April 17, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 182

I figured I'd better do a weigh-in today, since it's been three weeks. Yikes! The time has been going by so fast and it feels hard to keep up. I've really been enjoying the time away from my blog, though. It hasn't really been for any reason other than my needing a mental break from it, and it's definitely helped.

I wish I could say that my weight has gone down a significant amount since my last weigh-in, but I definitely wasn't expecting it to. Nothing has changed as far as my diet goes (which isn't a good thing) and I want to create better habits. This month has been kind of crazy and I need to do a better job at handling changes to routine.

As far as today, I was at 145.2, which is down only a little from the 146 that I think I was at three weeks ago. Since my habits haven't changed, I can't expect my weight to ;)

The boys on Eli's baseball team asked if I would take pictures at their games again this year, and that made me feel good! So of course I agreed. It's a surprisingly big time commitment, though. I usually take about 250 photos during the game (I do a lot of bursts so that I can have fun action photos), and then I have to upload them to my computer so I can weed out the ones that didn't turn out or have multiple similar ones. (I usually narrow it down to about 100.) Then I try to make sure I have photos of each kid. And then I upload them to a shared album so the kids can download what they want. I really enjoy doing it for them, knowing that they are excited to have them.

Despite the changes in routine, I haven't been eating *too* terribly. I haven't had any sweets/desserts at all (and since I don't crave sugar right now, I'm not going to chance it for a cookie or something). I recently bought a cookbook called Vegan Asian by the blogger at The Foodie Takes Flight (Jeeca Uy). [I've been buying cookbooks over the last year or so rather than using recipe sites--there are just SO MANY ads on sites that it takes way too long to simply check out the ingredients in a recipe to decide if I even want to make it.] I'm glad I got this book because it's absolutely amazing. My favorite cookbook for sure. I've made several recipes and all have turned out delicious.

The only problem is that many ingredients aren't exactly healthy. There is a lot of sodium (mainly from soy sauce) and a lot of oil (for stir-frying). Also, I've been eating portions that are definitely bigger than they should be.

I'd like to get back to not eating after 7:00 pm (that is the biggest help when I want to lose weight, I've discovered), but it's nearly impossible with Eli's baseball schedule. His games are usually at 4:00 (sometimes as far as 45 minutes away) and a lot of them are double headers. So we don't get home until 8:30 or 9:00!

As far as exercise, I haven't been doing my morning runs anymore and I would really like to start them again. The reason I stopped was that I injured my knee in the stupidest way possible. I was cleaning out the garage and I was trying to remove a drawer from a small nightstand. I bought it at a garage sale ages ago with the plan to refinish it; but when I tried to sand off the paint, I discovered that it must be some sort of magic paint because it will NOT come off. I gave up.

Anyway, the drawer was stuck and I couldn't, for the life of me, get it to open and come out. (I had an idea of how to use the stand without the drawers and I wanted to try it.) I grabbed a hammer and started trying to hit the drawer outward--it was budging a tiny bit. After several hard hits, it was finally starting to come loose. I pulled back the hammer and swung really hard, thinking that final blow would get the drawer out.

Well, the hammer smashed right through the drawer's bottom (which was just thin plywood) and landed right on my goddamn kneecap! The pain was blinding and I couldn't even move. I was really worried that I shattered the bone--how could a direct blow from a hammer NOT?--but I wound up with a very deep bruise and a very painful knee. It hurt to even move my foot for about a week, which is when I stopped my morning runs.

I should have started right back up but so much time had passed and "one more day" wouldn't make a difference (story of my life). And now it's weeks later. Someone sent me a link to a challenge for a run streak in May, which is mental health awareness month. You can sign up (kind of like you would a race) and it's a virtual challenge to run (or walk) one mile a day for all of May.

I really like that idea! Since I'm passionate about mental health and I would like to get back to running, it seems to be a good fit for me. I haven't made the commitment yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to.

I met a friend at the Metropark on Sunday for a six-mile walk. She'd chosen the last place we walked so it was my turn to choose. I found myself feeling nostalgic for the path where I used to do a lot of my long runs with Jessica (and even by myself). It turned out to be a bad day for that particular park (it was flooded in a lot of areas because we've had so much rain) but seeing people out running on the path gave me a little pang of longing to do it too. I find it so inspiring--whether the person is very fit and fast or out of shape and slow, it inspires me all the same.

I know I've said this a few times now, but I'm going to make my goal for the week to be a couple of runs--not just around the block, but at least a couple of miles. If it's too hard, I'll take walk breaks, but I think I can manage a couple of miles if I run slowly enough ;) ALSO, I'm going to post a Friday Night Photos before my photos get out of hand!

April 09, 2024

Denim Refashion

Like I said yesterday, I have been working on some fun projects lately--mostly sewing. It all started because I wanted to get better at sewing zippers. When I sew, I usually just alter clothes--I like to buy thrift store clothes and refashion them to my (quirky) taste. I rarely make clothes or put zippers on anything but now that I have room for my sewing stuff (I took over the spare bedroom when Noah moved out), I find that I want to use it more. I watched several YouTube videos for tips about zippers and then made a bunch of small things--mostly bags and pouches--to practice. 

I've been doing a ton of spring cleaning/organizing (even though it's still freezing cold here) and when I was organizing the "craft room", I decided I needed to make a large dent in all of the scraps of denim I have. When I am done with a pair of jeans for whatever reason, I cut them apart and use *every* piece in some way. However, since my weight hasn't gone super drastically up and down for the last couple of years, I haven't had to replace all of my jeans, hahaha. (Notice I said "super" drastically--it's certainly not at the point of being consistent yet.)

All of my denim scraps had been sitting around for a while, so after lots of inspiration from Pinterest, I came up with a couple of ideas to try. And I *love* how they turned out!

The first is a small purse that I started with the intention of making into a fanny pack. And it could be, if I change the strap on it, but I like it as an ordinary crossbody for now. I collected the seams from jeans that I'd cut up and I arranged them in rows.

I wanted to keep the whole purse in shades of light- to medium-blue (no dark denim) and I didn't have enough to do the front and back like that. Instead, I unrolled the hems from the legs, ironed them flat, and used them to piece together a patchwork back to the purse. I added little belt loops on the sides to hold the D-rings (for the strap) and a lining that I thought complimented it. A simple zipper on top. And I didn't want any pockets, inside or out, so that was easy.

It's the perfect size! It fits exactly what I need (including my Kindle, which I like to bring with me to appointments and basically anywhere that I might have a chance to read) without having space for random junk. This is one of my most favorite things I've ever made.

After that, I set to work on the bits and pieces that were literally just small scraps of denim. I wanted to make a large piece of fabric by cutting small squares and piecing them together in a grid (like I did ages ago with my denim quilt). I cut as many 2x2 squares as I could and hoped it would be enough to make a messenger bag. I needed the piece to be roughly 15 inches by 32 inches. I didn't do the math or anything--I just hoped that when I pieced them together, it would be at least that big.

It worked out *perfectly*. I didn't have one single spare square left and the finished measurement was 15.5 by 33 inches. Then I had to decide on what to line it with and I'd had a very large men's dress shirt in with my sewing stuff for a while (once in a while I'll buy clothes from Goodwill for the purpose of sewing later, if I like the fabric). I cut that up to use to for a lining fabric, and decided to leave the pockets on.

Sewing through a million layers of denim is HARD but the end result was worth it. I love this bag! I'm not sure what to do with it, being a messenger bag, but I'll figure it out because I want to use it.

And finally, as far as denim goes, I am putting my denim quilt back together. I took it apart last year with the intention of putting it together differently and then grew bored with working on it so I put it in the back of the closet. This is what it looked like before:

This is what the quilt looked like before

I have all the boring stuff done now (I *hate* cutting fabric) and now I am working on piecing it together. Basically, I just rearranged the squares, cut them smaller and I'm sewing them back together without the frayed edges on top. I had several pieces of denim where I was messing around with embroidery floss, so I cut those into squares too.

And as I'm piecing it back together, it looks like this:

I turned most of the squares to the wrong side for a different look. I want to quilt it rather than tie it when I'm done, but I have no idea how to do that!

I have some other projects as well, but I have to head to Eli's baseball game, so I'll save those for later!

April 08, 2024


I was kind of excited to see the eclipse today! I'd been too scared to look at the one in 2017--the news made it sound like we would go blind instantly if we so much as opened our eyes outdoors--so I chose not to. But then several people were talking about how amazing it was and I wished I'd seen it. So, I decided I was for sure going to watch it today. Especially since we live very close to the totality path.

At around midnight last night, it occurred to me that I never got glasses so that I could look at it! Jerry had taken today off work (not for the eclipse, but it happened to work out that way) so he went out this morning on a mission to get glasses. Everywhere he went said they sold out weeks ago. He finally found some at a 7-11 about 35 minutes away, and they only had a few pairs they set aside in the back.

I debated driving to Luna Pier (or even riding my bike), which is a small nearby town--and the only place in Michigan that was in the totality path. However, Noah came over and said the traffic was INSANE everywhere. The line to get on the expressway was backed up for miles! So I figured I'd be happy with the 99.98% totality and avoid the traffic ;)

It was supposed to happen at about 3:12 pm, so we headed outside about 20 minutes beforehand. Jerry brought out his welding helmet from work and that actually worked much better than the cardboard glasses. We passed it back and forth, waiting for something exciting to happen, but I have to say, the eclipse was very underwhelming.

I found it more interesting to just look around us because the atmosphere seemed really eerie. It reminded me of the moments leading up to a tornado--where it looks like you're looking through a filter or something. And then it was jarring that the temperature dropped a LOT and it got super dark outside within minutes. I hadn't thought about the temperature dropping like that, but it makes sense when the sun is hidden!

While the whole thing didn't exactly live up to the hype, we had a good laugh--Jerry was trying to get selfies of us but we couldn't see anything with the helmet/glasses, so the pictures were all over the place.

Eli's baseball games have started and he plays 38 games(!) this season (two months). That is a LOT of baseball. I have to get ready to go to a game right now, but I've been working on some fun projects lately so I'll post pictures of those tomorrow. (Hold me to that!)

March 31, 2024

Happy Easter!

I saw an Instagram post with all sorts of creepy Easter bunny photos, and I knew I had one somewhere from when I was a kid! 

Hope everyone is having a great day :)

March 27, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 179

I was so sure that today was Tuesday. I even felt relieved that I had one more day before my Wednesday Weigh-In, hahaha. I knew I was not going to do well this week (well, it's actually been TWO weeks since my last weigh-in). Things have been so out of routine and the last couple of weeks was a challenge.

Jerry had to do a special project at work which temporarily switched his schedule again (naturally, it was right when we were getting used to the new schedule). Everything they had him doing was so *not* what he'd signed up for when he took the new position in December. It's back to normal now (including his schedule) but it gave him enough insight to reconsider the position.

He has an interview in a different department today. It would be a big leap for him, but he said he'd really like to learn new things. It would also give him experience that he can use outside of his plant--if something should happen and he needs to find work elsewhere, it will give him the skills that he can use in all sorts of settings. He said he'll be happy if he gets the position, but he won't be devastated if he doesn't.

The biggest change would be that he'd go back to working a screwy schedule--except it would be day shift rather than the night shift he'd been working for three years. After all he did to get the new schedule he has now, he said he kind of misses the longer days! He'd prefer to work three or four 12-hour shifts a week than five 8-hour shifts (which makes sense--it's nice to have three or four days off a week!). He also misses having random days off during the week, rather than just the weekends.

Anyway, I only write about this because while Jerry was working longer days the last couple of weeks, it affected our eating habits. Eating dinner later, staying up later, eating snacks after dinner... the habits I'd worked hard to get rid of! I wasn't surprised then, to see my weight was up today.

I think I was at around 143 last time and today I was at 146. I'm not happy about it, but I can't pretend I didn't know that would happen when I fell back into some old habits. No excuses here--just accountability.

My friend Emily texted me a few days ago to ask if I might be interested in running the Detroit Marathon with her this fall. After I laughed out loud and declined (which she totally expected), I started to think that maybe I'd like to start running again. (I don't mean the runs around the block, which are more for mental health than physical fitness.) I certainly have no interest in distance running again, but it would be nice to feel back in shape enough to run 3-5 miles a couple of times a week.

The very next day, I came across a movie on Netflix called Tyson's Run. I am sure I won't do a good job explaining it, so here is the trailer (below). While I normally prefer thrillers and horror movies, once in a while I love a "feel good" story--and this one is GREAT. I don't know if it's the movies or if it's me that is getting more emotional with time, hahaha.

Watching that movie was inspiring to me, and again, I thought about wanting to run. Jerry asked me if I miss running and the answer is that I miss running *when I was in shape to run*. Running when I'm out of shape is not at all fun; and unfortunately for me, the only way to get into running shape is to run! Over the last several years, I just haven't wanted to put up with the discomfort of training. However, I really miss the feel of coming inside after a good run and feeling great all day.

On the occasions I do go for a run, I can feel my leg muscles aching and my lungs begging for more oxygen, and it's so hard to think ahead to the point of how good I'll feel when I'm back in shape. Having patience with diet and exercise is so hard, isn't it?! If I truly want to find joy in running again, I have to put in the work to get back into shape. And that takes time and patience. I already know what I need to do if I want to get back there--I just have to go into it with the right attitude.

I'm going to give it some more thought this week. In the meantime, however, I am going to state my goal for this week as this: I am going to do a "test run" this week to see just how bad off I am! Hahaha. I'm pretty sure I can run three miles, but I am 100% sure it won't feel easy. I don't care at all about my pace, but I'm very curious to see how I feel. And then I can decide if I'm willing to make the commitment at this time in my life ;) 

March 15, 2024

Friday Night Photos #137

This is probably going to be a very long post, because I haven't done a Friday Night Photos since mid-January. I'm actually writing this in the morning, so it'll technically be Friday *Morning* Photos, but same thing. I'll get right into it...

On Sunday, Jerry and I took the kids to see Bill Burr at Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit. We bought tickets for Christmas (all of us really like Bill Burr). It was fun! I love spending time with the kids because it's rare now, especially for the four of us to be together at the same time.

First, we went to dinner. The place I'd carefully chosen--Bobcat Bonnie's--was CLOSED because of a St. Patrick's Day parade in Corktown. I didn't have a backup plan, so we just parked downtown and started walking toward the arena, hoping to find a place to eat before we got there.

We went into a random restaurant (I can't remember what it was called) and it ended up being a terrible dining experience. We were there an hour and a half because our server was new. I am always patient with new servers because I've been a server in several restaurants and I know what it's like! However, there were countless tables that came in after us, ate their meal and left while we were still waiting. Eli and I never ended up getting food because "they forgot" to cook it!

However, we still had a lot of fun while we were sitting there. Eli came back from the bathroom and said there was a bathroom attendant in there--he'd never seen one before. It wasn't the kind of restaurant that I would imagine to have an attendant (it was basically a sports bar), so I was curious. The attendant gave pumped the soap into Eli's hands and gave him a spray of cologne. Then offered for him to buy cigarettes or vapes (among other assorted things).

I asked Eli if he'd tipped him, because while I taught my kids about tipping for various services, I guess I never thought about bathroom attendants. He hadn't tipped, so he went back to the bathroom to tip him. Then he came back with a pack of cigarettes! None of us smoke, and while I don't want to offend anyone, I simply cannot stand being around cigarette smoke. I asked Eli why on earth he would buy them, and this was his response: "Because how many people will ever really be able to say they bought a pack of cigarettes from a possibly-shady bathroom attendant at a bar in downtown Detroit?" He had a point! We all laughed about it.

At the arena, it felt so weird--in a very cool way--that not a single person was allowed to use a cell phone once you walk inside. And to make sure of it, they made everybody put their phones in these special bags that lock; you can't get your phone out until you're leaving the arena and someone unlocks it for you. It felt like we were back in the 90's (the best decade ever) when people actually talked to each other instead of looking at the phones. (I don't care how old that makes me sound.)

Speaking of spending time together, Eli had winter break for a few days and I asked him if he would want to go see a matinee with me (fully expecting time to say no). His friends must have been busy that day because he immediately said yes, haha. I didn't even have any idea what was playing, but after looking it up, I thought The Beekeeper looked like a movie we'd both probably like. It was good!

Funny story: I was going to make popcorn one day because Noah had made some the day before and it sounded good. When I got out the air popper, I saw that the little measuring cup on top was cracked and slightly melted--I immediately knew what had happened, because it happened before. Noah had put coconut oil in it to let the steam melt the coconut oil while it popped.

The other popper that we use has a spot on top to put butter, where it melts and drops down into the popcorn while it pops, so he probably thought it was okay to do it with this one. But I've told him and Eli AND Jerry that we can't do that--it's not meant for it. So, when I saw that the bottom of the air popper had coconut oil in one of the holes, I realized that the coconut oil and gone all the way through the machine.

I was mad that he hadn't listened to me! So, I wrote a note on a Post-It saying, "Do NOT put butter or oil anywhere in or on this!" The note wouldn't stick well, so I put it inside the popper--how can you miss it when it's where you have to put the popcorn?

A few days later, I pulled it out again and measured out the popcorn. I started the popper and about 20 seconds later, there was a burning smell. At first I thought it was the coconut oil inside the popper--and then I remembered my note! HAHAHA, I pulled it out and it was burned. Oops.

I finally took the leap and deleted Facebook. I've disliked Facebook for probably 10 years now--people are SO MEAN to each other and I don't like the negativity--but I was worried that I'd lose touch with some people. A friend of mine deleted his and when I saw that, I decided I was going to get rid of mine too. The people who want to keep in touch with me can always contact me in other ways. 

I didn't just deactivate it--I went through and deleted every. single. thing. in my activity log going back to 2007! I saved a lot of my old status updates--ones that were funny stories about my kids or just random things here and there. This one made me laugh when I saw it--so random!

Before deleting Facebook, I saw this and I was so excited--I hadn't even read the caption and I thought, "THAT WAS MY FAVORITE MOVIE AS A KID!" I'll tell you the answer below the picture if you're interested ;)

This is the movie D.A.R.Y.L. (Data Analyzing Robot Youth Life-form). I could probably quote this entire movie, word for word.

I bought this fabric the day that Jerry and I went to JoAnn's (when I taught him to sew). If you're not familiar with the TV show Friends, then it won't make sense--but as you know, I'm a huge Friends fan. I want to do something cool with it, but I'm not sure what. If you have suggestions, please share! I have four yards of it, so it can be relatively large--my thought was pajamas, but I'd like to do something more fun.

One food that I have found nearly impossible to find a good vegan version of is cheese. I've made SO many recipes and haven't found any that really replicate the texture and taste. I read on Reddit about Miyoko's pourable mozzarella for pizza, and the reviews really made me want to try it. I couldn't find it anywhere around here (they didn't even have it at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor!) but Jerry finally found some at a Kroger near where he works.

We tried it on pizza and I was very impressed. It was definitely the best one we've tried so far. I don't expect vegan versions of animal-based products to taste the same (although a lot of them do!) and this one wasn't a perfect replica. But I'm not trying to find an exact replica; I just wanted something that tasted really good. And this one absolutely does.

Jerry and I recently bought four different brands of vegan cheddar so that we could do a taste test for my blog. The cheddar recipes *always* end up tasting like nutritional yeast to me (I like nutritional yeast, but it has a very distinct flavor--and to me, not at all cheese-like). So we're going to try out the cheese this weekend and I'll write a post like I did when I had a little competition between two vacuums, haha. 

I saw this Eggstractor at Goodwill and it made me laugh because of a brief moment ages ago that Jerry never lets me forget. There was a commercial for the Eggstractor on TV and I was only half paying attention. When they demonstrated it, they put the egg in the top and pushed it through, where it came out at the bottom (a hard-boiled egg without the shell).

For a second, my mind was baffled because I thought the egg was raw going in and hard-boiled coming out. I know that makes no sense and sounds completely stupid, but it was literally a moment's thought. I made the mistake of telling Jerry and we had a good laugh. Still, though, he loves an opportunity to bring it up ;)

I was looking for some pictures in a box from my parents' house and I came across this one of me, Nathan, Brian, and Jeanie (my siblings). If you can manage to ignore my bangs, you can see this is what early Photoshopping looked like--BAHAHA. I think my mom had mailed this to my dad's dad in Florida, who has since passed away--she must not have had a good picture of the four of us, so this was a solution. My hair though.

I was grocery shopping when I noticed the butternut squash selection (or "squatter-nut-bash", like Jerry and I call it--a Friends reference). When choosing a butternut squash, is it best to choose based on length or girth? Hmmm. (I'm pretty sure I have an inner 12-year old boy that gets a giggle out of things like this.)

I would never normally post a picture of my ugly feet, but I thought I'd show what Reynaud's looks like. When my feet get cold, they turn a translucent-white color. It's extremely annoying--it feels numb but painful at the same time and nothing helps except heat. It's the worst on my toes and my heels. I get it in my fingers sometimes, too. I love to show my family because it freaks them out every time, haha. This had never happened to me until I lost the weight in 2009-2010. I've had it ever since!

Jerry and I were playing a game called Decipher one day. It's kind of like a combination of the NY Times' Wordle (a word puzzle) and Battleship. There is a divider so you can't see your opponent's side of the board. You choose a five-letter word that your opponent will try to guess based on hit-or-miss strategy. After 5-6 turns, I noticed that our patterns were *very* similar. I paused for a moment before asking Jerry, "Is your word QUEST?" and he said, "How did you know already?!!" WE HAD CHOSEN THE SAME GODDAMN WORD. What are the odds?

I may have shared this already, but she's so cute that I'll post it again. My mom took Riley to a "princess" event (a sort of party for kids to dress in their princess costumes and do princess-y things). She asked me to style Riley's hair, and the costume included a long, blonde braid with a clip--I had no idea what to do with it. I ended up making two french braids and then clipping the fake one in the center. After she put on her costume, my heart just melted--she is SO CUTE. She was so proud to wear it, too.

Just another board game afternoon. We love Ticket to Ride and I noticed a version called Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails, which had a two-sided game board. One side is the Great Lakes, with Michigan right in the center! Naturally, I had to buy it. It was fun to play one of our favorite games and see the familiar areas.

The rest of these photos are of pets, so feel free to skip over if they aren't your thing ;)

When I saw this picture of Joey on my camera roll, I wondered why I took it--he's not doing anything special... just lying there.

After seeing the next photo, though, I remembered exactly why. It wasn't just Joey there; Chick was lying with him!

Chick *adores* Joey and, thankfully, Joey doesn't seem to mind.

I love watching Chick and Duck groom each other. It's so sweet! Chick likes to groom both Duck and Joey, haha. Until I took this picture, Duck was lying there with his eyes closed, looking super relaxed.

I was lying on my bed talking on the phone one day and Duck wanted my attention SO badly. It drives me crazy when he gets jealous of anything that takes my attention away from him. He clearly wanted me to notice him, because he climbed on my knees and managed to turn a couple of full circles like that. He stayed there until I was done with my call.

A couple of days after I missed making the flight to Hilton Head, I discovered that there really was a reason why I wasn't meant to get on the flight after all. Noah called me, very upset, saying that there was something wrong with Phoebe. He said she threw up 6-8 times that morning and she was hiding. When he tried to get her out from under the couch, she growled at him and didn't want to be touched.

Phoebe is 16 years old and has kidney disease, so this is going to happen sooner or later. But Noah felt so bad, thinking that he did something to cause her to get sick. I told him I'd come over and get Phoebe and take her to the vet. She didn't look good--I could tell she was dehydrated (remember what happened a couple of years ago?) and she had that same disheveled look that she had back then.

I told Noah to go to work and I'd call him from the vet's office. I had two thoughts: 1) her kidney disease took a fast turn for the worse and this may be the end for her, and 2) I hope this wasn't due to a pesticide. Noah had told me about a week prior that they had ants in the apartment (they're on the ground floor) so he bought a spray for them. I immediately asked about Phoebe and he said he followed the instructions on the can and he put Phoebe in another room until it dried (per the instructions).

Still, I was worried. I told him that if they need to spray in the future, that I'll just bring Phoebe over here for a couple of days. If her being sick was due to the pesticide, I did *not* want Noah to know that, though. He would never forgive himself. I told the vet about it and she asked about the ingredients. They did several tests and, thankfully, they found nothing to be wrong with her! She was a little dehydrated, so they gave her subcutaneous fluids. I went in there thinking she was going to die, and then $500 later, learned she was totally fine. Her bloodwork even showed an improvement since January when Noah and I brought her to a check-up.

The fluids did the trick (like they did last time) and she's back to the normal Phoebe. 

Jerry and I were watching The Lion King one afternoon and Chick was SO fascinated by it. He watched probably 75% of the movie while sitting on his scratcher. He especially loved the part when Simba and Nala reunited and it became kind of a romance between them. Jerry and I were cracking up, talking about how Chick is into romance movies and now he's going to wish he had a girlfriend.

I really wanted to build something one day but I had no wood to work with other than a ton of 2x4 scraps. I decided to make little night tables for Jerry and I because after lowering the bed, our nightstands were too high and it was annoying. They aren't exactly pretty--I haven't sanded them or painted them or anything yet--and when it gets warmer outside, I'll do it. But we really like them!

Anyway, the cats watched me build them (in my living room while watching a movie, ha) and when I was done, I brought one into the bedroom, then walked out to get the other. When I came back into the bedroom, I noticed Chick had already made himself at home in the first one. I set down the other, then grabbed my phone to take a picture of Chick. After I took the picture, I looked at the other and Duck was inside, just like Chick. To the cats, the tables were like cardboard boxes--they just just can't resist getting inside. It took all of five seconds before the cats were in there!

Okay, that's all I've got. And that's a LOT. Have a great weekend! xo

March 13, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 177

Well, that was a short two weeks!

I wasn't planning to stop blogging for so long, but it was really nice to let my computer collect a little dust over the last two weeks ;)  I'd like to do a "catch-up" post (for the last couple of months, haha), but I wouldn't even know where to start. When I was blogging daily, I started struggling to come up with things to write about; while I still don't have anything major to write, it feels good not to feel totally blocked when I sit down to write.

If I was to boil down the last two weeks into one main point, it's that I don't do well without having a routine (which we all know already). A couple of months ago, I actually managed to get into the most normal sleep routine I've ever had (and I've never had a "normal" sleep pattern--insomnia has plagued me for my entire life). I made myself turn off the lights by 10:00 pm, which is unheard of for me (my mind just doesn't shut off). At first, it was really hard to fall asleep that early, but as I get older, I prefer getting up early over staying up late. So I kind of forced it and eventually was getting a full six hours of sleep--10 to 4--almost every day. And only waking up once or twice during the night!

[Another reason I like going to bed early is because it stops me from snacking at night, which is a big issue for me.]

A couple of weekends ago, Jerry and I went to a friend's house to play some board games. I was a little worried it would throw off my sleep, but I don't want to be held hostage in the evenings on the weekend and not go out and do things! We had a lot of fun and it wasn't even a super late night; I think we got home at 11:30 ish.

I was wide awake, however, and didn't fall asleep until sometime after 3:00, and then managed to sleep in until 7:00--but all it took was that one day to mess with my sleep schedule. After that, my body wanted me to stay up late again. A week later, just as I was starting to get back into the earlier routine, we had another "late" night on Sunday (a few days ago). Jerry and I took the kids to go see Bill Burr in Detroit (a Christmas present). I *loved* spending time just the four of us and we had a lot of fun! Again, it wasn't a super late night, but now I'm struggling to sleep. Again.

For those of you that go to bed early ("early" is different for everyone, obviously; in my mind, I'm thinking 9:00-10:00 ish), how do you handle being out "late" on weekends? Does it mess with your routine? I'm thinking that if I continue to get up at the same time every day, even after a late night, it'll be easier to go to sleep the next night. I'll try that next time, instead of trying to sleep in.

Anyway, with my sleep schedule thrown off, it kind of threw off all sorts of other stuff. And on top of it, Jerry is doing a project at work that caused his schedule to change slightly (only for two weeks, thankfully!).

Even though I haven't been blogging, I've been keeping busy working on projects around the house (and a few projects for other people). Oh, and spring cleaning! We've had a couple of gorgeous, warm days recently--I love to open up the windows, crank up some music, and spring clean/organize. Cleaning feels like less of a chore on a nice day with the windows open. My house was so clean yesterday; a clean house always puts me in a good mood.

As far as my eating for the last couple of weeks, I did okay. Not great, because late nights always make me snack; for meals, though, I did pretty good. I guessed it balanced out well enough, because my weight was pretty much the same as it was two weeks ago.

I was at 143.2, down from 143.6; still about 10 pounds more than I'd like, but as long as I'm not gaining, I'm not complaining ;)

For this upcoming week, my main focus is going to be working on going to bed earlier (and therefore, not snacking). One of Dr. Greger's 21 Tweaks [for weight loss] suggests not snacking after 7:00 pm--and I've noticed it makes a big difference in my weight when I'm following that guideline. The last couple of times my weight dipped into the 120's was when I stopped snacking at night (or I had a piece of fruit or a few dates or prunes or something like that).

I also want to write more frequently. At the very least, I want to do Friday Night Photos because that's always been kind of a journal for me--recapping my week--and I like having that. I haven't done one in a long time so I'll just have to pick and choose what to share, but after that, I'd like to go back to doing it weekly!

February 29, 2024

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 175

A reader sent me this shirt and the cat looks so much like Duck--I love it!

Happy Leap Day! For not being a holiday-person, there is something that I love about Leap Day. Probably because of numbers and I definitely *am* a numbers-person.

Holy cow, I just realized it's been three weeks since my last weigh in...? I knew I skipped Valentine's Day, but I don't remember why I skipped last week. I wasn't avoiding the scale, so I just probably didn't feel like writing. As I step further from blogging, it's actually getting harder to make myself write. I like the accountability of my weigh-ins, though, so I really want to try to get back to doing them every single week.

I've been hovering in the low- to mid-140's for a while now. Today, I was at 143.6, and I don't remember what my weigh-in was three weeks ago, but I think it was similar.

However, I've recently run into a problem I've never really had before during weight loss, and it's been a challenge...

I've never had a "regular" schedule--Jerry's work schedule was always all over the place and since I'm a "homemaker" (saying "stay-at-home parent" sounds kind of odd now that Eli is a senior in high school!), I based my schedule around Jerry's. Having a swing shift has advantages for sure, but it's terrible when you thrive on a consistent schedule.

I'd never been able to plan meals for the same time every day, have a standing date with friends, or have an available time slot that was open every week (I'm a homemaker by choice, but if I'd wanted to work outside the home, my availability was all over the place--nothing consistent).

All of this is to say that every day was pretty much the same--it wasn't like, "Yay, it's the weekend!", because sometimes a Wednesday and Thursday were like weekends to us. Or a Monday and Tuesday. Or whatever. So, I never had that "weekend mentality"--eating really well during the week and splurging on the weekends, etc. Having such a inconsistent schedule actually seemed to work well in that sense.

Now that Jerry has a consistent schedule, SO MUCH has changed. We're still getting used to it, and we definitely need to work on our diet. We've fallen into the "weekend mentality" cycle. And it's hard to get out of!

I make dinner at the same time every day, which has been so so so nice for planning purposes, and our weekdays are very consistent. However, we've started treating the weekends like a free-for-all when it comes to our day to day life. Mainly regarding food.

It started when we were eating super clean during January. There was a lot of vegan "junk food" that I wanted to make, but it didn't fit in with a whole foods diet. So, I suggested we make Friday a "junk food" dinner night: vegan burgers, pizza, fried tofu, etc. That way, we'd be eating (mostly) clean six days a week and could still enjoy our favorite junk foods. Sounds like a good idea, right?

[I want to note that this is NOT something I call a "cheat day"--we aren't on a diet. We've just been trying to eat much healthier and, in general, I think that having one junk meal a week fits just fine into a healthy diet. Honestly, the junk meals aren't even horrible--just far less nutrition, while still being vegan. I don't like the phrase "cheat day" because it implies bingeing or overeating just to squeeze it all into one day.]

Anyway, what started as a great idea turned around fast--from one meal to then eating whatever all day Friday, then Friday and Saturday, and then pretty much the whole weekend. And on Monday, it's back to the norm. This is a problem we've never faced before!

My weight has been fluctuating much more than usual, and certainly more than it should. I'm talking a difference of 10 pounds in a weekend! It's clearly not all fat, because after a couple of days of eating healthy, it comes right off. But the whole cycle is not something I'm happy with--especially considering I am trying to get my weight back down under 135.

This weekend will be a big test. Jerry and I have been talking all week about how we're going to handle it, haha. Going into it with a plan in place and acknowledging how the "weekend mentality" is messing with our weight loss goals, we're super determined to stop the cycle this weekend. I do still like the idea of making a "junk food"-type dinner on Friday nights, though. When the kids were younger, we used to plan "Pizza Friday" for when Jerry would have Fridays off--that's the only reason I chose Friday. If I leave it up in the air, we'll likely fall back into the cycle.

So, that's an update of what's been happening over the last three weeks as far as weight loss/diet. I've still been running first thing every morning with Joey. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that, for a week, I was going to add one block (only a tenth of a mile) to the run every day--and I did! I made myself do it for a week to see if I could get used to it (and gradually increase my distance).

However, I found it made me absolutely dread the run, which is so stupid! It's only a tenth of a mile longer (60 seconds on a good day), but there is something mental about the fact that when I know I'm only running one block, it feels so simple because I can see my house practically the entire way. So, after that week, I decided that one block is good if it gets me out and running. A couple of times a week, I'll do two or even three if the weather is nice--not planned, but once I'm out there I sometimes choose to do more.

Something that I am very happy with is that I've missed about four or five runs; it sounds odd to be happy about that, but I was so worried that if I broke the streak I started September 1, I'd just quit altogether. The first time I missed it, I was so mad--I'd gotten dressed for winter running, put Joey on the leash, and started making my way down the driveway. There was literally not ONE bare spot of concrete that wasn't covered with ice. It was the kind of ice that has no traction whatsoever--picture an ice skating arena--and was slightly melting so it had a thin layer of water on top.

I quickly realized it wasn't possible to run. And then I realized it might not even be possible to make it back up the driveway! Hahaha, our driveway has a slight slope and my feet just kept sliding back toward the street. Sure, I could have just run on the treadmill; but my purpose for making this morning run a habit was to get outside in the fresh air to start my day off feeling good.

There have been a few other occasions where I've missed the run, but I'm good with that because I get right back to it the next morning--as long as it's so habitual that it feels weird NOT running each morning, I'd say that's successful. I'm just really happy that I haven't treated it as I tend to treat streaks of any kind--quitting as soon as the streak is broken.

Okay, this post is really long for a weigh-in! My plan for the upcoming week is simply to eat consistently. I've been great about getting in vegetables and my diet throughout the week has been super healthy. It's just the weekend mentality that I need to stop before it becomes a habit.

February 23, 2024

My Huge Thrift Store Haul

It's been a long time since I went a little nuts at the thrift store and bought (too many) clothes. I only went there to look for sewing patterns, but I couldn't help browsing through the clothes--especially sweatshirts. I love cozy sweatshirts and I have a few that I should probably replace. (I won't, but I probably should, haha).

Anyway, I haven't done one of these posts in a long time--pictures of the clothes I bought. I actually didn't even *look* at jeans or other pants because I don't need any. I've already altered my jeans to fit the way I like them--even though they are on the tight side now, yikes--and I don't want to start all over.

But I am very excited about my finds yesterday! Here goes...

I LOVE this jacket, even though it's much too big. And the arm stripes are my favorite part, so I had to show those off ;)

With a word like "cozy" embroidered right on the sweatshirt, I just had to get it. It's super soft!

On the left is just a very old (probably 80's) Tahquamenon Falls t-shirt. And on the right is a t-shirt with cactuses (I wasn't sure if the plural was "cactuses" or "cacti", and apparently, both are correct).

The shirt on the left is SO ME--I love dark humor. It says, "When you're dead inside but it's still the holiday season". And the other shirt just looked kind of retro (I *love* retro anything) that says "Dream Big"

On the left is naturally a Detroit sweatshirt. There is a period in the shape of a heart, but you can't see it in this picture. On the right, I actually bought that tunic for the fabric--I thought it would make a cool lining for a bag. But once I tried it on, I actually kind of like it! What kind of pants would I wear with that, though? Ideas?

An old-school Adidas hoodie (love it!) and on the right, a too-small-to-be-comfy sweatshirt. Probably going to donate it.

On the left, just a cozy sweatshirt. On the right, a rather-unflattering soft long-sleeved shirt.

Again, with a jacket that is way too big but it was too retro looking (and in brand new condition) for me to NOT buy it. On the right is a Janis Joplin t-shirt. I really like Janis Joplin.

On the left, another Detroit shirt (I loved this color of green); and on the right, a short t-shirt that says "You are my sunshine". I really liked this, but I don't wear short shirts. I have a ton of ribbed hems though, taken from other clothes, so I might try to add one to the bottom.

THIS tunic on the left will actually be used for fabric. It's not flattering or comfortable. On the right is just a running top--super cozy, moisture-wicking.

On the left is a t-shirt with the Great Lakes in Michigan spelled out in the shape of the lakes. And on the right, just a very cozy sweatshirt in what seems to be my favorite color shirt to wear.

Since I'm always talking about being kind to people, I thought this sweatshirt was highly appropriate for me! And on the right, I actually bought the dress to refashion into a shirt--but I kind of like how it looks as-is. Even if I wear jeans under it!

On the left is pretty much the softest shirt imaginable. On the right is my favorite find of the day! It is the coolest shirt--I've never seen anything like it. You can see the texture below; it's ribbed, but the ribs are very wide. It's super stretchy and comfy!

And that's it for the clothes. Along with my clothes, however, I got some storage boxes, a couple of pairs of jeans for Jerry, a few shirts for Eli and Noah, and a couple of small crafting supplies.

There were some fun shirts I saw but didn't buy--I had to take pictures though!

This one I actually did get for Noah. He's obsessed with cats, probably just as much as I am. 

I SO wish I'd thought of making a shirt like this when I was pregnant. (This is a Friends tv show reference if you're not familiar.)

And this one was just too... interesting?... not to share! ;)

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