Friday, April 24, 2015

Sharing Some Gratitude Part Eleven

There's so much to be grateful for this month!

--I'm grateful for my Uncle Rick.  We've had a very close relationship my entire life, and I love him so much.  He's kind and generous and awesome (even though he's a Rams fan). Right now he's battling cancer and starts chemo treatments today.  Any prayers and good thoughts would be appreciated.

--I'm grateful for my dentist.  There is a lot of trouble going on with my teeth, and he has been working diligently to treat them all.  On Monday he decided that one of my molars needs to come out and be replaced with an implant.  Dr. W was so upset about it, I felt like I couldn't be upset.  It's rare to find a medical professional that cares that much.

--I'm grateful to find out that there's a timer on my IPhone camera. Why didn't my kids tell me?  I suspect they don't want me taking more selfies. Anyway.....this will make my life so much easier.  Well, once I get the hang of it.  On the left is my "happy to learn this information" picture, and on the right is me the next day trying to take a full length picture using the timer.  Clearly there will be some trial and error. 

--I'm grateful that it's baseball season.  Nah, not really.  But I am grateful on behalf of all of my friends and family who love it - you know who you are. I've promised my son that I'll go to a few Mariner's games with him, so maybe there's hope for me yet!

--I'm grateful that our local frozen yogurt shop has started serving this! Dole Whip is one of my very favorite treats at Disney.  And yes, this frozen yogurt tastes just the same. It's so good (hmm...and only 80 calories)!

I hope you find what you're grateful for this month.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dad and Me and Diabetes

This is my dad.  He just turned 71 and last month he was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. He's not alone.  29 million Americans have diabetes, and an estimated 73 million have pre-diabetes.  Very scary numbers.

For those who know my father, it won't come as a surprise that he's not the least bit concerned.  Somehow, he's lived his entire life one step ahead of disaster.  No matter what he does, he always manages to land on his feet.  He's not going to change a darn thing, and whatever happens, happens.  Sigh.

I, on the other hand, am very concerned - not just for him, but for myself as well.  When I was pregnant with my younger son, I was just on the cusp of having gestational diabetes. Changes to my diet kept me from full blown GD, but my doctor informed me that I have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life.  With my dad's diagnosis I now add a genetic component.

So I've been doing what I always do when I'm worried about something - lots and lots of research.  I want to share what I've discovered because the information is massive and overwhelming.  If you or someone you know is concerned about diabetes, I hope you'll find this helpful.  The greatest news is that prevention is proven and possible - if you keep your weight down, exercise, don't smoke, and limit alcohol intake. For me, that's done, done, done and done - and fairly obvious.

The most interesting information I've learned has been about the food that goes into our mouths.  When I think of diabetes, the words that come to mind are "no sugar".  But there's so much more to it than that.  The key for diabetics and those who want to prevent the disease is to eat high fiber, slow release carbs that digest slowly.  This keeps the body from producing too much insulin, and allows any sugars to be absorbed more slowly into the blood stream.

Which honestly reads like a lot of what? to me.  I know that I need to limit my intake of white rice, soda, sweets, fats, red meat, and processed snacks.  But what exactly should I eat if I want to slow or prevent a future with diabetes?  It boils down to this:

Five small meals throughout the day rather than three big ones, and they should include the following:

  • Lean protein like chicken, fish, beans and lentils, and greek yogurt.
  • Grains in the least processed state possible.  Think whole grains, barley, steel cut oats.
  • Greens like asparagus, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, kale and collard greens.
What about snacks?
  • Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
  • Whole fresh fruit.  Apples, peaches and cantaloupe are fine.  Juice is not, since squeezing the fruit releases more sugars.
  • Peanut butter (it's very high in fiber) with whole wheat crackers or low fat cheese.
  • Hummus with veggies.
And perhaps most importantly, especially to me - can I have dessert?
  • It's best to eat sweets with a meal, rather than by themselves.
  • Berries are considered nature's candy, and they're good for you too - blueberries, blackberries, raspberries.
  • A little bit of dark chocolate (yes!!!).
  • Frozen bananas blended in a food processor are a great alternative to ice cream.

I brought all of this info to my dad, and he answered as I expected:  "I'll get back to you on that".

I plan to keep working on him, and in the meantime, incorporate more of these foods into my diet.  I really don't want to join those 100 million Americans. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring Style Me Week Two

Linking up today with my Style Me Blogger friends to share what we've been wearing this week during the Spring Style Me Challenge.  I'm not sure why, but I have been enjoying this style challenge more than any of the others.  I didn't have to purchase very many items from the shopping list, and it's been fun to "shop my closet" and put my own spin on things.

I've definitely grown and expanded my horizons over the last year. Even though I studied fashion in college, I haven't always done the best job of translating current trends into my everyday wardrobe.   When I participated in the first few challenges, there were several pieces that I was very dubious about wearing. When Alison sent out the list this time, nothing scared me!

The only thing I chose not to buy were the camo pants.  I live in a house of men who enjoy hunting, so there's already enough camo gear around here.

Without further ado, here's what I've been wearing the past week.

Everything is old from my closet, with the exception of the tulip blouse (from a recent Stitch Fix) and the olive pants from Loft.  

Be sure to check out the other Style Me Bloggers for more inspiration, and link up with us below!

Shoes to Shiraz | R Squared | Two Teens and Their Mama |
Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy | A Lovely Little Wardrobe |
Mishaps and Mayhem of Solitary Life | Puppies and Pretties | Daily Style Finds |
Making the Most of Everyday | She Thought She Could | Foxy's Domestic Side |
Quilty Joy Joy | Curls and Cardigans | Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After |
My Running Stitches | From Plaid to Pearls | Stashed Blog | X-tremely V |
 A Little Bit of Cheer | Nick and Nik

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Old School Blogging - 12 Questions

Today I'm linking up with Miss Elaine-ous Life for some Old School Blogging. This month the questions are HARD, but very interesting.

1. Are you young at heart or an old soul?
I try to be young at heart as often as possible because I think it's much more fun to go through life that way.  My boys probably wish I would be young at heart a little less often though since I tend to embarrass them frequently.  My husband is definitely an old soul, but maybe that's why we get along so well.

2. Tell me about a movie/book that has changed your life.
The Shawshank Redemption.  I argued with my husband about seeing this movie for the first time, because I'm not a huge fan of Stephen King.  But afterwards I cried and cried.  It's such a beautiful story about hope and forgiving yourself, which is something that I work on constantly.

3. Would you like to reconnect with any friends you've lost contact with?
There are a few people from my elementary years in North Carolina that I think about now and again.  I live thirty minutes from the town where I went to high school, so it's pretty easy to find someone if I want.  I'm not even on Facebook, so I guess the answer is no?

4. Where was your favorite place to go when you were a little kid?
Grandma Matthews' house in Concord, California.  I can still remember everything about it - the smell, the graham cracker cookies she kept in the refrigerator, the big backyard.  When we had to move her out a few years ago, it was one of the saddest days of my life.

5. Do you enjoy being with only one or two friends, or with a large group of people?
I do much better one on one since I tend to get intimidated in a large group and keep to myself.  Which sort of defeats the whole purpose.

6. What's your "quirkiest" habit?
Oh my goodness, there are many because I'm so OCD!  I type words out in my head (very strange, I know), I can't go to bed at night unless the kitchen is clean, I make my husband wake me up to say goodbye in the morning, even when he's leaving at 4:30am.  I could go on, but you might think I'm too weird and stop reading my blog!

7. What part of the past year sticks out in your mind?
How much my older son has matured and grown.  I hardly even recognize him these days. Oh, and our trip to Disney World because there's nothing I love more than being on vacation with my guys.

8. What do you use more often: your intuition or logical reasoning?  
At this point in my life, I'm not using either one very well.  Anxiety kind of takes over instead.  Normally, I should use my intuition more, because it's usually right.  I can reason something out ad nauseum if you let me.

9. Where is your favorite place to go out and eat?
Veraci Pizza in Seattle.  They make an "Earth Pie" with olive oil, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and feta cheese.  I think I could eat it every single day. And I wish I had one right now.

10. What was the last song that was stuck in your head?
Something Latin from Zumba class.  I don't know what it's called and I know I have the words wrong, but I've been singing "my pookaloo, pookaloo, my pookaloo" all day.

11. What is your ethnic heritage?
A little bit of everything - German, English, Irish.  No Scandinavian, although everyone assumes due to my last name and because I'm blond (well, sorta, as long as I keep visiting my colorist).  I just say I'm Norwegian by marriage.

12. Give me the story of your life in six words.
The best is yet to come.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Motivation III

My goal this week is to stay positive and hopeful, no matter what life throws at me!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday Favorites On Saturday

Today I thought I'd link up with Friday Favorites, even though it's Saturday.  Oh well, better late than never!

I always pull out this plaid tote in April.  It's roomy and structured and the colors make me happy.  I bought it years ago at a consignment store, but this Tory Burch bag is similar.  And if you win the Style Me Bloggers Nordstrom Gift Card giveaway, you could do a little spring handbag shopping.

Have you tried the chocolate chip cookies from Costco's bakery?  While I normally prefer homemade cookies, these are so delicious!

I had some Old Navy Super Cash to spend, so I stopped in this week.  They recently remodeled our local store, and it was bursting with pretty spring pieces. This eyelet tshirt will be so versatile this summer with different colored camis underneath.  And I had to get a scarf to add to my collection!

I had been searching for some Argan Oil that wasn't too expensive.  The reviews on this Avon brand were good and it was only $12.00.  I've been using it for two weeks and it's AMAZING.  My hair is very thick and wavy, and this leave in oil tames the frizz and leaves my hair feeling soft - plus it smells great.

I finally got tired of digging through my tangled necklaces, and bought this jewelry holder at Target.  I'm so happy with it - there's room for everything except my statement necklaces, and it's pretty enough to display on my dresser.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Wishes And A Nordstrom Giveaway

Happy Friday!  Today the Style Me Bloggers are linking up for the last topic in this series - my top three looks you should try this spring.  To celebrate, we're having a giveaway!  Be sure to read to the end and enter to win a $130 gift card to Nordstrom.

I have to admit, this subject was a little difficult for me.  As I mentioned yesterday, spring weather in Seattle can be unpredictable.  But one thing is for sure - it will be chilly.  Most years we don't warm up to the 70's until well into June.  Which makes wearing spring clothes a bit of a challenge, especially for me, since I'm always cold anyway.

So instead, I thought I'd share two things I wish I was wearing right now, and then finish off with what spring fashion actually looks like for me.

I really wish I had on a pretty spring dress right now.  I love the ease and comfort of a simple, feminine dress.  My friend Carrie at A Lovely Little Wardrobe wears dresses so well, so I've stolen a picture from her blog.  Hope you don't mind, Carrie!

I just love this look.  A colorful cotton dress, a few accessories and a pair of sandals.  


Which brings me to the next thing I wish I was wearing: sandals.  This season there are so many options, from wedges to gladiators to flats.  

Halogen Wedge Espadrille
Sam Edelman Gigi Sandal
Vince Camuto Mitzy Sandal

Sadly, there will be no sandals or dresses for me for a few more months.  This is my interpretation of a Seattle "spring" outfit - rain boots and a trench coat.  But at least it's colorful!

Now on to the giveaway - just in time for spring shopping.  Good luck!

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