Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back At 2015 Countdown: #1

Sunday, May 17, 2015

About Me Monday: I Always Thought it was a Secret

Hi everyone!

Thanks sooo much for joining me for the second of my three part series, "About Me Monday."  My first installment where I shared my lost year really struck a chord with many of you and I appreciate all of your sweet comments and emails.

Today I am dipping my toe into scary waters and talking about a subject that is very uncomfortable for me to share.  Like, "breaking out in hives and hyperventillating" kind of scary.  It is an area of my life that I have always, always, always kept very private.

Ssshhh....don't tell anyone, but I am fat.  Yes, I have kept that a secret.  No one else has ever known that about me.  Except for my family, friends, co-workers, strangers and any one I have ever met in person or who has seen a photo of me.  Ok, I guess the only person who thought my obesity was a secret was me.  I think I believed if I didn't acknowledge it no one would know........

But I am obese.  Morbidly obese according to all the health charts.


So why I am I sharing this personal and for me, incredibly embarrassing, topic with all of blogland? Well, besides possible insanity, I think I may be able to help and inspire those of you who may need to lose weight but have found it difficult to do so.

After my year long health issues I shared in my last post, I had been feeling so much better once I found the right doctor and the solution to my problems.  Although I was no longer suffering from my illness, I still felt stuck in my armor of fat and my quality of life was really lacking due to the limitations and general lethargy I felt from carrying so much extra weight.  Even though I was well aware my weight was affecting my life, I had resigned myself to living my days with sore feet, ill fitting clothes and limited energy.  I believed it was my lot in life.

Enter again my amazing chiropractor.  Yep, the chiropractor strikes again, lol.  Here's the story:

While waiting for my appointment with my chiropractor to begin, I noticed a sign for a weight loss program he offered through his practice.  It was a six week plan that promised a 25 to 40 pound weight loss.  Intrigued, I asked him about it and long story short, I signed up that day and have not looked back.

Now, to back track a bit, like most people who are severely overweight, I have tried many weight loss programs in the past: Diet Center, Nutri System, Medifast, Slim Fast, juicing, etc., etc., etc.  All with some success, but never lasting and in fact,they were the catalyst for gaining even more weight.


I had a daunting task ahead of me.  I was a good (is that an oxymoron?) 150 #'s overweight.  And of course, what self respecting weight loss plan doesn't start with a weigh in on the scale. Ugh!  It was shocking and heart wrenching to see the reading on the scale: 297.4 pounds. Talk about heartbreaking...not surprising, however it sure was humilating to see it up in lights. But, I went in with a determination - after all it was only six weeks.  I can do anything for six weeks.  Well, this program has clicked for me.  Totally clicked.  Maybe it's the right "diet" or maybe the stars were aligned or it was divine intervention. Regardless, the pounds and inches came off.  I was also never hungry - no cravings, no growling stomach. None. Nada. Zilch. I started at the end of October and I am down about 103 pounds.

The difference I feel in this particular "diet" is that it really isn't a diet in the way a person normally thinks of a diet.  There are no artificially flavored shakes or bars, no processed foods.  You eat healthy, whole foods - veggies, chicken, fish, fruit.  Nothing that comes from a factory or has factory made ingredients.  I do not have the "when I'm done, I can eat _______" mindset anymore.  The phrase, "when I'm done with my diet," always meant, "when I go back to the foods that made me fat." Once I no longer am losing weight, I will still be eating the same foods, just in a higher quantity.  I think that is what's made the difference for me.....I have completely turned about what types of food I like and want to eat.  By eliminating the junk and eating food in balance with one another, my brain no longer calls out for sugars or fats.  It has truly been a miracle for me and quite possibly may have saved my life.


I am not here to promote the particular weight loss program I am on.  If you would like to know what it is called and where to get more information on it, feel free to leave me a message.  I also would be happy to answer any questions you have about my experience.  There are plenty of programs and methods to lose weight.  My purpose for telling you my journey is similar to my experience with searching for a doctor who could help me with my year long mystery illness.  I want to urge any one who has excess pounds to lose - and who wishes to lose them - to keep looking for the "right" weight loss program for you.  I had all but given up, but finally found a plan that works for me and one I feel I can use throughout the rest of my life.

April 2015

I still have a way too go in my weight loss journey, but not nearly as far as I had to go when I first started in late October.  I no longer shop in the plus size aisle.  I don't wonder if I will fit comfortably in a theater seat or look for the closest parking spot at the mall.  I am looking forward (sort of!) to getting into a work out routine.  One thing I use daily is a little exercise bike that I can use when I am at the computer or watch TV.  I try to get 20 minutes in the morning before work and another 30 or so in the evenings.  It really has strengthened my legs and is a great way to get my "steps" in for the day.

April 2015

Believe me, I know "dieting" is personal - I'm hyperventillating as I'm writing, lol!  I've told you I'm fat, how many pounds I've weighed (and if you are good at math, you know how much I currently weigh) and disclosed I'm on a diet.  Yikes!  But, I hope by sharing, I may motivate some of you who feel it is hopeless to look for a plan that works for you and you can start improving your health as well.  Like me, you have people in your lives who love you (no matter what your size) that want you to be happy, healthy and around for a long, long time. I encourage you  to take that first step. Or second. Or tenth. Or, like me, it took countless steps to find something that worked.

Mother's Day 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Looking Back At 2015 Countdown: #2

Monday, August 24, 2015

Traditional With A Twist: Guest Bath

Hi everyone!

At long last, I have a few more looks at my guest bath decor re-do.  To back track a bit, I decided with Baby Bluebird off in Virginia for grad school, it was time to update her bathroom and make it more guest friendly.  You can see her bathroom prior to the makeover here.

In came a very pale gray paint -  a first for me.  I am sold and really love this color!  Here is the view as you walk in.  I chose navy, bright green and crisp white as my accent colors.

This room has been painted and some of the accents had been placed for several weeks now.  It just did not seem finished to me and although I wanted a clean, streamlined look, I felt it was lacking a bit of charm and personality.  In came a collection of Blue Willow platters that I had gotten from my mom, who just recently downsized. It was just the traditional character this room needed - in my humble opinion, any way!

I also like the green accents, although the towels photographed horribly!  They are the color of the green demijohn bottle, but for some reason I cannot get them to photograph in their true hue. Ugh! The large platter, which is actually Flow Blue with a gold band, is my favorite and takes center stage over the mirror.

I am not a huge Blue Willow fan, but the platters I have are really quite beautiful and are the "real deal" - not reproductions.  My mom loved her Blue Willow and I am sure she will be pleased that I put her platters to good use in my home the next time she stops by.

The Ralph Lauren lamp I picked up at Home Goods is what started the re-do ideas flowing for this room.  It is the perfect size for a bathroom and I love the traditional feel.

I bought a  Yankee Candle scented oil plug in today at Kohl's, and now the room is filled with a fall scent.

This green demijohn is one of my faves and I picked it up for a great deal - under $4.00!

I shared my upcycled, silver sprayed garden stool in a previous post.  It is a cozy, yet practical accent for this room. I am looking forward to it holding magazines and a glass of wine during a hot, bubbly bath!

There are still a few changes to be made in this room: a new light fixture is going in Labor Day weekend, along with hardware for the vanity.  I also have the linen closet to show you, which has received the pretty treatment as well.

For now, though, I am enjoying the clean, fresh and lighter look of this room and the traditional twists in the decor.  I've just started painting our master bedroom - you know how one thing leads to another!  I hope to share with you soon.

Hit the Road Jack...Er, Santa

Hi everyone!

One more day left of 2015, so I guess it is time to say "so long" to Santa...

Au Revoir...


Do widzenia...




Tam biet...

Do svidaniya...

 Ciao bella...

Auf Wiedersehen...

Bye bye bye...

However you choose to say it, it's time to say farewell to Santa Claus, you know - hit the road Jack!  Now it's  "hello" 2016!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Looking Back At 2015 Countdown: #3

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's A Spring Thing

Hi Everyone!

Looks like March has burst through the door like a lion.  Here in Wisconsin it is still very, very cold and there is talk of a major snow and/or ice storm Tuesday, followed by a high of eight degrees on Wednesday!  I am hoping this means March will leave like a lamb at the end of the month.  Hey! That's what the saying says, so I am going with that.

It may not feel like spring, but I did find this super cute, colorful and verrrry  spring-like pillow the other day at WalMart, of all places.  For under ten bucks, I think it really adds a punch of springtime color to the living room. The flower looks like a dahlia, but I am not really sure.  Regardless, it nestled in with the onions, toothpaste and bottled water in my cart and found its way to my house!

I have a few other things to show you, but this sweet face was not having any pictures being taken in the house.  I know, how can such an adorable fellow be so naughty?

But every single picture I took brought about an uncontrollable round of barking.  Photography shelved for another time!

So, I will leave you with another picture of my pillow.  Yes, I am in pillow love.  It looks so pretty with the rest of my prints in the room.

How about you?  Has spring come in to your neck of the woods like a lion or a lamb? I will be back later with a cute changeup in my foyer hallway.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Looking Back At 2015 Countdown: #4

In March I shared with you how my love of color had turned on me and was making my living room look like a circus...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tears of a Clown (The Tale of My Living Room Curtains)

Hi Everyone!

I shared with you awhile back that Mr. Bluebird and I had ordered two recliners for our living room.  As you know, I am not a recliner fan, but my doctor said it was something I needed to have.  We found a style and fabric we liked, placed our order and waited for their arrival.

Well, arrival day was last Saturday.  I love them!  The fabric is just what I envisioned and they look perfect with the other fabrics that are already in the room.  With one exception.  One big, can't ignore it exception.  My curtain panels.  Oh. my. gosh. 

My living room looks like a clown threw up in it.

I do love my patterns, but adding in the new recliners with their bold floral really tipped things over the edge. Even for me!  Ready to see?  Shield  your eyes folks.....

Oh my word! Too much.  The chairs, the curtains, the lampshade......aaaagghhhh! Calgon, take me away!!!

Pardon the crummy picture, but the opposite side of the room is my settee.  I love how that fabric goes with the curtains.....

And below, I love them with the chair and our sofa (not shown) is in the same plaid fabric.

Sadly, I am in search of some new panels for this room. I may even do away with curtains altogether and keep the simplicity of the matchstick blinds. Just for grins, I pulled out some ivory sheers I had stashed away. Just to see how a lighter color would look. Better than the heavy, floral drapery!  I am leaning heavily toward taking down the rods, etc. and going with the just the blinds.  What say you?

This summer will bring a lighter paint color to this room and the kitchen adjacent (I will be retiring my Pottery Barn curtains in the kitchen as well - they aren't working with these xyz chairs either!) I also plan on changing out the yellow lampshade with a simple burlap one that I have in another room.  

Hopefully, with a little tweaking I will restore peace to this room and I can put my feet up (doctor's orders, you know!) in my new chair!

Last Looks At Christmas 2015

Hi everyone!

The holidays are really winding down around was a great ride!  Now it is time to relax, take a breath and enjoy the optimism that comes with a new year looming. But before that happens...

I have the last looks at Christmas in the Bluebird house this year.

Baby Bluebird was excited to receive the Kate Spade glittery Keds she was hoping for. (Now I want a pair!)

Christmas morning brunch for the three of us.

The table is ready for Christmas night dinner for the three of us.

Baby Bluebird yukking it up for the camera and showing off her new personalized wine glass.

Yesterday we hosted the last of the Christmas 2015 with most of my side of the family. It is a big group and it gets harder every year to get everyone in the same room, much less the same zip code or even state at one time!  We managed to scrape together 23 out of 34!! I was committed to living in the moment and didn't get too carried away with taking pictures - but I have few to share.

One of my nephews and his sweet daughter.  She is sitting in a rocker that all of the "kids" have used over the years as it had been in my mom & dad's living room for decades before making it's way to my house.

All four of  the great nieces received Cabbage Patch dolls.

One of my brothers and my mom, opening gifts.

It was great having my house filled with blessings yesterday - I couldn't ask for a better present than being with my family.

That's it for Christmas 2015! Bring on the new year!

Just a reminder - I have been counting down my six "most viewed" posts of 2015 all week.  You can catch one a day.  If you missed any so far you can click here and here.

Thanks for stopping by,

Linking with:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Looking Back At 2015 Countdown: #5

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cold, But Cozy

 Hi everyone!

Today has kind of been one of those lazy days at home - puttering around with this and that.  It's a nesting mode. We have hit the deep freeze here in Wisconsin, so a fluffy blanket, fuzzy slippers, magazines and my Kindle are my best friends!

A midst this unfortunate turn in our weather, I have been enjoying the best coffee EVER MADE!  This is a huge endorsement coming from yours truly because I am not a big coffee fan. However, I read somewhere that coffee is good for you and actually can help with weight loss - sign me up on all accounts! This particular flavor for the Keurig is fantastic and smells incredible.  Try it out!!!

I kept this urn filled with evergreen and poinsettias out - I really am enjoying the pop of color and the simplicity of the arrangement. A cheery accent for these cold, blustery days we are experiencing.

Our little "Charlie Brown" tree we planted from just a seedling a few years ago - being brave against the elements! It's only about three feet tall. Just a pipsqueak.

Our garden shed stands strong in the wind and snow.

I have had the cute ceramic kitty in a window in our various homes since 1984!  For the past twelve years, it has peered out of our shed window.  I just love him - so cute.  

And this, ladies and gentleman, is a look at the week ahead for my neck of the woods.  Can you all say "Brrrrr!!!!!"

Time to go snuggle by the fireplace, pick up a magazine, and of course, check out all the inspiration in blogland - I think I will be doing a lot of that this week!