Thursday, September 23, 2010

Joined Calorie Count

I weighed myself today, and I still weigh 209. I suspect it's because we've been going out to eat a lot and because my exercise bike is temporarily out of order (there's a place on the cord where the wire is showing- not good!). In order to keep myself more aware of what I consume on a weekly basis, I joined Calorie Count because it's free and because it seems to have some of the name brand  and restaurant foods that I eat. You can also record your daily activity.

What are your experiences with these websites? Do they help you?

Addition 8:05 PM: I did not eat homemade apple pie today. I did not eat homemade cinnamon rolls today. We had a potluck at work and my co-workers brought them. I wanted them. I really did. But, I ate red grapes instead. Ordinarily, since I already "officially" weighed myself for the week, I might choose one and indulge. But, I don't think that I would feel good afterwards, I can't bike it off and I'm too lazy to innovate other type of exercise tonight. Also, there's Spooktacular to think about, with Sunday weigh in. Thanks, Spooktacular. Thanks, Karen!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Getting Spooktacular with Muffin Fixation

I've decided to join the lovely & creative Karen at Muffin Fixation and other hard working bloggers in getting Spooktacular by Halloween! Find the details at Muffin Fixation .

In honor of the upcoming holiday, and to remind me of my fashion goals, I've got a special treat for you from Etsy:

Vintage 1920s-1930s Halloween Dress from Vint Condition

"This dress is constructed from a semi-sheer light pumpkin orange fabric. The neckline shows some hand-stitching, but the majority of the dress is machine stitched. The skirt of dress is constructed with some 2" wide ruffles. The waist is belted in black waxed cotton to give it some stiffness. Adorning the bodice is a black cat creeping along. The sleeves each have a bat. The front of the skirt has 3 bats. The back bodice features a pumpkin and a bat while the skirt has 2 bats. These adornments were crudely cut from black fabric and tacked on. The dress slips on over the head."

Isn't it cute? I'd like to have this just as a sweet Halloween decoration.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bollywood themed workout and movie night

Our plans for Sunday night fell through, so I was pretty much on my own for much of the evening. I decided to do a Bollywood night, starting with a workout and followed by a movie. Are you familiar with Bollywood? It's India's answer to Hollywood and many of the movies feature songs and lots of energetic dancing.

I checked out the Bollywood Burn workout from my library. Here's my summary for you:

What is needed: No special equipment. Room to move around, taking several steps forward, backward and to the sides.

Structure: Three fifteen minute dance routines, progressing in difficulty. 47 minutes total.

Special features: Freestyle dance performance. Audio options of music only or music with instruction.

My impressions: I watched this through once and then did the first two workouts. Workout done by two women and a man. For a Bollywood feel, the instructors are barefooted and rather glamorously dressed, with plenty of sparkle. I was not, wearing my usual sports bra & shorts ensemble with tennis shoes. The first segment is a warm up, and the second is faster, with some dance choreography. It involves a lot of jumping and kicking. I'm not comfortable doing much jumping (which is ridiculous for someone who wants a jump rope, eventually) so I tried to follow along with less impact. It looked fun, and maybe it would have been better if I would have done what they were doing, but slowed down it had the feel of old Jane Fonda aerobics for me. The instructors are very graceful, bouncing around lightly, but I have to say I felt elephantine, clomping around in my sneakers. I was also somewhat disappointed in the music; I thought it would have a little more flavor. These are just my own reactions, of course, but I don't think that I'll be doing this workout again.

I had a better time cycling to the Om Shanti Om CD, lent to me by my considerate coworker Floating Lush , who encouraged me to watch  Om Shanti Om to begin with. The super energetic music gave my workout a push!

Check out "Dard E Disco" below:

Here is an English translation of the song from BollyWhat? The Guide for Clueless Fans of Bollywood Films :

The Pain of Disco

Woh haseena woh neelam pari

That beauty, white fairy

Kargayee kaisi jadoogari

Did some sort of magic

Neend in aankho se chheenli

Took the sleep from these eyes

Dil mein bechaniyian hai bhari

The heart is full of restlessness

Woh haseena woh neelam pari

Kargayee kaisi jadoogari

Neend in aankho se chheenli

Dil mein bechaniyian hai bhari

Main bechaara hoon aawara woh lo samjhaoon mein ab kis kis ko

Woe is me, I am lost and how many people can I tell

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

In my heart is the pain of disco, the pain of disco, the pain of disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco

Dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

The pain of disco, the pain of disco

Phasledil ki gulposhiyon ka mausam tha

The season of beauty it is in my heart

Hum par kabhi sargoshiyon ka mausam tha

On me it is the season of colours

Phasledil ki gulposhiyon ka mausam tha

Hum par kabhi sargoshiyon ka mausam tha

Kaisa junoon khaabon ke anjuman mein tha

What a feeling it is in my dreams

Kya main kahoon kya mere paas pun mein tha

What can I say about what I have?

Ranjish ka chala tha untha jo khaab ka

The feeling in my dreams, stung so badly

To phirta hoon main London, Paris, New York, Alai, San Francisco

So I roam in London, Paris, New York, Alai, San Francisco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco

Dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Lamha lamha armaanon ki famaayish thi

Every moment I had the wish to see my dreams come true

Lamha lamha jo ladki aasmayee thi

Every moment she took over me

Apne karam gir gir pe mujhpe barsa tha

When she dropped and rained on to me

Apne karam barsa to tab main tarsa tha

When she rained I became desperate

Phir soona huwa manzar mera

Then suddenly I was alone

Woh mera sanam dilbar mera

My lover

Phir tor gaya mujhe chor gaya

Broke me and left me

Pichle mahine ki chhabbis ko

On the twenty-sixth of the previous month

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco

Dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Woh haseena woh neelam pari

Kargayee kaisi jadoogari

Neend in aankho se chheenli

Dil mein bechaniyian hai bhari

Main bechaara hoon aawara woh lo samjhaoon mein ab kis kis ko

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco

Dil mein mere hai dard-e-disco

Dard-e-disco, dard-e-disco
How fun and silly is that? I recommend the movie if you like melodrama, romance, glitter and lots of dance numbers.

After the workouts, I indulged in a little romantic comedy, Bollywood style with Honeymoon Travels (Indian Cinema / Bollywood Movie / Hindi Film Comedy DVD) .

Six couples in different stages of their relationships are off on their Honeymoon trips on a tour bus. From a reluctant and sobbing bride and her clueless mate, to a freshly married mid-life couple,to a seemingly perfect pair who have been together since childhood, we learn their stories and empathize with them while also enjoying the film's lighter moments and song and dance numbers.

All in all I spent a very pleasant evening. Do you ever do themed workouts?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Vintage dress temptations from Etsy

Vintage 1940s black bombshell lace Wiggle dress from: Simplicity Is Bliss :

"This is a wonderful 1940s black cocktail wiggle dress. Short mini sleeves with a unique cut for the collar. The material is a blend of lace and texture. Cinched waist for a bombshell hour glass silhouette. There is a very unique gigantic side waist bow. Back metal zipper for closure."

50s Chiffon overlay party dress in hawaiian print from Redux Delux :

"50s fully lined dress in a teal and white Hawaiian print floral chiffon overlay. Gathered rouched front waist, metal side seam zipper. "

Vintage 1930s-1940s dress from Vintage Friends :

"The cafe au lait color cotton print has pale pink and cream flowers and leaves and features 2/3 length sleeves with openwork details, a v-neck with multiple layers of fabric, and soft gathers at the high waist.

Over the hips, front and back, is a diagonal pattern with cream trim, and an A-line skirt with front and back pleats to the hem. There are home-made ribbon like shoulder pads made from cotton fabric and cloth belt loops, but no belt."

Old Hollywood 1930s peach sheer garden party day dress from: Dolly Bird's Vintage :

"This dress...This 1930's long cut on the bias gown is a real original. I've never seen another one like it. Gorgeous puffed sleeves with a slit down the middle that create a super billowy appearance and create a capelet effect at the shoulders. Delicate ruching at the neck and shoulders, front and back and a sweet robins egg blue velvet ribbon detail at the neck. Ties around to the back of the neck with one button and a keyhole opening. Snaps up the center of the back. Beautiful flowers bloom out of the center front of the dress and more pale blue velvet ribbon drapes around delicately to create a belt that snaps in the back. This is one of the most ethereal and glamorous dresses i have ever come across, the colors, the details, the everything! I'm in dreamy. This peach color is my favorite thing about the 20's and 30's. To die for!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Non scale achievements make me happy!

Happy me with Kristian and friends at the Minnesota State Fair

Okay, this post admittedly has nothing to do with the fair, but the photo above is an example of a grand old time for me. And I've had a couple of great non scale achievements lately! This is good, because my motivation has been flagging somewhat.  I somehow hurt a muscle in my thigh, so I had to quit biking for about four days. Now I'm only going for an half an hour at a time, and taking it really easy. But, due to my current catlessness (pathetic disclosure coming up) I've been trolling our neighborhood for friendly kitties that I can pet, and this has turned into some long walks after work. So, all is not lost. I love walking around the streets where we live and just seeing what's going on. After dinner is my favorite time, when the light is getting softer and people are relaxing after work. I like to see the state of the gardens, and the many squirrels and bunnies attending to their evening activities. It's just a special time.

This past weekend, I was shifting out my semi-fall clothes: mid weight but not sweaters. There were a number of knit tops that I either haven't fit in years or else I've bought on sale because they almost fit and I have never actually worn. Guess what? They all fit. Some were too big! It was like going shopping in my closet. I banished some of the looser stuff to the give-away bag. That was a wonderful esteem booster. How about you? With seasonal wardrobe shifting, have you had any nice surprises?

The other big deal was that I went for my annual medical check up Thursday morning, and both my doctor and her nurse complimented me on my weight loss, which felt really good. Most importantly, my blood pressure is down to the normal range again. That is a huge relief! Both of my parents have high blood pressure, and I don't wish to take after them in that way. I was also screened for cholesterol level and diabetes. Let's keep our fingers crossed for those results.

And here's a teaser: I've completely changed my hair. New cut and color. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A second blog award! Thanks Fluffy!

I'm pleased to tell you that the magnificent and funny I'm Fluffy has given me another blog award! According to the Fluffy One,

"Here are the rules:

1. Post who gave you this award

2. State 10 things you like

3. Curse 10 other bloggers and notify them with a comment"

10 Things I like:

  1. Grilled Cheese sandwiches
  2. The Renaissance Festival
  3. Pansies
  4. Washing my dogs
  5. Weeding my garden
  6. Calling my mom
  7. Sundays at home with Kristian
  8. Sleeping in
  9. Surprises
  10. Shiny, sparkly stuff!
My Blogger nominees:

Carol Has Her Nose in a Book
Librarian DOA
The Floating Lush
Knitting In the Stacks
Bombshell Beauty
Shrinky Inky's Fine Adventures
The Adventures of Gingeyginge
The Vintage Lesbian
Chibi Jeebs and the Nerotic Struggle
Fat to Fit

Enjoy, everyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vintage Dress Inspiration

Here is more vintage wardrobe inspiration. I can't quite fit into these dresses, but my time will come, and hopefully I'll find some things that are just as fabulous. I can almost wear my tulip feed sack house dress. It fits through the waist now, but the bust is still a bit of squeak. As the fabric is old, I don't want to push my luck!

First up is a vintage early 1950s SWEET TEA cocktail dress by ANDORA  from Simplicity is Bliss at Etsy.

"This is an outstanding early 1950s cocktail dress by ANDORA. The sweet pea pink color is so soft and lovely. The front is magnificent and filled with detail. The arms and part of the chest and back are a lovely sheer lace material. There is an incredible bow with rhinestones accented on it near the left bust. There are several detail darts under the bust. Cinched waist with a full skirt. The material is a silk taffeta blend. There is a side metal zipper for closure. The dress comes with its original belt."

VINTAGE 1940s Rayon Pink Diamond Print Dress from Vintage Betties also on Etsy.

"What an absolutely GORGEOUS dress this is!!! This is a FABULOUS vintage dress from the 1940s, made of a pink, white and aqua diamond print rayon fabric. The dress has no label, and appears to be handmade. Buttons are black with rhinestones - some of the rhinestones have been replaced, but this is not noticeable. All buttons are present. Belt loops are present, but the original belt is missing.
FABULOUS ruching/pleating at waist line.... creates BEAUTIFUL curves!"

Vintage 1950s pearl lace seashell cocktail dress from Simplicity is Bliss at Etsy.

"Vintage 1950s nude pink cocktail dress. The lace on this dress is incredible and is excellent condition. The color of the lace is a nude but there is a raw peachy pink silk lining underneath that makes this an beautiful eye catching dress. The top of the dress is double layered and the lace part is a like a caplet. There is a v-neck cut and incredible pearl and details around the trim. Side metal zipper for closure."

Vintage 1950s SULTRYSILVER Mad Men Era NOS Brocade Wiggle Dress from Fab Gabs .

"Love Mad Men era allure? Me too! This old store stock dress is marked a 22 1/2, with all its original tags attached... It is satin with wide matte rose brocade. It has short sleeves and an ultra flattering cut. Comes with its original self fabric belt, too! Made by "Landmark" of cotton and acetate. Original $22.99 back in the day - marked down to $11.88 on sale. (I love old prices!)"

Also from Fab Gabs, a "vintage 1950s Le Sophistique stunning red and black Peggy Hunt New Look dress with braided trim."

"It was only at the last minute that I found the designer tag that I KNEW this piece must have - and it is a Peggy Hunt. Everything about the piece screams designer quality. True California Couture. The material is a rich red rayon crepe, printed with inky black swirls. The braided trim at the collar and wide, turned cuffs is sophisticate - at the pockets, it is accented with dangle tassels that are really *just* the thing. It is FULLY lined with black acetate which helps give the dress structure. It buttons down the front, and is just perfect paired with a crinoline. A Fab Gabs favorite."

Tasty selections!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Memories of gym class = yikes!

Coming to enjoy exercise (yep, it's still coming) hasn't been easy. When I was a little girl, I was not a natural athlete. In fact, I was not particularly coordinated. As an imaginative only child, I liked to make up pretend games and play with my dolls and stuffed animals, which was only semi-physical. In kindergarten, I had open heart surgery, so by the time I got to elementary gym class, I wasn't supposed to run or swim any laps. Plus, I had no desire to anyway. Gym class was a terror for me. Let me count the whys. :)

Our grade school gym teacher was a particularly unsympathetic lady with dyed frizzy red hair, and if memory serves, zip up jumpsuits. We all thought that she was OLD (I think she may have been in her sixties) and she certainly never participated in any of the activities except to yell at us and blow her whistle. Our gym games were always team sports. I was no asset to the teams. I was afraid of the ball. It seemed like the game we played most often was the dreaded prisoner Dodge Ball. We were a co-ed gym class, and when we were older and the girls were starting to develop, the boys would chuck the ball at your boobs as hard as they could. I would purposely get hit ASAP so I could sit out the rest of the game. Luckily, we only had gym class weekly in those days, or who knows how much I'd be shelling out for therapy today.

A more positive grade school experience was Baby Ballet. It was taught by Miss Diane, who told us to "fly through the air like Peter Pan!" It was fun, and I got to wear a tutu at our school recital. Although, I didn't get the pink one. My mom was just not pushy enough when the costumes were handed out. I ended up with blue, but my mom or grandma sewed pink roses on the skirt to make me feel better. Naturally, I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up.

Unfortunately, there was no ballet in Junior high gym. In fact, my misery was enhanced by our stunningly horrible gym uniforms and school issue swim suits. The uniforms were some kind of knit polyester one piece. The t-shirt top bore horizontal stripes in shades of blue, blousing into navy blue stretch shorts. These shorts were not joking about being short. Then, I had the chic accompanying knee high white sweat socks and white tennies. None of these items enhanced my chubby self. Our swim suits were blue and would have been modest, except the top part had a way of working down and falling off the slimmer girls. Thankfully, our class was all girl by then or all this would have been even more mortifying.

Did I mention that I had first hour gym? This meant that you could ensure that you would be either sweaty and nasty or wet and flat haired in time for your next class and the rest of your day.

In Junior high, there was no "i" in "team." We laid off the dodge ball, but I found something new to hate and fear: softball. What a nightmare! Yes, I was the last person picked for the team. Yes, I spent time in the outfield, because I couldn't hit and I couldn't catch. The worst, though, was trying to bat and failing, with all eyes on me. Basketball wasn't much better. I was one of the shortest players, in addition to being one of the worst. So, for reasons that I still don't understand, I, as a small girl, was sometimes called on to try to make a shot. As a penalty for the other team, I imagine. I don't remember ever making it. Cue the violins!

Gym was one long list of couldn'ts. I wasn't able to climb a rope, jump off the diving board, climb with those pegs or anything else really. The only thing that I could kind of do was spike a volley ball. It was a time of humiliation, and I never thought that exercise could be fun. The one thing that I liked to do out of school was go on walks.

As an adult, I learned that there was so much more to exercise than what gym class had offered. As a college freshman, I took a ballet class in the summer and found out something. I am flexible! I could do a turnout and put my leg straight up the wall. Working hard, I could really give it my all and I had physical skills that not everyone had. This was news to me. Workouts could be personal. They could be what you like and if others judged you, it wasn't important.

Since then, I have learned the pleasure of yoga, belly dancing and burlesque dancing, and of the satisfying results gained from aerobics and stationary biking. As I approach fifty, I become more open to more physical things. Why have I never tried tennis, swimming, or ballroom dancing? Why shouldn't I hula hoop, jump rope, ice skate or go bowling? Who cares if I can't do it well? So what if I look silly? I want to be able to enjoy the capability and potential of my body while I've still got it to use. I hear by promise to try some new things and pursue the one I like best before spring!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Blog Award! I'd like to thank the academy...and Stephanie!

I'm really honored to receive a Blog Award for this young blog and I'm very grateful to Stephanie at She's In There Somewhere for giving it to me. Now, I need to tell you seven things about myself and then nominate seven other bloggers.

If you've read my "About Me", then you probably already know more about me than you want to! But, Here goes:

  1. I'm hoping to join the Master Gardener's program through University of Minnesota this winter.
  2. I am a crazy cat lover! When I'm through mourning the loss of my cat, we're going to get a kitten, to complete our family of two dachshunds and us.
  3. I love autumn and Halloween.
  4. I am very patient with people and completely impatient with objects (especially those that need to be assembled).
  5. I believed in the Easter bunny until I was about ten years old.
  6. I still believe in fairy tales, but not so much the "some day my prince will come" kind. More like "the Goose Girl," "Bluebeard's Egg," and "East O' the Sun, West O' the Moon."
  7. Speaking of which, my academic hero is folklorist Jack Zipes. My dog is named after him.
Now for my nominees:

Weight Watchers Wannabee

Ruminations and Uncovering: Toward a New Me!

In Pursuit of My Inner Pinup

Tales Of the Incredible Shrinking Nery

Girl Stuck In a Rut

All the Weigh

and one on a different subject: Auntie K's Garden

Love your blogs, ladies! Pass it on.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Future Reward Dress

When I hit my first goal of 199 lbs., I've decided to reward myself with a really nice dress. I've had my eye on Kiyonna's lace dresses for some time. This one is their 3/4 Sleeved Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress. It also comes in black lace with black lining and chocolate with chocolate lining, but I want to go for the glam and get black lace with nude lining, as shown. At $148.00, it is a little spendy for me, but this is a special treat.

You can see the rest of their dresses at Kiyonna:dresses .

Judging from their Size Chart, if I ordered right now, I'd be on the border between a 2x and 1x. When I lose my 11 lbs., I assume I'll be a solid (no pun intended) 1x. I'm getting excited!

Size :

0x: 10 12, Bust 40.5-44, Waist 34.5-38, Hips 44.5-48
 1x : 14 16, Bust 44.5-48, Waist 38.5-42, Hips 48.5-52
2x: 18 20, Bust 48.5-52,  Waist 42.5-46,  Hips 52.5-56
3x: 22 24, Bust 52.5-56,  Waist 46.5-50,  Hips 56.5-60
4x: 26 28, Bust 56.5-62,  Waist 50.5-56,  Hips 60.5-66
5x: 30 32, Bust 62.5-68,  Waist 56.5-62,  Hips 66.5-72


What ways, big and small, do you reward yourself for sticking to your healthy lifestyle goals?

True, there is great satisfaction in the changes themselves. I am thrilled with every lb. down for the way that my clothes fit better, or looser, for the way that my body is altering. I'll be going for a check up with my doctor soon, and I hope to see changes in my blood pressure, which will be a huge reward. There is also pleasure in knowing that I'm getting stronger, that I can bike for longer at a higher level without fainting. That I can climb stairs easier and squat to shelve books longer without it hurting. I'm proud when my family and friends compliment me for sticking to my goals.

On a more concrete level, I decided to treat myself with an inexpensive sterling silver charm for every five lbs that I lose. I plan to start three bracelets, one about me, another about Kristian and me, and a third as a story bracelet, with charms representing fairy tales and books I love. These won't be Italian charms or fancy beads, but old school dangly charms like I wore as a girl. So far, I've only bought one, that I got at Hoover Dam on our recent trip to Nevada. But, I have a Storyteller charm from a visit to the Grand Canyon, and  a princess crown studded with marcasite that I've had waiting in the wings.

Dreaming of the dress!