The Little Black Dress Project

Since my last post was a commitment to getting healthy I decided to share that I will be starting an eating plan on Monday.

The gym I go to offered this Little Black Dress Project a few years ago and I participated. It is a 6 week program that included meal plans, shopping lists and recipes. The workouts were weights and boot camp style, for me 3-5 days a week. I have been back at the gym and eating okay but I need some structure around food for awhile and this is just how I like it.

The plan is whole food based meaning it is mostly fresh veggies, fruit and organic animal proteins. It is free of grains, dairy and sugar or sugar substitutes , the exception is coconut sugar and honey are allowed if you choose. I like that it is all laid out for me and all I have to do is execute the plan.

I remember feeling good and that my skin looked amazing, the weight loss was the icing on the cake for me. I hope to share my progress and how I am feeling a few times throughout this process. My shopping and meal prep day will be Sunday and although it is usually Monday the weeks on this plan start on Mondays so Sunday it is for meal prep.

I am excited to share my meal prep with you on Sunday and see where the next week takes me.


Disclaimer: I am not being paid or reimbursed in any way by The Little Black Dress Project or my gym for the post or review.


Getting serious about fitness

Enough is enough! I have been saying to myself for weeks now that I am going to get serious about getting fit again! I have meal prepped only to not utilize it for weeks. I have been running, walking and going to the gym. Here’s the deal, none of that works if it is not consistent and %80 of it is diet for me.

So this is a short post to say “I need to do something” and we all know in this day and age of goal setting that statement is not enough so here are my S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Specific: I want to reduce body fat while keeping lean muscle mass. I will achieve this by eating right and working out. I would like to lose 5 pounds in 8 weeks.

Measurable: I do look at the scale and mine does read body fat however I also like to go by the way my body looks and how I fit into my clothes.

Attainable: I want to fit into my current wardrobe comfortably in 8 weeks.

Realistic: This should all be realistic since I fit into everything just not how I would like and eating right and going to the gym is not a crazy idea.

Timely: I know that going on a trip is a bad reason to set a goal but that has always been my motivation. So the 8 weeks is where that came from. In 8 weeks I should be able to see some subtle changes in my body. My next goal will be at 16 weeks.

All in all this is just a post to send my goals out into the universe hoping it will help me realize my goals by making a public commitment to do so.


One year later


Today marks one year since my mom passed. It is a weird day for lack of a better description. To be honest I had to go look back at the obituary to confirm the day. I felt a bit guilty that I had to do this, I mean this should be a day that doesn’t escape me as much as I would like to escape it! It just didn’t seem like a date that I wanted to commit to memory. Her birthday, mothers day, all of the holidays hell (sorry) every day in between all of those but not that one.

I have told myself to grow up you are not the only one that has or will go through this. I feel like the only one that is going through this and in a way I am. No one else is me, no one had my mom, literally, I am an only child! No one else can heal me, no one else can tell me how to grieve because of all of these things each one of us has a different path, a different journey hence the only one going through it.

I am learning to give myself space to remember, grieve, be angry, be happy for the time I did have. This lesson has been instilled by my loving sister-in-law. I am far from perfect at it but thankful that I can remind myself to practice it.

If you are grieving or know someone who is remember that it is okay to be sad. It is okay to be happy. It is okay to ask for help or ask someone if they need help. It is great to hug, listen, cry, laugh and be together. It is okay to celebrate life! In the end I would rather have had the joy of  loving and losing than have never had my mom in my life. I am off to the her graveside to most likely laugh and cry with my dad and hopefully after getting the year mark out-of-the-way start to remember more good times and start to lose some of the sad feelings. Being sad and missing her will never go away but celebrating her and the times we had will start to slowly to overshadow the sadness I feel and that my friends is called healing.


The travel bug


This is a little of bit of a throwback Thursday so to speak. It will also speak to the picture I use as a header for the blog.

When I was a kid my family didn’t have a lot of extra money. I never really knew that. We had a travel trailer that we used often on the weekends and I loved it. We usually didn’t go far but when I was five we drove to Disneyland and I was in love. I have been a huge Disney fan since that trip. As a teenager I went back to Disneyland with my high school band and we went on a plane. It was amazing! Neither of my parents had any desire to travel, especially out of the country. I did and as soon as I graduated and saved some money a friend and I went to Hawaii. It was a lot of fun and I learned that I love the beach and the sun. I also love people who look, act, eat and talk different than I do.

This takes me to the photo. It was taken in Cabo San Lucas in 1996. My husband (then boyfriend) had planned a trip with a friend and invited me to go along. I couldn’t go the entire time so I was going to meet them down there. I had never been out of the country and had never traveled by myself. Both excited me!

Back then Cabo’s airport was basically open air and small, no passport was needed just a driver’s license and birth certificate. I landed and my husband met me at the airport and we took the 40 minute drive to our hotel. The photo for this blog is the entrance of our hotel looking out at the beach. We had a blast. We laid by the pool and by the beach. We made friends with our hotel staff. We walked into town and ate at local places, talked with people who were traveling and living there. We have continued to go to Cabo at least once a year for over twenty years. In some ways it feels comfortable like home which I love but it taught me that I also crave adventure and new places. I have had the opportunity to travel some while we have raised our kids and love everyplace we have been and now that both of our kids are graduated we have booked multiple trips for the fall.

I am going on a girls trip to Charleston and Savannah. My husband and I are going to New Orleans, which is not new for us but we are going further east than we have been on previous trips. We plan on spending time in Alabama during that trip. We are, of course, going to Cabo and then going to Hawaii. I cant wait to share it all! So as you can see the photo has a lot of meaning to me and helped me find my way to my love of travel.




Dealing with life (or thinking you are)

Fair warning, this could be a scattered and emotional post. Stay with me I promise there is a message in here somewhere.

Today I start a new way of eating and tomorrow I start working out again. I guess none of this is really new just going back to it after a derailment. A year ago I was eating healthy and working out. Some days I would do an hour of cardio in the morning and then and hour of weightlifting in the evening. I was putting everything I ate in the my fitness pal app and had my macronutrients calculated for where I was at personally. It didn’t feel obsessive, it felt good and I had energy. Life decided there was another plan for me.

In April of last year I urged my mom to go to the doctor for what I thought could be pneumonia. She finally went and they hospitalized her. After many tests and doctors we found out that she had lung cancer. For awhile I continued to go to the gym as an outlet. It got harder and harder to workout and eat right. I am an only child and very close to my parents so there was no way that I was going to not be at every doctors appointment plus my dad needed the help. A lot of times after a doctor’s appointment we would go eat and as hard as I wanted to try to be healthy, eating out is challenging. Everything went quick and by the middle of June she was gone. It was so hard and still is.

I thought I was dealing with my emotions fairly well but in November my mother-in-law fell ill and once again I found myself trying to be strong for my husband and his family but it seemed that not only was I dealing with the emotion of my mother-in-laws imminent death but also having all of the recent emotion of losing my mom coming back to the surface. So by the middle of November my mother-in-law was gone. Wow, by this time working out and eating right had been put on the bottom of my list. I was just trying to survive emotionally. I still needed to be a wife, a mother, a friend and an only daughter to a dad that had been married two weeks out of high school and had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few weeks before my moms death. It happens right? People die, the world still turns, we grieve and then move on. We think we have moved on and then our bodies sometimes say, nope, you really haven’t dealt with this like you think.

I have been dealing with random pain, illness and muscle issues for about a year and a half. It started to get pretty bad about 6 months ago and I started searching for answers. Through lots of doctors appointments and tests the conclusion is that I have far too much anxiety and stress. The recommendation? Meditation and mindfulness.

I have to admit that I really thought; are you crazy? That’s it? No way, I have been so sick. Well I started having massage for pain. I have started back at the chiropractor since most of my pain has been chest, back and shoulder related and yes I have started meditating. I am not meditating every day but I am trying to get better!

My pain has started to subside and some of the other symptoms that I have are starting to get better so here I am today doing food prep to start on a 6 week challenge. It is nothing crazy, just balancing protein, carbs and fat. I am going back to my favorite gym and plan on working out at least 3 days per week. Everyone has what healthy is to them and what it feels like. I think mine is in reach and I am sure I am ready to go get it again. I hope that whatever your healthy is that you take the path that you love and you find it. Life happens and we all stumble, it’s really about having the courage to get back up and fight.


The Big Day

This is the day that our baby turns 18 and graduates all on the same day! This marks the day that I have officially “raised” two children. I will always be a mom but the days of being the responsible party come to an end today. I will now have to do some soul-searching as to what MY life will look like from here on out.

I have spent years working 15 to 20 hour a week for some extra income so that I could be available to do all the things I wanted to do as a mom. My husband works shift work so working full-time would have been hard on us. We made the choice for me to be mostly a stay at home mom right after we got married, it was important to both of us.

I am happy with my choices but now I am also graduating into a new chapter that I am responsible for writing. This blog is really my journal at this point. This feels like a good time to cover some of the family portion but I am sure I will find myself posting about food as I love to cook. My husband and I have a lot of travel planned for the fall and journaling about that will be fun. I guess where my rambling is going here is that I am going to write my way through this transition. It may be very serious one day and very silly the next. It is all part of the process of finding my way and I hope that it resonates with people who feel like they are going through a similar time.

For today I will celebrate our daughter, she deserves it. Tomorrow I will wake up and decide what the day will look like for me. Day by day sounds like a good plan right now.


New beginnings

I am a mother of two wonderful children! They are the loves of my life along with my husband. For all you mothers and wives out there let’s not fool ourselves or anyone else though by pretending that every moment of every day is perfect. There are ups and downs, fights and time to make up along with worry and guilt. I have spent years thinking ” If I can just get past this, things will get easier” well I hate to say it but things just change!

The majority of our time is amazing, rewarding and happy and this is not a post about gloom or negativity.  It is a post about reality and transition. I go back to the reference of if I can just get through this or that. Out youngest child is about to graduate and turn 18 and our oldest of off to Alaska to commercial fish for the first time and turn 21 while he is up there! I am full of pride and interest of what their future holds and at the same time full of worry and self-doubt about how my contribution of raising them is going to serve them.

What I am reconciling is that we did everything out of love and caring for our children and that we both did the best we could with what we knew. Guess what? That is all that is asked of us as parents! Now the responsibility is on their shoulders to take everything they know and become caring, responsible and happy people.  Now that I take a step back I realize that while I was consumed by worry and self-doubt they have become those people and have the tools they need to succeed.

So for all of those times that you doubt yourself, fight with your children and spend countless hours worrying about them, be assured that you are doing the best that you can and although you will NEVER stop worrying about them and you will still have the occasional fight, they (and you) are going to be fine.

So now that I have “gotten through this” I have concluded that, they are my children and I will always worry but our roles with each other are constantly evolving. So here I am at another place of transition. I guess now it is time for me to reflect on how my life is going to change and what that will look like. That will have to be in another post!