Happy (Re) Birthday + A new direction.

Two years ago lead to this... 

Two years ago, in June, I started "blogging". I just sat down & started typing whatever random things were running around in my head at the time. No real direction, no rhyme, nor reason, just typing. I did so because I loved the community I discovered when reading my favorite blogs. I loved "meeting" new people & reading about their lives. Now I knew even from the very beginning that my life was no where near as exciting nor eventful as some of my favorite reads, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing anyway. 

Before I knew it I had readers, a few people that had clicked follow, & even left a couple comments.  I told myself when I started that even if I was the only one reading my blogs, that would be good enough for me. I enjoyed talking about the good & even the bad in my life. I appreciated being able to write about the days which were great & I even enjoyed sharing a few rants or two. Most of all I liked being able to look back & see a collection of everyday memories.

My blog had been floating around the internet aimlessly for two years. I never gave it a label, as I never really thought about what or why I was blogging. I just knew that I was. In a way it seemed like my life, it was in a sort of limbo. Stuck between where I never want to return & where I want to be. I kept blogging, as I wanted to keep my streak up. Like the number of blogs meant more than the content of them. It became a chore & like many blogs I have read in the past, I simply didn't want to write one more meaningless blog. So, I stopped.

In February I started working on myself. I talked about it on my blog in May. I joined MyFitnessPal, I started exercising & in May I even joined a 100 mile challenge hosted by SlapDashMom. I started to take things, like my health, seriously. I never want to be that close to 300lbs again. I never want to give up on myself again. So, just like that, I started on a journey.

A journey to lose 100lbs... 

171 days ago I decided that I was done making excuses. I started watching everything I was eating. I became more aware of not only what I was eating, but how I was eating. I started excising. Simple stuff at first, a walk with Odin to the park. Each time our walk got longer & each time I got a little bit faster. I started stationary cycling. I couldn't do more than 15 minutes my first few times, but now I have gone as long as an 1 hour & 45 minutes for a total of 23 miles. Just last week I started a Couch to 5k program. Yes, that's right I am attempting to jog for the very first time in my life. I push myself a little further each time & I don't let myself feel bad if I have to stop. I am still doing laps around the person I used to be.

Since starting my journey, I have lost 56lbs. In 171 days I have made it beyond half way to my original goal. And, I feel awesome!

Now, I feel like I have a purpose. I pushed myself out of that limbo & I am bringing my blog along with me. I feel like there needs to be more real people out there sharing their success stories even if they have not made it all the way yet. Because believe me when I say, nothing is more discouraging than watching a skinny person tell you how you can lose weight. I find no inspiration in that.

Seeing someone with a six pack on a motivational poster makes me want to eat cake, not run a mile.  What inspires me is seeing people just like me working hard & getting healthy results. Show me that couch potato who has binge watched nearly every television show Netflix has to offer. Show me that girl, because that girl is me! I want to see their dedication, their changes, their results. I want to see Joe Schmo running at 300lbs, that is true inspiration.

Most of all I want to see people getting healthy because they love themselves. Not because they hate their bodies. I want to see people losing the weight & gaining a healthy state of mind. And if you are like me, I want to be that person for you. I want to inspire you to do it. And this will sound like the biggest cliche ever, but if I can do it... you can do it. And I believe in that with all of my heart.

I am not a success story, but I am a work in progress story & pretty darn proud of it.

So to close this really long blog, which I am sure no one will read, lol. (TLDR; right?) I am kicking off August, my birth month, as a rebirth celebration for not only myself, but for my blog as well. So the changes you see are here to stay. I am no longer a blogger without a purpose. I am no longer a bird without wings. I am heading somewhere & I sure hope you'll join me for the ride. I have lots of stuff in the works from recipes, to my photo progress, & even a review or two. I do hope to see you around!

And to my little piece of the internet: Happy Birthday little blog, may the best be yet to come.

Deafening Ice & Wind

I am completely exhausted & my nerves are shot. I'm just coming down from the panic mode I was thrust into when a dangerous thunderstorm hit my city. Normally I love thunderstorms, but this one had nearly 2" hail. The sound of it hitting the roof was deafening. It pounded constantly for ten minutes. I watched as the hail bounced off our car, wondering which piece would be the one to bust the windshield or sunroof. Luckily dents were the only damage left by the storm. My neighbor wasn't as lucky, her kitchen window shattered by a piece of siding that blew into her home.

The hubby was at work, where the hail was larger than golf balls. The sky lights at his work & other business around him collapsed. Shattered glass, ice & rain poured down into the aisles around him. Every car in the parking lot was damaged. Dings, dents, & broken windshields. His motorcycle damaged as well. It will cost a couple hundred dollars to fix, but the car would have faired much worse.

After we thought it was over, round two began. I quickly grabbed a comforter from the couch & tossed it over the windshield just in case the hail returned. Which it did for a few minutes. My heart pounded so hard in my chest as I ran back inside, soaking wet, chilled to the bone. My cell phone rang, vibrating on the table which lead me to jump. Just my hubby calling again to make sure I was okay. Rumors that a tornado touched down somewhere are spreading, but none have yet been confirmed.

I can live the rest of my life never hearing the deafening sound of ice & wind again. It's over, but now I want to cry. My adrenaline has worn off, leaving me a tired, emotional, wreck.

As far as excuses go, I think I have a fairly good one as to why I will be spending the rest of my evening watching Netflix & not on the treadmill. I've had enough excitement for the day.

Not so "Wordless" Wednesday.

Okay, not quite wordless today. This weekend the Mister & I took a drive through the country.

I am so happy that spring has finally arrived. It is by far the most beautiful season here in Pennyslvania. Well, second to that three day interval we call fall. lol. I call myself a cow & horse paparazzo. I can't help but make Mister B pull over so I can take a picture. 

Growing up in Southern California I never got to experience the whole green pasture blue sky deal. And now... I'm obsessed! I'm totally looking forward to more beautiful days like this.

Happy May + Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Another month has come & gone folks! Can you believe it?
I can, since I have been waiting for these warmer months since last October! ;)

I think it is time to do a weight loss *health* update. It has been so long since I even touched base on that subject. And, I honestly can say that it was on purpose. Over the holidays, after the Mister's accident, I fell off the weight loss wagon bad. I had gained back all of the weight I lost last summer & then some! In February I had my six month checkup at my doctors, & boy did I dread getting onto that scale. And rightfully so! At first I got really upset at myself, but then I decided to turn my anger into motivation. I decided that I wasn't going to sit around & wait for things to get worse. I was tired of saying, "I'll start tomorrow." Or next week, or on the first of the month... I decided that I had run out of excuses. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have already known that I decided to take what motivation I had & ran with it.

80 days. Eighty days ago I signed up for a MyFitnessPal account. I first started counting every bite & sip I took. Then, I started some exercise. Nothing too drastic, just enough to push me to move more. A couple walks around the block to start. Then I would push myself to walk further & further each time I went out. I am now walking 5k at least once per week with our Monster, Odin.

Now instead of just counting calories on foods I was eating already, I started introducing new healthier foods into my diet. With the help of my Nutribullet (which I love btw!), I've been able to add spinach, cucumber, berries, bananas, kale, & even chard. I've switched from cows milk to unsweetened almond milk. I've also traded in unhealthy snacks like potato chips & cookies for servings of almonds. And this morning I traded in whole eggs for egg whites. And I actually enjoyed them! (The Mister still hasn't been swayed from his yolks.)

Normally by now, when facing a diet, I would have lost hope, lost motivation, lost self-esteem. But instead the only thing I have lost is 1/3 of the total weight I originally set out to lose. In just 80 days, I have lost 33lbs. And I honestly feel amazing! Not only have I dropped pounds, but I have lost nearly 5 inches around my waist & hips, & have almost dropped two full dress sizes. This of course has now fueled the fire under me. I now know I can actually do this. I can put in all of that hard work & get results! If I can do it, I'm pretty damn sure anyone can! 

I honestly am quite proud of the progress I have made so far. I still have my cheat day, which I am not sorry about whatsoever (#sorrynotsorry). I'm actually quite thankful for them as they are keeping me on track the remainder of my week. I finally adopted the mentality that one bad day is not going to undo all of my hard work, as long as I get right back up & start the next day brand new.

Today was day one of the #SlapDash100 Challenge. I will post the link to the rules about it once it is available. Basically it is to do 100 Miles in May. Walk, jog, run, bicycle, all miles count. And because there might be some people that don't have a way to count miles, the rules state that every 20 minutes of exercise counts as one mile. So everyone can participate. This has been done a few times, but this was the first time I have ever decided to attempt it. I don't know if I will get to 100 miles, but I am going to try my hardest! You never know until you try, right? I got 7.5 miles in this afternoon. 92.5 more to go!

80 days & I have as much motivation as when I started, if not more. I've accepted that this is not a diet, but a healthier change in my life. And as in life there are bound to be bad days, there are going to be days where I will eat more than I'd like to, or that I didn't exercise as much as I had hoped. My goal is & will continue to be starting anew the next day, & take everything, one day, one pound, one milestone at a time.

Spring Renewal.

Yesterday morning, as I was awoken for the final time by Mr. B constant moving & Odin panting in my face, I looked at the clock. 4:30am. Really? I decided to get out of bed. Perhaps I could catch a few more minutes of sleep downstairs on the couch, at least until Mr. B woke up. Then, I had planned to crawl back into bed & sleep forever. Well that didn't quite work out, as upon reaching the last step, I was freezing. I let Odin out to do his business, & turned up the thermostat. I opened the door to bring Odin back inside & grabbed my favorite crocheted blanket along with my tablet. We sat on the couch for a bit & simply waited for the Mister to wake up. About an hour later I heard him open the door & start his way downstairs to turn on the Keurig.

I started my way back upstairs, reached our bedroom & shut the door behind me. I flopped into bed, pulled the covers over my head & sighed. Not more than a couple minutes later, our next door neighbors woke up with their usual banging & bumping into the walls. Yep, going back to sleep was not going to be an option. I rolled over & saw a faint light coming in through the window. The sun was coming up & it was time for me to get up too. At first I was upset, I was all set to be in a bad mood... then I made a decision.

I crawled out of bed, got dressed, & ran a comb through my hair. I put my walking shoes on, grabbed my cell phone, & put Odin's collar on. If I was going to be awake this early, I was not going to let it be a bad day as well. I was going to go for a walk, & I was going to do it before the sun even breached the mountaintop.

I am glad I did. And here is why...

Taken from my cell phone.

I made it to the lake, which is a mile & a half away from my home, before the sun did. I got to watch & feel the sun as it came up & washed over the trees. I experienced the quiet serenity that the city I live in rarely has, & I got to experience it because I was awake so early. If I hadn't been woken up at 4:30am, if I had been able to go back to sleep, I would have missed it.

So, I slept bad, I had not had any coffee, & it was only 35 degrees... but I felt good.
No, I felt better than good, I actually felt great

I felt... alive.

After this really long winter, I took a look back at my blog & thought that it really was due for an update. I felt it needed a fresh clean start to this "new" year. A little something to breathe life back into this hobby that I started almost two years ago. This past winter, my poor little blog suffered. It went semi-dormant, as did my life. My brain has been quite uninspired, it could be from the lack of sunlight, or perhaps I was simply frozen in time... But just as spring is finally revealing itself & winter is letting go of it's long hold, I find myself coming back to life. And I hope my blog will too.

I've gone MAD...

That's right! I am letting everyone know it. I have officially gone MAD.

A few months ago The Crochet Crowd announced a new challenge. This challenge was something they had never done before. The challenge was to go mad as a hatter & join the Mad Hatter Crochet Challenge. To enter into the crochet challenge, one must crochet a top hat with the pattern provided. Once the top hat had been made, you could then go mad & add whatever embellishments you wished as long as they go with the theme of Alice in Wonderland. Nothing was off limits, any version or interpretation was accepted! And once your hat was finished, you were to mail it off to The Crochet Crowd in Canada, where it would be displayed, judged, voted on, & eventually sold at the Creativ Festival next weekend April 25th & 26th.

When The Crochet Crowd created this challenge, they never dreamed that they would get the response that they did. They assumed that at most 50 hats would arrive in the mail & that choosing a winner would be a breeze. To their amazement they received nearly 350 hats from all over the world. So many hats that they had to completely change their mindset on how to judge & display so many hats. Their booth at the Creativ Festival has been taken over by all things Alice! If I could find a way across the border in time for the festival, I would totally be there as I am sure it is going to be something you would have to see to believe.

The pictures show here are pictures I took of my entry before I mailed it off to Canada for my chance to be a part of Creativ Festival history. I am very proud to say the majority of my hat was made through trial & error with no pattern. All of which adds to it's individuality. Not bad for someone who has only been crocheting for a few years, eh?

Want to see the other entries, awesome! Click here. I was blown away by just how amazingly talented my fellow Crochet Crowders are! I hope to see more challenges like this in the future, as I had so much fun taking part. The chance of winning that prize doesn't hurt either! ;)

You can find my entry on page 18! 

Aren't you just mad about these hats!?!?

Five years...

On Sunday, the Mister & I celebrated our five year anniversary. It's truly hard to believe just how fast time has gone by. Yet, at the same time, it feels like it has been forever. Mr. B actually woke up early so he could sneak out & get me a little something before I woke up. He brought me home gorgeous flowers, a beautiful card, candles & caffeine! 

We decided that we would celebrate by spending the morning bowling at our local bowling alley. I had not been bowling in ages & it was even longer since the Mr. B had gone. 

Okay, so I really sucked at it, but I had a lot of fun! I'm glad we went & I do believe that we will be going back sometime in the near future.

Last week we were also able to make reservations for Sunday night at our favorite sushi restaurant in Collegeville, Bonjung Japanese. We've been there quite a few times, remember my birthday? Honestly this place has amazing food & I feel that we are lucky that it is a fair amount of miles away as I would gladly eat there everyday for the rest of my life. No joke.

They even brought us Tempura Fried Ice Cream to share, on the house, for our Anniversary. Have I mentioned how incredible this place is? Not only is the food to die for, but they do their best to make you feel welcome... kind of like family. ♥

After we were finished eating, we caught this furry little fellow running up & down the tree just outside of the restaurant. When I took out my camera, he turned around & looked directly at me. So adorable! I was so glad I had my camera on me!

Ha! We had a very lovely day & I hope to have many more days like it in our future. ♥

I've been a loomin'.

You've been what?!? 


I recently acquired a round loom set on a past trip to Joann Fabrics. What is a loom you ask? A loom is used to loom knit hats. Not just hats mind you, the possibilities are pretty endless as long as you have the correct loom. The round looms I purchased are great for the obvious, knitting in the round. But you can also knit scarves too! Though from what I have seen, scarves knitted on the long looms are more a plenty in the pattern department.

Alas, I don't own a long loom yet, but I hope to in the future. They also have looms large enough to knit entire afghans. Completely amazing yes? Damn right! 

I was so excited to be able to knit. I tried my hand at the knitting needles & I just can not for the life of me get used to them. Maybe I am just too spoiled with the ease of my crochet hook, or maybe I just really don't like how long it takes to actually knit something. My frustration with knitting needles made me want to give up entirely. WHY would I knit a scarf for weeks at a time, when I could crochet one in less than three hours? Huh! Why?

But back to the round loom. I was able to loom knit a cabled slouch hat in about a day. I have wanted to knit cables ever since I started working with yarn. Okay, maybe three & a half years isn't that long, but it was long enough! I can tell you that much! The hat in the first picture is the finished product of a days work & despite it having two minor flaws, I am in love with it. 

So in love I have started on my second one, this time in a beautiful blueish teal. Pictures do not do this yarn any justice. Both hats were/are made with Red Heart Soft yarn. This yarn is gorgeous & super soft! The first hat was made in the color Heather & the second Teal.

Don't think that I have forgotten about my first love, my crochet hook. I had spent the last month working on my Alice in Wonderland themed top hat for the Mad Hatter Challenge hosted over at The Crochet Crowd. I have two appliques left to sew on & then it is off to Canada this weekend. Pictures will be shared when they go live sometime in April. :) I am so excited!

So far this year I have crocheted three things, my Mad Hatter Top Hat, an adorable stuffed cow for a family member, & a bright colored afghan to cheer me up from the long winter blues.

So that is what has been going on over in these parts. I'm hoping for some nice weather & for spring to appear. I can not believe how cold it has been. Winter has had a death grip this year, I swear!

Oh boy...

How boring a blog can be when the blogger's life is! At least lately.

There have been two constants the past couple months. The first one is snow... & a lot of it! We just can't seem to get away from it. One storm after another & we ended up with over two feet of snow in our backyard. All if which is melting so darn slow. I'm ready for spring! I'm ready for planting in the garden, for wearing skirts, for being able to have the windows open in the car... Longest winter ever!

The second constant is crochet. It seems to have become my saving grace. I could not imagine being cooped up in the house this long without all my beautiful & bright colored yarn. Though, I did buy something recently that I'm getting a kick out of. After a trip to Joann Fabrics, I'm now the owner of four knifty knitter round looms. So much fun! I've always loved the look of knitting, but have had trouble keeping tension & droping stitches on the knitting needles. I'm still new to it, but I'm enjoying my new yarn craft.

I know my blog has been hearing crickets as of late. It's not easy finding something to post about this winter. I know posts will be picking up in the spring though. Just got to hang on a little longer! ;)

Playing chicken with a coffee table...

Happy New Year! I know, I'm late! But not by too long. So first, lets play a little catchup, shall we?

We will start with a very painful game of chicken. This game, of course was played subconsciously. That or my toe plots against me. Anyway, it happened not even a week before Christmas day. I was not paying attention to where I was walking & Odin (yes, I will blame my dog!) was in the way. I attempted to go around him while on my way to the restroom & BAM! My toe, well make that toes, bent all the way back, complete with a very loud & disturbing cracking sound.

I lost it. I screamed my head off & the tears were just coming out faster than I could wipe them away. I was a mess & the Mister had just left for work. I thought I had broken toes before, but apparently not, because I had never experienced it like this. I only wanted two things, one of course was for the pain to stop & two, for Mr. B to come home. Both of which I knew were not going to happen any time soon. 

So I did what anyone would do... I posted about it on Facebook. Yep, what else was I to do? There was no way I was driving myself across town to the emergency room & I knew it wouldn't be the best option to have the Mister come home. Luckily my Dad, who lives all the way in California called me within a few minutes of my post to make sure I was alright. Which I wasn't, not yet anyway. I was freaking out & he told me to really & to get some ice out of the freezer. He also told me to elevate my foot as much as possible. I don't know how that day would have went without that phone call, but he really helped me calm down & he even offered to pay for a taxi to take me to the doctor. Which I declined, because I know that they won't do much for broken toes.

My toe started to swell, but it didn't bruise right away. The Mister came home & I balled to him. I felt bad because I was supposed to be baking cookies for his families visit the following day. I of course had not had a chance because I was sitting with my foot in the air all afternoon. He told me not to worry, he ordered pizza so I wouldn't have to cook & even did the dishes for me. He also offered to help me bake the cookies in the morning. I felt like such a lucky lady.

Mr. B didn't think it was broken. There was no bruising, yet. But the next morning, I awoke to a deep purple nearly black bruise at the base of my two middle toes. There was no doubt about it... at least one of my toes was broken.

And, if I had not mentioned how much of a klutz I truly am, here it is now. I have since stubbed my broken toe three times. Yep. Not very fun. It is now almost a month later & it still hurts. Especially when it is cold... like it has been the past couple weeks here in Pennsylvania. But that's for a different blog.

So, if you take anything from this blog... Don't play chicken with a coffee table. They hardly ever move out of the way. It's just not worth the risk. ;)

Four days after it broke.

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