Jun 26, 2011

Sad cat is sad

 I debated about posting this because I want this blog to be positive and not focus on negatives.  However, in life there are disappointments and let downs so I might as well post about that as well.

The job offer I accepted was withdrawn last week, 3 days before I was to start.  WITHDRAWN.  I have no idea what kind of company does such a thing after sending a written offer, benefits package, drug test, background check and everything else.  But it happened to me.  I guess that is the climate we are living in these days.  Everything is about money and the bottom line.  The reason I was given was that they needed to add a position with revenue.   While I understand that, it would have been nice to nice know that right away instead of letting me think I actually had a job.  I turned down interviews and stopped my search.  Now I just have to start all over again.

To say I was devastated is a good way to describe it.  When I got the phone call I feel like I was punched in the gut.   As I said, I turned down interviews because this is the position I wanted.   Even though it was not my fault, I feel like I can't win.  I'm sure in this economy I'm not the only one who feels this way or has been in this situation.  BUT IT SUCKS.  It sucks that you can offer someone a job and then turn around 2 weeks later and take it away.  It sucks that I got my hopes up and was looking forward to a working environment that I thought would be a great fit for me.  It sucks that I am still stuck at home all day, watching boring TV because I don't want to spend money unnecessarily.  It sucks that I can't go to Zumba because I don't want to spend the money to go.  

The thing I am dreading is just the job search.  As anyone out of work knows, looking for a job and going to interviews is mentally draining.  While I know I am a good interviewer, I'd rather be a good employee. The waiting game is something I have never been good at. 

I guess the saving grace for me was that I handled it professionally.  I told the caller that I was shocked and disappointed but I understood and wish I was told sooner.  I emailed caller later and thanked them for their honesty.  Caller said that they still needed someone and they would contact me when the position opened up again.   That being said--would you want to work there?   I'm torn.  The position was a wonderful fit and I really liked the people I spoke with. However, this treatment left a very bad taste in my mouth.  VERY.  I just don't know if I could ever trust them again.

I'm normally a very positive person.  Even when I've been laid off, I've never gotten this negative or felt this bad before.   I'm trying to find a sliver of positive light in this dark cloud but right now I can't.  Perhaps it will reveal itself to me later on.  My horoscope claims that I should be having good luck at work soon.  Haha, very funny.

DH has been very tolerant of me as of late.  I've been extremely anti-social due to the shame of it I guess.  I don't think he quite knows what to make of my behavior either since this is  just not like me.  I guess I just can't stand people pitying me and telling me it's going to be alright. 

For me, I am just going to go with saying that my grandmother always said.  "Put your head down and keep going!"   Which is true.  I come from a family of strong women on both sides of my family.  They've dealt with way worse than this and there's no reason that I can't either.   I just have to get on with it.

To end on a positive note, I do have 2 interviews this week and a possible third later in the week.  So please send your best wishes, vibes, prayers etc., that something turns out for me.  My husband will thank you! ;)

Jun 21, 2011


It's me again and I'm actually posting more than once this week!  :)  Aren't you impressed?

Today instead of latest favorites, I'm telling you what I'm coveting lately.  I say coveting because until I start working again (hopefully soon!), I am on an imposed spending ban.  Except for any gifts *coughbirthdaycough* that I may get next week.   No need to buy anything new until I start getting a regular paycheck again.

So here's some of what I've been coveting lately:

Seychelles Chirp in Pewter
Seychelles Chirp in Pewter.   Anthroholic tweeted about these today and I'm in love with them!  I've been looking for a cute gray/silvery sandal all year and these may fit the bill!  I could wear them with so many different outfits.  Plus I'm a sucker for wedges.  Anything to make me look taller.

Mompos Dress from Anthro

Mompos Dress from Anthropologie.  I've been lusting after this dress since I first saw it.  There have been so many favorable blogger reviews and it just makes me want it more.  The silhouette is totally me, and it's my favorite shade of blue.  And isn't the belt adorable?  It also has a neat little underskirt.  The problem?  It's $228, way out of my price range.  I'll have to wait for it to go on sale and hope they still have it in my size.

Hook rack from JoyFrameworks on Etsy

 This hook rack from Etsy.  I realized that I am in desperate need of a way to organize my belts.  Other than to shove them onto a lower shelf and hope for the best.  That clearly is NOT working!  So the easiest thing for me is a row of hooks so I can see the belts and grab the one I want easily.  This rack from JoyFrameworks on Etsy is so cute and I love the color of the antique tin tile!  Must have this!  I'm thinking of repainting our spare room/my closet in a color similar to this or just as an accent shade.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  This paint is my new obsession.  Seriously.  A few years ago, DH painted 2 of our bedroom walls a beautiful royal blue as he knew it was my favorite color ever.  The other walls (we have cathedral ceilings, so they are the taller walls) were left white.  I love the effect, but our bedroom furniture no longer looks right to me.  I had been toying around with whitewashing or painting it for a while now, but had been putting it off because of the pain of stripping furniture and sanding.  I'm just not good at that stuff and the smell---YUCK.  Enter Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I first read about this on Miss Mustard Seed's blog, and I was astounded.  Paint you can use on furniture without priming or sanding?  I'm totally in!!!   The pic above is one of Annie Sloan's pieces that she did with 2 of her Chalk Paint colors.  I have decided that I am going to paint our bedroom furniture in Old White and dilute it a bit so it makes it a bit more transparent. 

The only bad thing is that you must order this paint, it's not sold in a lot of stores.  I plan on ordering mine from Classic Wall Finishes but if you click on the Annie Sloan link, there are others that are selling it as well.  You can also buy samples if you like.  I contacted Patty from Classic Wall Finishes to inquire about how much I should order and she said that one quart would easily cover all of my furniture. 

Almost everything I've seen on this paint looks amazing.  Plus no sanding or priming and NO stripping!!!  And it distresses well for those of you (like me) who love that look.   I cannot wait to try this out.  Of course you will get to see pics!

Reebok 25lb adjustable weight
Reebok adjustable dumbbell. I've been lazy for the past few weeks in my working out and I have no excuse.  I just haven't been in the right place mentally to work out.  I have the time, just not the motivation right now.  Once I get out of my routine, I'm all over the place.  Once I start working (soon I hope!) I'll get back into it.  One of the things I really do need are adjustable dumbbells.   I have several smaller ones and they take up too much room in my workout area AKA our game room.  The Reebok ones were the least expensive I could find.  If you know of anywhere that has them for a better price, please let me know!!  I love the Bowflex ones, but those are just too much for me right now.   These Reeboks have some good reviews and I believe you can get them at Target as well. 

Hopefully I'll be working shortly and can give myself a little treat soon!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!  A favorites post to come soon (for real!)

Jun 20, 2011

Epic Baking Weekend!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day weekend!

My apologies for not being around lately but a lot has been going on here!  Lots of running around and getting things done, so to speak. 

As you can see in my pics and little tagline, I LOVE to bake.  I found out that I am much better than baking than cooking, even though I'm a pretty good cook.   Maybe because I have a sweet tooth or I just have a knack for it, but almost everything I've attempted seems to turn out okay.   I'm the 'dessert person' at most parties and my family always request me to make certain items. 

I had been missing out a bit on baking at home since DH and I have been eating healthier.  I used to make him cookies and cakes but he requested that I stop!  (I know!)  So my strategy is to bake but give away or leave with someone.  Because if I don't really like it, I won't eat it. But I do like it then it won't last long at our house and I'll be sorry later in the week when I go to WW!!

Back to the real purpose now!  This weekend was full of events in our household.  Friday night we celebrated Father's Day with FIL and family.  No baking required.   But on Saturday, friends of ours had their annual summer party. This year's was a Mexican theme so I decided I was going to make a Mexican dessert.  I did a bit of research on my fave sites to check out:  All Recipes, Tasty Kitchen, and Martha Stewart.  All of these have given me some amazing recipes in the past and I keep going back for more!

I decided to make a Tres Leches cake from Martha's site as it had some really good reviews.  I had never made a cake like this before so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I'll keep it brief but will show you some pics too. 

First you make a yellow like cake:
Yellow cake after baking
Then you mix up all of your milks (hence Tres Leches name) and pour onto the cake. I poked holes all through the cake to help.  I let it absorb about an hour and that cake sucked it all up!
Cake with milk (still absorbing)
Lastly, I mixed heavy whipping cream and sugar for the topping.  Gotta love my Kitchenaid mixer--I just turned it on and watched.

And here's the completed cake.  I took Heath bits with me to put on top and people said that made the cake all the yummier.   I tasted it myself and the consistency was a bit different to me because it was very, very moist.  But still good.  Lots of compliments at the party.

Now for dessert #2! I made this for a Father's Day brunch at my aunt's home.  I feel so silly because I totally forgot to take pics of the process of making this one!  This is one of my all time fave ever recipes:  Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars.  I have made this a million times for family events, parties, work functions etc.  Every time I have made them, they are gone so quickly!  I have to say they are delicious but then I love me some chocolate and toffee bits.  These bars are very simple to make but I would advise that you buy the mini chips instead of regular sized chocolate chips.  It seems to blend together better to me.  I also usually buy the chocolate covered Heath bits as well.  The more chocolate the better!

Here is a pic of the completed bars:

Needless to say these did not last long either!!!   There were only a few left when DH and I left for home and I told my aunt to keep them for her and her hubby to enjoy.  I had enough indulgences over the weekend! 

More soon as I'm working on a post of new favorites!  Have a great Monday!

Jun 14, 2011

I'm a WW'er for life!

(Disclaimer: I have NOT been paid by Weight Watchers in any way to post this nor am I affiliated with them other than being a Lifetime member.)

So most of you who know me in real life know that I'm a WW (Weight Watcher).  I think I will be for life! 

The reason I'm blogging about WW is because of a few reasons:
  • People always are asking me about it. 
  • I don't mind telling my story.
Another reason I feel like giving a shout out to WW is the they were voted one of the best Diet Plans that Work  by US News recently!   I was so pleased to see that because IMHO WW has always been the most balanced way to lose weight.

So let me backtrack a bit and start with my little story (I promise it will be brief.).  I joined WW in Jan 2007 afte realizing just how much weight I had gained in the past few years.  You know it's bad when your pants just won't fit any more.  I had avoided it and wore bigger clothing and I was just FAT when I looked into the mirror.  I was also going through some personal drama as well and my self-esteem was in the toiliet.  Enter WW.  My sister-in-law had joined and was very successful so I figured--what do I have to lose?  Besides some pounds.  I was very nervous and self-conscious when I signed up.  I had no idea what to expect.  I knew other people who did the meetings but I was nervous about joining a group where I knew no one, even though that is how I wanted it.  I admit that I was a bit ashamed that I had to join a group to lose weight and that I couldn't do it on my own.

I had worked out on and off for years with no results.  Why?   Because I had zero portion control and I liked to eat junk.  I still like my treats but measured out in small portions now.  I also live with a DH who can eat whatever he wants and stay thin.  ( I know--don't you just want to smack him?).  So for me the challenge was going to be paying attention to everything I ate and tracking it. That type of structure with WW is exactly what I needed.  

My first week I lost 3.2 lbs! I was so excited.  I made a goal for myself of 40lbs.  I became very hyper focused into my points and how to use them.  (This was before the Points + program) I had to learn to say no to people close to me who pushed me to eat foods I didn't consider healthy.  DH learned to ask me when he made dinner: "Will you eat this?".  Most often the answer was no.  When I cooked for us I used (and still do) WW recipes that I show him beforehand to make sure he will eat them.  I learned to pack my lunch almost every day of the week or else I'd be tempted to eat junk. The weight slowly started to come off.

At WW you really want to meet your first 10% (now they do 5%).  I was working out really hard (5 days a week) and watching my food intake like a hawk but I could NOT meet that 10%.  There were some days I would get off the scale in tears because I had worked so hard and either gained a bit or didn't lose at all.  Or I was angry (as my fellow meeting friends tease me for).  I was mad that I did what I was supposed to and nothing changed. My pants were falling off of me, my arms were thinner but that damn scale wouldn't move! But I refused to give up and I stayed for every meeting to hear others tell their stories of being stuck.  Luckily I had some wonderful leaders who said for me to maybe eat a bit MORE and to be less restrictive.  I figured, how can it hurt?  That weekend, DH and I went away for a wine festival.  I ate a bit more (but still stayed healthy) and enjoyed some wine too.  At my weigh in, I lost 2 lbs and hit my 10%.  I was estatic!

I continued to attend meetings weekly and also use the online tools.  The weight was coming off slowly, sometimes painfully so.  I had several plateaus and had to keep trying different things to get my metabolism moving again.  I FINALLY reached my goal weight about a year and a half after joining, in June 2008.  From there I had to go through maintenance before becoming a Lifetime member.  What's so great about Lifetime is that you weigh in once a month (I do it more often) and you do not have to pay for your meetings as long as you are within your goal weight.  That is a big incentive for me to keep myself accountable!  I just pay for the online tools and tracker.

This is my AFTER pic!

One of the best things in my journey was the wonderful friends I have met at WW.  We are such a diverse group and I look forward to seeing them and my leader Jane every week.  We are all different age groups, jobs and personalities.  These lovely folks have given me great advice in both weight loss and life.  If one of us is not there, we are on Facebook or emailing to find out where they have been.  I think that is one facet of WW I love the most.  The support from fellow members has made it easier for me to endure a plateau or gain when I know that someone sitting next to me has dealt with the same thing.  Plus, we meet at Starbucks before the meeting just to talk about life!  Shout to to you guys from Wed night Starbucks aka Ralph's Girls! :)

So here it is 2011 and I am still at my Lifetime weight.  How? I still use my online tracker and it has become second nature for me to eat good, nutritious foods.  I can't tell you that I don't sometimes go overboard.  I'm human and I'm not perfect.  I love ice cream and I'm an emotional eater. I also make a point to eat a treat meal once a week when I meet my family for dinner after the meeting.   But the fact that I go somewhere each week to be accountable for my eating and to be encouraged and supported has made all the difference in the world to me.

This year, WW introduced the Points Plus program.  I was quite impressed that they updated their program because I had already been eating that way any way.  It's more protein, fruits, and veggies.  Less carbs.  It's just makes better sense and I lost 2 lbs the first week of doing it.  

Okay, so I wasn't that brief in talking about my little journey.  But I'll end it here.  If you would like me to blog a bit more about WW or food or eating, feel free to comment and let me know. 

Also--I MUST give a shout out to my fave WW blogger, Bitchcakes!  I have to credit her for helping to get me re-motivated when I was stuck and being negative.  Check out her site as her story is so inspirational and she is a wonderful writer and overall amazing person!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Jun 12, 2011

Happy News!

i have some great news to share.  I was offered a position.  I do not want to jinx it since they are still going through verification processes.  But the offer was made and I am so excited!!!!!!  

Thank you so much to everyone who has sent kind words and thoughts to me. :)

Sorry for not posting much but I have been interviewing lately so not a lot of time! 

More info whenever I can give it!

Thank you again for your wishes!

Jun 6, 2011

Updated deck pics

So yesterday I figured I had better get my deck finished if I wanted to enjoy it any time soon. Then I saw the weather and it's going to be about 90 every day this week here.  So I guess I won't be enjoying it too much anyway!  I don't know about you, but my body HATES humidity.  I guess I was meant to live as my ancestors from Ireland did---nothing over 75 and not a lot of sun.  DH loves the sun and would sit in it all day.  If I sit in it for longer than 10 minutes, I start to sweat.  Not a pretty sight! 

Anywho---here are the lastest pics.  Please keep in mind that these are far from finished.  I still have to get the cushions on the furniture (they are in the chest) and a bit more decorating which I am trying to do myself.  We'll see how that goes.

Table and chairs (gifted to me from my mom Salsa Judy):

Glider area:

Middle of deck with firepit:

I'm hoping it cools down at some point and we get to sit out here at night and drink some wine and just enjoy it.  We also got a new grill, but no room back here so we're putting out back by the garden. 

And you know it's summer time when you get your first bug bites!  I was out over the weekend with my mom my aunt, and another friend play Phase 10 (we love this game--very competitive) and  I got one big bite on my left arm and one behind my left knee. 

Have a wonderful Monday! 

Jun 3, 2011

Latest Favorites

Happy Friday to everyone! 

Sorry that I've not been around to post on this new little home of mine.  I've been hunting up a job like crazy and hopefully get a few bites!  Keep your fingers crossed for me--there are some good opportunities out there!

For those of you who know me in 'real life'---this is not a shock.  I. LOVE. TO. SHOP.  I don't care what it's for--tools, washers, yard stuff, clothes, shoes, etc.  I think I like the hunt of finding a good deal.  I'm often asked what site to check for certain items.  Former bosses know they could ask me to search for a certain product and I'd find it!  Must be the thrill of the deal.

So with this post I figured that I'd tell you some of my favorites and hope you could tell me yours.  I mean any kind of favorites.  Just things that I'm liking lately. 

  • Lucy Minerals:  These are just the BEST minerals I've ever used, hands down.  I have very oily, acne-prone skin AND rosacea on my cheeks (great combo huh?) and her Oil Control foundation covers everything!  Plus it has some skin helpers like Apple Poly® polyphenols,trans-reserveratrol, and green coffee bean extract.  The other great thing is that there are no parabens to clog up your pores!  I can't rave enough about Lucy Minerals.  And each week, she has a special on the site as well.

  •  Sephora Perfecting Lash Primer.  I got this on a whim and fell in love with it.  I used to use Aromaleigh minerals exclusively, and she had a great mascara primer on her site.  When she closed I had to start the search again.  This one from Sephora is less expensive then the others out there and does a great job.  You just have to let it dry for a bit before applying your mascara.  The only thing I don't like abou this product is the brush.  I wipe it on the edge of the tube to remove excess.  Other than than, I love it. 

  • C9 by Champion Women's Running Capri Pants--from Target.  I was in desperate need of new workout pants when I found these.  My old ones were literally falling off of me. I had gotten them when I first joined Weight Watchers (WW) and could actually fit into them.  40lbs later, it was only a little drawstring holding them up.  The last time I wore them I was walking at the park with Salsa Judy (my mom).  She said "Missy--those pants are going to fall down soon---get some new ones!"  So off to Target I went.  I knew if I wore something that actually fit, I would feel more confident about going out to Zumba and the park.  So low and behold, I get to Target because I read they were having a sale on activewear.  Of course---the ones I wanted were out of stock but I wasn't leaving with out new pants.  I was sick of being Droopy Drawers in public!  So I tried on these capris.  They look great on and are slimming, plus they wick away sweat. They were very comfortable all through my hard Zumba class!   But the reviews ARE correct---they do attract hair.  And if you have 2 kittehs like me, be prepared to have some hair on them.

    • Stonyfield Farm Oikos Greek Yogurt with honey:  OMG so yummy.  Why did I wait so long to try this?  I like regular yogurt but for me it has a lot of unnecessary sugar.  Enter Greek yogurt.  I've read about it in Oxygen, Clean Eating and other bloggers always say how good it is.  My WW leader swears by it.  So I tried it plain and HATED it.  Wasn't crazy about the chalky taste.  But I was determined to find a way to like it since it has a lot of protein and low fat.  Enter this yogurt with honey on the bottom.  It was an accidental discovery.  I grabbed at Walmart to try it again and didn't realize it had honey in it until I got home.  What a difference honey makes!  It's so much better and I actually enjoy eating it.

    This is just a short list of things I love lately.  The list for things I really want is LONG but I must wait until I'm gainfully employed before I can even think of shopping for myself!
    Have a great weekend!