Tag Archives: Summer

Hydro Flask, Yeti and Ozark Trails

I drink a lot of water, and I should probably drink more now that we’re in the hottest part of Summer in New Orleans. The heat slaps me when I walk outside, so I never go too far without my Hydro Flask. I love it!

Hydro FlaskIt’s pink, it holds 32 oz of water, and it keeps water cold for 24 hours. What’s not to love about it? It doesn’t fit into my car’s cup holder, but the tight lid keeps me from worrying about that. It also fits into the cup holder on the elliptical at my home gym, so I’m a big fan.

I don’t put anything in my Hydro Flask except water. I used it for iced tea once recently, and it just felt wrong. No matter what I’m eating or drinking water is still my go-to, and that’s the only thing you’ll find in this bottle.

Nearly 8 years later I still don’t drink soft drinks. I like sparkling water (plain, unflavored and extra bubbly is my favorite,) but I also drink tea and coffee. I’m obsessed with protein shakes right now too, and I love drinking them on-the-go. Of course, when I learned about the Yeti last year I wanted one, but I didn’t get one until my friend, Ann, gave me a gift last week.

Yeti TumblerI got the Yeti 30 oz Rambler on Thursday, and I love it! Later that day the order I placed for a 30 oz Ozark Trails tumbler arrived. The Yeti, which I bought at Academy, was $39.99. (Thank you, Ann!) And I love it!

The Ozark Trails 30 oz tumbler that I purchased from Walmart was $9.74. They look identical, apart from their logos. I decided to keep them both, so I gave the Ozark Trail to Michael after doing a little side-by-side test. (He wouldn’t use the Yeti anyway.) They both hold ice for hours, and they fit in out car’s cup holders.

They both do the job they claim to do, and I can’t see any reason to spend $40 on the Yeti (unless a friend gives you a gift and demands you to get the Yeti. hehe) I haven’t tried anything hot in my Yeti yet, but I doubt I will while it’s over 100 degrees everyday.

The Yeti Rambler is awesome, and the Ozark Trail tumbler seems to be equally awesome. Neither of them compare to the Hydro Flask though. It’s not even close. My water stays ice cold in the mid-afternoon heat of Summer while it stayed cool in the Yeti, but they’re made for different things.

It’s easier to carry my water bottle to the gym, but it’s easier to keep my protein shake ice cold in the steel tumbler. There’s no way I’d put a shake in my Hydro Flask.

Do you own any of these products? If so, which one is your favorite?

What’s the Weather Like Where You Live?

Can we take a moment to think about how hot it is in Louisiana right now? I know you think it’s hot where you live, and I’m sure it is. Even Colorado, where my sister lives, experienced record highs last week, but it’s sizzling in the Big Easy.

I worked all day Saturday, which is unusual, because I hosted an art gallery at the Y. It was cool inside, but when I left at around 6 pm it was still so hot that as I stood still, talking to a woman outside, I was sweating bullets.

Note that it wasn't even the hottest part of the day!

Note that it wasn’t even the hottest part of the day!

The good news is that I’m getting acclimated to the steamy heat. It bothered me much more during my first summer here in 2013. Now I expect it, and I’m just thankful that I live in an age of air conditioning. I’m also glad the a/c is working in my office again. (Have I mentioned that recently?)

it still makes exercise tricky, but it doesn’t seem to bother me as frequently as it did. (Knock on wood..)

I love crisp, cool days, and since they rarely occur in New Orleans I plan to take a trip to a cooler climate in October with friends.

What’s the weather like where you are right now?


How Often Do You Go to the Movies?

I don’t see many movies in the theater, and I don’t watch many at home either. Sure, I went through a pretty long love affair with the Hallmark Channel, but that seems over for now (at least until Christmas in July.)

Going to the movies is fun, and it’s a great way to avoid the scorching temps that we experience for months on end in New Orleans. I just rarely think to myself, “a movie sounds like a fun idea,) but last week I decided to see a movie on Friday because my friends at Starbucks made it sound so appealing.

They’re retired, and they’re early birds! (I aspire to be like them,)  and as we drank coffee my friend, Cathy, mentioned movies and everyone agreed that morning movies are great because they’re so inexpensive. As I questioned why anyone would go to an early morning movie I began to wonder why I don’t do it. I typically don’t go into the office on Fridays, so it’s a great day to treat myself to a $5 flick. Who knew that morning movies were so much cheaper?! (Okay, my friends at Starbucks knew, and I’m glad!)

I don’t know how many movies I’ll see over the next few weeks, but I plan to add that to my fun list of activities by myself or with friends.

How often do you go to the movies? What does a standard movie showing cost in your neck of the woods?

I’m Worn Out, But…

The last few weeks have felt incredibly busy and productive and slow moving all at the same time.  I made a big decision that I’m at peace with now, but I stressed over what was right for a few weeks first.  I also just took my last Summer exam, which means that I have two weeks to decompress from school before it starts again.  I don’t always whine about needing a break from school, but right now, I’m happy to have one.

I’ve gotten a lot accomplished, but I’m tired.  Last night I could sleep.  I usually snooze only a moment or two after my head hits the pillow, but I knew that I needed to be up at 4:45  am.  I’m not sure why it’s so hard to sleep when I know that I am starting my day early, but my mind just wouldn’t slow down last night.  At least I can say that as a result, I know that I aced my final exam.  I scored a 99% on my midterm for the same class, and I’m guessing that my final exam will be similarly scored.

I haven’t spent much time online, which seems to be a theme in my life these days.  I mean, I still post occasional photos of my iced, nonfat caramel macchiatos from Starbucks on Instagram from time to time, but I seem to consistently lack a need to connect here in the way that I used to. (I’ve been saying that a lot lately…at least when I’m here. Ha)

I’m weighing in at Mom’s house once a week, and it’s so refreshing to see the numbers on the scale inching down.  I’m not in the mood to be judged by the numbers here, but they’re moving in the right direction for the first time in quite some time.  I started tracking my food intake when I left Fitbloggin after visiting with friends who understand my weight issues, and I’m trying to make good choices one day at a time.

It’s funny.  Even at my lowest weight, which was 284 pounds, I was still obese.  I was just less obese than now, and it felt so much better (physically) than this.  I was more confident – not so much due to my size – but rather because I was in control.  I want the feelings of self-control to become second  nature again so I’m working on it.

The last few weeks have been tough, but I feel like I can finally relax again.  I’m worn out, but I’m happy.  I’m also keenly aware and thankful for everything that makes my life awesome.


Spending Too Much Time at Starbucks

Just kidding.

I don’t think it’s possible to spend too much time at Starbucks.  Summer classes started Monday, and I’ve already completed a homework assignment!  Summer moves quickly because the sessions are short, and doing homework and completing other projects is more fun at Starbucks than it is at home because it’s far from isolated.

Kenlie at Starbucks

One of the classes that I’m taking right now required me to do a stress assessment.  I had to answer questions about my sleep patterns and do an inventory of  major life changes that I’ve experienced over the last year (ex. death of a spouse, relocation, change in social activities, etc.) I haven’t experienced many major life changes in the last year, which makes me extraordinarily thankful after the changes I experienced in years prior.

I also had to list 10 stressors, and it was difficult to do that.  I came up with several though – my current weight, relationship/lack of, aggravating people, etc.  Making that list reminded me again how thankful I am for me life, but it also helped me recognize that the things I stress about affect me in a variety of ways.  My weight affects me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

The fact that I’m still obese…still not in control of my weight…makes me feel like a failure, but there’s a solution.  There’s always a solution, right?  For me, it starts by not making excuses.  I’m pretty good about owning up to the fact that I suck when it comes to losing weight.  Kudos to me for not blaming anyone or anything else, but taking responsibility means more than admitting that I”m wrong.

I have to do some cognitive restructuring, which simply means that I need to change the way I think.  (Easier said that done, or is it?)

I’m excited about this class because it seems like it might become one that leads to positive life changes.  I have a few close friends in this class, and they feel the way I feel about it as well.


Happy Birthday To Me! =)

My weekend was full of fun and friends, and I feel more blessed than ever to be living the life I live. Last night about 30 friends came over to celebrate my birthday with me. My little shin dig was catered by Depot Market which is locally owned, and the waitress/bartender/super star was fantastic. I’ll definitely have her back here at Christmas. 🙂 And the executive chef, Dave, did an amazing job with food preparation. Everyone loved it.

There are so many photos, and of course, I’m going to share a few…

These are some of my favorite ladies. 🙂 Just saying.
The food was quite tasty, and the company was wonderful too. My friend, Sue, made friends around the table and kept watch over everything. See the little sliders? There were pulled pork sliders and cheeseburger sliders, and both were 3 WW points each – a fantastic calorie value in my opinion.
My cake was adorable…I loved it. 🙂
Dave makes these chips himself, and they are life changing…seriously. OMG! The fiesta station was incredible.
And the reason I chose Depot Market – the highly anticipated international cheese platter. There are no words to describe how much I loved the pretty cheese! I had a few bites of it, and it definitely tasted as good as it looked.

The sushi came from my neighborhood sushi take-out restaurant, and the owner delivered twice as much as I had requested. He said “Just enjoy it.” I certainly did enjoy it. I’m a big fan of brown rice California rolls.

Sarah and I had such a wonderful weekend together. She’s kind of my hero. Just saying. 😉 She headed back to Boston then she was off to spend the day on the cape (Cape Cod.) I’m looking forward to seeing her again soon.
I made a wish, and I’m confident that it will come true. =)
More friends…I’m so glad that everyone came.
My workout buddy and friend, Carol.
And here’s one more picture of the cake. The top layer was white with butter cream, and the bottom layer was chocolate fudge with homemade cookies infused..It was delicious.

There are so many fun photos, but I had to put up a few of my favorites! 🙂 I posted pictures of those who don’t mind being a part of my blog, but I feel so fortunate to have everyone in my life – even those who prefer not to be on the web. Ha..:)

I think that the upcoming year will be a tremendous one. I’m so lucky to have loving, caring and supportive people around me everyday. And now it’s time to look ahead to all of the good times that are coming. Bring it on 30! I’m ready. =)

More Than Just A Weight Loss

I lost 2.2 pounds this week bringing me to a total loss of over 36 pounds.  I am pleased with the progress I’ve made in the last 16 weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing my progress over the next 16 weeks.  

When you have as much to lose as I do, 36 pounds doesn’t always seem like much.  But I’d like to share a few things that are noticeably different now:
  1. I look in the mirror now without feeling bad because I know it’s only getting better.
  2. I have lost 17 inches, and I will measure again next week. 
  3. My jeans used to hug my body tightly, and now I can pull them off or on without unbuttoning them.  (TMI? If so, sorry. hehe)
  4. People have commented that I have “more pep in my step” which I’ve noticed myself.  I walked a mile up a steep hill from the train station a few weeks ago which I would not have even attempted a few months ago.
  5. I can ride my recumbent bike for over an hour without feeling exhausted though when I started it took all I had to ride for 30 minutes. 
  6. I can buckle the seatbelt in the Jaguar now! (This is a big deal because I had to place the belt behind my back to buckle it last year!)
  7. I don’t get winded as quickly walking up the stairs to my place — even when I’m carrying my gym bag or groceries. 
  8. Walking my dog is a much more pleasurable experience.  We walk farther and longer. 
  9. I don’t mind sweating. For the first time in my life I am enjoying the fun Summer has to offer.  It has been very mild in NY so far, but even on days that it’s hot I’m happy to be sweating.  Big deal…I’ll just take another shower.
  10. When I got home tonight I tried on my winter coats.  I have a few adorable, double-breasted wool coats neither of which would fully close in January.  The bottom button on each coat left a gap (of a few inches or more) whereas now they fit just as they should…no gaps and perfectly wearable.  
  11. I enjoy cooking more.  I’ve learned to make very tasty and very healthy meals. So now, when I have company, I don’t have to serve fried chicken (though it’s very good.)  I have a full range of options from which I can choose. Eating has become a lot more interesting and rewarding.
  12. I have become a human calculator…okay, that’s a stretch, but nothing enters my mouth before I’ve considered its point value, amount of calories, fat, dietary fiber, etc. 
  13. I’m aware of the vitamins I’m taking in…as well as the fact that we should all eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day, keep the sodium to less than 2400 mg per day, etc. 
  14. I feel confidence within myself.  I’ve lost enough to know I can lose what I need to lose, and it feels incredible to believe I can do it
  15. When my boyfriend hugs me he can tell I’ve lost inches because his arms wrap around my further.  I love it when his arms are wrapped around me..aahhhh xoxo
  16. I’ve met some incredible people with whom I have formed friendships that I hope to keep forever. If I want to call a friend to go to a movie, I can.  If I want to go out on a Thursday night, I can.  In fact, it’s a regular thing now. 🙂 
See?  These are just some of the reasons that losing weight has helped me gain so much!  I am so thankful for the support I have from caring and inspiring people.  And I can’t wait to look back, a year from now then two years from now, remembering where I started. 

Happy Birthday To Me!

This is my last year to be in my 20’s! I am officially 29 years old! So next year I’ll be the big 3-0! And I’m pretty excited about it though I plan to make this year even better than the last (which won’t be easy to do.)

I feel so thankful for my family and my friends and my dog (who really counts as family too.) And I’m thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve had that so many never have. I’m also thankful for my incredibly amazing day today.
Wow. I’m giddy! I think I’ll go to sleep in a bit so I can enjoy a beautiful day with friends, lounging by the pool and BBQ-ing. Ahhh, I can’t wait!

Flip Flop Exchange

A few weeks ago, I took part in a flip flop exchange with friends from The Texas Darlings.  And I received mine today – from Nancy in Dallas, TX.  

She sent me an adorable pair of flip flops and also included various post cards and a Dallas Magnet.  Nancy doesn’t know this, but I have roots in Texas too! 🙂  So the blue bonnets, the chili and the city skyline are all familiar to me.  They remind me of my childhood and early adulthood. 🙂 
Aren’t my new flip flops cute?! 🙂  Thanks so much Nancy!  You can learn more about Nancy by checking out her blog here and see how she made out in the exchange. My flip flops are being sent to Kelli so check her blog soon to see how she likes my finds..:) 
Thanks for hosting the exchange Becca!  I’ll definitely take part if you do this again.