A Trip to the Market

I finally got my camera and computer to talk to each other again and was able to upload the pictures from my trip to Pike Place Market last week. I decided to add some photos from my first trip to the Market shortly after I arrived in Washington as well…

And this is just a small taste of the variety of vendors that come to the market, either on a full-time or part-time basis. There are so many different vendors, artists, produce stands, fish vendors, cheeses, nuts, pasta, jewelry, bakeries, restaurants, etc. it would be impossible to capture them all in just a blog. But perhaps this small selection of pictures will help you to see why Pike Place Market is one of my favorite places in Seattle!!


Technical Difficulties

So I was planning to post a photo blog from Pike Market today, followed by a walking photo blog tomorrow, but unfortunately I am having some technical difficulties with my camera and/or computer software. None of my new photos will transfer over to my computer, so I am not able to post them right now. Until I can get the pictures uploaded, I will not be able to do any of my photo blogs, which makes me pretty sad.

I do have something fun to report though! After looking at the numbers and budgeting things out, I will be able to afford to head home for a visit later this year! I am very excited since I haven’t been home in a year and a half! I will blog more about my trip as plans get finalized.



Friday 5~ Goals

Its time for another Friday 5! This week I decided to share 5 goals that I have for the remainder of 2012…

1. Prepare for my ACE Personal Trainer certification (which I hope to complete in early 2013). I should be ordering my study materials in mid to late August and am very excited! Once I receive my materials, I will share more about the program and my prep for the exam!


2. Go home. I have some plans in the works for a trip home and I cannot wait! At this point nothing is finalized yet, but I should have more details very soon!


3. Run a 5k. Yes, I was supposed to have already completed this goal earlier in the year, but things didn’t exactly go as planned, but its time to get my running program back on track!

4. Re-shape my body. I will be putting a lot of focus on strength training for the balance of 2012 and am hoping to make some progress in reshaping my body. Now that I have taken off a significant amount of weight (46 lbs), I want to start to work on some serious muscle definition.


5. Transition and grow my blog. I mentioned before that I want to transition to a self-hosted blog, this is definitely still a goal, as well as becoming a better blogger and growing my readership. I know I have a lot of room for improvement at this point!



What are your goals for the 2nd half of 2012?


The three quotes that live on my dry erase board beside my desk…

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined”~ Thoreau

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.”~ Unknown

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…”~ Proverb


What are your favorite quotes?

Friday 5 Returns

My blog has been a bit out of whack since the craziness of June, but I am trying to get things back into a groove this week and moving forward. One of my favorite things on the blog has been my Friday 5s and I definitely want to get back to doing these every week. I invite all of you to suggest topics that you would like me center these posts around.

Today’s 5 is a list of things that I have purchased this week:

1. A mirror for my bedroom. The only mirror in my room before was the one over the sink in the bathroom, and with the configuration of the shelf and mirror, I could only see myself from the neck up. While this is fine for washing my face or putting on makeup, it makes it difficult to see how a complete outfit looks or to snap pictures of myself for progress. So today I picked up a mirror that will show much more of me!

2. A pair of size 12 pants. I mentioned that I had accidentally picked up a pair of size 10 pants that didn’t quite fit yet. I decided today to go ahead and get the size 12 pair as well… and they do fit! SO I am officially in a size 12, a size I can’t remember wearing since high school!

3. Coconut Manna. This is basically a coconut oil, but its a little more coconut and a little less oil. It works really great in smoothies, so I picked it up to add to my protein shake. smoothies that I’m enjoying for breakfast a few times a week. This will give me some heart healthy fats as well as a little more substance in the mornings

4. A new weekly planner. First of all, I should note that I LOVE office supplies and go crazy when the back to school sales start showing up at Target. I always used this as an excuse to stock up on everything from pens to rubberbands to composition books… not to mention the entire rainbow of Sharpie markers. I managed to contain myself to 2 packages of index cards and the planner. I intend to use the planner to monitor my 42nd Year Project… and since it runs from August 2012 to July 2013, its perfect for that purpose!

5. Miniature Candy Bars. I love chocolate and feel that it can have a place in daily life when taken in moderation. I find that when I have chocolate on hand at home, I don’t crave it and am content (for the most part) to have one miniature candy bar a day as a treat. Since they are miniature, I keep the calorie impact low, but am still able to satisfy my sweet tooth. Today I picked up 2 favorites… York Peppermint Patties and Peanut Butter Snickers.

I also bought other things like supplements that I was running low on, snacks and lunches for the next week and a new work shirt, but these were the highlights… at least in my opinion!

What fun things have you purchased lately?

What topics would you like me to feature on future Friday 5s?

Summer Reading Part I

Because June was so crazy, I didn’t post the books that I completed in June… there were only 2 of them! But I have certainly been back to my regular reading rate and decided to post the books that I have completed in June and the first half of July. I’ll post again at the end of August with the rest of my summer reads, but for now, here you go:

The two from June

And 5 so far for July!

What are you reading this summer?

My 42nd Year- The Project!

So I mentioned that I was putting together a big year-long project to commence after my birthday, well that project has now begun and I wanted to share some of the details with you! As you may have noted in my last blog, I am looking to reawaken my passion during my 42nd year of life, so some of my plans for this project/ challenge reflect this.

Essentially my mission statement for this year is to have fun, love myself, work hard, treat myself well and reach my goals. I have a lot that I want to accomplish and have broken everything down into small steps with room for changes and updates along the way. Rather than focusing on the entire year or even a month at a time, I will be focusing on one week at a time and will be working on various areas of my life, not just fitness and healthy eating. I am starting with very small goals this week and will be building on them as I go. I want to get back in touch with the basics right now, both to help break my plateau and to get me started on the right foot for the coming year.

So here are the details… Each week I will have weekly goals and daily goals. The daily goals will remain the same for the entire week. I will also have specific training plans and menu plans each week in addition to a weekly book focus. As I stated, this week the goals are pretty small and I will be building up to much larger goals as the year goes on. For the purpose of this challenge/project my weeks will be running from Monday to Sunday.

The Specifics 7/16-7/22

Daily Goals:
Eat Breakfast
Brush Teeth
Wear Mascara
Clean Litter Box
Take Morning Supplements

Weekly Goals:
Save $20
Rearrange Bedroom Furniture
Go to the Movies
Read 50 Chapters

Weekly Menu (Breakfast only this week):
Monday- Granola & Yogurt
Tuesday-Granola & Yogurt
Wednesday- Protein Shake
Thursday- Granola & Yogurt
Friday- Protein Shake
Saturday- Granola & Yogurt
Sunday- Protein Shake

Weekly Workout Plan:
Monday- Stretch; Walk 1 mile
Tuesday- Stretch; Dance; Strength
Wednesday- Stretch; Walk 4.5 miles
Thursday- Stretch; Walk 2.75 miles
Friday- Stretch; Walk 4.5 miles
Saturday- Stretch; Walk 2.75 miles; Strength
Sunday- Stretch; Walk 4.5 miles; Yoga

Weekly Book Focus:
Catching Fire
All Over the Map (completed)
Grand Passion
The Help

 So far I am on track with all of my goals this week. I do have some rewards in place that I will discuss next week. I also plan to build a lot into my workouts this year including adding kettlebells, restarting my running program, adding swimming and cycling, increasing to heavier weights, trying a Body Pump class and adding more yoga. All in all I am really excited about making this an amazing year!

Have you ever undertaken a life makeover project?

41 is the New 21

So, now that I am 41 I have been reflecting on my life… where I’ve been and where I’m headed. I decided that my motto for this year would be “41 is the new 21.” Now many people automatically associate 21 with drinking and partying, but I associate is more to a passion for life. And I definitely need more passion in my life… in all ways.

I have been trying to pinpoint when I lost my passion for life, and really I think it happened when I was still pretty young, like around 19. I gave up on a lot of my dreams around that time and have really not been passionate about anything since then. There have been brief sparks here and there over the years when something has caught my attention for a short time, but there hasn’t been a great love of life for me in a long while. I want to fix that.

So this year I really want to focus on finding my passion again. I want to explore my interests and chase my dreams. I want to meet people and open myself up to the possibilities that exist, rather than closing myself off. I want to get out of my room and into the world, stop being a hermit and start being a traveler. Basically, I want to grab life and shake it until all of the fun and romance and excitement falls into my arms.

It won’t be easy, because essentially I am an introvert and I have been closed off from people (especially men) for so many years. It may hurt a little to open myself up, but I know that I need to if I want to really start living my life rather than just existing from day-to-day. I will probably need people to hold me accountable as well, so if you’re reading this, hold me to it! If you know me in real life or on another social medium, ask me what I’ve been doing to open myself up more. If you haven’t seen a blog post that talks about something new, exciting or passionate… remind me to get off my rear and get out there and live! Drag me out the door if you have to! I am not getting any younger, and I still want it all, so now is the time for me to get out there and grab it!

What fills your life with passion and purpose?

Birthday Celebrations

In honor of my birthday, I took a few days off work to enjoy myself and celebrate me. My official birthday weekend kicked off at 5pm on Thursday afternoon.

Once I finished work, I spent the evening running some errands. I picked up a much-needed pair of shoes for work, then got a new set of ear buds, a belt to hold up my too-big pants and a new pair of pants for work. I hate trying on clothes in the store, so I picked up what I thought was a pair of size 12 pants, knowing that I should be close to fitting into them now. After I got home I tried on the pants and was disappointed to discover that while I could fit into them, they were definitely too tight to wear right now. I was a little discouraged, thinking I hadn’t come as far as I’d thought until I realized that I had actually bought a pair of size 10 pants that were on the wrong hanger. I decided to keep them as I should be wearing them soon!

Friday, my roommate picked up the kittens we were fostering, so I spent lots of time taking pictures and playing with them. We also ran a few errands, and I picked up some cat food and some peppermint foot scrub from The Body Shoppe. We also went to Red Robin for lunch to get my free birthday burger.

Saturday was spent playing with the kittens most of the day. In between kitten-time, I also did a lot of reading. That night we went out to Oliver’s Twist, a little bar near our place that has an awesome vibe and great drinks. A couple of friends met us there, and we all had a blast. I enjoyed a few (or 5) Giles and the grilled cheese sandwich plus kale and some gelato. It was a really great evening and a terrific way to kick off my actual birthday.

Sunday was my actual birthday. The day started with my roommate taking me out for breakfast and then for a mani/pedi.

I of course had my nails done in my signature color of pink and went with a really bright (neon) shade for summer.

After our pampering, we hit the theater to see Magic Mike


It was the perfect, fun movie to see for a celebration.

Next we came home, I skyped with my parents, read all of the birthday greetings I received on Facebook and Sparkpeople, then took a nap. Later in the day we took the kittens back to the shelter and hit the grocery store to pick up something for dinner and grab some yogurt and granola for my breakfasts this week.

My weekend ended with a call from my boys, which really cheered me up. I hadn’t talked to them in forever and I have really been missing them!

All in all my birthday weekend was pretty great… aside from the weather! After 10 days of sunshine it decided to thunderstorm and send torrential rain our way on Friday, then continued to rain on Saturday and Sunday. Ironically it was sunny again on Monday when I returned to work, thanks Seattle!



So if you’ve read my blog before, or know me in the virtual world on Twitter, Facebook or Sparkpeople (or even know me in the real world), you should know that I am a huge cat lover. I have my own 4-year-old kitty, Disney, who has been featured here on the blog before, plus my roommates 3 boys. This past weekend we also played host to a trio of adorable kittens.

My roommate is a Vet Asst and used to work for a local shelter (Paws in Lynnwood, WA http://www.paws.org/). While she no longer works at the shelter, she still volunteers as a foster for kittens and doggies. In the time that we have been roommates, we have had an older, harder to adopt dog come stay with us, as well as an adorable Akita puppy. There was also a kitten who stayed overnight, but it was during a time that I wasn’t home much, so I never actually even saw it.

But this time I got to bask in the glory of playing with these three little darlings from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.

There was the tiny, friendly one who was the first to run out of the crate whenever we opened the door.

The adorable short-haired one who was also super tiny… even her tail was miniature sized!

And the shy one, who was actually the biggest of the three but hung back and stayed away from the humans a bit.

The kittens all were named by the shelter, but I never knew their names, so I gave them my own names… Mischief, Pixie and Cinders.

I wanted to keep them all, but I knew I really couldn’t. We already have 4 adult cats, a dog and a 12-year old boy living with us, adding 3 kittens to the mix on a permanent basis would be way too much.

But I did make sure to get some private snuggle time with each of them before they went back to the shelter.

Cinders, the shy one (she didn’t want to look at the camera).



I was really sad to see them go on Sunday, but I have my memories of a great weekend with them… at lots of pictures!! Here’s my favorite picture of the weekend to close out: