Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend in Photos

We had a great time visiting my family over Memorial Day weekend! The weather was perfectly hot and humid, per tradition, and my cousin had her graduation party! Of course, I didn't get any pictures of her, because I'm awesome like that. But I did photograph what I wore (on my parents' gorgeous deck).

 dress: Old Navy
belt and shoes: Target

Little S. dressed up for the occasion, too, in one of her many new dresses from Gigi (my mom).

dress: Circo via Target
espadrilles: Baby Gap, gifted from Mell

Little S. was smitten with her Uncle Ryan (my brother) the entire weekend. He blew bubbles in her face at Ashleigh's party... She'd have flipped out if anyone else did it. But when Uncle Ryan does it? Hilarious.

On our way home from the party, we saw an entire field of Canadian geese. 
This baby with his down was really the only one worth noting.

Little S. and Daddy mowed Gigi and Pop's lawn on Sunday morning.

... And then Little S. mowed the stone pathway.

I took an "early" morning "hike" up and down (and up and down and up and down...) my parents' gorgeous gravel driveway. Uphill. Both ways. Okay, not really. It's just uphill one way, so I walked up and ran down four times, then around the house a few times. Good workout.
"early" - 9:30 a.m.
"hike" - for me? yes, hike. for most people... just an uphill jaunt.

Later, Gigi pulled out the water hose and Little S. wanted to play in it. She got sidetracked and even mows the lawn in complete style.
Thank you Aunt Marli and Nanny for Little S.' jaw droppingly gorgeous "babingsuit."

Where you lack a swimming pool, you make up for it in tin washtubs.
Worked perfectly.

My brother, the grill master:
(It took about an hour to get any meat on the grill...)

The steak.
Which I would never eat.
But apparently for steak-eaters, it was very tasty.

Happy Memorial Day to you and yours!
Here's to our troops!
Hope you're enjoying your family and staying safe.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Intense Adoration: House of Turquoise (and Red)

Has anyone else seen the blog, House of Turquoise?
I think I reach a lifetime worth of drooling each time Erin posts!

Scrolling through the photos has provided so much inspiration for our guest room and has also really helped me show Husband how beautiful turquoise and red can be together. I intensely adore this combination and I've pulled a few of Erin's photos to show you how many ways these hues can jam. 

Dreamy. Dreamy. Dreamy.

Okay, so this next one's not really turquoise and not really red, but you get the picture, right? I want to add some black and white accents to the room, so this photo has been sitting in my inspiration folder for that reason. I also have a fluffy dog that's going to sit on everything plush. So it's just fitting.

And here are some ways I've used the combo:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Project Self: 199.6

Morning, friends! As promised, I'm working on a Friday link-up for us to get healthy, together. 
I don't have time to post all the details and link right now, because I woke up, late, but I'll do it when I get off work, early this afternoon.

Basically, I'm sharing my weight. I'm not afraid, anymore.
I told you my secrets.
And each Friday, I'm going to weigh in as soon as I wake up (before I shower or eat) and host this link party as a sign that I'm reaching out for your help and support. 
Anyone can link up. Anything regarding health is perfect!
Recipes, exercise, meal plans, life changes, workout clothes, plans, etc.

Hi! I'm home from work. Here are the details!
is going to be a weekly link party that happens every Friday. I know it's not style related, but know what? If I want to wear clothes, I've gotta be kickin', right? YOU, too!
Post about ANYTHING that will help you become a better you:
- goals
- workouts
- meals
- habits (making or breaking)
- anything health/fitness related
... ANYTHING ... 
And link up at the bottom of each Friday post.

Your little link at the bottom is going to help motivate me to get through this.
With your help and support, I'm going to get healthy!
shirt: Target
carpis: Old Navy

Today's quick and delicious lunch:
Spicy black bean and veggie soup
- 1 can organic low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can organic black beans
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I used peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
- 1 stalk chopped celery
- 1/4 chopped red onion
- garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, adobo to taste

Bring to a boil, let simmer for 20 minutes.

1 down since Tuesday.
79.6 to go.

Ready, set, LINK!

And if you haven't seen, yet, please check out the new...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunshine & The Award

This is the post that was eaten "The Day that Blogger Died." 
Reposting for those of you who didn't see your award!!!

The lovely Lindsay of Ruby Girl bestowed upon me the Sunshine Award!
Thank you, sweet girl! If you haven't had the chance to stop by Lindsay's blog, you need to get there, now! She's beautiful, classy, creative, and so, so sweet!

The rules:
1) Thank the person who gave you this award and link back to them in your post.

2) Tell us some things about yourself.

3) Nominate 10 bloggers.

4) Contact these bloggers and let them know they have received this award.
Some things? How many somethings? I'll tell you five of them! 
- I'm about to start the BEST JOB, ever! Starting Monday, I'll be nannying for a sweet family, including three kiddos! And on May 30, I'll start bringing my own little munchkin to work with me, too! YAY.
- I have four tattoos. Yep. That was a good phase in my life. Ahem...
- This weekend, I'm going to redo my vegetable garden and include tomatillos for the FIRST time! The plants were a parting gift from my sweet director!
- I've never been to Disney (World or Land). Sad, but true story.
- I'm going to pile so much crap on my plate in the next few months that I'll be able to wear the hat of a mother, wife, nanny, local food buyer and grower, seamstress, stylist, and professional good sleeper. I can't wait for a good night's sleep because I'll actually be TIRED from doing things that don't include sitting at a desk all day!  
The 10 lovelies I'm tagging are:
And just so I can find a proper place to share these photos, I'm going to show you a little extra sunshine.
Here are some pictures from the beach, last weekend. These are all of the house/beach before the wedding that Christina and I attended on Saturday! I could just die... The blue was so blue. The weather was perfect. And the water was clear, hushed, and magical.

Wherever you are, I hope you're enjoying some sunshine, today! It's my first day not working at the university and I'm spending the day catching up on appointments and shopping for veggies to put in my garden this weekend!

Guest Room Sneak Peek

Some of you might know that I'm kind of obsessed with the combination of turquoise and red. It's such a fresh, beautiful, crisp pallet of colors that makes me feel warm and cozy. I've finally pulled Husband's leg juuuuust enough to let him allow me to redo our guest room in these hues and I couldn't be happier. During some of my afternoon off, yesterday, I went to Michael's Craft Store and picked up a bunch of notions for the room that are not only adorable and creative, but also very inspiring.

I refinished the little nightstand last night in Robin's Egg Blue and have a few swatches of fabric that I'll be using throughout the room as a valence, throw pillows, and possibly lamp covers. Here's just a peak at what the final product has in store.

Whatcha think?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Cry for Help

I took that picture 8 minutes ago. And yes, my bra straps are showing. One thing my job doesn't allow for is a strapless bra. Not enough support. And when the thermometer in my car reads 107 degrees Fahrenheit, this chick isn't wearing sleeves. My cheeks are 8 shades of red, I have no cover-up on, and there's sweat beading from the outsides of my nose.

Neutrogena Helioplex SPF 70? Pfft. You've got NOTHING on this sunshine. I'm bright red from head to toe. Don't get me wrong. I love some sun. I loooove some tan. And I adore my "natural happy pill," le Vitamin D. However, I didn't sunscreen my lips this morning and they HURT. And I'm sweating, still... I've been in 71 degree air conditioning for at least 40 minutes, now. 

And that house behind me? Messy. Gotta clean it. Don't wanna. 
Gotta clean it, TODAY and TOMORROW. It magically has to get done.
But I'm hot and tired. And I want to decorate my guest room. So right now, I'm intermittently blogging between spray painting my nightstand Robin's Egg Blue. 

And my mascara is running.

But... those are really the least of my issues. 
If you read my tweets this morning, you know I had a doctor's appointment, yesterday, and boy did I get a wake up call. Some of you might remember a few weeks ago when I had some scary chest pains and took myself to the doctor instead of to work. As a precaution, my doctor decided to take a pretty ginormous blood test that day, which would end up showing basically everything in the world that I never wanted to/definitely needed to know. Fortunately, my heart is in great shape and I was most certainly suffering from a panic attack that day. Myocardial stress is supposed to be under a score of 125 (I don't know the units) and my measurement was 5. Excellent.

However, there are several other things that tested and came back in the red zone, ie: High Risk.
Artery inflammation.
Very low Vitamin B12 and protein.
Platelet sticking.
Of course, weight.

Insulin? You might jump to thinking that's a diabetes problem. Well, you're not entirely wrong. But here's the kicker. My glucose levels are perfect. I'm producing WAY too much insulin, though, which is mega bad and a sign that if I don't get my act together, I could become diabetic in the future. Your pancreas only creates a set amount of insulin for life. Kind of like women have a certain amount of eggs. We don't get more throughout our lifetime. We're born with X amount and that's how many we get. Same with insulin. You get X amount and when your pancreas secretes it all, it's gone and you have none left to transfer your sugars and carbohydrates into fuel for your bones. (Thank you pancreas and insulin for working so hard.) So, the insulin score is supposed be between 4 and 9. Mine is 47. BAD. Easy fix? Kind of... Exercise is the answer. Aerobic exercise and reaching your metabolic heart rate burns carbohydrates for your body so insulin doesn't have to. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day should decrease the amount of insulin my body is letting out. 
My ass is about to get serious about movement.
Oh- and as a precaution, no more white starches for me. Damn it to hell.

My cholesterol has been high forever. "High" is over 200. Mine tested at 267 in college. When I  became a vegetarian in 2006, my cholesterol dropped to 230 by mid-2007. This time around? 288. Kicker? I also had a genetics test done for my cholesterol and my problem is SEVENTY FIVE PER CENT genetic. Thank you, paternal family. That means only 25% of my cholesterol problems can be remedied with diet. Good thing? My GOOD cholesterol (HDL) is very high. When it's over 60, it becomes protective of your heart against the LDL. Mine is 72. Worst thing about this for me is that I have to be on medication, which I've been so against since I found out my cholesterol was bad many years ago. Most cholesterol lowering medications are very dangerous to a fetus, so being at child-bearing age, I'm SICK about having to be on something. But I can plan ahead for whenever Husband and I are ready for baby 2 and I'll get off of the medication 1-2 months ahead of time and I guess get back on after I'm done nursing. Ugh. As for diet? I don't eat red meat and barely eat other foods high in cholesterol (yolks of eggs, fried foods, seafood, cheese). Okay, that's a lie. I love cheese.

WAKE UP CALL # 3 (are you bored, yet?): 
Because my cholesterol is so high, the doctor ordered another test, which measures the size and amount of the physical pieces of cholesterol. The bigger and less, the better. The smaller and more bountiful, way worse. The size of pieces of cholesterol are measured by how many physical pieces there are per cubic inch. You are supposed to have less than 1500 pieces. I have over 3500 pieces. This means the cholesterol is very tiny and can go into the arteries with ease. Bigger pieces can't get into the small openings of the arteries. Because my cholesterol is so tiny, it's already sticking to my arteries and they are becoming inflamed. This means the openings are getting smaller and blood may not flow through as easily. The cholesterol medication I'm taking also has niacin, which opens up the arteries for blood to flow more freely.

I don't really like meat. At all. I eat it out of necessity and convenience and I probably get it down 2-3 times per week. Other than that, forget about my protein. B12 is found most saturated in red meats and that just doesn't happen for me. I'm not completely opposed to red meat, but I really don't like it and it's tough on my stomach. I can't digest it well (mostly because human bodies weren't created to properly digest meat, anyway) and I can be up all night with cramping after eating a burger. So, I'm on a B12 pill and have been strictly ordered to eat low fat, high protein snacks between meals. Think: almonds, hummus, nut butters, greek yogurt, cheese, dried or canned beans...

Having high cholesterol is often tied to red blood cell platelet sticking. This means that your red blood cells should flow through your bloodstream singularly. The measurement of a single platelet is 1500 (I don't know the units). The measurement of my platelets is averaging 8500, which means my red blood cells are sticking together in large clumps, which could cause the obvious: blood clotting. Bad kind. Blinding, cardiac arrest, brain aneurism kind. So now, I'm also on 81mg of Aspirin each day, taken 30 minutes before my cholesterol medicine to help thin blood and reduce the painful discomfort of "flushing," caused by the cholesterol pill. 

Every.Single.One. of these problems can be greatly reduced, if not erased by losing a garbage truck load of weight. The exercise needed to reduce my insulin is not going to help me lose the massive amount of weight that I need to lose to get healthy. I've always said, "Yeah, so I'm overweight, but at least I'm healthy." Well, that's not a truth I can lie about, anymore. 

Why am I telling you all of this? It seems pretty private and serious, right?
I need you.
That's the cold, hard truth.

I've tried and tried and failed at this for too many years (about 9 to be approximately exact). After my pregnancy, things definitely took a turn for the worst with my weight and I guess my eating habits, but DEFINITELY my exercise habits. I think when you're a mom (and other moms, correct me if my generalization is wrong), you are so freaking exhausted from the state of BEING. You wake up early (and sometimes are up throughout the night), try to cram some coffee down your throat to make it through the morning, go to work, or work from home (including SAHMs), feed your kids or work through lunch (either way, usually forgetting to feed yourself anything healthy or satiating), work through the afternoon, either at the office or around the house, cook dinner (tasting a bit while you're plating the food, so you're not even that hungry when it's really meal time), get your kid(s) bathed and ready for bed, snuggle, read, clean the kitchen, do the night's dishes, pick up toys, slide a load of laundry in, fold what's in the dryer, and barely brush your teeth before crashing, face-down in your bed.

WHEN do we get time to focus on OURSELVES? Our own health and well-being?
When do we realize that if we're not healthy, we won't be here to take care of our families, which is so clearly our number one priority?
When do we reach out and ask for help and support? 
I'm not waiting until it's too late. I'm believing that you will be my support system and that you will help me do this FOR REAL. For me. For my family. For my LONGEVITY. 

It's not just about how I fit into my clothes, anymore.
It's about living to see my great grandkids.

I'm not afraid of my secrets, anymore. I'm not afraid to tell you that I'm not healthy. 
And on Friday, when I start my weigh-ins, meal plans, and link-up (name TBD), I hope you're here with me, not only holding my hand, but not being ashamed and not letting yourself come last.
Let's take care of ourselves.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Wind Blows in Her Hair

This morning called for torrential downpours and insane thunder and lightening, so I braved the humidity and wind and tried to grab some back yard photos before heading to "the office." I bought these shorts at Old Navy, yesterday, and wished there were more colors than black and army green. I really like the comfortable tie waist, excess pockets for kleenex, bug spray, and bandaid storage, and the length is perfect for covering the part of my body I hate most. Add some colorful florals and it's a recipe for a great photo, right?

Nope, you get this sexiness.

 yellow tank: Target
floral tank: Walmart
shorts: Old Navy
flip flops: Old Navy

So, I'll just pretend I meant for the wind to split my bangs and for the humidity to be an immediate summer frizz agent. And then, in my eyes, it really was a perfect photo shoot.

For some reason, my blog posts aren't showing up in people's readers. That's really making me want to give someone the stink eye. Anyone have suggestions?

Confessions of a Shopaholic

To avoid confusion, this post was supposed to go up last night, not this morning... which is why it refers to "yesterday" as Saturday and "today" as a day of shopping. ie: I'm at work right now- NOT shopping. :)

1. I love shopping. It doesn't matter for what I'm shopping. If I'm buying, I'm happy.
2. I was just as giddy to go to Lowe's and buy weed killer, a hydrangea, tomato cages, and a sprinkler as I was to clothes shop at Old Navy for Little S. and I. 
3. This. Is. A. Problem.

I always feel best in a dress- even for errands. What about you?

dress, belt, shoes: Target
headband: Walgreen's

I got up late this morning... after last night. Hah.
And when I decided to clean off the back porch and get Little S.' summer toys ready to play with, I discovered a colony - no, a continent of slugs living in her play table and the umbrella. I broke out the clorox and salt and went to town on those slimy bad boys. It.Was.Disgusting.
There were at least 300.

But I won. Naturally.

Little S. and I went shopping at Old Navy for an hour... hours and both got lots of great things. Then we went to Lowe's and dropped some Benjamins (Okay, fine. 3/4 of a Benjamin) on the aforementioned items, which was just as exciting. And I know it's been a while since Little S. has shown her little face on the blog, but I've decided, after lots of thinking (and her stinking ridiculous bikini photo shoot, today), that I'm not opposed to showing her off, anymore.

This blog is about me being a momma. She's the reason I'm a momma.
And the crazy people that gave me trouble were clearly peeved about that ol' Food, Inc. post, which I gladly took down after losing my blog a zillion times. So, anyway, without further ado...

The cutest kid, ever:

If only we could all look that freaking perfect in a yellow bikini...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthday Party ExtravEmergency

Sometimes you feel like a nut. 
Sometimes you go to a child's birthday party and you ARE the nut.
Because your child is acting like a lunatic. 
And it's awesomely embarrassing, even though you know you have a toddler and stuff like this happens...
especially when you wake your child up from nap after she's only been asleep for approximately 20 minutes... I'm sorry, what? WHO would do that. not this girl. pfft.

Throw some juice in the mix, hype said toddler up on sugar and cheetos, and offer her a balloon.
Forget about it. Recipe for disaster. And disaster, it was. As badly as I wanted to feel for Little S. in her extreme sleep deprivation, I was so mortified that she was screaming bloody murder for no other apparent reason than exhaustion. She definitely stole the show and all I could think was, "These people are not going to want me to bring my daughter with me to watch their kids. We look like part of the funny farm." But those of you with kids of your own know that we're not part of the funny farm at all. We're just normal people with a normal sleep deprived kid and sometimes, at the most inopportune moments, shit hits the fan. C'est la vie, right?

Anyway, I dressed for the occasion, and even wore my bangs down in hopes of re-attracting my husband after a week of coming home with slightly spit upon clothing, new breakouts, and frizzed out hair. He was appreciative enough to buy me a bottle of wine (that I just might finish all by myself... tonight. Don't judge.). If you're looking for a sweet and light riesling, try Relax. Holy mother of all things alcoholic, calming, embarrassment erasing, and delicious. Mmhmm. I'm drinking away my stress. What of it?

dress (you may have seen it, before): Old Navy
cardigan: Old Navy
floral (oh so cute!) flats: Target (kids clearance section! HOLLA for having bitty feet!)
 bicycle necklace: Barberry & Lace

also, holla for as I write, husband keeps coming to refill my glass. good man.

We made a run to Fresh Market, tonight. Husband was craving something from the deli and I found gorgeous nighttime lighting. Two birds? Thank you very much. Also, Relax wine came from the Fresh Market trip, for which I am getting more and more appreciative as minutes pass.

Oh shadows of the night, who cares about my face, anyway?
At least you can see the little flowers on my $4.98 shoes. Hell to the right.
Or is it "everything you own in a box to the left?"
I can't remember. Thank you, wine.

And tonight, I shall leave you with this disgruntled, yet very appreciative parental facial:

Peace. Love. Riesling.

** Sunday morning update **