Sunday, January 31, 2010

November Rain

Watching Slash on the Grammys just reminded me of something funny from college. I lived in a small college town that was about 1 square mile just on the edge of the campus and it was all apartments with students. Nobody else lived there since it was known as a "student ghetto" and usually smelled like stale beer. It wasn't bad at the time. Sure, I wouldn't live there now but it was great living with all my friends nearby and nobody ever complained about noise...except a couple times. Some annoying neighbor girls didn't like it when my roommate and I decided to have a little BBQ (smores) at 2am during finals week. Another wasn't aimed at me...a guy across the street decided to play November Rain on repeat ALL NIGHT LONG! I didn't mind as I was usually up really late back in those days, but somebody left a note on his door saying something like "although I really like November Rain, I didn't want to hear it ALL NIGHT". It was really loud. LOL. What's even funnier about this story is that the guy was total player...and years later ended up marrying one of my friends who was one of the straightest people I've ever known. She tamed him and now they are happily married with a baby girl.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One More Time Please?

Hubby and I did some brainstorming on domain names and came up with some more travel blog names. Will you vote one more time for me...pretty please?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not My Turn...Yet

My brother turned 40 today and it makes me feel old! I am the "baby" in the family so I haven't hit it yet, but I can't help thinking it's just around the corner!!!


My dear friend's dog Kane has moved on to the Rainbow Bridge. He was a great friend and family member and was always by her side thru all the ups and down of life. You will be greatly missed Kane!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Please Vote!

Please vote on the poll to the left to name my new Caribbean travel blog.

Let me know if you have any other ideas!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Addicted to Blogging

I've been quite bloggy lately. I have been neglecting this blog a bit, but my Biggest Loser blog is doing quite well. My husband and another person mentioned to me that it looks like a lot of work to keep the Biggest Loser blog going since I've committed to posting 5 days a week on particular topics. It doesn't seem like "work" to me though. I truly enjoy it.

Anyone who knows me knows I have a passion for travel and always have. I took a class after school while in high school on "How to be a travel agent" and then worked in a travel agency as part of the class and for the following summer. My plan was never to be a full-time travel agent, but I wanted to do in on the side for my family and friends after college once I had my main career established. Well...then came the internet and the idea of having a career in the travel business didn't seem likely. Travel is my true passion and I have been trying to think of a way lately to make it into a a side job though since I am not looking to take a pay cut by quitting my current job and start over completely in the travel business.

Now my thought is to try to combine these two things into a travel blog! Should it get successful I would put some advertising on it, but as long as I enjoy it, that doesn't really matter since the money would be so small. I would consider it a huge success if it brought in some extra money to allow me to travel more...then write it would feed itself really. I know I need a niche to make it successful so I'm working on something about the Caribbean since I love tropical islands. I'm going to try using Wordpress to make a more professional looking site than Blogger can do. Blogger is great for this blog, but I want the travel blog to look better and have more features.

So now I need a name for this new blog...any ideas??? Most that I can think of already have the domain name taken. The only thing not taken that I can think of is "Caribbean Gal" with the theme being about a woman (me) exploring the Caribbean one island at a time. I'm thinking having her be a cartoon like Hungry Girl and giving her a persona. It would also have static information about the Caribbean to help people choose an island and plan a trip. The target audience would be people like me who love to travel and read about other people's travels. What do you think???

I'm not in love with that name though so please let me know if you have any other ideas!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blind Item

A friend who is one of my most dedicated blog readers has had something horribly sad happen to her. It breaks my heart and I wish there was something I could do to make it better, but there isn't. My heart goes out to you and your husband.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Golden Globes Best & Worst Dressed!

Best Dressed goes to Jennifer Aniston! I always love how she dresses, simple and elegant.

First runner up for Best Dressed is Fergie! I am not a Fergie fan at all, but I thought she looked great. And her husband handled Ryan Seacrest's question, "What was the impetus for you two renewing your wedding vows?" pretty well. Come on Ryan...we all know it's because he slept with a stripper.

Worst Dressed is Chloe Sevigny. I know she is known as a "fashionista", but I just don't get it.

And finally for Worst Dressed...Julie Roberts. This isn't that bad, but I expect more from her.

Who was your on your best & worst dressed lists?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You Can Call Me Jillian

Ok, maybe I'm more like Allison, but My Biggest Loser contest at work is really taking off! The Corporate Communications team wrote a story about it and I got a personal trainer involved to help the contestants. Thanks to the story the blog had over 100 visitors on Friday! Neither of my blogs have ever come anywhere close to that. There are 23 people signed up for the contest from all over the company so there is close to $1,000 in prizes! I'm so happy this is a success since I was concerned it would fall apart when I took it over. A former co-worker had been doing this contest for years and it was just a small group made up of mostly people from the same department. She was laid off in November and asked me to finish doing the weigh-in's for the last round that ended before the holidays. I wasn't sure I wanted to keep it going, but people said they wanted it to continue, so over the holidays I worked up a flyer, some new rules and the blog. In the last round 2/3 of the contestants, including myself, ended up GAINING weight so I'm trying to do things, like the blog and the trainer, to help people lose this time around. Now I need to make sure I can keep things interesting and motivating for everyone.

Let me know if you have any ideas for things I could coordinate to help the contestants!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kitties in Cages

It breaks my heart that so many animals live in cages in shelters. I can't even walk by the cats in cages for adoption at the pet store because it makes me so sad. If I ever win the lottery or become very wealthy I want to set up cage free shelters for homeless cats. Until that day comes, I try to help kitties in other ways.

I looked up some local cat rescue organizations to see what I could do to help. Fancy Cats Rescue Team has cats in four local pet stores and said they needed these stretch & scratch pads so I bought a case and sent them to them. Next, I'm going to get new toys and bedding for these kitties.

If you have the means, please donate time, money or goods to one of your local pet shelters or rescue organizations. Every little bit helps!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You Brought A Pillow to Yoga?

Yes...yes, I did. At the sample yoga class my neck hurt because there was a lot done while laying down and the instructor told me to bring pillows, blankets or whatever is needed to be comfortable. So I brought my pillow with me today. Who knew the pillow would be such a big deal. I had a pillow out by my purse this morning to make sure I didn't forget it. This morning before we left the house, my husbands asks, "uh, what's with the pillow?". He joked if I was having an affair that I wasn't being very sneaky bringing my pillow around with me. Then tonite I'm going up the stairs to the yoga place and someone says to me, "you're bringing a pillow to yoga?" Unapologetic, I said, "YES!"

So on to the actual yoga class. This is "Gentle Yoga 1" and it makes me feel like such an old lady. Most people are at least 20 years older than me and my neck hurts during the entire thing. I have to admit, I have been skeptical about this yoga thing. I didn't understand how yoga could make me more relaxed. Well...something very weird happened tonite. Toward the end of the class I started thinking about how weak my body has become and it made me very sad. Before the accident I was doing a hard core boot camp class 4 mornings a 6am. And now here I am in pain in this class that should be way too easy for someone my age. All of a sudden all this emotion came over me and I was holding back tears! I couldn't wait for the class to be over so I could just let go. As soon as I got in the car I started balling...tears streaming down my face uncontrollably. It was a huge release of sadness, that's all I could explain. I cried the entire way home. I now realize I really need to find a way to get stronger again and I can't sit back and play victim anymore.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What Keeps Me Going Some Days

It's cold outside and work is really busy.
I'm hoping to go here in the Spring.

I Shouldn't Complain

I shouldn't complain about the cold. These poor little monkeys have to huddle together to try to keep warm. I hate seeing anything bad happen to an animal.

Easier Said Than Done

I am running a weight loss competition at my work and have another blog about it with information about weight loss if anyone is interested. I post Monday thru Friday with Thursdays being the results, so that is the only day that the post would be specific to the contest. I've dieted so much throughout my life that writing advice on a blog about weight loss is easy...actually doing it is harder. Actually, I CAN lose weight, my problem is keeping it off. I said I was going to lose weight as a new year's resolution and that is not going very well so far. I do need help, but can't decide if I want to go back to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. I have had success with both. Or I may do a hybrid where I go to WW meetings and weigh-in's, but get food from JC. The JC consultants annoy me and make me feel bad when I gain weight so I think the less personalized WW meeting may be better although the format here in VA has not been as helpful to me as how it was done in CA. In CA, you weighed in in a cubicle and were able to have a conversation with the leader. Here in VA, you weigh in at a counter where there is no privacy and it's hard to talk to the person and all they want to do is process you. So I haven't decided what to do yet.

Here is the link to the other blog.

Blog schedule:
Monday: Recipe or food find
Tuesday: Biggest Loser TV show watercooler talk (from previous week in case you tape it)
Wednesday: Weight loss or fitness topics
Thursday: Weekly results
Friday: Potpourri

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just Because

It's not any kind of holiday, but I just wanted to say thank you to all our troops and their families.

Thank you!

Zut Alors!

So I found a "gentle" yoga class and went to the free sample class. It was indeed gentle, and at times seemed silly, but I could tell it was stretching me out. My neck was still sore after this class, but not as bad as the heated power yoga class I tried. I planned on signing up for the upcoming 12 week session of this gentle class but I just went online to sign up and the class is full! They do have a few other classes but not at times that work for me very well. I really wanted the 7:30pm class since I knew I could be home from work in time for it. Now I need to decide if I can do a 5:45pm class or on the weekend. My other option is to try a class at my work. I guess my search for the right yoga class continues...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tiny Dancer

I've been listening to the 70's satellite radio channel on the TV lately and I forgot how much I love some of the music from the 70's. True, I was a wee tyke back then, but I have fond memories of wearing a tube top, short shorts, knee high socks (you know, with the stripes!) and being really tan because I was outside all day. Oh and I loved to roller skate around my back yard pretending I was a Solid Gold dancer on roller skates. I listened to music on a little radio in my room or my parents would blast their 8 tracks thru the house. This was a simpler time when kids were able to wander and play with no shoes on and we didn't worry about things so much.

Check out this clip of Elton John's Tiny Dancer from the movie Almost Famous. For some reason this scene and song put together really get to me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where's Tiger?

Almost as amazing as Tiger keeping all his affairs secret for so long is how he has disappeared since the scandal broke after his car accident on Thanksgiving. There is no proof of where he is, but here are the guesses from the gossip pages.

  • Africa

  • New York's Trump Hotel

  • On his boat somewhere in the Bahamas

  • Rehab

  • In recovery from having plastic surgery because his wife broke his face with a golf club

  • Various cities with various women

This guy must be paying off a lot of people to keep him hidden.

A Trip Around the World

360 Degrees Longitude: One Family's Journey Around the World

The Highman family had been planning their trip around the world for over 10 years. They scrimped and saved and the kids grew up always knowing they were going to travel the world. The mom and dad had high tech jobs in the Silicon Valley that they quit, they took the kids (ages 8 and 11) out of school and traveled around the world for a year. They home schooled the kids and brought books for them to read about the places they visited. I loved this book, but would never want to take a trip like this because it seems like too much work and too much sleeping outside. They spent $120K on this trip and most of it was spent in camp grounds and hostels. Oh...and they rode tandem bikes across Europe as their form of transportation. Not everything goes right for this family and they had to make some changes along the way, but they had a great time and never wished to be home. I'm surprised the kids were able to keep up with the physical activities they did and kept from being too bored by reading a lot. The trip started in Iceland and ended in Belize. Since I love traveling so much, I love reading about other people's travels. I know it's a good book when I feel like I'm on the trip with them, and I definitely did with this one. I highly recommend it!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Not Again

Looks like it's time to call Critter Control again. My cats are staring at walls and something is scratching from the inside of a built in wall unit. Time for Minky and Manny to get to work and earn their keep. I just hope my husband finds whatever they catch instead of me.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Book Reviews

I read a lot of books. For the most part I only read right before going to bed to help me unwind. I'm going to start posting short book reviews of what I read in case anyone is looking for a new book or ideas for their book club. I'm excited to start using my Kindle, but I have one more real live book to read before I switch to the Kindle. Books just stack up and then I give them away so I think the Kindle will be good for me.

Any suggestions for what I should read next?

Friday, January 1, 2010

It's That Time Again

It's time again to set new year's resolutions.

1. LOSE WEIGHT. And keep it off. This has been on my list every year for as long as I can remember. I tend to lose weight early in the year and then gain it all back (and sometimes more) in the second half. Last year at this time I weighed seven pounds less than I do now, but here I go again. My motivation at this time of the year is hoping for a beach vacation in the spring where I'll need to wear a bathing suit. I'm not sure if I can convince my husband to take a vacation this year, but I'll keep it in mind to give me motivation. I would love to be able to look like Carrie Underwood on the beach. I never have so I don't know why I would be able to by this point in my life, but I'll keep trying. I'm also running a Biggest Loser contest at my work so I'm hoping that will keep me motivated as well to be a good example to others in the contest.

2. RELAX. I really need to worry less. Anxiety is becoming a bigger problem in my life so I need to find ways to worry less. I'm going to try another yoga class to start with. The last try didn't go so well, but this new place I'm trying has a class that specifically says "gentle yoga"and for chronic pain.

Here's my motivation for # 1

What are your new year's resolutions???