Friday, January 13, 2012
I've wanted granite countertops ever since I first heard about them; but like lots of people, the house I was living in wasn't always conducive to putting them in. First there is the cost. Secondly, you don't want to over-improve for the area, blah, blah, blah! I never had it listed as a goal of mine, just something in the back of my head. I finally got them on Wednesday, the same day as my 1st wedding anniversary!
This photo shows the majority of the kitchen. About 4 feet left of the stove is one of the entries into the kitchen. And to your right (if you were walking in) is a door leading to a walk-in pantry. Next in line is a black refrigerator, and beyond that another 4 or 5 foot counter.
In this photo, the camera has turned slightlly and looking toward the sink and you see the two very large windows the kitchen features. The one over the sink is 59 inches wide and the one next to it is even wider at 84 inches. So you can see there is a LOT of granite counters. They even did the window sills.
In this shot the angle comes from within the family room, and angles so you can see the low wall that separates the kitchen from the family room. At the end of the wall, it is similar to a pillar as it is quite a lot larger, forming about a 20-inch square. I keep a large flowing plant on it. The granite people suggested covering the top of the wall with granite too, and it looks great. When it gets over to the counter, it steps up about 6 to 8 inches, and continues on the depth of the counters.
This angle shows the refrigerator area and the only counter on that wall. Then there is a doorway leading into the living room. And another doorway next to it, leading to the back patio. The refrigerator, the oven portion of the stove, and the dishwasher all are black.
This is the island, which is between the stove and the kitchen table.
Here is a close-up of the kitchen sink. Love the new faucet, and it has a matching dispenser for soap.
Last, but not least, is a shot of the sink area in the Master Bath. It's the only place we had the granite added to that room.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
GRANITE INSTALLATION DAY! This is the type of thing that really get my juices flowing! Actually any improvement to my home is exciting to me, and to get my dream of granite counters was right at the top of the list!
I was told the granite guys would arrive between 9 and 11 a.m. Great! Don't have to get up early. Unfortunately, I was so excited I couldn't sleep. Got up at 3:00 and tried to read, didn't help. Finally dozed off about 6:30 only to waken again at 7:00. I dragged myself to the bathroom, and had just climbed back into bed when . . . . was that the DOORBELL I just heard? Jumped up, put on a robe, and went to the door. Right! It was one of the granite guys!
I said, "Uhh, I thought you were coming between 9 and 11."
"Oh, yeah," he answers. "But I live close so I thought I'd come on over. Do you want me to wait in my car for awhile?"
So I tell him to come on in, he can always do the kitchen first. I go get dressed, and hear him happily yanking up the existing counters. I tell him I'm just going to make a smoothie and then I clear the VitaMix off the counter. In the meantime my DH isn't too happy either. He didn't sleep well either, so both of us were kind of walking around in a daze. But things were happening, so it's the way it goes sometimes.
Finally at 2:30 they were finished. It looked spectacular (photo tomorrow, I promise!) and DH was so impressed he said he'd like his bathroom done next, plus another area I thought would look good with granite. Well, that made my day!
To top it off, today was our 1st wedding anniversary..... but, we were both too tired to go out and celebrate. We decided we'd enjoy it much more if we did it on an evening when we didn't feel half dead. So tonight I am tired, but happy!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I really am thrilled that I checked into another team, and now I will be able to meet others who are members of SparkPeople. It's good to have at least one "local" team, if possible, so you can meet person-to-person.
I live in the West Valley of Phoenix, AZ and finally had an "ah-ha" moment in that respect -- I knew there must be someone out there who lives close to me who had also found out about Spark. It's just too popular for me to be the only one. And one of the people I talked to just today lives maybe one mile from me. How lucky is that? WooHoo!
Sunday, January 08, 2012
That's how I felt when I first started out on SparkPeople. Sure, I wasn't actually obese but it's how I "felt." It was so unlike my normal growing-up and adult years that I just felt out of sorts and kind of tired. You know what I mean.
I discovered healthy cooking, and read lots of interesting articles when I joined this site! But although the weight was coming off, it seemed so far in the distant future that I was discouraged at times.
I guess it was time for my "ah-ha" moment, when I realized that when it too far on a long-distance goal, it's hard to stay enthused about it. And worse yet, I have the habit, like so many of us, of yo-yo-ing. Lose a pound, feel good, look at the scale the next day, and it's up .2 or .4, doesn't really matter, it's the fact that it's UP that's depressing. It may continue to go up a bit at a time, then there would be the slow .2 drop every day to get it back down. It's a tough life to yo-yo. It's different for these people who stick to the business of eating right and exercising and getting to their goal. Then they go back to their old habits and gain it back, usually plus a little extra.
These are NOT the types I call yo-yo, because to me yo-yo is more of an almost daily thing, which I suppose is natural. Too much sodium one day, not enough protein the next. Geesh! You have to be very detail oriented to keep track!
But starting out 2012 I did my usual projection, and figured I would take things easy by figuring I could lose a half pound a week. I even wrote about it. But the MAIN GOAL was 125 pounds and it still loomed way - way - WAY in the distant future. I'm a gal without a lot of patience! What to do? I decided to make myself a bunch of "short-term goals." Maybe I went overboard as I decided on writing down my WEEKLY GOALS.
Each Sunday on my calendar I penciled in the new weight I expected to be at. And when Sunday arrived I was able to write in -- with a PEN -- my actual weight which this Sunday happened to be 1.4 POUNDS below goal. Woo-Hoo!
Team-mates! Start making your own SHORT TERM goals, they work so much better that looking at something so far off you don't know if you'll ever get there.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
You want to lose some weight. We've all got that!
You want to feel healthy and fit. We've got that, too!
We're so eager when we first start a program that we go overboard and try to get it all done in a day, a week, maybe if we're real patient -- a whole month! But do we achieve much? Not usually? OK, the first week we've made ourselves sore to the point of being miserable, we feel deprived because we haven't been eating all our favorite foods, and we're almost ready to give up.
But, on the other hand -- we look at the scale and we've lost a whopping 7 pounds (which is a number I just made up, it could be more or less, but significant). We like the number on the scale, but know we can't keep up the pace much longer.
What to do? Read the articles in Spark, my friend! Does it advise you to go out and kill yourself or deprive yourself? If it does, you show me that article! NO! The truth of the matter is, they advise you to start out slow and small, taking baby steps. If you're used to eating 3000 calories (or more) every day, your body will think you're starving it if you start out at 1200 or 1500 per day! If your idea of exercise is to look around until you find the remote -- think again buddy because when you get on that treadmill, your body is going to blink it's eyes and say OMG! he (she) is trying to commit suicide! Ya! And in a sense you would be.
You can't take an old work horse out who has been used to plodding along in the field in front of a plow to the Race Track and expect it to win! Well, neither can you!
On the healthy side, let's start with your eating habits. Do you drink 8 glasses of water each day. No? Then that can be your first baby step. Make sure you get that water in you. Your idea of a small meal might be a double Whopper with the large fries -- and of course your giant-sized Coke. How about swapping that for a chicken sandwich (hold the mayo) and size it down to a regular fries and Coke. For me, even that would be a BAD meal, but we're talking baby steps here.
Now we'll mention the exercise -- something you need each and every day, but start out small. Let you body get used to it, so start out with something we all know how to do, but in today's world, seldom do. Start walking. If your mail is delivered half a block from your house, don't stop by there when you're coming home with your car -- walk back over and get it. Have a dog? Perfect! Start taking the dog for a walk. If you can keep up with the dog (almost ANY dog) you are doing OK. And the dog likes to sniff and check things out, so you'll have time to catch your breath occasionally. Spend about 30 minutes once or twice a day and both your body and your dog will be much happier.
The number on your scale may not drop as quickly with these little changes, but it will be something you won't notice too much, and you'll be able to adapt to it, and little by little add more little things to your daily routine. You can make little changes like this into a new HEALTHY LIFESTYLE!
Now you've learned how the little things can add up to big changes. But what about the other way around. Perhaps you think you are already living a very healthy lifestyle, but you've got another 10 pounds to lose - maybe more. Start tracking and you may see that what you "imagined" to be all good choices were not so perfect after all. You see those two cookies you ate added another 260 calories one day, the Chef's Salad with Chicken seemed like a really good choice when you went to Chili's for lunch with a girlfriend. IT WASN'T. Looking it up now on the Internet, you find it contained over 1000 calories (uh huh -- you estimated it at 250 calories, didn't you?)
The same way little changes can add up to good results, those little changes that are bad can sabotage our chances of losing those extra pounds.
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