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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Day of August

Today is the last day of August. For some people that might mean it's the end of the summer. However, in Massachusetts this week, summer wanted to remind us that it isn't quite over yet. It is supposed to be incredibly hot and humid this week.

If you think about it, the end of summer happens at different times for different people. For some people, it would be when they have to go back to school. For others, it's the end of August. For some, maybe it's Labor Day weekend.

For me, it's the first regular season game of the New England Patriots. :) Technically it isn't the end of summer, but it is the start of football season for Patriots fans, which means a new season has started. I have a really hard time choosing my favorite season since I really enjoy all four. It's probably why I will stay in New England my whole life. So one day someone said to me, your favorite season is football season. And they could be right. :)

I'm looking forward to Fall this year. But for today I will enjoy the last day of August. And study. Yep, I scheduled my exam. 3pm, Saturday, Sept. 25th. Now I have to do it. (sigh)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dani Do It: Server+ exam

So sometimes Dani doesn't feel like doing it. But I have to.
My company has offered to pay for me to get certifications completed. I got the first two done, but I have been very lazy about the next one.

So...I have decided to write about it here. That means I have now "gone public" and I will have to do it. I am scheduling the exam for September 25th.

I don't know why I lost motivation to get it done, but I am trying to re-motivate myself. The best way to do that is to force it upon myself. I did fail one of the other exams and I had to take it twice, so that might explain my hesitation on taking this third exam. It's no fun to study for a test. It's no fun to fail. It's especially no fun to have to take the test again. I don't want to fail any more tests. (It costs money every time, and I only get reimbursement for passing.)

Which means now I have to go study. Yuck.

And schedule the test.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Om nom nom nom

This is cute.

A few weeks ago when I was walking Oscar in the morning, we saw an opossum in our parking lot. Don't know what the poor fella was doing in the city! Oscar was VERY curious of course. I didn't let him get too close, the poor fella looked scared of Oscar. Oscar was probably the biggest skunk he has ever seen. :)

Check out this clip.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sunshine!

Dear Mr. Sunshine -

Thank you so much for responding so quickly to my request! I have already noticed an increase in the smiles and happiness around me, and it's still quite early. The final proof was a really cool thing this morning.

Short Story Time:
I stopped at a store this morning on my way into work. No one else was there except for the employees and two young teenage boys. The boys looked to be about 15-16 years old. I was impressed they were up that early in the summer time, but then again, maybe they have school today? Did school start already? Anyway, back to my story. So these teenagers are boys and the perfect age to be total punks. They were playing with a soda fountain and I was convinced that they were total immature dweebs. I was proven completely wrong when I went to leave the store. My hands were not full, I did not need assistance with the door, however one of the boys opened the door (both doors, there was a vestibule) for me. I was really surprised, but smiled and said "thank you." and I got a "you're welcome" with no visual smile. (he still is a teenage boy after all.) He then went back into the store with his friend. He wasn't even leaving. I thought perhaps he was leaving at the same time as me and just happened to hold the door because somewhere someone taught him it was polite.
Nope, he wasn't leaving. He was being chivalrous. A trait I thought long-gone from the next generation of children. People! Have hope! I saw a teenage boy from Worcester do a very polite thing. I wish I could track down his parents or guardians and shake their hand and thank them for doing such a good job raising that boy.

It brought a smile to my face for the day. That, plus sunshine and the fact that it's Thursday again, I am in another great mood. It probably doesn't hurt that I have another great weekend to look forward to and I have tomorrow off from work. And I'll be going to Vermont (yay lake and trees!). And it doesn't hurt that the weather forecast is supposed to be gorgeous! And a bunch of our friends are going with us.

Yup, today is starting off very good. Now I just need to get a walk in at lunch.
It sucked not being able to walk at lunch earlier this week.

Mr. Sunshine, thank you again for shining today.

Sincerely,
Dani

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rain rain go away!

Dear Big Ball of Gas in the Sky -

It's been raining since Sunday. And it's been overcast since Saturday.
Honestly, it doesn't really bother me. Even when my hair gets frizzy, it still doesn't bother me.

Even when I get soaked at a Red Sox game, it still doesn't bother me.

But you know what does bother me? When everyone gets incredibly grouchy. I know it's the weather that is making everyone so moody. So the sun needs to come back out so that everyone can be happy again.

Thank you in advance.
Sincerely,
Dani

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekend Review

I apologize for not posting yesterday. I really just didn't feel like it. I'm not sure why. Sunday ended up being a long day, so I think I was just really tired.

I had a really good weekend, I hope everyone else did as well!

On Saturday, Anthony, my sister, and my sister's boyfriend and I all got in the car and drove down to the south shore to visit the ol' hometown. Our first stop was a bar called "Poopsie's" which has some great pizza. Ronja was really looking forward to having a beer there for the first time. While we were waiting for our food, we got a big surprise! Our former neighbors Bill and Jamie stopped by to see us.
Earlier in the week I had asked my mom to get me their current contact information so that I could tell them we would be in town, but she had forgotten about it. On Friday night, she talked with Bill and with Anthony and secretly arranged for them to find us at Poopsies and surprise us! Which was really nice. And it worked well too, we were VERY surprised! Anthony didn't give it away at all.
That man is very good with secrets!

We spent the rest of our time there visiting the old neighborhood, seeing the house and chatting with some neighbors. We went to the Herring Run and the Duxbury beach and then we went to FarFar's for ice cream. After the ice cream, for some reason we were all exhausted, so we decided to head back to Worcester. (Oscar probably needed to go out anyway.)

On Sunday my sister and I had AWESOME seats at Fenway for the Red Sox game. (and they won! yay!). Check out our seats:

There were two rain delays, so the game was supposed to start at 1:35pm. We didn't get home until almost 9pm that night. The first delay was for the start of the game, so it didn't start until around 3:30pm. Then after the third inning there was another rain delay and we had to wait for the game to get started again. We were there a really really really long time. So of course we had to eat lunch and dinner at Fenway. We definitely have some feedback on the food.

First thing you need to know: You are going to Fenway, I'm pretty sure it's a rule that you have to have a Fenway Frank (hot dog). So we started off with one of those. And they weren't too bad. I enjoyed the hot dog. I got a large Sprite for the two of us to split and Ronja also got a beer for herself. Once we were in our seats Ronja told me how she thinks they water down the beers on tap at the stands, but the guys who sell the beer in the stands pour them out of cans, so you get better beer for your buck. Still though, it was VERY expensive for a Miller Lite. Almost $8. Yeesh.

We also got some popcorn which was very good. Usually popcorn is way too salty, but this one was just right. After the second rain delay, the vendors in the stands (you know who I'm talking about right? The ones going up and down the stairs "hot dogs! peanuts! Cold beeah heeah!") had stopped coming around and Ronja really wanted a lemonade. We kept waiting, but they didn't come back.
Finally though, at this point it was almost 6pm and we were hungry again. So we decided to get some chicken fingers, at least it would be some protein. Well, the chicken fingers were okay, but it only came with two large chicken fingers and fries.

And the fries were GROSS! Don't bother with the french fries at Fenway. They are not good for you anyway. We didn't even finish them. I think Ronja considered it because she was hungry, but I took them away. If there is one thing I won't allow, it's gross food, even if I am pigging out on junk for a day.

So Ronja still had a craving for lemonade, so I decided to go find lemonade. I kept walking and walking. I saw some signs that said "Big Grandstand" or something like that and then I saw a sign that said "Lemonade, Fried Dough, Deli at the Big Grandstand". So I kept going all the way around Fenway until I found that Big Grandstand. And you know what I found when I got there? ALL THE GOOD FOOD!

Seriously, back where we were (the good seats too) all they had was the fried food and hot dogs. The big Grandstand had a deli with turkey sandwiches, salads, fresh squeezed lemonade, fried dough, lime rickeys (anyone know what that is? I wanted to try one, but I didn't know what it was) and pizza and all sorts of other good choices.

I got the lemonade for Ronja. I went up to the counter and I said "I found you guys! I have been looking all over for lemonade." They told me that they were the only location you could get it from except for the guys in the stands. And the guys in the stands are selling powdered drink mix. Ewww. I'm glad I went for that walk. I also got us a fried dough. (Hey, I had done all that walking!)

So Ronja and I agreed: Hot dogs = good. Popcorn = good. Lemonade (fresh squeezed) = good. Chicken fingers = okay. Sprite = Okay. Beer (on tap) = Bad. Beer from vendor in stands = good. Fried Dough = Good. French Fries = Worst thing you could eat at Fenway yuck!

For those of you following my weight loss journey, don't worry, I made up for all the junk food I ate. Ronja and I parked at the "Official Parking Garage of the Boston Red Sox" so we could get parking for $9. It was also 1.6 miles away from the park. We also went the wrong way on the first street and ended up on the other side of Boston before we knew we were in the wrong direction. :)
I would say we easily walked 5+ miles on Sunday. And when I weighed myself this morning, I weigh the same as I did last week. And the week before that. No change.

Yay junk food and walking all over Boston lost! whoo! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Groove is in the heart!

I'm in a really great mood again today. I really do have a great weekend coming up. And it didn't hurt that this song came on the radio this morning.
Listen/watch it here.

Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite. I dare you to sit still or not smile while listening to this song. :) I always get into a great mood when I hear it. In fact, I need to remember to download this one to my iTunes and add it to my "cheer me up" play list. Another song on that list?

Toni Basil - Hey Mickey


I used to listen to "Hey Mickey" on a Disney Rock Music cassette tape when I was a kid. I would roller blade in my driveway dancing and rolling and rocking away to that cassette tape. My dog growing up (a cocker spaniel, so cute!) was named Mickey and I used to sing the song to him. I loved that dog so much. :)

Story Time!
Fast forward a time. To a time after I had graduated college. I had been in an on/off relationship for almost a year and half with a guy who was a few years older than me. We started dating just before my senior year of college and we broke up almost a year after I graduated. Sort of. We actually broke up and got back together a few times before becoming official and then again after we were no longer "official". ANYWAY...back to my story. We had "the big break up" and I was depressed. My parents had gone away on vacation and I was house sitting for them while they were gone. I was working in Natick and commuting from Pembroke which was a bit of a hike back then. And I was depressed. And stuck in a lot of traffic. And then there was a big snow storm. So it took me a really long time to get home. As it was, I wasn't happy and the snowy commute made it worse.
And just when I thought my day couldn't get worse....a song comes on the radio. And it's one I haven't heard in AGES. It was "Hey Mickey". I immediately blasted it and sang along at the top of my lungs. I drove the rest of the way home with a big smile on my face.

This song never fails to cheer me up. If I had to pick one song for my life, it would have to be "Hey Mickey!"

Oh Mickey, what a pity
You don't understand
You take me by the heart
When you take me by the hand
Oh Mickey, you're so pretty
Can't you understand
It's guys like you Mickey
Oh what you do Mickey, do Mickey
Don't break my heart Mickey!

I hope everyone has a good weekend...and if this song is now stuck in your head...your welcome! hahahaha! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm so excited!!!

I'm in a really good mood today. I think partly it's because it's Thursday, which happens to be my favorite day of the week. Why not Friday? Or a weekend day?
It's because I love anticipation. Suspense. So I love that on Thursday you get to look forward to Friday. Once Friday and the weekend arrive, they are already here. You already got the prize, what is there to look forward to?

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I'm spending most of the weekend with my sister, which will be tons of fun. :) (seriously...no sarcasm here, my sister is fun.)

On Saturday we are going to our hometown. We are going to hit up a local pizza joint that we both miss so much and we are going to the beach and we might see a few other spots as well. On Sunday we have tickets to the Red Sox game. We are going to be 8 rows behind home plate, look for us on TV!

But I think mostly what I am anticipating today is the new Harry Potter Movie coming out in November. Yay!!! They released an article about where the movie will be split in two (spoiler alerts! if you haven't read the final book!) and some more movie stills as well.

Links can be found here:
Spoiler alert, where the movie is split.
Harry Potter Movie Pics

Now I just need to start planning this year's Harry Potter Party!!! Yay!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ouch.

I have been going to a Boxing Class since last November. I got started just before Thanksgiving. When I first started the class I was the only person in the class, and those workouts were really tough! When the instructor only has you to concentrate on, you get a lot of work and exercise with very little rest.

So last night was the first time since November that I was in a class by myself. And I didn't just get the instructor to myself, I also got a junior assistant. (Teenage karate student) A mother had called about possibly bringing her 16 year old son to the class, so that is why the junior instructor was there, he was going to work with the teenager during the class. Except that they didn't show up.

Unfortunately that happens often for the school. Loads of people will call, be interested, say they are coming, and then they don't show up. I don't think people realize that the instructors will prepare for a new student and be prepared to give them a great introduction to the class. So when a potential new student doesn't show up, that can be very frustrating for the school. Particularly in a case like last night where Michael (the junior assistant) was there and normally he is not. They do actually prepare and expect the new student.

Did I mention the first class is always free to try it out? (sigh)

Anyway, I'm just venting on behalf of the instructors at the school, who are some of the nicest and most easy-going people I know, but they are still running a business. If you say you are going to do something, you should do it.

Hehe...Dani Do It. That's what I do. :)

SO....Anyway. I had two instructors to myself and they made me work incredibly hard. Okay, so I also pushed myself. But it was an incredibly good workout. I told myself after the workout that I was NOT going to ruin it by eating junk when I got home.

I'll be honest. I had two spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry's. I am only human after all.

Coolest thing about last night's workout? Having the 17 year old karate student say "Wow! Her hooks are amazing!" Apparently I have really strong hooks. :)

Worst thing about last night's workout? I think I was trying too hard to impress the teenager. My right wrist is KILLING me. I think I sprained it. Or pulled a muscle. Or bruised it real bad. Typing hurts a bit. I can't lift anything with my right hand. Can't open doors. Any twisting is bad. (sigh) I guess it's a good thing that Anthony and I are having dinner tonight with his sister and her boyfriend. I think I would have to sit out tonight's kickboxing workout regardless.

Of course, that doesn't mean I can't do ANYTHING. I should be able to hit the treadmill. Fun fun fun. Ouch ouch ouch.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Need Motivation?

Here is some motivation to KEEP MOVING! Maybe you can't get in your normal workout for some reason. Maybe your schedule got crazy, and now you are totally off the workout bandwagon. Do you need some motivation to do SOMETHING, even if all you do is go for a walk? In as little as two weeks off from working out, your body can start to lose the fitness momentum you had gained!
Seriously! Go read this article:

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/how-long-does-it-take-to-fall-out-of-shape-2277730/

In less diet and exercise types of chattiness, how was everyone's weekend? I hope it was a good one. Mine started off a little hectic. Anthony's grandmother wasn't doing so well on Friday and I spent all of Friday afternoon in the emergency room with Anthony's mom and her family. It was a really tough long day, but Nana's doing fine. Which is some sort of miracle at this point. I won't get into details, but basically she is 91 years old, and the prognosis was not good.

The rest of the weekend was taken up by Anthony's family's annual summer party and on Sunday we went into Boston, into China town for some chinese food.
I bought some fried rice off a cart in the street...it was easily the best fried rice I have ever had. And it was only 2 dollars! Yum!

Short post again today, but I will write more tomorrow. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Young Artist

I liked this article, it's about a young artist. He's only 8 years old, but his work is very good.

Makes me want to paint.

I think I like his advice (at the bottom of the article) the best.

"Never give up. Try and keep your buildings straight. And don't do a plain blue sky." - Kieron Williamson

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vending Machines

Another short post for today.

Story Time!

So at lunch I usually sit in the same place at the table. We usually have the same people at lunch, at around the same time, sitting in the same seats and usually eating the same things we had for lunch the day before. And the day before that and the day before that.

It's a lot easier to diet when you eat the same things. Not as exciting yes, but easier to keep your caloric intake LOW.

So why did I title this post "Vending Machines"?

Because today one of my co-workers was out sick. So I ended up sitting in his spot. And I realized towards the end of lunch that I was craving a candy bar or a bag of chips, or cookies. Which is weird, because I usually don't care for these items, especially after I just had my yummy lunch of meatballs and summer squash!

Ok, who am I kidding? I always want cookies!

Anyway, back to my story. So what I realized, was that I was facing the vending machine. And then I wanted the food that was inside of it. I guess that big window looking at all the fancy packages with the strategic marketing works on me.

So my healthy advice for today? Don't look at the vending machine. Don't face it while eating your lunch and just avoid it all together. Pretend it's not there.
But definitely don't look at it for an hour at your lunch break.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Fitness Tips

I read a great article this morning, the link is here.

http://shine.yahoo.com/event/loveyourbody/5-fitness-myths-you-need-to-forget-2176725/

I really hate running, but I have been doing it because it burns more calories. So...if I have enough time, according to this article, I should just try to walk the same distance and I will burn about the same amount of calories. Sounds good to me! I hate running..yuck.

Anyway, read the article, great tips!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Updates, changes, all coming soon!

Hey everyone - Sorry for the absence!

I needed the days off though. I went to Sebago Lake in Maine, I stayed at the Maine State Park in Casco with my cousins. I had a really good time and it was refreshing to go sit in the woods for a few days. No more electronics!

Of course, we had cellular signals and almost everyone there had cell phones.
Especially the teenagers. It was funny to see the teenagers with their cell phones plugged in at the bathroom trying to text with their friends. Hello? The whole point of camping is to GET AWAY from all of that. (sigh)

I am going to be playing with the look of the blog and hopefully add some cool stuff too. Keep the comments coming, I appreciate them very much!

I hope to post more and have some changes tomorrow. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

This is pretty...

ok, so I am playing around with the look of the blog. I probably won't stick with this. Feel free to leave feedback!

I think I chose this "look" because I can't wait to go sit in the woods for a few days.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Brrr....A/C is cold!

So it's summer. And it's hot and humid. So of course we have the air conditioning running in our office. For most of my life I have found A/C to be a relief.

That has changed a bit now. I also noticed that at home, I'm not constantly checking out the temperature seeing if I need to adjust the central air....

I am now cold. I was never cold before. My arms are covered in goosebumps!
The only thing I can think of to change me this much is my weight loss. I think I lost my "insulation"! Loss of body fat = drop in body temperature. Or at least ability to keep warm. Brrr! Good thing I have a sweater at work. :)

Over the next few days I am going to be playing around with the look of the blog. So expect some changes. Definitely give me feedback if you have opinions on the changes that I make. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 02, 2010

I'm hungry.

I was in Vermont this past weekend, we had a really great time.  Check out this "family portrait":

I love that hammock. :)

My mom and I were discussing my posts last week about diet and exercise and she reminded me of something. I completely forgot to write about something VERY important. What is that? It's the fact that I am hungry.
Not every day and all the time. But I am hungry.

Let me explain.

Most diets are marketed to you that won't ever feel hungry! I think that's a load of crap. Your body sends hunger signals once your calories have been depleted. It does this to MAINTAIN your weight. Your body is not programmed to lose weight.

What you need to do, is to learn the difference between these three things:
1. I want to eat something. (do you NEED to?)
2. I am getting some hunger signals. (uh oh, if you don't eat this body may be forced to use stored up fat.)
3. I need to eat because my body requires energy (calories) to function.

I have a VERY careful balance between 2 and 3. It's hard to know the difference.
Do I go to bed hungry? Frequently. If I eat before bed then I can't burn off those calories. They will get turned into stored fat on my body.

Let me give you some examples of the different hungers.
Number 3 would be when you first wake up in the morning and you are starving! This is definitely number 3. You haven't had anything to eat in 10-12 hours (hopefully!) and your body needs some fuel to get that engine going this morning.
Number 3 should also come roaring in at lunch time.

Number 2 is that feeling in between your meals or snacks that makes you think, hmm, I wonder what the vending machine has available. Number 2 will turn into number 3 after a time. Drink some water or unsweetened iced tea and see if you can get number 2 to keep quiet.

Number 1 is when you are bored. Your stomach is not growling. You don't have any hunger signals. You smell something and you want to eat it. Or you see something really good like candy or baked goods and you just want to taste it. Don't EVER give in to number 1!!

My perfect example of number 1 from this past weekend? My neighbors were having a pig roast and we were invited over to partake in the food. I took a little bit of a few things. (and I had a Mai Tai and a jello shot...I won't lie, I had to kayak later to work that off...try kayaking while buzzed...weee!) I ate just enough to get number 3 to go away.

But.

They also had other temptations.

Like BBQ potato chips.
Yum.

But guess what? I wasn't hungry. I just wanted to taste them. I thought about grabbing a handful about 3-4 times. I debated with myself about it. I thought about how I could grab some and maybe no one would notice. Yup, I was thinking about eating food...and sneaking about it. If you are "sneaking" your food....you are not hungry.

I didn't grab any chips. The Mai Tai was bad enough for one day...haha.

Oh, did I mention the brownie sundae that night? Yep...didn't lose any weight his weekend. But I was truthful last week. I do eat whatever I want. And I still lose weight. Small portions and LOTS of sweating.

Again, I highly recommend this book. It will teach you how your body works (remember Biology in High School, this book is like a fun biology text book) and how to listen to your body to see if you are really hungry. It also teaches you how to listen to your cravings.

You on a Diet


Got questions about being hungry? Want more examples? Let me know.