Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New topics, new direction

Hello my lovlies!  Very, very long time no chat.  First, my sincerest of apologies for falling by the wayside of so many blogs in the blogger-verse and failing to continue my quest for world domination.  OK, that's a stretch.  How about I'm sorry for failing to continue to share that which I find funny/interesting/crazy in every day life?

March 1st, 2013 marked the first day of the rest of my life.  Cliche?  Perhaps.  Nonetheless, it was the day I officially started a Whole 30 challenge.  Not familiar with the concept?  I'll include a link at the bottom of this post.  From that (very successful) challenge was born an intense desire to continue to eat clean.  I've been living a Paleo lifestyle (no, its not a diet!) since then and have begun to see some terrific outcomes!  Without sugar in my diet, the joint pain due to arthritis that I've been living with for several years now, has almost completely disappeared.  The gastrointestinal issues are beginning to lessen.  My energy is up.  Add to this the fact that I'm down 15 pounds and over a full pant size, you could say this has been a success!

So many people have asked what "diet" I'm on.  When I respond that I'm not, I eat a very clean diet and exercise almost every day they look crestfallen.  Seriously.  We as a society are so convinced that there must be a magic pill for everything that the idea of "eat clean and train dirty" is almost offensive.  I can live with that!  I feel great.  I eat what I want, when I want.  I simply don't want to eat preservatives or garbage or unpronounceable ingredients.  I shop the perimeter of the store.  I eat more veggies than a bunny and more lean meat/fish/chicken than a cave-woman   I don't obsess about calories nor do I obsess about working out.  I do what feels good, and what feels good is to MOVE my butt!  Regularly.  Oh, and yes, I do indulge in a glass or two of wine.  Just not every day.

So there you have it.  My "magic" solution for weight loss and energy... now get off your hineys and move it! 

Tip of the day:  if you can't define it, for the love of God, don't eat it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

10 Moments With Your Teenager

In light of the fact that I'm down to my last teenager still in the house, I present today's "10" list with my nearly 15 year old male offspring in mind.  Please, please, please... DO try these things at home.

1.  In order to further my evil plot of teen domination, I hereby decree that ALL forms food and drink shall remain in either the kitchen or dining room and that you shall refrain from sneaking it to your room after you believe your parental units have gone to sleep.

2.  I promise to have the audacity to question, whenever I deem necessary, with whom you are texting at 2:00 in the morning.  Please be prepared with a verbal answer as opposed to the typical blank stare, or more recently, the not-entirely-concealed sneer.

3.  Chores.  Ah the infamous "C" word.  One would think that with the mere mention of this word that the teen's parents had just asked them to sever a limb.  See the above not-entirely-concealed sneer.

4.  Homework.  Much like the "C" word, homework has become an obscene word as well.  My teen has perfected the "look me in the eye and smile" whilst crossing fingers behind the back in hopes that I won't find out that really homework DOES exist in High School.

5.  Recently, I informed my teenage son that he would henceforth be responsible for doing his own laundry.  At first he was kind of excited as I think he envisioned having what he wanted to wear available anytime he so chose.  Then he realized that actually involved the act of washing said clothing.  I promise not to laugh.  Anymore.  Maybe.

6.  I vacillate between, "eat what I make or don't eat at all" and "make what you want because you clearly aren't going to die of malnutrition since you've survived this long on hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and apples".  Matter of fact, I think I kind of like the knowledge that no one in my house will starve if I don't cook.  Carry on!

7.  Do you suppose that the teenagers among us sleep during the day and play at night purely to keep us from seeing what they're up to?  This is my supposition...

8.  This is not your room!  Said about 100 times a day as I walk through my home and find his various and sundry stuff spread hither and yon like so much trash upon my floors.

9.  I wasn't speaking to you.  I was speaking to your father.  Stop asking questions about a conversation you weren't involved it!  Eavesdropping, look it up!

10. No you may NOT drive my car!  We will possibly revisit this IF and when you get your permit...

Today's witty quip:  No, really, no need to thank me.  As always, I'm a helper and a giver.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sweet Little Lies



Dictionary.com defines a lie as: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. What lies do we tell ourselves? I'm not asking about the little white lies we tell others in order to spare their feelings, I'm asking us to look at the lies we tell ourselves. The half-truths, the purposeful misnomers, the deliberate and willful times we poke our heads in the sand and pretend we don't know the truth.




Calories consumed while on vacation don't count, right? If I futz my way through this workout, no one will know. I'm too fat, too skinny, too old, too young, too smart, not nearly smart enough, not witty, too smart-alecky, I'm boring, I'm too loud, I'm not loud enough... and on and on and on. And yet I wonder. Why do you suppose we tell ourselves these lies and probably more and refuse to look at ourselves through the eyes of God? My bible tells me that Christ took everything that we could possibly have done to the cross with Him. That His death and resurrection rendered it unnecessary for us to indulge in self-loathing. According to the book of James, faith without works, is dead yet it doesn't say that in order to show truth faith we must revile ourselves on a regular basis. I believe with every ounce of my soul that when we hate ourselves, we are blatantly telling God that He's wrong to love us. That He's made a mistake. That despite sending His Son to be tortured and murdered in our stead, it wasn't enough. That leaves a mighty acidic taste in this gal's mouth.




No, that doesn't mean that magically my dimpled backside is suddenly worthy of prominent display. What it means to me is that I get to thank God each and every day for all that He designed me to be. God doesn't make mistakes. Ever.




Witty quip of the day: I maintain that calories eaten while standing up work in reverse...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Merge?

My cousin, affectionately known as "The Tiz", writes frequent Facebook posts entitled "Gym Etiquette with The Tiz" and occasional posts regarding other societal etiquette that seem to have been lost in translation somewhere.  Recently he wrote a post about driving etiquette and fancifully, this morning's news included a story about the University of Iowa and their studies involving driver safety.  Now one might not immediately make the connection between driver etiquette and driver safety, but in this rat race that we all endeavor to run each day, I see the parallels quite consistently.  Emily Post said, "To do exactly as your neighbors do is the only sensible rule."  I, however, must respectfully disagree with Ms. Post.  If we are to do as our neighbors do then it follows that I should, while driving; take photos with my nifty iPhone, send texts, read emails, apply mascara or maybe lipstick, utilize an electric razor, futz with my GPS, turn around in my seat to yell the age old idiom "don't make me stop this car!", eat 3 course meal, spill my recently purchased hot coffee in my lap whereupon I'll sue McDonald's for failing to divulge that said recently purchased hot coffee was in fact, HOT, have animated shouting matches with my passenger, or perhaps even assist with a live birth of puppies.  OK, that last one might have been a bit of a stretch, but who among you can honestly say that you haven't witnessed most, if not all, of the above while driving?

The Tiz wrote about the merits of treating merging onto the freeway as if one were operating a zipper.  First one car from the first lane, then one car from the second lane, then another from the first lane, followed by another from the second lane.  Not entirely a foreign concept to most and yet, much like The Tiz, I myself have witnessed drivers who simply refuse to be delegated to the rear of ANY line.  Riding bumper to bumper as if their very lives depend upon not allowing one solitary vehicle to merge in front of them.  Seriously, who are these people?  In what universe does one get to one's destination more than perhaps a millisecond faster by being a complete and total moron and refusing to allow a peaceful merge to transpire in their presence?

And so, Tiz, you can add The Sophisticated Girl amongst your followers who shake our collective heads in disgust.  I for one, choose NOT to behave as my neighbor behaves in this and frankly, most instances and instead will try to live by the age old adage to treat my neighbor as I myself would like to be treated.

Witty quip of the day:  "It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road."  ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Surrender

Dictionary.com defines "surrender" as:  to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield.


If you've ever been involved in any sort of 12 step group, you'll find that step 3 states:  "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the the care of God as we understood Him."  If, like me, you prefer to feel in control of your own life, you probably find the concept of surrendering rather distasteful.  The very word "surrender" tends to conjure images of soldiers on a battle field, lifting a white flag, handing over their freedom and lives to an enemy.  Or perhaps you envision the giving away of your own freedom when you consider surrendering to anyone.  


James 3:17 says:  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 


Perhaps the lesson in the scripture is that the surrendering of our will to God isn't at all distasteful.  Perhaps in that act of obedience we can finally realize that if God is in control we don't have to be.  Perhaps not having to be in control of all things at all times, could lift an anvil sized weight off of our collectively hunched shoulders.


Sort of like the 5 levels of grief, I've come up with the 8 levels of surrendering "it" to God:


1.  YOU can have it!  (said through clenched teeth, knowing full well that we'll take back whatever "it" is the moment it rears it's ugly head)


2.  You can have it... (said shyly, after realizing that we've taken "it" back, yet again)


3.  You CAN have it!  (said with enthusiasm, once we've decided that we in fact, DON'T want "it" back)


4.  YOU TAKE IT!  (said with tears of frustration when we've realized we've inadvertently allowed "it" to be in control yet again)


5.  You still have it, right?  (said when doubt rises up in the pits of our stomachs)


6.  You DO still have it!  (said with a smile, when something or someone reminds us that we don't have to be in charge)


7.  Ummm, God?  I think I took it back again.  (said a bit sheepishly when our controlling selves stepped in again)


8.  Whew!  I'm sure glad I don't have it anymore.  (said with a smile while sharing your story with another)


Not my usual light-hearted, find the humor in life, fare, but perhaps a bit of self actualization.  Hope ya'll don't mind too much :).


Witty quip of the day:  I give, I yield, I surrender, I submit... Uncle!!!  Try it.  It's actually quite freeing.



Friday, July 29, 2011

Pink Frosting

I have a problem.  Whew!  I admitted it!  That's step one right?  No, it's not what you're thinking.  I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I'm not a closet gambler or even a hoarder.  Admittedly, I have a tiny OCD-ish tendency with regards to my pantry and towels hanging evenly, but really it's not a problem (just ask my hubby and kids).  No, the problem that I've recently had to admit to is pink frosting.  I can't do it.  I simply cannot force myself to eat something covered in pink frosting.  It immediately causes the gag reflex to go into overdrive.

A few weeks ago I attended the birthday party of a friend's granddaughter.  My friend's daughter handmade the most adorable little piggy cupcakes much like those in the picture here.  They were so cute and they were handmade, which in my world translates to super yummy!  Except...  Pink frosting.  I kept going back to the tray intending to savor just one of those little confections and then I'd walk away trying not to allow everyone else in attendance watch my personal struggle.  I left that day having to acknowledge that I've got a problem.  With pink frosting.  I'm not kidding.  Do you suppose there's a support group for those with an aversion to unnaturally colored foods?  Did I mention I also struggle with blue M&M's?  Not the yellow, not the green, just the blue.

What bizarre food issues do you have?  Can you admit to an issue that no one else within your scope of friends and family suffers from?  Do you gag a little at the thought of something that most people love crossing your very discerning lips?  Let's chat...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

PMS and the Holy Spirit?

To an online prayer group I belong to, I wrote the following:  God save me from raging hormones and pompous, arrogant city workers who believe their time is FAR more valuable than that of the assistant (that would be me) to the Executive Director of a 3 building elder care campus.  ARRRRGGGG!!!!  


Okay Holy Spirit, time to do your thing.  Zap me!  Whack me upside the head!  But please, oh please, give me the wherewithal to take a breath before I speak, cuz if I pray for strength, combined with the hormones, I'll likely turn into the Incredible Hulk - and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.  Well that, and I really don't look great in that particular shade of green.  Just sayin'. 

**meek, small voice: prayers are much appreciated right now, thanks.

PMS.  Pre-menstrual-syndrome.  Every year that passes, it just gets worse and worse.  Every year that passes, I ask the doctor "but WHY can't you just yank it all out?".  With every year that passes, the more certain I become that for 10 days a month I turn into a wholly different, not entirely human, being!  One without compassion, or patience, or control.  One whom, once crossed, instantly sees red and as a result spends an amazing amount of time apologizing to people.  Let me tell you how much THAT is so my FAVORITE thing to do.  *Deep breath*  *Deep breath* *Deep breath*

So this time (I'm a little slow to realize certain things) I had the brilliant idea to ask for prayer from those lovely folks in my prayer group.  Will it help?  Will God actually reach down, touch my head, and say "be thou FREE from PMS for all eternity"?  Who knows, but it sure made me feel better to ask.  Well, that and the iced coffee, and Simple Minds playing on Pandora, and the small salad I found in the fridge. 

Today's witty quip:  Just hand over the chocolate and no one gets hurt! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mini Clubs recipe

Just a quick stop in to share this recipe I just found. Holy cats! I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some club sandwiches... although in typical Sophisticated Girl fashion, I'll make it my own.

Try substituting sour dough rolls (cut in half to make them smaller)
Use fresh deli sliced turkey (as opposed to prepackaged)
Try REAL cheese, not that nasty plastic stuff
And Miracle Whip? Really? How about Best Foods!

Let me know what you think!

Happy munching!

Mini Clubs recipe

Mini ClubsMini Clubs recipe



1 tomato, chopped
4 slices OSCAR MAYER Center Cut Bacon, cooked, crumbled
1/4 cup MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
1 pkg. (12 oz.) dinner rolls (12 rolls), split
3 KRAFT Big Slice Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices, each cut into 4 pieces
1 pkg. (9 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Shaved Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
6 lettuce leaves, torn in half

make it

COMBINE tomatoes, bacon and dressing.

FILL rolls with cheese, turkey, lettuce and tomato mixture.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eat, Pray, Blog - I mean Love

I recently watched Eat, Pray, Love. No, I mean I REALLY watched Eat, Pray, Love. In fact, I felt I had to view it a second time immediately after the first.

First I want to say (before the emails come in), no I’m not converting to any sort of Eastern religion, yes I’m still a full-fledged Christian, and no, I’m not running off on a sojourn to countries far, far way. Although, if anyone knows how I can continue to feed my family whilst touring Greece, I’m open to suggestion.

Secondly, I would like to impart the following: If you haven’t watched this movie, do so. Ignore the blatant attempt to convert you to Hindu-type religion. Rather, insert Jesus Christ into the picture. In other words, as Julia Roberts is being taught meditation and prayer, see yourself mediating on Christ instead of on Buddha or a Guru. Meditate on the only One to have died for our salvation. Mediate on God and his unimaginable love for ALL of us. Meditate on the challenges in our lives, and thank God for them. A thought to ponder: if we weren’t exactly where God intended us to be, we likely wouldn’t have the blessings in our lives either.

Here’s what I occurred to me while watching Eat, Pray, Love:

1. Eat. I’ve eaten myself into oblivion. That might be overstating a bit, but most certainly I’ve eaten myself into poor health. I’ve allowed food to be a god of sorts. I’ve begun fasting and praying that the “Eat” portion of my journey has been a prominent item long enough. So for me, “Eat” means whole and healthy as opposed to gluttony and excess.

2. Pray. My prayer life has been sporadic at best. The “Pray” portion of my journey suddenly became a joy I didn't realize existed as I’ve embarked on a mission of fasting and relying on God for my sustenance. I find myself smiling when I pray instead of frowning and trying to find the right words. The words simply flow now from somewhere within.

3. Love. I’ve allowed the challenges in my life to overshadow my joy, and I’d forgotten that “love” is so much more than an emotion. “Love” is a verb. An action word. What that means in my crazy world, is that I need to show my love to my God, my husband, my children, and to myself.

Witty quip of the day: Yes, I’m off of my soapbox. No, I can’t be talked out of my journey. Yes, my love goes out to you all. Cheers!