Monday, January 28, 2013

No Pain, No Gain?

Yesterday morning I had the crazy idea of trying out Jillian Michaels' Banish Fat Boost Metabolism video.  The workout is just close to an hour. 

I know, I can't believe I worked out for almost an hour either!  Usually I'm the 20 to 30 minute type, so this really shocked me first thing Monday morning!

I had stumbled on the video Sunday night and for some unknown reason, thought it would be pretty amazing if I could do that for one whole week.  Sure, sounds easy peasy but this is ME we're talking about.  I also subscribed to the Youtube user channel because there's plenty more fitness videos on there including Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and 6 Week Abs.

I had some difficulty with the routine once it moved down to the mat because push ups and planks are tougher than they look or I'm more out of shape than I thought.




After just one day of doing that routine, my tummy hurts when I laugh, my legs are dying as I try to walk to the bus on snow filled sidewalks when usually it'd be no problem. Wow, I've got muscles where I didn't know I had muscles!! Let's see how day two works out...If I can hang on for a whole week, it'll certainly be a miracle!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Welcome Guest Blogger

Good day everyone! 

I'd like to introduce to you Mrs. Sarah Gordon Weathersby.  I've followed Mrs. Weathersby on social media for a few years now and discovered she is a woman of many talents; one of them is writing.  Here she is to introduce her latest:  Tell Them I Died.

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Thanks so much, Susan, for the opportunity to guest blog at your place. I’m currently in the midst of a 10-day blog tour to promote my new novel TELL THEM I DIED. Amazon has paperback copies listed for $8.99 and an Amazon Kindle version for $3.99. You can find it also on BarnesandNoble.com in NOOK version for $3.99. I need reviews to help generate word-of-mouth buzz and interest in the book.

TELL THEM I DIED is a romantic adventure that doesn't conform to the usual romance novel genre in that the protagonists are all over fifty years of age, retired, and with discretionary time and funds to enjoy life, and online friends to share every minute.  And unlike other romances, much of the action takes place on the internet on social networking sites. The story was inspired by the many people I came to know and love over many years on social networking sites.  People who are not online a lot don't realize how real those long-distance relationships can be.  Over all those years, my online friends have married,  had children, divorced, and some have died.  And then there is the travel element.  My husband and I travel a lot, and we share our travel photos with our friends online.  Several friends have suggested that I write a book about my travels.  I think travelogs can be rather boring, but I decided to weave some of our adventures into the story.

The main characters of TELL THEM I DIED are Laura (Screen name: A1QTEE), owner/operator of Blaq-Kawfee.com, and the men in her life who come in an out of the social networking scene.  There is Laura's number one confidante and forum moderator, Angela (Screen name: Angelplaits), and her husband "Bodine." The men in Laura's life, ex-fiance', Jackson (JackDaniels), Lester (TheGuy), Laura's son, Carlton, and her some-time boyfriend Harman all present challenges for Angela as she tries to find out what happened to her dear friend when she gets the news that Laura has died.

I hope you’ll take the time to check out TELL THEM I DIED and write a review at Amazon.com or on your blog. It's a light-hearted page-turner of a story, that my early reviewers have said they hated to end.

My tag line: When it comes to long-distance internet romances, sixty is the new seventeen.

Here is an excerpt:

Jackson hardly knew what day it was. He had been awake over twenty-four hours, and although he was tired, he knew he still would not sleep soundly. He showered and dressed so he would be ready for his morning trip to find Carlton. He set the clock for six a.m. and lay down on the bed fully clothed. At least he’d had a good meal at Bonita’s house. Now he could laugh at how ridiculous that scene had been. 

Internet hoochie-mamas. Those girls were so tame online. I never would have guessed. And Stacey was married. Laura probably had them all figured out, but Angela was so naïve. What a set-up.
 
He slept for a few hours before the alarm rang. This time he drove his rental car and picked up a cup of black coffee on his way. The built-in GPS took him to Carlton’s place in a short time. Carlton lived in a small bungalow on a quiet street. Jackson parked down the block where he could see Carlton whenever he left. After Angela told him how he lied, he didn’t want to take a chance on being dodged.

The front door opened after Jackson had been waiting close to an hour. A young woman with a toddler emerged. Jackson recognized them as Carlton’s wife and baby. He had never met them, but had seen photos Laura had posted on the web. Jackson headed them off before they reached their car.

“Good Morning, Keisha. I’m so glad I caught you before you got away for the day.”

Keisha didn’t know this man, but she smiled and stopped since he called her name. “Good Morning.”

“We’ve never met, but I’m Jackson Gooding. I was Laura’s friend. I met Carlton, but I never met you. I would like to talk to Carlton, if you don’t mind. Is he in?”

“He goes to work around ten, so he’s not up yet. Why don’t you call him later?”

“I don’t have his number. Can you give it to me?” Jackson knew how to turn on the charm. He hoped Keisha would trust him enough to give him the number. She did. She gave him Carlton’s mobile number and work number.

“Thanks, Keisha. I know you working moms have to get going in the morning. I don’t want to make you late.” He helped her with getting the baby into his car seat, and held her car door while they said goodbye. He didn’t want her to know he wouldn’t leave until he saw Carlton.

Jackson settled into his car again. This time he allowed himself to nap until about nine. He thought by then Carlton would be up and getting dressed. When he rang the doorbell, he listened for movement inside the bungalow. He could hear a television and someone approaching the door. Jackson stepped back, expecting the door to open. He knew Carlton had to be on the other side of the door watching him through the peephole. When the door didn’t open, Jackson knocked, and said, “Carlton, it’s me. I know you’re in there.”

Carlton opened the door, looking down at his feet.

Jackson extended his hand to shake it. “Hey, man. I’m so sorry about your mom. When Angela told me, I took the first flight I could get.”

Carlton still stood in the doorway, not motioning for Jackson to come in.

“Can I come in? I know you have to go to work, so I won’t take too much of your time.” Carlton let him in, and led him into the kitchen, where Carlton had been eating a bowl of cereal.

“Tell me what happened. How did she die?” Jackson asked.

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY - January 2013
I am giving away four (4) autographed copies of TELL THEM I DIED through a giveaway administered by Goodreads.com.  If you're not already a member of Goodreads, it's easy to join.Go here for the giveaway: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/40065-tell-them-i-died
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Gordon Weathersby is the youngest of seven siblings, and the first to migrate back to the South after living in DC, New Jersey and New York. She is a retired Information Technology professional who lives in Raleigh with her husband, and their imaginary dog, Dusty. Sarah is the author of a memoir, Motherless Child - stories from a life, and publisher of a family saga, The Gordons of Tallahassee, written by her sister LaVerne Gordon Goodridge. Tell Them I Died is her first work of fiction.

You can contact her online at:

 I appreciate your time and consideration, and I hope you’ll enjoy my novel. Thanks so much, Susan and friends.

Mix It Up

I'm really NOT the exercising type of person.  Seriously.  In order to truly keep focused on exercising, I have to mix it up a bit.  I love jogging, but not so much in the winter months.  When it's not winter, I'll jog around my neighbourhood until I get bored of the same scenery then I'll jog to another neighbourhood.  During the winter I prefer to do exercise videos.... which brings me to the point of this post...

Over the Christmas holiday, while celebrating with family, the kids were playing a Wii game called Just Dance.  Two kids would go up against one another (the "winner" would stay in to the next round and someone else would replace the "loser").  At the end of each song, the kids playing would be panting like it was real hard work.  I had shown the video I'd taken of the kids to a friend of mine and she suggested doing the Just Dance as an exercise routine. 

Problem: We don't have a Wii.  Heaven's forbid my husband get caught up in playing video games so we won't be buying one either!!! 

So I took my friends advice and went on Youtube and saved a couple of the Just Dance videos to my computer to do as an exercise routine just to get my lazy buns back in the swing of things.  Just try to dance with the character and eventually learn the moves, then move on to another set of songs.  Sure... sounds easy doesn't it?  Apparently not for me.

I'm laughing while I type this...

I've been ...uh... "dancing"...(and I use that term very loosely) to three Just Dance videos:
  1. Proud Mary by Tina Turner
  2. Thriller by Michael Jackson
  3. Pon The Replay by Rhianna
I don't have moves like Tina Turner but I'm not to bad at keeping up because it's not really dancing if you ask me.  I spun around and almost lost my balance!



I never liked that Rhianna song, now I got the stupid thing stuck in my head, but the video has a chubby little dancer so it makes me feel better, but she got skills that I apparently lack big time!  Almost put my back out... 




And just when I thought I knew the Thriller dance.  I mean, how hard can it be to dance like a zombie right?  WRONG!!  First of all, I don't know the moves yet, though I know all the words to the song, I'm surprised I don't know the dance moves.  So I'm zombie-ing out in my living room first thing in the morning, tired from work the night before.  I've got the video playing on my laptop which I put in front of the television. The specs: a 15 inch laptop in front of a 46 inch television which leaves much television space to act as a mirror!. 



Then I do my best Michael Jackson Thriller, trying to keep up with the character but the two zombie backup dancers are distracting me, until I catch my reflection in the television...

I'm on the floor laughing at myself.  I HAVE NO RHYTHM WHAT SO EVER!!!!
So sad....

So darn funny!!!!  

My body hurts from dancing like a zombie.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Osterizer PulseMatic

Meet Oscar.  He's our old school Osterizer Pulse Matic blender manufactured somewhere in the late 1960s most likely around the time I was born. Mom probably purchased it when she had pregnancy cravings and was in the mood for a spinach smoothie LOL.

I have fond memories of this blender sitting on the kitchen counter and always looking brand spanking new!  Probably because it's so loud thus was rarely used if ever.  When I moved out I asked mom if I could take the blender.  I think she was overjoyed to get rid of it because she packed it up so fast it was like a hurricane wind swept it away right before my very eyes! 

He's the perfect addition to our ghetto-retro kitchen... that is... he's a pretty good match to our chrome toaster oven but not to our white kettle and coffee maker. Ha!

Yup, our kitchen is really a fast paced one so there's absolutely no time to colour coordinate.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it or replace it either!!

Most recently he's taken a comfy spot on our counter top blending up some nasty kiwi spinach taste like grass smoothies fruit smoothies.  I'd been adding spinach to most of the smoothies I've been making so as you can see, the green blender.  Pardon the picture quality but it was taken with an ipod touch in very dim light.

Now the thing I like about this blender, aside from it being as old as me, is it's glass jar.  Thick heavy duty glass!   And it was free.   Most blenders today are made with a plastic jar and we know THAT won't last long in our household eh.  The super blades can cut up tough foods pretty good, mix them ice cubes into that smoothing lickety split!  Who needs a Magic Bullet when I got Oscar!

I'm happy to announce that I'm not the only person on this planet with one of these, many folks on ebay are trying to get rid of theirs selling them as retro keepsakes.




Friday, January 18, 2013

Two Plus One

After gaining two really BIG pounds over the Christmas season, I can finally say I lost them both! 

I broke up with those two pounds.  Told them that we weren't compatible with one another and that I had to end our relationship.... and we are never ever ever getting back together!

Ha!

Yes I lost the two Christmas cookie, cake, dinner, leftover pounds that I gained, PLUS ONE! 

I'm so happy!  This is a great way for me to stay encouraged as I'm on a new goal to drop 30 more.  Yup, I had big meat wrapped around these big bones apparently, so now I just have 29 more to go.  If I don't lose them all I won't cry or go into deep depression, I'll just rejoice over the pounds I did lose and take it from there, I'm in no hurry.  I'm doing this weight loss as a way to improve my health and hopefully make better, healthier choices, read food labels, add fiber, drink more water, blah blah blah.... you know, all that boring stuff nobody wants to hear about.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Smooth Blog

I fell in love with smoothies. Crazy but true and it's only been a couple of days that I've been drinking them as meal replacements.  I had decided to surf the net for new flavors to make and how to make them more filling and healthier without adding too many calories.  Ok, seriously, I really just wanted some new flavors so that I don't get bored with the same ole same ole!  

Then I stumbled on the "green smoothie".  Green smoothie?  huh??

I had no clue what the "green smoothie" was and had no intention of doing a green smoothie cleanse or crash diet or any stupidness like that but I was intrigued at how it adds fiber and fiber is a good thing. So I purchased a bag of spinach and made a pear mango spinach smoothie according to a recipe found online that unfortunately I lost the website for so cannot give proper credit for.  The smoothie called for one pear with skin on, one cup skim milk, one quarter mango pealed, four ice cubes and one cup spinach. Calorie count was less than three hundred and made one really big mug or two glasses so it depends on how hungry you are so I drank it as one big mug like my coffee of course.

The mixing in the blender. ... Ah the blender. A blog in its own right....  The smoothie turned green from the spinach but it was still thick milkshake-like in texture.   Personally I didn't really like the mango.  I still have the remaining mango in a container in the fridge but doubt I'll use it.  Guess I'm not a fan of mango.  I did mention that to my West Indian husband who looked at me as if to say "who are you and what have you done with my wife?"  

Initially I had intended to just finish off the mango in another smoothie or two and just hold my nose but ..... 
NO! 

The next smoothie I tried consisted of kiwi fruit!  I like the name of that ... kiwi.... it sounds so cute! *giggles*.  I never ate kiwi before, believe it or not so this was my first time buying it.  I paid $2 for five kiwis and my friend told me I got ripped off... see, I told you I never ate them before or I'd know how much to pay for 'em!  

I mixed in my super powerful magical retro blender: a peeled kiwi (that I thought would taste like a big green grape for some stupid reason), a pear with the skin on, a cup of skim milk, four ice cubes and a cup of spinach (more like a handful of dry fresh spinach) and mixed that thing up on high speed!!!  

It turned green too!  From the kiwi and the spinach.

It also tasted like I was licking the blades on a lawn mower. Tasted like grass!!!!!!  Yes I tasted grass, I was a kid once and rough housed with my siblings in the park, fell down and got a mouth full of the fresh green summertime lawn thank you very much. 

I just couldn't bring myself to drink more than half of it, then the gag reflexes kicked in.  I think I'll just keep adding the spinach to the banana smoothie as the banana has a sweet strong tast to outdo the spinach.  When that bag of spinach is done, I'm NOT buying any more!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Horse & Wagon

Well, it was difficult, but I did it....  I took myself aside and had a small pep talk with myself and mustered up the courage.

Then stepped on the scale.

Then picked my jaw up off the floor.


note:  photo from craftytammie


Yup, that's right, the scale revealed extra pounds on my hips, thighs and rear... but luckily NOT ten extra pounds oh my heaven's no!!  Two pounds, two big whopping pounds that took hold of me and are holding me hostage!

Yes I'm surprised that I only gained two pounds this Christmas season since I'd been baking pretty much the entire month of December but I hadn't been nibbling on the cookies and cakes I baked, only taste testing one off the first sheet out of the oven (believe me, that took SELF CONTROL!).  What did me in was:
  • the turkey
  • the stuffing
  • mashed potatoes
  • rice
  • beef
  • fish
  • squash
  • mashed turnip mmmm....
  • lemon meringue pie that I greedily asked for seconds and thirds
  • cheese cake
  • carrot cake
  • peanuts
  • chocolates
  • rice crispy treats
  • nainimo bars
  • turkey sandwiches smothered in gravy ohhh yess yessssss yeeeesssss!!
Oh my internal pipes are cringing as I type that! 

Unlike most folks, I don't jump on the "oh I gotta get in shape" bandwagon on January 1st.  Nope. 

Because on January 1st I still have more food to eat! 

And leftovers too!!

So I get started when it's "get back to the work/school schedule" time, you know, that time when you're back to work and everything is pretty much back to normal.  Well, that day was Monday.  Ya, I know, today is Wednesday and I'm doing pretty ok. 

I gave myself a bit of a head start by fasting most of Saturday and Sunday also to which my stomach responded by growling really REALLY loud in church just as the Pastor stopped talking!  Wouldn't you know it!  It's as if the Pastor knew my stomach would growl so he went quiet to allow it an audience or something.  Sigh.  The lady beside me giggled. 

So did my husband!! 

I did not!

Anyway, on Monday I had a banana smoothie for breakfast, one for lunch (wait til you see my blender!!)  and then dinner of .... left over turkey that we stored in the freezer!

Tuesday was the same except for dinner I had lasagna.  Now will someone tell me why on earth I get on the "let me cook something fabulous" when I'm trying to limit my calorie intake?  Sigh.  Testing my willpower I guess. 

The new goal is to drop 30 more pounds, slow and healthy to change my bad habits and improve my health. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Snow

Believe it or not, this is NOT a complaint.... I am totally done when it comes to complaining about the snow removal efforts of this last snowfall we had on December 27, 2012 that dumped 46centimeters (18 inches) of snow on Montreal.  My complaints landed on my husband's tired ears and he no longer wants to hear about how I think the snow removal is taking too long,
  • that the bus got stuck in the snow while I was on my way to work,
  • that there's no space to park on the street,
  • that there's no sidewalks to walk on,
  • that two way streets are now down to one tiny lane,
  • that the signs went up for snow removal but then disappeared over night when plows/city workers took a 72 hour leave
  • that the signs went back up only for the plows to do a lazy job by leaving half the snow on the street when they usually remove it all.
  • that it's not fair some boroughs of Montreal have their snow cleaned up quicker than others
  • that we can't get out of our balcony because the snow is up to here..
  • and the seniors... what about the seniors who can't get out to the stores for food and medicine!!!!!
 so I'm done... but here is what winter looks like in my neck of the woods since December 27, until the posting of this blog.

montreal snowfall
photo courtesy of : NTN World News


PC12 1228 SNOW08.jpg
photo courtesy of: Best of Gazette


photo courtesy of : Toronto Sun 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year Hodgepodge

Well, it's 2013, a brand new year and what better way to start the new year off with than a dose of Hodgepodge hosted by From This Side of the Pond... you really aught to click the link and follow her blog, you really don't know what you're missing!



Here are the questions for the first installment of Hodgepodge of 2013 (here's hoping I'll keep up this year).;


1. How did you ring in the new year?
  • As per usual, my husband, my stepdaughter and I were doing our own thing (reading, watching tv, surfing the net) and two minutes til midnight we turned the television to I don't know what channel but then they started counting down the ball in New York so we counted down too, then wished eachother a happy new year, then went back to doing our own thing.  Plain, simple, ordinary... just the way I like it!

2. What is one thing you are looking forward to in 2013?
  • I'm looking forward to the city of Montreal finally removing all the snow we received last week.  On Thursday December 27th we received 46 centimeters (approx 18 inches) of snow and usually the city is pretty good with removal but this time I think it's a major fail that there are no sidewalks, about 80% of the roads are barely accessable, senior citizens have it very difficult if they need to get out and get supplies!  It's just unacceptable and now the city workers are on a three day leave until January 3rd... and they have the audacity to tell everyone to take the city bus for transportation when we can't even walk on the sidewalk to get to said bus, and on top of that the bus gets stuck in the snow... this is Montreal, we aren't afraid of snow, sure this is the worse it's been in a since snowfall since somewhere in the 1970s but come on...   ok I'm done my rant...  LOL

3. Steven Spielberg is quoted as saying, "All of us every single year, we're a different person. I don't think we're the same person all our lives." What say you?
  • I think I'm the same but better... or hopefully better than I used to be.  I've prayed that God will help me become a better version of the person I used to be and I doubt He's failed on that but I may have dropped the ball from time to time though I still feel I'm the same, but better... not sure if that makes me "different" though.

4. The Pantone color of the year for 2013 is emerald green. Like or dislike? Do you already own something this color? Will you add something in this shade to your home or wardrobe in 2013?
  • Sorry, not a huge fan of emerald green at all, evergreen, mint green and seafoam green - yes but not so much emerald though it is pretty, just not on me.  It's unlikely I will add anything emerald green to my wardrobe or home this year.  Perhaps mint green but not emerald.

5. Speaking of emerald...what's your favorite gemstone?
  • Amythyst is lovely, but diamonds are this girls best friend!  ha!

6. Share a favorite book or movie from 2012.
  • I haven't seen any new movies in 2012 believe it or not, only movies from previous years.  As for books, I'm a romance book fan but I did read one horror book that was pretty amazing!  Actually it was an audiobook : Dead of Night by Jonathan Mayberry. 

7. What is something you want to tell yourself at the start of this brand new year?
  • I want to tell myself to not sweat the small stuff.  Sometimes I tend to get irritated over things I have no control over and I just need to give it to God and not sweat it. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
  • I'm really glad I did the Hodgepodge today, it may be a sign of more to come!!  Hodgepodge has lead me to many new bloggers whom I may never have stumbled on and I am grateful for that.  So let me start the year off saying THANK YOU for the Hodgepodge!!