3/2/15

HAPPY MARCH Y'ALL!!!

Um, it's March!!

I feel like this year is zipping by. Which is silly, when I think about it, because I've done a whole lot of NOTHING most of the days!!

Proof: here's a recap of my February goals. I'm not even sure why I wrote them out a month ago.

:: work out 10 times
:: hit the 25 pounds lost mark 
:: refinish buffet
:: refinish dining room chairs
:: go to eye doctor and get new glasses & contacts
:: get new phones
:: go to church every Sunday (MISSED ONE)
:: daily exercises
:: go to Stock Show (with Dalton!)
:: do the Cowtown 5k
:: blog 10 times
:: read 8 books
:: read Bible regularly
:: work on budget (ongoing)
:: cards calender (send!)
:: make bracelet
:: go to WW meeting EVERY Tuesday
:: wash Jeep (seriously)
:: start organizing my pictures
:: run special for TND

The good news is I did work out several times. I quit keeping track, but I'm fairly certain it was at least 10 times...so we are just gonna go with that. And, we've done our daily exercises EVERY day. Shocking...but yay! We missed a Sunday at Church. I did read 4 books. But my whole goal was to read 5 a month...so I'm in a perpetual state of playing catch up now. I missed one WW meeting (this past week...thank you icy roads). According to the scale at home I am down 25 pounds...but it likes to mess with me. So, we'll see what happens tomorrow night at my meeting.

Anyway, I'm feeling motivated to start accomplishing more of the things I want to accomplish (about time, yes?!). I keep thinking if I set less goals, I'd be more likely to get them checked off. But, I'm never one to make it easy on myself.  I'm being just as ambitious with my March goals. Pray for me.
:: work out 15 times
:: hit the 35 pounds lost mark
:: refinish buffet & dining room chairs
:: get new clothes for Vegas trip (I need new clothes in the worst way!!)
:: go to eye doctor and get new glasses & contacts
:: get new phones
:: go to church every Sunday
:: finish (and win!) the diet bet I started in Feb.
:: daily exercises
:: new makeup!!!
:: get the ball rolling with school stuff
:: color hair
:: blog 10 times
:: read 9 books (eek)
:: read Bible regularly
:: work on budget (ongoing)
:: cards calender (send!)
:: make bracelet
:: go to WW meeting EVERY Tuesday
:: wash Jeep (seriously)
:: start organizing my pictures
:: go to VEGAS (end of month)

Basically, it's a lot more of the same. One of these days I will get that silly buffet (and my dining room chairs) redone. And my Jeep. I'm honestly ashamed at how long it's been since it's been properly washed and detailed. It's sad.

The good news is there is a lot of shopping planned for the month. I have put off buying stuff for so long that now I almost have no choice but to go get ALL THE THINGS. Ha. That should be fun though, right?

2/18/15

WEIGH IN WEDNESDAY

I didn't go to my meeting last night. I just wasn't "feeling" it. (par for the course here lately).

We went out to Babe's for Valentine's Day lunch. It's a family style (all you can eat) Southern food heaven. We shared chicken but then I had enough potatoes/corn/green beans to make me hate myself. 

We also ate out A LOT last week. I tried to make healthy choices...but I think I lost discipline as the week ended. 

Anyway, I got up super early (for me) on Tuesday...thanks in part to my annoying neighbor. I couldn't go back to sleep so I went and ran some errands and was feeling SUPER productive. Until about 11am. CRASHED. I woke up around 2:30 starving....so I had some left over turkey chili. And managed to weigh about about 6 pounds heavier than I did the day before. How?! I couldn't face THAT number on the scale...so I opted to not go to the meeting.

I was feeling super guilty about that this morning, so I went to a meeting at a different location this afternoon. I lost......2 tenths of a pound. HAHAHA. Hey...I guess I should celebrate the loss, right?!


So, I did lose. That's good. But, again, I can't help but ask myself how things would be different if I was REALLY trying. I'm being completely transparent when I tell y'all that I'm not. I may be giving it 30%. I think the recent losses have come from working out more. But, I know from experience that that "success" will taper off. To lose weight I have to eat better AND work out. I will have limited, slow success with eating okay. And brief surge of success with exercising. But, crazy as it is...the two done together seem to be "magic".

You'd think I'd learn. 

You'd think.

2/12/15

WEIGH IN THURSDAY

Y'all I have been feeling SO out of sorts here lately. I can not seem to get organized!!! So weigh in Wednesday is happening on Thursday this week!

I had a really good weigh in Tuesday night. I lost 2.4 for a total of 21.2 pounds lost!!! I am SO excited to (officially) cross over that 20 pound mark. 


I'm still a little frustrated due to the several pound difference between the scales at home and at my meeting. The scales at home have me down almost 35 pounds....so I'm not sure what is going on. I do go to a meeting that is in a church, so the scales get moved every week before/after the meeting. I'm not sure how often they are calibrated. I did hear them say that they would be getting calibrated soon...so that's good. Of course, my scales at home may be the problem. 

Anyway, I'm working out a lot more. Trying to walk every day or at least every other day. We are also still doing our "daily exercises". I'm kind of shocked we have stuck with them this long. It's SO out of character for us (ha!). Basically every day in January we did a 10 second plank, 10 push-ups, 10 crunches (C does full sit-ups, and I just do crunches) and 10 leg lifts on each side. Then, in February, we bumped it up to 20. March will be 30, April 40 and so on. I can tell a HUGE difference in my shoulders/biceps. I just do the modified push-ups, but they seem to be doing amazing things for me. I am having to push up quite a bit of weight though, so there is that.

We are going to Vegas at the end of next month...so there is an added motivation for me to stay active and lose as much as I can. I've been to Vegas once before and it was A LOT of walking. It would be super nice if I could not have to carry around 15-20 of the pounds I'm carrying around right now.

We'll see!

2/4/15

WEIGH IN WEDNESDAY

Happy Wednesday y'all!

I have a bad habit of weighing (at home) several times a day. I know they say it's not good for you mentally, but I do it so often that I don't think it affects me that much. However... yesterday's weigh in might challenge that!

I weighed at home right before leaving for my meeting and it had me down almost 6 pounds!! I was REALLY excited to go to my weigh in!!! Ha. So imagine my shock when I get on the scale at the meeting and it only registers a 2 pound loss!! Now, normally, I would be jumping up and down over that loss, but I was devastated that I didn't hit the weight loss total I thought I would be.

Anyway, I AM down another 2 pounds. Which puts me at 18.8 pounds lost...and the "lowest" I've been since I started this round at WW.

I am trying to be more active and track my points. Neither of these things is all that difficult to do. I mean,  it's not like I'm doing something crazy like CrossFit or running marathons. No. I'm just trying to walk 30 - 45 minutes a day. I have the hardest time MAKING myself do it. And tracking is the key component of WW but I struggle with this most of all. It takes a little time. And you have to measure everything so that you know you are tracking the right amount of points per serving. Once you get in the habit of doing it, it does seem to go a little quicker. But...it's that getting in the habit thing I'm struggling with!! Haha.

Anyway... yesterday's scale frustrations did little to stop the habitual weighing. In fact, I weighed this morning and was down another couple of pounds since yesterday. Either my home scale is malfunctioning, playing some cruel tricks on me... or maybe (hopefully) showing the actual progress. Either way...the scale(s) are finally going down and that is exciting!!

2/2/15

JANUARY'S READS

I set a goal to read 60 books this year. So I challenged myself to read 5 books a month to achieve that goal.

One month in and I'm 3 books behind.  Sounds about right!

Anyway, I thought I would share what I did manage to read last month. 

I read my first Dorothea Benton Frank novel last year (The Last Original Wife). The first chapter of The Hurricane Sisters was included in the back. I immediately fell in love with Maisie, the grandmother. So I downloaded this book and got to reading. 

Goodreads Synopsis:  Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, The Hurricane Sisters is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.

Beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank once again takes us deep in the heart of the magical Lowcountry--a sultry land of ancient magic, glorious sunsets, and soothing coastal breezes, where three generations of strong women wrestle with the expectations of family while struggling to understand their complicated relationships with each other.

Best friends since the first day of classes at The College of Charleston, Ashley Anne Waters and Mary Beth Smythe, now 23 years old, live in Ashley's parents' beach house rent-free. Ashley is a gallery assistant who aspires to become an artist. Mary Beth, a gifted cook from Tennessee, works for a caterer while searching for a good teaching job. Though they both know what they want out of life, their parents barely support their dreams and worry for their precarious finances.

While they don't make much money, the girls do have a million-dollar view that comes with living in that fabulous house on Sullivans Island. Sipping wine on the porch and watching a blood-red sunset, Ashley and Mary Beth hit on a brilliant and lucrative idea. With a new coat of paint, the first floor would be a perfect place for soirees for paying guests. Knowing her parents would be horrified at the idea of common strangers trampling through their home, Ashley won't tell them. Besides, Clayton and Liz Waters have enough problems of their own.

A successful investment banker, Clayton is too often found in his pied-a-terre in Manhattan--which Liz is sure he uses to have an affair. And when will Ashley and her brother, Ivy, a gay man with a very wealthy and very Asian life partner--ever grow up? Then there is Maisie, Liz's mother, the family matriarch who has just turned eighty, who never lets Liz forget that she's not her perfect dead sister, Juliet.

For these Lowcountry women, an emotional hurricane is about to blow through their lives, wreaking havoc that will test them in unexpected ways, ultimately transforming the bonds they share.


My Thoughts:  Super cute. There is a lot going on in this book, but it seems to work. I love the varying perspectives. I enjoyed this a lot more than The Original Wife (though, that was a good read as well). I did feel like the ending was a little "staged", which is a pet peeve of mine. 

Next up, The Thorn by Beverly Lewis.

Goodreads Synopsis:  Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. THE ROSE TRILOGY is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters on the fringes of the church, and the unforeseen discoveries that change their lives. 

Rose Kauffman, a spirited young woman, has a close friendship with the bishop's foster son. Nick dresses Plain and works hard but stirs up plenty of trouble too. Rose's sister cautions her against becoming too involved, but Rose is being courted by a good, Amish fellow, so dismisses the warnings. Meanwhile, Rose keeps house for an English widower but is startled when he forbids her to ever go upstairs. What is the man hiding? 

Rose's older sister, Hen, knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man. Unable to abandon her Amish ways, Hen is soon separated from her very modern husband. Mattie, their young daughter, must visit her father regularly, but Hen demands she wear Amish attire--and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, despite her husband's wishes. Will Hen be able to reestablish her place among the People she abandoned? And will she be able to convince Rose to steer clear of rogue neighbor Nick?


My Thoughts: So this is the first Amish book I've ever read. It's a lot different than what I normally read, but not in a bad way. I thought it was a good read, maybe a little dragging at points. I'm tempted to say that not much happened in this book, but I am actually going to read the rest of the trilogy to see what happens with the characters...so maybe just enough happens to keep me interested.

I have several other books I've started. I've gotten really bad about that. I seriously have about 6 books I'm reading right now. I need to focus on each of them individually so that maybe I can finish them!

What are y'all reading?

2/1/15

HELLO FEBRUARY

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Y'all! It's February 1st. What in the heck?!

I keep talking about all the things I want to do before the end of the month. Then yesterday, C was like "umm..tomorrow is the first of February". Ha. OH well.

So, my goals for January were kind of a bust. I felt like I was walking around with my head in the clouds most of the month. Not really sure why, but I just couldn't get focused at ALL this month.

:: work out 10 times DONE!!! (I didn't count but I'm 99.9% sure)
:: hit the 25 pounds lost mark 
:: refinish buffet
:: refinish dining room chairs
:: go to eye doctor and get new glasses & contacts
:: go to Kimbell to see the Faces of Impressionism exhibit
:: go to church every Sunday
:: daily exercises DONE!!!
:: go to Stock Show (with Dalton!) 
:: put Christmas up (and organize as I do) DONE!!! (well, organized enough)
:: blog 10 times 
:: read 5 books
:: read Bible regularly
:: work on budget (ongoing)
:: cards calender (send!)
:: make bracelet
:: work on garage (it's a MESS) (C kind of did this)
:: wash Jeep (seriously)
:: dinner with friends
:: watch Cowboys WIN playoff games (yes, more than one!!!) (just the one win...boo)

So yeah, not so much on the productivity this month.

But...here's hoping to a better February!


:: work out 10 times
:: hit the 25 pounds lost mark
:: refinish buffet
:: refinish dining room chairs
:: go to eye doctor and get new glasses & contacts
:: get new phones
:: go to church every Sunday
:: daily exercises
:: go to Stock Show (with Dalton!)
:: do the Cowtown 5k
:: blog 10 times
:: read 8 books
:: read Bible regularly
:: work on budget (ongoing)
:: cards calender (send!)
:: make bracelet
:: go to WW meeting EVERY Tuesday
:: wash Jeep (seriously)
:: start organizing my pictures
:: run special for TND

Hope y'all had a great weekend!!

1/26/15

2014 IN BOOKS

I've been wanting to do this post for a few weeks, but I am just now getting the chance to sit down and get it together.

I love reading. I go through stages though. Sometimes I will read one book after another, or several at one time. And other times? I will go weeks without wanting to pick up a book. Weird...but that's how it has always been for me.

Anyway, for the last three years, I have set a goal to read a book a week...or 52 books throughout the year. The first year, I read 30 something. The next year I think I got to 39. And last year, I was so so so close...I think I read 49. This year, I set a goal to read 60, to mix things up (and hopefully, to actually hit 52 books this year! Ha).

I want to get better about posting reviews in smaller, more frequent batches. But, for now...here's what last year in books looked like.








Maybe it's the eternal optimist in me (ha!), but I can usually find something redeeming or enjoyable about every book I read. That being said, there are definitely books I love more than others.

LEAST FAVORITES
I normally LOVE Jen Lancaster. But, I wasn't a big fan of Twisted Sisters. I think I just prefer when Jen writes non-fiction (she has a new non-fiction book coming out this year!). I mean, this book was cute, more so after the fact.

Psychos by Babe Miller. This is the follow up to White Girl Problems. It is equally as absurd, but not near as funny.

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio. I have read a lot of praise for Sarah, so I was pretty excited about reading this book. Ehh. I really felt like she just kind of threw a bunch of stuff in the story that didn't flow. Not a fan of this book, but I will probably try something else of her's soon.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I know! I loved the first two books. But this was just bad. I don't want to ruin anything for anyone who hasn't read the books (or wants to see the movies without the spoiler). But I don't like it when authors end books this way. Seems like a cop out.

FAVORITES
Sandra Brown's Exclusive and Mean Streak. I've loved everything that I've read of Sandra's but I told a friend that Mean Streak may be my new favorite. The stories are always fascinating and keep me on the edge of my seat. But Sandra's writing is just so good. SO SO good.

Emily Giffin's Th One and Only. Football? Texas? Emily Giffin writing? SOLD!

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. I LOVED this book so much. It may have been my absolute favorite of last year.

Magical Dress Making series by Melissa Bourbon. These are really cute, quick reads. They are set in a fictional town near me...and I just think they are so fun. The new one just came out...I need to go pick it up!

So there you have it. What are some of your favorite recent reads? Any authors I need to know about?

We are almost done with January 2015 and I've only read two books...so I'm already behind for this year's goals. Sounds about right!!
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