March 2017

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Sometimes Things Work Out

Our family room is small with a weird layout. The biggest problem is the fireplace. It's too large for the space and shoved into a corner.

It's also an inefficient wood-burning fireplace. When burning wood the draft is so severe we stopped using it. So, a few years ago, when I learned we could convert to an electric fireplace, we didn't hesitate. (Our home is all electric.)

We love the electric fireplace. It turns on with the push of a button and does a surprisingly good job of warming up the room.

But I still wasn't happy with how much space the overall fireplace takes up. Then I got the idea of adding a cushion to the hearth. It would warm up the hard look of the brick and give us extra seating. So I searched and searched and finally took a chance on a bench cushion I found on Overstock.com. Given the dimensions, it seemed two cushions would cover the space perfectly.

Voila! The color and size of the cushions work beautifully. And the cost was well under $100. I just love and rejoice when things work out so nicely.



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Reading Club

Until this year, I always thought our library's Summer Reading Club was just for kids. But now that I'm more familiar with the library, I know the Summer Reading Club is open to adults too.

I signed up online and, for the past month, have been entering books as I complete them with no idea what to expect. Then two days ago, after logging my latest book, I got a message I had completed the program and could pick-up my reward coupons at the library!

I collected the coupons today and was happy to receive free food items from Penn Station East Coast Subs and Chipotle. Since I've never eaten at Penn Station and have been to Chipotle only once 10+ years ago, I have no idea how much the coupons are worth. But who doesn't like free?

I'm most excited about the Chipotle coupon since I love Mexican food and have heard their menu items are typically fresh and full of flavor. Plus I learned online I can get a Burrito Bowl for less than 500 calories.

The coupons are appreciated, but I've also now been entered into the drawing for "big" prizes at the end of the program. And I'll get more entries the more books I read.

Again, I don't know what to expect, or what the odds are of winning anything "big." Nevertheless, I'm having fun with the library's Summer Reading Club.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Is This My Future?

Yesterday I visited my 84-year-old dad and we celebrated Fathers Day. I brought my oldest grandson as well as lunch and a festive balloon tied to a bag of gourmet cheese popcorn. I would like to report it was a nice visit but, unfortunately, it left me feeling sad.

Since mom passed over two years ago, to me dad's aging much more quickly. Now that he has my full attention, I'm seeing a man who looks extremely old and moves painstakingly slow. But most disturbing is how dad keeps recalling the same stories, all of which are about how someone was out to cheat him or how unfair the world is.

Sadly my parents have always been more pessimistic than optimistic. Something I didn't realize until I became more secure in my own adulthood. But it's been acutely obvious to my hubby and sister-in-law for almost as long as they've known mom and dad. It's as if my siblings and I were too brainwashed to notice.

And now I find it sad that over 84 years dad's big stories are about how bad people and life are. And it makes me wonder if I'll be the same way when I'm in my 80s.

Using logic, as I'm prone to do, however, I'm thinking since I'm not as negative as my parents were in their 60s I won't be in my 80s either. I strongly pray that will be true because I surely don't want the sad stories to be the last things I share with my children and grandchildren.

Life can be cruel, but it's also full of beauty and happiness.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Movie Review

Today hubby and I saw Jurassic World in IMAX 3D. I'm not a fan of ridiculous action movies, but I have to admit Jurassic World was a lot of fun in 3D. Several times hubby and I laughed out loud after jumping when a dinosaur's open mouth filled the huge IMAX screen  – LOL.

Unfortunately, Jurassic World is a PG-13 movie, which leaves out both of my grandsons. Nine-year-old Elliott was especially hoping to see it. He's already purchased and built two Lego Jurassic World sets. But I know several scenes in the movie would absolutely terrify him.

I still feel Jurassic Park is the best movie in the series. But Jurassic World is certainly better than movies two and three. It's a fun summer movie that's perfect for an adolescent boy.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Never Say Never

Crop jeans are a current fashion trend I thought would be perfect for our upcoming Colorado trip. People in Colorado tend to wear jeans year round because it never gets too hot there.

So when Kohl's sent me a 30-percent-off-my-entire-order coupon, I decided to shop. Even though, for the past fews years, except for workout apparel I haven't had any luck finding clothes at Kohl's. And today looked to be no different when, after trying on several pairs of jeans, I started heading to the cashier with just a workout top. And that's when I spotted the magic crop jeans.

They were the wash I wanted and looked slimming but not tight. And, for some reason, I had a strong feeling they would fit. But, when I walked over and saw the brand name, Jennifer Lopez, I nearly gagged.

I am not a fan of super diva J-Lo. (I always imagine when Ben Affleck broke things off before the wedding, his mother breathed a huge sigh of relief.) And when she started a clothing and accessories line at Kohl's, I told myself I would never purchase any of her items. But I just had to try on those jeans!

Although they look smaller than any bottoms I've bought in the past decade, the fit is fantastic. They remind me of the movie, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." Like the jeans in the movie, the J-Lo crop jeans are simply magical.

And, once again, I'm reminded to "never say never."


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Positive Reinforcement

I weigh myself on Saturday mornings and, for the last two weeks, I've been at a four-pound weight lose. I'm thrilled, but know four pounds isn't that much. (I mean, hubby dropped six pounds just prepping for his colonoscopy!) Nevertheless, I'm loving the positive reinforcement I've experienced recently.

Today, someone I haven't seen for six weeks immediately asked if I'd lost weight. And some of my bottoms are close to looking ridiculously big. This afternoon I resorted to wearing my swim shorts for a better fit. They look like regular shorts but have zero stretch, so typically aren't that comfortable. Right now they're not bad at all.

But I'm still questioning whether it's the weight lose or more the lose of inches that's making the difference. I still suspect eliminating sugar and artificial sweetener from my diet has kept me from being bloated. Or maybe it's just that I'm drinking more water and consuming more fiber?

Who knows, but I'm not changing the program after all the positive reinforcement. However, I just might have to shop the summer sales sooner than anticipated!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Loving the Library

It's been three months since I reactivated my library card and, to date, I've read 10 books. In the past I was doing good if I finished three books a year!

Through the library website, I always have several books on hold and get so excited when the email comes letting me know a book is now waiting for pickup. It reminds me of how I felt in grade school when the bookmobile came.

In addition to enjoying library books, I've also borrowed several DVDs. I'm now in the habit of checking the library archives if the movie I want isn't free through Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. And I recently learned movies can also be downloaded, and  plan to see how that works very soon.

I'll also soon be checking out some library audio books. Armed with print and audio books, the drive to and from Colorado should pass quickly.

Yes, I'm loving the library again!



Monday, June 1, 2015

Healthier Eating Update

It's now been two months since I made several significant changes to my diet. I haven't had a Diet Pepsi, or any other soda, since April 1. I've also greatly reduced my intake of processed sugar and artificial sweetener. Plus, by eating more vegetables and fruit, I've been able to keep my daily caloric intake between 1400 and 1500 calories. So how's it going? Great!

I haven't felt deprived and, this past week, my rings and clothes have begun fitting looser. Since I've only lost four pounds, I believe the looser fit is mainly due to less bloating.

We leave for Colorado in less than four weeks, but I should be able to stay on track while we're gone. We'll be staying in a condo with a fully-equipped kitchen, so there's no excuse not to. I'll be bringing some staples, and I'm looking forward to shopping in different grocery stores and hitting the local farmers markets.

With the scale finally moving in the right direction, I'm even more motivated to stay the course.