A daily chat between girlfriends for inspiration, encouragement and guidance to promote joyful aging while wearing strength, confidence, and head-turning, personal style.

May 31, 2012

On The 12 days of Vacation…Charles Barkley Said To Me...


Women in San Antonio are way too big!  Anyone who watches the NBA knows that former player Charles Barkley likes to stir things up!  He recently riled our population by insulting the Riverwalk, the Alamo, and the local women.  In fact, he went so far as to say that we cannot support Victoria Secret stores, because our women need the big girl panties! "Oh they big," he said.  Well, I actually agree with him (not his rude methods, but his observations)…we do have a lot of really big women and I am one of them!  Why here? Probably fantastic Mexican food (can you say LARD) and lack of exercise… most Texans prefer to drive everywhere! But he needs to stay away from insulting out beautiful and inspirational downtown.  Anyway, look out Oklahoma City… Sir Charles is after you as well!


But, I am on a mission to not be one of the big girls of SA.  I do not want to diet or count calories or write down everything I eat.  I just want to learn healthy eating and make it a part of my every day life.  I know that sugar is my number one enemy…so I am out to take it down. 


Harley Pasternak
 Actually, in the last year, I learned more from the ABC TV show, The Revolution…(which I DVR and try to watch after work) than anywhere else.  Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer, has taught me things about exercise and food that I am now ready to apply.  You can click on the show link to watch episodes and even get recipes.  My smoothie recipes come from Harley and I am having one every morning.  He also has me hooked on Greek yogurt! (Bad decision, ABC, to cancel this show!)
I change out the frozen fruit for variety!
Today, I headed out to my neighborhood health food store, Sprouts!  After the revealing triglyceride-talk, I knew I needed a good Omega-3 supplement.  I learned from the store manager that if your triglycerides are high, look for an Omega-3  with the highest EPA.  Yes, as with everything, we have to read the labels of the different supplements and compare the EPA and DHA levels.  He also told me I should take one supplement in the morning and one in the afternoon.

I made certain that I also came home with kale and chia seeds to increase the food value of salads and veggie dishes.   The one mistake I made was that I grabbed a jar of natural peanut butter, low in sugar, and did not read the label.  Sure enough, it has hydrogenated oils in it.  So, I have replaced it with walnuts.  I love peanut butter, but for now I want to live without it and add in in small portions later.
Here is my plan for twelve days to develop some healthy habits:
1.       Eat lots of color every day…fresh veggies and fruits!!
2.       Avoid processed foods and sugar as if they are poison!
3.       Eat several smaller meals and not three big ones.
4.       Protein is my friend….make sure to add Greek yogurt and quinoa whenever possible.  Add Chia and ground flaxseeds to just about everything.  I even threw flaxseeds in my smoothie.   SALMON…more often!  Lean meats are good!
5.       Have a plan if I know I am eating out or eating at work.
6.       Look for foods high in Vitamin D, like mushrooms.  I am also Vitamin D deficient…part of my plan is to go outside at least 15 minutes a day.  I am taking a supplement, but would like to increase this without one!
7.       Drink LOTS of water!  Make sure I drink cold water when I first get out of bed.
8.       Try new recipes, so I do not get bored with what I am doing.
9.       Dairy is good in controlled, low fat situations.  I need it for my bones and the onset of osteoporosis. 
10.   If I eat any bread, it must be of the Sprouted Grain and Seed Variety.


This dish was awesome: olive oil, chopped onion, minced garlic, red bell pepper strips, mushrooms,
fresh spinach leaves, fresh kale, tomatoes, chia seeds, pre-made quinoa.

This is not a diet…it is a lifestyle change!  I have a lunch date on Friday….I will let you know how it goes! Also, I want to thank every single one of you for the encouragement and suggestions.  This audience is the best!

TA DA….THE OFFICIAL WINNER OF THE eshakti giveaway is …..REVA!!  I guess all she did for extra entries paid off!!  I reached in to the middle of the pile and grabbed her name!  Enjoy your fabulous win, Reva!



Happy Friday to all!!

Just a note:  The second day of exercising was really hard!  My body aches…I am fatigued…but I DID IT!  I know at some point the hardest part will stop!  ONE DAY AT A TIME!

May 30, 2012

On The 12 days of Vacation…My Body Said to Me



It’s time to get healthy!  Before I joined Gigi at the incredible spa, I received some news from blood work.  It was depressing as usual…my triglycerides continue to be elevated as is my total cholesterol to HDL Ratio!  So tell me, how are your triglycerdies?  All the nurse had to say was the word STROKE and she got my attention. 

Here I am last year after I lost thirty pounds on the HCG Diet. I was also walking on a regular basis. So sad to report that most of that weight has returned....yes, after I said, it would not!  This is the power I have allowed stress to have this year!  I gave it permission to ravage my health!
This past school year has been ADJUSTMENT TIME.  Adjusting to the empty nest…adjusting to my husband’s new work challenges and possible career changes…adjusting to teaching plus freelance writing plus blogging… adjusting to my mother running off with my cousin after she officially disowned my brother and me (a great story…definite sitcom material…for another day!)…adjusting to new budgeting challenges….UGH….many adjustments.  I like to think that I handle stress really well, but even I get dragged into the mire when there are too many changes at once.  I have always allowed stress to affect my eating habits and exercise….simply put, it affects exercise in the sense that I DON’T…exercise that is.  I confess; I am exhausted…drained…in much need of an overhaul.

So here I am with 12 days and I desire to change my lifestyle, big time.  I really think the best advice I received on the low cost pampering post, was from Rose, who said,  “ … When I get a break from work without any place to go I step up my workouts. Twelve days is long enough to see results from an extra 30 minutes a day of walking plus a 15-20 minute toning DVD. It's also long enough to get your diet tamed. Without the stress of work you can step back and review what you're taking in and get your pantry organized so summer school will have a healthier cuisine. It's so easy to slip into bad snacking habits when we're busy and stressed.”


Thanks Rose….You have given me my first goal to reach during the 12 days….I want to change my exercise habits so that in 12 days the healthy schedule is a part of me and I will not quit…no matter what comes along.  That’s a big statement coming from me…feel free, ladies, to hold me accountable.

Here are today’s changes:
1.        This week, I began to post at night so that my mornings are free.  I do not know how posting became a morning event, but it is now an evening event. Why?  Because everything I read says that activity needs to happen first thing in the morning in order to increase metabolism.  When I grab coffee, a laptop and a chair, I am not doing myself any favors!
2.       Today, right after I got up, I drank some very cold water.  Then I stretched and headed out to my neighborhood for a 30-40 minute brisk walk. 
3.       When I returned, I went straight to my patio for coffee with the birds (there was more water before that!)  Making sure the water is cold or over ice also increases metabolism.
4.       A little later into the morning, I joined Jane Fonda for a FIT and STRONG Workout with weights and stretching.  When I return to work, I hope to continue the morning walk and then invite Jane over in the afternoon for her workout!  I appreciate this workout, because she is candid about getting older and falling.  She has had hip and knee surgery and helps with tips about how to avoid some of these pitfalls…mostly big falls!
5. I kept moving as much as possible.  I walked down to get the mail and I parked far from the grocery store so that I walked more!  I worked arms some more while watching the news.
6.       Mentally, I will not allow my past exercise failures to shut me down.  This time I desire to persevere… to finally complete my reinvention and to kiss some of those trglycerides good bye!  But I have said that before…so it will take more fortitude this time, and I must take things one day at a time.

For those who may not know, we are currently a lower income household with no  money for trainers or a workout facility.  For now, I am on my own!  I hope the next 12 days will be an encouragement to those of you with the same struggles.  I promise to be forthright with the challenges.
Tomorrow, I will share with you what I am changing about the menu….and, yes, no more Fashionista Cupcakes!! Have a fabulous Thursday to everyone!!  Be sure to stop by the other blogs from Katie’s Thursday Blog Hop!! You will find the links tomorrow!  

Thursday Favorite Things
http://katherinescorner.com/2012/05/31/thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop-linky-party-38/

There is still time to enter the eshakti giveaway...winner announced on Friday!!  Just click here and enter within this post...great fitting, fashionable styles at eshakti and you can pick whatever you like!!  Like this fabulous scarf!
http://www.eshakti.com/Product/CL0022646/Asymmetric-vines-scarf

May 29, 2012

Massage Messages, What Do They Reveal?


No matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you'd be more productive.  -Dr. Joyce Brothers

It would be a tall order for me to find a way to relax for five minutes every hour of work.  I fear I would end up stressing out about relieving stress!  However, ask me to focus on relaxing during a weekend or at the end of a school semester or over school holidays…then I am all in!

Gigi and I took time to relax today and it was truly amazing!  Readers of this blog know that I often mention purchasing items with gift cards.  The truth is we work with some amazing parents who are generous with teacher gifts.  Today, we headed off to a local spa with gift cards which read….Good for one hour of relaxation!  Oh yeah, I am so there.


In fact, spa d'sante was voted a Readers Choice Award by the San Antonio Express News for the favorite spa!  We now know why.  It was a fabulous one hour relaxation massage.  The technician working with Gigi knew immediately by touching her neck that she struggles with migraines and trouble sleeping.  The sweet woman working on me knew that I was on the computer most of my day just from working on my shoulders and hands.  She recommended an exercise and attention to posture.   They asked no questions, just knew these things from working on our tight-knit bodies...and I don't mean fabulously fit kind!


The only downside was that they made us leave!  It was hard to go into the hot sun and bright light… now, hours later, I still feel amazing.  What a perfect way to go into my twelve days off…which begins tomorrow!


Has anyone else found massage to be the answer to some of your other health issues??  Tell us about what you learned!
Also, have a wonderful Wednesday and make sure you register here within this post for the eshakti giveaway…winner to be announced on Friday!

This fabulous eshakti pencil skirt could be yours!!  Enter
the giveaway!
I just have to say how grateful I am for every reader, every follower....from new ones to friends made around the world.  You are all very dear to me and I appreciate your support in so many ways.  Thank you for your encouragement from the bottom of my heart!  Blessings!

May 28, 2012

Does It Work or Is It Just About the Shoes?



The Friday before a three day weekend is not the best time to go to the grocery store.  I know that, but last Friday chose to ignore my own wisdom, and join in with the long lines of briskets, charcoal, and beer; though all I really needed were a few staples.  I ended up looking at three magazines while I waited in the checkout line.
Since, I am on the hunt for some inspiration for casual summer styles, one look jumped out at me because I had all of the pieces in my closet.  I styled it…took the pictures…but I really do not think it works and here is why…THE TOP PART AND THE BOTTOM PART DON’T SEEM TO BE A PART OF THE SAME OUTFIT.  It looks too much to me like I took a professional style and shoved casual Friday on the bottom.  My photographer, Mr. B, said, “Oh I get it, this outfit is all about the shoes!”


Well, it wasn’t …but maybe it should be!  I like the shoes!  Sometimes inspiration looks just do not work! Anyone disagree or agree for that matter!  If it doesn't work, what would make it work??

Today is my last day at work for this school year. I received so many great ideas for my low-cost, low-key twelve days off and I plan to implement several.  I started this past weekend with Terri's advice.  Within her comment, she said, "...For the first three days I didn't make myself conform to ANY time frame. I let myself sleep as late as I wanted, and then took at nap!..." 
That was my Memorial Day weekend, sleeping, napping, and reading a romantic, mystery thriller.  So, Wednesday, I will begin with "On the 12th Day of Vacation" posts.  Hope you will check in to see whose advice I follow.  Make sure you register to win the esahkti giveaway and have a fabulous Tuesday!

Til then, I thought you might enjoy a couple of pictures of my youngest son arriving to spend the summer with his sister and brother-in-law in Saipan...summer on an island?? Not too shabby!


Saipan beaches ...courtesy of NPR.


May 27, 2012

Summer Fashion: More Difficult for Some!



Happy Memorial Day to all!!  Around Texas, this weekend is the official beginning of summer and it does feel like it outside.  I am similar to unefemme who recently confessed she has difficulty transitioning to warm weather wear.  I am born and raised in Texas, but really have never liked the heat.  I have friends who thrive on it and love the fact we have heat seven out of twelve months!  But not me, in my heart I am seasonal, but in my heart I am also a Texan.  It is a problem!  Selecting cute styles that minimize sweat and don't stick to your skin can often be a challenge!
Blouse by Chicos Travelers
Capris by Talbots
For a summer school teacher, the wardrobe is a bit more causal-Friday-style for every day.  I am much better at styling professional looks than casual looks….tune in tomorrow to see the problems when those looks collide!  I wish I had something along the line of today’s look for every day of summer.  With a wonderful gift card, I recently purchased this jacket at Chicos and it is summer-perfect!  Lightweight…cool…stylish…flattering…just perfect.  I also want to remind you about Chicos Passport Savings Program for regular shoppers and if you receive their emails, you will see just how reasonable the sale prices are.
Bracelet from KOHLS
Make sure you register to win the eshakti giveaway…you can see the rules and how to register HERE.  They are going to allow the lucky winner to select a garment of her choice from their current line….can’t get any better than that!  I will select a winner on Thursday!
My husband bought this necklace for me at Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry to wear with my Mother-of-the-Bride suit last summer...it also works with this!
Have a wonderful holiday and stay cool!  And make sure you visit the lovely bloggers of  VISIBLE MONDAY and MONDAY MINGLE!!

Chinese Laundry Sandals from Ross....nails by OPI!
http://notdeadyetstyle.blogspot.com/2012/05/visible-monday-48-visiblity-without.html
http://www.glamamom.com/2012/05/mode-monday-bump-watch-2012.html


Also, black and silver are the official colors of our San Antonio Spurs....go Spurs!


Now, she has the right idea!!!


May 25, 2012

Accessories...Sometimes Not A Choice But A Necessity!


HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE.  I have a very special deal for you today! 
I am certain there are many of you like me….you just cannot exist without your eyeglasses!  Mine are not just the reader “find-a-million-pair-at-the-grocery-store” glasses.  Mine are the serious progressive lenses “I-am-blind-without-them” glasses!!  As a lover of fashion, it is quite frustrating that my frames are so expensive and it is very hard to find quality, fashionable cheap glasses.  
You know that I love accessories.  I have tons of scarves, bracelets, and necklaces…but, I have not been able to afford more than one pair of glasses.


Until now!  I am pleased to introduce you to GLASSESUSA.COM !  This company is an answer to accessory-boredom!  They make it possible to own more than one pair with amazing prices and great selections.
Also, they have this cool feature, Virtual Mirror Feature, where you can download a picture of yourself and actually see what the frames will look like on your face…this could be fun from the kitchen table!  Once you select the frames, then you just need to send them the eyeglasses prescription and soon you will have your new glasses.  You might also want to check out their trendy sunglasses while you are on their site.
Now, for all you who follow over50feeling40, here is an amazing special MEMORIAL DAY SALE and this is a great way to add to your glasses accessory:
Take 50% off+ free shipping for all orders. Code: MEMORIAL2012
Take 10% off any order of prescription glasses.  Code:  Blog10
Super deals, girls!  Check them out today on FaceBook and Twitter @GlassesUSA…remember, your fabulous accessories must include your eyeglasses!!




Have a relaxing, fun, safe, holiday weekend.




A Sponsored Post

May 24, 2012

Spring Trends...Making Them Work!




You guys are the absolute best!  All of the ideas yesterday were excellent and I am going to use many of them!  You actually have me excited now about my low-key, low-cost 12 days off!!

Tuesday night I was having difficulty getting excited about what to wear to work on Wednesday, so I sat down with a stack of magazines.  It did not take me long to find this look in the May issue of InStyle.   I looked it over and thought, this is doable…though my version would be darker.

I have worn this duster many times on this blog, but the Liz Claiborne pants were recently purchased for $1.99 on one of my Goodwill SA runs.   Like many trends, print pants come and go, so I was pleased to find these with thrift funds.  The green top is also a past, on-sale purchase from Chicos…it will continue to be a favorite piece for this summer.   My point is that you can follow trends for very affordable prices….it just takes a little imagination!!

Also, this week, I wore the James Avery Bracelet, my sons gave me for Mother's Day! It is so sweet. In Texas, we love James Avery for special occasions!
http://search.jamesavery.com/?top_menu=1&snp=1&x1=tab.top_nav&x2=tab.drop_down&q1=Bracelets&q2=Cuff+Bracelets
Now, for more fun, stop by Katie's Thursday Blog Hop! and meet some of the wonderful bloggers there...plus, have a wonderful day!!

Thursday Favorite Things

May 23, 2012

Low Cost Pampering: Is It Possible?




Alright, ladies, I need your help!  Here is my scenario:

1.       I am a high school teacher and the regular school year ends next week.
2.       I have only 12 days before I begin to teach summer school!
3.       It has been a somewhat stressful year and I am feeling fatigue...honestly, I am fried!
4.       I have absolutely no extra money for a fun 12 day getaway plus I need to do a lot of work around my house since I have neglected it with overwork recently.
What would you do for no-cost relaxation and fun during the 12 days?  I would love to hear any ideas…home remedies...places to go….things to do….beauty or health treatments to feel pampered and rested… read any good books lately?...bring it on!


Today's pictures were taken one morning on my patio...I love morning coffee on the patio...I will do that a few of the 12 days!   Have a wonderful Wednesday!!