My New Happy

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Weekend Vibes: Baking and Flying

Here's how I usually operate:  Happy to stay in my comfy home, don't want to try anything new because SCARY and what if I hate it?  I get over myself and do it, fall in love with the thing and the trying, and wonder why I don't just accept all the new things, all the time.  Anyone else with me?

Last weekend was a double header of newness, that started with baking.

Apparently, you're either a chef or a baker.  I'm neither, which makes it especially fortuitous that I married a man who can whip up a gourmet meal in five minutes.  He'd like to learn more about baking, since his grandfather was a baker in Norway, but didn't get a chance to pass on any of his tips and tricks to George.  I was just along for the ride, hoping there would be lots of sampling of baked goods.

King Arthur Flour just moved to our area, and they offer evening baking classes as well as multi day, intensive lessons.  I thought it would be a fun birthday gift for my hubby, and I chose "Hand Pies", even though I had no idea what they were.  But it sounded like there would be eating involved.

The instructor was amazing.  She'd been up baking since 4am, but was enthusiastic about her craft and walked us through everything step by step, with a sense of humor.  I would have been asleep in my pie dough.

Fillings prepped and ready to go.  I was even allowed to help with this part.
Pie dough made, rolled out and cut.  I did NOT get to help with the dough, but honestly, I was okay with that.  BTW, that's a French Rolling Pin and it's the bomb.
Now we wait...and take selfies, of course.
And voila...Hand Pies!!

So much fun, and so delicious.  I would definitely recommend this for a date night, even if you've never baked a thing in your life.  Next up, croissants!

On Saturday, it was time for my birthday gift, courtesy of my older son.  A few years ago we went "jump out of a plane" skydiving, so I've crossed that off the bucket list, and once was enough for me.  

We'd driven by ifly a thousand times, an indoor tunnel skydiving venue, so I was excited to see what it was all about.  Sort of.  

After checking in, we headed upstairs where you watch the action while waiting for your turn.  It looked intense, and nobody in the tunnel was smiling.  But there were little kids flying, so how hard could it be?

Soon we suited up and headed in for the training video, which informed us that shoulder dislocation was possible and quite common.  Earplugs, goggles, helmet, flight suit.  All jewelry, including rings, had to come off.  Yikes.

I almost backed out.  I need both of my shoulders to be located, thank you very much.  As I stepped up for my turn, and felt the crazy wind tunnel, I thought I might pass out.

But once I was inside, being guided by my instructor, it felt wonderful.  The wind is definitely intense, much more so than actual skydiving.  Which is why nobody was smiling - the wind tells your cheeks where to go.  As soon as I got the hang of it, the instructor let go, and I truly felt like I was flying.

It looks like a small space, but below that net it was a long way down.  And also a long way up.

My two minutes were over too soon, but all my body parts were intact.  My hair, however, was another story.  Don't bother with styling before iflying.  This is an adventure I'll definitely try again.  Maybe I'll even learn to flip and soar.  Nah, probably not.

So what did we learn last weekend?  Stop being so comfy, try the new things, and fall in love with excitement, uncertainty, learning, and adventure.  Take a chance and soar.  And eat all the baked goods.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Copycat Camo

A few months ago, Deena and Abbie shared the cutest little camo skirt from their new shop, Salt and Light Lifestyle.  And I knew it needed to be mine.

Even before it arrived, I was dreaming of ways to style this fun maxi skirt.  But I kept going back to this look by Deena.  I changed things up with a black Paris tee and sneakers and I was so comfy all day.  The skirt has the perfect amount of stretch and can be pulled up or down depending on the length you want.

The queen of camo, Vanessa from Xtremely V, had a few more cute styling ideas.  My favorite was the camo skirt as strapless dress option.  It might be a little short on me, but I'm going to give it a try on the next date night.

If you also need one of these skirts in your life (and trust me, you do), head over to Salt and Light Lifestyle.  And then send me all your styling ideas!

Friday, May 10, 2019

She's My One

We all have a "one."  That person in your life who has experienced breast cancer or who you want to protect from breast cancer.

Twenty years ago, mom was my "one."  I remember the exact moment she called with the news, and how time stood still with disbelief and what ifs.  Although cancer is unfortunately common, it's surreal when it hits so close to home.  I was sure in that moment that I would lose my mother, and I wasn't ready.

We've always been very close.  I'm her first child, the one who made her a mother.  Even though she was young when she had me, she'd been waiting all her life for a daughter.  Life was challenging, but she kept the hardships from my siblings and me, making sure our childhood was joyful and stress free.  After all the times she had been there for us, with her diagnosis, it was now time to return the care.

Luckily, her cancer was caught very early, through a routine mammogram, and the plan was straightforward.  Surgery to remove the breast, and then radiation.  None of us were prepared for the physical and emotional toll treatment would take on her.  I did whatever I could to help, but true to mom's nature, while we were worrying about her, she was worrying about us.  She was strong and resilient, and in the end, very fortunate.

On the 20th anniversary of mom's diagnosis, she currently has no evidence of the disease.  As I approach the same age as mom was when she had cancer, I have a whole new perspective on what she went through.  She was so young, and  I can't imagine receiving that diagnosis today.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women ages 20-59 in the United States.  Luckily, since its founding in 1982, Susan G. Komen has been on the front lines of the fight against breast cancer, and has been making bold, rigorous, and fearless efforts to save lives.  The non-profit organization is helping fight breast cancer along all stages.  From early screening, to support for patients coping with the disease, to working to find critical breakthroughs in breast cancer.  Their new goal is to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the US by 2026.

What a wonderful future that would be, and hopefully someday we'll live in a world without breast cancer.  On each and every Mother's Day, I appreciate my "one," and the blessing that she's still here with us.

Please visit The Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to learn how Susan G. Komen is on the front lines of the fight, and share the story of your "one."

I'm so happy to be a #susangkomen_partner.  Thank you to Susan G. Komen for kindly sponsoring this post.  All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Pink Lady

One of my favorite movies of all time is Grease, and I'll stop and watch if it's playing on TV.  Truthfully, I'm probably more of a Sandy than a Pink Lady, but I did love their satin bomber jackets and always wanted one for myself.  The actress who played Marty lives near me and does community theater, so I should look up the schedule and go see a show!

Even though the temperatures are warming up this time of year, I'm still cold, so I like an extra layer.  Bomber jackets are a great alternative to cardigans.  I purchased this one last fall and can't find it now, but here's something similar.

My favorite part is the embroidered flowers.  There are so many colors you could pair this with, although I decided to go all white in this outfit.  Next time I'll throw Sandy out the window and try it with my leather leggings.

Hope you all have a great weekend.  College boy is on his way home for the summer, so I'm a happy mama!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Strength and Throwing Away the Scale

I'm all about this quote from my friend Deb at Solful Life.  I've finally learned that what I want from my workouts is strength, flexibility, balance, and energy.  The older I get, the more I value the ability to keep doing the things I've always done.

Ultimately, I'd love to be in a place where I never stepped on a scale again.  As long as I'm eating mostly healthy, maintaining a varied fitness routine, and my clothes fit, weight shouldn't matter, right?  A year ago I was totally in that mindset.  Unfortunately, genetics and my doctor don't see it that way.

After being diagnosed with pre-diabetes last fall, the doc asked me to lose 10-15 pounds in an attempt to lower my glucose numbers naturally.  Damn - there went getting rid of the scale.  Just when I'd figured out that "dieting" wasn't the best way forward, I had to go on a diet.  I've had success with Weight Watchers and The Faster Way To Fat Loss in the past, but I didn't 100% adore them.  So I decided to take parts of each and come up with my own program.

The thing that's made the biggest difference in my life?  Intermittent Fasting.  For years we've been told never to skip breakfast, and eat small meals throughout the day to keep our metabolism up.  The problem is that we don't give our bodies a chance to burn the fat we've already stored.  We're just digesting the last meal we ate.  It makes so much sense to me.  

I've been following the 16/8 method.  Each day I eat during an 8 hour window, and then fast for 16 hours.  It takes a little getting used to, but now I can't imagine eating any other way.  And of course I'm flexible - if there's a late event, or an earlier breakfast out with my family, I just adjust my window.

Over the last six months, I've done what the doctor ordered, have lost almost 15 pounds, and now it's time to see if the genetics will be kind to me.  This week I'm having blood work done to see if I'm out of pre-diabetes range. 

And then I'm throwing away the scale.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

What I Wore - April

Last Saturday I spent the entire day purging my wardrobe. I got rid of eight large bags of clothes, including most of the archives.  I tried on everything to make sure it still fit, made some tough decisions, and now I'm left with a closet...that's still overflowing.

Sigh.  I seriously have too many clothes.  But like I told my husband, I love them all!  Still, I think it's time for another shopping hiatus.  I've done them before, with varying degrees of success.  This one won't be a complete ban, but I'm going to be much more selective, and if something comes in, something else has to go out to share its abundance elsewhere.

Which means wearing what's in my closet.  Here's a bit of April...

The month started out chilly, as per Seattle spring standards, so vests and moto boots were still in the rotation.  I love this floral vest from Loft because it's warm and spring-y.

This bodycon sweater dress was donated in the closet purge.  I just couldn't get comfortable in it - I was constantly pulling it down and fidgeting.  It went well with this cute brown leather jacket (similar) though.

Florals, jeans and booties have been my April jam.  This floral embroidered sweater would go with just about anything.

Another item that didn't survive the purge (similar).  It was a little tight on top, and I don't think peplums are right for me.  I did love the colors though.

What I wore on Easter Sunday.  I have a small-ish addiction to white blouses, and this one from Loft is so pretty.  Yellow is a perfect color for spring (similar pants), and floral flats finished off the outfit.

April is finishing off just like it started, chilly and rainy, so I've pulled the tall boots out again.  This striped pencil skirt from H&M goes with everything (I can't find it online, but I've seen it in stores recently) and my Paris top is just fun!

Happy Thursday, friends!  Hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Share Your Abundance

I recently finished a book, Waking Up In Winter by Cheryl Richardson, which I totally recommend if you're a midlife woman.  It's a life journal that explores what really matters at this stage, and I found myself agreeing with so much of what she wrote.

But one idea stood out above the others:  share your abundance.

I'm a big believer in positive thinking.  Which doesn't mean I practice it all the time, since I'm the queen of falling back into old habits.  But when I stay positive, truly wonderful things happen.  Good stuff comes from good thoughts.

Cheryl wrote specifically about reframing the way we view spending money on things we'd rather not spend it on, like paying bills or taxes.  Instead of seeing it as "wasting your hard earned money", shift the focus to "sharing my abundance with the world". 

That abundance goes out and helps others stay employed, gather income, and in turn share their own abundance with someone else.  And I've already seen it come back to me in positive ways.

There are so many ways to share your abundance.  Share your knowledge, your skills, your talents.  Share your kindness, your smile, a helping hand.  You can even share your closet.

This is only half...HALF of what I donated.  And then there's the consignment stuff.  Eeks.

Over the weekend I decided to do a major closet purge.  It was way past time, and honestly a little embarrassing.  My closet was bursting, with overflow into at least two other closets in the house.  I've never considered myself a hoarder, but apparently when it comes to clothes, all bets are off.  I had what I referred to as "the archives", because maybe it will fit again, or come back into style, right?  Well, no more.  The archives are gone, along with all the old bridesmaid dresses, and things I'd held onto because they evoked a good memory.  

As I dropped them off for donation, I felt a little sad.  There are some good pieces in those black bags.  Then I thought about sharing the abundance, and it felt good.  Someone needs those clothes way more than I do.

Plus, now there's room for a few new things.  Just kidding.  Well, kinda.  Shopping is sharing my abundance, non?

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