Friday, December 18, 2015

Santa's Early This Year

I cannot even explain my excitement for this weekend!

Tonight I get to celebrate my 19 years in recovery with my homegroup! We will have cake and it get to make a little speech about "how I did it".

I am so excited!!!

Then first thing in the AM I will head to Ohio for my families early Christmas celebration! 

No worries...I got a house and cat sitter for the weekend! Yippee! No worries for me!

The only time everyone could be together was if we did Christmas a week early at my Moms house!  This works great for my sister and brothers because now their kids can get up on Christmas at their own houses next week and enjoy the day at home. I will also be stopping by on Christmas Day to see what everyone got!!

I only had one thing I wanted this year and I think my parents hooked me up!!!! I am the last house in America to have a HUGE box TV- LOL - so they are getting me a big screen! I am so totally excited to watch Survivor and Grimm on a real HUGE TV!

I hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Anyone else get together and celebrate early? Anyone else with old technology! HA HA


It will be strange since I am so used to being at my parents on the actual Christmas holiday but I think it will be okay anyway. The most important thing is that everyone can be together!!!!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Missing 9.8 pounds

Hi everyone!

I went on a cookie walk on December 3rd and as of December 4th I have been on a diet!

LOL! But, totally not joking!

From the beginning of January I slowly but on over 20 pounds that I worked so hard to lose the few months before and I swore I would watch and not gain them back.

Well, after spending three hours going from store to store and sampling cookies, I could not wait to step on the scale as I felt horrible!

So, I reflected about how much I want to be in shape and look and FEEL good and I have been watching everything I eat and staying within 1200 - 1400 calories a day.

When I jumped on the scale this am - I am officially down 9.8 pounds since the cookie walk!

That's 9.8 pounds in 14 days (5 pounds a week!)!


I am so happy and I already feel so much better! I will be back to feeling awesome by New Years if I keep pushing away the desserts! YEA!!!!


Monday, December 14, 2015

Oh What a weekend!

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had an amazing weekend! Is it just me or is life getting crazier with each weekend we get closer to Christmas?!

I had a marvelous weekend starting with a tour of homes in the Allegheny West area of Pittsburgh on Friday night!  It's called Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour.  It is a tour of one church and seven homes that are all decorated for the holidays. It was spectacular!

It helps that I went with these two lovely girls below!!!


This is the pastor at the Calvary United Methodist Church where you meet to head out on the tour.  He gave us history of the church and we have a lot of amazing photos from inside!


Just look at these stained glass windows! This church has the largest Tiffany glass windows in the world! It is unfortunate that my pictures do not do it justice! If you are in the area, go to church here...it is worth it if even just once!


Then onto the tour! We saw Mansion homes that had ballrooms and dining rooms bigger than my whole house! This is an example of one of the homes that now houses a business. This is a view from the second floor balcony down onto the ballroom! It was spectacular!



And we also saw many simple and quaint row homes which were very popular in the era these homes were built. They were all magnificent and decorated so beautiful!


Some random trees on the tour in one of the mansions.


And at the end of the tour, we arrived at the home of John DeSantis. He is an avid train collector and has the largest private owned collection anywhere! The photo below is the first Lionel train demo that was used to sell the idea of making trains to investors, It is the one and only prototype and John DeSantis outbid the Smithsonian for ownership!  Simply amazing to see!



The third and fourth floor of his mansion looks like the photo below. Every room and wall on both floors is filled with rows and rows of trains! Unbelievable!


This is the fifth floor of the mansion. He has tracks set up and some of the trains running.
 

If you are looking for a great holiday idea and you are in the Pittsburgh area - I HIGHLY recommend the tour! You will love it!

Saturday, my Mom came in from Ohio to shop for Steelers items for Christmas presents and run down to the Strip District for a little browsing and shopping. We had a great day together although we forgot to get a selfie!

Then it was off to the BF's house. He has a huge burn pile in the backyard and wanted to get it started burning Saturday since we have had such dry weather in Pittsburgh. Well, he burned it from 10AM until 3PM (which is the cutoff time for burning) and then it would not go out. We sprayed it with water and that caused massive smoking so the Police and Fire were called by concerned people that saw the smoke. We had it under control but it was better that they had called anyway. Then firemen did a much better job of putting most of it out although it was still smoking Sunday - LOL.


Here is our local firefighting team hard at work.


So my weekend included fun and excitement! LOL! I hope you all have a great week! 

Are you ready for Christmas? Any of you ever had police or fire called for any reason? Can you say...embarrasing? HA


Happy Monday!





Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thinking Out Loud Thursday

Hi everyone!

Today I will be joining in with Penny at Penny's Passion and Vanessa over at X-tremely V for their Thinking Out Loud Thursday and also joining Kristin for Stuff and Things! I am always looking to make new friends!!!




The main random thought on my mind is that yesterday I celebrated 19 years of being clean and sober and it felt absolutely amazing! I got sober when I was 28 and I felt so very young back then! So many years have passed and I still feel young although I am apparently not anymore - LOL! The changes in my life are very dramatic since then and I am no longer that person at all thanks for an EVER VIGILANT program of recovery and the mindset that I will never be "cured".

I know a lot of people that bash programs of abstinence but I can tell you it is totally what worked for me.I wanted it and I took suggestions and did the footwork to attain it. I see a lot of young people coming through our doors today and they do not want to work for anything...at all. Their entire lives have been handed to them on a silver platter by parents that never made them work for anything.  Then when they are asked to do simple things to recover, they are not willing to put in the work.

I am so very grateful I was finally ready to do whatever it took to recovery! Also I am forever grateful to that program and those Friends of Bill for everything that I have in my life today!! I am a very blessed woman!

Second thought: after reading Penny's blog today...I agree! I would love to win Ellen's giveaway so year! I have tried for years and never won anything! Also, this year I am completely confused how to find out if I won. They used to email the winners but now you have to see your name on the screen in a split second
...needless to say...I enter everyday in multiple ways and I have yet to see any names on the screen during the show....LOL! So, please Ellen, if I win email me...otherwise my prizes will go unclaimed. UGH!


And my final thought...I have been so on track this week with my eating!! Yeah me! Day 4/4 and I have not cheated yet!!! Yippee!



I hope everyone has a great week!!!

What are your random thoughts today? Please share with me!!! :-)

Are you avoiding treats this holiday or will you be digging in full force!?!?

How do you maintain your sanity and balance in your life?


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge



Hop on over and join in with Joyce for Wednesday Hodgepodge!!! You will meet many, many cool new friends!

1.  Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want.
I think our favorite family story is in regards to Thanksgiving.  Absolutely! After years of hosting Thanksgiving for all of their adult children for many, many years; my parents decided to take a trip to Hawaii during Thanksgiving and my sisters and I were on our own to make a Turkey for our first time. We were so excited... everything was on track and the beautiful bird was in the oven. We left the house to go for a pre-Thanksgiving binge walk and came home to an oven full of fire! Apparently all the butter we shoved under his skin made him very flammable. The turkey was due to come out so we waited for the flames to go out and took the bird out of the oven. After letting it sit as directly we carved it and EVERYONE thought it was the juiciest turkey ever!!! Yea!! One for the win!


2. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?

Never! 

3. Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time have chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm...did you know serenity was a color? You can read the thought behind their selection here, but essentially it's blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue. So what do you think? Are these colors I'd find in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?

Not a fan of rose AT ALL and have no clue what serenity LOOKS like. I have fleeting moments of serenity so I know what it feels like sometimes but truly no clue what color it is! HA

4. If you could be in a Christmas carol, which one would you choose? Why?

Jingle Bells all the way!!!!!!!!!! I truly miss "visiting Grandma's house" and Grandma!!!!

5. December 9th is National Pastry Day. Will you celebrate? When did you last purchase something from a bakery? What's your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry? Do you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?

I am celebrating my 19 years in recovery today so I guess I should just tie them both in together....problem is this is Day 3 of HONESTLY watching my food intake so I am going to go with no! HA! My wonderful boyfriend is taking me to dinner at my favorite restaurant tonight so that should be pretty amazing in the place of pastries!

6. When it comes to holiday decorating_____________________________.

I am always the first on done! I had to wait on my REAL tree until after Thanksgiving this year (which is late for me). I always get a real tree and I buy so early that it is dead as a doornail by Christmas week! HA HA

7. When did you last laugh so much it hurt? Explain.

Yesterday! I watched the SNL clip about alien abduction! If you did not see it yet...do yourself a favor an click HERE! Seriously, you will die laughing!


8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I hope everyone has an extremely blessed and grateful day!

19 Years Baby!

Hi everyone!
It's been a few days since I was able to make it here!
I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!
Mine was crazy, hectic and filled with family - just the way I like it! I cannot wait to read about yours!

Today is an amazing day for me!
Today marks 19 years sober and clean IN recovery! 

I am grateful and amazed daily that this is even possible!

I woke up this morning, started thinking back to the way it used to be and was overcome with emotions! I can hardly think about it at work because I start to cry with gratitude.

Thank you to all the Friends of Bill have have guided, led, and suggested to me along the way!

I love each and every one of you!! This would not be possible without all of you!

I am soooooo very grateful for the life that has been made possible by the 12 steps and those that have gone before me!

Thank you for my saving my life and giving me a life that is now WORTH living!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Stridebox November

Hi everyone!!! Happy Monday!  How was your weekend? I really hope it was fun and enjoyable! Is it just me or is it totally amazing how fast the weekends go?!?!? WOWSA!

I got my favorite subscription box in the mail! Stridebox! Yippee!! Even though I am on a running break until I find out what to do about this torn meniscus, I love this sub box so much that I am not going to discontinue it! I will just have a lot of fun fuel and products to try in a few months, right?!

Any of you runners out there that have not seen this yet, you need to check it out! I love everything EVERY MONTH!

So - here it is!!!


And the awesomeness that is the contents of the box!!



This comes with each box. It explains where to purchase the item and the cost to purchase a full size product.



Each month is an awesome product for runners! This month is the waterproof gear bag! Seriously awesome!!!!



This nutrition bar. I ate this at work for lunch the other day. It was delish!



A little sample of running fuel! The pumpkin spice sure sounds amazing!



And another fuel - this on is a gel which I prefer!



This is actually the flavor of my favorite gel packet so I am guessing that these fuel bites are going to be incredible!!! I cant wait to try these whenever I start training again! Yummo!



 Some vitamin water packets...I will try these at work...only 5 calories for vitamin and energy water. Nice!



I am drinking this as I type! I think it is working - ha ha!



Every box has a sticker too! I love these! I am saving them up for something - not sure what yet...maybe a medal mural...any ideas!?


I hope everyone has an awesome week! I am knee deep in Turkey dinner prep!! HA HA!

Anyone else stressing about Thanksgiving dinner? Anyone else cooking their first one this year? Any ideas for my running stickers?

Happy Monday!



Thursday, November 19, 2015

November Ipsy

Hi Guys! It's that time again! If you love makeup and trying new beauty finds then you probably already know about Ipsy! If not, read on! I love it so much! It is a subscription box that, once you sign up, is sent to you every month. Each month is a new makeup bag and anywhere from 5 - 7 items for you to test and rate.It costs only $10 a month! I look at it like sending a gift to myself every month - I deserve it!! HA

Here is the adorable and glitzy envelope I look forward to seeing each month!




All the loot spilling out!



A closer look!



I received this hair repair creme. I have not tried it yet but I am excited to!



At first I thought this was lip gloss but it turns out it is face highlighter! This is one of the reasons I love Ipsy...if it were not for the fact that they send me these kind of products, I would have never purchased and tried a face highlighter and found out that I love them!!!



Some new eyeshadow...beautiful color for Fall!




A new lipstick...this goes on very nicely and I love the color!



Smashbox mascara! Whats not to like?!?!



And, last but not least, this months bag! I love getting a new makeup bag each month! My nieces love when I give these to them to use as purses and I use them to organize my purse contents also!



 If you enjoy trying new makeup and beauty products and companies - you will love Ipsy!! Try it out!

I hope everyone has a great day!

What is one makeup product you have never tried to use? What is your favorite makeup product ever? A must have?















Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday HodgePodge

Welcome all! I am joining Joyce for this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. The instructions are as follows if you wish to participate then answer the questions, add your link at the end of Joyce's post, then run say hi to the blogger who linked before you. Lets do this ladies!!!


1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?

How much more I know every year. Each year I learn so much more about life and what really matters and my mind is opened even more! If I only knew then what I know now.....LOL!
2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable.
Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?
The only one that is at all applicable in my life is buttdial. The others I will never use and honestly, do not see a need to....LOL!
3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which on on the list is your favorite?

I love gravy! Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy are the things I look forward to about Thanksgiving dinner. I also look forward to sausage biscuits and gravy when I go south - it is delicious and a rare treat for me!!! I never eat it any other time but there is a special place in my heart for gravy - :-)
4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.

I never have a plan - I am a very flighty and spontaneous person. I hope I never find a plan or make a plan because I sense that that is the best way to be let down...no expectations is the way to live!
5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?

Seriously?!?!?!?!  Is this really true!?!?!?I LOVE LOVE LOVE Monopoly. That truly is my favorite game and I have the BEG my family to play it with me!
6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?

Jesus Take the Wheel! Love it!
7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?

My entire life and my outlook on life! I try everyday to be positive and grateful! It is the only way to live! I recovery we learn to take inventory everyday and it truly does make you a better person!
8. Insert your own random thought here.


I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!!!!Thanks Joyce for hosting!


Need a New Therapist!

Hi guys! I hope everyone is having a great week! We are halfway there!

Anyone out there a REALLY good listener or certified therapist?!

UGH!

I hate writing this post! It makes me face reality which, right now, is not all that awesome as far as running goes!

Running has actually become a really amazing stress-buster for me. It helps me get rid of frustration and anger and also really helps me focus and zone in on the positives in my life and also the things I need to take a look at changing!

Basically - - - it's my therapy!

Well, about two months before the half marathon I just finished, I "tweeked" my knee. I was at a Cardio HipHop class and my knee kind of just gave out when I landed on it wrong I guess.

I did not want to bail on the Hershey Half-marathon so I kept training and getting in all my scheduled runs but my knee felt unstable and hurt a little at night.

After the marathon I went for X-rays and MRIs and I have now found out that I have a torn medial meniscus and a Bakers Cyst :-(




I have googled it and they look nasty!  The cyst is what was causing the ligament to snap behind my knee and it is a horrible, shooting pain when it happens.

Long story, short...I could not get in for a consult with the surgeon until the end of December!!! UGH!!!! Until then, it is walking only! What?!?!?!

The hardest thing is that I am able to eat the way I want because of running and now I foresee a future of veggies only - it will be salads UNTIL the end of the year?!?!? UGH!!!!

Anyone else out there ever dealt with this? Or know someone that has? How long is recovery? Can I ever run again? 

Your experience, strength and hope is welcome!!!!!

Thank in advance guys! I will keep you posted :-(



Friday, November 13, 2015

My Five!!!!

Happy Friday everyone!!! 

I am so so very excited to announce that I will be assisting (which means probably organizing 90% ha) of my BF's Thanksgiving Dinner for his family! Yeah me and yeah us! This will be his first year hosting dinner for his family at his house since his divorce (sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews and his children). I am over the top excited for this dinner! But, since he has been a bachelor for so long there are a lot of things we need to purchase in order to host a nice family dinner. He has mismatched dishes, plastic cups and ZERO tablecloths! I am going to join in with the Friday 5 link-ups to brainstorm what he needs to buy for this dinner! HA HA

1. Glasses!  We will be hosting 16 people (us included) and I think he has about 8 GLASS glasses and the rest are mismatched plastic.  We definitely need to find some nice glasses!

These look perfect!!!



2. Placemats!  Again, he has none and we are hosting a lot of people so I think it is only appropriate we get a place mat for everyone,,,right?

These are really nice!



3. Tablecloth! I think he has one tablecloth that could be a little Thanksgivingly (is that a word?? HA). The problem is that we will be having two tables of people so we definitely are going to need two matching tablecloths.  I love this one!!



4. Plates!  I think we will go with classy plastic dishes this year. I hate to have him buy dishes and have nowhere to store them all year so I think I am going to recommend to him that we do what my family does. We use the pretty plastic ones...high end of course - HA! (Update: I just bought these!!!)

5. Turkey and Stuffing Fixins: Last but definitely not least, we are supplying the turkey and stuffing and everyone else is bringing side dishes. We need to go make our frozen turkey purchase this weekend!  I love cooking turkey with the traditional sage stuffing my Mom makes! I am so excited for this dinner!
 
I made him a fall wreath last weekend for the front door already but I think I also need to pick up some decorations for around the house....see, way more than just five things but it has helped me to think about it a little!

What are all of you doing for Thanksgiving?

Cooking or eating out? With family or enjoying quiet alone time?

Traditional stuffing or does your family like the new-fangled recipes??

Join in on the link up fun with the ladies below!!!!

Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife.
Momfessionals




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

And Again Hodgepodge

Yea! It's Wednesday and that means it is time to link up with Joyce for Wednesday Hodgepodge!
 
1.  In two or three sentences, tell us what Veteran's Day means to you.
I have so many veterans in my life...family and friends! I think it means taking time to thank all those that fought so hard to give us the right to our basic freedoms. I am eternal grateful to each and every one of them, whether I know them or not. Thanks for everything you gave and sacrificed for others.

2.  What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline? I love Forrest Gump...does that count?
3.  Flu shot-yes or no?  If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot?  If not, why not?  Have you ever had the flu?  NO flu shot!  I get the flu shot every year. Maybe I am too paranoid but I get sick a lot so it definitely helps me....that is just me though...LOL!

4.  I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated.  Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween.  Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor and that has some people up in arms.  What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November? I love Christmas but I also love Halloween and Thanksgiving! I give them all their proper celebratory time periods - HA! If i did not love Thanksgiving so much I would already have my tree up because I love my ornnaments and I have SO MANY Christmas decorations compared to the other holidays. Every year I try to hold off on the tree at least until Thanksgiving is over.

5.  What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly?  Why that one? This is simple for me! I cannot stand spiders! I am not sure why or what it is about them but I cannot be anywhere near a spider...big or small...ICK! I get itchy and feel like they are all over me!
6.  Do you like building things?  What's the last thing you 'built'? I did not think I was a builder however, over Halloween I realized that I am and I love it! We had a Lego themed party at work and I had to "build" a Lego bat and pumpkin and I loved every second of it! Seriously, it was so fun! I am going to get ones for every holiday now!
 
 
 7.  In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?
I'm so grateful for my family! They are supportive, loving and fun! I could not have chosen better people to get to call family! I love each and every one of them so much!


8.  Insert your own random thought. 
I cannot wait to get my hair colored tonight after work - I waited way too long and my grey is showing! Ugh!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!