

    Awesome! I know I have a kettlebell around here somewhere...

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100-lb Lost Reward Hike

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

(This blog brought to you in part by The Tea Party's "Luxuria")

I want to dwell in yesterday a little longer. I want to remember the overcast, cool day, the mountains and trees and sky, the moist chill in the air, the mist on my face as we sat by the pond.

The day started out slow. Mondays are bells days for me, and I really love bells day. I have a routine now. Up at 5, coffee, reading, maybe get some bookkeeping work done, have some nuts to get some energy. Around 6:15, get on my workout clothes, setup the PS3 to play YouTube, get my video set up, fill my water cup. I get my bell out in the middle of the floor and tie my sneakers. And then I work up a sweat. But this Monday didn't start like that, because I was finally, after 10 months of waiting, doing my 100-lb lost reward hike.

I took my time and packed my backpack: two bottles of water, homemade trailmix (half ounce of cocktail peanuts, 8 Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips, 3 dried apricots), a Lemon Zest Luna Bar, a small apple, an umbrella, a sleeveless vest, a pair of leather gloves, some Wet Ones, a small pocket knife, my sunglasses, and of course my phone to take pictures. I had made two cds of podcasts: The Instance and StarTalk Radio. I walked Bingley, hopped in the car, popped in the cd of The Instance, and got rolling. I wanted something more than music to accompany me on the hour and fifteen minute drive up the NJ Turnpike, something to distract my thoughts.
The drive was smooth, despite going through major construction, and as I drove from exit 3 to exit 9 I was pleased to see the state had planned wildflowers in pinks, whites and purples along the 'Pike as part of a beautification project. Which is a good thing, considering most people traveling through NJ travel this road, as it is also route 95, which as far as I know goes from Maine to Miami. So when people talk about NJ being cruddy, this is the drive they're talking about. I saw license plates from Texas, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Kentucky and a few more I can't remember.

I made it to my bestie's house and then she took over the driving. We stopped in Chester to have brunch, where I thoroughly enjoyed a Monte Cristo, which is one of my diner favorites. We chatted a lot: the sorts of conversations the ladies on Sex and the City often have, the type of stuff you can only really talk about with a bestie, with whom you can talk about almost anything. It wasn't far to the trail from there: we stopped at the visitors center to grab maps then drove to the Douglas Trail parking lot. After a quick pee break we headed up the trail!

(The beginning)

(Looking back the way we came)

(The freakin' colors)

(The giant stump)

I was super excited because I really wanted to compare it to the last time I did the same hike. It was October 2011, and I was 275 lbs. Yesterday I was around 165. So 110 lbs lighter than the last time. The difference was awesome. I can't remember too much of the hike from before, only that it took us almost 50% longer. We stopped a lot more the first time. The ascent was challenging, but not terribly difficult. We had to stop a few times for bestie to catch her breath, and she hikes frequently! I didn't feel like I *had* to stop, but the breaks were nice. I guess all the working out I've been doing has been conditioning me. On the way we saw a huge tree that had fallen, the base of which was taller than my 5'2" tall bestie. Further along we came by a stream. We climbed the 1150 foot elevation in about an hour and 15 minutes, moving from Douglas Trail to the Appalachian Trail and reaching Sunfish Pond. Once at Sunfish Pond we sat on a nice stone bench and ate snacks and chatted a while before traversing the rockiest part of our route, which was the part of the AT that skims the edge of Sunfish Pond. The rocks are large and loose, and you need to be careful, but there are trees close to the edge of the trail we used to help us move safely. Near the end of the section of the AT we were planning to follow is an area where people build little structures out of the stones. It was getting late, so we didn't stop to look. We finished the AT portion of the trail, and turned at Garvey Springs Trail.

(the stream)

(The colors of garnet and peridot)

(Appalachian Trail sign)

(craggy rocks)

(on the AT)

(Sunfish Pond Sign)

(Sunfish Pond from the bench)

(bestie with lichen covered rocks)

(rock structures)

Garvey Springs Trail is very steep, and it was slick from the leaves and the mist, and the rocks are loose. Yet I managed to make it to the bottom without injuring myself, which is a small miracle considering I fell twice and I am a super mega klutzoid. Like, seriously. I could be standing still and lose my balance. I blame it on having a ton of ear infections as a child and being top heavy. *shrugs* So the worst injury I sustained was a teensy tiny scratch on my ringfinger from a thorny bush. The descent, like I said, was difficult: I could really feel it in my knees and thighs, and I was a bit afraid of breaking a kneecap!
We got back to the car around 4 PM, making the round trip just over 3 hours. Not bad for 5+ miles and 1150 feet of elevation I don't think. I got home just after 7 PM and enjoyed a nice bowl of homemade chili, which was perfect considering I was chilled and tired. And let me tell you, a hot shower feels AMAZEBALLS after a long hike.

(red blaze)

Today I'm just relaxing as much as possible, and right this second I'm enjoying "Coco Paradise" from Graze, which is Belgian Milk Chocolate, Coconut and Dried Cranberries. Yum! The only plan for tonight is to manage to stay awake long enough to watch Agents of Shield.

Here's the menu for the rest of the week:

Tues: Chicken Paillards in Lemon Butter Sauce with White Rice and a Veggie
Weds: Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwiches w/ Mashed Potatoes and a Veggie
Thurs: Chili Spaghetti
Friday: Buffalo Chicken Thighs w/ Crudite and Baked Potatoes
Saturday: Soup, Grilled Cheese and Tossed Salad

SIDE NOTE: Tori Amos' "Mother" just came on my Spotify and my god how beautiful is her voice in the chorus?
Mother the car is here
Somebody leave the light on
Black chariot for the redhead DANCING dancing girl
He's gonna change my name
Maybe you'll leave the light on
Just in just in case I like the dancing I can remember where I come from

Hope your week is going well!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMONEKP 10/17/2014 12:33PM

    looks like a great hike

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LOLATURTLE 10/16/2014 9:45AM

    How did I miss this awesome blog??

Congrats on your amazing, beautiful, fun hike!

And, of COURSE, on your 110 pound loss!

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AHTRAP 10/16/2014 9:31AM

    Ooh, ooh, Tea Party...fantastic band! Funny thing, I just looked up to see if there was any recent news (since they called it quits ten years ago, after Seven Circles), and apparently, they're back (and have been active-ish since 2011??), new album out last month, and going on tour in Canada next month. (closest show on US Thanksgiving, sadly). Their original base was across the river from Detroit, but I never managed to catch them live back in the day.

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LIVEDAILY 10/16/2014 3:31AM

    Beautiful hike! Thanks for sharing such a special event with us!

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HONEYBEESBLISS 10/15/2014 10:41AM

    Your hike sounded wonderful!!! So happy for you that you got to do it!

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WISHICOULDFLY 10/15/2014 9:35AM

    I am so happy for you that you had this wonderful day with your friend making beautiful memories. This hike will stay with you for a long time refreshing your spirit. What a beautiful way to reward yourself for reaching your goals. emoticon

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ARRREAGLES 10/15/2014 5:03AM

    What they said. Only with exclamation marks.


Love those amazeballs times. Go you!

Thanks for sharing!


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SWEDE_SU 10/15/2014 4:28AM

    sounds like a beautiful hike, thanks for sharing!

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WEBEZE 10/15/2014 2:18AM

    What a beautiful hike. So nice to have a bestie to go with.

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CATTUTT 10/14/2014 9:28PM

    I am so excited to read this blog! The photos were fantastic and it looked like a beautiful trail. And I"m so glad to hear it was easier and more enjoyable this time. I hope it was worth the waiting you've been doing for it, although it sounds like it was. What a great experience to share with your bestie, and as a reward to yourself for all you've done.

Tori Amos is a taste I have acquired as I have gotten older. Didn't like her when I was young, now I love her. I'm weird. lol

Hope you're having a great night!

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ECCOVISION1 10/14/2014 9:05PM

    What a beautiful hike!
That is such a great reward for losing 100 pounds!
The great pictures inspire me to take a hike with my best friend Lila.

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FOR_THE_DUDES 10/14/2014 8:45PM

    No hyperbole here. This is the best and most inspiring blog I've seen on here. I absolutely love this 100 pound reward. You've mentioned it many times before, but seeing you do it, feeling your pride...I have to follow your footsteps. I'm going to sit down and consider what my 100 pound reward will be. (Still have 41 pounds to go.) I'm rooting for you. I'm celebrating with you. I'm savoring this victory with you.

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SPEDED2 10/14/2014 7:28PM

    Beautiful fall photos.

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BA5454 10/14/2014 6:51PM

    Gorgeous pics and super job on the hike! Love fall and hiking ;-). emoticon emoticon

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MSBBYTHEBAY 10/14/2014 5:44PM

    Your hike sounds amazing and your joyful face in the picture is lovely.

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NETGYRL 10/14/2014 5:15PM

    Your hike sounds like it was awesome! I am so glad you finally go to do it. Thanks for all the photos, it was fun to see as well and read about your adventure. Have a great week.

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JAMIRBLAZE 10/14/2014 5:01PM

    Great pictures - looks like an awesome trip! And yep, 95 ends in Miami on the southern end where I have been many times. Haven't made it to the northern end yet.

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MINEA999 10/14/2014 4:53PM

    Looks like a gorgeous hike - fall hiking is the best because of the colours! One day I'm going to have to make it out that way.

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GRACEOMALLEY 10/14/2014 4:48PM

    Gorgeous hike on a perfect hiking day and you definitely deserved this! You are rightfully proud of what you've accomplished and how far you have come! emoticon
Thanks for the pictures - and the travelogue and for sharing your outing with us!


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FORZACHANDMATT 10/14/2014 4:42PM

    This blog makes me so happy because I can feel your happiness - about being healthy and more fit and the fact that the reward is the hike - way to go! You are inspiring and the pictures are beautiful!

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JADED_CHICK19 10/14/2014 4:27PM

    Love the photos and congrats on an amazing job reaching 100+ pounds loss and on your celebratory hike!

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FINCHFEEDER80 10/14/2014 4:26PM

    This is totally something my bestie and I would do! Glad you had a great time, and thanks for sharing your pics. I hope you have a wonderful week as well!

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UNSWEETMAMA 10/14/2014 4:24PM

    What a fantastic reward for your achievement and comparison to how you did "before".

Thank you for the pretty pictures and for taking us along.

(Edited for spelling. Doh.)

Comment edited on: 10/14/2014 4:25:05 PM

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Portuguese Lesson #4

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Today we talk about the WEATHER!!!!!

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FOR_THE_DUDES 10/13/2014 9:28AM

    What a great setting to learn in. I've noticed this when I've seen people speak Portuguese in the past. It sounds so very different than Spanish. I know it, like the other Romance languages, looks similar to Spanish when reading it, but Portuguese just sounds different. Almost Russian maybe? Anyway, thanks again!

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Weekend Ramblings

Saturday, October 11, 2014

(this blog is brought to you in part by Florence + The Machine's Bedroom Hymns)

I'm going to delay my vlog until tomorrow when the weather's better, because it's really cruddy and muddy and I have 2 dogs to watch today (watching Bossman's dog) and I think what I'm going to do is drag them to the park with me and tie them up at a pavilion of I can snag one.

Last night I stayed up late having a fantastic chat with a friend and watching Bill Maher's HBO special, so I didn't get to bed until midnight, and 5 am comes early. Then I realized I was out of coffee. Boo. But still woke up in a dang good mood and have been pretty chipper all day. Despite some of the crap going on, life is pretty good. Isn't it nice to have friends with which you can discuss your passions? Especially super nerdy passions like books and geometry and physics and art and architecture and stuff like that. (Nerd alert!)

So this morning I went to the Collingswood Book Fair with Underling Josh. The weather, like I said above, was cruddy, so they had it inside the middle school and high school, which are right next to each other. The used books were outside under the covered walkways and in tents, and the new books and their authors were inside the buildings. We started with the used paperbacks. TEN FOR A DOLLAR. Uhm, yes please I'll take ten book for less than a cup of coffee. There were actually several things I was interested in for that price. I got:

- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K. Dick (this was made into Blade Runner the movie)
- Othello and A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare (Othello has been a theme in conversations I've had this week)
- Firestarter, Duma Key and The Dark Half by Stephen King (I like Stephen King well enough to pay 10 cents for his books or borrow them from the library. I really like how good is is at writing a sense of dread/unease)
- Micro by Michael Crichton (He can't end a book for sh*t but I like him)
- Slayride and Driving Force by Dick Francis (These are private detective mysteries with a horse racing theme)
- Into the Green by Charles de Lint (I've heard nothing but good things about Charles de Lint so I figured for a dime I could check him out)

Awesome, right?!

Unfortunately though, I had planned on getting a soft pretzel from The Philly Pretzel factory. This would be fine except the minimum you can buy is 3. I was so hungry (since it was noon and I hadn't eaten since 7) that I ate two of them. I'm going to push my lunch back a while and eat a light dinner. Yeah, that's about 600 calories of no nutrition at all, and 2 days worth of sodium. Meh. I'll burn it off Monday on my hike.

It was really nice to have a real conversation with Josh today. His wife went through something very similar to what my husband is going through right now, so he has some insight. He tells it how it is, instead of smoothing over stuff. It really helps. In the meantime, I'm just throwing myself into things I enjoy, like art, architecture, writing, and other stuff. I'm awash in a sea of beautiful things right now, and I'll ride that wave as long as I can, taking everything as it comes. Because I'm not going to sit around and be miserable in the prime of my life. I'm going to enjoy this time as much as I can. I'm going to really take the time and savor every minute of it. Because if you don't enjoy your life, are you really living?

Still tracking, still rocking the bells workout. In fact, I might even step it up again next week. I'm not saying what I'm doing is easy, but I'm really ready to work harder and see some visible results. I'm definitely getting stronger. In just over a month I've moved from an 8 minute workout to a 30 minute workout plus ab work. What I might do is a longer, harder routine MWF, with ab work on TR to balance it out a bit. Nothing's changing until after my hike though, which is still Monday, yay! I can't wait to show you all pics and compare them to my old ones. I need to figure out what to wear though. I'm going to layer. That way I can take stuff off if necessary. It's cold and damp today but it's supposed to warm up by Monday. We'll see.

Anyhoo, gonna go get another dose of vice by watching The Knick, then I'm going to do a little reading and curl up under a blanket and pretend I have a fireplace. I wonder if Comcast has put their Yule log up on On Demand yet???

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAGE150 10/13/2014 4:49PM

    I have always wondered if we have the ability to delay burning off calories we eat one day until the next day or the day after that. I'm going to have to look that up. I would think the body would automatically convert any excess to fat, and you would have to burn carbohydrates and fat from scratch whenever you exercise next, but I don't know.


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LIVEDAILY 10/12/2014 4:50PM

    Used book sales are so much fun, and it sounds like you got some great books! I enjoy a good Dick Francis mystery. Another great author is Rita Mae Brown. She's known in one circle as a great woman's author, and then in another, totally different circle as a great mystery writer. Her mysteries take place in the Charlottesville, VA general area, and she co-writes them with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown. They're fun to read, especially if you're familiar with that area of VA.

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WISHICOULDFLY 10/12/2014 11:09AM

    You will LOVE LOVE LOVE Duma Key! I recommend you also listen to it on CD from the library. john Slattery from Mad Men narrates and does an excellent job.

Comment edited on: 10/12/2014 11:10:44 AM

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NETGYRL 10/11/2014 10:26PM

    my fav fireplace app "A Very Cozy Fireplace HD":
If you have an Apple TV you can send it to your TV too. :)

I am so jelly! I frickin' LOVE used book sales. 10 for a dollah! That is my kinda sale! Looks like you picked some excellent books.


Comment edited on: 10/11/2014 10:26:31 PM

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CATTUTT 10/11/2014 9:43PM

    Sounds like you had some great finds at the book sale. For $.10, I would have stocked up too. Not that we don't already have thousands of books here... and then I still get books from the library.

I'm glad to hear you had a good day, despite some things maybe not being perfect.

And I am SO excited for your hike on Monday! I think I'm as excited as you are! I know you're going to go, and kick ass at it. Because that's how you roll. I can't wait for you to come home and post about it, I'm gonna be looking for that blog!

Oh, and yule logs? Yeah you can find them online. I know because I keep one crackling half the holiday season. lol I hope you've had a great and relaxing evening!

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ARRREAGLES 10/11/2014 4:17PM

    I love PKD, in fact, I started PKD book last night after some calisthenics before bed. And yay for good deals on great books.

And Othello too, I love that play. I acted in it once, and saw this great version where Patrick Stewart played Othello and the rest of the cast was black. It was amazing. It's full of amazing lines, but one of my favorites is "for she had eyes and chose me" -- perhaps apropos for sparkpeople given how often we're not enjoying the primes of our lives because we feel not worthy. In the end, we support each other, and count each other worthy. I'm glad you got that book, it reminded me of this and reinforced the rest of your message.

I love your blogs, even when you say they're random. I think they speak to the people who read them in their own special ways. So have a great hike Monday, enjoy your vices, and enjoy all the dogsitting!

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