Wednesday, August 29, 2012


**Please know that today I am actually in a good mood, this post is just a reflection of my thoughts last night and I am not sitting here sad**

Something about me, generally I'm a bubbly person.  I strive to make those in my life feel special, happy, and keep them smiling.  As a friend I'm loyal, sometimes more than people deserve, I'm supportive, and I'm the person who would drive hours in the middle of the night if you needed me.  My sister calls me a Care Bear b/c I care about people, again, sometimes too much.  While I'm a good friend, I've also been blessed with great friends (whom I've discussed in a previous post) who I know have my back and love me unconditionally.

My stress level has been pretty maxed out these days and I often find myself literally getting lost in my own thoughts trying to organize everything in my mind so I can start the next day with a clean slate so to speak.   I'm not even sure if I can call it stress but I figure anything that disrupts my sleep must be stress :) I've thought about how I wish Doc Brown would lend me his DeLorean so I can go back in time and talk to 18 year old Sarah and tell her exactly what to do, avoid certain mistakes, etc etc.  And then I realize, there would be so many people that I would never know if I did that.  Three of my cherished best friends in my life right now, would not be there. I'm not willing to trade that. 

Last night a friend was talking to me about something and at the end of the conversation she said "I just want you to be happy."  Of course this touched me greatly because when anyone in your life tells you they want you to be happy, and they truly mean it, how can you NOT feel special and loved?!  Her simple words last night opened something up and I found myself bombarded with so many thoughts but one common denominator.

Confession, my name is Sarah and happiness terrifies me.  I can't say I'm unhappy with life b/c while there are things I'd like to be different, I have a great life.  However, last night it just came rushing onto to me like a tsunami, I'm terrified of happiness.  Of course being the Care Bear I am, this put me in tears b/c I was finally able to confess to myself, "you're your own worst enemy."   How can anyone fear happiness??? While I've had and have a great life, I've also had people who have tried to take me down.  People who have taken my good nature and big heart for granted and attempted to manipulate that to their advantage.  I carry scars from my younger years even though all of that has been forgiven.  Someone told me years ago that I was afraid to be happy b/c I've been "unhappy" for so long (again I'm not unhappy but hopefully you know what I mean). 

This journey to a healthier me that I'm on, or trying to be on is the perfect example of this fear.  I hold ALL of the power, all of the control and yet what is holding me back? Fear of the unknown, fear of being happy. I"m terrified that I will reach this goal and still be "ugly", I'm terrified that something will happen and I will fail, I'm terrified that I'll be resentful and question people's motives in befriending/dating me.  I'm scared of letting my friends and family down. Every now and again I've briefly thought about this fear but I'd discuss briefly and then change topic and for some reason last night, it flooded me, it became a very real and vibrant realization.  I hold myself back from being happy; I've become so used to NOT liking myself that I stop myself from reaching a point where I'd actually like myself. That's a mighty big and tough pill to swallow to truly realize that it's been you all along. 

In every major emotional event of my life I always found that one song that was therapy for me.  I LOVE music for this very reason, how it can get you through life's ups and downs.  But how do you find a song about a person holding themselves back that TRULY depicts how you feel?  Somehow I managed to do that and I kid you not, I listened to this song on repeat until I fell asleep last night.  This song really depicts the emotions I felt last night.  I used to interpret it as something else but right now, it just......says it all.  Right now when I hear the lyrics I picture the Sarah who wants happiness talking to the Sarah who holds her back. 

So now, admittance has been completed, now I need to figure out the next step and find the kryptonite that I can use on the part of me that holds myself back.  Kind of exciting don't ya think? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still scared, fear is a very powerful thing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pamper your bling

I have a bunch of jewelry, more than I knew I had and the collection continues to grow (THANKS A LOT CHARMING CHARLIES).  My dilemma was storing it all because I keep adding new pieces. 
I set out one day to find materials to make something myself but wasn't 100% on what I'd do.  I remember reading various ideas online but again, I needed to find something that was ME. 

So I ventured out and found these two items at Bed, Bath, and Beyond
$39.99 Towel Bar (I didn't buy the circular ones)  Bed, Bath, & Beyond

$6.99 Silverware drawer organizer  Bed, Bath, & Beyond
 The bottom of the silverware organizer is meshed with various holes and I thought, this would be PERFECT for my earrings.

Here is the outcome, sorry for the lighting in the pictures but my bedroom is in a weird "lighting" area :)
Towel bar and shower hooks I found at a local store  (Eiffel Tower is a jewelry holder my sister bought for me because I have a huge love for Paris, it HAD to stay)

Silverware organizer hung backwards against wall, PERFECT for some earrings and the top I use for some bracelets and rings

Another necklace shot

As my collections expands I'll need more space but for now, this is perfect because I can add the extra shower rings to the bar. When I make my next DIY jewelry holder I'm going to try the corkboard/fabric idea I've seen buzzing around online...just need more wall space!

Have a great Monday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tapping my creative side

In the past few years I've been playing around with making photo slideshows.  I made my first one about 4-5 years ago when one of my roommates graduated law school and was moving out.  It was a tribute video to the years that the three of us lived together made with photos capturing the various memories we had made.  It brought her to tears, which is always a fun thing to do :)

After making this I found that I wanted to make more but I didn't have any reason for it.  No significant events occurring so I put it on the back burner and my creative candle started to flicker out a little bit. 

In 2010, my dad showed me a couple songs by a musician he had been talking to and he (my dad) really wanted to use these pieces for the upcoming annual DoD (Dept. of Defense) Navy and Marine conference for all firefighters.  This conference is held once a year and firemen from all over gather for a week of, conference stuff hahaha My dad asked me to make 2 slideshows, one to be shown at the finale dinner for the Navy and Marine group and one to be shown at the finale dinner for all the groups.  

These two videos were so much fun to make because I hold a special place in my heart for the firefighting men and women because my dad is a firefighter and this profession is a significant part of my childhood.  And also, I absolutely LOVED the music and the lyrics.  My father said that people at the conference absolutely loved what I had done and I received two standing ovations (YAY ME!). 
Here they are:    "This One's for the Firefighters"  shown to all groups        "The Storm"    shown to Navy and Marine Corps.

A couple months ago I was approached again to make a video for a couple who were both celebrating their 60th birthday.  Ironically I will be a bridesmaid in their youngest son's wedding so of course I was beyond honored making this for them.  I mean their lives and love for each other brought my best friend her prince charming so yeah, I had some emotional investment in this one :)

Now I recognize that my work is quite amateur, which I don't mind b/c I feel it gives it a personal flair but I am currently researching programs that I can use to expand myself and become more "professional."    My sister mentioned out how I should outreach to local businesses who do this kind of work and see if maybe occasionally I can free lance for them or somethign along those lines.  I have to admit, if THIS were my job, I would LOVE it!!! I'm just not sure where I should look exactly.  Hmm, something to think about!!
Currently I am making a piece that I hold VERY close to my heart!  My best friend asked me to make one for the rehearsal dinner prior to her wedding this November.  I have to admit that just gathering the photographs for this one tugged at the old heart strings (I AM SUCH A SAP!).  I am beyond thrilled to make this one and I admit I feel like this has to be my master piece, but what I love about creating these is that you can't go wrong and it gives my mind time to just...breathe :)   Is it possible that I could turn this into something more than a hobby?  I wonder!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mmm Mmm Meatballs

This recipe is absolutely amazing!!! Some may be scared that lamb is used but if you've never tried lamb and are too nervous, I suggest using ground chicken or turkey.  Ground beef can be used as well, but the other ground meats are more tender than ground beef BUT if you've never had ground lamb I suggest trying it.  Don't fear the unknown, embrace it!


Makes : about 36 meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes

    1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 TBS)    (I used dry, worked just fine)
    1 TBS paprika
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    2 lbs. ground lamb
    1 tsp coconut oil
    2 medium onions diced (about 2 cups)
    2 garlic cloves crushed (about 2 tsp)
    2 tsp paprika
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    2 medium tomatoes diced (about 2 cups)
    1 1/2 cups water
    2/3 cup tomato paste
   1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 TBS)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the parsley, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper with a fork.  With your hands, crumble the lamb into the bowl and knead until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Moisten hands with water and shake to remove excess.  Measure a level TBS of lamb and roll into a ball between your palms.  Line up the meatballs on a baking sheet until it's time to put them in the sauce.
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or pot. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the chopped tomatoes to the pain and stir about 1 minute.  Add the water, tomato paste, and parsley, mixing to dissolve the tomato paste.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then gently place the meatballs in the skillet, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook 40 minutes covered, then remove the lid and cook an additional 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.  Sprinkle each serving with a few teaspoons of chopped pistachios

**This recipe was found in the cookbook titled Well Fed, which can be found at**

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Insurance 101

I have no idea if anyone will read this but my god I hope so because that will mean that I may have helped someone out there.

Saturday I had a dental procedure done which was step one of a pretty lengthy process.  Of course they verified my benefits and what my liability would be.  After paying them over $700 in less than a month I finally had time to do some research and VOILA they are robbing me! They are crediting on the fact that I will not research and find that they are not only over charging me but collecting money that IS NOT due to them!  This is where I am thankful for those years as a call center representative at an insurance company and those years spent planning curriculum training call center reps the ins and outs of policies. 

So if ANYONE reads this who hasn't taken the time to find if their medical or dental provider (aka doctor) is robbing them, I hope this helps you!

Top 5 MUST DO's
1) ALWAYS read your Explanation of Benefits.  You know those annoying pieces of paper that pile up in the mail when you have a few doctor's visits, READ THEM! Even if you already do, keep practicing this because you never know where money has been collected that wasn't due. 

2) Understand how your policy works.  Not just what a deductible is and if you pay 10% or 20%, understand ALL OF IT.  If your doctor is in network, also make sure he/she is a contracting provider with your insurance carrier.  Majority of the time if they're in network, they're contracting, but just to be safe, double check this!  If your doctor is contracting with your insurance carrier that means that they agree to the CARRIER'S fee schedule.  So for example, if a doctor charges $100 for a service and the insurance company states their fee is $75.00, the doctor has to write off the $25 difference.  Case closed.  If they're contracting there's no arguing this. 

3) Do your research!!   If a provider advises you have to get a procedure done and they go over your "liability" with you before scheduling the procedure, RESEARCH!  Ask them for procedure and diagnosis codes so that you can call your insurance company and verify for yourself what will and will not be covered.   DENTAL coverage isn't influenced by diagnosis codes as much as medical procedures, remember this!   Especially with dental procedures, please get into the practice of researching!  This is how I found out what was going on with my dentist.  I assure you, it's worth the effort!  Allow me to share my situation :)
I was told that the extraction I had done would cost me $1075.60 and of course they wanted the payment up front.  Well I don't have that kind of money to throw around so they graciously (note sarcasm) broke it into 3 payments of $333.56.  Well b/c I was so nervous they gave me nitrous oxide to relax me which increased the balance a bit plus I elected to have the oral cancer screening b/c screening is always a good thing.  Anyways, I knew something wasn't right in terms of my liability and I really thought "MAN I have HORRIBLE dental insurance"  so I did some research today.  Turns out, my insurance actually DOES pay them for all of the services I had done AND my actual liability is only about $350 so THEY owe ME money back now.  REMEMBER THIS!  If a provider is willing to discuss your liability with you before you have the procedure and they want payment right away, RESEARCH!  I'm not saying all of them practice this way, but just be safe and protect yourself!

4) Please be kind to the call center reps (HAHA)  I say this b/c I was once one of them and trust me, they're not crazy about their job and they are simply just the messenger.  The people who answer your call don't process your claims and generally have pretty much no power to do much besides pass your complaint onto a supervisor, so please be kind to your reps :)  They're just making a paycheck to pay the bills.  Some of them are quite rude I know but kill em with kindness and be the better person

5) Never be afraid to let the provider know you'd like to verify your benefits. Don't ever let anyone bully you into trusting them.  As the patient you have the right to know what you're paying for and if what you're being billed is legit.  I've come across some staff members who didn't like that I asked for codes b/c I wanted to research myself but if they're practicing honestly, it shouldn't be an issue. 

I don't know if anyone will read this or find it useful but I'm putting it out there b/c A) I needed to vent and B) maybe someone out there WILL read this and it will help them.  Or they'll pass it on, who knows :)

That's all for now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Let's do this

In an effort to keep myself going on this journey, I've decided to pull a Bridget Jones and log my intake and output everyday.  As well as the daily thoughts that may be consuming this fabulous mind of mine. 

Today isn't a good day, in fact this week isn't a good week.  I had a molar extracted Saturday so for the past 3 days I've been on a mushy food diet: applesauce, mashed potatoes, frozen yogurt, and that's about it. I doubt I've gained any weight since my caloric intake has dropped but we shall see tomorrow morning. 
Also, I have to admit I have a nasty habit which has gone since the extraction of said molar and that's smoking.  Smoke free since Saturday and due to my paranoia of dry socket, I've remained this way.  Of course I have a horrible headache which I assume is caffeine and nicotine withdrawal so today, even though I didn't feel very good at all, I took a walk during my lunch "break."  Managed 30 minutes before getting dizzy (side effect from medication) but 30 minutes is 30 minutes.

I will be happy when this healing process is over and I feel back to be self again!!!

Ever have the feeling that for the first time in your life, things are about to go your way?  Yeah that's kind of how I've been feeling, not sure why but I'm going to go with it!

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'll Stand By You

A quick glimpse into my childhood, I'm a former Air Force brat.  My life consisted of moving every 2 years, which to those who have never experienced this sound scary but this is the only life I know.  I've always adapted very quickly and well to new environments and I've always made friends easily.

Now, I'm 36, Air Force days behind me and I have to say that through the years of all of my moves, I've managed to be blessed in gaining a group of women who have impacted my life in some way and have been a support system every woman should have in their life. 

Today I woke up thinking about my friends and just how lucky I am to have such an amazing support system.  What I love most about my friendships with these ladies is that no matter how much time passes between conversations, we ALWAYS pick up right where we left off as though no time has gone by.  I also know that if I ever needed any of them, without question or hesitation they would be there for me and vice versa.    While I have a number of friends, these ladies I happily categorize as my very best friends.  If any of you should ever read this, I love you all mucho!!! XXOO!

(In alphabetical order b/c I have no favorites)

Amy - former boss/coworker
I met Amy at work and instantly we became great friends. One night Amy had an allergic reaction to brand of beer and she literally died in the passenger seat as I was rushing her to the hospital.  She stopped breathing and when they pulled her out of the car she was purple and I have never been so terrified in my life.  The doctor said if I would've hit just one red light, she may not have made it.  Since that night, we've been closer than ever.  It's not until a moment like that when you realize how important people are in your life. She doesn't give herself enough credit but she's one of the strongest people I know. 
Amy hates having her picture taken so this is the best I can do :)

Chrissy - my cousin
As kids, I would spend time with Chrissy when we would visit Wisconsin for the holidays, which wasn't often.  As adults, I've developed a relationship with her that wouldn't trade for anything.  Now that we're older and wiser (for the most part), she's become someone I can turn to when I'm having a bad day or just need a good pep talk.  I'm so thankful we've rekindled the childhood friendship we had and she's just an amazing human being!

Chrissy and I as kids, sadly we don't have any current pics of us together

My beautiful cousin today

Debbie - coworker
I don't even know where to start when it comes to Debbie :)  This woman is truly one of the most amazing people I have ever met!  I've witnessed her go through gut wrenching pain and watched her rise from the ashes beyond victorious.  She inspires me in so many ways that as I sit here trying to type my thoughts out, I'm at a loss for words.
When my family moved to the DC area, I had the choice to follow or stay in California.  I stayed and Debbie invited me to live with her.  For over a year we lived in a one bedroom apartment which couldn't been much more than 600 square feet.  Our beds were side by side separated by a nightstand, we were literally Janet and Chrissy from Three's Company.  Living in such close quarters can wear on people and there was a time where we both thought our friendship wouldn't survive it.  We moved into a new 980 sq. ft. apartment, had our own rooms, it was a great day!!! 
Once again, living AND working with someone can take a toll and again we questioned if our friendship would survive.  Over 12 years later, we're still the best of friends and we love how we managed to overcome so much and still have our friendship in tact. 
To live through what we lived through and hold onto a friendship is very rare and I'm blessed to know that no matter what I can call Debbie anytime and she'll be there.
Debbie is also a huge inspiration when it comes to my physical journey.  When we met she was a size 26, I'm not sure of weight but she says it was "A LOT!"  Today Debbie is a size 6 or 8 and just looks amazing.  Knowing that she knows first hand how hard it can be really inspires me.

Gorgeous Girl

 Jessie - coworker
When I met this lady it was an instant connection.  Jessie is the friend whom I can be super SUPER silly with and call crying my eyes out if some evil male hurt me.  We can both laugh for hours for the craziest things and we both provide each other with the emotional support that sometimes a girl needs. 
Jessie has given me so many pep talks when I doubt myself and has always been that one person I know could make me laugh when I have a bad day.  I love how when we spend time together we're a couple of kids and I can be my goofy self around her.  Not that I can't with other friends but she doesn't look at me like I'm crazy when I act goofy b/c she's right there with me :D 

My beautiful Jessie :)

Jessie is my daily reminder that life is too short to be upset or mad or sad, instead we should break out into song or dance randomly and laugh at the silly stuff often.  I cannot imagine my life without this girl for she has been my saving grace more than I can remember.

Liz - my baby sister
Oh sweet Lizzie, what can I say about this girl :)  I've known her since the day she was born and cannot imagine life without her. 

Me feeding Liz, yeah my parents picked those glasses out

My sister and I are two very different people but we have a very strong tight bond.  She's a very smart and witty woman and I'm just so proud to be her sister!  Her laugh is infectious and her loyalty to those she loves is out of this world.  I know a lot of people say their sibling is their best friend, but my sister truly is one of my very best friends.  I don't think there's a day that goes by when I don't hear her say "I love my sissy!" and how can that not melt your heart :) 
We are often mistaken for twins when out in public but we just do not see it.  In fact, besides similar noses we don't see the strong resemblance everyone else sees. She's also 5'9" and I'm 5'6" :)
This lady has such a huge heart for people and does what she can to help anyone who needs it.  She has helped me get through some hard times.  As sisters of course we occasionally bicker and disagree, but at the end of the day we'd take a bullet for each other. 
My beautiful baby sister

Sarah - aka my ninja

It's ironic that alphabetically Sarah would come last because I know she would say it's because they save the best for last :) 

I actually was friends with Sarah's mom (at work) before I met Sarah.  I remember her mom telling me how I'd get along with her daughter, little did I know the friendship that would blossom from that.

I hold a special place in my heart for this lady because I have watched her grow and change in so many ways that I feel like she's my little sister.  From the beginning we clicked and have shared some great laughs and good times.  We have been each other's therapist during the tough times in life and have watched each other journey from one life adventure to the next.  I know that I will always be able to count on her to give me that kick in the butt when I need it, that smack across the face when I'm acting crazy, and that encouragement when I feel I've failed.  She is my non-sugar coater and someone I can always rely on to tell me like it is, but in a supportive way :)    

Clubbing with my favorite couple
This fall I will get to see her marry her best friend and Prince Charming and I know I will be a crying fool on that day!
She's an amazing person, funny, smart, driven, and just an all around cool chick!   I'm very thankful that I have her in my corner and I'm so proud of the woman she has become over the years.
My gorgeous Ninja  


Friday, August 3, 2012

The Exception or The Rule

There was a show back in the 90's I think on MTV called Singled Out.  GREAT show HAHA I mean for 90's tv and all (HELLO Saved by the Bell, Oscar winning acting right there!). 

I've been thinking about that show lately and how great it would be if I could make something like that happen in real life.  Shout out the characteristics I like in a person and only those with those characteristics are the ones who cross paths with me. 

Life is not a 90's MTV game show and I hate to admit this but dating today, SUCKS!  At times it feels like there's an ongoing practical joke happening and I'm the victim :)  

My dating track record is the motley crew of idiots, from the first boyfriend when I was 19 to the one I broke up with last year or earlier this year. After the last fiasco of a relationship I thought I should really intiate things and make a better effort at meeting higher quality people. That's not really working out so well :)   It seems today's society is filled with dirtbag hornballs who pretty much only seek ONE thing.  Not that I'm itching to walk down to aisle but it would be nice to get confirmation that I too can spend quality time with a decent guy :)   Reluctantly I decided, ok let's give the whole online matchmaking a try b/c we've all heard stories of that couple you met that way. 

Yeah those people are the exception, I am the rule. And the rule is, most people don't meet nice guys from those sites.  Yes yes I'm taking information from "He's Just Not That Into You" but let's be real, that movie (and the book I'm sure) is basically the blueprint to the dating world and we all know it. 

" I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control. And I miss the days when you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message from a guy or it didn't. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting. "

I'm not a pessimistic dater and I'm still meeting people and trying new things and I probably will continue to do so b/c I'm a people person.  Just wanted to vent that, dating sure does suck.  All this effort you put into trying to get to know people that may turn out to be completely wrong for you can be tiring.  I can say I've met some cool men and also come across some weird and crazy ones too.  But I admit, I'm getting tired of this rat race called dating.  Is it possible that I can just sit back and relax and Mr. Charming will just fall into my lap?  Yeah I didn't think so :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stew, it's what's for dinner

Occasionally I like nice homemade beef stew but sometimes it gets boring for me and I need something new and different.
My sister found this recipe in The Paleo Recipe Book and I have to say, it's AMAZING!!! If you don't like sweetness than this might not be for you but let me just say it isn't sweetness like you'd find in a dessert.  It's more of a sweetness that mixes well with the beef and seasonings, kind of how honey mustard is great with chicken.  My absolute favorite part of this recipes are the apricots! They're chewy, sweet, and just compliments the beef so well, it's absolutely a must try!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

My Favorite Place in the World

I really need to be better about blogging but honestly, I haven't had anything interesting to say.  I hate to admit that I've been feeling down lately and I blame the heat and humidity for that.  Today is a new day though and this week I'll do my best to get rid of this stupid funk that's been crippling me.

Two weekends ago I got to spend time in my favorite city, New York City.  I absolutely LOVE this city!! I love the energy! I love how no matter what time it is, it never feels late.  I arrived late Friday or early Saturday around 12am and when I stepped outside onto the street outside Penn Station there were people everywhere walking and it felt as though it was 8pm.  I love how there are so many places to see and as a psych major, I really enjoy people watching and NYC is not short of people that's for sure! 

Saturday I spent the day to myself and had some MUCH NEEDED me time.  I took a walk to Central Park, grabbed a coffee and sat on a bench just losing myself in the environment and clearing my head.  I must admit that one of the things I enjoy about NYC is seeing the different clothes women wear.  So many different styles and all are beautiful.  After Central Park I walked over to The Sullivan Theatre to get a picture for my father (Big Letterman fan) and in front there was a mini market type thing going on.  I could have spent so much money there on jewelry alone but I was strong and refrained.  After 3 hours I decided it was time to head back to the hotel room and relax.  I didn't realize I was walking around that long! Thankfully the weather was beautiful!

Later that night I decided to meet up with a friend I knew from Ohio at a bar in Chelsea, but of course with it being my last night I decided I'd walk over to Time Square to see it at night.  So amazing, and SOOOOO many people!!! Normally I would be annoyed with how packed it was, but I was in NYC baby, in Time Square how could I be annoyed?!?! After that I sat at Bryant Park for a bit then headed over to Chelsea.  It was great spending time with an old friend but seeing I had to travel the next day I didn't pull a late night.

I cannot wait to go back to NYC and one of my rewards for reaching my goal will be a shopping weekend trip there with one of my best, and fashion guru, friends.  I'm so excited for that!

I love this artwork! Curvy is beautiful!

I thought I looked super cute so of course I took a pic of myself :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Let's get physical

I hate exercising! Correction, I hate prepping to workout and getting myself motivated to do so.  After a long hard day at work I'd much rather relax and mindlessly watch bad TV versus changing into another outfit and torturing myself to at least 30 minutes of physical activity. 

Surprisingly, I have 2 favorite forms of self torture that are a lot of fun! Coming from me, that's saying a lot!   Neither of these feel like exercise to me because both are FUN!!!

My #1 choice is Spin Class-if you haven't tried this GO TRY IT!!!

I warn you that your first time will be tough and your butt will be sore but keep going to the classes regularly and the soreness will fade.  I didn't believe it either but after my first week, my bum was fine! The gym I take this class at turns off the lights and cranks up the music and you just get lost in your own world and work up a killer sweat.  If you find that this is a class that you want to take regularly, I suggest you purchase the following:
  • Padded seat cover -- some gyms have these for you to use but let's be real, who wants to use 
                                     something hundreds of people put their sweaty bums on? 
  • Padded bike shorts -- sounds like a lot of padding but again, you want to be comfortable
                                      and as you progress you'll find you won't need the padded shorts and are
                                      fine with just the padded seat cover.
  • Cycling Shoes --        these should only be purchased if you seriously plan to make this a regular form
                                     of exercise as a good pair of cycling shoes are not cheap.  I believe mine were
                                     $130.00, bought at a local cycling store.  Shop around though!!! These shoes
                                     are great because they clip into the pedal so you don't have to worry about
                                     your foot falling out of the pedal pocket and they also give you more of a
                                     workout.  This is an amazing investment!

My second favorite workout is the new TaeBo PT 247.  The reason why I like THIS program better than the previous ones is because they come with resistance bands.  I like feeling a burn when I workout because I know something is happening, if I can't feel it then I think I'm not doing something right and I start to talk myself out the activity altogether.  This program is awesome and you will burn up a great sweat!!!  It's not super expensive either, I found one for $50 on amazon, AND you can do this at home or anywhere really.  The bands don't connect to a door hinge, they connect to gloves that you wear (which are provided) and then strap to your feet so if you travel a lot this is something you can take with you.  I absolutely love this workout and I've seen results from it so I say, give it a try!!!

My weekend in NYC was great and therapeutic for my mind as I was able to spend 3+ hours walking the city on my own and enjoying the company of myself.  I love that city!! I really needed that time to myself to just clear my mind.  Of course today I'm tired but it was well worth it!  I'm worth the me time :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Me time

Hello to the few people who read my new blog! Pardon any typos, odd fonts, etc as I'm writing this post on a train en route to my favorite city.....NYC. My previous visits to the city involved a lot of preplanned agendas and I'm very much looking forward to the "me" time. Tomorrow I plan to grab a Starbucks coffee and sit in central park for awhile people watching and just enjoying the time to myself. Also plan to go see Time Square and the Ed Sullivan theatre (my dad is a big Letterman fan). While I love those in my life, sometimes a girl just needs her own time and what better place than NYC?!?! So to those who actually read this, what are ways that you get your "me" time? Oh and my mind has been developing ideas for my next fun post, I'm actually pretty looking forward to putting the ideas together, I think it will be fun. We shall see.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dress Code & Demons

Ok my best friend is in fashion, a girl I call my little sister because I've known her for so long works in the fashion industry in NYC you would think I had some sense of style.  No. I don't.  I'm a lost soul when it comes to fashion.  I fear patterns, stripes make me nervous, and color combination is not something I'm good at.  I go with the typical "matchy match" but I've ventured out a bit, trying new things.
I'm a shirt tugger.  You know, that girl you see in public who is always adjusting her shirt?  That's me.  Why do I do this?  To keep myself COVERED.  We've all seen the girls out there who display the muffin top, the ones who wear their pants a size too small and you can't help but wonder how they can even breathe!  I'm not that girl.  I like my tops flowy b/c it hides me better.  I see many cute outfits but because how my body is shaped, of course it doesn't look right on me.  I have small legs and someone with my waist must apparently have larger legs because finding jeans that fit my legs AND waist....HARD!!!  I love wearing skirts but again, I go with the flowy top b/c it hides the spare tire or whatever the trendy word is for that :)
So today, I'm going to make a vow to try to step away from the flow and go with the flattering.  I'm realizing that it's much more than just the body but my mind needs a journey as well.  I don't see how I can grow if I continuously hold onto these old feelings and paranoia.   I'm not an individual who hides from social settings, in fact I love people.  But I will confess something,  even though I know it's not true I always feel as though all eyes are on me when I'm in public.  Maybe there are some eyes on me but in my mind, I'm always thinking it's for negative reasons. 
Just last week I stopped into a local gas station for some bubble gum (yes, you read that right) and this elderly man in front of me turns around and said "Miss, did you just come from the beauty parlor?"  I turned around to see who was behind me because surely he wasn't talking to ME.  No, he WAS talking to me.  "Excuse me?"  "I asked if you just came from the beauty parlor because you are a very pretty young lady."  Asians aren't big blushers but I'm pretty sure I turned red.  Now rather than enjoying this moment of flattery guess what my mind did, it panicked because suddenly everyone in the vicinity of this conversation turned to look at me.  I always handle myself very well, but inside I wanted to crawl into hole.
THIS MUST STOP!  The very first step in most personal journeys is to take control of your mind.  Let go of the past, look to the future.  Don't let those demons take you down! That's part of my journey, smashing those demons down to the ground and seeing myself as my friends see me. This is going to be one sweet ride

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paleo and addiction

As promised, I will discuss Paleo but I must confess I didn't re-start the program today.  I ate very healthy (well honestly I didn't eat much today because I was super busy) but I wasn't full Paleo.

Ok, so what is the Paleo diet?  There are a few nicknames but I believe the most common one is the Caveman diet.  It's been referred to as the healtiest diet and basically, if the cavemen didn't have it, neither can you.  Obviously in this day and age there are things we have that they didn't (i.e. olive oil) but for the most part your entire food intake consists of meats, veggies, and fruits. No grains, no dairy (yes no milk, butter, cheese, yogurt..NO dairy), no sugars, no fats (I know I'm saying no a lot).  You don't count your calories meaning if you love steak, you can eat three steaks but no baked potato, no sour cream, and no A1 sauce.  I know it sounds almost cruel but honestly, it really isn't that bad at all!

My sister found this diet and introduced it to me.  The first week was the hardest because I have two addictions, diet cherry pepsi and rice (I'm Asian remember?).  Our first week was focused on adapting to the new eating habits and I lost 4 pounds that week WITHOUT exercise, pretty sure it was all water weight but that's ok.  For meals we'd eat meats with veggies (oh you can't have corn either).  I became very close with sweet potatoes and pretty much had them in every way you can think of.  We started with a 30 day challenge and in the midst of this was my birthday which we spent in NYC.  Imagine being in fabulous NYC and not being able to eat what you want.  We thought it was going to be SO hard but NEITHER of us cheated the entire weekend and we ate out everyday.  It's amazing how your mind makes you think you're missing out on something when you diet but this isn't a normal diet.  We had the yummiest steak at a Cuban place, delicious fish at a mexican restaurant I never felt deprived.  Of course walking course walking the streets smelling pizza and whatnot wasn't my idea of heaven but again, I never felt hungry. 

The key thing to keep in mind if you want to try this is DEDICATION! You HAVE to be dedicated to this. And I know it sounds scary but if you make it through that first week, the rest will be a breeze.  We started with a 30 day challenge. unfortunately fell off the wagon but here's my testimony.  When I was living paleo, I felt GREAT! I had energy, I felt alive (sounds cliche I'm sorry), my mood was very happy, and my skin looked AMAZING, it was glowing.  Since I fell off the wagon, I'm lathargic, sad, and my skin isn't glowing anymore.   Basically you detox your body from all the artificial things they put in your common everyday food items and you start eating fresh.  I highly reccommend everyone to give it a try because I promise you, you'll be amazed with how you feel! Primarily mentally, your mood really does change and you find yourself happy.

This is an awesome website that explains it all and it's the site we used.   There are also amazing books with recipes out there and I'll start posting some of my favorites as well.  Give it a try, you'll thank me :)

Ok, personal note.  Tonight I did 23 minutes of taebo (my knee started locking on me) and then 35 on treadmill, worked up another good sweat, feeling fabulous.

Until next time!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A look at the orange on toothpicks

As promised, pictures.  Sigh this is not fun for me seeing this old picture.

July 2005, I couldn't tell you how much I weighed but it had to have been A LOT! Things to notice:
#1) My eyes are squinty not because I'm Asian but because my face is so fat it's squishing my eyes
#2) Holy chins batman!! My face is so tiny!! Not my head, my face (eyes, nose, mouth). 

July 2005

Now let's skip ahead 2 years shall we?  This was my "success" period where I got down to a size 18 but couldn't tell you my weight.  How great do I look with one chin? Or at least one small double chin
October 2007

Present day, not a size 18 but not as bad as first pic (I need new glasses that don't fall so low!)  Ok I feel a bit better about myself now :)
May 2012, April 2012

So tonight I did a very good thing.  27 minutes of taebo and 25 minutes on the treadmill.  One of my very best friends has been my cheerleader and my workout natzi.  I have the honor of being in her wedding and with this being my third wedding, I'd really like to look awesome for once.  I have to say, she's the most amazing friend a girl could ask for and her faith in my and this hard journey, well there are no words!  Ok, endorphines are making me sappy, I must stop now :)

Tune in tomorrow and I'll start talking about my eating habits as I'm back on paleo tomorrow! If you don't know what that is, you'll be educated tomorrow :)

Love you ninja!

First Blog, here we go!!!

One of my very best friends said that perhaps I should start a blog as means of keeping me motivated and getting thoughts out so they don't overwhelm me, so here I sit, writing my very first post.  FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!
I don't forsee anyone but those closest to me reading this, which I'm ok with as a girl just needs to get her mind clear sometimes and with the journey that I'm on right now, I'm sure there will be A LOT of clearing to do in the future.

The primary "topics" of this will be my journey of self discovery I guess you'd call it.  I should have discovered myself by now at the age of 36 but believe it or not I'm still learning about who Sarah is.  I've spent a good chunk of my life focused on others versus thinking about myself that now I'm FINALLY doing what's best for ME.  I think the most amazing thing that has come from this so far is seeing who my real friends are.  I like knowing the people in my life that are my TRUE friends and love me 110% versus those who only had me as a friend to fit THEIR needs.  Those days are over!

Weight loss, the two most dreaded words in the english language.  Yes, I am on that journey as well.  In a nutshell (and pictures will be provided in the near future), the best way to describe my body is simple.  Picture a nice round orange, now place two toothpicks on the bottom of said orange and VOILA there is Sarah!   Oh you can also add two toothpicks for arms too for the FULL effect.  Also place long black hair and glasses and then you have the real me.  That is my body, I have nice legs, not too shabby arms (can use toning and fat melting), but the middle is where I get super messy! Or as my sister calls if, chubbly wubbly.  So I'll be documenting the journey from being pretty but fluffy to down right sexy. And of course I'm sure I'll end up talking about other things as well, but de-chubbling will be the number one.  I must maintain focus, I'm going to be a bridesmaid in less than 4 months, no more excuses!!

Pictures will come soon!