Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Weekend Workshop...

I’m off to Pocatello , Idaho this weekend. Why the big "town" of Pocatello, you might ask? I’m going to be taking a “Pouring Luminous Watercolors” Workshop at the Pocatello Art Center . The workshop is taught by a wonderful watercolorist that I have been admiring on-line for awhile. Her name is Leslie Redhead. I LOVE her poured watercolors of cityscapes and buildings. Pictured here is a Chinatown Statue, a poured watercolor that I stole from her site. (I hope she’ll forgive me.) It is one of my favorites. She also has some amazing flowers; especially irises and poppies. Please click on her name and check out her artwork. It is definitely worth a visit. Leslie is based in Vancouver , BC , Canada ; and I jumped at the chance when I found out she was holding a workshop so close to Salt Lake City . It’s about a 3 hour drive and, of course, I’m taking my bike in tow. I figured I could bike some new territory while I'm there. I’ve really been excited for this weekend for the last month. It’s almost like Christmas! I’ll update you and hopefully share a beautiful piece of watercolor artwork when I get back. I'm also using it as an excuse not to do my weekly weighing in.  I KNOW I haven't been good this week, and don't want to face that scale.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Old Navy + Me = Dangerous Territory

Sunday early evening, as I had dinner plans cancelled I found myself at the local Old Navy Store. I figured I would go in to get a cheap tube top. I needed something to wear while I have my henna tattoo applied at the end of this month. Yes, I didn’t own a strapless top I could use and thought I could pick up an el-cheap-o at Old Navy. I came out an hour and a half later spending almost $60. Can you say, “Oppppsss!”

I did manage to find the tube top for about $3. I also managed to find a pair of jeans, a sleeveless top, a floral tank, and a cute skirt. That’s the problem with going straight to the discount area at Old Navy. There are just TOO many bargains to be had and then the next thing I know I’m trying on this and that; followed by another this and that. AND before you know it the hanged section of “LOVE IT” is filled up. AH-OH! Then, I’m going through and try to narrow down everything that will make it over to the register with me. YIKES! This is dangerous and originally I just came in for a cheap tube top.

But on the fantastic side, I discovered I can fit rather snuggly in a pair of 12 jeans! Yahoo! I normally wear a 14. The jeans were on sale for $15. So, of course, I had to get a pair of them! Then I discovered that the large shirts that I usually get are too large. I go back and grab the medium and WOW! I’m fitting into medium shirts! How cool is this? This is making me feel really good till I try on a pair of 14 jeans in a different style and I can barely get them up my thighs. What’s up with that??!

I look more closely and discover they are mismarked. The clipped on tag says size 10, but all the stickers say size 14. Whew! That was a load off my mind because I was wondering if I was in a special twilight zone of the dressing room. Ooooo Spooky!  I go back to get another size 14 and discovered 4 other pairs that were marked the same way! I immediately grabbed a sales gal and showed her. I did it because I hated the idea of some other gal trying on a pair of mismarked jeans, and ended up with a bruised ego.

AND so, that’s how I went into Old Navy for one thing and came out spending almost $60. But I will say that I’ve improved! The last time I went into Old Navy I had spent $120. Thus, in the new math method:
Old Navy + Me = Dangerous Spending Territory!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bucket List Thoughts & an Update...

It was as we stood in the elevator that Diane said,” You need to add that to your Bucket List and then check it off.” I could not help but smile at her plan. We just got done watching a movie (Rio) on an inflatable BIG (HUGE- 10' x10') screen TV while we were leisurely sitting in our swimsuits ensconced in a hot tub. I was also enjoying one of those sweet “chick-like” beverages that tasted like margaritas and we could see the stars above in the dark night sky. It was amazing night that had started off with a dinner done alfresco near the pool area and a "homemade" (not really- Diane tried to pass it off as such!  Nice try girlfriend!) Key Lime pie. Yum!  It's one of my favorites!

I will admit that it was one of those wonderful memories that I’ll look back on but I could have never perceived putting it on a bucket list. Not because it’s not worthy of a bucket list, but what made it so special was the chance that it occurred and with such wonderful company too. Some moments are just made better because they are NOT planned or anticipated. It’s those unique moments like this that I believe make life so amazing and interesting. But I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle inside as I thought over what Diane had said. I would put it on another list though; a list of 100 Best Unplanned Moments.

But I’ve already lined up one item to do that’s on my Bucket List. I’ve made an appointment to have a henna tattoo near the end of this month. I’ve sent a prelim idea for the design and the lady that’s going to do it is working up a sketch before the appointment. Yes, there’s a bicycle involved in the design but I’m not sharing any more than that for right now.  I got the impression from the lady that she had never had such a design requested and I think she might have been intrigued by it.  I managed to find this lady through some on-line searching.  She does henna tattoos locally, but is currently doing a booth at a festival in Washington State.  I was rather surprised when I learned that she even comes out to your house which I thought was really neat but not a requirement.  But I thought that since I've decided to have this henna tattoo go from the back of my neck, along my shoulder, and to the top of my left arm it might be nice to have it done at home.  I'm getting excited about doing this!

An update on my weight, I’m up 1 pound which I wasn’t too surprised because I wasn’t really good this week but I’m planning on trying harder this next week. The good news is that I’m still down a total 23 lbs. and I have 9 more to go!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Breaking A Barrier!

I got on the scale this morning. Then, immediately jumped off to make sure the scale was calibrated. Then, jumped on and admired the number it read. Yes, I finally broke a barrier! Granted, it wasn’t a sound barrier in my bathroom but a barrier none the less. I broke that “I have 10 lbs. to go” barrier. I now only have 8 more to go. Yahoo!  A BIG Thumbs up!

For almost 3 weeks, my weight has seemed too settled in comfortably 10 lbs. above my goal weight. Who knows what created the barrier to be broken? It could have been the cold last weekend that finally threw the stalemate to the curb or my extra diligence in choosing those low calories options this last week. But whatever it was I’m really hoping to make it continue on. What can I say I am literally trying to work my A$$ off? :)  Oh, so sorry for the cliche use!

On another note, I’ve decided to add a page to my blog that’s totally devoted to my bucket list. I’ll update and of course, probably blog as bucket items get checked off the list. I’m still debating on what items to work on first. Though, I’ve all ready been offered access to a pair of roller blades. I rather surprised myself when I discovered that I’ve been to 20 out of the 50 states. Wow and here I thought I was really not that well traveled at all. Though, I still consider myself just a step barely above a country bumpkin. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I was rather sick this last weekend. Friday evening I felt a sore throat coming on. I thought I would do a workout in hopes that I could burn the sickness right out of me. I did a 2.5 mile run on the treadmill and another 30 minutes on the elliptical. Saturday morning, I woke up with a sore throat AND a headache. Well, the burning it out with exercise theory didn’t work.

Next, it was the honey with tea and just taking it easy. Earlier in the week I had been planning on going for a climbing bike ride of at least 50 miles but I decided against that. I stayed home instead. During the day, I divided my time between reading, painting, and watching movies. I even had a big bowl of chicken noodle soup for dinner. I was starting to feel better by bedtime. I thought I might have the thing beat.

Wrong! Sunday morning came and I could add chills to the list of maladies; and the headache had gotten worse. All I felt like doing was sleeping. So I slept most of Sunday away. I finally did get up when a lady called about purchasing a porch painting. I dragged myself up then showered and changed. I delivered the painting, and swung by a fast food place to eat something. Also, an ice cream shake sounded so good to me. Again, I was feeling a bit better by bedtime.

Monday morning, I woke and headache was mostly gone but sore throat was still there. I opted to skip the early morning bike ride, and slept a bit longer. On my way into work I purchased a HUGE bottle of cranberry juice; my fallback for getting better. I drank about half the bottle during the day making frequent restroom visits. It’s like when you are trying to drink more water; only in this case it was cranberry juice. It was like everyother moment I sat at my desk I would do something then take a drink of cranberry juice.  Do something else, and take a sip.  I was rather surprised my eyes weren't turning the color of cranberries!  BUT I was feeling much better as I left the office that night. Then, I went home and did a workout at the gym to burn the rest right out.

Today, I woke with just a hint of a sore throat. I’m finishing the rest of the cranberry juice just to be on the safe side. But I’m really hoping that all this “cranberryizing” will knock the rest of this sickness out of my system. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Bucket List...

 I've been thinking about it all this last week.  I've been adding and I still may have somethings to add over time.  There may be some crazy and different things that might surprise some you you, but then maybe not.  But this is what I came up with....
1. Go canoeing

2. Go kayaking

3. Try rollerblading

4. Attend a traditional Greek Wedding (I mainly just want to see if they really do spit on the bride as she goes up the aisle.)

5. Get a henna tattoo

6. Go on a retreat that’s at least 4 days and at least 100 miles from home-- either spa or sports related.

7. Learn to speak Spanish

8. Brush up on my French

9. Write & Publish a book

10. Go horseback riding

11. Go whale watching

12. Try pole dancing (this might be dangerous due to my lack of coordination.)

13. See a Circque du Soleil Show in Vegas

14. Eat a meal prepared by a world class chef

15. Do a bit of stand up comedy

16. Cycle the diameter around Crater Lake & possibly Lake Tahoe too.

17. Make a difference in someone’s life. ( I see this as an on-going thing.)

18. Experience a nomad lifestyle for an extended time frame. (thinking possibly 2 years)

19. Visit all 50 states

20. Participate in the Burning Man

21. See the Northern Lights

22. See an Atlanta Braves Game

23. Go on an Alaskan Cruise

24. Visit some National Parks (not in Utah)

25. Go skinny dipping

26. Visit the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

27. Walk along the Coney Island Boardwalk

28. Take a tour of the Hershey Factory in Penn.

29. See the Grand Canyon

30. Visit Historic Williamsburg

31. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago & see American Gothic by Grant Wood in person

32. See the Cherry Blossoms of Washington D.C.

33. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge

34. See the Liberty Bell

35. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

36. Visit the Guggenheim Museum in NYC

37. Bake a French loaf of bread that’s not like a rock.

38. Visit a nudist colony

39. Kiss a complete male stranger & make it a good kiss!

40. Have several pieces of my artworks on sale & hanging in a professional gallery

41. Phrases I want to say before I die---

--- You can’t fire me, I quit!; --- A martini shaken not stirred. (Gold finger)

I invite any feedback or comments you may have.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hair Adventures & End of Month Report...

This last Saturday I went into my hairstylist and said I needed a change. I bravely left it in the hands of my stylist and said whatever you think. Talk about the beginnings of an adventure.  I went in a mainly medium length brunette with red streaks and came out a short asymmetrical bobbed blonde with caramel highlights. My stylist made it look SO cute using a straightening iron and this is me on day 1. Barbara Streisand eat your heart out!

This is day 2- I don’t happen to have a straightening iron but used a regular curling iron to attempt to straighten it. Did I mention I have naturally curly hair?

This is day 3- This I took this afternoon at my desk. It’s been unusually humid here all day because it’s been pouring rain off and on. Some parts of Utah got up to 1’ of rain which is unusual for this time of year. But it’s been enough to make my natural curl sprout some of that wonderful frizz. Ugh!  Darn hair sometimes has a mind of its own!

Do we see a trend here?  More hair adventures to come, I'm sure.

Being the first day of August, here’s a look back at the month of July.  The End of Month Report for July.
Savings- I stayed right on track for the month of July which I think is pretty good considering that I went on a bit of a vacation to Helena, MT.

Weight loss- I’ve been rather on a plateau at the 22 lbs. mark, but that happens. Why does it always seem that the last 10 lbs. are the hardest to take off?

100 Salt Lake City Porches- I’m a bit behind on this art project. I should be finished through to porch #66 as of yesterday if I keep to the schedule I set up. Instead, I just finished porch #64 and hope to finish porch #65, an oil, tonight. I have lightly sketched porch #66 and have it prepped for a watercolor. So I’m not terribly behind and I can catch up to where I should be.  To view the progress of 100 Salt Lake City Porches, click here.
"100 Salt Lake City Porches,No.64"; Watercolor on 10" x 14" Paper
Uncluttering my life? I’m still building a pile to go to the good will. It’s slowly getting larger and taking up more floor space in the corner of my bedroom. I’ve added items of summertime clothing from last year that doesn’t seem to go with anything else in my closet. What happened there? I’m unsure.

Stats for the Month...
18.50 miles Running
460.50 miles Cycling
2 hours on the Elliptical
Read 6 books ( Makes for 39 so far this year!)