returned from the black hole

I have posted neither much nor often, but I am crawling back out of the black hole into which I have been sucked! promise! *pinky swears*

Today, 1 November 2009, Husband and I started our "New Healthy Lifestyle". I don't know how it's going for him, but I can't say it's going superbly for me today. :-( BUT it is only day 1 and I made the mistake of going into this without any plan! It's not gonna work without a plan!

Through this site, my Facebook profile, my Brightkite family and sparkpeople.com, I will be documenting our attempts at our healthy new lifestyle and life as a result of it.

I verily promise this to you,




excuses, distractions and saying no.

I started posting here for a variety of reasons - but they pretty much boil down to two things: keeping myself accountable and ensuring that i'm really not as crazy as i sometimes feel!

I haven't been posting...therefore by default I also have not been using this avenue to keep myself accountable nor have I been clearing my head of the "crazy thoughts". I have no excuses, no rationale....just being "lazy". I have to say no to that attitude and get myself back into gear!

I haven't prepared any thoughts for this post, so bear with me for i tend to write in a james-joyce-esque stream of consciousness style...

Though I'm incredibly hypersensitive to raw criticism and things which to me sound similar, sometimes the raw criticism/blunt truth is exactly what I need to hear. This doesn't give anyone a green light to start dogging on me - constructive or lovingly crafted criticism is definitely best. I had two instances of this just yesterday, actually: one made me look more whole-heartedly for a "real" job, the other made me really take a long look at myself and figure out what the heck exactly is going on with me.

The "job incident" was definitely raw criticism at its most acidic. Yes, it prompted me to start looking for a "real job" again, but it also made me think/feel lots of other things which were not nearly as productive or positive. I also found loads of tempting jobs with the Peace Corps or teaching English overseas.

The "me incident" was lovingly crafted, i think. @bwjen tweeted yesterday inquiring how those who were participating in the Missouri 60 Challenge were doing with it. I responded that I wasn't doing so hot. @bwjen's reply: "well you better get it all fixed and get your hiney back on the road!!"

indeed i had better do just that.

i can not attain my goals of being healthy & fit, organized & clutter-free, and an all-around diva without having my "hiney back on the road". I get frustrated because I want to achieve my goals yesterday...but logically, i know that this is impossible. One day at a time.

As Lao Tzu said, "The journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step."


trending healthy?

So, I know that It's only Tuesday (for another 2 minutes at least) but I just have to publicly pat myself on the back! I'm so stinkin' excited that I'm starting to trend towards being healthy and active again! woo hoo!

I had a crappy weekend, but Sunday before work I attempted to take the dogs on a walk - we made it about a half mile round trip b/c it was so darned hot. I wasn't satisfied with my activity, so I drug hubby to the gym! Only had time for 30 min there, but it was 30 min well spent! I spent 20 on the treadmill and 7 on the elliptical.

Monday I was a lazy bum all day and it was glorious in some respects.

Today I worked a full shift, came home and although i was exhausted, I went to the gym! I spent 20 min/1.14 miles on the treadmill and 20 min/2 miles on the elliptical! boy did i ever sweat! I don't think I've sweat that much in a while! I felt so good.

The other thing I've experimented with is with green smoothies. I made a "green monster" yesterday with just almond milk, fruit, spinach and ice. i had it as a snack last night and another serving of it for breakfast this morning. It was a very tasty concoction!

this afternoon, however, i whipped up a smoothie and added chocolate spirulina/rice/soy protein powder - it was not quite so awesome. I could taste the protein powder in every sip. i did choke down about 8 oz of it though. Unfortunately, I have another serving of it in the refrigerator. I think I'm gonna have to doctor it up to be able to drink it.

what sorts of healthy things does tomorrow have in store for me? I think I see Yoga...perhaps followed by another trip to the gym!


Adult ADHD: Learning How to Harness it!

Often, the mental image which comes up when one thinks about the typical person with ADHD is an ornery blonde 10-year-old boy, a la Dennis the Menace. OK, maybe it's just me who thinks that. One picture that pretty much never comes to mind for anyone, though, is a quiet, somewhat-shy and yet accomplished grad student in HER late 20s.

When my therapist suggested I be tested for ADHD, I adamantly denied that I could possibly have it. I was 27, had graduated from 2 different universities cum Laude. I was anything BUT hyperactive. I was not the typical poster child for ADHD. Then I started reading about the 'disorder'; the more I read, the more my reluctance to being tested faded.

Since receiving my official diagnosis of "ADHD-Inattentive", I've done loads and loads of reading on the topic so that I might learn to work with my ADHD brain rather than against it. After renewing my stack of books on the subject twice - and STILL not being done with them - you can imagine that my ADHD has gotten in the way! 12 weeks should be plenty of time to read 6 books!

Once I finish reading the books (I'll have to turn them in and re-check them out - apparently MidContinent Public Library only lets you renew books twice), I'll post reviews of them. The one I'm reading right now is called The Disorganized Mind:
Coaching your ADHD brain to take control of your tasks, time, and talents
and it's by a woman who knows what she's talking about - she's mastered her ADHD and is an ADHD coach. Her name: Nancy A. Ratey, Ed.M, MCC, SCAC. This is one book I plan on actually BUYING. Yeah - it's that good.

Other books on the slate are: Author:

Is it you, me, or adult A.D.D.? Pera, Gina
The ADD & ADHD answer book Ashley, Susan, PhD
Understanding women with AD/HD Nadeau, Kathleen G
You mean I'm not lazy, stupid or crazy?! Kelly, Kate.
Journeys through ADDulthood Solden, Sari

I'm learning so much as I read...and I'm feeling so empowered!


Clearing out the Cobwebs

I haven't blogged - even half-assed - in a very long time. Why is that, you might ask? Have I not had internet access? Has my computer been wonky? Did I break both of my arms in a raucous beer hall brawl?

Nope - none of that. In the last few weeks I have been "mentally" blogging - thinking about things I'd want to blog about, but I've never actually taken the time to sit down and type it out. One thing I have been doing, in order to better my blogging, is reading loads and loads of blogs! In order to be a better writer, one must be an avid reader!

Before people start emailing or tweeting me about where the awesome blogs are, here's a mini-list for now (i'll edit my sidebars and stuff soon!)

KathEats - i ALWAYS take the time to read Kath's posts - even if I don't bother reading the rest!

BitesandBowls - I found Kelsey's blog through Kath's (they're "real-life" friends) and I always seem to have time for this one too! ;-) (LOVED the bear-shenanigans while B&B housesat for K!)

Roni's Weigh - Roni is uber-inspiring and multi-faceted. I love reading her posts!

Bessie Rides - my friend Sally's little sister, "@slimfender", who's currently studying in Prague! Though I've known Sally since 6th grade, Wini didn't go to our school, so I never met her! I know her through Sally and her blog/twitter! (hence my using her twitter handle for her name!)

The Art of Nonconformity - I don't always have time to read his posts - but I save them for later so I can read them at leisure and "get" them. I love what Chris is doing! Chris was one of my first twitter friends - and he's a super nice guy!

The Discomfort Zone
- another one of those "read it at leisure and savor it" blogs for me. Tim Brownson is pretty amazing, methinks. (Even if he doesn't like the word "Woot".) ;-)

Here are a few that I've recently started RSSing...and plan on working them into my blog routine!

Bookworm on a Mission aka @bwjen
Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat? aka @LaughItOff
Losing My Thighs aka @losingmythighs
Slow...Deep...Breaths aka @WannaBeSkinny
How Not To Write aka @hownottowrite

I subscribe to way too many blogs - so I'm sure I'm missing some great ones!

And, as you probably noticed, Twitter is a fairly essential part of my on-line life! :-) It's a wonderful social media tool!

So, what are those things I wanted to blog about? geez - I took so long composing my blog must read list, my train of thought de-railed!

Raw Brain Nuggets:
- my dealings with harnessing my ADHD
- Healthy Life Changes
- Eco-Friendly living: why everyone should be green
- Teaching a Dead Language (or NOT as the case may be)
- Travels!

This is a sampling of some of the things which have been going through my mind lately...and definitely way too much to include into this post! So, I guess consider this a teaser?

And feel free to suggest things for me to talk about! :-D Or to make suggestions on things I can do better!

xx dani xx



That’s what the last two days have seemed like to me – one giant blurred together mess of time! Did the same thing both days – mega busy at work, then house stuff shopping. Woot!

After work yesterday, I had to go to the optometrist for a contact re-check – what usually takes 15-20 minutes took like 90. bleh. I had to have my eyes dilated, then the doc found an old retinal tear and she wanted to try to image it. The flash from the imager felt FABULOUS on my dilated pupils.

DH and I went to JCPenney to buy window treatments, and lemme tell you, the new free-standing JCPenney stores are MEGA bright. I really wish I had taken my sunglasses in with me. by the time we left, I had a horrible headache. BUT we did buy curtains and valances for our bedroom and picked some out for the living room! What a difference it makes – we’ve lived in our house for almost 6 years and have never put curtains up in our room! (we have always had blinds, though)

Today I trudged into work, even though I woke up with my headache having worsened! A couple of ibuprofen dulled it immensely – i still have it, but i am functioning! Spent some more time shopping today, after work. Went back to Penney’s to buy the curtains for the living room. they only had enough for 2 windows, so for the 3rd I had to trek out to a nearby town to fetch the stuff for the last window. I can’t wait until tomorrow when we put them up!


While “out-of-town”, I hit up the TJMaxx. I found a cool wall mirror for 1/2 the price of the one we were looking at at Penney’s and a dress to wear for my sister-in-law’s wedding in April! (I’ve been sweating it!) success all around!

I went way over points today – almost took up all my weekly ones too! BUT i am accounting for it, and i’m really not worried about it, honestly. I’ve been doing really well with keeping track lately and i’ve been logging small but encouraging losses every week! What really tipped the balance today was the chocolate malt i got at Sonic – 1 large  is ca. 20pts! I rarely ever get things like that, so it’s all good! ;-)

I hope that the weekend is going well for everyone! Pix of the windows tomorrow!


Out with the Old, In with the New

I discovered this morning that bananas can be a lot more points than i thought possible! I guess I had bought some ginormous bananas or something – check this baby out!

DSCF0130can you read the screen on my food scale? 4 – that right – FOUR points for that sucker. i’d already put the pictured banana’s cousin in my oatmeal before I thought to weigh it – otherwise i’d have only used half!


My KERF-inspired oatmeal this morning was tasty – i think, though, that the almond butter and the walnuts are redundant and I shall do one or the other from now on.

DSCF0131This 11-pt breakfast did tide me over fairly well – though I think I could’ve used more protein in it. My mix:

  • Ocean Spray Instant Oatmeal, Cranberry Orange Muffin

  • 1pt’s worth of craisins

  • 1pt's worth of walnuts

  • 1 tsp (1 pt)Naturally More Almond Butter

  • 1 ginormous 4-pt banana, mushed.

I had a 2pt Pumpkin Spice Kashi TLC bar at work during my break and a 1pt clementine when I came home from work.


Hubby and I went in search of a pair of casual every day shoes for him and a few things for the house (like a new duvet and sheet set!). While we were out we stopped at Firehouse Subs for lunch. WOW! was it yummy! I had the Engineer, which is 8pts w/o mayo and cheese. Also, I had my first diet Coke that I’ve had in weeks and weeks. If I’d had realised they had bottles of vitamin water, i’d have opted for that instead.

After lunch, we headed out to NFM to pick up our new furniture! yay!

first, to contrast, take a look at our old, hand-me-down couch!

DSCF0132bleh. gross. our new furniture is cute though!

 DSCF0136Lovely deep seat couch!

DSCF0150And an oversized chair with matching Ottoman.These of course had to be Kitty approved before they were allowed to stay! ;-)

Our new furniture was bought to co-ordinate with our existing chair – a retro piece which has pretty much *always* been at my grandma’s house – since time immemorial! When she decided to sell her house, I took the chair!

This is how it used to look: Well, I couldn’t find a picture of how it used to look, but did find one of the reupholstery project in progress. The cushion is how it used to look and the frame is how it looks now:



it was kind of an off-white/eggshell color with silver sparkly threads running through.

LR cropsee, now isn’t that better?


After all this excitement, hubby and I went to see Coraline. It was pretty good, but I think i really need to watch it again. At the theater, we had a coupon for a free drink, so I got a diet Coke; and we were both peckish so we shared a salted pretzel with cheese dip (about 5pts).

Just now, after returning home, hubby heated up some bean-only chili I made yesterday. For me, 1/2 cup chili with 1 tsp 2% milk cheese and 10 unsalted top crackers. not bad at all for only about 3.5 pts!

On the way home from the movie, I learned a big secret that I can’t talk about yet – but it’s a good secret and I’ll be able to talk about it soon! can’t wait!




Change in the weather, Change for the Better!

I decided that I was going to write a post today since I haven’t in a very, very long time! I think that if I were to maintain my blog, then I would have an additional accountability partner for all the various things in my daily life for which I need to be kept accountable!

I had the day off today, and instead of being a lazy bum and not doing anything at all today, I made the decision this morning to make a list of the things I actually did accomplish! I usually only make a list of what I want to accomplish; this list tends to get really long and I end up not accomplishing anything. However, today, whatever I did seemed to have worked because I was able to do a fair bit! :-D

I started my list off with documenting my breakfast. I’ve been super bad about journaling my food intake lately, and it shows. :-( So, here is my breakfast:DSCF0083

Yeah, it’s a little high in points (13!) BUT it was breakfast and lunch combined. I also used a full serving (1/4 cup) REAL maple syrup – at 4 points it is the same as my pancakes! It’s totally worth it though. :-D Am I crazy for taking on the extra calories for real maple syrup as opposed to going for the “light” syrups? Does anyone else make exchanges like that? I also will spend a little more money on organic or local things…but that’s a different post in the near future.

After breakfast, I had intended to make some jewelry to start stocking my online shops at etsy and artfire, but after doing a few other things around the house, the husband was awake and we decided to take the dogs to the park.

It was such a gorgeous day – the first we’ve had in a week or so! It was perfect weather to take the dogs on a nice long walk and to play with the digital camera we recently purchased! (I kinda broke the old one!)

Here are a few of my favorite shots from today:
View Dogs' Day Out

After coming home and cleaning up from the mudfest that was the park with two hyper Boxers, hubby and I chillaxed a bit then headed out to the Legends shopping center.

On the way out there, we decided to stop for a bite at Cheeseburger in Paradise, since it was dinner time. This is definitely one of those times I wish I had a mobile web browser on my phone or had carried with me my dining out companion – wow. I had a Bleu Cheese Burger, though I can’t find exact numbers for it, I guestimated that it was about 20 points for the burger alone. egads – good thing we had that long walk earlier!

After dinner, we headed over to NFM to check out living room furniture. We had a hard time agreeing on anything, but found a good compromise lurking in the clearance section. I LOVE it! :-) We pick it up tomorrow!

I have an early, but thankfully short, day tomorrow – only working 6 – 11. :-D


look for a new post coming from me tonight! i've been taking some photos and making some notes today in preparation for a *real* post! woo hoo!

<3 y'all!


why haven't i ever tried out ping.fm before? this seems amazing so far!


Part of my Un-Resolution

So, as part of my New Year's Un-Resolutions, I've started a SECOND blog. The new blog will be a visual food journal (and probably exercise too); I figured that daily food blogging would overwhelm what I want to accomplish with this blog, so it'd be best on its own!

So, if you're interested in food, check it out! Divas Have to Eat Too!


I Resolve to NOT Resolve.

"What's your New Year's Resolution?"

Is it just me, or does that question make your tongue stammer and your brain start flopping looking for that perfect thing to say? I've never been a big fan of New Year's Resolutions, mainly because I'm total crap at actually sticking to them - but really, isn't everyone? What is so magical about January 1 that makes humans go crazy and start to promise themselves they're gonna start doing right by themselves?

Though I don't necessarily think that making "New Year's Resolutions" is the most practical use of time, I do think, however, that anytime is a good time to sit down and have a good hard think about the path your life is on and figure out what, if anything, you need to do in order to reach your goals. With everyone switching from Holiday Mindset to Resolution Mindset, it might be a good time to find encouragement, advice and support from those around you as you sit down for the first good long think of the year.

You might be asking yourself, "what difference could there be between making a New Year's Resolution and having a good long think at the first of the year?" Plenty. To me, a New Year's Resolution (NYR) is a once-a-year, special occasion type of thing - not unlike Easter or Thanksgiving; whereas I am a proponent of thinking about your life and your goals in depth multiple times per year - making it a life-style change rather than a vapid promise to be tossed aside by Groundhog Day. ya dig?

But go ahead - do whatever you want: just because I think like this doesn't mean I'm going to judge you for whatever decision you might make! :-)

I also have the type of personality which benefits from being held accountable by a 3rd party, so let me share with you the things which I have meditated upon and feel that I should work on this coming year.

1. Change my eating habits. I am not the most conscientious eater all of the time. I want to switch out my unhealthy habits for healthier ones. I know that I can do it as I've done it once before (then I got lazy about it and fell back into those bad habits).

2. Drink more water. I used to be so good about drinking water - but I've become addicted to the Diet Soda. Not only is it expensive, it is bad for your body.

3. Monitor my Internet Usage. I used to work 2 jobs, then because of some serious tendonitis in my dominant shoulder, I had to quit one of them. Since I've been working much less than I'm used to, I filled that time with the Internet - particularly Twitter. Don't get me wrong, @dani29 loves her Twitter, but I don't need it connected like an IV. (Besides - I have a mobile, so I can tweet on the go!)

4. Get moving. I'm tired of being tired. I know that my sluggishness is, in large part, due to my, well, being sluggish and sloth-like; I'm not a giant sloth, but getting there. I miss the feeling my body gets from being active - and I miss my skinny jeans (in my case a pair of black Editor pants from Express).

5. Take my Meds. I am really really bad about taking my meds. Not only is there is a reason I take them, but I've spent good money DH and I have worked hard to earn.

6. Make something pretty. I love creating pretty things - it gives me a really good feeling that I can make something beautiful out of things which aren't so pretty alone. I aim to make one pretty thing per week. :-) I have a feeling that my Etsy and Artfire shops just might fill up with my handcrafted goodness this year!

7. Take Mental Vacations. I LOVE to read - but I've not been taking the time to indulge in that passion lately. I am going to try to read about 500 pages per week. That might sound like an awful lot, but I can read rather quickly. ;-)

8. Get rid of the CLUTTER! I don't mean to be a clutter bug, I just kinda have ended up that way. I HATE to throw out perfectly good things which can be re-purposed. I am a member of my local Freecycle group, so I should take advantage of it. I like to try my hand at lots of different creative outlets, so unfortunately I tend to keep around too many things which I think might be useful in crafting.

9. Rekindle sputtering relationships. There was a reason I was friends with so-and-so for some reason - and unless s/he's done something utterly unforgiveable, the only reason we're not such good friends now is sheer laziness. Granted, I know that friendships cannot be one-sided: if my friend refuses to put forth an effort, all efforts on my part shall cease.

10. Show my friends and family just how much I care. We all do it - we have a tendency to take for granted those closest to us; we can unconsciously be so vile to those we love the most and think that they will always know how we truly feel. Life is too short and unpredictable to not give all the love and affection to our nearest and dearest that they deserve.

So, as of today 1 January 2009 @ 20.37 these are the top ten things I think I can improve in my life for the betterment of not only my life, but also for those around me. I will check in with myself (and you!) every so often throughout the year (at least 4 times) to give updates on how my quest is going.

Leave Comments for me to tell me what your own goals for this year are - let's do this together! :-D

If you want to read about NYRs or get some advice and/or support on your own life goals, hit up the links I've posted below. Then, stop being lazy and look around for your own! Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. (paraphrased, of course)


Good luck with your meditations!