Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do you Gilt? $30 Coupon

-CARPE HOLIDAY-

Luxe gifts for everyone on your list!

Points.  Perks.  Prestige.

Join Gilt insider -free rewards program- and get special benefits just for visiting or shopping Gilt.  

Shop top designer labels at up to 60% off retail prices. 
  
 Learn more about Gilt here.

As a Gilt insider I am happy to share the spirit with you my friends.

Holiday Exclusive!



Happy Holidays!

We both get $30 off if you join with this link and make a purchase!


Join by December 31, 2013

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On a personal note, I have purchased items through Gilt and have been pleased with the ease of making a purchase both via computer and my droid phone.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Old School Blogging November

I was delighted to find that Elaine and Brittany are again hosting Old School Blogging.  November's meme is a series of questions Elaine first asked back in 2008.  As Alison wrote "Wouldn't it be fun to do this again in 5 years, and see how much the answers have changed?"  

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Where is your cell phone?  Laying on the current book I am reading right beside me.

Your significant other?  Would like to remain anonymous.  I call him My Love.

Your hair?  Is growing out from yet another cut I'll call stylist's choice since it was her choice and not mine.  Aargh...when will I find a stylist who will cut my hair the way I want it, not the way she thinks I want it?  

Your Mother?  Generous, loves her family, fills many roles for many folks, and doesn't save enough time for herself.  

Your Father?  Volunteers for Meals on Wheels and Hospice, loves soccer and his grandkids.

Your favorite thing?  My Google Chromebook.

Your dream last night?  Cannot remember.

Your favorite drink?  Coffee with hazelnut creamer and an Old Fashioned for a cocktail.

Your dream/goal?  To be happy for all the  days to come.


The room you are in?  The dining area at the kitchen table, my favorite place to be.  It's the hub of this house.

Your Fear?  I'm claustrophobic, enough said.  


Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Back up north in a charming home with land, making a comfortable living, and with my 2 boys and their families close by.

Where were you last night?  Making a large pot of sauce with meatballs and sausage over spaghetti with a large bottle of red wine.

What are you not?  Artsy or creative.

Muffins?  Oh my, I can't go near them for fear of devouring each and every one I see and smell.

One of your wish list items?  A new watch.

Where you grew up?  Bridgeport, Connecticut

The last thing you did?  Booked our room for our weekend visit with family in Palm Bay, FL.

What are you wearing?  Ivory t-shirt, jean capris and flip-flops.  

Your TV?  If not for My Love, I would never turn it on.

Your pets?  Sadie May ~ Dog, LuLu Belle ~ Cat, Dossee ~ Snake

Your computer?  Optiplex GX620

Your life?  Busy, busy, busy...

Your mood?  Anxious.  We just bought a car this afternoon and now have another car payment again.

Missing someone?  My grandson.  I have a slight cold and couldn't see him today.  Didn't want to pass anything on.


Your car?  Just bought this afternoon.  Mercury Milan.

Something you are not wearing?  My glasses or contacts.

Favorite store?  TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning.

Your summer?  HOT and sweaty.  Thank God for the pool and rain!


Like someone?  I like loads of different people.

Your favorite color?  White.

When was the last time you laughed?  A few minutes ago, My Love with his nutty antics always crack me up.

Last time you cried?  Sometime last week...just because.

What is one thing on your to-do list?  De-clutter the house.

I'm thrilled that Old School Blogging is back.  It's a fun way to get to know more about me and the others that participate.

Won't you join us?  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ideas for Fall layering I would never have thought of

Layering is a style staple that I have not mastered.  I admit I really haven't had the courage to attempt the art of layering.  I'm afraid that adding layers of clothing to my layers of extra pounds would be a bad mix.  In order to achieve a more polished look in the coming cooler months I have decided to look into how I can make this work for me and for you too!


The Art of Layering


One thing I have learned in my research is trying to hide my size under large, ill-fitting clothing is a no-no.  Clothing should be in the appropriate size and fitted to the body to create a smooth silhouette.   All pieces should be in proportion to your body shape and height.  Taking the time to find the perfect size is a must and something we shouldn't hesitate to do.

  The perfect finishing touch to any casual look.   Versatile, this vest can be layered over a casual t-shirt or structured blouse.  Paired with your favorite jeans and boots you will be prepared for temperature changes with ease.  


Ann Taylor Loft Sherpa Vest



Looking at these items from BANANA REPUBLIC separately would you imagine they could be layered into a trendy, chic layered look for the holidays?  I didn't.



Banana Republic Layering Items



 With some imagination and help from the designers at BANANA REPUBLIC I really believe this is a look that most women can pull off.  Classic elegance with a touch of now.


Banana Republic Layering Items by allmylivesnow featuring Banana Republic


Pairing a traditional four pocket cardigan with a sequined tiered shell and skinny jeans all in the same hue would never have occurred to me.  Somehow, this look works and is something I wouldn't think twice about wearing.


Ann Taylor Loft Layering


I am thrilled that I decided to undertake the mission of deciphering the code of layering.  With a bit of thought I know that I can conquer the uncertainty of what is for me a HUGE issue.

Do you struggle with layering?  Or do you have a different dilemma you deal or don't deal with?

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm a featured host for Lovin' the Weekend blog hop



Welcome to Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops with your co-hosts:
Karen from Tots and Me, Rena from An Ordinary Housewife and Angie from Snack Cups and Smiles.

Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant! 

We would love for you to stop by each of the co-hosts and follow us, then feel free to add your links to any or all of the following linkies.

 We also randomly choose a Featured host each week from the Lovin' The Readers linky. This week we are featuring Barbara from All My Lives Now.
Here's what she has to say:

"How many lives have you lived? I feel like I have lived many. Different branches reach out to touch each other, yet never meet. I am still me always evolving and growing. This is all my life now. A peri-menopausal woman looking to share the ups and downs of ageing gracefully.

I created my blog site and wrote my first blog on March 20, 2013.  It has been a wonderful time and I am learning more about myself as I write each post.  It is uplifting to imagine that you may touch the life of someone across the world with your thoughts."

Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.

Here's how this blog hop works. We would appreciate it if you would follow Tots and Me, An Ordinary Housewife and Snack Cups and Smiles. And please don't forget to visit our Featured Host. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkies you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on Tot's and Me's sidebar). We'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. We'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  

Some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, there are two separate blog hop linkies. 

The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.

If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. We will follow you back if you follow us (just note which one you are linking to):

Tots and Me


If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:

Tots and Me

If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.

Tots and Me


We are so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and we will be sure to stop by and follow back.

Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great blog hops!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Free Music Wednesday

A small token of my appreciation.  Enjoy this free song from Black Swan until 11/19.  

A soulful blend of laid-back yoga notes along with global bass sounds.

Just click on the free sound link, sit back for a moment, close your eyes and relax your mind.

IT'S BLACK SWAN WEDNESDAY!

sep
Night Visions: Desert Dwellers Selected RemixesThis FREE Black SwanWednesday offering comes from the just released Night Visions: Desert Dwellers Selected Remixes. Like the title says, these are some of Desert Dwellers' finest reworks - the intrepid psychill explorers put their versatility on display as they apply their sonic science to tracks by some of the top names from the laid-back yoga music and hard-charging global bass scenes (Deva PremalKalya ScintillaGirishAdham Shaikh and many more). On Luna Ray's "Ganesha," Amani Friend and Treavor Walton apply a downtempo edge to this hypnotic chant - a delicate sliver of the sounds you'll discover on Night Visions. We hope you enjoy this free song. As always, thanks for listening and if you like it, please share it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Traditionally Built

* Excerpt from Alexander McCall Smith's novel
The Miracle At Speedy Motors



"Mma Ramotswe had never been able to understand that, and considered it one of the very worst features of modern society that people should be ashamed to be of traditional build, cultivating instead a look that was bony and positively uncomfortable.  Everybody knows, she thought, that we have a skeleton underneath our skin; there's no reason to show it." * 

"All women knew that traditional build was something that could happen to anyone, and would not abuse another for it."  *






This is book 9 in a series of many.  If you've never had the pleasure of reading a book from the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series let me introduce to you Mma Ramotswe.  Precious Ramotswe is a remarkable woman - resourceful, amusing and intelligent.  She is also traditionally built, which means overweight.  

The above quote resonated with me.  It's simplicity makes a powerful statement.  As a society we value looks and body image over mind and soul.  It's a distressing thought and one that I have bought into.  I'm sure most folks have, as it's thrust in our faces 24/7.  

So how do we make peace with our traditionally built bodies while embracing the idea of less is more?  I know there is a happy medium that we can all achieve.

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Clean Eating

New recipes to try this week.








The last few weeks I'd tried to eliminate most carbs only to realize I can't and don't want to live without them.  The above two recipes use carbs, although natural and clean.

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Workouts

So the cyst on my knee is actually a rare non-cancerous tumor.  I am scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday to find out where the tumor begins and ends.  Surgery is in my future.  At this point I only want the tumor excised so that I can get back to doing the simple things I have taken for granted;  walking any distance, bending, kneeling.  I never realized how much the knee joint is used in every day activities.

Upper body workouts only.

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Total weight lost ~ 9 lbs ~ down 1 lb from last week



Sunday, November 3, 2013

How do you Unstick the Scale?

 Do you ever feel like this?  Just plain and simple STUCK!
  


I know that the scale is just a number, but do you, like me find it difficult to see past it? 




Remember the Non-Scale Victories.  Do you have them?



An apple a day keeps the Doctor away...and shrinks the fat cells.



Exactly...




So enough with the images.  I think you get my drift.  There will be times when you have done all the right things...clean eating and exercise...and yet the scale won't budge.  Here I am.  Reflecting on the week I know I followed my Healthy Lifestyle plan.  

What went wrong?  As I have researched probably nothing.  Just the body doing what the body does.  No matter what I'll keep up the good fight and trudge along.  In the end I know the results will come.

Speaking of results, what results are you striving for?  For me the result I am in search of is to be and look healthy inside and out.



A new week begins and a new opportunity for success awaits.  

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Clean Eating

New recipes to try this week.











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Workouts

If you have been following along you know I have what I thought was a cyst on my knee.  Dr's visit and a biopsy later along with stitches and no moving, bending of my knee later, we know no more.  Visit next week will confirm the pathologist's report and decide the course of action to take.  It is hard for me to absorb the impact this will possibly make on my knee.  Lost two days of work to it.   More to come next week.

Workouts upper body only.  Which is okay since I need more definition in my arms, although my legs are the area that needs the most work.  Isn't that true for most women?


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Even though the scale didn't budge I had a healthy week.

Total weight lost ~ 8 lbs 



Friday, November 1, 2013

Ageing Gracefully...Maybe NOT, but I'm trying!

I am in crisis.  A mid-life crisis I suppose.  

Who am I?  What is my purpose in this my life?  Who is that looking back at me from the mirror?  Oh no, I think it's my Mom.  How did this happen?

I'm searching to find Barbara, but she has left the building.  At least in the sense of being who she once was.  Who she recognized as herself.  I always knew I was vain.  Until about 3 days ago I never realized how much of me was based on my looks.  Not that I'm a super model or perfect, just perfect to me in my mind and in my mirror.  

So much has changed this year, my 48th.  Changes of vanity.  Thinning hair, sagging jawline and eyelids, skin mottling, weight gain...I could go on and on, but I won't or I will cry a river and never finish my thoughts.  

My hormones run amok in my cells and wreak havoc on what I once knew about myself.  Nothing feels right.  Everything is new and I don't like it, though like it I must.   This is what I am becoming...middle aged.  

Somehow, some way I must find the courage to enter this stage of my life gracefully with poise and confidence.  

I am a woman who has overcome obstacles that seem like fiction. Thrived when the going was tough and insurmountable.  Raised two wonderful boys to the best of my ability, oftentimes on my own.  Kept the faith that their futures would hold magic and wonder, and they do.  

Ageing is an ongoing process and I am in the midst of finding my new self.  An older yet wiser self.  If truth be told I am frightened.  This is new territory, pages unwritten and it terrifies me.  

In my 48 years I have climbed many mountains.  I became a mother,wife and widow at age 16.  Life moved on.  A mother again at 23 and alone again at 34.  Yet another relationship to end in tragedy after 7 years.  Another chance at happiness again and celebrating 7 years of unconditional love and acceptance.  Dare I hope that I may have found the one?  I often wonder when this relationship will end...or will it?


It's what I have...HOPE...



Fall Cara Box Reveal

     Fall Cara Box Reveal

Cara BoxCara Box is a wonderful way to meet new friends, receive unique gifts based on a theme, and share encouragement with each other.

I began my journey with Cara Box several months ago.  The idea appealed to me.  Four times a year ( if you so choose ) anyone can sign up to participate in the current exchange.  You will be paired up with two other women. One you will mail a Cara Box to and one you will receive a Cara Box from.  Send emails back and forth to get acquainted.  Peruse their blogs. In other words make friends.  After about six to eight weeks you will mail out your new friends especially created box.


The theme for this Cara Box is "Fall" in Love with the Season.

I have had the pleasure of partnering up with Dana from

                    http://kissmylist.com/

I had loads of fun getting to know her.  We shared our thoughts and had a few laughs.  Dana created a warm, wonderful Fall Cara Box for me.


All my wonderful thoughtful gifts.

  
An apple pumpkin candle along with sunflower matches to light this yummy candle.  The candle was well hidden in the wine carrier above.


essie nail color in "Twin Sweater Set" along with these adorable Glam Girl nail files.  I don't know how she knew it but any color red is my favorite.  Yay!!!


Fritter Mix from a local farm. I cannot wait to try this.  Pumpkin Pie Spice along with a simple, delicious recipe.  Caramel coffee syrup for a sweet Autumn beverage.


Here are my Freddie Flintstone toes in my new essie polish.  Living in Florida allows me to show my toes almost all the months of the year.

Every gift that Dana picked out for me was given much thought and her sweet words were balm for my soul.
Thank you Dana!

Follow the link if you are interested in learning more about Cara Box.