Friday, October 19, 2012

Ladies Day Out.. Oh My!!

Wednesday was another marvelous Ladies Day out.  On this adventure, we head into the Supernatural.

Dare not to be scared. 

Employing the screaming gene to remain hidden. 

Invoke the griping god to give us strength and courage.

The movie started at 11:10am, see it is easier to watch scary movies in the day light.  Smart right?  Any way, we make plans to meet and hit a few of the shops before braving it to the ticket booth.  My sister, Marry Ann, birthday was coming up {October 16} and my mother wanted to get her a birthday outfit.  Perfect way to build up courage.  Dance around the enemy.  Peek over at it from time to time.  Give it the evil eye.  And then attack.

The shop we went into was the greatest.  TJ Maxx.  Love love that place.  My mother and Marry Ann hit the clothing isles first.  Lynda hadn't arrived yet, so I lingered with the purses.  I think I could have a closet full of purses.  One for each day.  Each outfit.  Each pair of shoes.  Yep, nothing like a
functional styling purse. 

Here are just a few of the ones I could have walked out with...

I could see this one, on Sunday Monday Tuesday and every other day of the week, in my left hand.  Hanging softly over my left shoulder.  Sitting carefully in the passenger seat. 

And this Red and Black one on date nights.  During Thanksgiving and Christmas.  With a glass of Red wine, crackers/cheese.  This one could very well be my best friend.  Hello Lover.

Oh for the love of Trump.  This purse, speaks to my very soul.  I would have used this one, every day of my life.. and every second in between.  There wouldn't have been a single moment, that this one would have left my side.  Together, we would have captured the world and recorded it. 

Once I walked away from my heavenly spot; I caught up with my mother and my sister, still in the clothing isles.  Marry Ann had picked out a shirt and a pair of pants, mom had found a new pair of sneakers for me {because she really hates my old ones}; and Lynda had joined us at the check out area.

It was almost movie time. 

Our hearts began to race, and our nerves were on edge as be began our walk to the Ticket Booth

Monday, October 15, 2012

Whiskey and Shhadow Boxes..

During the holidays, or anytime really, liquor stores stock up on gift sets.  They are quite the party gift or house warming gift or even a tea party gift.  I would rather have a Coffee party than a Tea party, but that's just me.  Any who.  My sweetie has a few of them from his 'I'm a Bachelor' days and I had the perfect use for them.

Drink?  Mm Sorry guys.  My sweety and his brother finished the wild turkey.  Maybe next time, huh?

The gift box is the perfect thing, and I am sure there are so many more uses for them.  Currently I am stuck on this one use, but give me a moment or two, and I might be able to belt out a few more uses for the gift boxes.

Who needs the inners, without the liquor?  So, gut the box right down to the shell.

I cleaned the glass front, and used polish on the wood.  Gave it a nice clean shinny look.  Yep, this will make an awesome shadow box.  Not the real hard work come in.

My shadow box is going to hold the 11 challenge coin given to me over the past 4 years, and the lapel pins given to me.  It was all planned in my head.  How it would look.  Where the coins would be placed.   Where it would hang in our house.

Again, the hard work first.  Was a super good thing My Sweetie was here to help.  I could have never come up with the items he invented.

The Challenge Coin Template

First My Sweetie had me make a template of where I wanted to place the coins, on this perfectly cut out paper he put together.  It was the height and width of the box.  No mistakes could be made on my part.  Then he want on to make the cutters, each cutter the same size of the coins.  There were three sizes in all. 

The tools and Cutters

Our porch glass top table was full of tools and equipment to make the three different cutters.  This turned out to be quite a job.

There was football action going as well.  After all, it was Sunday.  Who wouldn't have been watching the games.  This was the Falcon game, started at 1pm.  We were waiting for the really big game that came on at 4pm, the New York Giants.

Did you notice those round medal circles?  My Sweetie made them for the coins.  He's so smart!  I would have never thought of something like that, and sat at the table with a razor knife cutting out circles.  Thus leaving circles in my glass top table.  Just think of how much money my sweetie saved us, with making medal cutters.

Styrofoam backing for the shadow box.  This is what the Challenge Coins are going to rest in.

With the medal cutters, my sweetie cut circles into the Styrofoam for each coin.  It was coming along so nicely. 

Excitement is my middle name!! 

Not really.  I don't have a middle name.  But if I could pick one, it would be excitement.  For sure.

The cutters and the little portions left when the holes were made.  Save these, trust me.

Use a block of wood under the Styrofoam when you cut the holes.  it will save your glass top table, or work area.  This was just a small practice piece, to see how the cutters worked and double check the sizes.

The Challenges Coins set in the practice piece. 

It was at this stage when we found, using the scrap cut out pieces {cut them in half} and place them in the coin holes.  Some of the coins slipped deeper in the circles than others; so the half cut out pieces worked perfectly. 

Aren't you glad I told you to hold on to them.  See, trusting me, ain't quite so bad.


Doesn't the Challenge Coin Box look good?  Each coin has a meaning to me.  It holds a ton of Military Mom emotions and moments.  But, that will have to be another blog story.

Now when you get a liquor gift box...  Think of ways to use the box when the whiskey or wine is finished.

We made three shadow boxes all together.  First one for a hat, program, and challenge coin my son gave from a decommissioning.  The Second one with the items of my sons current location and deployment items.  And the third one with all the challenge coins given to e over the course of 4 years.

The Third Shadow Box is going to hang above the 173rd Patch.   That patch along holds a big place in my heart.  I'll have to tell you about that story one day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Other Woman...

 New York: The Botanical Gardens  Such a pretty glass building, huh?
  I wasn't counting on the competition.  The thought had entered my mind months ago, but it quickly faded.  Besides, women can dwell within the same household, share the same space, and never once compete with one another.  Right?

  That's what I hoped for.  That's what I wished.  That's until I seen how she reacts around him.  Until I seen the effects my Sweetie has on her.  


  It was a hot October day, happens often in Florida, the sun beating down on her back.  Her long reddish blond hair sticking to her sweaty body.  It was all she could do to climb the stairs.  Lagging with each step as my Sweetie encouraged her every move.  Once he was able to get her in side, she spread out; letting the cool floor soak through her skin.  Ensuring her cheeks, arms and legs were feeling the running boxing fan on her skin.  She was particularly enjoying the personal fan over top of her.  My Sweetie.  Moving cool air, back and forth, over top of her body.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life: The Changes in Day Two

  Moving right along with day two of my Life Style Change.  I found myself with a slight headache this evening.  I'm sure it isn't a rise in my blood pressure.  Know how you can feel that pounding in your head when your blood pressure is up, I wasn't feeling that. 

How sweet is this picture?  Love the effect of the taxi in the back ground and the man on the street corner looking at the ladies.

Maybe a lack of sugar. 

Could it be Sugar withdrawals; is there such a thing?

  Any who... Today started off like any other.  Worried about sticking to my plan.  What lunch and dinner would bring.  Help to plan the meal early.  I have breakfast, lunch and dinner already planned for Friday. 

  To think, I never use to know what I would want from day to day.  Now I find myself planning meals ahead. 

  Who would have thunk? Right??  For those who know me personally, this is a very BIG deal.  I never plan meals.  Fly by the seat of your pants; way better.

My friend called this picture 'Blessings over Freedom Tower'.  Rings true, doesn't it?

  So today, I needed plenty of 'looking at cool New York pictures'.  Good thing I can count on my twitter pals to help me out.  Are you on twitter?  I have seen so many tweets about the freeze warnings for the New York area, and others.  It is going to get down to below 32 Friday night into Saturday morning; in New York that is.

  Florida get into the 60 for only a few minutes; than it is back up to the high 80's.  Just my Fall and Winter luck.

  Moving right into my next thought.   Again today I stuck to my food plan, to the tea.  Despite the nagging inner urge to savor a fun size candy bar or two.  Three.  Four.  So here is what I cooked up for today's Diabetic Meal....

1 cup of milk {for my coffee throughout the day}
1/2 cup of Oatmeal
1/2 Banana

Iceberg Lettuce {thank goodness it is a free food}
1 1/4 cup Strawberries
6 ounce Yogurt
1/4 Granola
1/2 cup rinsed canned green beans
2 Tbsp Lite Kens honey mustard salad dressing

4 ounces Tilapia
1/2 cup cooked and chopped sweet Potatoes
1 slice of 100% Whole Wheat Grain bread
1 Tsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup cooked Zucchini
1/2 cup cooked Eggplant
1 Tsp Butter

Check out this 360 degree view of Yankee Stadium.  Pretty snappy, don't you think? Yeah, me too.

  I sure did enjoy breakfast and lunch, dinner however is another story.  I am not a fish eater, unless it is tuna fish in the can.  The kind in water.  Albacore.  Than there is the zucchini, sheesh that was bad.  The eggplant wasn't to hot either; in taste that is.  We grilled the fish and the nonstarchy veggies together.  The Sweet Potatoes were the best by far; also cooked on the grill.

  The problem?  The plan calls for FISH 2 - 3 times a week.  Okay so, I'll try another kind of fish.  Once the bag of fish I already have is finished.  The nonstarchy veggies however, are going to be a problem.  I have never been a carrot, cucumber, broccoli type of gal; so imagine my panic when I seen where I have to add them to my meals.  Oh my word!

  I ate every drop.  Not because I liked it; rather because my health depends on it.  I mean, eat or starve.  Right?  Not me!!  So before I close.  I wish you a wonderful Thursday night, or Friday morning if you are reading this Friday, and leave you with one last New York photo. 

FALL in love with the Streets of New York

Ladies Day Out..

Wednesday was pretty much become Ladies Day Out.  Oh how I have grown to love Wednesdays. 

  Hey, how cool is 10*11*12?  Last time we will see that this year.  All three numbers together in a row.. consecutive.  Pretty cool, huh?

  OK, back to Wednesdays.  About 3 weeks ago, my mother, my sister, and I went to the movies.  It was freeing and exhilarating, seeing a movie in the middle of the morning.  The movie, Expendables 2, was a real treat.  Man have those actors changed, right?  You can see the trailer for Expendables 2 here....

  It was an awesome day.  However, I was feeling my anxiety rising when we walked to the concession stand.  I found myself watching people, seeing if I could tell who was packing a gun.  Hey!! That Batman Shooting scared my anxiety for life; alright.  Cut me a little slack.

You just never know these days!

  The week after we saw The Expendables 2; another movie was planned.  Lynda {my mothers friend}, my mother, my sister, and myself went to see Lawless.  If you haven't seen it yet, you are really missing out.  I love true stories, history, and cowboys.  Had to through that in.  But these brothers were more than a little bada$$. 

Sometimes a little bad, ain't so bad.  You can see the trailer here....

  Wow!  I could watch that move 3 times over again, and still watch it a few more times.  Family bond isn't a bond to mess with.  And these brothers; make sure everyone knows it.

  Wednesday, yesterday, was no different than the others.  Well sort of, we didn't see a movie.  This time we all laid back, and were pampered.  We arrived at Brandon Salon & Spa, with one thing on our minds.  To be swept away in relaxation.

  Marry Ann and Lynda made themselves right at home in the big fluffy massage chairs.  These chairs not only gave their backs a massage, but their bottoms as well.  My mother joked with Lynda about her 'red' face; a number of times.  In fact, even the works were joking with Lynda about her red face.  Bah hahaha it was to funny.

  The young lady who worked on my mother, was just the best!  She was really a work of art.  So nice, and good at what she does.  Very good.  Her name is Kim.  You should have a Manni and Pedi done by her.  You'll see.  Pure relaxation.

  Lan worked on my feet and legs.  I think that flip flop tan is now tattooed into my skin.  Gotta love Florida and Flip Flops.  Not only did Lan take her time with me, but she gave me a complete lower leg massage, and arm massage.  I could have slept for a 100 years right there in that chair.  Between the chair massaging me, and Lan's magic fingers, I spent a few hours in heaven.

  All four of us Ladies received the full treatment.  Hot towels were placed on our legs to relax the muscles.  A scrub was put not only on my legs but, on my lower arms as well.  The smell was to die for.  Our eyebrows were molded and tailored to our faces.  The peach fuzz, if you are Spanish you know there is no peach and it isn't fuzz, was removed and the area cooled.  All of our finger nails were cut at the proper length and colored with a polish choice of our choosing.  Our feet were given the up most care.  By the time I walked out of the Salon, I felt like I was walking on a cloud. 

  Oh, if you've never had a full pedi and manni, get one.  I am pretty sure this will be a monthly girly thing for me.  Well, I would like for it to be any way.  The cost can be steep, but I slept like a rock last night.

  I don't know what the next Wednesday Ladies Day Out is going to bring, but I can not wait for the adventure.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Life: 2 steps forward and 10 steps back...

*** Note: Some of the photos in todays post have nothing to do with the post itself.  They calming and extreamly relaxing.  I really hope you see the beauty in each one.  My Twitter friends shared New York with me; through their eyes. ****

  Know the days when you feel like you take two steps forward, and it seems like 10 steps back?  I had that day yesterday.  In order for you to understand what I'm talking about, You'll have to take a step back in time; just a small leap.

Isn't this Florida sky so pretty?

  Remember when I was taking part in the Blood Pressure Research Study?  During one of my visits, fasting blood labs were drawn.  With the results, I learned that my good cholorestel was low and my bad cholestrol was high, so I needed to work on bringing the bad down.  I stopped all fried foods.  Only cooked with EVOO {extra vergin olive oil}.  Kept a lot of fruit in the house.  I thought I was going a pretty good job. 

  Yesterday I went to see my physician at Bloomingdale Medical Accociates.  Here is what my lab results from June {The Research Center} really showed.  My total cholestrol was high at 188 and my AC1 {the percentage of fasting blood sugar} was also high at 6.0; yeah!  Now, normally a physician might let you know about the AC1 being close to the danger zone.  In my case however, stocky postmenaposal female with high blood pressure, high cholestrol, and a family history of heart conditions {which high blood pressure is a heart condition}; it brings the danger zone to a whole new level.

New York City in the Fall is so stunning; don't you think?

  My two steps forward, was when the nurse yesterday told me my blood pressure was 127/86 and my pluse was 72. 

  Angels begand to sing and in the back ground, a harp was softly playing.  Not really but, that was quite a mountian we climbed to control an otherwise uncontrolable blood pressure.

  My 10 steps back?  Well 5 steps went to the high cholestrol problem and the new medication I would begin taking at night.  The other 5 steps went to the news of being a diabetic.  Yes, you heard me right.  Diabetic. 

Here is the game plan....

1} No medication for the next 6 months
2} Complete Meal planning:
     A} 5 Starches per day
     B} 3 Fruits per day
     C} 2 Milk products per day
     D} 3 Nonstarchy Veggies per day
     E} 4 oz Meat or Meat Subetututes per day
     F} 3 Fats per day
3} Loose 5 pounds per month

  If my AC1 does not change after the meal planning and weight lost {6 months lifestyle training, than I will be put on medication to control my blood sugar.  In between, I will have a Complete Thyroid panel drawn.  The physician feels my Thyroid isn't fuctioning as it should.

Didn't the George Washington Bridge in New York look simply breath taking last night?

  So, as you see, by the time I take two steps forward; I move 10 steps back.  The upside?  I am learning about myself.  About food.  About the quality of life.  And what living really means. 
  Learning to live a way other than the way I have lived for the past 47 years, is like riding a mean bull.  But today was only the first day, and what I thought {and complained about all day today}, hasn't turned out to be that bad at all.  Now that I am looking back on the days events that is.  I have never been a breakfast eater, and that has changed.  I never thought much about cream of wheat, and this morning proved me right, but I will just try another breakfast item as one of my starches.  Thursday morning brings oatmeal, and fruit.

Meal planning and Meal Log.

  Charting every portion of my food in take is a must; I am looking at it in the way of having my own menu of trial meals.  I am sure as time goes on, I will get better at balancing my starches throughout a single day.  Making the most of the food I can eat.  Crazy thing though.  It didn't really bother me to only eat meat one time a day, as there were plenty of days where coffee was the only thing for breakfast and fresh fruit salad was my lunch; leaving meat for dinner.  Again it didn't bother me, until yesterday that is, when some one veribally told me I could only eat 4oz of meat daily.  Sure, I could split that up throughout the day, and have 2 ounces of meat at lunch and 2 ounces at dinner; but have you really looked at a 2 ounce peice of meat. 

  Needless to say, today I split my 4 ounces meat.  The first day is always the hardest.  Salad greens are free for me, so while out on our Girls Day, I ate a subway salad... which intailed of lettuce and spinach leaves, 2 thin slices of tomatoes, 6 olive slices, and non fat italian dressing. Oh, and a bottle of water.  Hard to follow the whole starch, fat, fruit... etc?  I thought so too.  Here, let me break it down for you with just todays menu.

Again, this is what I am allowed a day:  Starches 5, fruit 3, milk 2, nonstarchy veggies 3, meat 4oz, fats 3

Breakfast 10 10 2012
1/2 cup Cream of Wheat = 1 starch {leaving me 4 for the rest of the day}
1 tsp butter {added to the cream of wheat - still was yuck} = 1 fat {leaving me 2 for the day}
17 grapes = 1 fruit {leaving me 2 for the day}
1 cup of milk {I add a small amount of milk to my coffee, which equales a cup all day long} = 1 milk {leaving me 1 for the day}

Subway made Salad
Lettuce {free food}
2 slices tomatoes + a few soinach leaves = 1 nonstarchy veggie {leaving me 2 for dinner}
2 ounces Tuna = 1/2 my meat {leaving me with 2 ounces of meat for dinner}

6 ounces plain yogurt = 1 milk [milk done for the day}
2 ounces of skinless boneless chicken = 1 meat {meat done for the day}
1/4 cup of blueberries = fruit {now I was allowed 1 1/4 cups of strawberries but I used the 1/4 cup for blueberries instead}
1 cup strawberries = 1 fruit {leaving me with one more fruit}
1/2 banana = 1 fruit {no more fruit for the day}
1 cup cooked mushrooms {mushrooms are a nonstarchy veggie and when cooked you can have 1/2 cup, but seeing how I had to fill 2 nonstarchy veggies; I used 1 cup of mushrooms at dinner} = nonstarchy veggie {nonstarchy done for the day}
1 teaspoon EVOO = 1 fat {leaving me 1 fat}
1 slice whole grain bread = 1 starch {leaving me 1 more starch for the day}
1 pat or teaspoon butter = 1 fat {no more fat for the day}
1/4 cup granola = 1 starch {starch done for the day}

  I saved the 1/2 banana for this evening, giving me a snack before bed.  It seems like dinner was a whole lot {looking at that dinner list, but I mixed the fruit with the yogurt for an after dinner dessert.  My dinner plate consisted of a 2 ounce chicken breast with mushrooms and lemom juice and a slice of buttered bread. 

On top of The Rock or The Empire State Building.  How cool is this picture?

  Like I said, it will get better as I learn to spread out my starches.  The next chapter in my life, "Life Style Change" {as the physician called it} will find me thinner, my blood pressure still under control, and my AC1 down.

Oh the rollercoaster of life.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

AWE Sunday...

I love Sundays.  Saturdays as well.  Any day is a good day to me; OK, maybe not Mondays.  Either way, today is more exciting because I get to share new AWE Photos with you.  So here is Awe Sunday.....

How cute are my Niece and Nephew in this park shot?

It was Homecoming Week for my Niece Anna {my brother Fred's daughter} How Fab does she look?!  Anna was one of the Homecoming Courts.  Yay!!

Calling the real Waldo.  Will you please stand up?  My daughter Ashley poses as Waldo.  She is so funny!

But I think my grandson Eli could be Waldo's twin.  How funny is Eli?  I could just eat him up!

Oh my word.  Couldn't my grand daughter Jaycee be a hat model?  Look at those chubby cheeks!! Love this baby to death!

Here's Anna again.  It is Homecoming Night.  She looks stunningly beautiful.  Doesn't she?

Look at my little Loves.  Arianna and Jayla.  These two sisters are so funny and love to have loads of fun while growing through life.  LOL  The things little girls do. 

Could my daughters be any more beautiful?

And my son who keeps the mystery behind very dark goggles.  Such a sexy look.  Love love this man.

And my niece Anna... Made Homecoming Queen that night!  The whole school was chanting her name.  Anna.. Anna.. Annaaaaa. 

There is Jaycee, our hat model.  How cute she is, right?  Could just hold her and squeeze her all day.

I hope you enjoyed the photos that have me yelling AWE all day long.  I've ejoyed sharing them with you.   Have an AWE-Sunday!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Brito, Lady Justice where are you?

  Remember when I was telling you about this free paper we get out here; TBT?  Every time we are within the Publix parking lot area, we pick up a few of them.  I like to read it, my sweety loves them, my mother enjoys them, and now we have my sister hooked on TBT as well. 
  The September 28 issue of TBT caught my interest before I turned the first page.  "She Lives With Her Guilt'.  Have you read it?  Here is who they are talking about...

  While reading the story, I felt my blood boil.  My blood pressure rise.  The hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Guilt isn't enough for this mother of 2.

  The TBT* story was written by John Barry and Jessica Vander Velde; they did a wonderful job reporting and writing about it.  Full credit belongs to them both.  Just from reading the front page of the TBT I now held in my hand, had me longing to find out more.  Thus, such longing had to wait until I finished driving home.