Category Archives: Hobbies

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Bookworms (Revisited)

It’s Monday again, and you know what that means.  It’s time for FMM!  Books have been the topic of FMM before, but I love them.  And my answers will be completely different today than they were the last time around so join me, and let’s talk books…

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Bookworms (Revisited) 

  1. How often do you read for pleasure?  I’m usually always reading something, but I go through phases in which I can’t put a book down.
  2. Are you currently reading a book?  If so, which one?  I just started reading I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella which reminds me that I still need to read Twenties Girl.
  3. Do you subscribe to any magazines and/or newspapers?  If so, which ones?  I don’t really subscribe to magazines anymore, but I almost always pick up a copy of the Weight Watchers magazine.  I also subscribe to the Wall St. Journal online.
  4. Do you prefer reading traditional books or using an e-reader?  The e-reader is more convenient for travel, but there’s something about holding a book in my hands.  I like it.  I also like buying books for a dollar so I still read traditional books from time to time.
  5. How often do you go to the bookstore?  I go to Barnes and Noble pretty regularly.  I can order a Skinny Vanilla Latte then peruse the books for hours.
  6. Do you read at the gym? Nope.  I can’t figure out how to do it!  I think I still bounce around too much at this point to bother with it.  I turn the TV off too and get lost in the music.
  7. Have you ever been a member of a book club?  Yes. Book clubs are awesome.
  8. Do you wear glasses when you read? I should, and sometimes I do.
  9. Has anyone read the Hunger Games?  If so, would you recommend it?  I haven’t read it yet, and I wrote these questions so, um, I’d like to hear what everyone else has to say about it. Thanks for indulging me.
  10. What is your favorite thing about reading?  It’s a relaxing hobby that allows you to explore the world or get lost in a fairy tale.  It also prevents mindless snacking because I can’t chew and read.

Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday!



Friend Makin’ Mondays: What Makes You Awesome?

It’s Monday, and if you read my blog, you know what that means! It’s time for Friend Makin’ Mondays.  And this week, I want to talk about what we love about ourselves.  We all have our own set of strengths and weaknesses that make us unique, and I think it’s time for us to celebrate those things.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers.

Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen.  The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

What makes you awesome? List at least five qualities/hobbies/habits make you cool and unique?
I struggle to come up with answers for questions like these, but I think it’s important for all of us to have answers to this question so I’m going to try.

1) I’m pretty easy going…friendly and even-keeled.  This is a pretty new quality, but I’m glad I possess it right now!

2) I have talents…I sing, play piano a little and knit cool things like yoga mat bags, scarves and snowmen. =)

Cold Cold Heart

3) I’m intelligent.

4) I have style…I dress well and have a knack for picking just the right shade of nail polish and lip color.

5) I don’t give up.

Now it’s your turn.  You can been as whimsy as you want to be, but don’t be afraid to dig deep.  I’m looking forward to seeing your answers so don’t forget to come back and share your link! Happy Monday! 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Five Little Questions

It’s Monday again, and I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I’m excited to be hosting FMM so I hope you’re ready to get involved. If you want to join the fun all you have to do is copy this post to your own blog and share your own answers then take a few minutes to check out FMM posts by other bloggers. You can add your link at the bottom of this post.

Five Little Questions

1) What was the most enjoyable part of your weekend? I spent the day with my NYBFF yesterday which always makes me happy. We attended the Oysterfest on the Long Island Sound in Norwalk, CT. We ate lobster and other tasty treats and watched Wang Chung perform live followed by 10,000 Maniacs. It was so cold that we had to stand up and dance, but that’s what we do so it worked out well. 🙂

I ate lobster and we both ate a little of this blooming onion while my bestie enjoyed stuffed clams.

I cracked the lobster claws like a champ. I think my family would be proud. 🙂

2) List two or three material possessions that you can’t live without: In the last few months I’ve learned that I don’t need a lot of the things I thought I needed to be happy. But I still can’t imagine not having my cell phone and laptop. These things are my connection to the world and the people I love who are far away. They keep me connected. Just saying.

3) Which day are you looking forward to most in the coming week? I love Thursdays because I look forward to weighing in then going out with friends. And now that college football has started I love Saturdays too.

4) Share one of your most embarrassing stories…It happened in January of 2009, a few months before I began my weight-loss journey. I’ve shared it a few times on my blog, but it’s still the most embarrassing moment so I’ll share it again now.

“I suppose the easiest embarrassment I can recall was last January. (I posted about it, briefly, here.) I was just outside of the New York Public Library, it was bitterly cold outside. My friend, Mike, and I were walking down Fifth Avenue, and he said “Kenz, you must be freezing! Button your coat!” But I couldn’t do it. It was so tight that I could not keep the wind out even with a heavy scarf so as tears filled my eyes, I shrugged it off and continued walking down the street.

This coat is way too big now. Just saying.

But Mike pressed the issue again before realizing that tears were welling up in my eyes, and I had to admit that I had no choice because I could not actually button my coat. He began apologizing profusely. I could tell, at least at that moment, that his heart was breaking for me a little. He dropped the subject immediately, and we continued walking.
While I tried to hide my utter embarrassment, I couldn’t imagine feeling worse than I did at that moment. I was with my friend – who could pose as a model in a Brooks Bros. catalog – feeling awful about myself. But it was only a few months later that I began to change. A healthy lifestyle became my lifestyle…”

5) List three of your “must-read” blogs and tell us why we should read them too!

1. Shane’s blog, Losing It For The Family, is one of my current favorites. This guy is enjoying his personal journey to a healthier life. Happiness is oozing out of him even on days that aren’t easy. You should definitely follow him if you’re not.

2. Jen’s blog, Tatertots and Jello, is full of beautiful crafty projects. And she breaks them down step-by-step so we can be crafty too. 🙂

3. Sara’s blog, Bombshell Beauty, speaks for itself. She’s beautiful and stylish, and she writes one of the first blogs I ever read regularly.

If you want to see a whole list of fantastic blogs, just check out the sidebar on my blog. If you see a blog there then it’s worth reading. 🙂

Now it’s your turn to get involved and answers these questions. You can answer them here or in your own post. Just be sure to share a link so everyone can see it. Have a good week friends!

Note: When adding your blog’s url, please be sure to include a direct link to your FMM post so you can receive comments from new and old blogging friends as well!

In A Better Place

You know, I’m so lucky to have support from so many. So many of you stay poised and ready to encourage me precisely when I need it. Thank you so much! When I started my blog I had no idea that it would become such an uplifting experience. I’m seriously in awe..And today, the sun is shining, flowers are in bloom…and I’m thankful that those few less than perfect days are history.

I wrote the prior post late Sunday night, and I’m happy to say that Monday was an extraordinarily healthy day for me. I ate exceptionally well and exercised. And I’ve done the same so far today. I’m back in the groove. And it seems like, once again, the one day at a time approach is working. I’ll continue to do my best throughout the day and worry about tacking tomorrow, you know, tomorrow. 😉 I’m still prepared to face the consequences when I step on the scale Wednesday. But I know that if I continue down this path success will find me again soon.

Now I want to talk about my new favorite thing. If you know me, you know I love to read. I read ‘chick lit’ regularly (i.e. Sophie Kinsella, Nicholas Sparks, Jennifer Weiner, Jen Lancaster, etc.) I also enjoy historical books and autobiographies of public officials, and I’m determined to revisit some of the classics – the first being “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton.

I travel fairly often which means I carry a book or two which can get pretty heavy when I’m reading a book by Stephenie Meyer. During my last two trips I considered whether or not I should buy an e-reader, but I brushed it off thinking that there’s just something I love about flipping the pages of a book. And while that’s true, I’ve decided to an e-reader.

Friday, while I was at Barnes & Noble, I purchased a Nook. I had looked at the iPad, but it’s way too big. (I already have a nice Macbook and an iPhone.) I wanted something small and readable inside and outside as well so after spending an hour or so with the Nook, I bought it. I was frustrated with it at first, but since I’ve learned how to use it I love it.

I’ve created a small list of reasons for liking the Nook:

  • It’s small/light enough that I can hold it with one hand
  • It’s easy on my eyes
  • It seems to hold it’s charge for a few days
  • It has wi-fi so I can easily download books, check weather reports and/or read my personalized subscription to the Wall St. Journal
  • The cute little case I bought with it keeps it covered and looking pretty with a picture of my dog on the front
  • It costs roughly a third of the 3G iPad
  • It has built-in speakers and a headphone port so I can listen to music or audiobooks
  • It’s really cute
  • Books are available for less $$ than I had imagined, and there are plenty of free books available online
  • I can add my own .pdf files

The interface took a little time to get used to because I’ve grown accustomed to a full touch screen, but it’s pretty easy to navigate. And I also wish it had a back light so I could read in the dark. Instead, I use my cute, little book light. But it is definitely light enough to carry in my bag everyday, and I’m looking forward to taking it on my next trip in June.

I’ll still read regular books, but this is certainly another piece of technology that I’m excited to own. Do you use an e-reader? If so, which one? And what do you think of it?


One more thing…after reading my blog dailies, I learned that is selling Sperry Top-Siders for up to 65% off today. I just ordered two pairs. Thanks for sharing this awesome sale info Kimberly. I bought this pair at Nordstrom in March, and I think they’re fantastic! How much cooler would it be to buy them for almost 50% off today? I love Sperry! They’re comfortable and classic – you can’t go wrong.

Renewed Hobby

One of my favorite hobbies has always been singing. And last night, as a spent a glorious evening with friends, I realized that I’ve missed it. And because I’m a big nerd, I’ve decided to share a little “Kenz Karaoke” with you.

Keep in mind that 1) I’m not a professional and 2) I recorded this in my bedroom with a $15 dollar microphone so be nice. 😉

This is a remake of an amazing song, “Cold Cold Heart” that was originally recorded by Hank Williams.

Last night while singing with friends, I was asked to seriously consider joining a choir. And I learned that I’ve been living next door to a velvety male voice so I think I have a new duet buddy. Maybe this will lead to the revitalization of my old beloved hobby…

Friend Makin’ Mondays

I’m back in New York after an extraordinary vacation in Aruba. We arrived a few minutes ago, and while I had a fantastic time, I’m happy to be back home after a long day of travel.

This week on FMM, the topic is Spring. After spending the last several days laying on the beach and swimming in the ocean, I’m ready for Summer. But I’ve been looking forward to Spring for weeks so I’ll enjoy it first. 🙂

1. Favorite things about Spring:

I love sunshine, obviously. And I’m looking forward to riding my bicycle and exercising outside again. Having friends over to BBQ is one of my favorite Spring/Summer activities too. I just love so much about Spring.

2. What I’m doing for Spring Break:

Well, now that I’m a working professional I don’t really have a tradition Spring Break, but I did just get home from a spectacular vacation so my ‘Spring Break’ trip was in Aruba. We have decided to go back in October for a fall trip then we’ll do the same next year. I enjoyed it last year, but this year I fell in love with the island.

3. Favorite Spring flower:

Tulips are definitely my favorite. 🙂

4. Do you have a garden?

I planted flowers on my balcony last year. I don’t exactly have a yard for a garden, but I’ll plant a few herbs again this year…and probably begonias too. 🙂

(See? I even had soil in my hands when I planted it..this pic has gardener written all over it. Does it not? hehe)

5. If so, what do you grow.

Begonias? 🙂 Close enough, right?

6. Do you do Spring cleaning?

Not really…we have an awesome cleaning lady (who came yesterday while we were gone.) It’s so nice to come back to a spotless place. 🙂 I do ‘spring cleaning’ throughout the year as needed. I could do a little in the next month or so. Maybe that will count?

7. What is your weather *really* like right now? {Just b/c it’s “officially” spring, doesn’t mean that it feels like it for some of you}

Apparently, it was 75 and sunny here yesterday. I didn’t experience it because it was 90, breezy and sunny where I was. 😉 Can you tell I wish I was still in Aruba? 😉 It’s supposed to rain a little over the next couple of days, but our temps should be around 60 which is a big change from the last few months. I’ll take it!

8. Snapped any weather related photos lately? Share one with us!

(The weather was beautiful!)

9. What’s your favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon?

Ride my bicycle, shop (’s always a good time for that.) I also like taking Sadie to the doggy park to play, going for walks with friends, sitting outside to eat lunch or dinner, exploring my city and taking pictures, drinking smoothies…

10. Favorite TV show right now?
White Collar. I can’t wait for season 2! 🙂

If you’d like to join the fun, go to Amber’s blog to share your FMM link!

Travel Fever

This time next week, I will be on a plane headed to Las Vegas. And I am really looking forward to it! And next month, we are off to Aurba to spend several glorious days in the sun and sand. And I could not be more excited about it. I’m thrilled because we were in Aruba in March of last year, and it was beautiful. But my foot was broken and my body was over 75 pounds more than it is now so it was hard to walk the beautiful grounds and impossible to walk in the sand.

Last Summer, when I had lost 27 pounds, it was soooo much easier to walk in the sand than it had been in the Bahamas the year prior. Seriously, after losing 27 pounds, walking in the sand was doable. And I’m really excited about Aruba this year because I’ve lost enough to see a huge difference in my ability to walk on the sand. And I cannot wait to feel the difference in my body as I splash around in the ocean and walk on the sand.
Today, I was looking at a friend’s before and after photos. She has lost 185 pounds and kept it off for several years, and she looks amazing. On one of her photos, she mentioned that she felt so thin in a picture in which she was still substantially overweight. And I understand how she felt then. Obviously, to the world I’m not skinny yet – far from it, in fact. But inside my own head and my own body I feel lighter, more flexible and incredibly more agile. I say this a lot, and it’s true – you do not have to reach your goal to start feeling like a new person! 🙂
I should lose 12 to 15 pounds more before we go to Aruba. And it will be so much fun to lay in the sun again knowing that I have changed on the inside. And knowing that my outside is starting to change too! And that if I keep living the lifestyle that I’m enjoying now, I’ll feel even better on next year’s tropical vacation. =)

I am proud of myself for not hiding while I’m overweight. I’m proud of myself for laying on the beach or playing in the pool even when my weight left me feeling so self-conscious that I had to laugh so I wouldn’t cry. But I am most proud of the fact that I have changed on the inside. And those changes have started to show on the outside. It’s a long road folks, but I wouldn’t miss this journey for anything!

Vacation…here I come!

The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You

They played until the last second of the game even when it seemed like it was over. What a great lesson to learn from them.

Now it’s time to regroup before playing Alabama in the BCS Championship. Alabama looked amazing on the field today against Florida so Texas must get prepared. I have no doubt that they will. Until then…
Hook’em Horns!

Countdown To Christmas Calendar

It has been an extremely busy week, but I am happy to say that I lost 3.8 pounds this week! And even though this week has been loaded with fun, I’m looking forward to relaxing by the fireplace tomorrow as my boyfriend and I along with his family decorate our Christmas tree.

And to get into the mood, I’ve started decorating…and my favorite new decoration this year the homemade ‘Countdown to Christmas’ calendar I made this week. I came up with the idea of making a unique calendar after seeing other calendars made by my friends, Jen and Amber.
I was telling my friend, who owns a spectacular chocolate covered pretzel business called Heavenly Pretzels that I wanted to make a special calendar. And she suggested a chocolate covered pretzels calendar. Check out the website I just finished for her. Seriously friends…I cannot express how great these pretzels taste ( and they are only a couple of points each.) So, of course, I fell totally in love with the idea and I finished it tonight. She filled each box with hand-dipped pretzels for me, and we were both thrilled with the outcome.
Obviously, I have to post several pictures of it so here they are:
Kenz’s First ‘Countdown to Christmas’ Calendar
(See? There’s a little piece of heaven in every box.)

(A close-up of the top)
(Close-up of an open box)

(And it’s not quite complete.)

Tomorrow I plan to make a big bow for it before hanging it in my den. I also plan to add a decorative pouch that will hang from the bottom so my boyfriend, my dad and I can enjoy these tasty treats on Christmas day. I’m enjoying the holidays so much already, and I think it is just going to get better! Have I ever mentioned how thankful I am for my life? 🙂

Do you have an advent calendar? Are you into full Christmas mode too?

My New Set of Wheels

After months of wishing I could do it, I rode my very own bicycle last week.  After shopping for a bike that would be cute, sturdy and comfortable I chose the Raleigh Venture 4.0, and I LOVE it.  

I was worried, several months ago, that I would literally crush the frame of the bike with my weight, but I walked into the store (over 50 pounds lighter) and learned that my future bike would not have trouble supporting my weight.  
While I’m not a pro yet, I can honestly tell you that it was so much fun to feel the wind in my hair. I feel so free…so liberated when I’m on my bike. I’m thankful to live in a bicycle-friendly city, and I can’t wait until I’m a confident rider who has no trouble zig zagging around other cyclists and obstacles.  Until then, I’ll just be happy that I’m trying — and doing well enough to want to do more. 
This is an activity that I would not have attempted six months ago.  And it is such an incredible feeling to know that I’m improving my body and my mind.  And I’m not letting my weight keep me from living the life I want to live. 

I’ve learned a lot in the last six months.  And one of the most important things I’ve learned is that I do not have to wait until I reach my goal to start enjoying the benefits of my efforts.  I do things now that I would not have done before, and I know it’s only going to get better. 

I walk faster.  I exercise with purpose.  I buy clothes are stores that I couldn’t shop in when I started.  I choose the stairs instead of the elevator.  And I ride my bicycle. 
Eating well and exercising is not always easy, but it is so worth it.