Wednesday, September 29, 2010
When I don't eat breakfast, I have very low energy in the morning and I snack on sugary foods all day. I'm crabbier. I crash around 3 PM. And I pig out for supper. The days I DO eat breakfast, I am ramped up and ready to go. I don't snack near as much, and when I do it's healthier choices. And I have a more positive outlook all day. So do I think breakfast matters? You better believe it.
Here are some of my favorites:
Whole grain English Muffin with spreadable laughing cow cheese and tsp or 2 of strawberry jam (I tried lower sugar and it doesn't taste as good - obvi - so I just use less of the real stuff)
Cereal - either with skim milk or with Greek yogurt and fruit.
Oatmeal (What I had this morning) - I love this in the winter, and I often put blueberries and cinnamon in mine.
Egg white omelet - the more veggies the better. I usually do this on the weekends because it takes a little more time. And we all know I'm not a morning person.
And my personal favorite in the summer - green monster smoothie! Or any kind of healthy smoothie. Packs a big healthy punch. Love it!
Happy Wednesday! Now go forth eat some breaky! :)
Images courtesy of:
The Foodie Diaries
Helping ReShape the World
The Hungry Mouse
Monday, September 27, 2010
Saturday I watched my Gamecocks play Auburn at a friend's house. Sadly, we lost and it was heartbreaking.
Here is K and I. Obviously this pic was taking before we lost because we were smiling!
Here is K's little Gamecock. Love him. The look on his face tells me he was already predicting that the Gamecocks would lose. Either that or he had a poo coming on?
Yesterday, my mom and dad celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. My brother and I bought them a 2 night stay to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville and tickets to Biltmore.
Happy 40 Years of Marriage to the most wonderful parents in the world!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Don't get me wrong. I love my job. I love my coworkers. But at the end of the day, it's still just my job. It pays my bills. And I leave at 5:00 (usually) every day and leave work behind me. It's not my passion.
I love to blog. I love photography, good food, wine, healthy living. Could my true passion in there somewhere? I'm sure it could. I think the secret is committing to your passion - which means hard work and time. A lot of time. But my problem lies in always having a million other things that get in the way of my passion, whatever it may be. Laundry. Dishes. Meeting friends for dinner. A work function. Etc. Etc.
I am so envious of people that have discovered their passion in life. And even if they do not make a living out of doing what they love, they still know what that it is.
I've noticed that people who seem to have found it also seem to have everything in their life fall into place. The puzzle pieces all come together. The overall picture is clear. They are MEANT to do this. My dad found his passion late in life. He was a chemical engineer his entire life, but always loved history. Now he writes a column in the local newspaper about the history of his hometown. He doesn't make much money from it, but he loves it.
Here are a few blogs that I read regularly that definitely have found it. You can tell, because their love for what they do just oozes in their writing.
Eat, Live, Run - Southern girl turned Cali girl with a passion for writing about her biggest love, food. She has an amazing story.
Chic Runner - I mention this chic gal a lot but mainly because when I started running, she was a big encouragement to me. But again, a blogger with a huge passion for running.
Love Maegan - Fashion blogger, I mentioned her on my "quit smoking" post. She loves fashion and DIY (do-it-yourself) projects.
Mom vs. Marathon - Story of a mom with a passion for running and writing children's books.
The great thing about people these people and others like them, is that they always have a background story. Something that makes them unique and led them to this place in their life.
Do y'all ever feel like me sometimes? Like you are missing out on your passion? Or do you feel as though you have found it? If so, share with me! In the meantime, I'm going to keep looking for mine....
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
But obviously there was something going on behind the smile. What would make a 23 year old kid who seemed so happy want to take his own life? We may never know. But for now, my heart breaks for his family.
RIP #11. You will never be forgotten by Gamecock Nation.
Photo credit @theUSC (twitter)
Monday, September 20, 2010
A little background: I smoked my first cigarette sitting down on one of the ledges that surround that infamous pineapple fountain in downtown Charleston. I was a sophomore in college. Some of the girls I was friends with started lighting up like usual, and for some crazy reason, I asked for a cigarette. I really don't know why I did this, except that I just wanted to try it. And that was all it took. It had me at inhale. ;)
I kept this habit up all during my 20's. I didn't want to quit smoking. I enjoyed it too much. Marlboro Lights became my little best friends. They went with me everywhere. They were with me when I had my morning coffee. They were with me before and after class. They were with me in the car. They accompanied me to weddings. They were with me after bad break-ups. They cheered me up after a bad day at work. They were with me when I found out my grandmother had dementia. My point? They were always there, even when others were not. I never felt alone when I had my 20 skinny little friends. They were my crutch.
However, I knew in my heart I needed to end my relationship with them. And like Maegan, I vowed to do it before my 30th birthday, which was approaching faster than I realized. My friend from Atlanta came to visit me and stayed with me for the weekend. She announced that she was quitting smoking and thought I should quit with her. At first I panicked. I wasn't ready! But I had been having some asthmatic-like symptoms recently, and knew if I was ever going to do it, this was it. If I had to jump off a cliff, at least we were doing it together. We decided to have a little ceremonial moment where we smoked our last cigarette, and then burned the rest of the pack in my fireplace. We called them "nicobobs." I will never forget that moment.
Unfortunately, my friend that quit with me started back soon after, and still smokes today. She struggles like many people do. But the reason I mention this is because I panicked when I found out that she started back. I remember thinking "But we were supposed to do this together! I can't do it without you!" And I realized I was on my own now. This battle was mine and mine alone. And still is today. I know one of these days she will make it through her quit. I plan on helping her through every step.
My biggest tool for quitting smoking was an online journal at quitnet.com. Through that site, I documented an entire year of my life. And that is what it took. An entire year to fully be able to say without a doubt "I'm a non-smoker." It was so hard. I quit cold turkey, but looking back I wish I had gotten some extra help. I journaled every day about what I went through. Some nights I would cry. I would eat. I would chomp ice. I potted plants. They say it takes about 15 seconds for a craving to pass. I would use deep breathing techniques to hold out the craving. I would squeeze stress balls and count to 15. I did anything to not smoke. Sounds horrible? It was. I'm not going to sugar coat this process for anyone. It's just....hard. But it was worth it to me.
I know that for the rest of my life, I will always be at risk for becoming a smoker again, if I allow myself just one puff. Unfortunately, cigarettes still smell good to me. So my tool for staying a non-smoker is in remembering what that year was like. Remember how proud I was to make it through one week, one month, 6 months, a year, etc. without a cigarette. I still go back and check in with the quitnet about once a year, and reread my journal entries.
Last note: for those of you that have never smoked a day in your life count your blessings. But also, please do not judge. Everyone of us has a vice or a flaw that needs to be changed. Some are just more visible than others. And I realize that smoking does impact others around you. But judging and talking rude about those who smoke will do nothing to help them quit. How about kindly ask them how you can help them quit? You never know...all it took for me was one friend offering to quit with me.
My stats as of today from the QuitNet:
2,787 days, 14 hours, 11 minutes and 24 seconds smoke free.
16,726 cigarettes not smoked.
$2,508.30 and 4 months, 7 days, 18 hours of your life saved.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Fall of 2007
2. Was there any event, incident or anecdote in your life that pushed you to start blogging?
I was reading tons of blogs and finally one night started my own.
Yes, so many! I can't begin to remember who though. Mostly from SITS.
4. Do your family and friends know about your blog?
5. Favorite time of the day to write posts.
Usually when I'm stumped on something at work.
6. Longest hiatus between posts.
A week or so.
7. Have you set any goal about your blog? Anything you want to achieve with it?
8. Do you believe it has some kind of social function?
I recently created a second blog "Diary of a Fat Cheerleader" which is my workout and fitness blog.
11. You follow more a) personal blogs, b) news blogs, c) thematic blogs.
12. You tell yourself you need to a) “post/comment less”, b) “post/comment more”, c) “post less, comment more”, d) “post more, comment less”.
I have started both posting and commenting less. I realized one day that the blogs I read the most are the ones who post only about once a week. Anything more than that, and I truly cannot keep up. Also, I finally realized that I cannot comment as much as I want or used to. It so time consuming, and therefore I don't get offended or hurt when I don't get many comments either. People have lives and just can't do it all. Just know that I'm reading and hopefully y'all are too! :)
Not very often. Sometimes I get embarrassed about something I posted, but once it's out there, I usually just leave it.
14. Have you refused to publish any comment? Why?
Only if I think it's spam.
15. Has Twitter changed anything about your blogging habits?
I tweet a ton, so if anything it has probably slowed my blogging down.
16. Has Facebook changed anything about your blogging habits?
Nah. I don't use fb that much anymore.
occasionally but I try to realize that anything I put out there could be read by anyone, so I'm usually pretty careful.
18. Do you feel like a blog star?
no - what exactly makes a blog star? If you have a lot of commenters? I'll pass. That many people commenting just means that many more opinions. I've seen a lot of drama on larger blogs, and I like my "little" blog and my kind, loyal drama-free readers.
19. Do you conceive blogging without the help of Google Images or Youtube?
It would not be as much fun.
20. Have you lied in this questionnaire
No way, Jose.
Happy Thursday, heyyyyyy!!!!
Speaking of embarrassing...
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sometimes, I buy cheap shampoos. Sometimes I buy more expensive stuff "just to see". It varies.
I have tried Pantene shampoos over the years, and the results have always been the same. It worked okay. Not great. Not bad. But usually after a few weeks, it wouldn't seem to get my hair as clean as it did in the beginning, and I'd switch to something else.
About 2 months ago, I was in one of my "let's try this Pantene shampoo/conditioner" mood while browsing Walgreens. It's the Pantene Highlighting Expressions and it retails around $6 each, I believe. I used it and immediately could tell a difference in my hair. My hair was so soft after shampooing, that I almost did not need conditioner. This is BIG TIME for my hair. Normally I can barely get a comb through my hair, and that is after shampooing AND conditioning. Needless to say, after conditioning with the Pantene Expressions, it was even softer. I could just feel how clean and healthy my hair was after one shampoo.
Of course I thought "this won't last." After a few weeks, my hair will get "used" to it and the shampoo will stop working. Well, so far it's been about 2 months, and it is just as amazing as it was on Day 1. I have had more compliments on my hair lately, and my hair dresser even told me that my hair looked healthier to her. I even feel this way about my hair on humid days! (and let me tell you, we have major humidity down here.)
I will say that while I think the conditioner is great too, the magic is in the shampoo. Also, I have started washing my hair the way my hair dresser washes it. I lather up the top and massage my scalp from the side of my head all the way to the crown. Then I continue massaging with my fingers going down to the base of my head, making sure to get every section. The reason I mention this is that I used to not do this, and just shampooed my hair without scrubbing my scalp all that much. It's amazing what a difference this makes. It loosens up the dirt and the overall result is a much softer, cleaner look/feel. I spend a good 3-4 minutes doing this.
I bought the "blonde" highlighting because well, my hair is blonde. But they have a "brunette" option as well.
Let me know if you have tried this shampoo and if it worked or didn't work for you. Also, do you have any "magic products" that you use? Share and share a like!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
But today I will also:
Laugh at someone's joke
Watch football (Go Cocks)
Take a walk with a friend
Drink a glass of wine on my porch
Talk on the phone with my mom
Make plans for an upcoming vacation
Eat some yummy food
Read a good book
Because after all, that is what life is about. Living. Being happy. And the terrorists did not take this from us. I will not live in fear. I love this country! And so proud of our heroes of 9/11. We live in an amazing country. And no terrorist will ever take that pride away.
God Bless America....
Friday, September 10, 2010
I found out the Cub is seeing someone now, and has been for several weeks. That stung a little, not going to lie. I knew it would happen eventually, but it just happened so...quickly. Men are like that though. They don't mope around that's for sure. Unfortunately, it has put a damper on our friendship somewhat. We haven't talked much since I found out, but that is to be expected. Life goes on. As Jimmy Buffet would say, "breathe in, breathe out, move on."
In unrelated news, I have been sucked into the world of vampires. I think one finally bit me, because I can't put the books down. I said I never would, but honestly I am seriously enjoying them! I bought a kindle recently, and I am in love with it. My life lately involves me with my nose buried into my er...kindle. PS Team Edward!
Happy Friday, luvahs.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
It's something you never think could happen to your child...until it does. And then what?
When D found out, I know this was a very frightening thing for her to face. Not going to lie; it frightened me. I had never dealt with autism before. I had heard about it but that was about it. I had no idea that approximately 1 out of 110 children are affected by autism. And 1 out of 70 boys. This diagnose would be enough to send me to my knees crying and asking God "Why me??" " Why my child??"
Now maybe D did think or say this when no one was watching. But in front of everyone else including me, she simply continued to do what she does best. Be a mom. D is one of the strongest and most amazing people I know. She did not sit back and let autism beat their family. She fights autism every day. She become an advocate and crusader for Wes-man. Every day she fights this fight for him. For her family. And for others that do not have a voice to fight for them. Someday, I hope she'll start a blog (hint, hint!!) and share their story.
Thanks to her, Autism is not a scary word to me anymore. My Wes-man is the sweetest most lovable little boy you will EVER meet in your entire life. And truth be told, he's my little hero. (another post on that coming soon.)
Most of you have heard of "Welcome to Holland. " However, it becomes VERY real when all of a sudden... you wake up and the next thing you know, you're there...
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
Emily Perl Kingsley.
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your
wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
Yes, it's true. Holland is so lovely. :)
Thursday, September 2, 2010
So, as we like to say down here this time of year...GO COCKS!!!! (You know you love it!)
This is not just a photoshopped picture - our team really does run out of a tunnel with smoke. :)
YES! Gamecocks are gonna run this town tonight!