Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top Ten Favorite Holiday Movies

It is that time of year where every character that has ever been written about has a holiday movie. (Shrek the Halls) And some of them I love...some of them I can't stand. Today is my top ten favorites...

10 - Elf - I admit this was a reluctant one for me to watch because I'm not a huge fan of Will Ferrell but I admit I love this movie. Especially the end about Christmas spirit...gets me every time.

9 - The Family Stone - although I find parts of this movie hard to watch I do think it is a great movie for Christmas. The Christmas gift exchange gets me every time.

8 - Fred Claus - this was a cute movie and Paul Giamatti as Santa Claus works perfectly. Along with Vince Vaughn and Kevin Spacey they make the movie. I'm a sucker for the happily ever after.

7 - The Miracle on 34th Street (circa 2004) - I love this movie it is so sweet and cute. And Santa wins!! I love the end when the little girl figures it all out.

6 - Christmas Shoes - This is a toss up between love and hate. I love the story but it is so gut wrenching that it is a tough one to watch. I think Rob Lowe does a great job in this movie.

5 - Christmas Eve on Sesame Street - I watched this on TV every year and loved it. I could relate to Big Bird wanting to solve the mystery of how it all worked to get Santa down the chimney.

4 - Love Actually - When I first saw this movie in the theaters I was newly divorced but I loved the romance represented in this movie. And I love when the Prime Minister goes door to door. But the scene that gets me is when the guy delivers the message to his friend's wife. You want to hate him and yet you feel for him.

3 - White Christmas - I LOVE this movie!! I think it is a great movie! The end with We'll Follow the Old Man gets me every time. As I type this I get teary eyed thinking about it.

2 - A Chipmunk Christmas - As a child I loved Alvin and the Chipmunks (I still haven't watched the new versions) and I loved this movie. Although I love the record recording best I think this movie has such a cool story in that Alvin did something right and ends up almost getting punished for it. But he truly got the meaning of Christmas.

1 - How the Grinch Stole Christmas - I can almost recite this movie. (My husband can recite this movie including the songs) I love this movie because I love Dr. Suess, because I love the story, but most of all I love Max! The scene where he is on the back of the sleigh waving makes me laugh every time.

So what are your favorite Christmas movies?

Monday, November 28, 2011


A couple weeks ago Mom and I were supposed to go to the opera but due to horrible traffic we were hopelessly late and decided to go to a mall near the opera house. This mall has a wonderful place called Teavana. I admit our initial introduction was loud and chaotic so I wasn't sure what to think. Sadly it wasn't the customers being loud it was the employees loudly talking to each other about personal issues. And then they had so many employees that I couldn't take a step without a "hi can I help you?" Now don't get me wrong I like attentive employees but seriously this was nuts. I was ready to go when I saw their samples. One of the samples was Chai tea blend of White Ayurvedic Chai and Samurai Chai Mate. I LOVE Chai tea so I had to try it. I loved it so I went ahead and bought 2 oz of each of the teas (you have to buy at least 2oz of tea at a time). The "tea expert" proceeded to try and sell me an air tight container and German Rock Sugar. I appreciate suggestasales but she went slightly crazy on explaining the how and why I needed these things.

I admit I have since bought the air tight containers but less expensive versions of them. I also went back this past weekend bought some Earl Grey Creme Black Tea. I love it too with a bit of sugar in the raw and some cream...yummy!! I'm excited to report there will be one on my side of the water the end of January. I can't wait. So I encourage you to take a moment to check out their website or if there is a store near you check it out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Let us remember to give thanks!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dancing with the Stars: A Testimony

J.R. & Karina dancing
First off...I've watched Dancing with the Stars for a number of seasons and I have never thought the finals were as well balanced as they were this season. To me J.R., Ricki, and Rob all deserved to win the mirror ball trophy. And I was shocked that Ricki was the 3rd place winner but all of them were so good.

Now onto my point. I am beyond thrilled that J.R. won! And here's why...he went through a horrific experience in Iraq having been injured during an explosion. He spent 34 months in recovery at BAMC and underwent 33 different surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. He certainly  had his struggles in the recovery process. And I think his winning Dancing with the Stars (yes I know it's just a dance competition) speaks volumes about what you can do when you put your mind to it. Life certainly has it's share of stumbling blocks and J.R.'s has had some big ones but he has overcome them. I hope his acting and his participating in and winning Dancing will be an inspiration to others. I hope when people look at them they'll see that with faith, tenacity, and strong will they can do whatever they want to do. I really think he has a gift of inspiration and I hope other military men and women will be inspired.

For more information about his story...please check out his website.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Emotional Shopping and Pampering

So Saturday night I met my Dad's new wife and his 9 year old stepdaughter (more on this in a later post) so Saturday morning and afternoon I did what any "rational" person would do I went on an emotional pampering and shopping spree. Saturday morning I called my salon and asked if Jackie was available to color my hair. She was if I could come right then. I hopped up off the couch, got dressed, washed my face, and went out the door with horribly tangled mess of hair. Jackie graciously combed the tangles out, applied color and wet styled it.

Then I went off to get Mom so we could go look for lighting for her dining room. First we went to IHOP for breakfast then we looked at lighting. It was quite a productive trip!

Then I went and got a pedicure and a shellack manicure. Loved loved loved the pedicure. Not so thrilled with the manicure. It is much more expensive and when I got home I noticed I had the shellack on my cuticles, the sides of my fingers, etc. so as a former nail biter and picker this is bad because it gives me stuff to pick at. I will probably try it again but I'm not thrilled with the current result.

Then off to NY and Co for some earrings and a great wallet.

Then home to relax with puppies and to get ready to go meet the step family. I know that hair coloring, pedicures, and manicures are not necessities but they certainly made me feel better.

Any of you have emotional shopping or pampering or both?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yoga Update

Hot Yoga is not for me but I love yoga. Hot Yoga is specifically Bikram Yoga which is a version of yoga that has been synthesized from  Hatha yoga by Bikram Choudhury. It is traditionally done in a room that is 105 degrees with 40% humidity. I tried it three times and I determined the following...(for myself only some people may take to it quickly)

  • The poses are very advanced for a beginner.
  • The poses are done at a very high transition rate that does not lend itself well to beginners.
  • The temperature of the room does help you get more flexible but it can also aggravate other health issues. So you have to be careful and very in tune with your body.
  • The way it was taught the instructor did not interact too much with the students so at times I felt like I was unsure of what I was doing without any guidance to fix it. And that I was in danger of getting into poses incorrectly and possibly injuring myself.
 I need a slower, cooler, more hands on instruction to start out. I signed up at another yoga studio for a Yoga 101 class that is a very slow, hands-on class led by a delightful instructor who encourages contemplative movement and intentional flow. I LOVE it!! It is a 6-week series so I'm enjoying the gradual increase. It is much more relaxing for me.

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

It is hard for me to think that Christmas is just around the corner. But it really shouldn't be because...

  • The shopping areas are starting to decorate for Christmas
  • Local stations are starting to play Christmas music
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been on the TV
  • They are talking about Black Friday already
  • I'm getting my brother and his wife's Christmas presents ready
  • And in order to get them to him by Christmas...I've wrapped my husband's Christmas presents and will take them to the post office soon
So what about you are you feeling Christimasy or do you want to get through Thanksgiving first? I myself would like to be like Nordstrom and celebrate one holiday at a time. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Under the Weather

I'm a princess!
Last week I got back into the habit of walking the dogs. I was taking each of them on a 40 minute walk around the neighborhood. Well apparently I over walked Eva because she injured her right front paw and has been put on rest for this week. We have to go through a nightly ritual involving a nasty smelling (and tasting I discovered accidentally) spray where I spray her paw while Ares tries to help. It's great!! I can't wait til she feels better and we can get back to walking she gets a little grumpy without her daily walk.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Judgement vs Accountability

So I have been reading Resolution for Women and I went to see Courageous the movie. Both of them are very good and have had me taking a serious look at my faith and how I'm living it out. It has raised some questions for myself and brought about some conversations with friends.

The major one has been the difference between being judgmental and holding someone accountable. I think as Christians we are called to hold each other accountable for our actions. And my friends says that we are not to judge. I could argue both sides easily. Because we shouldn't judge others but at the same time as Christians if we see a fellow Christian going down a path of destruction I think we are called to call them back. It doesn't have to be in a judgmental way but sometimes it needs to be in a firm manner. Then she made an interesting comment that struck me...she said it isn't fair to be held accountable for things of the past. But I guess the way I look at it is I'm responsible for the past, present, and future of the life I live because they have been, are, and will be my choices. Then I wonder if I'm looking at this too cut and dry. Is there a grey area where we aren't accountable? Should we let people go about their lives and let them live the way they want? Is tough love outdated?

So this is the topic that's been running around in my head. How can we hold people accountable without being judgmental? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

I might be insane...

I've decided to set a goal to work up to a 10 mile walk (race).

There is a Santa 10 Miler in December every year over in Virginia Beach and I've decided to aim for next year. I don't feel I can get there yet for this year but I'm thinking of doing the Frosty 5K on the same day.

Then I'm thinking of doing the Hair of the Dog 5K on January 1st also in Virginia Beach.

And I'm going to work toward the Shamrock 8K in March.

And then I'm going to walk the Wicked 10K in October.

And I'll walk the NNSB 5K in November.

And of course the Coup de Grace...the Surf n Santa 10 Miler in December.

So there we have it in writing. I figure I have to have some accountability so you guys are it! (the only catch might be finances because these get expensive)

What are some of your goals for activity?

Friday, November 11, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #64

1. Freedom is not free.
2. Veterans are often taken for granted.
3. This country is a great country that gives us much to be thankful for. It has it's issues like everywhere else but we are afforded many freedoms that we take for granted.
4. Veteran’s Day means a time to take a moment and really think about the sacrifices men and women have made to give us our freedom.
5. A hero is someone who sets their needs and wants aside to stand up for those who cannot or will not stand up without asking for recognition.

Now head over to Wife of a Sailor and link up!

Milspouse Weekly Roundup # 60

Head over to FreeBorboleta and link up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Don't Like It...But It Works

I have discovered am discovering that there are a number of things that I'm not 100% fond of doing that are actually quite helpful to me when I do them faithfully.
  •  The Neti Pot - I will go on record that this is an uncomfortable and slightly disgusting practice. But it works wonders for sinus and allergy issues. Your sinuses feel violated at first but after they feel much better and clean.
  • Exercise - I know, I know you are thinking well duh. But exercise is needed in my life for me to lose weight. It also makes me feel good when I'm done. And if I exercise more I can eat a bit more so it's a win-win in my book.
  • Flossing - I hate flossing with a passion but it makes my trips to the dentist much better. And having had crazy under the gum cleaning I will floss all the time to avoid that again.
  • Doing the Dishes Right After the Meal - Again some of you may think this is a no brainer but I've been known to let them set for a bit and then clean them. It is much easier to clean as you go or immediately after the meal.
  • Using After Shower Spray - It makes cleaning the shower easier because it cleans as it goes. I don't always remember this if I'm in a hurry but I try.
  • Putting Laundry Away - I'm notorious for washing laundry and folding laundry and then leaving it in the basket. I've done this quite successfully for years. But it really does make life much easier in the morning if I put it away so I'm not digging through a basket. 
  • Menu Planning - I actually don't mind this horribly at the time it is the follow through that has issues. I enjoy planning and don't even mind shopping but on the night sometimes I want to throw in the towel and go get something.
What are some things you aren't too fond of but you do because it works or it is better?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

I have three friends who are grieving for different reasons but grieving none the less. And it is hard because you can throw out the cliches but you can't make it better. You can say I'm sorry but they still hurt. You can be there with your love, your prayers, and your presence but you can't take it away.

My dear friend S had been dating a guy on and off for a year. In July he broke it off when she confronted him about where it was or wasn't going. She was a wreck. We consoled her and listened to her and let her cry. We held our comments about him to a minimum. And we have been with her every step of the way since July helping her heal in whatever capacity that may be. She was doing better but deep down I think she held onto the hope that there might be a chance. Well on Monday night this guy invited her to a semi romantic public place to tell her that he was dating someone else. The wound that was mostly healed has now been torn open once again. S is taking time to herself to process and heal but it is going to be a rough time for her. And all the scriptures and cliches won't make her feel better right now.

My other dear friends P and M had to put their dog to sleep yesterday. He had been in their lives for the past 10 + years. He was their child, their best friend, their guardian, and their loved one. He will be missed. He was an amazing lovable dog who was always ready to play fetch and greet you at the fence. As I was taking my dogs for a walk this morning I saw the end of the mooring rope that my husband had given them for the dog to play with in the trash. They are cleaning out what was the dog's and I get that but it is still an emotional process. I think my dogs know because I was home from work yesterday with a migraine and my dog Ares was on me like glue.

I realize in the grand scheme these may not seem earth shattering but for these people their lives are forever changed.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ~ Matthew 5:4

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Real Women Have Curves

I have been giving some thought to what weight, size, etc I want to get to in my weight loss journey. And here are some things I believe.
  • Every body has a weight that it is comfortable being - now this doesn't mean I stay at 200+ lbs because I don't want to work to lose weight because my body is far from comfortable right now. I am overworking my body right now. But I don't think I would be healthy looking at 108. I'm aiming for 140-150 and then I'll decide from there.
  • Thin is only beautiful if you're meant to be thin - I am meant to have curves. I will never be willowy thin. I'm ok with this.
  • Being Healthy is more important than being a certain size - I'm losing weight to look better certainly but one of my main goals is to improve my health.
  • Realistic Goals are important - refering back to point one I think it is important to set a realistic goal for my age, activity level, etc.
  • The scale is not the only measure - there are other milestones to measure including clothing size, being able to go longer on the cross trainer, being able to lift more weight, being able to go for a longer walk, being more flexible, being healthier, and how my close (one should not type when tired) clothes fit.
  • Strength and Beauty are in the eye of the beholder - what one person may think of as too big another may think is a perfect size. What I can do and what I can endure may be different from what you can do and endure and that is ok.
  • Healthy Role Models are a good thing - Christina Hendricks (of Mad Men), Sara Ramirez (of Grey's Anatomy) and Kelly Osborne (of the Osbornes) are some of mine. 
Christina Hendricks
Sara Ramirez
Kelly Osbourne

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shipbuilding 5K

NN 5K 2011
On Saturday morning I literally got up at o'dark early to take care of the dogs before my friend S and her co-worker D arrived to pick me up. It was cold and it was windy. Not a fun combination when walking. But we had agreed to do the 5K so I was going to do the 5K. It wasn't too bad because it was all on level ground. We walked in downtown along the water. It actually wasn't too bad. Now I'm a slow walker and since I hadn't done as much to prepare I was even slower so we made it in about 45 minutes but we made it. And as D said it doesn't matter if you walk a 6 minute mile, a 16 minute mile, or a 60 minute mile at least you're up and moving.

And now a funny...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Food Orgasms

Ok I admit it probably isn't healthy to admit food gives you something close to an orgasm. But when you're going without you gotta take what you can get...

Here are a few things that have recently given me a warm fuzzy...

These are Shari's Berries and they are a piece of heaven on earth. They have the most amazing chocolate wrapped around the most scrumptious berries. I had these at the Halloween Party I went to last weekend and I loved them. I had two because anymore would have been too much. They have all sorts of holiday and birthday themes to pick from and they deliver them to your door.

This one is a little healthier. At the Zenya Studio they have tea for you to have after class. It is Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice tea it is like hot cocoa tea. Add a bit of milk and maybe a dash of sugar and it is perfect. It is also good straight. I've had other Yogi teas and they are really good so I recommend trying them all.

Well we all know the cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory is wonderful but so are a number of their entrees. I  had their Herb Crusted Filet of Salmon with green beans and mashed potatoes. It was amazing. The salmon melts in your mouth and the sides were a perfect compliment. The salmon wasn't too strong and had no fishy taste. I will definitely try it again.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Goals

I've been inspired by The Life and Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson and Beth's Journey and their lists of November goals. So I decided I would share my November goals.

  • Clean up my of the dangers of your spouse being deployed is that it is easy to ignore things because it is just you and you are the only one who has to deal with it. My kitchen counter is slightly buried in mail, my bedroom has piles of laundry (clean and dirty), my carpet needs a vacuum desperately, and I'm tired of it so I am going to get it back under control.
  • Weekly Yoga Class...I have purchased some passes for local yoga places on Groupon and Living Social so I've been using them to take a weekly yoga class. I'm really enjoying it and I feel much more relaxed and energized following the class. Sadly Tidewater Hot Yoga Studio is closing at the end of the month but I'm hoping my experience at Zenya will be as good.
  • Weekly Weight Lifting...for both the yoga and my dance classes I need to work on my core strength as well as my upper body strength. Also I know that muscle is important in losing weight. And I feel good after I do it. My ultimate goal is two to three times a week but baby steps first.
  • Walking Two-Three Times a Week...both the dogs and I benefit from this. I am a person who cannot lose weight just on eating healthy alone I have to have exercise of some sort even if it is only 30 minutes three times a week. My dogs are high energy creatures who need to burn off their energy. If I take them for a walk I get two birds with one stone. (but don't mention birds in front of the dogs).
  • Fix and Eat More Meals at Home...I like to cook and further I like my cooking. I also find that when I cook I save money and calories. My goal is to make dinners that I can then bring for lunch. I have a crazy obsession with found many recipes online that I want to try including a pumpkin pasta recipe from Rachel Ray. 
  • Daily Bible Study...I saved the best/most important for last. I lead a Bible Study at work called Balanced Living by First Place 4 Health and it has daily Bible study lessons which I usually do in the two days before the Bible study class. I want to get back in the habit of doing them daily.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

5K - 4 Days Away

If found on ground please drag across finish line

So on Saturday I am walking a 5K with my friend S. I really haven't done anything to prepare for it. I got out of the habit of walking the dogs because Ares had surgery and my Achilles Tendon was rubbed raw by a defective running shoe. So I'm trying to fit some walking into my schedule between now and Saturday. I know it won't fix it but I'm hoping it will make Saturday a little easier. I really meant to walk regularly to get ready for it. Things happen.

There aren't too many 5Ks left this year so my goal is to pick one or two for next year and plan on working on my walking prior to it. I've thought about doing the Couch to 5K but I'm not really into running. I lean more toward walking events like that.

So have you ever had good intentions of getting yourself ready for an exercise related event and then it sneaks up on you?