MAUREENIE1's SparkPeople Blog MAUREENIE1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My New Baby! Hello Spark Friends, <BR> I hope you are all well today and enjoying the summer, wherever you live. <BR> <BR> My last blog was the announcement that my son and daughter-in-law were expecting. I just realized today that I didn't give an update. <BR> <BR> Caleb Wyatt was born on April 19. He is a very healthy boy and continues to grow like a weed. His mommy and daddy are enjoying parenthood and it does my heart proud to see them interact with him in such a loving way. I have attached some of... Sat, 6 Aug 2016 08:29:14 EST Secret to My Weight Loss I am so excited that I have finally been able to make my weight loss journey successful. I have learned the secret to my own successful weight loss, after many years of frustration. When my sister came to visit me, she also lost 2 lbs in one week. She only ate what I ate. it works! <BR> <BR> I am not saying that my method does not take effort and thought, but I do believe the method I use is failproof. For those of you who track your daily food, it is so easy to double check to make sure tha... Tue, 8 Mar 2016 14:36:16 EST A Wonderful Christmas <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This Christmas, Gordon and I visited our children and grandchildren in Canada. It has been almost 3 years since we went back to Canada, after moving to Spain. We had a wonderful time and I am so excited that my clothes still fit after all that feasting. <BR> <BR> For the last 6 months, I have dilengently been working at losing weight. To date, I have lost 17 lbs. I love the way that I eat ... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 17:27:48 EST I'm going to be a Grandma! I am SO excited. My son and his wife announced that they are expecting a baby in April 2016. <BR> <BR> My husband has 6 grandchildren and I am "Mimi" to them, since they are not my biological grandchildren. I love them dearly and to them, I am a grandma. But to have my own biological grandchild has sent me over the moon! For some reason I never believed that this would ever happen to me. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I wanted to share this news with all my Spark friends! Did I mention that I am SO ex... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 10:41:35 EST My Journey with Weight Watchers <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm pretty excited about losing my extra weight! <BR> <BR> For the past 3 months I have been a member of WW online. September is my last month. Starting October 1, I plan on tracking only on Sparks. <BR> <BR> For those of you who are not familiar with WW, they use a point system. I found it very effective. You track everything you eat. Fruits and vegetables are free. This encourages heal... Wed, 9 Sep 2015 05:34:18 EST 'Tis Now Bright September! Hello to All My Sparks Friends! <BR> It seems that September always makes me think of change and routine. It must be from all my years of going to school either as a student or teacher. <BR> <BR> I have not been on Sparks forever. Lots has happened. We have been living here in Spain now for about 2 1/2 years. It took me almost the entire time to adjust to all the changes. <BR> <BR> I am doing well with my weight and am the lowest I have been in 4 years. I actually joined Weight Watchers. ... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 05:36:47 EST Moroccan Night <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last night, we went to an organized Moroccan party, at a restaurant in Spain. The food was delicious and very healthy. Have any of you cooked with a tagine? I have to get myself one of those! <BR> <BR> Hope all of you are enjoying your weekend and seeing some sign of spring, where ever you live! <BR> <BR> Mwhaaa! <BR> Maureen <BR> <BR> Sat, 8 Mar 2014 09:47:34 EST I had a bath! Today I am not feeling that great. I am stressed. There is a lot going on. The weather here in sunny Spain isn't that sunny, at this time of year. Grey, cloudy skies, rainy and cold. Also, I have been trying to get over a flu bug that has hung on for 3 weeks. <BR> <BR> To add to all of this, my darling little Banjo had a seizure, last night. We went to bed last night around 1:00 am, after we were sure that he was OK. This is way past my bedtime. I usually like to be in the sheets by 10:00 p... Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:17:59 EST I FOUND MY PANTS! I FOUND MY PANTS!!! Thank you everyone for your comments on my blog. After reading what you wrote, I was determined to look again. And there they were! Hanging in my closet!!!! I usually drape them over a hanger, but I just remembered that they were a bit damp from ironing. So I hung them up by the waist with my dresses. <BR> <BR> Do you know that I have been looking for these pants for 3 WEEKS!!!??? You were right Janet. They were right in front of me. Thank you Sallie for your positive vibes and to Ronna als... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 12:19:47 EST How Does a Girl Lose Her Pants!? OK, so this blog has nothing to do with weight loss or fitness. Well, it sort of does....I lost my favourite pair of pants! These were a new pair of pants that fit me perfectly for the weight that I am, now. I feel good in these pants!!!! <BR> <BR> When we went away, at Christmas time, I brought with me 3 pairs of pants. When I came home, I washed all three. Then my husband ironed them for me. (He is a much better ironer than I am). Then I put them in the closet. But for over 3 weeks now, I... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 06:42:40 EST Happy New Year & Thank you! <img src=""> <BR> Happy New Year to all my Sparkly Friends! <BR> <BR> I want to thank you all for being there for me, as we start another New Year, attempting to live the healthiest life possible. Thank you for your blogs. Thank you for your encouragements, comments on my page and goodies. Thank you for being there and never giving up on your own journey to health. Many days I read what you write and watch you continue on when I feel ... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:51:48 EST A Great Soup Recipe Hello Spark Friends! <BR> I hope you are all having a wonderful day. <BR> <BR> As some of you already know, I looooove to cook. I also enjoy trying out many of the Spark recipes. They are my go-tos, as all the nutritional information is already calculated for you. When I make my own recipes, I put all the nutritional information into my favourites on my food tracker. <BR> <BR> I just made Emily's Creamy Butternut Squash, Carrot, & Apple Soup, from the Sparks recipe collection. It is amazin... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 11:32:33 EST The spectacular view from our terrace, this evening! It is a lovely evening and as I looked out over our olive grove. This is what met my eyes. <BR> o <img src=""> Sun, 10 Nov 2013 12:59:44 EST Confession is good for the soul! Good morning my faithful Spark Friends! <BR> <BR> I have a confession to make and I am so glad that I have a group of loving people to make it easier. So here goes..... <BR> <BR> I AM A LIAR AND A CHEAT!!! <BR> <BR> This is the problem. I have been tracking my food and also I have been experimenting with what works for me and what doesn't and I think that I have pretty much figured it out. I can not have sugar or wheat. Anything with sugar or wheat makes me gain weight big time. It is ve... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 03:00:18 EST My husband and son. <img src=""> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 14:17:12 EST Pergola We have been busy with renovations for the last 6 month turning the villa which use to just be a vacation spot into our home. Gord made this pergola to give us some much needed shade in the pool area. <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 14:12:48 EST My little star! Banjo won 3 ribbons at the County Fair. <img src=""> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 14:07:29 EST Banjo on drugs We had to give my poor little Banjo a sedative for the long flight from Canada to Spain. He was such a good little guy the whole way. <img src="">n. Mon, 4 Nov 2013 14:05:33 EST I love putting geraniums in the window sills. The geraniums grow so well here in Spain. I am partial to red. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 14:00:50 EST Casa Bella Vista - side terrace <img src=""> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 13:53:51 EST Casa Bella Vista - front terrace Many of you have asked me to post pictures of my new home in Spain. <img src=""> <BR> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 13:51:54 EST My son Enjoying a relaxing time with my son who came and visited us in September. <img src=""> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 13:45:46 EST Baby #5 This is Elena. Our first granddaughter. <img src=""> Mon, 4 Nov 2013 13:44:09 EST Baby #4 <img src=""> <BR> We became grandparents again with baby #4 & #5, just before we moved to Spain. This is Dominic. Mon, 4 Nov 2013 13:41:54 EST Hola all my Spark Friends! Well, it is the end of October and I have been here in Spain for just over 6 months. It has been a very busy 6 months with renovations, a vacation in Italy and lots of house guests. <BR> <BR> Now that the cooler weather is starting, I feel like the activity is slowing down and I am thinking more inward. My husband is in California, on business, this week and I have had time to regroup and focus more on myself. Thus, I am ready to start tracking my food again. I have had a few pounds of weig... Wed, 30 Oct 2013 03:55:18 EST I'M BAAACK! Hi Everyone! <BR> <BR> Well, we are really living in Spain now. The trip over here went very well. My little doggie was a real tropper. He seemed to handle the flight quite nicely. <BR> <BR> The place needs a lot of fixing up. Our furniture and belongings will be coming the end of August. We had already promised to rent the villa out to a family for the beginning of August. That was before we had decided to move here. We will take a vacation in Italy while they are staying here and will not... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 04:31:09 EST Can anyone relate? Good Morning Spark Friends! <BR> <BR> Today is like most mornings. I start off the day with very good intentions. My breakfasts are nearly always very healthy. But life happens....especially lately with all my purging and packing. I am so busy and each time I do something, I remember that I have to add about 5 more things to my to-do-list. I am a roller coaster of emotions. I go from excited to sad to overwhelmed to downright heart-broken when I think of all that I am leaving. Then I get exc... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:18:48 EST Still Need to Minimize! Well, we just got the quote for our move. It's a lot. My concern is that I am still bringing too much and will have no room for it in Spain. I have given away or sold about 1/2 our belongings. I know that I have to get rid of more, but am not sure what. As time has gone by, I have started to hang onto some things. <BR> <BR> For those of you who have moved internationally, do you have any general ideas of what I should still be discarding? I have already given away or sold: <BR> all bedroom ... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 10:00:21 EST What do animals understand? Please bear with me. I know that I have already written one blog today, but I just had to share this moment with my Dear Spark Buddies... <BR> <BR> Every time we go to Spain or any holiday for that matter, we have always left my dog behind. Since he is my little boy, I treat him the same way as I did my son when he was growing up. (I know....I'm weird!) Any way, I always tell him what is happening and that we are going away for awhile and will be back and that "so-and-so" is taking care of h... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 12:53:03 EST Day 3 of Dr Oz 3 Day Detox Here it is Day 3 and we are glad to be at the end of this Detox Diet. We really miss solid foods. While there has been signs that detoxing has taken place, (eyes running meaning liver is cleansing, headache, muscle aches, some irritibility) time will tell if there are any long lasting changes. <BR> <BR> This morning we both weighed the same as yesterday. So no weight loss. We both slept well last night and we are feeling in good moods and have a general sense of well-being. We are both very... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 11:50:37 EST Day 2 of Dr Oz's 3 Day Detox We weighed in this morning. I lost 1/2 lb. Hubby lost 1 lb. <BR> <BR> We were both feeling a bit achy last night. That is a sign that the detox is working. Hubby feels worse than I do. He didn't want the breakfast smoothie, unil he had toast with almond butter and plum jam and an apple. He is feeling very hungry on this detox. <BR> <BR> We both had the green tea and lemon. In our opinion the breakfast smoothie is by far the best tasting. I will definately continue drinking these as a brea... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 11:28:20 EST Afternoon Smoothie Hi Everyone! We are just sipping our afternoon smoothies. We will have the same one for dinner in about 3 hours. <BR> <BR> Dinner Smoothie Recipe: <BR> <BR> 1/2 cup mango <BR> 1 cup blueberries <BR> 1 1/2 cup coconut water <BR> 1 cup kale <BR> 1 Tbsp lemon <BR> 1/4 avocado <BR> 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper <BR> 1 Tbsp flax seeds <BR> <BR> I am really enjoying this detox. <BR> <BR> Me: This dinner smoothie is tasty, but the kale does not blend up very well. And I have an excellent Bamix immersi... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 17:49:25 EST Dr Oz's 3 Day Detox Today, I have decided to start the Dr Oz 3 day detox. Basically it is 4 smoothies a day. One for every meal and an afternoon snack. I have been on my version of The Plan for a few weeks and have discovered a lot about my body and have lost and kept the weight off. I thought that I would try this Dr Oz detox because the meals will be easy to prepare, minimizing my meal prep and stress during this moving stage of our lives. Also, everyone that has tried it says that they had a lot of energy a... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 14:14:17 EST SOLD!!! Good morning Spark Friends! <BR> <BR> Well, we sold our home on Wednesday evening. It was a long gruelling process. The buyer's Realtor did not want his client to pay what the house was worth. We stuck to our guns and after 10 hours of arduous negotiations, we got what we wanted. The buyer wants to move in quickly, so we have booked our flights for April 15 for our move to Spain. <BR> <BR> We have to get my dog's passport, my Italian citizenship and rid of our furniture now. <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 10:49:13 EST LOSER!!! I am so happy that I have found the secret to my weight loss. I lost another pound. I am eating most foods, just being careful with how I combine them. <BR> <BR> I have also noticed that I can not tolerate any sugar, but I can have honey in my tea. But not black tea. It has to be green tea. Another little change for which my body is thanking me. I can also have bread, rice or pasta but not with any animal protein. This is so motivating for me because I now know what I can and cannot have. I... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 12:01:44 EST Got Rid of My Big Girl Jeans! Today was the day. I got rid of the safety net! <BR> <BR> For 3 1/2 years I have been trying to lose 20 lbs. And it has been a yo-yoing event. I start to lose, but in very small increments. Then I plateau for a long period of time and then all of a sudden the scale goes up. I have even gained up to 9 lbs in the process, making it that I then needed to lose almost 30 lbs.! How does that happen!!!? I have been very discouraged and start to think. "What the heck! It doesn't matter what I do. ... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 10:43:35 EST Something is seriously wrong!!! Yesterday, I ate all the foods that I had lost weight on before. I have given up, salt, tea, coffee, sugar, bread, chickpeas (no big deal), chocolate & chicken and eat more vegetables than I have ever had in my entire life. I drink so much water that I am constantly in the washroom. I thought that I had figured out the food combination thing, but today when I weighed myself, I was up another pound. Trying to figure out this eating thing along with all that I am doing to prepare for our move t... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 10:19:21 EST Self Discovery 101 Well, I have been trying to follow The Plan for the last 8 days and I must say it has been a very frustrating journey. I was ready to give up, but my stubborn, analytical side kicked in and I am determined to get to the bottom of this weight loss thing, for me. I was losing 1 lb a day for the first few days. Then I stalled and only lost .4 lbs. Then I started yo-yoing up .4 lbs, down 4.4 lbs then up .4 lbs.Then up again .4 lbs. That's when my stubborn, determined side kicked in and I decided ... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:20:59 EST Today I am exhausted!!! We have been very busy...sorting through our belongings and deciding what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, what to throw away. Then there is who to give away, friends or the homeless. Yesterday, we visited a homeless shelter and the people who ran it were so grateful for all the blankets and bedding that we donated. We asked them what else they needed. They are in great need for warm clothes, so I have decided to donate a large portion of my winter clothes. This made me fee... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 10:21:12 EST Today I am sad. Good morning to all my Sparkly Friends! <BR> <BR> This morning I woke up with sadness in my heart. I have been very busy planning and getting rid of a lot of my stuff, in preparation for our move to Spain. I came down with the norovirus, which stopped me from doing a lot physically, but it didn't stop my head from spinning with all the planning on what to take and what not to take. My lists are endless. <BR> <BR> This morning I am aware of some deep grief over having to leave behind 2 very ... Thu, 31 Jan 2013 08:34:12 EST The Beat Goes On! Just checking in.... <BR> I have had the Norovirus since Saturday evening. Yesterday, I started to feel better and ate some dinner. Not good! I fed the little germies that were still inside my intestines and I have it all over again. I feel awful. It has really cramped my style and I am not able to do as much preparation for our move. We had to postpone listing the house until I get better. I am not worried about that, as I truly believe that things happen for a reason. <BR> <BR> Since I hav... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 11:11:22 EST Made Our Decision! Well, we decided to take the adventurous route and move to Spain. In 2 weeks my husband's travel schedule is going to be insane. So now it is the calm before the storm. We started going through all our belongings and are trying to sell it or give it away. <BR> <BR> Remember when I said that I loved my stuff? Well, I don't!!! <em>234</em> There is way too much stuff to go through. It really is disgusting. I have closets and cupboard full of it. And they are things that I hardly ever use.... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 17:52:30 EST My continuing story..... You have all been so wonderful with your comments! Thank you for not judging me for seeming to be so focused on things that shouldn't be that important. <BR> <BR> If you don't mind, I think I will continue to blog about this important decision. <BR> <BR> We met with the Realtor yesterday. He said that our home showed well and was in a very desirable community and it is better than the competition's. He also said that there were a lot of buyers out there now who are looking for our type of ... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 10:52:22 EST At A Crossroads This blog has very little to do with weight. But I need to talk.... <BR> <BR> A bit of history first... We own a villa in Spain and a home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The villa in Spain has been on the market for 5 years and because of the economy it has not sold. I love Spain, and we go there for months at a time to visit. I am very happy there and love the European culture more than the Canadian culture. But all our kids and grandchildren are here and this is home to us. We don't like the... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:57:58 EST Your morning laugh! <BR> It Can be Hard Keeping a Straight Face as a COURT REPORTER. These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place. <BR> <BR> ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning? <BR> WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?' <BR> ATTORNEY: And why did that upset... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 10:52:18 EST Bla! Bla! Bla! I am feeling very blah today. I weighed myself and the scale hasn't budged. It snowed for most the night and we have quite a bit of the pretty white flakes everywhere. And it is cold! All I want to do is sit by the fire with my blankey and watch the snow fall while I stare blankly out the window. But I am not going to give up like that. Maybe I am not feeling all full of vim and vigor and I am discouraged about my weight, but I do have a plan.... <BR> <BR> At the end of November, I heard JJ ... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 11:22:37 EST SAD Many of us in Calgary, Alberta, where the winters are long and cold, suffer from SAD (Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder). Some more severely than others. I found a website that provided a quiz that determines the severity of your SAD. They said that all of us need 20 minutes to 2 hours of morning sunlight to be healthy. Depending on how severe your SAD is would determine how much sunlight each person needs to combat this disorder. The results of the quiz determined that I personally needed 30 m... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 13:17:06 EST Cut and Paste "Copy and Paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. Use one word answers, get an easy three SparkPoints, and help your SparkFriends get to know you.” <BR> <BR> No, I didn't stick to one word answers either! <BR> <BR> Where is my cell phone? <BR> Front hall table drawer. <BR> <BR> Spouse? <BR> beside me on his computer <BR> <BR> Your hair? <BR> brunette bob with carmel hi-lights <BR> <BR> Your mother? <BR> passed away after a tragic accident in 2004 <BR> <BR> Your father... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 16:04:12 EST To weigh or not to weigh. That is the question! For years I was obsessed with what the scale said. If it went up I was down (emotionally) and if it went down I was up. For me, I have decided that it is best to practice a healthy lifestyle with good food choices and exercise and accept myself as is. I like to weigh myself intermittently and allow for the natural fluctuations of water weight, while still keeping an eye on how I'm doing. <BR> <BR> On the other hand, I have also been known to not weigh myself for weeks, months and even yea... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 19:02:04 EST My Plan of Attack! Good morning my Spark friends! <BR> <BR> I weighed in again and was 141.4 lbs. So I am losing. We have invited a bunch of friends over tonight for a games night. Everyone is bringing their favourite snacks and appetizers, plus wine or a non-alchoholic beverage. So here's my plan... I am going to drink sparkling water, which I love, (no calories) and have a few tablespoons of tapenade with mutigrain rice crackers, which I will provide. This will total less than 200 calories and practically no... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 11:07:29 EST