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Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer - And The Livin' is Easy

It's the hot, humid end of summer I'm talking about! Only three weeks until school starts again, and my son will be off to the tech center half-days to learn more about computer programming. His passion. Got it from his Dad, definitely not me - see here.

My sister-in-law Linda brought us some tomatoes from her garden. She lives in the country but no animals bother her crop. We live in town and we quit planting - the squirrels were the winners :)



Meanwhile, I joined a really fun Sew Sampler monthly quilt group at Fat Quarter Shop. Each month I get a box filled with goodies - everything from fabric to quilt patterns to things every quilter needs -



I've made three blocks, with nine more to go. The colors are different from anything I've ever done but it's kind of fun to mix things up a bit.



Well, enjoy the rest of your summer and stay cool!

Mary 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Learning Curve

UPDATE: After many trials and failures, I've finally got my blog banner to look pretty good - not perfect, but a working header!

I've been blogging off and on for three or four years, and there are still so many things I can't figure out.

Like the blog header above. The picture on the far right is cut off. So frustrating!

I started editing in Picmonkey - couldn't get it to save anything I worked on. Finally gave up and moved to something called Foto Flex. That's where I ended up with this banner.

Last week it was my camera. I couldn't figure out how to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer. Had to wait for hubby to find time to help me do that.

(Source:  http://www.tomsguide.com/us/nikon-d3300-user-guide,review-2183.html)

And speaking of the camera - it's a nice camera, a Nikon D3300 (mine's black), but I can't use all the upgrade features. The kind man at the camera shop said to come in first thing one morning and he'd start teaching me about aperture, lighting ... things like that.

I still haven't gotten there. So hubby and I tried an online class through Craftsy. So far over my head!

And so it goes. This week I will try to edit the pictures we transferred. So what's it going to be: Picmonkey? iPiccy? Foto Flex?

Does this technological world ever overwhelm you? Or is it just me?

Mary 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer - And the Living is Easy

Hope you had a great July 4th weekend! We did a little shopping and a little cooking out. Lots of rain again in this part of Virginia - I'm beginning to feel like we live in England with all this rain and very green grass.

I wanted to show you a few vignettes I've created for summer. I love the textures and colors atop my inherited what-not shelf (it belonged to my mom). A clock in every room is a total necessity for me since I quit wearing a watch. Who needs a watch when they have a cell phone, right? But when you're in one room and the cell phone is in another - you need a clock! My daughter's baby picture brings back such happy memories, what a precious little girl who was the answer to years of prayer. We adopted her (and her brother) from Romania in 1997. The blue vase with pink and white daisies is another thing that makes me happy. 



This summer I kept my mantel very simple - this is the little vignette on the far right. I'm beginning to see a theme in colors as I post these pictures  Blue and pink are two colors that make me very happy, apparently ;)


Oh my goodness, this picture below - more blue and pink! I hadn't even realized I was doing this in my house, but now that I realize how I'm really crushing on these colors, I think I'll go with it in other areas!
 

The above are a few mugs I've been collecting at Home Goods, and have I mentioned (about a hundred times) that Home Goods is my all-time favorite store?! It is. The white vase with pink flowers on the mantel (in pic above) is from Home Goods too. There's lots more in my home from that store (I visit weekly lol), so I'll have to do a Home Good post soon. 

If you're interested in shopping there (the greatest items at fantastic prices), here's an inside tip: the truck delivers new merchandise for the week on Sunday. The merchandise is on the shelves by Monday afternoon. So, pencil Home Goods in on your Monday dance card, it's the day to shop!


Hugs  ~ Mary



I'd love to hear what you think about this post - leave a comment and I'll respond!


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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

It All Started at Five Guys


Five Guys Burgers and Fries that is. Sunday our daughter was home for a visit so we spent the day running around. First stop was for lunch. The weather was perfect so we ate outside.



After eating, we headed out of town to a pool that doesn't require membership, is never crowded, and if the loud train tooting as it passes nearby doesn't bother you, it's a great place! Hubby and daughter swam while I sat in the shade and read.



Next stop, Sweet Frog, a local frozen yogurt shop that's so cute. With loads of choices for toppings, everyone is sure to be happy. Sweet Frog has about 14 locations in the central Virginia area. We're lucky there are many near our house.



Think they'll run out of sprinkles anytime soon :)



Last stop, Patient First, one of those "open late 365 days a year, no appointment needed" doctor offices. Daughter developed an ear ache after swimming ... the doc found she already had a bad infection in her right ear, so we got antibiotics for that and headed home.

building


Meanwhile I visited a blog that gave photography prompts, so I was trying to tick several off the list as we went about our day.

Entrance - this is the back door to Sweet Frog - love the colorful look of their stores.



Window - this is also at Sweet Frog. My daughter took this picture for me as she was sitting in a better spot to get this.



Hope you enjoyed going along on our little Sunday adventure.

 I'd love to hear what you think about this post - leave a comment and I'll respond!

 ~ Mary

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How I Lost 25 Pounds

Somehow the weight crept on over the years as I continued:

. Stress eating
. Boredom eating
. Junk food addiction eating

And I, who weighed 120 at our wedding 24 years ago, was up to 185. I didn't like it, but things in my life were such that I had neither the energy nor motivation to do anything about it. Talk about frustration. For someone who (in her former life) loved to dress smartly and look sharp in her clothes  ... shopping in the women's department was a real downer.



So how did you finally get motivated, you ask? I'm glad to tell you.

It started when my 5'2" friend Jenny*, weighing 220, went in for medical tests. The scans revealed the possibility of a heart problem. Further tests gave the "all clear," but the doctor looked at Jenny and said, "There's nothing wrong with your heart. You're just fat!"

Ouch! But Jenny walked out of his office that day saying, "No man will tell me again that I'm fat!"

Using the doc's 1200 calorie diet, Jenny, dedicated to her plan, lost 80 pounds over a nine-month period. She looks fabulous.

I was inspired and jumped on the bandwagon. I didn't have a copy of her 1200 calorie diet but instead made up my own diet.

My first dieting meal plan:

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Breakfast: oatmeal with a dash of salt and milk.
Water, water, water throughout the morning

Lunch: can of tuna (in water) drained with 1 tsp mayo with glass of water
Water, water, water throughout the afternoon

Dinner: Salad including cheese and meat, low-fat dressing. Water

Within three weeks I lost 11 pounds! But I began to feel ... well, not so good. Rather sick, actually. I went online to determine my calorie consumpation daily; it was only 600 calories daily. A starvation diet. Bad!

DO NOT DO THE ABOVE!

I stopped dieting but found that smaller portions now satisfied me. I returned to my daily large McDonald's sweet tea and M&Ms. I didn't lose more weight but didn't gain any either.

 Sweet Tea

A few months later I decided to try again, this time the goal was to lose 9 pounds, which would make a total of 20 lost.

My modified meal plan:

Breakfast: oatmeal with a dash of salt, milk, fruit
Large McDonald's sweet tea to sip on throughout the day 

Lunch: Can of tuna (in water, drained) with 1 tsp mayo and 1 Tbsp pickle juice, bagel with cream cheese, fruit, water
Some water throughout the afternoon

Dinner: Meat and veggie, but by now small portions satisfied me. M&Ms in the evening.

Within a few weeks I'd lost the 9 pounds, putting me at 165. My clothes were getting looser. I looked up the ideal weight for a 60-year-old, 5'7" woman: 140 pounds.

You can determine your healthy weight here: Ideal Weight Calculator

I knew I'd have to do this in increments, so my next goal was to lose 5 pounds.

Good-by sweet tea. Good-by M&Ms. And the 5 pounds left quickly.

Finally I was ready for a smaller dress size.

I'd like to lose another 20 pounds, down to my ideal 140 pound weight, but for now I'm in my "maintain phase." I look forward to getting on the bandwagon again, aiming for 10 pounds the next time.

(loose slacks!)


This is not a traditional diet plan, but it did work for me. Maybe you're the type who would print a 1200 calorie diet from an online site and lose weight the traditional way. Definitely check with your doctor first.

For now, I'm happy. My doctor's happy. My hubby's happy. And I'm especially thankful that I no longer worry about developing diabetes due to a constant sugar overload. And hopefully a reduction in chances of heart disease, which runs in both sides of my family.

I'd love to hear what you think about this post - leave a comment and I'll respond!

Mary

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Spring Beauty

Pink Dogwood



White Dogwood, Virginia state flower



Redbud



 Rose (in rain)



Tulip 










These were taken by my husband who is a better photographer than I.

He's taken classes. He has an edge on me with that.

Some were taken in our springtime yard; others at a nearby park.

Hope they brought you loads of joy.

I love to hear from you, let me know what you think of this post!

Mary  



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