Category Archives: Shopping

Blood Work, Parties and Pictures…

My pain level has decreased significantly since my last post, and while I’m not 100% better, I feel well enough to exercise again and do the things I usually do.

My weekend started with friends and colleagues at a work party Friday night when I went to the Sizzling Summer Soiree, our biggest fundraiser of the year. We’ve been looking forward to it for months, and finally being there felt like a huge success.

Michael and MeMy boyfriend, Michael, was my date for the event (obviously,) and we arrived early with a car load of sushi that had been donated for the event. When we arrived he went to work as if he had been a part of the team forever. I love that about him. He’s incredibly intelligent, bright and successful, but when a job needs to be done he gets it done. No job is beneath him because he values everyone, which is such an attractive characteristic.

He already knows the folks I work with because we’re all friends, and they’ve known him since before we were really dating. The cool thing is that he would have worked just as hard or strangers. His parents definitely raised him right. Swoon.

Stacie and KenlieStacie, who has become one of our aforementioned close friends, worked tirelessly to make this event happen. I know others did too, but I saw the work she did first-hand. We definitely all breathed a sigh of relief as we saw the event come together, then she and I took our first selfie. Seriously, we’ve had some great times together, yet we had never taken a picture? We’ve talked about that a few times.  Aren’t we cute?!

After we took our first one we took a few more with our friends and awesome co-workers. (Why not?! We were all feeling snazzy without our ponytails and gym clothes. Haha We were only missing Haley, who looked gorgeous and sparkly from head to toe! )

YMCA Friends

Michael even took one of us that was not a selfie. Who doesn’t love a good group photo?

The Cannery New Orleans

Following the party Saturday and Sunday were the quietest days I’ve had in quite a while. Michael flew out of town for work early that morning and landed as I was waking up for the day (at 7:30 am) while I ran errands around town before returning home. I typically fill my weekends with activities and events,  but I chose to take a much needed rest from all the things.

I did some writing, cooking, reading, baking and shopping. I also watched Hillary and Kaine as she announced him as her VP and  picked up a ring that I had resized. (More on the ring later.)

I had such a quiet and relaxing weekend that I almost felt guilty about it, then I was reminded that sometimes I need that. I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled lifestyle tomorrow, but it felt good to have some rest after the last few weeks. I can’t say that I’ve been busier than usual, but I do have to say that everything feels more tiring and challenging when I don’t feel well.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend. I’m seeing my doctor again on Tuesday, and I hope to have a lot of questions answered pertaining to weight-loss surgery.

Oh, and my blood work came back normal. They tested my A1C (Yay! No diabetes,) thyroid, cholesterol and a long list of other things, and it all looked fine apart from my weight and blood pressure. (Both are higher than they should be, but I’m working on it.) I figured I was probably okay when I didn’t hear back from them immediately, but it’s comforting to know  that I’m alright for the most part anyway.





Wish List 2015

I know that Christmas is over. I also know that it makes more sense to post wish lists before Christmas, but I didn’t make a list this year. I received some really thoughtful gifts, and I loved each happy little surprise. I have everything I need, but as a girl who loves to shop, it’s fun to daydream about these little things that I think are awesome.

– I am in love with this Urban Decay Naked On the Run palette. My mom gave me the original Naked palette for Christmas, and I use it everyday. I lust after this one too every time I’m at Ulta or Sephora. It’s only available “for a limited time.” Who knows how long that is?

Urban Decay Naked on the Run

– And while we’re on the topic of makeup, I want this mini Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette too. It’s inexpensive, and I like the idea of keeping it in my bag with Naked On the Go so I’m always ready..

Urban Decay naked Basics 2

– I’d also love a new pair of Ugg Slippers. I have two pairs now, but one is on its way out. I’ve had that pair since Christmas of 2009, so I’d say I certainly got a lot of wear out of them. The draw to the ones that I want right now, the Ugg Dakota Slipper, is that they have rubber soles that I could wear when I need to walk down to my building’s lobby and stuff.

Ugg Slippers

I can’t decide if I want them in Espresso or Pewter, which is okay since I’m not buying them at this point anyway. (Is it selfish to want all the colors? Ha)  I wanted them for Christmas until I realized that I needed them in a size 10. I usually wear a 9, but whatever. Mom and I agreed that they made my feet look bigger than usual, but I want them anyway.

I’m so thankful that I have everything I need. I just think it would be fun to list things that I’d like to own in 2015. Do you own any of them? Do you love them?


Just A Little Wish List

You may have noticed in previous posts that I’m excited to move into my new apartment.  My move-in date is less than a month away, and I have so much to do to be ready!  I need literally everything for my living room, bedroom and bathroom.

Here’s a preview of the model apartment.  My apartment is new and has all of the same appliance and finishes, and I can’t wait to give it my personal touch.

My kitchen will in pretty good shape.  All I need to complete it is a set of dishes, glasses and knives, but I need everything else for every other room so I’m going to do my best to start finding the right things now.  It seems I’m very particular, but that’s one of the benefits of living alone.  I can decorate everything the way I want to.

It takes time and money and patience to turn a place into a home, but I’m really looking forward to getting started.  I’m sure I’ll depend on places like Ikea, Target, Pier One, World Market and Hobby Lobby to personalize my space in an affordable way.  As you know, my blog allows me to think so I’ve decided to make some lists of what I need and want so I can prioritize.  Let’s start with my most pressing needs:

  • bed and mattress – I found a gray upholstered bed at World Market that I like, and it should match nicely with the Avington furniture that I like at Target.  I’ve owned pieces from that line before, and they’re fantastic.  They’re inexpensive, durable and pretty.
  • TV and stand – I suppose I’ll need a TV to DVR my favorite shows and watch the news.
  • Dining table – I’ll probably get a small table for two since I’ll be living alone.
Obviously, I’ll need a lot of other things as well so I’ve begun compiling a list of things that I need/want like this bed stand from Target.  I’ve owned furniture from this collection before so I already know I like it.  It would be fun to have one on each side of my bed (you know, when I have a bed.)
Or maybe this one:
I’m in love with this queen bed from World Market, and it’s on super sale right now!  If I own it I’ll probably use some kind of inner-spring mattress because I think it might be cuter that way.  I’ll also be a bit more creative with the bedding, but you get the idea.
I like this chair from Target too, and I think it will match the sofa that I like.  I’ve never owned a chair with such bold colors, but I kind of like it so I might try to snag it if it goes on sale again soon.  The chair is really big and sturdy, and it comes in several styles so maybe I’ll do something with less flare.  Maybe not. 😉
I’m really diggin’ this chair too, and it should be easy to match with a sofa. I guess I want a bold look in my living room.  Why not?
How cute is the matching ottoman?


And I just have to say that my life would be better if I owned this beautiful Scrabble game from Restoration Hardware.  It’s ridiculous and totally necessary, but I’ve wanted it for years.  If you know me, you know that I love Scrabble!  This 17-pound board was clearly made for me, and I must own it eventually.  I have other priorities first though, like having a bed and stuff.

What do you think is the most important piece of furniture in your home?  What would you buy first if you had to buy everything?



Pretty Excited About This

If you know me, then you probably know that I like to shop.  And you might also expect that I’m pretty excited about H&M’s new plus-size line.  They don’t carry plus sizes in every store, but unlike Old Navy, you can get it in some stores.

I’ll definitely check to see if my size is available next time I’m at H&M which will probably be on Sunday.  Until then, I’m dreaming about new, confidence-inspiring outfits on their website, and here are a few that I really want to own:

I adore navy and tiny polka dots. This dress was made for me...maybe.

And for $13 bucks? Seriously?

I want these pants, but they'll wrinkle like crazy, right?

They don’t have much inventory yet, but I’m proud of them for trying.  And I’m looking forward to seeing what else they come up with in the coming months while I still benefit from plus sizes.

Have you heard about H&M’s new plus size department?  Have you worn anything yet?  If so, I want details asap!


Fashion Forward

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my body and my weight lately.  And while I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to amp up the loss, I’ve also begun to realize that I like myself.  I no longer see a horrifyingly ugly person when I look in the mirror, and I’m no longer the girl who tries to hide inside her clothes.  I no longer purchase clothes simply because they fit.  I’m changing, and as I change,  my style is evolving.

I’ve always loved dresses.  If you read my blog, you already know that wearing a dress can transform my mood and attitude almost instantly making me feel more confident and all-around awesome.  So it probably won’t surprise you that I’m going to be blogging on Thursdays for my favorite plus-size retailer, Sealed with a Kiss Designs!

Wearing the Victoria Dress from Sealed with a Kiss

Obviously, I’ll still be blogging here on Thursdays too!  I’m just so excited to explore and define my fashion sense as I continue to embrace myself now even though I’m still heavier than I’d like to be. . I can feel pretty, and Sealed with a Kiss opened the doors to their warehouse for me before my Today Show appearance in May to make sure that would happen.  It worked.  I felt like a one-girl revolution in the Victoria Dress, and I’m going to talk about that in depth on Thursday.


I hope you’ll join me in my plus-size fashion exploration!  And I hope you’ll explore Sealed with a Kiss and the Sealed with a Kiss blog.  If you do, I’m quite sure that you’ll love them as much as I do!


Do You Shop at Lane Bryant?

I love Lane Bryant, and I can’t resist them when they offer 40% off of nearly everything in stores and online!  And in addition to 40% off,  you can also earn Real Women dollars which is, of course, awesome!

Over the last year, I’ve scored a few incredible dresses at LB that make me feel feminine, whistful and put together.  And I have a feeling that it’s going to happen again soon. 😉  My eyes are on this maxi dress and this convertible maxi dress.  I also adore this swimsuit that has a built-in under wire and these lace cork wedge heels

Where do you shop?  Do you prefer shopping in-store or online?

Friend Makin’ Mondays: The Grocery Store

Weekends always seem to fly by, and this weekend was no exception. I’ve experienced so many good things lately, but I’m looking forward to the new week. I’m flying out of New York to see my niece and her ‘rents later today so life is good. =)

Now it’s time for Friend Makin’ Mondays! 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 of this post so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. 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: The Grocery Store

1. Do you make a list when you go grocery shopping? Do you stick to it?  I make lists, but I rarely stick to them.  I tend to write lists most when I’m trying new recipes and don’t have all of the ingredients on hand.

2. Do you buy more groceries when you’re hungry?   I’m much more aware of my hunger now so I’ve come a long way in this, but I’m sure I still do it…at least sometimes.

3. Coupons. Use ’em?  I use them for buying clothes and yarn and things like that, but I’m not good about using them for food.  I’d appreciate tips on that from those who do use them because it’s definitely a smart idea.

4. Have you ever complained to the manager of your grocery store?  Yes..It has been a while, but I do respectfully share my complaints when I have them.

5. Do you like to buy groceries at huge chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target? Or do you shop exclusively at food stores?  I shop at food stores, but if there’s a Wal-Mart or Target around, I stock up on things that I can buy there for less.  I tend to buy produce and specialty items at food stores.  I can find PopChips in most stores now, but I can only find PopCorners at Whole Foods.  Whole Foods also has the largest variety of freshly ground peanut butter, almond butter, etc.  while  A&P  has the best freshly ground cashew butter I’ve ever eaten.

6. How much time do you spend reading labels in the grocery store?  I tend to buy the same things over and over.  I read labels on everything that isn’t already familiar.  I use my WW iPhone app a lot at the store.  Thank you Weight Watchers!

7. Do you push your own grocery cart to the car and return it? I shop for one so most of the time I don’t bother with a cart at all.  I should because by the time I get in line I have much more than I should be trying to carry with my hands.  I look ridiculous. 😉

8. What is the one food item you always buy at the grocery store that you must have in the kitchen? Bananas, Fage 2% Greek yogurt, navel oranges, instant oatmeal and several other things. =)

9. Do you enjoy grocery shopping? Sure…it’s necessary so I do it, and sometimes I really enjoy it.

10. How often do you shop for groceries? I shop for groceries every few days.  I never know what I’ll be in the mood for in the evenings.

Now it’s your turn to share your answers! Don’t forget to come back and leave a link in the comments! And have a happy Monday!

So Close…

I spent the evening with Dad tonight. We enjoyed dinner at one of our favorite quick dinner spots, Charlie’s Chicken, before heading to the grocery store. We also went to Old Navy to window shop for coats. I can’t believe it’s almost coat weather, but we experienced a light freeze last night which is a reminder that Winter is on it’s way. And while I don’t own a coat yet, I’m happy to know that if I did own one I could button it again this year!

Knowing that I might not be small enough to wear a coat off the rack at Old Navy, we looked anyway. I like having little goals, and I knew it wouldn’t be too long so I tried a coat on. It was snug, just as I thought it would be, but it won’t be long at all until I can comfortably wear it.

Dad smiled as I tried to button it – again, I just wanted to see how close I was to being able to button it. And to my surprise, it did button! Seriously friends, it’s snug, but it’s so close. I am so close! I honestly can’t express how happy I felt when I realized that I’ll be able to fit into this coat soon. This little moment makes me feel accomplished, and it also makes me look forward to the day it will be too big.

My weight-loss efforts slowed over the summer, but I’m determined to get back into full swing so I went to the gym with Dad today and rocked the elliptical machine for 30 minutes. I burned 348 calories, and that was enough today. I kept my heart rate elevated and felt like a champion when I left. Being on the elliptical made me crave being there again so I’ll do a repeat tomorrow.

This journey is filled with little moments that remind me of how far I’ve come and how far I want to go, and today I experienced more than one of those moments. I’m moving forward, and days like today remind me that I’m worth the effort.

Mind Control

It’s easy to let my emotions get the best of me, but today was much better than yesterday. My situation is the same, but being with my friends has been incredible. And today, I feel happy that I’m back in New York.

I ran into someone today who knows me and my situation very well. He and his wife are two wise and loving people that I greatly admire, and as soon as I saw him tears came streaming down my face. But those tears were not only a product of sadness…they were also tears of comfort. I didn’t have to say anything because he already knew, and after letting me cry he boldly expressed that he knows things will work out. Today, I found a little hope.

My morning started at the crack of dawn (okay, more like 8am, but that’s practically the same, isn’t it? hehe) My friend and I brought her car in to be serviced, but instead of waiting an hour we had to wait all morning and afternoon. And $1,700 later her car was back in working order.

During our hours on foot we ate breakfast, got a manicure/pedicure then tried on clothes and many pairs of boots. Note to self: try on boots before getting a mani/pedi. 🙂 Speaking of boots, I had an incredible experience today. My friend and I both tried on knee-high boots, and they fit! I was able to zip them and walk around feeling like a normal girl. 😉

I didn’t buy the boots (even though they were 70% off.) I don’t want brown boots, but I do want gray boots. I found an amazing pair of those too. I’m sure I’ll own them by fall. 😉

I love wearing heels that I wouldn’t have been able to wear a year ago. Losing weight has been great for so many reasons, but the difference in my body’s balance is easily the most significant physical difference.

If you’ve never been an overweight girl who loves fashion then you may not be able to fully understand why wearing knee-high boots was such a victorious moment, but believe me when I say that it was an incredible feeling. My body is changing, and on days like today it’s undeniable.

I was supposed to be in Las Vegas this weekend with some people that I love very much, but I wasn’t able to be there. I miss them and long to be there, but I can’t do anything to change my situation right now so I intend to have a little fun tomorrow anyway. 😉

Yesterday was hard, and today wasn’t easy. But today was easier than yesterday. There may be some unpleasant days ahead, but I realize that there will be good ones too. I choose to believe that because it’s true and because I know that my attitude greatly affects my daily outcome. And by focusing on the positives – more importantly, not focusing on the negatives, I’m able to control the outcome of my day.

It’s late, I’m ready to sleep and hope to have happy dreams…I hope you all enjoy your weekend! Good night friends…xo

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.