Friday, June 30, 2017

Web Wanderings #3

Welcome to Web Wanderings, an occasional series where I share interesting articles that I came across online.

1.  The 138 Most Delish Things to Cook on the Grill.

Greek Grilled Eggplant

Coming in to the Fourth of July, why not step up your grilling game?  I want to try the Greek Grilled Eggplant.

2. 6 Things Every Successful Career Woman Should Keep at Her Desk

My planner, my blog notebook, a small container of my favorite lotion, my tea cup and my water cup

My must haves are pictured above.  I also have to have a really good pen for writing and I love my Kate Spade stapler.

3.  7 Things Every Makeup Artist Wants You to Know

Put on your eye makeup first
I love her suggestion for putting on eye makeup first.  Actually, I never could figure out how people managed to do their face and then their eyes without mucking up their makeup.

4.  Pittsburgh myth, Paris reality


As a lifelong Pittsburgher, I love Chancellor Gallagher's response to President Trump's Pittsburgh comment.

5. Stray Dog Earns Symphony of Laughs for Interrupting Orchestra

And finally, for a bit of fun, a dog goes to the Symphony.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Outfits for the 4th

This year I have a bunch of 4th of July festivities to attend.  On Saturday, I have a picnic at my mom's, on Sunday a party at my cousin's house (okay technically it's a birthday party for her daughter, but it's still festivities around the Fourth) and then there is the actual Fourth of July.  So of course, my mind immediately goes to, what am I going to where.

First up is a cute romper that I bought at Francesca's while we were on vacation in New Orleans.  Unfortunately, I'm not finding it on their site, but this one is cute.  This one has floral embroidery which makes it somewhat similar to the one that I have.

Next up is a slightly dressier option from Rue 21.  You could make it really dressy with heels or wedges, but I chose to style it slightly more casual with blue Vans.  I also grabbed a white shrug which definitely makes it very Americana.

Finally, there's the old standby of a blue t-shirt and a pair of shorts.  I opted for more of a v-neck pullover instead of a graphic tee since I wanted to do blue.  The shorts are my new favorites, also from Rue 21.  I'm not sure where the top is from, it's one that I've had for a while.

I hope this gives you some inspiration for your Fourth of July outfits.  Let me know in the comments what your plans are.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Food and Weight loss

I think that the biggest change in my life in recent years has been my weight loss.  In all honesty, it’s probably even bigger than the breast cancer, because it’s now a constant part of my life and has necessitated the most lifestyle changes.  Losing the weight has meant completely changing the way that I approach food.

Right now I still focus on counting calories.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to get away from that, but for right now it is what works.  Now keep in mind, I don’t count them obsessively, and I also don’t fret about counting them if we’re at a party or something.

For me food currently falls into 4 categories: eat a lot of, okay in moderation, good for an occasional splurge, not worth it.

Things like vegetables fall into the eat a lot of category – though not all veg.  I do tend to eat a lot of veggies and the key to remember with them is to limit the butter and oil.  A cup of broccoli that’s been steamed is going to be a lot different than a cup of broccoli that was sautéed in butter.  These are also the foods that I reach for the most throughout the day.  They form the basis of my meals, and are what I reach for as a snack.  Low calorie rice cakes and popcorn are also in this category.  As are seaweed snacks.

Foods that I tend to eat, but watch how much I eat, are things like starches and meats and some sweets.  One of the decisions that I made early on was that I wasn’t going to cut out any food group.  I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but I eat carbs.  I eat meat or fish every day.  I also have cheese and ice cream.  The key is moderation and choosing the best of something.  Take steak for example.  If I want steak (and hey, it’s what’s for dinner tonight), I choose sirloin as it is leaner and still really darn tasty, and I make sure to have a small piece – 5 or 6 ounces.  I will have ice cream a couple of nights a week as a snack, but I make sure to get good quality ice cream (or frozen yogurt) and only have a scoop.

Then there are the foods that are good for an occasional splurge.  There is a local chain of donut shops that make the most incredible decadent donuts.  This is not something that I’m going to eat on a regular basis, but I did have two for my birthday J 

Finally the foods that are just not worth it.  This is going to be different for everyone.  For me, the first thing that pops into mind is pizza – greasy, take-out pizza, that is comforting while you eat it, but makes you feel so yucky afterwards.  Now don’t get me wrong, good quality pizza, is a worthwhile splurge, but it has to be really good.  A fast food hamburger wouldn’t be worth it for me, but a burger at an amazing burger restaurant would be.

How do you look at food?  Do you count calories, avoid certain foods?  Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, June 23, 2017

2 Years

Cancer is not the happiest of topics I guess, but since I originally resurrected this blog as a way to keep family and friends up to date on my cancer, I figured I should probably post an update.

The 19th marked 2 years since I found out that I had breast cancer.  While I didn't get the actual "official" diagnosis until they called me with the results of the biopsy on the 23rd, I knew at that appointment.

Cancer is a big, scary word and it opens the door to a big, scary world, but it is also a world filled with silver linings.

Having cancer deepened my faith.  I learned to truly rely on God for strength and peace.  Cancer showed me just how much J cared for me and loved me.  While I had never doubted his love for me, it was a true comfort knowing that he was there taking care care of me throughout the treatments and surgeries.  My family and friends were amazing as well.  The prayers and the card and the visits meant the world to me.

Cancer also taught me about me.  Because of it, I found a determination to live the life that brings me joy, and not the one that seeks to match people's expectations.  Cancer gave me a better ability to see which things matter, and which things don't, and to be okay with pursuing the things that matter to me.

Cancer treatments gave me plenty of time to think and to contemplate what I like and what I don't like, whether food, or fashion, or a personality trait in myself.  I took the time to develop a better sense of style and learned how I like to spend my time.

Cancer isn't a journey that I would wish on anyone, but for me at least, it has been a journey that also brought hope and joy and learning.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Let's Try this Again

So I've blogged in the past, for a variety of reasons.  I've blogged to spout off about things - and not always very nicely or about things that needed spouted off about.  I've also blogged to be like friends, not even just the fact that I was blogging, but the topics that I was blogging about.  The thing is, I was never being true to me, so I never kept it up.  I think that the closest that I have come to being true to me with my blogging was when I used it to update people about my breast cancer.

I'm going to take a stab at blogging again - hence the post title.  This time though, I want to make more of an effort to stay true to me.  This little space on the web may never become hugely popular, and I'm fine with that.  I'm not looking to turn this into a full-time thing, I have a career that I am passionate about.  Though, if it gets big enough that companies want to send me products to try - that would be very cool :)  What I want this blog to be is a place where I can share the thoughts that are tumbling around in my brain.

I've spent some time thinking about things that I think I would like to write about, things that you could expect to find here.  Things like, food and exercise, things that I've stumbled upon online, trips that J and I take, workouts that I'm doing, fashion, makeup, basically a hodgepodge of slight randomness.

My only goal with this blog is to stay true to myself, and maybe provide someone with a good read.  My hope is that I'll actually have readers and that I'll be able to engage with them.

So stay tuned, I might surprise us all and actually be interesting.

And just for the fun of it, a cool picture from New Orleans.