Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heading Down to Healthy Town

A month ago I had a bit of a health scare, thankfully it wasn't serious but I was scared enough to go to the doctor which is a huge deal for me since I usually do everything I can to avoid doctors.

What the doctor had to say was pretty interesting - turns out that the pills I thought I was taking purely for fertility purposes I really needed to be taking for other reasons. I have come to find out that I am insulin resistant so when I stopped taking the pills it caused me all sorts of problems, I'll spare you the details. The doctor went on to explain that though what I have is not diabetes if I am not careful it can turn into diabetes - ACK!

I left the doctor shaken up. The doctor said it was imperative that I lose weight and follow a special diet. This diet is very limiting, I can't eat anything white so that means for the time being this Italian girl can't eat any white bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and I have to avoid sweets! *sigh* I can have whole grain or whole wheat bread and pasta for breakfast or lunch but never for dinner...

In addition to what I call the Dr. Diet I decided I should also join Weight Watchers to limit my calories. So When I got home from the doctor I signed up for Weight Watchers online and weighed in - the doctor had already weighed me so I was mostly over the shock of just how much I weighed. Of course I noticed the numbers on the scale going up and up and up. Of course I noticed that I was buying larger and larger sizes in clothing but none of that had the same impact as the doctor telling me I was on the brink of diabetes! It was eye opening to say the least!

Though at times it has been rough and going out to eat has lost a bit of its fun for me and my trip to Ohio was like a long list of what I can't eat, like mom's cheesecake (talk about killer) I am proud to report that in the four weeks since the visit to the doctor I have lost 13.6 pounds! I've been eating exactly the way I'm supposed to, following both the Dr. Diet and Weight Watchers and exercising just as much as I can. I still obviously have a very long way to go but I feel good and I'm taking important steps to a happier healthier me!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer Lovin Guest Blog by Mike Taylor

I hesitated to ask my husband Mike to guest blog for me since it's not really his thing and he's so busy at work I didn't want to give him another thing he has to do but he jumped in and put together this fun Summer Lovin' blog! Enjoy!

I’m not really one for blogging outside of the occasional good old fashioned rant. In fact I have started and stopped several blogs before anyone even knew they were out there. So when my wife of nearly seven years who has been blogging successfully for the past two years steady asked me to put together my thoughts for an entry into her summer lovin’ series I really couldn’t say no.

The topic at hand, I have to say, does not come naturally to me. I don’t love summer. I’m a native Floridian, and for the first 25 years of my life I thought summer was a 325 day event proving that hell really could exist on Earth. For those who live here, or visit often, you know what I mean. Still, surely there at least 5 things to be happy about.

So here we go… countdown style.

Number 5: People stop trying to get you to do stuff outside for no good reason.

This is a big win for a homebody like me. I’m not a fan of the outdoors in Florida. Big guys don’t do well in the heat and humidity. During the summer, when the sun reaches weapons-grade heat and the storms start rolling in, everyone seems to get on my page about finding indoor alternatives to meandering around theme parks, playing sports, and taking day trips that would be perfectly pleasant in any other climate beyond tropical.

It’s not that I dislike doing any of those things I just don’t like to sweat my butt off before the activity even begins.

Number 4: Movies, movies, movies.

Make no mistake I enjoy me a good movie. Heck, even more than a good movie, I enjoy a good ‘bad’ movie. Summer seems to bring the biggest crop of my kind of movies. The further from reality the movie is the better.

Don’t give me a legal drama. If I want to see that I would hang out at the courthouse.

Romantic comedies, well, they better be darn funny.

Give me that big-budget, aliens, magic, monsters, and super-powers flick every time in a nice dark, cold theater full of like-minded geeky people sucking down $10 sodas and $20 candy. That’s a darn good time.

Most summers we find ourselves seeing at least one movie a week between May and August.

Number 3: A little something I like to call the ‘teleanticipatory condition’.

Summer comes and all of your favorite TV shows wind to their season finales. Soon after they are replaced by teen dramas and second rate reality shows that even the networks admit were not good enough for the regular season. I’m not a 14 year old girl. I don’t care about Making or Breaking the Secret Life of the Pretty American Teenage Liar. I’m not saying there is nothing on, but True Blood and Rescue Me hardly fill out a viewing schedule for a TV lover like me.

Basically, summer TV is lacking, so we look ahead to the fall, TV’s promised land.

Will the shows I love continue to develop as I feel they should? Will the show that let me down last year make the best of avoiding cancellation and redeem itself? Will one of the many new shows I’ve been reading about be my next fixation? Will the new cartoons keep my inner child happy?

It’s the teleanticipatory condition.

Number 2: When it rains, it pours.

One of the great things about Florida is the weather. I don’t mean the cloudless skies, highs in the 70s kind of weather in the brochures. I’m talking about the real Florida weather.

Simply put, typical Florida weather consists of daily thunderstorms yielding lightning strikes in the hundreds or better, inches of horizontal rain causing a white-out of your neighbor’s house while your house stays dry as a bone, wind gusting and blowing through every tree like a wall of force, and the whole phenomena is come and gone in about 30 minutes.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved looking out my window and watching these intense displays of precipitation. Only now I don’t feel so inclined to run outside afterwards and sit in the mud. Too much laundry.

Number 1: B-B-Q!

Okay, I know this one seems like it runs totally against #5 above, but I don’t care. I love to Barbeque. The hot coals crackling, the plume of fire heating the metal surfaces, the smell of smoke and lighter fluid mingling with dry rub and basting sauces. Ah, that’s the stuff.

I think, despite the modernization of contemporary grilling, there is something very primal and ultimately satisfying about using a simple fire to cook your food. It seems somehow pure, like it is the way we were meant to prepare food.

I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t like to eat animals. More power to you. It just means more chicken thighs, burgers, ribs, steaks, chops, and hot dogs for me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crafting with Mom!

Every time I visit my parents me and mom plan to craft, and though we always go shopping for craft items we never actually sit and get projects done - until this visit that is! The day I arrived mom and I visited Archivers and bought goodies and then the very next day we went to mom's local scrapbooking store and bought even more goodies and then the wonders of wonders - we got back to the house, settled into mom's fabulous scrap area and got to work!

We each created a layout for a challenge
on Let's Scrap using Cosmo Cricket products. It was so much fun working with mom, bouncing ideas off each other, chatting and laughing. We took pictures while we worked, and played with photos and paper and stickers and helped each other with our embellishment placement and journaling! We both based our layout on the same sketch and I always love to see how different layouts look even though the sketch and products were very similar!

Mom's layout! I love that she used a photo of herself! And all the fun embellishments and mix and matched title fit the silly photo!

I took my layout in a different direction a little more romantic and girly! I paired the Cosmo Cricket papers and embellishments with some Girls Paperie Embellishments they added the absolute perfect touch.

As if putting together these layouts wasn't ground breaking enough the next day mom and I followed Lain Ehmann's tutorial from her guest blog post and went crazy decorating notebooks! We had so much fun with this project! I have a feeling I will be churning these out for the holidays I think they will make amazing stocking stuffers!

one of mom's notebooks - my favorite of the bunch

one of my notebooks. I went for girly and cutesy to use for grocery lists - of course I had to include the coffee cup!

my notebook using very cool Graphic 45 papers! Love this! Not sure what I'll use it for yet but I love to look at it!

Mom's super cool notebook. She did hers first and gave me good ideas :)

So yes I was a bad blogger and I forgot to post on my blog's anniversary but I was crafting!!! Stay tuned more exciting posts coming your way!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Guest Blog by Lain Ehmann!

I am beyond excited to introduce today's guest blogger! She is none other then superstar scrapbooker Lain Ehmann! She is the genius behind the Layout a Day workshop I joined in May and Scraphappy.org! Lain always leaves me inspired and this post is no different!! Enjoy!!!

Well, I don't know how things are going at your house, but around here, we're gearing up for back-to-school. On one hand, that makes me pretty excited (I get my life back!). But on the other hand, it makes me more than a little nervous. We've got to clean out the dressers. We've got to buy new shoes. We've got to get twelve 6-packs of washable gluesticks. We've got to order books, order backpacks, order lunchboxes. Where is my notepad??

Ahhh... here it is!

And here's how you can create a super-cute notebook to collect all your end-of-summer, back-to-school errands and notes.

1. Grab a plain ole' notepad. Mine was 5x8, and it was even half-used-up! Doesn't matter. We'll make it cute. ;)

2. Trim a piece of patterned paper or cardstock to slightly longer than your notepad (in my case, I trimmed it to 5x9").

3. Adhere the "extra" flap of the patterned paper over the top and to the back of your notepad. Use lots of adhesive!!! (I don't recommend using a gluestick -- especially the washable ones you bought for your kids' school supplies!)

4. This is what the back will look like. Not too exciting, but hey, it's the BACK!

5. Crease the top of your cover so that it will flip up easily.

6. Start embellishing! I used my scallop border punch to create a cute little edge.

7. Keep embellishing! I added a bottom strip of patterned paper, some ribbon, a button/paper flower, and some letters. It's adorable, if I do say so myself!

8. Make your notes. Go shopping. Breathe deeply. Smile. Ahhh... isn't that nice?

About the author: Lain Ehmann is a blogger (and scrapbooker) who dedicates herself to educating and liberating scrapbookers via online inspiration, education, and fun. For a copy of her Super-Secret Fast Scrapbooking tips, visit her at www.getscraphappy.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Summer Summertime - Part of the Summer Lovin' Series

Since we are very close to this blog's second anniversary and in honor of the Summer Lovin' series here at A Day In The Life of a Coffee Addict I asked some very special people to guest blog. First up is my gal pal Gabby! Gabby and I met many moons ago while we were each planning our Vegas wedding - we met on a wedding planning site and totally hit it off it was Gabby's quirky sense of humor and all around geekiness that won me over.Then we both ended up living in Florida so we get to spend time together doing fun things like going to Disney and being silly! Gabby is one of the super cool hosts of PotentialCast - a podcast dedicated to one of my favorite shows of all time Buffy The Vampire Slayer - take a listen here.

When I was a young pup, I used to look forward to summer. Thanks to the loads of free time the break from school would allow, I would be able to enjoy swim lessons at the Colonie Town Park, endless hours of bike riding adventures with friends in the dense woodland area behind the suburban neighborhood where I grew up, vacationing at The Cape, and a house filled with family and friends as my Dad grilled burgers & hot dogs on the Kenmore gas grill that was a permanent fixture in our backyard. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Those were the salad days!

As years went by, summer lost all of the positive meaning behind it and became a six-letter dirty word! Summer was nothing but the season where I was confined to my tiny cubicle in the bowels of an office building ala Fox Mulder. Meanwhile, everyone else on this great BIG blue marble was out in the fresh air, running wild and free, enjoying sunshine, time with friends and family, and (above all else) freedom!

In the past few years, my negative view of summer has changed quite a bit! Although, I remain a fan of cooler months (and cooler weather in general), this season does indeed have some redeeming qualities. You know what? Summer ain’t half bad! As a matter of fact, some of my favorite events take place in the summer and I look forward to them all year ‘round! What are these things I look forward to? Well, since you asked nicely I would love to share my top 5 list (in no particular order) with you!

5. My husband and I were married in the summer! We were also married in Vegas in August on a 110 degree day. It was a glorious day where we were surrounded by a small group of family and friends that we hold dear. The night was filled with drunken post-wedding antics on Fremont Street. Le sigh.

4. The only thing that I love more than hanging out with friends is hanging out with friends in theme parks. The only thing that I love more than hanging out with friends in theme parks is hanging out with friends in theme parks while celebrating STAR WARS WEEKENDS! Every June, our group of three heads to “The Studios” to spend a Saturday of eating naughty food, enjoying frosty beverages, having our photos taken with Star Wars characters and getting away with being silly (in public) and acting like a kid!

C. The house in upstate New York, where I grew up, was missing one important thing that every house here, in northern Florida has. If it wasn’t for this one little thing we would all surely wither and die or drown in a pool of our own sweat. If it wasn’t for the brilliant invention of the central air conditioning unit, summertime happiness would be impossible to achieve. (Odds are that I would also be a resident of Alaska and not a Florida transplant.)

B. One of my new favorite things is not really new at all BUT it surely is new to me. Recently, I have discovered the joys of talking to friends via Skype. It’s AMAZING! Thinking back to the “good old days” if we wanted to contact friends who lived far away we needed to put pen to paper and wait days or even weeks until we received a letter in response. (For the kids out there: Back in the 70’s and 80’s every home had a phone. Today you know it as a “landline”. There were no cell phones with unlimited long distance. HECK! There were no cell phones! Long distance calls were insanely expensive and you could only talk to one person at a time. OH YEAH! Also, every home did not have a computer. This is shocking news. I know.)

Today, we are constantly plugged in. Everyone has a computer (or access to a computer) and a smartphone. Everyone has a Facebook page and a Twitter account. These friends made via online social networking are real people and having the chance to speak with one (or many) via Skype is a total blast! Also, every time I video chat I pretend that I’m Judy Jetson. (For the kids 2.0: I will not explain this reference as it will just make me sad. Google it!)

1. Television is awesome and I love it! Whether I’m sitting on my big ol’ bootie on the orange sofa watching it or experiencing the “joys” of housework the boob tube is on. I love dramas, comedies, travel shows, made for TV movies, documentaries, procedurals and (especially in the summer) reality shows. SWEET SASSY MOLASSY! HOT DIGGITY DOG DIGGITY! Trashy summertime reality shows are the best, especially Big Brother! It’s appointment TV on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. We record Big Brother After Dark on SHO. I’d fork over the “cabbage” for the live feed BUT I have a job that I need to go to in order to make money, keep a roof over our heads and food on the table so I refrain from becoming a member. If I was a member all I would do all day long is watch those fascinating creatures scheme, play humiliating games and fall to pieces while in the confines of their IKEA furniture filled house of two way mirrors.

The list could go on and on expressing my newfound love of summer. I could also go on and on writing about fond memories of summers past, but I think that the great Fresh Prince said it best:

“If ain't broke then don't try to fix it and think of the summers of the past adjust the base and let the alpine blast.”

Now ain’t that the truth?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Lovin' Part 2

This Summer I've been in love with reliving my childhood at the Walt Disney World Parks!

First the Magic Kingdom brought back my beloved Main Street Electrical Parade. Sure, I love the Spectromagic parade, but what a thrill it was sitting on the curb and hearing the music of this parade I grew up with. As soon as the lights went out signifying the start of the parade I got chills and of course my sappy self teared up a bit. I loved sharing this with Mike. My one wish was that we could see this parade in cooler weather and my wish was granted, Disney spread a little Pixie Dust and announced that they are extending the run of the Main Street Electrical Parade!! So don't be surprised if you see many more photos of this parade in the future!!

As if bringing back the parade wasn't enough this Summer Epcot brought back Captain EO with Michael Jackson! Mike and I went one night to see it and I was SHOCKED to find out that Mike had never seen it!! This was another attraction that I grew up with here in Orlando and I loved it just as much now as I did when I was a kid. Naturally I cried both because Michael Jackson was a genius and is gone but also because there is something very emotional about going back in time like this, remembering sitting in that theater with my parents and sister and an assortment of friends and relatives over the years, remembering times gone by. But I'm happy to say with it's return I'll be making new memories! Not only did I get to see it with Mike but also recently saw Captain EO with some of my high school friends Brenda and Maggie.

Since I've focused this post on Disne
y Summer Magic I have to add another fun thing Mike and I always do during the Summer - The Summer Concert Series at Epcot! Some years we hit more concerts then others but this was the second year we went to see the Bon Jovi cover band. No they are no replacement for Bon Jovi but they are fun to watch and it always makes for a nice little date night with the hubby!

Look how wonderfully sweaty we are!

One last little sharing before I close - I put together this quick fun layout with some of the photos from the night we went to see the parade! Can't wait to hear what you think!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cooking and Creating!

Don't you love feeling inspired? Lately (after that much needed reboot) I am feeling so inspired. Maybe it is the yoga I've been doing almost every day? Or maybe it's the fact that I've been cleaning and organizing my scrap space? Whatever it is I'm enjoying it!

I've been doing a lot of writing and planning out so many projects, we've tried out fun new recipes and I've been taking pictures and just trying to really enjoy and think creatively every day.

This Summer I've been heading to the Farmer's Market with my friend Claire and recently I found these gorgeous tomatoes so it gave me the perfect opportunity to try Rachael Ray's Herb Butter and Goat Cheese Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes - you can find the recipe here. I loved how all the fresh herbs in this dish, really turned out nice but we didn't love the way it reheated.

The day after I made the pasta Mike took over in the kitchen and make Chicken Schnitzel with Mustard Sauce from Food Network magazine - you can find the recipe here. He paired with the chicken with potatoes au gratin, he didn't use a recipe and it didn't matter because this whole meal was outstanding! I'm wondering if it's to soon to ask Mike to make it again!!

Recently I put together two new layouts. One was inspired by Lain Ehmann, she put together a great tutorial here, so I ran with it. I changed my layout to 12x12 because that is my preferred layout size. I printed a quick self portrait I took and a few sheets of coordinating paper, ink, the extra large flower which I just folded in half and the large jewel. I put this page together in under thirty minutes just as Lain promised!

The second page was for a challenge on Let's Scrap but it is a subject I've been really wanting to document. Mike does such a great job on the porch garden so I went out and had a little garden photo shoot documenting all of Mike's hard work and then I used some of my favorite papers - Basic Grey's Nook & Pantry along with coordinating stickers. I'm so happy with how this turned out and I'm glad to have captured this in the pages of my scrapbook.

About Me

My photo
I live in Champions Gate, FL with my husband and our four fur babies (3 cats and 1 dog)I spend my time either being creative or trying to get the creative juices flowing. I love to cook, go for swims and take the dog for long walks.