Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November Bella

I’ve never been happier for the month of November to arrive.  It’s not the cool, crisp days or the beautiful fall foliage (although those are definitely a couple of my fall loves).  It is not even the thoughts of a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with family or the kick off to the festivities of the holiday season.
Why am I excited to see November get here?  This exasperating election season is finally over!
The endless phone calls will stop.  The negative campaigning will end (for a little while anyway).   My mailbox will no longer be stuffed full of propaganda.  The commercials highlighting comments taken out of context will be off the air.  My dog Bailey can rest from her constant vigil at the front window to scare off door to door campaign volunteers.
I try to never discuss politics.  Some people thrive off of it, but I do not.  I have found that most people don’t want to have an enlightened discussion but instead want to tell me why my opinions are wrong (and how people like me are ruining America…or are bringing about the end of the world…or whatever).  Politics have turned grown adults into school yard bullies.  I’m done with all of it.  I agree that all voters should be informed, but yelling at me isn’t going to win me to your side. 
You vote for your candidate and I’ll vote for mine.  They may be the same person, or we may be cancelling each other out.  For me, as long as you use your right to vote and don’t forfeit it, then we have nothing to argue about.  Now, let’s all settle down and enjoy the rest of the season (preferably with a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte….can we agree on that?).

Monday, October 15, 2012

October Bella Article

Back in June, I had all of these grand plans for my summer.  I would decorate and paint my one untouched room.  I would sew all kinds of adorable items for my ETSY shop.  I would clean out my closet and take a truckload to Goodwill.

Here is what I accomplished over the summer:  gained 5 pounds, napped my days away, and I managed to create one apron for my shop (anyone need an apron?).   I felt horrible.  If I were coated in slime, you wouldn’t be able to tell me apart from the giant slugs in the backyard.  

As summer drew to a close, I realized I needed to do something.  I needed more energy.  I needed to lose those five pounds (plus about 30 more on top of that).  I needed to make some major changes in my life.  I needed more than just a diet plan.  So through the help of my source of all info (Google) I ran across health coaches.  I then narrowed it down to one, Taunya Bruton in Christiansburg.  So far, this has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I’m sure she wasn’t quite sure what she was in for during our initial consultation.  I basically started with all of the things I WOULDN’T do….I’m not going to the grocery store every day, I am not buying weird or expensive ingredients that my Kroger doesn’t have, I’m not cooking meals with ingredients I can’t pronounce, and I’m not giving up sweet tea.  Taunya assured me that I didn’t have to give anything up and that the entire program would be tailored to me and my needs.  There were no restrictions, no points to tally, no calories to count.  She is like a dietician, counselor, and teacher all rolled up into one.  I am making changes in all areas of my life, not just what I eat.  As a result, I am a smidgen smaller, I feel better, and I have more energy.    And I haven’t craved sweet tea since I started changing my diet to more whole foods.  How is that for miracles?  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Conversation with a 6th grader

"Ms. Saunders, do you like me?"

As if I would ever say no to this question.  "Of course I like you."

"But do you like me as a friend?"

"No, no I don't."

"What????" he asks with a noticeable droop in his shoulders.

"I like you as a student.  I teach you, I support you, I care for you.  But I am NOT inviting you over to my house to 'hang' and watch tv or play video games."

"Oh!  I don't want to do that with you either!"

Case closed.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A little something new...

I've decided to start a new blog.  Not a replacement blog.  Just a new blog.  It will devoted to all my creative pursuits (which does not include gluing buttons to ANYTHING).  If you would like to check it out, click here

This blog will continue to exist.  It will be rants and ravings and just general stuff. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adventures in Food Journaling: Day One

I've been rather neglectful of my blog here lately.  I have diagnosed myself with chronic fatigue syndrome (WebMD was the source) and all I do is work and sleep.  I am falling asleep now but decided to write instead.

Because I am overweight and unable to get off the couch due to my undying need to nap, I started working with a health coach.  I have changed so many aspects of my diet but I'm not losing much weight and I am still mistaken for a hibernating bear.  So she suggested I start a "food journal".  The template she gave me was very simple to follow and really just had me listing what I ate and how I felt.  Since I am completely incapable of writing my feelings in 2 words when 50 would do it, I am doing my "food blog post". 

Day 1:
Today is my first day of journaling.  But due to my inability to get out of bed in the morning, I do not get up in time to fix my daily green smoothie (green = spinach = does not equal Popeye biceps).  I hit Starbucks instead.  Breakfast consisted of a skinny vanilla latte (which is healthy because it has the word "skinny" in the name!) and a cinnamon roll.  But, due to my lateness and my 6th graders' lack of knowledge about working a computer without a minimum of at least 10 different directions said to each one individually, my cinnamon roll was actually brunch.

Brunch:  1 cold cinnamon roll.  It wasn't quite as worth it as I had imagined.

Lunch:  I was late to school, remember?  Lunch came from the cafeteria for the first time this year.  And Thursday is steak and gravy day!!!  I had a brown slab of unidentifiable meat, a scoop of mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots/peas (veggies!), and a roll with butter.  I'm not really sure where any of this fit on my imaginary plate of proteins, vegetables, carbs, and fat, but I am pretty sure all of it just fell under "fat".  On the bright side it wasn't as salty as usual!

Snack:  I didn't eat one.  I was too full from my steak (?) lunch.

Dinner:  Since I was one Happy Meal from being the star of "Supersize Me", I got chicken tenders and fries from a drive-thru.  I figured I was on an artery-clogging streak and decided not to interrupt that.  Oh, and a sweet tea. 

Dessert:  My health coach told me about blending frozen bananas with a mix in of choice for a healthy "ice cream" treat.  I couldn't wait to try it!  I blended my bananas with dark chocolate (fruit and antioxidants...this will counteract EVERYTHING I have eaten today!).  It tasted weird.  It was nothing like my vanilla Hagen Dasz in the freezer.  I'm going back to premium ice cream, not bananas disguised as ice cream. 

Overall, I'm impressed with my food journal.  Oh, not the food....just the journal. 

My coach would be proud. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How not to sell a car

I have been thinking about replacing my 2003 Honda Accord which has 118,000 miles on it.  Parts are starting to die, and these are expensive parts.  So I have been casually searching for cars just in case I run across the perfect one (which is a barely used spectacular car for super cheap). 

The other day I received a flyer in the mail from my local Honda dealership that had a scratch off thing on the back.  I scratched it off and it said I was a winner!!!  The prizes were a new car, a new tv, or an umbrella.  I figured I had one the umbrella but I had to go see for sure...

Six million other people received the same flyer and they were also "winners" because everyone was carrying around umbrellas.  I was ok with a new umbrella so I waited for someone to come take my winning card.  A salesman (who was tall and lanky with eyes that faced in opposite directions...I couldn't tell what he was looking at half the time) came over and just started talking to me and before I knew it I was zooming around town in a new Honda Accord for a test drive.  I knew I was wasting the poor guy's time and I had no intentions of buying the car, but he offered to let me drive it....so I said yes!  This is where things got a little weird....

Mr. Salesman was just making small talk and I was trying to be polite.  He said he was from Charlotte and was just here for the big sale.  Then he started asking me if I was single, if I had kids, if I wanted kids, what places I would recommend for dinner, what I liked to eat for dinner, how close I lived to the dealership and how often I visited Charlotte (I answered never.  And I also told him I didn't eat food).  Then he touched my shoulder and said that he really liked my blouse.  Um, thanks Mr. Creepy.  I floored it back to the dealership. 

Once I was safely back among other people in a public place, he decided to pull out all his moves to sell me that car.  When he touched my knee and asked me what he had to do to get me in that car I was done.  I told him I just wanted my umbrella so I could go.  Although I was ready to dash out of there without the cheap umbrella just to get Mr. Creepy to leave me alone!

I'm waiting for him to call....he has my phone number.  He also has my address....I am making sure Bailey is on guard duty tonight....

Also?  I knew more about cars than he did....idiot.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pinterest Dreams

I, like almost every other adult woman in the universe, am addicted to Pinterest.  I scroll through multiple times a day.  I pin and pin and pin the day away.  I have even won money with some contests using Pinterest.  I love it and the inspiration I get from it.

But then there is a side of idiocy on Pinterest.  I am amazed by the number of people armed with a glue gun who think their work should be in the Louvre.  And then there are the masses that comment and repin their crap (oops, I mean "crafts").  One of my favorites continues to be buttons hot glued to anything.  Picture frames, mirrors, lampshades, candle sticks, hair pins....and the list goes on.  "Oooooo!  I wish I had thought of this!  It looks just like sea shells!"  No it doesn't.  It looks like buttons glued to a frame.  And most any person can glue stuff to stuff to make more stuff.  If this is beyond your abilities, please do us all a favor and put the glue gun down.  Now back away slowly....

Some other ideas that have left me shaking my head are homemade band-aids (these were really just fabric glued to regular band-aids...why???).  Anything baked with a Reese Cup in the middle is another popular choice.  Can we say diabetic coma? Last night I went to bed after spending (or wasting) some time on Pinterest and instead of being excited to try new projects, I was saddened by the amount of hot glue, glitter, and buttons.  It was with these unsettling thoughts that I drifted off to sleep.  And proceeded to dream vivid dreams about Pinterest.

In my dreams, I read a fellow pinners idea to add fish (yes, real fish) to your washing machine.  The purpose was not a creative aquarium.  Instead the fish would eat the dirt from sheets.  But just sheets.  Why this was a better idea than using hot water and detergent wasn't clear.  This was a dream after all.  Instead of being appalled at the idea of adding live fish to my spin cycle, I was all about it.  I went out and bought a bunch of ugly fish to add to my washing machine.  These weren't pretty fish like my very own Splash Gordon, these were long and skinny silvery fish.  I started to add them to the machine but they kept flopping out because I forgot to add water.  As they were flopping in the kitchen floor, Phoebe the cat was in kitty heaven.  I scooped them all up and filled the tub with water.  I then added a set of sheets and started the machine.

Can you guess what happened?  The gyration of the machine chopped the little fishies into bits, similar to anchovies in a blender.  I was left with fish heads on my sheets.  Pinterest had turned me into a fish serial killer!!!

And this is why you should pin responsibly.  Although I'm sure that if I pinned this as a real story (like the carp who ate dead skin off your toes as part of a pedicure), some fool out there would stop gluing buttons in order to add fish to their laundry (yes, that is the faith I have in humanity....).